Book Review and Comments, The Church

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3. There are foundational principles in every person’s mind that shape the way that he sees and understands all information. People’s foundational principles of thinking are largely absorbed from their immediate environment; therefore, what children and young people see and experience generally has more to do with their perception of reality than anything else. As a baby grows up, he or she assimilates what is accepted as fundamental truth and basic values of life from his or her environment. If the parents teach the child the Bible from its earliest years, as an adult, that person will have foundational principles of thought that are based on the law of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. If two people espouse different foundational principles of thinking, they might be talking together about the same subject, but their perspective of that subject is so different that little actual meeting of the minds may occur. One of the foundational principles in the minds of Christians is what they believe the true church to be. For example, if a person is taught from the cradle that there is only one church that goes back to the time of Jesus Christ and that this is the true Church of God, he will generally believe this, although the Bible not only does not give any such assurance but actually teaches just the opposite. For this reason it is important for anyone who is really serious about inheriting eternal life to go right to the Bible itself and find out what the conditions are and then abide by those conditions.

Men who have been used of God in the past to proclaim His message were men who went straight to the Bible to find out the truth and then chose to abide by that truth, even if they were all alone in the world in doing so. If you want to be used by God as a humble instrument in the finishing of His work in the world, you must do the same thing. We must come to the Bible with a humble spirit, promising the Lord that whatever He teaches us by His Holy Spirit, we will believe and obey.

Today, God is preparing to finish His work. Unfortunately, for many Seventh-day Adventists, because of their false understanding of who and what the church is, this work is being incorrectly perceived. They have made up their minds that God has to work within certain regular lines. When we have checked the inspired writings, we find that there is not only basis for this belief but that the inspired writings make it very clear that the work will be finished in a way that we do not expect.

Their definition of who and what the church is, is the foundational principle that is in error in the mind of many Seventh-day Adventists. A controversy has erupted in Adventism as is clearly demonstrated in the publishing of the Issues book (which contained a section about who and what the church is). The controversy over this issue has brought division throughout self-supporting workers, or independent ministries, as well as from within what is called the church structure of Seventh-day Adventists. Just today we received a letter from Wildwood (OCI) saying that they were uncomfortable with our ministry. What they are uncomfortable about is our understanding of who and what the true church is. If necessary, I could name names of individuals from various self-supporting or independent ministries who have gone all over the world trying to destroy the influence of people who have taken the same position that we have on who and what the true church is. The efforts made to destroy the influence of others is strong evidence that even the ones doing these things know that which position you take will completely alter your course of action and even your understanding of right and wrong.

One of the main accusations that has received wide circulation is that certain ministries, such as Steps to Life and others, have changed the definition of the church form that held historically by Seventh-day Adventists. Our research into this subject has shown clearly that not all Adventist pioneers understood the nature of the church, but there have been some who, from their study of the Bible, clearly understood the issue of who and what the true church is. We have published a few statements from these in previous issues of our News Notes.

Apparently J.L. Tucker, one of the pioneers in Seventh-day Adventist radio, was one of these individuals. It is evident from what he wrote about this subject that he had been studying his Bible and accepted what the Bible said about the church. We review briefly his booklet The Church, God’s Last Message To It.

The first paragraph is stunning in its clarity of thought. If this were to have been stated in 1994, it would have immediately placed the speaker in the middle of the controversy over who and what is the church. “The church is dear to the heart of God. Christ loves the church. Ephesians 5:25. More than one hundred times it is mentioned in the New Testament alone. God has had His people (church) in all ages. See Acts 7:38. Not everyone whose name is on some church roll is counted by God to be His own. He keeps His own records in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5. There is, so to speak, a church within a church. Only truly born again, dedicated souls make up the real church.” The Church, 3

Notice three points made in this first paragraph: (1) Not everyone making a profession is part of the real church. (2) The church (singular) has existed in all ages. (3) Although there is only one true church, there is a larger group of people who make a profession; but these are not the real church. As we ponder these three points, the following ideas come to mind. First, we cannot say that there have been two or three or more true churches down through history. Second, the deciding factor as to who is a member of the church has to do with spiritual qualifications. The church, then, is a spiritual entity and therefore must have a spiritual definition. Your understanding of the Ellen White quotations which are used to confuse people will depend on your definition of the church. That is why in our booklet on the church we listed in the appendices the inspired definitions that Ellen White gave of the true church and the professed church.

In the fourth paragraph, Elder Tucker reiterates this truth about the spiritual nature of the true church. He writes: “The church is a spiritual communion, consisting of all those who are connected with the great Head of the church. It is His kingdom in the earth.”

Elder Tucker then begins a brief review of the Great commission and how it was and was not carried out down through history. Notice the four identifying marks of the church to whom this commission was given. He writes: “To His church, divinely constituted, divinely organized, divinely equipped, divinely connected, the divine commission is given. Matthew 28:19, 20.”

He discusses the last or remnant church that god will have in the last days and shows its identifying marks in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12. He gives a beautiful description of this people or church: “Only those who give God first place, His rightful place, in their minds, hearts and lives, will develop those characteristics brought to our attention in verse twelve: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Out of an impatient, hair-trigger age, God will develop in the hearts of those who have purposed to be His people, regardless, that wondrous grace of patience. In a disobedient age when the laws of men and the laws of God are violated at will, in an age when many religionists teach a brand of grace that throws aside the ten commandments of God, in an age when crime, violence and disobedience are everywhere, God will produce a people, by His infinite grace, of whom he can say, ‘They keep the commandments of God.’ In and age when on every side we hear the theory ‘do as you please,’ it makes no difference what you believe, just so you are sincere,’ ‘why be particular?,’ God will produce a people of whom He can say: ‘They have the faith of Jesus.’ They live like Jesus; they talk like Jesus; they walk like Jesus. Their one great cry is ‘What did Jesus do? What did he teach? What does He want me to do?’ They have the mind of Christ. See Philippians 2:5. Like Christ, they would rather die than sin. Like Him, they will be obedient, even unto death. See Ephesians 2:8 Like their Lord, truth means everything, for did he not say, ‘ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free’? John 8:32. They do not trust their own judgment but seek only a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ for they know ‘there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.’ Proverbs 14:12.” Ibid., 10, 11

Elder Tucker describes this people, this church, as a group who are preparing day by day to soon become part of the church triumphant: “Paul tells us we must be a ‘glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’ Ephesians 5:25-27. See also James 1:27. The born-again Christian counts his body as the temple of the living God, which he will never knowingly defile: ‘What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ 1Corinthians 6:19, 20. ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.’ 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17

“In the light of this standard there will be no liquor drinking, no tobacco habits, no slaves of passion. The true church member takes for his standard, ‘What would Jesus do?,’ and he cannot conceive of his Lord deliberately taking poison into His body temple.

“The remnant church will not only be clean in body, mind, and soul, but it well teach what Jesus taught. It will ‘earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.’ Jude 3. It will demand a ‘thus saith the Lord’ for every religious practice and custom. It will hold to sound doctrine, remembering that Christ said, ‘In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ Matthew 15:9. The members of God’s true church will love one another. John 13:34, 35.’ Ibid., 13, 14

Elder Tucker then writes about Christ’s last warning to His church: “Here we are, in an hour when all inventions for a quick work are here, radio, television, every means for mass communication are available to the church. God says for us to ‘wake up’ and use these. ‘Sound the last message.’ Tell the people they are breaking God’s commandments. Tell them to put on the whole armour of God and make a new dedication to the Lord Jesus. How quickly an awakened church can finish her work.” Ibid., 18. What would our pioneers think about the first time that Seventh-day Adventists have been given the opportunity to preach the three angels’ messages from the most powerful short wave station in North America, and many are so asleep they do not even recognize what is going on? One of the main reasons that they do not recognize what is going on is that they are confused about who the church is—they believe that the voice of God must be heard through a certain regular channel. The result will be that the work will be all finished, and then many Adventists will wake up; but it will be too late. Over and over the Spirit of Prophecy has warned us of this possibility.

Elder Tucker recognized, as stated in the first paragraph of his booklet, that not everybody in the professed church was really part of the true church and that God could use others who were of part of the “professed church” structure to finish His work. It is significant that in ministries who are working together to reach the world with the three angels’ messages over short wave radio, one or more leaders has been disfellowshipped or forcibly separated from the ministry where he was trying to spread the three angels’ messages, and it has been spread all over the world that these people are not really Seventh-day Adventists. Keep watching. It is going to become more evident every passing month who the real and true Seventh-day Adventists are. What Elder Tucker stated in the closing paragraph of his booklet about the professed church is today becoming a reality: “God wants to work through His church. That has been His studied plan, but he is not dependent upon the church. The hour has come when the Gospel must be sounded to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. The earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. Revelation 18:1. If His church will not arise and shine, then God will use other means. This is the hour for greatness! Dear reader, God wants to use you; but He can only use you as you are wakened, dedicated, clothed with His righteousness. He says His people are ‘for signs and wonders.’ Isaiah 8:18 They are to do exploits (Daniel 11:32). It is HIGH time to wake up, to get up and to speak up for God. It’s time to cut loose of the world and all worldliness; time to cut loose from all extra possessions and translate them into souls. The Lord is coming! Be ready! Help others to be ready! ‘So shall ye be my disciples.’ John 15:8.” Ibid., 19, 20



The Church: God’s Last Message to It

The church is dear to the heart of God. Christ loves the church. Ephesians 5:25. More than one hundred times it is mentioned in the New Testament alone. God has had His people (church) in all ages. See Acts 7:38. Not everyone whose name is on some church roll is counted by God to be His own. He keeps his own records in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5. There is, so to speak, a church within a church. Only born-again, dedicated souls make up the real church.

Jesus spoke of the church as “My Father’s House.” John 2:16. When the Jewish nation, the once chosen people, signally failed to achieve the spiritual standards and accomplish the work of being a light to the world, they, as a notion, were rejected, though God bore long with them. See Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 21:33-45; Matthew 23:38.

Some little time before the rejection of the Jewish nation as His peculiar treasure, Jesus laid the foundation of the Christian church, which was to take over the vineyard and become God’s custodian of divine truths for the world. See Matthew 16:13-18; Matthew 21:41. Christ is the Rock of Ages and the eternal foundation for all that pertains to the Gospel plan. Upon that mighty truth, given utterance to by the apostle Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build My church.”

The church is of too great importance to have as its foundation any human being. No such responsibility or place of importance was assigned to any man. See Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23-30; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Peter 2:4, 5 Christ is a sure foundation. Upon this living stone both Jew and Gentile alike, as individuals may now build. It is broad enough for all and strong enough to sustain the weight and burden of the whole world. The church is a spiritual communion, consisting of all those who are connected with the great Head of the church. It is His kingdom in the earth.

The Great Commission

To His church, divinely constitute, divinely organized, divinely equipped, divinely connected, the divine commission is given. Matthew 28:19, 20.

The church is to proclaim Christ’s gospel of salvation to all nations and to everyone. Every new addition to the church of family of God is to be given a responsibility to bear. Every one is to let his light so shine for Christ that he will attract other men to Christ, the Head of the church. See Mark 13:34; Ephesians 2:10; I Corinthians 3:9.

The early church in the days of the apostles took the command of their Lord seriously. They were told to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the outpouring of power, the promised Spirit. Acts 1:8. Under the leadership of the third person of the Godhead, they went forth a conquering force. Millions embraced Christianity from Judaism and from paganism, during the remaining lifetime of these disciples. Satan’s camp trembled at the mighty onslaught of Christianity. He and his cohorts laid plans to stop the triumphs of the gospel truths. The church was warned and counseled against the plans of the enemy. Paul wrote to his fellow workers: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31.

Gradually the spiritual leaders succumbed to the sophistries of the Devil, and they began to welcome into the church false doctrines and perverse things—anything to get a following and become somebody in the eyes of others. Once the bars were down, error swept into the once pure church, as an overwhelming flood. With the coming of error and false doctrine, the spirit of evangelism waned and died.

For centuries there was bickering and strife among the churches and between the leaders of the church. Gradually, but surely, the bishops of Rome assumed and obtained control and became the head of the so called Christian church, though it had but very little resemblance to the church Jesus organized. With a man assuming the role of vicegerent of Christ, or taking the place that God gave to the Holy Spirit, love waned; doctrines of men took the place of the doctrines of the Word; anyone daring to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, was declared a heretic, and multiplied millions through the centuries were put to death for their faith.

The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation had predicted just such an experience. They also gave the length of time that the apostasy would hold sway. When that hour dawned, a revival began to break out in Europe. It was spoken of as the Reformation. Men dared to come back to the Word and to seek God’s will from the original source, the Blood of God. See Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20. The divine commission given to the church, though, long, long delayed in being carried out, has not changed.

One Gospel

Though there is but one gospel, one plan of redemption, one name that can save, (see Acts 4:12), yet at times in God’s dealings with man there has been special emphasis upon special truths. The disciples emphasized the resurrection of our Lord. The reformers’ particular message was “The Bible and the Bible only” and “The just shall live by faith.” The message today that must belt the globe is present truth for this hour. It must include all points of the Gospel, with special emphasis upon “The hour of His judgment is come.” “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7

Then in rapid succession follows two more messages which blend with the first. See Verses 8-11. We read in verse fourteen: “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle,” The harvest of the earth is reaped.

God’s final message which prepares His people for the Second Coming of the Lord is here in Revelation 14. It needs to be studied earnestly, prayerfully. It is a message that gives the Creator His rightful place, in an hour when human rationalism, atheistic evolution, and modernism are doing their baneful work of ruling God out of His own universe. His last message sounds: “Fear God, and give glory to Him.” And then there is this emphasis: “For the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

Only those who give God first place, His rightful place, in their minds, hearts and lives, will develop those characteristics brought to our attention in verse twelve: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Out of an impatient, hair-trigger age, God will develop in the hearts of those who have purposed to be His people, regardless, that wondrous grace of patience. In a disobedient age when the laws of men and the laws of God are violated at will, in an age when many religionists teach a brand of grace that throws aside the Ten Commandments of God, in an age when crime, violence and disobedience are everywhere, God will produce a people, by His infinite grace, of whom He can say, “they keep the commandments of God.” In an age when on every side we hear the theory “do as you please,” “it makes no difference what you believe, just so you are sincere,” “why be particular?,” God will produce a people of whom He can say: “They have the faith of Jesus.” They live like Jesus; they talk like Jesus; they walk like Jesus. Their one great cry is “What did Jesus do? What did He teach? What does he want me to do?” They have the mind of Christ. See Philippians 2:5. Like Christ, they would rather die than sins. Like Him, they will be obedient, even unto death. See Ephesians 2:8. Like their Lord, truth means everything, for did He not say, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”? John 8:32. They do not trust their own judgment but seek only a “thus saith the Lord,” for they know “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12. “In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9

As God called and chose Abraham and separated him for a special task, as He chose the Jewish nation and made them the heralds of a newly organized Christian church, as He raised up and used mighty men of the Reformation days and through succeeding years, so he has a church today. He speaks of it as His “remnant church.” Revelation 12:17. Her characteristics are plainly described, that all may recognize her. Revelation 14:12, 12:17. Her work is worldwide. The commission is plain and distinct. She must emphasize the whole gospel, with special emphasis on the climax of it all and the events in connection with our Lord’s return. The solemn truth that the hour of God’s judgment IS come is to awaken saint and sinner. The call is sounded to come out of Babylon, out of error into truth. The warning against the beast power and his image and mark is to be carried to every corner of the world. The fruitage of such a message is to prepare man for the meeting with king Jesus. They are described by inspiration: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.

It is a high standard God has for His church, as well as a tremendous task, but Christ’s grace is sufficient for everyone. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20. We will never rise higher than we aim. Paul tells we must be “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27. See also James 1:27. The born again Christian count his body as the temple of the living God, which he will never knowingly defile; “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17

In the light of this standard there will be no liquor drinking, no tobacco habits, no slaves of passion. The true church member takes for his standard, “What would Jesus do?,” and he cannot conceive of his Lord deliberately taking poison into his body temple.

The remnant church will not only be clean in body, mind, and soul, but it will teach what Jesus taught. It will “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3. It will demand a “thus saith the Lord” for every religious practice and custom. It will hold to sound doctrine, remembering that Christ said, “in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9. The members of God’s true church will love one another. See John 13:34, 35.

The greatest function of the church is to win souls. Every member of the church is an ambassador for Christ. He is to entreat men and women to be reconciled to God. By precept and example he will sound the invitation; “Whosoever will may come.” Revelation 22:17. Those persons who shut themselves away from bearing burdens for others, will soon suffer spiritual feebleness. It is labor that keeps the strong man strong and spiritual labor, toil and burden-bearing is what will give strength to the members of the church of Christ.

Christ’s Last Warning to His Church

Though Christ loved His church and gave Himself for it, yet down through the years He has counseled and warned His church. So today He has a striking warning and makes a special appeal to His remnant church. Here it is: “And that, knowing the time, that, now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:11-14. Here Christ accuses his church, who professes to know the times and understand the meaning of world conditions, of being asleep in the hour of crisis. They have had knowledge, but they’ve been lulled to sleep. God’s long-suffering with a judgment-bound world has caused many to say, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” They have grown weary in well doing—God speaks of these as being asleep. They need to wake up. He says it’s “high time to awaken out of sleep.”

As a boy, I learned the meaning of the words “high time.” I was raised on the farm and certain seasons of the year meant getting up very early. Father would call “Julius, it’s time to get up.” Partially awake I’d respond; “Yes, just a minute,’ and I’d go back to sleep in that moment. Pretty soon I’d hear father’s voice again, with more emphasis: “Julius, it’s time to get up.” “Yes, just a minute; I just want to stretch.” And when a boy stretches in a nice warm, cozy bed, he can go back to sleep to dream he is out currying the horses, feeding the stock, milking the cows, only waiting for mothers call to breakfast. And all at once my dreams would be rudely shattered with the voice of father, “Julius, it’s HIGH time you were getting out of there.” And out I’d come, for I had learned through sad experience that when father called “It’s HIGH time,” that was his last call that morning for, you see, my father believed in the laying on of hands, and he didn’t care much where he laid them as long as they landed on me, if there had been disobedience.

Reverently I say that our heavenly Father has been calling, calling to His church down through the centuries; and now His last call “It is HIGH time to awake, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions for the flesh—no excuse for living on a low level. This is the hour when every member of the church is to know what victory is, not planning to get ready sometime, but to be ready, for does not our Lord say, “Be ye also ready: for in such and hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh”? Matthew 24:44.

What the ship captain said to one of God’s men of old who was running away from duty and had gone to sleep in a time of great local crisis, so God says to his church today: “What meantest thou, oh sleeper? Arise, and call upon thy God.” Jonah 1:6. What a tragedy! The one man on that boat who knew God, was asleep. In the hour of the world, and God has to call to His church or to large segments of it, “What meanest thou, oh sleeper? You know the time. Wake up! It’s HIGH time to proclaim to every corner of the world My final message!”

Here we are, in an hour when all inventions for a quick work are here, radio, television, every means for mass communication are available to the church. God says for us to “wake up” and use these. “Sound the last message.” Tell the people they are breaking God’s commandments. Tell them to put on the whole armour of God and make a new dedication to the Lord Jesus. How quickly an awakened church can finish her work. God has promised the outpouring of the holy Spirit in the latter rain proportions to His remnant church. He sent the early rain of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and great were the results. Thousands were converted in a day. The latter rain will be infinitely greater in abundance and greater the harvest. God is going to finish His work. Romans 9:28. God wants to work through His church. That has been His studied plan, but He is not dependent upon the church. The hour has come when the gospel must be sounded to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. Revelation 18:1. If His church will not arise and shine, then God will use other means. This is the hour for greatness! Dear reader, God wants to use you; but He can only use you as you are wakened, dedicated, clothed with his righteousness. He says his people are “for signs and wonders.” Isaiah 8:18 They are to do exploits (Daniel 11:32). It is HIGH time to wake up, to get up and to speak up for God. It’s time to cut loose from all extra possessions and translate them into souls. The Lord is coming! Be ready! Help others to be ready! “so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:8.

The End

Reformation in England

Descending on England like soft dew and advancing noiselessly as the light of the rising sun, the Word of God, given to the common people by Tyndale, began to work, laying the foundation for the Reformation. While there were many martyrs who would yet lay down their lives before England would fully accept the reformed faith, there were signs that popular feeling was turning against the old faith. From time to time there was destruction of public symbols. Many of the crucifixes that stood along the roadways were pulled down. Images of saints were found destroyed. Though there were a few arrests made and the perpetrators of the act hanged, in most cases they remained unknown.

As the years passed and Catherine gave Henry VIII no sons, the kings affection for his queen began to wane.

Cardinal Wolsey, archenemy of the Protestant faith, had twice been promised the Roman tiara by Charles V, the emperor and nephew of Catherine. Twice Charles broke his promise and Wolsey saw another become pope in his place. A man as proud and powerful as Wolsey could scarcely pardon such an affront. A plan to avenge himself began to form in Wolsey’s mind, though it might convulse all of Europe in the process.

The cardinal knew that Henry had harbored secret doubts about the lawfulness of his marriage to Catherine and that the king was less favorably disposed towards her than he had been in the early years of their marriage. Taking advantage of the king’s intense fear of having no heir to the throne and the apparent hopelessness of obtaining one by Catherine, Wolsey saw the means of breaking the alliance between Henry and Spain and at the same time humiliating the emperor by having removed his aunt in disgrace from being the queen. In all of his planning, Wolsey did not see that his scheme would result in his own downfall and the fall of popedom in England.

Going to the king in private, he pointed out to him that the salvation of his soul and the welfare of his kingdom were in jeopardy. Three days later, he again approached the king and told him: “Most mighty prince, you cannot like Herod, have your brother’s wife. Submit the matter to proper judges.” Wylie, The History of Protestantism, vol. 3, 375. The fact that Charles V had previously objected to an alliance with Princess Mary, the daughter of Catherine, on the grounds that she was the issue of a forbidden marriage helped to influence the king; and the pope was approached and asked for his blessing in granting Henry a divorce. The divorce would not have cost Clement VII so much as a second thought, had it not been that he greatly feared the emperor, Charles V, whose armies surrounded him.

Wolsey, made it clear to Clement and his cardinals that if the divorce were not granted, England was lost to the papacy. The fact that Charles’ armies were at that minute in retreat before the French armies gave courage to Clement, and he allowed himself to be persuaded that Charles was as good as driven out of Italy. On June 8, 1528, the pope issued a commission empowering his nuncio Campeggio and Wolsey to declare the marriage between Henry and Catherine null and void. A few days later he signed a decretal by which he himself annulled the marriage. This document he entrusted to Campeggio, instructing him to travel by slow stages, delaying as long as possible his arrival in England. If the emperor were finally beaten, the decretal was to be made public and acted upon; but should Charles recover, it was to be burned.

At last, to the great joy of the king, Campeggio arrived in England with the bull dissolving the marriage. His conscience at rest, the way was opened for Henry to contract another marriage. And so, while the newly acquired Scriptures were separating England from the bondage of the papacy, the papal decretal was serving to bind the realm even more tightly. “But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay.” Desire of Ages, 31

Eight months passed before Campeggio opened his commission to consider the propriety of Henry’s proposed divorce of Catherine. On the way to England he had been overtaken with messengers from the pope with new instructions. The tide of war had changed and the armies of the emperor had triumphed. Campeggio’s instructions, therefore, were to try to persuade Catherine to enter a nunnery. Should he fail in this, he was not to decide the case but to refer it back to Rome.

Campeggio approached Catherine, but she refused to cooperate. He was left with the unhappy task of trying to convince Henry to abandon his plans for a divorce. The king became irate and asked if this was how the pope kept his word, repaying his faithful service of the past. Campeggio responded by showing the king the bull annulling the marriage, but nothing the king could say could prevail upon the legate to part with it.

After a series of delays, on June 18, 1529, a commission was opened and both the king and queen were cited to appear. The hearings lasted for about a month. It was believed by everyone that on July 23 a verdict would be announced. On the appointed day, the hall was crowded. The king himself slipped into a gallery adjoining the hall so that unobserved he might watch the proceedings. Slowly Campeggio arose. The silence grew intense. The moment was great; the fate of the papacy in England was at stake. Speaking, the nuncio adjourned the hearings until the 1st of October. The words fell on the crowded room with a stunning effect, but none were more shocked than was Henry. Clearly he saw that he was being played for a fool by the pope and that Clement cared nothing for his welfare or for the peace of his kingdom.

Of the two men who had incurred his anger—Clement and Wolsey—Wolsey was the first to feel the king’s wrath. The cardinal’s fall from favor was quickly apparent to the courtiers who were not slow to hasten to the king with additional proofs of Wolsey’s willingness to sacrifice England for the papacy. There was scarcely a nobleman at court whom Wolsey had not offended; and wherever he looked, he saw only hostility. The prospects abroad were no better for he had used both Charles the emperor and Francis, king of France, for his own purposes, plunging Europe into war. Rarely has a career climbed to such splendid heights, to end so quickly in such utter defeat.

The king was completely disgusted. Two years had been worse than wasted in dealing with Clement, for which he now had nothing to show. Charles and Clement were now fast friends, and Henry was left without a single ally on the Continent. More than that, he had been bitterly humiliated at home. The realization came to him that he had but two courses to choose from. He must either abandon the idea of a divorce or withdraw his case from the jurisdiction of Rome. The first he would not do, but the second was a course that required much consideration.

“In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the Word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.” Education, 173

Just as with the stars, an overruling hand of Providence brings men upon the stage of action at just the time they are needed to fulfill His divine purpose. Just as the most ardent foe of Protestantism was removed from the stage, two more men, each destined to play an important part in the events that were to shape the future of the nation, made their entrance.

The king, on his way to London from Grafton where he had retired to escape the vexations of mind that had resulted from the duplicity of the pope stopped to enjoy a chase in the forest. As there were too many courtiers to all be entertained in the abbey, two of his servants were entertained in the house of a citizen named Cressy. At the evening meal, they unexpectedly met a former acquaintance, Thomas Cranmer.

Cranmer, born in 1489 near Nottingham, was then a professor at Cambridge. As the teachings of Luther were stirring much controversy in England just then, Cranmer set himself to know the truth of the matter. Setting aside all other material, Cranmer was determined to know the truth from the Bible. After three years of study, without commentaries or the assistance of other humans, the darkness of scholasticism which had until now obscured his vision, cleared; and for the first time, he saw the beauty of the plan of salvation.

His two friends, knowing his eminence as a scholar and theologian, directed the conversation so as to draw from him an opinion as to the matter of the royal divorce. Speaking frankly, little dreaming that his comments would be heard outside of the room in which he spoke them, he asked, “Why go to Rome? Why take so long a road when by a shorter you may arrive at a more certain conclusion?” His friends inquired as to what approach he spoke of, and he replied: “The Scriptures. If God has made this marriage sinful, the pope cannot make it lawful.” His friends asked how one might know what the Scriptures said on this point, and the doctor replied: “Ask the universities; they will return a sounder verdict than the pope.” Wylie, The History of Protestantism, vol. 3, 392

Two days later, the words of Cranmer were related to the king. On an earlier occasion he had approached the universities, but the question he had asked was not that which Cranmer proposed. Earlier he had asked both Oxford and Cambridge what they thought of his marriage, but Cranmer was suggesting that they tell him what the Bible said of the marriage. In this proposal, Henry thought that he saw a possible solution to his dilemma, little realizing that in doing so he was accepting the formal, fundamental principle of Protestantism—appealing the case from the pope to God, from the Church to the Scriptures. Cranmer was immediately summoned to court and commanded to begin gathering the opinions of the scholars as to what the Bible taught about his marriage. Clement VII had summoned the king of England to his bar; but instead, Henry would summon the pope to the tribunal of God’s Word.

At this point, we must introduce a second man who was to play a significant role in the emancipation of England from the Roman yoke. Thomas Cromwell, after returning to England as a military adventure, became connected with Wolsey, whom he served faithfully. In Wolsey’s overthrow, which was largely the result of Wolsey’s subservience to the pope, he saw a new course set for himself. Going to Henry, with great courage and clearness, he pointed out to the king the great humiliation and embarrassment that both he and his kingdom had suffered because of their dependency on the pope. Who was the pope, he asked, that he should be monarch of England? And, who were the priests, that they should be above the law? He pointed out that for Henry to submit his case to an Italian court was to be but half a king. He raised the question as to why the king should not declare himself head of the church in his own realm. If the king were to declare himself head of the church, it would put the clergy on the same level with all the rest of his subjects. As things then stood, the clergy did, indeed, swear allegiance to the king, but they then took a second oath to the pope that virtually annulled the first and made them more the pope’s subjects than the king’s.

During the few minutes that Henry listened to these courageous words, a revolution took place in his thinking. Fixing his eyes on the speaker, he asked him if he could prove the things he had said. Anticipating such a question, Cromwell pulled from his pocket a copy of the oath every bishop was required to take. This was enough for Henry. As he listened with mingled astonishment and delight, a new future seemed to be opening to Henry.

In the days and weeks that followed, sweeping changes were instituted. The laws were changed, making the clergy amenable to the laws of the land, curbing to a large extent the abuses that had existed. An end was made to many of the payments to Rome, by which an enormous amount of wealth had been drained from the country. The law was repealed by which heretics might be burned on the sentence and by the authority of the bishop, and without writ from the king. Though this did not fully abolish the stake as a punishment for heresy, it was restricted to a less arbitrary, possibly more merciful tribunal.

It was foreseen that the new policy might eventually lead to the nation being placed under interdict; but this threat had lost much of the terrors it once had, even though it might yet cause considerable inconvenience. In order to help avoid a crisis should this take place, a law was passed that the English bishops were to have power to consecrate new bishops without license from the pope. It was forbidden from that time on for the archbishop or bishops to be nominated or confirmed by the pope.

Henry found himself in the position of fighting Rome on the one hand and Lutheranism on the other. Many crimes stained Henry’s hands, and he has been severely blamed by both Protestants and Catholics. When however, Henry’s record is compared with that of his contemporaries, Francis I and Charles V, he contrasts very favorably. Though at times cruel, he did not spill nearly as much blood as did Charles V; and he was never guilty of some of the barbarities practiced in both France and Spain. In giving to England the Bible, breaking the chains of foreign tyranny, and in destroying the monastic system, though he did these things form very mixed motives, Henry’s policies laid the groundwork for making England a Protestant nation and foremost among the nations of Europe.

On January 28, 1547, Henry VIII died, and Edward VI ascended the throne at ten years of age. During his reign, Protestantism prospered; but six short years later, when Edward died at the age of sixteen, Mary, the daughter of Catherine, became the ruling monarch of England. Without losing a day, she proceeded to undo all that had been accomplished under the reigns of her father and brother, and the night again closed around the Reformation.


Whose Servants Are Ye?

Friends, I believe that right now is preparation time in which we need to put into practice everything that we have been preaching for years. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16. The Bible tells us in this verse that there are only two ways that you can yield yourself, “whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.” You see, the one way of yielding is to yield to sin that leads to death, and the other way is the way of righteousness that leads to eternal life. (See Romans 5:21.) You cannot serve two masters. Whose servants are ye?

“We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us. It is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are preparing for the Judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who is to appear in the clouds of heaven with the holy retinue of angels, to escort Him on His way, to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins. He is not then to remove from us the defects in our characters. He will not then cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. He will not do this work then. Before that time this world will all be accomplished, if wrought for us at all. Then those who are holy will be holy still. They are not to be made holy when the Lord comes. Those who have preserved their bodies, and their spirits, in holiness, and in sanctification, and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. And when He comes, those who are unjust, and unsanctified, and filthy, will remain so forever. There is then no work to be done for them which shall remove their defects, and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue his refining process, and remove their sins, and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us.” Signs of the Times, September 18, 1879

The message contained throughout Romans is a message about the gospel and righteousness by faith. It is a message that tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God; and there is no one who is righteous, no not one. But when we look in Romans 6:12, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is? “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” We do not have to yield to the lusts of this sinful nature. The good news is that you do not have to serve sins and the lusts thereof.

When I was in the world, before I knew the power of the gospel, I was controlled by my lusts. Lust is a product of the sinful, carnal heart. It is part of the fallen nature. If you look at my Bible, you will find that the book of Romans is the most marked up book in it. I have said occasionally that I love this book because it was Paul’s message to the Italians.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 18:44. It says right here in the very beginning of this verse that lusts are from the devil. He feeds our carnal hearts with lies. Who will you yield yourselves servants to obey? Your lusts, or your Lord? Whose servants are ye?

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17. Do you notice the word contrary in this verse? It does not say they are similar, they blend; it says they are contrary one to the other. They are opposites. This verse is also telling us that of our own strength, we cannot do the things that we would.

“’If we indulge anger, lust, covetousness, hatred, selfishness, or any other sin, we become servants of sin. ‘No man can serve two masters’ (Matthew 6:24). If we serve sin, we cannot serve Christ. The Christian will feel the promptings of sins, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit; but the spirit striveth against the flesh, keeping up a constant warfare. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 516

I think about my own life, when I was living in times past, when the old man and all the lusts of the flesh did control my mind. It is stated so well here: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 2:2, 3. That is a heavy statement, isn’t it? When I was walking according to the way of the world, I was walking in the path of and controlled by the devil.

“The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past.” Ibid. Remember, that Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; and now these verses are saying that we all have had our conversation in times past, “in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ibid. Friends, my flesh controlled my mind whether it was drugs, alcohol, or sex. It pulled me this way and that way, and I had no freedom. No matter how much I wanted to be free from my flesh, I could not break loose! When the Holy Spirit called me and He began to woo me, what did he say to me? “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” Ephesians 4:22. “Danny, put off the old man.”

When I began to understand the Bible, I hungered and thirsted after righteousness. I went to the foot of the cross and said, “Lord, God, I am a deceitful, wicked man. I am controlled by the lusts of my flesh. My conversation is that of the old man, and I do not know how to do the things that I would. I do not know how to do what is right.” And the Word of God said, “Be renewed [Danny], in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ibid., verses 23, 24

“’What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirits, which are God’s.’ This expression, ‘bought with a price’ means everything to us. In consideration of the price paid for us, shall we not yield our bodies and souls up to Him who has bought us with His blood? Shall not that which he has redeemed be kept in a wholesome and pure and holy a condition as possible?” Spalding and Magan Collection, 209

Not only are we to yield our mind to Him, but we are also to take care of this temple which he has blessed us with; and that incorporates the health message and the eight laws of health.

John the Baptist ate simple food, locusts and honey. Daniel in the courts of Babylon chose pulse. Today, we have more light on health than any people on the face of the earth, but how are we walking? Are we walking according to times past, according to the way of the world, or according to a new man who is renewed in righteousness and right doing? This statement goes on and shares here some interesting thoughts. “Christ has redeemed us; our very flesh he has saved at an infinite cost, giving His own flesh for the life of the world. The lower passions have their seat in the body, and work through it. The words, ‘flesh,’ or ‘Fleshly lusts’ or Carnal lusts,’ embrace the lower, corrupt nature: we are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? [Martin Luther did that.] No; but put to death the temptation to sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the divided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as Christ’s purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness.” Ibid. [All emphasis supplied.] If we are yielding to the lusts of the flesh, we do not really have the mind of Christ.

“None can glorify God in their body, as He requires, while they are living in transgression of the law of God. If the body violates the seventh commandment, it is through the dictation of the mind. If the mind is impure the body will naturally engage in impure acts.” Review and Herald, March 8, 1870

From reading this statement, do you better understand now why she always said to guard the senses? Do not look at pornography. Do not watch television that shows you adultery or using the Lord’s name in vain. If the mind is impure, the body will naturally engage in impure acts.

“Purity cannot exist in the soul of one who yields his body to impure acts. If the body is serving lust, the mind cannot maintain consecration to God. To preserve a sanctified mind, the body must be preserved in sanctification and honor. The mind will serve the law of God, and yield willing obedience to all its claims. Then, with the apostle, such can yield their members as instruments of righteousness unto God. ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof.’ The freedom which the apostle describes as the privilege of Christ’s followers will never be experienced by those who delight to trample underfoot the law of God…. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Sprit.’ The apostle charges the Galatians to ‘walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ He further states: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.’” Ibid.

“‘The prince of this world cometh,’ said Jesus, ‘and hath nothing in Me.’ [John 14:30] There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us.” The Desire of Ages, 123

This is the gospel. Not that Jesus came only to justify sinners, but He came to set the captives free!—that we do not even have to yield to sin, not even by a thought.

“Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; he was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.” Ibid.

How did Christ overcome? “And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. But what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan?—By the word of God. Only by the word could He resist temptation. ‘It is written,’ he said. And unto us are given ‘exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ [2 Peter 1:4] Every promise in God’s Word is ours.” Ibid.

Paul tells us: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. Purify our hearts is the message from the Lord. Follow righteousness. Realize that when you follow sin and lust, you are not following Christ. It is only when you follow righteousness that you are following Him.

When Paul tells us to exhort with longsuffering and doctrine, he tells us this because the day is coming “when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3, 4. When will people turn away from the Word of God and turn to fables? Basically, it is because when they did not love the truth, they were deceived. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11) You see, friends, people want their own way.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” 2 Peter 3:3

I believe that we are living in a very dangerous time right now because I believe that these scoffers, these men who are giving messages today, are also spoken of in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. It says here about these ministers of unrighteousness, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And not marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

I will not give you fables. I love you all too much. I have to tell you again that you cannot serve two masters and be in a safe condition with God.

There are two more inspired statements from Ellen White that I want to share with you.

After quoting 2 Timothy 4:3, 4 she says, “The apostle does not here refer to the openly irreligious, but to professed Christians who have indulged inclination until they are enslaved by their own ungoverned passions—‘led away with divers lusts.’ Such desire to hear doctrines that will not interfere with their sinful curse, or condemn their pleasure-loving propensities. Hence they are offended by the plain words of the faithful servants of Christ, and choose those teachers who will praise and flatter them instead of rebuking their sins. These teachers ‘they heap to themselves’ as special favorites. Even among the professed ministers of Christ, there are many who do not preach the word, but the opinions of men. They have turned away their ears from truth. The Lord has spoken to them in His Word; but they do not care to hear His voice, because it condemns their practices.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 323

“Sins exist in the church that God hates, but they are scarcely touched for fear of making enemies. Opposition has risen in the church to the plain testimony. Some will not bear it. They wish smooth things spoken unto them. And if the wrongs of individuals are touched, they complain of severity, and sympathize with those in the wrong. As Ahab inquired of Elijah, ‘Art thou he that troubleth Israel?’ they are ready to look with suspicion and doubt upon those who bear the plain testimony, and like Ahab overlook the wrong which made it necessary for reproof and rebuke. When the church departs from God they despise the plain testimony, and complain of severity and harshness. It is a sad evidence of the lukewarm state of the church.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 283, 284

When the church does not want to hear rebuke, when they do not want to hear, “Put your sins away. Be careful of lust. You cannot serve two masters,” if they will not accept the message, it is evidence that they are in a lost condition!

You cannot serve two masters; you cannot be part the world’s and part Christ’s; it must be one or the other. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:7, 8

To be of a divided mind is unfaithfulness in God’s eyes (See James 4:4), because when you are not following Christ all of the way, you are trying to serve two masters. It is like being married to two husbands, and God says, “I want a pure wife. I want one who will follow Me all of the way and not be caught up in spiritual adultery.”

One way or the other, God’s people have to get off the fence. If you take the course of sin, it will lead to greater sin, until you will finally be lost. But friends, choose the way of righteousness to true holiness, because very soon the Lord is coming for those who are holy. When He returns, whose servant will you be?

The End

Water As A Flood!

“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” Revelation 12:15 The devil could not scare us. He tried.

There was an attempt to remove from church and Sabbath School offices all church members who were defending the truth. There was a barrage of maledictions and false allegations from church officialdom. These allegations have ranged from comparing us the butchers of Auschwitz and Dachau, who murdered millions of Jews, to describing us as a cancer on the body of the church which must be cut out. There has been disfellowshipping of both independent ministry leaders and church members.

How have the Historic Adventists reacted?

Quite calmly. There has been no panic, no indication of fear. Some have been moved to take an even more active role in defense of our faith than they had previously taken. Others have greatly increased their financial support of ministries that they believe to be teaching the truth. Most have made a thoughtful and firm decision that if they are forced to make a choice between surrendering their church membership or surrendering the truth, they will cling to the truth. They are fully confident that the God of truth will preserve their names in the records of heaven.

The devil could not scare us. It just did not work. So what weapon does he have left? Confusion.

If he cannot scare us, his best hope is to confuse us. He is casting out of his mouth water as a flood for the purpose of confusing us.

Since waters sometimes represent people, as in Revelation 17:15, the prophecy in Revelation 12 has at times been understood to represent people with weapons of persecution in their hands. May we suggest that it might also mean people with weapons of deceit in their hands? As we are presently learning, deceit and persecution often go together.

The Historic Seventh-day Adventists have taken alarm at the flood of false Calvinistic teachings that have invaded the church. (We do not refer to the teachings of John Calvin himself, but rather to the corrupted Calvinism of our day, which teaches, among other things, the Satanic doctrine that it is impossible, even through the power of God, for anyone to stop sinning.)

In order to escape from this false teaching, Historic Adventists have sought security and safety by gathering together in camp meetings, seminars, and independent worship services. This has been effective and successful, and the Historic Adventist movement is growing very rapidly.

But now a new danger is threatening us, a new flood from the mouth of the serpent. It is a flood of new interpretations of prophecy and doctrinal challenges. Ellen White was right. She wrote of this period as a time when “every wind of doctrine will be blowing.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80

Within the last few months, I have been called upon to answer questions about:

  • A revived Brinsmead theology.
  • A revived doctrine of Arianism that Christ is not God fully.
  • Arguments that we must keep Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
  • Two different pronunciations of the name of God, each alleged to be vital to our salvation.
  • The judgment of the living and the “five angels’ messages.”
  • A revived doctrine of perfectionism (not to be confused with the true doctrine of sanctification).
  • Reinterpretations of prophecies that seem to go on forever.


There are times when I grow weary of the tedious labor of pointing out the problems in the various arguments, but I have gained comfort and encouragement from this counsel: “Faith grows by conflict with doubt and difficulty and trial.” Our High Calling, 361

So—let us not complain about all of these challenges to our faith, but think of them as learning opportunities. When we see how our beliefs can successfully meet attacks from every side, our confidence will be more firmly established and our faith strengthened.

In this article we will examine one of the oldest challenges—Arianism. The name cones to us from a certain Arius who lived from A.D. 256 to A.D. 336 and was a presbyter (elder) in Alexandria. He taught that Christ was not co-existent with the Father but was a lesser, created (or begotten) God.

The doctrine has reappeared at various times in the history of Christianity. It was advocated for a time by certain of our pioneers who brought it into Adventism from their previous religious backgrounds. These included J.N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, and apparently James White; but the Arian doctrine was firmly rejected by Ellen White.

The Biblical evidence in favor of our position shows that early references attributed to God are found in the plural form:

  • Genesis 1:26: “Let us make man in our image.”
  • Genesis 3:22; “Behold, the man has become like one of Us.”
  • Genesis 11:7: “Come let Us go down.”

In Isaiah 48, the One who identifies Himself as the Redeemer and the First and the Last (compare revelation 1:11) says in verse 16: “The Lord God, and His Spirit, have sent Me [the Redeemer].”

Here we find, unmistakably, three. The three appear again in Matthew 3:16-17 where we read that Jesus was in the water, the Holy Spirit was descending upon Him, and the voice of God spoke from heaven.

In Ephesians 3:14, Paul mentions the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and in verse 16 he adds a reference to the Spirit.

Some may respond at his point that they are not challenging the idea of three persons but are only denying that Christ always co-existed with the Father in full equality with Him. We may find help with this question by looking at such Scriptures as these: “For in Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9 “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Philippians 2:6 KJV In John 8:58, we find Jesus testifying to the Jews: “Before Abraham was, I am.”

The Jews understood Him. We cannot doubt that. They recognized the words with which God had announced Himself to Moses: “And God said to Moses, I am that I am.” Exodus 3:14 KJV

And so they took up stones to stone Him. They knew what he meant. We may use this a convenient point of transition from the biblical evidence to the Spirit of Prophecy evidence by considering Ellen White’s comment on John 8:58: “Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by the Galilean rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, he who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’ [Micah 5:2, margin.]” The Desire of Ages 469,470

Before leaving the Desire of Ages, let us turn to page 530: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.”

Returning to the language of John 8:58, we add further comments form Ellen White found in Evangelism, 615: “Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God….In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.

“He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent….He is the eternal, self-existent Son.”

“He is the eternal, self-existent Son, upon whom no yoke had come.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 395

“It was the Source of all mercy and pardon, peace and grace, the self-existent, eternal, unchangeable One, who visited His exiled servant on the isle that is called Patmos.” Manuscript 81, 1900

“From all eternity Christ was united with the Father.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1115

“Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906

“The world’s Redeemer was equal with God. His authority was as the authority of God. He declared that he had no existence separated from the Father….He assures us that He and the Father are one. Review and Herald, January 7, 1890

In a profound description of the three members of the Godhead, Ellen White writes: “The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight.

“The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested.

“The Comforter that Christ promised to send after he ascended to heaven is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio. These powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of Heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.” Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 7, 62, 63 [All emphasis supplied.]

So the fullness of the Godhead is in each of the three, although each relates to us in a different manner. In Evangelism, page 616, we read: “The eternal heavenly dignitaries—God, and Christ, and the Holy spirit—arming them (the disciples) with more than mortal energy,…would advance with them to the work and convince the world of sin.”

And in Evangelism, 617, we read: “We are to cooperate with the three highest powers in heaven,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.”

The opponents of our doctrine of the Trinity advance arguments such as these:

1. The word trinity does not appear in the Bible. We are not aware that anyone has made such a claim. Neither do the words advent, Adventist, moral law, ceremonial law, millenium, incarnation, etc., appear in the Bible. Trinity simply means three, and there are certainly three members of the godhead mentioned in Scripture. The word is not important.

Why does the Bible often refer to the one true God?

God does not always tell us His reasons for what He says or what he does. We have the fact before us that the same Bible which clearly refers to the three persons in the Godhead also insists on their unity in references to the one true God. That is the “given” with which we have to do, whether or not we can explain it.

There are explanations that do occur to us. The Israelites lived among people who believed in a vast number of gods who not only disagreed with one another but often committed crimes and even waged war against one another. This could well be the reason for the biblical statements about the unity, the oneness, of God. There may be other reasons as well.

In any case, we had best accept the Scripture testimony as it is given to us and recognize that there are three persons in the Godhead who function in total agreement as one.

3. But Jesus often spoke of His subordination to and dependence on the Father. True, but these are references to His earthly condition, when He walked on earth as a man, having laid aside all of His godly powers.

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6, 7

The words “made himself of no reputation” in verse 7 are, in literal Greek, “He emptied Himself.” Thus, He did not work miracles while on earth by means of His own divine powers but with power supplied to Him from the father. We must not take words that describe his earthly pilgrimage and project them either into His past or His future.

4. Why does Paul, in Colossians 1:15, call Him “the firstborn of every creature”? Does this not mean that He was born first?

Not necessarily. This is how Strong’s Concordance defines the Greek word protos that Paul used in this verse: “Foremost in time, place, order, or importance….best, chief.”

We may understand this to mean first in importance, without doing any violence to Scripture.

5. Why do the Scriptures refer to Christ as the “only begotten” Son of God?

Because He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary and began His life in earth by the normal birth process. No other individual was “begotten ” as He was. Thus the word only is relevant and appropriate.

6. Is not a trinity concept found in paganism?

Of course. Let us remember that Satan had been exiled from heaven and knew about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He knew that his counterfeit needed to be complete. And does not the existence of the counterfeit strongly imply the existence of the genuine? Men counterfeit $5.00 bills and $10.00 bills but not three or seven dollar bills because there is no genuine. Would Satan counterfeit a trinity if no trinity existed?

We complete this study with a heightened awareness of the principle set forth by Ellen White:

“Faith grows by conflict and doubt and difficulty and trial.” Our High Calling, 361

Every comparison of truth with error adds to the luster of the truth. Our message—the historic Seventh-day Adventist message—is a body of truth revealed to us by the Creator-God; and it can successfully meet every test and every challenge that is brought to bear upon it. But will we, personally and individually, stand as firmly as the truth stands?

In order to do so, we must not only be familiar with the truth but also have an awareness of the methods most commonly used by those who, either through ignorance or guile, are seeking to introduce error among us.

Mingling truth with error.

We are much more likely to swallow poison if it is not clearly labeled as poison but rather mixed with wholesome food. (See The Great Controversy, 587.)

The papers on my desk which are challenging our faith seem to have a common factor. They typically begin with Scriptures and Spirit of Prophecy quotations that are wholesome and good but have little or no relevance to the idea being promoted. Thus we are disarmed, and our minds are prepared to accept error.

Confusing statements and interpretations.

A statement tells us the thought of the writer. An interpretation tells us the thought of the interpreter. Some seem to feel that a multiplicity of interpretations can become equal to a statement. This is not correct. Ten, one hundred, or one thousand times zero is still zero.

The Greeks had a word for it, eisegesis. To study a phrase, having due regard for both its immediate and its general context, until we can hear everything that the passage is saying to us is exegesis. The opposite is eisegiesis, which is putting our own thoughts into the Scriptural passage. In the material before me, I frequently find statements made and either Bible or Spirit of Prophecy references given to support them. But when I examine the quotations, they do not say what is claimed for them. We must carefully and systematically check every reference and take nothing for granted.

Exegetical blindness.

This is the opposite of the “reading into” problem of eisegesis described above. This is a stubborn refusal to accept the obvious meaning of a statement. We see this problem in the attempts that are made to explain that Ellen White’s words, such as original, unborrowed, underived, self-existent, etc. actually mean the opposite of what they say. Using similar methods, we could prove that Sunday is the true Sabbath, that tithe is 50% of profits, that pork is a wholesome food, etc. We cannot place confidence in such methods.

Describing contradictions as new light.

We read in Selected Messages, book 1, 161: “When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained.”

And in Testimonies, vol. 5, 295: “Men and women will arise professing to have some new light or some new revelation whose tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Their doctrines will not bear the test of God’s Word, yet souls will be deceived.”

The Messiah Complex.

This is a term used by psychologists to describe persons who yearn to be spiritual leaders but are not necessarily qualified for that work. In evangelism, we become well acquainted with them. They attend the meetings, see the audience, and are consumed with desire to give that audience some message of their own. Some of the messages are too bizarre to be believable. Others are more sophisticated and deceptive. We have to explain to all with this particular complex that (1) they did not hire the auditorium nor put out the advertising, and (2) the people did not come to hear them. The people came to hear the advertised speaker.

We sometimes have the same problem in our seminars and camp meetings. Persons come with agendas of their own. When time is given for the audience to ask questions, these persons seize the opportunity to make long speeches, or by a succession of questions try to lead the people into a subject other than what has been presented from the desk. This is, at best, discourteous and at worst, unchristian. Some are so aggressive that we have no choice but to deal with them firmly, reminding them that the meeting was not appointed for purposes of debate, nor yet for the purpose of providing them with an opportunity to make speeches.

We have here studied only one of the strange theories that are presently being urged upon us. We have previously examined others and will no doubt have to examine more. The apostle Paul warns us not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices. Satan’s purpose in promoting these concepts should be clear to anyone. He did not succeed in frightening us, so he is trying to confuse us and make us appear ridiculous in the eyes of others.

Let us not let him get away with it. We can escape the “waters as a flood” if we give heed to Paul’s counsel in 2 Timothy 2:15, 16: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

The End

Called From the Plow

Brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, I want to place before you the urgency of the hour in which we are living. Time has almost run out, and we are now to be urgently going about our Father’s business. We are living in a time when the Lord Himself, as He did when on earth, “will call men from the plow and from other occupations to give the last note of warning to perishing souls.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 170

Satan knows his time is very short, and he is actively seeking to deceive the whole world, but especially the elect. God’s last day messenger tells us: “I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Stupidity, like lethargy, seemed to hang upon the minds of most of those who profess to believe that we are having the last message. My accompanying angel cried out with awful solemnity, ‘Get ready! Get ready! Get ready! For the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come. His wrath is to be poured out, unmixed with mercy, and ye are not ready. Rend the heart, and not the garment. A great work must be done for the remnant.’” Early Writings, 119

Do we understand what it means to be ready, having put on the whole armor of God? Do we know by experience what it means to be a laborer with Christ?

Christ, when calling His first disciples, said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” These common men straightway left their nets and followed Jesus. If we are truly living for Jesus every day, we will be willing to leave all for Him. Or, have we become caught up in the things of this life?

If we are not earnest and sincere about our salvation and the salvation of others, if we have not made Christ and the vindication of God’s character first in our lives, can we really say that we want to see Jesus return? Christ tells us: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

The things of this earth will very soon pass away. We need to focus all of our energy and attention on proclaiming the three angels’ messages.

Our present situation finds a close parallel in the experience of Israel at the Jordan River. “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.” Joshua 3:13. Today we are standing on the very edge of the Jordan, and the promised land is just before us.

Just as the soles of the priest’s feet had to be placed in the water for the water to part, opening to them an entrance into the promised land, so we cannot stand back and fail to exercise faith in God while expecting to have Jesus receive us into His kingdom at His return. We must go forward in faith, with strong, unyielding determination to finish the gospel commission.

Speaking of the Laodicean church, Christ said, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16. It is time to become hot. We are in the final reformation and the only difference between this reformation and those that have preceded it is that heaven is in sight, and we are soon going home. It only remains for us to step by faith into the Jordan, as it were, putting all of our energies into finishing the work that the Lord has placed before us to do.

“Those who are truly converted are called to do a work that requires money and consecration. The obligation that binds us to place our names on the church roll holds us responsible to work for God to the utmost of our ability. He calls for undivided service, for the entire devotion of heart, soul, mind, and strength. Christ has brought us into church capacity that He may engage and engross all our capabilities in devoted service for the salvation of souls. Anything short of this is opposition to the work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 447

Have we contemplated the cost that our precious Saviour paid that we might have eternal life? If we are truly converted, will we not be willing to lay all on the altar, giving Him our undivided service? When we do this, everything we have, soul, mind, strength, and finances will then be put unreservedly into the finishing of this work.

“There are only two places in the universe were we can deposit our treasures—in God’s storehouse or in Satan’s, and all that is not devoted to God’s service is counted on Satan’s side and goes to strengthen his cause….

“He whose life consists in ever receiving and never giving, soon loses the blessing. If truth does not flow forth from him to others, he loses his capacity to receive. We must impart the goods of heaven if we desire fresh blessings….And if men, and women as well, will become channels of blessing to other souls, the Lord will keep the channels supplied.” Ibid. 448, 449

There is a special need at this time to present the message that God has given to us in clear, sharp lines, putting it before the people in such a way as to leave no doubt in the hearer’s mind as to what God requires of them.

“The truth must be published far more extensively than it yet has been. It must be defined in clear, sharp lines before the people….

“‘Those who do not arouse will be passed by, and God will move upon men who will respond to His call, and carry His work forward and upward.’” The Home Missionary, February 1, 1890

“All who will be saved must cooperate with the agencies of heaven to arouse the inhabitants of the earth to the solemn truths for this time.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 140

In this work, however, we are not called to work alone. The angelic host is waiting for you and me to arouse to the call to become laborers together with them. “All heaven, if I may use the expression, is impatiently waiting for men to cooperate with the divine agencies in working for the salvation of souls.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 28, 1893

“The Lord has given his church a special work of personal service to do. God could have sent angels to work for the reformation of man, but he did not do this. Humanity must touch humanity….

“Christ’s commission is to be received and acted upon. We are to go forth in faith, with earnest prayer for the promise of One who has said, ‘Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ With the promise of such companionship, we are guilty of great unbelief and disobedience if we refuse to take up the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice….

“As we communicate the light that has found entrance to our souls, the Holy Spirit gives increased light, and our hearts are filled with the precious joy of the Lord….

“We have a crucified, risen Saviour to present to the people. All who have come to Jesus for pardon have found Him ever ready to take their sins, and to impute His righteousness to them. He who has come to Christ, and has been truly converted, will have a longing to save the souls that are out of Christ. He who loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself cannot rest content with doing nothing….

“God will use humble men as His instruments. Even though they have but one talent, if they trade upon it, it will increase. The great fault in the church is that the work of saving souls is so limited that the advancement of the kingdom of God is slow. A backslidden church is the sure result of a selfish church,—a church that does not use her talents in cooperating with Jesus to restore the image of God in men. We are to minister to every creature. A responsibility is laid upon us to work for all,—our friends, our acquaintances, those who are bound up with the world and alienated from God. The apparently amiable and agreeable are to come into the sphere of our labors. The truth is for them as much as for us, and we must say, ‘Come.’” Review and Herald, April 26, 1898

Do we long for heaven? Do we really want to go home to be where Jesus is? Jesus tells us that when this gospel of the kingdom is preached to all the world, the end will come. (See Matthew 24:14.) There is no time to be lukewarm Laodiceans.

“The solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in the most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities, in every place where the light of the great threefold gospel message has not yet dawned. Every one is to hear the last call to the marriage supper of the Lamb. From town to town, from city to city, from country to country, the message of present truth is to be proclaimed, not with outward display, but in the power of the Spirit.” Maranatha, 261

We are about to enter upon a time when we will have to work to proclaim the gospel under much less favorable circumstances. “The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warning that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 463. Perhaps, as the Waldenses did, we will find that we are only able to spread the truth by concealing the Scriptures and truth filled pamphlets in our clothing. We do know however, that eventually we will only be able to keep and share what we have stored in our minds.

The crisis is right upon us. We must now, by the Holy Spirit’s power, proclaim the truth contained in the first, second, and third angel’s messages. We must go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, bringing light to the darkness of every corner of the earth.

“Our watchword is to be, Onward, ever onward! Angles of heaven will go before us to prepare the way. Our burden for the regions beyond can never be laid down till the whole earth is lightened with the glory of the Lord.” Maranatha, 261

If we are Christians, it will be the desire of our life and our delight to work with Christ for the saving of souls. Sadly, however, “There are those who for a lifetime have professed to be acquainted with Christ, yet who have never made a personal effort to bring even one soul to the Saviour….

“There are many who need the ministration of loving Christian hearts. Many have gone down to ruin who might have been saved, if their neighbors, common men and women, had put forth personal effort for them. Many are waiting to be personally addressed. In the very family, the neighborhood, the town where we live, there is work for us to do as missionaries for Christ. If we are Christians, this work will be our delight.” Desire of Ages, 141. Let us not be mere professors of historic Adventism, but by your fruits my we proclaim that we are workers with Christ.

These are exciting, yet solemn times in which we live. It is exciting to know that we will soon be able to look up and see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven with all of the holy angels. Our hearts thrill with the thought that we are about to walk with Jesus in the promised land. But before we will be prepared for this great event, there is a solemn and great work before us—the giving of the three angels’ messages to a dying world. And beyond that, a time of trouble such as never was.

Are you tired of this world? Do you really want to go home where Jesus is? Then let us move as a mighty army, with Jesus as our Captain, to finish giving the gospel message, loudly proclaiming and boldly standing under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I challenge you today to put the sole of your feet in the Jordan. Let us possess that promised land. Let us, with Joshua, boldly proclaim, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

We have this promise: “A true missionary spirit will be imparted to those who seek earnestly to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent.” Medical Ministry, 321

“Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

The End

Come Into Line

In previous articles we have been studying the importance of unity. We have seen that if we do to have unity, when the storm comes and the crisis breaks, we are going to be destroyed. It is absolutely essential that we stand unitedly to face the foe.

In John 17, we have recorded the prayer that Jesus prayed just before he went into the Garden of Gethsemane. In this prayer, Jesus expresses His will that we all come into perfect unity of spirit and doctrine. Ellen White tells us that we should make a special study of that prayer because if we understand the principles contained in it, we will understand how unity is to be achieved.

“The true peace will come among God’s people when, through united zeal and earnest prayer, the false peace that exits to a large degree is disturbed.” Selected Messages, book 3, 20

A major obstacle to real unity is a false unity that many mistake for true unity. As long as this condition exists, there can be no progress in achieving real unity. It is God’s plan to disturb the false peace that we have among us today. Though truth does not bring dissension, the presentation of truth does disturb the false peace because of the resistance that rises against it. This is not to say that we all have to believe everything exactly the same, but there are certain foundational pillars of the advent message that we have to agree on if we are going to have unity.

In the Scriptures, Jesus is not only described as a lamb, but as a lion. (See Revelation 5:5.) He is a General who makes war. (See Revelation 19:11.) He is the Commander in Chief of the celestial forces, and very soon, He is coming back to this world to conduct a battle. The message we want to consider here comes form the Person who is the Commander in Chief—the General. It is not from a lamb; it is from the Lion.

These orders can be expressed in just three words and are given in the following paragraph.

“In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world’s insignia; the other was led by the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God. An angel flying in the midst of heaven put the standard of Immanuel into many hands while a mighty general cried out with a loud voice: Come into line.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 41

For a long time, we have been treating this order as advice, thinking of it as something that sounded good but failing to realize what it means. But when the General says, “Come into line!” you and I must obey if we are to be saved.

What does a banner mean in a war? When you pick up a banner, it declares on which side you are going to fight. In picking up the banner of Prince Emmanuel, you are declaring to the whole universe that you are going to war and that you are going to fight.

Today there is a lot of apostasy because people do not have enough backbone to hold up the banner and go to war. They do not want to fight but prefer to go to heaven sitting down. They want to just pray, read, and study, and expect the Lord to save them. If, however, you are not willing to take up the banner and fight, you are not going to heaven.

“‘Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood-stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy.” Review and Herald, May 8, 1888

The first principle we have to understand is that if we are going to take hold of the banner and come into line, we have to be willing to fight. There is little use of an army even coming into line if you are not going to fight.

“Those who stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel, should be faithful soldiers in Christ’s army. They should never be disloyal, never be untrue. Many of the young will volunteer to stand with Jesus, the Prince of life. But if they would continue to stand with Him, they must constantly look unto Jesus, their Captain, for His orders. They cannot be soldiers of Christ and yet engage with the confederacy of Satan, and help along his side, for then they would by enemies of Christ. They would betray sacred trusts. They would form a link between Satan and the true soldiers, so that through these living agencies the enemy would be constantly working to steal away the hearts of Christ’s soldiers.” Youth’s Instructor, March 30, 1893

You need to realize that there are people who say that they are Seventh-day Adventists, but they have united with the world. They have formed a link with Satan. In a war you cannot be on both sides; Satan and the Lord do not work together.

“My message to you is: No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries which, if received, will lead ministers and physicians and medical missionary workers to ignore the truth. Everyone is now to stand on his guard. God calls upon men and women to take their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation pillars of the faith.” Series B, no. 2, 15

If we are going to hold the banner of Emmanuel high, it is our job to unmask those sophistries and teachings that are undermining the pillars of the faith. Have you noticed, however, that whenever anyone does this work, there are always some people who will say, “Oh, that is not Christ-like.” That is Christlike! Christ is not only a lamb, he is a lion. He is a general and he says you are to unmask those false doctrines and deceptions. You are to take the mask off so people can see the truth, while exposing the error. There is no sitting on the fence; you are either going to hold up the banner of Prince Emmanuel or, if you are ashamed of it, someone else is going to place another banner in your hands.

“There is to be no compromise with the powers of darkness. Individually we must take our stand. If we are not at enmity with the prince of darkness, the serpent, his folds encircle us and all our power; his sting is in our hearts. All who range themselves under the blood-stained banner of the Prince of life will henceforth count Satan as a foe, and will in God’s strength oppose him as a deadly enemy.” In Heavenly Places, 48

The second principle that is involved in this warfare is that we must break with the devil’s force. You cannot hold two banners; you cannot fight for two armies at the same time.

“And everyone who will break from the slavery and service of Satan, and will stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel, will be kept by Christ’s intercessions. Christ, as our mediator, at the right hand of the Father, ever keeps us in view, for it is as necessary that he should keep us by His intercessions and that He should redeem us with His blood. If he lets go His hold of us for one moment, Satan stands ready to destroy.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, 104

If you are going to hold up the banner, you need to break from the slavery and service of Satan. What is the slavery and service of Satan? In John 8:44, Jesus is speaking to the leaders of His day and he accuses them of being children of the devil. These people were lying and contemplating murder—breaking God’s commandments. Because of this, they had a character like the devil. Jesus said to them, “Your spiritual father is the devil.” It is true that they were the professed church of God, but their spiritual father was the devil. The same principle still holds today. No matter what the profession may be, if the character and life are not in harmony with God’s law, the person is in slavery to Satan, a member of his army. You may know with certainty that if a person is living like the devil, practicing unrighteousness, and without love for his brother, he is of the devil. It is just that simple. He can profess anything he wants, but he is under the black banner of Satan.

The third step we must take is that we must develop a character like our Leader.

“What is it to serve God?—it is to resemble Him in character, to imitate Him. To serve God is to obey Him, to keep His commandments, to make an open confession of standing, not under the black banner of the great apostate, but under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. Those who serve God strive earnestly to obey His will. Thus they show to what army they belong.” Signs of the Times, February 1, 1899

Fourth, we must be organized as an army of soldiers. No army can win a war unless they are organized. The people who are going to win this war are going to be perfectly organized. They are not just going to be a group of independent ministries or separate groups of Historic Adventists with everyone doing whatever he thinks best. We are going to be in perfect unity.

“God’s people are called upon to rally without delay under the blood-stained banner of Christ Jesus. Unceasingly they are to continue their warfare against the enemy, pressing the battle even to the gates. And everyone who is added to the ranks by conversion is to be assigned his post of duty.” Review and Herald, January, 13, 1903

When a person becomes an Historic Seventh-day Adventist in your home church, he is to be assigned a post of duty. The church is not just a club where everyone meets together to congregate. We are an army, and everyone is to be assigned his post of duty.

“Everyone should be willing to be or to do anything in this warfare. When church members put forth earnest efforts to advance the message, they will live in the joy of the Lord, and will meet with success. Triumph always follows decided effort.” Ibid.

We are either going to conquer or be conquered, and we must have perfect order among us in order to prosecute the war that we are in.

“They have lifted the cross, separating from opposing friends and relatives, and have taken their stand under the blood-stained banner of Christ, to be loyal to all the commandments of God….Now this little flock are babes in Christ, and need to be taught and led along, step by step, into faith and assurance; they need to be educated and trained to do the work of soldiers in the army of the Lord, and to bear hardness, that is, trials and opposition, contempt and scorn, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” Paulson Collection, 134

If we are going to hold high that banner, we must (1) be involved in the war, (2) forsake the slavery and service of sin and Satan, (3) develop a Christlike character, and (4) be organized—just as organized as a group of soldiers.

“Many have received all the evidences of truth that God will ever give them. They have permitted and encouraged false sentiments; and they have practiced deception to cover up their apostasy.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 194

Part of the battle is to unmask these sophistries, but there are people who are working to cover up the apostasy with deceptive statements. This is why we have to have videos and print tracts to unmask it.

“I am instructed to say to those who desire to return to God, ‘Cleanse your hands, and purify your hearts. Break loose from the spell of the enemy.’” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 272

This is the problem with many Adventists. They are under the spell of the enemy. When my parents were missionaries in Burma, I remember going to a place where they showed snakes. The cobra starts weaving back and forth and can actually hypnotize its prey. This is the situation we are in in Adventism right now. The serpent is trying to hypnotize Adventists and get them all calmed down. Oh, friend, go to your closet and pray:, “Lord, take the blinders off of my eyes and help me to see what is going on.”

The problem with a large number of Adventists today is that they have fallen into error, but they cannot comprehend it unless the Lord works a miracle in their heart. Friend, we need to pray for ourselves and for each other and say, “Lord, give me a new heart, please. Open my eyes so that I can see.”

God is appealing to people to close up the ranks and to come into line! We have to be willing to be involved in the battle. We have to break from Satan’s banner, keep the commandments, develop a character, and become as organized as an army of soldiers. In the past we have worked in a much too haphazard way, and it is not pleasing to the Lord. This is why we must be organized. We need to counsel with each other; that is part of gospel order.

Who are we to counsel with? Somebody might say, “Oh, there are plenty of people to counsel with.” No there are not. We have been forbidden to counsel with anybody who does not give evidence that they are under the control of the Holy Spirit. That severely limits the people with whom you can counsel.

“When all our ministers and physicians come into line, taking their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, we shall see an army of men and women going forth to work for Christ, speaking the word with holy boldness and power.” Review and Herald, February 16, 1905

Friends, we are never going to finish God’s work if we do not come into line. It is a Divine command that we must be organized in everything we do. Do not think that just because you have a home church, you have been cast out and that you can forget about organization. It is more important now than ever before. Every Historic Adventist needs to belong to an organized body that is working for the Lord to finish His work.

I want to make an appeal to you. Very soon there will no longer be another opportunity. We are either going to be organized and in unity or we are going to be destroyed. It is just that simple. I am not asking you to do anything rash. In fact, I am not asking you to do anything at all; it is the Lord who has given the order. As the General of the armies of heaven, he says, “Hold up the banner and come into line.”

Are you willing to make this commitment with the Lord? You may not understand everything that is involved, and Jesus does not ask you to do what you cannot understand. The question is, Are you willing to say to the Lord, “Lord, I am willing to come into line, to do your will. Lead us into that line that You want us to be in so that we will have a united front against the foe”? Let us ask the Lord to help us to come into line and to be ready for the final crisis.

The End

The Message of the Angels to the Entire World

It is an absolute thrill to be a part of the proclamation of the three angels’ message. It is a growing, dynamic movement raised up by God. The very essence of Adventism, of what it means to be a true Seventh-day Adventist and to truly give the three angels’ messages, is being revived around the world. The fellowship is truly a foretaste of heaven.

Ellen White wrote that “The world is preparing for the closing work of the third angel’s message. The truth is now to go forth with a power that it has not known for years. The message of present truth is to be proclaimed everywhere.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 218. The world is preparing for it. People know that something enormous is about to happen in the world. Pope John Paul II believes that there is going to be a cataclysmic event that, as a result, the papacy will emerge as the ruler of this world. But even the man on the street has a sense that something is impending in our world.

Right now, we are at a crisis point in the history of humanity. Every person on this earth is to have the opportunity of understanding what the issue is regarding the mark of the beast. To meet the challenge, if God’s people will rise up and improve the opportunity that has come to them so providentially and miraculously, they will be given by God the most powerful tool for the proclamation of the loud cry.

We are part of a movement that is going through to glory. It is the unfolding of the power and the principles of the kingdom of God in these latter days. We have always known that this message of the three angels is going to triumph gloriously, but the vision of how it is going to take place is now beginning to unfold before our eyes. The message of present truth is to be proclaimed everywhere, and how can we proclaim it so cost effectively as through this shortwave radio station? With this station, the most powerful available, the billions of people on earth can hear the message at the speed of light. The developments that take place step by step as we approach the second coming of Jesus can be analyzed and proclaimed in the setting of the three angels’ messages.

In order for the rays of light to penetrate everywhere, those who are giving the message must have a way to carry the message everywhere. This is not going to be very effectively done by our opposition. We must have a voice, and God is giving to us that voice—the most powerful tool of communication available at this time. There is going to be a great harvest, and the radio station is a key factor.

“The last great conflict is before us; but help is to come to all who love God and obey His law, and the earth, the whole earth, is to be lighted with the glory of God.” Review and Herald, April 19, 1903. How many cities have you been through in China recently, proclaiming the message of truth? Do you know that through your gifts and this radio station we have the potential of being able to proclaim that message to every town in China, in inner and outer Mongolia, and in Tibet? Do you see the significance of it? We can blanket the entire globe at the speed of light. The whole earth is to be lighted with the glory of God. That is the commission that God has given to us. That is the glory of the hour, the time upon which we stand—the proclamation of the loud cry of the third angel, which will be attended by the fourth angel, which reinforces the second angel, all bound up with the first angel and the everlasting gospel.

The knowledge of the truth places us in a position of great responsibility because the blood that was shed at Calvary’s cross is of infinite value. The proclamation of the truth that makes known the knowledge of this infinite gift is an integral part of the plan of redemption. While all around, the principles of Satan are being acted out, the heavenly light is to shine upon this generation; and it will shine through the tongues, the pens, the generosity in giving, and the activity of God’s people, and through the improvement of opportunities that He has given them at this time. There is nothing that can compare with the thrill of being a part of it. If you are bored with life, all you have to do is begin following the truth, and you will have more adventure than you can endure.

Let us not be found with those who say, “It is not time to give out The Great Controversy now,” or “Be careful that you do not mention the mark of the beast.” As a result of the loud cry, every person in this world will know what the mark of the beast is; and if we cannot tell what it is now, how will we do it when the laws forbid it? The world must be prepared. Every person must know exactly what Rome did in changing the day of worship. Every person must know what the mark of the beast is and what the seal of God is so they can make an enlightened decision before the seven last plagues fall. Someone is going to do it. As Pastor John has said, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Do you realize now what it means that we have the satellite uplink? We are able to hold telethons that we could not have held two years ago. As this movement grows, you see, it feeds on itself; it is cyclical. Once this station is purchased, who knows what opportunity the Lord will open up next, and on and on and on. As we act on the opportunities that God gives us, he gives us more opportunities. What started out as a tiny mustard seed, as in the parable of Jesus, is sprouting and growing until it becomes a great tree, and the birds can nest in its branches. But those people who are holding the truth in unrighteousness are never going to give this message until they repent and come into line with the operation of the Holy Spirit right now.

There have been times when my heart has said, “How will God’s people be able to stand the forces coming against them?” In the Old Testament, over and over again a few men of Israel stood up and resisted the enemy and overwhelmed them in the Spirit of the Lord; and it will be the same way again at the end of time. I love that story of Gideon’s army and especially the test that God gave them when they came down to the water. Three hundred scooped it up and kept on running. Of the ones who stopped and took their time, God said, “Sorry. We can’t use them.” They turned the armies of the aliens to flight, and this is the spirit that is going to seize control of God’s people today.

During crisis times in the Reformation, Martin Luther spent three hours a day in prayer. One man, with a heart anchored by faith to Christ, is greater than the whole world. I pray to God, “Make my heart so broad, so strong, that it can bear up when these forces are applied against us. Give God’s people a heart and a spirit that is so broad, so strong, so powerful in You, that it will not be overcome and it will emerge triumphant over all obstacles.”

It is the work of the third angel’s message to reach every person and convict them regarding the claims of the law of God, the Sabbath of God, and expose the man of sin and what he has done in altering the law of God in insinuating his own authority where the authority of God is supposed to be. Every person has to have these things clearly delineated; that is the work of the third angel. God will allow that work to go on until it is complete, and that is the one safe place to be.

You see, the issue of sacrifice is complete surrender. If it will glorify God’s name to allow us to be martyred to show the character of Satan in contrast to the character of God, then it will advance God’s work. When the fires of Smithfield were lit in England and Ridley and Latimer were led to the stake, they said to each other, “We are going to light this day in England a fire that will not be extinguished.” As they were about to be burned, they encouraged each other with these words. So it will be, but your eternal life is secure in Christ. He will look out for your eternal best interest. There is nothing in the world that can even begin to compare with standing on that sea of glass and realizing that you have been fully redeemed, that you are there for eternity along with those who have listened to the message because you gave a gift to purchase the most advanced communications tool known to man.

There are many Adventists who are afraid to proclaim the third angel’s message. They do not want it proclaimed; they want to hush it up. They are writing articles in the periodicals to quiet it down; but I tell you, it is going to be given. And as it swells into a loud cry, great power and glory will attend its proclamation! I want to be a part of that power and glory! That power and glory is wrapped up in the third angel’s message. Ellen White says that if you separate the mark of the beast from the proclamation of the Sabbath, it loses its power. That is why the mark of the beast issue is so significant.

If we cannot proclaim the third angel’s message now, what about after the national Sunday law is passed? What will you do once a national police force is firmly established, which we are in the process of witnessing right now? I listened to an intelligence advisor, who used to serve in the United States military as an intelligence analyst and a counter-intelligence coordinator for years, give a seminar. He described what it will be like when the new world order takes effect. He spoke of various police agencies, such as the MJTF police, a multijurisdictional task force that most Americans have never even heard of. He told how they will do house to house searches and seizures and sweeps through the cities of our land, rounding up those who are dissenters from the new world order. He said that twelve years ago he would not have even considered talking about these things, but recently he has been discovering one piece of evidence after another.

“Some, I saw, have a prejudice against our rulers and laws; but if it were not for law, this world would be in an awful condition. God restrains our rulers; for the hearts of all in are in His hands. Bounds are set, beyond which they cannot go. Many of the rulers are those whom Satan controls; but I saw that God has His agents, even among the rulers. And some of them will yet be converted to the truth. They are now acting the part that God would have them. When Satan works through his agents, propositions are made, that, if carried out, would impede the work of God and produce great evil. The good angels move upon these agents of God to oppose such propositions with strong reasons, which Satan’s agents cannot resist. A few of God’s agents will have power to bear down a great mass of evil.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 203, 204

There is a struggle going on between the rulers of the earth—some under the control of the evil angels and some under the control of good angels. I have been amazed as I have been doing research, to see that there are people who are opposing gigantic evils that I did not even know existed. You heard on the news about the Iran Contra hearings and all that is involved. As I listened to the reports, little did I know that there were programs involved in that affair to suspend our Constitution and that there were good agents who resisted this, at great cost.

God will use His agents who are rulers in this earth to hold back a mass of evil so that this message can be proclaimed. That gives me great encouragement as I think about the proclamation of the message through this radio station. God is going to see to it that His message is proclaimed; and the safest place that you can be is right in the center of the proclamation of this message, because God will work through His angels on the hearts of rulers to allow the proclamation of this message.

“During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions [This means that God is going to say, “We are going to adjust this and that, move out in this direction, correct this, block this evil, give this message.] of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. [You can do that with this shortwave station.] The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation.” Evangelism, 694

“As the third angel’s message swells into a loud cry, great power and glory will attend its proclamation. The faces of God’s people will shine with the light of heaven.” Maranatha, 202. I tell you, God’s people are going to be the most powerful force on this earth. They are united with the most powerful Being in the universe—God—God providentially interposing and blocking evil and opening up opportunities, crowning with success their intense efforts. Great power and glory will attend the giving of the message of the third angel.

The time has come for the nominal Adventist to awake out of his Laodicean state, seize the message, and join this movement! There is no time to delay. Every hour, you are approaching more closely the crisis of the ages. At any moment the sudden terror that Ellen White described that would come with blinding force and as an overwhelming surprise may spring upon you. And the Seventh-day Adventist sitting in the pew week by week is no exemption. I tell you, the one safe place will be under that covering that God extends over every person who is decided upon the three angel’s messages.

“When Jesus leaves the most holy, His restraining Spirit is withdrawn from rulers and people. They are left to the control of evil angels.” Ibid., 268. Then there will be none of these rulers who are God’s agents still there to resist them. Every one of the rulers then will be evil. That is what happened in the destruction of Jerusalem, which is a type of what it will be like in the great time of trouble. What a picture. They are left to the control of evil angels. Do you see, fellow Adventists, if you do not join this movement of the three angels’ messages and give it all that you have, where you will be left? You well be outside of the ark of safety where only evil angels are controlling humanity.

Do you think that people will know who is proclaiming the message? They will be known. Someone came up to me last night with a quote from the Mackelvane Intelligence Advisor, about a Univac computer in which are one million names already targeted for arrest when the new world order goes into effect in this country. Other figures about which we are hearing is that under the new world order, seventy-five percent of the population of North America and half the population of the world will have to be eliminated. Does it sound outlandish? Listen, before World War II, who took Hitler seriously when he wrote Mein Kampf, where he laid out his plan? It sounded too fantastic. It was not until after the war that the truth began coming out! We need to learn a lesson because, according to the occult agencies of the world, that was a trial run for a new world order.

God is going to allow a real demonstration at the end of time. He is going to let the universe see what it would have been like if Satan would have been given a free hand in heaven. He will show the entire universe what it would have been like if Satan had had his way. On this earth it will be demonstrated, and we are called upon to live during that time.

Yes, the proclamation of the third angel, which identifies the mark of the beast, will involve persecution; but the glory of the experience is impossible to describe. You cannot imagine what it will be like when you get to heaven to be able to tell stories about this ruler and that ruler who accepted the message of the third angel. You will be able to tell worlds afar what it was like to be under God’s protection during that time of Satan’s power here on this earth, when the earth was desolated and wasted by famine, pestilence, and plague, and every element of strife and evil was cut loose on humanity.

“Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide-awake during the time that the third angel’s message is proclaimed with great power.” Maranatha, 218

Now is the time. May God help us to make the best use of it.

The End

Editorial – As We Draw Near the End

As we draw near the close of the age of grace, it becomes ever more important to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, for it is only in this way can we be prepared for the crises that is so rapidly approaching. “You now have an opportunity to attain to the greatest intellectual power through the study of the Word of God. But if you are indolent, and fail to dig deep in the mines of truth, you will not be ready for the crisis that is soon to come upon us. O that you would realize that each moment is golden. If you live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, you will not be found unprepared.” Our High Calling, 355

Secondly, there is no other avenue, or process, by which we are enabled to be overcomers. “Jesus endured the temptations of Satan in our behalf, that in His name we might come off more than conquerors. But we can overcome only by believing in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. We must know what is written in order that we may not be defeated by the sophistry and enchantments of Satan. The wily foe will work upon our minds in such a way that he will lead us to follow in the way he has gone, and cause us to dream of greatness, worldly honor, and distinction.” Signs of the Times, September 18, 1893

Thirdly, there is no other way to obtain success in our religious experience. “God prescribes the terms, and specifies every condition upon which we may receive His gifts. With the one party there is infinite power, wisdom, mercy, and goodness; with the other party is weakness, and ignorance, and helplessness and sin. Even the faculties and resources of men, which God will accept in cooperation with the divine, are ours only in trust. In the great condescension of God to admit human finite beings as co-laborers in the saving of the world, He makes it a condition that the human agent shall receive counsel from God, diligently obeying every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And our success in the religious life will be according to the integrity and thoroughness with which these conditions are fulfilled.” 1888 Materials, 1103

Fourth. This is the only way to avoid being deceived. “There is no need of any soul being deceived. The teaching of priest and rabbi cannot make the word of God of no authority. It is the duty of each man to know what the Scriptures teach and to take his position in harmony with the truth. The Lord has commanded us to ‘search the Scriptures.’ We are instructed to ‘prove all things,’ to ‘hold fast that which is good.’ God has given us an unfailing test to apply to every man’s life and doctrine. Says the prophet, ‘To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.’ We are not to live by the doctrines of men, not by a fragment, or a perversion of the truth; but by ‘every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’” Signs of the Times, March 30, 1888

Fifth. There is safety in no other course. “How many are betrayed into sin, because they have not, through prayerful study of the Word of God, realized the sinfulness of sin, and found out how they may steadfastly resist it. When temptation comes upon them, they seem to be off guard, and ignorant of the devices of the enemy. We are living in perilous times, and as we draw near the close of earth’s history, there will be no safety for those who do not become familiar with the Word of God. I would warn the disciples of Christ of the impending days of peril, and beseech you to prepare for the time of test and trial; for everything that can be shaken, will be shaken. Do we now obey the Word of God, and live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?” Youth’s Instructor, May 18, 1893

Sixth. It is the only way to be saved. “To believe in Christ, we must come to Christ and follow Him. Repentance toward God means the confession and forsaking of all sin. It means the confession and forsaking of all sin. It means laying hold of Christ as a personal Saviour, and continuing to hold fast to Him as the chief good. He is our Prince, our Saviour. Only through Him can we approach the Father. Loving Him day by day and hour by hour, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, taking Him as the man of our counsel, living by every word that proceedeth out of His mouth,—only thus can we reach heaven.” Review and Herald, August 13, 1901

Only those who actually live by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God are acknowledged by the Spirit of Prophecy to be part of the church. “Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 949

The church militant is marching onward toward the heavenly Canaan from faith to greater faith, from obedience to a more perfect obedience, from light to a brighter light.
If the Lord wills, next month we will look at the most dangerous religion in the world.