Day 3 Devotional Before United Prayer: (Reading about 1:32min)
Continuation of the Significance of the 1888 message
Just as the disciples were empowered to do Christ’s work by receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, so also God’s last remnant people will need to be Spirit-filled in order to proclaim the third angel’s message in power. The early rain, baptism of the Holy Spirit, must be received in order to benefit from the latter rain.
By bringing the message of righteousness by faith to His people, God was offering to them the Holy Spirit in fullness. The grace of the Holy Spirit has been offered to you again and again. Light and power from on high have been shed abundantly in the midst of you. TESTIMONIES TO MINISTERS AND GOSPEL WORKERS, 97
Glorious would have been the result if the Spirit had been received in fullness, and the message of righteousness by faith had been accepted by God’s people following the 1888 message. The third angel’s message would have been given in the power of the Spirit, Christ would have been perfectly reflected in the lives of His people, the loud cry would have gone forth, the latter rain of the Spirit would have fallen, and Christ would have come.
Christ is to be presented to the world as both a sin-pardoning Savior and a sin-delivering Savior. This is the full gospel message. It is when this full gospel of righteousness by faith is preached in all the world as a witness that Jesus will return. Preaching a gospel that presents only a sin-pardoning Savior is a partial gospel and will not fulfill Christ’s promise and prophecy. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” MATTHEW 24:14
This is why Ellen White wrote so emphatically about the necessity of the 1888 message of righteousness by faith being preached before Christ returns. It is the only message that will prepare God’s people for that glorious event.
Personal Reading for Discussion:
A Great Disappointment
That is how it would have been. However, sad to say, that is not what happened. Ellen White began realizing that the message was not being received as God intended. Expressing her great concern she wrote:
“Neglect this great salvation, kept before you for years, despise this glorious offer of justification through the blood of Christ and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.” IBID.
It was a serious mistake for the denominational leadership to resist and even reject this God-sent message. Concerning this Ellen White wrote in 1896; eight years after the message was given:
“An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message given through Brethren Waggoner and Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining the efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.” LETTER 96, 1896
Here again she connected the Holy Spirit being imparted to God’s people with the message of righteousness by faith. Both were rejected. Because of this, Ellen White wrote in 1901: “We may have to remain in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel.”
This prediction has certainly proved to be true. We have remained in this world more than 100 years since that statement was made. God is calling His last generation into existence today. In order to be part of that generation who are ready to meet Jesus, we must understand and experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit and righteousness by faith. “Only those who are clothed in the garments of his righteousness will be able to endure the glory of his presence when he shall appear with “power and great glory.” REVIEW AND HERALD, JULY 9, 1908
Day 3 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead you to understand and experience righteousness by faith
- Those on your prayer list
Day 3 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 8 to 11 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 28 to 31 of the PDF version])
- What is imputed righteousness also known as justification?
- What is imparted righteousness also known as sanctification?
- According to 2 Peter 1:4, how is Christ’s very nature implanted in the believer? By the Holy Spirit via God’s promises.
- What must we do if we want Christ to live out His righteous life in us? We must ask and have faith in God’s promise.
- When Christ begins to live out His righteousness life in the believer, what will the believer then experience? Christ’s victory over temptation and sin because it is Christ living out His victory in his life.
- Can you illustrate this truth (referring to previous question) from an experience in your life?
Day 3 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 13 to 17 (pages 33 to 37 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 4
- Prayerfully answer Day 4 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 4 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.