Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

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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Leap for Joy!

April 28, 2018

Image result for picture of a man leaping for joy

In Luke 6:22-23 our Master said this —

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

These words were fulfilled before our eyes a couple of weeks ago. Allow us to explain.

There are five Adventist churches in area. We (wife and I) live in a fairly large county called Coachella.  The experience came from one of these churches. It’s one of the older ones and has predominately older members. Our story will deal with a married couple, brother R and sister L.

They are members of one of the aforementioned churches  with brother R being a S.D.A member since 2009. BR (hereafter for brother R) joined the Palm Springs S.D.A church back in 2009. He enjoyed the church services and was moving up the ladder of leadership becoming a Deacon in 2010. But in early 2011 he happened to come home from services one Sabbath and searching the computer came across a site offering a unique Adventist message called “The 144,000 Who are They?”.

BR clicked it and began to listen. As he listened he became almost spell-bound, for the new truths were explained and all backed up by Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy, yet no one in the S.D.A church had ever explained any of the things in the report. The amazement became profound. “Why are these things not spoken of in our church?” BR wondered.

After all they were profoundly serious, showing a church judgement to come upon the S.D.A church BEFORE He comes in the clouds. As he listened he felt such great appreciation for having the opportunity to be exposed to these prophetic teachings, BR went to the room bowing in prayer and profusely thanking the Lord for being given guidance in what is in store for us Adventists.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)

Despite the great spiritual awakening BR was soon to witness an unfathomable rejection of the Lord’s Elijah message Truth.  While he found new brethren scattered around the county, he discovered nearly a whole lock stock and barrel rejection or non-interest in the prophesied Elijah message (Mal. 4:5) within the local S.D.A churches.

Soon BR got married and his wife and him would frequent other churches in the area. One in particular appealed to the couple. It was the aforementioned older conservative one. But one thing BR was consistent with–passing our present truth material (CD’s DVD’s Tracts, SOP material, etc.) For a good two years BR and his wife went off and on to this conservative church. Being generally welcome they received good treatment from the brethren there and especially enjoyed the church lunches. They gave an opportunity to discuss prophecy and other important aspects of the Elijah message.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. The leaders, particularly the Pastor and the head Elder, made their move against BR and his wife. The Elder approached BR and told him he’d like to see him in the Pastor’s office after lunch.

BR instinctively knew that it was to be about the slander that so frequently comes against God’s people, SOP explains–

“Do not be unbelieving. The more you are jostled, misapprehended, misstated, misrepresented, the more evidence you have that you are doing a work for the Master, and the more closely you must cling to your Saviour.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p.130)

The workers of Christ today, as we have posted before have a large  X on their back spiritually speaking. And this mark is seen by the workers of darkness, yes, even those who cover themselves in false righteousness, many of those at the head of the church work!

Let us remember our King prophesied that Satan would sprew a flood of unconverted into the church to try to “carry her away.”

“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” (Rev. 12:15)

The church right now is flat-out “flooded” with non-converts. Truth is not accepted unless it’s watered down and converted into a peace and safety form. BR , while friendly, did not back away from letting people know within the church that God loved them but that judgment is soon to come FIRST to His S.D.A church.

Nevertheless, some objected and instead of discussing the matter directly with BR and going the way of Scriptural procedure, they chose to go behind his back un-Christ like and spread false accusations against him and his wife.

So BR and sister L went into the Pastor’s room and heard accusations labeled against them. “We have been told you are a follower of Waco” the head Elder said. BR asked if he knew about the history of Waco? He did not except short bits and pieces. BR went into a brief history of  Mt. Carmel in Waco, Texas. Explaining how “Davidians” are all too often falsely connected with David Koresh and his BRANCH Davidian movement from Waco.

But as BR went into all this and then into the actual message of Elijah, he did not faze them at all. They were as blind to the Truth as they were before. The Pastor then explained how BR as a layman is not authorized to teach within  their church, even to discuss Scripture and SOP in studies! Can we believe that?? In other words all “teaching” is meaning one cannot discuss the Scriptures and SOP with others without getting the Pastor and head elder’s permission first (ie. church board) ? WOW!

Correct me if I am wrong but this is a definition of a cult. Yes brethren this is what we have come to! Instead of following the below counsel, we belittle, reject and sometimes “separate” brethren from our company. No such sitting down together, Christ  like and discussing specific aspects of the Scriptures and SOP. As Luke 6:22-23 says, the Lord foreseen it  all!

“It is a fact that we have the truth, and we must hold with tenacity to the positions that cannot be shaken; but we must not look with suspicion upon any new light which God may send, and say, “Really, we cannot see that we need any more light than the old truth (historic Adventism) which we have hitherto received, and in which we are settle. While we hold to this position, the testimony of the True Witness applies to our cases its rebuke, “And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Those who feel rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, are in a condition before God, and they know it not.” (RH: August 7, 1894)

“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.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.105-106)

 

“..beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many  will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.

No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God’s people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said,”I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time.

Truth is eternal, and conflict with error will only make manifest its strength. We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth. Suppose a brother held a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing?

The only right way would be to sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented in the light of God’s word, which will reveal truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position in the least if it were false, or strengthen your position if it were true. If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation,it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of Pharisaism cherished among us.” (Testimonies to Ministers, page 106-107)

At the end of the meeting BR and sister L kneeled and prayed for light to come to the church. Did it do any good? Well the very next Sabbath BR and sister L were asked to not come to the church any more. Prophecy fulfillment —

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

The Lord is about to do something brethren and His word is to come to past let us stand strong despite the evil that surrounds us. Keep your head up and carry on with the Truth, His work to be done in the vineyard.

“The tares and wheat are now commingled, but then the one hand that alone can separate them will give to everyone his true position. Those who have had the light of truth, and heard the warning message, heard the invitation to the marriage supper-farmer, merchant, lawyer, false shepherds who have quieted the convictions of the people, unfaithful watchmen who have not sounded the warning or known the time of night–all who have refused obedience  to the laws of the kingdom of God, will have no right therein.”(Testimonies to Ministers, p.235) 

“There is a lack of moral and spiritual power throughout our Conferences. Many churches do not have light in themselves. The members do not give evidence that they are branches of the True Vine, by bearing much fruit to the glory of God, but appear to be withering away…They understand not the true application of the Scriptures, nor the power of God. They have eyes, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not; they continue in their evil ways, yet regard themselves as the privileged, obedient people who are doers of the word.

A carnal security and ease in Zion prevail. Peace, peace, is sounded in her borders, when God has not spoken peace. They have forfeited the terms of peace; there is reason for an alarm to be sounded in all “my holy mountain.” The sinners in Zion should be afraid, in a time when they do not expect it, sudden destruction will surely come upon all who are at ease.” (RH December 23, 1890)

 “Whenever the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His word. They will discern  any new lighand beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus will continue to the end. But as real spiritual life declines, it has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth. Men rest satisfied with the light already received from God’s word, and discourage any further investigation of the Scriptures.

They become conservative, and seek to avoid discussion…When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what.” (5T pp. 706-707).

 

“Adventist Church Tops 20 Million Members”

March 11, 2017

Image result for Rwandans being baptized in Lake Kivu

 

The Adventists News Network’s article states–

The Adventist Church has 20,008,779 member as of Dec. 31, 2016, a net increase of 882,332 people, or 4.6 percent, from the previous year, the church’s office of Archives, Statistics, and Research said. In another milestone, a record 1.2 million people were baptized last year, including an unprecedented 110,000 in Rwanda, while new churches continued to be planted at a rapid rate.

“What these statistics tell me about the church’s efforts to fulfill its mission is that church leaders and, increasingly, church members are putting considerable resources into reaching new souls for God’s kingdom,” said David Trim, director of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. “Total Member Involvement has a huge role to play here, and the record baptisms in 2016 already reflect TMI.”

 

The above headlines is the latest news from the SDA Church news agency. As we read this, we are suppose to be very happy, some may want to say, “praise the Lord!”. Yet all is not what meets the eye. Something profound is happening here and we should look a little deeper into this supposed “work of God”.

I, too, was at one time a lukewarm SDA member. In fact we got a billboard campaign going within our church trying to recruit new members into our church. But that was the light that I knew at that time. The truth of the Lord’s Elijah message had not reached me yet.

“We must not think, “Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge.” The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.” (Counsels to writers and editors, p.33)

Let us ask ourselves the following questions.

Why didn’t the Lord promise to bring Noah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, instead of Elijah?  Or how about David, Joseph, Job or any of the other numerous prophets?

Afterall Noah preached to the world did he not? That is what the message is right now from the SDA church “peace and love and win the world”. So how does Elijah fit in as opposed to the message of Noah? When we ponder this line of thinking we can only come to one conclusion. Elijah, instead of any other prophet, was chosen as the type  because it was to represent the type of message for this time, the last days.

What was Elijah’s message? One to the world or to his own people? Of Course to the house of Israel! Is this work of spreading the Lord’s message  to go to the world now, bringing in the great multitudes (as in 20 plus million) and causing us to leap for joy at this fact?

Sadly the answer is no. This no doubt will cause those not familiar with the purpose of the Elijah message to say “What? What are you talking about? It’s a great thing to bring souls into God’s kingdom now.” Well yes and no, let us explain.

Granted, this area of the Elijah message is one of the most difficult to understand. When we know the message well we know that there is no doubt that the Lord’s message today is specifically for the remnant church. Why? Because it , not the world, is about to be sprued out.

The message deals straightly with this issue as follows —

WORK WITHIN OR WITHOUT?

Question No. 32:

On the one hand I find your literature teaching its believers not to leave the ranks of the Mother church, while on the other hand I find it causing no end of trouble to the church. How do you reconcile your precept with your example? Why not devote your time to evangelistic efforts, bringing erring souls to the knowledge of the Truth, and let the church alone?

Answer:

Assuredly we do believe that this is no time to be pulling apart, but indeed to be pressing together. And the message which we are bearing to the church, not only does not contain any doctrine or teaching which would warrant our leaving her ranks to become a separate cult, but does on the contrary absolutely forbid our doing so. For these reasons, we have from the beginning steadfastly refused, even in the face of abusive treatment, to leave the Mother church.

So far as we are concerned, therefore, existing controversy and schism is the responsibility of the Denomination’s leading brethren and none of ours, for we are only carrying out the Lord’s express precept and example never to sacrifice Truth. And they themselves admit that we should obey God rather than men. Upon them, therefore, rests the heavy guilt of repeating the tragic folly of the Jews in Christ’s time, by rejecting the message of the hour, “entering not in themselves” into the expansion of Truth, hindering those who would enter in, and casting out those who do enter in.

So, to devote our time to evangelizing the world while neglecting the church, would be a criminal act, one of highest treason both to God and to His people. The church must first be saved from her Laodicean condition of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” She, not the world, is just about to be spued out. She “is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 15.

But in her present deplorable state of blindness and destitution as exposed by the True Witness (Rev. 3:14-18), she is utterly unfit for the task assigned her, and must be rescued from her sad deception before she can become a safe refuge and a saving influence to those who would join her ranks. Should God leave her in the Laodicean condition in which she now languishes, not only would she herself be lost but, in consequence, so also would the whole world along with her. He must therefore rouse her up or else raise up another to do the work which remains to be done.

Think, though, what an eternal joy it would be for Him to fit her up and use her to His glory, rather than to have to forsake her! So before raising up another as a last resort, He is trying to save her, and He will save her, as He promises:

“Satan will work his miracles to deceive, he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out. The chaff is separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.

None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouth. The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy 

“The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.”-B-55-1886.

Were the Lord—Who Himself when upon earth spent all His time in the exclusive endeavor to save His lost church then—to send us to the world rather than to His lost church today, He would not only be bringing in the innocent to perish with the guilty, but would also be completely reversing His own practice and contradicting His own orders to His apostles that they preach present truth to the church first (Matt. 10:5, 6).

In mercy and in consistency with His eternal procedure, therefore, He purposed that “while the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among [His] people upon earth.” This is her special work. “Then the church which…at His coming [He] is to receive to Himself will be ‘a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”’-The Great Controversy, p. 425.

“The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth,” furthermore says the Spirit of Truth, “because of the church-members who have never been converted, and those who were once converted but who have back slidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?”-Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 371.

But when the back slidden and the unconverted, the tares, are taken away, “then she will look forth ‘as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”’-The Great Controversy, p. 425.

Yes, the honest heathen must and will be evangelized, but “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6) must be sought first. How thankful, therefore, and how cooperative they ought to be, and will be, when they discover that rather than being rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing, they are actually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”—in need of everything- and that the Lord is waiting for them to wake up to the fact so that He can make them what they ought to be.

For these reasons, God says now to work within the Laodicean congregation rather than without. And what He says, that He means, and we dare not disobey, regardless what men may say or do. (Answerer, vol.2, Q-32)

You see brethren we are wholesaling them into the church without so much as any obedience to the Lord’s counsel, let us read–

“Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts.” (Review and Herald, May 21, 1901)

So if the Lord is not now working to bring souls into the truth, the church, who is? Yes, sadly it is another spirit working in camouflage to hoodwink people that they get a free ride to heaven upon joining the church.

More from the message on this important topic–

SAVE THE CHURCH OR THE WORLD?

Question No. 67:

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

Answer:

  The mission to save the world cannot be more important than the mission to save the church Enlarging the church membership under the now prevailing lukewarm Laodicean conditions could no more advance the Kingdom of Chris than could have been done under the condition in the Jewish church in the days of His first advent. Understanding the true situation in the church, John the Baptist and Christ Himself and even the apostles at first, engaged them selves to work, not for the world in general, but only in the interest of their brethren in the church.

  As the same departure from Christ exists within the church now as it did then (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), it will take much greater effort to rescue the people from the Laodicean “sad deception” (Testimonies. Vol. 3, p. 253), than if they were in heathenism For in Laodicea they are made to believe that they have all the truth there is to be had, that they are rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing,—their salvation forever secured as long as they hold membership in the church Hence there is greater risk of their losing their souls in the church while she is “lukewarm” an. about to be spued out, than if they remain in the world until the church awakes from her slumber, and anoints herself with the eyesalve (Truth)—sees right, does right, and leads an. feeds the flock aright.

  Let every honest member ask the question, If the church herself is not saved (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 253), not following Christ her Leader (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217) and “has become an harlot” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250), how can she save others? The greatest need therefore is first to save those in the church, then those in the world. The “special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 425), “the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), must come first then is to follow the sealing of those in the world.

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

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

  After the church awakes and ceases dreaming that she is “rich and increased with goods,” finds out that she is in need of everything rather than of “nothing,” puts on her strength by turning to Christ her Leader, clothes herself in the garments of His righteousness, and lets the unclean pass no more through her (Isa. 52:1), then shall her righteousness go forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see her righteousness, and all kings her glory (Isa. 62:1, 2).

Then will she really be able to save. Then her “gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto” her “the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve” her “shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:11, 12.

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

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

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

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

  “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him; and His work be fore Him.” Isa. 62:10, 11. (Answerer, vol. 3, Q-67)

Do not misunderstand we as Christ’s servants should want any and all people saved. There is even today  a few who like the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:25-29) come into the faith by a burning desire of love of Christ, His honor, His Commandments and His Word. These the Lord has called into His church.But unfortunately our leaders have herded them like cattle into the church without even knowing what the Word says about the final result!

However the Lord has set a timetable to win the world and that is to first save the church from impending doom, then to go  out and win the “great multitude” (Rev. 7:9). Let’s get on board HIS timetable and do His work as said by His prophets.

 

 

The Church of the Routine, Part 2

December 3, 2016

 

church-asleep

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

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

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

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

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

1.Scripture readers

2. Teachers

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

4. Tongue speakers

5. Interpreters

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

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

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

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

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

Question No. 131:

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

Answer:

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

“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the prophets” and “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old. He who rejects or neglects the new does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and becomes but a lifeless form.” (Christ Object Lessons, p.127-128)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord’s word warns us–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” Isa. 60:2-11.

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

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

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

 

Update on the 2015 SDA Christmas Celebration

February 13, 2016

Gay Chorus

On January 2, 2016 we did a post on the Palm Springs SDA church’s Christmas program for 2015. Since then we have seen and heard quite a stir from the Christian community particularly the SDA community. And rightly so. As we pointed out, the presentation definitely did not have the Word of God’s approval. Recently we see that neither does it have the vast general SDA community approval.

Last week we heard from a SDA friend who knows one of the leading Elders from the Palm Springs church. Sister M and I discussed the unfortunate celebration in God’s house and the feedback it has generated on sites such as YouTube. She mentioned that she would be going to the church and wanted to speak to brother P who was a head Elder in the church. She asked for advice on how to discuss this and let him know how many SDA were feeling about what had transpired.

I mentioned to her that one such clear view on it could be found on YouTube with the following link(arrow) –

In this video the presenter lays charge to the Scriptural standing in the gay celebration. One thing that struck me was the huge views in such a short time– 19, 400.  And the prevalent opinion that it was wrong before the Lord has struck a true note in many — 242 likes and 11 dis-likes.

So after discussing this situation with her, we agreed that she should  “tell it like it is”. In other words,

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

She agreed. Later she called and said that almost before she could get out her words to the Elder he spoke up and said that he totally agreed it was a disaster and that “something will be done about it.” He also said that “90% of the church did not agree with the idea.”

So it appears that the local leadership hijacked the will of the people for their own undetermined reasons (?). Most likely a private agreement was made by a few leaders and woala– the program was decided and put forth.

Now, is this disgrace any more sinful than the young gal prancing in the church in her  mini-skirt and high heels? No it’s not. It’s all sin in God’s house. The whole point is that abominations in God’s house is the prevalent act of the evil one today and those who turn a blind eye to it will not make it through the soon to come church judgment.

SOP provides insight —

“Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church..” (COL, p. 71)

But instead of “separating” the open sin from the church we have come to embrace it! All the while saying “Hallelujah praise the Lord!” Our “dumb dogs” have refused to bark!

“…”Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.” (Testimonies vol. 5, p. 211)

The command is: “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.” These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, COUNSELLED, and entreated.

Some who had been dishonouring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. {5T 210.2} 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 211 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)

The judgment my brothers and sisters is right upon us, we are not to delay and to begin at once to call out the prevailing sins “done in the midst”, by word of mouth, by study groups, by blogs, by YouTube, by email, by any and all means.

SOP warns us that the do-nothings are the worse offenders in God’s eyes —

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.281)

Our church is in a dire emergency and  true spiritual crisis , the Lord’s sword hangs above it , let us spring into action.

“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)

 

 

A SDA Christmas Celebration

January 2, 2016

Gay Chorus  (Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus Christmas 2014)

About three weeks ago I needed to find a book in the bookshelf and found it. Upon opening it I found an old business card from my former church. As I looked at it the thought came that I had not visited their website in a long time and should check up on what was happening there. Was  I in for an update!

The above picture  was prominently posted on their front page. The 2014 picture was to show the chorus group that was performing and the church’s “diversity” in the annual Christmas program of 2015. I was stunned. For several reasons as we’ll soon discuss, this situation within the SDA church has come out more publicly within the last few years and thus should be addressed.

As we Christians should all know, we are taught to “love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Nevertheless His word is abundantly clear on the homosexual lifestyle.

To begin, we must all know that our Christian life is to be upon the solid rock of His word. It tells us the path we must walk. So let us look at what His word says about our subject.

Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Jude 1:7Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

His word shows that we must not entertain the idea that two men can have a relationship that involves unnatural affections one to another.

So how can we as Seventh-day Adventists claim to believe in His word and practice active support of this lifestyle by proudly presenting men that declare themselves to be of this persuasion? It can only be viewed as one word– Hypocrites.

Our own SDA public statement shows what we “officially” believe–

“Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. This was the design established by God at creation. The Scriptures declare: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen 2:24, NIV).

Throughout Scripture this heterosexual pattern is affirmed. The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships.  Sexual acts outside the circle of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden (Lev 18:5-23, 26; Lev 20:721; Rom 1:2427; 1 Cor 6:911). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one'” (Matt 19:46, NIV). For these reasons Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.” (www.adventist.org)

We remember Jesus was confronted with the alleged adulteress Mary. She was an example of sexual perverted lifestyle, Jesus did not condemn her but freed her and then said “Go and sin no more”. Our Lord gave her undeserved forgiveness but with the condition to reform.

We see that forgiveness came but also the solemn responsibility to turn from her lifestyle lest she be found doing it again, thus holding in contempt the precious forgiveness granted her.

As this sin and lifestyle is described as an abomination, let us look at some of the other related abominations to the Lord.

Proverbs 17:15He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both [are] abomination to the LORD.

Deuteronomy 22:5The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to nor perform homosexual acts,

After finding out about the 2015 Christmas program, I then discussed it with a few brothers and sisters. Several were of the opinion that the church was wrong for promoting this. But what really caught my attention was  two sisters who gave counter views of each other. Let’s look at each and then we’ll quote some “Thus sayeth the Lord” to see which of the two is based on the sure word of the Lord.

Sister S has been a SDA member for many years. She attends services most Sabbaths. She’s considered a member in good standing. When I spoke to her concerning this she said the following–

“Well, I don’t see it as wrong. I see it as we are trying to bring all people together. Yes, we don’t condone the gay lifestyle, but we need to show we love them.”

Sister L has likewise been a long-term member and in good standing, and her response was–

“Oh no. This is not right. God’s word is clear. We should not be doing this.”

Sister L later called back to say, “I still can’t believe this. You know brother, I cried after you told me about this. We need to pray.”

There are some specific SOP references that address each of these positions. Let us see if Inspiration backs one of the sisters diametrically opposed positions.

“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)

“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.” (Same, p.266)

“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed!” (Same, p.267)

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

“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.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.210)

“The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God.” (Same, p.211)

“The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” ((Same, p.216)

In closing, we see that Inspiration calls on us to “sigh and cry” for the sins done in the church. His word is too clear that no one should have any doubt as to where we must stand on this issue.

“Sodomitish Impurity—Oh, how disgusted is God with the tame, lifeless, Christless efforts made by some of those who profess to be His servants! God’s work must be carried forward strongly and upward. This cannot be done unless the sensuality that corrupts the whole man is separated from the religious experience. This work must be done.

Church members need to fast and pray, striving earnestly to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Not one particle of Sodomitish impurity will escape the wrath of God at the execution of the judgment. Those who do not repent of and forsake all uncleanness will fall with the wicked. Those who become members of the royal family and form God’s kingdom in the earth made new, will be saints, not sinners.” Isaiah 30:1-3, 8-16(Testimonies on sexual behavior, adultery and divorce, p.119)

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!

 

 

Sabbath Business Meetings?

November 14, 2015

Meeting- church members

On any given Sabbath, we could be observing a gathering like pictured above. It would be a –Sabbath church council meeting. Many members of the church gather together to discuss topics such as, bill paying, allocating funds for church business/activities, current and future projects and/or the financial requirements, etc.

But as anything we do, we should follow the Lord’s word in our actions. What does Inspiration tell us about this all too common practice among us as Seventh-day Adventists? Let us look at the “Thus sayeth the Lord.”

As we are well aware, being SDA, our hallmark sign is our obedience to the Lord’s 4th Commandment. We understand this to be absolutely crucial in our Christian walk with the Lord. No one can dispute this. But it seems there are two camps today in our church. One, the people who seem to think a “general” observance is required, i.e show up to church, do the service, continue the rest of the day doing more or less your own thing albeit in a religious cloak. They shun the obvious such as working in secular work, buying and selling, worldly activities like movies, TV shows , music, etc.

Then we have the other camp. While observing the above as well, they make it more of a serious observance. Not that they are being Pharisaic, rather the Lord’s honor is a prime concern for them. The “Thus sayeth the Lord” is their guideline. Observance even in the fine points matters to them.

A fine point, or maybe we should say a main point would be a Sabbath council member meeting. Would this issue be a concern to the Lord? Let’s see.

Before we begin let’s look at some foundation quotes concerning the Sabbath–

“Those who wish to be blest and approved of the Lord in this world, and who expect to finally be saved, and have right to the tree of life, must keep the Sabbath holy. They should pray daily for grace and wisdom to keep from polluting it in any way. Isaiah says: “Every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain.”(The Youth’s Instructor, Feb. 1, 1853)

“There is need of a Sabbath reform among us, who profess to observe God’s holy rest-day. Some discuss their business matters and lay plans on the Sabbath, and God looks upon this in the same light as though they engaged in the actual transaction of business.” (Review and Herald, March 18, 1884)

“Any work that is neglected until the commencement of holy time, should remain undone until the Sabbath is past. This course might help the memory of these thoughtless ones, and make them more careful to do their own work on the six working days.” (Signs of the Times, Feb. 7, 1911)

“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.” (Lev. 23:3)

In 1912 W.C. White (EGW’s son) answered a letter concerning what EGW wrote concerning the offering and purchasing of periodicals and subscriptions ( even religious) during Sabbath. She was 84 at the time and had limited time/energy to respond to all the requests that came in.

He wrote, “The question of proper Sabbath observance is one about which Mother has often spoken. She has often  appealed to our people to make the Sabbath a day of worship, devotion, and communion with God, and to sacredly guard it from secular business.” (Source–ellenwhite.org)

But some may say, “That is talking about regular working business in the world not church business.” This is a classic example of why the Lord needed to send a “restorer of all things”. Our all-seeing King knew that this issue should be clarified and thus we should have no confusion and then without excuse as to which way is the right course here.

So with this understanding let us look at the Lord’s Elijah message for the restoring word on this issue.

“Turning back to Isaiah 58, verse 13, tells the kind of fast this is. “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.”

Therefore, the fast mentioned here is not a fasting of food, but of pleasure, labor and our own ways and thoughts, and that we must honor God and keep His Sabbath holy. The charge is, that we exact all our labor on the Sabbath day. As a people we have forgotten the true meaning of Sabbath keeping. We have come to suppose that anything which pertains more or less to religion is permissible on God’s holy day. It is said, It is the Lord’s work.

But God has never said anywhere in the Scriptures that His people are at liberty to do all manners of work (that pertain to religion) on the Sabbath day. Work which can be done on a day other than the Sabbath is not a work for the Sabbath. “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: In it thou shalt not do any work.”

        Note the way the commandment reads: “Any work.” God does not mean that we can do our work in the six days, and His on the Sabbath. He says it is a day of rest: Not physical, but spiritual rest. For instance, it would be wrong for one to sell good religious books on the Sabbath, even if he turned all the proceeds to the church.

It would be wrong for a surgeon to perform surgical operations on patients on the Sabbath day if it can be done at another time. It would be wrong for a nurse to give treatments to patients on the Sabbath day if it was not absolutely necessary. Read Volume 7, page 106.

It would be wrong for a church council to meet on the Sabbath and discuss church business, or make plans of any kind. It would be wrong for a Sabbath keeper to load himself with evangelical announcements for a series of meetings, and distribute them from house to house on the Sabbath day. All this manner of work could be done on a day other than the Sabbath.

When we do this kind of work on the Sabbath, we do it to save ourselves an hour or so of time for the next day, thus we rob God of His time and add it to our secular pleasure. If it is wrong for one to go and sell good religious books on the Sabbath, though he turns all the proceeds to the Church, it would be doubly wrong to sell that same book in the house of God on the Sabbath day, regardless of what is done with the income.

If all of this is true, then it would be wrong to go out with Harvest Ingathering papers and receive contributions for missions on the Sabbath. It is time for God to call our attention to these things. (SRod, vol. 1, p.148-149)

Let our hearts rejoice as we see that the Lord makes this issue very clear as to leave no excuse. A Sabbath business meeting is a human convenience cloaked in the name of religion! Let us not fall for this Satan trap. It’s not real hard to figure out by human standards. We have all the members there during Sabbath, why not have the meeting then and save our precious leisure time later? Our conveniences over the Lord’s word–a recipe for disaster!

We can arrange a weekly evening gathering and do all the business we want, and thus please the Lord and more blessings shall flow.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and blessed are the breasts that nursed You.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:27-28)

Here is an example of a church posting that would glorify God-

Chruch council meeting

This could be posted in our Sabbath bulletins to remind our members that we can make time to do business that does not pollute our King’s holy day.

“Arise against the abominations and now take your stand with this revival and reformation (“Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 126), called forth by the True Witness to the Laodiceans (“Testimonies,” Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253). Read “Testimonies,” Vol. 3, pp. 266, 267; Ezekiel 9.” (Jezreel Letter, no. 7, p.9) 

We as present truth believers know that we must “sigh and cry” for all the abominations that be done in the church (Testimonies vol. 3, p.267), in order to get the seal of God in our forehead. And as this sin of working on His Sabbath has been seen as wrong in God’s word, let us turn from this practice and do the right thing here.

The word says–

“..we should pray that we judge not others; that we as a church deal only with open sins. (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.38, p.2)

This business gathering is open and thus we must deal with it openly. Lest we be looked at from God’s view as contributors to breaking His holy Sabbath.

We should never forget that Inspiration says that ONLY those who sigh and cry for the all the abominations done in the church (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267 and Testimonies, vol. p.212) will receive the seal of God. Should we gamble our eternal life by presumptuously assuming that Sabbath business meetings are not an abomination? That’s an eternal gamble we cannot afford to take!

Can we image the Lord saying , “My Son/Daughter shame on you for fearing me and avoiding Sabbath council meetings.” Of course not. Rather we can walk in full faith that we stand on solid God breathed words when we take His word literally and obediently.

In closing we are in the time of the end and the Lord’s angel with the writers inkhorn is doing the all important marking of those who fear the Lord. If we error in anything let us error in fearful obedience rather than careless presumptuousness.

“Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.” (Psalms 128:1)

Reformation at the Door

November 7, 2015

Reform at the door

As we look at the above, let us image that this man wants to see Donald Trump or maybe the office of Bill Gates. Their secretary must screen them, see how they are and do an inspection of sorts. If they are well-mannered and well dressed, after being screened as to who they are,  they can usually get the ok to go in. But if they are sloppy and dirty or not dressed well chances are they are refused entrance.

What about our church? What about the “house of God”? Should the standards be high as well? The word says-

“Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.” (Ezekiel 5:11)

Here we see that defilement of His “sanctuary” , His house, causes our Lord to “diminish thee”. Or to put another way “sprue” them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).

So what are we saying here? What we are saying is that today, right now, there is a work to be done and that work is NOT to bring more and more unconverted into His church. Reformation among us as Seventh -day Adventists, should be our main objective right now. How do we know this? Both of His last messengers say so.

We need to get real. Let us stop thinking of the Lord God as –Jolly Ol Saint Nick.  “Ho Ho Ho, my little children, come into my house, abominations and all, I’m so happy to see you.” No! Our Lord is holy, HE IS GOD.

Let us begin with the Spirit of Prophecy.

“Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts. 

Many of those whose names are registered on the church books are not Christians. They have not a genuine experience. If they were copying their Pattern, they would pray more and quarrel less. They would strive to be laborers together with God. Their sincere faith in Christ would lead to entire dependence on Him and perfect co-operation with Him.” (RH May 21, 1901)

The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.371)

There is no doubt that those who do not know the Lord’s last message of Elijah (which are legion in our church) will say “What?? What are you talking about? Don’t work to bring others into our church??”

I admit that I too once thought this. When I first came into the Elijah message this part of the message was so foreign to me that I felt it almost strange, or put another way–not quite right. Yet it was “my thinking, my ideas” that I was relying on, not God’s word as spoken by His prophet and prophetess.

I led our church to design and install a large Billboard in our city, trying to win new people into our churches! It was our billboard idea and soon Amazing Facts was writing an article about it in their quarterly magazine. I was zealous for what I thought was the right thing to do. Yet the Lord was guiding and soon I walked up that next step to light I never knew was there. “My” plans soon changed into God’s plan.

S7301355

We as SDA, and nearly all other denominations of Christianity, teach the formal doctrine of “bring em in, ask little or no in-depth questions,  baptize them as soon as they request it.”

To be clear we are not saying NO ONE should join the church. The message of Elijah is clear here.

“..if we truly understand the situation, and believe in faithfully executing our trust, we should be working for the sinners in Zion with such an  all-consuming burden that we would at present have neither time nor energy left to work for the  sinners in the world, save for such as those  represented by the “Syrophenician” woman (Mark 7:26).  Then we shall be doing our full part in the calling of the 144,000 to their task, and thus hastening  the time of the in gathering of the great multitude from the world–the day of the Loud Cry.” (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-129)

If God leads anyone into the Truth, then we should not discourage them. But as we saw from Inspiration, “The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth.”

So we ask. Who is doing God’s work today, for HIM? Is it those who try to reach the heathen? Or is it those who try to save the ones who will be first to receive judgment (the SDA church)(1 Peter 4:17, Testimonies Vol. 5, p.211)? The world WILL be preached to, when the time comes and that, by the purified church the 144,000.

But this understanding certainly is not being followed except by the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. Those who are following in the final light to His church through His pleading message of Elijah.

“God does not want to bring the heathen unconverted into the church for the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine, but He is exceedingly anxious to save the church: neither is He working “to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church-members who have never been converted….Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” — “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, p. 371.  (Symbolic Code, vol. 2 no.5-6, p.9)

Let me interject here and say this is SO TRUE. What happens when there comes an honest God loving -God fearing soul into the church and he or she sits down and quickly notices nightclub dressed up gals, complete with short skirts and high heels? Do we think he is comforted or sorrowful–think about it.

..to devote our time to evangelizing the world while neglecting the church, would be a criminal act, one of highest treason both to God and to His people. The church must first be saved from her Laodicean condition of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” She, not the world, is just about to be spued out. She “is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 15.

But in her present deplorable state of blindness and destitution as exposed by the True Witness (Rev. 3:14-18), she is utterly unfit for the task assigned her, and must be rescued from her sad deception before she can become a safe refuge and a saving influence to those who would join her ranks. Should God leave her in the Laodicean condition in which she now languishes, not only would she herself be lost but, in consequence, so also would the whole world along with her. He must therefore rouse her up or else raise up another to do the work which remains to be done.” (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-32)

I don’t know about you but after truly understanding this situation we should at once determine to go to work helping our own. We, not the world,  as Inspiration says is just about to be sprued out. Meetings should be set up,  present truth Bible studies given, sermons arranged, phone conferences engaged, etc. There is SO MUCH we should be doing to enlighten our church to God’s final message of reformation and revival.

“Yes, the honest heathen must and will be evangelized, but “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6) must be sought first. How thankful, therefore, and how cooperative they ought to be, and will be, when they discover that rather than being rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing, they are actually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”—in need of everything- and that the Lord is waiting for them to wake up to the fact so that He can make them what they ought to be.

For these reasons, God says now to work within the Laodicean congregation rather than without. And what He says, that He means, and we dare not disobey, regardless what men may say or do.”   (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-32)

“The mission to save the world cannot be more important than the mission to save the church. Enlarging the church membership under the now prevailing lukewarm Laodicean conditions could no more advance the Kingdom of Christ than could have been done under the condition in the Jewish church in the days of His first advent. Understanding the true situation in the church, John the Baptist and Christ Himself and even the apostles at first, engaged them selves to work, not for the world in general, but only in the interest of their brethren in the church.

As the same departure from Christ exists within the church now as it did then (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), it will take much greater effort to rescue the people from the Laodicean “sad deception” (Testimonies. Vol. 3, p. 253), than if they were in heathenism. For in Laodicea they are made to believe that they have all the truth there is to be had, that they are rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing,—their salvation forever secured as long as they hold membership in the church. Hence there is greater risk of their losing their souls in the church while she is “lukewarm” and about to be spued out, than if they remain in the world until the church awakes from her slumber, and anoints herself with the eyesalve (Truth)—sees right, does right, and leads an. feeds the flock aright.

Let every honest member ask the question, If the church herself is not saved (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 253), not following Christ her Leader (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217) and “has become an harlot” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250), how can she save others? The greatest need therefore is first to save those in the church, then those in the world. The “special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 425), “the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), must come first then is to follow the sealing of those in the world.” (Answerer, vol. 3, Q-67)

Right now we are perilously close to entering into either life everlasting or death everlasting.  The decision is ours. The course is laid out. Do we work within and follow the Lord through His messengers? Or do we follow our own path as Korah and his followers did? We must make a decision which will it be?

In closing what better and clearer word of God can we get than the following. Our prophetess gives us unmistakable instructions of why we are not to carelessly let people join  the church. As we have shown the Lord’s work is to do in- house work now. Why? because we are filled to the brim with unconverted among us. But should we find those who want to come into the truth , being led of God, then let us use the following example–

Examination of Candidates

“The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates.

Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism.

One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need instruction is the subject of dress. Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? Do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress.

There should be no carelessness in dress. For Christ’s sake, whose witnesses we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance. In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before Him. Thus we are taught that He has a preference in regard to the dress of those who serve Him. Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolic. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolic.

In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion, that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.95-96)

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)

 

 


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