Archive for December, 2016

Our Christmas Attitude

December 31, 2016

christmas

Now that another Christmas has come and gone, we thought it would be good to reflect upon this season and how, we as present truth believers, should view it from Inspiration’s point of view. Due to some circumstances that occurred, we saw the necessity to clarify some important aspects of this season.

Let’s face it, Christmas has caused a great deal of happiness, frustration, envy, bitterness, disgust and a myriad of other human feelings among us as Christians.Many are no doubt aware that it is most likely not Christ’s birthday, yet, the season and Christ is brought up through out the world for approximately 30 -45 days.

We basically see 4 categories of SDA views as to how we react to the season known as Christmas.

1) SDA worldlies. These are just as Inspiration said “steadily retreating back to Egypt”(Testimonies vol. 5, p.217) And they indulge in this season just as if they were not in the least a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2.9).

SOP describes them– “By the world the holidays are spent in frivolity and extravagance, gluttony and display…. Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year’s in needless indulgences.” (AH, p.480)

2) SDA Lukewarms. This probably is by far the majority. They are careful not to show any outward display of too much “Christmasy” things yet if they see a brother or sister with their house all light up or the many worldly presents set neatly under the tree–they wink and smile. Santa and reindeer post cards may even be sent. They do not correct their brethren in the least. These are they who, again, Inspiration describes–

“If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty. In vision I have been pointed to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

3) SDA Present Truthers and haters of Christmas.  These are perhaps the ones most confused. While the above two groups carry on in their ignorance, not knowing present truth for the most part, these know the Elijah message well, yet have taken a “Pharisaical” position against any Christmas celebration and even the name “Christmas” is an abomination to them. They are in real jeopardy of neglecting what God’s word says —

“..but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Esp. 4:15-16)

4) SDA  Present Truthers who stay in the middle of the road.   These as we will attempt to point out should be the ones who we should desire to be. Based on the “whole” word of the Truth we shall see that we cannot pit our two last prophets against each other, rather the last message of Elijah gives us advice–

“Inspiration, moreover, always brings the messengers of God into perfect harmony, never into division…we see that God not only never delegates one agent to alter, to reset, or to countermand the message with which He has charged another agent without His first making the matter known to both..” (Answerer, vol. 1, Q-3)

So the Pharisaic SDA’s should understand that we cannot use brother Houteff’s words on Christmas and throw out Ellen White’s or vice versa. We must attempt, upon prayer, to understand the right attitude to take in regards to Christmas by studying BOTH to see the clear light.

Yes, in Tract 13, brother Houteff goes into the folly of celebrating the heathen Christmas. But the balance from the two prophets is to be seen and can be if we do not neglect either.

The Lord impressed upon me to discuss this situation  because of what happened on a recent photo we posted. The following is the photo that went up —

img_2431

Let me briefly explain the background of this picture and our motivation. As we got to church, soon my wife whispered  over to me that she would like to get a picture near the podium after services. I readily agreed.

After service we found one of the deaconesses who was standing up front and asked her to take a picture of us. She did and we thanked her for her help. Later when we got home my wife downloaded it to our computer. I reviewed it with her and agreed it came out satisfactorily.

Later, we thought it would be a good idea to share it on Facebook along with a note to say “thanks” to all our FB friends and relatives for being our FB acquaintances. More importantly it also gave us an opportunity to encourage all of them to strive to make it to the kingdom. I said ” I want to see each and every one of you in the upcoming kingdom.”

But, later after we took the picture, I did notice that unbeknownst to me at the time, we were standing in front of a big sign on the wall, as well as the Christmas ornaments. This was a couple of weeks before Christmas.

The sign as shown said, “Thank you for celebrating Jesus with us today, Merry Christmas and may God bless you and your loved ones.”

By way of disclosure, my wife and I do not celebrate  Christmas due to the overwhelming pagan customs attached to it. We did a post showing more clearly our position in regards to Christmas.https://godsloveandlaw.com/2013/12/14/christmas-a-christians-perpective-2/

The photo generated a good reception (many likes and comments) but there was one comment that really struck me. I had been warned by the Spirit that this photo would bring some “anti- Christmas” responses, so it did not really surprise me. Actually I was expecting more of those type of comments than we got.

But let us look at this issue closely, especially in regards to the all too common “Pharisaical” attitude that some can have. First, let’s look at the comment made by a proclaimed present truth believer (by way of disclosure we know this woman and her profession in the Elijah message) .

“We don’t celebrate Christmas. That’s Idolatry. The reason to celebrate xmas is money and worshiping diablo. Idolatry worshiping.”

Now to be frank, if my wife and I had posted a picture of us under our Christmas tree with presents then I would certainly understand the public perception inference made by it.

But as I read this, frankly I was quite amazed .  First, this person assumed that because we had this picture taken with the words on the church wall and the decorations, we were “worshippers” of Christmas. She ignored our main point and that was to thank all our friends for being with us during the year and to encourage them to strive for the kingdom–all ignored!

As I mentioned to one of the comment responders who also rebuked her, this situation reminded me of the Pharisees, who would ever have their eyes open for any wrongdoing such as those who would walk one more foot than the long string measured out for the distance to walk to the temple. This would be considered “working” on the Sabbath.

She obviously knows very little about our views on Christmas, but preferred to shoot first and ask questions later. I strongly rebuked her in the comment section for such assumptions, claiming us as “idolaters”.

Let us take a look at the following picture–

Image result for picture of ellen white's gravesite

Ah, Ellen White was a freemason and pagan worshiper, she has an obelisk on her grave! Yes brethren this is a perfect example how we as present truth believers can falsely fail to see the whole picture and make foolish assumptions. If one was to take a picture standing on this site, and post it to your fellow believers, would some also accuse them of worshiping freemasonry?

Ok let us look at some SOP quotes regarding Christmas.

“..it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age; and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite or for needless ornaments or articles of clothing, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God. ” (AH, p.480)

What a powerful statement! What we can see is that this so-called “pagan festival” can be turned around! That’s right, it can be “an occasion in which to honor and glorify God.” A worthy example is the set up of the nativity set in the living room, instead of the tree. This was shown with the post we did about the Smith family.

They turned this whole season around from the lights to the music to the presents. God was indeed glorified! If we have children , this can certainly be a “God honoring” inspired alternative.

“Now, brethren, let us on Christmas make special efforts to come before the Lord with gifts and grateful offerings for the gift of Jesus Christ as a Redeemer to the world. Let nothing now be spent needlessly, but let every penny that can be spared be put out to the exchangers. Satan has had his way in managing these occasions to suit himself. Now let us turn the current heavenward instead of earthward.” (Review and Herald, December 9, 1884)

“While there may be some who will turn these occasions into seasons of careless levity, and whose minds will not receive the divine impress, to other minds and characters these seasons will be highly beneficial. I am fully satisfied that innocent substitutes can be devised for many gatherings that demoralize.” (Review and Herald, Dec. 9, 1884)

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The “Extra Oil” in our Vessels

December 24, 2016

five-virgins

One of the greatest and most spiritual lessons our Lord gave is the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. We know that only those virgins who had the “extra oil” in their lamps made it to  eternal life. The Elijah message tells us this parable has a direct application to His end time SDA church. Let us read the parable,

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

We shall go over this lesson closely and see today’s application which we must heed if we are to get to the Kingdom. The message describes the parable as follows–

“Here is Truth that should not be lightly passed by any: The oil can but represent revealed prophetic Truth, Truth that lightens the path ahead. Oil in a vessel, before being put into a lamp, however, cannot lighten the path of anyone. Hence the oil in the vessels of the five virgins must represent an extra supply, extra Truth, that came to them during the period of slumber and sleep.

For when the call was made, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh,” all ten virgins found the oil in their lamps consumed. The vessels of the wise, however were full and so they could refill their lamps. In contrast, the foolish found that not only were their lamps out, but their vessels were empty, too. They then went to obtain the oil, but it did them no good, for they found the door closed to them.

They had been satisfied with what they had in their lamps, presuming that there was no need for more. Contrary to their assumption though during the period of slumber and sleep they suddenly saw their lamps go out. Finding themselves in spiritual darkness and confusion they were then anxious to get oil.

Here is seen that the message which the Church has during the period of slumber and sleep is not sufficient to carry her members through to the end. They need an extra message.

Now what is the difference between the oil in the lamp and the oil in the vessel? — Just this: The oil that is in the lamp, that already lightens the traveler’s path toward the Master’s mansion, must represent Truth in progress. But the oil in the vessel, must represent Truth that is to lighten one’s path after the former Truth has accomplished its work.

For example, after the harvest (Investigative Judgment) of the dead is past, other truths even more important must be introduced for the harvest of the living. I say more important truths because they are concerning the living themselves, concerning those whose own cases are to be weighed in the balances, those who personally are to be judged either as “wheat” or as “tares,” either as good “fish” or as bad “fish.”

Moreover, after the judgment of the dead which the Church has been preaching for a number of years, is over, if the Church does not then receive a new message, the message of the judgment of the living, she will have no message, no oil, for the time of the judgment of the living.

As the oil was available to all ten virgins, the parable makes clear that the message of the judgment of the living is brought to the Church, but that only half the virgins availed themselves of it. When the judgment of the living begins and the cry is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet Him,” they will all arise, but only half of them will gain admittance. The other half will have sinned against the Holy Spirit, will have rejected His Truth! Consequently when they knock on the door, the Bridegroom’s answer will be, “I never knew you.” What foolishness! and what a disappointment that will be!

This, you see, is not man’s theory, Brother, Sister. It is God’s plain Truth. How sad the case, then, for those who are not only neglecting their own vessels, but are even preventing others from getting the extra oil now while it is dispensed to all. Indeed, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth unless all the lukewarm Laodiceans now at their first opportunity change their minds about being rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 11, page 12-14)

This present Truth oil is what makes the difference! Let us give a clear example that shows why we need this prophetic extra oil.

Nearly all SDA are saying “We are waiting for Jesus to come in the clouds.” In fact just yesterday we received an Amazing Facts Magazine, with the bold headlines, “Preparing for the Return of Jesus” meaning the coming in the clouds of glory.

This present Truth oil has specific knowledge for us, to light our path. And this extra oil tells us that Jesus’ next coming shall not be in the clouds. What? some may ask. Yes, the Scriptures foretell of this false idea of expecting the Lord’s coming when we should know , from the Elijah message , that the secretive unseen coming into His churches (Mal. 3:1-5)  is His next coming!

“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18-20)

Now wait a minute! The “day of the Lord” is the great coming in the clouds, with all light and glory yes? No. That is the next “visual” coming for the world’s redeemed (which includes the SDA who survive the judgment in God’s house, the resurrected, and those brought out of Babylon –great Multitude).

There must first come His judgment bound yet unseen Chariot as explained in Ezek. chapter 1, and then comes the beginning phase of judgment upon the living right in our churches as explained in Ezek. 9. Then in Ezek. 10 we see that the Loud Cry begins (coals of fire scattered over the city-outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit to the purified church).

All of this knowledge the wise virgins possess in their vessels right now. The foolish are not concerned with this “extra” supply of oil, they are covered to make the trip to the kingdom, they think. “What pre-millenial Kingdom?” they ask. But it will be too late then.

You see my brethren, God will soon go through our church and see those with their forehead illuminated with present truth. They have in their foreheads the knowledge (seal) of where they are going. We read,

“As the sealed of God we are Christ’s purchased possession, and no one shall pluck us out of His hands. The seal given in the forehead is God, New Jerusalem. “I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p.225)

As those who have studied the Elijah message well know, the kingdom does start in it’s pre-millennial form here on earth, established in Israel. This will be a glorious time for the righteous virgins, those who took the time to get the extra oil before their trip started (back to Israel). They knew keenly where they were going and the purpose (give the final Loud Cry).

seal-in-forehead

“Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3)
We read more from the message —

“When finally the judgment passes from the dead to the living, thus outmoding by expiration the initial phase of the First Angel’s Message (the judgment of the dead), what timely Truth will the church then have for herself and for the world?  What, indeed, if she does not now accept and practice the message of very present Truth, the final phase of the First Angel’s Message, which is presently announcing the stealthy approach of judgment upon the living, and which is knocking at each heart’s door?

   Tragically, those who now fail to fill their vessels (Matt. 25:1-4) with this extra oil (the additional truth — that of the judgment of the living) flowing from the golden bowl (Zech. 4) will finally see their lamps flicker out forever like a gutted candle.  O, in what consternation then will they search for the precious golden oil!  And with what infinitely greater anxiety than they now search for gold and for prestige! 

But, alas, then like Esau, though they seek it “carefully with tears,” they shall find “no place of repentance”: they purchase their oil too late.  The door is closed when they reach it.  And to their frantic knocking at it comes the terrifying reply, “I never knew you.” Matt. 7:23.  Then is the harvest of the first-fruits past, the fruits garnered in, and the tares shut out unto destruction, there in agony to wail and to gnash their teeth: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.

 

   “The time of the Judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares.  Those who have been members of the same family are separated.  A mark is placed upon the righteous.” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 234.

   “…The pure ore and the dross will no longer commingle.” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 236.

   “…The church is to be fed with manna from heaven, and to be kept under the sole guardianship of His grace.  Clad in complete armor of light and righteousness, she enters upon her final conflict.  The dross, the worthless material, will be consumed, and the influence of the truth testifies to the world of its sanctifying, ennobling character….” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 17, 18.  (The White-House Recruiter, p.37-38)

The Lord is all encompassing and foreseeing and do you remember that Zech. 4 showed us how to get this oil? The specific prophets (two pipes) gather it from the Bible (two trees) and place it in the Golden Bowl (Inspired writings), so that the 7 ministers ( the seven tubes from the bowl, the true ministers of God) can get the oil out of the bowl and give to the church (seven candlesticks). Again for a refresher look at this original chart draw by the prophet, brother Houteff.

zechariah-4-picture

In closing, let us now, as we have time, stock up on this extra oil, for we shall need it when the Lord “suddenly comes to His Temple” (Mal. 3:1).

“Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

That messenger, the Elijah to come, has provided for any and all who wish to partake, a great supply of oil (present Truth) will you not take some and fill up? Below is a link to 15 Tracts of extra oil. Enjoy!

http://shepherds-rod.org/Tracts/tracinx.html

 

The Roman Catholic and Russia Focus

December 17, 2016

 

 

Image result for pictures of the roman catholic church  Related image

When we were kids many of us can remember a brother or sister, even a playful parent saying, “Watch out the bogey man is going to get you” when we turned off the lights. Teasing us as to a mysterious monster lurking in the background. Incredibly Satan has/is doing this same trick yet he’s not fooling around. For the heathen, he has made the Russian nation the big bad bogey man, for us the Lord’s remnant church, he’s made the Roman Catholic church the sinister bogey man almost ready to get us!

Both of these nonsense ploys are really a snare and should be exposed for what they are–Satan’s tricks.

Let us first look at the Russia situation. For present truth believers it is well-known that Russia along with China/Iran/Syria form the basis  for the counter force that will soon put an end to the “Assyrian”world rulership, which the Word describes as  the white Christian english speaking nations. This is portrayed in many angles such as the “King of the North” coming to his end in Daniel 11 and Revelation 17 and 18.

Briefly, after the gigantic war happens over the middle east (Zeph. chapter 2) and the Holy land is made desolate and cleared out for the return of His 144,000 servants as He promised through out Scripture, the victorious aforementioned nations shall then capitulate, as the word says,

“For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” (Rev. 17:17)

Russia and their partners shall give to the “beast” , the false religious world system, their victory for a short time.

But let us see what is happening right now with the King of the North’s grand schemes. As many know we have just witnessed a truly remarkable USA election. The long shot came home for the victory. Yet the powers that be are not happy. In order to get a little background on these powers that be see this post–https://godsloveandlaw.com/2016/10/01/the-king-of-the-north-daniel-prophecy/

So Satan, as we all know hates “right doing”. Anyone or nation that stands up for justice and peace and order Satan will certainly attempt to disrupt or portray in the worst light possible. But we as the masses, are fed daily propaganda and this comes through the King of the North’s vast media network. The one world agenda is being played out right now and there is one big roadblock– Russia.

So what is Satan doing through his earthly servants?  Provide a false narrative on the big bad bogey man Russia. The 9th Commandment says,

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16)

Keep in mind this is the heathen bogey man, we as SDA aren’t so much aware of this as we should be. The other bogey man, the Catholic Church, has got much of our attention.

For example, recently in the besieged city of Aleppo, Russia set up on the outskirts several small tent hospitals to help the injured and dying. This was bombed and lives were lost including innocent doctors and staff. But  hardly not ONE WORD of condemnation was said about it through out the King of the North’s media empire (ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, FOX, CNN. etc.)! This innocent blood shed will not be allowed much longer. Just as Abel’s blood came up to God’s presence, we can be assured this blood is up there.

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.281)

We as mainstream mass media readers are told the narrative that Syria has bad government and needs to be brought down. This same story worked in bringing down Iraq, Egypt, Libya and so on.So why stop there?

Some may wonder how is it that one can know what really is happening over in Syria? It is because one must look at “both sides” of the story. The other side which the main stream media does not want people to know about, we have found quite humble and honest in showing real and verifiable “proof” of the real story of the Syria conflict. The site is called RT Today. https://www.rt.com/news/

We suggest that one get prepared by viewing “real news” around the world because, the middle east is very soon to be the new world focus. Russia will be a main player in end time events so it’s good to get familiar with this nation and it’s goals and policies. To be sure Russia now is threatening the King of the North’s plans.

In Daniel 11:44 it says-

“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”

Russia is this north country (from the Holy Land perspective) and China is the east country. These two countries trouble the King of the North and as such we have witnessed much blatant country destroying (via their surrogates –Nato led by the UK and USA, and now particularly ISIS and the other terrorists) in the middle east and surrounding areas. Now you can see why the King of the North is troubled. Russia and to a lesser degree, China, are upsetting his one world domination plans.

Now let’s look at Satan’s other bogey man–the Catholic Church. All one needs to do today is just review some SDA YouTube prophecy videos and you’ll see Walter Vieth, Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr and a host of other SDA leaders promoting the idea that the big bad Catholic Church is about to dominate the world and cause untold havoc everywhere by enacting the dreadful Sunday law!
But the Lord knew all about this way back, and He told His Elijah prophet to update us about this trick, let us read–

“Question: The Shepherd’s Rod teaches that the shaking is to be caused by a message to the church (“Early Writings” p. 270), but the denomination teaches that the shaking will be caused by the “Blue Sunday Law.”  If the denomination is right, as we believe she is, then The Shepherd’s Rod is certainly wrong on the subject of the shaking.”

“Answer–

….As the “Blue Sunday Law” is to be enacted by Satan’s own will, not by God’s, then such a method to purify the church would not only be contrary to every inspired statement but also to Satan’s determined purpose, for his aim is not to bring the tares and then pluck them out, but rather to choke out the wheat by their continued presence. Neither is his intention to fulfill the prophecies, for that is what he would be doing if he should enact blue Sunday laws, but rather defeat them. Therefore, if the church is to be purified by Satan’s laws he would be doing the work which God has assigned to His servants and which He is to do Himself.

   Is Satan working for God’s and His church’s interest or against? If against, he will never do one thing to purify the church or to fulfill the prophecy.

   The only thing that would compel him to pass blue Sunday laws and go “to make war with the remnant of her seed” (with those that are left, Rev. 12:17) is the purity of the church when God by the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel Nine takes away the tares which received not the mark, and even then Satan will not enact “blue Sunday laws” until after he has exhausted every other weapon against the church.

Therefore, as long as the church remains in her present Laodicean condition, there will be no blue laws or “war” against her, but a bluff only to make her members believe that they are free from his snares and that he is still trying to cause them to fall. But the worst of it all is in that they are sound asleep, which is shown by the fact that they still think Satan is working terribly hard to fulfill God’s word by trying to pass blue laws and are not aware that he is only playing with them as a cat with a mouse, and the brethren “to whom the Lord has entrusted the spiritual interests of the people” (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 211) instead of sounding the alarm to arouse the church are determined to even silence the voice of the Rod, and thus rocking her to a more sound sleep!” (Sym. Code, vol. 2 no.1 , p.9-10)

The Spirit of Prophecy also tells us that the RCC will not be the final world power.

“I saw that the two-horned beast had a dragon’s mouth, and that his power was in his head, and that the decree would go out of his mouth. Then I saw the Mother of Harlots; that the mother was not the daughters, but separate and distinct from them. She has had her day, and it is past, and her daughters, the Protestant sects, were the next to come on the stage and act out the same mind that the mother had when she persecuted the saints. I saw that as the mother has been declining in power, the daughters had been growing, and soon they will exercise the power once exercised by the mother.” (SpM, p.1 -copy of three early visions)

The Protestant churches are the real movers and shakers soon to take the stage. Yes, they follow the beast’s image (Sunday worship) but they do not get their calling orders from Rome. “She has had her day” as Inspiration says, but Satan has led many of us to think her day is about to now come!

So there is now a two-fold deception going on from our adversary based on false witness. One to the world and one to the church. Both are leading their surface readers and studiers down a false path. As we have shown repeatedly my SDA brethren, we are accountable for the Lord’s light and if we truly keep pace with it, we will clearly discern the Truth from falsehood. We are guaranteed to know Truth when we do His will.

“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” (John 7:17)

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

Meeting Them Where They’re At

December 10, 2016

shaking-hands

Imagine a professor going into a 3rd grade class and attempting to teach them algebra. Or a pilot professional teaching a layman how to fly a plane in one day. Such occurrences would be extremely difficult if not impossible. Yet we as present truth believers and proclaimers try to do the same thing sometimes in getting the message of Elijah to our listeners.

Our Lord showed us that we are given the ability to understand, depending on how well we want to.

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?” (Luke 10:25-26)

How do we read it? Well, that depends on where we’re at spiritually. Let me relay my own personal experience briefly.

Back in the beginning of 2009 I came into the truth of the Lord’s Commandment, specifically the Sabbath. Once I learned this , my life changed. A true metamorphosis occurred and I began to experience the following —

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor.5:17)

But the first couple years my knowledge of the Scriptures consisted of the basics, the Commandments and my daily walk. Prophesy did not mean much nor did I seek it much.  Sure I read some things on it but it was not my focus.

Now, imagine if after just 6 months or a year, some SDA brethren would have come up to me and said, “Hey brother do you know that Christ’s next coming is not in the clouds but into our church to begin the judgment for the living?” I would have be dumbfounded and probably worried for that brother or sister who said those things. Because I had been taught and believed that we all know the next coming is Jesus in the clouds.

But not to worry because we are promised a special gift IF we do the will of God, let us read–

“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John  7:17)

“However when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.(John 16:13)

So we see that each of us are on God’s path for us. Just where we are at and just when we are ready, will He guide us into the next phase of Truth. In other words , we should call Him the Perfect Timer.

But He does “Knock” on our door–

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

What is He knocking with? His Truth! We are led into it when we are ready and if we open the door He comes in and “sups” with us, meaning He tells us more Truth and we acknowledge and love it.

“The sanctified soul will not be content to remain in ignorance, but will desire to walk in the light and seek for greater light. As a  miner digs for gold and silver, so the follower of Christ will press from light to greater light, ever increasing in knowledge. He will continually grow in grace and in knowledge of the truth -2 Peter 3:18 ” (RH, June 17, 1890)

But let us now look at “meeting them where they are at”. We shall go over some examples.

1-    Sister P seems a sincere seeker of the Truth. We have given her several CD’s, DVD’s and literature on the Elijah message. She has gladly received them and looked into them. But we have not been able to gauge her progression as she has not asked many questions (a great way to know if they are learning). Yet we ran into her recently and she told us that we missed their great Thanksgiving service (especially the lunch). I asked what was so good about the lunch.

She explained that there was very good “Turkey”. “What???” I responded? “Turkey? Don’t you know that we are counselled by SOP to give up meat and especially by the Elijah message?”  She did not know anything about this counsel.

Wowsa I thought. Here I was giving her strong meat (present truth) and yet she was not even advanced on the basics of our SDA principles!

Scripture has the plain truth–

“I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready.. ” (1 Cor. 3:2)

So this shows that this sister is not ready for strong meat but of milk. She asked about the references showing we should not eat meat so the next week I sent her several quotes showing what SOP said about meat eating.

2-   Brother T is a very serious student of the Lord’s Elijah message. But over the years the Lord has warned me about him. Something did not click. He gave me reports to read on certain prophecies , yet when I looked at them they were at odds with what our last prophet interpreted. But I continued to study with him and some interesting discussions were had.

Later, and more recently, I was instructed by the Lord to inquire about His beliefs in Tithe paying. Sure enough and as I had suspected, he believed that there are no worthy storehouses today because of problems with each and every one. In other words his own home was to be the storehouse.

I did not mince words and showed him what the Elijah message said concerning this on Answerer, vol. 4, Q-97, p.44-45. This shows that this is a serious no-no and those who do such things are fooling themselves. But I was met with fierce opposition. Many excuses were brought forth attempting to destroy the clear word of the Lord.

So after this, I received confirmation that unless repentance is made I am not to have further studies with him, lest I seem to encourage him in his deadly course. This is tough and when we see that they are at a place of pride and no need to correction, well, SOP minces no words–

“I have been shown that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness is that they will not receive correction. Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them.” (Testimonies, vol.3, p.255)

3-  Brother G has been a good church friend for several years. Something about him and I has caused us not to lose track of each other. Despite his witnessing my change of direction, following the narrow path of the Lord’s Elijah message, he has remained a faithful friend (unlike many other former SDA friends/acquaintances).

Over the last year or so brother G has inquired more and more about the Elijah message. He has shown a real desire to know more. Recently we had a good study on the pre-millennial Kingdom. So he is no doubt being nudged by the Spirit of Truth to get into the “Noah Ark” for us today– our present truth. So I am not wasting any time and corresponding with him regularly.

So this brother is at a place where he is desirous of Truth and once we see this from a friend or relative we must not neglect our duty to help out.

So we see some specific requirements needed to reach the three people. Sister P needs milk of the word, not deep prophecies. Once she shows advancements then the Spirit will guide into the strong meat. Brother T needs firm medicine. He is not in a good place. His Pharisaic attitude makes it all the more harder to reach him. Prayers are what is needed most. Brother G is ready for more meat and we are to not let go and stay with him as he seeks greater light.

In closing we are to know where they are at, prayerfully asking for discernment and watching their fruit to know how to respond. This last message is too important to carelessly banter around. The Lord sent His last prophet “Elijah” and we are to be Elijah messengers after learning of the message. We can’t give this message properly unless we know whom we are dealing with.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20)

 

 

The Church of the Routine, Part 2

December 3, 2016

 

church-asleep

Back in May of 2010 we did a post called, “The Church of the Routine.” In it we pointed out how , unfortunately, our church service is so lacking in the Spirit of God that it truly is a–  show. There is a old saying that says–“All show and no go.” Or another saying made famous by the adorable grandmother Clara Peller, “where’s the beef?”

The Lord has impressed upon me to revisit this area again with more information. Let us look at our Church service yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The above picture is not meant  to be funny, yet sadly that is what our church service looks like (or at least feels like) more often than not today. But how did we get to where we’re at? First lets go back to the beginning, the times of our church founders the Apostles.

“What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and let one interpret; but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;  for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Cor.14:26-33)

We can gleam many things from the above. There were:

1.Scripture readers

2. Teachers

3. Revelators (Those who shared what they received in dreams or visions)

4. Tongue speakers

5. Interpreters

We also see that Inspiration deems order as very important yet when the Spirit moves, they were to respect It. “But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent.”

What this means is that when the speaker was up front speaking, the Spirit sometimes moved upon someone seated in the place of worship and the first speaker was to remain silent and listen to the revelation that came to that one seated. This shows that the Spirit moved among the house of God. This one important area kept the service from being routine and added the Spiritual excitement and unpredictability.

We also notice that many in the assembly prophesied (relating the Biblical prophecies) and the intention was to –learn. There was clear evidence of the Spirit moving in His house by the fact that the gift of tongues was active as well.

Let us look at our typical SDA service today. We stick to a pre-made schedule usually. The first service is usually the Sabbath school lesson. But these are cookie cutter Scriptural readings which more often than not contain no present truth but old truths. The lesson goes into stories and all sorts of lessons, yet fails to deliver the one message the Lord wants given–His Elijah message!

So right off the bat in our first service we are taken down a road that goes into a direction that we aren’t being guided to by the Spirit   –old truths without any present truth.

Question No. 131:

   Should the subjects contained in “The Shepherd’s Rod” publications or those contained In other works, be studied in our Sabbath meetings?

Answer:

   If The Shepherd’s Rod contains the message of the hour, then it takes precedence over every other truth for the Spirit of Prophecy says, “It is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now.”–Early Writings, p. 63. “‘These things [the sealing of the saints] should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.’“–Early Writings, p. 118. “Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth.”–Testimonies to Ministers,p. 118. (Answerer, vol.5, Q-131, p.52)

“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 Object Lessons, p.127-128)

Because we as SDA, for the most part, ignore or reject the new truth, we have old truth that becomes a “lifeless form”.

Then we sometimes see commotion from kids running up and down the isles or people talking loudly in His sanctuary.  Our prophetess said the following about our service —

“From the sacredness which was attached to the earthly sanctuary, Christians may learn how they should regard the place where the Lord meets with His people. There has been a great change, not for the better, but for the worse, in the habits and customs of the people in reference to religious worship. The precious, the sacred, things which connect us with God are fast losing their hold upon our minds and hearts, and are being brought down to the level of common things. The reverence which the people had anciently for the sanctuary where they met with God in sacred service has largely passed away.”(Testimonies vol.5, p.491)

“Because of the irreverence in attitude, dress, and deportment, and lack of a worshipful frame of mind, God has often turned His face away from those assembled for His worship…When a church has been raised up and left uninstructed on these points, the minister has neglected his duty and will have to give an account to God for the impressions he allowed to prevail.

Unless correct ideas of true worship and true reverence are impressed upon the people, there will be a growing tendency to place the sacred and eternal on a level with common things, and those professing the truth will be an offense to God and a disgrace to religion. They can never, with their uncultivated ideas, appreciate a pure and holy heaven, and be prepared to join with the worshipers in the heavenly courts above, where all is purity and perfection, where every being has perfect reverence for God and His holiness.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.499-500)

A while back in our own church we observed the sanctuary turned into a meeting room for church business (the election of officers). My wife is newly Adventist and was perplexed. How can it be called “worship” when business is being conducted where God sits in His house? There is no doubt that the reasoning is because the church is all together in one place and because of the convenience, we degrade His sanctuary for our sake, our needs.

“These things you did, and I kept silent, because you assumed that I was like you. But now I am going to rebuke you, and I will set forth my case before your very own eyes.”(Psalms 50:21)

Even the church which we have often spoken against, the Catholic Church, prophetically teaching  it as part of the Beast in Rev. 13, has a silent reverence within their sanctuary. Being raised Catholic, I vividly remember the silence and respect I felt in their churches. This reverence continues to this day in many of their churches! What does that say about us, with greater light?

The Lord’s word warns us–

“Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and Sabbath, the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.” (Isaiah 1:13)

“I hate all your show and pretense–the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”(Amos 5:21-24)

We have boxed ourselves into a routine corner. Our service today is one of man’s ideas and works, not the Spirit’s. But perhaps the greatest folly occurring in His house week after week is the preaching of peace and safety. SOP explains–

“Many regard the threatenings of the Bible as designed merely to frighten men into obedience, and not to be literally fulfilled. Thus the sinner can live in selfish pleasure, disregarding the requirements of God, and yet expect to be finally received into His favor. Such a doctrine, presuming upon God’s mercy, but ignoring His justice, pleases the carnal heart and emboldens the wicked in their iniquity.” (GC, p.537)

“A carnal security and ease in Zion prevail. Peace, peace, is sounded in her borders, when God has not spoken peace. They forfeited the terms of peace; there is reason for an alarm to be sounded in all “my holy mountain.” The sinners in Zion should be afraid…” (Review and Herald, 12-23-1890)

Only if we would change it back to the days of the early Church, then we could experience a holiness and God’s Spirit inside His sanctuary. A  Spiritual refreshing would occur in His house! Do not despair, this WILL HAPPEN in the  very near future, now let us look at the church tomorrow.

Isa. 2:2 — “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

   Not a man, not a people or a nation, but the Lord Himself so declares.  The prophet was shown things concerning the Lord’s house (church), “in the last days,” — not in Isaiah’s days.  The statement “last days,” in itself leads us to the “time of the end.”  As we were shown last Sabbath that the time of the end began in the 18th century, obviously then, the time is here for this marvel of the ages to take place.

Isa. 2:3 — “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

   Since no such gathering as here predicted has as yet taken place, the subject becomes exceedingly obvious that it is still future.

But if you truly desire to be in His kingdom , do not despair there will be a pure church and great gladness and joy abounding. (1 TG, no. 5, p.3)

God’s church shall be exalted in the “last days” and based from Jerusalem. This shows that His church shall no longer be fused with hypocrites who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. All such shall no longer be in the church.

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

This end time church will be so great and powerful — a testimony to the Lord , let us read His words as to the prophetic plans–

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.  Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. 

Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.  The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. 

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.   Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?  Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. 

And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore 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.” Isa. 60:2-11.

The church’s purity is so widespread that the “forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” The Loud Cry will do its work, the great multitude (Rev. 7:9) will come in.

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”(Zech.8:23)

So we can indeed have great hope. Our true desire, to worship the Lord as we should, giving Him honor and reverence as we should–will become reality! No more of the weekly show called “church services”be performed by a cookie cutter routine. Instead we will behold His glory and power in His house and exalting Him to His rightful place–King of the Universe, amen!

 


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