Holiness The Fabric of Society

When we look at the Scriptures, we realize that they are called the Holy Scriptures. When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we must never forget that He is the Holy Spirit. When we speak about the Sabbath, we speak of the holy Sabbath; and God said of His people, “You are a holy people unto Me.”

The book of Hebrews dwells largely on the earthly sanctuary, which was the ritual, the process, that God gave to the Israelite people in the Old Testament, and then to us the heavenly sanctuary, to emphasize the plan of salvation—how it works and what the holiness of God really is. It is through this system that we learn how to approach a holy God when we have been involved in sin.

“For they [our fathers] verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He [God] for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:10,14

If we do not follow after holiness, we will never see the Lord; we will never be in heaven. It will only be a holy people who inherit heaven and the new earth. It therefore behooves us, in the day in which we live, and age like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, to understand by personal experience what holiness is. In order to do this, we must have our thinking shaped all the way through with the concepts of holiness from the Scriptures.

The time brought to view in Isaiah 6 was a time of crisis for the people of God. The outlook was dismal and the future looked dark indeed. But, the Lord gave to Isaiah a vision of His holiness and His majesty in that hour of crisis. “In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3. What a message at an hour of darkness and crisis!

We are facing an hour of darkness on this earth when the darkness of the apostasy will become as black as midnight, impenetrable as the sackcloth of hair, but God’s people are called upon to, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1

It is interesting to note that the angels, in crying to one another, did not cry, “Love, love, love.” The Bible does not substitute love for holiness. Though love is God’s self-communicating attribute and character, His holiness always dominates, controls and directs His love.

Holiness is self-affirming purity, something that this generation has lost sight of. In the place of holiness, it has sought to substitute love, failing to clearly distinguish that holiness must dominate, direct and control love. As a result, we live in a generation that has lost its respect for purity and holiness and has immersed itself in the immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah. This will inevitably result in a totalitarian world state.

Holiness, according to the Spirit of Prophecy, is wholeness for God. As it was not in Rome’s interest to promote holiness, she withheld the Holy Scriptures from the people. This understanding of true holiness involves separation from all uncleanness and impurity and, of necessity, from the world. It was the Puritans’ understanding of this concept, leading them to strive for obedience to the law of God, that made them so powerful in their opposition to the Papacy.

At Vatican II, the principles of communism gained control of the Catholic Church, and particularly of the Jesuit order. The position taken in Vatican II regarding the non-Christian religions called for involving everyone, even the pagan and spiritualistic religions, in the ecumenical movement. The Jesuits were deeply involved in fostering the peace and anti-war movement, as well as the hippie movement. It is always the concept of every revolution to gain the thinking of the young people, and immediately after Vatican II, we had the student generation in revolt. Youth who belonged to middle class families suddenly joined communes. This revolt was an international phenomenon, a tremendous twisting of the thinking of the young people. Very rapidly these principles expanded out over the youth generation.

It is interesting to note that it was at this time that the Youth’s Instructor was discarded for Insight magazine and major changes came into our own Adventist structure regarding how to deal with the youth. The battle cry on the college campuses (I was on them at that time) was, “You’ve got to be relevant.” What they meant was “relative to the world.”

Suddenly the message was no longer so much one of preaching salvation, calling people to the Word of God, calling them to holiness and purity and standing on the platform of the everlasting gospel, but rather a discarding of personal piety; a going into the inner cities, doing social gospel. The social gospel supplanted the everlasting gospel and the Jesuits were very fundamental in bringing about this change.

Just before Nazism took control of Germany, there was a hippie movement among the youth. Middle class young people suddenly left their homes, drifted around the countryside and read the philosophy of Nietsche. The philosophy of Nietsche, with his concept of replacing God with self, is now the main philosophy that Americans have accepted. The man on the street who does not even know the name Nietsche has accepted his philosophy. Now the psychiatry and psychology of our day has replaced religion, to a large extent. The self-help, self-esteem movement and the church growth movement which has brought into it these philosophies, is dominating the churches and the whole nation is being smothered with this.

It is interesting to note, that, according to Professor Allen Bloom, the very concept which originated over in Europe, resulting in Nazism, was imported into America right about the time of World War II with the flight of many German professors from the universities in Germany. They were fleeing from Hitler, but they brought with them the germs of the same thinking that brought Hitler to power. Upon their arrival, they took significant positions in our American Universities, spreading their ideology throughout society.

In the Review, July 1, 1993, the question is asked: “How should we warn the world; with billboards, magazine inserts, and books like The Great Controversy?” The article goes on to question whether we should rent billboards, place ads on subway cars in the U.S. capital or buy inserts in secular magazines to openly unveil error or question churches as being false. The question is posed: Shall we mass distribute Ellen White’s book, The Great Controversy, which clearly calls the Roman Catholic Church the dragon-controlled beast of Revelation 13? It is then pointed out that in years past, certain Adventist groups and individuals have tried all of these methods.

I can understand that people who have had their thinking developed along certain lines might have a problem with billboards, but it is shocking, to say the very least, to have the distribution of The Great Controversy questioned.

The article, written by Paul Gordon, had as its basic thrust that, because we live in an ecumenical age when it is not welcome within the Christian community to speak against another church or its doctrines, we must, therefore, have a very careful approach, and he seems to be questioning the mass distribution of The Great Controversy. That which makes this most interesting is the fact that he is the secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate at Silver Springs, Maryland.

I would submit that if we do not understand what holiness—wholeness for God—really is and define our position and our activities solely with reference to a position of wholeness toward God and the Word of God, we will ultimately come to the other side of the great controversy.

God wants not only truth preached, but He wants error exposed so that people can find their way. The question we must consider is, are we going to let our activity be dictated and molded by ecumenical consciousness or will it be dictated and shaped by holiness—wholeness for God—and a complete dependence on His Word? Will we be daily asking, “Lord, what is the message that You want me to preach?”

The generations of Americans who made America great were generations that were founded in Christian concepts. They were founded in concepts of right and wrong, of personal purity and holiness. In our nation, we have a heritage that rests upon the effort of thousands of men of God over a period of centuries seeking after practical holiness. This is particularly true of the Puritan era. It was this seeking after practical holiness that developed the quality of character that led to obedience to God’s law—self-control under God. It was this quality, more than any other, that ultimately gave them the ability to found a great nation on these shores; a nation that promoted liberty and justice for all.

Holiness is fundamental to liberty, for involved in holiness is integrity and justice. These qualities of holiness confirm the soul in its fullness for God, who is the only source of liberty. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” 2 Corinthians 3:17, and that is the only place where liberty truly is. When, however, people forsake the concept of God’s holiness and fail to understand what personal holiness is by experiencing it in their own lives, those people are headed for totalitarianism and slavery.

The demise of these Christian principles has changed the whole face of an entire generation in this nation, and we now have a baby-boomer president, as well as vice-president, with these same kinds of philosophies. We are facing an onslaught of the New Age Movement with its spiritualism that is going to suffocate the exercise of conscience in our nation.

Holiness is the quality that our generation has lost. They wanted to supplant love for holiness, but what happened? They were the love children, the flower children. They had Woodstock, with all types of impurity being practiced. Those of you who have any knowledge of anyone who was involved in that movement know the degradation and impurity of that culture and thinking. And, even the people who were not hippies, per se, were still influenced in their thinking process by this movement.

The destruction of holiness in the baby-boomer, hippie generation has rendered its soul to the machinations of Satan and we see a flood of the occult. Whole sections of bookstores are now devoted to this type of material. Thinking of academia is being shaped by it, as is that of the churches. The eradication of holiness leaves the soul defenseless and open to demonic influence.

What has happened to music is another dimension of what has been taking place in our society, because the impact has been felt in every area of culture and the arts. This generation has abandoned holiness and has opened up its soul to rock music, inspired by demons, and is setting itself up for control under the tyranny of Satan.

The most fundamental attribute of God is His holiness, and this holiness of God is the attribute of God that is most damaged in people’s understanding by the hippie, New Age, occult and spiritualistic philosophy.

When we examine the spiritualistic, love doctrine from the Biblical perspective, we see that the idea of love, love, love, without it being controlled and informed and having its substance in holiness, means being involved in the spiritualistic, spiritual love doctrine of the last days, the most dangerous form of spiritualism.

“He who could appear clothed with the brightness of the heavenly seraphs before Christ in the wilderness of temptation, came to men in the most attractive manner as an angel of light. He appeals to the reason by the presentation of elevation themes; he delights the fancy with enrapturing scenes; and he enlists the affections by his eloquent portrayals of love and charity. He excites the imagination to lofty flights, leading men to take so great pride in their own wisdom that in their hearts they despise the Eternal One. That mighty being who could take the world’s Redeemer to an exceedingly high mountain and bring before Him all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them, will present his temptations to men in a manner to pervert the senses of all who are not shielded by divine power.” The Great Controversy, 554

As the people of God enter the end of all things on this earth, they will proclaim the Sabbath more fully. (See Early Writings, 85.) It is for one reason: the Sabbath is a holy day. It is a continual reminder of the call of God “Ye shall be a holy people unto Me, for I the Lord am Holy.” Leviticus 20:26. The Sabbath separates the Sabbath-keeper in holiness because separation from all iniquity is fundamental to holiness.

Sanctification, the experience of true holiness, was hit hard by the new Theology in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The New Theology, form the perspective I witnessed it from in the seminary, made it clear to me that we had a whole generation of preachers coming out who were going to be moving into the structure, who had the concepts of the New Theology and wanted to take over the church from the inside out. This is what has happened.

This change can be traced back not only to the doctrine regarding the nature of Christ, the nature of sin and righteousness by faith, but to the loss of the concept of personal holiness. When the concept of personal wholeness for God is lost, which is one of the most beautiful concepts in all Scripture, sanctification is gone. For the New Theology, sanctification was just good advice but it was not fundamental to salvation. Only justification was necessary for salvation, and that was only forensic, or “legal only” justification. A person did not want to even think about it too hard, lest works would be involved and the works would violate grace and your salvation would be lost.

The concepts of the New Theology, regarding forensic, or legal only justification, came right out of historical criticism, which Ellen White condemns as being the doctrine of Satan himself. Satan taught it, she says, to the people who advocated it. It denies the inspired dimension of the Bible as being the Word of God, placing it on the level of the common and the profane, which is another attack on holiness, because holiness means a separation from the common and the profane.

We are to sit in heavenly places with Christ. We are going to be a separate people. We must be separate even in the way we think. We will have to be separate even in our presuppositions.

Presuppositions are like glasses. When we wear glasses, the whole world looks different. Every person has presuppositions. This generation, particularly of the young children, is being shaped at the prepositional level. You see, Christianity is an exclusive religion. There is only one true God—the Creator. What does Hinduism teach? Many gods. Pantheism teaches that God is in everything, which is a part of the New Age movement. It is these concepts that are shaping children; concepts that dissolve and diffuse the laser sharp focus of true Christianity that there is one God and one Savior, Jesus Christ—something that is regarded as selfish and bigoted today.

Today, Hindu, new eastern toleration has spread through our society, making the idea of an exclusive truth very unpopular, smacking of bigotry. Suggestions that the papacy must be exposed raise fears that this will offend the ecumenical brother.

Have you ever been termed selfish and unloving because you have principles from the Scriptures that guide you along the narrow path of sanctification and holiness? This has been Satan’s charge since the very beginning. The unyielding purity in the life and cleanness, which is involved in and so fundamental to holiness, leading to separation from all impurity, is a fundamental principle that God’s people must have. This is particularly true as they enter into the final conflict.

What did Paul say the gospel is? It is an offense. It is an offense because it cuts across the grain. That is what it means to lift up your cross and follow Christ. It is offensive to the carnal heart.

The Lord has a message to break up the thought patterns, to break people out of the fog—out of the confusion of Babylon, out of the mold they have been molded in—to carve them out. It is the work of the three angels’ messages to carve a people out, to cleave them out of Babylon. It prepares a separate and distinct people. That is why the doctrine of the nature of the church is so important. It all rests upon these concepts of God’s holiness because God’s holiness demands exclusivity for God. Our soul must be solely God’s; the church must be solely God’s; and all of our affections are to be directed to Him.

In our society today, Satan’s counterfeit for this experience of personal holiness is existentialism. Most people in America do not even know these terms. They are not philosophically oriented like the Europeans are. But this concept of existentialism—the philosophy that God is not actively, personally involved directly in human life, that life is basically absurd and meaningless and meaning can only be found in having an experience—has worked its way into the church through the church growth movement. The concept of the caring church in the church-growth movement rests upon the language of existentialism, and a modified form of existentialism. These concepts are well nigh all persuasive through our society.

The charismatic movement, in reality, rests upon this tenant that holiness can be achieved only through the experience of emotional excitement. Christian existentialism leads to the idea that you have to whip yourself up into an emotional excitement, but Ellen White said that holiness is not rapture; it is the entire surrender of the will and the heart and the entire being to God. We are to worship God in the beauty of holiness.

For the true Christian, holiness is the fundamental attribute of God. It is inherent in His being. It is exercised in his relationship with His creation. It is received by righteousness by faith when the soul makes an entire surrender to the Lord, and thus is wholly the Lord’s.

This concept of holiness, when it is accepted by people and the culture, shapes the culture. This is what makes love in marriage and family wonderful; it is guided by holiness. It is the absence of this concept that has so debased the romantic life of the culture that there is no substance left in the relationship, leading to transitory relationships. As people fail to understand the holiness of God, they are unable to partake of His righteousness through faith, therefore, there is no substance to their love. When there is an understanding of the holiness of God, it completely alters the human race.

Holiness is the great Christian defense. Holiness is the characteristic that protects all of the other attributes communicated by God to the soul through faith. It is God’s holiness that moves Him to protect His people, and when His people abandon holiness they abandon His protection. When, however, they are interested in receiving that holiness by faith, the mighty arm of God is moved to act in their defense and all the power of human will throughout six thousand years of earth’s history is as nothing compared to the mighty will of God, which wills His purity, which wills His holiness, and which acts to defend and protect the integrity of the soul in holiness.

This abandonment of holiness is one reason why our generation has no sense of personal identity, leading them to feel as though they are nothing. They go to the psychiatrist and get even more deeply involved in existentialism and all these philosophies of self, self-help and self-esteem. They do not know who they are because they do not understand holiness.
Holiness is what protects the purity and integrity of the person in the wholeness of their surrender to God. To the extent that our generation has forgotten what holiness is, it has no defense against the demonic influences that are assaulting the souls of people throughout all society.

In order for souls to be saved, they must be renewed in holiness. They must be renewed in and partakers of the holiness of God. They must perfect holiness in the fear of God.

There is the enormous power of omnipotence in holiness. Holiness is the great guardian of liberty and purity, for where the presence of God is, there is liberty, and there is stability. As human relationships are breaking down among the people of God, there is to be a drawing together in holiness, a desiring to communicate holiness to other people and establish them in holiness, which is what true love really is.

“holiness of heart and purity of life was the great subject of the teaching of Christ. In His Sermon on the Mount, after specifying what must be done in order to be blessed, and what must not be done, He says, ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ Perfection, holiness, nothing short of this, would give them success in carrying out the principles He had given them.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 445

So, if we would have success in carrying out the principles of the Sermon on the Mount, we must possess holiness by faith in Christ’s righteousness.

“Without this holiness the human heart is selfish, sinful, and vicious. Holiness will lead its possessor to be fruitful and abound in all good works. He will never become weary in well-doing, neither will he look for promotion in this world. He will look forward for promotion to the time when the Majesty of heaven shall exalt the sanctified ones to His throne. Then shall He say unto them: ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ The Lord then enumerates the works of self-denial and mercy, compassion and righteousness, which they had wrought. Holiness of heart will produce right actions. It is the absence of spirituality, of holiness, which leads to unrighteous acts, to envy, hatred, jealousy, evil surmisings, and every hateful and abominable sin.” Ibid.

“’No man receives holiness as a birthright, or as a gift from any other human being. Holiness is the gift of God through Christ.” Our High Calling, 214

The Initial Steps Toward Unity

The messenger of the Lord to the remnant church has told us explicitly that unless we press together, we will be destroyed in the storm that is coming. See Signs of the Times, October 31, 1900. Unity is not something that is just nice to study about; it has to do with your survival.

“Our only hope of reaching heaven is to be one with Christ.” Upward Look, 141. Therefore, the most important unity that we need to seek is to be one with Jesus. Unless we are one with Christ, we have no chance of being saved. If we are one with Jesus, Ellen White continues, “then, in and through Christ, we shall be one with one another.” Ibid. As we come closer to Christ, we come closer to one another.

The Christian world today is seeking for unity, but they do not know how to find it. One of these days very soon, they will believe they have finally achieved it and that the whole world is in unity. See Maranatha, 209. The whole world is going to think that they are in unity, but their harmony will be with the Antichrist.

Unity is a primary subject of Jesus’ prayer in John 17; how we might be one with him. If I am not in harmony with Jesus on something, who do you think should change his mind? The Bible is crystal clear on this subject. “For I am the Lord I do not change.” Malachi 3:6. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. What Jesus said when He was here almost 2,000 years ago, is still what He thinks; it is still what He believes; it is still what He is like. He is the same; His character has not varied. So, if I want true unity with Jesus I must study what He is like, as recorded in his word. Then, as we come into unity with Jesus, we will come into unity with each other.

Coming into unity is like a jigsaw puzzle—it has more than one piece and we cannot look at all the pieces at once. Right now, however, we will look at one of the initial pieces, a first step toward coming into unity.

You cannot imitate or emulate someone if you do not know what they are like. Therefore, we want to study to understand what Jesus is like. Though I do not spend a lot of time giving my opinions when preaching, I am going to share one of my personal opinions with you. As I have studied the life of Jesus, it does not appear to me that there are very many Seventh-day Adventists who know what Jesus is really like.

There are many people coming to historic Adventist preachers and saying: “You should not do that, or you should not say that; it is not Christlike.” When I hear that, the first question that comes into my mind is simply this: How do you know that it is not Christlike? I personally believe that there are many Seventh-day Adventists telling us those things who have no idea what Jesus is like.

In Hebrews 1, we see a text that graphically tells us in just a few words, something about what Jesus is like. “But unto the son He saith [This is the Father speaking to the Son and He addresses Him as God—One equal in authority with the Father.] ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness.’” Hebrews 1:8-9. Jesus loves what? Righteousness!

We cannot generate love. Love is a precious gift that we receive from Jesus. See Ministry of Healing, 358. If we are to become like Jesus, coming into unity and harmony with Him, we must learn to love righteousness just as He does.

A few years ago I read a story of a beautiful young lady who experienced an automobile accident. Not having her seat belt on, she was thrown through the windshield of her car. Though she survived, her face was badly disfigured. As a result of her change in appearance, her husband divorced her. He had married a beautiful face and when that face was no longer there, there was nothing to hold the marriage together.

What is called love in the world today is often nothing short of selfishness. There are many people who have been married for years but who have never really loved each other. They have gotten married because of what the other person could do for them, and that is not godly love at all.

It took me a long time to learn that I did not have the ability to generate love of any kind, not even for my wife. But, Jesus’ heart is full of love, and He wants you to have that love. His final request in his last prayer, recorded in John 17, is that He would be in his followers and that this love would be in them.

Jesus loves righteousness, and if we ask him for this precious gift of love, he will give it to us. See Romans 8:32.

What is righteousness? Sometimes the easiest way to explain an idea is to express it in opposite terms. What is unrighteousness? In 1 John 5:17, we are told that all unrighteousness is sin. And, what is sin? “Sin is the transgression of the law.” 1John 3:4. Then what is righteousness? It is being in harmony with the law.

Did you know that there are things Jesus hates? Though there are some people who do not seem to believe this anymore, Hebrews 1:9 (last part) tells us that Jesus not only loves, but that He hates as well. So, if you are really going to be like Jesus Christ, you are not only going to have love in your heart, but you also have hatred there. Notice what it says in Hebrews 1:9 “You have hated lawlessness.” (NKJV)

Another text that also reveals this hatred is Psalm 87:10, “You who love the Lord hate evil.”

Some people think that they should just put up with everything, but Jesus is not like that. Jesus is not like that. Jesus and His father have decided that lawlessness is something that they are going to obliterate because they hate it. If you love Jesus, you will also hate lawlessness, especially when you realize that it was this lawlessness—this sin—that caused Jesus to go to the cross. You cannot love Jesus and something that caused Him to go to the cross. That is why Ellen White tells us that, even though those who teach people to break God’s laws may consider themselves Christians, God considers that they hate Him.

The first angel’s message says to fear God.

What does it mean to fear God? For one thing, it means to hate evil. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” Proverbs 8:13. This idea that we can just live a good life, setting a good example, is not enough. If we are really going to be Christlike, we must not only love righteousness, but we must hate lawlessness. We will never achieve Christian unity until we hate lawlessness as much as we love righteousness.

So, what are you to do in a world of evil, among people who profess to follow the Lord, but are not living righteously. The first step that must be taken before we can have Christian unity is that someone is going to have to stand up and attack the evil? It is not enough just to teach the truth; not enough just to set a good example. It is not enough to be loving and kind; you must attack evil. Now we will see the evidence for this from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

In about the 1920s, Julius Gilbert White wrote a manuscript called The Alpha and the Omega of Apostasy. In this book he accurately describes a departure from truth that was then taking place in Adventism, and that I have seen during my whole lifetime. The result of this departure from truth is the great apostasy that we see in the church today; the greatest apostasy that has ever been seen in the 6,000 years of this world’s history, except perhaps at the time of the flood.

“Those who reject the apostasy [he is speaking to Adventists] will be severely charged with criticism because they will protest against it. [Have you ever been accused of being too critical?] A great effort has been made for a long time to eliminate ‘criticism.’” The Alpha and the Omega of Apostasy, 57

What is it that he says has been going on for a long time? “A great effort has been made for a long time to eliminate criticism.” Remember now, this was written in the 1920s. This plot of the devil was laid a long time ago.

“It [criticism] has been terribly condemned far and near in sermons, articles, conventions, institutes, camp meetings and conferences. Honest protest has been stifled and suppressed by branding it ‘criticism’ and then condemning it. A distinction must be made between ‘protest and criticism.’ For if not, no voice can be raised against wrong! Pernicious criticism is a wicked thing, and ought to be confessed and forsaken. Criticism of men is that bad. But there is another side to this question of criticism.

“If men have gone so far in criticism that they criticize the work of the Spirit of God and the messages from the Spirit of God and denounce those who are maintaining those messages as having the spirit of the devil, that would come terribly close to being a sin against the Holy Spirit and would call for alarm and utter humiliation and abasement before such men should dare lift up their heads and ask God for the gift of His Holy Spirit in the latter rain.

“This criticism of the work of the Spirit of God is more heinous and disastrous to ourselves and to the work of God than is criticism of men.

“If leaders so criticize the Spirit of Prophecy that men are moved by the Spirit of God to protest against such apostasy, there must be a distinction made between such protest and evil criticism. When men are in the wrong and do not see it and God sends brethren to counsel them and they persist in denouncing such counsel as unjust criticism, they are indeed in a great delusion, and it is most difficult for God to reach them.

“According to Inspiration, there will be various voices in the church from this time forward till after the shaking is over. There will be false reformations that will sweep in thousands; there will be great worldliness and there will be those who ‘sigh and cry’ over the condition of the church as God sees it, and these will reprove and warn and ‘will not hold their peace to obtain the favor of any.’ (See Testimonies, vol. 5,209).” Ibid., 58,59

Ellen White here describes two groups of people. One group of people put a cloak over the existing iniquity, but another group will not hold their peace for anyone. They are going to protest. Now, if you would like to know who is sealed and who is not, you need to read the rest of the chapter.

There have been times in the past when God has sent people to attack evil. Concerning these people, Ellen White says, “They have ever been received with distrust and suspicion.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 261. Anciently, when Elijah was sent with a message from God, the people did not heed the warning. They thought him unnecessarily severe.

Today, someone says, “Do you have to state it so strongly?” Yes, I do, in order to have a clear conscience.

“They [children of Israel] even thought that he must have lost his senses.” What did they think about Elijah? They thought he had gone crazy! Why? “Because he denounced them, the favored people of God, as sinners and their crimes as so aggravated that the judgments of God would awaken against them.” Ibid. (All emphasis supplied.) Many people have never noticed this.

Is there to be an Elijah message to the church just before the end? Do you know what the Elijah message is? It is a lot different than what many people have thought. Very soon the judgements of God are going to fall on apostate Seventh-day Adventists and it is going to be worse than you can imagine. It is necessary to preach a message that will shake people right down to their toes and make them realize that if they do not change their ways they will be in worse trouble than they can imagine.

“Oh,” somebody says, “Pastor John, Jesus would never do anything like that.” Well, did Jesus approve of what Elijah did or not? Who was inspiring Elijah to denounce them? Many people think that anybody that does anything like that is the devil’s instrument, but according to the Spirit of Prophecy, Elijah was the Lord’s instrument. He denounced them because he was Christlike and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

“They abhorred not the sins which had brought them under the chastening rod, but hated the faithful prophet, God’s instrument, to denounce their sins and calamity.” Review and Herald, September 23, 1873

“But,” someone will say, “don’t you realize that we must respect our leaders?” Well, let me tell you, Elijah did not. “The prophet, as God’s messenger, had reproved their sins, and denounced the judgments of God because of their wickedness. Elijah, standing alone in conscious innocence, firm in his integrity, surrounded by the train of armed men, shows no timidity, neither does he show the least reverence to the king. The man whom God has talked with, who has a clear sense of how God regards man in his sinful depravity, has no apology to make to Ahab, nor homage to give him. Elijah, now as God’s messenger, commanded, and Ahab obeyed at once the command, as though Elijah was monarch, and he subject.” Ibid., September 30, 1873

There is a time when a rebuke must be given; and when God’s people are in apostasy, if God’s messengers do not stand up and rebuke it and reprove it, we will lose our own souls.

There was a time in the New Testament when there was perfect unity. It says in Acts 2:1 that they were all of one accord in one place. That is going to happen again. I long for it and want to be part of it, but do you know that that unity which they enjoyed would never have come to pass without the cross and the resurrection? Now the cross and the resurrection would not have done for the disciples what it did if they had not been acquainted with Him first for three years and gotten to know what He was like. But, they would never have gotten acquainted with Jesus and found out what he was like if it had not been for the ministry of John the Baptist. The ministry of John the Baptist was the initial step that finally brought that unity three and a half years later. What we are studying now is one of the initial steps that finally results in unity.

When John the Baptist came, the angel told his father that he would come in the spirit and power of Elijah. So, what did John the Baptist do? “John denounced the corruptions of the Jews, and raised his voice in reproving their prevailing sins.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol.5, 1089.

From time to time, someone will say, “Your preaching is not Christlike because Jesus would speak in a calm, soft voice; He would never raise His voice like you Historic Adventist preachers do.”

But, John the Baptist did not speak in a soft, quiet voice—he raised his voice and shouted it out. “Amid discord and strife, a voice was heard from the wilderness, a voice startling and stern.” Desire of Ages, 104

Stern is another adjective that Ellen White uses quite often in regard to both Elijah and John the Baptist; they were stern in their preaching. When they were stern, were they Christlike or not? Were they filled with the Holy Spirit, or were they filled with another spirit? The Bible says that John the Baptist was full of the Holy Spirit from his mothers womb. “With the spirit and power of Elijah he denounced the national corruption, and rebuked the prevailing sins. His words were plain, pointed, and convincing.” Ibid.

We want to have unity. Who is it in the last days who is going to have unity? Well, let us consider what took place at the first advent of Christ, which is a type of our day, and find out who came into unity then. It was the people who listened to John the Baptist, accepted his rebuke and reproof, reformed their lives and followed Jesus. Three and a half years later they were in a condition of perfect harmony. Do you think there is any parallel between then and our time?

Before Gethsemane, one of the last things Jesus told His disciples was that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will reprove, that is, rebuke. See John 16. If you are receiving the Holy spirit into your life, you will be rebuked; but if you persist in rejecting that rebuke, you will eventually lose the Holy Spirit.

Who is it today that is going to come into unity? Is it those who are fighting the messengers that God has sent to denounce the apostasy and make a call to repentance? Will it be the people who are following the New Theology, who are stepping off the platform of truth, or is it the people who are listening to the messages of rebuke from the Spirit of Prophecy and reforming their lives?

The people who are going to come into unity in Adventism today are the people who allow the Holy Spirit to rebuke them in any way God chooses. It is the Historic Seventh-day Adventists, those who stand on the three angel’s messages and accept all of the Spirit of Prophecy, who believe the fundamental truths that the Lord revealed to our spiritual forefathers. These are the only people who are going to come into unity.

You can trust the One who loved you enough to be nailed to the cross for you, that He will not rebuke you more than you need. This does not mean, however, that you may not need a lot.

Sometimes we meet someone who says, “I know that there are problems and that there is apostasy, but you are never going to get reformation by talking about the problems all time. You should talk more about positive things.”

Listen to this: “They treated the warnings of the Spirit of God as a matter of indifference, as though that voice were human in place of divine. What there was to make any demonstration of on there part they could not see. If they had done wrong, why dwell upon it so much?” Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, 1 (published in 1882)

This is what they were thinking in their minds: “Just go on; let it all drop, and say as little about it as possible.” Ibid. Have you ever heard it said; “You are talking about this all the time; you should not talk about it so much. Talk about it as little as possible. Talk about positive things. Teach people how to develop their character and how to have love and how to be patient and kind; don’t be rebuking all the time”? That is what they thought in Battle Creek.

Do you know who Ellen White says would be pleased if they did that? The next sentence tells us. “This is the very thing the enemy of souls wants them to do.” Ibid. It was the devil! The problem, friends, is not going to be solved unless we face the issue straight on and attack it. Evil must be opposed.

Somebody has to attack what is going on today, and it has to be a firm unflinching attack. It must not be some mild little talk; it must be like Elijah, like John the Baptist.

Ellen White says, concerning the rebuke that was given to the children of Israel, “This firmness was essential; in no other way could the existing evils have been rebuked….The messengers of the Lord are never to fear the face of man, but are to stand unflinchingly for the right.” Conflict and Courage, 202

Inspired writings tell us that when Elijah rebuked Israel, he was angry. Yet, he was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was angry. He was also Christlike when he was angry.

“Never seek to cover sin; for in the message of rebuke, Christ is to be proclaimed as the first and the last, He who is all in all to the soul.” Selected Messages, book 1, 380

Friend, are you going to be one of those who come into unity? If you are, you will have to be humble enough to accept rebuke from whomever God chooses to send.

Anytime God sends anyone to reprove the evil, people do not like it and the messengers of reproof are accused of being the cause of the division. Have you ever heard anyone accuse Historic Adventists of being the cause of the division? Elijah was accused of being a troubler of Israel.

“God’s plan for the salvation of men, is perfect in every particular. If we will faithfully perform our allotted parts, all will be well with us. It is man’s apostasy that causes discord, and brings wretchedness and ruin.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 999

So, what is the real cause of the lack of unity in Adventism today? It is not the people who are calling for repentance, but the apostasy that is responsible for the discord; and the only Adventists who will ever have unity again are those who will fight apostasy. Brothers and Sisters, we will never have unity until we are willing to stand up and fight the apostasy.

What is the purpose of rebuke? When we look at the preaching of John the Baptist and the early preaching of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 3 and 4, we see that the burden of both Jesus and John the Baptist was repentance. See Matthew 4:17. The purpose of the rebuke is that we may repent, and it is only when people are willing to repent that they are able to come into perfect unity.

The End

The Valley of Deceitfulness

I believe that God has a message for his people today, which is found in Isaiah 28. I have deepening conviction that what is here portrayed, is that which we are soon to face.

“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valleys, to those who are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, who will bring them down to the earth with His hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, will be trampled underfoot; and the glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valley, like the first fruit before the summer, which an observer sees; he eats it up while it is still in his hand.” Isaiah 28:1-4.

The valley of deceitfulness can look so fair; there can be so many beautiful flowers in it; those in charge of the valley can be so fat with the gifts of God’s professed people; but, friend, the judgment of God hangs over the professed people of God today because we have disregarded the voice of his messenger. We have cast it aside if it called us to reform, and we have obeyed only that which has gone along with our natural inclination. Then, to prove that we are obeying it, we have held up that part of the counsel which goes along with our inclination. It is for this reason the judgement of God hangs over His people today. However beautiful the flowers in the valley of deceitfulness may be, destruction and judgment are coming from the Lord. If God’s people today are to know where they are in the stream of time, they must have the heavenly eye salve.

Many men who once might have given godly counsel to God’s people, today, are no longer fit to give that counsel because they have failed to stand against the prevailing apostasy. They have stood, watching it take place, but they have continued to make strange alliances with the falsehood. Perhaps these men, themselves, are trying to live righteous lives, but this is not enough. If we do not stand up against apostasy, wherever it is manifest, we are no longer fit to be messengers to God’s people.

To illustrate this point, let us draw from the rich, but terrible history, of the conflict between the Waldenses and the papacy. If we do not learn from the mistakes of history, we are destined to repeat them.

Before we look at this history let me share a story with you.

A few years ago, our family visited a Pennsylvania colony called the Ephrata Cloister. Here many years ago there lived a group who kept the seventh day Sabbath. They introduced the seventh day Sabbath to the Baptists. The Baptists who accepted this truth became the Seventh-day Baptists, who in turn, later shared this truth with the Seventh-day Adventist.

I remember the guide showing us into the print room where the old-fashioned press was located. The press had a long handle, which, when pulled down, lowered the plate, leaving an impression on the paper. This process was repeated again and again, all day long. Because the labor was very wearying to the people, the handle became known as the devil’s tail.

The guide explained to us that there were more copies of the Bible printed here than of any other book. But, do you know what book ranked second in the number of copies to be printed? Fox’s Book of Martyrs. It was the second most widely read book in the United States of America. Our forefathers used to read these stories to their children. This reading helped to make us a Protestant nation. Our people knew the history then.

History of Protestantism by Wylie records the history of God’s people during the seventeenth century. It is recorded that in 1655, a decree was made calling for the complete extermination of the Waldenses. Army after army attempted to destroy them, only to meet with failure. After a short time of peace, General Pianeza determined he was going to do that which others had failed to do. As he began his march, the Waldenses became aware of his plans and they sent ambassadors down to the town of Turin to plead with the army to leave them alone.

The governor on Turin stalled the Waldensian representatives, while the papal armies were secretly gathering, hoping to deceive them as to their real intentions. A meeting was arranged with the Waldensian representatives for April 17, 1655. At about two o’clock in the morning, on the day of the meeting, General Pianeza’a army surrounded the city. Three hundred of his army of 15,000 slipped under the city wall and made an attack on Sabbath morning, April 17.

The Waldenses, totally unprepared for the attack, hastily threw up a barricade, which the invading soldiers stormed. So stoutly did the Waldenses resist that after three hours of intense fighting, the papal soldiers, who had been unable to make any advance at all, were driven back.

At one o’clock the next morning, one of General Pianeza’s colonels who knew the territory, sent a flanking recruitment to storm the town from behind. The Waldenses turned about-face, pierced the enemy rank, held the soldiers back and escaped to the mountains. In the whole encounter, which involved much bloody fighting, there were only three Waldensian soldiers killed.

The Vaudois (Waldenses) were once more in the mountains, their families having previously been transported up because of the threat of war. They watched the valley below as their orchards were cut down and their homes burned. On Monday, the nineteenth, and the day that followed, a series of skirmishes took place. The Vaudois, although poorly armed and vastly out numbered, were victorious on every point, causing the popish soldiers to fall back, carrying wondrous tales of the Vaudois’ valor and heroism and infusing panic into the rest of their troops.

Pianeza now began to have misgivings. As he recalled history, he was haunted by the memory of other mighty armies that had perished on these mountains. He determined to resort to deceit. Before daybreak on Wednesday, the twenty-first of April, he announced by the sound of trumpet, his willingness to receive the Vaudois deputies and treat for peace. Delegates set out for his camp headquarters and, on arrival, were treated with utmost courtesy and sumptuously entertained. Pianeza expressed the utmost regret for the excesses committed by his soldiers, which he assured them had been done contrary to orders. He protested that he had only come into their valleys to track a few fugitives who had disobeyed Gastaldo’s order. He said that the higher communes had nothing to fear, but that if each would admit a single regiment for a few days, in token of their loyalty, all war would be amicably ended. Despite the warnings of the more discerning pastors, especially pastor Leger, Pianeza was able to convince the Vaudois of his sincerity and accomplished by craft that which he had been unable to do by open warfare. The Waldenses opened the passes to their valleys and the doors of their dwellings to the soldiers of Pianeza.

The first two days were passed in comparative peace—the soldiers eating at the same table, sleeping under the same roof and conversing freely with their destined victims. This interval was needed to allow for every preparation to be made for what was to follow. The enemy now occupied the towns, the villages, the cottages, and the roads throughout the valleys.

At last the blow fell with the sudden crash of a thunderbolt. At four o’clock on the morning of Sabbath, April 24, 1655, the signal was given and in an instant a thousand assassins began the work of death. In a moment dismay, horror, agony, and woe overspread the Valleys of Lucerna and Angrogna. The cries and groans of the dying were echoed and reechoed from the rocks around. It seemed as if the mountains had taken up a wailing for the slaughter of their children. “Our Valley of Lucerna,” exclaimed pastor Leger, “which was like a Goshen, was now converted into a Mount Etna, darting forth cinders and fire and flames. The earth resembled a furnace, and the air was filled with a darkness like that of Egypt, which might be felt, from the smoke of towns, villages, temples, mansions, granges, and buildings, all burning in the flames of the Vatican.” History of Protestantism, 484.

The soldiers were not content with the quick dispatch of the sword; they invented new and hitherto unheard-of modes of torture and death. No man to this day dare write in plain words all the disgusting and horrible deeds of these men; their wickedness can never be all known because it never can be all told.

Uncontrollable grief seized the hearts of the survivors at the sight of their brethren slain, their country devastated and their church overthrown. “Oh that my head were waters,” exclaimed Leger, “and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.” Ibid., 485

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own consciences seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3

Let us look carefully at verse two: “Speaking lies and hypocrisy.” If you allow the first part of this verse, “speaking lies and hypocrisy,” to lodge in your heart, the second half of the verse is the result, “speaking lies and hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” Your conscience is seared by your speaking lies and by hypocrisy. If the lies start living in our heart and we start acting out these lies, we are preparing our conscience to be “seared by a hot iron” so that we have no conscience left.

Let us consider the fact that, in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ministers are being trained in imaging, a form of mind control that is basic in the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola. In this story we have seen the end result of training a priesthood to have a dead conscience. These men are now teaching these exercises to their congregations. We can already see the first fruits of the persecution through the disbanding and disfellowshipping taking place, but these persecutions will not be the last fruits.

What the Vaudois had power and valor to do in open confrontation, they were unable to do when they gave in to deceit. The deceit cloaked the murder in the wicked ones’ hearts. In Proverbs 12:5 we read: “The counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

Friends, what do you think all these committee meetings concerning the independent ministries are really about? Do not be fooled; the devil knows that what he cannot do through open confrontation, he can often accomplish through the deceitfulness of pretended friendship. If you accept the proposals of such, it will be as fatal to your salvation and that of your family as was the Waldenses’ accepting of their murderers into their homes.

The devil has studied history; he knows what tricks will work. We would be extremely naive to believe that he will not use them on us. He is seeking to do through peace and unity what he has been unable to do by force.

“When God’s people voluntarily unite with the worldly and the unconsecrated, and give them the preeminence, they will be led away from Him by the unsanctified influence under which they have placed themselves. For a short time there may be nothing seriously objectionable; but minds that have not been brought under the control of the Spirit of God will not take readily to those things which savor of truth and righteousness. If they had heretofore any relish for spiritual things they would have placed themselves in the ranks of Jesus Christ. The two classes are controlled by different masters and are opposites in their purposes, hopes, tastes, and desires.” Counsels to Teachers, 542

This is the reason that the issue of who and what is the church is a salvational issue; one you must understand. If you are confused on this issue and you believe that there is a set of men which you need to go counsel with (regardless of their betrayal of sacred trust in upholding wickedness in others), you will lose your soul. In His instruction to His disciples, Jesus warned them to beware of men. “They were not to put implicit confidence in those who knew not God, and open to them their counsels; for this would give Satan’s agents an advantage. Man’s inventions often counterwork God’s plans. Those who build the temple of the Lord, are to build according to the pattern shown in the mount–the divine similitude. God is dishonored and the gospel is betrayed when His servants depend on the counsel of men who are not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Worldly wisdom is foolishness with God. Those who rely upon it, will surely err.” Desire of Ages, 354

Do not go to the Pharisees and the Sadducees and try to unite with them in an evangelistic endeavor or some other seemingly worthy project. Do not get up in front of church and try to speak words that will please both the children of darkness and the children of light.

“‘The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show.’ The gospel of the grace of God, with its spirit of self-abnegation, can never be in harmony with the spirit of the world. The two principles are antagonistic.” Review and Herald, January 18, 1906. (All emphasis supplied.) What does it mean when it says never? Never! When those who were professing truth, but were not bringing forth its fruits in their life, came to John the Baptist, he refused to baptize them. In fact, he called them vipers, or deadly snakes.

Before the cobra strikes, it hypnotizes its victim. In the same manner, the Waldenses were first lulled to sleep with a treaty of peace. Then, when they least expected it, the deathblow was struck.

It says of John the Baptist’s harsh denunciation of religious leaders of his day: “This sect [the Sadducees] was largely composed of unworthy characters, many of whom were licentious in their habits. By the word ‘vipers’ John meant those who were malignant and antagonistic, bitterly opposed to the expressed will of God.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1077

Is malignant a safe situation to be in? It is deadly! Though they were the leaders of God’s professed church, it was not safe to follow them. Can we see the importance of the issue who and what is the church?

The devil is striving to lull the whole world into a fatal sleep from which they will not awaken until it is too late. I am so thankful that there are some people who are standing up and warning the people before they are struck by the poisonous snake.

“Those who have the mind of Christ will let the light shine forth to the world in good works, but that light will bring about a division. Shall the light therefore be hid under a bed or under a bushel, because it will mark a distinction between the followers of Christ and the world? It must be apparent that the believers in the truth are antagonistic to the serpent and to his seed.” Signs of the Times, April 9, 1894

The fear of being branded as “uncooperative” or ” uncharitable” leads many to join work with those they have no confidence in, and become involved in activities about which they have grave reservation. We must, brothers and sisters, stand up against the apostasy and not be content to remain in the shadows, mingling on the fringes. There are vipers in the camp today. With sublety and deceit they will seek to deceive you. Do not listen to their talk of peace.

“The words of Jesus addressed to this generation may well be regarded with sorrow and awe. He asks, ‘When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ Christ looked down the ages, and with prophetic eye marked the conflict between the antagonistic principles of truth and error. He saw how real Christianity would become almost extinct in the world, so that at His second advent He would find a state of society similar to that which existed before the flood. The world will be engaged in festivity and amusement, in theatrical show, in the indulgence of base passion. Intemperance of every grade would exist, and even the churches would be demoralized, and the Bible would be neglected and desecrated. He saw that the desperate revelries of the last days would only be interrupted by the judgments of God.” Signs of the Times, April, 21, 1890

Judgments are coming. Do not try to secure peace by your silence. Regardless of the motive, beware of entering into any kind of agreement for peace with the children of darkness. You will be taking a step toward Babylon. “Peace is too dearly obtained if purchased by the smallest concession to Satan’s agencies.” Signs of the Times, November 8, 1899

“The opposition of the children of disobedience is excited by a Christianity that is spiritual….That peace and harmony which are secured by mutual concessions to avoid all differences of opinion are not worthy of the name.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 244

“We are to make no concessions to the enemy. [What is a concession? Giving in.] We are not to change one principle of the truth that we have received from God. We cannot hold converse with those who are in league with evil angels. Christ never purchased peace by compromise.” Notebook Leaflets, 124

Friend, no one should feel that he is so strong that he is safe to enter into discussions with people who are in league with evil angels in order to keep peace. None of us are safe from deception. Our only safety is in being kept by holy angels. If, however, we go where the Lord has not bidden us go, we forfeit their protection.

Do not think you are doing a soul winning endeavor when you join in peace talks with ministers who are not speaking up against the apostasy. You are preparing to be destroyed. God did not protect the Waldenses when they entered into an unauthorized treaty with the powers of darkness. Do you believe He will deal differently with us today?

If we do not learn the lessons of history, we are insuring that we will share the bitter results of the same mistakes.

Those who are teaching NLP and practicing it on our people are wicked men; and those who hold these men’s hands in quietness are partakers of their sins. The Word of God says, “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower which is at the head of the verdant valleys, to those who are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.” Isaiah 28:1-4

The judgments of God are far bigger than any of us. Our only safety when the storm breaks is to be found under the sheltering hand of God. There is no other safety.

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

Everyone in this world is either going to have a new heart, a heart of truth and righteousness, or they will enter into a league with Satan’s angels and be deceived by a strong delusion. Which is it going to be for you?

The End

A Better Sacrifice

The apostle Paul had a far better education than the other apostles, other than what Jesus gave to him. The apostles had three and a half years with Jesus, but they did not have anything like the apostle Paul’s knowledge of the Scriptures and of the history of Israel. The three and a half years that the apostles had with Jesus could be compared to the two years in which Ellen White tells us that Paul was personally instructed by Jesus in the desert of Arabia before he set out upon his ministry. The instruction by Jesus, added to the background of information that Paul had, gave him an advantage.

He understood some things more quickly and more fully than the other apostles, for example: the difference between the two laws, the moral law and the ceremonial law. I did a little exercise once that was an eye opener to myself. I isolated every New Testament witness from Jesus, John the Baptist, then all the New Testament writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul and so on. I put to each writer, as it were, the question: What do you have to say about the two laws? From every single one, except the apostle Paul, the answer was absolute silence. If you did not have the writings of the apostle Paul in the New Testament, you would have no way of knowing that the ceremonial law is passed away. He is the only one who ever mentioned it.

A possible exception is in Acts 15:10. Peter made a statement which could be understood to mean that the ceremonial law was passed away. “Why tempt ye God, to put a yoke on the neck of the disciples, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear.” We presume that he was talking about the ceremonial law as misinterpreted by the priesthood of his time, which was indeed a yoke, very, very difficult to bear.

The apostle Paul understood clearly how the doors of the church were to be opened to the Gentiles. Paul tells us in the first two chapters of Galatians how Peter was having a little trouble with that concept, even though he had been involved in God’s instruction on the matter. If you go to Romans 10 and 11, you see how Paul reaches into his knowledge of the writings of Isaiah to show that this was right and proper and was entirely in harmony with God’s great plan of salvation.

There is one more thing that the apostle Paul understood better than the other apostles—the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple. “Now,” you may say, “all the disciples knew that. They were talking to Jesus about it on the Mount of Olives when Jesus said that ‘there will not be left one stone upon another.’” Yes, they understood that, but they thought it was going to be at the second coming of Christ. I do not think that Paul made that mistake. And here I am not just relying on my own thinking, I am borrowing a thought from Elder M.L. Andreason. Some of you older folks may remember Elder Andreason. He was one of the finest Bible scholars we ever had in our church—a very great and good man. He believed that the apostle Paul wrote the book of Hebrews because he knew that the temple was going to be destroyed and he knew what an awful shock that would be to the Jewish Christians. The Jewish people, even though they became Christians, loved that temple. It was to them the symbol of Israel. Paul realized that they needed some help, otherwise they would become confused and disheartened and perhaps even discouraged when that temple was torn down, which was to be only a short while ahead. Se he set out to show, in the book of Hebrews, that we have something better.

I believe the word better is the key word in the book of Hebrews. In this book you find the words better, higher, more excellent, and more perfect.

In the first chapter of Hebrews, Paul begins by arguing that Christ is better than the angels. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels.” Hebrews 1:1-4. He quotes from Psalm 110:5, and says, to what angel did the Lord ever talk like that, like he talked to His Son? In Hebrews 1:6, you see that “all the angels of God worship Him.” In verse seven and in verse 13, quoting again from Psalm 110, he makes a reference to the angels. To what angel did He ever say, “Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool”?

In chapter 3, Paul goes on to argue that Christ is better than Moses. He compares Moses to the one who is faithful in the house, but he says that Christ is the Son of the Builder of the house. And that puts him higher than Moses.

In chapter 5, verses 4 and 5 and onward, he argues that Christ is better than Abraham. He says that because Abraham paid tithe to Melchisedec and Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, Jesus is better than Abraham. Then as a sub-point, he says, the Levites descended from Abraham, so Jesus is better than the Levites. In Hebrews 5:4,5 Jesus is better than Aaron. Then in Hebrews 7:19, “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” Verse 22. Then, in Hebrews 8:1, he considers the sanctuary and says that we have a better sanctuary, one that is made without hands, in the kingdom of God. He goes on to say we have a better High Priest. Look especially at Hebrews 8:6, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent [better] ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” So it is better, better, better all the way through.

Now, let us look back over this for just a moment. Jesus is better than the angels. Jesus is better than Moses. Jesus is better than Aaron and the Levites. Jesus is better than Abraham. We have a better hope. We have a better testament. We have a better sanctuary. We have a more excellent ministry, a better covenant and better promises. And then he settles in on the point, a better Sacrifice. Look back to Hebrews 7:26,27, “For such an high Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.” He is going to pick up this thought and enlarge on it in about fifteen more verses, which we want to notice. The sacrifice is better because it only had to be made once.

In Hebrews 9:23,24, Paul is talking about the dedication of the earthly as compared to the dedication of the heavenly tabernacle. “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens [those are the earthly things, of course] should be purified with these [that is, with the blood of calves and goats and so forth]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. [When you meet someone who says, “What are you talking about, ‘cleanse the heavenly sanctuary’? How could anything defile the heavenly sanctuary?” you just show them Hebrews 9:23.] For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:24.

Take your pencil in your hand and be prepared to do a little marking. We are going to show you the words once in contrast with the word often. I would like to suggest that you circle the word once and underline the words that mean repeated, frequent or often. Beginning with Hebrews 9:25-10:3; “Nor yet that he should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? [They would not make sacrifices again if the first sacrifice was fully adequate, fully complete.] because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” [Verses 4-9 are parenthetical. We are going to skip those.] Let us read verses 10-14: “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

What is Paul trying to prove? He is trying to prove that you do not compare the sacrifice of Christ with the sacrifice of an animal, except in a symbolic sense. The animal sacrifices made on earth were right; they were good, but they cannot be compared with the sacrifice of Christ, which only had to be made once. The reason it only had to be made once is that it was fully adequate; it was not weak or faulty in any way; it was absolutely perfect and complete. We need to take note of this and notice how carefully our beloved messenger to the remnant, Ellen White, followed the thinking and the writings of the apostles, especially of the apostle Paul, because she writes about the sacrifice of Christ in the very same way that Paul did. Unfortunately, this has not always been understood correctly by her readers.

I want to show you something that may surprise some of you if you have not had occasion to study into this. The writer of the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe, religiously followed the language of Ellen White. Let us settle something in our minds before we go any further. Ellen White wrote in Selected Messages, book 1, 20: “Different meanings are expressed by the same word; there is not one word for each distinct idea.” Would you consider for a moment the word fast. If a horse can run with speed, he is fast. If you tie him to the tree so he cannot run at all, he is fast to the tree. If you go without food, that is a fast. If a woman has loose morals, she is fast. Just think of all the different ways the word fast is used. Take, for example the word gamble. This is one of the most frequent little tricks that you will hear some people use, and it is strictly a trick. You are talking about the gambling dens in Las Vegas, shall we say, and a person says to you, “Do you gamble?” Gamble is being defined as the playing of a game of chance. You say, “No, I do not gamble.” He switches definitions and says, “You gamble every time you cross the street.” Now gamble is being defined as the acceptance of an unavoidable risk. That is quite different from playing a game of chance. You see that kind of thing in the writings of people who are either careless or deceitful; I do not know which. We will leave that to the Lord. But to switch definitions of a word in the middle of a discussion without telling the reader that you are changing your definitions, creates confusion.

Now Seventh-day Adventists should not have any trouble with the idea that people in different groups use the same words with different meanings, because their heads are filled with Adventist jargon. (Jargon is what the English teachers call this sort of thing.) For example: What does “the work” mean to you? You know what it means—taking the third angel’s message to all the world; that is “the work.” Now, if you walk up to an Episcopalian minister and ask him what “the work” means, will he tell you that it is taking the third angel’s message to all the world? I do not think so. “Are you going to have a part in the loud cry?” You ask someone who is not an Adventist that question and see what kind of a look they give you. The finishing of the message, the loud cry, the work, the truth, to take stand for the truth, the Spirit of Prophecy, to have an effort—these are examples of Adventist language. “Brother so and so had an effort down in a certain city.” You tell some non-Adventist that and see what kind of a blank look you get. We Seventh-day Adventists have a lot of words that we use with our own definitions.

Now, Ellen White uses certain words that Calvinists use, but she does not use them with Calvinistic definitions. Get that clear before we start. She is not using these words with Calvinistic definitions; she is using them with Pauline definitions (The definitions given by the apostle Paul.) For example, here are eleven references in which Ellen White uses the word atonement and puts with it the word made:

“He bore the curse of the law for the sinner, made an atonement for him.” God’s Amazing Grace, 117

“He has made an atonement for us.” In Heavenly Places, 71

“Christ has made an atonement for the sins of the world.” Lift Him Up, 245

“Christ has made an atonement for you.” Medical Ministry, 44

“But Christ has made atonement for every sinner.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1178

“Jesus has made atonement for all sins of ignorance.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1145

“He made an atonement for every repenting, believing soul.” That I May Know Him, 100

“The Saviour made an atonement for the fallen race.” Signs of the Times, Dec. 17, 1902

Look carefully at this one. This combines making and made:

“He has withdrawn from human sight into the immediate presence of God. There he is making intercession for those who by faith come to God. He presents them to the Father, saying, ‘By the marks of the nails in My hands, I claim pardon for them. I have made an atonement for them.’” Signs of the Times, December 30, 1903

He makes atonement by pointing to the cross saying, “I have done it. I have made it.” He does not shed his blood again before the Father’s throne.

“Jesus…made an atonement for us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 81

“He has made an atonement for sin.” Battle Creek Letters, 56

Now some examples for the words full atonement still using a Pauline definition.

“Christ made a full atonement.” Lift Him Up, 345

“How full the atonement of the Savior for our guilt! [Notice the language.] The Redeemer, with a heart of unalterable love, still pleads [not sheds] His sacred blood in the sinner’s behalf.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 124

“The precious blood of Christ was of such value that a full atonement was made for the guilty soul, and this was to Paul his ‘glory.’” Signs of the Times, November 24, 1890

In the next quote, Ellen White is talking about the soldiers outside the tomb of Christ and how they could not face the heavenly messenger sent to relieve the Son of God from the debt of sin for which He had become responsible:

“And for which He had now made a full atonement.” Youth’s Instructor, May 2, 1901

The word complete.

“God has accepted the offering of His Son as a complete atonement for the sins of the world.” The Faith I Live By, 91

“In the wisdom of God it was complete [the sacrifice of Christ].” Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889

“In every part His sacrifice was perfect; for He could make a complete atonement for sin.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 14, 1900

“We are to rejoice that the atonement is complete; Christ is our complete Saviour.” Review and Herald, November 11, 1890

“His atonement was complete in every part.” Signs of the Times, July 31, 1901

She is talking about quality, you see. “He made a complete sacrifice to God.” Faith I Live By, 50

Please notice carefully the language in the following quotation:

“He [Christ] planted the cross between heaven and earth, and when the Father beheld the sacrifice of His Son, He [the Father] bowed before it in recognition of its perfection. ‘It is enough,’ He said. ‘The atonement is complete.’” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7A, 459

These quotations are talking about quality. The sacrifice is absolutely faultless. It is total; it is complete. Nothing more needs to be added to that sacrifice.

The word perfect.

“A perfect atonement was made.” Lift Him Up, 319

“Then a perfect atonement was made.” That I May Know Him, 73

Then we have the words making an atonement. This is the present tense, now.

“Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ.” Great Controversy, 623

“And now, while the precious Saviour is making an atonement for us.” Maranatha, 275

Ellen White applies the words made atonement, full atonement, complete atonement, finished atonement and perfect atonement to the sacrifice, but there is one word that she never applies to the sacrifice, that is the word final.We have references of this type:

“So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment.” Great Controversy, 480

“The blood of Christ, while it is to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it was to stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 357

“His work as High Priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making atonement for sin.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 157

“As the priests in the earthly sanctuary entered the Most Holy once a year to cleanse the sanctuary, Jesus entered the Most Holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and to cleanse the sanctuary.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 161

Ellen White uses this language, but not with Calvinistic definitions. She is using Pauline definitions (definitions that she gathers from the apostle Paul), and she uses all of these words made atonement, full atonement, complete atonement, finished atonement and perfect atonement referring to the perfection of the sacrifice. Then she turns her attention to the priesthood and talks about the final atonement being made now, which, again, is strictly following Scripture.

If you turn to the book of Leviticus and read the first fifteen chapters, you will find there, eighteen descriptions of a person coming to the sanctuary with a sacrifice; in every one of those eighteen cases, it says the atonement is made. Then turn to chapter sixteen and you will find five statements that on the great Day of Atonement the high priest makes atonement for those very same people who brought their sacrifice every day throughout the year, and had atonement made for themselves. So, there is perfect Biblical background for describing what Jesus is doing now in the courts of heaven as “making an atonement.”

The apostle Paul was afraid that the people were fastening their faith to a building. What happens to your faith if the building is destroyed? What is the lesson for us?

  • Do not fasten your faith to any building, any number of buildings or any worldwide aggregate of buildings. They may be swept away.
  • Do no fasten your faith to a priesthood that may be swept away—a ministry, we would say, that may be swept away. If all of the ministers were gone, would that do anything to Jesus Christ? He is still there. Do not fasten your faith to a ministry that might be swept away.
  • Do not fasten your faith to a church organization that might be swept away. I did not say will be swept away; I said might be swept away. I do not know, but I am prepared for anything now, as I see what is happening in the organization.
  • Fasten your faith to Jesus Christ. He is better than all of these things.
  • Fasten your faith to His Word and to His counsels, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. You can sweep away the buildings; you can sweep away the organization; but you still have the Word of God.
  • Fasten your faith to His promise that where two or three are gathered together, He will be present there; and that is the church. That is the highest, purest and best definition of the church.

The End

Dare to be a Daniel

In 2 Peter 2:11, Peter gives us the warning: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” Friend, I believe that as we are obedient to God, abstaining from the fleshly lusts and yielding to the Holy Spirit, we increase in knowledge and grow in grace. Peter elaborates this growth in grace and presents to us in 2 Peter 1:3-7: “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperence; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” You see the high calling we are to press on towards.

Ellen White refers to these character traits and these scriptures as the ladder of sanctification. “‘And to knowledge, temperance.’ This is the third step in the path toward perfection of character. On every side there is indulgence and dissipation, and the result is degeneration and corruption. The inhabitants of our earth are depreciating in mental, moral, and physical power, because of the intemperate habits of society. Appetite, passion, and love of display are carrying the multitudes into the greatest excesses and extravagance….The people of God must take an opposite course from the world. They must take up the warfare against these sinful practices, deny appetite, and keep the lower nature in subjection….It is for us to ‘search the Scriptures,’ and bring our habits into harmony with the instruction of the Bible….‘And to temperance, patience.’ The need of becoming temperate is made manifest as we try to take this step. It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient.” My Life Today, 97. This ladder of sanctification is referring to the true Christian experience. As we crucify self, we no longer live after the passions and indulgences to which our carnal heart pulls us to. Instead, we practice self-denial and abstinence from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, because as it says in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” If we are to experience this in our humanity, we must also adhere and listen to the admonition of Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

I love what Ellen White says in My Life Today on page 134. “The sacred temple of the body must be kept pure and uncontaminated, that God’s Holy Spirit may dwell therein.” A little further along, she says: “The Christian life is constantly an onward march. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of His people; and when His image is perfectly reflected in them they are perfect and holy, and prepared for translation. Every living Christian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains to perfection of Christian character, a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality.” Ibid. 249

Today God is waiting for His church to represent Him fully. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:26,27. Not spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but living sacrifices, living stones, spiritual houses. “If we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened, but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the ten commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God’s law.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 44,45.

One of the greatest illustrations of true sanctification is the story of Daniel. In Daniel, I see an example of one who was a spiritual house. As I studied and prayed to God for greater light, I saw that Daniel, when he refused the meat and drink of the king’s personal table, refused all of it. I believe that even included the dainties. Proverbs tells us to beware of the king’s dainties for they are deceitful meat (Proverbs 23:3). God led me to the Adventist message through the health message. As I went to the potlucks at a typical Seventh-day Adventist church, I said, “It looks like these people have substituted meat for junk.” Though it may not be at the risk of our lives, as it was with Daniel when he refused everything at the king’s table, when we choose our diet according to principle, we run the risk of being labeled: narrowed, bigoted, even borderline fanatic.

“What if Daniel and his companions had made a compromise with those heathen officers, and had yielded to the pressure of the occasion by eating and drinking as was customary with the Babylonians? That single instance of departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. Indulgence of appetite would have involve the sacrifice of physical vigor, clearness of intellect, and spiritual power. One wrong step would probably have led to others, until, their connection with heaven being severed, they would have been swept away by temptation.
“The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character. Bible sanctification has to do with the whole man….It is impossible for any to enjoy the blessings of sanctification while they are selfish and gluttonous.” Counsels on Health, 66

“Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things.” Luke 21:34-36.

You see, the devil throws all these things right in front of us as snares. He knows what food products will do today. Why do you think he has the Big Macs twenty-four inches high on your TV screen with the cheese running out and the big Coca-Cola and is now using advertisements for movies?
Jesus said, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be….they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.’ Matthew 24:37,38. As I studied the Spirit of Prophecy, I saw that we were give the greatest light in health and temperance. You see, it was not just cigarettes and alcohol that Ellen White wrote about. She states; “True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and to use judiciously only healthful and nutritious articles of food.” The Health Reformer, April 1, 1877.

As I continued to study, I became a vegetarian. I realized that eating meat was not a test of fellowship, but I read where Ellen White tells us, “Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health. Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat eating will go from God’s people, to walk no more with them.” Review and Herald, May 27, 1902. I also read: “The diet reform should be progressive. As disease in animals increases, the use of milk and eggs will become more and more unsafe. An effort should be made to supply their place with other things that are healthful and inexpensive. The people everywhere should be taught how to cook without milk and eggs, so far as possible, and yet have their food wholesome and palatable.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 365.

As I began to study, I saw articles coming out estimating that there are ten million pure vegetarians within the United Stated today. I found articles like: “A High Fat Diet Related to Lung Cancer.” I saw a report of the Surgeon General’s findings in the Herald, July 28, 1988. The headlines read, “Fatty Foods are Killing Us.” The Stockton Record, reporting on the Surgeon General’s report, stated that the United States is eating its way to the grave by eating too many animal products, dairy products and high triglyceride, high cholesterol foods today. I found one article that told of steel fingered eviscerating machines in poultry slaughterhouses. These machines rip out the entrails of the chicken at a rate of ninety birds a minute. When they do this, the fecal waste material of the bird gets on this machine and spreads the bacteria contamination to every bird that comes down the pike. “If the American public knew what garbage they were eating, they would revolt,” said USDA inspector, Hobert Bartley, in an article in the San Francisco Examiner, Sunday, June 29, 1986.

The February, 1992 issue of Consumer Reports tells us that of 113 samples of fish taken across this country, 44 of them were contaminated with human fecal bacteria. How are the fish getting human fecal bacteria? Then the articles start coming out in the newspapers and the one that made me laugh was “Pollution cited for 1,429 beach closings in 1990.” Stockton Record, August 15, 1991. Do not swim in it, but throw the pole in there, catch whatever lives in it and eat it; that is okay. Does that make sense? “San Diego Sewage Spill Fouls the Ocean.” Stockton Record, February 6, 1992. Millions of gallons of partially treated sewage poured out! Then you have the third rate countries like Peru and others who do not have the water treatment plants as the United States and they are letting all this human fecal bacteria out into the water and it is migrating our way. That is why a newspaper reported that cholera cases surge Mexico. You get cholera from human fecal bacteria. The paper says officials try to suppress the report of the disease’s outbreak. Friend, have you walked down a beach lately and seen the birds and fish lying dead on the beaches. I believe it is from poisoning.

Jeremy Rifkin, on page 144 of his book Beyond Beef, Penguin Books USA, Inc. Cites that the FDA acknowledges that they do not know today whether or not BIV (Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus), once it hits human blood, becomes HIV positive, and the FDA is not telling anybody anything.
I was shocked at what I read in an article that recently came out in the Tennessee Tallahassee Democrat, May 28, 1993. The department of agriculture recently conducted surprise visits to ninety slaughterhouses in the United States. Thirty of the facilities were shut down immediately. The article says there are 1,200 in the country. Can you believe or can you imagine what is the condition of the others that have not yet been checked?

Ellen White said the day would come when we would have to discard milk and other things. It is surprising and amazing to me that as I continued to study, I found these headlines: “Study Links Cow’s Milk in Infancy to Diabetes.” Stockton Record, July 30, 1992 from Medical Tribune News Service. The article states: “Protein in cows milk ingested during infancy may be the trigger that sets off insulin dependent diabetes in susceptible children.” This was a study that was recently done and verified. What was amazing to me was that, at the same time, the United States responds with “Doctors Cry Over Milk Drinking.” Stockton Record, September 30, 1992. Here is a doctor saying that the common dinner time refrain, ‘Drink your milk’ may be replaced by ‘Eat your tofu’ if a group of doctors, nutritionists and the venerable Dr. Spock have their way. Once regarded as a perfect food, cow’s milk is coming under increasing fire as a part of the daily diet of babies….We need to leave cow’s milk where it belongs, in cows.” This is the world crying out now.

“It hasn’t been a good year for milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents not give their children whole milk during the first year of life because it causes hidden blood loss and possibly anemia….Milk is often contaminated with traces of antibiotics; is a common cause of allergy and digestive problems.” Stockton Record, September 30, 1992. A statistic that interested me was one that suggested that twenty percent of the dairy cows in this country have leukemia. When the truck goes to the dairy farm, all the dairies are pooled into one truck. It is all mixed together. Is it any wonder that Agatha Thrash recently said in a public interview that seven out of nine cartons of milk that come off the grocery store shelves are contaminated with active cancer viruses.

People come to me and say, “You know, Danny, Ellen White said the day would come when God would reveal this.” Friend, all you have to do is open your eyes. It is being revealed all around you through the world today. People come to me and say, “Well, the diet reform needs to be progressive, Brother.” And I say, “How long have you been an Adventist? How old are you? What do you need, another sixty-five years before you are going to throw this stuff away?” Maybe I look too narrow and bigoted when I sit and eat with people because I will no take part of some food that has dairy in it, but I am convicted myself. For myself, I cannot defile my body with cancer viruses. I believe that as we look at the test Daniel’s three friends faced in refusing to bow to the image, we are looking at our future. I do not believe that there is any question that had they failed the test of food, they would never have been prepared to stand the test that followed. “If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now! [1905]” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 389 (Emphasis supplied). We are also told that all those who are preparing for translation to heaven will eat a most simple diet; fruits and grains prepared free from grease will be placed on the tables of all those who are preparing for translation. See ibid., 64.

“Seventh-day Adventists are handling momentous truths. More than forty years ago the Lord gave us special light on health reform, but how are we walking in that light? How many have refused to live in harmony with the counsels of God! As a people, we should make advancement proportionate to the light received.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 24. Ellen White continues that, “As a people, we should make advancement proportionate to the light received. It is our duty to understand and respect the principles of health reform. On the subject of temperance we should be in advance of all other people; and yet there are among us well-instructed members of the church, and even ministers of the gospel, who have little respect for the light that God has given upon this subject. They eat as they please, and work as they please. Let those who are teachers and leaders in our cause take their stand firmly on Bible ground in regard to health reform and give a straight testimony to those who believe we are living in the last days of this earth’s history. A line of distinction must be drawn between those who serve God, and those who serve themselves.” Ibid.

Peter admonished us to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul. How is it with you, my friend? Are you willing to take your stand on the side of truth, living up to all the light God has given us for this time in which we live?

The End

Who is an Historic Seventh-day Adventist?

Today, our people are being taunted with: “You people call yourselves ‘Historic Seventh-day Adventists,’ but you don’t even know what being an historic Seventh-day Adventist really is.” Sooner or later someone is going to ask you this question and you have to have something to say, so let us look at, “What is an Historic Seventh-day Adventist?”.
If you are not familiar with the little book Issues: The Letter the NAD Officers Did not Publish, The Church, it is part two of the Issues books printed by Steps to Life. The first half is a letter to the NAD, and the last is material written by John Grosboll. There is a section in the back called “Fundamental Principles.” The material contained there first appeared in an article by James White in the Signs of the Times in 1874. In this article, he outlined the beliefs of Historic Seventh-day Adventists. It should also be said that an Historic Seventh-day Adventist believes Ellen G. White to have been a prophet of God and that her writings have divine authority. Therefore, an Historic Seventh-day Adventist will give precedence to God’s last day prophet, to his last day church, over his own opinion. An Historic Seventh-day Adventist will never say, “Well, she did not know what she was talking about,” or “You know, she didn’t understand everything.” You see, God does not have junior prophets—a prophet of God is a prophet of God. There are no percentage scales; either you are a prophet of God or you are not. Either Ellen White was a prophet of God on the same par as the Biblical prophets or she was not a prophet at all.

Fundamental Principles:
By James White
[Comments by John Osborne in brackets and italicized]

In presenting to the public this synopsis of our faith, we wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed, or discipline aside from the Bible.
[John Osborne—So, an Historic Seventh-day Adventist absolutely has no creed outside of Inspiration—bottom line. Now, if you take any other book of spiritual significance, aside from Inspiration, then you are not a Historic Seventh-day Adventist. If you take any other book and place it on a par, or pattern your life or the church, or anything else after it, then you are not an Historic Seventh-day Adventist.]

We do not put forth this as having authority with our people, nor is it designed to secure uniformity among them, as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what is, and has been, with great unanimity, held by them. We often find it necessary to meet inquiries on this subject, and sometimes to correct false statements circulated against us, and to remove erroneous impressions which have obtained with those who have not had an opportunity to become acquainted with our faith and practice. Our only object is to meet this necessity. With these remarks, we ask the attention of the reader to the following propositions which aim to be a concise statement of the more prominent features of our faith. That there is one God, a personal, spiritual Being, the Creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit. Psalms 139:7.

That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, and Son of the Eternal Father, the One by whom God created all things, and by whom they do consist; that He took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race; that He dwelt among men, full of grace and truth, lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only Mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where, with His own blood, he makes atonement for our sins; which atonement, so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of His work as priest, according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven. See Leviticus 16; Hebrews 8:4,5; 9:6,7; etc.

[John Osborne—Now, what this is saying is that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God. His life was our example; in his death he was our substitute—he died as our Sacrifice. He is now acting as our High Priest in heaven, pleading his blood for the forgiveness of our sin. Do you believe that? Amen.]

That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of His will to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

That baptism is an ordinance of the Christian church, to follow faith and repentance, an ordinance by which we commemorate the resurrection of Christ, as by this act we show our faith in His burial and resurrection, and, through that, of the resurrection of all the saints at the last day; and that no other mode fitly represents these facts than that which the Scriptures prescribe, namely, immersion. Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.
That the new birth comprises the entire change necessary to fit us for the kingdom of God, and consists of two parts: First, a moral change, wrought by conversion and a Christian life; second, a physical change at the second coming of Christ, whereby, if dead, we are raised incorruptible, and, if living, are changed to immortality in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. John 3:3,5; Luke 20:36.

We believe that prophecy is a part of God’s revelation to man; that it is included in that Scripture which is profitable for instruction (2 Timothy 3:16); that it is designed for us and our children (Deuteronomy 29;29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the Word of God a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those who study it (Revelation 1:1-3); and that, consequently, it is to be understood by the people of God, sufficiently to show them their position in the world’s history, and the special duties required at their hands.

[John Osborne—As Historic Seventh-day Adventists, we not only believe in all of Scripture, but especially in the books of Daniel and Revelation. We do not believe the book of Revelation is a sealed book, but that it is very important, revealing to us where we are in earth’s history and outlining the place of God’s church in the last days.]

That the world’s history from specified dates in the past, the rise and fall of empires, and the chronological succession of events down to the setting up of God’s everlasting kingdom, are outlined in numerous great chains of prophecy; and that these prophecies are now all fulfilled except the closing scenes.

[John Osborne—So, if you are going to be an Historic Seventh-day Adventist, you not only have to believe in prophecy, you must also understand and believe the true applications of prophecy, including the day for a year principle. See Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6]

That the doctrine of the world’s conversion and temporal millennium is a fable of these last days, calculated to lull men into a state of carnal security, and cause them to be overtaken by the great day of the Lord as by a thief in the night; that the second coming of Christ is to precede, not follow the millennium; for until the Lord appears, the papal power, with all its abomination, is to continue, the wheat and tares grow together, and evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, as the Word of God declares.

That the mistake of Adventists in 1844 pertained to the nature of the event then to transpire, not to the time; that no prophetic period is given to reach to the second advent, but that the longest one, the two thousand and three hundred days of Daniel 8:14, terminated in that year, and brought us to an event called the cleansing of the sanctuary.

[John Osborne-Everyone who calls himself an Historic Seventh-day Adventist ought to be listening to what the husband of God’s prophet wrote in 1874, when he wrote that all time prophecy came to an end in 1844. Just a short time before this, his little wife had said exactly the same thing. If you do not believe that, you do not believe in Historic Adventism.]

That the sanctuary of the new covenant is the tabernacle of God in heaven, of which Paul speaks in Hebrews 8, and onward, of which our Lord, as great High Priest, is minister; that this sanctuary is the antitype of the Mosaic tabernacle, and that the priestly work of our Lord, connected therewith, is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priests of the former dispensation (Hebrews 8:1-5, etc.); that this is the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days; what is termed its cleansing being in this case, as in the type, simply the entrance of the High Priest into the Most Holy Place, to finish the round of service connected therewith, by blotting out and removing from the sanctuary the sins which had been transferred to it by means of the ministration in the first apartment (Hebrews 9:22,23); and that this work, in the antitype, commencing in 1844, occupies a brief but indefinite space, at the conclusion of which the work of mercy for the world is finished.

That God’s moral requirements are the same upon all men in all dispensations; that these are summarily contained in the commandments spoken by Jehovah from Sinai, engraved on the tables of stone, and deposited in the ark, which was in consequence called the “ark of the covenant,” or testament for under the sounding of the seventh trumpet we are told that “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament” (Revelation 11:19).

That the fourth commandment of this law requires that we devote the seventh day of each week, commonly called Saturday, to abstinence from our own labor, and to the performance of sacred and religious duties; that this is the only weekly Sabbath known to the Bible, being the day that was set apart before Paradise was lost (Genesis 2:2,3), and which will be observed in Paradise restored (Isaiah 66:22,23); that the facts upon which the Sabbath institution is based confine it to the seventh day, as they are not true of any other day; and that the terms Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sabbath , as applied to the weekly rest day, are names of human invention, un-Scriptural in fact, and false in meaning.
That, as the man of sin, the papacy has thought to change times and laws (the laws of God, Daniel 7:25), and has misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment; we find a prophecy of a reform in this respect to be wrought among believers just before the coming of Christ, Isaiah 56:1,2; 1 Peter 1:5; Revelation 14:12, etc.

[John Osborne—Do you believe that God’s people in the last days are going to stand up and expose the man of sin, the papacy, and how he has changed the seventh day Sabbath? This is Historic Adventism.]

That, as the natural or carnal heart is at enmity with God and His law, this enmity can be subdued only by a radical transformation of the affections, the exchange of unholy for holy principles; that this transformation follows repentance and faith, is the special work of the Holy Spirit, and constitutes regeneration or conversion.

[John Osborne—This means that you are going to have a lifestyle change. When a person gives their heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, they change; they are a new creature in Jesus Christ.]

That, as all have violated the law of God, and cannot of themselves render obedience to His just requirements, we are dependent on Christ, first for justification from our past offenses, and, secondly, for grace whereby to render acceptable obedience to His holy law in time to come.

[John Osborne—Through the power and strength of Jesus Christ, you can be victorious over all sin in your life. Do you believe that?]

That the Spirit of God was promised to manifest itself in the church through certain gifts, enumerated especially in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4; that these gifts are not designed to supersede, or take the place of, the Bible, which is sufficient to make us wise unto salvation, any more than the Bible can take the place of the Holy Spirit; that in specifying the various channels of its operation, that Spirit has simply made provision for its own existence and presence with the people of God to the end of time, to lead to an understanding of that Word which it had inspired, to convince of sin, and work a transformation in the heart and life; and that those who deny to the Spirit its place and operation do plainly deny that part of the Bible which assigns to it this work and position.

That God, in accordance with His uniform dealings with the race, sends forth a proclamation of the approach of the second advent of Christ; that this work is symbolized by the three messages of Revelation 14, the last one bringing to view the work of reform on the law of God, that His people may acquire a complete readiness for that event.

[John Osborne—If you are not willing to stand up, proclaim, teach and believe in the three angels of Revelation 14, you are not an historic Seventh-day Adventist.]

That the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary (see proposition 10), synchronizing with the time of the proclamation of the third message, is a time of investigative judgment, first, with reference to the dead, and, at the close of probation, with reference to the living, to determine who of the myriads now sleeping in the dust of the earth are worthy of a part in the first resurrection, and who of its living multitudes are worthy of translation—points which must be determined before the Lord appears.

That the grave, whither we all tend, expressed by the Hebrew sheol and the Greek hades, is a place of darkness in which there is no work, device, wisdom, or knowledge. Ecclesiastes 9:10.

[John Osborne—The grave is a place of sleep where the dead know not anything—waiting for the resurrection. What a beautiful message that is.]
That the state to which we are reduced by death is one of silence, inactivity and entire unconsciousness. Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:5,6; Daniel 12:2; etc.

That out of this prison house of the grave, mankind are to be brought by a bodily resurrection; the righteous having part in the first resurrection, which takes place at the second resurrection, which takes place a thousand years thereafter. Revelation 20:4-6.

[John Osborne—Now do you understand that? There are going to be two resurrections—the righteous come forth when Christ comes; then there is the thousand year millennium; and after the thousand year millenium, the wicked come forth. Now the righteous come forth perfected, changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The wicked, when they come up a thousand years later, come up the same way they went into the grave. Is that clear?]

That at the last trump, the living righteous are to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and with the resurrected righteous are to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, so forever to be with Lord.

That these immortalized ones are taken to heaven, to the New Jerusalem, the Father’s house in which there are many mansions (John 14:1-3), where they reign with Christ a thousand years, judging the world and fallen angels, that is, apportioning the punishment to be executed upon them at the close of the one thousand years (Revelation 20:4; 1 Corinithians 6:2,3); that during this time [thousand years] the earth lies in a desolated and chaotic condition (Jeremiah 4:20-27), described, as in the beginning, by the Greek term abussos, bottomless pit (Septuagint of Genesis 1:2); and that here Satan is confined during the thousand years (Revelation 20:1,2), and here finally destroyed (Revelation 20:10; Malachi 4:1); the theater of the ruin he has wrought in the universe, being appropriately made for a time his gloomy prison house, and then the place of his final execution.

[John Osborne—Christ comes in the clouds of heaven, the righteous are taken, the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of his coming. This earth is desolate, as Scripture says in Jeremiah 4:22,23. Satan is here with all his angels, but with no one to tempt. They cannot go anywhere; they have to just sit there bound with a great chain—a chain of circumstances—for a thousand years and think about the desolation they have caused.
The righteous living in heaven at this time are going over the records of the wicked dead. This is when you are going to be able to have your questions answered. If you have a question about a loved one that did not make it to heaven, you can see how the Holy Spirit worked on that person’s heart, but how they rejected His work. You are going to have all of your questions answered, and then your tears are going to be wiped away. There are going to be some tears when your loved ones do not make it to heaven; you are not going to have amnesia, but your tears will be wiped away.]

That at the end of the thousand years, the Lord descends with His people and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2), the wicked dead are raised and come up upon the surface of the yet unrenewed earth, and gather about the city, the camp of the saints (Revelation 20:9), and fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours them. They are then consumed root and branch (Malachi 4:1), becoming as though they had not been (Obadiah 15, 16). In this everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:9), the wicked meet the everlasting punishment threatened against them (Matthew 25:46). This is the perdition of ungodly men, the fire which consumes them being the fire for which “the heavens and the earth, which are now,” are kept in store, which shall melt even the elements with its intensity, and purge the earth from the deepest stains of the curse of sin. 2 Peter 3:7-12.

[John Osborne—At the end of the thousand years, the New Jerusalem will come down. The wicked are resurrected and Satan says, “We can take the city.” He is going to convince the wicked that they are the righteous and that the Antichrist and the wicked are inside the city, This is exactly what the secret rapture doctrine teaches. The dear people who believe the secret rapture doctrine believe that the Antichrist is going to have the Holy City and that the wicked are inside and the righteous are outside. They are being prepared to be deceived.
But, when the wicked try to take the city, fire is going to come down from God out of heaven and devour them. The Bible calls this God’s strange work, but he has to purify the universe of sin, once and for all, never to rise up again. ]

That a new heavens and earth shall spring by the power of God from the ashes of the old, to be, with the New Jerusalem for its metropolis and capital, the eternal inheritance of the saints, the place where the righteous shall evermore dwell. 2 Peter 3:13; Psalm 37:11, 29; Matthew 5:5.

[John Osborne—When somebody asks: “What is an Historic Seventh-day Adventist?” you may tell them: One who believes what our historic pioneers believed and taught, what they struggled, prayed, and pled with God to show them, and that which he confirmed for them through the Spirit of Prophecy. This is what it means to be an Historic Seventh-day Adventist.]

The End

Editorial – The Need For Scriptural Unity

“Press together, press together, that you may not be destroyed as were the inhabitants of Jerusalem….Persecution is coming, and God calls upon all to stand firm in Christian love, their hearts knit together, of one mind and one judgment. His people are to cleave to Him, and they are to love one another as He has loved them. Christ’s life is to be their example. In love, in meekness, in humility, they are to follow Him.” Signs of the Times, October 31, 1900

This inspired statement shows that we must press together or be destroyed as the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The destruction of Jerusalem is a symbol of what will happen to the whole world at the end. In spite of this inspired counsel, we see more division and unsanctified independence in Adventism today than ever before. The devil is determined that this unity will never be accomplished:

“Satan well knows that the combined strength of Satanic agencies with that of evil men is but weakness when opposed to a band of faithful, united servants of the great King, though in number they may be few. In order to overcome the people of God, Satan will work upon the elements in the character which have not been transformed by the grace of Christ, and through these unsanctified characteristics, he will seek to bring about disunion among the people of God. Unless these persons who become agents of Satan are converted, their own souls will be lost, and the souls of those who have looked up to them as men led of God will be destroyed with them, because they are partakers with them of their sins. Satan endeavors to create suspicion, envy, and jealousy, and thus lead men to question those things that it would be for their soul’s interest to believe. The suspicious ones will misconstrue everything….and if this spirit is allowed to prevail, it will demoralize our churches and institutions.” Review and Herald, May 14, 1895

Is not this prophecy fulfilled all around us? To fulfill the longing of Christ as expressed in John 17 that God’s people might not be totally destroyed, we must press together and come into perfect unity. We must unify in the way God has specified or we will never have true Christian unity: “We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, ‘Unify, unify.’ But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth.” Selected Messages, book 3, 412. ”

Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices.” Selected Messages, book 1, 175

“The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unity upon a true, scriptural basis.” Selected Messages, book, 175.

“We are to unify, but not on a platform of error.” Battle Creek Letters, 111.

“Unify, unify is the word from heaven. The work of bringing about perfect harmony cannot be done in a moment. It will take close examination and careful study on the part of those who bear responsibilities. Not a selfish thread is to be drawn into the web.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 149

Because of this inspired counsel, a number of Historic Seventh-day Adventists met together for counsel and prayer on July 12 at Steps to Life. If we are humble and pray and receive the Holy Spirit, we will be drawn into a perfect unity because Christ is not divided. The universal longing of each was to come together in unity of spirit without compromising one principle of truth. The absence of any type of political spirit was refreshing. We make no claim to have perfect unity yet, but we are all praying about it and studying and looking forward to another meeting to pursue this goal. In order to have unity, several necessary items were studied, such as: What does an Historical Seventh-day Adventist believe—What are the historic tests of fellowship? I believe that God is leading us just as He led our spiritual forefathers in the 1840s to a perfect unity of spirit, thought, doctrine and faith.

We want to invite every Historic Seventh-day Adventist person and institution to pray for unity and to press together. This is no time for independence; it is time for the prayer of Jesus in John 17 to be fulfilled. It will never be fulfilled among those professed Adventists who have essentially rejected the Spirit of Prophecy and who do not believe and who do not believe in the investigative judgment and the other truths of the three angel’s messages. It will never happen to those who are willing to compromise with error or who are unwilling to protest the apostasy. It will never happen to those who reject the New Testament concept of the nature of the church. It can only happen among Historic Seventh-day Adventists. Will you be a part of it?