Archive for the ‘Humility’ Category

Meet Sister Bonnie Smith

March 25, 2017

Image result for old lady praying in dark

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

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

The message tells us —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.  God’s people pay attention to dress

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

3.  God works through the pure in heart

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

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

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

 

The Dreadful Ignoritis

October 29, 2016

Image result for picture of a man not listening to another man

NOTE: As a reminder we always color code our writings as follows :ORANGE is the Lord speaking, BLUE is Scripture/Spirit of Prophecy, BROWN is the Elijah message as brought by brother Victor Houteff.

 

In this week’s post we’d like to go into what we term “Ignoritis”. This disease is subtle and often those who have it don’t even know it. They blissfully look up to God as the picture shows yet often have their ears plugged (or eyes closed as the case may be). The Lord has placed this issue upon our heart to hopefully awake some of those who unfortunately have this malady.

The Lord says–
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 7:12)

How simple yet profound are these words! This great principle should be the guiding principle in our Christian walk. In other words in the case of those with Ignoritis, if you want to be ignored when you reach out to your brothers and sisters in Christ (as you surely have)–then ignore the brethren. Of course the Ignoritis folk would not admit that they do this therefore a certain blindness is at work.

We have posted before on this topic yet time and again it rears its ugly head and the Spirit guides us to remind all that the idea that we are “servants” and not to be the served ones, is a Christian rule we cannot break with immunity. The Pharisees in Christ’s day were guilty of ignoring the humble masses and looked at themselves as superior or above the need to “serve” the people as Christ would have them.

They were also of the opinion that they were holier or above the people, and God said this was “smoke in His nostrils”.

“Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.” (Isaiah 65:5)

Along with the above reference we can read this as well–
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” (Eph. 6:7-8)

The idea that we are servants not only to the Lord but to one another is again brought forth from our King–
“..whoever desires to become great among you will be your servant, and whoever desires to become first among you will be slave of all.(Mark 10:43-44)

None of us who are serious Christians would deny that we would want to be called “great” by Jesus, would we? Yet the turf that comes with this is the mentality of being subservient to others, especially in the faith. The least of those who reach out to us should be the top priority.

I am reminded of a successful businessman who once said , ” To be successful you will have to deal with people you don’t click with or even dis like.”  This is also true in our “business” of saving souls. Sometimes there may be a brother or sister who you know or have heard that they are “too talkative”, “too pushy” or “too whatever” yet it is those who can possibly be helped instead of ignored.

For example, I met sister V, about a year ago, She got my number from a mutual brother. She called and we discussed many topics. As we talked I was a little taken aback because she just would not stop talking. But the Spirit told me to bear with her. Fast forward to today, she is one of my closest sisters in the faith. Her insight and ability to grasp the Lord’s Truth is quite a pleasure to behold.

Let us give some recent examples of those with Ignoritis.

Sister V attempted to call one of the leading “present truth” organizations in trying to receive some material. Both times she was promised someone would get back to her and no one did. This is uncalled for. As representatives of the Lord’s Elijah message, we of all people must set the example. Again the Word counsels us–

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal.6:10)

So we ask, is it “doing good” to ignore a believer who is reaching out? Absolutely not. This is Satan’s trick, “You are too busy, don’t waste your time on this sister.”

Another example was a recent one that I was involved in. The Lord led me to put together a report on the 144,000. I complied a study to be given via phone conference. It was made specifically for my local SDA church. We passed out approximately 10 cards with the phone conference time and other info. Almost all of the church members said it sounded good and would try to attend. At the designated hour–NO ONE SHOWED.

We can understand that people’s schedules change or something happens that they cannot attend. However, what we cannot agree with is the discourteous ignorance in not letting us know what happened or even any update. Ignoritis in mass.  This all shows that SOP was entirely right–

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

The time is about up and our church is full and satisfied, “rich and increased with goods”(Rev. 3:17) with no need to study to attain His final instruction message to us, a message that gets us sealed in the forehead to stand in the great and dreadful day (Mal. 4:5).

To be clear, we are not saying that all of us in the faith must respond back at all times. For example we had a series of email studies with a brother a while back and after a while it became evident that his questions were not to learn or share but rather to try to disprove anything  he disagreed with. Finally after our warning and his continued emails of more of the same, we had to quit responding.

The Scriptures expound more about righteous shunning–

“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one do not eat.”(1 Cor. 5:11)

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” (Titus 3:10)

So yes we need discernment and in some cases our ignoring is justified. But the vast majority are not guilty of the above and deserve our undivided attention when applicable.

In closing, let us remember that we are called to “do good” especially to those of the household of faith. If any brother and sister reaches out to us, let us think as we are counselled–

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2:3-4)

 

 

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

October 8, 2016

flattery

We are all aware of the fact that in our human relationships, we can sometimes use flattery as a way of showing our love and affection. We all can remember being flattered and how good it felt, our carnal nature uplifted. But in God’s word we find a very cautious warning concerning the use of flattery.

This week we were guided to read the following Inspiration —

“I lift my voice of warning against praising or flattering the ministers. I have seen the evil, the dreadful evil, of this. Never, never speak a word in praise of ministers to their faces. Exalt God. Ever respect a faithful minister, realize his burdens and lighten them if you can; but do not flatter him, for Satan stands ready at his watchtower to do that kind of work himself.” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p.475)

Take notice of the “Never, never…” part. Rarely in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy has It been so emphatic as this. This shows the Lord’s prophetess getting down to business and forcefully making an important point. There is no doubt that some of us are guilty of this mis-application of praise and flatter.

I can remember saying on a few occasions , to a pastor or even fellow brother or sister who has made a Bible study report or the like–“Wow, that was great, you really did a good job” or the like. This, as shown from Inspiration is a big-no no.

Now to be clear, there is certainly a time and place for this, for example our spouses. We know that for us husbands, our wives like to told they look nice , are smart, etc. (and vice versa). For a Biblical example of the man-woman praise and flatter read “Song of Solomon.” But this family situation is much different in our relations to those in the faith.

Let us examine this snare of Satan and how we can go about complimenting one another yet staying within the above counsel.

There is not only the clear counsel above, but also a warning to the everyday use of  flatter in our worldly relations–
“A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.”(Proverbs 29:5)

“Let me now be partial to no one, nor flatter any man. “For I do not know how to flatter, else my Maker would soon take me away. ” (Job 32:21-22)

“He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23)

But how do we handle this dilemma? How can we be verbally supportive of a brother or sister,  maybe even a pastor or elder?

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some are ; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”(Hebrews 10:25)

The word “exhorting” means to “strongly encourage” and to urge someone to do something. Let’s say you have read a report a brother has made. He has prepared something about Daniel 2, the vision of the stone (144,000) striking the world’s kingdoms. You want to let him know you were blessed by it.

How do we say something “strongly encouraging” yet not flattering? Below are some examples for your consideration.

“Brother, I want to thank you for the report. This Truth, was such a blessing.”

“Praise the Lord! The report opened my eyes to some prophecies I was not aware.”

“These reports are encouraging, may the Lord be praised and the people enlightened.”

Now let’s contrast this to a sinful flattering encouragement.

“Brother your report was great. You are really speaking the truth.”

“Wow, the report you did truly is fantastic and you are truly gifted.”

I am amazed at your written report! I am blessed because of you.”

Notice the stark differences. The top compliments aim to give the credit to the Lord and “His” Truth. Just as SOP counselled–“Exalt God.” The bottom compliments aim to center the praise on the person doing the report not on God.

The Scripture says–

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

The “Truth” is Jesus and belongs to Jesus. We must remember that our work is simply spreading “His” truth. Therefore we should not take any credit for teaching, spreading and communicating His truths.

Someday the Lord will reveal the rewards to the rightful due parties. But now is not our time to collect any praise or flatter. The Lord Himself shall bestow that upon His faithful servants.

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:23)

 

 

Taking Orders

October 10, 2015

jesus-and-centurian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tears in a Bottle

July 24, 2015

Tears in a bottle

Growing up, some parents have scolded their young boys with the false counsel, “Boys don’t cry, girls do”. This is especially true of the “Macho” type men who see crying as a weakness. Is that true? What about the creator of our world? Did He cry privately and openly?

As our picture shows, His word says our Lord has faithfully kept all our tears in a bottle. But why? Let us look into this matter and see more about this expression of both joy and sadness.

“You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle; Are they not in your book?(Psalms 56:8)

Let us look at David, the courageous king who, as we know, did not back down even from powerful lions. In Psalms he writes of his trials , joys and disappointments. Yet we know he showed us that he cried by the writing of Psalms 56:8. Then he lets us know that God has kept track of our crying, the tears are numbered in His book. Wow, our God is one of details and minute observations! Our hairs are numbered and our tears as well!

Let’s face it, we men basically do not like to show our emotions as much as the women do. It’s just not “manly” we think.  This is true to a certain extent. As men we are often looked at as the role model for leadership and strength. David certainly was all this and more. His great leadership and courage impressed our Lord. The Lord said of him, “..I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will” (Acts 13:22).

Yet David had compassion as we saw from his treatment of Saul, and  Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth . Compassion can sometimes show itself in tears. Emotions can get so deep and welled up within that crying comes out, and we “let it out”. Psychologists have long known that suppression of our emotions can have serious consequences to our outlook on life and our behavior.

Our Lord said,  “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”(Matt. 18:3).

Crying comes natural to children. They have not developed their “ego” as such and do not care how they look when they feel the need to cry. Our Lord proved that crying was important when the right time calls for it.

“Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!(John 11:34-36)

So we see that the “Man above all men” cried, and that openly! This alone shows that real men, tough men can and do cry.

Allow me to tell of my own personal story. For many years, prior to my conversion in early 2009, I had never cried much. Just didn’t have it in me much. Sure, once in a great while I would tear up watching a movie or such , but generally crying was not for me.

After I came back to the Lord, after being away from Him for decades, I noticed a change in my feelings. This was soon to show itself in an unmistakable way.

To review briefly, I became a Sabbath keeper (obeyer of ALL the Commandments as best I could) after deciding to read the WHOLE Bible from front to back. We as “Christians” are often told that the New Testament was basically all we needed, and that the OT was just history and part of the “old covenant” and no longer had meaning for us like the NT. Yet the OT has tremendous applicable lessons for us today!

After obeying my first Sabbath, I received a sign from the Lord (lights went off and on three times by themselves in my dining room) and from then on have kept His Sabbaths. I joined the local SDA church and was happy to be a part of “God’s people”.

My view was just like the masses– you come to church regularly and live as best you can and you’re good to go. I did not know that the Lord had any ‘final ” message of supreme importance to us. This was about to change.

But I was not content to stay in one place spiritually, I kept searching and studying for greater light. My walk was developing and He was becoming more clear to me. Slowly however I started to notice that we as SDA were not “doing” as much as “talking” about our born again experience. In other words we needed to “walk the walk” if we “talked the talk”. We did a post of this title, see here — https://godsloveandlaw.com/2011/07/09/if-we-talk-the-talk-we-must-walk-the-walk/

Fast forward to a couple of years after I had joined the church. One day I was driving through  a town close to our town and noticed that the local SDA church has several other buildings on their property. I knew that these buildings were part of the SDA property. For some reason (the Holy Spirit no doubt) I noticed a chiropractic office in those buildings. It had its phone number on the outside of the door. I swing back around and took down that number.

Keep in mind that up to this point in my church relations, I assumed that we were truly God’s people. Yes we had some areas to work on but overall I truly felt the Lord was lovingly beholding us as His apple of His eye.

So I wanted to know and confirm that we as SDA were practicing what we preached. The 4th Commandment specifically tells us that “within our gates” we are not to work, or ANYONE is to work–on the Sabbath.

I called the number then and a man picked up the line. I inquired whether they were open on Saturday. He responded, “Yes we are, would you like to make an appointment?” I said, “not now but thanks” and hung up. Within a few seconds my whole being and I do mean WHOLE being was overwhelmed. I basically broke down right there in the truck.

All these thoughts and emotions came pouring out. I felt what I know the Lord feels -WE ARE HYPOCRITES! How could we preach and teach about the Sabbath and yet show the world what hypocrites we were!

“Hypocrisy is peculiarly offensive to God.” (TDG, p.55)

Anyway, my crying was not missed by the Lord. Just about two weeks after this my life changed. I was on the computer after Sabbath and happened to notice a link about the 144,000. Little did I know the Holy Spirit of Truth was guiding me (John 16:13). I listened spell-bound as the real Truth was shown about our church and where it was going! An onslaught of “meat in due season” flooded my soul.

One of those game changing Truths I heard that day was this–

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

I had met my waterloo, my life’s turning point. Brother Rob was now ready to be truly–reborn. His old self was to die that day. I was soon to understand the power of His word, the application of His final pleading message as brought by His messenger, His FINAL messenger to our church.

The message tells us more about sighing and crying–

“..as the sealing message makes its way through the church, only those who awake and reform (sigh) and endeavor to share with others (cry) the light that is shining upon them, receive the seal.  They are then accounted sinless through the perfection of Christ imparted in their behalf until they are given the “new heart” promised in Ezekiel 36:26, after which they will be forever sinless– forever without cause to repent.” (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-22)

So we see that not only is the sins done in the church and our own life to effect us personally,  but that we are to cry aloud (share) the message of the hour, the sealing message specifically for us. Our own reforms are clear evidence that the Lord’s intended “spirit and power” is in His Elijah message (TM, p.475).

While we know that crying today is something we do and has its place, the future will have no such practice–

“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.”(Rev. 21;4)

In closing, right now the Lord is asking for validation from each of His remnant church members. This validation shows clear unmistakable signs that we are both sealed and obedient, that we truly love Him and hate sin. When the church purification comes, those who are “sighing and crying” will be spared and head for the pre-millennial kingdom. Let us be a part of this!

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

“Little Things Mean A Lot”

January 24, 2015

head covering -4

One of the most popular songs written in the mid-50’s was called, “Little things mean a lot”, sung by a singer named Kitty Kallen. She sings of the small and seemingly insignificant things of life, and how they really do mean–a lot. Let us look at the truth of this statement.

Our great King, Whom I have often called the “God of Details”, through His Word has spoken much on “little things”, things that we may think as minor, but are they really?

Our great King, as we have mentioned, makes such small pin point perfect little designs in His flowers, even with striking colors. Just pick one up and look closely and see the detailed work! How much more is He going to be particular in the details of our converted life?

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:” (Luke 16:10)

With this understanding clearly in mind, the Lord has inspired me this week to discuss a very important custom that may seem “little” or insignificant yet is not. It’s the sometimes controversial–women’s head covering.

Our Christian discussions and understanding of this topic predominantly centers on the following Bible verses–

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is  the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, for as much as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. ” (1 Cor. 11:3-16)

Ah Paul, why do you make things so complicated :-)? When we read the above we get clarity from the first 95% of what was written, yet at the end we see this clarity become hazy. Sort of like –huh?? What I mean is that the last sentence seems to say–“But if you don’t want to do these instructions, and some of you argue about it–then forget it!” But is that the true take away from these important instructions?

Did not our all perfect knowing Lord realize that at the end of time (our time) we would need clarity on certain verses and “truth” that frankly have us puzzled? Yes indeed.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.”(Matt 17:11)

His last end time prophet’s job was to clear up any confusion. Restoring the Truth to it’s brilliant luster, giving the truth hungry people what they want and need– powerful and clear Truth with no confusion!

So let us now see what His Elijah prophet said about our subject. Keep in mind this message is the FINAL word on any subject matter and therefore must be taken very seriously. These things said by the prophet contain the Lord’s prophesied —“gold refined in the fire” (Rev.3:18) that we must “buy”If we neglect these last instructions we shall indeed stand “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked”.

SHALL THE WOMAN LEAVE HER HAT ON WHEN THE MAN TAKES HIS OFF?

Question No. 119:

   What does Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 11  concerning the woman covering her head? Does not verse 15 show that the hair is her covering?

Answer:

   “But I would,” says the Holy Spirit, “have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Cor. 11:3.

   Note the order in which divinity and humanity are linked: God, Christ, the man, the woman. Thus it is that “every man praying or prophesying,  having his head covered, dishonoureth his head [God]. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth  her head [the man]: for that is even all one as if she where shaven.

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn [that is, if a woman will not wear a hat, then let her cut off her hair]: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered [let her wear a hat]. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” 1 Cor. 11:4-8.

   This scripture plainly teaches that a man ought to take his hat off when praying or prophesying (teaching the Scriptures), while the woman should put hers on.

   One could not logically conclude from 1 Cor. 11:15  that the woman’s hair is the covering referred to.  If such were the case, then logically the man should shave his head in order to make the distinction between the two.

   Moreover, if the woman’s hair is the covering required, then why would the Scriptures say she is to wear it when “praying or prophesying”? What else could she do? And could she take off her hair (covering) when not praying, unless she wore a wig?

   The Scriptures therefore make it clear that any religious occasion which requires the man to take his hat off, requires the woman to put hers on. (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-119)

Ah again! A restoration of a seemingly confusing topic! Our souls should jump for joy as the Lord has restored a custom that, even to this very day within our SDA church, has been rejected for the most part. Just walk into any SDA Sabbath service across the world and you’ll see nearly all the women without any head covering!

The big question is–Are we to do what the Lord has told us to do through His final prophet? Or are we to put vanity, current church customs, or ignorance before His Word? To our ladies, I would say–do the right thing, as this constitutes the majority of the head covering problem within our church today. However this is not solely a women issue today, there are men who come to church with hats on and leave them on while in the sanctuary. Both are an offense to the Lord, let’s not kid ourselves.

Today, the women and young ones are fortunate to have many different designs to choose from.  Below are just a few examples.

head covering-3  head coverings --5 head coveing--6 head covering-7 head covering-8

Once a converter to His Word begins to obey, even in this seemingly small thing, I believe they will start to experience a commensurate blessing. A new “bounce” in their step  due to the Lord’s blessings.

“Oh, how important it is that faithfulness in little things characterize our lives, that true integrity mark all our course of action, and that we ever bear in mind that angels of God are taking cognizance of every act!” (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.158)

It is often said and even believed that we as SDA have the light for the world today, yet do we show God, our brethren, the angels, and the world that we walk in it? Look at the church we sometimes call “Babylon”, the Catholic Church, even they know to a certain degree the truth about proper head coverings. Granted, even there Satan has told the women to be “in style” and discontinue it, yet quite a few Catholics abide in the Word in this regard.

We as present truth believers know that we must “sigh and cry” for the abominations done within the church, if we are to get the seal of God in our foreheads (see Ezek.9 and Testimonies vol. 5, p.210-212). If the Lord wants head covering honor within His sanctuary, are we going to snub Him and ignore that?

In closing let us remember, — “Little things” do indeed mean a lot to the Lord, and they should mean a lot to us as well.

“You may not understand all there is about it, but that would not excuse you from doing faithfully the little things which you already perfectly know. Start with the A B C’s in the science of reform as you would in a grade school, gradually climbing up the ladder of perfection as you would from the first grade up to a course in a. university. As you are unable to understand in the schools of the world the higher grades ahead of the lower, so you will never learn all the science in physiology or the mysteries in the laws of God from its heights down or all at once. Moreover, if you are not willing to do correctly the little things in life, what will it compel you to agonize in prayer for the power you need to accomplish the great thing?”(Sym. Code, vol.2, no.1, p.3)

The Depth of God’s Love

January 3, 2015

Satan before fall

We as finite human beings can image just  a sliver of the depth of God’s love. But when we take the time to dwell on it, we find it really baffles our mind. Let us look into this subject and hopefully gain another small sliver of its depth.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9, we read, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Our minds cannot truly envision the great things to come for those counted worthy to partake in eternity. We know that the streets shall be made up of gold, maybe similar as the below picture.

“And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”(Rev.21:21)

Gold street

In dwelling on this subject this week, I was guided to the subject of Satan. Why would Satan be connected to God’s great love? Let us look at this connection.

Ezekiel describes Satan’s beauty, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. 

You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.

You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:13-15)

We see that God spared nothing in creating a most beautiful exalted creature. Satan was endowed with not only beauty but exceeding wisdom.

Ellen White describes more on Satan, “Lucifer in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels..” (The Story of Redemption, p.13)

So what connection is there? I believe the depth of God’s love is this– God made a being so beautiful, so powerful, so intelligent, that God was putting Himself on the line! By that I mean, He took a daring chance that He created a being  too beautiful, too powerful, too intelligent. God’s love went out on a  limb, because He envisioned a being that the heavenly host could admire and love as well. The generosity of His love truly was a marvel.

But, as well all know, God’s hope and dream was  not to be. Yet, what does this show us? That His love is truly deep and generous. Being God , He imparted those majestic qualities in Satan, along with Satan’s potentially dangerous freedom to exalt himself, which unfortunately he did.

In explaining what love truly is, apostle John, gives the straight answer, ” Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.(1 John 4:7-8)

So we see that  one of the greatest ingredients of God’s love is to make beings that have free choice, free will. But included in this great ingredient is God’s divine rules and regulations, in other words–structure.

Some of us remember the hippie days of the 60’s. The popular phrase was “Free Love”. They had these bumper stickers on the back of their vehicles, often the popular Volkswagen bus.But we remember that often their free love turned out to be disease, fighting, murder and general destruction in many cases.

One of the great misnomer  and false ideas is that of–unconditional love. There has never been nor never will be what is called unconditional love. All thinking and speaking beings are made to love, yet they always come with conditions. God for example cannot love in such a way to create a being that could destroy Him. Nor can He create a being and forever accept them, if they reject Him. He extends His love but His righteousness cannot disappear for the sake of “love”.

God has His supreme Law of the universe, called the 10 Commandments. One of His greatest acts of love for us, His human beings, is showing His great Law through His Son, our Lord, King and Savior–Jesus Christ.

Our King has clearly described in one place within the whole Bible that shows how we are to show we “love” Him.

“If you love Me, keep My Commandments.”(John 14:15)

Our prophetess speaks about His great love as our “first step”–

“The very first step in approaching God is to know and believe the love that He has for us; for it is through the drawing of His love that we are led to come to Him.” (M.B. p.155, 156)

When we really take the time to dwell upon how great and deep is His love, we cannot  help but come to the conclusion that we are so blessed, as to be awe-struck at who our God really is.

When we draw close to Him we start to envision more about Him. For instance I have found myself in tears just thinking about His long-suffering and patience, He has had for my worldly sinful ways. Decades of them!

In closing, as Human beings, we cannot fathom the depth of God’s love but we can use our finite minds to try to put together some pieces of its depth. Our most important duty right now is–obedience. In His great and merciful love He has sent His last message of hope and instruction. After this message reaches His beloved church within His allotted time, He can do no more.

Let us learn from Satan’s mistake. We can become obedient to His word as said through His Elijah prophet, if we humble ourselves. Satan’s downfall was his pride. God’s deep love reached out to him, but he would not. Will we submit and believe and obey His last message to us?

“.. Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:13)

Correction

September 6, 2014

corrections key

As we read the Scriptures we come to a sad fact, over and over again. God’s people have continually had one fatal flaw– unwilling to be corrected. This alone seems to be the very thing that erects a barrier that so many times, we as “Christians” fail to break down. Pride and stubbornness rears its ugly head and  keeps us “stuck” instead of going forward in our walk.

In Jeremiah  5:3 we read, “O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.” (Jeremiah 5:3)

We remember the days of the Exodus movement, the Lord continually had to correct their ways and behavior, yet they soon abandoned His corrective instructions. It is no different today. We as a people are even more stiff-necked than they were.

As God’s Elijah messengers, our duty is often to  be our “brother’s keeper”. We should really care about our fellow believer and be faithful in dis-charging our duty of support and even warnings and rebukes, if necessary.

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

We see here a two-fold promise. Give correction and spare your life, ignore your brethren and lose your life. We must be un-selfish and not have the attitude of “I’m going to heaven, I don’t know about you”.

One of God’s greatest correctors was Elijah prophet.

“The benefits which God gave to this people called forth from them no gratitude to the Giver. All the bounties of heaven,–the running brooks, the streams of living waters, the gentle dew, the showers of rain which refreshed the earth and caused their fields to bring forth abundantly,–these they ascribed to the favor of their gods.

Elijah’s faithful soul was grieved. His indignation was aroused, and he was jealous for the glory of God. He saw that Israel was plunged into fearful apostasy. And when he called to mind the great things that God had wrought for them, he was overwhelmed with grief and amazement.

But all this was forgotten by the majority of the people. He went before the Lord, and, with his soul wrung with anguish, pleaded for Him to save His people if it must be by judgments. He pleaded with God to withhold from His ungrateful people dew and rain, the treasures of heaven, that apostate Israel might look in vain to their gods, their idols of gold, wood, and stone, the sun, moon, and stars, to water and enrich the earth, and cause it to bring forth plentifully. 

 The Lord told Elijah that He had heard his prayer and would withhold dew and rain from His people until they should turn unto Him with repentance.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.263) 

How great was this man’s love for his people! Sadly, the correction given, even coupled with great signs from the Lord, would not be long accepted.

Eternal life is so mind boggling that we should do all we can to learn His word and that includes His instruction to correct and be corrected.

Refusing correction can be shown by either combative or polite refusal , silent ignoring, or empty promises of reform. All of them give the same results –a failure to turn around and walk uprightly before the Lord.

But as we study Scripture, the lessons are many of how we can allow ourselves to be corrected and it’s a key that unlocks a whole new purpose and desire to serve the Lord.

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

As we let go of our pride, it’s much easier to listen to corrective instruction.

In the story of king David and being corrected by the prophet Nathan, we read from Spirit of Prophecy  —

“The prophet Nathan’s parable of the ewe lamb, given to King David, may be studied by all. The light was flashed sharply upon the king, while he was in utter darkness as to what was thought of his actions in regard to Uriah. While he was following his course of self-indulgence and commandment breaking, the parable of a rich man who took from a poor man his one ewe lamb, was presented before him.

But the king was so completely wrapped in his garments of sin, that he did not see that he was the sinner. He fell into the trap, and with great indignation, he passed his sentence upon another man, as he supposed, condemning him to death. When the application was made, and the facts brought home to him, when Nathan said, Thou art the man; unknowingly thou hast condemned thyself, David was overwhelmed. He had not one word to say in defence of his course of action. (2BC 1023.2)

This experience was most painful to David, but it was most beneficial. But for the mirror which Nathan held up before him, in which he so clearly recognized his own likeness, he would have gone on unconvicted of his heinous sin, and would have been ruined. The conviction of his guilt was the saving of his soul. He saw himself in another light, as the Lord saw him, and as long as he lived he repented of his sin.” (Letter 57, 1897).(2BC 1023.3)

What a great story and lesson! The mighty king David was thoroughly corrected and he accepted it deeply. As we see “as long as he live repented of his sin.”

Spirit of Prophecy comments on our subject, “I have been shown that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness is that they will not receive correction. Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them.( Testimonies, vol. 3, p.255)

Are we willing to stand corrected? Or does our pride hinder us? Is it not worth our eternal salvation to admit our wrongs, whatever they may be? Eternity, wow, is this not worth fighting for? Is this not worth our every effort to “know the worst of our case”?

“Determine to know the worst of your case. Ascertain if you have an inheritance on high. Deal truly with your own soul.” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p.163)

True Repentance

June 15, 2013

repentance

As we profess to be a follower of Christ, we must make sure to get the simple basics cleared in our life. For what man goes to build a foundation on sand? Just as our Lord said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matt. 7:24).  So it’s clear that we must lay the foundation upon solid “rock”. And one of the most basic solid aspects of our walk with the Lord is –repentance. Let us look at this most important spiritual  foundation, one of the pillars of our faith.

Before Christ’s first advent, John the Baptist was called to prepare the way as we know. And the primary command he issued was to–repent. “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:1-2). He was letting the people know that the first step to coming clean before the Lord was to repent. It’s akin to the following analogy. Who, when they want to rebuild something (ie. their life) doesn’t start out first by cleaning up and clearing away? Repenting is the same thing spiritually.

Why is repenting so important and many times overlooked in our Christian walk today? We know that our Lord gave us specific instructions in His words to His last church (Rev. 3:19). Last week we spoke of “zealousness” but the next word He commanded was–repent. Why would He say it if we aren’t in need of it? Obviously He knew that we as Laodiceans would need this serious instruction.

So it is clear we must search ourselves closely to find if we have held on to an act or deed we haven’t come clean  to the Lord about.

Allow me to give some personal examples. A few years back, after I had become a serious follower of Christ, the Lord started to give me flashbacks of things I had done that were in  my past. Maybe I’d be driving and all of a sudden I’d remember something I did that wasn’t right before the Lord. For example, I remembered I had hired a man to do some remodel work for a property I was renovating. Long story short, I had run into some financial difficulty and told him I would have to pay him later. Later, I moved out of town and basically reneged on my pledge.

But as I was driving my heart soared as I immediately knew that the Lord had told me to get it right! Very soon after this, I found the man (thank God he had kept his number after 7 or 8 years). He was very happy to hear I would be sending him his money. In (Ezekiel 33:15) we read, “If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statues of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”

The Lord calls us what we are when we steal–wicked. I had stolen his labor and practiced unrighteousness. But upon learning what I had to do, it was up to me to repent and then act. You see, repentance is much more than just words. Many times our words are only part of the true repentance. Our deeds fulfill the repentance.

Another time I recalled, was when I had hired a tree cutter. He had cut down the majority of the tree, yet he didn’t remove “all” of the stump as he said he would. It was too deep and he couldn’t do it he said. So, being the unrighteous man I was,  I figured I didn’t owe him anything because he didn’t finish the job. So he said he understood and left. But upon reflection in my new Christ centered  life,  I came to my senses and realized he did the best he could and did take down about 80% of it, so it was right to pay him something for what he did do. He was thrilled and even invited me into his home to sit and chat when I showed up to pay him.

So once we become serious in our walk, we must reflect upon things we have done and if it’s in our power to right them we should. This really constitutes true repentance. Some things may be out of our control. For example we may have lost touch with someone. The Lord knows what is doable and what is not. But again, if we start thinking “Oh the Lord will forgive me he knows I made a mistake.” And we presumptuously think we have His grace ,  yet we don’t make any effort to right it, we may seriously be considered neglecting to “restore the pledge”.

One of the most applicable quotes (and favorite of mine) from our prophetess is– 

“But Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected.

Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you can not overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.(Christ Object Lessons, p.331).

One of those serious defects of character would be the refusal or neglect, to repent after we  “criticize ourselves closely”. As we mentioned earlier, our Christian walk must be a  renewed walk, with a rebuilding and removing of past wrongs, a repentance of wrong doing. “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”(John 3:3).

Our new life of being ‘born again” certainly cannot exclude repentance. As we confess our sins and repent, we feel that special closeness to Him. This is one of the surest ways to “draw close to Him”. In (James 4:8) we read, “Draw close to Him , and He will draw close to you.”

I believe one of the most common errors we make as professed Christians is the error of presumptiousness. Many feel they areforgiven” without out even repenting. It’s kind of  like someone striking you then looking at you and saying, “I know you forgive me, thank you”. What?  The cart is before the horse. But if we come clean to the Lord and if need be, to those we have wronged, we can claim His faithful promise. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:19).

Is not that what the Pharisees tried to do in approaching John the Baptist? Their presumptioness was called out by John. They felt their wrongs were acceptable and no big deal, therefore they were not in need of repentance. If  we sin we have the Great Forgiver, but can He forgive without our sincere remorse and repentance? 

The reward of repentance is that we  have a “clear conscience”. “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” (1 Tim. 1:19)

You see brethren, even if we have all the knowledge of the prophecies, but don’t possess the simple important basics of the Christian walk, we deceive ourselves. Sanctification always begins on the first step–love and repentance.

Now how great is it before the Lord, if he sees us walking in obedience of the basics yet having a good clear understanding of the prophecies! Wow, now that appears the utmost Christian experience.

Last week something happened that was the motivating factor in making this week’s post.

I had been involved in some studies with a certain brother. We had several studies together, each Sabbath evening (Friday night). The studies were quite rewarding. But the last of the studies, we had a dispute of our beliefs. Things got a little testy. Emails followed and we shared why we thought the other was mistaken. He then made the statement which basically said that I was lost and needed to be born again.

I emailed him back and said that he was making a serious mistake in “mounting the judgment seat”. No one  has the right to declare someone lost and only our Lord is given that judgment to declare.

Then about  a week later, he called me. After small chit-chat he said, “You know brother, I’ve been thinking and I want to apologize for being rash and saying some things that were wrong.”  I was very, very impressed. Why? Because we just don’t hear this kind of humbleness and straightness from many of our brothers and sisters in the faith. I told him with a warm heart, that what he was doing was, “great before the Lord”. We left our conversation both feeling the Lord’s strength.

In closing, let us often remember that our Lord is “Mighty to save”(Zeph. 3:17) but we must do our part and build a solid foundation. And one of the most important requirements of us as “Christians”, is to be willing, able  and ready  to — repent. May the Lord be your strength!

 
 

 

 

Blinded By The Light

March 30, 2013

001-elijah-fed-by-ravens

Some of us may remember the 1976  top charting music song called ‘Blinded by the light” by a group called Manfred Mann. As I waited for the Lord to guide me in what to write this week, that title occurred to me. I knew it would be the perfect title for the message this week. What we’ll look at is the situations where some professed followers of Christ who have received great knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, even the Elijah message, yet have been “blinded by the light”. The light of the last present truth, the Elijah message, in particular,  can be a two-edged sword. We must be SO CAREFUL in remaining humble because as we’ll see the devils have a sneaky game plan for the ” light bearers”.

As we have learned, there is only one message that shakes Satan and the devils to the core now, it’s today’s Elijah message of warning to God’s remnant people. The message is sent to us to reform our lives, to stop the abominations going on in our own lives and the church and it sigh and cry about them. And as soon as the elect of God truly convert, then this  “small portion” as Ellen White said in (Test. to the Church, p.608-609) accept the warning and then it is that the final time clock starts and the 144,000 are sealed and the game changes. The power is upon the people of God and the great Loud Cry begins.

But what about sneaky attacks from the evil ones today? What is one of their most successful avenues to bring those who profess His last end time message, into a trap and snare? It is old tried and true–Pharisee plan! Allow me to explain.

We remember when our Lord walked this earth His number one enemy was those who had the greatest knowledge of the Scriptures and therefore were the ones who actively taught and promoted “their” understandings of God’s word and plans. As we know our Lord rebuked them time and again .

In (Matt.23:23) we read, “”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

Imagine an individual that would be  measuring the exact distance you could walk to come to the Temple on the Sabbath. The Pharisees did this, and many other restrictive measures because they perceived God as a merciless overbearing toe the line dictator. They had indeed lost tract of their whole purpose in serving Him.

As our Lord said, instead of being full of justice, mercy and faithfulness, they were full of selfishness, ambition and greed. So the evil ones became well aware that the people who became zealous to teach, the ones who actively promoted God’s word, were the prime candidates to influence to become focused on their “knowledge” instead of their walk. Oh, my brothers and sisters how successful this can become if we are not careful!  The greater the light given and understood the closer we must watch that the spirit of Pharisaism doesn’t overtake us and therefore blind us!

Brother Houteff saw this among some of those who professed the Elijah message. He explains ““After one acquires all the knowledge necessary pertaining to the sign of Jonah, he is neither better nor worse off so far as his Christianity is concerned, without taking into effect the time wasted if his conclusions on the subject be wrong.

But what is still worse, should a group of people who are rightly proclaiming all the revealed doctrines, disagree with these zealous preachers of the sign of Jonah, as to what “the heart of the earth” may mean, the latter will in most instances not only forsake fellowshipping with their brethren, and cease helping to proclaim more important doctrines, but will also become so obsessed with their pet idea that their minds cannot comprehend much else.” (Tract 10, p. 20-21)

The above is very telling! Brother Houteff shows that some will cherish their knowledge and forsake the more important matters. Is this not what the Pharisees were known for?

  In Vol. 4   Symbolic News Code   Nos. 1-3. page 6. He said this, “Do not insist upon any one’s measuring up to your opinion of yourself; make not your business that of  finding fault with others, nor of advertising their sins; expect no one to confess to you any sins other than those committed against you personally; and never from any man demand an apology or confession.”

I bring those above quotes up because I’ve recently noticed that the evil ones have hoodwinked some of the true light bearers, the Davidians, the ones who are active in professing the Elijah message, into arguing over non-salvational issues.

Ellen White’s words ring powerfully upon those who become active in criticizing, “I shall tell the truth as God gives it to me, and I say now, If you continue to find fault, to have a spirit of variance, you will never know the truth.”(Testimonies to Ministers, p.476).

Just like the Pharisees, some have put their knowledge ahead of their heart. In other words, they have lost sight of the “old paths”. The Prophet Jeremiah said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.”(Jer.6:16).

As I was driving this week I sensed a message from the Lord, it was  — The message should be taught in love. Meaning that although this message (the Elijah message aka the Shepherd’s Rod message) is solemn and straight, it needs to be spoken with compassion. We must humbly proclaim it. The Pharisee aloofness and pride cannot be allowed to be a part of our character.

I hate to say it but there are more than a few  light bearers (Davidians) who have been snared by a lack of love and compassion. Their knowledge has warped them. In fact we read in (Isaiah 47;10) this thought, “Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else besides me.” (Isaiah 47:10).

So again we go back to the snares that the evil ones put up. One of the best, tried and true one, from since way back, is the inflated view of oneself. No longer do the self proud, all knowing ones have to promptly return emails, initiate correspondence with brothers and sisters, return phone calls, etc. The devils say , “you got the goods, let everyone come to you, no need to reach out.” Instead of being a servant they desire to be served. The Lord’s warning in Rev. 3:17 ” have become wealthy and have need of nothing” is even more true among some Davidians than SDA’s.

Peter also gives good counsel. In speaking of  faith, knowledge, self-control, perserverance, brotherly kindness, love,  he then says, “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9)

Let’s not kid anyone. Just because we know a vast amount of present truth does not guarantee we’re saved. As Paul says, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”(1 Cor.13:2)

And our last quote from our beloved prophetess, “God will choose humble men, who are seeking to glorify His name and advance His cause rather than honor and advance themsleves.” (Test. for the Church, Vol.5, p.461)

In closing, let us remember to be humble in our walk, never forgeting the “old paths” . Yes, we need knowledge and advancing truth which is in His Elijah message, but this comes WITH our basics such as love, compassion, servitude, and such.  If we ignore the basics, the devils stand ready to  —  blind us with the light.


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