Archive for the ‘Warning our brethren’ Category

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

October 8, 2016

flattery

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

This week we were guided to read the following Inspiration —

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scripture says–

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

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

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

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

 

 

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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.

Is the “Shaking” the Up Coming Sunday Law?

August 13, 2016

Sunday Law

 

One of our standard Seventh-day Adventist teachings is the idea that soon the national Sunday Law will be put in place and this will cause a “shaking” in the church. In other words, the law will cause only the “true and faithful” SDA to stay with the church and keep worshiping on Sabbath. The weak in faith will capitulate and get the mark of the beast and submit to Sunday worship. Is this true, or will there be a completely different kind of shaking? Let us look at God’s word.

With the world spiraling out of control, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together and see that a dramatic change in our world structure is at hand. And this all plays right into the surface studiers of God’s word. Satan has hood winked us as SDA for so long, we naturally don’t stop and take a good hard look at the situation-what really will cause the shaking?

Is Satan in effect going to cause the shaking by leading man to institute the Sunday Law, or will God Himself take control and cause the shaking? God’s final message of Elijah steers us straight with the following counsel —

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up, against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” (“Early Writings,” p. 270.)

   “In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.” (Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 80.)

   Thus, both, the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy explain that He Himself will purify the church, and that when thus purified “the Gentiles shall see” her “righteousness and all kings” her “glory.” Moreover, Christ in the parable explains that it is Satan’s determined purpose to sow the tares among the wheat. (Matt. 13:38.)

   As the “Blue Sunday Law” is to be enacted by Satan’s own will, not by God’s, then such a method to purify the church would not only be contrary to every inspired statement but also to Satan’s determined purpose, for his aim is not to bring the tares and then pluck them out, but rather to choke out the wheat by their continued presence.

Neither is his intention to fulfill the prophecies, for that is what he would be doing if he should enact blue Sunday laws, but rather defeat them. Therefore, if the church is to be purified by Satan’s laws he would be doing the work which God has assigned to His servants and which He is to do Himself.

   Is Satan working for God’s and His church’s interest or against? If against, he will never do one thing to purify the church or to fulfill the prophecy.

   The only thing that would compel him to pass blue Sunday laws and go “to make war with the remnant of her seed” (with those that are left, Rev. 12:17) is the purity of the church when God by the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel Nine takes away the tares which received not the mark, and even then Satan will not enact “blue Sunday laws” until after he has exhausted every other weapon against the church. Therefore, as long as the church remains in her present Laodicean condition, there will be no blue laws or “war” against her, but a bluff only to make her members believe that they are free from his snares and that he is still trying to cause them to fall.

But the worst of it all is in that they are sound asleep, which is shown by the fact that they still think Satan is working terribly hard to fulfill God’s word by trying to pass blue laws and are not aware that he is only playing with them as a cat with a mouse, and the brethren “to whom the Lord has entrusted the spiritual interests of the people” (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 211) instead of sounding the alarm to arouse the church are determined to even silence the voice of the Rod, and thus rocking her to a more sound sleep! (Symbolic Code, vol. 2, no.1, p.9-10)

The shaking is also described in Revelation. The message describes it as follows–

Rev. 11:13. “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted,  and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

   The “hour,” “the earthquake,” the “tenth part,” “the city,” the “seven thousand” slain, and “the remnant” must, to maintain the integrity of the entire trumpet symbolism, themselves be symbolical.

   Climaxing the event symbolized “the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”  None but those who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” can truly fear and give glory to Him.  Accordingly in the present connection the remnant is necessarily figurative of the righteous, “the wheat,” in that part of the city which fell.  This makes the “seven thousand” slain figurative of the unrighteous, “the tares” therein. Hence, the tenth part stands for the Church which is first purified — in which the bad, the tares are separated from the good, the wheat.  Obviously, therefore, the rest of the city is in this instance a representation of the rest of the Christian world — Christendom as a whole.

   Thus the “earthquake” takes place, not throughout Christendom, but throughout the church from which is separated the firstfruits — the 144,000.  And since an earthquake is a shaking then the one in point is figurative of a shaking therein.

   Long ago through the Spirit of Prophecy (Early Writings, 270) the S.D.A. church was forewarned of this shaking.  And now in the present graphic revelation is seen its fatal end — the destruction of all who do not become affrighted and give glory to God.  Figuratively numbering seven thousand, these “slain” in the church comprehend that element which does not sigh and cry for the abominations (Ezek. 9:4),  and which as a consequence fails to receive the mark (Ezek. 9:4), or the seal (Rev. 7:3-8), of God’s approbation. 

All who compose this class are cut off, leaving the remnant who “were affrighted” — those  who have sighed and cried for the abominations, and who have consequently received the mark or the seal, and escaped the slaughter.  These are they who “shall sing for the majesty of the Lord” (Isa. 24:14) — give “glory to the God of heaven.”(Tract 5. 112-114)

The “wheat” is to remain from the shaking. Let us not be fooled any longer and help correct those who ignorantly spread Satan’s trick that the Sunday Law will cause the shaking. This ploy takes our eyes off the ball and like Inspiration says, rocks us “to a more sound sleep.”

“The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.”–(2 Selected Messages  p.380 (1886)

Finished by Electronic Equipment

June 18, 2016

Computer two

In the fast closing hours of our Seventh-day Adventist probation, the Lord has pulled out all stops. And one of the main ways His final message of hope and salvation to us is– Electronic equipment.

The Lord sent our final prophet to pen these words–

“God’s servants shall have no time or desire for the cares of this world, for there is a city prepared for them whose builder and maker is God.  As we have just enough time to get ready for translation, we must not let the enemy steal our precious moments.  Because the work is so broad, its expansion so vast, and its importance so great, God has inspired modern science to invent, and build speedy equipment to quickly finish His work.  “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:4, 10.)(SRod, vol. 2, p.229)

Just imagine how far we have come in the last 25 years. The world has been so intertwined with the mass communication of electronics, that in the year 2000, we remember that some well-known computer experts were predicting a literal shut down of the world, with the predicted date change mal-function of the 2000th year.

The computers, cell phones, advanced copiers, and all the other electronic items have truly revolutionized our world. But just as we see  from the inspired Daniel quote, “knowledge shall be increased.” And indeed it has!

But let us step back and ponder this a little. We all know  that the world and the souls in it belong to God. Yes, Satan has commandeered it temporarily but God has not abandoned His people. This being so, who do we think inspired the pioneers like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to come up with all their brilliant ideas? You got it, our ever-loving and all-seeing–King of Kings!

And the reason the computer and electronic age has so developed is for the primary reason–to get His message out to all who are willing. And the next step we as present truth believers know well, is the securement of His elect– the 144,000.

It truly is a marvel that the message of Elijah has gone so far and wide via electronics. Yet despite this very few have taken the time to devote to “study to show themselves approved..”(2 Tim. 2:15). Nevertheless the Lord has set the table, who will come and eat the bread of life?

But let us not lose track that a good 25 years of the Lord setting the table of electronics before us comes with a condition. That is that this message is literally at our fingertips and we have no excuse to plead ignorance. The solemn words of the prophet come to us again–

“And just as soon as this message reaches every church member, just that soon will the purification take place.” (Timely Greetings, vol.1, no.12, p.26).

We also notice that the world’s electronic build up started in direct correlation to the Lord’s final message, which begin in 1929-1930 with the first volume of the Shepherd’s Rod.

Wikipedia states — “Television became available in crude experimental forms in the late 1920s. After World war two an improved form became popular in the United States and Britain, and television sets became commonplace in homes, businesses, and institutions. During the 1950s, television was the primary medium for influencing public opinion.”

Today, the TV has been very instrumental in furthering His final message. Not so much for actual TV programming but for the use of DVD’s and other medium which uses the TV for playback abilities.

Those striving to become one of His end time servants have little time for worldly TV. Their all-consuming passion is to be about the Lord’s business in His vineyard.

So with this mass electronic spread, we can see that the message is being given through it, so that every member of God’s remnant church shall have no excuse. It is there, available to be read, seen and heard.

CD’s have also played a big role in spreading the message. Computer websites are numerous and people from all over the world can go on and order Tracts, CD’s, DVD’s, and other literature. YouTube videos are plenty today as well, describing the final message of the Lord. For this very reason has the Lord allowed advanced electronics to become so central in our world today!

I think of a  vision of the Lord looking at his subject upon judgment and they say ” I did not know about your final message, Lord.” And the Lord asks if they had a computer and of course, in most cases, the answer is yes. The message is all over that computer they just don’t want to see it. Instead news, work, worldly games, friends and relatives, shows and other entertainment comprise almost all  their computer time.

On our Facebook group Truth Tellers, we are providing message updates and studies and those with computers, cell phones and handhelds, regularly view and partake in this medium. Praise the Lord for this avenue because most of them are from the far away countries, which  only electronic media makes possible. The poor often cannot afford a computer or laptop but usually have a cell phone and can access our site.

There’s been a long time denial of the Elijah message in our church and through the pulpit, and as such our Lord’s inspired electronic media has provided  one of the main sources of His message of hope for His remnant. However at the same time,  His warnings of the upcoming “judgment for the living” that begins in the house of God first is solemnly given.

“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

“God does not send judgments upon His people without first warning them to repent. He uses every means to bring them back to obedience and does not visit their iniquity with judgments until He has given them ample opportunity to repent.” (Testimonies, vol.4, p.179)

This electronic media will no doubt stay an important tool for the Lord once the Loud Cry begins. From Israel there shall be much of the Lord’s activity and no doubt live TV coverage. Satan, no doubt will counter the Lord’s final message to the world and with electronic media will likewise try to influence the masses.

It shall be as our prophetess says, “The Great Controversy”. And the Lord’s method of choice to a large degree will be–  Electronic Equipment.

 

Get Out of the Me BOX

May 14, 2016

selfish

It is a well known fact, not only within the Scriptures but in human psychology, that we as humans have predominantly one person who usually is the center of our universe– ourselves. Many may scoff at this but it may not be consciously that we believe this, but certainly unconsciously.

With this human trait grounded deep within us, those of us who attempt to change our nature, our core, can only succeed by the transformation of the Holy Spirit, Christ within us.I came across a Spirit of Prophecy quote so deep and profound, it is the basis of this week’s post. Let us read.

 “Now sin has marred God’s perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf.

The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.

The angels of glory find their joy in giving,–giving love and tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy. Heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world light from the courts above; by gentle and patient ministry they move upon the human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they themselves can know.”(Desire of Ages, p.20-21)

What we see is that all things were created for benefit of another. Only man “lives unto itself.” With this thought in mind let us look at how this selfish nature is at work among us and how we can get going and get out of the –me box.

One of the great and sorrowful lessons of our past history is the story of the blind man’s parents.

“The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.” (John 9:18-23)

Truly a sad sad situation! Here were supposedly excited and grateful parents who witnessed their blinded by birth son’s eyesight return, yet they selfishly denied Christ! Their only concern was to not be expelled from their church even though a life changing miracle was given their son by a man called Jesus. In other words they refused to leave their me box and stand out alone what ever may fall- for the Truth.

And that is key to getting out of our boxes, to not be afraid of the circumstances that comes with standing up for Jesus and His word as delivered by His prophets. Have you ever asked yourself– Why is it that we as the “Israel of today” (Testimonies vol. 9, p.164) are prophesied to have “only” 144,000 sealed amongst us? Yes, it is because so many of us refuse to get out of the me box! The Lord’s last message of Elijah is derided, mocked, scorned and dismissed and who among us wants to be associated with that?  Only those willing to get outside of the safety of their box and face the consequences.

Let’s look at another example, that of our King.

“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me...On hearing this, many of His disciples said, “This is a difficult teaching. Who can accept it?”..As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”(John 6:59,61, 66)

The Lord had just given the people strong and deep meat (truth) and in doing this it struck the people as strange words. In order to do this Jesus, our example , stepped out of His comfort zone and gave them the words of life. In  other words all our Lord had on His mind was His people not Himself, however strange it might make Him appear.

Do we today have this same “I want to help my brothers and sisters no  matter if I must be put in uncomfortable situations” attitude? To proclaim the truth from the Lord, His final message of solemn warnings and instructions, we must be willing to “go it alone” if this is what it takes. Of course all those who side with the Lord, will never be alone despite what we see and feel from this world.

The Spirit of Prophecy shows us that those who step outside the box will be like Elijah, willing to speak the words of Truth come what may.

“The messages from heaven are of a character to arouse opposition. The faithful witnesses for Christ and the truth will reprove sin. Their words will be like a hammer to break the flinty heart, like a fire to consume the dross. There is constant need of earnest, decided messages of warning. God will have men who are true to duty. At the right time He sends His faithful messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah.” (Testimonies, vol.5, p.254) 

Being in this message I am frequently hearing from brethren, especially from the poorer countries, who tell of their experience within their own church. Their willingness to stand for the Lord’s final message and it’s often solemn declarations, has cost them their membership or rank within the church. Despite the opposition they have learned that it is not self they are worried about rather it is their brothers and sisters!

In closing, let us read what the message tells of our responsibilities. We can only do these faithful instructions if we step outside our–me box. May God help us to do that.

 

   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, p.41-42)

Believe me brethren the above snare is much more common than we think. Far too many of us mount the judgment seat and declare this shortcoming and that shortcoming from the few large organizations that our doing their best to provide present Truth “meat” to all those hungry for it. But as we point out in this post we don’t have to solely relay on the formal organizations  to send out the Truth  today.

“No need to depend on the sanction of any minister or any people to do God’s work, God will vindicate you.”(1888 Materials , p.1746)

We’ve heard the famous quote, “He marches to his own beat.” Well, that’s another way of saying we don’t have to be told what to do, we pick up the shovel, hammer, wheelbarrow (figuratively speaking) and get to work! All that is required for us to be active in spreading the sealing message today is to be–self sacrificing.

 

 

 

Update on the 2015 SDA Christmas Celebration

February 13, 2016

Gay Chorus

On January 2, 2016 we did a post on the Palm Springs SDA church’s Christmas program for 2015. Since then we have seen and heard quite a stir from the Christian community particularly the SDA community. And rightly so. As we pointed out, the presentation definitely did not have the Word of God’s approval. Recently we see that neither does it have the vast general SDA community approval.

Last week we heard from a SDA friend who knows one of the leading Elders from the Palm Springs church. Sister M and I discussed the unfortunate celebration in God’s house and the feedback it has generated on sites such as YouTube. She mentioned that she would be going to the church and wanted to speak to brother P who was a head Elder in the church. She asked for advice on how to discuss this and let him know how many SDA were feeling about what had transpired.

I mentioned to her that one such clear view on it could be found on YouTube with the following link(arrow) –

In this video the presenter lays charge to the Scriptural standing in the gay celebration. One thing that struck me was the huge views in such a short time– 19, 400.  And the prevalent opinion that it was wrong before the Lord has struck a true note in many — 242 likes and 11 dis-likes.

So after discussing this situation with her, we agreed that she should  “tell it like it is”. In other words,

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1)

She agreed. Later she called and said that almost before she could get out her words to the Elder he spoke up and said that he totally agreed it was a disaster and that “something will be done about it.” He also said that “90% of the church did not agree with the idea.”

So it appears that the local leadership hijacked the will of the people for their own undetermined reasons (?). Most likely a private agreement was made by a few leaders and woala– the program was decided and put forth.

Now, is this disgrace any more sinful than the young gal prancing in the church in her  mini-skirt and high heels? No it’s not. It’s all sin in God’s house. The whole point is that abominations in God’s house is the prevalent act of the evil one today and those who turn a blind eye to it will not make it through the soon to come church judgment.

SOP provides insight —

“Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church..” (COL, p. 71)

But instead of “separating” the open sin from the church we have come to embrace it! All the while saying “Hallelujah praise the Lord!” Our “dumb dogs” have refused to bark!

“…”Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.” (Testimonies vol. 5, p. 211)

The command is: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, COUNSELLED, and entreated.

Some who had been dishonouring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. {5T 210.2} In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings.

While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honour and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favour of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous.

They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit 211 of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonoured, the truth made of none effect.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.210-211)

The judgment my brothers and sisters is right upon us, we are not to delay and to begin at once to call out the prevailing sins “done in the midst”, by word of mouth, by study groups, by blogs, by YouTube, by email, by any and all means.

SOP warns us that the do-nothings are the worse offenders in God’s eyes —

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.281)

Our church is in a dire emergency and  true spiritual crisis , the Lord’s sword hangs above it , let us spring into action.

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:31-32)

 

 

Watch your Pearls

December 26, 2015

swine picture

Our King said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matt. 7:6)

Quite some powerful and direct words for sure. Let us look at this great admonition and how we can observe it.

If you are active in the Lord’s vineyard, hopefully proclaiming present truth message of Elijah, you should be acutely aware of this instruction. By obedience to this rule we can save ourselves much precious time and even heartache as the Lord warned.

You see, the Lord’s truth is as priceless gems to us. They are our meat, our  golden nuggets and yes–our pearls. Understanding why we should not cast them to the swine is very important lesson for us.

Our confidence in the Lord and His word should be guarded.

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” (Hebrews: 10:35)

And we can throw it away if we continue to cast our pearls of Truth before those who will trample it afoot.

Recently I have been in an email study with a brother we’ll call bro. J. He is active in studies but unfortunately he has been led into one of the adversary’s rabbit trails– Feast day keeping. As we have posted many times before, the last message of the Lord, the Elijah message, shows us beyond doubt that the Old Testament Feast days observance has been replaced by Christ and His work in the heavenly sanctuary. The sermon address that dealt with this is here — http://shepherds-rod.org/TGvol2/2tg37.htm

But as we continued the study the Spirit started to remind me of what I was doing. The hard work and plentiful study I have done to know this message, was being dangled about to someone who either a) wasn’t reading the truth I was showing him  b) was reading it yet it was like water off a duck’s back–or put another way–trampled under his feet.

Either way I sensed I was barking up the wrong tree. So the Lord reminded me to stay focused and not venture into a situation where your pearls are being chewed up and spit out. Here is where some thoughts came.

What I sense is that if we get involved in a discussion and very soon it becomes obvious that the truth (plain obvious statements) does not get agreement or acknowledgment, then we can come into perilous ground. Why?

Because we can start to lose our own confidence! Yes, we can think, “maybe I need to show him more truth because this is not clear enough” yet it is very clear, it is just our desire to come down to his non-truth loving level that starts to blur our vision, make us doubt our own message.

The message deals with this subject–

IS IT SAFE TO CHALLENGE?

Question No. 132:

   If we are to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” and be ready always to give an answer to  every man that asks us a reason of the hope that is in us, then ought we not challenge those who are enemies of “The Shepherd’s Rod” to prove it in error?

Answer:

   Even those who have settled it once and for all that The Shepherd’s Rod contains a heaven-sent message, not to mention those who are incapable of defending it in all its aspects, are in no wise  justified in exposing their precious jewel of Truth to the Enemy, whose only aim is to take it away from them. Especially so when he is not coming with a promise to give them something that will replace that which they already have.

They cannot afford to invite his challenge to prove whether or not he can cheat them of their  treasure. When it is gone, the “proof” will be sad  consolation! Placing themselves thus on Satan’s vantage ground will make them guilty not only of the folly of presumptousness but waste of time and of energy as well. It will be but inviting the Devil to rob them of eternal life.

   All of us must guard our heavenly treasure with the utmost care, and preserve our faith by studying to give an answer to every man that asks us a reason of the hope that is in us, but not by challenging him to ply us with deceitful questions, and then debating with him.

   If, though, for any compelling reason you assume the risk of meeting the Enemy in this great spiritual warfare, then you must at least hold him to answer to the whole Truth; do not let him switch you to some certain moot point which no one, perhaps, at the moment could clear. Do not permit yourself to be backed into a defensive position, but rather keep yourself on the  offensive, yet never debate.

   Do not forget that the Enemy who seeks to take your crown is mightier than you, and that therefore if you are not absolutely settled on the message,  then by all means rather than to study with its enemies, go study with its friends. Not until you have thus done all to let the messengers prove it right, and are still convinced that it is not Present Truth, can you rightly study with its opposers. Do all to make sure that someone does not cheat you of a message from the Lord. Let “no man take thy crown.” Rev. 3:11.

   Remember that if there is someone ready to undermine one truth, there is another one ready to undermine another truth, and so on and on. In fact, the Enemy is ready to dynamite every truth in existence, even the Bible Itself, if you but give him the chance. Certain it is, though, that Satan does not begin to have as much room for an argument against the Rod’s truths as Sunday keepers have against the Sabbath truth.

   Ever bear in mind that “the efforts made to retard the progress of truth will serve to extend it” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 454), and that you will be promoted with it if you faithfully keep in the middle of the road, not running ahead with a zeal that is not according to knowledge.

   “Our convictions need daily to be re-enforced by humble, sincere prayer and reading of the word. While we each have an individuality, while we each should hold our convictions firmly, we must hold them as God’s truth and in the strength which God imparts. If we do not, they will be wrung from our grasp.”–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 401.

   Hence, for one who is settled in the Truth and who is searching for more, to challenge the Enemy,  is like putting one’s sword in his hand and daring him to cut off one’s head.

   Never challenge, therefore, but ever be ready to give the right answer intelligently and convincingly to every man; never debate, but always teach the Truth; never go to an enemy or to a non-believer of a message to prove it right or to prove it wrong; rather, do all your proving with its friends, with its authors–those who know all about it. (Answerer Book, vol. 5, Q-132)

Back to brother J. In regards to not keeping the feast days, I showed him this unequivocal statement–

Broadly speaking, the law of Moses consists of three parts.  The first is the Ceremonial law, the law of the temple — the sacrificial law.  This law, of course, we today must not observe, except in antitype, for it foreshadowed things to come, particularly Christ’s first advent.  Thus it is that if we had lived in Old Testament times and had failed to comply with the sacrificial law and system of that day, we would thereby have demonstrated unbelief in Christ, Who was to come.  But since we are living in the Christian era, if we should now observe the typical sacrificial law and system, we should thereby demonstrate unbelief in Christ, Who has come.

  And so, as this law was nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14), we need not, and must not, observe it now. (TG, vol. 2, no.37, p.14-15)

Ok clear enough right? Not according to the types like brother J. You see we must be very cautious when we show Scriptural plain statements, for a fictional example– “The lady had on a blue dress.”   And they come back, “Well it’s not really blue because, blue has other colors in it to make it blue. So it’s a mixture of different colors scientifically.”  Huh? We say or think to their secret mysterious meaning!

The message tells us that the wise will understand (Be guided into all truth) and the wicked will not.

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”(Dan. 12:10)

SOP also gives us great counsel–

“The truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in doubt and darkness by learned men, who, with a pretense of great wisdom, teach that the Scriptures have a mystical, a secret, spiritual meaning not apparent in the language employed. These men are false teachers.” (GC, P.598)

Now to be clear, we are not advocating avoiding good back and forth discussions, but once it becomes clear that straight clear Scripture, SOP or Elijah message does not have them agreeing or even acknowledging, that should be our Que that we may be “casting our pearls…”.

“I have beheld angels grieved as the most precious jewels of truth have been brought before men utterly incapable of appreciating the evidences in favor of the truth.”( Testimonies, vol. 3, p.425)

In closing my brethren, let’s hold onto our pearls bought at a great price( hard study and deep devotion). If we give them away let it be to our friends and the Bureans.  If we obey the Lord in His admonition we shall not get snared in time-wasting.

“No one is lost for believing a false interpretation of a prophecy before the truth of it is revealed, provided the false interpretation does not draw him away from some other truth.  Such individuals, however, are in great danger because, as history reveals, very few who become thus involved in error are willing to humble themselves by renouncing their errors and accepting the truth when it is made known. 

They are consequently in constant peril of sinning against the Holy Ghost.  And being acutely aware of this, Satan misinterprets the prophecies before they are divinely revealed.  He realizes full well that many, unwilling to be corrected and to exchange their errors for revealed truth, will thereby be led to eternal ruin.  All-important, therefore, is the need that the student of the truth fortify himself with all honesty and humility..” (Tract 5, p.7)

 

 

Reformation at the Door

November 7, 2015

Reform at the door

As we look at the above, let us image that this man wants to see Donald Trump or maybe the office of Bill Gates. Their secretary must screen them, see how they are and do an inspection of sorts. If they are well-mannered and well dressed, after being screened as to who they are,  they can usually get the ok to go in. But if they are sloppy and dirty or not dressed well chances are they are refused entrance.

What about our church? What about the “house of God”? Should the standards be high as well? The word says-

“Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.” (Ezekiel 5:11)

Here we see that defilement of His “sanctuary” , His house, causes our Lord to “diminish thee”. Or to put another way “sprue” them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).

So what are we saying here? What we are saying is that today, right now, there is a work to be done and that work is NOT to bring more and more unconverted into His church. Reformation among us as Seventh -day Adventists, should be our main objective right now. How do we know this? Both of His last messengers say so.

We need to get real. Let us stop thinking of the Lord God as –Jolly Ol Saint Nick.  “Ho Ho Ho, my little children, come into my house, abominations and all, I’m so happy to see you.” No! Our Lord is holy, HE IS GOD.

Let us begin with the Spirit of Prophecy.

“Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts. 

Many of those whose names are registered on the church books are not Christians. They have not a genuine experience. If they were copying their Pattern, they would pray more and quarrel less. They would strive to be laborers together with God. Their sincere faith in Christ would lead to entire dependence on Him and perfect co-operation with Him.” (RH May 21, 1901)

The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.371)

There is no doubt that those who do not know the Lord’s last message of Elijah (which are legion in our church) will say “What?? What are you talking about? Don’t work to bring others into our church??”

I admit that I too once thought this. When I first came into the Elijah message this part of the message was so foreign to me that I felt it almost strange, or put another way–not quite right. Yet it was “my thinking, my ideas” that I was relying on, not God’s word as spoken by His prophet and prophetess.

I led our church to design and install a large Billboard in our city, trying to win new people into our churches! It was our billboard idea and soon Amazing Facts was writing an article about it in their quarterly magazine. I was zealous for what I thought was the right thing to do. Yet the Lord was guiding and soon I walked up that next step to light I never knew was there. “My” plans soon changed into God’s plan.

S7301355

We as SDA, and nearly all other denominations of Christianity, teach the formal doctrine of “bring em in, ask little or no in-depth questions,  baptize them as soon as they request it.”

To be clear we are not saying NO ONE should join the church. The message of Elijah is clear here.

“..if we truly understand the situation, and believe in faithfully executing our trust, we should be working for the sinners in Zion with such an  all-consuming burden that we would at present have neither time nor energy left to work for the  sinners in the world, save for such as those  represented by the “Syrophenician” woman (Mark 7:26).  Then we shall be doing our full part in the calling of the 144,000 to their task, and thus hastening  the time of the in gathering of the great multitude from the world–the day of the Loud Cry.” (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-129)

If God leads anyone into the Truth, then we should not discourage them. But as we saw from Inspiration, “The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth.”

So we ask. Who is doing God’s work today, for HIM? Is it those who try to reach the heathen? Or is it those who try to save the ones who will be first to receive judgment (the SDA church)(1 Peter 4:17, Testimonies Vol. 5, p.211)? The world WILL be preached to, when the time comes and that, by the purified church the 144,000.

But this understanding certainly is not being followed except by the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. Those who are following in the final light to His church through His pleading message of Elijah.

“God does not want to bring the heathen unconverted into the church for the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine, but He is exceedingly anxious to save the church: neither is He working “to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church-members who have never been converted….Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” — “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, p. 371.  (Symbolic Code, vol. 2 no.5-6, p.9)

Let me interject here and say this is SO TRUE. What happens when there comes an honest God loving -God fearing soul into the church and he or she sits down and quickly notices nightclub dressed up gals, complete with short skirts and high heels? Do we think he is comforted or sorrowful–think about it.

..to devote our time to evangelizing the world while neglecting the church, would be a criminal act, one of highest treason both to God and to His people. The church must first be saved from her Laodicean condition of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” She, not the world, is just about to be spued out. She “is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 15.

But in her present deplorable state of blindness and destitution as exposed by the True Witness (Rev. 3:14-18), she is utterly unfit for the task assigned her, and must be rescued from her sad deception before she can become a safe refuge and a saving influence to those who would join her ranks. Should God leave her in the Laodicean condition in which she now languishes, not only would she herself be lost but, in consequence, so also would the whole world along with her. He must therefore rouse her up or else raise up another to do the work which remains to be done.” (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-32)

I don’t know about you but after truly understanding this situation we should at once determine to go to work helping our own. We, not the world,  as Inspiration says is just about to be sprued out. Meetings should be set up,  present truth Bible studies given, sermons arranged, phone conferences engaged, etc. There is SO MUCH we should be doing to enlighten our church to God’s final message of reformation and revival.

“Yes, the honest heathen must and will be evangelized, but “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6) must be sought first. How thankful, therefore, and how cooperative they ought to be, and will be, when they discover that rather than being rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing, they are actually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”—in need of everything- and that the Lord is waiting for them to wake up to the fact so that He can make them what they ought to be.

For these reasons, God says now to work within the Laodicean congregation rather than without. And what He says, that He means, and we dare not disobey, regardless what men may say or do.”   (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-32)

“The mission to save the world cannot be more important than the mission to save the church. Enlarging the church membership under the now prevailing lukewarm Laodicean conditions could no more advance the Kingdom of Christ than could have been done under the condition in the Jewish church in the days of His first advent. Understanding the true situation in the church, John the Baptist and Christ Himself and even the apostles at first, engaged them selves to work, not for the world in general, but only in the interest of their brethren in the church.

As the same departure from Christ exists within the church now as it did then (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), it will take much greater effort to rescue the people from the Laodicean “sad deception” (Testimonies. Vol. 3, p. 253), than if they were in heathenism. For in Laodicea they are made to believe that they have all the truth there is to be had, that they are rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing,—their salvation forever secured as long as they hold membership in the church. Hence there is greater risk of their losing their souls in the church while she is “lukewarm” and about to be spued out, than if they remain in the world until the church awakes from her slumber, and anoints herself with the eyesalve (Truth)—sees right, does right, and leads an. feeds the flock aright.

Let every honest member ask the question, If the church herself is not saved (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 253), not following Christ her Leader (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217) and “has become an harlot” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250), how can she save others? The greatest need therefore is first to save those in the church, then those in the world. The “special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 425), “the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), must come first then is to follow the sealing of those in the world.” (Answerer, vol. 3, Q-67)

Right now we are perilously close to entering into either life everlasting or death everlasting.  The decision is ours. The course is laid out. Do we work within and follow the Lord through His messengers? Or do we follow our own path as Korah and his followers did? We must make a decision which will it be?

In closing what better and clearer word of God can we get than the following. Our prophetess gives us unmistakable instructions of why we are not to carelessly let people join  the church. As we have shown the Lord’s work is to do in- house work now. Why? because we are filled to the brim with unconverted among us. But should we find those who want to come into the truth , being led of God, then let us use the following example–

Examination of Candidates

“The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates.

Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism.

One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need instruction is the subject of dress. Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? Do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress.

There should be no carelessness in dress. For Christ’s sake, whose witnesses we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance. In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before Him. Thus we are taught that He has a preference in regard to the dress of those who serve Him. Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolic. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolic.

In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion, that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments.” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.95-96)

Shorts in the Sanctuary

August 22, 2015

Short skirtman in shorts

When we as part of the God’s remnant people see the above dress in His sanctuary, what should we think? What comes to mind is dis-honor and dis-respect. Our God is so much more worthy than worldly fashions. Let us look at what Inspiration says about this important part of worship.

Being a part of “God’s house”,  it truly is quite sad to notice week after week many of our young ladies (even middle age) wearing simply unacceptable dress in His presence. His word is abundantly clear on this issue , there should be no mis-understanding about it. Although it is our women who most often have the short attire problem, men as well can partake in this abomination.

Concerning my local church, I had posted a few months ago how I was led by the Lord to bring this issue up to the prior pastor (we have since had a new one who is trying to make some headway). This improper dressing was clearly pointed out to him , yet several months have gone by and this still remains a weakness within our church. The sin has been “passed over”. Our church is by no means the exception. This sin is throughout the SDA churches and is one of the most plain and obvious non-reforms we as His remnant people are guilty of.

Inspiration states–

“Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may not be contaminated. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp from Achans. Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.147)

Who is contaminated and effected by the improper dress? Certainly the peers of such casual and provocative dressers! Once an influential young gal (ie. a popular one) wears a short skirt, there is likely to be female followers who will admire the fashion and follow suite. It’s the ol “birds of a feather flock together” scenario.

We see from the divine instruction above that the “leaders” have a real duty to step up to the plate and give the right counsel. Doing the right thing here is tough, I will grant that but nevertheless it must be done.

His word says it’s tough to correct people–

“They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and abhor the one who speaks uprightly.” (Amos 5:10)

But who is to be pleased, God, man or woman? Will man or woman grant us life to live forever more? Will man or woman give us eternal happiness? Think this through my brothers and sisters. In the Lord’s final sealing message, He warns us through the prophet that following the fashion of the world is a very serious abomination. It is listed as number 2 of 12 abominations in the church (partial list).

1.   Lack of reverence in the house of God: Isa. 56:7; Volume 5,  pages 492-500.

2.   Following the fashions of the world: Isa. 3:16; Volume 1, pages  269, 270; Volume 4, page 632; Volume 3, page 379; Volume 5, page 78; Volume 1, pages 189-191;  Volume 1, pages 135, 136; Volume 4, page 631. (SRod, vol.1, p.34)

So with the greatest concern and Christian love we should do our warning. But those leaders who wink or ignore such sins Inspiration says —

“He would teach His people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to Him and are not to be lightly regarded. 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.

In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, they should seek God earnestly, in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit are searched out and put away.

The prejudice which has arisen against us because we have reproved the wrongs that God has shown me existed, and the cry that has been raised of harshness and severity, are unjust. God bids us speak, and we will not be silent. If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty.

In vision I have been pointed to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 266-267)

These warnings are not solely the leader’s job. If God gives you or I the heads up on a certain disrespectful lady or gent, and the opportunity arises we should politely and with love, warn them to show reverence in God’s house.

Look how Inspiration says fashion is so serious with God–

“Do not, my sisters, trifle longer with your own souls and with God. I have been shown that the main cause of your backsliding is your love of dress. This leads to the neglect of grave responsibilities, and you find yourselves with scarcely a spark of the love of God in your hearts. Without delay, renounce the cause of your backsliding, because it is sin against your own soul and against God. Be not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people.

Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline.

If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God.

There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized.” (Testimonies, vol. 4 ,p. 647-648)

There are many, many takeaways from these counsels above. One of the most striking is the counsel to give–church discipline. When was that last time this God breathed word was obeyed?

You see my beloved, this area of fashion Satan has thoroughly hood winked us. We say to ourselves and even to others who may bring this serious sin up, “It is the inside that counts, what we do on the outside is secondary.” But this is Satan’s trick!

Just re-read the Lord’s messenger’s words above again and you will see that fashion is NOT un-important to God- especially within His holy Sanctuary. When we convert we show it not only within but without!

Yes, we must first be made whole within by His love and law, but once the conversion comes we show it from within and without. If we don’t we can be fulfilling prophecy–

“Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:6-8)

We are living in the very last hours of our SDA probation, and we MUST get that seal in our forehead if we are to remain standing (Mal. 3:2) once the Lord “suddenly comes to His temple” (Mal. 3:1).

We MUST be over-comers. The Lord helps us but we must take that first step. He is not going to dress us up for Sabbath service, He expects us to willfully come before Him and show proper respect and honor. Remember He is watching within His sanctuary.

After we ourselves have overcome sins, such as the dreadful fashion sin, the Lord let’s us know that by warning others we have cleared ourselves of the wrong doing in our midst.

“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)

In closing, let us as faithful guardians of His right ways, do our part to show by example we dress properly to please God. But let us remember that those who pat the sinners on the back, after they have been clearly shown their fashion sin, are aligning themselves up with their sin. In effect we are really saying “you’re dying and I am happy for you”.No! We want ALL to live!

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

“Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. 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.” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, p.260)

 

 

Where is God’s Vineyard Today?

August 8, 2015

Vineyard sign

My Grandfather used to say “Son, there’s a right way to do things and there’s a  wrong way to do things.” This saying truly applies to our work for the Lord in these final hours of our probation. Do it right and the Lord will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:21)

Do it wrong and it will be, “Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.” (Matt 25:26)

So we ask our Title question–Where is God’s vineyard today? Meaning where is God’s true work to be done today for us as Seventh-day Adventists?  Is it doing work like Doug Batchelor and his Amazing Facts team encourages, trying to “save” the world? Is it like Jim Gilley and 3 ABN, with their host of programs aimed at reaching the world and the heathen therein? Let us look squarely at this very important question. For if we do it one way we are rewarded , if we do it another, oh what sad sad end we’ll see.

“Advanced light is shining upon us in these last days. We cannot be accepted of God; we cannot honor him by rendering the same service, doing the same work that our fathers did. In order to be accounted guiltless before God, we must be as faithful in our time in following and obeying our light, as they were faithful in following and obeying the light that shone upon them.”(Review and Herald, April 25, 1893)

“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the prophets” and “expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27.

But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old. He who rejects or neglects the new does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and becomes but a lifeless form.”(Christ’s Object Lessons, p.127-128)

So we see that we,  who are alive today have truths and light that was not necessarily shown to prior generations. This being so, what do you think could be “our” present light? This answer is found in the Scriptures, the rock foundation of our faith.

There is only one place that predicts a messenger (Prophet) to come right before the end of time with new light –The book of Malachi. As some of you faithful believers and students of the Lord’s last message know, this is a message from the Lord’s anti-typical “Elijah” (Mal.4:5). For there is promise of no other to come right before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

So with the above understood, we see that this Elijah message is our “development of truth”  or “message of God.” So if this is so, we need to know why Elijah? As we have done a post already explaining most of this subject (Called-“Why Elijah?”), we’ll simply say that the reason is that –we, the SDA church, have a message that needs to go to us only. We must hear it and abide by it.

The reason the Lord wanted to send an “Elijah” was because his message was the type that we need. Elijah went to his own people to give them a message to repent from their wrongs. Elijah did not go and preach to the world such as Noah or the Apostles did. That is the real reason for Elijah!

Our Lord made it very clear, we the SDA church have need of more  truth and heartfelt repentance. It’s very clearly pointed out in Rev. 3:15-19.

But look around our church, what do we see? Programs and efforts to reach the heathen! The message and truth from Elijah is like water off a ducks back to the majority of our leaders and laity. Because they don’t abide by the Lord’s final message, which is to go strictly to our church, they blindly proceed without Heaven’s authority to bring more and more into the church.

“The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.371)

You see we cannot do Christ’s will as a church body while sinners exist in our midst.

“The kingdom of Christ will come; but who are laboring to that end? If those who know the Lord’s prayer would try to take in its meaning and realize its depth and breadth, the Church would be what God desires it to be—the light of the world. Men would have less desire for form and ceremony; for they would seek to plant in the heart those principles that sanctify the character. 

Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish members, can it fulfill God’s purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow them to unite with God’s people in church relationship until they give decided evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts.“((Review and Herald, May 21, 1901)

Wow! Do we see these instructions being followed today? Almost all our Pastors and leaders welcome all comers, when they want Baptism! This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Better to have a very small church, with converted members, than a full church with a majority of unconverted.

You see our Lord has not changed. Back in Joshua’s day He could not take a sinner in the midst (Achan) and His word says the following about this-

” When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”(Isaiah 1:12-15)

This is why the Lord cannot allow us to work to save the world right now. What would we as Seventh-day Adventists  accomplish? Bring them into the church for the “great and dreadful day  of the Lord” (Ezek. 9) ? Like Inspiration said there are too many bad influences (poor dress reform, lukewarmness, ignoring sins in the midst, etc.) that most likely will cause many to stumble.

Our work right now is to concentrate on His church. We are the ones to be judged first (1 peter 4:17).Who is about to be sprued out, the world? Of course not. And with so much sin in our midst, we cannot afford to whistle while the ship sinks!

The Elijah message is full of ways the Lord wants us to reform. And by learning His final message can we know for certain what is required of us. Sins such as poorly dressing in His sanctuary, passing the money bag around while in His presence during services (see the post “The Collection Box”), women disregarding wearing proper head coverings in His presence (see the post “Little Things Mean Alot”), speaking un-inspired sermons of past truths while he is at the door for judgment, talking business talk on His Sabbath, and on and on it goes!

Yes, there is soon to be a time when the vineyard expands to the world. God’s original intention. But that time cannot come until we as a church body stop sinning (doing those things displeasing to Him). But once He “takes the reins into His own hands” (TM. p.300) His prophecy comes–

“Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. “Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners” (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” (Prophets and Kings, p.725)

Oh, what a time that will be!

The message explains this reformation–

“Since the church is indeed God’s dearest object on earth, He often has to admonish, rebuke, and chasten her so as to bring her to maintain the high standard which He has set for her. And though her history is but one long, sad record of sinning and repenting, sinning and repenting, yet the Lord has borne with her in the infinite patience and long-suffering of Divine love so beautifully illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. And finally in this love indescribable, He “gave Himself” (Gal. 1:4) for her in the person of His only begotten Son.

But this supreme sacrifice notwithstanding, she has never yet fully appreciated His undying love for her. Even now, the Saviour pathetically declares that He has somewhat against her, and admonishes her by strong words to repent and sit down with Him in His throne (Rev. 3:14-21), making clear the inevitable fate of all who fail to heed His counsel (Rev. 3:16). But, tragically, she has not heeded it, and so He “brings against ministers and people the heavy charge of spiritual feebleness, saying, ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”’-Christ Our Righteousness, 1941 Edition, p. 121.

Thus God, in His boundless, all-discerning love for His church, “‘calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.”

“‘A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.’”- Christ Our Righteousness, 1941 Edition, p. 121.

In these inspired statements, three facts stand out in bold relief: (1) God sends this clarion call first to the ministers, and then to the laity; (2) He makes a positive declaration that He will spue out of His mouth all who fail to give heed to it, and to enter into a “spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation”; and (3) He makes clear that such a movement means “a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.” Clearly, then, the church must experience a threefold change before she can ever look forth “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,” going “forth into all the world conquering and to conquer.”-Prophets and Kings, p. 725. (Answerer, vol. 1, Q-2)

In closing, this vineyard work is to be done now within our church, not merely thought about and talked about. The light of what our message truly is, is now before us, will we be “doers” in His church vineyard now?

In the very first publications of the Elijah message– Shepherd’s Rod volume one it begins with,

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.

Amen! If we read, know and practice this message from the Lord -we can’t help but reform .It’s that powerful! Try going to work for the Lord in the right vineyard and you’ll find Him close and guiding you.


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