SDA Roots, part 5

A great revival developed as a result of Miller ’s preaching. People flocked to his meetings not only from the community but also from surrounding towns. His lectures made such an impression upon the listeners that they kept asking for more. His messages could not be presented in one lecture, so he was persuaded to continue preaching. This was Miller’s experience wherever he went, and the result was the conversion of many souls.

Miller’s small town preaching ended in 1839. On November 12, he met Joshua V. Himes, pastor of the Chardon Street Chapel, in Boston, Massachusetts, who invited Miller to preach to his church family. While preaching in the Chapel, Miller lived with Himes, and they began a friendship which lasted for many years. “God in His providence had brought the two men together. The beginning of this association opened a new era in Miller’s work of spreading his convictions regarding the soon coming Christ.” The Urgent Voice, 63. The interest generated by Miller’s preaching became so great that he was compelled to present another series. Charles Fitch’s Marlboro Chapel was rented for the series.


Miller Begins to Write


From this time until the great disappointment, Miller hardly had time to pause in his public proclamation of the Second Coming of Christ. Almost from the beginning, he received so many invitations to preach that he could not possibly comply, for lack of time. This prompted him to begin publishing his views in printed form. He prepared a series of articles and sent them as anonymous contributions to the Baptist weekly paper, the Vermont Telegraph at Brandon, Vermont. The editor of the paper refused to publish the articles unless the author was identified,whereupon Miller consented and they were printed with the initials, W.M.

Miller wrote a book in which he detailed his views on the prophecies and particularly the Second Coming. This book had a great and profound influence upon all that read it. The editor of the Boston Daily Times, in which sections of Miller’s book were published, was the first to give Miller’s views favorable publicity through the press. The editor continued to print Miller’s articles, and they created a pronounced impact upon the public mind.

However, not all publicity was favorable. One pastor, Ethan Smith, submitted two articles rebutting Miller’s views. The opposition was not very effective, and in most cases it just spurred on the reader to a more careful study of Miller’s message. Even Ethan Smith stated: “I wish to encourage the study of the prophecies and signs of the times: and have been much tried, to see so little attention paid to them; and to hear so many ministers speaking most disrespectfully of this study! I view this fact to be a very dark sign of the times! I think such ministers have got to repent of this sin, or they must sink under it. It is a great insult offered to the Holy Ghost, who inspired the prophecies and commanded us to study and understand them.” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, 517.

“It was about this time that the copy of Miller’s Lectures was placed in the hands of Josiah Litch, a Methodist minister in Massachusetts, who soon became persuaded of its essential soundness and began to write and publish on the subject. Practically the same experience came to Charles Fitch, pastor of the Marlboro Congregational Church of Boston. Meantime Miller was lecturing in some of the moderate-sized towns of Massachusetts, such as Lowell, where he was invited to preach by Timothy Cole, a minister of the Christian Connection, who was likewise greatly impressed.” Ibid., 519.


Himes Helps the Work


The acquaintance with Himes, in late 1839, led to a greatly expanded and accelerated Advent Movement in the larger cities. Himes did not associate himself with Miller without counting the cost of such a move. He stated: “We are not insensible of the fact, that much obloquy will be cast upon us in consequence of our association with the author of this work [Miller]. This, however, gives us no pain. We had rather be associated with such a man as William Miller, and stand with him in gloom or glory, in the cause of the living God, than to be associated with his enemies, and enjoy all the honors of the world.”

“Thus it was that Joshua V. Himes, scarcely thirty-five years old, gave up a promising future to cast his lot with an unpopular cause. But Himes was no stranger to unpopular causes. He was an energetic opponent of the liquor traffic, and for a time he had worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison in the battle against slavery. As pastor of the Chardon Street Chapel, he had opened the doors of the church to more than one reform cause. Millerism was therefore only one of several ‘causes’ with which Himes was actively associated. But it was the one to which he was to devote the most time and effort. And, with Miller and Fitch, he became one of Millerism’s three leading figures.” The Urgent Voice, 64.

Himes’ abilities as a public speaker were unusual, and he frequently lectured on the subject of the Second Coming. But his most valuable accomplishments with the Millerite Movement were in the area of organization and promotion. He was responsible for the publication of tracts, songbooks, pamphlets, charts, broadsides and handbills. Himes, at various times, published more than a dozen periodicals promoting the teachings on the Second Advent.


A Voice for the Advent Movement


By the beginning of 1840, most papers, both religious and secular, had become most unsympathetic in their treatment of Miller and refused to print anything from him in rebuttal. Miller had for quite some time wanted to put out a periodical to serve as the voice of Millerism, but he had not been able to find anyone that would risk his reputation and finances on such a publication. When Miller spoke to Himes of his desire, he accepted the challenge and produced the first issue of the Signs of the Times, a week later.

In 1844, the name of this periodical was changed to the Advent Herald. In 1874, when James White began to publish a weekly paper to speak for the Seventh-day Adventists on the Pacific Coast, he took the name that Himes had abandoned and called it Signs of the Times. James White’s paper was not a continuation of Hime’s periodical and there was no connection between the two, except for the name.

Another person who opposed Miller’s teachings was John Dowling, a Baptist clergyman from New York. He published a Review of Miller, in which he presented the old Antiochus theory for the Little Horn of Daniel 8. He explained that the 2300 evenings and mornings were half days or 1150 literal days and that this referred to the second century B.C. He also taught that the millennium came before the Second Advent. This led to a Refutation by Litch suggesting, like Miller, that the six thousand years of the world’s history would terminate about 1843. He also wrote An Address to the Clergy, which caused many ministers to examine the question more thoroughly and convinced not a few of them of the true character and truth of the Millerite positions.


Campmeetings are Born


Despite the negative reaction and prejudice, aroused by the press, to the public meetings of the Millerites and those that favored his views on prophecy, a considerable interest caused the need for larger meeting-houses. As the result of this growth in interest in the Second Advent preaching, a weeklong meeting was held in Boston in early 1842. Thus the camp meeting was born. In June, Litch held meetings in East Canada resulting in between five hundred and six hundred conversions. “Great gatherings throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine followed, which according to Litch, literally ‘shook the nation.’ ” Ibid., 522.

To accommodate the ever-increasing crowds, a big tent, seating six thousand, was erected six times the first season in New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey. Marked results were seen. Fitch preached the Second Advent to the students and faculty of Oberlin College in Ohio, and elsewhere, finally establishing himself in Cleveland. Litch declares of this time: “The work spread with a power unparalleled in the history of religious excitements. And had it been the object of Adventists to form a sect, never was there a more favorable opportunity to carry all before them, given to any people. But higher and holier objects were in their vision—the saving of sinners from death, and the obtaining of a preparation for the coming of the Lord, were the objects of their highest ambition.” Ibid.

Miller and Himes returned to New York City in 1842 and lectured in the large Methodist church where George Storrs was the pastor. An Adventist daily paper was started called the Midnight Cry, edited by Joshua Himes, L. D. Fleming and Nathaniel Southard. Fitch also established many Second Advent papers and periodicals in Cleveland, and H. B. Skinner and Luther Caldwell did the same in Canada.

Wherever Miller’s writings were circulated, the sale and study of the Bible was stimulated. The movement was known as a Bible movement, and Litch stated that, “a course of lectures in a village, would open a door for the sale of more Bibles in a week than would have been sold before for years.” The tone of the movement was Protestant, the Bible and the Bible only as the rule of practice and faith.

“There were among the Millerite ministers men of commanding talent and attainment—only a few have thus far been named—who were the equal of the wise and learned opposers of the land, raised up, they believed, at a time when such help was needed. As to the actual number of ministers in the Millerite movement at this time Litch frankly said, ‘We have no means of ascertaining the number of ministers, and others, who have embraced the Advent faith. We only know that there are several hundred congregations, and a still larger number of ministers, who have publicly professed the faith, besides many who still remain in the churches of the land.’ These, he explained, were associated together for the accomplishment of a definite objective—to ‘sound the alarm.’ And any organization that existed was of the most ‘simple, voluntary and primitive form.’ ” Ibid., 527.

Next month we will take a closer look at some of the men associated with Miller in the proclamation of the Second Advent. We will scan a little of their backgrounds, training, talents, standing and religious affiliation.


The Approaching Time of Crisis

A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the Sabbath. In view of this, there must be, among God’s commandment-keeping people, more spirituality and a deeper consecration to God, and a zeal in His work that has never yet been reached, to hold aloft the banner of God’s truth. The law of God, the only standard of righteousness, must be prized in proportion as the professed Christian world manifest contempt for it.

The law of God should be loved and prized by God’s true people now, more than ever before. There is the most urgent necessity of enforcing the words of Christ upon the mind and heart of every believer, both men and women, youth and children: “Search the Scriptures.” Examine your Bibles as you have never done before. Unless you arise to a higher, holier attitude in your religious life, you will not be ready for the appearing of our Lord. There are many who are not purifying their souls by obeying the truth. As great light has been given them, God expects proportionate zeal, devotion, and faithfulness upon the part of His people. But there will be proportionate darkness, unbelief, and blindness as the truth is not appreciated and acted upon.

The Lord will not remove from His people every occasion to doubt; but He will give sufficient light and evidence to encourage faith and confidence; and if they walk as Christ, the light of the world,leads the way, they will not step aside into the paths of doubt and unbelief. When declension and danger threaten the church, there will be more praying, more fasting, by the faithful few, and the Lord will answer the prayers offered to Him in sincerity, and at the same time He will come forth as an avenger because of the guiltiness of the evil-workers. He will be a protector; for He will “avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them.”

It will appear as though Satan is triumphant, and that truth is overborne with falsehood and error; because the people over whom God has spread His shield, and the country which has been an asylum to the conscience-oppressed lovers of God and the defenders of His truth, are placed in desperate jeopardy through its oppressive legislation. Should our nation abjure the principles of Protestantism, to give countenance and sanction to the Sunday law, they will in this act join hands with popery; for it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has been eagerly waiting and watching its opportunity to spring into active despotism. And now, as this evil is on the point of realization, it is the business of all believers in the Bible to arouse.

For years many have sat in calm expectation of this event, and they will not be working out the purposes of God if they comfort themselves with the thought that what is to come will come, and anything that they may do will not prevent it. They should not settle down in an easy, comfortable indolence, thinking that God will shelter His own people in the day of this calamity. This is the time for action, not for indolence and spiritual stupor. Satan is preparing his forces with a power from beneath, and all heaven is in busy activity, ready to work in the interests of those who are awake to the condition of things, and, like faithful sentinels, are doing all they can to arouse the people to avert, if possible, the threatened evil.

If our people continue in the listless attitude in which they have been, God cannot pour upon them His Spirit. They are unprepared to co-operate with Him. They do not realize the threatened danger, and are not awake to the situation. They should feel now as never before their need of vigilance and well-concerted action.

The following quotation from Testimony, No. 32, pages 208–210, which was published in 1885, shows that our people have not been left without warnings as to the duties and dangers of the times: “God has revealed what is to take place in the last days, that His people may be prepared to stand against the tempest of opposition and wrath. Those who have been warned of the events before them are not to sit in calm expectation of the coming storm, comforting themselves that the Lord will shelter His faithful ones in the day of trouble. We are to be as men waiting for their Lord, not in idle expectancy, but in earnest work, with unwavering faith. It is no time now to allow our minds to be engrossed with things of minor importance. While men are sleeping. Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the under-current is tending. Its professions are mild, and apparently Christian; but when it shall speak, it will reveal the spirit of the dragon. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger. We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people. We should bring before them the real question at issue, thus interposing the most effectual protest against measures to restrict liberty of conscience. We should search the Scriptures, and be able to give the reason for our faith. Says the prophet, “The wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

Those who have access to God through Christ have important work before them. Now is the time to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void Thy law.” Let the servants of the Lord weep between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach.” God has always wrought for His people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to His power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, of His truth and His people, can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep,—the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness, until the warning is given to the world, and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict. “The wrath of man shall praise Thee,” says the psalmist; “the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain.” God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front, and become a subject of examination and discussion even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God’s means of provoking inquiry, and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber.

Thus it has been in the past history of God’s people. For refusing to worship the great golden image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the three Hebrews were cast into the fiery furnace. But God preserved His servants in the midst of the flames, and the attempt to enforce idolatry resulted in bringing the knowledge of the true God before the assembled princes and great men of the vast kingdom of Babylon. So it was when the decree went forth forbidding prayer to any god save the king. As Daniel, according to his custom, made his supplications three times a day to the God of heaven, the attention of the princes and rulers was called to his case. He had an opportunity to speak for himself, to show who is the true God, and to present the reason why he alone should receive worship, and the duty of rendering Him praise and homage. And the deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions was another evidence that the Being whom he worshiped was the true and living God.

So the imprisonment of Paul brought the gospel before kings, princes, and rulers, who otherwise would not have had this light. The efforts made to retard the progress of truth will serve to extend it. The excellence of truth is more clearly seen from every successive point from which it may be viewed. Error requires disguise and concealment. It clothes itself in angel robes, and every manifestation of its real character lessens its chance of success. The people whom God has made the depositaries of His law are not to permit their light to be hidden. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and surmounted. A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth. They should make mighty intercession with God for help now. The love of Christ must be diffused in their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ must be poured out upon them, and they must be making ready to stand in the judgment. While they are consecrating themselves to God, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others, and its light will find access to many hearts. We must sleep no longer on Satan’s enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our resources, and avail ourselves of every facility with which Providence has furnished us. The last warning is to be proclaimed “before many people, and nations, and tongues, and kings;” and the promise is given, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

Through fraud and falsehood Satan is now using those who claim to be Christians to divorce the world from God’s mercy. They are working in blindness. They do not see that if a Protestant government sacrifices the principles that have made them a free, independent nation, and through legislation brings into the Constitution, principles that will propagate papal falsehood and papal delusion, they are plunging into the Roman horrors of the Dark Ages. But this need not be, just at this point of time, if the church is aroused to her duty and her work. A vast responsibility is devolving upon men and women of prayer throughout the land, to petition that God may sweep back this cloud of evil, and give a few more years of grace to work for the Master.

The peculiar work of the third angel has not been seen in its importance. God meant that His people should be far in advance of what they are today. But now, when the time has come for them to spring into action, they have the getting ready to do. When Satan made his advances, it was high time for the watchmen on the walls of Zion to arouse and counteract his efforts to obtain the advantage. It is not in the order of God that light has been kept from our people —the very present truth which they needed for this time. Not all of our ministers who are giving the Third Angel’s Message, really understand what constitutes that message. The National Reform movement has been regarded by some as of so little importance that they have not thought it necessary to give much attention to it, and have even felt that in so doing, they would be giving time to questions distinct from the Third Angel’s Message. May the Lord forgive our brethren for thus interpreting the very message for this time. The Third Angel’s Message comprehends more than many suppose. What interpretation do they give to the passage which says an angel descended from heaven, and the earth was lightened with his glory? This is not a time when we can be excused for inactivity. If this work, which was so essential, had been taken up by our ministers, there would be today a far different state of things in all our churches.

Some in the church will prove to be false brethren; their faith, their love, their patience, their constancy will be tested and tried; and if they are not rooted and grounded in the truth, if they are not filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and the praise of God, they will become offended at reproofs and warnings, will not humble their souls before God, and will go back and walk no more with those who love the truth. The people need to be aroused in regard to the dangers of the present time. The watchmen are asleep. We are years behind. Let the chief watchmen feel the urgent necessity of taking heed to themselves, lest they lose the opportunities given to them to see the dangers. Let them blow the trumpet, not in a general way, but so that it may give a certain sound, that other watchmen upon the walls of Zion may hear, and in their turn send forth the warning note.

Perils now threaten the people of God; and what will they do? Can we not assist in lifting the standard, and in calling to the front those who have a regard for their religious rights and privileges? God calls us to awake; for the end is near. The prophecies that show us the closing scenes of earth’s history, are fast fulfilling. The time is fast approaching when we shall be made to feel the hand of oppression, because we demand our religious rights. Shall we then dishonor God by keeping silent, when His holy commandments are being trampled under foot?

We have been looking many years for a Sunday law to be enacted in our land; and now that the movement is right upon us, we ask, What are our people going to do in the matter? Do you realize that the night will soon come, when no man can work? Have you that intensity of zeal, that piety and devotion, which will enable you to stand when opposition is brought upon you? If God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils, and every position of truth which we hold will be severely criticized. The time that we are now allowing to go to waste should be devoted to the charge God has given us, of preparing for the approaching crisis. Much time should be spent in prayer, that our garments of character may be washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb.

We should especially seek God for grace and power to be given His people now. God lives; and we do not believe that the time has fully come when He would have our liberties restricted. The prophet saw “four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” Another angel ascending from the east, cried to them, saying, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” This points out the work we now have to do, which is to cry to God for the angels to hold the four winds until missionaries shall be sent to all parts of the world, and shall have proclaimed the warning against disobeying the law of Jehovah. But every conceivable thing that the enemy can bring against the people of God, to hinder them in their work, will be employed. The Lord, on the other hand, bids all to be awake and to watch; for it was while men slept, that the enemy sowed tares.


Food for Life — Health Laws

In the last few years we have heard a great deal about Candida Albicans (yeast infection), due to a defective immune system. These good bacteria which normally keep the yeast in check in the body are destroyed when you take antibiotics, specifically penicillin, preparing the way for Candida to multiply. This can indeed become serious and if left to invade the system, one may have it for life. Diet is of utmost importance, and one of the items that must be eliminated is yeast. Bread, being the “staff of life,” is a very important item in millions of households. So, it seems essential that we substitute unleavened bread in a variety of ways when this condition is present.

“When hot, or new, raised bread of any kind is difficult of digestion. It should never appear on the table. This rule does not, however, apply to unleavened bread. Fresh rolls made of wheaten meal, without yeast or leaven, and baked in a well heated oven, are both wholesome and palatable.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 316, 317. Also beneficial is the thorough mastication process required which is a considerable draw-back in eating porridges and soups.

How many of us really realize what we owe to our Heavenly Father, who has created us and redeemed us by His precious blood on Calvary, for the perfect “blueprint,” enabling us to have health and strength to work for Him, using our varied talents in His service.

“The transgression of physical law is the transgression of God’s law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ. He is the author of our being. He has created the human structure. He is the author of physical laws, as He is the author of the moral law. And the human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health, sins against God’s laws. Many who profess to love Jesus Christ do not show proper reverence and respect for Him who gave His life to save them from eternal death. He is not reverenced, or respected, or recognized. This is shown by the injury done to their own bodies in violation of the laws of their being.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 43.

“If we close our eyes to the light for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our sins are not lessened, but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it will be disregarded in another. It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the ten commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God’s law. We cannot love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal better than we love the Lord. We are daily lessening our strength to glorify God, when He requires all our strength, all our mind. By our wrong habits we are lessening our hold on life, and yet professing to be Christ’s followers, preparing for the finishing touch of immortality.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 70, 71.

May God help us to keep the channels open, the delicate nerve endings of the brain, by not benumbing them, that the Holy Spirit may do its work in our lives and prepare us for the soon coming of our Savior!

Oatmeal Pecan Crisps

2 cups oat flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup millet flour

1/2 cup fruit source

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups soy or nut milk

Add milk until proper consistency, thick but spreadable. Spread evenly on a non-stick cookie sheet, about one inch think. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.


Beware the Mockingbird

One of Jesus’ most instructive parables is recorded in John 10. He talks about the fold and the sheep, the shepherd and the robbers, the thieves and the hireling, and about going in and out of the door. In this article we will study one of the subjects of this parable: how to know the true shepherd from the false.

Jesus said: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” John 10:4. [All emphasis supplied.] How is it that the true sheep know the voice of the Shepherd from all the other voices? they can pick out a fake, and will not listen to him?

Verse 8 says, “All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.” The sheep knew when they heard the voice of the thieves and robbers that tried to tell them where to go and what to do, and it was not the right voice. Jesus said that even the true sheep, which were not yet in the true fold, would recognize His voice. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Verse 16.

He emphasized the point by repeating it over and over: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Verse 27. Do we know the voice of the Shepherd? How do we distinguish between the real and the fake? the pretender and the true? Jesus gave the answer as He was explaining the parable to His disciples. He said, “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not.” Verse 37.

We need to learn this lesson today as much as they. “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not.” Verse 37. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about teachers. He said, “Beware.” That is one of the first principles for us to learn—Beware. There are a lot of fakes out in the world who are telling you which way to go and what to do. Before we study the rest of Jesus’ instruction in this passage, let us think about the first word: BEWARE. In other words, be wary of who you are listening to.

One day this spring I was in the garden gathering greens for lunch. We were going down the row of mustard greens trying to find some that the worms had not eaten up and that were not too tough.

As I was bending over cutting a few greens, I heard a cardinal singing—at least I thought it was a cardinal. I questioningly stood up and looked around, because the “cardinal’s” song was coming from the direction of the tree that the  mockingbird usually sings from. Almost simultaneously, before I had a chance to tell for sure if I was hearing the cardinal or the mockingbird, I heard another bird start singing. It was coming from the direction of the cardinal’s nest. The song was loud and crystal clear, and I recognized every note as that of the cardinal.

As I carefully listened. I realized what I had already suspected—the mockingbird could not fake the cardinal’s song perfectly. I was already wary of the mockingbird, because a couple of days earlier, as I was walking outside, I thought I heard a cardinal. I looked around to see if I could find the cardinal with his beautiful coat of crimson red. And when I spotted the singing bird at the top of the pine tree across the road, it was the mockingbird. But by the time I saw his gray and white colors he was already faking a different song. He was then singing the eastern meadowlark’s song. That is how the mockingbird does. He sings a snatch of this and a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. He borrows from here and from there, but he does not have his own song to sing. Beware. What you think is a cardinal may turn out to be a mockingbird.

There are many mockingbirds in our world today. They sing one song for a while, and then another song, none of which are their own songs. They see something they like and go for that, then they see something else they like better and start towards that. They make promises that they cannot keep because they are not theirs to deliver. How disappointed people become when they discover they have been listening to a mockingbird.

The mockingbirds say, Listen to me. I sing a beautiful song. I have happiness. Follow me. I am the real thing. Mockingbirds are everywhere. You can find them on billboards, in magazines. You can find them in church. Sometimes the mockingbird sings inside of us. It is a song of “Please do this and it will make you happy,” a lustful desire, an unholy ambition.

Can you distinguish between the real and the fake? Do you know when you are hearing the voice of the mockingbird or the real thing? Many people are easy prey for false teachers because they sing the song of the mockingbird themselves. They sing a “snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody.” The Ministry of Healing, 472.

What song are you singing? Does Jesus really, truly live inside of you? Or are you singing the song of the mockingbird? The mockingbird says, I am a Christian, I have the truth. But really, Christ does not live inside. Unless He lives inside of us, we are the mockingbirds. And if we are fooling ourselves, we will for sure be fooled by others who can deceive even better than we.

When Jesus was on earth, the people had some heated arguments concerning Him being a fake. One of those discussions is recorded in John 7. “And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people.” John 7:12.

Jesus then gave a promise to His people. It is a promise, that if we remain until the end, we will be tested for ourselves. He said, “If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” John 7:17.

Then Jesus gave the key to recognizing a fake. “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.” Verse 18. The one that has learned by God’s grace to sing the true song is the one that is seeking God’s glory and self is dead. But the one that seeks his own glory is a fake. He is not to be listened to.

There will be fakes until the end of sin. God gave us the acid test that will never fail to uncover a deceiver. What is this test between the real and the fake? How can you tell if it is a mockingbird singing the cardinal’s song?

We read earlier of Jesus’ instruction to beware of being deceived. He continued on to teach us how to tell a fake. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Matthew 7:15–19.

Do not think that because a person can pray and preach, that is good fruit. “Prayer, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 24. Here is pictured a most deceptive situation. Instead of producing genuine fruit from the tree, someone has just tied on the right words. The simple will be deceived by it. “The simple believe every word.” Proverbs 14:15. How many people are fooled by good words. There has to be more than words! There has to be some doing. The Lord has warned us that this is a frequent situation. If all there is are convincing words—beware.

What can prayer, exhortations and sermons be? They can be fruit that is just tied on to an evil tree. People hear what they consider a good sermon and are ready so quickly to follow a man. Prayer, exhortation and talk can be only cheap fruit that is tied on any tree. The fruit we need to look for is what is manifested in good works in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and the widows. These are genuine fruits and they naturally grow on a good tree.

James told us: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27.

We can only survive by knowing what God has identified as good fruits and bad fruits. The good fruits come from a genuine Christian. But when there are bad fruits, the person can still talk in a genuine way. If there is only one bad fruit in the life, we need to remember Jesus’ instruction: a good tree cannot produce a bad fruit. Beware. Do not be fooled by the mockingbird. Look at the fruit. The mockingbird can sing the cardinal’s song, but he cannot produce a single cardinal egg because he is not a cardinal. He can only sing like the cardinal. We must learn to never ignore bad fruit with the excuse that their talk seems genuine.

That is why Jesus said later in His discussion with the Jews in John 7: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.” John 7:24.

We hear so much about not judging that sometimes we forget that God has commanded us to judge! While we are never to judge the motive, we are to judge the fruit. If we do not follow this instruction, we will surely be fooled! Do not be fooled by righteous sounding talk!

There are several passages in God’s Word that describe bad fruit. We must prayerfully consider each one. Bad fruit must first be rooted out of our own lives, or we cannot discern it in others. No one can distinguish the real from the fake if there is still bad fruit in his own life.

In brackets we will describe some of these fruits with words that are more common to most of us. These descriptive words came from Websters’s dictionary.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness [lustful wantonness; wantonness is the causing of sexual excitement or being unduly extravagant], idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations [to strive to be equal to or to excel someone else, in other words, competition], wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings [noisy parties or merry-making], and such like.” Galatians 5:19–21.

There is another list of bad fruit in Colossians 3. We will list only the ones not mentioned in the book of Galatians. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; . . . inordinate [disorderly, unregulated, exceeding reasonable limits] affection, evil concupiscence [coveting sexual activities, strong sexual desire], and coveteousness which is idolatry . . . anger, wrath,malice [desiring pain, injury, or distress to another], blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.” Colossians 3:5–9.

“Filthy communication out of your mouth.” The definition for that is out of the Bible. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11, 12. It is filthy communication when you speak of the evil things that are listed above. Filthy things, sexual things, impure things, wrathful things, angry things, hateful things. Do not speak of those things which are done of them in secret. Filthy communication is bad fruit.

James teaches us how to recognize a fake. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26.

How about the people that just talk, talk, talk? God has told us. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.” Proverbs 10:19. How often we would be saved from defeat if we heeded these words of God. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45.

Matthew says it even more forcefully: “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:36, 37.

Another bad fruit is not having a love for sound doctrine. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.

People who cannot endure a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” are showing that they are growing evil fruit. They want to invent some doctrine that is pleasing to the ear. When you see it, beware.

God’s people love the Word of God, they obey the truth. Here is the fruit on the gospel tree of a true Christian. “God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrine and the basis of all reforms . . . Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord in its support.’ ” The Great Controversy, 595.

Here is another list of bad fruits: “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:2–5.

Are you following the plainest command of Scripture? When people have these bad fruits in their lives, we want to pray for them and love them and work for their salvation, but the idea of continuing with them goes against the Word of God. They will become the deceiver of our soul. If you listen to the deceptive song long enough, you are going to be deceived. Just one bad fruit in this whole list is enough to deceive you.

We have been warned that one evil that is cherished can ruin the whole soul. You do not need to have all of them, just one. It will be like a little worm that will eat out your soul. “From such turn away.” Turn away from the sin and from the people who refuse to turn away from sin.

As you look at this fearful list of bad fruit, pray over it for yourself. Pray that God will give you the discernment to not be fooled and that all bad fruit will be removed from your life. Until we are clean ourselves, we can quite easily be deceived by the false shepherd. That is why so many are being deceived today; they secretly love some cherished sin themselves, so they are fooled by those who are better fakers than they are. There is always someone who is a better faker than you are.

Are you able to identify the real from the fake when it comes to God’s true church? There is a fake church. You know what I mean, the church that sings the song “I am the church, I am the church,” but is not producing the fruits of righteousness. Rather it is manifesting the fruits of darkness. Beware, you may be listening to the mockingbird’s borrowed song instead of the real thing.

The cardinal does not know anything different than to sing his own song. He is genuine. But the mockingbird borrows a snatch of this and a trill of that, and if you are not careful, it can fool you. Whatever the occasion demands, that’s the song that he can sing.

All of us have been like the mockingbird. We’ve been deceived by the great deceiver. But Jesus came to deliver our souls from this great deception. He wants to make us genuine again. Through his grace we can be changed into His image. We will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. It will not be a borrowed song either. It will be the song of our experience. But to learn that song we will have to endure some trials.

“In the full light of day, and in hearing of the music of other voices, the caged bird will not sing the song that his master seeks to teach him. He learns a snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. But the master covers the cage, and places it where the bird will listen to the one song he is to sing. In the dark, he tries and tries again to sing that song until it is learned, and he breaks forth in perfect melody. Then the bird is brought forth, and ever after he can sing that song in the light. Thus God deals with His children. He has a song to teach us, and when we have learned it amid the shadows of affliction we can sing it ever afterward.” The Ministry of Healing, 472.

God has put us all in a school. I hope we all endure it. He wants us all to endure it. It is a school to distinguish the fake from the real, to tell the genuine from the spurious, the true from the false. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden . . . and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29.

Jesus’ school has sometimes been held in the most unconventional places. His school rooms were not ones that we would pick. One time for His school room He chose a boat for His classroom and the teacher was a mighty storm. The pupils were His disciples, and they learned great lessons in Jesus’ school. They learned the lessons so well that they took the gospel to the whole world in one generation. They could tell the genuine from the spurious, the true from the false. They became strong to rebuke sin and quick to have mercy on the repentant sinner.

I wonder if we who are to give the last message of warning to a perishing world need to be in a school like the disciples were. Have you been in attendance in Jesus’ school before? In conclusion let us think of the disciples in that terrible storm on the lake. It had been a calm day and they wanted to crown Jesus as King. He commanded them to get in the boat. Never was a command of Jesus so hard to obey. They got in that boat against their will. They were not thinking clearly because “love of honor had blinded them.” The Desire of Ages, 380. They reasoned in their unbelief “until they brought upon themselves great spiritual darkness. They questioned, Could Jesus be an impostor, as the Pharisees asserted?” Ibid. Obviously, they could not yet always tell the genuine from the false.

So God sent them a teacher. Often when we have great trials to battle against, they teach us how weak we are and work out some of the unbelief that is in our hearts. That is how it was for the disciples; every one had to work hard to keep the boat afloat. The disciples labored with all their strength to keep the boat afloat amidst the strong winds and heavy gales. But they finally gave up their efforts as hopeless. While the hungry waves talked of death amid the storm, a light form is seen walking upon the foam-capped billows. This Presence should have brought them blessing and hope, but they were terrified. They thought it was a precursor of death. But suddenly they hear a voice, amid the roar of the tempest. It was Jesus. He said, “Be of good cheer. It is I, Be not afraid.” They recognized the voice. How did they know that voice? They had heard it before and they knew the sound. The known voice is heard above the tumult of the storm, “Be not afraid; it is I.”

“That night in that boat was to the disciples a school where they were to receive their education for the great work which was to be done afterwards. The dark hours of trial are to come to every one as a part of his education for higher work, for more devoted, consecrated effort. The storm was not sent upon the disciples to shipwreck them, but to test and prove them individually. Before the great trouble shall come upon the world such as has never been since there was a nation, those who have faltered and who would ignorantly lead in unsafe paths will reveal this before the real vital test, the last proving comes, so that whatsoever they may say will not be regarded as voicing the True Shepherd. The time of our educating will soon be over. We have no time to lose in walking through clouds of doubt and uncertainty because of uncertain voices.” 1888 Materials, 1002.

We should never, never follow the voice of one just because he can talk right. Beware, it could be a mockingbird! Just picking up the right song for the occasion does not prove that the voice is from the true Shepherd. The good fruit has to be in the life. It is the same for us. We have people who look to us, our own children and others. Are we singing the genuine song? Or are we a fake, like a mockingbird? Let us ask the Lord to give us the real, the genuine and not the fake and the spurious.


Children’s Story — Muriel ’s Bright Idea

My friend Muriel is the youngest daughter in a large family. They are in moderate circumstances, and the original breadwinner has been long gone; so the young people have to be wage earners.

“Other people do not know now lovely vacations are,” was the way Esther expressed it as she sat on the side porch, hands folded lightly in her lap, and an air of delicious idleness about her entire person. It was her week of absolute leisure, which she had earned by a season of hard work. She is a public-school teacher and works fourteen hours a day.

Alice is a music teacher, and goes from house to house in town and from school to school, with her music roll in hand. Ben, a young brother, is studying medicine in a doctor’s office, and also in town, and serving the doctor between times to pay for his opportunities. There are two others, an older brother just started in business for himself, and a sister in nurses’ training.

So they scattered each morning to their duties in the city ten miles away, and gathered at night, like chickens, to the home nest, which was mothered by the dearest little woman. She prepared favorite dishes for the wage earners as they gathered at night around the home table. It is a very happy family, but I set out to tell you about Muriel’s apron, but it seemed necessary to describe the family in order to secure full appreciation of the apron.

Muriel is still a high-school girl, hoping to graduate next year, though at times a little anxious lest she may not pass. She plans to go to college as soon as possible. But about her apron. I saw it first one morning when I crossed the street to my neighbor’s side door, and met Muriel in the doorway, as pretty a picture as a fair-haired, bright-eyed girl of seventeen can make. She was in what she called her uniform, a short dress (less than floor length) made of dark print, cut lower(but modest) in the neck than a street dress. It had elbow sleeves, with white braid stitched on their bands and around the square neck setting off the little costume charmingly.

Her apron was a strong dark green denim, wide enough to cover her dress completely; it had a bib waist held in place by shoulder straps; and the garment fastened behind with a single button. But its distinctive feature was a row of pockets—or rather several rows of them—extending across the front breadth; they were of varying sizes, and all bulged out as if well filled.

“What in the world?” I began, and stared at the pockets. Muriel’s merry laugh rang out.

“Haven’t you seen my pockets before?” she asked. “They astonish you, of course; everybody laughs at them; but I am proud of them; they are my own invention. You see, we are such a busy family, and so tired when we get home at night, that we have a bad habit of dropping things just where we are, and leaving them. By the last of the week this big living room is a sight to behold. It used to take half my morning to pick up the thousand and one things that did not belong here, and carry them to their places. You do not know now many journeys I had to make, because I was always overlooking something. So I invented this apron with a pocket in it for every member of the family, and it works like a charm.

“Look at this big one with a B on it; that is for Ben, and it is always full. Ben is a great boy to leave his pencils, and his handkerchiefs, and everything else about. Last night he even discarded this necktie because it felt choky.

“This pocket is Esther’s. She leaves her letters and her discarded handkerchiefs, as well as her gloves. And Kate sheds hair ribbons and hatpins wherever she goes. Just think how lovely it is to have a pocket for each, and drop things in as fast as I find them. When I am all through dusting, I have simply to travel once around the house and unpack my load. I cannot tell you how much time and trouble and temper my invention has saved me.” “It is a bright idea,” I said, “and I mean to pass it on. There are other living rooms and busy girls. Whose is that largest pocket, marked M?”

“Why, I made it for mother; but mothers do not leave things lying around. It is funny, is it not, when they have so many cares? It seems to be natural for mothers to think about other people. So I made the M stand for ‘miscellaneous,’ and I put into that pocket articles which belong to all of us. I needed pockets last winter, when we all had special cares and were so dreadfully busy. It is such a simple idea you would have supposed that any person would have thought of it. I just had to do it this spring, because there simply was not time to run up and down stairs so much.

“It is true, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’” I said. “And, besides, you have given me a new idea. I am going home to work it out. When it is finished, I will show it to you.” Then I went home, and made rows and rows of strong pockets to sew on a folding screen I was making for my work room.

Just Do Your Best


Just do your best. It matters not how small,

How little heard of;

Just do your best—that’s all.

Just do your best. God knows it all,

And in His great plan you count as one;

Just do your best until the work is done.

Just do your best. Reward will come

To those who stand the test;

God does not forget. Press on,

Nor doubt, nor fear. Just do your best.


by Ernest Lloyd

Taken from Stories Worth Rereading, Review and Herald Publishing Assn., Washington D.C., 1919.


New Theology

What is happening in our beloved Seventh-day Adventist Church? Many of our members do not know what to believe. Some are attending home churches because they hear an unscriptural gospel preached from their Adventist pulpit. Our church is facing a very critical emergency. It is being divided into two camps, each teaching a different gospel, affecting the conscience of pastors, teachers and laymen.

The dividing question revolves around faith and works in the Christian life. James explained the subject this way: “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:20–26.

Inspiration clarifies this Scripture so clearly that there can be no possible misunderstanding. ” ‘. . .Without faith it is impossible to please Him, . . . He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ Hebrews 11:6. There are many in the Christian world that claim that all that is necessary to salvation is to have faith; works are nothing. But God’s word tells us that faith without works is dead, being alone. Many refuse to obey God’s commandments, yet they make a great deal of faith. But faith must have a foundation. God’s promises are all made upon conditions. If we do His will, if we walk in truth, then we may ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. While we earnestly endeavor to be obedient, God will hear our petitions; but He will not bless us in disobedience. If we choose to disobey His commandments, we may cry, ‘Faith, faith, only have faith,’ And the response will come back from the sure word of God, ‘Faith without works is dead.’ (James 2:20.) Such faith will only be as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal. In order to have the benefits of God’s grace we must do our part; we must faithfully work and bring forth fruits meet for repentance . . .

“Faith and works will keep us evenly balanced and make us successful in the work of perfecting Christian character. Jesus says, ‘Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.’ (Matthew 7:21.) Speaking of temporal food, the apostle said, ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ 2 Thessalonians 3:10. The same rule applies to our spiritual nourishment; if any would have the bread of eternal life, let him make efforts to obtain it. We are living in an important and interesting period of this earth’s history. We need more faith than we have yet had; we need a firmer hold from above. Satan is working with all power to obtain the victory over us, for he knows that he has but a short time in which to work. Paul had fear and trembling in working out his salvation and should not we fear lest the promise being left us, we should any of us seem to come short of it, and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life? We should watch unto prayer. Strive with agonizing effort to enter in at the straight gate.” Faith and Works, 47, 49.

For years, modern Babylon has been teaching that Jesus kept the law for us, therefore it is not necessary for us to keep the law. It is commonly said that all that we need to do is believe that Christ obeyed the law for us, and we may continue to sin till Jesus comes and still be saved. Such teachings come straight from the doctrines of devils!


How the Pioneers Established Truth


It is amazing to discern how the Holy Spirit, through the servant of the Lord, guided our pioneers so clearly that they were able to distinguish truth from error and separate from Babylon’s false teachings. In Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 412, Ellen White described this process: “My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder Edson, a man who was keen, noble, and true, and many others whose names I cannot now recall, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for truth. At our important meetings, these men would meet together and search for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly; for we felt that we must learn God’s truth. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light, and studying the Word. As we fasted and prayed, great power came upon us. But I could not understand the reasoning of the brethren. My mind was locked, as it were, and I could not comprehend what we were studying. Then the Spirit of God would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given to me, with instruction as to the position we were to take regarding truth and duty. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was plainly marked out before me, and I gave my brethren and sisters the instruction that the Lord had given me. They knew that when not in vision I could not understand these matters, and they accepted as light direct from heaven the revelations given me. The leading points of our faith as we hold them today were firmly established. Point after point were clearly defined, and all the brethren came into harmony.”

We need to consider that if we are tempted to embrace new doctrinal teachings, which differ from the faith delivered to our pioneers, that we are in danger of rejecting the light given by the Holy Spirit. God has always promised to increase our light by fuller development, but He never changes His truth. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls . . .” Jeremiah 6:16.


Warnings for Adventists


In view of this divine counsel, let us consider how we have been warned of what will happen in this end time and what God is expecting of His servants, the shepherds.

“God calls for men of decided fidelity. He has no use in an emergency for two-sided men. He wants men who will lay their hand upon a wrong work and say, This is not according to the will of God.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 153.

“All who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 83, 84.

“In these last days, false teachers will arise and become actively zealous . . . False theories will be mingled with every phase of experience . . . In the very midst of us will arise false teachers, giving heed to seducing spirits whose doctrines are of satanic origin. These teachers will draw away disciples after themselves . . . Confessions may be made, but no real reformation takes place, and erroneous theories bring ruin upon unsuspecting souls because these souls believe and rely upon the men advocating these theories.” Review and Herald, January 7, 1904.

“When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth . . . One will arise, and still another, with new light, which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of the Holy Spirit . . . We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it up as proof around their asserted theories . . . And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake. He who makes such an application knows not the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 161.

“He (Satan) works today as he worked in heaven, to divide the people of God in the very last state of this earth’s history. He seeks to create dissention, and to arouse contention and discussion, and to remove if possible the old landmarks of truth committed to God’s people. He tries to make it appear as if the Lord contradicts Himself.

“It is when Satan appears as an angel of light that he takes souls in his snare, deceiving them. Men who pretend to have been taught of God will adopt fallacious theories and in their teaching will so adorn these fallacies as to bring in satanic delusions. Thus Satan will be introduced as an angel of light, and will have opportunity to present his pleasing fables.” Manuscript Releases, No. 222.

In October of 1903, Ellen White urged immediate action to forestall the invasion of the New Theology teachings that God had revealed would soon enter the church in the end time. “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines that stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of re-organization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the Remnant Church would be discarded . . . A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded as also the God Who created it . . . The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.

“Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 39, 40.

It is no wonder that there is an apostate theology of assurance and salvation being promoted today from the very top of the structure. I believe this apostasy to be exactly what the servant of the Lord called “The Omega,” as found in Selected Messages, vol. 1, 177, 205.

We are told that there would be few champions of truth within the church at the end time, and that the majority would reject the pure gospel. We see the fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy in 1 Timothy 4:1. “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.” “Every wind of doctrine will be blowing.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 80.

It is not uncommon to hear the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which God says in Revelation 2:6 that He hates, preached from Adventist pulpits. This “gospel” teaches that we may sin and still be saved.

The liberals among us are teaching Calvinistic concepts so that we are losing our distinctive pillars of faith. We are taught to blindly accept anything from the leadership. The results are inevitable. God’s professed people are becoming ecumenical and losing sight of the true identity of the antichrist. It is plain to see that there are those in leadership today who are attempting to remove the landmarks of truth, just as inspiration predicted. “There will be a removing of the landmarks and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 985.


The History of the New Theology*


Dr. Leroy Froom began the New Theology by misquoting Ellen White in order to substantiate a coexistence with the Evangelicals. The original statement by Mrs. White reads as follows: “In taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin.” The Faith I Live By, 49. Froom changed it to read, ” . . .took the sinless nature of Adam before his fall.” He thus implanted words which Ellen White never said.

This New Theology was further upheld by Dr. Edward Heppenstall, the Chairman of the Systematic Theology Department at Andrews University. He wrote a book on perfection in which he made twenty-one statements that say it is impossible for Christians to stop sinning, even by the power of God. In one such statement he said: “The Bible rejects every possibility of our reaching sinless perfection in this life.” The Impossible Possibility, 73.

Next came Dr. Desmond Ford, a teacher at Avondale College in Australia and later at Pacific Union College. He made an all out attack on the Sanctuary doctrine, in 1979.

Many other books of a similar nature have now been printed by Pacific Press. One of the most blatant is Beyond Belief, by Jack Sequiera, in which the author denies many of our basic beliefs. But the worst apostasy is that which is being promoted by our General Conference President in which he totally ignores the instructions of the Spirit of Prophecy, claiming to have made a new discovery.

In his book, We Still Believe, he asserts that assurance of salvation is based on grace alone and that our response of sanctified obedience has nothing to do with our salvation.

In the following quotations, I shall compare Ford, Sequiera and Folkenberg in their new beliefs concerning the basis of our salvation. “The justification imputed to us is a righteousness which is one hundred percent, but it is not eternal. It is an alien righteousness that is outside of us. The righteousness of sanctification, however, is internal. It is the fruit of our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, but it is not one hundred percent. Thus we are ever dependent upon the merits of Christ; ever dependent upon justification for our standing with God.” The Only Two Religions in the World, 15, by Desmond Ford.

Someone says, “That sounds pretty good.” We will find out what is wrong with this as we compare this statement with Sequiera’s teaching. “The righteousness God obtained for all humanity in Christ, justification, is full of merit. It is this alone that qualifies us for heaven, now and in the judgment. See Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5. The righteousness God provides in us, on the other hand, has no saving value. It is never complete in this life.” Beyond Belief, 170.

The General Conference President believes the same as Ford and Sequiera. “Whatever changes God brings about in us, our salvation must always be based upon what He has done for us.” “Will the Evangelical Adventist Please Stand Up?” by Robert Folkenberg, The Review, April, 1997.

In the Scriptures, the righteousness of God includes both justification and sanctification. As we compare the writings of these men further, we note that Ford declares that the righteousness of God is not one hundred percent. Sequiera agrees that the righteousness of God has no saving value. And the General Conference President writes that the only thing that counts is what Christ did for us. Yet anyone who accepts the writings of Paul in the Holy Scriptures must agree that the righteousness of God includes both justification and sanctification.

God’s righteousness is never to be questioned, for the pardoning righteousness of Christ becomes a living power within us to enable us to overcome all sin. A righteous life cannot be separated from the divine living power that breaks the bondage of sin. For as we become united with Christ, the righteousness of God becomes our personal property so that in the final judgment, no trace of unrighteousness remains. This is the true meaning of the words, The Lord our Righteousness, Who changes the believers heart the moment he is united by faith in Christ and eventually purifies the heart from every sin.


Ford, Sequiera and Folkenberg on Christ’s Nature


Now, in comparison, let us see what Ford states. “We were ruined by our first representative, Adam, and we had nothing to do with that. The good news of the gospel is that we have been redeemed by our second representative, Jesus. And we had nothing to do with that either.” Good News for Adventists, 14. Now we see where this New Theology is leading. Ford states that we have nothing to do with Christ’s redemption for us.

Sequiera teaches the same. “If the down side of the idea of corporate oneness is that we all fell in the one man, Adam, the glorious up side of the idea is that God likewise has redeemed all of us in the One Man, Jesus Christ, Who is the second Adam.” Beyond Belief, 34.

The General Conference President agrees. “According to the Bible, two individuals, Adam and Christ, sum up and comprehend all those who have ever lived on the earth. We are all in Adam by reason of our birth, in him, in sin and death. But the glorious truth of the gospel is that Jesus died for us all, and we were in Him on the cross.” In Christ, 5, by Robert Folkenberg.

“We are all in Adam by reason of our birth”? If this is true, this applies to Christ. “Like every child of Adam, He (Christ) accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity.” The Desire of Ages, 49. But these men do not accept that Christ was born of the same flesh as you and I, yet without sin. They insist that Christ was born with the sinless nature of Adam before his fall!

As we compare further, we hear the New Theology continually emphasizing the unconditional good news. Ford would have us believe this by stating, “Justify never means to make righteous. Deuteronomy 25:1; Exodus 23:7. Down through the centuries false religion has made justify mean make righteous, in the sense of becoming more righteous.” Good News for Adventists, 15.

If justify never means to make righteous, there can be no conditions to salvation. Sequiera bluntly states this. “The gospel is the unconditional good news of salvation for all mankind.” Beyond Belief, 36.

The General Conference President reveals where this New Theology is leading the church. “This is why the gospel is unconditional good news. Our assurance of salvation is based, not on our behavior, but on Christ’s. Our assurance of salvation is based not on reaching some level of character development, but on our relationship with Jesus.” We Still Believe, 41. And on page 42 we read. “Such people, legalists, carrying an “anti-cheap grace” banner, back themselves in the other extreme, falling into the ditch of “conditional justification” and sacrificing the peace of mind that is born of assurance in Christ.”

Here is another gospel, which is contrary to the writings of both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. For the assurance taught by Ford, Sequiera and Folkenberg, teaches that we need do nothing but believe. That our behavior has nothing to do with our character development. “We can sin and yet live.”

This is what Ford teaches. “As soon as the sinner exercises faith in the atonement of the cross, he or she is declared righteous, perfect and without condemnation. These blessings are retained as long as he or she believes, despite personal mistakes and failures. Note it well, justification does not cover only our past but all our days.” Good News for Adventists. That is the teaching of once saved, always saved.

Sequiera teaches the same. “Stumbling under grace, falling into sin, does not deprive us of justification, neither does it bring condemnation.” Beyond Belief, 166. Such a statement is unbelievable in view of David’s sin and his response to the prophet’s words, “Thou art the man!” Who would ever think that the time would come in our beloved church when books would be printed with another gospel telling us that we can sin without condemnation?

And Folkenberg agrees with this New Theology. “We obtain salvation through agreeing to enter a relationship of trust in Jesus and occasional good deeds and misdeeds neither make nor break that relationship.” Called in Grace, 22. “Finally I discovered that our assurance of salvation is based on God’s grace by faith, not on our behavior or character development. Each sin we may commit does not turn off salvation in our lives.” We Still Believe, 40.


New Theology and the Sunday Law


New Theology teaches that deportment, behavior and character development mean absolutely nothing. You may sin until Jesus returns and you will still be saved. This is exactly what Satan would have us believe. When the Sunday law becomes a final issue, since our behavior means nothing, we will be urged by the leadership to go along with the law. The New Theology will have successfully evaded the issue of the Mark of the Beast, preparing the people to keep Sunday.

Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us and, in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us. “The work of gaining salvation is one of co-partnership, a joint operation . . . Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works.” Acts of the Apostles, 482.

There is no such thing as the “sin and be saved” doctrine that is taught in the New Theology. Jesus clearly contradicted it with His teachings. In Matthew 19 He told us how we can be saved: “And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:16, 17.

“And, behold a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all they strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:25–28.

“To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath. (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified).” Romans 2:7, 8, 13.

“And being made perfect, He (Christ) became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” Hebrews 5:9. “The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples represents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 972.

“When the lawyer came to Christ saying, ‘Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ The Saviour did not say, Believe, only believe, and you will be saved. ‘What is written in the law?’ He said, ‘How readest thou?’ Here the false doctrine that man has nothing to do but believe is swept away. Eternal life is given to us on the condition that we obey the commandments of

*Material for this part of the article was taken from an appeal to the General Conference President by Elder Ron Spear.


A House Divided

We live in a world of crisis. Very soon the world, and especially God’s people, will experience a crisis more severe than any that has ever occurred. In the 1850s, the United States was going through a crisis, a crisis more severe than it had ever experienced in its short history. The turning point was reached on June 16, 1859.

It happened in Springfield, Illinois. There, a tall man, who had gone through bankruptcy, failed in business and lost in politics, time after time, was preparing to make a very controversial political speech. Many people thought he was a failure and that he would never succeed. Yet, here he stood in the midst of a momentous crisis, preparing to give a speech that his advisors told him would be political suicide. His friends urged him not to do it. But he would not turn back.

This man’s name was Abraham Lincoln. After he gave the speech, one of his friends told him that his political career was ruined. Abraham Lincoln turned to him and said, “Some day you will find out that those were the most important words that I have ever spoken.”

That speech was the turning point in American history. It is one of the most amazing speeches that you could ever read. In the third paragraph Lincoln made this startling pronouncement: “This government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” We would not be the nation we are today if he had not given that speech and stood for the principles that he laid out so clearly.

Lincoln went on to point out that there were very powerful forces at work, in the nation, whose intent was to cause all the states to accept slavery. He showed how ridiculous his political opponents were who said that they were not pro-slavery, when they actually practiced it. They were saying one thing and doing something else. It was a dangerous speech to make, because the men who he had condemned were some of the most powerful men in America. One of the reasons that this speech had such an effect on our country was because the title for that speech was taken from the words of Jesus, in Matthew 12. Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” Matthew 12:25.

The first sentence that Abraham Lincoln spoke that day, in Springfield was: “If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending we could better judge what to do and how to do it.” He was talking about the United States government and whether or not we would allow slavery in our states. He said: “It will become all one thing or all the other.” It works just the same with our spiritual walk. Jesus said that a house divided will not—absolutely cannot—stand.

Where does the division come from in a divided house? This is one of the great topics of the Bible. In Revelation 12 the story is told of Lucifer having a difference of opinion with God, on some vital issues. The largest of these “differences of opinion” concerned who would be God. God said, There is no one else who is qualified to be God except Me. Lucifer said, Yes, but I want to be part of the Godhead, too.

This difference of opinion led to division, the division led to rebellion and rebellion led to war. Satan’s plan was to lead the world into a rebellion against God. But Jesus said, “A house divided shall not stand.” This has been a great comfort to me, because I know that the devil’s house is divided and cannot stand no matter how powerful it seems to be.

However, this is the frightening part. With all his power, the devil is trying to cause divisions among God’s people because he knows that if we are divided, we cannot stand either.

It was Jesus’ purpose, when He came to this world, to heal all the divisions. This was one of the central themes of Paul’s preaching. He said in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore from now on we regard no one according to the flesh even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:16–20.

The natural heart is at enmity against God. (Romans 8:7.) How can this be solved? The worldly way is to force your enemy into submission, but the use of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government. Jesus did not come to this world with a club or a gun, instead He came to display to mankind what God was like. Jesus said to His disciples, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9. The character, which Jesus displayed, showed how much God hates sin and knows that it must be destroyed, but also how much He loves sinners. In His great love, God made a way so that the guilt of our sin can be taken away and we can be reconciled to Him.

This reconciliation process can only occur when our lives are brought into conformity with God’s law.

As long as we are breaking God’s law, we are at enmity with His character, because His law is a transcript of His character. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. The one that does not love Me, does not keep My word, and he is not reconciled to Me. John 14:21–23.

Paul talked to the Ephesians about the time when they were at enmity with God. He said, “At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:12–18.


Answers for Division


We are living in a world and a church that is divided. This division is seen among all those who profess to be Christians around the world; not only Seventh-day Adventist Christians. How are we to relate to all of these divisions? The first thing that we must not do is quarrel. (See 2 Timothy 2.) It is part of our human nature to get in an argument when someone disagrees with us, but that is not God’s way.

Inspiration tells us, “When Christians contend, Satan comes in to take control. How often has he succeeded in destroying the peace and harmony of churches? What fierce controversies, what bitterness, what hatred, has a very little matter started! What hopes have been blasted, how many families have been rent asunder by discord and contention.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 244.

So then, what are we to do about the division? Some people say that we just need to wait and God will shake out all the tares, and then everything will be all right. I know some people that have been sitting and waiting for this to happen for years and years. Can we just sit there and say, “Lord, shake those bad people out of the church so that those of us that are left can have harmony?”

Before it is over, the angels will bind up the tares and remove them. There is no question that we are very close to that happening, because we are in the beginning stages of the Sunday law crisis. However, we must not sit back and say, “Lord, bind those people up and get them out of here.” We must say, “How about me? Will I be one of the ones that is bound up or will I be part of the wheat when this all happens?”

We have a work to do. This is how Sister White described it. “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.

I cannot simply sit back and say, “Lord, remove the tares.” I have to say, “Lord, I need to be revived. I need to have true piety, true godliness inside. You have told me that my greatest need is for a revival.”

Revival means to come back to life. The people that need to be revived are those that are almost dead spiritually. Their need is very urgent. God’s people are almost spiritually dead. This experience is so vital that Sister White said it is our most urgent need.

If this should be our first priority, then it is more important than making physical preparation for the future? I have heard many say that we need to go to the mountains or go to this island to be safe from the coming crises, but, there is no place in the world that is safe. Instead of trying to figure out what I should do to survive on a physical level (and this is not necessarily wrong) my first priority should be to seek for a revival of true godliness.

Sister White counsels that next “There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord.” Ibid. The Bible says that God is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask than a parent is to give gifts to his children. The problem is that we are not prepared to receive it. We must seek the Lord and ask for a change of heart so we will be ready to receive it.


Four Steps to Revival


How do we experience this revival of true godliness and gain God’s blessings? The Review and Herald lists four steps that we need to follow.

The first is confession. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Some people have thought that confession is something that you do as a child before you are baptized, but not one of us will experience a revival until we have confessed our sins.

If you think that you have nothing to confess, I encourage you to go to the Lord and ask Him what you need to confess. I have found that the Holy Spirit can point out many things to people, very quickly.

Confession is a subject that we need to study and practice. Ministers, elders, deacons, Sabbath School teachers, even if they have been Christians for forty years, all need to understand the subject of confession. The time is coming when it will be too late to confess our sins—a time when it will be forever too late! That is why we must now take advantage of the time and plead with the Lord, asking, “Is there anything in my life that I need to confess? Please show me what it is.” A divided house will never be healed if there is no confession.

The second step to revival is humiliation. If you are wondering why we must bring up this point, it is because the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy speak of it often. The prophet Isaiah recorded: “For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, Whose name is holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit.” Isaiah 57:15.

Do you want the Holy Spirit to work on your heart? Then come to God knowing, as Paul did, that in your “flesh there is no good thing.” Romans 7:18. If we want a revival, we must come to the Lord, not only asking what it is that we need to confess, but, also, with a humble spirit, realizing that we have no merit or goodness of our own. We must depend totally on Christ’s goodness, righteousness and grace, for we have none of our own.

James said, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” James 4:10. The way to reach a high position is to assume a lowly place before God. He can lift you higher than anyone else ever could.

The third step to revival is repentance. We will never heal the division by fighting with each other and forcing others to accept our views. We must come to the Lord with confession, humiliation and repentance. The divided house will never be healed unless there is repentance. Repentance is being sorry for sins and turning away from them. True repentance can be found at the foot of the cross. The cross is for you and me as individuals. Christ died for our sins. That is what sin cost. If you stay there, it will change your mind about sin and this is what repentance is all about. If you have not changed your mind about sin, you have not repented.

Repentance is something that only God can give you. He will give it to you if you will come to the cross. The problem is that most people have pictures of the cross and some even have images of the cross around their necks or in their cars, but they do not understand what it means. For them, the cross is just an emblem, with a meaning that they do not begin to understand.

The fourth step that is vital to revival is earnest prayer. This is something we need to do as individuals and as families. We need to do it in the church to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us the blessings of the Holy Spirit, revival, true godliness, healing, reconciliation and unity that God wants to bring in among His people. We will never have a revival unless we pray earnestly and say, “Lord, I want the people in my church to experience a revival.”

The Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is promised to everyone, on certain conditions. It is up to us to read the Bible and find the conditions. We have already seen several of the conditions: confession, humiliation, repentance and, earnest prayer. But we need to pray that the Lord will show us any other conditions so that we can be revived and receive the Holy Spirit.


What We Need to Fear


It is common for people to be fearful because of what they see happening in the world around them. From appearances, it seems that there will be no peace, civil or religious liberty, anywhere in the world. People get scared because of what is out there, but the Lord tells us what we really need to fear. “We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world . . . But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 122.

Our greatest fear should be for what is within our church. Inspiration tells us that the evil traits cherished “open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” Ibid. What a fearful warning! We should be grateful that God in His mercy has shown us exactly how we can close the door so the devil cannot walk into our churches.

“The adversary of souls is not permitted to read the thoughts of men; but he is a keen observer, and he marks the words; he takes account of the actions, and skillfully adapts his temptations to meet the cases of those who place themselves in his power. If we would labor to repress sinful thoughts and feelings giving them no expression in words or actions, Satan would be defeated.” Ibid., 122, 123.

Everyone is tempted with sinful thoughts and feelings, but if we will resist and repress them and never let them pass our lips, the devil will be defeated. If instead we start talking our feelings, the devil knows just how to tempt us. Sister White continued, “How often do professed Christians, by their lack of self-control, open the door to the adversary of souls! Divisions, and even bitter dissensions which would disgrace any worldly community, are common in the churches, because there is so little effort to control wrong feelings, and to repress every word that Satan can take advantage of.” Ibid., 123.

If all of God’s people would say, “Lord, help me to repress every word that Satan can use,” the door would be closed and the devil would not be able to come in and work havoc among God’s people.

Instead, all too often, God’s people open the door. “As soon as an alienation of feeling arises, the matter is spread before Satan for his inspection, and the opportunity given for him to use his serpent-like wisdom and skill in dividing and destroying the church. There is great loss in every dissension.” Ibid.

Sometimes war is necessary. God is willing to fight to keep from having His kingdom divided. (See Revelation 12.) But so much dissension is unnecessary. Sister White continued: “Personal friends of both parties take sides . . . A house divided against itself cannot stand. Criminations and recriminations are engendered and multiplied. Satan and his angels are actively at work to secure a harvest from seed thus sown. “Worldlings look on, and jeeringly exclaim, ‘Behold how these Christians hate one another! If this is religion, we do not want it.’” Ibid.

How sad! We must do something to change this condition. And we have been told just what to do. “Let us confess and forsake every sin.” Ibid. After we have done this we can pray that the Holy Spirit will “come into our assemblies and impart His rich grace.” Ibid.

This is exactly what the devil does not want us to do. “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His spirit upon a languishing church, an impenitent congregation.” Ibid., 124.

It is time for us to make confession in humiliation, receive repentance and pray for revival. If Satan had his way, this would never happen. (See Ibid.) Will we let Satan have his way? He wants to keep the house divided so that it cannot stand. And we can be sure that God will take care of the division, but when He takes care of the division, do we want to be swept out the back door in the shaking?

Here is what Ellen White says is the condition in the church during this fearful time when the door of salvation and probation is about to close. “Alas, what pride is prevailing in the church, what hypocrisy, what deception, what love of dress, frivolity, and amusement, what desire for the supremacy! All these sins have clouded the mind” Ibid., 125.

We need to go to the Lord on our knees and say, “Lord, I want a change to happen inside. Show me by Your Holy Spirit what I need to confess. Show me how I need to humble myself so that every detail in my life is pleasing in Your sight.”

We are headed for the judgment. Jesus is coming soon and when He comes, you will either be ready or you will not. If we will be ready, we must receive the Holy Spirit and we cannot receive the Holy Spirit if we are unprepared. “The Spirit of God can never come in until she [the church] prepares the way. There should be earnest searching of heart. There should be united, persevering prayer, and through faith a claiming of the promises of God.” Ibid., 126.

Time is short, and very soon it will be too late to be saved. If you are going to be saved, you need to do something now. Confess your sins and come to the Lord with humiliation, relying fully on Him.

The people that do that will have revival. There will be healing and the house will not be divided any longer. Are we going to have to have a civil war like they had in the time of Lincoln in order to heal the division? Yes, we have to go through the conflict. There is no other way. But this is a spiritual war and you do not win a spiritual war with physical weapons. You win by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer to God, that you will receive the Holy Spirit and be revived. Let us all pray that the Lord will give us this experience, not just individually, but as a church.


Editorial — Those Who Will Receive the Holy Spirit

“Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed forthe indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.

“A connection with the divine agency every moment is essential to our progress. We may have had a measure of the Spirit of God, but by prayer and faith we are continually to seek more of the Spirit. It will never do to cease our efforts. If we do not progress, if we do not place ourselves in an attitude to receive both the former and the latter rain, we shall lose our souls, and the responsibility will lie at our own door.

“God’s work for us demands the action of our mind, the exercise of our faith. We must seek His favors with the whole heart if the showers of grace are to come to us. We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. Christ has said, ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.’ The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain.

“But let none think that in attending these gatherings, their duty is done. A mere attendance upon all the meetings that are held will not in itself bring a blessing to the soul. It is not an immutable law that all who attend general gatherings or local meetings shall receive large supplies from heaven. The circumstances may seem to be favorable for a rich outpouring of the showers of grace. But God Himself must command the rain to fall. Therefore we should not be remiss in supplication. We are not to trust to the ordinary working or providence. We must pray that God will unseal the fountain of the water of life. And we must ourselves receive of the living water. Let us, with contrite hearts, pray most earnestly that now, in the time of the latter rain, the showers of grace may fall upon us. At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend, that at this very time God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised.

“We may have long followed the narrow path, but it is not safe to take this as proof that we shall follow it to the end. If we have walked with God in fellowship of the Spirit, it is because we have sought Him daily by faith. From the two olive trees the golden oil flowing through the golden pipes has been communicated to us. But those who do not cultivate the spirit and habit of prayer cannot expect to receive the golden oil of goodness, patience, long-suffering, gentleness, love.

“No one of us will gain the victory without persevering, untiring effort, proportionate to the value of the object which we seek, even eternal life. “The dispensation in which we are now living is to be, to those that ask, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. Ask for His blessing. It is time we were more intense in our devotion. To us is committed the arduous, but happy, glorious work of revealing Christ to those who are in darkness.

“We are to follow Him especially in heart purity, in love. Self must be hid with Christ in God; then when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory.”

Excerpts taken from Testimonies to Ministers, 508–512.