Lessons on Reformation, part 2

” After the flood the people once more increased on the earth, and wickedness also increased. Idolatry became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham, of the line of Shem, and made him the keeper of the law for future generations.” Manuscript 65, 1906.

Following the flood men decided, against the express wishes of God, to build a city and a tower in order to make a name for themselves. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. While the tower was in the process of being built, the Lord came down, destroyed it and confused their language. The effect was to scatter them over the face of the earth. Having done this He left them to their own designs.

After the flood, God had told Noah, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1. The sons of men decided that their plan was better than God’s plan and so they congregated and refused to scatter over the earth. Have we not as professed followers of the Lord fallen into the same trap that Satan laid for the men of Babel, that is, acting as though our plans are better than God’s plans? God’s instruction is, “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14.

We cannot follow our own wishes in the building and operation of institutions. One of our large university churches is expending three million, nine hundred thousand dollars to expand its facilities. The Lord has warned us over and over not to congregate: “No one is to make an urgent appeal for means with which to erect large and expensive buildings for sanitariums, colleges [college churches], or publishing houses, so absorbing means that the work in other places is crippled. Let our brethren be careful lest by drawing largely from our people for the erection of large buildings in one place, they rob other parts of the Lord’s vineyard. Unduly to invest means and exalt this work in one part of the field when there is city work to be done in many places, is not the right thing. It is selfishness and covetousness. The Lord especially condemns such a manifestation, for by it His sacred work is misrepresented before the world. He would have His work controlled and guided by equity, justice, and judgment. He does not call for the erection of immense institutions. One corner of the vineyard is not the whole world. In many places throughout the world memorials for God are to be established to represent His truth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 406, 407.

Some may argue that we need to meet the needs of the students who attend the university. If this requires such a large outlay of funds then the whole institution is too large. The goal of most students is to obtain the best education, in order to make the most money possible, in the shortest time. Our educational institutions were intended to train young people for service to mankind, not service of self.

“It is a mistake for our people to crowd together in large numbers. It is not in harmony with God’s plans. It is His will that the knowledge which we receive of the truth should be communicated to others; that the light which shines upon us should be reflected upon the pathway of those walking in darkness, so that we may lead others to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. But where a large number are congregated together in one church, this work in a large measure is neglected, and the light of truth is often only reflected back and forth upon the church-members; the world is left in darkness, the alarm is not sounded, the warning message from Heaven is not given.” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 9, 1895.

There is another problem area that needs to be addressed ,and that is the infatuation with church growth. An SDA church we attended in the state of Washington had a Pentecostal church next door. Both churches started with 300 members. Our pastor remarked to the congregation one Sabbath that the church next door now had a membership of fifteen hundred, while we had only five hundred members. He suggested that we talk to them and find out how they were able to maintain such a large membership.

More recently, in September 1997, a seminar was held at Andrews University on church growth.

The instructor was Dr. Robert Logan, vice-president of New Church Development of Church Resource Ministries, headquartered in Anaheim, California.

We have definite instruction from the Lord about utilizing the methods of the world in our work. “The divine commission needs no reform. Christ’s way of presenting the truth cannot be improved upon. The worker who tries to bring in methods that will attract the worldly minded, supposing that this will remove the objections that they feel to taking up the cross, lessens his influence. Preserve the simplicity of godliness.” Evangelism, 525.


We Have Sinned


Israel went into captivity time and time again because of disobedience to the commands of God. From the time they asked for a king to rule over them so that they could be like the other nations around them, they were determined to have their own way. We have been admonished that we are following the same path trod by ancient Israel. Should we not, pray like Daniel did, when Israel was in captivity in Babylon?

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the prophets, which spake in Thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land . . . Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.” Daniel 9:4–6, 10,11.

We must follow the example of Daniel and bring ourselves to the throne of God confessing our sin against Him, admitting our self-centeredness and turn back to Him for complete guidance in carrying out the great commission. Until we depend fully upon the Lord for direction, He cannot, will not, bless our efforts. Like Daniel we must plead for guidance at every step so the work may be completed in God’s way.

God told Noah’s descendants to scatter and replenish the earth, not to congregate in one area. We are told to establish many small institutions. “Instead of large establishments bringing great numbers together, let there be small institutions in different places.” Welfare Ministry, 230.

“In the centers that are formed in some places, there is constant temptation to carry the work after worldly methods. I have had presented before me the dangers before us in the future. This light I have tried to present with pen and with voice. Let the work be carried forward intelligently by men and women of sound faith and strict religious principle.” The Publishing Ministry, 63.


God’s Methods, Not Our Own


“At the ordination of the Twelve the disciples had greatly desired that Judas should become one of their number, and they had counted his accession an event of much promise to the apostolic band. He had come more into contact with the world than they, he was a man of good address, of discernment and executive ability, and, having a high estimate of his own qualifications, he had led the disciples to hold him in the same regard. But the methods he desired to introduce into Christ’ work were based upon worldly principles and were controlled by worldly policy. They looked to the securing of worldly recognition and honor—to the obtaining of the kingdom of this world.” Education, 93.

We cannot ignore God’s plan for His work and introduce our ideas, thinking they are better. The Lord has shown us plainly in His word how He desires the propagation of the Gospel to be carried forward. If we insist on doing the Lord’s work our way and refuse to heed His admonitions, we will receive the same condemnation that God gave to the wicked men after the flood. We will be left to our own devising and suffer the same fate they did. We are here to bring reformation to the world, not to join in its policies. God has placed us here as witnesses, not as attorneys, judges or juries. It is our duty and privilege to testify to the world of what God has done in our lives, thus revealing the character of Jesus to our neighbors. Then, we will not only be instruments used by God in the salvation of others, but we will save our own souls as well.

In the process of time, God called Abraham who, despite the wickedness around him, remained a worshipper of the true God. This man would be an instrument in the hand of the Lord to bring reformation to the society in which he lived. In the call to leave his home there was a promise given of a Savior that would come through his descendants.

The experiences that Abraham went through were not only for his spiritual growth but also for the benefit of all future generations. God had a problem that needed to be solved, and that problem was sin. Man cannot continue to disobey God’s expressed commands without suffering the consequences.

When years passed after the promise of a son, Abraham and Sarah became impatient and determined to take measures into their own hands. As a result there has been conflict between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac in the Middle East ever since. It does not pay to ignore the commands of God. Our work is clearly laid out for us in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. We are to be His servants, not His board of directors.

The great Second Advent Movement was raised up by the Lord for the purpose of proclaiming to the world the full Three Angel’s Messages. He gave specifid instructions regarding the educational, publishing, evangelistic and health work. We have been blessed with a blueprint showing how to fulfill the great commission. But, like Abraham and Sarah, we have decided that the blueprint is outdated, and we will use the world’s methods to accomplish the great objective of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Our rationale is that we must keep up with the times in order to reach people. In reality, we need to get back to the primitive gospel, using God’s methods so that He can use us in His work.


Perfect Obedience


“Christ came to the world to counteract Satan’s falsehood that God had made a law which men could not keep. Taking humanity upon Himself, He came to this earth, and by a life of obedience showed that God has not made a law that man cannot keep. He showed that it is possible for man perfectly to obey the law. Those who accept Christ as their Saviour, becoming partakers of His divine nature, are enabled to follow His example, living in obedience to every precept of the law. Through the merits of Christ, man is to show by his obedience that he could be trusted in heaven.” The Faith I Live By, 114.

While Abraham was traveling south, in Palestine, a famine came upon the land. To escape it and yet be close by the Promised Land, God sent him down into Egypt where he stayed until the famine passed. “The Lord in His providence had brought this trial upon Abraham to teach him lessons of submission, patience, and faith—lessons that were to be placed on record for the benefit of all who should afterward be called to endure affliction. God leads His children by a way that they know not, but He does not forget or cast off those who put their trust in Him. He permitted affliction to come upon Job, but He did not forsake him. He allowed the beloved John to be exiled to lonely Patmos, but the Son of God met him there, and his vision was filled with scenes of immortal glory. God permits trials to assail His people, that by their constancy and obedience they themselves may be spiritually enriched, and that their example may be a source of strength to others. ‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil.’ Jeremiah 29:11. The very trials that tax our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 129.

The greatest trial that Abraham had to endure was when God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac. What made this command more puzzling to Abraham was that a Savior had been promised that would come through Isaac’s descendants. But in spite of this seeming impossibility, Abraham obeyed without questioning God. The Lord was preparing this man to bring reformation and revival to a dying generation, and He needed someone whom He could depend upon to do the job. The effects of Abraham’s test went beyond him and his generation to future generations and to unfallen worlds: “The sacrifice required of Abraham was not alone for his own good, nor solely for the benefit of succeeding generations; but it was also for the instruction of the sinless intelligences of heaven and of other worlds. The field of the controversy between Christ and Satan—the field on which the plan of redemption is wrought out—is the lesson book of the universe. Because Abraham had shown a lack of faith in God’s promises, Satan had accused him before the angels and before God of having failed to comply with the conditions of the covenant, and as unworthy of its blessings. God desired to prove the loyalty of His servant before all heaven, to demonstrate that nothing less than perfect obedience can be accepted, and to open more fully before them the plan of salvation.” Ibid., 154, 155.

Next month we will return to our story with the raising up of Moses and God’s attempt to once again bring reformation to a lost and dying world.


On the Edge

Many in this last generation hold the belief that love and justice are in opposition to each other. Because many people believe, in the practical sense, that love and justice are mutually exclusive, we live in a world that is in confusion. On one hand, the public at large believes in the erroneous theory that everyone is a victim. On the other hand, they moan and groan as the judicial system continues to place criminals back on the streets. It would be terrible enough for the public to believe this, but it is even worse that those who claim to be Christians are supporting the same notions. This the belief, that love and justice are in opposition to each other, is one of the major factors in the disintegration of standards within the ranks of organized Christian religion.

The true and the faithful, those who are saved in the end, will understand that justice is as much a part of love as justification is related to sanctification. It isn’t any wonder then, that those who do not believe in overcoming also believe that Jesus “did it all on the cross,” and are endeavoring to destroy our distinctive beliefs about the sanctuary in heaven. This is known as the new theology, but it is really just the ancient lie that you cannot stop sinning.

I wish to appeal to your raw logic for just a moment: If we serve a God who is all powerful, and through that power He was able to make the sacrifice for our sins on the cross, then why is He not powerful enough to save us from sin in our lives? If God is in fact the Sovereign of the universe, and the only reason Satan has not overcome God’s power to destroy him is because he cannot, then why couldn’t God overcome Satan? This, friend, is the height of stupidity. It is spiritual insanity. The least we can be is honest with each other and say something like “Oh well, okay, so God is all powerful, but I just do not like His plan and I want to go on sinning.” At least as long as probation lasted for that person he would have a practical chance to change his course. But a person that willfully lies himself into a peaceful conscience is placing himself in a more unreachable place than the admitted rebel! If we hope to be among the remnant of the Lord, we must learn to think these things through for ourselves as we seek knowledge from God.


The Report of the Spies


The Israelites were on the edge of the Promised Land much as we are today. They had been in the wilderness too long, but now their opportunity to realize the fulfillment of their salvation and enter the Promised Land had come. They merely had to, by faith, go in and take it as God had directed. The victory was sure! After all, the miraculous evidence of both mercy and justice witnessed in such a short time, by these newly liberated slaves, should have made it easy for them to follow God’s plan and take possession of the land.

Twelve spies were sent into the land, not just to see how strong the people of the land were, but to see the goodness of the gift which God wanted His children to have. The problem was that the majority of the spies were concerned with the appearance of the enemy instead of fixing their minds on God’s goodness and asking Him for the faith it would take to conquer the obstacles ahead. Ten came back and reported to the people that the land was indeed good, but the present inhabitants were too big for them to overcome. They completely left God out of the picture and forgot that the victory was already won, in faith. Instead of being an encouragement to the people these ministers became a hindrance, and ultimately were responsible for the loss of many thousands of lives. These leaders were unbelievers and cowards.

There is more we can learn from this story. God gave these people the power of choice and they could have rejected the report of the ten spies and sought God for further counsel. This would have relieved them of the doubt that these unfaithful spies had created. However, they chose not to, and it cost them dearly.

“The people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh. They left God out of the question, and acted as though they must depend solely on the power of arms.

“In their unbelief they limited the power of God and distrusted the hand that had hitherto safely guided them . . .They accused their leaders [the true and faithful ones] of deceiving the people and bringing trouble upon Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388.

Brothers and sisters, this is what we are witnessing within the ranks of Christianity and Seventh-day Adventism. Even within the ranks of historic Adventism there are those who are murmuring, and who want to turn back. Sometimes it seems that everyone wants to run away from all the trouble. They run to find a new peaceful place instead of bothering with the battle. This kind of thinking will get you killed! When God says, “Go up and possess the land,” we had better go. If there is a battle to be fought along the way, we are to allow God to fight it. Complaining only shows a lack of faith. It matters not what our profession is, our actions are preaching much more powerfully than our words! The only way to obtain the eye salve, the gold tried in the fire and the white raiment is to engage in the great controversy—not run away from it. We are to meet the “iceberg” full steam ahead.

If you are not doing this, or are not willing to do it, what does that indicate about your position among the remnant? It is a very serious matter. God demonstrated this when the ancient “Adventists” were on the edge of the Promised Land. Caleb tried to give a report that was very accurate and full of courage and faith. He had seen the same things the ten spies had seen, but he trusted that God would indeed give them the victory. “But the ten, interrupting him, pictured the obstacles in darker colors than at first . . .these men, having entered upon a wrong course, stubbornly set themselves against Caleb and Joshua, against Moses, and against God. Every advance step rendered them the more determined. They were resolved to discourage all effort to gain possession of Canaan. They distorted the truth in order to sustain their baleful influence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388–389.

This is exactly what we see happening today in all corners of the Adventist movement. We must realize that the human mind is not a free mind, in the sense that we are completely our own. If we choose not to follow the Lord and seek His guidance and protection, then Satan will rush in and take our minds captive and we will become his agents. This is what happened to the ten spies,and this is what is happening to many today. The human heart is prone to travel not toward its Maker, but toward the Maker’s archenemy! We need the wisdom of heaven to realize our plight and we need to continually place ourselves in God’s hands or we will be taken by this deadly foe.

“By the covenant of God the land was ensured to Israel. But the false report of the unfaithful spies was accepted, and through it the whole congregation were deluded. The traitors had done their work. If only the two men had brought the evil report, and all the ten had encouraged them to possess the land in the name of the Lord, they would still have taken the advice of the two in preference to the ten, because of their wicked unbelief.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 390.

Brethren and sisters, do we understand how great our need is to know and follow what God has said? Do we really understand the danger of our own hearts if we do not “hunger and thirst” after the righteousness of the Lord? Do we realize that if we are not seeking His guidance, with the faith and honesty of an innocent child, we will be thrown into the woes of deception? Do we understand that the more knowledge we acquire only serves to push us deeper into rebellion if we do not serve the Lord with singleness of heart? This is why the Lord had these events written down for all to see. He wants us to know the great dangers we face and He wants us to talk about them and appreciate the provisions He has made for our salvation. We cannot look back, for things are happening all around us, both in the Conference, and in certain self-supporting ministries. This will continue to happen, as it has for nearly 6,000 years, but the good news of true Adventism is that it does not have to happen to you or me! Just like it did not happen to Caleb, Joshua or Moses.


We Must Make a Decision


God has made us individuals and He is coming back to save everyone who has taken Him at His word and have depended fully on His promises. It matters not that professed “Adventists” will seek to take the lives of the true and faithful. This will not change their purpose or prevent them from reaching the goals God has set before them on this planet. It is our lot in life, as Adventists, to share in the fate of our ancient brothers and sisters who were faithful unto death. It is also our privilege to know that God remains by our side every step of the way, and whatever circumstances come, God will provide a way.

We must start to speak and live the truth if we want to influence others for the truth and if we expect our faith to reach the stature needed for these last days. If we remain unwilling to engage in battle, we will fail.

There is nothing worse than a rebel who has known the truth and has dismissed it. An infidel will receive more compassion than a man (or woman) who once had the truth and has turned from it. The leaders of this agenda were some of the best Satan could find from within the structure of Israel:

“The former rebellions had been more popular tumults, arising from the sudden impulse of the excited multitude; but now a deep-laid conspiracy was formed, the result of a determined purpose to overthrow the authority of the leaders appointed by God Himself.

“Korah, the leading spirit in this movement, was a Levite [Pastor], of the family of Kohath, and a cousin of Moses; he was a man of ability and influence . . .The state of feeling among the people favored the designs [agenda] of Korah . . .He who reads the secrets of all hearts had marked the purposes of Korah and his companions and had given His people such warning and instruction as might have enabled them to escape the deception of these designing men.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 395–396.

In certain self-supporting ministries and the Conference, we see agendas of apostasy taking shape and being carried out. Men of influence who Satan is using to carry out his purposes are doing these things. He uses those, with many talents, who will easily gain influence with the people.

There is good news and there is bad news in our present day dilemma. The bad news is that the majority of people today, if anything, are worse than in the days of the wilderness. They will repeat the rebellion and insanity of the past. The good news is that God has given us the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to show us these deceptions and to prepare all who are humbly willing to go on to victory! This is why a major portion of the agenda of apostasy is to distort what the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy says. It is truly incredible to witness that words, even a young person can comprehend, are spoken of as though they either do not exist or are not relevant. They think that God’s people are too stupid to catch them in their schemes, and sadly, all too often they are correct. Most professed Adventists are willingly ignorant. They are supporting the agenda that is set on a course to ruin their souls and send their families to destruction. Can there be a more pitiful situation than to be so spiritually lazy and willfully ignorant as to actually support, with tithe and offerings, the Korahs, Dathans, and Abirams within the Adventist movement?

Let me repeat that in a slightly different way. Can we be more pitiful than to be too lazy to pray, study, and live to secure our own salvation, and actually pay those who are leading us into oblivion? I must give a resounding, No! We must prepare ourselves through God’s chosen methods to overcome. Those who do will be victorious.


Conformity for Unity


From every corner we hear the cry “unity,” “unity,” and in order to obtain a supposed security some are returning back to churches that once spurned them or which they left for the sake of principle. But ours must be the unity that will eventually carry one to the upper room experience. It must not be a unity that harmonizes with apostasy and the enemy of all truth.

The book of Revelation tells us that for a very short time the devil will have the largest union the world has ever seen. But it will not be a unity that will save the soul. This sinful and apostate unity is certainly nothing new. “In this work of disaffection there was greater union and harmony among the discordant elements of the congregation than had ever before existed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 398. We must think of unity, but our thoughts and energies must be directed to the unity which is based solely on principles of truth. This unity will be achieved, but we must have the wisdom and the “patience of the saints” while we continue placing our lives in God’s hands.

Consider this: “Korah’s success with the people increased his confidence and confirmed him in his belief that the usurpation of authority by Moses, if unchecked, would be fatal to the liberties of Israel; he also claimed that God had opened the matter to him, and had authorized him to make a change in the government before it should be too late.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 398.

We can learn from these words that those who continue to support the apostasy are helping them to go to greater lengths and build their confidence in their rebellious leading. We can also learn that these apostate leaders will make statements such as “God has shown me” to influence the unsuspecting or those who are already entrapped by their unsanctified influence. Satan realizes what the language of the true prophet is and he endeavors to replicate it to ensnare the weary and complacent.

In the wilderness experience God raised up two men, not of Israel’s own choosing, to lead them to the Promised Land. These men were despised and rejected by the majority who preferred words that better suited their wicked hearts. “It is hardly possible for men to offer a greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities He would use for their salvation. The Israelites had not only done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 402.

Nothing has changed in our day. The words above are today’s news. This is our history and this is our future. The great controversy will close in the darkest hour ever witnessed since there was a nation. The only good news lies within the pages of God’s own books. The God of true Adventism will see His believing children all the way over into the Promised Land. Are we wandering in the wilderness as part of the crowd that is trying to “look like” the small remnant which is part of the greater movement? Or are we, with earnestness, seeking the goodly land the Lord has placed before us. We must know for sure, for we are even now on the edge.


The Sabbath Sunday Issue, part 2

Many have not had that religious experience that is essential for them, that they may stand without fault before the throne of God. The furnace fires of affliction He permits to be kindled upon them to consume the dross, to refine, to purify and cleanse them from the defilement of sin, of self love, and to bring them to know God and to become acquainted with Jesus Christ by walking with Him as did Enoch. Prayer, united with living faith, now sleeps among us. That which is called praying morning and evening, according to custom, is not always fervent, and effectual. It is with many sleepy, dull and heartless repetition of words, and does not reach the ear of the Lord. God does not need or require your ceremonial compliments, but He will respect the broken heart, the confession of sins, the contrition of the soul. The cry of the humble, broken heart He will not despise.

I know that very much depends upon every action of ours now, and none of self and all of Jesus will bring us into unity of the faith. We must have such love for Jesus that we will consider it a privilege to suffer and even die for His sake. We may tell the Lord all our trials, tell Him all our weaknesses, tell Him all our dependence upon His might and His power. This is true prayer. If ever there was a time when the Spirit of grace and supplication was needed to be poured out upon us, God Himself indicating our prayers, it is now. And the promise is to be brought before every church and the simplicity of truth dwelt upon. “Ask and ye shall receive.” John 16:24. It is faith, living faith that we need, continuing instant in prayer.

The Lord will lead His people and guide them. The commandment will go forth from God as to Daniel, to help those making earnest intercession to the throne of His grace in their time of need. Said Christ, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12–13).

In the name of the Lord I advise all His people to have trust in God and not begin now to prepare to find an easy position for any emergency in the future, but to let God prepare for the emergency. We have altogether too little faith.

God wrought through Elijah when He destroyed the prophets of Baal which kindled the fires of hell in the heart of Jezebel to avenge the blood of the priests of Baal. Such a triumph had been gained to the God of Israel, that it stirred up the powers of darkness, and she resolves, yes swears by her gods that Elijah shall die, but she does not consider there is a God who is above her, who will only permit the agent of Satan to work out her own ruin.

In her passion she sends word to Elijah saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time.” (1 Kings 19: 2). Elijah is awakened roughly from his slumber by a messenger. He hears the startling message; his senses are confused. What does it mean? Is this to be the end of all this burden, the zeal he has had for God in his labors to restore the true worship of Jehovah; is it to end in his disappointment and death? Is this the conversion of apostate Israel? Never could man be more disappointed in his expectations. The reaction has come, but O, how bitter. The Lord suffers obstacles to arise, disappointments to follow on the heels of signal victory that His wisdom and power shall be revealed, and that His name shall be exalted above all rulers and kings. “When Elijah saw that, he fled for his life.”

What did Elijah see? Did he see by faith the promises of God? Did he recount his faithfulness in every past emergency? No, the dark shadow of Satan in his agent Jezebel was athwart his pathway, threatening him with cruel death. He did not look through the shadow heavenward. Human terror amazed and paralyzed his mind, and he was so terribly disappointed on Israel’s account that he arose and went for his life, in disappointment and sorrow bending his uncertain steps, he knew not whither.

A little before, in the strength of the power of God, he was full of zeal and intensity of interest for apostate Israel, running before or at the side of the chariot of Ahab. He was to vindicate the glory of God. He was to challenge apostate Israel either to serve God fully or Baal fully. But now the man seems as weak as other men. There was no particular word he had heard from the Lord, directing him to take the course he had taken, and there was no purpose to his steps. Distracted by doubts and uncertain whither his way was tending, he pushed this way and that for his life, but God did not forget Elijah. He wrought for His servant, He inquired of him, “What doest thou here Elijah?”

This history carefully and prayerfully studied will be a help to the people of God under difficulties. Let man be careful not to assume responsibilities that God does not require of him, and interpose himself between the Lord and His tempted and tried ones so that the purposes of God shall not be carried out in the experiences of these persons. Difficulties will arise before the people of God, but every soul must put his trust not in the wisdom of men but in the Lord God of Israel. He will be his defense. Only let each person keep in the way of duty and not let fear discourage him. In trusting implicitly in God, we shall see the wonderful display of His power, if we wait patiently and prayerfully for Him, and have confidence in God.

God works in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. But too often the wisdom of men is brought in to do something themselves which gives God no room to work for individuals, by others shouldering their burdens, that God means they shall bear. Conflicts and trials are the very means ordained or suffered of God to perfect the Christian character unto eternal life.

Teach every soul to lean heavily on the arm of infinite power. There is an individuality, in Christian experience, that must be preserved in every human agent and the responsibility cannot be removed from any soul. Each one has his own battles to fight, his own Christian experience to gain, independent in some respects from any other soul; and God has lessons for each to gain for himself that no other one can gain for him.

In Elijah we see the natural elements of his character revealed amid the spiritual life, commingling together in strange confusion; the grace of God and the impulses and passions of the natural man, each striving for the supremacy. The human is being tried in the furnace and the dross is revealed, impurity is brought to the surface, but the trial of Elijah is a scene that all Heaven was looking upon at that time with deep solicitude. The fine gold appears in his character, the cross is lost sight of and consumed. This must be our individual experience in God’s own way.

All are not tried in the same way. Some will meet more severe trials than others, but cling to God is the encouragement to give to each and all. The registered experiences of believers of former days is to be an encouragement to us living down near the close of time. We may gather up the hereditary trust of light and knowledge and individual dealings of God with His people for centuries. We have the benefit of their spiritual experiences which is of great value to us. We have no new, strange path to tread, in which others have not had a similar experience.

The Lord’s ways are unchangeable. He will do in our days as He has done in earlier days. They had less light in their day than we have in our day. With the Scriptures in our hand, and the example and blessing of those who were tempted and tried, we are nerved for the victory, expecting the same mercies from the same God as had the ancients. When the Christian is looking forward to duties and severe trials that he anticipates are to be brought upon him, because of His Christian profession of faith, it is human nature to contemplate the consequences, and shrink from the prospects, and this will be decidedly so as we near the close of this earth’s history. We may be encouraged by the truthfulness of God’s word that Christ never failed His children as their safe Leader in the hour of their trial; for we have the truthful record of those who have been under the oppressive powers of Satan, that His grace is according to their day. God is faithful who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able.

Our heavenly Father measures and weighs every trial before he permits it to come upon the believer. He considers the circumstances and the strength of the one who is to stand under the proving and test of God, and He never permits the temptations to be greater than the capacity of resistance. If the soul is overborne, the person overpowered, this can never be charged to God, as failing to give strength in grace, but the one tempted was not vigilant and prayerful and did not appropriate by faith the provisions God had abundantly in store for him. Christ never failed a believer in His hour of combat. The believer must claim the promise and meet the foe in the name of the Lord, and he will not know anything like failure.

There may be large mountains of difficulties in regard to how to meet the claims of God and not stand in defiance of the laws of the land. He must not be making ample provisions for himself to shield himself from trial, for he is only God’s instrument and he is to go forward in singleness of purpose with his mind and soul garrisoned day by day, that he will not sacrifice one principle of his integrity, but he will make no boasts, issue no threats, or tell what he will or will not do. For he does not know what he will do until tested. He will just go forward in a contrite spirit with an eye single to the glory of God, depending on the word of God and the grace promised through Christ, and the mountains may become molehills.

Supposed difficulties that seemed so large at a distance as to be unbearable, have proved to be the greatest blessings. When oppressed, light from heaven has come in clear rays, and the realities of the promise of the sufficiency of Christ is a continual strength and defense. God means that His people, many of whom are ready now to refer to the experience of others, can refer to their own individual experience. Like the Samaritans who received the words of the woman as she testified of the words of Christ, they can say we have heard Him ourselves, we know that this is indeed the Christ the Saviour of the world. To every soul who meets difficulties in the strength of Jesus and is not overcome, who faces enemies and opposers, and in the strength of Christ stands firmly, who undertakes and discharges duties in the meekness of wisdom, not calculating the results, knowing that none of these things can be met in human strength, his experience becomes knowledge that Christ is faithful that hath promised. He is an all-sufficient helper. He will be convinced that he cannot in his own ability obey the law of God, but he has taken hold of the surety, Jesus Christ the Mighty One, and he reposes in the fulness and strength of Christ, and knows by experience that Christ is His righteousness, and that He can be touched with the feelings of his infirmities. Although he may be enclosed in prison walls he may believe it is for the truth’s sake. Jesus is by his side. We are not to be rash, bold, presumptuous, defiant. In Jesus we may trust; having faith in His power to save, we may be conquerors.

There should be a constant walking in all humility. There should be no just occasion to our enemies to charge us with being lawless and defying the laws through any imprudence of our own. We should not feel it enjoined upon us to irritate our neighbors who idolize Sunday by making determined efforts to bring labor on that day before them purposely to exhibit an independence. Our sisters need not select Sunday as the day to exhibit their washing. There should be no noisy demonstration. Let us consider how fearful and terribly sad is the delusion that has taken the world captive and by every means in our power seek to enlighten those who are our bitterest enemies. If there is the acceptance of the principles of the inworking of the Holy Ghost which he [the Christian] must have to fit him for heaven, he will do nothing rashly or presumptuously to create wrath and blasphemy against God. The process of sanctification is constantly going on in the heart, and his experience will be, “Christ . . . is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” He knows that Christ by His Spirit is dwelling in his heart by faith.

Oh, there is a great work to be done for the people of God, ere they are prepared for translation to heaven! The heat of the furnace upon some must be severe to reveal the dross. Self will have to be crucified. When each believer is to the very extent of his knowledge, obeying the Lord, and yet seeking to give no just occasion to his fellowmen to oppress him, he should not fear the results, even though it be imprisonment and death.

After Jesus rises up from the mediatorial throne, every case will be decided, and oppression and death coming to God’s people will not then be a testimony in favor of the truth.

Our whole attitude must be the saving of the souls of those surrounding us; souls for whom Christ has died. The largest class have never heard anything about the seventh day being the genuine Sabbath of Jehovah. They are uneducated in the Scriptures, and the position and work of the Seventh-day Adventists to cling to their faith brings resistance in the highest degree. The Christian world is ignorantly bowing down to an idol. Every soul, minister and laymen, should consider the world their missionary field, that should be educated as to the reason of our faith, and these reasons should be presented in the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God. Through God alone can they reach the hearts of the people.

We must lose no time in becoming thoroughly versed in the Scriptures, for we must come to the people not merely with flimsy arguments, neither alone with sound logic, to convince them that that which they have been taught as truth by their fathers and that which has been preached to them from the pulpits is untrue. For, the opposition you create by this kind of labor will be like scattering seeds of darkness. You will be called apostates, for publishing that which causes distraction, but if you have the attractiveness of Christ, if you are balanced in all you do by the wisdom of Christ, your own heart imbued with the Spirit of Christ, you will accomplish a good work for Christ.

We urge you to consider this danger: That which we have most to fear is nominal Christianity. We have many who profess the truth who will be overcome because they are not acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ. They cannot distinguish His voice from that of a stranger.

There is to be no dread of anyone being borne down even in a wide spread apostasy, who has a living experience in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If Jesus be formed within, the hope of glory, the illiterate as well as the educated can bear the testimony of our faith, saying, “I know in whom I have believed.” Some will not, in argument, be able to show wherein their adversary is wrong, having never had any advantages that others have had, yet these are not overborne by the apostasy because they have the evidence in their own heart that they have the truth, and the most subtle reasoning and assaults of Satan cannot move them from their knowledge of the truth, and they have not a doubt or fear that they are themselves in error.

Let every soul consider his responsibility to give an account before God for the influence he has exerted over the souls of those brought under the sphere of his influence. When this undying love to save souls takes possession of heart and mind, there will not be any rash move made.

Faith, saving faith, is to be taught. The definition of this faith in Jesus Christ may be described in few words: It is the act of the soul by which the whole man is given over to the guardianship and control of Jesus Christ. He abides in Christ and Christ abides in the soul by faith as supreme. The believer commits his soul and body to God, and with assurance may say, Christ is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. All who will do this will be saved unto life eternal. There will be an assurance that the soul is washed in the blood of Christ and clothed with His righteousness and precious in the sight of Jesus. Our thoughts and our hopes are on the second advent of our Lord. That is the day when the Judge of all the earth will reward the trust of His people.

Then let every soul not be afraid with any amazement. The tender compassion of God is toward His people. Faith, wondrous faith—it leads the people of God in straight paths. Without this faith we shall certainly misunderstand His dealings with us, and distrust His love and faithfulness. Whatever may be the trials and sufferings caused by our fellowmen, we need more faith; let there be no faintheartedness, no peevish repining, no complaining thoughts respecting the providence of God and the hardships we are called to endure. Let faith lay hold upon the unseen, and the evidences we have of the forgiveness of God.

A single ray of the evidences of the undeserved favor of God shining into our hearts will overbalance every trial of whatever character and however severe it may be. And how trustful is the soul. There is no disposition to murmur. The heart in contrition reposes in God. The carnal security is broken up and we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.

While efforts are being made to educate the youth to occupy positions of trust, unless the same persons shall feel that above all they must learn in the school of Christ the lessons which He must teach them, God has no use for them to declare His word. Let not the uneducated in any way become discouraged and think that there is no use or room for them. There is abundance of work in this world of ours, and if men and women will unite themselves to Christ, the source of all wisdom and learn of Him, they may become Bible students improving their talents to the very best account, and learning from the greatest teacher the world ever knew. They can bear a testimony to the faith. We have not followed cunningly devised fables. Christ will do everything for those who receive Him in their hearts.

When profligacy and heresy and infidelity fill the land there will be many humble homes where prayer, sincere and contrite prayer, will be offered from those who never heard the truth and there will be many hearts that will carry a weight of oppression for the dishonor done to God. We are too narrow in our ideas, we are poor judges, for many of these will be accepted of God because they cherished every ray of light that shone upon them. There are thousands who are praying as did Nathanael for the light of truth. Christ’s lightbearers must not be unfaithful. There is work to do in our world for many souls and God calls us to labor for souls who are in the darkness of error, but praying for the light, for the revealings of God’s holy spirit.

Let not side issues take the mind and the affections. We want to make the most of our present opportunities. We want to work while it is day for the night cometh when no man can work. There are many men of influence who are to have a knowledge of the truth, and we must be sure not to hedge up the way. The knowledge of truth is ever increasing. It is not a new truth that opens to the mind; it is not a new principle but a new discovery or a forcible application or revival of that which existed before. The Lord is prepared to present His light to our minds as fast as we will receive it. Open the door and let Jesus in.


Food for Life — Christmas Season

“’Christmas is coming,’ is the note that is sounded throughout our world from east to west and from north to south. With youth, those of mature age, and even the aged, it is a period of general rejoicing, of great gladness. But what is Christmas, that it should demand so much attention?

“The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour’s birth. History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, He would have spoken through His prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes.

“In His wisdom the Lord . . . concealed the precise day of Christ’s birth, that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world—one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as He who could save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The soul’s adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God.

“The youth should be treated very carefully. They should not be left on Christmas to find their own amusement in vanity and pleasure seeking, in amusements which will be detrimental to their spirituality. Parents can control this matter by turning the minds and the offerings of their children to God and His cause and the salvation of souls.

“Their desire to make gifts may be turned into pure and holy channels and made to result in good to our fellow men by supplying the treasury in the great, grand work for which Christ came into our world. Self-denial and self-sacrifice marked His course of action. Let it mark ours who profess to love Jesus because in Him is centered our hope of eternal life . . .

“The (Christmas) season is fast approaching with its interchange of gifts, and old and young are intently studying what they can bestow upon their friends as a token of affectionate remembrance. It is pleasant to receive a gift, however small, from those we love. It is an assurance that we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer.

“It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver. I would recommend such books as will be an aid in understanding the word of God or that will increase our love for its precepts. Provide something to be read during these long winter evenings.

“Brethren and sisters, while you are devising gifts for one another, I would remind you of our heavenly Friend, lest you should be unmindful of His claims. Will He not be pleased if we show that we have not forgotten Him? Jesus, the Prince of life, gave all to bring salvation within our reach. . . . He suffered even unto death, that He might give us eternal life.

“It is through Christ that we receive every blessing. . . . Shall not our heavenly Benefactor share in the tokens of our gratitude and love? Come, brethren and sisters, come with your children, even the babes in your arms, and bring your offerings to God according to your ability. Make melody to Him in your hearts, and let His praise be upon your lips.” The Adventist Home, 477–479.

Sunflower-Date Balls

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup date rolls or pieces

1/4cup Fruit Source syrup

In blender whiz seeds to a fine flour and pour into mixing bowl. Dice dates fine and mix with seed flour. Now add Fruit Source syrup and mix until well blended. Roll into 1″ balls—may coat with finely chopped nuts, your choice, and refrigerate.


The Historic Adventist Church Movement in the Philippines

No Serious Opposition


For a number of years, the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Philippines faced no serious opposition from its members. Although, independent groups, or “offshoots” as they were branded, arose, the structure was not jolted from its seat of complacency. But when the historic Seventh-day Adventist homechurch movement came into being, varied reactions, positive and otherwise, arrested the minds of the leaders and members of the structure. Some were elated that finally a group of people, who were not afraid to stand up against the unscrupulous and abusive church leaders, had emerged. Some thought that this movement would help foster changes in the church, while others dismissed it as just another “off-shoot.”


The Birth Of The Movement


How did this movement come into existence? Let me review our history for you. On November 20–24, 1991, a seminar on worship and revival was conducted in Manila by a certain evangelist, composer, author and church musician from Hong Kong. The Lord used this humble messenger. We had never seen or heard such powerful Spirit of Prophecy quotations and documentation before. His references from the writings of Mrs. White were totally unfamiliar to us. Although we had been in the church for many years, these books by Mrs. White were nowhere to be found. Churches have bookshelves, but the shelves now contain flashy trophies from sports competitions. We have been told, by the old brethren, that those shelves were originally filled with  Spirit of Prophecy books, but, they were taken away to make room for the trophies! What a disgrace to the testimony of the Spirit!


Laymen At Work


The impact of the seminar on worship and revival was one of spiritual renewal. We were provided with materials to reecho the message, and this we have done. The message was nothing but the good old Adventist message of the sanctuary doctrine, righteousness by faith, health reform, the Three Angel’s Message, and Sabbath reform. There was a season of revival and reformation in the churches and laymen were engaged in these activities. The Filipino evangelist from Hong Kong, who started the revival, was warned by the conference to stop his activities. Fearing to lose his job, (he worked in the conference) he kept quiet and went home. But there were laymen who continued giving the message and who would not sell out for a mess of pottage. Many souls were revived and a hungering for the Spirit of Prophecy books was felt.

As it was for the reformers of old, the established church would not allow any movement to stand in its way. The ministers urged the brethren not to listen to these “unlearned revivalists.” They said, “We alone have the authority to have revival meetings. Who are these preachers of new doctrines? They are ignorant, deceived and fanatical. They adhere too much to the counsels and testimonies of Ellen White!” With such weapons, the advocates of truth have been attacked. What sins have been done? We have been taught in our Sabbath Schools, year after year, to keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, and now that we are presenting these plain and direct teachings of God’s Word, they want us to shut our mouths. What a mockery of our religion!


Circular Issued


The leadership was so determined to uproot the growing reformation that they issued a circular, warning the churches not to allow any revival meetings to be conducted by laymen on the church premises. Despite the circular, other churches managed to conduct their meetings during the night, thinking confidently that there would be no interference from their ministers. Since most of the ministers pastor ten to fifteen churches, they only visit each congregation every one or two months. Think of how neglected these churches are. They are left to starve to death, spiritually. Hence, this eagerness to attend revival meetings. These meetings were allowed to thrive for only a couple of nights. The “Judases” went immediately to summon the pastor and in the midst of the revival, the pastor would show up and violently interfere. The reactions of the ministers were varied when they discovered that revival meetings were being conducted in their local church. Some drove the speaker away; others had the electric lights in the church put out. I knew a layman who was forcibly carried down from the pulpit, by the order of the pastor, because he was found conducting revival meetings.

In my local church, our pastor was less combative. When he found that we were having a revival meeting, he showed up and asked us to stop. But due to the insistence of the brethren he gave way. The brethren urged him to listen, and he politely accepted. He listened intently, perhaps watching to find some points of error so that he could have vestige to stop the meeting. He could find no theological errors though, because it was just good old-fashioned Adventism.

The laymen revivalists did not teach instantaneous sanctification, nor did they downgrade obedience to God’s law and call that righteousness. There was no fanaticism, no time setting, no strange new beliefs; it was just the pure Adventist faith. After a series of nightly meetings, our pastor had seen nothing wrong. The brethren asked him why the leadership were so bent on forbidding such meetings. His reply was: “You know we are under instruction from the Conference.” Poor minister. He has not seen the great danger that is upon him.

The following quotations are full of warning: “But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.” Testimonies to Ministers, 106.

“God designs that men shall not decide from impulse, but from weight of evidence, carefully comparing scripture with scripture. Had the Jews laid by their prejudice and compared written prophecy with the facts characterizing the life of Jesus, they would have perceived a beautiful harmony between the prophecies and their fulfillment in the life and ministry of the lowly Galilean. Many are deceived today in the same way as were the Jews. Religious teachers read the Bible in the light of their own understanding and traditions; and the people do not search the Scriptures for themselves, and judge for themselves as to what is truth; but they yield up their judgment, and commit their souls to their leaders.” The Desire of Ages, 458, 459.


Disfellowshiping Begun


The revival and reformation did not, as the leadership supposed, end at these threats. Houses were thrown open and invitations to labor in different houses and places poured in. The leading brethren, who started the revival and reformation, were not trying to separate from the established church or start a new one, they were just trying to help people draw closer to Jesus.

Unfortunately, they were disfellowshipped, and not long after them, a series of disfellowshipping followed in the local churches. We knew well that this was Satan’s effort, calculated to weaken us, destroy our courage and prevent reformation. With deep sorrow, many tears, and much pain, we bore such burdens. What was our sin? Why was the leadership so upset? They invented a special, new loyalty question and demanded this to us: “Are you willing to submit to duly constituted church authority?” That was the only question they asked, because nothing could be found wrong with what was being preached at the revival meetings.

The following quotations had a telling influence in our experience: “Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations.

“As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.” The Desire of Ages, 232.

“After a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 46.


Establishment Of An Church Organization


On September 8, 1996, we organized ourselves, knowing that “system and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe. Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God’s people on the earth.” And just like the experience of the pioneers when they Organized, we too had a hard struggle in establishing organization. “Notwithstanding that the Lord gave testimony after testimony upon this point, the opposition was strong, and it had to be met again and again.” Testimonies to Ministers, 26. With the establishment of organization, we lost some of our brethren. They feared that if we organized we would become like Babylon, but we knew that this is God’s leading. Today we are moving under the orders of the Captain of our salvation.


Moving Forward Despite Financial Depression


The system of organization has proved a grand success. Despite the financial depression, we are pressing forward with the work. Although it has brought many perplexities upon those who bear responsibilities, yet by the grace of God, the cause has all this time made rapid advancement, and all its various fields have had encouraging growth.

Our work here has greatly enlarged, since we have organized, making it necessary to employ more workers. Our workers are in good spirits and are working aggressively in their respective fields. There was an unusually bountiful harvest, in nearly all parts of their territory, making it an opportune time to bring the message of present truth to SDAs and non-SDAs alike. We know Satan is not idle, but we perceive that God listens to the cries of His servants. He gives grace and courage to maintain the truth against the rulers of darkness in this world. Here in the Philippines we are striving to build upon Christ as our sure foundation, and with Him, nothing shall be able to prevail against His work.


Children’s Story — The Little Latchkey

It was March and midnight. The air was full of driving sleet, and the streets were vacant. Not even the form of a policeman broke the monotony of slippery pavement glittering under the waving shadows of electricity. Presently a boyish form emerged from a dark corner, and crept slowly up the steps of a corner house. It was a large, handsome residence, now utterly dark and quiet. What business had one to creep stealthily into this house at that hour? Was the boy a burglar?

He fumbled in his pocket, and drew forth a tiny key. Yes, it opened the door, and he stood within. The hall was dark, but warm. He moved eagerly to the register,—he seemed to know just where to find it,—and crouched shivering over its delightful warmth. After some moments he started up the stairs, oh, so carefully, lest there should be a sound. But the steps were padded and carpeted, and his old wet shoes sank into them noiselessly. At the head of the stairs he felt his way to the door. It was closed, and he hesitated, leaning against the frame, and breathing heavily. At last he laid his hand on the knob, then turned it a little. Was the door locked? No, it swung open quietly, and the boy stepped in.

The street light shone upon a dainty bed all made, and turned open ready for an occupant. A dressing gown hung on a chair near the bed, and a pair of slippers stood before it. The rest of the room was in darkness. The boy gave a great sob, and fell on his knees by the side of the bed.

No, he was not a burglar, only a sick boy stealing home under cover of midnight.

It was nearly two years since he knelt by that bed. His mother had died; he had thought his father stern and cold, so he had run away to live as he liked. Once in his miserable wanderings a much-forwarded letter from home had reached him. It contained no writing, just the tiny latchkey to the home door. For months the little key had burned as it lay in his pocket. It had reminded him that, though a prodigal, he still had a home. It had reminded him of the Savior whom his mother trusted, and in time of his deepest distress he had said, I will trust Him. Still he was afraid; but the little key had still lain in his pocket, and at last had drawn him home.

The next morning Mr. Kane opened his son’s door, as he always did since he had sent the latchkey. He expected nothing, but it had become a habit, so he opened the door. Did his eyes deceive him? No, it was true. Ralph was in the bed asleep. The face was thin and worn. The father fell on his knees, and the boy opened his eyes.

“O Father!” he sobbed, “I’ve come home to die. I’ve been wicked, wicked, wicked. Can you forgive me?”

“Indeed I can. And God—have you asked His forgiveness?”

“Yes, and I wanted to tell you before I die.”

“Die!” said the father, gathering him in his arms. “No, indeed.”

“The doctor at the hospital said I would not live long.”

“We’ll see about that,” said Mr. Kane, stepping to the phone.

When the family physician had looked Ralph over, he smiled. “The hospital doctor knew that you had little chance wandering about with no care,” he said, “but we’ll send you off to Florida; and if you lead a sensible, pure life, you’ll live to be the stay of your father’s old age.”

When the physician had gone, Ralph turned to his father. “I’m so glad you sent the latchkey. I never would have come home by daylight. But when I was out in the cold, wet night, I could not resist the comfort at the end of that key,” he said. “It was God who gave me the thought, my boy. I asked Him what to do.”

“How good God is!” replied Ralph. “And you have your whole life before you in which to show your love for Him,” replied the father.


Taken from The Youth’s Instructor, October 2, 1902.


The Regular Lines — God’s Work Revived

Dear Brother Daniells: I am sending you some things which I wrote some time ago, but have not before had the strength to search for. — Pharisaism in the Christian world today is not extinct. The Lord desires to break up the course of precision which has become so firmly established, which has hindered instead of advancing His work. He desires His people to remember that there is a large space over which the light of present truth is to be shed. Divine wisdom must have abundant room in which to work. It is to advance without asking permission or support from those who have taken to themselves a kingly power. In the past one set of men have tried to keep in their own hands the control of all means coming from the churches, and have used this means in a most disproportionate manner, erecting expensive buildings where such large buildings were unnecessary and uncalled for, and leaving needy places without help or encouragement. They have taken upon themselves the grave responsibility of retarding the work where the work should have been advanced. It has been left to a few supposed kingly minds to say what fields should be worked and what fields should be left unworked. A few men have kept the truth in circumscribed channels, because to open new fields would call for money. Only in those places in which they were interested have they been willing to invest means. And at the same time, in a few places, five times as much money as was necessary has been invested in buildings. The same amount of money used in establishing plants in places where the truth has never been introduced would have brought many souls to a saving knowledge of Christ. [All emphasis supplied.]

For years the same routine, the same “regular way” of working has been followed, and God’s work has been greatly hindered. The narrow plans that have been followed by those who did not have clear, sanctified judgment has resulted in a showing that is not approved by God.

God calls for a revival and a reformation. The “regular lines” have not done the work which God desires to see accomplished. Let revival reformation make constant changes. Something has been done in this line, but let not the work stop here. No! Let every yoke be broken. Let men awaken to the realization that they have an individual responsibility.

The present showing is sufficient to prove to all who have the true missionary spirit that the “regular lines” may prove a failure and a snare. God helping His people, the circle of kings who dared to take such great responsibilities shall never again exercise their unsanctified power in the so-called “regular lines.” Too much power has been invested in unrevived, unreformed human agencies. Let not selfishness and covetousness be allowed to outline the work which must be done to fulfill the grand, noble commission which Christ has given to every disciple. He, our Lord and Master, has given us an example, in His life, of self-sacrifice, of the way in which we must work to advance the kingdom of God.

God does not call upon His missionaries to show their devotion to Him by burying themselves in monasteries, or by going on long, painful pilgrimages. It is not necessary to do this to show a willingness to deny self. It is by working for those for whom Christ died that we show true love. By humiliation, suffering, and rejection Christ purchased the salvation of the human race. By His death He made it possible for man to enjoy a home in His eternal kingdom. Those who love the Lord will look at Calvary, and will think of how the Lord of life and glory laid aside His royal robes and kingly crown, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, to stand at the head of the fallen race, becoming their example in all things, bearing all the trials they have to bear and enduring all the temptations they have to endure. He lived the life of the poorest, and suffered often with hunger. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,” He said, “But the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.”

As a man beholds this divine love, this wonderful sacrifice, he is filled with a desire to spend his life in the service of the Redeemer.

As the sinner convicted and converted, Jesus says to him, “Follow me, and you shall not walk in darkness.” To each human being God has assigned an individuality and a distinct work. Abraham was called to go into new territory. He was to be a light-bearer to the heathen. Those who believe in the Lord are not to live to please themselves. The soul of every sinner is precious in the sight of God, and demands the care of those whose names are on the church books.

Christ’s commission is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Those who are impressed to take up the work in the home field or in regions beyond are to go forward in the name of the Lord. They will succeed if they give evidence that they depend upon God for grace and strength. At the beginning, their work may be very small, but it will enlarge if they follow the Lord’s plan. God lives, and He will work for the unselfish, self-sacrificing laborer, wherever and whoever he may be.

We look to see whether new fields have been worked whether the barren portions of the Lord’s vineyard have received attention. We see that most of those who have sought to begin work in new regions, as Brother Shireman has done, have been discouraged by those at the heart of the work, for fear that they would need money form the treasury. Yet from that same treasury money has been used to erect imposing and unnecessarily expensive buildings. If men had received the wisdom of God, they would have exercised justice and equity in regard to the outlay of means. All parts of the Lord’s vineyard would have received a just portion of help.

There are many who, with proper encouragement, would begin in out-of-the-way places to make efforts to seek and to save that which is lost. The Lord blesses those self-sacrificing ones, who have such a hunger for souls that they are willing to go anywhere to work. But, in the past, how much encouragement has been given to such workers by their brethren?

Many of them have waited for something to do, but no attention has been given to them.

If the ministers had given help and encouragement to these men and women, they would have been doing the work appointed them by the Lord. They have been the spiritual poverty of unworked fields, and have longed to do something to help. But it has taken so long for encouragement to come to them that many have gone into other lines of work.

Shall the “regular lines,” which say that every mind shall be controlled by two or three minds at Battle Creek, continue to bear sway? The Macedonian cry is coming from every quarter. Shall men go to the “regular lines” to see whether they will be permitted to labor, or shall they go out and work as best they can, depending on their own abilities and on the help of the Lord, beginning in a humble way and creating an interest in the truth in places in which nothing has been done to give the warning message?

The Lord has encouraged those who have started out on their own responsibility to work for Him, their hearts filled with love for souls ready to perish. A true missionary spirit will be imparted to those who seek earnestly to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The Lord lives and reigns. Young men, go forth into places to which you are directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Work with your hands, that you may be self-supporting, and as you have opportunity, proclaim the message of warning.

The Lord has blessed the work that J.E. White has tried to do in the South. God grant that the voices which have been so quickly raised to say that all the money invested in the work must go through the appointed channel at Battle Creek, shall not be heard. The people to whom God has given His means are amenable to Him alone. It is their privilege to give direct aid and assistance to missions. It is because of the misappropriation of means that the Southern field has no better showing than it has today.

I do not consider it the duty of the Southern branch of our work, in the publication and handling of books, to be under the dictation of our established publishing houses. And if means can be devised to reduce the expense of publishing and circulation books, let this be done.

I have to say, my brother, that I have no desire to see the work in the South moving forward in the old, regular lines. When I see how strongly the idea prevails that the methods of handling our books in the past shall be retained, because what has been must be, I have no heart to advise that former customs shall continue, Let those who are laboring in Nashville do the will of God in all humility. I sincerely hope that the changes will be made that the necessities of the case demand.

I have more to write, but have no time now.

(Signed) Ellen G. White.

June 28, 1901

Taken from The Spalding Magan Collection, 174-177

The Great Feasts of the Bible — The Harvest Feast

The feasts in the sacrificial system all symbolized important events in the plan of salvation. The first feast, Passover, was intended to reveal, in miniature, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The second feast was called Pentecost, and was a type of Christ’s resurrection. It was a pledge that all who died in the faith of the atoning sacrifice would be resurrected to eternal life when Jesus comes the second time. The third feast, which is called the Feast of the Harvest, was to portray the glorious celebration that will soon take place when the wedding between Christ and His church is finally consummated.

“In the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees and the willow of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generation: Ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days.” Leviticus 23:39–43.

“The Feast of the Tabernacles was not only commemorative but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but, as the Feast of the Harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner. At that time the wicked will all be destroyed. They will become ‘as though they had not been.’ Obadiah 16. And every voice in the whole universe will unite in joyful praise to God, says the revelator. ‘Every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory. and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’ Revelation 5:13.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 541.

In order to comprehend how this feast will affect you and me, we must understand the preparations being made which began the moment the Christian church was born. Christ commanded, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19, 20.

To obey this command a divine power was needed, by His church, so that it could shake the world. Remember that God never gives a command without providing the power. “The Pentecostal outpouring was heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished.” Acts of the Apostles, 39. Pentecost provided the church with power so that it could give the gospel to the whole world in one generation. “The commission that Christ gave to the disciples, they fulfilled. As these messengers of the cross went forth to proclaim the gospel, there was such a revelation of the glory of God as had never before been witnessed by mortal man. By the cooperation of the divine spirit, the apostles did a work that shook the world. To every nation was the gospel carried in a single generation.” Ibid., 593.

Imagine unlearned men becoming mighty in the truth as they were filled with the Holy Ghost. They were anointed with divine power and could speak fluently their mother tongue. But more, “They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring. This miraculous gift was a strong evidence to the world that their commission bore the signet of heaven. From this time forth the language of the disciples was pure, simple, and accurate, whether they spoke in their native tongue or in a foreign language.” Ibid., 40.

This will happen again during the Loud Cry when Pentecost will be repeated with even greater power. “It is with earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion. John says, ‘I saw another angel come from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.’ Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truths spoken to them, every man in his own tongue. God can breath new life into every soul that sincerely desires to serve Him, and can touch the lips with a live coal from off the altar, and cause them to become eloquent with His praise. Thousands of voices will be imbued with the power to speak forth the wonderful truths of God’s word. The stammering tongue will be unloosened, and the timid will be made strong to bear courageous testimony to the truth. May the Lord help His people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with Him that they may be partakers of the Latter Rain when it shall be poured out.” The Review and Herald, July 20, 1886.

Those humble disciples at Pentecost became submerged in the depths of God’s love. They believed that their Saviour was alive and that He alone possessed the keys to hell and death. This gospel of the crucified and risen Saviour electrified their every action. Jehovah was their God, His honor their honor, and His trust their trust. God anointed such surrender with heavenly oil, which made it possible for them to preach the gospel with such power. “Priests and rulers trembled. Conviction and anguish seized the people. ‘They were pricked in their heart, and said . . . Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ . . . The traditions and superstitions inculcated by the priests were swept away from their minds, and the teachings of the Saviour were accepted.” The Acts of the Apostles, 43, 44.


History of the Church Prophesied


Divine prophecy portrayed step by step the outcome of this work, as outlined in the seven seals of Revelation 6. Here, the Christian church is described from Pentecost to the final harvest. “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Revelation 6:2. A white horse reveals the purity of the gospel maintained by men who knew it by personal experience with Jesus. They could say: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life.” 1 John 1:1. For sixty-nine years, from A.D. 31 to 100 A.D., the Christian church went forth conquering and to conquer.

“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” Revelation 6:4. Here we see the mystery of iniquity infiltrating the Christian church, while it was still in its infancy. Thus its purity, represented by white, slowly changes to red as the union of church and state comes into being.

“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5, 6.

Black portrays the depth of apostasy that took place during Papal control from 325 to 538 A.D. Paganism was merged with “Christianity:” “Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon worship to an evangelical use, the rulers of the church were prepared to adopt, to imitate or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace as well as the philosophy of the educated class. We are told by Josephus and Constantine in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen transferred into it, the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed, the use of temples and these dedicated to particular saints and ornamented on occasion with branches of trees, incense, lamps and candles, votive offerings on recovery from illness, holy water, asylums, holy days and seasons, use of calendars, possessions, blessings on the field, sacerdotal vestments, the touchier, the shaving of the head, the ring in marriage, turning to the east, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant are all of pagan origin and sanctified by their adoption into the church.” John Henry Newman, The Development of Christian Doctrine, 371–373.

“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8.

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, Holy and True, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:9, 10. This is a description of the Dark Ages, from 538 to 1798 A.D.

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” Revelation 6:12, 13.

In fulfillment of this prophecy, the great Lisbon earthquake took place on November 1, 1755. This was the mightiest earthquake ever recorded in history. Next there was a dark day on May 17, 1780. That very night the moon appeared as blood. Finally the falling of the stars took place on November 13, 1833.

The next event prophesied is the Second Coming of Christ. “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:14–17.


Silence in Heaven


“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Revelation 8:1. Since a day equals one year in prophetic time, and a day contains twenty-four hours, one hour would represent about fifteen days, and half an hour would be about seven days. This silence in heaven for about seven days, will be when Christ is coming in the clouds of heaven with all His angels to gather His saints. The Feast of the Harvest was also to last seven days. So, you can easily see from both the Old and the New Testament that the event of Christ’s Second Coming will require about seven days.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew, but He himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11–16.

In this harvest process, the angels will gather the remnant saints who are living and the resurrected saints who have been resurrected, making possible a glorious celebration of the final harvest feast. Seven days are set apart by God for this occasion. “Ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days.” Leviticus 23:39.

“The feast of the harvest celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 541.

The whole universe will participate in this celebration. Do we plan to participate in this thrilling event? If so, there are some serious preparations that we must make now; for probation ends a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. When this moment arrives, Christ will pronounce that, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I come quickly and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12.

What will be taking place on the earth at this time? “The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state—men will be planting and building; eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above.” The Great Controversy, 491.

Seven days before the flood Noah and his family entered the ark. Then, God shut him in and shut the ungodly out. For seven days the people, not knowing that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving lives and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. “So,” says the Savior, “shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.”

“Watch ye therefore: . . . lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.” Mark 13:35, 36. “Perilous is the condition of those who, growing weary of their watch, turn to the attractions of the world. While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments—it may be in that hour the Judge of all earth will pronounce the sentence: ‘Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.’ Daniel 5:27.” The Great Controversy, 491.


Protection from Deception


We thank God that He has not left us helpless, He has unmasked Satan’s final moves. “Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.

“Satan knew this, and he was at work in mighty power to keep the minds of as many people as he possibly could wavering and unsettled on the truth . . . I saw that Satan was working through agents in a number of ways. He was at work through ministers who have rejected the truth and are given over to strong delusions to believe a lie that they might be damned. While they were preaching or praying, some would fall prostrate and helpless, not by the power of the Holy Ghost, but by the power of Satan breathed upon these agents, and through them to the people. While preaching, praying, or conversing, some professed Adventists who have rejected present truth used mesmerism to gain adherents, and the people would rejoice in this influence, for they thought it was the Holy Ghost.” Early Writings, 43.

We see this happening in the churches of Babylon today, but how sad to learn that this false revival will take place in some of our Adventist churches also. “I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in the sealing time. I saw some who are not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of the Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling.” Early Writings, 44.

In order to be protected during this time, we must be covered by God. We are told that this covering of the Almighty consists of two garments: the righteousness of justification, which is imputed and the righteousness of sanctification, which is imparted. If we are to participate in the wedding activities, each of us must put on this wedding garment.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And He said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:7–9.

God calls this experience the sealing process. Under the power of the latter rain, the daily struggle to overcome sin will finally be realized and our characters will become like Christ. We will be sealed and enrobed in Christ’s righteousness, making it possible for the angels to separate the wheat from the tares. Then the angels will gather the sealed saints to the wedding with their Saviour to be united with Christ for eternity. When this has happened, the greatest Harvest Celebration will be held throughout the universe.

Let your mind imagine what this tremendous occasion will be like. We will meet loved ones again, who have been separated from us by death for years, nevermore to part. Our guardian angels will tell us of the many times we have been saved from the power of destroying angels. Imagine sitting down with Bible characters such as Peter, Abraham, David, Moses and Noah, Adam and Eve, and listening to the thrilling stories of their salvation? Can you fathom beholding a city three hundred seventy-five miles square with streets of pure gold and little children spreading their wings to fly to the top of the transparent walls? Can you conceive what it will be like to have the eternal vigor of youth never again to experience sickness, pain or death? What a thrill it will be to eat of the tree of life, and to drink from the river of life.

Have you ever dreamed what it will be like to take the hand of Jesus? And to see and feel the marks of the crucifixion and to look into that face of love and be invited to sit with Him on His throne? You will never cease to praise His holy name. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. Let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17


Proper Christian Dress

Not all the topics in the Bible are of equal importance. The cross of Jesus is the central attraction of the Christian religion. It is the topic of paramount importance. If you do not understand the cross, then you do not understand the basis of the Christian religion. The law of God is also very important. It was because the law was broken that Jesus had to go to the cross. That makes the law of extreme consequence. The subject of this article, dress and adornment, is not as important as the cross, or the law or the Sabbath, and the apostles and the prophets did not dwell on it at length. Ellen White also distinctly said that is should not be made a test question. You are probably wondering, then, why I am writing this article. Here are the reasons I choose to write on this topic:

  1. Many people will lose their souls over this issue.
  2. Jesus, the apostles and the prophets did preach and write about it, although they did not make it a major issue.
  3. Many Christians, including many attending Adventist Churches, have never heard this subject preached about. Some have concluded that since they have never heard it preached about, it does not really matter. That is not true.
  4. Some have concluded that historic Adventists do not believe or teach what inspiration says about dress, because it is preached about so seldom.

I have been thinking about this subject for years and saying to myself, “I have to say something about it.” In order to have a clear conscience, I want to share with you what the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy have to say about dress and adornment. Because so many ministers have been afraid to speak on this subject, God’s professed people are in a backslidden condition on the issue of dress. Ministers then, are partly to blame for this sad state. The apostle Paul said to the elders of the church at Ephesus, “I have not failed to declare to you all the counsel of God.” If I am going to declare to you all the counsel of God, I have to write something about dress and adornment.

First of all, let us begin by looking at some verses that contain the basic principles of how Christians should dress. Ephesians 5:25 says: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loves the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

What is it referring to when it says it should be without spots or wrinkles? It is talking about our clothes. Clothing in the Bible is a symbol of a person’s character, but this applies to our physical clothes as well. We should do our best to keep our clothes without spots and wrinkles, just as we want our character’s to be. This leads us to principle number one.




Just before God came and gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, He gave them instructions about their clothes. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.’ ” Exodus 19:10. [Emphasis supplied.]

This is the first principle about dress and adornment in the Bible. No matter what our economic level is, we can be clean. If you are a Christian, you are a son or a daughter of the King, and the King whose you are said, “I want you to be clean. I want your clothes to be clean and without spots or wrinkles.”


Neatness & Order


The second principle is found in John 20, and shows us an example from the life of Christ. “He [John], stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths laying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” John 20:5–7.

When Jesus arose on Sunday morning, He had a great deal to accomplish. All of His disciples were discouraged and depressed, and He needed to comfort them and show them that He was alive. He also had to go back to His Father in heaven to see that His sacrifice was accepted. Yet, the Creator and the Majesty of heaven took time before He walked out of that tomb to fold His grave clothes. Do you think that if you and I are Christians we should learn anything from that?

Notice what it says in the next verse. “Then the other disciple who came to the tomb went in also and he saw and believed.” John 20:8. When John looked into the tomb and saw the clothes neatly folded he knew Jesus had been there. How did he know? Because he had been with Him for three years and he knew how orderly Jesus was.

Order is a basic Christian principle in regard to dress. If I am striving to follow Christ, I will not throw my things about, and I will not leave them in a disheveled array. I will bring order even into the way I deal with my clothes, just as Jesus did.

As a parent, does that give me insights about how I should teach my children? Our children can learn about order, even when they are small. They may not be able to fold clothes as neatly as an adult, or clean their rooms as perfectly, but they can learn neatness and order in everything they do.




After Adam and Eve sinned, they made themselves clothing by sewing together fig leaves. When God came down to talk with them He was not impressed with their fig-leaf garments. In fact, He would not accept them. “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21. Why did He need to clothe them? Were they not clothed before? They had on fig-leaf garments, but God said, “You are not clothed. I am going to make you some clothes that will really clothe you.” So, the Lord made clothing of sheepskins for them.

Today, when we use the word “naked,” we mean not having a stitch of clothing on. In the Bible, the word “naked” simply means that you are not adequately clothed. Let me illustrate. God gave Moses special instructions about the priests clothing. He said, “And you shall make for them [the priests] linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs. They shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they come into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister in the Holy Place, that they do not incur iniquity and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and his descendants after him.” Exodus 28:42, 43.

Aaron and his sons were not “naked,” as we would use the word, they had robes on already. But the Lord said, “That is not enough.” He instructed them to wear clothes that completely covered their bodies. If they came before Him without being fully clothed, they would die.

Another illustration of this point is in John 21:7: “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), [the Greek word used here says he was naked] and plunged into the sea.” Now, Peter had not taken off all of his clothes to go fishing that night, he had just taken off his outer garment. But he did not want to be in the presence of the Lord without his outer garment on. There are a lot of Christians today who come into the presence of the Lord, like Adam and Eve, with only fig-leaf garments on. The Lord says to them, “You are naked.”

Paul counseled women especially about modesty: “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with broided hair or gold pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” 1Timothy 2:9, 10.

In simple terms, what does modesty mean? It means that your body (torso) is covered. According to Bible standards, we must have our body covered so people cannot see it. Suppose I put on clothing that you can see through. Am I clothed? No. If I put on clothing that is so tight that you can study my anatomy, even though it has cloth over the top of it, am I clothed? No, I am the same as Adam and Eve with those fig leaves on.

If my clothing in any way allows people to have a peek at my body, it is not modest. If a dress allows you, in any position, to see a person’s body, it is immodest. That means that a dress should be below the knees, or in some body positions the body will be visible, and that is forbidden in Exodus 28.

Do you think I am being too specific? Friend, the Christian religion is very specific, because God wants the very best for us in all the details of life. That is why God’s counsel is so specific on the dress issue. I do not have to tell you that we are living in a very wicked age and time. Our daughters are especially in danger. I pray every time my daughter goes to Wichita. But we have something to do besides pray. Ellen White told us that a woman who was dressed in modest apparel would be protected from a thousand evils. Isn’t our God merciful to give us specific rules to save us from such heartache?


Men and Women Should Look Different


“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 22:5. That is specific. Why were we given that instruction? Ellen White said that if there is confusion between the sexes, it results in a great increase in crime. We can certainly see that today.

In brief then, this principle says that when people see you they should be able to tell immediately if you are a man or a woman. The way you wear your clothes, the way you wear your hair, and your total appearance should leave them with no doubts.


Good Quality but Not Costly


Jesus had clothing that was of high quality and was durable. That is why the soldiers at His crucifixion cast lots for His garments. (See John 19:23.) But Jesus did not dress with the adornments of Babylon, and His children will not dress that way either. So many people today have cast aside God’s counsel on this issue, but there will be some who have their garments ready when Jesus comes, according to Revelation 16:15. “Behold, I am coming as a thief.

Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked [have a fig-leaf garment on] and they see his shame.”

Throughout the Bible, garments are a symbol of character. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:7, 8. If I am modest in character, I will wear modest clothing. If I am meek and humble, I will not dress to make a display. My clothing will be durable and neat, but plain and not gaudy.

The Bible tells us not to wear expensive clothing. If I love my neighbor as myself, I will not spend money for expensive clothing when there are other people who do not have enough. Part of the commendation that Jesus will give to His followers who are saved is recorded in Matthew 25. It says: “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me.” Matthew 25:34–36.


Do Not Dress For Display


Principle number six is one of the biggest problems in the area of dress. There will be people who lose their souls over the dress issue. How could people lose their soul over what they wear? Let us just see what the Bible says about this issue. This principle is the underlying problem with these people. ” ‘For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ says the Lord of Hosts, That will leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1.

One of the ways that pride manifests itself is in how we dress. Do we dress to show how good we can look? That is pride and the Lord has a solution for people with that problem. “Moreover the Lord says: ‘Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet. Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will uncover their secret parts.’ In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; The pendants, the bracelets, the veils; The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands, The perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; The nose jewels, the festal apparel, the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes. And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty. Your men shall fall by the sword, And your mighty in the war. Her gates shall lament and mourn, And she being desolate, shall sit on the ground.” Isaiah 3:16–26.

Gaudy dress, make-up, and adornment have always been associated with idolaters: “And when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked though a window.” 2 Kings 9:30. “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.” Revelation 17:4.

The dress issue, according to Isaiah 3, is going to take many people to hell. We need to ask ourselves when we go shopping, “Am I buying these clothes to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus? Will what I buy correctly represent Him by being durable, well fitting and becoming? Or do I just want to display how handsome (or beautiful) I am?” If we are dressing for display, we should ask the Lord to take the pride out of our hearts and fit us for heaven.

My friend, we are in the closing days of earth’s history. God wants to prepare us to live eternally with Him. He counsels us, “buy of Me . . . white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Revelation 3:18. Do you want to have the fine linen on when Jesus comes? He wants to put that garment on you so that you will be able to appear in His presence and not be ashamed because you do not have enough clothes on. Will you accept His gift and comply with the conditions?


Examination of the Books

The existence of records, or books, in heaven, and their use in the judgment, is plainly revealed. Thus Daniel says, “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10. And John says: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.

It is evident that the utmost importance is attached to the blotting out of the sins of the righteous from these books. When they are blotted out they can never rise up in the judgment against those who committed them; for men give account to God only for those things contained in the books. It is therefore certain that no individual can have his sins blotted out until the close of his probation. But when this work is wrought there must be an examination of the books for this very purpose.

The book of life is to be examined before the resurrection of the just. The words of Daniel render this point perfectly clear: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.

We have seen from other texts that the investigation and decision of the judgment, in the cases of the righteous, precedes the advent of the Saviour. We have also seen that there is a time before the coming of Jesus when the sins of the righteous are blotted out from the books of God’s remembrance. This is decisive proof that these books are subjected to examination before the Saviour comes again. But we have now another important fact. The book of life is examined before the deliverance of the saints. Daniel says, “At that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1. The book must, therefore, be examined before the resurrection of the righteous to immortal life. This is another convincing proof that the investigation of the cases of the righteous precedes the first resurrection. This book is referred to in the following passages: Exodus 32:32, 33; Psalm 69:28; 87:6; Isaiah 4:3; Ezekiel 13:9; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19.

The book of life is the final means of determining the cases of the righteous in the judgment; for all are delivered who are at the time of deliverance found written in it. But before this book is made the final source of appeal, it is itself to be tested by the books of God’s record. For all the names which are entered in this book of life, of those who fail to overcome, are to be blotted out. Yet it is the record of these persons’ lives that is to cause their names to be stricken from the book of life. (See Exodus 32:32,33; Psalm 69:28; Revelation 3:5.) We must, therefore, conclude that before the final examination of the book of life in the case of the righteous, there is a prior examination of the books of God’s record to determine (1) whose record of repentance and of overcoming is such that their sins shall be blotted out, and (2) to ascertain from this book who have failed in the attempt to overcome, and to strike the names of all such from the book of life. When the books of God’s remembrance are thus examined, and the sins of the overcomers blotted out, and the names of those who have not overcome are removed from the book of life, that book becomes the final test, and an examination of its pages concludes the work of investigation preparatory to the deliverance of the saints.

We have seen that though the book of life is the final book of reference to determine who shall have part in the first resurrection, yet it must itself first be examined by the book of God’s remembrance, for the removal of the name of every person who has not completed the work of overcoming.

1.The book called “the book of remembrance” is written expressly for the righteous, and is the book which shall determine, in their cases, the decision of the judgment. This book is particularly referred to in the following passages: “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:16–18. “Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?” Psalm 56:8.

“Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.” Nehemiah 13:14.

The book of God’s remembrance mentioned in these texts pertains only to the righteous; yet it appears to be a different book from the book of life; for though that book belongs alone to the righteous, it seems to be simply the record of their names (See Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8.), while the book of remembrance is the record of their good deeds. (See Malachi 3:16–18; Psalm 56:8; Nehemiah 13:14.) But should we conclude that the book of life is identical with the book of God’s remembrance, it will not essentially change this argument, for it would still follow that the record of the good deeds of the righteous, if it shows that they have overcome all their faults, and perfected the graces of the Spirit of God in themselves, is that which determines that their names shall be retained in the book of life, and their sins blotted out of the books which record them. But if the record be not such as God can accept, then their names must be removed from that book (See Exodus 32:32,33; Psalm 56:28; Revelation 3:5.), and the record of their good deeds also be blotted out to be no more remembered. (See Nehemiah 13:14; Ezekiel 3:20.)

The book of God’s remembrance contains the names of all who enter the service of God and of such only. Yet not every one of these follows on to know Him. Many that set out to overcome do not complete the work. That record, however, will show just how far they advanced in overcoming, and how and when they failed. As it contains simply the good deeds of the righteous, it will show their acts of repentance, confession, obedience, and sacrifice recorded therein. When the work is complete, then this record shows them prepared for the examination of the judgment. This, therefore, is the book out of which the cases of the righteous are to be decided, and from whose record they are to be accounted worthy of that world and the resurrection from the dead.

  1. The justification of the righteous in the judgment must precede the resurrection which is called “the resurrection of the just.” By this designation our Lord speaks of the resurrection of the righteous. (See Luke 14:14.) Paul states that this resurrection shall be at the coming of Christ. (See I Corinthians 15:23, 51–54; I Thessalonians 4:16–18.)

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:36, 37.

The justification of the judgment must be when the righteous are accounted worthy of a part in the first resurrection. But before they are thus justified in the judgment they give an account of their words. And this being true, it follows that God preserves a record of the words which we speak; also that our evil words are not blotted out until this account has been rendered. But the acquittal and the blotting out do, of necessity, precede the gift of immortality to the righteous at the advent of our Lord.

  1. The decision of the judgment in the case of the righteous must be when the blotting out of their sins takes place. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14.

God brings the conduct of men into the judgment by means of books of record. They are judged “out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12, 13.

But the sins of the righteous are blotted out before the coming of the Lord. (See Acts 3:19, 20.) And it is manifest that their sins cannot be brought into the judgment after they are thus blotted out. But the righteous are to be judged as really as are the wicked. (See Ecclesiastes 3:17.) It follows, therefore, that their judgment must be at the time of the blotting out of their sins; for then there is an end made forever of the record of their transgressions. Now it is manifest that when this final work is wrought, it will pertain only to those who have fully repented of their sins, and have perfectly accomplished the work of overcoming. This work of blotting out sins brings our Lord’s priesthood to an end. He must be priest till then. He is not needed as priest after that. But when our Lord does blot out the sins of His people, He must present their cases individually before His Father, and show from the “book of remembrance” that they have severally repented of their sins, and have completed their work of overcoming. Then the Father accepts the statement thus made, and the evidence thus presented in the case of each one, and bids the Son to blot out the record of that person’s sins. This is manifestly the very time and occasion at which the righteous are accounted worthy of the resurrection to immortality. Their sins are thus brought into the judgment through their High Priest, and through Him the righteous render account of their sins to the Father. This account being accepted, their sins are blotted out, and themselves pronounced just before God. This is the justification of the judgment.

  1. There is a time for blotting out the names of some from the book of life, and of confessing the names of the others before the Father.

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5.

The time of blotting out names from the book of life precedes the deliverance of the saints. For at the time of that event everyone shall be delivered “that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1. Thus the fearful threatenings of Exodus 32:32, 33; Psalm 69:28; Revelation 22:19, is executed in the removal of names from this book before the coming of Christ. Those who overcome are the ones who have their sins blotted out. But those who fail to overcome have their names stricken from the book of life. The examination of their record must, therefore, precede both these acts of blotting out, for the express purpose of determining whether they shall have their sins blotted out, or have their names removed from the book of life. We have seen that it is at this very point that the righteous give account of their sins through their High Priest, who, from the book of God’s remembrance, shows that they have repented, confessed, forsaken, and overcome, their sinful course; also that they are thus acquitted and justified in order that they may have a part in the resurrection to immortality. Here is also the very act of the Saviour in confessing the names of His people before His Father and the holy angels, that shall close our Lord’s priesthood and place His people where they shall be forever free from all their sins. For when the book of God’s remembrance is found to prove that the person under examination is an overcomer, it is then the part of the Saviour to confess his name before His Father and the holy angels, and the part of the Father to give judgment that that person’s sins be blotted from the record. Surely it is of some account to us that we have part in the fulfillment of the promise, “I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5. (See Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8.)

  1. The righteous are not done with their sins till they have rendered account in the judgment. (See Ecclesiastes 3:17; 12:14; Matthew 12:36, 37.) The only account that they can render is to show that they have made perfect work of repentance and of overcoming. This must be done before they are blotted out of the record above. Our Advocate with the Father must hold His office till He has saved His people from their sins. (See 1 John 2:1; Matthew 1:21. He cannot close this work till He has seen them accepted in the judgment. Whence it follows that His office of Advocate will constrain Him to confess their names before the tribunal of His Father, and to show that their sins should be removed from the books.
  2. When our Lord has thus finished His work as priest, His people are prepared to stand in the sight of God without an atoning sacrifice. The following texts make this very clear:

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18, 19. The Lord, in the promise of the new covenant, says: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34. Paul quoting Jeremiah, says: “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25. “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” Jeremiah 50:20.

When these prophetic declarations are accomplished, we shall no longer need an Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator, or High Priest. Our sins will never after that exist even in the record of the court of heaven. Our lost innocence will then have been recovered, and we shall then be like to the angels of God, who walk in their original uprightness.

  1. The accomplishment of this work of blotting out the sins of those who overcome is marked by a declaration of awful solemnity:

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12.

These words virtually announce the close of our Lord’s work as High Priest. They cannot be uttered till He, as our Advocate, has secured the blotting out of the sins of His people at His Father’s tribunal. Yet we have seen that this work of blotting out is accomplished before He comes the second time without sin unto salvation. (See Hebrews 9:27, 28.) The text under consideration is in exact harmony with these facts. The solemn announcement, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; . . . and he that is holy, let him be holy still,” is followed by these words: “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12. The final work of our Lord for the removal of His people’s sins does therefore precede His return in the clouds of heaven to reward every man according to his works.