The reformation was the result of two significant factors, a revival of learning and the return of the Word of God. While the Bible was the principle cause of the Reformation, without learning, it could not, by itself, have caused the great changes of the Reformation. Without the benefit of learning, the work that Wycliffe began in England would not have had the lasting affect it did. It would have been much like the brief bursts of light that had from time to time shone forth in earlier times; they shone for a little time, only to be crushed out by the darkness that everywhere prevailed. Times, however, were changing, and a new era was beginning.

After the death of Wycliffe, his followers traveled from one end of England to the other, spreading the gospel. Townspeople crowded around preachers of truth, and many of the nobility accepted the new teaching; some even of the royal family believed. For a time it appeared that England would accept the reformed faith.

The favorable reception with which the gospel was received encouraged Wycliffe’s followers to advance even further. Placards aimed at the priests and friars, and the abuses they defended, were placed on the walls of some of the cathedrals. In 1395, the friends of the gospel petitioned Parliament for general reforms. Then, not fully understanding the true nature of government and the truth which they were teaching, they asked Parliament to abolish celibacy and various other errors of Rome. Emboldened by early successes and the absence of the king in Ireland, they fastened their Twelve Conclusions on the gate of St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey.

When Arundel, archbishop of York, and Baybrooke, bishop of London, had read these propositions, they quickly found their way to the king and urged him to return. On his return to London, he forbade the Parliament to take up the propositions the Wycliffites had petitioned them to consider. He then summoned before him the most influential supporters of the reformed movement and threatened them with death if they persisted in defending their opinions.

Richard had scarcely withdrawn his hand from the gospel when, as the historian says, God withdrew his hand from Richard. (See D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, book 17, chapter 9.) His cousin, Henry of Hertford, son of the famous Duke of Lancaster, who had been banished from England, suddenly returned from the Continent. Having gathered all the malcontents in England around him, he was acknowledged as king. Unhappy, Richard was deposed and confined to Pontefract castle where he soon died.

Sadly, Henry chose to become the protector of the church, exercising his power and influence to conciliate the clergy. Under his reign, in the beginning of the fifteenth century, England’s first martyrs were burned at the stake in Smithfield.

A foremost leader among the followers of Wycliffe was Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, a man highly in favor with the king. Lord Cobham caused many copies of Wycliffe’s writings to be made and circulated through the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London, and Hertford. Cobham attended the preaching of the gospel ministers, and if anyone attempted to interrupt them, he threatened them with his sword.

In 1413, Henry V followed his father to the throne of England, and the clergy were not slow to denounce Cobham to him. On September 23, 1413, an ecclesiastical court tried Lord Cobham, sentencing him to death. One night he escaped from the tower where he awaited execution and made his way to Wales. He remained there until he was again arrested in 1417 and returned to London where he was burned alive.

England was to pass through more years of suffering before the gospel truth would shine forth in the soft light of tolerance. For the next few years, the humble followers of Wycliffe suffered severe persecution.

About the end of the fifteenth century, the learning that was taking place in Florence, Italy, began to make its way to England. Caxton imported printing from Germany, and the dawn began to break more fully over England.

While learning was reviving, a new dynasty succeeded to the throne; Henry Tudor became king. His mother, Countess of Richmond, was known for her piety. Among her closest friends was Montjoy, who, along with his wife, were the governor and governess of the king’s children. Montjoy had met Erasmus in Paris and now invited him to visit England. Erasmus, who was the greatest scholar of his time, was fearful of catching the plague that was then ravaging the Continent, and he gladly accepted the invitation.

One day while visiting the Montjoy home, Erasmus, was introduced to young prince Henry. The young prince could ride his horse with great skill and hurl a javelin further than any of his companions. Besides these skills, he had a taste for music and could perform on several instruments. The king had taken great care to see that his young son should not come behind in any area of learning. It was his intention that the young prince would one day become the archbishop of Canterbury. Erasmus, appreciating Henry’s aptitude, did his best to share his learning with him.

About this time, King Henry VII asked the hand of Catherine of Argone for his oldest son. Catherine was the daughter of Ferdinand, the king of Spain, and was the richest princess in Europe. The marriage of the Catholic Catherine to Arthur, however, was an ill-fated marriage that was to have a long lasting effect.

A short time after the marriage, in the early part of 1502, prince Arthur died. It soon become evident that Catherine would not become a mother, and young Henry was declared to be heir to the crown.

A difficult question now surfaced. Henry VII had received from Spain a dowry of two hundred gold ducats as a dowry for Catherine. With her husband dead, having left her without a son, the question was raised as to whether Henry VII would be obliged to return the dowry. Besides this misfortune, there was the very distinct possibility that such a rich heiress might marry a rival of England. To prevent this from taking place, Henry decided to unite her with his second son, and heir apparent to the throne. There were, however, serious objections raised. Warham, the primate, pointed out that according to Scripture, it was not proper for a man to marry his brother’s wife. (See Leviticus 20:21.)

As a solution to this dilemma, a special dispensation was sought from the pope. In December, 1503, Julius II granted a bull declaring that for the sake of preserving union between the Catholic princes, Catherine was authorized to marry the brother of her first husband. The two parties were engaged, though the marriage was delayed because of the youth of the Prince of Wales.

Soon after the engagement, the king, who had earlier lost his queen, became sick. Wondering if all of these things were judgements from God, he began to have second thoughts about the proposed marriage. Many people were still unhappy about the idea of the young prince marrying his brother’s wife and questioned the right of the pope to authorize something forbidden by God. Young Henry, learning of his father’s change of mind and taking advantage of the popular feeling that was running high, declared he would never make Catherine his wife.

On May 9, 1509, Henry VII died and the Prince of Wales became Henry VIII. Seven weeks later he married Catherine. Only eighteen years of age, and with an insatiable desire for pleasure, Henry engaged himself in one grand round of amusement.

During the Middle Ages, the orders of the church had come above the law. A member of a religious order could commit any crime but could be tried only by the church. Parliament, seeking to correct this abuse and to check the growing power of the church, in 1513 passed a law that any ecclesiastic accused of theft or murder should be tried before a secular tribunal. Exceptions, however were made in favor of bishops, priests, and deacons. In doing so, they had actually exempted nearly all clergy of the church. This however, did not satisfy the church, and Cardinal Wolsey, accompanied by a long train of priests and prelates, attained an audience with the king. With hands uplifted, Wolsey protested that it was a violation of God’s laws for a church clerk to be tried. Henry, distinctly seeing that to put the clergy above the law was to put them over the throne, replied that it was by the will of God that the kings who reigned in England were kings. Furthermore, the kings of England in time past had recognized no superior, other than God. He therefore, affirmed the right of the crown above that of the church.

The Reformation in England, to a greater extent than in the rest of Europe, was the result of the Bible. While there could have been no Reformation without God’s Word, unlike much of the rest of Europe, England had no great individuals to compare with Luther in Germany or Zwingli in Switzerland. Men of the stature of Calvin did not appear in England during the Reformation period, but the Bible was widely circulated. That which was largely responsible for the light in England was the Word—the invisible power of the invisible God.

Erasmus left England and returned to the Continent where he completed his work on the Greek New Testament. When he published his finished work, he little realized the impact it would have on the world. When some of his friends questioned the wisdom of the work he had set himself to accomplish, he replied: “‘If the ship of the church is to be saved from being swallowed up by the tempest, there is only one anchor that can save it: it is the heavenly Word, which issuing from the Father, lives, speaks, and works still in the gospel’….Erasmus, like Caiaphas, prophesied without being aware of it.” Ibid., book 18, chapter 1

The clergy were horrified. They pointed to some passages where the differences were most glaring and accused Erasmus of trying to place himself above Saint Jerome in seeking to correct the Latin Vulgate. “Look here! This book calls upon men to repent, instead of requiring them, as the Vulgate does, to do penance! (Matthew 4:17)” Ibid.

On none of his works had Erasmus worked so carefully. He had compared all of the best manuscripts. He had corrected many obscurities and errors found in the Vulgate and had even placed in his version a list of the errors he had found. Nothing else went as far to prepare the way for the Reformation as the Bible being restored in its purity.

As the time for the dawning of the Reformation approached, Providence worked to prepare the way for the coming day. In 1484, about a year after the birth of Luther and about the time Zwingli first saw the light, William Tyndale was born to the southwest of Gloucester. At a very early age he attended Oxford, where Erasmus had many friends. Here he was introduced to the Greek New Testament, which profoundly affected his life. He later went to Cambridge but left there in 1519.

The spiritual revival that was beginning to gain ground in England because of the introduction of the Greek New Testament filled the clergy with apprehension. They were not in such a position of strength as to dare attack the universities, so they turned their attention to the more humble Christians.

Tyndale, after leaving Oxford and Cambridge, obtained employment as a tutor for the children of Lord and Lady Walsh. Sir John Walsh had made a fine showing in the tournaments of the court and by this means had gained the favor of the king. Many men of note and learning as well as church dignitaries, found a welcome at their home.

Behind their mansion was a small chapel where Tyndale would preach on Sundays. Tydale explained the Scriptures so clearly that his hearers felt as though they were listening to the apostles themselves. Soon, however, the small church became too small for the interest that was aroused, and Tyndale began to preach from place to place. No sooner would he leave one place than the priests would follow him, seeking to undo all that he had done, threatening to expel from the church anyone who dared listen to him. When Tyndale returned, finding the field laid waste by the enemy, he exclaimed; “‘What is to be done? While I am sowing in one place, the enemy ravages the field I have just left. I cannot be everywhere. Oh! If Christians possessed the Holy Scriptures in their own tongue, they could of themselves withstand these sophists. Without the Bible it is impossible to establish the laity in the truth.’” Ibid., chapter 4. From that point on, Tyndale began to dream of giving the Bible to England in the common language of the people.

The first triumph of the truth was in the home of Lord and Lady Walsh. As Sir John and his wife began to accept the gospel, they became disgusted with the priests. The clergy were not so often invited to Sodbury, and when they did come, they no longer met with the same welcome. Soon they could think of nothing but how they might drive Tyndale from the diocese.

A storm was beginning to build. A formal complaint was filed, but a judicial inquiry into Tyndale’s conduct presented some serious problems. The king’s champion-at-arms was a patron of Tyndale’s and Sir Anthony Poyntz, Lady Walsh’s brother, was sheriff of the county. It was, therefore, decided that the most prudent thing that could be done would be to call a general conference of the clergy. Tyndale obeyed the summons to appear, but recognizing what was planned for him, sought the strength and help that could come from God alone.

Before the assembled church dignitaries, when his turn came to speak, Tyndale, in a calm and Christian manner, administered the chancellor a severe reprimand. This so exasperated the chancellor that he gave way to his passion, treating Tyndale as though he were a dog, whereupon Tyndale, required of him that he produce witnesses to support the charges. Not one of those assembled dared to come forward. Tyndale was, therefore, allowed to return quietly to Sodbury.

When the priests saw that their plot to silence the Reformer had failed, they commissioned one of the celebrated members of the clergy to undertake the task of converting Tyndale. The Reformer answered his opponent so well from the Greek Testament that the latter was left speechless. He then exclaimed: “‘Well then! It were better to be without God’s laws than the pope’s.’ Tyndale, who did not expect so plain and blasphemous a confession, made answer: ‘And I defy the pope and all his laws!’ and then, as if unable to keep his secret, he added: ‘If God spares my life, I will take care that a ploughboy shall know more of the Scriptures than you do.’” Ibid.

For some time, the position of Lord and Lady Walsh had been as a barrier protecting the Reformer from the malice of his enemies, but the enmity of the clergy was so great that Tyndale realized they would stop at nothing to interrupt his work of translating the Scriptures. Sorrowfully, he bade his host and hostess farewell and left to search for a safer retreat from which to pursue his work.

Tyndale made his way to London where he hoped to gain the patronage of Tonstall, the bishop of London. Tonstall, who was a learned man, was a friend of letters and the gospel. For a time, he had managed to walk a thin line between the two sides. Though learned, Tonstall lacked courage; and when forced to choose between the ignorant and bigoted priests and learning, clerical interests prevailed and he refused Tyndale employment. Greatly disappointed, Tyndale turned away.

Among those who had heard Tyndale speak was a rich merchant named Humphrey Monmouth. Monmouth invited the poor man to come live with him, and for the next year Tyndale pursued his work of translation in Monmouth’s home. Soon, however, persecution broke out in England and Tyndale, foreseeing an interruption to his work, left England.

From London, the Reformer made his way to Hamburg, and eventually to Cologne, France, where he continued his work. At last he took his prepared manuscripts to a printer and the actual printing was begun. Before the work had progressed far, Tyndale’s secret became known to the clergy and he was forced to flee, taking with him his precious manuscripts.

About the close of the year 1525, the first English New Testaments made their way across the Channel to England, hidden among the cargo of five different merchants. In spite of the strict vigilance exercised by the English authorities, the Bibles were successfully brought into the country. Thus, the Word of God, first given to the learned by Erasmus in 1517, Tyndale gave to the common people in 1526.

It was not Tyndale’s edition alone that was entering England. A Dutch house, knowing the desire for the Bible, printed an edition of 5,000 of Tyndale’s translation and sent them to England. These were soon sold and two more editions followed. Tyndale was able to follow these with a new and more accurate edition. This edition was printed in a smaller and more portable form, filling the clergy with great dismay. They quickly found that in endeavoring to prevent the circulation of the Bible, they were attempting a work that was beyond their ability to accomplish. The foundation of the reformed church was being laid in England by the diffusion of the Scriptures.

Tyndale was eventually betrayed into the hands of his enemies. After having suffered many months of imprisonment, he witnessed for his faith by a martyr’s death. Just before he died, his last prayer was that God might open the eyes of the king of England.

In a most unusual way, that prayer was answered. In 1538, Henry VIII signed an order appointing that a copy of the Bible was to be placed in every parish church, available for all to read. That edition become known as the Coverdale Bible, but it was largely the work of Tyndale. Within two years the edition was sold out and another one was printed. How different things were than they had been but two years before when anyone who had a Bible could only read it in secret, where none might see him.

Though Tyndale did not live to see the event, the weapons he prepared enabled others to carry forward the standard of truth, changing for all time the course of history.

The End

The Cleansing of the Temple

The second chapter of John tells us what happened when Jesus cleansed the temple the first time. Remember, Jesus cleansed the temple once at the beginning and again at the close of His ministry.

“As He beholds the scene, indignation, authority, and power are expressed in His countenance. The attention of the people is attracted to Him. The eyes of those engaged in their unholy traffic are riveted upon his face. They cannot withdraw their gaze. They feel that this man reads their inmost thoughts, and discovers their hidden motives. Some attempt to conceal their faces, as if their evil deeds were written upon their countenances, to be scanned by those searching eyes.” The Desire of Ages, 157, 158

Does this remind you of the scene that will take place when Jesus comes the second time? Remember that the wicked are going to be crying for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them. This is what wickedness does in the presence of purity and holiness.

“The confusion is hushed. The sound of traffic and bargaining has ceased. The silence becomes painful. A sense of awe overpowers the assembly. It is as if they were arraigned before the tribunal of God to answer for their deeds. Looking upon Christ, they behold divinity flash through the garb of humanity. The Majesty of heaven stands as the Judge will stand at the last day,—not now encircled with the glory that will then attend Him, but with the same power to read the soul. His eye sweeps over the multitude, taking in every individual. His form seems to rise above them in commanding dignity, and a divine light illuminates His countenance. He speaks, and His clear, ringing voice—the same that upon Mount Sinai proclaimed the law that priests and rulers are transgressing—is heard echoing through the arches of the temple: ‘Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.’” Ibid., 158

How do you think He said those words? Do you believe that when Jesus said, “take these things hence,” that He spoke in soft and gentle tones? I am not trying to be a comedian, but how ridiculous are some of the things that we hear people saying today. I am amazed that there are people who think that Christ was some kind of little wallflower, lacking character and authority. Because of the Ecumenical Movement, our people have become such passivists. It has become very unpopular to say anything about anybody. If you are one of those who go along with that kind of thinking, you might as well forget about the three angels’ messages. The Savior that I serve, who is our perfect example, when the occasion called for it, raised His voice and said, “Take these things hence! Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.”

“Slowly descending the steps, and raising the scourge of cords gathered up on entering the enclosure, He bids the bargaining company depart from the precincts of the temple. With a zeal and severity he has never before manifested, He overthrows the tables of the money changers. The coins fall, ringing sharply upon the marble pavement. None presume to question His authority. None dare stop to gather up their ill-gotten gain….Officers of the temple, speculating priests, brokers and cattle traders, with their sheep and oxen, rush from the place, with the one thought of escaping from the condemnation of His presence.

“A panic sweeps over the multitude, who feel the overshadowing of His divinity. Cries of terror escape from hundreds of blanched lips. Even the disciples tremble. They are awestruck by the words and manner of Jesus, so unlike His usual demeanor. They remember that it is written of Him, ‘The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.’ Psalm 69:9. Soon the tumultuous throng with their merchandise are far removed from the temple of the Lord. The courts are free from unholy traffic, and deep silence and solemnity settles upon the scene of confusion. The presence of the Lord, that of old sanctified the mount, has now made sacred the temple reared in His honor.” Ibid., 158-161

If someone asked you if Jesus was ever severe, what would your first thought be? We do not know Jesus if we think that we have to sit on our hands and say, “Oh, I know this is terrible and something is going on in church, but I cannot say anything because I want to be Christlike.” I am sorry, but sitting there silently is not being Christlike. That is a twisted concept of Christ. A lot of people think that the tables were overthrown because as everybody was rushing out, they knocked the tables over. No, Christ was the one who overthrew the tables. This is a thought that very few people have of Christ. They cannot imagine Him doing such a thing.

Christ was not severe all of the time; but when the occasion called for it, he could be. And, yes, He kicked over those tables, the coins went flying everywhere and he said, “Take these things hence! You are not going to do this to My Father’s house.”

Was the temple sacred before Christ cleansed it? No. Before God’s presence can be in a place, it must be cleansed. We had better be very careful how we have criticized men whom God has chosen to do His work in these last days. We need to be very careful about labeling someone as being too severe or too harsh. To those who are so free to criticize and pick apart the message or the messenger, I would say, be very careful. Make sure you know what it means to be Christlike before you start saying that someone needs to be more Christlike.

“In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, form the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple.” Ibid., 161

Where does God dwell? In humanity. Therefore, if God is going to work in these last days, how is He going to work? Through humanity.

Do you see any parallels with what is taking place today? The people of Christ’s day had a misconception of the structure. They thought that their church was the structure. It was a magnificent structure and had been founded by God, but it had become their religion. They finally lost their souls because they attached their religion to their structure and refused to believe that it could never be removed.

“In cleansing the temple for the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. ‘The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.’ Malachi 3:1-3.” Ibid.

Who are the sons of Levi? The priests. Why would God specifically say He was going to purify the sons of Levi? Because the spirituality of the church rarely rises any higher than that of the pastor. When you purify the sons of Levi, you purify the pastorate; and then the church gets purified. When you have a holy leadership, you have a holy church; and when you have an ungodly, apostate leadership, you have an unholy and apostate church. This is why it was that every time Israel had a righteous king, Israel was righteous, and every time they had a wicked king, they went deeper into apostasy. As the leadership goes, so the church goes.

“‘No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.’ Revelation 3:20. He will come, not for one day merely; for He says, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them;…and they shall be My people.’ ‘He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.’ 2 Corinthians 6:16; Micah 7:19. His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord, and ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit.’ Ephesians 2:21, 22.” Ibid., 161, 162

Paul says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. I know this sounds like heresy, but who does it say is to do the cleansing? “Let us cleanse ourselves.” Now what does that mean? How can we cleanse ourselves? By doing our part.

I had one fellow come up to me and say, “Pastor John, I canceled my newspaper. I had to do it.”

I said, “Well, praise the Lord. If you feel like you need to cancel your newspaper, then you had better do it; I am still receiving mine. You do not look down on me because I still get the newspaper, do you?”

“’No,” he said, “but I had to cancel mine.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I a am sports addict; sports was my god. I did not care about anything else. I had to get to the sports section and see who won last night.”

I do not care what it is in your life; if you cannot control it, get rid of it. Do whatever you have to do, but remove the thing that is causing you to defile the body temple.

Someone says, “Oh, no, let’s not be too drastic.” Yes, let’s be drastic. Our problem is that we are not willing to do drastic things for the Lord. We are right down to the end, and we are dealing with eternity here. God’s people have been fooling around for too long and we do not have time to do so any longer. The door of probation is closing and we have to get serious about going home.

You do not kneel down and pray, “Lord help me to sleep; I cannot sleep at night,” and then leave the light on. You must first get up and turn the light off, open the window, get into bed, put your face to the wall and do whatever else you need to do to get into a situation that is conducive to sleep. You do you part.

“At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy traffic; and His stern and Godlike demeanor had struck terror to the hearts of the scheming traders. At the close of His mission he came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before.” Ibid., 589

Do you think that if God returned to His temple today, he would find it desecrated just as He did in 1900 when they were about to publish John Harvey Kellogg’s book on pantheism, The Living Temple? At that time, God burned the place down and destroyed the plates.

“Again the piercing look of Jesus swept over the desecrated court of the temple. All eyes were turned toward Him. Priest and ruler, Pharisee and Gentile, looked with astonishment and awe upon Him who stood before them with the majesty of heaven’s King. Divinity flashed through humanity, investing Christ with a dignity and glory He had never manifested before. Those standing nearest Him drew as far away as the crowd would permit. Except for a few of His disciples, the Saviour stood alone.” Ibid, 590, 591

How did the Saviour stand? Alone. You see, committees do not do this type of thing. There may be wisdom in a multitude of counselors, but I believe that we have so many committees that it is a stench in the nostrils of God. When you have a committee, nobody takes the blame for anything. It was a committee that wrote Questions on Doctrine, and it was a committee who put Issues together. Christ was willing to stand alone!

“The deep silence seemed unbearable. Christ spoke with a power that swayed the people like a mighty tempest: ‘It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.’ His voice sounded like a trumpet through the temple. The displeasure of His countenance seemed like a consuming fire. With authority He commanded, ‘Take these things hence.’ John 2:16

“Three years before, the rulers of the temple had been ashamed of their flight before the command of Jesus. They had since wondered at their own fears, and their unquestioning obedience to a single humble man. They had felt that it was impossible for their undignified surrender to be repeated. Yet they were now more terrified than before, and in greater haste to obey His command. There were none who dared question his authority. Priests and traders fled from His presence, driving their cattle before them.

“On the way from the temple they were met by a throng who came with their sick inquiring for the great Healer. The report given by the fleeing people caused some of these to turn back. They feared to meet One so powerful, whose very look had driven the priests and rulers from His presence.” Ibid., 591, 592

Why would these same people who threw down their coats in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem, shouting “hosanna to the Son of David,” these same people who saw the religious leaders scorned and embarrassed, running for their lives, just a few days later cry, “Crucify Him, crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar”? How could they do this? It was because their leaders had control of their minds.

When leadership has control of the minds of the laity, they can even lead them to crucify the Son of God. This is why Jesus said, “They would not change their minds even if someone rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). They had been so hypnotized by their religious leaders that even if somebody rose from the dead, their minds would remain unchanged. Any historic Adventist can identify with that situation. When you try to explain things to fellow church members, they are unable to understand what you are saying, the they just come right back with the same round of arguments; “The church may appear as about to fall…The church is the ship going through.” Even if you talk to them for hours, it does not change anything; their minds are locked. Apostate religious leaders have brought their minds to the place where white appears as black and black as white.

There was yet another work for Christ to accomplish. He returned to the temple again. “With hand uplifted to heaven, and a divine light enshrouding his person, Christ spoke as a judge to those before Him. His voice, that had so often been heard in gentleness and entreaty, was now heard in rebuke and condemnation.” Ibid., 619

Have you ever heard it said that Christ never condemned. Don’t you ever believe that. When it was time to rebuke, Christ rebuked. When it was time to condemn, Christ condemned. Be very careful about ever telling a man chosen of God to preach the three angels’ messages, that he had better be more Christlike. If he was more Christlike, you might no be able to handle it.

“Christ’s indignation was directed against the hypocrisy, the gross sins, by which men were destroying their own souls, deceiving the people, and dishonoring God. In the specious, deceptive reasoning of the priests and rulers, he discerned the working of Satanic agencies.” Ibid.

Where did Christ see the satanic agencies? In the people? In the leadership! Christ did not rebuke the people—the laity—like this. He rebuked apostate leadership who were being directed by satanic agencies.

“He had a holy wrath against the prince of darkness; but he manifested no irritated temper. So the Christian who lives in harmony with God, possessing the sweet attributes of love and mercy, will feel a righteous indignation against sin; but he will not be roused by passion to revile those who revile him. Even in meeting those who are moved by a power from beneath to maintain falsehood, in Christ he will still preserve calmness and self-possession.

“Divine pity marked the countenance of the Son of God as He cast one lingering look upon the temple and then upon His hearers. In a voice choked by deep anguish of heart and bitter tears he exclaimed, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ This is the separation struggle. In the lamentation of Christ the very heart of God is pouring itself forth. It is the mysterious farewell of the longsuffering love of the Diety.

“Pharisees and Sadducees were alike silenced. Jesus summoned His disciples, and prepared to leave the temple, not as one defeated and forced from the presence of his adversaries, but as one whose work was accomplished. He retired a victor from the contest.” Ibid., 619, 620

“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:38, 39

Before we are tempted to so glibly say, “Well, we think you ought to be Christlike,” we need to study how, when idolatry was being brought into the church, Christ dealt with apostasy in His Father’s house. May God help us each one to have the wisdom and courage to be truly Christlike in all things.

The End

Children in Whom is No Blemish

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it….And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge.” Daniel 1:1, 3, 4

As I read these verses in Daniel chapter 1, I noticed the statement, “children in whom was no blemish.” The statement made me think of the description of the people in 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he depicts this church that Christ loves, “and gave Himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

“The life of Daniel is an inspired illustration of what constitutes a sanctified character. It represents a lesson for all, and especially for the young. A strict compliance with the requirements of God is beneficial to the health of body and mind. In order to reach the highest standard of moral and intellectual attainments, it is necessary to seek wisdom and strength from God and to observe strict temperance in all the habits of life.” Sanctified Life, 23

Sanctification is obedience to the commandment of God. “True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350. It is God’s desired purpose to implant in humanity Christ’s nature, His character. This is the life and character we see in Daniel. Not only was he obedient to the moral law of God, the Ten Commandments, but he was obedient also to the laws of health. “In the experience of Daniel and his companions, we have an instance of the triumph of principle over temptation to indulge the appetite. It shows us that through religious principle young men may triumph over the lusts of the flesh and remain true to God’s requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.” Sanctified Life, 23

When Daniel was instructed that he must eat the king’s provisions of meat and wine for three years, he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s dainties. Melzar, the eunuch in charge of Daniel, tried to persuade him by saying, “I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? Then shall he make me endanger my head to the king.” Daniel 1:10

Melzar was deceived into believing that meat and an abundance of food is necessary for good health and that a simple diet, a vegetarian diet, will result in poor health and physical weakness. Similarly, today, the majority of the people living in the U.S. have been deceived by the beautiful poster hanging on our school room walls displaying the “Four Basic Food Groups.” Meat and dairy products occupy two of the four food groups, thus emphasizing that in order to have good health, we must include in our diets six to eight servings daily of foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol, disease, and environmental contaminants. Animal products and rich dainties are eaten regularly by Americans, and look at the results. Obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, colon problems, and diabetes have plagued our country in epidemic proportions. Not only adults by young children also are suffering from obesity, acne, rotting teeth, and high cholesterol at very young ages, because of lack of exercise and poor dietary habits. Today, my friends, there is the same temptation facing God’s people in regard to diet as was faced by Daniel in Babylon; it is called the Standard American Diet. The first letter of each of the three words Standard American Diet reveals its quality—SAD.

It is sad to see fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, and Carl’s Jr. in nearly every city in America, feeding the people the diet of Babylon. Donuts and coffee, junk food, ice cream, and animal flesh are the staple of the American diet. Is it any wonder why over half of Americans are considered clinically obese?

Paul warned his brethren in Romans 12:1, 2, concerning the condition in which they were to keep their bodies. “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” In these two verses there are three points on which I would like to elaborate: First, is it possible to “present our bodies a living sacrifice unto God”? The Bible says, “this is our reasonable service.” Second, Paul not only pleads with us to do this, but also warns us not to be conformed to the world. Beloved, have you considered that being conformed to the world includes our eating and looking like the world, not only in our dress, but also by our physical appearance? Third, Paul admonishes us to be renewing our minds that we may prove, or demonstrate, God’s acceptable and perfect will to mankind. Oh, friends, as those who claim to be God’s remnant church, we need to know that “a close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits. Excessive eating of the best food will produce a morbid condition of the moral feelings. And if the food is not the most healthful, the effects will be still more injurious. Wrong habits of eating and drinking lead to errors in thought and action. Indulgence of appetite and spiritual powers.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 62

Paul understood the close sympathy between the physical, the mental, and the moral nature. The Spirit of Prophecy gives us a most solemn declaration on page 63 of the same book. “It is impossible for you to increase in spiritual strength while your appetites and passions are not under perfect control….The brain nerve energy is benumbed and almost paralyzed by overeating.” My dear Adventist friends, please stand up and take notice. “The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which heaven can communicate to man and affect his inmost life.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 347

In order to have a clear mind, there must be good circulation of the blood. The blood carries nutrients and oxygen to all of our body tissues and organs; and when we eat a high fat diet, the blood becomes thick and the circulation is impaired. A high fat, high cholesterol diet and lack of exercise are two of the contributors to heart disease, the number one killer in America. In fact, in 1987, C. Everett Coop, the Surgeon General of the United States, announced publicly that of the 2.1 million people who die in this country every year, 1.5 million are dying from diet related disease. Also, on July 1, 1992, The American Heart Association declared, “Lack of exercise is a major health risk factor for heart disease, ranking it with smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. A poor diet and lack of exercise will affect your circulation. If your circulation is not good, your brain will be affected—and the mind is the only organ by which heaven communicates with man.

As we return to the story of Daniel, we read, “Daniel’s clearness of mind and firmness of purpose, his strength of intellect in acquiring knowledge, were due in a great degree to the plainness of his diet in connection with his life of prayer.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 515, 516. “The plainness of his diet” consisted of “pulse” and “water.” He refused flesh foods and wisely chose a vegetarian diet and pure water. Interestingly, this is the diet that John the Baptist ate in his preparation for the immense trials ahead. He ate locust and honey and drank the pure water of the hills. Both of these men of God, in preparing for the tests ahead, ate, in their most natural state, the simple foods…provided—quite the contrast to the rich diet of Nebuchadnezzar. Both of these men followed the diet instructions that God had sent through their parents, a diet that Harvard Medical School reported on in April 22, 1991, saying that eating red meat daily increases colon cancer risk and men eating low-fat high fiber diets, much less red meat, and more vegetables, were 33-50% less likely to get polyps than men on high fat, low fiber diets. Science is fast coming of age. Research is pointing clearly and consistently to a vegetarian diet being the best for men today.

Daniel, in his determination to remain faithful to the laws of health, requested a ten day trial of only pulse and water. He was granted his request, and while Daniel and his companions ate of the simple diet, others of the young men ate of the king’s dainties. He strictly followed principle rather than the demands of a powerful earthly potentate. By Daniel’s obedience to the laws of God, which included the laws of his being, he was a fitting example of “children in whom was no blemish.”

In the Old Testament sanctuary service, the sinner could bring a lamb as his offering, a lamb without blemish. In Deuteronomy 15:21, we read, “And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the Lord thy God.” The sacrifice had to be flawless or it was rejected. After all, the sacrificial lamb was to represent “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:19

Is it possible to present our bodies to God, holy, acceptable, and without blemish? This was a question that I pondered for some time. I was familiar with 1 Corinthians 15:53, which says that when Christ shall come “this corruptible must put on incorruption.” How then could I, with poor eyesight and a bad back, present myself to God a living sacrifice without blemish? My physical imperfections will most likely be with me until my change comes. As I prayed and searched for an answer to this dilemma, God revealed it to me. I found the answer in the following passages from the Spirit of Prophecy: “In the ancient Jewish service it was required that every sacrifice would be without blemish. In the text we are told to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, unto God, which is our reasonable service. We are God’s workmanship….There are many who are educated in the sciences, and are familiar with the theory of the truth, who do not understand the laws that govern their own being. God has given us faculties and talents; and it is our duty, as his sons and daughters, to make the best of use of them. If we weaken these powers of mind or body by wrong habits of indulgence of appetite, it will be impossible for us to honor God as we should.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 15

“God requires the body to be rendered a living sacrifice to Him, not a dead or dying sacrifice….All should be very careful to preserve the body in the best condition of health, that they may render to God perfect service.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 21

“Our first duty, one of which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow men, is to obey the laws of God, which include the laws of health.” Ibid. In fact, if “I violate the laws God has established in my being, I am to repent and reform, and place myself in the most favorable condition.” Medical Ministry, 230. And finally, “sanctification is not merely a theory, an emotion, or a form of words, but a living, active principle, entering into the everyday life. It requires that our habits of eating, drinking, and dressing be such as to secure the preservation of physical, mental, and moral health, that we may present to the Lord our bodies—not an offering corrupted by wrong habits but—‘a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.’” Counsels on Health, 67

Here was my answer. My duty to God, in presenting myself without blemish, is to keep my body in the very best condition as possible and to obey the laws of health! Ellen White writes, “Christ looks at the spirit, and when he sees us carrying our burden with faith, his perfect holiness atones for our shortcomings. When we do our best, he becomes our righteousness. It takes every ray of light that God sends to us to make us the light of the world.” Letter 33, 1889. Jesus atones for my shortcomings and becomes my righteousness as I do my best; that is, by the grace of God, I live up to all the light that he has revealed to me. Beloved, are you obeying the laws of your being: Are you exercising regularly and eating a diet that is to be of the most simple kind? Are you obeying the light that our Lord has so graciously given to us on health reform—modern manna from heaven? We claim to be God’s remnant church; and as the Jews were to have an advantage because to them were committed the oracles of God, we, the Seventh-day Adventist people, have been entrusted with these oracles again. They not only contain the light on the Ten Commandments, but also the light on the laws of health. “It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the light which God has graciously given. It we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. It is just as much a sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments, for we cannot love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal better then we love the Lord.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 70. My friends, this is our reasonable service.

It is interesting to note that the words reasonable service can also be translated from the original Greek, “religious worship.” Also, it is no coincidence that sanctuary language is used in Romans 12. To present ourselves to God a living sacrifice, to keep our bodies in the very best condition, is part of our religious worship to him. Remember, health reform is one branch of the word to fit and prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. As Daniel obeyed the health laws, he experienced greater physical stamina and an increased power of endurance. As he obeyed the laws of health, he was blessed with wisdom and understanding. His mind received the renewing and God could then fill Daniel’s undefiled temple with the fullness of His Spirit. It was then that the obedient, self-sacrificing man of God was blessed with the gifts of the spirit—visions and dreams.

Friends, are we loving our appetites a great deal more than we love the Lord? Are we spending as much time praying and studying as we are eating and drinking? Are we practicing the eight laws of health that we can be fit vessels undefiled and filled with the holy Spirit to demonstrate to a dark world all the light that God has entrusted to us? Are we accepting with readiness the light that God has blessed us with on health, or are we compromising with the diet and lifestyle of Babylon? Are we waiting for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the latter rain, while we present to God our bodies as an unacceptable, blemished sacrifice?

What if Daniel and his companions had made a compromise with those heathen officers and had yielded to the pressure of the occasion by eating and drinking as was customary with the Babylonians? That single instance of departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. Indulgence of appetite would probably have involved the sacrifice of physical vigor, clearness of intellect, and spiritual power. One wrong step would probably have led to others, until, their connection with Heaven being severed, they would have been swept away by temptation.” Sanctified Life, 23

Friends, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of obedience to the laws of health. Again and again, I am finding statements from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that the physical, mental, and spiritual are interrelated, and many times in this order. If the physical body is not being kept in the best condition, the mind cannot be renewed and the spiritual discernment becomes impossible. As in the paragraph above, notice the order of events: “physical vigor, clearness of intellect, and spiritual power.”

In Daniel 1, the experience of Daniel and his three friends, in strictly following the laws of health passed their first test; and the four young men were thus fitted for the extreme trials ahead. In Daniel 3, their second test included the command to bow down to the image of gold or to be tossed into the fiery furnace. The third test is recorded in Daniel 6, where a firm decree was established, “that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” Daniel 6:7. Did Daniel compromise with the demands of the Babylonian leaders? Brothers and sisters will you stand when you are commanded to worship the mark of the beast or be killed? Will you obey the dictates of man when you are commanded to forsake the law of our God, the Sabbath? Our obedience to the laws of health will determine whether we will obey God or man! Remember, this was the first test for Daniel, not the last. The words of the prophet are clear, “the controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59. “The reason why many of us will fall in the time of trouble is because of laxity in temperance and indulgence of appetite….Nine tenths of the wickedness among the children of today is caused by intemperance in eating and drinking. Adam and Eve lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, and we can only regain it by the denial of the same.” Temperance, 150

The life of Daniel, a man in whom was no blemish, is on record for our admonition to whom the end of the world is come. By beholding Daniel, I realize the full potential that we may become in Christ—a people without blemish, a people who “stand without fault before the throne of God.” I know that I will not be eight feet tall if I am alive when the Lord comes; but this I do know, that “our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and if we fail to do all we can to place the body in the very best condition of health, we are robbing God of the honor due to Him frosm the beings He has created.” Medical Ministry, 295

Beloved, may our prayer be that by the grace of God we may “come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13. May our prayer be that we will be this church, “the children in whom was no blemish.”

The End

California Fires

“Is it smoke, or is it smog?” Jeanne and I pondered this as we left our house in Cherry Valley for our early morning walk. The Santa Ana winds were blowing with their usual intensity, up to four times the velocity of normal winds in our area. In the past week the Santa Anas had brought destructive fires to Laguna Beach, southwest of us, and to Malibu, northwest of us. As we walked, we talked about how difficult it would be for our friends in other parts of the country to understand our Santa Ana winds. In most places, when strong winds blow they bring either rain or snow, and so fire is not a hazard. But the Santa Anas blow toward us from the fiercely hot desert that lies just east of us. They don’t bring rain or snow. They bring fires. Any spark anywhere can create a conflagration that may be almost impossible to control.

Our attention was drawn to an ominous looking cloud that was forming over the long, low ridge about five miles east of us that separated the small communities of Banning, Beaumont, and Cherry Valley from the desert. Was it smoke? Suddenly our question was answered. Those bright red flashes could not be from the rising sun. They were flames, leaping into the air from behind the ridge, steadily increasing in size.

All day the fire moved steadily in our direction, following the ridge that curved slowly around the valley until it passed behind our house, despite the best efforts of the planes and helicopters that were dumping water and fire retardants upon the flames. About three o’clock our question was answered. The fire blazed brightly for a while on top of the ridge, then, still driven by the winds, began its grim descent into our valley.

Realizing that we might soon be required to stand guard over our house, we agreed that I should use the intervening time to make an urgent trip to the post office. But when I started back, I was confronted by road blocks. No problem, I thought. I could drive a mile south to the freeway, turn west a mile to the Cherry Valley exit, and soon be home. But I found a road block at the Cherry Valley exit also. Long lines of cars were forming. There was nothing I could do but take my place in a line on an off ramp. From where I sat I could see the heavy smoke and fire moving steadily in the direction of our home, where, I reflected uneasily, Jeanne was alone.

My thoughts churned. She could leave in our pickup and avoid personal danger, but the house would probably be lost. If both of us were there to watch for flying embers, the house could be saved, even if the fire burned all around it. We had fireproofed it as much as possible—stucco walls, a fire resistant roof, and generous fire breaks on all four sides.

But I wasn’t there, and the fire was now little more than a half-mile from our house! As I pondered, my attention was drawn to the steadily increasing fleet of fire trucks that were assembling just before me. I counted ten in all, bearing the names of other towns whose administrators had sent them to help us. I felt a glow of gratitude.

After a tense half-hour, the police at the road block started checking addresses. Those who could not prove that they lived in Cherry valley were directed back to the freeway. We who had Cherry Valley addresses were allowed to proceed.

It didn’t take me long to get home, past the lines of people and horses that were being evacuated. While I had been gone, the police had come through advising everyone to leave with their animals, but since we had no animals to evacuate, we decided to stay. Viewed from our hillside, the fire appeared to be subsiding. A retired fire chief, our neighbor, approved of our decision. Slowly the wind died down, and by late evening the fire was under control.

How grateful we were for all the help that came to us in this emergency! Citizens and officials alike had been unceasingly alert and vigilant. Each one took the emergency very seriously because he or she knew form past experience what devastation such a fire can bring. The planes and helicopters had been loaded and ready to “scramble.” All levels of government, from the local mayor’s office to the state capitol gave the fires their concerned and careful attention. Officials in nearby towns sent emergency equipment and crews. Police brought warnings to every home. Neighbors checked on neighbors, helping wherever there was a need. In short, everyone worked together against the fire. The fire was costly, but by the combined and energetic efforts of all concerned it was finally extinguished!

It appeared that some of the California fires had been started unintentionally, but not all. Arsonists had been doing their devilish work as well. Justice, though fair, will be firm, we have no doubt.

How different, we reflected later, was this fire form the treatment of the fire of apostasy that is raging today in the Seventh-day Adventist church, urged on by the devil’s strong influence, his “Santa Ana winds.”

The SDA fire of apostasy was kindled in the 1950’s, though perhaps unintentionally, by the publication of the book Questions on Doctrine, the volume that had grown out of the dialogues and discussion between a group of our church leaders and the Calvinistic theologian, Walter Martin. Questions on Doctrine presented to the Seventh-day Adventist church and to the world a grossly false statement about our doctrine of Christ and a carefully muted statement about our doctrine of the atonement. Intentional or not, it was a fire, a dangerous beginning of apostasy.

Has our Adventist community and leadership responded to this emergency in a manner similar to that demonstrated in the California fires? Not exactly. While Questions on Doctrine was in manuscript form, an alert and intelligent spiritual watchman, Elder M.L. Andreason, sounded an alarm, but the alarm was ignored. When he would not be silenced he was rewarded for his faithfulness by having his ministerial credentials taken away on the grounds that he was disturbing the peace and tranquility of the church.

While church members remained blissfully unaware of what was happening, the fire spread. Special donations made possible a circulation of 250,000 copies of Questions on Doctrine. Without tracing all of the developments since then, we simply note that the fire of apostasy is now threatening to engulf the entire North American Division and is reaching out from there to the world field.

And so what is being done? The contrast with the treatment of the California fires is startling.


Seventh-day Adventist officialdom, with few, if any exceptions, is manifesting an attitude of indifference. It is being maintained that:

  1. There really isn’t any fire.
  2. It is only a small fire, and therefore nothing to worry about.
  3. There have always been fires, and so we should relax and forget about it.

Concerned church members are pleading in vain that:

  1. The existence of the fire is self-evident beyond a reasonable doubt.
  2. That any fire, regardless of its size, constitutes an emergency situation.
  3. That while it is true there have been fires of apostasy in the past, church leaders did not ignore them as our leaders are doing today. On the contrary, they used all of their authority and influence to meet the apostasies and put the fires out.


While it may be possible that the original fire was started unintentionally by the writers of Questions on Doctrine, that could not be said of those who are now laboring to spread it, the “arsonists” among us. And, strangely, these “arsonists,’ these teachers and preachers of apostasy, are being honored and exalted by our church officials to an amazing degree. This is in remarkable contrast to the attitude being taken toward arsonists in California.


Alarms are being sounded with increasing frequency and intensity throughout the church by faithful members as the devastation of the fire spreads, bringing injury to more and more church members. But the attitude of Adventist officialdom toward those who are sounding the alarms is as astonishing as their exalting, promoting, and honoring of the “arsonists.” Most church officials have manifested an increasing hostility toward the “alarmists,” as they are called, alleging that they are controversial, divisive troublemakers, a cancer on the body of the church that must be cut out, and finally setting in motion plans to disfellowship them from the church.


Unlike the nearby communities which gladly sent equipment and crews to the assistance of those who were struggling with the California fires, churches and constituencies are being led by Adventist officialdom to disband entire churches and disfellowship members who refuse to be quiet about the fire of apostasy. Since many individual churches have been slow to act on the official’s recommendation that those who are sounding the “fire alarm” should be disfellowshipped, we now hear that plans are being made to take the authority to disfellowship away from the local congregation and place it in the hands of officials themselves, who can be expected to be ruthless.

A neutral observer would probably find this scenario so bewildering as to be utterly beyond comprehension. What spirit of madness, he might ask, could produce such irrational behavior as this? If the same attitude that most of our church officials are manifesting toward the California fires by government officials in that state, much, if not most, of southern California would be in ashes by now.

What will it take to arouse Adventist officialdom from their somnolent state? Will they temporize and continue to misread and misjudge the situation until the whole church is consumed by the flames of apostasy? Or will God have to take firm corrective action of some kind?

Possibly the best thing for us is to regard this strange situation as a call to prayer. Pray that the church officials will throw off their stupor and arouse to their duty. Pray that God will deliver and save His church. Pray that we may be individually true and faithful, regardless of the apostasy around us. And though the flames of apostasy about us continue to leap higher and higher, we may still put our trust in Isaiah 43:2, 3:

“When thou passest through the water, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, they Saiour….”

The End

Investing for the Lord

In doing research for this article, I found a statement that startled me. It said: “Often we lament the scanty resources available, but were Christians thoroughly in earnest, they could multiply the resources a thousandfold.” Ministry of Healing, 206. [All emphasis supplied.] As I prayed that God would help me earn money for the shortwave radio station, I wondered how He could turn a dollar of mine into a thousand dollars for His cause. Nevertheless, I prayed that the Lord would help me to earn money for the radio station.

The idea of house-sitting (watching people’s houses while they are away) came to my mind. That Thursday evening when I called the Wichita Eagle to place an advertisement in the classified section, the lady who took my information said, “I’ll try and get this in for free. If I have any trouble, I’ll call you back and let you know.” She never called back. One month of advertising—free!

Friday afternoon, as I was preparing for the Sabbath, the telephone rang. “Is this the place to call for the advertisement in the paper for a housesitter?”
“Yes,” I replied. The man went on to tell me that he and his wife would be traveling together for two months this winter and needed someone to watch their house while they were away. They have a nice house, he told me, and though they do not have pets, they do have plants that would need watering; and when they return, they want the house to have the “lived in” look.

As he sounded genuine, I decided to be very up front and frank with him. I told him that I worked at Steps to Life and that I was doing this to earn money for a mission project. I explained that I was a Bible worker whose duties also included work in the office, and while I could be there at night and some other time as well, I would be gone the better part of most days. He said it sounded perfect and he would have his wife call to set up a time when I could meet their housekeeper who came in on Wednesdays. (I would not even have to clean the house!) Then he said, “We would pay you $275 a week.”

I tried to act casual and replied. “That would be fine.”

The total amount I will earn for the radio station will be $2,200. Do you believe that God can work things out for His people to earn a little extra money for His work? I know that He can. “A thousand doors of usefulness are open before us. Often we lament the scanty resources available, but were Christians thoroughly in earnest, they could multiply the resources a thousandfold. Ibid.

Even as a child, Ellen White knew what it meant to sacrifice for the cause. Listen to her personal experience:

“Even though he may be poor, the youth who is industrious and economical can save a little for the cause of God. When I was only twelve years old, I knew what it was to economize. With my sister I learned a trade, and although we would earn only twenty-five cents a day, from this sum we were able to save a little to give to missions. We saved little by little until we had thirty dollars. Then when the message of the Lord’s soon coming came to us, with a call for men and means, we felt it a privilege to hand over the thirty dollars to father, asking him to invest it in tracts and pamphlets to send the message to those who were in darkness.” Messages to Young People, 299

Not every person may be able to give a thousand dollars. Some may be able to give only a small amount of money, but that small amount is needed.

“Every dollar is required in the work of saving souls. The money invested by the professed people of God in getting pictures made of human faces would support several missionaries in the field. Many small streams, when put together, swell into a large river.” Ibid., 317. “The smallest sums given cheerfully by those who are in limited circumstances are fully as acceptable to God, and even of more value in His sight, than the offerings of the rich who can bestow their thousands, and yet exercise no self-denial and feel no lack.” Counsels on Stewardship, 30

The promise to the poor everywhere is, “It is in the power of all to do something for the cause of God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 18

God wants us to be innovative in thinking of ways to multiply funds; but He also requires of each one of us personal sacrifice, whether we are rich or poor. We are to exercise self-denial in our appetite, in our dress, and in the way we furnish our homes. Self really is the greatest hindrance to the cause of God. “We have no enemy without that we need to fear. Our greatest conflict is with unconsecrated self.” Review and Herald, March 5, 1908

To be victorious in the battle with self, we should daily contemplate three things:

  • The result received from acts of self-denial and sacrifice,
  • The result received from acts of selfishness, and
  • The sacrifice Jesus made in our behalf.

Let us look first at the results of selfishness. “When God’s bounties, so richly and abundantly given, are withheld from Him, and selfishly bestowed upon ourselves, God’s curse, in the place of His blessing, will surely be experienced; for this the Lord has declared….Selfishness is a deadly evil. Self-love and careless indifference to the specific terms of agreement between God and man, the refusal to act as His faithful stewards. Have brought upon them His curse, just as he declared would be the case. These souls have separated themselves from God by precept and example they have led others to disregard God’s plain commandments, and He could not bestow His blessing upon them.” Youth’s Instructor, August 26, 1897

“Even if we do not lose our souls, we shall realize in eternity the result of our unused talents.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 363

“He who refuses to become a ‘laborer together with God,’—the man who for the sake of selfish indulgence ignores the wants of his fellow men, the miser who heaps up his treasures here,—is withholding from himself the richest blessing that God can give him.” Counsels on Stewardship, 23
What are those blessings that we withhold from ourselves when we heap up treasures here on this earth. Through the practice of self-denial we receive the following blessings:

We are better able to understand the work of our Savior. “The giving that is the fruit of self-denial is a wonderful help to the giver. It imparts an education that enables us more fully to comprehend the work of Him who went about doing good, relieving the suffering, and supplying the needs of the destitute.” Messages to Young People, 300

Our character is thus molded into the likeness of our Savior. “While some go forth to preach, He calls upon others to answer his claims upon them for offerings with which to support His cause in the earth. He has placed means in the hands of men, that His divine gifts may flow through human channels in doing the work appointed us in saving our fellow men. This is one of God’s ways of exalting man. It is just the work that man needs, for it will stir the deepest sympathies of his heart, and call into exercise the highest capabilities of the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 255

We are brought into unity with God and with one another. “Christ’s believing people are to perpetuate His love. This love is to draw them together around the cross. It is to divest them of all selfishness and bind them to God and to one another.” Ibid., 256

We are enabled to cooperate with heavenly intelligences. “When we are willing to put away our selfish desires and give the powers of heart and mind to the work of the cause of God, heavenly agencies will co-operate with us, making us a blessing to humanity.” Messages to Young People, 299

The message will go with power. “When those who know the truth practice the self-denial enjoined in God’s Word, the message will go with power. The Lord will hear our prayers for the conversion of souls. God’s people will let their light shine forth, and unbelievers, seeing their good works, will glorify our heavenly Father.” Ibid., 315

We will see souls we have helped to win to Christ in heaven. “The means used to bless others will bring returns. Riches rightly employed will accomplish great good. Souls will be won to Christ. He who follows Christ’s plan of life will see in the courts of God those for whom he has labored and sacrificed on earth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 373

Investment. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it business enterprises, real estate, stocks and bonds, or savings accounts? Or maybe you thing back to the days when investment was called for in the Sabbath School department. All of these can be very valid and useful tools for the work of the Lord is employed in His service; but they are dim in comparison to the most costly investment which has ever been made or ever will be made throughout the eons of eternity—the investment God made in the human race.

Will we then, seeing our Saviour’s tremendous sacrifice, allow our hearts to remain cold, hard, and selfish? Can we see Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane and on Calvary and cling tenaciously to our habits of ease, slothfulness, and indolence, giving nothing to the cause of God? God forbid.

“The Lord God of heaven collected all the riches of the universe, and laid them down in order to purchase the pearl of lost humanity. The Father gave all His divine resources into the hands of Christ in order that the richest blessings of heaven might be poured out upon a fallen race….This gift was given to man to convince him that God had left nothing undone that He could do, that there is nothing held in reserve, but that all heaven has been poured out in one vast gift.” Lift Him Up, 232

Yes, God has invested everything in the effort to bring to lost, degraded mankind the gift of salvation. While we were yet sinners, while we showed Him contempt, while we trampled upon His law, while we were in rebellion against His law, God invested all that He had to save us. We should respond with an investment, in percentage, no less than God invested in us—everything we have.

“Some think that only a portion of their money is the Lord’s. When they have set apart a portion for religious and charitable purposes, they regard the remainder as their own, to be used as they see fit. But in this they mistake. All we possess is the Lord’s and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it. In the use of every penny it will be seen whether we love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 351

We are to account at the bar of God for the way that we spend every penny, but that is not all. We are also responsible for what we could have returned to God if we would have been wise managers of our time, influence, and money. Remember the story of the talents in Matthew 25? God actually required more in return than what He gave the servant with two talents. What are we to learn from this? God wants us to be more industrious and energetic than we have often realized.

Make a covenant with God.


  • Choose a day of the week and dedicate all proceeds billed that day to the shortwave radio station. (And be prepared for a busy day!)
  • Pledge all of your new pay clients over the next six months.


  • Dedicate the profits from one project to the proclamation of the three angel’s messages through the means of the shortwave station.
  • Donate a certain percentage of profits (above tithe and offerings) to the Lord.

Business Owners:

  • Give all new accounts to the shortwave project.
  • Consecrate a certain percentage of profits to the project.


  • Invest in something with eternal dividends! Sell your stocks and save taxes, too! (Contact Cecil Reed for particulars.)
  • Land / Property Owners:
  • Deed a piece of land to the cause of God and make your estate investment in heaven sure. (See Testimonies, vol. 1, 692.)


  • Pray about a second job such as house-sitting for families going on vacation and needing someone to stay in their home, baby-sitting, etc.
  • Sell your collectibles! Stamp collections, coin collections, Hummels, etc.—they are worth money now, but soon will not be. Sell now and save souls for eternity!

Children and youth:

  • Collect aluminum cans.
  • Shovel snow or do yard work.
  • Baby-sit.
  • Ask friends, neighbors, and relatives if there is anything you can do to help earn money for a mission project. (Tell them about the shortwave station!)
  • Have a garage, attic, or yard sale, and donate the proceeds to the station.
  • Dedicate the profits from two or more Sundays a month of colporteuring with your children to the radio station—a wonderful experience for your family, and soul-saving in two ways! (Call Steps to Life to order books and/or a suggested canvas.)
  • Decide as a family to save all of the money spent on needless things such as gum, candy, and soda pop, and put it in a “self-denial box.”

The End

Letter from a Concerned Reader

The issue of the two differing views among the ministries as to who and what is the church has been a frustration and a sorrow to many of us laity. Many of us have asked, “Why can’t they get together on this?” of “Aren’t they both saying the same thing?” After much research in this area, I fear these sides may not find unity. But with a greater understanding of the roots for these two trains of thought, it is my prayer that a unity can come, based on truth, that will prepare the way for the latter rain fullness. As we are still to be operating as a theocracy (see Testimonies, vol. 8, 180; Testimonies, vol. 7, 109), I have been puzzled as to why some have been so adamant against the ordination service that was carried out according to the Bible plan. I am reluctant to comment concerning what motives may be hidden here.

Is it not appropriate at this time, when much of the structure is rapidly hastening off the platform of truth and forming the false organization we are warned about (see Selected Messages, book 2, 390), to ask the question, Where is God’s theocracy ? This became a life and death issue in Jesus’ day when Jesus and John presented the good old paths. But God knows that we, as humans, cannot handle knowing these things ahead of time. I cannot find any place that the infallibility of this structure is taught—it is conditional. I believe this was why God sealed the book of Daniel to the Jews, for it predicted their termination and the times when who and what is the church would be an issue. They were not to know ahead of time but were to do as we must do—dig deep into the mine of truth. As is our situation now, their shaking, or harvest, involved the shaking of their minds when confronted with truth interfacing with errors. (See 2 Thessalonians 2) It is then, when one’s mind remains unshaken from the platform of truth and he upholds God’s law, that his name also remains unshaken from the books of heaven. (See Hebrews 12:23, 27)

I believe God has again held His hand over aspects of truth until His timing is correct. He has promised before the last great test to indicate to the sheep which shepherds were in danger of leading them astray and to vindicate those who are teaching the truth. (See 1888 Materials, 1002; Testimonies, vol. 5, 100) This is a wonderful promise.

The traditional view which has been held in Adventism for many years is that the shaking out of the truth, or off the platform of truth, necessarily equates with being shaken out of the church. This latter has next become the prominent feature of the shaking—another tower of Babel so to speak. And indeed, as long as the structure and theocracy remains pure, these will be equated. But in times of apostasy, instead of leaving the organized structure, those who blow off the platform of truth by the heresies and false doctrines allowed by God’s fan are received and maintained, while those who attempt to expose their danger by the presentation of truth are cast out. This is truly the measure of our apostasy. (See Testimonies to Ministers, 490-410; Habakkuk 3:17)

Are the true and faithful ministries under God’s theocracy as they move according to all God’s counsels and by the leading of the Holy Spirit? Yes. Are we under God’s theocracy when we go to Egypt or to Babylon for church growth aid, use NLP, ecumenize, celebrate in sin, and as we go to legal counselors of the world instead of our true Counselor? We need to take God’s Word as it reads. I find that Selected Messages, book 3, 303, speaks clearly to me that our lawsuits being allowed are a sign from God concerning who is in control. And when ministers read Elder Johnson’s Review and Herald concerning the harmless nature of labs 1 and 2, if they truly understand the issue, they will be found following the counsel in Selected Messages, book 3, 412.

Do we believe Mrs. White, that this structure will be swept away if the omega remains? (See Selected Messages, book 1, 205) We know that historically, the whole system had to be swept away. (See The Desire of Ages, 36) History is repeating. In the 1888 Materials, 919, we read that if we do not keep God as our local destination harbor pilot, the church will make shipwreck and sink. This could not be referring to the true church, for we know it will go through. Mrs. White teaches the conditionality of the fate of the structure. The true ship to go through will be the one with solid planks of truth. The one that will shipwreck will be those who step off the platform of truth and range under Satan’s banner, joining the ranks of the enemy. And many of these are now still professing to be Seventh-day Adventists.

With these, and other quotes, are we not misreading Selected Messages, book 2, 380 if we view this church as being the whole church and structure? Are we not in danger of causing Mrs. White to contradict herself and thus to subtly be a part of Satan’s last great deception. Can the side-skirting of Upward Look, 131, occur? If I read these quotes correctly, it is very possible.

If we try to reason out things from the Bible without regard for the Spirit of Prophecy, our divinely inspired expositor of Scripture, we are idolizing our own reason and have not truly experienced the new birth. We need to study line upon line (see Selected Messages, book 1, 42) in order to find the true view that will bring unity.

Now, if we look closely at Selected Messages, book 2, 380, in a way that does not bring contradictions in Mrs. White’s teachings, we find defined there which church she is talking about which does not fall off the platform of truth. It is the wheat, the true church, which ever will remain on the platform of truth. Yes, Mrs. White is a true prophet and does not contradict herself.

This also brings to light our grave danger of attributing this phase of the harvest, which is even now occurring, to a time in the future. If our structure had remained pure, indeed it would also have been found with the true church which remains on the platform of truth. Many would not have been found leaving the true gospel of present truth and dabbling in worldly methods, including hypnotism (see Early Writings, 55-56) Rather, they would have sided on the truth with God’s messengers.

Are we too embarrassed today to call attention to God’s plan for a theocracy , with no need for church lawsuits which always culminate in persecution? If so, may God be with us and give us the love we need for our brethren in the structure who are caught unawares and need to know where the truth is. As Jesus did with Nicodemus, we need to point out to the leaders that they cannot understand the nature of the new birth when they refuse to understand the nature of Christ. The lifting up of the brass serpent typified the mystery of godliness, the union between humanity and divinity made possible by God’s great plan. It represented Christ, come in the likeness of sinful flesh. (See John 3:14 with Desire of Ages, 174-175 and Series A, 304)

Some are now emphasizing that we have time to choose here, as did those in Jerusalem as the Roman armies approached; but we need to remember what happened in Jesus’ day to those who did not, according to God’s timing, receive His message concerning who and what is the church.

The surrounding of Jerusalem by the Roman armies now equates with the national Sunday law, of course. But many forget that the door of mercy always closes first on those with great light. (See Patriarchs and Prophets, 41, 401; This Day With God, 163; Review and Herald, July 5, 1906; Testimonies, vol. 5, 208-216; The Great Controversy, 27-18) In this latter reference, we see that the long probation on Jerusalem was especially for the children ant those who had not yet received ample light. It concerns me when I hear leaders apply this time factor to themselves. It is true that many leaders took their stand for truth during the early rain, but most were looking to a bright future for the apostate church structure with a freedom from the one-world order, Roman oppressors. And most of the people followed them to destruction without studying for themselves. (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 747) Notice in Adventist Apocalypse, 256, that this deceptive teaching was prominent before the fall of Jerusalem. But especially note that it is again going to be prominent with us. Are we not now seeing the beginnings of this same deceptive message today in some of the ministries? I will try to explain.

Notice in Rosenvold’s book on the wheat and tares—1993, that some are beginning to place all the “weeds” with the tares. Some are placing open sinners with the tares and wheat. This homogenous mixture is taught to be the apple of God’s eye and includes open sin and the new theology false prophets. This, they say, is God’s church; and God will cause it to be physically purged of all the tares, at this highly visible, physical cleansing of the structure prior to the latter rain. According to this view, the cleansing from all sin of the individuals in the church and the polarization within the church, to then be brought about by the three angels’ messages as is even now under way, is effectively placed in the future. This cleansing, which will be very obvious, will, of course, bring a mass exodus from our church and will also free us again from the Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist oppression from those in our midst who are ecumenizing and favoring the coming one-world order. Does not this view depict a glorious future for the structure? I would also like to embrace this view! Then the issue of who and what is the church is already cut and dried. It is a cinch and we will clearly see the time for the latter rain. But does Inspiration uphold this view?

This generally held view is exactly why many now see no relevancy in the question of who and what is the church and actually become upset at hearing about it. This, of course, is why they also see no reason for the ordination service which they feel was out of God’s timing. Some with this view, who place open sinners with the tares, quote from Testimonies to Ministers, 233-235, but somehow fail to see that on page 234 this final separation takes place at the second coming! They forget that the reason we are in danger of unifying with those who depart the faith (see Selected Messages, book 3, 412) is that they still call themselves Seventh-day Adventists. In The Great Controversy, 608, we need to emphasize that these apostates abandon the three angels’ messages and join ranks of the enemy, whether or not they physically leave a pure church or remain in an apostate church.

Are we not now seeing this storm approach? Mrs. White equates the Jews, who are in the synagogue of Satan (see Revelation 2:2, 9; 3:9), to Adventists. (See Little Flock, 11.) Understanding who and what the true church militant is becomes clear by looking closely at Testimonies to Ministers, 1-81 (recommended reading by writers of Issues) and has helped us to place things in perspective. Notice how Testimonies to Ministers, 16, defines the synagogue of Satan. Then notice the definition of the true church militant on page 51. It is those on God’s side of the great controversy who are militant with truth against the synagogue of Satan. Notice all of the qualifying phrases all through these pages which help to clarify God’s true church militant. So, Testimonies to Ministers, 22-23, must now be flip-flopped 180 degrees when we understand the earmarks of His people. Testimonies, vol. 5, 83, states that we are God’s people only when entirely His (new birth = wheat = wise virgins). They do not rise up against the message. (See Early Writings, 270) They do not disparage the true church about to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They do not fight against those who uphold the Laodicean message. (See Testimonies to Ministers, 23) It is the synagogue of Satan which forms a hollow square around the true church militant, turning upon it their unholy guns of Perth, issues, lawsuits, and illegal disfellowshipping, done according to men’s rules rather than God’s. They denounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Babylon. It is not the true church militant which favors celebration and ecumenism over the three angel’s messages. (See Testimonies, vol. 8, 118-119.) Many have forgotten that for us to celebrate in the day of atonement when we have this great light is to commit an unpardonable sin. (See Isaiah 22.)

The Jews rejected the theocracy when they chose Caesar as their king rather than Jesus. (See The Desire of Ages, 737-738.) Do we love our brethren enough to warn them about the true nature of God’s theocracy ? Was this not one of the main issues in 1888? Do we not repeat history as we go against Christ in the form of His messenger, going to Caesar to rid ourselves of them?

Please read Testimonies, vol. 6, 408, concerning what it means to be spewed out of Jesus’ mouth. Those in Jesus’ day who did not learn who and what is the church did not know when they were spewed. And when Jesus cleansed the temple, the structure and leadership went right on for years claiming to be the true Seventh-day Adventist Church, while those seeking the truth found it. During the early rain, Peter had to warn the people to no longer wait for nor counsel with the leaders. (See Acts of the Apostles, 43-44) It appears that the latter rain is near. I want to be a part of it. This is why Satan now has his new theology ministers trying to hypnotize the flocks. (See Early Writings, 43-44) We are not to link up or unify with them. (See Selected Messages, book 3, 411-412) By simply following this counsel and Jesus’ counsel to not follow the blind leaders of the blind, we will be called separationists and dissidents. That is all right. We want to be saved along with our young children. Lately, we have not been having to worry about having to explain to our children why the minister has been teaching error. We have come to realize that we can no longer safely exclude our Seventh-day Adventist Church from the counsel in Early Writings, 124-125. If, after addressing error with truth, a minister plays down truth in favor of some “hidden agenda,” then we no longer feel safe in going back to that church. I praise the Lord for the shepherds who are feeding many, now in their own home churches. God indicated the value of home churches in the latter rain time as in the early rain. (See Testimonies to Ministers, 508) Sad to say, I know altogether too many sheep and loved ones who are not now motivated to really study. They do not recognize this current harvest and the crisis that is here. They are determined to stay by what they believe is the ship because of their erroneous view concerning a future physical purging, confusing this with our current harvest being effected by the third angel. (See Early Writings, 118) Some of them who used to be staunch missionaries are actually now willing to say that it must not now be God’s timing to give the three angels’ messages, for the church leaders will know the timing. I want to realize God’s timing on who and what is God’s theocracy .

It appears that we are in excellent company when we absent ourselves from many of today’s religious gatherings. (See Desire of Ages, 449-450) We see no Bible precedent for withdrawing our membership. But nonattendance may be necessary to not unify with them and to maintain our Bible standards. “At that time [latter rain—just before close of probation and plagues] many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this wold has supplanted love for God and His Word.” Maranatha, 33. If the world is introduced into the church, it will thus become corrupted as other denominations, as stated in Revelation 18. (See Testimonies, vol. 4, 513) “When Christians choose the society of the ungodly and unbelieving, they expose themselves to temptation.” Great Controversy, 508

The End

Where God is Working

The third chapter of 1 Corinthians is rapidly becoming one of my favorite books in the New Testament. It is really one of the great books in the Bible about who and what the church is. Verse 2 of the first chapter says, “To the church of God which is at Corinth to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus.” We see that the church in Corinth, were those people in that city who were sanctified in Christ Jesus. If you turn to chapter 3, you will find one of the most astounding verses in all of the Bible. In fact, verse 9 was the verse that my brother Marshall used for his very last sermon. It says, “For we are God’s fellow workers.” If you study the Spirit of Prophecy writings carefully, you will find out that this is one of Ellen White’s favorite verses and that she used it over and over again to show how we become workers together with God. There is no higher privilege that any person could have than to actually be a fellow laborer—a fellow worker with God! If you want to be a fellow worker with God, do you think it might be important for you to find out where God is working? Ever since the beginning of time, God has been working. As you study the inspired writings, they always focus the attention on where God is working.

When I studied ancient history, I found out that there were many things going on during Abraham’s time, but inspiration does not go into any of that. It focuses all the attention on where God is working. If you want to be a fellow worker with God, you need to find out where God is working.

Even though Adam had many children, inspiration focuses only on a holy line of men through whom God was working. Seth had a son named Enos, and in his time, the Bible says that men began to call on the name of the Lord. That is where God was working. Then, in the seventh generation from Adam, Enoch was born. That is where God was working, and the people who chose to be fellow workers with God worked in cooperation with Enoch. After Enoch, there was Noah; and if you had been living in Noah’s time and you wanted to be a fellow worker with God, you would be working with Noah.

By the time there had been twenty generations, the whole world had already rejected God twice. God looked over the world and he found a man whose name was Abraham. He said to Abraham, “I am going to fulfill the plan of salvation through you and through your seed [Christ].”

As you study the Bible record, you will find a certain characteristic in common among all those through whom God was working. In speaking of Abraham, God clearly identified what it is that qualifies a person to be a colaborer with Him. “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:5. Abraham was obedient.

At the time that God brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, He made them a wonderful promise: “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then You shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” Exodus 19:5

Did this promise have conditions? God made a covenant with them. He said, “If you do this, I will do this for you; you will be My special people.” There have always been conditions.

Have you ever heard people say that there are unconditional promises? I decided to check this out in inspired writings; and when I looked in the writings of Ellen White, she says that all of God’s promises and threatenings are conditional. Do not let anyone tell you, unless they can show you from inspired writings, that any promise is unconditional.

Israel wandered in the wilderness for thirty-eight years longer than they had to because they were not obedient and they rebelled. Finally, when they entered Canaan, they went into apostasy again and started worshiping idols. This went on for hyndreds of years. During this time the tabernacle was still with them, and they kept the yearly feast days.

Do you know where the tabernacle was located during all the period of the judges? It was located in Shiloh, in the land of Ephraim. Many people have almost forgotten that Ephraim was the center of divine worship for over three hundred years. The people of that time thought that it would always be that way.

Look what it says about this in the Psalms. “Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.” Psalms 78:67,68

Why did God reject Ephraim and remove the tabernacle from Shiloh? “The ark remained at Shiloh for three hundred years, until, because of the sins of Eli’s house, it fell into the hands of the Philistines, and Shiloh was ruined.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 514

The leaders of God’s people fell into apsotasy and sin. As a result, the Lord told Eli, “You are not going to be a priest for Me. Your descendants are not going to be My priests forever.”

They were descendants of Aaron—God’s people; but the Lord said, “You are no longer going to be priests.” He rejected Ephraim as the religious center—something that they thought could not happen, happened. “The sanctuary service was finally transferred to the temple at Jerusalem, and Shiloh fell into insignificance. There are only ruins to mark the spot where it once stood. Long afterward its fate was made use of as a warning to Jerusalem.” Ibid.

A few hundred years later the people of Jerusalem thought the same thing. The temple there was the center of divine worship, and they believed that this was where God was working. Hundreds of years after the worship had been transferred from Shiloh, the Lord, through Jeremiah, said: “’Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,’ says the LORD. ‘But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. And now, because you have done all these works,’ says the LORD, ‘and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren—the whole posterity of Ephraim.’” Jeremiah 7:9-15

As we look at history, we see that God cannot work with people who are living in sin. If you want to be a fellow worker with God, you cannot link up and work with people who are living and working in sin. With God, character is what counts; and God is working with people who listen to His voice and who obey.

We are told of Israel:

“Their calamities did not come because they kept the law of God, but because they disregarded that law. God had told them that if they did not obey His commandments, he could not keep His covenant with them. The history of the Israelites is portrayed for our warning. They had great light and exalted privileges; yet they did not live up to that light nor appreciate their advantage, and their light became darkness. They walked in the light of their own eyes, instead of following the leadings of God. Their history is given for the benefit of those who live in these last days, that we may avoid following the same example of unbelief.” Signs of the Times, July 19, 1899

Where was God working in the time of Jesus? When Jesus was brought to the temple to be dedicated, Ellen White says that the priest did not recognize anything unusual. Commenting on this experience she says, “So it is still. Events upon which the attention of all heaven is centered, are undiscerned, their very occurrence is unnoticed, by religious leaders, and worshipers in the house of God.” The Desire of Ages, 56

The attention of all heaven is focused on Christ’s birth! And down here in this world the people who claim to be God’s true people do not even know it has taken place. How can you be a laborer together with God it you do not even know where God is working?

So, during the time when Jesus was here, where was God working? God was working through His Son to bring salvation to a lost world, If you had wanted to be a laborer together with God, you had to connect yourself with Jesus and work with Him.

So, during the time when Jesus was here, where was God working? God was working through His Son to bring salvation to a lost world. If you had wanted to be a laborer together with God, you had to connect yourself with Jesus and work with Him.

The New Testament writers predict that a terrible change is going to take place among those who profess to be Christians. Paul speaks, addressing the elders from the church of Ephesus: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchases with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves [church leaders] men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Acts 20:28-30

Speaking of this same great apostasy, Paul wrote: “Let no one deceive you by any means: for that Day [the day of Christ] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4

Peter talked about this apostasy, too. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” 2 Peter 2:1, 2 [All emphasis supplied.] The word blasphemy means to speak evil of something. As a result of this new teaching, the real way of truth will be evil spoken of.

Notice that both Peter and Paul say that false prophets will secretly bring in destructive heresies. Whenever you find a book that is written to which the authors do not want to put their name, you ought to remember these texts.

Paul identifies this element as the mystery of lawlessness. This apostasy will, therefore, involve the breaking of God’s law and result in the way of truth being evil spoken of. Did this happen?

“The history of God’s people during the ages of darkness that followed upon Rome’s supremacy is written in heaven, but they have little place in human records. Few traces of their existence can be found, except in the accusations of their persecutors. It was the policy of Rome to obliterate every trace of dissent from her doctrines or decrees. Everything heretical, whether persons or writings, she sought to destroy….Before the invention of printing, books were few in number, and in a form not favorable for preservation; therefore there was little to prevent the Romanists from carrying out their purpose.” The Great Controversy, 61, 62

If you were living in that time and you wanted to be a fellow worker with God, it made all the difference in the world whether or not you understood that God was working with people who were keeping His law. If you did not understand this principle, you could not be a fellow laborer with God. Do you realize, friends, that there have been millions of people who have believed that they were working with the Lord but were working with the devil the whole time?

We find that all of the sixteenth century Reformers upheld God’s law. They did not all understand the binding claims of the fourth commandment, but they did not reject it. There is a great difference between not understanding truth and rejecting it. Martin Luther, a well as John, preached a great deal on the Ten Commandments and believed in them. God was leading a people on step by step.

When you study sacred history, you find that in the latter part of the eighteenth and the early part of nineteenth century, simultaneously, all over the world, God started raising up people from all the various Christian churches with the message that Jesus was coming soon. The great second advent movement emerged. We are not able in our limited space here to go into detail about what happened in the second advent movement, but out of that movement there was a group of people that eventually formed who were called Millerites, Adventists, and later Seventh-day Adventists.

As this group studied, they discovered the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14. Having learned the meaning of the sanctuary message in the books of Hebrews and Daniel, they realized that the day of Judgment was to begin on October 22, 1844. This is not a message that the apostle Paul preached, because it would not have been true during his lifetime. The apostle Paul taught that the Judgment was still in the future. (See Acts 24:25.) Martin Luther did not preach it either. But here is a message that the hour of God’s Judgment has come. You cannot preach that the hour of God’s judgment has come unless you know it has started. But how do we know for sure that it has started? There is only one way that I know of that you know that the hour of God’s judgment has started, and that is from Daniel 8 and 9.

Now, do you understand why the devil has made our understanding of Daniel 8 and 9 a focal point of attack? If he can destroy a person’s confidence in that truth, that person can no longer preach the first angel’s message. And remember, the second and third angels’ messages are built upon the first. You cannot preach the third unless you preach the second, and you cannot preach the second unless you preach the first. And if you do not understand Daniel 8:14 about the twenty-three hundred days, you are no longer a Seventh-day Adventist.

Where is God working today? God is working today with the people who are proclaiming the three angels’ messages. That is where God is working today. If you want to be a fellow laborer with God today, you have to join up with the people who are doing this.

Let me ask you this question. How can you preach the second angel’s message if you do not know who Babylon is according to Revelation 18:1-5? The second angel’s message is going to be a fellow laborer with God today, you have to know this message.

The third angel’s message is a warning against the beast, his image, and his mark. Notice how the message concludes. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. If you are not even sure that you can really keep the commandments of God, how can you be a fellow laborer with God and preach Revelation 14:12? Have you noticed that it does not say that here are those who are trying to deep the commandments? It says they keep them. You cannot be a fellow laborer with God and be involved in His last work for the world if you cannot proclaim the message, and you certainly cannot proclaim the message if you do not believe it is true. Do you see how dangerous this idea is when people say, “You are going to keep sinning until Jesus comes”?

If you want to know where God is working, the first thing you want to look for is a group of Adventists who really keep the commandments and do not play around and say, “Well, we are doing the best we can.” Listen, friends, the best you can do is not good enough, unless you are keeping the commandments by the power of God. If you give your life to the Lord, He has the power to give you so that you can keep them. If we fail to keep them, when Jesus comes He will be able to show us millions of people who had the same besetting sins that we had, and He will say, “I gave all of these people power to overcome.” What are you going to say then? I want to tell you, you are going to be speechless.

The people described in Revelation 12:17 not only keep the commandments but they have the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 19:10 says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen White fulfilled this prophecy of giving the gift of prophecy to God’s remnant people. If you want to find the people who God is working through, you want to look for a people who have, believe, and obey the spirit of prophecy. That eliminates the large portion of those who make a profession of waiting for the Lord to come.

Revelation 14:12 points out that God’s people not only keep the commandments but they have the faith of Jesus. You will never find somebody who has the first qualification and does not have the third one because you cannot keep the commandments unless you do have the faith of Jesus. People who have the faith of Jesus will be a sanctified people.

There is another characteristic that, unfortunately, disqualifies many who qualify according to the first three characteristics. Revelation 14:6 tells us that God’s last people will be giving His last message to the world. “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” If you want to find the people through whom God is working and if you want to be a fellow laborer with God, you need to find the people who are determined to take the three angels’ messages to every single person in the world.

When you find those people, you will know what group to work with; you will know how to be a colaborer with God, because that is where God is working. He is working with the people who have these four characteristics: they keep his commandments; they have the spirit of prophecy and live by it; they have the faith of Jesus; and they are out to take the gospel to every single person in the whole world.

The catastrophe that I see taking place in Adventism today is that the great majority of Adventists are going to destruction, and when I try to warn them they say, “You say that we are in total apostasy.” Looking at the destruction of Jerusalem, we get just a little idea of what is ahead for Adventism. The only way that you are going to avoid being part of that destruction is if you are a coworker with God, working where God is working, obedient to his law.

The gospel is not a halfway business. Either you have to get in to it all the way or you might as well get out. Soon time will be no more, and when it is all over, I want to know that I have given it everything I have. I want all of my money, my time, my talents, everything I have, to be in the finishing God’s work. How about you?

The End

With the Speed of Light

“The heavenly messengers seen by Ezekiel, like a bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning, represent the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion.” Review and Herald, January 11, 1887

The hour has struck, when, because of developments in the formation of the Papal New World Order, the three angels’ messages must be proclaimed to every creature under heaven. As the network of New World Order influence and substance is being drawn together with breathtaking precision and speed, time is running out. The New World Order is global, affecting every nation and individual on the earth; and already legislation is in place in this country that would eliminate freedom, preparing for a sudden strike against the Protestant and republican features of American Constitutional law.

In this time of crisis, when there are millions who have never been brought in contact with the truth, God is making to historic Adventism the most powerful means available for communication the loud cry to the world. The story of how this has happened is the most incredible series of providences I have witnessed in my life.

When I was in college, as I read the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy for hours each day, a tremendous longing welled up within me to carry the message of the three angels of Revelation 14 to the world. Outside the borders of North America, the primary medium of communication is shortwave radio (there are approximately 500,000,000 shortwave radios in the world), and my dream included transmitting in the major language groups the message of The Great Controversy, The Desire of Ages, and the Scriptures, including the three angels’ messages. In the intervening twenty years, I obtained my advanced class amateur radio license while working toward my first class commercial license which is necessary to operate a radio station.

Earlier this fall, on the night of November 3, 1993, from about midnight on, I awoke every hour or two with a powerful impression regarding the proclamation of the message via shortwave. I felt strongly impressed to tell John Osborne in the morning of my dream of giving the gospel and the three angels’ messages by shortwave. That was Thursday morning. Little did I know what was taking place that day.

A shortwave radio station rarely goes on sale, but on Friday, John called the engineer for Joshua and Caleb at Prophecy Countdown, Gordon Simkin, to have him see if any short wave radio stations were available. On Monday morning, Gordon called his old friend, George Jacobs, who is perhaps the world’s leading authority on commercial shortwave radio stations.

A short time before, George had been contacted by the Christian Scientists. They had asked him to become the broker for the proposed sale of their large station in Scott’s Corner, Maine. Though George is not a broker, they recognized him as an authority on shortwave radio and wanted him to manage the sale of their station.

The transmitting power of this station is 500,000 watts—the largest made. This enormous energy is multiplied 100 times by the world’s most sophisticated and powerful shortwave antenna array, suspended between two gigantic towers—placing it in the position of being the most powerful shortwave station in the world. The station is in strategically the best location in the United States for reaching one-half of the world’s population. This station’s antenna is electronically steerable, making it possible to reach Scandinavia, all of Europe, Ukraine, western Russia, Afganistan, India, the Middle East, and the entire continent of Africa!

Though the law forbids targeting the United States with the antenna, the radiation pattern of this antenna provides a backwash of 50,000 watts on the reverse side that reaches clear across North America, making it clearly heard on the West Coast.

George had just received the prospectus on the Friday before John called, which meant that the Lord impressed me at the very time the prospectus for the sale of the most powerful shortwave station in the world was traveling to George Jacobs. George quickly forwarded a copy to Gordon by Federal Express.

Shortwave requires no satellite. The electronic magnetic waves from the antenna bounce off of the earth’s ionosphere, skipping the signal around the earth. This station is so powerful that the signal skips off of the ionosphere, bounces between the ionosphere and the earth at the speed of light, encompasses the globe and hits the antenna on the back side!

Amateur radio operators sometimes endeavor to see how little wattage it takes to encompass the globe and have found that Morse code can be sent around the world with eight watts of power! The advantage of all of this power is that it not only provides a very reliable communication, but it transmits a very strong signal; and, of course, people are inclined to listen to the loudest signal.

Prophecy countdown contacted their attorney. Within a few hours, working from a laptop computer, the attorney was able to turn out a twenty-five page contract which, along with 40,000, was sent to George Jacobs.

Soon after this, George called Prophecy Countdown and told them that the contract they had submitted was one of the finest he had ever seen and complimented them on the skill of their attorney.

Because they were so prompt in being able to put together a contract in a record period of time, the offer made by Prophecy Countdown was very favorably received. Monday evening, a week later, saw John and his family, Gordon, the attorney, and the Prophecy Countdown board flying to Maine to see the station.

It might be appropriate to mention here that the lawyer later added a little light to how he was able to so quickly put together a contract for the purchase of the station.

It seems that about two years earlier he had been strongly impressed that one of his clients would be needing a contract of this nature, and he had begun working on it. The contract was, by nature, very specific in its application and limited in its scope. He had completed his work on it only days before he received the call from Prophecy Countdown requesting a contract of exactly the nature he had been working on for the last two years.

The call from the radio station owners, inviting the board of Prophecy countdown up to Maine to finalize negotiations, resulted in a call to the travel agent. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most heavily utilized travel periods, and no seats were available. Not discouraged, the team at Prophecy Countdown sought the Lord in prayer. No sooner had the prayer ended than the phone rang and the travel agent was on the line. She apologized for failing to remember that they had sufficient travel mileage and that for a minimal charge they could be upgraded to first class seating, a few seats of which were still available. Quickly, they requested six seats. A few minutes later it was thought that it would be wise to add another seat for the attorney. They called again, but already the remaining seats were filled.

Tuesday, the Prophecy countdown board met with the Christian Scientists. The station, built for $7.2 million in 1987, could not be rebuilt for less than $10 million. Knowing that the assessed value is $8 million, Prophecy Countdown offered $4 million. An agreement was reached, accepting 40,000 as a down payment, with a total figure of $5 million, and a contract was signed.

Ross Perot, the Roman Catholics, and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, it turns out, were also contenders for the purchase. Adventist World Radio had to vote to buy the station; however, there were reviews by two more committees required. That would have taken until spring.

When one considers the ability of this station to reach billions of people, constituting half of the world’s population, and all the world’s population with additional equipment, this station is far and away the most cost effective way of reaching—instantly—the world’s population with the three angel’s messages. Even the remote, nomadic tribes on the earth have shortwave receivers.

It is the Lord’s doing, marvelous in our eyes. The effort in the proclamation of the message is to be borne by several ministries. Programming is to be developed and aired by Prophecy Countdown, Steps to Life, Biblical Studies Institute, and Modern Manna Ministries. We are committed to the proclamation of the three angels’ messages—the bread of life—for a starving world.

It is the will of God that the gospel commission be completed. Here is the finest technological tool in the world to instantly complete the proclamation of the gospel. There are other stations that are as strong, but none are stronger.

When the opportunity presented itself and a call was made, in a few months God’s people raised $1.2 million for Caleb and Joshua, to proclaim the message by satellite TV to the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. The next challenge of faith is to purchase much of the rest of the world with the three angels’ messages. We are well able to go up and possess the land, to purchase and operate this station by faith in Christ.

Thanksgiving weekend, at the campmeeting in northern Georgia, a series of meetings was broadcast by Caleb and Joshua. In an amazingly short period of time, God’s people raised a quarter of a million dollars toward the goal of $400,000 that must be raised by January 17, 1994, the balance of $4.6 million to be paid by May 16, 1994.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” Mathew 28:19, 20

“And Jesus said unto them,…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20. This mountain of expense for the station is to be met with the demand of faith.

As the Lord impresses your heart to give to the support of this station, you can be a vital part of the proclamation of the Loud Cry by sending your contribution, marked “Shortwave Station” to Prophecy Countdown, Box 1844, Mount Dora, Florida, 32757.

The End

Editorial – The Wheat and the Tares, part 2

The parable of the wheat and the tares forcibly teaches the lesson that salvation or damnation is not the result of a moment but is a process which takes place over a period of time. Unfortunately, the idea has become commonly accepted that a person may live a life of sin and at a moment of utmost extremity, call on the name of the Lord, and be saved by a mere profession of faith. But notice what Ellen White says.

“Those who are quieting a guilty conscience with the thought that they can change a course of evil when they choose, that they can trifle with the invitations of mercy, and yet be again and again impressed, take this course at their peril. They think that after casting all their influence on the side of the great rebel, in a moment of utmost extremity, when danger compasses them about, they will change leaders. But this is not so easily done. The experience, the education, the discipline of a life of sinful indulgence, has so thoroughly molded the character that they cannot then receive the image of Jesus. Had no light shone upon their pathway, the case would have been different. Mercy might interpose, and give them an opportunity to accept her overtures; but after light has been long rejected and despised, it will be finally withdrawn.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 269 (See also Testimonies, vol. 1, 81, 82.)

Salvation is not obtained by a simple profession of faith. The faith that is professed must be perfected through a growth in grace. “In the Kingdom of God, position is not gained through favoritism. It is not earned, nor is it received through an arbitrary bestowal. It is the result of character. The crown and the throne are the tokens of a condition attained; they are tokens of self-conquest through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Desire of Ages, 549 (See James 2:14-26.)

In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the wheat, or good seed, represents the gospel of truth. (See Signs of the Times, February 4, 1897.) When this seed is received, it begins to transform the character until the mind perfectly reflects the mind of Christ. (See Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 244.)
As a person is what he thinks in his heart, the person who is transformed into the likeness of Christ, displays a Christlike character—a mature stalk of wheat.

Tares, on the other hand, represent the seeds of evil. Any seed of evil that is allowed to remain in the heart will eventually choke the good seed. “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.” Steps to Christ, 34. As the seed of evil matures in the mind, it eventually becomes evident in a character that is symbolized by tares.

When the person is openly bearing evil fruit—living in open sin—he is to be disfellowshipped from the church but as long as he professes faith and is outwardly living according to the commandments, we are not to judge his character and motive. (See Christ’s Object Lessons, 71.)

Years ago we simply stated that the harvest is the end of the world, which is, of course, true. A careful reading of the parable, however, reveals something about the nature of the harvest.

All farmers know that the harvest is not instantaneous, but the closing period of the growing season. The same is true of the harvest of grace. Speaking of this event, Jesus said: “And in the time of the harvest.” That phrase could also be accurately translated, “during the time of the harvest.” The harvest time is that period in the “end of the age” of grace. It is that period of time when through the third angel’s message a final separation of the wheat and the tares takes place (see Early Writings, 118), when the character of every plant becomes evident and public.

Notice in the following quotation how clearly it is stated that the harvest is a period of time. “Let both grow together until the harvest. Then the Lord sends forth His reapers to gather out the tares, and binds them in bundles to burn, while the wheat is gathered into the heavenly garner. The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous.” Special Testimonies, Series A, 6. Clearly the harvest is a period of time during which the character, which has long been developing through the growing season (the age of grace), is fully developed, and the destiny forever fixed.

Friend, do not be tempted to think that the harvest could not possibly take place without you knowing it. It could be over before you know it! (See Jeremiah 8:20; Early Writings, 71.)