Archive for the ‘God's power’ Category

“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.              

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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.

Bound and Loosed in Heaven

February 8, 2014

Matthew 16 (Keys of eaven and hell)

Just what does that mean–“Bound and loosed in heaven”?

One of the most quoted and theorized quotes in the New Testament is Matthew 16:18-19.  As many of us know, this is one of the foundational quotes that the Roman Catholic Church has used to establish its authority as  “God’s true church”.

Matt. 16:18 — “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matt. 16:19 — “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

The world’s most populated church, the Roman Catholic Church, believes that the above quotes applied strictly to Peter. The following is a quote that sums up their belief in those inspiring words.

“…Jesus was declaring that Peter would be the “rock” on which He would build His church. Jesus appears to be using a play on words. “You are Peter (petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church.” Since Peter’s name means rock, and Jesus is going to build His church on a rock – it appears that Christ is linking the two together. God used Peter greatly in the foundation of the church. It was Peter who first proclaimed the Gospel on the day of Pentecost. Peter was also the first to take the Gospel to the Gentiles . In a sense, Peter was the rock “foundation” of the church.”

But is that really the Lord’s intention, in speaking those words? Could they have a deeper and a more profound meaning than we generally realize?

There are three divine instructions of God that tell us what is needed for proper interpretations of Scripture. To be (1) “guided into all truth” by the “Spirit of Truth”(John 16:13) as we are (2) ” doing the Father’s will” (John 7:17). (3) “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20).

In other words, there is only one correct interpretation of Scripture and that is by the Lord through the “Spirit of Truth”. Let us now read what His last messenger said about these things. (Victor Houteff’s words are in brown.)

Matt. 16:18 — “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

   The words “thou” and “this” comprehend two objects — Peter and the truth he uttered.  The name “Peter” in Greek means “stone.” And so what Jesus was actually saying was not to name the man, but rather to tell him that he was selected to be one of the stones in the spiritual structure — the church.  But “On this rock [not on a stone] I will build My church,” Jesus declared.  On which rock? — Obviously on the solid rock of Truth, the truth which Peter uttered — the truth that Jesus Christ is the “Son of God.”

   Then Jesus made known that the gates of hell could not prevail against the Truth, that the gates could not keep in hell (in the grave) even the dead in Christ, that they, too, are to be a part of the ever-living church, the church that stands on the solid Rock of Truth.

Matt. 16:19 — “And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

 Jesus here declares that Peter is become the figure, the type, of all those who declare Divinely-revealed truths.  To them, as to Peter, are given the keys of the Kingdom; that is, the promulgators of Inspired Truth are authorized to bind and to loose by the power of the Truth.  That which they bind on earth is so recognized in heaven. 

Elijah bound that there should be a famine for three and one half years, and so it was.  Said he, “unto Ahab…there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” 1 Kings 17:1. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 29- 4)

Wow,  notice what the underlying words  say. The trust from the Lord is implicit and vast. He empowers His true servants to “bind and loose” on this earth, and then it’s likewise bound in heaven. In other words, what the servants declare, if they are according to his will, are backed up by the Lord of heaven.

His servants are so in tune and one with Him that He knows they can be trusted! This is the ultimate trust–to be trusted by the King of the Universe to make decisions–  that heaven will abide by. Let’s read of some historical examples of this “binding and loosing” given to His servants.

Matt. 16:21-23 — “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.  But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

   Here is magnified the aforesaid truth.  Peter’s binding or loosing on earth was acceptable in Heaven only when done by means of Divinely-revealed Truth.  When speaking from his own impulses and sentiments, Peter was sharply rebuked, and told plainly that his suggestions were not the Truth, but were prompted by Satan.  It is therefore plain that the followers of Christ may bind or loose only with the keys of Truth.  They are to realize that Truth alone swings open the gates of Heaven.

   Finally, if we have Heaven’s Truth for the hour, as Peter had It in his day, we then have the keys of Heaven and can with It bind or loose — Truth’s decisions on earth are the decisions in Heaven.

Matt. 16:24 — “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

   This verse implies that Peter’s concern was more for his own life than for the life of Jesus, for Peter knew that if Jesus were slain, then his own life would be in jeopardy.  Hence Peter was told that if any man would follow Jesus, he, too, would voluntarily consent to carry his own cross if Truth so decrees.  The Apostles, we are told, did this very thing, and were faithful unto death.

Matt. 16:25-27 — “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.   For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to His works.”

   The followers of Christ are here told not to shun Truth’s decree though they be required to surrender their own life, for thus losing their lives they will be actually saving them for eternity — they will rise in the resurrection of the just.  But for them to forsake Truth in order to appease the enemies of Truth, and thus save their temporal lives would eventually result in their dying the death from which there is no resurrection.

   It should be of interest to know whether the Apostle Peter was the first to be given the Keys of Heaven, or whether others had the Keys before him.  Since Present Truth committed to an individual is the Keys of Heaven, and since the teaching of It binds and looses things on earth and is so sanctioned in Heaven, then others must have had the Keys before they were passed on to Peter, for the earth, the church, and Heaven-revealed Truth existed before Peter’s time.

   Take for example Noah.  He declared that there was to be a flood, that everything outside of the ark which he was building would perish, and that everything that entered into it would live.  Then the fact that Heaven sent the flood immediately after Noah preached of it is proof in itself that that which Noah bound on earth was bound in Heaven also.  Peter, you, see, was not the first to be given the Keys of Heaven.

   After Noah, we shall see that the Keys were passed on to Abraham: since that which was to be bound or loosed on earth had to be bound or loosed in Heaven, the three messengers from heaven consulted Abraham concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  It was then covenanted that if there be ten righteous persons in the city where Lot lived they should not destroy it.  And so it was.

  Logically, after Abraham the Keys should have been passed on to Isaac: Isaac ruled that Jacob should receive the promised blessings even though by birthright they were to be Esau’s.  And in spite of the fact that Jacob obtained the promised blessings by a fraud, Heaven still sanctioned that which Isaac bound on earth — Jacob became the progenitor of Christ.

   Thus it is that down through the line of Jacob came the Lord, and thus it is that Jacob’s descendants inherited the Promised Land.  Having in possession the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jacob at the closing hours of his life decreed that Manasseh’s birthright should be given to Ephraim; to this Joseph protested by endeavoring to persuade his father to put his right hand on Manasseh’s head (Gen. 48:17-19), but what Jacob bound on earth was bound in Heaven, for years later, after the death of Solomon, the tribe of Ephraim, not of Manasseh, ruled the kingdom of Israel.  We see, then, that what Jacob bound on earth was also bound in Heaven.

   Contemporaneously with Jacob, Joseph by interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream bound that there should be seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine.  Thus it was that Joseph’s decree was carried out (bound) by Heaven.

   And Moses said, “If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me.  But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.” Num. 16:29, 30.

   Moses’ decree was bound in Heaven, for “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.” Num. 16:32.

   The Keys of Kingdom you see, passed along from one generation to another — from the Patriarchs to the Prophets, to the Apostles, and on down to our day.  For instance, about three score years ago the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination declared that the General Conference was no longer Heaven’s highest authority on earth (General Conference Bulletin, 34th. Session, Vol. 4, Extra #1, April 3, 1901, pg. 25, Cols. 1 & 2). 

And thus it was that when the time arrived for the additional message (which gives power and force to the Third Angel’s Message — “Early Writings,” p. 277) to be proclaimed to the church, it came, not through the General Conference but through the laity.  This is proof positive that the Keys with which Peter was invested are at work today.

   Plainly, then, the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are in the hands of those who have the Truth for the day.  Consequently just as plain as Heaven can make it, the Truth stands out that the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven today have passed from the hands of the General Conference to the hands of the General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, as verily as they passed from the Sanhedrin to Peter in the days of Christ’s first Advent.  So it is that Truth’s decree on earth today is the decree in Heaven.”  

Another story is found in (2 Kings 4:6-37). An intriguing story of Elisha, the succeed-er of Elijah. He declared a wish for a woman , because of her great kindness to him. She begat a son from her very old husband after Elisha’s promise, then later Elisha resurrected this son. What a beautiful example of the  keys from heaven bestowed on Elisha, God’s servant!

So in closing, let us  understand just what the Lord will do through His servants. The 144,000 will do His will and as such be given the keys from heaven “to bind or loose” on  earth. Our only hope now, is that we prepare ourselves and walk daily in His straight and narrow path. The cost now is serious. If we have a spot (cherished sin) it must go.

“The soul temple must not be defiled by any loose or unclean practice. Those whom I will acknowledge in the courts of heaven must be without spot or wrinkle” (Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p.969). The acknowledgement will include those keys aforementioned.

 In order to be among His faithful, we must forego all worldliness as much as possible. We must hate sin, plead with our brothers and sisters to know His truth,  and love the Lord with all our hearts. Then the Lord will hold nothing back from us. There will be implicit trust between Heaven and His people, amen.

“My house shall be called a House of Prayer”

November 30, 2013

Catholic church praying

I remember as a kid, being brought up in the Catholic church, the peaceful quiet times I spent in the church–praying. The above picture brought back memories of those times.  I also remember the church doors being open many times during the week, both day and night. Today, as I look back upon the customs of our friends , the Catholics, I wonder who it is that has the real  light concerning this ” house of prayer” injunction. We as  SDA  claim to be those obeying the  Lord’s Commandments and teaching His prophecies but are we lacking in an overlooked  declaration of the Lord concerning the purpose of His house? Let us look into this most important aspect of His house of prayer.

As we  come together each and every Sabbath into the house of the Lord we in fact walk into His house of prayer. In Scripture  we read,  “I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”(Isaiah 56:7)

And our Lord specifically said, “He said to them, the Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matt 21:13).

Recently a church friend had stopped by for a bible study and she had mentioned how the Catholic church keeps it’s church doors opened for “prayer” and she wondered why we aren’t. This got me thinking –what’s going on with our own church in this regard?

As SDA we come together every Sabbath to study and worship in His house. We have services for roughly 3 to 3 and a half hours each Sabbath. But what about praying in His house? To a large extent it doesn’t exist! This is the sad fact. At no time throughout the whole week do we ever have our church doors open to allow us to enter to silently pray to our Lord.

Is this not a gross oversight to us as Seventh Day Adventists?

Ellen White explains, “”Bible religion is not made up of theological systems, creeds, theories, and tradition, for then it would not remain a mystery. The worldly would understand it through their own natural abilities. But religion, Bible religion, has a practical, saving energy, elements proceeding wholly from God—a personal experience of God’s power transforming the entire man.” (Manuscript Releases Volume Sixteen, page 236.)

And what could be one of best “personal experiences” than to be in God’s house praying? A while back a close friend of mine had been involved in a personal and emotional experience with her parents. She was left distraught one morning and wanted to drive down to the local church (SDA) to go inside and pray. She was to find out that no such possibility existed. Nothing was open.

We understand that today with the increase in crime and homelessness, the church is vulnerable to some mischief if it were to be left unguarded. However, is not our church able to open at least a few hours during the week for those who would want to be in His house to pray? If our Lord said that His house is a house of prayer, then would it not be a great and special thing to pray in His house to Him?

In the days of old His house was a true sanctuary and the believers felt His presence and were likely to be there even into the night. “Behold, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who by night stand in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD!” (Psalms 134:1-2)

Then we see that even in Jesus’ day there were some who stayed in the temple praying. ” Then  she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.” (Luke 2:37) As SDA we often criticize the Jews of old as being wrong in many aspects but we certainly have much to learn from them in the — house of prayer custom.

Today during our services we have a short and formal “garden of prayer”. It’s usually 3 to 5 or 6 minutes. And we listen to someone else pray rather than spending quality time praying to the Lord and King ourselves. But are these few formal minutes  a fulfillment of being His house of prayer? Far from it!

We are woefully in need of revival and reformation in SO MANY areas and this house of prayer issue is right up there near the top in importance. This is something that should be looked into and changed. Our worship has become a timed scaled model of cold formalism.

In reviewing information for this week’s post I happen to come across a fellow church goer’s personal testimony as to the rigid and cold services he found. Although he belongs to a different church and religion, look at how similar his experiences are to what we see in the SDA.

In explaining why he quit the church, he says—

“I often found the worship services to be very structured and rigid, and therefore predictable. Here’s a typical Sunday worship service at OWC:

  • The choir sings
  • Opening prayer
  • The choir sings again
  • The congregation sings
  • The scripture passage is read
  • The choir sings again
  • The sermon is preached
  • Closing prayer
  • Congregation sings again
  • Tithes and offering
  • Benediction (always by a pastor)
  • Lord’s Supper (once a month only!)
  • After each service, people typically gather into their own little circle of friends (ie., “cliques”).
  • After socializing, most people either go home; have lunch with their friends; or go to Sunday school, and… that’s about it!

Notice how there is:

  • no time for group prayer
  • no time for sharing
  • no time for getting to know one another
  • no time for spontaneity and for the Holy Spirit to take part in the service
  • no time to hear testimonies or sermons by people in the congregation (mostly)

In other words, there is no time for true fellowship. This lack of involvement by people in the congregation also serves to deprive them of using their gifts and talents, thereby denying them their share in the priesthood (according to the NT, all believers share in the priesthood 1 Peter 2:9).”

____________________________________________________

This should awake us to the fact that as SDA, and claiming to be the “remnant” people of God, are we really showing the world we are? What difference do we see in our worship service  as opposed to the Sunday keepers above? From the description above , we see little except the day of service. Both them and us leave out true quality prayer before, during,  or after service. We seem to forget that the Holy Spirit is alive and should be allowed to “move” the people during the service, just like the early Christian church.  The people should be allowed to pray in His house without distractions.

One of the most practical ways we could change this error, is to open the church from say, 8 am to 9 am for early morning prayer. Then those who value the privilege of being in His house to pray–can do so.

In closing we have the promise that soon “all” things will be restored and that even our true worship and prayer in His house will be brought back to its beauty, glory,  and holiness. LET US PRAY FOR THIS.

Ellen White’s Moving Prayer

December 3, 2011

As many are aware Ellen G. White’s life was an exemplary Christian life. No doubt prayer was a big key to her knowing God. I received this article from “Adventist world” which shows a glimpse into her special prayer life.  Let me share this moving testimony.

“Ellen White’s prayers were also clearly remembered by people who heard her pray. H.M.S. Richards Sr, voice of prophecy radio program founder, was a teenager in 1909 when he heard Ellen White pray at a camp meeting in Boulder, Colorado. Richards recalled that he sat on the front row,right in front of the pulpit  where Ellen white spoke.

After finishing her sermon, she said ” I want to pray before I sit down.” Richards was impressed by the fact that she started by saying, “O my Father…” not “our Father”, but “my Father.”  He said it was as though she was talking with a personal friend. Infact, he recalled that her prayer was so intimate, and so moving, that he was afraid to open his eyes for fear of seeing God standing right there by Ellen White. Soon, Richards said, quiet sobs were heard in the audience:men and women repenting of their sins.

A great revival spread over the audience as a result of Ellen White’s prayer. As Richards summed up the story, he said that when Ellen White spoke, she was just a dear, sweet grandmother talking to the people. But when she prayed, God honored her as His prophet.”

In the above story, can we not see and feel how powerful and moving were Ellen’s word’s to “her” Father? We can gain some insight here.  Ellen was on a one to One basis. In other words she felt connected as she prayed. I believe this connection resulted from her firm conviction in believing and LIVING His Commandments. Everyday she devoutly practiced the Law of God. She did indeed “know Him”.

In (1 John 2:3-4) we read a clear passage of God’s word “how to” know Him. “For this is how we know we know Him, IF we keep His Commandments, those who say ‘I know Him’ and do not keep His Commandments, are a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Once we know Him, it just naturally flows, as we kneel in prayers. Our connection is as one. We come before Him with our hands clean, we’ve done our best that day in avoiding temptation. We’ve kept His Law firmly in our heart and mind. God’s Holy Spirit has been with us and given us strength. Prayer seems the same as speaking intimately to a loved one, just as Ellen White has shown.

But sadly, the opposite is just as true. (Isaiah 59:2) “But your iniquities have seperated you from your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, so that He will not hear you.” Unfortunately, this case is so prevalent worldwide. We come before the Lord repentless and sinful. Can we then expect Him to hear and act? His word says no.

Our God is a searching God,  carefully watching whether we really love Him as His word has clearly shown us  –(John 14:15) “If you love me, keep my Commandments”. Once He see’s we really do, He’s all ears for us, ready to communion with us through prayer.

Here’s one more eye witness account of  Ellen’s moving prayer, showing her very close connection to God through prayer.

“Another who was profoundly moved by hearing Ellen White pray was Alma McKibbin, one of Adventism’s first church school teachers in California, and author of the denomination’s first Bible textbooks for use by elementary teachers. At the time Mckibbin was living in Healdburg, California. In fact, she was renting Ellen White’s old home from her. But on this occasion McKibbin was ill. Consequently, she decided to go to the St. Helena sanitarium for treatments.

But when she arrived, the sanitarium was full. So McKibbin ended up having to stay for a few days with Sarah Peck, a friend of hers who was working as a secretary for Ellen White.

Peck lived in a small cottage just opposite Ellen White’s “Elmshaven”home.  Because of her illness, McKibbin couldn’t sleep.When in the early morning hours a light came on in Ellen White’s writing room, McKibbin recalled it being a comfort just knowing that someone else was awake.

Before Ellen White began to write, she prayed out loud. McKibbin later recalled that she never had heard such a prayer in her life.This was not a public prayer being said for the benefit of an audience.  Quite the opposite: Ellen White had no idea that anyone else was listening. But through the clear night air McKibbin heard almost every word.

As Ellen White prayed that morning, she prayed for the leaders of our church, that they would always be faithful and true in their roles as leaders. Ellen White also prayed for the pastors and teachers, that they would always uphold the truth.And before closing, she prayed for the young people of our church. McKibbin recalled how earnestly Ellen White implored God on behalf of the young people, that they would accept Jesus as their personal Savior and never let go of Him.

McKibbin said that after hearing Ellen White pray, for the first time in her life she began to understand the deep burden a prophet bears for an entire people. Although she’d read about the burden of Isaiah or the burden of Jeremiah for the people of Israel, hearing Ellen White pray that early morning gave McKibbin a glimpse into just what that means.”

In closing, Let us learn from our blessed sister Ellen White, that as we fully commit our life to Him we also can come to the point in our life where, just like Ellen White, we’ll kneel and pray — “O  MY  FATHER”  and we will know He clearly hears us.

In Christ, Rob

Pray in the Spirit

September 10, 2011

There are basically two ways to pray — praying in the flesh (carnal)  and praying in the Spirit. It is a sad reality that the ability to communicate with our Lord through prayer is not a common occurance even though many “pray” on a frequent basis. Let us see clearly how we can pray in the Spirit, as God would have us.

Our  great King made His most passionate prayer in the garden of Gethsemane as he prayed (Mark 14:36)  ” Father, oh Father, all things are possible with You,  take this cup from Me, but neverthe less not what I will, but what You will .”  I believe there is a BIG key right there in that prayer and that is this. When we pray we should be mindful that if we ASK for something, we should conclude it with NOT MY WILL BE DONE BUT YOURS.

Many times I have used my own experiences, in this blog,  to bring home the point more clearly. In Novemeber of 2009 I posted a post under “prayers answered”  about how I was led to make a prayer prior to a court date for a ticket. 

To briefly explain, I received a red light camera ticket. I was guilty. I was ready to pay the ticket but when it came in mail and said 425.00!!  I said NO WAY! To me that was outright “stealing” and I knew governments can do this just as well as individuals. I mean I was prepared to pay something reasonable and fair (maybe like 200.00 or so). So I made up my mind to fight it to the end at court.

That morning of the court date, I knelt down in my room to pray. I started praying “Dear Lord, I don’t think this is fair, can you help get me off this…” But then suddenly the Holy Spirit began to guide me in the RIGHT prayer. I changed  it and said ” Lord, YOU do what YOU think is fair.”  I said it because I had in mind His Holy 8th Commandment  “Thou shall not steal”. So I was confident HE would make the right decision who was in the right, either it was them, with me running the red light   –or me, with them trying to steal way more than charge what was right.

Do you see how I placed it ALL into the Lord’s hand? Instead of thinking I DESERVE a good decision, I switched  it around and wanted the LORD”S RIGHTEOUS LAW UPHELD( His will be done). This is KEY to our prayers if we WANT something. It must be according to His will and LAW. The ticket was dismissed, even though it was my face in the photo(and my license plate)!  The Lord had made the judge see someone else’s  face in the photo, unbelievable! Guess the Lord doesn’t like thiefs, even if it’s the city government!

Recently I had a young gal write me about praying for her “big day” that was coming. It is to be a big financial decision made for  or against her. I wrote back and said “Sure, ofcourse I will, but  I want you to ask that HIS WILL BE DONE, not yours. And I want you to praise Him NO MATTER WHAT THE DECISION.”   This way, I told her,  God will certainly take care of you, whatever the decision.

Also, let us always remember to thank Him, for our prayers being LISTENED TO,   let alone even answered!

Finally, you should know God wants SPECIFIC prayers. A person wrote me awhile back and said “Please pray for me”. I said “what for?”  They were alittle taken aback–like  “uh I don’t know just pray.” That’s like you saying to your best friend “do something for me”  Huh?  God want’s to show you He’s listening and can do that which you ask, but you must know what to ask FIRST.And you must BELIEVE and WATCH, otherwise if you forget and aren’t watching–it won’t come. Please,  if you’re going to waste your words at least don’t waste them in speaking to God in prayer. For always remember we PRAISE HIM even in decisions that go against us.

In Christ, your servant, Rob

From the brink of death *

February 26, 2011

I was scheduled to write about the last days “Laodicean Church” and how we must do what our Lord described in Revelation about this. But yesterday I was shown an inspired story which God has lead me to publish instead. We should always be ready to change “our” plans when He guides us.

Her name is Teodora and at 40 years old, she was dying. The autoimmune disease was ravaging her body. She got down to 90 pounds. Death was lurking. She became desperate and called Speranta TV, a Hope Channel station based in Romania. For some of you not aware,  Hope Channel is a true Christian TV station , similar to 3 ABN TV.

” I must be baptized quickly!” she said over the phone as she spoke to the Speranta representative.  ” Can you come baptize me?” she pleaded. In response to Teodora’s cry for help they immediately sought help for her wish.

Romania along with Bulgaria, are two of the poorest nations in Europe. And as we shall see,  God has his eye on these “poor people” because many times such people are humbled by their circumstances, and as such have a open heart to His truth when they hear it. Money and it’s Idols or man’s religious traditions, in many cases,  haven’t taken hold of them.

Just a few years ago Teodora was healthy, enjoying life with her husband and daughter, Leontin and Larisa. But it all changed when a deadly disease attacked her thyroid and kidneys. She started losing weight at an alarming rate. Doctors tried to help, but nothing seemed to slow the disease.

One day Petrica, a local Sabbath keeping church member was giving bible studies to another family in Teodora’s neighborhood.Learning of her near fatal condition, Petrica went to her house to pray for her. Although he was unable to have bible studies with her, Pedrica encouraged her to start watching the popular and growing TV station called Speranta. Soon Teodora began to think the station was “exactly what she needed”. She was learning and her eyes were opening ( spiritually)

The station preached of God’s truth and His Commandments and how obedience is the fruit of our faith. The next several months came mixed blessings, her body wasn’t improving much, but her spirit was growing by leaps and bounds. But amazingly her husband and daughter were also watching this station, soaking up  all the truth’s they heard. Even a frequent friend “Maria” became intriqued as well.

As the months passed and her strength waned, she knew her time was running out. But she wanted to be baptized and join the church that helped to sustain her spirit during these tough times. That’s when she called Speranta TV. She got to speak to pastor Darvasan, and he could tell she was desperate. He immediatley called the local pastor in her area to have him visit her. When the pastor arrived, he was surprised to discover that not only Teodora asked to be baptized, but Maria and another friend also. All touched by the truth they received by watching Speranta TV.

So the pastor baptized all three women. God had worked a remarkable spiritual miracle in these women’s lives but He wasn’t done just yet. He was to improve Teodora’s health considerably.

Teodora didn’t die right away like many expected. Slowly she began to regain her health! Soon she had gained 50 pounds! While she still had the disease, she had improved so much, she was able to care for herself and her family. Soon after,  she and her family began to worship the true Lord and could be found every Sabbath worshipping with her new church family at their local Seventh Day Adventist Church. Word began to spread and soon other families were watching this station and learning “new truths” from the word of God. Praise the Lord!

As Teodora will testify God has brought her hope and a new lease on life. And it is because she had been guided and looked after by God, directing that bible study church member  to “just stop by”. He showed her a station proclaiming God’s word and truth.

So  we have the ability to tell people of His truths also, through 3 ABN, Hope Channel, Amazing facts TV and DVD’s. God’s 3 Angel’s message is being broadcast by these mentioned stations 24/7, and when you tell people about them YOU also are proclaiming this important last day’s message.  So don’t think you can’t be a part, YOU CAN! The growth of these stations is truly amazing because HIS MESSAGE in these last days MUST be made!  God be with you.

* Source — Hope Channel Organization


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