Archive for March, 2014

The Woman and the Dragon

March 29, 2014

rev_12

There are many sayings through the years that basically say–“Put up or shut up”.  Like, “Put your money where your mouth is”. Or, “The proof’s in the pudding.” I’m sure you have some others as well.

For a good two plus years we here on Godslovandlaw have continued to sound the warning of the Lord’s last message to us –the Elijah message. We’ve joined the growing body of believers, to proclaim that the “last” prophet of God that was to come to the SDA church (Mal 4:5, Test. to Ministers, p.475) was Victor T. Houteff. But as the sayings above demand —  “Let’s see some proof.” Show some things that make these interpretations stand out as unique and different than what we’ve been taught as SDA. To see if they have “truth”.

In the next few months, from time to time, we will be bringing prophetic interpretations of Scripture that hopefully you’ll find as we have –very deep and profound.

We shall begin with Revelation 12.  As many of us are aware this chapter deals with the “dragon” and the “woman”. If  you happen to have an understanding of the meaning of this chapter, then you can compare it to the following view.When we ask the Lord for His  “Spirit of Truth” to guide us and lead us into all truth and we’ll be sure to find the real truth of  prophecy.

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“Our subject this afternoon is found in Revelation 12, and is illustrated on the following chart–(placed above)

Rev. 12:1-6 — “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the Dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

We all somewhat agree, I know, that this woman of Revelation 12 is symbolical of the Church; that the Dragon is symbolical of Satan; and that the child represents Christ. But inasmuch as we may not agree as to whether the woman is symbolical of the Old Testament church or of the New or of both, it is essential that we study to see eye to eye.

Now, the questions naturally arise, If Christ is the One Who brought forth the Christian church, then how can she be His mother? And was not Christ born at least thirty years before the Christian church came into being? Is not the egg laid before the chicken is hatched? And finally, is it not true that if we blunder forth on an erroneous premise that we shall find ourselves further and further from the truth on the subject? — Most assuredly. Let us, then, make certain of the foundation upon which we build.

We all know that Christ was born, not to the Christian church, but to the Jewish. This being so, then how can we escape the truth that this twelve-star-crowned woman is primarily the Jewish church who travailed and gave birth to the “world’s Redeemer” in the Old Testament period?

Moreover, before the child was born, and before the Gospel of Christ came to the Church, she was clothed with the sun, and the moon stood under her feet. There is therefore not the slightest excuse for one to conclude that the woman represents the Church clothed with the Gospel of Christ. And if her sun clothing does not represent the Gospel of Christ, then what does it represent?

Now, the questions naturally arise, If Christ is the One Who brought forth the Christian church, then how can she be His mother? And was not Christ born at least thirty years before the Christian church came into being? Is not the egg laid before the chicken is hatched? And finally, is it not true that if we blunder forth on an erroneous premise that we shall find ourselves further and further from the truth on the subject? — Most assuredly. Let us, then, make certain of the foundation upon which we build.

We all know that Christ was born, not to the Christian church, but to the Jewish. This being so, then how can we escape the truth that this twelve-star-crowned woman is primarily the Jewish church who travailed and gave birth to the “world’s Redeemer” in the Old Testament period?

Moreover, before the child was born, and before the Gospel of Christ came to the Church, she was clothed with the sun, and the moon stood under her feet. There is therefore not the slightest excuse for one to conclude that the woman represents the Church clothed with the Gospel of Christ. And if her sun clothing does not represent the Gospel of Christ, then what does it represent?

Since she was clothed with the sun before Christ’s birth, and before the Gospel came, then her sun-clothing must be the Bible, the Word of God that clothed her in the period of the prophets.

What is symbolized by the moon under her feet? — The fact that the moon of the heavens reflects the light from the sun to earth, the symbolical moon therefore being under the woman’s feet, and the sun shining directly upon her, not by reflection through the moon, denotes that her channel of light conveyance, the moon, was passing away, was no longer needed, that the sun itself, the source of her light, shining directly upon her, enveloped her with its bright rays.

What could the moon then symbolize but the period before the Bible came, the period before Moses, in which the Word of God did not shine directly on the people as It does to-day (for they had no Bible in those days), but was reflected on them by men of God, the medium, that is, the prophets before Moses never wrote down the messages of God but verbally passed them on.

Though this twelve-star-crowned woman symbolizes something in the Old Testament time, as we have already seen, she nevertheless is seen to symbolize something in the New Testament time. This we see from the fact that after the child was born, and after the Christian church came into being, the woman was given the wings of a great eagle, and was thus enabled to fly into the wilderness, there to be nourished “for a time, and times, and half a time.”

Moreover, her leaving the vineyard (her homeland — Palestine) and going into the wilderness (the lands of the Gentiles, for that is what wilderness symbolically stands for in contrast to a vineyard), again shows that she continued after her child was born.

Taking all these points into one common whole, they positively show that the woman is symbolical of God’s ever living Church for all times, and that she is His saving Truth, His true wife, the Truth that gave birth to Christ and that gives birth to all His “brethren” (His followers), “the remnant of her seed.” Rev. 12:17.

When the promise of the coming Saviour was made, it was then that the dragon learned that the Church was to give birth to the “man child,” and from then on he watched her closely, hoping to destroy the world’s Redeemer as soon as He was born. This he endeavored to accomplish through Herod, when he caused a multitude of little children to be slaughtered. The child Christ, nevertheless escaped, and the Devil met his first defeat in this connection.

Now the Dragon being fortified with seven heads and ten horns, denotes that he controlled all the civil and religious powers in that day (for the symbolical number “ten” denotes universality, just as do the ten toes of Daniel 2, the ten horns of the other Bible beasts, and the ten virgins of Matthew 25).

The horns represent all the civil powers, while the heads represent all the religious powers, for the Biblical number “seven” denotes completeness. Moreover, the fact that the Church (the Jews), the only agency through which God worked up to that time, crucified the Lord, is in itself sufficient proof that the Church had apostatized, that she had become the Dragon’s seventh head, and that thus was the Dragon armed with ten horns and seven heads, — with all the civil and religious powers. And, so, you see, the Dragon with his horns and heads represents the world captured by the Devil.

Thus it is that the world was lost in that day, and thus it was that Christ came to redeem it. To do all this He started a new church organization. In this light we see Christ, the world’s Redeemer, and His mission even more important than we have ever seen it before.

The Dragon’s drawing from heaven a third part of the stars (angels, Rev. 12:9) with his tail, not with his claws, denotes that in the beginning of Satan’s universal rebellion the angels volunteered to follow the rebel leader, and to unite with him in his evil work against the human family.

Rev. 12:7-17 — “And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

And when the Dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth. And the Dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The main point to be noticed in these verses is that after the Dragon and his angels were cast out of Heaven (Satan’s second defeat), and after he had persecuted the Church, and she had taken her flight into the wilderness, the Dragon followed her there, but rather than persecuting her, he cast “water as a flood after her,” hoping to cause her to be carried away by it.

In other words, after he saw that he could not stop the growth of the Christian Church by persecuting her followers, he changed his tactics and instead compelled the Pagans to join her, expecting thereby to cause her to be paganized — “carried away.”

The Dragon, though, is again to miss the mark, for the earth is to open her mouth and swallow up the flood; that is, Inspiration definitely forecasts that those who join the Church for some purpose other than to follow and practice the Truth, shall be disposed of by a miracle, be swallowed by the earth, as it were. And when this comes to pass Satan shall have met his third defeat. Summarized, here are his three defeats: No. 1 — Failing to devour the child; No. 2 — Losing the war in Heaven; No. 3 — Failing to paganize the Church by flooding her with the unconverted.

When he meets his third defeat, when the tares which he sowed are burned (for as a flood they are swallowed by the earth, but as tares they are burned by the angels), then it is that the Church will appear “‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — Prophets and Kings, pg. 725.

Having met such a mighty defeat, and having seen that the Church is freed from his flood, the Dragon’s wrath is to be intensified. He will be wroth with the woman and “make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17), “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).

Obviously, the remnant are those who are left after the earth opens her mouth and swallows up the flood. They as a body keep the commandments of God, and have the living Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit Who dictated the Scriptures, Who has led God’s people into all Truth down through the ages, and Who still is. Thus it is that the Dragon’s wrath, and the Church’s purity, caused by the Dragon’s third defeat, are to bring the time of trouble such as never was:

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.

Nothing in the world is worth as much as having our names written in the book. And therein we may have our names if we choose to follow the Spirit of Truth and to keep the commandments of God. Here we have seen that those who think that the law, the ten commandments, is “abolished,” that their lives need not comport with the law; and those who think that the Spirit of Prophecy is a thing of the past, that God has left the world to get along as best it can, that He no longer bothers Himself to send a prophet; that all such shall find themselves in league with Babylon the Great, the seat of the Dragon, and rather than having their names written in the Book, they will have the mark of the beast, and have a part in persecuting the remnant which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now is the time for all to decide either to be swallowed up by the earth — cast into the fire — or to be delivered by Michael, our Prince.

Let us therefore choose deliverance rather than defeat. “O love the Lord, all ye His saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” Psa. 31:23.

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 16, page 15- 23) 

Note- you can click above picture to enlarge

 

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Holy Spirit under Attack

March 15, 2014

Holy Spirit

In Luke 3:22, we read, “..and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

We are well familiar with this passage. Here we see that the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove. But who really is the Holy Spirit? Does it have a gender? Or is it a kind of floating energy at the beck and call of God and His Son? Kind of like airwaves?We can’t see them but they exist and pickup/transmit information through great distances from the sender and receiver.

Most of Christian world, although amiss in much understanding of the true doctrine of Christ, do believe in the almighty Godhead. However there is a growing body of “believers”, claiming to be Seventh Day Adventists, or even Davidian SDA, who deny that there exists an actual “person” in the form of the Holy Spirit. They see “it” as a general God force instead. Some far-out sects even call the Holy Spirit a female being!

With this very important Biblical subject under attack, we thought it would be good to try to get to the “Thus saith the Lord” as spoken from His mouthpieces–the prophets. And amazingly when we take a clear and straight forward look at the evidence of the Holy Spirit, we cannot escape the solid conclusion.

I say amazingly because when something is so clear and plain yet people ignorantly close their eyes to the obvious, then we can be sure that the “Spirit of Truth” is not in them and they are indeed heading for disaster. To deny God’s word means to deny Him.

Recently I was informed by a so-called “Davidian brother” that I should take a serious look at the Holy Spirit and it’s “real” purpose and existence from a ‘Biblical” viewpoint. Right away giant red flags went up. Here was what I thought,  a brother in the faith,  who was basically telling me that I needed to re-learn who the Holy Spirit really was and if I didn’t come to a clear understanding of this, I would be in serious condition spiritually.

In other words he was trying to tell me that there exist only TWO supreme beings, the Father and the Son.

It would bad enough to hear this from a protestant( who generally has giant holes in their beliefs anyway), yet from a so-called Davidian, the highest light bearers in the world (most present truth known), this was really too much to take. And I did not mince words in my rebuttals. Not soft little words that would only slide off him like water off a ducks back.

Last week we posted about righteous discernment. This is a perfect example of using this discernment to warn and even admonish such disastrous and wayward thinking.

What I said , and this should be a main consideration to anyone presenting a belief that is divergent from our standard beliefs, is “Ok if you want to enter this study, please show me from the “restorer of all things”, the Elijah prophet where he said that our SDA understanding of the Trinity is incorrect.” In other words I highly doubted his conclusions and put the “proof” onto him.

Well after several run- around side tracking emails, he could not and did not provide any Elijah quotes. I let him know  that basically he was kidding himself if he thought he was a Davidian. Further I countered with solid evidence to the contrary of what he was trying to teach. Specifically that The Holy Spirit was not actually a person.

Let us look at some evidence from His inspired writings on the matter.

Before we do, we should read applicable counsel from the Spirit of Prophecy. “The language of the Bible should be explained according to it’s obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” (Great Controversy, p.598).

Obviously this applies as well to His inspired writings brought by Ellen White and Victor Houteff. Brother Houteff added further counsel in this regard, “Hold not to what fabricated ideas seem to make Scripture say, but grip tenaciously to what the Word, in simplicity , plainly says.” (Tract no.10, p.13)

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds. — Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.) {Ev 616.5} The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. .. . . {Ev 616.6} 

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”–Manuscript 20, 1906. {Ev 617.1}

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature.” (Desire of Ages, p.671)

The above words are beyond obvious.  Do we not see that the prophetess says that a)the Holy Spirit is a person as God is a person b) has a personality. Does a “force” or an “energy” have a personality? If it does it can no longer be a force or energy but a being.

Additionally we know that the Holy Spirit has feelings. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden. {AA 52.1}

 What part of “silence is golden” do the anti- truth tale bearers not understand? They promote their false ideas that say “we need to re-think our Trinity understanding” . “We got this from the Catholic Church”, etc. etc. Unless Ellen White was a secret member of the Catholic church, they are really groping and reaching for straws on this issue.

You see this is what Satan and his angels do to the unsuspecting (non grounded)–they twist and side-step the straight word. That was Satan’s first deceptive practice – “Surely you shall not die..”(Gen. 3:4). God plainly  said “You shall surely die.”(Gen 2:17).

So who is it that leads men to say “The Holy Spirit is not a person”? You guessed it! There is nothing new under the sun(Ecc. 1:9). SOP says “Holy Spirit is a person” Devil says, “Holy Spirit is not a person.” This really is not complicated when we understand from whom these falsehoods come from. Just follow history my brethren.

SOP makes mention of praying with the Holy Spirit —

“We must not only pray in Christ’s name, but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This explains what is meant when it is said that the Spirit ‘maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.’ Such prayer God delights to answer. When with earnestness and intensity we breathe a prayer in the name of Christ, there is in that very intensity a pledge from God that He is about to answer our prayer ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”--Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 146.

We also must as brother Houteff said “grip tenaciously to what the Word, in simplicity, plainly says.” 

The Elijah prophet further confirmed that we are to believe in the Trinity as understood in our Seventh Day Adventist faith in his writings (Fundamental Beliefs and Directory, p.3-11) . Here is the exact wording of our original SDA faith and understanding of the Holy Spirit and Trinity.

Fundamental belief no.2 

” That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.

Brother Houteff was asked the following question in the Symbolic news codes.

Question 214:

Why are not the given names of the Trinity used in baptizing?

Answer:

As the Scriptures give several names for the Father and for the Son (and none for the Holy Ghost), and as we are not told which of these to use in baptizing, we must, therefore, take Him at His word and baptize in just the way He commands: “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19.  Moreover the names given in the Scriptures are not absolute names, but rather titles–equivalent to the names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Still further, even if the absolute names of the Trinity were known, their use would lead to irreverent address.  For example, suppose the Father’s name is George; the Son’s, Thomas; and the Holy Ghost’s, William.  Could any God-fearing human being even dare think of its being reverent to say, I now baptize you in the name of George, Thomas, and William!  Let us therefore comply with the Lord’s command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of be Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19. (For further light on this subject, study our Tract No. 11.) (Vol. 7   Symbolic Code   Nos. 1-6. page 13.)

Now that we see that the Holy Spirit is a person, a being, let’s look at Scripture that further identifies other characteristics of  “Him”.

Holy Spirit is a helper and teacher

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

Holy Spirit is God’s precious gift

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

Holy Spirit is our Comforter and companion for ever

..do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? (1 Cor.6:19)

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.. (John 14:16)

Holy Spirit is a power enabler

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.(Acts 1:18)

Holy Spirit is a discernment enabler

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment ; concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:7-15)

Holy Spirit is miracle enabler

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)

Holy Spirit is a witness for us

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:32)

Holy Spirit is a faithful servant of God, truth giver and prophesier 

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority , but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Holy Spirit is a joy giver

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.. (1 Thes. 1:6)

Holy Spirit is a communicator

The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”(Acts 8:29)

While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you.” (Acts 10:19)

That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice,don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness…” (Hebrews 3:7-8)

Holy Spirit is a truth detector

Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself..” (Acts 5:3)

In closing, those who deny the “person” of the Holy Spirit must come clean. They should immediately renounce their Seventh Day Adventist membership and/or their Davidian SDA affiliation. With such powerful evidence as presented from the three divine sources, Scripture, SOP, and the Elijah message, there is no doubt that the Holy Spirit  is a real being, and part of the almighty Godhead.

Holy Spirit is a leader

The experience of apostolic days will come to us when we wholeheartedly accept God’s principle of benevolence–consent in all things to obey the leadings of His Holy Spirit.(Testimonies, vol.7, p.146)

 

Righteous Discernment

March 8, 2014

Pharisee and sinner

Have you ever known or heard of some people who have the uncanny ability to “read” people? They can size them up in a short period of time. There perception is keen and acutely accurate. The Inspired writings says that those who are “filled” with His Spirit can do  a “spiritual reading”, they can know the condition of the soul of another,  much like a physician can determine the condition of the physical body. And that is not all, we are told they will know sin , in all it’s traps.

One of the most important aspects of our Christian walk is –discernment. This is so important that if we do not have it,  His word says we can fall into many snares and traps.

In Revelation 3:18 we are counselled to anoint our eyes with “eye slave”, that we may see. We as SDA know that the Lord was specifically talking to us as the Laodicean church.

In explaining Rev. 3:18, our prophetess said, “The eye salve is that vision and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise” (Testimonies, vol.4, p.88).

“”..the eye salve is that spiritual discernment which will enable you to see the wiles of Satan and shun them, to detect sin and abhor it, to see truth and obey it” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.441).

Wow, now who wouldn’t want that eye  salve? We have ability to distinguish good from evil, see Satan’s tricks, detect sin , and to see truth! That to me seems like the “whole armor of God”!

Unfortunately we as SDA do not possess this eye salve to a large degree. The truth is waiting for us yet many do not pursue it. In the same chapter of Revelation, He tells us why we don’t.

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ –“ (Rev.3:17).

Here we see that we cannot expect the healing eye salve as long as we continue to think we do not need — more truth.

Recently I came upon a quote from the Elijah prophet that really was powerful. It registered fully and motivated me to do this post.

 “For  only a true Christian, one who has a personal experience with God, a perfect knowledge of His Word, and who is filled with His Spirit, can discriminate saint from sinner.  He, only, can recognize who has the seal and who does not have it, when the latter is cloaked in a counterfeit robe of righteousness.” ( Tract 5, p.63)

The above makes us think. You mean some has the ability to know whether a “Christian” has the seal of God? Yes. This is ground shaking!

We can see that only those who walk daily under obedience are qualified to have this discernment. What a blessing to know that God gives such 20/20 vision.

But if we are blessed with this ability we must be very careful not to “cross the line” into judging a brother or sister. This is an opposite purpose of this gift.

As with any gift from God, it comes with responsibility. Unfortunately some have assumed that they have this gift, yet if they profess judgment upon others, it’s a sure sign they don’t!

“Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him. (Testimonies for the Church, vol.2, p. 441) 

The King gave us specific advice in helping others and discerning sin in another. “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42)

Let look at some ways that those who have felt this gift can help others with it.

1) Reach out to those who the Lord has guided you to.

We do not walk  haphazardly  when we are serving the Lord. People are placed in our path for a reason. We should understand that because they are there, we should reach out by letting them know God’s will for them. And what is that?

Ellen Whites explains. ” There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now.” (Early Writings, p.63)

If there is one thing that most of our beloved SDA brethren need right now it is –present truth. We are, for the most part unfortunately stuck on past truth. As we have studied many times, truth is advancing.

Recently I bumped into a fellow SDA church member  and as we were discussing church affairs, we both agreed that most if not all sermons given are really sad lullaby affairs. The emphasis is on “let’s not rock the boat, let’s give the people good ol fluffy easy smooth teachings.”

2) Be ready to warn and admonish when necessary.

Scripture gives us the straight testimony. “Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

Love is telling them the truth. Fluffy peace and safety is securing them in their wrong way. And where will that lead them?

Of course we are told to be, “..be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.(Matt. 10:16)

But sometimes we need to adjust to those who we are dealing. Recently I was having an email exchange with a brother who , to be quite frank, had reached a point where a stern warning was in order. In discerning the matter, I could see that no small talk or light language would awake him. He needed tough medicine.

3. Desire to take the lead.

As those of us who have studied and accepted the Lord’s Elijah message know, time is very short and His last pleading message is going out throughout the SDA church worldwide.

With so many of our brethren in the dark about His final message, we should initiate Bible studies, phone calls, emails, Facebook chats, and other communications.

The Lord says, “Why stand idle here all day long?..You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.”(Matt 20:6-7)

In closing, the Lord has given a most precious gift–righteous discernment. Let those who have it, use it, to help our brethren see that the kingdom is just about ready to appear. Will you or I be a part of it?

One Right Way and One Door

March 1, 2014

Heaven's Door

As there is but one right Way and but one Door, and as all Christians do not see alike and do not walk together, could it be that we are all wrong? all going in a wrong direction? — No, that could never be as long as the Lord does not forsake the earth. Indeed not, for He must have a people in whom to confide His Truth and by whom to save those who choose to go His way.

So, those who choose to go some other way will in the end discover that the Devil, not the Lord, is behind them, and that hell, not the Kingdom, is ahead of them.

We should do well to discuss for a few minutes the qualifications which a shepherd must have in order to pass the porter’s inspection. I may use a few illustrations, perhaps only two or three.

You remember that there was a child by the name Samuel who early in life came to walk in “the Way,” and therein he was trained. Now think on what happened: One night Samuel, you recall, was suddenly awakened by a Voice. Supposing it to be the voice of Eli, he quickly jumped up from bed and went to inquire of Eli. Of course Eli was surprised, but he calmly said, “I did not call you. Go back to bed.” Since there was no other person but Eli around. Samuel was certain that the elderly man had called him. Nevertheless he obeyed and straightway went back to bed.

Before long, though, perhaps as soon as Samuel had fallen asleep again, the Voice called the second time. You know that Samuel could easily have then said to himself, “That old man must be dreaming. Here he is calling me again. But I won’t be bothered with him any more; I’ll just let him holler all he can.”

Samuel, nevertheless, as quickly as before hurried to his master’s bed, only again to hear the words, “Go back to bed, I did not call you!” Still a third time he heard someone calling, and just as willingly and as respectfully as before, he went to his master’s bedside the third time! Eli finally perceiving that the Lord must have been calling the child, therefore instructed Samuel what to do. And what did Samuel do? — Exactly as he was told.

Had Samuel not been as willing, as respectful, and patient as he was, do you think he would ever have come to hold the highest office in the land? — Of course not. There was nothing else but the saintly qualifications of character which Samuel demonstrated that night that promoted him to the office of prophet, priest, and judge.

Do we still wonder why Samuel was called out of bed three times in succession and why he and Eli were disturbed in the night? — For two reasons: (1) To prove that regardless of the inconvenience, Samuel would not hesitate to arise when called, and that he would not become angry, that he would not “sass” Eli. (2) The Lord wanted to help Eli; He wanted to prevent the possibility of Eli’s concluding that Samuel was getting out of place and questioning his ability to discipline his own sons.

Had Eli not been given the opportunity to know for certain that the Lord talked to the child, he then could have easily concluded that Samuel was conniving against the sons of Eli. But providential circumstances being as they were, Eli certainly knew without doubt that God had a message for him. There was no room for doubt.

Boys today, as in times past, are anxious to get somewhere in life, yet millions of them fail to reach their goal and many ruin their lives. They want to become great men, but they fail to even make middle men. And the reason? — It is simply because they overestimate their own powers, and underestimate God’s power. They know not that with God there is no failure, and that with Him “they can get places.”

You boys and girls lend yourselves unreservedly to God. He needs great men, and He can make you such. When you learn God’s way and become a responsible boy or girl as did Samuel, God will not overlook your zeal, integrity, and sincerity. He will give you something great for your reward. Yes, you will then indeed be great.

Ancient David also was a young boy and nothing more than a common shepherd. But he was a good shepherd, the best in the land. God saw that he was mindful of and faithful to his duties, and so He determined to make the boy a king over His people. Indeed, when a person does one thing well, it is likely that he will do another thing just as well. David was as good in his duties as was Samuel in his. That is why he was lifted from the sheepfold and placed in the palace.

I am thinking of another boy, a young boy in his teens — Joseph. The Lord saw something in him that He could not find in Joseph’s brothers. Not only was he his father’s favorite son, but he was God’s favorite, too. God had in mind something great for Joseph– greater than the world could ever think of. To prove himself trust-worthy Joseph had to first become a slave. He had to be trained for the big job.

So the way Providence worked, it was that his brothers sold him to be a slave. Just then he recalled what the Lord had promised him in a dream — that besides his brothers, even his father and mother were to bow down to him. Can you imagine what a splendid opportunity was his to curse God when he saw himself on the way to slavery?

He might have said, “Why should I serve a God that promises glory but instead gives humiliation, hardship and isolation?” But Joseph did as wisely as Job: By sanctifying God in his heart, he in effect said, “Though He slay me, yet in Him will I trust.”

Joseph quickly reconciled himself to his situation, confident that his father’s God knew all about his troubles. Thus his slave masters, the Ishmaelites, immediately recognized that they were in possession of a fine slave, a slave that they could sell for a good piece of money.

How do I know this? — I know it because the Ishmaelites took him straightway to a man who would buy nothing but the best, to the richest man in Egypt, to one that could pay the price. Rich men, you know, do not buy cheap things, neither do salesmen take cheap things to them.

Even while in grief, Joseph must have demonstrated his ability to serve, and must have shown great respect to his slavemasters while on the way to Egypt, because then it was that the peddlers found out the worth of their captive, and then realized that they could sell him to someone who wanted something good and that could pay the price. Potiphar, too, soon found out that Joseph was in all respects trustworthy.

Thus it was that he became Potiphar’s number 1 man. Even Mrs. Potiphar fell for him. It was at this juncture, you recall, that he came to the climax of his graduation test. Passing the greatest test of his life, he graduated from the house of Potiphar, then from the prison house, whereupon he was promoted to Egypt’s throne, the world’s greatest.

In promotion or in demotion Joseph gave God the glory and did his honest best. At every thing he was put to, he was second to none, and thus he became the greatest among all earthly living.

As to the real secret of his success you will find in one simple principle — firmness against temptation to sin, and faithfulness to duty: “Ah! I cannot do this wicked thing. I shall sin neither against men nor against God,” was his answer to temptation.

This is why Joseph was great in his father’s house, in the hands of the Ishmaelites, in the house of Potiphar, in the prison cell, on the throne of Pharaoh, and in all the world. This is why all the ancient world bowed down to him.

From these biographical facts is seen that the simple principles which brought success to Samuel, to David and to Joseph, can doubtless bring success to all of us. And remember that success begins right wherever you happen to be, whether in the temple courts, in the sheepfold, in the yard of a slave master, in the prison house, or in the king’s palace — makes no difference where.

You need not run to catch success, but you do need to bend down and pick it up. Yes, indeed, success drops from the sky, but to pick it up you must bend down very low. This you must do if you wish to really succeed in anything.

Right now the Lord is advertising for at least 144,000 life-savers, with headquarters on famous Mt. Zion — a greater post than was held by Joseph. Will you be one of them? There are greater opportunities today than ever before. Why not venture into something in which there is no chance-taking? Anyone can succeed if he is willing to pay the price.

The above post was from a sermon given on August 10th, 1946 by Victor T. Houteff. (Timely Greetings, vol.1 ,no. 2, p.21-26) For the full sermon click here http://www.shepherds-rod.org/TGvol1/1tg2.htm


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