Revelation Today Reflections, Part 2

Revelation Today was the title given to a comprehensive study series that focused on the prophecies of the Bible—especially the book of Revelation. This series was hosted by It Is Written in the city of Boston from October 7 to 29, 2016, as part of the Compassion Boston initiative.

Now that the series is over, we’ve collected some quotes from our church and It Is Written leadership, looking back on the series and looking forward to what else God may have in store for our city.

This post is the second part of these reflections. The first post (which can be read here) contained thoughts from church and It Is Written leaders. This post contains reflections from our Compassion Boston Bible Workers.

IIW Bible Work Program Director for Compassion Boston Jack Phillips (left) interviews Compassion Boston Bible Worker Karen Matambo. In the background are Richard Cabral (left) and Craig Kavanaugh (right), also Compassion Boston Bible Workers.

IIW Bible Work Program Director for Compassion Boston Jack Phillips (left) interviews Compassion Boston Bible Worker Karen Matambo. In the background are Richard Cabral (left) and Craig Kavanaugh (right), also Compassion Boston Bible Workers.

Karen Matambo, Compassion Boston Bible Worker

“Revelation Today came right on time. Several of our contacts were making decisions for baptism during the in-home Bible study lessons, and the seminars provided a chance for them to solidify their decision for Christ and be baptized! One church member—after meeting with a few baptismal candidates—commented, ‘Wow, they sound just like Adventists!’ I truly believe it’s because these new members of our church understood the significance of our message in these last days, felt loved by its members, and proudly proclaimed, ‘I'm going to be a Seventh-Day Adventist.’

“As I watched the baptisms on Sabbath afternoon, I thought to myself, ‘Now, this is something that I’ll never get tired of seeing,’ and just then, the zeal for soul-winning was revived in me. Many churches rallied together and 48 souls were added to the kingdom of God through baptism that afternoon. That’s 48 more missionaries given the gospel commission to go into all the world. What then do we do, church? We train our new brethren to win more people, we love them and we embrace them with hearts full of joy and zeal. Why? So they may know that the life they left, the friends and family they sacrificed and even those habits laid down were worth gaining Christ, His cross, and His church family.

“Needless to say, this is not the time to sit back, but to participate and retain those newly added to the church. We’re looking for church members in the Boston area to continue studying with those who are not yet ready to be baptized and disciple them. This is crucial as many of the Bible workers may be leaving soon.

“Let’s be honest, to experience true revival in our hearts, we must get involved in evangelism. Friends, let’s take the love of Jesus to those around us and watch Jesus transform their hearts, as well as ours. Thank you again to all the church members for being Compassion Boston.”

 

Jeffrey Walker, Compassion Boston Bible Worker

“The Revelation Today series was a transformational event, not only for the Boston community, but for me personally. The opportunity to be part of the Compassion Boston Bible Work team and the lessons I learned along the way were life-changing. I’m now sold on ministry, and on being ‘salt and light’ in the world. If anyone asks how, I can only say: have a willing heart and step out in faith when the opportunities arise.”

 

Crystal Phillips, Compassion Boston Bible Worker

“The Revelation Today series for me was an amazing experience. During the majority of the meetings, it was so good seeing the church members at the meeting site forming bonds with people that we (the Bible workers) have been pouring the last few months into; seeing friendships being made that will hopefully last many years, and hopefully turn into a bond akin to family.

“The meetings at the Reggie Lewis Center were outstanding, especially on Sabbath. Seeing friends getting baptized and knowing that I had any part in their journey to know the Lord in a real way was a truly humbling experience. Seeing the joy in the baptismal candidates’ faces as they leapt into the arms of their loved ones after coming out of the pool was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had as a Bible worker. I definitely felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during that time.

“Our goal after the series is that the churches that these new members have been baptized into will love and cherish these new members the way that we Bible workers have; that not one person will slip out the back door. I urge the church members to love these people the way Christ has loved them. Also, don’t let this work end here. This is only the beginning of the revival that can happen in this great city. Don’t be satisfied with what we saw at the Reggie Lewis Center. Continue to strive for one more!”

Compassion Boston Bible Worker Crystal Phillips (left) with a baptismal candidate backstage at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Compassion Boston Bible Worker Crystal Phillips (left) with a baptismal candidate backstage at the Reggie Lewis Center.

Destinie Candis, Compassion Boston Bible Worker

“Revelation Today was a wonderful experience for me. I looked forward to the messages every night for both the dynamic teaching and the content of the lessons. I think Revelation Today, and the events and training leading up to it, have provided invaluable learning experiences for church members that they will continue to use in the future.”

 

Craig Kavanaugh, Compassion Boston Bible Worker

“As I reflect on the just-concluded Revelation Today prophecy series, I cannot but marvel at the infinite value that God places on just one soul {OHC 98.4}. When we read about the early church in Acts, just after Pentecost, we sometimes come away with the mindset that reaching and baptizing new believers ought always to involve thousands converting in a day (Acts 2:41; 4:4), and we long to see a similar, yea even greater, outpouring of the Spirit in our day (Joel 2:23-32). But the Truth of the matter is that, far more often than not, soul-winning necessarily involves diligent, deliberate, sustained hard labor together with God just to reach one precious soul (1 Corinthians 3:9). And so, though part of me still hopes some day to convert the entire city of Boston to a saving biblical faith in Jesus (Jonah 3:5-10), I was so very touched to behold those precious few (Matthew 22:14) who came to give their hearts to God as a result of our collective, patient efforts combined with the moving of His Holy Spirit. 

“For the past two years, as I have labored in the local field of His vineyard as a Bible worker and medical missionary, sharing precious Truth and natural healing remedies, I simultaneously began the highly-fulfilling work of starting and tending to new garden plots at my home church, Boston Temple. Here too, I learned so many practical lessons on the high calling of soul-winning. As I strove to bring forth literal fruits to His glory, I quickly learned that growing fruits involves so much more than simply planting seeds (Matthew 13; Mark 4; Luke 8). The soil must be tilled, tested, amended, and prepared. Seeds must be carefully selected and planted by hand. The daily care of watering, weeding, pruning, and foliar spraying follows for the entire growing season. Only after many months of hard labor do the first fruits appear (Deuteronomy 26:2), and how much more sweet do they taste when ripened on the vine and with the full knowledge of how much work went into their production. But praise God, as summer’s glow fades and the chill of fall harvest season arrives, the bountiful fruit continues to increase day by glorious day. What an object lesson!

“Thus, one of the most amazing and emotional experiences of the series came for me on the final day at the Reggie Lewis Center, when after the joint effort of so many studies, visits, prayers, and tears, I was blessed with the high privilege to assist out of the baptismal pool every new brother and sister in Christ who chose to publicly declare their faith on Sabbath afternoon. What joy inexpressible filled my heart to be able to be the first to greet each one with praise for God on my lips and many fresh tears on my checks. What an incredible parallel; each ripe fruit tasted so very sweet to my heart (Matthew 3:8). I indeed rejoiced with all heaven (Luke 15:10). And what delight in the knowledge that the harvest from this season of labor has but just begun, for we fully expect the bounty of spiritual fruit to continue to increase (2 Corinthians 9:10) in the short time remaining before His glorious soon return (Revelation 22:12). 

“Oh, how we long to see Him then face-to-face (1 Corinthians 13:12), and for this world of sin and sorrow to end. And yet we earnestly unite our prayers that He might appear to tarry just a little longer (Hebrews 10:37), that all of His invaluable fruits might ripen for the harvest. Give us just a little more time, dear Jesus, that we might strive all the more earnestly to reach every sincere soul of thine now, even now (John 11:22), just before the door of mercy is to forever close (Dan 12:1). I say unto thee, will you not join us in this greatest of undertakings? For, lo, the fields are white (John 4:35)!”