This article is taken from a sermon by Pastor Stephen Lewis. The coloquial phraseology was retained in the transcript.
In Acts 7, we read that Stephen was preaching with power. He was about to be killed, and he knows it, but it was alright because he was so filled with the power of God that he started giving the church their final cry. People in the crowd were being convicted. Saul was in the crowd watching, and he was convicted, brothers and sisters! Stephen was giving the church what you are getting today, a final warning, It is time to repent!
“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth, but he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:54–6. When Jesus stood at this time it was a sign of probation closing on the children of Israel and that is why you see, from chapter 8 on, the gospel going to the Gentiles.
What does it mean? It means God has now closed probation on those who would not represent Him and now the gospel is given to the Gentiles to learn and to proclaim. But who went out and gave this final message? It was the remnant people, Peter and James and John. The Gentiles were not giving it. Paul was an Adventist; he was just a deluded Adventist. He had been brainwashed from some of the things he had learned in the seminary. I can hear you exclaiming, “Wait a minute, what are you saying?” I am saying what the prophet says, that is why Jesus had to take him to the desert for two or three years. He had to “unlearn” him, reorient his thinking, because the scholars had messed up his head.
Stephen’s Light Must be Our Light
The way Stephen was, we must be. In other words, when probation closes on this earth there will be physical signs on the people of God, and those who are rejecting God are going to see the physical sign on the people of God, but the people of God will not notice it on themselves.
Acts 6:15 tells us how Stephen looked. When they looked at Stephen at this point, his face was like a light. It was the same way that Moses’ face looked when he came down off the mount with the Ten Commandments, his face was so lit up that the people could not look upon him. They turned and they said, “Veil his face until he finishes talking to us, we cannot bear the light.” (See Exodus 34:29–35.) The light was the glory of God coming out of him. Stephen was so full of the Holy Spirit that the light in him became visible.
This is why people hate the Three Angel’s Message; this is why you do not see three angels everywhere on all of the Seventh-day Adventist papers anymore. This is why you do not see three angels hanging in front of many of the churches; and you do not see three angels clearly defined, because these three angels are a peculiar message that the Stephens of today must preach in order for the world to radiate Jesus. Notice what it says in Revelation 14:6: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” He says every kindred, nation, and tongue. When you talk about kindreds, nations, tongues and people, that includes all of us, brothers and sisters.
And God says with a loud voice, “…Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come:” Revelation 14:7. In other words, Satan is pointing at God; he is saying God’s law cannot be kept, and God is sitting on the witness stand and He’s saying, ” Wait a minute…” He is looking for somebody to point to who will have the glory of God in them. You see, brothers and sisters, when you fill yourself up with the Word of God and you surrender every earthly attribute to Jesus as He asks for it, eventually there will be a light that will come out of you! This light has been longed for in mankind!
Jesus is about to come and you can keep playing if you want to, but somebody is going to be ready when the light comes! Because the light must come before probation closes on the world and those who get the light will give the final cry to the world.
Going to Babylon
Let me tell you something. It does not phase me when I get cancelled from speaking appointments and when people start lying about me saying, “He is saying this and saying that,” because Satan is afraid of the Adventist message. I am not a biblical scholar, everything I preach comes straight out of the Spirit of Prophecy, and the old pillars, the pioneers. Ellen White said we should study the writings of our pioneers, not all these new books! (See Counsels to Writers and Editors, 28.) She says study, and she says study the writings of our pioneers. Why? Because they founded this movement. We are so far off now you can pick up anything in some of our bookstores—”Life of Billy Graham.” What does Billy know? T.D. Jakes loses a hundred pounds. So what? We do not need to go to Jakes! What is wrong with us?
What have we become as a people? How is it that rather than eat whole grain and get it first hand we are eating meat and getting it second hand? That is the same thing when you watch the gospel people who are taking the Spirit of Prophecy and preaching it to their first day congregations. It is an indictment to those of us who are trying to be like them! You will never hear this type of message in one of those churches. It is a clear ring when the trumpet is sounded and it is important that the trumpet be sounded and be unique. Why? Because ten days prior to the Day of Atonement there was a certain sound, and when that sound was blasted, the church knew that it was time to get ready! (See Leviticus 23:24.)
When we ring this sound through the world, with a high pitch of holy angels exploding it everywhere it goes, the world will be drawn to us. Our choirs cannot do what their choirs can do; we cannot do it. Our preachers cannot do what their preachers can do; we can practice, but we cannot do it. God will not allow it! We must win with truth and nothing but the truth! When you preach the truth and nothing but the truth, you can stutter it and people will be convicted. When the truth is preached, anyone can understand it.
Peter was sitting there. Jesus was looking around; He was saddened. Why? Because He was about to die. He said, “All of you are going to scatter; you are all going to leave when the Shepherd is smitten,” and Peter said, “No not me!” Jesus looked around the room; He is looking for a preacher, and He though, “Nobody will be there to rebuke him when he denies Me;” so He went to the animal kingdom and He caused the rooster to preach the Word! He gave Peter the ability to understand that tone, and he is rebuked, (See Mark 14:27–30.) When thee truth is preached, a donkey can do it! It has a different ring.
We have heretics in our church. We have something that the world does not have. Why are we trying to be like them? Why are we afraid of what people will think about us? Forget what they think; stand for the power of God!
Oh God of heaven! Please pour out Your Spirit! Please, dear God of heaven! Our people are lost! Please Lord, help us today. When there is a crusade, the people do not even see the need of being there. They do not even realize the promise of reaping what you sow. If they just go, they are going to reap someone else in their family by showing up to a meeting somewhere. They say, “I am too tired!” What are they really too tired of? God? Do not act like you are going home from church to pray. Do not act like you are going home to study. You are lost! If the gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. You have no concern; it is just not easy to make a sacrifice for your own salvation. We are in trouble! Do you think Jesus is coming to the crusades? You say you love God, then why would you not want to be where He is?
God gave me a job to present the message. After I do that, I have done my part, but what about your part? What about you?
This is where we are spiritually; you cannot help yourself—you are lost! And you can get as mad as you want to get, but in the heat of your rage I want you to pull out a piece of paper and mark down how much time you spend with God every morning. I want you to mark down how much you read your Bible. I want you to mark down how much time you spend reading the Spirit of Prophecy. I want you to mark down the last time your heart was heavy and your eyes were wet with tears because you understood that a soul might be lost.
The Main Attraction in Town
It has been a long time, and yet God comes through for you every time. But it seems everything else we do is so much more important than these souls that Jesus left heaven to die for. The devil gives us a thousand excuses as to why we cannot do what is most important. The Holy Spirit, during the hours of a crusade, is the main attraction in your town! It is nowhere else except there, unless you are doing the same thing somewhere else. Even if you are at home praying, the main attraction is the meeting, because He said, “Go ye therefore!” (See Matthew 28:19.) It was God who spoke, brothers and sisters.
And here was Stephen; the light was glowing about him. Today, God is calling forth someone who will have that light. Jesus said the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. What was lost? “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7. Adam and Eve were clothed with the light of righteousness. (See Review and Herald, January 26, 1897.)
The same light that was around Stephen’s head; the same light that was around Moses, covered the whole bodies of Adam and Eve. That was their clothing! The minute they sinned it was like taking a bb gun and shooting a light bulb. The minute the bb hits the bulb, Boom! the light goes out. The Bible says “…the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Genesis 3:7.
Before sin, Adam had the ability to look into plant life and know exactly what was there. He could look at a flower and understand how the white would just melt into the red and yellow. He understood all nutritional value and everything that made up every piece of fruit. (See Christian Education, 207.) A fig leaf is a small leaf; there are a lot of leaves larger than a fig leaf that you can use to try to cover yourself. Why the fig leaf? Because figs have healing propensities. Figs are full of magnesium. Magnesium is used to make electricity. Adam was trying to light himself up again. He wanted to glow.
A works religion will not do, Adam. Adam was hoping, trying to spark the leaves and God said, “Adam? Where are you and your light project? Adam, what are you doing? Adam, where are you?” (See Genesis 3:9.)
Many of us are going to find ourselves scrambling and running when it is too late, trying to light ourselves up, trying to get what was lost. Jesus came, and after He died and resurrected, the light became available to everybody! “I am the light of the world; if you leave the world alone and grab onto Me, you will light up!” (See John 8:12.)
Do the Seventh-day Adventists have a message or what? This is not my message; this is in our books! This is what we used to get every single Sabbath and every Wednesday night. We would come to church all the time and when the church could not be open, we would be at each other’s houses, not just talking small talk and laughing as we eat and drink! We would be in the Word. Ellen White says that some of the socials of her day were all night prayer meetings. (See Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 242.) People would get together and they would start praying and studying and praying and all of a sudden the glory of God would come into the house and they would be ‘slain in the Spirit;’ they would fall down. (See Spiritual Gifts, 27, 28; Christian Experience and Teachings, 130; Life Sketches, 261, 1888 and Life Sketches, 127, 1915; Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 239.)
There were no drums, no tambourines, no bass guitar, none of that, just prayer and the Word. They did not even have electricity, but they had the light that the Holy Ghost brought.
Coming for His Bride
Look at how far we are. We are coming to the point where Jesus is going to see who really loves Him. Revelation 19:8 says that when Jesus gets ready to come, He is coming for a bride. If you know brides like I know them, before a bride walks down the aisle, everything has already been prepared—no more trying to get the dress fixed and the flowers ordered. No, no, no! The minute that door opens and that bride stands there with the veil over her face, it is done. When Jesus comes to get His bride, she is going to be dressed, according to Revelation 19:8, in fine, white linen. The Bible says that white linen is the righteousness of the saints, not the righteousness of Christ. You see, “You loved Me so much, and you rejected the things of this world every time I asked you to; and you took ridicule and suffering, and you sacrificed for Me so much that now it is not My righteousness anymore, I am giving it to you—it is yours!” And this is what is going to happen with the remnant first—they are going to have the light! And at that time, the Bible says in Isaiah 59:16, “And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor…” Jesus has left the Most Holy Place—there is no intercessor!
That is why, if you look at Isaiah 59:1, 2 it gives a two fold message. It says God’s hand is not shortened, He is not slack, but it is your iniquities that have separated you.” Well, brothers and sisters, the time is going to come when God’s ear will not hear you because of your life style. Right now He will hear you no matter what your life is like, but the time will come when there will be no intercessor. “…therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him.” Isaiah 59:16. Christ had to stand without a mediator and His own righteousness had to sustain Him. He is going to give that to you! And even though it is His, He says, “No, it is yours; it will not leave. You are sealed now.”
At that time the remnant are going to go to the world with the mighty message. Now those who are not sealed are going to continue in their forms of worship. As a matter of fact, Mrs. White says that when probation closes on the church, Satan is going to cause them to really have a prayer meeting. The church is going to get serious all of a sudden. They are going to have time to pray and time to agonize, but she says, there is no more intercessor. (See Great Controversy, 614, 615.)
Notice what we are told is going to happen. “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1.
Your Children Will be Saved
You are going to be bright, preaching with power, and it says, at that time “…the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.” Ibid, 3, 4. Your children will be saved, if you just live right! Let the light come upon you! When you have the power, that light will draw people. Why? Because the light is Jesus and He says, “…if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. “Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged, because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, and the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” Isaiah 60:5.
God is going to draw people, if we let the light shine, but the light cannot shine with darkness. The light cannot work with Satan.
Ellen White says, “God does nothing in partnership with the devil.” (See Testimonies, vol. 4, 229; Ibid, vol. 5, 671.) Nothing! I want to share a vision with you, and I pray that the Father gives you understanding as you read.
Too Late, Too Late!
“Then I saw Jesus lay off His priestly attire and clothe Himself with His most kingly robes. Upon His head were many crowns, a crown within a crown. Surrounded by the angelic host, He left heaven. The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth. Some were denouncing God and cursing Him. Others rushed to the people of God and begged to be taught how they might escape His judgments. But the saints had nothing for them.…”
” When the saints, and all heaven, were interested for their salvation, they had no interest for themselves. Life and death had been set before them. Many desired life, but made no effort to obtain it. They did not choose life, and now there was no atoning blood to cleanse the guilty, no compassionate Saviour to plead for them, and cry, ‘Spare, spare the sinner a little longer.’ All heaven had united with Jesus, as they heard the fearful words, ‘It is done. It is finished.’ The plan of salvation had been accomplished, but few had chosen to accept it. And as mercy’s sweet voice died away, fear and horror seized the wicked. With terrible distinctness [around the world] they heard the words, ‘Too late! Too late!’
Can you imagine? Too late! Lord, I do not want to hear those words! With terrible distinctness, with all the other sounds in the world, they heard the words, “Too late.”
“Those who had not prized God’s Word were hurrying to and fro, wandering from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the Word of the Lord. Said the angel, ‘They shall not find it. There is a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of the Lord. What would they not give for one word of approval from God…!’”
What would they not give for just one word of approval from God. One more time God, but, it is ‘too late!’ When all heaven was interested, you were too caught up doing your own thing. Too late!
“Day after day have they slighted salvation, prizing earthly riches and earthly pleasure higher than any heavenly treasure or inducement. They have rejected Jesus and despised His saints. The filthy must remain filthy forever.
“Many of the wicked were greatly enraged as they suffered the effects of the plagues. It was a scene of fearful agony. Parents were bitterly reproaching their children, and children their parents, brothers their sisters, and sisters their brothers. Loud, wailing cries were heard in every direction,” [Look what was being said!] ‘It was you who kept me from receiving the truth which would have saved me from this awful hour.’ The people turned upon their ministers with bitter hate and reproached them, saying, ‘You have not warned us.’ Early Writings, 281, 282.
Those Who Know “The Truth” are condemned
When I first read this, I thought it was talking about the first day preachers! No! It was you who knew the truth, who decided to let our young people dance and party, rather than teach them that that type of music came from spiritualism, rather than tell them the truth, that demons come and that angels leave with that type of worship, no matter how sincere you are!
It was you, who kept calling our young people to federation after federation and congress after congress only to lift up Satanic music, with unconverted people standing up, showing off as they sing, shaking their hips back and forth. They do not have devotion, they do not know our message, and yet it was you who would not tell the young people the truth!
Oh, yes, it is going to be heard! Let me tell you something, we are sending our young people to hell! We are insulting our young people. We are acting like our young people cannot come together unless we let them act the fool!
Let us start talking to God. We need to look at our hearts right now. Ask God right now, “Do I really belong to You, Lord, or have I sold out to some crutch in my life?
I am not afraid to back up what I say about this music! I have all the Biblical stats, Spirit of Prophecy stats, scientific stats and historical stats. You have nothing but fluff! And I would be happy to gather all the young people, and anyone who thinks I am wrong, and sit down and talk about it. Nobody has been able to show me yet; it is easier to try to silence me. If you cannot stop the Truth, kill the messenger! But it will not work! If a rooster has to start crowing, it is going to crow, and you are going to understand it. If a donkey has to come, the Lord will send them running through the city— “Where did all these donkeys come from? And they are preaching the same thing!” How can a dumb stupid donkey preach the truth and a sensible human be stuck in error?
Right now we need to make a decision; we have looked into the past, and we must admit that we are unworthy, that we are sinners, that we love sin! But this day the light has come. Do you want that light to be breathed in you? Do you want it to shine out of you? Do you want to be trusted to take this final message to the world? Are you concerned with what God thinks, and not with what people think? Now is the time for salvation.