I don’t like to
say good-by, and one of these days, if we are faithful, we will no
longer have to say good-by. That is going to be one of the great
joys of heaven. But before the victory is won, the battle has to be
fought. We are in the time of battle now.
There is an army of
the Lord, and there is also an army of the devil. There is a great
war going on. We may think that we are in battle, but actually we
are just having little skirmishes right now that are practice runs
for the big war. It will be the final struggle of the great
controversy, which looms right ahead of us.
The only people that
will survive the battle and have eternal life are the people that
have made the decision to be a soldier in the Lord’s army, do or
die. It is going to require that kind of dedication and
consecration. Nobody else in the church will be left. They will
all be gone. In Revelation 17 the final war is described. The
defeat of Babylon is described in Revelation 18, and the great
worldwide confederacy against the army of the Lord is described in
Revelation 17. Revelation 17:13 says that they will have one mind;
they will be unified; there will be a worldwide confederacy against
the truth of God, the commandments of God, and the people of God.
But notice what it
says in verse 14: “These [that is this world wide confederacy] will
make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them.” He will
conquer them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
And those who are with Him—notice these three expressions—“are
called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Have you been
called? It is not enough to only hear the call, you must accept the
call. If you accept the call, then you will be one who is chosen.
But, my dear friend, it is not even enough to be one who is called
and to accept the call. It is necessary to be faithful.
By way of
introduction, let us read a few statements from the Spirit of
The first statement
is from Early Writings, 125. “God is displeased with
us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for
unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to
the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The
angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the
buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the
power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes
contaminated with the darkness.”
When Ellen White
wrote that counsel, in the 1850s, she was telling the people not to
go to the meetings of the nominal Adventists. She said that one of
the big problems at the end of time is going to be between the true
Adventists and the nominal Adventists. Do you think that we are at
the end of time?
written during the same time period, is found in Manuscript
Releases, vol. 5, 425: “Again I was shown the necessity
of those who believe we are having the last message of mercy, being
separate from those who are daily receiving or imbibing new error.
I saw that neither young nor old should attend the assemblies of
those who are in error and darkness. Said the angel, ‘Let the mind
cease to dwell on things of no profit.’ ”
Then there is this
familiar statement from Upward Look, 315. “God has a
church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national
establishment, neither is it the various denominations . . . .” Did
you get that? Is the church one or another denomination?
No, according to the Spirit of Prophecy it is not. This building is
not the church. You say, “Oh! We are organized. We have a
treasurer, and we have elders and deacons. We are even associated
in a sisterhood of churches, and we are all working together.” Is
that the church? No, that is not the church. “Neither is it the
various denominations.” That takes in all of them. No denomination
can say, “We are the true church.” You are not the true church
because you are a denomination—even if your denomination believes
When Steps to Life
began broadcasting on Internet radio, the radio station owner and
staff were very happy with our programming. They called our program
their premier program. One day, shortly after our programming
began, a lady from a very large denomination came into the radio
station to talk to the manager. She said she knew that she was in
the right church—that her church was the right church, but she was
really feeling bad that her church had decided to ordain homosexual
This lady wanted to
find out about getting time on the radio station, and the manager, a
friend of ours, told her, “Not under any condition will we have a
homosexual on this radio station. Not under any condition will we
have their teaching on this radio station. We will close this radio
station down before we will allow that sort of thing.”
The lady asked her
what church she attended, and the manager responded that she attends
a very fundamental
Church. The lady said, “Oh! You’re a cult!” Well, I would rather
belong to a cult than to a church that is ordaining homosexuals as
As the manager was
trying to recover from this exclamation, she told the lady that the
radio station was broadcasting Steps to Life Ministries’ programs.
Steps to Life is quite well known in Wichita [Kansas]. We’ve been
on television there every week since 1987. And when this lady, who
was upset that her church was ordaining homosexual pastors—but she
knew that she was in the right church—heard this, she said, “Oh,
they are a sect!”
I thought that isn’t
too bad. I kind of like that, because in Acts 28, it says that the
apostle Paul belonged to a sect. And it says that the sect that he
belonged to was spoken against all over the world.
What is the church?
People are so confused. I feel so sorry for that lady. Here she
is, sure that she is in the right church, even though they are
ordaining homosexual pastors, and she knows that is wrong, but she
still thinks that this is the church. That is how people get
deluded in their minds. They have a certain mind set, and they are
in a trap, in prison in their minds, and they don’t even know it.
Lots of people all over the world are like this. Let me tell you,
when the latter rain is poured, these chains are going to be broken
off of people, and they are going to see things they have never
I remember so well a
man who used to attend our church. I tried to understand this man
who was a very staunch Roman Catholic. He died recently, and I
believe he received a Roman Catholic funeral. He had watched our
television program, and he had studied his Bible, and he knew that
the seventh day was the Sabbath, so he was a Seventh-day Catholic.
In fact, I just
recently learned of another man who died, and he also was a very
staunch Roman Catholic. He heard about the Sabbath, and he was
telling all of his friends that they needed to start keeping the
Sabbath—that is what the Bible says.
Now, I don’t
understand how the human mind works. How can someone be a staunch
Roman Catholic, become a Sabbath keeper, and still attend the
Catholic Church? I don’t understand all that. But all these chains
are coming off those who are faithful and true at heart and want to
follow the Lord. One of these days we are going to see multitudes
of people coming into Adventism. We have to get ready first. The
reason they can’t come in now is because we are not ready.
“God has a church.
It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national
establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the
people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three
are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’
(Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is
Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who
inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.” Ibid.
You see, unless the
Holy Spirit is here, we are not a church at all. Do you understand
that? It is only the presence of the high and holy One that can
constitute a church. In the old covenant, they had what they called
a temple. Do you know what a temple is? A temple, by definition,
is the house or the habitation of God or the Deity. There is a
temple in heaven where God dwells. God wants to make your body,
your mind a temple. That is what the New Testament teaches in
I Corinthians 6.
When His people come
together, God wants to meet with them and bless them. Talking to
the whole church, in I Corinthians 3, He says, “You are a temple.”
But if we do something to grieve the Holy Spirit away from our
congregation—like allowing open sin to go on in the church unrebuked—then
we are just playing church. We can play church all we want. There
are some churches that have been playing church for hundreds of
years; they have not had the Holy Spirit there for hundreds of
years. That is why they have to have all the things they have in
order to keep the people.
I was in Colorado a
few weeks ago, and as I was walking, I passed by a big, Sunday
church. Every Sunday they have rock bands; they have movies; they
have dancing; and they have doughnuts and coffee at the door. They
have all kinds of gimmicks to get people to attend.
You don’t need the
gimmicks, if you have the Holy Spirit. If you have the Holy Spirit,
the people that have the Holy Spirit on the inside will be drawn to
Ellen White wrote,
“Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,
compose the church of the living God.” Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 949.
Well, that is a
little introduction to what I want to study with you. The first
major thing I want to study with you is modern Israel. Who and what
is modern Israel?
continually seeking to overcome the people of God by breaking down
the barriers which separate them from the world. Ancient Israel
were enticed into sin when they ventured into forbidden association
with the heathen. In a similar manner are modern Israel led
astray.” The Great Controversy, 508. Who is this modern
Israel of which Mrs. White is speaking?
Let’s read a few
more statements and see if we can figure out. “There is a limit
beyond which the judgments of Jehovah can no longer be delayed. The
desolation of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah is a solemn warning
to modern Israel, that the counsels and admonitions given them
through chosen instrumentalities cannot be disregarded with
impunity.” Prophets and Kings, 417. Ok, who is this modern
Israel about which she is talking?
Let’s come right to
the point. The following statement will tell us exactly who it is.
“I was shown that those who are trying to obey God . . .” She
doesn’t even say that they are obeying God yet, but they are
trying to obey God. “. . . and purify their souls through
obedience to the truth are God’s chosen people, His modern Israel.”
Testimonies, vol. 2, 108. Does God have an Israel today?
Oh, yes, He does!
The New Testament is
full of instruction about Israel. I love this passage of Scripture
in Romans 9:6 that is about Israel: “It is not as if the word of God
is taken none effect. For they are not all Israel who are Israel.”
What is that talking about? “Neither because they are the seed of
Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be
called. Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the
children of God. No, but the children of the promise are accounted
for the seed.” Verses 7, 8. We could have a whole sermon just on
who is Israel in the New Testament! The apostle Paul talks about
it; Peter talks about it; James talks about it; John talks about
it. It is all through the New Testament.
says, “For you are all the sons of God through faith in Christ
Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ you
have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is
neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you
are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are
Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
All the distinctions
of society are going to be obliterated when Jesus comes. We are
going to be one. We are going to join the angelic family. We are
going to have families like the angels. We don’t understand it all
yet, but it’s surely going to be exciting to find out. Sometimes I
think I can hardly wait.
Who is Israel?
“Those who are trying to obey God and purify their souls through
obedience to the truth are God’s chosen people, His modern Israel.”
What happened to
ancient Israel? “Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness
because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater
danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His
ancient people. Many idols are worshiped, even by professed
Sabbathkeepers.” Ibid., vol. 1, 609. That is scary, isn’t it?
“The unbelief and
sins of ancient Israel were presented before me, and I saw that
similar wrongs and iniquity exist among modern Israel.” Ibid., vol.
“The sin of ancient
Israel was in disregarding the expressed will of God and following
their own way according to the leadings of unsanctified hearts.
Modern Israel are fast following in their footsteps, and the
displeasure of the Lord is as surely resting upon them.” Ibid.,
vol. 5, 94. It doesn’t sound very good, does it?
“The great sin of
ancient Israel was in turning from God to idols. This is also the
great sin of modern Israel.” Review and Herald, June 3,
1889. Mrs. White says, “We are less excusable than was ancient
Israel.” The Signs of the Times, April 15, 1880. It’s
amazing that over and over again she points out what their problem
was, then she says we have the same problem. In fact, she says we
have done worse than they did.
evidence is given that God is a jealous God, and that he will
require of modern Israel as he did of ancient Israel, that they obey
his law.” Ibid., May 27, 1880.
“We urge modern
Israel to lay aside their ornaments, their jewels of silver and gold
and precious stones, to put off their costly-apparel, and to seek
for the inward adorning, even the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit . . . .” Ibid., May 26, 1881. She goes on to say that we
are not to be devotees of fashion. Why do we see the problems we do
in Adventism today? Because of these things.
“The cause of
Israel’s weakness lay in their departure from God by disobedience to
his commandments. The reason of the weakness and backsliding of
modern Israel is their neglect to obey the divine law.” Ibid., June
9, 1881. That is the reason for our problems!
“God has given to
modern Israel warnings, counsel, and reproof, to bring them to
repentance and reformation of life. But too often these produce but
a momentary impression. The persons warned soon return to their own
ways. They flatter themselves that because they have a form of
godliness they will be accepted of the Lord, and they go on
presumptuously devising and executing plans in accordance with their
own finite judgment, and giving little heed to the special
manifestations of divine providence. It is one thing to acknowledge
the claims of God’s law, and quite another thing to render faithful
and willing obedience to all its requirements. And let it be
remembered that to the obedient alone will the promises of blessing,
support, and guidance be fulfilled.” Ibid., December 22, 1881.
In ancient Israel,
God specified that a difference was to be made between the sacred
and the common, between the holy and unholy. When the priests Nadab
and Abihu disregarded that, they were killed. A divine fire came
out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them. After that
happened, the Lord told Moses and Aaron to put a difference between
the sacred and the common.
Who is modern
Israel? “This command [the command in II Corinthians 6:17 to
separate from the unclean] is just as valid today as when God gave
it to Moses to give to the children of Israel. The sins against
which ancient Israel were warned have led modern Israel into byways
and forbidden paths. The professed people of God have made those
who are trampling under foot His commandments their counselors.”
Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 130. Do you know what a byway is?
That is when you are no longer on the main highway. You are off on
a side road. You may wonder how in the world we could do such a
thing? Well, we’ve done it. We’ve done it for years.
Do you know where we
send our ministers for training? They go to a Sunday-keeping
university to get their doctorate degrees and to learn from the
theologians there, then they can come back and train other
ministers. We have had this problem among us for years. That’s
what she says: “The professed people of God have made those who are
trampling under foot His commandments their counselors.”
How do we figure out
how to make our churches grow? We send our ministers to
Sunday-keeping churches to learn how to make the churches grow.
We’ve been doing it for years. Who does she say modern Israel is?
She says that it is the professed people of God. Modern
Israel is the professed church.
references on the professed church are alarming too.
“Satan has woven his
spell even over the professed church of Christ. . . . A part of
these professors arouse and repent, and do their first works; but
those who take comfort in their legal religion [Pharisaism], in
their form of godliness that is devoid of the power, feel that they
have been personally rebuked and injured by the repentance of those
who have aroused and returned unto the Lord. Instead of humbling
their hearts and confessing their backsliding, they resist and
oppose the message the Lord has sent. They oppose their finite
wisdom against the wisdom of the Infinite. They allow their
prejudices and passions to hold sway; they work on Satan’s side of
the question.” The Bible Echo, March 26, 1894. Now, look at
what happens: “Thus the advocates of truth are brought into an
unexpected conflict, and they are forced to bear witness to the
truth, and to resist the hostility and hatred of those who would
make the truth of God of none effect. Thus dissension comes in like
a sword to divide believers and unbelievers.” Ibid. That is in the
That is exactly what
has been happening, friend, all over the world. Just the other day
I heard about an elderly lady from England who said that when she
was a little girl, her parents were Seventh-day Adventists, and
Ellen White visited in her parents’ home. This lady sat at the
table as Mrs. White, her parents, and other Adventists talked.
Finally, in this conversation, one of the Adventists asked Mrs.
White whether the Lord had shown her what was going to happen to the
Seventh-day Adventists—in other words, the Seventh-day Adventist
Church. This lady remembers, as a little girl, sitting at the table
watching, and when Ellen White was asked this question, her head
dropped and tears began to run down her cheeks. She began to cry,
and she never answered that question.
We are finding out
today—and we are going to find out a lot more in the very near
future—why she was crying. These statements were prophecies when
they were written, but they are not prophecies any more.
church of Christ has wandered from her privilege, her duty, and her
God. Like ancient Israel, she has forsaken the covenant, and joined
herself in harmony with the world.” The Signs of the Times,
October 4, 1883. That is why, friend, when a minister stands up and
preaches the Three Angels’ Messages, he gets in trouble with the
That is why, when
friends of ours in Europe secured some printing presses and began
printing literature in German and other European languages and
sending these things by the millions all over Europe, especially
eastern Europe, they ran into trouble. They thought that when
people would see this literature proclaiming the Three Angels’
Messages that they would need to know how to get in contact with an
Adventist church. So they put the address and telephone number of
the conference office on the literature so people could call there
and find out where a Sabbath-keeping church was near them, so they
could visit it.
The conference in
Germany is affiliated with the ecumenical movement, which affiliates
with all the Sunday-keeping churches and the papacy. When these
other church leaders saw this literature bearing the conference
telephone number, they came to the conference people and asked why
the conference telephone number was on it. They told the conference
leaders that they thought the conference was part of them,
cooperating and working with them. The conference leader said that
yes, they were part of them. They took our brothers to court, sued
them, and forced them to take off the conference telephone number.
Praise the Lord that at the present time they can’t force them to
quit printing and distributing the literature, but they can force
them to not put their telephone number on it.
I received a
communication from our friends asking if we would be willing to have
Steps to Life’s phone number on the literature. They needed a phone
number some where in the world so people can find out where there is
a Sabbath-keeping church. We told them that they could put our
telephone number on it. Someone has to risk something to preach the
Three Angels’ Messages. When you go to war, you have to be willing,
if you are a soldier, to take some risks.
Israel, she has forsaken the covenant, and joined herself in harmony
with the world. Pride, luxury, and pleasure are invited into the
sanctuary, and her holy places are defiled. Those who have pledged
their allegiance to God, enjoy the company and spirit of his avowed
Let me ask you
something. Is that being a faithful soldier, if you have pledged
your allegiance to God but you are enjoying the company and
fraternizing with His deadliest enemies? In the world, we call
those people traitors, and until a few years ago, in most countries,
those people were put to death by a firing squad. Mrs. White says,
“Their choice determines their character. Strong is the Lord God who
judges them.” Ibid.
church of God may be possessed of wealth, education, and knowledge
of doctrine, and may say by her attitude, ‘I am rich and increased
with goods, and have need of nothing;’ but if its members are devoid
of inward holiness, they cannot be the light of the world. The
church is to reflect light into the moral darkness of the world, as
the stars reflect light into the darkness of the night. These who
have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, do not reflect
light into the world, and will not have power to reach the hearts of
the unsaved.” Ibid., September 11, 1893. And people ask me, “Why
are we spending so much money in evangelism with so little
results?” Part of the answer is right here. She says that if the
members of the church are devoid of inward holiness they cannot be
the light of the world. They will not have power to reach the
hearts of the unsaved. See, that is why evangelism is ineffectual.
That is the very same thing that happened in the ancient church.
When I studied
church history in graduate school, we learned that after the
apostles died the church of God tobogganed into apostasy. How did
they toboggan into apostasy so quickly? The devil is a schemer, and
he persuaded most of the leaders of the early Christian church that
they needed to be more successful in evangelism. By the time the
last of the apostles died, it is estimated that between five and ten
percent of the Roman Empire were Christian. That was a lot of
people! In fact, Paul says, in Colossians 1:23, that the gospel had
gone to every creature under heaven. They had all heard it. They
didn’t all accept it, but they had all heard it.
The church leaders
wanted to be more successful in evangelism. I’m always scared when
church leaders decide that they are going to set a goal for
evangelism. It is all right for God to set goals, but it is
different for you and me to set a goal for what God is going to do.
Convicting the heart is the work of the Holy Spirit. When we start
setting goals, then we have to reach them. Otherwise we are
It’s like this story
I was told by a well-known Seventh-day Adventist evangelist. This
happened many years ago. He always advertised in his evangelistic
meetings that on a certain night in his series he would have a
baptism. He got into a little town in the western United States,
and the people were not very receptive to what he was preaching. It
was coming up to the time he was supposed to have a baptism, and he
didn’t have anybody to baptize. He had a problem! He should have
never advertised that in the first place. We don’t baptize people
until the Holy Spirit has them ready, and we can’t tell the Holy
Spirit how fast to get somebody ready. But he had already
advertised it to the whole town, so he was in a fix. Well, there
was a fellow in this town that was one or two bricks short—there is
somebody like that in every town of any size. Sometimes they are
the town drunk or something else. Anyway, he got in contact with
this fellow, and he talked him into being baptized—that way he
wouldn’t be embarrassed, you see.
This person should
never have been baptized, but the advertised night came for the
baptism. The baptismal tank had been prepared, but the water was
not quite warm enough. When this fellow stepped into that tank of
cold water, he started to swear. After he was baptized, the
evangelist told him to quit swearing or he would baptize him again,
and then he swore some more. That minister was so embarrassed, that
after that unfortunate incident, he learned his lesson. He never
advertised that he was going to have a baptism a certain night in
his evangelistic meetings any more.
You see, if we don’t
have inward holiness, then we do not reflect the light to the world
from Jesus, and we will not have the power to reach the hearts of
the unsaved. In the early church, they evidently began setting
baptismal goals. They wanted to be more successful in evangelism,
so they lowered the standard that was required to come into the
When we start
lowering the standard, it seems like there is no end. It just keeps
going down, down, down. After the early church lowered the
standard, they couldn’t convert anybody anymore, except hypocrites,
because only hypocrites would join such an organization. Even the
heathen pagans who were outstanding, moral people wouldn’t join it,
because the people of the early church didn’t have as good morals as
When you lower the
standard to bring people into the church, eventually the church
becomes powerless to convert anybody except hypocrites. Then the
church becomes full of hypocrites. Do you see why it is important
that we not tolerate open sin in the church and why we should not
lower the standard in the church? If we do, eventually the church
will actually be worse than the world. It will be full of
church of Christ is strengthening the hand of sinners in their evil
work by making void through their traditions [that is their church
rules and regulations that are not according to the Bible], the
commandment of Jehovah.” Ibid., March 12, 1894.
We have now read
a whole series of awful, awful statements. But here is the bright
spot in the picture: “There will be a remnant who will do the will
of God.” Ibid. Mrs. White then quotes Isaiah 58:12–14. Isn’t that
We have looked at
all these awful statements. We know modern Israel is those who make
a profession of the Adventist faith; they make a profession of
keeping the laws of God, of following the Lord, and living according
to the Bible—those people that have the testimony of Jesus and keep
the commandments of God. The people who make that profession are
modern Israel, but remember most of modern Israel are not going to
be saved. There will be a remnant that is going to go all the way
through to the end and go to heaven. That is the focal point of our
The remnant! Oh,
friend, everything is for naught, even if you are a part of Israel.
Everything is for naught, if you don’t become part of that remnant.
Most of modern Israel is going to lose their souls, but there is
going to be a remnant
When I started to
understand this, I began to ask some questions. The big question I
had was, What is the difference? What is going to distinguish the
remnant of Israel from all the rest of modern Israel? Is that a
fair question to ask, if you are going to be part of the remnant
that goes through to glory? Wouldn’t you like to know what is the
difference between the remnant and the rest of Israel?
That is not a
question for which the answer is easily apparent, because they all
profess to believe the same thing. It is easy, if you study Bible
prophecy, to tell the difference between Israel and Babylon.
Babylon doesn’t keep the commandments; they don’t even profess to.
They deliberately break them, and they tell you that you are going
to be saved in sin. That is what Babylon does.
The apostle Paul, in
II Thessalonians 2 calls that the lie. That is the lie that is
going to take the whole world captive in the last generation. It is
the lie that you can be saved in sin. There is no verse in
the Bible that promises salvation in sin, not one.
theology is, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His
people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. In the Greek language, the
words from and in have the same characteristical marks
as they do in English. Right now I am from Kansas, but I’m
not in Kansas. Quite a bit of difference isn’t there? There
is a lot of difference where you are in and where you are
from. You can’t be in something and from
something at the same time.
So it is easy to
tell the difference between Israel and Babylon, if you study Bible
prophecy. The distinguishing marks are easily discerned. We have
people come to Steps to Life’s Prophecy Seminar and in three weeks
they can tell the difference. In fact, I had a woman come to me
during our last Prophecy Seminar in Wichita. It has become my
custom, when talking to non-Adventists, to never mention the pope by
name or to even mention the Roman Catholic Church by name, because I
don’t know where the people are coming from. But I preach the Three
Angels’ Messages right from the Bible. I show them all the marks of
Babylon—what the antichrist is and what Babylon is. This lady came
to me after a meeting, and she said, “You are talking about the
Roman Catholic Church, aren’t you?”
I said, “Yes.”
It is so plain in
the Bible that if you know just a little, tiny bit of history, you
can figure out what the Bible is saying. Just so you don’t get
mixed up, do you how many of the distinguishing marks of Babylon,
the antichrist, God put in Daniel 7, II Thessalonians 2, and
Revelation 13? One Sabbath I was scheduled to preach, and I
wondered how many actual distinguishing marks there are. I knew
that there were over 20. I just took a pen and paper and I went to
Daniel 7 and started writing down a list. Then I went to
II Thessalonians 2, and I kept writing. Then I went to Revelation
13, and I kept writing. I had over 66 distinguishing marks written
down in just a few minutes!
As I say, if you
know Bible prophecy, it’s easy to tell the difference between Israel
and Babylon. But we are not talking about that. We are talking
about all the people that are in Israel now. See, the remnant are
all in Israel. When you are talking about modern Israel, are you
talking about the remnant? The remnant is a smaller group within a
bigger group called Israel. What we want to know is how to tell the
I will try to make
it as simple and practical as I can. I will tell you the answer in
one sentence, and then we will prove it from the Spirit of Prophecy
and the Bible.
between the remnant and the rest of modern Israel is that the
remnant actually do what the other people profess to do. Did you
get it? The remnant actually do what the other people profess to
do. That is the only difference, but it ends up being a huge
Is it a huge
difference to you if your son or your daughter profess to obey you
or whether they actually do? Is that a difference to you?
Let us look at some
statements. “John saw the remnant church on the earth, in an age of
lawlessness, and he points them out in unmistakable language.”
The Signs of the Times, February 3, 1888. What is this
unmistakable language? Ellen White quoted the text that she says is
unmistakable language that points out the remnant: “Here is the
patience [an active patience; steadfast endurance] of the holy
people [the saints], those who keep the commandments of God and the
faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.
The remnant will be
people who actually keep the commandments of God. All of Israel
profess to keep the commandments of God, but the remnant actually
do. They keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Do
you know what the faith of Jesus is? The testimony of Jesus is the
Spirit of Prophecy, but what is the faith of Jesus?
The faith of Jesus
is a faith that is powerful enough that you will receive the grace
from the Holy Spirit, and you can overcome sin. If you are
overcoming sin, you are experiencing the faith of Jesus. If you are
not overcoming sin, you are not yet experiencing the faith of
A. T. Jones preached
between 20 and 30 sermons on this subject at the 1895 General
Conference. He showed that unless you have the faith of Jesus, you
won’t be able to keep the commandments. And that is true. So,
first of all, the remnant are people who actually keep the
commandments and have the faith of Jesus.
Second: “The remnant
church of God are to give the warning of the third angel to the
world.” Ibid., June 18, 1894. That is Revelation 14:6–12, the
Three Angels’ Messages. The remnant are going to give the Three
Angels’ Messages to the whole world.
have arrived at a time when, if anyone tries to give the Three
Angels’ Messages anywhere, they receive opposition from people who
call themselves Seventh-day Adventists. If you are opposed to
giving the Three Angels’ Messages to the world, you are not going to
be part of the remnant.
you will not be deceived, the time is coming that it will be at the
peril of our lives to give the Three Angels’ Messages to the whole
world; but they still must be given to the whole world. The people
of the world have to have one last chance before they burn up. It
is worth it, when you consider that every soul is worth so much that
Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. It is worth taking a risk for
whomever you can save.
The remnant church
of God is to give the warning of the third angel to the world. I
just learned a few days ago of a man in Canada who set up a web
site, and on it he put Bible studies in Chinese. He’s in contact
with many people in China, and he is getting the gospel into China.
He’s getting the third angel’s message to China through the
internet. But he made the “mistake” of putting some pictures in
these Bible studies from a certain, very well known, Adventist
conference ministry. Some time back they threatened him that he had
to immediately quit using these pictures, or they were going to take
him to court and sue him for using their material.
I could hardly
believe it. If it had been the General Conference, I would have
thought, “Yes, they have been doing that kind of thing for years.”
But this isn’t the General Conference. This is a ministry that,
historic Adventists tell me, is preaching the historic message and
getting out the real truth to the world. The historic Adventists,
fortunately or unfortunately, have supplied this ministry with
probably millions of dollars. People think that this ministry is
giving the Three Angels’ Messages to the world. Very strange things
are happening today. The people that you thought were going to take
the Three Angels’ Messages to the world will sue somebody that is
trying to get the messages to China!
I’m going to try to
get in contact with this man and tell him that he can use the Steps
to Life Bible Studies any time he wants.
I could tell you
many more stories. I already told you one about Germany. I have
now told you one about trying to get the message to China. Let me
tell you, friend, you are going to see things in the very near
future that you didn’t think could ever happen, and they are already
starting to happen.
The people that are
called Israel are going to be listening to and following Lucifer.
They are not going to wind up being the remnant. The remnant are
going to take the Three Angels’ Messages to the world. Don’t ever
forget this. If you decide that you are afraid to be a soldier in
the army of the Lord—because the Lord expects you to take the Three
Angels’ Messages to the world, and it is too dangerous to do so, and
you decide to duck out of the army on that account—don’t forget that
you won’t be a part of the remnant.
Somebody says to me,
“Pastor John, don’t you understand what it says in Counsels to
Writers and Editors  about how we are not to make strong
thrusts at the Catholics and other churches?” Yes, I’ve read all
those statements many, many times. I’ve thought about it, and I’ve
prayed and meditated about it, and I’m willing to learn from anybody
the best and most tactful and most kind ways of delivering the Three
Angels’ Messages. But after it is all said and done, I still have
to deliver the Three Angels’ Messages to the people, and they still
have to know who antichrist is, and when we get done, they have to
know what the mark of the beast is. They have to know that. How
can they avoid getting something that they don’t know what it is?
I believe in being
tactful, and I believe in being kind. I believe in treating the
Catholics and Muslims and people of all religions with the utmost
courtesy and respect, because I believe that Jesus would. I try to
be kind. I try not to embarrass them, but listen. Suppose somebody
is in a building that is on fire. What’s the kindest thing to do?
Is the kindest thing to do to say, “Everything is all right,” or to
say, “You better get out of here or you are going to burn up”? What
is the kindest thing to do? The person that really loves you is
going to scream to you to get out of there.
People today don’t
know what love is. I believe in kindness; I believe in tact; I
believe in courtesy. I used to be a lot more blunt, but Ellen White
tells us that as we draw near the end of time we will have less to
say about the Catholics. I have studied these statements. I have
prayed about it, and I have tried to figure out how to do what the
Lord wants me to do the way He wants me to do it. I don’t even
mention the name of the pope; I don’t even mention the name of the
Roman Catholic Church. I do quote from their own writings. I don’t
see how they can be offended if I quote from their writings and say
from where I’m quoting.
By the time I finish
quoting from their writings, everyone knows everything they need to
know. Just read the Bible and quote their writings and you know
everything you need to know. Quote from Converse Catechism,
and they say they don’t worship on Saturday, if that is the Sabbath,
because the Roman Church changed the day of worship from Saturday to
Sunday in the Council of Laodicea in 364 A.D.
If we get so timid
and scared that we decide we are not going to take the Three Angels’
Messages to the world, because it is too dangerous and we are
waiting for a more opportune time, let me tell you something, the
more opportune time isn’t coming. The more opportune time is right
Remember the remnant
are going to take the Three Angels’ Messages to the world. We must
be soldiers. We are going to have to go out on the front lines, at
the risk of our lives, to tell the people that they are going to
receive the mark of the beast; they are going to get destroyed by
the seven last plagues and in hell fire, if they go along with this
thing. We are going to be up against the entire world. Read
They are going to be
all of one mind. There is going to be a worldwide confederacy
against the truth, and the Lord’s soldiers are going to stand up to
this thing. If we have enough faith, it’s going to be the most
wonderful, exciting time in our lives. If we don’t have enough
faith, it is going to be terrifying, and we will go down with the
rest of Israel that are not part of the remnant.
I hope that you have
decided in your mind that, by the grace of God, you are going to be
faithful to the Three Angels’ Messages, and you are going to get
them out to all the world the best you can.
The best method does
not mean that you stop working. Learning to do God’s work the best
way and not doing the work are two different things. The best way
of doing God’s work is not to muffle the voice and not get the Three
Angels’ Messages out, because you are scared somebody will get
angry. People will get angry, but they have to have an opportunity
to choose their eternal destiny, and it is your job and mine to give
them the opportunity to decide if they are going to have eternal
life or not.
characteristic of the remnant is given in The Signs of the Times,
April 22, 1889: “Although the law of God will be almost universally
made void in the world, there will be a remnant of the righteous
that will be obedient to God’s requirements. The wrath of the
dragon will be directed against the loyal servants of Heaven.” She
then quotes this Scripture: “The dragon was enraged against the
woman, and he went out to wage war with the remnant [that is the
rest of her seed], those who keep the commandments of God and have
the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:17. There will be a remnant
that will be obedient, and the dragon will direct his wrath against
Revelation 12:17, Ellen White wrote: “We can see from this scripture
that it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who
keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus
Christ.” Ibid. Do you know what that means?
A few years ago I
was in Florida. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
was making a lawsuit against Rafael Perez. When they sued John
Merick a few years before, John Merick actually went to jail. When
you sue somebody, you are waging legal war against that person. For
what was Rafael Perez being sued? He was getting the Three Angels’
Messages out in big newspapers. Some may think that he wasn’t doing
it right. Well, friend, if he wasn’t doing it right, show him a
better way of doing it, but don’t tell him to do nothing; that would
violate his conscience.
I’ve been at
Rafael’s place a number of times. He goes on the radio live every
Sunday morning for a call-in program. He has all sorts of people
call. They ask questions about everything. He’s doing a work for
the Lord. Keep him uplifted in your prayers. He has been under
attack like everyone is under attack that is trying to get out the
Three Angels’ Messages. The more successful you are at getting the
message out, the more you are going to be attacked.
Ellen White said,
“We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of
God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and
have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” I’m sorry to tell you,
friends, but on the basis of this statement, I can tell you that the
General Conference is not the true church today. They are making
war all over the world with people who are trying to keep the
commandments and get out the Three Angels’ Messages. They are
making war with them all over the world. Oh, somebody says, “But
they are Israel.” Well, sure they are Israel, but thy are not the
remnant. They are not the true church.
I want to be part of
the remnant, because when Jesus comes, He isn’t coming for all of
Israel. He is only coming for the remnant. Everyone else is going
to get destroyed when Jesus comes.
“We can see from
this scripture that it is not the true church of God that makes war
with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony
of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place
themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who
vindicate God’s precepts.” Ibid. That is point number three of who
are the remnant.
The fourth point
will bring clearly into focus who are the remnant today. “The
opposition which Christ received came from his own nation, who would
have been greatly blessed had they accepted him. In like manner the
remnant church receive opposition from those who profess to be their
brethren.” Review and Herald, August 28, 1883. From whom is
the remnant church going to receive opposition? Is it going to be
from the heathen? Is it going to be from Babylon? Is it going to
be from the apostates? No, it is going to be from Israel. The
remnant are going to receive opposition from modern Israel.
I’ve had people say
to me, “But they are the anointed.” Well, friend, Saul was the
anointed one, too, but when he started chasing David, it wasn’t the
Lord’s will. Do you understand that?
The remnant church
are those people that keep the commandments; they have the testimony
of Jesus—the Spirit of Prophecy. They have the faith of Jesus, and
they are getting the Three Angels’ Messages out to the world. They
are receiving opposition from the people that claim and profess to
be their brethren. That is who the remnant are. Do you still want
to be part of the remnant?
I want to be part of
the remnant. I want to be one of those remnant soldiers. And here
is one of the main reasons why: Because the remnant, in the final
analysis, are going to triumph. It is going to look like they are
going to get defeated. Ellen White said that it is going to look
like the devil has won the great controversy, but the remnant
finally are going to triumph. “In holy vision the prophet saw the
ultimate triumph of God’s remnant church.” The Acts of the
We read also in
Prophets and Kings, 728, that “the prophet beholds the
Lord of glory descending from heaven with all the holy angels, to
gather the remnant church from among the nations of earth.” Who is
He going to gather? The remnant. That is all. He is going to
gather the remnant church from among the nations.
What is going to
happen to the rest? The same thing that happened to ancient
People say to me,
“The church is going through.” Of course the church is going
through. The church is always going through. The church went
through in Jesus’ time, but what happened to most of Israel? The
destruction of Jerusalem is what happened. The church has always
This will be
interesting for you to study, for those who are Bible scholars and
want to study this out historically. If you want, you can start in
the Book of Genesis and go right through the Old Testament, and you
will find that, in every age of the church, God has always had a
remnant that went through. Always. And in every age of the church,
the majority of God’s people didn’t make it. So when people say to
me, “The church is going through,” I can tell them that the remnant
church has always gone through, and it always will. The question
is, Are you going to be part of it? Do you have the characteristics
of those who will be part of the remnant?
The remnant church
will ultimately triumph. It will be gathered from among the
nations. The question is not, Are you part of Israel? When you get
baptized, you are part of Israel, but that does not make you part of
the remnant. Remember what we read in Revelation 17. Jesus is
going to have some people with Him. He is going to have a
battle-hardened army in the last days. That is why we are going
through a few little skirmishes. It is not much yet, compared to
what it is going to be in just a little while, but what we are going
through right now is to get us ready for the big one. Jesus is
going to have, in the last days, a battle-hardened army. Those who
are with Him are “called, and chosen, and faithful.” That is the
remnant. Where are you going to be? Where are you going to be,
when the only ones that are left are the remnant?
Isaiah 4:3 says,
“And it shall be the ones that are left in Zion, and those that
remain in Jerusalem, they will be called holy; everyone that is
written among the living in Jerusalem.” There is the remnant,
friend. The word remnant comes from the Hebrew and Greek
words that mean “those that are left.” The remnant are those that
are left when everybody else gets destroyed. All the sinners in
Zion are going to get destroyed; all that is going to be left are
the remnant. Oh, friend, where are you going to be when the remnant
is all that’s left alive?