Archive for the ‘Christian walk’ Category

Meet Sister Bonnie Smith

March 25, 2017

Image result for old lady praying in dark

Once in a great while, people are blessed and encouraged to meet a person who has “walked the walk” as well as “talked the talk” all their life. We’d like to introduce you to a very special woman, someone who has “fruit” of which any true-hearted Christian can recognize.

Our King said, “So then, you will know them by their fruits.” (Matt. 7:20)

The message tells us —

“..only a true Christian, one who has a personal experience with God, a perfect knowledge of His Word, and who is filled with His Spirit, can discriminate saint from sinner.  He, only, can recognize who has the seal and who does not have it, when the latter is cloaked in a counterfeit robe of righteousness.” (Tract 5, p.63)

So the Word tells us in two specific examples that we can know who truly has the “seal” of God. What a blessing and promise to those who are truly striving to make Christ the center of their life, to have such discernment!

Her name is Bonnie Smith. She is 87 years old now. At the end of this post you will be able to see a video of her just a few days ago, taken when she was invited to a Los Angeles church to testify of her Christian experience (She lives in South Carolina). One that very very few people have had.

Let us give you a little history of our sister. She is one of only two known survivors today, to have lived on the original property, known as Mt. Carmel, in Waco Texas. As far as anyone knows, sister Bonnie and a man known as Don Adair, are the only two active living proclaimers of the message who lived on the property.

She came with her family in 1936, one year after the beginning of the “camp”, as it was known back then, was established. She was but a small child. So her young life was an upbringing in the counsels and teachings of Victor Houteff, who many today believe was the prophesied “Elijah” to come as spoken of in Mal. 4:5.

Among other things she learned was that a reformed life was essential to knowing Christ. In his very first publication brother Houteff announced his intent of his mission–

“It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is to bring about a reformation among God’s people.” (SRod, vol. 1, preface)

It is a well known fact that the “camp” was a model of pious Christian living, all was orderly, clean and everyone contributed. The present truth message was given often through the chapel on the grounds. The printing press was going almost non-stop, as brother Houteff worked tirelessly to give what some of us know as the last message to the SDA church.

So as with all true Christians, brother Houteff walked the walk. He oversaw a camp that held to all the reformed ways of living as outlined in the Bible and SOP. This was a matter of careful obedience. And those who lived there showed it! Dress, worship , proper Sabbath adherence, etc. all was a way of life on the camp.

Today, we as present truth believers have much to be thankful for to sister Bonnie. She collected numerous photos of the old days and her knowledge of the message is still quite good. She keep many of the original writings of the message and has  been very instrumental in their preservation.

For some of her photo collection click here–
http://shepherds-rod.org/photo/index.html

When you open the photos take a close look at page 8, you’ll see that when the photo came out, the lights above the main office showed a cross appearing above the masonry clock.

I have coordinated a couple of phone conferences with her and many people have been blessed listening to her describe some of the events and happenings that took place back in the day. She tells of the many miracles that occurred, the true love that those on the camp experienced as team players of one accord for the Lord. Their utmost respect and admiration of the man they came to know as the last prophet to our SDA church– Victor Houteff.

Of course one can really never know these things unless one experiences it and decides to read the message carefully through and through. Afterall those who don’t put credence in the Lord’s word, that He will send a last day prophet “Elijah” just before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, are going to miss out on what was sent by our King. But not the case with sister Bonnie and other devoted families that lived upon the camp.

Obviously nearly all have passed away, yet God has preserved this one special lady that we may be encouraged and see her fruit, and that it is good indeed!

When you watch this video remember what God said through his word about those who He will call His own —

  1. God’s people are humble and sincere
    “If My people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)

2.  God’s people pay attention to dress

“.. that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and                         sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but with what is                 proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

3.  God works through the pure in heart

“He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”(Isaiah 49:6)

“The Holy Spirit works in the children of obedience. He who is a partaker of the divine nature will think the thoughts of God. His perceptions will be sanctified by the grace of Christ. He will work in Christ’s lines, manifesting His kindness, thoughtfulness, mercy, and love, helping and not discouraging those around him.” (MS 73, 1901)

In closing, enough of the preliminaries, may you see for yourself who represents what is known as a “Davidian Seventh-day Adventist.” As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

 

The God of Details

March 4, 2017

flower

When we pick up a flower we see the absolute minute details, the perfect designs, the lines, the colors, the smells, etc. This is our God, one of great detail. In the Word we read–

“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

But what are some of the “details” that we as  God’s final remnant church should concern ourselves with today? Let us look at some appropriate details that should very much be our focus today.

1) Our time

Each day we are to put in between approximately 15 to 18 hours of productive work, whether it be for the world , for ourselves, for our family or friends, or for God. We as SDA members know that the Lord has given a responsibility to the “recording angels” to watch our every word and deed.

“All of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God.” (Romans 14:12)

“Every man’s work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of heaven is entered with terrible exactness every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel.” (Great Controversy, p.482)

So if we are being recorded, why not make sure that each day we put in our time to do some work in His vineyard. The ability to “work” in His vineyard is made so much easier and seamless today with the advent of electronics. We really have no excuse to be coach potatoes, or worldly entertainments lovers. Time is almost up for us SDA members, our time is way too valuable now to throw away.

2) Our Sabbath adherence

We know that the Lord has always be particular in Sabbath observance. This day above all other days is the one He blessed and hallowed. But all too often we can get sloppy in our observance of this day unless we keep regular check on our routine. Some areas to watch-

  1. Keep a close eye on the start (sunset) of the Sabbath and the end (sundown) of Sabbath. These 24 hours are God’s blessed time and we should make the most of it and keep it–holy.
  2. Keep an eye on our “worldly conversation”. Too often we can get careless and drift off into worldly matters and this is displeasing to the Lord.

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the LORD, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 58:14)

3. Be prepared. If we need gas for the travel to church, we get it Friday. If we need some foods for       Sabbath we buy it Friday.

4. Have your Bible with you for Sabbath. This seems one of the most basic rules of the Sabbath yet             far too many seem to carelessly heed this simple rule.

5. Show up to church on time. This is a must. This is so disrespectful to the Lord and even to some             others in the church. How many in the boy scouts are allowed to show up late in their meetings?                 How much more important is it to show up  in God’s house at the proper appointment time!

“Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” “And the people went about, and gathered it [the manna], and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it.” Exodus 16:23; Numbers 11:8. There was something to be done in preparing the heaven-sent bread for the children of Israel. The Lord told them that this work must be done on Friday, the preparation day. This was a test to them. God desired to see whether or not they would keep the Sabbath holy.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.355)

3) Our dress

This goes along with number 2. The house of God is a special house and requires us to show honor and respect for our Creator. Women’s dress should be modest and not flashy with all kinds of jewelry or worldly fashion. In fact the last message of Elijah , from the Lord, says that proper attire includes head covering for the ladies.

We’ve done a post on this topic —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/01/24/little-things-mean-a-lot/

The guys should also have a respectful suit or apparel. If you look like you could fit in at the ball game, then you may want to re-adjust your attire in front of the King of the Universe. Are those shoes shined?

“Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.355)

 

4) Our Commandment keeping

We should all remember that the Lord’s word says we have TWO DUTIES. But these are all encompassing and really cover the vast elements of our life.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc. 12:13)

One of the big surprises that I have learned over my years in the SDA church is how few actually know the 10 Commandments! When you say , “sister Julie, what is the 8th Commandment?” They are often stumped! Wow, now this is not good. This is so basic in our Christian walk, it is mind-boggling that ANY have not learned these primary building blocks of our faith.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”(Psalm 119:11)

“If you love Me keep my Commandments” (John 14:15)

Did you know that in all the Bible there is only one place where the Lord Himself told us how to “love” Him? Yes, it is that reference– John 14:15. This is powerful my brothers and sisters. Let us know them first so that we can walk in them and then show we love Him, it’s all elementary.

5) Tithe duty

Another simple yet often ignored and misunderstood word and command of God. There are three aspects to this subject– where to pay, how often and why pay it there?

Before we address these questions let’s look at our Scriptural basis for paying Tithes.

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal. 3:8-10)

Obviously it must be a “storehouse” of the Lord. The Elijah messages says –

“The tithes and the offerings are of the Lord’s substance, and those who think that they can so manipulate them as to accomplish whatever end is desired, are deceiving themselves, not God, for His command is, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house. “Mal. 3:10.  The storehouse is the only place designated where one may bring the tithes and offerings and unload from his shoulders the heavy responsibility which a faithful stewardship imposes. 

To do otherwise with them, is to leave one’s account in the heavenly ledger standing in the red, even though one may appropriate them to some meritorious work of charity.  While it is yet today, therefore, flee from this sin of Achan before it is forever too late!  “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Ezek. 33:11. (Tract 4, p.43-44)

But we as SDA members should know that God’s voice is no longer coming from our church leaders.

“It has been some years since I have considered the General Conference as the voice of God.”Manuscript Releases 17:216 (1898).

“That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be—that is past.”The General Conference Bulletin, April 3, 1901, p. 25.

“As for the voice of the General Conference, there is no voice from God through that body that is reliable.”(Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, p.178)

So what to do? We know that “meat” in His house must mean present truth, the truth of the scroll up to our time. The Truth that is able to guide instruct and ultimately save.  And where do we find in the Scriptures of His final message of truth coming? Again in Malachi.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD”(Mal. 4:5)

So we have our answer. The meat that must be paid for, the present truth, is the Lord’s final message of Elijah. And as we have shown time and again, our SDA church has largely rejected this message. So in order to pay our Tithes for His meat that must be dispensed to His people, we must turn to those who are doing that. They are part of the SDA yet identify themselves as Davidian Seventh-day Adventists.

The word Tithes means 10% as many of us know, and this is just the Tithes. In Malachi we are accused of robbing God with not only paying Tithes but offerings (above and beyond the 10%). So there should be more than 10% given. As far as how often, Scripture points out something done weekly–

“Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”(1 Cor. 16:1-2)

The message tells us more specifics in paying our Tithes —

WHAT IS SUBJECT TO TITHING?

Question No. 99:

   Deuteronomy 14:22 says: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.” How shall I tithe my crop?

Answer:

   To facilitate answering this question, let us consider for example the case of a potato grower. Say that he is without expense for hired labor, irrigation, rent, etc. If free from such overhead and if his gross returns are $50 an acre, then the whole amount would be subject to tithe, which of course would be $5 an acre. If, however, he must operate with an overhead expense to produce his crop, then obviously such expense should be  deducted from the gross value of the produce, and only the remainder tithed. For instance, if the gross value of the crop be $50 an acre, and the overhead expense $10 an acre, then the net increase, the amount subject to tithe, would be $40 an acre, and the tithe only $4 instead of $5 an acre.

   If, on the other hand, one is a wage earner, sustaining  the expense of social security, transportation to and from work, etc., then he deducts the amount of such expenses from his wages before tithing them. For example, if he receives $100 a month wages, and if he must spend 10 cents a day, or about $2.60 a month, for transportation, he then deducts $2.60 from $100, which leaves $97.40 to tithe.

   If one’s income is from rentals, then he deducts the amount spent on upkeep of the property from his untithed gross income. Thus figuring one’s income, one tithes all his increase. (Answerer vol. 4, p.47-48)

In closing all these details are very important. And if we neglect to adhere to them we can take the real chance of offending our King. SOP gave us a good warning to consider, so that we would not be “careless and stupid”.

“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!A great work must be accomplished for ministers in order for them to make the preaching of the truth a success. The word of God should be thoroughly studied.”(Testimonies, vol. 2, p.338)

Details my brethren, let us concentrate on them as our Maker does.

Get Out of the Me BOX

May 14, 2016

selfish

It is a well known fact, not only within the Scriptures but in human psychology, that we as humans have predominantly one person who usually is the center of our universe– ourselves. Many may scoff at this but it may not be consciously that we believe this, but certainly unconsciously.

With this human trait grounded deep within us, those of us who attempt to change our nature, our core, can only succeed by the transformation of the Holy Spirit, Christ within us.I came across a Spirit of Prophecy quote so deep and profound, it is the basis of this week’s post. Let us read.

 “Now sin has marred God’s perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf.

The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.

The angels of glory find their joy in giving,–giving love and tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy. Heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world light from the courts above; by gentle and patient ministry they move upon the human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they themselves can know.”(Desire of Ages, p.20-21)

What we see is that all things were created for benefit of another. Only man “lives unto itself.” With this thought in mind let us look at how this selfish nature is at work among us and how we can get going and get out of the –me box.

One of the great and sorrowful lessons of our past history is the story of the blind man’s parents.

“The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.” (John 9:18-23)

Truly a sad sad situation! Here were supposedly excited and grateful parents who witnessed their blinded by birth son’s eyesight return, yet they selfishly denied Christ! Their only concern was to not be expelled from their church even though a life changing miracle was given their son by a man called Jesus. In other words they refused to leave their me box and stand out alone what ever may fall- for the Truth.

And that is key to getting out of our boxes, to not be afraid of the circumstances that comes with standing up for Jesus and His word as delivered by His prophets. Have you ever asked yourself– Why is it that we as the “Israel of today” (Testimonies vol. 9, p.164) are prophesied to have “only” 144,000 sealed amongst us? Yes, it is because so many of us refuse to get out of the me box! The Lord’s last message of Elijah is derided, mocked, scorned and dismissed and who among us wants to be associated with that?  Only those willing to get outside of the safety of their box and face the consequences.

Let’s look at another example, that of our King.

“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me...On hearing this, many of His disciples said, “This is a difficult teaching. Who can accept it?”..As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”(John 6:59,61, 66)

The Lord had just given the people strong and deep meat (truth) and in doing this it struck the people as strange words. In order to do this Jesus, our example , stepped out of His comfort zone and gave them the words of life. In  other words all our Lord had on His mind was His people not Himself, however strange it might make Him appear.

Do we today have this same “I want to help my brothers and sisters no  matter if I must be put in uncomfortable situations” attitude? To proclaim the truth from the Lord, His final message of solemn warnings and instructions, we must be willing to “go it alone” if this is what it takes. Of course all those who side with the Lord, will never be alone despite what we see and feel from this world.

The Spirit of Prophecy shows us that those who step outside the box will be like Elijah, willing to speak the words of Truth come what may.

“The messages from heaven are of a character to arouse opposition. The faithful witnesses for Christ and the truth will reprove sin. Their words will be like a hammer to break the flinty heart, like a fire to consume the dross. There is constant need of earnest, decided messages of warning. God will have men who are true to duty. At the right time He sends His faithful messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah.” (Testimonies, vol.5, p.254) 

Being in this message I am frequently hearing from brethren, especially from the poorer countries, who tell of their experience within their own church. Their willingness to stand for the Lord’s final message and it’s often solemn declarations, has cost them their membership or rank within the church. Despite the opposition they have learned that it is not self they are worried about rather it is their brothers and sisters!

In closing, let us read what the message tells of our responsibilities. We can only do these faithful instructions if we step outside our–me box. May God help us to do that.

 

   The Responsibility of Those Who Bear the Message.

Since Ezekiel represents those whose hearts the message has reached, then to them the Lord is speaking when He says: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

   “Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because  thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezek. 3 :17-21.

   Because of the unfaithfulness of the former watchmen, the Lord makes the antitypical Ezekiel — he and she who “sigh and cry for the abominations  that be done in the midst thereof” (the church) — a “watchman” (Ezek. 3:17) in their stead.  Be careful, therefore, Brother, Sister, lest you also betray your trust and find yourself thrust out.  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12.  Only those who thus humble themselves now, will the Lord exalt in due time to be

His Faithful Watchmen to Stand Before the Unfaithful (Tract 1, p.41-42)

Believe me brethren the above snare is much more common than we think. Far too many of us mount the judgment seat and declare this shortcoming and that shortcoming from the few large organizations that our doing their best to provide present Truth “meat” to all those hungry for it. But as we point out in this post we don’t have to solely relay on the formal organizations  to send out the Truth  today.

“No need to depend on the sanction of any minister or any people to do God’s work, God will vindicate you.”(1888 Materials , p.1746)

We’ve heard the famous quote, “He marches to his own beat.” Well, that’s another way of saying we don’t have to be told what to do, we pick up the shovel, hammer, wheelbarrow (figuratively speaking) and get to work! All that is required for us to be active in spreading the sealing message today is to be–self sacrificing.

 

 

 

“Woe is Me!”

March 26, 2016

Sad woman

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

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

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal.3:10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IS SMALL INCOME TITHE EXEMPT?

Question No. 158:

   As my income is very small, am I not exempt from paying tithe?

Answer:

   God designed the plan of systematic benevolence so as to make it as equitable to the poor as to the rich, no more a tax on the mite than on the million. And we know of no Scriptural authority for exempting from tithe any income, however small. All, poor as well as rich, are given the privilege of returning to the Lord His own. Many with a “mite” income are paying both first and second tithe, and in return are receiving a rich bestowal of blessing.

   Thus reason forces the conclusion that if one is not obliged to receive charity help in addition to his income (whatever its source) to cover his living expenses, then for him not to pay tithe is to cheat Himself of the abundant blessing which attends a faithful regard for the royal privilege of being one of God’s stewards. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.86-87)
 

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

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

See this post for “storehouse” recommendations —

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

There are three aspects to the Malachi promise.

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

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

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

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

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

Question No. 98:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

History of the Heels

December 12, 2015

modern high heel

This week I observed something that burdened my heart. A young gal, maybe 18 or 19, whom I thought had taken good counsel before, showed that as the ol saying goes “went in one ear and out the other.” Sister L, we’ll call her, is a kind of leader in our church, especially to her peers. But before we get more into that let’s look at current worldly fashions in our church and specifically –the ladies high heel shoes.

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but — which becometh women professing godly piety — through good works.”(1 Tim. 2:9-10)

We are going to really get down and study this issue because the Lord has placed it on my heart to awake many of our sisters who for one reason or  another just cannot fathom  how “converted” Christians should come before the Lord.

We are told to be converted and to have a new spirit and mind. In other words things of the world, including fashion– must go. For a personal example, music was my worldly love prior to being converted. Just as many women love fashion as their worldly love. But one day the Lord convicted me of my idol and I grabbed the large outside trash can and went into the house and threw everything that was worldly music (CD’s, Albums, Tapes) into the trash. I never looked back.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Once we declare to our heavenly Father we are His, by Christ’s brutal death for us–we change. Our old ways go away–at least that is the plan of God. But unfortunately many want both worlds! Again Scripture warns us–

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)

It’s the perfect deadly storm, with some saying secretly in their soul, “I want Christ but the world’s attractions I cannot ignore, Oh Lord help me to do both.”

Peer pressure is very powerful. We all remember our youthful days when we wanted to be liked and accepted. But we also remember our caring teachers, even those who were more stern than we liked, but looking back we admired them for their uprightness and firmness to showing us the right way the best path. The same applies to our youth in the church. They need help , they need guidance from our leaders.

Yet the Lord knows that today, our SDA church is filled with misguided shepherds. They “look the other way” at worldly snares that come into the Lord’s church. Jeremiah relayed the case in our church today–

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. (Jer. 23:1)

Today one of the most common and observable worldly fashions prevalent in the Lord’s sanctuary is the high heel shoes.  When you couple that with the miniskirt ( above the knees), voila– you have a strikingly similar dressed gal, to a night club gal! That’s right.

Back in the day  before being renewed in mind and spirit, I was often found in the clubs on a Friday or Saturday night, I remember quite clearly what we considered in style there. Yes high heels and short dresses. And that didn’t mean way above the knees, just above them.

Scriptures clearly tells us we are not to be viewed (seen) as a worldling. We are to be different.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)

Of all the shoes in the women’s world, I can think of no other that resembles the worldly fashion. We see executive women with them, we see professional women with them, we see teachers with them, we see night club gals with them. They are THE WORLD FASHION, the “in” thing to wear.

Let’s look at the history of them.

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Men were the first sex to don the shoe. They were adopted by the European aristocracy of the 1600s as a signal of status.  The logic was: only someone who didn’t have to work could possibly go around in such impractical footwear.  (Interestingly, this was the same logic that encouraged footbinding in China.)

Women started wearing heels as a way of trying to appropriate masculine power.  In the BBC article on the topic, Elizabeth Semmelhack, who curates a shoe museum, explains:

In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits…

They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel — it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.

The lower classes also began to wear high heels, as fashions typically filter down from elite.

How did the elite respond to imitation from “lesser” people: women and workers?  First, the heels worn by the elite became increasingly high in order to maintain upper class distinction.  And, second, heels were differentiated into two types: fat and skinny. Fat heels were for men, skinny for women.

This is a beautiful illustration of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of class distinction.  Bourdieu argued that aesthetic choices function as markers of class difference.  Accordingly, the elite will take action to present themselves differently than non-elites, choosing different clothing, food, decor, etc.  Expensive prices help keep certain things the province of elites, allowing them to signify their power; but imitation is inevitable.  Once something no longer effectively differentiates the rich from the rest, the rich will drop it.  This, I argue elsewhere, is why some people care about counterfeit purses (because it’s not about the quality, it’s about the distinction).

Eventually men quit wearing heels because their association with women tainted their power as a status symbol for men.  (This, by the way, is exactly what happened withcheerleading, originally exclusively for men).  With the Enlightenment, which emphasized rationality (i.e., practical footwear), everyone quit wearing high heels.

What brought heels back for women? Pornography.  Mid-nineteenth century pornographers began posing female nudes in high heels, and the rest is history. (Lisa Wade is a professor at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions.)

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The above article is typical of the reports on these shoes. Now, I ask you, do you see Christ in this? Do you see modesty in this? Or do you see prestige, self glory and worldly style? Disturbingly these shoes have a solid history associated with prostitution! What is a converted Christ loving woman doing wearing such things? Just like my trash can experience, all gals reading this should seriously consider pulling that trash can out as well. Believe me you’ll be very much blessed.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ” (Matt. 6:20)

Ok back to our sister L. I had observed her as a young lady striving to walk the walk. She gave a really good sermon about 3 months ago and I figured she would be the one to get some CD’s and DVD’s of the Lord last message to us–the Elijah message. So about 6 weeks ago during lunch I handed her some present truth along with a blog post on dressing for God in His sanctuary.

She seemed pleased to receive them. The reason I chose her was because she seemed as one of the young leaders of the church. Some other young gals were really dressing badly with the club outfits on. So I gently told her that she could review these reports and maybe discus with her friends. She happily agreed.

Over the course of the next few weeks she seemed to have a influence on some of them. Not a great big difference but I did see some improvement. Then this last week,   a typical night club goer would have definitely kept their eyes on sister L that’s for sure! So here we stand. I have prayed to the Lord and supped with Him on this and this is the reason for this post, to warn of this immodest behavior in God’s house.

Some may ask–“What about a moderate heel”? Again the word modesty comes into play. Take a look at this look and see if we can see modesty? From a personal view I see modesty and presentable dress before the Lord.

low heeled shoes

Another factor that comes into serious concern is that of a woman’s health. There are many many health reports showing some short term and long term physical damage done by wearing high heels. SOP gives us God’s word as well-

“I beg of our people to walk carefully and circumspectly before God. Follow the customs in dress so far as they conform to health principles.” (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p.242)

For a good report on the physical ramification of wearing high heels click here- https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/09/do-high-heels-damage-your-feet/

To sum up,  our sisters should ask this one question– “Does my dress appear modest or worldly before the Lord?”  One thing is certain the high heels have a long and sure history of not only being “worldly” but a standard footwear for the prostitutes. And believe me Christ knows this and we should as well!

My beloved, all we can do is warn, we cannot by compulsion make them do what they do not want to do. Jesus warned the wrong doers but He never haggled them or pressured them. We simply do our job and let the results be what may.

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezek. 3:18.

As we posted recently, we as Seventh-day Adventists are to “strive with all power God has given us to be among the 144,000” and to be among the Lord’s remnant people prepared to give the very soon to come Loud Cry. To be sure, all that are found unconverted will not stand in the church judgment. 

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1)

“In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity.” (Testimonies, Vol. 6, p.96)

Lastly, the Chinese have an old saying, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Why don’t you young ladies who are reading this report take that same trash can idea that I did and get a truly God felt blessing that really lasts?  You may very well find that the all-seeing Lord gives you much more than you give up!

 

 

Taking Orders

October 10, 2015

jesus-and-centurian

In the line of command within our armed forces it is important to give and follow orders. This is vital to the success of the duty or mission. But more importantly, we will see the Lord wants us to be able to take and give orders in these very last days.

Our very last prophet also gave some instruction on taking orders.

“…you remember what took place the night of the Passover, the night before they left Egypt: Moses had proclaimed throughout the land that in every dwelling where no blood was found on the doorpost, that very night the firstborn in each such dwelling would die.

Those who disobeyed the Divine injunction, were, on the day following busily moaning and burying their dead, while those who obeyed the command were joyously and orderly marching out of the cities. Yes, only those who were able to take orders were made free from slavery. It is, therefore, prerequisite that we learn to take orders if we are to receive the seal of God in our foreheads.”(1 TG, no.7, p.4)

We see that taking orders is a “prerequisite that we take orders if we are to receive the seal of God in our foreheads.” What an important instruction!  Let us look at today’s applicable practice of this important instruction.

Perhaps one of the greatest stories of taking orders is the story of the Centurion–

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,“Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (Matt. 8:5-10)

The Centurion showed that he knew the power of Jesus’ orders, and that just at the mere mention of the Word, his servant would be well!  Truly a man who knew how to accept orders!

In our own personal walk, we know that the Lord can and does give us individual “orders” in the form of , for example, an instructive dream, a clear sign in answer to a prayer, a certain person coming to tell us a message, etc. But there is a more frequent “order” given to us as God’s end time servants. It is from each other.

Let me give you my own personal example. As one of the administrators of a Facebook group called Truth Tellers, part of my duties is to coordinate and issue “orders” as it were, to some of the members. We have certain studies every other week which we give to the members. In the course of the many years we have been on Facebook, I have learned the direct application of our post title.

Usually most of those who I deal with are very cooperative and do as instructed. Unfortunately , I have met and seen some who simply turn down being asked to help participate in the useful studies. Of course everyone has a right to say no, but when we dwell upon the above Inspiration we must seriously consider our reasons why we say no to an “order” to go to work in His vineyard.

The Lord said “Do unto others as you would want them to do undo you.” (Luke 6:31)

So when we say no when being asked to do some work in His vineyard, are we asking others to do some work for us as well? Do we ask a knowledgeable brother or sister to help us understand a certain reference or passage of Scripture, Rod, or SOP? While this may not be considered an order, it is in effect just the same. We ask (place an order) to someone to do something to help edify, encourage, or support one another.

As one of those who is busy in His vineyard, I also certainly respect any orders given me. If a brother or sister asks for anything that is within my power to do, I see to it to complete the request. Their orders, I know, are given to help them in some respect.

So in effect we are giving orders and receiving orders to help the Lord’s cause. We are to be the Lord’s “servants” and if we want to be truly “great” we must be our brother’s or sister’s –servant.

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Matt. 20:28)

But those who selfishly turn down requests to help, must seriously look at their walk. Pride, selfishness, laziness, wrong priorities and a host of other reasons can very well be at the core of our refusal to “take orders”. Some may think it is beneath them to do something for a brother or sister. Our Master was the perfect example, washing the feet of His creation.

As present  truth believers we know that the current work for the church, the very last work right now- is the sealing of the 144,000.

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

These 144,000 will soon become God’s army, the word shows they will be united and in order. Their orders will come from on High and they shall not break ranks. Unity based on following instructions will be paramount.

“They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:” (Jer.2:7)

One of the worse examples of not only not taking orders is looking the other way at brothers and sisters of the faith and ignoring them when they reach out to us. I often give this example, can we imagine Jesus looking at someone who is sincere who approaches Him and requests an answer to a problem or concern, then seeing Jesus say nothing and walk away? The Lord was there for any and all who were sincere and wanted help. Even the Syrophoenician Greek woman, was not ignored.

We who claim to be God’s servants should 1) return phone calls 2) return emails or any messages 3) return letters . And most of all be ready to take orders with a happy heart.

So the bottom line is that we need to decide whether we want to serve or be served, help or be helped, advance His kingdom or hinder it.

In closing, let us strive to be willing servants to –take orders, as the Lord’s final message warns us —  “It is, therefore, prerequisite that we learn to take orders if we are to receive the seal of God in our foreheads.”

“Those who can learn to keep and feed sheep well and to readily take orders, are the ones who can be taught how to keep and feed God’s people.” (1 TG, no.7, p.11)

Shorts in the Sanctuary

August 22, 2015

Short skirtman in shorts

When we as part of the God’s remnant people see the above dress in His sanctuary, what should we think? What comes to mind is dis-honor and dis-respect. Our God is so much more worthy than worldly fashions. Let us look at what Inspiration says about this important part of worship.

Being a part of “God’s house”,  it truly is quite sad to notice week after week many of our young ladies (even middle age) wearing simply unacceptable dress in His presence. His word is abundantly clear on this issue , there should be no mis-understanding about it. Although it is our women who most often have the short attire problem, men as well can partake in this abomination.

Concerning my local church, I had posted a few months ago how I was led by the Lord to bring this issue up to the prior pastor (we have since had a new one who is trying to make some headway). This improper dressing was clearly pointed out to him , yet several months have gone by and this still remains a weakness within our church. The sin has been “passed over”. Our church is by no means the exception. This sin is throughout the SDA churches and is one of the most plain and obvious non-reforms we as His remnant people are guilty of.

Inspiration states–

“Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may not be contaminated. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp from Achans. Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.147)

Who is contaminated and effected by the improper dress? Certainly the peers of such casual and provocative dressers! Once an influential young gal (ie. a popular one) wears a short skirt, there is likely to be female followers who will admire the fashion and follow suite. It’s the ol “birds of a feather flock together” scenario.

We see from the divine instruction above that the “leaders” have a real duty to step up to the plate and give the right counsel. Doing the right thing here is tough, I will grant that but nevertheless it must be done.

His word says it’s tough to correct people–

“They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and abhor the one who speaks uprightly.” (Amos 5:10)

But who is to be pleased, God, man or woman? Will man or woman grant us life to live forever more? Will man or woman give us eternal happiness? Think this through my brothers and sisters. In the Lord’s final sealing message, He warns us through the prophet that following the fashion of the world is a very serious abomination. It is listed as number 2 of 12 abominations in the church (partial list).

1.   Lack of reverence in the house of God: Isa. 56:7; Volume 5,  pages 492-500.

2.   Following the fashions of the world: Isa. 3:16; Volume 1, pages  269, 270; Volume 4, page 632; Volume 3, page 379; Volume 5, page 78; Volume 1, pages 189-191;  Volume 1, pages 135, 136; Volume 4, page 631. (SRod, vol.1, p.34)

So with the greatest concern and Christian love we should do our warning. But those leaders who wink or ignore such sins Inspiration says —

“He would teach His people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to Him and are not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when His people are found in sin they should at once take decided measures to put that sin from them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins.

In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, they should seek God earnestly, in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit are searched out and put away.

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.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 266-267)

These warnings are not solely the leader’s job. If God gives you or I the heads up on a certain disrespectful lady or gent, and the opportunity arises we should politely and with love, warn them to show reverence in God’s house.

Look how Inspiration says fashion is so serious with God–

“Do not, my sisters, trifle longer with your own souls and with God. I have been shown that the main cause of your backsliding is your love of dress. This leads to the neglect of grave responsibilities, and you find yourselves with scarcely a spark of the love of God in your hearts. Without delay, renounce the cause of your backsliding, because it is sin against your own soul and against God. Be not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people.

Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline.

If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God.

There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized.” (Testimonies, vol. 4 ,p. 647-648)

There are many, many takeaways from these counsels above. One of the most striking is the counsel to give–church discipline. When was that last time this God breathed word was obeyed?

You see my beloved, this area of fashion Satan has thoroughly hood winked us. We say to ourselves and even to others who may bring this serious sin up, “It is the inside that counts, what we do on the outside is secondary.” But this is Satan’s trick!

Just re-read the Lord’s messenger’s words above again and you will see that fashion is NOT un-important to God- especially within His holy Sanctuary. When we convert we show it not only within but without!

Yes, we must first be made whole within by His love and law, but once the conversion comes we show it from within and without. If we don’t we can be fulfilling prophecy–

“Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:6-8)

We are living in the very last hours of our SDA probation, and we MUST get that seal in our forehead if we are to remain standing (Mal. 3:2) once the Lord “suddenly comes to His temple” (Mal. 3:1).

We MUST be over-comers. The Lord helps us but we must take that first step. He is not going to dress us up for Sabbath service, He expects us to willfully come before Him and show proper respect and honor. Remember He is watching within His sanctuary.

After we ourselves have overcome sins, such as the dreadful fashion sin, the Lord let’s us know that by warning others we have cleared ourselves of the wrong doing in our midst.

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man  shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”(Ezek. 3:18-19)

In closing, let us as faithful guardians of His right ways, do our part to show by example we dress properly to please God. But let us remember that those who pat the sinners on the back, after they have been clearly shown their fashion sin, are aligning themselves up with their sin. In effect we are really saying “you’re dying and I am happy for you”.No! We want ALL to live!

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezek. 9:4)

“Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling; will you hear? Will you receive His message? Will you be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity.” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, p.260)

 

 

Getting down to Business

June 13, 2015

Business Man Outdoors Running to the Top of the Bar Graph

Many of us remember the old Kirby vacuum salesmen. They’d come to our door complete with all the material they’d need to make the sale. it’s the old Boy Scouts adage –“Be prepared.” In the business of eternal of life , shouldn’t we also be prepared? If we are a professed worker in His vineyard , we should be prepared for any and all contacts we may make , especially on the Sabbath, before, during and after the services. Here we have the best chance of coming in direct contact with our brethren.

“And Jesus said unto them, ‘Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”(1 Mark 1:17).

In these very last hours of our probation, we should be looking at ourselves as fishers of men and women. Prepared for the potential clients ,whom the Lord may put in our path. With this thought in mind, let us see how we can become more prepared. A ready and able servant of the Lord, willing to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..”(1 Peter 3:15).

In explaining how we must be orderly and an example of proficiency , SOP says-

“God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have his work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.376)

Exactness, a very good word for us.  As we go out into His vineyard there are some things we can do to help our exact work, for starters how about this–

breifcase

I have found this a truly great tool to have when we go to church on Sabbath. Inside the case I have Tracts, Present truth literature, Cd’s and Dvd’s , Bible, Testimonies vol. 1 to 9, highlighter, calling card with my contact info, and the standard pens and note pads.

This is a portable traveling witness tool, plain and simple. We are really salesmen-women doing God’s bidding so why not get serious about it? This reminds me of the old saying, “Those who enjoy what they are doing will be good at what they are doing.”

Some may ask– What about churches we attend where the elders and/or pastor is against the Lord’s message of Elijah (and there are many)? In this case we can load our case with present truth reports comprised of solely SOP and Scripture. For a link to 18 such reports  click here- http://shepherds-rod.org/basic/

You can print these out as individual reports and share them. They cannot be denied by our church because it is from God’s word. Also for those interested, we have about 20 small booklets that the discretionary present truth Elijah messenger can use in these situations. Contact us through the contact info on this page.

Time is so short my brothers and sisters, we must use every avenue at our disposal to reach any that would be in our path, placed there by God. The salvation of our brethren is of our utmost importance.

“The salvation of souls and the interests of the kingdom of God are matters of the highest importance. What object is there that calls for greater earnestness than the salvation of souls and the glory of God? There are considerations here which cannot be lightly regarded. They are as weighty as eternity. Eternal destinies are at stake.” (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.232-233)

As we often say to the world, the SDA church is God’s remnant church. Yet look at part of Babylon, our Jehovah Witness brethren. They are a classic example of preparedness. Almost each Saturday or Sunday we can find them walking around our neighborhoods, complete with briefcases or hand bags which contains their material. Should not we as His end time church do the same in regards to preparedness?

“The school of God does not teach only from its textbook, not merely in the school-room, it teaches the practical as well as the theoretical.  The practical, of course, most men dislike, and some would not take practical training even for a gift.” (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.25, p.9)

“Now is our time to labor for the salvation of others. There are some who think that if they give money to the cause of Christ, this is all they are required to do; the precious time in which they might do personal service for Him passes unimproved. But it is the privilege and duty of all who have health and strength to render to God active service. All are to labor in winning souls to Christ.”(To be like Jesus, page 78)

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.”(Proverbs 11:30)

Let us keep the following counsel , as we the SDA church , not the world,  is about to be sprued out. The souls in our church are worth our every effort.

“Have you so deep an appreciation of the sacrifice made on Calvary that you are willing to make every other interest subordinate to the work of saving souls? The same intensity of desire to save sinners that marked the life of the Saviour marks the life of His true follower. The Christian has no desire to live for self. He delights to consecrate all that he has and is to the Master’s service. He is moved by an inexpressible desire to win souls to Christ. Those who have nothing of this desire might better be concerned for their own salvation. Let them pray for the spirit of service.” (Testimonies, vol. 7, p.10)

“Christ’s followers have been redeemed for service. Our Lord teaches that the true object of life is ministry. Christ Himself was a worker, and to all His followers He gives the law of service–service to God and to their fellow men. Here Christ has presented to the world a higher conception of life than they had ever known. By living to minister for others, man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men.

To His servants Christ commits “His goods”–something to be put to use for Him. He gives “to every man his work.” Each has his place in the eternal plan of heaven. Each is to work in co-operation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God.” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p.326-327)

Our prophetess spoke Inspired words in counseling us that each one of us has a duty to perform , a plan made by God to work in His vineyard. Time is closing rapidly, accounts will soon be settled. Have we made sincere efforts to reach our brethren in the church who stand , for the most part, lost,  and no not that they are “miserable, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”?

“The words of Christ apply to the church: “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” Why are you not at work in some capacity in His vineyard? Again and again He has bidden you: “Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” But this gracious call from heaven has been disregarded by the large majority. Is it not high time that you obey the commands of God? There is work for every individual who names the name of Christ.

A voice from heaven is solemnly calling you to duty. Heed this voice, and go to work at once in any place, in any capacity. Why stand ye here all the day idle? There is work for you to do, a work that demands your best energies. Every precious moment of life is related to some duty which you owe to God or to your fellow men, and yet you are idle!” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.203)

In closing, if we are in this game of life to win souls why not –get down to business? Make this God sent job of ours a serious one. As SDA members we all should have this goal right now–

“Let us strive with all power God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand. And let us do all we can to help others to gain heaven.” (Review and Herald, March 9 , 1905)

Worldly Entanglements

May 9, 2015

Mayweather-Paquiao

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

This week  boxing fans around the world watched one of the most anticipated boxing matches in decades. It’s been a while since I have brought up the subject of this brutal sport. As some of you who have read this blog for a few years know, I was a serious addicted boxing fan prior to my conversion.

Allow me to regress a little and go back into my history. Since a young teenager I found the sport of boxing fascinating. The one on one challenge, the pure exact and measured movements, the power, all this captivated me.

You could not get me away from a big fight. I don’t recall anything  that I would put before it, and yes that would include an important date. But as I posted a few years ago, when I decided to convert, the Lord sent me a dream to warn me about this idol. He saw I wanted the Lord and boxing too! Well, needless to say, this was cut out and I have not looked back since.

Our Lord warns, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62).

When we turn from this idols, or habitual sins, we must walk away from them and not look back. This week, however the spirit of darkness did not stop from tempting me. I was strongly pulled to get a newspaper and read about the fight. I Thought, maybe it’s ok because I really don’t do that anymore, so it’s just a rare once in a while thing. Additionally during the fight, I was tempted to check the computer for round by round live updates.

However Scripture again was my strength.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalms 119:11)

When I was tempted the Lord reminded me of not looking back. For I knew to do such a thing would indeed be seriously wrong. But the short see-saw battle gave rise to the idea for this post.

You see, we as God’s remnant are called to take the “higher road”. That means we are to walk the upright walk and focus on doing the right thing at the right time.

“It is the essence of all right faith to do the right thing at the right time.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.24)

Another reason I was guided to do this post was a short conversation I had with a church member this last Sabbath. As we were leaving the service I asked him if they would like to come over at 6 pm for a Bible study at my home. He said, “Would like to but we are going on a nature hike, then over to some friends to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight”. I thought for a second then said, “The Lord told me to quit watching that.” He smiled and went his way.

But I thought how the many in our church really need guidance. Only a few really want to get that one foot out of the world. The wide road entangles them and they  carelessly proceed on.

Boxing is just one of Satan’s ploys. Today the youth are often trapped with the handhelds and the FB, tweets,YouTube, games, chat lines, etc. They spend most of their waking days slumped over wasting time with the multitude of electronic gadgets available to them. This is a serious idol , not only with the youth but adults as well! Don’t get me wrong the Lord has allowed this electronic explosion to further His message, and for that we are eternally grateful, but we should be careful that the worldly distractions do not infringe on the work.

“As a general thing, the young among us are allied to the world. But few maintain a special warfare against the internal foe, few have an earnest, anxious desire to know and do the will of God. But few hunger and thirst after righteousness, and few know anything of the Spirit of God as a reprover or comforter. Where are the missionaries? Where are the self-denying, self-sacrificing ones? Where are the cross bearers? Self and self-interest have swallowed up high and noble principles.

Things of eternal moment bear with no special weight upon the mind. God requires them individually to come up to the point to make an entire surrender. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” You cannot serve self and at the same time be servants of Christ. You must die to self, die to your love of pleasure, and learn to inquire: Will God be pleased with the objects for which I purpose to spend this means? Shall I glorify Him?” (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.127-128)

Let’s look around us at all times, watchful that Satan’s snares of worldly entrapment do not trip us up. Sure it’s a fleeting pleasure, but the looking back at sins we have forsaken may harm us for eternity.

“As Satan sees that his time is short, he leads men on to be more and more selfish and covetous, and then exults as he sees them wrapped up in themselves, close, penurious, and selfish. If the eyes of such could be opened, they would see Satan in hellish triumph, exulting over them and laughing at the folly of those who accept his suggestions and enter his snares.” (EW. p.268)

In these last days snares are all around us. We can only survive Satan’s traps if we cling to Jesus and keep our focus there. I would dare to say, it is better to be bored and stair at four walls than to enter one of his pleasure traps.

Let’s be clear, not all things are bad. For instance, watching TV for a insightful documentary, or some news, can be helpful. Recently the History channel had a series on the Shroud of Turin. Very fascinating. It’s just when we use the electronic device for our pleasure, beholding worldly fashions, foul language, worldly music (particularly drums, guitars, etc.), sit-coms, time wasting games, etc. In other words, time wasting is something we will be accountable , if we could have used that for studying, helping, spreading the message to help our brothers and sisters.
“..Satan’s supreme effort at this hour must be to cause the time to be wasted and the work undone.” (Answerer, vol. 1, p.6, Q-4)

In closing, as we have posted a few weeks back, the end time signs are all there, time is short. Let us not be found wasting time. Fleeting pleasures are not worth it. Eternity stands at our door.


 

Persistence Pays Off

April 11, 2015

knocking on door

“And he said unto them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 8:5-10)

Here we see that Jesus gives us a lesson in persistence. A trait that surely is a God send to those who use it. And again in Luke, Jesus also tells the story of the persistent widow of Luke 18:1-8, who continues to ask the judge for justice and relief, and finally he hears her and grants what she wishes for. Let us look at this desirable trait and what comes from it should we heed our Lord’s lesson.

Through out history, there are legions of stories of the faithful man, who falls in love with the woman of his life, yet she does not initially reciprocate. He gets rebuffed time and again, yet does not give up! Finally after much sweat and tears, he successfully engages the dream girl of his life. What was one of the things that won her heart? No doubt–persistence.

Or how about the many stories of the Billionaire, who had to file bankruptcy once even maybe twice before he made all those billions. Again, persistence is the main ingredient.

So if persistence is often very important for success in worldly endeavors, how much more will it be for the eternal spiritual life? Let us look at a couple specific examples.

Recently I have become friends with a brother in the faith, let’s call brother B. He is a SDA who seems to genuinely love the Lord, possessing a Burean spirit. During our conversations, I found out that he has been working Sabbaths in his line of work. This to me was a serious concern.

As many of you know we have posted several posts concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, and specifically the dire results that will occur to those who haphazardly keep it. The Numbers 16:32 story should be all the proof we need to know,  the Lord does not take this issue lightly.

I had known him at least 3 months prior to finding this out and had met with him in our weekly church studies at least 10 times. How I found out was I invited him to come to my home for a prophecy study. It was to be a Friday evening (Sabbath). he casually said “Sorry, but I am working Friday night.” Huh? I thought. So I began to find out a little more about his circumstances.

As we showed last post , SOP showed how we should feel in knowing about sin–

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character.”(Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

So this bothered me and I found out that he had been doing this for quite some time. The next week, I determined to have a talk with him. I had just completed my “Bible study presentation room” and invited him to come over during the week. He said he would. Later he came over.

As we sat down in the room, and after showing him the room and the certain equipment I had set up to present the studies in the future, I got down to business. I looked straight at him and told him he must start praying and pleading with the Lord to be released of this sinful burden. I told him that the Lord is done “winking” at sin. If it’s in our power to do something we must. We cannot carelessly sit back and think the Lord will accept our indiscretions.

I said, “You must plead and pray constantly for the Lord to help you get out of this situation. He will help you but you must take the first step of serious pleading.” You see, brother B had become complacent. Careless and stupid is the right description, harsh yes, but exactly true.

“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid,..” ( Testimonies, vol. 2, p.337)

Where was brother B’s persistence in prayer and pleading? Where was his sorrow and disgust that he has to do such things Sabbath after Sabbath? It largely did not exist.

But apparently God had used me to awake him. Four weeks later, at church service, he told me he had good news, that he got his schedule changed and no longer had to work Sabbath. “Praise the Lord”! I said.

You see, brother B did not really need me to come along and tell him what the right thing to do is. All he needed to do is pray constantly, even with sweat upon the brow, that the Lord would help him to get out from this trap! Persistence and pleading, knocking at 12 midnight again and again upon the Lord’s door, and He will answer and give that which is right according to His will.

But prayer without action can sometimes be mis-guided. I am reminded of an old Christian saying. There were two men in a small boat and it developed a hole in it out at sea.  One man said to the other let us pray and God will save us. The other said “let us pray as we bucket the water out without delay.” In other words action in addition to prayer is often the right ingredients.

Brother B should have become a persistent fellow just like that widow in the above parable. He should have continued to ask about a schedule change, inquiring often to let the boss know he meant business. in other words, a man on a mission to get right before God–THEN– wow what things would take place! Prayer and action–powerful!

“Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”(Mark 11:24)

The next example comes from a sister we’ll call sister T. She’s a single mother and has been a long time SDA who has learned the Elijah message and has advanced in the light of God’s end time message. As she has continued her progress in knowing and walking in the advanced light, about a year ago she learned the real meaning of God’s prophecy in Malachi. How He made a promise that when one brings their Tithes and offerings in His real storehouse(s)  He will fulfill His promise to send blessings so good, you’ll hardly believe it.

But things did not go so well even after becoming a faithful giver, she experienced some rough times financially and otherwise. But she persistently continued to do her part in paying what was due God. She did not give up. She was believing His word. Then recently it was God’s time to “pay back” that which He promised. Recently she let me know that she is starting to receive much blessings in her new line of work. Things are starting to brighten up for her, and our watchful Lord is orchestrating it as only He can do.

As we have learned, our faithful Lord  responds to persistence. But He knew that we would, in these last days, become careless and stupid. In Rev. 3:19 our Lord said”..be zealous and repent.” What is zealous? Is not persistence one of the main ingredients of zealousness?

In closing, if there is something desired and in line with our Lord’s will, let us remember this most wonderful trait–persistence. For by practicing this, in prayer and action,  our Lord will “awake” even at the most late hour and give that which we desire according to His will.


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