A Light in the Darkness

It is hard to determine whether it was in the first century that these apostolical men planted the Christian religion at Milan, and the diocese there-unto belonging; or whether it were done in the second century; forasmuch as Milan was a considerable city in those primitive times, and we find that the Church es of Lyons and Vienna were already famous in the second age, by reason of their martyrs, apostolic men having first of all preached in the capital cities, that the Gospel from thence, as the head spring, might diffuse itself throughout the whole diocese, and so facilitate the propagation thereof.

I do not think any man can precisely define the time of their preaching, those first disciples having been much more careful to preach the Gospel, than to write the history of it.

Concerning the state of the Christian religion in the diocese of Italy, until the end of the fourth century. [It will be recognized by the reader that the church in Italy was in more or less a state of apostasy even in the second century, but nonetheless, several ancient customs still remained as follows]

Neither did they, without doubt, own any other tradition, besides that of St. Irenaeus, that nothing ought to be laid down for certain truth, but what Jesus Christ hath taught, or the Apostles written, and left to the apostolical Churches as a sacred depositum.

They had Deacons, who expounded also the Gospel, who distributed the Eucharist, who carried it to those that were absent, who baptized, and who sometimes, in less considerable places, had the oversight of Churches. They were ordinarily those that visited the sick and prisoners, and that took care of the temporal concerns of the Church.

The Diaconesses, who were of apostolical institution, and received the imposition of hands, and who, together with the virgins and widows, made, as it were, a part of the Clergy, were employed to instruct the women in their houses, to visit the prisoners, and to prepare and dispose those of their own sex for the reception of Baptism.

In the fourth century images began to be introduced into some churches, viz. The pictures of martyrs: but they knew nothing yet of painting the Deity, or of giving the images any religious worship.

In the fourth century they consecrated churches but to God alone, they read only in the churches the canonical Scriptures, with the respect due unto the word of God; to which they afterwards joined some hymns composed by some men of great renown.

They celebrated fasts that were very different as to their duration. Some of these fasts were kept every week, on Wednesday and Friday; the church of Rome fasted also on Saturday. These days of fasting having not been instituted by the authority of the Apostles, according to the general consent of ancient Christians, and every one using them with great liberty.

The body of Christian Churches continued united together by the bond of one and the same faith, and by the mutual care which every Bishop took to keep up the same zeal for the purity of manners, as for that of faith. If there happened any difference, the Bishops and the Priest of the same province assembled, and determined the matter, without any appeal: and it was not till the midst of the fourth century, when the dioceses were better formed, that the Council of Sardica granted to Pope Julius, Bishop of Rome, the privilege of examining afresh all causes that had been determined in the provincial synods; which however never took full effect, all the Greeks, and a great part of the Latins having rejected that Canon. The Bishops of Rome endeavored to attribute and preserve to themselves this authority, though they could never bring it about, but by means of the favor of the Emperors Gratian at the end of the fourth age, and of Valentinian the Thire in the midst of the fifth age.

This was the general state of the Church, whilst under the heathen persecutions, and after having endured the furies of Arianism, which almost wholly laid her waste, during the fourth century.

The opinions amongst the ancient Christians upon many questions of divinity being very different, they made use of great forbearance one with another, as long as they did but agree in matters of faith.

Every diocese was looked upon as being independent of all other authority: so that what respect soever they might have for apostolical Churches, [churches founded by one of the apostles] yet did not they think themselves obliged to follow them, in case they were persuaded that they had violated the purity of the faith.

[In the early part of the ninth century a great reformer arose in Turin by the name of Claudius, who was made bishop of Turin. He wrote voluminous commentaries on various parts of the Bible. He is referred to by Ellen White. She said, “The first question which arises in my mind as we enter one after another of these large cities, is, Would not this be a good place to present the truth? But here, [Turin] as in Milan, we are told that the people are nearly all Catholics. The time was, however, when this was not the case. It was here in the ninth century that Claudius contended so valiantly for the doctrines of the Christian Church. The mantle of Ambrose, archbishop of Milan, descended upon him, and, grasping the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, he waged a battle which did much to delay, although it could not prevent, the final overthrow of his church. The influence of his pen was felt where his voice could not be heard, and was a mighty instrumentality in preserving, even in the Waldensian valleys, then a part of his diocese, the first principles of the Christian religion.” Review and Herald, June 1, 1886.]

[Claudius Bishop of Turin] overthrows the doctrine of merits, pronounces anathema’s against traditions in matter of religion: maintains, that faith alone saves us, holds the church to be subject to error, denies, that prayers after death may be of any use to those that have demanded them; broke down images throughout his diocese, and [wrote a defense] against the adoration if images, the worship of saints, pilgrimages, the worship of relics, with other such like superstitions.

God commands us to bear our cross, and not to worship it.

He only is apostolic, who is the keeper and guardian of the Apostle’s doctrine, and not he who boasts himself to be seated in the chair of the Apostle, and in the mean time doth not acquit himself of the charge of the Apostle; for the Lord saith, that the Scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses chair.

Ellen White writes, “Our visit to the Waldensian Valleys was one of special interest on account of the close connection which this locality has with the history of the people of God in past ages. It was in the friendly shelter of the surrounding rocky peaks that they found protection when the fierce persecutions of the Roman church drove them from the fertile plains of Northern Italy. In these plains they had succeeded in maintaining their independence of Rome many years after others had yielded to her power.

Indeed, up to the eleventh century, the diocese of Milan is said to have greatly exceeded in extent that of Rome. But the very fact that her authority was disregarded on what might be called her own territory, was very humiliating to a power to whom all the world was then bowing down; and, after repeated unsuccessful attempts to induce the bishops of Milan to yield their independence, they were finally forced to submit.

“The submission, however, was by no means universal. Many refused to yield their rights, and fled, some to one country, some to another, while many retired to the Piedmontese Alps. ‘Behind this rampart of mountains, Which Providence, foreseeing the approach of evil days, would seem to have reared on purpose, did this remnant of the early apostolic church of Italy kindle their lamp, and here did that lamp continue to burn all through the long night which descended upon Christendom.’ ” Historical Sketches, 239.

Excerpts from Some Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Church of Piedmont, (The Waldenses) by Peter Allix (1821) (First edition published in 1690.)

John Wesley, An English Reformer, part 1

The little village of Epworth lies between the Trent, the Don and the Idle Rivers, on the Isle of Axholme, in northern England. This became the home of John Wesley who was born on June 17, 1703.

His father, Samuel, was born a gentleman and made himself a scholar. He went to school at Stoke Newington with Daniel Defoe and received instruction from Charles Morton, who later became vice-president of Harvard College in New England. He was raised a dissenter from the Church of England. He eventually served as chaplain on a man-of-war and as a curate in London. His final home was in Epworth as the rector of that village. Besides his scholarship, Samuel Wesley was noted as a poet and was one of the editors of the Athenian Mercury.

He served several terms as a representative of the diocese of Lincoln to the legislative body of the Church of England and fought for the independence of the lower house from the dominantly Whig house of bishops.

John was the second son and the fifteenth child, his elder brother Samuel was thirteen when John was born.

The rectory was burned when John was six years old and he was barely saved by the help of some neighbors. His father had given his son up for lost, so when he received him back he said that John was “a brand plucked from the burning.” The father took this as a sign that God intended great things for the boy.

Samuel was very unpopular with the people of the village due to his being a clergyman and a Tory. Also Nathaniel Reading, an attorney and collector of taxes, was a friend of his. In addition to this, he was a strict disciplinarian asking about the private lives of his parishioners and enforcing the rules of the church. Besides burning his house down, the “resentful Islonians” stabbed his cattle and maimed his sheep. The family lived in poverty as a result of the rectors running into debt and he had to appeal to his patrons to help pay his creditors.

“Unable to associate with the villagers, whom they regarded as clods and worse, cut off from the great world by miles of sullen, turgid waters, living in poverty galling to their gentility, the Wesley household was a world unto itself. And the Wesley children bore to their graves marks of their isolation, of their confinement to the weary, monotonous fen lands, of their resentment of poverty and suffering. They were all more or less eccentric; at least four of the girls made unhappy marriages; one of them brought shame on the country rectory.” Umphrey Lee, The Lord’s Horseman, 19.

The life of the Wesley family was not all gloom. The mother, Susannah, had the marvelous ability to manage her brood, teaching them to cry softly and fear the rod. The children spent six hours a day in the home school where the mother taught them the Lord’s prayer as soon as they could speak. After the age of five she taught them to read, and at the end of the day the older children read to the younger ones.

John was an exasperating child, demanding a reason for everything. His father, having been provoked to anger remarked to his wife, “I profess, sweetheart, I think our Jack would not attend to the most pressing necessities of nature unless he could give a reason for it.” Ibid., 20.

At the age of eleven, in 1714, the boy was nominated by the Duke of Buckingham to Charterhous, a school in London. At the age of seventeen, John entered Christ Church, Oxford College. He was a normal schoolboy, dabbling in verse and enjoying tennis and river sports. During his academic days his health was not always the best, so he turned to the medical field. He read many books on health and one especially which “recommended temperance and exercise forbidding highly seasoned meats, and advised drinking two pints of water and one pint of wine each twenty-four hours.” Ibid., 28.

On September 19, 1725, he was ordained deacon. Following this, in 1726, he was elected Fellow of Lincoln. This election, which included a stipend, gave him financial independence. With this independence John did not remain idle, but continued his academic studies and received a master’s degree in 1727.


Special Leave


He took special leave, twice in the next three years, to help his father by preaching at Epworth and Wroote. Wesley kept a detailed diary of his daily activities giving us a clear picture of a man well bred, interested in the souls of his parishioners, while at the same time unmindful of his own soul and body.

By this time Wesley had become acquainted with the writings of William Law, especially his latest book, Christian Perfection. The works of this man awakened his passion for the pursuit of holiness, first for himself and then for others. John attempted to introduce Law’s discipline into the Wesley family with tragic results. The father ordered him out of the house if he continued with his “apostolical nostrums.”

In 1729, Wesley received a call to return to Oxford. He lectured on Greek, Philosophy and Logic. As a teacher he was faithful and thorough. But other interests were beginning to develop in the heart of this teacher. Charles had founded a club at Oxford while John was in Epworth with his family.

John joined this club and soon became the leader. Under his leadership it became “one of the most famous in modern religious history.” Ibid., 33. George Whitefield, who later became famous as an open field preacher, joined the club. Benjamin Ingham, another well known man, joined the club. He later left the Church of England and took up with the Moravians.

The activities and philosophy of the club included attending church services and partaking of the Lord’s supper. In addition they met together in John Wesley’s room for devotions and careful study of the Greek New Testament. They also visited the sick and prisoners and organized classes for poor children. Their own funds, along with solicited money, were used to relieve the poor and occasionally to obtain freedom for a man imprisoned for debt. Wesley continued to study vigorously and read a formidable list of books, all the while carrying on a large correspondence that took a whole day each week.

By now John’s father was coming to the end of his life and he appealed to his son to come take his place in the rectory. John’s reply was that he considered that he was better able to promote holiness in himself and others at Oxford.

James Oglethorpe, a distinguished soldier and apostle of prison reform, called John Wesley in 1732 to go as a missionary to the Georgia colony he had set up. Wesley wrote, on October 10, 1735, that his main reason for going was for his own soul’s salvation. He hoped to learn the truth of the gospel by preaching to the “heathen.” Charles Wesley was also hired along with Benjamin Ingham, for the colony.

During the voyage (December 10 to February 5), they encountered at least three storms. One of these storms was so violent that the English screamed out in fear while the German Moravians sang a psalm showing no fear. Wesley was impressed by the calmness of these people.

Wesley hoped to be a missionary to the Indians, but he had agreed to take care of the parish of Savannah until another minister should arrive. A few days after his arrival John Wesley was visited by an Indian Chief named Tomo-chachi whom he called “king” of the Savannah nation. The king came with a request that the white priests feed the Indians with milk for they were only children. The king complained to Wesley that the Spanish and French were building forts and the English traders were liars.

The people in the Georgia colony became disenchanted with Wesley because of his high church leanings and his insistence that his parishioners adhere to the rigid discipline of the church. Then something happened which added fuel to the fire of opposition to him.

He had become involved emotionally with Sophia Hopkey, who at one point wished that John would ask for her hand. He solicited advice from his Moravian friends, but they did not give him any encouragement. Because of his hesitancy, the young lady ran off with another man. As a result of that action, Wesley refused to admit her to Communion because she did not communicate her intentions.

Along with all the other unhappiness, Sophia’s husband brought suit against Wesley. The Grand Jury indited him on ten counts, nine of which related to ecclesiastical usages, such as refusing to baptize a child but by immersion and refusing to read the burial service over the body of a dissenter. Wesley refused to plead on the ecclesiastical charges stating that the court had no jurisdiction in these matters. He asked for an immediate trial on the tenth point, which was regarding the charges of Sophia. The trial never occurred.




Disappointed with the hostility of the parishioners of Savannah and the fact that the Indians were not interested in being instructed in Christianity, Wesley left Georgia in December of 1737 and returned to England. He said, “I went to America, to convert the Indians, but oh, who shall convert me?” Ibid., 61.

Upon his return, he gave a report as to the condition of the colony stating that many had left and that the colony was in critical condition. He was cleared of the charges against him and his resignation was accepted. He looked back on his experience in Georgia and his passion for Sophia as a victory over his lower nature.

There were four advantages Wesley had realized from his time in Georgia. 1. He had learned to read German, French, Spanish and Italian. 2. That he had to leave the direction of his affairs with the Lord. 3. He had lost his fear of the sea. 4. He had become acquainted with the Moravians whom he found to be model Christians.

“Looking over this characteristic summary of personal losses and gains in Georgia, one can understand the way which Wesley was going. His search for Christian perfection through self-discipline, by good works, by a strict adherence to what he believed to be the practice of the Primitive Church, his discouragement as the result of his experiences in the New World, all prepared Wesley for a rearrangement of his life pattern. He was ready for a mystical conversion of the type recorded by Luther and Paul—although not of the type recorded by Augustine.” Ibid., 64.

The following experience occurred and was recorded by Wesley on Wednesday, May 24, 1738. “I think it was about five this morning, that I opened my Testament on those words, . . . ‘there are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should be partakers of the divine nature.’ . . . Just as I went out, I opened it again on those words, ‘Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.’ In the afternoon I was asked to go to St. Paul’s. The anthem was, ‘Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. O let Thine ears consider well the voice of my complaint. If Thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it? For there is mercy with Thee; therefore shalt Thou be feared. O Israel, trust in the lord for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his sins.’

“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Ibid., 65.

Following this, Wesley began a program of attempting to persuade others to have the same conversion he himself had experienced. His brother Charles had been converted a few days before and he supported John in his efforts to influence others. In later years John would change his mind regarding the necessity of others having the same inner change that had developed in his own heart and life.

“John . . . was now all aflame with the ambition to visit Herrnhut, in Saxony, the home of the Moravians. He had embarked for Georgia hoping to learn the true gospel by studying the reactions of the ‘noble savage’ to his preaching; disappointed there, he now believed that Herrnhut would prove his spiritual El Dorado. He had now, he thought, learned the first lesson of the gospel; he hoped that ‘conversing with those holy men who were themselves living witnesses of the full power of faith, and yet able to bear with those that are weak’ would be a means of ‘establishing’ his soul. He plunged at once into plans for this new pilgrimage and on the twelfth of June left for Germany.” Ibid., 66, 67.


In the Wilderness

Today, many who call themselves Adventist Christians are in spiritual trouble. Many are floundering in the winds of doctrine that blow with the currents of popular theories. It is astounding to see who becomes entangled in the web of the heresies and strategies of the enemy. The shaking time is upon us. Now is the time to press together in truth, but we must know what the truth is, or we will press together with the wrong people!

An important part of the truth for these last days is the knowledge of how the battle is fought; the principles of the warfare. Many do not think this is important! But when you know how the enemy thinks, you have an advantage that can be achieved no other way. Some people think this knowledge is sinful, and that is exactly what the enemy would like. He wants to be cloaked in obscurity until it is too late for his victims to escape.

In this shaking time, Satan’s mightiest efforts are put forth to hide himself and to lull “Christians” into his brand of eternal security. He understands from prophecy that we are in the last days. He has put together an agenda and formed a strategy to carry it out. His greatest fear is that we will learn how he operates and call upon God for our defense in the final struggle for supremacy. It cannot be overemphasized that now we must know who we serve and who we are fighting. It is now that we must choose to be either soldiers of the cross or slaves of the enemy. We have no other choice. To refuse to take part in the battle, to refuse to fortify the mind with truth (which includes knowing how the enemy operates), is to defect to the enemy’s side.

As the battle rages more furiously, we must know what God would have us to do. When war comes to our shores we would be traitors to be indifferent, much less openly use our influence for the enemy. So, in the “great controversy” will we deceive others into believing that God wants us to remain complacent? But this is happening and it is disturbing to see who is involved in this work of deception. The vital lesson each individual must learn is to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus; to lean on Him—not the arm of flesh; to study diligently and then decide to serve the Lord or the enemy.




Through the workings of providence, Abraham’s descendants found themselves in a land of strangers. There they became slaves to a cruel tyrant and for several centuries were forced to serve the enemies of God. But God did not forget His chosen people. He watched what was happening. When the prophetic time was fulfilled, God delivered His people and set them free.

Moses was chosen of the Lord before he uttered his first word. As God made provision for Israel’s deliverance, He has made provision for each one of us if we will cooperate with His plan. God, who can see the end from the beginning, knows what is best for us.

After Moses had been trained by the Lord, God prepared a way of escape for Israel and brought them into the wilderness on the way to the promised land. From this wilderness experience we can learn many lessons that will be valuable to us in our own last day struggles.

As we witness God’s tenderness with His ancient people, how He miraculously saved them from their enemies, our faith grows stronger knowing that He plans to repeat these actions. He has proven that He is willing and well able to accomplish what He sets out to do. The parting and closing up again of the Red Sea, to save His helpless children, tells of the great love of our Heavenly Father.

The lessons regarding the Sanctuary, of how it was built with volunteered generosity and for what purpose, holds lessons that are essential for us. This is not “extra curricular” work for God’s students, but a major portion of required academics. A knowledge of our sanctuary message is extremely important, and without it we are not Seventh-day Adventists.


The Mixed Multitude


Today, attacks of many kinds are being leveled against the fundamental principles of our faith. We are in the wilderness and we are not alone! We have a company of the “mixed multitude” with us.

God’s people, under the oppression of slavery, had forgotten His law. In the wilderness God gave the Ten Commandment Law to His freed children and renewed the old covenant with them. He would be their God and they would be His people as long as they obeyed Him. God said, This is righteousness and this is evil. And they answered, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Exodus 19:8. Their welfare was in direct relationship to their loyalty to that agreement.

Alas, while Moses was still in the mount, the faith of God’s children grew dim. As a result of weak spiritual leadership in the camp, the mixed multitude, including the “professed” children of God, led the children of Israel into idolatry. This is happening before our very eyes today.

You and I will be deceived if we are only children of God by profession. We will think we are all right when we are all wrong. We will think ourselves wise when we will be at the height of spiritual foolishness. Those who play the game of popularity are in the greatest danger! They cannot be trusted. We should have compassion for these people. We should continue to work under God’s guidance to alert them to their danger. But as a practical matter we must not allow them to have any degree of influence over us.


The Golden Calf


In the incident of the golden calf we see lessons for us today. God chose Aaron to be a leader among His children. He told Moses at the burning bush that Aaron would help him lead His people out of bondage and into the Promised Land. Aaron was second in command under Moses. The people looked to Aaron for spiritual guidance. He was in charge during Moses’ absence.

“But while Moses was thus receiving instruction from God, the people were corrupting themselves at the foot of the mount. The mixed multitude that came from Egypt with the Israelites were the principal movers in this dreadful departure from God. They were called a mixed multitude, because the Hebrews had intermarried with the Egyptians.” The Signs of the Times, May 13, 1880.

“In this multitude were not only those who were actuated by faith in the God of Israel, but also a far greater number who desired only to escape from the plagues, or who followed in the wake of the moving multitudes, merely from excitement and curiosity. This class were ever a hindrance and a snare to Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 281.

“During the period of waiting, there was time for them to meditate upon the law of God which they had heard, and to prepare their hearts to receive the further revelations that He might make to them. They had none too much time for this work; and had they been thus seeking a clearer understanding of God’s requirements, and humbling their hearts before Him, they would have been shielded from temptation. But they did not do this, and they soon became careless, inattentive, and lawless. Especially was this the case with the mixed multitude. They were impatient to be on their way to the Land of Promise—the land flowing with milk and honey. It was only on condition of obedience that the goodly land was promised them, but they had lost sight of this . . . The ‘mixed multitude’ had been the first to indulge murmuring and impatience, and they were the leaders in the apostasy that followed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 315.

In the above three statements are a multitude of spiritual treasures for those seeking them. Are “Adventist” people intermarrying with the “Egyptians” today? If their offspring in the ancient days were part of the mixed multitude that “were ever a hindrance and a snare to Israel,” what should this piece of history teach us? How about those “who desired only to escape from the plagues, or who followed in the wake of the moving multitudes merely from excitement [sensationalism] and curiosity”? What does it mean that this class was “ever a hindrance and snare to Israel”?

Scripture tells us, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11. The Lord will teach us many things if we are humble students. We need to learn lessons from sacred history and apply them to our present time.

“In the absence of Moses, the judicial authority had been delegated to Aaron, and a vast crowd gathered about his tent, with the demand, ‘Make us gods, which shall go before us . . . Such a crisis demanded a man of firmness, decision, and unflinching courage; one who held the honor of God above popular favor, personal safety, or life itself. But the present leader of Israel was not of this character. Aaron feebly remonstrated with the people, but his wavering and timidity at the critical moment only rendered them the more determined. The tumult increased. A blind, unreasoning frenzy seemed to take possession of the multitude. There were some who remained true to their covenant with God, but the greater part of the people joined in the apostasy. A few who ventured to denounce the proposed image making as idolatry, were set upon and roughly treated, and in the confusion and excitement they finally lost their lives.

“Aaron feared for his own safety; and instead of nobly standing up for the honor of God, he yielded to the demands of the multitude.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 316–317.

The good news for us today is that we do not have to depend on a human leader for our salvation. In fact just the opposite is true. Throughout history the Lord has chosen men to lead and this last vestige of time is no different. But we are not to give them priority above God. Our service is to be God first and man second. There are no exceptions to this rule. Any leader who demands loyalty to him is a false leader. A true leader will lead others to Jesus and away from himself.

It matters not if it is a Conference President, a General Conference President or an Independent Leader; to follow man in place of God and give him prominence above God is spiritual death. Let us not rationalize into self-deception on this issue. We are witnesses to those around us as to what we really believe. We need to follow the admonition to the Laodiceans: “Anoint thine eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:1, 8. We must make our calling sure in Jesus Christ. God will not accept or save us if we worship any man. The first commandment is: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3. We must ever remember that the yardstick of the true and faithful is the lovely Jesus Christ and not man. With singleness of purpose and God’s help we must determine to give our best and foremost to Jesus. Then our generous support may be given to those whom God has raised up who continually prove their calling by God’s methods.

We just do not have any time left to play games with these vital truths. We must realize that many, as did ancient Israel, will fall at the hands of the mixed multitude, within the Adventist movement. In view of this sobering fact we should be strongly motivated to use the short probationary time we have left to do our part in God’s army. If we truly wish eternal life, joy, and peace, for ourselves and others, we will cease to seek popularity and political correctness among men. We will seek to be in harmony with Jesus Christ the Founder and Finisher of our faith.

“How often, in our own day, is the love of pleasure disguised by a ‘form of godliness’! A religion that permits men, while observing the rites of worship, to devote themselves to selfish or sensual gratification, is as pleasing to the multitudes now as in the days of Israel. And there are still pliant Aarons, who, while holding positions of authority in the church, will yield to the desires of the unconsecrated, and thus encourage them in sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 317.

We appeal to leaders and laity alike to seek that greater treasure which has its origin not in this world but in the one to come. Let us press together in the strength and truth of our gracious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Onward and upward!! Higher ever higher.

“If Aaron had had courage to stand for the right, irrespective of consequences, he could have prevented that apostasy. If he had unswervingly maintained his own allegiance to God, if he had cited the people to the perils of Sinai, and had reminded them of their solemn covenant with God to obey His law, the evil would have been checked. But his compliance with the desires of the people, and the calm assurance with which he proceeded to carry out their plans, emboldened them to go to greater lengths in sin than had before entered their minds . . . Of all the sins that God will punish, none are more grievous in His sight than those that encourage others to do evil. God would have His servants prove their loyalty by rebuking transgression, however painful the act may be. Those who are honored with a divine commission are not to be weak, pliant time-servers. They are not to aim at self-exaltation, or to shun disagreeable duties, but to perform God’s work with unswerving fidelity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 323–324.


Children’s Story — Left to Die

The Somme River rises above St. Quentin, near the Belgian border, in northern France, and flows into the English Channel. In what was once a rich farming area near the river, the astounding scene took place.

Before the war, this man was an irreligious man. He had attended some evangelistic meetings once but did not become a Christian. After entering the war he was shipped to France. As he was crossing an open field, shrapnel struck him down. His fellow soldiers left him as they deemed him dead.

“I could hear the battle,” he related, “and the humming of bullets was all about me. I saw that I was bleeding and hoped that a corpsman would find me. But night came without one person coming near by the bit of a hollow where I fell.

“The next morning I was very weak from the loss of blood and from hunger. I had a little food in my knapsack but was unable to turn over or to unbuckle my straps to get it. I realized that I was lying in my own blood. I was helpless and giving myself up to die.

“Five days later, the medical corpsmen were out in the field searching for any one who could possibly still have life in him. I saw them come closer and closer. I tried to call to them, but they were too far away to hear my weak voice.

“Closer and closer they came. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, one of them stopped, cupped his hand to his ear, and heard my plea for help. After administering some first aid, he called to a companion to get a stretcher. When the two of them started to take me off, I asked them to look around and see if they could see what had saved my life. Puzzled and thinking I was delirious, they started on with their task.

“Wait,” I cried, “at least look at the evidence of what has happened.” After seeing those ten definite objects of proof that I had miraculously been preserved from starvation, we made our way to the mobile army surgical hospital.

“In the portable hospital tent, I had time to reflect back on the astounding way in which that God I had rejected in those evangelistic meetings had not rejected me. I gave my heart to Him and vowed to go back home, look up the people who held the meetings, and allow them to help me become a real bonafide Christian.

“My testimony of God’s stunning battlefield protection was confirmed by the two medics so that no one would miss out on the power of it all through doubt or disbelief.

“You see, when I could not turn over or unbuckle my strap with my one free arm so that I could eat the meager provisions of my K-rations, the Lord interceded.

“Lying there the morning after my being wounded, I first thought I was having a hallucination, because standing near the very tip of the five fingers of my one free hand was a real, live hen!

“What’s more, the hen laid an egg right then and there!”

“I broke the egg, cupping most of its contents in one half of the shell, and swallowed it. It was not much, but it was enough to keep me alive until the next day.

“What’s even more wonderful is the fact that this same hen that I saw walk slowly away after laying that first egg came back to almost the very same spot the next day to lay another egg.

“The hen came from a nearby shelled farm house, an orderly told me later. But it came five days in a row. And the corspmen saw the ten halves of the five eggs broken by my body.”


By W.A. Spicer from the book The Hand that Intervenes, 33–35.


The Tongue of Slander

During the rise and progress of the third message, the tongue of slander has not been silent. Men will use the best arguments they have. When unable from the Bible to meet the positions of those who teach unpopular truth, some will resort to slander as the next best argument. The case is sometimes felt to be urgent and even desperate. Truth is mighty. The people will hear, and some will obey. These are frequently the best members of the various religious bodies. Efforts at argument from the Bible, in opposition, fail to silence the voice of truth, and in some cases turn the minds of many of the people to the truth. Something must be done. And it is painful to record, that in many cases professed ministers of Jesus Christ deal in smut and blacking, and stoop to invent and repeat the vilest slanders to prejudice the people against those who plead for the truth of God.

“There are hundreds of ministers in the United States who, if disturbed in their quiet possession of the ears of the people, by the proclamation of the unpopular truths of the third message in their vicinity, would take delight in repeating the old threadbare falsehoods concerning ascension robes, and the like, to cut off the influence of the servant of God.

“In almost every place where our ministers give discourses upon the second coming of Christ, and the necessary preparation for that event, they have to labor against the prejudices of the people, caused by reports of the inconsistencies of Adventists; one of which is, that at a point of expectation in the past, many of them did prepare robes of white linen, and put them on ready to ascend and meet their coming Lord.

“While all sane persons, who have any knowledge of what the holy Scriptures do teach of the necessary preparation to meet the Lord as he shall descend from Heaven, will agree that to prepare a literal white robe made of cloth as a fitting preparation for the transit from earth to Heaven, from mortality to immortality, must be an indication of downright insanity, none will see in such an act evidences of criminality.

“But I do not believe that anything of the kind ever occurred. I have been actively engaged in the proclamation of the doctrine of the second advent for more than twenty-five years, and have traveled and preached in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Canada, and have not met a person who has seen an Adventist thus attired, or one that was able to give better proofs that anything of the kind ever did occur than vague reports. I have never found the place where the thing occurred. It was always in the next town, county, or State.

“Again, reports in relation to this matter, and slanders of a similar nature, have a hundred times been denied in Second-Advent periodicals, and proofs have been called for of the truthfulness of these statements. No one has been able to produce the proofs. But still the tongue of slander takes delight in repeating the old threadbare falsehood. Elders Loughborough and Strong met it at Orange, Michigan, in January, 1868, and Elder Cornell met the same at Johnstown, Michigan, a few weeks later. In both cases the miserable untruth was declared from the pulpit by professed ministers of Jesus Christ.

“The people, generally, credit the statements of these ministers, and conclude that the story of ascension robes is true. Especially do those who are not favorable to Second-Advent views enjoy this sort of clerical slander. And the fact that our people are not always prepared to meet it, is the reason why I have felt called upon to notice the matter at this time.

“In 1847, while on our passage in a steamboat from Portland, Maine, to Boston, Massachusetts, Mrs. W. was speaking to those around her in the ladies’ cabin, of the fearful storm we encountered in a recent passage between these two cities. She spoke of the importance of being always prepared for the close of our probation, either at death, or at the coming of Christ. A lady near her replied:

“ ‘That is the way the Millerites talk. I mean to have a jolly good time before I become a long-faced Christian. The Millerites are the most deluded set on earth. On the day they were expecting Christ to come, companies in different places put on their ascension robes, and went into graveyards, and upon the tops of houses and high hills, and there remained, praying and singing till the time passed by.’

“Mrs. W. then inquired of the lady if she saw any of these persons thus attired. She answered:

“ ‘No, I did not see them myself, but a friend who saw them told me. And the fact is so well understood everywhere, that I believe it as much as though I saw it myself.’

“At this point another lady, feeling that the testimony of the first should not be questioned, stated:

“ ‘It is of no use to deny that the Millerites did put on ascension robes, for they did it in towns all around where I live.’

“Mrs. W. asked this lady if she saw them with their robes on. She replied:

“ ‘No, I did not see them, as they were not in my immediate neighborhood. But it was commonly reported and generally believed, that they did make ascension robes and put them on.’

“By this time strong feelings were evidently controlling these two ladies, because Mrs. W. did not seem to credit what they said against the Millerites. And the first in the conversation stated with emotions of excitement and passion:

“ ‘I know it was so. I fully believe the testimony of those who have told me these things. I believe what my friends have told me about those fanatical Millerites, the same as though I saw it myself.’

“Mrs. W. then inquired of her for the names of some persons who had figured in this fanatical movement. She stated if the putting on of ascension robes was so very common, certainly she could give the names of some. To this she replied:

“ ‘Certainly I can give you names. There were the twin Harmon girls in Portland. My friends told me that they saw their robes, and saw them going out to the graveyard with them on. Since the time has passed, they have become infidels.’

“A school-mate of Mrs. W., who had never been an Adventist, was in that cabin, and had watched the conversation with mirthful interest. She had been acquainted with the Harmon girls during the entire period of their Second-Advent experience. She could no longer restrain her feelings, and broke out in a laughing mood, as she pointed to Mrs. W.:

“ ‘This is one of those twin Harmon girls. I have known them always, and know that this report of their making and wearing ascension robes is all a lie. I never was a Millerite, yet I do not believe that anything of the kind ever took place.’

“The storm that was fast arising in that cabin suddenly abated, and there followed a great calm. Mrs. W. then stated that all the stories about ascension robes were probably as destitute of truth as this one concerning the twin Harmon girls.

“Elder Josiah Litch, lately editor of the Advent Herald, Boston, in his history of the rise and progress of Adventism, makes the following statement:

“ ‘Those periods came and passed with no unusual occurrence. As soon as they had gone by, a flood of scoffing, reviling and persecution burst forth, not from the infidel world so much, but from the professed friends of the Saviour; the most idle and foolish stories of ascension robes, and going out into the graveyards to watch, going to the tops of the houses, etc., etc. These were repeated again and again, both from pulpit and press, until the public were, many of them, at least, almost persuaded to believe them true.

“ ‘How, or where they originated, except in willful falsehood, we cannot devise. Some of the reports of that character, we happen to know, originated with professed ministers of the gospel, who gave date and place when there was not a word of truth in the whole story. Others must have originated in a similar way.’ ”

The foregoing, relative to the ascension robes, was given in the Review and Herald for April 14, 1868. The article closed with the following paragraph:

“Fifty dollars reward is offered to any person who will present unquestionable proofs of the truthfulness of the statements, that believers in the second advent of Christ, on the day of expectation, did put on ascension robes. Those who can produce such proofs, are requested to forward them immediately to the writer, at Greenville, Montcalm County, Michigan, and receive fifty dollars by return mail.”

Up to this date, July 13, 1868, no one has responded in the way of furnishing proofs that anything of the kind ever took place. Why this silence on the part of our friends, as well as our enemies, if there be the least semblance of truth in the statements upon this subject, gravely made by ministers in the desk as a part of the gospel they preach? If proofs exist, why can we not have them? The reader should regard these statements about ascension robes, which opposing clergymen have the credit of repeating, more than any other class, as malicious slanders, until he has reliable proofs that something of the kind occurred.

The Review and Herald for May 20, 1868, has the following from Elder J. H. Waggoner, which fairly represents this matter of ascension robes:

“Brother White’s remarks on the falsehoods circulated on the above subject, remind me of an incident that transpired some years since in Wisconsin. A Mr. H., an M.E. preacher, deriding the Adventists, said: ‘It is a fact that they prepared and put on ascension robes in 1844.’ At the close of his remarks I stated that I was very anxious to learn about the facts on that subject, and asked him to give particulars, as to where, by whom, etc. He said that it was not always convenient to give the evidence on matters which had transpired years in the past, and he could not then comply with the request. I turned to the congregation and said:

“ ‘He has said it is a fact. Now if he does not know it to be a fact, he has made a false statement. If he knows it to be a fact, he can procure the evidence of the fact. As he has an appointment here four weeks from today, I give notice that I will be here at that time to get his statement; as that will give him time to get the information. If it occurred anywhere, it will be easy to prove it in that locality. I hope the people will all be here to get the facts he may present.’

“Being thus pressed to make good his assertion, and having the expectation of the people raised on it, he saw the necessity of doing something, and promptly confessed that he knew nothing about it, but had heard such a report!

“The way the report ran was well illustrated by the following case: A Brother T., who had lived and labored in Buffalo, and attended the Advent meetings there, was working in Erie in the fall of 1844. After the set day passed, the report spread in Erie that the Adventists in Buffalo put on ascension robes. He was so grieved over their folly, and troubled in his mind, that he determined to visit his friends in Buffalo and talk with them about it. Landing at Buffalo, he met an acquaintance, not an Adventist, who did not know where he came from. He asked if any of the Adventists in Buffalo had put on ascension robes. ‘No,’ said his friend, ‘but they all did in Erie!’ A smile by Brother T. led to an explanation. And so it was everywhere. Everybody knew it was so—the place where it occurred could not be found.”

The part which the Spirit of God has led Mrs. W. to act in close connection with the cause of present truth, has called forth against her a spirit of persecution. The apostle says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31. But these have been employed against her by the professed followers of Jesus Christ, with the object to crush her testimony and destroy her influence. In this cruel work, with some the tongue of slander has been “set on fire of hell.”

The work of the Lord through her has been to encourage the weak, comfort the desponding, exalt the standard of morality and true piety, and reprove sin in all its forms. And why should not the dragon rage? Why may we not expect to see those who are imbued with the spirit of the father of lies, delighting themselves in the most slanderous falsehoods against one who may be engaged in such a work? Such has ever been the work of Satan in all past time, and ever will be, till he is bound. And he has ever found, and ever will find, willing tools to do his work in opposition to the work of God. And these are more frequently found among ministers than any other class. The following from Elder M. E. Cornell, which occurred on his route from Battle Creek to Ionia, will illustrate the wicked course of some of those who love to be called “Reverend:”

“While on the cars, a circumstance occurred which shows the necessity of Brother White’s article on Clerical Slander. A Presbyterian minister from Gratiot County was making special efforts to attract attention to himself by his endeavors to amuse the passengers. Among other things, he states that Mrs. White had a vision at St. Louis, Gratiot County, Michigan, that she was to leave her husband and take another man; that a man might have as many wives as he chose. He then made some, not very refined, remarks and witticisms, which excited laughter in some, but disgust in the pure-minded. In the cars were several clergymen, and many intelligent ladies and gentlemen from several different States. Of course we could not let such a base slander pass, and a wrong impression go to so many different places; we therefore watched for a chance to correct the misstatement.

“An intelligent Jew soon entered into conversation with him, and turned the tables on him by relating an old slander against Martin Luther, that he had a child by his own daughter, etc. The minister was aroused. Said he, ‘It is a base slander, invented by his enemies. There is not a particle of proof of any such thing.’ He then came down upon the Jew with the most cutting reproof for making such a statement from hearsay evidence. Now our time had come. The measure he had meted to others had been immediately measured to him again.

“We then stated to the passengers that we had known Elder White and his wife for sixteen years, and that the statement made by the clergyman was an unmitigated slander. First, Mrs. White never had a vision in Gratiot County; and second, she never had a vision anywhere, of any such nature as had been stated. We then challenged him to stop at Owasso, with any of his friends as witnesses, and we would secure for him one thousand dollars, on the condition that he should make good his statement. We urged him to the task with such earnestness, that all in the car appeared to be convinced that he had uttered a slander. He was embarrassed, and said faintly, ‘I heard so’!

“An intelligent Infidel, from Dearborn, Michigan, then rose up, and made some very pointed remarks on hearsay evidence and condemning a whole body of people because of a story about some one of their number. ‘Shall I,’ said he; ‘call the Methodists a set of cut-throats, because several of their preachers are now in our penitentiary? Shall I condemn all ministers because one in our town ran away with Brother M.’s wife last week?’ By this time, the tide was turned completely. Several of the passengers expressed themselves very freely to me, and were anxious to know more about it.” Advent Review for April 28, 1868.

I do not believe that all ministers who differ with us in faith and practice are alike guilty with this man. No decent men, in or out of the ministry, would take pleasure in uttering such vile slander before a car full of ladies and gentlemen, however much he might feel opposed to the religious sentiments of Seventh-day Adventists. I believe there are God-fearing ministers in all the churches who would no sooner bear false witness of a slanderous character against those who are devoting their lives to the cause of Christ, than they would have the same done to themselves. But while these may be few and far between, the experience of a quarter of a century in teaching unpopular truth has taught me that, where personal interest is concerned, there are but very few ministers who will not stoop to the repetition of the vilest slanders, to injure the influence of those who get the ears of the people, if they differ with them. But in reference to the statements of Elder Cornell, I will say:

  1. Mrs. W. never was at St. Louis, Gratiot County, Michigan.
  2. She never had a vision in Gratiot County.
  3. Her standard of morality ever has been the Ten Commandments.
  4. Her views, her public and private labors, her books and oral teachings, have ever been in strict harmony with the law of God, the highest standard of morality on earth.
  5. She has ever borne the most decided testimony against any departure from the principles guarded by the Ten Commandments.
  6. She has borne a public testimony for twenty-five years, in the several States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and in Canada. She has, during this time, written books amounting to more than twenty-one hundred pages, besides many articles for several periodicals. And all who are acquainted with her teachings know that any statement that they are not in strict harmony with God’s standard of morality, is a slanderous untruth. Then let her enemies point to one impure sentence in all her writings, or prove that in her religious teachings she has uttered one unchaste word, or cease their slanderous persecution of a self-sacrificing Christian woman.

But I do not indulge the thought that whatever may be said to show the falsity of statements concerning ascension robes, and the views of Mrs. W., will silence the tongue of slander. No. These ministers know the influence they have with the public mind, and the advantages they have over us in this respect. Regardless of justice and truth, they will doubtless continue to do this scandalous work, wherever the glorious doctrine of the coming of Jesus shall be proclaimed. We can only expose their sin in this thing, and disabuse honest minds.

The dragon is wroth with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The Devil will use any willing tool to slander and abuse the followers of Jesus Christ. Scoffers will scoff, and liars will lie, whether they bear the title of Reverend, or be patrons of brothels. And the higher the position, the greater the criminality. But for all these things will God bring them into Judgment. Those who fear God and keep His commandments, and suffer reproach for the sake of Christ and the truth, will have their reward. Those who employ the vile tongue of slander against them, in order to crush their influence and keep others from obeying the commandments that they may live, will perish in all their villainy. They, also, will have their reward. The True Witness has spoken relative to the present controversy and the final destiny of both classes of actors, as recorded by the prophet John.

First Class. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. These are doing right. Although they suffer for well doing, all the hate and slander that wicked men and demons can invent, their reward is the holy city and the tree of life.

Second Class. “For without are dogs, and scorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Revelation 22:15. These are commandment-breakers, and commandment-haters, and haters of those who keep the commandments of God. They are also noted for two things in particular, namely, loving and making lies. The application of these two items is so natural to these reports of ascension robes and the like, that no further comment is needed. They make lies, and love to publish them from the pulpit and the religious press. But, thank God, in the Judgment they are without. The happiness of those who love God and keep His commandments is then no more to be marred by their poisonous influence. Would God that they would repent of, and forsake, their wicked course, and live, and finally share the holy city and the tree of life. But as they will not do this work, that they may share that reward, their corrupting influence must be borne with Christian patience and fortitude while the controversy lasts.


Food for Life — More On Nature

“In the lessons the divine Teacher gave to those who listened to his discourses, he frequently chose a place beautified with flowers, or surrounded with nature’s varied scenery, such as, fields, well-cultivated, flourishing gardens, and corn fields, rich verdure, and fruitful trees, green hedges, orange, olive, pomegranate and fig trees, adorning the hills, while in contrast to this flourishing and beautiful scenery, would appear the white rocks and barren soil, while the birds of the air, with their varied music, charmed the ear as they were sporting in the air, or flitting from tree to flower. The majesty of Heaven uses these natural similitudes in representing the word sown in the human heart. He binds up his precious truths with the illustrations of nature that as his hearers shall ever after look upon the objects he has connected with his lessons, the heart will be impressed with the great truths he taught them . . .

“God designs we should draw lessons from nature, and make a practical application of these lessons to our own lives. Although we may suffer under disappointments, reverses, and affliction, yet we cannot afford to fret, and walk under a cloud, and cast a shadow upon all with whom we associate. Invalids may imitate nature. They need not be like a withered, decaying branch. Let vegetation, that is clothed in cheerful green, cheer and comfort you, and suggest to you the happiness that you may reflect upon others, by presenting before them the aspect of freshness and cheerfulness, instead of complaints, sighs, and groans, and apparent languor in every step, and an appearance of inability in every move . . .

“Cheerfulness and a clear conscience are better than drugs, and will be an effective agent in your restoration to health. In order for you to be cheerful, you should have exercise. You should have something useful to do. Invalid sisters should have something to call them out of doors, to work in the ground. This was the employment given by God to our first parents. God knew that employment was necessary to happiness. You should have a spot of ground to claim as yours, to tend and cultivate. You may have a pride in keeping out every weed, and may watch with interest the beautiful development of every leaf and opening bud and flower, and be charmed with the miracles of God seen in nature. As you view the shrubs and flowers, remember God loves the beautiful in nature. As you watch the harmonious colors of the various beautiful-tinted flowers of June, bear in mind that God loves the beautiful in human nature formed in his image. A pure, harmonious character, a sunny temper, reflecting light and cheerfulness, glorifies God, and benefits humanity. Inspiration tells us that a meek and quiet spirit in the sight of God is of great price.” The Health Reformer, June 1, 1871.

“None need abandon themselves to discouragement and despair. Satan may come to you with the cruel suggestion, ‘Yours is a hopeless case. You are irredeemable.’ But there is hope for you in Christ. God does not bid us overcome in our own strength. He asks us to come close to His side. Whatever difficulties we labor under, which weigh down soul and body, He waits to make us free.

“He who took humanity upon Himself knows how to sympathize with the sufferings of humanity. Not only does Christ know every soul, and the peculiar needs and trials of that soul, but He knows all the circumstances that chafe and perplex the spirit. His hand is outstretched in pitying tenderness to every suffering child. Those who suffer most have most of His sympathy and pity. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and He desires us to lay our perplexities and troubles at His feet and leave them there.” Ministry of Healing, 249.

Lemon Pie

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 T. grated lemon rind

1/3 cup date rolls

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 t. sea salt

Place above ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Cook in a saucepan on low heat stirring constantly till thick. Cool slightly and pour into a pre-baked piecrust. Refrigerate before serving.


Who and What is the Church?

Who is at the helm of the ship?


“There is no need of doubts and fears that the work of God will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. Let us have faith that he is going to carry the noble ship which bears His people, safely into port. At one time when I sailed from Portland, Maine, to Boston, a storm came upon us, and the great waves dashed us to and fro. The chandeliers fell, and the trunks were rolled from side to side like balls. The passengers were frightened, and many were screaming, waiting in expectation of death. After a while the pilot came on board. The captain stood near the pilot as he took the wheel, and expressed fear about the course in which the ship was directed. “Will you take the wheel?” asked the pilot. The captain was not ready to do that, for he knew that he lacked experience. Then some of the passengers grew uneasy, and said they feared the pilot would dash them upon the rocks. ‘Will you take the wheel?’ asked the pilot; but they knew that they could not manage the wheel. When you think that the work of God is in danger, pray, ‘Lord, stand at the wheel; carry us through this perplexity; bring us safely into port.’ Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?” Signs of the Times, July 15, 1892.

“I know that Satan’s work will be to set brethren at variance. Were it not that I know that the Captain of our salvation stands at the helm to guide the gospel ship into the harbor, I should say, Let me rest in the grave.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 26.


Where are we to get our orders?


“You should remember that the Master of assemblies is here. God does not leave the ship for an ignorant pilot to steer anywhere; He just stands at the helm, and then we work under orders. Now, we want the orders, and we want the orders from the Captain of our salvation.” 1888 Materials, 565.


Who has God promised to carry through the storm?


“The cause is the Lord’s. He is on board the ship as commander-in-chief. He will guide us safely into port. He can command the winds and the waves, and they will obey Him. If we follow His directions, we have no need to be anxious or troubled. In Him we may trust. He bestows His richest endowments upon those who love Him and keep His commandments. He will never forsake those who work in His lines.” Review and Herald, July 16, 1901.


Will a ship go through if men are at the head?


“Every ship sailing the sea of life needs to have the divine Pilot on board; but when storms arise, when tempests threaten, many persons push their Pilot overboard, and commit their bark into the hand of finite man, or try to steer it themselves. Then disaster and wreckage generally follow, and the Pilot is blamed for running them into such dangerous waters. Do not commit yourselves into the keeping of men, but say, “The Lord is my helper”; I will seek His counsel; I will be a doer of His will. All the advantages you may have cannot be a blessing to you, neither can the highest class education qualify you to become a channel of light, unless you have the co-operation of the divine Spirit. It is as impossible for us to receive qualification from man, without the divine enlightenment, as it was for the gods of Egypt to deliver those who trusted in them. Students must not suppose that every suggestion for them to prolong their studies is in harmony with God’s plan. Let every such suggestion be taken to the Lord in prayer, and seek earnestly for His guidance—not only once, but again and again. Plead with Him, until you are convinced whether the counsel is of God or man. Do not trust yourself to men. Act under the divine Guide.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 348.

“Should there be less sermonizing by men who are unconsecrated in heart and life, and were more time devoted to humbling the soul before God, then might we hope that the Lord would appear to your help and heal your backslidings. Much of the preaching of late begets a false security. Important interests in the cause of God cannot be wisely managed by those who have had so little real connection with God as some of our ministers have had. To entrust the work to such men is like setting children to manage great vessels at sea. Those who are destitute of heavenly wisdom, destitute of living power with God, are not competent to steer the gospel ship amid icebergs and tempests. The church is passing through severe conflicts, but in her peril many would trust her to hands that will surely wreck her. We need a pilot on board now, for we are nearing the harbor. As a people we should be the light of the world. But how many are foolish virgins, having no oil in their vessels with their lamps. May the Lord of all grace, abundant in mercy, full of forgiveness, pity and save us, that we perish not with the wicked!” Testimonies, vol. 5, 104.


Are men to control God’s church?


“ ‘The head of every man is Christ.’ God, who put all things under the Saviour’s feet, ‘gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.’ 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22, 23. The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. The Saviour declares, ‘All ye are brethren.’ All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Upon this the weakest may depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.’ The Lord ‘is the Rock, His work is perfect.’ ‘Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.’ Jeremiah 17:5; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 2:12.” The Desire of Ages, 414.


What constitutes God’s church—“the ship”?


“The church is God’s fortress. His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11.


Who will you be connected with if you are truly part of God’s church?


“Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church,—He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church.” Evangelism, 318.


Is apostasy going through?


“Those who apostatize are voicing the words of the dragon. We have to meet the satanic agencies who went to make war with the saints. ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ (Rev. 12:17). Those who apostatize leave the true and faithful people of God, and fraternize with those who represent Barabbas. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’ (Matt. 7:20) . . . There is a decided testimony to be borne by all our ministers in all our churches. God has permitted apostasies to take place in order to show how little dependence can be placed in man. We are always to look to God; His word is not Yea and Nay, but Yea and Amen.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 395.

“Shall we give heed to the warning of Solomon’s apostasy, and shun the first approach to those sins that overcame him who was called the wisest of men? In these days of peril, nothing but obedience will keep man from apostasy. God has bestowed on man great light and many blessings. But unless this light and these blessings are received, they are no security against disobedience and apostasy. When those whom God has exalted to positions of high trust turn from him to human wisdom, their light becomes darkness, and how great is that darkness! Their entrusted capabilities are a snare to them. They become an offense to God. There can be no mockery of God without the sure result.

“Till the conflict is ended, there always will be a departing from God. Satan will so shape circumstances that unless we are kept by divine power, they will almost imperceptibly weaken the fortifications of the soul. We need to inquire at every step, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ As long as life shall last, there is need of guarding the affections and the passions with a firm purpose. Not one moment can we be secure only as we are relying upon God, the life hid with Christ in God. The safeguards of our purity must be watchfulness and prayer. We must do nothing to lower the standard of our religious principles . . . Let none venture into sin as he did, in the hope that they, too, may recover themselves. Sin can be indulged only at the peril of infinite loss.” Review and Herald, February 2, 1906.


Do we struggle with a similar problem as Hus did if we believe the conference must go through?


“ ‘The mind of Hus, at this stage of his career, would seem to have been the scene of a painful conflict. Although the church was seeking to overwhelm him by her thunderbolts, he had not renounced her authority. The Roman Church was still to him the spouse of Christ, and the pope was the representative and vicar of God. What Hus was warring against was the abuse of authority, not the principle itself. This brought on a terrible conflict between the convictions of his understanding and the claims of his conscience. If the authority was just and infallible, as he believed it to be, how came it that he felt compelled to disobey it? To obey, he saw, was to sin; but why should obedience to an infallible church lead to such an issue? This was the problem he could not solve; this was the doubt that tortured him hour by hour. The nearest approximation to a solution which he was able to make was that it had happened again, as once before in the days of the Saviour, that the priests of the church had become wicked persons and were using their lawful authority for unlawful ends. This led him to adopt for his own guidance, and to preach to others for theirs, the maxim that the precepts of Scripture, conveyed through the understanding, are to rule the conscience; in other words, that God speaking in the Bible, and not the church speaking through the priesthood, is the one infallible guide.’ Wylie, b. 3, ch. 2.” The Great Controversy, 102.


Is God’s church the national establishment or grand institutions?


“God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Matt. 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.” Upward Look, 315.

“It is not numerous institutions, large buildings, or great display that God requires, but the harmonious action of a peculiar people, a people chosen by God and precious. Every man is to stand in his lot and place, thinking, speaking, and acting in harmony with the Spirit of God. Then, and not till then, will the work be a complete, symmetrical whole.” Christian Service, 74.


What is God seeking to do for His church ?


“God is seeking to make His church the continued incarnation of Christ. The gospel ministers are the under-shepherds, Christ is the divine shepherd. The members of the church are the working agencies of the Lord. His church will stand out prominently. It is the Lord’s body. With all its working forces it must become one with the great Head. Among the members of Christ’s body there must be unity of action. They are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. This lust has many branches and comprehends much; but those who are partakers of the divine nature will hold the doctrines of God’s word in their purity. The Bible is to be followed implicitly.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 91.

“In Christ our hope of eternal life is centered . . . Our hope is an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast when it entereth into that within the veil, for the tempest-tossed soul becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is anchored in Christ. Amid the raging elements of temptation he will not be driven upon the rocks or drawn into the whirlpool. His ship will outride the storm.” That I May Know Him, 79.


What is the mission of the church ?


“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10.” The Acts of the Apostles, 9.


The Multitude

“Israel had been a favored people; God had made their temple His habitation; it was ‘beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth.’ Ps. 48:2. The record of more than a thousand years of Christ’s guardian care and tender love, such as a father bears his only child, was there. In that temple the prophets had uttered their solemn warnings. There had the burning censers waved, while incense, mingled with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended to God. There the blood of beasts had flowed, typical of the blood of Christ. There Jehovah had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. There the priests had officiated, and the pomp of symbol and ceremony had gone on for ages.” 576. [All page numbered references are from The Desire of Ages by Ellen White.] What was the condition of this favored people when their rightful King came to save them?

God had chosen Israel to reveal God to men, “But the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness.” 28. After the return from Babylonian captivity, schools were established “to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted.” 29.

Finally, the people who God chose to reveal His righteousness to the world became the agents for its destruction. “They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction. The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan . . . The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening the heart. God could do no more for man through these channels.” 36.

Just when this great deception had reached its height, God sent His Son into this world to save it. “At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace . . . the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.” 37.


The Multitude


When Jesus came, what was His work? “It was His work to reach the multitudes who were in ignorance and error. He gave His lessons of truth where they could reach the darkened understanding. He Himself was the Truth, standing with girded loins and hands ever outstretched to bless, and in words of warning, entreaty, and encouragement, seeking to uplift all who would come unto Him.” 298.

“Jesus ministered to the vast multitudes that gathered about Him.” 349. “The Saviour’s teaching moved their hearts as they hung entranced upon His words.” 716. The sick, the lame and the blind flocked to Jesus. The dying were laid at His feet. He healed the sick, cast out devils and raised the dead. His power was felt in the hearts of men. They recognized the teaching of Christ as superior to all that had ever been given.

“Those who received the heavenly instruction He was always ready to impart were greatly blessed. As the multitudes followed Christ through the open fields, He unfolded to them the beauties of the natural world.” 524, 525. “Multitudes who were not interested in the harangues of the rabbis were attracted by His teaching.” 205.

After Christ was rejected in Judea, He moved His work to the seaport towns along the Sea of Galilee. At first His work among them seemed very successful. “To those busy towns about the Sea of Galilee, heaven’s richest blessings had been freely offered. Day after day the Prince of life had gone in and out among them. The glory of God, which prophets and kings had longed to see, had shone upon the multitudes that thronged the Saviour’s steps. Yet they had refused the heavenly Gift.” 489.

How could the multitude that had “hung entranced upon His words,” refuse the heavenly gift of love? Evidently, the satisfaction that comes from hearing a powerful, truth-filled sermon is not enough. Even the sermons from the lips of Jesus did not keep the multitude. How did it happen that the multitude turned from following Jesus? How could their love turn to hatred and their praise to curses so quickly?


An Innovation


One of the main reasons the multitude rejected Jesus was because He did not come the way they expected Him to. They looked upon the priests and rabbis as “the church.” They always believed that the Messiah would come through the priestly system. But they looked on Jesus work as an innovation. Webster’s defines that to be: “the introduction of something new,” “a new idea, method or device.” You could say that the people looked at the priests as “the” organization and they looked on Jesus as a “new” organization. Oh yes, they were impressed with Jesus, but they did not surrender their lives to the truth He taught. They failed to see that the church is where the truth is.

Multitudes of Jews began rejecting Jesus even when they were impressed with Him. They made the fatal mistake of not realizing the absolute authority of truth. “They were impressed by the divine authority of Jesus; but with them the influence of the priests and rulers was paramount. They regarded Christ’s mission as an innovation, and questioned His right to interfere with what was permitted by the authorities of the temple.” 164. They stifled their convictions of truth because Jesus had offended them, and fell back to their pre-conceived opinions of how the Messiah was to appear.


A Cross


The multitudes loved the blessings that Jesus came to bestow. But, to deny self, to endure ridicule and hardship, they would not accept. They “did not desire to see the cross in the work of Christ.” 415. But Jesus was very explicit. He said, “whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27. “If men could have had the world with Christ, multitudes would have proffered Him their allegiance; but such service He could not accept.” 383.

The cross is not optional if one is following Jesus—it is a part of salvation. “They must walk in the narrow path traveled by the Man of Calvary, if they would share in the gift of life and the glory of heaven.” 391.

“When the crowds follow, and the multitude s are fed, and the shouts of triumph are heard, their voices are loud in praise; but when the searching of God’s Spirit reveals their sin, and bids them leave it, they turn their backs upon the truth, and walk no more with Jesus.” 392. “When truth is brought home to the heart, they see that their lives are not in accordance with the will of God. They see the need of an entire change in themselves; but they are not willing to take up the self-denying work. Therefore they are angry when their sins are discovered. They go away offended.” 392.




Because Jesus’ work was regarded as an innovation and He required His disciples to bear their cross—the multitude s rejected their Creator. Rather than an innovation, Caiaphas and his associates were viewed by the multitude as the highest authority on earth.

Caiaphas was seeking the same things the multitude was—worldly greatness and honor. The Jews wanted dominion over the Romans. They were very willing to have Jesus as their king if He would give them a piece of the pie. But Jesus could not accept their allegiance on these conditions. “Multitudes who desired to exalt Him to the throne today would turn from Him tomorrow. The disappointment of their selfish ambition would turn their love to hatred, and their praise to curses.” 383.

The multitude s ended up following Caiaphas rather than Jesus. Caiaphas was predicting a Messiah to appear who would give them worldly blessings. The priests taught the people from the Bible, that the Messiah would give them riches and honor. To the multitude, it seemed much easier to follow Caiaphas than to walk on a path of self-denial and hardship. Their pre-conceived opinions of truth, were stronger in their minds, than the truth it self. Martin Luther correctly said: “I feel more and more every day how difficult it is to lay aside the scruples which one has imbibed in childhood.” The Great Controversy, 143. Not a few of the multitude who had once praised the name of Jesus eventually raised the awful cry, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” The multitude pressed by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, called for the crucifixion of Christ. It is never safe to follow our pre-conceived opinions.


The Chosen


When the multitude turned away from Christ there were only a few who remained. It was to these few, who were willing to deny self and follow Christ, the Rock, that He spoke these words. “Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18. There is no foundation that can be laid than what is already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11. Jesus Christ, in His humiliation and self-denial, in His agony and death on the cross, is the foundation of the true church and the Christian’s hope.

“In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.” 413.

There are very few who are willing to follow these conditions in order to be a part of God’s church. Notice in the following paragraph that only those who choose Jesus in His self-denial were referred to as the church; the great multitude and even the Sanhedrin were excluded. “How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown.” 413.

Not the multitude , but only the few who were willing to take up their cross of self-denial are Christ’s church. Not the evil men who are fighting Jesus’ followers, but the meek ones are His church. Even the disciples of Jesus struggled with this concept. It was foreign to everything they had ever been taught by priest and rabbi. The disciples believed that Jesus would take over the temple and reign as Israel’s King. “That the hatred of the priests and rabbis would never be overcome, that Christ would be rejected by His own nation, condemned as a deceiver, and crucified as a malefactor,—such a thought the disciples had never entertained.” 415.

When Jesus was on earth, “the disciples were still far from understanding Christ’s mission. The opposition and misrepresentation of the priests and rulers, while it could not turn them away from Christ, still caused them great perplexity. They did not see their way clearly. The influence of their early training, the teaching of the rabbis, the power of tradition, still intercepted their view of truth. From time to time precious rays of light from Jesus shone upon them, yet often they were like men groping among shadows.” 412.

The disciples were slow to comprehend that the entrance to Christ’s church was through the door of self-denial. “It was to Peter a bitter lesson, and one which he learned but slowly, that the path of Christ on earth lay through agony and humiliation. The disciple shrank from fellowship with his Lord in suffering. But in the heat of the furnace fire he was to learn its blessing.” 416.

If the disciples, who listened for three years to the greatest teacher this world has ever know, could not understand—what about us? How often are we, like the disciples, groping among the shadows? Does the influence of our early training, the teaching of the rabbis, the power of tradition, still intercept our view of truth today? Our pre-conceived ideas are so difficult to get past. The only way to understand is in learning to bear our cross.


The Church Today


Like the Jews of old, God raised up Seventh-day Adventists to represent Him to the world. As temple and priests were to minister God’s grace and truth to the nations of old, so we were organized for service to give the Three Angels’ Messages to the world. God organized us through the special guidance of His last day messenger. We, too, have been a favored people. But time has passed and as a people, we have let the truth slide. In fact, many who call themselves Seventh-day Adventists are fighting the truth as the Jews did in Christ’s day. “These men who refuse to receive truth, interpose themselves between the people and the light. But there is no excuse for any one’s refusing the light, for it has been plainly revealed. There is no need of any one’s being in ignorance. We must clear the King’s highway; for God will remove hindrances out of the way. God calls you to come up to his help against the mighty. Instead of pressing your weight against the chariot of truth that is being pulled up an inclined road, you should work with all the energy you can summon to push it on. Shall we repeat the history of the Jews in our work? The leaders of the people in the time of Christ brought all their power to bear against the work of Christ, that His way might be hedged up. The people must go to God for themselves, and pray that all wrong impressions may be removed from their hearts,—pray that the word of God may not be clouded by men’s interpretations.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1890.

Here is another warning, which should be ringing loudly in our ears. “The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 406.

Satan succeeded with the Jewish nation as a whole. There was a small remnant who followed Jesus, but as a whole, the nation was lost. We are given graphic descriptions of the Jews before Christ’s first coming. Since the prophet saw again and again the similarity of our position to theirs—could this description of them fit us? “They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction.” 36. To apply this description to Seventh-day Adventists leaves one reeling and could not be considered except by the special warning from God’s messenger.

We cannot demand of God to finish the work the way we think it must be. It will be finished very much out of the natural order of things. Those who are fighting the truth will have no part in it. There is no set of men whom God is forced to use. When He came the first time, He was not forced to use the priests of His day. Rather God is looking for the meek of the earth, those who do not bow to human authority, but submit to His authority.

The Multitude


Multitude s of Seventh-day Adventists are seeking for the original power we had when our pioneers first gave the warning message. We speak of the “good old Seventh-day Adventist message.” We long for it but seldom hear it. Once again God has sent messengers with a call to repent. They have instructed us in the “old [historic] paths, where is the good way.” Jeremiah 6:16. The multitude loves this preaching that has power. We love to sit entranced listening to the words of truth. It makes us feel that we are still on the right road.

But, we reason, no matter how wonderful the truth is—the work cannot be finished without the “regular channels,” these “irregular channels” are only an innovation. We still want to stick with what is established and not stake everything on some innovation.

Worst of all, the reformation preachers call for obedience to the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible. That means self-denial, health reform and all those reforms. That would be too embarrassing. We would not want to be a fanatic!! Unbelief takes possession of the heart. It “will ever find excuse for doubt, and will reason away the most positive proof.” 386.

We conclude that we will continue to listen to the wonderful messages based on the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible. But we would not want to put all our eggs in one basket. So we reason on and on until we are ready to follow Caiaphas—the symbol of human authority.


Who to Follow?


It is no small question one asks, who wants to know if he is following truth. Many times various forms of this question were asked of Jesus. Yet, even with His clear answers, few ended up applying His answers to themselves. “Christ’s humanity so completely veiled His glory that it was difficult for even His disciples to believe in Him; and when He died on the cross, they felt that their hopes had perished. As Christ told them the things He must suffer at the hands of wicked men, He said, ‘If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?’ Luke 23:31. If they do these wicked acts to your divine Lord, what will they do to those that bear the testimony that He came from God, that He was God in human flesh?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 393.

Jesus spoke of His time on earth as the time of the green tree. “By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself.” 743. The time of the green tree was a time when the world could see the embodiment of truth and righteousness in human flesh. The living Messiah, the Creator, the Saviour of the world was in their midst. They could walk and talk with Him. A whole nation of millions of people were expecting the Messiah to appear. Yet when He was on earth, there were very few who followed Him to the end. “At one time there remained only eleven and a few faithful women.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 138. Even though it was difficult to believe, these few stayed with Jesus. The only safe place was with them. To be in Jesus’ church is always safe—even though it was only eleven men and a few women. To be out of it is always disastrous.

However today we are in the time of the dry tree. Jesus said, “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry”? Luke 23:31. Jesus was the express image of His Father. And still people rejected Him, the way, the truth and the life. But, God’s messengers today are faulty human beings. Today there is not even a living prophet among us. We truly are in the time of the dry tree. This question comes with pounding force upon us: How can we find the track of truth today, since so few people found it in Jesus day? We are not going to find truth by making our decisions from our pre-conceived opinions of truth, or from the scribes and Pharisees, it will not be found at the university or even in the pew at the churches of today.

The only place to find the truth seems below our dignity: “When man is willing to be instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to God, he will find the truth in His word. If men would be obedient, they would understand the plan of God’s government. The heavenly world would open its chambers of grace and glory for exploration. Human beings would be altogether different from what they now are, for by exploring the mines of truth men would be ennobled.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 114.

To follow the truth, we must respect God’s messengers. Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. We are here commanded to follow along with a messenger when he is following Christ.


Who Not to Follow


It is not safe to follow Caiaphas or anyone who follows Caiaphas. That is anyone who puts tradition above the commands of God. The one who wants to be recognized and honored in this world is never safe to follow. The Lord will show us who not to follow. “Before the great trouble shall come upon the world such as has never been since there was a nation, those who have faltered and who would ignorantly lead in unsafe paths will reveal this before the real vital test, the last proving, comes, so that whatsoever they may say will not be regarded as voicing the True Shepherd.” 1888 Materials, 1002.

The question comes, “What about Nicodemus?” Was he safe to follow? Nicodemus was safe to follow once he started following Christ. But I would rather have been by the side of Matthew and Peter than Nicodemus. As long as Nicodemus was following the ideas of Caiaphas, it would be dangerous to follow him. What about the “great company of the priests [who] were obedient to the faith?” Acts 6:7. They were unsafe to follow until they started following Jesus.

There was one, a respected scribe, to whom Jesus said: “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” Mark 12:34. He understood something about righteousness and the inability of man to obtain it through his own works. But until the scribe followed Christ, he was not in His kingdom. “The scribe was near to the kingdom of God, in that he recognized deeds of righteousness as more acceptable to God than burnt offerings and sacrifices. But he needed to recognize the divine character of Christ, and through faith in Him receive power to do the works of righteousness.” 608. Not even the sincere scribe, who was commended, was safe to follow. Jesus said concerning the churchmen of His day: “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” Matthew 24:3. Jesus did not instruct the people to follow error: “Jesus bade His hearers do that which the rabbis taught according to the law, but not to follow their example.” 612. Evidently, they sometimes taught the truth.


Caiaphas’ Destination


Those who follow Caiaphas will be found undermining God’s messengers. They will use any means to turn the multitude against the truth. “The Pharisees had sought to condemn Him as a Sabbathbreaker. They had tried to arouse the Herodians against Him. They represented that He was seeking to set up a rival kingdom [new organization], and consulted with them how to destroy Him. To excite the Romans against Him, they had represented Him as trying to subvert their authority. They had tried every pretext to cut Him off from influencing the people.” 538.

Caiaphas offers an easy road, one of worldly greatness, of full churches, large crowds and great honor. But the end of that road is destruction. Caiaphas promised that Jerusalem would be freed from the Romans, but the Romans destroyed it and its inhabitants.

“Christ came to save Jerusalem with her children; but Pharisaical pride, hypocrisy, jealousy, and malice had prevented Him from accomplishing His purpose. Jesus knew the terrible retribution which would be visited upon the doomed city. He saw Jerusalem encompassed with armies, the besieged inhabitants driven to starvation and death, mothers feeding upon the dead bodies of their own children, and both parents and children snatching the last morsel of food from one another, natural affection being destroyed by the gnawing pangs of hunger. He saw that the stubbornness of the Jews, as evinced in their rejection of His salvation, would also lead them to refuse submission to the invading armies.” 577. Those who follow Caiaphas or even his followers, are stubborn to their own destruction.


Followers of Christ


The followers of Christ eventually end up faced with the cross. The cross of reproach and loneliness looks hard to carry at first. But in lifting the cross we find it lifts us. “As you lift the cross of Calvary, it lifts you. Bearing the cross after Jesus, following in His consecrated, self-denying footsteps—only thus can you find salvation.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 25. “We are to lift the cross, and follow the steps of Christ. Those who lift the cross will find that as they do this, the cross lifts them, giving them fortitude and courage, and pointing them to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1095. In full surrender of our will to God we find the only path of real happiness. As we come to partake of His sufferings we revel in His love. “It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him, receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated.

“But even these figures fail to present the privilege of the believer’s relation to Christ. Jesus said, ‘As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.’ As the Son of God lived by faith in the Father, so are we to live by faith in Christ. So fully was Jesus surrendered to the will of God that the Father alone appeared in His life. Although tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world untainted by the evil that surrounded Him. Thus we also are to overcome as Christ overcame.” 389.

Jesus invites us to pick up our cross and follow Him. “Whenever men reject the Saviour’s invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in every department in life, in the home, in business, and even in the church, are doing this today.” 341 Today is not the time to follow the multitude. It is time to be a part of the faithful few who follow Jesus when the multitude forsake Him for Caiaphas. It is the time to take up our cross; for only those are His disciples—His church, and only Jesus’ church will go through.


Six Ways to Fight Reformation in the Nineties

Some time ago I preached a sermon about six ways to fight reformation based on the experience of Nehemiah. It appears that it is difficult for God’s people to recognize these types of attacks. The same thing is happening again, and thousands of Adventists are falling into the same snares that Nehemiah avoided. In the Bible, seven is the number of spiritual perfection. God’s perfect day of rest is the seventh day. Man was created on the sixth day of Creation. Six symbolizes man’s imperfection. Six is also the number of the serpent—the serpent was created also on the sixth day of creation. In the story of Nehemiah there are six steps of opposition to the work of God. Today we are facing the same type of opposition. Everywhere God’s people begin to work, the devil attacks just as he did with Nehemiah.

We will look at the six steps one by one.

  1. “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.” Nehemiah 2:10.

Sanballat and his men were deeply disturbed when they heard what Nehemiah had come to do. This is often the first kind of opposition that God’s workers face. People are concerned about our preaching, publishing, evangelism, everything we are doing. Often there is no concrete reason; they just do not feel that we should be doing what our conscience tells us that we should. In 1989, when we had a revival and reformation camp meeting in Texas, the local Seventh-day Adventist pastor was so disturbed that he preached a whole sermon against the camp meeting and the speakers. He said that he was in favor of revival and reformation, however, he was opposed to the people promoting it and their way of seeking revival and reformation. That was 8 years ago. When will the revival and reformation, that even this pastor said he was not opposed to, be seen there? This is the general pattern and has been for decades in Adventism. No doubt many Adventists have never become involved in the revival and reformation movement in Adventism because leaders in whom they have confidence have condemned it. This has happened countless times down through the ages and many people will be lost because they fall for the very first attack against the reformation. In Jesus’ time, “a nation’s sin and a nation’s ruin were due to the religious leaders.” The Desire of Ages, 738. “In order to maintain their own power, these leaders determined to break down the influence of Jesus.” Ibid., 205.

“It was not that they could not yield; they could, but would not. It was not alone because they were guilty and deserving of death, not alone because they had put to death the Son of God, that they were cut off from salvation; it was because they armed themselves with opposition to God. They persistently rejected light and stifled the convictions of the Spirit. The influence that controls the children of disobedience worked in them.” The Acts of the Apostles 61, 62.

If the revival and reformation movement in Adventism is of the Lord, if the Holy Spirit inspired and brought it about, then those that are fighting it are doing exactly what the Jewish leaders did in the time of Christ. If it is not of the Lord, “it will come to nothing” (Acts 5:38), and indeed should do so very soon, since it is being attacked from every quarter both within and without God’s professed remnant people.

As the Jews rejected and crucified Christ, it is predicted that many in Adventism will reject the Holy Spirit: “In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their ideas and expectations, they will oppose the work. ‘Why,’ they say, ‘should not we know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?’ ” Review and Herald, December 23, 1890.

Nehemiah did not turn around because of the pressure. He had a work to do, and he was determined to complete it by God’s grace. The people who knuckle under to social pressure, will never do God’s work. Every true Christian in this world will face opposition and sadly, millions of people will lose eternal life because they are not willing to stand against opposition. If you are not willing to stand against opposition you cannot be saved.

From the beginning there were people deeply concerned and disturbed about Nehemiah’s plans, but he made plans to build the wall anyway. In the same way there are many people deeply concerned (according to their letters and telephone calls) about the revival and reformation movement in Adventism today. Not understanding the true nature of the church, they are caught in the very same trap that the Jews were in during the days of Christ. Remember, Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin were not the church in Christ’s day, contrary to what you probably have been taught. They could say that the Lord started their organization and that they were the chosen people, but as Jesus said, they were the children of the devil and not the children of God at all. “The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan. They were doing the work that he desired them to do.” The Desire of Ages, 36.

Then Nehemiah encountered more severe opposition.

  1. “But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?’” Nehemiah 2:19.

The second kind of opposition Nehemiah faced was ridicule. They laughed at him and said, “What do you think you are doing?” Ridicule is hard to endure. Peter could not take it, and after a few simple questions he knuckled under and denied his Lord. Ridicule, mocking and despising are the second type of opposition that you must be willing to endure if you want to work for the Lord. Nehemiah was accused of being in rebellion to established order, just as the revival and reformation movement today is accused, and on equally absurd grounds. The truly loyal pastors and Adventist leaders will tell the truth about our present condition and situation and declare what must be changed if we are to be ready for the Lord to come. Those who despise the revival and reformation movement, scorn, deride and ridicule it, cause many more to cave in to the social pressure and decide to stay with the majority in their group.

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

Multitudes of Adventists who know what the Spirit of Prophecy teaches are disregarding it because of the social pressure from family, church members and church leaders. Friend, if you are not living up to all that you know to be right, what answer do you plan to give the judge at the end of the world? If you are persuaded, as many are today, to delay giving the Third Angel’s Message because you are told that the time is not right yet, (this is in direct opposition to the Spirit of Prophecy) what do you plan to do when there is a national Sunday law and you will have to risk loss of property, imprisonment and death in order to give God’s message to the world?

  1. “But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, ‘What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?’ Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, ‘Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall’ ” Nehemiah 4:1–3.

The third type of opposition was anger and hostility, added to the sarcasm and mocking. Day after day, Nehemiah and his helpers had to listen to the taunting and the threats. Sanballat’s men were working as hard as they could to make them discouraged. But Nehemiah would not give up.

Today, the threats are first of all censure or disfellowshipping, but also various types of financial threatening or pressure has been used to try to discourage people from being involved in a movement for revival and reformation within Adventism. There is an attempt to force the faithful and true, who are trying to obey the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy, to be ostracized from Adventism. They are threatened with lawsuits for telling the truth. If you are a Seventh-day Adventist in belief, and cannot deny it, you are threatened from those who claim that only those under their authority can be called Seventh-day Adventists. My brother, Marshall used to say, one of these days you will be the off-scouring of all things if you are a Seventh-day Adventist and then we will see who still wants to be called a Seventh-day Adventist.

When anger and hostility did not work on Nehemiah, the opposition became more open.

4.“Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.” Nehemiah 4:7, 8.

This is the fourth kind of opposition. Sanballat and the others determined to get an army together. They said, “We will attack these people and stop their work.” The sarcasm, anger and threats had failed, so they reached for means beyond words. It is no longer just words being used in the opposition against the faithful now either—it is lawsuits and even beatings.

God’s prophet predicted these things: “If we are to bear a part in this work to its close, we must recognize the fact that there are good things to come to the people of God in a way that we had not discerned; and that there will be resistance from the very ones we expected to engage in such a work.” 1888 Materials, 1024. This opposition comes from the very ones we expected would be helping us.


Insidious Opposition


Some people think that by the time you come to number four and you are dealing with open opposition, that is as bad as it can get. But open warfare is not the most serious form of opposition. There is something more serious than that. Nehemiah had to face it, and we will have to face it also.

  1. “Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, ‘Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.’ ” Nehemiah 6:1, 2.

Here we see the same men who had only a short time before been raising up an army to attack Nehemiah, asking to meet and talk with them. Nehemiah realized that their motives had not changed—they still wanted to destroy him, they were just trying a new method. This is happening in Adventism right now. We have conference and union officials who have tried to destroy us over and over again and now we are receiving letters that say, “We want to get together and talk.”

I must warn you, if you volunteer to go and talk to those who have already demonstrated that they are trying to destroy you, you are presumptuous and God will not work a miracle to save you. You could be spiritually destroyed. It is happening all over the world. Whole ministries can go down to nothing. Whole churches can be divided, disbanded and split up into individual atoms.

God did not prevent the Hussites from being destroyed when they got to this phase of opposition and went to negotiate with their enemies who now wanted to talk: “The papal leaders, despairing of conquering by force, at last resorted to diplomacy. A compromise was entered into, that while professing to grant to the Bohemians freedom of conscience, really betrayed them into the power of Rome . . . The papal authorities at last ‘agreed that the four articles of the Hussites should be accepted, but that the right of explaining them, that is, of determining their precise import, should belong to the council—in other words, to the pope and the emperor.’ Wylie, b. 3, ch. 18. On this basis a treaty was entered into, and Rome gained by dissimulation and fraud what she had failed to gain by conflict; for, placing her own interpretation upon the Hussite articles, as upon the Bible, she could pervert their meaning to suit her own purposes. The Great Controversy, 118. The Waldenses were overcome with the same methods by Pianezza. (See The History of Protestantism by J.A. Wylie.)

Since it is presumption to negotiate with those who have already demonstrated that they will try to destroy you and the work God has committed to your hand, if you do this, God will not protect you from the consequences whether you are a Hussite, a Waldensean, or an Adventist. We recently have seen large numbers of Adventists go back into the very same apostasy that they had left for conscience sake, as a result of continuing to talk to those who had demonstrated themselves enemies of the work of revival and reformation (while claiming to be friends of the same). We have watched this happen over and over again and the results are astonishing. In a relatively short time, the revival and reformation begun in the life is usually lost and, most unfortunate of all, the victim does not know that anything has happened. If you believe that there is a set of men that you need to go to for counsel, regardless of their betrayal of sacred trust in upholding wickedness in others, you will lose your soul. “They were not to put implicit confidence in those who knew not God, and open to them their counsels; for this would give Satan’s agents an advantage. Man’s inventions often counterwork God’s plans. Those who build the temple of the Lord are to build according to the pattern shown in the mount,—the divine similitude. God is dishonored and the gospel is betrayed when His servants depend on the counsel of men who are not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Worldly wisdom is foolishness with God. Those who rely upon it will surely err.” The Desire of Ages, 354.

“There can be no unity between truth and error. We can unite with those who have been led into deception only when they are converted.” Upward Look, 88.

“But they sent me this message four times.” Nehemiah 6:4.

Four times they asked, “Will not you please come and talk to us?” But Nehemiah firmly refused. He had seen their past actions, and knew the trap they wanted him to fall into. Repentance and confession, evidence of a change of heart must come before Nehemiah could talk to them—the same is true today.

“Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand. In it was written: It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king. And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together.” Nehemiah 6: 5–7.

Sanballat said, “These rumors are going around and will destroy you. We need to talk to you so that we can solve this problem.” What was Sanballat’s real plan? He had not changed. He still wanted to destroy Nehemiah. Nehemiah was not fooled, and you and I must understand what he did.

What does the Spirit of Prophecy say about those who have once betrayed us? “We must obey the orders from above. Any suggestions made by those who receive not the truth, who know not what the work of God is doing for this time, weaken the power of the work.” 1888 Messages, 934.

“If a man proves a traitor once he is apt to become a traitor the second time . . . The dreams I have had are very striking. One I had while on the boat, and one since coming to Sidney. We need to be very guarded as to how we place responsibilities upon any man who has once betrayed sacred trusts.” Ibid., 965.

You hear much today about the church going through, but there is only one way we can be certain of making it through. “I was shown that the follies of Israel in the days of Samuel will be repeated unless men have greater humility and less confidence in themselves, and greater confidence in the Lord God of Israel, the Ruler of His people. The ability and wisdom of any man is only derived from God . . . God has wisdom underived. He is the Infinite One; the human is finite, erring. He is the Fountain of the light and life and glory of the world. One leak will sink the mightiest vessel that ever rode the proud ocean; so will the church make shipwreck amid the perils of these last days unless the holy Captain of her salvation shall not only serve as Captain but Pilot.” Ibid., 919.

If we trust in the counsel of men, especially those who have been proven traitors and fought the truth in the past like Sanballat and Tobiah, and have not brought forth fruits of repentance, we will make shipwreck. The Lord has to be not only the Captain but also the Pilot.


Who Will Turn Traitor?


How can we know who will turn traitor? “Every soul who will now evade through sophistry, the plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ and misinterpret and evade the plainest conclusions of the written inspired Word, will become instruments to tempt and coerce, and stirred with a satanic spirit purpose to afflict and oppress and compel the human agents to dishonor God’s law.” Ibid., 1200. As in former times there will be some who “will unite their influence with the avowed enemies of God’s truth if they can only be honored among those who are honored of men.” Signs of the Times, November 16, 1888.

When God’s professed people unite with people and organizations who openly oppose God’s law and have deliberately shed the blood of His saints, you may know that anyone who goes along with this without protest will become your enemy in the great crisis which is upon us. You may be deceived now by pleasant talk, that they are part of the church, but if you are faithful to God’s Word, those who betray the cause of God in times of peace will still do so in times of trouble.

Who will turn traitor and try to compel others to dishonor God’s law? It is those who evade a plain “thus saith the Lord.” If you present an inspired statement to someone, and they do not accept it, and instead try to excuse it all away, inspiration predicts that they will eventually turn traitor. These are the people who will try to force you to disobey the law of God. They will become agents of Satan. For many years Adventists have looked forward to a time of revival and reformation when “there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times.” The Great Controversy, 464.

Over and over again the Spirit of the Lord has moved upon men and groups of Adventist believers in various parts of the world that this necessary revival and reformation might become a reality. But unfortunately, the vast majority have rejected the appeals to come into line with inspired writings so many times, that appeal has little or no weight with them anymore. The revival and reformation of all the professed church will never come. It will not ever come to even the majority. But it must come to you if you are going to be ready to meet Jesus when He comes. Instead of coming closer to this experience, the professed Adventist church has been going farther and farther away from the divine instructions into a deeper and deeper apostasy. Just as with the Jews, every reformation has been followed by deeper apostasy. (See The Desire of Ages, 28.) We are not predicting what can or will happen to the Adventist structure, the door of mercy was open to the Jews until a few days before the crucifixion of Christ, but to receive mercy, there would have had to be repentance and a willingness to come into line with God. Just as we must all be willing to do today.

There are even some people who we have been forbidden to associate with. “Some of those who know the truth but do not practice it, are trampling upon the law of God in their business transactions. We should have no intimate association with them lest we catch their spirit and share their doom.” Ibid., 1332.

“I call upon God’s people to open their eyes. When you sanction or carry out the decisions of men who, as you know, are not in harmony with truth and righteousness, you weaken your own faith and lessen your relish for communion with God.” Ibid., 1336.

In the book of Nehemiah, this is the order in which the opposition comes—first was concern; second, derision and ridicule; third, wrath and indignation and more ridicule; fourth, open opposition and an attempt to destroy, and fifth, requests to meet and counsel together. Number six is the last and most dangerous opposition of all. Many who stand firm up to number six fall because of its deceptiveness.

  1. “Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was a secret informer; and he said, ‘Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you.’ And I said, ‘Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!’ Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all.” Nehemiah 6:10–12.

In the sixth form of opposition for Nehemiah, a religious person comes to him with a religious suggestion. The messenger seemed interested in his welfare. He said he wanted to keep him from harm, but actually he was a secret informer, he was on the other side. Nehemiah said, “Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.” Nehemiah 6:12.

Sanballat and the others knew that if they came in person, Nehemiah would never listen, so they hired a secret informer to go and pretend to be Nehemiah’s friend. Pretended friends are the most dangerous enemies we have. The devil is not foolish. His policy is deception from the beginning to the end. He knows that he can reach many more, those who are unsuspecting and unprepared, by using this guise of false friendship. “We have far more to fear from within than from without.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 122.

Does God ever use deception and secret devising? “Those engaged in the cause of reform must in no wise be dissemblers, so that it will be difficult to discern upon which side they are, there must be no underhand working, no secret devising, for this is the way in which Satan works; but those who follow Christ must be resolute and unflinching.” 1888 Materials, 970.

Beware when you meet someone who does not stand firmly on one side of an issue. Remember that God never works underhandedly. His followers will be resolute, not crowd pleasers who try to appear on two sides of the issue, but instead they will stand unflinchingly for the truth.

“Satan was at work to cause apostasy in the early church; and in accomplishing his purpose, doctrines were introduced through which the church was leavened with unbelief in Christ and His coming . . . That which Satan has led men to do in the past, he will if possible lead them to do again. The early church was deceived by the enemy of God and man, and apostasy was brought into the ranks of those who professed to love God; and to‑day, unless the people of God awake out of sleep, they will be taken unawares by the devices of Satan.” Review and Herald, November 22, 1892.

The majority of professed Seventh-day Adventists are deceived and unaware of it. Sister White predicted over 100 years ago, that the devil would do this if he could. I do not think we realize how serious this really is. Never forget that those who are deceived do not know they are. They think they are on their way to heaven. That means that you and I could be deceived. We need to go to our closets and pray earnestly, “Lord, if I am deceived, show me what my deception is and help me to get onto the narrow road that leads to the city of God.”

Today after all other manner of attacks have failed to subdue some people, historic Adventists are being skillfully attacked by the ploy of supposed friendship. The very same people in the conferences, unions and the General Conference who have demonstrated over and over again through lawsuits and threatened lawsuits, through every manner of political maneuvering, through ridicule and verbal attacks at large Adventist gatherings, through attacks from official publications and through many books and letters, without any repentance or confession or change of heart, now propose to be the friends of the historic Adventist people. Thousands who have stood firm for truth through all manner of attacks are succumbing to this one. It is a new and near the end twist in the shaking process. Thousands of Adventists are being destroyed spiritually and they do not know it. If you are not studying and praying day by day, you will be one of those destroyed and never know what happened until it is too late.


Quotations about Pretended Friends


“At the present day, Satan gains power over God’s people, by means of those false brethren who, while at heart friends of the world, exert an influence in the church. These are the most efficient workers that the great deceiver can employ. They are constantly seeking to lessen the enmity between the church of Christ and his deadliest foe. They supply the connecting link whereby he can unite the church and the world. Here lies our present danger,—a danger against which we must constantly guard. While we should make all possible effort to save souls, deeming no self‑denial or sacrifice too great to effect this purpose, we must at the same time maintain our allegiance to God.” Review and Herald, July 18, 1882.

“The gospel of Christ has little to fear from its open opponents. Its most dangerous foes are the pretended friends of Christ . . . He who is a friend of Christ studies the word of God, and brings its principles into his daily life, making every thought, word, and deed subject to the control of the Spirit of God.” Youth’s Instructor, June 14, 1894.

“The opposition and discouragement that the builders in Nehemiah’s day met from open enemies and pretended friends is typical of the experience that those today will have who work for God. Christians are tried, not only by the anger, contempt, and cruelty of enemies, but by the indolence, inconsistency, lukewarmness, and treachery of avowed friends and helpers.” Conflict and Courage, 266.

“All that he [Martin Luther] had endured from the opposition of both the pope and the emperor had not caused him such perplexity of mind or anguish of soul as did this deceptive work now linking itself with the Reformation. From the cause itself had arisen its worst enemies. Pretended friends were tearing down what he had labored at tremendous odds to build up. The very truths which had brought peace to his troubled heart had been made the cause of dissension in the church.” Signs of the Times, October 18, 1883.

Concerning the opposition that Ezra and Nehemiah had, Ellen White said: “That which made their work most difficult was not the open hostility of the heathen, but the secret opposition of pretended friends. Who, by lending their influence to the service of evil, increased tenfold the burden of God’s servants.” Prophets and Kings, 675.

The opposition that Nehemiah met is the kind of opposition that we are now meeting. Now is the most deceptive time in the history of the world. All the experience that the devil gained before and after Nehemiah’s time he is bringing to bear upon the people of God. We cannot put our confidence in men, they can fail us. Counseling a conference worker, Ellen White said: “You who are finite, erring, and unsanctified, have supposed that God’s children were put under your jurisdiction, for you to plan for them, and bring them to your terms. The policy you have labored so hard to establish in your connection with the work is an offense to God. He has never justified any arrangement, through organization, discipline, or laws, whereby men who have evidenced that they are not susceptible to the Holy Spirit’s moving shall use their power to sustain others in a like disregard of the Spirit’s work.” 1888 Materials, 1367.

It does not matter if a person is a member of any organization or a leader in an organization. If they do not give evidence that they are under the control of the Holy Spirit, they could lead you astray. Anyone you associate with will have an influence on your mind and spirituality. The more you associate with that person, the greater effect he will have on you. The devil is working full time to get God’s people tied up by marriages or friendships with those who pretend to be friends of the cross of Christ, but are not under the control of the Holy Spirit.

What will we do when we are in a situation similar to the one Nehemiah was in? If the Holy Spirit is not leading our minds, we will be trapped. It is so deceptive that we cannot even tell from outward evidence what is going on. It may look so holy, righteous and so religious, but it is really a trap. If we trust in ourselves or in men we will be deceived. Our only refuge is in God. There is nothing that the devil can do that the Holy Spirit does not know all about. If your mind is under the control of the Holy Spirit, He will protect you from all of these things. Every time we make decisions we need to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and develop the habit of saying, “Lord, is this the decision that You want me to make?” If you do this, God will be your constant help, and He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.


Editorial — The Trouble

“The time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment.” Review and Herald, November 24, 1904.

“Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth’s history.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 84.

“Paul warns us that we may look for wickedness to increase as the end draws near. . . And he gives a startling list of sins that will be found among those who have a form of godliness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 103.

“The judgments of God are in the land. The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble which is to increase until the end, is already in the world.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 89.

“Already nations are angry, already Satan is working with signs and lying wonders, and this will increase until the end.” The Paulson Collection, 136, 137.

“The great truth of our entire dependence upon Christ for salvation lies close to the error of presumption. Freedom in Christ is by thousands mistaken for lawlessness; and because Christ came to release us from the condemnation of the law, men declare that the law itself is done away, and that those who keep it are fallen from grace. And thus, as truth and error appear so near akin, minds that are not guided by the Holy Spirit will be led to accept the error, and in so doing place themselves under the power of Satan’s deceptions.” Home Missionary, November 1, 1893.

“In the future, Satan is to come down with great power, to work signs and wonders. He will bring down fire from heaven in the presence of his devotees, and, to those who have allowed themselves to be led away from the only true foundation,–the word of God,–will give proof of his authority. He will deceive if possible the very elect.” Southern Watchman, March 1, 1904.


The Needed Help in Trouble


“Those who are standing firm upon the word of the everlasting God will meet Satan with the weapon with which Christ met him,–“It is written.” This will be of more power than the working of miracles. The people of God will conquer through the Holy Spirit’s working, which is stronger than miracles or aught else. It is from the Lord that we are to obtain power.” Southern Watchman, March 1, 1904.

“Our divine Lord is equal to any emergency. With him nothing is impossible. He has shown His great love for us by living a life of self-denial and sacrifice, and by dying a death of agony. Come to Christ just as you are, weak, helpless, and ready to die. Cast yourself wholly on His mercy. There is no difficulty within or without that can not be surmounted in His strength.” Signs of the Times, January 3, 1906.

“The Lord’s angels are appointed to keep strict watch over those who put their faith in the Lord, and these angels are to be our special help in every time of need. Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom. . . . Those who are guided by the Word of the Lord will discern with certainty between falsehood and truth, between sin and righteousness.” Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 907.

“Every ray of light that Heaven sends is essential for our salvation. We are living in the last days, and the Lord does not mean to leave us in darkness and uncertainty. There are great blessings in store for those who keep the commandments of God, not in name merely, but in sincerity and truth . . . Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and erroneous ideas will take minds captive, Christ and his righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power or life. Such will not have a daily, living experience of the love of God in the heart, and if they do not zealously repent, they will be among those who are represented by the Laodiceans, who will be spewed out of the mouth of God.” Review and Herald, September 3, 1889.