Where is God’s Vineyard Today?

Vineyard sign

My Grandfather used to say “Son, there’s a right way to do things and there’s a  wrong way to do things.” This saying truly applies to our work for the Lord in these final hours of our probation. Do it right and the Lord will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:21)

Do it wrong and it will be, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” (Matt 25:26)

So we ask our Title question–Where is God’s vineyard today? Meaning where is God’s true work to be done today for us as Seventh-day Adventists?  Is it doing work like Doug Batchelor and his Amazing Facts team encourages, trying to “save” the world? Is it like Jim Gilley and 3 ABN, with their host of programs aimed at reaching the world and the heathen therein? Let us look squarely at this very important question. For if we do it one way we are rewarded , if we do it another, oh what sad sad end we’ll see.

“Advanced light is shining upon us in these last days. We cannot be accepted of God; we cannot honor him by rendering the same service, doing the same work that our fathers did. In order to be accounted guiltless before God, we must be as faithful in our time in following and obeying our light, as they were faithful in following and obeying the light that shone upon them.”(Review and Herald, April 25, 1893)

“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the prophets” and “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27.

But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old. He who rejects or neglects the new does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and becomes but a lifeless form.”(Christ’s Object Lessons, p.127-128)

So we see that we,  who are alive today have truths and light that was not necessarily shown to prior generations. This being so, what do you think could be “our” present light? This answer is found in the Scriptures, the rock foundation of our faith.

There is only one place that predicts a messenger (Prophet) to come right before the end of time with new light –The book of Malachi. As some of you faithful believers and students of the Lord’s last message know, this is a message from the Lord’s anti-typical “Elijah” (Mal.4:5). For there is promise of no other to come right before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

So with the above understood, we see that this Elijah message is our “development of truth”  or “message of God.” So if this is so, we need to know why Elijah? As we have done a post already explaining most of this subject (Called-“Why Elijah?”), we’ll simply say that the reason is that –we, the SDA church, have a message that needs to go to us only. We must hear it and abide by it.

The reason the Lord wanted to send an “Elijah” was because his message was the type that we need. Elijah went to his own people to give them a message to repent from their wrongs. Elijah did not go and preach to the world such as Noah or the Apostles did. That is the real reason for Elijah!

Our Lord made it very clear, we the SDA church have need of more  truth and heartfelt repentance. It’s very clearly pointed out in Rev. 3:15-19.

But look around our church, what do we see? Programs and efforts to reach the heathen! The message and truth from Elijah is like water off a ducks back to the majority of our leaders and laity. Because they don’t abide by the Lord’s final message, which is to go strictly to our church, they blindly proceed without Heaven’s authority to bring more and more into the church.

“The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.371)

You see we cannot do Christ’s will as a church body while sinners exist in our midst.

“The kingdom of Christ will come; but who are laboring to that end? If those who know the Lord’s prayer would try to take in its meaning and realize its depth and breadth, the Church would be what God desires it to be—the light of the world. Men would have less desire for form and ceremony; for they would seek to plant in the heart those principles that sanctify the character. 

Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts.“((Review and Herald, May 21, 1901)

Wow! Do we see these instructions being followed today? Almost all our Pastors and leaders welcome all comers, when they want Baptism! This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Better to have a very small church, with converted members, than a full church with a majority of unconverted.

You see our Lord has not changed. Back in Joshua’s day He could not take a sinner in the midst (Achan) and His word says the following about this-

” When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”(Isaiah 1:12-15)

This is why the Lord cannot allow us to work to save the world right now. What would we as Seventh-day Adventists  accomplish? Bring them into the church for the “great and dreadful day  of the Lord” (Ezek. 9) ? Like Inspiration said there are too many bad influences (poor dress reform, lukewarmness, ignoring sins in the midst, etc.) that most likely will cause many to stumble.

Our work right now is to concentrate on His church. We are the ones to be judged first (1 peter 4:17).Who is about to be sprued out, the world? Of course not. And with so much sin in our midst, we cannot afford to whistle while the ship sinks!

The Elijah message is full of ways the Lord wants us to reform. And by learning His final message can we know for certain what is required of us. Sins such as poorly dressing in His sanctuary, passing the money bag around while in His presence during services (see the post “The Collection Box”), women disregarding wearing proper head coverings in His presence (see the post “Little Things Mean Alot”), speaking un-inspired sermons of past truths while he is at the door for judgment, talking business talk on His Sabbath, and on and on it goes!

Yes, there is soon to be a time when the vineyard expands to the world. God’s original intention. But that time cannot come until we as a church body stop sinning (doing those things displeasing to Him). But once He “takes the reins into His own hands” (TM. p.300) His prophecy comes–

“Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. “Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners” (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” (Prophets and Kings, p.725)

Oh, what a time that will be!

The message explains this reformation–

“Since the church is indeed God’s dearest object on earth, He often has to admonish, rebuke, and chasten her so as to bring her to maintain the high standard which He has set for her. And though her history is but one long, sad record of sinning and repenting, sinning and repenting, yet the Lord has borne with her in the infinite patience and long-suffering of Divine love so beautifully illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. And finally in this love indescribable, He “gave Himself” (Gal. 1:4) for her in the person of His only begotten Son.

But this supreme sacrifice notwithstanding, she has never yet fully appreciated His undying love for her. Even now, the Saviour pathetically declares that He has somewhat against her, and admonishes her by strong words to repent and sit down with Him in His throne (Rev. 3:14-21), making clear the inevitable fate of all who fail to heed His counsel (Rev. 3:16). But, tragically, she has not heeded it, and so He “brings against ministers and people the heavy charge of spiritual feebleness, saying, ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”’-Christ Our Righteousness, 1941 Edition, p. 121.

Thus God, in His boundless, all-discerning love for His church, “‘calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.”

“‘A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.’”- Christ Our Righteousness, 1941 Edition, p. 121.

In these inspired statements, three facts stand out in bold relief: (1) God sends this clarion call first to the ministers, and then to the laity; (2) He makes a positive declaration that He will spue out of His mouth all who fail to give heed to it, and to enter into a “spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation”; and (3) He makes clear that such a movement means “a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.” Clearly, then, the church must experience a threefold change before she can ever look forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,” going “forth into all the world conquering and to conquer.”-Prophets and Kings, p. 725. (Answerer, vol. 1, Q-2)

In closing, this vineyard work is to be done now within our church, not merely thought about and talked about. The light of what our message truly is, is now before us, will we be “doers” in His church vineyard now?

In the very first publications of the Elijah message– Shepherd’s Rod volume one it begins with,

It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is to bring about a reformation among God’s people.

Amen! If we read, know and practice this message from the Lord -we can’t help but reform .It’s that powerful! Try going to work for the Lord in the right vineyard and you’ll find Him close and guiding you.

One Response to “Where is God’s Vineyard Today?”

  1. Rene Says:

    Amen, brother.

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