Archive for June, 2017

“Oh No! It’s that Word–Trinity!”

June 24, 2017

Image result for picture of Trinity

 

Today there is a growing movement within our church. It is serious, as it relates to the identity of God, specifically the Godhead. As we have often mentioned, we are active in His vineyard, watching and listening to what the workers amongst us are doing and saying. The idea of the “Trinity” is being discussed on a large-scale and we thought it important to discuss this relevant and important issue.

Wikipedia gives us a good look at the historical understanding of the Trinity–

TRINITY–

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. ‘triad’, from trinus, “threefold”)[2] holds that God is three consubstantial persons[3] or hypostases[4]—the Father, the Son (JesusChrist), and the Holy Spirit—as “one God in three Divine Persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios).[5] In this context, a “nature” is what one is, whereas a “person” is who one is.[6][7][8]

According to this central mystery of most Christian faiths, there is only one God in three persons: while distinct from one another in their relations of origin (as the Fourth Lateran Council declared, “it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds”);[9] and in their relations with one another, they are stated to be one in all else, co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial, and each is God, whole and entire”.[10] Accordingly, the whole work of creation and grace is seen as a single operation common to all three divine persons, in which each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, so that all things are “from the Father”, “through the Son” and “in the Holy Spirit”.[11] 

While the Fathers of the Church saw even Old Testament elements such as the appearance of three men to Abraham in Book of Genesis, chapter 18, as foreshadowings of the Trinity, it was the New Testament that they saw as a basis for developing the concept of the Trinity. One of the most influential of the New Testament texts seen as implying the teaching of the Trinity was Matthew 28:19, which mandated baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

Another New Testament text pointing to the Trinity was John 1:1-14, in which the inter-relationships of the Triune God are reflected in the gospel author’s description of “the Word”, again showing the elements of the Triune God and their eternal (always was, always is, and always shall be) existence. Reflection, proclamation, and dialogue led to the formulation of the doctrine that was felt to correspond to the data in the Bible. The simplest outline of the doctrine was formulated in the 4th century, largely in terms of rejection of what was considered not to be consonant with general Christian belief. Further elaboration continued in the succeeding centuries.[12]

Scripture contains neither the word Trinity,[13] nor an expressly formulated doctrine of the Trinity. Rather, according to Christian theology, it “bears witness to” the activity of a God who can only be understood in Trinitarian terms.[14] The doctrine did not take its definitive shape until late in the fourth century.[15] During the intervening period, various tentative solutions, some more and some less satisfactory, were proposed.[16]

Trinitarianism contrasts with nontrinitarian positions which include Binitarianism (one deity in two persons, or two deities), Unitarianism (one deity in one person, analogous to Jewish interpretation of the Shema and Muslim belief in Tawhid), Oneness Pentecostalism or Modalism (one deity manifested in three separate aspects). Additionally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate deities, two of which possess separate bodies of flesh and bones, while the Holy Ghost has only a body of spirit; and that their unity is not physical, but in purpose.[17]

The above give us a good basic understanding of the concept of the Trinity. But as God’s remnant church, and specifically –present truth believers , we need to know what is happening amongst us concerning this issue.

There appears two camps today amongst us. One, the camp that stands squarely with our standard SDA doctrinal belief number two , let us read it–

The Trinity , No. 2
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)

They believe as shown that there are THREE coeternal “Persons.”

Then there is the other camp, which is unfortunately growing, that believe that there are only TWO coeternal Persons, the Father and the Son. The “Holy Spirit” is a type of force or cosmic energy and is at the beck and call of the Father and Son.

Before we go further there is a very important SOP quote that we all, both camps, must remember in any discussion about the Holy Spirit–

“The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.” {AA 52.1}

Ah, the Lord’s Spirit of Prophecy says we “cannot explain it.” This makes perfect sense as once someone decides to do a study upon this great “mysterious” and confounding subject they come into all kinds of “what ifs” and “how comes”.

But this Inspired counsel is today thrown to the wind and many are taking upon themselves the mount of Korah, and declaring that they are inspired just as God’s prophets are and can explain who, what and where the Holy Spirit is! And they have declared that not only is there no Holy Spirit Being as God, but that the very word–Trinity– is blasphemous!

For a good example of one of the anti-Trinity proponents in our SDA church and who has the site called “The Third Angel’s Message.com”, and what they teach, let us read–

1 Corinthians 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father

“This is who he is, the father and God of Jesus Christ our Lord who is the son of the father.  A false doctrine has gained it’s way into our church today.  A doctrine “denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”[Jude 4].

The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted.] God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, page 268)

1 Corinthians 1:3  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Almost every book in the New Testament begins with a similar greeting.  The title, God, is always used in reference to the father, and there is no reference to a third being. Nowhere in the scriptures is the title, “God,” used in reference to the father, son, and holy spirit,  at the same time.

A doctrine called the trinity has denied this.  This doctrine denies who God is and who his son is.  This doctrine does not “manifest the love of God toward us”[1 John 4:9].   It denies Christ is the son of God, and makes God out to be an office of three beings, an impersonal God pervading all nature.  Co-eternal, co-equal friends is what it says when you analyze it rather than a “father and son”.

What we see here is this man’s explanation of the Godhead, specifically that there are TWO Persons, not three. Yet as we showed our important doctrinal SDA belief says we believe in THREE Persons in the God head. This man and those like him  today want to re-write or deny our doctrinal beliefs!

But  let us remember that the Omniscient God knew very well that this Trinity issue would be a concern in our last days, did He not? And Did He not decide to write a promise in His Holy Word saying that a “restorer” , the last prophet to our church, the Elijah would come and therefore explain these things?

Ok, if we believe that, then we must search what the final restoring message says in order to know the Truth of this matter. Otherwise we are like Korah, uninspired and stepping up to the Lord’s platform to tell Him and us what is Truth and that “we” know it instead of His inspired Prophets. Oh my my!

Today there are many teachers of this new doctrine, claiming that it is really a old doctrine founded with the pioneers of the SDA church. For example a website call Revelation1412.org– Nader Mansour, and the above mentioned site by David Barron. Both of these are active promoters of this doctrine.

There are two specific areas where the Elijah message confirms the belief in the Triune God, the Trinity.

In 1947 in the publication called the “Timely Greetings”, the message said the following–

“FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF DAVIDIAN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

Emerging in 1930 from within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination (“the church of the Laodiceans”), the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has ever been committed to the prophetic work (predicted in Isaiah 52:1) of preparing the Laodicean church, the last with the “tares among the wheat,” for the final proclamation of the gospel “in all the world.” Matt. 14:14.

This Association, in common with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, holds “certain fundamental beliefs, the principal features of which, together with a portion of the Scriptural references upon which they are based,” are originally summarized as follows:

“1. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice. 2 Tim. 3:15-17.

“2. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient,

Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 10, page 21

infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.”

For a complete report on the fundamental beliefs on the SDA and DSDA, as one organization,  read this link-

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/tracts/2tg10.html

As a side note, if you read this link, keep it in your memory bank as many of Satan’s workers, those SDA leaders and scoffers of the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9),  will tell you that Davidian Seventh-day Adventists don’t believe in  the same fundamental beliefs as the SDA, which this exposes as a lie. Instead they should be worried about the real usurpers as shown above, those promoting the denial of the Trinity!

An additional  reaffirmation —

Question 214:

Why are not the given names of the Trinity used in baptizing?

Answer:

As the Scriptures give several names for the Father and for the Son (and none for the Holy Ghost), and as we are not told which of these to use in baptizing, we must, therefore, take Him at His word and baptize in just the way He commands: “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19.  Moreover the names given in the Scriptures are not absolute names, but rather titles–equivalent to the names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Still further, even if the absolute names of the Trinity were known, their use would lead to irreverent address.  For example, suppose the Father’s name is George; the Son’s, Thomas; and the Holy Ghost’s, William.  Could any God-fearing human being even dare think of its being reverent to say, I now baptize you in the name of George, Thomas, and William!  Let us therefore comply with the Lord’s command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of be Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19. (For further light on this subject, study our Tract No. 11.) (Vol. 7   Symbolic Code   Nos. 1-6. page 13.)

“The greatest trouble with most S.D.A’s  is that they are baptised in the name of the denomination  rather than in the name of the Trinity.” (Vol. 3, Symbolic Code, no.5,6 p.8)

So we are clear, the Lord’s restoring message of Elijah CONFIRMS that there is such a term as “Trinity” and it describes three co-eternal Beings. This is solid my brethren and we can “take it to the bank”.

So what do we have here my beloved? We have an end time deception! A side tracking issue that diverts our minds from one of our core fundamental beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists. This is for the purpose of trying to establish a form of self-righteousness, a holier than thou belief because they know who God is more than the prophets!

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Tim.4:1)

But the anti-Trinitarians have many tricks up their sleeves such as the following James White quote–

“Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, and of sprinkling or pouring instead of being “buried with Christ in baptism,” “planted in the likeness of his death:” but we pass from these fables to notice one that is held sacred by nearly all professed Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. It is, the change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment…” {James White, Dec 11 1855, Review and Herald, Vol. 7, no. 11, P 85 Par 16}

But what they forget is that he was not inspired prophet of God. It was only when he co-wrote the booklet  “A Word to the Little Flock” that the prophetess approved, collaborated  and authorized it, thus endorsing it with her part of that booklet. Yes, he was the husband of Ellen White, our prophetess, but that did not keep him from declaring uninspired statements or beliefs. All we have to do is see what the INSPIRED prophetess, his wife said years AFTER such words.

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds. — Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.) {Ev 616.5} The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. .. . . {Ev 616.6} 

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”–Manuscript 20, 1906. {Ev 617.1}

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature.” (Desire of Ages, p.671)

Our King the Lord Himself warned us of the following —

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt: 12:32)

The Words Holy Spirit are “hagios pneuma” meaning pure spirit (being) used above and it is the same as what Christ described in authorizing baptism into His Christian faith in Matt: 28:19-20.

Is it fair and right to be VERY careful in regards to the Holy Spirit? If Christ exalts Him to be one of the THREE divine authoritative titles used to be publicly received into His faith and promises, then who are we to try in the least amount to lessen or degrade the Holy Spirit into a mankind construction. In other words, we  must go back to God’s instruction that specifically calls us NOT to explain it. Christ exalted the Holy Spirit and let’s leave it at that!

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”(1 John 5:7)

Lastly the restoring message gives us important counsel on our subject —

“In whom are we to be baptized?–

   “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. 28:19.

   “This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is Truth.  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One.” 1 John 5:6, 7.

   When we are baptized in the name (singular, not “names”) of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we are baptized in our Maker, the blood, and the Truth, and these three are One.  Thus we are baptized in the “name,” not names, because these three are one — The Trinity — Creation, Redemption, Truth.

   Most people, though, act as if they were baptized to the church, to a society, to Paul or to Apollos, so to speak, but we as reformers and Present Truth believers, must go on with the Truth wherever it leads us, always remembering that we have been baptized to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

   If this be not true of us, then it is certain that we shall never advance any further in the knowledge of God, Christ, or His Truth, — no, not any further than we were the day we were baptized.  Those who do this become dwarfs instead of grown-up Christians, never reaching the fullness of the stature of Christ, for they are satisfied to be what they are; they feel in need of nothing more than what they got at baptism; they are as unmovable as were the priests, scribes, and Pharisees in Jesus’ day.  God forbid that any of us should thus lose out.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 19, p.16-17) 

In closing, let us not fall for one of Satan’s many snags today. If we believe in our Lord, the Word, we will know the Truth. It is only when we desire to follow man instead of His inspired prophets, that we may fall. There is a concept known as the Trinity, and it is from God.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matt. 28:19-20)

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Interesting Q and A

June 17, 2017

Image result for picture of someone studying the bible

The Word says–

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

This week we’d like to show some of the Elijah message’s Q and A. We picked these out  for your study. Enjoy.

ARE “ZION” AND “JERUSALEM” THE SAME?

Question No. 85:

   Please explain the difference between the terms “Zion” and “Jerusalem” of Isaiah 52:1 and of Revelation 14:1.

Answer:

   “Zion” and “Jerusalem” of Isaiah 52:1 must represent people, for it would be ridiculous to say to a hill and to a city, “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, put on thy beautiful garments.”

   On ancient Zion’s exalted hill stood the palace of the king, “and the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.” Neh. 11:1.  So the royal family resided on Mount Zion, and the lesser rulers and other government representative dwelt in Jerusalem proper.

   The call, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,”  is applicable to the Laodicean church, the last of the seven churches, and the one which terminates the period of the “wheat” and the “tares” commingled, because after she puts on her beautiful garments,  “the unclean shall no more come into” her. Those who will awake to the rousing call, put on strength by separating from the wicked, and put on the beautiful garments by turning to  righteousness, are those who will, in the “latter days,” make up Zion and Jerusalem–the princes and rulers of the people in the Kingdom-church restored.

   Then “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,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”–Prophets and Kings, p. 725.

   Hence, “only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.”–The Review and Herald,  No. 19, 1908.

   Now as to the meaning of the two terms, Zion and Jerusalem as used in Revelation 14:1, the second reference in question, the Revelator explains that the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel are those who make up Zion. His words are, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Rev. 14:1.

   These being the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), it further shows that they are the first of the harvest in “the end of the world.” Matt. 13:39. Obviously, then, those who were seen after them, the “great multitude…of all nations” (Rev. 7:9), are none other than the second fruits of the harvest, some of whom will dwell in Jerusalem.

   So at this harvest time, “it shall come to pass…that the mountain of the Lord’s house [Mt. Zion] shall be established in the top of the mountains,  and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Isa. 2:2. (Answerer, vol. 4, p.20-22)

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JOSIAH’S OR JOHN’S PROPHECY FULFILLED?

Question No. 77:

   Because his prediction of the fall of the Ottoman Empire on August 11, 1840, was strikingly  fulfilled, was Josiah Litch correct in claiming that the prophecy of Revelation 9:5, 15-20, was thus perfectly enacted?

Answer:

   Though in the working out of Litch’s prediction, there was a seemingly preternatural element of coincidence, the event in question could not have been that described in John’s prophecy, for the latter reveals that the four angels bound in the Euphrates were to slay the third part of men. And where in the Scriptures is any Gentile nation symbolized by angels? Moreover, the Ottoman Empire did not fall at all; instead, it placed itself “under the control of Christian nations.”–The Great Controversy, p. 335. Furthermore, the angels had an army of 200,000,000 horsemen, while Turkey never had that many cavalrymen in all her lifetime! Still further, the prophecy of The Revelation calls for slaying the “third part of men” (Rev. 9:15), whereas in the fulfillment of Litch’s prediction, no slaying took place. In view of all these facts, it is self-evident that though Litch’s prediction may have been fulfilled, it in no wise had reference to the Revelator’s.

   The Great Controversy records merely that Litch’s own prediction, not John’s met fulfillment. So, Litch’s prediction, being erroneously based on The Revelation, was a preternatural coincidence, not a fulfillment of the Revelator’s prophecy. (Answerer, vol.4, p.5-6)

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WILL ALL COME TO THE TIME OF THE PLAGUES?

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. (Answerer, vol.3)

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WHY NOT BOTH VISIONS ALIKE?

Question No. 59:

  If Daniel 7:8, 25 and Revelation 13:3 both prefigure the same power, and if the Roman church during the Middle Ages is the one there predicted, then why is she, in Daniel’s vision, a combined secular and ecclesiastical power (horn-head), while In The Revelation she Is only an ecclesiastical power (head)?

Answer:

  That the same power is indeed symbolized by both beasts is unmistakably seen from the fact that both “blasphemed” the same length of time: the former, for “a time and times, and the dividing of time” (Dan. 7:25): and the latter, for “forty and two months” (Rev. 13:5). This same period is identically stated in Revelation 11:3, and is equivalently represented in Revelation 12:14 as “a time, and times, and half a time,” which according to the rule of interpretation of Ezekiel 4:6, is equated: “time”–1 year; “times”–2 years;  “and  half a time” or “dividing of time”–l/2 year: in the aggregate equaling 3 1/2 years, 42 months, or 1260 days (12 months to a year, and 30 days to a month, Bible reckoning).

  Daniel’s vision foretells only the formation of that church and state union, and for this very reason John’s was given to show its final stage, its dissolution only. Thus the two visions complete the whole-the formation and the dissolution. (Answerer, vol.3)

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SAVE THE CHURCH OR THE WORLD?

Question No. 67:

  If, at this late hour, we give our whole effort for the salvation of the church, how will the rest of the world ever be reached?

Answer:

  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” an. 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.

  The men and means already devoted to missionary work for the world are so plenteous as entirely to overshadow the meager facilities available for carrying the message to the Laodiceans, although the church is in even greater need than is the world.

  However, carrying the message to the church does not affect the mission work for the world for while the Davidians labor in the interest of the church, the Denomination carries the old message to the world. But should the Davidians also devote their time and money to looking after the interests of the heathen then both the church and the world would be plunged into hell. Consequently, to save the world, we must first seek to save the church from the ruin that is imminent, as did John the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles, in their day.

  After the church awakes and ceases dreaming that she is “rich and increased with goods,” finds out that she is in need of everything rather than of “nothing,” puts on her strength by turning to Christ her Leader, clothes herself in the garments of His righteousness, and lets the unclean pass no more through her (Isa. 52:1), then shall her righteousness go forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see her righteousness, and all kings her glory (Isa. 62:1, 2). Then will she really be able to save. Then her “gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto” her “the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve” her “shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:11, 12.

  Let all Present-truth believers, therefore, pursue this course to its happy climax: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” Zech. 2:10, 11.

  Still further, as it is not we, but Christ Who “is taking the reins in His own hands” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), it is not our duty to tell Him which work should be done, and which should be left undone, but let every follower of His realize that He will “work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300.

  Be not like the class who “question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 690), but be like those who “let Heaven guide.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475.

  The command to us is: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house a Jacob their sins.” Isa. 58:1.

  “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him; and His work before Him.” Isa. 62:10, 11. (Answerer, vol.3)

Are You Persecuted?

June 10, 2017

Image result for picture of Apostles being persecuted

In the old Biblical times the word persecution usually encompassed stoning, crucifixion, flogged, or any other means of physical abuse. But today we know that this persecution is less severe physically yet no less emotionally and mentally troubling. In other words today’s suffering of God’s people is more discreet and less open than days of old, but nevertheless just as serious spiritually.

In  2 Timothy 3:12 we read,

 “Indeed, some who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Ah, did you catch that? We inserted a false word in there — “some” for the Word of God — “all”.

But to the vast throng of our people, we as Adventists,  it might as well say “some” because many do not believe it means all. The word all in our dictionary is —

“the whole of, every, any whatsoever, …” –Dictionary.com

Now there is no doubt that God’s Word says ALL who live Godly SHALL suffer persecution. This Word my brethren is vast and far-reaching in our lives today. Let me begin first by giving my own example of how this subject came alive to me personally.

In early 2009 I came into the truth of God’s Commandments, specifically the Sabbath. This changed my whole heathen life style. In short order I was on the path to knowing more about God. Who He was, what He stood for, and what He requires of us.

The knowledge of the things of God became my whole focus. God became real to me as I witnessed one sign after another. He showed me clearly He was alive and He was personal. But as I read more and more of the Scriptures, I found a reference that made me ponder, it was —

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

I had been a SDA member for a good year already and when I read that , I wondered to myself, “Um, I do not suffer any persecution. Maybe this is not really applicable for us today.” Yet that idea came into my belief that God’s word is truth and means what it says. So I put it away in my memory bank for another time.

Fast forward a couple of years. I came into the message of our Lord’s final message of Elijah by listening an online audio sermon of the subject of the 144,000.

It struck me hard. Because a short time prior to listening to it, I had driven by one of our local SDA churches during the course of my work day and the Spirit had told me to inquire of one of the retail businesses on this church property.

I was led to call and ask this Chiropractor shop whether they were open on Saturday. They responded, “Yes we are would you like to make an appointment?” This devastated me and I broke down right then and there. Keep in mind , up to this point I was growing in faith with my church. Thinking firmly that we were God’s people, not perfect but striving to keep His Commandments as a corporate body. Yet, here I saw that we were gigantic hypocrites! We teach that God’s true day of worship is the seventh day, the Sabbath, yet right there in front of the world for all to see we were letting people “within our gates” work and break His Sabbath!

But as I mentioned, this sighing and crying was seen by our Lord and He guided me to that audio sermon to awake my soul to what His plans were for purifying His people, His church. In other words, I soon saw that He knows all about this hypocrisy and will do something about it. Soon I was in deep into this “new light” and my soul was truly filling up with the “bread” from heaven, His words of life.

The whole Scriptures came alive as if Someone had anointed me with “eyesalve”  to see (Rev. 3:18). Thus, being excited of these new truths I was very zealous and anxious to share them. I had been a frequent pre-Sabbath school speaker in our church,  well received as well,  and after learning of the Elijah message, I shared some new insights to the church. Much as a man who found gold in a field would want to share the news to his family, I too wanted my church to know these marvelous valuable things.

BAM! What is going on??  Before I knew it a couple of weeks later I was called into the pastor’s office. “Rob, are you a believer in the Shepherd’s Rod?” They asked.  “Sure” I said, thinking they too loved the truth and this was God’s truth because it passed the test–to the Law and to the Testimony.

Long story short, I was told that if I did not relinquish my faith in the Rod, I would be demoted from Deacon to regular member with no rights to leadership roles in the church.

Soon it dawned on me and the Lord reminded that I had finally learned the personal meaning of “all” shall suffer persecution! This now was understood! To no longer be able to contribute to the discussion of the Lord’s word from His house was a big disappointment and an injustice. Persecution indeed!

“No man can be true to principle without exciting opposition.” Desire of Ages p. 356.

We mentioned that today’s persecution is not yesterdays, but nevertheless it exists, as can be seen by my personal testimony, it came in the form of demotion, murmuring against  and slandering. It also may include dis-fellowship which our last prophet , Victor Houteff experienced.

These following examples are what happened to brother Houteff while simply attending church and trying to inquire of Truth–

“At the close of a service conducted by a field secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist in one of our city churches, Brother Houteff was asking the speaker of the evening a question on some statement which he had made from the pulpit in opposition to the teachings of The Shepherd’s Rod.  Without warning or conversation of any kind, a man approached  him from the rear, took him by the neck and shoulders, and thrust him from the building. 

But what was worse, the offender was not even an Adventist; in fact, his mother said he was not even a Christian!  Now what incited this poor man to commit such an unprovoked and unlawful act?  What, if not the false accusations from the pulpit,  made against Brother Houteff?  For up to that moment Brother Houteff had never met the man or even spoken to him, and there had been no excitement whatever, but only quite friendly reasoning on the part of the conversers.

   “Shortly after this experience, Brother Houteff and I, along with another brother, attended a Sabbath service in another one of our churches, and this time the president of the conference spoke in opposition to The Shepherd’s Rod.

“At the close of this service, a lady approached Brother Houteff and spoke to him as he stood with a number of others in front of the building, and before he had time to reply to her, a young man, also whom Brother Houteff had never seen before, rushed up to him, rolled up his sleeves, and threatened to smash the glasses off his face if he did not stop talking to his mother!  But some one led him away, and his mother, too, said he was not an Adventist.  What could have put such hatred in the heart of this young man?  What except the sermon which he heard from the pulpit?  For up to that moment neither one had in all his life seen or spoken to the other!

   “A third incident very similar to the ones related above came to my attention, all within a period of four weeks.  This time the president of the Union Conference, had on Sabbath afternoon called a large congregation together, many miles away from either of the churches mentioned above, to hear him refute The Shepherd’s Rod.  During the service, he conducted himself in such a way as to instil in the hearts of all his hearers hatred for the author of the message  contained in The Shepherd’s Rod series of books and tracts. 

After the meeting closed, a group of young people were gathered around Brother Houteff outside the church, near an embankment.  Suddenly a young man rushed up to the crowd and thrust himself as hard as he could upon the one nearest Brother Houteff in an effort to knock him over the embankment.

And he would have verily succeeded had Brother Houteff not been quick enough to catch himself in time to avoid pitching over head-long!

   “Again we are led to inquire, What put such hatred into the heart of this young man who also had never met Brother Houteff?  What, save the sermon he had just heard?

   ” ‘Satan’s attacks against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time.  As in Christ’s day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice against the truth for this time.  The people will be led to acts of violence  and opposition which they would never have thought of had they not been imbued with the animosity of professed Christians against the truth.’ ” — Gospel Workers, p. 324. (Tract 7, p.58-60)

SOP imports counsel here–

“We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” ( 1 Selected Messages, p.122)

So we see that Satan hates the Truth and those who proclaim it. It is those indeed who are the “all” of which the Word speaks of. In fact SOP gets directly to the point in the following —

“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed!

Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God’s sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church.

Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.”(Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267)

Who is working for Satan? Those who oppose those who are against sin and sinners in the church! These are who get persecuted. The ones who stand up for the right based on God’s word.

So this is where some soul-searching must be made. Each “believer” must ask himself the following.

  1. Do I have courage to stand for the right within my church, or do I fear to because it will affect my church relations?
  2. Am I experiencing any trouble from “within” due to proclaiming His truth within our church?
  3. Do I experience absolutely no “persecution” as in today’s application?

There is a sure reward for those who stand for the right and receive persecution.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)

In closing brethren the Lord said –all– and that means all. And if we do not live Godly we cannot experience the truth of His word. Satan is watching those who dare take a stand for the Lord’s truth, and if you do , be sure that you will experience the fulfillment of this word.

Knoweth Not?

June 3, 2017

Image result for who me? pictures

This week as I laid in bed, thoughts of writing more of the kingdom came. But the Lord, as always, guides and as such the subject of Revelation chapter 3 came to mind. As we SDA are well aware the Lord looking down to our day wrote specific counsel, serious counsel, that we must not ignore.

Let us look at Revelation 3:14-22.

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you knoweth not that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Now, let’s  be totally honest here. When we read those words, we most likely will say, “I’m not the one deceived, it’s the other guy.” But let’s look deeper and find out just who is this “Knoweth not” guy or gal?

Let’s very carefully go over these words of our King, and do an analyzation of them. Before we do we should also remember that the Word of the Lord in Chapter 3 is specific  and means something very very  important.

All Adventists know that the Lord is making this message to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Laodicea is our name. The message explains what the name means

“Being compounded of the Greek words “lao” and “deci,” the one meaning “people,” also “speak,” the other meaning “judgment,” the two together meaning people proclaiming judgment, the name Laodicea, therefore, identifies a church proclaiming the judgment hour (Dan. 7:9, 10; Rev. 14:6, 7). 

  As the S.D.A. church is the only one to proclaim judgment, and as each of the seven messages is addressed to the angel of the respective churches, the message to Laodicea is accordingly–ADDRESSED TO THE S.D.A. ANGEL.” (SC, vol. 7, n0.7-12, p.3) 

The Lord is not happy with us as a people, we are not on fire for the Lord. We go through the motions. We can be cool or lukewarm. We are not active in declaring the things of the Lord. We have not kept abreast of His word as the scroll unrolls (present truth). For the few who do know that His promised last prophet to our church (Mal 4:5) has important instructive eternal words for us.

Verse 17 shows us why we are not on fire. We think we know it all and do not need more Truth! When a message comes to us by a messenger claiming that it is from the Lord, we often will judge or ignore that message due to either it has been “studied and rejected” by our leaders (lean on flesh), or we just don’t “feel” it’s a message we need. Both cases we deny a serious study of further light. The message says more about this–

“Dear Brethren in Laodicea, do you know that prophecy positively declares that the people of God in the Laodicean church are in a critically dangerous condition and know it not? Well, Brethren, whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it, that precisely is the case. And if you hope to enter into eternal life, you must believe it, and that without delay. Whatever else you may believe or disbelieve, this one thing you must believe, “for it is the True Witness who speaks, and his testimony must be correct.” –Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 253. (Answerer, vol. 1, p.5)

 

“No one but a hopeless Laodicean, one who forever holds to his day-dreaming that he has need of nothing more, — no more Truth or prophets, — can fail to see that the prophecies pertaining to the day of God are only dark sentences to him, that he is in need of everything instead of nothing, and that the work of the promised Elijah is not the work which the Laodiceans are doing.  The Laodicean message (the Judgment for the Dead) is definitely not Elijah’s message, although many may think it is.  That many are blind to this, the Lord points out: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”

   Moreover, we all know that the work of typical Elijah was to do away with the prophets and priests who served Baal instead of God, those who led ancient Israel into the greatest fallacy and folly of the day.  Accordingly, the antitypical Elijah’s work, being in the spirit and power of typical Elijah, must therefore be similar to typical Elijah’s work-restoring Truth and righteousness, and bringing judgment upon the false prophets and teachers in the antitypical day which in itself is the separating of the chaff from the wheat — the work of the Judgment for the Living.” (General Conference Special  p.30-31)

 

“..God’s people who, today, are as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” of spiritual discernment, as were the Jews at Christ’s first advent; and perhaps even more so, and as His people now, like the Jews then, do not admit their ignorance, they fulfill to the letter the prophetic utterance, ”Thou…knowest not.” (Rev. 3:17.)

   Hence. “what greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong!” Consequently, this kind of Christians are the most difficult to handle and most hopeless to convince. But if they would hear the voice of the True Witness: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint shine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Rev. 3:18), become as babes, and be taught as such, then a great flood of light from the Word of God, as has never been beheld, will enshrine them.

This experience will awaken them as if startled out of their dreams, and will enable them to receive the power of the Spirit, and to put on the “beautiful garments” of Christ’s righteousness, which gift, by the prophet’s pleading, He is urging us to receive (Isa. 52:1). However, no one with prejudice and self-confidence can ever come to the knowledge of the truth.” ( Vol. 2 Symbolic Code No. 11  pg. 7-8)

So we can see that it is the last message, the final “oil” that we must have, the “eyesalve” that awakens us. Yet as mentioned nearly all of us say it’s the other guy who this “knoweth not” applies too. There is only one way, we see, that you will KNOW that you have been wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” That is when you learn what you’ve been missing–the present truth of the hour! THEN, you will recognize all that the Lord said of you–was true. You did indeed, “Knoweth not.”

 

But now some among you are aware that because you’ve accepted the Lord’s Elijah message, His Rod (Micah 6:9, 7:14) you have bought from the Lord “gold tried in the fire.” Amen!


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