On the Edge

Many in this last generation hold the belief that love and justice are in opposition to each other. Because many people believe, in the practical sense, that love and justice are mutually exclusive, we live in a world that is in confusion. On one hand, the public at large believes in the erroneous theory that everyone is a victim. On the other hand, they moan and groan as the judicial system continues to place criminals back on the streets. It would be terrible enough for the public to believe this, but it is even worse that those who claim to be Christians are supporting the same notions. This the belief, that love and justice are in opposition to each other, is one of the major factors in the disintegration of standards within the ranks of organized Christian religion.

The true and the faithful, those who are saved in the end, will understand that justice is as much a part of love as justification is related to sanctification. It isn’t any wonder then, that those who do not believe in overcoming also believe that Jesus “did it all on the cross,” and are endeavoring to destroy our distinctive beliefs about the sanctuary in heaven. This is known as the new theology, but it is really just the ancient lie that you cannot stop sinning.

I wish to appeal to your raw logic for just a moment: If we serve a God who is all powerful, and through that power He was able to make the sacrifice for our sins on the cross, then why is He not powerful enough to save us from sin in our lives? If God is in fact the Sovereign of the universe, and the only reason Satan has not overcome God’s power to destroy him is because he cannot, then why couldn’t God overcome Satan? This, friend, is the height of stupidity. It is spiritual insanity. The least we can be is honest with each other and say something like “Oh well, okay, so God is all powerful, but I just do not like His plan and I want to go on sinning.” At least as long as probation lasted for that person he would have a practical chance to change his course. But a person that willfully lies himself into a peaceful conscience is placing himself in a more unreachable place than the admitted rebel! If we hope to be among the remnant of the Lord, we must learn to think these things through for ourselves as we seek knowledge from God.


The Report of the Spies


The Israelites were on the edge of the Promised Land much as we are today. They had been in the wilderness too long, but now their opportunity to realize the fulfillment of their salvation and enter the Promised Land had come. They merely had to, by faith, go in and take it as God had directed. The victory was sure! After all, the miraculous evidence of both mercy and justice witnessed in such a short time, by these newly liberated slaves, should have made it easy for them to follow God’s plan and take possession of the land.

Twelve spies were sent into the land, not just to see how strong the people of the land were, but to see the goodness of the gift which God wanted His children to have. The problem was that the majority of the spies were concerned with the appearance of the enemy instead of fixing their minds on God’s goodness and asking Him for the faith it would take to conquer the obstacles ahead. Ten came back and reported to the people that the land was indeed good, but the present inhabitants were too big for them to overcome. They completely left God out of the picture and forgot that the victory was already won, in faith. Instead of being an encouragement to the people these ministers became a hindrance, and ultimately were responsible for the loss of many thousands of lives. These leaders were unbelievers and cowards.

There is more we can learn from this story. God gave these people the power of choice and they could have rejected the report of the ten spies and sought God for further counsel. This would have relieved them of the doubt that these unfaithful spies had created. However, they chose not to, and it cost them dearly.

“The people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh. They left God out of the question, and acted as though they must depend solely on the power of arms.

“In their unbelief they limited the power of God and distrusted the hand that had hitherto safely guided them . . .They accused their leaders [the true and faithful ones] of deceiving the people and bringing trouble upon Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388.

Brothers and sisters, this is what we are witnessing within the ranks of Christianity and Seventh-day Adventism. Even within the ranks of historic Adventism there are those who are murmuring, and who want to turn back. Sometimes it seems that everyone wants to run away from all the trouble. They run to find a new peaceful place instead of bothering with the battle. This kind of thinking will get you killed! When God says, “Go up and possess the land,” we had better go. If there is a battle to be fought along the way, we are to allow God to fight it. Complaining only shows a lack of faith. It matters not what our profession is, our actions are preaching much more powerfully than our words! The only way to obtain the eye salve, the gold tried in the fire and the white raiment is to engage in the great controversy—not run away from it. We are to meet the “iceberg” full steam ahead.

If you are not doing this, or are not willing to do it, what does that indicate about your position among the remnant? It is a very serious matter. God demonstrated this when the ancient “Adventists” were on the edge of the Promised Land. Caleb tried to give a report that was very accurate and full of courage and faith. He had seen the same things the ten spies had seen, but he trusted that God would indeed give them the victory. “But the ten, interrupting him, pictured the obstacles in darker colors than at first . . .these men, having entered upon a wrong course, stubbornly set themselves against Caleb and Joshua, against Moses, and against God. Every advance step rendered them the more determined. They were resolved to discourage all effort to gain possession of Canaan. They distorted the truth in order to sustain their baleful influence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388–389.

This is exactly what we see happening today in all corners of the Adventist movement. We must realize that the human mind is not a free mind, in the sense that we are completely our own. If we choose not to follow the Lord and seek His guidance and protection, then Satan will rush in and take our minds captive and we will become his agents. This is what happened to the ten spies,and this is what is happening to many today. The human heart is prone to travel not toward its Maker, but toward the Maker’s archenemy! We need the wisdom of heaven to realize our plight and we need to continually place ourselves in God’s hands or we will be taken by this deadly foe.

“By the covenant of God the land was ensured to Israel. But the false report of the unfaithful spies was accepted, and through it the whole congregation were deluded. The traitors had done their work. If only the two men had brought the evil report, and all the ten had encouraged them to possess the land in the name of the Lord, they would still have taken the advice of the two in preference to the ten, because of their wicked unbelief.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 390.

Brethren and sisters, do we understand how great our need is to know and follow what God has said? Do we really understand the danger of our own hearts if we do not “hunger and thirst” after the righteousness of the Lord? Do we realize that if we are not seeking His guidance, with the faith and honesty of an innocent child, we will be thrown into the woes of deception? Do we understand that the more knowledge we acquire only serves to push us deeper into rebellion if we do not serve the Lord with singleness of heart? This is why the Lord had these events written down for all to see. He wants us to know the great dangers we face and He wants us to talk about them and appreciate the provisions He has made for our salvation. We cannot look back, for things are happening all around us, both in the Conference, and in certain self-supporting ministries. This will continue to happen, as it has for nearly 6,000 years, but the good news of true Adventism is that it does not have to happen to you or me! Just like it did not happen to Caleb, Joshua or Moses.


We Must Make a Decision


God has made us individuals and He is coming back to save everyone who has taken Him at His word and have depended fully on His promises. It matters not that professed “Adventists” will seek to take the lives of the true and faithful. This will not change their purpose or prevent them from reaching the goals God has set before them on this planet. It is our lot in life, as Adventists, to share in the fate of our ancient brothers and sisters who were faithful unto death. It is also our privilege to know that God remains by our side every step of the way, and whatever circumstances come, God will provide a way.

We must start to speak and live the truth if we want to influence others for the truth and if we expect our faith to reach the stature needed for these last days. If we remain unwilling to engage in battle, we will fail.

There is nothing worse than a rebel who has known the truth and has dismissed it. An infidel will receive more compassion than a man (or woman) who once had the truth and has turned from it. The leaders of this agenda were some of the best Satan could find from within the structure of Israel:

“The former rebellions had been more popular tumults, arising from the sudden impulse of the excited multitude; but now a deep-laid conspiracy was formed, the result of a determined purpose to overthrow the authority of the leaders appointed by God Himself.

“Korah, the leading spirit in this movement, was a Levite [Pastor], of the family of Kohath, and a cousin of Moses; he was a man of ability and influence . . .The state of feeling among the people favored the designs [agenda] of Korah . . .He who reads the secrets of all hearts had marked the purposes of Korah and his companions and had given His people such warning and instruction as might have enabled them to escape the deception of these designing men.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 395–396.

In certain self-supporting ministries and the Conference, we see agendas of apostasy taking shape and being carried out. Men of influence who Satan is using to carry out his purposes are doing these things. He uses those, with many talents, who will easily gain influence with the people.

There is good news and there is bad news in our present day dilemma. The bad news is that the majority of people today, if anything, are worse than in the days of the wilderness. They will repeat the rebellion and insanity of the past. The good news is that God has given us the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to show us these deceptions and to prepare all who are humbly willing to go on to victory! This is why a major portion of the agenda of apostasy is to distort what the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy says. It is truly incredible to witness that words, even a young person can comprehend, are spoken of as though they either do not exist or are not relevant. They think that God’s people are too stupid to catch them in their schemes, and sadly, all too often they are correct. Most professed Adventists are willingly ignorant. They are supporting the agenda that is set on a course to ruin their souls and send their families to destruction. Can there be a more pitiful situation than to be so spiritually lazy and willfully ignorant as to actually support, with tithe and offerings, the Korahs, Dathans, and Abirams within the Adventist movement?

Let me repeat that in a slightly different way. Can we be more pitiful than to be too lazy to pray, study, and live to secure our own salvation, and actually pay those who are leading us into oblivion? I must give a resounding, No! We must prepare ourselves through God’s chosen methods to overcome. Those who do will be victorious.


Conformity for Unity


From every corner we hear the cry “unity,” “unity,” and in order to obtain a supposed security some are returning back to churches that once spurned them or which they left for the sake of principle. But ours must be the unity that will eventually carry one to the upper room experience. It must not be a unity that harmonizes with apostasy and the enemy of all truth.

The book of Revelation tells us that for a very short time the devil will have the largest union the world has ever seen. But it will not be a unity that will save the soul. This sinful and apostate unity is certainly nothing new. “In this work of disaffection there was greater union and harmony among the discordant elements of the congregation than had ever before existed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 398. We must think of unity, but our thoughts and energies must be directed to the unity which is based solely on principles of truth. This unity will be achieved, but we must have the wisdom and the “patience of the saints” while we continue placing our lives in God’s hands.

Consider this: “Korah’s success with the people increased his confidence and confirmed him in his belief that the usurpation of authority by Moses, if unchecked, would be fatal to the liberties of Israel; he also claimed that God had opened the matter to him, and had authorized him to make a change in the government before it should be too late.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 398.

We can learn from these words that those who continue to support the apostasy are helping them to go to greater lengths and build their confidence in their rebellious leading. We can also learn that these apostate leaders will make statements such as “God has shown me” to influence the unsuspecting or those who are already entrapped by their unsanctified influence. Satan realizes what the language of the true prophet is and he endeavors to replicate it to ensnare the weary and complacent.

In the wilderness experience God raised up two men, not of Israel’s own choosing, to lead them to the Promised Land. These men were despised and rejected by the majority who preferred words that better suited their wicked hearts. “It is hardly possible for men to offer a greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities He would use for their salvation. The Israelites had not only done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 402.

Nothing has changed in our day. The words above are today’s news. This is our history and this is our future. The great controversy will close in the darkest hour ever witnessed since there was a nation. The only good news lies within the pages of God’s own books. The God of true Adventism will see His believing children all the way over into the Promised Land. Are we wandering in the wilderness as part of the crowd that is trying to “look like” the small remnant which is part of the greater movement? Or are we, with earnestness, seeking the goodly land the Lord has placed before us. We must know for sure, for we are even now on the edge.