Food For Life – Is Cheese Edible, part 2

Continuing with cheese: “On a number of fronts there are growing concerns about the health effects of cheese. These concerns center around the following areas: 1) Many cheeses have significant levels of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. 2) Most cheeses are high in sodium. 3) Certain cheeses may contain a variety of toxic chemicals. 4) Cheeses can be contaminated with a number of microorganisms that can cause significant illness.

About two-thirds of the fat in cheese is saturated fat, which is known to elevate blood cholesterol levels. In addition, cheese contains about 20–30 mg. cholesterol per ounce.

The average level of sodium in cheese is about 250 mg. per ounce. . . . Parmesan and Roquefort contain up to 500 mg. sodium per ounce.

If cattle are fed aflatoxin-contaminated grain, their milk will also be contaminated with the aflatoxins. Hence their dairy products, including cheese, are known to contain potent cancer-causing aflatoxins.

Biogenic amines are another class of harmful chemicals in cheese. These include tyramine, histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, tryptamine, and phenylethylamine. Such compounds have the potential to affect the brain and circulatory system with such symptoms as migraine headaches, nausea, hypertension, and cardiac palpitation.

Dangerous microorganisms can also contaminate cheese. Such germs have accounted for literally thousands of food-borne epidemics. Some of the most-feared microorganisms that can contaminate cheese are those of the salmonella family. . . . Outbreaks of salmonella, including typhoid fever, have been linked to cheese consumption. The largest common-source outbreak of salmonellosis ever, in Canada, was linked to cheddar cheese consumption from March to July of 1984, when an estimated 10,000 people became ill.” Journal of Health and Healing, vol. 17, no. 3

It is understandable why God said that “cheese should never be introduced into the stomach;” “it is wholly unfit for food.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 368

Drs. Phillips and Snowdon, of Loma Linda University, found that men who were heavy users of meat, milk, eggs, and cheese experienced a nearly threefold greater risk of developing prostate cancer. Increasing cheese use, Dr. Phillips subsequently reported, was linked with colon cancer in men: those who used cheese three or more times per week had about twice the risk of colon cancer as those eating it less than once per week. In another study, French researchers, comparing 1,010 cases of breast cancer with 1,950 people with non-malignant diseases, found that women who daily consumed cheese had a 50% greater risk of breast cancer over those who never used it, while those who used cheese occasionally (less than once a day), experienced a 20% increase. They concluded, “We found a significant greater risk of breast cancer for the women who consumed cheese than for the non-consumers, and the risk increased with increasing frequency of cheese consumption.” The Journal of Health and Healing, vol. 17, no. 4

“Never can we comprehend the grievous character of the sin of indulging perverted appetite except as we comprehend the spiritual meaning of the long fast of the Son of God. . . .

“Satan is more successful when assailing the human heart. Through inducing men to yield to his temptations, he can get control of them. And through no class of temptations does he achieve greater success than those addressed to the appetite. If he can control the appetite, he can control the whole man.” Temperance, 275, 276

The End

Children’s Story – The Relief of Leyden

The armies of Spain and the Inquisition were seeking to subdue Holland. The city of Leyden was filled with many people trying to escape the advancing papal armies. In fact, so many people had fled to the city for safety that there were now three times the number of people than those who actually lived there. There was not enough food to feed them all; and after having held out against the Spaniards for three months, they were threatened with starvation. In order to send relief and food to the starving city, William of Orange decided upon a desperate plan.

Much of Holland is land that is actually lower than the sea that surrounds the small country. The seawater is kept out by a wall, or series of dikes. William determined to break a hole in the dikes, allowing seawater to flood in over the land. According to his plan, he was then going to send a flotilla of flat-bottomed relief ships, armed with guns and filled with supplies, to assist the besieged city of Leyden.

An opening was made in the dike; but that year strong, northeasterly winds blew longer than usual, beating back the waters. Only a few inches of seawater flooded in over the land, not nearly enough to float the boats with the supplies. The Spanish, who had at first been terrified at the prospect of being flooded by the ocean, began to ridicule the efforts to rescue the starving people of Leyden. Their taunts, however, were heard by One whose hand holds the oceans.

For seven weeks there had been not a piece of bread in Leyden. The suffering from hunger was terrible. Already thousands had died when, on the first of October, the wind gave evidence of shifting and a gale began to blow in from the northwest. After blowing for some hours, it again changed directions, coming with increased fury from the southwest. The strength of the winds heaped up the waters of the ocean upon the coast of Holland and, like loosed from its fetters, it came surging through the broken dikes. At midnight on the second of October, Admiral Boisot’s flotilla was afloat and making its way to Leyden.

Boisot’s fleet advanced to within two miles of the walls of Leyden; but here, at about a mile distance from the city, was a strong Spanish garrison, called Lammen, blocking the way. The admiral realized that the fort was above water and of great strength, and he hesitated to attack it. The citizens in Leyden saw the fleet behind the fort and understood the difficulty preventing the relief supplies from arriving. By means of a carrier pigeon, it was arranged that the following morning, the people from inside Leyden would attack the Spanish fort from one side, while the ships would attack from the other.

Night fell again, and it was blacker than usual. About midnight, a terrible crash was heard. A short time later, a strange sight appeared. A line of lights was seen to be coming out of Lammen and moving through the darkness away from the fort. All waited for the coming of day to explain what was happening.

At last dawn broke, and it was seen that a large portion of the city walls of Leyden had fallen over during the night. This was what had caused the noise. Had the Spanish realized what had taken place, they might have rushed into the city and massacred the inhabitants; but instead of this, they imagined the terrible sound to be the enemy rushing to attack them, so, lighting their torches and lanterns, they fled when no man pursued. Instead of opening fire on the fort, Boisot sailed under the silent guns of the now empty fort and entered the city of Leyden.

The citizens of Leyden, along with the sailors of Admiral Boisot’s fleet, sang a hymn of thanksgiving and praise, though few were able to continue singing until the end because of the tears of gratitude that were shed.

The miracle of the sea did not end here, for yet another miracle was to reveal the providence of God. The whole fast plain from Rotterdam to Leyden was now underwater. It was expected that many, many hours of labor would be required to recover the fertile and beautiful land, now so sorely marred! The very next day, however, the wind shifted to the northeast and, blowing with great violence, it steadily pushed the waters back out to sea, laying bare the land behind. He Who had brought up the ocean upon Holland with His mighty hand, rolled it back.

The End

How to Meet a Controverted Point of Doctrine

From every direction we hear of new religious teachings that someone believes to be truth. How we relate to these new teachings has eternal consequences. While we must bring every new idea to the test of the Scriptures, we should never stoop so low as to use ridicule, even if we firmly believe someone to be in error. Ridicule is not from the Spirit of Christ but rather from the spirit of the evil one. “The papal authorities first ridiculed the Reformers, and when this did not quench the spirit of investigation, they placed them behind prison walls, loaded them with chains, and when this did not silence them or make them recant, they finally brought them to the fagot and the sword. We should be very cautious lest we take the first steps in this road that leads to the Inquisition. The truth of God is progressive; it is always onward, going from strength to a greater strength, from light to a greater light. We have every reason to believe that the Lord will send us increased truth, for a great work is yet to be done. In our knowledge of truth, there is first a beginning in our understanding of it, then a progression, then completion; first the blade, then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear. Much has been lost because our ministers and people have concluded that we have had all the truth essential for us as a people; but such a conclusion is erroneous and in harmony with the deceptions of Satan; for truth will be constantly unfolding.” Signs of the Times, May 26, 1890

We want to keep pace with the advancing light and truth, remembering that we can never stop the continual climb on the pathway to heaven. As we advance, we must not, however, deny past light lest we fall from the path of truth. “Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below.” Early Writings, 15

One of the first questions that we must carefully consider with every new teaching is: Does it contradict the past truth that has been firmly established in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy? That condition may sound simplistic—but it is absolutely not optional.

Think of some of the new ideas that you have encountered. Are they new light, fanaticism, or a mixture? The first place to look is to the old light. (Old light should not be confused with tradition.) We must look to Jesus. “In Him was life, and the life as the light of men.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 1:4; 14:6. But men in His day were so blind that the light shining in their darkness was not understood. (See John 1:5.)

We cannot expect to understand truth if we have darkness in our hearts. This spirit of darkness manifests itself in contentions and debates. “There are many who cannot distinguish between the work of God and that of man. I shall tell the truth as God gives it to me, and I say now, If you continue to find fault, to have a spirit of variance, you will never know the truth. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.’ (John 16:12). They were not in a condition to appreciate sacred and eternal things.” Selected Messages, book 1, 412, 413. [All emphasis supplied] In even stronger language, Ellen White writes, “Nothing frightens me more than to see the spirit of variance manifested by our brethren. We are on dangerous ground when we cannot meet together like Christians, and courteously examine controverted points. I feel like fleeing from the place lest I receive the mold of those who cannot candidly investigate the doctrines of the Bible.” Ibid, 411

The prophet of the Lord felt like fleeing. This is similar to the approach that Jesus adopted when the spirit of variance manifested itself between His disciples and the disciples of John. The story of Jesus departing into Galilee is recorded in John 3:25–4:3. “And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him. . . .When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples,) He left Judaea and departed again into Galilee.”

Jealousy—Cause for Dispute

How did this variance first start between John’s disciples and Jesus’ disciples? The Spirit of Prophecy reveals what was going on in the hearts of John’s disciples. “The disciples of John looked with jealousy upon the growing popularity of Jesus. They stood ready to criticize His work, and it was not long before they found occasion. A question arose between them. . . . Soon they were in dispute with Christ’s disciples.” The Desire of Ages, 178

If we have the root problem of jealousy, we are prepared to be in a dispute very soon, because unless jealousy is overcome, we will be standing by ready to criticize. Then be assured that it will not be long before we will find an occasion to criticize, and soon there will be a dispute. Even when the Lord was here on earth with His workers, John’s disciples (John was a godly man) found a reason to criticize Jesus’ work and His workers.

How did John handle these complaints from his disciples? “John had by nature the faults and weaknesses common to humanity, but the touch of divine love had transformed him. He dwelt in an atmosphere uncontaminated with selfishness and ambition, and far above the miasma of jealousy. He manifested no sympathy with the dissatisfaction of his disciples.” Ibid., 179

The way that John the Baptist handled the situation with the jealousy of his disciples towards Jesus and His workers is left on record as a guiding light for us. Satan used John’s disciples to tempt him to have hurt feelings at being set aside. “If he had sympathized with himself, and expressed grief or disappointment at being superseded, he would have sown the seeds of dissension, would have encouraged envy and jealousy, and would seriously have impeded the progress of the gospel.” Ibid.

John did not fall to Satan’s temptation. “The soul of the prophet emptied of self, was filled with the light of the divine.” Ibid, 180. John, on hearing the complaints of his disciples, said, “He must increase, but I must decrease. . . for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” John 3:30, 34

“So with the followers of Christ. We can receive of heaven’s light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, or accept Christ by faith, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ ‘dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full.’ Colossians 2:9, 10, R. V.” Ibid., 181

If we can apply the lessons that are given for our learning, there will be far less variance. “Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. No rivalry will mar the precious cause of the gospel. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29. They will lift up Jesus, and with Him humanity will be lifted up.” Ibid., 179, 180

Following Jesus’ Example

While there is a lot to learn from John—we have much to learn from Jesus’ response to the criticism of John’s disciples. Even though John the Baptist was a godly man, Jesus simply withdrew. The two ministries never again worked in the same close proximity. Jesus understood how to apply this truth. “If you continue to find fault, to have a spirit of variance, you will never know the truth.” Selected Messages, book 1, 412. “Never” is an all inclusive word. There was, therefore, no point of John’s and Jesus’ workers to be together since there was contention. There is room for only one—either truth or variance, because they do not co-habitate. There are times when withdrawing as Jesus did is the only way to continue to be able to teach the truth.

Variance and contention come from pride. The wise man said, “Only by pride cometh contention.” Proverbs 13:10. Jealousy is one of the fruits of pride, and it was jealousy that caused this dispute between the workers there in Judea. We need to look at what Jesus did for us, and our pride will be humbled in the dust. “He humbled Himself to become a babe and suffer the wants and woes of mortals. He humbled Himself not to the highest position, to be a man of riches and power, but though He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He took step after step in humiliation. He was driven from city to city; for men would not receive the Light of the world. They were perfectly satisfied with their position.” Selected Messages, book 1, 407

Humility Before Knowledge

Men in Jesus’ day refused to receive the light. They would not let self be humbled so that they could understand truth. They determined not to accept a Messiah that would not come in pomp and pride, free them from the Romans, and give them their riches. They were locked in error, and unless they humbled themselves and accepted Jesus, their city and nation would be destroyed.

“All self-sufficiency, egotism, and pride of opinion must be put away. We must come to the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart. Jesus did not teach His disciples as the rabbis taught theirs. Many of the Jews came and listened as Christ revealed the mysteries of salvation, but they came not to learn; they came to criticize, to catch Him in some inconsistency, that they might have something with which to prejudice the people. They were content with their knowledge, but the children of God must know the voice of the True Shepherd. Is not this a time when it would be highly proper to fast and pray before God? We are in danger of variance, in danger of taking sides on a controverted point; and should we not seek God in earnestness, with humiliation of soul, that we may know what is truth?.” Ibid., 414

After our pride has been humbled in the dust and all contention has ceased, there are still some additional steps to be taken to discern between truth and error. Notice: “If there is a point of truth that you do not understand, upon which you do not agree, investigate, compare scripture with scripture, sink the shaft of truth down deep into the mine of God’s Word. You must lay yourselves and your opinions on the altar of God, put away your preconceived ideas, and let the Spirit of Heaven guide you into all truth.” Ibid., 413

“When God’s Word is studied, comprehended, and obeyed, a bright light will be reflected to the world; new truths, received and acted upon, will bind us in strong bonds to Jesus. The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. Our own views and ideas must not control our efforts. Man is fallible, but God’s Word is infallible. Instead of wrangling with one another, let men exalt the Lord. Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, ‘It is written.’ Let us lift up the banner on which is inscribed, The Bible our rule of faith and discipline.” Ibid., 416

Every cell and fiber of our beings are so contaminated by sin that we do not realize the impossibility of understanding truth without the aid of the Holy Spirit. It was this realization by Jesus of the complete infiltration of sin within the heart of man that caused Jesus His greatest agony on the cross. “It was not bodily anguish that filled Him with horror and despair; it was a sense of the malignity of sin, a knowledge that man had become so familiar with sin that he did not realize its enormity, that it was so deeply rooted in the human heart as to be difficult to eradicate.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 162

During the hour of trial, “even the disciples doubted His [Jesus’] divinity.” Ibid., 158. What a deep hold sin had on their hearts, making them unable to comprehend truth. The thief on the cross did not have the advantage of being with Jesus for over three years as the disciples had, yet he clearly understood the truth of Jesus’ divinity. How could one who was apparently not a theologian actually be one of the greatest theologians of all history?

Experience of a Thief

The thief had earlier in life been convicted of the teachings of Jesus. Instead of following the Saviour, he accepted the priests’ testimony against Jesus. But even the priests could not drown the conviction in his heart, and he plunged into the pleasure of sin to silence his convictions. A bad choice of friends led him deeper and deeper into wickedness until he was arrested for open crime and condemned to die. He was present at the trial of Jesus. As the thief watched the kindness and forbearance of Jesus toward His tormentors, the thief acknowledged in his heart that Jesus was truly the Son of God.

By this first response to God, the door was opened for the Holy Spirit to reveal to him vast tracts of truth. These truths, doubted by even Jesus’ disciples, were believed and even taught by the thief as he hung upon his cross. “As his heart went out to Christ, heavenly illumination flooded his mind. In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he saw his Redeemer, his only hope, and appealed to Him in humble faith.” Ibid., 157. “The Spirit of God illuminated the mind of this criminal, who took hold of Christ by faith, and, link after link, the chain of evidence that Jesus was the Messiah was joined together, until the suffering victim, in like condemnation with himself, stood forth before him as the Son of God.” Ibid., 158

This man stands in the foreground of systematic theologians. Notice that through the Holy Spirit, the thief pieced truth together “link after link” in the chain of evidence. This is a description of systematic theology in action. To him was granted the exalted privilege of ministering to Christ in His suffering. By him were spoken the most welcome words ever to fall on the ears of Jesus. “Never in His entire ministry were words more grateful to His ears than the utterance of faith from the lips of the dying thief, amid the blasphemy and taunts of the mob.” Ibid., 159

No one can understand truth without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, but He can teach truth to the veriest sinner who bows in humble faith at the foot of the cross. Theology must be experienced to be understood. David says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

In Conclusion

  1. There is no point in discussing various new ideas unless they agree with the established light.
  2. It is impossible to discern between truth and error if there is any contention present.
  3. If there is contention, sometimes it is better to depart than to continue in close proximity.
  4. We must be humble to understand truth.
  5. We cannot understand truth without the aid of the Holy Spirit.
  6. “Investigate, compare scripture with scripture, sink the shaft of truth down deep into the mine of God’s Word. You must lay yourselves and your opinions on the altar of God, put away your preconceived ideas, and let the Spirit of Heaven guide you into all truth.” Selected Messages, book 1, 413

“God wants us to depend upon Him, and not upon man. He desires us to have a new heart; He would give us revealings of light from the throne of God. We should wrestle with every difficulty, but when some controverted point is presented, are you to go to man to find out his opinion, and then shape your conclusions from his?—No, go to God. Tell Him what you want; take your Bible and search as for hidden treasures.” Ibid., 415
The End

The Qualifications of a Minister, part 3

Article 3 on the public life of ministers

Must have the power of love in His public discourses

There is warmth and courtesy and love in heaven. Let ministers go before God in prayer, confessing their sins, and with all the simplicity of a little child ask for the blessings that they need. Plead for the warmth of Christ’s love, and then bring it into your discourses; and let no one have occasion to go away and say that the doctrines you believe unfit you for expressing sympathy with suffering humanity—that you have a loveless religion. The operations of the Holy Spirit will burn away the dross of selfishness, and reveal a love which is tried in the fire, a love that maketh rich. He who has these riches is in close sympathy with Him who so loved us that He gave His life for our redemption. Testimonies to Ministers, 153, 1542. Personal work

And the minister’s work does not end with the presentation of truth from the pulpit. He is to do earnest, personal, house-to-house work, studying the Scriptures with the people, and praying with them. Thus many will be brought to a knowledge of God. Souls ready to perish will be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. But this work has been neglected; and therefore the churches are lacking in power. There are many ordained ministers who have never yet exercised a shepherd’s care over the flock of God, who have never watched for souls as they that must give an account. The Church, instead of developing, is left to be a weak, dependent, inefficient body. The members of the Church, trained to rely upon preaching, do little for Christ. They bear no fruit, but rather increase in selfishness and unfaithfulness. They put their hope in the preacher, depending on his efforts to keep alive their weak faith. Review and Herald, January 21, 1903

It is in the labor out of the pulpit, among families, that the richest and most valuable experience is gained, and that the minister learns how he can feed the flock of God, giving to each his portion of meat in due season. If there is a backslider, the shepherd knows how to present the truth in such a manner that the soul will be convicted. He will leave the ninety and nine, and seek the lost sheep. But if the shepherd does not visit his flock, he knows not their condition, he knows not what truths to set before them, nor what is appropriate to their case. And more than this, as the preacher manifests so little interest in the souls under his charge, he cannot set an example to the flock to have an interest and love and watch-care for souls. Every thing is at loose ends; his work is strongly mixed with self, and is not bound off, but left to ravel out; and because of those neglects, you often hear, “I do not have success in bringing souls into the church.” The Lord cannot work for those who are unfaithful, who neglect their manifest duty, the most important part of a shepherd’s duty. Should the Lord move upon the hearts of the sinners, and they become converted, who will watch for them as one who must give an account? Who will visit them? Who will strengthen the diseased and the feeble ones? The truth, if presented to those of our faith and outsiders, should be as it is in Jesus. See with what love, tender sympathy, and perseverance he labored. “He shall not fail nor be discouraged.” This spirit should be with all the laborers. Better, far better, have fewer preachers and far more earnest, humble, God-fearing workers. We are laborers together with God. Now it is highly essential that men be the right kind of laborers, for they are moulding the churches to do as the preacher does; they feel that it is the right way to have just as little interest in the prosperity of their brethren and sisters in the church as the minister has given them an example in their way of laboring. They may raise up churches; but they will always be weak, and inefficient, and unreliable. Such kind of work at such an expense will not pay. Appeals and Suggestions to Conference Officers

By his wisdom in dealing with minds, he will give full proof of his ministry. He will become acquainted with the parents and children in his congregation, and will speak kind, earnest words to them. Review and Herald, January 21, 1902

Talk simply and to the point. Let your discourses be short. Handle only a few points, saving your strength for house-to-house work. Ministers too often give lengthy discourses. The minds of the people are wearied by such discourses, and the truth loses its effect upon them. Ibid., December 29, 1904

Teaching the Scriptures, praying in families,—this is the work of the evangelist, and this work is to be mingled with preaching. If it is omitted, preaching will, to a great extent, be a failure. Come close to the people by personal efforts. Teach them that the love of God must come into the sanctuary of the home life. Ibid.

He should visit every family, not merely as a guest to enjoy their hospitality, but to inquire into the spiritual condition of every member of the household. His own soul must be imbued with the love of God; then by kindly courtesy he may win his way to the hearts of all, and labor successfully for parents and children. He is to sow the seeds of truth beside all waters. Let him seek to keep the church alive by teaching its members how to labor with him for the conversion of sinners. This is good generalship; and the result will be found far better than if he should seek to perform the work alone. Ibid., April 23, 1908

They have not had the missionary spirit; they have not felt the great need of thoroughly educating the people in all branches of the work, in all places where the truth has gained a foothold. The work done thoroughly for one soul is done for many. But the ministers have not realized this and have failed to educate persons who in their turn should stand steadfast in defense of the truth and educate others. This loose, slack, halfway manner of working is displeasing to God. Testimonies, vol. 5, 255

People are easily reached through the avenues of the social circle. But many ministers dread the task of visiting; they have not cultivated social qualities, have not acquired that genial spirit that wins its way to the hearts of the people. It is highly important that a pastor should mingle much with his people, that he may become acquainted with the different phases of human nature, readily understand the workings of the mind, adapt his teachings to the intellect of his people, and learn that grand charity possessed only by those who closely study the nature and needs of men. Ibid., vol. 4, 266, 267

They should not neglect the duties of a pastor, as they visit from house to house. They should become familiar with every member of the family, that they may understand the spiritual condition of all, and vary their manner of labor to meet the case of each. Ibid., vol. 3, 233

Should give work to members

The best help that ministers can give the members of our churches is not sermonizing, but planning work for them. Give each one something to do for others. Help all to see that as receivers of the grace of Christ they are under obligation to work for Him. And let all be taught how to work. Especially should those who are newly come to the faith be educated to become laborers together with God. If set to work, the despondent will soon forget their despondency, the weak will become strong, the ignorant intelligent, and all will be prepared to present the truth as it is in Jesus. They will find an unfailing helper in Him who has promised to save all that come unto Him. Review and Herald, January 21, 1902

Let every minister to whom has been committed sacred trusts, take into consideration the vastness of the closing work of God in the earth, and study ways and means of placing the obligation of accomplishing this work on the large number upon whom it rests. Hundreds and thousands who have received the light of truth for this time, but who are still idlers in the market-place, might be engaged in some line of useful service for God. Ibid., March 24, 1910

Those placed in positions of responsibility should patiently seek to make others familiar with all parts of the work. This will reveal that they do not desire to be first, but that they are glad to have others become acquainted with details, and to become as efficient as they are. Those who faithfully fulfill their duty in this respect, will, in time, have standing by their side a large number of intelligent workers whom they have trained. Should they shape matters in accordance with narrow, selfish conceptions, they would stand almost alone. Ibid., December 1, 1904

The minister’s preaching

Young ministers should not be encouraged to preach to the churches. This is not their work. They are to go forth without the camp, taking up the work in places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. Australian Union Record, July 15, 1902

The minister who mixes story-telling with his discourses is using strange fire. God is offended, and the cause of truth is dishonored, when His representatives descend to the use of cheap, trifling words. Review and Herald, December, 22, 1904

Ministers should not preach sermon after sermon on doctrinal subjects alone. Practical godliness should find a place in every discourse. Ibid., April 23, 1908

It has been shown me that our camp meetings are to increase in interest and success. As we approach nearer the end, I have seen that in these meetings there will be less preaching and more Bible study. There will be little groups all over the ground with their Bibles in their hands, and different ones leading out in a free, conversational study of the Scriptures. Testimonies, vol. 6, 87

Let the men who are engaged in the solemn work of bearing the last message to the world, heed the exhortation of Paul, “Preach the word,”—not the science of phrenology, or the productions from human speculations. Review and Herald, June 13, 1893

It is especially true that new and startling themes should not be presented to the people at too great length. In every address given, let there be an application of truth to the heart that whosoever may hear shall understand, and that men, women, and youth may become alive unto God. Testimonies to Ministers, 258

I long to see our ministers dwell more upon the cross of Christ, their own hearts, meanwhile, softened and subdued by the Saviour’s matchless love, which prompted that infinite sacrifice. If, in connection with the theory of the truth, our ministers would dwell more upon practical godliness, speaking from a heart imbued with the spirit of truth, we should see many more souls flocking to the standard of truth; their hearts would be touched by the pleadings of the cross of Christ, the infinite generosity and pity of Jesus in suffering for man. These vital subjects, in connection with the doctrinal points of our faith, would effect much good among the people. But the heart of the teacher must be filled with the experimental knowledge of the love of Christ. Testimonies, vol. 4, 374, 375

Ministers should be examined especially to see if they have an intelligent understanding of the truth for this time, so that they can give a connected discourse upon the prophecies or upon practical subjects. If they cannot clearly present Bible subjects they need to be hearers and learners still. Ibid., 407

From unfeigned lips you should breathe a prayer that God would guide you to give to every man his portion of meat in due season, and so aid you that you will not get above the simplicity of the gospel to dwell upon favorite subjects which will not enlighten the darkened conscience, or convince men of sin, of righteousness, and judgment to come. In distinct lines, present to your hearers what they must do to be saved; lead them into the paths of truth and holiness. As the flock of the pasture, lead them where they may drink the water of salvation. Voice in Speech and Song, 341

If we only knew what is before us, we should not be so dilatory in doing the work of the Lord. There are ministers and workers who will present a tissue of nonsensical falsehoods as testing truths, even as the Jewish rabbis presented the maxims of men as the bread of heaven. These are given to the flock of God, as their portion of meat in due season, while the poor sheep are starving for the bread of life. Even now there seems to be a burning desire to get up something startling, and bring it in as new light. Thus men are weaving into the web as important truths a tissue of lies. This imaginary food that is being prepared for the flock will cause spiritual consumption, decline, and death. Review and Herald, January 22, 1901


O what a work there is before us! Ministers are not to spend their time laboring for those who have already accepted the truth. With Christ’s love burning in their hearts, they are to go forth to win sinners to the Saviour. Beside all waters, God’s messengers are to sow the seeds of truth. Place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up. Those who take their stand for the truth are to be organized into churches, and then the minister is to pass on to other equally important fields. Ibid., August 19, 1902

5. Speech and communication

Those who have a careless, clownish manner, either in the family or in society, dishonor their divine Lord. Even ministers have thus misrepresented Christ, when in the pulpit they have made a display of theatrical actions and eccentric manners. This is not of God. Eccentricities are sometimes looked upon as virtues by men, but they do not aid in representing Christ. Careless attitudes and irreverent expressions may serve to please men of unrefined tastes, anecdotes may amuse, but the minister who seeks to cater to such tastes has a meager appreciation of the dignity, simplicity, goodness, and loveliness of the character of the divine Lord. Signs of the Times, October 13, 1890

I see that great reformation must take place in the ministry before it shall be what God would have it. Ministers in the desk have no license to behave like theatrical performers, assuming attitudes and expressions calculated for effect. They do not occupy the sacred desk as actors, but as teachers of solemn truths. There are also fanatical ministers, who, in attempting to preach Christ, storm, halloo, jump up and down, and pound the desk before them, as if this bodily exercise profited anything. Such antics lend no force to the truths uttered, but, on the contrary, disgust men and women of calm judgment and elevated views. Review and Herald, August 8, 1878

O that those who are proclaiming the most solemn message ever given to the world would realize how greatly their influence is weakened when they are suspicious of their brethren, when they allow angry words to pass their lips! The displeasure of God rests upon every one who speaks harsh, unkind words. Nothing so dishonors the Lord Jesus as a readiness on the part of church-members to take offense when something occurs to displease them. The conversion of unbelievers depends on the distinctness with which Christ is revealed in the lives of believers. When our hearts are filled with love and compassion, when our conduct toward one another is marked by Christlike tenderness and courtesy, then our words will have power to convict souls. Ibid., July 21, 1903

Let those who labor in word and doctrine strive to perfect themselves in the use of language. The voice is a great power, and yet many have not trained their voices in such a way that they may be used to their highest capacity. Jesus is our example. His voice was musical, and was never raised in high, strained notes while He was speaking to the people. He did not speak so rapidly that His words were crowded one upon another in such a way that it made it difficult to understand Him. He distinctly enunciated every word, and those who heard His voice bore the testimony that “never man spake like this man.” Ibid., March 5, 1895

Dwell not on the negative points of questions that arise, but gather to your minds affirmative truths, and fasten them there by much study and earnest prayer and heart-consecration. Ibid., April 23, 1908

And we are to be faithful in reproving wrong-doing. This God requires of every one of His laborers. Pure and unadulterated trust will always meet the elements of unsanctified profession. There will always be those who claim to be doing God service, but who are serving Him not. Those who are blinded by erroneous opinions are to be treated with gentleness, yet labored for faithfully that their minds may be undeceived. Saving truth must be repeated over and over again.

. . . Satan will surely use erroneous theories to deceive and confuse minds, and we can not pass by these errors and be guiltless before God. Patiently, and in a spirit of meekness and gentleness, yet with a firmness that can not be misinterpreted, we are to reprove wrong, and to teach professed believers to adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour. Ibid., September 9, 1909

My brethren, withhold not the testing truths that should come to every soul at this time, and which must be practised by those who would find acceptance with God. We are to let the Word of God come to every appointed agency, for there is a crisis before the people of God. Ibid.

When Christ was living on this earth, how surprised would have been His associates, if, after becoming acquainted with Him, they had heard Him utter one word of impatience, one word of accusation or of faultfinding! He expects those who love Him and believe in Him, to represent Him in character. Paulson Collection, 16

By murmuring and complaint it is made manifest that his soul is not under the discipline of the Holy Spirit. Those who are full of murmuring and complaint against God and their fellow-men will have to be converted and transformed before they can enter the kingdom of heaven. It may be necessary that the furnace of trial be kindled and heated sevenfold to purge away the dross from the character, that the gold may come forth purified, refined, and stamped with the image of the Refiner. Review and Herald, June 5, 1894

The truth should be spoken clearly, slowly, forcibly, that it may impress the hearer. Testimonies to Ministers, 257

Especially should those who have accepted the position of directors or counselors feel that they are required to be in every respect Christian gentlemen. While in dealing with others we are always to be faithful, we should not be rude. The souls with whom we have to do are the Lord’s purchased possession, and we are to permit no hasty, overbearing expression to escape the lips. Ibid., 262

Speaking from the throat, letting the words come out from the upper extremity of the vocal organs, all the time fretting and irritating them, is not the best way to preserve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs. You should take a full inspiration and let the action come from the abdominal muscles. Let the lungs be only the channel, but do not depend upon them to do the work. If you let your words come from deep down, exercising the abdominal muscles, you can speak to thousands with just as much ease as you can speak to ten.

Some of our preachers are killing themselves by long, tedious praying and loud speaking, when a lower tone would make a better impression and save their own strength. Now, while you go on regardless of the laws of life and health, and follow the impulse of the moment, do not charge it upon God if you break down. Many of you waste time and strength in long preliminaries and excuses as you commence to speak. Instead of apologizing because you are about to address the people, you should commence your labor as though God had something for you to say to them. Some use up nearly half an hour in making apologies; thus the time is frittered away, and when they get to their subject, where they are desirous to fasten the points of truth, the people are wearied out and cannot see their force or be impressed with them. You should make the essential points of present truth as distinct as mileposts so that the people will understand them. They will then see the arguments you want to present and the positions you want to sustain. Testimonies, vol. 2, 616

He who has bestowed upon us all the gifts that enable us to be workers together with God, expects His servants to cultivate their voices so that they can speak and sing in a way that all can understand. It is not loud singing that is needed, but clear intonation, correct pronunciation, and distinct utterance. Let all take time to cultivate the voice so that God’s praise can be sung in clear, soft tones, not with harshness and shrillness that offend the ear. Testimonies, vol. 9, 144

Some of our most talented ministers are doing themselves great injury by their defective manner of speaking. While teaching the people their duty to obey God’s moral law, they should not be found violating the laws of God in regard to health and life. Ministers should stand erect and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly, taking a full inspiration of air at every sentence and throwing out the words by exercising the abdominal muscles. If they will observe this simple rule, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession. Ibid., vol. 4, 404

The offensiveness of this severe, overbearing, denunciatory talk in a large gathering is of as much more grave a character in the sight of God than giving personal, individual reproof as the numbers are greater and the censure more general. It is ever easier to give expression to the feelings before a congregation, because there are many present, than to go to the erring and, face to face with them, openly, frankly, plainly state their wrong course. But bringing into the house of God strong feelings against individuals, and making all the innocent as well as the guilty suffer, is a manner of labor which God does not sanction and which does harm rather than good. It has too often been the case that criticizing and denunciatory discourses have been given before a congregation. These do not encourage a spirit of love in the brethren. They do not tend to make them spiritually minded and lead them to holiness and heaven, but a spirit of bitterness is aroused in hearts. These very strong sermons that cut a man all to pieces are sometimes positively necessary to arouse, alarm, and convict. But unless they bear the especial marks of being dictated by the Spirit of God, they do far more injury than they can do good. Ibid., vol. 3, 508

Our workers should use the greatest wisdom, so that nothing shall be said to provoke the armies of Satan and to stir up his united confederacy of evil. Christ did not dare to bring a railing accusation against the prince of evil, and is it proper that we should bring such accusation as will set in operation the agencies of evil, the confederacies of men that are leagued with evil spirits? Christ was the only-begotten Son of the infinite God, He was the Commander in the heavenly courts, yet He refrained from bringing accusation against Satan. Testimonies to Ministers, 222

I beseech you to weed out of your teachings every extravagant expression, everything that unbalanced minds and those who are inexperienced will catch up, and from which they will make wild, immature movements. It is necessary for you to cultivate caution in every statement you make, lest you start some on a wrong track, and make confusion that will require much sorrowful labor to set in order, thus diverting the strength and work of the laborers into lines which God does not design shall be entered. One fanatical streak exhibited among us will close many doors against the soundest principles of truth. Ibid., 228

The Holy spirit does not work with men who love to be sharp and critical. That spirit has been cherished in meeting debaters, and some have formed the habit of squaring for combat. God is dishonored in this. Keep back the sharp thrusts; do not learn in Satan’s school his methods of warfare. The Holy Spirit does not inspire the words of censure. A time of trouble is before us, and every honest soul who has not had the light of truth will then take a stand for Christ. Those who believe the truth are to be newly converted every day. Then they will be vessels unto honor. Ibid., 248

7. Miscellaneous

The inexperienced are in need of wise generals who by prayer and personal effort will encourage and help them to become perfect in Christ Jesus, wanting in nothing. This is the work which every gospel minister should endeavor to do, but which some are liable to fail of doing. Review and Herald, December 1, 1904

There are those who embrace too much in their labors, and by so doing accomplish little. Our efforts now must be more concentrated. Every stroke must tell. Ibid., December 8, 1885

Some are too indolent to make a success of life in business matters and are deficient in the experience necessary to make them good Christians in a private capacity; yet they feel competent to engage in the work which is of all others the most difficult, that of dealing with minds and trying to convert souls from error to the truth. Testimonies, vol. 3, 551

Our policy is, Do not make prominent the objectionable features of our faith, which strike most decidedly against the customs and practises of the people, until the Lord shall give the people a fair chance to know that we are believers in Christ, and in His preexistence. Review and Herald, April 13, 1911

My soul is much burdened, for I know what is before us. Every conceivable deception will be brought to bear upon those who have not a daily, living connection with God. In our work no side issues must be advanced until there has been a thorough examination of the ideas entertained, that it may be ascertained from what source they have originated. Satan’s angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, will proclaim as new and wonderful things; and yet while in some respects the message is truth, it will be mingled with men’s inventions and will teach for doctrines the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. There may be supposable things that appear as good things, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging from the right path, though almost imperceptibly. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a while it is seen to be widely divergent from the path of safety, from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. My brethren, I warn you to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Testimonies to Ministers, 229

In order to reach those who are in the darkness of error and false theories, we must approach them with the utmost caution and with the greatest wisdom, agreeing with them on every point that we can conscientiously. Testimonies, vol. 3, 462

Ministers should be careful not to expect too much from persons who are still groping in the darkness of error. They should do their work well, relying upon God to impart to inquiring souls the mysterious, quickening influence of His Holy Spirit knowing that without this their labors will be unsuccessful. They should be patient and wise in dealing with minds, remembering how manifold are the circumstances that have developed such different traits in individuals. They should strictly guard themselves also lest self should get the supremacy and Jesus should be left out of the question. Ibid., vol. 4, 262

Ministers should not do work that belongs to the laymen, thus wearying themselves, and preventing others from doing their duty. They should teach the members how to work in the church and community, to build up the church, to make the prayer-meeting interesting, and to train for missionaries youth of ability. The members of the church should co-operate actively with the ministers, making the section of country around them their field of missionary labor. Churches that are weak or few in numbers, should be looked after by sister churches. Review and Herald, October 12, 1886

8. The minister’s authority, its type, and source

We are God’s commandment-keeping people. For the past fifty years, every phase of heresy has been brought to bear upon us, to becloud our minds regarding the teaching of the Word—especially concerning the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and the message of Heaven for these last days, as given by the angels of the fourteenth chapter of Revelation. Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His Word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority. Selected Messages, book 1, 208

Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles’ spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel. The Desire of Ages, 467

The work of the ministry is no common work. Christ is withdrawn only from the eye of sense, but He is as truly present by His Spirit as when He was visibly present on earth. The time that has elapsed since His ascension has brought no interruption in the fulfillment of His parting promise,—”Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” God has provided light and truth for the world by having placed it in the keeping of faithful men, who in succession have committed it to others through all generations up to the present time. These men have derived their authority in an unbroken line from the first teachers of the faith. Christ remains the true minister of His church, but He delegates His power to His under-shepherds, to His chosen ministers, who have the treasure of His grace in earthen vessels. God superintends the affairs of His servants, and they are placed in his work by divine appointment. Signs of the Times, April 7, 1890

It is not the work of a gospel minister to lord it over God’s heritage, but in lowliness of mind, with gentleness and long forbearance, to exhort, reprove, rebuke, with all long-suffering and doctrine. Testimonies, vol. 3, 229

The End

The Heavenly Sanctuary

The finishing of the mystery of God involves the opening of the second apartment of the temple in heaven wherein is the ark of God’s testament. This is the place where our Lord finishes His priesthood; hence this apartment of the heavenly temple must be the place of that tribunal at which the righteous are acquitted, their sins blotted out, and themselves accounted worthy of the kingdom of God. The temple of God in heaven, and especially its second apartment, is therefore worthy of our most attentive study. The Scriptures contain many explicit testimonies to the existence of the heavenly temple.

“Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is; and let the Lord God be witness against you; the Lord from His holy temple. For, behold, the Lord cometh forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.” Micah 1:2, 3. (See Psalm 11:4; 2 Samuel 22:7, 8. See also Psalm 18:6, 7; Isaiah 6:1–4.)

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:19. (See Revelation 14:17, 18; 15:5; 16:7.)

Two Holy Places in Heaven

The heavenly temple consists of two holy places. This is proved by many conclusive arguments. The first of these is drawn from the statements respecting the tabernacle erected by Moses. When God called Moses into the mount to receive the tables of the Law (see Exodus 24:12), He first bade him make a sanctuary that He might dwell among them and that the priests might minister in His presence. (See Exodus 25–28.) He also bade him to make an ark to contain the tables of the Law, to be placed in the second apartment of the sanctuary. This building consisted of two holy places (see Exodus 26), and both itself and its sacred vessels were made like the pattern showed in the mount. (See Exodus 25:9.)

“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle; for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5. (See also Exodus 25:40; 26:30; Acts 7:44.)

The tabernacle thus constructed was a pattern of the heavenly temple. Thus Paul bears testimony:

“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:23, 24

This establishes one plain, incontrovertible argument, that the heavenly temple has two holy places. The temple erected by Solomon furnishes the second argument, and it is of the same character as that drawn from the tabernacle. The temple was a larger and grander building than the tabernacle and differed from it in being an immovable structure; but it was constructed on the same plan, in that it was an edifice consisting of two holy places with sacred vessels of the same kind and occupied with the very same ministration as that which had previously served in the tabernacle. (See 1 Kings 6–8.) This building with its two holy places was a pattern of the heavenly temple, as the words of David and of Solomon declare:

“Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercyseat, and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things.” “All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.” 1 Chronicles 28:11, 12, 19

This is a second decisive argument that the heavenly sanctuary has two holy places. The third is drawn from the fact that the plural term “holy places” is used in the designation of the greater and more perfect tabernacle.

The Way of the Holy Places

Thus when Paul says, as expressed in our common version (see Hebrews 8:2), “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,” it is literally in the original, “a minister of the holy places.” And thus also when we read respecting the heavenly temple, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing,” it is literally in the Greek, “the way of the holy places.” Hebrews 9:8. So also where we read of the greater and more perfect tabernacle, in verse 12, that Christ “entered in once into the holy place,” it is also literally “holy places.” Again, in verse 24, we read in our common version the same thing, literally rendered, “the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true,” which last word is plural in the original, showing that there are holy places in the heavenly temple. And again in Hebrews 10:19, the term “holiest” is not, in the original “holy of holies,” as in chapter 9:3, but simply “holy places.” These passages form a most convincing argument that there must be two holy places in the heavenly temple. A fourth argument is found in the fact that each of the two holy places of the heavenly temple is definitely set forth in the description of that building not made with hands.

The first apartment is identified by the things which it contains. When John was called in vision to ascend to the place of God’s throne, the heavenly temple, a door was opened in heaven and the throne of God was revealed to his view. This is manifestly the door of the heavenly temple, for the throne of God which it discloses to view is within that temple. (See Psalm 11:4; Revelation 16:17.) That it was the first apartment of that temple into which he looked is evident from what he saw therein. “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thundering and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Revelation 4:5. Here is a plain reference to the seven lamps which burned in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary. (See Leviticus 24:2–4.)

And again, when the seven angels receive the seven trumpets, the scene of vision is still the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Thus we read:

“And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 8:2, 3

The golden altar stood in the first apartment of the sanctuary, i.e., in the same room with the candlestick on which were the seven lamps. (See Exodus 40:24–26.) The place of God’s throne at the time when the book with the seven seals was delivered to Christ, and also when the seven trumpets were given to the seven angels, is the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. But when the seven vials are delivered into the hands of the seven angels who have the duty of pouring them out, the second apartment of the heavenly temple is opened and they come out from thence to execute the wrath of God upon men. This opening of the holiest takes place under the seventh trumpet.

The Temple Opened

“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened; and the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.” Revelation 15:5–8

This opening of the heavenly temple, which is followed by the pouring out of the unmingled wrath of God, is an event connected with the closing up of human probation. And it is certain that we have in this case the opening of the holiest of all, here called the tabernacle of the testimony. The expression, “tabernacle of the testimony,” is a familiar term taken from the Old Testament and is precisely equivalent to “tabernacle of the ten commandments.” In proof of this, take the use of this term in the Bible. We begin with the first use of the Hebrew word gehdooth, and trace it through the books of Moses. Thus it occurs for the first time in Exodus 16:34: “Aaron laid it up before the testimony.” That is to say, he laid up the pot of manna before the ark of the Ten Commandments. (See Hebrews 9:4.) The next is Exodus 25:16: “Thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.” This was the Ten Commandments. (See Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 10:4, 5.) Again, “In the ark thou shalt put the testimony,” (see Exodus 25:2), i.e., the Ten Commandments. (See 1 Kings 8:9.) And now the ark itself takes its name from what was put in it. “The two cherubim’s which are upon the ark of the testimony.” Exodus 25:22. “And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony; and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put the mercyseat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.” Exodus 26:33, 34. Here we have the ark of the Ten Commandments assigned to the most holy place of the tabernacle and the mercyseat placed over the ark. Presently we shall find that this testimony gives name to the tabernacle itself. As we read onward we find in Exodus 27:21; 30:6, 26, 36; 31:7, 18; 32:15; 34:29, the terms “testimony,” “tables of testimony,” “ark of the testimony,” each time by testimony meaning definitely the Ten Commandments. The term, “tabernacle of testimony,” occurs for the first time in Exodus 38:21.

The Second Apartment

Thus we see that the testimony of the Almighty gives name to the tables on which it was written, to the ark in which the tables were placed, and to the tabernacle itself, whose second apartment received the ark. Next, we thrice read of the ark of the testimony. (See Exodus 39:35; 40:3, 5.) And now we are brought to the acts of Moses in setting up the sanctuary. It is said in Exodus 40:20, “He took and put the testimony into the ark,” i.e., he put the Law of God therein. Then he placed the ark itself within the tabernacle and covered the ark of the testimony by hanging up the second veil. (See Exodus 40:21.) In Leviticus 16:13, the mercyseat is said to be upon the testimony. In Leviticus 24:3, the veil which hides the ark is called the veil of the testimony. Next, we read of the tabernacle of the testimony in Numbers 1:50, 53. Next, of the ark of the testimony. (See Numbers 4:5; 7:89; Joshua 4:16.) Next, of the tent of the testimony (see Numbers 9:15), and of the testimony itself. (See Numbers 17:10.) Next, of the tabernacle of witness, or testimony (for the two words are synonymous). (See Numbers 10:11; 17:7, 8; 18:2.) In all of these texts, it is certain that the Ten Commandments are called the testimony and that they give name to the tables, to the ark, to the veil, and to the tabernacle, especially to the second apartment.

This term has, therefore, a well-defined meaning in the Scriptures. By the testimony, the tables of the testimony, the ark of the testimony, the veil of the testimony, and the tabernacle of the testimony, are meant respectively the Ten Commandments. The term, “tabernacle of witness,” or “testimony,” does therefore definitely signify the tabernacle of the Ten Commandments. Now it is remarkable that this term occurs twice in the New Testament. In Acts 7:44, the tabernacle of witness, i.e., of the Ten Commandments, is mentioned, referring to the earthly sanctuary; and in Revelation 15:5, the heavenly sanctuary is designated by this same term, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven; and we have proved conclusively that this is equivalent to the temple of the tabernacle of the Ten Commandments in heaven.

This text is therefore a plain reference to the most holy place of the heavenly temple and to the Law of God deposited therein, which gives name to the building. This apartment of the heavenly temple is opened just prior to the pouring out of the plagues. But we have a second statement of the opening of the most holy place of the temple in heaven. Thus we read of the events under the seventh trumpet:

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:19

Here is disclosed to our view the second apartment of the heavenly temple, and here is shown the grand central object, which gives name to the tabernacle itself. It is the ark of God, sometimes called the ark of the covenant, or testament (see Numbers 10:33; Hebrews 9:4), and sometimes the ark of the testimony (see Exodus 25:22). It is because the heavenly temple contains the ark of God’s testimony that it is itself called the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven. And the ark itself is not empty; it contains what Revelation 11:19 calls God’s testament and what Revelation 15:5 calls “the testimony in heaven.” These two terms must signify the Ten Commandments and cannot signify anything else.

The Work of Judgment

The existence of the temple in heaven and the fact that it has two holy places, like the sanctuary of the first covenant, have been clearly proved. The judgment work in the second apartment remains to engage our attention.

When Paul says, in Romans 2:6, that God “will render to every man according to his deeds,” he adds in the next verse this important statement: “To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.” Now it is manifest that this work of rendering to every man according to his deeds can only be wrought after the examination of those deeds in the judgment. It must be in consequence of the decision of the judgment that the things promised are rendered to men. It is also evident that the gift of immortality is one of the things thus rendered. As the righteous receive this gift in the very act of being resurrected from the grave, it is certain that the decision of the judgment passes upon them before the voice of the archangel and the trump of God awaken them to immortal life.

This part of the judgment work takes place where our Lord finishes His priesthood; for His last work as Priest is to secure the acquittal of His people and to obtain the decision that their sins shall be blotted out. We have learned from the Scriptures that the heavenly temple has two holy places. A further examination will evince the fact that there are two parts to the ministration of Christ and that His last work is at the tribunal of His Father in the tabernacle of the testimony, where it is determined who shall receive immortality.

The Levitical Example

The Levitical priests served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5. The most important part of the service pertaining to the earthly sanctuary was that which was performed within the second apartment on the tenth day of the seventh month. (See Leviticus 16.) This is generally considered as typifying the events of the whole gospel dispensation. But we think the evidence conclusive that this chapter is a typical representation of that part of our Lord’s work which is embraced in the hour of God’s judgment, or in the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he begins to sound.

The sixteenth chapter of Leviticus is devoted solely to the work of finishing the yearly round of service in the earthly sanctuary. This was wrought on the great day of atonement and was of the most impressive character. First, the high priest was solemnly admonished that he was such only in a typical sense and not such in reality. For on this day, which was by far the most impressive of all and when he entered the most holy place of the sanctuary, he must put on the plainest and humblest dress, laying aside that splendid dress which the law prescribed for him to wear on other occasions. (See Leviticus 16:4 compared with Exodus 28.) He was also to make a public acknowledgment of his own sinfulness by proceeding to offer a sin offering for himself. (See Leviticus 16:3, 6, 11–14.) No part of this can be typical of our Lord’s work, for it was expressly designed to impress upon the mind the infirmity and sinfulness of the high priest.

But this being accomplished, the high priest entered upon that work which directly shadowed forth the work of atonement. He took from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering. (See Leviticus 16:5.) On these two goats he was to cast lots; one lot was for the goat to be sacrificed and one for the scapegoat. Then he slew the goat upon which the lot fell for a sacrifice, and with his blood he entered into the second apartment of the sanctuary. This blood he sprinkled before the mercyseat and upon it. He did this for two purposes: (1) to make atonement for the people; (2) to cleanse the sanctuary by removing from it the sins of the people of God. Then the high priest returned into the first apartment and cleansed the altar from the sins of the people. The sanctuary being cleansed, the high priest comes out of the door of the building, and, having caused the live goat to be brought, he lays both his hands upon his head and confesses over him all the transgressions of the children of Israel in all their sins. These he puts upon the head of the goat and sends him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. The goat thus sent bears away all their iniquities into a land not inhabited. (See Leviticus 16:7–10, 15–22.)
The End

Martin Luther, part VII – The Diet of Worms

Luther was conducted into the hall and brought to stand directly in front of the emperor. The chancellor of the Elector of Treves began speaking, addressing Luther first in Latin and then repeating his words in German.

“Martin Luther! yesterday you begged for a delay that has not expired. Assuredly it ought to have been conceded, as every man, and especially you, who are so great and learned a doctor in the Holy Scriptures, should always be ready to answer any question touching his faith. . . . Now, therefore, reply to the question put by his majesty, who has behaved to you with so much mildness. Will you defend your books as a whole, or are you willing to disavow some of them?” D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation, book 7, chap. 8

A deep silence settled over the room as every ear strained to catch Luther’s reply. What a moment! The fate, not only of the Reformation, but of nations was at that moment hanging in the balance.

Luther began by graciously saluting the emperor, the princes, and the lords. While he spoke firmly, he addressed the assembly in modest tones. “Most serene emperor! illustrious princes! gracious lords! I appear before you this day, in conformity with the order given me yesterday, and by God’s mercies I conjure your majesty and your august highnesses to listen graciously to the defense of a cause which I am assured is just and true. If, through ignorance, I should transgress the usages and proprieties of courts, I entreat you to pardon me; for I was not brought up in the palaces of kings, but in the seclusion of a convent.

“Yesterday, two questions were put to me on behalf of his imperial majesty: the first, if I was the author of the books whose titles were enumerated; the second, if I would retract or defend the doctrine I had taught in them. To the first question I then made answer, and I preserve in that reply.

“As for the second, I have written works on many different subjects. There are some in which I have treated of faith and good works, in a manner at once so pure, so simple, and so scriptural, that even my adversaries, far from finding anything to censure in them, allow that these works are useful and worthy of being read by all pious men. The papal bull, however violent it may be, acknowledges this. If, therefore, I were to retract these, what should I do? . . . Wretched man! Among all men, I alone should abandon truths that friends and enemies approve, and I should oppose what the whole world glories in confessing. . . .

“Second, I have written books against the papacy, in which I have attacked those who, by their false doctrine, their evil lies, or their scandalous example, afflict the Christian world and destroy both body and soul. The complaints of all who fear God are confirmatory of this. Is it not evident that the laws and human doctrines of the popes entangle, torment, and vex the consciences of believers, while the crying and perpetual extortions of Rome swallow up the wealth and the riches of Christendom, and especially of this illustrious nation? . . .

“Were I to retract what I have said on this subject, what should I do but lend additional strength to this tyranny and open the floodgates to torment of impiety? Overflowing with still greater fury than before, we should see these insolent men increase in number, behave more tyrannically, and domineer more and more. And not only would the yoke that now weighs upon the Christian people be rendered heavier by my retraction, but it would become, so to speak, more legitimate; for by this very retraction it would receive the confirmation of your most serene majesty and of all the states of the holy empire. Gracious God! I should thus become a vile cloak to cover and conceal every kind of malice and tyranny! . . .

“Lastly, I have written books against individuals who desired to defend the Romish tyranny and to destroy the faith. I frankly confess that I may have attacked them with more acrimony than is becoming my ecclesiastical profession. I do not consider myself a saint, but I cannot disavow these writings; for by so doing I should sanction the impiety of my adversaries, and they would seize the opportunity of oppressing the people of God with still greater cruelty.

“Yet I am but a mere man, and not God; I shall therefore defend myself as Christ did. If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil (see John 18:23) said He. How much more should I, who am but dust and ashes and who may so easily go astray desire every man to state his objections to my doctrine.

“For this reason, most serene emperor and you, most illustrious princes, and all men of every degree, I conjure you, by the mercy of God, to prove from the writings of the prophets and the apostles that I have erred. As soon as I am convinced of this, I will retract every error and be the first to lay hold of my books and throw them into the fire.” Ibid.

In closing, Luther drew the attention of the assembly to a judgment that they must each face: not a judgment beyond the grave but of the here and now. They were each, he pointed out, on trial. By their decisions, they were to determine whether their thrones were to be established or to be swept away in a coming deluge of wrath. “I might speak,” Luther continued, “of Pharaohs, the kings of Babylon, and those of Israel whose labours never more effectually contributed to their own destruction than when they sought by counsels, to all appearance most wise, to strengthen their dominion.” Ibid.

Luther’s Defense Repeated

Luther had spoken in German with great modesty and firmness. The imposing assembly, as well as his own emotion, had greatly fatigued him. The emperor, however, greatly disliked the German language, and it was now demanded of Luther that he repeat his defense in Latin. Frederick of Thun, the privy councilor of the Elector of Saxony, had been stationed by Luther’s side to see that no violence was used against him. Seeing Luther’s exhausted condition, he said, “If you cannot repeat what you have said, that will do, doctor.” Ibid. But Luther, after a brief pause, repeated his speech with the same energy he had presented his first. “God’s providence directed in this matter. The minds of many of the princes were so blinded by error and superstition that at the first delivery they did not see the force of Luther’s reasoning; but the repetition enabled them to perceive clearly the points presented.” The Great Controversy, 159

When he had finished speaking, the Chancellor of Treves said with indignation, ” ‘You have not answered the question put to you. You were not summoned hither to call in question the decisions of councils. You were required to give a clear and precise answer. Will you, or will you not, retract?’ Upon this Luther replied without hesitation: ‘Since your most serene majesty and your high mightinesses require from me a clear, simple, and precise answer, I will give you one, and it is this: I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning,—unless I am persuaded by the means of the passages I have quoted,—and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience.’ And then, looking round on this assembly before which he stood and which held his life in its hands, he said: ‘Here I stand, I can do no other; May God help me! Amen!’ ” D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation, book 7, chap. 8

The words of the Reformer had a profound impact on the assembly. Many of the princes could scarcely conceal their admiration. In all, Luther had spoken for nearly two hours. The effects of Aleander’s address, given so eloquently before the diet but a short time before, had dissipated in less than a week; but Luther’s was to live on to stir men’s hearts for hundreds of years to come.

To their amazement, the princes discovered that the roles had completely reversed. But two hours earlier Luther had stood before them apparently condemned, but they found that they had now been summoned to stand before his bar. Unawed by the crowns they wore, or the armies they commanded, this simple monk had entreated, admonished, and reproved them. It mattered not what they might do with the Reformer; the victory was clearly his. Nothing that Rome might now do could reverse her defeat, or conceal the victory that had been won. What light has time shed on the words that he spoke! The history of the Catholic nations of Europe and the New World bear testimony to their truthfulness.

As soon as the assembly had partially recovered, the chancellor spoke. ” ‘If you do not retract, the emperor and the states of the empire will consult what course to adopt against an incorrigible heretic.’ At these words Luther’s friends began to tremble; but the monk repeated: ‘May God be my helper; for I can retract nothing.’ ” Ibid.

After Luther withdrew, the princes deliberated. The partisans of Rome could not bring themselves to concede defeat, and Luther was again summoned before them. The speaker for the diet again addressed him. “Martin, you have not spoken with the modesty becoming your position. The distinction you have made between your books was futile; for if you retracted those that contained your errors, the emperor would not have allowed the others to be burnt. It is extravagant in you to demand to be refuted by Scripture, when you are reviving heresies condemned by the general council of Constance. The emperor, therefore, calls upon you to declare simply, yes or no, whether you presume to maintain what you have advanced, or whether you will retract a portion?’—’I have no other reply to make than that which I have already made,’ answered Luther calmly.” Ibid. Firm as a rock, the Reformer remained unmoved by the waves beating about him. His firm, unshaken stand made a profound impression upon the assembly. Charles V arose, and with him all of the assembly. Deliberations were at an end until the morrow.

Two imperial officers formed Luther’s escort. Some imagined that Luther was being led forth to the scaffold, and a great tumult broke out. It was quickly quelled when Luther assured them that he was merely being escorted to his hotel.

Upon his return to his room, Luther was surrounded by Spalatin and other friends. Together they gave thanks to God for the events of the day. As they were talking together, a messenger from the Elector of Saxony came with orders for Spalatin to come to him immediately. When Spalatin arrived at the duke’s quarters, the duke had just seated himself for supper. Arising, he motioned Spalatin to follow him. As soon as they were alone in the duke’s bed chamber, he informed Spalatin of his resolution to more actively protect the doctor in the future.

Aleander recognized the impression that Luther had made upon the assembly. He saw that he must act quickly if he were to counteract the influence that was rapidly gaining ground. War was imminent between Charles and Francis. Leo X, desiring to enlarge his estates, was secretly negotiating with both parties. Aleander, however, sought to use the influence of an alliance with the pope against Francis as the means of influencing Charles, thereby deciding the fate of the Reformer. He knew that the life of a single monk was a mere trifle if it could purchase the pontiff’s friendship.

Charles Rejects the Reformation

On the day following Luther’s appearance, the emperor ordered a prepared message to be read to the diet. In the message, he affirmed his intentions to support the Catholic Church. While confirming the safe-conduct that he had extended to Luther, he expressed his resolve to move against the Reformer as soon as it should expire and to martial all of the resources at his command to crush the heresy.

Not all of the members of the diet were pleased with the address. Charles, in his youthful haste, had failed to comply with the usual form of consulting with the diet before forming his decision. On the other extreme, the elector of Brandenburg and several of the ecclesiastical princes demanded the safe-conduct given to Luther should not be respected. The Rhine, they said, should receive his ashes as it had the ashes of John Huss a century before. Against such a base proposal a number of the princes of Germany objected. The Bavarian nobles, though mostly papal, protested against the violation of public faith. Even George of Saxony, Luther’s avowed enemy, said, “The princes of Germany will not permit a safe-conduct to be violated. This diet, the first held by our new emperor, will not be guilty of so base an action. Such perfidy does not accord with the ancient German integrity.” Ibid., chap. 9. The proposal was turned down with scorn and indignation.

Charles, who was yet very young, shrank from the idea of committing perjury. He is reported to have said, “Though honour and faith should be banished from all the world, they ought to find a refuge in the hearts of princes.” A somewhat less charitable assessment was given by Vettori, the friend of Leo X, who alleged that Charles spared Luther only that he might be a check on the pope. Charles, it would seem, only half trusted Leo, and in the game of international intrigue in which he was then engaged, he believed that a living Luther would be a more valuable counter than a dead one. There was also reason to believe that he was not blind to the danger that public sentiment was running so high that should the safe-conduct be violated, his first diet could easily be his last one. Charles is, however, credited with having repented of his decision in after years. He is reported to have stated, near the close of his life, that he was not obliged to have kept his promise to a heretic who had offended a Master greater than he—God Himself. He might, he then believed, have stifled the heresy in its infancy.

The Safe-conduct Honored

The discussion as to what to do with the Reformer lasted two days. During this time, the emotions of the citizens ran high. According to some sources, there were four hundred nobles ready to enforce Luther’s safe-conduct, if necessary, with the sword. Sickingen, it was reported, had assembled many knights and soldiers behind the impregnable ramparts of his stronghold but a dozen miles from Worms. The enthusiasm of the people, not only in Worms but throughout Germany, as well as the intrepidity of the knights and the attachment that many of the princes felt for the cause of the Reformer, convinced Charles that it would be disastrous to follow the course proposed by the Romanists. Though it was only a question of burning a simple monk, the partisans of Rome had not the strength or courage to do so. To have violated the safe-conduct would have immediately convulsed Germany in a civil war. Luther was ordered to return home under the emperor’s safe-conduct, the violent propositions of Aleander having been rejected.

The Elector Frederick was delighted with the appearance that Luther had made before the diet, but he was not alone in his appreciation of the Reformer. From that time on, many others who heard him became friends of the Reformation. Some of them expressed their change of sentiment at the time, while with others it bore fruit years later. Though Frederick had determined more than ever to protect Luther, he knew that the less his hand was seen in the matter, the more effectively he could further the cause and protect its champion. He therefore avoided all personal contact with Luther.

On the morning of April 26, Luther, surrounded by twenty gentlemen on horseback, left Worms. A few days after his departure, the emperor made public an edict against him, placing him outside the pale of the law and commanding all men everywhere, once his safe-conduct had expired, to withhold from him food, water, and shelter, and to do all within their power to apprehend him. This edict was drafted by Aleander and ratified by a meeting in the emperor’s private chamber after Elector Frederick and those favorable to Luther had already departed. The edict was dated May 8, but in reality the imperial signature was not placed on it until May 26. The purpose of the antedating was to give it the appearance of carrying the authority of the full diet.

Luther had entered Worms under the anathema of the pope. When he left, to this was added the ban of the empire.

The End

The Swelling of the Jordan

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5

Recently I spent two hours listening to a video tape, which, as nearly as I could tell, came from the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Four speakers spent two hours explaining how, when, and why they are going to bring celebration worship into the whole North American Division. The voices were soft and gentle; the faces were smiling; but the message was unmistakably clear: If you do not like it, get out. There was no credence whatsoever given to the idea that those who object to celebration worship might have a valid reason for doing so. The whole discussion was based on the assumed principle that the people who do not want celebration worship just have a psychological problem and cannot handle change. You are to be patient with them as long as you can; but if you have tried everything else and they just will not accept it, then you just say to them very kindly, “We want you to be ministered to so we are going to find some place where you can go.”

As I understood, they had not decided yet whether it will be on Sabbath or Sunday; but for two hours every week, you will be able to phone in to an 800-number and they will tell you how to handle anybody resisting your attempts to bring celebration worship into your church.

Jeremiah Challenges God

In Jeremiah 12, the Lord is being challenged by Jeremiah. Very carefully Jeremiah is presuming to cast a little bit of reflection on the Lord because he does not understand what He is doing. “Righteous art Thou, O Lord, when I plead with Thee: yet let me talk with Thee of Thy judgments. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” Jeremiah 12:1. In other words, Jeremiah is saying, “Lord, I am not criticizing You, You understand. I am not finding fault with You, but I certainly do not understand what You are doing. May I ask a question or two?”

The Lord looks on the heart and understands what is going on inside. He did not enter into any disputation with Jeremiah about his understanding. But if you look carefully at the words that follow, what He is really saying to Jeremiah is, “Jeremiah, you have a problem. You are putting understanding ahead of trust. If I were to try to explain the whole plan of salvation to you, you could not understand it. You could not wrap your head around all of that. You have to learn to trust Me whether or not you understand.”

We are going to be very deeply puzzled by things that we see taking place. Even though they are puzzling, perplexing, and bewildering, they must never affect our trust in God. We must never put understanding ahead of trust. We must learn to say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Job 13:15. The Lord is not worrying about the swelling of the Jordan. He knows what He is going to do. We are told that not one single cloud has ever risen over the church that He has not prepared for. Clouds are no problem to Him.

I want to review quickly and briefly with you just a little bit of what does lie ahead of us.

“The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. . . . Every wind of doctrine will be blowing.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80. Ellen White might have said it would be like a hurricane.

“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat.” Ibid, 707. I had a struggle with this statement. I had to get down on my knees like Jeremiah and say, “Lord, I am not criticizing You, but I have a question. Why are You letting heresies come into the church?”

“Before the last developments of the work of apostasy, there will be a confusion of faith. One truth after another will be corrupted.” Signs of the Times, May 28, 1894. Those who seek to confuse our faith begin with criticizing the sanctuary doctrine. But anyone who criticizes the sanctuary doctrine has to deal with the Spirit of Prophecy which strongly affirms that truth, so they end up taking a position against the Spirit of Prophecy; one thing comes right after another and you can see what is happening; one truth after another is being corrupted.

“In the very midst of us will arise false teachers giving heed to seducing spirits whose doctrines are of Satanic origin. These teachers will draw away disciples after themselves.” Ibid, January 7, 1904. This is a hard thing to understand, too. Why are people deceived and confused? Sometimes literature comes to my desk; and I look at it and think, How in the world can anybody be deceived by something as crude and clumsy as that? But people are being deceived.

“Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers, 409, 410. Now a man does not walk in off the street and step into a Seventh-day Adventist church pulpit, does he? He has to be placed there by authorities that are higher. So what does this tell us about what will be happening in offices of authority, positions of authority? They will be assigning false teachers to the pulpits of Seventh-day Adventist churches.

“The enemy will bring in false theories such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 53

Ellen White writes that there will be changes in our worship. (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 491.) I was attending a worship service in a church where they had a guest speaker who was a professor from some university. After the choir sang, he stepped up to the pulpit and said, “Now folks, if you were attending a concert and heard a musical number like that, would you not give some applause? Come on, give them some applause.” I thought, “Oh, dear Lord, this man has a doctor of philosophy, but he does not know the difference between the sacred and the secular. He does not know what worship is all about.” Things that might possibly be accepted some other place are not acceptable in church.


In Selected Messages, book 2, pages 36 and onward, Ellen White talks about worship with a bedlam of noise. She is addressing what had taken place in Indiana where a little group of people were doing some different things with worship services. They were using a big bass drum and lots of bedlam of noise, as she describes it. Writing to Elder Haskell, she said, “The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

“The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan. . .”

An Invitation to Demons

I want to point out to you something that you might overlook as you read this section. Notice that Ellen White said that the same music would be all right if it were conducted differently. It is the way it is being performed that she is objecting to. But in six places in three pages she points out that Satan is present there; demons are present there; Satanic agencies are present there. Seventh-day Adventists have been very well protected against spiritualism by our belief about the state of the dead. What Seventh-day Adventist would accept an invitation to go to a seance where the spirits of the dead are being called up from the grave, presumably? Why, you would not give that a thought, would you? Listen folks, you can forget about seances. You do not have to go to a seance to get into direct contact with Satan; all that you have to do is go to a celebration worship program. If you think that statement is too strong, go back and read what she says. You can get into direct contact with Satan by going to the wrong kind of worship service.

“Before the final visitations of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times.” The Great Controversy, 464. Do not give up your hope; something wonderful is just around the corner. “The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His Word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming.” Ibid. That is the good news; but before this can take place, we read: “The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit [a counterfeit revival]. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power, he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit.” Ibid.

Now, this is a little bit cynical perhaps, but I think it is realistic; I think it is practical. If you are a preacher and you would like to have an opportunity to visit camp meetings across the land and preach to people, let me tell you what to do. If you prepare some sermons which subtly, ingeniously, and cunningly undercut the Spirit of Prophecy and the sanctuary doctrine, you will receive invitations from all over the country. “Come to our camp meeting.” Conference presidents will call you. Is that too cynical? I think it is real.

On the other side of that, you cannot put all of the blame on the preachers, folks. I have another supposition, and this is a supposition; you take it for what you think it is worth. My supposition is this: I have observed that these preachers do not need to present good, solid evidence. Maybe this is a little extreme, but this thought has occurred to me as I watch what happens. I believe that those preachers who are trying to undercut our message could stand up in front of the people and say, “Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow. Now there you have absolute proof that you do not need to stop sinning;” and a lot of the people would say, “Ah, that is the great truth of God. That is what we have been waiting for.” They do not have to present strong, carefully researched evidence. Any garbage will work if you are appealing to the carnal spirits of human beings.

Changes in our theology are already here. There are changes in our worship, but they are going to get worse. There is going to be a great false revival, and the result is going to be the forming of two parties. You hardly need to go beyond a Sabbath School class in any church on a Sabbath morning to observe that there are two schools of thought working there; two parties are forming in the church.

Two Parties to Develop

“As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 400. Well, how can this be, both separation and unity? There is a separation into two parties, and the individuals within the two parties are drawing closer and closer to each other.

“Two parties will be developed.” Selected Messages, book 2, 114. People sometimes say to me, “Ralph, I see three parties out there.” Well, that is true in a sense; but in a sense it is not true. Kenneth Sample, the Calvinistic theologian who inherited the work of Walter Martin when Walter Martin died, looked at our church; and he saw three parties also. He said that in the Seventh-day Adventist Church today you have Calvinists, Liberals, and Historics. Well that is true enough. You see, the Liberal says that nothing is important anyway, so what do standards matter. The Calvinist says, “The Bible guarantees me the right to sin and nobody is going to take my right to sin away from me.” So they meet on the ethical platform, or should I say, the unethical platform. They come to it from different sides, but that is where they get together. I have seen this happen.

I watched a church business meeting where a nominating committee report was being discussed in which the question was, “Are we going to let some conservative Historic Adventist people be put into church office?” It was very, very obvious there that the Calvinists and the Liberals ganged up against the Historics. It was just as clear as could be.

“The wheat is being bound up for the heavenly garner. The true people of God are now pulling apart, and the tares are being bound in bundles to burn.” Letter 12, 1892. When somebody accuses you of pulling apart, show them this statement.

And then we have the final separation, the mass exodus. It will not be small. Remember that we read in Testimonies to Ministers, 409, “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Many, not a few. Again the word many in Testimonies, vol. 5, 81,

“Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness.”

“The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils..” Evangelism, 363

“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.” The Great Controversy, 608

“Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 41. During the General Conference in Texas, years back, Elder H.M.S. Richards, who was still alive at that time, read this statement to the delegates from all over the world and then posed the question, “What is a company? What is she describing as a company here? We have our own definition today. A company is a Sabbath School group that grows and grows until it finally becomes a church. Is that what she is talking about or is she talking about something else? Is she talking about a conference? Is she talking about a union conference? A division?” My observation is that any of these definitions could be appropriate.How do we cope with these things? First of all, do not despair. “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, ‘Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ ” Isaiah 43:1–3

Let the Jordan overflow, who cares? “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.” The Lord is perfectly able to take us through the troublous times ahead in the way that He sees best.

Trust Before Understanding

Now let us go back to where we started, folks. Our situation is pretty much like Jeremiah’s. The things ahead of us could be put in the same category as what was ahead of Jeremiah, with a little adaptation of course. It is a pretty gloomy picture. In the midst of all this, poor Jeremiah is saying, “Lord, I am not criticizing You; I am not telling You that You are making any mistakes; but would You please let me ask? I have some questions, Lord.” And the Lord’s response to him: “Jeremiah, I understand your questions, and I sympathize with your condition; but, Jeremiah, you have to put first things first. Do not put understanding ahead of trust. You must trust Me, Jeremiah.” Let us take that message given to Jeremiah as a message for every one of us. May God bless you.

The End


A time came when the Lord spoke to Elijah and said, “Then the LORD said to him: Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.” 1 Kings 19:15–17.

“And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, Get yourself ready, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. Now when you arrive at that place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take him to an inner room. Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say Thus says the Lord, I have anointed you king over Israel. Then open the door and flee, and do not delay.” “And when he arrived, there were the captains of the army sitting.” Jehu was the head over all the armies of Israel at this time. “I have a message for you, O commander. And Jehu said, For which one of us? And he said, For you, Commander. Then he arose and went into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I have anointed you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free.

“So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the vicinity of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door and fled.” 2 Kings 9:1–3, 5–10

Anytime Jehu was involved, things happened really fast. “Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, Is all well? Why did this madman come to you? And he said to them, You know the man and his babble. And they said, A lie! Tell us now. So he said, Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, Thus says the Lord: I have anointed you king over Israel. Then each man hastened to take his garment and put it under him on the top of the steps; and they blew trumpets, saying, Jehu is king!” 2 Kings 9:11–13

Jehu set out to fulfill the commission that the Lord had given him. He killed the king of Israel, and then Ahaziah of Judah was killed. Jehu then went on to Jezreel and had Jezebel put to death. The Lord had told him that he was to kill all of the house of Ahab because of their wickedness, “So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining.” 2 Kings 10:11

Lost Doing A Good Work

Because Jehu did a work that God commissioned him to do, the Lord rewarded him. (See 2 Kings 10:30.) However, as I study the life of Jehu, I find nothing that assures us that Jehu will be in the kingdom of heaven. The Bible states that “Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord.” Verse 31. There is no promise of salvation to people who do not walk in the law of the Lord.

All of these stories in the Bible are given for us to learn lessons. The story of Jehu is a very interesting one. How is it that a man could be anointed by Elisha, do what he was supposed to do, have the Lord tell him, “I am going to reward you because you did what you were supposed to do,” and yet be lost?

Jehu had a number of problems in his life. One of those problems was that he was self-confident. Many people think that if you are self-confident, you are going to accomplish a great deal; but in the Christian life, self-confidence is one of the most dangerous elements that we encounter because a Christian’s confidence is to be only in the Lord.

Determined to Be Someone

What was Jehu’s second problem? He was determined that he was going to do something to really distinguish himself above other people. Do you remember that Jehu said to a companion, “I am zealous for the Lord. Come up with me and see it?” (See 2 Kings 10:16.) Jehu had a type of zeal but without knowledge. Writing of this type of error, Ellen White wrote that those who “cast aside all that has been said in regard to unity of sentiment and feeling, and trample upon the prayer of Christ as though the unity for which He prayed was unessential, that there is no necessity for His followers to be one, even as He is one with the Father. They go off on a tangent, and Jehu-like, call to their brethren to follow their example of zeal for the Lord.” Review and Herald, September 12, 1893. What is this tangent? “Men are to be condemned who start out with a proclamation of wonderful light and yet draw away from the agents whom God is leading.” Ibid.

So a person says, “Oh, I have this wonderful new truth.” They tell you the wonderful new truth and then start condemning all of the other people whom God has been using and say, “They do not know about this yet. They are not up to this yet.” This, she says, is the way that Jehu was. He wanted to lead others to follow his own example of haste and zeal which was not according to knowledge.

Another problem that Jehu had was that his religion was all activity. Remember the Bible talked about driving furiously like Jehu? Ellen White writes about this also. She says, “There are many whose religion consists in activities. They want to be engaged in and have the credit of doing some great work while the little graces that go to make up a lovely Christian character are entirely overlooked. The busy, bustling service which gives the impression that one is doing some wonderful work, is not acceptable to God. It is a Jehu spirit which says, ‘Come, see my zeal for the Lord.’ It is gratifying to self; it feeds a self-complacent feeling, but all the while the soul may be defiled with a plague spot of unsubdued, uncontrolled selfishness.” Signs of the Times, November 20, 1884. What was wrong? His religion consisted all in activity, but his heart was not changed. He was not developing the graces of a Christian character, a Christ-like spirit.

I referred to the fact that Jehu had a number of problems. He also had a problem of dissecting other people’s characters. Ellen White wrote to some people in the Battle Creek church who had this very same problem.

“You are not a converted people. The love of Jesus does not dwell in your hearts, and you are just as ready to fasten upon some other one to dissect his character, to become like Jehu in zeal to ferret out everything you can of a nature to condemn him, as you have been in the case of Bro. Bell. The spirit is there. The root of bitterness has not been dug out, but will spring into life and flourish wonderfully if it has a chance. The same suspicion, the same jealousies, the same spirit of insubordination, the same disrespect for men whom God has acknowledged as His servants, the same riding over authority that caused your present trouble, is not dead,—it is only quelled to arouse again in greater force, if a favorable occasion should offer. This spirit has never been expelled.” Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, 18

When you begin trying to determine everything that is wrong in the character of others, it has a reaction upon yourself.

Those who are like Jehu also tend to behave rashly. Do you know what it means to be rash? It is the tendency to make big, important decisions without carefully thinking the situation through. Of course, people who have this problem tend to think that everybody else is slow. Speaking of this problem, Ellen White wrote, “Many indulge a zeal like that of Jehu and rashly venture to make decisions in matters of grave importance while they themselves have no connection with God. They should humbly and earnestly seek wisdom from the One who has placed them in their position and should be very modest in assuming responsibilities. They should also lay the matter before the president of their conference and counsel with him. At some appointed time the subject should be patiently considered in the fear of God with much humility and sorrow for the erring who are the purchase of the blood of Christ with earnest, humble prayer. The proper officer should deal with the offenders.

“How different has been the course when, with self-assumed authority and a hard, unfeeling spirit, accusations have been made and souls have been thrust out of the church of Christ.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 113

Have you ever met people who, if somebody commits a grievous error, their immediate response is, “Well, let’s just get them out. Let’s just disfellowship them.” That is the way that Jehu was.

One of Our Great Problems

Jehu went about to establish his own authority; and, friends, this has always been one of the greatest problems among the people of God. This has happened time and again. “During the night season has been presented before me the unfaithfulness of men who have occupied positions of responsibility at the great heart of the work. The counsels of this great center if kept pure and uncorrupted, would have been as the voice of God. But men have worked upon principles that are condemned by the Word of God and they have not heard nor obeyed the voice of God. Like Jehu they have driven furiously in a course to uproot the confidence of God’s people in men who are true to the Master’s cause. They have sought to establish their own authority while betraying the cause of God. While making decisions and devising and planning, they have tried to make their oppressive human orders as the voice of God to the people.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 209. What were they doing? They were saying, “I am on the Lord’s side; but those people over there, they are not.” That was the way that Jehu was. He cast discredit on people whom God had been using.

Jehu assumed burdens that he was not able to carry. Ellen White, speaking about the leaders of the work, said, “Like Jehu, they have been driving furiously forward, to assume burdens which they cannot carry. It is because men know so little of true godliness, because they have so little genuine experience in the building up, little by little, of the work and cause of God, that they make long strides without God to lead the way.” 1888 Materials, 1630. While we do not want to go too slowly, there is such a thing as going too fast; and that is what Jehu did. He went too fast; he did things that were rash and not well thought through and assumed burdens that he was not competent to carry. He took long strides; he wanted to get the work done quickly.

I was interested in what Ellen White told our workers. She said, “Do not try to make everything go as fast as Jehu’s chariot wheels.” She wrote, “Men are slow to learn the lesson that the spirit manifested by Jehu will never bind hearts together. It is not safe for us to bind our interests with a Jehu religion. For this will result in bringing sadness of heart upon God’s true workers. God has not given to any of His servants the work of punishing those who will not heed His warnings and reproofs.” Review and Herald, April 10, 1900

Jehu had a spirit that, if you did not go along with his way of doing it, he would punish you.

Jehu was not gentle. Do you remember that Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart”? Matthew 11:28, 29. Jehu was not that way. Ellen White wrote about this character trait to our writers and editors. “The truth should be presented with divine tact, gentleness, and tenderness. It should come from a heart that has been softened and made sympathetic. We need to have close communion with God lest self rise up as it did in Jehu and we pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting, that are not as dew or as the still showers that revive the withering plants. Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls.” Publishing Ministry, 307. Oh, friend, has your heart been made soft and sympathetic by the love of Jesus? When that has taken place, your religion is going to have a much greater effect on other people.

Jehu did what God wanted to have done, but he did not have the right spirit. Are we going to learn what Jehu apparently never learned? If we have Jesus inside our hearts, we will always see some way to reach the minds and hearts of others because we will be unselfish and thoughtful. Kindness opens the door to people’s hearts.

Greater Power Than Jehu

We are told that, “If we would enter into the joy of our Lord, we must be co-laborers with Him. With the love of Jesus warm in our hearts, we shall always see some way to reach the minds and hearts of others. It will make us unselfish, thoughtful, and kind; and kindness opens the door of hearts; gentleness is mightier far than a Jehu spirit.” Review and Herald, February 10, 1885. Would you like to have something that is more powerful than the Jehu spirit? Would you like to have power in your life? power to influence your children? power to influence other people? When you have the gentleness of Jesus and you speak to other people with tenderness and courtesy, that has greater power than all of the force that Jehu was able to muster. God wants to give you a superior wisdom, a superior power that will be able to go beyond the Jehu spirit and reach people’s hearts. Do you want it? Ask the Lord to give you a Christ-like, gentle spirit. Remember, it is far more powerful than the spirit of Jehu. It will give you access to people’s hearts. If you will ask the Lord for it, He will give it to you.

The End

Editorial – What God Has Joined, part 2

Although, in extreme cases, separation is at times necessary, we note that this course was something that even the prophet of God left to the judgment of those who were in these trying situations—she did not advocate the separation of that which God had joined together and she gave serious warnings to anyone who would do this even when there was question as to whether the persons involved had a biblical right to marry in the first place.

Example 1: “Your letter has been received and read. I have had acquaintance with several such cases and have found those who felt conscientious to do something in similar cases to the one you mention. After having stirred things up generally, and torn to pieces, they had not wisdom to put things together to make matters better. I found that those who were so zealous to tear things down did nothing to build them up in right order. They had the faculty to confuse, distress, and create a most deplorable condition of things, but not the faculty to make them better.

“You have asked my counsel in regard to this case; I would say that unless those who are burdened in reference to the matter have carefully studied a better arrangement, and can find places for these where they can be comfortable, they better not carry out their ideas of a separation. I hope to learn that this matter is not pressed and that sympathy will not be withdrawn from the two whose interests have been united. I write this because I have seen so many cases of the kind, and persons would have great burden till everything was unsettled and uprooted and then their interest and burden went no further. We should individually know that we have a zeal that is according to knowledge. We should not move hastily in such matters, but look on every side of the question; we should move very cautiously and with pitying tenderness, because we do no know all the circumstances which led to this course of action.

“I advise that these unfortunate ones be left to God and their own consciences, and that the church shall not treat them as sinners until they have evidence that they are such in the sight of the Holy God. He reads hearts as an open book. He will not judge as man judgeth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 164, 165

Example 2: “I have just read your letter concerning Will E. I regard the matter in the same light that you do, and think it a cruel, wicked thing that the father of Will E. Should take the course that he is taking; but I have not dared to answer his letters. If anything can come from me through you to him, I would say that his case cannot be improved by leaving the present wife. It would not better the case to go to the other woman in the question….

“I have not written to Will E., but know that if the father would repent before God and do his first works, and cease to consider himself as one that can help his son, he would ask himself the question, ‘Is my name written there, on the page white and fair?’ He might well begin to humble himself before God, and leave Will Wales with God.

“Let the father and brother make diligent work for themselves. They both need the converting power of God. May the Lord help these poor souls to remove spot and stain from their own characters, and repent of their wrongs, and leave Will E. with the Lord.

“I am so sorry for the man, for his course is in such a shape that it will not answer to be meddled with, for there are difficulties upon difficulties. I would say that the Lord understands the situation, and if Will E. will seek Him with all his heart, He will be found of him. If he will do his best, God will pardon and receive him.

“’Oh, how precious it is to know that we have One who does know and understand, and will help the ones who are most helpless. But the rebuke of God is upon the father and the brother who would drive to destruction and perdition one who stands in the sight of God under no worse condemnation than themselves, and yet they will so use their gifts of speech as to dishearten, discourage, and drive Will E. to despair.

“‘Will E. may hope in God and do the best he can to serve God in all humility of mind, casting his helpless soul upon the great Sin Bearer. I have not written a word to either father or son. I would gladly do something to help poor Will E. to make things right, but this cannot be done as matters are now situated, without someone’s being wronged.

“I understand perfectly the situation between Will E. and his first wife….and I knew how the case would terminate; for Will E. cannot endure to be a slave, his identity lost in a wife who made herself his judge in conscience, in his duty, and in his work generally.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 225-227