Martyr’s Mirror

In the year 1549, about three weeks before Easter, two beloved men, named Fije and Eelken, were apprehended at Boorn, in West Friesland. They were brought before the lords, where they boldly confessed their faith.

They first interrogated Eelken, saying:

“Who has authorized you to assemble the people, to teach them?”

Ans. “God has authorized me.” Heb. 10:25.

Ques. “What have you taught?”

Ans. “Ask them that heard it, what we taught among ourselves; for you have apprehended a woman that heard it.” They then asked the woman what she had heard from Eelken.

Ans. “He read the four Evangelists, Paul, Peter, the epistles of John, and the acts of the apostles.” Eelken was then asked again: “What do you hold concerning the sacrament?”

Ans. “I know nothing of your baked God.”

Ques. “Friend, take care what you say; such words cost necks. What do you think of the mother of God?”

Ans. “Much.”

Ques. “What do you say; did the Son of God not receive flesh and blood from Mary?”

Ans. “No: With regard to this, I believe what the Son of God Himself declares concerning it.” John 1:14.

Ques. “What do you hold concerning our holy Roman church?”

Ans. “I know nothing of your holy church. I do not know it; I never in all my life was in a holy church.”

Ques. “You speak too spitefully; I have compassion for you,” said one of the lords of the council, “and fear that you will lose your neck. Are you not baptized?”

Ans. “I am not baptized, but greatly desire baptism.”

Ques. “What do you think of these false teachers who run about and baptize the people?”

Ans. “Of false teachers I think nothing, but have greatly longed to hear a teacher sent from God?”

They said: “But we have heard that you are a teacher.” Eelken said: “Who made me a teacher?”

They replied: “We do not know.”

Eelken said: “If you ask me what you do not know yourselves, how should I know it? I know of no one that has made me a teacher; but God has given me all for which I have besought Him.”

They said: “We have now written down all the articles concerning which we have interrogated you on this occasion; if there is anything of which you repent, we will gladly strike it out!”

Ans. “Do you think that I should deny God?”

Eelken and Fije were then both sentenced and brought together; they embraced each other, yea, kissed one another’s hands and feet with great love, so that all that saw and heard it were astonished. The beadles and servants ran to the lords and said: “Never men loved one another as do these.” Eelken said to Fije: “Dear brother, do not take it amiss, that you have been brought into suffering through me.” Fije answered: “Dear brother, do not think so, for it is the power of God.”

Their execution was deferred till the third day after the sentence was passed. Eelken was first executed with the sword. When Fije’s sentence was read, he did not listen to it, because of his leaped, praising and thanking God, saying: “This is the only way.”

They led Fije into the boat in which Eelken lay beheaded, and beside him the wheel upon which Eelken was to be place, and the stake at which Fije was to stand, to be burned. In the boat, Fije’s hands became loose, but he sat still nevertheless. The monks then said: “Bind him again.” The hangman replied: “You bind him.” But the castellan commanded him to bind Fije again. Some women who beheld it wept bitterly. But Fije said:

“Weep not for me, but for your sins.” He further said to the executioner: “What are you going to do to me?”

Ans. “That you will see.”

“Yea, yea,” said Fije, “do what you will. I have committed myself into the hands of my Lord.”

The brethren went out with him, together with the common people, and when Fije saw some of his acquaintances, he cried out: “Friends rejoice with me over this marriage feast which is prepared for me.”

When he arrived at the place of execution, some brethren, who greatly rejoiced with him, spoke to him saying: “This is the narrow way; this is the Lord’s wine press; from this depends the crown.” But when the castellan heard this cry, he called out: “Let no man lay his hands on him, on pain of life, and property.”

The executioner had forgotten his instruments, and ran to the town to get them. In the meantime, the castellan and the two monks had Fije in the confessional, greatly tempting him with bread and wine; but they could not prevail upon him, for Fije did nothing but sing and speak, praising and thanking God.

When they could not prevail on him, and the executioner returned, they said to Fije: “How is it that you are so obstinate, when you say that you are a member of Christ? Why then will you not do the works of mercy, and receive this bread and wine as bread and wine, for our sakes.”

Ans. “I do not hunger for your bread and wine; for there is food prepared for me in heaven.”

When they could not prevail upon him, they said: “Be gone, you heretic, be gone!”

The castellan said: “I have seen many a heretic; but in all my life I never saw a more obdurate one than this.”

Fije, standing prepared for death, said to the executioner: “Master, have you finished your work?”

He replied: “Not yet.”

Fije said: “Here is the sheep for which you are wanted.”

The executioner then went up to Fije, tore open his shirt, took the cap from his head, and filled it with gunpowder.

Standing at the stake at which he was to be strangled, Fije exclaimed: “O Lord, receive Thy servant.”

He was then strangled and burnt, and thus fell asleep in the Lord. The common people cried out saying: “This was a pious Christian; if he is not a Christian, there is not one in the whole world.”

Taken from Martyr’s Mirror, 484, 485.


SDA Roots, part 2

In the previous article, two major events were noted that are important to the student of Bible prophecy. First was the taking of the pope prisoner by the French army and the second was the discovery of the Rosetta stone which confirmed the authenticity of the ancient Bible records.

“So the very people who thought to exterminate the Bible were, all unconsciously to themselves, used to bring about a fulfillment of prophecy in taking away the dominion of the papacy at the end of the 1260 years, and also discovered the key to the very writings which confirm the truthfulness of the Scriptures they tried so hard to destroy.” The Great Second Advent Movement, 8, by J. N. Loughborough.

Before 1798, expositors of Bible prophecy knew the beginning date for the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 but did not see the connection between the seventy weeks and the 2300 days of chapter 8. As a result they did not have a beginning date for the 2300 days.

“As this knowledge was ‘sealed up’ until the Lord’s appointed time came for its opening up to the understanding of His people, so just as truly when the ‘time of the end’ came, many were to ‘run to and fro’ through the Scriptures, searching out these things.” Ibid., 85.

“Nothing in this old earth is more powerful than a prophetic truth whose time has come. When Rome was ruling the Western world, a large group of contemporary students of prophecy recognized and proclaimed the identity and fate of the fourth prophetic world empire. When Rome was in process of tenfold division, another cluster of expositors left the written record of their perception, and their fears, of the coming Antichrist. When the papal Little Horn had unveiled its real character and identity, a great host of Reformers in many lands gave their witness to this advancing and then present fulfillment of prophecy—so powerfully that it brought on the Counter Reformation with its clever counter system of interpretation. When the 1260 years were ending, this solemn fact was also proclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as then in process of fulfillment, while men awaited the next great event.

“And now when the judgment hour was approaching, with the ending of prophetic time, and the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary and the imminence of the advent had come, suddenly the witness was heard in different continents and many lands, giving startlingly similar testimony and exposition of prophecy thereon.” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 3, 741, 742.

The following is a list of some of those who arrived at basically the same conclusions regarding the 2300 days, about the same time: William Miller, New York; A. J. Krupp, Pennsylvania; David Mcgregor, Maine; Edward Irving, England; A. Mason, Scotland; L. H. Kelber, Stuttgart, Germany; Laucunza, Spain; Hentzepeter, Holland; Rau, Bavaria; and there were many more.

“Is it not a wonderful coincidence that so many writers, without any knowledge of one another, came to the same conclusion about the same time?” Midnight Cry, June 15, 1842.


Decline in Europe


The momentum of the proclamation of the 2300-day prophecy in England and Europe declined rapidly due to the serious divergences as well as the similarities among the expositors of that prophecy. This resulted in the breakdown of the great Advent Awakening. But with the loss of momentum in the Old World there developed a rapid advance of it in America. The heralds of the advent in Europe failed to go on to perfection but they supplied the literature for those in America that did proclaim with “a loud voice” the message of the imminent appearing of Christ.

“Around the turn of the century [1800], during and following the world-shaking events and repercussions of the French Revolution, there was an unprecedented general turning to Bible prophecy on the part of an impressive number of thoughtful students of the Word among all leading Protestant faiths. And where one sermon on the theme was published, many more were evidently given orally, without ever getting into print. It seemed as if men had entered a new epoch in searching the pages of the two leading books of prophecy—Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New—the one obviously the complement of the other.

“It was as though a baffling seal of mystery and restricted understanding of its latter portions had at last been broken. As men of all persuasions on both sides of the Atlantic began poring over these pages as never before, comparing part with part and checking them with history, light began to dawn on certain heretofore mysterious symbols, and greater understanding came on some of its cryptic phrases concerning the last events of the age. And this investigation continued with increasing momentum for several decades.” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 4, 56.

There were five major factors leading to the decline in the Old World.

  1. There was a diversity of opinion regarding the number 2300. Is it 2300 or 2400?
  2. Did the 2300 years end in 1844 or 1867? (Assuming that the 1260 and 1335 years had the same starting date).
  3. There was a wide diversity of view as to the cleansing of the sanctuary. Some believed it meant the restoration of the Jews to Palestine, among other views.
  4. The “judgments” of God to be poured out upon the Papacy and Mohammedanism was the message to be proclaimed.
  5. The Catholic Futurist and Preterist counterinterpretations broke the unity of the Protestant’s interpretation when some of them accepted the Catholic view.

When the early expectations of the advent in 1843 did not materialize, certain rationalistic theologians denied that the prophecies connected with this event were inspired. They further stated that the little horn was Antiochus Epiphanes. Rationalistic higher criticism was introduced to lead people away from the truth regarding the authenticity of the Scriptures and this led to the breakdown of the historical school of interpretation in the Old World. By turning men’s minds away from the Scriptures, Satan attempted to negate the great Second Advent message, so that people would be lulled to sleep and ultimately lost.

Following the events that brought in “the time of the end,” the prophecies of Daniel that had been previously sealed were now opened to the minds of those proclaiming the nearness of Christ’s Second Coming. The extent of the quest and activity of these pious men was without a parallel in history. Books and sermons began to pour from them with which nothing could be compared in sheer numbers. This was recognized as a sign of the times and was considered to be a fulfillment of prophecy.


Signs of the Times Discerned


“The signs of the times, the obvious nearness to the end, and the second coming of Christ to wind up human affairs and vindicate the right and punish wrong, as well as the imminent introduction of the millennium—these were the themes that men studied and upon which they wrote and discoursed most earnestly. Again and again they were led to record their conviction that they were manifestly entering the final epoch in the affairs of mankind.” Ibid., 58.

In Matthew 24, Jesus referred to the great tribulation that should be shortened. (This was accomplished in part by the decree of Maria Theresa and the Acts of Toleration, in France [1773-1776] to save the church in the wilderness from extinction.) He also said that signs (the dark day, the falling of the stars) would follow, indicating the nearness of His coming.

Then Jesus said, “Now learn a parable of the figtree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:32–35.

Here we are brought to the time for this parable and the judgment hour message of Revelation 14:6, 7, to be proclaimed to the world. The time had arrived to arouse the world to the fact that Jesus’ coming was at the door.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century many expositors were proclaiming that the time of the end had arrived. There was definite interest in both the Old and New World in the prophesied signs of the nearness of the Second Advent and millenium.

There was general acceptance that under the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12–17) three events would occur in sequence—a great earthquake, a dark day and a unique falling of the stars. These were to be tokens of the approaching advent.


World Events Influence Proclamation


“There are transition hours in the course of world events when history seems to change its fundamental course, when it takes on an acceleration, a significance, and a direction previously unknown, as a new concept or revolutionary idea moves mankind forward to new attainments. However, the greatest advances connected with these transition times have not always been merely mechanical or material. Oftentimes they have been intellectual and spiritual, though at times all these factors have converged, as at the opening decade of the eighteenth and the early decades of the nineteenth century.

“It was a time characterized by new and heretofore undiscovered forces, by a new understanding of the times, by the rechanneling of pent-up energies; by new concepts of the world, of power, of society, of freedom, of progress; also often by a new sense of spiritual responsibility, and by new convictions of divine destiny. And strange as it may at first seem, these concepts were to a surprising degree derived from a profound conviction that the destined hour of fulfillment of a great prophetic time and truth, long foretold in Holy Writ, had now come.” Ibid., 82.

Professor K. S. Latourette, of Yale University, lists a number of factors that deeply influenced the religious developments of the nineteenth century. 1. Man’s increased knowledge of the physical universe, which both helped and hindered Christianity. For some, it caused them to believe the Bible to be obsolete and to remove God out of the individual’s experience. 2. The invention of machinery, steamship, railroad and telegraph made possible the more rapid spread of Christianity. This brought about the Industrial Revolution that drastically changed society. 3. Rationalism, Romanticism and the beginnings of evolution all occurred during this period. 4. Nationalism was on the increase. 5. The unprecedented worldwide spread of Christianity by increased immigration of large segments of people from the Old World to the New as well as within the Old.

“Prophecy was the motivating force in much of the religious thought and activity of America in the opening decades of the nineteenth century, according to history professor Oliver W. Elsbee, of Bucknell University. The common conviction held by religious leaders of various denominations regarding the prophetic significance of the time in which they were living, was expressed in pamphlets, periodical articles, and books, as well as in sermons preached before church groups or missionary societies.” Ibid., 85.

By 1833, “The Lord was raising up His messengers or ministers in various parts of the world, who from 1833 to 1834 sounded the cry of Christ’s coming near, ‘even at the doors;’ and these taught the parable of the fig-tree, pointing to these signs of His coming, even as He had instructed them to do. This message, either by the living teacher or through the agency of the printed page, went to every missionary station in the world, and to every seaport on the earth.” The Great Second Advent Movement, 98.


Similarities to the Reformation


The spread of the interest in and proclamation of the 2300 days and the Second Advent may be compared with the rise of the Reformation in the sixteenth century.

“Germany did not communicate the truth to Switzerland, nor Switzerland to France, nor France to England. All these countries received it from God, just as one part of the world does not transmit the light to another part; but the same shining globe communicates it directly to all the earth. Christ, the day spring from on high, infinitely exalted above all mankind, was, at the period of the Reformation, as at the establishment of Christianity, the divine fire which gave life to the world. In the sixteenth century, one and the same doctrine was at once established in the homes and churches of the most distant and diversified nations. The reason is, that the same Spirit was everywhere at work producing the same faith . . .

“The advent proclamation arose in a similar manner to that above traced in the Reformation. Men were moved out simultaneously in more than four times as many parts of the world, with no knowledge of, or any communication of sentiment with, one another, and began the proclamation of the same Scripture truths, not simply in four nations of the earth, but to the whole civilized world.” Ibid., 99, 100.

In His time and in His manner the God of heaven will carry out His plan for the proclamation of the Gospel of Salvation to a sin-sick world. Men may cause delay because they do not desire to do as the Lord asks them, but nevertheless someone will obey the Divine commands. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14.

In the next article we will take a look at some of the leading men, around the world as well as in America, who were responsible for the development of the Second Advent Movement, leading up to 1844, that swelled to a great crescendo in America.


The Coronation of Christ

We have established the fact by many indubitable proofs that the investigation and decision of the cases of the righteous precede their resurrection in the likeness of Christ. In establishing the fact that the cases of the righteous are thus decided before the sounding of the trumpet of God, we do really establish the fact that the cases of the wicked are also virtually decided at the same time. For when we have shown that all who are to have immortality are accounted worthy of it before their resurrection, it necessarily follows that though the actions of the wicked are not examined in detail until the saints sit with Christ in the judgment during the one thousand years, yet the wicked are, by the decision in the case of the righteous, left, as worthless and noxious, to the resurrection of the unjust and to the devouring fire.

The next event in the great day of God is the destruction of the living wicked by the seven last plagues. As these do not come until the wicked are accounted unworthy of the kingdom of God, their destruction comes as a part of the judgment work, and after the virtual decision of their cases. The fact is many times revealed in the Bible that before the final deliverance of the saints there comes a time of trouble such as never was. This is plainly marked as lying between the decision in the case of the righteous at the close of their probation, and the event of their deliverance.

Thus, according to Daniel, the deliverance of the saints does not take place until the existence of a time of trouble such as never was. And this time of trouble comes in consequence of the close of our Lord’s intercession and the assumption of His kingly office. (Daniel 12:1.) The wrath of God against sin is neither stayed nor mitigated after the Son of God ceases to plead for sinful man.

The closing work of Christ’s priesthood is in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. This is opened under the sounding of the seventh trumpet. (Revelation 11:19.) It is after the temple is thus opened in heaven that the seven angels pour out the seven last plagues. (Revelation 15:5–8.) But these plagues fill up the wrath of God, which is threatened by the third angel. (Revelation 15:1 compared with 14:10.) And the third angel gives the final message of mercy and warning to mankind before the Son of man sits upon the white cloud. (Revelation 14:6–14.) So it is apparent that while Christ is finishing His work in the sanctuary, and while the third angel is giving the last message of mercy to man, the seven last plagues are withheld, though pending ready to be poured out. But when the work of probation is closed, and the intercession of Christ in heaven, and the voice of warning upon earth, are ended, then men drink from the cup of His indignation the wine of God’s wrath without any mixture.

That which constitutes this wrath is the seven last plagues. They are by this term distinguished from those plagues inflicted under the six trumpets. (Revelation 9:20, 21.) They are represented as the wrath of God without mixture, i.e., they have no element of mercy mingled with them. They are poured out into the cup of God’s indignation. This is an awful expression to indicate that men at that time fall into the hands of the living God. This fearful execution of God’s judgment is witnessed before the deliverance of the saints; for not less than six of the plagues are poured out prior to the advent of Christ. (Revelation 16:12–15.)

This same period of trouble is brought to view in Revelation 7, and located between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals. Before the four winds are loosed, the servants of God are sealed. The seal is placed upon them, that the destroying angel may not cut them down. (Compare Ezekiel 9 with Revelation 7.) This is a plain proof that the saints must continue upon the earth for a certain space after the time of trouble commences. The fact that all who are sealed at the commencement of this time of trouble are afterward seen standing upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, is proof that their probation closes with the commencement of this scene of trouble. Compare Revelation 7:4; 14:1.) In other words, they are then accounted worthy to escape the things that are to come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36.) The very time when they are thus accounted worthy to stand before the Saviour, is at the close of our Lord’s priesthood; and the time of trouble itself comes when that priesthood is exchanged for His kingly office.

Probation does therefore close before the entrance of the people of God upon this great time of trouble. One of those events immediately following the close of probation, and therefore constituting a feature of the time of trouble, is what the Bible calls “the hour of temptation.” Thus we read: “Because thou has kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:10, 11.

The keeping of the word of Christ’s patience especially pertained to the period of the third angel. (Revelation 14:12.) Those who keep this word are to be kept from the hour of temptation, while all others are to be taken captive by it. This shows that the saints are upon the earth during this period; and that when it commences, those who are unprepared are hopelessly lost.

But this season of unrestrained temptation is also brought to view by Paul, when describing the state of things existing just before our Lord’s return. Thus he says: “Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9–12.

When God sends men strong delusion to believe a lie that they all might be damned, it must be after the righteous have accomplished their work of overcoming, and after the Saviour has ceased to plead. The only way that God sends this strong delusion is by withdrawing His Spirit when men have sinned away the day of grace, thus leaving them a prey to the unrestrained power of the devil.

Now it is remarkable that the third angel brings to view this same period of Satan’s mighty working. It is the work of the third angel to give warning of the things that are to come to pass upon the earth at the close of human probation.

When he warns us against the worship of the image, and the reception of his mark, it is in direct reference to the fact that the two-horned beast is to make such an image and to require men to worship it on pain of death. (Revelation 14:9–12; 13:11–16.) And we do learn that this image is made in consequence of the miracles that are to be wrought. (Compare Revelation 13:13, 14; 16:13.) One of these miracles will be the bringing down of fire from heaven. This lies before us in the time of trouble. It is no wonder that those who are not kept by the power of God should be deceived by this fearful delusion.

It is at the close of the work of intercession that the Lord is represented as putting on the garments of vengeance for the destruction of His enemies. (Isaiah 59:16–18.) “And when the enemy [Satan] shall come in like a flood, in the strong delusion, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Verse 19. “It is also at the close of our Lord’s priestly work that the prophecy of Amos meets its fulfillment:

Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine in bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord; and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11, 12.

The third woe comes by reason of the voice of the seventh angel. (Revelation 8:13.) The seven last plagues come under the seventh trumpet. (Revelation 11:15–19; 15:5–8.) The seven plagues, which fill up the wrath of God, do therefore constitute the third woe. The people of God will not be removed from the earth till after six of the plagues have been poured out. They must witness the fearful scenes of the time of trouble. But the seal of the living God will be their protection, so that though a thousand fall at their side and ten thousand at their right hand, it will not come nigh them. (Psalm 91:1–10.) The situation of the saints during the outpouring of the plagues will be like that of Israel during the plagues upon Egypt.

These dreadful calamities which will come upon our earth before the people of God are taken from it may be mentioned as the loosing of the four winds, the pouring out of the vials of God’s wrath in pestilence, famine, and earthquake, and in the battle of the great day of God Almighty. It will be the hour of temptation for all the wicked world, when Satan shall exert his utmost power. To the wicked it will be the time of trouble such as never was; to the righteous it will be the time of Jacob’s trouble, at which, in answer to their cry day and night, like the importunate widow, they will be delivered. (Jeremiah 30:5–7; Genesis 32; Luke 18:7, 8.)

In view of this awful scene which must be witnessed by the people of God, Zephaniah calls upon all the meek of the earth to seek righteousness and meekness. And he adds, “It may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zephaniah 2:1–3. If they do their best in seeking God, it is but barely possible that they will escape. And our Lord beseeches His people to watch and pray always, that they may be accounted worthy to escape the things coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36.) If, therefore, this great time of trouble is to come upon our world after the close of Christ’s intercession and before the deliverance of the saints, of what vast consequence is that final message of warning which reveals these great facts?

The fact that the resurrection of the righteous is declarative of their acceptance in the sight of God, and, therefore, proof that the investigation and decision of their cases precede that event, has been very distinctly stated by some of the clearest minds in the Advent ranks. The late Sylvester Bliss, for many years editor of the Advent Herald, thus states the case: “We are inclined to the opinion that the judgment is after death and before the resurrection; and that before that event the acts of all men will be adjudicated; so that the resurrection of the righteous is their full acquittal and redemption—their sins being blotted out when the times of refreshing shall have come (Acts 3:19); while the fact that the wicked are not raised [for one thousand years], proves that they were previously condemned.” Advent Shield, 4, 366 (published in 1845.)

He saw the fact perfectly distinct that there can be no trial of the righteous after they have been made immortal. But it is very evident that he did not well understand when and how the examination of their cases should take place. Elder Josiah Litch, one of the ablest writers in the early history of the Advent movement, states this subject even more distinctly than Mr. Bliss. In his Prophetic Expositions, written in 1842, on pages 49–54 he uses the following language:


The Meaning of the Term “Judge”

“1. It is used in the Bible in the sense of a trial according to law and evidence, the idea being drawn from a civil or criminal court . . .

“2. It signifies a penal judgment; or the execution of judgment.

“The terms are both used in reference to the judgment of the human race. All men will be brought to trial, or into judgment, and all their deeds and their moral characters will be examined, and their everlasting states will be determined by the evidence produced from God’s books, including the book of life, which will decide the moral character and everlasting destiny of each individual of Adam’s race. If their names are found in ‘the book of life,’ they will be saved; and if not found there, they will be cast into the lake of fire, the second death. But the degree of reward or punishment will be graduated by what each one has done . . .


The Trial Must Precede the Execution


“This is so clear a proposition that it is sufficient to state it. No human tribunal would think of executing judgment on a prisoner until after his trial; much less will God. He will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing whether it be good or evil.

“But the resurrection is the retribution or execution of judgment; for they that have done good shall come forth to the resurrection of life. ‘We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.’ ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ Here is clearly a retribution in the resurrection. It will be administered when the saints are raised. But no more certainly than they that have done evil will come forth damned, or ‘to the resurrection of damnation.’ They will come forth to shame and everlasting contempt. The saints will be raised and be caught up at once to meet the Lord in the air, to be forever with the Lord. There can be no general judgment or trial after the resurrection. The resurrection is the separating process, and they will never be commingled again, after the saints are raised, no matter how long or short the period to elapse between the two resurrections; it is all the same so far as the separation which the resurrection produces is concerned. If there is no more than a second which elapses between the two resurrections, the separation it makes is final.


God, the Ancient of Days Will Preside In the Trial


“1. Daniel 7:9, 10, presents the Ancient of Days coming on His throne of fiery flame; the judgment is set and the books opened. He is distinct from the Son of man, spoken of in verse 13, when He comes to the Ancient of Days. “2. Revelation 20:12 tells us it is God, before whom the dead stand and are judged.


The Son of Man Will Execute the Judgment


Thus the Saviour declares (John 5:27): ‘And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.’ Also 2 Corinthians 5:10: ‘For we shall all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.’

“Also Paul’s testimony in the Acts of the Apostles: God ‘hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.’ What we are assured of by the resurrection of Christ, is the execution, in the resurrection, of a righteous judgment on all men.


The Time of the Trial of the Dead


“It is under the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation 6, where the servants of God are sealed. . . And under the seventh seal (chapter 8:1) when there is silence in heaven about the space of half an hour; when the great Mediator ceases to plead for sinners, the day of grace ends; then the judgment or trial will proceed on the living inhabitants of the earth. That done, Christ will appear in the clouds of heaven, and come to the Ancient of Days and the scene of trial, and, with a shout, to announce the verdict and deliver all His saints as soon as they are declared innocent, or justified, and raise them to eternal life in the twinkling of an eye. We are now justified by faith; we must, however, be declared justified at the day of judgment, before the effects of the fall will be taken away, and the saints be restored to God’s perfect image and glory.


The Twenty-Fifth Chapter of Matthew


“This chapter does not, as has been supposed, describe the great trial, but the separation between the righteous and wicked, which will be accomplished by the resurrection of the just. And when the separation is accomplished; Christ will address each party, and show why He has made this separation. But through the whole scene, He acts the part of the executor of judgment.” Query: Did the judgment, or trial of the dead, begin to sit when they took away the papal dominion in 1798? (See Daniel 7:26, compared with Daniel 7:9, 10.)

The reader cannot fail to be deeply interested in these extracts from Bliss and Litch. We do not indorse every idea. Indeed, there is a degree of confusion in the language, which shows that the subject was not wholly clear. Thus, while Elder Litch teaches that the session of the judgment must be before Christ comes, and even though it might have commenced at the end of the twelve hundred sixty days, he seems also to teach that Christ comes to this tribunal when He descends to earth. This cannot be, as has been fully shown in a former article.

But this reasoning of Elder Litch relative to the investigation and decision of the cases of the righteous before the resurrection, is weighty and conclusive. It is worthy of notice that he places this judgment of the righteous at the tribunal of the Father, as presented in Daniel 7. He believed that this part of the judgment work was to be fulfilled while the living were yet in probation; for he suggested that it commenced in 1798, with the ending of the twelve hundred sixty years. These able writers saw the fact that this work must take place before the resurrection of the just, but they did not see the time and place for the work. They did not see the heavenly sanctuary, and therefore had no clear ideal of the concluding work of human probation, as presented to us in the Saviour’s ministration before the ark of God’s testament. The temple of God in heaven reveals the very nature of this work, and the prophetic periods mark its time. The proclamation of the angel that the hour of His judgment is come, and His solemn oath to the time, gives to mankind the knowledge of this great work, and the certainty that the present is the time of the dead that they should be judged. This doctrine is of the highest practical importance. It shows that we are now in the antitype of the great Day of Atonement. Our business should be the affliction of our souls and the confession of our sins.

At the ascension of our Lord, He entered the heavenly temple and sat down upon His Father’s throne, a great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Psalm 110:1, 4; Hebrews 8:1, 2.) But when He returns in His infinite majesty as King of kings, He sits upon His own throne, and not upon that of His Father. He speaks thus of His descent from heaven: “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.” Matthew 25:31.

It is evident, therefore, that there is a space of time at the conclusion of our Lord’s work in the temple in heaven, in which His priestly office is exchanged for His kingly dignity; and this transition is marked by His relinquishing His place upon the throne of His Father, and assuming His own throne. The judgment session of Daniel 7:9–14 is the time and place of this transition. Our Lord plainly distinguishes these two thrones: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in MY throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21.

The Saviour’s reception of His own throne preparatory to His Second Advent is described in Psalm 45. As Psalm 110 makes prominent His priestly office upon His Father’s throne, so Psalm 45 describes His kingly office and work upon His own throne: My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into Thy lips; therefore God hath blessed Thee forever. Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty. And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee. Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” Psalm 45:1–7.

This personage who is fairer than the sons of men, can be no other than the King in His beauty (Isaiah 33:17), who is to be admired in the day of His advent by all them that believe. (2 Thessalonians 1:10.) The time when He rides forth for the destruction of His enemies is presented in Revelation 19:11–21.

The words of Paul establish the fact that this psalm relates to Christ, some of its words being addressed to Him by His Father when He invests Him with His kingly office and throne. Thus Paul quotes and comments: “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:8, 9.

The relation of these two thrones to the work of our Lord is very important to be understood. As a priest after the order of Melchizedek, who was both priest and king (Genesis 14:18–20; Psalm 110:1, 4; Hebrews 7:1–3), the Saviour has had a joint rule with His Father upon the throne of the universe. (Zechariah 6:12, 13.) His office of Priest-King continues till His Father makes His enemies His footstool. Then He delivers up the kingdom, which He has shared with His Father to Him alone, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:24–28.) His reign upon the throne of His Father ends with all His enemies being given to Him for destruction.

The throne given Him when His priesthood ends is that which He inherits as David’s heir. On that throne, He shall reign over the immortal saints for endless ages. (Luke 1:32, 33; Isaiah 9: 6, 7 Upon the throne of the Father, He had a joint rule as Priest-King; upon His own throne His people have a joint rule with Him. The first ends, that God may be all in all; the second is a reign that shall continue forever.


Food for Life — True Beauty

What is true beauty? “One of the chief elements in physical beauty is symmetry, the harmonious proportion of parts. And the correct model for physical development is to be found, not in the figures displayed by French modistes, but in the human form as developed according to the laws of God in nature. God is the author of all beauty, and only as we conform to His ideal shall we approach the standard of true beauty.

“Another evil which custom fosters is the unequal distribution of the clothing, so that while some parts of the body have more than is required, others are insufficiently clad. The feet and limbs, being remote from the vital organs, should be especially guarded from cold by abundant clothing. It is impossible to have health when the extremities are habitually cold; for if there is too little blood in them there will be too much in other portions of the body. Perfect health requires a perfect circulation; but this cannot be had while three or four times as much clothing is worn upon the body, where the vital organs are situated, as upon the feet and limbs.

“In order to secure the most healthful clothing, the needs of every part of the body must be carefully studied. The character of the climate, the surroundings, the condition of health, the age, and the occupation must all be considered. Every article of dress should fit easily, obstructing neither the circulation of the blood nor a free, full, natural respiration. Everything worn should be so loose that when the arms are raised the clothing will be correspondingly lifted.

“Women who are in failing health can do much for themselves by sensible dressing and exercise. When suitably dressed for outdoor enjoyment, let them exercise in the open air, carefully at first, but increasing the amount of exercise as they can endure it. By taking this course, many might regain health and live to take their share in the world’s work.

“Let women themselves, instead of struggling to meet the demands of fashion, have the courage to dress healthfully and simply. Instead of sinking into a mere household drudge, let the wife and mother take time to read, to keep herself well informed, to be a companion to her husband, and to keep in touch with the developing minds of her children. Let her use wisely the opportunities now hers to influence her dear ones for the higher life. Let her take time to make the dear Saviour a daily companion and familiar friend. Let her take time for the study of His word, take time to go with the children into the fields, and learn of God through the beauty of His works.

“Let her keep cheerful and buoyant. Instead of spending every moment in endless sewing, make the evening a pleasant social season, a family reunion after the day’s duties. Many a man would

thus be led to choose the society of his home before that of the clubhouse or the saloon. Many a boy would be kept from the street or the corner grocery. Many a girl would be saved from frivolous, misleading associations. The influence of the home would be to parents and children what God designed it should be, a lifelong blessing.” Ministry of Healing, 292–294.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Place in Blender:

2 cups water

2 bananas

1 1/2 cups cashews

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 cup date pieces

1 tsp. vanilla

Whiz thoroughly, then add:

1 package frozen strawberries

1 cup water

Whiz again and pour into divided freezer trays and freeze. When frozen, drop cubes into Champion Juicer for delicious homemade ice cream. If you do not have the Champion, try just using your blender or stick popsicle sticks in the cubes before they freeze.


Self Examination

Self examination , with us, may be defined as follows: A strict investigation of our spiritual state, to know whether we are in the faith, to know our defects that we may overcome them, and the improvements that we make, that we may be encouraged thereby. The necessity of attending to this duty will be seen by considering the following points:

  1. This duty is enforced by a divine command. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith,” is the language of inspiration. 2 Corinthians 13:5. See also 1 Corinthians 11:28, Galatians 6:4.
  2. Since the heart is deceitful above all things, if we neglect to do self examination, we shall fail to obtain a thorough and correct knowledge of our own characters; and unless we know ourselves, without a knowledge of our imperfections, we cannot see the necessity of overcoming, and consequently shall fail to advance in sanctification. But if we become acquainted with our hearts by self examination, we shall realize the necessity of overcoming and progressing in holiness.
  3. By attending to self examination we shall be enabled to guard against self-deception, which consists in a wrong judgment of our spiritual condition. The grand remedy for self-deception, is self examination.

How liable men in every age have been to deceive themselves in regard to their characters, to call good evil, and evil good, and act accordingly. And how many forms of self-deception there are in the world. How many actually live and die self-deceived? And self-deception is not confined to the ungodly. In every age a great portion of the professed followers of God have been received as to their true characters. Only a few years have passed since the testimony of the faithful and true witness to the Laodiceans, Revelation 3:14–22, found the highly favored remnant church, even the people to whom the Lord had entrusted the sacred and important truths of the last message of mercy, deceived in regard to their spiritual state. This testimony described them as saying, “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” While they knew not that they were “wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked.”

True, God’s people have improved since this cutting message was shown to apply to them. But how have they improved? We answer; One great means of their improvement has been self examination. But the Scriptures represent that many will pass along, deceiving themselves even till the day of the Lord, in which many will say, Lord, Lord, claiming a right to His favor; but He will profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23. Now self-deception cannot exist where the work of self examination is rightly engaged in, and faithfully and perseveringly carried on.

If we were in a perfect state and had no defects in our characters, it would be very easy and agreeable for us to examine ourselves. But in this imperfect state, self examination is not so easy and agreeable a duty to perform. The difficulty of this work is not owing to anything obscure in the evidences of holiness; for these evidences are so clear that any one who is endowed with sufficient intellectual capacities to comprehend the common affairs of life, can understand them. Whence then does this difficulty arise?

It arises chiefly from the pride and deceitfulness of our own hearts, their liability to induce us to look upon our characters with complacency and to excuse ourselves for our wrongs, the efforts and suggestions of the adversary and his agencies to deter us from this work, our proneness to suffer our minds to be engrossed with the cares of this life, the faults of others and other subjects of secondary importance when compared with this subject. And because of these and other obstacles, the hearts of men are generally averse to self examination; and self examination is shrunk from, and neglected by the great body of professing Christians.

But notwithstanding the hindrances in the way of this work, and the unpleasantness arising there from, we may, and should, know ourselves. If we can discover and criticize the faults of others, we can discover and criticize our own faults. That mind that is so reflective and discriminating in worldly things, can be so in spiritual things. Peter could say, “Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” John 21:17.

Hezekiah could appeal to the Lord that he had walked before Him in truth and with a perfect heart, and had done that which was good in his sight. Isaiah 38:3. “We know,” says John, “that we have passed form death unto life, because we love the brethren.” 1 John 3:14. And Paul asserts that “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16.

But in entering upon an investigation of our spiritual state, it is of the utmost importance that we place before us the proper standard with which to try ourselves. And what shall this standard be?

  1. The suggestions of our hearts cannot answer as the standard; for these are deceitful and lead us astray.
  2. Neither is it safe to adopt feeling as the standard; for, as we have already seen, feeling varies with circumstances, and is often bad when we are in the way of duty.
  3. Nor is it prudent to adopt conscience as the criterion; for the conscience of one man will tell him one thing, and the conscience of another man will tell him another thing. The conscience of one man will approve him for one course of conduct, and that of another man will reprove him for the same course of conduct; and conscience itself, as well as feeling and the suggestions of our hearts, needs a standard.
  4. Neither could the sentiments, lives and experiences of others serve as the standard; these are also varying and conflicting and are often in direct opposition to the will of God; and though they may in some instances serve as helps, yet if we should adopt them as our criterion, we would certainly follow a zigzag course. We also need a criterion to try these and all false standards by, and this criterion is,
  5. The unerring Word of God. This should be the test of piety and holiness as well as of truth, the man of our counsel and the guide of our life, our only rule of faith, experience and practice, to which all our feelings and actions should be referred and by which they should be tried. It is by this Word that we shall be judged and by it we should now judge ourselves, and prove the genuineness of our piety. If we should adopt a different standard, we might expect to fall into serious mistakes.

We cannot determine our state merely by looking at ourselves. We must also look at the truth. We must examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word. Our minds are naturally dark, and we should seek for light from without—from the Word of the Lord. It is with us in this work, as it would be with a person in a dark room desiring to find an article, or to see himself and the defects of his person and dress. He at once raises the curtains and opens the blinds to let in light, or takes a light with him; then he can attend to his business. So if we would be successful in searching our faults, we must take the Word of God with us, and let its blessed truths shine in our hearts and on our characters; we must look at ourselves in the glass of truth. A person who would look in a dark room for an article hard to find without the aid of light, might question the possibility of finding it; and we might despair of becoming acquainted with our characters without the light of truth.

In self examination we should search the truth not merely to become acquainted with it as a theory, and to be able to handle it fluently, but to apply it to our own individual cases. The truth will do us no good unless we thus apply it to ourselves. Men may speak and write ably and eloquently in defense of the truth, without knowing its sanctifying power. It is one thing to see the truth at a distance, and as it is brought to bear upon others, and it is another thing to bring the truth home, and make a practical application of it to our own hearts and lives.

As the Bible must be our standard, so our model must be the perfect example of Jesus. We are required to walk even as He walked. It is safe to follow the example of Jesus, and we can follow others only as far as they agree with this perfect example.

In this work it is not only necessary that we adopt the proper standard, but we must also get clear and correct views of the evidences of piety and true holiness, some of which have already been noticed.

“Without this,” says Helffenstein, “we shall be liable either to the extreme of presumption or despondency. While some will cry, Peace, when there is no peace, others, overlooking the exercises of a renewed heart, will be held in perpetual bondage to their doubts and fears. Great care should then be taken to ascertain what the Scriptures insist on, as essential to Christian character. It is by these points, and not by such as is merely circumstantial, that we are to determine the genuineness of our piety.

“There are some who place great dependence upon the pungency of their convictions, the ecstasy of their joys, remarkable dreams, sudden impulses, the unexpected application of some Scripture promise, or the fact that they can refer to the particular moment and place of their supposed conversion. None of these things, however, constitute the distinguishing marks of race. Instead, therefore, of directing our minds to those circumstances which may be as marked in the cases of the self-deceived as in the cases of true believers, our inquiries should relate to those traits of character which are the invariable fruits of the Spirit, and which are common to all the subjects of its saving influence.”

There may be a tendency in us to take remorse, or a sense of guilt, as evidence of true repentance. But thousands have been deeply convicted of their sins who have never truly repented, and brought forth fruits meet for repentance. The wicked in the last day will have an overwhelming sense of guilt when it will be too late to repent. True repentance is invariably connected with remorse; but remorse may be realized where there is no genuine repentance.

As for dreams, they may come from various sources, and God has even given genuine dreams to those who were not in a state of grace. There are false joys and rejoicings, as well as true ones, and those who have them may seem happy while experiencing them. And the fact that we were once genuinely converted does not prove that we are now in a good condition. We may have failed to walk in the light, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth, since our conversion, and as a consequence be in a backslidden state.

We can also attach too much importance to the idea that we have a form of godliness, and to the simple fact that we have formally connected ourselves with the people of God. We would not intimate that it is wrong to have a form of godliness, or to formally unite with God’s people. There is a form of godliness, as well as a form of the truth and a form of doctrine, Romans 3:20; 6:17; 2 Timothy 1:13, to which we should hold fast. The power of godliness does not exist without a certain form; but a form of godliness may, and does exist without the power. Hence Paul in enumerating the leading sins which were to make the last days perilous, notices the fact that men have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. 2 Timothy 3:1–5.

The Jews adhered strictly to a form of godliness even after God had rejected them, and this has been the case with many ever since; and who can say that there are not some even among us— some who have formally identified themselves with the remnant church—who will be separated from God’s people, spued out of the mouth of the Lord, and perish with the ungodly at last? We should therefore take heed that we attach not too much importance to these circumstances separately considered.

There is also a possibility of taking as evidences of piety, constitutional traits,—traits with which we may be favored by nature, such as humanity, a calm and even temper, or constitutional fortitude, etc. These traits are good as far as they go; but they are known to exist in some of the unregenerate, and therefore are not the unmistakable evidences of piety.

It will greatly tend to facilitate this work to commence with fundamental principles, with plain, everyday duties, which can be easily understood, and the performance of which constitutes what is often called every-day religion, and with those faults which we are most likely to commit. By noticing these points the mind will be gradually prepared to advance further and deeper in the work.

There is an alphabet to self examination as well as to the other branches of sanctification, and if we leave this alphabet, and try to plunge into the depths of the work at once, we shall become confused, make egregious blunders, get discouraged, and perhaps give up the work, concluding that it is impracticable. The course of some well-meaning Christians in this work, may be well represented by a person trying to learn to read without first learning his letters, or by a student commencing to study mathematics, who would leave the first four rules in arithmetic and try to solve a difficult problem in the rule of three. We need a knowledge of the alphabet—not only when we commence to learn, but ever afterward —as long as we need to read; and so with the first rules in arithmetic; and so with the fundamental principles, duties and errors in self examination. We are too apt to leave these plain commonsense principles, to go off in search of something great and mysterious.

As it is easier for the mind to look at those things which are without, and which are tangible, we might examine our outward conduct, our actions and words, and see how they agree with the fundamental principles of right-doing, as summed up in the ten commandments; and then proceed to the mind, from whence our words and actions flow, exploring its dark recesses, and trying its thoughts and motives by the same principles as explained by different Bible writers, and especially by the great Teacher. It is highly necessary that we try our motives; for it sometimes happens that apparently good words and actions can be traced to wrong motives; as in the case for instance, when we attend to the temporal or spiritual interests of others, merely to receive the praise of men.

But we must remember to implore the Spirit’s aid, that we may have its illuminating influence to shine upon the truth, and in our minds, that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened to see the truth and its bearing upon our characters. In the language of Jesus to the Laodiceans, we should “anoint our eyes that we may see.” The Holy Spirit is more than willing to help us in searching the truth and our hearts, and if we have the holy unction, we shall see our faults as fast as it will be for our good.

It will also greatly help us to advance in self-knowledge to improve on the knowledge we have already. To live up to the truth brings our natures in harmony with it, and brings light to the soul. By neglecting to live up to the knowledge that we already have, and by the practice of sin, our natures become gradually, and sometimes imperceptibly, averse to the truth; we bring darkness to our minds, and cannot see the force of the truth and our true condition.

Self examination necessarily commences before conversion, and should continue through our whole experience in overcoming—as long as the Lord sees fit to add to our store of practical knowledge. And we must not refuse to come to the light, lest the following cutting reproof of Christ be found to apply to us: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:19, 20.

Self examination should be attended to deliberately, frequently, systematically, impartially and thoroughly. The importance of this work should induce us to engage in it cheerfully and without compulsion. We should attend to it frequently.

  1. Because our knowledge of self may be effaced from our minds by other and more recent impressions made on the mind, and as a consequence, we may lose a realizing sense of our condition.
  2. As we should advance in the knowledge of self, the oftener we learn a lesson of self-knowledge, the more rapid will be our progress. It would be proper at least to take a glance at ourselves at different intervals in the day, as we are called upon to perform our several duties, and to be systematic in calling ourselves to a strict account for all our conduct at the close of each day. It would also be beneficial to have a list of simple and pointed questions to address to ourselves on the occasion. System will help us here as well as elsewhere.

Says Dr. Watts, “It was a sacred rule among the Pythagoreans, that they should every evening, thrice run over the actions and affairs of the day, and examine what their conduct had been, what they had done, or what they had neglected; and they assured their pupils that by this method they would make a noble progress in the path of virtue.” And shall we be behind these heathen philosophers in this important exercise? Dr. Watts also furnishes the following lines, which we would do well to remember:

“Nor let soft slumber close your eyes,

Before you’ve recollected thrice

The train of actions thro’ the day.

Where have my feet chose out the way?

What have I learned where’er I’ve been,

From all I’ve heard, from all I’ve seen?

What know I more, that’s worth the knowing?

What have I done that’s worth the doing?

What have I sought that I should shun?

What duty have I left undone,

Or into what new follies run?

These self-inquiries are the road

That leads to virtue and to God.”

This work should be attended to thoroughly and impartially. In this respect it should be with us as with a judge sitting on a criminal case. It is a case of life or death, and justice and equity require that we be thorough in our investigations, and impartial in our decisions, and that we excuse not self because we are related to it. We are all in danger of excusing self for so-called little sins. Says the natural heart, It is but a small matter, a trifle. Why be so particular about such niceties? But is it a little God whose Word we have violated, and against whom we have sinned? Remember that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine, and that it takes but a small breakage in a ship to sink it. Awful consequences have followed seemingly insignificant deviations from right, as clearly appears from numerous cases recorded in the Scriptures.

Self examination is a character work, and accords with the nature of the third message. As a study, self examination requires quiet, and is not so much characterized by sudden impulses and flights of feeling, as by cool and calm thinking. Hence, those who are peculiarly fond of excitement and high raptures, and only skim at the surface of the subject, will not delight themselves in this work, until they place before them the proper standard, and cease to reach out after feeling, at the neglect of heart-work and right principles. Holiness is not spasmodic and periodical, and we are not to determine our state so much by what we are once a week, once a month, or once a year, as by what we are habitually.

As helps in acquiring self-knowledge, trials and afflictions cannot be too highly appreciated. The first object of trials is to make us inquire into our condition. It is when we are tried that we can easily ascertain the nature of our characters. It is then that we can readily see what dispositions enter into our characters, whether we are inclined to obey God or not, whether the Christian graces shine in us brightly or dimly. Take, for example, the graces of patience, faith and love. Is it not when we are tried that we can tell whether these graces are planted and growing in our hearts? Is it not when we endure trials with a calm and unruffled temper, without murmuring or fretting, that we can truly say that we are patient? But if we do not thus endure, are we not impatient? And is it not so with faith? Is it not when trials and obstructions are placed in its way, that we can tell how much confidence we have in God? And the same is true of love. We cannot really know how much of it we possess till we are proved. For instance, when the Lord requires us to do anything that is really crossing, we may know how much we love Him, by our willingness to obey Him. There is such a thing as loving God and our fellow men with selfish affections—merely because of favors, which we receive from them. But this is discoverable when these favors are withheld from us. And it is when we are deprived of temporal or spiritual blessings that we can tell whether we love them more than we ought, or with perverted affections. We might judge too favorably of our characters by measuring ourselves only by what we are in prosperity, and when everything seems to be in our favor.

Dear reader, if you have not already entered upon the work of self examination, be entreated to enter upon it at once. Be not intimidated by the vastness of the work. Commence by taking the first step, and by taking the first step you will be preparing for the second step, and so on, the way opening before you as you advance. If you have already commenced this work, be encouraged to continue it cheerfully and perseveringly, considering it as the leading branch of sanctification, yielding great advantages and a rich compensation to those who improve upon it.


The Holy Spirit

God in His divine wisdom foresaw that in the end time Satan would cause every wind of doctrine to blow upon His chosen people, to unsettle their faith. Today we are encircled by the lies of Satan, and some of these are even being taught by men whom we once trusted to be the servants of the Most High God. Thousands are bewildered, uncertain and deceived. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us heavenly discernment to see the difference between truth and error.

We need to be aware of Satan’s delusions and stand firmly on the pillars of truth. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7–11.

Now we learn that Satan will carry out his activities with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, to warp and twist and distort the truth so that many will believe a lie.

God foresaw that Satan would work to confound and bewilder even the very elect in the last days. He saw that His people would need the clear testimony of the Holy Spirit to pierce through this theological confusion, or they would flounder and be misled. This is why God gave the Holy Spirit in the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy that the church might prepare the way of the Lord.

While the Holy Spirit is being given to the faithful, it is being withdrawn from the wicked that have turned from the truth. No other spiritual gift could guard God’s people from this onslaught of satanic evil. Never in all past history has the Holy Spirit been so needed as it is in our day. “In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 147.

When the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, God called Moses to lead them to the Promised Land. Of him we read, “And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.” Hosea 12:13. The exodus serves as a type of the final gathering of God’s people when they are gathering from the four-corners of the earth. For Isaiah said, “And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people.” Isaiah 11:16.

In order to accomplish this, God has placed the gift of prophecy amid His remnant, just as He foretold in Revelation 12:17: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10.

Throughout history, God’s spokesmen often suffered mockery and derision and many have been reluctant to answer the call. When God called Moses to the prophetic office, he hesitated saying, “I am slow of speech.” Exodus 4:10. But God overruled. When God called Jeremiah, he said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” Jeremiah 1:6. But God countered, “Thou shalt be as My mouth.” Jeremiah 15:19.

A reluctant Ellen Harmon, one of the weakest of the weak, pleaded her inadequacies. But God instructed her: “Exhort from the word. I will make My word open to you. It shall not be as a strange language. In the true eloquence of simplicity, with voice and pen, the messages that I give shall be heard from one who never learned in the schools. My spirit and My power shall be with you.” Review and Herald, July 26, 1906.

The Holy Spirit brings the gift of the Spirit. There can be no misunderstanding about this vital truth. Nehemiah stated “Thou testifiedst . . . by Thy spirit in Thy prophets.” Nehemiah 9:30.

And Peter explains, “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently . . .searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” 1 Peter 1:10–12.

He added in 2 Peter 1:21: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Somehow the majority of our ministers today have failed to teach the remnant that the Spirit of Prophecy writings of Ellen White are indeed the breath of the Spirit.

Before Ellen White’s writings became available so that the source of their inspiration could be judged from Scripture, God provided open visions. These visions were tested by the Biblical precedent given in Daniel 10:16, 17, which shows that when Daniel was in vision he did not breathe. Careful examination of Ellen White on a number of occasions revealed that while she was in vision she did not breathe. But the brethren went much further than this. After checking to see if she breathed in vision, they followed Paul’s counsel found in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21. “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” And so they examined the contents of her messages to see if in any way they conflicted with the Bible. The brethren dared not accept or reject the visions without ascertaining their source. Some held that it was too good to be true, others found that the Bible provided guidelines which made it possible to distinguish between true and false prophets.

Let’s take a look at some of these Biblical tests of a prophet.

1) False prophets led away from the Bible. “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him.” Deuteronomy 13:1–4.

2) False prophets make false predictions. “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:22.

3) False prophets teach things that are contrary to God’s law. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

4) False prophets fail to turn sinners from evil. “In the latter days, . . . I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” Jeremiah 23:20–22.

True prophets are known because, 1) They speak the truth without fear or favor. Consider the Prophet John who reproved King Herod. “But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him [John] for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done.” Luke 3:19. This prophet of God dared to reprove a king and he lost his life for it.

2) True prophets declare that Jesus came in the flesh. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:1–3.

3) True prophets edify the church. “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” 1 Corinthians 14:3.

4) True prophets preach the gospel “with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” 1 Peter 1:10–12.


Ellen White’s Testimonies about Herself


Ellen White rarely spoke of her role as a prophet. Once a denominational leader became unsure of the need of this gift. She gave him a Bible study asking why the books of Nathan, Gad, Ahijah and Ido mentioned in first and second Chronicles and other inspired writings mentioned in the Bible, were not included in the sacred cannon?

She explained that the books of Scripture that had been preserved contain truths needed in every succeeding generation, but the books omitted from sacred cannon contained instructions for a particular time, needed then but not needed later. Then referring to her writings, she said that they could not have benefited any previous age, but were for the present end-time needs. As a result of the study, this leader rejoiced in the light and became a defender of the prophetic gift.

Ellen White always made it clear that her writings were not to take the place of the Bible. “I commend to you . . . the word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. God has, in that word, promised to give visions in the ‘last days’; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err.” Early Writings, 78. (See also Experiences and Views, of 1851.)

She stated in Evangelism, 257: “The Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.” Ellen White insisted in her introduction to The Great Controversy that, “The spirit was not given—nor can it ever be bestowed—to supercede the Bible.” The Great Controversy, vii. She exalts the Bible as the standard by which we must test all teachings: “The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as the authoritative, infallible revelation of His will.” Ibid. It is impossible that the teachings of the Spirit should ever be contrary to the Word.

Ellen White presents a full explanation of the nature of her work and the influence of the Testimonies in Testimonies, vol. 5, 654–672. She says that as the end draws near, it becomes most important for God’s people to understand the writings which are “linked with the Third Angel’s Message from its very rise.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 654. Then she lists steps leading to apostasy: “It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies. Satan knows how to make his attacks. He works upon minds to excite jealousy and dissatisfaction, toward those at the head of the work. The gifts are next questioned; then, of course, they have but little weight, and instruction given through vision is disregarded. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this, and he redoubles his efforts until he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 672.

This is happening today. God purposed that His last day mouthpiece preach end time distinctive truths, as a watchman on the walls of Zion. Sensing such dangers ahead, she stated: “Satan is working with everyone who is not under the control of the spirit of God. There is constant danger of allowing something to come into our midst that we may regard as the workings of the Holy Spirit, but in reality is the fruit of the spirit of fanaticism. The Holy Spirit always comes in a way that commends itself to the judgments of the people. Holiness of heart will never lead to impure actions. The Holy Spirit’s movings upon the human agent will keep the mind well balanced. If we are constantly looking unto Jesus and receiving His Spirit, we shall have clear eyesight.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 60. (See also pages 51, 43 and 29.)


The Functions of the Spirit of Prophecy


Ellen White’s writings restate truths emphasized by Bible prophets in modern language that speaks to us today. She leaves no error untouched in the spectrum of human relations. She reveals the issues raised at Lucifer’s defection and exposes the depth of Satan’s malice in contrast to Christ’s amazing love. The sacrifice on the cross becomes so meaningful in her writings. Hearts are moved to visualize Christ dying in our place. I can personally testify that no other book has ever opened up my soul to salvation’s wonders as The Desire of Ages did when I read it.

The Spirit of Prophecy gives the remnant church an understanding of the work of Christ as our High Priest in the sanctuary above. This unique doctrine is not understood by any of the other churches in our world.

Her writings open up spiritual details of Christ’s Second Coming and what takes place following the millennial reign in heaven. She tells of the destruction of the wicked and pictures the earth made new as a place for the redeemed of all ages. She lets us, in anticipation, enjoy the delights of heaven here and now, as we read her works.

God led Ellen White to give invaluable counsel in establishing publishing, medical and educational institutions, guiding the brethren in opening up work in the great cities of the earth.

But more than any other gift, the Spirit of Prophecy brought a unity of faith to our church. “The Christ in us will meet the Christ in our brethren, and the Holy Spirit will give that union of heart and action which testifies to the world that we are children of God.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 188.

God’s messenger offers specific direction for the finishing of the work. She tells us that kindness, courtesy and tenderheartedness will produce hundreds of conversions where now only one occurs. (See Testimonies, vol. 9, 189.)


Our Need Today


Our great sin as a people today “is that they do not open the heart to receive the Holy Spirit.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 57. We have many noted preachers of prophecy, but Ellen White tells us that we would understand the prophecies even better if we granted the Spirit more freedom. This messenger of God declared, “The rebuke of God is upon us . . .His blessings have been withdrawn because the testimonies He has given have not been heeded . . . The means that God has devised to awaken the church to a sense of its spiritual destitution have not been regarded. The voice of the True Witness has been heard . . . but has not been obeyed.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 719.

Disobedience always brings tragic results. God said, regarding our medical work, that we should build small institutions in a country environment and shun debt! But today we owe more than a billion dollars and are being forced to join other medical facilities.

Porter Hospital in Denver has joined hands with a Catholic Hospital. We are no longer free to operate our hospital according to Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. We are joined with Catholicism both financially and in management. This is but a preview of what will come to our other medical institutions.

Likewise we were instructed concerning how our educational systems should function. Worldly government agencies have marveled at the divine blue print as laid down in the book, Education. But again, the leadership decided to become like the worldly institutions by seeking accreditation for our schools.

The first statement made by the accreditation board, when we applied, went something like this: You do not want to do this because you will lose your identity and eventually discover it is impossible to teach your doctrine. But the leadership convinced themselves that they knew better and that this would never happen.

God said, “Be ye separate.” But the educational leaders said, “Join.” (I was there and heard that with my own ears when I was in the General Conference.) And so the sad results have revealed that God is always right.

Since we have received accreditation, we no longer have the right to dismiss a professor who teaches false doctrines, such as evolution or any other science contrary to God’s Word and to our beliefs. (One of our universities, even, no longer teaches that the world was created in seven days. This is not God’s institution!)

Many of our youth are led in the wrong direction. I tremble at the thought of what God soon will do when He takes the reigns into His own hands and separates the tares from the wheat.

King Jehoshaphat proclaimed the secret of how God keeps His church pure, when he admonished Judah, “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 22:20.

As the division becomes more pronounced within Adventism, between the liberals and those who choose the standards and instructions given by God’s mouthpiece, I see a major drive to turn the remnant from the writings of Ellen White to the New Theology of love and unity. New books are being written which teach that “the little old lady” was good for the church in its younger years, but now with all our doctors of divinity we no longer need to adhere to the Spirit of Prophecy.

This is exactly what Ellen White predicted. “The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ Proverbs 29:18. Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.

“There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 48.

“There are men among us in responsible positions who hold that the opinion of a few conceited philosophers, so called, are more to be trusted than the truth of the Bible, or the testimonies of the Holy Spirit. Such a faith as that of Paul, Peter, and John is considered old fashioned . . .at the present day. It is pronounced absurd, mystical, and unworthy of an intelligent mind.

“God has shown me that these men are Hazaels to prove a scourge to our people. They are wise above what is written. “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 days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science, falsely so called’ will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted in intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be trusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

“The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness.

“The church cannot measure herself by the world, nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 79–84.

But, lest we forget, the gift of prophecy promotes the means for the loud cry and constitutes a vital part of the loud cry message. Seventh-day Adventists need make no apology for Ellen White, but rather we need to apologize publicly because we have not given her works greater publicity.

Let us remember often the words of Holy Scripture, “Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” And may we remember Ellen White’s comments in Special Testimonies to Battle Creek, 6. “This is the message given by God to be sounded forth in the loud cry of the third angel. The faith of Jesus and the testimony of Jesus are blended. They are to be clearly presented to the world.” May we never forget how wonderfully God has blessed this people in giving us the Spirit of Prophecy.

Children’s Story — Miraculous Deliverance of a Ship’s Crew

On August 9, 1815, the “Brig Commerce” was wrecked on the coast of Africa. Captain Riley tells how he and his crew were saved after the shipwreck.

“We managed to get the small boat’s sails, consisting of a gib and mainsail, into the small boat, with a spar that would do for a mast, and the ‘Brig’s’ foremost staysail. We had a keg of water, a few pieces of food, a live pig that weighed abut twenty pounds, about four pounds of figs that had been soaking in the salt water ever since the wreck. (We fished the figs out of the cabin.) This was the total of our provisions.

“The pig had escaped to the shore at the time of the shipwreck. But when the waves pulled us back from the shore, the pig swam back to us and we took it into the small boat. When everything was ready, I tried to encourage the crew as well as I could. I told them that it was better for us to be swallowed up by the sea than to be massacred by the ferocious savages.

“I reminded the crew that God was able to save us, even when the last ray of hope was vanishing and we should never despair, but do our best in our attempt to get to safety, and still hope for His merciful protection. As we looked at the dangers that surrounded us—wave after wave breaking with a dreadful crash constantly just beyond us, our hearts failed us. There seemed to be no possibility of getting safely beyond the breakers unless God intervened.

“I had doubted that God would particularly intervene in any case, yet if there is a general providence, there must be a particular providence! Everyone trembled with fear and dread. We thought that as soon as we went past the wrecked ship, we would be drowned.

“Then I said, ‘Let us pull off our hats, my companions and shipmates in distress.’ Quickly every man pulled his hat off. I lifted my eyes and soul toward heaven and prayed, ‘Great Creator and Preserver of the universe, Who now seest our distresses, we pray Thee to spare our lives and permit us to pass through this overwhelming surf to the open sea. But if we are doomed to perish, Thy will be done. We commit our souls to Thee, our God, Who gave them, and O, universal Father, protect and preserve our widows and children.’

“The winds, as if by divine command, at this very moment ceased to blow. We hauled the boat out. The dreadful surges that were nearly bursting upon us suddenly quit, making a path for our boat, through which we rowed out as smoothly as if we had been on a river in a calm. But on each side of us and just a few yards away, the surf continued to break twenty feet high with unabated fury!

“We had to row nearly a mile in this manner. All of us were fully convinced that we were saved by God’s special intervention just when we needed His help. All joined in returning thanks to God for His mercy. As soon as we reached the open sea and had gone some distance from the wreck, we saw the surf rolling behind us with the same force as it had on each side of the boat!” Riley’s Narrative, 33, 34.

The following interesting remarks are from the author’s preface:

“With respect to the extraordinary circumstance told in the story of the sudden subsiding of the surf when we were about committing ourselves to the open sea in our shattered boat, I know that there will be much comment and probably some ridicule.

“I was advised to not tell that part of the story in case some unbelievers would not believe the rest of my ‘narrative.’ This probably would have been good advice for me as a mere author. Previously, I might have been suspicious that such a story was not true. But I feel that I cannot withhold an incident that so clearly seemed to my companions and me at the time as the immediate and merciful act of God just when death was pressing close upon us.

“The waters of the sea had well nigh covered us; the proud waves had well nigh gone over our soul. Then cried we unto Thee, O Lord, and thou didst deliver us out of our distresses; the windy storm ceased and turned into a calm.”

From Miraculous Powers, by M. E. Cornell. Modernized by Ken and Lois McGaughey.


The Sparrow in the Storm

“A storm is coming relentless in its fury.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315, How will we make it through this coming storm of unprecedented fierceness? That is what we will look at in this article. Most of the time we realize our utter weakness and helplessness. Without the Lord’s special intervention, we know that we have little strength to stand in times of storm. We sometimes fear that we may be left alone. We feel that we may be like the helpless little sparrow trying to brave the cold blustery winter wind.

In the world, sparrows are not of much value. “Are not tow sparrows sold for a farthing?” You may not feel that you are of much value in this world either. That you, like the little sparrow, are helpless and alone. But, Jesus said, “And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31. Our heavenly Father has a plan to protect you in the great final storm of life. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11. Do not fear the coming storm if you are hidden in the sure hiding place.

The final culmination of this coming storm is described as happening during the seventh plague. “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Revelation 16:18–21. This storm will be louder then any you have ever heard. The thunder will roll through the earth with deafening jolts. Where will you be hiding when the lightening flashes, the thunder rolls and the hail crashes to the earth? Will you have a hiding place?

Job wrote about another aspect of this storm. “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” Job 38:22, 23. Here we see another element of this storm—snow.

On our back porch, we have a bird feeder. In the spring time we have three kinds of birds that come: the little Sparrows, the even smaller Juncos, and the beautiful red Cardinals. The feeder is close to our table and during mealtime we often look out and see the Cardinals and the Sparrows happily eating. One day, late this past winter, the snow was coming down fast and furious, and the wind was blowing. I looked out at the bird feeder and was amazed to see that the birds were flying in, just as much as ever, to get food out of the bird feeder. However, the wind blew so hard that it blew most of the feed out of the bird feeder and the snow came down so fast that it covered up the seed on the patio.

The birds would get up into the bird feeder, flutter their wings and knock the remaining seed down on the patio. Then they would hop down on the snow and eat the seed. There were quite a number of them down there eating. Four times during the snowstorm, I went out and sprinkled a pint of various seeds on the snow. The birds would have it about half eaten before it was covered up with more snow. Then I would sprinkle more seeds. With the cold wind all around them, how lighthearted and happy the birds were. Without stopping to mourn the storm, they ate what was provided and chirped their happy thoughts.


Can You Serve Two Masters?


The One that made the little birds is the One that arranges for their care in the snow and wind. Jesus told us that we should look at the birds (Matthew 6:26) and think about them. They have a lesson to teach us. A lesson that if well learned will help us through the storm that is coming. If we, with undivided devotion, serve the Master that made us, we have no cause to fear.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet, your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Matthew 6:24–26. Look at the birds! Who takes care of them? They do not sew their garments and yet your heavenly Father sees them. They trust the heavenly Father. We can only have this trust if our service is undivided. “No man can serve two masters.” It all comes down to which Master we serve. If you serve the Master that created the birds, He will take care of you just like He takes care of the birds. If we choose to divide our service between God and a different master, we abandon God’s careship. However, the Lord in His great mercy strives with us long, to bring us under His care, because He loves us.

We need His care because a great storm of persecution is coming. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:11–17.

This beast is a persecuting power because, verse 12 says, “He exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.” And verse 7 describes the first beast, saying: “It was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” This beast makes war with God’s people. Although he is a persecuting power, he has influence over the whole world through the miracles he performs. After he has the wholeworld awestruck by his miraculous power, then “he hath power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” verse 15.


Discerning the Signs


This is the great storm that even now is starting to break upon us. Have you ever noticed the color of the sky before it hails? It turns an unusual kind of a green. Jesus said to the Pharisees, You look up in the sky and you can see the signs in the sky that foretell the weather. In just the same way you should look at the signs and see that the coming of the Son of man is even at the door. All around us we see the signs of a great storm approaching. Where will you be when the storm strikes?

The time is coming very soon when the warning message to obey God will have been given to the whole world. Everyone will have heard a call of mercy to obey God, worship Him and keep His Ten Commandments. It is going forth even now. Very soon, how soon only God knows, everyone in the world will have heard a call to obey Him. Whoever you obey, he is your master. Everyone will have to choose one or the other; “No man can serve two masters.” But the One that created the birds is able to take care of us, just like He takes care of the little birds and sees that they have food to eat in the storm.

“His hand is not shortened, that He cannot save, nor His ear heavy, that He cannot hear.” Isaiah 59:1. That is not even the question. The question is, are our sins removed? God said, It is your iniquities that are between Me and you, so that I will not reach forth My hand to save you.

We have a prayer hearing and answering God. But if we persistently refuse to receive His invitations of mercy, the time eventually will come when God will stand up and the final pronouncement will be made for every inhabitant on this world. The words will go forth: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I come quickly.” Revelation 22:11, 12. Before this pronouncement, everyone will have decided which side they are on and which master they will serve.


The Time of Jacob’s Trouble


Then the world will be plunged into the most terrible scenes of trouble. Satan himself will plunge this earth into a fearful time of corruption, agony and despair, affecting all the inhabitants of this world. God’s people also will be in a time of trouble, what is called by the prophet Jeremiah, the time of Jacob’s trouble. “For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5–7.

Why is Jacob’s trouble used to describe this great time of trouble that is coming on this earth Because we, like Jacob, are great sinners. Through lying and deception, Jacob obtained the birthright that was to be his. Esau wanted the birthright and was angry, so Jacob had to flee for his life. Twenty years later an angel, in a dream, told Jacob to go back to his homeland. Like the little sparrow he had no weapons against the hand of the fowler. He sent his brother gifts. He eventually divided his family into two camps hoping that if one were attacked, the other could escape. As the night approached, he crossed over the brook to spend the night in prayer. He knew God was his only hope. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as He wrestled with him. And He said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And He said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:24.

Jacob knew that he was feeble. He had to run to a hiding place. Someone was coming against him that was stronger than he was. He was like a rabbit being chased by a fox. The rabbits know that they must find a hiding place, or they will get caught. “The conies [little desert rabbits] are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” Proverbs 30:26. But Jacob had a problem that even the rabbits do not have—he had sinned against God (his Rock of hiding). He had been deceptive. He had broken the law of God. But knowing the mercy of God, he dared to lean upon His grace and ask for help. We must also go to the one we have sinned against and ask for forgiveness, if we expect to find help and strength in the storm. That is our only hope. Like Jacob, we will find mercy there.

Jacob’s prayer must have been similar to this: “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of Thy wings.” Psalm 61:1–4. Hidden in the Rock, Jacob was safe. Esau could not touch him.

The next morning, as Esau came, Jacob, leaning on his staff, painfully limped out to see his brother. Jacob looked feeble. He had been wrestling with the angel all night. Little did the hardened chief realize that the hiding of his brother’s strength was in his limp. It is better to have a lame joint from the hand of God than to stand in our own strength.

Often God heals us through the pain of trials and suffering. We are very slow to realize that trials, suffering and times of trouble mean benefit to us. We want the “blessing” of no problems, no financial worries, no hard work, no weariness and no pain. But that is not the way life is. When Jesus was on earth, the devil assailed Him from the cradle to the cross but He never faltered. We can walk in His footsteps. There are cruel thorns on the pathway that prick and wound us, but through the power of prayer, we can prevail.

There is a great evil power on this earth and just as the devil moved on Esau’s heart to march against Jacob and destroy him, the devil will move on the wicked to destroy the righteous. That is why the prophet Jeremiah called this the time of Jacob’s trouble. The righteous during this last great time of trouble will have people against them, just as Jacob did. (See Revelation 13:15.)


Wrestling with God


During that time, if we follow Jacob’s example, we will be saved. It is said of Jacob, “Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto Him: He found him in Bethel, and there He spake with us.” Hosea 12:4. Like Jacob, we have sinned. But we need to go to the One we have sinned against, for He is the only One that can give us a protective covering in the storm. God says to each of us: “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5. Have you reached out your hand in prayer and taken hold of the strong One? Have you agonized long with God in prayer, until every power in your soul was on the stretch? Until your only longing was to be completely transformed into God’s likeness?

Those that are wrestling with God for the victory, as Jacob did, will find a cover in the storm. Like the conies, they will be hidden in the rock. I want to be sheltered by the Rock of ages, the Tower of strength, under His wings. During this storm, the beast power will cause everyone to receive a mark. Anyone who does not receive the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name will not be able to buy or sell. (See Revelation 13:16, 17.)

Jesus said, If you serve the Master that created the birds, you do not need to worry. We serve a God that owns all the food and raiment in the world. Our only concern should be which god are we serving? Do we worship the Master of earth and sea and sky, the Creator?


Satan’s Masterpiece


During this time, the greatest deception in the history of the world will be staged. Satan will try to counterfeit the Second Coming of Jesus. Paul warns us of this time, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.

The man of sin will oppose God. He will try to set himself up as God and cause all to worship him. In other words, he will use trickery. Then Paul says, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: [It was already working in Paul’s time] only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:5–7. “Letteth” means constrained. This man of sin was being constrained, being held back in Paul’s day, but it was already starting to work.

“And then [meaning when the power restraining the man of sin was removed; which happened in 538 A.D., when the pagan Roman Empire was removed, and there was nothing to hold back the papal church] shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8–12.

This is not the Second Coming of Jesus, but the coming of another power. Jesus talked about this coming, which “is after the working of Satan,” in Matthew 24, “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Matthew 24:23–26.

Imagine the ring of victory in the air as people from all over the world cry, “Christ is come! Christ is come! He is performing miracles!” The deceiver comes as a beautiful majestic being, speaking the words of Scripture. Then in his gentle voice, this false christ assures the world that God’s law has been changed, that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Then the whole world will wonder after the beast.

The devil cannot counterfeit the coming of Jesus. We must know what the Bible says about His coming so we will not be deceived. The following verses give a description of the Second Coming that cannot be duplicated: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:27. “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Verse 31. “Every eye shall see Him.” Revelation 1:7. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. But if you see a coming that is not like this, you are seeing the greatest deception this world has ever seen. If you are not hidden in the Rock, you will be deceived.

“A storm is coming, relentless in its fury.” There is a hiding place. It is safe in the Rock of ages. If you have chosen Him for your Master, then just like the little bird in the storm, you will be safe. Some of God’s people may be martyred. You may be persecuted for your faith, for standing firmly for God’s law. Remember, the words of Jesus, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:4–9.

Do not be afraid of men. Fear God. If you have chosen Him for your Master and you confess Him before men, He will take care of you, just like He takes care of the little sparrows.


The Door of the Sheep Fold

In the Garden of Eden, after Eve was beguiled by the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit, God made a solemn pronouncement. Directly addressing the devil He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Here God delineates the two groups that exist in the world today. One is the seed of the woman, the other the seed of the devil.

Who are the descendents (the seed) of Eve? All the world are her physical descendents, but, by far, not all are her spiritual descendents. Her descendents are those who follow in her steps, repenting of their sins, and keep God’s commandments. This is His church as represented by the woman in Revelation 12:17, whose seed “keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.”

Who then are the devil’s seed? John identifies them clearly in 1 John 3:8: “He who sins is of the devil.” Sin is breaking the law of God. If you are living in sin, you are proclaiming to the whole world that you are the devil’s child.

So, we see that this whole issue hangs on one principle. Do you keep or break the commandments of God? This is the dividing line between the two groups, and there is no mixing. You must either be the seed of the woman or the seed of the serpent. You can never be fifty percent the seed of the serpent and fifty percent the seed of the woman. It is one or the other. Ellen White said it this way: “There must be open and avowed enmity between the church and the serpent; between her seed and his seed.” Signs of the Times, August 26, 1889.

It looks very simple then; there are two groups, the woman’s seed—the church—and the seed of the devil. However, it can appear much more complicated than that. In John 10, Jesus illustrated this, using sheep to symbolize His people. The seed of the serpent are those who want to be in the church as part of the professed people of God, but do not enter through the door. Jesus said about them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1.

What does the sheepfold represent and what is its function? In Heavenly Places, 324 says, “The Lord can carry forward His work without our cooperation. He is not dependent on us for our money, our time, or our labor. But the church is very precious in His sight. It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock, and He longs to see it without spot or blemish or any such thing.”

The fold is the church, and its function is to protect the flock. But what happens when wolves, in sheep’s clothing, sneak over the wall and get in with the sheep? Do the sheep know that they are wolves? No, because they are in sheep’s clothing, and appear just like all the other sheep. These then are the tares. They are not part of God’s people (the wheat), but they are in sheep’s clothing, and so the sheep cannot tell any difference.

We need to learn a lesson from this. Just because you are in the house does not mean you are a member of the family. Take my home for instance. Each member of my family has a key to the door, and when we go in and out, we use the key to unlock the door. But, what if a burglar comes to my home, and crawls through the window to steal from us. Is he in the house? Yes, but is he a part of the family? Of course not, he is a robber and a thief. The same is true for those who enter the fold by climbing over the wall. They are thieves, robbers, wolves in sheep’s clothing and tares.


Wolves Take Over the Fold


It is a dangerous situation when wolves in sheep’s clothing get into the fold. They may have on sheep’s clothing, but they still bite. Here is how inspiration describes them: “All the way along in the history of the Third Angel’s Message there have been found among the believers men who have done much harm to God’s cause. These men are spots in our feasts of charity; tares among the wheat; wolves among the sheep, ready to bite and devour.” Review and Herald, May 12, 1903. The sheep in that fold are then scattered and the wolves take over the fold, or the tares take over the field.

That is what happened in Jesus’ day. In John 9, we can read the context in which Jesus told the parable of the sheepfold. It tells the story of how Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath. Because this man acknowledged Christ as his healer, the Pharisees disfellowshipped him—cast him out of the fold. Ellen White comments on this in Signs of the Times, December 4, 1893: “And in no gentle manner they thrust him out of the synagogue. The sheep was cast out of the fold for being a living witness to the power of Christ. Many have been cast out of the church whose names were registered upon the Book of Life. Wolves in sheep’s clothing were ready to cast out of the fold and devour one who was entitled to the Lord’s pasture . . . But Jesus, the true Shepherd, sought him, and gave him a place within the fold.” How did Jesus give him a place in the fold? Did He go to Caiaphas and say, “There is a man over here whose sight I restored and your subordinates disfellowshipped him. I want you to put his name back on the church books.” That is not the way Jesus gave him a place in the fold. We need to rethink who and what the church is, because it says here that Jesus gave this man a place within the fold.

This was not the last time someone like this was disfellowshipped wrongly. You and I have a responsibility to sheep that have been mauled by wolves and have been cast out of the fold. We need to care for them and give them a place in the fold. “With proper labor, many souls might have been added to the church who are driven from the fold into the wilderness of unbelief.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 274.


Entering Through the Door


In the Day of Judgment, the only people who will be saved are those who entered through the door. The ones who climbed over the wall will be lost. What is this door? Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:7–9.

It is important to belong to the church, to be in the fold, but it will not do any good to get into the fold unless you go through the door. If you go through the door, you will be saved. If you climb over the wall, you may be in the fold, but you will be lost. You are a thief and a robber. Jesus said, “I am the Door,” and then He says, “I am the good Shepherd and the Shepherd goes through the door.” (See verses 2, 11 and 14.) There is a double symbol here. Both the door and the shepherd represent Jesus. How does that work? Think it through carefully for a moment. If there is a door and the good shepherd goes through that door, then there must have been a time before the shepherd goes through the door and a time after he has entered the fold.

How can this be applied to the life of Christ? It cannot refer to His divinity, because Jesus assures us that there has never been a time when He was not in close fellowship with the Father—when He was not divine. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning . . . the Word was God.” You cannot go before the beginning.

The symbolism must then refer to the humanity of Christ. There was a time when Jesus left His throne in heaven and came to this world and became incarnate. He took upon Himself human flesh and human nature like ours, uniting His divinity with our humanity. This is a mystery that we will study throughout all eternity. He became one flesh with us, so that we could become one spirit with Him. He went through the door. He united His divinity to our humanity. That is how He became the good shepherd who could reach down to the bottom of the sin problem, pick up a lost sheep and take him back to the fold.

What does it mean for us to go through the door? Just as Jesus united His divinity with our humanity, so our humanity must be united with His divinity in order for us to be saved. We must become partakers of the divine nature and be born again. (See 2 Peter 1.) When you are born again, you receive the divine nature, receiving a new mind, and a new spirit. Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Ellen White describes this experience in these words: “The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ.” The Signs of the Times, November 16, 1891.

Without this process occurring in your life, you cannot be saved. You may have been baptized with water, you may have your name on the church books, but if you have not gone through the door, you cannot be saved. You are just as lost as the people on the outside of the fold. If we have not entered through the door, then we must have climbed over the wall, and that is the problem in Adventism. Too many people have gone over the wall and they are the wolves in sheep’s clothing. It is because of this that there is so much backbiting and so many sheep are getting mauled and turned out of the fold.


Hearing and Following Christ’s Call


In John 10:2–5 we read, “But He who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out His sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Jesus calls His own sheep by name and they follow Him, because they know His voice. What alarms me is that there are so many people in Adventism that for one reason or another do not recognize the Shepherd’s voice. If you are one of His sheep, you will recognize His voice. When He speaks through the testimonies of His Spirit, sends special messengers to the remnant, and speaks through the prophets and the apostles, the sheep will recognize His voice.

Not only do the sheep recognize His voice, but He leads them out and they follow Him and not strangers. They will not even listen to strangers, but will flee from them. What voices are you and your children listening to? It is amazing to me, that some of our people listen to so many voices. They read different books and magazines, watch many videos and television programs, and listen to radio programs. When their children go out into the world, they come to us and ask, “What happened?” What has happened is that their children have been listening to the voice of a stranger for twenty years.

As I prayed about this, I said, “Lord, if I am one of Your sheep, I want to hear Your voice. Please help me to hear Your voice.” When I read the Bible and the writings of Ellen White, I hear His voice, but I have to do more than hear. The sheep hear His voice and follow. We must also obey the instructions that are given.

If we hear Christ’s voice and obey, we can have assurance that we will be saved. “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:27–29.

“The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast.” The Desire of Ages, 480.

The plan of salvation is simple. We do not have to be a theologian, have a high I.Q. or have a college education; we only need to hear His voice and obey Him. When we hear His voice speaking through the prophets and apostles, and the special messenger to the remnant, and we follow, He says, “I will put you in my hand. My Father who gave you to Me is greater than all and nobody can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” What a wonderful assurance!


Recognizing Christ’s Voice


How can we know that we are listening to Christ’s voice and not that of a stranger? By studying God’s Word and the Spirit of Prophecy, we learn the truth and are able to differentiate between it and error. Are you having your devotions every day? Are you praying and asking the Lord to help you to have His truth so implanted in your heart that you will not be deceived by the errors that you encounter every day?

There are a lot of people in Adventism that have not listened to the Shepherd’s voice enough so that they can tell the difference between His voice and a stranger’s voice. If we are in that situation, we will be lost. Deceptions will come that are so severe that we will not be able to stand unless we are firmly grounded in God’s Word. Truth and error will look so similar that unless our minds are guided by the Holy Spirit we will be led to accept error.

Friends, now is the time for us to choose to go through the door, to be changed, fully and completely, by the transforming power of Christ. You can, if you are willing to submit all. I invite you, today, to follow Christ through the door into the sheepfold. Enter the hand of Christ where you will be safe. Unless you choose to leave, He will hold you secure and nothing can pluck you out of His hand.


Editorial — Preparation for the Latter Rain, Part 2

What are your feelings and mine toward our brothers and sisters in Christ? Our feelings toward each other, especially those who consider themselves our enemies, are one critical factor revealing whether or not we are ready for the latter rain. Ellen White, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “I would that I had the power to present the subject to others as it has been presented to me. Just before He descended to the greatest depths of humiliation, the Saviour lifted up His eyes to heaven, and prayed that His disciples might be one. He said, ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they may all be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.’ The church will never as a whole receive the latter rain unless they shall put away all envy, evil surmising, and evil speaking. Those who have cherished hatred in the heart until it has strengthened and become part of their character, must have a different experience if they would share in the latter rain. Many are not awake to the fact that the Lord is testing and proving them to make it manifest whether or not they really love Jesus. The spirit and attitude manifested to their brethren, tells their spirit and attitude toward God. Great dishonor is done to Jesus Christ by those who claim to be His disciples. Those who are not branches of the divine Root, who are not partakers of the divine nature, will not and cannot love those for whom Christ has given His life. The evidence that we are accepted in the Beloved, that we have passed from death unto life, is that we ‘love the brethren.’ ‘He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.’ ‘He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.’ This is the decision of One who cannotlie. ‘Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.’ But notwithstanding these positive utterances, how little love is expressed among those who profess to be sons and daughters of God! ‘Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?’ The inference to be drawn from this question is that it is impossible for one to have the love of God, and fail to have compassion for his fellow men. The love of Jesus in the heart will always be revealed in tender compassion for the souls of those for whom Christ paid so dear a price. ‘Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him . . . And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’ There is no such thing as a loveless Christian. He who is in unity with Christ, in word, in life, and in action, bears the living testimony that he has the mind and spirit of Christ.” The Home Missionary, August 1, 1896.

“There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of time. But we are not ignorant of his devices. It is possible to resist his power. When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come. Satan can no more hinder a shower of blessing from descending upon God’s people than he can close the windows of heaven that rain cannot come upon the earth. Wicked men and devils cannot hinder the work of God, or shut out His presence from the assemblies of His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim His promises. Every temptation, every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, “not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariach 4:6.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 124.