The Trial, John Huss, part 2

Sigismund, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, was born in 1368. Through marriage to Mary, Queen of Hungary, in 1387, he became king of Hungary two years later. In 1396 he led an army of Crusaders against the Turks and received a crushing defeat at what is now Nikopol, Bulgaria. Upon the death of Holy Roman Emperor Rupert in 1410, Sigismund was elected to succeed him. Wherever he looked, the situation in Europe was most distressing. There were three popes, each of whose personal profligacy’s and official crimes were the scandal of Christianity, who yet claimed to be the supreme pastor and chief teacher of the Church. The most sacred things were bought and sold. Everywhere was strife and bloodshed as nation contended with nation. Many of the major nations of Europe were convulsed with internal problems; and to complete the confusion, the Moslem hordes, encouraged by these dissensions, were threatening to break through and subject all Christianity to Mohammed.

The spectacle of Christianity, disgraced and fractured by three popes while the Church was being corrupted by heretics, greatly concerned Sigismund. In considering how to deal with the situation, he hit upon the expedient of calling a General Council. He determined to assemble the whole Church, with all its patriarchs, cardinals, bishops, and princes, and to summon before this august body the three rival popes. He believed that a council of this nature would have sufficient authority, especially when supported by the imperial power, to force the rival popes to adjust their claims and at the same time silence heretics.

In 1414, Sigismund sought to persuade Pope John XXIII to convoke a council. Such a proposition was alarming beyond measure to him. Nor can we wonder at this if he were guilty of half the crimes which have been attributed to him by church historians. John was accused of having cleared his way to the papal chair by the murder of his predecessor, Alexander V; and he lived in continual fear of himself being removed by the same dreadful means by which he had ascended it. He was in the position, however, of having but little choice. He was at war with Ladislaus, against whose armies he had not fared well and from whom he had been forced to flee to Bologna. Rather than offend the emperor, whose assistance he desperately needed, he determined to face the council. A General Council was finally agreed upon, to be convoked at Constance, November 1, 1414.

Amid all of the many dignitaries to attend the Council were three who took precedence of all others: Sigismund, Pope John XXIII, and John Huss. The two anti-popes had been summoned to the Council, but they chose to appear by representation, rather than in person.

Sigismund appeared, professing John XXIII to be the only valid contender to the tiara. Nevertheless, it was his secret purpose to force John to renounce his claim. John, on the other hand, pretended to be quite cordial in calling the Council, while secretly he was determined to dissolve it as quickly as possible should he find it unfriendly to himself. He left Bologna with a substantial store of jewels and money, hoping to be able to use them to corrupt those he could not dazzle with their splendor. All along the way he took care to make arrangements to leave the way clear should he have to leave Constance in haste. As he passed through Tyrol, he made a secret treaty with Frederick, Duke of Austria, to the effect that one of his strong castles would be at his disposal should it become necessary. When he arrived with the league of Constance, he sought to bind the Abbot of St. Ulric to himself by bestowing on him the miter.

“Meanwhile, another traveler was approaching Constance. Huss was conscious of the dangers which threatened him. He parted from his friends as if he were never to meet them again, and went on his journey feeling that it was leading him to the stake. Notwithstanding he had obtained a safe-conduct from the king of Bohemia and received one also from the emperor Sigismund while on his journey, he made all his arrangements in view of the probability of his death.” The Great Controversy, 104, 105. Though he expected to find more enemies in Constance than Christ had at Jerusalem, he was determined not to betray the gospel by cowardice.

Through every town and village on his route, there were indications of the spread of his doctrines and the favor with which they were held. The inhabitants turned out to welcome him in large numbers. At Nuremberg, as well as at other town through which he passed, the magistrates formed a guard of honor and escorted him through the streets that were thronged with spectators, eager for a glimpse of the man who was changing the face of Christianity. Thus, his journey was, of a sort, a triumphal procession.

Soon after his arrival, Huss met with John XXIII, who added his safe conduct to that of the emperor. A short time later, in violation of these solemn promises, Huss was arrested on orders of the pope and cardinals and thrust into a loathsome dungeon.

The imprisonment of Huss excited great indignation in Bohemia. A number of the barons united in remonstrating with the emperor, reminding him of his safe conduct. Sigismund’s first impulse was to set the Reformer free, but Huss’ enemies were determined and malignant in their designs against him. Playing upon the emperor’s zeal for the Church, they brought forward arguments that sought to convince him that he had had no right to issue such a safe conduct in the circumstances without the consent of the counsel and that the greater good of the Church must overrule his promise. In the voice of the assembled Church, Sigismund believed that he heard the voice of God and allowed the enemies of Huss to have their will with him.

Emperor Sigismund was 47 years of age at the time of the Council. Noble in bearing and tall in stature, he was graceful in manners. His understanding had been improved by study, and he spoke with ability several languages. Had it not been for one grave error, the name that has come down to posterity with an eternal blot upon it might have been fair, if not illustrious. Sigismund committed the grave error common to almost all the princes of his age in believing that in order to reign, it was necessary to dissemble and that craft was an indispensable part of policy.

One of the first matters to be taken up by the Council was that of the trial of John XXIII. John, faced with the charges that were drawn up against him, promised to abdicate; but recovering, he was more determined than ever to maintain his cause and, in stealth, fled the city.

In contrast with the pomp with which he arrived in Constance, John left in the disguise of a peasant. His departure had been arranged beforehand with the Duke of Austria, a friend and staunch protector. The duke, on a given day, was to give a tournament. The spectacle was to take place late in the afternoon; and while the whole city was engrossed in the proceedings, oblivious to all else, the pope would make good his escape.

When the pope’s flight became known, the city was thrown into confusion. Everyone thought that the Council was at an end and the merchants shut their shops and packed up their wares, fearful of pillage from the lawless mob into whose hands they feared the city had been thrown. As soon as the initial excitement had somewhat abated, the emperor rode around the city, openly declaring that he would protect the Council and maintain order.

Sigismund hastily assembled the princes and deputies and indignantly declared that it was his purpose to bring the pope back, and if necessary, reduce the duke of Austria by force of arms in the process. When the pope leaned that a storm was gathering that threatened to follow him, he wrote in conciliatory terms to the emperor, excusing his hasty departure by saying that “he had gone to Schaffhausen to enjoy its sweeter air, that of Constance not agreeing with him; moreover, in this quiet retreat, and at liberty, he would be able to show the world how freely he acted in fulfilling his promise of renouncing the Pontificate.” Wiley, History of Protestantism, vol. 1, 152.

John, however, appeared to be in no haste to lay aside the tiara, and every few days he moved farther and farther away in his quest for still sweeter air. He had believed that his flight would be the signal for the Council to break up, and in this he hoped to block Sigismund’s plans and avoid the humiliation of deposition.

The emperor was determined not to be put off in his plans, and the Council proceeded. The charges against John were sustained and he was stripped of the pontificate. When the news arrived, John was as abject as he had before been arrogant. He acknowledged the justice of the sentence and asked only that his life might be spared—which no one at that time had thought to deprive him of.

The cases of the other two popes were more easily dispensed with; and by election of the cardinals, Otta de Colonna was unanimously elected to rule the church as Martin V.

Having condemned John for crimes far more grievous than the charges Huss had made and for which he was called to trial, the Council turned its attention to the Reformer.

Called before the Council, Huss naturally wished to reply to the charges, pointing out those which were false. He had uttered but a few words when there arose such a clamor as to completely drown out his voice. Huss stood motionless, viewing the excited assembly with pity rather than visible anger. As the tumult subsided, he again attempted to proceed with his defense. He had gone but a little ways when he had cause to appeal to the Scriptures, and immediately the storm was renewed with even greater violence.

Some Bohemian noblemen who had witnessed the scene informed Sigismund of what had transpired, urging him to be present at the next hearing.

At the next meeting Sigismund and Huss were brought face to face. The chains that bound Huss were a silent but eloquent commentary on the imperial safe conduct. The emperor, however, consoled himself with the thought that while he had been willing to deprive the Reformer of his freedom, he would at the last extremity save his life. There were two things, however, that Sigismund had failed to take into consideration. The first was the firm and unyielding resolve of the Reformer; the other was the awe in which he, himself, held the Council. Too late, he found, as did Pilate, that having once compromised his conscience, there was no room to change. “And so, despite his better intentions, he suffered himself to be dragged along on the road of perfidy and dishonour, which he had meanly entered, till he came to its tragic end, and the imperial safe conduct and the martyr’s stake had taken their place, side by side, ineffaceable, on history’s eternal pages.” Ibid., 158.

While Huss differed from the Church of Rome, it was not so much on dogmas as on great points of jurisdiction and policy. While these differences directly attacked certain of the principles of the papacy, they tended indirectly to the subversion of the whole system. This was perhaps a far greater revolution than Huss perceived, or perhaps intended; for until the last, he did not abandon the communion of the Roman Church. He admitted to the Divine institution and office of the pope, though he made the effacy of their official acts dependent on their spiritual character. “He held that the supreme rule of faith and practice was the Holy Scriptures; that Christ was the Rock on which our Lord said He would build His church; that ‘the assembly of the Predestinate is the Holy Church, which has neither spot nor wrinkle, but is holy and undefiled; that which Jesus Christ calleth His own;’ that the Church need no one visible head on earth, that it had none such in the days of the apostles; that nevertheless it was then well governed, and might be so still although it should lose its earthly head; and that the Church was not confined to the clergy, but included all the faithful.” Ibid., 158, 159.

Already enfeebled by illness and by his long confinement, he was exhausted and worn out by the length of the appearance and the attention demanded to rebut the attacks and reasonings of his attackers. At length, the Council rose, and Huss was led back to prison.

During the interval between Huss’ second and third appearance, the emperor tried ineffectually to induce the Reformer to retract. Not only was he motivated by a genuine desire to save Huss’ life, but doubtless also out of a regard for his honor which was deeply at stake in the issue. The Reformer, while most willing to abjure those things of which he was falsely accused, refused to be moved regarding those truths he had taught. “‘He would rather,’ he said, ‘be cast into the sea with a millstone about his neck, than offend those little ones to whom he had preached the Gospel, by abjuring it.’” Ibid., 160.

At last the matter was brought to the point of whether or not he would submit implicitly to the Council. “‘If the Council should even tell you,’ said a doctor, whose name has not been preserved, ‘that you have but one eye, you would be obliged to agree with the Council.’ ‘But,’ said Huss, ‘as long as God keeps me in my senses, I would not say such a thing, even though the whole world should require it, because I could not say it without wounding my conscience.’ What an obstinate self-opinionated, arrogant man! Said the Fathers.” Ibid. Even the emperor became irritated at what he regarded as obstinacy.

This was the great crisis in the Reformer ‘s life. It was as if the Council had laid aside all charges of heresy and asked only that he give assent to its divine authority as an infallible council. From that moment, Huss had greater peace of mind than at any time since his ordeal had begun, and he calmly began to prepare for his death.

During his imprisonment before his third and final hearing, Huss was cheered by a prophetic glimpse of the dawn of the better days that awaited the church of God.

While awaiting his final hearing and sentencing, Huss’ thoughts often turned to the chapel of Bethlehem in which he had proclaimed the gospel. One night he “saw in imagination, from the depths of his dungeon, the pictures of Christ that he had painted on the walls of his oratory, effaced by the pope and his bishops. This vision distressed him: but on the next day he saw many painters occupied in restoring these figures in greater number and in brighter colours. As soon as their task was ended, the painters, who were surrounded by an immense crowd, exclaimed: “Now let the popes and bishops come! They shall never efface them more!” D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation, Book 1, chapter 6, 30.

As the Reformer related his dream to his faithful friend, John de Chlum, he was advised to occupy his thoughts with his defense, rather than with visions. “’I am no dreamer,’ replied Huss, ‘but I maintain this for certain, that the image of Christ will never be effaced. They have wished to destroy it, but it shall be painted afresh in all hearts by much better preachers than myself.’” Ibid.

Thirty days elapsed and the Council again called for Huss. The charges against him were again read, following which Huss refused to abjure. This he accompanied with a brief recapitulation of the events that had led up to that moment. He ended by saying that he had come to this Council of his own free will, “‘confiding in the safe conduct of the emperor here present.’ As he uttered these last words, he looked full at Sigismund, on whose brow the crimson of a deep blush was seen by the whole assembly, whose gaze was at the instant turned towards his majesty.’” Wiley, History of Protestantism, vol. 1, 161.

Sentence of condemnation was now passed upon Huss. There then followed the ceremony of degradation. One after another of the garments of a priest were brought forward and placed upon him. They next placed in his hand the chalice, as if he were about to celebrate mass. He was then asked if he were willing to adjure. “‘With what face, then,’ he replied, ‘should I behold the heavens? How should I look on those multitudes of men to whom I have preached the pure Gospel? No; I esteem their salvation more than this poor body, now appointed unto death.’” Ibid.

“The vestments were removed one by one, each bishop pronouncing a curse as he performed his part of the ceremony. Finally “they put on his head a cap or pyramidal-shaped miter of paper, on which were painted frightful figures of demons, with the word ‘Archheretic’ conspicuous in front. ‘Most joyfully,’ said Huss, ‘will I wear this crown of shame for Thy sake, O Jesus, who for me didst wear a crown of thorns.’” The Great Controversy, 109.

As the fire began to burn, Huss began to loudly sing, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” Even his enemies were struck with his heroic bearing. One of the observers, AEneas Sylvius, who afterwards became pope and whose testimony is not liable to suspicion, commented on the heroic demeanor of both Huss and Jerome at their executions. It was said that the vehemence of the fire could scarcely stop their singing.

When Huss bowed at the stake, it was the infallible Council that was vanquished, not the martyr. “Heap together all the trophies of Alexander and of Caesar, what are they all when weighed in the balance against this one glorious achievement? . . . From the moment he expired amid the flames, his name became a power, which will continue to speed on the great cause of truth and light, till the last shackle shall be rent from the intellect, and the conscience emancipated for from every usurpation, shall be free to obey the authority of its rightful Lord.” Wiley, History of Protestantism, vol. 1, 164, 165.

Already Bohemia was awakening; and within a hundred years, Germany and all Christendom would arise from their slumber to the awakening prophetically seen in the martyr’s dream.

Erecting Monuments

“Few realize that, in their lives, they constantly exert an influence which will be perpetuated for good or evil.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1032.

Approximately twenty years ago, two young men from a church next door to our home came over to “convert” us. We agreed to participate in doctrinal studies with them in hopes of “converting” them to our beliefs.

Early one morning, I was studying Matthew 5 and read, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 19. Oh yes, these young men are teaching people to break the commandments of God! Shortly after this self-righteous thought entered my mind, another idea, new to me, came to mind. Joan, everything that you do and say is teaching someone to keep or break the commandments of God. This was a startling thought. But Lord, I am a Seventh-day Adventist. I have the truth. I am not teaching error. “The gospel of Christ is the law exemplified in character.” Maranatha, 18. “God’s law is a transcript of His character.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 207. By every thought, word, and action, I was teaching someone to keep or break the commandments. What an unsettling thought that by an un-Christlike character, I might be leading others to break God’s holy Law!

A Lesson from Solomon

“Hundreds of years had elapsed since Solomon caused those idolatrous shrines to be erected on the mount; and, although Josiah had demolished them as places of worship, their debris, containing portions of architecture, were still remaining in the days of Christ. The prominence upon which those shrines had stood was called, by the true-hearted of Israel, the Mount of Offense.

“Solomon, in his pride and enthusiasm, did not realize that in those pagan altars he was erecting a monument of his debased character, to endure for many generations, and to be commented on by thousands. In like manner, every act of life is great for good or evil; and it is only by acting upon principle in the tests of daily life, that we acquire power to stand firm and faithful in the most dangerous and most difficult positions.

“The marks of Solomon’s apostasy lived ages after him. In the days of Christ, the worshipers in the temple could look, just opposite them, upon the Mount of Offense, and be reminded that the builder of their rich and glorious temple, the most renowned of all kings, had separated himself from God, and reared altars to heathen idols; that the mightiest ruler on earth had failed in ruling his own spirit. Solomon went down to death a repentant man; but his repentance and tears could not efface from the Mount of Offense the signs of his miserable departure from God. Ruined walls and broken pillars bore silent witness for a thousand years to the apostasy of the greatest king that ever sat upon an earthly throne. . . .

“It was this prophecy of impending ruin (see 1 Kings 11:11) that had awakened the apostate king as from a dream, and had led him to repent, and to seek to stay, so far as possible, the terrible tide of evil that during the later years of his reign had been rising high and still higher. But at the time of his repentance, only a few years of life remained to him, and he could not hope to avert the consequences of long years of wrongdoing. His course of evil had set in operation influences that afterward he could never fully control.

“Especially was this the case in the training of the children born to him through marriage with idolatrous women. Rehoboam, the son whom Solomon chose to be his successor, had received from his mother, an Ammonitess, a stamp of character that led him to look upon sin as desirable. At times he endeavored to serve God, and was granted a measure of prosperity; but he was not steadfast, and at last he yielded to the influences for evil that had surrounded him from infancy.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1032, 1033. [Emphasis supplied.]

Idolatry Today

Are you teaching your children to erect monuments of a holy character? If you have begun wrong, take courage.

“To parents who have begun their training wrong, I would say, Do not despair. You need to be soundly converted to God. . . . It is of the highest importance that you bring the attributes of Christ into your own life and character, and educate and train your children with persevering effort to be obedient to the commandments of God. A ‘Thus saith the Lord’ should guide you in all your plans of education.” Child Guidance, 69.

Provide for your children a training that will help them erect the monument of a holy character. It will stand throughout eternity!

The 13 Impossibilities

“Who will enter in through the gates into the City?—Not those who declare that they cannot break the force of appetite.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 19.

“One of the highest attainments in the Christian life is to control appetite. . . . Without this victory, all hope of Heaven is vain.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 206.

  • It is impossible for a man to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, while continuing to indulge habits that are depriving him of physical, mental and moral vigor.” Counsels on Health, 23.


  • It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God when we continually fill them with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence.” Counsels on Health, 24.


  • It is impossible for the spirit and power of the truth to sanctify a man soul, body, and spirit, when he is controlled by appetite and passion.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 570.


  • “A diseased body and a disordered intellect, because of continued indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 44.


  • It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 400.


  • It is impossible for men and women, while under the power of sinful, health-destroying, brain-enervating habits, to appreciate sacred truth.” Counsels on health, 21.


  • It is impossible for an intemperate man to be a Christian, for his higher powers are brought into slavery to the passions.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 51.


  • “In order to render to God perfect service, we must have clear conceptions of His will. This will require us to use only healthful food, prepared in a simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not injured, making it impossible for us to discern the value of the atonement, and the priceless worth of the cleansing blood of Christ.” Our High Calling, 308.


  • It is impossible for those who make free use of flesh meats to have an unclouded brain and an active intellect.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 62.


  • It is impossible for any to enjoy the blessing of sanctification while they are selfish and gluttonous.” Counsels on Health, 66.


  • It is impossible for you to increase in spiritual strength while your appetite and passions are not under perfect control.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 63.


  • It is impossible for those who give the reins to appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 236.


  • It is impossible to work for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind. Men and women must be taught to take a careful review of every habit and practice, and at once put away those things that cause an unhealthy condition of the body.” Counsels on Health, 445.

Inspiration – Backsliding in Health Reform

Sanitarium, Calif., March 29, 1908

“I am instructed to bear a message to all our people on the subject of health reform for many have backslidden from their former loyalty to health reform principles; the light that God has given is being disregarded. A true reformation needs to take place among the believers in Washington in the matter of healthful living. If the believers there will give themselves unreservedly to God, He will accept them. If they will adopt in the matter of eating and drinking the principles of temperance that the light of health reform has brought to us, they will be richly blessed. Those who have received instructions regarding the evils of the use of flesh meats, tea and coffee, and rich and unhealthful food preparation, and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice will not continue to indulge their appetites for food they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetites be cleansed and self-denial be practiced in regard to these things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him as perfect people. . . .

“The Lord has given clear light regarding the nature of the food that is to compose our diet: He has instructed us concerning the effect of unhealthful food upon disposition and character. Shall we respond to the councils and cautions given? Who among our brethren will sign a pledge to dispense with flesh meats, tea, coffee, and all injurious foods and become health reformers in the truest sense of the term. . . .

“Let the good work begin at Washington and go forth from there to other places. I know whereof I am writing. If a temperance pledge providing for the abstinence from flesh foods, tea and coffee, and some other foods, that are known to be injurious were circulated through our ranks, a great and good work would be accomplished, I ask you at this time, will you not circulate such a pledge? . . . I am instructed to say to parents, place yourselves, soul and spirit on the Lord’s side of this question . . . I am sure that if you begin at Washington to do this work of reform, in school, in the printing office, and among all the workers, the Lord will help you to present a pledge that will help the people to return from their backslidings on the question of health reform. As you seek to carry out the will of the Lord in this particular, He will give you clear understanding of what the health reform will do for you.”

Signed: Ellen G. White

Testimony and Pledge Sent to the General Conference
March 29, 1908

This testimony on health reform was sent directly to Elder Daniells, but it was withheld and not circulated because he said it would “split the church.” He evidently did not know that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against” God’s true church. Later on, when Elder Daniells wanted to see Sister White, she refused to see him, saying: “I have nothing more for him.” I understand that this testimony was the last one in the way of reproof ever sent to the Laodicean church.
“God gave the light on health reform, and those who rejected it, rejected God.” Testimony Series B, #6, 31.

The Pledge



Life and Health – Whole Wheat Bread

Welcome to our new Steps to Life and Health page. We welcome the opportunity to come into your home with the beautiful “right arm” of the gospel; and we earnestly pray, as you read the words of inspiration and medical facts, that the Holy Spirit will make you willing to be made willing to follow all of the light that God in His great tender mercy has allowed to shine on His people to prepare them for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit in these last days of earth’s history. We will be sharing our recipes with you, and we invite any of you who have healthful recipes to share them with us on this page in the months to come. Today’s recipe will be home baked whole wheat bread.

And God said, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD they God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statues, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26. What a wonderful promise from our God! However, to each promise that He makes to us, there are conditions. We must do our part. Again from the Bible we read, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statues which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Deuteronomy 28:15. These are the conditions which the LORD has laid down for us, and He invites each one of us to accept His promise to us in Medical Ministry, 221. “The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God has pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action of the human agent will obey His laws and cooperate with God.”

“We have the example of ancient Israel and the warning for us not to do as they did. Their history of unbelief and rebellion is left on record as a special warning that we should not follow their example of murmuring at God’s requirements. How can we pass on so indifferently, choosing our own course, following the sight of our own eyes, and departing further and further from God, as did the Hebrews? God cannot do great things for His people because of their hardness of heart and sinful unbelief.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 172.

Today we have before us countless medical articles proving from current medical science the many things that God sent to His remnant people over 130 years ago. Shall we not praise God for this wonderful light that will enable us to have clear, undimmed brains, that we may receive the Holy Spirit in its fullness and not disregard it or repress it? For “it is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 400.

“Bread is the real staff of life, and therefore every cook should excel in making it.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 315. In future issues, we will share with you some of the ingredients of the majority of commercial bread, and you will see why it is for our health to make good bread. “Let us remember that there is practical religion in a loaf of good bread.” Medical Ministry, 270.

Whole Wheat Bread

Mix Together: Blend Together:

4 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup apple concentrate

1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt 1-1/2 cups distilled water

3 Tablespoons Do-Pep

1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C Powder

Warm liquid sufficiently for yeast to work, and place in mixing bowl.

Add 1 – 2 teaspoons yeast and let work.

Add dry ingredients and stir vigorously until well blended, then knead for about 10 minutes.

Cover and let rise until double in bulk. Push down, and let rise again until double in bulk.

Divide the dough, shape, and place in two bread pans to rise.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

For those who have an automatic bread maker, this is an ideal recipe. Place your yeast in the bottom of the pan, add the dry ingredients, then the liquid, and “start.” We use a “DAK” machine and the amount is perfect. The amount of yeast sometimes varies according to altitude. We use a rounded teaspoon and have the liquid slightly warmer when we add to the flour mixture on top instead of sprinkling yeast on top. If you have an older “MAGIC MILL” round breadmaker, this is also the right proportions.

The Digestion Process

In Psalm 139:14, King David, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declared: “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” More and more we are led to echo these words of David as we study the structure and function of the human organism and see therein reflected the marvels of divine engineering. It is God’s wish that we should understand the working mechanisms within the human body so that we can develop an intelligent life style that works in harmony with the laws of our being. This will, in turn, enable us to keep our body temples pure and undefiled as a “living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Romans 12:1.

Those who strive, by the grace of God, to be faithful stewards of their physical being will also reap the rich reward of an increased spiritual dynamic in their lives that will help facilitate the development of a righteous character. For these reasons, we must concur with God’s prophet in declaring that “the health should be as faithfully guarded as the character.” Education, 195.

The digestive system is one of the major systems that God has established within the human body, and we need to become conversant with its structure and function. Too often this vital component of the body is abused, resulting in dysfunctional problems and ill health, which, in turn, affect the mind and dull the spiritual perceptions. A proper state of things is therefore vital as this relates to our quest for the eternal crown.

The digestive system begins at the lips where food first crosses the threshold into the system and terminates at the anus where waste residues are finally expelled from the body. What happens in between is truly a miracle of God’s ingenuity.

As food is being chewed, it becomes more liquefied by the saliva, making it more easy to swallow. Also, a certain enzyme called ptyalin, present in saliva, begins the chemical breakdown of cooked carbohydrates (CHO) and sugar into maltose, which is a simpler form of sugar. After food has been adequately chewed and then swallowed, it is passed downwards to the stomach via the esophagus, a muscular tube about 9–10 inches long. Food does not simply drop down into the stomach in the same way as one can drop a pebble down a well. The esophagus conveys the food downward through the action of peristalsis. This conveyance mechanism takes place when the circular muscle fibers in the esophagus relax in front of the swallowed food while also contracting behind it, thus moving the material downward toward the stomach. While the act of swallowing food is done voluntarily, the remaining part of the journey comes under the control of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system.

The esophagus connects with the upper part of the stomach. However, before food can finally empty into the stomach, it has to pass through a special entryway called the cardiac sphincter. This portal, which is normally kept in a tightly closed position, becomes relaxed and opens as the peristaltic wave rolls down the esophagus and impinges upon this initial upper area of the stomach; thus allowing food to pass within.

The stomach may not share the same glamorous image as the heart or the brain, yet it is as worthy of recognition as any other organ of the body. After receiving food from the esophagus, the stomach acts as temporary storage while its muscular contractions mix the food with its gastric juice. Peristaltic waves in the stomach slowly ripple down the length of its muscular walls at about three times per minute in order to produce this necessary mixing and help to liquefy the ingested food stuffs.

Various glands in the mucus lining of the stomach collectively produce a clear, colorless mixture called gastric juice. Some of these glands generate a substance called hydrochloric acid (HCl). This serves to acidify the food and acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant, rendering harmless many organisms ingested with the food. There are other glands within the stomach wall, which produce a substance called pepsinogen. When pepsinogen is released and interacts with HCl, it is converted to pepsin, a powerful enzyme that begins the breakdown of protein foods into more soluble substances known as peptones. Rennin is another product secreted by the stomach and is involved in the digestion of casein, a milk protein. Also present in small amounts is a fat splitting enzyme called gastric lipase.

Especially interesting is the fact that some cells specialize in producing a heavy layer of mucus that coats the lining of the stomach. This is crucial to the stomach’s own defenses; and if this barrier did not exist, preventing the HCl and pepsin from having direct contact with its delicate lining, the stomach would start to digest itself. Unfortunately, this can happen (though on a limited scale) in the case of a gastric ulcer where the defenses are breached and the gastric juice makes direct contact with the stomach lining. This condition produces much discomfort and, if not rectified, can result in the ulcer eroding its way completely through the stomach wall. Ulceration is even more common a little lower down from the stomach in the duodenum.

There are many causes for peptic ulceration, though the major factors are:

  • Irregular meal times
  • Tension, anxiety, and emotional stress
  • Ingestion of irritants to the stomach lining, e.g., hot spicy foods, alcohol
  • Smoking

Diagnosis of peptic ulcer, either gastric or duodenal, can only be made for sure after careful medical investigation (usually involving an inside view of the stomach through a fiber-optic instrument.) Prevention, of course, is always better than cure; and correcting faulty life style practices that lie at the root of this condition is obviously the wisest course both for the prevention and cure of peptic ulcer.

One final ingredient of gastric juice that is worthy of mention is a substance known as the intrinsic factor. This vital component is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B-12. If the stomach does not produce sufficient amounts of the intrinsic factor, it will result in B-12 deficiency in the system. This special vitamin is, in turn, necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells. Insufficient levels produce a blood disorder called pernicious anemia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can also cause chronic degeneration of the spinal cord, resulting in various degrees of nerve dysfunction to other parts of the body. People who have had surgical removal of some or all of the stomach are obviously prime candidates for B-12 deficiency due to their reduced or non-capacity to produce sufficient amounts of the intrinsic factor. Fortunately, whatever might be the causes of B-12 deficiency as described here, the problem can be easily corrected by periodic injections.

The stomach secretes between one to two liters of gastric juice per 24-hour period. There are two basic ways by which this happens: the first and immediate way is through stimulation of the vagus nerve, a major nerve extending from the brain which gives off branches to the stomach, which in turn initiate the secretion of gastric juice. The thought, sight, and smell of food is sufficient (when a person is hungry) to trigger this mechanism. A further aspect of nervous stimulation is produced when food enters the mouth and “tickles” the taste buds. This also results in increased vagal activity. Further still, food that enters the stomach, causing initial distention, will also serve to further increase production of gastric juice. The second phase of gastric secretion (the humoral phase) is initiated later in the digestive process as a result of protein breakdown. This causes the release of gastrin, a hormone that stimulates the stomach via the blood stream.

Regular meal times, as already mentioned, are essential in order to keep the stomach healthy and able to function to the optimum. If regularity is maintained, the body’s biological clock will prime the digestive tract and make it ready for action at specific times of the day in anticipation of food. God wants us to understand the importance of regularity; and for this reason, He has counseled us to maintain this factor in our eating habits. You may have noticed that if circumstances prevent you from taking a meal at the usual time, the appetite begins to wane until we start feeling “past it.” We may still retain an inclination to eat, but the hearty, wholesome relish is gone. At such times, if the physical work demands placed upon us will permit, it would be better for the system if we were to forego eating a late meal well outside of our usual routine and wait until the next established meal period comes around.

Other factors included with regularity that help us take proper care of the digestive system are as follows:

  • Chew the food well
  • Allow at least five hours between each meal
  • No smoking
  • No drinking at meals

After food has been well mixed and liquefied in the stomach (it is now referred to as chyme), small amounts are allowed to pass through the stomach’s lower exit into the small intestine. The first nine to ten inch section of the small bowel is called the duodenum. It is here that digestion takes its next major step. Enzymes from the pancreas are secreted into the duodenum to continue the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into smaller components. Bile from the gallbladder is also secreted into the duodenum. The function of bile is to emulsify fats so that they can be more easily dealt with by lipase, the fat digestion enzyme from the pancreas. The acidic chyme is also neutralized in the duodenum by bile and pancreatic enzymes which are alkaline in nature. The gallbladder and pancreas, under the influence of nervous and humoral stimulation, are also led to release their digestive juices.

As the liquid chyme continues further down into the small intestine, it comes under the action of other digestive enzymes which are released from the wall of the gut. These enzymes finalize the breakdown of protein foods into amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars, and fats into glycerol and fatty acids.

After the breakdown of ingested foodstuffs, the next step in digestion involves the absorption of this material from the bowel so that it can be utilized by the body. This is accomplished through the action of countless minute structures called villi.

The villi are tiny, finger-like projections that line the wall of the small bowel for the major part of its length. The villi are so constructed that collectively they present a much larger surface area for the absorption of nutrients than could be realized if the lumen of the bowel were smooth and even. Digested materials absorbed by the villi are then shipped off to the liver, via the bloodstream, for processing. Some of the digested fat substances and fat-soluble vitamins are released directly into the general circulation via a more circuitous route, rather than going to the liver first.If digested protein substances, for example, were released directly into the circulation without being processed first by the liver, a very toxic condition could develop in the body. It is for this reason that people with cirrhosis, who have a diminished liver function, must be careful with their diet, especially regarding protein intake. If a poorly functioning liver is overwhelmed by an over ingestion of protein, which it does not have the capacity to fully handle, it has little choice than to allow unprocessed material to pass out into the blood stream. In extreme cases, this could result in coma and even death.

The liver is also a marvel of God’s design and it fulfills many functions, one being, serving as a factory, or initial service center, for digested materials. Many substances undergo further changes here before being released into the general circulation for use by the body.

Another major function of the liver is to take glucose (the end product of CHO breakdown) and convert it into a more concentrated form called glycogen. This material is then stored temporarily inside the liver cells and later reconverted into glucose when needed by the body. By means of this function, the liver is involved in maintaining the correct level of glucose in the bloodstream. Much could be said about this very versatile organ, but space will only permit this very brief mention.

By the time ingested material reaches the large intestine, it is still liquid and almost, if not completely, void of all nutritive elements. The peristaltic action of the colon is much slower than in the small bowel, and water is absorbed from digestive residues as they are gradually conveyed along inside the colon. This process results in solidifying the waste material and formation of the feces.

Peristalsis often increases in the colon for a time immediately after a meal, causing waste to be more rapidly moved onward on its final journey through the system. When waste material is emptied into the rectum, nerve pathways in the bowel, in contact with the spinal cord, initiate the desire to go to the bathroom and expel the waste material. Nerve pathways leading from the spinal cord also ascend upward to the brain, thus alerting the individual to natures call.

Colon cancer is a major cause of disease in America today. Probably the greatest causative factor is unhealthy life style, especially faulty diet. The highly refined diet that so many seek to exist on today is grossly deficient in fiber and certain protective foods. Low fiber intake results in a slow passage of food waste through the system (especially in the colon). This is referred to as the transit time. This slow movement of refuse through the system allows cancer initiating substances to remain in contact with the bowel wall for an extended period of time, thus providing the ideal conditions for disease to establish itself.

For example, a well-known breakfast cereal manufacturer, in a promotional for its high fiber products, stated that the standard, low-fiber, white bread, cheese sandwich can take a week to pass through the digestive tract! Little wonder that constipation is so common in the so-called civilized world when so many live on such an uncivilized diet. Of course, the point the breakfast food producer was obviously trying to make was that their high fiber cereal did not behave in such a sluggish fashion as the average cheese sandwich and contribute to a clogged up system.

Fiber is important to the health of the system, especially the colon. Medical science has amply documented the fact that people who eat an unrefined diet, naturally high in fiber, have a much shorter transit time and a much lower incidence of colon cancer. Vegetarians automatically receive an adequate intake of fiber apart from the other benefits that such a diet provides; and, as far as the colon is concerned, they also have far less incidence of constipation, diverticulosis, and appendicitis.

To be kept health and functioning well, the divinely prescribed diet of fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables, coupled with the other healthy life style factors of water, exercise, rest, abstemiousness (see Ministry of Healing, 127), will keep his and the rest of the system healthy and sound.

It may be well to remind ourselves that as human beings, we can easily go to extremes in our philosophy and practice of life style. A tendency has developed among some people to view the colon as the key organ of the body in respect to physical well being. Much of the diseases that afflict modern man are believed to originate in the colon and consequently can be prevented and also cured by placing special emphasis upon treating this organ. While there may be genuine medical grounds for a person from time to time to resort to an enema, or the occasional colonic, it is neither a healthy practice nor a sign of balanced thinking to make this the chief focus and practice on a regular basis.

The inspired counsels on health given us by God present a much broader, well-balanced philosophy on the question of health and the cause and treatment of disease. In fact, Ellen White was led to give timely caution to those in her day who had a fixation on the colon: “There are men who make a specialty of treating the rectum, and some feel that they have been greatly benefited. But I have been instructed that this treatment, as well as many surgical operations, leaves with many a serious weakness.” Paulson Collection, 217.

We have much to be thankful for. Especially we need to thank God for the marvelous gift of life and the wonderful bodies wherein we are able to live out this precious gift. Therefore, as we eat, let us eat to His glory, eating only those things that will do us good, and also with thankful hearts rejoice that we have amazing living organisms that, under God’s continued and immediate agency, are able to assimilate the nutritious bounties of the earth, perpetuating in turn the glorious gift of life!

The World-Class Straw Man, part 3

To point out all of the errors and distortions of truth in the new book, The Nature of Christ, by Roy Adams, associate editor of the Review, would require a volume at least as large as the original. This would surpass both our time and our interest. We trust that the samplings of grevious errors that have been provided in our first two articles will satisfy those who have a concern for accuracy and truth. In this final article, we wish to simply identify some of Adams’ major disagreements with the Bible and with the Spirit of Prophecy. We believe this evidence will make it clear that Adams is not really fighting Jones, Waggoner, and Andreason. His real enemy is the inspired writings, especially the Spirit of Prophecy.

Adams seems to be deeply offended by two closely related concepts in the inspired writings:

  1. That victory over sin by God’s power is possible in this life.
  2. That there will be some persons who will stand before God without a mediator in the last days.

As we have seen, he endeavors to make us believe that the first concept regarding victory (sanctification) has not come to us from the inspired writings but from Jones and Waggoner through Andreason.

Here is a suggestion. Take a pen in your hand and mark with a V for victory the following verses in your New Testament:

  • Matthew 5:48
  • Romans 1:16
  • Romans 5:21
  • Romans 6:18, 22
  • Romans 8:4
  • Romans 12:2
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • 2 Corinthians 7:1
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Ephesians 1:4
  • Ephesians 3:20
  • Ephesians 4:22–24
  • Ephesians 5:26, 27
  • Philippians 2:5, 15
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Colossians 1:22;
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:13
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 7
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23;
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  • 1 Timothy 6:14
  • 2 Timothy 2:19, 22
  • 2 Timothy 3:17
  • Titus 2:3, 12–14
  • Hebrews 6:1
  • Hebrews 13:20, 21
  • James 1:4, 21
  • James 4:7, 8
  • 1 Peter 1:15, 16, 22
  • 1 Peter 2:11, 12
  • 1 Peter 5:10
  • 2 Peter 3:11
  • 1 John 2:6, 29
  • 1 John 3:3, 7, 22
  • 1 John 4:4
  • 1 John 5:3, 4
  • Jude 24, 25
  • Revelation 3:21
  • Revelation 14:12
  • Revelation 22:14

Then ask yourself the question, Is the victory doctrine biblical or not? Next, borrow or purchase a copy of our second research volume, Tell of His Power, and examine the 2,500 victory statements and references there which were gleaned from a total of more than 4,500 such statements in Ellen White’s writings. Then ask yourself the question, Is the victory doctrine supported by God’s chosen messenger, Ellen White, or is it not?

In his bitter opposition to the concept that there will be a group who will stand without a mediator, Adams argues that the idea originated with Andreason (see previous article) and that it is a false concept because it would require God to deal with the final generation in a different manner than He has dealt with previous generations. But does God expect no more of us than He did of previous generations? Here is a sampling of Ellen White’s several comments on that subject:

“Our responsibility is greater than was that of our ancestors. We are accountable for the light which they received, and which was handed down as an inheritance for us, and we are accountable also for the additional light which is now shining upon us from the Word of God.” The Great Controversy, 164.

We have, beyond question, the greatest spiritual light that any generation has ever had. For God to hold us responsible for the light that He has graciously given to us is nothing new in the plan of salvation. It has always been true. Adams states that the people he admires most are “those who never dwell on the subject of perfection or sinlessness.” The Nature of Christ, 120. When we remember how frequently Ellen White did dwell upon these subjects, going into print more than 4,500 times, often in entire articles, we recognize that Ellen White could have no place on the list of persons whom Adams admires most. One of her most inspiring statements is found in Christ’s Object Lessons, page 69:

“Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then he will come to claim them as His own.”

Adams devotes three and a half pages to arguing that this statement does not mean what it says, and even dares to rewrite it: Here are his words: “. . . we may now rephrase the first statement as follows: When the spirit of unselfish love and labor for others will have fully ripened in the character of His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” The Nature of Christ, 128.

“No focus here on sinless perfection,” writes Adams. Indeed? In the second paragraph before her inspiring statement, Ellen White had written:

“The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 68.

And in the third paragraph before this she had written: “Christ is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts of men; and He does this through those who believe in Him. The object of the Christian life is fruit bearing—the reproduction of Christ’s character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others.” Ibid., 67.

If this is not a focus on character perfection, pray tell, what is it? And how can Adams be justified in applying the principle of fruit bearing only to concern for others when she applied it to the reproduction of Christ’s character in the believer? In the book Christ’s Object Lessons, thee are actually a total of 62 statements that focus on character perfection. Perhaps the most relevant of them is on page 331:

“Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you cannot overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.”

We would earnestly recommend that Dr. Adams give this passage his careful and prayerful attention and not attempt to solve his problem by “rephrasing” it. As for the colossal effrontery of daring to rewrite the Spirit of Prophecy, Ellen White has spoken on that subject also.

“My Instructor said to me, Tell these men that God has not committed to them the work of measuring, classifying, and defining the character of the testimonies. Those who attempt this are sure to err in their conclusions.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 49.

We may well pause to consider the seriousness of this man’s condition. He not only presumes to rewrite the testimonies but the rewriting itself is hideously incorrect and consists of gross misrepresentation. I do not recall that I have ever borne against any work such a strong testimony as I am now bearing against this man’s work, but I feel that I have no choice. As I complete my analysis of the Adams book and note its appalling distortions of the Scriptures, distortions of the Spirit of Prophecy, and even distortions of the history of our church, I am filled with dismay. When I consider that it was written by an associate editor of the Review, printed by the Review and Herald Publishing Company, and carries on its back cover recommendations from officers at the highest level of Adventist officialdom, I am driven nearly to despair. But God has promised that He will preserve His people in a purified church, so we must persevere, regardless of how dark are the prospects before us. We need to remember that most of the apostasies in Israel were initiated by church leaders. Why should we expect it to be different in our time?

But the report of my analysis is not finished. On page 90 of his volume, Adams writes of Andreason’s “facile admonitions to ‘get rid of sin’ and ‘do it now, today.’” We have already noted that Ellen White issued such “facile admonitions” several thousand times. Here are some samples:

“We can overcome, fully, entirely.” Signs of the Times, November 18, 1886.

“There is no reason why we should not be overcomers.” Signs of the Times, March 9, 1888.

“It is our privilege to be overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” Review and Herald, April 8, 1909.

And thousands more. But we must go on. On page 89, Adams faults Ron Spear for teaching that the Holy Spirit gives power to keep the repentant soul from sinning. Ellen White testifies to this truth 102 times, like this:

“When the people of God yield themselves to be controlled entirely by the Holy Spirit, in them will appear that Christlikeness which is in accordance with the richness and grandeur of the truth.” Signs of the Times, May 8, 1893.

“The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul.” Ministry of Healing, 94.

On page 85, Adams writes, “We are not saved by trying to duplicate (Christ’s) victory.”

Ellen White testifies 41 times like this:

“We can, we can reveal the likeness of our divine Lord.” Review and Herald, April 4, 1912.

“Christians must be like Christ. They should have the same spirit, exert the same influence, and have the same moral excellence that He possessed.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 249.

On page 97, Adams assures us that victory over some sins is impossible and that God bears with them until the end. Ellen White again disagrees. She not only assures us that we can fully overcome (see above), she also warns that a failure to do this will disqualify us for heaven.

“We must conquer in the name of Jesus, or be conquered.” Signs of the Times, June 10, 1903.

“We shall either overcome our evil traits of character, and become like Christ, or we shall cherish our defects, and fail of the divine standard.” Review and Herald, March 17, 1891.

Many more such disagreements with Ellen White are found in Adams’ book, but we cannot detail them all here. How does he deal with these problems? By a technique that has been used by virtually all of the Calvinistic writers among us. He writes of Ellen White’s seemingly conflicting statements” (page 116), her “apparently conflicting statements” (page 119), and her “apparent contradictions” (page 119). We affirm in response that Ellen White is not disagreeing with herself; she is disagreeing with her Calvinistic interpreters and “rephrasers”, as she should.

Adams does not even shrink from proposing that his readers challenge us with the lunatic question, “Are you perfect?” Although other Calvinists have done this, I still find it so incredibly inane that I marvel when I see it. To ask this question is to betray an enormous incompetence in the Scriptures, in the Spirit of Prophecy, and even in common sense. In the oldest book in the Bible, Job testified, “Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul.” Job 9:21. Ellen White offers similar testimony 25 times:

“Those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never indulge in the thought that they are sinless.” Review and Herald, January 18, 1881.

“Those whom Heaven recognizes as holy ones are the last to parade their own goodness.” Youth’s Instructor, June 5, 1902.

As for common sense, how would you estimate your own humility? Shall I say to people, “You know folks, one thing I like about me is that I am so humble? I am probably the most humble minister in this conference. If you want to see a man who is really humble, just take a look at me!” What kind of sense would that make? Yet Calvinists continue to think that they have confounded us when they ask this senseless question. Is not their condition desperate?

In a chapter entitled, “What Is Sin?” Adams divides sin into four categories and argues that two of the categories can be overcome but the other two cannot. Over against this we have the testimony of Ellen White that we may attain to the full stature of men and women in Christ (36 statements), that we can reflect His likeness (41 statements), that we can live lives of holiness (70 statements), that we can reach moral perfection (135 statements), and that we can reflect the moral image of God (135 statements). She then warns us in 48 statements that there will be no change of character when Christ comes. How did Adams miss all of this?

On page 23, Adams faults Joe Crews for affirming that emphasis was intended by the writer of Hebrews 2:14 in the words “HE—ALSO—HIMSELF—LIKEWISE” took part of the same flesh and blood that we have. [Emphasis by Crews.] Adams says that this emphasis is improper since “the apostle did not write in English” and the words are “merely a matter of English idiomatic style—now nearly 500 years old.” But the words are all there in the Greek.



Also—He himself—likewise, in like manner

The Greek lexicons define autos like this:

“Self, intensive, setting the word it modifies off from everything else, emphasizing and contrasting.” Gingrich [Italics mine]

“Self, as used to distinguish a person or thing from or contrast it with another.” Thayer
“Of oneself, by oneself, alone.” Liddell and Scott

“Of oneself, of one’s own motion, alone.” Greenfield

Did Adams suppose that we had all lost our Greek New Testaments? This is a 2,000 year-old Greek idiom, not a 500 year old English idiom.

We could go on, but we cannot afford to spend overmuch time chasing the devil’s rabbits. We trust that enough evidence has been presented to demonstrate the character of Dr. Adams’ book, The Nature of Christ. And we must sadly admit that it is not essentially different from the other Calvinistic writings that have preceded it. Calvinism began in the Seventh-day Adventist Church through a statement about the nature of Christ in the book Questions on Doctrine that was a methodological monstrosity and an historical fraud. Calvinism has been maintained and promoted in our church by writings that have not departed from that pattern of distortion and misrepresentation, as we now see in the Adams book.

It is with an enormous sense of relief and refreshment that we turn from this to the pure waters of life in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Let others find their satisfaction in the contaminations of Calvinism if they so desire. We have something better. We have no need to drink from broken cisterns. We have a cause that will carry us through to the kingdom of God and will plant our feet upon the sea of glass. We have a truth that shines more brightly from every conflict with error and will emerge totally victorious in the end. It is a truth that is more precious than life itself. Let us hold it fast!

“The time has come when things must be called by their right names. The truth is to triumph gloriously, and those who have long been halting between two opinions must take their stand decidedly for or against the law of God. Some will take up with theories that misinterpret the Word of God, and undermine the foundation of the truth that has been firmly established, point by point, and sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The old truths are to be revived, in order that the false theories that have been brought in by the enemy may be intelligently met. There can be no unity between truth and error.” Upward Look, 88. {Emphasis mine.]

In closing, let us permit Ellen White to ask a few questions:

“Why should we not perfect a Christlike character?” Youth’s Instructor, February 20, 1896.

“Shall we not give up our sins, and let them go?” Review and Herald, Mary 5, 1904.

“Shall we now, at once, cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God?” Review and Herald, January 31, 1893.

“Why should we not walk with God, as did Enoch? Why should we not have the transforming grace of Christ daily?” Review and Herald, January 31, 1893.

And the most solemn question of them all:

“And you that have not sanctified your souls by obeying the truth, do you expect that Christ at His appearing will make you ready? There will then be no atoning blood to wash away the stains of sins.” Review and Herald, August 17, 1869. [Emphasis mine.]

We are forced to recognize that there is hopeless disagreement between Adams and Ellen White, a problem that Adams seeks to solve by rewriting her messages and changing her words to make them agree with his Calvinistic errors. Shall we imperil our souls by following Adams, or shall we put our confidence in the words of God’s chosen messenger?

What would you recommend?

To Judge or Not to Judge?

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained by brother.” Matthew 18:15. Many times I have people who come to me when they have a problem with a brother or a sister and say, “You know, Pastor Hector, I am having this problem with this brother; he is doing this, that, and the other.” Do you know that the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are not to go to our pastor and talk to him about a problem that we are having with someone else until we have followed Matthew 18? Because I love them, I say, “Time out, my brother. Have you talked to this person yourself, first?” Too often we neglect to do this.

“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Verse 16. How many of us do this? We claim that we do, but we do not. Let us be honest with ourselves. “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church.” Verse 17. Here are the basic steps of gospel order to deal with clearing up problems between individuals.

Let us suppose that you decide to follow gospel order and you come in love to that brother or that sister and say, “My brother, I want to help you because I have a concern. I saw that you were doing such an such a thing which you should not be doing.” Are you following Matthew 18? If you are going to him in love and in kindness and humility, how do you think that brother is going to respond to you?

I have an open invitation to every member in our church that if they see me doing something wrong; I want them to come and tell me so that I can correct it. Recently I had a brother at Living Waters Church come up to me and say, “Pastor Hector, I saw you do this, and you should not be doing it.” I said, “Thank you for showing me this problem area in my life.” Why should we not do this with one another? We need to stop playing games and be honest with each other.

There are three possible things that could happen to you when you go to a brother as Matthew 18 has commanded us to do. He will thank you from the bottom of his heart because he is sincere about getting ready for the coming of the Lord; or he may say, “You know, I had better stay away from the church because they are watching everything I do.”

The third thing that might happen is that that person may deny that they have a problem. They may be self-deceived into thinking that it is you who has the problem. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” Proverbs 21:2. Then he may tell you, “I know that you came to me in love, brother, but I have to tell you that you are judging me.” And so he takes you to Matthew 7 and says, “’Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?’ (Verses 1–3). Why are you looking at me? Don’t you see what Scripture is saying here? Go solve your own problems before you come talk to me.” Then he dares to read verse 5 to you. “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Remember, you started out in love and concern for this individual; but now you have offended him. “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like bars of a castle.” Proverbs 18:19. Have you ever visited a person who is on the other side of the bars? As long as those bars are closed, it is impossible to get through. It is often the same way with the heart of a brother or a sister whom you have offended.

Suppose that this brother now reads to you: “The reason is plain why Christ has said, ‘Judge not;’ for it is natural for man to exalt his own goodness. . . . If we looked upon things in the right light, we should see that we need mercy from Christ every moment, and should render the same to our brethren. Jesus has not placed man upon the judgment-seat; for He knew human nature too well to give man the power to judge and condemn others.” Review and Herald, January 3, 1893. How do you feel now? You are probably feeling very small. And then he continues, “He knew that in their fallible judgment, they would root up some as tares, who were worthy of their sympathy and confidence, and would pass by others who deserved to be dealt with in a decided manner.” Now this is very interesting because when this brother reads this to you, he is going to become a little confused. Did you notice what it said? “He knew that in their fallible judgment, they would root up some as tares, who were worthy of their sympathy and confidence, and would pass by others, who deserved to be dealt with in a decided manner.” [All emphasis supplied.]

Now what does that mean? If we are not supposed to judge, how do we deal with people in a decided manner? We are told, “When there are cases in the church which need to be dealt with decidedly, let the rule of the Bible be carried out. If the influence of erring members has an influence that corrupts others, they should be disfellowshipped; and heaven will ratify the action. It is the work of the enemy to sow tares among the wheat; and there will be men found in the church whose influence, as far as we can discern from outward appearance, is no blessing to the church.” Ibid. Pretty heavy words! It continues, “But even in cases of this character we are to move cautiously; for Christ and heavenly agencies are at work to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Ibid.

What do we do when people are hindering the work? “God has given us our work, and if He has given us a message to bear to His people, those who would hinder us in the work and weaken the faith of the people in its truth and verity are not fighting against the instrument, but against God, and they must answer to Him for the result of their words and actions.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 433.

I want to ask you a question. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, did God still love and forgive them? Yes, He did. He provided a plan of salvation for them. If, however, God loved them so much, why did they have to be removed from their original home? Because there are consequences to our actions. “They must answer to Him for the result of their words and actions. All who have spiritual discernment may judge of the tree by its fruits.” Ibid.

Earlier we read that we were not supposed to judge, but now we are being told that we can judge the fruits. You see, it is not left up to me to determine the eternal salvation of an individual; I can never judge anyone and tell that they will not be in heaven. God has not given us the power to do that, but we are to judge the fruits.

How do we judge the fruits of an individual? “The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of all who profess sanctification. . . . The Bible will be to them ‘profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.’ ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ We need no other evidence in order to judge of men’s sanctification; if they are fearful lest they shall not obey the whole will of God.” Review and Herald, October 5, 1886. Are you confused? The Bible tells us not to judge and now it says that “we need no other evidence in order to judge of men’s sanctification.” My brothers and sisters, all of us are different; but we are supposed to bear the same fruit. Do you get the point?

“Our Lord does not leave us in darkness as to whom to trust. Here is the rule by which to decide; ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.’” Signs of the Times, October 29, 1885.

We are supposed to give the light to the world. “‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ Our thoughts and purposes are the secret springs of action; and hence determine the character. The purpose formed in the heart need not be expressed in word or deed in order to make it a sin, and bring the soul into condemnation. Every thought, feeling, and inclination, though unseen by men, is discerned by the eye of God.” Signs of the Times, March 25, 1886.

We all need to reflect the character of Jesus Christ that men may see our good works. If we will be attentive to Christ’s voice, our characters will be blameless, harmless, and faithful, making us one of the chosen ones. We will be godly, guileless, holy, humble, hungry for righteousness, led by the Spirit, loving, lowly, meek, merciful, pure in heart. Do we have all of these traits of character? If we were to have all of these traits of character, people would not view us in the same light as the rest of the world. We would have the reputation of being Christians.

Unfortunately, most of us have a decidedly different character. The character of the vast majority of people in this world, even of those professing to be followers of Jesus, is one of alienation from God. They are blasphemous, blinded, boastful. Now as you read these characteristics, remember that it is by their fruits that you will know them. They are boastful, conspiring against the saints. They are corrupt, deceitful, disobedient, foolish, fraudulent, hard-hearted, hating the light. They are heady and high-minded, hypocritical, lying, selfish, and stiff-necked.

Now let me ask you something. If you find an individual with these character traits, would you have these people in responsible positions in your church? Why not? Are they exemplifying the character, or fruits of our Saviour, Jesus Christ? The problem today, however, is that we are finding too many people with all of these character traits who think that we, as a people, are not supposed to judge them. They believe that we are supposed to let them get away with anything and still allow them to stand in the desk and deliver a sermon, or take part in Sabbath School, or perform whatever other responsibilities that they may have. It is impossible that it should be this way. We are duty bound to not allow it to. Why? Because by their fruits, we are to know them.

When we refuse to allow such people to continue to function in responsible capacities, are we casting them away? No, we are not. We are merely saying, “We are no longer playing games in this church, my brother or my sister. You go home and put your house in order so that people see something different in you. When we see fruits of the Spirit in you, you can join us once again in this work that we are doing. We will pray for you, and you may join us in church and listen to the sermons. You may be admonished and edified with us, but do not expect to minister to us when we know that you are not demonstrating in your life the fruits of the Spirit.”

Today, we need to understand, my brothers and my sisters, that the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy tell us to watch the fruits of individuals because it is by their fruits that we are to know them. The next time that you come to an individual about a problem that they have, remember to first do a deep searching of your own heart and ask, “Lord, is there anything in my life that I need to change?”

And, if someone comes to you with something that you are doing wrong, instead of putting them off and refusing to listen, look in the mirror of the Law of God. Most of the time, when someone comes to you and reveals a problem in your life, it is not something that they have fabricated. It is the result of actions that they have seen and things that we have done.

Are you sincere enough to stop and consider what this brother or this sister is bringing to you? Have you come to a place in your Christian experience where you are willing to kneel down and say, “Lord, I know there are problems in my life; please help me; I want to be used in Your service; I cannot continue to go on the way that I am going? How can I go to church and pretend to be something that I am not?” It is time to stop playing games, my brothers and my sisters. This is serious business. And when you are involved in the gospel work, you had better have your house in order. As I mentioned earlier, I made a public request at Living Waters Church that if there is ever a time when I do or say anything that I should not be saying or doing, please come to me and let me know what it is. I want to know about it. And you know, if you do this in your church, the Lord is going to bless your church magnificently.

Consider, how much time do you spend looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning before you leave the house? We all spend a great deal of time making certain that we look the best that we possibly can. Have you put the Law of God in that mirror?

Each morning when we leave our houses, we need to pray to the Lord that He will help us to submit our wills to Him daily so that we can walk in the newness of life. And when someone comes to you, listen to that brother. I do not care who this person is, even if it is a person who is critical all of the time, listen to what he has to say, because maybe there is a fault that you need to see. Never cast away a brother or a sister who comes to you. If they are willing, be willing to kneel down with them, thanking them for coming to you and revealing these things in your life, remembering that we will be known by our fruits.

What Goes Around Comes Around

For over one hundred years, Seventh-day Adventists have known that the time is coming when all who refuse the mark of the beast will be faced with a death decree. But friends, there are going to be many Seventh-day Adventists who will never reach the point where their life is threatened. Without realizing it, their minds will have already come under the control of Satan long before the crisis arrives.

The first method of mind control that we looked at was the attempt to change the terminology. Change the terminology and you will change the way a person things about the subject. As an example, we showed how rebuke has been called criticism, thereby changing the way people relate to it.

The second method is actually more deceptive than the first. In this method, the same words are used; but they are given a different meaning. Has anyone ever asked you, “Do you believe that the church is going through?” Well, of course you believe that; but the real question is, Who and what is this church that is going through?

There have been some Historic Adventist preachers who have made statements like, I don’t believe in sarcasm.” Now that sounds like a very pious thing to say. In Webster’s dictionary, 1828, it says that sarcasm is an expression that is uttered with some degree of scorn or contempt. Accordingly, a Christian will never, ever utter a sarcastic word.

I am bringing this up because when you get to studying cybernetic warfare, you find that eventually a person goes contrary to the direct command of Jesus in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” In this same chapter, Jesus also said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Verses 16–20. Therefore, on the basis of the Word of God, we can check the fruit, which is a person’s words and actions; but we do not have authority to say what motives they may have had in speaking those words.

Let me give you an example. “And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is mediating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.” I Kings 18:27–29. In twentieth century English, that is sarcastic speech; but I do not have the authority to say whether Elijah had the feeling of contempt in his heart toward these people. That is God’s prerogative, and that is one of the problems that you run into when you start changing definitions of words. Eventually you get to assigning motives to other people.

To the person lacking spiritual vision, it appears that the agents of God and those of Satan are doing the same work. Because of God’s agents rebuke and reprove, sometimes with severity, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this reproof and rebuke is interpreted by unconverted hearts to have been given from the same motives that they themselves feel when making such remarks. You see, we judge things on the basis of our own motives and heart and experience. That is why the Bible says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” And so it is that the person who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks the words of God in reproof and rebuke finds his words interpreted as sarcasm, faultfinding, criticism, and condemning.

Many years ago there was a life insurance salesman in the United States by the name of Vash Young. He wrote a book entitled The Go-Giver. In this gook he wrote about a number of his experiences. One of the conclusions that he came to was that the average human being makes about 85% of his decisions on any subject based upon his feelings or emotions; but he needs about 15% of logic and reason to justify that feeling or emotion. Now cybernetic warfare, when we say changing the terminology of the word involves communicating an emotional picture to a person’s imagination which influences that person’s decisions and get his sympathy in a desired direction. Often this desired direction can be completely contrary to the facts.

Suppose that you invited my daughter and me to come along with you for a ride and a picnic in the mountains. However, when the time comes, I notice that there are not enough seat belts to go around and, in addition, that your car does not have very good tires. Rather than hurt your feelings by referring to the poor condition of your car, I just tell you that I have decided that I would rather not go. Suppose, then, that a couple of days later a friend of yours calls me on the telephone after talking to you and tells me that you informed him that I boycotted your picnic and he was wondering why I would do anything so traitorous as this.

Ellen White says that, “It is a fact widely ignored, though never without danger, that error rarely appears for what it really is. It is by mingling with or attaching itself to truth that it gains acceptance.” Education, 230, 231. Very often these mind control techniques are a perversion of something that actually is true. Is it true that I did not go on the picnic? Yes. But how has my decision been described? It has been described by words that have a very powerful, negative, emotional connotation. I receive letters all of the time in which this technique is used.

Deuteronomy 6:6–9 says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” What is the principle here? If you really want to learn something, you expose your mind to it over and over again.

Experts in mind control techniques understand this principle. Did you now that this principle of repeating something over and over again is one of the main principles upon which all propaganda is based? When you hear something you immediately have to do one of two things. You have to decide whether to accept it or to resist it. It does not matter whether the information is true or false; if it is repeated often enough and you are not resisting it, you will believe it. That is the way the human mind is made, and the devil knows it.

When you hear a minister speaking, do you believe what he has to say on the basis of the Word of God, or because he has said it? Not too long ago I received some videos. The person doing the speaking would consider himself an Historic Adventist preacher. I did not have the time to watch them, so I asked a relative of mine to watch them for me and tell me what he heard. It was reported to me that on these videos, the minister made a particular statement. I asked my relative if the person speaking had shown that statement to be true from the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy? “No,” he replied, “he didn’t prove it, but he repeated it 12 times throughout that video.”

If you are not asking the questions, “Is this substantiated in the Word of God?” and resisting everything that is not, after something is repeated 12 times you are going to believe what you are told. You will probably write me a letter or call me on the telephone and tell me about it. It happens all of the time.

This same principle also applies to the speaker. Something repeated over and over again, even if it is not true, eventually becomes truth to the one speaking it, until he will believe it so thoroughly that no one can convince him otherwise. In the effort to get other people to think a certain way, you will influence yourself.

Ellen White tells us that in the last great crisis, “Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority.” The Great Controversy, 592.

Of what law are you an enemy? Well, you are an enemy of the Sunday law, obviously, so you are an enemy of order. In our society, does that send a strong, emotional message that will turn people against you? It certainly does! When this type of information is broadcast on radio and television, you will find that people will accept it; and immediately their emotions will be stirred to a white-hot heat. If you have already experienced, in a degree, this sort of thing, the Lord has just allowed it to take place in your life to harden you up and get your ready for the real attack that is coming.

Let me tell you, friends, we are living in the time when the vast majority of the people in this world are going to be subject to mind control without realizing it is taking place. They will believe that they are about to enter the most wonderful period of human existence that there has ever been. (See The Great Controversy, 588, 589.)

How are you going to escape this? Only by being grounded on the foundation of God’s government—love to God and love for your fellow man. These are the two fundamental principles. If these principles are not in your heart and in mine, if you are not manifesting them in your family or where you work or with the people you associate with, you are not going to make it. I used to naively think that studying the Bible so that I would know the truth would be sufficient; but I want to tell you that unless the truth about Jesus and the love of Jesus has taken possession of your heart, all of the theoretical knowledge is not going to hold you in the battle we are entering.

“That which distinguishes the character and conduct of Christians from all others is the principle of holy, Christlike love, which works in the heart with its purifying influence. The true Christian will work the works of Christ in giving expression in deeds of love one to another. With this living, abiding, working principle in life and in character, no one can resemble the world. If you know the character and works of Christ, you will know the disposition and conduct of Christians. Christ hated evil so much that sin and evil met a strong rebuke from His lips and from His example. While He hated sin, He loved the sinner. . . .

“How much greater strength you might have had as sons and daughters of God had you loved God supremely and your neighbor as you love yourself. How much higher ground you might stand upon if you had been following on to know more and more of the truth and gathering more and more divine light to shine forth in good works to all around you.

“Your works are not pleasing to God but pleasing to the enemy.

“You have lessons to learn in the school of Christ before you will be fitted for heaven. Your self, your ways, your sharp traits of character make you unskillful in dealing with minds and hearts. . . . If you allow yourselves to be dictatorial, accusing, and judging your brethren, and with unsanctified hearts and unholy tempers seeking to mend their wrongs, you do unskillful work and drive souls away from the service of Christ. . . .

“You must take hold of God with one hand while with the other hand, in love, you lay hold upon the erring and the sinner and draw them to Jesus. Pray with them, weep with them, feel for their souls, love them, and never let go of them. This is the love Jesus has expressed for you. You must ever strive for unity and forbearance and love. Never draw apart, but press together, binding heart to heart and making supplications in the Spirit. Then the power of God will work in your midst and many souls will be brought to the truth through your influence.” Manuscript 32, 1887.

Now, friends, I believe in missionary work with all of my heart, and I believe in proclaiming the gospel and the Three Angels’ Messages; but if we are going to get the kind of results that God wants us to have, we must love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourself. It may take a great deal of prayer to know what Jesus would do in the situation in which you find yourself right now, but ask the Lord to teach you how and what to do.

There was a Bulgarian pastor who was taken captive by the Communists. They tried again and again to break him down, but they could not. He said that during the 13 or 14 years that he was in a prison camp, his captors considered him the number one enemy because what he represented would destroy their system. In telling his experience of being beaten and tortured, he said that he noticed that many of the soldiers who were administering this torture became just like animals. At the very time that these people were losing all human feelings and emotions, among some of the prisoners an amazing thing took place. There would be men who, because their jaws had been broken as a result of their beatings, could not take a piece of bread and eat it. Some of their fellow prisoners would take the bread and break it up into small pieces and put in into these injured prisoner’s mouths so that they could get some nourishment. As the torturers were becoming satanic in their nature, there were prisoners who were becoming godlike.

I want to tell you, friends, in the midst of the great crisis that we are entering right now, there is going to be a world full of people who will be like the devil in human flesh. But in the midst of all of this horror, there are going to be some people who will become and exact reflection of the character of Jesus Christ. And, friends, if you live until the end, it is going to be one way or the other with each of you. The only way that you are going to survive is if you have the love of Jesus in your hearts—you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind—and you have love for your fellow man so that nobody can induce you for anything to do something to hurt or harm one of your fellow men because you love others with all of your heart. If you have that love in your heart, they will not be able to break you down. This is the only thing, friends, that will hold you.

Editorial – Letter 55

Letter 55 is a most heart-searching letter from Ellen White that applies directly to the times in which we are living. You can read the entire letter in Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 318–328. Some of the main points are quoted below. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not” [Luke 13:34]! God forbid that these words shall apply to those who have had great light and blessings. In the rejecting of Jerusalem it was because great privileges were abused, which brought the denunciation upon all who lightly regarded the great opportunities and precious light that were entrusted to their keeping. Privileges do not commend us to God, but they commend God to us. No people are saved because they have great light and special advantages, for these high and heavenly favors only increase their responsibility. The more and increased light God has given makes the receiver more responsible. It does not place the receiver in any safer position unless the privileges are wisely improved, prized, and used to advance God’s glory.

When Jerusalem was divorced from God it was because of her sins. She fell from an exalted height that Tyre and Sidon had never reached. And when an angel falls he becomes a fiend. The depth of our ruin is measured by the exalted light to which God has raised us in His great goodness and unspeakable mercy. Oh, what privileges are granted to us as a people! And if God spared not His people that He loved, because they refused to walk in the light, how can He spare the people whom He has blessed with the light of heaven in having opened to them the most exalted truth ever entrusted to mortal man to give to the world? . . . “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” [Proverbs 14:34]. Sin is a disorganizer. Wherever it is cherished—in the individual heart, in the household, in the church—there is disorder, strife, variance, enmity, envy, jealousy, because the enemy of man and of God has the controlling power over the mind.

God never forsakes people or individuals until they forsake Him. Outward opposition will not cause the faith of God’s people, who are keeping His commandments, to become dim. The neglect to bring purity and truth into practice will grieve the Spirit of God and weaken them because God is not in their midst to bless. Internal corruption will bring the denunciations of God upon this people as it did upon Jerusalem. Oh, let pleading voices, let earnest prayer be heard, that those who preach to others shall not themselves be castaways. My brethren, we know not what is before us, and our only safety is in following the Light of the world. God will work with us and for us if the sins, which brought His wrath upon the Old World, upon Sodom and Gomorrah and upon ancient Jerusalem, do not become our crime. All the policy in the world cannot save us from a terrible sifting, and all the efforts made with high authorities will not lift from us the scourging of God, just because sin is cherished. If as a people we do not keep ourselves in the faith and not only advocate with pen and voice the commandments of God, but keep them every one, not violating a single precept knowingly, then weakness and ruin will come upon us. It is a work that we must attend to in every one of our churches. Each man must be a Christian.

The voice of the true watchman needs now to be heard all along the line, “The morning cometh, and also the night” [Isaiah 21:12]. The trumpet must give a certain sound, for we are in the great day of the Lord’s preparation. All the struggles to carry our appeals to the highest authorities in our land, however earnest and strong and eloquent may be the pleas in our favor, will not bring about that which we desire unless the Lord works by His Holy Spirit in the heart of those who claim to believe the truth. We may struggle as a mighty man in swimming against the current of Niagara, but we shall fail unless the Lord pleads in our behalf. God will be honored among His people. They must be pure; they must be divested of self, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. The Lord will elevate the humblest soul that trusts in Him. He will unite His power with human effort if that man will honor Him as did Daniel. But as a people we need the beauty of righteousness, holiness, and truth. The most harmonious theory will not save us. The God that ruled in Babylon is the same God that rules now. We are to be ready and waiting for the orders of God. Nations will be stirred to their very center. Support will be withdrawn from those who proclaim God’s only standard of righteousness, the only sure test of character. And all who will not bow to the decrees of the national councils and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast. Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our self-righteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ.

That which God required of Adam before his fall was perfect obedience to His law. God requires now what He required of Adam, perfect obedience, righteousness without a flaw, without shortcoming in His sight. God help us to render to Him all His law requires. We cannot do this without that faith that brings Christ’s righteousness into daily practice. Dear brethren, the Lord is coming. Lift up your thoughts and heads and rejoice. Oh, we would think that those who hear the joyful news, who claim to love Jesus, would be filled with joy unutterable and full of glory. This is the good, the joyful news which should electrify every soul, which should be repeated in our homes, and told to those whom we meet on the street. What more joyful news can be communicated! Caviling and contention with believers or unbelievers is not the work God has given us to do.

If Christ is my Saviour, my sacrifice, my atonement, then I shall never perish. Believing on Him, I have life forevermore. Oh, that all who believe the truth would believe in Jesus as their own Saviour. I do not mean that cheap faith unsupported by works, but that earnest, living, constant, abiding faith that eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. I want not only to be pardoned for the transgression of God’s holy law, but I want to be lifted into the sunshine of God’s countenance. Not simply to be admitted to heaven, but to have an abundant entrance. Are we so insensible as a peculiar people, a holy nation, to the inexpressible love that God has manifested for us? Salvation is not to be baptized, not to have our names upon the church books, not to preach the truth. But it is a living union with Jesus Christ, to be renewed in heart, doing the works of Christ in faith and labor of love, in patience, meekness, and hope. Every soul united to Christ will be a living missionary to all around him. He will labor for those who near and those afar off. He will have no sectional feeling, not interest merely to build up one branch of the work over which he presides and there let his zeal end. All will work with interest to make every branch strong. There will be no self-love, no selfish interest. The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain. Letter 55, 1886. (Written from Basel, Switzerland, to G. I. Butler and S. N. Haskell, December 8, 1886).