Archive for March, 2013

Blinded By The Light

March 30, 2013

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Some of us may remember the 1976  top charting music song called ‘Blinded by the light” by a group called Manfred Mann. As I waited for the Lord to guide me in what to write this week, that title occurred to me. I knew it would be the perfect title for the message this week. What we’ll look at is the situations where some professed followers of Christ who have received great knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, even the Elijah message, yet have been “blinded by the light”. The light of the last present truth, the Elijah message, in particular,  can be a two-edged sword. We must be SO CAREFUL in remaining humble because as we’ll see the devils have a sneaky game plan for the ” light bearers”.

As we have learned, there is only one message that shakes Satan and the devils to the core now, it’s today’s Elijah message of warning to God’s remnant people. The message is sent to us to reform our lives, to stop the abominations going on in our own lives and the church and it sigh and cry about them. And as soon as the elect of God truly convert, then this  “small portion” as Ellen White said in (Test. to the Church, p.608-609) accept the warning and then it is that the final time clock starts and the 144,000 are sealed and the game changes. The power is upon the people of God and the great Loud Cry begins.

But what about sneaky attacks from the evil ones today? What is one of their most successful avenues to bring those who profess His last end time message, into a trap and snare? It is old tried and true–Pharisee plan! Allow me to explain.

We remember when our Lord walked this earth His number one enemy was those who had the greatest knowledge of the Scriptures and therefore were the ones who actively taught and promoted “their” understandings of God’s word and plans. As we know our Lord rebuked them time and again .

In (Matt.23:23) we read, “”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

Imagine an individual that would be  measuring the exact distance you could walk to come to the Temple on the Sabbath. The Pharisees did this, and many other restrictive measures because they perceived God as a merciless overbearing toe the line dictator. They had indeed lost tract of their whole purpose in serving Him.

As our Lord said, instead of being full of justice, mercy and faithfulness, they were full of selfishness, ambition and greed. So the evil ones became well aware that the people who became zealous to teach, the ones who actively promoted God’s word, were the prime candidates to influence to become focused on their “knowledge” instead of their walk. Oh, my brothers and sisters how successful this can become if we are not careful!  The greater the light given and understood the closer we must watch that the spirit of Pharisaism doesn’t overtake us and therefore blind us!

Brother Houteff saw this among some of those who professed the Elijah message. He explains ““After one acquires all the knowledge necessary pertaining to the sign of Jonah, he is neither better nor worse off so far as his Christianity is concerned, without taking into effect the time wasted if his conclusions on the subject be wrong.

But what is still worse, should a group of people who are rightly proclaiming all the revealed doctrines, disagree with these zealous preachers of the sign of Jonah, as to what “the heart of the earth” may mean, the latter will in most instances not only forsake fellowshipping with their brethren, and cease helping to proclaim more important doctrines, but will also become so obsessed with their pet idea that their minds cannot comprehend much else.” (Tract 10, p. 20-21)

The above is very telling! Brother Houteff shows that some will cherish their knowledge and forsake the more important matters. Is this not what the Pharisees were known for?

  In Vol. 4   Symbolic News Code   Nos. 1-3. page 6. He said this, “Do not insist upon any one’s measuring up to your opinion of yourself; make not your business that of  finding fault with others, nor of advertising their sins; expect no one to confess to you any sins other than those committed against you personally; and never from any man demand an apology or confession.”

I bring those above quotes up because I’ve recently noticed that the evil ones have hoodwinked some of the true light bearers, the Davidians, the ones who are active in professing the Elijah message, into arguing over non-salvational issues.

Ellen White’s words ring powerfully upon those who become active in criticizing, “I shall tell the truth as God gives it to me, and I say now, If you continue to find fault, to have a spirit of variance, you will never know the truth.”(Testimonies to Ministers, p.476).

Just like the Pharisees, some have put their knowledge ahead of their heart. In other words, they have lost sight of the “old paths”. The Prophet Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.”(Jer.6:16).

As I was driving this week I sensed a message from the Lord, it was  — The message should be taught in love. Meaning that although this message (the Elijah message aka the Shepherd’s Rod message) is solemn and straight, it needs to be spoken with compassion. We must humbly proclaim it. The Pharisee aloofness and pride cannot be allowed to be a part of our character.

I hate to say it but there are more than a few  light bearers (Davidians) who have been snared by a lack of love and compassion. Their knowledge has warped them. In fact we read in (Isaiah 47;10) this thought, “Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else besides me.” (Isaiah 47:10).

So again we go back to the snares that the evil ones put up. One of the best, tried and true one, from since way back, is the inflated view of oneself. No longer do the self proud, all knowing ones have to promptly return emails, initiate correspondence with brothers and sisters, return phone calls, etc. The devils say , “you got the goods, let everyone come to you, no need to reach out.” Instead of being a servant they desire to be served. The Lord’s warning in Rev. 3:17 ” have become wealthy and have need of nothing” is even more true among some Davidians than SDA’s.

Peter also gives good counsel. In speaking of  faith, knowledge, self-control, perserverance, brotherly kindness, love,  he then says, “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9)

Let’s not kid anyone. Just because we know a vast amount of present truth does not guarantee we’re saved. As Paul says, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”(1 Cor.13:2)

And our last quote from our beloved prophetess, “God will choose humble men, who are seeking to glorify His name and advance His cause rather than honor and advance themsleves.” (Test. for the Church, Vol.5, p.461)

In closing, let us remember to be humble in our walk, never forgeting the “old paths” . Yes, we need knowledge and advancing truth which is in His Elijah message, but this comes WITH our basics such as love, compassion, servitude, and such.  If we ignore the basics, the devils stand ready to  —  blind us with the light.

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The Great Orchestrator

March 23, 2013

As I go on in my walk I am more and more aware of how awesome of a God we serve. In Scripture we know that His word says, “..with God all things are possible” (Matt.19:26). The daily movements, the planning , the reactions, just the great orchestration of it all!  He truly is as the song says, “How Great Thou Art”. Let’s look at some of the specifics of the orchestrating of God.

Recently there were a couple of examples of God’s orchestrating . In my service repair business I am often called to several job locations around the city. About a week ago, I was called to do a repair job. I met a nice woman, we’ll call Laura (name changed).

We exchanged niceties and then she led me to the kitchen where her disposal was broken. But I stopped at her counter and looked at her many pictures of Jesus and some Scripture passages. We stopped there and I commented, “Oh I see you’re a Christian.”  Little did I know instead of continuing on and inspecting the unit, I would be there at that counter talking with her for what seemed like 30 minutes!

As we chatted I learned that she was a Catholic. I explained that I also was once a Catholic (being raised one). As we discussed the things of God, I sensed a very unusual dedication for the Lord. The Holy Spirit was working on me, saying to listen to her carefully. We both seemed to interact in a deeper level and I marvelled at how she really wanted to know the Lord more closely.

As we talked, I learned that she had been pleading with the Lord. She often wasn’t sensing His presence and her walk was very intermittent. She also had been sighing and crying. I had mentioned some of the basics such as keeping ALL 10 Commandments as the way to know God on a deeper level. Obviously as a Catholic, I expected her to politely disagree about which day was the “Lord’s day”. But she listened keenly as I explained how the Roman empire was instrumental in changing the Lord’s day from Saturday to Sunday.

She also told of her sighing at work. Her boss was a frequent 3rd Commandment breaker. He would say JC this and JC that. She had told him she preferred he didn’t say that, but that only fueled him for more breaking.

As many of you know from our studies in the Lord’s current message to us, the Elijah message, it requires us to show we really love our Lord by “sighing and crying” for the sins done in our own life and in the church. So it was clear to me she was sighing for the sake of the Lord. His Holy Name was being mis-used. Although she doesn’t have the light of the Sabbath and other truths, she was expressing true love for the Lord.

Finally after our lengthy discussion I finally got to check out the unit. But before we finished we agreed that I would lend her the 5 part DVD set of Hal Holbrook’s “The Seventh Day”. But it was clear to me that the Lord had guided me to her. She was honestly seeking the truth and as such I was part of His orchestration of events.

We are told in (John 16:13) “..When He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.”  So as a true seeker of the Lord and His truth, Laura’s path and mine came together. If she continues to want the truth and nothing but the truth, she’ll find it. “Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will  find, knock and the door shall be opened for you “(Matt 7:7).

The next story occurred about a week ago as well. Cathy (name changed) and I had been Facebook friends for about 2 years. She was a frequent Godsloveandlaw blog reader. She and I had emailed now and then and had a cordial friendly relationship. What struck me about her, was similar to Laura. She was a truth seeker and a walk advancer. They both had these  traits in common. They both mentioned to me that they would gladly accept being unpopular if it meant knowing the Lord and His straight truth.

What struck me is that both had mentioned that they knew that all who live Godly would suffer persecution. So Cathy and I chatted off and on and as many SDA were learning, she was interested in the Elijah message. As she was seeking to advance in her walk, the last light from the Lord, the Elijah message was very intriguing to her.  As she learned more and more, she would send a question or two to me for advice.  I sensed her progress was being guided from the hand of the Lord.

 A couple of weeks ago we finally had a chance to talk directly by phone. It was for over an hour. I had sent her some CD’s and DVD’s of the message and she had reviewed a some of it. So she had some questions.

But as we talked she gave me some of her history. Soon I learned that she also was a sigh and crier. She told of the story how she, being a health therapist, was appalled when her church had a lunch a while back and had donuts and pastries full of sugar for the members. Her field involves colonics and other clean out methods, to help rid the body of toxins which cause disease.

So she went to the lady in charge of the meals and let her know that those sugar packed denured of vitamins and mineral foods were worse than worthless. Instead of listening carefully to Cathy, who was trying to keep the Lord’s temple pure and clean, the lady took offense and later complained to others that Cathy was off base.

So what do we see from Cathy’s standing up for true principles? Mocking and derision from those who aren’t willing to be corrected. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble…” (James 4:6). Cathy assured me that her advice was given in a loving manner, yet even this approach was rebuffed.

From the stories we mentioned, one thing is common. The sighers and criers were heard from by our Great Orchestrator. He then guided them into my path, that I might help them further in discovering advanced light. This is how the Great I Am works. He knows our hearts and when we show Him we are for real and want to know of His presence and love, we’ll find Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to  you” (James 4:8).

Also they both are desirous of advancement in their walk. Our prophetess said some great words concerning this, “When God’s people are at ease, and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favour them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward, to receive the increased and ever increasing light that is shining for them.” (5T pp. 708, 709).

” Those who will devote their powers to the study of God’s Word, and especially the prophecies referring to these last days, will be rewarded by the discovery of important truths.” (Ms 75, 1899, pp. 4,5. [Untitled Manuscript, May 11, 1899] — may be found as Manuscript release #54 in Manuscript Releases, Vol. 1, pp. 195-196).

“We must not think, ‘Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge.’ The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.” (RH: March 25, 1890).

So let us be mindful of the Great Orchestrator, and how He is ever ready and willing to help us advance in our walk. We just have to “want to”. As Laodiceans we have to fight the ever tempting attitude of self complacency. If we seek–we find.

The Loud Cry

March 16, 2013

Very soon God’s wonderous plan for His church will arrive. The long-awaited “Loud Cry” will be given. This will be the time that our prophetess has spoken of,  “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and as terrible as an army with banners, she is to go forth into all the world conquering and to conquer.” (Prophets and Kings. P.725). Who will be a part? What is the message of the Loud Cry?  Let’s look at this special time of God’s full power and Spirit, soon to come upon His remnant church.

Let’s address the first question — Who will be a part?

There can be no doubt that those of us who are truly watching, listening and caring for our beloved remnant church, the SDA church, cannot help but sigh and cry. Today our church leaders are supporting great abominations before the Lord.They are fulfilling prophecy, “for they say, “The Lord has forsaken the land and the Lord seeth not.” (Ezek.9:9)

 As an example, many of our SDA hospitals today support and provide abortions. The Wikipedia research article states “Since 1973, many Adventist hospitals perform elective abortions under any circumstance.” (for the full article click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventist_Health )

The above is just one of the many abominations taking place today within our church. Brother Houteff points out other worldly and pagan customs in our current SDA  organization and church —

“…the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not!  As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.

   Instead of Sabbath-keeping the day is devoted to money-raising, and instead of a house of worship, the church is turned into a den of thieves — disgusting to observers, and most discouraging for a member to invite a friend or a neighbor to a church service… ” (Jezreel Letter, no.9 , p.7)

Victor Houteff and Ellen White  both add, “…the denominational schools, through the accrediting boards of the state universities, are joined hand and hand with the schools of the world, despite the following solemn instruction to contrary;  “Let us determine that we will not be tied by so much as a thread to the educational policies of those who do not discern the voice of God and who will not hearken to His commandments.” —  (Symb. Code News, vol.2, no.9 p.2) (Counsels to Teachers, p.255)

So we now  ask  – is it possible that the Lord’s pouring out of His full Spirit upon the church in the Loud Cry,  will include these leaders and spiritually complicit,  which include those who are aware of it yet don’t sigh and cry about it?

The Lord speaks of  the  complicit and abomination doers. “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall..”(Jeremiah  6:15)

Ellen White answers this way. “Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it (the 3rd angel’s message) when it shall have swelled into a Loud Cry. (Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908)

“Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.”(Test. for the Church, vol.3, p.267)

Could those who are now partaking in the abominations against the Lord be those considered to have “withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One’? 

Another identifying quote about who will take part in the Loud Cry, we read, “In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged.. God will work in our day that but few anticipate. He will raise up and exalt among us those who are taught by the unction of His Spirit than by the outward training of scientific institutions. (Test. for the Church, vol.5, p.80)

When we look back to the Lord’s choosing of men for His first advent, we see that the humble honest of heart were chosen for the 1st proclamation of the gospel. It appears the Lord will choose the same types for the great Loud Cry proclamation. The learned and self exalted, who have dug their doctrine stakes deep, and who are unwilling to be corrected, surely stand a slim chance in taking part in the most important work of all earthly history–the proclaiming of the true gospel with God’s full power and Spirit.

 Brother Houteff clarifies the true messengers of today, “..His messengers of today will bear no greater credentials of their calling than did those of ages past. Even Jesus Christ with His supernatural birth, sinless life, and miraculous works was condemned by the leading men of His time, who said, ‘This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” (Matt. 12:24) (Tract 7, p.63)

So the answer to the question is that the Lord cannot use the current church, as it now stands,  to proclaim the final gospel. Those who think He will,  are ignorant of the Scriptures, SOP, and the Elijah message. Only the “overcomers” of temptations, the ones who are listening and walking according to the Holy Spirit, will be involved in the Loud Cry.

In the very near future we will know that the Lord’s Elijah  messenger, then follwed by the messengers,  have warned. The Lord has come to His temple(Mal. 3:1-5). The reins are now “in His hands” (Test. to Ministers, p.300). The world has been shocked and bewildered as God’s word has been fulfilled (1 Peter 4;17). Now it’s time for the great proclamation to appear.When the above has been completed,  God’s final plan is  to be implemented.

The second question is –What is the message of the Loud Cry?

Ellen White explains–

“In every generation God has sent his servants to rebuke sin, both in the world and in the church. But the people desire smooth things spoken to them, and the pure, unvarnished truth is not acceptable. Many reformers, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible.

But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, and they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible,–doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. They were impelled to zealously declare the truth, and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.”

 “Thus will the message of the third angel be proclaimed. As the time comes for the loud cry to be given, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to his service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of his Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them.

The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of a union of Church and State, the inroads of Spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power,–all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands have never listened to words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from Heaven.

The people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? The ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears, and quiet the awakened conscience. But many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men, and demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” The popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, are filled with anger as their authority is questioned; they denounce the message as of Satan, and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.

As the controversy extends into new fields, and the minds of the people are called to God’s down-trodden law, Satan is astir. The power attending the message only maddens those who oppose it. The clergy put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light, lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions.

The church appeals to the strong-arm of civil power, and in this work, papists are solicited to come to the help of Protestants. The movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided. The law is invoked against commandment-keepers. They are threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some are offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith. But their steadfast answer is, “Show us from the word of God our error,”–the same plea that was made by Luther under similar circumstances.

Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light is brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.” (Spirit of Prophecy, vol.4, p.423-425)

So the above gives us a good look at the events that happen within the Loud Cry period. There is to be great wonders and yet great stress. Our beloved prophetess gives  a great account of this time.

“The latter rain is coming on those that are pure — all then will receive it as formerly. When the four angels let go, Christ will set up His kingdom. None receive the latter rain but those who are doing all they can. Christ would help us. All could be overcomers by the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus. All heaven is interested in the work. Angels are interested.”(Spalding Magan, 3:2)

A few Scriptures that speak about  this time period.

“Awake, awake! Put on your strength O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you.”(Isaiah 52:1)

“For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns, the Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name.” (Isaiah 62:1-2)

“The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake;But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” (Joel 3:16)

May we  strive to be among those who take part in this last great work– the Loud Cry. A most exciting and extraordinary work that sets up His everlasting kingdom.

Questions and Answers  about the Loud Cry—

HAS THE LOUD CRY BEGUN?

Question No. 10:

Sister White wrote in 1892 that the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message had already begun; please explain why others claim that it is yet future. And what makes it “loud”?

Answer:

There must be a marked difference between the voice of the message before the Loud Cry, and the voice of the message in the Loud Cry; otherwise it would not be called “loud.”

The message swells to a Loud Cry by virtue of an “addition” which gives it “power and force.”- Early Writings, p. 277. The only conclusion admissible, therefore, is that since the church has never accepted an additional message, and since there has never come one (other than that in The Shepherd’s Rod publications) that would give “power and force” to the old message, the Loud Cry could not have begun at any time previous to this.

Moreover, the “abominations” in the church have not only kept back the Loud Cry but have also even silenced the fainter cry which precedes it. Indeed, “the angel of the church of the Laodiceans,” being unfit even to finish the proclamation of the message in its fainter cry must be altogether unfit to proclaim it in the Loud Cry. Obviously, if he does not now quickly repent and accept the additional message which is to begin the Loud Cry, then not only will he not help proclaim it but he will even be “spued out.”

“…only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One,” warns the Spirit of Prophecy, “will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.”-The Review and Herald Nov. 19, 1908. So while the fainter cry is proclaimed by those who have, as well as by those who have not, overcome temptation, the Loud Cry is to be proclaimed only by those who have.

Though the Loud Cry was to have begun by 1892, it was muffled when the church rejected the message of Righteousness by Faith in 1888. Thus, the scroll which contained the “additional” message that was to give “power and force” to the Third Angel’s Message, for the time then being ceased unrolling. And consequently, instead of becoming the light of the world, the church herself went into darkness. Seeing this, the Spirit of Truth made a fearful pronouncement of doom upon unrepentant Laodiceans, while giving joyous promise of future glory to all who will arise and walk in the light that proceeds from the throne.

“How will any of our brethren know when this light shall come to the people of God?” was the sweeping question then asked by Inspiration. And the inspired answer was: “As yet we have certainly not seen the light that answers to this description. God has light for His people, and all who accept it will see the sinfulness of remaining in a lukewarm condition.”-The Review and Herald, Oct. 7, 1890.

“In the manifestation of the power that lightens the earth with its glory, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideal, they will oppose the work. Why, they say, should we not know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?”-Bible Training School, 1907. (Reprinted in The Review and Herald, Nov. 7 1918.) This statement plainly projects the Loud Cry into the future from 1918.

“The love of Christ, the love of our brethren will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord.”–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 401.(The Answerer Vol. 1)

What additonal proof can you give that the present church will not complete the work of the Loud Cry?

Answer–  “If the present church leadership is to complete the work , then how can our brethren explain the following quotation which is found in “The Testimonies for the Church”, Vol. 5, p.80, from which we quote?

“But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true..Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file…They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He can not use them..The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view… But, it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed.”(End of quote)

“If the purification takes place after the gospel work is finished, then why should He disclose another set of servants, and say, after purification He cannot use those who are self-sufficient and independent of God?” (Symb. News Code, vol.1, No.18 p.9)

Counted As Worthy

March 9, 2013

In Luke chapter 21 we read of our Lord explaining the last days. A very descriptive account of the travail that will come upon the earth. Then in verse 36 He says “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” So clearly the end time people, those living in the last days(our time),  must be found worthy.

What does this mean–worthy? We have all heard week after week, – Grace, grace, and more grace. Does not these two words– worthy and grace, seem somewhat contradictory? However, it seems today that the great masses are solidly in the “grace” camp. The leaders and pastors have drilled them again and again , that we really don’t have to worry in our walk–we are covered by grace. Just be kinda good and let all the rest fall unto Jesus. Our Savior is our excuse, our reason why we don’t have to be that careful and obedient, right?  Absolutely wrong. Let us see clearly why.

In speaking of  “worthiness” our Lord shows further examples “He who loves His father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37). 

In researching for this post I found someone’s comments that I found right on concerning what (Matt 10:38) means “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”  In the article, the author says  “(Mt.10:38) has been grossly abused. The phrase, “taking up one’s cross” has become so ubiquitous, that practically any unavoidable difficulty, aggravation, or inconvenience is likely to be piously labeled, “just the cross I have to bear.”
WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT STATEMENT FOR THE BLASPHEMY THAT IT IS!!!

The cross, for Jesus, was NOT an unavoidable inconvenience! Neither was it a case of submission to illness, natural disaster, or insurmountable evil! Jesus was speaking sober truth when he said he could have called upon all the hosts of heaven to rescue him! He CHOSE not to do so, in order to ransom the people of his Kingdom from the domain of death and fear (Heb.2:14-15), by his triumph over both! Cross-bearing entails voluntarily suffering completely undeserved injustice for the sake of the Kingdom of Jesus!”

In other words, to be found “worthy”, we should be taking up the cross and be willing to be, among other things — scorned, murmured against, unpopular among some, ridiculed or a host of other injustices simply for proclaiming God’s truth and walking therein.  Just like our Lord. We’re a  chip off the ol block as they say.

Ellen White explains, “Satan’s attacks against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time. As in Christ’s day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice again the truth for this time.”(Gospel Workers, p.324)

“Satan works at the very ones that do him most harm. God can make them a host against their enemies. Ye give up too quick.  Ye let go too soon. That arm, the arm of God is mighty.” (Spalding and Magan Collection, 3:4)

 Brother Houteff explains,  ” Just as did the Jews of old, thousands today dearly believe that there is a certain saving magic simply in membership in the church, thus letting themselves be brought to prize and depend upon it more than upon the message, which demands repentance of sins and in return lifts the penitent sinner from the dark and miry pit, into the healing, saving light of Present Truth. 

Had these worshipers of temples made by hands, lived in the days of Christ, they would have shown their utter ignorance of and disregard  for the Truth, by rejecting the respective messages of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the apostles, in order to maintain their membership in the “synagogue” and to shun the reproach they would otherwise have been called upon to bear.  Whereas God’s true people have always bound themselves to new and unpopular truths which, while new, the self-styled men “of  experience” have denounced as heresies.” (Tract #7, p.60-61)

So how do we balance grace with worthiness? The answer is that we as His followers are striving with all our hearts to obey Him through His word, as said by the prophets.  Then as we become obedient to His messages as sent by the prophets, we can count on His grace to save us. You see, as we strive to be obedient we will sometimes slip and fall, that’s when we can count on His grace. When Paul was striving with all his heart to work for the Lord, being obedient as possible, what did the Lord say in response to his request? ‘My grace is sufficient for thee..” (2 Cor. 12:9). Grace covered a righteous man , not an indifferent,  careless man of God.

Grace abuse is described in (Romans 6:1) “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?”  Those who repeatedly fall in their walk often think that grace will cover them, leading them  in effect to not claim the Lord’s power to help them overcome sin.

 But the key is that we are trying very hard and not carelessly neglecting our walk, and then saying ” I’m going to sin and there is nothing I can do about it  but  He will save me through His grace anyway”.  We must decide that we cannot continue in sin( see Hebrews 10:26). With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can “overcome” our sins.(Rev.21:7)

Yes, we will slip and fall. But as the word says ” For though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again..” (Prov. 24:16) The key is to –rise again, meaning we get up and repent and continue on with our walk, being careful not to slip again. It’s all about wanting to do right thing before the Lord.

Ellen White speaks about worthiness, ” I was shown that fathers and mothers have departed from their simplicity and neglected the holy calling of the gospel. The Lord has admonished them not to corrupt themselves by adopting the customs and maxims of the world. Christ would have given them the unsearchable riches of His grace freely and abundantly, but they prove themselves unworthy.” (Test. for the Church, p.74)

Last year we did a post on backsliding call ‘Recovering from backsliding”. In it I pointed out that we all succumb to temptation now and then. As I mentioned last year I had fallen back for a few days into my old sinful behavior. The devils are particularly  hovering around those who are proclaiming God’s truth. We are viewed as their number one adversaries.

As the devils know a wide range of tactics, one of them is the old trick of “over-worthiness”. They tell us,  “You’re a hard worker for God, you deserve a little something now and them”.  I fell for it and went back to some espressos and even a few beers after work for a few days. Thinking that I had somehow earned these “treats”. But I was jolted to reality a few days later! Repentance was deep and I was received my Lord’s words, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten..” (Rev.3:19). It was quite scary to be honest, a real jolt of reality set in. 

In further illuminating the cost of being found worthy, Ellen White says, “God will test and prove his people. One sacred truth after another will be brought to bear upon their hearts, close and cutting, until their faith will be purified and tried like gold, until all their dross will be purged away, and Jesus will present them unto his Father without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. We must overcome through trials and sufferings as Jesus overcame. We must not shun the cross or the suffering part of religion. The language of the heart should be, let me know the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. Let me suffer with Him that I may reign with Him.(Review and herald, Sept.16,1862)

Let’s look at our prophetess’ words concerning the  struggles of those who are taking part in our last days work of the Lord.

“I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them.

 Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.

As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones.” (Early Writings, p.269-270)

What I found interesting is that those who “participated” in the agonizing and pleading of God’s work and their own spiritual condition, were the ones involved in the dark struggle. The careless and indifferent ones, meaning those who don’t participate in the work of His present truth for this time and who also don’t plead with the Lord to help them overcome their sins.  Darkness “shuts them in” and the Angels have “left them”. This vision  is prophetic about what is going on right now. The true workers of God are in an internal struggle, complacency is the farthest thing from their mind. At times they feel the heat in other words!

Let us never forget that we as the Laodicean church have the strictest reprimand from the Lord. We are warned not to be lukewarm. Is lukewarmness a sin? Absolutely. The 11th hour message we are called to give–the Elijah message — is our test today. Ellen White says,  ” God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God’s means of provoking inquiry and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber.” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.453).

To sum up our post, we ask the following– ” Must we be found worthy to inherit the kingdom of God?” For sure. “How do we know we can be found worthy?” By taking up His cross (standing up for His truth today). “And what can we expect once we decide to take up His cross?” The devil attacks, but we can then say and believe -“Greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Let us close with the beautiful words of the Lord through his prophet Isaiah. ” Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near, let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

May our Lord give us wisdom for these last days, to be counted as worthy, amen.

Equipping the Saints for the Spiritual Battle

March 2, 2013

There can be no doubt that right here, right now, we are in a gigantic spiritual battle. The forces of evil are at every side and in every corner of the world. The two sides are colliding in a “pre” armegedon  battle. Let  us look into this current battle.

Our brother Apostle Paul states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm” (Eph. 6:12). How true that is! Unseen powers are behind the scenes, lest they be exposed, to thwart the work of God.

And how does the evil ones use their cunning and power? Through human agents. And what would be the most deceptive way to deceive the people? Through  religious people. For they are the ones the masses look to for guidance and help are they not? So once the devils have the religious  ones walking an unholy walk before the Lord, meaning not paying attention to their sins and ignoring them, then that’s the perfect person they can use.  Subversion at its Satanic best!

Once the devils, led by the master planning deceiver, Satan, take hold of the leaders in our churches they have an effective blockcade as it were, to stop the real light from the Lord from reaching the people! Let’s read spot on words from brother Houteff concerning this. Speaking of the folly of consulting a mininster, elder, or any other, before taking up a study into purported truths from the Lord, he says

   “And if we had consulted the ministers of our respective former denominations and accepted their counsel, how many of us would have become Seventh-day Adventists?  The overall answer is, “Not one of us.”  Such has been the fate of all who have followed the decisions of uninspired men against inspired men of God.  Men of piety, men deeply rooted in their religion, as were the priests and rabbis in Christ’s day, have been the most successful in keeping away the light of God from the people.  This is a fact that no one should ever forget or neglect to give consideration to.

   Moreover, since our personal rights of  investigating truths purported to be sent from God, without the interference of our former ministers, took us out of the churches which are mindful only of past truths, and brought us into the Advent present Truth some years ago, should we now surrender these rights and become spiritually dependent on others to tell us what is Truth and what is error? 

Why judge ourselves spiritual invalids rather than full grown Christians?  And why take the ministers’ word now against advanced purported inspired present Truth, if such a step previously  taken would have been disastrous, would have cheated us from accepting the Advent Truth?  Is it not true that if we would let others think for us, we might be cheated as badly as were the Jewish  common people cheated by the priests and rabbis in Christ’s day? (Tract no.15, p. 1-2)

When I was a youngster, I had the privilege of being a bat boy for the San Diego Padres professional baseball team(age 16-18). This I did for about 3 years, then at the age of 19 I was promoted to assistant equipment manager. The job involved me helping to have all the equipment ready for the players. The shoes, the gloves, the bats, the uniforms, the food, the drinks, and many other necessities.

So I had a hands on experience in equipping our team to go to ‘battle” to beat the enemy. And once they had all the equipment ready and useful, then they could fight the battle against the opposition (the opposing team). The same applies to us today. We need useful equipment to fight the enemy (Satan and his devils). 

So what I would like to do this week is give you some good solid “equipment” to help you win this battle for souls today. Maybe even your own soul, if you may be stuck in the prevalent Laodicean , self satisfied, contentment of being “rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (Rev.3:17).

Here’s some very useful sites and links.

1) Esword. This is a great Hebrew/Greek Bible site.  It’s free and a must for all serious Bible students. http://www.e-sword.net/

2) Elijah message site. It has much present truth that our Lord has for us today. It behooves us to seriously study this message, as it’s message, if obeyed,  will enable us to stand in the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” and be sealed. www.sighandcry777.wordpress.com

I would highly  suggest these present truth videos. Sometimes people would rather listen and watch studies as opposed to reading them. Here’s your answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Rfa4MhzqwxI   (there are 32 videos to watch and learn. The speaker is Jimmy Kakouri, a gifted Elijah messenger.

3) The Answerer book. This is a series of volumes that contains about 165 questions and answers on the Elijah message. Brother Houteff was asked many, many hard and thought provoking questions from both friend and foe. In fact many tried to stump him or confuse him, yet as you’ll read, the answers are nothing short of divine.  Just like sister Ellen White, he only had a minimal grade school education (4th grade).

http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/answerer1.html

http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/answerer2.html

http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/answerer3.htm

http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/answerer4.htm

http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/answerer5.htm

4) Free Cd’s and DVD’s of present truth and the Elijah message.

http://www.11th-hourministries.org/audio/cd_request.html

rene_reyes@sbcglobal.net   Free Cd’s and DVD’s of same in spanish.

5) The whole Shepherd”s Rod message with one click. You can read it all here. The “Timely Greetings” sermon addresses by brother Houteff. The “Jezreel Letters”. The “Symbolic News codes”, which were mostly reports during the early days of the Elijah message and the progress and some Q & A (very interesting reports). The 15 “Tracts”, which were small booklets of different areas of prophecy. And more.

So this is the place for any who would like to read about the Elijah message in total. If you are a doubter or skeptic, by all means look them over and try to find error and bring it to our attention. Believe me, thousands have tried over the years, and as EGW said “sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented in the light of God’s word, which will reveal truth and unmask error.” (Test. to Min. p.106-107). Truth will stand close scrutiny, it shall not be afraid.

http://www.shepherds-rod.org/srinx.html

6) The Davidian vs. Branch Davidian confusion. This is so misunderstood. Because of the Waco disaster many people still falsely believe that “any” Davidian is a Branch Davidian. In other words, they all subscribe to the fanatic beliefs of the likes of David Koresh and gang. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is the link that will help clear the confusion. http://shepherdsroddavidian.org/Downloads/True%20Davidians%20Versus%20Branch%20Davidians.pdf

7) God’s storehouses. As we are well aware our Lord made a  promise to us. We’d be blessed if we’d “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse” (Mal.3:10) That being said, we must be certain that we give our tithes to His “storehouse”. Which we explained in a prior post is where His present truth is dispersed (meat in due season). Here are some storehouses today you may consider, to receive that blessing.

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/

http://shepherdsroddavidian.org/branch.html

http://www.thenightcometh.org/

http://sighandcry777.wordpress.com/

In closing, we must know for certain that there is only one message that shakes the devils to their core, the Lord’s last–The Elijah message. Let us now quote a  message from brother Houteff.

 “However, I would remind you, Brethren, that no prophet of God has ever been welcomed by the church.  On the contrary, each in his time was rejected, abused, and most of them were martyred by the ones to whom they were sent — the very ones who were supposed to be serving God!  Indeed, the Lord Himself paid the same price.  For this very reason we must remember that when the last prophet comes he will have the greatest opposition to meet, for Satan well knows that if he loses now, he loses forever.  What makes Elijah’s work especially hard is that Christendom has long been drilled in the idea that no prophet is to come, that there is no necessity for one, that it has enough revealed Truth to carry it inside the Pearly Gates.

   “It is therefore only to be expected that the predicted Elijah will be denounced as a false prophet, perhaps even as the anti-Christ, offshoot, or what not.

   Moreover, the old Devil has already put all his forces to work, piping pleasing tunes to lure Truth seekers to climb aboard his golden bandwagon.   Its glittering tinsel of truth is already beguiling many with his wares while his captains and generals are to the top of their voices shouting their “Hallelujahs,” “Holy Ghost,” “gift of healing,” “gift of tongues,” “gift of miracles,” and all the rest, although the entire fanfare is devoid even of a spark of life.  Every wind of doctrine will be blowing, false revivals and reformations will be at their peak.  Everything that can be done will be done to distort the Truth and thus distract and dishearten believers and draw their attention to something other than the message of Elijah.

   Thus will be the Devil’s deal while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll unrolls and while the prophecies concerning the day of God are being unsealed.   His work and his interpretation of the prophecies for the great day will identify him as the promised Elijah the prophet (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475), and this will enrage the Devil as never before.  Nevertheless, one’s only safety will be in the teaching of Elijah, for there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.” (General Conference Special, p.6-8)

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Mal.4:5-6)


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