Finishing the Reformation

Have you ever considered how the Reformation would be finished? It would be finished by people who had the same experience as the man who got the ball rolling in the beginning.
I believe that the people who will finish the Reformation, and who will receive the Latter Rain, will embrace Christ, as did Martin Luther.

A Great Desire

This was the great desire, the great goal of the man who started the Protestant Reformation: “An earnest desire to be free from sin and to find peace with God led him [Martin Luther] at last to enter a cloister and devote himself to a monastic life.” The Great Controversy, 123. That should be the great desire of everyone who finishes it; they should cry out to God as did Jacob and say, I will not let You go unless You bless me.

Martin Luther had a great desire, and it was his only desire. “As his convictions of sin deepened, he sought by his own works to obtain pardon and peace. He led a most rigorous life, endeavoring by fasting, vigils, and scourgings to subdue the evils of his nature, from which the monastic life had brought no ease. He shrank from no sacrifice by which he might attain to that purity of heart which would enable him to stand approved before God.” Ibid.

Is that your heart longing, to have purity of heart, to have purity of mind, for that old man of sin to die so that Christ can be formed within? That was Martin Luther’s great desire. That was his great goal, the focal point of his life and his eventual ministry. He said, “‘I was indeed a pious monk,…and followed the rules of my order more strictly than I can express. If ever [a] monk could obtain heaven by his monkish works, I should certainly have been entitled to it.’” Ibid.

But he then goes on, “‘If it had continued much longer, I should have carried my mortifications even to death.’” Ibid. Ellen White says that from those painful supplications, from those agonizing efforts to save himself, Martin Luther physically never fully recovered. But, “When it appeared to Luther that all was lost, God raised up a friend and helper for him.” Ibid.

Listening to God

God will raise up a friend and a helper for you. God will provide a way of escape for whatever your situation may be. “The pious Staupitz opened the Word of God to Luther’s mind and bade him look away from himself, cease the contemplation of infinite punishment for the violation of God’s law, and look to Jesus, his sin-pardoning Saviour. ‘Instead of torturing yourself on account of your sins, throw yourself into the Redeemer’s arms. Trust in Him, in the righteousness of His life, in the atonement of His death.…Listen to the Son of God. He became man to give you the assurance of divine favor. Love Him who first loved you.’” Ibid., 123, 124.

“After many a struggle with long-cherished errors, he was enabled to grasp the truth, and peace came to his troubled soul.” Ibid., 124.

The great truth that Martin Luther found was justification by faith. Did he keep it buried in the monastery cell? No! Anyone who has had that truth burn in their hearts, wants to share it all around the world.

I think Pope John Paul believes that, too. We will look at a statement a little farther on that will prove that point.

Exposing the Errors

Martin Luther accepted the marvelous message that the just would live by faith, and he began preaching it in Wittenberg. After he had been preaching for a few years, a gentleman named Tetzel came to Germany to raise money to erect the faith healers’ church at Rome. He was an agent of the Catholic Church. Tetzel started selling indulgences. He repeated the most glaring falsehoods and related marvelous tales to deceive an ignorant, credulous, and superstitious people.

It was then that phase two of Martin Luther’s work came into being. He not only had been called to preach justification by faith, but he was now called upon to expose the errors of the mother church. So he nailed the 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg on the day before the feast of All Saints day, and the Reformation began. (See Ibid., 127–129.)

Then came the Diet of Worms. Charles V convened it, but he certainly was encouraged by his friends in Rome. Eight years later, in 1529, the Diet of Spires convened, and a year later the Diet of Augsburg convened. One Diet after another convened for one purpose—to stamp out the Protestant Reformation. (See Ibid., 145–170, 197–210.) But they could not stop it because the gospel messages burned in the hearts of the people, and they were going to give those messages, come what may. They were living the messages, and they wanted to share them with everybody around them.

The Council of Trent

In 1546, the Vatican asked, How are we going to stop this Reformation? The Council of Trent was convened. Its only purpose was to destroy the Protestant Reformation. Vatican II was called by Pope John XXIII to absolutely demolish and destroy living Protestantism today.

To show you how successful the Catholic Church was in stopping the Reformation, the church at this very time period was identified in Revelation 3, as the church of Sardis. This was the church of the Reformation.

When the 95 theses were nailed to the door at Wittenberg, the Reformation began, as did the church of Sardis. “Unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Revelation 3:1.

What brought life to the Reformation church? It was the preaching of the message of justification by faith. Sola Scriptura, the Bible and the Bible only, and Sola Fide, by faith alone. As the reformers died, the church died with them, because the traditions that the papacy had planned began to infiltrate the churches that had been raised up in the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation died.

Was The Council of Trent successful? Yes, it was. When some Millerite preachers in the 1830s and the early 1840s, and then the early Adventists, began to preach Revelation 14, they said the Reformation churches had become so bad that by 1844 they were called Babylon.

Called to Restore the Truth

“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:8. God started the Protestant Reformation. God raised up a people, and as certain churches fell, God had somebody else to take their place. So He raised up the Adventist people in 1844. They began to preach and add to the messages that Martin Luther preached, and to carry them to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. God’s people could then go home.

They were called to restore the great message of Christ’s ministry in the Most Holy Place. They were called to restore the Law of God that had been trampled in the dust. In fact, they had been called to raise up and restore everything that pagan and papal Rome had tried to destroy from the earth for over 1,800 years.

That very work is outlined in Daniel 8:9–12: “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. [Both pagan and papal Rome were persecuting powers.] Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host.…”

And who was the prince? Jesus! So pagan Rome thought to destroy Christ; it was a pagan Roman governor that gave permission to crucify Christ. But the little horn also identifies the papacy. They sought to attack Christ in many ways,—through His ministry in the sanctuary above and to destroy Him as the Word of God.

“By him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” Ibid. Pagan Rome destroyed the sanctuary in 70ad and the papacy sought to destroy the sanctuary message throughout the entire period of the Dark Ages. Verse 12 continues, “And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.”

Pagan and papal Rome attacked the truth, and the truth, of course, is Jesus. He said, I am the way and the truth, but He also said His Word and His Law are truth. (See John 14:6; John 17:17.) Pagan and papal Rome would attack Christ; they would attack the Word of God, and they would attack the Law of God. So, through Daniel 8:9–12, we see a power that would attempt to destroy everything for which God stands and that wanted to be exalted in the earth.

That is Not the End of the Story

In Daniel 8:13 it says, “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” How long shall the law of God be trampled upon the earth? How long will it be before God’s people will be vindicated?

The answer is in verse 14: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Adventists understood, after the great disappointment in 1844, that Jesus had begun the Investigative Judgment. They understood that prophecy had been fulfilled.

There is something else that Daniel 8:13, 14 is telling us. That is that God would raise up a people, in and around 1844, to restore everything that the papacy had sought to destroy. God would raise up a people who would again exalt the Law of God. God would raise up a people who would give the message that Christ was ministering in the sanctuary above.

God is in Control

What would the papacy do? They would seek to turn every den of hell against this Advent people. The papacy would come against God’s last day people, at the end of earth’s history, with unbridled fury. (See Ellen White, in The Review and Herald, March 18, 1884.

God is responsible for the Protestant Reformation, and God is responsible for the finishing of the Reformation. God will have a people who will carry His messages to victory.

The Reformation today, is in the process of being finished. It is not something to which we look forward, something that will happen down the road. It is going on right now! People’s lives are being reformed because they are embracing the truth, and those people are on fire!

Renailing the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door

The pope knows that the Reformation is being finished. In Exportation Article 73, entitled “The Challenge of the Sects,” he wrote, “The proselytizing activity of the sects and new religious groups of America is a grave hindrance to the work of evangelization. The success of proselytism by the sects and new religious groups in American cannot be ignored.”

Who is he talking about? Is he talking about a church that was started up 400 years ago? Is he talking about a church that was started over 100 years ago? Who could possibly get in the way of the papacy’s drive to take over this world? God’s people. We are identifying here God’s people with those who have the Advent message and are preaching it. We are not talking about those who had the Advent message and failed to share it.

“The proselytizing activity of the sects and new religious groups of America is a grave hindrance to the work of evangelization.” What does grave mean? It means serious. In Malachi Martin’s book, The Keys of This Blood, he makes it very clear that when Russia and the United States are in subjection to the Vatican, John Paul should be the only game in town. Does John Paul recognize that there is another game in town? John Paul recognizes that there are people who are still nailing the 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg.

In the early 1900s, the leaders of Seventh-day Adventism, including Stephen Haskell, W. W. Prescott, Willie White, and A. G. Daniels, began discussing the daily in Daniel 8. That became their focus, and that was all they could see.

Ellen White, with Christian graciousness, integrity, and firmness, told them to stop discussing this issue. She said they were getting distracted on something that was not important to salvation and was taking time from God’s work. (See Selected Messages, Book 1, 167.) Evangelize, put all our energy and all our talents into reaching lost people who do not know what Jesus can do for them. Jesus is coming soon. Do not get sidetracked, brethren.

Stopping the Message

John Paul said the papacy is going to figure out, in every country, how to stop this Advent message. He goes on to say to that, “there is need for an appropriate coordination of initiatives among diocese aimed at bringing about a more effective cooperation to shared projects which will produce better results.”

Now what in the world do all of those five-syllable words mean—appropriate coordination of initiatives, “effective cooperation,” producing better results? The papacy is saying that the Advent message from ministries and people all over this earth is pushing forward and it is hurting their efforts to take over the world. So they are going to have to figure out how to finally stop this message.

A Message of Judgment

Jeremiah 1:13, 16 tells us, “And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.…And I will utter My judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.”

The Message Will Not be Stopped

A family of 11 from Detroit, Michigan, received a copy of The National Sunday Law. They read through the book. As a result, the parents are now keeping the seventh-day Sabbath in their home.

It is their desire that their nine children will embrace the message of the Sabbath truth. The Reformation is being finished!

Do Not Go to Rome!

In North Carolina, a gentleman saw the Earth’s Final Warningad in the USA Today newspaper. He read it and then contacted the Eternal Gospel Church for materials. After reading The National Sunday Law, he said he was in a state of shock for two weeks. He saw, for the first time in his life, that he had been duped, and he praised God that he saw God’s truth.”

At the time he was reading this book, his parents were on a world cruise that was to arrive in Rome on Easter Sunday. It broke this young man’s heart, so he e-mailed his parents a half dozen times, pleading, “Mom and dad, the pope is the antichrist. The papal power is running away from God. They are deceiving the world. Do not go to Rome!” This young man wants to tell everybody this message. The Reformation is being finished!

Out of Jacksonville, Florida, several people who have received materials and books have started keeping the Sabbath right in their home. Praise God, the Holy Spirit is working. The Reformation is being finished!

A Roman Catholic priest from Ghana in West Africa recently wrote to me. He said, “I went through Roman Catholic seminary. I was a priest. I was given one of the National Sunday Law books. He said that after reading it he could not be a priest anymore; he had to follow the truth of the Word of God.

Do you believe that the Reformation is being finished? A man from Nigeria wrote that they held an effort where they handed out truth-filled books. The people studied the books, and after reading them and attending the meetings, over 1,000 people embraced the Advent message. The Advent message is going forward!

Visions and Dreams

A very influential, Catholic gentleman in Uganda, who is quite well to do, received the little book, The National Sunday Law. That night he was deeply disturbed; he did not know what to do. But God knew his heart, and He knew what he was going through. That night the man had a dream. In his dream he saw his house burning, and he saw his entire village being destroyed.

As the man was watching this in his dream, he began to scream and to cry out, and his wife came running to him. She shook him and asked him what was wrong. He told her about the dream and about a voice that told him that the people who had come into the village that day were preaching the truth of heaven, and that the book he was reading had light from heaven that he must listen to.

This gentleman and his entire family read the whole book, and they went to the preacher who was sent into the village to preach. They are now Sabbath-keepers, and they are going everywhere through Uganda handing out books, tapes, and videos door-to-door. The Reformation is being finished!