Sermon delivered April 5, 1997

by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road SDA Church, McDonald, TN

The Time Is At Hand

The day before Good Friday, 3/27/97, authorities discovered the bodies of 17 men and 22 women in a Multi-million dollar home near San Diego. These individuals made a mistake. All had committed suicide. They were young, intelligent and stupid. They had a web page called Heaven's Gate. Each of them were members of the "Away Team". What they thought was Heaven's gate actually ended up being death's door.

These cult members thought the great Hale-Bopp comet was escorting an alien Space Ship that would take them away. As the comet lit up the sky these people descended down into darkness. Proverbs 14:12 says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death." The Away Team were taken away alright... taken away to the grave yard; in body bags to the mortuary.

At the foot of each corpse was a packed suitcase. Each one had several quarters in their pocket. I don't know what dead folks need cash for. I have never tried to operate one of those tomb stones with a quarter! Their last chance of being saved through Jesus was forever taken away. They are lost. They thought their leader was a modern-day Christ, and he wasn't. And they're lost. Vainly searching for a home that they never found. I want you to know that Jesus is the only gate to heaven. The way you're going to get to heaven is not through some alien space-ship but by the best friend you've ever known, Jesus Christ.

Now, their leader was named Dough. His picture is on the cover of Newsweek for this week. He could stare at you without blinking his eyes. I don't even like to look at that picture. They thought he was Christ. He believed in a strange mixture of "New Age", science fiction, of Mormonism, Gnosticism, Scientology, and eastern religions. For instance, some Mormons believe that all human beings begin life as spirit children of heavenly intelligences. We need to be wary of this type of stuff.

Did you know that there are over 10,000 cult or satanic sites on the web today that will lead our children, or anyone for that matter, into satanicism, into cults. This evil stuff attracts kids like a moth to the flame, and the darker the night the more they are attracted. I think it is time that we as Christians uplift the light of Jesus Christ. Anybody that is willing to commit suicide for something they believe in needs to be taught the correct thing to believe. Satan has so many booby traps for our kids!

You've seen the Hale-Bopp Comet out in the north west in the evening? It is true that people have long thought that comets are harbingers of evil or of some type of doom. A comet came the very year Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman armies. Again in 1066 AD, Halleys Comet came by and England fell to William the Conqueror. Attila the Hun successfully invaded Gaul when a comet came by. In 1222 a comet motivated the Mongolian Hoards to invade Europe. Millions were slaughtered in that invasion.

Now there is a new organization on the line called "Our Lady of the Roses Shrine" (Flushing, NY, 718-358-6718) They claim that a piece of a comet, perhaps Hale-Bopp will break off and strike the sun, creating an explosive, blinding flash throughout the earth. This is the "Warning". Its aftermath of atmospheric darkness, cold, turbulence, utilities down, etc, could last a long time. Now, I have received their latest paper. They believe in this so much, it's called the "Catholic Prophecy Update. This is volume 1, number 1. They believe this.

Catholics believe that the Virgin Mary, supposedly the Virgin Mary, because actually where is the Virgin Mary today? She's dead. They believe the Virgin Mary, so called, is telling them and warning them of what is going to be happening. And they say in here, "This Warning will be an explosive, global incident of such paralyzing force and magnitude that it is unprecedented in the history of man."

You remember that big book that Malachi Martin wrote called, "The Keys of This Blood. Some of you have this book. We have studied it quite extensively at Southern Adventist University. In this book he says this: "[Pope John Paul] is waiting...for an event that will FISSION (split) human history, splitting the immediate past from the oncoming future. It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental landmasses of this planet. It will particularly involve our...sun..." p. 639.

Supposedly the "Virgin Mary" is telling Roman Catholics that some terrifying event will occur in the sky. The whole world will be in turmoil. People will tremble in wholesale fear about the very survival of planet earth and human life. Fire from the sky will fall and wipe out millions of earths inhabitants. This is what they are saying.

The dust and darkness will seriously effect growing things. There will be a great famine all over the world. Nothing will grow. Everybody will be hungry. The very atmosphere will be changed. In the aftermath of all this awful activity a permanent sign will remain. It will be visible to everyone. TV cameras will be able to take pictures of it.

Do you know WHEN they are predicting all this to happen? Before the year 2000. Most likely in 1997 or the spring of 1998, at the latest. Today, April 5, 1997, it is exactly one thousand days, now, until the year 2000.

    What should SDA's think of all this?
  1. We need to be aware of it. The Bible tells us that we need to be the very elect. We need to be up on what is happening.
  2. We need to be spiritually ready for the end anyway. We need to make sure that our hearts are right with Jesus Christ. The way that you are safe is by giving your heart to Jesus, by accepting Him as your Savior.
  3. We need to trust in God and not worrying about all this.
  4. We should not put too much weight to what the supposed Virgin Mary is saying.

Well...should we put ANY weight on what "she" says? At first you would think no. Jesus mother is dead, she is in the grave, she is waiting for the resurrection just like anyone else who has died in Jesus. Whatever or Whoever is making these statements in her name is from the Devil. It is spiritualism. So, avoid jumping into a high fever of excitement about this.

But the very ELECT should be cognizant of the times. I believe that the 6000 year history of this old world is about to end. Personally it makes sense to me that God might come at the end of the 6000 years, although we don't know when that is.

2 Peter 3:8 NIV "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". This world will soon have its 6,000th birthday. The next 1000 years very well could be the millennium, the Sabbath of rest. If each day of creation represents one - 1000 year period then the seventh of these 1000 year periods would be the final time of rest.

And there are many Adventist scholars, today, including Ed Reede, who believe that the six thousand years may be the way it's going to be. The second coming could be at the exact end of the 6000 years after Creation. When is that? We don't know. None of us were around when this world was created. The records only get us within about 100 years or so. We just don't know.

But there is one earth dweller alive today who was around the very day of creation, who does know. This intelligent person has no problem remembering what year creation was. Who is it? Our enemy the devil.

Satan knows exactly when the 6000 years will be up. He was there at creation. He also knows that he must pull off his personation of the second coming before the real thing. If he waits too long he will miss his chance. One thing that complicates his evil plan is that God may cut the work short in righteousness. Or, God in His mercy could prolong it, because He could have come before now, couldn't He? So, we're living in extra probationary time. Does the devil know when Jesus is coming? No, he does not. Nobody knows the day or the hour or the year that He's coming. We have no idea of when He is coming. The only non-heavenly person that would have a close idea would probably be the devil.

So when you begin to see the devil gear up his plan you can guess that the end is getting very close. I believe that what we are hearing from the "Virgin Mary" is the beginning the devils final activity.

REVELATION 1:3--"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy. And blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it because the time (SEASON) is at hand." Or the time is near. (Greek word for time here is kiros, meaning season). The season is near. Seasons are short. 3rd volume of Selected Messages, p. 387- "When the crisis is upon us, when the SEASON shall come, they [people from other churches] will come to the front..."

Now, I have a "clock" here. I want to move the hands of this clock. Let's assume that the clock represents 6000 years. Each hour would represent 500 years, wouldn't it? This clock represents the history of planet earth. How old is this world? 6000 years. And so 2 o'clock basically would be the time when Eve died. Eve was probably around a thousand years old when she died.

This would be the six thousand years. We've always known that we are living in the last days. I think the hands of prophecy are near twelve, noon, or midnight, however you want to say it.

Revelation was written especially for our time (season). We are now in the final quarter of the very serious game called the great controversy. So many points were masked when Jesus died on the cross that there is no way we can lose the game. It is a life and death struggle. What a distinct privilege to be playing in the last Quarter. We are in the last minutes of time. What a privilege is ours to be living in the last days. I want you to know I believe we are living in the last days.

Now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed. I do not even want to suggest a date here. None of us know the day or the hour or the year. Not even the devil, even though he does know when creation took place. I believe that time is soon.

God's very elect people will not be surprised when the things of the end start happening. I Thessalonians 5:3- "While people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly..." verse 4- "But you brothers are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." God's very elect people are not in darkness. We should know the prophecies. We should know the current events. And we should be able to put the current events together with the prophecies of the Bible and have some idea that will not leave us in the dark.

I believe that great signs will appear. According to what the supposed Virgin Mary is saying, we're going to have some terrible things happening this year or next year. And they're even going out on the limb and publishing this in books, in magazines. This is their position.

Notice Revelation 6:12 (sixth seal)- "I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The SUN turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, (13) and the STARS in the sky fell to the earth like figs drop from a fig tree when it is shaken by a strong wind. That's where we are. After the time of the sun, the moon and the falling of the stars.

Look at Revelation 8:8 (Second Trumpet)- "The second angel sounded his trumpet. Something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood. A third of the creatures died, a third of the ships were destroyed." This sounds like a large asteroid perhaps. (See Marvin Moores book: The Coming Great calamity, Pacific Press, 1997.)

Rev. 8:10- "The third angel sounded his trumpet and a great star, BLAZING like a torch, fell from the sky....." 8:11- "The name of the star is Wormwood."

Revelation 16:14 "They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs..." Satan is the source.

"Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons." Great Controversy EG White p. 624. Satan causes some of these terrible things to come on the earth. Now what could these things be? We don't know. The information that they are receiving is that these will be asteroids, or large comets gone awry, crashing into the sea, crashing into the land. It could be a near miss of some huge miles-wide chunk of space debris whizzing past us. And did you know that a piece, a rock the size of a house comes between us and the moon every two weeks? Comes whizzing by. Sooner or later, I suppose something will happen.

What could these great signs that the Bible talks about and the supposed Virgin Mary talks about, and that millions of Catholics are now expecting...what could they be? We don't know. Could be a big asteroid smashing into our planet. Could be a Comet gone wild crashing into the sea. Could be a near miss of some huge [miles wide] chunk of space stuff whizzing past us. Did you know that a Rock the size of a House passes between the earth and the moon every two weeks? Sooner or later we will be hit with a big one.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:29- "Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies shall be shaken."

I believe that the dark day of 1780 and the great meteor shower on 1833 did alert us to the beginning of the time of the end. But I believe this sign may have even more meaning for the near future.

Jesus said that the NATIONS will be in anguish. The entire world will be in anguish. In 1833, was there international pain & turmoil over the falling of the stars in New England in America? Possibly not. If a great asteroid does strike this earth, the falling debris will actually cause the darkness of the sun and moon.

There's a new book that's out by Marvin Moore. Published by Pacific Press, one of the newest books out: The Coming Great Calamity. What this does is, it shows that possibly and asteroid will hit the earth. It goes through all the Bible quotations, it goes through a deep study of the Spirit of Prophecy quotations. Interesting book. He could be wrong. I don't think we know all the details of the future, but we do know Who hold the future in His hands. That is Jesus Christ, our Savior. And I believe we need to place our hands in the hand of our Savior. We don't have much longer on this old world.

Matthew 24:21- "Then there will be Great distress, Unequaled from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be equaled again." 22- "if those days had not been cut short, no one would survive..."

There is still in the near future a great unequaled sign that will create world-wide havoc. The entire human race will fear for their extinction from these things.

Luke 21:25-- "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." 26- "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken." I know that great things are going to be happening.

In a little book called Reflecting Christ p. 243 it says: "...an immense ball of fire came down upon the world, and crushed large houses... [with] sudden destruction." I know that great things are about to happen. I think we need to be prepared. We need to be alert. We need to be the very elect. We need to be watching and waiting. And what do we need to be watching? We need to be watching Jesus Christ. We need to be focussing on Jesus. We need to be beholding Jesus. We need to be praying as we have never prayed before. We need to be studying the Bible. You know, Seventh- day Adventists ought to be a people of the "Book". We need to be surrendering all we have to Jesus. We need to be giving to finish the work and the program of God. We need to be the wise virgins with a full measure of the Holy Spirit.

Next week we will conclude with more signs and especially how to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. These two sermons go together. More signs next week and how to prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ. Until then, let us make sure we are committed to Jesus Christ. We never know what will happen but we know that Jesus Christ does know the future. He is our Savior. If we place our life in His hands we're in good shape.

Closing hymn:  Church Hymnal p. 435
Scripture: II Timothy 3:1-6

OH- 183, CH-435 Text-II Timothy 3:1-5



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