Lessons on Reformation, part 4

Let us now see what was the state of the Church previous to the Reformation.

“The nations of Christendom no longer looked to a holy and living God for the free gift of eternal life. To obtain it, they were obliged to have a recourse to all the means that a superstitious, fearful, and alarmed imagination could devise. Heaven was filled with saints and mediators, whose duty it was to solicit this mercy. Earth was filled with pious works, sacrifices, observances, and ceremonies, by which it was to be obtained. Here is a picture of the religion of this period transmitted to us by one who was long a monk, and afterwards a fellow-labourer of Luther’s—by Myconius:

” ‘The sufferings and merits of Christ were looked upon as an idle tale, or as the fictions of Homer. There was no thought of the faith by which we become partakers of the Saviour’s righteousness and of the heritage of eternal life. Christ was looked upon as a severe judge, prepared to condemn all who should not have recourse to the intercession of the saints, or to the papal indulgences. Other intercessors appeared in His place: —first the Virgin Mary, like the Diana of paganism, and then the saints, whose numbers were continually augmented by the popes.’ ” History of the Reformation, 17, by J.H. Merle D’Aubigne.

“The two centuries intervening between 1294 and 1517, between the accession of Boniface VIII and the nailing of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses against the church door in Wittenberg, mark the gradual transition from the Middle Ages to modern times, from the universal acceptance of the papal theocracy in Western Europe to the assertion of national independence, from the supreme authority of the priesthood to the intellectual and spiritual freedom of the individual. Old things are passing away; signs of a new order increase. Institutions are seen to be breaking up. The scholastic systems of theology lose their compulsive hold on men’s minds, and even become the subject of ridicule. The abuses of the earlier Middle Ages call forth voices demanding reform on the basis of the Scriptures and the common well being of mankind. The inherent vital energies in the Church seek expression in new forms of piety and charitable deed.” History of the Christian Church, vol. VI, 1, by David Schaff.

As the world was prepared for the coming of Jesus as a babe in Bethlehem, so it was being conditioned for the coming of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. When Christ was born, the means of travel had been improved; one language was universal, the people were discontented with their religious experience and desired something better.

Similar things were beginning to take place in the thirteenth century. “The Renaissance, or revival of classical culture, unshackled the minds of men. The classical works of antiquity were once more, after the churchly disparagement of a thousand years, held forth to admiration. The confines of geography were extended by the discoveries of the continent in the West.

“To this generation, which looks back over the last four centuries, the discovery of America and the pathways to the Indies was one of the remarkable events in history, a surprise and a prophecy. In 1453, Constantinople easily passed into the hands of the Turk, and the Christian Empire of the East fell apart. In the far West the beginnings of a new empire were made, just as the Middle Ages were drawing to a close.” Ibid., 3.

By the time the Renaissance was in full bloom, the Roman Church had been in virtual control of the world for over eight hundred years. God was still in control and trying to prepare a people that would be perfect representatives of His character. The printing press was invented, making it possible to scatter the Scriptures around the world on a much larger scale. Men and women were slowly being unshackled from the bondage to the Roman Catholic heel.


The Reformation Begins


In the fourteenth century, John Wycliffe arose to become the “Morning Star of the Reformation,” because of his translation of the Scriptures into the English language. This was the greatest impetus to the freedom of man up to that time. It paved the way for the Reformation to come, nearly two hundred years later, in the person of Martin Luther and other reformers to follow.

The Reformation brought freedom not only in the religious realm but also in the secular. Withholding the Scriptures from the populace meant that there was no advance in any other area of society, particularly in education. The Papacy knew that if they kept people illiterate they would be much easier to control. Individuality was suppressed and the church then in power demanded adherence by all.

We have seen in the twentieth century the effects that attempts at control of the masses by such ideologies as Communism, Fascism and Nazism have had upon the world. Absolute control leads eventually to corruption on the part of leadership and dictatorial control of all those under their jurisdiction. It was under this type of circumstances that the Reformation began in the thirteenth century with John Wycliffe. The papal power was in almost total control of the world at that time and demanded absolute obedience to her demands.

It was not until Wycliffe and Luther translated the Bible into their respective languages that the people could see a way to obtain their freedom from the papal tyranny. “Except among the Waldenses, the Word of God had for ages been locked up in languages known only to the learned; but the time had come for the Scriptures to be translated and given to the people of different lands in their native tongue. The world had passed its midnight. The hours of darkness were wearing away, and in many lands appeared tokens of the coming dawn. In the fourteenth century arose in England the ‘Morning star of the Reformation.’ John Wycliffe was the herald of reform, not for England alone, but for all Christendom. The great protest against Rome which it was permitted him to utter was never to be silenced. That protest opened the struggle which was to result in the emancipation of individuals, of churches, and of nations.” The Great Controversy, 79, 80.

“The Reformation did not and does not consist in exposure and denunciation of the iniquities of the Roman Church.

“That is included in The Reformation, as an incident; because it is of the essence of Christianity to hate iniquity, as it is to love righteousness. “It was the iniquities, enormities, and desolations wrought by the Roman Church, that caused the universal desire and the pressing demand that there should be a reformation. Yet the Reformation was not wrought by magnifying or dwelling upon those things.

“The Reformation springs from another principle, lives in another atmosphere, and works in another field, than that.

“If exposure and denunciation of the iniquities of that church could have wrought reformation, then The Reformation would have been in the world more than five hundred years before it was.

“All men saw the iniquities practiced. They actually felt them on every side. Nobles, kings, emperors, priests, bishops, cardinals, and councils, called for reformation. Even Popes confessed the sore need of it.” Lessons from the Reformation, 102, 103, by A. T. Jones.


What is the Church?


All the reformers, in the beginning, did not plan to leave the church or think of establishing another one. Their desires were to reform the errors and evil practices within the church and bring it into line with Scripture. But even this was not a sufficient explanation for the Reformation that was to follow. There was more to it than that.

The Roman Catholic Church said that it had absolute authority over the individual both physically and spiritually. It further stated that it was only through the church, “the ark of God,” the “ship of salvation” that anyone could obtain salvation. The captain and the crew as well as the pilot could all be pirates yet the “grand old ship” was all right and would come safely to the heavenly port. The church leadership also said that it was the church, and the church only that could rightly interpret the Scriptures. The people were admonished to “stand by the old ship” and “cling to the ark” in order to land safely on the heavenly shore. Once the Bible was made available to all, it was seen that what the church had been claiming was not true at all, but that each person could, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, determine what the truth is.

The extent to which the church leaders would go in their ridiculous logic, the following quote will illustrate. This statement was made by the Pope’s legate at the General Council of Basle, in 1432. “In the time of Noah’s flood, as many as were without the ark perished.” If one is not a member in good standing he will be lost.

The study of the Bible led the reformers to the conclusion that the church was not correct in their claims but that all persons were free and only answerable to God for their faith. This brought about a disagreement between the reformers and the Roman church on the definition of the Church. According to Scripture it is the people that make up a church and not an organization or its leadership. Man’s salvation is based upon his connection with Christ and not upon what some Pope (President) decides.

“But as soon as there arose men with the courage of conviction and the confidence of truth, and spoke out plainly and flatly that the Roman system is not the Church at all in any feature or in any sense, then the Reformation had begun. “That is how The Reformation came. And without that The Reformation never could have come.” Ibid., 106.

The Roman Catholic Church could not claim Scripture for their authority; all they had was tradition that, they claimed, superceded the Bible. Unable to convince the reformers with words, their only recourse was to use the power of the state to force men to obey the their demands. The basic premise of the Roman Catholic Church was that it was supreme on the earth. It is defined to be: “The society of the validly baptized, united together in one body by the profession of the same faith, by the participation of the same sacraments, and by obedience to the same authority, Christ, its invisible head in heaven, and the Roman Pontiff, the successor of St. Peter, Christ’s visible representative and vicegerent upon earth.” Christian Apologetics, Section 300.

From this foundation, that church ruled over the earth supreme for nearly a thousand years. When the reformers began to read the Bible they saw a different picture of what constituted the Church. “Wycliffe said that the ‘Holy Church is the congregation of just men for whom Christ shed His blood . . . All who shall be saved in the bliss of heaven are members of Holy Church, and no more.’

“Matthias of Janow said: ‘All Christians who possess the Spirit of Jesus the Crucified, and who are impelled by the same Spirit, and who alone have not departed from their God, are the one Church of Christ: His beautiful bride, His body.’ “Huss said: ‘The true Church lies in nothing else than the totality of the elect.’ “Luther said: ‘We are the Church. There is no other Church than the assembly of those who have the Word of God and are purified by it.’” Lessons from the Reformation, 126, 127.

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:22, 23. The Church is not confined to an organization or system. It is a body of believers, whether there are two, three or a million gathered together with God in the midst.

The lesson that all the reformers learned was that every man is to be free to worship God according to his conscience and to interpret Scripture under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and not according to what a group of men decides is truth. The Reformation proclaimed Religious Liberty, not only liberty from interference from the state but also from the Church. The reformers understood the admonition of Jesus that “all ye are brethren.” Matthew 23:8.

It is sad to say that the attitude among many Adventists today is that we all must do as the leadership says, go where they say to go and preach only what they say is permissible to preach. If an individual chooses to follow the dictates of his conscience and follow the Lord’s leading, that is contrary to what the system says, he is put “out of the synagogue.”


A Great Awakening


The Reformation lay dormant for almost two hundred years before a new awakening began. Men in different parts of the world began to study the prophecies and saw that the coming of Christ was near. They began to preach their discoveries. It was in this environment that the Lord raised up a movement, in the middle of the nineteenth century, to bring about a revival of the Reformation.

At first, it seemed that this Second Advent movement would bring about a revival of the Reformation. Following the disappointment a great opposition developed against the great awakening, and most of those who had embraced the message turned away from it. There were a few who maintained their faith, and, as time passed, the Seventh-day Adventist movement grew and flourished even though there were those that exercised kingly power at times. The Church was organized and continued to develop until the problem of the 1888 General Conference, when many of the leaders rejected the message of Righteousness by Faith.

In 1901 it seemed that the organization was to be changed to what God desired it to be. However it did not go as far as the Lord desired it to. Then in 1903 all that had been accomplished in 1901 was demolished, and a papal system of organization was put in place. We are cursed with that system today. Kingly power continues to be manifested by some leaders. The freedom of the individual is slowly eroding away as more and more power is being put into the hands of fewer and fewer men. We see the virtual loss of our health institutions one by one as they ally themselves with outside institutions. The educational system is a far cry from what the Lord had His people set up in the beginning. Our schools have patterned themselves after those of the world and our young people are preparing for a lifelong career in the business world rather than a place in the Lord’s work.

Will we continue to muddle around in the wilderness for many more years and admit by our attitudes and lifestyles that we expect to be here for the rest of our lives? Or will we get serious about what the Lord wants us to do? God is waiting for a people to perfectly reflect His character so that He can use them for His purposes.

The Reformation is to be revived and if we want to be a part of that reform movement we will have to reverse our field and come into line with the Lord’s plan. God will have a people to carry the Three Angels’ Messages to the world as a final warning. Will you and I have a part in that work? If so, our priorities will have to change, and we must pattern ourselves after Christ and perfectly reflect His character. Only when our characters match that of Jesus Christ will we be safe to save and safe to be filled by the Holy Spirit.

Our God is a patient and longsuffering God but there will come a time when that patience will run out. “The Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.” Genesis 6:3. It is up to each individual to make a decision as to what their fate will be. As Joshua said: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.


Thanks to Ecumenism

For the past several months, we have looked at the long history of the apostasy, which has been with us since the earliest times. The majority, who were in apostasy in each generation, never wanted to face their own stubbornness and rebellion. Those who revealed their apostasy have always been mocked, insulted and rejected, because they wished to remain faithful to God’s plan and not man’s. As we continue to bring this history forward, we think it wise, along the way, not to let all the evidence of the present slip away as we look at the past. With this in mind we break from our progressive path and stand on present-day soil as we take a look at the lay of the land around us.

Thanks to Ecumenism we have a frightening drop in conversions. Thanks to Ecumenism the entire concept of the “Church Militant” has been practically obliterated. Thanks to Ecumenism we are one giant step closer to a One World Church. Thanks to Ecumenism we are one giant step closer to a One World Government. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the demonic New Age Movement making inroads into the Church, manifesting itself primarily in the absurd teaching: “Jesus did not know that He was God until He was baptized by John the Baptist and received the Christ consciousness.” Thanks to Ecumenism we have prayer gatherings with Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and Moslems, all who deny the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thanks to Ecumenism we have downplayed the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ which acknowledges that all governments and all authorities ultimately receive their power of government and jurisdiction from Christ, and are therefore answerable to Him and His Divine Law. Thanks to Ecumenism we have practically every heresy that ever existed within the very bosom of the Church. Thanks to Ecumenism we may ask ourselves, how will our Church ever be in a position to condemn new errors when it has become so buddy-buddy with the old ones? Thanks to Ecumenism we have an “emperor’s new clothes” situation where fraudulent tailors have adorned the Church in the apparel of ecumenism, and there are no dignitaries to be found who will admit “the Church has been stripped naked.”

Before we move on I want you to know that the long paragraph above is not of my own creation. Certainly the words above are true and whoever wrote them is very concerned about what is going on within their church. Cathy and I have been making the claim for a long time that what is

happening within the structure of the Adventist movement and its devastating effects are felt now by all mainline churches around the world. We will continue with “Thanks to Ecumenism” for a further demonstration of this point. Hang on to your hat though, because the words will shortly give the secret of the source away, and you will be surprised!

Thanks to Ecumenism we have a Protestantized liturgy. Thanks to Ecumenism we have Protestantized sacraments. Thanks to Ecumenism we have more and more Catholics leaving the Faith to embrace Protestantism. Thanks to Ecumenism we have Communion-in-the-hand and lay-ministers of the Eucharist, both considered sacrilegious and totally unthinkable only twenty-five years ago. Thanks to Ecumenism we have our Church leaders holding “prayer-services” with non-Catholic religions of all sorts . . . baptizing and canonizing the predominant heresy that “one religion is as good as another,” and causing great scandal and bewilderment among the faithful. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the dilution of essential Catholic dogmas necessary for salvation. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the Charismatic Movement within the Church, having its roots in Protestantism and Spiritualism, and always considered antithetical to Catholics.

Thanks to Ecumenism we have Protestant ministers and Jewish rabbis lecturing from our once Catholic pulpits and universities. Thanks to Ecumenism by the devotion to our Blessed Mother has been discouraged. Thanks to Ecumenism devotion to the Saints has been down-played. Thanks to Ecumenism the Rosary and many other traditional Catholic practices of piety have been falsely labeled “outmoded,” clearly a trick of Satan to keep us from receiving the great graces these devotions acquired. Thanks to Ecumenism our Holy Church has become more Protestantized and secularized, along with the fact that the Protestants are as Protestant as always, and the secular are more secular than ever!

Thanks to Ecumenism we have a great crisis of Faith among our priests and laity. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the “Spirit of Vatican II,” an evil and deceptive spirit employed to turn the Catholic Church upside down. [I hope you are paying attention!] Thanks to Ecumenism we have the 1962 Vatican-Moscow Agreement, whereas in order to be assured that observers of the Russian Orthodox Church would attend the Second Vatican Council, an agreement was made between Rome and Moscow that the Council would contain “no explicit condemnation of Communism.” This policy of “no direct condemnation of Communism” is still in force to this day.

Thanks to Ecumenism we no longer have offertory prayers which stress the sacrificial nature of the Mass, but new ecumenical offertory prayers offensive to no non-Catholic, and bearing a closer resemblance to a Jewish table blessing. Thanks to Ecumenism we have removed the altar rails. Thanks to Ecumenism we now stand for Holy Communion. Thanks to Ecumenism there has been a change as to what is the Mystery of Faith, whereas in the Old Liturgy, the “Mystery of Faith” clearly referred to the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord. In the New Liturgy, however, the “Mystery of Faith” is proclaimed as “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”. . . a doctrine, unlike Transubstantiation, which is acceptable to Protestants. In the new liturgy, there is actually a choice of five mysteries of Faith, all of which are a little different . . . is there any wonder there is now so much doctrinal confusion?

Thanks to Ecumenism the tabernacles in many of our Churches have been taken off the main altar and placed on the side. Is the Holy Eucharist only a sideline of our Faith? Thanks to Ecumenism we have voided the interiors of our Catholic Churches with the sense of reverence and awe, strikingly present in all Catholic Churches before Vatican II. Thanks to Ecumenism “the Church is in a state of auto-demolition.” Thanks to Ecumenism the Catholic church has been placed on the same footing with every false religion on the face of the earth.

Thanks to Ecumenism the dogma that Outside the Church there is no salvation has not only been ignored, but sometimes vehemently fought against by “Catholic” priests and theologians. Thanks to Ecumenism we have Diocesan bishops “lending out their cathedrals” for the installation of Protestant bishops. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the humanistic “religion of reason” infiltrating our Faith, manifesting itself in sad sermons and insipid catechisms. Thanks to Ecumenism we have widespread rejection of many Catholic teachings of Faith and Morals. If pluralism is condoned outside the Church, what then is wrong with it within the household of Faith? Thanks to Ecumenism faithful Catholics who rightly criticize the catastrophic effects of modern ecumenism are labeled “disrespectful,” “dissident,” “rebellious” and “disobedient.” Finally, Thanks to Ecumenism we have indeed very little to be thankful for in the devastated vineyard of the Post Vatican II Church.

Yes, friends, some of us have been bringing forth mounds of evidence that the face of organized churches are changing around the globe. The above article is quite surprising as you consider it comes from a fully Catholic source! This paper was written and distributed by the Benedictine Monks of Most Holy Family Monastery. I was totally unaware, and perhaps you are too, that there is a “Remnant” within the Roman Catholic community who are screaming their heads off about how ecumenism is nothing more than a deception to gut historical Catholicism! Did you catch that? Now take just a moment and think about what is going on here. The Historic Catholic Remnant is calling this new movement of “Christian unity” and contemporary church phenomena exactly what it is—a sham! They are making the claim that all of this pluralism and lowering of the standards and buddying up with the different religions is eroding “true” Catholicism!

I did not even know that there was this kind of split in the Catholic Church. However, in the last few months we have learned that there are Catholic Churches that are now independent and who have priests that are openly preaching that the Pope is the man of sin and the anti-Christ! I know, because one of these little churches is located just three miles from our ministry. I also know that the priest preaches to his congregation that Pope John Paul II is the anti-Christ and he tells them that it is the apostasy plan of Vatican II that brought in the apostasy and caused this whole mess. He openly says that Vatican II is the selling out of the true Catholic Church to the Protestant world.

Brothers and sisters, this is quite amazing! Although we as Adventists have more specific details through inspiration than this priest does, he has recognized many truths about what the Ecumenical Movement is designed to do. It is high time we understand that if Roman Catholics can see these deceptions for what they are, then maybe we had better start taking life very seriously and get fully into the business of salvation—not only for ourselves but for others as well. I praise God that He is trying to show His people through many different avenues of evidence that the agenda of apostasy is just what a few of the historic Adventist ministries have been claiming it is.

I must point out something here that is very important for your consideration. I will do it in the form of a question. If the agenda of apostasy is what we and others have claimed it is, then what will happen to those who are running back to the churches that have an unsanctified unity? We must realize that nothing lies at the end of that road, but a dead end, and I don’t mean the end of the pavement, I mean an end of life! God is trying to make it easy for us through the gift of the eye-salve and the multitude of evidences which have been and will continue to be brought forth. We must be willing to use that which God has given us and take Him at His Word. Nothing else can or will save us. All the knowledge in the world and in God’s Word will not save a single soul who is merely trying to escape the fires at the end of the millennium. It just will not happen. As in baptism, we must allow the Lord to fully immerse us in the life of His heavenly family. True Christianity, and true Adventism are not something we do, it is who we become.

“The Ecumenical Movement is basically the movement toward reunion of all Churches into a single Church, one in body, but not necessarily holding the same religious tenets . . . spotlighting things we have in common, hush-hushing those things which divide us. Should you ask, however, ten different theologians of ten denominations for a definition of ecumenism, chances are you would receive ten slightly different replies. This is the great weakness of ecumenism. It is a slippery, sloppy expression devoid of any solid orthodox definition. It thus avails itself of ambiguity and double talk—as do subversive movements in general. The Second Vatican Council had a great deal to say about ecumenism, without ever giving the definition of the word! “Prior to 1960, the Catholic Church had always kept the Ecumenical Movement at arms length from the mystical Body of Christ, now and then touching it with the proverbial ten-foot pole, but never taking an active part.

“Any student of ecclesiastical history will tell you that the Roman Catholic Church’s particular charisma was to clarify the truth in time of confusion and, to counter what was novel or erroneous by clinging to and defining what she has always believed since the time of the Apostles. Thus when Martin Luther denied so much of what the Roman Church held true, she took care of this problem at the Council of Trent . . . defining in detail each one of the Seven Sacraments, indulgences, justification, etc. The Church does not invent new doctrines at these councils, but defines and clarifies in a solemn and official manner what she has always believed. The Councils of the past took the Church and the world from a time of confusion, into a period of theological stability. Unfortunately, Vatican II is the first council in the history of the Church that did not help in this regard. As a matter of fact, we must regretfully admit that all evidence clearly shows she only made things far worse.” —Excerpt from the Catholic periodical “Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter.”

Brothers and sisters, do you realize what is being said in the few short words taken from this Catholic newsletter? It tells us plainly that Historical Catholics believe that the burning of heretics is part of the solution toward anyone who would cry against her dogma. This was in fact part of the solution at the council of Trent, but usurped by the hand of God to save Luther.

You can clearly see that true Roman Catholics believe that the Church is not to “invent” any new doctrine, but to continue to keep the sanctity of their established doctrines, which go back clear to the Apostles and “what she has always believed.” This is exactly what The Great Controversy says about the Roman Catholics. Sister White describes the mess we are in and the mess these Historic Catholics say they are in. They do not know the details as we do, but they do know that deception of every kind is taking place.

“The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution . . .

“But Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side. See the increasing number of her churches and chapels in Protestant countries. Look at the popularity of her colleges and seminaries in America, so widely patronized by Protestants. Look at the growth of ritualism in England and the frequent defections to the ranks of the Catholics. These things should awaken the anxiety of all who prize the pure principles of the gospel.

“The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.

“The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. ‘Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy’ (Lenfant, vol. I, 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?” The Great Controversy, 564, 565, 571.

My friends, there are some fantastic admissions in the articles above. If we observe what the Traditional Catholics are saying, then we can see that they are even (albeit from a different point of view then ours) giving testimony to both the deception of the great “revival” of the ecumenical movement and the validity of The Great Controversy in its claims that true Catholicism has never changed. It is obvious that Rome is even willing to give the appearance of selling out their own people, at least for a time, in order to regain the ecclesiastical power she has lost. This program of apostasy is so important to those in the Vatican that they have not even let some of their people know that it’s all a show in order to be of the utmost success in the end. But we, as true Adventists, have an advantage that none other has in the entire world! What precious and good news this is. Therefore, let us praise God, not only with our tongues, but with our whole beings through the acts of our lives. It is high time that we got on with the work that has been set before us. That work includes building the breach in the wall and tearing down the walls of hell that God’s arch-foe has erected. God has proven over and over that He can save by many or a few. Let us not search for the popular path which only leads to the DEAD END; let us no longer be willingly blinded by popular views and the dictates of men’s policies and creeds, but let us with the help of our mighty God, with the banner of His precious Son, Jesus Christ, take the battle on to victory!


The Offices of Christ

Our Lord (Christ) has three grand offices assigned Him in the Scriptures in the work of human redemption. When He was upon our earth at His first advent, He was that prophet of whom Moses spake, in Deuteronomy 18:15–19. See also Acts 3:22–26. When He ascended up to heaven, He became a great High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 110: Hebrews 8:1–6. But when He comes again, He is in possession of His kingly authority, as promised in the second psalm. It is by virtue of this office of king that He judges mankind. Matthew 25:34–40. The transition from our Lord’s priesthood to His kingly office precedes His Second Advent. Luke 19:11, 12, 15. It takes place when His Father sits in judgment, as described in Daniel 7:9–14.

  1. The nature of the words addressed by the Father to the Son when He crowns Him king, shows that coronation to be at the close of His priestly office.

“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:6–9.

It is manifest that the giving of the heathen to the Son by the Father is not for their salvation but for their destruction. It could not, therefore, take place at the ascension of Christ, when He entered upon His priesthood, but must be when the work of that priesthood is finished. Daniel has placed the coronation of Christ at the Father’s judgment-seat. And to this fact the words of the second psalm perfectly agree. The priesthood of Christ is closed when the scepter of iron is placed in His hands. The number of His people is made up, the work for their sins is finished, and their salvation rendered certain, when all the rest of mankind are delivered into His hands to be broken by the scepter of His justice. But this cannot be till our Lord, as priest, has blotted out our sins, at the tribunal of His Father; for when the wicked are given into the hands of Christ to be destroyed, it is plain that there is no further salvation for sinners. When our Lord accepts the iron scepter of justice, He can no longer fill the office of priest, to make atonement for sins. His whole priestly office is finished when He is thus crowned by His Father. But this coronation, which is described in Daniel 7:9–14, is simply the transition from the priesthood of Christ to His kingly office. It is plain that our Lord’s priesthood is brought to a conclusion at the time when the Ancient of Days sits in judgment. We need Him as priest to confess our names at that tribunal, and to show from the record of our past lives that we have perfected the work of overcoming, so that our sins may, by the decision of the Father, be blotted out, and our names retained in the book of life. But when the people of God have thus passed the decision of the investigative judgment, their probation is closed forever, and their names being found in the book of life, when all that have failed to overcome are stricken there from, they are prepared for the standing up of Michael to deliver His people and to destroy all others with the scepter of His justice.

  1. The priesthood of Christ continues till His enemies are given Him to be destroyed.

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning; thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent. Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The LORD at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall he lift up the head.” Psalm 110:1–7.

The words of verse 1, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool,” and of verse 4, “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” are addressed by God the Father of Christ, when He enters upon His priestly office, and are equivalent to saying that in due time He should have His enemies given Him to destroy, viz., at the close of His work of intercession. For this reason it is that Paul represents Him as sitting at the Father’s right hand, in a state of expectancy. Hebrews 10:13. But the words of the second psalm, bidding Him ask for the heathen, to destroy them, cannot be uttered till He finished His work of intercession. It appears that our Lord announces the close of His intercession by saying, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11. In response to His declaration of the Intercessor, announcing to His Father the close of His work, the Father bids the Son ask of Him the heathen that He may devote them to utter destruction. And in fulfillment of the Son’s request, the Father crowns Him king, as described in Daniel 7:9–14, as He sits in judgment, and commits the judgment into His hands.


Christ’s Position Invariable


  1. Christ, as our high priest, or intercessor, sits at the right hand of the Father’s throne, i.e., He occupies the place of honor in the presence of one greater, till He is Himself crowned king, when He takes His own throne.

The position of the Saviour as high priest cannot be one invariable, fixed posture of sitting. Indeed, although Mark says (Chapter 16:19) concerning our Lord that “he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God,” yet it is said of Stephen that “he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55, 56. Some time after this, Saul of Tarsus had an actual interview with Christ, that, like the other apostles, he might be a witness in person to the fact of his resurrection. 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Acts 9:3–15, 17, 27; 22:6–8, 14; 26:15, 16.

The fact that Stephen saw our Lord standing at his Father’s right hand, and that after this Jesus did personally appear to Saul to constitute him a witness of his resurrection, which, in order to be an apostle, he must be, is not inconsistent with the mandate of the Father, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

The Hebrew word yahshav, rendered sit in Psalm 110:1, is used an immense number of times in the Old Testament, and is in a very large proportion of these cases rendered dwell. Thus (Genesis 13:12), “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain.” Again (Genesis 45:10), “And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen.” Also, “David dwelt in the country of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 27:7. These examples could be extended to a great length, and kindred uses of the word are very numerous. But it is to be observed that Abraham, and Lot, and Jacob, and David, the persons spoken of in the texts, who dwelled or, as rendered in Psalm 110:1, who sat in the places named, were not, during the time in which they acted thus, immovably fixed to those several places, but were capable of going and returning during the very time in question. And the Greek word kathizo, used in the New Testament for Christ’s act of sitting at the Father’s right hand, though more generally used in the sense of sitting, is also used precisely like yahshav in the texts above.

When our Lord went away, it was not simply that He should act as intercessor for His people, He also had another work to do. He says: “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2, 3. We cannot doubt that this work is wrought under our Lord’s personal inspection; and it is performed during the period that He is at the Father’s right hand.

The expression, “right hand,” is especially worthy of attention. In defining the Hebrew word yahmeen, i.e. right hand, Gesenius says: “To sit on the right hand of the king, as the highest place of honor, e.g., spoken of the queen (1 Kings 2:19; Psalm 14:9); of one beloved of the king and vicegerent of the kingdom. Psalm 110:1.”

When our Lord spoke of going away to intercede for His people, he said: “I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I.” John 14:26–28. In fulfilling His office of intercessor, or high priest, He has assigned to Him the highest place of honor in the presence of a greater; for He sits on the right hand of His Father’s throne. He is not, however, to sustain this relation always. It lasts while He pleads for sinful men. When it ceases, the impenitent are to be made His footstool, and the dominion, and glory, and kingdom being given Him, He sits down upon His own throne. Revelation 3:21. This gift of the heathen to Christ is when the Father sits in judgment, as we have seen from Daniel 7:9–14. We can well understand that at this tribunal the question is determined with His iron scepter. The determination of the cases of the righteous in showing that they have perfected the work of overcoming, and that they are worthy to have their sins blotted out is the final work of our Lord as high priest. When this is accomplished, His priesthood is closed forever, and He assumes His kingly throne to judge His enemies and to deliver and reward His saints.

  1. The Saviour, being crowned king at the close of His priestly office, begins the exercise of His kingly power by delivering His people, and by bringing to trial, and pronouncing judgment upon, and executing, His enemies.

The one hundred and tenth psalm, though it speaks very distinctly of the priesthood of Christ, enters even more largely into the exercise of His kingly office. It very clearly reveals the fact that our Lord acts as judge by virtue of His kingly authority. Thus verse 1 assigns to him, as priest, the place of honor at His Father’s right hand, limiting His priesthood, however, by an event which changes His office from priest to king. Verse 2 states the very act of making Christ king, and makes His enemies His footstool. Thus it says: “The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” The first clause of this verse is parallel to Psalm 2:6, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” The heavenly Zion (See Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1) is the place of Christ’s coronation. The last clause is the very words of the Father to the Son, when He crowns Him king. This is sufficiently obvious from our common English version. But it is made still more evident from the French translation of Davie Martin, in which the two clauses are connected by the words, “in saying.” Thus: “The Lord shall transmit out of Zion the scepter of thy strength, in saying: Rule in the midst of thy enemies.”


All the Holy Angels Attend Christ


Our Lord being thus inducted into His kingly office, and proceeding to the exercise of His power against His enemies, the next verse states the sympathy of His people with this work: “Thy people shall be willing in the days of thy power; in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy youth.” Instead of “the day of thy power,” Martin’s French Bible reads, “The day that thou shalt assemble thy army in holy pomp.” This is the time when the Son of man descends in power and great glory, and the armies of Heaven, i.e.; all the holy angels attend and surround Him. Matthew 24:30, 31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18; Revelation 19:11–21. The people of God are to unite with Christ in His rule over the nations of wicked men. Revelation 2:26, 27; Psalm 2:6–9. The morning of this verse must be the morning of the day, which it mentions. One of the earliest events of that day is the resurrection of the just, when, like their Lord, they are born from the dead to life immortal. Revelation 20:4–6; Luke 20:35, 36; Colossians 1:18; Hosea 13:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:42–44, 51–54.

The fourth verse of Psalm 110 confirms with an oath the priesthood of Christ. His prophetic office is the subject of solemn promise. Deuteronomy 18:15–18. His priesthood is established by an oath. Psalm 110:4. His kingly office is the subject of a fixed decree. Psalm 2:6, 7. But the forever of His priesthood, as expressed by this verse, is limited by the fact that at a certain point of time He is to cease to plead for sinful men, and they are to be made His footstool.

It is important to observe that there are in this psalm two Lords, the Father and the Son. One in the original is called Jehovah; the other is called Adonai. The word “LORD” in small capitals is used for Jehovah. But the Lord at His right hand (verse 1) is Adonai, the Son. So we read of the Son in verse 5. “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.” This will evidently be in the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Revelation 6:15–17; 19:11–21; Isaiah 24:21–23.

Our Lord does not thus destroy His enemies by virtue of His kingly office until He has first judged them, for one of the first acts of His kingly power is to proceed to the judgment of His enemies. He represents Himself as judging by reason of His kingly office. Matthew 25:34, 40. It is in the exercise of this power that He judges His enemies. So Psalm 110:6 reads thus: “He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.” This is the work in the day of His power, and to this work His people shall consent. Verse 3. This is indeed the great day of His wrath, and none shall be able to stand except those whose sins are blotted out. The wicked kings of the earth shall fall before Him when He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

Instead of saying, as does our version, “He shall wound the heads over many countries,” Martin’s Bible uses the singular number, and says, “The chief who rules over a great country.” This is a plain allusion to Satan. The Hebrew word rendered wound in this text is by Gesenius defined thus: “To smite through and through; to dash in pieces, to crush.” And such will be the punishment of Satan when the God of peace shall bruise the prince of darkness under the feet of his people. Romans 16:20; Genesis 3:15; 1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14.

These passages clearly mark the transition from the priesthood of Christ to His kingly office. Human probation closes with the priesthood of Christ. Those who are found in their sins after our Lord has taken His kingly power, must be destroyed as His enemies. His priesthood terminates when He has obtained the acquittal of His people, and secured the blotting out of their sins at the tribunal of His Father. Then and there He is crowned king; and from that coronation scene He comes as king to our earth to deliver all who at that examination of the books are accounted worthy to have part in the world to come, and in the resurrection of the just. Daniel 7:9, 10; 12:1; Luke 20:35, 35; 21:36.

The righteous dead are “accounted worthy” of a part in the resurrection to immortal life before they are raised from among the dead. Luke 20:35, 36; Philippians 3:11; 1 Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 21:4–6. They awake with the likeness of Christ. Psalm 17:15. We may be certain, therefore, that the investigation and decision of their cases is an accomplished fact prior to their resurrection; for that event is declarative of their final justification in the judgment.

But Luke 21:36 uses the same expression both in Greek and in English respecting those that are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, that Luke 20:35, 36 uses respecting those who are asleep. As the latter, before the resurrection, are “accounted worthy” to be made like the angels, so the former are “accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” The things that shall come to pass before the deliverance of the saints, are the events of the time of trouble such as never was. Daniel 12:1. And those who are accounted worthy to escape these things are also worthy to stand before the Son of man at His appearing.


Accounted Worthy of Salvation


This act of accounting worthy does, therefore, relate to their eternal salvation, and is performed before they enter that great time of trouble at which they are to be delivered; for that does not commence until the standing up of Michael, which is but another term for the coronation of Christ, or the beginning of His reign upon His own throne. But Michael, or Christ, does not take His throne till He has finished His work as priest at the tribunal of His Father. It is at that tribunal that the righteous dead are accounted worthy of the resurrection to immortality, and the righteous living are accounted worthy to escape the anguish of the time of trouble, and to stand before the Son of man. Those only can be accounted worthy of this whose record in the book of God’s remembrance shows them to have been perfect overcomers. The Saviour, while yet high priest, confesses the names of such before His Father and the holy angels, and secures the blotting out of their sins. Those who shall be raised to immortality, and those who shall escape the things coming upon the earth and stand before the Son of man, are severally counted worthy of this before the priesthood of Christ is closed. We cannot therefore doubt that with both these classes the investigation and decision of the judgment is passed before the Saviour takes the throne of His glory and begins the destruction of His enemies. The righteous dead come first in the order of the investigative judgment; and while their cases are being examined and decided, probation continues to the living.

It is certainly most natural that the cases of the righteous dead should be the first to come up in the investigative judgment for their names stand first in the book of God’s remembrance. Reason would therefore teach us that these cases must earliest come into account before God. But we are not left simply to the reasonableness of this order of events. We have direct proof that probation to the living continues after the judgment hour has actually arrived: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 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; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” Revelation 14:6–14.

The first angel ushers in the hour of God’s judgment by a solemn announcement to all the inhabitants of the earth that it has actually commenced. But the second and third angels, who unite with this proclamation, deliver their messages in the judgment hour itself, and they address themselves to men still in probation. We have already learned that God the Father sits in judgment, as described in Daniel 7, before the advent of our Lord to this earth. And in Revelation 14 the fact that the hour of God’s judgment has come is announced to the inhabitants of the earth by a mighty proclamation. The judgment scene of Daniel 7 is closed by the coronation of Christ. And the judgment hour of Revelation 14 is followed by our Lord’s being seen upon the white cloud with a crown upon His head, a proof that His priesthood has then given place to His kingly office. Each of these pertains to the closing events of this dispensation. There can be, therefore, no doubt that the hour of God’s judgment announced in Revelation 14 is the time when God the Father sits in judgment, as described in Daniel 7:9–14.


Children’s Story — God’s Mercy

For this story we need to go back to the year 1948. I was just a little lad at that time, but the story is not about me, it is about a schoolmaster in a country about ten thousand miles away from where I lived. Today we call the country Indonesia. This man was a schoolmaster and he was a Christian. He belonged to the Reform Church. They called it the Javanese Reform Church, and he was a good Christian, as he understood it. He was very faithful in his church attendance, and he was very involved in all the activities of the church.

One day someone knocked on his door and wanted to sell him a book. He bought the book Bible Readings for the Home Circle, mostly I think, just to get the salesman off his doorstep. He did not read it, he just stuck it away on the shelf and forgot about it. That could have been the end of his story, but our God is a faithful and good God. He does not want anyone to perish. He did not give up, just because that man did not listen.

Let’s take the story five years later to the year 1953. This schoolmaster had a little girl in his class. That little girl was the daughter of an Adventist pastor. She had been brought up, as all Adventist children should be brought up, to be a missionary for God. She loved her teacher, and she wanted to do something for him. So she came to him one day and asked, “Would you like to come to my church on Sabbath?” Her teacher said, “No, I have my own church. I do not need to go to your church.” That was the second time he turned his back on the opportunity for truth. But the Lord had not given up on him yet.

We need to fast-forward the story to the year 1992. By this time, the man was getting to be quite an old man. He had a daughter who was married and living in Cambridge, England. One day her husband got a little invitation card put through his door. I do not know who put it through the door, but someone gave him the card offering Bible lessons through the mail. This man filled in the card with his name and address and he sent it back. After receiving three lessons he wrote and said he didn’t want them anymore. But the Lord knows what He is doing. Do you believe that? During the three weeks, when that man received Bible lessons, his father-in-law, from ten thousand miles away in Indonesia, was on a visit to England to see his daughter and son-in-law.

He saw the Bible lessons lying around the house, and so he wrote to the people who sent out the Bible lessons and said, “Would you mind sending the Bible lessons to me?” Those people were very willing to do that. The time came when his vacation in England was over, and it was time to go back to Indonesia. So he wrote to the people sending out the Bible lessons and he said, “Would it be possible for you to send those lessons out to Indonesia to me?” The people said, “Yes, we would be delighted to do that.” So he went on his way back to Indonesia.

When he got back to his little town in Indonesia, there was a pile of lessons waiting for him. He was thrilled and started studying these lessons. He wrote a letter back to England and said, “Look, I am conducting a Bible study class in my church on Wednesday nights. Would you mind if I took these Bible lessons along to my church and shared them with the folk there?” Well, you don’t need to know what the answer to that question was, do you?

The weeks went by, and the months went by, and the man received Bible lessons for maybe five months. Then he received lesson number eighteen. That lesson came to him like a bombshell. He was so convicted by the Holy Spirit about the Bible Sabbath. It was tremendous! He had been, what he believed, a faithful follower of God for so many decades of his life, but now, suddenly, he was reading in God’s Word that he had been breaking God’s law all that time. This was a terrible shock to him! He wrote a letter back to the people in England, but I guess he forgot which language he was writing in, and he sent the letter written in Dutch! The people in England received this letter, but they could not understand a word of it. They wrote back, and encouraged him, and eventually they found someone who could read Dutch to read the letter to them.

That was a man who was deeply under conviction. He knew that what he had studied about the Sabbath was the truth. He was certain of that. He was also certain that he had been breaking God’s law for all those years and there had to be a change. He knew he could not go on as before.

The last time I heard from that man, because my wife and I were the people sending the Bible lessons to him, he told us that he and his wife had found a Seventh-day Adventist Church and they were worshipping there.

You know, I have a little picture in my mind that I hope one day comes true. One day we are going to be in heaven walking on that street of gold through the New Jerusalem. Mr. S. and his wife will be there. They are going to meet a man whom they have not seen for many, many years who sold them a book. They are going to meet a woman, who as a little girl, invited them to church. And I will meet them, too. I have never met them. I do not know what they look like. All I know is that I have written letters and Mr. S. has written letters to me. But I want to meet him, too. That man knew that the Lord gave him three tries, over nearly half a century, because the Lord does not give up. But the Lord could help that man only because faithful people played their part.

That man who sold the book, maybe thought he had wasted his time. But he had sown the seed. What he did that day was not forgotten. And the little girl who went to her favorite teacher in school, and said, “Will you come to church with me on Sabbath?” played her part in that story, too. Her part will not be forgotten, either. The Bible says that if we sow faithfully, we shall reap, if we fail not. I think we are in the sowing time. I believe that when the Latter Rain is poured out, we are going to reap great harvests. But you only reap great harvests if you sow plenty of seeds, and you need to be sowing those seeds now.

Do not get discouraged if you do not see any immediate results. Just sow the seeds, tend them and leave the growing to the Lord. In due course there will be a good harvest.


Food For Life — Designer Surroundings

The Creator chose for our first parents the surroundings best adapted for their health and happiness. He did not place them in a palace or surround them with the artificial adornments and luxuries that so many today are struggling to obtain. He placed them in close touch with nature and in close communion with the holy ones of heaven.

“In the garden that God prepared as a home for His children, graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. There were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. On their branches the birds caroled their songs of praise. Under their shadow the creatures of the earth sported together without a fear.

“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.” Genesis 2:15. 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 plan of life which God appointed for our first parents has lessons for us. Although sin has cast its shadow over the earth, God desires His children to find delight in the works of His hands. The more closely His plan of life is followed, the more wonderfully will He work to restore suffering humanity. The sick need to be brought into close touch with nature. An outdoor life amid natural surroundings would work wonders for many a helpless and almost hopeless invalid.

“The noise and excitement and confusion of the cities, their constrained and artificial life, are most wearisome and exhausting to the sick. The air, laden with smoke and dust, with poisonous gases, and with germs of disease, is a peril to life. The sick, for the most part shut within four walls, come almost to feel as if they were prisoners in their rooms. They look out on houses and pavements and hurrying crowds, with perhaps not even a glimpse of blue sky or sunshine, of grass or flower or tree. Shut up in this way, they brood over their suffering and sorrow, and become a prey to their own sad thoughts.

“And for those who are weak in moral power, the cities abound in dangers. In them, patients who have unnatural appetites to overcome are continually exposed to temptation. They need to be placed amid new surroundings where the current of their thoughts will be changed; they need to be placed under influences wholly different from those that have wrecked their lives. Let them for a season be removed from those influences that lead away from God, into a purer atmosphere . . .

“The pure air, the glad sunshine, the flowers and trees, the orchards and vineyards, and outdoor exercise amid these surroundings, are health-giving, life-giving . . .

“It has a wonderful power to heal diseases caused by the excitements and excesses of fashionable life, a life that weakens and destroys the powers of body, mind, and soul . . .

“Out of doors, amid the things that God has made, breathing the fresh, health-giving air, the sick can best be told of the new life in Christ. Here God’s word can be read. Here the light of Christ’s righteousness can shine into hearts darkened by sin.” Ministry of Healing, 261–266.

Basic Nut Milks

1 c. nuts (almonds or cashews)

4 c. distilled water

1/2 t. sea salt

1/2 c. date pieces

1 t. vanilla

Whiz in blender until creamy and smooth. For thicker milk, increase the nuts.


The Loud Cry

Of all the subjects we like to hear and study, it is the Second Coming of Christ that brings us the most thrilling joy of anticipation. The next most exciting subject, I believe, is the Loud Cry. It stirs our hearts for the climax of victory. Surrounding the Loud Cry is a cluster of events that begin with the national Sunday law and end with the close of probation.

Revelation 18 contains the Loud Cry, which is to be given to the whole world. “And after these things, I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:1–5.

This most powerful message of the Loud Cry will begin as soon as the United States enacts the national Sunday law. Immediately, every nation on earth will be forced by Rome to follow the United States and declare Sunday the universal day of worship.

“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 . . . 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.

It is at this time that the loyal Sabbath-keepers will face the crisis of their lives and make the final decision that they would rather die than sin. By refusing to worship the beast and accept the mark of apostasy, this small remnant will receive the seal of God, and the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon them in the latter rain, enabling them to give the Loud Cry quickly to all the world.

The sealing is a progressive work, and as men and women throughout this planet come to understand what is taking place in the Loud Cry, they will make their decisions in response to the Three Angels’ Messages to accept or reject God’s final appeal. A divine power will be in their lives by words spoken. It will be at this time that Satan will also manifest himself by appearing as though he is Christ returning to the earth. “Satan sees that he is about to lose his case. He cannot sweep in the whole world. He makes one last desperate effort to overcome the faithful by deception. He does this in personating Christ. He clothes himself with the garments of royalty, which have been accurately described in the vision of John. He has power to do this. He will appear to his deluded followers, the Christian world who receive not the love of the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness (transgression of the law), as Christ coming the second time.

“He proclaims himself Christ, and he is believed to be Christ, a beautiful, majestic being clothed with majesty and, with soft voice and pleasant words, with glory unsurpassed by anything that mortal eye had yet beheld. Then his deceived, deluded followers set up a shout of victory, ‘Christ has come the second time! Christ has come! He has lifted up His hands just as He did when He was upon this earth and blessed us.’ ” The Last Day Events, 164.

I believe this to be Satan’s attempt to counterfeit the mighty work of the fourth angel. First, comes the national Sunday law, which is followed by a universal Sunday law. Then come the sealing and the latter rain, which make possible the Loud Cry that Satan tries to counterfeit with his satanic manifestations. But God sends the fourth angel to empower the Loud Cry so that nothing on earth can stop it. Babylon is revealed as fallen, her sins are unmasked, and God calls His people to come out of her that they receive not of her plagues.

Let’s look carefully at eleven points I have compiled about the Loud Cry.

  1. “The Lord has His representatives in all churches. These persons have not had the special testing truths for these last days presented to them under circumstances that brought conviction to heart and mind; therefore they have not, by rejecting light, severed their connections with God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 70.

“Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the great body of Christ’s true followers are still to be found in their communion.” The Great Controversy, 390.

We are not to be discouraged, when we see so many within Adventism being captivated by false teachings. Though they may leave the truth by the millions, there are millions in other churches who will heed the Loud Cry and come out of Babylon to take their place on God’s side with His people.

  1. How are God’s people to react to this Sunday law? First, we must never give the impression that we are resting on Sunday in honor of the Sunday sabbath. We may quietly work within our home on Sunday. We may quietly rest during part of Sunday, as we do on any other day, remembering that it is a workday as God has spoken, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.”

We should spend most of Sunday visiting and giving Bible studies. “We must take a firm stand that we will not reverence the first day of the week as the Sabbath, for it is not the day that was blessed and sanctified by Jehovah, and in reverencing Sunday we should place ourselves on the side of the great deceiver.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 388.

“The people will soon find out what you believe about Sunday and the Sabbath for they will ask questions. Then you can tell them, but not in such a manner as to attract attention to your work. You need not cut short your work by yourself laboring on Sunday . . . Refraining from work on Sunday is not receiving the mark of the beast . . . In places where the opposition is so strong as to arouse persecution, if work is done on Sunday, let our brethren make that day an occasion to do genuine missionary work.” Last Day Events, 139.

“At one time those in charge of our school at Avondale inquired of me, saying: ‘What shall we do? The officers of the law have been commissioned to arrest those working on Sunday.’ I replied: It will be very easy to avoid that difficulty. Give Sunday as a day for doing missionary work. Take the students out to hold meetings in different places, and to do medical missionary work. They will find the people at home and will have a splendid opportunity to present the truth. This way of spending Sunday is always acceptable to the Lord.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 238.

We may conduct Sunday Schools for the children on Sunday, but never a worship service on Sunday. There is a vast difference between these two programs. “When the practices of the people do not come in conflict with the law of God, you may conform to them. If the workers fail to do this, they will not only hinder their own work, but they will also place stumbling blocks in the way of those for whom they labor, and hinder them from accepting the truth. On Sunday there is the very best opportunity for those who are missionaries to hold Sunday Schools, and come to the people in the simplest manner possible, telling them of the love of Jesus for sinners, and educating them in the Scriptures.

“The light that I have is that God’s servants should go quietly to work, preaching the grand, precious truths of the Bible—Christ and Him crucified, His love and infinite sacrifice—showing that the reason why Christ died is because the law of God is immutable, unchangeable, eternal. The Sabbath must be taught in a decided manner. But be cautious how you deal with the idol Sunday. A word to the wise is sufficient.” Maranatha, 177.

Counsel has been clearly given to us about how we are to relate to the human laws of the earthly government and to God’s Law. “The people of God will recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment and will by precept and example teach obedience to it as a sacred duty so long as its authority is exercised within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God we must choose to obey God rather than men. The Word of God must be recognized and obeyed as an authority above that of all human legislation. ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is not to be set aside for a ‘Thus saith the church or the state.’ The crown of Christ is to be uplifted above all the diadems of earthly potentates.” Last Day Events, 142.

  1. The Loud Cry is the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14:9–12. It warns of a fearful judgment to come upon those who will worship the beast and his image. This test is to prepare a people to obey God in the final conflict. “This warning is brought to view in Revelation 14. Here is a threefold message represented as proclaimed by heavenly beings and immediately followed by the coming of the Son of man to reap ‘the harvest of the earth.’ ” The Great Controversy, 311.

Please notice what makes the Loud Cry so different from what the men of God had preached for years. “Heretofore, those who presented the truth of the Third Angel’s Message have often been regarded as mere alarmists. Their predictions that religious intolerance would gain control in the United States, that church and state would unite to persecute those who keep the commandments of God, have been pronounced groundless and absurd . . . But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is soon to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before.

“Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observance of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the Papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred.” The Great Controversy, 605, 606.

  1. The Loud Cry is a mighty appeal to the message of obedience to the Law of God, made possible by the enabling grace of Christ. It is a message of righteousness by faith and justification by faith. Revelation 14:12 says, “Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

“The time of test is just before us, for the Loud Cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 363.

The message is to be a revelation of how God’s love can lift a man out of the pit of sin and give him complete victory over every sin. “The last message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 415.

“The message of Christ’s righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel.”Testimonies, vol. 6, 19.

  1. When will this glory of God be manifested? Revelation 18 tells us it is when the sins of Babylon have reached unto heaven. “When do her sins reach unto heaven? When the law of God is finally made void by legislation.” Last Day Events, 198. This clearly reveals that this is the result of the universal Sunday law.
  2. Now is the time for God to act in which He will commission the fourth mighty angel to join with the Third Angel’s Message. “Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.’ ” Early Writings, 277.
  3. The Loud Cry will penetrate the deepest darkness. “Amid the deepening shadows of earth’s great crises, God’s light will shine brightest, and the song of hope and trust will be heard in clearest and loftiest strains.” Education, 166.
  4. “During the Loud Cry, the church, aided by providential interposition of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town.” Evangelism, 694. “In every city in America the truth is to be proclaimed. In every country of the world the warning message is to be given.” Last Day Events, 208.

“In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and South America, in China, in India, in the isles of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law.” Prophets and Kings, 188.

  1. The whole earth is to be enlightened. “Servants of God with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.

“The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God. The arguments have been presented. The seeds have been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.” The Great Controversy, 612.

  1. The results will be enormous. Conversions will be by the thousands. “The time is coming when there will be as many converted in a day as there were on the day of Pentecost, after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit.

“The safeguards which false shepherds had thrown around their flocks will become as nought; thousands will set out into the light, and work to spread the light. Heavenly intelligences will combine with human agencies. Thus encouraged, the church will indeed arise and shine, throwing all her sanctified energies into the contest; thus the design of God is accomplished; the lost pearls are recovered.” Evangelism, 692.

“When the storm of persecution really breaks . . .many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the Great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 401.

  1. The Loud Cry message will be given rapidly. “The bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightening represents the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 754. “When divine power is combined with human effort, the work will spread like fire in the stubble. God will employ agencies whose origin men will be unable to discern; angels will do a work which men might have had the blessing of accomplishing, had they not neglected to answer the claims of God.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 118.

The prophet Amos describes the finishing of the work like this: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth the seed.” Amos 9:13. “These conversions to the truth will be made with a rapidity that will surprise the church and God’s name alone will be glorified.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 16. “The final movements will be rapid ones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11. This is just what God said in Romans 9: 28, “For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.”

There is a reason for this wonder. The Loud Cry comes with ten times the power of the Midnight Cry that was given in 1844. “I saw the Latter Rain was coming as the Midnight Cry with ten times the power.” Spaulding Magan Collection, 2.

“Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot hurried out of Sodom before her destruction.” Early Writings, 279. But the vast majority will reject the message. “Some will listen to these warnings, but by the vast majority they will be disregarded.” In Heavenly Places, 343. There will be opposers of the message who will try to persuade the people not to accept the message. “The popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.” The Great Controversy, 607.

What a thrill to our souls is the knowledge that the laymen of faith and prayer will be largely used to finish the work of the Loud Cry. “As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through human instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them.” The Great Controversy, 606.

Uneducated men and even children will finish the work. “Many . . . will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the Word of God, is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message of heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and casting off all man’s machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit’s power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord.” Evangelism, 700.

“Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements should be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” Testimonies to Ministers, 300.

“Those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour, will stand the test and trials of the last days. Strengthened by unquestioned faith in Christ, even the illiterate disciple will be able to withstand the doubts and the questions that infidelity can produce, and put to blush the sophistries of scorners. The Lord Jesus will give the disciples a tongue of wisdom that their adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist. Those who could not by reasoning overcome satanic delusions, will bear an affirmative testimony that will baffle supposedly learned men. Words will come from the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted under their testimony.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 187.

We are told that the angels of God will join with us in giving this message to men. “There are many men in our world who are like Cornelius. As God worked with Cornelius, so He worked for those true standard bearers. They will obtain a knowledge of God as Cornelius did through the visitation of angels from heaven.” Last Day Events, 207.

Praise God, the work will be finished and Jesus will come! The question is, will you and I be a part of giving the Loud Cry? Today God is calling you—will you answer?


1901 Rejected, part 2

When Nimrod and his followers declared their independence from the Lord, Nimrod became the first King of Babylon and eventually built the tower of Babel.

“The tower had reached a lofty height, and it was impossible for the workmen at the top to communicate directly with those at the base . . . Confusion and dismay followed. All work came to a standstill . . . in their rage and disappointment they reproached one another . . . Men were made to feel that there is a God who ruleth in the heavens and that He is able to confuse and to multiply confusion in order to teach men that they are only men.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 214.

When the 1903 General Conference adopted a plan for a “World General Conference” with one General Conference President, Ellen White used this tower to illustrate the problems of centralization” as a “confederacy” born of “rebellion against God.” (Testimonies, vol. 8, 213.)

When Israel rejected the Lord as their King, and asked Samuel for a king, this form of centralized government under men eventually led to the division of the nation and destruction of Israel. Men had failed to learn from the tower of Babel that man cannot stand where God is to stand. The same discord generated at the tower of Babel was not comprehended by God’s people. Just as the tower led to confusion, Jerusalem eventually became “the city of confusion.” Isaiah 24:10. Choosing a king only deepened an apostasy into a “conspiracy” that broke the covenant, making Jerusalem a curse. The Lord had to destroy Jerusalem because of a false witness to the world. The prophecy of Isaiah 24:10 is a final day prophecy that applies to spiritual Jerusalem in the final days of earth’s history when the “gleaning grapes” (remnant) “lift the voice” against “the treacherous dealers” which causes “the shaking.” Isaiah 24:13, 14.

Centralization of powers in an hierarchical system in the days of Israel compounded abuses which were considered as treachery against the Lord and a backsliding to the gods of “strangers.” (Isaiah 1:7; Jeremiah 2:11, 25.) The treacherous dealers, according to Scripture, are those who “as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so ye deal treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 3:20.


What Might Have Been


It was the Lord’s plan in 1901 to spare the Church from repeating the history of Israel by a knowledge of their mistakes. But warnings from the messenger in 1901 and at the beginning of the 1903 session were not heeded. (General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 26; 1903, 29–30.)Decentralization had been stressed during the 1890s in an attempt to direct the Church away from a layer system of government. Decentralization was the theme of the 1901 plan of reorganization, which provided for the division of the field into the American General Conference and the European General Conference. The presidents of these conferences were to serve under Christ, the Captain of the 1901 plan. But since the brethren failed to come into unity in an upper room experience, “What might have been” (Testimonies, vol. 8, 104–106), was an impossibility. “Men did not humble themselves before the Lord,” and the presence of the Holy Spirit which was essential to unite men under Christ as “Captain” of the 1901 plan, was “not imparted.”(Testimonies, vol. 8, 104.)

Because men refused to unite under Christ in the 1901 plan, the 1903 plan of centralization under man became a necessity to prevent total fragmentation of the work. To maintain any semblance of organizational unity, the American General Conference transformed itself into “a World General Conference,” and coerced the budding European General Conference to revert to the European Union Conference. The delegates chose one man as General Conference President just as Israel chose a king; and the 1903 plan of centralization under man replaced the 1901 apostolic plan under Christ. This was an hierarchical plan of church organization in which man would rule over man in a layer system of organization. This plan was introduced on April 6, 1903 and was accepted on April 9, 1903.


The Most Terrible Sorrow of My Life


Prior to the 1903 General Conference, Ellen White had doubts about attending the session because of her disappointment over the results of the 1901 conference.

“I do not now expect to attend the General Conference. I should not dare to go; for I am very much worn with the responsibilities . . . I feel very intensely, because I understand the peril of those who as blind men have followed their own counsel. Were I to go to the Conference, I should be compelled to take positions that would cut some to the quick . . .

“The result of the last General Conference has been the greatest, the most terrible sorrow of my life. No change was made . . . they did not walk in the light that the Lord had flashed upon their pathway, but carried into their work the wrong principles that had been prevailing in the work at Battle Creek.

“The Lord has marked every movement made by the leading men in our institutions and conferences. It is a perilous thing to reject the light that God sends.” Letter from Ellen White to Judge Jessie Arthur on January 15, 1903.

Thus, in less than two years, the test of time revealed that “wrong principles” had been carried into the work and “no change” was made after the 1901 session. In spite of her disappointment, Mrs. White arranged to attend the 1903 session which convened March 27, 1903, at Oakland, California.


Brethren Cautioned to Look Beneath the Surface


At the April 5 meeting, she expressed deep concern over the decisions of the delegates that would influence the work of God.

“I have been carrying a very heavy burden. For the last three nights I have slept very little. Many scenes are presented to me. I feel an intense interest in the advancement of the work of God, and I say to our leading brethren, As you consider the questions that shall come before you, you are to look beneath the surface. You are to give careful consideration to every question discussed.” General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 104.


Elder Daniels’ Proposal


The Foreign Mission Board, chaired by A.G. Daniels, was still an international organization between 1901 and 1903, which provided the wedge to introduce the new plan of organization.

On April 6, 1903, one day after Ellen White warned the brethren to look beneath the surface, Elder Daniels made his proposal:

“Now, with reference to making the General Conference Committee the Mission Board: As the work is now shaping, the province of the General Conference Committee is of an advisory character to a large extent—not altogether, by any means—and is of a missionary character or phase.

“One who has not been in our office can scarcely realize what a complete change has been wrought at the headquarters of the General Conference . . .the administration in the United States has all been taken away, and is now placed in the hands of scores of men. But while that has been going on, our missionary problems have been greatly increasing . . .

“I have become convinced that one of the great purposes of the General Conference Committee would be to deal with these world-wide problems everywhere.” General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 100, 101.

Elder Daniels’ proposal was actually a cry for help for a human method to give unity of action within the organization. Men in authority could not work under Christ in the 1901 plan because they failed to come into “working order.” (General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 23.) Without Christ as “the Captain,” the only alternative was a strong central committee under man. A world Conference Committee chaired by one president, a concept foreign to the principles of the 1901 plan, was now proposed to manage “world-wide problems everywhere.”

Elder Daniels continued: “I believe that the Committee ought to be composed something like this: That the president of every Union Conference and the chairman of every Union mission field in the world ought to be a member of that committee. This will give us a larger and more representative committee, even, than we have today. We get the whole world directly represented on the General Conference Committee. Then add to that the heads, the leading men in special departments, such as education, publishing, and medical, and put on a few men of special experience, and special ability from their experience, and you have a thoroughly representative committee, representing all interests of this great work in all parts of our little world. And that will give us a truly representative and General Conference Committee, a World’s Conference Committee.

“Now, that, to my mind, brethren, is what should be the Mission Board of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination . . .Then the members of the committees can go to different parts of the field working harmoniously, every one, though separated, to carry out this policy. Now, there must be some executive body appointed to carry out the policy.” General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 100, 101.


Strong Objections From the Minority


The Mission Board, which was still an international organization, became the vehicle for the American General Conference at Battle Creek to grow into a super conference, a World General Conference.

Acceptance of Elder Daniels’ plan did not come easily. The strong objections of the minority report were supported by the plea of Percy T. Magan claiming the new plan swept away the reorganizational principles of the 1897 and 1901 Conferences and opened the way for the papal form of church government.

“But I want to say to you that any man who has ever read those histories, Neander’s History of the Christian Church, Mosheim’s or any other of the great church historian—any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, . . . are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made . . .

“I do not deny for a moment but what improvements have been made in the distribution of administrative power. I am heartily in favor of all that has been done in regard to Union Conferences, but I say that, as far as the head of the thing is concerned, . . . the moment you vote it you vote yourselves right back where we were two years ago and before it.” Percy T. Magan, General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 150.

E.A. Sutherland stated that it was his impression that the General Conference was to be broken up into three parts: “I understood six years ago, when they elected their president of Europe, and also of Australia, and of this country, that those three men were supposed to be on the same plan . . . and that, when the General Conference should be called, it would be the calling of all of these men from these three parts, and that no one of these presidents would be supposed to occupy any greater position than either of the others . . . I know that it was talked at that time, that it should be so, and this country was divided up into Union Conferences, or we called them districts at that time; but the plan was the same as we are following at the present time.

“I believe, brethren, the thing to do is to go back where we were two years ago in the matter of reorganization, and take it up, and carry it out, and give it a fair trial, because those who have been in the responsible places have admitted that they did not carry out the letter of that,because they did not believe that it was possible. I believe that it is possible.” E. A. Sutherland, General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 168, 169.


Unbelief Gives Birth to 1903 Plan


The majority of the brethren simply “did not believe it was possible!” The same unbelief that prevented the Israelites from entering the promised land, permeated the General Conference and prevented the “Captain” of the heavenly hosts from leading His people into the heavenly Canaan. In spite of many hours and days of deliberations, the 1903 plan of centralization gathered support. Elder G. I. Butler exerted a strong influence for centralization.

“We are talking now on principles, brethren, and you will pardon one of the old hands, who has been in the work for so many years, and who has had the presidency of the General Conference for thirteen terms, for saying that he fails to see that anything of a kingly nature can be brought into it. I do not believe there can . . .

“The difficulty in all these things, I believe, is in regard to the principles being put in practice by the men that are placed in office . . . I cannot see a particle of danger in our old system of organization . . .

“If men will walk humbly before God, and remain willing to be instructed by the Testimonies of His Spirit, they will never find anything wrong in the old system of organization brought under the express influence of the Spirit of God . . .

“As one of the old hands, I see in this new constitution the same principles that we had in the beginning, that were endorsed by Sister White at the first. This is why I favor the new constitution.” G. I. Butler, General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 163.


James White’s Position on Organization


  1. I. Butler was a known advocate of “centralization.” He propounded his position to the General Conference in a paper on “Leadership” in 1873. (Review and Herald, November 18, 1873.) His position was endorsed by the delegates at that conference which stirred James White to write an editorial on the dangers of centralized leadership as best understood by the “prophetic eye of the Son of God” when he indicated “all ye are brethren.”

“And at no time during his public ministry does Christ intimate that anyone of his disciples should be designated as their leader . . .

“And there is no intimation that the apostles of Christ designated one of their number above another as their leader . . .”The apostle exalts Christ as the great head of the church, and the only one to whom she should look for leadership, in Hebrews 12:1, 2.

“Moses was simply a faithful servant in the Jewish house, while Christ is a son over his own house. Moses was not a lord in the Jewish house. He was servant, while Christ was lord . . .

“Christ, then, is the leader of His people in all the ages . . .

“But here we wish it distinctly understood that officers were not ordained in the Christian church, to order, or to command the church, and ‘to lord it over God’s heritage’ . . . Christ will lead His people, if they will be led.” James White, Review and Herald, December 1, 1874.

In 1875, G. I. Butler’s position on leadership was considered “incorrect” and was “rescinded” as recorded in the Conference Constitution (August 1875). Elder White later emphasized in an editorial in 1881 that no one “can properly represent Christ who surrenders his judgment to his fellowmen.”

“It was not the design of God that any system of organization should exist in the Christian Church that would take the leadership from Christ.

“The minister who throws himself on any Conference Committee for direction, takes himself out of the hands of Christ. And that committee that takes into its own hands the work of directing the ambassadors for Christ, takes a fearful responsibility. ‘One is your master [leader], even Christ, and all ye are brethren.’ Matthew 23:8. May God preserve to us our organization and form a church discipline in its original form.” Review and Herald, January 4, 1881.

Unfortunately, James White had been laid to rest years previously and he could offer no rebuttal to G. I. Butler’s position. The majority of the delegates were charmed into voting for a World General Conference on April 11, 1903 in the most controversial session in the history of the denomination. Eighty-five delegates gave an affirmative vote, twenty delegates were opposed, and three abstained. (General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 73.) A layer system of authority under man in 1903 replaced the 1901 plan of Jesus given through the Lord’s messenger and supported by the teachings of Jesus.

“Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be among you.” Mark 10:42.


The Europeans are Forced to Submit


After the 1901 plan was officially rejected at the 1903 Session, President L. R. Conradi went home as “First Vice-President . . . to labor in the European Union Conferences and Missions, as the Executive Committee (in Battle Creek) may advise, and to preside at the councils of the members of the Executive Committee, which may be held in Europe, in the absence of the president.” General Conference Bulletin, 1903, 145. The majority were determined to have a “one-man president” over the whole world. Although the Europeans objected, they were finally forced to their knees at Friedensau in 1907 to accept their position as a Union Conference. World control of the ministry, the Sabbath school, the publishing work, the educational, and medical work by the General Conference Committee headquarters in America was now undisputed.

The Stone which was to be the Head of the corner, was set at naught by the delegates of the 1903 session. Nevertheless, Ellen White supported Elder Daniels just as Samuel supported King Saul.


A Pretense of Building on the Right Foundation


Ellen White had absented herself from the discussion of the 1903 plan, but a few days after the 1903 session was adjourned, the Lord gave her a special message for the Church. Two years previously when planning for the reorganization in 1901, she had made it clear that the brethren were to go back to the “foundation” and “build on a different principle.” General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 25. The Lord revealed the truth about the 1903 plan on April 21, 1903.

“The heavenly Teacher inquired: ‘What stronger delusion can beguile the mind than the pretense that you are building on the right foundation and that God accepts your works, when in reality you are working out many things according to worldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 245.


They Have Chosen Their Own Ways  I Will Choose Their Delusion


The delegates at the 1903 session got off the “foundation” when they failed to “look beneath the surface.”

“One who sees beneath the surface, who reads the hearts of all men, says of those who have had great light . . . ‘Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions…’ ‘God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,’ ‘because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved,’ ‘but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ Isaiah 66: 3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 10, 22.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 249.


Problems in Managing A Great Business


The difficulty in administrating a World General Conference is best illustrated by Elder Daniels himself who referred to this experience as being “pressed by seemingly endless problems . . . and succession of crises. Extensive travel . . .necessary that he might have first hand knowledge . . . crowded him for time. He failed to ‘tarry’ he said, until he was endued with ‘power from on high’. . . He had been much like the busy conductor of a transcontinental train, the captain of a great ship, or the manager of a great business concern. He called it the ‘peril of sheer activity of God’—the encroachment of the mechanical, and the submergence of the spiritual. That he said, was where he had erred.” Movement of Destiny, 25.

Saddled with the system that replaced the 1901 plan, A. G. Daniels misinterpreted its pitfalls as his own shortcomings. How many World General Conference Presidents with finite minds could share his frustrations in attempting to fulfill a position requiring the One with infinite capacity?

When the 1901 plan was rejected, Battle Creek could not be preserved. But the denominational pillars of faith had to be saved from pantheistic heresies described as “the alpha of deadly heresies.” Series B, No. 2, 50. The 1903 hierarchical plan became necessary. Although the 1903 plan could not bring men into one accord, the presence of Elder Daniels as “the right man in the right place” (Series B, no. 2, 41) preserved the denomination from falling to pantheistic theories that infiltrated our ranks through the influence of liberal Protestants visiting Battle Creek. A Seventh-Day Baptist educator may have been instrumental in undermining the faith of Kellogg and many others at Battle Creek. (See Movement of Destiny, 351, 352.)

An hierarchical form of church government was required by default. When the brethren failed to enter into an “upper room” experience, thy also failed to see “a particle of danger in the old system of organization” and the “new constitution.”

The 1903 plan that allowed a powerful personality like Daniels to meet the Alpha would permit the Omega to follow (Series B no. 2, 50); because, the 1903 plan based on human power allowed “self” to be exalted. Self-exaltation was the basis of the Alpha. (Ibid. 91.) It is certainly a problem in an hierarchical form of ecclesiastical rule. Placing the entire denominational leadership under an hierarchical plan would affect the attitude of every worker. Therefore the entire Church leadership would be threatened by the Omega.

Will a “one man president” of “a world General Conference” be preserved from the Omega (pantheistic theories) that are rampant among other denominations today?

Will a “one man president” meet the deadly heresies of the Omega “with full steam ahead”? Or, will he fail with it?

Will the delegates at G. C. ’85 consider the 1901 apostolic plan, a plan designed by Jesus prior to His ascension, and given again to His people at the 1901 session?

Will the Lord raise up delegates who will stand as Sutherland “and take it up, and carry it out, and give it a fair trial?”

Will the delegates present a resolution to reconsider the 1901 plan?


No Time to Celebrate, part 1

In the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a tremendous controversy arose. Speaking about what took place there, Ellen White said: “In Minneapolis God gave precious gems of truth to His people in new settings. This light from heaven by some was rejected with all the stubbornness the Jews manifested in rejecting Christ, and there was much talk about standing by the old landmarks.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 30. Do you know what a landmark is? If you live out in the country, you probably have stakes marking the corners of your property that show where your property ends and someone else’s begins. That is a landmark in the earthly sense. During these meetings there was a great deal of controversy over landmarks—the spiritual landmarks or the pillars of our faith. Sister White said, “But there was evidence they knew not what the old landmarks were. There was evidence and there was reasoning from the Word that commended itself to the conscience; but the minds of men were fixed, sealed against the entrance of light, because they had decided it was a dangerous error removing the ‘old landmarks,’ when it was not moving a peg of the old landmarks, but they had perverted ideas of what constituted the old landmarks.” Ibid. She was talking here about the Editor of the Review and Herald, the President of the General Conference and some others. What are the landmarks that should not be removed? Mrs. White made this clear in the same message: “The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having a decided relation to God’s people upon earth, [also] the first and second angels’ messages and the third (angels messages), unfurling the banner on which was inscribed ‘The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God’s law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark.” Ibid.

Continuing to talk about the situation in 1888 she said, “Now at the present time God designs a new and fresh impetus shall be given to His work. Satan sees this, and he is determined it shall be hindered. He knows that if he can deceive the people who claim to believe present truth, [and make them believe that] the work the Lord designs to do for His people is the removing of the old landmarks, something which they should, with most determined zeal, resist, then he exults over the deception he has led them to believe . . . That which is food to the churches is regarded as dangerous, and should not be given them. And this slight difference of ideas is allowed to unsettle the faith, to cause apostasy, to break up unity, to sew discord, all because they do not know what they are striving about themselves.” Ibid., 31.


The Three Angels ’ Messages


The landmarks that were mentioned are: the truth about the sanctuary and its cleansing, the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments (See Revelation 11:19), the Three Angels’ Messages (See Revelation 14:6–12), and the nonimmortality of the soul. The Three Angels’ Messages then, are one of the “old landmarks” and thus need to be clearly understood by God’s people.

The First Angel’s Message is an announcement that the hour of God’s judgment, is come. (See Revelation 14:6, 7.) The devil does not like that. He is trying to persuade people that they do not need to worry about the judgement, so that they will be lost. But the Bible says that it is here, and cannot be avoided, so we need to be prepared.

The Second Angel’s Message, in verse eight, announces that Babylon has fallen. Babylon here is described both as a city and as a woman. A woman, in Bible prophecy, represents a church. (See Jeremiah 6; 2 Corinthians 11; Song of Solomon 6; Ezekiel 23.)

The Third Angel’s Message in verses 9–12 is the focal point of the entire last half of the book of Revelation. It warns against worshipping the beast (who is clearly identified and described in Revelation 13:1–10) and receiving his mark. It further describes the people who receive this message and act on it. They are described as the people of God who keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus.

In this article I would like to study four central features of the Three Angels’ Messages:

  1. The Three Angels’ Messages are a special message to the people who live at the end of the world.

Revelation 19 contains one of the most dramatic descriptions of the Second Coming of Christ found in the Bible. He is described as riding on a white horse and wearing a robe dipped in blood.His name is called The Word of God, and the armies in heaven follow Him. (See Revelation 19:11–14.) As the leader of this great army, He comes to confront the united force that is arrayed against Him, as described in Revelation 19:19–21: “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worship his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” This is the war of Armageddon.

The Three Angels’ Messages are especially for the last generation that lives on the earth. If you accept the three angels’ messages and become part of God’s people who keep the commandments, you will obtain eternal life. But if you reject the Third Angel’s Message and receive the mark of the beast or worship the image of the beast, you will lose eternal life. “And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:21.

All of the wicked will drink of the wine of the wrath of God. What is the wine of the wrath of God? Revelation 15:1 says, “Then I saw another sign in heaven great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues for in them the wrath of God is complete.” If you receive the mark of the beast, you will receive the seven last plagues. You will be part of the group that decides to fight the Lord when He comes in the clouds of heaven, and you will be destroyed.


Power to Overcome


  1. If you receive the Three Angels’ Messages and accept them, you will, through the power of the Holy Spirit, keep the commandments of God. That is the dividing line, in the last generation, between those who are saved and those who are lost. People say, “Oh, but Pastor John, I can’t keep the law.” Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. And Paul added, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

One of the main reasons for the gift of the Holy Spirit is to give you power so that you can keep all of God’s law. If you ask, you will receive the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will give you the power to keep God’s law. (See Luke 11:13.)

This is one of the most exciting things in the world to see happen. I have seen miracles take place in the lives of prisoner’s who were slaves to the vilest sins. Their thoughts, words and actions were all changed and their lives came into harmony with God’s law. What excuse do we have for not overcoming? If God can transform the lives of the men and women I have seen, he can change you! The Bible says that in the day of final judgment the people who are lost will be speechless because they will not have any excuse, the evidence will be overwhelming that they could have been saved.

  1. Prophecy makes it very clear that almost all of the world will reject the Three Angels’ Messages. I am told very frequently, “But Pastor John, I’m the only one in my family who believes this message. Everyone else thinks I am crazy.” If this is the way you feel, do not be discouraged; just remember that God’s people have always been a small minority. In the last days, only a small group will accept God’s way, the majority will reject the final warning and be lost.

Look at what Satan will do to ensnare them: “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived . . . He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads.” Revelation 13:14, 16. This work of deception is very successful. Notice what it will be like when Jesus comes back: “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” Revelation 19:17.

Almost the entire world will reject the Three Angels’ Messages, and in the process of rejecting it they will seal their doom. That is why all through the New Testament it is predicted that when Jesus comes back again, the whole world will mourn. Why are they going to mourn? Because they have received the mark of the beast, worshipped his image and they are not ready to meet the Lord. While the saints are rejoicing (See 2 Thessalonians 1), most of the world will be weeping and wailing at their great loss.


A Great Deception


  1. They will reject the Three Angels’ Messages because of the great deceptions that the evil spirits bring on the world. What are these great deceptions? The Bible predicts that one of them will be a great development of spiritualism within Christianity. This spiritualism, disguised with the garb of Christianity, will be accepted by many people who will not even recognize what it really is. This prophecy is being fulfilled right now in Christian churches everywhere. Does this surprise you? It has been clearly predicted in the Bible: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13–15.

Can you tell the difference between a preacher of righteousness and a preacher of unrighteousness? If you cannot tell the difference, you are going to be deceived. Think it through. A preacher of righteousness will never come to you if you are living in fornication, adultery, abusing your body or breaking God’s law in any way and tell you to rejoice and be happy and praise the Lord because you will be saved! A preacher of righteousness will never do that! Any preacher that tries to make you happy and joyful while you are living in sin is a preacher of the devil and leading you straight to hell. Do not misunderstand me. God created human beings for happiness and He wants you to be joyful, but here is the catch. The Bible says that it is impossible to have true happiness if you are breaking God’s law. And the devil has been trying to disprove that for thousands of years, but it is still true.

People are in all kinds of sin and so they are depressed. When they go to church they need to find out how their sins and guilt can be taken away so they can receive power from the Holy Spirit to live a new life. But when they come to church, instead of hearing how to overcome, the preacher tells them to be joyful, sing, clap, wave and be happy. They get the drums and the music going and everyone gets an emotional “high,” but they are still in sin! And if you are in sin, you are on the way to eternal destruction. People are getting a “high” when they go to church, but no one has told them about confessing, repenting and forsaking their sins. They just say, “You are forgiven.” The devil is anesthetizing people today so that they are walking down the path that leads to destruction. They are clapping, dancing and singing their way to destruction.


Lying Wonders


Why do people reject the Three Angels’ Messages? Because of the deceptions of the spirits. I have just pointed out one of the big deceptions, but there are others. One of them is found in Revelation 16:13, 14: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

The majority of the people in the world in the last days will be deceived because they believe what they see. The devil will perform many undeniable miracles and they will be swept off their feet.

I believe in miracles, but Jesus never ever asked anyone to believe that He was the Messiah because He worked miracles. In Matthew 4:3 we read how the devil tempted Jesus and asked Him to work a miracle to prove that He was the Messiah. This was a terrible temptation because Jesus could have done it. He could have spoken and instantly every stone in sight would have turned into a loaf of bread, but He would not do it. There is a moral principle involved here. Your faith is never to be based on miracle working. Jesus would not appease the devil by working a miracle. “But he answered and said, It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.

Jesus could have avoided being crucified by working a miracle. “Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.” Luke 23:8, 9. Jesus would not work a miracle even to avoid going to the cross.

In John 4 the story is recorded of a man who came to Jesus because his son was at the point of death. He appealed to Jesus to heal his son, but in his mind he said, “If Jesus heals my son, then I will know that He is the Messiah.” Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” John 4:48. Instead of instantly healing his son, Jesus rebuked him because he was looking for miracles as a basis for his faith.

If your faith is based on miracles or what you can see, you will be deceived. You have to test every miracle that you see by the Bible. Remember what Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

There will be a small group of people who decide to live by every word in the Bible and they will live in harmony with God’s law. They are called the saints. The word “saint” comes from a Greek word that means a holy person. Paul said that God’s “law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12. A holy person is one whose life is in harmony with God’s law. An unholy person is one that breaks God’s law. “Here are the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.

If you decide that you will live by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth, you will not depend upon what you can see or hear. You will depend on what is written in God’s Book. If you do this, God promises that no plague will come nigh your dwelling. (Psalms 91:10.) God is looking for loyal people and numbers do not matter to Him. It is quality that counts with the Lord. If you want to be one of those people described in Revelation 14:12, you can be. All you need to do is make the right decision. Jesus says, “If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before My Father in heaven.”

There are many voices for you to listen to if you want to, but choose to listen to the still small voice that says, “This is the way, walk in it.” Walk in the way of God’s commandments. Walk in the way of His Word. Do not worry about what all your friends, associates, relatives or other people are doing. Choose today to walk in the way of God’s commandments.


Editorial — The Abomination Of Desolation

Matthew says, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Matthew 24:15, 16. Luke says it this way: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Luke 21:20–22.

Jesus was here answering two questions asked by His disciples. The questions were, “When shall these things [the destruction of the Jewish temple] be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3. The disciples mistakenly thought they were asking only one question. Thus “the prophecy which He uttered was twofold in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day.” The Great Controversy, 25.

What will be the sign today that the Roman armies have besieged Jerusalem? The prophet of God has not left us to guess, but has clearly told us what the sign for flight will be. “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. And now, instead of seeking expensive dwellings here, we should be preparing to move to a better country, even a heavenly.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 464, 465.

“When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.

“As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return.” Ibid., 451.

In that fearful day, men in responsible positions in God’s professed church will work contrary to God. Speaking of these men the prophet says: “In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1884.

God has warned us of this fearful time. “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 81.

Are we among those who are enjoying the comforts of the world and waiting for some future time to make a thorough preparation for eternity? “I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.

“I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation.” Early Writings, 71.

Dear reader, may this not be your experience. In the name of Jesus, who died for us, I plead with you to make your calling and election sure. Agonize with God in prayer to help you make that necessary preparation, before it is too late. He will never turn one weeping contrite one away. In the fearful days ahead, you can be among that number who have found a place of safety and shelter in the Rock of Ages.