Pen of Inspiration – Consecration

Sabbath-keepers will be tested and proved. A close and searching work must go on among the people of God. How soon, like ancient Israel we forget God and His wondrous works, and rebel against Him. Some look to the world, and desire to follow its fashions, and participate in its pleasures in the same manner that the children of Israel looked back into Egypt, and lusted for the good things they had enjoyed there, which God chose to withhold from them to prove them, and thereby test their fidelity to Him. He wished to see if His people valued more highly His service, and the freedom He had so miraculously given them, than the indulgences they enjoyed in Egypt while in servitude to a tyrannical, idolatrous people.

Every true follower of Jesus will have sacrifices to make. God will prove them, and test the genuineness of their faith. I have been shown that picnics [Note: the simple outdoor gathering of families or church members is not referred to here, but that in which church members “united with the world” in a carnival type of community gathering quite common then. The Adventist Home, 525],  donations, shows, and other gatherings of pleasure, the true followers of Jesus will discard. They can find no Jesus there, and no influence which will make them heavenly-minded, and increase their growth in grace. The word of God obeyed, leads us to come out from all these things and be separate. The things of the world are sought for, and considered worthy to be admired and enjoyed by all those who are not devoted lovers of the cross, and are not spiritual worshipers of a crucified Jesus.

There is chaff among us, and this is why we are so weak. Some are constantly leaning to the world. Their views and feelings harmonize much better with the spirit of the world than with Christ’s self-denying followers. It is perfectly natural for them to prefer the company of those whose spirit will best agree with their own. And such have quite too much influence among God’s people. They take a part with them, and have a name among them, and are a text for unbelievers and the weak and unconsecrated ones in the church. These persons of two minds will ever have objections to the plain, pointed, testimony which reproves individual wrongs. In this refining time, these persons will either be converted wholly, and sanctified by obeying the truth, or they will be left with the world, where they belong, to receive their reward with them.

“By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). All of Christ’s followers bear fruit to His glory. Their lives testify that a good work has been wrought in them by the Spirit of God, and their fruit is unto holiness. It is elevated and pure. Those who bear no fruit have no experience in the things of God. They are not in the vine. Read John 15:4, 5. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”

If we would be spiritual worshipers of Jesus Christ, we must sacrifice every idol, and fully obey the first four commandments. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38).

The first four commandments allow us no separation of the affections from God. Nor is anything allowed to divide, or share, our supreme delight in Him. Whatever divides the affections, and takes away from the soul supreme love to God, takes the form of an idol. Our carnal hearts would cling to, and seek to carry along, our idols; but we cannot advance until we put them away; for they separate from God. The great Head of the church has chosen His people out of the world, and required them to be separate. He designs that the spirit and life of His commandments shall draw them to Himself, and separate them from the elements of the world. To love God and keep His commandments is to be far from loving the world’s pleasures and friendship. There is no concord between Christ and Belial. The people of God may safely trust in Him alone, and without fear press on in the way of obedience.

Spiritual Gifts, volume 4b, 78, 79.

The Third Angel is the Key

There are actually two parts to the third angel’s message, but it is usually the first part that is talked about.

Revelation 14:9–11 KJV states: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

Many are familiar with this part of the third angel’s message which includes the mark of the beast and his image. These verses give the warning but give no instruction on how to escape the image to the beast. However, verse 12 gives us the answer. It says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Even though all have sinned, this special group of people will keep the commandments of God. These people have gone to Jesus in the Most Holy Place and confessed their sins. Jesus is now giving them strength to obey the commandments. This verse is the hope and solution of the third angel’s message given in verses 9 to 11 and the “faith of Jesus.”

The whole plan of salvation is to take the fallen race and remove the sin so that we can return to the kingdom of glory. We see that process taking place in verse 12. The third angel’s message is the last call to the world to come out of sin through the blood of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary by confessing sin. The following statement gives us an understanding of this.

“As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, ‘They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.’ The third angel closes his message thus: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ (Revelation 14:12). As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.” Early Writings, 254.

The origin or setting of the third angel’s message is directly tied to October 22, 1844. As Jesus entered the Most Holy Place He sent another mighty angel to all the world with a message on a parchment which was placed in his hands.  At that time, God’s people could not teach the message because they did not yet know who the beast was, who the false prophet was, or where the sanctuary was.  Ellen White covers all of these things in the book, The Great Controversy, in the chapter called “God’s Law Immutable” beginning on page 433.

“The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God.” Early Writings, 254. This also indicates that this is the last message to the world, His final intercession. The third angel’s message is a very important message and it has been going to the world since 1844 and is soon to close.

Another statement we read: “This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, ‘They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image.’ ” Ibid.

The beast is the papacy which came into power in A.D. 538 when the pope was set up as head of the church. The church then proceeded to say that it would intercede with God in heaven for you and to confess your sins to them. The papacy still does that. It also changed the law of God by introducing Sunday as the day of worship, obedience to the enforcement of which will result in receiving the mark of the beast. This mark will be inflicted on all who accept the spurious Sabbath. But we read in the third angel’s message that there will be a group of people who will resist that demand of an enforced Sunday law and keep the seventh day holy as God commanded. The combat will get very close. Some will be put into prison; some will be fined; some will be bribed. This will be a time when the faith of God’s people will be tested to the limit. Unless they maintain “the faith of Jesus,” they will undoubtedly fail the test.

We read that “Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.” Ibid. Then it says, “The third angel closes his message thus: ‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ (Revelation 14:12). As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary.” Ibid. That tells us that the heavenly sanctuary and Christ’s ministry there has to be a very prominent part of our message in the last days because people are directed there to get rid of their sins so that they can keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus.

The key point of the third angel’s message is the sanctuary in heaven where you can get forgiveness, freedom from sin, and gain salvation. The rest of the message is just a warning. We must understand the atonement process through the sanctuary in heaven in order to give the third angel’s message. Today, a false gospel is being preached that there is no need of concern about the sin problem for Jesus took care of it all at the cross. The true gospel walks the sinner through the heavenly sanctuary where the sinner repents of his sin and his heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ. One gospel leads to eternal salvation and the other to destruction.

Hebrews 8:1, 2 states, “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.”

Jesus went to the Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary at His ascension. Paul tells us that the throne of God was there. He then moved from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place in 1844 and that is where the third angel’s message is directing our attention to where Jesus is finishing His final ministry for us.

In The Great Controversy, 413, we are told: “Turning again to the book of Hebrews, the seekers for truth found that the existence of a second, or new-covenant sanctuary, was implied in the words of Paul already quoted: ‘Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary’ (Hebrews 9:1). And the use of the word “also” intimates that Paul has before made mention of this sanctuary. Turning back to the beginning of the previous chapter, they read: ‘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).

“Here is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant.” [Emphasis author’s.]

The new covenant was made by the Father and the Son, which was the plan whereby sin could be removed from the person and he could return to the kingdom of glory. That covenant is carried out in the sanctuary in heaven. If we deny the sanctuary in heaven, then we take away our hope for salvation. When Jesus ascended to the Holy Place in heaven, the Jews refused to go there. They opened the temple on earth and started sacrificing again. That was a clear indication of their rejection of the new covenant.

Today, in the Second Advent, we are facing a similar situation. Those who reject the third angel’s message that points directly to the Most Holy Place are doing the same thing the Jews did in cutting off their salvation. We want to be part of the saints mentioned in Revelation 14:12 who accept the heavenly sanctuary and Christ’s ministry there and teach others about it. There is a dividing line, the sanctuary message, between those saved and those not saved.

Remember, “The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living.” Early Writings, 254.

So, it is the third angel’s message that provides salvation and righteousness for the saints. If you know about Revelation 14:12, you can go to the sanctuary and be saved even if you do not understand the warning. But if you just understand the warning and fail to deal with the sin problem you could lose your eternal salvation.

“After Jesus opened the door of the most holy, the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God’s law. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, 254, 255.

This is the second time that the third angel is directing them to the heavenly sanctuary, emphasizing the importance of it. What did they find?

“As they by faith enter the most holy, they find Jesus, and hope and joy spring up anew. I saw them looking back, reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second advent of Jesus, down through their experience to the passing of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel has lighted up the past, the present, and the future, and they know that God has indeed led them by His mysterious providence.” Ibid., 255.

Looking into the sanctuary they found Jesus ministering in the Most Holy Place and then understood their disappointment. During the Dark Ages, the pope had instructed the people to confess their sins to the priests. The message the disciples had that we are to confess our sins to Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary was lost.

We are told: “Now in the holy of holies they again beheld Him, their compassionate High Priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer. Light from the sanctuary illumined the past, the present, and the future. They knew that God had led them by His unerring providence.” The Great Controversy, 423.

If the third angel’s message does not include the heavenly sanctuary and Christ’s ministry there, it is a false message because that is the foundation of the third angel’s message. Without that in the message, there is no hope. The third angel’s message is sending us “light from the sanctuary.”

“The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844.” Ibid.

“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. …

“He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.” Education, 125, 126.

Maurice Hoppe is a member of Steps to Life board.

Spiritual Blindness

It is quite evident that the majority of earth’s population is spiritually blind which causes a lack of divine understanding. In order for us to obey God, our spiritual eyes must first be open to appreciate Christ and spiritual things. It is the Holy Spirit that enlightens the human mind, but in order for that to be done there is something on our part that we must do.

This truth is brought out in the story of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46–52).

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto Him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”


  • Bartimaeus heard about Jesus.
  • Bartimaeus had a need that only Jesus could satisfy.
  • Many people tried to discourage him and cause him to lose his blessing.
  • Bartimaeus would not be dissuaded or discouraged.
  • Jesus acknowledged his determination and called for him.
  • Bartimaeus was obedient to the call of Jesus.
  • Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he desired Him to do for him.
  • Bartimaeus requested that his eyes might be open
  • His faith in Jesus caused him to receive his sight.

“And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God” (Luke 18:42, 43).


“The prayer of faith is the key that unlocks the treasury of heaven. As we commit our souls to God, let us remember that He holds Himself responsible to hear and answer our supplications. He invites us to come to Him, and He bestows on us His best and choicest gifts—gifts that will supply our great need. He loves to help us. Let us trust in His wisdom and His power. O what faith we should have! O what peace and comfort we should enjoy! Open your heart to the Spirit of God. Then the Lord will work through you and bless your labors.” — Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 196. (To Elder Daniells and His Fellow-Workers, April 12, 1903.)


“Faith is not a happy flight of feeling; it is simply taking God at His word—believing that He will fulfill His promises because He said He would.” Our High Calling, 119.

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken ” (2 Corinthians 4:13).

Bartimaeus took Jesus at His word, believed that He was able to open his blinded eyes and the miracle happened.

For human beings to appreciate spiritual things it is vital that their spiritual eyes be open, that the scales of unbelief which blind the eyes be removed so that divine understanding may become a reality. For some people this is their desire while many others would rather remain in blindness.

Jesus made reference to such persons when He told the parable of the sower, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matthew 13:13–15).

“In these words He explained that His illustrations were to awaken thought in the minds of His hearers. If they desired a fuller explanation of His words they could ask it of Him, as the disciples had done, and receive it.

“The Pharisees understood the parable, but affected not to perceive its meaning. They closed their eyes lest they should see and their ears lest they should hear; therefore their hearts could not be reached. They were to suffer retribution for their willful ignorance and self-imposed blindness.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 236.

“Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress truth upon the heart. … If His hearers had desired a knowledge of divine things, they might have understood His words; for He was always willing to explain them to the honest inquirer. …

“To minds that were open to the Holy Spirit, the significance of the Saviour’s teaching unfolded more and more. Mysteries grew clear, and that which had been hard to grasp became evident.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 20, 21.

So there are many people, even among professed Christians, who willfully close their eyes to truth because they do not want to obey what God says. Such individuals are willful unbelievers, failing to take God at His word and to do His words and therefore they cannot be blessed with divine understanding.

On the other hand there are those, like blind Bartimaeus, who walk by faith and are quick to obey what Jesus commands even though it may go against their cherished desires. Such persons have learned to use the divine key which is the prayer of faith.

Let’s go back to blind Bartimaeus. He learned to use the divine key, the prayer of faith.

Bartimaeus was about his daily activity, begging by the wayside when he heard that Jesus was passing by. There was this one burning desire that he had – to receive his sight. So he prayed his prayer of faith, “Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:38). Jesus heard that prayer of faith and encouraged Bartimaeus’ faith when He asked him “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee” (verse 41, first part)?

Jesus had before Him a person who was desperate, trusting, sincere, believing and determined. Bartimaeus wanted to receive his sight. He wanted to see, to enjoy and appreciate that which he could never enjoy and appreciate while being blind. So his prayer of faith gave him that blessing. So it can be for each one of us. Our spiritual eyes may be open by the exercise of faith.

Ellen White explains Bartimaeus’ experience as follows: “Blind Bartimaeus is waiting by the wayside; he has waited long to meet Christ.

“Throngs of people who possess their sight are passing to and fro, but they have no desire to see Jesus. One look of faith would touch His heart of love, and bring them the blessings of His grace; but they know not the sickness and poverty of their souls, and they feel no need of Christ. Not so with the poor blind man. His only hope is in Jesus. As he waits and watches, he hears the tread of many feet, and he eagerly inquires, What means this noise of travel? The by-standers answer that ‘Jesus of Nazareth passeth by’ (Luke 18:37). With the eagerness of intense desire, he cries, ‘Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me’ (verse 38). They try to silence him, but he cries the more vehemently, ‘Thou Son of David, have mercy on me’ (verse 39). This appeal is heard. His persevering faith is rewarded. Not only is physical sight restored, but the eyes of his understanding are opened. In Christ he sees his Redeemer, and the Sun of Righteousness shines into his soul.” Sons and Daughters of God, 126.


In order to appreciate spiritual things, in order to truly love Christ as man’s redeemer, man’s intercessor, and to obey Him, in order to experience divine understanding, it is absolutely important that our spiritual eyes be opened so that we may see.


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. … But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11: 1, 6).

“The summing up of the benefit of prayer is that devotion that leads to faith in God’s promises. This faith is the key that opens the divine treasury, is the hand by which we appropriate to our use the richest gifts of God. The prayer of the contrite heart unlocks the treasure house of supplies, and lays hold of omnipotent power. … The prayer of faith … wells up from perfect trust and assurance, and by its fervor makes manifest to the world, to angels, and to men, that you do believe in God, and have made Christ your personal Saviour.” The Signs of the Times, June 18, 1896.


“The loss of the first love has opened the door to a great amount of selfishness, evil surmising, evil speaking, envy, jealousy, hard-heartedness. This is the fruit borne when the fervor of the first love has grown cold. There has been but little restraint upon the tongue, for prayer has been neglected. A Pharisaical righteousness has been cherished; there is deadness of spirituality, and a lack of spiritual eye-sight is the result.” Special Testimony to Our Ministers, 2, 27.


“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

“The enemy of all righteousness has blinded the eyes of sinners, so that sin does not appear sinful.” The Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.

“In the beginning it was Satan’s purpose to separate man from God. And this purpose he has carried out in every age. Constantly he is at work among the children of men. He sways all classes. The same method of deception, the same logic, that he used to deceive the holy pair in Eden, he has used in all succeeding ages. His plan of work has ever been one of deception. At times he assumes a cloak of piety, purity, and holiness. Often he transforms himself into an angel of light. He has blinded the eyes of men so that they can not see beneath the surface and discern his real purpose.” Ibid., July 23, 1902.

The chief method Satan uses to blind human beings is deception. John the Revelator wrote: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).

The word deceiveth that John used means to cause to roam or wanderfrom safety, truth or virtue. It means to go astray, be out of the way.

In order to lead a person out of the way the person must be caused not to SEE. This is what Satan has done to every human being. He has caused us not to see who Jesus is to us. He has caused us not to see truth in its true meaning. He has blinded all of us.


  • False and unsanctified love blinds the eye. (The Great Controversy [1888], 571.)
  • By choosing darkness rather than light. (“Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1147.)
  • Blinded by selfishness and self-sufficiency. (Temperance, 234, 235.)
  • Spiritual eye blinded by unbelief. (Testimonies, vol. 5, 258.)
  • Wrong practices blind the eye. (This Day With God, 163.)
  • Spiritual eye blinded because the truth is not obeyed. (The Upward Look, 318.)
  • Covetousness has blinded the eye. (The Review and Herald, October 5, 1886.)
  • Pride and self-esteem blind spiritual eye. (The Signs of the Times, January 15, 1885.)
  • Spiritual eye is blinded by self-indulgence. (The Review and Herald, June 11, 1901.)
  • Eye blinded by the glitter of earthly glory. (Ibid., April 6, 1911.)
  • Blinded by Satan’s sophistries, deceptive theories. (SpTB07, 3.)
  • The love of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life have blinded the spiritual eye. (Phamphlet 98, 20.)
  • By despising reproof and despising the visions. (Phamphlet 016, 18.)
  • The spiritual eye is blinded by turning away from the truth and not accepting Christ. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 181.)
  • Blinded by the spirit of commercialism. (Loma Linda Messages, 312.)
  • The many evils which exist in the church blind the eye. (The Review and Herald, June 12, 1894.)


Jesus says, “I counsel thee to … anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Revelation 3:18).

“The eyes of fallen men may be anointed with the eye-salve of spiritual comprehension, and they may see themselves as they really are—poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. They may be brought to realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.

Jesus told Nicodemus the solution in these words “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:5–7).

The servant of the Lord, commenting on these verses, wrote, “Many are in peril today; their eyes have been blinded; and as Christ said to Nicodemus, I say to them, ‘Ye must be born again’ (John 3:7).” The Signs of the Times, June 2, 1890.

The “born again” experience is the miracle of miracles. We are told: “Satan has blinded the eyes of those who see nothing beyond the earthly, temporal interests. … They are spiritually blind, and the Lord Jesus performs a greater miracle when he restores spiritual vision to those who have been blinded by the glitter and tinsel of this world, than if he healed the most malignant disease.” Ibid., March 28, 1895.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).

The word light actually means lamp and has to do with the source of light or the medium through which it shines, not to the light itself. The light of the body is that insight that places a true relative value on the things of time and eternity.

The eye refers to the eye of the soul that gives a person heavenly vision and that enables him/her to behold that which is invisible to the natural eyesight. Such eyesight is a guide to the soul.

Ellen White defines Matthew 6:22 in this way: “These words have a first and second sense, a literal and a figurative meaning. They are full of truth in regard to the bodily eye, with which we see external objects. And they are true also in regard to the spiritual eye, the conscience, with which we estimate good and evil. If the eye of the soul, the conscience, is perfectly healthy, the soul will be taught aright.

“But when the conscience is guided by human perceptions, which are not subdued and softened by the grace of Christ, the mind is in a diseased condition. Things are not seen in their true bearings. The imagination is wrought upon, and the eye of the mind sees things in a false, distorted light.” Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 1, 323.

“The idea is entertained by many that a man may practice anything that he conscientiously believes to be right. But the question is, Has the man a well-instructed, good conscience, or is it biased and warped by his own preconceived opinions? Conscience is not to take the place of ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Consciences do not all harmonize and are not all inspired alike. Some consciences are dead, seared as with a hot iron. Men may be conscientiously wrong as well as conscientiously right. Paul did not believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and he hunted the Christians from city to city, verily believing that he was doing service to God.” Ibid., 322.

The apostle Paul, speaking concerning those who once knew the truth but have had their consciences blinded by Satan wrote, “ ‘Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron’ (1 Timothy 4:1, 2). Those who have turned away from a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ will be blinded in a superstitious faith in every kind of apostasy, and will be led into that terrible iniquity which God’s word represents as being drunken with the blood of the saints.” The Review and Herald, August 31, 1897.


“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).

“Singleness of purpose, wholehearted devotion to God, is the condition pointed out by the Saviour’s words. Let the purpose be sincere and unwavering to discern the truth and to obey it at whatever cost, and you will receive divine enlightenment.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 91.


“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matthew 6:23).

“But when the eye is blinded by the love of self, there is only darkness. ‘If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness’ (Matthew 6:23). It was this fearful darkness that wrapped the Jews in stubborn unbelief, making it impossible for them to appreciate the character and mission of Him who came to save them from their sins.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 92.

Note also the following: “ ‘But if thine eye be evil,’ if you study selfish purposes, and work only to that end, the whole character is defective, the whole body is full of darkness. Such do not look to Jesus. They do not behold His character, and they are not changed into His image. The spiritual vision is defective, and the way from earth to heaven is darkened by the hellish shadow of Satan. So Satan is pleased to have it, for he can lead that person blindfolded to ruin.” Christ Triumphant, 64.


“Those who have an eye single to the glory of God, will manifest in their lives the loveliness and purity of Christ’s character. The enemy will not be able to pervert their understanding, causing them to view things in a false light, and misjudge the words and motives of their brethren. They will not plan how they may gain approbation; neither will they be so deeply affected by any course that may be pursued toward them that they will give up in discouragement. Shall they forsake their post of duty because they are slighted, or imagine that they are not appreciated? No; they will seek to honor Him whose servants they are. They have the Captain of their salvation to please, His orders to obey, and they will leave the result with Him.” Gospel Workers, 442.


Open my eyes, that I may see

Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;

Place in my hands the wonderful key

That will unclasp and set me free.


Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see, Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine! Clara H. Scott, 1895.

“All who feel their need of Christ as did blind Bartimeus, and who will be as earnest and determined as he was, will, like him, receive the blessing which they crave.” Sons and Daughters of God, 126.

[All emphasis supplied.]


Pastor Ivan Plummer ministers through the Emmanuel Seventh Day Church Ministries in Bronx, New York. He may be contacted by telephone at: 718-882-3900.

Today is the Day

There have been many people in this world who have known that a certain night was their last night—some, because they knew they were sentenced to be executed the following morning, and some because they knew they would die of medical complications before the morning. If that person were you, would you be ready?

Jesus predicted several times what it would be like for people on their last night on earth. One of those predictions is found in Luke 17:28–30: “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

Lot came to the night which was to be his last night in Sodom. Jesus used this as an illustration of what it would be like at the end of the world. It says in Genesis 19:12–14, “Then the men said to Lot, ‘Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.’

“So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, ‘Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!’ But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.”

Lot’s family refused to listen to the warning because they saw no visible evidence that the end was near. They carried on their regular activities until Lot went out of Sodom and then the city was destroyed. Did the time come when they would have liked to have left the city? Here is what happened early the next morning.

“Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground” (Genesis 19:24, 25).

All were destroyed. There was one person who started out of the city of Sodom with Lot and actually never made it to safety, Lot’s wife. One of the shortest texts in the gospel is Luke 17:32, where, after Jesus described the way it was in the days of Lot, He says in three words: “Remember Lot’s wife.”

In Genesis 19:26, we are told what happened to Lot’s wife. Remember, the angel commanded them to flee the city and not look back. “But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Why did Lot’s wife look back? Her heart had remained in the city with her family and possessions. Jesus gave instructions to prevent us from having that experience by saying, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).

The last night on earth will be just like that last night in Sodom. Will it be easy to make a decision for God when we come right to the end of the world? Will it be easy to make a decision to pray and to be religious on that last night? Yes, it will be easy to make a decision to pray then, but it will be too late. Revelation 6:14–17 describes this as the biggest prayer meeting there has ever been, but it will be too late then to decide to be saved.

Notice what will happen. “Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’ ”

Is there some earthly treasure that you are clinging to like Lot’s wife did that is keeping you from going all the way with the Lord? What often keeps some people from following the Lord is their money. So Jesus said in Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

For some people the thing that keeps them from following the Lord all the way is their evil habits. The Bible refers to this as the “temporary pleasures of sin.” In Hebrews 11 concerning Moses, the Bible says he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (verses 25, 26).

For some people the reason is their job. They cannot keep all the commandments and keep doing what they are doing for a living. Concerning this, Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [what you need in this life] shall be added to you.”

For some people it is their jewelry or adornment. Notice what Paul said about this in 1 Timothy 2:9, 10: “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”

The thing that keeps other people from following the Lord all the way is their family. Jesus also had something to say about this as well. He said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;’ and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:34–39).

Did you know that you can drown in honey as well as in vinegar? There are many ways that Satan works through human influence to bind his captives. He secures multitudes of people to himself by attaching them by the silken cords of affection to those who are enemies of the cross of Christ. It doesn’t matter whether this attachment is parental, filial, conjugal, or social, the effect is the same. The opposers of truth exert their power to control the conscience of the souls held under their sway who have not sufficient courage or independence to obey their own convictions of duty.

Some people think it really doesn’t matter what you believe if only your life is right, but your life is molded by your faith. If the light of truth is within your reach and you neglect to improve the privilege of hearing or seeing it, you virtually reject it and are choosing darkness rather than light. When the last night on earth comes, people’s excuses will be swept away.

The Bible teaches that God’s mercy has a limit. That is what happened in Noah’s day. Jesus said that the end of the world would be like it was in the days of Noah. He said, “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37–39).

People will not know until it’s too late. That is why Jesus said you need to be ready. There is a limit to God’s mercy. Notice what God said about this in the days of Noah: “The Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years’ ” (Genesis 6:3).

God’s mercy has a limit. Bible prophecy clearly shows that we are close to the end of the world. Bible prophecies that show us that we are living in the very last epochal period of earth’s history are found first of all in the book of Daniel, in chapters 2, 7, 8, 11 and 12.

As we go through those lines of prophecy, we see that we are living in the period of time that the Bible calls in the book of Daniel “the time of the end.” We have been living in that period of time for over 200 years. Through Bible prophecies, God predicted the history of the world in advance. And as we study these prophecies, we see that all have been fulfilled, except for the final scenes of earth’s history. When you compare the visions in chapters 2, 7, 11 and 12, you can see where we are today in the stream of time.

In the very last days, the Bible predicts that many people would say the following: “ ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:2, 3). You can read the same thing in Isaiah 2. In other words, in the last days there will be an international, political, and religious peace movement.

We are living in that time when all the nations are trying to figure out a way to avoid war. This is a specific sign that we are in the last days. This is a phenomenon of our time that has never before been seen. Its first manifestation was the proposal of a world court to solve disputes, about 1899, and then the League of Nations, and now the United Nations. This kind of worldwide peace-seeking development has never been seen before. There is an international, political, religious, peace movement today. But what is actually going to be happening is just the opposite.

This is what the Lord says is going to happen. In Joel 3:9–14 the Lord says, “Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am strong.” ’ Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord. ‘Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow—for their wickedness is great.’ Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision!”

We are living in a time when there is a great international, political, religious peace movement, at the same time, there are the greatest preparations for war that have ever existed since the history of the world began. This situation is exactly what the Bible predicted would happen in the last days. Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 24, that there would be wars and rumors of wars in the last days.

Jesus also said that in the last days there would be a vast increase in lawlessness, the occurrence of which has frightened people today everywhere in the world. (See Matthew 24:12.) He predicted there would be a vast increase in promiscuity of all kinds in the last days. (See Luke 17:28–30). You can read the same prediction or the same account in Ezekiel 16:49 and 50. And in 2 Timothy 3:13, Paul gives the same prophecy of the last days.

The Bible predicts that in the last days there would be an increase in all types of violence and terrorism. Notice what it says in Genesis 6:11: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” The earth was filled with violence in Noah’s day and Jesus said it would be like that at the end of the world.

The signs in the heavens that Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:29 have appeared, and it is predicted in Revelation 11:18 that in the last days the nations will be angry. Paul predicted in 2 Timothy 3:2, 3 that there will be a state of social morals where children are disobedient to parents and parental authority cannot be enforced. This prophecy is also about the last days.

Then, of all things, the Bible predicts that in the last days people will be outwardly religious, that they will have a form of godliness, but they will deny the power of it. (See 2 Timothy 3:5.)

Peter also predicted that the last days would be a great day, or time, of unbelief. In 2 Peter 3, he says, “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (verses 3–7, literal translation).

Notice, Peter says that in the last days there will be great scoffing at the Bible teaching that God created the world in seven days, that the world came into existence by the word of God. He also said that it would be said that everything has continued uniformly from the beginning of creation. That is the uniformitarian theory. Eighteen hundred years before it occurred, Peter predicted that unbelief in God’s word would happen.

Peter also predicted that in the last days people would not believe in a world-wide flood. All of these Bible prophecies have been fulfilled in our time during the last hundred years, right to the letter. So the question that comes to mind is, Why do people then make excuses instead of getting ready for the end of the age (world KJV)? There are many reasons.

Some people neglect or reject truth because they want to retain their friends. Some people say that they will accept and act on truth later. We must beware of procrastination, for the Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

There are stories in the Bible about men who decided they were going to follow the Lord later, but never got around to it. One example of this would be Felix, as recorded in Acts 24 and 25. He told Paul that at a later time when it was convenient for him he would consider what Paul told him.

There are others who don’t follow the Lord because they want to keep enjoying some sinful pleasure. Just as it was in the days of Noah, the message of truth to get ready for the end, is not popular. The end came suddenly at a time of which the scoffers were not aware. God drew a line.

God told Noah to preach that everything in this world was coming to an end. If you wanted to save your life, you had to accept the warning that God sent through Noah and get into the boat. But the people were not willing to make a big enough commitment to get into the boat. It would have required a person to risk everything on whether or not the prophecy Noah was preaching would be fulfilled. It is the same today. There are millions of people who are waiting and just watching to see if Bible prophecy will actually come true.

People say, “I would lose my job if I am obedient to everything the Bible says.” Well, friend, Jesus lost everything to make salvation possible for you, and the question needs to be asked, “Has God drawn a line today like He did in Noah’s day?” Yes He has.

The line that God has drawn today is found in Revelation 14:9–12. It reads, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.’ Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

How long did it take for a person to be saved in Noah’s day? It was only the time it took for them to get into the ark of safety.

How long does it take to be saved today? Well, however long it takes you to decide that you are going to “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” by obeying the three angels’ messages—the focal point of the latter half of the book of Revelation. It describes the eternal destiny of those who accept the last warning messages to the world and those who reject those same messages—the three angels’ messages.


(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Editorial – The Bribe

“All these things I will give you if …” Matthew 4:9

With these words the great deceiver attempted to bribe our Redeemer. A bribe is generally a price or other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person. Often immense sums of money are used to get others to do what is wanted. For example, in October 1944, Florida Senator Claude Pepper said that one of those who had helped Hitler to power was John Foster Dulles “because it was Dulles’ company and the Schroeder Bank that had provided Hitler with the money he needed to embark on his career as an international bandit.” William E. Dodd, the American ambassador to Germany from 1933 to 1937, notes in his diary that the American banks represented by Dulles had already guaranteed German bonds to the value of one billion dollars at the end of 1933. (See God and the Fascists, Karl Heinz Deschner, 181 (2013).)

Bribes are used by politicians and governments, by churches and all manner of human institutions, groups and families. “He who suffered death for us on Calvary’s cross, just as surely suffered the keenest pangs of hunger as that He died for us. And no sooner did this suffering commence than Satan was at hand with his temptations. We have a foe no less vigilant to contend with. Satan adapts his temptations to our circumstances. In every temptation he will present some bribe, some apparent good to be gained. But in the name of Christ we may have complete victory in resisting his devices.” Confrontation, 71, 72. [Emphasis supplied.]

Young women today are bribed to lose their virginity and purity, young men are bribed to lose their honesty and integrity. People are bribed by their associates to try this or that chemical or carnal pleasure. The benefit to be gained is temporary, but if you overcome the temptation to take the bribe, there will be an eternal benefit.

“By the word of God we are to overcome every temptation of the enemy. Satan may present every attraction, bring to our notice every deceiving, alluring bribe, in seeking to eclipse the brightness of Jesus from our view, and to obliterate from our minds His plainest requirements, but we are to meet his deceptions with the word of God.” The Signs of the Times, December 3, 1894.