Archive for the ‘God's power’ Category

The Renewal of the Earth

May 23, 2020

 

Earth Pictures: Iconic Images of Earth from Space | Live Science

What a joy it is to know we have God that keeps His word and provides to all who love Him, His final message of Elijah –enjoy!


The Renewal of the Earth.

Looking forward to the disintegration of the earth, the Apostle Peter says: “…we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Pet. 3:13.

And John the Revelator, permitted in prophetic vision to see beyond as well as before the millennium, writes: “…I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them [whereas during the thousand years, they dwell with Him (Rev. 20:4)] and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

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“And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21:1-8.

Since the prophets and the Revelator, too, saw the first earth and the first heaven pass away and new ones replace them, anyone would be as foolish as he would be dishonest to gainsay and oppose this plain truth, thereby deceiving himself and confusing others. So the need is very urgent that all give careful consideration to the ensuing

Further Sound Reasons.

Were the earth not to be laid waste at the beginning of the millennium, what need would there be of making “all things new”? Rev. 21:5. If, furthermore, during the millennial age the saints were not to dwell in heaven, then there would be no need of having the “new Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2, 10) there. And if, still further,

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the saints then live on earth, the Voice of Prophecy would not say they lived “with Christ,” but rather that Christ lived with them. And finally, if they reign with Him on earth, where they are to live forever, prophecy would not say that they “reigned with Christ a thousand years,” but rather that they reigned with Him forever.

Said John, as he looked forward to the time that Christ will live and reign with them on earth: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15. “And the kingdom and dominion,” declares Daniel, concerning the saints’ reigning with Him, “and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” Dan. 7:27.

In heaven the redeemed shall reign with Christ only a thousand years, whereas on earth He shall reign with them forever and ever: for “the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath He given to the children of men.” Ps. 115:16. “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” Isa. 45: 18.

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Seeing that the Scriptures say much about “the heaven,” also about “the heavens,” made new the responsibility, therefore, of ascertaining the difference between heaven and heavens rests upon every seeker of truth. Pursuant to this end, we must consider first

The Heaven in the Beginning.

“Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,” spoke the Lord, upon creating the earth, “and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven.” Gen. 1:6-8.

In the beginning, “the Lord God had not,” let us remember, “caused it to rain upon the earth” (Gen. 2:5), and water was “above the firmament” as well as “under the firmament”; and the firmament, He called “Heaven.” Gen. 1:7, 8. These divided waters could not be the water in the clouds, which now serves to water the earth, for the upper waters were not in the midst of the firmament, as are the clouds, but above it. So just as the earth was surrounded by the firmament, so also was the firmament surrounded by the water.

The earth was, in other words, twice enveloped, as shown in the illustration, — first by the firmament; then by the water.

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Since both the firmament and the water were transparent, and the water formed just a thin blanket round the firmament, the sun’s rays shone on the earth just as brightly then as they do now. And since, too, the rays of the sun at that time hit

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the water before they were cooled off by passing through the heavy sheet of atmosphere, they were hotter when they reached the water above the firmament than they are now under the firmament when they reach the earth. Being first diffused by the water, the rays made it hot; in turn, by circulating round the firmament, the hot water warmed the earth evenly everywhere — at the poles as well as at the equator.

The only variation in temperature was incident to presence of light (day) and absence of light (night). Consequently, then, as now, the night was cooler than the day. But as this condition no longer prevails, obviously at some time a cataclysm caused

The Breakdown of Earth’s Heating System.

In the beginning, the now frozen regions of the poles flourished with vegetation and abounded with animals which geologists now find preserved in the ice. Who, then, could doubt that the water “above the firmament” was the earth’s heat-equalizing system?

But as soon as the water, in fulfillment of Noah’s prediction, began to come down, — in fact, even before it had any chance to descend to the lower places of the earth, — this natural thermostatic system was quickly broken down, and the rain, as it fell on the earth, froze so suddenly in the polar regions that the animals while yet alive froze with it: they evidently had not time even to swallow

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their food, as is actually established by various archeological exhumations.

The earth, now being without its heat-equalizing system, is affected with intense heat whenever the sun is in such a position as to send its rays through the least thickness of atmosphere as is the case at noonday, when the sun shines straight down instead of on a slant; and with even intenser heat whenever there is a density of atmosphere, such as is caused by humidity and low altitude; whereas conditions opposite to these, bring an opposite extreme.

The fluctuating, uncomfortable atmospheric extremes brought about by the flood, are just another of the results of the curses which followed man’s unbelief in divine warnings and reproofs, and his disobedience to God’s commandments.

This adverse derangement of Nature’s thermostat, with the resultant uncomfortable condition on earth, both of which cry out not only for a new earth, but also for a new heaven, turns our attention to

The Solar System.

Inspiration declares that the sun was created on the fourth day of the week of creation, and astronomical science has discovered that in our solar system there are besides the planet Earth eight other planets depending on the sun for light, heat, and life-giving energy. (The probability is that three more planets will be

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discovered, for according to Genesis 37:9 and other facts, there must needs be twelve major planets in our solar system.) During the week of creation, consequently, God must have created not only the earth but also the entire solar system. Otherwise, the planets in existing without benefit of the sun’s life-sustaining influence, would necessarily have suffered an uninhabited and altogether useless existence. Inspiration, moreover, says also that in the week of creation, God created the earth, sun, moon, and “the stars also.” Gen. 1:16.

Without a sun, our solar system would have been but a planetary assemblage without a controlling unit, left to careen and hurtle headlessly through space, only to endure, at the merciless caprice of fortuitous circumstance, an unending succession of accidental collisions. Created and set in motion together, though, by the Hand that sustains them, all the planets safely follow the sun as it sweeps through space at the tremendous velocity of 400,000,000 miles a year.

Our heaven and earth, therefore, being a unit in the solar system, then both their passing away and their being renewed necessarily involve the entire system. Not only our heaven, consequently, but also

The Heavens Need to be Renewed.

Each one of the planets in our solar system being surrounded by its own firmament

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or heaven, there are, consequently, as many heavens (firmaments) as there are planets in the system. To these planetary “heavens” apply the following scriptures:

“For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black.” Jer. 4:28. “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.” Isa. 34:4.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Pet. 3:10.

“They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.” Ps. 102:26.

“For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.” Isa. 66:22.

As a result of sin on earth, causing all creation to groan (Rom. 8:22), the whole solar family has suffered. The foregoing scriptures show that not only the earth, but also the heavens, have waxed old

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under the curse of sin; that sin is a contagious disease with far-reaching results; that “whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26); that God is to make an absolute riddance of sin and consequently that He will make void not only the earth, but also the entire solar system; and that while making the earth new, He will make new the solar system also!

“What do ye imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nah. 1:9. “And He said unto me Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Rev. 21 :5.

“Behold,” He says further, speaking in view of the day that He will execute “an utter end,” “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Mal. 4:5. Hence Jesus’ words: “Elias truly shall first come, and”

Shall “Restore All Things.” Matt. 17:11.

Though lost through sin, all created in the beginning will be restored in “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:21. Having created the sea before the beginning of sin, then to do away with it after the extinction of sin, as some teach

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that He is to do, would certainly not be His restoring “all things,” but rather His doing away with them, and would imply that in the beginning He made a mistake in creating the sea thus belying His pronouncement “that it was good.” Gen. 1:10. Since, moreover, the serpent, not the sea, caused Adam and Eve to sin (Gen. 3:1-7), and since the serpent is to be in the kingdom restored (Isa. 65:25), why, then should God do away with the sea?

“God is jealous,” declares the prophet Nahum in his vision of the time of the end “and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him. But with an overrunning flood

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He will make an utter end of the place thereof and darkness shall pursue His enemies. What do ye imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nah. 1:2-9.

“…I saw” says John the Revelator, likewise after beholding the desolation of the earth, “a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Rev. 21:1.

When was there no more sea? — When the first heaven and the first earth passed away. The scripture does not say that there shall not be any more sea in the earth made new. It simply says that “there was no more sea” while the heaven and the earth were in their removed state — “passed away.” In other words, the first part of the verse envisages a “new heaven and a new earth,” whereas the last part foretells of no more sea before the “new heaven” and the “new earth” are made.

Thus on the absolute finality of His Own Word the Lord is to bring all things to an end, even to drying the rivers and the seas while He is making clear riddance of sin.

Since along with our heaven and earth, therefore, our whole solar system is to pass away, not only the saints from earth, then, but with them also the sons of God

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from the whole system, shall live and reign with Christ in the Heaven of heavens for a thousand years! O what a privilege! What an opportunity! What a gathering that will be!

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That “Other” Angel (Rev.18:1 — EW. P.277)

March 2, 2019

No photo description available.

In Revelation 18:1  we read —

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”

And in Early Writings, page 277 —

“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory.

The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844.

The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the third angel’s message.”

Angels were sent to aid the mighty angel from heaven, and I heard voices which seemed to sound everywhere, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844. The glory of God rested upon the patient, waiting saints, and they fearlessly gave the last solemn warning, proclaiming the fall of Babylon and calling upon God’s people to come out of her that they might escape her fearful doom.”

Let’s look at some Inspired references to gain more light on the powerful and full of glory angel message.

   There are several references that indicate what the fourth angel message is. Granted we don’t have the full understanding but we have a good solid idea. Starting with the above SOP reference. we see that this angel unites with the third angel. In other words this message in closely associated with that of the third angel message, which is basically a warning not to worship the Beast and his image (Rev. 14:9-11).

The message gives “power and force” to the third angel’s message and at the “right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry.”

It is worth noting that this fourth angel is called “mighty angel” and has “great power.” Ah, now let us zoom in now! Let use read this part again —

“This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844. The glory of God rested upon the patient, waiting saints, and they fearlessly gave the last solemn warning, proclaiming the fall of Babylon and calling upon God’s people to come out of her that they might escape her fearful doom.”

The above SOP quote tells us an important fact — the 144,000 sealed servants of God from Rev. 7:1-4 give the fourth angel’s message! The Rod message confirms this fact–

“As a result of the purification of the church, the sealing of the 144,000, the servants of God, the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1), with “the everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6).  God’s people are then called out of Babylon’s domain that they be not partakers of her sins (Rev. 18:4).  Then are they brought into a place where there are no sins, where the remnant keep the commandments of God, and where there is no fear of the plagues ever falling (Rev. 18:4).  And so chapter 18 begins after the sealing of the servants of God, and ends with the destruction of the woman, Babylon the Great.  This takes place after the saints have been called out and taken home.” (2 TG, no. 14, p.20)

 

“The eighteenth chapter is a continuation of the seventeenth, and so we shall study it also:

Rev. 18:1 — “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”

   After what things? — After the scarlet-colored beast comes into being and while the woman, Babylon, is sitting upon him.  It is then that the earth is to be lightened with the glory of the angel, with the message of the hour.

Rev. 18:2-4 — “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

   A heavenly voice, the Spirit of Truth, is heard calling God’s people out of Babylon after the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel.  For God’s people to come out so that they be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues, they must necessarily be called into a place that is free from sin, and thus be saved from Babylon’s plagues.  Consequently they go into a purified sinless church, and a land that is not in danger of the plagues.” (TG, Vol. 2, no. 18, p.23)

So we see that the 144,000 shall deliver the message with great power and fearlessly. We also see that this great final powerful message, which joins the third angel’s message is AFTER the church purification. So not only do we have the beginning time period of the fourth angel’s message but we notice that the end of it is when all God’s people have been called out of Babylon and placed into the kingdom “home”.

“To get the proper understanding of the third angel’s message we shall divide it into three periods: (1) Beginning of the proclamation of the true Sabbath, Rev. 14:6-11; (2) Reformation, and sealing of the 144,000, Rev. 7:1-8; (3) The Loud Cry, Rev. 18:1.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.32)

Once again we notice the timing of the fourth angel is the –Loud Cry period. 

 “If we would receive the light of the glorious angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory, let us see to it that our hearts are cleansed, emptied of self, and turned toward heaven, that they may be ready for the latter rain. Let us be obtaining a fitting up to join in the proclamation of the angel who shall lighten the earth with his glory.” (Signs of the Times, Aug. 1, 1892, par.14)

Below is a handy chart showing the Revelation chapter time periods. Again, we see that Rev. 18 fourth angel’s message begins in concurrence with the “time of trouble”, which can only start once the tares are removed from the church. Such a pure church will enrage Satan (Rev. 12: 15-17), thus the time of trouble comes upon the world.

 

 

   As a result of the purification of the church, the sealing of the 144,000, the servants of God, the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1), with “the everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6).  God’s people are then called out of Babylon’s domain that they be not partakers of her sins (Rev. 18:4).  Then are they brought into a place where there are no sins, where the remnant keep the commandments of God, and where there is no fear of the plagues ever falling (Rev. 18:4).  And so chapter 18 begins after the sealing of the servants of God, and ends with the destruction of the woman, Babylon the Great.  This takes place after the saints have been called out and taken home.(2 TG, no.14, p.20)

 

“Flood” is the same as “water”, which means people (in the church) unconverted, whom Satan is using to cause the church to be carried away in a very quiet manner, so that no one would be suspicious of the great deception.  In this way he attempts to deceive the very elect (144,000) if it were possible.  Being impossible, Christ Himself interposes and delivers His people (those who sigh and cry for all the abominations in the church) and then makes an example of the others.

Rev. 12:16, “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”  The meaning is that they die, being buried in the earth, as in Num. 16:32, “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.”  Thus, “the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isa. 59:19, last part.  This will fulfill Matt. 13:29, 30:  “Let both the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest.” 

The separation will mark the beginning of the harvest, which is the Loud Cry of the third angel’s message.  Rev. 18:1.  The Spirit of God is poured upon His people (those who escape the ruin), and the promise is, that it shall never depart from them.  Isa. 59:21, “As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.”  Read “Isaiah the Gospel Prophet,” Volume 3, pages 43-49.

   As soon as the separation is finished, and Satan has lost out with his deceptive scheme, the church finds herself in a great conflict with the enemy.  Rev. 12:17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [those who are left], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (The war against the woman is the blue law.)  (SRod, vol. 1, p.151-152)

This subject of the fourth angel’s message is deep and far-reaching and we’ve only touched a bit on it. Hopefully we’ll do further posts expanding more on this “great and glorious” message.

Faith in Action

December 1, 2018

Image result for picture of jesus with the centurion

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

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

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

We remember one of the greatest examples of pure unadulterated faith exhibited by the Centurion.

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” (Matt.8:5-13)

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

Blessed by the goodness of God!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s word says —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 4th Angel’s message –Dangerous or Wonderful?

June 9, 2018

 

Image result for 4th angel message to lighten the world

For those who are advanced students of the unrolling scroll, we know that the “4th Angel’s message” is truly our present truth. Far too many of us Adventists do not know much about this message nor, sadly care. Yet nevertheless, God’s word tells us we are to be aware and up to date in this message that shall give “power and force” to the Third Angel’s message.

“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory.

The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844.

The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the third angel’s message.” (Early Writings, p.277)

Many of us have a few specific Inspired verses or paragraphs that we hold special. There is one that especially draws my admiration for its depth and clear unmistakable guidance and clues as to what God will send to us in the very last days. A message of hope, cutting truth, and prophetic guidelines. Let us read —

“There is to be in the churches a wonderful manifestation of the power of God, but it will not move upon those who have not humbled themselves before the Lord, and opened the door of the heart by confession and repentance. In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it.

Because the Lord does not work according to their ideas and expectations, they will oppose the work. “Why,” they say, “should not we know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?”—Because they did not respond to the warnings, the entreaties of the messages of God, but persistently said, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”

Talent, long experience, will not make men channels of light, unless they place themselves under the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and are called, and chosen, and prepared by the endowment of the Holy Spirit. When men who handle sacred things will humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, the Lord will lift them up. He will make them men of discernment—men rich in the grace of his Spirit. Their strong, selfish traits of character, their stubbornness, will be seen in the light shining from the Light of the world. “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” If you seek the Lord with all your heart, he will be found of you.” (Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890)

We see that something special  from God is to “move upon” our churches yet those who do not humble themselves will not be moved.

Obviously the Lord is telling us that the power which is to lighten the earth with the glory of God–will be rejected by the ones unwilling to humble themselves before the Lord. This manifestation of God’s power which illuminates the earth  is a “work” being done.

Let us not forget that these words spoken by our prophetess came on Dec. 23, 1890 and under the headline “An Appeal to Our Churches”. This was a direct appeal to us ,not the world.

We as Adventists know, or should know all about the “Three Angel’s messages”, yet we should also know about the Fourth Angel’s message. The very one SOP speaks about in the above references. But unfortunately few of us truly know about this last message to our churches, which shall also go to the world in the time of the Loud Cry. The fact that it is lighten the whole earth means that it will be glorious and full of God’s power to move the honest of heart from Babylon into His kingdom.

Some questions we should ask —

Why is this message first to be rejected among our people?  “those who have not humbled themselves before the Lord, and opened the door of the heart by confession and repentance.”

Instead of seeing a wonderful, deep and loving message from God, what deception will they see? “..they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears.”

What will many within the S.D.A church do with this 4th Angel’s message ? “.. they will brace themselves to resist it…they will oppose the work.”

What is the reason many will oppose this work? “..they did not respond to the warnings, the entreaties of the messages of God, but persistently said, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”

How can men (and women) turn this all around and see/understand this message and It’s Truth? When men who handle sacred things will humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, the Lord will lift them up. He will make them men of discernment—men rich in the grace of his Spirit.

What happens to those who stubbornly ignore this message? “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Who is guaranteed to find the Lord and His end time message? “If you seek the Lord with all your heart, he will be found of you.”

What message has come to our church that many have declared “dangerous” and expressed fearful concern about it?  There is only ONE message that has this label and experience CHURCH WIDE — the Shepherd’s Rod message. One of the primary points of the message is “additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844.”

Inspiration is telling us that this very last message which soon shall swell into the Loud Cry is first given to us (right now) and we must make a decided effort to hear it and respond. Unlike today within our church , many people of the world will see this very Rod message that we now scorn and think it’s wonderful and powerful. Yes they will fully embrace it and they will be known as the “Great Multitude” (Rev. 7:9).

“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:1-2)

Do we stay on the side lines, careless and ho-hum about this situation? Yes sadly many are. Even worse some, like those who call themselves “religious leaders” recently booted us out of a local S.D.A church because we wanted to discuss the very references marked on this report, are ACTIVELY hindering those who would come and learn more. Let us read  what our Lord said about such people–

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”(Luke 11:52)

Yes hindering indeed! They condemn that which they do not even know much about! They declare it “dangerous”. May God help these blind and prideful Laodiceans.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.

The testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p.181)

Once again Inspiration goes to great lengths to point out a rejection of the counsel from the  “True Witness” by us, the Laodiceans. This shaking we are now experiencing, especially those in the “spiritual fight”. The “church destiny” hangs upon  this “lightly esteemed” message.

In conclusion my brothers  and sisters, there is a message called “dangerous” that is FROM THE LORD. Do not be deceived, those who are warning you “stay away , stay away” are themselves deceitful and hinder the Lord’s final message–the 4th Angel’s message, the wonderful manifestation of the power of God.

If you hear these false warnings from such, ask them –“What message is viewed as “dangerous” and “lightly esteemed” by our S.D.A leaders yet is from God”?”

“The LORD’S voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the Rod, and who hath appointed it.” ( Micah 6:9)

Lightning Strikes

March 17, 2018

 

 

Just a few days ago on the Sabbath, some regular church goers gathered at the local S.D.A. church in Rwanda for services. Tragedy struck and lightning crashed through the building and 16 people were killed.

African news reported —
“Fourteen victims were killed on the spot as lightning hit the church in the Nyaruguru District in the Southern Province on Saturday, local mayor Habitegeko Francois told AFP over the phone.

Two others died later from their injuries, he said. Doctors say that only three of them are in critical condition but they are getting better.

He added that 140 people involved in the incident had been rushed to hospital and district health centres, but many had already been discharged.

The weather accident in the mountainous region near the border with Burundi took place around midday on Saturday while parishioners of the town of Gihemvu were at a church service.”

Very tragic indeed! But some may be perplexed. Why did God do this or allow it? Many Seventh-day Adventists are most likely pondering these difficult questions.

In speaking of tragedies Jesus gives the following account–

“About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” (Luke 13:1-5)

Whether this tragic lightening strike was a direct strike from God or whether it was allowed for reasons we don’t know, there is something similar that we do know will strike the people of God unless they repent, let us read —

“The time has come for judgment to begin, and God’s own people are the first to be judged. If it starts with us, how will it end with those who do not believe the Good News from God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

Yes, Judgment will soon come to us Seventh-day Adventists first. And that judgment is described through out Scripture, SOP and the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9). As most of us are well aware, particularity if you are a present truth believer, this strike from God will be on a world-wide scale.

Scripture gives a most startling  eye-witness account of this church judgment from the prophet Isaiah —

“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: for I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment. For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me; and My fury, it upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
(Isaiah 63:1-6)

Isaiah saw our Lord and King coming back from our church judgment, His apparel red. This is also spoken of in Rev. 14:14-16.

“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”

In describing this judgment to first come upon the S.D.A Church we read from SOP.

“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. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

Here we see that the church–the Lord’s sanctuary–was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed.

These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “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)

It is noteworthy to see that the unbelievers say that God will not show the “marked manifestation” of His power today nor will He “do evil”. Evil being falsely attributed to God’s righteous judgments. Thus many Laodiceans think God is but a winking jolly St. Nick, “Ho ho ho , cmon in all you unbelievers and sinners, ho, ho, ho.”

In closing what we saw in Rwanda, sadly, is a small prelude what is prophesied to come upon our church, let us be sure of our salvation and believe our present truth road map for today lest we receive the same fate.

“Plowshares into Swords” or “Swords into Plowshares”?

July 22, 2017

Image result for plowshares to swords picture

The Scriptures say apparently contradictory statements in Joel , Micah and Isaiah, let us read —

“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” (Joel 3:10)

“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”(Micah 4:3)

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)

As with all Scripture, there is deep truth here and as students of His word, we should delve into this and find the intended meaning of it all. We know one thing, the two different meanings although seemingly contradictory –are not. There is a reason why the Lord shows two opposite statements. Each are balanced in their context.

Let us review what the message says about our subject —

“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  This verse reads exactly the opposite of Joel 3:10, “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: Let the weak say I am strong.”

   These scriptures reveal two classes of people.  One class shall flow into the church by great groups: Kings, and great army leaders who have been building destroying weapons and preparing for war.  Now the gospel has conquered them.  While they are joining the church they gather their war implements, beating them into plowshares and pruninghooks.  “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” Isa. 60:18. 

The other class, outside of the church, prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruninghooks into spears.  One people is preparing for translation, while the other is getting ready for conquest.  Therefore both scriptures run parallel and will be fulfilled at the same time.  Thus the world would be divided into two great separate and distinct classes: Separating the wheat from the chaff, the goats from the sheep.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.176-177)

Mic. 4:3 — “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

   Many nations are gladly to accept His rebukes, beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks rather than continue to run in the armament race.

   According to Micah, the only nations that are to disarm are those that accept the Lord’s Truth for today and go to the Promised Land.  Never again will they need either swords or spears.

Mic. 4:4 — “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”

   The nations and peoples are now having a difficult time to get to their “fig tree,” so to speak, much less to sit in peace under it.  They are in constant fear that some one may dislodge them even from their sitting under no tree.  Consequently they will try to protect their rights, or unrights, by beating their “plowshares into swords, and [their] pruning hooks into spears.” Joel 3:10.  And so judging their own strength by their war preparations, even the weak will say, “I am strong.” 

But it shall not be thus with those nations which join the people of the Kingdom of the Lord: They will not need to trust in their own strength, for they shall have the Lord’s protection.  Each shall comfortably and securely sit under his own “fig tree,” knowing that no one can possibly push him away from under it.  This is to be so, for “the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 25, p.6-7)    

   

“And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:2-4.

   The law is to go forth when the mountain (Kingdom) of the Lord’s house is established on the top of the mountains (kingdoms), and when It is exalted above the hills.  Then the “light” shall cause the rebuked nations to flow to the mountain of the Lord. 

And, too, instead of beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears (Joel 3:10), they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.  “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:4. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 37, p.13-14)

So we see that there is to be two distinct type of people  –those who follow the Lord and trust in His strength and those who don’t. The Great Controversy indeed! This is what will be so great about the Lord, He will make it very simple for the people all over the world to choose life.

Right now there is a counterfeit gospel being proclaimed with truth and error mixed but as soon as the Loud Cry headquarters is established in the promised land–Israel, the powerful Truth will be proclaimed around the world and all will have their chance to either make– swords into plowshares or plowshares into swords.              

The Quote Scripture Plan for Addictions

September 24, 2016

smoking

Let’s face it, nicotine is one powerful substance. I have personally seen its devastating work. My Mother passed away at age 72 from emphysema due to smoking for 50+ years. My Grandfather had a large portion of his jaw removed when he was 68 due to cancer after being a long time pipe smoker.

But there is a plan which, if followed and believed can defeat this very addictive substance. It is God’s proven plan. Let us read.

“Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. And having fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple. “If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.” Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.” “Away from me, Satan!” Jesus declared. “For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him.” (Matt. 4:1-11)

These Scriptures show us the powerful effect our King had with the devil. And what method did the Lord use? Scripture! We see that Satan came at Jesus and when tempted our Lord rebuked him , not with subtle arguments or persuasive words, but with a “thus sayeth the Lord”.

Recently  during my work travels I received a call from “Gary” a former church friend of mine, whom I had not seen for a good 3 years. He is a member of the prior church I belonged to. We chatted for a bit, then he said he needed some help with his refrigerator. We made plans for the service call the following day.

So I showed up at the appointed time and went in to see his refrigerator. Sure enough, it was a solvable problem (bad freezer fan) and I proceeded to do the repair. While working on it I was able to chat with Gary. Soon we discussed church. But as we spoke  the Spirit indicated to me that Gary was not ready yet for some deeper present truth studies. He was to be reached at his level. As we talked it clicked. So I told him about how there is so much sin in our church, poor dressing, poor eating, socializing among our members instead of studying and testifying of God’s power and work.

He agreed and said that the church was turning into a “country club.” Then I was moved to tell him how I overcame some of my worldly ways such as drinking, chewing tobacco, poker, etc. Then Gary told of his “current” bad habit–smoking. He admitted he was not an over-comer and really needed to stop this bad habit. Bingo! The plan came.  I told Gary about the “quote Scripture plan”. He was all ears.

Basically, I said, it requires that one find a favorite Scripture. Then on day one you start out the day armed with this Scripture and use it on the first temptation from the devil. In my personal case chewing tobacco was my vice. So that first day I had to quote Scripture maybe 10 or 12 times. But , and this is very important, you must quote Scripture and then say “Be gone from me devil in the name of Jesus Christ!”

This effectively chases away the devil/temptation. He will come back again, but you will quote and rebuke him again.  A tampering off should be achieved as the month goes by.

Gary liked the plan. He said he would try it. I encouraged him and told him that he must believe each time he quotes God’s word and not doubt.

A few days ago I got a text from Gary saying he’s successful so far. We praised the Lord and told him not to give up, keep going until you have no more desire and the devil has left for good.

The Lord’s messenger gave us a serious warning concerning our bad habits–

“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” (Testimonies, vol.5, p.214)

Our King said- “Do not fear; only believe.”(Mark 5:36)

There is no disagreement among the world’s medical leaders that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. Only Heroin and Cocaine ranked higher in addictiveness. So of all the “legal” substances one can use, it is nicotine that has the highest addiction among the world’s population.

About 1.1 billion people — one in every three adults — are smokers, according to the World Health Organization. And yours truly is a witness to the powerful effect of nicotine.

One of the best testimonies one can give is that of a personal testimony. So I would like to give my own testimony about the quote Scripture plan.

Back in early 2009 I came upon the Bible truth that the Sabbath of the Lord was real, this was new to me being raised a Catholic. I soon came into the Seventh-day Adventist church and was baptized in mid 2009. But as I began my SDA membership and church attendance, I carried into it a few bad habits, chewing tobacco being one of them. In fact I remember  at least a couple of times going to church with some tobacco in my cheek. Let me briefly regress to the past.

This bad habit actually started back in my late teens when , as a bat boy for the San Diego Padres national baseball team. The players often would have a big load of “chew” in their mouth and spit it out often on the field. One day I decided I would try it. BIG mistake! I almost immediately began to get dizzy and felt like vomiting. The natural body defenses warned me–bad stuff!

But I soon tried it again and it gave a strange feeling of exhilaration. You see nicotine raises the blood sugar and one gets a feeling of being “high” , the degree of this depends on the amount and the length of the chew. The more one chews, though, the more one gets used to it and it becomes an addiction. But fortunately after those Padre years, I left the bad habit for a long time.

But in my early 40’s I began to chew on cigars. Having asthma I did not want to inhale smoke, so I found chewing on the cigar released the nicotine  and gave me the “buzz” I liked. Ok, I have digressed to show you how the habit came let’s get back to the story.

But as we all should know the process of sanctification is a process not a one time event or immediate occurrence. The key is that we should want to keep drawing closer to Christ, we should want to “chop away” at our sins, much as a tree remover keeps chopping away at the stump to bring it down.  We keep choppin til we bring down our sins (eliminate them) until the sins we do are mostly unconscious or without deliberateness.

So as I continued my walk the Lord was telling me to straighten up with this bad habit. So I came across the Scripture where Jesus , our perfect example, fought temptation. It was in the desert where Satan tempted Him. But how the Lord handled it was with–Scripture! I figured if it was good enough for our King, it’s good enough for me. Armed with this idea, I decided to use it to overcome my tobacco habit.

That first day I quoted ” The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want” (Psalms 23:1). I used this because of two reasons. One, it was my mother’s favorite Bible verse. Two, it had in the words “I shall not want” meaning not wanting tobacco. This was quoted alot that first day, as the devil came again and again to tempt  me to partake in this habit, which off and on I had done for a good 15 years or so.

In other words, the devil had me just where he wanted me–hooked and bound by his chain called tobacco. But I trusted in Christ, through His Holy Spirit, and His –word.

This is key my brothers and sisters, we MUST believe in order for Christ to work in our life. I believed that with Christ’s word and it put into action —it would work!

As the days went on I kept quoting the Scripture with the very important devil rebuke added– “Be gone from me devil in the name of Jesus Christ!” This was the plan and I followed it day after day. Soon it was tampering off and by the third week I was down to quoting it maybe 2 or 3 times a day. Finally by the 4th week  the devil left for good!

The word says– “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

To this day I have never went back to this evil habit and all praise and honor to Him who made it possible. By all means tell your friends and family if you should know of anyone who needs help with an addiction. The Lord’s word is powerful if you believe.

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” We can overcome. Yes; fully, entirely. Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome every evil temper, every sin, every temptation, and sit down at last with Him.”(Testimonies, vol. 1, p.144)

Let Us Kneel

June 11, 2016

Jesus praying

Many of us as Seventh-day Adventists are aware of the prayers we make during our Sabbath service. For the most part, with the exception of the “garden of prayer” portion of the service, we all stand when we are led by the speaker  to ask for payers.

But what does our Biblical history through Scriptures show?

In Ephesians 5:1-2 we read–

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

One of the ways we can imitate God is through the prayer actions of our Lord and His prophets.

“And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,..”(Luke 22:40-41).

The Spirit of prophecy sheds light on our subject —

“Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Luke 22:41.] Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” [Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5.]

Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Ephesians 3:14.] In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. [See Ezra 9:5.] Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” [Daniel 6:10.] {Gospel Workers p.178.2}

Now, to be clear, there is no command in the Scriptures to bow down on our knees to pray. Yet if we truly want to show honor and respect we can know that this act of holy reverence can only be pleasing to our Lord.

In Ecc. 12:13 we read–

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

Many of us are well familiar with the holy 10 Commandments, but how many of us spend time thinking of “fearing the Lord”? This means ways we can show holy reverence and deep respect for His awesome power and might.

Daniel was a man who was highly favored of the Lord. One of the keys no doubt was his holy reverence in “kneeling” three times a day in prayer to the Lord. Are we to aspire to such elevated heights to please the ONE whom is worthy? We should be at least trying.

Our prophetess spoke quite firmly about this issue —

“I have received letters questioning me in regard to the proper attitude to be taken by a person offering prayer to the Sovereign of the universe. Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people.

But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, “Get down upon your knees.” This is the proper position always.” (Selected messages, vol. 2, p.311)

“We are living in perilous times. Seventh-day Adventists are professedly  the commandment-keeping people of God; but they are losing their devotional  spirit. This spirit of reverence for God teaches men how to approach their  Maker–with sacredness and awe through faith, not in themselves, but in a  Mediator. Thus man is kept fast, under whatever circumstances he is placed. 

Man must come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the  footstool of mercy. And as he receives daily mercies at the hand of God, he  is ever to cherish gratitude in his heart, and give expression to it in the  words of thanksgiving and praise for these unmerited favours.

Angels have been  guarding his pathway through all his life, and many of the snares he has been  delivered from he has not seen. And for this  guardianship and watchcare by eyes that never slumber and never sleep, he is to recognise in every prayer the service of God for him.” (NBL p.121.)

David, another man after God’s heart said —

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker”(Psalms 95:6).

One of the certain times we should kneel and pray is when the pastor or speaker comes up to preach the sermon.

“When the minister enters, it should be with dignified, solemn mien. He should bow down in silent prayer as soon as he steps into the pulpit, and earnestly ask help of God. What an impression this will make! There will be solemnity and awe upon the people.

Their minister is communing with God; he is committing himself to God before he dares to stand before the people. Solemnity rests upon all, and angels 493 of God are brought very near. Every one of the congregation, also, who fears God should with bowed head unite in silent prayer with him that God may grace the meeting with His presence and give power to His truth proclaimed from human lips.

When the meeting is opened by prayer, every knee should bow in the presence of the Holy One, and every heart should ascend to God in silent devotion. The prayers of faithful worshippers will be heard, and the ministry of the word will prove effectual. The lifeless attitude of the worshippers in the house of God is one great reason why the ministry is not more productive of good.”(Testimonies, vol. 5, p.492-493)

 

To summarize, this issue really is a “search your heart” issue and the Lord is leaving it up to us to know our reverence. Many times we pray but may be driving in the car or at another place where kneeling is not possible or inappropriate. But when it is, our first and best action is to  kneel before the MOST HIGH and offer up our petitions. After all our great leaders of the past did it and the KING Himself did it.

 

Go in Between the Wheels (Ezekiel 10)

July 4, 2015

Ezekiel 9

As present truth believers we have known quite thoroughly about the soon to happen prophetic Ezekiel 9 church judgment. Many Elijah message presenters report chapter 9 as they should but leave out the corresponding chapter 10, particularly the first verses.  This is truly the “flip side” or  “other half” to this great and dreadful work of God. But as we shall see,  it shows the glorious result of God’s solemn work and ushers in a “new day” for humanity. Power from on High given.

We shall be looking at the first three verses.

” Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in my sight. Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.” (Ezek. 10:1-3)

Before we go into this section, we must note that it is a continuation of chapter 9. The vision continues and the scene develops. This is important to understand as the Lord shows us the results and reason for the solemn chapter 9  events.

The Spirit of Prophecy illuminates chapter 10 —” In Ezekiel’s vision, God had His hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach His servants that it is divine power that gives them success. He will work with them if they will put away iniquity, and become pure in heart and life. The heavenly messengers seen by Ezekiel, like a bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning, represent the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion. He who slumbers not, who is continually at work for the accomplishment of His designs, can carry forward His great work harmoniously.” (SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p.1161)

We notice a forward-looking statement about the work finally going forward with “speed”. In other words, God’s Spirit is poured out initially on those who survive Ezekiel 9. The coals of fire represent His Holy Spirit and is given for the express purpose of finalizing  His work for mankind. The rapid work shall culminate quickly. The Lord explains more–

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

Let us look at what the Elijah messages says about Ezekiel 10.

After the sighing and crying ones were marked (which is not to be understood as being consummated in its entirety worldwide before the slaying follows anywhere), the slaughter completed, and the matter reported, the Lord “spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city.” Ezek. 10:2.

   The scattering of the “coals of fire…over the city” represents absolute purification of the heart (Gospel Workers, p. 23) effected by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon those who receive the “mark” — those who escape the “slaughter. “

   Following the completion of the “slaughter,” and just preceding the scattering of the “coals of fire” “over the city,” “the cherubims stood on the right side of the house,…and the cloud filled the inner court.” Ezek. 10:2, 3.  Later they “lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight,” says the prophet. Ezek. 10:19. 

Then subsequently  he saw them again “lift up their wings” (Ezek. 11:22, 23), showing that though they had departed after the separation took place (Ezek. 10:3, 19), they had later returned, and were now departing for the second time. (Tract 1, p.38-39)

You see my brethren, Ezekiel 10 prophesies that the outpouring of the full Spirit of God will take place after the church judgment, not before. That is why false revivals from well-meaning outfits like Amazing Facts, 3 ABN, and a host of others, are running without being sent. They do not truly know the church’s spiritual condition.

“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. “(Ezek.13:2-6)

Oh what applicable Scripture is this! Our leading organizations are not preparing the church “to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.” Neither do they know prophesy correctly. If they would only understand and believe the two very important chapters of Ezekiel 9 and 10, they would know how to help the church “stand” in the day of the LORD’s battle.

Instead it is left with the few , mostly laymen, who feel the burden and solemn responsibility to proclaim the Lord’s next coming, the invisible coming into His churches worldwide for the beginning phase of the judgment for the living.

This has been the Lord’s modus of operation since the beginning. The downcast, the poor, the fishermen, the lowly and humble,  they are the ones who humbly accept His call and go to work. A work that is not popular yet truly needed.

“In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. . . . God will work a work in our day that but few anticipate. He will raise up and exalt among us those who are taught rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the outward training of scientific institutions. These facilities are not to be despised or condemned; they are ordained of God, but they can furnish only the exterior qualifications. God will manifest that He is not dependent on learned, self-important mortals.“–5T 80, 82 (1882).

The Elijah message gives us more light on the circumstances prior and after the “power” of the Spirit is poured out–

As in the natural state of things, the latter rain comes not only to make the wheat grow but also to bring it to its full maturity, so, by spiritual analogy, this Teacher of Righteousness must bring the saints to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:13)–fit them for the Kingdom.

But the second phase, that promised power (Joel 2:28) which comes “afterward,” after “the latter rain,” is that for which most Christians are praying without considering that there is a first phase (Joel 2:23)—the “teacher of righteousness,” a final outpouring of Present Truth–which must be obtained before the final outpouring of power can be realized.

It is evident that the part which comes “afterward,” the Pentecostal power, comes to enable the receiver to proclaim the latter truth; and this power will not come until the church as a body, “every one grass in the field” (Zech. 10:1), not a group here and a group there, has joyously assimilated for its spiritual growth all the rain that the Teacher of Righteousness, who has now come, has brought.

But the great question here confronting us is: When can “every grass” every church member, receive this glorious Truth and power? Shall saint and hypocrite share them alike? Inspiration answers:

“By fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many….and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations….and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles….they shall bring all your brethren…to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:16, 19, 20.

So in the time between the “latter rain” of truth and the “outpouring” of the Spirit’s power, there will be sealed a consecrated number who will escape from among the “slain of the Lord.” In other words, at the first-fruit harvest, when all the sinners have been taken out of the church and the righteous left by themselves as were the 120 disciples in the upper room, then and only then can the Lord finally pour out His Spirit’s power upon all, so that all (all the “escaped” ones) shall prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions.

“And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isa. 4:3-6.

Only after this great purge in the church (described also in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel), will the remnant be equipped to carry their fully blazing, lighted torch of Truth to all the Gentile world. Out of Zion will then go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The work will then be finished, “cut short in righteousness,” and the Lord will then appear in glory-seen by every eye (Rev. 1:7).(Answerer, vol. 1, Q-12)

In closing, Ezekiel 10 gives us a most exciting future promise. Soon the Lord is to pour out His long-awaited Spirit in full upon His servants. The instruction “. .Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city (Ezek. 10:2)” is right upon us. Are we doing all we can to ensure we’ll be one of the recipients?

Persistence Pays Off

April 11, 2015

knocking on door

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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