Reformation at the Door

Reform at the door

As we look at the above, let us image that this man wants to see Donald Trump or maybe the office of Bill Gates. Their secretary must screen them, see how they are and do an inspection of sorts. If they are well-mannered and well dressed, after being screened as to who they are,  they can usually get the ok to go in. But if they are sloppy and dirty or not dressed well chances are they are refused entrance.

What about our church? What about the “house of God”? Should the standards be high as well? The word says-

“Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.” (Ezekiel 5:11)

Here we see that defilement of His “sanctuary” , His house, causes our Lord to “diminish thee”. Or to put another way “sprue” them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).

So what are we saying here? What we are saying is that today, right now, there is a work to be done and that work is NOT to bring more and more unconverted into His church. Reformation among us as Seventh -day Adventists, should be our main objective right now. How do we know this? Both of His last messengers say so.

We need to get real. Let us stop thinking of the Lord God as –Jolly Ol Saint Nick.  “Ho Ho Ho, my little children, come into my house, abominations and all, I’m so happy to see you.” No! Our Lord is holy, HE IS GOD.

Let us begin with the Spirit of Prophecy.

“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. 

Many of those whose names are registered on the church books are not Christians. They have not a genuine experience. If they were copying their Pattern, they would pray more and quarrel less. They would strive to be laborers together with God. Their sincere faith in Christ would lead to entire dependence on Him and perfect co-operation with Him.” (RH May 21, 1901)

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)

There is no doubt that those who do not know the Lord’s last message of Elijah (which are legion in our church) will say “What?? What are you talking about? Don’t work to bring others into our church??”

I admit that I too once thought this. When I first came into the Elijah message this part of the message was so foreign to me that I felt it almost strange, or put another way–not quite right. Yet it was “my thinking, my ideas” that I was relying on, not God’s word as spoken by His prophet and prophetess.

I led our church to design and install a large Billboard in our city, trying to win new people into our churches! It was our billboard idea and soon Amazing Facts was writing an article about it in their quarterly magazine. I was zealous for what I thought was the right thing to do. Yet the Lord was guiding and soon I walked up that next step to light I never knew was there. “My” plans soon changed into God’s plan.

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We as SDA, and nearly all other denominations of Christianity, teach the formal doctrine of “bring em in, ask little or no in-depth questions,  baptize them as soon as they request it.”

To be clear we are not saying NO ONE should join the church. The message of Elijah is clear here.

“..if we truly understand the situation, and believe in faithfully executing our trust, we should be working for the sinners in Zion with such an  all-consuming burden that we would at present have neither time nor energy left to work for the  sinners in the world, save for such as those  represented by the “Syrophenician” woman (Mark 7:26).  Then we shall be doing our full part in the calling of the 144,000 to their task, and thus hastening  the time of the in gathering of the great multitude from the world–the day of the Loud Cry.” (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-129)

If God leads anyone into the Truth, then we should not discourage them. But as we saw from Inspiration, “The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth.”

So we ask. Who is doing God’s work today, for HIM? Is it those who try to reach the heathen? Or is it those who try to save the ones who will be first to receive judgment (the SDA church)(1 Peter 4:17, Testimonies Vol. 5, p.211)? The world WILL be preached to, when the time comes and that, by the purified church the 144,000.

But this understanding certainly is not being followed except by the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. Those who are following in the final light to His church through His pleading message of Elijah.

“God does not want to bring the heathen unconverted into the church for the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine, but He is exceedingly anxious to save the church: neither is He working “to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church-members who have never been converted….Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” — “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, p. 371.  (Symbolic Code, vol. 2 no.5-6, p.9)

Let me interject here and say this is SO TRUE. What happens when there comes an honest God loving -God fearing soul into the church and he or she sits down and quickly notices nightclub dressed up gals, complete with short skirts and high heels? Do we think he is comforted or sorrowful–think about it.

..to devote our time to evangelizing the world while neglecting the church, would be a criminal act, one of highest treason both to God and to His people. The church must first be saved from her Laodicean condition of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” She, not the world, is just about to be spued out. She “is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 15.

But in her present deplorable state of blindness and destitution as exposed by the True Witness (Rev. 3:14-18), she is utterly unfit for the task assigned her, and must be rescued from her sad deception before she can become a safe refuge and a saving influence to those who would join her ranks. Should God leave her in the Laodicean condition in which she now languishes, not only would she herself be lost but, in consequence, so also would the whole world along with her. He must therefore rouse her up or else raise up another to do the work which remains to be done.” (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-32)

I don’t know about you but after truly understanding this situation we should at once determine to go to work helping our own. We, not the world,  as Inspiration says is just about to be sprued out. Meetings should be set up,  present truth Bible studies given, sermons arranged, phone conferences engaged, etc. There is SO MUCH we should be doing to enlighten our church to God’s final message of reformation and revival.

“Yes, the honest heathen must and will be evangelized, but “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6) must be sought first. How thankful, therefore, and how cooperative they ought to be, and will be, when they discover that rather than being rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing, they are actually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”—in need of everything- and that the Lord is waiting for them to wake up to the fact so that He can make them what they ought to be.

For these reasons, God says now to work within the Laodicean congregation rather than without. And what He says, that He means, and we dare not disobey, regardless what men may say or do.”   (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-32)

“The mission to save the world cannot be more important than the mission to save the church. Enlarging the church membership under the now prevailing lukewarm Laodicean conditions could no more advance the Kingdom of Christ than could have been done under the condition in the Jewish church in the days of His first advent. Understanding the true situation in the church, John the Baptist and Christ Himself and even the apostles at first, engaged them selves to work, not for the world in general, but only in the interest of their brethren in the church.

As the same departure from Christ exists within the church now as it did then (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), it will take much greater effort to rescue the people from the Laodicean “sad deception” (Testimonies. Vol. 3, p. 253), than if they were in heathenism. For in Laodicea they are made to believe that they have all the truth there is to be had, that they are rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing,—their salvation forever secured as long as they hold membership in the church. Hence there is greater risk of their losing their souls in the church while she is “lukewarm” and about to be spued out, than if they remain in the world until the church awakes from her slumber, and anoints herself with the eyesalve (Truth)—sees right, does right, and leads an. feeds the flock aright.

Let every honest member ask the question, If the church herself is not saved (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 253), not following Christ her Leader (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217) and “has become an harlot” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250), how can she save others? The greatest need therefore is first to save those in the church, then those in the world. The “special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 425), “the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), must come first then is to follow the sealing of those in the world.” (Answerer, vol. 3, Q-67)

Right now we are perilously close to entering into either life everlasting or death everlasting.  The decision is ours. The course is laid out. Do we work within and follow the Lord through His messengers? Or do we follow our own path as Korah and his followers did? We must make a decision which will it be?

In closing what better and clearer word of God can we get than the following. Our prophetess gives us unmistakable instructions of why we are not to carelessly let people join  the church. As we have shown the Lord’s work is to do in- house work now. Why? because we are filled to the brim with unconverted among us. But should we find those who want to come into the truth , being led of God, then let us use the following example–

Examination of Candidates

“The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates.

Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism.

One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need instruction is the subject of dress. Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? Do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress.

There should be no carelessness in dress. For Christ’s sake, whose witnesses we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance. In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before Him. Thus we are taught that He has a preference in regard to the dress of those who serve Him. Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolic. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolic.

In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion, that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.95-96)

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