Food for Life – Counsel on the Use of Fresh Foods

This is the time of the year when we are beginning to enjoy the wonderful fresh food that God has allowed to grow for the nourishment of our bodies. Hopefully many of us will be able to reap the benefits of the garden. What a difference in the flavor of sun-ripened food!

There are many extenuating circumstances of our lives when it may not be possible to fulfill God’s ideal for us. In this case, we are to rest in God’s care. “Some are continually anxious lest their food, however simple and healthful, may hurt them. To these let me say; Do not think that your food will injure you; do not think about it at all. Eat according to your best judgment; and when you have asked the Lord to bless the food for the strengthening of your body, believe that He hears your prayer, and be at rest.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 109. We must never, however, let this assurance lead us to presumption.

When choosing our fresh foods, it is of vital importance that we meticulously sort and discard any moldy fruits or vegetables. It is not always enough to just cut away the mold. “Nicely prepared vegetables and fruits in their season will be beneficial, if they are of the best quality, not showing the slightest sign of decay, but are sound and unaffected by any disease or decay. More die by eating decayed fruit and decayed vegetables which ferment in the stomach and result in blood poisoning, than we have any idea of.” Ibid., 309.

Dr. Craig, a former teacher in the Department of Nutrition at the School of Health, Loma Linda University, recently wrote: “Moldy peanuts or grains are commonly contaminated with penicillin and aspergilus molds which produce carcinogenic substances like aflatoxins. Furthermore, blemished sweet potatoes have been found to contain high levels of liver toxin, ipomeamarone. Patulin is a carcinogenic substance found in moldy apples and also apple juice or cider made from moldy apples.

“Yes, it is true. Plant foods as well as animal products may contain toxicants which can produce ill health or even death. But we have seen that proper methods of cooking and processing legumes and vegetables will reduce the risk of hazardous substances found in raw foods.

“The selection of the best quality fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains which are free of decay is essential for good health. Dryness during storage is a must in preventing microbial toxins from contaminating our foodstuffs.”

The health of the mind is closely associated with our physical health. We can be so thankful that we have the health message to help us preserve our bodies in the best possible health as we face the delusions of the last days.

July Recipes:

Grapenut-Squash Casserole

1 lb. yellow squash 1/2 tsp. celery seed

3 cups grapenuts 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 green pepper 1/2 tsp sage

1 large onion 1 tsp. sweet basil

2 cups cashews 2 tbsp. parsley or chives

1-1/2 cups water 2-4 tbsp. sesame seeds

1-1/2 tsp. sea salt

Wash and cube squash (summer). Parboil in steamer until tender. (Do not overcook.) Dice pepper and onion and sauté with the above seasonings in 1/2 cup water over low heat. Place the 1-1/2 cups water in the blender and add cashews gradually, blending until smooth. Remove squash from steamer; add sautéed onion, pepper, and seasonings and stir slightly until squash is slightly mashed. Add grapenuts, and nut mixture and blend well. Pour into casseroles; sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake 1 hour at 325 degrees.


Stuffed Green Peppers

2-1/2 cups cooked lentils 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1-1/4 cups cashew or soy milk 1-1/2 tbsp. food yeast

1-1/4 cups bread crumbs 1 cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp. salt 2 cups cooked brown rice

Cut 6 green peppers in half, removing white membrane and seeds, and steam for 30 minutes to soften. Remove from steamer and fill with the above mixture which has been combined thoroughly. Place filled pepper halves in baking dish and pour tomato sauce over all. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes covered, then 10 minutes uncovered.

Children’s Story – Gilpin’s Broken Ankle

During the early days of the Reformation in England, toward the close of Queen Mary’s reign, Bernard Gilpin, a Reformed pastor, lived in northern England. Brother Gilpin was deeply loved by the poor villagers to whom he ministered; and from them, he had received the title, “Apostle of the North.”

One of Bernard’s favorite Bible texts, and one he used to inspire everyone he knew with hope and courage, was Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His promise.” Whatever came, whether good or bad, his word was always the same, “Ah, well, God’s will be done; all is for the best.”

Queen Mary was a bitter enemy of Protestantism; and during her reign, many people lost their lives for accepting the Reformed faith. One day, as Mr. Gilpin was deep into his study of the Bible, there was a knock on his door. A detachment of soldiers had been sent by the queen to arrest him for heresy. He was to be taken to London, there to be charged with treason and given the typical mock trial that all received who were suspected of heresy. While Gilpin was preparing to go with the soldiers, the word of his arrest spread rapidly. Soon a large group of villagers had gathered to mourn the loss of their pastor and to bid him farewell. As he was preparing to leave them, nothing doubting that he would soon die at the martyr’s stake, Brother Gilpin tried to encourage them with the words, “God’s will be done; all is for the best.”

Near sunset on the second day of horseback riding, the soldiers and Gilpin arrived at a small village. The captain inquired about an inn in which to spend the night. As they dismounted, Gilpin fell. This so excited his horse that it bolted down the cobblestone street, dragging Gilpin behind.

When one of the soldiers finally stopped the horse and Gilpin tried to stand on his feet, a sharp pain raced up his leg. Closer examination revealed a bloody and broken ankle, as well as some other severe cuts and scrapes. Badly injured, He had to be carried into the inn by three other men.

The captain was furious. He knew that this meant a delay in their traveling. The next morning he sent all of the men ahead to report the unfortunate accident to his commander, while he remained with the prisoner. Turning to Gilpin, the captain angrily said, “I suppose that you are going to tell me that this is all for the best?”

“Sir, I make no question that it is,” Gilpin meekly replied. The rough captain laughed as he looked at the man who was soon going to lose his life for preaching against the established religion of England.

“I suppose you believe,” the captain continued, “that everything worked out well for your friends Latimer and Ridley when her royal highness burned them at the stake.” Before Gilpin could reply, the unfriendly captain continued, “and what about the Archbishop of Canterbury? You cannot tell me that he felt that when she ordered him to give his life that he was happy about it.”

A little more than two weeks passed in the little inn as the captain kept up his unrelenting attack on Gilpin’s confidence that God was going to work out things for his best good. The captain did not do all of the talking, however, and there can be little doubt that in listening to the patient answers of the quiet man of God, the rough captain’s heart was touched.

Just prior to the day that it had been determined that Gilpin’s condition had improved sufficiently so that he could make the trip to London to face trial and certain death, the town crier came past the inn announcing that Mary had died and that Elizabeth now reigned in her place. Elizabeth was a Protestant; and the captain, realizing that it would be futile to take Gilpin any farther, released him on the spot.

The Protestant Reformer returned to his flock, and the captain to his duty in London. Even though their backgrounds and beliefs were as different as night and day, there was one thing that they both knew to be true; and that is that, “All things work together for good to them that love God,” even to the breaking of an ankle.

Martin Luther, part VIII – Leaving Worms

On April 26, Luther, attended by twenty gentlemen on horseback, passed in peace through the gates of the city from which no one had ever expected to see him come alive. As he left, he said, “The devil himself guarded the pope’s citadel; but Christ has made a wide breach in it, and Satan was constrained to confess that the Lord is mightier than he.” D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation, book 7, chapter 11.

On the evening of April 27, Luther reached Frankfort where he took the first leisure that he had experienced in a long time. From there he wrote to Lucas Cranach, the celebrated painter. He said, “I thought his majesty would have assembled some fifty doctors at Worms to convict the monk outright. But not at all.—Are these your books?—Yes!—Will you retract them?—No!—Well, then, be gone!—There’s the whole history. O blind Germans! . . . how childishly we act to allow ourselves to be the dupes and sport of Rome!” Ibid.

In a private conversation at Worms, Spalatin made known to Luther that for a time his liberty must be sacrificed to the anger of Charles and the pope. Though he knew nothing of the details, he was made aware that he would not be returning to Wittenberg.

On the ninth day after leaving Worms, Luther and several of his remaining traveling companions separated. Luther and Amsdorff struck northward to the town of Mora to visit Luther’s grandmother, while the rest of the party continued on to Wittenberg. Luther spent a quiet evening in the small town and the next morning resumed his journey. They had reached a lonely spot near the Castle of Altenstein in the forest of Thuringia when suddenly they found themselves surrounded by five, masked horsemen, who were armed from head to foot. Without saying a word, James, Luther’s younger brother immediately sprang from the wagon and ran as fast as his legs would carry him. The driver was ordered to stop and would have resisted, but one of the strangers, cried, “Stop!” and fell on him, throwing him to the ground. A second masked rider laid hold of Amsdorff, separating him from Luther, while the other three men roughly pulled Luther from the wagon, threw a military cloak around his shoulders, and placed him on a horse. Then, as quickly as they had appeared, all six riders disappeared in the thick forest. All day they rode this direction and that, assuring themselves that anyone attempting to follow them would be completely baffled. After darkness settled in, they began to ascend a mountain and a little before midnight, approached a castle at its summit. The drawbridge was let down, the portcullis raised, and the mysterious troop entered. Luther was led to an apartment where he was told that he must stay for an indefinite length of time and that during his stay, he must lay aside his ecclesiastical dress and dress in the custom of a knight. He was, he was told, to be known only as Knight George. His abduction was carried out so mysteriously that, for a time, even Frederick of Saxony was not aware of his whereabouts.

When morning broke, Luther looked from the castle window upon a familiar scene. Though the town could not be seen from his position, beneath him stretched the countryside that surrounded the village of Eisenach. He could not but have known that he was in Wartburg castle in friendly keeping.

Luther in Seclusion

How quickly the scene had changed. But a short time before, Luther had walked the dizzy heights as all eyes were fixed upon him. Now, suddenly, the man on whom the eyes of all the world had been turned, had disappeared. While there were those who received the news of Luther’s disappearance with joy, the grief of the friends of the Reformation was great. As spring turned to summer and summer gave way to autumn, it was as if he had suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth.

Aleander and his partisans rejoiced. The fate of the Reformation seemed sealed as the light of the gospel seemed about to be extinguished. But God reigns, and the blow that seemed about to destroy the Reformation was in truth but the preparation for even more far reaching conquests. God had not withdrawn His servant merely to preserve him from the wrath of his enemies. As men rejoice in the freedom that truth brings to them, they are inclined to view the instrument, who is the channel of truth, as the origin, and in so doing, place a man where only God should be. In His providence, God removed Luther for a time that he might not only have time to reflect and grow in his knowledge of truth, but that men might be led to realize their dependence upon God and be led to trust Him. The light of truth was yet to shed its light in even brighter radiance.

At first Luther rejoiced at being released from the heat of the battle; but after a time, he became restless and criticized himself for his idleness. Even as his enemies congratulated themselves that he had been silenced, a host of tracts began to issue from his pen and be circulated throughout Germany. In addition to his other writing, Luther began his translation of the New Testament into the German language.

Luther had a weakness that, if not checked, threatened to endanger the work that he was doing. He assumed that others should see the points of truth as readily as he himself did. He had dared to defy the pope, and in so doing had vanquished the emperor. Eager to advance the cause of truth, he would not only defy the strong, but at times, lacking a consideration for their infirmities, he tended to walk on the weak. In his enforced seclusion, he was now led to examine his heart and distinguish between that which had been the work of passion and that which properly represented the working of the Holy Spirit of God. As he was led to the Bible, not only was his theological understanding expanded, but his nature was sanctified and enriched. “The study of the Word of God revealed to him likewise, what he was apt in his conflicts to overlook, that there was an edifice to be built up as well as one to be pulled down, and that this was the nobler work of the two.” Wylie, History of Protestantism, book 1, 476.

No more had Luther disappeared from view in Wartburg than the political sky of Europe became overcast with dark and foreboding clouds. The states had been about to unsheathe their sword over Luther’s head when suddenly some hundred thousand Turkish scimitars were unsheathed over theirs! Soliman, whom thirteen battles had rendered the terror of Germany, suddenly appeared on the scene. Quickly gaining many small tows and castles, it was but a short time before they had also taken Belgrade. The states of the Empire had sufficient work to do in compelling Soliman and his hordes to return to their own lands, without troubling themselves about the Reformer.

While this danger threatened the East, news from Spain told of seditions that had broken out in the emperor’s absence. For the time, Charles was forced to return home in order to quell the dissension and secure his hereditary dominions.

To complicate matters more, war next broke out between Charles and Francis I. With the aid of the papal arms of Leo X, the French were driven from the Duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Milan, which they had held for six years. To their even greater humiliation, they were driven from Lombardy.

Great was Leo’s delight at having the Papal States returned. Coming as it did on the back of the emperor’s edict proscribing Luther; it was enough to make joy complete. He received the news in his country seat at Mallina. Amidst the popular celebration, he returned to Rome, reaching it before the festivities ended. His hour of victory was short-lived, however. Scarcely had he entered his palace when he was seized with a sudden illness. The malady ran its course so quickly that he died without the Sacrament. Leo had reigned with magnificence but died deeply in debt. The Romans never forgave him for dying without the Sacrament, and he died among manifest contempt.

The nephew of the deceased pope, Cardinal Guilio de Medici, aspired to take the place of his uncle. The political scene was shifting, however, and the monarch of Spain was a more potent factor in the affairs of Europe than the rich merchants of Florence. The conclave to elect a new pope lasted long; and Guilio de Medici, despairing of gaining the throne for himself, proposed that the Cardinal of Tortosa, who had been Charles’ tutor, should be elevated to the pontificate. He was an elderly man and entirely without ambition. Avoiding all show, he occupied himself with his religious duties. He was in every way the exact opposite of Leo.

Attempts to Reform the Church

Assuming the title Adrian VI, the new pope, who was in Spain on the emperor’s business, made his way to Rome. He viewed with indifference, if not displeasure, the magnificence of the papal palace. The humble and pious Adrian believed that a more profitable way to counteract the Reformation was to originate another. He began with a startling confession: “It is certain that the pope may err in matters of faith in defending heresy by his opinions or decretals.” Ibid., 477. This admission, meant to be the start of a moderate reform, became even more inconvenient in later years than it was at the time that he spoke it, when in the Encyclical and Syllabus of Pius IX and the Infallibility Decree, issued in July 18, 1870, he stated exactly the opposite to be true when he said that in matters of faith and morals, the pope cannot err. If Adrian spoke the truth, it follows that the pope may indeed err. If he did not, it leaves the church in a very difficult position to explain the matter, as the decree of the Vatican Council of 1870, which looked both backwards and forwards, declares that error is impossible on the part of the pope.

Wherever Adrian turned to effect reform, he found himself faced by insurmountable obstacles. If he touched an abuse, all who were interested in its maintenance would rise in arms to defend it. He found that were he to purse Rome of all but the virtuous, it would leave few but himself. He was finally forced to recognize that a middle path was impossible to follow and that his only choice lay between Luther’s reform on the one hand, and the policies of Charles V on the other. He chose the latter.

While Luther was in seclusion and the princes of the empire were occupied with political considerations, the progress of the reform moved forward. As with any reformation, however, Satan was not idle. In the place of true reform, fanaticism began to move in. “A few men, deeply affected by the excitement in the religious world, imagined themselves to have received special revelations from Heaven and claimed to have been divinely commissioned to carry forward to its completion the Reformation which, they declared, had been but feebly begun by Luther. In truth, they were undoing the very work which he had accomplished. They rejected the great principle which was the very foundation of the Reformation—that the Word of God is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and for that unerring guide they substituted the changeable, uncertain standard of their own feelings and impressions. By this act of setting aside the great detector of error and falsehood, the way was opened for Satan to control minds as best pleased himself.” The Great Controversy, 186.

These men found followers in Wittenberg. The students of the university left their studies, considering them useless in the presence of an internal illumination which promised to teach them all that they needed to know without having to experience the toil of study. The enemies of the Reformation were exultant, deeming that they were about to witness its speedy disorganization and ruin. News of what was taking place in Wittenberg reached Wartburg, and Luther was filled with dismay and grief. He was torn between his desire to complete his translation of the New Testament and his desire to return to Wittenberg and meet the new fanaticism. At last, to his great joy, he completed his German version of the New Testament on March 3, 1522. The disorganization that was reigning at Wittenberg was a greater danger to the Reformation than the sword of Charles. The crisis was a serious one, and Luther immediately set out for Wittenberg.

On the first Sunday morning after his arrival, Luther entered the parish church. Intense excitement, yet deep stillness reigned in the audience. Never had Luther appeared more grand and truly great. As did the apostle, he reminded his hearers that the weapons of their warfare were not carnal but spiritual. The Word, he said, must be freely preached and left to work upon the heart. While he was against the abuses and errors of Rome, the heart of man must never be forced but won by the power of the Word. He pointed to the mighty victory that had already been won in weakening the power of the papacy to a degree that no prince or emperor had ever before been able to break it. And yet, as he pointed out, this had all been accomplished by the power of God’s Word.

Luther continued his series of discourses through the entire week. Every day the church was filled as many flocked from the surrounding villages to receive the bread of life. Without mentioning them by name, the Reformer was able to meet and defeat the various fanatical groups. By his wisdom and moderation, he carried the day; and the Word of God was restored to its supremacy. It was a great battle—greater in some respects than that which had been fought at Worms. Without tumult and without offense to anyone, Luther safely guided the Reformation through the crisis and again established it on the Word of God.

Day Dawns in Germany

In proportion as the Reformation strengthened at its center in Wittenberg, it was diffused more widely throughout Germany. To the terror of Rome, it seemed to be breaking out on all sides. A number of priests were converted to the reformed faith and preached it to their flocks. Great was the wrath of Rome as she saw her soldiers turning their arms against her. The world’s winter appeared to be passing; and with the coming of spring, the German nation began to emerge from the ignorance of the darkness into the dawning of light. “Whilst in the year 1513 only thirty-five publications had appeared, and thirty-seven in 1517, the number of books increased with astonishing rapidity after the appearance of Luther’s theses. In 1518 we find seventy-one different works; in 1519, one hundred and eleven; in 1520, two hundred and eight; in 1521, two hundred and 11; in 1522, three hundred and forty seven; and in 1523, four hundred and ninety eight.” D’Aubigne, History of the Protestant Reformation, book 9, chapter 11. For the most part, these were printed in Wittenberg. Generally they were authored by Luther and his friends. In 1522, while 130 of the Reformer’s writings were published, and in the following year, 183, only 20 Roman Catholic publications appeared.

What Luther and his friends published, others circulated. Monks, convinced of the unlawfulness of the monastic life, became colporteurs carrying the books through the length and breadth of Germany. Germany swarmed with these bold colporteurs. It was in vain that the emperor and princes published edicts against the writings of the Reformers. As soon as an inquisitorial visit was to be paid, the book dealers, who had received secret information in advance, concealed the books that were proscribed. The eager multitude, who were ever anxious for that which was prohibited, immediately bought them up and read them with great eagerness. Neither was it in Germany alone that such scenes were enacted. Luther’s writings were translated into French, Spanish, English, and Italian and circulated among these nations as well.

Elector Frederick had declared that he would allow the bishops to preach freely in his states, but he would deliver no one into their hands. Consequently, evangelical teachers persecuted in other countries soon found asylum in Saxony. Here they conversed with the Reformers, and at their feet were strengthened in the faith. At the same time, they were able to communicate to their teachers from their own experience the knowledge that they had acquired.

As Luther witnessed the success of the gospel, his confidence increased. He had foreseen nothing of the magnitude when he first rose up against Tetzel. Vainly would men seek to explain the movement by mere human circumstances. God, the Author of the work in its minutest detail, was breathing new life into Christianity. The church was passing through a state of transformation and of bursting the bonds in which it had so long been confined, returning in life and vigor to a world that had forgotten its ancient power. Not withstanding the violent and repeated efforts to stifle the progress, the gospel rose with a force that no human power was able to resist in its progress.

What Inspiration Says About – Drama

What is the Main Element of Satan’s Kingdom that has Given Him Marvelous Success?

“Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. The arch apostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion. The Desire of Ages, 758.

“It was a being of wonderful power and glory who had set himself against God. Of Lucifer the Lord says, “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Ezekiel 28:12. Lucifer had been the covering cherub. He had stood in the light of God’s presence. He had been the highest of all created beings, and had been foremost in revealing God’s purposes to the universe. After he had sinned, his power to deceive was the more deceptive, and the unveiling of his character was the more difficult, because of the exalted position he had held with the Father. Ibid., 758, 579.

What Act Tore Away Satan’s Deceptive Disguise?

“Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.” Ibid., 761.

Please note: Before his disguise was torn away, he assumed various attitudes to deceive the angels.

What is the Condition of the Heart of Man According to the Word of God?

Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan’s sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God’s love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God. Ibid., 761, 762. [All emphasis supplied.]

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9.

Instead of Our Deceptive Natures, Into What does God Want to Make Us?

“Jesus took upon Himself man’s nature, that He might leave a pattern for humanity, complete, perfect. He proposes to make us like Himself, true in every purpose, feeling, and thought—true in heart, soul, and life. This is Christianity. Our fallen nature must be purified, ennobled, consecrated by obedience to the truth. Christian faith will never harmonize with worldly principles; Christian integrity is opposed to all deception and pretense. The man who cherishes the most of Christ’s love in the soul, who reflects the Saviour’s image most perfectly, is in the sight of God the truest, most noble, most honorable man upon the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 235.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if thee be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8.

Should We Have Anything to do with Drama in Our Work?

[Meaning of drama: “A composition in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performances. Webster’s Dictionary, tenth edition.]

“I have a message for those in charge of our work. Do not encourage the men who are to engage in this work to think that they must proclaim the solemn, sacred message in a theatrical style. Not one jot or tittle of anything theatrical is to be brought into our work. God’s cause is to have a sacred, heavenly mold. Let everything connected with the giving of the message for this time bear the divine impress. Let nothing of a theatrical nature be permitted, for this would spoil the sacredness of the work.” Evangelism, 137.

“In my very first labors the message was given that all theatrical performances in connection with the preaching of present truth were to be discouraged and forbidden.” Ibid.

“Our success will depend on carrying forward the work in the simplicity in which Christ carried it forward, without any theatrical display.” Ibid., 139.

“There should be in the meetings nothing of a theatrical nature.” Counsels on Health, 481.

What Banishes Thoughts of God?

“The power of godliness has well-nigh departed from many of the churches. Picnics, church theatricals, church fairs, fine houses, personal display, have banished thoughts of God.” The Great Controversy, 463, 464.

What Did Innocent Church Skits Lead this Young Lady to Desire?

“Oh no! my father and mother are Methodists; they always disapproved of the theater. I’ve been in Sunday-school all my life. They used to make me sing and recite at the entertainments when I was four years old, and I acted the angel and fairy parts in the dialogues; and when I grew older, I always arranged the tableaux, charades, etc. Then I joined a set of sociables got up by our church young people. At first we did “Mrs. Jarley’s Wax-works,” and sang “Pinafore” for the benefit of the church; and then we got more ambitious, studied, and had private theatricals, and last winter we hired Mason’s Hall and gave a series of Shakespearean performances, which cleared off a large part of the church debt. But that’s only second-class work, after all. I want to do the real thing, to go upon the stage as a profession. My father won’t hear of it; but I hope some time the way will be opened that I may realize my heart’s desire.” Review and Herald, January 4, 1881.

Should You Watch Your Children Participate in Theatrics (skits and plays)?

“Had you, my sister, followed on to know the Lord, you would during this period of time have had enlightenment from the Sun of Righteousness. Your only safety lay in following in His footsteps. But in not decidedly taking your stand to give no sanction by your presence to the theatrical performance of your children, you have encouraged them in their choice of the use they have made of their talents. Their capabilities and power belong to God, but they are not now being used to gather with Christ. All their talents were lent them to use to the honor and the glory of God, that they might win souls away from everything that pertains to this class of fascinating amusement that absorbs the mind and draws it away from God and from heavenly things. But they have not had an experimental knowledge of what is truth. The principles of truth have never been stamped upon their souls.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 335, 336.

Why is Satan Well Pleased With Drama?

“Satan’s work is to lead men to ignore God, to so engross and absorb the mind that God will not be in their thoughts. The education they have received has been of a character to confuse the mind and eclipse the true light. Satan does not wish the people to have a knowledge of God; and if he can set in operation games and theatrical performances that will so confuse the senses of the young that human beings will perish in darkness while light shines all about them, he is well pleased.” The Adventist Home, 401, 402.

What is the Most Powerful Way to Destroy Religious Impressions?

“There is no influence n our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements.” Ibid., 516.

Should Ministers Use Theatrics?

“The minister of Christ should be a man of prayer, a man of piety; cheerful, but never coarse and rough, jesting or frivolous. A spirit of frivolity may be in keeping with the profession of clowns and theatrical performers, but it is altogether beneath the dignity of a man who is chosen to stand between the living and the dead, and to be a mouthpiece for God.” Gospel Workers, 132.

“Some ministers make the mistake of supposing that success depends on drawing a large congregation by outward display, and then delivering the message of truth in a theatrical style. But this is using common fire instead of the sacred fire of God’s kindling. The Lord is not glorified by this manner of working. Not by startling notices and expensive display is His work to be carried to completion, but by following Christlike methods. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6. It is the naked truth which, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cuts both ways, arousing to spiritual life those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Men will recognize the gospel when it is brought to them in a way that is in harmony with God’s purposes.” Ibid., 383.

“Let there be no oddities or eccentricities of movement on the part of those who speak the Word of truth, for such things will weaken the impression that should be made by the Word. We must be guarded, for Satan is determined, if possible, to intermingle with religious services his evil influence. Let there be no theatrical display, for this will not help to strengthen belief in the Word of God. Rather, it will divert attention to the human instrument.” Selected Messages, book 2, 23, 24.

“I see that great reformation must take place in the ministry before it shall be what God would have it. Ministers in the desk have no license to behave like theatrical performers, assuming attitudes and expressions calculated for effect. They do not occupy the sacred desk as actors, but as teachers of solemn truths.” Review and Herald, August 8, 1878.

What is the Result of Bringing Theatrical Performances into the Church?

“Wrecks of character have been made by these fashionable church festivals and theatrical performances, and thousands more will be destroyed; yet people will not be aware of the danger, nor of the fearful influences exerted. Many young men and women have lost their souls through these corrupting influences.” Counsels on Stewardship, 202.

Did Christ Teach His Disciples to use Drama to Teach the Truth?

“I cannot find an instance in the life of Christ where He devoted time to play and amusement. He was the great Educator for the present and the future life. I have not been able to find one instance where He educated His disciples to engage in amusement of football or pugilistic games, to obtain physical exercise, or in theatrical performances; and yet Christ was our pattern in all things. Christ, the world’s Redeemer, gave to every man his work, and bids them ‘occupy till I come.’” Special Testimonies on Education, 191. 192.
“The work that Christ did in our world is to be our example, as far as display is concerned. We are to keep as far from the theatrical and the extraordinary as Christ kept in His work.” Notebook Leaflets, 105.

What About Drama in Church?

Dead, clad in the livery of Heaven, lurks in the pathway of the young. Sin is gilded over by church sanctity. These various forms of amusement in the churches of our day have ruined thousands who, but for them, might have remained upright and become the followers of Christ. Wrecks of character have been made by these fashionable church festivals and theatrical performances, and thousands more will be destroyed; yet people will not be aware of the danger, nor of the fearful influences exerted. Many young men and women have lost their souls through these corrupting influences.” Review and Herald, January 4, 1881.

What is Satan’s Ruling Passion?

“Satan’s ruling passion is to pervert the intellect and cause men to long for shows and theatrical performances.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 246.

How is Using Theatrics Following the Steps of Nadab and Abihu?

“To bring anything of a theatrical nature into the preaching of the Word of God is to use common fire instead of the sacred fire of God’s kindling. . . . Take up your work with greater humility, and carry it forward by Christlike methods. Let the truth have the field. For Christ’s sake do not hinder its progress by our own inventions.” Ibid., vol. 3, 277.

“Those who make use of devices that are theatrical in nature, to hold the attention of the people, lose the realization of the presence of Christ. Those who use so much time in preparing for their meetings, depending to a large extent on outward appearance to impress the people, give Jesus no opportunity to work on hearts. They mingle the common with the sacred.” Ibid., vol. 9, 387.

What About the Highest Order of Theatrical Performances? (i.e., passion plays, religious skits of the Reformers or of the Apostles)

“There is an abundance of theatrical performances in our world, but in its highest order it is without God. We need now to point souls to the uplifted Saviour. Deceptions, impositions, and every evil work are in our world. Satan, the wily foe in angel’s garments, is working to deceive and destroy. The object of the death of Christ was to declare His righteousness, and no man, woman or child can do this in his own strength, or by his own words.” Ibid., vol. 11, 338.

Does One who Enacts Drama Continue to be an Actor in Real Life and Disqualify Oneself for God’s Work?

“I told Fannie Bolton that it had nearly cost me my life to connect with her, and if I had another one united with her and the two to handle, I should soon be buried. No, I am entirely separated from Fannie. Never, while time lasts will another article of mine pass into her hands. She has sought to betray me, to turn traitor, to say things that lave untrue impressions upon minds. She has educated herself in theatrical methods, and can act out to life in apparent sincerity a thing that is false.

“Fannie herself, notwithstanding the deception she was practicing, though she had, as she thought, deceived me for nearly one year, had the presumption to tell me that in her work of giving Bible readings, her words were inspired. She would tell how the ones she was talking with were wonderfully affected, and would turn pale. The strange part of the matter is that our own people are so ready to accept theatrical demonstrations as the inspiration of the Spirit of God. And I am more surprised, under the circumstances that they should encourage her to connect with sacred things.

“Something is being sent to you in regard to Fannie Bolton. You need to say to all our people that she is not the Lord’s messenger, and she should in no way be encouraged. She would mingle the theatrical with her spiritual actions, that would not elevate, but degrade the cause of God. She is a farce.” Manuscript Release, 926, 60, 61.

Who Is the Master Actor?

“Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left; and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, working with his power, his signs and lying wonders, to fasten them in his snare. Some he deceives in one way, and some in another. He has different delusions prepared to affect different minds. Some look with horror upon one deception, while they readily receive another. Satan deceives some with Spiritualism. He also comes as an angel of light and spreads his influence over the land by means of false reformations. The churches are elated, and consider that God is working marvelously for them, when it is the work of another spirit. The excitement will die away and leave the world and the church in a worse condition than before.” Early Writings, 261.

“I greatly fear and tremble to touch a matter which has been working deeper and deeper under the specious training of Satan, until the meshes of his net have entangled these souls in a self-conscious righteousness and a Satanic deceiving that makes falsehood appear as truth and truth appear as falsehood. It is no easy matter to break this deception of the artful deceiver.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 142, 143.

If You have Been a Lover of Drama, What is the Best Antidote?

“The Third Angel’s Message is to be sounded in clear, distinct language. The trumpet is to give a certain sound. But a Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God alone giveth the increase. We must watch, we must pray, and we must work, that the message of heaven, sent as a warning to the people by the mouth of His servants, may not be refused but accepted. The people have long been under deception through false theories, but error, although it may be hoary with age, cannot be converted into truth. The idols of error must be expelled from mind and heart that the healing waters of life may flow into the soul. The fetters of education must be broken. Prejudice and superstition must be given up. Habits, maxims, and customs have been woven into education and experience, but they must be yielded up. Humbly and earnestly souls must inquire of the Lord. He will speak the truth without a vestige of error.” Ibid., vol. 21, 283, 284.

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary from Sin

In the book of Hebrews, we are shown that the cleansing of the Sanctuary from sin is an integral part of the New Covenant. “Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” Hebrews 9:23. This work of cleansing is the only work that remains between us and the Second Coming of Christ. As soon as Jesus has completed His work of atonement, He will take off His High Priestly robes, put on His kingly garments, and return to this world to take His people home. All other events, including the Sunday laws and the time of trouble, are peripheral events to that central focal point of the New Covenant.

In Revelation 11:1, we are told, “And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.’” The question arises, Who are these worshippers in God’s Sanctuary in heaven? Turning to Hebrews 10:19, we read, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.” Further, the apostle tells us that, “God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we wee dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4–6.

According to Paul, by faith we are to enter into holy places of the Sanctuary in Heaven where we are to participate in the work that Jesus, as our High Priest, is doing for His people. While our body is down here, by faith we are to enter into the Sanctuary in Heaven. We are, therefore the worshippers. As we grasp this truth, we begin to understand that the Sanctuary in Heaven cannot be cleansed if the worshippers are still defiled by sin.

There are two ways that the Sanctuary can be cleansed. One way is for the sins of God’s people to be blotted out; the other is for their names to be removed from the books in Heaven. The defilement an only be ended by the complete removal of either the sin or the sinner. Paul describes the provision of the New Covenant in this way, “Now, once in the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:16. Ellen White refers to it as the final atonement. “The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement. . . . As in the final atonement the sins of the truly penitent are to be blotted from the records of heaven. . . .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 357, 358.

The Day of Atonement

It is well to remember that in the daily service of the Sanctuary, the priest made atonement. That atonement, however, was not sufficient unless the person participated in the work that took place on the Day of Atonement. (See Leviticus 23:28–30.) This service was the typical service; but since October 22, 1844, we are living in the antitype, or the reality of that service.

In the daily Sanctuary service, the worshippers had a conditional pardon. It was conditional on their participation in the work that took place on the Day of Atonement. In the typical Day of Atonement, any person who did not afflict his soul, or who did any work, was to be cut off from the people. The apostle Paul talks about the provisions of the typical service in dealing with sin. “For the law [ceremonial law], having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year [Day of Atonement], make those who approach perfect. For them would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” Hebrews 10:1–4.

If it was possible for those sacrifices to really take away sins, then after the Day of Atonement there would have been no sacrifices and no need of confession of sins because their sins would already have been taken away. They would have been perfect. The Old Covenant, however, could not really take away sins. It was merely a description, or type, to explain the work to be accomplished by the New Covenant. As a result, the same people who had come to the Day of Atonement returned to offer more sacrifices the next year.

Paul then goes on to show that what the Old Covenant could not do, really takes place under the New Covenant. God is not simply going to forgive our sins; He is actually going to take them away. God’s people will then be perfect in regard to the conscience; they will have no more consciousness of sins.

In Hebrews, the apostle Paul links the experience of Christ with the experience of the New Covenant. He also ties the experience of those who will be translated with Christ’s experience. As Jesus went through a time of trouble just before He left this world, the saints are going to have to experience a time of trouble just before they are translated. As we will see, this experience through which they pass is closely connected to the cleansing of the Sanctuary. It will also be shown that when we speak of the cleansing of the Sanctuary, we are talking of the cleansing of the worshippers and that this cleansing is intimately related to what takes place in the mind of the believer.

Final Removal of Sin

It was not God’s will, even in Old Testament times, for His people to continually sin and then bring sacrifices. (See Hebrews 10:5, 6.) The New Covenant provides just one sacrifice; and that Sacrifice delivers the believer not just from guilt, but from the power of sin. Speaking of the New Covenant, Paul continues, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” Then he adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Verses 16, 17. He is speaking of the removal of their sins, after which He will remember them no more.

Whenever you read the texts in the Bible that speak about casting our sins in the bottom of the sea, if you will notice the context, you will see that it is always referring to the results to be accomplished as a result of the completed work of the New Covenant. Sins are not cast into the depths of the sea and forgotten by the Lord until the New Covenant is consummated. Until that time they are kept on record, even thought you are forgiven. The apostle Peter, speaking of this, says, “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19. This is the time of refreshing, also foretold in Joel 2 and Zachariah 10, that is going to come just before Jesus returns to this earth. This spiritual refreshing is what we refer to as the Latter Rain.

“Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” Hebrews 10:18. The significance of overcoming sin is found in the fact that the New Covenant cannot be put into effect in a person’s life until he has victory over sin because under the New Covenant, there is only one sacrifice and the sins are taken away only once and for all. While you can confess and receive forgiveness many times, your sins are only taken away once.

The Preparation

We are told, “I saw that none could share the refreshing unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action.” Early Writings, 71. And what does the Latter Rain accomplish? “While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the Latter Rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labor of the sower will have been in vain.” Testimonies to Ministers, 507.

The Latter Rain prepares God’s people to receive His seal. To receive the seal of God we must reflect the image of Jesus fully. And what does it man to reflect the image of Jesus fully? It is to have His Law written the heart. This final work takes place during the time that we refer to as the time of trouble.

God does not just arbitrarily say, “I am not going to take you to heaven unless you go through the time of trouble first.” The time of trouble has to do with the final purification or cleansing of the Sanctuary. It is a vital part of the purification of God’s people. “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.’ I Peter 4:1, 2.

Notice carefully that the apostle closely links the discipline of chastening with perfection of character. “If you endure chastening, God deal with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of Spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:7–11.

The Final Shaking

The final shaking and the presentation of an unshakable kingdom and a glorious church is what the time of trouble is all about. Ellen White says that the purification of God’s people can only be accomplished through suffering. “The purification of the people of God cannot be accomplished without their suffering. God permits the fires of affliction to consume the dross, to separate the worthless from the valuable, that the pure metal may shine forth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 85.

God does not allow you to get into trouble because He enjoys seeing you suffer but because He knows that there is no other way that your character can be purified. We do not realize how much sin has degraded and affected our characters; and even for divine power, there is no way to accomplish our purification without suffering. One Saturday night, when my brother Marshall was alive, we were talking about persecution and the suffering of God’s saints. Marshall said that no matter how bad it becomes, it will only be temporary.

“The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christ-like characters. It is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations. The last conflict will reveal Satan to them in his true character, that of a cruel tyrant, and it will do for them what nothing else could do, up-root him entirely form their affections. For to love and cherish sin is to love and cherish its author, that deadly foe of Christ. When they excuse sin and cling to perversity of character, they give Satan a place in their affections, and pay him homage.” Review and Herald, August 12, 1884. Whenever you are in trouble, always remember that it is all for a purpose and that it is only temporary.

It is interesting to note that the earthliness is going to be removed from those who have already gained the victory over sin. These are not people who are still smoking, drinking, carousing, and living like the world. This is all in the past in their lives, but the root of the sin problem has not yet been fully eradicated from their heart. We can never be ready for Jesus to come and to be translated, unless it comes out. That is what the time of trouble is all about.

Describing these scenes, Ellen White wrote, “It is an hour of fearful, terrible agony to the saints. Day and night they cried unto God for deliverance. To outward appearance, there was no possibility of their escape. The wicked had already begun to triumph, crying out, “Why doesn’t your God deliver you out of our hands? Why don’t you go up and save your lives?’ But the saints heeded them not. Like Jacob, they were wrestling with God. The angels longed to deliver them, but they must wait a little longer; the people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism. The angels, faithful to their trust, continued their watch. God would not suffer His name to be reproached among the heathen. The time had nearly come when He was to manifest His mighty power and gloriously deliver His saints. For His name’s glory He would deliver every one of those who had patiently waited for Him and whose names were written in the book.” Early Writings, 283.

Are you praying and asking the Lord to help you to receive the maximum benefit out of every trial and trouble that He allows to come to you? The troubles that God’s people experience are not the result of happenstance or arbitrary in nature, but they are for a purpose. God is preparing a people to be ready to meet Him when He comes. As long as you abide in His will, every trial and trouble that you experience is a necessary preparation for that experience. “The fact that we are called upon to endure trial, proves that the Lord sees something in us very precious, which He desires to develop. If He saw nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us. We do not take special pains in pruning brambles. Christ does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He tests.” Signs of the Times, August 18, 1909.

The New Covenant provides for the removal of sin from God’s people. As soon as this work is accomplished, friends, Jesus is going to come; and we are going to go home. Always remember when you are in trouble that all of our troubles are temporary, but the consequences are eternal.

May God help each one of us to gain from our trials an experience that will prepare us to be ready to look up and meet Jesus with joy when He comes.

Work To Be Done In The Cities

At this stage of our experience we are not to have our minds drawn away from the special light given [us] to consider at the important gathering of our conference. And there was Brother Daniells, whose mind the enemy was working; and your mind and Elder Prescott’s mind were being worked by the angels that were expelled from heaven. Satan’s work was to divert your minds that jots and tittles should be brought in which the Lord did not inspire you to bring in. They were not essential. But this meant much to the cause of truth. And the ideas of your minds, if you could be drawn away to  jots or tittles, is a work of Satan’s devising. To correct little things in the books written, you suppose would be doing a great work. But I am charged, Silence is eloquence.

I am to say, Stop your picking flaws. If this purpose of the devil could only be carried out, then [it] appears to you [that] your work would be considered as most wonderful in conception. It was the enemy’s plan to get all the supposed objectionable features where all classes of minds did not agree. And what then? The very work that pleases the devil would come to pass. There would be a representation given to the outsiders not of our faith just what would suit them, that would develop traits of character which would cause great confusion and occupy the golden moments which should be used zealously to bring the great message before the people. The presentations upon any subject we have worked upon could not all harmonize, and the results would be to confuse the minds of believers and unbelievers. This is the very thing that Satan had planned that should take place—anything that could be magnified as a disagreement.

Read Ezekiel, chapter 28. Now, here is a grand work, where strange spirits can figure. But the Lord has a work to [be] done to save perishing souls; and the places which Satan, disguised, could fill in, bringing confusion into our ranks, he will do to perfection, and all those little differences will become enlarged, prominent.

And I was shown from the first that the Lord had given neither Elders Daniells nor Prescott the burden of this work. Should Satan’s wiles be brought in, should this “Daily” be such a great matter as to be brought in to confuse minds and hinder the advancement of the work at this important period of time? It should not, whatever may be. This subject should not be introduced, for the spirit that would be brought in would be forbidding, and Lucifer is watching every movement. Satanic agencies would commence his work and there would be confusion brought into our ranks. You have no call to hunt up the difference of opinion that is not a testing question; but your silence is eloquence. I have the matter all plainly before me. If the devil could involve any one of our own people on these subjects, as he has proposed to do, Satan’s cause would triumph. Now the work without delay is to be taken up and not a [difference] of opinion expressed.

Satan would inspire those men who have gone out from us to unite with evil angels and retard our work on unimportant questions, and what rejoicing [there] would be in the camp of the enemy. Press together, press together. Let every difference be buried. Our work now is to devote all our physical and brain-nerve power to put these differences out of the way, and all harmonize. If Satan could with his great unsanctified wisdom be permitted to get the least hold, [he would rejoice.]

Now, when I saw how you were working, my mind took in the whole situation and the results if you should go forward and give the parties that have left us the least chance to bring confusion into our ranks. Your lack of wisdom would be just what Satan would have it. Your loud proclamation was not under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I was instructed to say to you that you picking flaws in the writings of men that have been led of God is not inspired of God. And if this is the wisdom that Elder Daniells would give to the people, by no means give him an official position, for he cannot reason from cause to effect. Your silence on this subject is your wisdom. Now, everything like picking flaws in the publications of men who are not alive is not the work God has given any of you to do. For if these men—Elders Daniells and Prescott—had followed the directions given in working the cities, there would have been many, very many, convinced of the truth and converted, able men that [now] are in positions where they never will be reached.

All the world is to be regarded as one great family. And when you have such a fountain of knowledge to draw from, why have you left the world to perish for years with the testimonies given by our Lord Jesus Christ? True religion teaches us to regard every man and woman as a person to whom we can do good.

This has been in print many years: “A Balanced Mind,” testimony to Elder Andrews. The mind may be cultivated to become a power to know when to speak and what burdens to take up and to bear, for Christ is your teacher. And I feared greatly for you [when I saw you] exalting your wisdom and pursuing a course to bring in differences of opinion. The Lord calls for wise men who can hold their peace when it [is] wisdom for them to do so. If you would be a whole man, you need sanctification through Jesus Christ. Now there is a work just started, and let wisdom be seen in every minister, in every president of [a] conference. But here was a work for you to take hold of years ago where you were needed to lift your voice for this very work. Christ gave all His people special directions what they shall do and the things they shall not do. And there is a little time left us to work out the righteousness of the Lord.

You can understand the way of the Lord. I saw your purpose of carrying things after your own devising after you were placed as president. You had thought you would do wonderful things, which would be a work God had not placed in your hands to do. Now, your work is not to oppress but to release every necessity possible if the Lord has accepted you to serve. But you have very early given evidence that wisdom and sanctified judgment have not been manifested by you. You blazed out matters that would not be received unless the Lord should give light.

I have been instructed that such hasty movements should not have [been] made [such] as selecting you as president of the conference even another year. But the Lord forbids any more such hasty transactions until the matter is brought before the Lord in prayer; and as you have had the message come to you that the work of the Lord resting upon the president is a most solemn responsibility, you had no moral right to blaze out as you did upon the subject of the “Daily” and suppose your influence would decide the question. There was Elder Haskell, who has carried the heavy responsibilities, and there is Elder Irwin and several men I might mention who have the heavy responsibilities.

Where was your respect for the men of age? What authority could you exercise without taking all the responsible men to weigh the matter? But let us now investigate the matter. We must now reconsider whether it is the Lord’s judgment, in the face of the work that has been neglected, of showing your zeal to carry the work even another year. If you should carry the work another year with the help that shall unite with you, there should be a change take place in you and Elder Prescott.

And humble your own hearts before God. The Lord will have to see in you a showing of a different experience, for if ever men needed to be reconverted at this present [time]; it [is] Elder Daniells and Elder Prescott.

Seven men should be chosen that are men of wisdom and through the working of the grace of God [give] evidence [of] a reconversion. For any men who are so blinded that they cannot reason from cause to effect, that they would ignore the men who have borne the responsibilities of the work and these presidents of conferences, [that] men [who] carry the work for over two years should be disregarded and such an impulsive consequence take place that men would neglect the very work kept before them for years—work the cities—and no, or but very little, attention [be] given to the old men for counsel, but proclaim the things they choose to give the people, bears its own testimony of the unsafety of the men to be entrusted with such a grand and wonderful work.

Christ is not dead. He will never suffer His work to be carried on in this strange way. Let the books alone. If any change is essential, God will have the harmony in that change consistent, but when a message has been entrusted to men with the large responsibilities involved, [God] demands faithfulness that will work by love and purify the soul. Elders Daniells and Prescott both need reconversion. A strange work has come in, and it is not in harmony with the work Christ came to our world to do; and all who are truly converted will work the works of Christ.

We are every one [to] work out the work which shall glorify the Father. We have come to the crisis—either to conform to the character of Jesus Christ right in this preparatory time or not attempt [it.] Elder Daniells, [you are not] to feel at liberty to let your voice be heard on high as you have done under similar circumstances. And understand, the president of a conference is not a ruler. He works in connection with the wise men who occupy the position as presidents whom God has accepted. He has not liberty to meddle with the writings in printed books from the pens that God has accepted. They are no longer to bear sway unless they show less of the ruling, dominating power. The crisis has come, for God will be dishonored.

How does the Lord look upon the unworked cities? Christ is in heaven. Now its acknowledgement is to be, ‘There is no kingly rule. And now is the crisis of this world. Now I am the Power to save or to destroy. Now is the time when the destiny of all is in My hands. I have given My life to save the world. And “I, if I be lifted up,” the saving grace I shall impart will prove that all who will be fashioned after he divine similitude and will be one with Me shall work as I work with My power of redeeming grace.’ Whoever will, [let him] take hold with his brethren to do the work given them to do when in responsible places under the counsel the Lord gives, and seek most earnestly to work in complete harmony with Him who so loved the world He gave His life a full sacrifice for the saving of the world.

I speak to our ministers, that as they enter upon the work in our cities let there be a calm sacredness attending the ministry of the Word. We cannot make the proper impression upon the minds of the people if we . . . [Lower third of this page left blank.]

I copy from my Diary. The truth as it is in Jesus—talk it, pray it, believe every word in its simplicity. What would you gain if mistakes are brought before the men who have departed from the faith and given heed to seducing spirits, men who wee not long ago with us in the faith? Will you stand on the devil’s side? Give your attention to the unworked fields. A world-wide work is before us. I was given representations of John Kellogg. A very attractive personage was representing the ideas of the specious arguments that he was presenting, sentiments different from the genuine Bible truth. And those who are hungering and thirsting after something new were advancing ideas [so specious] that Elder Prescott was in great danger. Elder Daniells was in great danger [of] becoming wrapped in a delusion that if these sentiments could be spoken everywhere it would be as a new world.

Yes, it would, but while their minds were thus absorbed I was shown that Brother Daniells and Brother Prescott were weaving into their experience sentiments of a spiritual[istic] appearance and drawing our people to beautiful sentiments that would deceive, if possible, the very elect. I have to trace with my pen [the fact] that these brethren would see defects in their delusive ideas that would place the truth in an uncertainty; and [yet] they [would] stand out as [if they had] great spiritual discernment. Now I am to tell them [that] when I was shown this matter, when Elder Daniells was lifting up his voice like a trumpet in advocating his ideas of the “Daily,” the after results were presented. Our people were becoming confused. I saw the result, and then there were given me cautions that if Elder Daniells without respect to the outcome should thus be impressed and let himself believe he was under the inspiration of God, skepticism would be sown among our ranks everywhere, and we should be where Satan would carry his messages. Set unbelief and skepticism would be sown in human minds, and strange crops of evil would take the place of truth.” Manuscript 67. 1910, 1–8.


Editor’s Note

In Second Advent movement in the United States during the early 1840s there was unity of opinion on many major points of doctrine by the ministers who espoused the teachings on prophecy preached by William Miller. One of these points was the daily or continuance mentioned in Daniel 8:10–14 and Daniel 11 and 12. William Miller taught that the daily (or literally “the continuance in rebellion,” in Daniel 8:12) referred to paganism. The daily is an integral part of the 2300 day prophecy. This prophecy “above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith.” The Great Controversy, 409, and therefore the daily is of not small interest to Adventist Bible students. Ellen White had some pointed things to say about this Scripture subject: “Then I saw in relation to the daily (Daniel 8:12) that the word sacrifice was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the daily; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.” Early Writings, 74, 75.

In the late 1890s, some Seventh-day Adventist ministers begin to preach what came to be called the new view of the daily. This new view of the daily is the idea that it referred to the continual mediation of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. This new view was accepted by W. W. Prescott, A. G. Daniells, L. R. Conradi, A. T. Jones, and Waggoner. A number of crises developed within Adventism around the turn of the century, not the least of which was the pantheistic tendencies promoted not only by Kellogg but by a number of other leading men which probably delayed the open debate concerning the daily until the latter part of the first decade of the twentieth century.

A.T. Jones, in his characteristic direct style, used the daily as a proof to show that the testimonies of Ellen White were at variance with the Bible on the daily and urged that the new view was the only tenable position.

Meanwhile, the son of Uriah Smith and F. C. Gilbert (one of the few leaders at that time who had a competent knowledge of Hebrew and who was therefore qualified to evaluate the original sources on this subject) put out a tract attacking the new view and stating that the new view contradicts the Spirit of Prophecy.

Perhaps it was because of this tract that A. G. Daniells, General Conference president, decided to present his views (the new view) of the daily at union conference sessions in 1910.

Elder Washburn believed that the new view of the daily would usher in the greatest shaking our people have ever had. Elder Washburn was evidently enough disturbed by Elder Daniells’ presentation of the daily in 1910 that he was in an all-night conversation with him soon after and reported that in order to avoid the need to accept Ellen White’s plain statement about the daily in Early Writings, Elder Daniells referred to some of Ellen White’s statements as imperfect and said that she erred in encouraging J. E. White to accept tithe funds for his work in the South. Elder Washburn said that as a result of the Bible conference in 1919 (there the daily was discussed), many believed that the writings of Ellen White were not inspired in regard to history; and some considered her writings uninspired in regard to theology and health reform.

It was in the context of this debate about the daily that the following testimony was written by Ellen White. The reader might like to investigate the following:

How many times does Ellen White mention that the leading persons who were introducing this new teaching about the daily were in one way or another under the influence of the devil and evil angels?

When she says that silence is eloquence, notice the context—she is talking about saying that the daily is the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary or the new view. (She had never made statements like that about teaching the old view for over fifty years.)

In referring to men who wrote and taught the old view, she several times deplores picking flaws with their writings.

She requests of Prescott and Daniells that they listen to and respect the men who were teaching the old view, such as Elder Haskell.

She states that the teaching of this new view of the daily will result in sowing skepticism among our ranks everywhere and evil will take the place of truth.

She said that our people would become confused by this new teaching.

Interestingly, those who teach futurism, especially in Daniel 12, believe either the new view of the daily or some other view than espoused by Seventh-day Adventists for the first decades of our history.

The meaning of the daily is shown clearly from the Hebrew text of Daniel 8 in our book God Predicts Your Future. In addition to the present confusion as a result of the teachings of futurism, Desmond Ford has pointed out that the new view of the daily has been a major factor causing many scholars and leaders o leave the ranks of Adventism. In his research for the Glacier View meeting, he mentions not only Conradi, Ballenger, Fletcher, and Grieve but Hilgert, Brimsmead, and himself. Elder Washburn maintained that the new view of the daily was a major factor in the loss of Jones and Waggoner.

The old view teaches that the daily is the work of Satan, but the new view teaches that the daily is the work of Christ. (They cannot be reconciled.)

(A.G. Daniells was elected president of the General Conference in 1901. This suggests that this document was written in 1910, a time when Mrs. White was very concerned about Daniells’ neglect of the cities and his involvement in the controversy over the “Daily.”)

Sanctuary, part 1

This article, “The Sanctuary,” was printed in the Day-Star Extra in 1846. Regarding it, Mrs. White wrote in a letter to Brother Eli Curtis under date of April 21, 1847:

“I believe the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The Lord shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, and that it was His will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord to recommend that Extra to every saint.” A Word to the Little Flock, printed in 1847.

In the Advent Review of September 1850, the Crosier article was reprinted, seemingly in full.

In the Advent Review, printed at Auburn in 1850, this article was again reprinted, but two and a half very important paragraphs were omitted. These were also omitted in a partial reprint of the article in the Review and Herald of September 1852.

These essential two and a half paragraphs omitted from the later reprints of the article have been copied in this document, in italics, in order to clearly point out to the readers the portion omitted from the later reprints. They will be found on page 3 and 4 of this copy.

Before copying this article, all Scripture references have been verified. For the convenience of the reader, the figures used in the Scripture references have been changed from the Roman numerals to the Arabic. Where references were made, giving “ch.” Referring to a cook before mentioned, we have in each case substituted the name of the book. Illustrating this is the last Scripture reference in the first paragraph of page 4. It read, “ch. VIII, 1, 2.” In this copy it has been written “Hebrews 8:1, 2.

Several very evident errors have been corrected in Scripture references; and in a few cases where there was a seeming error, we have used the reference given, added “see,” and have given what we believe to be the correct reference.

The long paragraphs have been broken up to make the article more readable.

These mechanical changes have been made to render the article more easily read and more useful for study.

W. C. White, October 9, 1931.

The Sanctuary was the heart of the typical system. There the Lord placed His name, manifested His glory, and held converse with the high priest relative to the welfare of Israel. While we inquire from the Scriptures what the Sanctuary is, let all educational prejudice be dismissed from the mind; for the Bible clearly defines what the Sanctuary is and answers every reasonable question that you may ask concerning it.

The name, Sanctuary, is applied to several different things in the Old Testament; neither did the Wonderful Numberer tell Daniel what Sanctuary was to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days but called it the Sanctuary, as though Daniel well understood it, and that he did is evident from the fact that he did not ask what it was. But as it has not become a matter of dispute as to what the Sanctuary is, our only safety lies in seeking from the New Testament the Divine comment upon it. Its decision should place the matter beyond all controversy with Christians.

Paul freely discusses this subject in the Epistle to the Hebrews to whom the typical covenant pertained. “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” Hebrews 13:11 (See Hebrews 9:1–5.)

“For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called (Hagia) Holy.

“And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the (Hagia Hagion) Holy of Holies;

“Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot of that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

“And over it the cherubim’s of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.”

A particular description is found in the last four books of the Pentateuch. “Sanctuary” was the first name that the Lord gave it (see Exodus 25:8), which name covers not only the tabernacle with its two apartments, but also the court and all the vessels of the ministry. This Paul calls the Sanctuary of the first covenant, “which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices.” Hebrews 9:9.

“But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands.” Verse 11.

The priests entered the “figures” or “patterns of the true,” which true are the “heavenly places themselves,” into which Christ entered when He entered “heaven itself.” Verses 23, 24. When He ascended to the right hand of the Father, “in the heavens,” He became “A Minister of the Sanctuary (or Hagion Holies) and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2. That is the Sanctuary of the “better (the new) covenant.” Verse 6.

The Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of 2300 days is also the Sanctuary of the New Covenant, for the vision of the treading down and cleansing is after the crucifixion. We see that the Sanctuary of the New Covenant is not on earth but in heaven. The true tabernacle which forms a part of the New Covenant Sanctuary was made and pitched by the Lord in contradistinction to that of the first covenant which was made and pitched by man in obedience to the command of God. (See Exodus 25:8.)

Now what does the same apostle say that the Lord has pitched? “A city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10. What is its name? “The heavenly Jerusalem.” (See Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21.) “A building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 5:1. “My Father’s house of many mansions.” (See John 14:2.)

When our Saviour was at Jerusalem and had pronounced its house desolate, the disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple. Then He said: “There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1, 2. That temple was their Sanctuary. (See 1 Chronicles 22:17–19; 28:9–13; 2 Chronicles 29:5, 21; 36:14, 17.) Such an announcement would tend to fill them with sadness and fear, as foretelling the derangement, if not the total prostration of their entire religious system. But to comfort and teach them, He says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” John 14:1–3.

Standing, as He was, on the dividing line between the typical covenant and the anti-typical and having just declared the house of the former no longer valid and foretelling its destruction, how natural that He should point His disciples to the Sanctuary of the latter, about which their affections and interests were to cluster as they had about that of the former. The Sanctuary of the new covenant is connected with New Jerusalem, like the Sanctuary of the first covenant was with Old Jerusalem. As that was the place where the priests of that covenant ministered, so this is in heaven the place where the Priest of the new covenant ministers. To these places, and these only, the New Testament applies the name “Sanctuary;” and it does appear that this should forever set the question at rest.

But as we have been so long and industriously taught to look to the earth for the Sanctuary, it may be proper to inquire; By what Scriptural authority have we been thus taught? I can find none. If others can, let them produce it. Let it be remembered that the definition of Sanctuary is “a holy or sacred place.” In the earth, is Palestine such a place? Their entire contents answer, No! Was Daniel so taught? Look at his vision:

“And the place of His Sanctuary was cast down;” Daniel 8:11. This casting down was in the days and by the means of the Roman power; therefore, the Sanctuary of this text was not the earth, nor Palestine, because the former was cast down at the Fall, more than 4,000 years, and the latter at the captivity, more than 700 years previous to the event of this passage; and neither by Roman agency.

The Sanctuary cast down is His against whom Rome magnified himself, which was the Prince of the host, Jesus Christ; and Paul teaches that His Sanctuary is in Heaven. Again, Daniel 11:30, 31, “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him; therefore, shall he be grieved and return, and have indignation [the staff to chastise] against the holy covenant [Christianity], so shall he do; he shall even return and have intelligence with them [priests and bishops] that forsake the holy covenant.

“And arms [civil and religious] shall stand on his part, and they [Rome and those who forsake the holy covenant] shall pollute the Sanctuary of strength.”

What was this that Rome and the apostles of Christianity should jointly pollute? This combination was formed against the “holy covenant,” and it was the Sanctuary of that covenant that they polluted, which they could do as well as to pollute the name of God. (See Jeremiah 34:16; Ezekiel 20; Malachi 1:7.) This was the same as profaning or blaspheming His name. In this sense this “politico-religious” beast polluted the Sanctuary, (see Revelation 13:6), and cast it down from its place in heaven (see Psalm 102:19; Jeremiah 17:12; Hebrews 8:1, 2.) when they called Rome the holy city. (see Revelation 21:2.) and installed the pope there with the titles, “Lord God the Pope,” “Holy Father,” “Head of the Church,” etc.; and there, in the counterfeit “temple of God,” he professes to do what Jesus actually does in His Sanctuary. (See II Thessalonians 2:1–8.) The Sanctuary has been trodden under foot (see Daniel 8:13) the same as the Son of God has been. (See Hebrews 10:29.)

Daniel prayed, “Cause Thy face to shine upon Thy Sanctuary that is desolate.” Daniel 9:17. This was the typical Sanctuary built by Solomon. “Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon Thy Holy Mount, and an altar in the city wherein Thou dwellest, a resemblance of Thy Holy tabernacle, which Thou hast prepared from the beginning.” Wisdom of Solomon 9:8; I Chronicles 28:10–13. It has shared in the seventy years desolation of Jerusalem. (See Daniel 9:2; 2 Chronicles 36:14–21.) It was rebuilt after the captivity. (See Nehemiah 10:39.) Moses received the patterns of the Sanctuary built at Sinai when he was with the Lord forty days in the cloud on the Mount; and David received the patterns of that built by Solomon, which superseded Moses’ with its chambers, porches, courts, the courses of the priests and Levites, and all of the vessels of service, etc., “by the Spirit.” 1 Chronicles 28:10–13.

It is manifest that both Moses and David had prophetic visions of the New Jerusalem with its Sanctuary and Christ, the officiating Priest. When that built by Moses was superseded by Solomon’s, the ark was borne from the former to the latter (See II Chronicles 5:2–9.) The Sanctuary comprehended not only the Tabernacle, but also all of the vessels of the ministry enclosed by the court in which the tabernacle stood. (See Numbers 3:29–31.; 10:17, 21.) So the court in which the Temple stood was properly called the Sanctuary—Prideaux. We learn the same from 2 Chronicles 29:18, 21. “We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt offering, with all of the vessels thereof, and the showbread table with all the vessels thereof.”

The altar of burnt offering with its vessels stood before the Temple in the inner court, the whole of which are in verse 21 called the Sanctuary.

Well, says one, is not Palestine called the Sanctuary? I think not. “Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, Or Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in; in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.” Exodus 15:17.

What is it which the Lord “had made to dwell in,” which His “hands have established”? Paul says it is “a city,” Hebrews 11:10; a “Tabernacle,” Hebrews 8:2; “A building in the heavens,” 2 Corinthians 5:1. And the Lord has chosen Mount Zion in Palestine for the place of its final location. “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is My rest forever, here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” Psalm 132:13, 14.

“He brought them to the border of the Sanctuary, even to this mountain.” Psalm 78:54, which was its chosen border or place, but not the Sanctuary itself, any more than Mount Moriah on which the Temple was built was the Temple itself. Did they regard that land as the Sanctuary? If they did not, we should not. A view of the text in which the world occurs will show: “Let them make Me a Sanctuary,” Exodus 25:8; “The shekel of the Sanctuary,” Exodus 30:13; and above twenty others like it. “Then wrought Bazaleel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the Sanctuary.” Exodus 26:1–6. (See Exodus 36:1.) “Before the veil of the Sanctuary.” Leviticus 4:6, “Carry your brethren from before the Sanctuary.” Leviticus 10:4. “Nor come into the Sanctuary.” Leviticus 12:4. “He shall make atonement for the tabernacle.” Leviticus 16:33. “Reverence My Sanctuary.” Leviticus 19:30; 26:2. “Nor profane the Sanctuary of his God.” Leviticus 21:12. “Vessels of the Sanctuary.” Numbers 3:31. “Charge of the Sanctuary.” Numbers 3:32, 38. “They minister in the Sanctuary.” Numbers 4:12. “In the Sanctuary, and the vessels thereof.” Verse 16. “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the Sanctuary and all the vessels of the Sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it.” Numbers 4:15; 7:9; 10:21. “That there be no plague among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come nigh unto the Sanctuary.” Numbers 8:19. “Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the Sanctuary.” Numbers 18:1. “He hath defiled the Sanctuary of his God.” Numbers 19:20. Joshua “took a great stone and set it up there under an oak that was by the Sanctuary of the Lord.” Joshua 24:26. “All the instruments of the Sanctuary.” 1 Chronicles 9:29. “Build ye the Sanctuary;” I Chronicles 22:19. “Governors of the Sanctuary.” 1 Chronicles 24:5. “The Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the Sanctuary.” 1 Chronicles 28:10; 2 Chronicles 26:18; 29:21; 30:8. “Purification of the Sanctuary.” 2 Chronicles 30:19; 36:17.

I have given nearly every text, and I believe every different form of expression in which the world Sanctuary occurs till we come to the Psalms; so that every one can see what they understood the Sanctuary to be. And of the fifty texts quoted, not one applies it to the land of Palestine, nor any land. That Sanctuary, though enclosed with curtains, was called “the house of the Lord.” (See Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel l:7–24) and was pitched at the city of Shiloah at the time of dividing the land (see Judges 18:1, 10); hence it was called he “Tabernacle of Shiloah,” (safety and happiness). Psalm 78:60. The Lord forsook it when the Philistines took the ark (see 1 Samuel 4:3–11) and delivered His strength into captivity and His glory into the enemy’s hand. Verse 21.

It was brought back to Kirjath-jearim (see 1 Samuel 7:1, 2), thence to the house of Obededom, thence to the city of David which is Zion (see 2 Samuel 6:1–19; 5:9), and thence, at the direction of Solomon, the ark was conveyed into the Holy of Holies of the temple (see 1 Kings 8:1–6), which was built in Mount Moriah near Mount Zion. (See 2 Chronicles 3:1.) The Lord has chosen Zion to dwell in rest forever (see Psalm 132:13, 14), but as yet He had dwelt there but a short time, and then in curtains made with hands; but when He shall appear in His glory, He will have “mercy on Zion” and build it up; then Jerusalem upon it, shall be “a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down.” Psalm 102; Isaiah 33:20. And then “the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem.” Verses 18, 19. The Song of Moses (see Exodus 15) is evidently prophetic and contemplates the happy scenes of the Eden Zion. And so Ezekiel has it. The Lord will bring the whole house of Israel up out of their graves into the land of Israel and then set His Sanctuary and tabernacle in the midst of them for evermore. The Sanctuary is not “the land of Israel” nor the people; for it is set in their midst and is built and forms a part of the city whose name is, “The Lord is there.”

Stay Close to Jesus

At the beginning of John 6, we observe one of the two great banquets that bounded the last year of Jesus’ life on earth. One was the feeding of the five thousand on the shores of Galilee, and the other was the Lord’s Supper. At each banquet, Jesus was the host; at each banquet, there was a great disappointment; and at each banquet, Jesus gave one of the greatest of His appeals.

About three and a half miles up around the northwestern boundary of the Sea of Galilee was the village of Bethsaida. Bethsaida, the place where Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were born, literally means “the house of fishing” or “the place of fishing.” It was a fishing village. They had moved, however, to Capernaum and were making it their fishing headquarters at the time of our story.

The disciples had just returned from the first missionary journey that Jesus had sent them on, and they needed some quiet time and unhurried conversation with Him. They had had some wonderful experiences and a few disappointing ones. Some mistakes had been made along the way that Jesus needed to discuss with them. More importantly, on their way back to Capernaum, they had heard about the death of John the Baptist; this was very disconcerting to the twelve apostles and they were having a hard time putting all of it together.

“After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.” John 6:1. Across the sea from Capernaum, on the eastern side, there is a lovely, green slope. It is the Passover season—springtime;—everything is beautiful.

Travelers moving southward toward Jerusalem for the Passover, as well as many of the nearby villagers, had heard the wondrous stories about the miracles of Jesus; and they sought to follow Jesus and His disciples. Some gathered into the boats that could be found and followed them out across the sea, while others, after waiting long enough to make sure where the boat was heading, walking around the shore to meet it.

The day that was intended to be a day of counseling turned out to be a day of ministry, a long, long day of ministry, with the people far from their homes. The problem of good eventually arose, and you remember that beautiful story of the feeding of the 5,000. This event created great excitement. There were more than 5,000 persons gathered, the biggest crowd to follow Jesus that the disciples had every seen; and they were awe-stricken. It seemed to them that the great momentous hour must be moving in on then when Jesus would take the kingdom, assert His power, and declare Himself to be the rightful ruler of Israel. The crowd kept talking about making Him king, and the disciples were doing nothing to discourage them because it was sweet music to their ears.

Jesus knew the damage that would result; so, to the bitter disappointment of the disciples, near the close of the day, He sent them back to Capernaum in the boat, something they certainly did not want to do, while He withdrew to the mountain to escape from the crowd.

The next morning, as Jesus and the disciples were back in Capernaum in the synagogue and Jesus was teaching, there was a most unusual dialogue between Jesus and the people. As we look at this dialogue, we cannot help but wonder what is going on. Jesus does not seem to be in His usual diplomatic, tactful frame of mind. With each exchange of thoughts, we can see the tension building. The dialogue begins innocuously enough with the foolish question, “When did You come here?” as if there could be any doubt.

In response, Jesus looks at them for a long moment and says, “You are looking for bread, aren’t you?” (See John 6:26.)

My, what a beginning! The disciples look on in astonishment. Not knowing exactly what else to say, the people ask, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” John 6:28.

Jesus answers, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him [Me] whom He hath sent.” Blunt, straight, and direct, “This is the work of God, that you believe on Me.” Well, this sort of makes them gasp. Then in verses 30 and 31 they pick up on the idea of bread, thinking that this will give them a way to reason with Him and get His thoughts going in the way that they want them to go.

They said, “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

They were attributing the gift of the manna to Moses, but Jesus said, “Moses gave you not that bread. My Father gave you that bread, and My Father is giving you this bread. Believe on Me.” (See John 6:31, 32.)

Oh, my, where is all of that tact, all of that diplomacy? But the people continue, “Lord, evermore, give us this bread.” Verse 34. They are still hoping to bend the conversation in the way of their own interest and their own desires.

Jesus answers saying, “I am the bread.” Then in verse 35, He says, “I am the bread of life.” The Jews began to murmur, “Is not He from Nazareth? What is this business about Him coming down?” (See verses 33, 42.)

Then Jesus introduces a new symbolism which is even stronger than the first, “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, ‘Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him. . . . I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven.’” Jesus will not back off the slightest bit. “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” Now He makes it even stronger, “And the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:43, 44, 48–51.

Then the murmur becomes striving and arguing, and the people begin to get angry. “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat.” Verse 52.

But Jesus still will not back up. He just pushes it even more strongly. “Then Jesus said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”’” I know of no way that you could express it more strongly than that. “For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven.” Verses 53–58. The record says that at that point, a lot of them, the great majority of that huge crowd, turned their backs and walked away to follow Jesus no more.

Did not Jesus know what would be the result of that uncompromising attitude on His part? Why did He lose that crowd? He had all of these people coming to church. Why did He do what He did? “When Jesus presented the testing truth that caused so many of His disciples to turn back, He knew what would be the result of His words.” The Desire of Ages, 394. He knew what He was doing. He did it deliberately. “But Jesus brought about this crisis while by His personal presence He could still strengthen the faith of His true followers.” Ibid.

Between those two sentences, the messenger of God tells us that Jesus knew that twelve months ahead of Him was the last Passover and He knew exactly what was going to happen at that Passover. Jesus knew that if this great crowd of unconverted and half-converted people was part of the group of His followers all the way until the crucifixion and then they all left, as they would certainly do, they might even drag the disciples with them. He deliberately used this confrontational style to separate the chaff from the wheat at a time when He would still be there to help the disciples to cope with that discouragement.

Jesus was not impressed with crowds, really, as human beings are. It is so easy for us to think that when we get a lot of people coming to church by any means whatsoever, we are doing a great work for God; but that is not necessarily so. If the people are coming for the bread, that is wonderful. If they are coming for spiritual junk food, that is something else; and the two do not merge well together.

The gospel causes institutions to come into being, and there are always those who look at those institutions and see opportunities for material and financial gain. This has always been and will always be a problem in the church, so Jesus had to deal with that. But most of all, as I just said, He had to let His disciples figure it all out while He was still alive to help them. He had to confront the unconverted as if He was drawing a line and saying, “All right, now is the time for you to decide. Do you really want the gospel of the kingdom or do you want the gospel of this world? You have to decide now.” Given that choice, most of them said, “We will take the world.”

As the disciples, in anguish of heart, watched that great crowd turn their backs on Jesus, that crowd whom they thought would surely usher Him into Jerusalem, He was there and was able to take them aside and explain all of these things to them. Whereas, if He had let that crowd stay right up until the very end, the disciples probably would have been carried away by discouragement; and He, being in the grave, in the tomb, would not have been able to help them. Ellen White has an interesting comment on this. She picks up Matthew 3:12 with the words of John the Baptist, “’Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner.’ This was one of the times of purging. By the words of truth, the chaff was being separated from the wheat.” The Desire of Ages. 392.

Chaff . . . wheat . . . fan . . . purging . . . Oh, yes; you remember now, do you not? “But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly purge His floor. . . . Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80, 81.

I was recently in the library in Loma Linda looking through some Ministry magazines for the years 1956 and 1957. I came across an article that caught my attention, “We Are Now One Million Strong.” That was in 1957. Now you could say, “We are five million strong.” What does that mean to our Lord? Not much, unless we are here for the real spiritual bread. Our Lord is not impressed by numbers but is looking at intentions, and that is far different.

The second banquet that brought disappointment and rejection is recorded in John 13. The disciples were disappointed because Jesus would not become king at the first banquet, and they were disappointed that He would not defend Himself at the second. These two banquets were the occasions for the two great appeals; but when you look at them, the language is so similar that you could almost call them one and the same appeal. Jesus was looking at the dangers ahead.

If you take John 6 and read all of the way through and then go on to chapter 7, the very first verse says that the Jews tried to find some way to kill Jesus; and they did not stop. They kept on trying during the following twelve months. Jesus knew that those last twelve months were going to be very, very dangerous.

You remember in John 11 when Lazarus died and Jesus said, “Let us go to Bethany”?

The disciples asked, “Do you not know that the Jews are trying to kill You? Are You going to go back and put Yourself right into their hands, put Yourself right in their power?”

Jesus’ answer was, “Yes.”

Then the disciples said with resignation, “Well, we will go and die with You.”

As Jesus was looking at trouble ahead, please notice His words. He does not say, “There is trouble ahead; therefore, make sure that you have your church history straight,” although church history is very important. He did not even say, “There is trouble ahead; make sure that you have your theology straight,” even though theology is very important. What did He say? He said, “There is trouble ahead. There is danger ahead. Stay close to Me. Stay close.”

Now the language back in John 6 says, “You must eat My flesh and drink My blood.” At the last supper, Jesus breaks the bread, passes it, and says, “This is My body which is given for you. Eat all of it.” He passes out the wine and says, “This is My blood which is shed for you. Drink it.” (See Matthew 26:27.) What was He saying to them? “To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ is to receive Him as a personal Saviour, believing that He forgives our sins and that we are complete in Him. It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him; receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated.

“So fully was Jesus surrendered to the will of God that the Father alone appeared in His life. Although tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world untainted by the evil that surrounded Him. Thus we also are to overcome as Christ overcame.” The Desire of Ages, 389. This is what it means to eat His flesh and drink His blood. It is an appeal for intimacy, an appeal for intimacy in the strongest language.

Stay close to Jesus in prayer. If you have been praying five minutes a day, how about making it ten? Stay close to Him in feasting upon His Word. In the same chapter, Ellen White writes, “The life of God, that gives life to the world, is in His Word.” Ibid., 320. If you have been reading the Bible ten minutes a day, how about making it twenty minutes? Stay close to His counsels in that precious treasure of the Spirit of Prophecy. Do no try to solve your problem by going off by yourself. We do not deny the problems, but the solution is not to withdraw. Stay close to Him in prayer; stay close to His Word in study; stay close to His counsels, cherishing and studying them; and stay close to His people. Jesus says to us, as He said to His disciples, “There is trouble ahead. There is danger ahead. Stay close to Me. Stay close.

Editorial – What God Has Joined, part 3

Instead of trying to find a way to be able to violate God’s counsel and still be saved, the converted Christian will be seeking to bring every aspect of his life into harmony with the divine standard. If Jesus truly has our heart, we will be willing to suffer inconvenience, and even hardship, rather than dishonor our Redeemer by disregarding His revealed will. All of the universe is watching to see who we deem worthy of the greatest honor and whether or not we are trustworthy and faithful servants. The one who is saved is one who swears to his own hurt (as many have done in their marriage vows) and changes not. (See Psalm 15.)

“I have received a letter from your husband. I would say that there is only one thing for which a husband may lawfully separate from his wife or a wife from her husband, and that is adultery.

“If your dispositions are not congenial, would it not be for the glory of God for you to change these dispositions? . . .

“My sister, you cannot please God by maintaining your present attitude. Forgive your husband. He is your husband, and you will be blessed in striving to be a dutiful, affectionate wife. Let the law of kindles be on your lips. You can and must change your attitude.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 161.

Following an editorial like this one, we will no doubt receive many letters and calls. However, please let me tell you in advance, as we have told many others, we do not believe that any church, or any human being, has the prerogative to determine morality—a determination as to what is right and what is wrong. God has revealed the standard of morality in His Law and in the explanations of that Law given us in the inspired writings. While we can share with you these messages, we dare not venture to advise you as to the course that you must follow.

“Oh,” somebody might say, “mine is a special case.” No matter now singular it is, all that a Protestant pastor can do is read what the Word of God says that is applicable. While we fully believe in the grace of God over people in complicated situations, let us be careful that we do not abuse the grace of God and outrage the Holy Spirit (see Hebrews 10:26), thereby losing our soul. Over and over again the apostle Paul urged upon Christians not to deceive themselves. If the record book in heaven reveals that the divorce you are contemplating was made from selfishness, all of the reasons in the world will be of no avail in excusing you from following God’s revealed will. What will you say in the day when the Lord asks you why you were not afraid to put asunder that which He had joined together? How will you escape a verdict that you are a traitor against the divine government and not subject to the Lord of heaven?

“The last great day is right upon us. Let all consider that Satan is now striving for the mastery over souls. He is playing the game of life for your souls. Will there be sins committed by you on the very borders of the heavenly Canaan? Oh what revealings! The husband will know for the first time the deception and falsehood that have been practiced by the wife whom he thought innocent and pure. The wife for the first time will know the case of her husband, and the relatives and friends will see how error and falsehood and corruption have been clustering about them; for the secrets of all hearts will stand revealed. The hour of Judgment is almost here,—long delayed by the goodness and mercy of God. But the trump of God will sound to the consternation of the unprepared who are living, and awaken the pale nations of the dead.” Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.

The root of the apostasy that led to the Dark Ages was the idea that something could be added or taken away from the Word of God by the church or the clergy. This concept was the very fountain from which flowed the errors of Babylon. (See The Great Controversy, 289, 290.) If we ever condone that which God has not condoned, we will be in serious trouble indeed.

“We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel. Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors’ wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?” Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 188.