| Looking at it
two thousand years later it seems a very bold and defiant act of the
priests and rulers. How dare they presume to profane the holy temple
of the Lord! Did they think they could continue in such a course without
incurring the justice and judgments of God?
a witness at the cleansing of the temple when all the robbers and
thieves were forced out. This occasion, at the beginning of Christ's
ministry, could very well have been his first opportunity of personal
contact with Jesus. Desire of Ages tells us, “He [Nicodemus] was
a witness of the scene when Jesus drove out the buyers and the sellers;
he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the
Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks
of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt
that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God” DA 168.
The Too Timid
drawn to the Saviour. He himself had been greatly distressed by
the profanation of the temple. He was impressed with the words that
Jesus spoke and went to the Scriptures to study anew the prophecies
of the Messiah. As he studied, the conviction that Jesus was the
Messiah became stronger and stronger, until he sought an interview
with Jesus in the night season. Oh, friends, how wonderful it was!
Though the Jewish nation was in deep spiritual apostasy, there was
one, a leader in Israel, who accepted the drawing of the Holy Spirit
at the beginning of Christ's ministry.
probably had many things to unlearn because of his education in
the pharisaical schools and because of his position (which kept
him from becoming one of Christ's disciples while He was yet alive
on earth) Jesus was acquainted with the soil into which He had cast
the seed. Nicodemus sought the Saviour, and Christ was able to speak
with him because he accepted the working of the Holy Spirit upon
Yes, it is too
bad that he was so timid that he would not hold an interview with
the Son of God by day. The opportunity of his lifetime was before
him, but the political church system of the day kept him back from
openly associating himself with Jesus. Today we see similar circumstances.
Many Seventh- day Adventists believe the truth, but they are not
willing to stand with those who are upholding truth in the midst
of one of the greatest apostasies among God's people that has ever
been. These timid people may well be saved in the end. Nicodemus
was saved, but he realized after the crucifixion that he had missed
the golden opportunity of his life by not closely and openly associating
himself with Jesus.
if you are one who is afraid to stand with those you know are teaching
and preaching the truth for fear of what others may say or think,
remember Nicodemus. Yes, he did a wonderful work, but what could
have been accomplished for the cause of truth had Nicodemus gone
to the forefront while Jesus was still living on earth? No doubt,
he reasoned with himself that because of his exalted position in
the Jewish nation he could have some influence over the priests
and rulers that were not sympathetic to Jesus and His cause. He
could protect Jesus while continuing in his present position. After
all, being a member of the Sanhedrin was no unimportant position,
and he was respected by all. This reasoning carried the day with
Nicodemus and is no doubt accomplishing the same results with some
today. But at what cost? Not only was Nicodemus himself bitterly
disappointed when, after the crucifixion he saw his fallacious reasoning
and the opportunity that he had lost— nevermore to return, but the
cause of God also suffered by his timidity and inaction. Oh! May
God break through the heart barriers of those today who are allowing
the current political system in our church to influence their reasoning
and keep them from associating with those who are teaching and preaching
the truth at personal risk and peril.
We are thankful,
although Nicodemus was too timid to seek an interview by day, that
at least he went by night. The seeds of truth that were sown in
his heart he hid. “For three years there was little apparent fruit”
DA 176 But, “after the Lord's ascension, when the disciples were
scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He
employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews
had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time
of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as
a rock” DA 177.
There were others
there at the temple besides Nicodemus, however, whose heart response
to the conviction of the Holy Spirit was not the same as that of
Nicodemus. The priests and other rulers were there and they, too,
saw Jesus drive out the buyers and sellers. They, too, beheld the
wonderful manifestations of divine power. They, too, saw Jesus receiving
the poor and healing the sick. And they, too, saw the looks of joy,
and heard the words of praise. But in them it roused, not an interest
to further study the prophetic writings, but a “determined hatred”
You see, the
money changing provided a fraudulent source of revenue for the priests.
Notwithstanding, they “were exceedingly proud of their piety. They
rejoiced over their temple, and regarded a word spoken in its disfavor
as blasphemy; they were very rigorous in the performance of ceremonies
connected with it; but the love of money had overruled their scruples.
They were scarcely aware how far they had wandered from the original
purpose of the service instituted by God Himself' DA 155.
of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic,
represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the
presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts” DA 161.
The temple could
never fulfill its divine purpose until it was cleansed. Neither
can we fulfil our divine purpose until we are cleansed from sin.
“The days of purification of the church are hastening on apace.
God will have a people pure and true. 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” 5T 80.
Well could the
words of Jeremiah been spoken to the priests and money changers,
“Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord,
the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.” ' “Behold,
you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder,
commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after
other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before
Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered
to do all these abominations'? Has this house, which is called by
My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I,
have seen it. ' says the Lord.” Jeremiah 7: 4, 8- 11.
And what of
us today? “In the defilement and cleansing of the temple we have
a lesson for this time. The same spirit that existed among the Jews,
leading them to substitute gain for godliness, and outward pomp
for inward purity, curses the Christian world today. It spreads
like a defiling leprosy among the professed worshipers of God. Sacred
things are brought down to a level with the vain matters of the
world. Vice is mistaken for virtue, and righteousness for crime.
Temporal business is mingled with the worship of God. Extortion
and wicked speculation are practiced by those who profess to be
servants of the Most High” 2SP 123.
Can you imagine
anything worse at the time of Christ? The very system that God Himself
established became so corrupted by priests and rulers that the opposite
purpose from that for which it was designed was being accomplished.
“The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means
of blinding the mind and hardening the heart” DA 36.
Can you imagine
how God must have felt? In giving the sanctuary and its services
to His people, He gave them the most wonderful gift that He could
give them before He sent His only Son to die for their sins. He
longed for that gift to help prepare them for His Son. He desired
His people to search out its great truths. In designing it, He thought
through the lesson of every detail. Yet, the symbolic value of the
sacrifices “were now perverted and misunderstood. Spiritual worship
was fast disappearing” DA 157.
So far had the
Jewish nation wandered from God that “the worshipers offered their
sacrifices without understanding that they were typical of the only
perfect Sacrifice. And among them, unrecognized and not honored,
stood the One symbolized by all their service” DA 157.
in turning curses into blessings, but in a time of apostasy, men
turn blessings into curses. In his last sermon, Marshall Grosboll
spoke of the danger of Seventh- day Adventists turning our Church
organization from a blessing into a curse. That which God has designed
to be a blessing can become a curse if it is perverted. The divinely
instituted services and the biblical instruction itself had been
perverted by the Jews until the blessing had become a curse— they
had the symbol but not the reality. They sacrificed the animals
but rejected the One to whom their entire service pointed. They
had the typical priest but rejected the real High Priest. The same
thing can happen today. We have the symbol of the three angels everywhere,
but if we are not daily preparing for the judgment, the first angel's
message has not done its work in our hearts. Some professed Adventists
today do not even believe in an investigative judgment that began
in 1844. What good does the symbol do if we do not live out what
we professed at our baptism to believe? If we bring the teachings
and practices of Babylon right into professed Seventh- day Adventist,
churches the second angel's picture on our stationary or in front
of our churches is a mockery. If we do not believe that a person
can keep the law of God perfectly through the power of the indwelling
Holy Spirit, what good does it do to have a picture of the third
angel outside the church or on our stationary? We will never risk
imprisonment and death in the time of a worldwide Sunday law if
we do not believe that God's law can be perfectly kept. It would
be better to not even make a profession than to profess and then
hypocritically not experience what we profess. It would be better
if a person knew he was lost than to have a false security created
by maintaining the forms of religion while the vital power of the
gospel is not being experienced. One of the great earmarks of all
apostasies is that professed Christians maintain the symbols, the
profession, the outward forms of religion, while the vital godliness—
which alone is of eternal value— is neglected.
If you were
God, what would you have done? “The ordinances which God Himself
had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening
the heart. God could do no more for man through these channels.
The whole system must be swept away” DA 36. “Christ's work was to
establish an altogether different worship” DA 157.
the steps, and raising the scourge of cords gathered up on entering
the enclosure, He [Christ] bids the bargaining company depart from
the precincts of the temple. With a zeal and severity He has never
before manifested, He overthrows the tables of the moneychangers.
The coin falls, ringing sharply upon the marble pavement. None presume
to question His authority. None dare stop to gather up their ill-
gotten gain. . . . A panic sweeps over the multitude, who feel the
overshadowing of His divinity. Cries of terror escape from hundreds
of blanched lips. Even the disciples tremble” DA 158.
I wonder how
many of us, if we had been in the temple, would have said, “I really
think Jesus handled that situation with the priests, rulers and
money changers in the temple today a little too severely. I believe
it could have been handled in a more diplomatic manner. Don't you
think Jesus should have gone and talked privately to the leaders
before coming out so boldly against them? I realize the priests
and rulers haven't been doing everything right and I don't condone
it for a minute, but wasn’t't that going a bit too far?” Oh, friends,
that may sound sarcastic, but I fear that some are echoing these
very sentiments today.
We read of Jesus,
“He was filled with holy wrath as He saw the Jewish leaders teaching
for doctrines the commandments of men, and He spoke to them with
the authority of true greatness. With terrible power He denounced
all artful intrigue, all dishonest practices. He cleansed the temple
from its pollution, as He desires to cleanse our hearts from everything
bearing any resemblance to fraud. The truth never languished on
His lips. With fearlessness He exposed the hypocrisy of priest and
ruler, Pharisee and Sadducee” Voice in Speech and Song 95. We must
each ask ourselves the question, Where would we have stood the day
that Jesus cleansed the temple? Remember that even the disciples
were surprised at His severity. Could it be that we, along with
the Jews in Christ's day, have become so hardened from the daily
occurrence of sin among God's professed people that when God performs
a work of cleansing and purifying we find it too hard to accept.
Or, like the disciples, we are surprised at the means that He chooses
to use to accomplish His purposes for His people?
Let us look
at the aftermath of the cleansing of the temple. “Soon the tumultuous
throng with their merchandise are far removed from the temple of
the Lord. The courts are free from unholy traffic, and a deep silence
and solemnity settles upon the scene of confusion” DA 158.
of the Heart
At last, the
temple was fulfilling the purpose for which is was designed. It
was to be “an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal
ages it was God's purpose that every created being, from the bright
and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of
the Creator” DA 161. The temple was intended to be a symbol of the
heart. Could the temple in Jerusalem in Jesus' day, a symbol of
the heart, really be a sacred temple when it was polluted and defiled
with the sins of deception and fraud? It was the presence of Jesus
that made the temple sacred.
Jesus did not
abide in the temple at the same time as the money changers and the
When Jesus came
in, they left. Neither will Christ abide in the heart with sin.
“Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner” ST 8/ 16/ 05.
“God does not live in the sinner. The Word declares that He abides
only in the hearts of those who love Him and do righteousness. God
does not abide in the heart of the sinner; it is the enemy who abides
there” Sermons and Talks 343. “In cleansing the temple from the
world's buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse
the heart from the defilement of sin,— from the earthly desires,
the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul” DA 161.
There is one
difference between the cleansing of the earthly temple and that
of the cleansing of the heart. In the cleansing of the temple on
earth, Christ made a whip of cords and drove out the money changers
and the priests and rulers without their permission. In the temple
of our heart “He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the
heart as to the temple of old; but He says, ‘Behold, I stand at
the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him. ' Rev. 3: 20” DA 161. “How willing is Christ
to take possession of the soul temple if we will let Him! He is
represented as waiting and knocking at the door of the heart. Then
why does He not enter? It is because the love of sin has closed
the door of the heart. As soon as we consent to give sin up, to
acknowledge our guilt, the barrier is removed between the soul and
the Saviour” 1SM 325. Friend, if you want to be cleansed by the
Spirit of Christ from every defilement of sin, you must open your
heart's door to Him by consenting to give sin up and acknowledge
your guilt. “No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that
have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the
soul temple” DA 161. “It is necessary that Jesus should occupy His
temple in the human heart every day, and cleanse it form the defilement
of sin” Redemption 82. He longs to exercise His power to expel evil
from your heart as He expelled the money changers from the temple
of old. Will we let Him do it? If we really love righteousness and
want to be free from every defiling habit that has hold of our lives,
we should be glad that Christ's demeanor in the temple was so stern
and powerful. He wants to use that power in our heart.
Temple— The Church
Not only was
the temple in Jerusalem representative of the temple of our hearts
and minds, but it also represented the church. “The church of Christ
is spoken of as a holy temple. Says the apostle, ‘Now therefore
ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow- citizens with
the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being
the chief corner- stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together
groweth into an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded
together for a habitation of God through the Spirit' [Ephesians
2: 19- 22]” RH 6/ 5/ 88. (See also 1 Cor. 3: 9- 17; Heb. 3: 6; 1
Pet. 2: 1- 10; Isa. 28: 6; 60: 12; Zech. 6: 12,15.)
God had a plan
for the earthly temple in Jerusalem, and He has a plan for the spiritual
temple as well. Christ is represented as the chief Cornerstone and
“all the followers of Christ are represented as stones in the temple
of God. Every stone, large or small, must be a living stone, emitting
light and fitting into the place assigned it in the building of
God. How thankful we should be that a way has been opened whereby
we may each have a place in the spiritual temple!” RH 6/ 5/ 88.
is to be a temple built after the divine similitude, and the angelic
architect has brought his golden measuring rod from heaven, that
every stone may be hewed and squared by the divine measurement and
polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions
the bright, clear beams of the Sun of Righteousness.” TM 17.
“We want the
cleaver of truth to do its work for us. We are taken from the quarry
of the world. The material must not be a dead substance but living
souls, and these souls must be brought out of the quarry of the
world, where the hand of God can fit them for the temple in heaven.
We are here as probationers, and we must pass under the hand of
God. All rough edges and rough surfaces must be stones fitted for
the building. We are brought into church capacity with defects of
character, but we must not retain them. We must be fitted and squared
for the building. We must be ‘laborers together with God, ' for
we are ‘God's husbandry, ' we are ‘God's building. ' In view of
this we must see that our temple is not defiled with sin. We should
be lively stones, not dead ones, but live ones that will reflect
the image of Christ. We must be worshipers in spirit and in truth”
We are each
one a temple, a lively stone. All these lively stones together make
up the spiritual temple, or the church. How does this temple fit
together, or how is the church to work together? “The word of God
represents the power of the Christian church to be an individual
dependence upon Christ and unity between the members. The union
between the members of the church and the leader is illustrated
by a temple and its foundation. The whole weight of the temple rests
upon the foundation, without which it could not stand. So the members
of the church of Christ are to build upon Him; for He is the only
true foundation” 5MR 374.
with the earthly temple and its services at the time of Christ was
that He was no longer made the center of all its ceremonies and
services. After the temple had been twice cleansed and twice again
deified, after the divine presence had been rejected and refused,
the temple was destroyed. Though at one time a place of habitation
for the Most High, it was, after the rejection of Christ, no more
than a building. Remember, it was the presence of Christ that made
the temple sacred (DA 161). It was not the forms ceremonies and
services in themselves that were of merit and benefit; it was what
they represented that was so important. Jesus sought earnestly to
teach this lesson to the Jews before it was forever to late. “Christ's
prediction regarding the destruction of the temple was a lesson
on the purification of religion, by making of none effect forms
and ceremonies. He announced Himself greater than the temple, and
stood forth proclaiming, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.
' He was the one in whom all the Jewish ceremony and typical service
was to find its fulfillment. He stood forth in the place of the
temple; all the offices of the church centered in Himself alone”
in the Temple
If there is
a conflict between the human keepers of the temple and Christ, who
is the Christian to obey? There was a conflict in Christ's day.
The keepers of the temple laid many human restrictions and rules
on the people. The authorities at the temple would not have wanted
the people to read any literature, watch any videos or go to any
meetings which were not approved by “properly constituted church
authority.” But Christ set His followers free (see Matthew 12: 1-
8) from these rules and restrictions. It was not Christ's will that
any of His followers should ever again be subject to proscribed
human rules of religion.
were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken,
not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of
the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shutout.
There is no place for tradition, for man's theories and conclusions,
or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority
are included in the commission. None of these are Christ's servants
to teach” DA 826.
Jesus came to
set the captives free. In the church during the time of the apostles
there was a constant effort to again bring men and woman under the
control of human religious rules and regulations. The apostle Paul
was set for the defense of the gospel. (See Galatians 5 and Colossians
of human authority until divine authority becomes secondary has
been the curse of the professed church in all ages. The great apostasy
(II Thessalonians 2) was largely the result of exalting human authority
until church legislation was considered more important, authoritative
and dependable than the Word of God. This hypothesis is even substantiated
by the Catholics themselves. The Archbishop of Reggio, at the Council
of Trent stated: “The Protestants claim to stand upon the written
word only. They profess to hold the Scripture alone as the standard
of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church
has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Now
the Protestant's claim, that they stand upon the written word only,
is not true. Their profession of holding the Scripture alone as
the standard of faith, is false. PROOF: The written word explicitly
enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do
not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they do truly hold
the Scripture alone as their standard they would be observing the
seventh day as is enjoined in the Scripture throughout. Yet they
not only reject the observance of the Sabbath enjoined in the written
word, but they have adopted and do practice the observance of Sunday,
for which they have only the tradition of the Church. Consequently
the claim of ‘Scripture alone as the standard' fails; and the doctrine
of ‘Scripture and tradition' as essential, is fully established,
the Protestants themselves being judges” Rome's Challenge 27.
There is every
danger that Protestants, including Seventh- day Adventists, will
in practice do the same thing while they verbally deny it, through
making of church creeds, church manuals and policies until these
are followed in place of the Word of God. It was this very fear
that caused our church leaders in 1883 to reject the idea of having
a church manual. The very fact that we have a church manual today
would, no doubt, be looked upon by our pioneers (who got along without
one for nearly 100 years) as a mark of apostasy.
When the devil
has been unsuccessful in getting the professed people of God to
exalt church authority above the divine authority of God's Word,
he has attempted to cause the same result by a variant of the same
false teaching. Men who saw that the exaltation of church authority
resulted in terrible abuses went to the opposite extreme of saying
that they would not counsel with their brethren at all because they
were taught directly by the Holy Spirit. This happened in the days
of Luther. “Counterfeit holiness, spurious sanctification, is still
doing its work of deception. Under various forms it exhibits the
same spirit as in the days of Luther, diverting minds from the Scriptures
and leading men to follow their own feelings and impressions rather
than to yield obedience to the law of God. This is one of Satan's
most successful devices to cast reproach upon purity and truth”
GC 193. They would accept no man's say- so. Thus they were subject
to no authority but their own minds. This reaction to the abuse
of church authority has led to much fanaticism among Christians
and has also led to the development of atheistic socialism.
people today are still subject to these snares. The one extreme
is the exaltation of human authority— an attempt to enforce the
will of the clergy or church leaders upon all by means of what is
commonly called “properly constituted church authority.” From whom
are we to obtain council? Only from those who give evidence of being
led by the Holy Spirit. “God is dishonored and the gospel is betrayed
when His servants depend on the counsel of men who are not under
the guidance of the Holy Spirit” DA 354.
In Jesus' day,
what was thought to be properly constituted church authority was
made null and void by the teaching and practice of Jesus. (See AA
199; Matthew 15: 14; 16: 10- 23; 1SM 406).
Christ has promised
to again cleanse the temple. We have learned that Christ does not
cleanse the heart as He cleansed the earthly temple, but what about
the spiritual temple, His church? “He will purify His church even
as He purified the temple at the beginning and close of His ministry
on earth” Kress Collection 114.
There are some
interesting things to note in the first cleansing of the earthly
temple. First of all, when Christ came into the temple with His
divine presence, who was it that fled? It was the priests, rulers,
money changers and the crowd that fled. Christ had read the deceitfulness
of their hearts. “They felt as if before the throne of the eternal
Judge, with their sentence passed on them for time and for eternity”
DA 162. They could not endure His presence, the divine, spotless
Son of God. How sad it was. Jesus loved them. He longed to save
them. And for a time they were even “convinced that Christ was a
prophet; and many believed Him to be the Messiah. The Holy Spirit
flashed into their minds the utterances of the prophets concerning
Christ. Would they yield to this conviction? Repent they would not.
. . . Because Christ discerned their thoughts they hated Him. .
. . They determined to challenge Him as to the power by which He
had driven them forth, and who gave Him this power” DA 162.
Yes, the priest
and rulers fled. But they were not alone. The majority of the people
went with them. Ellen White refers to them as, “the crowd.” When
contrasted to the priest, she says, “The people were comparatively
innocent” DA 164. “The sin of the desecration of the temple rested,
in a great degree, upon the priests. It was by their arrangement
that the court had been turned into a market place Ibid. 163, 164.
But, please notice what it was that led them to reject the Saviour.
“With them [the people] the influence of the priests and rulers
was paramount” Ibid. 164. Oh, friends, when will we ever learn not
to put men in the place of God, whoever they be or whatever position
they might hold. The majority of the people in Jerusalem lost their
salvation because they made flesh their arm. “They regarded Christ's
mission as an innovation, and questioned His right to interfere
with what was permitted by the authorities of the temple. They were
offended because the traffic had been interrupted, and they stifled
the convictions of the Holy Spirit” Ibid.
Both the priests
and the people rejected the pleadings of the Holy Spirit. Would
there be any who would accept the working of the Holy Spirit upon
the heart? “When they fled, the poor remained behind; and these
were now looking to Jesus, whose countenance expressed His love
and sympathy. With tears in His eyes, He said to the trembling ones
around Him: Fear not; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify
Me. For this cause came I into the world” DA 163.
It was a wonderful
time for the poor. They had found a Friend in Jesus. They told Him
all their sorrows and woes. They brought to Him their sick to be
healed and their children to be blessed. “Hope and gladness filled
their hearts. Peace came to their minds. They were restored soul
and body, and they returned home, proclaiming everywhere the matchless
love of Jesus” Ibid. like Nicodemus, the seeds of truth had been
hidden in their hearts and at the crucifixion they did not join
with the maddened throng. After Jesus' death they listened to the
apostles and became “agents of God's mercy, and instruments of His
The poor had
accepted the working of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts, and if
we are to accept the working of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts,
we too must become poor— poor in spirit. Jesus said, “Blessed are
the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew
of the Review
It is an interesting
fact that those who professed to be the people of God fled from
His presence when He cleansed the earthly temple. Friends, we have
just read that He is going to cleanse the spiritual temple (the
church) “as or in the same way He cleansed the earthly. How will
it be today? The cleansing is going to happen, friends. Of the fire
at the Review office in Battle Creek, Ellen White wrote, “Three
nights before the Review office burned, I was in an agony that words
cannot describe. I could not sleep. I walked the room, praying to
God to have mercy upon His people. Then I seemed to be in the Review
office with the men who have the management of the institution.
I was trying to speak to them and thus to help them. One of authority
arose and said, ‘You say, The temple of the Lord, the temple of
the Lord are we; therefore, we have authority to do this thing and
that thing and the other thing. But the work of God forbids many
of the things that you propose to do. ' At His first advent, Christ
cleansed the Temple. Prior to His second advent He will again cleanse
the temple. He was there cleansing the temple. Why? Because commercial
work had been brought in, and God had been forgotten. With hurry
here and hurry there and hurry somewhere else, there was no time
to think of heaven. The principles of God's law were presented,
and I heard the question asked, ‘How much of the law have you obeyed?
Then the word
was spoken, ‘God will cleanse and purify His temple in His displeasure.”
' PM 170, 171.
of the Review office involved judgments from God. If God cleansed
the Review by fire because of what was happening then, what, friends,
are we to expect today? Inspiration tells us, “Brethren, God is
in earnest with us. I want to tell you that if after the warnings
given in these burnings the leaders of our people go right on, just
as they have done in the past, exalting themselves, God will take
the bodies next. Just as surely as He lives, He will speak to them
in language that they cannot fail to understand” PM 171.
He Will Thoroughly
Purge His Floor
“Just how soon
this refining process will begin we cannot say, but it will not
be long deferred. He whose fan is in His hand will cleanse His temple
of its moral defilement. He will thoroughly purge His floor” TM
when Jesus comes to cleanse the temple, what will He find? Jesus
cleansed the earthly temple two times before it was eventually destroyed
because it had been a means of blinding men's eyes and hardening
their hearts. He cleansed the institutions at Battle Creek by fire
more than once. Do we realize what is coming, friends? It is Jesus'
plan to cleanse sin from the temple of our hearts and from our church.
If we will not let go of sin, we must be destroyed with it. May
God help us make the needful preparation that when the cleansing
comes we will not be destroyed.