Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

Follow the Guide

December 15, 2018

Image result for picutre of the Spirit of Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Thanksgiving Feast

November 24, 2018

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A few days ago we enjoyed a day of “thanksgiving” which to many around the world is a day to remember all good and joyful things we have. The heathen , particularly, gather around the family table and enjoy the token turkey. But what about the “people with such great light” , when they chomp down on turkey, fish or any other meat?

In Testimonies, vol.1, p.260 we read —

“Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling; will you hear? Will you receive His message? Will you be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity.”

How does the above Inspired reference apply to our post? A few days ago we were having a talk with a fellow S.D.A member and she was telling of a “great dinner” one of the local S.D.A churches had. It included meat, which we as S.D.A know is not to be eaten if we value our spiritual walk with Christ.

This is also reinforced by the Lord’s Elijah message He sent pleading with us to come into His ark of safety BEFORE that great and dreadful day comes. Let us look at some of the Lord’s guidance concerning  our diet today.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..” (Psalms 139:14)

Indeed! Our bodies are like fine tuned machines. And as in our human made machines, such as cars, airplanes and other machines, we would not think for once to put in them pour fuel and oil would we? Thus the same with our bodies  which are millions of times more complex! God made us to “thrive” on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and herbs. This is our perfect fuel.

On a personal level, I would like to add that we sometimes struggle to get two specific needs filled when we forego meat — Iron and Protein. Therefore I find it better if Iron supplements and Protein powders are added. That is my own personal observation, you may find that as well.

Some may ask about Eggs and Milk? Great question,  let’s read what Inspiration tells us from God–

“WHAT ABOUT USING MILK AND EGGS?

Question No. 146:

   Since diseases among cattle and poultry are becoming more and more numerous, virulent, and widespread, should we not now discard milk and eggs from our dietary?

Answer:

   If there is an epidemic among cattle and fowl in your region or locality, then you should definitely exercise great caution when using milk and eggs, and should work toward replacing them, just as soon as possible, with suitable substitutes.

   At present we have no knowledge that would compel or justify a country-wide disuse of such poultry and dairy products, and the more especially so if no suitable substitute is available and if the Lord has not opened the way to provide such. Nevertheless, we should all be diligently seeking for something better so that when conditions  do develop to make the continued use of these products unsafe, we will not be caught without a satisfactory substitute.

  “Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream or butter because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth.”–Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 135.

   “The time will come when we may have to discard  some of the articles of diet we now use, such as milk and cream and eggs; but it is not necessary to bring upon ourselves perplexity by premature  and extreme restrictions. Wait until the circumstances demand it, and the Lord prepares the way for it.

“…I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I can not say to them: ‘You must not eat eggs, or milk, or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food.’ The gospel must be preached to the poor, but the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet.”–Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 162, 163. (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-146)

The Spirit of Prophecy leaves no doubt about our diet and– meat-eating.

“Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat-eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat-eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them….. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth.“(Counsels on Diet and Foods, p.382)

“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.”Manuscript 115, 1903 (Counsels on Diet, p.380)

Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning, and themselves practice, and teach their children to practice, mercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.”—The Ministry of Healing, 317, 1905 , (Counsels on Diet, p.380)

You know a brother or sister “in the faith” who lacks spiritual discernment? Look at their diet. They enjoy meat?

As Inspiration counsels we are “teach” our childrenmercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.” But are we doing that? 

Some may say, “Jesus and the people back then ate fish, so we can too.” Yes indeed they did but as we have posted so many times before, the scroll is unrolling down through time. And “their present truth” is not necessarily our present truth.

Briefly, you recall that an adulterer or adulteress was punished by stoning in Moses day, yes? Is that the Lord’s truth today? Of course not, He showed mercy is now to be given, but to be sure the admonishment to cease from these sins and “sin no more” still exists.  Or the past truth that the people of God were to return the Tithes to the Jewish Church, pre- Christ. This too has changed to returning Tithes to His present truth organizations today. So the present truth of today is “stay away from meat”.

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH EATING CLEAN MEAT?

Question No. 148:

In the light of Matt. 15:11 and other scriptures, is it not clear that vegetarianism is of man and not of God?

Answer:

If the scriptures cited constituted the Bible’s entire treatment of the subject, then an unqualifiedly affirmative answer to the question might be necessary. But in the beginning “God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Gen. 1:29. All this and naught else was to be the “meat” of mankind.

Thus in the beginning, man’s diet did not include flesh food. Not till after the flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did he receive permission to eat flesh. Then God said: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Gen. 9:3.

Later, though, while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God provided them with manna. But when they murmured against it, and attributed its phenomenon only to circumstances, claiming that it was impossible to obtain flesh foods in the desert, He literally and angrily heaped quail upon them. At what price, though! Thousands died in order to teach the lesson that the manna was not the mere result of circumstances but rather a purposive Providence. For “while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.” Num. 11:33.

Because the Exodus movement was to fit up a people to take the promised land and to set up the kingdom then, as we are now, they were charged to abstain from all flesh foods. And because John the Baptist bore an important message in his day (“Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”–Matt. 3:2) similar to ours today, his diet was of honey and of the fruit of the locust tree. How much more important, then, as our types teach, that we who have the culminating message of the gospel, and who are the vanguard of the hosts of the eternal kingdom, defile not the temples of our souls with that which our types were forbidden to eat.

Furthermore, as the Elijah of Malachi 4:5 and Matthew 17:11 is to restore all things before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, then necessarily he will restore vegetarianism, man’s original dietary. Then, not only man but beast as well, will be strict vegetarians, and all will once again consort together in the renewed fellowship of Edenic peace.” (Answerer, vol. 5, p.148)

Ok back to that S.D.A church with the “great dinner”. I personally know this church very well and in fact have preached a sermon there a couple of years ago and guess what was one of the major topics in that sermon? Yes, meat-eating. But sadly Scripture was fulfilled that day, let us read —

“And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” (Ezek. 33:32)

After the sermon, many were warm and thanked me for the “straight testimony” yet obviously looking down to today , it moved not the leaders to shepherd the flock in the way they must go.

The message tells us more–

“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming, and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.” Matt. 24:48-51.

   Inspiration teaches that his eating and drinking with the drunken does not merely mean drinking wine.  One may get drunk by partaking of the world’s spirit, and also by becoming engrossed with the “cares of this life.” Luke 21:34.

   And to do all this is to say in the heart, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die.” Matt. 24:48; Isa. 22:13.  (SRod Tract, vol. 1, p.87)

In closing did you know that the Great All-Seeing Lord gave us a booklet on diet? Yes indeed, below is a REAL FEAST that feeds our souls, not the imitation feast that Satan has snared many of us with turkey, fish and who knows what else. The Lord knows it is not the time to rejoice and make merry for the great day of judgment will very soon hit our S.D.A church. If we are not careful these flesh dinners will fulfill prophecy —

“And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call for weeping, and for mourning, and for baldness, and for girding with sackcloth: And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die! The LORD of Hosts has revealed in my hearing: “Until your dying day, this sin of yours will never be atoned for,” says the Lord GOD of Hosts.”(Isaiah 22:12-14)

http://shepherds-rod.org/Misc/EW.htm

 

 

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 85 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.”

 

Refuse to be Corrected

September 17, 2016

poor-dress-girl

“God has not altered nor changed. He is a jealous God, and will not look upon sin now with any more allowance than He did among ancient Israel. Sin is sin. Sins have not been held forth in their sinfulness, but it has been made to appear as though sins have been lightly regarded by God.” (TSB, p.247)

Several weeks ago the spirit urged me to speak to a young lady in our church. I had noticed her for quite a while as she was well established in the worldly attire routine. As we have posted many times before when sin is placed in front of us we have two choices, turn and ignore it or decide to face it, for the betterment of the afflicted. I chose the latter.

As my wife and I were leaving the church lunch, she excused herself to the ladies room. A few moments later the Lord had placed the young lady in my path, now was my time to act. I gently said hello, then I asked if I could speak to her for a moment. She agreed politely.

I started out, “You know dear sister if you were invited to the president of the United States office, you would want to dress nice and modest , yes?” She nodded in the affirmative. “You would want to be conservative and presentable. So when we go to our church and into God’s sanctuary are we not going in front of Someone who is much more important than president of the United States, the God of the universe?” Again she nodded. “So maybe next time you might want to dress a little more conservative in His presence, is that ok?” She said yes,and thanked me for the chat.

Now we must understand that this really should not be my duty, it should be the leaders (ie, the Pastor, elders, deacons). But Inspiration warned us a long time ago–

“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!” (Testimonies, vol.2, p.337) 

The next time I saw her at church, she had on her typical alluring worldly attire. Nothing changed. The warning is done it’s now up to her.

“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)

This dress problem is not solely with the ladies but with some of us men as well. Sometimes we dress like we are going on some kind of fishing expedition. Casual T-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes or loafers, etc.  Again would we dress like that if called to  a one on one meeting with the president of the USA? Not even!

“All should have a special sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.355)

There are two great messages concerning these things. The Lord saw that these very situations would occur within our churches. Let’s read from our two last church prophets some specific counsel.

“Sabbath my husband spoke in the forenoon, and I followed for two hours before taking food. The meeting was then closed for a few moments, and I took a little food, and afterward spoke in a social meeting for one hour, bearing pointed testimonies for several present. These testimonies were generally received with feelings of humility and gratitude. I cannot, however, say that all were so received.

The next morning, as we were about to leave for the house of worship to engage in the arduous labors of the day, a sister for whom I had a testimony that she lacked discretion and caution, and did not fully control her words and actions, came in with her husband and manifested feelings of great unreconciliation and agitation.

She commenced to talk and to weep. She murmured a little, and confessed a little, and justified self considerably. She had a wrong idea of many things I had stated to her. Her pride was touched as I brought out her faults in so public a manner. Here was evidently the main difficulty. But why should she feel thus?

The brethren and sisters knew these things were so, therefore I was not informing them of anything new. But I doubt not that it was new to the sister herself. She did not know herself, and could not properly judge of her own words and acts. This is in a degree true of nearly all, hence the necessity of faithful reproofs in the church and the cultivation by all its members of love for the plain testimony.

Her husband seemed to feel unreconciled to my bringing out her faults before the church and stated that if Sister White had followed the directions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17 he should not have felt hurt: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

My husband then stated that he should understand that these words of our Lord had reference to cases of personal trespass, and could not be applied in the case of this sister. She had not trespassed against Sister White. But that which had been reproved publicly was public wrongs which threatened the prosperity of the church and the cause. Here, said my husband, is a text applicable to the case: 1 Timothy 5:20: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”The brother acknowledged his error like a Christian and seemed reconciled to the matter. It was evident that since the meeting of Sabbath afternoon they had got many things about the matter wonderfully magnified and wrong.

It was therefore proposed that the written testimony be read. When this was done, the sister who was reproved by it, inquired: “Is that what you stated yesterday?” I replied that it was. She seemed surprised and quite reconciled to the written testimony. This I gave her, without reserving a copy. Here I did wrong. But I had such tender regard for her and her husband, and such ardent desires and hopes for their prosperity, that, in this case, I broke over an established custom.

Already meeting time was passing, and we hastened one mile and a half to the waiting congregation. The reader may judge whether the scene of that morning was well adapted to aid us in the collection of thought and nerve necessary to stand before the people. But who thinks of this? Some may, and show a little mercy, while the impulsive and careless will come with their burdens and trials, generally just before we are to speak, or when perfectly exhausted by speaking. My husband, however, summoned all his energies, and by request spoke with freedom on the law and the gospel.

I had received an invitation to speak in the afternoon in the new house of worship recently built and dedicated by the Methodists. This commodious building was crowded, and many were obliged to stand. I spoke with freedom for about an hour and a half upon the first of the two great commandments repeated by our Lord, and was surprised to learn that it was the same from which the Methodist minister had spoken in the forenoon. He and his people were present to hear what I had to say.

In the evening we had a precious interview at Brother Spooner’s with Brethren Miller, Hatch, and Haskell, and Sisters Sturges, Bliss, Harrison, and Malin. We now felt that our work for the present was done in Tuscola County. We became very much interested in this dear people, yet feared that the sister referred to, for whom I had a testimony, would let Satan take advantage of her and cause them trouble. I felt an earnest desire that she might view the matter in its true light.

The course she had been pursuing was destroying her influence in the church and outside of it. But now, if she would receive the needed reproof, and humbly seek to improve by it, the church would take her anew into their hearts, and the people would think more of her Christianity. And what is better still, she could enjoy the approving smiles of her dear Redeemer. Would she fully receive the testimony? was my anxious inquiry. I feared that she would not and that the hearts of the brethren in that county would be saddened on her account.

After returning home, I sent to her for a copy of the testimony, and on the 15th of April received the following, dated at Denmark, April 11, 1868: “Sister White: Yours of the 23d ult. is at hand. Am sorry I cannot comply with your request.”

I shall still cherish the tenderest feelings of regard for this family, and shall be happy to help them when I can. It is true that such treatment from those for whom I give my life casts a shade of sadness over me; but my course has been so plainly marked out for me that I cannot let such things keep me from the path of duty.

As I returned from the post office with the above note, feeling rather depressed in spirit, I took the Bible, and opened it with the prayer that I might find comfort and support therein, and my eye rested directly upon the following words of the prophet: “Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.” Jeremiah 1:17-19. (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.15-18)

The Responsibility of Those Who Bear the Message.

Since Ezekiel represents those whose hearts the message has reached, then to them the Lord is speaking when He says: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.  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.

   “Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because  thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezek. 3 :17-21.

   Because of the unfaithfulness of the former watchmen, the Lord makes the antitypical Ezekiel — he and she who “sigh and cry for the abominations  that be done in the midst thereof” (the church) — a “watchman” (Ezek. 3:17) in their stead.  Be careful, therefore, Brother, Sister, lest you also betray your trust and find yourself thrust out.  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12.  Only those who thus humble themselves now, will the Lord exalt in due time to be His Faithful Watchmen to Stand Before the Unfaithful.(Tract 1, no.41-42)

 In closing my brothers and sisters, time is short, any little or big thing we can do to strike a heart, to warn a wrong course, we should do. Those souls shall not stand in the surprise church judgment if they do not turn from their careless and sinful behavior. If we love them and truly care for their souls –we will make the effort somehow some way.

The Sealed Fate of the Israelites–Murmuring

April 23, 2016

Mose parting the sea

Note: This post is primarily directed to our present truth believers, the Davidian SDA.

In the story of the great exodus of  Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt, we look back and see the great sin of murmuring.

As we know the Lord time and again did great and miraculous things in front of their eyes yet STILL that did not remove their spirit of unbelief. Oh how sad! But what is just as sad is that today this spirit is still very much alive and has taken a root not only in the SDA but also in the DSDA.

We as present truth believers, as we know, have been given the highest and brightest light on the planet. The Scriptural truth known by us cannot be surpassed yet Satan and his angels, through their wiles have  led some of us to do the very thing that caused our Lord to reject His people of old–murmur.

Let us review that first exodus.

“And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.”(Numbers 14:2-4)

Here we see clearly that the people had rejected God’s chosen leader, thereby rejecting the Lord! As we continue to read the sorrowful story of these people we realize that there survived only TWO adults over the age of 20 that made it to the promise land–Joshua and Caleb.

So all of us should know the ramifications of unbelief as exposed by murmuring , right? You would think, but as we open our eyes and ears today we realize that this same murmuring has not changed or disappeared among us. Let us look at two current examples.

Brother D is a long time believer of the Lord’s Rod. He has studied it well for about 30 years. He prides himself in knowing the ins and outs of the prophecies as expounded upon by our last prophet–Victor Houteff.

Sister H  is fairly new to the message of the hour. She is still studying it and is learning it well. Seems quite devoted to knowing it fully. Yours truly has supported her in her efforts to get material (books, Tracts, etc.).

We found out that brother D has some phone conference studies and we began to listen. Very well done we thought, despite our disagreement in some of the points presented. So we invited sister H to come and listen.

Soon sister H was thrilled to listen in to the studies. Later she requested to speak to brother D and they soon did.

The subject of Tithes as we all know is very important. And during their conversation this subject had come up. We had given sister H good helpful advice and material guiding her to the fact that despite our financial condition or circumstances, we MUST NOT neglect our Tithes.

Well, apparently our long time present truth believer has other ideas. He led our sister to understand that the current main organizations are not doing the right things and are therefore unworthy of our Tithes. In other words “just hold on to them and do as you think is right.”

In other words he was influencing her to NOT be faithful in Tithe paying due to what he perceives as “wrong doing”, not doing this right or the other. Murmuring and then exalting himself as a personal dispenser of the Tithes! Oh my, shades of Korah comes back again.

This is exactly the opposite of what the message teaches as evidenced here–

IS IT MY DUTY TO SET RIGHT THE LORD’S TREASURY?

Question No. 98:

   Should we pay our tithe to the “storehouse” if we know that it is not used rightly?

Answer:

   Knowing that our tithe belongs to God’s storehouse, our greatest burden should be to see that it is faithfully paid there. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that the Lord has laid upon any tithe payer the policing of the channels through which these funds pass.

   The Lord’s treasury is under His control, and if He Himself should not see fit to correct an abuse in the handling of His money, certainly we could not correct it however hard we might try. If we guard carefully that part of His work which He entrusts to us, our only concern will be to find out where His “storehouse” is, and then faithfully to deposit His money there. He has not made us responsible for its use; that, He will personally take over–even as He is now “taking the reins in His own hands.”

   When the Promised Land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi received no land for an inheritance, as did the eleven tribes. Instead, the Lord decreed that the tithes of the other tribes were to go to the Levites. This was their inheritance. It was actually their own.

And just as they, as the tithe receivers, had no right to dictate to the others, the tithe payers, what to do with their own increase after it had been tithed, so the tithe payers had no right to dictate to the tithe receivers what to do with the tithe. Each tribe was itself to be accountable to the Lord for that which He had entrusted to it. Thus it must be today. (Answerer vol. 4, p.46-47)

This brother no doubt has convinced himself that because God’s current Elijah message organizational leaders are not doing the right thing, he is justified to make his own house the Lord’s storehouse. Again we read–

CANNOT MY HOME BE HIS “STOREHOUSE”?

Question No. 97:

   Is it Scriptural for one to retain and personally use his tithe and offerings in order to carry on the gospel work in his own community, according to his own plans?

Answer:

   Nowhere in the Scriptures do we find permission to use the Lord’s money at our own discretion. The only justification for so doing would be sheer inability, for some reason to send it to the Lord’s “storehouse.” Should one voluntarily, though, engage in such a practice then he would set the wrong example before others.

And if following in his lead, others assume  the same right, their course must inevitably  result in seriously handicapping the Lord’s work, bleeding and subverting His treasury, and thus disorganizing His work and reducing the church to a mere shell, while her members are hiring themselves as laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, helping themselves to the Lord’s money, and running without having been sent! What a Babylon that would be!

   Though the Lord commands, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” (Mal. 3: 10), He does not say to bring all the offerings. Thus, He shows that if we would engage in some personal charity or missionary activity, we should sustain it from offerings, not from the tithe.

   “Angels keep a faithful record of every man’s work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter….And the crowns they might have worn, had they been faithful, are put upon the heads of those saved by the faithful servants….”Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 198. (Answerer, vol. 4, p. 44-45)

Do we truly think that our murmuring today is somehow different? Somehow excusable?

Our Lord’s word applies –

“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)

Let us look at our second case, that of sister C.

She is also a long time “professed” believer in the message of the hour. She has been very active in the Lord’s latest avenue of spreading His final message-Facebook.

But over the years we have noticed one unmistakable trait. That is that she neglects to post studies or other helpful encouraging present truth and instead she chooses to resort to criticizing and discouraging comments. Time and again when our studies have been about Tithes, she has always been the first to make comments condemning the main current organizations for their “wrong doing.”

Yet privately when warned repeatedly that she is murmuring, she has rejected the idea that she is doing wrong. Just as with brother D, just as Korah and his men as well, she too exalts her own position and declares that “she” is entitled to dispense the Tithes as “she” sees fit.

After being specifically warned of this evil course she has flatly rejected all counsel.

“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)

Blindness is indeed Satan’s handy work! But what makes this especially sad is that these are not people who are ignorant of His last message. They know the Rod or at least should know it.

“There is a certain element whom even God Himself cannot convince that He has taken the reins in His Own hands.  They never take orders from any but themselves.  Such independent ones will continue to question and criticize everything in which they themselves have no part.  So regardless of their profession, of what they think or say, they are not God’s people.  His real people, He declares, are able to take orders even from women and children.” (TG, vol.1, no.5, p.20-21)

And again the message tells us that instead of murmuring we should fall in line with God’s structural leadership, despite it’s seeming deficiencies–

 “Who went into the promised land? — All but the murmurers.  Do you suppose that you can entertain the same spirit of murmuring and complaining, and in spite of it receive the seal? — How absurd the very thought!  How unfair it would be for a just God to destroy the disobedient of that day, but to save the disobedient of this day.

   What made one group eligible to cross the Jordan? — It was their trust in God, knowing that He was their Chief Leader.  They recognized Moses and Joshua as the ones through whom God was communicating with them.  They did not look upon them as being anyone other than who they actually were.  They were satisfied with their lot.  They took orders as the orders were given.  So it was that they were the only ones who entered into the land.” (TG, vol. 1, no. 7, p.12)

The Spirit of Prophecy also describes in plain and clear words the results of murmuring–

“He wants to make of us a people through whom He can reveal His grace, and He will do this if we will only give Him opportunity, if we will open the windows of the soul heavenward and close them earthward against human rabble, against murmuring, complaining, and faultfinding….

Those who today murmur against God’s appointed agencies, weakening the confidence of the people in them, are doing the same work that the children of Israel did. The Lord hears every murmuring word. He hears every word that detracts from the influence of those whom He is using to proclaim the truth that is to prepare a people to stand in the last days.” (Christ Triumphant, p.121)

So if can we keep ourselves in check from this disastrous evil trait, we shall be just as victorious as the faithful Israelites–

“The remnant finally crossed the Jordan only because they whole-heartedly believed that Moses was God’s mouth piece, and because they ceased murmuring, took and obeyed orders.” (TG, vol.1, no.15, p.4)

In closing my brothers and sisters, let us not be like the Israelites, who questioned and criticized God’s work. Their murmuring was their undoing and they did not survive, let it not be our fate as well. You got a complaint? Put it to the right channels and you have done as Inspiration instructed, the results are in God’s hands.

“Woe is Me!”

March 26, 2016

Sad woman

This week we had a conversation with a lady, we’ll call sister G. As I listened the Spirit started to guide me that something must be said about her situation that we may see how the  “rubber meets the road”. In other words, God’s promises can be believed in and followed, or they can be neglected and no blessings shall be received.

In Malachi we read of God making a sure promise to us–

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Mal.3:10)

Here we see that our King makes a promise that if we do this–He will do that. But we see it’s a co-partnership, a mutual cooperation agreement.

As I listened to sister G, I couldn’t help but think “You are not receiving blessings because you stubbornly ignore the message of hope and instruction the Lord guided me to tell you.”

You see, sister G is a serious student of present truth, yet in our many conversations I have pointed out several times that if we obey His word then we get blessings. In our last conversation she lamented about her bad, even awful circumstances. This and that was all against her. My mind continued to dwell on why she was not receiving blessings. I point blank told her that she needs to “get with the program”.

The word in James tells us that we should act on what we learn —

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)

Our Lord gave us a great example of the poor old lady–

“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all the others into the treasury. For they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (Matt.12:41-44)

What a truly remarkable sight! An old lady having but little to live on came through and STILL gave what little she had.

Being in the work of present truth, it is often remarkable that some of those who profess present truth don’t even keep current with their account! What a sad sad situation. Knowing the great lights of His word, the present truth for us today, yet not doing what they should do. The basics are just that–basic. Meaning that we fool ourselves if we think we can just “know” the Truth and not apply it.

Our gracious Lord made sure that we as His end time people would know exactly where we should stand on this issue of being faithful, even if we, like the poor old lady have nearly nothing to give.

IS SMALL INCOME TITHE EXEMPT?

Question No. 158:

   As my income is very small, am I not exempt from paying tithe?

Answer:

   God designed the plan of systematic benevolence so as to make it as equitable to the poor as to the rich, no more a tax on the mite than on the million. And we know of no Scriptural authority for exempting from tithe any income, however small. All, poor as well as rich, are given the privilege of returning to the Lord His own. Many with a “mite” income are paying both first and second tithe, and in return are receiving a rich bestowal of blessing.

   Thus reason forces the conclusion that if one is not obliged to receive charity help in addition to his income (whatever its source) to cover his living expenses, then for him not to pay tithe is to cheat Himself of the abundant blessing which attends a faithful regard for the royal privilege of being one of God’s stewards. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.86-87)
 

Now let me give a personal example. Before I committed to being faithful to paying Tithes into His storehouse(s) my repair business was–so so. I did fairly good but not gangbusters. Shortly after beginning my payback to the Lord, per Malachi instructions, my business really started to take off. Today, I have the number one ranking in my field (most positive reviews) in our city (close to 400,000).

I see this as no accident, the Lord has often rewarded me in a financial way that I sometimes think “this is really a clear payback to His Malachi promise.” During the week I watch ALL income that comes in and I keep a running daily tally. Then at the end of the week (Friday evening) I add it up and put away the Tithe and mail it out to “present truth” organizations. But as His word says “Tithes AND offerings” I put away a little more as well.

See this post for “storehouse” recommendations —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/01/17/who-really-is-a-davidian-seventh-day-adventist/

 

Back to sister G. As she laments of her condition, and all others like her, they have only one person to blame–their selves. The Spirit of prophecy describes the point in a dramatic way–

“They keep their possessions from doing good in the cause of God. They claim that these are their own, and that they have a right to do what they please with their own; and souls are not saved by judicious efforts made by them with their Lord’s money.

Angels keep a faithful record of every man’s work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter. And that which was committed to their trust is taken from them.

Their earthly treasure is then swept away, and they have lost all. And the crowns they might have worn, had they been faithful, are put upon the heads of those saved by the faithful servants whose means was constantly in use for God. And everyone they have been the means of saving, adds stars to their crown in glory, and increases their eternal reward.” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p.197)

“The truth has taken hold of hearts. It is not a fitful impulse, but a true turning unto the Lord, and the perverse will of men is brought into subjection to the will of God. To rob God in tithes and offerings is a violation of the plain injunction of Jehovah and works the deepest injury to those who do it; for it deprives them of the blessing of God, which is promised to those who deal honestly with Him.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.644)

There are three aspects to the Malachi promise.

  1. Pay the Tithes and offerings
  2. Pay it to His storehouse
  3.  Receive God’s bountiful blessings

So it is not enough to just send out Tithes. If we send it to where they are not teaching and dispensing His “present truth” then that so called “storehouse” is not really a legitimate storehouse. And the rich blessings cannot be expected.

The idea that many current churches are not always the place to pay the Tithes was first shown by the Apostles. After the death of Christ, the followers of Christ realized that the Jews had rejected the “present truth” message  that was given from our Lord. Their leaders continued to preach “old” truths. The churches (synagogues) no longer remained God’s “storehouse”, the message of the hour was not proclaimed and instead darkness was inserted in place of light!

One point  that needs to be addressed is the idea that “I don’t need to pay my Tithe to _____ because they do this and that, they aren’t doing the right thing in my opinion.” In other words we justify our withholding the Tithes to His storehouse. This issue was dealt with in the message–

IS IT MY DUTY TO SET RIGHT THE LORD’S TREASURY?

Question No. 98:

   Should we pay our tithe to the “storehouse” if we know that it is not used rightly?

Answer:

   Knowing that our tithe belongs to God’s storehouse, our greatest burden should be to see that it is faithfully paid there. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that the Lord has laid upon any tithe payer the policing of the channels through which these funds pass.

   The Lord’s treasury is under His control, and if He Himself should not see fit to correct an abuse in the handling of His money, certainly we could not correct it however hard we might try. If we guard carefully that part of His work which He entrusts to us, our only concern will be to find out where His “storehouse” is, and then faithfully to deposit His money there. He has not made us responsible for its use; that, He will personally take over–even as He is now “taking the reins in His own hands.”

   When the Promised Land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Levi received no land for an inheritance, as did the eleven tribes. Instead, the Lord decreed that the tithes of the other tribes were to go to the Levites. This was their inheritance. It was actually their own.

And just as they, as the tithe receivers, had no right to dictate to the others, the tithe payers, what to do with their own increase after it had been tithed, so the tithe payers had no right to dictate to the tithe receivers what to do with the tithe. Each tribe was itself to be accountable to the Lord for that which He had entrusted to it. Thus it must be today.(The Answerer, vol. 4, Q-98)

So as we know by Scripture that the Lord’s final message right before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” is His Elijah message, we should not quibble or murmur, leading us to withhold our Tithes. If the organization is proclaiming the message then we must “get on board” and show it by being faithful.

In closing , let each of us remember that God’s promises are a two-way street. He WILL do His part, are we willing to do ours? There is great blessings ready for us to receive!

 

 

 

History of the Heels

December 12, 2015

modern high heel

This week I observed something that burdened my heart. A young gal, maybe 18 or 19, whom I thought had taken good counsel before, showed that as the ol saying goes “went in one ear and out the other.” Sister L, we’ll call her, is a kind of leader in our church, especially to her peers. But before we get more into that let’s look at current worldly fashions in our church and specifically –the ladies high heel shoes.

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but — which becometh women professing godly piety — through good works.”(1 Tim. 2:9-10)

We are going to really get down and study this issue because the Lord has placed it on my heart to awake many of our sisters who for one reason or  another just cannot fathom  how “converted” Christians should come before the Lord.

We are told to be converted and to have a new spirit and mind. In other words things of the world, including fashion– must go. For a personal example, music was my worldly love prior to being converted. Just as many women love fashion as their worldly love. But one day the Lord convicted me of my idol and I grabbed the large outside trash can and went into the house and threw everything that was worldly music (CD’s, Albums, Tapes) into the trash. I never looked back.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

Once we declare to our heavenly Father we are His, by Christ’s brutal death for us–we change. Our old ways go away–at least that is the plan of God. But unfortunately many want both worlds! Again Scripture warns us–

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)

It’s the perfect deadly storm, with some saying secretly in their soul, “I want Christ but the world’s attractions I cannot ignore, Oh Lord help me to do both.”

Peer pressure is very powerful. We all remember our youthful days when we wanted to be liked and accepted. But we also remember our caring teachers, even those who were more stern than we liked, but looking back we admired them for their uprightness and firmness to showing us the right way the best path. The same applies to our youth in the church. They need help , they need guidance from our leaders.

Yet the Lord knows that today, our SDA church is filled with misguided shepherds. They “look the other way” at worldly snares that come into the Lord’s church. Jeremiah relayed the case in our church today–

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD. (Jer. 23:1)

Today one of the most common and observable worldly fashions prevalent in the Lord’s sanctuary is the high heel shoes.  When you couple that with the miniskirt ( above the knees), voila– you have a strikingly similar dressed gal, to a night club gal! That’s right.

Back in the day  before being renewed in mind and spirit, I was often found in the clubs on a Friday or Saturday night, I remember quite clearly what we considered in style there. Yes high heels and short dresses. And that didn’t mean way above the knees, just above them.

Scriptures clearly tells us we are not to be viewed (seen) as a worldling. We are to be different.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:9)

Of all the shoes in the women’s world, I can think of no other that resembles the worldly fashion. We see executive women with them, we see professional women with them, we see teachers with them, we see night club gals with them. They are THE WORLD FASHION, the “in” thing to wear.

Let’s look at the history of them.

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Men were the first sex to don the shoe. They were adopted by the European aristocracy of the 1600s as a signal of status.  The logic was: only someone who didn’t have to work could possibly go around in such impractical footwear.  (Interestingly, this was the same logic that encouraged footbinding in China.)

Women started wearing heels as a way of trying to appropriate masculine power.  In the BBC article on the topic, Elizabeth Semmelhack, who curates a shoe museum, explains:

In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits…

They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel — it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.

The lower classes also began to wear high heels, as fashions typically filter down from elite.

How did the elite respond to imitation from “lesser” people: women and workers?  First, the heels worn by the elite became increasingly high in order to maintain upper class distinction.  And, second, heels were differentiated into two types: fat and skinny. Fat heels were for men, skinny for women.

This is a beautiful illustration of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of class distinction.  Bourdieu argued that aesthetic choices function as markers of class difference.  Accordingly, the elite will take action to present themselves differently than non-elites, choosing different clothing, food, decor, etc.  Expensive prices help keep certain things the province of elites, allowing them to signify their power; but imitation is inevitable.  Once something no longer effectively differentiates the rich from the rest, the rich will drop it.  This, I argue elsewhere, is why some people care about counterfeit purses (because it’s not about the quality, it’s about the distinction).

Eventually men quit wearing heels because their association with women tainted their power as a status symbol for men.  (This, by the way, is exactly what happened withcheerleading, originally exclusively for men).  With the Enlightenment, which emphasized rationality (i.e., practical footwear), everyone quit wearing high heels.

What brought heels back for women? Pornography.  Mid-nineteenth century pornographers began posing female nudes in high heels, and the rest is history. (Lisa Wade is a professor at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions.)

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The above article is typical of the reports on these shoes. Now, I ask you, do you see Christ in this? Do you see modesty in this? Or do you see prestige, self glory and worldly style? Disturbingly these shoes have a solid history associated with prostitution! What is a converted Christ loving woman doing wearing such things? Just like my trash can experience, all gals reading this should seriously consider pulling that trash can out as well. Believe me you’ll be very much blessed.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ” (Matt. 6:20)

Ok back to our sister L. I had observed her as a young lady striving to walk the walk. She gave a really good sermon about 3 months ago and I figured she would be the one to get some CD’s and DVD’s of the Lord last message to us–the Elijah message. So about 6 weeks ago during lunch I handed her some present truth along with a blog post on dressing for God in His sanctuary.

She seemed pleased to receive them. The reason I chose her was because she seemed as one of the young leaders of the church. Some other young gals were really dressing badly with the club outfits on. So I gently told her that she could review these reports and maybe discus with her friends. She happily agreed.

Over the course of the next few weeks she seemed to have a influence on some of them. Not a great big difference but I did see some improvement. Then this last week,   a typical night club goer would have definitely kept their eyes on sister L that’s for sure! So here we stand. I have prayed to the Lord and supped with Him on this and this is the reason for this post, to warn of this immodest behavior in God’s house.

Some may ask–“What about a moderate heel”? Again the word modesty comes into play. Take a look at this look and see if we can see modesty? From a personal view I see modesty and presentable dress before the Lord.

low heeled shoes

Another factor that comes into serious concern is that of a woman’s health. There are many many health reports showing some short term and long term physical damage done by wearing high heels. SOP gives us God’s word as well-

“I beg of our people to walk carefully and circumspectly before God. Follow the customs in dress so far as they conform to health principles.” (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p.242)

For a good report on the physical ramification of wearing high heels click here- https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/09/09/do-high-heels-damage-your-feet/

To sum up,  our sisters should ask this one question– “Does my dress appear modest or worldly before the Lord?”  One thing is certain the high heels have a long and sure history of not only being “worldly” but a standard footwear for the prostitutes. And believe me Christ knows this and we should as well!

My beloved, all we can do is warn, we cannot by compulsion make them do what they do not want to do. Jesus warned the wrong doers but He never haggled them or pressured them. We simply do our job and let the results be what may.

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezek. 3:18.

As we posted recently, we as Seventh-day Adventists are to “strive with all power God has given us to be among the 144,000” and to be among the Lord’s remnant people prepared to give the very soon to come Loud Cry. To be sure, all that are found unconverted will not stand in the church judgment. 

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (Romans 12:1)

“In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity.” (Testimonies, Vol. 6, p.96)

Lastly, the Chinese have an old saying, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Why don’t you young ladies who are reading this report take that same trash can idea that I did and get a truly God felt blessing that really lasts?  You may very well find that the all-seeing Lord gives you much more than you give up!

 

 

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)

Parents and their Solemn Responsibility

September 26, 2015

little children

“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 19:13-14)

“And whoever shall cause to stumble one of these of the little ones believing in Me, it is better for him that a heavy millstone should be hung around his neck, and he be sunk in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:16)

How precious are the children to the Lord. Yet few parents realize what awesome and solemn responsibility they have concerning their little ones and their eternal life! Let us look at what the word of God says about this very important subject.

What brought about this post this week is an experience I had a few weeks ago in church. As we know from learning the message of the Lord, abominations in God’s house should affect us. We can never take the “winking” attitude when we see them in our midst.

The Spirit of Prophecy warns us–

“He shows us that when His people are found in sin they should at once take decided measures to put that sin from them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

So about a month ago, during the time in service where the money bag is passed around by the elders and deacons, little children take their little basket and pass it around for collections. This in itself is a serious wrong to the Lord, but we have dealt with that issue many times already.

One little girl (about 7 or 8) came up to me as I sat in the pews and handed me the basket, I politely handed it back to her. But I noticed her fingernails were painted red, just as the worldly heathen women love to do. I was led to say something to her a short bit later. As she walked by me again, I reached over and motioned to her to come to me.

I began, ” you know young lady, see these fingernails?” She nodded. I continued, “In God’s house He wants His children to come to Him with their hands clean and not with polish, is that ok with you?”  She nodded again and went her way. I made sure to be soft and gentle in my remarks.

The next week I saw her passing the basket again and her nails were clean. As she came near me, I whispered, “God is happy.” And we both had a smile.

But that got me thinking–where are the parents?? Clearly someone was not doing their rightful duty. It was left to me, a stranger more or less, to do what was not done by the parents.

Anyway, a couple Sabbaths ago, the nice young girl had her friend with her and  they both were doing the basket routine. I then notice her friend was painted up just as the other girl had been before. I did the same polite warning to her little friend. But this girl definitely seemed not so agreeable to what I had to say. She didn’t say it but her face sure did.

Apparently the two later discussed what I had told them because I was to witness a charming thing the next Sabbath. Again while during the basket passing, the original girl came up to me and then motioned for her friend to come also. The little friend showed me her nails and had a big smile. The first girl was smiling too. We all felt a warm feeling inside and I gave them a big smile and said with my thumbs ups “Way to go girls!” They left knowing that they had pleased God because of what they had learned.

All we need to do as leaders and parents is bring the young ones up right and God will take it from there. His word says–

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”(Proverbs 22:6)

This is just a small example of a very LARGE problem in our church. How important is this issue. The older teens fall into Satan’s snare so easy, especially in dress. The parents can  guide them with this simple counsel–

If you are asked to appear at the White House to meet the president of the United States, how would you dress? Would the men dress with a casual or sloppy apparel? Of course not , they’d be dressed in a clean suit and shoes polished.

Would the young ladies dress in a low-cut dress or mini-skirt with high heels? Or would they dress well-kept, neat and modest?

How much more important then, is it to us,  as we are going every Sabbath to meet the King of the Universe. Remember He is in our midst and is watching. Is He not worth our best efforts with clean modest apparel?

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” (1 Tim. 2:9)

Let us read what the Lord’s last message says that will impact every parent who has young ones —

“As to the salvation of infants and children whose parents are saved, the Spirit of Prophecy says:

  “Angels ‘gather together the elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.’ Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the city of God.”-The Great Controversy, p. 645.

  “So was the faith of this woman rewarded. Christ, the great Life-giver, restored her son to her. In like manner will His faithful ones be rewarded when, at His coming, death loses its sting, and the grave is robbed of the victory it has claimed.

Then will He restore to His servants the children that have been taken from them by death. ‘Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded,…and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.’”—Prophets and Kings, p. 239.

  And as to the salvation of children whose parents are lost, the Lord commands: “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark, and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezek. 9:6.

  “And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they stoned them with stones.” Josh. 7:24, 25.

  From these inspired passages, we see that infants and children are saved only because of the faithfulness of their parents. What a solemn, wonderful, and dreadful responsibility!” (Answerer, vol.3, Q-69)

Parents are the ones who must guide their children right. Unfortunately little or no sermons are given to address topics such as this in our SDA church. Again SOP counsels us–

“When God was about to smite the first-born of Egypt, He commanded the Israelites to gather their children from among the Egyptians into their own dwellings and strike their door posts with blood, that the destroying angel might see it and pass over their homes. It was the work of parents to gather in their children. This is your work, this is my work, and the work of every mother who believes the truth.

The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young.  God is not pleased with our inattention and trifling with His blessings placed within our reach. Neither is He pleased to have us place our children in worldly society, because this best suits their tastes and inclinations. If the souls of your children are saved, you must do your work. ” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.505-506)

“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.”(Isaiah 4:3-4)

In closing, parents must take control in these last hours of our probation.Let them lead the children in the right way, in God’s way. Their eternal life depends on it!

“There has been altogether too little attention paid to our children and youth, and they have failed to develop as they should in the Christian life, because the church members have not looked upon them with tenderness and sympathy, desiring that they might be advanced in the divine life.” (Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, p.41)

The Collection Box

May 23, 2015

Modern Tithe box     Tithe collection box  OT collection box

 

Dating back to the time of Kings (about 550 BC) the Lord’s people had a specific way of collecting their Tithes. Let us look at this ancient custom that continued up to at least  Jesus’ time, and was changed centuries later by the Roman custom of plate/bag passing which now permeates in almost all churches, including the SDA church.

2 Kings 12:9

Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the LORD. And the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 24:8-11

And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD. And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the LORD the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness. This pleased all the leaders and the people, and they gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it.  

Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king’s office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.

Here we see that the Lord’s people established a method of collection. The success of it speaks for itself. We notice that the people obviously enjoyed doing their duty as faithful servants of the Lord’s cause.

But what about today? What are we really doing in regard to collecting His Tithes and offerings? Sadly, it has become anything but a success for many of our churches! Let me give you a personal recent example.

Recently our church held a business meeting to discuss, among other things, our financial situation. I was saddened to hear our pastor speak about our “way below” financial status. I recalled how  The Lord’s word said —

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.”(Deut. 28:1-3)

That day Moses, at God’s instruction, gave the people proper counsel on Tithes. So I thought to myself–Not good about our own church. We are doing something wrong, because the Lord is not blessing. But what is it? I went home and prayed and supped with the Lord and thought about it.

You see, there is a”our way” and there is the “Lord’s way”. When we as presumptuous human beings, under the cover of presumed righteousness, go about doing something that is in contradiction to the Lord’s way, we cannot expect His blessings–simple as that. So I went about searching what we were doing wrong, and causing the withholding of God’s blessings for us in our financial health for the church.

The answers were plain and clear. We were doing predominantly two major things that were not in alignment with God’s method based on His history with Tithes.

First, we are “passing the bag” around in His holy sanctuary. This is certainly not considered “freewill” offerings. This is more of compulsory offerings. When a bag is put in your lap and you are made to divvy up lest you be ashamed and looked upon as a selfish non-giver, this cannot be considered freewill in the true Biblical sense. The Elijah message explains.

We can now for sure take hold of God’s promises and make them our own.  What a privilege and what an opportunity is now ours! Look and see what a difference there is between God’s method for supporting His work, and the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not!  As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.(Jezreel Letter, no.9, p.7-8)

Speaking of freewill offerings, the Scriptures have about 15 references advocating freewill offerings. For example- Numbers 29:39, Deuteronomy 12:5-6, Ezekiel 46:11-12 to name a few.

“Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord GOD. (Amos 4:5)

Second, as shown in our top quotes, the Lord did indeed bless the use of the Collection box method. This way the people came prepared , and before service they could deposit their freewill offerings as they had saved up for the Lord’s cause. Individually, each could be guided by the Lord to discreetly make their Tithe and offerings, without embarrassment or scrutiny.

Another example that is one of the strongest reasons why we should do the Collection Box method is the following in which the Lord Himself watched and approved.

Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And He called unto Him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:41-44)

From the website “Bible History Online” we found an excellent description of the temple courts and location of the collection boxes.

The Jerusalem Temple

Small Widows Mite Coin   “If you were to approach the Temple in Jerusalem in the first century A.D. you would    pass through the eastern gate where Jesus made His triumphal entry. Then you would  come to the Court of the Gentiles which was a large court paved with stones of various  colors. It was open to all comers including the cattle-dealers and the money-changers  who desecrated the Temple.

This court was also called the Outer Court, the Lower Court, and the rabbi’s usually called it “the Mountain of the Lord’s House.” All around the Temple proper was a 9 foot high terrace with stairs which was higher than the Court of the Gentiles. It was surrounded by a 5 foot high wall which was designed to keep out the gentiles. There was also pillars in the wall at various distances (the Soreg) with inscriptions in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, warning all gentiles to come no further under penalty of death.

Going beyond the Court of the Gentiles and at the top of the terrace there was a platform for about 15 feet and then there was another wall. On the east side stood the magnificent 60 foot wide “Gate Beautiful” mentioned in Acts 3:2,10. It was also referred to as the “Gate Susan” because it contained a beautifully sculptured relief of the city of Susa. During the time of the morning and evening sacrifices this great entrance was the place of public worship.

Entering through the Susan Gate you would come to a large court called “the Court of the Women” not because there were only women there but because women could not go beyond it. There were smaller courts with columns in the four corners of the court.

According to the Mishnah (Middoth 2,5) the Women’s Court was just over 200 feet square between bounding lines. Each court on the outside was 60 feet square.

In front of these columns were the eleven treasure chests of the Temple for the voluntary offerings of money, and there were also two at the Gate of Susan, for the half-shekel tax. Jesus was sitting ‘opposite the treasury’ when he saw the widow put into one of the containers the two copper coins which were all that she had (Mark 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-2).”

Aside from the powerful lesson our Lord gives concerning the old lady giving her all, we see Him approve of this method of Tithe giving. What more evidence do we need?  The Scriptures are so deep with many lessons, including those apart from the obvious ones.

It is also important to note that  SOP declares that the “treasure chests” were not in the sanctuary but rather in the temple courts.

Jesus was in the court where were the treasure chests, and he watched those who came to deposit their gifts.” (DA, p.614)

Clearly the collection box should not be within the sanctuary, but rather in the foyer or right at the entrance to the sanctuary.

Some may ask–What did SOP have to say about this matter? In one of her last published comments about this situation she answered the following question.

Question – Should we take up Collections on the Sabbath?

“The question has been brought before me, Shall we take up collections on the Sabbath? The occurrence which brought up this question was that of taking up a collection to purchase an organ for the church. I replied that I would not advise this being done.

When collections are taken on the Sabbath for foreign missionary work, it is that the gospel may be given to those who are in darkness. This is genuine missionary work, and often these collections could not be taken up so fully at any other time. To gather these offerings could not be called transgression of the Sabbath.

But if this is to open that way for taking up of contributions for such purposes as buying of instruments of music, then I would advise that it be discontinued… Let our people avoid the passing of the contribution boxes, even if it becomes a much more difficult matter than it now is to raise money for foreign missionary work.

It would be well if our brethren and sisters would consider the advisability of laying by during the week their offerings for missionary work. As they call to mind the blessings and mercies that god is affording them, let them put a thank offering in an envelope. These envelopes could be presented on the Sabbath, when it could be stated for what purpose they are intended…

The sacredness of the Sabbath could be in no way violated by such gifts, and the results would be for good… My brethren and sisters, try this method. Let there be no collections taken on the Sabbath, but let praise and thank offerings be made.”—(EGW Manuscript 176, 1907)

I believe this method is so right and good before the Lord , we can see some success examples even from the “Babylon” churches. The Christian Science Monitor stated the following in one of its articles, called “Some churches stop passing the collection plates”.http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0823/p03s01-ussc.html

“At New England Chapel in suburban Franklin, Mass., five years of warehouse worship without passing the plate has produced a $300,000 budget, a weekly attendance of 500 and a confidence in the Rev. Chris Mitchell that passing the plate would produce less revenue.” (August 23, 2002)

So we can see that the Lord blesses when we obey and do the right thing, even our Tithes and offerings. But if we blindly do our own way, following tradition for the sake of tradition, we cannot expect to joyfully praise the Lord for pouring out His rich and wonderful blessings upon us.

Granted, the actual collection process is just one of the problems with today’s Tithing. One of the predominant issues is that of “present truth”. We see much truth in regards to Tithes,  from the Lord’s instruction in Malachi chapter 3.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”(Mal.3:10)

From this we see that the storehouse holds the Lord’s “meat”. In other words, the Lord’s present truth. SOP confirms–

“There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is “present truth” that the flock needs now.” (Early Writings, p.63)

As we have shown time and again through our posts here, the Lord’s Elijah message is “our” present truth, our message for today. But sadly , Satan and his angels have largely convinced the SDA leadership that this message is not needed, rather a “lukewarm fuzzy all is well in God’s house”  message is the standard message given from God’s house today.

But if we can take first steps such as starting with the collection process, this will lead to more advanced steps. Soon by God’s power, blessings will come and we shall want to do more right acts in God’s house. But we must change things and at once!  The Lord is approaching the door to His temples around the world.

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.” (Mal 3:1)

We find a very clear reference from the Elijah message addressing the ones (Elders) who largely partake in our current backwards way of collections –

“The Bible does not teach or recommend even a plate collection (a custom which Rome originated) in Sabbath services, much less merchandising in the presence of God.  All the Bible recommends is a container for free will offering placed somewhere in the church premises…Since the Bible does not teach any plate gatherings, but only freewill offerings (and not for your own use either), then by high pressuring the laity with your speeches, your pleas, and plate-passing all in the name of Christ, you make Him an extortioner of the worst kind.” (Jezreel Letter, no. 3, p.1-2)

In closing we know that only those who are found “sighing and crying” for the abominations done in the church will receive the seal in their forehead , and remain standing in the upcoming church judgment. And the proper Tithing, including the collection process DOES MATTER TO THE LORD.

“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 cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267)


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