Children’s Story – The Perfect Helper

It was wintertime, and Amber was excited! Amber had always lived where it was too warm for very much snow, but now her family was living in Colorado. The ground was white with a thick blanket of snow; better yet, the pond was frozen solid.

Five-year-old Amber had never ice skated before, but the neighbor had given her a pair of ice skates and she couldn’t wait to try them out.

“Mom, can we go to the pond now?” Amber pleaded, on the first bright moonlit night.
“Yes, dear, just as soon as your dad gets home,” her mom answered.

So when Daddy got home they were off to the pond. After lacing up her skates, Amber eagerly stood up on the ice. But in the same moment—Oops!—she was sitting on the ice!

“Daddy!” she cried.

And Daddy was there in an instant to help her. Then, with Daddy’s hand holding hers, he pulled her across the ice. Oh, what fun! She knew her daddy would help her.

During the next few weeks, Amber was back on the ice. And, with her daddy’s help and the help of her other friends, she learned to skate. Soon she wasn’t slipping and falling anymore! All of her daddy’s help paid off. She had finally learned to skate!

Even though Amber didn’t suceed immediately, her daddy was always there to help her get up when she fell. Soon, much to her daddy’s joy, he didn’t have to hold her hand anymore. But do you know who is an even bigger Help? It’s Jesus!

Just like Amber’s daddy, Jesus is always there to help us up when we fall back into a bad habit or when we fail at something we have tried to do. All we have to do is pray and Jesus will put out His hand and help us up. And He doesn’t just pick us up. He helps us not to fall again!

And just like the joy Amber’s daddy had when she could skate on her own, Jesus is even happier when we break some bad habit we’ve had, or repent of some sin and resist the temptation to do it again. The Bible says in Luke 15:10; “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Never forget that even though we overcome bad habits or sins, we will always need Jesus by our side to help us do what’s right. That’s why Jesus is the perfect helper; there’s nothing He can’t help us do. So when you feel hopeless, remember, Jesus is there. It says in the Bible, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5. And that’s a promise! I’m thankful for that, aren’t you?

The End

John Calvin and the French Reformation

Anciently, Pepin of France had been the first of the Gothic princes to lay his kingdom at the feet of the Pope. He was awarded the title of “Eldest Son of the Church” for this act of submission and for centuries since, France strove to justify the distinction she bore by being the firmest pillar of the Papal See. Protestantism fought a noble battle in this land, testifying in word and deed and with pen and blood. When Paris drove the Gospel from its gates she knew not that a long and dismal train of woes would follow—faction, civil war, atheism, the guillotine, siege, famine, death. Three hundred years after the first martyr of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation in France was burned in the Place de Greve, France was visited by the French Revolution, and its dreadful instrument of death was set up to accept its first victims in the Place de Greve. (History of Protestantism, book 13, pages 174, 136, 142)

France, although dark for centuries, had never been totally without light. The Albigenses and Waldenses had stood strong for the truth, and witnessed to it with their blood. Their efforts, that kept the Bible alive in France, would bring forth fruits in the the French Reformation. The Reformation begins around 1510; at the same time as it was forming in Germany. Here is the story.

The First Protestant Teacher

In 1510 Jacques Lefevre was nearing seventy. He was a devout Papist and a scholar and theologian. He was a professor in the Sorbonne, or Theological Hall of the great Paris University. Lefevre had a great love for the saints and wished to give them a token, not perishable, like the flowers he offered at their images. He thought to collect and re-write their lives. He was well into the task when he wondered if a study of the Bible might give him any useful insights. “The virtues of the real saints dimmed in his eyes the glories of the legendary ones.” Wylie, Book 13,126. He found a church unlike the Roman Church and he turned from the voice of Rome to the voice of God. He found the plan of free justification and in 1512 wrote a commentary on the Epistles of Paul, saying, “It is God who gives us, by faith, that righteousness which by grace alone justifies to eternal life.” Ibid.

He did not receive the light to hide it under a bushel. He knew the dangers but he began to teach the doctrine of salvation in his classroom. A great commotion arose and soon was felt in the whole University. Objections were heard on every side. Lefevre made it his job to answer the few honest questions, and to make it plain that this was not a new doctrine having been anciently taught by Irenaeus, but that it had come from God as revealed in His Word.

This all took place in 1512, five years before the name of Luther would be heard in France. The Reformation here did not come from Germany but was kindled by the Bible, the Word of God. Peter Robert Olivetan, the translator of the first French Bible, was a cousin of Calvin and it was he who shared the Gospel with Calvin.

( Note: Benjamin Wilkinson, in his book “Truth Truimphant” on pages 215 and 216, states that Oliveton was from the Waldensian valleys and that he used the Vaudois Bible for his translation. In the Preface to his 1535 translation he credits these ancient people for having received the book from the Apostles and having enjoyed and possessed it to that day. This makes the Reformation in France a direct outgrowth of the ancient Bible held by faithful Waldenses through the centuries.)

Early Reformers

William Farel, was a student of Lefevre and like his teacher was eminently pious in the Roman tradition. They often joined each other on their rounds to the shrines, kneeling before the images. As light began to break on Lefevre’s heart he taught it in his classes, and God had prepared Farel to accept it. He had been tortured by doubts as to his ability to save himself, and yet were all of his prayers and visits to the saints for nothing? The Scriptures cleared his doubts, and he wrote that where his heart was once murderous toward any who spoke against the Pope, it was now quiet and harmless, withdrawn from the Pope, and given to Jesus Christ.

While his teacher taught in the classroom, he went forth to preach in the public places and the temples, causing them to ring with his “voice of thunder.” He was driven to Meaux by persecution, but finally labored in his native land, introducing the Gospel in Switzerland; preceding Calvin in the work there.

William Briconnet, Count of Montbrun, and Bishop of Meaux, also played a part in the early Protestant movement. He had been sent by Francis I to Rome as an ambassador to Leo X, the same Pope who is quoted as saying, “What a profitable affair this fable of Christ has been to us!” There he saw the Rome that Baptista Mantuan, a Carmelite, wrote about, saying, “Good and virtuous men, make haste and get out of Rome, for here virtue is the one thing ye cannot practise: all else ye may do.” Ibid., 130 footnote. “The Rome of that age was the chosen—home of pomps and revels, of buffooneries and villanies, of dark intrigues and blood-red crimes.” Ibid., 130.

Briconnet came home much less a son of the Church. He found, on his return, that that Gospel which was a fable to the Pope had become a reality in France and he turned to his old friend Lefevre to tell him what was causing this change. Lefevre put a Bible into his hands and he found it easy to enter into this religion which consisted of love to God and personal holiness. He began immediately to make changes in his diocese. He removed the ignorant pastors and tried to replace them with able men. When this task was found impossible, he started a school of theology to supply the lack of laborers, and preached himself.

His friendship with the king opened the doors of the palace, and to all the court “the bishop made known a higher knowledge than that of the Renaissance. The most illustrious convert in the palace was the sister of the king, Margaret of Valois.” Ibid., 132. The king chose to cast his lot with Rome and he made battle with the Reformation. His sister’s influence was a restraint on Francis, and not a few lives were saved from martyrdom through her interposition.

The First Protestant Congregation in France

In 1522, Lefevre translated and published the New Testament into French. Bishop Briconnet did all in his power to spread the Bible throughout his diocese, the little city of Meaux being its center. He had copies of the gospels distributed freely to the poor. The effect was that the Bible became the study and theme of talk in town and country alike. The shops where wool was carded, spun and woven, began to have Bible readings during the meal times. These simple people began to be wiser than their former Franciscan monk teachers. “Compared with the husks—on which these men had fed them, this was the true bread, the heavenly manna. . . These disciples had planted their feet not on Briconnet, not on Peter, but on ‘the Rock,’ and that ‘Rock’ was Christ: and so not all the coming storms of persecution could cast them down.” Ibid., 135.

“At the close of the day, their toil ended, they diligently repaired from the workshop, the vineyard, the field, and assembled in the house of one of their number. They opened and read the Holy Scriptures; they conversed about the things of the Kingdom; they joined together in prayer, and their hearts burned within them. Their numbers were few, their sanctuary was humble, no mitred and vested priest conducted their services, no choir or organ-peal intoned their prayers; but One was in the midst of them . . . even He who has said, ‘Lo, I am with you alway’—and where He is, there is the Church.” Ibid.

“The members of this congregation belonged exclusively to the working class.” Their lives were changed and a refinement of character was revealed in their speech and manners giving an example of the effect Protestantism might have had in all the country had it been given freedom. Evidence of the changes could be seen in the complaints of the tavern-keepers and of the monks as the taverns were more empty and the begging friars “returned from their predatory excursions with empty sacks.” Ibid., 136.

The churches were opened to them and the Christians of Meaux were able to hear qualified persons expound the Scriptures. “These were happy days. The winds of heaven were holden that they might not hurt this young vine; and time was given it to strike its roots into the soil before being overtaken by the tempest.” Ibid. But the first mutters of trouble ahead were heard from the Sorbonne. The proud champions of orthodoxy there began to call upon the king to put down these new opinions with force. “Francis did not respond quite so zealously as the Sorbonne would have liked. He was not prepared to patronise Protestantism, far from it; but, at the same time, he had no love for monks, and was disposed to allow a considerable margin to ‘men of genius,’ and so he forbade the Sorbonne to set up the scaffold.” Ibid.,136.

The pleasure-loving king could not be counted on for protection and Lefevre and Farel accepted Briconnet’s invitation to “Come to Meaux.” So Paris lost the lights and Meaux took its place as the center of Gospel knowledge. Visitors carried away French New Testaments as seeds of the Gospel, and founded churches in their own districts. For decades it was said of one who was known to have “Protestant sentiments, that ‘he had drunk at the well of Meaux.’ ” Ibid.

The Commencement of Persecution

Events in Paris were building for a storm. Three persons rose to oppose the Gospel. One was Noel Beda, head of the Sorbonne, who was determined to keep his University uncontaminated by rays from heaven. He drove Dr. Lefevre from the University. The second player was Antoine Duprat who had done a great favor for the king that won him the position of Chancellor of France. He was haughty, greedy, and never scrupled to employ violence to compass his ends. The third actor was Louisa, mother of Francis I. Her house had long hated the Gospel and had been persecutors of the Waldenses. “There were points on which their opinions and interests were in conflict, but all three had one quality in common—they heartily detested the new opinions.” Ibid.

The Franciscan monks of Meaux were very vocal in their protests against growing Protestantism. They found an active audience for their complaints in Duprat and Beda. But it was Louisa who first moved, calling on the Sorbonne to determine “‘By what means can the damnable doctrines of Luther be chased and extripated from this most Christian kingdom?’ The answer was brief, but emphatic: ‘By the stake;’ and it was added that if the remedy were not soon put in force, there would result great damage to the honour of the king and of Madame Louisa of Savoy. Two years later the Pope earnestly recommended vigour in suppressing ‘this great and marvellous disorder, which proceeds from the rage of Satan;’ otherwise, ‘this mania will not only destroy religion, but all principalities, nobilities, laws, orders, and ranks besides.’ It was to uphold the throne, preserve the nobles, and maintain the laws that the sword of persecution was first unsheathed in France!” Ibid., 140, 141.

Bishop Briconnet was called before the Parliment. At first he stood firm and refused any concession, but it was made plain that he must abandon Protestantism or go to prison and perhaps the stake. He declined the stake and obeyed the demands of the Parliament to pay a fine and publish three edicts, restoring public prayers to the Virgin and the saints, forbidding the reading of Lutheran books, and silencing Protestant preachers. This sent Lefevre to Strasburg, and Nerac and Farel turned to Switzerland.

The First Martyrs

“Briconnet had recanted: but if the shepherd had fallen the little ones of the flock stood their ground. They continued to meet together for prayer and the reading of the Scriptures, the garret of a woolcomber, a solitary hut, or a copse serving as their place of rendezvous. This congregation was to have the honour of furnishing martyrs whose blazing stakes were to shine like beacons in the darkness of France.” Ibid., 141. Denis, one of the “Meaux heretics,” was apprehended and was there visited by his former pastor, Briconnet, who was forced on such tasks to add to his humiliation. The bishop detailed how a recantation would buy his liberty. Denis listened and then “fixing his eyes upon the man who had once preached to him that very Gospel which he now exhorted him to abjure, said solemnly, “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him shall I also deny before my Father who is in heaven!’ Briconnet reeled backwards and staggered out of the dungeon. The interview over, each took his own way: the bishop returned to his palace, and Denis passed from his cell to the stake.” Ibid., 142.

This stake was followed by one for Pavane who at first recanted but found this to be one hundred times harder than the stake to which a hasty trial of this “relapsed heretic” brought him. Hermit of Livry was burned before the steps of Notre Dame as bells tolled, drawing people from all parts of Paris. The spectators were told that this man was on his way to the fires of hell but his step was firm and his look undaunted as he offered up his life.

Calvin : His Birth and Education

Calvin was born July 10, 1509, the grandson of a cooper and the son of the secretary to the bishop. From a young age Calvin was thoughtful and scholarly. His father hoped that his son would be great in the church.

The Black Death came to Noyon, his home town, and his father fearing for his fragile health sent him to study in Paris. At fourteen years he entered the college of La Marche, learned Latin and came to understand the power of language and the written word and worked to perfect his skills. He proved a great scholar. After three years, in 1526, he passed on to the College of Montaigu, one of two seminaries in Paris—the Sorbonne being the other—for the training of priests. Here the old dogmas filled the air and Calvin satisfied even the most scholastic and churchy of his professors, for he was never absent from mass or failed to fast or to keep a holiday to the saints. In his studies he was ardent, often missing meals and keeping late hours, well past midnight, poring over his books. “His teachers formed the highest hopes of him. A youth of so fine parts, of an industry so unflagging, and who was withal so pious, was sure, they said, to rise high in the Church.” Ibid., 149.

Calvin ’s Conversion

Before Calvin could play a role in the true Church he must be brought out of darkness himself. God had provided a way of reaching him through his cousin Olivetan, a disciple of Lefevre, who now came to Paris. They were often together and their debates were heated. Olivetan pointed out the two classes of religion, one of works and the other of salvation by grace. Calvin was angry to think that his cousin thought he had lived in error all his life, but his words had gone deep, and when they parted, Calvin would fall into prayer with tears, and vent his doubts and anxieties. Calvin ‘s struggles grew into “the sorrow of death.” He had come to see one holier than the saints and he began to see his own vileness. “The severity of Calvin ’s struggle was in proportion to the strength of his self-righteousness.” His blameless life and the punctuality of his devotions had helped to nourish this feeling into “a pride which had been waxing higher and stronger with every rite he performed, and every year that passed over him.” Ibid., 153.

Finally he agreed to open the Bible and search for himself. “He began to read, but the first effect was a sharper terror. His sins had never appeared so great, nor himself so vile as now.” But he continued to read as he seemed to find help nowhere else. Finally he caught a glimpse of the great Sufferer bruised for our iniquities. “‘O Father,’ he burst out—it was no longer the Judge, the Avenger— ‘O Father, his sacrifice has appeased thy wrath; his blood has washed away my impurities; his cross has borne my curse; his death has atoned for me!’ In the midst of the great billows his feet had touched the bottom: he found the ground to be good: he was upon a rock.” Ibid., 153.

He had one formidable obstacle yet to meet—the Church. “How many have fallen over this stumbling-block and never risen again; how many even in our own age have made shipwreck here! . . . How many have commenced this battle only to lose it! They have been beaten back and beaten down by the pretended Divine authority of ‘the Church,’ by the array of her great names and her great councils, and though last, not least, by the terror of her anathemas. . . Must he leave this august society and join himself to a few despised disciples of the new opinions? This seemed like a razing of his name from the Book of Life.” Ibid., 154. Calvin could not have conquered here if he had “not had recourse to the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God . . . He sought for the Church as she is there shown—a spiritual society, Christ her Head, the Holy Spirit her life, truth her foundation, and believers her members—and in proportion as this Church disclosed her beauty to him, the fictitious splendour and earthly magnificence which shone around the Church of Rome waned, and at last vanished outright.” Ibid.

“‘There can be no Church,’ we hear Calvin saying to himself, ‘where the truth is not.’ . . . ‘The Pope,’ concluded Calvin, ‘is but a scarecrow dressed out in magnificences and fulminations. I will go on my way without minding him.’ In fine, Calvin concluded that the term ‘Church’ could not make the society that monopolised the term really ‘the Church.’ High-sounding titles and lofty assumptions could give neither unity nor authority; these could come from the Truth alone; and so he abandoned ‘the Church’ that he might enter the Church—the Church of the Bible. The victory was now complete . . . He stood in the liberty wherewith Christ had made him free. Here truly was rest after a great fight—a sweet and blessed dawn after a night of thick darkness and tempest.” Ibid. The year was 1527 and the place—Paris.

The End

What Inspiration Says About – Conditional Promises

1. Could the SDA Church become corrupted?

“If the church pursue a course similar to that of the world, they will share the same fate. Nay, rather, as they have received greater light, their punishment will be greater than that of the impenitent.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 100.

“Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts. But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery. Selfishness and love of mammon, envy and strife, were cherished. Everyone sought for gain from his quarter. Christ turned from them, saying: ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how can I give thee up? How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ Matthew 23:37.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 67.

“If most earnest vigilance is not manifested at the great heart of the work to protect the interests of the cause, the church will become as corrupt as the churches of other denominations.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 513.

2. What is coming in among God’s people?

“But O, sad picture! those who do not submit to the influence of the Holy Spirit soon lose the blessings received when they acknowledged the truth as from Heaven. They fall into a cold, spiritless formality; they lose their interest in perishing souls: they have ‘left their first love.’ And Christ says unto them, ‘Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’ He will take his Holy Spirit from the church, and give it to others who will appreciate it.

“There is no greater evidence that those who have received great light do not appreciate that light, than is given by their refusal to let their light shine upon those who are in darkness, and devoting their time and energies in celebrating forms and ceremonies. Thoughts of the inner work, the necessary purity of heart, are not entertained. The absence of harmony with God becomes apparent. The light grows dim, goes out; the candlestick has been removed.” Review and Herald, July 16, 1895.

3. What causes this wickedness?

“I have been shown that the spirit of the world is fast leavening the church. You are following the same path as did ancient Israel. There is the same falling away from your holy calling as God’s peculiar people. You are having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Your concord with unbelievers has provoked the Lord’s displeasure. You know not the things that belong to your peace, and they are fast being hid from your eyes. Your neglect to follow the light will place you in a more unfavorable position than the Jews upon whom Christ pronounced a woe.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 75, 76.

“God gives men the light, but many are filled with a self-sufficient, masterly spirit; and they strive by carrying out their own ideas to reach a height where they will be as God. They place their mind first, as if God must serve with them. Herein lies the danger in this: Unless God shall in some way make these men understand that He is God, and that they are to serve Him, human inventions will be brought in that will lead away from Bible truth, notwithstanding all the cautions that have been given.” The Upward Look, 131.

4. Upon what will we be judged?

“In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: ‘Found wanting.’ By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 247.

“The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting. The light has been shining clear and definite upon her pathway, and the light of 1882 calls her to an account. If her talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not perfect before God, if her light has become darkness, she is indeed found wanting. The knowledge of our state as God views it, seems to be hidden from us. We see, but perceive not; we hear, but do not understand; and we rest as unconcerned as if the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, rested upon our sanctuary. We profess to know God, and to believe the truth, but in works deny Him. Our deeds are directly adverse to the principles of truth and righteousness, by which we profess to be governed.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 83, 84.

5. What will happen if we do not repent?

“The patience of God has an object, but you are defeating it. He is allowing a state of things to come that you would fain see counteracted by and by, but it will be too late. God commanded Elijah to anoint the cruel and deceitful Hazael king over Syria, that he might be a scourge to idolatrous Israel. Who knows whether God will not give you up to the deceptions you love? Who knows but that the preachers who are faithful, firm, and true may be the last who shall offer the gospel of peace to our unthankful churches? It may be that the destroyers are already training under the hand of Satan and only wait the departure of a few more standard-bearers to take their places, and with the voice of the false prophet cry, ‘Peace, peace,’ when the Lord hath not spoken peace. I seldom weep, but now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon my paper as I write. It may be that ere long all prophesyings among us will be at an end, and the voice which has stirred the people may no longer disturb their carnal slumbers.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 77.

“Will the churches heed the Laodicean message? Will they repent, or will they, notwithstanding that the most solemn message of truth—the third angel’s message—is being proclaimed to the world, go on in sin? This is the last message of mercy, the last warning to a fallen world. If the church of God becomes lukewarm, it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment-keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep His commandments.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 176.

“A sin-hating God calls upon those who claim to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. A neglect to repent and to render willing obedience will bring upon men and women today as serious consequences as came upon ancient Israel. 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, 416, 417.

“A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God—a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. ‘Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’” Testimonies, vol. 1, 609.

“These are no idle tales, but truth. Again I ask: On which side are you standing? ‘If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.’ 1 Kings 18:21.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 68.

6. Could God pass the SDA Church by?

“The Lord says, ‘Shall I not visit for these things?’ Jeremiah 5:9. Because they failed of fulfilling God’s purpose, the children of Israel were set aside, and God’s call was extended to other peoples. If these too prove unfaithful, will they not in like manner be rejected?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 304.

“The words of God to ancient Israel have a solemn warning to the church and its leaders today. Of Israel the Lord said, ‘I have written to him the great things of My law; but they were counted as a strange thing.’ Hosea 8:12. And to the priests and teachers He declared, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee; . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.’ Hosea 4:6.

“Shall the warnings from God be passed by unheeded? Shall the opportunities for service be unimproved? Shall the world’s scorn, the pride of reason, conformity to human customs and traditions, hold the professed followers of Christ from service to Him? Will they reject God’s word as the Jewish leaders rejected Christ? The result of Israel’s sin is before us. Will the church of today take warning?

“‘If some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not. . . . Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee.’ Romans 11:17-21.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 306.

“If the church refuses to hear the voice of the Heavenly Merchant man, refuses to open the door, then Christ will pass on, and it will be left destitute of His presence, destitute of true riches, but saying in self-righteousness, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’ Revelation 3:17.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 291.

7. Will God always have a faithful people, who will serve Him?

“The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.” The Upward Look, 131.

8. Who are God’s true denominated people?

“Who are these? God’s denominated people—those who on this earth have witnessed to their loyalty. Who are they? Those who have kept the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ; those who have owned the Crucified One as their Saviour.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 981.

9. Who can we trust to take us through to the end?

“The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. The Saviour declares, ‘All ye are brethren.’ All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Upon this the weakest may depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.’ The Lord ‘is the Rock, His work is perfect.’ ‘Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.’ Jeremiah 17:5; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 2:12.” Desire of Ages, 414.

“The word of finite man is fallible. Human laws, that are supposed to take the place of the law of God, are not to be respected. Henceforth the nations are to be in a very uncertain state. Kings and rulers will be involved in greater perplexities than they have ever thought possible, and this because they are disobedient to the word of the Lord, and work entirely contrary to his principles. The question now comes home to all who have their Bibles, Are we prepared to follow the word of God? ‘If any man will come after me,’ says Christ, ‘let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ You cannot depend upon priests, rulers, human lawmakers; for, as in Christ’s day, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men. They know not the Scriptures, nor the power of God. Man made theories are placed above a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ But the searching of the soul has come. Are we obedient to the law of God? Will every soul look up in faith, and answer to God, as did Elisha, ‘As the Lord liveth . . . I will not leave thee’? Whatever may come, persecution, reproach, falsehood, or anything that shall arise—will not leave the source of my strength.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 28, 1898.

The End

Food for Life – Heart Disease and Blood Pressure, part 2

We are continuing from last month to list lifestyle changes that can help the heart and blood pressure. First we will list food sources which are high in magnesium: nuts, dried beans (especially soy beans and peas), and whole grains. Nuts have the additional advantage of being the best sources of trace minerals, with second place going to whole grains. Although there are rare exceptions, both nuts and whole grains should be part of your diet every day.

4. Last month we mentioned the advisability of a low-fat diet. The easiest way to decrease the quantity of the fat that you eat is to become aware of those foods which are mostly fat, and decrease your intake of these foods. These foods include butter, margarine, oils, shortening, and most types of cheese—anything that feels oily or greasy. The easiest way to increase the quality of the fat that you eat is to get your fat from natural vegetable sources. Vegetable fats in general do not have the harmful effects of animal fats (two exceptions are fat derived from cocoa or chocolate and coconut). Valuable vegetable sources of fat include all types of nuts but especially walnuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds if you are seeking unsaturated fats; almonds if you are seeking calcium and vitamin E and sesame seeds if you are seeking a high source of calcium. Avocados and especially ripe olives (not “pickled”) in addition to providing a high quality of fat are soothing to the digestive and blood purifying organs.

5. As much as possible avoid chemicals—over-the-counter drugs and medications. Many of these have adverse effects on the heart and circulatory system.

6. Drink water—at least six to eight glasses per day. “If anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water, drank some little time before or after the meal, is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.” Review and Herald, July 29, 1884.

7. At least four times per week you should obtain aerobic exercise . Walking is best. Of course, if you spend a lot of time with a shovel, or hoe, or other type of physical work activity which is continuous for at least 30 minutes you are getting moderate physical activity. Notice how important this is: “The chief if not the only reason why many become invalids is that the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in the vital fluid, which are necessary to life and health, do not take place. They have not given their bodies exercise nor their lungs food, which is pure, fresh air; therefore it is impossible for the blood to be vitalized, and it pursues its course sluggishly through the system. The more we exercise , the better will be the circulation of the blood. More people die for want of exercise than through over fatigue; very many more rust out than wear out. Those who accustom themselves to proper exercise in the open air will generally have a good and vigorous circulation. We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health, and who would enjoy active life, should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 525, 526.

April Recipe:

Tofu Cheese Cake

16 Oz. Tofu

1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

20 Oz. Can Crushed Pineapple

1 Tbsp. Agar Powder

1 Large Banana

1 1/2 Cups Date Rolls or Pieces

Blend thoroughly in your blender and pour in cashew pie crust. Bake a 300 degrees until crust is lightly browned on the sides. May be served with a topping of any seasonal fruit or your choice of berries.

The End

The Tares

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24–30.

Later Jesus explained the parable to His disciples. He said, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world [the spiritual world, the church], the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.” Notice, the tares are not part of the kingdom of His grace—they are the sons of the wicked one. “The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” Matthew 13:37–40.

The Planting of the Tares

In this field, the church, the devil comes to plant seeds. He does this by bringing unconverted people into the church. They are not the children of the kingdom—they have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit, they are not part of the body of Christ,—but they are planted in the same field. They make a profession. From a human point of view, you cannot tell any difference. Ellen White calls them false brethren, and pretended believers.

The idea that you can profess to be a Christian, but not keep the law, and still be saved is the great deception of the last days. If your character does not harmonize with your profession, your profession is worthless.

It is too close to the end of time to be playing games of pretend. If you have been making a profession, but your religion is not real—if you have not really been baptized by the Holy Spirit; if you are not joined to the Lord as one spirit with Him; if you do not have a missionary spirit; if you do not have any sense of urgency to finish God’s work in the world—you need to go to your closet and pray, and say, “Lord, please take away this pretended religion and baptize me with the Holy Spirit. I want a real experience.”

The Tares and the Wheat Grow Together

The question that arises is: “How am I to deal with the tares around me in the church?” Some are quick to answer, “We just have to let the tares and wheat grow together, we know there is all this wickedness in the church, but Jesus said you have to let the wheat and the tares grow together, so you just have to put up with it.” Is that ever one of the Devil’s lies! The parable of the wheat and the tares does not apply to open sin. A tare illustrates a pretended believer who is counted with the true. You cannot tell the difference on the outside, but in his heart there is something that is not right.

One example of a tare is Judas. Was Judas numbered with the rest of the disciples? Yes. On the outside he was a follower of Christ. Was he a criminal? Not on the outside—his sins were secret, but on the inside his heart was not right. Did the rest of the disciples know what a mess he was in? No, they did not. Jesus did tell his disciples in John 6 that one of them was a devil, and John says he was speaking of Judas; but if Jesus told His disciples, “Now one of you is not converted, please get him disfellowshipped,” they would probably have disfellowshipped Peter! They did not know which one was not converted. It was something inside the heart. That is a tare. On the outside they are living according to all the commandments of God, but inside there is something that is not right. For example, could you tell me tonight if I am proud? No you cannot. And I cannot tell if any of you are proud, that is something of the heart.

Open Sin

What about open sin? Friend, we must never use the parable of the wheat and the tares to excuse open sin in the church! God forbid! That is a terrible perversion of the Scriptures. Where did we get such an abominable idea! Ellen White says if we permit open sin in the church it will crowd out the wheat, and destroy the whole crop!

Paul had the following to say about open sin: “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother.” Who is a brother? That is a church member. Now here is the problem—one is being called a brother “who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner.” Paul says, “not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.’” 1 Corinthians 5:9–13. The apostle Paul says to disfellowship the person who is living in open sin.

Another text that shows what the Bible says about dealing with open sin is 2 John 7–11: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” Then a person who does not have apostolic doctrine—the doctrine that Jesus came in the flesh just like you and I have, and overcame the Devil—do not invite them into your house and do not even greet them. If you do, you are partaking of their evil works. Open sin is to be put out, but we cannot disfellowship the person who is good on the outside, but whose heart is evil, because we cannot read his heart.

Disfellowshipping the Faithful

We have come to such a sad day of gigantic apostasy in Adventism, that we see people being disfellowshipped who are keeping God’s commandments. The people who are to be disfellowshipped, according to the Bible, are those who are living in open sin—commandment breakers. There are just two sides. A commandment keeper is on God’s side. If people get together in a church business meeting, and decide to disfellowship one who is a commandment keeper, they have just told the whole universe that they are not on God’s side of the great controversy. That is very serious, friends!

Following a desperate attempt to silence the true and faithful by disfellowshipping them, the former brethren will, no doubt, turn them into the authorities—the government authorities. The wheat will be cast out as evil; and those that believe that the organization is the church will say, “Yes, we are going through the shaking time, and we have to allow these sinners to be sifted out of Zion; because they are rebellious to properly constituted authority, they won’t submit to the council of the community of faith.”

What is really happening is that those who are casting out their former brethren, are separating themselves from those who still believe the three angels’ messages and practice the truth. They are the ones who are being sifted out of Zion by their actions in disfellowshipping their faithful brethren.

When the Tares Have Full Control

When Jesus was on the earth the tares had taken control of the professed people of God, and they had gone to seed. They were living in open sin. Ellen White says the office of the high priest was sometimes acquired by murder—that is living in open sin, isn’t it? The Lord showed Ellen White over and over again that the experience of the children of Israel just before the first coming of Christ would be similar to our experience just before the second coming. (Selected Messages, vol. 1, 406–407.) People are coming to me now, saying, “Brother John, I can see that what you are saying is true, but please tell me, I am mixed up and confused. Tell me how should I relate to church organization?” I tell them to relate to it the way Jesus did. We are living in very similar times, so we relate to church organization just the way Jesus did.

How did Jesus relate to church organization when the tares had control of the church? Matthew 15 is talking about the tares. “Then His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted [a tare] will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.’” Matthew 15:12–14. “Let them alone.” Jesus did not go and get permission for what He was going to do, neither did John the Baptist. They did not even let the leaders know what they were going to do. It was too dangerous. Jesus said, “Let them alone.” You can spend your whole life time in dialog over all kinds of problems in the Adventist Church. If that is what we do, when is the gospel going to be given to the world? Jesus and John the Baptist could have been dialoging with the priests, Levites, scribes and lawyers, and if that would have happened, we would have been eternally lost.

When the tares had control of the church Jesus said, “Let them alone.” It is time today friends, the hour is late. It is time to organize with the faithful, loyal, and true, wherever you are, and say, “Lord, show us what to do to finish Your work here in our area.”

“I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison of the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The influence of such gatherings is not good. If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. 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.” Early Writings, 124–125. Oh, friend, if there are tares all around who have gone to seed, and if they are in control of the church, teaching false doctrines, Jesus says, “Let them alone.” Join with the loyal, faithful, and true, and ask the Lord to show you what to do to get the work finished.

Ripened for the Harvest

There is coming a time when everyone’s true character will be revealed—the harvest. But before the harvest, everyone will go through situations that will ripen them for the harvest, that will show which side they are on. Just before the close of probation, God sends a message of purification to the Seventh-day Adventist church for the last time, to give one last chance to be purged of all dross. This message is called the straight testimony, and it will result in a terrible shaking. Concerning the straight testimony, Ellen White says, “Some will not bear the straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.” Notice, it is not the straight testimony itself that causes the shaking—it’s those that rise up against it! “I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” Early Writings, 270.

Friends, the straight testimony, through the revival and reformation movement, has been going to the entire Seventh–day Adventist church for a number of years. It has gone all around the world; and has caused a division, and people have risen up against it. This division is often seen as the tares being shaken out of the church; but the question is, “Who and what is the church that they are being shaken out of?” Those that believe the inspired definition of the church see that multitudes have been shaken out of the truth; therefore they have been shaken out of the church.

“Those who separate from God and lose their spirituality, do not fall back all at once into a state which the true Witness calls lukewarm. They conform to the world little by little. As its influence steals upon them, they fail to resist it and maintain the warfare. After the first step is taken to have friendship with the world, darkness follows and they are prepared for the next. At every step they take in the downward course darkness gathers about them, until they are enshrouded. As they conform to the world they lose the transforming influence of the Spirit of God. They do not realize their distance from God. They think themselves in good case because they profess to believe the truth. They grow weaker and weaker, until the Spirit of God is withdrawn, and God bids his angels, Let them alone! Jesus spues them out of his mouth. He has borne their names to his Father; he has interceded for them, but he ceases his pleadings. Their names are dropped, and they are left with the world. They realize no change. Their profession is the same. There has not been so glaring a departure from the appearance of right. They had become so assimilated to the world that when heaven’s light was withdrawn they did not miss it.” Review and Herald, November 26, 1861. [Emphasis in the original.] Notice that even though they are spued out of Jesus’ mouth, they realize no change and their profession is the same.

Two Groups

Here is how Ellen White describes the two parties that the shaking produces. The first party—company A, is the people that are shaken, but they are not shaken out. “I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, anxious look would settle upon them. Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness. As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances.” That is the group that is not shaken out; but they are going through a terrible shaking struggle.

The group that is shaken out is company B: “Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.” Early Writings, 270.

Notice, company A is mightily shaken, and where are they when they are mightily shaken? In the church! They are shaken as a result of company B rising up against the message that they bare. Again we see opposition to the message of truth—to the straight testimony. This straight testimony results in a shaking by those people that rise up against it.

As a result of the earnest message to the Laodiceans by God’s faithful people, plus the Sunday law pressure, the shaking sifts the church. Some members who had been true and faithful are shaken out. Most people think that this means that they leave the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist church, but this quotation does not say that. The subject matter is not the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist church, but the straight testimony of the true witness. It is a controversy not over whether you belong to a certain organization, but over the truth! That is what it is all about. Some of the true and faithful who at first accepted the testimony of the true witness are shaken out. When they are shaken out, who do they join? They join company B who are already shaken out; but they still profess to be part of the true church. Company B was the largest group, and as they receive more of those who are shaken out from the true and faithful, eventually it is going to appear like the true and faithful are just some little lunatic fringe, some fanatical offshoot sect. They will be the offscouring of all things.

Here is the way the Lord purifies the church: “God purifies His people through the voice of warning and reproof.” What if I will not listen to warning and reproof? I am stuck! By these very words of warning and reproof the chaff is separated from the wheat.

Here is the description of this purification process: “He [God] brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.’ Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

Do you love Jesus more today than you did yesterday? Are you spending time in His Word? Are you growing up spiritually? Friend, you and I are going to come to maturity one way or the other! We can become tares or we can become wheat, but we are going to grow to maturity to be one or the other. What kind of spiritual maturity are you coming to? What group will you be numbered among. Let us pray that we can each be faithful to the end, and will be guided by the Holy Spirit so that we will not be deceived and be sifted out during the shaking.

The End

An Unconditional Promise?

Is every individual and every church, living at the risk of failure? Do God’s promises give us such an assurance of salvation that no matter what—we are predestined to life eternal? Are there certain promises given to certain individuals and certain churches that are absolutely unconditional? That no matter what they do, they are predestined to eventually triumph? The Jews believed that they had just such a promise. They believed that in spite of their mistakes, the following verse proved that they would eventually triumph: “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31: 35–37.

“You see the sun in the sky,” pointed out Mr. Rabbi. “And do you see the moon and the stars every night?” asked the scribe. “Yes,” said the priest, “We know we’ve made mistakes, but God has promised that whatever we may have done, He will not cast away the children of Israel. You can be sure of that promise every time you see the sun, moon and stars; and hear the waves of the ocean. Because the Word of the Lord is sure.” Then came John the Baptist.

“John declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride, selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham. In view of the light they had received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to whom they felt so much superior. They had forgotten the rock whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which they had been digged. God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose. As He had called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service. Their hearts might now appear as lifeless as the stones of the desert, but His Spirit could quicken them to do His will, and receive the fulfillment of His promise.” The Desire of Ages, 106, 107. [All emphasis supplied.]

There is a sentence in that paragraph that Seventh-day Adventists would do well to study. “God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose.” I wonder if God is dependent on us today for the fulfilling of His purpose. If we are not willing and obedient could He possibly raise up others to do His service and finish His work? It seems, that today, we need to hear the message of John the Baptist again.

“‘And now also,’ said the prophet, ‘the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.’ Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.” Ibid.

Did John the Baptist’s teaching set aside the scripture that the rabbis were using to prove that they were unconditionally God’s people? Absolutely not! Rather he gave Jeremiah 31:35–37 its true import. By drawing attention to Jesus as the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, he was teaching them how to really be a part of Israel. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. It is through Jesus that we receive power to obey God’s law. Obedience was the condition to the promise in Jeremiah 31: 35–37. “The Jews regarded their natural descent from Abraham as giving them a claim to this promise. But they overlooked the conditions which God had specified. Before giving the promise, He had said, ‘I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people . . . For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ Jeremiah 31:33, 34.”


Today as then, obedience to God’s law is the condition to being one of Abraham’s children. But today, as then, many are emphasizing the wonderful promises of God without pointing out the conditions to those promises. This false teaching is deceptive, but very effective. Multitudes are reading promises like the one the Jews read in Jeremiah and consoling themselves that in spite of the “little” sins in the church, God is going to take it through. They reason that in this singular instance God has predetermined the triumph of a group of people no matter what, and that because God started and ordained this church that it will always be His. This seems like a hybrid union of “predestination” and “once saved always saved” theology. Understood in its context, it is true that God’s church is going through to glory. However, we must remember that when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was here, the shaking and sifting got so severe that once it shook out all but eleven men and a few women. ” ‘He that is not with Me,’ said Christ, ‘is against Me.’ It is wholehearted, thoroughly decided men and women who will stand now. Christ sifted His followers again and again, until at one time there remained only eleven and a few faithful women to lay the foundation of the Christian church.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 130. God will not be trifled with. We will be saved in His appointed way or not be saved at all. Let God be true and every man a liar before one of His words fall to the ground.

“Oh,” but someone says, “Today, we have promises to the ‘organized church.’ Those eleven men and few women were not the ‘organized church.’” They weren’t? Then who was the “organized church” when those eleven men and few women were the only followers of Jesus? Those eleven men had been ordained and organized for service by Jesus Himself. Most people would not consider this ordination to have gone through the “proper channels,” and to some they seemed like such a small band of workers. Oh, that our spiritual vision could be quickened! Could we once see the King in His glory, we would understand “the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:23.

Upon this Rock

Today some are quoting Matthew 16:18 as an unconditional promise that the General Conference, which was started by God, is going through. “. . . upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is a wonderful unfailing promise, just as the one in Jeremiah 31. But it has conditions built into it. Before Christ said those most striking and confident words, He asked Peter this question: ” ‘Whom say ye that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ ” Matthew 16:15, 16. There is the condition. A certain future is freely opened to ALL—independent and conference ministries alike—IF through righteousness by faith we behold Jesus as the Son of God, and through that power live a godly life. But, if our actions show that we are not confessing Him as the “Son of the living God,” we cannot claim the promise. The greatest manifestation of His power is to take sinners and freely forgive them and give them power to obey the law of heaven. That is how Jesus is confessed to the world.

Ellen White writes on this very verse in Desire of Ages, in the chapter, “The Foreshadowing of the Cross,” 410–418. “The truth that Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer’s faith.” Confessing Him to the world is the sublime privilege and responsibility of beholding Jesus. That makes us a part of the church that the gates of hell cannot prevail against.

“Jesus continued: ‘I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ The word Peter signifies a stone,—a rolling stone. Peter was not the rock upon which the church was founded. The gates of hell did prevail against him when he denied his Lord with cursing and swearing. The church was built upon One against whom the gates of hell could not prevail.

“Centuries before the Saviour’s advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel’s salvation. The psalmist had sung of ‘the Rock of my strength.’ Isaiah had written, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 62:7; Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, ‘If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ 1 Peter 2:3-5, R. V.

“‘Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 3:11. ‘Upon this rock,’ said Jesus, ‘I will build My church.’ In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.

“How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown.”

Let us look at another aspect of this unconditional promise theology. When Jesus came here, did He come at the risk of failure and eternal loss? Or was He guaranteed triumph over temptation by an unconditional promise? “Our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.” The Desire of Ages, 117. “He [God] permitted Him to meet life’s peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.” The Desire of Ages, 49. “He not only became an exile from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure and eternal loss.” The Desire of Ages, 131. That is so plain that it cannot be disputed. Jesus came at the risk of eternal loss if He yielded to temptation.

Where does this idea come from that somehow there is a particular group of people who are predestined to triumph because they think they have an unconditional promise? It comes straight from the evil one. While we are to have unwavering faith in God’s promises, we will be lost if we have the devil’s counterfeit of faith, which is presumption. “But faith is in no sense allied to presumption. Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption. For presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.” The Desire of Ages, 126.

Notice that both faith and presumption use the promises of God. Claiming God’s promises does not prove anything. Even the devil quoted a promise of God to tempt Christ. Friend, we can be fooled by thinking that if we just trust in the promises, that we have a guarantee of salvation. Not only can individuals be fooled, but whole churches can be deceived. Presumption will lead such a one, or such a group, into thinking that they can go ahead and transgress God’s law in little areas, believing that God’s great love will save them from the consequences of sin. But this is not true faith, and has nothing to do with salvation. Rather, this false assurance, leads straight to destruction. True faith always wants to comply with the conditions, so it can receive the unshakable kingdom.

Promises or Warnings

God does have unfailing promises, but to be unfailing for us, we must fulfill the condition. The reality of our situation is that if we do not have a righteousness by faith experience which results in overcoming sin—keeping God’s law, we will not obtain the promises. God has sent warnings also. Here is a sample of God’s warnings. “Of those who boast of their light, and yet fail to walk in it, Christ says, ‘But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.’ At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent [in their own estimation], and hast revealed them unto babes.’” Review and Herald, August 1, 1893. [Comments in brackets in the original.]

The End

The Hellish Torch of Satan

Author’s introductory note: I have spent much time thinking about how to make the material unmistakably clear, and how to avoid giving shocks that the reader could not endure. There has been a need for a comprehensive statement of the grim realities of Calvinistic theology in a simple and concise form, so that our people could gain an understanding of the real nature of the issues between Calvinism and Adventism without reading a large number of books.

The book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Lorraine Boettner was written as a defense of the doctrines of Calvinism with statements from recognized leaders in Calvinistic thought. The author has granted permission to anyone to make use of the materials he gathered.

All statements by Boettner himself, that appear in this article, are identified by the letter “B” and a page number. Statements by other theologians that are quoted in his book are identified by that theologian’s name, plus a “B” and a page number indicating the place in Boettner’s book where the statement is found. All emphasis is mine.

Without making any comparisons between Seventh-day Adventist theology and Calvinistic theology we will limit ourselves to taking a clear hard look at the central pillars of Calvinistic theology. Prepare yourself for a series of shocks. May the righteous God add His blessing to this attempt to defend His character and honor His Name.

– Ralph Larson

What is the hellish torch of Satan? How can we recognize it, and how can we recognize the torches of false prophecy that are kindled from it? This is surely an urgent need, and fortunately we need not be in doubt. An abundance of information has been supplied to us. What could be more hellish than to ascribe to a righteous and holy God the very attributes of Satan? Nothing, of course. That would be the supreme evil, which nothing could possibly surpass. But has such a thing happened? Indeed it has. Satan’s hellish torch has been set before us with unmistakable clarity, both in the inspired writings, and in the bold and brazen declarations of those who are holding the hellish torch aloft.

As our first package of evidence, our first unit of thought, we ask you to consider what Ellen White has to say about Satan’s attempt to create a rebellion that would drive God from His throne. Madness? Yes—but this entire article is about madness.

“Satan’s method of misrepresenting the character of God is to attribute to Him his own characteristics.” 1888 Materials, 1062.

“Satan has misrepresented the character of God. Our good and gracious Lord has been presented before the people clothed with the attributes of Satan.” 1888 Materials, 386.

By whom has this been done? Who has presented God in this manner to the people? Not Satan himself. He does not preach to the people personally—he has to use human agents. Who have these human agents been? Please be patient. The answer will become clear as we go along.

“Satan has misrepresented the character of God. He has clothed Him with his own attributes. He has represented Him as a being of inflexible sternness.” Signs of the Times, April 15, 1889.

“The Creator has been presented to [men’s] minds as clothed with the attributes of the prince of evil himself—as arbitrary, severe, and unforgiving—that He might be feared, shunned, and even hated by men.” In Heavenly Places, 8.

“The cruelty inherent in [Satan’s] own character is attributed to the Creator; it is embodied in systems of religion.” Great Controversy, 569.

“Satan had declared that God knew nothing of self-denial, of mercy, of love, but that He was stern, exacting, and unforgiving.” Review and Herald, March 9, 1897.

“By the same misrepresentation of the character of God as he had practiced in heaven, causing Him to be regarded as severe and tyrannical, Satan induced man to sin.” Great Controversy, 500.

So Satan has represented God as a Satanic god who is:

· Arbitrary

· Severe

· Tyrannical

· Cruel

· Exacting

· Unforgiving

· Stern

· Knowing nothing of self-denial, mercy, or love.

All of these are the attributes of Satan himself! But these are only accusations. How could Satan prove them? What evidence could he set forth in support of these accusations against God? Again we ask you to be patient. This question will be clearly answered before we are through. But we must recognize that some have already accepted as true these accusations against God, because these horrible teachings are described as having been “embodied in systems of religion.” Can it be true? Could there actually be churches that have accepted as true, Satan’s accusations against God, that He is arbitrary, cruel, unforgiving, tyrannical, and so on? Keep those words in mind as we go on to our next package of evidence, our next unit of thought. This will consist of a series of statements from Calvinistic theologians about the arbitrary decrees of the God whom they worship. (Arbitrary means for no reason other than one’s own will.)

The Satanic God of Calvinism

All things happen because he makes them happen.

1. “God did from eternity . . . ordain whatever comes to pass.” Westminster Confession, B, 13.

2. “He hath foreordained whatever comes to pass.” The Shorter Catechism, B, 17. (To ordain something means to order it. This is not at all the same as to permit. That which is ordained is ordered and established as an act of one’s will. Notice the all-inclusive language as we go on.)

3. “Nothing can come to pass apart from His sovereign will.” B, 30.

4. “Nothing can come to pass contrary to what He expressly decrees.” B, 14.

5. “God has an eternal plan in which is predetermined every event that comes to pass.” B, 23.

6. “His decree . . . extends . . . to every event in human history.” B, 13.

7. “All things, without exception, indeed, are disposed by Him.” B, 31. (You are probably already gasping and thinking, ” Surely this means only good things,” but this is not the case. It includes bad things as well.)

8. “He gives peace and fruitful seasons, prosperity and happiness, or He sends the desolations of war, famine, drought, and pestilence.” B, 37.

Is this staggering? It should be. The Satanic god of Calvinism orders, ordains, foreordains, decrees, expressly decrees, and predetermines everything that happens, whether it be good or whether it be evil. As we struggle to comprehend the enormity of these statements, let us remember that these words express the desire, the intention, the purpose, the will of the Calvinistic god. It is not that he permits or allows them. They happen because he wants them to happen and makes them happen.

And what has he wanted to happen? Everything that has happened. Satan’s rebellion in heaven. All of the wars that have brought death to hundreds of millions. All of the plagues that have devastated nations. All of the religious persecutions with their torturing of innocent people. All of the floods. All of the earthquakes. All of the hurricanes and typhoons. All of the famines. The slaughter of several million Jews in Europe. All of the world’s false religions. All of the human sacrifices of paganism. All of the vices in all of the world. All of the crime in all of the world. He wanted them all to happen and ordered them all to happen. The above listings are not just words. They are unspeakably gruesome experiences, such as people being herded into a deep trench, machine gunned, and then buried by a bulldozer; people standing in line to be hanged and then burned in a gas oven, people being stretched on the rack, burned at the stake, fed to wild animals in the Roman arena, and so on. And as we think about these horrifying things, we must remember that according to the Calvinistic doctrines that we have just read, each individual incident of torture was ordained and decreed by the Satanic god of Calvinism.

Does this mean that every individual robbery, every kidnapping, every murder, every rape, every fraud, every deception, every lie, every broken promise, every ruined marriage,—each was individually caused to happen by the Satanic god of Calvinism? That is precisely what it means.

We do not Overstate the Case

In our next package of evidence, our next unit of thought, we will see that the Satanic god of Calvinism is not content with causing huge catastrophes that bring suffering and death to millions. He also personally supervises every individual crime on earth. His attention is given to creating suffering on the smallest scale as well as on the largest scale.

“The foreordination of God extending to all events both great and small.” B, 17.

10. “God is seen as the great and mighty King who . . . directs the course of history even down to its minutest details.” B, 13.

11. “A divine ordering of the whole course of history to the veriest detail.” B, 14.

12. “History in all its details, even the most minute, is but the unfolding of the eternal purposes of God.” B, 25.

13. “God’s providential control extends to all events, even the most minute.” B, 21.

14. “Minute enough to concern itself with the smallest details . . . nothing, however small, however strange, occurs without His ordering.” Warfield, B, 23.

15. “His all-wise providence hath before appointed what bough (the sparrow) shall perch upon; what grains it shall pick up; where it shall lodge and where it shall build; on what it shall live and where it shall die.” Toplady, B, 37.

So this Calvinistic god orders, directs, purposes, and controls every human action, whether it be good or whether it be evil. We remind the reader again that this is not permission. He does not just permit these things to happen. He makes them happen. Human beings perform incredibly cruel, vile, and evil actions because this god wants them to, and orders them to. They have no choice. They must do what he ordains, commands, and controls. We have been reading thus far about human actions, but the picture of the Calvinistic god is not yet complete. His will controls the inner being as well as the outer being. This will be our next package of evidence, our next unit of thought. According to Calvinistic doctrines:

He Controls all Thoughts, Feelings and Impulses

16.”Not only the works we do outwardly, but even the thoughts we think inwardly . . . there is no such thing as chance or fortune.” Melancthon, B, 15.

17. “God is the Sovereign Ruler who governs even the intimate thoughts and feelings and impulses of men.” B, 342.

18. “It is He that . . .creates the very thoughts and intents of the soul.” B, 31.

This Includes Even Sinful Thoughts and Sinful Actions

19. “Plainly the fall of Adam and all other sins . . . were in [His] plan.” B, 24.

20. “Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God.” B, 234.

21. “Even the sinful acts of men are included in [His] plan.” B, 24.

22. “That the sinful acts of men have their place and a necessary place in [His] plan is plainly seen in the course of history.” B, 252.

23. “He also perfectly controls all the depraved and impious affections of the wicked, and turns them as He pleases.” B, 230.

24. “When we get the larger view we see that even the sinful acts of men have their place in the divine plan.” B, 239.

25. “All evil forces are under His absolute control.” B, 239.

26. “The murderer is kept in life and is indebted to God for the strength to kill his victim, and also for the opportunity.” B, 239.

27. “Unless sin occurs according to the divine purpose and permission of God, it occurs by chance.” B, 240. (The possibility of sin occurring by chance is here introduced only to be firmly rejected, for we read on the next page:)

28. “Over sin as over all else, God reigns supreme.” B, 241.

Thus there is no escape from the hideous reality that these statements place before us. The god of Calvinism is the god of sin. He is a Satanic god who causes, creates, and perfectly controls every thought, every feeling, every impulse, and every action of every man and every woman, even including the most sinful, degenerate, depraved and degraded. Do you worship the god of Calvinism? I do not.

According to this theology, or this demonology, if you prefer, you may have thought that you decided what church you would attend this week, but you didn’t. The Calvinistic god decided that for you, by creating the thoughts and impulses of your mind. While he was making that decision for you, he was also placing in the drunkard’s mind the impulse to seek more strong drink; he was putting into the dope peddler’s mind the impulse to seek more victims for his drugs; he was putting into the murderer’s mind the impulse to kill again, he was guiding the murderer in the choice of a victim and the choice of weapons, and was providing him the opportunity to strike, because he wanted it to happen. It was part of his decree, part of his plan.

Think of this when you read in the newspaper that a man in another state has raped a teenage girl, then took an ax and chopped off both of her arms below the elbow; or that a woman has shut her two small children into a car and run the car into a lake so that they were drowned. And then remember that according to Calvinistic theology both the man and the woman did these things because the Satanic god of Calvinism ordered and decreed it, putting the thoughts and the impulses into their minds. They had no choice.

I question whether we can really internalize all of these unbelievable things in a single attempt, so I am going to ask you to please turn back and read again the above statements of Calvinistic theology, beginning with number 16.

Although this is getting ahead of the logical progression of our case, we pause here to set forth a spin-off from this horrible doctrine as presented by Dr. Edward Heppenstall in a class for ministers conducted at the Southeastern California Conference office in December, l962. He provided copies of his notes to the ministers, in which we find on page 3:

“It is by the wisdom, not by the impotence of God, that no believer is ever perfect here below. The Lord so conducts the saints in this life that there should always remain something to either freely give them when they ask, or to pardon them mercifully when they confess to Him.”

Consider carefully: The Lord so conducts our lives that there will always be something to forgive us for. We are never perfect here below because He is too wise to let us be perfect. Therefore we sin because He wants us to sin.

Where do these ideas come from? From the Satanic god of Calvinism. But we haven’t seen the entire picture yet. It gets much, much worse as we proceed. Here is our next package of evidence, our next unit of thought.

The Satanic God and the Non-Elect

According to Calvinistic theology, the Satanic god decided before the world was created that some persons would never be permitted to repent and be saved. These are called the non-elect. We have seen, in the previous section, that the Satanic god makes these persons sin. They have no choice in the matter. We will now see that the Satanic god sternly judges and condemns them for the very sins that he has made them commit.

1. “Eternal life is foreordained for some and eternal death for others.” Calvin, B, 15.

2. “It was foreordained . . . who should be condemned.” Luther, B, 15.

3. “The Reformed faith has held to the existence of an eternal, divine decree which . . . separates the human race into two portions and ordains one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting death.” B, 83.

4. “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined to everlasting life, and others are foreordained to everlasting death.” B, 84.

5. “In matters pertaining to his salvation, the unregenerate man is not at liberty to choose between good and evil.” B, 62.

6. “He at the same time, and by the same means, or ordination, withholds from them the opportunity and power of believing and being saved.” Cunningham, B, 91.

7. “The doctrine of absolute Predestination of course logically holds that some are foreordained to death as truly as some are foreordained to life.” B, 104.

8. “We believe that from all eternity God has intended to leave some of Adam’s posterity in their sins.” B, 104.

So Calvinism’s Satanic god predestines the non-elect to be lost, giving them no choice, creates their sinful thoughts and sinful actions, giving them no freedom, judges and condemns them for the sin that he has forced them to commit, permitting them no repentance, then punishes them for the sin that he has forced them to commit.

And what of the punishment? This is our next package of evidence, our next unit of thought.

Calvinism’s Satanic God Tortures the Non-Elect Forever

1. “[Predestination] brings us into contact, on the one side, with a subject so awful and overwhelming as the everlasting misery of an innumerable multitude of our fellow men.” Cunningham, B, 7.

2. “[Predestination] extends . . . to every event in human history from the creation to the judgment, and includes all the activities of saints and angels in heaven and of reprobates and demons in hell.” B, 13.

3. “The final torments of the wicked . . . are indescribably awful . . . In the next world the wicked, with all restraint removed, will go headlong into sin, blaspheming and cursing God, growing worse and worse as they sink deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit.” B, 79. (Remember that they curse and blaspheme because the Satanic god makes them do it. They have no freedom and no choice. Even the Calvinists admit the awfulness of this doctrine.)

4. “Calvin admits that this doctrine arouses very perplexing questions in the minds of some, for, says he, ‘they consider nothing more unreasonable than that of the common mass of mankind, some should be predestined to salvation, and others to destruction.’ ” B, 85.

5. “It may seem absurd to human wisdom that God should harden, blind, and deliver up some men to a reprobate sense; that he should first deliver them over to evil, and (then) condemn them for that evil; but the believing, spiritual man sees no absurdity at all in this.” Luther, B, 106. (This has to be one of Luther’s most utterly incomprehensible statements.)

6. “It is hard for us to realize that many of those right around us (in some cases our close friends and relatives) are probably foreordained to eternal punishment.” B, 125.

7. “Yet Calvinism is nearer to the facts, however harsh and forbidding those facts may seem.” B, 49.

8. “This doctrine of the total inability of man is terribly stern, severe, forbidding.” B, 80.

9. “This is admittedly an unpleasant doctrine.” B, 108.

10. “Calvinists do not shrink from discussing (this doctrine); yet naturally, because of its awful character, they find no satisfaction in dwelling upon it.” B, 124.

11. “It may be asked, Why does God save some and not others? But that belongs to His secret counsels.” B, 96.

12. “His reasons for saving particular ones while passing by others have not been revealed to us.” B, 97.

13. “Let it be remembered that we are under no obligation to explain all the mysteries connected with these doctrines.” B, 124.

14. “The condemnation of the non-elect is designed primarily to furnish an eternal exhibition, before men and angels, of God’s hatred for sin, or in other words, it is to be an eternal manifestation of the justice of God.” B, 121.

We must remember that the decree of the Satanic (Calvinistic) god, made before the world began, was that some would be foreordained to eternal torture. This would include persons of all ages, from infancy to maturity. Their torturing will never cease, but will go on forever and forever and forever. As long as the Satanic (Calvinistic) god lives, he will continue to take delight in the agonies of his helpless, suffering victims. And as the surpassing outrage to reason, the author of our book supplies this line: “No injustice is done to the non-elect.” B, 113.

Be prepared for the fact that Calvinistic writings abound in ludicrous self-contradictions, which are an insult to the intelligence of the reader. In Boettner’s book it is argued, for example:

· That although their god creates, directs, and controls every impulse, thought and action of man, nevertheless the will of man is totally free.

· That although their god creates and controls the sinful thoughts and sinful actions of man, that nevertheless their god is not the author of sin.

· That although their god creates, directs, and controls every thought and impulse of man, nevertheless man is totally responsible for his own sinning.

· That although their god tortures forever the helpless non-elect whom He has forced to sin, that this is no injustice to the non-elect.

· That although before the world was created God predestined who would be saved, in such a manner that their salvation had no dependence upon either their choices or their behavior, nevertheless Christ had to die for their salvation, etc., etc.

Unfortunately, the writings of those Seventh-day Adventist ministers who are trying to bring Calvinistic doctrines into our church also abound in ludicrous self-contradictions, but that is a subject for another article.

Is it no injustice to the non-elect to foreordain them to be lost, with no possibility of escaping their doom? Is it no injustice to force them to sin? Is it no injustice to punish them for sins that they are forced to commit? Is it no injustice to torture them—men, women, and children— forever and forever, throughout all eternity?

Is not this the hellish torch of Satan? Reading these statements makes us feel as if we were taking a guided tour through the bottomless pit. If this is not clothing God with the attributes of Satan, what could fulfill these words? Can anything worse be imagined than a god who deliberately creates human beings for no other purpose than to supply his torture chamber with victims? And who keeps these agonizing victims alive so that the torturing may go on forever? Would not the cruelest human whom the world has ever seen, eventually weary of the torturing and let the struggling, screaming victims die?

But the Satanic god of Calvinism will never tire of hearing the screams of the damned—the persons who were created without their will, were predestined to damnation without any choice, were never given any chance to repent, and whose very sins were created by the creator’s will. A million years of torturing will be followed by another million years of torturing, and another and another and another—forever.

And the end is not yet. Let us pause to remember that according to the Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional election, those who are saved have absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. They are saved because they were predestined to be saved, and nothing that they could do, or that anyone else could do, would have any bearing on their salvation in any way whatever. That is the meaning of the term unconditional.

Then Why did Christ Die?

Why did Christ endure the agonies of a slow and torturous death? According to Calvinistic theology, His death had nothing to do with anyone’s salvation—that had been decided before the world was created, by the decree of predestination. The Calvinists may answer that God planned it that way, as part of the plan of salvation—but this is no answer, for there was no need for such a plan to be made. It is just another ludicrous self-contradiction. Their Calvinistic god may have planned for his son to be tortured and die, but according to their own reasoning, this had nothing to do with anyone’s salvation. We repeat, the salvation of “the elect” had been settled by the decree of predestination before the world was created. The death of Christ on the cross could neither add anything to that decree nor take anything away from it. We are confined to the conclusion that the Satanic god of Calvinism slaughtered his own son for the same reason that he tortures the non-elect throughout all eternity—simply because he is a fiend, a monster, who delights in such torture.

We draw back in horror from such a conclusion, but we cannot escape it. We have just seen an abundance of statements that the Satanic god of Calvinism decided before the world began who would be saved, and that every act, thought, and feeling of every human being is directed by the Satanic god, even including their sins. Why, then, did men spit in the face of Christ? Because they were so directed by Calvinism’s Satanic god. They had no choice. Why did they put a crown of thorns upon His brow? Why did they flog Him? Why did they nail Him to a cross? Let the Calvinistic theologian answer:

“The murderer is kept in life, and is indebted to God for the strength to kill his victim, and also for the opportunity.” B, 239. This is Calvinism. This is the hellish torch of Satan. This is not theology, it is demonology.

This is one of the systems of religion that Ellen White made reference to when she wrote that Satan had clothed God with his own attributes, and that this was embodied in systems of religion. It is beyond question embodied in the Calvinistic system of religion. We are not suggesting that all the members of Calvinistic churches are fully aware of these horrors of their own theology, but the theologians obviously are aware of them. They set the horrors forth proudly, and boast about them. Boettner’s book abounds in Calvinistic self-congratulation about the doctrines that clothe their god with the very characteristics of Satan. We must now consider the very centerpiece of Satan’s accusations.

The Centerpiece

Consider Satan’s problem. In order to convince the universe that God is not a God of love, but is actually arbitrary, cruel, exacting, stern, severe, tyrannical, and unforgiving, a God who knows nothing about self-denial, mercy, or love, Satan needed to present some evidence in support of these charges. The universe had never seen any such faults in the character of God. The very opposite was true in regard to every point of accusation, even including forgiveness. Satan himself had been offered forgiveness, as the universe well knew. Unless Satan could produce some evidence to support his accusations, they would be summarily dismissed as manifestly ridiculous, having no substance of reality at all. Satan desperately needed some evidence, some ground of accusation. What could it be? What could he do?

At last he thought of something that would become the centerpiece of his accusations against the character of God. Let Ellen White describe it to us, and notice how Satan’s accusations against God are clustered about the centerpiece, that God had given a law that His subjects could not obey. “Here is the evidence,” Satan had proclaimed. Notice Ellen White’s response:

“Since the fall of Adam, men in every age have excused themselves for sinning, charging God with their sin, saying that they could not keep the commandments. This is the insinuation Satan cast at God in heaven.” Review and Herald, vol. 4, 303.

Notice the accusation, then notice the evidence. And “charging God with their sin.” This would make God the author of sin. Does it sound like the statements we have been reading from Calvinistic theologians? And even from a Seventh-day Adventist theologian?

“Satan represents God’s law as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts.” Desire of Ages, 24.

Again, notice the accusation, and then notice the evidence.

“[Satan] has clothed the character of God with attributes that are satanic . . . he has pictured Him as a being full of revenge, as a lawgiver whose law is beyond the power of man to keep.” Review and Herald, vol. 3, 464.

Yet again, notice the accusation, then notice the evidence.

“Satan had represented [God] to man as arbitrary, stern, and unforgiving. All the misery and suffering he had brought upon man, he charged to God. He declared that man could not keep the law, and that God was arbitrary and cruel in demanding of him something that he could not do.” Youth’s Instructor, 446.

And still again, notice the accusation, then notice the evidence. “Satan declared that it was impossible for the sons and daughters of Adam to keep the law of God, and thus charged upon God a lack of wisdom and love. If they could not keep the law, then there was fault with the lawgiver. Men who are under the control of Satan repeat these accusations against God, in asserting that men cannot keep the law of God.” Signs of the Times, vol. 3, 264. Once more, notice the accusation, then notice the evidence.

Look now at the total list of Satan’s accusations against the character of God: God’s character is alleged to be faulty, lacking in love, cruel, lacking in wisdom, selfish, stern, unforgiving, arbitrary, and satanic. Now look at the evidence that Satan put forth in support of every one of these accusations. It does not vary. It stays the same in every case. Like the monotonous ringing of a bell, the same message of Satan is intoned over and over again.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is cruel.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is selfish.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is stern.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is severe.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is arbitrary.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is unforgiving.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore God is satanic.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore His character is faulty.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore He is lacking in wisdom.

· God has given a law that His subjects cannot obey, therefore He is lacking in love.

This is beyond question the centerpiece of Satan’s false accusations against God, and this accusation is being echoed by many who stand in Seventh-day Adventist pulpits today.

Ellen White foretold it with unerring accuracy: “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers, 409.

Can we question who these ministers are who have kindled their torches from the hellish torch of Satan? We cannot question if we believe in the Spirit of Prophecy. Look again at Ellen White’s words:

“Men who are under the control of Satan repeat these accusations against God, in asserting that men cannot keep the law of God.” Signs of the Times, vol. 3, 264.

Under the Control of Satan

Perhaps we should reflect a bit about this. Let us not make the mistake of thinking that it is a difficult thing to get one’s self under the control of Satan. You don’t have to work at it. And the condition is not always evidenced by crude physical demonstrations of one kind or another. Please notice:

· The mind: “Either God or Satan controls the mind.” Review and Herald, vol. 1, 455.

· The world: “The world at large are under the control of Satan.” Great Controversy, 47.

· The people: “All who are not decided followers of Christ are servants of Satan.” Great

Controversy, 508.

· The churches: “[Satan] has gained control of the apostate churches.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 472.

And what of our church? It cannot be denied that some within our church have been at times under the control of Satan. We need only think of the apostates who have left us, in order to recognize the truth of that statement. They were not faithful one day and apostate the next day. There was a long process during which their minds were coming more and more under the control of Satan, before they made their final departure from the truth. And during that time they were as poison to all who felt their influence. Bit by bit they were coming under Satan’s control. For documentation on this point, and for specific examples, read Special Testimonies, Series B.

It is even so today. The hellish torch of Satan has been manifestly set forth before us in the statements of the Calvinistic theologians, who are uniting with Satan in clothing God with Satanic attributes.

And we now have a simple and accurate means of recognizing and identifying the men who are described by God’s chosen messenger as standing in our pulpits, having their torches kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. It is sobering indeed to remember Ellen White’s testimony that they would be, not a few, but “many.” And their identifying characteristic will be that they are uniting with the Calvinistic theologians and with Satan himself in declaring that God is selfish, arbitrary, and cruel because He gave to us a law that we cannot obey.

Bit by bit they have accepted the doctrines of Calvinism, and bit by bit they have come to be under Satan’s control. Men may claim that they can say it is impossible to obey God’s law without accusing God, but Ellen White says, “No, you can’t.” Read her solemn warning again:

“If they could not keep the law, then there was fault with the lawgiver.” Signs of the Times, vol. 3, 264.

And it would thus be proven that Satan’s accusations against God were true. If men have not clearly understood this, Satan has. He has reaffirmed the accusation again and again.

· In the beginning: “In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed.” Great Controversy, 761.

· In heaven: “This is the insinuation Satan cast at God in heaven.” Review and Herald, vol. 4, 303.

· In Adam’s time: “Satan had pointed to Adam’s sin as proof that God’s law was unjust, and could not be obeyed.” Desire of Ages, 117.

· In Enoch’s time: “Satan was urging upon men the belief . . . that it was impossible for men to obey the divine statutes.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 89.

· In Christ’s time: “[Satan] hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven, that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law.” Desire of Ages, 29.

· In our time: “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts.” Desire of Ages, 24.

· For all time: “The Saviour’s life of obedience maintained the claims of the law; it proved that the law could be kept in humanity, and showed the excellence of character that obedience would develop. All who obey as He did are likewise declaring that the law is ‘holy, just, and good.’ On the other hand, all who break God’s commandments are sustaining Satan’s claim that the law is unjust, and cannot be obeyed. Thus they second the deceptions of the great adversary, and cast dishonor on God. They are the children of the wicked one, who was the first to rebel against God’s law.” Desire of Ages, 309.

· “The children of the wicked one:” “Men who are under the control of Satan repeat these accusations against God, in asserting that men cannot keep the law of God.” Signs of the Times, vol. 3, 264. Why, then, should we be surprised at these words?

So how shall we relate to the ministers among us who are throwing Satan’s accusations at God? By all means show enough Christian love for their souls to speak to them and warn them, and if possible place a copy of this article in their hands. We must remember that some of our younger ministers have been taught Calvinism in the academy, in college, and at the theological seminary. We trust that our righteous God will keep this in mind as He deals with them. I would not want to be in their position. My personal appeal to all of them would be to be done with this madness before it is too late. There is mercy with the Lord.

And How Shall We Deliver Our Own Souls?

First: let us by no means join them in their foolhardy enterprise, making accusations against God, clothing God with the attributes of Satan. Let us resolve that we will have nothing to do with the Satanic god of Calvinism, or with any of his false teachings. Let us leave this Satanic monster-god in the bottomless pit where he belongs, and renew our loyalty to the holy and righteous God of Adventism.

Second: let us not expose ourselves to the deadly error of those who are falsely accusing God. We cannot afford to listen to such preaching or such teaching, or take such poison into our systems. Our God has warned us through His chosen messenger:

“Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 47.

“Error is falsehood and deception. Those who partake of it must suffer in consequence, as did Adam and Eve in Eden.” Upward Look, 125.

“There is in error and unbelief that which bewilders and bewitches the mind.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 46.

“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 buffeting 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 darkness.” Early Writings, 124.

None of us are strong enough to take risks like these. We must worship without exposing ourselves to deadly error, even though it be at the cost of inconvenience, time, and money. It will not be for long. “Yet a little while and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” Hebrews 10:37.


The Unveiling of the Monster-god

· The first veil is removed: We see a god who orders, ordains, decrees, expressly decrees, and predetermines, everything that comes to pass without exception. We ask, What about sin? The unveiling just proceeds.

· The second veil is removed: We see a god who applies all of the above words to the small details of the personal life, the minute, the most minute, the smallest details, the veriest details, who ordains what bough the sparrow shall perch upon, what grains it shall eat, where it shall build its nest, and where it shall die. We ask again, What about sin? The unveiling proceeds.

· The third veil is removed: We now learn that this god ordains, predetermines, and actually creates every thought, every feeling, every impulse of the soul. We cry out, What about sin? What about sin!? The answer is finally given as the fourth veil is removed.

· The fourth veil is removed: Brazenly, boldly, and with unmistakable clarity, the Calvinistic theologians tell us that sin, like everything else, is ordained, predetermined, ordered, and controlled, because it has a necessary place in their god’s plan. This is specifically applied to even the experience of the murderer.

· The fifth veil is removed: We now gaze upon a god who creates some people for torture, and only for torture, and that he will never stop torturing them throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. The torturing will go on forever and forever and forever.

· The sixth veil is removed: But this time not by the Calvinistic theologians. It is removed by God’s chosen messenger, Ellen White. She tells us that it is Satan’s purpose to clothe the true God with his own attributes, and falsely accuse Him.

· The seventh veil is removed: Again by Ellen White, and we learn that the centerpiece of Satan’s accusations against God is that He has given a law that His people cannot keep.


The monster-god of Calvinism is a craven, contemptible, despicable, and loathsome creature, and the theology that has created him is a river of raw sewage. And it seems that even the fumes from this river are intoxicating. We are forced to recognize that, tragically, some of our own ministers and church leaders have lingered on the banks of this river until they have become intoxicated, and are not only drinking from the river of raw sewage, but are urging us to join them in drinking from it. Why should we, who have been privileged to drink from a fountain that has flowed to us directly from the throne of God, turn from that fountain to drink from a river of raw sewage? Can you think of any good reason? I cannot. May God deliver us.

The End

Editorial – Have You Lost Sight of Jesus, part 1

There is One who is altogether lovely. Unless our gaze is fixed upon Him, the heading and bearing of our life will never stay in the direction which is for our highest interest. Often, for people of all ages, life itself appears empty, hollow, and without satisfaction. But when the life is focused upon Him, everything comes into perspective. Duty, sacrifice, goals and aims, what to strive for and what to lay aside—all become clear. What do you see when you look toward Jesus for a “thoughtful hour each day”?

Jesus by a voluntary act of free-will offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. His sacrifice is for the sins I have committed, and I receive a personal pardon for sin when I repent, confess, and put my trust in Him.

Many Christians believe this and they think that it is “righteousness by faith.” Indeed it is part of it, but not even one person can be saved just by having his sins pardoned (justification, pardon and forgiveness are all the same thing). We know this for sure from Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus that unless a person is born of the Holy Spirit He cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5.

There are other things that need to happen in order for you to receive the richness and fulness of the blessing that Jesus wants to give to you. Do you understand who the real Jesus is? The devil is constantly trying to confuse people either about the divinity or the humanity of Jesus. If you lose sight of the fact that He is a divine Person who is equal with the Father, (See Adventist Apocalypse, 368.) not only will you lose sight of the magnitude of the divine sacrifice, but you will not realize the value of His virtue or character either.

In heathen religions, in order to be holy, men perform various acts of penance, sacrifice and suffering. In some religions it is believed that the merits gained by one person for his good works can be transferred to another who has done less good works.

If we have real New Testament Christianity we do not do any works to gain merit, in fact we believe that as far as merit goes, the best and most godly Christian is utterly helpless and has no merit of any kind of his own. (See Philippians 3.) Any merit that we have as Christians is of grace and is given to us as a free gift when we put our trust in Jesus. His life and character being divine, His divinity places Him above the law. Since all created beings are created under law, the law is greater than any created being but the law is not greater than the Lawgiver. The obedience of the highest angel in heaven to the law of God is simply his reasonable and just duty as a created being and gives him no “excess” merit, power or grace to give to a fallen sinner.

But there is One who is above the law. His character has infinite excellence and virtue. Being the Creator, the rightful Owner and Sustainer of all things, He has the divine right to impart any blessings that He may choose, to those who realize their utterly helpless condition and ask for His help.

More than this, because of His abiding unchanging love for every person of the human family, He has an intense desire (that we mortals are prone to lose sight of) to give the priceless gift of His own perfected virtue to every human being who opens his heart to receive it. 2 Peter 1.

To receive this is to receive the character of Jesus or in simple language, we learn how to think the way He thinks, we learn how to talk the way He talks, we learn to act the way He acts, we learn to live the way He lives, we treat our enemies the way He treated His, in brief we live the life of Christ. This is New Testament Christianity.

The outward evidence that we are having this experience, is perfect obedience to the law of God. If I am not obedient, any theology or study or talk about salvation or holiness or righteousness is just talk, I am not yet experiencing the real thing. Anybody who thinks that good works are not important does not understand the first principles of either righteousness or faith. In the New Testament the law and the gospel are not two unrelated things but are bound together as one complete whole. Romans 8:1–4.

The End