ACKNOWLEDGMENTS and FOREWORD
by Terry S. Ross
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements and Forward
Chapter 1 Desire of Ages — Chapter 63
Chapter 2 Desire of Ages — Chapter 64
Chapter 3 Desire of Ages — Chapter 65
Chapter 4 Desire of Ages — Chapters 66 & 67
Chapter 5 Desire of Ages — Chapters 68 & 69
Chapter 6 Desire of Ages — Chapters 70, 71 & 72
Chapter 7 Desire of Ages — Chapter 73
Chapter 8 Desire of Ages — Chapters 74 & 75
Chapter 9 Desire of Ages — Chapters 76 & 77
Chapter 10 Desire of Ages — Chapter 78
This book is first dedicated to those men and women who have through the ages taken their stand on the side of the Lord at the cost of their own reputations, being misunderstood and slandered for the name and cause of Christ and the Father.
To those people whom many regard as heroes, in memory of their Christian faith and honor. To the men and women who suffered derision and scorn, loss of family, friends, all they had or every hoped to have, yet standing firm for the Lord, this volume is dedicated.
To those such as Noah, who in his day was mocked. “They held a carnival [celebration] over the words of Noah, calling him a crazy fanatic” but whose faith took him into the ark. To Enoch who was “the first prophet among mankind” and “a fearless reprover of sin.” “It was the Spirit of Christ that spoke through Enoch; that spirit is manifested, not alone in utterances of love, compassion, and entreaty; it is not smooth things only that are spoken by holy men. God put into the heart and lips of His messengers truths to utter that are keen and cutting as a two- edged sword.” Yes, to Enoch, who proved to mankind before the flood that man can through perfect faith live a totally holy life. (7A 22, 20, PP 86)
To Job, who in the face of total rejection but by his family and “church” determined to trust God though He slay him. To Moses, whose leadership was consistent and meek, who bravely trusted in the Lord‘ s guidance and loved the people enough to offer his own life that they might be saved. To Daniel, who without question had a character devoted to God that stood forth through three diverse governments and showed the brighter with each passing test. To Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, although rejected by his own “church” continued to preach a warning message year after year after year. To Nehemiah, who refused to come off the wall. To queen Esther, who risked her own life for the life of her people. To Elijah, who in the face of fierce rejection stood against all odds and gave his message to a “church” who had backslidden horribly. To John the Baptist, who many, many years later came in the power of Elijah and faced the same opposition, who though despised by the conference leaders of his day carried on the work given to him by God anyway.
To men such as the disciples, who after the upper room experience went boldly forward proclaiming the truth for their day in the face of deadly opposition from a corrupt priesthood that called itself the “church” and claimed to be “going through.” To Stephen, who told it like it was but had no spirit of hatred in him, who was “not blind, nor bitter.” To Saul, the conference leader who became Paul, who although obeying man instead of God at first, “saw the light” on the Damascus road and was converted to follow Jesus anywhere He led. To Paul, who became an honorable defender of Jesus and who quite possibly understood the purifying effects of trial more than any other man.
To all the millions who shed their blood during the Dark Ages that I might be able to write this book and that we might have a chance to have a part in the story of salvation. To all those men and women, who in the midst of this terrible dark history, stood in opposition to their church and became fierce defenders of the truth as God had given it to them. To James White, who went to an early grave because of his dedication to present truth and his concern to educate people. And to his wife, Ellen G. White, the prophetess, whose written works are the greatest gift to modern man, who at times was despised by those who claimed to follow inspiration, who “lead” this latter day movement, and whose published works I now use to compile this study. To my own wife, Cathy, who has been my helper and confidant through better or worse, who continues to be a devoted and dedicated worker for God and my trusted friend, who, if I am in heaven by the grace of God, will have played the major role in my salvation, excepting Jesus Himself.
And most of all, to the One who is The Desire of Ages, our lovely Jesus Christ. To Him, especially, is this book dedicated because without Him none of our other heroes would ever have been heroes and this book would be without purpose or cause.
It is my desire and reason for writing this book that those who give it study will come to a place in their Christian experience that they will become totally committed to stand in their lot in these closing scenes of earth‘ s history. May we realize in some deeper degree why we are here and the price that was paid, not only by the spilt blood of Jesus Christ, but by millions of others who gave their lives. With this realization may we better understand and grasp anew that it is our turn to take up the banner of Emmanuel and boldly carry on what those before us carried to their graves.
Often I have thought about the quotation from 4T 374 that says in part: “It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life.” Then it continues to state that there are many lessons to be learned from this study.
In my eighteen plus years of being a Seventh- day Adventist, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. I have read and referred to The Desire of Ages numerous times and I‘ m sure the reader will agree with me that it is the most beautiful book of love ever written. But about seven years ago I believe the Lord impressed me to take a different look at this book.
Love is all important and we never want to do anything without it but sometimes when we are focused in one spot too long, our vision of the bigger picture can become blurred. I believe that the Lord prompted me to take another look at Desire of Ages and refocus my study, not about love, but about prophetic parallels. That‘ s not to say that love has been forgotten, certainly not, but with my focus on prophetic parallels I discovered that The Desire of Ages is one of the most important books ever written for this exact time.
Over the last several years it has become painfully apparent, generally speaking, that many of the professed leaders of the Adventist organization have lowered the standard to such a point that in far too many places the “church” is almost completely different from what it was, say thirty, or even twenty years ago. As if this isn’t alarming enough, we are witnessing a bold trend of these “professors” exerting their brash liberal beliefs right in the faces of those who love this movement and message with all their hearts. Unfortunately for those who for most of their Christian lives have given strict loyalty, it is being quickly realized that the leaders are far more interested in maintaining their own power than a “thus saith the Lord.”
Brothers and Sisters, as surprising as this has been in this soft generation, it‘ s really nothing new. Most of our “heroes” had to stand up against this type of apostasy and hypocrisy in their day and if they had shunned such a disagreeable duty, you and I wouldn’t be enjoying the liberty of this discussion today.
Spiritual giants such as Moses, Joshua & Caleb, Enoch, Elijah, John the Baptist, all of the disciples, Martin Luther, Calvin, Huss, Zwingley, Knox, Ellen White, many, many others and the greatest Hero of all, our Lord Jesus Christ, had to meet this “enemy within.”
We will discover that when the Lord inspired Sister White to pen the words found in 1SM 122, He knew the greatest weight of these words would fall in our time: “We have 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. . . 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.”
Everywhere Cathy and I have been preaching this message, people are discovering, most for the first time, that we need to let the Lord lead and not man. People are realizing that it is important to put God first and man second, no matter who the man is, whether a pastor, Conference President or General Conference President. They are discovering that this battle isn‘ t a matter of vindictiveness on the part of faithful independent ministries, but of hypocrisy and lack of faith in the lives of professed leadership.
They are discovering what you are about to discover; Jesus wants you all to Himself and He has made provision for you to move forward even if the whole world chooses to do otherwise! Pray, dear one, for the Holy Spirit to guide you in this study. For what you are about to embark on is, I believe, one of the most important studies you will ever do in your life. This message is the same message that Jesus gave to His disciples in a time past which mirrored our own. In it you will discover that we are living in the express parallel of the days of Christ and the “church” of His day. All the players in that play are still present in our day — the Conference, Headquarters, and even the self- supporting Ministers whom Jesus raised up to continue the pure “Seventh- day Adventist” message in His day of reform. You will find in this amazing study that absolutely nothing has changed, that in the book Desire of Ages is the same message which set the disciples free and the exact work that Jesus did for them — He is doing for us today.
In this study we believe if rightly understood, will be given God‘ s blessing, as you choose to serve Him first and relegate to man a second position. In Christ‘ s day the “church” had strangely changed leaders and rejected the Originator of their movement. In our day we face this same tragedy. Most “Ancient Adventists” — our spiritual ancestors — were lost because of their misplaced loyalty in a leadership (priesthood) that had become corrupt. Today their history has once again become our reality.
It is now your privilege to discover and understand that this same Jesus Who lived through the history of our ancestors, in His grace and mercy toward us, has had The Desire of Ages written not just to show us what love is, but for much deeper reasons than this. He is giving us, Seventh- day Adventists in particular, a last chance to learn from the mistakes of others and take heed. Whether or not you do will determine your eternal destiny!
Our prayers are with you and it is our hope and desire that you will find the freedom that our Saviour has died to give you — only then will you be free indeed. But if not, you will be chained to men who have no higher concept of Adventism than did their counterparts found in the conference office of the ancient church — the Sanhedrin.
Our study will take us through the heart of The Desire of Ages beginning with chapter 63, “Thy King Cometh,” and concluding with chapter 78, which is “Calvary”. When you have finished, we hope you will be much richer for the labor and much wiser for the study. May the Lord be with you.
Copyright © 1999 Servants of the Saviour
Terry & Cathy Ross