John Huss and the Reformation in Prague

The Reformation that began in England as the result of the teachings of John Wycliffe was not restricted to England. Though the work appeared to have stopped with the translation of the English Bible, such was not the case. Though Wycliffe had passed from the field of action, the seed he had sown remained and was yet to emerge in a distant land. Oceans could not stop the spread of truth, nor could national boundaries prevent its triumph. In the year 1400, Jerome of Prague returned to his homeland from England, bringing with him the writings of Wycliffe. It was this seed of truth that opened the eyes of John Huss.

Bohemia and Moravia correspond to what is now the western most part of the Czech Republic. It is believed that Christianity first entered this area in the wake of the armies of Charlemagne (742–814), who established his rule over most of western and central Europe. These Western missionaries, ignorant of the Slavonic tongue, could really effect little conversion of the Bohemian people beyond a nominal acceptance of Christianity. “Accordingly we find the King of Moravia, a country whose religious condition was precisely similar to that of Bohemia, sending to the Greek Emperor, about the year 863, and saying: ‘Our land is baptized, but we have no teachers to instruct us, and translate for us the Holy Scriptures. Send us teachers who may explain to us the Bible.’” Wylie, History of Protestantism, vol. 1, 131.

As a result, the Bohemian church, though adopting Eastern ritual, remained under the jurisdiction of Rome. Later, as the schism between the Eastern and the Western Churches fully developed, the Greek liturgy was discouraged by Rome and the Latin rite was introduced. At length, in 1079, Pope Gregory VII issued a bull forbidding the Oriental ritual to be used any longer, or for public worship to be celebrated in the common language. This order effectively closed every church and Bible in Bohemia. So far as instruction in truth was concerned, total night had set in.

At this dark hour, when it appeared that the Christianity of the nation would completely disappear, the arrival of the Waldenses and Albigenses, fleeing from persecution in Italy and France, breathed new life into the movement. They spread themselves in small colonies all over the Slavonic countries, making their headquarters in Prague. Thought they did not dare to preach publicly, they were zealous evangelists and carried the truth from door to door, keeping the truth alive for two centuries before John Huss appeared.

Because Bohemia was so far removed, it was difficult for Rome to enforce its commands. In many places worship continued to be celebrated in the tongue of the people. Powerful nobles were, in many cases, the protectors of the Waldenses and native Christians who brought prosperity to their lands. All through the fourteenth century these Waldensian exiles continued to sow the seed of pure Christianity in Bohemia.

There were three pioneers of truth who preceded Huss in Bohemia. The first, John Milicius, or Militz, was a man of learning and an eloquent preacher. Whenever he appeared to speak, he addressed the people in the common tongue; and the cathedral was thronged. In hope of finding rest for his soul by fasting, he made a trip to Rome. Upon his arrival, he was shocked to find that the scandals he had spoken out against in Prague paled in comparison to the enormities that were practiced in Rome. In departing, he wrote over the door of one of the cardinals, “Antichrist is now come, and sitteth in the Church.” Ibid., 132.

No sooner had he returned home than the archbishop of Prague, under orders of the pope, placed him in prison. Soon, however, murmurs began to be heard among the citizens; and fearing an uprising, the archbishop released him after a short incarceration. He lived to die in peace at eighty years of age in 1374.

With the passage of time, papal persecution was instigated against the confessors in Bohemia. They no longer dared to celebrate communion using the cup openly but sought retreat in private homes or the yet greater concealment of woods and caves. Finally, in 1376, the stake was decreed against all who dissented from the established rites.

John Huss was born in 1373 in the village of Hussinetz on the edge of the Bohemian Forest. He took his name from his birthplace. His father died while he was yet young. Having completed his education at the provincial school, his mother took him to Prague. There at the university he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1393, Bachelor of Theology in 1394, and Master of the Arts in 1396. Two years later, he entered the church and rose rapidly to distinction until the queen, Sophia of Bavaria, selected him as her confessor.

It was in 1402 that Huss’ career really began when he was appointed the preacher at the Chapel of Bethlehem. At this time, the level of morality had sunken to an extremely low level. In addressing these abuses, Huss aroused opposition, but the queen and archbishop acted as his protectors, and he continued to preach.

The Bethlehem Chapel was founded by a certain citizen of Prague in 1392 with the stipulation that the preaching of the Word of God was to be in the mother tongue. In presenting the Bible truth to his listeners, Huss himself grew in faith and understanding. When he began to study the works of Wycliffe, he found himself not altogether opposed to the reforms Wycliffe proposed.

In preaching from the Bible, Huss had begun a movement the significance of which he little realized. Having placed the Bible above the authority of pope or council, he had, without realizing it, entered upon the road of Protestantism, though at the time he had not thought of breaking with the Church of Rome.

One of the events that took place and which helped to encourage the intercourse between England and Bohemia was the marriage of Richard II of England, to Anne, sister of the king of Bohemia. On the death of the princess, the ladies of her court, on their return to their native land, brought with them the writings of Wycliffe, whose follower their mistress had been.

About this time (1404), two theologians from England, graduates of Oxford and disciples of the gospel, arrived in Prague. They came planning to hold public disputations, and they chose as their opening wedge the primacy of the pope. The country was scarcely prepared to be open to such a message and the authorities promptly put a stop to their efforts in that direction. As they considered what avenue they might take to pursue their purpose, an idea presented itself. Both of these would-be missionaries had studied art as well as theology and they proceeded to demonstrate their skill in drawing in the corridor of the house in which they were staying. On one wall they portrayed the humble entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. On the other they displayed the more royal magnificence of a pontifical procession. There was seen the pope, dressed in his pontifical robes, the Triple Crown on his head, with trumpeters proclaiming his approach. Many were drawn to gaze upon the contrasting pictures. Such excitement was stirred that the artists deemed it prudent to withdraw for a time.

Among those who came to gaze at this antithesis of Christ and Antichrist was John Huss. The effect that it had upon him led him to a more careful study than ever of the writings of Wycliffe. He could not, however, accept the sweeping measure of reform that was advocated by him. The idea of overturning the hierarchy and replacing it with the simple ministry of the Word was an idea so revolutionary as to make him draw back.

One of the things that helped to open Huss’ eyes was the presentation of relics and the lying wonders that were attributed to them. Many doubts were expressed regarding the cures, and the archbishop ordered an investigation into the truth of the matter. As a result, it was discovered that all of the miracles were impostures. In the summer of 1405, under threat of excommunication, all preachers were enjoined to publish to their congregations the episcopal prohibition of pilgrimages.

The events that were transpiring in Prague could not long escape the notice of Rome. In response, Pope Alexander V issued a bull commanding the archbishop of Prague to burn all the books written by Wycliffe. Upwards of 200 volumes, beautifully written and elegantly bound, some of which were ornamented with precious stones, were burned to the tolling of bells. Their beauty and costliness showed that their owners were men of high standing, and their number reflected on how widely the writings of the English Reformer had been circulated in Prague alone.

This act further inflamed the zeal of Huss, and his sermons now attacked indulgences as well as the abuses of the hierarchy. A summons now arrived from Rome demanding that Huss appear in person to defend his doctrines. To obey was certain death. The king, the queen, the university, and many other persons of rank and influence united in sending an embassy requesting the pope to dispense with Huss’ personal appearance, allowing him to be heard by legal counsel. The pope refused to listen and went on to condemn him in absentia, laying the city of Prague under interdict.

On every side there were tokens of doom. The church doors were locked; corpses lay by the wayside awaiting burial. The images which stood at the street corners were covered with sackcloth or laid prostrate on the ground.

A tumult was beginning to disturb the peace; and Huss, following the command of Jesus, when persecuted in one place, fled to another. Leaving Prague, he retired to his native village where he enjoyed the protection of the territorial lord, who was his friend. From there he traveled to the surrounding towns and villages, preaching the gospel as he went.

“The mind of Huss, at this stage of his career, would seem to have been the scene of a painful conflict. Although the Church was seeking to overwhelm him by her thunderbolts, he had not renounced her authority. The Roman Church was still to him the spouse of Christ, and the Pope was the representative and vicar of God. What Huss was warring against was the abuse of authority, not the principle inself. This brought on a terrible conflict between the convictions of his understanding the claims of his conscience. . . . This was the problem he could not solve; this was the doubt that tortured him hour by hour. The nearest approximation to a solution, which he was able to make, was that it had happened again, as once before in the days of the Saviour, that the priest of the Church had become wicked persons, and were using their lawful authority for unlawful ends.” Ibid. 139. It is doubtful that even as he stood at the stake that Huss had the clearness of sight that Wycliffe had developed. He was unable to separate in his mind the true church from the organized structure that represented to him the ship in which all were to obtain safety.

Gradually things quieted in Prague and an uneasy calm settled in. Huss longed to return to his post in the Chapel of Bethlehem. Upon his return, he spoke even more boldly against the tyranny of the priesthood in forbidding the preaching of the gospel.

About this time, the Lord brought Jerome into Huss’ life. Jerome, a Bohemian knight, had returned from having spent some time at Oxford where he had imbibed of Wycliffe’s teachings. As he passed through Paris and Vienna, he challenged the learned men of these universities to dispute him in the matter of faith. As a result, he was thrown into prison but made his escape and returned to Bohemia to spread the doctrines of the English Reformer.

Though much alike in their great qualities and aims, Huss and Jerome differed in minor points to be sufficiently diverse to compliment each other. Huss was the more powerful character while Jerome was the more powerful orator. Their friendship and affection for each other grew and continued unbroken until they were united in death.

About this time, three popes were all contending for supremacy, filling Christendom with strife and tumult. Each, casting about to find means with which to raise armies to support his claim to St. Peter’s chair, offered for sale the blessings of the church. The bishops and lower levels of the clergy, quick to learn from the example set them by the popes, enriched themselves by simony. Of the practices of piety, nothing remained but a few superstitious rites. The words of the prophet certainly applied. “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14.

While this is truly a distressing and melancholy spectacle, perhaps it was necessary that the evil should more fully develop and manifest itself that the eyes of men might be opened and they might see that, “It was indeed a ‘bitter thin’ that they had forsaken the ‘easy yoke’ of the Gospel, and submitted to a power that set no limits to its usurpations, and which, clothing itself with the prerogatives of God, was waging a war of extermination against all the rights of men.” Ibid., 141. As long as men believed that the church was the ship of salvation by which all must stand—the ark of God, which would weather every storm to arrive at last at the heavenly shore—the supremacy of Rome was assured. As long as this delusion was systematically taught and fondly received, reformation was impossible.

As Huss contemplated the frightful condition of society and the church, he was led to study more deeply the Bible and the writings of the early church fathers. He began to see more clearly how far the church had digressed from the purity of doctrine that had once been delivered to the saints. It was at this time that he wrote his treatise On the Church, a work that revealed the extent of his emancipation from the shackles of church authority.

This tract was soon followed by another entitled The Six Errors. In this tract, he set forth a list of errors of the Roman Church, which included: 1) the error of transubstantiation; 2) the confession required of all church members as to their belief in the saints and the pope; 3) the pretension of the priests to remit the guilt and punishment for sin; 4) the implicit obedience required of all to their ecclesiastical superiors; 5) the failure to make a distinction between a valid excommunication and one that is not; and 6) simony.

About this time, the war between the popes reached such a level that it threatened to engulf a divided Bohemia. The king and priesthood of the nation supported John XXIII, while the common people and many of the leading citizens sided with Ladislaus, King of Hungary, who supported Gregory XII. As Huss viewed the contending factions, he spoke plainer and more boldly with every passing day. The scandals which multiplied around him no doubt aroused his indignation, and the persecutions he endured no doubt strengthened him in purpose. In the midst of this turmoil, the archbishop placed Prague under interdict and threatened to continue the sentence so long as Huss remained in the city. He was persuaded that if Huss should retire, the movement would go down and the war of factions would subside in peace. In this, however, he was deceived. Two ages were struggling together, and movement was now beyond the power of any man to control.

Huss, fearing that his presence in Prague might embarrass his friends, again withdrew to his native village. It was from there that he wrote for the first time the prophetic words that were later to be repeated, each time taking a more exact and definite form. “’If the goose’ (his name in the Bohemian language signifies goose), ‘which is but a timid bird, and cannot fly high, has been able to burst its bonds, there will come afterwards an eagle, which will soar high into the air and draw to it all the other birds.’” Ibid., 143.

It was pleasant to lave the strife of Prague for the quietude of his birthplace. Here he could devote himself to study and communion with God and reflect on the result of the work that he had begun. He had been able to partially emancipate his country from the darkness of error. One more act remained for him to perform—the greatest and most enduring of all. As the preacher of Bethlehem Chapel, he had largely contributed to the emancipation of Bohemia; but as the martyr of Constance, he was to largely contribute to the emancipation of Christendom.


State of the Dead

The first deception which fastened itself upon the mind of man was the idea that man could live out of harmony with his Creator and never die. Though this assertion went directly contrary to that which God had stated, it was accepted in the place of God’s Word and acted upon. This false concept was ultimately accepted within the professed Christian church and is part of that wine of Babylon with which she had made the nations drunk. “Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God’s holy and sanctified day.” Testimonies to Ministers, 61.

The servant of the Lord has told us that in the closing struggle of the great controversy, there are two issues on which Christendom will unite.

“Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul, and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of Spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome.” The Great Controversy, 588.

In view of the rapidly approaching crisis, it is imperative that each one of us be thoroughly grounded in the truth. The editors of Historic Adventist LandMarks think that it is a good idea to review, from time to time, some of our basic doctrines. This will not only be an excellent review, but will also provide an outline for marking your Bible, a help in giving Bible studies. –The Editors

Creation of man: “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Genesis 1:26, 27.

Question: In what condition is man in death?

Job 14:12–14—”So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep. Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes.” NKJV. Note: The most common definition found in the Bible is that it is a sleep.

Psalm 13:3—”Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” NKJV.

Jeremiah 51:39, 57—”In their excitement I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,’ says the LORD. . . . ‘And I will make drunk her princes and wise men, her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men. And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,’ says the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.” NKJV.

Daniel 12:2—”And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” NKJV.

John 11:11–14—”These things He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.’ Then His disciples said, ‘Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.’ However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.’” NKJV.

Acts 13:36—”For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption.” NKJV.

I Corinthians 15:51—”Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” NKJV.

Psalm 104:29, 30—”Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth.” KJV.

Job 27:3—”All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” KJV.

Genesis 3:19—”In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” KJV.

Question: Is this sleep with dreams, or consciousness, or is it totally unconscious?

Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10—”For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun. . . . Whatever your hand find to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” NKJV.

Psalm 49:12–20—”Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave form their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for He shall receive me. Selah. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” KJV. Note: A man that is given honor after he is dead has no knowledge of it.

Isaiah 38:18,1 9—”For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You; those who go down to the pit can not hope for Your truth. The living, the living man, he shall praise You, as I do this day; the father shall make known Your truth to the children.” NKJV. Note: The dead do not know God’s truth. They cannot praise God; they are unconscious; they know nothing.

Psalm 6:5—”For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks? NKJV.

Psalm 115:17—”The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence.” NKJV. Note: The Bible teaches this truth over and over again. God must have known that there would be some misunderstanding on this subject.

Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20—”For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7 KJV. Note. As we have already seen, Solomon has already told us that the dead have no consciousness. Certainly he will not, a few chapters later, contradict himself. What then, is meant by the spirit returning to God?

There is one difference, however, between man and beast, according to Ecclesiastes 3:21. “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” At death, the spirit of man goes back to God so that He can preserve them in their unconscious state until the resurrection day when the righteous will be brought back to life. “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51, 52 KJV.

I Corinthians 15:17, 18—”For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” KJV.

Question: When do we go to heaven?

John 14:1–3—”Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” KJV. Note: Jesus said that after He prepares a place, He will come to the earth again to take the righteous to the mansions prepared in Heaven. We do to be with Christ when He returns, and not before. This is why the Second Coming of Christ is so important to the New Testament believers.

Question: What does Paul say would happen to the dead if there was no resurrection?

I Corinthians 15:12–23—”Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” KJV. Note; If for 4,000 years the righteous have gone directly to heaven at death, how could Paul have said that if there is no resurrection, those who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished? What need would there be for a resurrection.”

Question: What further does Jesus say about the future life?

John 5:28, 29—”Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” KJV.

John 6:39, 40—””And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day.” KJV. Note: The dead are going to be raised at the last day [the resurrection]!

John 11:23, 24—”Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” KJV.

Question: What does Peter say about the future life?

I Peter 5:4—”And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” KJV.

Acts 2:29, 34, 35—”Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, for he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. . . . For David is not yet ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool.” KJV.

Question: What did Job say about a future life after death?
Job 19:25–27—”For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” KJV.

Question: What did Paul say about the future life?

II Timothy 4:7, 8—”I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” KJV.

Acts 13:36, 37—”For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: but He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.” KJV.

Acts 24:14, 15—Again, from the apostle Paul: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” KJV.

I Thessalonians 4:14–17—”For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” NKJV. This describes the resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:51–55—”Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” KJV.

Question: Will the resurrection be a secret and invisible event, or will it be noticed by all?

I Thessalonians 4:16–18—”For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” KJV.

Water, Is it Important?

“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge.” Ministry of Health, 127.

It is a God-given duty that devolves upon each one of us to keep our physical organisms healthy and strong so that we do not prematurely wear out and die of degenerative disease, and by doing so, rob God of the time and the service that are due Him. Also, recall that there is a battle going on in our minds. If we live in such a way that the mind becomes clouded, we do not have clear judgment and discernment and we cannot make the right decisions; we will ultimately receive eternal death.

You see, God has made us not just physical beings. We are also mental, spiritual, emotional, and social creatures; and all of these components interlock.

In 3 John 2, we read, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” When John wrote this, he was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; so this was God, not just John, wishing this.

Good health is not just a result of some accident, some haphazard things that we do or do not do. It is a result of intelligent planning of the way we are going to live our lives. The Lord’s counsel to us is, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31. He also tells us, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” I Corinthians 3:16.

Let us consider some ways whereby we can intelligently understand the various principles that, when practiced, keep this temple healthy and undefiled.

The following eight things are not just to treat the sick but, when applied, will prevent us from becoming sick in the first place. “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge.” Ministry of Health, 127.

Water, as is everything else that we have, is a gift from God. Like air, it is something that we take for granted, until it starts becoming very scarce. Tragically, in the days in which we are living with all the pollution that we are experiencing, it is getting harder and harder to find a pure source of water.

The human body is 60–65 percent fluid. A loss of even 20 percent of the total volume of fluid can result in death. About two-thirds of the water volume of the body is actually in the cells of the body, with the other one-third outside the cells, namely in the circulation and the fluid that circulates around the cells themselves.

As we look at the function of the body, we find that virtually every activity that takes place inside the body is through the medium of water. Let me give you just two or three examples. How many times have you blinked since you started reading this article? You do not know; do you, because you did not even think about it? But friends, if you did not have a think film of fluid bathing the eye, you would be painfully aware every time you tried to blink. Because the Lord has made us so that we have certain glands that keep the eye bathed with fluid, we blink and we do not think about it.

Have you ever thought about trying to eat food without saliva? The Lord has given us saliva glands, however, and one of the functions of saliva is to help liquefy the food that we eat and to act as a lubricant when we swallow.

Each of the cells of the body requires nutrition to be brought to them and the waste to be removed. All of this is accomplished through the medium of water.

In addition, when the temperature outside of the body raises, water is crucial in the process of keeping the body cool. Now let me give you an example of why this is so. You see, the body of an average man can produce about 80 calories of heat an hour. That is nearly enough heat to bring a quart of ice cold water to the boiling point. Imagine that you are outside, you are in the sunshine, and the temperature is 95 degrees. You start to sweat, do you not? The sweat that comes onto the skin is not what cools you down, however; it is the effect of the water evaporating. As the water evaporates, it dissipates the heat.

For example, if you produce a quart of sweat, there is enough heat dissipated from the cooling effect produced by the evaporation of that one quart to take care of the heat produced from nearly seven quarts of water that is almost to boiling point. That is why, of course, on a hot day you need to drink plenty of water to replace that which is lost, allowing you to keep a normal temperature. This is also why, for example, when someone has a fever and their temperature goes up, you can help to cool them down by tepid-sponging them. In other words, you would not apply ice water because that would make them shiver and raise their temperature even higher. By removing them from any drafts and sponging them with slightly warm water, the evaporation will work to dissipate the heat. Start first by wetting one arm and allowing the water to gently evaporate. If they can take that without starting to chill, treat some more limbs and others areas of the body. As the water gently begins to evaporate, it takes the heat with it, which can lower the temperature.

On a hot day, if you are sweating profusely and you are not taking more fluid that you are losing, you will begin to dehydrate. As you begin to dehydrate, the body takes certain steps, as far as possible, to protect the vital organs, especially the blood stream. Though the blood stream is usually the part of the system that becomes dehydrated the last of all, nonetheless, as you become dehydrated, the blood tends to become a little more thick and heavy. At the same time, it becomes a little more impure because there is not sufficient fluid available to flush the blood through the kidneys and make it clean. As a consequence, you get a build-up of chemicals that can cloud the mind, making it dull. It is when the mind has become dull that the devil often strikes with temptation.

So you see, drinking water has something to do with our salvation. It is a component in fighting the spiritual battle.

Now, as we become dehydrated, the kidneys still work valiantly to try to keep the blood as clean as possible, but they have to do so under a tremendous strain. Because there is less fluid available, as the kidneys try to get rid of toxins and wastes, they concentrate the urine, thereby placing a strain upon them. It is like trying to wash a large load of dirty clothes with just two or three quarts of water. The water that is rinsed away is very filthy, and the clothes are still not as clean as they should be.

Now let us look at how the kidneys work to keep the blood clean.

Each of us has two kidneys that are located on either side of the spinal column. The right kidney tends to be a little lower than the left, because there is the liver that displaces it slightly. Coming down from each kidney is a ureter, which empties into the bladder.

The bladder is elastic in nature. It contains nerve endings so that when it expands to a certain point, you have the sensation of wanting to go to the bathroom.

If you do not drink adequate amounts of fluid, the urine becomes concentrated; and if this continues long term, it can lend itself to bladder infections as well as the formation of kidney stones. Incidentally, these stones can form in the bladder also. Remember that an effective way to help prevent all of these urinary problems is to drink plenty of fluids.

In the kidneys are minute little structures called nephrons. Each kidney you have has about one million of these nephrons. These nephrons have several functions. One thing they do is help regulate the amount of fluid in the system. A second function that they have is to help regulate the pH of the blood. Blood needs to be kept just slightly alkaline. If it gets either too acid or too alkaline, it is very quickly fatal.

In addition to the purification of the blood by the removal of waste and the regulation of the pH, the kidneys also help in the excretion of certain excess products, such as glucose if it reaches too high a level in the blood. They also help control and maintain the balance of certain minerals, such as sodium and potassium.

Now a question that might come into your mind is, How does the body know how much water it should conserve and how much water if should allow to pass out in the urine here in the nephron? David says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14. It is a fact that we are marvelously made.

The blood goes to very organ of the body, including the brain. In the area of the brain is the hypothalamus. Several things take place in the hypothalamus. As blood passes through the hypothalamus, there are sensors that are able to sense the viscosity of the blood. Perhaps you have been working outside and sweating, but you have not been drinking much and you are getting dehydrated. Your blood becomes a little bit viscous. The sensors in the hypothalamus are able to detect this and they say to themselves, “The blood is getting dehydrated; we need to tell the kidneys to conserve fluid.” If the sensors do not tell the kidney, it will let that liquid go and the blood will get more viscous.

When the brain senses that the blood is viscous, the hypothalamus sends a message to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is about the size of a pea and is situated at the base of the brain. This marvelous little gland does many things. In the back part of this gland the hormone ADH, or antidiuretic hormone, is produced. When the ADH gets to the kidney it tells the kidney to hold back, conserve the fluid. The kidney still tries to get rid of the waste, but it will do it using a minimal amount of water. As a result, concentrated urine is produced.

In the meantime, you begin to feel very thirsty so you start drinking several glasses of water. As the fluid goes into the blood stream and the blood becomes a little more diluted, the hypothalamus reduces the message to the pituitary gland, which tells the pituitary to cut back on the antidiuretic hormone. The kidney now realizes that it can let go of more fluid now.

It is just marvelous how the Lord has made us so that we can adjust to whatever is necessary in the environment.

Drinking fluid can help us meet the challenges of life. In 1952, the Swiss were attempting to climb Mt. Everest. They sent a crack team to Tibet that came within 1,000 feet of the summit of Mt. Everest when they became fatigued and had to turn back. The next day, they sent their best two climbers. They came within 1,000 feet when the fatigue got to them and they had to turn back. They just could not do it.

The next year, there was a British expedition. The British were under a physician named Dr. John Hunt, who was a physician as well as a mountain climber. Dr. Hunt knew his physiology and recognized that when people are at a high altitude, they lose more moisture through their expired air than they do at a lower altitude. He made sure that the team took stoves with them so that they could melt ice. The climbers drank between seven and eight pints of fluid a day, and they made it to the top.

For the last three days of the climb, the Swiss were getting less than one pint of water per man. As a consequence, fatigue chemicals built up in their system. Had they drunk enough fluid, they would very likely have made it to the top.

We do not climb Mt. Everest every day, but we still have challenges to face in this life; and at times they can loom before us like mountains. The Lord wants us to enjoy the best health we possible can so that we can better cope with these things. One of the ways that we can do this is to take advantage of the precious gift that He has given us—the gift of pure, clean, fresh water.

On the average, we lose about six cups of water a day through the kidneys, another two cups through the skin, one cup through the lungs, and through the bowels about one glass. That gives you about 10 glasses a day of fluid loss. We usually replace about four of these units just with the food we eat. You eat fruit, salad, and similar foods that have water in them. Also, as a by-product of oxidizing nutrients, water is produced. This totals about five units, meaning that just to maintain, we need to drink a minimum of five to six glasses of water a day, and preferably eight.

The best time to start is to drink two glasses of water when you first get up in the morning. If it is warm or hot water, it will help to regulate the bowels. Also, as well, fluid taken before the meal is better than fluid with the meal, as large amounts of fluid dilute the digestive enzymes, thus requiring that the stomach draw off a lot of that water first so the enzymes can regain their potency and start digesting the food. It is best to drink twenty minutes or so before a meal. This gives time for that fluid to be absorbed into the blood stream to come around to be used by the liver, the pancreas, and the lining of the stomach to produce the enzymes which are needed to digest food.

Friends, we need the physical water so that we can stay alive physically in this life, but we will die spiritually if we do not drink the water of life that the Lord has to give us. There are many cisterns in this world that people are seeking to drink from, but Jesus is the only cistern that has not run dry and can give us the living water. He has promised us that if we will drink of that living water now, if we will accept Him as Lord and Saviour of our lives, we have the assurance that we will drink of the living water. “And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1. What must that water taste like!

“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. Are you glad that God provides us with the physical water, but above all else, friends, the spiritual water, through Christ? We have a lot to be thankful for. Praise the Lord!


If the Devil Were Your Pastor, What Would He Say?

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were the devil and were trying to deceive someone like you? Have you ever thought of that before? By the way, the devil has all kinds of advantages. You see, God has a great disadvantage, because God cannot tell you what you want to hear; He can only tell the truth. (See Titus 1:2.)

Have you ever heard someone say, “Well that just doesn’t make sense to me”? Do you know what the devil does? He is listening; and he says, “Well, I can make something make sense to him. I will come up with just the philosophy that appeals to him and that he thinks makes sense. If he thinks God is a certain way, I will come up with a religion that presents God in that way. I will come up with a religion or a philosophy or an idea that tells him just what he wants to hear.”

Satan is a deceiver; and as we read in Revelation 12:9, he has succeeded in deceiving the whole world. The Bible says that if it were possible, he would “deceive even the very elect.” Matthew 24:24. And after all, the elect are who he is really after. In Noah’s day, there were only eight out of millions who were not deceived. In Jesus’ day, there were only a few humble disciples; and even some of them did not fair so well. And in the last days, we are told that there will be only a small minority, even of God’s people, who are going to be saved. The rest are going to be deceived. Those who are going to be sealed in the last days are those who, because of the Word of God, see the deceptions that are creeping into God’s church today.

“And the LORD said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’ To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were before the temple. ” Ezekiel 9:4–6.

Now, if I were the devil, I would study your life. I would put an angel by you, just like every other Christian. In fact, if I had enough, I would put two angels by each Christian; and I would say, “Listen, you go by each one of these Christians and find how they think, what they really like, and their weakest points; and strike at those weak points. You find what they like the best, and we will deceive them on those points. Tell them a lot of good things; just weave in a few errors here and there so subtly that they can’t decipher where they are, and lead them to hell.”

If I were the devil, I would go to a revival meeting and be converted. But I would not stop there for sure. It would not be good enough for me to be just a common church member; I would want to be active in the church. In fact, do you know what I would really like to do? I would like to teach and preach. I think I would go to the seminary and become educated.

Suppose the devil became the pastor of your church. What kind of a pastor do you think he would be? I want to tell you what kind of a pastor he would be. He would be the best speaker you have ever heard. He would be the best administrator you have ever seen. He would be the most personable pastor you have ever had. He would be a pastor who would speak more love than any pastor you have ever heard; it would be love and righteousness. But the only thing that your faith should be based on is the Bible. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. Paul says, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11. He commended the Bereans because they did not accept what he said without going to the Bible first to see if it was according to Scripture.

I want to tell you something. Satan has lost none of his power and none of his guile and none of his ability; and he is working to deceive. “Who knows whether God will not give you up to the deceptions you love? Who knows but that the preachers who are faithful, firm, and true may be the last who shall offer the gospel of peace to our unthankful churches? It may be that the destroyers are already training under the hand of Satan and only wait the departure of a few more standard-bearers to take their places, and with the voice of the false prophet cry, ‘Peace, peace,’ when the Lord hath not spoken peace.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 77. Here we are told that when the faithful pastors are removed, pastors will take their places who have been trained by Satan himself; and they may take over all the pastorates.

The disciples were loath to believe that the Bible meant all that it said back in Jesus’ day. When Jesus told them that He was going to die, they said, “That really isn’t going to happen to You. You are speaking in parables.” I want to tell you, the prophets do not lie. Did you notice what the sign of a false prophet is and what they are going to preach? These people who have been trained under the hand of Satan are going to come with the voice of the false prophet and cry, “Peace, Peace.” Oh, do not give us any straight sermons. Do not tell us, like John the Baptist, where we are wrong. We do not want to hear that. Do not tell us any of these things. That is being critical. Do not say any of those things. Just tell us how good we are.” I want to tell you, that is a doctrine of the devil!

“I seldom weep, but now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon my paper as I write. It may be that erelong all prophesyings among us will be at an end, and the voice which has stirred the people may no longer disturb their carnal slumbers. When God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people.” Ibid. The ark is not dependent upon who is carrying it. It is still God’s ark. God has a church on earth today. It is defined and identified in Revelation 12:7, and throughout Revelation. It will be those who keep the Commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

“None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.” The Great Controversy, 593. None! “Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive.” Ibid., 625.

I want to tell you something, friends. God inspired those words. He knew that we would need them in this day. And I want to tell you something about inspired words. Inspired words mean what they say. A lot of people think that there are exceptions. They think that if they are in the right church, they will somehow sail through as long as they keep their membership. Inspiration says that that is not so, that it is only those who have fortified their minds with the truths of the Bible who will have a defense against the powerful temptations of the evil one. You need to prayerfully open the Word of God. Study it, dear friends; study it day after day after day. Spend more than five minutes with it. You have to become a diligent student of the Word of God. It must become a personal Book to you. Jesus Christ must become your personal Saviour.

Do you know what is the greatest deception in all the world? It is to think that you are right when you are absolutely wrong. We are told in Matthew 7:21–23 that when Jesus comes, many will be so certain that they are saved that they will argue with God about it. They will have done many things in Jesus’ name. They went to church and even paid their tithe in His name. They were Christians through and through. They held church offices. They may have even led many souls into the church. They have all the proofs and marks of salvation. Then they will hear those sad words, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Oh, I tell you, do not think that you are smart enough to outwit the devil. You can never do it.

But guess what? There is another power on earth besides the power of the devil. What power is that? The power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit. God has promised to put a shield and a hedge around every true follower of His. If we will study the Bible daily and if we are following everything that it says, he will protect us from the devil’s deceptions. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32.

Now if I were the devil, I would do one other thing. Not only would I be converted at a revival meeting, but also I would go to the seminary and become a pastor and work my way up. You see, I would be interested in achieving. Not only would I seek to be a good pastor, I would seek to get into a position where I could hire those I wanted to hire and get rid of those I wanted to get rid of. In time, I would surround myself with men like me; and I would take control of whatever organization I was a part of. Now, thank the Lord, God has said that His church is going through; but in the meantime, He says that it is going to suffer. If you do not believe this is so, consider this statement. “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers, 409. Do not think it is not possible for the devil to take control of any church in the land, even of God’s church.

Listen, dear friends, the devil is no dummy. He has his agents, and they are as good as any preachers you have ever heard. They are the best. They will do anything to achieve. They will do anything to get to the top; and they are getting there, dear friends.

Do you know what I would do first? I would try to get to the top and surround myself with people like me. Then I would start to week out anyone who gave the straight testimony. If anyone thought that they were going to follow those who were giving the straight testimony, I would send out an avalanche of bad news, gossip, rumors, and bad reports about them so that everyone would be turned away from them.

Second, I would get my public relations department going and in four-color brochures, in pictures, and in very other way, I would tell people what a good job I was doing. I would build up all of my people and destroy anyone who was giving the straight testimony.

Dear friends, I am not talking in parables. I just read that some day, when the faithful, firm, and true pastors are removed, their places are going to be taken by those “training under the hand of the devil.” Now, God does not want us to judge others, but He does tell us that we are to be wise as serpents because He sends us out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Many times the wolves are in the highest places. They are in places where they can influence our thinking and our actions.

Oh, dear friend, I have an appeal for you. You do not have to be deceived. Everyone is going to be deceived except those who study the Word of God every day. Pledge yourself to begin to faithfully study the Word of God every day.

The World Class Straw Man, part 2

In the previous issue, we drew attention to the astonishing distortion of Seventh-day Adventist history that is being attempted in the recent publication, The Nature of Christ, by Roy Adams, associate editor of the Review. In this volume, we who are trying to cling to the historic faith of our church in regard to the human nature of Christ and in regard to the doctrine of sanctification are charged with many faults. It is represented that we are neither following the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy nor yet the mainstream of historic Adventist theological opinion. It is alleged that we are rather following the individual and erroneous thinking of A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner, as amplified and promoted by M. L. Andreason.

In our last article, we presented part of the mass of historical evidence that negates this incredible fantasy and described it as a “world-class straw man.” We promised that in this article we would examine some of the bundles of straw that were used in the erection of the structure.

The Reviling Straw Bundle

Adams represents himself as attempting to write with no ill will toward those whom he accuses. Was this attempt successful? Let the reader decide. He applies the following terms to us, either directly or indirectly:

Sour, festering, self-appointed, infected with the virus of judgmentalism and suspicion, disease, martyr complex, seasoned controversialists, spirit of accusation, outraged, aghast, scandalized, pathetic, self-confessed expert, misguided, wrong-headed, steeped in their cherish position, impenetrable to any theological logic, irresponsible, almost dishonest, deluded self-appointed prophets, turn-coats, charlatans, and scoundrels.

He applies the following descriptive terms to our reasoning:

Mumblings, innuendoes, broken faith with the church, specious theology, perfectionistic agitation, petty, picayune, disgusting, speciousness, repetitive, exasperating, subtle spin, overblown, vacuousness, subtle legalism, anger, irritation, anger to new heights, radical articulation, fuss, ingenious theological gymnastics, willfulness, mischief, dishonesty, far-fetched explanations, artificial and contrived, totally fabricated, thoughtlessly, narrow, shallow, facile admonitions, simplistic pietism, shrill, provincial, manipulate, like Jim Jones and David Koresh, dogmatism, trap of perfectionistic legalism, frustration, heated, quoted piously, specious reasoning, vehement, inordinate insistence, maliciously accusing, sharpened tongues, navel-gazing, and self-flagellation.

Can you feel the warm Christian love in this language? For some reason, I cannot. But should this surprise us? By no means. We have been forewarned:

“Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbath-keepers are brought before courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.” The Great Controversy, 608.

We are not yet seeing the entire fulfillment of this prediction, but it is certainly coming into view, both in Adam’s book and in the tragic Issues book, which he applauds. This is a foretaste of what we must be prepared to endure in the last days.

We are reminded of Christ’s warning against reviling others, in Matthew 5:22, and of His own example in refusing to bring a railing accusation against Satan himself (Jude 9). We remember also that Adams repeatedly refers to Andreason and the Historic Adventists of our time as persons who are intensely angry. We ask, where in our writings can there be found language that can be remotely compared to the venom of Adams’ irritation?

And why? What is our crime? Simply that we wish to cling to the purity of our historic faith. For this we must needs be buried under an avalanche of personal abuse and false accusation, which reaches its climax on page 106 of Adams’ book:

“Human society cannot move forward unless people are prepared to leave the past behind. Wherever a people or a society finds this impossible, there is bloodshed and backwardness. Look at the Middle East today. Look at Northern Ireland. Look at Yugoslavia. Look at Sudan. Yet this is what people like Wieland and Short wish on us.”

The sheer enormity of this viciously false accusation makes comment unnecessary, but it may be taken as a sampling of what we can expect from false brethren in the future. We note, in passing, the great difference between Adams’ thinking about the past and the thinking of Ellen White when she wrote: “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 162.

The Casuistry Straw Bundle

The word casuistry may be simply defined as subtle and evasive reasoning, deception by degrees. It is a technique that is used to avoid the resistance that might be aroused by more bold and direct deception. In his attempt to make it appear that M. L. Andreason was a disciple of Jones and Waggoner, Adams encounters a problem. The writings of Andreason do not support such a theory. Adams inadvertently reveals this in the following ingenious statement:

“Why M. L. Andreason did not more openly flaunt his connection with these two luminaries is not quite clear to me.” (Translation: Adams found no support for his theory in Andreason’s writings.)

But the lack of evidence did not deter him. He continued to enlarge on his theory by alleging that there is a fundamental theological similarity between the position of Jones and Waggoner regarding sanctification and the position of Andreason. What he does not tell his readers is that there is a much stronger similarity between Andreason’s views and those of Ellen White, as well as other church leaders.

Adams next endeavors to show that Andreason got his concept of the “final generation” who will stand without a Mediator in the last days, not from Ellen White, who originated the idea, but from some unidentified persons who, after World War I, were speculating bout the nearness of Christ’s return. The result is a classic demonstration of casuistry, making it appear that evidence exists where in fact it does not exist. Notice the carefully leading and manipulative statement on page 39:

(Andreason) “did not participate in these deceptions”

“He despised the fantastic speculations”

“Their manifest failure must have impressed him”

“leading him to articulate a theological reason for their delay”

“Andreason’s theology developed against the background of those controversies and was shaped by them.” [All emphasis supplied.]

This is an insult to the reader’s intelligence. It could be argued with equal logic that Adams’ theology was shaped by the thinking of Wieland and Short. Adams would undoubtedly pronounce that kind of reasoning utterly nonsensical—and so do we. And are we to suppose that Andreason had never read Ellen White’s description of that “final generation” in her well known The Great Controversy, 613–634; in Patriarchs and Prophets, 195–203; and in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 467–476? This would be rather peculiar in view of Adams’ own characterization of Andreason as a “self-confessed expert” on the writings of Ellen White.

Continuing his attempt to separate Andreason from the Spirit of Prophecy, Adams alleges that on the matter of character perfection, Andreason “followed in Ballenger’s footsteps.” He thus attempts to discredit Andreason by linking him with a man who later apostatized. We who knew Andreason would consider it preposterous to describe him as following in any man’s footsteps. But in any case, Ellen White’s views on this point, written and published at least 4500 times, were essentially the same as Ballenger’s before his apostasy, as well as Andreason’s and the other leaders of the church. Then to paint us with the same brush, Adams adds that the views of the Historical Adventists of our time on this subject are “virtually identical to that held by Andreason and Ballenger.” This has all the logical strength of an argument that because Ballenger believed in God and in the Second Coming of Christ, we who now believe those doctrines are followers of Ballenger.

Having used this casuistry to condition his reader’s minds, Adams then proceeds to openly picture Andreason as dishonest. (Pages 52, 53.) I had heard Adams make this charge against Andreason in a public meeting and wondered what could be its basis, since I had known Andreason as a man of sterling character and strict integrity. I am astonished at Adams’ “evidence.” It consists of nothing more than Andreason’s understanding of Ellen White’s use of the word passions, and is presented as if she only used the word in one way. In our The Word Was Made Flesh, we provide a seven-page word study of Ellen White’s uses of the terms “passions” and “propensities” (which Adams dismisses with a sneer.)

The evidence makes it clear that Ellen White did not always use these terms in the same sense or with the same identical meaning. Consider:

“He had all the strength of passion of humanity.” In Heavenly Places, 155.

“. . . not possessing the passions of our human, fallen nature.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 509.

This is in accordance with her own recognition that:

“Different meanings are expressed y the same word. There is not one word for each distinct idea.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 20.

In our word study, we record 28 uses of the word passions by Ellen White and draw conclusions that are in harmony with the evidence. We will refer the reader to The Word Was Made Flesh for details, but will here simply state that we regard Adams’ accusation against Andreason as grossly unfair, far beyond the boundaries of responsible scholarship, and altogether unchristian. I find it mind-boggling that Adams, who professes to have suffered great personal distress over Andreason’s alleged dishonesty, applauds the Issues book with its manifold misrepresentations.

Continuing in this unpraiseworthy work, Adams paints Andreason as a “self-confessed expert” on Ellen White’s writings (page 52) and tells us that Andreason “claims to be an authority on her writings.” (Page 67.) Such braggadocio would be impossible to harmonize with the modest and unpretentious character of Andreason, as we knew him. We therefore, sought for the basis of these accusations and were amazed to find that it was nothing more than this line from a letter Andreason had written to Elder Figuhr:

“In my more than sixty years of official connection with the denomination, one of my chief aims has been to inspire confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy. The last two hears I have spoken on the subject 204 times.” (Page 52.)

What kind of a mentality would construe this earnest and innocent statement to be boastful self-exaltation? And what kind of a mentality would refer to Andreason’s legitimate concerns about the discussions between Walter Martin and some of our leaders like this:

“Almost certainly one reason for Andreason’s reaction was that he had not been consulted.” Page 45.

To complete his hatchet job on the character of a great and good man, Adams purports to have found a deathbed confession of wrongdoing by Andreason. The document, however, is undated and unsigned. No committee of scholars and no court of law would tolerate it as evidence for a single moment. But it was apparently good enough for Adams’ work of character assassination.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” Isaiah 5:20.

The Sneer Straw Bundle

Since reference has been made to our 365 page research report, The Word Was Made Flesh, we will here mention our mystification at Adams’ failure to deal with the evidence there presented. We found and recorded 1200 statements published by our church leaders during the one hundred years 1852–1952 that Christ came to this earth in the human nature of fallen man. Four hundred of them were from the inspired pen of Ellen White. This is manifestly the evidence that Adams has to overthrow in order to maintain his position. But instead of addressing this material as a scholar should, he by-passed it and selected a modest thirty page tract by Joe Crews as his target.

How does he deal with the mass of evidence presented in The Word Was Made Flesh? Only by sneers. Here are the nine sneers that he directs at our fully and carefully documented research:

  • “. . . startling allegation . . . patently unfounded.” Page 20.


  • “. . . claims on its title page . . .” page 21


  • “. . . counters again and again. . .” page 22


  • “. . . assumption. . .” page 26


  • “. . . ingenious theological gymnastics. . .” page 53


  • “. . . labored, forced, and unconvincing. . .” page 69


  • “. . . gone to great lengths. . .” page 72


  • “. . . far-fetched . . . ingenious . . . totally fabricated. . .” page 72


Not a shred of evidence is offered in support of any of these sneers. May we respectfully suggest that it will take more than sneers to overthrow the 1200 statements that are brought together in our research report?

The Breathtaking Straw Bundle

We come now to the two most astounding propositions that Adams puts forth in his rewriting our history. They are so bold and brazen as to be utterly breath taking. In the first, he soberly assures us that the Christological problem that we have been grappling with since 1957 is actually imaginary. Here are his words:


  • “I don’t run into many Adventists defending a prelapsarian position.


  • “And in all the samplings I’ve done in preparation for this book, I’ve not seen a single instance in which one of our concerned or disaffected brethren has managed to produce a direct prelapsarian statement from a contemporary Adventist author.” Page 27.


  • May we respectfully recommend the following sources:


  • Ministry, September, 1956


  • Questions on Doctrine, page 650


  • Movement of Destiny, L. E. Froom, page 497


  • Christ Our Substitute, Norman Gulley


  • The Man Who is God, Edward Heppenstall


  • Perfect in Christ, Helmut Ott


We find it difficult to understand why Adams, with his position of advantage at the heart of our work, would have trouble laying his hand on any of these sources, not to mention materials published in the Review. But if that proposition is astonishing, the next is stunning:

“We believe—and have always believed—that Christ did take upon Himself the form and nature of fallen human beings.” Page 27.

When you have recovered your breath, you may have some questions. Why, then, was Andreason so bitterly denounced and so ruthlessly dealt with? Why was the opposite view affirmed in Questions on Doctrine? Why is this not being taught at our seminary and in our colleges? Why is it so difficult to find a pastor who believes it? And why does Adams’ own book vilify those who believe it?

Here is a suggestion. Show that statement to your pastor, your conference president, or your college Bible teacher. Watch his reaction, and draw your own conclusions. Someone is wildly out of touch with reality. In our final article, we will examine some specific differences between Adams and the Spirit of Prophecy. Meanwhile, let us remember the words of James Russell Lowell:

“Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ‘tis truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.”

Going Home

“With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit’s power we could, become living channels of light. We could then approach the mercy-seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward. We would take it by force, as did Jacob.” Review and Herald, February 14, 1899. Are you taking the kingdom of heaven by force? It is the taste of heaven here on this earth, for God is in the hearts of those who, with sufficient spiritual violence, take the kingdom by force. As Jacob was on his way back to his home land, he heard the news that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 armed men. He was virtually defenseless against such a force. He divided his family and flocks into two groups so that if one was destroyed, the other might survive. He then turned aside and went over the brook to wrestle alone in prayer with God. Ellen White tells us that we need to have this experience of wrestling with God.

Comparing the experience of Jacob to ours, we are told, “The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time.” The Great Controversy, 621. We are looking at a mature faith that we must have to endure this time. “Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded.” Ibid.

As Jacob was wrestling in prayer, a hand was suddenly laid on his shoulder—a strong hand. In the darkness he did not know who it was. He feared it might be a robber, or perhaps a member of Esau’s band. He wrestled for hours as the night dragged on. Usually the human body is exhausted in a matter of a very short time when it is putting out its full energy, wrestling for life; but Jacob was a very powerful man. As the light began to dawn in the east, he was aware of the divine character of his assailant. He then clung to Christ and said, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me!” Genesis 32:26. This was not a presumptuous statement but one of supplication.

What is your prayer life like? Do you wrestle with God until you have the desired blessing? “Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it.” The Great Controversy, 621.

If we want the blessing of God and are willing to deny self, to agonize before God and to pray long and earnestly, then, as did Jacob, we can receive it. That blessing will sharpen our spiritual perception, allowing God to show us the things that we need to know; not only of the things taking place around us, but what is taking place inside us. We can go from faith to faith, from grace to grace, reaching new spiritual heights in Christ.

There is something that happens in the process of communing with God, something that takes place at no other time. We are changed in a way that we cannot fully understand. The divine superscription plays upon our hearts, and we come from that time refreshed. Rising above the petty problems that we confront in our daily lives—the harassments of Satan—we become a prince of God.

In the hour in which we live with the crisis that is coming, unimaginable in its ferocity, we need an inner experience that is deeper, broader, and higher than that experience that we are going to have to face.

“Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch.” Ibid. That is the way it is when we wrestle, is it not? Every power is put on the stretch.

We will either receive the image of God or the image of the beast. When we begin the day with a mountaintop experience with God, having wrestled with Him, not letting Him go until we have the blessing, then we make progress in the divine science of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God. Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience.” Ibid., 621, 622.

It is in the exercise of faith, this wrestling with God, this experience of saying to God, “I will not let You go until You bless me,” that God reveals to us His character which is at the foundation of Christianity. It is through the revelation of the Holy Spirit to our heart that we learn what the image of God is really like. Then that gives us a richness of faith and a spiritual perception and power to cope with satanic spirits.

For forty years Moses was in the wilderness guiding his flock, basically alone with God. When God finally came and spoke to him, he knew whom it was that was speaking to him. This is going to be, increasingly, the challenge for God’s people: to properly discern the spirits—to discern when it is the Spirit of God speaking as opposed to another spirit. That perception can only be achieved by a deep, living experience with God through His Word—an experience of wrestling and communing with Him.

“When this experience is ours, we shall be lifted out of our poor, cheap selves, that we have cherished so tenderly. We shall empty our hearts of the corroding power of selfishness, and shall be filled with praise and gratitude to God. We shall magnify the Lord, the God of all grace, who has magnified Christ. And He will reveal His power through us, making us as sharp sickles in the harvest field.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1089.

I am reminded of the man in John Bunyan’s allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress, who had to enter through a gate that was barricaded, by men with swords. A sword was placed in his hand, and with spiritual violence he had to charge at those men, successfully wielding the sword and gaining the gate, through which he was then able to access further heights in his Christian life.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35–39.

If you know what it means to wrestle with Christ and to not let Him go until you have His blessing, you have a treasure that is beyond anything in this world. You have a treasure that is eternal. There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord, as long as you maintain that relationship of faith and meet the conditions of faith. Heaven must begin here.

There is a yearning in the human heart for home that God has placed there. In Christ the heart finds its home. The hearts of all of those who are part of that true home have found their hearts anchored in the great heart of God—a heart that is so big and so deep that it is measureless.

There is not only love in a true home, but there is rest. It is a place where there is trust and peace, where the heart has rest. Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29. The world is restless; it can find no peace. It cannot even begin to understand what it is really longing for in its heart. But Jesus says, “Come unto Me . . . and I will give you rest.” So that home is a place where there is rest, where you can be yourself and people are not looking at you with a jaundiced eye, but they understand you.

You know, it is amazing to me as the representatives of the various ministries work together how the Lord brings us into a oneness. Christ says, “That they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am [there is that home], that they may behold My glory which you have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared unto them Your name, and will declare it, and that the love with which You loved Me may be in them and I in them.” John 17:22–26. So here on earth we have a type of the heavenly home where there is love. There is rest, and the Prince of Peace offers peace that the world cannot give or take away.

There is also security, a sense of security and trust. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:1, 2. The secret place of union with God—the secret place of communion. I love how it says it in the Hebrew: “He that dwelleth in the secret of God.” And I tell you; the secret of God is a very fascinating secret. It is there that He speaks His mysteries to us personally.

We each need an individual faith in these last days. We may be separated from friends and loved ones. We need an individual faith so that when everything else is stripped away, we have the most valuable thing that there is in the universe, that deep, living, and abiding experience with God.

Home is a place where there is shelter. During the great time of trouble, the faithful will be repeating Psalms 46 and 91. They will become living truth to them.

John the Baptist saw the necessity of dwelling in the secret of God, and from the time that he was a young man, he made the choice to go out into the wilderness and commune with God. There he read from the prophecies of Isaiah until his very soul was filled with the heavenly vision. Because he had bowed low before the King of kings, he was able to stand erect before earthly monarchs. He had things in their proper perspective. Is not that the perspective we need? But the fearful and unbelieving will not be in the kingdom. (See Revelation 21:8.) Those who have learned to wrestle with God, who have learned the reality of His power, who have learned to fear Him, and who have bowed low in His presence, are then prepared to stand erect before earthly kings and give an account of their faith.

The hour is coming when the attention of all Christendom will be drawn to God’s faithful ones. It is very clear from the Spirit of Prophecy that the final issue, which will be the great focus of attention, is the issue of the Sabbath. This issue will be brought to their attention by the defense of the faithful, made in courts of law.

“There is treasure to be desired, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up.” Proverbs 21:20. In the spiritual sense, in the kingdom of God, the child of God has the richest treasure—a treasure far beyond gold and silver, which no earthly panics can affect. A treasure that is beyond the reach of thieves and robbers. So in the true home, there are riches. In the heavenly home there are mansions prepared, but the greatest riches of all are the riches of Christ—to learn of Him throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. To be able to personally go up to Christ, face to face, and speak to Him about the plan of salvation; about the cross of Calvary; about the science of salvation; about the mystery of redeeming love. There is treasure in the true home.

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehmiah 8:10. There is also joy in a true home. There is joy in the heavenly home, and there is joy in the spiritual home of the kingdom of God.

In the home there is shelter from the storm. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the protection [or the shelter] of the most High.”

And there is order in the home. “Here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.

There is also freedom in the true home. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

There is fraternity, or fatherhood of God in the true home of the faithful. Through all of these features of the home, God speaks to our hearts and says, “I want you, and you, and you in My heavenly home. I want you in the earth made new. I have a title for you, to Abraham’s farm.”

It rests with us to decide whether he [Satan] shall control our hearts and minds, or whether we shall have a place in the new earth, a title to Abraham’s farm.” Messages to Young People, 105.

What a wondrous expression from the Spirit of Prophecy. We have a title to Abraham’s farm. You may have the title deed taken away from your home here; but do not worry; you are only a pilgrim here. If you are justified by faith in Christ’s righteousness, you have a title—a deed—to Abraham’s farm. You have a spot waiting for you in the earth made new, which is more beautiful than is Eden. A title has been given to you by virtue of justification by faith in Christ. I want to have an experience of being on Abraham’s farm in the earth made new.

We need to cherish the longings of our heart for home. Home is found in the great heart of God. The dimensions of His wonderful character are all features of what it means to be dwelling at a place called home, and those characteristics will be disclosed every more fully as throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity we learn what it really means to be home. To be home with God forever and ever and ever and ever.

Let us be there.

Battle for the Mind: Cybernetic Warfare, part 2

Before attempting to exercise some form of mind control, you have to know something about who you are going to try to control. You need to discover something about their spiritual and psychological makeup.

Based on their studies of American soldiers, the Chinese Communists found that American soldiers had a very weak sense of loyalty. They found that their concept of right and wrong was poorly formed, predisposing them to be opportunistic. They learned that when they are alone, they are frightened and insecure. They also found that the American soldiers, even those who were well educated, were ignorant of social values and had a poor understanding of the American political system and how it worked. Not only were these men uneducated regarding their own system but they had little understanding of other countries and other systems. They discovered that the Americans held an unrealistic concept of America’s eternal and inherent, rather than earned or proven, superiority and absolute military invincibility. This, they believed, was their most vulnerable weakness.

They found that the American soldiers did not see the value of any form of order and discipline, they had a low level of patriotism, and they did not see the necessity of military service but viewed it as a hateful, though unavoidable form of servitude, to be escaped as soon as possible. On the basis of these facts, they found the reeducation of American prisoners a relatively easy and very successful form of control.

As I have thought about this situation, I have realized that there are supernatural agencies that are on our track and that they are doing an analysis of each of our spiritual and mental makeups, trying to figure out what type of mind control technique will work best.

The first point that the Communists’ report mentioned was the weak loyalties that the American soldier held for his family, his community, his country, his religion, and to his fellow soldier; and they capitalized on that weakness.

Several years ago I read the book, Fee the Captor. It tells the story of a young lady who was taken captive by the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, she had on her person a list of people who were working in the underground. They took her to where they were beating a man who was strapped down to the table. They told this young lady, “You either tell us what these names are in this little booklet that you have, or you are going to the table.” She gave them the information they wanted, and, as a result, there was a large number of people who were taken prisoner and lost their lives. You see, her loyalty was not strong enough to the people she was working with that when she was put to the test, she could remain faithful.

There is a decision of loyalty that is going to be made by the whole world. Everyone will be called to choose between the Law of God and the laws of men. There is going to be some pressure applied. You will not be able to buy or sell, and eventually there will be a death decree. Is your love for God and you loyalty to Him so strong that you will be able to say, “I am going to be faithful to the Lord and obey Him whatever takes place”? Have you asked the Lord to help you develop a loyalty that will stand up under pressure and will not give way?

“All will be called to choose between the Law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.” Desire of Ages, 763.

A second weakness of the American soldiers was their poorly formed concepts of right and wrong. Are your concepts of right and wrong hazy and ill-formed, or are they crystal clear in your mind?

Some years ago I was attending a class in a Seventh-day Adventist university in which we were studying behavioral psychology. The lecture this particular day was on values clarification. I was already a minister at the time, so I was older than most of the students in the class. As the teacher was lecturing, I looked around at the other students, intently watching the teacher and taking notes on all that was being said. I began to wonder if there were any other students in the room who were thinking. In our educational process, we shoot information at people so fast and so heavy and with such pressure to memorize things that they have no time to think.

I began to evaluate what was taking place and asked myself, “Why do I need to be interested in this? After all, I am a Seventh-day Adventist minister and I know the Ten Commandments, but I do not know anything in them that is not clear, or that needs to be clarified. I have a value system and I do not need someone to explain and clarify it. The Ten Commandments is an all-inclusive value system that works.”

How is it in your mind? Is your concept of right and wrong crystal clear? or does someone need to clarify your values for you so that you now what right and wrong is?

“A government, of whatever character, requires a governor. This world has a Governor—the God of the universe. His guardian-care is universal, extending to man and beast, reaching even to the little sparrow; for Christ declares, ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.’

“In God’s moral government, which is a government based upon a distinction between right and wrong, law is essential to secure right action. God’s Law is the expression of His character, and in His Word it is pronounced holy, just, and good. David says, ‘The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.’

“Lucifer took the position that as a result of the Law of God, wrong existed in heaven and on this earth. This brought against God’s government the charge of being arbitrary. But this is a falsehood, framed by the author of all falsehoods. God’s government is a government of free will, and there is no act of rebellion or obedience which is not an act of free will.” Signs of the Times, June 5, 1901.

Though it is a total contradiction to behavioral psychology, the truth that God’s government is a government of free will and there is no act of rebellion or disobedience that is not an act of the free will is a truth that it is very important to understand.

“As Creator of all, God is Governor over all, and He is bound to enforce His Law throughout the universe. To require less from His creatures than obedience to His Law would be to abandon them to ruin. To fail to punish transgression of His Law would be to place the universe in confusion. The moral Law is God’s barrier between the human agent and sin, thus infinite wisdom has placed before men the distinction between right and wrong, between sin and holiness.

“God is supreme. It is not for finite men to question His right to govern the universe. God asserted His right to rule when He declared, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me;’ ‘for in six days the Lord make heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.’ He is the Creator and Preserver of the worlds. He upholds the universe by the Word of His power. Nature and science bear witness that He has a right to govern His own creation. Angels are subject to His rule; therefore let man bow in adoration before Him.

“The Scriptures make it plain that God is Ruler, and that man is under the highest obligation to acknowledge this, and to obey His Law with heart and mind, trusting in His power for help and protection. This Law, which man is called upon to obey as a standard of right for the universe, is the wise and holy counsel of God. It is a moral law, and has its foundation in the difference between right and wrong. Moral law is universal; positive law is not necessarily universal, but may be restricted or extended according to the will of the lawgiver. Moral law must be immutable, while positive law may be changed or abolished, as the lawgiver may choose.

“The Decalog, or moral code of God, consists of ten precepts, engraven on stone by the finger of God. These precepts contain the whole duty of man. . . .

“To admit that God made a law so imperfect that it needed to be changed would be to stamp God as changeable and imperfect. God has spoken on this point. Let us heed what He says: ‘My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out of My lips.’ Psalm 89:34.” Ibid.

The whole Sabbath-Sunday controversy is not over just a day. At the root of the whole thing is the issue of God’s Law and who is going to be God.

The third point that they discovered about the American soldier is that when he is alone, he is frightened and insecure. Can you maintain yourself when you are all by yourself? Now for the Christian, we have the assurance that we are never totally alone; and we need to remember this or we are not going to make it through the times that are coming when we may be separated from every earthly friend. “The perversity and cruelty of men will reach such a height that God will reveal Himself in His majesty. Very soon the wickedness of the world will have reached its limit, and as in the days of Noah, God will pour out His judgments.

“But even when wickedness is at its height, we may knowthat our Helper is close by our side.” Upward Look, 334.

The commander of a concentration camp once became so angry with a Bulgarian pastor who would not yield his Christian convictions that he told him, “I am gong to throw you down into a dark hold and you are never going to come out of there. You are going to rot in there.” They put him in a dungeon where there was no light. One of the things that takes place when you are in total darkness is that you become totally disoriented in regards to time, and this affects every system in the body, because your whole body is regulated by the sun. Under these circumstances, your mind becomes completely disoriented; and you can very easily go crazy.

One day it got so bad that he began to wonder what he was going to do to keep from going crazy? As he was praying, he saw a light. That light, which was a Person, came over to him, picked him up, and held him in His arms. “After that,” he said, “I was all right.” Oh, friends, the worse things become, the more help you are going to receive if you put your faith and trust in Jesus.

The fourth point that was mentioned in the Communists’ findings about the American soldiers was their lack of understanding of social problems and tensions. Jesus said,

“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” Matthew 10:22. Is that social tension and conflict? “We ought to be thankful that these words are left on record. Every child of God that is brought into difficulty and trial because of his faithfulness to Jesus, may claim the promise, and will receive sufficient grace for every emergency.” Review and Herald, April 15, 1890.

You are preparing day by day to either stand or to fall when the test is applied. Will you be loyal to the cause of God? Will you be able to clearly determine the difference between right and wrong? When you are all alone and you are told that everyone is giving in, will you have the strength to stand and say, “Lord Jesus, by Your grace, I am going to be faithful and true. Help me”?

A fifth weakness that the Communist psychologists learned about our soldiers was their lack of understanding of our political system and how our government works, and they used that to tremendous advantage. Let me ask you, Do you understand the character, the government, and the purpose of God? If you do not, you will not be able to stand through the time of test that we are approaching. We are to be the people of God, and we need to know the system that we are operating in. We need to understand God’s character, the nature of His government. Ellen White says that if you do not understand the character of God, His government, and His purposes, you will not be able to honor Him. (See The Great Controversy, 593.) You will not be able to make it. “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men?” The Great Controversy, 593.

There are those who do not believe that God will actually burn people up. They use the life of Christ to try to prove it. Listen, friends, Jesus spoke about the terrors of hellfire more graphically than the prophets. It was Jesus Christ who said that it would be better to cut off your hand or poke out your eye than to be cast into hellfire, because when you go there, the fire will not be quenched, and the worm will not die. Do not take any of this soft, syrupy talk that is all one-sided about the character of God based on a partial understanding of what Jesus is like. Read all of the Scriptures of what He said. Yes, Jesus is loving and kind and merciful, but He is just, and He will not connive with our sins. He expects us to overcome. Do you see that a misunderstanding of the character of God prepares people to fall? If people believe that you can just go on sinning and that when Jesus comes everything will be all right, when the pressure is applied to break the Law of God, what defense do they have? They are prepared to believe that you cannot keep it anyway.

A sixth point that these people learned by studying the American soldier was this: he has little or no idea of the problems and aims of other countries. In other words, he does not understand the enemy that he is fighting against. God wants us to understand the enemy that we are fighting against and to be alert and on guard at all times. We are to be like a soldier that has armor on from head to foot. (See Ephesians 6.) “We should study the nature, character, and extent of this spiritual wickedness in high places, lest we become the dupes of the powers of darkness. But how difficult it is to awaken minds to realize the continual activity and great earnestness of our wily foe, notwithstanding the warnings and cautions of the Bible, and the experience of many who have been overthrown by subtlety. The testimony loses its force; the warning passes out of the mind. Men cease to watch and pray; they do not solicit the aid of holy angels, who would lift up for them a standard against the enemy.” Signs of the Times, August 5, 1886. This is the reason for our study of this subject, that we may be better able to understand what is going on and the attempt that is being made to gain control of our mind without our even being aware of it.

The seventh point, and the one on which they believed the American soldier was most vulnerable, was his unrealistic concept of America’s eternal and inherent, rather than earned or proven, superiority and absolute military invincibility. How is this applicable to us today? Have you ever heard, “Oh, the church is going through”? Do you see why it is important to know who and what the church is? If you think that something is going through and you cannot prove from the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy that that thing is going through, you might be headed for a terrible disappointment. I have been asked, “Do you believe that the church is going through?” Yes, I believe that the church is going through; but the question is, Who and what is the church?

Concerning the American soldier, they said, “He fails to appreciate the meaning and the necessity for military or any form of organization or discipline.” Do you understand the meaning and necessity for organization and discipline among God’s people, or are you one of those people who think that everyone can just go their own way? We do not have time to fully consider this point here, but this was one of the items of information that they were able to capitalize on and bring our men into absolute mental submission. You cannot successfully resist unless you are organized. Ellen White has a lot to say about organization.

There probably are some people who are quaking, wondering how they are going to make it. Here are some wonderful promises.

“The soldier of Christ must meet many forms of temptation, and resist and overcome them. The fiercer the conflict, the greater the supply of grace to meet the need of the soul.” Review and Herald, June 16, 1896.

“The important future is before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require great faith, energy, and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously; for not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All heaven is interested in our welfare, and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. Neither wicked men nor evil spirits can hinder the work of God or shut out His presence from His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim His promises. Every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, ‘not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ If the Lord had a company of workers who would rely wholly upon Him, He would accomplish a great work through them. One could chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. God is just as willing now as anciently to work through human efforts, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in His strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel.” Review and Herald, January 11, 1887.

Oh, friend, do you want to have that experience? When you receive the Holy Spirit in your life and Jesus is abiding within, He put His love into your heart and into your mind; and a divine miracle takes place inside your mind so that your mind will be a fortress for Jesus Christ that will be impregnable to all of the assaults of Satan.

Editorial – Fault Finding, A Vision By Ellen White

The divine counsel to us is to “say nothing to wound or grieve, except in necessary reproof of sin.” Review and Herald, October 16, 1883. “Last night I was in a sleepless state much of the time. Many representations passed before me. One was a scene in a council meeting where several were present. One man arose and began finding fault with one of his brethren. I looked at the speaker’s garments, and saw that they were very undesirable.

“Another person arose and began to state his grievance against a fellow laborer. His garments were of another pattern, and they, too, were undesirable. Still another, and yet another arose, and uttered words of accusation and condemnation regarding the course of others. Every one had some trouble to speak of, some fault to find with some one else. All were presenting the defects of Christians who are trying to do something in our world; and they declared repeatedly that certain ones were neglecting this or that or the other thing, and so on.

“There was no real order, no polite courtesy in the meeting. In their anxiety to speak, some crowded in while others were still talking. Voices were raised in an effort to make all hear above the din of confusion. The dress of the speakers was unbecoming and grotesque. This, I was shown, was a representation of defective character. When many had spoken, One of authority appeared, and repeated the words: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what judgment ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of tine own eye; and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’

“O, how can Christians afford to speak words of criticism and fault-finding,—words that stir up the worst passions of the human heart? The talent of speech is too precious a gift to be abused in this way. Let us refrain from uttering any words that would stir up a spirit of antagonism or retaliation. When irritated, let us remain silent.

“In this council meeting that I saw in the visions of the night, Christ Himself was present. An expression of pain came over His countenance as one after another would come forward, with uncouth dress, to expiate upon the faults of various members of the church.

“Finally the heavenly Visitant arose. So intent where those present on criticizing their brethren, that it was with reluctance that they gave Him opportunity to speak. He declared that the spirit of criticsm, of juding one another, is a source of weakness in the church today. Things are spoken that should never find utterance. Every one who by word of mouth places an obstruction in the way of a fellow Christian, has an account to settle with God.

“With earnest solemnity the Speaker declared: ‘The church is made up of many minds, each of whom has an individuality. I gave My life in order that men and women, by divine grace, might blend in revealing a perfect pattern of My character, while at the same time retaining their individuality. No one has the right to disparage the individuality of any other human mind, by uttering words of criticism and fault-finding and condemnation.’

“These words He repeated with solemn earnestness; and then He turned and grasped a standard, and held it aloft. From this standard, in burning letters, clear and distinct, gleamed God’s Law. The Speaker declared: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.’
“As the light from the uplifted standard flashed upon these men in council, they shrank from it as if it were a burning flame. Some prostrated themselves; some turned and went away.
“As I looked upon the scene, the names of the fault-finders appeared before them, and opposite each name were written out the faults of the erring one. None were free from defects of character. In the light of the uplifted standard, all were guilty. . . .

“All who love God supremely will love their neighbor as themselves. The keeping of the new commandment is to the believer a step heavenward. That which will give God’s people the supremacy is obedience to the injunction, ‘These things I command you, that ye love one another.’ ‘Neither pray I for these alone,’ Christ said, ‘but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.’

“‘These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.’” Review and Herald, September 20, 1906.

Inspired: Unless we live Christ’s life of obedience, our profession is worthless. Review and Herald, August 2, 1906.