Sinful Independence, part 3

The Basis For True Authority

But though they tried, and verily thought they had succeeded, they could not disfellowship Jesus from the church. Jesus was the church. They merely succeeded in disfellowshipping themselves from the true church. For God “has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22, 23.

The church is still to be “built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. The Saviour declares, ‘All ye are brethren.’ All are exposed to temptations, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Upon this the weakest may depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.’ . . .Jeremiah 17:5.” Desire of Ages, 414. “This principle bears with equal weight upon a question that has long agitated the Christian world,—the question of apostolic succession. Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles’ spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel.” Ibid., 467.

Within Christ’s church there is to be no hierarchical, centralized, controlling power that supersedes the headship of Christ. As the messenger of the Lord said, “Battle Creek is not to be the center of God’s work. God alone can fill this place.” Testimonies to Ministers, 375. There is a place for order, but it is to be a simple, humble order, always uplifting the primacy of Christ. For “He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18.

Thus, as Christ is the head of the body, He is always to “have the preeminence.” Whenever the church assumes preeminence over Christ or His word, it thereby becomes an idol to the people.

Christ created the structure—it is holy—but it is always to remain subservient to the Word and to Christ as its head. Anything that supersedes God becomes a false God. That is what the Jews did with their temple. The temple became more important than the truth, or even God’s dear Son. A word of criticism spoken against the temple was worse than a false teaching being taught from its precincts. The final charge brought against Christ was that He spoke against the temple.

In view of this danger of making the system and its leadership a false God, Ellen White has a whole chapter in Testimonies to Ministers entitled, “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me”—she was referring to Battle Creek, its system and the leadership. She also warns that “the trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 406.

Jesus was rejected by most because He was not sanctioned by the visible church, and those who rejected Him were lost. According to the Spirit of Prophecy, this will likewise be our test. “To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 136.


The Head Of The Church


“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:28. God is the One who has promised to place various gifts in the church. When the church is pure, God is the One who calls and ordains through His chosen instrumentalities. He chooses through the official channels when He can, but when He cannot, He will call people directly, as in the case of David and John the Baptist. Never has God turned the entire control of His church over to human instrumentalities.

The Lord wants to direct His heritage and His church far more than we give Him opportunity to do. “If ministers and men in positions of authority will get out of the way, and let the Holy Spirit move upon the minds of the lay brethren, God will direct them what to do for the honor of his name. Let men have freedom to carry out that which the Holy Spirit indicates. Do not put the shackles upon humble men whom God would use.” Review and Herald, July 9, 1895.

It is not being independent for humble men and women whom God has called to act upon their God given responsibilities. In various places around the world I have been told by laymen that they cannot even give a Bible study without the pastor’s permission. In most places, a layman is not even permitted to hold a prayer meeting in his own home, if it is called a prayer meeting, without the church’s permission —and if the pastor wants to come in and take control, he assumes that prerogative. Not long ago I was asked to have some meetings in one of the major cities of America. Previous to my coming they had had Ron Spear and Colin Standish in to speak. This meeting was held in a private hall and one of the local elders was in attendance and expressed great appreciation for the meetings. However, the pastor of the largest church in town, where this layman held office and membership, asked him not to have these meetings. The layman, however, felt that the Lord wanted these meetings, and as they were not a part of any church function or on church property, and as those who were asked to speak were all ordained Seventh-day Adventist ministers and members in good and regular standing, he felt impressed to quietly go on with the meetings. He had no intention of having a conflict with the pastor, but was simply trying to serve the Lord. Yet, because of his supposed “independence” from the pastor, he was duly disciplined by the church by way of official censor and removed from being an elder.

But who was acting independently—the layman or the pastor? There is no law in the Bible, or even the manual, forbidding people from getting together and reading and studying the Bible together. For the pastor to arbitrarily make these rules is independence indeed! During the Dark Ages it was against the law to hold private meetings, but America guarantees that right—have we lost it in the church? It is “Satan . . . [who] works to restrict religious liberty, and to bring into the religious world a species of slavery. Organizations, institutions, unless kept by the power of God, will work under Satan’s dictation to bring men under the control of men . . . His methods are practiced even among Seventh-day Adventists, who claim to have advanced truth.” Testimonies to Ministers, 366.

Today if someone tries to raise up a new congregation or hold a meeting for Bible study and prayer, the question asked is: “By whose authority are you holding these meetings?” That was the question that was asked of John the Baptist and Jesus. “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’ ” Matthew 21:23.

“Laws and rules are being made at the centers of the work that will soon be broken into atoms . . . The Lord does not ask permission of those in responsible positions when He wishes to use certain ones as His agents for the promulgation of truth . . . Those who know the truth are to be worked by the Holy Spirit, and not themselves to try to work the Spirit. If the cords are drawn much tighter, if the rules are made much finer, if men continue to bind their fellow laborers closer and closer to the commandments of men, many will be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ Jesus.” Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.

God has appointed leadership to act under Him, but never in His place. There is a place for organization —heaven is a place of order. God’s church, all through the ages, has been a place of order. The Old Testament church was a church of order, and God’s church today is to be just as ordered and orderly as was the Old Testament church. There is a place for leadership, a place for elders, a place for deacons and administrators. But their job description was never intended to be that of being the head of the church or of controlling the church, but rather they were to be the servants of God to the people. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25–28.

Do you suppose that I, or anyone else, could ever get to the place where we could supersede God’s authority in the church? We could try, but that would be a false, sinful and assumed authority that God and His true people would not recognize anymore than John the Baptist did. (See Desire of Ages, 132.) Suppose that I had charisma and good leadership abilities, made a lot of friends, and made some good business or political decisions and so began to climb the corporate ladder in the church until I got to the very top. Could I ever get to the place where I had enough authority to supersede God’s authority? Could I tell someone whom God had called to preach, for example, that God had not called him to preach, as they told John the Baptist and Jesus? I could tell him, but no matter how much authority I might have assumed or think I had, I could never get enough authority to supersede God’s authority. That would be the epitome of independence. But in my blind presumption, I would probably think that the person whom God had called and who was merely fulfilling His God-given mission was being independent because he had not listened to me!—what pride!

“But,” someone might insist, “someone must have that kind of authority in order to maintain order in the church.” That is exactly the claim of the papal church. “It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world . . . God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church.” Great Controversy, 50, 51.

While God has not given any man the authority to say who cannot preach when the Holy Spirit has made it plainly evident that God has called him to preach, likewise God has not given any man the authority to say that someone can or should preach whom God has not called. No local church should ever be forced by some higher human authority to allow a conference–appointed pastor or leader to speak when the congregation and elders feel, based upon biblical evidence, that God has not called him to speak.

In fact, for men to receive those sent to them from the conference whom God has not sent, causes them to become independent from God along with the pastor, and results in the withdrawal of God’s blessings. “As there are woes for those who preach the truth while they are unsanctified in heart and life, so there are woes for those who receive and maintain the unsanctified in the position which they cannot fill.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 552. “There are fearful woes for those who preach the truth, but are not sanctified by it, and also for those who consent to receive and maintain the unsanctified to minister to them in word and doctrine.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 261, 262.

Yet, how many ministers whom God has never recognized are lauded and applauded by men, and how many ministers have been scourged and even put to death who were the chosen instrumentalities of God.

For a central, ruling authority to assume controlling power over the local membership, telling them who will preach to them and who will not preach to them, is to place one’s self in the place of God over the people. God has entrusted to His people certain inalienable rights and obligations, such as the right and the obligation to carefully and prayerfully decide who they will receive and maintain to minister to them. The Bible predicted that there would come a power that would seek to put itself in the place of God. “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. That, in a special way refers to the papacy of the Middle Ages, and we can adopt some of the same policies, until we are “following in the track of Romanism.” Testimonies to Ministers, 362.

“The high-handed power that has been developed, as though position has made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear. It is a curse wherever and by whomsoever it is exercised. This lording it over God’s heritage will create such a disgust of man’s jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result . . . The spirit of domination is extending to the presidents of our conferences . . .They are following in the track of Romanism . . .Rule, rule, has been their course of action. Satan has had an opportunity of representing himself.” Testimonies to Ministers, 361–363.

These statements from the Spirit of Prophecy were not written to imply that the church does not, or should not, have proper authority. The church is to have a great amount of authority under God. When a point or a decision can be shown from God’s word and from the leading of the Holy Spirit to be from the Lord, the leaders are to have a great deal of authority. Whenever the church utters the utterances of God, it is as the voice of God. But when they become independent of God and assume authority such as the Sanhedrin assumed, then they are no longer the voice of God. It was when the leaders were becoming independent of God, that Ellen White said, “That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,—that is past.” General Conference Bulletin, April 3, 1901.


Food For Life — February 1997

We were warned by the weather prophets that this winter would be one of the worst in history, and it has surely proved to be! But what are we to think of in connection with this? “The end of all things is at hand!” Dare we tempt the Lord further, by not giving heed to His words of warning in regards to our health? Have we attempted to follow His words or are we just going along in our “familiar rut” tempting God to deliver us in spite of everything? We would do well to stop and contemplate His words of wisdom in the Spirit of Prophecy to us, and follow carefully what He has outlined for us to do in the minutest details.

Let us continue in the book, Ministry of Healing, the chapter on Mind-Cure. “The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces, and to invite decay and death . . . Many die from disease, the cause of which is wholly imaginary.

“Courage, hope, faith, sympathy, love, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit, is health to the body and strength to the soul.

“In the treatment of the sick, the effect of mental influence should not be overlooked. Rightly used, this influence affords one of the most effective agencies for combating disease.” (Not strange that our adversary, the devil, should use this very thing to entrap unwary ones in his vicious net of deceit! We must be alert at all times to be able to detect Satan’s unbelievable tricks to ensnare “even the elect.”)

“There is, however, a form of mind-cure that is one of the most effective agencies for evil. Through this so-called science, one mind is brought under the control of another, so that the individuality of the weaker is merged in that of the stronger mind. One person acts out the will of another. Thus it is claimed that the tenor of the thoughts may be changed, that health giving impulses may be imparted, and patients may be enabled to resist and overcome disease.

“This method of cure has been employed by persons who were ignorant of its real nature and tendency, and who believed it to be a means of benefit to the sick. But the so-called science is based upon false principles. It is foreign to the nature and spirit of Christ. It does not lead to Him who is life and salvation. The one who attracts minds to himself leads them to separate from the true Source of their strength.

“It is not God’s purpose that any human being should yield his mind and will to the control of another, becoming a passive instrument in his hands. No one is to merge his individuality in that of another. He is not to look to any human being as the source of healing. His dependence must be in God, In the dignity of his God-given manhood, he is to be controlled by God himself, not by any human intelligence.

“He desires to bring the human into association with the divine, that men may be transformed into the divine likeness. Satan works to thwart this purpose. He seeks to encourage dependence upon men. When minds are turned away from God, the tempter can bring them under his rule. He can control humanity.” More on this subject next month.

Oat Burgers

4 1/2 Cups Distilled Water 1/4 Cup Brewer’s Yeast

1/2 Cup Vegex Broth 1 tsp. Garlic Salt

4 1/2 Cups Oats 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Med. Onion, Diced 1 Tbs. Bakon Yeast

1/4 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Bring water to a boil with Vegex Broth. Turn down heat and add Oats. Cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. In separate pan, combine remaining ingredients. When oats are cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into patties and bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve with cashew gravy.


The Rise of the Papacy

In the previous article it was shown that the Waldenses and their rule of faith go back at least to the fourth century, and their beliefs are derived from those of the apostles. Now we will trace the history of the church and see that there came a dividing of ways and two distinct paths are evident. One path leads into the wilderness church while the other brings us to the papacy which persecuted that church (Waldenses, Albigenses, et. al.).

“The spread of Christianity during the first three centuries was rapid and extensive. The main causes that contributed to this were the translation of the Scriptures into the languages of the Roman world, the fidelity and zeal of the preachers of the Gospel, and the heroic deaths of the martyrs. It was the success of Christianity that first set limits to its progress. It had received a terrible blow, it is true, under Diocletian. This, which was the most terrible of all the early persecutions, had, in the belief of the pagans, utterly exterminated the ‘Christian superstition.’ So far from this, it had but afforded the Gospel an opportunity of giving to the world a mightier proof of its divinity.” History of Protestantism, vol. 1, 3 by J. A. Wylie.


Great Beginnings in History


Throughout history there are evidences of great beginnings followed by the great majority giving into terrible apostasy. Great leaders under the guidance of God appeared, bringing a renewal of faith and obedience among God’s professed people only to be followed by the majority going back into gross wickedness. Examples are: Noah and his warning of a coming flood and call for repentance, see Patriarchs and Prophets, 95; Moses and his leading Israel out of Egypt toward the Promised Land, see Hebrews 3; and finally Christ and His call for Israel to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, see John 6. In all three of these experiences there came a time when the great majority turned away from truth into rebellion against the God of heaven. The Lord has always had a remnant to serve Him. His purposes have, and are, moving steadily forward, although, the great majority have many times gone into such deep apostasy that it appeared that the progress to truth was halted or even reversed.

Christ established the early church with His apostles. The purity of that church was maintained as long as they lived. However the beginnings of apostasy were evident in Paul’s day. “The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’ And furthermore, the apostle warns his brethren that ‘the mystery of iniquity doth already work.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7. Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy.” The Great Controversy, 49.


Lamp of Truth Burns Dimly


“All through, from the fifth to the fifteenth century, the Lamp of Truth burned dimly in the sanctuary of Christendom. Its flame often sank low, and appeared about to expire, yet never did it wholly go out. God remembered His covenant with the light, and set bounds to the darkness. Not only had this heaven-kindled lamp its period of waxing and waning, like those luminaries that God has placed on high, but like them, too, it had its appointed circuit to accomplish. Now it was on the cities of Northern Italy that its light was seen to fall; and now its rays illumined the plains of southern France. Now it shone along the course of the Danube and the Moldau, or tinted the pale shores of England, or shed its glory upon the Scottish Hebrides. Now it was on the summits of the Alps that it was seen to burn, spreading a gracious morning on the mountain-tops, and giving promise of the sure approach of day. And then, anon, it would bury itself in the deep valleys of piedmont, and seek shelter from the furious tempests of persecution behind the great rocks and the eternal snows of the everlasting hills.” The History of Protestantism, 3.


Corruption Creeps In


Corruption made marked and rapid progress in the early church, beginning with the fourth century. The Bible was being taken away from the people and, as the true light, which was a sure guarantee of liberty, began to fade, the clergy exercised more and more authority over the church members. “Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, ‘the mystery of iniquity’ carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions.” The Great Controversy, 49. Canons of councils were set up in place of the infallible Rule of Faith. The clergy took upon themselves titles of dignity and extended their authority into the realm of temporal matters. Often the minister was asked to arbitrate in disputes between members of the church.


Patterning After The World


The next step was to pattern the church organization after that of the state. Under the emperor Constantine, in the fourth century, the empire was governed by four prefects, therefore the Christian world was divided up into four dioceses over which were four patriarchs, each one governing the whole clergy in his domain. Where there had been a brotherhood now there was a hierarchy. Now there was pomp and ceremony of rank and subordination of authority and office. Now there was greatness of rank in place of the fame of learning. With the desertion of the study of the Bible came the institution of rites and ceremonies. These were multiplied to such a degree that “Augustine complained that they were ‘less tolerable than the yoke of the Jews under the law.’ ” History of Protestantism, 4. Now the Bishops of Rome began to speak with authority and demand obedience from all the churches. “This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of the ‘man of sin’ foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.” The Great Controversy, 50. Because the spiritual condition of the Roman church was nearly extinct there was nothing to stem the tide of paganism into the church as the northern nations began to enter the empire. The fact that the high standards of true Christianity were nonexistent, the barbarians were accepted into the church just as they were. They were taught the rites and ceremonies of the apostate church and some of their pagan beliefs and practices were taken into the church. “The new tribes had changed their country, but not their superstitions.” History of Protestantism, 4.

The removal of the seat of the empire from Rome to Constantinople left a void in the city of Rome paving the way for the Bishop to take over the western seat of rule not only ecclesiastical but civil as well. By the fifth century when the western empire fell, the Bishop of Rome was substantially supreme over all bishops. By the year 606 the Roman Bishop’s pre-eminence was decreed in the imperial edict of Phocas. After the fall of the empire the Roman Bishop claimed to be the successor of Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and the Vicar of Christ, and finally the vicar of the Most High God.


Pope Becomes Supreme


“In the eighth century there came a moment of supreme peril to Rome. At almost one and the same time she was menaced by two dangers, which threatened to sweep her out of existence, but which in their issue, contributed to strengthen her dominion. On the west the victorious Saracens, having crossed the Pyrenees and overrun the south of France, were watering their steeds at the Loire, and threatening to descend upon Italy and plant the Crescent in the room of the Cross. On the north, the Lombards who, under Albion, had established themselves in Central Italy two centuries before—had burst the barrier of the Apennines, and were brandishing their swords at the gates of Rome. They were on the point of replacing Catholic orthodoxy with their creed of Arianism.” Ibid. 10,11. By 774 these two tribes were vanquished and the territory of these tribes were ceded to the pope.

At this point in time the Pope has reached two of his objectives; bishop of bishops which he received in the seventh century and temporal sovereignty in the eighth. The final goal to be reached was the title king of kings, that is, to be supreme over all kings of the earth. This Pope Innocent III realized in the thirteenth century. The papacy was now enjoying its noon, but the noon of the papacy was the midnight not only for Christendom but also for the world. “Popery had become the world’s despot. Kings and emperors bowed to the decrees of the Roman pontiff. The destinies of men, both for time and for eternity, seemed under his control. For hundreds of years the doctrines of Rome had been extensively and implicitly received, its rites reverently performed, its festivals generally observed. Its clergy were honored and liberally sustained. Never since has the Roman Church attained to greater dignity, magnificence or power.

“But ‘the noon of the papacy was the midnight of the world.’—J. A. Wylie, The History of Protestantism, b.1, Ch. 4. The Holy Scriptures were almost unknown, not only to the people, but

to the priests. Like the Pharisees of old, the papal leaders hated the light which would reveal their sins. God’s law, the standard of righteousness, having been removed, they exercised power without limit, and practiced vice without restraint. Fraud, avarice, and profligacy prevailed. Men shrank from no crime by which they could gain wealth or position. The palaces of popes and prelates were scenes of the vilest debauchery. Some of the reigning pontiffs were guilty of crimes so revolting that secular rulers endeavored to depose these dignitaries of the church as monsters too vile to be tolerated. For centuries Europe had made no progress in learning, arts or civilization. A moral and intellectual paralysis had fallen upon Christendom.


People Destroyed For Lack Of Knowledge


“The condition of the world under the Romish power presented a fearful and striking fulfillment of the words of the prophet Hosea: ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.’ ‘There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.’ Hosea 4:6, 1, 2. Such were the results of banishing the word of God.” The Great Controversy, 60. Having gained all the power that it sought, the Papacy began in a greater measure the persecutions of the followers of God’s Word in an attempt to eliminate all “heretics.” Now the leaders of the papal power could devote its energies to remove all those who would not bow to their wishes. In our perusal of this history we have been made painfully aware that “Righteousness exalteth a nation,” Proverbs 14:34, and this applies to people and institutions also. Someone has said “He who does not learn the lessons of history is bound to repeat it” and the Lord does not desire us to repeat the history of the papal church. Jesus said, “All ye are brethren.” Matthew 23:8. Unless we maintain our steadfast faith and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will fall into the same trap into which we have seen the papal church fall and repeat her history. May God help us to go forward in faith not looking back. In the next article we will delve into the activities of the papal power relating to the Waldenses and their development. The Papacy attempted to destroy this hated people and everything they stood for.


God Supported Ministries Alive and Well?

Despite the rumors and even some attempted efforts to slow down or stop the independent ministries, we can say “God is still in control.”

What a time we are living in! The shaking seems to have become more intense and many are “flying” in different directions. All seem to be saying, “This is the way to go, come with us.”

Now, as never before, we must be students of the Word. Many are being deceived by the wiles of the devil. Scripture is being twisted, if not out and out disregarded. I am talking about God’s professed people.

May I give some personal advice to each one of you? Because the movement is shifting around, do not make any sudden changes in your position without seeking God through fasting and prayer.

Ask yourself a few questions. Has God been leading you in the past? Are there evidences of His leading? Has your experience with Him been growing daily? If you are sure God has brought you this far, whether in a God supported ministry, home church, independent church, you may be alone, or whatever the case may be, why go back and retrace your steps? God always wants us to continue forward, advance, advance, advance in our experience.

We here at Behold the Lamb Ministry, as well as many other faithful ministries, sense the need to “put the hammer down” before it is too late.

We are being aroused out of our sleep as the Holy Spirit is impressing us once again at this time to go back on Satellite TV. And by His power begin to revive and call back into unity those whose hearts and minds are stayed upon Christ and whose effort will be in the saving of souls by proclaiming and living the Three Angels’ Messages. Pray that God will open a way for this effort.

Once again, we must go back to square one and settle the question once and for all, “Who and what is the church?”

Is the Bible not clear? Is the Spirit of Prophecy not clear? The Bible does say that spiritual things are “spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14.

“Speak in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with the power which God alone can impart . . . Faithful, God-sent messengers are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men, not because they place themselves in high position, but because they show that they are strengthened and helped by the Spirit.” Manuscript 165,1899.

We must as a people begin to understand how the New Testament churches were set up and operated and begin to follow that blue-print.

Notice this statement: “His [Paul’s] instruction in his letters to the churches of his day is instruction to the church of God to the end of time.” Letter 332, 1907. [All emphasis supplied.]

Once again we need to be reminded that God works with us as individuals. “We need individually to sit at the feet of Jesus, and listen to His words of instruction.” Manuscript 84, 1901.

Jesus taught us about His church and who could be a part of it and the only one who had to approve it was Him. Praise God!

We must not return to Egypt. We must not return to a structure that is deep in apostasy, for God’s counsel is always the same, in every situation, structure or independent. Separate from sin! God means what He says. Is it not about time we stopped saying, “Yes, but, but, but, and be obedient? Are we goats or sheep?

We must follow the New Testament in its teaching about the “church” and those who labor in its behalf.

Many of God’s ministers are condemned and shunned because they were not “called by man or ordained by man or paid by man.” Notice what God’s servant says about this. “As a gospel minister, it was Paul’s privilege to claim a support from those for whom he labored . . . He did not receive wages for his labor, though as a minister of the gospel, this was his right . . . Paul did not depend upon man for his ordination. He had received from the Lord his commission and ordination.” Manuscript 74, 1903.

Would, that today, men might be found with faith to do as Paul did, men who would preach the gospel, not looking to men for their reward, but willing to receive their reward in souls.

“Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” I Corinthians 9:14.

We at Behold the Lamb Ministry must continue on as God has directed. We understand “who constitutes the Church.” How about you? How are we to interpret these Scriptures such as I Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:5; and Matthew 18:20?

I Corinthians 16:19 speaks about Aquila and Priscilla and their “church that is in their house.”

Romans 16:5 says: “Greet the church that is in their house.” Matthew 18:20 tells us “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Since Jesus is the head of the church, where He is, we may find the real church!

These are simple but clear passages and cannot be overlooked at the peril of our souls.

Let us go back to “square one” for just a moment so we can be reminded of a few simple quotes that just might keep us from going too far in the north forty.

Upward Look, 315, says: “God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments.”

This statement is beautiful! It is clear! We cannot misunderstand this point! Praise the Lord! How about this one that has been about “worn out” by many yet not understood?

The Acts of the Apostles, 11: “From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth .” It is clear. If you live on this earth and are faithful, you are the church. Is that not great?

We must realize that God requires certain things of His people as individuals. Should we not ask the Lord for ourselves? Should we not seek the will of the Lord and not worry about the judgment or opinion of man? How wonderful the thought of a revival where the whole body of Christ would be revived. Sad to say, according to Selected Messages, vol. 1, 122, “That time will never come. . .We must enter upon the work individually.”

“Error is never harmless.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 292. Therefore, because of so much error and apostasy, many have found it necessary to establish separate worship services apart from the structure.

If we are to follow Christ fully, it must be done “if it be over the heads of ministers and presidents.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 369.

“Let those who suppose the voice of the General Conference to be the voice of God, become one with God before they utter their opinion.” Letter to Elder Haskell, November 16, 1899. Let us go a little farther on the subject. “The people have lost confidence in those who have the management of the work, yet we hear that the voice of the Conference is the voice of God. Every time I have heard this, I have thought it almost blasphemy. The voice of the Conference ought to be the voice of God, but it is not.” Manuscript 37, 8, 1901.

Do we individually realize our true position? I am sure “some” do. But what about the “large multitude”? Voices are still needed who will call sin by its right name and are watchmen on the walls.

We must continue our position now as never before. Trust in God as you know He has led in the past and will continue until He comes. Let us by God’s grace be ready.

Behold the Lamb Ministries

P.O. Box 2030

Herrin, Illinois 62948



The Coming Sunday Law

In Isaiah 43: 1, 2 we read, “But now thus saith the Lord, that created thee, O Jacob, and that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” What divine assurance! In old Babylon God graciously gave king Nebuchadnezzar a dream revealing the history of the world to the end of time. Daniel 2 describes the statue with the head of gold, chest of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay, representing the deterioration of the coming earthly kingdoms. But Nebuchadnezzar determined to change the future by making an image entirely of gold, representing that Babylon would last forever. The king demanded all to worship this golden image.

On the day of dedication, representatives from all people, nations and languages assembled around this great image on the plain of Dura. When the music sounded, the entire assembly fell down and worshipped the golden image except Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who worshipped the true God. Jealous wise men quickly told the king that three men had dared disobey his command. When these three were brought before the king, he inquired, “Do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?” Pointing to the fiery furnace, he threatened them with death, if they would not worship his idol, and offered them another chance. If they refused to worship the golden image, “he demanded, ‘who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’ Calmly facing the furnace, they said, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so . . . our God, whom we serve is able to deliver us . . . out of thine hand, O king . . . But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’ . . . [He] direct[ed] that the furnace be heated seven times hotter . . . As His witnesses were cast into the furnace, the Savior revealed Himself to them in person, and together they walked in the midst of the fire. In the presence of the Lord of heat and cold, the flames lost their power to consume . . . But his feelings of triumph suddenly changed . . .‘Did not we cast three men, bound, into the midst of the fire? . . .Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’ . . . Nebuchadnezzar . . . cried out, ‘Ye servants of the most high God, come forth’ . . . Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth . . . showing themselves unhurt.” Prophets and Kings, 507–509. Not even a hair of their head had been singed. Here we discover a very important lesson to be found. “In this our day, many of God’s servants, though innocent of wrongdoing, will be given over to suffer humiliation and abuse at the hands of those who, inspired by Satan, are filled with envy and religious bigotry. Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.” Ibid., 512. Here we find our subject of this article opening before us—the soon coming Sunday law crisis.


Sunday Laws Will be Passed


Let us look at some important quotations: “Sooner or later Sunday laws will be passed.” Last Day Events, 128. Believe me, it will be sooner than many of us think, for God has graciously given us every detail.

One: This Sunday law will take place by a national act. “Our land is in jeopardy. The time is drawing on when its legislators shall so abjure the principles of Protestantism as to give countenance to Romish apostasy. The people for whom God has so marvelously wrought, strengthening them to throw off the galling yoke of popery, will by a national act give vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, and thus arouse the tyranny which only waits for a touch to start again into cruelty and despotism.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 410. What dramatic words!

Two: The enforcement of this Sunday law will be mandatory, as a law of the nation. “A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He had blessed and sanctified. This false Sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 985.

Three: The clergy will endeavor to make the Sunday law a religious amendment to the Constitution. “If the people can be led to favor a Sunday law, then the clergy intend to exert their united influence to obtain a religious amendment to the Constitution, and compel the nation to keep Sunday.” Review and Herald, December 24, 1889. This is the result of the current ecumenical movement, which our church leaders are encouraging the members to accept and follow.


Hidden Objectives


Let us consider the hidden objectives of this national Sunday law.

One: It will destroy religious freedom in America. “The law of God, through the agency of Satan, is to be made void. In our land of boasted freedom, religious liberty will come to an end.”Evangelism, 236. What a tragedy! It will be time to dismantle the Statue of Liberty.

Two: This Sunday law will make it possible for papal Rome to force the conscience, as in the dark ages. “Protestants will throw their whole influence and strength on the side of the Papacy; by a national act enforcing the false sabbath they will give life and vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, reviving her tyranny and oppression of conscience.” Maranatha, 179.

Three: This law will crush the spirit of freedom in America forever. “A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day.” Last Day Events, 144. That means business will stop. Religious liberty will end. Sabbath keepers will suddenly find themselves opposed, hated, and thrust into a battle for their very life. “Soon, the Sunday laws will be enforced, and men in position of trust will be embittered against the little handful of God’s commandment keeping people.” Ibid., 129. “Seventh-day Adventists will fight the battle over the seventh-day Sabbath.” Ibid., 144. Every one will fight a battle for his very life.

The enactment of this Sunday law will produce three important steps in the fulfillment of that great prophecy found in Revelation 13: 11–16. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads.”


Papacy • Image • Mark


Notice how The Great Controversy points out these three steps:

  1. Worship of the papacy.
  2. Making an image to the beast
  3. Placement of the mark of the beast.

“The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them which dwell therein’ to worship the papacy—there symbolized by the beast ‘like unto a leopard.’ The beast with the two horns is also to say ‘to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;’ and, furthermore, it is to command all, ‘both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ to receive the mark of the beast . . . It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance.” Great Controversy, 578, 579.

First, let us take these words, “to worship the papacy.” “. . . the decree shall go forth requiring all to worship the beast and his image.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 525. This can be nothing more than force. Force is to be used symbolizing a police state. “. . . the beast with the lamblike horns shall cause ‘the earth and them which dwell therein’ to worship the papacy.” Great Controversy, 578.

America is fast becoming a police state. Congress has voted millions for a hundred thousand extra police. Foreign troops are now stationed on American soil to be used, if necessary, to force us to obey the government. Millions of smart cards are being produced this year. Detention camps stand ready. By the stroke of a President’s pen, he can control by Executive Orders: 10995 all communications. 10997 all electric power, petroleum, gas, fuel and minerals. 10998 all food resources and every farm. 10999 all means of transportation, controlling all highways and seaports. 11000 drafts all citizens into government work forces. 11001 effects all health and welfare and educational functions. 11002 empowers the postmaster general to register every citizen nationwide. 11003 all airports and aircraft. 11004 housing and finance authorities, designates areas to be abandoned as unsafe, establishes new locations for populations, and relocation of communities. 11005 all railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities. 11051 gives authority to put the above order into effect in times of increased international tension or economic or financial crisis. Under President Nixon, these orders were combined into Executive order 11490. Thus, the possibility of the image of the beast becomes manifest. “A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the sabbath.” Review and Herald, December 11, 1888.

“With the issue thus clearly brought before him, whoever shall trample upon God’s law to obey a human enactment receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God. The warning from heaven is: ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation.’ ” Great Controversy, 604, 605.

It is very clear.


World-wide Law


We can now make these statements, each backed by inspiration.

One: A Sunday-keeping decree will be forced upon the world. “The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 976.

Two: All of the world will accept and will participate. “The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict in which all the world will act a part.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 352.

Three: Foreign nations will accept this Sunday law. “Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 395.

Four: All nations will obey. “All nations and tongues and peoples will be commanded to worship this spurious sabbath. This is Satan’s plan to make of no account the day instituted by God, and given to the world as a memorial of creation. The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world.” Maranatha, 214. Let us look at the buying and selling provision found in Rev 13: 16, 17: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

“There is a time coming when commandment keepers can neither buy nor sell. Make haste to dig out your buried talents. If God has entrusted you with money, show yourselves faithful to your trust; unwrap your napkin, and send your talents to the exchangers, that when Christ shall come, He may receive His own with interest.” Counsels on Stewardship, 40. See Revelation 13:11–17. “But to the obedient is given the promise, ‘He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him: his waters shall be sure.’ Isaiah 33:16. By this promise the children of God will live. When the earth shall be wasted with famine they shall be fed. ‘They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.’ Psalm 37:19.” Desire of Ages, 40. What more could we ask of God?

We should not overlook another warning by inspiration: “Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children . . . erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 142. “As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal Sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 464. ” If in the providence of God we can secure places away from the cities, the Lord would have us do this. There are troublous times before us . . . I see the necessity of making haste to get all things ready for the crisis.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 359.




“The substitution of the false for the true is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. When the laws of men are exalted above laws of God, when the powers of this earth try to force men to keep the first day of the week, know that the time has come for God to work. He will arise in His majesty, and will shake terribly the earth.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 980.

“When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. “The coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed . . . The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying; ‘Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.’ Matthew 24:44 . . . Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing . . . Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’ Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come . . . We are not to be sad, but

cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for his appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim . . . I feel as if I must cry aloud: ‘Homeward bound!’ We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home . . . Long have we waited for our Savior’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all Heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 252, 253.


For more information:

Elder Lawrence Nelson 

600 Woodcrest Dr, 

 Myrtle Point, OR 97457



Getting Physical

Recently, a historic Adventist minister was visiting believers in another historic Adventist church in a nearby city in Papua New Guinea. Before he left some members of a mission church connected with the union, division and General Conference) said they wanted to speak with him. He consented to this, but when he went to speak with them, instead of speaking with him they began to beat him up, slugging and kicking him. Fortunately he escaped without mortal injuries and went to Australia. I talked with him on the telephone while he was recovering.

Let us ask some simple, basic questions. Are people in the New Jerusalem going to invite you to talk with them and then to beat you because you do not understand something the way that they do? That is unthinkable isn’t it? If I have invited another Adventist to talk to me and instead I kicked and slugged him, will I be allowed to go through the pearly gates? The whole angelic host would stand up to bar my entrance. They have gone through this before and will not tolerate it again. (See Revelation 12:7–9.) People who do this sort of thing are manifesting who their real ruler is and it is not Jesus Christ. Is there any way for individuals who do things like this to be saved? There is only one way. Peter said to those who were guilty of killing Jesus, to repent and be converted (Acts 2 & 3). (These people were professed Sabbathkeepers, they were the true church by profession but their character proved them children of the devil, John 8:44.) To repent means to have a change of heart, to be sorry enough for your sins, to quit. My dear friend in structure Adventism, nobody can be saved in sin. To be forgiven of the guilt of stoning or any violence first must come repentance, then confession. (“If I have sinned against my neighbor in word or action, I should make confession to him.” Review and Herald, February 9, 1897.)

You can never be saved just by having your sins forgiven. You must overcome—quit sinning—that is the fruit that shows the repentance was real (Matthew 3:8). No doubt other differences will arise, we will again have opportunity to demonstrate to the universe how we will behave when somebody else sees the evidence entirely different than we do—we will have more opportunities to demonstrate that we are at last overcomers. The universe is watching to see which of us will finally overcome—quit sinning and thereby prove our repentance to be more than profession.


An Adventist’s Problem


There are other perspectives to this incident that we need to ponder. If a brother stones or beats up another brother, are the rest of us who profess the same faith innocent if we do not protest? If we are silent when somebody is injured, if we put off the day of doom and “cause the seat of violence to come near,” if we go on singing, eating and drinking, being anointed with the best ointments and not being grieved for the “affliction of Joseph” eternal destruction will result (Amos 6:3, 6).

What if somebody says in his heart, “I feel really bad about it,” but is silent?

“Silence gives consent.” 1888 Materials, 1298.

Structure Adventists cannot say that “we” are not involved because that person is in a different family or church or conference or union or division because in reality they are a part of the sisterhood of churches throughout the world that are part of the same general conference—the people who did the beating up are part of the same General Conference that you are a part of if you belong to a mission or conference church. If you do not protest evil you will be accounted part of the evil that you supported by your money, membership and influence. “We are to be our brother’s keeper, not his destroyer.” Review and Herald, May 29, 1894. Every professed Adventist church and institution and minister in the world who remains silent is implicated in this crime. It is very serious to support those who are fostering an evil work. “There are fearful woes for those who preach the truth, but are not sanctified by it, and also for those who consent to receive and maintain the unsanctified to minister to them in word and doctrine.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 261, 262.

We cannot say before the recording angel that we did not know. Could you say, I did not know that any Adventists were stoning one another or beating up one another or seeking the arm of the state to enforce the rules of the church? Can any Adventist not know of even one of these things? Are you sure that you want to claim ignorance to the judge at the end of the world? Do you want to explain to Him why you were silent and did not protest iniquity among God’s professed people? Surely you would acknowledge that people who belong to mission or conference churches are God’s professed people. Surely you do not believe that God’s professed people can take other Adventists with whom they disagree about religion and beat them up or stone them. Pertinent Ellen White statements: “When he [Nehemiah] saw wrong principles being acted upon, he did not stand by as an onlooker, and by his silence give consent. He did not leave the people to conclude that he was standing on the wrong side. He took a firm, unyielding stand for the right.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1135

“We need men who will not hold their peace when they see evils coming in and wrongs being done. We need men who will refuse to give consent by silence to unjust actions.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 156.

I have decided by the grace of God to be one of those men, how about you? “I shall no longer hold my peace. I am bidden to cry aloud, and spare not. I have tried in every way to bring about the needed reformation, and save the souls of those who are following a wrong course. But I cannot go on as I have been going. When every effort has been made to save their souls, and yet all is in vain, we must cry aloud and spare not, lest our silence be interpreted to mean consent. The time has come when each one must stand in his lot and place, prepared to call sin, sin, and righteousness, righteousness.” Loma Linda Messages, 48.



Nature Nugget — Three Stages of Newt Development

The Red-spotted Newt is found in the eastern part of North America. Adult Newts are aquatic and are found in ponds, small lakes, marshes and ditches in wooded areas. They are olive-green with red spots above and yellow with small black spots below. They have skin-gland secretions that are distasteful and toxic to most predators.

The life cycle of the Red-spotted Newt is more complex than that of most salamander species. Newts lay their eggs in the body of water in which they live. The gilled larvae, averaging slightly over a quarter of an inch at hatching, remain in the water until mid-summer when they metamorphose into a land-dwelling form called an eft. Efts are red or orange and rough-skinned. They take shelter under logs, rocks or piles of dead leaves in wooded areas near water inhabited by adults. Efts are most active during and after rain showers —even in broad daylight. Their bright coloration is a warning that they are not edible. After spending one to three years on land the efts return to water and transform into adults.

Like the Newt, the growing Christian goes through three stages of spiritual development: justification, sanctification and glorification. First we are led by the Holy spirit to seek Christ and repentance, which results in us being justified by faith, which is granted by the merits of Jesus Christ.

“The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment the sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace.” The Faith I Live By, 107.

By daily dying to self and conforming to the will of God the growing Christian becomes sanctified, which means purified.

“Through obedience comes sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. This sanctification is a progressive work, and an advance from one stage of perfection to another.” My Life Today, 250.

And finally, if we die in Christ or are part of the living righteous at Christ’s second coming, we will be glorified; which has to do with the brightness or radiance that will surround our transformed immortal bodies from being in the presence of God. “In that great day, those whose characters the judge of all the earth can vindicate will stand before the world glorified and honored. On this earth they manifested forth the light and glory of God, and He now rewards them according to their works.” Upward Look, 272.

“Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Romans 8:30.

Six Days Shalt Thou Labor

In Exodus 20:8–11 we read: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

The Sabbath is the memorial of creation. It is the day in which God rested from all His work and saw that it was good. As we worship God on the day that He has designated, we acknowledge that He is the living God that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters—it acknowledges that we accept God as the Creator.

As I studied the fourth commandment more closely, I noticed that God’s command was not only for us to rest from labor on His holy day, but also, as it states in verse nine, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.” Rarely do I hear much said on this part of the fourth commandment, yet, I believe it was no accident that God admonished us to be physically active.

In Genesis 2:2, 3, the Bible says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Three times the Bible uses the word work, denoting that the Lord was active on the first six days of the week.

God’s work included the creation of all living things, of which Adam was the crowning act. Adam was the first man and God placed him in a garden. “In this garden were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. There were lovely vines, growing upright, yet presenting a most graceful appearance, with their branches drooping under their load of tempting fruit of the richest and most varied hues. It was the work of Adam and Eve to train the branches of the vine to form bowers, thus making for themselves a dwelling from living trees covered with foliage and fruit. There were fragrant flowers of every hue in rich profusion. In the midst of the garden stood the tree of life, surpassing in glory all other trees. Its fruit appeared like apples of gold and silver, and had the power to perpetuate life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47. [All emphasis supplied.]

“. . . But God placed Adam in a garden. This was his dwelling. The blue heavens were its dome; the earth, with its delicate flowers and carpet of living green, was its floor; and the leafy branches of the goodly trees were its canopy. Its walls were hung with the most magnificent adornings—the handiwork of the great Master Artist.” Ibid., 49.

“To the dwellers in Eden was committed the care of the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ Their occupation was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence.” Ibid., 50.

God appointed Adam his labor. He was the caretaker, or groundskeeper, of the most beautiful garden on earth. His brain, his heart and all his strength were brought into his labors. “When in counsel with the Father before the world was, it was designed that the Lord God should plant a garden for Adam and Eve in Eden and give them the task of caring for the fruit trees and cultivating and training the vegetation. Useful labor was to be their safeguard, and it was to be perpetuated through all generations to the close of earth’s history.” Child Guidance, 345. God appointed Adam labor or physical exercise as a safeguard. Exercise is one of the eight laws of health and one of God’s true physicians, which if consistently practiced, will help keep our bodies in a healthful condition and our minds alert.

Not only did Adam exercise in the garden of Eden, he also practiced all the eight natural remedies. He practiced good nutrition, because the Bible says in Genesis 1:29, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” He also drank pure, fresh water, because the Bible says in Genesis 2:10, “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden . . .” He ate an abstemious diet of natural foods (raw foods), for the Bible says in Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” He trusted in divine power, because the Bible says in Genesis 2:21, 22, “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh . . . And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Thus, God provided “an help meet for him.” Adam enjoyed daily sunshine, for the Bible says in Genesis 1:16, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” He enjoyed the fresh air also, because the Bible says in Genesis 1:8, “And God called the firmament Heaven [the atmospheric heavens]. And as God did, Adam also rested on the Sabbath day from all his labors. The Bible says in Genesis 2:2, 3: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made . . . And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them.” The Ministry of Healing, 127.

Our first parents experienced great vitality as they exercised in the open air and sunshine. They ate no animal food (dairy, cheese and butter), no eggs or junk food, but the natural, raw products provided by God in the garden. “Adam and Eve, in their untainted purity, delighted in the sights and sounds of Eden. God appointed them their work in the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ Each day’s labor brought them health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with them. Daily God taught them His lessons.” The Ministry of Healing, 261.

Adam was created upright and glowed in health. He was as obedient to God in following the laws of His being as he was the ten commandments. We, too, should follow Adam’s example of loyalty to his Maker by obeying all the laws (physically and spiritually) that God has given us. Ellen White gave the following counsel many years ago, “To those who desire prayer for their restoration to health, it should be made plain that the violation of God’s law, either natural or spiritual, is sin, and that in order for them to receive His blessing, sin must be confessed and forsaken.” The Ministry of Healing, 228.

Adam and Eve fell by indulgence of appetite in eating what God had commanded them not to. Their sin had its effect and the result was a curse upon all life. The Bible says, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return . . . Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Genesis 3:18, 19, 23). Adam’s physical labor, or exercise, must now increase—for in the “sweat of thy face” he must now till the ground.” God had planted the first garden in Eden, and now Adam must plant the second. Now he would have to plow, sow and raise the crops himself.

Yet there was still a blessing attached to this.

“Exercise in the open air should be prescribed as a life-giving necessity. And for such exercises there is nothing better than the cultivation of the soil. Let patients have flower beds to care for, or work to do in the orchard or vegetable garden. As they are encouraged to . . . spend time in the open air, cultivating flowers or doing some other light, pleasant work, their attention will be diverted from themselves and their sufferings.” The Ministry of Healing, 265.

Since man no longer had access to the tree of life to sustain him eternally, God added to his diet the herb of the field (vegetables) which are filled with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and the more recently discovered phytochemicals—powerful cancer fighting chemicals, and increased his exercise. But there was still a blessing attached to the transition for Adam. The added vegetables and increased exercise would benefit his health, add years to his life, and ward off disease. Remember, exercise in the fresh air is God’s prescription.

Let us look at some facts about exercise. Did you know there are over 600 muscles in the body and without exercise they would lose their tone and elasticity, toxins would build up, and depression and illness would set in? Did you also know that the strongest muscle for its size is our heart and it needs exercise too? It beats 2.5 billion times in an average life time, driving five quarts of blood every minute to every cell in the body to cleanse and nourish it. Every part of our body depends on regular physical activity. By exercising, the body responds with better circulation and increased blood flow, sending more blood with nutrients and oxygen to our vital organs. Better circulation will lead to an overall improvement of your whole being: diabetics are helped by burning the extra glucose, overweight people will drop pounds, arthritics notice improvement, lung congestion is alleviated, endorphins (mood elevating hormones) are released to fight depression, stress is reduced, hypertension can be alleviated, and the entire system is strengthened and invigorated.

In fact, the U.S. has classified lack of exercise as a major health risk. “A large proportion of all the infirmities that afflict the human family, are the results of their own wrong habits, because of their willing ignorance, or of their disregard of the light which God has given in relation to the laws of their being. It is not possible for us to glorify God while living in violation of the laws of life. The heart cannot possibly maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible.” Counsels on Diets and Foods, 44.

Exercise is also necessary for a healthy lymphatic system. Our bodies cleanse the cells in a watery fluid called lymph and unlike the heart, the lymph system has no pump. It depends on motion or exercise, a milking effect, to move the toxins along to the organs like the bowel for elimination. When the system gets overloaded with toxins, adverse reactions can occur within our bodies—such as swollen tonsils and appendices. However, you may not need to cut them out, but only to cleanse the body by changing the diet. Eat simple foods such as fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of pure water, and get outdoor exercise. Also, a high fiber (vegetarian) diet is vital to the bowel and its function of detoxification and elimination. A short fast is the quickest way to detoxify the body.

Continuing with the body, when you think of bones, do you tend to think of them as solid mass? Well they are not. They are living, breathing, porous structures that contain blood vessels which keep the blood flowing through the bone. The more we exercise, the stronger our muscles and bones become and the more calcium is utilized to prevent osteoporosis.

Life depends on the flow of blood in our bodies. One half of the people who die each year die from circulatory problems resulting from a high fat diet and lack of exercise. Exercise greatly increases the effectiveness with which the heart delivers oxygen and other vital nutrients to all the areas of the body. With this increase in efficiency, vital blood pathways are cleaned out and overall circulation is enhanced. This ensures optimum performance of all the organs and keeps them functioning properly—safeguards as God intended.

Cultivating the soil or brisk walking accelerates the heart’s action and increases circulation and oxygen to the whole body. The idea is to get aerobic (oxygen) exercise. Today you have many aerobic sports such as walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, stair steppers and treadmills. We used to believe that in order to get sufficient exercise we had to beat our bodies for an hour and a half or until we were dripping with sweat. Not true! Science has reported that 25 minutes of accelerating your heart rate is all that you need. The key is consistency.

Consistency was the advice that the Lord gave to us in the fourth commandment. He stated, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.” Our creator gave the right instructions thousands of years ago and science is confirming it in the twentieth century. If they keep looking hard enough perhaps they will find the other laws of health that were given to Adam in the garden of Eden. God certainly provides for His people!

Ellen White wrote decades ago, “When the weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter . . . A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine the doctors may prescribe . . . There is no exercise that will prove as beneficial to every part of the body as walking. Active walking in the open air will do more for women, to preserve them in health if they are well, than any other means. Walking is also one of the most efficient remedies for the recovery of health of the invalid. The hands and arms are exercised as well as the limbs.” Healthful Living, 130.

The fourth commandment not only emphasizes exercise, but commands us to cease from work and to rest on the seventh day—the day God blessed and sanctified. With His own finger He wrote, “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shall not do any work.” Exodus 20:10.

It is during periods of rest and sleep that the body repairs itself, re-generates itself, and prepares for renewed activity. It is every bit as essential for life as air, food and water. Its primary purpose is the regeneration of nerve energy and, by it, the vitality of the body is restored. Let us understand that rest is not synonymous with sleep. The Sabbath day is a day to cease from our work, a time to rest, but not a day to sleep away.

What is rest? It is a period of inactivity during which the body can restore expended energy. There are four kinds of rest.

  1. Physical rest: Sitting or lying down and relaxing.
  2. Sensory Rest: By quietness and refraining from using the eyes, which curtails a great drain of energy.
  3. Emotional rest: By withdrawing from the ups and downs caused by personal interaction.
  4. Mental rest: This is obtained by detaching the mind from all intellectual demands or activity. Like taking morning walks, sitting in a Jacuzzi, or reading scripture. We need both physical and mental rest.

As God’s peculiar people we are pilgrims passing through a strange land, because our home will be Eden restored. “Adam and Eve fell through intemperate appetite. Christ came and withstood the fiercest temptation of Satan, and, in behalf of the race, overcame appetite, showing that man may overcome. As Adam fell through appetite, and lost blissful Eden, the children of Adam may, through Christ, overcome appetite, and through temperance in all things regain Eden.” Counsels on Diets and Foods, 70.

In the book The Great Controversy, Ellen White beautifully portrays through the written word the scene on the great resurrection day. She writes: “The Son of God redeemed man’s failure and fall; and now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in his first dominion.

“Transported with joy, he beholds the trees that were once his delight—the very trees whose fruit he himself had gathered in the days of his innocence and joy. He sees the vines that his own hands have trained, the very flowers that he once loved to care for. His mind grasps the reality of the scene; he comprehends that this is indeed Eden restored, more lovely now than when he was banished from it. The Saviour leads him to the tree of life and plucks the glorious fruit and bids him eat. He looks about him and beholds a multitude of his family redeemed, standing in the Paradise of God. Then he casts his glittering crown at the feet of Jesus and, falling upon His breast, embraces the Redeemer. He touches the golden harp, and the vaults of heaven echo the triumphant song: ‘Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again!’ The family of Adam take up the strain and cast their crowns at the Saviour’s feet as they bow before Him in adoration.” The Great Controversy, 647, 648.

“Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own ‘new name’ (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, ‘Holiness to the Lord. . . .’ There they behold the Paradise of God, the home of Adam in his innocency. Then that voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard, saying: ‘Your conflict is ended.’ ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Now is fulfilled the Saviour’s prayer for His disciples: ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ ‘Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ (Jude 24), Christ presents to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: ‘Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given Me.’ ‘Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept.’ Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! The rapture of that hour when the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image, sin’s discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in harmony with the divine!’ ” Ibid., 646.

The Garden of Eden is the Paradise of God—it is where God’s throne will be forever. The Bible says, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:1, 2. Here we have a picture of the new earth where the throne of God, the river of life, and the tree of life are each present. The Bible also states in Revelation 2:7 that, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” If the tree of life is by God’s throne, and the tree of life is in Paradise, then God’s throne must be in Paradise—the garden of Eden.

“The Garden of Eden remained upon the earth long after man had become an outcast from its pleasant paths. The fallen race were long permitted to gaze upon the home of innocence, their entrance barred only by the watching angels. At the cherubim-guarded gate of Paradise the divine glory was revealed. Hither came Adam and his sons to worship God. Here they renewed their vows of obedience to that law the transgression of which had banished them from Eden. When the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ (Rev. 21:1), it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 62.

“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind . . . And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 65:17, 21–25. Did you notice the words: “plant,” “build,” “work,” and “labour”? In the new earth we will be exercising in the open air and working in our gardens and vineyards growing wonderful vegetarian food (organic raw food)! Figs, pomegranates, almonds, grapes and much, much more. What a feast I long for!

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23.

Have you ever noticed, according to Isaiah 66, that we will be worshipping God not only from one Sabbath to another (every week), but also from one new moon to another (every month)? In the earth made new we will be celebrating and enjoying the fruit of the tree of life, which “bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” But this time we will be eating it with Adam and Jesus and enjoying the Sabbath for eternity.

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:11.

For more information: Modern Manna Ministries
517 S. Central Avenue
Lodi, CA 95240

Spiritualism and Adventism

When we look at the parameters of the teaching of spiritualism outlined in the Spirit of Prophecy, it is shocking to see how many of them are found in Adventism, dressed up. In The Great Controversy, 588, Ellen White makes it clear that in the end time, spiritualism will claim to be Christian. For many years Seventh-day Adventists have felt immune to spiritualism because we understand the state of the dead.

Seventh-day Adventists are protected, for instance, from apparitions of the Virgin Mary because we know who that is. However, Ellen White reveals that impersonating the dead is only one error of spiritualism. The primary tactic of spiritualism is calling evil good and darkness light. (See Isaiah 5.) God’s curse is upon those guilty of this. As a consequence, the distinction between righteousness and sin is lost.

Someone objects, “Do not preach that. Someone will not like it.” That happened in New Guinea and caused the rise of the historic Adventist movement in that country. There were people preaching the Third Angel’s Message on the street and the structure administration said in effect, “Do not do that.” They replied that they had to do this to have a clear conscience.

The New Testament teaches that we should separate sin from the church. Sin is darkness and truth is light. But the teachings of spiritualism cause people to separate the one who is against sin from the church. That is the reason for the historic Adventist movement in Hungary. The New Testament teaches that light and darkness are always to be separated. (See 2 Corinthians 6:14¨C17.)

Spiritualism advocates joining the darkness when the New Testament says that light and darkness have no fellowship. (See II Corinthians 6:14.) The historic Seventh-day Adventist movement developed in Zaire because people said, “We must separate from darkness, and not become part of those who are breaking God’s law.” God said to the apostle Paul, I have called you to turn the Gentiles from the power of Satan to the power of God, to turn them from darkness to light. (See Acts 26:18.)

You must either separate from the darkness or become a part of it. That is happening today in Adventism. If you listen to error, it will take control of your mind and you will not know what has happened. (See Early Writings, 124¨C125.)

What do you do about open sin? In Russia many true-and-faithful Seventh-day Adventists were forced to act independently and separate from the structure because they were pressured by the state to send their children to school on Sabbath. Sadly large numbers of professed Adventists choose the easy way, the way of violating the law of God, in order to avoid persecution by the state. This is not a story of just an isolated person here or there, but of faithful Adventists who were saddened by the apostasy of the professed Adventists around them. Ellen White says. “How can fathers consent to their children attending school on the Sabbath, or any part of the Sabbath?” Manuscript Release, vol. 5, 79.

Spiritualism condones a life of sensual indulgence and involves a sensual religion. (See Medical Ministry, 101 and Testimonies, vol. 8, 295.)

Spiritualism makes gods out of men. This is one of the first teachings of spiritualism. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent told Eve the forbidden fruit would make her like God. Heathen religions and spiritualism have taught that ever since. In heaven there is a King and He is God. The devil imitated that and men were made gods. That is the origin of human monarchies, kingly power, and the divine right of kings.

If a man, or a group of men become conscience for the whole group, you no longer have the individual conscience. Men becoming “god” is also a teaching of Romanism. They say you must be in harmony with the community of faith. Their leaders are so strong, they believe they can alter God’s law. But no man or group of men, not even the General Conference in session has the authority to change anything God said. The idea that men can act as God and speak as the voice of God, even changing the Word of God is a teaching of spiritualism.

When wickedness is being done, and you are not protesting it, but, financially supporting it, what account of your stewardship will you give in the day of God? Do you know what is being done with many millions of dollars of tithe paid to the structure? They are using it to try to destroy truth. In Rogue River, Oregon, just recently, a letter was received from the General Conference warning them not to use the name “Seventh-day Adventist” anymore. This is also happening in New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. What will happen if they do? We know that in the past,with John Merrick, they spent many thousands of dollars and put him in jail for using the name.

It is a paradox that our close friends in the corporate structure pay their tithe money to destroy us. That is literally what is happening. Our friends are giving their money and that money is being used to destroy historic Adventists all over the world. This is a form of making a god out of men. Men have decided to be conscience for their fellow men. The Spirit of Prophecy teaches that we should investigate what is being done with the tithes and offerings. These people who are being harassed believe all the historic doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists and are trying to live in harmony with those beliefs. They are opposed for standing up for truth and spreading the Third Angel’s Message. If the true and faithful are harassed but the sinners in Zion are not, you have a classic situation of calling good evil and evil good, a classic identifying mark of spiritualism.

Another primary teaching of spiritualism is that what is, is right. This is a common teaching throughout academia and in society today. That means the natural state of man is good and therefore you develop the good within you. This came out of pantheism, which Ellen White said was the alpha of deadly heresies and a spiritualistic theory. If God is in all, then actually you are God. This philosophy is being used today in psychological counseling.

Another popular error of spiritualism has become a common teaching in Adventism today. It is that God will not condemn and therefore you should not reprove anyone reproof is unchristian. But reproof is so we can learn where we are in error. Its object is to show us how to put our lives in harmony with God’s Word. Since God does not change, we must do the changing. If we stay out of harmony with God we cannot be saved. The Bible says God is going to condemn. (See Romans 2; 2 Peter 2, 3; Revelation 14:9¨C12 and 2 Thessalonians 2.)

God’s faithful servants, just before Jesus comes, are to give a straighter testimony than John the Baptist. Otherwise, God will not recognize them as His servants. (See Testimonies, vol. 1, 321.) I would rather be in trouble with men than with God. If what I say steps on someone’s toes, I am sorry that you feel hurt, but I cannot apologize if it is from the Word of God.

Then there is the second chance theory. In the Catholic Church if you do not make it here, hopefully you will be able to make it in Purgatory after a while. Some Protestants believe in a millennium of peace when everyone will get a second chance. The Eastern Religions believe in reincarnation you can have many chances. In the religion of the Bible you are having your second chance right now. The first chance was lost in the Garden of Eden. If you are not saved before you die, you are not saved at all. God is going to condemn the wicked in the judgment.

The fruit of the teaching that “God will not condemn” is that it does not matter what you do, just live as you please, heaven is your home. You have probably heard that you will keep sinning until Jesus comes and then He will save you that is some of the same philosophy. We did not have this error in Adventism in the past. All this comes from spiritualism.

This is the same lie that the devil told Eve in the Garden of Eden. God said: You eat of this fruit, you will die. The devil said, You can sin and not die. And the devil is still telling that lie. That is spiritualism. One of the first effects of spiritualism is that people lose control of their mind, thoughts and imagination. Ellen White described this happening in her day. Some Seventh-day Adventist ministers were dissatisfied with their wives. They did not know they were following spiritualism. They just thought they were unhappy. But the devil was in control of their minds. (See Medical Ministry, 101.) They imagined, when they saw an attractive woman, that they could have a relationship with her and even have children by her in heaven. Ellen White said there was no hope for them unless they were converted. She wrote to a minister who was involved in this thinking and said, “Stop, right where you are.”

People think there is some secret going on in their mind and no one knows about it. Actually, the devil is in control of their minds and they do not even know it. They are under spiritualistic control and in the day of judgment, husbands and wives will find out things about each other they never knew before.

When a person is used by the Holy Spirit and is following Jesus, the Lord gives them the power to control their imagination. They are not imagining evil things. When evil imaginings are carried out, people think it happened all of a sudden. It was not sudden at all. Evil thoughts had been fostered for a long time. Satan will present enticing allurements and sensual thoughts to the followers of Christ in the last days. In Patriarchs and Prophets, 453¨C461, we are given approximately twenty different ways that the devil works so that people break the seventh commandment and their home will be destroyed.

If we want to be in the kingdom of heaven, by the grace of God, our imagination needs to be purified, or we are not going to be there. The devil works in many ways to make people lose control of their minds. (See Testimonies, vol. 8, 295.)

Another characteristic of spiritualistic religion is that the religion is sensational. It appeals to the senses, involving body movements of both preachers and parishioners, music, and the subject material for sermons. Ellen White reveals that we are going to have sensationalism in Adventist Churches just before the end of time. (See Selected Messages, vol. 2, 36.)

Another characteristic of spiritualism in religion is referred to in Medical Ministry, 97. It says, “restraint” is decreased and people lose their sense of obligation to others. Jesus Himself sensed His obligation to others. He even had pity on a wounded bird or a hurt animal. And His infinite compassion for the fallen race was so great that it led Him by choice to come to this world as a man to die on Calvary. Jesus said, “No man takes My life from Me. I lay it down of Myself.”

When people lose their sense of obligation to others, they become self-centered and develop sensual minds. The temptations to sensuality are multitudinous today. Many pictures in store windows, tabloids, newspapers and magazines, on videos and television are abominable and sinister. There is a master intelligence trying to get control of your mind.

How does the devil get control?

Diet. Ellen White writes about flesh foods and dairy products. Animals have serious diseases today. But even if animal foods were healthful, they tend to stimulate the sensual, sexual passions. The devil is intense on creating every type of delectable, tasty and appetizing animal food, because that is one way he is trying to get control of your mind.

Through the eyes. What we see has a tremendous effect upon the mind. We must surrender our mind to God daily and ask that the Holy Spirit be in control of our eyes and our mind. What are you looking at? If you are deliberately looking at sensual and awful pictures, the Lord cannot protect you. That is the sin of presumption. What are you reading? A characteristic of spiritualistic pollution is a sensual bond through your eyes and ears to stimulate sensuality so that you will not be in a position to receive the Holy Spirit. (See Medical Ministry, 101.)

Through self-indulgence. What kind of life are you living? Are you just doing whatever you feel like? Eating whatever tastes good? Or are you in control of your life? Are you controlling your thoughts? Your appetites? Your passions? What was the sin of the antediluvians? Ellen White says their sin was in carrying to excess that which was not sin in itself.

The devil comes to the people of this generation through phrenology, psychology and mesmerism. (See Testimonies, vol. 1, 290.) This is another characteristic of spiritualistic religion. Our modern word is hypnotism. Psychology books that do not agree with the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy are wrong. Have you heard of Ericksonian hypnosis? This type of hypnosis does not necessarily put a person into a full trance. It is induced simply in casual conversation. By using suggestion, you exert a strong influence over their minds so they obey you. The newest development in Ericksonian hypnosis is called neurolinguistic programming. This has taken over our society. We cannot even go to a used car lot today without a salesman using NLP on us. We received advertising that was sent out to salesmen and business men and its message was, “Come to this seminar. We will teach you how to do NLP to increase your sales, and show you how to be more successful in business.” It is also in the media. Today it is everywhere. Only the Lord can protect us from it.
Would you ever have thought that something like NLP could come into Adventism? But today we have pastors trained in NLP. People trained in NLP will not tell you what they are doing. They think you will not notice them practicing it. But when we find them using the techniques the hypnotists do, what are you supposed to believe? Our only protection is to stay close to the Lord and stay away from anyone who is practicing NLP.

Another characteristic of spiritualism is that people believe they have inherent power in themselves to accomplish good work. (See Testimonies, vol. 1, 294.)

Another characteristic of spiritualism is the lack of time for meditation and prayer. (See Testimonies, vol. 1, 295.) How much time do you spend in meditation and prayer? Are you talking to the Lord before you get up in the morning? As you go through the work day? Are you asking the Lord to control your mind through His Spirit?

A characteristic of spiritualistic religion is called free love. (See Testimonies, vol. 8, 292.)

God ordained love in the marriage relationship. There are parameters for our safety. But the devil wants to destroy these walls of protection. When I was a boy, a couple in our church was divorced. The men in the church were shocked that Seventh-day Adventists got a divorce. Things were different in the Adventist Church then. We claimed not to believe in free love. What really is the difference between polygamy and marrying and divorcing and marrying and divorcing?

The Bible still says the same thing about divorce. In Malachi 2, God says He hates it. According to the Bible, there is only one reason anyone has a right to remarry. Some Adventists are not straight on this point. The only Biblical reason that allows remarriage after divorce, is if your spouse committed adultery. (See Testimonies, vol. 8, 292.)

“Man’s great danger is in being self-deceived, indulging self-sufficiency, and thus separating from God, the source of his strength. Our natural tendencies, unless corrected by the Holy Spirit of God, have in them the seeds of moral death. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we cannot resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315, 316. His Divine power helps us overcome. The difference is eternal life or eternal death. In Revelation 2 and 3 the promises to the Seven Churches are given to overcomers.

Another teaching of spiritualism is that each mind will judge itself. That destroys the First Angel’s Message and the Biblical doctrine of the judgment. Could this happen in Adventism? In the last few decades Adventist people have been disputing about the doctrine of the investigative judgment. People do not like it. The Bible says God is going to judge every person who has ever lived. (See John 5.)’

The argument that the devil gave to the angels in heaven was that true knowledge places men above law. Unbelievable! As a young pastor in a conference church in Adventism, if I showed a statement from inspiration, that was the end of the discussion. That is the way it used to be. But today some will argue with the Word of God. That is a teaching of spiritualism, placing your own mind above the Word of God and His law. (See Romans 3:19.)

The last teaching of spiritualism is similar to the devil’s lie to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He said all sins committed are innocent. I was shocked some months ago when studying a book recommended by Seventh-day Adventist leaders and published by an SDA publishing house. This book said that when you sin under grace, this sin does not bring condemnation. What does this mean? Sin is sin. What is this idea that I am saved now and if I sin, I am going to be saved anyway? When you sin, you are lost unless that sin is repented of, confessed and forsaken. There is no such thing as salvation in sin.

The idea that you can be under grace and keep sinning, is one of spiritualism’s most dangerous guises. Some preachers in Adventism are teaching this heresy today. Are you discouraged by the devil because it seems you cannot overcome some sin? Go to the Lord and say, Lord, I am surrendering everything to You: my mind, my will, my all. I am choosing to follow You. Lord, there is sin in my life. But I am willing to do anything, be anything, surrender anything to you. Please, work in my life and save me from my sins. He will answer your prayer. No matter what the sin is, the Lord will help you to overcome. He will take away your past guilt and give you power enough to overcome. No sin is innocent. There is no such thing as sinning under grace and still having a relationship with the Lord.

Many of these teachings of spiritualism are coming into our church. What are we going to do? What has happened? “In His Word, the Lord declared what He would do for Israel if they would obey His voice. But the leaders of the people yielded to the temptations of Satan, and God could not give them the blessings He designed them to have, because they did not obey His voice but listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer. This experience will be repeated in the last years of the history of the people of God, who have been established by His grace and power.” Manuscript Release vol. 13, 379.


Seventh-day Adventists are the people of God established by His grace and power in these last years. The above quotation says the experience ancient Israel went through is going to be repeated in the last years among God’s people. Are we in the last years now?

We are living in that time. We have to pray, Lord Jesus, keep me free from all the doctrines, and teachings, and characteristics of spiritualism. I do not want anything to do with it. The devil will deceive and control as many as he can. God has promised to give us “eyesalve to recognize Satan’s deceptions; power to become sons of God; deliverance from the bondage of sin; and freedom to have eternal life through Jesus Christ. “(See Revelation 3:18; John 1:12; James 4:7; John 8:32 and Hebrews 2:15.)

Letter from Australia

7th November 1996

Dear Pastor Grosboll,

I have just completed reading your article “A Lesson from Australia” in the September 96 issue of Land Marks. I have found this article very interesting.

It was in the late 1980’s when my husband Peter and I began to get interested in what was happening in Seventh-day Adventism in Australia. We were concerned about what our children were being taught at Avondale College and of some of the student activities happening there. From 1984-90 our five children attended Avondale. At first we neither realized the seriousness or implications of what was happening. We spoke to some about the concerns we had, but were told “not to be critical.”

Then Ron Spear and Marshall Grosboll (and their wives) came to Albury. We asked them to stay with us, and organized a meeting at our home. I can still remember how Ron quoted SOP by memory—it was amazing to us. Marshall took a talk on the Nature of Christ.

After they left we started searching. We soon found ourselves unpopular with our local church Pastor. We searched for truth in our local church and found emptiness. At this time there was a group of about 30 in our church who were meeting with us who were also searching for truth. We knew that we couldn’t stay in a church that was not preparing us for Christ’s soon coming, so we decided to run our own church. We tried to become a Branch Sabbath School and applied to the Conference, but were ignored because we did not go through the “right channels.” We knew that we couldn’t take any new converts to our local Conference Church.

So in 1990 we decided to become a Congregational Church. We ran Sabbath School, Church and Outreach programmes, preaching and teaching the True Advent Doctrine. Then when my husband Peter baptised someone, our local conference church used this as an excuse to disfellowship him and two other men who were also leading out at our church because they did not follow properly constituted church authority, and belonged to a divisive movement.

We continued to meet as a church and had different speakers come to us from America. This caused us problems as they were telling us to go back to the church. Some of our people became confused and went back to the Conference church. After this happened a few times we decided to stop having any visiting preachers and our local men did all the preaching.

We were amazed at these preachers. They were not working for the conference, they were brought to Australia by Independent Ministries, yet they were saying “go back to the church.” At this stage I had only just started hearing about Independent Ministries. Most Australians had the belief that if one was not under the conference, they were not real Seventh-day Adventists. Yet many of these visiting speakers ran or worked for Independent Ministries in America. If they would be doing their same work in Australia, they would not be accepted here.

So much confusion has been caused because our people do not understand what God’s true church is. They mistakenly keep thinking it is the “conference”. We have seen countless people stop attending Independent Camp Meetings—they feel they must go back to “the church,” or if they cannot face the apostasy in their conference church they would sooner stay at home alone rather than worship with us because we have “formed a new church.” We have seen attendance dwindle from hundreds down to small groups.

Not only did we face this confusion, but our pulpit has been used by people with strange theology who see a ready made audience for their way off theology. This has caused us problems when some of our members were influenced by them. It seemed as soon as we gained a few more members, someone would come along and they would leave. We have had issues of separationism, pictures as idols, futurism, corporate responsibility and many more.

Currently we are at our lowest membership for quite some time with a few families leaving. About 20 attend each Sabbath. Yes, Satan has been at work in our church but we also see God’s great blessings. We hear wonderful sermons about being prepared for Christ’s coming. My husband Peter is the original preacher left and he preaches most of the sermons. He finds it difficult to find the time to prepare these as he holds down a full time job in the workforce.

There is much more I could write but time does not permit me to do this. I am so grateful that at long last other people can see the problem in Australia. We have seen the gradual change over years, of some of the visiting ministers, as apostasy deepens in the SDA church. They seem to understand our position and we are not now dismissed as “offshoots.” We are very grateful of the support of Russell Standish, Tom Turner and O.K. Anderson.

Thank you for your magazine. I enjoy the articles and appreciate the effort that goes into these.

May God continue to bless you,
Name Withheld