Archive for November, 2014

A Sermon

November 29, 2014

A couple of Sabbaths ago I had the privilege of going before a church in our area and gave the sermon. What I  thought would be helpful is to show the notes from the presentation. As we come to the last days of our church probation, I centered on reformation among us.

Here is that sermon —

Big hello! Happy Sabbath! Are you ready to hear some “meat in due season?” How many like to be feed with Spiritual food on the Sabbath? Amen.

(Talk to the people how impressed I have been with this church. The sermons given, straight testimony, etc. How  pastor Santiago and others here have impressed me with their leadership, thank you.) God has impressed upon me that this church is special, we have the potential to lead out in our valley with serious Adventist reforms!

(Ackowledge friends)

Ellen White, our prophetess from God said the following–

“The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p.217)   (Slide One)

Retreating towards Egypt

Those words were penned in 1882. She had noticed that we as God’s remnant church were becoming more lax and accepting the world’s standards in many areas of our Christian walk. SDA people were becoming more and more disconnected from Christ’s teachings and her own people were showing a real tendency to “retreat towards” Egypt.

Retreating toward Egypt means that we as His people are doing as the world does. eating, drinking, dressing, even carelessly worshiping in His house. But let’s now look at some ways that we can show the Lord we are serious–Serious about obedience to His word.

Page 218 of the Testimonies, vol.5 reads, “Impurity is today widespread, even among the professed followers of Christ. Passion is unrestrained; the animal propensities are gaining strength by indulgence, while the moral powers are constantly becoming weaker. many are eagerly participating in worldly, demoralizing amusements which God’s word forbids…

And what has caused this alarming condition? Many have accepted the theory of the truth who have had no true conversion.” *( explain this– talk the talk we must walk the walk)

So we see that soon after our Lord started His remnant church in 1844-45, the evil one Satan had already began to influence our people.

As a people we should always be ready to improve. We are warned in Rev. 3:14, “And to the angel of the church of Laodeceans write, “These things say the Amen, the Faithful and the True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish you were cold or hot.”

What we see here is that God wants us to be ‘hot” or “cold”. In other words if we are so-so, kind of lukewarm, kind of obeying Him partly, kind of worshiping Him partly, kind of living a partly converted Christian life, we will not make it. Verse 16 He warns, “So then, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”

Ok, let’s look at how we can become “hot” in specific areas of reform that will surely please God and show Him we are serious, we want to obey Him and honor Him in all our ways.

1) Health Reform   (Slide Two)  

Before I start on Health reform, let me give you some of my own testimony.

(Give my own testimonies, cheeseburgers, alcohol, coffee, chewing tobacco–give personal evidence of overcoming by quoting Scripture when tempted)

Cheese burger

Chewing tobbaco was so powerful an addiction that even after I came into the church several years ago, I chewed a few times in church! But as I continued to draw to the Lord, He convicted me of this bad habit. (Give story of Jesus in desert. Fought devil with Bible quotes. So I used one that was found in Psalms 23:1 ‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.”   —continue story–

Ellen White says–

” Let us never bear a testimony against health reform by failing to use wholesome, palatable food in place of the harmful articles of diet that we have discarded. Do not in any way encourage an appetite for stimulants. Eat only plain, simple, wholesome food, and thank God constantly for the principles of health reform. In all things be true and upright, and you will gain precious victories.” (Testimonies, vol. 9, p.164)

So what specific items of food and drinks does Inspiration tell us to avoid? In 1908 our prophetess gave this specific pledge on our Diet reform–

The Pledge

 “I SOLEMNLY PROMISE, BEFORE GOD, TO ABSTAIN FROM TOBACCO, SPIRITOUS LIQUORS, SNUFF, TEA, COFFEE, FLESH-MEATS, BUTTER, SPICES, RICH CAKE, MINCE PIES, A LARGE AMOUNT OF SALT, AND ANIMAL FAT OF ALL KINDS, BAKING POWDER, SODA OR SALERATUS IN ANY FORM, AND CHEESE, AND FROM ALL EXCITING ARTICLES OF FOOD, AND TO ABSTAIN FROM EATING BETWEEN MEALS, AND TO DO ALL I CAN TO INDUCE OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE.”

This pledge was given to the then Conference leader, Elder A.G Daniells, on March 29, 1908. But it was withheld and not circulated because it would “split the church”.Later on, when Elder Daniells wanted to see Sister White, she refused to see him, saying: “I have nothing more for him.”

So we see that God’s servant was deadly serious about this reform, let us seriously consider these important instructions from God and obey these health giving principles.

So when we eat and drink, we are supplying either quality material to God’s temple or harmful health destroying material to God’s temple, it is up to each of us to decide.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” (1 Cor. 6:19)

2) Dress Reform (Slide Three)

Well dressed guys  Good dressing gals

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

Imagine this situation– You get a call from the president of the USA–Barrack Obama.

(Slide Four)

oval-office-2010-new-overview

He wants to invite you to his office for a meeting in the White House. How would you dress to that occasion? Would you put on shabby clothes? Ofcourse not. You’d go there in a respectful and modest looking outfit.

But who are we coming before today? Right here in this sanctuary? Is He not so much more important that president Obama? He is looking at us right now, each of us. Are we comfortable standing before Him?

(Slide Five)

Throne

Let’s look at what God’s word says about dress reform through our prophetess-

“God knows His humble, willing, obedient children and will reward them according to their faithful performance of His will. To many the dress reform is too simple and humbling to be adopted. (Stop here and explain it’s God we want to impress, not man) They cannot lift the cross. God works by simple means to separate and distinguish His children from the world; but some have so departed from the simplicity of the work and ways of God that they are above the work, not in it.”(Testimonies, vol.1, p.523)

Apostle Paul wrote —“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”(Galatians 1:10)

Mrs. White said –I was referred to Numbers 15:38-41: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that ye may remember, and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.”

Here God expressly commanded a very simple arrangement of dress for the children of Israel for the purpose of distinguishing them from the idolatrous nations around them. As they looked upon their peculiarity of dress, they were to remember that they were God’s commandment-keeping people, and that He had wrought in a miraculous manner to bring them from Egyptian bondage to serve Him, to be a holy people unto Him.

They were not to serve their own desires, or to imitate the idolatrous nations around them, but to remain a distinct, separate people, that all who looked upon them might say: These are they whom God brought out of the land of Egypt, who keep the law of Ten Commandments. An Israelite was known to be such as soon as seen, for God through simple means distinguished him as His. (Testimonies for the church, vol. 1, p.523-524)

Lastly on our topic of dress reform , the Bible forbids us as follows — The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.(Deut.22:5)

3) Worship Reform (Slide Six)

Jesus praying

“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer..”(Isaiah 56:7)

Christ taught that this house we are in right here today, be first and foremost a house that we can come and pray to God. Speak to our Father in His house.

Our prophetess said this about reverence in God’s house–

“They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house. We all lose much sweet communion with God by our restlessness, by not encouraging moments of reflection and prayer. The spiritual condition needs to be often reviewed and the mind and heart drawn toward the Sun of Righteousness. If when the people come into the house of worship, they have genuine reverence for the Lord and bear in mind that they are in His presence, there will be a sweet eloquence in silence. The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped. The mind should be prepared to hear the word of God, that it may have due weight and suitably impress the heart.”( 5T page 492)

If we have cell phones, let’s make sure they turned off. If we are laughing and joking loudly, we should cease to do this. Kids should be attentive and not running up and down the aisles. The bottom-line is God is sitting here in His house watching and we must show honor and respect. To go back to that Oval office analogy, we would not think to let our kids run around the oval office in front of the president, how much more should we before the Lord of the Universe right now?

4) Sabbath  Reform (Slide Seven)

Remember the Sabbath day

We as Adventist are known for keeping one Commandment that other Christian denominations ignore– the Sabbath.

Let me give you my own personal story about how I came to know the Sabbath was true.

1) Raised Catholic

2) Went into the world and became a heathen for decades.(party, poker, money schemes, you name it)

3) Decided to read the Bible from front to back about 5 years ago.

4) Made a promise

5) Decided to keep it holy as best I knew how at that time

6) Dinner and then miracle light sign at close of my first Sabbath

7) Prayed and committed to learn each of them (Commandments)  and obey them.

One of  the big no-no’s is to buy and sell on the Sabbath. In Nehemiah 13:15 we read, “In those days I saw in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold provisions.

Here dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day?

Did not your fathers do this, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and some of my servants I set at the gates, that there should no burden  brought in on the Sabbath day.

So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath.”

What a powerful and clear message from God’s prophet concerning not buying or selling on the Sabbath.

Tell story of invited out to lunch at a restaurant  on Sabbath by veterans when I first joined the church.

Closing

In closing let’s ask ourselves why is it that we need to reform? Why do we need to do such pinpoint and exact things when we know the Lord is forgiving and patient?

Because it is written–“Be ye holy as I am holy”( 1 Peter 1:16)

“… be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (1 Romans 12:2)

“God gave rules of order, perfect and exact, to His ancient people. Has His character changed? Is He not the great and mighty God who rules in the heaven of heavens?” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.496)

May the Lord be with this church as we strive to go forward, improving our ways, to receive His blessings, thank you.

*********************************************

The results from the sermon/presentation were quite well. After not speaking for over 2 years before the church, was nervous but as the sermon progressed became more at ease. Many were blessed and said some words of appreciation. A couple noteworthy things I noticed that many who came back to church the following Sabbath were much improved in the dress! And one lady who had braided her hair the Sabbath of the speech, had undone it the following Sabbath. Praise the Lord! I may be invited back again soon as the pastor was pleased,  will keep you updated. God bless.

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Fulfilling Prophecy

November 22, 2014

Rev. timeline

(Click to enlarge- colors added)

The above chart was complied by brother Houteff showing the time periods of the different chapters of Revelation. When we step back and think about God’s word, we realize that the fulfillment of prophecy truly shows the divineness of God, His ability to let His word become truth and a reality.

We see that all over Revelation. But what about today? Are we witnessing right now His word coming true with clear and observable discernment? Yes indeed!

For instance we now see His words spoken of in Revelation 3:14-22 coming true within the Laodicean church –the Seventh-day Adventist church.

He wrote those words through His prophet about two thousand years ago and right now we see their fulfillment. We as SDA are not believing in any more truth apart from Scripture and Ellen G. White. All else is non-Inspiration we say.

Despite the fact that Scripture, which we profess to believe,  clearly prophesies an end time male prophet to come to God’s last church before the “great and dreadful day of the LORD.”(Mal.4:5)

“Behold,  I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”

What about our own personal life? Can we now be fulfilling and experiencing His prophetic word? Is there a specific promise the Lord made that we, as obedient servants, can witness and truly be joyful about? Yes. It is found in Malachi 3:10.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

Let us truly take in this omnipotent promise. What clear instructions and promise do we see? It’s deep and vast. Let’s look at it.

1) We are called to do something and in return we’ll receive something.

2) It is a directive to bring our Tithes into the “storehouse”. Therefore it is very important to know what is meant by –storehouse.

3) The purpose is that He wants the money , His “meat” in His house (storehouse).

4) He challenges us to “prove Me”. He’s putting Himself “on the line” as it were.

5) The promise is made that should we try Him, we’ll find out that He will bestow such blessings that we can hardly believe it. Or else His word is not true.

We’ve all heard the saying “His word you can take to the bank.” If there is anyone out there in our world that this statement can be applied with total surety and trust, it is– our Lord!

The purpose of this post was I needed to express my absolute joy in receiving “such a blessing as I cannot contain.” His very word has come true now for quite a while in my life.

Being self employed, I have to be able to produce from my own efforts, lest I come short in meeting ends meet. But ever since I decided to start paying my Tithes to His “storehouse” I have seen truly remarkable results to my business. I sometimes truly have to say “I can hardly contain this Lord.”

We live in a city of over 800,000 people and for the last year my company has been number one for online ratings (most 5 star review ratings) in my business field (professional appliance repair). Do I think it’s just my good ol hard work? Absolutely not–it’s the Lord watching over many of the details and bringing more and more work and therefore more and more money to return back to Him!

So we see that each of us , right now, can reach out to the Lord and commit. We can tell Him we are willing to do our part. No more will we be a “slothful servant” but rather strive to receive the ultimate commendation-

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’(Matt.25:23)

So let’s now look at  specifics areas that we need to know in order to receive the un-containable blessing He will perform for you.

1) What are our Tithes and offering requirements?

The Tithe we must remember is the Lord’s, it’s not ours. So if we deny the Lord His money, we are in effect–thieves. And breakers of His 8th Commandment. His blood can cleanse us of our sins if we repent and turn away from them . But if we continually trespass without asking for repentance (such as stealing from him on a regular basis) are we not in a very dangerous position?

 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.(Hebrews 10:26-27)

Tithing has been 10 % since Abraham (see Gen.14:20 and Heb.7:2) and Jacob ( Gen 28:22). The word “tithe” actually means one tenth. EGW said the following concerning this –

“A tithe of all our income is the Lord’s. He lays His hand upon that portion which He has specified that we shall return to Him, and says, I allow you to use My bounties after you have laid aside the tenth, and have come before Me with gifts and offerings.” (Review and Herald, Dec. 1, 1896)

Scripture indicates that offerings above and beyond the 10% should be made as well (Deut 12:6-14). However upon the research I’ve done, it appears that the “offerings” are left to the giver’s heart and disposition.But it is important to note that the Lord does want offerings. In the (Mal. 3:8) we see where the Lord said He was being robbed of tithes and offerings.

2)What is the “meat” that He says He wants in His house and what is the storehouse?

Let’s look at this importance reference from brother Houteff–

“Since His people still do not see wherein they have departed from His ordinances, He specifically points out and immediately pleads for action, ” “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse–even this whole nation–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”(Mal 3:8-10).

The phase, ‘even this whole nation’ robbing God is so because the old message, the ‘judgment for the Dead’, (for the proclamation of which the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination was specifically called forth), is now out of date as is the message of Noah’s flood, and as Denominational officials have already rejected the message of the Judgment for the Living but are still collecting tithes of the people, they as a nation (as a Denomination) are robbing God.”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)” (Jezreel Letter, no.9, p.3-4)

Note that not to the Levites, or to some other place or people but into God’s storehouse are the tithes and offerings to be brought. And for no other reason that His storehouse may have the means to dispense spiritual food, “meat in due season.” These words definitely and positively show that the only support which the message of the purification for the church  has for caring on it’s work is the tithes and the offerings from His faithful people; that in no other way could the message be dispensed; that in no other way could the expenses be paid.

This is God’s reason for no plate passing now in our gatherings, for no money raising  in any form, and for scattering our literature  everywhere as the leaves of autumn without money and without price to the people. In other words, the literature, the ministers, and the Bible workers– those who bring the message of the hour to your door, are to be paid by the tithes and offerings that come to the Lord’s storehouse.  God, therefore, asks His faithful people to gladly respond to His call and sufficiently to supply the need. He asks this not only for the prosperity of His storehouse, but for His people’s prosperity as well.” (Jezreel Letter, no. 9, p.9-10)

Sadly, our present leadership within the SDA are not dispensing present truth. Week after week they rehash old truths, as if God has stopped His church from advancing int His truth. Prophecy again is being fulfilled with the description of what is happening in our midst–

“The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst.” (Ezek. 22:25)

So we see that “present truth” for us–TODAY- is what constitutes “meat” that will fill our soul. And the storehouse is that which dispenses it regularly. This is the true food that He considers as being stored and dispensed from His storehouse.

3)Where are His Storehouses?

The following I have found are very active in publishing His present truth for today. This is their full time occupation. They have true “meat in due season” and are dispensing it regularly.

(Note- some teach that God should have only ONE storehouse, yet we believe strongly that God’s “meat” is being dispensed today from more than one location. To limit God’s work in these very last hours is not, we believe, His will.Also be aware that, as we have spoken of time and again, these “Davidian” organizations are in no way shape or form connected to or were connected to–”Branch Davidians”-ie. waco massacre , which is a totally different religious sect with important different doctrinal  beliefs. Brother Houteff was God’s true Davidian teacher back in the 30′s to 50′s and the “Branch” group came along after he died and stole some of the original DSDA teachings and added their own doctrines as well–See our post link–https://godsloveandlaw.com/2012/11/17/original-davidians-are-not-branch-davidians/

a) General Association of Davidian Seventh Day Adventists (Mt. Carmel center)

Based out of New York, and located in Mountaindale,  this group is very active in sending tracts, literature, Cd’s, DVD’s  around the world. They also send Bible workers around the world to work one on one for new converts. Recently heard that they had helped convert 16 families in Mexico to the present truth message. They accept check, money orders and pay pal. Keep in mind you’ll need the email to send a Paypal donation.

Address-  P.O. Box 119, Mountaindale, N.Y 12763  (checks made out to — G.A.D.S.D.A)

Phone- 1-845-434-5282

Website –http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/charts/

Email– gadsda@shepherds-rod-message.org

b) International General Assoc. of Davidian Seventh Day Adventists

Based in Florida and Texas, this group is active in sending out present truth and Shepherd’s Rod material. They also have probably the finest and most thorough audio sermons (available in Cd form) on the Lord’s Elijah message. Can be listened to on their website (the night cometh).

Address-  P.O Box 17475, Plantation , Florida 33318 (checks made out to —  I.G.A.D.S.D.A)

Phone- 1-903-918-1244

Website – http://www.thenightcometh.org/

Website – http://www.mtccamp.org/

Email – eveningstar@thenightcometh.org

3) General Assoc. of Davidian Seventh Day Adventists  (checks made out to — U.P.A)

Based in Waco Texas, this organization is very active much as the others. (CD’s, DVD.s tracts, literature) Also has some very good YouTube videos.

Address – 2500 Mt. Carmel Dr., Waco, Texas 76710

Phone– 1-800-729-7494

Website – http://shepherdsroddavidian.org/

Email – dsdacommunication@gmail.com

4) Rene Reyes (Spanish ministry of Mt. Dale)  (checks made out to– Rene Reyes)

Brother Reyes  is active in reaching out to the Hispanic community. He sends the present truth out to many around the world. Also travels when possible to teach the message. Has some Hispanic youtube videos that are straight forward and easy to understand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFz56d0EATM&list=PLFZxPwnad-0sdF3uoDhPN5GHiVE09wIIp&index=4

Address – 315 E. Front st., Oakwood, Texas 75855

Email – rene_reyes@sbcglobal.net

One final point I would like to make. Some have inquired that they are under financial stress and that they can barely makes end meet, let alone pay Tithes.And that makes them Tithe exempt. Let’s see what the Lord’s final messenger said–

IS SMALL INCOME TITHE EXEMPT?

Question No. 158:

   As my income is very small, am I not exempt from paying tithe?

Answer:

   God designed the plan of systematic benevolence so as to make it as equitable to the poor as to the rich, no more a tax on the mite than on the million. And we know of no Scriptural authority for exempting from tithe any income, however small. All, poor as well as rich, are given the privilege of returning to the Lord His own. Many with a “mite” income are paying both first and second tithe, and in return are receiving a rich bestowal of blessing.

   Thus reason forces the conclusion that if one is not obliged to receive charity help in addition to his income (whatever its source) to cover his living expenses, then for him not to pay tithe is to cheat Himself of the abundant blessing which attends a faithful regard for the royal privilege of being one of God’s stewards. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.86)
 

(Note-  I usually rotate my donations, as the Lord guides. Also we must not forget that we most likely use our local SDA church and it’s services each week, and as such, should donate regularly to it as well for the maintenance and privileges of coming together in His house.)

In closing, we should know that the Great King of the universe will keep each and every promise He makes. I am proof that the above plan works, and my experience is written here that you, too, may experience His joy and see the fulfillment of His word come true. Today we CAN have a personal experience of –Fulfilling Prophecy.

“Every soul, in going out and coming in, in all business transactions, at all times and in all places, should act with the consciousness that he is moving under the inspection of God and heavenly angels, and that the Being who will judge every man’s work for eternity accompanies him at every step, observing all his actions and scrutinizing all his motives.”(Test. for the Church, vol. 5, p.628)

“Those who are ready and willing to invest in the cause of God, will be blessed in their efforts to acquire money.” (Review and Herald, Sept 18, 1888)

The Belly God

November 15, 2014

Stomach growling

In Romans 14:17, we read, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Oh , how many of us who profess Christ serve another king day after day! This revelation just recently came to me, that we eat without wanting food, we program ourselves to eat because it is “breakfast, lunch, or dinner” time!

What we really are doing is sitting before a “god” of sorts, the god of food and drink. We think we  must eat because it is time to eat, our pre-set program says so. But is this really God’s will? Let us look at how food plays a much larger role in our Christian walk than many realize.

Apostle Paul explains, “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.(Phil. 3:18-19)

This is so prevalent today. People worshiping (even unbeknownst to themselves) the “god” of their belly.  I, myself have recently realized that I was eating without really wanting food. It was time to eat therefore–I ate. But being a long time digestion challenged person, I assumed I needed food on a regular schedule until– the Lord rang the bell in my mind about what I was doing.

You see, our bodies are a fantastic machine capable of working all minute details of our system , including calling us for the signal to –eat.

We remember when the Lord began His ministry here on earth, that His first step was to go with out food. He showed us that in our walk we must FIRST serve God and then eat.

Another great habit to get involved in is, do not eat between meals. This is simple yet very effective in learning self control of our appetite. We can set in motion a firm desire to show we are not going to have any “belly god”.

It is interesting to note the experience of Daniel the prophet. We know that he was “greatly beloved” of God. But do you notice that in the very beginning of his prophetic writings he began a vegetable fast? That’s right.

Daniel 1:12 reads, ” Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”

I believe this was divinely placed in the first part of his ministry to show us that our bodies are to be clean and mean, a finely tuned machine as it were, and ready to be in tune with the Lord.

Overeating and eating of the worldly processed junk, many call “food” today, certainly befogs the mind and can only serve to numb our experience with the Lord. Our “antenna”  should be clean and dialed in to listen to His voice.

Here is what I found recently that I believe was given to me by the Lord. As mentioned I have been a long time digestion challenged person. This most likely is due to my many years of eating poorly and doing my share of drinking. I had weaken my digestion. So as I have converted my life several years ago,  from worldliness to devotion to God, I have eaten what I thought was the best I could. Yet trouble seemed to linger at many turns.

Then the Lord spoke, “Robert, why don’t you let Me guide you in eating and drinking?” Wow! Now why didn’t I think of that :-). So as we “supped” He said that my stomach will “growl” when it needs food. I don’t have to force myself to eat just because it’s time. So that was the answer. Let my system tell me , not the other way around! I was going to call this the “growl diet” but figured it would be a little bewildering to some.

We are counselled by Inspiration by our church founder’s very important inspired pledge for us as faithful people of God–

“I SOLEMNLY PROMISE, BEFORE GOD, TO ABSTAIN FROM TOBACCO, SPIRITOUS LIQUORS, SNUFF, TEA, COFFEE, FLESH-MEATS, BUTTER, SPICES, RICH CAKE, MINCE PIES, A LARGE AMOUNT OF SALT, AND ANIMAL FAT OF ALL KINDS, BAKING POWDER, SODA OR SALERATUS IN ANY FORM, AND CHEESE, AND FROM ALL EXCITING ARTICLES OF FOOD, AND TO ABSTAIN FROM EATING BETWEEN MEALS, AND TO DO ALL I CAN TO INDUCE OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE.”

MY PERSONAL PLEDGE, BEFORE GOD,

SIGNED_____________________________

 (Letter to the General Conference, March 29, 1908)

“Satan sees that he cannot have so great power over minds when the appetite is kept under control as when it is indulged, and he is constantly working to  lead men to indulgence.” (Christian Education, p.180)

These Inspired counsels will surely help us to walk closer to the Lord. May the Lord keep us mindful of our bodies, knowing that fasting and timely eating will bring blessings. We can then show the Lord we have nothing to do with any “belly god”. May we all heed this divine counsel!

Revelation 17

November 8, 2014

womanbeast

Nothing is perhaps more fascinating in all of Scripture than the book  of Revelation. The symbols, the descriptions, the story, all point to an exciting and yet fearful time for His children. We’d like to look at chapter 17 this week as interpreted by God’s Elijah prophet. As you read the following, notice how all the symbols come into perfect understanding. How God sets it all before us, through His prophet, to know what is soon to come upon the earth.

One of the interesting clarifications shown here is the much discussed Rev.17:10-11,   “There are also seven kings, Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”

Many within our denomination have believed similar to what Doug Bachelor says, “Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Imperial Rome, Papal Rome. Papal Rome is also the eighth cause it gets a deadly wound, it comes back again.” But  compare this view with what follows, on this subject.

Rev. 17:1-3 — “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.  So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

This beast is seen to portray the world in its day as are all the beasts of Daniel and The Revelation seen to portray the world in their day.

   The wilderness being opposite of the vineyard denotes that the beast’s domain is not in the Promised Land, not in the vineyard (Isa. 5:7), but in the lands of the Gentiles, the “wilderness.”  From his domain, therefore, is excluded the Holy Land.  And by the fact that the woman is sitting on the beast, driving it, is positively shown that she is ruling it, and that the beast itself is the symbol of the dominion of Babylon the Great.

   The beast’s ten horns portray civil powers, as do the horns of any symbolic beast.  And if the wounded head of the leopard-like beast of chapter 13 is symbolical of a religious organization, as is taught by the Denomination, then his seven heads must likewise be figurative of religious bodies!  Thus it is that this beast in its entirety, like all the other such beasts of the Bible, symbolizes the Gentile world in its entirety — civil and religious bodies (horns and heads).

 

   To blaspheme is for one to speak lightly of God, to work hypocrisy, to profess to be something other than what one actually is.  Inspiration’s definition is this:…I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2:9.

Rev. 17:4-6 — “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”

This woman does not symbolize something new, but something as old as the time of the martyrs, for she is the cause of their slaying.  What could she be but a counterfeit religion which originated with Cain’s unacceptable sacrifice?  Since then she has brought forth sectarianism, has become a mother of harlots.  Her abominations, you note, are made very attractive, being dispensed from a golden cup held in hands that are gorgeously decked with the costliest things of earth.

Rev. 17:7-13 — “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel?  I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.  And here is the mind which hath wisdom.

The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Here is a beast whose make-up is similar to that of the leopard-like beast of chapter 13.  The horns of this scarlet-colored beast, though, are crownless, and none of his heads are wounded.  Also, rather than having the name of Blasphemy written only over his heads, his whole body is full of names of blasphemies.

   In previous studies we learned that the leopard-like beast symbolizes the world from the fall of Pagan Rome to our time (The Great Controversy, pg. 442).  Now, since the scarlet-colored beast also has ten horns and seven heads, it is again seen that he, too, is in the stream of time a symbol of the world with its civil and religious powers — horns and heads.

   Inasmuch as his head is not wounded as is the head of the leopard-like beast, and since the wound of the leopard-like is healed, it is clear that the scarlet-colored beast represents the world in the time the wound is healed, in the time the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11-18) makes a likeness of the leopard-like beast in its pre-wounded state.

 

   You notice that the horns of Daniel’s fourth beast were crownless, and the horns of John’s leopard-like beast crowned, and again that the horns of the scarlet-colored beast are crownless.  Inspiration by means of these symbolical beasts portrays three periods of time, one following the other: (1) the period before the European kings received their crowns; (2) the period in which they were crowned; (3) a period of crownless kings in which Babylon the Great reigns supreme.

   The fact that nearly all crowned kings of the world have already been dethroned is proof in itself that Period No. 2, the period of the leopard-like beast (crowned horns) is about to pass away, and that Period No. 3, the period of the scarlet-colored beast (crownless horns) is about to be ushered in.  In order to make the transition, the present distress of the nations is therefore inevitable.

Rev. 17:14-18 — “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.  And He saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.  And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

Again, the fact that the ten horns (kings) have one mind (unlike the toe-kings of Daniel 2:42, 43), but have no kingdom of their own, besides the fact that the woman rules the beast, and also the fact that the Communist leaders (crownless kings) of the nations and have one mind (work together for one common cause), — all these facts show that though Communism appears to be the next power to rule the world, this symbolical prophecy points out that the world will next be ruled by an international religious system, by Babylon the Great, a rival of the religion of Christ, and a counterfeit of the woman in Revelation chapter 12.  The scarlet-colored beast, therefore, is the symbol of the world government into which the United Nations will finally evolve.

   Since those who have no part in the first resurrection, all the unrepentant sinners from the beginning of the world to the Millennium, are to be resurrected after the 1000 years, they will then positively discover that their names were not written “in the Book of Life”, — no, not one of them, even from the foundation of the world.  The truth thus stands out clearly that then only will they behold the beast in its three phases (“that was, and is not, and yet is”); that is, he “was” before the Millennium; “and is not” during the Millennium; “and yet is” after the Millennium.

   He “is not” during the 1000 years because at the commencement of the 1000 years, the beast and the false prophet are “cast into the lake of fire,” then the “remnant,” all the rest who came not out of Babylon’s domain, are “slain with the sword” of the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Rev. 19:21, 16.

   To summarize, having lived before the Millennium, and also after the Millennium, and being dead during the Millennium, the beast is seen in three phases, in three periods: the pre-millennial in which he “was,” the millennial in which “he is not” and post-millennial, in which he “is.”

   He “shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” (out of the pit, in which Satan himself is to be bound for a 1000 years), and then “go into perdition” (Rev. 17:8); that is, he will shortly be put to his second death from which there is no resurrection.

   “He is the eighth, and is of the seven”; that is, there are four beasts in Daniel 7, two in Revelation 13, and one in chapter 17 — seven beasts in all.  But the seventh lives twice, and thus after his resurrection “he is the eighth,” but “is of the seven.”  Then he goes into perdition, — suffers the second death.

   The statement, “and there are seven kings,” shows that these kings are not in the symbolism; that is, they are not the horns, nor are they the heads.  All the horns and the heads are present on the beast, whereas the “seven kings” are not there symbolized — five are fallen, one is, and the other is yet to come.

  We must fully realize that God through this symbolism summarizes the history of the entire world, for the beast, as I said before, is symbolical not only of the pre-millennial world but also of the post-millennial wicked world.  The seven kings of kingdoms “from the foundation of the world before the flood;  

  • (1) The ancient world before the flood;
  • (2) The ancient Babylonian Empire;
  • (3) The Medo-Persian Empire;
  • (4) the Grecian Empire;
  • (5) The Roman Empire.  These are fallen.
  • (6) The one that is, is the world to which the present distress of nations is to give birth (the pre-millennial), and of  which the beast itself, in his first phase, is the symbol.  And
  • (7) the one that is to come, is the world after the 1000 years, of which the beast itself, in its third phase, is also a symbol.

   Thus along with this symbolism the world of sin is represented from its beginning to its very end.  This beast, therefore, is the symbolical summary of the whole world.

(Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.18, p.15-22)

Matthew 13, The Wheat and the Tares

November 1, 2014

Wheat and Tares

One of the great parables Christ gave, the illustration of the wheat and the tares, is known as the separation of God’s people in the time of harvest. The following is the Inspired meaning of the parable, as given by the Elijah prophet. It is a study format so that you can print out and study it, if possible with others. May you be blessed. My comments are in green.

THE WHEAT AND THE TARES (MATTHEW 13)

INTRODUCTION: This study reveals that the wheat (faithful) and the tares (unfaithful) are commingled in the Seventh day Adventist church, and will be separated before the second coming of our Lord and Saviour in the clouds of glory. It also reveals who is going to do the separation, when it is going to be, and how it is going to take place.

1. Matthew 13:24-30
Review: Emphasize Matthew 13: 30 – note that the harvest begins with the separation of the wheat and the tares.

2. Interpretation/Meaning
Read: Matthew 13:36-40
a. Man/sower – Christ – verse 37
b. Good seed – Righteous – verse 38
c. Tares – Unrighteous – verse 38
d. Men slept/Servants – Church leaders – verse 25, 29; COL 71
e. Enemy – Satan – verse 39
f. Reapers – Angels – verse 39

3. When is the Harvest?
a. Read: Matthew 13: 39 – The harvest is in the end of the world.
b. But this could not be the very day when Christ returns as generally thought.
c. Read: Jeremiah 8:20
i. Here the wicked cry out that the harvest is past, and as a result they are lost.
ii. This reveals that the harvest was/is a time when you can be saved. Thus, the harvest could not be the second coming.
iii. Thus, the harvest will end when probation closes for all. (See also 5T 353; 7T 16)

d. Therefore, the harvest is during probationary time, when there is still a chance for the people to be saved. After probation closes there will be no more opportunity for anyone to be saved. The destiny of all would have been decided life or death.
e. Read: Amos 8: 11-12
i. The wicked realize that they are hopeless.
ii. There was a famine not of food, but the Word of God.
iii. It shows that there was an abundance of the truth before the close of probation.
iv. The fact that the wicked are trying to find the Word shows that probation has closed and they are lost. v. Therefore, now is our chance to feast on the Word of God, through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

4. Meaning Of The Term “End of the World.”
a. Read: Matthew 13:39
b. Read: Hebrews 9: 24-26 – Paul describes of Christ’s entering the Most Holy Place which took place in 1844, as the “end of the world.”
c. Read: 1 Cor. 10-11 – Paul uses the phrase, “ends of the world” is a term for the last days.
d. Thus the phrase “end of the world” simply means the last days / latter days / our time.
Example: December is the end of the year.
e. The Harvest will not take place in one day. It is a process that needs time.

5. What Is The Field?
Read: COL 70-71
a. The Field signifies the “church in the world.” -the remnant church in the last days which is the Seventh day Adventist —the church of Christ in the world —where the wheat and tares are commingled and will be separated.
Read: Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 46,47

6. When Does The Harvest Begins?
Read: Matt. 13:30
a. The harvest must begin when the wheat and tares are separated.
b. The first thing he will do in the time of harvest is separate the two.
c. Thus the harvest will begin when the wheat and tares are separated in the church (the Field).

7. Who is Going To Do The Separation?
a. Read: Matthew 13: The angel of God are the reapers.
b. Read: TM 47
c. Read: Ezekiel 9
d. 3T 266-267

8. Compare Matthew 13:40-41 and Matthew 24:30-31
a. Matt. 13: 40-41 – gather those that offend (the wicked) out of His church.
b. Matt. 24: 30-31 – He will gather the elect (righteous) and take them with Him to heaven.
c. Thus the harvest of Matthew 13 is NOT’ the second advent but takes place in the church before the close of probation and Christ’s second return.

This is a very keen observation that should be carefully noted. Notice what Matt.13:40-41 says, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;”

We notice that the Lord called somewhere on earth “His kingdom”. Now we know that He would never call the heathen nations–his kingdom. That leaves, obviously His church, His people. Notice the people who “offend” and do iniquity are removed from His kingdom (“gather out”).

Compare to the Matt.24:30-31 Scripture. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Did you notice that there are two gatherings, and that they are different? Both are given at the Lord’s instruction to His angels. One has the Lord taking “out” the unrighteous and the other has Him removing the righteous from the earth. What amazing detail God’s word is , if we pay close attention  and comprehend every word.

These two gatherings can also be found in different words and scenic view in Rev.14:14-20.

First gathering —“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” 

Second gathering — “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

Summary — The time is surely coming when the faithful and the unfaithful ones in the church must undergo separation. Then the Lord can garner in His sheaves into His barn (the purified Church). We may or may not be there, that is really our choice. The Lord is giving us warning after warning on what to do, so that we might be spared, and be counted as part of the wheat in His barn.

“Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.” (Hosea 6:11)

(We wish to thank Mountain Dale DSDA organization for this study outline #24)  


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