Are We Afraid?

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NOTE: Color code : Orange – The Lord speaking  Blue — Bible/SOP  Brown– Elijah message –Victor Houteff

Many of us know well the story of the courageous Joshua and Caleb. 10 of the 12 spies had just come back from the land and gave a dire report, telling the people that there was just too much danger for them to go over there and conquer the land. In effect, Christ was not able to deliver them.

Yet Joshua and Caleb trusted the Lord fully. Despite the mockery and murmuring against them, they held fast, standing up firmly for the Lord–they were courageous.

In Rev. 21: 7-8 we read —

“He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

As we have posted many times, when we search the Scriptures we see that the Lord has always honored those who have stood up for Him, even under tough circumstances.

“Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever’; but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me– for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.” (1 Sam. 2:30)

Going back to Joshua and Caleb. How many in the hundreds of thousands Israelites that heard that silently whispered “hey you know I admire these guys courage”, or “you know they might be right”, etc.?

Yet how many other adults over 20 made it to the promise land even if they did silently side with Joshua and Caleb? NO OTHERS! That’s right just Joshua and Caleb were allowed to go into the promised land. Do you suppose because no one else had courage to step forward and stand with them, they were all guilty alike? Courage was very rare at that time.

Today my brethren, we have the same anti-type fear. Let’s look at a case in point, a brother we’ll call bro.C. We met bro. C about 3 years ago at church, we had a chance to talk shortly with him  after service in the parking lot. We then handed him some present truth material which he graciously took.

Time when by and we never heard a peep from him. Then about a year later we ran into him in the local Home Depot parking lot. By the way, these haphazard meetings are NOT by chance, God arranges them for us. We inquired how he was and asked if he’d ever had a chance to review the material. He responded, “oh brother I know what you believe, and you better watch out of those Shepherd’s Rod teachings.”

Before I could hardly discuss the matter he interrupted me and said “sorry, my wife is waiting and I have to go.”

This brother is an older gentleman and a respected elder in one of the local churches we attend. As I have often thought of this man and his wife, the Lord has reminded me of those who are basically cowards. They are truly afraid of being outcast from the church. You see church membership is more important than the Truth.

There is a clear lesson of this same fear and that is found in John 9:21-22 —

“But by what means he now sees, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.”

Sadly today, this lesson is not learned from. There are many within our church that do not want to stand for the Truth, lest they run afoul of the Laodicean leadership. In other words being throw out of the church is worse than being thrown out of the Kingdom!

Just a few days go I ran into another church member in my travels. She is an older woman who is in a responsible position within the church. In our conversation, the subject of the disastrous 2015 gay Christmas presentation held in a local SDA church of which she attends was mentioned. I asked her what she thought of that event. She responded “I did not like it.”

I thought that was a good response but I inquired further if she rose up against it in the church to voice her displeasure. She hesitated then said, “No I think they know how I felt about it.” It was at this point that I told about the aforementioned example of only two making it to the promised land and that even though there may have been some silent admirers or supporters of Joshua and Caleb–it did not count in God’s judgment. Again we go back to standing up and being counted!

Scripture tells to watch out for an important priority.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.” (Proverbs 27:5)

Now why would this be so? Because great love and caring means standing for the right and warnings given when needed. Love is at the center of this behavior if done in truth and righteousness.

Mind you that we do  not imply that we are to be scornful people walking around looking for sin or evil ways, not at all. But as the message tells us, Satan has mostly filled our church with tares and the subsequent abominations done continually within her. In order to “love” our brethren we are, at times, to show them their wrong paths.

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

SOP gives us specific and powerful counsel —

“The prejudice which has arisen against us because we have reproved the wrongs that God has shown me existed, and the cry that has been raised of harshness and severity, are unjust. God bids us speak, and we will not be silent. 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.

The spirit of hatred which has existed with some because the wrongs among God’s people have been reproved has brought blindness and a fearful deception upon their own souls, making it impossible for them to discriminate between right and wrong. They have put out their own spiritual eyesight. They may witness wrongs, but they do not feel as did Joshua and humble themselves because the danger of souls is felt by them.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266-267)

The Elijah message also tells us that we are for the most part — church devoted instead of Christ devoted.

” The greatest trouble with most S.D.A’s is that they are baptized in the name of the denomination rather than in the name of the Trinity.” (SC, vol. 3, no.5-6, p.8)

“Regardless how long one’s name may have been on the Church record, if he is not born again (justified by faith) , he is out of Christ, and is alien to the blessing of the Gospel.”(SC, vol. 6, no. 1-6, p.15)

Here is , I believe the main reason that many church members are afraid. They do not want to run afoul of the church leaders! Just as the blind man’s parents were. But brethren the Truth will require us to stand up for Him sooner or later! But when at last you want to, will it be too late?

“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? (Mal. 3:2)

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deut. 31:6)

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