Persecution Revived: Enter in Through the Right Gate

After Henry died in 1547, young and reforming Edward succeeded him to the throne. The Popish faction was still powerful. Had Edward VI lived, it is probable that many things in the worship of the Church of England, borrowed from the Roman Church, would have been removed.

It was a great work that was accomplished in England during Edward’s reign, especially when we consider that it was all accomplished in six short years. Before the Reformation was to be firmly established in England, however, it would yet pass through another severe trial and test.

Following the death of Edward, July 17, 1553, Mary daughter of Henry VIII, began to reign at thirty-seven years of age. Her accession was met with satisfaction, if not with enthusiasm, by the great majority of the nation. It was the general belief that the throne was rightfully hers, though an earlier parliament had annulled her right of succession on the grounds of the unlawfulness of Henry’s marriage to Catherine. Later, another parliament had restored it to her, which was in keeping with Henry’s last will and testament. Under this arrangement, she placed next after Edward, Prince of Wales, and heir to the crown. Few indeed anticipated the terrible changes that would soon sweep the nation. Mary’s education had been conducted mainly by her mother, who had taught her little besides a strong attachment to the Roman Catholic faith. No sooner had the way to the throne been cleared for her than she sent a message to the pope to the effect that she was his faithful daughter and England had returned to Rome. The knowledge of the joy of this would bring to the Eternal City enabled the messenger to make the trip in nine days, something that had taken Campeggio three months to accomplish when he came to pronounce Henry’s divorce.

Realizing that these same tidings would be far from welcome in England, Mary hid her true feelings. To the Reformers of Suffolk, who before espousing her cause sought a commitment from her as to the course she intended to pursue, she bade them put their minds at rest; no man would be molested on the grounds of his religion. Upon entering London, she sent the Lord Mayor the message that she meant not to compel other people’s consciences otherwise than God should persuade their hearts of truth. By these words, her right to the throne was confirmed. No sooner, however, was she firmly established than she threw off all disguise and left no one in doubt that it was her settled purpose to suppress the Protestant faith.

All of the circumstances that had made progress of the Reformation so difficult in England worked in Mary’s favor as she sought to restore the Catholic religion. Large numbers of the people were still attached to the ancient beliefs, as there had not been sufficient time for the light to fully dispel the darkness. A large portion of the clergy, though professing the Protestant faith because of the pressure that had been applied to them as a result of the laws passed during Henry’s reign, were still papal at heart.

Throughout all of England, all men who held any position of influence and who were known to be favorable to the Reformation were removed. During the months of August and September, Ridley, Bishop of London; Rogers; Latimer, the most eloquent preacher in all of England; Hooper of Gloucester; Coverdale; Bradford; Saunders; and others were deprived of their liberty. In addition, some noblemen and gentlemen were deprived of their lands which the king had given them. Many churches were changed, altars were set up, and masses said, even before a law had been passed making it legal.

All of the foreign Protestants were given passports, with orders to leave the country. Nearly 1,000 Englishmen under various guises left with them. Providence had arranged that just as the storm was about to break in England, it had begun to abate on the Continent.

Soon after being confirmed to the throne, Mary considered a marriage to the emperor’s son, Philip of Spain. Parliament begged the queen not to marry a stranger; and the queen, not liking to have her matrimonial interests interfered with, dismissed the members and sent them to their homes. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor of England, learning that a galleon loaded with gold had just returned to Spain from South America, wrote the emperor, suggesting that for the price of a few millions of his wealth he might be able to buy sufficient votes of influential men, thereby assuring that England would be rescued from heresy. At the same time, it was suggested that it would be an opportunity to add another to the many kingdoms that were already under the Spanish scepter. The idea was agreed to and plans for a wedding moved ahead.

With the year 1555, the stake returned to England. Secret informers were appointed in each district to report on all who did not attend the mass or who otherwise failed to conduct themselves as good Catholics. Among the first victims to suffer for their faith were Rogers and Hooper. The men who were burned during Mary’s reign died mainly because of their denial in the belief of transubstantiation—the actual presence of the body of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. The question was direct and there was no reasoning the matter. “What sayest thou?” was the question put to each of them. If in answer they said “flesh,” they were acquitted; if in reply they said “bread,” they were condemned to be burned.

Rogers had been an associate of Tyndale and Coverdale in translating the Scriptures. On the morning of February 4, he was awakened and led to Smithfield. In the crowd he saw his wife with their eleven children, the smallest still an infant. His persecutors thought that his fatherly instincts might prevail where they had failed, but in this they were mistaken. Refusing the pardon that was offered him, he replied; “That which I have preached will I seal with my blood.” Accused of being a heretic, he calmly replied that this would be determined at the last day.

After this beginning, the work moved ahead rapidly. In order to strike terror to the populace as a whole, stakes were raised all over England. The clergy, thinking that seeing their pastors burned would terrorize the flock, arranged to have the Reformers burned in various places throughout England. Little did they realize that the people might be moved to pity by the sight and, admiring their heroism, would come to despise the tyranny that doomed them to such an awful death. A thrill of horror swept the nation.

Hooper, who had been a companion of Rogers at his initial trial, had expected to accompany him to the stake. Instead, however, he was told that he was to be transported back to Gloucester where he had been bishop. Though he welcomed the privilege of dying anywhere for Christ, to seal his testimony before the flock to which had preached filled him with joy. Arriving in Gloucester, he was met by a crowd of tearful people. Three days were allowed him before his execution. On February 9, he was led out. It was market day and not less than 7,000 people assembled to watch. He did not address those assembled, as he had been forced to give his promise to remain silent by the threat of having his tongue cut out. His courage and the serenity of his countenance, however, preached a more eloquent sermon than any words he might have framed.

Men were able to contrast the leniency with which the Romanists had been treated under Edward VI with the fierce cruelty of Mary. When Protestantism was in the ascendancy, not a single papist had died for his religion. A few priests had been deprived of their offices and revenue, but the vast majority had saved their livelihood by conforming. Now that popery had revived, no one could be a Protestant but at the peril of his life. All over England fires raged. From the child, to the elderly, without regard to sex, the victims were brought, sometimes singly, at other times by the dozens. An England that till now had placed a small price on the Reformation, awoke to a better idea of the value what Edward VI and Cranmer had given it.

The gloomiest year in the history of England was the last year of Mary. Drought and tempests had brought about a scarcity of food. Famine brought plague in its wake. Strange maladies attacked the population and a full half of the inhabitants fell sick. Many towns and villages were almost depopulated, and a sufficient number of laborers could not be found to even reap the fields. In many places the grain, instead of being carried to the barn, stood rotting in the fields. The kingdom was rapidly becoming a satrapy of Spain, and its prestige was year by year sinking in the eyes of foreign powers.

Between February 4, 1555, when Rogers was burned at Smithfield, and November 15, 1558, when five martyrs were burned in one fire at Canterbury just two days before Mary died, no less than 288 persons were burned alive at the stake.

Mary breathed her last on the morning of November 17, 1558. On the same day, but a few hours later, Cardinal Pole died. He along with Carranza, the Spanish priest who had been Mary’s confessor, had been chief counselor in carrying out the deeds that were to crown her reign with such infamy in England. The news of Mary’s death spreading rapidly through London caused general rejoicing. Wherever the news was told, it was heralded with great joy. The nation awoke as from a horrible nightmare.

Elizabeth ascended the throne with the sincere purpose of restoring the Protestant religion. She was faced, however, with a work that was as difficult as it was great. The learned and eloquent preachers who had been the strength of Protestantism in the reign of her brother Edward had perished at the stake or been driven into exile, leaving the pulpits in the possession of the Roman Catholic clergy. On all sides she was surrounded by great dangers. The clergy of her realm were mostly of the Catholic faith. As the daughter of one of those wives of Henry that they disputed, in the eyes of these bishops her claim to the throne was more than doubtful. Abroad, the dangers were equally great.

During the first year of Elizabeth’s reign, the qualified Protestant clergy in England were few indeed, but their numbers rapidly increased as the news reached the cities to which they had been driven by persecution. Their arrivals in England greatly strengthened the work of restoring the Reformation.

As long as Scotland was Catholic in faith, it was a threat to Protestant England. The establishment of its Reformation in 1560 under John Knox, however, made it one in policy, as in faith, with England. At the time when Elizabeth was weakest, this sudden conversion of an ancient foe into a firm ally brought her unexpected help.

The Reformer, John Knox, landed in Scotland on May 2, 1559. A messenger immediately set off to bear the unwelcome news to the Scottish queen. A few days later, by royal proclamation, he was declared a rebel and an outlaw. If the proclamation accomplished nothing else, it succeeded in electrifying all of Scotland with the news.

Until the coming of Knox, a close alliance had existed between Scotland and France, a union of the gravest concern to Elizabeth. Francis II, upon ascending the throne of France, had openly assumed the title and arms of England. He made no secret of his purpose to invade the country and place his wife, Mary Stuart, heiress of the Scottish kingdom, upon its throne. The most obvious way to achieve his purpose, as it appeared to him, was to pour his soldiers into his wife’s hereditary kingdom of Scotland and then descend on England from the North. The scheme was proceeding with every promise of success, when the progress of the Reformation in Scotland and the consequent expulsion of the French from that country of France and converted that very country, in which the Papists trusted to be the instrument of Elizabeth’s overthrow, into her firmest ally.

It now became clear to Pope Pius V that the Reformation was centering itself in England, and, from there, influencing all of Europe. In the throne of England, Protestant forces were finding a focus and developing into a more consolidated and effective Protestantism than had ever before existed in Christendom. It was here, therefore, that the great battle must come which would determine whether the Reformation of the sixteenth century was to establish itself or to end in failure.

On May 3, 1570, Pius V issued his bull excommunicating Queen Elizabeth. Nearly three years before, the Jesuits had begun to infiltrate England. Professing themselves to be Protestant clergymen, they worked to widen the differences and create animosities between the various Protestant groups, eventually breaking the union and peace that had so largely prevailed in England during the first ten years of Elizabeth’s reign. The Massacre of St. Bartholomew, which occurred soon after, in 1572, sent a thrill of terror through the nation. The doom of the Huguenots taught Elizabeth and the English Protestants that Roman Catholic pledges and promises of peace were no security whatever against sudden and wholesale destruction.

To counter the influence of the Reformation movement in England, the Catholic Church founded a university at Douay in the northeast of France. To this school a small group of English youth came to be educated as seminary priests and later were employed in undermining the Reformation in their native land. The Pope so completely approved of the entire plan that he created a similar institution in Rome—the English College.

Before these foreign seminaries had had sufficient time to complete the work of training qualified agents, two students of Oxford, Edward Campion and Robert Parsons, traveled to Rome. While there, they arranged with the Jesuits to carry out the execution of the Pope’s bull against Queen Elizabeth. Returning to England in 1580, they began operations. Assuming new names and different dress each day of the week, they began to traverse England. In their travels, they lodged in the houses of Catholic nobles, seeking to arouse Roman Catholic zeal and the spirit of mutiny. At length, Campion addressed a letter to the Privy Council, boldly avowing to revive in England “the faith that was first planted, and must be restored,” and boasting that the Jesuits of all countries were leagued together for this object. He concluded by demanding a disputation at which the queen and members of the Privy Council should be present. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was seized while in the disguise of a soldier and taken to the Tower. According to the act already passed, he was found guilty and, along with Sherwin, Kirby, and Briant, his accomplices, was executed for high treason.

Rome recognized that any hope of reestablishing the faith of Rome in England was hopeless as long as Elizabeth reigned. Finding themselves unwilling to wait for natural causes to make vacant her throne, they watched their opportunity to accomplish her removal. The record of England during the years following 1580 is a continuous record of these murderous attempts, all springing out of and justifying themselves by the bull of excommunication. Not a year passed, after the arrival in England of the Jesuits Campion and Parsons, that there was not a plot to insurrection in some part of the queen’s dominions.

In 1586 came the Babington conspiracy. It originated with John Ballard, a priest who had been educated in the seminary at Rheims. Respecting the bull of excommunication as the product of infallibility, he held that as Elizabeth had been excommunicated by the Pope, for him to deprive her of both her life and throne would be the most acceptable service he could do to God and the surest way of earning a crown in Paradise. The affair was to begin with the assassination of Elizabeth. The Catholics in England were then to be summoned to arms; and while the flames of insurrection were raging within the kingdom, a foreign army was to land upon the coast, besiege and sack the cities that opposed them, raise Mary Stuart of Scotland to the throne, and establish the Catholic religion in England.

By means of intercepted letters and the information of spies, Walsingham, one of Elizabeth’s leading secretaries, early learned of the secret. Soon he was in possession of as clear and exact a knowledge of the plot as the conspirators themselves. Quietly he stood by, watching the conspiracy develop until all was ready. He then stepped in and crushed it. The Englishmen who had plotted to extinguish the religion and liberties of their native land in the blood of civil war and the fury of foreign invasion paid for their crimes on the scaffold. The life of Mary, Queen of Scots, ended for her, not on the throne of England but with a headsman’s ax.

An attempt has been made to present the men executed for their share in this, and similar conspiracies, as martyrs for religion. The fact is, however, that it is impossible to show that a single individual was put to death under Elizabeth simply because he believed in or professed the Roman Catholic faith. In every case, the charges were for promoting or practicing treason. Surely had the Protestant government of Elizabeth thought to put to death Catholics for their faith, those others who had acted such prominent parts in the bloody tragedies under Mary would have been the first to fall. But these men who had murdered hundreds were never called to account for the deeds they had done. Instead, they lived out their lives in ease and peace amid the relations and contemporaries of the men they had dragged to the stake.

As the Bible began to freely circulate in Britain, it soon changed the character of the people, putting an end to the barbaric and bloodthirsty methods that had been the tools long employed by the Church of Rome to suppress all who were in opposition to her authority. In some instances it might be argued that Roman Catholics were treated with unnecessary cruelty, but it must be remembered that England was in a period of transition. The nation was just emerging from the Romish school of blood after centuries of training. Britain and North America are today what the Bible made them; Spain and Latin America are what Romanism made them.

The End

The Tares in the Church

Until the period of the end of the age, there always will be tares among the wheat, foolish virgins with the wise, and bad fish with the good fish in the net. Our great concern should be, Am I part of the wheat or part of the tares? Remember, all of the tares profess to be wheat, and all of the bad fish can say, “I am in the net, in the church,” How can you tell for sure that you will not be surprised in the end of the age of grace? Inspiration describes the characteristics of the tares. The counterfeit seed are spiritual principles; and when these spiritual tares finally control your life you are ruined for eternity. We will look now at different tares or spiritual principles. Every one of these principles is a tare; and if one or more of these spiritual tares is in your life, you are unfit for eternal life. If we are to be in the wheat harvest, all tares must come out of the garden of our heart.

Twenty-one Tares

Each of the following character traits is described in the Spirit of Prophecy as a tare, although the proof for this is not documented in each case.


Murmuring is the tare that kept the children of Israel out of the promised land. “We who profess to keep the commandments of God, are not beyond the temptations of Satan. The history of the Jews was written for our benefit, upon whom the ends of the world are come, that we should not be filled with ambition and pride as they were; that we should avoid their example of wrong doing, and not fall as they fell. In the sacred word of God the history of Israel is spread out before us for our instruction. Are we making the most of the information given us, or are we merely following in the footsteps of the Pharisees, merely pretending to be connected with God, bearing the leaves of the profession, but not the fruit?” Signs of the Times, May 9, 1878

Pride, Envy, and Jealousy

Christ was ever severe in His denunciations of hypocritical professors, those who bore no fruit to His glory. He frequently declared that there was more hope for the veriest open sinner than for the pretender. Jesus would cleanse the temple of the soul from the defiling sins of selfishness, pride, envy, and love of the world.” Signs of the Times, August 22, 1878

Unwillingness to be Reproved for Faults

There have ever been two classes among those who profess to be followers of Christ…among the twelve apostles was a traitor. Judas was accepted, not because of his defects of character, but notwithstanding them. He was connected with the disciples, that, through the instruction and example of Christ, he might learn what constitutes Christian character, and thus be led to see his errors, to repent, and, by the aid of divine grace, to purify his soul ‘in obeying the truth.’ But Judas did not walk in the light so graciously permitted to shine upon him. By indulgence in sin he invited the temptations of Satan. His evil traits of character became predominant. He yielded his mind to the control of the powers of darkness; he became angry when his faults were reproved, and thus he was led to commit the fearful crime of betraying his Master. So do all who cherish evil under a profession of godliness hate those who disturb their peace by condemning their course of sin. When a favorable, opportunity is presented, they will, like Judas, betray those who for their good have sought to reprove them.” The Great Controversy, 43, 44


“He who tries to serve God and the world is unstable in all his ways. He cannot be trusted. His words may be fair, he may be professedly righteous, but in heart he is deceptive and deceitful, a rebel against God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 139. “Through apostasy, fallen men and fallen angels are in the same confederacy, leagued to work against good. They are united in a desperate companionship. Through his evil angels, Satan contrives to form an alliance with professedly pious men, and thus he leaves the church of God. He know that if he can induce men, as he induced the angels, to join in rebellion, under the guise of servants of God, he will have in them his most successful allies in his enterprise against heaven. Under the name of godliness, he can inspire them with his own accusing spirit, and lead them to charge God’s servants with evil and guile. They are his trained detectives; their work is to create feuds, to make charges which create discord and bitterness among brethren, to set tongues in active service for Satan, to sow seeds of dissension by watching for evil, and by speaking of that which will create discord.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1142

Selfish Ambition, Love of Money, and a Pretended Religious Experience

“John rebuked their selfish pride, and avarice. He warned them of their unbelief, and condemned their hypocrisy. He told them that they had not fulfilled the conditions of the covenant on their part, which would entitle them to the promises God made to a faithful and obedient people. Their proud boasts of being children of Abraham did not make them really such. Their exhibitions of pride, their arrogance, jealousy, selfishness, and cruelty, stamped their characters as a generation of vipers, rather than the children of obedient and just Abraham. John assured them that God would raise up children unto Abraham from the very stones, to whom He could fulfill His promise, rather than to depend on the natural children of Abraham who had neglected the light God had given them, and had become hardened by selfish ambition and wicked unbelief. He told them that if they were really the children of Abraham, they would do the works of their father Abraham. They would have Abraham’s faith, love, and obedience. But they did not bear this fruit. They had no claim to Abraham as their father, or the promises God made to the seed of Abraham. ‘Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.’ While they were professing to be God’s commandment keeping people, their works denied their faith, and without true repentance for their sins they would have no part in the kingdom of Christ. Justice, benevolence, mercy, and the love of God would characterize the lives of His commandment-keeping people. Unless these fruits were seen in their daily life, all their profession was of no more value than chaff which would be devoted to the fire of destruction.” Review and Herald, January 14, 1873

Lukewarm Spiritual Experience

“We must be rich in faith and good works. The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to those who have been made the repositary of rich truth. This church is distinguished in prophecy by its great profession of advanced light; yet it was filled with spiritual pride and lukewarmness in religion. They had a religious theory, but were greatly lacking in moral power and holiness. They are pronounced wretched, poor, blind, and naked. O that our people would realize the danger, and heed the counsel of the True Witness, “Buy of Me gold in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed;…and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.’” Review and Herald, January 1, 1889

Not Eating the Word of Life

“Like the unfaithful son, they make false promises to God. In taking upon themselves the solemn covenant of the church, they have pledged to receive and obey the Word of God, to give themselves to God’s service; but they do not do this. In profession they claim to be sons of God, but in life and character they deny the relationship. They do not surrender the will to God. They are living a lie.” Review and Herald, June 23, 1910. (See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 279.)


“In the circumstance of Mary’s anointing Jesus’ feet, the plague spot of Judas’ character was revealed. The crisis had come in the life of Judas and the ruling trait of character took its supremacy over every other trait. Covetousness, which is idolatry, had been cultivated, and had strengthened in his heart, and when temptation came upon him, he was held under its control. The temptations of Satan will ever thus meet a response from the elements of depravity that are in the human character that have not been resisted and overcome. The covetous greed that Judas had indulged for years, now held in control and overpowered every other characteristic of his nature. He harmonized with the drawings of Satan, and evil triumphed as he yielded to temptation. Although he was professedly a follower of Jesus, yet he was strengthening the evil of his character. Jesus knew every transgression, and He now looked sorrowfully upon him who was numbered with the twelve, and who was yet not a doer of the words of Christ.” Signs of the Times, December 18, 1893

Failure to Overcome, Failure to Seek for Perfection of Character

“The Redeemer of the world ever sought to carry the mind from the earthly to the heavenly. Christ constantly taught the disciples, and His sacred lessons had a molding influence upon their characters. Judas alone did not respond to divine enlightenment. To all appearance he was righteous, and yet he cultivated his tendency to accuse and condemn others….Judas was selfish, covetous, and a thief, yet he was numbered with the disciples. He was defective in character and he failed to practice the words of Christ. He braced his soul to resist the influence of the truth; and while he practiced criticizing and condemning others, he neglected his own soul, and cherished and strengthened his natural evil traits of character until he became so hardened that he could sell his Lord for thirty pieces of silver.” Review and Herald, August 15, 1893

Mechanical Obedience

“Many profess to be on the Lord’s side, but they are not; the weight of all their actions is on Satan’s side. By what means shall we determine whose side are we on? Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Upon whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are on the Lord’s side, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. We have no friendship with the world; we have consecrated all that we have and are to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His Spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 262

Unholy Connections, Joining Confederacies in this World, Secret Societies

“The wheat is not to sow itself among the tares; for although we may not practice the works of some of the members of the secret orders, in joining them we are registered in heaven as partakers of their evil deeds, responsible for their works of evil, and bound up in bundles with them as tares.” Review and Herald, January 10, 1893

A Divided Heart-Not Wholly Consecrated to God

“With faithful, unsparing hand Christ unmasked the men who had professed so much and done so little. Behind their pretentious piety there lay concealed deceitful malignity, the controlling principle of their lives. Children of Abraham, children of God, they were not, and neither could they be. By their works they bore evidence that they were the children of the enemy of God.” Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900

Only A Formal Connection With the Church

“Judas might have been disciplined by the lessons of Christ, as were the other disciples, but he refused to receive and to practice the words of Christ. Though he was thought by the other disciples to be a faithful follower of Christ, he was not transformed in character. He had a formal connection with the little church of disciples, but he had not heart-connection with Christ.” 1888 Materials, 1359

Doctrinal Error, Especially New Theories

“The figures used [in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3] are symbolic of the state of God’s professed people,—the wheat developing among the tares; truth standing on its own eternal basis in contrast with error.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 372. “The conflict is to wax fiercer and fiercer. Satan will take the field and personate Christ. He will misrepresent, misapply, and pervert everything he possibly can, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Even in our day there have been and will continue to be entire families who have once rejoiced in the truth, but who will lose faith because of calumnies and falsehoods brought to them in regard to those whom they have loved and with whom they have had sweet counsel. They opened their hearts to the sowing of tares; the tares; spring up among the wheat; they strengthened; the crop of wheat became less and less; and the precious truth lost its power to them. For a time a false zeal accompanied their new theories, which hardened their hearts against the advocates of truth as did the Jews against Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers, 411

Having A Carnal Mind

“Why is it that the people in this age are so easily drawn away from the observance of God’s commandments? Why is it that they relish the mockery of those who profess to be teachers of righteousness, who yet cast contempt upon the commandments of Jehovah? Is it not because the heart of this people is carnal? In the scriptures quoted the Lord presents His reproof to those whom He terms ‘My people,’ who have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns that can hold no water.” Signs of the Times, October 2, 1893. “Let every one who is seeking to live a Christian life, remember that the church militant is not the church triumphant. Those who are carnally minded will be found in the church. They are to be pitied more than blamed. The church is not to be judged as sustaining these characters, though they be found within her borders. Should the church expel them, the very ones who found fault with their presence there, would blame the church for sending them adrift in the world; they would claim that they were treated unmercifully. It may be that in the church there are those who are cold, proud, haughty, and unchristian, but you need not associate with this class.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 294, 295

Doubt and Unbelief

“There are those in responsible positions who, by their words and actions, sow seeds of doubt and unbelief. These seeds are called tares by our Lord; and those who sow it are under the guidance of evil angels. They are at work both openly and secretly, seeking to counteract the work which God has appointed His divine agencies to perform through human agencies. All who do this work see with defective and perverted eyesight. Their imagination is inspired by satanic agencies, and they see many things in a false light. Unless they repent, they will soon, like Esau, find no place for repentance, though they seek it carefully with tears.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 242

Cares of This World

“I saw that it was impossible to have the affections and interests engrossed in worldly cares. To be increasing earthly possessions, and yet be in a waiting, watching, position, as our Saviour has commanded. Said the angel: ‘They can secure but one world. In order to acquire the heavenly treasure, they must sacrifice the earthly. They cannot have both worlds. I saw how necessary a continuance of faithfulness in watching was in order to escape the delusive snares of Satan. He leads those who should be waiting and watching, to take an advance step toward the world; they have no intention of going further, but that one step removed them that much further from Jesus, and made it easier to take the next; and thus step after step is taken toward the world, until all the difference between them and the world is a profession, a name only. They have lost their peculiar, holy character, and there is nothing except their profession to distinguish them from the lovers of the world around them.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 193

Worldly Riches

“As a people we are surely saying by our works, ‘My Lord delayeth his coming.’ Our Lord has given us a fearful caution, not even to say this in ‘our hearts.’ With many the warning is utterly disregarded. Their works, and words, and their life is saying distinctly to others, My Lord delayeth His coming. Say not, unfaithful steward, this concerneth not me, I am a Christian. Was not the evil steward a professed Christian? A forgetful, negligent slothful steward of his Lord’s goods? He was outwardly a steward, a professed Christian. He calls Christ, ‘My Lord.’ He believes in the coming of his Lord; but he only says, That coming is delayed. Then he presumes on that delay to use for the gratification of his own appetite and pleasure, his Lord’s goods. But his portion is assigned him with hypocrites and unbelievers, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth. I entreat you my brethren to arouse from your sloth, and take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. As a people we are increasing in riches. I am alarmed as I see so little of the spirit of sacrifice. Selfishness and the love of the world is closing up the soul, that the rays of heavenly light cannot penetrate it.” Review and Herald, January 5, 1869

Pleasures of This World

“The mass of professed Christians have removed the line of distinction between Christians and the world, and while they profess to be living for Christ, they are living for the world. Their faith has but little restraining influence upon their pleasures; while they profess to be children of the light, they walk in darkness and are children of the night and of darkness.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 404

The End

Be Sober, Be Vigilant

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. The word sober means to me: be alert. Peter is admonishing us to be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary, the devil, goes around as a hungry, roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. The word seeking implies that he is diligently looking for his prey. Jesus, speaking to us, said, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34. Jesus is telling us to look deeply into our own lives and “take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness.”

You see, looking ahead, He knows the trials, temptations, and snares of the devil that are going to come upon each and every one of us; and He says, “Take heed to yourselves.” In other words, you do not even know your own heart. “Do not be overcharged, do not be filled up with surfeiting,” which means on over abundance of food, “and drunkenness,” which is an over abundance of drink. “Beware,” he is telling you; do not let the cares of this life lead you astray so that you do not see what is coming. Christ warns us not to let these, the matter of food and drink, so preoccupy our thinking that we fail to see the devil going around as a roaring lion. “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:35-36. This snare, dearly beloved, as my Bible reads is not going to come on just a few of us. It says that this snare shall come on all them that dwell upon the earth.

Have you had any problem with health lately? Have you made commitments and resolutions year after year to change the selection of your food and to begin exercising and following the eight laws of health perhaps, but find that they pass right through your fingers? We are so weak that our best resolutions are likened to ropes of sand, leaving us unable to stand and have victory in our lives and to live this life of commitment we say that we want to live.

Satan knows each one of us better than we know ourselves. He lurks and waits and plans how to lay his snares. He says, “Well, this brother has a problem of overeating, so I am just going to make sure that all of these foods get in front of his eyes.” And how often we neglect the salvation contained in the Word of God, which is so vital to our souls, and fail to withstand his temptations.

“If Christians will keep the body in subjection, and bring all their appetites and passions under the control of enlightened conscience, feeling it a duty that they owe to God and to their neighbors to obey the laws which govern health and life, they will have the blessing of physical and mental vigor. They will have moral power to engage in the warfare against Satan; and in the name of Him who conquered appetite in their behalf, they may be more than conquerors on their own account. This warfare is open to all who will engage in it.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 65

In 1 Corinthians, Paul likens the Christian’s experience to running a race. He tells us that before we can run the race, we need to engage in physical preparation. In order for the athletes to be in the best health condition to compete in the races that were held in Paul’s day, they submitted themselves to a very strict and stringent diet, chose the right articles of food, and avoided all that is harmful.

Speaking of the contest for eternal life, Paul says, “I bring my body under subjection lest I find myself a castaway.” (See 1 Corinthians 9:27.) This is like no other contest because we have a supernatural adversary who is waiting to devour each one of us; and he knows that his strongest hold upon mankind is indulgence of appetite. We need to be sanctified in the mind, and Satan knows the close sympathy between the body and the mind. He knows that if he and keep the flesh stimulated and the mind benumbed, he will gain control.

The greatest hindrance to sanctification is the indulgence of appetite. So God, in His great love for us, has provided a health package to better equip us for the race of life. He says, “Look, I am going to give you the diet you will need in order to win the race.”

Ellen White tells us, “Let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body, and flatter themselves that intemperance is no sin and will not affect their spirituality. A close sympathy exists between the physical and the moral nature. The standard of virtue is elevated or degraded by the physical habits.” Ibid., 62

God has a plan that includes fresh air, plenty of sunshine, and temperance in all things. Abstemious, not moderation, is the word that He uses, which means that we are to abstain from every thing that is injurious to our body and use judiciously use only articles of food that are nutritious and that promote health. Beyond that, He tells us to trust Him—trust in divine power.

Satan is waiting for you; and whatever it takes, he is going to suck you right into his trap unless you follow God’s plan, trusting in Him. “Satan is constantly on the alert to bring the race fully under his control. His strongest hold on man is through the appetite, and this he seeks to stimulate in every possible way.” Ibid., 150. [All emphasis supplied] Through the medium of advertising, the devil seeks to use the avenues of the soul—the senses—to stimulate you. Through the eyes, the ears, the taste, the touch, he places his array of temptations before us in the most enticing possible form, hoping that we will take them like bait. He knows that his greatest hold is through the appetite.

Satan, follows a two step plan. First, he seeks to benumb or cloud the mind, and then he strives to stimulate or excite the animal passions.

Stay away from stimulants, because when you are stimulated, you do not have as much control over you own mind. We must realize, as Ellen White tells us in Counsels on Diet and Foods on page 45, that “God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly”. You see, Satan seeks to destroy, and Christ is seeking to restore.

If you were preparing for the 1996 Olympic Games, you would adopt a diet and exercise program that would promote the best physical condition possible. Yet, as Seventh-day Adventist Christians who have been given the greatest light on the face of the earth, we sit back and say, “But I like the taste of those things.” God says, “Look, My Son is ready to come, and I need a people on the face of the earth who are going to walk in all of the light that I have today. Do you want life eternal? Are you willing to deny the tings that I tell you are not good for your body, that are going to interfere with your mind?” God is try8ing to fit a people for eternity, and we sit here and eat and drink like the world. We are the chosen nation eating from the fleshpots of Egypt.

Have you wondered how to have victory over all sin your life? The solution lied in conquering the appetite. We each need to acknowledge something today: that health reform is a blessing!

“The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this, they would have moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan.” Ibid., 59

“But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years has brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” Ibid.

The devil says, “Yeah, but pork chops are good. And bacon is good. You know, I will even get the translation people to lust after my foods.” So, they buy Stripples and Prosage links, because they still like the taste. Maybe, we do not buy ham, but we enjoy Wham. While we do this, we show that we still crave and desire the taste of the pig! I ask myself, Why is God’s remnant church selling something that looks and tastes like unclean meat? These foods are meant to be transition food for those who are getting off meat, not to be the main entree for the Seventh-day Adventist Christian for fifty years; but I see Adventists coming in to my health food store and buying seven or eight cases at a time.

God has given us a blueprint to run the Christian race. We have it in our hands today, priceless material in which God has warned us not to eat stimulants. “Through the use of stimulants, the whole system suffers. The nerves are unbalanced, the liver is morbid is its action, the quality and circulation of the blood are affected, and the skin becomes inactive and sallow. The mind, too, is injured. The immediate influence of these stimulants is to excite the brain to undue activity, only to leave it weaker and less capable of exertion.” Ibid., 422, 423. You drink the coffee and get a quickening in the mind, and then you get a low down and run to the vending machine and buy that Hershey bar and Coca-Cola at midday, which gives you another boost. “The aftereffect if prostration, not only mental and physical, but moral….You are highly nervous and excitable. Tea has an influence to excite the nerves, and coffee benumbs the brain.” Ibid.

You see, Satan is trying to stimulate our animal passions to benumb the brain. God wants to sanctify us in our mind, to renew us day by day; and what we put into our bodies is going to affect that process.

“The continued use of these nerve irritants is followed by headache, wakefulness, palpitations of the heart, indigestion, trembling, and many other evils, for they wear away the life forces. Tired nerves need rest and quiet instead of stimulation and overwork. Nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies. When her forces are goaded on by the use of stimulants, more will be accomplished for a time; but as the system becomes debilitated by their constant use, it gradually becomes more difficult to rouse the energies to the desired point. The demand for stimulants becomes more difficult to control.” Ibid., 424. Have you ever noticed how this works? I anybody here addicted to soft drinks? You have one one day, and then it is two the next. With cigarettes it is one one day, and then it is two the next. With alcohol it is a glass of wine one day, and then it is three the next.

“The demand for stimulants becomes more difficult to control, until the will is overborne, and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving. [You are totally controlled by the adversary’s latest snare. And you jumped into it. He has you controlled. Now you have to break a habit that has you physically addicted.] Stronger and still stronger stimulants are called for, until exhausted nature an no longer respond.” Ibid.

Ellen White talks about tea and coffee. “Their effects are similar to those of tobacco; but they affect in an lesser degree.” Ibid., 425

OH, friends, there is not time for God’s people in these last days to be addicted to anything that is a stimulant. That includes chocolate, coke, and sugar.

The number one reason that i don not eat animal products is that of the disease in animals today. Today, there is aids in cow, cancer and leukemia in chickens, leukemia in dairy products, and tuberculosis is breaking out in the cattle. You see, we have the streamlined inspection system where we not longer have enough meat inspectors form the federal government to go to the processing plants and examine the meat for themselves. So the company inspects its own product. As a result, the quality of the meat products is controlled by the ones who stand to suffer the loss if it is rejected.

Watch out! Be sober, be vigilant, for you adversary the devil goes around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And Christ said to watch and pray always. Watch out for your food! Surfeiting and drunkenness!

When the secretary of agriculture Mike Gillispie made a surprise visit to ninety of the twelve hundred slaughter houses in America, what he found caused him to shut down thirty of them immediately. When random samples of one hundred and thirteen different fish across this country show that forty-four of those samples were contaminated with human fecal bacteria because the waters are polluted, it is time to let the fish go, too. Ellen White warned us that disease in animals would increase with the wickedness of mankind.

Put the package together folks. Ninety-three years have gone by since the counsel has been given us on diet reform. Christ is coming. Will we continue to sit here with overweight bodies and cloudy mind, thinking that we are the children of the light?

We as a people are to be preparing to be fitted for the coming of Jesus Christ. That fitness includes a physical fitness, not just a spiritual fitness, because there is a close sympathy between the body and the mind. My Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are to be living sacrifices for the Lord, and we cannot go and teach the world the health message unless we are first living it ourselves.

“Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with he light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be education themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables. If we move form principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God’s plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter.” Ibid., 380. When we live it, then we can exert an influence upon other people.

Two Thrones

“As is perhaps natural, the enemy of truth seems most persistent in trying to trouble and unsettle minds in reference to the sanctuary; for that is the citadel of our strength.” Uriah Smith, Review and Herald, August 5, 1875

The word citadel combines the concepts of a fortress and a dwelling place, such as a castle or palace. It would naturally be the target toward which an enemy would direct his most formidable assaults. Smith suggests that for Seventh-day Adventists, the citadel of our theological strength is our doctrine of the sanctuary and that we should not be surprised to find this doctrine heavily attacked by the enemy. Ellen White apparently agreed, as she wrote in 1905:

“Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions in regard to the sanctuary, degrading the wonderful representations of God and the ministry of Christ for our salvation into something that suits the carnal mind. He removes its presiding power from the hearts of believers, and supplies its place with fantastic theories invented to make void the truths of the atonement, and destroy our confidence in the doctrines which we have held sacred since the third angel’s message was first given. Thus he would rob us of our faith in the very message that has made us a separate people, and has given character and power to our work.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 53, 54

In the 1980s we saw just such an attack formed around the challenging question, “Where did Christ go in A.D. 31?”

It was alleged that since the Scriptures state that He went to the right hand of God, this could only mean that he went to the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary and that the pioneers of our church were such careless and naive Bible students that they overlooked this obvious fact.

An astonishing number of Seventh-day Adventist ministers and church members were bewildered, confused, and discomfited by this challenge, so much so that some gave up their faith and separated themselves from our church. They abandoned the citadel and were easily taken by the enemy.

This was in the 1980s. In the 1880s it could hardly have happened. Our pioneers, far from being ignorant of the scriptural statements about where Christ went in A.D. 31, made extensive use of those scriptures in defense of the citadel. They not only knew where Christ went in A.D. 31, they knew full well what He was doing there. This was an essential and integral part of their doctrine of the sanctuary. If the attack of the 1980s had been launched in the 1880s, the Seventh-day Adventist ministers of that generation would doubtless have laughed it to scorn.

It is the purpose of this article to set forth a pioneer Bible study and to provide the reader with documentation whereby the depth of the perception of our early pioneers on this point may be easily ascertained. The material for this study has been taken from the following sources: Please take notice of the dates.)

  • Review and Herald, April 15, 1858, an article from F.M. Brag, “Jesus Reigns Upon Two Thrones.”
  • Review and Herald, September 12, 1871, an article by J.N. Andrews, the brilliant scholar for whom Andrews University was named.
  • Review and Herald, September 12, 1871, an article by J.H. Waggoner, the father of E. J. Waggoner of 1888 fame.
  • Review and Herald, July 29, 1875, an editorial by Uriah Smith, “Questions on the Sanctuary.”
  • Review and Herald, August 5, 1875, an editorial by Uriah Smith, same title as above.
  • Signs of the Times, September 18, 1893, an article by Mrs. M.E. Steward, “Our Priest King.”
  • Signs of the Times, December 10, 1894, an article by M.H. Bowen, “The True Tabernacle.”
  • Signs of the Times, April 18, 1895, an article by E.J. Waggoner.
  • Review and Herald, June, 1910, a series of four articles by J.N. Loughborough under the title, “Two Thrones.”
  • Australian Signs of the Times, December 23, 1929, an article by W.W. Prescott, “ThePriest Upon the Throne.”
  • And last but not least, comments on the subject by Ellen White in The Great Controversy, 415-417.

The Two Thrones
A Pioneer Bible Study

We will borrow the title to our study from J.N. Loughborough, and we will begin the study with a typical use of the oft-quoted Revelation 3:21:

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”

As our pioneers did, we will note that there are clearly presented two thrones, the Father’s and the Son’s. There are also two enthronements at two different times, one described as past and one described as future. Past: I am set down with My Father on His throne. Future: You will sit down with Me on My throne.

With these words of Jesus as an introduction, we will “begin at the beginning” by turning to Psalm 110, where we read an invitation from God the Father to God the Son:
“The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou at My right hand….’”

Hundreds of years later on the great day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter was to apply these words to the risen Christ. (See Acts 2:34.) He obviously understood “the Lord” to be God the Father and “my Lord” to be God the Son, Jesus Christ. But before leaving Psalm 110, we will make two more observations.

The invitation from God the Father to God the Son has a time frame.

“….Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”

The invitation from God the Father to God the Son has a purpose.

“Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Remembering that Melchizedek, unlike Aaron and his sons, was both a king and a priest, we now have the complete picture before us. God the Father is represented in David’s prophecy as inviting God the Son to sit down with Him on His (the Father’s) throne as a King and a Priest for a stated period of time, which will end when the Father finally and ultimately disposes of the enemies of the Son.

As sang David, so sang Zechariah in his beautiful prophecy of the Messiah:
“And speak unto him, saying, thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, ‘Behold the Man whose name is the BRANCH; and He shall grow up out of His place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

“Even He shall build the temple of the LORD; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between Them both.’” Zechariah 6:12, 13

Here we see the Priest on the throne, the King-Priest. As various of our pioneers pointed out, if this were not the Father’s throne, there could hardly be a “counsel of peace between Them both.” We cannot picture the Son counseling with Himself, but rather with the Father.

We turn, now, with our pioneers, to the New Testament to hear the testimony of the various witnesses.

“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19

“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, “Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make They foes Thy footstool.”’” Acts 2:33-35

Note that Peter is here quoting Psalm 110 and applying it to Christ. Note also that the expression “by the right hand of God exalted” could with equal validity be translated “to the right hand of God exalted,” since the Greek locative, instrumental, and dative cases are spelled alike. Peter testifies again in Acts 5:31:

“Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”

Again, we observe that the words “with His right hand” could with equal validity be translated “to His right hand.” Now we hear the testimony of Stephen:

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.’” Acts 7:55, 56

The testimony of the apostle Paul is equally clear:

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8: 34

What kind of a person makes intercession for us? Obviously, a priest. So Paul’s concept is clearly that of a priest who sits on God’s throne as Priest-King. He continues to testify:

“Which He wrought in Christ, when he raised Him from the dead, and set Him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:20

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when he had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3

We see that Paul, like Peter, quotes Psalm 110 and applies it to Christ.
“But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” Hebrews 1:13

In Hebrews 7, Paul again invokes the 110th Psalm and makes two uses of its reference to Melchizedek:

“For he testifieth, ‘thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’” Hebrews 7:17, 21
His summary statement in Hebrews 8 admits of no misunderstanding:

“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2

Continuing his application of the 110 Psalm, in chapter 10 Paul makes reference to the time frame within which the Priest-King ministers:

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made His footstool.” Hebrews 10:12, 13

Paul concludes his testimony with the beautiful exhortation of Hebrews 12: 1, 2:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Returning to the testimony of the apostle Peter, we find his final statement in 1 Peter 3:22:

“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him.”

To all this evidence may be added the testimony of John the Revelator:

“And she brought forth a man Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her Child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.” Revelation 12:5

These scriptures were used by our pioneers as an essential part of their sanctuary doctrine and were by no means overlooked. Our pioneers had no doubts at all regarding where Jesus went after His resurrection in A.D. 31. They believed that he went directly to the throne of God, where He sat at the Father’s right hand in performance of the offices of both Priest and King. But, they did not make either of the two mistakes that some are now making. They did not erroneously conclude that the throne of God was in the Most Holy Place. They took careful note of the description in Revelation 4, in which the throne of God was seen in that apartment of the heavenly sanctuary where the seven lamps were burning, obviously the first apartment, or the Holy Place.

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire buring before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” Revelation 4:5

And they did not lose sight of the time frame within which our Saviour would minister as both Priest and King, a time period which was bounded by the words “until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” This harmonized with their understanding from other scriptures that the priestly ministry of our Lord would eventually end and that He would henceforth function only as a King, no longer as a Priest. Thus the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:21 would be perfectly fulfilled when His overcoming followers would sit with Him on His own throne. That throne, they taught, would be the throne of glory (see Matthew 25:31), whereas the throne of the Father on which Christ now sits as Priest-King is the throne of grace. (See Hebrews 4:16.)

Some carefully worked their way through the rather challenging array of personal pronouns in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 and found that this scripture was in perfect harmony with the other uses in their study. J.N. Loughborough, in the second of his four articles entitled “The Two Thrones,” offers this clarification.

“Then [at the resurrection of the righteous at Christ’s second coming] cometh the end, when He [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom [the kingdom of grace, His position on His Father’s throne], to God, even the Father; when He [the Father] shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He [Christ] must reign [on his Father’s throne] till He [God] hath put all things under His [Christ’s] feet. But when He [God] saith all things are put under Him [Christ], it is manifest that He [God] is excepted, which did put all things under Him [Christ]. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him [Christ], then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him [God ] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

We have seen that far from being unaware of these scriptures that tell where Christ went in A.D. 31, our pioneers made them part and parcel of their doctrine of the sanctuary. Further evidence in support of this position is found in Ellen White’s The Great Controversy, 415-417, in a chapter entitled, “What Is the Sanctuary?” From these pages, we quote the following lines:

“He ‘shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.’ Not now ‘upon the throne of His glory;’ the kingdom of glory has not yet been ushered in. Not until His work as a mediator shall be ended will God ‘give unto Him the throne of His father David’ a kingdom of which ‘there shall be no end.’ Luke 1:32, 33. As a priest, Christ is now set down with the Father in His throne. (See Revelation 3:21.) Upon the throne with the eternal, self-existent One is He who ‘hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrow,’ who ‘was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,’ that He might be ‘able to succor them that are tempted.’ If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.’ Isaiah 53:4; Hebrews 4:15, 2:18; 1John 2:1. His intercession is that of a pierced and broken body, of a spotless life. The wounded hands, the pierced side, the marred feet, plead for fallen man, whose redemption was purchased at such infinite cost.

“’And the counsel of peace shall be between Them both.’ The love of the Father, no less than of the Son, is the fountain of salvation for the lost race. Said Jesus to His disciples before He went away: ‘I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you.’ John 16:26, 27. God was ‘in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.’ 2 Corinthians 5:19. And in the ministration in the sanctuary above, ‘the counsel of peace shall be between Them both.’ ‘God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16.”

Uriah Smith was right. The sanctuary is the citadel of our strength, and there is safety in the citadel. Now, as in previous years, those who abandon the citadel are as easily taken by the enemy. Those overcomers who will finally sit with Christ on His own throne, the throne of glory, will be those who could not be lured or tempted by any means whatever to abandon the sanctuary, the citadel of our strength. “I know that the sanctuary message stand in righteousness and truth, just as we have held it for so many years.” Gospel Workers, 303

The End

The Coming Crisis

In the field of religious liberty, there are two poles. On the one hand, there are the sons of God, who have the glorious liberty that comes when Jesus Christ is accepted into the human heart. It is founded in and anchored to the authority of God, His Word, and His law; and it is the secret of all human liberty. When a people or a nation espouse Jesus Christ and His teachings, there can be found true liberty.

On the other extreme, there are the developments that are marked by the marshaling of the nations as Babylon weaves together the new world order. In order to understand the developments that are taking place, it is necessary to go beyond the superficial activities of everyday life. Only then is it possible to see the powerful movements that are taking place in our world.

I recently viewed a video depicting the life of Martin Luther. This film was produced with the assistance of the Lutheran Church long before the Vatican II Council took place. It reflected the respect that at that time was given to Martin Luther for his stand in the sixteenth century Reformation. At one point, there is a very dramatic scene when the vicar general of the order of the Augustines confronted Luther. The vicar said, “If you take away all the symbols, all these images, [all of these things that prop up the people’s faith in the thinking of the Roman Catholic Church], what are you going to put in their place?”

Martin Luther replied, “Christ. I will put Christ there.”

In producing the Bill of Rights, the founders of this country ushered in a new era for humanity; and in doing so, a cradle was made from which the proclamation of the three angels’ messages could take place. In the developments of the last thirty years, however, we have the product of blood, toil, and sacrificed lives being removed to make way for communism and socialism, which are taking hold in America with lightning speed.

If we could look from the perspective of the throne of God, where angels are rushing in and out doing His bidding, upon the diabolical elements working to bring about the final holocaust in earth’s experience, what a peace of mind we would have. That experience is to be ours because we are to sit in heavenly places with Christ. When you are aligned with God, there is nothing to fear.

In his book, The Keys of This Blood, Malachi Martin tells what is being planned in the Vatican. He writes, “Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved in an all-out, no-holes-barred, three-way global competition. Most of us are not competitors, however. We are the stakes. For the competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us as individuals and over all of us together as a community.” Notice how he puts it, authority and control—and that is the issue addressed by the third angel’s message.

There have been windows of opportunity throughout this century when the new world order people have sought to seize control, but the present time is the greatest window of opportunity that they have yet been presented with. When you consider the rapidity with which the supporters of the one-world order are moving and the speed with which the resistance against them is crumpling, it appears that we have very little time left.

We just produced a video this fall entitled “The Military Take-Over of America,” dealing with the behind the scenes developments. Things are changing rapidly, with lightning speed, in America.

We used to have years of food reserves in this nation. Today we have only a sixteen day supply. We first knew that something was taking place about a year ago when the General Conference told all of the pastors to keep a year’s supply of food in their home and to increase the food supplies in the community service centers. We did not then know the gravity of the situation.

In this country, ninety-five percent of the food supply is produced and marketed by about five or six multinational corporations. Recently, my brother-in-law was sitting on an airplane next to a representative of a major food supplier in the United States. He asked this person, “How many day’s food supply does your corporation have in reserve?” The representative replied, “About sixteen days. When it comes to perishables, we have about three day’s food supply.” Those who have studied the new world order believe that the ultimate weapon of the new order will be food.

Do you remember that Ellen White wrote, “The Protestant world have set up an idol sabbath in the place where God’s Sabbath should be, and they are treading in the footsteps of the Papacy. For this reason I see the necessity of the people of God moving out of the cities into retired country [places].” Country Living, 21

Soon it will be very, very difficult for people who live in cities. In Ellen White’s day, it was typical in an agrarian society of ninety percent or more farmers in the nation, that they had a year’s food supply at any given time. In the fall they stored up in their root cellar a year’s food supply so that it would last them until the next summer. That was typical then, it is now considered hoarding. Were you aware that there are laws against hoarding?

Under the Federal Emergency Management Agency executive orders, forty-three detention camps have been set up here in America and provided for with funding. These processing centers are to provide a place where dissenters can be dealt with.

Incidentally, the only people who are going to be able to stand up to this new world order are people who have the fear of the Lord, who tremble at the word of the Lord. There is no power in mere reaction, but there is power in Jesus Christ. If, because of your allegiance to His Word, His law, and His authority, you are put in a position that you must dissent from laws that conflict with that divine authority, you have the protection of the Almighty. “He that dwelleth in the secret place.”

Did you know that God has secret places? I have started looking up the secrets and the places of God. Does God know about privacy? Oh, yes, He does. But what does the new world order want to do with privacy? Utterly eliminate it. They are acting as if the Constitution did not even exist!

As this crisis comes upon humanity, the contrast between the kingdom of God—a kingdom of righteousness and peace, a kingdom whose only weapons are spiritual weapons of truth and righteousness—and the new world order will become more and more distinct.

Jesus knew that for humanity to change, the gospel had to reach the person individually; therefore, he did not involve Himself in armed insurrection. He preached the gospel, and the kingdom of God seized hold of people’s hearts. Even though that kingdom is not something that is materially visible, its effects are visible. When Christ rules in the human heart and takes possession of it, He rules over every aspect of the human life. Satan finds that he has a power to contend with that is more powerful than he is. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1John 4:4. This is the most powerful force in the world—Jesus Christ! His principles of His kingdom of love and peace and righteousness are principles that will win in the end in the great controversy.

Yes, there is going to be a holocaust in this world that will dwarf into almost insignificance what happened in Nazi Germany and the Stalinist famines where thirty million people in western Russia were systematically starved to death. There will be utter desolation everywhere; but there will be a people who will be safe under God’s protection. Now that does not mean that there will not be martyrs in the little time of trouble, but we have the promise that nothing can touch those who are in Christ Jesus, except by His permission. (See Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 71.) And if you are called to suffer, it will be for the glory of God!

“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.” Early Writings, 43. The only way the people of this world are ever going to have that covering is to be decided on the truth of the three angel’s messages, because the ultimate protection is from God.

When the new world order moves decidedly against God’s faithful, commandment-keeping people, they will be touching the apple of God’s eye; and “the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” Isaiah 66:15

Yes, we are entering the climax. Things are going to look pretty grim for some time; but in the end, the Lord will assert his mastery as the King of kings and Lord of lords who has omnipotent power.

The crime wave sweeping America today is a result of failure to preach the law of God from the pulpits of our land. It is directly due to the rejection of the authority of God’s law. Because of that, human laws have been disregarded; and violence and crime—crimes unimaginable—are sweeping across our land. When this takes place, it is the time of opportunity for tyrants to remove liberty. They use the crime as an excuse for the removal of liberty.

Do we understand, do we grasp the significance of the three angels’ messages? The protection of humanity depends upon their acceptance of these messages. The Lord’s servant saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.

“Satan knew this [that the covering of the Almighty would be over these ones] and he was at work in mighty power to keep the minds of as many people as he possibly could wavering and unsettled on the truth.” Early Writings, 43. [All emphasis supplied] You see, we have to be decided on the truth; we have to be settled into the truth, intellectually and spiritually, to have the seal of the living God.

Isaiah 26:20 is a very precious passage on what we are talking about here. “Come My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut they doors about thee.” You see, this storm of human and satanic wrath will be such that there is only one safe place, and that is in the chambers of the Lord.

“Come My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Ellen White comments on this and she says, “when tempted to sin, let us remember that Jesus is pleading for us in the heavenly sanctuary. When we put away our sins and come to Him in faith, He takes our names on His lips and presents them to His Father, saying, ‘I have graven them upon the palms of my hands; I know them by name.’ The command goes forth to the angels to protect them.” And, we are told, the weakest angel in heaven’s military is more powerful than Satan and all of his evil—the weakest one. God not only has one angel but He has an innumerable company, and they are all worshipers with us in the same congregation.

“Then in the day of fierce trial He will say, ‘Come My people, enter thou into thy chambers [it is time to hide now], and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast’ (Isaiah 26:20). What are the chambers in which they are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies and in all parts of the earth, and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Everyone must stand the test for himself.” Ibid. What does that mean? That means that once again, Christ must assume the priority in our life. The Word of Christ, the relationship with Christ, must assume the priority. It must not be replaced by human relationships.

In Revelation 14:1 and following, we have pictured the Lamb standing on mount Zion and “with Him and hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” What is the significance of the Father’s name written in their foreheads? The name, in the Bible, is of great significance. The name signifies the character. When Jacob wrestled with the Lord that night at the brook Jabbok, hour after hour wrestling, finally, as the light began dawning in the east, he realized who had had been wrestling with—the Lord of Hosts, Jesus Christ Himself. Jacob clung to Him and said, “I will not let You go except You bless me. I did not know it was You; but now, bless me. I need Your blessing. I am not going to let You go unless You bless me.” It was not a presumptuous statement. It was was a pleading in self-surrender. Through self-surrender he gained the victory, and his name was changed from Jacob the supplanter to Israel, prince with God. “For as a prince thou hast prevailed,” Jesus said to him. So, these people have whose name written in their foreheads? They have the character of God Himself so deeply embedded in their cerebrum, in the area of their brain that does the thinking, the conscience decision making area where character is formed, that it is as the Father’s name written in their foreheads. They will be completely imbued with the character of the Father. These are the ones who make up the hundred and forty-four thousand.

“And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” Revelation 14:2, 3. We are told in the Great Controversy that these hundred and forty-four thousand who have lived through this awesome time have lived through the time when the earth has been wasted with famine, when utter desolation was everywhere, and they are alive at the second coming of Jesus.

“Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire,—so resplendent is it with the glory of God,—are gathered the company that have ‘gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.’” The Great Controversy, 648, 649

The hundred and forty-four thousand have resisted every form of evil that could be brought against them. And they stand, “With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, ‘having the harps of God.’” At that time, we will see where the real physical location of the real church is, won’t we? That is the physical location of the church, right there in heaven. Then it will be brought down here to the new earth after the thousand years. “With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, ‘having the harps of God,’ they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed form among men; and there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, ‘the voice of harpers harping with their harps.’ And they sing a ‘a new song’ before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb—a song of deliverance.” Ibid.

Not only will we have all of the forces of evil unleashes but as those forces are unleashed, suddenly the seven last plagues will be poured out on those who have received the mark of the beast. And the judgments of God will be in the land, unmixed with mercy. Ellen White in vision looked around and saw utter desolation everywhere. But you see, the people of God are under special protection. They have that covering; they are under His wing.

I remember the first time that I read the story of a vision that Ellen White had that is recorded on page 270 of Maranatha. There was a heavenly messenger who suddenly appeared before her and said, “Gather your things and come and follow me.” She gathered her things and followed. Through a dark passageway they went through the forest, through the clefts of the mountains, to a remote location. There the messenger of the Lord turned to her and said, “The great time of trouble has come, but here you will be safe.” And there were others who had been similarly led there. The angels will lead God’s people to special hiding places.

Brothers and Sisters, there is a better land. And the hope of that better land sustains God’s people through whatever they may be called to face. In the days to come, we can sit in heavenly places with Christ. We can have within us One, even Jesus Christ, who is mightier than all of the powers that are on this earth. We can have the covering of the Most High because we are decided upon the truth of the three angels’ messages.

The End

Sinfulness of Sin

When our teacher would ask for someone to choose a favorite song, Bruce would usually choose number 174 from the Singing Youth “Whosoever Meaneth Me.” This seemed to be the favorite song of this schoolmate of mine back in the Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School in Longmont, Colorado. Since that day, the words from the refrain have again and again coursed through my mind—”Whosoever, surely meaneth me.” These words have been etched deep into my mind and have often brought me the courage to press ahead in faith towards Jesus, in spite of my awareness of my great unworthiness.The inspiration for this song probably comes from Revelation 22:17. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” [All emphasis supplied] What a wonderful promise. It can bring total and complete restoration to the worst wreck of humanity, even though we must say with Paul, “I am the chief of sinners.” But whosoever will may find healing and victory in the grace of Jesus! Christ’s grace is sufficient—for even me!Recently while reading from John, chapter 8, I connected another verse with the word whosoever in this song. In John 8, Jesus was having a discussion with the Jews. As usual, He had given offense to them. But some were impressed with His words and believed on Him. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32. On, how irritated they were at this statement! “These words offended the Pharisees. The nation’s long subjection to a foreign yoke, they disregarded, and angrily exclaimed, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, ye shall be made free?’ Jesus looked upon these men, the slaves of malice, whose thoughts were bent on revenge, and sadly answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’” The Desire of Ages, 466

The word whosoever triggered my mind to the words from the old favorite song, “Whosoever, Surely Meaneth Me.” For a moment the solemn connection of this song and the words of Jesus did not dawn on me. But soon the absolute reality tripped my mind—”Whosoever, surely meaneth me.” “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:34-36

“Whosoever” does mean me. If I sin—in thought, word, or activity—I am the servant of sin. “God’s method of dealing with sin is not in harmony with the views cherished by a large class who occupy a prominent position among the professed followers of Christ. Many of these men cherish sin, and laud the benevolence and long-suffering of God, and dwell upon the loving character of Jesus—all mercy, all tenderness,—while they pass over the threatening of God’s wrath against sin and sinners, and our Saviour’s scathing denunciations of hypocrisy and self-deception.” Signs of the Times, January 6, 1881

Are you free of sin? Am I free? Or are we standing under the threats of God’s wrath against sin? As long as sin is in the life, we are in bondage. The Pharisees were bitterly angry that Christ would offer them freedom. They did not like the obvious inference that they were captive. The thought that since they were children of Abraham, they already were free and had a perfect right to all the blessings of God, including possessing the promised land. But Jesus denied their claim to be Abraham’s seed. He said, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill Me, a Man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father…ye are of your father the devil.” John 8:39-41, 44. Jesus’ words were straight as an arrow. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow.” Hebrews 4:12

Was Jesus contradicting Himself a few moments later when he said, “Your father Abraham”? (See John 8: 56.) How could it be that in the same discussion Jesus said that their father was the devil and moments later their father was Abraham? The key to understanding is found in verse 34. “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” “The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. Jesus told them that this claim could be established only by doing the works of Abraham. The true children of Abraham would live, as he did, a life of obedience to God…A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value. Without a spiritual conection with Him, which would be manifested in possessing the same spirit, and doing the same works, they were not His children.” The Desire of Ages, 466, 467

Jesus was most concerned about us learning this same startling reality. In fact, it was the all absorbing thought in His mind as He hung upon the cross. “Christ was the prince of sufferers; but His suffering was from a sense of the malignity of sin, a knowledge that through familiarity with evil, man had become blinded to its enormity. Christ saw how deep is the hold of sin upon the human heart, how few would be willing to break from its power. He knew that without help from God, humanity must perish.” Ibid., 752, 753

The all important question that must be settled in every heart is this: Do my thoughts, words, and actions testify that my spiritual father is the devil or Abraham? “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. “Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 466

Friend, could it be that we do not have the view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin? Could it be that we have fallen into the same mind set as the Jews: ‘because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins”? Ibid. 106. Are we deceiving ourselves that God will excuse sin in us because of how markedly the Lord has blessed us in the past? This, we are told, will be the condition of many: “In the day of judgment many will be shut out of the city of God by sins which they supposed to be unworthy of notice.” Signs of the Times, December 17, 1896. That makes me cry out in anguish of spirit to the Lord. “Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of They love can flow through my soul. Christ’s Object Lessons, 159

You see, the Jews knew that sin was terrible in the Gentiles. Though the Pharisees accepted that there were certain lower classes of Jews who were sinners, such as Zachaeus and Mary Magdalene, they saw themselves as better than other men. They had studied the Old Testament Scriptures. “The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with a sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitions hopes. When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectation, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver.” The Desire of Ages, 212. And so with the assurance that their cause was right, “They sent messengers all over the country to warn the people against Jesus as an imposter.” Ibid., 213

Just imagine the Bible studies that these messengers gave in hundreds of homes all over Judea and the Bible based sermons that were delivered in vast numbers of synagogues throughout the land, all to prove that Jesus was an imposter. “Many who were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God were misled by the false reasoning of the priests and rabbis. These teachers had repeated with great effect the prophecies concerning the Messiah, that He would ‘reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously;’ that He would ‘have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.’ Isaiah 24:23; Psalm 72:8. Then they made contemptuous comparisons between the glory here pictured and the humble appearance of Jesus. The very words of prophecy were so perverted as to sanction error. Had the people in sincerity studied the Word for themselves, they would not have been misled.” Ibid., 458

“The Jews had misinterpreted God’s promise of eternal favor to Israel: ‘Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever. Thus saith the Lord: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.’ Jeremiah 31:35-37. The Jews regarded their natural descent from Abraham as giving them a claim to this promise. But they overlooked the conditions which God had specified. Before giving the promise, He had said, ‘I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jeremiah 31:33, 34” Ibid., 106

Friends, when will we ever learn that God’s promises are given only on condition of obedience? When will we learn that sin is exceedingly sinful and no many, no institution, no church can harbor sin and still claim God’s promises and God’s ownership? There is no half-way point. The choice lies between sin and righteousness, between eternal death and eternal life. “To a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Ibid.

This is why the Lord’s messenger gave us the following counsel: “The exceeding sinfulness of sin is to be held before the people just as it is.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 296. Every sin, however small, if held on to and not overcome, will bar us from the city of God. Instead, we will be faced with eternal death. My mind tries to take it in, but the Lord has told us, “We must be terribly in earnest to impress upon every soul that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Every energy of the soul must be aroused to force their passage, and seize the kingdom by force. Satan is active, and we must be active too. Satan is untiring and persevering, and we must be the same. There is no time to make excuses and blame others for our backslidings; no time now to flatter the soul [that] if circumstances had only been more favorable, how much better, how much easier [it would be] for us to work the works of God. We must tell even those who profess to believe in Christ, that they must cease to offend God by sinful excuses.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 336

Have you recently considered the solemn fact that we have a heaven to win and a hell to shun? Each one of us will live forever in heaven or face hell, and after that eternal death—that is to never, never live again. Only as we grasp this realization, can we begin to understand the burden Jesus carried as He looked upon the Jews in their deceived condition. “He carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost. This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. Filled with an intense purpose, He carried out the design of His life that He Himself should be the light of men.” The Desire of Ages, 92

Unless we gain the reality of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, we most certainly will fit the description of the people Jesus addressed. “In view of the light they had received from God, they were even worse that the heathen, to whom they felt so much superior.” The people whom God had called to be the pillar and ground of the truth had become representatives of Satan.” Ibid., 106, 36

We are warned that Seventh-day Adventists could also become the representatives of Satan. “The Lord would have His people divested of everything unscriptural in regard to the ministry. The men called to the ministry should not be made idols of; they should not be looked upon with superstitious reverence; and because of the power vested in them more exceedingly sinful, for in committing sin they make themselves the ministers of sin, the agents of Satan, through whom he can work with success to perpetuate sin.” 1888 Materials, 1644

I am fearful of our tendency to excuse our “little” sins because we know that we have the truth of the three angels’ messages for the world. We tend to take pride in the fact that we have stood against the great celebration apostasy and that we have firmly resisted the encroachments of worldliness into the church. But beyond these things, we must also overcome anger, impatience, fretfulness, disorder, worship of men, love of the world, and a myriad of sins listed under selfishness.

Friend, do not think that it makes any difference that you are a Seventh-day Adventist if you harbor sin in your heart. It will only be held against you in the day of judgment.

Where can we get this view of the malignant nature of sin that was the source of Jesus’ great concern for us? “The exceeding sinfulness of sin can be estimated only in the light of the cross.” The Faith I Live By, 60. Where is the only place we can rightly estimate sin? At the cross. The word only is an absolutely restrictive word. There we will learn how terrible sin is. “Upon Him who knew no sin, must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death’” “Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin.” The Desire of Ages, 685, 693

Jesus had always before clearly taught that He and the Father are one, that without the Father He could do nothing. He had plainly stated, “The Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that He Himself doeth.” John 5:20

But as Jesus became the Substitute for man, this blessed unity between the Father and the Son was not realized by Christ. This quotation bears careful study. “And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.” The Desire of Ages, 753. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Christ knew the right value to place upon sin. “He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal.” Ibid., 753. Amid the awful darkness of Calvary, “apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him.” Ibid., 756. But He was willing to undergo all of this because of love for us. “All that He endured,—the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face,—speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, it is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of paradise.” Ibid., 755

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. And, friends, we must be partakers of Christ’s sufferings and death. We have a cross to take and follow in His footsteps. Paul said, “I die daily.” But we are also to share in His resurrection power and be raised to walk in newness of life. “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead.” Ephesians 1:19, 20. Only in this resurrection power can we live forever. Whosoever will, to the Lord may come. Yes, and “whosoever” surely meaneth me. But, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34

“Whosoever, surely meaneth me, surely meaneth me, oh, surely meaneth me. Whosoever, surely meaneth me, whosoever meaneth me.”

The End

Ordinances in the Lord’s House

In June and July of 1897, Ellen White wrote a number of articles in the Review and Herald about the ordinances of the Lord’s house and the symbols that Christ has given to us. They are simple and they can be easily and plainly understood.

There are the three ordinances of the Lord’s house in the new covenant. One is the foot washing service, or the ordinance of humility; one is the communion; and the other is baptism.

The sacramental service that we call the Lord’s Supper has the deepest significance. Ellen White said that this service, instituted by Jesus, was to take the place of the Passover. “Christ left for His church a memorial of his great sacrifice for man. ‘This do,’ he said, ‘in remembrance of Me.’ This was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. The one was to close forever [that is the Passover of the old covenant]; and the other, which He had just established, was to take its place, and to continue through all time as the memorial of His death.” Review and Herald, June 22, 1897

This service is so important that we find it recorded in a number of places in the Bible. I suppose that everyone has his favorite places where this event is described. Matthew 26:26-30 is mine. It is also recorded in Mark 14:22-26 and in Luke 22:14-23. The apostle John in writing his gospel does not record in detail the Lord’s Supper, but he records in great detail the ordinance of humility that precedes it. In fact, John 13 is dedicated almost wholly to recording this event. This is so important that it is recorded in other places in the Bible in addition to the gospels.

Many ministers, when they conduct a communion service, use 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. This passage is probably the one most commonly used and is not in the gospels at all. The apostle Paul says, “The Lord instructed me about this,” and then goes on to describe the service.

Jesus said, “This do, in remembrance of Me.” Do you have anyone in your life of whom you have some remembrances? The other day while working at the office, I reached into my pocket and felt a slide. I knew I would not have placed it there if there had not been a reason to do so, and immediately I said to myself, “It is a picture of Marshall.” I pulled it out and held it up; and sure enough, it was a picture of my brother.

You have remembrances of people that include both those who are with you now and those you used to know who are new dead. Possibly, you have a book or a picture or a letter that they wrote to you, or you have other things that remind you of them. When Jesus instituted this service, he said, “Do this, to remember Me.” This is a remembrance of Him; and every time we celebrate this service, we do it as a commemoration of our Lord, our Master. When we do this, we may know that God comes sacredly near to us.

One of the wonderful things about the story of Jesus is that it helps us to understand the character and the personality of God. We learn that he loves us so much that He sent His Son to this world when we were ruined, to save us. And if we appreciate what He has done, he says, “do this in memory of Me.”

When Jesus was here, he invited all men to come to Him. This is why, as Seventh-day Adventists, when we conduct this service, we do not exclude anyone. Anyone who desires may participate. Jesus was not exclusive, so neither are we.

As we meditate upon the meaning of this symbol, our heart needs to be broken and the selfishness and pride need to be cut away from our life. All sin needs to be removed. That is why, in the Passover service, they were not allowed to have anything in the house that was fermented. Now we ferment our bread. Yeast plus sugar produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide is what makes the bread raise, which is why the yeast is used. Of course, as the bread bakes, the alcohol is baked off and what traces of it remain after baking will evaporate if the bread is allowed to sit for twenty-four hours before it is sliced.

Before the fermentation process is a symbol of sin, unleavened bread is the only correct representation of the Lord’s Supper. And we must use only pure grape juice of the grape, or unfermented wine. This is what we call grape juice and is in harmony with the Scriptures.

If you look at Matthew 26:29 in the Greek language, it is very clear indeed. Now in the English it says, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new.” New is the word in English, and it means fresh, or just squeezed. That word can never be used in regard to fermented wine. We do not know that they had fresh-squeezed grape juice when Jesus instituted this service, but they had ways of preserving grape juice in those days just as we do. Jesus said, “I’m going to drink it the same with you in heaven.”

As we participate in this service, we cannot do it without thinking about the cross. The cross has a dark side. It is the most terrible thing that the human race has ever done; but Ellen White tells us that when we come to the communion service, “We are not to stand in the shadow, but in the saving light of the cross.” Review and Herald, June 22, 1897. What is the bright side of the cross? It is the side where you see the love that Jesus has for you. His eye looked down the stream of time, down to where you would be in the world. He went to the cross for you because He loves you. And when we come to this service, we are not to allow ourselves to spend all the time thinking about the sorrow and agony of the cross. We are to concentrate our mind on the love that was manifested for us at the cross. When we receive that love into our heart, it changes our life.

“On these occasions,” Ellen White says, “heaven is brought very near.” Ibid. Isn’t it wonderful to know that heaven is very near? In fact, Ellen White says that Jesus is there in person. “They,” that is, those who participate, “are brought into sweet communion one with another. These things we are never to forget. The love of Jesus, with its convincing power, is to be kept fresh in the memory. We must not forget Him who is our strength and our sufficiency.” Ibid.

Only by love is love awakened. As we receive His love for us, we respond to it; and when two, three, six, or a whole church full of people start to respond to His love, then he says to us, “This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” That is the miracle of the Christian’s religion. People have to see that Christians love each other the way Christ loves them. This is the greatest witness that can be given to the world.

Every communion service is a reminder. We are participating in this as a remembrance of Him until he comes. So it is a memorial and a reminder of His second coming. When Jesus instituted this service, there was dissension among the disciples as to who should be the greatest. Their hearts were not ready to have communion with each other or with their Lord. Sometimes as human beings, we try to teach someone something when their heart is not ready to be taught, and we meet with failure. Jesus understood that, and he did not institute the communion supper until He had prepared them with the foot washing service to enter into communion with Him.

“Christ gave His disciples to understand that the washing of their feet did not cleanse away their sin, but that the cleansing of their heart was tested in this humble service. If the heart was cleansed, this act was all that was essential to reveal the fact.” Review and Herald, June 14, 1898

Is your heart cleansed? The ordinance of foot washing or humility is a time for us to search our hearts and to say, “is there any sin cherished in my heart that needs to be cut away by confession?” One of the most wonderful things about Jesus is that if you choose to confess and make things right by going to Him, or going to a brother or sister, when you take one step toward Him, He takes more than one step toward you. It is not a fifty-fifty relationship. “The first look, the first act, of contrition and repentance that you direct toward Christ, does not escape His notice. The first step you take toward Him will bring Him more than a step toward you. All things, especially on this occasion, are ready for your reception. He will meet you in your weakness, repenting, broken-hearted soul, with His divine strength; he will meet your emptiness and spiritual poverty with his inexhaustible fullness.” Ibid.

None need to feel that they are so spiritually poor that they cannot participate. If you realize that you are spiritually poor and if you choose and say, “Lord Jesus, I’m choosing to come to You,” no matter how spiritually poor you are, the first look is noticed. He takes more than one step toward you. There is no one who is so spiritually poor that they cannot receive a blessing from Christ. Surrender your heart to Him, open your heart to Him, and He will give you a wonderful spiritual blessing.

Today we are in a time of theological controversy. Perhaps you have noticed a theological controversy that has developed over such things as the feast days. I want to share with you some very plain statements from the Spirit of Prophecy about the feast days. They have to do with the ordinances of the Lord’s house in the new covenant. I want you to notice how clearly Ellen White spells out the difference between what we are to do in the time of the new covenant and what the Jews did.

“In this ordinance,” she is writing about the Lord’s Supper, “Christ discharged his disciples from the cares and burdens of the ancient Jewish obligations in rites and ceremonies. These no longer possessed any virtue; for type was meeting antitype in Himself, the authority and foundation of all Jewish ordinances that pointed to Him as the great and only efficacious offering for the sins of the world. He gave this simple ordinance that it might be a special season when He Himself would always be present.” Ibid. Do you know what it means to be discharged because that one time, he was discharged from the army. It means that you are no longer responsible to that whole system. You are discharged. Notice that in this ordinance, Christ discharged them from all of these Jewish rites and ceremonies.

Now if that was the only sentence you had, you should be able to figure it out; but here is another one. (All of these sentences appear in this same series of articles that she wrote in June and July of 1897 in the Review and Herald.) “It was Christ’s desire to leave His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed,—that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force.” Ibid.

Do you know what the word disentangle means? It means that you just completely cut loose form something.

Now that statement is quite clear, but I want you to especially notice the next sentence. Notice what she says, “To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.” What does it mean to continue to participate in these Jewish rites and ceremonies? She says that it is an insult to Jehovah. Do you want to insult the Lord?

Here is a third statement. “The great Teacher’s wisdom in limiting the measure of our researches in earthly directions, called the attention of all to His legislation from the very foundation of our world,—to a code of morals, pure, simple, and practical, unencumbered by the long years of types and sacrifices, which passed away when the only true Sacrifice, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, was offered for the sins of the world. His lessons to his disciples are received by all who would become His disciples , to the end of time. These lessons discharged His followers from the bondage of the ceremonial law, and left them the ordinance of baptism to be received by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as the only One who can take away sin. The ceremony of feet-washing and the Lord’s Supper, in its simplicity, and spirituality, is to be observed with true true solemnity, and with hearts full of thankfulness. It s participants are not to exhaust their powers of thought or their physical powers on outward forms and ceremonies.” Ibid., June 21, 1898

There are people spending their time studying Jubilee cycles, the 6,000 year theory, and all manner of mathematical numbers, signs and symbols. They are seeking to determine when probation will close and when Jesus will return. Friend, what is important for you and me is to have our heart changed so that we will be ready in character for Him to come. The central issue for us to understand is the necessity of entering into communion with Jesus. We are to stand in the saving light of the cross, receiving His love into our hearts, entering into communion with Him. The result of this is that we will each one be led into communion with all of the other people who are having the same experience with Jesus.

Concerning the disciples, we are told, “When they were so eager to pluck from the tree of knowledge, He presented them with the fruit of the tree of life. They found every avenue closed to them, which should not advance them in spiritual understanding of the narrow way, leading to eternal life. They found every fountain sealed, save the fountain of eternal life.” Ibid.

Oh, friend, do not let the devil trap you into spending your whole life seeking the fruit from the tree of knowledge, trying to figure out things that God has warned us not to. You know that the Lord has told us in the Spirit of Prophecy that we are not to know when probation will close and when the Second Coming will occur; nor are we to spend our time trying to figure that out! That is not our job! Our job is to enter into communion with Jesus.

What does Jesus see when He looks into your heart today? “The Lord understands all the defects in human character. He desires to save man. It was for this purpose that He came to this world. In Him all sufficiency dwells. In Him dwells all ‘the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’ The defective characters that remain thus, when One is among them who came to our world for the express purpose of taking away the sin of the world, make manifest that they do not appreciate the attributes of Christ sufficiently to hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Ibid., June 28, 1898. One of the great lessons of the communion supper is that if you hunger and thirst after righteousness, Jesus says that He will fill you with Himself.

Do you know that you do not have a single craving in your heart that Jesus cannot satisfy. “No man, woman, youth, or child can say, I have cravings that he cannot satisfy. All cravings that He does not fill are supplied with a superior sufficiency, which is for the perfection of Christian character.” Ibid. The communion supper is a symbol of the fact that if you come to Jesus, you are going to be satisfied. Have you ever thought of the fact that among the saved, throughout all eternity, there will never be a time when you will hear one person desire something that they cannot have. It will never happen. In Jesus, all will find satisfaction for every craving of the soul. There is no one else who can do this, but Jesus; and the communion supper is a symbol of that fact.

When the disciples met, they had been striving as to who would be the greatest. After He had waited a little while, Jesus got up from the table, filled a basin with water and began to wash their feet. I do not know of any place in the whole Bible where the Lord of Glory has given to the human race a greater rebuke. The disciples were so ashamed.

Do you know what is going to happen when we go to heaven? Ellen White saw it in vision. Jesus will say to his people, “Come, My people. You have suffered for My sake. Sit down. I am going to serve you.” The only way that you will be able to accept a service like that is if all of the pride is gone and you have a servant’s heart yourself. In the Christian religion, as we read in Ephesians 5, we are all to be in submission or in subjection to each other; that is, we serve each other. That is the way heaven is.

When the disciples saw Jesus washing their feet, they were so ashamed and humbled that they became teachable. They quit their dissension about who should be the greatest.

Is there any danger in the Christian Church today of dissension? Listen to this sentence, “Dissension always creates hatred.” Ibid., July 5, 1898. Did you know that? That is why dissension is so dangerous. If dissension is among us and we do not correct it, it will develop into hatred. That is one of the great reasons for the ordinance of humility. If there is any dissension among us, if we have something against each other, if there is something between us that we do not straighten out, it will develop into hatred every time.

This humble service is to recover man from the difficulties of sin. I want to have the experience that this service symbolizes, do you? We must not procrastinate till some future time. We do not know if we even have that future time. We need this experience today. Let us pray that the Lord will work this miracle out in our hearts.

The End

Editorial – Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord?

This headline text from Genesis 18:14 is one of my favorite texts. With God, nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37), and with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). These are wonderful, comforting promises. Ellen White says, “None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but they can find deliverance in Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 258. Although nothing is too hard for the Lord, inspiration clearly reveals that even for God, there are some things that are hard. For example, “Said the angel, ‘Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no.’ It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give his darling Son to die for them.” Early Writings, 127. Like the disciples, often we do not comprehend that it was One equal with the Father who took our nature upon Him and came to this world as a man. (See Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 365.)

There is something else that is hard for God to do: “The Majesty of heaven in tears! The Son of the infinite God troubled in spirit, bowed down with anguish! The scene reveals to us the exceeding sinfulness of sin; it shows how hard a task it is, even for Infinite Power, to save the guilty from the consequences of transgressing the law of God.” The Great Controversy, 22

So at the same time that we rejoice in the wonderful promises and know that nothing is too hard for the Lord, we must face the reality of the nature and depth of sin, because until we realize how awful and deep-rooted it is in our nature, we will not be able to comprehend the awesomeness or power of wonder of salvation. “There is nothing more acceptable in the sight of God than the continual humiliation of the soul before Him. These evidences are unmistakable proofs that the Lord has touched hearts by His Holy Spirit. More wonderful than miracles of physical healing is the miracle wrought in the child of God in wrestling with natural defects and overcoming them.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 184, 185. “The renewing of the heart is a far greater miracle than the healing of the diseases of the body.”—(To J.H. Kellogg, April 15, 1892.) Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 281

If we do not understand this greatest of all miracles, we will be in danger of not having the “overcome or die” determination that everyone needs to have in order to be saved. Concerning soldiers, Ellen White comments, “There is an enemy to meet, an enemy to be resisted. Enemies of our country will destroy her peace and bring disaster and ruin, unless driven back and repulsed. ‘Conquer or die,’ is the motto. Thus it is with the Christian warfare, We have an enemy that we must meet, who is never off his guard one moment. The claims of our country are not higher than the claims of God. If hardships are borne and trials are endured by our soldiers fighting in behalf of their country to obtain the mastery and bring to obedience the rebellious, how much more willingingly should the soldiers of Christ endure privation, self-denial, and taxation for His sake!”Signs of the Times, October 21, 1908. “Angels and men are taking note of us to see what manner of spirit we are of, to see whether we are meeting the approval of heaven. You may feel that you cannot meet the approval of heaven. You may say, ‘I was born with a natural tendency toward this evil, and I cannot overcome.’ But every provision has been made by our heavenly Father whereby you may be able to overcome every unholy tendency. You are to overcome even as Christ overcame in your behalf. He says, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and set down with My Father in His throne.’ It was sin that imperiled the human family; and before man was created the provision was made that if man failed to bear the test, Jesus would become his sacrifice and surety, that through faith in Him, man might be reconciled to God, for Christ was the lamb ‘slain from the foundation of the world.’ Christ died on Calvary that man might have power to overcome his natural tendencies to sin.” Review and Herald, February 23, 1892

When this greatest of all miracles takes place in the life, the person “will then reflect the character of Christ, the hope of glory. It will be the greatest mystery to him that Jesus should have made so great a sacrifice to redeem him. He will exclaim, with humble mien and quivering lip, ‘He loved me. He gave Himself for me. he became poor that I, through His poverty, might be made rich. The man of sorrows did not spurn me, but poured out His inexhaustible, redeeming love that my heart might be made clean; and He has brought me back into loyalty and obedience to all His commandments. His condescension, his humiliation, His crucifixion, are the crowning miracles in the marvelous exhibition of the plan of salvation. That the just should die for the unjust, the pure for the impure, is beyond all manifestations of human love; and all this He has done to make it possible to impart to me His own righteousness, that I may keep the law I have transgressed. For this I adore Him. I will proclaim Him to all sinners. I will cry, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”’” Review and Herald, October 16, 1888