San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word to The Little Flock Part Seventeen

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

We certainly live in a time of bewilderment. Some of our members have been wondering if we are dealing with a sign of the end as we have been enduring this disturbing pandemic called COVID-19. There is no question that this situation is real. This is no hoax. It is horribly contagious and unpredictable. What does the Bible tell us?

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (Matthew 24:7 KJV)
Porque se levantará nación contra nación, y reino contra reino; y habrá pestilencias, y hambres, y terremotos por los lugares. (Mateo 24:7 SRV)

And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11 KJV)
Y habrá grandes terremotos, y en varios lugares hambres y pestilencias: y habrá espantos y grandes señales del cielo. (Lucas 21:11 SRV)

The word translated “pestilences” means plagues, diseases, contagions. Merriam Webster defines pestilence as a “contagion or infectious epidemic that is virulent and devastating.” If these plagues have a purpose, it is to get mankind’s attention, to lead us to repentance.

By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:18-21 KJV)
De estas tres plagas fué muerta la tercera parte de los hombres: del fuego, y del humo, y del azufre, que salían de la boca de ellos. Porque su poder está en su boca y en sus colas: porque sus colas eran semejantes á serpientes, y tenían cabezas, y con ellas dañan. Y los otros hombres que no fueron muertos con estas plagas, aun no se arrepintieron de las obras de sus manos, para que no adorasen á los demonios, y á las imágenes de oro, y de plata, y de metal, y de piedra, y de madera; las cuales no pueden ver, ni oir, ni andar: Y no se arrepintieron de sus homicidios, ni de sus hechicerías, ni de su fornicación, ni de sus hurtos. (Apocalipsis 9:18-21 SRV)

We should bear in mind that we have seen other vicious plagues afflict the population of planet earth.
Between AD 250-262, a pestilence raged all over the Roman Empire, from Egypt to the Hebrides. In some Italian cities, up to four-fifths of the population were wiped out. Men died like flies. Gibbons says that statisticians of the succeeding age estimated that one-half the human race perished in twelve years!
In the 6th century, the bubonic plague spread to Europe as part of a recurring cycle in the entire Roman world for 50 years. The Venerable Bede mentions four distinct waves between 664-683.
Another most terrible plague was the Black Death of 1347-48. It was estimated that one-fourth of Europe's population died, about 25 million.
Even as late as 1918, an influenza epidemic killed in four weeks more than twice as many as the warring armies had destroyed in four years.

The children of Israel endured pestilences for these reasons:
On account of idolatry, Exodus 32:35; after eating the quail meat, Numbers 11:33; after refusing to enter the promised land, Numbers 14:37; after complaining about the destruction of Korah and his family, Numbers 16:41-50; of serpents, Num 21:6 (the reason will be alluded to soon; for the sin of Peor, Joshua 22:17; on account of David's sin, 2Samuel 24:10-25.
Despite the massive population on planet earth, the Lord has provided for us and we would all have sufficient to eat, if we were not dependant on living off of livestock, yet how many of us are grateful for how the Lord so graciously provides for us. When the children of Israel complained about having to eat manna instead of feeding from the flesh pots of Egypt, God sent a plague of poisonous snakes, due to their lack of gratitude (Numbers 11:31-33).

Let us also bear in mind that this is not the time to panic, to be crippled by fear, this is the time to look up.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; (Psalms 46:1-2 KJV)
DIOS es nuestro amparo y fortaleza, Nuestro pronto auxilio en las tribulaciones. Por tanto no temeremos aunque la tierra sea removida; Aunque se traspasen los montes al corazón de la mar. (Salmos 46:1-2 SRV)

An oriental legend tells of the desert traveler, who, one night met Fear and Plague, going to Baghdad where they expected to kill 10,000 persons.
The traveler asked Plague if he would do all the killing and Plague answered, "Oh, no, I shall kill only a few hundred and my friend Fear will kill the others."

While COVID-19 is not one of the seven last plagues, plagues that will only fall on those who have the mark of the Beast, it certainly can be seen as indicating “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). It is a time to be watchful and awake.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:42-44 KJV)
Velad pues, porque no sabéis á qué hora ha de venir vuestro Señor. Esto empero sabed, que si el padre de la familia supiese á cuál vela el ladrón había de venir, velaría, y no dejaría minar su casa. Por tanto, también vosotros estad apercibidos; porque el Hijo del hombre ha de venir á la hora que no pensáis. (Mateo 24:42-44 SRV)

“John also was a witness of the terrible scenes that will take place as signs of Christ’s coming. He saw armies mustering for battle, and people’s hearts failing them for fear. He saw the earth moved out of its place, the mountains carried into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof roaring and troubled. He saw the vials of wrath opened, and pestilence, famine, and death come upon the inhabitants of the earth.
Already the restraining Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. People cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds, that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed. But when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.
We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all who are living. The controversies of the past are to be revived. New controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies.
But God’s servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The world is not without a ruler; the Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own hands. . . .
The important future is before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require great faith and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously, for not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All heaven is interested in our welfare and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. In the time of trial just before us, God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience.—Manuscript 100, 1893. {Christ Triumphant, 316}

“Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures, and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. . . .  
     In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous.
     The power and malice of Satan and his host might justly alarm us, were it not that we may find shelter and deliverance in the superior power of our Redeemer. . . . Those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare. Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them. The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people.  {The Faith I Live By, 328}

Beloved, let us continue to press on. We have a awesome Redeemer!

Pastor Richard Parent

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