Archive for March, 2016

“Woe is Me!”

March 26, 2016

Sad woman

This week we had a conversation with a lady, we’ll call sister G. As I listened the Spirit started to guide me that something must be said about her situation that we may see how the  “rubber meets the road”. In other words, God’s promises can be believed in and followed, or they can be neglected and no blessings shall be received.

In Malachi we read of God making a sure promise to us–

“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.” (Mal.3:10)

Here we see that our King makes a promise that if we do this–He will do that. But we see it’s a co-partnership, a mutual cooperation agreement.

As I listened to sister G, I couldn’t help but think “You are not receiving blessings because you stubbornly ignore the message of hope and instruction the Lord guided me to tell you.”

You see, sister G is a serious student of present truth, yet in our many conversations I have pointed out several times that if we obey His word then we get blessings. In our last conversation she lamented about her bad, even awful circumstances. This and that was all against her. My mind continued to dwell on why she was not receiving blessings. I point blank told her that she needs to “get with the program”.

The word in James tells us that we should act on what we learn —

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)

Our Lord gave us a great example of the poor old lady–

“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all the others into the treasury. For they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (Matt.12:41-44)

What a truly remarkable sight! An old lady having but little to live on came through and STILL gave what little she had.

Being in the work of present truth, it is often remarkable that some of those who profess present truth don’t even keep current with their account! What a sad sad situation. Knowing the great lights of His word, the present truth for us today, yet not doing what they should do. The basics are just that–basic. Meaning that we fool ourselves if we think we can just “know” the Truth and not apply it.

Our gracious Lord made sure that we as His end time people would know exactly where we should stand on this issue of being faithful, even if we, like the poor old lady have nearly nothing to give.

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.86-87)
 

Now let me give a personal example. Before I committed to being faithful to paying Tithes into His storehouse(s) my repair business was–so so. I did fairly good but not gangbusters. Shortly after beginning my payback to the Lord, per Malachi instructions, my business really started to take off. Today, I have the number one ranking in my field (most positive reviews) in our city (close to 400,000).

I see this as no accident, the Lord has often rewarded me in a financial way that I sometimes think “this is really a clear payback to His Malachi promise.” During the week I watch ALL income that comes in and I keep a running daily tally. Then at the end of the week (Friday evening) I add it up and put away the Tithe and mail it out to “present truth” organizations. But as His word says “Tithes AND offerings” I put away a little more as well.

See this post for “storehouse” recommendations —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/01/17/who-really-is-a-davidian-seventh-day-adventist/

 

Back to sister G. As she laments of her condition, and all others like her, they have only one person to blame–their selves. The Spirit of prophecy describes the point in a dramatic way–

“They keep their possessions from doing good in the cause of God. They claim that these are their own, and that they have a right to do what they please with their own; and souls are not saved by judicious efforts made by them with their Lord’s money.

Angels keep a faithful record of every man’s work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter. And that which was committed to their trust is taken from them.

Their earthly treasure is then swept away, and they have lost all. And the crowns they might have worn, had they been faithful, are put upon the heads of those saved by the faithful servants whose means was constantly in use for God. And everyone they have been the means of saving, adds stars to their crown in glory, and increases their eternal reward.” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p.197)

“The truth has taken hold of hearts. It is not a fitful impulse, but a true turning unto the Lord, and the perverse will of men is brought into subjection to the will of God. To rob God in tithes and offerings is a violation of the plain injunction of Jehovah and works the deepest injury to those who do it; for it deprives them of the blessing of God, which is promised to those who deal honestly with Him.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.644)

There are three aspects to the Malachi promise.

  1. Pay the Tithes and offerings
  2. Pay it to His storehouse
  3.  Receive God’s bountiful blessings

So it is not enough to just send out Tithes. If we send it to where they are not teaching and dispensing His “present truth” then that so called “storehouse” is not really a legitimate storehouse. And the rich blessings cannot be expected.

The idea that many current churches are not always the place to pay the Tithes was first shown by the Apostles. After the death of Christ, the followers of Christ realized that the Jews had rejected the “present truth” message  that was given from our Lord. Their leaders continued to preach “old” truths. The churches (synagogues) no longer remained God’s “storehouse”, the message of the hour was not proclaimed and instead darkness was inserted in place of light!

One point  that needs to be addressed is the idea that “I don’t need to pay my Tithe to _____ because they do this and that, they aren’t doing the right thing in my opinion.” In other words we justify our withholding the Tithes to His storehouse. This issue was dealt with in the message–

IS IT MY DUTY TO SET RIGHT THE LORD’S TREASURY?

Question No. 98:

   Should we pay our tithe to the “storehouse” if we know that it is not used rightly?

Answer:

   Knowing that our tithe belongs to God’s storehouse, our greatest burden should be to see that it is faithfully paid there. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that the Lord has laid upon any tithe payer the policing of the channels through which these funds pass.

   The Lord’s treasury is under His control, and if He Himself should not see fit to correct an abuse in the handling of His money, certainly we could not correct it however hard we might try. If we guard carefully that part of His work which He entrusts to us, our only concern will be to find out where His “storehouse” is, and then faithfully to deposit His money there. He has not made us responsible for its use; that, He will personally take over–even as He is now “taking the reins in His own hands.”

   When the Promised Land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi received no land for an inheritance, as did the eleven tribes. Instead, the Lord decreed that the tithes of the other tribes were to go to the Levites. This was their inheritance. It was actually their own.

And just as they, as the tithe receivers, had no right to dictate to the others, the tithe payers, what to do with their own increase after it had been tithed, so the tithe payers had no right to dictate to the tithe receivers what to do with the tithe. Each tribe was itself to be accountable to the Lord for that which He had entrusted to it. Thus it must be today.(The Answerer, vol. 4, Q-98)

So as we know by Scripture that the Lord’s final message right before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” is His Elijah message, we should not quibble or murmur, leading us to withhold our Tithes. If the organization is proclaiming the message then we must “get on board” and show it by being faithful.

In closing , let each of us remember that God’s promises are a two-way street. He WILL do His part, are we willing to do ours? There is great blessings ready for us to receive!

 

 

 

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“All Things that Offend” (Matt 13:41-43)

March 19, 2016

All things that offend

In Matthew 13:41-43 we read, “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; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Here we have God’s Word truly packed with much warning and hope. But there is more to it than meets the eye. We shall go deeply into the ramifications of these powerful and soul awaking Words of God.

The message tells us that each Word of God is very important–

“..those who desire to know the truth must carefully mark every word, otherwise they will never comprehend the truth and, as a consequence, they will be driven by the winds as the waves of the sea until the winds cease blowing (probation closes), and they be left to sink down in their sins as do the waves in the sea.” (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no. 7-8, p.10)

But what have we as SDA been generally taught in regards to our study text? Yes, the second coming of Christ in the clouds. Let us now breakdown these words and see the truth therein.

First we see that the Lord sends His angels to remove those that “offend” from His kingdom. Now, what kingdom is the Lord talking about? It cannot be heaven’s kingdom because there are no offenders there. Neither can it be the new earth for obvious reasons. So that means it must be the earthly kingdom.

Let us note that the offenders are “gathered out” from this kingdom, whereas we know that when Christ comes at the second coming He will “gather out” of the world those that DO NOT offend and take up to the heavenly kingdom.

Do you notice what difference this understanding brings? Therefore this is pointing to the well-known topic that we have discussed so many times in our studies–the Ezekiel 9 church judgment.

Let us also look at the word “offend”. We see that God’s word makes a distinction from offenders and those that “do iniquity”. Not that the two are totally separate but rather God’s word wants us to dwell upon the fact that we can “offend” Him.

So in what way can we offend. Well, we know that for starters God’s word has many warnings and instructions to keep His Sabbath holy. So logically if we get lazy or sloppy we certainly take the chance in offending Him by our carelessness.

“You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths.” (Ezek. 22:8)

Are we dressing proper on His holy day? Are we avoiding business transactions on His holy day? Do the ladies wear the proper head coverings in His sanctuary? Are we avoiding buying and selling on His holy day?

Let us remember that there are basically two duties in our lifetime and they are found in Ecc. 12:13 –

 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 

Those two duties are very far-reaching, they encompass so much of our life. So in order to avoid offending Him we should have a healthy amount of “fear”. Meaning that instead of saying “oh the Lord loves me I cannot concern myself with such minor issues as proper dress in His sanctuary”, we should be on the side of an overly cautious attitude.

This last week our church invited a youth music group to perform in God’s sanctuary. There appeared about 15 or so youths around 18- 25 years. At least 5 young gals came prancing around in His sanctuary with mini-skirts and high heels. Do we think our God is winking? LET’S GET REAL!

These people have no clue who Christ is and further there probably is NO parent or church leader who will sit them down and show them their offensive behavior. Again the Word of God warns–

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.(Isaiah 58:1)

The Spirit of Prophecy gives us clear warning of “an offended God”.

“The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.

He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.” (Testimonies, volume 5, p.211)

As we look further in our study text we see that after mentioning offenders His Word mentions the iniquity doers. These would appear to be those who have been established in their sins, those who regularly transgress. As opposed to the offenders who are much more lukewarm and appear to walk upright but still fail to give God glory by doing what He specifically warns us to do through His very last prophet (our current present truth).

You see my beloved, God does not make a serious move until He clearly warns us through his messengers.

“God does not send judgments upon His people without first warning them to repent. He uses every means to bring them back to obedience and does not visit their iniquity with judgments until He has given them ample opportunity to repent.” (Testimonies, vol.4, p.179)

Soon the Lord will remove “all things that offend”. This means that today, while we are still alive, we must at once decide to watch our steps and if we error, we error on being overly cautious. We do not mean to say that we  must be Pharisaic or extremely legalistic, only that we fear Him in an honest wholesome way.

The Loud cry is almost ready to start and the word says after the removal of the offenders it’s a new day for His people-Praise the Lord!

“Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” (Psalms 1:5)

In the final point of our reference we see the grand glorious hope for those that remain in His kingdom (church) and that is  — “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

The spotless church is then ready to proclaim the final Gospel proclamation to all the world, it is the long awaited–Loud Cry.

“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.” (Review and Herald, July 1, 1915)

Are you prepared to do all you can to not “offend” the Lord to walk as His word says? How can we know what is required of us today?  It is only by “our” present truth, “our” current message of Truth, that we can know what does not offend Him. Let’s get down to business my brethren , let’s start reading and studying His final message of Elijah, don’t take any chances!

Hard and Difficult Questions

March 12, 2016

Pharisee entrapment

The Jews of old were no dummies. Many of the Pharisees and scribes were very smart men. They posed tough questions to the King and he squared them away in thorough fashion.

Some of the questions were meant as a form of entrapment. Lawyers, Negotiators, Army generals and even all kinds of evil doers down through history have used this ploy to catch their victim one way or another. But it is even more amazing to see it backfire! Our King turned the tables beautifully when the Pharisees tried to entrap Him with supposed difficult questions.

“And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.” (Luke 20: 20-26)

In many of the questions asked of our very last prophet sent to our church,Victor  Houteff, they were hard and difficult.

The following are a few questions where the questions  demanded a solid answer to clear it. May you be blessed.

Question No. 157:

“I am convinced that ‘The Shepherd’s Rod’ is not the message of the hour, because I believe that when a message comes from God, it will not make a separation among His people. You agree with my logic, do you not?

Answer:

To try to convince the questioner by a long-drawn-out article with proofs from the Scriptures, is needless, for the question reveals that the person is not acquainted with past church history. Therefore, the best way to answer his query is to ask him to tell us the number of times God has sent messages to His church that they made neither trouble nor separation among His people. If facts prove his answer, to be in favor of this question, then of course, as Christians, we must change our position, and admit that the SRod is not a message from God. But if past church history, disproves his logic, then, of course, we shall expect from him, as an honest Christian and a seeker for truth, a letter of confession, stating that his logic has not refuted the SRod.

The SRod message according to Ezekiel’s prophecy, chapter Nine and “Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 445, is to accomplish nothing else but to separate the people in the church!

Thus the fact that the message of the SRod brings a separation in the church, is another proof that it is a message from God. (Sym. Code, vol. 3, no.3-4, p.16)

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Question: “The SRod, Vol, 1, p. 44 says that only the great multitude have palms in their hands, whereas G.C. 646 speaking of all ‘overcomers’ says: ‘In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harps.’ How are these statements harmonized?”

   Answer: According to SRod, Vol. 1, p. 44, Class number two; namely, the great multitude of Rev. 7:9, have their palms in their hands while they are on earth before being transported to the heaven of heavens. Hence their palms according to John’s vision are symbolic of victory gained. But in the statement from The Great Controversy, p. 646: “In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harp,” it will be noted that this gift to the saints is not made until they are in heaven — after they have all been transported from the earth. These palms are real but the others figurative.

To prove that the great multitude have their palms in symbol only, and before Jesus finishes His work in the heavenly sanctuary, read Rev. 7:11. Here it states that the great multitude have their palms while the elders and four beasts are still before the throne of the investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary. (See SRod, Vol. 2, pp. 189-191.) Therefore, they have their palms while the Investigative judgment is in session-before probation closes.

Furthermore, in regard to the class and the event of G.C. 646, note that in every hand in which is placed the victor’s palm there is also placed a shining harp. Whereas the great multitude have only palms but no harps. Therefore, these are two separate incidents distinct one from the other.” (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.8, p.10)

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Question: “Early Writings, p. 281 says: ‘The plan of salvation had been accomplished, but few had chosen to accept it. This statement is used very extensively against the doctrine of the ‘great multitude’ as taught by the SRod. Please harmonize it with the latter’s teaching.”

Answer: It is true that the words, “few chosen” often appear in sacred writings. However, it is unbiblical to explain the Word privately. We must let the Scriptures explain themselves. The following example will serve to show how fatal it is to explain the Scriptures by the human way of reasoning.

Says Paul: “But now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb. 9:26.) If one should expound the above quotation as some expound the words, “few chosen,” he would be compelled to do one of two things; namely, either humble himself as a little child and admit that he does not understand Paul’s writings, or else, separate from divine wisdom, exercise his human judgment and accuse Paul of being wrong in his statement, for the world did not end at the time Christ was sacrificed.

Therefore, let us examine the words, “few chosen,” in the light of the Bible. While Jesus declares that “many be called, but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16), Isaiah by the same Spirit says: “Thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought…A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” (Isa. 60:11, 22.)

Zechariah, while prophetically speaking of our time, also says: “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” (Zech. 2:11.) Furthermore, the Lord says: “It shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” (Zech. 13:8, 9.)

Moreover, while the Early Writings says: “But few have chosen to accept it,” the same author in The Great Controversy, p. 665, classifies the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 as a company separate from the martyrs and others who are to be resurrected, making it impossible to conclude that the “great multitude” are the resurrected.

Now the question is, if we conclude from the statement in Early Writings, p. 281, and from Matt. 20:16 that only a few are to be saved, what shall we do with Isa. 60:11, 22, Zech. 2:11; 13:8, 9, and The Great Controversy, p. 665? No candid Bible student could from the above statements arrive at any conclusion which would lead him to base his interpretation of the subject on one scripture and wholly ignore the other, but would rather seek to make his final analysis in such a way as to be in perfect harmony with all inspired writings or else confess that he does not have the light on the Scriptures.

The only doctrine that, in the present connection, will stand the test and be in perfect agreement with all sacred writings is the one that the “few” are those who were saved during the ages past, which period is figuratively classified in the parable of Christ as the time before the “Harvest.” But in the closing of the world’s history, in the ingathering time — the Harvest — there is to be saved a great multitude.

It is only natural that there were comparatively but few saved in the ages past, because of the fact that that period of time was not the Harvest, and it is likewise just as natural that now “in the end of the world,” — the time of the Harvest (Matt. 13:30), — there shall be a great ingathering of souls which no man can number.

“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”

As the idea of a great multitude is opposed only to the devil’s plan, let us not therefore work to his interest. (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.10, p.8)

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Question: “5 T 216, speaking to the brethren, says that some are preparing for the mark of the beast, but according to the SRod, all unfaithful S.D.A.’s will be destroyed before the mark of the beast. Please explain.

Answer: If the questioner will restudy 5 T 216, she will see that it is not the brethren who are preparing for the “mark of the beast,” but rather “Those who are uniting with the world,” not with the church.  (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.10, p.9)

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Question: “How do you harmonize the seven kings of Rev. 17:10 with the beast that ‘was, and is not, and yet is’? The SRod, Vol. 2, p. 118 on this subject is not clear to me.

Answer: Do not try to harmonize the seven kings with the seven beasts, but only with the periods which are symbolized by the four metals of the great image of Dan. 2. To these periods add the period before the flood and the one after the millennium as illustrated in the SRod, Vol. 2, p. 84, and you will have a perfect harmony.

The seven kings embrace the entire world’s history from creation to the earth made new. The antediluvian world is symbolized by the first “king.” The empire of ancient Babylon by the second. The Medo-Persian by the third. The Grecian by the fourth and the Roman monarchy by the fifth. Of these it is said “five are fallen.” The king which “is” is symbolical of the period from the fall of the Roman monarchy to the second coming of Christ; that is, the period which now is; namely, Rome in her broken state.

The seventh king which “must continue a short space” is symbolical of the wicked world after the millennium. Thus, there are seven kings; five are fallen (the antediluvian, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman), but the present world which now “is” comprises the sixth, and the one that is to come after the millennium who is to “continue a short space” will be the seventh and the last. (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.11,12, p.10)

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Question No. 56:

 If the church is to be purified before the close of probation for the world and remain pure thereafter without any sinners in it as “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches, then how do you harmonize this with “Early Writings,” p. 71, which says Some “will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building”?

Answer:

  There are other statements from the author of Early Writings which bear even more positive evidence that God will, before that time, have a church pure and true. (See The Great Controversy p. 425, Prophets and Kings, p. 725, Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 80; Isa. 52:1-2.)

   As these several statements with reference to a preliminary purification are just as true as the one in Early Writings which seems to negate a purification, one cannot honestly disregard them and give consideration only to it. Let us remember always to observe the inviolable rule that an interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements.

  Some who are anxious to risk Present Truth on the weight of what one inspired statement seems to say or imply, are thereby presumptuously or very ignorantly overlooking the “weight of evidence.” Others are doing this through shortsightedness, while still others are doing it to prop up certain cherished ideas of their own.

  The basic foundation for the no-preliminary-purification doctrine is built, not upon solid rock, but upon the same shifting sand as that which underlies such as the erroneous ideas of the conscious state of the dead, the eternal torment of the wicked, baptism by sprinkling, Sunday sacredness, and the millennial age of peace on earth.

  Since, Truth is progressive, and since the purification of the church had not yet been revealed when the statement in Early Writings was written, the danger foretold and the counsel given therein could not possibly have been stated in terms other than those then familiarly comprehended. All were thus plainly forewarned that if they continued sinning, then after the close of probation for the world, the plagues, of which they already had some understanding, would be their recompense.

So for the Lord to have explained the matter in Early Writings as He does through the Rod today, He would have had to reveal, out of due time, when Early Writings was being written, the message which is applicable only to the church for today, and which we are now therefore receiving.

  In the last analysis, the unrepentant sinners who are now in the church, may never see the seven last plagues, while others who are now in the world, will in the time of the Loud Cry yet have opportunity to be “squared” for the building, and be treasured with the “living stones,” or else to suffer the consequences of the plagues.

  No one should have difficulty in seeing this now, for all those to whom Early Writings primarily spoke are already dead, though the plagues are yet in the future. Furthermore, there is much more light to come concerning the truth of the seven last plagues, and when it comes, we may again see that we have “many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn.”-Testimonies to Ministers p. 30.

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To see all the questions and answers from the “Answerer” publications click here–http://shepherds-rod.org/answerers/index%20answerer.html

 

 

To Vote or Not to Vote

March 5, 2016

Voting

There is no doubt that currently the nation is witnessing a new phenomena. Politics as we know it is being turned on its head. Just look at the two of the leading candidates from the Republican and Democratic side–  Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. This voting season is causing a real uproar.

But with all this mass media coverage, we must step back and put in all into perspective. Voting has been a God-given right as proclaimed by our fore fathers yet our Lord has made this issue clear through His last and final message to us as Seventh-day Adventists.

Let us take a look at this issue as shown in the Lord’s Elijah message.

As we have pointed out many times the “restoring” message is the message that restores all the hazy areas that we are really not sure about such as “Do we as strivers to be among that fateful number, the 144,000, need to concern ourselves with voting and involvement in the political process?”

Let us look at the some direct questions asked about this issue.

IS VOTING BECOMING TO A CHRISTIAN?

Question No. 145:

   Is it right to vote?

Answer:

   As the franchise is one of the inalienable rights of a free people, there cannot be any wrong in exercising it if thereby either the law or offices of the land can be better served. To cast a vote though, which will further such an end, requires conscientious study; failing that, one’s vote can only be unintelligent guesswork, and thus adverse  rather than conducive to good government.

   Those, therefore, who are in no position to devote the time and study necessary to inform themselves on political issues sufficiently to qualify them to vote intelligently on them, cannot  conscientiously cast such a vote.

   Being ministers of the gospel, with our time completely preoccupied with the spiritual interests  of the people, we ourselves are not able to give attention to their political interests also, just as the people’s political representatives are not able to give proper attention to their spiritual needs also. And therefore rarely, if ever, do we see our way clear to vote. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.75)

This really gives us quite a bit to digest. Summarily, we can see that , while it is not wrong to vote, we as faithful  workers in God’s vineyard should not have the time to devote the necessary study to proper voting. It seems there is no doubt the intended instruction is that we do not. At least if we are striving to be among God’s servants.

VOTE FOR OR AGAINST PENSION?

Question No. 144:

   Would you please explain your position relative to the pension issues that are now being presented to the public? Do you think they merit our voting on them?

Answer:

   We are admonished that the cause of God “should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.”–Early Writings, p. 118. Consequently, as we cannot conscientiously devote enough time to  the study of these political and economic issues and of their ultimate results, intelligently to pass judgment upon them, we cannot conscientiously vote either for or against them. For our uninformed voting might work hardship and deprivation upon some, while leading others into the paths of idleness and extravagance. “Behold,” says the Lord “this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness.” Ezek. 16:49.

   In the world of today, both its political and its religious interests are far better served by specialists. Only those who have their whole heart and mind in the temporal things of life, who can devote enough time to the study of the world’s economic and political issues, are qualified for participating in such interests.

Those who are heart and soul devoted to the world’s spiritual needs, which are eternal and of far greater importance than the temporal concerns of life that are soon to perish and be forgotten,  can no more serve the world in its economic and political needs than can those who have their hearts and minds engrossed in the temporal things, serve the world’s spiritual needs.

   “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back His words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity.

Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out His hand both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.” Isa. 31:1-3.  “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.” Ps. 64:10. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.73-74)

 

All this points to a greater point, and that is — are we wasting time on earthly temporal matters? The matters that are foreign to our work? Sure, this voting season there is much excitement with all the debates and the national media attention, but what does that get us in our eternal reward?

You see my brethren, we are to be in sacrifice mode, meaning that all earthly time-wasting activities are to be given up as much as reasonably possible for the outreach that we are called to do now. There are souls right within our very own church that will soon perish unless we reach out and warn,educate and enlight them on what the Lord is about to do. The leaders aren’t doing it  so it is up to us.

“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.”(Psalms 50:3-6)

The message tell us what Satan’s trick is for today —

“.. Satan’s supreme effort at this hour must be to cause the time to be wasted and the work undone.” (Answerer, vol. 1, p. 6, Q-4)

It doesn’t matter to Satan how he gets us–time-wasting, pleasure-seeking, and now–political time spending (TV, online reports and news, etc.). Let us not get side tracked for the great work of calling the great multitude out of Babylon is almost at the door.

“God’s children are to separate themselves from politics, from any alliance with unbelievers. Do not take part in political strife. Separate from the world, and refrain from bringing into the church or school ideas that will lead to contention and disorder. Dissension is the moral poison taken into the system by human beings who are selfish.” {CCh P.316.6}


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