Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

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”.

“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)

“Little Things Mean A Lot”

January 24, 2015

head covering -4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Question No. 119:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


September 6, 2014

corrections key

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of God’s greatest correctors was Elijah prophet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Right Way and One Door

March 1, 2014

Heaven's Door

As there is but one right Way and but one Door, and as all Christians do not see alike and do not walk together, could it be that we are all wrong? all going in a wrong direction? — No, that could never be as long as the Lord does not forsake the earth. Indeed not, for He must have a people in whom to confide His Truth and by whom to save those who choose to go His way.

So, those who choose to go some other way will in the end discover that the Devil, not the Lord, is behind them, and that hell, not the Kingdom, is ahead of them.

We should do well to discuss for a few minutes the qualifications which a shepherd must have in order to pass the porter’s inspection. I may use a few illustrations, perhaps only two or three.

You remember that there was a child by the name Samuel who early in life came to walk in “the Way,” and therein he was trained. Now think on what happened: One night Samuel, you recall, was suddenly awakened by a Voice. Supposing it to be the voice of Eli, he quickly jumped up from bed and went to inquire of Eli. Of course Eli was surprised, but he calmly said, “I did not call you. Go back to bed.” Since there was no other person but Eli around. Samuel was certain that the elderly man had called him. Nevertheless he obeyed and straightway went back to bed.

Before long, though, perhaps as soon as Samuel had fallen asleep again, the Voice called the second time. You know that Samuel could easily have then said to himself, “That old man must be dreaming. Here he is calling me again. But I won’t be bothered with him any more; I’ll just let him holler all he can.”

Samuel, nevertheless, as quickly as before hurried to his master’s bed, only again to hear the words, “Go back to bed, I did not call you!” Still a third time he heard someone calling, and just as willingly and as respectfully as before, he went to his master’s bedside the third time! Eli finally perceiving that the Lord must have been calling the child, therefore instructed Samuel what to do. And what did Samuel do? — Exactly as he was told.

Had Samuel not been as willing, as respectful, and patient as he was, do you think he would ever have come to hold the highest office in the land? — Of course not. There was nothing else but the saintly qualifications of character which Samuel demonstrated that night that promoted him to the office of prophet, priest, and judge.

Do we still wonder why Samuel was called out of bed three times in succession and why he and Eli were disturbed in the night? — For two reasons: (1) To prove that regardless of the inconvenience, Samuel would not hesitate to arise when called, and that he would not become angry, that he would not “sass” Eli. (2) The Lord wanted to help Eli; He wanted to prevent the possibility of Eli’s concluding that Samuel was getting out of place and questioning his ability to discipline his own sons.

Had Eli not been given the opportunity to know for certain that the Lord talked to the child, he then could have easily concluded that Samuel was conniving against the sons of Eli. But providential circumstances being as they were, Eli certainly knew without doubt that God had a message for him. There was no room for doubt.

Boys today, as in times past, are anxious to get somewhere in life, yet millions of them fail to reach their goal and many ruin their lives. They want to become great men, but they fail to even make middle men. And the reason? — It is simply because they overestimate their own powers, and underestimate God’s power. They know not that with God there is no failure, and that with Him “they can get places.”

You boys and girls lend yourselves unreservedly to God. He needs great men, and He can make you such. When you learn God’s way and become a responsible boy or girl as did Samuel, God will not overlook your zeal, integrity, and sincerity. He will give you something great for your reward. Yes, you will then indeed be great.

Ancient David also was a young boy and nothing more than a common shepherd. But he was a good shepherd, the best in the land. God saw that he was mindful of and faithful to his duties, and so He determined to make the boy a king over His people. Indeed, when a person does one thing well, it is likely that he will do another thing just as well. David was as good in his duties as was Samuel in his. That is why he was lifted from the sheepfold and placed in the palace.

I am thinking of another boy, a young boy in his teens — Joseph. The Lord saw something in him that He could not find in Joseph’s brothers. Not only was he his father’s favorite son, but he was God’s favorite, too. God had in mind something great for Joseph– greater than the world could ever think of. To prove himself trust-worthy Joseph had to first become a slave. He had to be trained for the big job.

So the way Providence worked, it was that his brothers sold him to be a slave. Just then he recalled what the Lord had promised him in a dream — that besides his brothers, even his father and mother were to bow down to him. Can you imagine what a splendid opportunity was his to curse God when he saw himself on the way to slavery?

He might have said, “Why should I serve a God that promises glory but instead gives humiliation, hardship and isolation?” But Joseph did as wisely as Job: By sanctifying God in his heart, he in effect said, “Though He slay me, yet in Him will I trust.”

Joseph quickly reconciled himself to his situation, confident that his father’s God knew all about his troubles. Thus his slave masters, the Ishmaelites, immediately recognized that they were in possession of a fine slave, a slave that they could sell for a good piece of money.

How do I know this? — I know it because the Ishmaelites took him straightway to a man who would buy nothing but the best, to the richest man in Egypt, to one that could pay the price. Rich men, you know, do not buy cheap things, neither do salesmen take cheap things to them.

Even while in grief, Joseph must have demonstrated his ability to serve, and must have shown great respect to his slavemasters while on the way to Egypt, because then it was that the peddlers found out the worth of their captive, and then realized that they could sell him to someone who wanted something good and that could pay the price. Potiphar, too, soon found out that Joseph was in all respects trustworthy.

Thus it was that he became Potiphar’s number 1 man. Even Mrs. Potiphar fell for him. It was at this juncture, you recall, that he came to the climax of his graduation test. Passing the greatest test of his life, he graduated from the house of Potiphar, then from the prison house, whereupon he was promoted to Egypt’s throne, the world’s greatest.

In promotion or in demotion Joseph gave God the glory and did his honest best. At every thing he was put to, he was second to none, and thus he became the greatest among all earthly living.

As to the real secret of his success you will find in one simple principle — firmness against temptation to sin, and faithfulness to duty: “Ah! I cannot do this wicked thing. I shall sin neither against men nor against God,” was his answer to temptation.

This is why Joseph was great in his father’s house, in the hands of the Ishmaelites, in the house of Potiphar, in the prison cell, on the throne of Pharaoh, and in all the world. This is why all the ancient world bowed down to him.

From these biographical facts is seen that the simple principles which brought success to Samuel, to David and to Joseph, can doubtless bring success to all of us. And remember that success begins right wherever you happen to be, whether in the temple courts, in the sheepfold, in the yard of a slave master, in the prison house, or in the king’s palace — makes no difference where.

You need not run to catch success, but you do need to bend down and pick it up. Yes, indeed, success drops from the sky, but to pick it up you must bend down very low. This you must do if you wish to really succeed in anything.

Right now the Lord is advertising for at least 144,000 life-savers, with headquarters on famous Mt. Zion — a greater post than was held by Joseph. Will you be one of them? There are greater opportunities today than ever before. Why not venture into something in which there is no chance-taking? Anyone can succeed if he is willing to pay the price.

The above post was from a sermon given on August 10th, 1946 by Victor T. Houteff. (Timely Greetings, vol.1 ,no. 2, p.21-26) For the full sermon click here

A Sabbath Study

September 28, 2013

This week we’d like to review some important aspects of Sabbath keeping. We are all aware as Seventh Day Adventists that we are the people of God today who profess to strictly honor Him on His day. But unfortunately we have steadily retreated towards Egypt in this regard. We have become, in many cases a poor example of proper Sabbath observance. Let us look at some areas we have gone off track and how we can get back on the straight and narrow in regards to Sabbath keeping.

In (Amos 8:5) we read“..When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?…”—

What do we find in the above?  We see a few truths worth noting. Aside from the fact that it deals with dishonest tradesmen, we notice a subtle underlying  truth in regards to the Sabbath.  The Lord is upset and will spare no longer. He’s had enough. He tells us, “The end has come upon My people Israel…”(Amos 8:1) Then He describes who He’s addressing, “Hear this, you who swallow up the needy and make the poor of the land fail, saying…”(Amos 8:4).

Then we see the above highlighted verses. They are describing those who are of the worldly mindset and are going through the motions of Sabbath keeping. Notice they are thinking of how soon the Sabbath will be over. So that they can get back to being deceitful and dishonest “sell the bad wheat”. Although they surely aren’t aware that what they do is bad. Their thinking is obviously “we have fulfilled our duty, hurry up let’s be done with it.” They are the going through the motions–Sabbath keepers.

So God’s word through Amos show us that He is watching our motives for Sabbath keeping. Are we enjoying the day, keeping it holy? Or are we going through the motions, secretly looking forward to it ending so that we can go on with our lifestyle? What we can learn here is that Sabbath is a time for the Lord and the Lord only. All other things, including our motives, must be devoted to Him, lest He search us out and find us naked in this regard. “”I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the LORD will do nothing to them, either good or bad.” (Zeph. 1:12)

What are some of the ways we can check ourselves to see if our motives are wrong?

1) Checking the clock frequently during Sabbath

2) Devoting time to non-Sabbath activities such as internet searching for worldly things (also with handhelds). If we are to use electronic devices on the Sabbath, let it be for God’s glory, not our own desires. Reading the Scriptures, studying a report of God’s prophecies and such are what we can use these devices for on Sabbath.

3) Engaging in worldly conversation throughout the Sabbath (politics, business, social issues, etc.)

4) Doing any “work” even “religious work” that we should not be doing on the Sabbath , that can and should be done on the regular “work days”.

Concerning number 4, brother Houteff explains, ”

 “As a people we have forgotten the true meaning of Sabbath keeping.  We have come to suppose that anything which pertains more or less to religion is permissible on God’s holy day.  It is said, It is the Lord’s work.  But God has never said anywhere in the Scriptures that His people are at liberty to do all manners of work (that pertain to religion) on the Sabbath day. 

Work which can be done on a day other than the Sabbath is not a work for the Sabbath.  “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: In it thou shalt not do any work.”

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

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

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

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

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

Next we find another prevalent concern today–buying and selling on the Sabbath.This is  really a big problem within our church. I remember when I first came into the church, the old timers (members of experience) asked me if I would like to join them for lunch at the local restaurant after Sabbath services. Being new to Sabbath keeping I said “sure, why not.”

As I progressed in the walk, I found out that buying and selling was strictly forbid. Nehemiah’s admonish is the word of God that the Lord guided me to.

“In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.  People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah.

I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day?  Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”

When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.  Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem.

But I warned them and said, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you.” From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy.”(Nehemiah 13:15-22)

Wow! Now if we don’t get the point from the above verses we shall never understand much of anything pertaining to the Sabbath ways of the Lord! Again, it is clearly shown by God’s inspired Scriptures that buying and selling is a no-no on the Sabbath. And yes that would include things like buying gas to get to church! There is a reason they call Friday–preparation day. We foresee and prepare for Sabbath in advance.

Then we have the solemn case of the man who wanted to pick up sticks on the Sabbath. Sounds harmless and innocent right? Let’s see how this is the example of how serious our Lord takes the Sabbath and it’s observance.

(Number 15:32-37) -” While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day.  Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.  Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.”  So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Solemn is an understatement. This shows us that the Sabbath is not to be carelessly observed. In other words, if the Lord did this to this man, can we expect Him to clear us of things much worse? “For I am the Lord, I do not change..” (Malachi 3:6). If we are tempted to stop at the market, or by gas, or watch worldly TV on Sabbath, can we expect the Lord to say “Looks like  I made a mistake in ordering the stoning of that man because I forgive you for this.”? Of course not.

Yes, the Lord will forgive us if we mess up once in a while but once we know the light on His truth we are expected to obey Him in this regard. But if we do, we repent and turn from it. In explaining how the Lord deals with sin, including Sabbath sins, Ellen White explains–

“In all His dealings with His creatures God has maintained the principles of righteousness by revealing sin in its true character—by demonstrating that its sure result is misery and death. The unconditional pardon of sin never has been, and never will be. Such pardon would show the abandonment of the principles of righteousness, which are the very foundation of the government of God. It would fill the unfallen universe with consternation. God has faithfully pointed out the results of sin, and if these warnings were not true, how could we be sure that His promises would be fulfilled?” (God’s Amazing Grace, p. 73).

So we should learn from the above that should we carelessly observe His Sabbath, and then compound it by not asking for forgiveness and also  not turning away from it, we are in effect asking the Lord to give us an “unconditional pardon”! Woe unto us this thought!

I have often pointed out this simple and straight testimony. When God created us , He gave us 7 days in each week. Is it unreasonable to give back just one of those days strictly devoted to Him?  Unfortunately the vast mankind of the earth thinks it is! They want to claim it all.

God’s history with His people has many times centered around this one area –poor Sabbath keeping. We can read clear admonishments in this regard in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

“Thus says the LORD: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.”  (Jer. 17:21-22)

“You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths.” (Ezek.22:8)

In closing let us look at the beautiful Sabbath promise of our Lord.

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.(Isaiah 58:13-14)

Biblical Submission

February 9, 2013

One of the biggest traps we as Christians can get into, is to ignore or sidestep clear unambiguous words and meanings of Scripture. Ellen White explains “The language of the Bible should be explained according to it’s obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed” (Great Controversy, p.598).  Additionally brother Houteff says the same thing, “Hold not to what fabricated ideas seem to make Scripture say, but grip tenaciously to what the word, in simplicity, plainly says” (Tract 10, p.13).

We needed to lay that foundation first because this topic is somewhat controversial and therefore we must hold “tenaciously” to the obvious meaning and not use any of the often used sidestep explanations to throw out the plain obvious meanings.

It is obvious that today we live in totally different customs than was in place back in  the early Christian days. Today we have seen an ever evolving change among the relationship between man and wife. With the main stream media, via TV, internet, radio, and written literature, we can see a tidal wave of “liberal” ideas put forth for the family unit.

While I am not a anti-womens liber, I do refer always to the hand book of life–the Bible. And as I have mentioned many times during our “posting career”, the Lord strictly guides me and certain subjects appear in my walk that leads me to discuss it. Recently the issue of the man-woman relationship has risen before me and therefore I would like to point out some clear Biblical understandings in these matters.

In Ephesians 5:22 we read, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.”  Obviously we know that to many women today, especially the women libers, these are inflammatory words. Yet of course to those, the Lord’s word generally doesn’t ring true on many aspects of their lives that –they don’t like.

The dictionary defines the word submit as follows -“To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.” As we are well aware we must always read the Bible verses in context.  After reading the above quote, our brother apostle Paul explains the order in which man and woman are to be established in a relationship. “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.” (Eph.5:23-24)

So we see that this “order” is to be firmly established in the man being the leader of the relationship. And who said this order? Our all-knowing Lord. The one who understands how everything works. Today the divorce rate is truly astronomical. In the well researched book, “Marriage, Families, and intimate relationships” the statement is made —

“Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago… between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. The probability within… the first five years is 20%, and the probability of its ending within the first 10 years is 33%… Perhaps 25% of children ages 16 and under live with a stepparent.”
—Brian K. Williams, Stacy C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships, 2005 

Wow! 40 to 60 % new marriages will end in divorce! After reading this, let’s see what our Lord thinks about it. “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,says the LORD of hosts.” (Mal.2:16)

Could the fact that our divorce rate is so high be that we haven’t listened and obeyed the word of the Lord? Absolutely. Now I am not saying that the reason for such a high divorce rate is all the woman’s fault, because we learn in Paul’s writings that the man has a big responsiblity as well. He’s to love and respect His wife. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Eph 5:25)

So we see that as “head” of the relationship, the man has to establish a household of “love”. In fact this love is to be truly strong as we read, “ His own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph5:33) Also we notice, again, the wife’s responsiblity to “respect” her husband.

So clearly, any breakdown of these responsibilities, can hurt the relationship. But as we have learned, there is a rightful process to all this and it’s to follow our Lord’s counsel–The man is to lead and have the authority. Does that mean women have no say or can’t have their desires and wishes met? Of course not, but if the man deems something important that should be done, and the wife disagrees, the man’s will should take precedent. This, I’m afraid,  is why the divorce rate is so high–the chain of authority is broken!

Again, we read in (1 Cor.11:3) that the Lord has established delegation of authority. “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” In this liberal world it’s very easy to fall trap to the devil’s ploy. They have to a large degree tricked the women into thinking ,”You have just as much authority in your marriage as the man!” And even more sadly, more than a few men, drop down from this authority and willfully submit to the woman!

Think of this relationship as a circle. The man starts it by requesting something and the wife obeys. Then the  man is very happy and respects his wife, and wants to “love” her even more. And she feels this strong love and gives it back to the husband. A perfect chain of love and unity before the Lord. True Biblical submission leads to true love!

Our customs, as we mentioned, are quite different today as they were back in the early Christian days, but has  men and women’s relationship to God changed? No. Likewise the relationship of man and wife hasn’t changed either, from the Lord’s point of view(His word).

Has our Lord usurped God the Father’s authority? Have we men quit acknowledging that Christ is our authority? Then the final layer of that authority chain must be kept as well–woman looking  to man for his leadership and authority.

Recently I’ve had to call it quits in a personal relationship, to a woman who was my fiance. It was tough to do but I came to the realization that I could not be the authority of the household. The arguments, the interruptions, the ignoring of my requests, all got too much to handle. I could see unfortunately, that should I go ahead and marry, the Lord’s chain of order and authority would not be there and struggles would frequently occur.

Let us always refer back to our Lord’s word for advice. His words are so plain in regards to the man-woman relationship. If we obey them we will be blessed, if we ignore them, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Let’s close with a brother Houteff quote, ” There could be nothing more pleasing to God than for one of His children to ask in sincerity the way of the truth; therefore, such a one shall not be left in darkness, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7) (Shepherd’s Rod, vol 2, p.90)

May the Lord give us all true wisdom and understanding and understand that true Biblical submission leads to true and eternal love!

A Heavenly Place For You

December 1, 2012

Some of us have made  big sacrifices  in our lives, we have greatly diminished our television watching or cut it out altogether, shunned worldly music listening, eliminated our prior daily cherished carnal sins, and just plain overcome the many snares, with the power of the Holy Spirit. But sometimes we get the urge to once again return to the “vomit”. “As a dog returnth to it’s vomit, so a fool returnth to his folly (Proverbs 26:11). But let’s keep a cheerful heart and remain steadfast in our walk for “great” is our reward(Matt.5:12).

Our Lord says in (John 14:2) ” In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” It is quite fitting that for the much of  His time spent on this earth, our Lord was a creator and builder(carpenter). We can only imagine the people in awe and wonderment as they beheld the fine craftsmanship that He showed in His work. His careful eye measuring exactly on each detail.

With no less perfection we can trust that He has built for each of us,  a place that will fit us in comfort and style and bliss. I mean even the street  will be breath-taking, as we step upon it, seeing gold as shiny as glass. “The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass” (Rev 21:21).Then how about those gorgeous ripe fruits! One bite and we will melt in joy and refreshment. And drinking the pure life-giving water!

 Before I became a Sabbath keeper, I  had seldom noticed the real beauty of His work. I mean the colorful flowers didn’t stand out to me, the clouds formed were not meaningful, the hummingbird or butterfly was a mere curiosity.  Instead there is now a  loving appreciation or even an understanding of a direct sign given from Him. In short His creation is now indeed –alive.

As I become more and more aware of where I am heading to, it makes me think of the following logic. While on this earth for such a short time , can we truly comprehend that a life here of pleasures and sin, is an equal and balanced trade-off against an eternal bliss with our Lord? Is a moment in time worth throwing away an everlasting  joyful and exciting existence , full of life and beauty? Ponder this carefully, think of the rewards and your future place in heaven. A never  ending existence with One who will forever be our joy.

But let us not deceive ourselves, our Lord has sent His last message to us that requires us to obey Him and follow His last instructions. He is throwing us His life jacket (His Elijah message), will we grab it and hold on? To sum it up, our life must be in compliance with daily obedience of His 10 Commandments, and we must sigh and cry for the abominations we see in our life and that of the church (Ezekiel 9). This is all backed up by Ellen White as well (Testimonies for the Church, Vol 3, p266-267).We must hear His messenger (Elijah) and follow His message sent through Him. As I have said many times, I for one, will not ignore His last messenger, will you?

 We will and do slip occasionally but as Scripture says “A righteous man falls seven times, he rises again..” (Proverbs 24:16). The key is to never stay down, but get up, continue on the straight and narrow.

We are told in (Ezekiel 18:32 ) “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! ”  We have a Lord who loves us greatly and wants us to “come home”, the real home built by Him. Let us determine to do what is required of us and then there will soon come a time when the Lord’s words will be fulfilled  “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come you who are blessed of My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matt.5:34).

In order to gain this great paradise, we are counselled to “lose” our earthly carnal life . “For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever loses His life for Me and the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35).

In closing, once we truly convert and become born again, all things become new(2 Cor. 5:17). We see sin for what it is –a terrible separation from our Lord. We can overcome only when we trust in His word and His/our Helper, the Holy Spirit.

Though you may sacrifice now, may you dwell on what will soon be ” A  Heavenly Place For You”.

A Covenant With Me By Sacrifice

June 23, 2012

Our Lord’s great work of redemption caused to cease the sacrificial atonements of the slayed animals. Upon the cross, the veil was  ripped and from then on,  the “sacrifice” had new meanings, and was  forever changed. This being understood, is there now a new sacrifice, where we as His people are required to make?

Here is our quote, of which we shall base this post on, ” The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall keep not silence: A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness:For God is judge himself. Selah. Hear, O My people, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God (Psalm 50:1-7)

As in so many places in God’s Holy Scriptures, many revealing truths are packed into one paragraph.  Ellen White said the following ” Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p.338) That being the truth, then (Psalms 50:17) has  prophetic truths for us today, right now. So let us with the Spirit of Truth , look into the many applications of these words.

First we notice that our Lord is called mighty, meaning He can and will do all that He says He will do, in His word. Second, we notice “out of Zion” indicating out of His people,  aka. His church comes something beautiful.  Something performed and done by our Lord, “Our God hath shined” and “shall come”.

Next we find what work our Lord will do to obtain the “perfection of beauty”. This indicates  clearly what this event is about. “A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him… that He may judge His people.” Notice clearly He judges HIS people. This indicates a judgment of His church, since no where in the scriptures are the heathen ever referred as “His people”. Otherwise we would find “He may judge the people” or similar words. Let us ever remember our Lord is a precise Lord, never missing on any fine point of clarification. The Spirit of Truth guides us in this.

 As studious Bible students we know that there will soon be the Lord’s judgement upon His people, and it begins in His sanctuary. “For time is come that judgment must begin in the house of God…” (1 Peter 4:17)

This fire is none other than the destroying fire of His judgments upon the church!  We as SDA are well aware that the judgment of the dead began in 1844, we must be  aware that judgment of the living begins among us in the church. The heathen judgement come after us!

Next we find that after this tempestuous judgment (meaning a surprising and shocking execution of His  judgment upon His church) He shall gather His saints to Him, who have made a “sacrifice” to  Him. On the “perfection of beauty”point, it means finally our Lord has His church which is pure. He had to take the reins into His own hands to obtain this, otherwise the co-mingling would have been never ending.

We asked in the beginning of this post if there is a current sacrifice required to be made unto the Lord. The answer is –yes, most definitely. What is that sacrifice?   The answer is–we must forego worldly pleasures! The great and tempting worldly pleasures.

Our Lord said ” For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35) Here we see that our Lord asks us to give up “our life” for him. Meaning our own desires and pleasures (Worldly TV, theatre, worldly music, lusts, passions,love of money, carnal habits(gluttony, tobacco, alcohol), and generally all worldly entrapment). As we begin a converted life, our life becomes a new life for Him. How many today are trying to straddle the two lives? They have one foot in the world and one foot in the Lord’s work. They believe the “smooth things” by the sleeping pastors, that they are safe, even while they continue to sin!

Ellen White says the following ” Your hearts will be where your treasure is. You are situated where there are temptations to be plunging deeper and deeper into the world, to be continually accumulating; and while you are thus engaged, the mind becomes engrosed with the cares of this life to such an extent as to shut out true wonder that we experience so little of the illuminating influence from the heavenly sanctuary. Our desires are not in that direction, they are mostly confined to earthly pursuits, seeking for worldly things, and neglecting the eternal.” (Test.for the Church, Vol. 2, p.183)

Continuing with our reverenced quote,  we see that our Lord asks us,  He pleads–to hear Him! His word is speaking to us, will we hear?  Remember His word is His very essence, His core.  And then sadly, He confesses that He will testify against us. He has no other choice. Most have not converted and kept one foot in the world.

How is it that only 144,000 from His last church can sing a song that only they know?  One of the reasons is because they have overcome the most temptations that have ever fallen upon mankind. Since the beginning of time, there has never been the powerful and tempting worldly desires, as we have today! Every where we look we are tempted. Our friends, our relatives, the TV, the radio, the computer, music,  the shopping malls, the newspapers, everywhere! The devils have pulled out all stops in an effort to distract us, and sadly it has worked for the most part.The world and it’s many interests take our time and devotion.

If we give up these powerful entrapments that engage us to turn them into idols, we shall indeed overcome. This is what our Lord speaks about in (Rev.21:7) “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

So in closing my beloved, let us look upon the final goal, to walk the golden streets and drink of the pure life giving water, and behold our majestic King, His hands, His sacrifice for us. When we realize that our sacrifices really are  investments into life eternal with  our King, and all the rewards He will bestow, it really shouldn’t require much thought. Will we  make the  sacrifice that He asks for?

Peddling the Word of God

June 16, 2012

One of the most striking things I learned in the journey for God’s truth is that God’s word specifically says his “bread” (word) should be free. That the Holy Spirit should move the conviction upon the receiver of His word to “help out”. Let us look at this neglected area of His word.

A while back members of our church and myself got together and raised several hundred dollars to post a large billboard in our town, about the Sabbath being the day of the Lord, not Sunday. Our plan was set, we wanted them to call and when they did we sent out info, such as Sabbath literature and  DVD’s. I contacted a well known SDA ministry to order.

The DVD’s sent are a very powerful tool in explaining why the Sabbath is the Lord’s day and not Sunday. It goes into all the arguments for and effectively counters the arguments against God’s real day of worship- the 7th day. I decided to order many of them. I called their office and spoke to the man in charge.  We discussed the situation and I mentioned I wanted to order quite a few, maybe 100 or more. Thinking that just maybe our billboard would be a divine success.

As we discussed, I figured that this man would appreciate our efforts for proclaiming God’s Holy day on the billboard. Plus I said we would use their own site as reference on the billboard itself. But as we talked it became clear I wasn’t getting much of a break. I sensed that something was amiss. Money was too important to them to budge much and eventually I capitulated and paid a hefty cost for about 50 of them. But this episode made an impression on me.

I sensed that the real concern was the dollars/profit , not spreading God’s truths. Little did I know , later in my walk I would see the obvious clear light on this subject, hence this post would be made some day (now).

In the New Testament, apostle Paul makes clear how some have the wrong motive in spreading God’s word.  ” Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit, on the contrary in Christ we speak before God with sincerity like men sent from God.” (2 Cor. 2:17).

Again we read “freely you have received, freely give”. (Matt. 10:8) Although that quote is spoken of in the context of spiritual gifts, after reading the Cor. quote, we can see it clearly applies to the spreading of the word as well. Can we imagine our great role model, our King, saying to someone who want’s some word’s of wisdom  “Ok, I’ll give you some advice, but that’ll be 20 dollars”? Or the apostle’s saying they want to be paid for spreading the word of God? Absolutely not. Should it be any different today?

So with the clear words of instruction on spreading God’s word, we should then be in a better position to see who is and who is not obeying these word’s of instruction from our Lord. What do we find in almost all of the current church ministries today? A DVD or CD for “only” 21.95 here, or another over there for “only 19.95” , etc. etc. SDA churches are no exception. The holy (word of God) and the common are of no difference.The products  are “marketed” first and foremost, you don’t pay,  most of the time– you don’t get.

This is one area where I was very surprised to learn,  the Lord’s end time messenger’s the DSDA (Davidian Seventh Day Adventists **) —do not charge one cent for literature , DVD’s, or CD’s(scripture and SOP based). They even mail it out for free. Are they hurting? Apparently not. God has and continues to provide. This has been practiced for  several decades by the DSDA.

In Isaiah we read a beautiful worded scripture basically saying the same thing. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread?And your wages for that which does not satisfy. Listen unto me, and eat that which is good, and delight yourself in abundance”.(Isaiah 55: 1-2) Here we see that often when we spend money on  a “peddler” of God’s word, it will many times not  satisfy. Does this mean that if they charge for books or other literature (DVD’s, etc) that it is automatically not spiritually good? Of course not, Ellen White’s books are mostly sold, as an example.

But the greater point is that when you see  God’s servants  trying to give you at no cost literature based on the word of God, then these are being “peddled” exactly how our Lord said to peddle them–free. Obedience to His word can only bring great joy and reward!

The great One who knows how many hairs are on our head, knows how to make sure we have enough compensation to fulfill the spreading of His word.

Just look at the many SDA ministries today, nearly all will charge you.

Let us look at what Brother Houteff (Co-founder, with the Lord,  of the DSDA) had to say on the matter.” If your literature is any good at all, it should not be sold at such high prices, but instead it should be given away free of charge and thus be scattered everywhere as the leaves of autumn. On the contrary though, books that should be sold for $1 per copy you are selling for $2 or $3. If the literature is  given away for free, and if it is convincing, it should bring added multitudes of souls and thus yield more in tithes and offerings than it’s purchase price now brings. Your love of money, though, makes you afraid to take that chance.” ( 3rd Jezreel Letter)

Also we read “Everyone who endeavors to do whatever he or she can, be it little or much, be it part or full time, is now provided with free literature of unlimited amount, with free transportation, be the trip a mile or a thousand miles long, and whatever expenses one may incur by his busying himself in this great and grand work, are all paid by this Layman’s Movement.” ( 4th Jezreel Letter)

To summarize, we see that our Lord really want’s His people to take the “Bread” (His Word) free. Those who follow His instructions on this really do step out in faith and call upon His word, that He will provide. The greatest faith brings the greatest rewards.

(** Not to be confused with “Branch” Davidians, off shoot movement from the original Davidians, started in the early 60’s. They add and subtract from the original writings of brother Houteff)

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