Children’s Corner — Wigton Martyrs

The story of the Wigton martyrs reveals so much of fiendish cruelty, that every effort has been made to throw discredit upon the story. The more it has been investigated, however, the more apparent is the fiendish cruelty. The most ardent supporter of the Covenanters today would be intensely glad if it could be proved that the Wigton martyrs were not historical. The shameful picture of human degradation presented is an everlasting disgrace to humanity.

The chief figure of the martyrdom was Margaret Wilson, a young woman of eighteen years of age, famed for her nobleness of life, kindness of heart, and sympathetic generosity all in distress.
Very early in life she became a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by her influence her brother and sister also became Christians.

Her father and mother attended the Episcopal Church, as by law they were compelled to do, under the death penalty, but the three children attended the field meetings held by the Covenanters.
Their youth protected them for a time from the fury of the oppressors, and their absence from the parish church was winked at. Whether it was because Mr. Wilson had a little property, or because there were few people to persecute, we cannot say, but one morning Margaret Wilson, aged eighteen, Thomas, aged sixteen, and Agnes, aged thirteen were reported by the curate as defaulters in church attendance.

“Send the dragoons after them,” said the cruel Grierson of Lagg, “and we’ll teach them their duty.”

A friendly hint was given to the Wilsons that the children were to be arrested, and a family council was held. It will surprise us to find the intelligent grasp the children had, not only of the Bible, but of the aims and objects of the Covenanters.

“We judge you not, mother, but were we to attend the curate’s church, it would be sinning against our Lord. He neither teaches the Word of God, nor does he endeavor to live it, as his drunken habits declare. To sit in his church means acknowledging all the King has done, which we cannot do. It sanctions the persecution of the poor Covenanters, whose only fault is they will worship God in as pure a manner as they possibly can. Our hearts are with these hunted men, and we will share willingly in their sufferings.”

And that night, after an affectionate farewell, the three wandered out to the moss hags in search of a hiding place from the dragoons.

When the soldiers arrived at Wilson’s house they were greatly surprised to find the children were not at home.

“Then, if you ever allow them to enter your house, or if you ever send them food, we will take you outside your own door and shoot you,” said the sergeant to the mother. “Tell me where they are hiding.”

“We know not where they are. They left here last night, preferring to endure suffering sooner than agree to the demand they felt certain you would make upon them.”

“We’ll make greater demands than ever when we find them. Let’s be after them, men.”

The dragoons searched all the caves they know, and pierced every thick bush with their sword, and traveled over the moss, but the Wilsons were safe. About a hundred soldiers in all were quartered at Mr. Wilson’s house, at great expense to him. He bore it patiently, even when they fined him. In all he lost 5000 merks.

The cave in which these noble children hid may be seen today by the curious. It has slightly altered its form through frost and rain. It has been formed been formed by two large slabs of stone, like the legs of an A, resting against each other. A small stone covers the mouth of it, and this was covered by some wild brambles and tufts of heather. It was small, wet, and necessarily uncomfortable, but here they spent the whole day, and at night searched for food.

On the death of Charles II, when the country was filled with hopes of a more lenient policy, the young Wilsons were advised by some of their Covenanting friends that they could now go safely home. They were a little timid about going to their parents’ house, and went rather to the house of a widow, about seventy years of age, named Margaret M‘Lauchlan. This woman was the other victim that sealed her testimony with her life.

Whilst at the widow’s house, Margaret Wilson met a man named Patrick Stuart, whom she know well, and who had received much kindness from her father. She inquired about her parents and others, and he gladly gave her all the news he knew. He was exceedingly attentive to her, and when he heard the story of their sufferings in the cave, he invited them to come next evening and partake of refreshments at his house. This they consented to do, trusting him, as to offer hospitality to Covenanters was a crime heavily punished.

There is a tradition to the effect that Patrick had been a suitor for the hand of Margaret, but that she gave him little encouragement. When they came to his home next evening, he renewed his offer of marriage, which she declined. He then asked her to drink to the King’s health, which she promptly refused to do. Without a word of warning or farewell he left the room, went straight to the Wigton authorities, and informed them where the Wilson children were.

Soon a company of dragoons sought them out, and the two girls were arrested and thrown into a horrible place called “The Thieves’ Hole.”

When Patrick informed on the Wilsons, partly through spite, and partly for the reward he recieved, he also informed upon the aged Margaret M‘Launchan, for entertaining the Wilsons. She was arrested soon after the two Wilsons, and thrust into prison.

Their sufferings in prison are part of the horribleness of their persecution. They were only supplied with food once a day, and that was of poor quality and quantity. They had no beds to lie upon, and lay down on the damp cell at nights. No complaint ever came from their lips, however, for they accepted all that came to them as part of the price they had to pay for their witnessing for God.

Now that they had been taken prisoners, it was found rather difficult to get a reasonable charge against them. It required little in those days, however, to be sentenced to death.

They were brought before the infamous Sir Robert Grierson, of Lagg, and charged with being at the battle of Bothwell Bridge, Ayr’s Moss, at twenty field conventicles, and a like number of house conventicles.

“We were never near Bothwell Bridge in our life,” said Margaret Wilson, “and even if we had, we were only twelve and seven years of age when that took place. We were never at Ayr’s Moss either.”

“Then you were at conventicles,” thundered Grierson.

“Yea, we have, and prefer them much to the dead preaching of the curates, whose hearts are blind. But there is nothing worthy of death in worshipping God in a pure manner on the hillside.” “Give them the abjuration oath,” shouted Grierson to an officer in Court.

By this oath the Covenanters were made to abjure a manifesto issued by the Cameronians, in which they renounced the authority of Charles Stuart, condemned the killing of those who differed in judgment, and in which they declared they would stand up for their rights as religious men and women.

All the three women refused to take this oath, as the Court expected.

“To death then, to death,” shouted that monster of iniquity, Grierson, and he then passed sentence.

“Upon the 11th of May ye shall stand to be tied to stakes fixed within the flood mark in the water of Blednock, near Wigton, where the sea flows at high water, there to be drowned.”

In the wildest moments of fear they had never expected such an inhuman sentence. The whole of Wigton was filled with excitement, and Mr. Wilson at once hurried to Edinburgh to intercede with the Privy Council on behalf of his daughters. He managed to get the youngest daughter liberated on paying a fine of 100 merks, the last of the poor man’s money.

Margaret Wilson was besieged in prison by her friends, who used all their powers to get her to take the abjuration oath. The terrible grief of her mother tried her sore, especially when the mother upbraided her for lack of obedience to her parents.

“If my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up,” she said, with tears in her eyes.

“I did not mean that,” said the mother hysterically, “but the sword hath pierced my soul. Could you not relent so far as to promise to listen to the curate, Sunday by Sunday.”

“That were to acknowledge Prelacy as right, and deny that the hill folk are right.” She was unmovable.

The widow made an appeal to the Privy Council, in which she offered to take the oath of abjuration. She appealed to her age as another reason why she should be left alone.

The Secretaries of State granted a reprieve to the two women, as the Register of the Acts of the Privy council attest, but the reprieve was never put into force. Why this was so has never been satisfactorily explained—save it be that Lagg had no wish to be cheated out of the sport it would be to him to see two women put to death in this novel and barbarous manner.

On the 11th of May, Major Windram with a troop of soldiers came to the Tolbooth of Wigton and demanded the two prisoners.

It was a beautiful May morning, and the crowds of people dressed in their best attire made it look more like a gala than a procession of death.

The sight of the two large stakes erected in the sand, one thirty yards further out than the other, took the colour from the cheeks of more than the prisoners. Women began to weep, and men began to clench their fists and grind their teeth. It required but one man to lead, and they would have torn the soldiers to pieces; but the leader was not there.

“We are called upon this day to give a worthy testimony for our Lord. He hath done us much good and no ill these years we have served Him. This day shall we behold Him in the glory of His risen power, and I do rejoice the end is so near at hand,” said Margaret to the widow, who had now become courageous. The widow was marched out to the stake nearest the sea and there tied securely. It was hoped to break the spirit of the young woman by the sight of the widow’s death. Possibly they were afraid that unless the widow was drowned speedily she would recant, and so spoil their fiendish sport.

Slowly the sea in golden crests crept along the sand and lapped the widow’s feet, as though hungering to devour her.

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me,” she said quietly, and her face had a new light in it, as though the sea, gilded with the golden sun, had reminded her of the city of God.

Higher and higher came the water, and the women on the beach turned their heads away as it reached her waist, and at the same time touched the feet of Margaret Wilson.
“The Lord will this day cleave the waters of death asunder for me, and I shall behold the Lamb in his beauty,” she cried out to the weeping mob.

The water had now reached the widows neck, and Lagg and others began to make sport of her as they saw her strain her neck to keep out of the water. A wave passed over her, and the struggle of death began. Margaret Wilson saw the struggles of the widow, and her voice was raised in prayer that God would take Margaret M‘Lauchlan to Himself.

“What thinkest thou of that?” said a soldier to Wilson, pointing to the death struggles of the widow.

“What do I think! I see Christ in one of His members wrestling there. Think you that we are the sufferers? No, it is Christ in us, for He sends none a warfare upon their own charges.”
She then began to sing the 25th Psalm, and those on the beach who had lost their timidity joined her in some of the lines:

“The Lord is good and gracious,

He upright is also;

He therefore sinners will instruct

In ways that they should go.”

The sharp turning of the soldiers smartly silenced them, however.

As the water crept on towards her shoulders, she closed her eyes in prayer. Her mother rushed to the edge of the water, and besought her with tears to say, “God save the King.”
“Pray with me mother that I may not fail at the last moment,” was her reply. And her eyes closed again, and her lips moved. A great hush came over the crowd, which was only broken by the jeers of Grierson.

“God receive my spirit,” said Margaret, as the water once or twice lapped her face. There was the gasping of drowning, and, to the joy of all, a soldier rushed into the water, cut Margaret’s bonds, and brought her to the shore. The people shouted with glee, and the mother wept for joy. It was unheard of mercy, and though Margaret seemed more dead than alive, the remedies they used soon restored her to consciousness.

It was then seen that the mercy was the work of a fiend, and not of a human heart. Lagg’s sport was too soon coming to and end, and he had restored her life to torture her again. Major Windram went forward and began to test her.

“Will you pray for the King?”

I wish the salvation of all men and the damnation of none,” she answered meekly.

“Oh, Margaret, why will you throw away your life,” said her mother in terrible agony.

“Say ‘God save the King, God save the King.’”

“God save him if He will; for it is what I often have prayed for, and do pray for now.

But, mother, you do not understand these monsters.”

“Sir, my daughter hath said it, she hath said it, let her go free,” said the mother, frantically,throwing herself at the Major’s feet.

Margaret had meanwhile closed her eyes in prayer. She knew, instinctively, that they had determined on her death.

“See, my daughter is praying for the King,” said Mrs. Wilson, pointing to her daughter.

“We want none of her prayers,” said the brutal Lagg. “Tender her the abjuration oath, and, if she refuse, let her drink some more of the sea.”

“I am ready for death; I will not take the oath. I trust God may forgive you this murder before your hour of death comes. I am one of Christ’s children, and have done naught worthy of death.”

“Back to the sea, back to the sea with the hag,” cried Lagg, and two soldiers lifted her in their arms, waded in as far as they could, and then flung her headlong into the sea. They then pushed her head under the water with the butt end of their guns.

In this fiendishly cruel manner died two innocent, noble women. This crime has caused several names to stink in the nostrils of the world. Grierson of Lagg will ever be looked upon as a monster more that a man.

The story of the Wigton martyrs spread like fire over the length and breadth of Scotland, and inspired the Covenanters with joy that two of their number had been so faithful. It caused many Royalists to become friends of the Covenanters, afterwards. Three of the children of Major Windram from that hour were Covenanters in heart, and died as such.

If there was a sharpening of weapons amongst the covenaters after this, who can blame them? To defend oneself from such barbarity surely needs no excuse.

Two stones have been erected over the graves of these two women, whose bodies lie in Wigton Churchyard. The memorial in Stirling churchyard will be familiar to many of our readers. A transcription of the Wigton stones may be of interest:

“Here lies Margaret M‘Lauchlan Who was by unjust law sentenced to die by Lagg, Strachan, Windram, And Grahame, and tied to a stake for her Adherence to Scotland’s Reformation,Covenants, National, and Solemn League.”

The other one reads as follows:

“Let earth and stone still witness bear There lies a virgin–martyr here, Murdered for owning Christ supreme Head of His Church, and no more crime But not abjuring Presbytery, And her not owning Prelacy. They her condemned by unjust law; Of heaven nor hell they stood in awe. Within the sea, tied to a stake, She suffered for Christ Jesus’ sake. The actors of this cruel crime Were Lagg, Strachan, Windram, and Grahame.

Neither young years nor yet old age could stop the fury of their rage.”

Food For Life — Water

What a beautiful time of the year, and how grateful we should be for the privilege to honor our Creator by bestowing gifts to Him whose birthday we celebrate. Let us not forget this in our desire to show love and appreciation for our loved ones! God tells us in the Spirit of Prophecy that it is not amiss to have a Christmas tree in our churches as long as they hold gifts for Him whom we serve and love.

“In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drank freely, it helps supply the necessities of the system and assists nature to resist disease. The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood. A cold or cool bath is an excellent tonic. Warm baths open the pores and thus aid in the elimination of impurities. Both warm and neutral baths soothe the nerves and equalize the circulation.” Ministry of Healing, 237.

“I should bathe frequently, and drink freely of pure, soft water.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419.

“Thousands have died with raging fevers consuming them, until the fuel which fed the fever was burned up, the vitals consumed, and have died in the greatest agony, without being permitted to have water to allay their burning thirst. Water, which is allowed a senseless building to put out the raging elements, is not allowed human beings to put out the fire which is consuming the vitals.

“Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or ice lemonade, drunk with meals will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again . . .Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must first be absorbed . . . if anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water, drunk some little time before or after the meal, is all that nature requires . . . Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419, 420. It is recommended that at least eight to ten glasses of pure, soft water be consumed daily. Each kidney requires four glasses per day. How many kidneys do you have?


In large pan place:

1 12 oz. Can frozen Apple Concentrate

1/3 c. Fruit Source Syrup

Warm to liquid stage and add:

12–14 Sour Apples (Macintosh, Jonathan, or Pippin) peel and finely cut. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally.

Place in Bowl:

3 Heaping T. Cornstarch

2 T. Coriander Powder

1/2 t. Sea Salt

Slowly Add, Stirring Well:

1/2 c. Cashew or Soy Milk

1 T. Vanilla (alcohol free)

Add this mixture slowly, while stirring constantly, to the cooked apples. Let come to a boil and empty into 8×13 Cobbler baking dish. Sprinkle over the top, or premix 1 cup pecans or walnuts. Cover with Cashew Pie Crust and bake at 350° for 20–30 minutes or until pleasingly brown. Top with Cashew Topping.

(Recipe in last December Land Marks.)

Two Very Different Reformation Characters

As Protestantism began to fight and win spiritual battles, it became clear that, given only a few years, Protestantism’s victory would be so complete that any opposing power would fight vainly to win the battle; for a new light was shining and a new life was stirring the souls of men. Schools of learning, pure churches and free nations were rising up in different parts of Europe. It was clear that armies would never overthrow this flourishing power. A new weapon must be forged and other armies mustered to succeed where the powers of emperors and kings had failed. “It was now that the Jesuit corps was embodied. And it must be confessed that these new soldiers did more than all the armies of France and Spain to stem the tide of Protestant success, and bind victory once more to the banners of Rome.” Wylie, History of Protestantism, book 15, 377.

Ignatius Loyola

Don Inigo Lopez de Recalde, the Ignatius Loyola of history, was the founder of the Order of Jesus, or the Jesuits. His birth was near the same time as that of Luther. He was born to one of the highest Spanish families in his father’s castle, in Loyola, during the time of the wars with the Moors. He was an ardent man who caught a religious fervor and longed to distinguish himself in battle. He was wounded severely in both legs while attempting a defense of a besieged garrison. His bravery won the respect of the foe who carried him to a hospital and saved him from bleeding to death.

During his confinement he first read tales of war, but when these were finished, legends of the saints were brought to his couch. As he read of martyrs, monks and hermits, and of the conquests they achieved, he panted to rival these heroes whose battles were so pure and bright compared to the battlefield which he had known. “His enthusiasm and ambition were as boundless as ever, but now they were directed into a new channel . . . The change was a sudden violent one, and drew after it vast consequences not to Ignatius only, and the men of his age, but to millions of the human race in all countries of the world, and in all the ages that have elapsed since.” Ibid., 380.

He determined to be a knight for Mary and so he took his armaments to her shrine at Montserrat and laid them before her image. He next gave up his fine clothing and put on the filthy rags of a monk and with uncombed hair and untrimmed nails he lived in a cave near Manressa for some time. He fasted for days and underwent penances and mortifications, battling evil spirits and talking to voices heard only by him, until he was found at the mouth of the cave half dead and was carried to the town of Manressa. He spent seven hours each day on his knees and scourged himself three times a day. He planned a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and his efforts were to cleanse himself in preparation for it. His revelations included a vision of the Savior, in the Host, at mass. What further evidence did he need for proof of transubstantiation? The Virgin revealed herself to him, he believed, not fewer than thirty times.

Visions Above the Bible

There is some similarity in the early experiences of Luther and Ignatius. Both had set before them a high standard of holiness and had nearly sacrificed life to achieve it, but their pursuits led in different directions. Luther turned to the Bible for relief of his sufferings while Ignatius gave himself up wholly to visions and revelations. “It required no aid from Scripture, it was based on the belief he entertained of an immediate connection between himself and the world of spirits. This would never have satisfied Luther . . . He would have the simple, written, indubitable Word of God alone.” Ibid., 381.

Feeling that he needed better qualifications to battle Protestantism, at age thirty-five, he enrolled in school and learned Latin and then transferred to another institution to study theology. He began to preach and drew followers. This excited the notice of the Inquisition and he was arrested, but freed with a warning to hold his peace when they found no heretical bias in him.

He next moved from Spain to Paris and enrolled as a student in the College of St. Barbara. His stay in Paris coincides with a period of great religious excitement. He witnessed the time of Louis de Berquin’s martyrdom.

Louis de Berquin

“Louis de Berquin was of noble birth. A brave and courtly knight, he was devoted to study, polished in manners, and of blameless morals. ‘He was,’ says a writer, ‘a great follower of the papistical constitutions, and a great hearer of masses and sermons; . . . and he crowned all his other virtues by holding Lutheranism in special abhorrence.’ But, like so many others, providentially guided to the Bible, he was amazed to find there, ‘not the doctrines of Rome, but the doctrines of Luther.’—Wylie, book 13, chap. 9. Henceforth he gave himself with entire devotion to the cause of the gospel.

“‘The most learned of the nobles of France,’ his genius and eloquence, his indomitable courage and heroic zeal, and his influence at court,—for he was a favorite with the king,— caused him to be regarded by many as one destined to be the Reformer of his country . . . They [the Romanists] thrust him into prison as a heretic, but he was set at liberty by the king. For years the struggle continued. Francis, wavering between Rome and the Reformation, alternately tolerated and restrained the fierce zeal of the monks. Berquin was three times imprisoned by the papal authorities, only to be released by the monarch, who, in admiration of his genius and his nobility of character, refused to sacrifice him to the malice of the hierarchy . . .

“So far from adopting the politic and self-serving counsel of Erasmus, he determined upon still bolder measures. He would not only stand in defense of the truth, but he would attack error. The charge of heresy which the Romanists were seeking to fasten upon him, he would rivet upon them. The most active and bitter of his opponents were the learned doctors and monks of the theological department in the great University of Paris, one of the highest ecclesiastical authorities both in the city and the nation. From the writings of these doctors, Berquin drew twelve propositions which he publicly declared to be ‘opposed to the Bible, and heretical;’ and he appealed to the king to act as judge in the controversy.

“The monarch, not loath to bring into contrast the power and acuteness of the opposing champions, and glad of an opportunity of humbling the pride of these haughty monks, bade the Romanists defend their cause by the Bible. This weapon, they well knew, would avail them little; imprisonment, torture, and the stake were arms which they better understood how to wield. Now the tables were turned, and they saw themselves about to fall into the pit into which they had hoped to plunge Berquin. In amazement they looked about them for some way of escape.

“‘Just at that time an image of the Virgin at the corner of one of the streets, was mutilated.’ There was great excitement in the city. Crowds of people flocked to the place, with expressions of mourning and indignation. The king also was deeply moved. Here was an advantage which the monks could turn to good account, and they were quick to improve it. ‘These are the fruits of the doctrines of Berquin,’ they cried. ‘All is about to be overthrown—religion, the laws, the throne itself—by this Lutheran conspiracy.’ Ibid., book 13, chap. 9.

Berquin Martyred

“Again Berquin was apprehended. The king withdrew from Paris, and the monks were thus left free to work their will. The Reformer was tried and condemned to die, and lest Francis should even yet interpose to save him, the sentence was executed on the very day it was pronounced. At noon Berquin was conducted to the place of death. An immense throng gathered to witness the event, and there were many who saw with astonishment and misgiving that the victim had been chosen from the best and bravest of the noble families of France. Amazement, indignation, scorn, and bitter hatred darkened the faces of that surging crowd; but upon one face no shadow rested. The martyr’s thoughts were far from that scene of tumult; he was conscious only of the presence of his Lord.

“The wretched tumbrel upon which he rode, the frowning faces of his persecutors, the dreadful death to which he was going—these he heeded not; He who liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, and hath the keys of death and of hell, was beside him. Berquin’s countenance was radiant with the light and peace of heaven. He had attired himself in goodly raiment, wearing ‘a cloak of velvet, a doublet of satin and damask, and golden hose.’ D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, book 2, chap. 16. He was about to testify to his faith in the presence of the King of kings and the witnessing universe, and no token of mourning should belie his joy.

“As the procession moved slowly through the crowded streets, the people marked with wonder the unclouded peace, and joyous triumph, of his look and bearing. ‘He is,’ they said, ‘like one who sits in a temple, and meditates on holy things.’ Wylie, book 13, chap. 9.

“At the stake, Berquin endeavored to address a few words to the people; but the monks, fearing the result, began to shout, and the soldiers to clash their arms, and their clamor drowned the martyr’s voice. Thus in 1529 the highest literary and ecclesiastical authority of cultured Paris ‘set the populace of 1793 the base example of stifling on the scaffold the sacred words of the dying.’ Ibid., book 13, chap. 9.

“Berquin was strangled, and his body was consumed in the flames. The tidings of his death caused sorrow to the friends of the Reformation throughout France. But his example was not lost. ‘We, too, are ready,’ said the witnesses for the truth, ‘to meet death cheerfully, setting our eyes on the life that is to come.’ D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin, book 2, chap. 16.” The Great Controversy, 215–219.

The Society of Jesus

Ignatius Loyola began to attract devoted followers who he put through a rigid course of discipline.”Thus it was that he mortified their pride, taught them to despise wealth, schooled them to brave danger and contemn luxury, and inured them to cold, hunger, and toil; in short, he made them dead to every passion save that of the ‘Holy War’ in which they were to bear arms.” Wylie, History of Protestantism, book 15, 383.

To foster the more rapid growth of his forces, Loyola prepared his book entitled Spiritual Exercises which was a skillful imitation of the process of conviction, of alarm, of enlightenment,and of peace which the Bible calls conversion. The one who participates in the exercises during the four week course, is indeed changed, as if by a miracle. However, he does not find a Savior to lean on; he finds a rule by which he works, and works as methodically and regularly as a piece of machinery. “There are few more remarkable books in the world. It combines the self-denial and mortifications of the Brahmin with the asceticism of the anchorite, and the ecstasies of the schoolmen. It professes, like the Koran, to be a revelation.” Ibid., 384.

In August of 1534, his little army of nine followers joined him for mass at the Church of Montmartre, in Paris. They took a solemn oath to dedicate their lives and services to the Pope. Following their solemn oath, the little army proceeded to Rome. In Rome, Loyola at last found recognition as his new order was given approval by Pope Paul III. Its rules and constitution were drafted and approved and the new order was named The Company of Jesus since Ignatius claimed to have received their constitution by revelation, in the cave at Manressa, directly from Christ. His name they should bare. The date of the papal bull giving formal existence to the order was 1540. Ignatius Loyola became the first General of the order.

The Constitutions were declared a revelation from God and yet their contents were secret. Each General has power to add to them and there are many volumes. The powers of the General are vast. He acts without control of any other body, without responsibility to anyone, and without law. From his orders there is no appeal even to the Pope. His powers are absolute. Through the hierarchy of the Jesuit structure, he has a network of information gathering, regarding everything of interest to their plans, from an intimate knowledge of each member to the secrets of governments.

Enrollment in the Society of Jesus is allowed only after undergoing a severe and long-continued course of training. At the successful completion of the course and, after being closely watched, tested and noted, the member promises absolute obedience to the General.

Moral Code of the Jesuits

Loyola sent forth his men fully equipped to prosecute the war against Protestantism. He gave them the Institutions. “They were set free from every obligation, whether imposed by the natural or Divine law.” Ibid., 393. They were cut off from their country as they vowed to go wherever they were sent and to give allegiance to a sovereign higher than the monarch of any nation—their General. They were cut off from family and friends. They were cut off from wealth and property since they must give everything that they might inherit to the society. “Nay, more, the Jesuits were cut off even from the Pope. For if their General ‘held the place of the Omnipotent God,’ much more did he hold the place of ‘his Vicar’. . .

“They were a Papacy within a Papacy—a Papacy whose organization was more perfect, whose instincts were more cruel, whose workings were more mysterious, and whose dominion was more destructive than that of the old Papacy.” Ibid. 394.

They supplied themselves with their own ethical code which allowed them exemption from all human authority and from every earthly law as well as from the law of God. “The keynote of their ethical code is the famous maxim that the end sanctifies the means . . . There are no conceivable crime, villainy, and atrocity which this maxim will not justify.” Ibid.

Regicide and Murder

“The lawfulness of killing excommunicated, that is Protestant, kings, the Jesuit writers have been at great pains to maintain.” Ibid., 398. The society was first banished from France, as a society detestable and diabolical, from the evidence of papers written by the Jesuit Guignard, a Professor of Divinity, which supported the murder of Henry III and maintained that the same should be done to Henry IV.

The track of the Jesuits may be traced in every country in Europe by their bloody foot-prints. Henry III and Henry IV both fell by their dagger. The King of Portugal dies by their order. The great Prince of Orange is dispatched by their agent, shot down at the door of his own dining room. There were many attempts to murder Elizabeth and yet she escaped. Clement XIV, the Pope who tried to banish the order was poisoned. The Gunpowder Plot, the St. Bartholomew massacre, and the “Invincible Armada” is associated with the Jesuits. “What a harvest of plots, tumults, seditions, revolutions, torturings, poisonings, assassinations, regicides, and massacres has Christendom reaped. Nor can we be sure that we have yet seen the last and the greatest of their crimes.” Ibid., 399.

Sinful Independence, part 1

In the great family of heaven, each one has his own individual personality, each has freedom, yet no one misuses that freedom to act independently, for all are held together by the cords of humility toward self and love toward one another. As the bee extracts the honey and leaves the pollen, so in heaven, each one receives in order to give—each works so as to benefit one another. Thus there is perfect harmony, yet with each maintaining his own identity, uniqueness and function.

Even God does not act independently. In fact, we should say especially God! Everything He does is for the well being of His creatures. In all that He does, He elicits the love and cooperation of those He has created. Consider the creation of Adam. As soon as he was created, God set him to work to assist Him. God asked him to name the animals. How much easier it would have been for God to have named the animals without Adam’s help. When Adam was created God programmed his mind with words and language—but He intentionally left out of his vocabulary the names of the animals, so that Adam could unite with Him, as far as possible, in the work He was doing. The Bible says, “We are God’s fellow workers.” 1 Corinthians 3:9. [Texts are from the NKJ Version.]

Then God went far beyond merely having Adam name the animals. He told Adam and Eve that they and their descendants were to continue the work that God had begun of populating the earth. God created just enough people so that they could continue His work. Again, how much easier it would have been for God to simply create, in a moment of time, enough people to populate the earth at the beginning—and they would have all been perfect! No one would have been raised by faulty parents! What a risk God took, and how poorly most people have done in carrying on the pro-creation work of God by the way they have raised their children. Yet, in spite of failure, God has not taken the responsibility away from the human family. God would rather suffer loss than to act alone without our cooperation. God has gone to more trouble than any other being to elicit our cooperation, calling us “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6), rather than to act alone and independent.

As it was on earth with Adam and Eve, so it was in heaven with the angels. God did not create a hierarchy or a dictatorship, but a family. That is why there was a war in heaven. When Satan chose to rebel, God could have simply spoken the word, and Satan would have been banished from the society of heaven. But God did not do that, for the angels were His fellow workers, and even in this crisis situation He did not take the reins into His own hands, but allowed the angels, as far as possible, to decide the issue. (See Revelation 12:7.)

Even after the war, Satan seems to have been allowed to come back to represent the earth at the councils of heaven. In the book of Job, God presented Job’s fidelity and challenged Satan’s claim to represent the earth. Satan did not represent all the inhabitants of the earth, but evidently the angels allowed him to remain. But that time of tolerance ended at the cross. I have often contemplated the account by Ellen White where she was shown that, “All the angels that are commissioned to visit the earth hold a golden card, which they present to the angels at the gates of the city as they pass in and out.” Early Writings, 37. Why must the angels who visit the earth present a golden card at the gate? Before the crucifixion of Christ, the angels continued to allow Satan access on what he considered official business (Job 1), because many still had some sympathy for him. At the cross, Satan’s “disguise was torn away . . . Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.” Desire of Ages, 761. [All emphasis supplied.]

Thus the angels decided that Satan could no longer visit heaven as the representative of earth. Jesus was henceforth to be the only representative of this planet. But how were they to keep him out? They evidently decided to issue golden identification cards to all who were commissioned to visit the earth, which they were to present upon exit and entry. Heaven is a very real place, and the angels have far more to do with the running of the government than most realize. Heaven is not run like a communist hierarchy or like the totalitarian government of Satan, but as a loving family, each with his own part to act, each with a voice and each with total faith in the wisdom of the Father.

Today there is a judgment going on in heaven. And why a judgment? Does God need a judgment? Of course not! He knew who would be saved and who would be lost from the very foundation of the earth! (See Ephesians 1:4 and Isaiah 46:10.) The reason there is a judgment is because God is not running a hierarchical dictatorship. He has made the beings of heaven His fellow workers and in order for them to be a practical part of the process, they need a judgment. They do not have all knowledge like God has. They must keep records and review them. God could have decided the eternal destiny of each, with complete accuracy, in a moment of time. But what He could do instantly by Himself takes much longer when He involves the cooperation of the angels. He is willing to expend the extra effort and energy in order to work with His angels rather than apart from them.

What a lesson for parents. How much easier it is when children are young for parents to make the beds, do the dishes, fix the food and change the oil in the car by themselves without the help of the little ones. The “help” the little ones give takes so much more of the parents’ time! It is so much easier to simply tell a child to go off and play for awhile or to watch TV while we do the work without him. But that is not the way God works. He says: “I want the cooperation of men and angels, even if it costs more work, trouble and heartache.”


So heaven is built on the principle of cooperation and unity, and thus it had always been throughout all the ceaseless ages of eternity, until one arose to begin his own independent ministry and organization. This was sinful independence, for it sought to work apart from God and His plans and organization. Independent ministry and self-supporting work were never a part of God’s original plan. But there was one who came along in a perfect environment, a perfect government, and began his own ministry in competition and opposition to the regular and established ministry of heaven which had been in operation for ages.

When that spirit of independence came to earth, this world entered into the darkness and misery of sin. The first great temptation of man was to be independent. The Bible says, “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God does know that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ ” Genesis 3:4, 5. Thus the serpent tempted Eve with the thought that she would be wise enough to act independently, knowing good and evil herself, without having to depend upon God for guidance. Multitudes still cling to this lie.

Thus this earth became a part of the independent ministry of Satan, which made things rather confusing on planet earth because nearly the whole population of earth, with a few exceptions such as Noah, became loyal to Satan’s independent ministry. Now those who remained loyal to God, became themselves independent of the rebellion that persisted on earth. Thus those who were independent with Satan became the establishment, while those who humbly remained loyal to God appeared to be independent. The appearance was the opposite of the reality.


God’s plan has always been for humble cooperation. God is trying to teach each one of us the essential character traits of humility and submission. This is the character of heaven. Every experience of life is to instill within us these precious traits of character so that we can fit into that society which Satan forfeited because of his pride and independence. That is why Paul tells us in Romans 13 that we are to learn to be submissive to the civil government and to obey their laws. Ephesians 6:5, 6 tells us that we are to learn to be submissive to our employers. That is what is fundamentally wrong with labor unions. We can choose where we want to work and whether we want to continue to work in a certain place, but, while there, we are to “be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh.” Peter tells us that the younger are to be submissive to the elders, that the elders are to learn the principle of submission also, and are to show themselves thus unto the younger. “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, ‘for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ ” 1 Peter 5:5,6. Many people do not like the idea of submission, unless they are the ones who are “on top.” Many husbands revel in Paul’s counsel for wives to “submit to your own husbands,” but they overlook the verse before which says that both husbands and wives are to submit to each other. Ephesians 6 tells us that children are to learn the lesson of submission. God wants everyone to be saved—husbands, children, workers, older people and younger people, and thus He is trying to teach each one the lessons that will allow them to fit within the society of heaven.

The Spirit of humble submissiveness will be exemplified in the life and character of the 144,000 The Bible describes them as “the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Revelation 14:4. There is no spirit of independence here. And yet they appear to be independent to human appearance, for “these are the ones that are not defiled with women, for they are virgins.” Ibid. Women, in the Bible, represent churches and religions; so the 144,000 are those who are not defiled with false religion and false religious philosophies that predominate throughout the world. They are independent from man-made tradition, yet the Bible says they are “followers”—followers of the Lamb.


From the beginning of sin, those who have remained submissive and dependent upon God by “following the Lamb wherever He goes,” have found themselves out of step and independent from the world. Think of Noah. He was given the warning of the coming flood and he determined to follow the Lamb and to build the ark as God had directed, yet, the rest of the world remained independent of God and His counsels. The churches and religious leaders counseled and legislated against the project. Only Noah and his family remained submissive to God. How alone and isolated Noah and his family seemed. How aloof from counsel he appeared to be! How independent they were accused of being! And yet they were the only truly non-independent ministry on earth.

Satan scored a major victory in the days of Noah when he succeeded in causing the whole world to join him in his independence. Yet his greatest victory came when he caused the whole church, God’s church, to become independent of God and of His counsels. God established His church with the children of Israel and He led them out of Egypt by the hand of Moses. But the people rebelled against Moses and the leadership of God.

From the very beginning the “church in the wilderness,” Acts 7:38, showed their independence from the Lord’s direction. Upon the return of the faithless spies “all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation [the Old Testament word for church, see Acts 7:38] said to them . . . ‘Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt.’ So they said to one another, ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.’ ” Numbers 14:2–4. This was the first great nominating committee of the Hebrew church. They were going to select their own leader instead of the one God had chosen for them.

Caleb and Joshua remonstrated with the people, saying, ” ‘Do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.’ And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.” Ibid., verses 9, 10. Caleb and Joshua, in this instance, became independent of the organized church—they did not accept the leader the church was choosing nor the decisions they were making—and so the church chose to disfellowship them by stoning! (Stoning is the ultimate in disfellowshipping.) Thus those who refused to become independent from God became independent from an independent church. And the penalty for independence from the church was disfellowshiping by stoning.

Now the question at stake is, Who was right—those who remained loyal to the church or those who appeared to be independent and were therefore disfellowshipped? It is easy to give the answer when looking back at the Bible account, but not so easy when faced with the situation.

In the old covenant types, God often revealed His pleasure or displeasure immediately as a “type” of the future reward and punishment of the new covenant which will be fulfilled at the last judgment. (See Revelation 22:12.) In this case, the unfaithful leaders “died by the plague before the Lord.” Ibid., verse 37. Yet, so entrenched was this spirit of independence and insubordination in the heart of the people that not even the direct intervention of God seemed to be able to uproot it from their midst—and yet they thought they were just right, the holy people of God!


Two chapters later in the book of Numbers, this sinful spirit of independence sprang up again in the rebellion of Korah. “Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown.” Numbers 16:1, 2.

Like our church, the Israelites had a representative form of government. Today, when representatives of the church come together, we call it a constituency meeting or a General Conference.

These “representatives of the congregation” were “men of renown,” and Korah was their chosen leader, with Dathan and Abiram his assistants. These leaders of the people “gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourself above the congregation of the Lord?’ ” Numbers 16:3.

Moses and Aaron were accused of being independent from the church and taking too much upon themselves without the approval of the church. After all, it was God’s church that Korah and his associates represented, and the church, they said, was holy, for God had chosen it for Himself. Surely, when the entire church, through their appointed representatives, decides on something, it is as the voice of God to the people! How could Moses and Aaron not come under the authority of the church and the leaders the church had chosen? How could they justify their “independent” ways?

Yet, Moses and Aaron were not independent—again, as in Noah’s situation, they were the only truly non-independent ones within the church. Appearance was again deceptive. The church body

had become independent, whereas those accused of being independent were the ones who had remained loyal and true to the government of heaven.

A peripheral reading of this story might lead to a false conclusion. I have heard ministers and leaders liken their ministry to that of Moses, and anyone who is not in harmony with their plans or the plans of the conference, regardless of their reasons or convictions, are likened to Korah, Dathan and Abiram.

But, in writing to the leaders of the church, Ellen White warns:

“The question of religious liberty needs to be clearly comprehended by our people in more ways than one. With outstretched arms men are seeking to steady the ark, and the anger of the Lord is kindled against them because they think that their position entitles them to say what the Lord’s servants shall do and what they shall not do. They think themselves competent to decide what shall be brought before God’s people, and what shall be repressed. The Lord inquires of them, ‘Who has required this at your hand? Who has given you the burden of being conscience for My people? By what spirit are you guided and controlled when you seek to restrict their liberty? I have not chosen you as I chose Moses—as men through whom I can communicate divine instruction to My people. I have not placed the lines of control in your hands. The responsibility that rested on Moses—of voicing the words of God to the people—has never been delegated to you.’ ” Manuscript Release, vol. 18, 223.
It should be noted that Moses was not the elected leader of the children of Israel—he was never elected by the people. Rather, Moses was the one whom the people rejected (Acts 7:35). Moses was a type of Christ (Deuteronomy 18:15) whom the leaders of the church hated and crucified. He was a prophet chosen by God. The elected leader whom the people chose was Korah! “And Korah gathered all the congregation [or church] against them [Moses and Aaron] at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Numbers 16:19.

Did God recognize Korah’s position simply because the whole church was behind him? Would to God that we, today, would remember the lessons of Korah and seek more for the will and direction of God rather than for position, victory at the polls, or referendum mandates. Will we learn the lesson that no committee or conference or power on earth has the authority to change one precept of truth, as the beast power claims to be able to do? God is seeking the cooperation of His fellow workers on earth, but He has not abdicated the throne, nor will He allow mankind to develop and assume kingly and controlling power over His heritage, which are His purchased possession.

To be continued…

The Shaking

We are now in the time when everything that can be shaken will be.

I have repeatedly presented before you and others that there would come a shaking time, when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. We are now entering upon that time. 1888 Materials, 331.

Before a person is shaken out a secret work takes place.

How often our hearts have been pained by some sudden revelation in the outward actions of those for whom we had hoped better things, bringing to light their true character, that had heretofore been hidden from the sight of all! When held up before the light of God’s word, the character is found to be like the moth-eaten garment, which, when shaken out and examined,reveals the destructive work that has been going on secretly for years. While they have a form of godliness, sins small in their eyes have been eating into the warp and woof of their character; and that which at a casual glance appeared lovely, is unsightly and disgusting to look upon. Could the actor, as he entered upon this path of wrong, have seen himself as he appeared when his true character was opened to the light, he would have been as terrified and startled as was Hazael when Elisha told him what a wicked and cruel course he would pursue in the future. Youth Instructor, December 15, 1886.

People will be shaken out all the way until the end of the time of trouble.

They fell all the way along the path one after another, until we heard the voice of God like many waters which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. Word to the Little Flock, 14.

Only overcomers will not be shaken out.

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions,the angels of God have the charge: “They are joined to their idols, let them alone,” and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

If we do not study our Bibles carefully we will be shaken out.

None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. Great Controversy, 593, 594.

Many leaders will be shaken out.

Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness. Testimonies, vol. 5, 81.

Ministers of God, it is too late to be contending for the supremacy. The solemn time has come when ministers should be weeping between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” It is a day when instead of lifting up their souls in self-sufficiency, ministers and people should be confessing their sins before God and one another. The law of God is made void, and even among those who advocate its binding claims, are some who break its sacred precepts. The Bible will be opened from house to house, and men and women will find access to these homes, and minds will be opened to receive the word of God; and when the crisis comes, many will be prepared to make right decisions even in the face of the formidable difficulties that will be brought about through the deceptive miracles of Satan. Although these will confess the truth and become workers with Christ at the eleventh hour, they will receive equal wages with those who have wrought through the whole day. There will be an army of steadfast believers who will stands as firm as a rock through the last test. But where in that army are those who have been standard-bearers? Where are those whose voices have sounded in proclaiming the truth to the sinning? Some of them are not there. We look for them, but in the time of shaking they have been unable to stand, and have passed over to the enemy’s ranks. Review and Herald, December 24, 1889.

Nature Nugget — Luminescent Creatures

Bioluminescence is the ability of certain living things to give off light and is the result of chemical processes that go on in their tissues. Most luminescent animals are found in the oceans, especially in the deeper depths where no sunlight can reach. Numerous creatures such as fish, shrimp, jellyfish, squid and plankton have luminescent parts of their bodies which they use in various ways, such as to lure prey, attract mates, communicate and to defend themselves.

Luminescent lights, near the eyes of one deep sea fish, shine forward like a flashlight, allowing the fish to see where it is going and helping it find its prey. Another species has a luminescent lure which it uses to attract smaller fish, thus bringing them close enough to capture. Some fish have the ability to turn their lights on and off. You may be familiar with how a squid defends itself from predators by squirting out a black inky cloud to confuse the predator and cover its trail so it can escape. Well, there is a deep sea species of squid that does the same thing except it squirts out a luminescent cloud in defense.

Terrestrial examples of bioluminescence are fireflies, glowworms and certain fungi that grow on dead wood. Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, use their flashing lights to attract mates. In the tropics, fireflies are often placed in jars and used as lanterns. In Cuba, women sometimes attach luminescent click beetles to their clothing as ornaments.

We as Christians need to be more luminescent. Jesus says, “Ye are the light of the world . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16.

“The word was spoken to me, ‘Speak to the people all the words that I shall give thee. Wake up the mighty men. Let them become fully aroused, that they may with pen and voice stir up the people to whom God has given great light, that they may let their light shine forth in clear, steady rays to the world. A world is to be warned; and when the third angel’s message goes forth with a loud cry, minds will be fully prepared to make decisions for or against the truth.” 1888 Materials, 510.

What a solemn responsibility we have in regard to the light we have been entrusted with. Let us share this light with others, for the Lord will not come until this light is shared with the whole world.

The Godhead

What did Ellen White teach about the Godhead ?

When Jesus was here, one of the major contentions of the Jews was over the fact of His deity. In fact, this was one of the major reasons offered by the high priest why they had to crucify Jesus, because He claimed to be Jehovah—the eternal God. Four thousand years or more before that time, Lucifer had brought up a similar contention, challenging the absolute authority of Christ. Lucifer said that he should be equal with Christ. “Satan was jealous of Jesus.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 17. “Lucifer was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved upon Christ alone.” The Story of Redemption, 13. It was this envy of Lucifer that Christ should be equal with the Father that resulted in his fall and the rebellion against the government of God. He is still attempting to prove that Christ is not or should not be equal with the Father.

Since the times of the early church, innumerable variant teachings have been developed in regard to the Godhead and the deity of Christ. A principle one of these teachings was the development in the fourth century of Arianism, the idea that there was a time when Christ was not, or stated a different way, that Christ was the first of all created beings. Arianism is still a teaching of some churches today. Many fights and battles occurred, both military and spiritual, over the issue of the Godhead. This was one of the principle controversies for a period of at least two hundred years between the fourth and sixth century.

In the development of Adventism, as people came into the second Advent movement from many different churches and backgrounds, it is not surprising that there would be different individuals who had contrary ideas on the subject of the Godhead. Before looking at this controversy there are two points that we should understand. First of all, since the Godhead is one of the oldest controversies in Christendom, we should expect it to be revived among God’s people toward the end, because Ellen White predicts that old controversies will be revived. “Those things which have been, will be repeated. Old controversies will be revived, and new theories will be continually arising.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 109. “We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking possession of the human family . . .Impostors of every caste and grade will claim to be worthy and true, and there will be a magnifying of the common and impure against the true and the holy. Thus, the spurious is accepted, and the true standard of holiness is discarded, as the word of God was discarded by Adam and Eve for the lie of Satan.” Review and Herald, August 31, 1897. “The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the channels of the great deep. Prophecies are being fulfilled, and stormy times are before us. Old controversies which have apparently been hushed for a long time will be revived, and new controversies will spring up; new and old will commingle, and this will take place right early.” Special Testimonies, Series A, 38.

A second point that we need to understand, before looking at this old controversy which has been revived just as Ellen White predicted, is that if we accept as authoritative and divinely inspired the writings of Ellen White, the special messenger to the remnant, we will be protected from all the delusions that will come upon the world. Ellen White wrote to Elder Simpson, an Adventist minister, (Letter 50, 1906), “The Lord never denies His word. Men may get up scheme after scheme and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from truth, but all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days.” So, we see that the Lord has given us, through the Spirit of Prophecy, a safeguard against the many delusions that will come in; a point of reference to turn to when there is any old or new controversy arising, by which we can be stabilized in Bible truth, and kept from all delusions.

We go now directly to the controversy over the Godhead, not in religious history in general, but in the developing second Advent movement. Many, if not most, of the leaders in the early second Advent movement, after 1844, were Arian in belief. For example, Uriah Smith wrote that Christ was a created being. Not only this, but Uriah Smith did not believe that Christ was the Alpha and the Omega, except in a very qualified sense (i.e. the Alpha and Omega of the plan of salvation). Also, Uriah Smith was unwilling to say that the phrase, “the one who is, and the one who was, and the one who is to come” could be applied to Jesus Christ. Moreover, people such as Uriah Smith, D.M. Canright and J.N. Loughborough had the position that the Holy Spirit was not really a personality, not a person, but was simply some type of a divine emanation or influence. E.J. Waggoner also said that there was a time when Christ had not existed, that His life was derived from the Father. Statements concerning the equality of Christ to the Father were interpreted to mean that He had an equality that was conferred upon Him.

One of the main reasons that these beliefs disappeared from Adventism was that in 1898, Ellen White published a book called The Desire of Ages, which made unequivocal definitions of Christ’s place, power and authority, and also spoke of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead. The reason that the controversy over Arianism was solved without the church splitting was because our pioneers had implicit faith and confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy. This faith and confidence in the writings of Ellen White as being a true prophet of God had been built over many decades so that by the latter part of the nineteenth century, when she made statements totally contrary to what they believed, they surrendered their ideas and believed what the Lord had told them through the Spirit of Prophecy.

We look now at statements concerning the Godhead from the pen of Ellen White. First of all, we must understand that the Godhead is a subject that is beyond the mind of man, and that we will never fully understand it throughout eternity. She said, “Do not try to explain in regard to the personality of God. You cannot give any further explanation than the Bible has given. Human theories regarding Him are good for nothing.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 94. Also, “The revelation of Himself that God has given in His word is for our study. This we may seek to understand. But beyond this, we are not to penetrate. The highest intellect may tax itself until it is wearied out in conjectures regarding the nature of God; but the effort will be fruitless. This problem has not been given us to solve. No human mind can comprehend God . . . Let none indulge in speculation regarding His nature. Here silence is eloquence. The Omniscient One is above discussion.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 279.

A second point that we notice in Ellen White’s writings is that she speaks of one God. She does not teach that there are three Gods, but that there is one God. And yet, at the same time, as we will see, she teaches that this one God includes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which are three personalities mysteriously united as one. We will now quote statements that indicate this. “With solemn dignity, Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I Am.’

“Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilaean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’” Desire of Ages, 469, 470. “There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was One with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light unapproachable and incomprehensible.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126. [All emphasis supplied.]

Ellen White speaks of the Father and Son as being of one substance: ” ‘Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ With what firmness and power he uttered these words. The Jews had never before heard such words from human lips, and a convicting influence attended them; for it seemed that divinity flashed through humanity as Jesus said, ‘I and my Father are one.’ The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as he put forth the claim that He and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes. The Jews understood His meaning, there was no reason why they should misunderstand, and they took up stones to stone Him.” Signs of the Times, November 20, 1893.

Ellen White teaches that the “I am” refers to Christ and the Father, both Christ and the Father are self existent. And she states unequivocally that the “I am” is one. Notice, “Heavenly beings, sustained and guided by the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, were impelling these wheels; above them, upon the sapphire throne, was the Eternal One; and round about the throne a rainbow, the emblem of divine mercy . . . The history which the great I AM has marked out in His word, uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tells us where we are today in the procession of the ages and what may be expected in time to come.” Education, 178. Notice, there is One upon the throne and this Eternal One is also the great “I AM.” But we have already seen from the Desire of Ages that the “I AM” includes Christ as well as the Father. (See John 8.) So this “Eternal One” must include both the Father and the Son. In this passage she is commenting on Ezekiel 1:4, 26, and 10:8. Notice, there is One upon the throne. There is one God, but this one God includes both Christ and the Father. The God who gave the ten commandments is spoken of by Ellen White as the “Eternal One.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 329. But, Ellen White speaks of this Eternal One as both the Father and the Son: “When they came to Sinai, He took occasion to refresh their minds in regard to His requirements. Christ and the Father, standing side by side upon the mount, with solemn majesty proclaimed the Ten Commandments.” Evangelism, 616. So both Christ and the Father are included in that term “the Eternal One.”

Concerning the Holy Spirit Ellen White said, “‘The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities;’ and the Spirit, being God, knoweth the mind of God.” Signs of the Times, October 3, 1892. Ellen White taught that all three members of the Godhead were God in the fullest most complete sense: “All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God cannot be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father cannot be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.

“The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be ‘the express image of His person.’ ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Here is shown the personality of the Father.

“The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Savior. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers —the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.” Evangelism, 614, 615.

We see in these statements that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all referred to as being the “fullness of the Godhead,” and that they are referred to as persons, specifically as three persons. We will now see further evidence that these three Persons, each of whom is the fullness of the Godhead, are all “one God.”

The world was created by one God, as you can read in Testimonies, vol. 8, 256. It is generally conceded that this one God includes the Father, but we now see that it included the Son and the Holy Spirit also. Notice, “‘When He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth.’ John 16:13. Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning ‘was brooding upon the face of the waters;’ of that Word by whom ‘all things were made;’ of that ‘true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,’ can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted.” Education, 134.

We next come to the term “Jehovah.” “Jehovah, the eternal self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 305. But “Jehovah is the name given to Christ.” Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899. Although this word generally refers to Christ in the Scriptures, sometimes it can refer to the Father: “In His wisdom the Saviour teaches us to approach God with the confidence of a child. He instructs us to call Jehovah by the endearing name of ‘Father,’ that we may not separate from Him in awe and coldness. Constantly He points us to the emblems of fatherly love, seeking to encourage faith and confidence in God. He pleads with us to have a correct idea of the Father.” Signs of the Times, January 20, 1898.

Next, we see again an emphasis in Ellen White’s writings that there are three distinct personalities in the deity. Notice, “The mighty power that works through all nature and sustains all things is not, as some men of science represent, merely an all-pervading principle, an actuating energy. God is a spirit; yet He is a personal Being, for so He has revealed Himself.” Ministry of Healing, 413. “Christ is one with the Father, but Christ and God are two distinct Personages.” Review and Herald, June 1, 1905. “The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 247, or Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. [Notice when the word eternity is used, the writer is referring to an infinite number so that you can not say that there was ever a time when Christ was not a distinct person from the Father. This completely destroys the teaching that some infer from Proverbs 8 that there was a time when Christ was not a distinct person from the Father. The term “bring forth” does not there have implications of a bringing forth in the sense of a birth or beginning of existence—as we will see, no more can this be said about the Son than about the Father. The sense of “bring forth” in Proverbs 8 is the same, or similar, as in Psalm 18:19 where it is speaking of a change in location and has nothing to do with beginning of existence.] “There is a personal God, the Father; there is a personal Christ, the Son.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1898. “The scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality individuality of each.” Ministry of Healing, 421. “The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one is purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.” Ministry of Healing, 422.

The Holy Spirit is a person also.

“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.” Evangelism, 616.

We come now more specifically to the point of the pre-existence of Christ. Ellen White bears much witness to the fact of the eternal pre-existence of Christ. “But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. ‘I lay it down of myself’ (John 10:18), He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived.” Signs of the Times, April 8, 1897. (See also Desire of Ages, 530.) “Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent, Son of God . . . In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.” [Fellowship, means by definition that two distinct intelligences are referred to, there is no fellowship with one’s self.] Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900. “Christ shows them that, although they might reckon His life to be less than fifty years, yet, His divine life cannot be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.” Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899. Well did the disciples understand this love as they saw their Saviour enduring shame, reproach, doubt, and betrayal, as they saw his agony in the garden, and his death on Calvary’s cross. This is a love the depth of which no sounding can ever fathom. As the disciples comprehended it, as their perception took hold of God’s divine compassion, they realized that there is a sense in which the sufferings of the Son were the sufferings of the Father. From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character. Youth Instructor, December 12, 1897.

Concerning the equality of the Father and the Son, Ellen White makes many statements which show that Christ was equal with the Father before His incarnation, during His incarnation, and forever. For example, “Though he took humanity upon himself, he was divine. All that is attributed to the Father himself is attributed to Christ.” Review and Herald, May 19, 1896. “Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all blessed forevermore.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. “To save the transgressor of God’s law, Christ,the One equal with the Father, came to live Heaven before men, that they might learn to know what it is to have heaven in the heart.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 179. “But although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet he did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions human and divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own.” Signs of the Times, May10, 1899. “The only way in which the fallen race could be restored was through the gift of His Son, equal with Himself, possessing the attributes of God. Though so highly exalted, Christ consented to assume human nature that He might work in behalf of man and reconcile to God His disloyal subject.” Review and Herald, November 8, 1892. Notice, that in this preceding statement, Ellen White makes the claim that only by One who was equal with the Father could man be redeemed. If Christ was a junior God or in any way not equal with the Father, as Arians have claimed, Ellen White claims that the atonement would not be complete. This claim completely destroys the Arian position.

We next come to the question about what happened to Christ’s deity when He died. On this question, Ellen White is very specific. She said, “Humanity died: divinity did not die.” Youth’s Instructor, August 4, 1898. The reader might also see statements in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1113, 1129. Also, The Desire of Ages teaches that when Christ came forth from the tomb, he was raised by His own divine power. See Desire of Ages, 785.

Last of all, Ellen White describes the Holy Spirit as a personality, a deity, and not an inferior emanation or influence, but in every sense, part of the Godhead. Notice, “The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else he could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God.” Evangelism, 617. “The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.” Special Testimonies, Series A, number 10, 37. “Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer.” Desire of Ages, 671. Ellen White does not speak of the Holy Spirit as an emanation, an influence or something subordinate or inferior to the Father and the Son. She speaks of the Holy Spirit as the fullness of the Godhead. “The comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to Heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the Heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their effort to live the new life of Christ.” Special Testimonies, Series B, Number 7, 62, 63. Many have written treatises on the above subject but one of the best ones that this writer has seen which contains most of the references used in the above article is a Thesis on the Arian views in Seventh-day Adventist Literature and the Ellen G. White Answer by Erwin Roy Gane, submitted to Andrews University Seminary June, 1963.

Three Gardens

We are in a contest of time and space and circumstance which creates a very real need for a strong, true, vibrant faith. You may think you have heard enough about faith, so let me try a different approach to get past your guard and plant some thoughts as seeds in your mind about faith. Our study will be divided up into three sections, each one about a garden.

Section One:

Our Father Meets an Enemy in a Garden

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:8, 15. That was a pretty nice garden. They are not making gardens like that now. We think about compost and vegetation, and things that die to make other things live. But, they were not working on that basis in this garden. Nothing had to die in order to make something live. The soil was so perfectly rich and balanced in all the nutrients, that you did not have to add anything. It was all there, perfectly created by the Master Gardener Himself. All you had to do was cooperate with the laws of nature, and the results were wonderful. That is what our father, Adam, was doing.

The soil, of course, did not have rocks like New England. When I went to Atlantic Union College, I bought a little piece of land in order to build a home in the country. I noticed rocks sticking up here and there all over the land. I noticed fences made out of rocks. I thought, “Well, I’ll get a bulldozer in here and we’ll smooth this all out and I’ll plant grass.” Then a friend told me, “Don’t bring any bulldozer in here. It will turn up ten rocks for every rock you scrape off. There’s no end to the rocks here. It’ll just stir up the soil and you will have a big, big harvest of rocks; that’s all you’ll have.” So I left it the way it was and let nature take care of it.

You can see, we have handicaps here that they never thought of in our father’s garden in Eden. Another example is the adobe soil in California. This is strange soil—almost hard as concrete when it is dry, and soft like slush when it is wet. But the garden of Eden had the right texture all the time. There is a statement that it was watered from underneath. Have you been to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and wondered about those miles and miles of underground tunnels there, and the tunnels back in Kentucky which they tell me are larger still? The water in Eden was probably flowing underneath and came up to the soil. That is the ideal arrangement. I have no use for rain. I have lived in some very rainy places, both here and in the tropics, and I can get along fine with no rain at all if we could water things without it. So, I see the ideal as a land where the water seeps up from underneath and waters everything, but the top of the soil is always dry. You could lie down on it and not get wet.

The temperature must have been something like Hawaii, an average of about 70 degrees. The fruit was magnificent. The vegetables were marvelous. The flowers were beautiful beyond compare. Our father—your father and my father, loved that garden. He loved to work it. It was his to dress and tend. I suspect that he had pathways prepared with little colonies of this kind of a plant, and little plantings of that. It was a place of marvelous beauty.

But Adam was being closely watched, because our father had an enemy. He was not fully aware of why this enemy should have it in for him, but he did. Lucifer was studying our father, watching his every movement and wondering: “How can I get to this created human being in such a way that I can influence him and cause his heart to rebel against the Heavenly Father who created him?” As Satan watched, he observed something. The most precious thing to our father upon this earth, was his wife, Eve. That gave Satan an idea. “If I can work through her, and cause her to be damaged or destroyed, I could get to Adam.” So he studied Eve. He watched carefully to see what her mind considered beautiful and what her thoughts were. It did not take him long to see that Eve was a lover of beautiful things. Just about the most beautiful thing around the garden, was the serpent that had wings. Practically in all mankind, there is, in their tradition, a story of the winged serpent. In the discoveries of stonework down in Central and South America they find carved pictures of a serpent with wings. This tradition goes way back into the memory of man, the serpent with wings, the flying serpent. The devil arranged things so that every time Eve enjoyed admiring the beauty of that serpent with wings, the serpent was a little closer to that forbidden tree. Finally his purpose was accomplished. You know what happened, she was deceived. She took of the fruit and ate it. When this became known to Adam our father, it blew his mind. This is what the devil planned.

Adam was confronted with a problem that he thought was too much for God to handle. You see the point? That is still a problem today. Every one of us have had that sort of situation, at least temporarily—a problem that looked like it was too much for God to handle. “God can do a lot of things, I’m sure, but He can’t handle this. There’s no hope. There’s nothing even God can do about this.” That is typical of the human family. We see so many examples of it. When Abraham got into the country ruled by Abimelech, he decided that his beautiful wife, Sarah, was going to be at risk. He said, “You tell them that you’re not my wife. Tell them that you’re my sister.” He seemingly thought God could not handle this problem. He was in the foreigner’s territory, and was at the mercy of the king. He could not defend himself against the power that was in control. He figured, “God can’t do anything about this. I’ll have to seek another solution.”

We could also think of the people of Israel coming to the border of the promised land at the edge of the Jordan River and pausing there to send the spies into the land. When the spies came back with their ten spies giving a terribly dismal report, what was the reaction? “It’s hopeless, it’s hopeless, it’s hopeless. God has not the ability, or the strength, to handle this problem. He can’t deal with this.”

Let us bring it up to our modern times. This is something that everybody goes through when they decide to start keeping the Sabbath. Those of us who came in from the world, had to struggle with that problem. I was working in a plywood factory in the state of Washington on Friday nights. I was warned by some that if I tried to keep the Sabbath they would fire me, because it had happened to others before. I had to struggle with that problem. Is the Lord able to handle this, or is He not? I finally decided I would rather lose my job than lose my soul. But, I will never forget the struggle. I have done some hard things in my life, but I do not believe anything was harder than for me to go into the office where that rough old lumber man stood who owned the mill. He was chewing tobacco, chewing on a cigar, and spitting his tobacco juice into a spittoon on the floor—just as rough a character as you will ever find. How do I talk to this man about spiritual things? But I did—by the grace of God I did it.

As an evangelist, I have seen so many men and women come up to this awesome situation, and they have the question, like Adam had—”Can God handle this problem? Can I keep the Sabbath on this job? If I lose this job, can God help me get another job?” It is a powerfully big problem. They either take the advanced step and say, “I will begin keeping the Sabbath,” and discover something—that God is watching, and that He has a plan all the way from there to the kingdom for each one. Or if they do not take that step of faith, they never know anything about that plan.

What can we learn about all of this from Adam? He saw a problem, and in his view, it was beyond any solution. He decided he would rather be lost with Eve than live without her. Those two choices were not the only choices, because God had already solved the problem before it started. Take a look at the scriptures. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.” Now look at this carefully: “which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9. [All emphasis supplied.] “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, [that is the anti-Christ,] whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. God was not taken by surprise by the sin of Eve. It was certainly a sad situation, but to think of it as something that God could not handle, that was the big mistake. It was not by any means something that God could not handle. We find a statement like this: “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam.” Desire of Ages, 22. It was made long before the fall of Adam. “It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’” Romans. 16:25, R.V. “From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but he foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency.” Ibid.

The point is that God has no problems in the sense that we humans think of them—as being something that He cannot handle. No problem is any harder for God than any other problem. No problem is any easier for God than any other problem. To Him, they are all just a matter of His will, that is all. We want to think about that when we consider the principle involved here. This statement makes it personal. “If we surrender our lives to His service, we can never be placed in a position for which God has not made provision.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 173. Notice the past tense. No matter what kind of a situation you get into, God was there ahead of you. God sized the whole situation up ahead of us. He decided just what avenue of escape He would have ready for us. It is no problem to Him. God makes decisions, but He has no problems at all. Adam’s great mistake was to feel that this problem was too much for the Lord.

In our modern times, we find people struggling with believing that God can solve their problems. We should remember to look back across the years. It is clearly stated that God foresaw the problem of Israel wanting a king. Patriarchs and Prophets, 603. He foresaw the problems that would lead to the captivity of Israel. Prophets and Kings, 408. Jesus foresaw the treachery of Judas. Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1102. But look especially at this thought: God foresaw the delusive doctrines of the last days. Testimonies, vol. 8, 201.

If I would ask you what our biggest problem is now, many would say: “The horrible false doctrines that are assailing the church, the apostasy in the church.” God foresaw it. God foresaw that you would be living in these last days seeking a place of refuge on Sabbath mornings, not wanting to listen to error from the pulpit, but wanting to hear the pure Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy expounded. God knew exactly what He was going to do about this problem of apostasy, and these last day delusions. In Review and Herald, September 6, 1898, is a similar statement about how God foresaw the last day arts and devices of Satan. So God has no problems! We have a most horrible problem if we ever suspect that anything has happened to us that God cannot handle. God can handle it! He can handle the problems of the church. He can handle the problems of our individual lives. He can handle anything and everything that comes along, because He was there first. He is watching the whole thing from above, where He sees ahead.

Section Two:

Our Brother Meets an Enemy in the Garden

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, which he entered, and His disciples.” John 18:1. “They came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and He said to His disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.” Mark 14:32–35.

Compare this problem with Adam’s problem. Adam’s problem was that he might lose his companion. The comparison is one sided, because Christ is facing the problem of being cast into non-existence, (which will be the equivalent of the sinner’s death) a much greater problem. If anybody would have a temptation to think “This is too much for the Lord,” it would be Jesus. He struggled. Yes, we have to admit, He struggled. The struggle is easy to understand when we consider what He was giving up—the dominions of all the universe, the glory and the adoration from all.

But if you look at these two garden scenes there were differences. Our Brother in the garden of Gethsemane appeared much smaller than our father in the garden of Eden. He did not look a lot like him. The garden itself, instead of being the beautiful scene that we talked about in Eden, was a rough and rocky hillside. The best thing they could grow there was olive trees.

The Man Himself, our Savior, our Brother, was weaker than Adam. Notice this comment,”When Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.” Desire of Ages, 117.

To study this for yourself, read the chapter “Gethsemane” in Desire of Ages. There you will have a look into the heart of Jesus, a look right into His soul, to see what he was fighting with. It describes what being numbered with the transgressors meant. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. He is tempted to fear that it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. He is staring annihilation in the face—non-existence. He falls prostrate to the ground. The thought of being separated from His father was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony, He must not exert His divine power to escape. He could have. He could have backed out even then.

He stretched out on the ground and tried to cling to the soil with His hands, as if He were going to be shaken loose from it. Three times He went back to the disciples to see if He might get some comfort and encouragement from them, some realization that what He was doing had value in their sight. But they were asleep, all the while. He did not get any help there at all. Finally, when He made that supreme decision, “He fell dying to the ground.” He would have died right there except for miraculous intervention. He would not have gotten to the cross at all. Jesus had an enormously stronger reason to judge the immensity of His problem than Adam had. But, He said, “My Father has no problems. My Father is in control. All that my Father gives shall come to me.” This time it was victory, instead of failure!

To make this personal—do you ever feel a sense of panic? Events among the nations, events in our church, events in our own lives—that is where it comes close to us. Remember our father’s experience? He decided that God could not handle his problem, so he gave in. But God had it all solved. Christ would have died for Eve if nobody else had ever sinned. There was a problem but, there was a solution available. So remember our father, and remember our Elder Brother, and never doubt God’s power.

The Spirit of Prophecy focuses on this particular problem—feeling that God can not handle it, and that things are out of control. Do you think anything ever happens to you when God is not looking, that He just does not care about? There is nothing about you that He does not care about. There is nothing that He is not interested in. Every aspect of our entire life experience is important to Him, but He is taking a long view.

Sometimes we take the short view. We will look at a few lines to remind us of what is said to us about this particular question: “Can God handle this? Or is God off somewhere paying attention to other things and not watching?” “Many who sincerely consecrate their lives to God’s service are surprised and disappointed to find themselves, as never before, confronted by obstacles and beset by trials and perplexities. Like Israel of old they question, ‘If God is leading us, why do these things come upon us?’ [Here is the answer.] It is because God is leading them that these things come upon them. Trials and obstacles are the Lord’s chosen methods of discipline and His appointed conditions of success.” Ministry of Healing, 470, 471. “God’s care for His heritage is unceasing. He suffers no affliction to come upon His children but such as is essential for their present and eternal good. [No affliction, from the largest, to the smallest.] All that He brings upon His people in test and trial comes that they may gain deeper piety and greater strength to carry forward the triumphs of the cross.” Acts of the Apostles, 425.

Does God really take personal interest in you? “He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. Whatever comes to Him comes from the Saviour.” Ministry of Healing, 489. Look at that carefully. That is a bold statement. “Whatever comes to him comes from the Saviour.” You mean all of this hard luck, all of these disappointments? Yes, everything. There are no exceptions. “Nothing can touch him except by the Lord’s permission. All our sufferings and sorrows, all our temptations and trials, all our sadness and griefs, all our persecutions and privations, in short, all things work together for our good. All experiences and circumstances are God’s workmen whereby good is brought to us.” Ibid., 488. “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.” Ibid., 479.

Faith is like a diamond—it has many facets. We are studying a couple of those facets in this article. We have looked at your trials and your faith. Let us look at another aspect of faith—your words and your faith. We are told, “It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words.” Ministry of Healing, 251, 252. You can talk yourself into a lot of discouragement and doubt. You can talk yourself into total doubt, total unbelief, total abandonment of the truth, just by talking about how bad things are. “Talk of faith, of light, and of heaven, and you will have faith, light and love, and peace and joy, in the Holy Ghost.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 168. If you love darkness, talk about it—it will come. Ibid., 699. “Those who talk faith and cultivate faith will have faith, but those who cherish and express doubts will have doubts.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 302.

In Ministry of Healing, 250 we are told, “When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light” and talk about that. Our words have a reaction upon ourselves. If we express our gloomy thoughts, “Oh, how terrible this is, how terrible that is,” we will talk ourselves into a bad condition, because thoughts follow words. But we can train ourselves to say, “That is bad, but it is no problem to the Lord.”

We live in a time when some terrible things are happening. It will get us down if we are not careful. It will depress us and discourage us. We must fight that depression and discouragement. We must fight that awful feeling of goneness when we see horrible things happening. “God calls upon His faithful ones, who believe in Him, to talk courage to those who are unbelieving and hopeless.” Christian Service, 234. “If we will restrain the expression of unbelief, and by hopeful words and prompt movements strengthen our own faith and the faith of others, our vision will grow clearer. The pure atmosphere of heaven will surround our souls. Be strong and talk hope.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 462. “Never allow yourself to talk in a hopeless, discouraged way. If you do you will lose much. By looking at appearances and complaining when difficulties and pressure come, you give evidence of a sickly, feeble faith.” Now look at this line, “Talk and act as if your faith was invincible.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 147.

Section Three:

Our Father Meets Our Brother in a Garden.

This is a beautiful scene talking about the redeemed coming to the gates of the Holy City. “As the ransomed ones are welcomed to the City of God, there rings out upon the air an exultant cry of adoration. The two Adams are about to meet. [Christ and Adam] The Son of God is standing with outstretched arms to receive the father of our race—the being whom He created, who sinned against his Maker, and for whose sin the marks of the crucifixion are borne upon the Saviour’s form. As Adam discerns the prints of the cruel nails, he does not fall upon the bosom of his Lord, but in humiliation casts himself at His feet, crying, ‘Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!’ Tenderly the Saviour lifts him up, and bids him look once more upon the Eden home from which he has so long been exiled.” Great Controversy, 647. Did you know that the garden of Eden is in heaven? Pretty nice. I want to be there. Don’t you? Faith is the victory. We have got to have faith that will never look at any problem of any dimension and say, “This is too much for the Lord.” Nothing is too much for the Lord! He has it all figured out. He knows exactly what his response isgoing to be to every trial that comes along. All we have to do is hang on to Him for dear life, and never let ourselves doubt in any way.

Thank You For Your Help For the Work in Ghana !

The plans to help our brothers and sisters in Ghana were entered into after prayer and communication with missionaries and local people who had worked there for years. Although the evidence indicated that at present this was the best place where we could help the work in Africa go forward, this work from the beginning faced much opposition from almost every quarter. (The reason that we believed Ghana was the best place to begin, was that God’s faithful people there had a church organization that was based on the New Testament model. This developed after much trouble and trial as well as Bible-study, over a twenty year period.) In fact, it was opposition to the work in Ghana that partially influenced a disruption with some staff right at Steps to Life. It was then predicted that the poor people in Ghana would be disappointed because promises had been made that would not be realized. Rumors have been sent all over the country and attempts have been made to get accusations against the orphans and the orphanage. This of course would stop support for the project. In the midst of all this opposition, we never knew from one month to the next where support would come for either the orphanage or for Steps to Life to continue sponsoring the project, since so many false accusations were being made.

At the same time we could not fail to see their desperate need for a means to communicate the gospel more effectively. We believed in spite of the frailty of our humanity it would be a dishonor to the Lord for us to quit as long as the Lord held the door open for us to help them with the work. What has happened, as you can see from the above article and picture, we believe to be a result of God’s great grace. It would never have happened with the amount of opposition against it, except that the Lord worked a miracle. We believe that there will be a multitude of these people in heaven and we want to have that unity and harmony with them for which Christ prayed in John 17. We also want to be in unity and harmony with God’s children all over the world and are praying for those who want to be our enemies —we want unity and harmony with them too. We want to have perfect unity and harmony with you too, brother or sister —we absolutely must have it if we are going to heaven together. Any and all wrongs must be made right and we must all be heart to heart together.

Many things have been learned from the work in Ghana. One thing is that great progress cannot occur for God’s work in any city or country until there is New Testament church organization. Is your home church organized according to the New Testament? (See Acts of the Apostles,

155–165, 188–200, 593–602.) New Testament church organization is not hierarchical and no hierarchical organization is in harmony with the New Testament. There are several other countries in Africa asking for help. We hope that Ghana will become a center for giving the Third Angels’ Message to all the English-speaking countries in Africa. If we can become unified, as the Lord is calling for, the work in Africa and in other countries could receive help and be finished quickly.

One of the ways that there has been an attempt to stop the Ghana projects is by false accusations that Steps to Life was in some way dishonest or not accountable with finances. We have had full financial audits for the last two years. We have also had accounting reviews by an independent accounting firm for the two years previous to that. Anyone who is supporting God’s work at Steps to Life is welcome to come to our office and look at either our audited statements or our books.

We are receiving increasing calls for help from many parts of the world. We have no way to help all these people except as the Lord through His Holy Spirit impresses His true and faithful people to help finish the work all over the world. Please join us in prayer for divine instruction and assistance that the work can be finished quickly. Don’t you want to go home soon too?

Reporting from Kumasi, W. Africa

Editors Note: September 10, 1996, witnessed many good-byes, as farewells were said to friends and loved ones. A total of seven people set to the air for Ghana, W. Africa. Most were to stay for three months and several more joined them mid-November. It is all a part of our mission to give the Third Angel’s Message to the world—of which the health message is the right arm. Those serving for 3 months are: Dr. Loeffler, a chiropractor from Hemet, California, Mike and Shari Casey, health workers from California, Amanda Clark and Benjamin Reeves. These people are working to establish a clinic based on our health message. Dr. Loeffler reports.

One of our top priorities in establishing a natural health clinic in Ghana was to see that we were within the laws of this nation. A visit to the office of the Minister of Health made us realize that not only was there a known need, but also a willingness on the part of the health officials to encourage “alternative medicine” practitioners. Next we visited regional and national offices to insure that there were no serious objections. They indicated their willingness to make a “special category” for us, making us the first clinic in the nation to use only natural medicine.

On October 22, 1996, we received permission from the government of Ghana to open a clinic. They stated the following: “The Ministry has no objection to the establishment of a clinic using natural remedies,” also, “The Historic Adventist Church can be allowed to establish their clinic. They will have to re-register the clinic with the private Hospitals and Maternity Homes Board when they are ready with the requisite staff to use allopathic drugs.”

It is my personal opinion that we should not use drugs, however when we go into the sanitarium phase of this plan with in-house patients, we should have the right to use any remedy for the protection of our patients.

The clinic is located on a busy street with easy access by auto and taxi. Our location provides us with good advertising. The sign we have posted on the building is all that is necessary to draw a good group of patients.

Our building is a remodeled multi-unit dwelling, constructed of solid concrete block and reinforced concrete. Adjacent to the building is another two story structure where the Historic Adventist Church has their headquarters. On the same upper level there are guest rooms, kitchen, dining room and bath. This is where we eat and sleep and are wonderfully taken care of. The lower floor has the potential of becoming our first sanitarium. We have already received several inquiries about using it as a place for a mid-wife to work. There is also a new structure attached to the clinic that will seat about 400 people. It is designed as a church, but could also serve for other purposes.

Our team consists of a chiropractor, a native herbologist, a naturopathic doctor, and a water therapist. We also call upon the Great Physician regularly and realize that without His help we could do nothing. This multiple discipline approach is a first in Ghana, and possibly a first anywhere.

By combining our knowledge of the natural healing arts, the end results are not just unique, but very effective. According to our records to date about one third of the patients have a treatable spinal problem; i.e., one that will respond to chiropractic manipulation. Two thirds of our patients will receive one or more medicinal herbs. There are other conditions that respond to deep massage and exercise, and still others that require the proper application of water in some form. Many cases receive a combination of therapies including the use of native and imported herbs.

So far we have treated patients with conditions ranging from malaria to cancer, to arthritis, infertility, ulcers, parasites, and injuries, just to name a few. Ghana is not a wealthy nation, yet we see little actual hunger. The forests and farms provide plantain, corn, rice, beans, yams, bananas, pineapple, papaya, coconut and many other sources of inexpensive food. Yet, there are still many dietary problems here. Young children, who have been recently weaned, seem prone to B-vitamin and protein deficiencies. The adults have many problems that result from lifestyle preferences. Palm nut oil is abundant, inexpensive and palatable. Most of the traditional dishes are filled with this harmful product, and the results are evident in the typical degenerative diseases that we see frequently, such as: atherosclerosis, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and etc.

Many people in Ghana have a gross lack of knowledge in why and how to select wholesome foods. Over half of the patients we see are not eating as well as they should and could. Many are eating next to nothing that is raw.

This is where the Historic Adventist Clinic demonstrates one of its strong points. Not only do we believe in health reform, we strive to live the health reform. Every patient is told the importance of eating a well balanced, wholesome, yet simple diet and how these foods will help to bring about health. Most of the patients are very willing to cooperate with diet changes and are anxious to improve their health.

One patient who had a tumor removed from her liver some time ago, was told by the doctors to go home and die. She came to us for help, and was taught to use only wholesome foods and how to prepare them. She was also instructed in how to use water, nutritional supplements and some native herbs. We also had prayer with her on several occasions. Within a month’s time she walked by herself to the clinic, not cured, but very grateful, able to smile and full of hope.

Another patient came to us after being operated on by a drunk doctor, who, instead of removing her appendix like he was supposed to, operated on her naval. She had been experiencing severe pain at the sight of the operation. Now, by God’s grace, she is responding well to daily hydrotherapy treatments. Her pain is almost completely gone.

We are often visited by Moslem patients, and have had opportunities to witness to them. One man has started Bible studies with us, and he and several friends have promised to read a copy of Steps to Christ that we gave them. This is an excellent way to reach Moslem and other non-Christian religions, because they are wide open to natural medicine.

The people are very receptive to a natural, drugless approach to treating diseases. There has been a gradual reduction in the confidence of the average person in the effectiveness of drugs. If there has ever been an opportune time for the drugless practitioner to be accepted in Ghana it is now. This is the place, if someone is interested in using natural remedies in mission work. Many church members here are very interested in being trained as medical missionaries. I interviewed a young person today who was willing to work for nothing just for the opportunity of observing and learning the therapies. A Nigerian women is even here to observe and learn.

How long can we hold these people off? Is it not time for a teaching sanitarium to be established here? There needs to be a joint effort in establishing such an institution that can not only care for the sick but also train young people to become medical missionaries.

If you want your donation to go a long way, consider the exchange rate in Ghana of 1700 to one. Many people in the United States are living in houses that would bring enough money to establish or build a whole sanitarium. The way is wide open for this work here. I recently received a call from a chief who heard that we were starting up a clinic-sanitarium. He offered land in his village where an institution could be built.

The Lord is calling us to spread the gospel to all the world, and He has many means through which this can be done. Just imagine what a witness it would be if institutions like this could be set up in many locations. The harvest is truly ripe, but the laborers are few. Keep the work and the workers here in your prayers.