Anchor Secrets Unsealed School of Theology: Revelations Seven Seals

The Second Seal

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ARSS

Program Code: ARSS190010S

00:17 Well, here we are for a second dosage.
00:21 We want to finish our study of the first seal, the white horse.
00:25 And then we are going to take look at the red horse.
00:30 My goal is to finish our study of the red horse
00:32 in this second session.
00:34 And then this afternoon I'm hoping that we will be able to
00:37 do the third and fourth horse.
00:40 Because we have a lot to study.
00:42 We still have to study the entire interlude
00:44 of Revelation chapter 7.
00:46 And that's going to take us a while.
00:48 And then the fifth and sixth seals are particularly long.
00:53 So we're doing well.
00:55 But we want to make sure that we cover all of the material.
00:58 So let's have a Word of prayer, and then we'll finish
01:01 the first seal and get into the second.
01:03 Father in heaven, once again we begin this session
01:07 by pleading for the help of Your Holy Spirit.
01:10 Help us to rightfully divide the Word of truth.
01:13 And thank You for hearing us,
01:14 for we ask it in Jesus name, amen.
01:18 Okay, we're on page 146 of the syllabus.
01:22 And we are going to deal with the phrase
01:26 that the white horse goes out conquering and to conquer.
01:30 The horse and the rider.
01:32 The literal translation of the phrase, "overcoming
01:37 in order that he might..."
01:39 The literal translation of the phrase, "conquering
01:42 and to conquer," is really, "overcoming in order
01:44 that he might overcome."
01:47 And we must link this phrase with the messages
01:50 to the seven churches.
01:51 Have you noticed that with each church,
01:53 at the end it says, "he who overcomes"?
01:56 So the white horse are the overcomers,
02:00 in the churches specifically.
02:02 And of course, we're dealing with the first church
02:04 which is Ephesus, which is parallel to the first horse.
02:09 So the literal translation of the phrase
02:12 is, "overcoming in order that he might overcome."
02:15 We must link this phrase with the messages
02:18 to the seven churches, where at the end of
02:21 each message we find this dictum, "to him that overcomes."
02:26 We also have to link Revelation 5:5
02:30 where we are told that Jesus overcame.
02:34 And this is the conclusion.
02:36 As Jesus overcame while He was on earth,
02:39 and gained the victory in the end, so His church
02:43 must overcome during the period of the seven seals
02:47 and receive the crown of life at the end.
02:50 So Jesus on earth overcomes,
02:52 and gains the victory and goes to heaven,
02:56 God's people during the period of the seals overcome,
02:59 and then at the end they receive the reward like Jesus.
03:04 The Word for, "overcome," in Revelation 6:2
03:08 and in the context of the seven churches is the same.
03:12 Thus, the white horse represents God's faithful people
03:15 in the churches who overcome.
03:19 This indicates that the white horse represents
03:22 the faithful in the churches.
03:25 So the white horse symbolizes the apostolic church
03:30 that went worth under the guidance of the Holy Spirit
03:33 to defeat the kingdom of Satan
03:36 and to extend the kingdom of Jesus.
03:39 Acts 2:41 and Acts 4:4 exemplify these remarkable conquests.
03:45 You know, let's notice these verses that we find here
03:48 in Acts 2:41, 4:4, and 6:7
03:52 so you see the exponential growth of the church.
03:55 It says in Acts 2:41, this is on the day of Pentecost.
04:03 So the arrows caused an impact, didn't they.
04:12 So one baptism of three thousand people.
04:15 I would say that was a successful evangelistic
04:17 sermon by Peter.
04:20 Acts 4:4, just a little while later.
04:27 Notice once again the emphasis on the preaching of the Word.
04:29 That's the shooting of the arrows.
04:38 Wow!
04:39 So this is exponential growth.
04:42 And then Acts 6:7 doesn't even give us a number.
04:45 It simply says, "multiplied greatly."
05:00 So the church is conquering.
05:02 It's going out conquering and to conquer.
05:03 It is overcoming, in other words.
05:06 Let's notice the New Testament testimony about
05:09 how far the gospel reached.
05:12 God told, Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem,
05:16 Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost ends of the earth.
05:20 Did that happen in the first generation? Absolutely.
05:23 Colossians 1:6 and verse 23 states, "All over the world
05:31 this gospel is bearing fruit and growing,
05:34 just as it has been doing among you since the day
05:38 you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth."
05:42 So notice, all over the world this gospel is bearing fruit,
05:46 says the apostle Paul.
05:48 And then in verse 23, "This is the gospel that you heard
05:53 and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,
05:57 and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."
06:01 So notice once again, all over the world,
06:04 every creature under heaven.
06:06 And then Romans 1:8.
06:20 In Acts 17:6, you know, this is the complaint
06:24 that is launched against those who are preaching the gospel.
06:28 "But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason
06:32 and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out,
06:35 'These who have turned the world upside down
06:39 have come here too.'"
06:42 So it shows the tremendous conquest of the early church
06:46 just by reading the book of Acts.
06:49 Ellen White described it this way in,
06:51 Acts of the Apostles, page 593.
06:55 "The commission that Christ gave to the
06:58 disciples, they fulfilled.
07:01 As these messengers of the cross went forth..."
07:05 It's an interesting expression because it's
07:07 the white horse that went forth, right?
07:09 "...went forth to proclaim the gospel,"
07:11 that is to shoot the arrows, "there was such a revelation
07:15 of the glory of God as had never before been witnessed
07:19 by mortal man.
07:21 By the cooperation of the divine Spirit,
07:23 the apostles did a work that shook the world.
07:27 To every nation was the gospel carried in a single generation."
07:34 Wow! It's amazing.
07:37 And it began in the upper room with 120.
07:41 120 active members.
07:44 Not bench warmers, not pew warmers.
07:47 Active members.
07:49 Now let's go to the next page which deals not only with
07:55 the white horse at the beginning of the Christian dispensation,
07:57 but also at the end.
07:59 During the Christian dispensation,
08:02 the faithful church fights a spiritual war against
08:07 spiritual enemies in the enemy's spiritual territory
08:12 with a spiritual armor and spiritual weapons.
08:15 Are you with me?
08:17 The purpose of the war is to conquer human hearts.
08:22 And you have texts for all of these.
08:23 We don't have time to read all the texts.
08:25 It involves God's people attempting to convince
08:29 the devil's soldiers to desert his army and join Christ's army.
08:34 So to speak, God's people proclaim that
08:37 if you want to be a winner, desert the devil's army
08:40 and come over to the Lord's side.
08:44 In other words, the idea is to say,
08:45 "You're with the losing army.
08:47 So just give up and come over here."
08:50 Revelation 19:11-21, which is the white horse at the end
08:54 of the book, describes the time when the sequence of the seals
08:58 reaches its climax.
08:59 See, there's a white horse at the beginning,
09:01 there's a white horse at the end.
09:03 When Jesus comes mounted on a white horse,
09:06 God will answer the pleas of all the martyrs
09:09 who cried out for justice.
09:11 Revelation 19:11 again brings to view a white horse
09:15 and a rider who makes war against Satan and his armies.
09:21 The rider no longer has a stephanos,
09:23 because that's the word, "crown," in Revelation 6,
09:26 but rather a diademata, which is the crown
09:33 that a king wears.
09:35 The crown of the victor has become the crown of the king.
09:40 Revelation 19:11-21...
09:43 See, the white horse at the end of the book
09:44 describes not only a spiritual war, it describes a literal war.
09:49 Jesus is coming to deliver His people from the death decree.
09:53 So Revelation 19:11-21 depicts a literal war.
09:57 It will be a war between Christ and the heavenly armies
09:59 and the kings, the beast, and the false prophet
10:02 and their armies.
10:03 After the latter rain has fallen and the loud cry proclaimed,
10:07 the whole world will be on one side
10:10 or on the other side of the conflict.
10:12 Two armies, in other words, with two generals.
10:15 Christ on one side and the devil on the other.
10:17 On God's side are those who follow the Lamb.
10:20 On the other side are those who follow the beast.
10:23 At this point, probation will close and Satan will have
10:27 full control of the finally impenitent.
10:31 Satan will influence his armies to implement a literal
10:34 death decree against God's people.
10:36 Jesus will then literally take the battlefield for His people
10:42 and will literally destroy their enemies.
10:44 Are you seeing the difference between the
10:46 literal and the symbolic?
10:49 Ellen White wrote, "Every form of evil
10:52 is to spring into intense activity.
10:55 Evil angels unite their powers with evil men..."
10:59 See, the devil also has his horse, doesn't he?
11:03 He has his people.
11:05 And he guides that horse.
11:07 "Evil angels unite their powers with evil men,
11:10 and as they have been in constant conflict and attained
11:13 an experience in the best modes of deception and battle,
11:17 and have been strengthening for centuries,
11:20 they will not yield the last great final contest
11:24 without a desperate struggle.
11:27 All the world will be..." What?
11:30 "...on one side or the other of the question.
11:34 The battle of Armageddon will be fought..."
11:37 Of course, the culmination of Armageddon is when
11:39 Jesus comes on the white horse to deliver His people.
11:42 "The battle of Armageddon will be fought,
11:45 and that day must find none of us sleeping.
11:49 Wide awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil
11:54 in our vessels with our lamps.
11:56 What is this? Grace. Grace."
12:00 And then from volume 8, Manuscript Releases, page 347,
12:04 "The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us,
12:08 and the Captain of the Lord's host will stand at the head
12:12 of the angels of heaven to direct the battle."
12:16 That's the final culmination.
12:18 So if we've been faithful in fulfilling the commission
12:22 of God during this period, even if a death decree
12:26 is given against God's people, Jesus will come
12:28 to deliver His people literally from literal death,
12:32 from the literal death decree.
12:34 Okay, that's the first horse.
12:38 The white horse: victories of the apostolic church
12:42 through the direction of Jesus Christ.
12:45 And so, the church is growing exponentially.
12:49 And Satan is losing his subjects.
12:52 So now Satan says, "I have to do something about this,
12:56 because I'm losing all the subjects.
12:58 All of my soldiers are abandoning my army
13:02 and they're joining the army of the Lord.
13:04 I've got to take care of this."
13:06 So now you have the red horse.
13:09 Notice Revelation 6:3-4.
13:13 "When He opened the second seal, I heard the
13:16 second living creature saying, 'Come and see.'
13:19 Another horse, fiery red..."
13:22 It's not just red, it's fiery red.
13:25 "...went out.
13:26 And it was granted to the one who sat on it
13:29 to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill
13:33 one another; and there was given to him a great sword."
13:39 Now what does this horse represent?
13:42 Well, the meaning is at the top of the page.
13:44 The red horse represents the persecutions against the church
13:48 by the pagan Roman emperors until the Edict of Toleration
13:53 by Constantine in the year 313.
13:57 And by the way, the second horse is parallel
14:00 to the second church.
14:03 Just like the first church, Ephesus, is parallel to the
14:07 first horse, the white horse.
14:09 Because the seals and the churches run concurrently.
14:13 We don't have time to get into that.
14:15 I did a series in Oklahoma City last year on the seven churches.
14:20 There's 14 one hour presentations
14:23 on the seven churches.
14:24 And there I draw some of the parallels
14:26 with the period of the seals.
14:29 Now going a little bit further down,
14:31 as mentioned before, this is the period
14:33 of the church of Smyrna.
14:36 There is much death language in the message
14:40 to the church of Smyrna, which is the second church.
14:42 So you have the second seal, bloodshed,
14:46 and you have the second church,
14:48 the emphasis on death in the second church.
14:51 Notice all the emphasis on death.
14:54 First of all, bittersweet myrrh; the meaning of the name, Smyrna.
15:00 And in the Roman Empire, myrrh was used to embalm the dead.
15:05 Jesus presented Himself to the church of Smyrna
15:08 as the one who was dead and is alive forevermore.
15:12 Jesus encouraged the members of Smyrna to be faithful
15:15 unto death and promised the faithful that they would not
15:19 be hurt by the second death.
15:22 Are you with me?
15:24 So the second church is all about the death of God's people.
15:29 The ten days, because there's mentioned ten days of
15:32 persecution in connection with the church of Smyrna,
15:37 the ten days are Diocletian's persecutions
15:41 from 303-313.
15:44 We apply the year/day principle to the ten days
15:47 that are mentioned there.
15:49 Ellen White's comments on the second seal...
15:53 Where are her comments on the first seal, by the way?
15:56 Where are Ellen White's comments on the first seal?
16:00 The entire book, Acts of the Apostles.
16:03 The comments on the second seal are found in,
16:06 Great Controversy, pages 39-48,
16:08 right after the chapter on the destruction of Jerusalem.
16:14 And some people wonder, why did Ellen White begin,
16:16 The Great Controversy, with the chapter on
16:18 the destruction of Jerusalem?
16:20 I'll just throw this out, we'll study it next year.
16:22 So make sure you sign up for next year.
16:26 I believe that the first trumpet is the destruction of Jerusalem.
16:31 I believe when you study the symbols it becomes very clear
16:35 that the first trumpet is the destruction of Jerusalem.
16:37 So Ellen White begins, The Great Controversy,
16:39 with the first trumpet.
16:41 And her comments, going back to this, her comments
16:45 on the second horse, the red horse or the second seal,
16:50 are found in, Great Controversy, pages 39-48.
16:53 And the title of the chapter is,
16:55 Persecution in the First Centuries.
16:58 Interesting.
16:59 The title of the chapter fits the theme of the period.
17:03 Now Revelation 12:11 describes the faithfulness
17:06 of those who overcame.
17:09 In fact, 12:11 uses the word, "overcome."
17:13 It says, "They overcame by the blood of the Lamb
17:17 and by the word of their testimony,
17:19 and they did not love their lives even unto death."
17:24 Now let's talk about the color red.
17:27 In the Bible, the color red represents what?
17:31 Bloodshed.
17:32 Even the grape juice that we use at communion
17:35 represents the blood of Christ.
17:38 And you can read these texts.
17:40 I just put texts in parentheses, because if we read
17:43 all the texts, we wouldn't get beyond the third seal.
17:45 But you need to look these up.
17:47 Don't just take this syllabus and, you know,
17:50 file it away somewhere.
17:52 Make sure you look up all of the verses, because
17:55 there's a lot of corroboration
17:56 for the points that we're covering here.
17:58 So when the sword takes away peace from the earth,
18:02 the result is what?
18:04 War and bloodshed.
18:07 Now what does this sword do in the second seal?
18:12 It takes away peace from the earth.
18:14 The sword takes away peace from the earth.
18:16 Now what does the sword represent?
18:19 Well, the sword in the Bible represents the Word of God.
18:24 Notice Hebrews 4:12-13.
18:29 And I know what you're thinking.
18:30 You're saying, "Well, does the Bible take away peace?"
18:34 We're going to come to that.
18:36 Hebrews 4:12-13.
18:38 "For the Word of God is living and powerful..."
18:46 You see the principle that we're using?
18:48 Does the second seal explain what the sword means?
18:52 Does it say the sword means this? No, no.
18:55 So how do we determine it?
18:57 We go to other parallel passages that deal with the same subject.
19:19 Let me ask you, when we study the Scriptures,
19:21 you know, when we search the Scriptures,
19:23 and then the Scriptures start searching us.
19:27 So, you know, we start reading, for example, David.
19:30 You know, he committed this terrible act of
19:33 adultery and murder.
19:35 And Nathan comes to him with the Word of God and he says,
19:38 "You are that man."
19:39 Wow!
19:41 Suddenly David says, he kind of shakes and wakes up,
19:44 and he says, "That's me."
19:46 And so the Bible, when we read the Bible,
19:49 the Bible then starts reading us.
19:51 The Bible penetrates.
19:52 That's kind of like the arrows that we talked about
19:54 under the first seal.
19:56 Ephesians 6:17, the apostle Paul also
19:59 defined what the sword represents.
20:02 It says, "Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword
20:04 of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
20:08 We also have a passage in the Old Testament.
20:11 Isaiah 49:2
20:14 Once again, the sword is related to what we speak,
20:18 to the mouth.
20:19 It says, "And He has made My mouth like..." What?
20:23 " a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand
20:26 He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft;
20:29 in His quiver He has hidden Me."
20:32 So it's interesting that he talks about a quiver
20:34 where arrows are, right?
20:36 So the sword represents the Word of God.
20:40 It comes forth from the mouth.
20:42 It's sharp, it penetrates.
20:44 It brings about change of life and conversion.
20:49 Correct?
20:51 So it brings peace, right?
20:53 Does the Bible bring peace?
20:55 Yeah, of course it brings peace.
20:57 Because it speaks of Jesus.
20:58 Notice Isaiah 9:6.
21:01 It says, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;
21:05 and the government will be upon His shoulder,
21:07 and His name will be called, Wonderful, Counselor
21:10 Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
21:15 So Jesus brings peace.
21:17 The Bible is a Revelation of Jesus.
21:20 Notice once again Romans 10:14-15.
21:23 The gospel that comes from the Bible brings peace.
21:26 So why does this sword bring war?
21:29 Why does this sword bring bloodshed?
21:31 We're coming to that in a moment.
21:33 Notice Romans 10:14-15.
21:47 So it's talking about preaching the Word, right?
21:59 Where do we get the gospel from?
22:02 What's the source?
22:04 The Word, right?
22:14 And then we have Ephesians 6:14-15.
22:18 Here, the apostle Paul speaks about beautiful feet.
22:23 Now I don't have beautiful physical feet.
22:26 But my feet are beautiful in the sense that
22:28 the apostle Paul says.
22:30 And yours, I'm sure, also.
22:44 Blessed are the feet of those who go to proclaim the gospel
22:48 from the Word of God.
22:50 So the preaching of the Word, the sword is the Word.
22:54 And when the sword is used and you preach,
22:57 it brings what?
22:59 It brings peace.
23:01 Well, wait a minute.
23:02 Under the second seal, the sword doesn't bring peace.
23:06 It brings bloodshed.
23:08 So how do we understand this?
23:10 Let's go to the bottom of page 153.
23:13 This big question at this point is this:
23:16 If the sword here is the Bible, why does it take away
23:20 peace from the earth?
23:21 The answer is simple.
23:23 When sinners heed the message of the Bible,
23:26 it brings personal peace.
23:29 However, when sinners reject the message of the Bible,
23:33 they rise to take away peace from those who proclaim it.
23:39 That is to say, the sword of the Spirit
23:42 brings in its train the sword of persecution
23:46 from those who reject it.
23:47 Are you catching the picture?
23:50 The conquest of the first horse led to persecution
23:53 under the second.
23:55 Why do you have persecution under the second?
23:57 Because the devil is worried after the first.
24:00 The devil says, "I'm losing my people.
24:03 The gospel is being preaching to the entire empire.
24:05 I've got to do something about this.
24:07 I've got to kill them."
24:10 The devil, deeply concerned about the many defections
24:14 from his army, launched a deadly persecution against
24:18 those who were conquering the subjects of his kingdom
24:21 through the preaching of the gospel.
24:25 Now the key text to understand how the sword takes away peace
24:30 and the relationship with the Bible which brings peace
24:33 is these verses that Jesus spoke in Matthew 10:34-39.
24:39 And this doesn't sound like Jesus.
24:43 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth.
24:46 I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
24:50 Wow!
24:51 So He came to take away peace.
24:54 Does that sound like Jesus?
24:56 What did Jesus mean? Let's continue reading.
25:31 So in what sense does the Word bring peace
25:36 and in what sense does the Word take away peace?
25:39 Let me give you an illustration.
25:42 I had the privilege of teaching theology
25:44 in South America in Colombia for about six years.
25:49 It was some of the most fruitful time in my ministerial life.
25:54 Because when you teach, you have to do a lot of research.
25:57 And so it was a big blessing.
25:59 And I enjoy doing research as a result of teaching.
26:03 But anyway, I had a student there.
26:06 Unfortunately, she was killed in an auto accident
26:09 several years ago.
26:10 Her name, Josefina Mendez.
26:13 And one day I sat down and I started talking with her,
26:16 and she told me her story.
26:18 She said, "Pastor, I want to tell you
26:21 why I came to this school."
26:23 So then she told me that she had gone to an evangelistic
26:26 campaign where a Seventh-day Adventist minister was preaching
26:30 and she attended all of the meetings,
26:32 and she was convicted that this was the truth.
26:35 And so, she decided that she wanted to get baptized.
26:38 She wanted to become a Seventh-day Adventist.
26:39 So she went home, told her parents who were
26:42 staunch Roman Catholics that she had been
26:45 going to these meetings, and she had understood the truth,
26:49 and she wanted to be baptized and join the
26:51 Seventh-day Adventist Church.
26:53 Her parents said to her, "If you join that church,
26:56 you're not our daughter anymore.
26:59 We will totally disown you.
27:01 It's like you don't exist."
27:03 So the day of the baptism came and she had to make a decision
27:07 whether she was going to obey the convictions of her heart
27:12 based on what she had heard from the Word
27:14 through the impression of the Holy Spirit
27:16 or whether she was going to do what her parents said.
27:20 Well, bottom line, she decided that she would get baptized.
27:24 She told her parents, "I'm going to get baptized."
27:27 When she got home, all of her belonging were outside
27:29 the front door of her house.
27:31 And her mother and father were standing at the door
27:34 and they said, "Josefina, leave.
27:37 You're not our daughter anymore."
27:40 And that's how she ended up at the school.
27:41 Because she didn't have any place to go.
27:44 She later married a Seventh-day Adventist pastor.
27:48 One of the students there.
27:50 And they became workers in the cause,
27:52 very successful workers in the cause.
27:55 So did the Word bring peace to her?
27:59 Yeah, the Word brought peace. Of course it brought peace.
28:02 But also did it bring the sword?
28:06 Yes.
28:07 Because for those who are opposed to the Word,
28:11 they war against those who receive the peace of the Word.
28:15 I want you to notice that the sword also
28:18 represents something else.
28:20 In the Bible, the sword doesn't only represent the
28:22 Bible, it also represents the power of the state
28:26 to punish violations of civil law.
28:29 The punitive power of the state.
28:31 Notice Romans 13:1-5.
28:34 "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities."
28:48 The authority is the government, right?
28:57 See, the civil rulers.
29:05 In other words, do you want to not fear the civil power?
29:34 The wicked emperors, in the next section here,
29:37 the wicked emperors and their subjects illegitimately
29:41 use the sword of the state against God's faithful people
29:46 for preaching the gospel of the Bible.
29:49 Preaching from God's sword, in other words.
29:52 The preaching of the gospel brings peace to the receivers,
29:55 but awakens war from the rejectors.
30:00 Is this point clear?
30:02 Now, Ellen White explained the relationship between the
30:05 first seal and the second seal in, Great Controversy, page 46.
30:10 She's commenting on the second seal.
30:12 She's not quoting the verses.
30:14 She doesn't quote Revelation 6:3-4.
30:20 So you say, "Well, Ellen White didn't have anything to say
30:23 about the second seal."
30:25 Yes, she did.
30:26 She just doesn't quote the verses.
30:28 Look at the sequence.
30:30 Look at the order of events.
30:33 You'll find next in, Great Controversy,
30:35 that Ellen White mentions Constantine
30:37 after the persecution of the first centuries.
30:40 That's the third horse.
30:42 Then she goes on to speak about the rise of the papacy.
30:45 The fourth horse.
30:47 Then she speaks about the martyrs.
30:49 That's the fifth seal.
30:51 Then she speaks about the signs in the heavens.
30:53 The sixth seal.
30:55 And then on page 641 she deals with the seventh seal.
31:01 So we have to look at the structure.
31:03 Don't only, don't look only at the tree.
31:06 Look at the forest.
31:08 Get the big picture of how all of the pieces fit together.
31:13 Notice Ellen White's description.
31:15 And I put some explanations in brackets.
31:17 "The gospel is a message of..." What?
31:21 "...peace.
31:22 Christianity is a system that, received and obeyed,
31:26 would spread..." What?
31:28 "...peace..."
31:29 That's the second seal.
31:32 "...harmony, and happiness throughout the earth.
31:35 The gospel presents to them principles of life
31:37 that are wholly at variance with their habits and desires..."
31:41 And what happens as a result?
31:43 "...and they rise in rebellion against it."
31:48 So does the gospel bring peace?
31:50 Yes.
31:51 But those who want to reject it, what do they do?
31:54 They rise against it with a sword.
31:57 "They hate the purity..."
31:59 That would be the first seal, right?
32:02 Right?
32:04 "They hate the purity that reveals and condemns their sins,
32:10 and they persecute and destroy..."
32:12 That's the second seal.
32:14 "...those who would urge upon them it's just and holy claims.
32:19 It is in this sense, because the exalted truths it brings
32:28 occasion hatred and strife, that the gospel is called..." What?
32:33 "...a sword."
32:34 The second seal.
32:36 So Ellen White has not even quoted Revelation 6:3-4.
32:41 She hasn't quoted them.
32:42 Is she discussing the second seal?
32:45 Yes she is, very clearly.
32:47 So are the seals events that transpire in order
32:51 throughout Christian history?
32:52 Yes.
32:54 Because you have the introductory vision,
32:56 you have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit,
32:58 then you have the church going conquering and to conquer,
33:01 and Satan's reaction is persecuting
33:03 the church as a result.
33:05 So basically you have the seals are all interconnected.
33:09 One event in the seals leads to the next event.
33:13 Now let's notice the next statement from Ellen White.
33:18 "The powers of earth and hell arrayed themselves..."
33:23 This is war language, right?
33:25 "...arrayed themselves against Christ in the
33:27 person of His followers.
33:28 Paganism foresaw that should the gospel triumph..."
33:33 In other words, should the gospel gain the victory.
33:35 What did the first horse go out to do?
33:38 Conquering and to conquer.
33:40 Gain the victory.
33:42 So, "Paganism foresaw that should the gospel triumph,
33:46 her temples and altars would be swept away;
33:48 therefore she summoned her..." What?
33:51 Is that war language? Yes.
33:53 "...her forces to destroy Christianity.
33:56 The fires of persecution..."
33:58 The second seal.
33:59 "...were kindled.
34:01 Christians were stripped of their possessions
34:03 and driven from their homes.
34:04 They 'endured a great fight of afflictions.' Hebrews 10:32.
34:10 They 'had trial of cruel mocking's and scourging's,
34:13 yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonments.' Hebrews 11:36.
34:18 Great numbers sealed their testimony with their blood."
34:23 What color? Red, yes.
34:26 "Noble and slave, rich and poor, learned and ignorant,
34:31 were alike slain without mercy."
34:36 Are you catching the picture?
34:39 Great Controversy, page 41.
34:40 This is the chapter on the persecution
34:43 in the early century.
34:44 She's commenting on the second seal.
34:45 Never quotes the verses.
34:48 And by the way, in, Acts of the Apostles, she never quotes
34:51 the verses that speak of the first seal either.
34:54 But you know it deals with the apostolic conquest
34:57 because of the terminology.
34:59 "In vain were Satan's efforts to destroy the church by violence."
35:05 That would be the red horse, right?
35:07 "The great controversy..."
35:09 There you have war language.
35:11 " which the disciples of Jesus yielded up their lives
35:14 did not cease when these faithful standard-bearers..."
35:18 Soldiers have standards, right?
35:21 "...standard-bearers fell at their post."
35:24 That's also war language.
35:26 "By defeat, they..."
35:29 Oh. "By defeat, they conquered."
35:31 There you have that key word.
35:35 "God's workmen were slain, but His work went steadily forward.
35:40 The gospel continued to spread and the number of
35:43 its adherents to increase."
35:46 Because the church is going out conquering and to conquer.
35:51 She continues on page 42.
35:53 "Thousands were imprisoned and slain,
35:55 but others sprung up to fill their places.
35:59 And those who were martyred for their faith
36:01 were secured to Christ and accounted of Him as..."
36:05 Excuse me? "...conquerors."
36:07 See, look in the writings of Ellen White for the keywords.
36:14 If the verses aren't there, look for the keywords.
36:17 The expressions that she uses.
36:20 So once again, there were "accounted of him as conquerors.
36:24 They had fought the..." What?
36:27 "...the good fight." There's war language again.
36:30 "...they were to receive..." What?
36:33 "...the crown of glory..." That's the victor's crown.
36:36 "...when Christ should come."
36:39 Now I read this other statement before, but let's read it again
36:43 because it's very significant.
36:46 It connects the first seal with the second seal.
36:49 "The early Christians were indeed..." What kind of people?
36:53 Today people say, "I don't want to be peculiar.
36:57 I don't want to stick out.
36:59 I don't want to be different."
37:01 It's called peer pressure.
37:03 The Adventist Church has fallen captive to peer pressure.
37:08 We want to be just like all of the other churches.
37:12 You don't want to use the word, peculiar.
37:17 But Ellen White says early Christians were peculiar.
37:21 "Their blameless deportment and unswerving faith
37:24 were a continual reproof that disturbed the sinners..." What?
37:29 "...peace."
37:30 So would the gospel have brought them peace?
37:33 Yes. But when the Word was preached, they were disturbed
37:37 and they lost their peace.
37:40 "Though few in numbers, without wealth, position,
37:43 or honorary titles, they were a terror," the disciples were,
37:47 "to evildoers wherever their character and
37:50 doctrines were known.
37:52 Therefore, the wicked..." What?
37:54 Here comes the second seal.
37:56 The consequence.
37:58 "Therefore, the wicked hated them,
38:00 even as ungodly Cain hated Abel.
38:04 For the same reason that Cain slew Abel
38:06 did those who sought to throw off the restraint
38:09 of the Holy Spirit put to death God's people."
38:11 That's the second seal, right?
38:14 "It was for the same reason that the Jews rejected
38:17 and crucified the Savior; because the purity
38:19 and holiness of His character was a constant rebuke
38:23 to their selfishness and corruption.
38:27 From the days of Christ until now, His faithful disciples
38:30 have excited the hatred and opposition of those who
38:34 love and follow the ways of sin."
38:39 Now this pattern of revival, preaching the gospel,
38:48 and persecution as a result is found many places
38:52 in the Bible.
38:54 And in the last part of this lesson, I have several examples
38:58 of this pattern that we have where the church goes out
39:01 conquering and to conquer, it's preaching the Word,
39:05 it's bringing peace to many people,
39:07 opposition arises, persecution arises.
39:10 Revival, persecution.
39:12 I have five illustrations from other places in Scripture
39:16 of this pattern.
39:19 And then I'm going to read one final statement
39:21 which is, why is the church not persecuted today?
39:27 The first pattern is in Ezekiel 36 to 38.
39:31 Ezekiel 36:26-27 speaks of a great revival
39:36 among God's people, Israel.
39:38 It says, "I will give you a new heart..."
39:57 And I'm not going to read Ezekiel 37:11-14,
40:01 but we're told that as a result of receiving the Spirit,
40:05 these valley of dead bones who had no Spirit
40:08 suddenly form bodies and they're filled with the Spirit.
40:15 And by the way, what do the dry bones represent
40:17 that the Spirit comes into?
40:20 They represent the house of Israel, God's people.
40:23 Now what happens when God's people, who are dead
40:27 in trespasses and sins, suddenly are converted
40:31 and they're filled with the Holy Spirit,
40:34 what is there going to be?
40:35 Opposition.
40:37 And so you go to chapter 38 of Ezekiel,
40:40 and here you have Gog and Magog attacking Israel.
40:44 The very next chapter.
40:46 Why would they be attacking Israel?
40:49 Because they've been filled with the Spirit.
40:51 Because they've resurrected to new life.
40:54 Now the opposition comes.
40:56 Let's read Ezekiel 38:18-23.
40:59 There's many connections here with the book of Revelation
41:01 which we don't have time to get into.
41:04 This is immediately after the people are revived
41:07 by the Holy Spirit.
41:36 Is there going to be such an earthquake when Jesus comes?
41:39 Yes.
41:41 "The mountains shall be thrown down..."
41:42 Is this going to happen when Jesus comes? Yes.
41:53 Does a sword come out of the mouth of Jesus when He
41:55 comes on the white horse at the end?
42:16 Is that referred to in the seventh plague?
42:19 Yes.
42:30 Why does this persecution come, in chapter 38?
42:34 Because Israel has been revived, in chapter 36 and 37.
42:39 That's the first example.
42:41 Why did persecution arise against the early church?
42:46 Because they had experienced revival and reformation.
42:50 Notice the second example from the book of Joel.
42:54 One of these days I'm going to do a series on Joel.
42:57 That is a tremendous book.
42:58 It has many parallels to the book of Revelation.
43:01 It says in Joel 2:28-32,
43:04 you have the outpouring of the Spirit.
43:30 You remember that this is quoted by Peter
43:32 on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out.
43:52 So you have this great revival.
43:54 The Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh.
43:57 And what is the result?
43:59 In the very next chapter, the nations gather
44:02 against God's people.
44:04 Notice Joel 3:9.
44:06 And you're going to see the parallels with Revelation 14.
44:10 We're going to come to that. That's the last illustration.
44:39 So there's two armies here.
44:40 There's the wicked, and God has His armies.
44:54 And now Revelation 14.
44:56 By the way, what happens locally to literal Israel
45:00 and the literal valley of Jehoshaphat, in Revelation
45:03 happens globally.
45:04 All nations of the world come and they gather
45:07 outside the city, which represents the church.
45:37 And what is God going to do?
45:40 Persecution.
45:41 They've gathered for war against God's people.
45:43 Is God going to defend His people?
45:45 Yes.
46:00 So once again, revival in chapter 2, the end of chapter 2.
46:04 And what is the very next scene?
46:07 Persecution.
46:09 And deliverance.
46:11 The third example has to do with the day of Pentecost.
46:15 After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,
46:18 Peter and John brought healing to a paralytic.
46:23 After healing him, Peter presented a sermon
46:27 from God's Word at Solomon's Portico.
46:30 This grieved the religious leaders.
46:33 No peace with them.
46:34 This grieved the religious leaders,
46:36 but brought 5000 souls into the kingdom.
46:40 So were the religious leaders happy about that?
46:43 No.
46:45 Further preaching by Peter led to additional threats.
46:48 In Acts 5:12, further preaching led to imprisonment threats.
46:52 The Sanhedrin summoned Peter and John to trial again
46:56 where they spoke boldly.
46:57 Notice the number of times that it's emphasized that they spoke,
47:00 they spoke, they preached.
47:03 As a result, the leaders wanted to do what?
47:05 Kill them.
47:07 Did the sword bring peace to the religious leaders?
47:10 No. Would it have brought peace?
47:12 Yes.
47:14 As a result, the leaders wanted to kill them.
47:17 Then Gamaliel spoke some very wise words
47:19 where he used warfare terminology.
47:24 "And now I say to you, keep away from these men
47:27 and let them alone.
47:29 For if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing.
47:35 But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it.
47:40 Lest you even be found to fight against God."
47:44 Is that war terminology?
47:46 It most certainly is.
47:49 And after this, Peter and John were beaten.
47:52 And they said, "We consider it an honor
47:53 to suffer for the Name."
47:56 Are you seeing the pattern?
47:58 Revival, they receive the Spirit.
48:02 Immediately, what comes? They preach the Word, and what?
48:05 Persecution.
48:07 That's the third example.
48:08 The fourth example is the story of the stoning of Stephen.
48:12 The Sanhedrin arrested Stephen, God filled him with the Spirit.
48:17 You can read all these verses.
48:18 God filled him with the Spirit.
48:20 Stephen preached a powerful sermon describing the history
48:24 of Israel culminating with the coming of Jesus.
48:27 This enraged the leadership and they encouraged the mob
48:32 to stone the Lord's servant.
48:35 Seeing the pattern?
48:36 Revival, Holy Spirit, powerful preaching, persecution.
48:44 And then example number five.
48:47 This is in the future.
48:49 Immediately after the proclamation of the
48:51 three angels' messages, the world is going to be divided
48:55 into how many groups?
48:56 Two groups.
48:58 The wicked gather against God's people outside the Holy City.
49:00 The Holy City before the 1000 years is the church,
49:03 it represents the church.
49:05 However, the heavenly armies trample the winepress
49:08 and deliver God's people.
49:12 Have God's people been revived at this point?
49:14 Has the power of the latter rain fallen upon them.
49:18 Why are the wicked going to be enraged against God's people
49:22 at the end of time?
49:23 Because they've had revival.
49:26 And because of the revival, they're filled with the Spirit.
49:30 And because they're filled with the Spirit,
49:31 they proclaim the loud cry with power.
49:34 And that will awaken what?
49:36 Persecution.
49:37 And at the end, God will deliver His people from certain death.
49:42 It is significant that at the time of the apostle Paul,
49:45 the Roman Empire wielded the sword.
49:50 So it's interesting that it's talking about the persecutions
49:52 of Christians by the Roman Empire.
49:54 Notice that the Roman Empire had the sword.
49:58 The Roman Empire killed Peter by crucifixion,
50:03 Paul by decapitation, and James with the sword.
50:08 The slaying of James with the sword came immediately
50:11 after a description of the exponential
50:12 growth of the church.
50:14 You can read that in Acts.
50:16 Immediately after it speaks about the tremendous
50:18 growth of the church, James is killed with the sword.
50:22 Is there any relationship between the exponential growth
50:25 of the church and persecution?
50:27 Have you ever read in, The Great Controversy,
50:29 where Ellen White says that when the loud cry is proclaimed,
50:32 thousands upon thousands of ministers and members
50:35 of other churches are going to leave their churches
50:37 and join the remnant church?
50:39 Of course, that's going to make the clergy really happy.
50:44 It's going to infuriate the clergy.
50:46 And that's when the little time of trouble, persecution, comes.
50:49 So where is the key point here?
50:53 What is the key point here?
50:55 Why is there no persecution now?
50:59 Well, let's go in our syllabus to page 177.
51:04 Page 177.
51:07 By the way, we're not going to study the addendum.
51:10 Do you see the addendum there on page 161?
51:14 It's called, Chain Reaction.
51:16 We're not going to have time to study that, but you can read it.
51:19 Basically it shows that there are seven steps,
51:23 seven steps that eventually lead to persecution.
51:28 First of all, you have the conditions of the apostles
51:31 before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
51:33 They were fighting who was going to be the first,
51:35 and they were interested in, "What's in it for us," you know.
51:38 That's the first point.
51:41 But then what do they do?
51:42 They gather in the upper room.
51:44 They pray.
51:46 They settle their differences.
51:48 They lay all of their means at the foot of the Master.
51:52 In other words, they're emptied of self.
51:54 And then they receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
51:57 When they receive the power,
51:59 they preach the message with boldness.
52:02 And because they preach the message with boldness,
52:06 the church experiences exponential growth.
52:12 And Satan is losing his subjects.
52:14 And therefore, Satan causes persecution.
52:17 That is the sequence.
52:19 Now notice this statement from, Great Controversy, page 48,
52:25 on page 177 of your syllabus.
52:29 "There is another and more important question
52:31 that should engage the attention of the churches today.
52:36 The apostle Paul declares that 'all that will live godly
52:40 in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.'"
52:45 How many who live godly will suffer persecution?
52:49 Not some. All.
52:52 And you know, this time it might be psychological persecution.
52:57 Not necessarily physical persecution.
53:01 But there will be people who will oppose, right?
53:04 And she's quoting 2 Timothy 3:12.
53:08 Then she asks the question, "Why is it then that persecution
53:13 seems in a great degree to slumber?"
53:17 Why is there no persecution?
53:19 Well, because the Sunday law hasn't come yet.
53:23 Because the stars still need to fall, there's signs...
53:26 You know, the Pope needs to take the reins of civil power.
53:30 The United States has to join with the papacy.
53:32 That's why persecution hasn't come.
53:35 Well, why haven't all those things happened?
53:39 Notice, "The only reason..."
53:44 How many reasons are there why there's no persecution?
53:48 "The only reason is that the church has conformed to the
53:52 world's standard, and therefore awakens no opposition."
53:57 The devil has nothing to oppose.
54:01 Because the church has become like the world.
54:05 And then she continues, "The religion which is current
54:08 in our day is not of the pure and holy character
54:13 that marked the Christian faith in the days of
54:17 Christ and His apostles."
54:18 Is the church going to return
54:19 to the condition of the early church?
54:21 Yes it is.
54:24 Is it in that condition now?
54:27 Never has there been a period in the history of the
54:29 Adventist Church where we have so many divisions today.
54:31 We reflect the divisions in the political world in the church.
54:36 It's because the Holy Spirit is being withdrawn.
54:40 When the Holy Spirit is not in the heart,
54:43 the result is strife and fighting.
54:47 Like the disciples. They were all fighting.
54:49 Who's going to be the greatest
54:51 at the next constituency session?
54:55 "The religion which is current in our day is not of the
54:58 pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith
55:01 in the days of Christ and His apostles.
55:03 It is only because of the spirit of..." What?
55:06 "...compromise with sin, because of the great truths
55:11 of God's Word are so indifferently regarded,
55:16 because there is so little vital godliness in the church,
55:24 that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world."
55:30 And then she tells us how persecution will rise again.
55:36 "Let there be a revival of the faith and power
55:41 of the early church, and the spirit of persecution
55:46 will be revived, and fires of persecution will be rekindled."
55:56 By the way, on the next page,
55:59 even though this isn't from Ellen White...
56:02 Satan must know that the promised revival
56:06 is soon to occur because he is tearing the world apart
56:13 and he's tearing the church apart.
56:16 Further, he is causing a counterfeit revival
56:20 even in some Seventh-day Adventist churches,
56:27 with the objective of blaming a revived and reformed people
56:31 of the calamities that are falling upon the earth.
56:34 Just like Nero did.
56:37 So is the Christian world experiencing
56:41 a counterfeit revival these days?
56:44 Oh, signs and wonders, and jumping around,
56:48 and rolling in the aisles, and speaking in tongues.
56:52 And you know, "Contribute to my ministry
56:56 and you'll be very prosperous.
56:57 You know, you'll have lots of money that will come in."
57:00 You know, the so called prosperity gospel.
57:03 The Christian world more than ever really needs a revival
57:07 of primitive godliness.
57:08 The Adventist Church needs a revival of primitive godliness.
57:11 And that's what Elder Wilson has been emphasizing
57:14 all the time that he's been at the General Conference,
57:17 is the need for revival and reformation.
57:19 It will never come unless we do what the apostles did.
57:22 Gathered in the upper room, sat their agendas aside,
57:26 and said, "We need to receive the Holy Spirit.
57:29 We need to go out and proclaim the message
57:31 so that we can go home."
57:33 We've become too comfortable in this world.
57:36 And this world is not our home.
57:39 Our home is in heaven.
57:41 And we need to always remember that.
57:43 We might have a nice house, a nice car,
57:46 and money in the bank.
57:48 We are taking none of that to heaven.
57:51 Not a single bit of that are we taking to heaven.
57:54 So let's not focus on the things of this world,
57:56 but on the things of the world to come.
57:59 Some people say, "You're so heavenly minded,
58:01 you're no earthly good."
58:02 Well, it might be true that we're so earthly minded
58:04 we're no heavenly good.


Revised 2022-02-15