Children’s Story – Something Better: The Story of a Shrine

Miss S was in need of a strong man to draw her jinrikisha as she made her daily rounds, visiting and superintending the work of the daily schools under her care. Our faithful cook, who had become an earnest Christian since coming to work for us, had undertaken to find a suitable man.

“Sensei,” he said, returning one day from a tour of investigation, “I have found a young man who would be just the one for the place I think, but one thing makes him hesitate.”

“And what is that?” asked the missionary.

“Well,” he replied, “he is only just married and he and his wife would be glad to come here to work but his mother, who is old and dependent upon him for support, is very faithful in the worship of her gods, and especially of her husband’s spirit. And as her worship is her only satisfaction in life now, her son is afraid to go and live at a Christian place, for fear she would not be allowed liberty in her religious worship. As for himself and his wife, he said they were not particular about such things; but it was different with his old mother, and he could never consent to anything that would interfere with the happiness of her last days. I told him,” continued our cook, “that if they came to live here, he and his wife, being servants in the household, would be expected to attend morning worship daily, but that I was sure his old mother would be allowed perfect freedom to worship as she pleased in her own room.”

“You are right,” replied the missionary. “See the man again, and tell him that as we are not engaging his mother to work for us, she will be entirely at liberty to worship as she pleases, and never obliged to attend our Christian services. Only we can not permit the display of the emblems of her religion outside her own room or on our gateposts, of course.”

So they came, and took up their abode in the gatehouse. The tiny, wrinkled old lady who claimed the dutiful Cho as her son, evidently shrank in awe from the big, fearsome, “Foreign teachers”—specimens, to her, utterly foreign, truly, to everything she had ever known.

At a stated hour each morning the servants of the household were gathered together for instruction in the things of God. Miss S was the faithful and efficient teacher of this daily class, carefully explaining the word of God and the way of salvation, and leading these darkened souls into the light. Cho and his wife were regular attendants at the morning service, and after we had smiled a cheery “Good morning, O Baa San!” often enough to the dear, wee little woman sitting on the mats in her room by the gate, so that she was accustomed to the sight of us, as we daily passed by, and was losing her fear of us, an invitation was sent her to come with Cho and listen to the teaching. However, invitation after invitation was declined, and the missionaries quietly waited for the Spirit of the Lord to woo and win her.

Meanwhile Cho’s interest was awakened, and developed until at last he took Jesus to be his own Saviour, and erelong sought and received baptism. He gave up smoking, and began to live a quiet, consistent Christian life.

One morning, just as the morning service was beginning, in slipped the little old mother, quiet as a mouse, and dropped on the mats beside her son. No notice was taken of her, and the service went quietly on to the close, and then, as the members of the class bowed low with their heads to the floor—as is Japanese custom before taking one’s departure—the missionary said, quietly but cordially: “We are glad to see you here this morning, O Baa San.” Thereafter she came regularly to hear the “Jesus doctrine,” always quietly dropping in, the last one, at the little gathering, silently listening, and as silently slipping away again at its close. Whether or not any impression was being made upon the heart so long shrouded in the darkness of heathendom we had no means of knowing. But we prayed on.

Cho’s wife was getting supper ready for the little family in the gatehouse one evening. A baby daughter had come to cheer their home, and had been the unconscious means of drawing the delighted grandmother and the sympathetic foreign teachers nearer together. Just now, however, the wee treasure was tucked away in her quilts in a corner of the room, fast asleep, while Kinu, the young mother, was boiling rice, preparing the fish, and slicing the highly odoriferous pickled radish for the evening meal. A diminutive oil lamp dimly lighted the small apartment. It was early autumn, and the night was cool and clear, and the stars shone brightly down upon the quiet, temporary home of the Bible Training School, their light filtering down through the branches of the weeping willow that stood by the well, and resting tenderly upon the figure of a dear little woman, so small and so frail standing there in the shadows, with clasped hands and upturned face. “O God!” she pleaded, “if there be one true God, who has done so much for my son Cho, reveal thyself to me also.”

Presently one of the sliding doors of the gatehouse was quietly pushed aside from without and Kinu looked up inquiringly: “Where have you been, mother? I have noticed of late that you frequently slip outdoors of an evening. Isn’t it cold?” And to the amazement of the daughter-in-law came the quiet earnest reply: “I have been praying to Cho’s God.”

In the old lady’s face there was a new light, and in her heart a strange, deep, sweet peace—the answer from the unseen Lord.

We heard with great joy that this precious soul, so near the end of a weary lifetime, had at last found rest and peace, and we watched quietly to see the Spirit of the living God still further teach and lead on the soul so newly awakened.

Nothing was said about the old idol worship, nor about the worship of the husband’s spirit—ancestral worship, ever the strongest link in the chain that binds souls in the kingdom of darkness. But daily Miss S expounded the word of the Lord, and, all unseen to human sight, the good seed took root and grew up and bore fruit. Erelong our dear little lady asked to be baptized, and her request was granted.

One day we were both sitting at our desks in the one room that served us then as offices, dining and reception room, when there came a knock at the door. In answer to our “Come In!” the door opened and in came our wee O Baa San. Approaching the table, she placed upon it a small wooden shrine, the shrine at which she had so long and so faithfully worshipped the spirit of her deceased husband.

“Semsei,” she said turning to Miss S “you may have this shrine. I don’t need it any more I have SOMETHING BETTER.”

The End

Martin Luther, part XIV – Charles V

Charles had been present at the Diet of Worms in 1521 where Luther had been condemned as a heretic. For nine years he has been prevented from carrying out the edict against Luther. First the Pope, fearing Charles’s growing power, had joined in the “Holy League” with Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, and from 1521 to 1525 Charles was in war against that league.

Charles set his brother Ferdinand in charge of the Diet at Spires in 1526 for the purpose of having the Edict of Worms executed, but the outcome was just the opposite, with every state being given the freedom to decide on religious matters within its borders. That same year Charles found it necessary to carry the battle against the “Holy League” to Rome. The Pope and his cardinals fled to the Castle of St. Angelo while twenty thousand of Charles’ troops terrorized Rome’s inhabitants and sacked and pillaged the city. For the next three years the King was kept busy with intrigues and battles, as ambition and war strove together.

“Now it is from the region of the Danube that the hoarse roar of battle is heard to proceed. There the Turk is closing on fierce conflict with the Christian, and the leisure of Ferdinand of Austria, which otherwise might be worse employed, is fully occupied in driving back the hordes of a Tartar invasion.” History of Protestantism, 566.

The cities of Germany waited in terror for the approach of the Asiatic warriors and were greatly cheered by news that the invaders had suffered a defeat at Vienna. “The scarcity of provisions to which the Turkish camp was exposed, and the early approach of winter, with its snow-storms, combined to effect the raising of the siege and the retreat of the invaders; but Luther recognized in this unexpected deliverance the hand of God, and the answer of prayer.” Ibid., 567.

These troubles in the political world left the church, in peace, to organize and spread the doctrines of the Reformation. During these years of peace for the church, Luther translated the Bible into German, wrote his “Larger and Smaller Catechisms,” and produced numerous tracts and Bible commentaries. Wittenberg was not quiet for a minute. The university continued to teach religion and theology as well as the sciences.

Charles Refocuses His Attack on the Reformation

Now the emperor is “victorious over the league which his enemies had formed against him. He has defeated the King of France; he has taught Henry of England to be careful of falling a second time into the error he committed in the affair of Cognac; he has chastised the Pope and compelled Clement VII to sue for peace with a great ransom and the offer of alliance; and now he looks around him and sees no opponent save one, and that one apparently the weakest of all. That opponent swept from his path, he will mount to the pinnacle of power. Surely he who has triumphed over so many kings will not have to lower his sword before a monk. The emperor has left Spain in great wrath, and is on his way to chastise those audacious Protestants, who are now, as he believes, fully in his power.” Ibid, 567.

It would be much easier for Charles if these rebels were in some other part of his realm. He could easily have carried out the Edict of Worms had the offenders been in Spain or Flanders, but in Germany, Charles must follow the constitutional forms he had agreed to, at his coronation as emperor. In Germany he had to consult the will of others, so he proceeded to convoke another Diet at Augsburg. He first needed to make sure the crafty Pope was going to abide by their alliance, and this necessitated a trip to Italy for a personal interview.

In the autumn of 1529, he set sail from Spain through the Mediterranean to Genoa. The Italians feared the approach of their new master and were pleasantly surprised to see, when he landed, not a ferocious conqueror but a prince of winning address and gentle manners. But this smiling prince could certainly frown sternly. The Protestant deputies that were on their way to meet with him would have the latter experience.

The Reformed princes had given the famous protest at Spires in April of 1529. The Arch-Duke Ferdinand, brother to Charles, had presided over that Diet. He had stormed and left the assembly, so the protesters had appealed to a general assembly and to posterity. They followed up this act with an appeal to the emperor, and their ambassadors, three in number, were now on their way to approach the emperor. “Their mission was deemed a somewhat dangerous one, and before their departure a pension was secured to their widows in case of misfortune. The prospect of appearing in the imperial presence was no pleasant one, for they knew that they had come to plead for a cause which Charles had destined to destruction. Their fears were confirmed by receiving an ominous hint to be brief, and not preach a Protestant sermon to the emperor.

“Unabashed by the imperial majesty and the brilliant court that waited upon Charles, these three plain ambassadors, when the day of audience came, discharged their mission with fidelity. They gave a precise narrative of all that had taken place in Germany on the matter of religion since the emperor quitted that country, which was in 1521. They specially instanced the edict of toleration promulgated by the Diet of 1526; the virtual repeal of the edict by the Diet of 1529; and Protest of the Reformed princes against that repeal; their challenge of religious freedom for themselves and all who should adhere to them, and their resolution, at whatever cost, never to withdraw from that demand, but to prosecute their Protest to the utmost of their power. In all matters of the Empire they would most willingly obey the emperor, but in the things of God they would obey no power on earth. So they spoke. It was no pleasant thing, verily, for the victor of kings and the ruler of two hemispheres to be thus plainly taught that there were men in the world whose wills even he, with all his power, could not bend. This thought was the worm at the root of the emperor’s glory. Charles deigned no reply; he dismissed the ambassadors with the intimation that the imperial will would be made known to them in writing.” Ibid., 569.

One month following their appearance before the emperor, the written answer was delivered by the emperor’s secretary, Alexander Schweiss. It stated that the emperor was well acquainted with matters in Germany, through his brother Ferdinand, and that he intended to carry out the last edict from Spires of a few months before. Namely, his intention was to abolish the toleration and advance to destroy the religious movement. He called for the Duke of Saxony to obey the decree because he owed allegiance to the emperor and if he chose not to obey, the emperor would find it necessary to punish him.

The ambassadors had already prepared an appeal; for they had guessed what would be the contents of the written reply from Charles. They sent this back to the emperor with his secretary. After reading the appeal, the emperor ordered Schweiss to go and arrest the ambassadors and hold them under house arrest, where they were not only kept inside, but they were also not permitted to write to friends, nor send any servant abroad, under penalty of death.

It so happened that one of the three deputies was away from the hotel when the emperor’s secretary came to carry out the order. His servant slipped out and told him what had happened. He was able to write an account of the happenings and send it by a trusty messenger to the Senate at Nuremberg. He then joined his fellows in the inn to share their fate. Within a few days the emperor’s great retinue set out for Bologna to meet with the Pope. He took the three Protestant deputies as captives.

The Schmalkald Articles

As the emperor was traveling to Bologna the letter from the captive deputies arrived in Nuremberg. News of the emperor’s stand against their protest and of the arrest of the ambassadors caused a profound sensation. The Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse called a meeting of the Protestants in late November at Schmalkald. By this time Charles had released two of the deputies and the third had escaped. They were present to give a report in person. They “gave a full account of all that had befallen them at the court of the emperor. Their statement did not help to abate the fears of the princes. It convinced them to prepare against it; and the first and most effectual preparation, one would have thought, was to be united among them.” Ibid., 573.

Luther and friends had recently revised the Marburg Articles, in a strictly Lutheran sense, and these revised articles, known as the Schmalkald Articles were presented and signatures demanded, that they be first united on religion so they might be united for a political league. This required that all signers be agreed on transubstantiation. “This course was simply deplorable. Apart from religious belief, there was enough of clear political ground on which to base a common resistance to a common tyranny. But in those days the distinction between the citizen and the church-member, between the duties and the rights appertaining to the individual in his political and in his religious character, was not understood. All who would enter the proposed league must be of one mind on the tenet of consubsantiation. They must not only be Protestant, but Lutheran.” Ibid. The Lutheran princes would hear of no confederation with those who would not take the religious test. “The gulf between the Lutheran and the Reformed Churches was deepened at an hour when every sacrifice short of the principle of Protestantism itself ought to have been made to close it.” Ibid., 574.

Luther was not only opposed to union with those who did not see the Lord’s Supper in the exact light that he saw it, but he was also opposed to war. He believed that only the “sword of the spirit” should be used in the battle. “If then Luther must make his choice between the sword and the stake, between seeing the Reformation triumph on the field of war and triumph on the field of martyrdom, he infinitely prefers the latter. To have transferred the cause of Protestantism at that epoch from the pulpit, from the university, and the press, to the battle-field, would not have contributed to its final success.” Luther’s stand at Schmalkald is not defensible but the division did “ward off a great danger from Protestantism” and conducted “it into a path where it was able to give far sublimer proofs of its heroism, and to achieve victories more glorious and more enduring than any it could have won by arms.” Ibid.

Charles and Clement VII at Bologna

Bologna presents a splendid scene as the Pope and his host are housed in one palace with Charles and his troops in one that adjoins. The city is filled with church bells and military parades, “for religious ceremonies and military shows proceed without intermission.” A door is placed in the wall between the palaces of pope and emperor, and they are free to meet at all hours of the day or night. By day they meet with their counselors, and at night they meet secretly to form a plan against the Protestants.

Charles however has come to these meetings with a double mind. “He was now coming to see that to extinguish Luther would be to leave the Pope without a rival. The true policy was to tolerate Wittenberg, taking care that it did not become strong, and play it off, when occasion required, against Rome. He would muzzle it: he would hold the chain in his hand, and have the unruly thing under his own control. Luther and Duke John and Landgrave Philip would dance when he piped, and mourn when he lamented; and when the Pope became troublesome, he would lengthen the chain in which he held the hydra of Lutheranism, and reduce Clement to submission by threatening to let loose the monster on him. By being umpire Charles would be master.”

The counselors who were in Charles’ company were not less divided. “Campeggio and Gattinara advocated opposite policies. Campeggio was for dragging every Protestant to the stake and utterly razing Wittenberg.’ said he, ‘The first step in this process would be to confiscate property, civil or ecclesiastical, in Germany as well as in Hungary and Bohemia. For with regard to heretics, this is lawful and right. Is the mastery over them thus obtained, then must holy inquisitors be appointed, who shall trace out every remnant of them, proceeding against them as the Spaniards did against the Moors in Spain.’ . . . Not so did Gattinara counsel. He would heal the schism and unite Christendom, by other means. He called not for an army of executioners, but for an assembly of divines . . . ‘Assemble the pious men of all nations, and let a free Council deduce from the Word of God a scheme of doctrine such as may be received by every people.’ The policies of the two counselors stood markedly distinct—the sword, a Council.” Ibid., 575.

Pope Clement had more than one reason for opposing a council. Since the days of Pius IX and the decree of infallibility, the Pope had been the absolute head of the church. A council might threaten his superior authority. He also feared the council because he had gotten his pontifical chair by no blameless means, and had squandered the means of his office on his family inheritance, in Florence. A reckoning would be most inconvenient. “It is not” said he, “by the decree of councils, but by the edge of the sword, that we should decide controversies.” Charles sided with Gattinara. “The ecclesiastical potentate continued to advocate the sword, and the temporal monarch to call for a Council. It is remarkable that each distrusted the weapon with which he was best acquainted. ‘The sword will avail nought in this affair,’ urged the emperor; ‘let us vanquish our opponents in argument.’ ‘Reason,’ explained the Pope, ‘will not serve our turn; let us resort to force.’ ” Ibid., 578. The discussions continued through January. Battle on either front was not imminent since winter had closed the Alps and the emperor was quite comfortable in Bologna.

There was another reason that Charles preferred to have a council to an inquisition—because the Protestants were not small in number, and they had enough political power to be considered a threat to his throne. “It was clear that the burning of 100,000 Protestants or so would be only the beginning of the drama. The Pope would most probably approve of so kindly a blaze; but might it not end in setting States besides Germany on fire, and the Spanish monarchy among the rest? Charles, therefore, stuck to his idea of a Council; and being master, as Gattinara reminded him, he was able to have the last word in the conferences . . . Till a General Council could be convened, and as preparatory to it, the emperor, on the 20th January, 1530, issued a summons for a Diet of the States of Germany Augsburg on the 8th April.” Ibid., 578. The summons called for all parties to lay aside all differences and come together in one communion, one Church, and one unity.

Charles Crowned by the Pope.

The only thing Charles lacked in completing his grandeur was receiving the imperial diadem from the Pope. He had already been crowned emperor of Germany; crowned King of Lombardy by the Pope, on the 22nd of February, and on the 24th of February he was crowned as emperor of the Romans. The ceremonies included magnificent symbolism. Theocracy was the form of government in that day, so no king had any right to the throne unless he first became an officer in the church. Charles submitted to the elaborate ceremony by stripping his garments of royalty and replacing them with those of a deacon.

The End

Food for Life – A New Year

Happy New Year!  Another year now opens its fair unwritten pages before you. The recording angel stands ready to write. Your course of action will determine what shall be traced by him. You may make your future life good or evil; and this will determine for you whether the year upon which you have just entered will be to you a happy new year. It is in your power to make it such for yourself and for those around you. Let patience, long-suffering, kindness, and love become a part of your very being; then whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report will mature in your experience.

“Angels of God are waiting to show you the path of life . . . Decide now, at the commencement of the new year that you will choose the path of righteousness, that you will be earnest and true-hearted, and that life with you shall not prove a mistake. Go forward, guided by the heavenly angels; be courageous; be enterprising; let your light shine; and may the words of inspiration be applicable to you— ‘I write unto you, young men, because you are strong and have overcome the wicked one.’

“If you have . . . given yourself to Christ, you are a member of the family of God and everything in the Father’s house is for you. All the treasures of God are open to you, both the world that now is and that which is to come. The ministry of angels, the gift of His Spirit, the labors of His servants—all are for you. The world, with everything in it is yours so far as it can do you good. Even the enmity of the wicked will prove a blessing, by disciplining you for heaven. If ‘ye are Christ’s’ ‘all things are yours.’ ” My Life Today, 5. [Ellipsis in the original.]

“For Christ’s sake, my brethren and sisters, make the most of the hours of the New Year to place the precious light of present truth before the people. The Angel of the covenant is empowering His servants to carry the truth to all parts of the world. He has sent forth His angels with the message of mercy; but, as if they did not speed on their way fast enough to satisfy His heart of yearning love, He lays on every member of His church the responsibility of proclaiming this message. ‘Let him that heareth say, come.’ Every member of the church is to show his loyalty by inviting the thirsty to drink of the water of life. A chain of living witnesses is to carry the invitation to the world. Will you act your part in this great work?” Colporteur Ministry, 18.

“A new year has commenced. What has been the record of the past year in your Christian life? How stands your record in heaven? I entreat you to make an unreserved surrender to God. Have your hearts been divided? Give them wholly to the Lord now. Make a different life history the coming year from that of the past. Humble your souls before God . . . put away all pretense and affectation. Act your simple, natural self. Be truthful in every thought and word and deed, and ‘in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves’ . . . As long as you look to Christ, you are safe.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 521, 522. [Emphasis supplied.]

Shall we not reform our diets also this New Year? One of the main subjects in the Spirit of Prophecy is healthful living. “In the judgment we shall see how seriously God regards the violation of the laws of health.” Counsels on Diets and Food, 40.

January Recipe:

Oat Crackers

4 Cups quick oats – (ground in a blender)

4 Tbs. date sugar or date rolls *

1 tsp. sea salt

1 Cup finely ground walnuts

*Place dates in blender with nuts or oats to pulverize.

Mix all ingredients well. Add enough water, cashew milk, or soymilk to knead the mixture into dough. Measure out 1/2 of the above dough and roll out very thin on parchment paper between sheets of plastic.

Bake on parchment or cookie sheet or any of the modern non-stick sheets until done, about 20 minutes at 300° degrees.

Thanks to Frances Brown of San Antonio, Texas, for this delicious recipe. We used it in our live-in clinic in Texas.

The End

The 1290 and 1335 Day Prophecies

Editors Note: In recent years there has been a renewed interest in the 1290 and 1335 day prophecies in Daniel 12. This interest is often associated with the setting of time periods when certain end-time events are supposed to occur. Over the last several years, many people have sent books and manuscripts to Steps to Life, which on the basis of the 1290 and 1335 day periods plus a calculation of jubilee periods, have made some very startling predictions. Many of these writers are well-known throughout Adventism. Some have forthrightly stated that Ellen White was wrong, and others claim to believe Ellen White, but still set time, which she always rebuked, and stated that we would never have another message for God’s people based on time. The third angels’ message is the last message of mercy to be given to the world (The third angel’s message includes the first two and the repetition of the second in Revelation 18:1–5) and we have been warned that it is not to be hung on time. Nevertheless, a misunderstanding of the “daily” has been used over and over again in recent years to try to set time from Daniel 12. (See the article “The Cities to be Worked” in Land Marks, July 1995.) Although it would seem nigh unto blasphemy to call the ministration of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary “the daily in rebellion” as the daily is described in Daniel 8:12 (literal translation), this new view of the daily has persisted and is part of the popular timesetting interpretations. (A.T. Jones was at least consistent enough to indicate that Ellen White was wrong in her understanding of the daily when he espoused the new view of it.)

Although we have nothing personally against this host of Adventist time-setters, we must solemnly protest the teaching which has led multitudes of Adventists into time-excitement instead of organizing bands of workers to finish the proclamation of the three angels’ messages.

We have numerous manuscripts and books from well-known Adventist expositors which, partly on the basis of the 1290 and 1335 day prophecies, proclaim that the judgement of the living would begin in 1991 and the culmination of the jubilee would be in the fall of 1994, but we are now past the jewish day of Atonement of 1995. Surely a child could now figure out that these are false interpretations of prophecy and should not be given the slightest credence. Notice the following statements:

“I have been repeatedly urged to accept the different periods of time proclaimed for the Lord to come, but I have ever had one testimony to bear: the Lord will not come at that period, and you are weakening the faith even of Adventists, and fastening the world in their unbelief . . . their oft-repeated message of definite time was exactly what the enemy wanted, and it served his purpose well to unsettle the faith in the first proclamation of time, that was of heavenly origin. The world placed all time proclamation on the same level and called it a delusion, fanaticism, and heresy. Ever since 1844 I have borne my testimony that we were now in a period of time in which we are to take heed to ourselves lest our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon us unawares. Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of the Lord’s coming.” Manuscript Release, vol. 16, 178.

“I want you to see that it is not in the providence of God that any finite man shall, by any device or reckoning that he may make of figures, or of symbols, or of types, know with any definiteness in regard to the very period of the Lord’s coming.” Manuscript Release, vol. 10, 272. See also Selected Messages, vol. 1, chapter 23.

Another important prophetic period upon which the Advent doctrine is based, is the 1335 days of Daniel 12, with which the 1290 days are so intimately connected. These two periods are introduced to us as follows:

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:11–13.

The questions at once arise. Can we tell what the events are, from which these periods are to be dated; and if so, can we tell when they took place? We first inquire. What is the “daily” (sacrifice) and the “abomination that maketh desolate?” It will be noticed that the word, sacrifice, is in italics: denoting that it is a supplied word. The same will be noticed in the other instances of its occurrence in the book of Daniel 11:31 and 8:11-13. Let us briefly refer to this latter chapter. In verse 13 it will be observed that two desolations are brought to view; the daily (desolation,) and the transgression of desolation. This fact is made so plain by J. Litch that we cannot do better than quote his language.

The Daily

“The daily sacrifice is the present reading of the text; but no such thing as sacrifice is found in the original. This is acknowledged on all hands. It is a gloss or construction put upon it by the translators. The true reading is, ‘the daily and the transgression of desolation;’ daily and transgression being connected together by ‘and;’ the daily desolation and the transgression of desolation. They are two desolating powers which were to desolate the Sanctuary and the host.”

From this it is evident that the “daily,” can have no reference to the Jewish worship to which it has been applied by the older and more prevalent opinion; and this is further evident from the consideration that if these periods, taken either literally or figuratively, be dated from any taking away of this worship, they do not bring us to any event whatever worthy of note.

The daily and the abomination then, are two desolating powers which were to oppress the church. Can we ascertain what these powers are? We have only to adopt William Miller’s method of reasoning on this point to arrive at the same conclusion with him. He says “I read on, and could find no other case in which it [the daily] was found but in Daniel. I then [by the aid of a concordance] took those words which stood in connection with it, ‘take away;’ he shall take away the daily; ‘from the time that the daily shall be taken away’ I read on and thought I should find no light on the text. Finally I came to 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8, ‘For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall the wicked be revealed.’ And when I had come to that text, O how clear and glorious the truth appeared. There it is! That is the daily! Well, now, what does Paul mean by ‘he who now letteth’ or hindereth? By ‘the Man of Sin,’ and the ‘wicked,’ Popery is meant. Well what is it which hinders Popery from being revealed? Why it is Paganism. Well, then, ‘the daily’ must mean Paganism.”

We see from Daniel 8 that it is the little horn, which succeeded the goat, or Grecian empire, that takes away the “daily;” and it is the only power brought to view after the division of Alexander’s kingdom down to the time when the Sanctuary should be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days. This little horn we have in its proper place showed to be Rome taken as a unit, corresponding with the fourth kingdom of Daniel’s other visions. Now it is a fact that a change did take place in the Roman power from Paganism to Papacy. Paganism from the days of the Assyrian kings down to the time of its modification into Popery, had been the daily, or as Professor Whiting renders it, ” the continual” desolation, by which Satan had stood up against the cause of Jehovah. In its priests, its altars, and its sacrifices, it bore resemblance to the Levitical form of Jehovah’s worship; but when the Levitical gave place to the Christian form of worship, Satan, in order to successfully oppose the work, must change also his form of opposition; hence the temples, altars and statues of Paganism are baptized into the blasphemies of Popery.

The Sanctuary of the Daily

But the daily, Paganism, is said in the prophecy, to have a sanctuary, and the place of its sanctuary was to be cast down. That a sanctuary is frequently connected with idolatry and heathenism, as the place of its devotion and worship, is evident from the following scriptures: Isaiah 16:12; Amos 7:9,13, margin; Ezekiel 28:18. Concerning the sanctuary of the daily of Daniel 8, we offer the following from Apollos Hale:

“What can be meant by the ‘sanctuary’ of Paganism? Paganism, and error of every kind, have their sanctuaries, as well as truth. These are the temples or asylums consecrated to their service. Some particular and renowned temple of Paganism may, then, be supposed to be here spoken of. Which of its numerous distinguished temples may it be? One of the most magnificent specimens of classic architecture is called the Pantheon. Its name signifies the ‘temple or asylum of all the gods.’ The place of its location is Rome. The idols of the nations conquered by the Romans were sacredly deposited in some niche or department of this temple, and in many cases became objects of worship by the Romans themselves. Could we find a temple of Paganism that was more strikingly ‘his sanctuary.’ ”

Having now ascertained that the daily is Paganism, and the transgression of desolation, or “the abomination that maketh desolate,” is the Papacy, and that the especial sanctuary of Paganism was the Pantheon, and that the “place” of its location was Rome, we inquire further.

Was Paganism “taken away” by the Roman civil power? The following statement of an important and well-known fact in the history of the church and world, we think answers to the prophecy. It refers to Constantine the first Christian emperor, and says:

“His first act of government was the dispatch of an edict throughout the empire, exhorting his subjects to embrace Christianity.”

The Place of his Sanctuary is Cast Down

Was Rome the city or place of his sanctuary, (the Pantheon,) cast down by the authority of the State? The following extract answers:

“The death of the last rival of Constantine had sealed the peace of the empire. Rome was once more the undisputed queen of nations. But, in that hour of elevation and splendor, she had been raised to the edge of a precipice. Her next step was to be downward and irrecoverable. The change of the government to Constantinople still perplexes the historian. It was an act in direct repugnance to the whole course of the ancient and honorable prejudices of the Roman mind. It was the work of no luxurious Asiatic, devoted to the indulgences of eastern customs and climates, but an iron conqueror, born in the west, and contemptuous, like all Romans, of the habits of the Orientals; it was the work of a keen politician, yet it was impolitic in the most palpable degree. Yet Constantine abandoned Rome, the great citadel and throne of the Caesars, for an obscure corner of Thrace, and expended the remainder of his vigorous and ambitious life in the double toil of raising a colony into the capital of his empire, and degrading the capital into the feeble honors and humiliated strength of a colony.”

This record from the pen of the historian, is too plain to need comment. The place of his sanctuary was cast down, says the prophecy; and after a statement of facts like the above, the most fastidious in prophetic interpretation must be satisfied of its application.

From Paganism to Popery

From the time that the daily shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred five and thirty days. With the facts before us that the daily is Paganism, that the abomination that maketh desolate is the Papacy, that there was a change from the former to the latter in the Roman power, and by the authority of State we have but to inquire further when this took place in a manner to fulfill the prophecy; for if we can ascertain this, we have the starting point from which the prophetic periods in the text before us are to be dated.

Therefore, when did the event referred to in the prophecy take place? Let it be observed, the question is not, when were the saints given into the hands of the Papacy, but when had the change of religion from Paganism to Papacy been so far effected as to make the latter the national religion, and place it in a condition to start upon its career. This, like all other great revolutions, was not the work of a moment. Its incipient workings were manifest long before. Paul said that even in his day the mystery of iniquity, the Man of Sin, the “abomination that maketh desolate,” was already at work. And it is in the light of this scripture that we must understand our Lord’s words in Matthew 24:15, concerning the abomination of desolation, where he makes evident reference to Daniel 9:27. For although Paganism had not given place to the Papacy in the year 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans we do understand that the power which then appeared, modified somewhat in name and form, was the very power that should, as the abomination of desolation, wear out the saints and desolate the church of the Most High.

Up to the time of the conversion of Clovis, king of France, which took place in 496, the French and other nations of western Rome were Pagan; but subsequent to that event the efforts to convert idolaters to Christ were crowned with great success. It is said that the conversion of Clovis gave rise to the custom of addressing the French monarch with the titles of Most Christian Majesty and Eldest Son of the Church. “Between that time and A.D. 508 by alliances, capitulations, and conquests, the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the west, Britanny, the Burgundians and the Visigoths, were brought into subjection.”

Paganism in the western Roman Empire, though it doubtless retarded the progress of the Christian faith, especially in those nations which were molested, as in the case of England, by the inroads of the barbarous clans, who continued idolaters, henceforth had not the power, if it had the disposition to suppress the Catholic faith, or to hinder the encroachments of the Roman Pontiff. From that time the Papal abomination was triumphant, so far as Paganism was concerned. Its future contests were with the other Christian sects, who were always treated as heretics; and with princes who were always treated as rebels or dividers of the body of Christ. The prominent powers of Europe gave up their attachment to Paganism only to perpetuate its abominations in another form; for Paganism needed only to be baptized to become Christian in the Catholic sense; and when the interests or vengeance of its presiding minister made the demand; their possessions and thrones, perhaps their lives, must be laid on the altar.

In England, Arthur, the first Christian king, founded the Christian worship on the ruins of the Pagan. Rapin, who claims to be more exact in the chronology of events in his history, states that he was elected monarch of Britain in 508. Book 2, 29.

What was the condition of the See of Rome at this time? “Symmachus was Pope from 498 or 9 to 514. His pontificate was distinguished by these remarkable circumstances and events: 1. He ‘left Paganism’ when he entered the ‘church of Rome.’ 2. He found his way to the Papal chair by striving with his competitor even unto blood. 3. By the adulation paid to him as the successor of St. Peter. 4. By the excommunication of the Emperor Anastasius.

“How much,” says Mosheim, “the opinions of some were favorable to the lordly demands of Roman Pontiffs, may be easily imagined from an expression of Ennodius, that infamous and extravagant flatterer of Symmachus, who was a prelate of ambiguous fame. This parasitical panegyrist, among other impertinent assertions maintained that the Pontiff was constituted judge in the place of God, which he filled as the Vicegerent of the Most High.”

A Dying Capital

By the strength secured to the Catholic cause in the West, by these successes, and the agency of the vicars, and other agents of the See of Rome, the Papal party in Constantinople were “placed” in a position to justify open hostilities in behalf of their master at Rome. “In 508 the whirlwind of fanaticism and civil war swept in fire and blood through the streets of the eastern capital.”

Gibbon, under the years 508-514, speaking of the commotions in Constantinople, says “The statues of the emperor were broken, and his person was concealed in a suburb, till, at the end of three days, he dared to implore the mercy of his subjects. [Popery is triumphant.] Without his diadem, and in the posture of a suppliant, Anastasius appeared on the throne of the circus. The Catholics, before his face, rehearsed the genuine Trisagion; they exulted in the offer which he proclaimed by the voice of a herald, of abdicating the purple; they listened to the admonition, that, since all could not reign, they should previously agree in the choice of a sovereign; and they accepted the blood of two unpopular ministers, whom their master, without hesitation, condemned to the lions. These furious but transient seditions were encouraged by the success of Vitalian, who with his army of Huns and Bulgarians, for the most part idolaters, declared himself the champion of the Catholic faith. In this pious rebellion he depopulated Thrace, besieged Constantinople, exterminated sixty-five thousand of his fellow Christians, till he obtained the recall of the bishops, the satisfaction of the Pope, and the establishment of the council of Chalcedon, an orthodox treaty, reluctantly signed by the dying Anastasius, and more faithfully performed by the uncle of Justinian. And such was the event of the first of the religious wars which have been waged in the name, and by the disciples, of the God of Peace.”

With the following extract of Appollos Hale, we close the testimony on this point: ” We now invite our modern Gamaliels to take a position with us in the place of the sanctuary of Paganism (since claimed as the ‘patrimony of St. Peter’) in 508. We look a few years into the past, and the rude Paganism of the northern barbarians is pouring down upon the nominally Christian empire of Western Rome–triumphing everywhere–and its triumphs everywhere distinguished by the most savage cruelty . . . The empire falls and is broken into fragments. One by one the lords and rulers of these fragments, abandon their Paganism and profess the Christian faith. In religion the conquerors are yielding to the conquered. But still Paganism is triumphant. Among its supporters there is one stern and successful conqueror. (Clovis) But soon he also bows before the power of the new faith and becomes its champion. He is still triumphant, but as a hero and conqueror, reaches the zenith at the point we occupy, A.D. 508.

The Final Blow

“In or near the same year, the last important subdivision of the fallen empire is publicly, and by the coronation of its triumphant ‘monarch’ christianized.

“The pontiff for the period on which we stand is recently converted Pagan. The bloody contest which placed him in the chair was decided by the interposition of an Arian king. He is bowed to and saluted as filling ‘the place of God on earth.’ The senate is so far under his power, that, on suspicion that the interests of the See of Rome demand it, they excommunicate the emperor . . . In 508 the mine is sprung beneath the throne of the Eastern Empire. The result of the confusion and strife it occasions is the humiliation of its rightful lord. Now the question is, At what time was Paganism so far suppressed, as to make room for its substitute and successor, the Papal abomination? When was this abomination placed in a position to start on its career of blasphemy and blood? Is there any other date for its being ‘placed’ or ‘set up’ in the room of Paganism, but 508? If the mysterious enchantress has not now brought all her victims within her power, she has taken her position, and some have yielded to the fascination. The others are at length subdued, ‘and kings, and peoples and multitudes, and nations, and tongues,’ are brought under the spell which prepares them, even while ‘drunken with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus,’ to ‘think they are doing God service,’ and to fancy themselves the exclusive favorites of heaven, while becoming an easier and richer prey for the damnation of hell.”

We have the date. The “daily” was taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up in 508. Dating from this point the 1290 days or years terminate in 1798 where, as has already been shown , the civil power was stricken from the Pope by the arm of Buonaparte. The 1335 days bring us 45 full years this side of that event.

But some may say, How is it that you make the periods terminate in the past? Does it not read that Daniel should rest and stand in his lot at the end of the days? Certainly; and we believe it. But what is it for Daniel to stand in his lot? This point will come under consideration when we come to an explanation of the passing of the time, and an examination of the events that did take place at the end of the days. Meanwhile we here cast anchor till another week.

The End

Just Wait Until We’re Perfect

It is my most sincere hope that you, the reader, do not have any excuse for waiting any longer to take the Advent message to the world. Ours is the last message of mercy to a world whose probation is fast closing. I have a bond of sympathy for the people in the world, for I was once one of them. I had nothing and thought I had everything. I was about to die and did not realize I was missing out on heaven. Unfortunately our enemy, the enemy of all truth, is constantly at work, especially among Adventists. An old error, which I call Perfect -ionism, has been stealthily reintroduced into our ranks and it threatens to undo many well-meaning Adventists.

The error is usually presented something like this. “You need to get your home life straightened out first. The home is the first mission field. You ought to sell off your business, take the money and move your family into the wilderness away from all worldly influences so that you can concentrate on you and your family. Then, when all that is in order, you can go to work for the Lord.” I have even heard Adventists claim that you cannot do anything that the Lord can bless until you are perfect.

Praise the Lord that we have Scripture to go to when faced with counsel like this!

Job, whom Inspiration calls perfect, never considered himself anything but a sinful man. He even says that he could never think of himself as perfect. “Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.” Job 9:21.

Anyone who decides that he or she is now ready to work for the Lord, because he or she has put away all sin, condemns himself or herself, for we can plainly read, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8. Thus in following the theology that we have to be perfect before we can evangelize, we condemn ourselves to either never evangelize or to self-deception.

Sister White has given us very plain counsel regarding how we will see ourselves even after having successfully resisted the mark of the beast. “Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man. His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, ‘Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?’ Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: ‘Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you.’ At this our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth.” Early Writings, 15, 16. Even the saints at the second coming do not think of themselves as perfect or sinless.

In the Bible we can easily find multiple cases of Jesus sending out very imperfect disciples to evangelize.

In Luke 9:1–6 we read of the twelve being sent out long before Pentecost. This was even before Calvary. Not only was Peter there who would deny Jesus, but Judas, the betrayer, was there too!

“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.” Even Judas and Peter were out there preaching and healing with authority over devils. What a spectacle that must have been to perfect angels! Judas counting his coins and lusting after more and yet preaching the gospel effectively and even casting out demons!

That the twelve must have had marvelous success is shown in Luke 9:14. We read of the size of the crowd that gathered to hear Jesus speak following their evangelization. “For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.” There were 5000 men, probably another 5000 women, and who knows how many children? 10,000 adults brought in by 12 sinful, self-centered disciples is an average of over 830 adults brought in per evangelist. What Adventist today can claim 830 souls brought in to hear the message? How are you, dear reader, doing? Have you gathered in 830 souls to listen to the truth? If not, do not wait until you think you are perfect, that time will never come until it is all too late to evangelize anyone on this planet!

Jesus must not have thought He made a mistake in sending out the twelve faulty, sinful, position-seeking disciples, for He repeated His action a little later. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” ” And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” Luke 10:1,17.

The Spirit of Prophecy also speaks plainly of working effectively for the Lord even before you are perfect. Mrs. White calls the Samaritan woman at the well a heathen and yet records that it was her testimony which converted many to Christ.

“The most important discourse that Inspiration has given us, Christ preached to only one listener. As He sat upon the well to rest, for He was weary, a Samaritan woman came to draw water; He saw an opportunity to reach her mind, and through her to reach the minds of the Samaritans, who were in great darkness and error. Although weary, He presented the truths of His spiritual kingdom, which charmed the heathen woman and filled her with admiration for Christ. She went forth publishing the news: ‘Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?’ This woman’s testimony converted many to a belief in Christ. Through her report many came to hear Him for themselves and believed because of His own word.

“However small may be the number of interested listeners, if the heart is reached and the understanding convinced, they can, like the Samaritan woman, carry a report which will raise the interest of hundreds to investigate for themselves.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 217.

Here was this wonderful Samaritan woman, living with a man who was not her husband, charmed by Jesus, that preached the gospel she had heard, bringing a large number to Christ. Jesus did not tell her to go home and get her home life straight before she started bringing others to Him!

If Jesus could use a heathen woman, Peter, and even Judas to spread the gospel—He can also use sinners like you and me. As witness to this, our first open Bible study session held in the Kalispell Public Library, netted two non-Adventist families in attendance who were eagerly looking forward to coming back next week. Jesus is blessing the work of several frail, sinful people. None of us is even thinking that we are perfect or that we will be in the kingdom because of what we have done for Jesus. But we can all be sure that we will be left out of His kingdom if we do nothing. True love for Jesus demands that we spread the word. We believe in stepping fast toward perfection of character but a vital part of this journey is sharing our faith. Only as we become workers in the vineyard can we best overcome evil, grow in grace and not backslide and receive the Holy Spirit.

“Strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service.” The Acts of the Apostles, 105.

“The only way to grow in grace is to be interestedly doing the very work Christ has enjoined upon us to do,—interestedly engaged to the very extent of our ability to be helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them. This is the only way we can grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Christians who are constantly growing in earnestness, in zeal, in fervor, in love,—such Christians never backslide. They are becoming more closely identified with the Saviour in all his plans. They are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Their wisdom is increasing, their ability how to work. They seem to comprehend the largest plans. They are ready to engage in the most stirring enterprises, and they have no room for slothfulness; they cannot find a place for stagnation.” Review of Herald, June 7, 1887.

“As the knowledge of the truth is received, let it be imparted to those who are in darkness, without God and without hope in the world. In such labor there is a variety of minds to deal with, and God will greatly bless His servants as they look to Him for wisdom. The Holy Spirit will come to all who are begging for the bread of life to give to their neighbors.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 90.

The End

You are the Troubler of Israel

Jesus was speaking to His disciples. They wanted to know when He would come again, and He told them that first there would be a time of great tribulation. It is most commonly referred to as the 1260 day period of tribulation. It is mentioned over and over again in the prophecies. See Revelation 11:3, Revelation 12:6, Revelation 13:5, and Daniel 7:25. Now this 1260 day/year prophecy happened during the new covenant—after the cross. For everything in the new covenant, there is a type in the old covenant, and there was a type for this. The old covenant type was during the time of Jezebel, Ahab and Elijah. We will study this time period.

The time period in the old covenant was 1260 days, just like in the new covenant. It is so important that it is mentioned twice in the New Testament. “I tell you truly many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah when the heavens were shut up three years and six months.” Luke 4:25. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.” James 5:17. This gives the exact time—1260 days. During this time, there was a great famine throughout all the land, because there was no rain. Rain is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. No matter how well things may be going, if the Holy Spirit withdraws because of sin, there is a spiritual famine.

Before we study the time of Elijah, and how it relates to our day; notice this description of God’s professed people—His church, during the 1260 year period of tribulation in the new covenant. “These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass: I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels.’ ” Revelation 2:18–27.

This is the period of great tribulation, the 1260 years during the dark ages. What was the problem? “Jezebel” was the head of the church. Now let us look back to Elijah’s time. Who was the king? Ahab was the king, but who was in control of Ahab? Was the Holy Spirit in control of Ahab? No, Jezebel was in control of Ahab. Consequently, the professed church (Jezebel) was in control of the state (Ahab.) Jezebel was the leader of their church organization and she had ultimate control over the state and it produced a period of great tribulation for God’s people. What happened to anybody if they would not go along with the program of the church organization? Well, they got destroyed.

During this three years and six months, a man named Obadiah was able to save a hundred prophets, by putting fifty each, in a couple of caves and giving them bread and water. But it was a time of great tribulation and many of God’s true people were killed. A proper understanding of this story answers many questions and accusations that people are using today against God’s messengers. We will go over some points used against rebuke of sin, and let the experience of Elijah give us the answer.

What Would Elijah Say?

1. Did God by divine arrangement, denominate the children of Israel as His special denominated people?

Answer: Yes, He did.

2. Were they called by a divinely appointed name and were they God’s chosen people?

Answer: Yes, they were.

3. Was their church organization organized by divine appointment and therefore, was it God’s chosen and organized church? History gives the answer.

Answer: Yes, it was. However, when the leadership decided to try to fight and destroy God’s people, and to go contrary to the historic truths of the organization, you cannot say anymore that the leadership had divinely constituted authority. They were no longer to be followed. In fact, if you followed the authority of the “church leadership” you were separated from God.

4. Would you say that the authority of the leaders was duly authorized or constituted church authority?

Answer: No. Elijah did not say that. In Elijah’s day, Jezebel was the ultimate leader. She had a big organization; over eight-hundred associates that were leading out with her. But, Jezebel exercised an usurped authority.

5. Is it not wrong to have a school or church not under the authority of the system that originally had been set up by God himself?

Answer: Elijah would say just the opposite. If the church structure asks you to do something contrary to the word of God, it is wrong for you to allow yourself to be under their authority. At Steps to Life we tried to work with church organization, but we came in to existence as a separate independent ministry because we were asked to do something that was contrary to our conscience. That is how it was for Elijah’s ministry, and those little home churches, out in the desert that were faithful, had to flee for their lives. The ones that had not gotten killed were, no doubt, called all kinds of names because they were not going along with the program.

An Organization or a People

6. If you had a home church somewhere in Israel, that was not recognized, could that be part of the church, or would it of necessity be an offshoot?

Answer: If you were following the principles that Moses had given to the children of Israel, you could not be an offshoot, you were part of the original historic movement that God had set up.

7. Would you have to be part of the organization to be part of the chosen people? Someone might say, “Elijah is not even part of the church organization and these other people in the caves aren’t either. They are offshoots.”

Answer: No! You would not have to be part of the organization to be part of the chosen people. In fact, those that were part of the organization would eventually have to repent or reform; otherwise, they would cease to be God’s chosen people. The home churches, in the caves, that were not recognized, were the real people of God. Those were the seven-thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal.

8. Elijah, you say things contrary to the organization, it is being critical and divisive or faultfinding—and that is wrong.

Answer: He would say, “If you say nothing there will never be a revival and a reformation.” Elijah said to Ahab, “I am not the one causing the trouble, you are the one causing the trouble because you are not obedient to the commandments of the Lord.” See I Kings 18:18. It is not the people that point out sin that are critical and divisive. It is the people that refuse to obey that are divisive.

9. You are a separationist because you have separated from the church organization.

Answer: Elijah would say, “You that stay with the organization are the separationists because you separated from obedience to the law of God.” The real separationists are people that are not obedient to the word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy. The people that stay with the message that God has given to His people, they are the true church.

Loyal to Whom?

10. Elijah, you are just not loyal to God’s people, to God’s movement, to His church. You have to be loyal, you can’t just split off like this and do God’s work all by yourself. God wants loyalty.

Answer: Elijah would say, “The people that have stayed loyal to the commandments of God, those are the people that are loyal, and I am loyal to the commandments of God. What are you doing?—worshipping idols, bowing down and breaking the second commandment—you are the one that is not loyal.” Loyalty is determined by whether we are obedient to the law of God or not, not whether we are obedient to an organization. Ahab said, “You are the problem.” Elijah said, “I am not the problem. You are the problem. Because you are breaking the commandments of God.” See 1 Kings 18:18. The people that are not loyal are ones that are disobedient to the commandments and the Spirit of Prophecy.

11. But Elijah, you have a church that is not recognized by the church organization and therefore you are making a new movement, a new church, a new organization.

Answer:“I am not making a new movement, I am faithful to the original movement that God established. You are the ones that made the new movement. I’m not, I’m faithful to the law of Moses. How did you get so mixed up? Everything you say that I am doing is what you are doing. I am just staying with the original movement. I am an historic Israelite, I am staying with the law of Moses. I am not going to worship Baal.”

12. Elijah you are pulling apart from God’s organization, that is not a good sign.

Answer: Elijah would say, “That is not true. The organization has pulled apart from the truth. That is what really happened. I am just staying with the original movement.”

13. Elijah, why are you turning from the church with reproach and disgust?

Answer: There is nothing the matter with being angry about sin. Sin caused Jesus to go to the cross. If you can sit by and watch people openly sin like they were doing during Elijah’s day, and it does not matter to you—there is a problem with you. What side of the great controversy are you on? Sin caused our Leader to go to the cross. To just watch is the same as saying, “Well, I guess Jesus will just have to go to the cross, it’s no concern to me.” That is what you are saying by your actions. Elijah could not do it. He came to the people that were in open sin with a stern rebuke.


14. Elijah, you are allowing Satan to deceive you because you are independent of the church organization. What would Elijah say about that?

Answer: “Well, it is just the opposite. The ones who are loyal to the church organization rather than to the Spirit of Prophecy, they are the ones who are deceived. The people that are deceived by Satan are the people that are loyal to a human organization in violation of the word of God. Numbers do not count. The offshoots can be the great majority. It is the law of God that tells you which side you are on.” The only ones in Elijah’s time that were not deceived by Satan were those that were independent of the church organization.

15. Elijah, you have separated from the organized body. What would Elijah say?

Answer: “I stayed with the original movement, but because almost the whole church was in apostasy, to be true and faithful and loyal to God, it was necessary for me to separate from the apostasy.” You see, in spiritual battles and wars, the reality of the situation can be completely opposite from the way it looks to the natural sight.

16. Elijah, you are charged with denouncing the failings of the church.

Answer: “Well, yes I have. I have denounced the apostasy, because if you don’t repent, you are going to lose your soul. You are going to lose eternal life. I have denounced the apostasy, because repentance and reformation of life is your only chance, so yes, I have done that.” That was not wrong for Elijah to denounce them. “Those whom God has chosen for an important work have ever been received with distrust and suspicion. Anciently, when Elijah was sent with a message from God to the people, they did not heed the warning. They thought him unnecessarily severe. They even thought that he must have lost his senses because he denounced them, the favored people of God, as sinners and their crimes as so aggravated that the judgments of God would awaken against them.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 261. Was he inspired with the Holy Spirit when he denounced apostasy? He was. That was the work of the Holy Spirit.

17. But, Elijah, you are dwelling on the failures and problems of God’s people. Preach love and unity, get people together, don’t dwell on the failures and the faults of God’s people.

Answer:“People want to get preached to about love and unity and they are walking straight to hellfire. That’s not love at all.” It is in the world today like it was in Elijah’s day. There are professed Seventh-day Adventists that have been told that you are just going to go on and sin until Jesus comes. Yes, it is true, people are going to go on and sin until Jesus comes and then they are going to get burned up. They do not want to hear that. Friend, unless we face our situation, we are lost.

18. Elijah, don’t worry so over the mistakes of the unconsecrated leaders, God will take care of His work.

Answer: “It is true, the Lord will take care of it all right, that is not the problem.” (Fortunately He had somebody around like Elijah that was willing to help Him.) “There is coming a day of judgment and God is going to come and people who are living in sin are going to get destroyed. The problem is, are they all going to lose their souls, or should I try to give them a warning message to give them a chance to turn around first, and be saved?” Elijah gave the message.

19. Oh, but Elijah, God is going to remedy the leader’s mistakes and guide His church into port. God is faithful that has promised.

Answer: Yes, it is true, God will surely remedy their mistakes, and if there is no repentance and reformation, He will destroy every single person and church organization that remains in sin. But He is trying to give people an opportunity to repent and reform so that the remedy does not involve their destruction. The ship that finally comes into port will be the ship that contains the true and faithful, and there will not be any sin on board.

Spiritual Warfare

20. Elijah, we have been told by Jezebel and the priests of Baal that you are dividing and fragmenting the church. And we just cannot cooperate with anybody that engages in anything so divisive and schismatic as this.

Answer: “We are in a spiritual war and it is time for you to stand up and be counted. Whose side are you on? Are you going to follow and obey the God of Israel and obey the Spirit of Prophecy? If not, you are the one that is dividing and fragmenting God’s people.” Jesus said, “He that confesses me before men, him will I confess before my Father and he that denies me before men, him will I deny before my Father.” Matthew 10:32,33. Are you so scared that everybody else might not stand with you that you are afraid to stand up and be counted? If everyone of God’s people would have stood up and been counted in Jezebel’s day, she could not have wreacked such havoc on God’s church.

21. Elijah, you are just an individual. You are alone and your individual judgment should submit to the authority of the church organization.

Answer: Elijah would have said, “My individual judgment submits to the authority of the word of God and you are in violation of the word of God. You are the one who needs to submit. I am already submitted to the word of God.” That is the Protestant position—that the authority of the church is underneath the authority of God’s word.

22. Elijah, don’t accuse and condemn and contend for your rights. Don’t try to have a home church. There is nothing worth contending for except the glory of God. Don’t do all that. What would Elijah say?

Answer: “There is a great spiritual war going on and I am on God’s side of the battle. What side of the battle are you on? Can you prove what side you are on?”

A Matter of Obedience

23. Elijah, you think that you are led directly by God, but He works through the leaders in the church.

Answer: Elijah would say, “Yes, it is true, when God says something, I obey. When God gives a commandment through His word, I obey. And that is how you can tell which side I’m on, and that is how you can tell which side you are on.” Someday the Lord is going to ask the disobedient a question. “Why did you disobey My law?” They will say, “Well, my church told me to.” How sick, how nauseating that is going to sound. Do not forget friends, Elijah is up there right now. God approved of what he did.

24. But Elijah, you must not be independent. God does not work that way. God works through church organization.

Answer: Who does God work through? “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Acts 10:34, 35. God works with the person or people that fears Him enough to obey Him.

25. But you should not organize churches, or ordain ministers, or baptize people, without authorization of the church organization. You do not have a ministerial credentials card. Where does your authorization come from? Do you know what Elijah would have said?

Answer: “If God told you to do it in His word, the thing to do is to do it. If it is in the Bible, you are authorized.” It looked to Elijah that he was the only one left. It might look that way to you sometime. You may be accused of being unauthorized. Apparently, everybody else is on the opposing side. But, it does not matter if you are following the Word of the living God.

26. Elijah, there is no such thing as an individual like yourself, or these small groups in the caves, advocating something irrespective of the judgment of the church organization. God just doesn’t work that way.

Answer: But the trouble was that God was working that way. The issue in Elijah’s time was, were you going to be obedient to the word of God, or were you going to be obedient to the church organization. Every question you can ask about authorization, who can do what and who cannot do what, who is God working with, and all these questions, comes down to one basic question. Where is the authority coming from?

What is Destined to Triumph?

27. But Elijah, we are God’s chosen people. There will be no other church according to prophecy until the Messiah comes. And so we are destined to triumph. What would Elijah have said?

Answer: “Yes, you are God’s chosen people all right, but you can be divorced from being God’s chosen people.” The great majority of those people were divorced from the Lord hundreds of years before the Messiah came. “Yes,” Elijah would say, “there will be no other church according to prophecy, but the question is, who is the church?” The church were those little independent home churches in the caves, in the deserts, and in the mountains, that were fleeing for their lives. It is true, there was not going to be any other church. Who is the church? Who and what is destined to triumph? People love to say, just like they loved to say in Elijah’s day, “We are God’s chosen people and we are destined to triumph, we cannot be destroyed.” The truth is going to triumph. The three angels’ messages are going to triumph. The only question is, when it triumphs, am I going to be with it? If I am disobedient and disloyal to God by disobeying His word, I will not triumph with it. There will be people that will come right up to the end and call themselves Seventh-day Adventists that will be lost. You see, in Elijah’s time there were a lot of people that said “we are Israel,” but they still got destroyed. It is not your name that counts, it is whether you are obedient to the word of God and to His law. There are going to be a lot of people at the end of the world, they will have the right name, the right profession, maybe even the right theology; but their character is not in harmony with what they profess. How is it for you? Can you see through the mirage to spiritual reality and are you obedient to God’s word and His law? Oh, I hope that it may be that way for each one of you, because friends, very soon what happened in Elijah’s time is going to happen again. The worship of Baal is going on today. It is going to get destroyed at the end just like it did in Elijah’s day. We have to be with the people that obey God and keep His commandments, no matter what happens. If we do that, very soon when the truth triumphs, we will triumph with it.

The End

Elijah’s Secret

Elijah may have lived a simple lifestyle, but he made such a tremendous impression, that he is mentioned in four Old Testament books and six New Testament books. When Jesus was here on earth, the Jews had Elijah on their minds, because they knew that the last two verses of the Old Testament say: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4: 5, 6. The work of Elijah is to turn the hearts of the children to their parents, the disobedient to the just and to prepare a people for the Lord.

In Luke 9:51–56, we read that when Jesus and the disciples were traveling, they stopped in a Samaritan village, and the Samaritans rejected Jesus because His face was headed toward Jerusalem. This upset the disciples. They said to Jesus, “What shall we do? Shall we call down fire like Elijah did?” Elijah called fire down from heaven more than once. Which time were they talking about?—not about Mount Carmel. They were talking about something that actually happened in a village in Samaria.

When Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, had been king for about a year, he fell through the lattice on the porch and hurt himself. As he lay in bed, he wondered if he was ever going to get up. So he asked his servants to go to Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, to ask if he would ever get up. God told Elijah, to go to these people on their way to Baalzebub, and talk to them. Elijah met them and said, “Isn’t there a God in Israel? Why would you go to Baalzebub to ask questions?” He said, “I can tell you that the king is not going to get out of bed.” They went back and reported this to the king. The king called in one of the captains of fifty men, and said, “You go get Elijah and bring him here, I want to talk to him.” So the captain went.

Elijah had gone to the top of a hill, and the captain went to Elijah and said, “The king wants to talk to you. You come with me, we are going to go talk to the king.” Elijah looked at him and said, “If I’m a man of God, fire will come down and consume you.” And it did—the captain and all fifty of his men were consumed. When Ahaziah learned this, he sent another captain. The same thing happened again. So Ahaziah got a third captain and sent him, but this time, the captain came to Elijah, got on his knees and said, “Please find my life precious in your sight and the life of my men.” And the angel told Elijah that it was safe, he could go with these men and see Ahaziah. So he went to see Ahaziah and he said to him, “You’re not ever going to get out of bed.” And Ahaziah never did.

Now the important point is: who was it that destroyed those two captains and the hundred men? It was God. The men had been given many opportunities to return to God. Apparently the God who knows everything, knew that the first two captains and their men had wicked hearts, but the last one was repentant. Jesus said, “I came to save and not destroy.”

We need to take a few moments now to consider the rending of the kingdom and the sudsequent reign of Jereboam. This terrible rebellion led to the necessity of Elijah’s mission.

A Kingdom Divided

Remember first the kingdom had been given to Saul, and because of disobedience, it was given to David. David was promised that his house would last forever. The promise to Solomon was: “He shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.” 1 Chronicles 22:10. But promises are conditional upon obedience, and Solomon was not obedient. There are churches today who think the same way—that they have unconditional promises.

Jeroboam was a man of valor. He was a building superintendent for Solomon’s building projects. Jeroboam was also a good leader—apparently a man of God. One day Ahijah, a prophet, came to Jeroboam and took him out in the field. He took his garment, tore it in twelve pieces and handed ten of them to Jeroboam. He said, “Here take these. The kingdom is going to be rent and you’re going to be the ruler over ten of the kingdoms.” Then God promised Jeroboam, “I will be with you and I will build for you an enduring house, as I have built for David, and I will give Israel to you.” Jeroboam had been promised an enduring house. But how long did that last?

When Solomon heard about God’s promise to Jeroboam, he decided to kill Jeroboam, so Jeroboam had to flee to Egypt. After Solomon died, Rehoboam was established on the throne. Jeroboam came back, and got together with the leaders of Israel to talk to Rehoboam. The leaders asked Rehoboam if he was going to tax as heavily as his father, Solomon. Rehoboam said he would tax heavier then Solomon. He sent the head tax man out to start collecting taxes. The tax man was stoned. That got Rehoboam’s attention.

Rehoboam went running back to Jerusalem. He gathered up an army, to go take the ten tribes back from Jeroboam, but God sent a messenger and said, “Don’t do it. I’m the one that’s in charge of this. You just stay where you are.” So Rehoboam didn’t go after Jeroboam.

An Enduring House?

Jeroboam had been promised an enduring house. After He was anointed king over the ten tribes, he started thinking: “If my subjects here go down to Jerusalem to worship; their hearts might be turned back to the king there, and I’ll lose my subjects, so I have to protect myself.” He went and built two places of worship, one in Bethel and one in Dan. He built two idols—calves. Then he called the Levites and said, “I want you to administer the services here.” But they said, “No way, we’re not doing it!” (I am thankful for pastors who stand up against celebration worship.) They said, “We’re not getting involved in this.” So Jeroboam went and got common people and made them priests, and then he started this worship—idol worship.

God’s promise to Jeroboam could not be fulfilled either. Israel went for about two-hundred years after that, but then the ten tribes disappeared. Abijah, a prophet of God said that Israel was to be shaken like a reed and to be uprooted.

After several kings, Ahab became king. This is the setting where Elijah comes on the scene. I don’t know if Elijah knew that Abijah said that Israel was to be uprooted. I suspect he did, and yet, he made a tremendous demonstration for God to those people. Why did he do it? How did he do it? We are told, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain: and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:17, 18. How did he do it? He prayed. Who was Elijah? The verse says, he was a man like you and me and had a nature like ours.

Why did he do it? James says, “brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back; let him know, that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19, 20. He loved the people. He wanted to turn their hearts back to God. What kind of man was Elijah? He was very simple. He lived in the mountains of Gilead, east of Jordan. He did not live by any city of renown. He had no special position. His life was devoted to the reform of God’s people.

Elijah Praying for Judgments

He could look down from his mountain retreat, and see that unbelief was separating Israel from their source of strength. He prayed that these people would turn from their wicked ways. And he prayed for judgment. Now why would anyone who loves someone else pray for judgment? Once God told Solomon, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people; if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14. Elijah must have been claiming that promise. Elijah probably knew what Jeroboam had been told—that the kingdom would be uprooted, because of disobedience. He knew God does not change, but He also knew that God is merciful and wants to save.

Elijah prayed for judgments. Elijah’s prayers of love were answered by a God of love. Judgments came. “Say to them, as I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why should you die, O house of Israel.” Ezekiel 33:11.

Elijah was told by God to go down and see Ahab. On the way he saw beautiful forests that had never had drought. Elijah was tempted to think, “Is it really going to quit raining?” But he was determined to follow God. He got to Samaria and walked right up to the palace gate, through the palace door, and right up in front of Ahab. He said, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” Then he turned around and walked out of the palace. By the time Ahab could speak he said, “Get that man!” But Elijah was gone.

Troubler of Isreal

God kept His word, and it did not rain. Jezebel said it was because Elijah was alive. He had to be killed so Baal would be appeased and he would send rain. They searched the world for Elijah, even taking oaths from the kings of the surrounding nations, that they did not know of Elijah’s whereabouts. But God protected Elijah.

Finally, God told Elijah to go see Ahab. Ahab said to Elijah, “You are the one that troubled Israel.” Elijah said, “No I didn’t, you are the one.” Elijah was blamed for the trouble. I am sure you have seen things like that, it still happens.

Mrs. White said, “It’s natural for the wrongdoer to hold the messengers of God responsible for the calamities that come as the sure result of departure from the way of righteousness. Those who place themselves in Satan’s power are unable to see the things as God sees them. When the mirror of truth is held up before them, they become indignant at the thought of receiving reproof. Blinded by sin they refuse to repent and they feel that God’s servants have turned against them and that they are worthy of the severest censure . . . Today there is need of the voice of stern rebuke, for grievous sins have separated the people from God . . . The smooth sermons so often preached make no lasting impression, the trumpet does not give a certain sound, men are not cut to the heart by the plain, sharp truths of God’s word.

“There are many professed Christians who if they should express their real feelings would say, ‘What need is there of speaking so plainly?’ They might as well ask, why did John the Baptist say to the Pharisees, ‘Oh generation of vipers. Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Why need he have provoked the anger of Herodias by telling Herod that it was unlawful to live with his brother’s wife?’ The forerunner of Christ lost his life by his plain speaking. Why could not he have moved along without incurring the displeasure of those who were living in sin?

“So men who should be standing as faithful guardians of God’s law have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness, and sin is allowed to go unreproved. When will the voice of faithful rebuke be heard once more in the church?” Prophets and Kings 139-141.

After being blamed, Elijah told Ahab, “Now therefore send and gather all Israel before me on Mount Carmel, the four-hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four-hundred of the groves who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18:19. Ahab obeyed. Elijah stood there, as one in the presence of Jehovah, and told Ahab what to do, and Ahab did it. He quickly sent messengers out to get the people to meet on the top of Mount Carmel.

The people climbed Mount Carmel. Now, it was ugly. Before, it had been one of the most beautiful places, with beautiful groves and meadows with flowers. Now, those groves were leafless, the trees had no leaves on them. It was in those groves where the worship of Baal had taken place. Now the worshipers could not hide while worshipping Baal. The people were nervous. They were afraid that something terrible was going to happen. Following the people came the priests of Baal, in all their royal pomp, with Ahab in front of them. The people were much more receptive to them than to Elijah. They were afraid of what Elijah would do next.

Choose Today

Elijah looked at the broken down altar of God, and asked the people one simple question: “How long will you falter between two opinions, if the Lord is God follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. Elijah was standing alone. Then Elijah proposed that the priests of Baal build an altar and call upon their god for fire, and he would do the same and would call upon the true God. This was too reasonable for anyone to disagree.

The Spirit of Prophecy says that during the time of no rain, the priests of Baal had been sacrificing to Baal with a zeal worthy of a greater cause. Now, on Mount Carmel, they really had zeal. They cried and cut themselves. They tried to sneak fire on to the altar, but Elijah was watching them too closely. He knew, if they succeeded, he would be torn to pieces. Finally Elijah said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 1 Kings 18:27. The priests cried louder and cut themselves, until they were even cursing Baal.

Finally, Elijah said to the people, “Come near to me.” 1 Kings 18:30. With tremendous respect, Elijah took twelve stones and rebuilt the altar to God. He placed wood on it, and had a ditch dug around it, then had twelve pitchers of water poured on it. Then he prayed, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back again.” 1 Kings 18:36, 37.

The priests were terrified, in a split second the fire came down and consumed the wood, the altar, the water and even the dust. The people all fell on their faces and cried in one voice “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” 1 Kings 18:39. What a victory! The peoples hearts had been turned back to God.

Elijah’s work was not done. He went to the brook Kishon and slew all the prophets of Baal. Then he prayed for rain, and soon the rain came. Elijah girded his loins. He took the rope of the horse in front of Ahab’s chariot, and he ran, in a storm, for seventeen miles in front of the king, and took him back safely to the palace.

Ahab went into the palace, without even inviting Elijah in, and told Jezebel what had happened—that the priests were all dead. She was very angry, so she sent a messenger to Elijah and said, “By tomorrow at this time you’re going to be dead.” Elijah took off and he ran. That was a mistake. If he would have stayed, Jezebel would have been destroyed.

He ran and fell under a broom tree and said, “Lord let me die. I’m just like my fathers.” Then he slept. Finally, an angel woke him up, prepared some food and gave him a glass of water. He ate, drank, went back to sleep, woke up again, and the angel prepared some more food. Then the angel told him to go to Mount Horeb, which was a forty day trip.

When he got to the mountain, he went into a cave, and God came to him and he said, “What are you doing here?” Elijah said, “Israel has killed the prophets of the Lord and I’m the only one left.” Then there was a tremendous windstorm and an earthquake and a fire, but God was in none of these. Then Elijah heard a still small voice. Elijah went to the end of the cave and wrapped his face in the mantel. Again God said, “What are you doing here Elijah?” Elijah said I am the only prophet of Yours left. God said, “No, you’re not the only one left, there are seven-thousand that have not bowed to Baal.”

What a story! What was his secret? “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:17, 18.

The End

The Rending of the Kingdom

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord.” I Kings 11:4–6. The after effects of this tragic account are still plaguing us today.

Solomon—the wisest king that ever reigned over ancient Israel—in his old age went after strange idol gods. It is doubtful if there is anyone reading this article that has a brass or a stone god that is worshipped. Nevertheless, this story has great significance for modern Israel.

“The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.” I Kings 11:9–11.

Unfailing promises

Had not God given this promise, “Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever”? I Chronicles 22: 9, 10. [All emphasis supplied]

How could it be that in 1 Kings 11:11 the Word came to Solomon and said to him, “I’m going to tear the kingdom away from you”? How could both Words of the Lord be true?

God’s Word is true for all ages, for all people, for every person, for every institution, for every home, for every church. “And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” Jeremiah 18:9, 10. God has a book full of promises and warnings. The unfailing promises are given on condition of obedience, and warnings are given to the disobedient. The disobedient cannot claim the unfailing promises.

Solomon’s fall was silent and imperceptible. He did not realize that he was walking one step at a time down the path of rebellion against God. What were those silent and imperceptible steps?

The First Step

“Prominent among the primary causes that led Solomon into extravagance and oppression was his failure to maintain and foster the spirit of self-sacrifice.” Prophets and Kings, 61. This was the first step as he started walking down the road of apostasy and oppression.

Solomon was a genius. He built the temple for the Lord. But in this very thing he took a step that led him down the path of apostasy.

God had given to the tribes of Dan and Judah special skill in workmanship. In the wilderness tabernacle, it was the tribes of Judah and Dan that did the fine craftsmanship. Their descendants, even in Solomon’s day, inherited to a large degree the talents conferred on their forefathers. “For a time these men of Judah and Dan remained humble and unselfish; but gradually, almost imperceptibly, they lost their hold upon God and their desire to serve Him unselfishly. They asked higher wages for their services, because of their superior skill as workmen in the finer arts. In some instances their request was granted, but more often they found employment in the surrounding nations. In place of the noble spirit of self-sacrifice that had filled the hearts of their illustrious ancestors, they indulged in a spirit of covetousness.” Ibid., 62.

Solomon sought for a very skilled workman, an artisan, to build the temple. He found a man from another country named Huram. His mother was of the tribe of Dan. Huram was a descendant, on his mother’s side, of Aholiab. Hundreds of years before, God had given him special skill on the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness. His father was of the King of Tyre, and was not a worshipper of the true God. He was selfish. “Because of his unusual skill, Huram demanded large wages.” Ibid., 64. This demand was granted him.

“Gradually the wrong principles that he cherished came to be accepted by his associates. As they labored with him day after day, they yielded to the inclination to compare his wages with their own, and they began to lose sight of the holy character of their work. The spirit of self-denial left them, and in its place came the spirit of covetousness. The result was a demand for higher wages, which was granted.

“The baleful influences thus set in operation permeated all branches of the Lord’s service and extended throughout the kingdom. The high wages demanded and received gave to many an opportunity to indulge in luxury and extravagance. The poor were oppressed by the rich; the spirit of self-sacrifice was well nigh lost. In the far-reaching effects of these influences may be traced one of the principle causes of the terrible apostasy of him who was once numbered among the wisest of mortals.” Ibid. Have we repeated this today? Recently, administrators in the Adventist Health System were demanding high wages, similar to those in the world. Yes, we have been taking the same steps.

We are told in the Spirit of Prophecy; “continual giving starves covetousness.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 548. We should be giving of our lives, of our time, of our means, continually, to starve the covetousness out of our hearts.

The Second Step

The second step in Solomon’s apostasy was self-glorification, seeking, taking, and letting people give you glory that belongs only to God. “Another of the deviations from right principles that finally led to the downfall of Israel’s king was his yielding to the temptation to take to himself the glory that belongs to God alone.” Prophets and Kings, 65.

Solomon was once young and tender. When he prayed at the dedication of the temple he was humble. “Had Solomon continued in humility of mind to turn the attention of men from himself to the One who had given him wisdom and riches and honor, what a history might have been his! But while the pen of inspiration records his virtues, it also bears faithful witness to his downfall. Raised to a pinnacle of greatness and surrounded with the gifts of fortune, Solomon became dizzy, lost his balance, and fell. Constantly extolled by men of the world, he was at length unable to withstand the flattery offered him.” Ibid., 68.

“Man cannot show greater weakness than by allowing men to ascribe to him the honor for gifts that are Heaven-bestowed.” Ibid., 68. The Lord gives us one gift after another; the gift of mercy, of love, of forgiveness—the daily gifts that sustain our lives. We must give to God all the glory and credit.

The third Step

“The introduction of principles leading away from the spirit of sacrifice and tending toward self-glorification, was accompanied by yet another gross perversion of the divine plan for Israel. God had designed that His people should be the light of the world.” Prophets and Kings, 70. But Solomon lost his missionary spirit—that was the third step downward. He replaced it with a spirit of commercialism. “Placed at the head of a nation that had been set as a beacon light to the surrounding nations, Solomon should have used his God-given wisdom and power of influence in organizing and directing a great movement for the enlightenment of those who were ignorant of God and His truth. Thus multitudes would have been won to allegiance to the divine precepts, Israel would have been shielded from the evils practiced by the heathen, and the Lord of glory would have been greatly honored. But Solomon lost sight of this high purpose. He failed of improving his splendid opportunities for enlightening those who were continually passing through his territory or tarrying at the principal cities.” Ibid., 71. The Lord in His wisdom, placed Israel where the centers of travel from east to west, and north to south, went right through their nation. As travelers went through those cities, the Israelites could teach them of the God of heaven, and of His law. These travelers could take it back to their own nation, and the whole world would have known about God. In this way, God provided Solomon with a way to teach the nations without becoming corrupted by their idols.

“He failed of improving his splendid opportunities for enlightening those who were continually passing through his territory or tarrying at the principal cities . . . The missionary spirit that God had implanted in the heart of Solomon and in the hearts of all true Israelites was supplanted by a spirit of commercialism.” Ibid., 71. He figured out a way, by all those travelers passing through those cities, to make money from them. This was very displeasing to God.

Unholy Alliance

Solomon made an alliance with the nation of Egypt. God had forbidden this. “Satan knew the results that would attend obedience; and during the earlier years of Solomon’s reign—years glorious because of the wisdom, the beneficence, and the uprightness of the king—he sought to bring in influences that would insidiously undermine Solomon’s loyalty to principle and cause him to separate from God. That the enemy was successful in his effort, we know from the record: ‘Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the City of David.’ ” Ibid., 53.

“From a human point of view, this marriage, though contrary to the teachings of God’s law, seemed to prove a blessing; for Solomon’s heathen wife was converted and united with him in the worship of the true God.” Ibid. Then Solomon married many women—seven-hundred wives and three-hundred concubines. “More and more the king came to regard luxury, self-indulgence, and the favor of the world as indications of greatness. Beautiful and attractive women were brought from Egypt, Phoenicia, Edom, Moab, and from many other places. These women were numbered by hundreds. Their religion was idol worship, and they had been taught to practice cruel and degrading rites. Infatuated with their beauty, the king neglected his duties to God and to his kingdom.” Ibid., 56.

On the mountain facing the backside of the temple, Solomon built many piles of buildings to the gods of the other nations. Right in the shadow of the temple of the living God, under those trees, his heathen wives practiced degrading heathen rites. How could it ever happen? We need to be very wary of taking the first step in apostasy, because none of us know how low we can go.

Except for the Grace of God

When walking down the streets of Chicago, Dwight L. Moody came to a drunk man lying in the gutter. He got down on his knees and turned the drunk over. With tears streaming down his face he said: “Except for the grace of God, there lies Dwight L. Moody.” Do not look around and say, “Oh, how could they do it?” Friends, you and I can go straight to the bottom. We would be there right now except for the grace of God.

“From being one of the greatest kings that ever wielded a scepter, Solomon became a profligate, the tool and slave of others. His character, once noble and manly, became enervated and effeminate. His faith in the living God was supplanted by atheistic doubts. Unbelief marred his happiness, weakened his principles, and degraded his life. The justice and magnanimity of his early reign were changed to despotism and tyranny. Poor, frail human nature! God can do little for men who lose their sense of dependence upon Him.” Prophets and Kings, 58.

“By messages of reproof and by severe judgments, He sought to arouse the king to a realization of the sinfulness of his course. He removed His protecting care.” Prophets and Kings, 77.

Everything is for our benefit. Every trial that comes our way will help us. God could not talk to Solomon by blessings bestowed, so He talked to Solomon by blessings removed. “He removed His protecting care and permitted adversaries to harass and weaken the kingdom. The Lord stirred up an adversary.” Ibid., 77. Hadad the Edomite and Rezon lifted up their hand against the king. Praise the Lord, the trials did their mission of love. “For him at last the discipline of suffering had accomplished its work. Long had he been harassed by the fear of utter ruin because of inability to turn from folly.” Ibid., 77.

“None who have fallen need give up to despair. Aged men, once honored of God, may have defiled their souls, sacrificing virtue on the alter of lust; but if they repent, forsake sin, and turn to God, there is still hope for them.” Ibid., 84.

“Solomon’s repentance was sincere but, the harm that his example of evil-doing had wrought could not be undone . . . He could never hope to escape the blasting results of sin, he could never free his mind from all remembrance of the self-indulgent course he had been pursuing.” Ibid., 84. The seed was sown and there was a bitter harvest. While Solomon is enjoying eternal life—there will be many, that will be lost because of his influence. Can your mind take that in?

“And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.” I Kings 11:43.

Modern Israel and Idolatry

“Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshipped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 609.

Possessions: “Jesus immediately tears off his sense of security by referring to his idols, his possessions. He had other gods before the Lord, which were of greater value to him than eternal life. Supreme love to God was lacking. Thus it is with some who profess to believe the truth. They think they are perfect, think that there is no lack, when they are far from perfection and are cherishing idols which will shut them out of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 484.

Appetite: “They have other gods before the Lord. Their taste, their appetite, is their god.” Ibid., 486. Then there is pride of dress and love of money—anything that you worship and you love more than God, is an idol.


Solomon slept with his fathers and Rehoboam, his son, went to Shechem to receive the kingdom. Solomon, because of his devotion for idolatrous luxury, had overtaxed the people. The people said to Rehoboam, “Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.” I Kings 12:4. Rehoboam sent them away for three days. He asked counsel of the old counselors that stood before his father. They said, “Give the people what they want and they will serve you for ever.”

That did not satisfy Rehoboam. “And the young men who were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins and now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” I Kings 12:10. “Their expressed determination to perpetuate and add to the oppression introduced during Solomon’s reign was in direct conflict with God’s plan for Israel, and gave the people ample occasion to doubt the sincerity of their motives.” Prophets and Kings, 90.

Those that had studied the Word of God, the true and faithful in Israel, knew that the Messiah was to come through Solomon. God had promised that Solomon’s throne would be established forever. But even though the promised Messiah was through this lineage, God had a different idea about the government than Rehoboam had. “The Lord did not allow Rehoboam to carry out the policy he had outlined. Among the tribes were many thousands who had become thoroughly aroused over the oppressive measures of Solomon’s reign, and these now felt that they could not do otherwise than rebel, against the house of David.” Ibid. “So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.” I Kings 12:19. Was that wicked? Friends, it is never wicked to rebel against sin. It is never wicked to protest against idolatry. It is always right to stand up for God’s law. The Bible says, “the cause was from the Lord.”

The Kingdom was rent

The kingdom was rent. The very throne that God established, He removed. The kingdom that had been established by God was rent. The throne, the people, that the Messiah was to come through, was rent. Whenever we enter into idolatry, the rending of the kingdom is sure to come.

“The high-handed power that has been developed, as though position has made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear. It is a curse wherever and by whomsoever it is exercised.” Testimonies to Ministers, 362.

“This lording it over God’s heritage will create such a disgust of man’s jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result . . . ‘All ye are brethren.’ This disposition to lord it over God’s heritage will cause a reaction unless these men change their course. When men who profess to serve God ignore His parental character and depart from honor and righteousness in dealing with their fellowmen, Satan exults, for he has inspired them with his attributes. They are following in the track of Romanism.” Ibid.

Friends, are we following any less today in the track of Romanism than in 1895? I think we are further down the path.

“When one who professes to be a representative of Christ engages in sharp dealing and in pressing men into hard places, those who are thus oppressed will either break every fetter of restraint or they will be led to regard God as a hard master.” Ibid., 363.

“In order to reign and become a power, they employ Satan’s methods to justify their own principles. They exalt themselves as men of superior judgment, and they have stood as representatives of God. These are false gods.” Ibid., 364.

Elijah came, but the ten tribes went deeper and deeper into apostasy until they were dispersed among the nations centuries before A. D. 34. By that time there was a small remnant left of the original nation. God still works upon the same plan. He will never harbor sin in any form.

“The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.” Upward Look, 131.

God has not made any new plan to work upon. He’s working upon the same plan as He worked on then and as He works on now. When all was in apostasy, He had a church. He’s always had a remnant to serve Him, and it has always been His church. “The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth.” Acts of Apostles, 11. It does not say the invisible church on earth. It says the church on earth. That is a definition statement.

Some of those souls are Joseph, Caleb and Joshua, Elijah, Nehemiah, Ruth, Mordecai, Daniel, Paul, Wycliff, Huss, John Wesley, William Miller, James White, and many others. They are not invisible. Their work has stood the most visible of all time and eternity. God has always had them.

“A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God—a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they.” Testimonies, vol, 1, 609.

We don’t have God held hostage—not one of us here. He does not have to use us. He is not dependent on us. But He will use whomever humbles their soul before God, and lets Him purify their soul. May the Lord bless you.

The End

Editorial – Sinners in Zion, part 1

Zion is one of the hills on which the city of Jerusalem is built. Since the ark of God with the Shekinah glory was transferred to Zion (by David) it was referred to as the place where God dwelt. Jeremiah 8:19, Psalm 76:2. Jerusalem in the Old Covenant was the type of the heavenly Jerusalem and Zion in the New Covenant. The people of God, His chosen, would therefore be referred to as the people of Zion as is done repeatedly in scripture—”Say to Zion you are my people.” Isaiah 51:16.

The church, when triumphant will stand on the heavenly mount Zion. Hebrews 12:22, 23. Zion contains the chief cornerstone of the spiritual building that we call the church. Ephesians 2:19-22, I Peter 2:5,6.

The 144,000, after their deliverance from the death decree described in Revelation 13:15-17, will stand on this same heavenly mount Zion. Revelation 14:1.

In the Bible, whether talking about the earthly Jerusalem (the Old Covenant Zion), or the heavenly Jerusalem (the New Covenant Zion), Zion represents not as much a place as a people, specifically the people who profess to be the people of God and are acknowledged by Him as His people. For example, “the Lord has comforted his people and will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, the Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee. Behold I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:13-16. “The Lord shall comfort Zion.” Isaiah 51:3. Zion is asleep and is commanded to awake and be loosed from captivity. Isaiah 52:1. As soon as she travails, a nation is brought forth. Isaiah 66:8. To ask the way to Zion, Jeremiah 50:5, is to ask how to become part of God’s chosen people. It is only in Zion that there will be deliverance in the last days. Joel 2:32, Obadiah 17.

In the last days God has declared that He is jealous for Zion with a great jealousy, that He will return and dwell in Jerusalem, and it will be called a city of truth. Zechariah 8:2,3. When God talks about coming to dwell in Zion He is talking about coming and dwelling among His people, His church. The church is the holy city spoken of in Revelation 11:2,3. To sinners our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29. When God comes to Zion what will happen to sinners in Zion when the greatest spiritual battle of all time arrives—the most momentous crises of the ages? What will happen to those who are trying to build Zion with bloodshed? Micah 3:10

The prophets give us awesome answers to these questions. Here is one answer from the pen of Ellen White:

“In our largest churches the greatest evils exist, because these have had the greatest light. They have not a true knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom he has sent. The leaven of unbelief is working, and unless these evils which bring the displeasure of God are corrected in its members, the whole church stands accountable for them. The deep movings of the Spirit of God are not with them; the glorious presence of the King of saints, and his power to cleanse from all moral defilement, are not manifest among them. Many come to the assembly as worshipers, like the door upon its hinges. They understand not the true application of the Scriptures, nor the power of God. They have eyes, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not; they continue in their evil ways yet regard themselves as the privileged, obedient people who are doers of the word. A carnal security and ease in Zion prevail. Peace, peace, is sounded in her border, when God has not spoken peace. They have forfeited the terms of peace; there is reason for an alarm to be sounded in all ‘my holy mountain.’ The sinners in Zion should be afraid, in a time when they do not expect it, sudden destruction will surely come upon all who are at ease.” Review and Herald, December 23, 1890.

Friend, do not let the most momentous crises of the ages pass by. If you are at ease should you not be alarmed? If you are not engaged in the controversy over Zion, will the prophecy be fulfilled in you, that many will not wake up until it is too late? Early Writings, 71. Zion must awake, put on the beautiful garments, and entering into the final conflict, contend with the sons of Greece. Zechariah 9:13.

The End