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End Time: Angels of Mercy

October 12, 2019

FROM CORNFIELD TO PULPIT

“What shall I do?” the Low Hampton, New York, farmer puzzled. No matter what he did lately, he could get no peace. Sleep lost its restfulness and work its meaning. Wherever he turned, a gentle but firm voice seemed to say, “You must tell the world of its danger!”

“I’m not a preacher,” he countered, unhitching horses from a plow and standing still in the August sun that day in 1831. “I’m slow of speech and haven’t gotten much learning,” he argued, as though someone were beside him. “I’m not right for the job!”

“The job” involved the farmer’s Bible studies. That was strange, for earlier in his life he had rejected the Bible’s divine inspiration. He had also claimed that God was no longer involved in the world’s affairs, having left it to run by nature’s laws after He created it.

But that all changed after the War of 1812. Miller couldn’t understand how he and the other American soldiers were able to defeat a welltrained British force that outnumbered them by three to one.

Turning to the Bible, he found the answer to more than this question. He discovered that the Bible was divinely inspired. It led him to accept Jesus as his Savior and join the local Baptist church, where he sometimes read printed sermons when the minister was absent.

Then, by 1818, his years of Bible study led him to a shocking discovery: Jesus would come around 1843 and destroy the world! The world needs to be warned, he thought. But he was sure he wasn’t the person for this task, although he shared his views with a few Low Hampton residents. As 1843 drew nearer and the almost audible voice encouraged him to preach, he began to reconsider. “I know what I’ll do,” he now said, walking toward some trees. “I’ll pray about it.” Kneeling on the rocky earth, he promised, “Lord, if You’ve been telling me to preach, I’ll do it if I get an invitation to do so.” Relieved, he arose, thinking, It’ll never happen, since I’m not a preacher!

A half hour later his nephew came, asking him to preach on Sunday in nearby Dresden because the minister would be absent!

He angrily headed for the trees. He didn’t want to preach! Patiently, God listened to his objections but didn’t remove the conviction. With fear, William went to Dresden. But the congregation greatly appreciated his message. In fact, they asked him to preach for the entire week, and a revival (renewed religious interest) resulted! When the new preacher returned home, he found written invitations asking him to present his views about Christ’s coming to other congregations!

Clearly, God’s hand was in the matter! The former farmer, William Miller, took courage and started a career that would prepare thousands for Christ’s return, both in his time and ours.

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 13, The Remnant and Its Mission: “A remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 40-44

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Joel 2:1.

Mr. Runako teaches school on a tiny Indonesian island. One day he rushes into the village, warning that a typhoon will hit the island within 24 hours. He begs everyone to leave for the mainland immediately. Most villagers refuse, saying they’ll ride out this typhoon like any other. Nothing he says can budge them. Tearfully, he piles his family into a small boat, departing promptly for the mainland. Some families, skeptical about the storm’s arrival, leisurely cram their boats with possessions, but a monster typhoon surprises them, destroying much property and many lives.

How does this scenario reflect our stormy times? Why didn’t Mr. Runako force the villagers to leave? How much are we responsible for others’ lives, if at all? How far should we go in warning others of danger?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON THE REMNANT AND ITS MISSION

Read Daniel 7:9-14; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Revelation 14:6-11.

God loves us so much that He wants us to be ready when He comes. He has given us the three angels’ messages to remind us to worship Him, to help us know His coming is soon, and for us to share this news with others. We are to watch, be ready, and be a witness.

In your own words, describe what the messages are that the angels have been sent to deliver.

First Message

Second Message

Third Message

What do these messages mean to you and for your life?

What can you do to share these messages with those around you?

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read Revelation 20:14.

Like a foundation is to a building, so are the three angels’ messages in Revelation 14:6-12 to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The unique beliefs we have as a church are all related to these messages from God.

In the first angel’s warning that “the hour of [God’s] judgment has come,” we see the Adventist emphasis on people’s accountability to God for their actions and on the judgment as a present reality, not just a faraway event. Also, with the proclamation “Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water” (NIV), we understand that we are to worship the God of creation (not evolution), who asked us to worship Him on the seventh day in memory of His creation.

The second message refers to our ongoing commitment to biblical truth and our role as a haven for those looking for a church in which biblical truth is not ignored.

The third angel’s message reminds us of our commitment to God’s kingdom and heavenly values and our rejection of Satan’s kingdom and earthly values.

As God’s agents, our assignment is to help Him rescue as many people as possible from the eternal death prepared for Satan and his kingdom.

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Match the text with the phrase. When you have found all the texts, pick one to memorize and hide it in your heart. (Then later share it with your class.)

1. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18 (NIV)

2. Revelation 1:1 (NIV)

3. Hebrews 1:14 (NIV)

4. 2 Corinthians 6:17,18 (NIV)

5. Joel 2:1 (KJV)

6. Daniel 7:9,10 (KJV)

7. Revelation 20:12 (KJV)

A. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down. . .”

B. “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion . . .”

C. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come . . .”

D. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . .”

E. “The revelation from Jesus Christ . . .”

F. “Are not all angels ministering spirits . . .”

G. “Therefore come out from them and be separate . . .”

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Read Daniel 7:9, 10.

Review the memory text.

The three angels’ messages portray a war between two kingdoms, each competing for our allegiance. The first angel addresses people living at a time of great invention and progress.

The self-sufficient people to whom the angel gives his message don’t pay any attention. However, God fights back, for He sends another angel, inviting people who really want to follow truth to leave the organizations that have chosen to be deceived by Satan.

Reluctant to have them blindly follow Satan, not realizing the consequences of their actions, He sends a final angel to warn them of the terrible punishment they are choosing by allowing Satan to stamp them as his own.

The choice for each individual is this: Will I choose God or Satan, life or death?

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Friday

APPLYING

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18. Sometimes earliteens are tempted to think that God and religion are for older people, not them. They claim that they will give their hearts to God after they get older. Match the people with their ages. After you have matched them, record your feelings in a journal entry.

PERSON EXPERIENCING EVENT

1. Jesus began His ministry by tactfully teaching Jewish leaders in the temple.

2. At this age, the missionary J. N. Andrews’s daughter, Mary, was speaking French like a French girl and proofreading French publications.

3. Pioneer Adventist educator Goodloe Harper Bell started teaching at this age.

4. At this age, O. A. Olsen, a future General Conference president, was baptized.

5. God called Ellen Harmon (White) to be His messenger, giving her the first of many visions.

6. Good King Joash was proclaimed king at this age.

7. Future conference president, missionary, and teacher Stephen N. Haskell started preaching at this age.

8. Already a physician by this age, J. H. Kellogg became director of Battle Creek’s Health Reform Institute.

9. Luther Warren was this age when he helped to found the first Seventh-day Adventist youth society at his home church.

10. G. W. Amadon worked at the Review and Herald publishing group for 50 years, starting at this age.

PERSON’S AGE AT TIME OF EVENT* a. 19 c. 17 e. 16 g. 13 i. 20 b. 24 d. 7 f. 12 h. 21 j. 14

Answers: 1 (f), 2 (e), 3 (a), 4 (g), 5 (c), 6 (d), 7 (i), 8 (b), 9 (j), 10 (h)