Archive for the ‘Christian walk’ Category

Some Keys to Prayer

July 11, 2020

Scripture for Today, 4-17-19: Don't Pray? - JESUS, OUR BLESSED HOPE

In this post we’ll go over some unique counsels on prayer. The final message of Elijah tells us how important the subject of prayer really is —

 

The Key to the Science of Holiness?

“Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock Heaven’s storehouse…?”—Steps to Christ, p. 95. It is the breath, the life, of the soul, “the secret of spiritual power.”—Gospel Workers, p. 254; Education, p. 258. Hence “in the prayer of faith there is a divine science.…a science that every one who would make his lifework a success must understand.”—Education, p. 257.

“Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the condition, insult Jehovah.”—Christs Object Lessons, p. 142.

How important, then, that prayer meet the conditions laid down—be correct, scientific, inspired! This weighty truth will compel the whole-souled believer critically to re-examine his entire prayer life to make certain that it is not unscientific and uninspired and thus ineffectual—a fraud and a cheat to him, and an insult to God! (SC, vol. 8, no.1-12, p.12)

Let us now look at three specific issues of prayer.

1 — Does the Bible speak of a time where God says to NOT pray for someone?

Yes indeed, let us read —

“And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.

For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” (Jeremiah 11:9-14)

Straight, God-breathed words! Yes, we are reading right, there was to be no prayers lifted up for such rebels. How is it that one can get so spiritually offensive that even our King says not to insult Him with prayers on their behalf??

One of our basic core Christian values, indeed one of our most treasured privileges, is prayer. All throughout the Word we read about praying and the value of this. But contrarily we find that under certain dire and repulsive conditions we are are told to refrain from it, for our God knows perfection and even in prayer–what is right and what is wrong!

So how do we know when someone is not to be prayed for? A great question indeed! The Lord’s Elijah message gave us a clue, let us read —

“For 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)

Thus we see that once we have ” a perfect knowledge of His Word” we then have spiritual discernment. We can know the pretenders from the real deals.

Obviously Jeremiah was the real deal and as such God warned him not to insult Him by praying for those repeat offenders and stanch rebels. Isaiah also enlightens us —

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” ( Isaiah 59:1-2)

2 —  What is the proper position to be in when praying?

“Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.”[3 LUKE 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.”[4 ACTS 9:40; 20:36, 21:5.] Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[5 EPH. 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt.[6 SEE EZRA 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.”[7 DAN. 6:10.]

True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realisation of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there; and as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanour, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened. “Holy and reverend is His name,”[8 PS. 111:9.] the psalmist declares. Angels, when they speak that name, veil their faces. With what reverence, then, should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!” (Gospel Workers, p.178)

Of course, as we posted before, prayer and supping are both meaningful ways to communicate with our King. As such, supping would naturally be more relaxed and experienced in ways such as driving, walking, resting in bed, etc. Prayer on the other hand is more formal, especially in public and this, when at all possible, should be in the form of kneeling.

Unfortunately we as Adventists have long since not kept this counsel active in our church. Sure we rigidly kneel as a robot during a brief part or two of the service. But there is often other times in the service where we carelessly stand.

Our prophetess, was moved to rebuke a pastor for not kneeling —

“I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees.” This is the proper position always….” (Prayer, p.207)

3 — How do we address our God in prayer?

Unfortunately, our adversary has tried to trick some believers in this way. The name of God being so important, they say, that if you incorrectly call Him a name He is not to be called, well you are doomed. But not to fear the Lord, again sets us straight on this issue. A true restoring, if you will. The counsel is found in Tract 13 called “God’s Titles Not Restricted To One Language.”

To read it click here —

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/tracts/tract_11.html

In closing, let us remember that prayer is our lifeline, our cell line to use modern terms direct to the Throne of Heaven. Both prayer and supping are so valuable that we should, as Inspiration says – make it a “science”. A Sweet Science indeed!

Color Code: Orange –The Lord speaking,  Blue — Bible or SOP, Brown– Elijah message brought by Victor Houteff

Having Supper with the Lord

May 16, 2020

Pin on religious pictures

We see in this picture, the final supper our Lord had with all His disciples. A bittersweet moment as we know. His great sorrow for knowing He would soon leave them, but His preparation for His great act of salvational sacrifice in saving His people.

Yet this act of having “supper” with our King, can be viewed alternatively in another spiritual way, let us read —

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

Basically from how we understand communicating to our King, to a great extent, consists of two methods — Supping and Praying. Many know very well about prayer, but in this post we’d like to share some thoughts on supping, or as our Lord said “sup”.

We as present truth believers know well that Revelation 3:14-22 is prophetically addressing our King’s final church, the Laodiceans church aka. the Seventh-day Adventist church. So these words are made for us to know closely, the straight testimony to us. Sadly, it is mostly solemn and dreadful, for the Lord finds us “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17)

Yet as the Lord so often does throughout His word–He gives us hope. If we desire to be “hot” and buy the “gold tried in the fire” then we will not only see, but have the great reward of supping with Him!

Let us now put into perspective what we can describe this supping to be. As we know as family members, one of the closest and most intimate times we spend together as a family unit, is the experience of the family supper, usually dinner There we share our thoughts, our ideas, just good close conversations with each other.

So when our King said He will do something — “sup”, that means we are obeying His counsel and get the reward of intimate conversations with Him. And what specific counsel is that? Let us read–

“I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:18)

The Lord has gold (more Truth, specifically present Truth) for which we are to buy (read and obey). The Lord’s final message of Elijah explains —

 

“Come and see” for yourself, Brethren. Then, only, will you realize why the Lord makes the serious charge against all us Laodiceans:

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint shine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Rev. 3:17-20.

May it be fully realized now, Brethren, that to open one’s door to the Lord does not mean to open one’s ears to the so-called wise who never embrace unpopular truth, yet are ever fast on the run with theories of their own. The followers of Christ take time to examine for themselves what the Word Itself says, not what God’s enemies try to make it say. They know that “neither young nor old are excusable in trusting to another to have an experience for them. Said the angel, ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.’ …

“Men, women, and youth, God requires you to possess moral courage, steadiness of purpose, fortitude and perseverance, minds that cannot take the assertions of another, but which will investigate for themselves before receiving or rejecting, that will study and weigh evidence, and take it to the Lord in prayer.” — Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 130.

In fine, God’s people are fearless, candid, diligent students, not automatons, not bigoted dogmatists, nor surface-skimmers.

“How many men in this age of the world fail to go deep enough. They only skim the surface. They will not think closely enough to see difficulties and grapple with them, and will not examine every important subject which comes before them with thoughtful, prayerful study, and with sufficient caution and interest to see the real point at issue. They talk of matters which they have not fully and carefully weighed.” — Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 361.

The Enemy will certainly do all in his power to make all believe that the scriptures treated of herein are erroneously interpreted, and that the Testimonies are “taken out of their setting.” Already he has firmly planted in the minds of both laity and ministry the fiction that there is “no necessity for more truth and greater light” (Gospel Workers, p. 300), and that the Spirit of Prophecy so declares! Both of these lies, of course, he planted in the minds of the people years ahead, in the effort to beguile God’s elect into tossing away their “pearl of great price.” Matt. 13:46.

The only defense and protection for anyone, therefore, will be not to let him control the mind: humans are not horses for riders to control with bits in their mouths. Let each vigorously assert his God-given right and responsibility to put every enemy claim to the acid test, and to respectfully demand that the Recruiter’s enemies produce something better, or at least as good, in the place of what It brings from the Scriptures, or else that they becomingly lapse into “golden” silence and start diligently studying the Scriptures.

Oblige them to produce chapter and verse, page and paragraph, proving the authenticity of the often quoted statements, “We have enough truth to carry us through to the end;” “We have all the light we need.” Of course no such proof will be forthcoming, for no such statements are to be found within the pages of Inspiration. Rather the very contrary is the fact, as is evidenced in the terrible Laodicean rebuke for their erroneous thinking. (See Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253). (White House Recruiter, p.68-70)


In closing, let us follow the Lord’s counsel and buy this gold tried in the fire, thereby enabling us to sit down with Him often and sup with Him.

Oh how easy the Mark of the Beast will be!

April 25, 2020

San Francisco forced people to wear masks during the 1918 Spanish ...

In the above picture, we see a man walking out in the fresh air wearing a mask. No one close to him yet he has a mask on to “protect” him from the big bad monster–the coronavirus! But let us look at this behavior and how this blind faith and total obedience surely is a precursor to a future prophetic event –The Mark of the Beast!

First let us look at the reality of this mask-wearing.

Recently the World health Organization headquarters (W.H.O) made an announcement of mask-wearing. In a recent article in Business Insider, it read —

“The use of face masks on healthy people during the coronavirus pandemic has been a major point of contention and confusion among scientists and the public.

On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all Americans wear face masks when they are in public.

But new guidance from the World Health Organization released on Monday says healthy people don’t need to wear face masks and that doing so won’t provide added protection from the coronavirus.

There’s some evidence that caretakers of infected people can protect their health by wearing masks, the WHO guidance said, but “there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.” (Dated 4/7/20)

There is much discussion of this as to whether it really protects and safeguards against airborne diseases, ie. coronavirus.

Personally, I can understand a general precaution for public gatherings of condensed people but to wear a mask outside while you are walking in the fresh clean air, or driving in your car –give me a break! No wonder in many cases we are not acting like people but sheeple!

In Scripture we read —

“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”(Rev. 13:14)

Deception will be a key trick that the very powerful “false prophet” will use soon. But already we are witness to mass sheep-like obedience! Without common sense, nor even good solid medical sense, many are blindly following orders from “big brother”, our government.

So with the already willingness to follow ridiculous commands, how much easier will it be to be swayed by a powerful Satan-inspired “prophet” who shall perform miracles and cause many to cry out in joyful voices–“It is from the Lord!!” ?

As we have posted many times before we will have to make one of two choices –God’s team, join the 144,000 warriors of God who proclaim the Loud Cry (Come into His kingdom and obey His Commandments), or the Satanic servants who proclaim Sunday as the worship day of the Lord and demand Sunday worship for the masses, thus getting the Mark of the Beast. Remember this Mark is final for eternity!

No one can remain neutral.

Just as the lack of proper study and seeking REAL information cause many of us to be sheeple in things of this world, the word of God tells us this same laziness will be the undoing of the masses soon in the world that counts–God’s final kingdom! Spirit of Prophecy speaks of Satan’s trick —

“I will influence popular ministers to turn the attention of their hearers from the commandments of God. That which the Scriptures declare to be a perfect law of liberty shall be represented as a yoke of bondage. The people accept their ministers’ explanations of Scripture, and do not investigate for themselves. Therefore by working through the ministers, I can control the people according to my will.” (GC, p.338, 1884 edition)

In closing, let us be faithful and smart, willing to listen, learn and study and do as God’s Word instructs. Then we shall indeed be God’s people not the world’s sheeple.

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

“His Servants must Vigilantly Watch”

June 15, 2019

Image result for Joshua finding Achan

Many of us are familiar with the trials and lessons of Joshua. One of the foremost is the lesson of Achan. This lesson is very important for us present truth believers because today of all times in history Satan is on the attack as never before. In fact, the Lord instructed His final messenger to our church to say the following.

“And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his  tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the Valley of Achor.

   “And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us?  The Lord shall trouble thee this day.  And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” Josh. 7: 24, 25.

   At that solemn time, Achan was the only sinner in the camp, but because of his sin the whole nation was about to fall and thus God’s great  name be dishonored in the eyes of the heathen.

   The Lord’s dealings with Joshua reveal that His servants must vigilantly watch that no evil enter into their ranks, and that His words through His prophets be feared as though He Himself were speaking directly to the people…. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,  upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he  fall.” 1 Cor. 10:11, 12. (Tract 4, p.30-31)

What a powerful counsel! Yet as we look out in the present truth vineyard, we see few servants “vigilantly” watching that ” no evil enter their ranks”. We sometimes wonder like the Lord did  “I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled that no one assisted..” ( Isaiah 63:5)

Let us look at some current applications of our Joshua lesson today.

First, as we mentioned Satan is on the full attack to infiltrate the movement that will soon destroy him. Why? Because He has diligently studied God’s word and knows that when His last prophesied prophet “Elijah” comes and gives the final message to God’s church, his final hours of the clock begins. The message describes his last actions —

” …we must remember that when the last prophet comes he will have the greatest opposition to meet, for Satan well knows that if he loses now, he loses forever.  What makes Elijah’s work especially hard is that Christendom has long been drilled in the idea that no prophet is to come, that there is no necessity for one, that it has enough revealed Truth to carry it inside the Pearly Gates. It is therefore only to be expected that the predicted Elijah will be denounced as a false prophet, perhaps even as the anti-Christ, offshoot, or what not.

   Moreover, the old Devil has already put all his forces to work, piping pleasing tunes to lure Truth seekers to climb aboard his golden bandwagon.   Its glittering tinsel of truth is already beguiling many with his wares while his captains and generals are to the top of their voices shouting their “Hallelujahs,” “Holy Ghost,” “gift of healing,” “gift of tongues,” “gift of miracles,” and all the rest, although the entire fanfare is devoid even of a spark of life.  Every wind of doctrine will be blowing, false revivals and reformations will be at their peak.  Everything that can be done will be done to distort the Truth and thus distract and dishearten believers and draw their attention to something other than the message of Elijah.

   Thus will be the Devil’s deal while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll unrolls and while the prophecies concerning the day of God are being unsealed.   His work and his interpretation of the prophecies for the great day will identify him as the promised Elijah the prophet (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475), and this will enrage the Devil as never before.  Nevertheless, one’s only safety will be in the teaching of Elijah, for there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.” (GCS, p.6-8)

We know that His final message, as stated, will be under attack. But our all-knowing God has not left us without counsel in what to do in watching that “no evil enter into their ranks”. Let us read —

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed..” (2 John 1:10)

Quite powerful indeed! To put this into perspective into today’s terms, for example, our Facebook group “Truth Tellers” has often had to deal with some who come in, who then start to promote a counter message of the Lord’s Rod message. We follow counsel and warn. If they continue to post alternative messages to that of the Lord’s Elijah message, we take action and remove them. Remember that His final message says — “..there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.”

“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him..” (Titus 3:10)

This group of people often are not outsiders but insiders. Those who claim to be present truth believers yet at every opportunity they lamblast His organizations, stirring up division and confusion among the brethren. This situation is perhaps the most insidious, as they have the most damaging effect on some. Again, we do not hesitate to warn, and if needed–remove. As we do that we see a decided lessening of the contention, as Scripture says —

Cast out the scorner and contention shall go out; yes strife and reproach shall cease. (Proverbs 22:10)

The Spirit of Prophecy has warnings as well on our subject —

“I saw that many souls will sink in darkness because of their covetousness. The plain, straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body, they become responsible for these sins. But to deal with minds is the nicest work in which men ever engaged.

All are not fitted to correct the erring. They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. They are not inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tender compassion with faithful reproofs. Some are ever needlessly severe, and do not feel the necessity of the injunction of the apostle: “And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.”

There are many who do not have the discretion of Joshua and who have no special duty to search out wrongs and to deal promptly with the sins existing among them. Let not such hinder those who have the burden of this work upon them; let them not stand in the way of those who have this duty to do. Some make it a point to question and doubt and find fault because others do the work that God has not laid upon them.

These stand directly in the way to hinder those upon whom God has laid the burden of reproving and correcting prevailing sins in order that His frown may be turned away from His people. Should a case like Achan’s be among us, there are many who would accuse those who might act the part of Joshua in searching out the wrong, of having a wicked, fault-finding spirit. God is not to be trifled with and His warnings disregarded with impunity by a perverse people.”  (Testimonies , vol.3, p.269-270)

The above is truly packed with far-reaching counsel! Let’s review the points —

1 ) The Body of believers are held accountable when sins exist among them, that are not addressed. We are talking about PUBLIC sins, not private. Those are dealt with individually with God.

2 ) The leaders have a responsibility to deal with the sins among them.

3 ) Some leaders go the opposite extreme and are unnecessarily severe in dealing with sinners.

4)  Many do not deal promptly with sins. Worse yet some try to hinder those that do because they cannot relate to the work God has given them to reproof.

5 ) Perversely, many even accuse the faithful workers of God of doing harsh and unnecessary work of reproof and correction. These have a wicked spirit.

So we see that those of us who have a work to do have to be closely connected to our King, because not only Satan and his angels but even those among the brethren will try and tear down the faithful watching and reproving that keeps God’s wrath withheld. A tough job indeed if we are not in connection to the Most High! Prayer, supping, and living His word is a MUST for those called for service in this special calling.

“When Satan can bring his craftiness to bear on human minds, deceptive influences are received as from heaven. If his deceptions are allowed to enter, many souls will be ensnared by them before it is seen that they are not from God, but from the enemy of all righteousness.” (Manuscript Releases, 37, 1903) 

SOP concludes this report with faithful pointed counsel —

“He who has placed upon men the heavy responsibility of leaders and teachers of His people, will hold the people accountable for the manner in which they treat His servants. We are to honor those whom God has honored.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.36)

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

April 20, 2019

Image result for man paying the IRS

In Matt. 22:21 we read —

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 

Our King gave us instructions to give to our government what belongs to it. But oh how this clear plain instruction has been ridiculed, ignored, side-stepped, explained away through out the centuries. Let’s face it most of us  do not think that our government should have our money, they waste and overspend.

Yet our King has shown that stealing in all forms, even to our government,  is wrong and not good in His sight. As April 15th has just passed, we would do well to look at this injunction and see how we can please our King in obedience.

As we know the Pharisees often tried to trip up our Lord and one example is found in Mark 12:13-17.

“And they sent unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in His words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Shall we give, or shall we not give? But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye Me? bring Me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at Him.” 

Also we have —

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

So it is clear that we have a duty to subject ourselves to the governing laws that God ultimately establishes. Those laws that do not conflict with His holy law and righteousness. One of the most important laws is the paying of taxes. As Commandment number 8 says we shall not steal , therefore we must take this command seriously. Present truth believers are certainly no exception. 

It is important to point out that the Lord, in His all-knowing wisdom, gave us a way out and enabled us to save and thus have more funds to contribute to His vineyard work. Allow us to go over this issue.

The tax situation for us present truth believers, those who pay their Tithes to his “meat in due season” storehouses, are aware that the main two organizations (Mt. Dale and Waco) are Incorporated. Just as the Seventh-day Adventist church is and has been since the 1860’s. This inc. status has enabled those who have made Tithe donations to deducted their Tithes from their taxes, thereby saving money.  It also enables the organizations to be tax-free on the Tithes and donations they receive, a win-win for both the Tithe payer and the Storehouses of God!

From a personal view these government allowed tax benefits have hugely helped us to focus the savings into spreading the message via mailings of present truth material all around the world.

Paul contributes to this importance of proper tax paying —

“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:5-7)

The message gives us good counsel as well —

“God’s authority being supreme and absolute, “altogether-Christians” will ever prefer homage to the King of heaven and earth, while faithfully seeking to render “unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” Luke 20:25. “…to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Rom. 13:7.

Such will “owe no man anything” so long as their debtor’s demands or requirements conflict not
with God’s laws and statutes. As “altogether-Christians” they will be as true to God and to man as was Daniel and as was Joseph.

When “the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the
kingdom;…they could find none occasion nor fault.” Dan. 6:4. Finding him thus faultless, his enemies “consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, “save of” the king, should “be cast into the den of lions.” Dan. 6:7.

By securing the king’s signature on the decree, they sought to create a situation that must
necessarily involve Daniel in an act of rebellion against the king. They knew that though he purposed to render unfaltering allegiance to the king, he would not do so at the price of showing disloyalty to his God. And so as he continued to petition his God as he was wont to do, he was cast into the “den of lions.” But the One to whom he prayed saved his life from the ravenous beasts.

And amid the slaves of ancient Egypt looms the majestic stature of Joseph, the greatest provisioner the world has ever seen. Behold him in steadfast loyalty to his government, rising in honor till he is given to share the very throne of Pharaoh himself!

From these and other Bible examples, it is clear that one’s loyalty to his government is his pledge of allegiance to it — a salute to its flag. Altogether, therefore, we see that while on the one hand a man’s disloyalty to the divine government is a sin against God, on the other hand his disloyalty to his nation’s government is a sin against it, also indirectly against God, for disloyalty to one’s government is disobedience to God’s express command: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.” Tit. 3:1.

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” 1 Pet. 2:13, 14. (Tract 13, p.32-34)

The great deceiver often tries to get us to ‘cut corners’ in our walk and one of the most successful areas is to convince believers that “taxes are not so important especially to the corrupted government” mentality. Don’t fall for it–stick to the Master and His words.

For those who reflectively realize that they have not kept faithful in paying Caesar what is Caesars, now is the time to begin to make things right. You can either pay the government and shun His timely message of the hour, or pay less to the government because you pay to His storehouses . You can be the faithful steward who has contributed all year to His cause.

And let us remember that the Lord’s Elijah message specifically tells us the old message of the “judgment of the dead” proclaimed for decades by us Seventh-day Adventists no longer was “meat in due season” when the new message came to our church in 1930 , the message of the upcoming “judgment of the living”. THIS is His meat in His storehouse worthy of our Tithes.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.  The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.  But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!

The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more. The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.  I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.

But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 25:14-30)

In closing, every year we are to carefully account for all our income. This accounting includes properly paying our taxes to our government. Yet if we are working in God’s vineyard God as provided us a beautiful answer to  contributing to His final message to His church –claiming and deducting our Tithes from taxes.

 

Striving to be Part of the Number

March 30, 2019

Image result for 144,000 on the sea of glass

In Review and Herald we read —

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

And the Elijah message also makes very important statements about this group —

“It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7..”(Preface of SRod, vol. 1)

 “Some day this subject must be understood, for Inspiration makes no useless statements, and it cannot be in the Bible for a trinket.  It must be understood before the number (144,000) is made or it would be of no value.  When understood, it will guide the feet of the 144,000 in the straight path just as the first, second, and third angel’s messages have led thousands of souls to Christ.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.14)

“It has been said by some that it matters not whether one understands the subject of the 144,000 or not, so long as he does right.  This is certainly true if we DO RIGHT, but how do we know whether we do right or not, except we understand Bible doctrines? How can we know whether we keep the right Sabbath, or belong to the right church, unless we understand that doctrine?

Why is it important to understand Daniel 7, the beast and his image, and many other Bible prophecies?  If we do not understand the subject of the 144,000, we may not be sealed, for it would be worthless to understand it after the sealing, just as it would be of no value to understand the beast and his image after his work on earth is finished.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.14-15)

It is clear by both the message of the Spirit of Prophecy and the Lord’s Rod that we should and indeed MUST know about and strive to be a part of the 144,000. The words like “strive with all power God has given us” and “It must be understood” are straight clear injunctions from the Lord to do something.

What we would like to do is show some specifics in our “striving”  in the following examples.

Strivers —

Mark and Mary are long time SDA members. This Sabbath Mary was to bring a fruit salad to the church lunch. As they begin their drive to church Mary suddenly remembers she forgot to prepare the salad and bring it. She inquires of Mark, “should we stop by the grocery store on our way and pick one up?” Mark replies, “No way dear! The Lord told us not to buy and sell during the Sabbath, Nehemiah shows that clearly.”

Non-Strivers —

Joe and Becky also had the same experience. But after Becky inquired of Joe to stop and buy the fruit salad, Joe said, “yeah dear, I think that would be ok, after all the Lord knows our hearts are right and He understands.” They pull over and buy the salad on the Sabbath. 

“In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.

There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?

Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath day.

So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.” (Nehemiah 13:15-22)

Strivers —

After church, Tom runs into a Paul fellow member. Paul mentions that this coming Wednesday evening he would like Tom to try and come to his home for a study on prophecy (Revelation chapter 17 and 18). Tom readily accepts as he has been praying to the Lord that he wants to know of the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. He figures that is an answer to his prayers. Although he had scheduled another appointment with a couple of friends to discuss a local residential ruling on their housing community, he makes the decision to call them and postpone it. The things of the Lord come first, as he seeks first the kingdom through the Lord’s word.

Non-Strivers —

Richard also runs into Paul after church with the same proposal. But Richard briefly thinks about it then says, “No not this time Paul, I have scheduled a housing community meeting with some friends that evening.” Richard has never prayed and inquired of the Lord to know more of His word or prophecies. He is satisfied in his spiritual attainments.

“Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” (Luke 14:16-20)

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:17-18)

Strivers —

Diane is a young woman. She always tries to be in church before the service begins. When she goes there she remembers that the Lord’s word says —

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt: 18:20)

Therefore she dresses very modest, her skirt below the knees, her blouse high cut around her neck, her shoes not very high-heeled. Her Bible in her hand, she comes before the Lord with respect and honor in His house. She realizes He sees her.

Non- Strivers —

Beverly is also a young woman. However she may or may not be on time, her church record is 50-50. Half the time she arrives at or a little after the  service begins. Most of the time her dress is short skirts and high heels. In the summer when it’s warm she’ll have a low-cut blouse on as well. A couple of years ago she remembers that  this “fanatic” who said he was a “Shepherd’s Rod believer” warned her that she should dress more appropriate for church. What a goof ball she thought at the time, for the Lord accepts us anyway we come , He cares not about these minor things.

“..them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Sam. 2:30)

 

“While you are devoting precious time to the study of dress, the inward adorning is neglected; there is no growth in grace. Instead of becoming more heavenly-minded, you are becoming more and more earthly-minded. Foolish and hurtful lusts, groveling appetites, becloud your sense of sacred things. Why will not everyone who professes to love Jesus flee from these soul-destroying indulgences! The world is crazy after show and fashion and pleasure. Licentiousness is steadily and fearfully on the increase. Why will not Christians be true to their high profession!

Christ is ashamed of His professed followers. Wherein do we bear any resemblance to Him? Wherein does our dress conform to the Bible requirements? I do not want the sins of the people upon me, and I will give the trumpet a certain sound. For years I have borne a plain and decided testimony upon this subject, in print and upon the speaker’s stand. I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God. I must be clear of the blood of all. The fact that worldliness and pride bear almost universal sway is no excuse for one Christian to do as others do. God has said: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.”

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)

Strivers —

Manuel has just walked out of church, as he walks to his car he is approached by a man who identifies himself as Ronald. Ronald briefly says he has a message from the Lord that may bless him and he hands him a few Tracts. While this is going on another SDA member sees what is happening and as Ronald leaves, he walks over to Manuel and tells him, “Brother be careful that material you just got is from the Shepherd’s Rod people, I would throw it away. It’s error and has been rejected by our church leaders.”

Manuel responds, “My brother, we are counselled as follows”, then goes into his car and brings out a folder of some SOP material and hands him the following —

“Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it true–in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas that they will not examine the Scripture evidence with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.

The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits–because it is truth.”(Testimonies to Minsters, p.106-107) 

Non-Strivers —

Jerry has just experienced the same thing from Ronald, and after the SDA member warns him, he says, “Oh ok, yeah if this has been rejected by our church leaders who know what is right for us, I will indeed throw it away, thanks so much my brother!”  He then walks over to the trash can and throws it away.

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jer. 17:5)

Ok, now we’ve looked at a few examples of strivers vs. non-strivers, next we’ll look at why we must strive. 

In the very beginning of God’s worldwide judgments upon His people , we go back to the days of Noah. Despite the fact that possibly well over a million people lived on the earth at that time, how many were saved? Eight.  Was that God’s will? Of course not but that is all who would respond to the messages of warning given day after day after day by Noah.

In the time of Lot, God’s judgments fell upon the people and how many were saved from them? Three. Abraham asked if God would spare the judgments if only ten innocent people were in the city. God said yes but ultimately there were not ten people. Only Lot and his wife (who later died as a pillar of salt) and their two daughters survived.

When the great multitude came out of Egypt with Moses, after rejecting God’s  counsel again and again in the desert, how many over the age of 20, from the possibly million or more, made it to the kingdom (Israel) ? Two –Joshua and Caleb. 

With the above three important historic examples of God’s judgments upon His people on a mass scale, let us look at Rev. 7.

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:1-4)

We know from both the Spirit of Prophecy writings and the Elijah message that the Seventh-day Adventist church is the “Israel of today”.

“In order to be purified and to remain pure, Seventh-day Adventists must have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their homes. The Lord has given me light that when the Israel of today humble themselves before Him, and cleanse the soul-temple from all defilement, He will hear their prayers in behalf of the sick and will bless in the use of His remedies for disease. When in faith the human agent does all he can to combat disease, using the simple methods of treatment that God has provided, his efforts will be blessed of God.” (Testimonies, vol. 9, p.164) 

Further we know that God has always had one church movement at a time. Thus our SDA church is that movement today and His people and ALL the tribes (descendants through bloodline –decimated down through time) exist within her. Obviously to make the kingdom we must be sealed to stand in the great and dreadful day of the Lord. So who will be sealed in our church?  The  144,000. 

Yes to some this sounds outrageous, unbelievable. Yet as shown God is not a respecter of men and their majority. With nearly 20 million SDA members worldwide right now, does 144,000 sound in out of line with those three solemn judgments He has done before?

Again, the word says that God truly wants all to be saved just like the whole world in Noah’s day, but sad to say so many don’t care about any warnings nor even to walk upright with Him. In today’s terms, few want to “sup” with Him daily (Rev. 3:20).

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” ( 2 Peter 3:9)

Further supporting the fact that in that church judgment , it will indeed be solemn , we read —

“I have tried in the fear of God to set before His people their danger and their sins, and have endeavored, to the best of my feeble powers, to arouse them. I have stated startling things, which, if they had believed, would have caused them distress and terror, and led them to zeal in repenting of their sins and iniquities. I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved–not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God’s own appointed way.

The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate.” (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.445-446)

In closing we ask — What is God’s appointed way for us Seventh-day Adventists?

“Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand. And let us do all that we can to help others to gain heaven.”

Follow the Guide

December 15, 2018

Image result for picutre of the Spirit of Truth

AS we read the above very important Word of God, we would like to sink the shaft of Truth into the mine of God. This one reference is so profound and deep that we truly are blessed to know even part of the ramifications.

Many of us have been to the Zoo, wild animal park, museum or such, where we are escorted around and guided into new things we are not likely to know about. This experience enriches our lives and gives us lasting pleasant memories. In this same vein we know that our Almighty King has promised us a “guide”, a most wonderful Spirit, whose job it is to enlighten and uplift us in His Word. Let us look into this deep subject.

We know that every single promise spoken of by our King will not go undone. As such , the promise given in the above Scripture is a “real thing” to those who believe it and are blessed to have it working in their lives. The Elijah message expounds upon it’s importance.

“Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.” — The Great Controversy, p. 609.

   Accordingly, “when a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims.” — Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, p. 65. Lay aside all prejudices, self-opinions, and ideas of men who bear not the mark of Inspiration, and who say in effect by their actions: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (truth or prophets). Rev. 3:17.

   The Bible can be rightly explained only by the Spirit Who dictated it. He “will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come” that ye may “be established in the present truth.” And “whosoever…blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost [speaketh evil against the message] it shall not be forgiven” him: for it is the only means whereby we may be saved (John 16:13; 2 Pet. 1:12; Luke 12:10). (Tract 3, p.10)

 

“And “when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come,” says Christ, in broader statement of this same truth, “He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.

   Having been put forth prematurely and without the prompting of the Spirit of Truth, human efforts have accordingly failed to discover and explain the truth of “the trumpets.”  And no scripture ever being unfolded without Inspiration, the expositions of uninspired minds are hence of private interpretation, in forewarning of which the Bible says: “….no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Pet. 1:20.

   So before a person can climb the ladder of Truth, he must first of all free himself from erroneous theories, which keep him bound in darkness.  And to loose himself from such weights of error so as to reach the top step of the ladder of Truth, he must carefully investigate and “prove all things” in Open-Mindedness.” (Tract 5, p.5-6)

So why is it that some have this Spirit working in their lives and some don’t? Again Christ has not left us without an answer, let us read–

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

 Powerful! Ah, so those who are NOT doing God’s will aren’t being led of the Spirit to know God’s true doctrine.This is far reaching!

Allow us to give an specific example. Brother P, is a very well studied student of the Scripture, in fact he is often asked to lead out in the local Sabbath School lessons.When asked about the S.D.A Sanctuary truth, or the “Leopard like Beast” his quick to flip the Bible pages and start his discourse. I have personally sat down with him and went over the Scriptures together.

Yet of many years of occasional studies (usually around the dinner table during Sabbath lunch) I became dumbfounded  how he could not see a plain “Thus sayth the Lord”. In other words, how can the following be mis-interpreted?

“Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4:5).

This was not all, the Scriptures like the following as well —

“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lordto the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”(Isaiah 2:2-3)

To his credit, at least he did not fight the clear texts as to the meaning, rather he looked bewildered and simply acknowledged his incomplete understanding of it.

But where is the “Guide”?That Spirit of Truth who was promised those who “do His will”? He has been an Adventist for over 20 years and studied quite a bit. We  don’t know, but somewhere somehow It’s not guiding him.

Now, for us Adventists where do you think the Spirit of Truth is guiding us today? We just read it- Mal. 4:5. There is a FINAL message to be given us from the Lord’s last prophet to His S.D.A church –“Elijah”.

This obviously is SO IMPORTANT because it’s “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” The message explains more —

 

“Behold,” says the Word, “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”  To him shalt thou hearken.  “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter,  when the towers fall.”  “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err,” “because  they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Mal. 4:5; Isa. 30:25, 27, 28; 2 Thess. 2:10.

   Here it is seen that the prophecies and the correct interpretations thereof are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect.” 2 Tim. 3:16, 17.

   Therefore, brethren, settle it once and forever, that with the Lord’s help you will no longer be carried away by winds of doctrine that are created and driven by the spirit of error, not by the Spirit of Truth, but that you will always look for, and stand by, the Inspired Word of God — “the testimony of Jesus,” delivered to you by “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev. 12:17; 19:10);  that you will “hear the rod, and Who hath appointed it.” Micah 6:9.(Tract 6, p.79-80)

“Because in that day the Lord is both to shepherd the faithful and to punish the unfaithful, the message which announces this “great and dreadful  day” (Mal. 4:5), is titled, The Shepherd’s Rod.  “The Lord’s voice,” therefore, “crieth unto the city,…

“Hear Ye the Rod, and Who Hath Appointed it.Micah 6:9.   Sunken in Laodicean slumber and sleep, “the city,” the church, in God’s merciful effort to prepare it against this day of trouble, is to be startled to life by His urgent cry:

   “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”  Isa. 52:1.

   “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to the light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa. 60:1-3.

   The church of the Laodiceans, being the last of the seven churches, is the last sectionnof the Christian church in which the wheat and the tares are commingled.  The overcomers, the marked ones, from it, those who hear the Rod, begin the eighth section of the church — the one symbolized by the “barn” (Matt. 13:30)  and by the “vessels” (Matt. 13:48), also by the “golden candlestick” of Zechariah 4.  Of her the Lord says: “…the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Isa. 62:2, 3.

   Among the Laodiceans, however, those who refuse to arouse and take in the situation, who will not “sigh and…cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezek. 9:4) will be left without the mark, and will consequently fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels (Ezek. 9), while those who receive the mark will escape them and be shielded from the trouble, the shield’s being symbolized by the barn and the vessels.” (Matt. 13:30, 48). (Track 9, p.61-62)

 Allow me to briefly explain my views on this “guiding”.  It was only when I began to “sigh and cry” for the sins of the church, was my eyes opened. As we know , our current truth message of Elijah  tells us to sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church (Testimonies, vol, 3, p.266-267, vol. 5, p.221-212). And Ezekiel 9. This is now what gets us sealed, along of course with keeping of the Sabbath and His other Commandments.

So if one is not truly validating his walk with Christ, obeying His final message of Elijah, then it would seem that the Spirit of Truth is stymied, stuck. This may be why some cannot see what is there in the Scriptures. I am speaking solely concerning Seventh-day Adventists of course. Those without are being addressed in a wholly separate way and according to Scripture await, in most cases, the work of God through His final servants the 144,000. This is known as the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9.

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

In closing, let us know that God is able to give us that precious guide, the Spirit of Truth. But we must do our part to humbly ask for It and be willing to advance so that it will be said of us —

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:4)

“Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God’s word. There are glorious truths to come before the people of God. Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them. As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God.” (Testimonies for the Church , Vol. 8, P.322)

Faith in Action

December 1, 2018

Image result for picture of jesus with the centurion

We have heard the well-known following words from our Lord —

“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.” (Matt. 17:17)

Our Lord was exasperated with the lack of faith around him. But how about those who show great faith and put it in practice?

We remember one of the greatest examples of pure unadulterated faith exhibited by 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.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” (Matt.8:5-13)

Today when we hear of such strong faith , it really encourages us. It motivates us to do likewise remembering that faith is so important in our Christian walk. This week we’d like to tell you about “Brother R”. We heard about this story this week and was led to share it. The following is what he wrote on FB —

Blessed by the goodness of God!

I lost my wallet today on a bike ride to the store. When I got home I immediately knew that it was not in my pocket. I got on my bike and followed the way back to the store. No wallet. I went inside the store and asked customer service. No wallet. I left my name and tele # with them. Then I rode back the same way. No wallet.

When I got home, Elba and I had prayer that it might be returned. I then cancelled my debit card which thankfully was the only card that I had. We both had faith that it would be found and returned. Later on I called the store to check in and see. No wallet.

We had some family over for Thanksgiving dinner this evening. My faith was still encouraged, even though it had been several hours by now. After the family time was over and everybody went home, I had began to think that it was not going to be found. I wrote down on my desk that I needed to contact the DMV, bus pass, and store discount card. Then we sat down to watch a movie. It was 9 pm.

Shortly thereafter…….
The doorbell rings. There stands two guys and a lady. I immediately knew what it was all about. They brought my wallet to the door. A mom and her two sons who were older. Wow! The mom’s husband found it on the sidewalk about a block away. He was unable to come. I didn’t hesitate to offer them a check. They all absolutely refused. I offered a couple of times, still they said no way. We praised God for them and gave them many thanks. We said, “God answers prayer”. They agreed.

What a God! God’s faithfulness was shown even when I had pretty much given up on the tail end. Bless His name! (This was the third time in recent years that my wallet was lost. Each time they were returned, nothing was missing.)

Although tempted to forego his faith, he still had faith in the power of the Lord to answer prayer, for he had lost his wallet two other times and each time, prayed and it has been done unto him. We notice that he and his wife did the most important thing, they took the matter to the Lord in prayer right away. So often we sadly forget to call upon the Lord in these situations, whether big or small, important or not so important.

But here is what really made us think. Brother R, his wife and myself all think it was no ordinary humans who found and then delivered this wallet, we believe it was–angels! Brother R relayed to me when we discussed this situation that there was something unique and wonderful about the “mom and her two sons”. For they smiled very warmly and presented themselves in, well let’s just say an “angelic way”.

God’s word says —

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”(Hebrews 13:2)

We also had the same unique and wonderful experience, which we related in the following post done back on Dec. 11, 2009 —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2009/12/11/gods-sings-give-us-renewed-faith/

The above link post experience reminded me of a prior similar experience. Looking back, I truly believe it was angels who sat down with me for that dinner. Angels probably take a much more active role in the Christian experience than we realize. We remember Lot having that memorable meeting with the two men who were angels.

Some may say. “Yeah but I pray often for things but I don’t get much from it.” The Scriptures answers that —

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

In closing, our walk is built upon “the basics” and those are –love, faith, and obedience. When we learn to trust the Lord, He will certainly reward our faith if it is according to His purpose.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”(Matt.21:21)

Broken on the Rock of Jesus

October 6, 2018

Image result for broken on the rock of jesus picture

We have heard of the Christian saying “Broken on the Rock of Jesus”. What does this mean?

Apostle Peter is our classic example. Once a head strong, prideful follower of Christ, he went through being “broken” to become one of Christ’s main Gospel proclaimers in the early days. Let us read —

“Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.  A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.  A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”“Man, I am not!” Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”  Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:54-62)

 No doubt Peter broke down knowing that after all Jesus did for Him, and Peter giving up his life to follow Him, he pitifully denied His King and Savior right when Jesus was in need of his support. This  moment, we believe, caused Peter to lose his prideful self. The broken pieces of self dropped down to the ground, so that Christ could uplift him with the Holy Spirit. Is this our experience?

“..Peter who denied Christ in the hour of His greatest need was impulsive and self-confident, differing widely from the Peter who was brought before the Sanhedrin for examination. Since his fall he had been converted. He was no longer proud and boastful, but modest and self-distrustful. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and by the help of this power he was resolved to remove the stain of his apostasy by honoring the name he had once disowned.” (AA, p.62)

I have posted before my own testimony of being “broken” and would like to share it again.

Back in late 2008, early 2009, I came to “know” Christ by picking up the Bible one day and never looking back. After discovering God’s Holy Commandments (specifically the Sabbath) I became a  Seventh-day Adventist. But it wasn’t until about two years later that I came to be “broken”.

My old self was still alive, although considerably altered and discovering Christ and His Truth more and more as my walk continued. But after those couple of years I started to notice some things within the church (careless Sabbath keeping, Women pastors, etc.) that made me start to think “what is really going on here”?

After all we as Adventists tell the world we are the “remnant church”, those keeping the Commandments of God. Yet, away from the world’s gaze , things like eating at restaurants on the Sabbath were common place for the “old timers” in my Church. This began to be quite puzzling to me. I came into the church thinking we were a light to the world in how Christians follow His Commandments.

But the big moment came one day about two years after joining the church. I was in a town close to mine and knew there was another S.D.A church in that town of which I traveled by it often in my work. Being happy with my own church I had never went to this church but for some reason I was guided by the Spirit to notice something with this church.

I knew that the church has ownership of the whole corner block, as someone had pointed that out to me prior. There were small offices in the adjacent corner building next to the church. One of the offices had a sign saying “Chiropractor”. As I slowly drove by I noticed the phone number on the building. I decided to call it to see if it was open on Saturday. Surely my people, my beloved church would confirm to me its upholding our Sabbath publicly! Confirmation of my people’s dedication was all I wanted.

As the man answered I asked him if they were open for business Saturday. He replied “Yes we are, would you like to make an appointment?” Now, imagine a ton of bricks landing on you spiritually.  As I  hung up I very soon had to pull over. Devastating thoughts going through my mind. There was a big hit from  the past called “I’ll never fall in love again” by the famous singer –Tom Jones.  One of the lyrics says ” and I broke up all inside”. This happened that day.

My beloved church , how could they??? Tell the world to “keep the Sabbath” yet within our own gates break it right in front of the world for all to see! I did as Peter did, “wept bitterly”.

But in hind sight this was my “broken on the Rock of Jesus” moment. For never again was I to be the same person. Although I was Adventist, I had not quite had an experience like that before.

In Ezekiel 9 we read —

 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side;  and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” (Ezekiel 9:3-4)

This prophecy came into true understanding soon after. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was “sighing and crying” for abominations done in the midst (the church). The Lord began to work His divine plan in my life. About two weeks later I was online and heard a sermon on the 144,000. Ezekiel 9:3-4 came alive to me!

Now I KNEW what the Lord’s plan was for me and the church. So clear as to make me literally feel like I was walking off the ground for the next 6 weeks or so! True, it’s solemn yet for those who truly love Christ and His Truth, a most glorious final Gospel proclamation plan awaits!

Spirit of Prophecy tells us this same sediment–

“In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honour and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favour of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous.

They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonoured, the truth made of none effect.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.210-211)

Many of you no doubt have your own story of that special moment. But as SOP says  pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church and as such a vast multitude are NOT broken in our church. Some may find that they get broken bit by bit, beholding the vast sins prevalent among our people. But the fact remains we must get broken, self must be brought down.But once we experience it, we soon find that our King builds us up with His love and plans for us. The conversion is truly established.

“..if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:13)

Very soon we as Adventists will have to broken and dead to self when the Lord “suddenly comes to His Temple” (Mal. 3:1). If we are not this Rock may finally break us, but not in the way we want. Now is our time to submit and “sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst.”

A Pleasant Surprise

August 4, 2018

Image result for picture of a tithe box

All too often we as the Lord’s Elijah message messengers see disappointment after disappointment. We work in the Lord’s vineyard and it seems that we witness few changes in our churches. Abominations which we are to “sigh and cry” against (Ezek.9 and Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267) continue unabated. Yet, when we hear of good news we are like our Lord —

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”(Luke 7:9)

Such is the good news we heard from one of our sisters in the faith recently. She called and excitingly told us of the Chowcilla S.D.A Church in northern California. She explained that she was pleasantly surprised when she walked into the church and noticed a Tithe Box secured against the wall for receiving the Tithe donations. She further found out that this church DOES NOT pass the church bag around compelling members to donate. Wow! True reason to say Praise the Lord!

As we all know as Seventh-day Adventists, this bag passing has been a standard custom in our church ever since our prophetess died in 1915. For those who would like to see our prior posts on some history of tithe collection see this link —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/05/23/the-collection-box/

We really don’t know how this started but it’s a good bet that the Roman custom infiltrated our churches. The message explains –

“What a privilege and what an opportunity is now ours! Look and see what a difference there is between God’s method for supporting His work, and the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not!  As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.

Instead of Sabbath-keeping the day is devoted to money raising, and instead of a house of worship, the church is turned into a den of thieves — disgusting to observers, and most discouraging for a member to invite a friend or a neighbor to a church service.  Is there any wonder that God does not now bring many into the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 6, p. 371)?

It was this sort of thing that aroused Luther to action as he saw the priests living in luxury by exploiting the people’s conscience and by making the poor poorer.  True worship and God’s plan for supporting the work must now be restored.” (Jezreeel Letter, no.9, p.8)

To be sure, we serve a Holy God. One that is particular and certainly not like us. He has sent His last messenger to us to let us know this bag passing/money solicitation in His house is “condemned by Scriptures” and not considered “freewill offerings”.

“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” (Psalms 50:21)

Yes brethren there is our ways then there is God’s way. Unfortunately Satan specializes in blurring the two! I was once a regular partaker in this bag passing and solicitation of funds every Sabbath, being a deacon who led out in bag passing. For I knew no better, until advanced light came and I could see this issue as the Lord sees it.

Isn’t it wonderful when the Lord always gives us an out. Today we have online payment systems which gives ample opportunity to avoid such abomination.

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations …” (2 Peter 2:9)

But when we begin to “reform” we do so bit by bit both individually and corporately, as the message explains —

“Correct your habits. “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:31, 32.)

    You may not understand all there is about it, but that would not excuse you from doing faithfully the little things which you already perfectly know. Start with the A B C’s in the science of reform as you would in a grade school, gradually climbing up the ladder of perfection as you would from the first grade up to a course in a. university. As you are unable to understand in the schools of the world the higher grades ahead of the lower, so you will never learn all the science in physiology or the mysteries in the laws of God from its heights down or all at once. Moreover, if you are not willing to do correctly the little things in life, what will it compel you to agonize in prayer for the power you need to accomplish the great thing?

   No one can successfully be promoted to a higher position until he proves true and proficient in a lower place. Says the apostle Paul: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” That is, no one can in a haphazard manner do the necessary things of life and yet stand innocent before the Lord. His command is: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48.) (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no.1, p.3)

This church has taken that small step in righting a wrong before the Lord, and it can only bring blessings. No doubt there is much work to be done still in the Chowcilla church, yet this seemingly small thing is truly a BIG thing, when we think about the roughly 95% other S.D.A churches who commit the Roman custom abomination in God’s house Sabbath after Sabbath. In other words this stance is breaking away from the prevalent cattle like herd mentality of following the Roman custom!

SOP tells us that  “those only who sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church”  will receive the seal of God (pure mark of truth).

“Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267)

“The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of
those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.212)

To be sure, the subject of tithes today is very deep and involves knowing where to tithe as well as how to collect tithes. But as mentioned by Inspiration above, the small steps must be taken first then advancement comes. But advance we must. If we don’t want to, we have the “need of nothing” Laodicean malady.

In closing let us rejoice in this small but significant step. We are in the process of trying to get in touch with the leadership in this church and hope to encourage them to keep up the good work and advance further in the Lord’s way.


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