The Final Atonement, Part I

We are engaged in a mighty conflict, and it will become more close and deter mined, as we near the final struggle,” Ellen White warned. “We have a sleepless adversary, and he is constantly at work upon human minds that have not had a personal experience in the teachings of the people of God for the past fifty years.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 102.

Satan knows that if we forget “the way the Lord has led us,” and especially if we should forget “His teaching in our past history,” (Life Sketches, 196,) then it would be easy to introduce heresy into the greatest movement of truth the world has ever known. What did Ellen White mean by “His teaching in our past history?” Before we can proceed with our research and find the correct answer to this question, we must first understand the correct method to follow in our study of Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Bible answer to the proper method of study is that “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” Isaiah 28:10. Does it not follow that we should use the very same method to interpret passages in the Spirit of Prophecy? Yes, indeed.

“The Spirit of the Lord will be in the instruction, and doubts existing in many minds will be swept away. The testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture.” Letter, 73, 1903, Selected Messages, Book 1, 41, 42.

There is one more important aspect that must be remembered in the study of the Spirit of Prophecy — time and place must be considered. “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored, nothing is cast aside,” Ellen White wrote, “but time and place must be considered.” Paulson Collection, 9.

This inspired counsel on how to study the Testimonies is simple.

  1. Do not cast aside any part of the Testimonies.
  2. Compare all that is written on a subject.
  3. Time and place must also be considered.

This is sound and logical advice, is it not?

The Past Fifty Years (1844–1900)

Ellen White warned many times that some in the Church would bring in “new strange doctrines, for something odd and sensational to present to the people.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 41. The safeguard, of course, is to remember “the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches, 196. Not only that, but Ellen White was very specific about what she meant by the phrase, “His teaching in our past history.” Many times she stated, writing at the turn of the century [again keeping in mind time and place] that “the value of the evidences of truth that we have received during the past half century, is above estimate.” Review and Herald, April 19, 1906.

“Study the Bible truths that for fifty years have been calling us out from the world.” Ellen White counseled. Ibid.

In other words, noting time and place (1906) when this testimony was penned, the truth that pioneer Adventists taught from 1844 to the turn of the century was, and still is, the Three Angels’ Messages. The pioneer Seventh-day Adventist message, given this people in the past century, is the true end-time “gospel” to a perishing world. God does not change. His message does not change. Any message that is not in harmony with this “most precious message” is what Ellen White called “strange fire,” what we know today as “new theology.”

Strange Fire

“For all in responsible positions I have a message spoken by the mouth of the Lord,” Ellen White wrote. Testimonies to Ministers, 357. And what was this message from God to the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

“He [those in responsible positions] will represent the sacredness of the work, he will magnify the truth, and will ever present before men and angels the holy perfume of the character of Christ [the law of God]. This is the sacred fire of God’s own kindling. Anything aside from this is strange fire, abhorrent to God, and the more offensive as one’s position in the work involves larger responsibilities.” Ibid.

There are one hundred and fifteen references to the phrase “strange fire” in the writings of Ellen White. We have learned that false doctrine is “strange fire” presented to the Seventh-day Adventist Church by “those in responsible positions.” We will now learn what is the “sacred fire of God.”

The Sacred Fire of God

“When the power of God testifies to what is truth, the truth is to stand forever as the truth.…The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth.…And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar of 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.” A Call to the Watchmen, 14.

Notice that, “He [God] Himself has taught us what is truth,” and, “when the power of God testifies to what is truth, the truth is to stand forever as the truth.” Ibid. Could anything be more plain? An application, or interpretation, of Scripture that “moves one pillar of the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake.” Ibid. In this statement Ellen White emphasized that it was “the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.” Ibid.

The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were made certain to us in 1844, after the passing of the time.…Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth.…” The Upward Look, 352.

“Not a word is changed or denied,” of the Advent truth for “the past fifty years,” and this truth that was laid down after the great disappointment in 1844 “is the solid foundation of truth.” The emphasis again and again is stated to be the truth that was held by Seventh-day Adventists for “the past fifty years.” Gospel Workers, 1915, 307.

“[The] pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are—Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus.” Upward Look, 352.

Notice that, “the pillars of truth were revealed,” and pioneer Adventists “accepted the foundation principles” of truth. They were truly the remnant who were “keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus.” Notice Ellen White said “having” the faith of Jesus. They possessed the faith of Jesus. Pioneer Adventists were people of obedience to all of God’s commandments. Their lives were in harmony with the law of God because they possessed faith like Jesus. Thus the apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. This is righteousness by faith, obedience by faith.

Again, about the pillars of our faith, Ellen White stated, “And while the Scriptures are God’s Word, and are to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar of the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake.” A Call to the Watchmen, 14.

Old Landmarks and Pillars of Adventism

What are the “pillars” and “old landmarks” of truth? According to the Spirit of Prophecy, there are really only three pillars of Adventism. Notice carefully the description of these three pillars, also known as the old landmarks.

“The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God’s people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels’ messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

  1. One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God.
  2. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God’s law.
  3. The non-immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks.…” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 30, 31.

The Sanctuary, the Foundation Pillar of Adventism

The first “pillar” or “landmark” that Satan would attack is the foundation pillar of the Advent movement. This landmark is the First Angel’s Message, the message that the remnant people were commissioned to give to a perishing world. The sanctuary truth is the one doctrine held only by Seventh-day Adventists. For Satan to attack the second pillar, the Sabbath truth, or the third pillar, the state of man in death, would be too obvious for alert Seventh-day Adventists. Satan must be more clever than to attack the obvious. If Satan attacked the sanctuary truth outright, by stating “there is no sanctuary in heaven,” the Advent people would detect the deception immediately. Too many testimonies had been written against that kind of an assault upon this foundation pillar of Adventism.

A Most Subtle Deception

History reveals that Satan would shrewdly concentrate his assault on the most important “phase” of the sanctuary truth. Satan would cleverly attack, and try to negate, the “final atonement” and the “blotting out of sins” work of Jesus Christ, our heavenly High Priest. Satan would introduce into the Seventh-day Adventist Church the false concept held by the fallen churches of Babylon, that the atonement was final, completed and finished on the cross. This false concept would lead the people to feel secure in their sins. This most subtle deception would at the same time do away with the truth of the 1844 message—that the final atonement is being completed in heaven by our High Priest, Jesus Christ, the true Lamb of God.

To complete his masterful deception, Satan, after establishing the erroneous “complete and final atonement on the cross” concept, would then introduce into the Seventh-day Adventist Church a false concept of the human nature Christ assumed while in the flesh. This second false concept would give the people a false “assurance” and lead them to believe that Christ is their substitute only. This deception would lead the people to accept the false doctrine of “free grace” held by all so-called “contemporary Christians.” This would be Satan’s most cunning and subtle deception, for it would lead the people to be lost in their sins! This overwhelming deception the Spirit of Prophecy describes as “the Omega of apostasy.”

“The Omega would follow in a little while,” Ellen White warned. “I tremble for our people.” Sermons and Talks, 341.

Jesus warned that in the last days Satan’s battle strategy against the remnant people of God would be so deceptive that “if it were possible, it should deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24b. Thus Paul stated, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15a.

Ellen White cautioned, “One will arise and still another with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit.…We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith.” A Call to the Watchmen, 14.

How can we know what is truth? How can we identify heresy in these last days? How can we avoid being deceived by our cunning adversary?

“When the power of God testifies to what is truth, the truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions, contrary to the light God has given, are to be entertained.” Ibid.

A Safeguard and A Bulwark Against Heresy

“A few are still alive who passed through the experience gained in the establishment of this truth. God has graciously spared their lives to repeat and repeat till the close of their lives, the experience through which they passed even as did John the apostle till the very close of his life. And the standard bearers who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings. I am instructed that thus voices are to be heard. They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.” Ibid.

Notice the words, “I am instructed.” The instruction came directly from heaven. The instruction from heaven was that “voices are to be heard.” Whose voices are to be heard? “The standard bearers [pioneer Adventists] who have fallen in death, are to speak through the reprinting of their writings.” Not only that, but, “They are to bear their testimony as to what constitutes the truth for this time.”

So that is the key, the doctrinal rock we should hold on to — the truth in our past history! “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches, 196. This statement was published in 1915. We must go back to the beginning of the Advent movement, the first “fifty years” of our past history, to discover what was the truth that was endorsed by “the wonderful demonstration of the Holy Spirit that gave power and force to the past messages that have come to the people of God.” A Call to the Watchmen, 14. Then we must compare any new teaching, any “new theology,” to the teachings of pioneer Seventh-day Adventists from 1844 to the turn of the century.

“The doctrine of the Sanctuary was enunciated soon after the Great Disappointment of October 22, 1844,” Leroy Froom wrote. “The earliest declaration of this doctrine was the published statement written out by O. R. L. Crosier — but representing the joint studies of Hiram Edson, Crosier, and Dr. F. B. Hawn — which studies took place in Port Gibson and neighboring Canandaigua, New York, in the week or months following the crisis in October.” Leroy Edwin Froom, Movement of Destiny, 111, 112.

“Published first in 1845 in the local Adventist paper, The Day-Dawn, in Canandaigua,” Froom continued, “it appeared in fuller form in The Day-Star Extra of February 7, 1846, printed in Cincinnati, Ohio.” Ibid., 112

Froom went on to state that, “Concerning the published results of these studies, Ellen Harmon White wrote this statement in a letter to Eli Curtis, dated April 21, 1847, and published the same year in one of our earliest pieces of denominational literature, A Word to the Little Flock.” Ibid., 111. Froom then quoted the statement of Ellen White. However, Froom omitted an important part of the Ellen White endorsement of the article by adding ellipses at the end of the first sentence as follows:

“The Lord shewed me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary…; and that it was His will, that Brother C, should write out the view which he gave us in The Day Star Extra, February 7, 1846.” Ibid.

What was left out by the ellipses in Froom’s quotation? Here is the statement as written without the ellipses: “The Lord shewed me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the sanctuary, et cetera; and that it was His [God’s] will that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in The Day Star Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord to recommend that Extra to every saint.” A Word to the Little Flock, 12.

Froom purposely left out the “et cetera,” that Ellen White had written. Why? Was it because the “et cetera,” implied that Crosier had published the complete truth on all aspects of the Sanctuary truth, especially the “final atonement” phase of the Sanctuary truth? Notice Ellen White stated that, “The Lord shewed me in vision,” and that “Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the sanctuary, et cetera and that it was His [God’s] will that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in The Day Star Extra.” Ibid. Unquestionably a solid endorsement from the Lord through the Spirit of Prophecy of O. R. L. Crosier’s The Day Star Extra, article. If Leroy Froom, contemporary historian of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, could not agree with all the aspects of truth in Crosier’s article, then he also could not agree with the Spirit of Prophecy which endorsed the article. We will show that most contemporary Adventist historians, writers and scholars are also out of harmony with pioneer Seventh-day Adventists and with the Spirit of Prophecy on the teaching of the “Final Atonement” phase of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.

Crosier’s Message

What had Crosier written that Froom and contemporary Adventist leadership could not agree with? It was Crosiers’ “final atonement” emphasis—that the atonement was not finished and completed on the cross, but that, as our High Priest, Christ is now making the “final atonement” in the heavenly Sanctuary.

While doing research for this manuscript, the author placed a call to the James White Memorial Library at Andrews University to purchase a photocopy of Crosier’s original article as it appeared in The Day Star Extra, February 7, 1846. The photocopy of the article arrived, minus the “atonement” portion of the article! Another letter was mailed, with the required funds, requesting that the full article be sent, including the “atonement” portion of Crosier’s Day-Star, Extra article. As of this writing two years have passed, and no further correspondence has been received. Is there something that the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church is trying to hide? Thanks to the faithful work of Adventist laymen, the complete article was published on the Adventist Pioneer Library CD-ROM disk. (Adventist Pioneer Library, P. O. Box 1844, Loma Linda, CA 92354-0380, usa). Here, then, is the complete “atonement” portion of Crosier’s article in full. This is the true position on the “final atonement” phase of the heavenly Sanctuary as it was endorsed by the Spirit of Prophecy: “But again, they say the atonement is made and finished on Calvary, when the Lamb of God expired, so men have taught us, and so the churches and world believes; but it is none the more true or sacred on that account, if unsupported by Divine authority. Perhaps few or none who hold that opinion have ever tested the foundation on which it rests,” Crosier suggested. He then explained the “Final Atonement” phase of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary in the following six areas:

  1. If the atonement was made on Calvary, by whom was it made? The making of the atonement is the work of a Priest. Who officiated on Calvary? Roman soldiers and wicked Jews.
  2. The slaying of the victim was not making the atonement; the sinner slew the victim. (Leviticus 4:1–4, 13–15), after that the priest took the blood and made the atonement. (Leviticus 4:5–12, 16–21.)
  3. Christ was the appointed High Priest to make the atonement, and He certainly could not have acted in that capacity till after His resurrection, and we have no record of His doing anything on earth after His resurrection which could be called the atonement.
  4. The atonement was made in the Sanctuary, but Calvary was not such a place.
  5. He could not, according to Hebrews 8:4, make the atonement while on earth, “If He were on earth, He should not be a Priest.” The Levitical was the earthly priesthood, the Divine, the heavenly.
  6. Therefore, He did not begin the work of making the atonement, whatever the nature of that work may be, until after His ascension when, by His own blood, He entered His heavenly Sanctuary for us.

“Let us examine a few texts that appear to speak of the atonement as past,” Crosier continued. ‘By whom we have now received the atonement [margin, reconciliation].’ (Romans 5:11.) This passage clearly shows a present possession of the atonement at the time the apostle wrote, but it by no means proves that the entire atonement was then in the past.

When the Savior was about to be taken up from His apostles, He “commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father,” which came on the day of Pentecost when they were all “filled with the Holy Ghost.” Luke 24:47; Acts 2:4. Christ had entered His Father’s house, the Sanctuary, as High Priest, and began His intercession for His people by “praying the Father” for “another Comforter,” “and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,” He shed it down upon His waiting apostles. John 14:16; Acts 2:33. Then, in compliance with their commission, Peter, at the third of the day began to preach, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Acts 2:39. This word remission signifies forgiveness, pardon or more literally sending of sins. Now, put by the side of this text, another on this point from his discourse at the ninth hour of the same day. Acts 3:18, “Repent ye therefore; and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

Here he exhorts to repentance and conversion (turning away from sin), for what purpose? “That your sins may be [future] blotted out.” Every one can see that the blotting out of sins does not take place at repentance and conversion; but follows, and must, of necessity, be preceded by them. Repentance, conversion, and baptism had become imperative duties in the present tense; and when performed, those doing them “washed away,” (Acts 22:16) remitted, or sent away from them, their sins, and of course are forgiven and have “received the atonement.” Romans 5:11. But they had not received it entirely at that time, because their sins were not yet blotted out. How far then had they advanced in the reconciling process? Just so far as the individual under the law had when he had confessed his sin, brought his victim to the door of the tabernacle, laid his hand upon it and slain it, and the priest had with its blood entered the Holy and sprinkled it before the veil and upon the alter and thus made an atonement for him, and he was forgiven. Only that was the type and this the reality. That prepared for the cleansing of the great Day of Atonement, this for the blotting out of sins “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus.” Acts 3:19, 20. Hence, “by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11) is the same as by whom we have received the forgiveness of sin. At this point the man is “made free from sin.” Romans 6:22.

The Lamb on Calvary’s cross is our victim slain; “Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant” (Hebrews 12:24), in the heavens, is our intercessing High Priest, making atonement with His own blood by and with which He entered there. The essence of the process is the same as in the “shadow.” First, convinced of sin; second, repentance and confession; third, present the Divine sacrifice bleeding. This done in faith and sincerity, we can do no more, no more is required.

In the heavenly Sanctuary our High Priest, with His own blood, makes the atonement, and we are forgiven,” Crosier concluded. He then quoted 1 Peter 2:24; “‘Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’” (See also Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4–12.)

“His body is the ‘one sacrifice’ for repenting mortals, to which their sins are imparted and through whose blood, in the hands of the living, active Priest, they are conveyed to the heavenly Sanctuary. That was offered, ‘once for all,’ ‘on the tree;’ and all who would avail themselves of its merits must, through faith, there receive it as theirs, bleeding at the hands of sinful mortals like themselves.”

“After thus obtaining the atonement of forgiveness we must ‘maintain good works,’ not the ‘deeds of the law;’ but ‘being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness,’ This work we will understand to be peculiar to the Gospel Dispensation.” Owen R. L. Crosier, The Day Star Extra, February 7, 1846.

The Position of the Pioneers

This article makes it clear that pioneer Adventists did not believe in a “completed and final atonement on the cross.” Indeed, the “Fundamental Principles of Beliefs” written by James White and published in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook [1874–1914] stated almost the very words of Crosier on the final atonement. Note carefully the statement by James White: “That there is one Lord Jesus Christ…that He…died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only Mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where, with His own blood, He makes the atonement for our sins; which atonement, so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of His work as priest, according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven.” James White, 1874 Fundamental Principles, op. sit. The Living Witness, “Significant Articles From the Signs of the Times,” 1874–1959, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1959.

Did Ellen White agree with this “Fundamental Principles” statement on the final atonement? In one of Ellen White’s earliest visions she was shown the concept of the sanctuary truth symbolized by the First Angel’s Message:

“I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son.…Before the throne I saw the Advent people—the church and the world. I saw two companies, one bowed down before the throne, deeply interested, while the other stood uninterested and careless. Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus; then He would look to His Father, and appear to be pleading with Him. A light would come from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the praying company. Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light. Many came out from under it and immediately resisted it; others were careless and did not cherish the light, and it moved off from them. Some cherished it, and went and bowed down with the little praying company. This company all received the light and rejoiced in it, and their countenances shone with its glory.” Early Writings, 54, 55.

Ellen White stated that only a “few would receive this great light” and that only a few would join with “the little praying company.” God’s true people are always a small company. (See Luke 12:32; Mat-thew 7:14.) Indeed, did not Jesus say, “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37. What was the most important fact about the days of Noah?

“When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” 1 Peter 3:20b.

Christ and the Father Enter the Most Holy In 1844

Evangelical Christians and contemporary Adventists state that Christ entered the most holy place at His ascension. This teaching is heresy and is not the teaching of pioneer Adventists. Note carefully the following statement from the Spirit of Prophecy:

“I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son,” Ellen White began. “I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father’s person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him.” Early Writings, 54.

I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness.…Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father.…Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, “My Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings, 55.

There are five important facts that must be acknowledged in this vision given Ellen White. Note carefully the time-frame of the vision.

  1. The time of the vision was at the “End of the 2300 Days.” The end of the 2300 days was October 22, 1844.
  2. In vision Ellen White saw God the Father arise from His throne in the holy place, or first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and move into the holy of holies, “within the veil,” and sit down. (See Daniel 7:9, 10.) God the Father moved “through the Veil” into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844.
  3. Jesus also arose from His throne in the holy place, or first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 and “stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat.” (See Daniel 7:13.) There Ellen White saw Jesus our great High Priest, “standing before the Father.”
  4. Those who by faith entered the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary with the Father and the Son received “light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.”
  5. Ellen White did not see even “one ray of light” pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He had arisen and entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Further, she stated that the people who did not enter the holy of holies by faith “were left in perfect darkness.” Mark this point well. The fallen churches of Babylon have not one ray of light and are in total darkness! “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. Do the Sunday-keeping churches believe in the Law and the Sabbath? No, there is no light in them. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9.

“I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.” Early Writings, 56.

Again, pioneer Adventist doctrine points out that the Sunday-keeping churches became Babylon because they refused to follow by faith the Father and Son into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844! They refused the First Angel’s Message! There are two other important facts that must be acknowledged in this early vision given to Ellen White.

  1. Satan appeared to be by the throne in the first apartment, or holy place, “trying to carry on the work of God.”
  2. Satan breathes upon the fallen churches of Babylon “an unholy influence,” and in this unholy influence there is “light and much power.” We see this unholy influence and false power in the erroneous faith healing and counterfeit joy and peace of the contemporary Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. We also see this “unholy influence” and false “joy and peace” in the “Celebration” movement within the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church. Only a delay of the Lord’s coming will reveal the acceptance of “tongue-speaking” and “divine healing” in public services of apostate churches.

The Two Locations of God’s Throne

Was God the Father’s throne in the holy place, the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, at the ascension of Christ, and the years prior to 1844? Did pioneer Adventists believe in a “moving throne?” Was Ellen White correct about the location of God’s throne prior to 1844 when she saw in vision the Father and the Son move from the holy place, the first apartment, through the Veil, into the holiest, or second apartment in 1844? The answer to these three questions is an absolute, indisputable, definite yes!

To be continued…

Bible Study Guides – The Creator and Upholder of All

January 1, 2006 – January 7, 2006

Key Text

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1–3.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 44–51.


“God is the foundation of everything. All true science is in harmony with His works; all true education leads to obedience to His government. . . .

“No finite mind can fully comprehend the existence, the power, the wisdom, or the works of the Infinite One. . . . The mightiest intellects of earth cannot comprehend God. Men may be ever searching, ever learning, and still there is an infinity beyond.

“Yet the works of creation testify of God’s power and greatness. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.’ Psalm 19:1. Those who take the written word as their counselor will find in science an aid to understand God. ‘The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.’ Romans 1:20.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 115, 116.

1 To whom does the earth belong? Whose also are we? Psalm 24:1.

note: “Who is it that owns our world? Who are the real owners of houses and lands? Is it not God? He has an abundance in our world which He has placed in the hands of men . . . .” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 197.

“The fields nigh and afar off belong to God; for the world is His.” Ibid., 218.

“The Majesty of heaven yielded up his high command, his glory with the Father, and even his own life, to save us. And now what will we do for him? God forbid that his professed children should live for themselves! There is work to be done for the Master, by our means and by our influence. God’s claim underlies every other. The first and best of everything rightfully belongs to him. When Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven, he will have no use for the money which he has intrusted to us. It is in this life that he requires all our talents to be put out to the exchangers.” Review and Herald, February 9, 1886.

2 On what basis does God claim the earth and its inhabitants? Psalm 24:2.

note: “Upon all created things is seen the impress of the Deity. Nature testifies of God. The susceptible mind, brought in contact with the miracle and mystery of the universe, cannot but recognize the working of infinite power. Not by its own inherent energy does the earth produce its bounties, and year by year continue its motion around the sun. An unseen hand guides the planets in their circuit of the heavens. A mysterious life pervades all nature—a life that sustains the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, that lives in the insect atom which floats in the summer breeze, that wings the flight of the swallow and feeds the young ravens which cry, that brings the bud to blossom and the flower to fruit.

“The same power that upholds nature, is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart’s action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action. For all the objects of His creation the condition is the same—a life sustained by receiving the life of God, a life exercised in harmony with the Creator’s will. To transgress His law, physical, mental, or moral, is to place one’s self out of harmony with the universe, to introduce discord, anarchy, ruin.” Education, 99.

3 By what means was the earth created? Psalm 33:6, 9.

note: “The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 258, 259.

4 By virtue of His creative power, how fully does God claim ownership of all? Psalm 50:10–12. What claim does He make upon the hidden treasures of the earth? Haggai 2:8.

note: “God has stamped his image upon every work of his hand. In every object in nature, we see evidences of his mighty power. The fields of waving grain bow their heads in acknowledgment of the God who gives to man his bread in due season. The trees, bending beneath their weight of precious fruit, bear unmistakable evidence of the love of a beneficent Creator. Every tree and shrub declares the work of infinite power. Upon every blade of grass God’s name is written. The opening buds and blooming flowers, with their varied tints, outvying even the glory of Solomon, show forth the skill of the divine Artist. The cattle upon a thousand hills, all with their distinctive characteristics, express the wonders of their Maker, and declare that he is God indeed.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 24, 1896.

“Every good thing of earth was placed here by the bountiful hand of God as an expression of His love to man. . . . The gold and the silver are the Lord’s, and He could rain them from heaven if He chose.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 255.

5 How does David beautifully acknowledge the ownership of God? 1 Chronicles 29:11–14.

note: “All that man receives of God’s bounty still belongs to God. Whatever God has bestowed in the valuable and beautiful things of earth is placed in the hands of men to test them—to sound the depths of their love for Him and their appreciation of His favors. Whether it be the treasures of wealth or of intellect, they are to be laid, a willing offering, at the feet of Jesus; the giver saying, meanwhile, with David, ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.’ [1 Chronicles 29:14.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 753.

6 Who are associated with God as the agent in creation? Colossians 1:12–17. How fully did Christ enter into the work of creation with the Father? John 1:1–3.

note: “In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. ‘His strength setteth fast the mountains.’ ‘The sea is His, and He made it.’ Psalms 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love.” The Desire of Ages, 20.

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. [John 1:1, 2 quoted.] Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

7 What material witness is given to the power and majesty of God by His creation? Psalm 19:1–3.

note: “The beauty that clothes the earth is token of God’s love. We may behold it in the everlasting hills, in the lofty trees, in the opening buds and the delicate flowers. All speak to us of God. The Sabbath, ever pointing to Him who made them all, bids men open the great book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of the Creator.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48.

8 When man was created, over what did God give him dominion? Genesis 1:28; Psalm 8:6–8.

note: “After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold. . . .

“He was placed, as God’s representative, over the lower orders of being. They cannot understand or acknowledge the sovereignty of God, yet they were made capable of loving and serving man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44, 45.

9 What specific work did God give into the hands of Adam? Genesis 2:15.

note: “To the dwellers in Eden was committed the care of the garden . . . . Their occupation was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence. And when, as a result of his disobedience, he was driven from his beautiful home, and forced to struggle with a stubborn soil to gain his daily bread, that very labor, although widely different from his pleasant occupation in the garden, was a safeguard against temptation and a source of happiness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 50.

10 What limitation was placed upon man’s control of the possessions entrusted to him? Genesis 2:16, 17.

note: “In the midst of the garden, near the tree of life, stood the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This tree was especially designed of God to be the pledge of their obedience, faith, and love to Him. Of this tree the Lord commanded our first parents not to eat, neither to touch it, lest they die. He told them that they might freely eat of all the trees in the garden except one, but if they ate of that tree they should surely die.” The Story of Redemption, 24.

“God had made them [Adam and Eve] the recipients of rich blessings; but should they disregard His will, He who spared not the angels that sinned, could not spare them; transgression would forfeit His gifts and bring upon them misery and ruin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 53.

11 As the earth is the Lord’s, what, then, is man’s relationship to Him? Luke 19:12, 13. As a servant, or steward, of God, what is required of every man? 1 Corinthians 4:2; Luke 12:48, last half.

note: “God calls us servants, which implies that we are employed by Him to do a certain work and bear certain responsibilities. He has lent us capital for investment. It is not our property, and we displease God if we hoard up our Lord’s goods or spend them as we please. We are responsible for the use or abuse of that which God has thus lent us. If this capital which the Lord has placed in our hands lies dormant, or we bury it in the earth, even if it is only one talent, we shall be called to an account by the Master. He requires, not ours, but His own with usury.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 668.

“Every Christian is a steward of God, entrusted with His goods. Remember the words: ‘Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.’ 1 Corinthians 4:2. Let us be sure that we are not robbing God in any jots or tittles, for much is involved in this question.

“All things belong to God. Men may ignore His claims. While He bountifully bestows His blessings upon them, they may use His gifts for their own selfish gratification; but they will be called to give an account for their stewardship.

“A steward identifies himself with his master. He accepts the responsibilities of a steward, and he must act in his master’s stead, doing as his master would do were he presiding. His master’s interests become his. The position of a steward is one of dignity because his master trusts him. If in any wise he acts selfishly and turns the advantages gained by trading with his lord’s goods to his own advantage, he has perverted the trust reposed in him.” Ibid., vol. 9, 246.

12 In view of all that God has entrusted to mankind, what ought we to do? What should we constantly consider? 1 Samuel 12:24.

note: “It is God that speaks. He who understands the thoughts afar off, and places the right estimate upon men, says, ‘I know him.’ There will be . . . no betraying of the truth for selfish purposes. He will keep the law, and deal justly and righteously; for he knows that he must answer to God for his conduct. And he will not only fear the Lord himself, but he will cultivate religion in his home. He will instruct his family in righteousness; the law of his God will be the rule in his household. Would that this testimony could be borne of all who in this day have the knowledge of the way of the Lord, and profess to walk in it.” The Signs of the Times, April 22, 1886.

If the Foundations be Destroyed, part 2

Daniel 8 reveals who and what the little horn power is. It also mentions two armies: 1. The little horn was given an army, (“a host” according to the King James Version), and 2. The army of heaven.

Who is the army of heaven? According to Luke 2 it includes the angels. They are called “the host of heaven.” But the army of heaven is not just the angels. It is also made up of God’s people in the world. Daniel 8 says that God’s army, His host, would be trampled by the little horn power.

Revelation 11 tells us that the Gentiles would trample the worshippers and the court, for forty-two months, and that a time would come to measure the temple, the altar and the worshippers. We are living in that measuring time.

What is the sanctuary spoken of in Daniel 8? This is an important question to answer because our opponents have attacked us on this point for one hundred and fifty years, and we are still being attacked. We are also being attacked from within Adventism on who and what this sanctuary is.

The Lord told His people that they were to build Him a sanctuary so that He might dwell among them. (See Exodus 25:8.) It is God’s presence that makes the building a tabernacle or a temple. The Jews had a problem with this in the days of Christ, and He rebuked them severely. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it [he is guilty].’ ”

Jesus called them fools. He said, “Which is greater, the gold that is the building or the temple that sanctifies the gold?” The temple is not holy because of the gold or because it is a beautiful building. The temple is holy because God’s presence is there.

The Jewish temple in the old covenant is a symbol of the Christian church. (See Ephesians 2:19–22 and The Desire of Ages, 160–162.) It is also a symbol that God wants every human being and every angel to be a temple for the indwelling of the divine Spirit.

“The subject of the sanctuary was the key that unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious.” The Great Controversy, 423. In the old covenant there was an earthly sanctuary. But in the new covenant there is a heavenly sanctuary. (See Psalm 11:4; Jeremiah 17:12; Hebrews 8 and 9; Revelation 1:13; 4:5; 8:3-5; 11:19; 15:4; 14:15, 17; 16:1, 16, 17.)

In the Bible we find two sanctuaries or temples. The earthly sanctuary in the Old Covenant is a type of the heavenly sanctuary in the New Covenant. The reason there was a great disappointment in 1844 is because the people did not understand the Biblical teaching of the sanctuary. They thought that the sanctuary was the earth.

It was like that in the days of Christ. Even the disciples were confused. They did not understand the nature of the kingdom that Christ was going to set up. They were disappointed when Jesus was crucified because they longed and hoped He would set up an earthly, temporal kingdom. They were still in the Old Covenant in their thinking. But the kingdom was a spiritual, eternal kingdom, with its headquarters in heaven.

It was that way with the Adventists in 1844. Their arithmetic was right, the date they set was right, the truth they were preaching was so, but they did not understand the nature of the sanctuary, so they were terribly disappointed. Many people today still do not understand the sanctuary. As we saw stated in part one, our opponents think that in Daniel 8 it is talking about the earthly sanctuary. In this article we will look at the prophecies that pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem, contrasting them with those of Daniel 8.

Daniel 9 contains the seventy-week prophecy. Seventy weeks were cut off for the Jews, beginning in 457 B.C. and ending in 34 A.D. “After the sixty-two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself and the people of the prince who is coming shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Daniel 9:26. What sanctuary is this? This is the earthly sanctuary.

“And the end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then He [the Messiah] shall confirm in a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:26, 27.

In this prophecy a short time after the Messiah is cut off, the earthly sanctuary would be destroyed. Jesus predicted this, “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came up to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.’ ” Matthew 24:1, 2.

Jesus said that it was going to happen in that generation, not sometime way down at the end of history. “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation . . . Your house is left to you desolate.” Matthew 23:36, 38.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” Luke 21:20. Daniel predicted it and Jesus predicted it. The Apostle Paul also predicted it. “In that He says, a new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now that which is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13. It was Jerusalem and the earthly sanctuary that would vanish away a short time after the book of Hebrews was written.

The Apostle Paul attempted to prepare the Christian community for what was going to happen. People were looking to the city of Jerusalem and Paul said in effect, “Do not look there.” “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” Hebrews 13:14. So it is clear when you read Daniel 9:26, 27; Matthew 23 and 24; Luke 21; and the book of Hebrews, that a short time after the crucifixion of Christ, the temple at Jerusalem would be destroyed.


The Sanctuary Destroyed Again?


“So he came near where I stood, [this is the angel who came to explain the vision to Daniel] and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” Daniel 8:17. The vision here is about the twenty-three hundred days, the little horn power and the time of the end. The temple in Jerusalem was destroyed a short time after the crucifixion, but this vision is not about something in the time of Christ and the apostles. This vision is to extend to the time of the end. It could not possibly be talking about the earthly sanctuary, because the earthly sanctuary was not going to extend to the time of the end.

The prophecy about this sanctuary is something that continues until the time of the end. “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time, the end shall be . . . And the vision of the evenings and mornings [the vision of the twenty-three hundred days] which was told is true. Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.” Daniel 8:19, 26.

Referring to the little horn power Daniel says, “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; Then they shall take away the daily sacrifices [the continuance in rebellion. Called the continuance in Daniel 8:12. Sacrifices should not be there], and place there the abomination of desolation.” Daniel 11:31.

“And from the time that the daily [constant rebellion] is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. But you, go your way till the end [the end of the days]; for you shall rest [stand in your lot in the judgment. See The Great Controversy, 488.].” Daniel 12:11–13. The twelve hundred and ninety days and the thirteen hundred and thirty-five days will extend to the time of the end, or the time of the judgment. Paul makes it very clear in Hebrews 9 that the judgment occurs in the end period of earth’s history.

The continuance and abomination of desolation and the twenty-three hundred days mentioned in Daniel 8, refers to something that will go to the end of time. It could not possibly be talking about the earthly sanctuary because it had been destroyed many hundreds of years before.

The “daily” or “constant rebellion,” that had been constant in the ancient world ever since the days of Cain was taken away and something else called “the abomination that makes desolate” was set up in its place, in 508 A.D.

The sanctuary that is talked about in Daniel could not possibly be the earthly sanctuary. All the lines of evidence are pointing in a different direction. The earthly sanctuary had been destroyed hundreds of years earlier as predicted, long before the prophecies in Daniel 8, 11 and 12 took place. That leaves only one other conclusion, since there are only two sanctuaries that are taught in Scripture: the earthly and the heavenly. It is talking here about the heavenly sanctuary.

What did the little horn power do to this sanctuary? “The place of his sanctuary [the heavenly sanctuary] was cast down . . . How long will the vision be concerning the daily [the daily or constant rebellion] and the transgression of desolation [the abomination of desolation]? The giving of both the sanctuary and the host [the people of God] to be trampled under foot.” Daniel 8:11, 13.

The little horn power is especially pointed out in God’s Word as the power that would cast down the sanctuary, trample it and defile it. What does it mean when it says, “They will cast it down and trample it and defile it?” Revelation 13:16 answers this simply, “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle [sanctuary or temple] and those who dwell in heaven.”


Accountable for all Slain


“Therefore indeed. I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes . . . And some of them you will . . . persecute . . .That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth.” Matthew 23:34, 35.

Jesus told the Jews that they would be accounted guilty of all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. In the end, the God of heaven will accuse Babylon of being guilty of every murder committed in the world. “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you any more. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” Revelation 18:23, 24.

The Lord says, “You are to blame. The responsibility is at your door for everything.” If the Jews had accepted the Messiah, the whole history of the world would have been different. And if Babylon had kept hold of the gospel, the whole history of the world would be different also.

Babylon is guilty of all the innocent blood in the world. The little horn power (in Daniel 8) is the culmination of, the continuance in rebellion—paganism. That was the universal constant of the ancient world from the time of Cain until in its second phase it developed into the apostasy of the latter times. The antichrist power, the man of sin, is judged by God as responsible for all the innocent blood shed in the latter times.

It is especially noted in prophecy as being responsible for the defiling of the sanctuary. In Revelation 13:6 this power would open its mouth in blasphemy. It will open its mouth in blasphemy against God’s sanctuary. What was this blasphemy? Let us consider two or three major factors in this blasphemy against God’s sanctuary: that cast it down to the ground and trampled on it.

When Jesus came to this world, He offered His life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Ellen White said that after Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven He went to the throne of God to be our Mediator. His work as our Mediator in heaven is just as important and vital to our salvation as His death on the cross.

Ellen White says in The Great Controversy, 488, that the devil hates the truths that bring to the minds of God’s people the fact that they have an all-powerful Mediator. He hates truths like those found in Hebrews 4:14–16, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We have an all-powerful Mediator who can help, no matter how weak and sinful we are. No matter how much trouble we are in. Jesus said, “All power is given to me.” That means He is able to save perfectly everyone who comes to God through Him. (See Hebrews 7:25.)

One of the significant points of the blasphemy against God’s sanctuary was the removal of the Mediator, and placing instead human mediators. Christ the Mediator was completely removed from the heavenly sanctuary and, in the minds of men, human beings were put in His place. That is blasphemy. Blasphemy against the temple in heaven where there is an all-powerful Mediator.

When men look to human mediators, they do not get the help they need. Then they cannot overcome sin. They invent a theology that allows you to confess and confess and confess. You go and confess and you think you are saved. But there is no power. That is blasphemy. The gospel according to the New Testament presents an all-powerful Mediator. When you come to Him, you receive mercy and grace. That is power to help when you need it.

One of the biggest reasons for the crime and trouble that we have in the world today is because the Mediator has been taken away in many minds. Ellen White is very specific, that God lays at the door of the church the crime in society. (See The Great Controversy, 389.) We have taken away the help and unless you get men’s eyes back on the all-powerful Mediator, there is no help. There is no victory. That is not all, when you take away the divine Mediator, people are going to live in sin because without a divine Mediator to give help, there is no way out from your sin.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. I do not know about you, but that is not hard for me to believe at all. Have you ever tried it? It is easy to see from our society that people without Christ go down hill quickly, and crime, wars and every variety of sin increase.

We must be in harmony with the Law of God or we will be lost. There is no truth that is taught more succinctly than this in the sanctuary system. This theme runs throughout the Bible.

Another part of the blasphemy was to remove the Law altogether. The Law says I cannot divorce my wife except for fornication. The kings of Europe, during the Middle Ages, discovered that if they received permission from the right person, they could divorce their wives and marry someone else.

Why was the seventh commandment no longer enforced? Because the Law had been removed and people did not look to the Law of God. They looked to the church to find out what they could do and what they could not do. As one writer said, If you got permission, you could sleep in peace even if you murdered your own father. Daniel 7:25 predicted that the Law of God will be removed. That was blasphemy against the sanctuary in heaven. The Mediator was removed and the Law was removed.

How is God’s sanctuary to be cleansed or restored? To restore it in the mind of men, their eyes must be focused on God and His Law in the sanctuary. The sanctuary cannot be cleansed until the condition of things done by the little horn is remedied. In your mind you must see that that Law is still valid. It has not been changed. But you need more, you need an all-powerful Mediator that you can pray to and get help to bring your life into perfect harmony with that Law. Until that happens the sanctuary cannot be restored.

The sanctuary can only be cleansed, or restored to its rightful state, when God has a group of people that keep perfectly that Law. “Here is the patience of the saints; Here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. The two things that the little horn did to trample the sanctuary, to cast it down, to defile it, have to be restored. The commandments and the High Priestly ministry of Jesus, the One Mediator, have to be restored to their rightful place.

The sanctuary is going to be cleansed. The judgment and the cleansing of the sanctuary involves three stages: first the righteous will be judged, then the wicked during the millennium followed by their execution at the end and finally the scape goat is dealt with at the end of the millennium.

The sanctuary will be cleansed and we will have a part in it. When it is over, either we will be cleansed from our sins, we will be keeping the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, or we will be the other part of the cleansing process. Sin will be done away with. God has decided it.

When I look out in the world and see what sin has done, I am glad that God has made that decision. The question now is, Will I be cleansed of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the mediation of Christ? Or will I cling to it and be destroyed when sin is destroyed?

The whole subject of the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:10–14 has an extremely serious message for every single person in the world. That is what Adventism is about. We have a job to tell the world. The sanctuary will be restored to its rightful state and we need to decide what side we will be on when that happens.

I want the Law of God restored in my heart and to put my whole trust in Jesus as my Mediator so that my life can be changed. The best of us are not good enough and the worst of us are not so bad that the Lord cannot save us, if we put our trust in our all-powerful Mediator. I invite you to commit your life to Jesus, your all-powerful Mediator, today.


If the Foundations be Destroyed, part 1

As historic Seventh-day Adventists we are not teaching, believing or adopting any kind of new theology. We do not need it, because we have the truth. That does not mean that our minds are not open to believe and receive more truth, but the new light will not contradict the old light. We believe in the same old fashioned Adventist message that our pioneers preached over one hundred years ago.

In this article, I want to review the central pillar of our message. What is a pillar? It is something that is very important. Recently my wife and I were in the state of Washington visiting my wife’s father and stepmother. On the way back home we were traveling in the mountains. The freeway we were on was below a two-lane freeway going in the opposite direction that was held up by pillars. I was not worried about it because of those pillars. As long as the pillars stay in place, as long as the foundation stays in place, then there is nothing to worry about because everything will be all right.

What if a foundation is knocked loose? Psalm 11:3 says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” If the foundations are destroyed, we are in big trouble. The whole building can come crashing down, or the freeway will break apart.

When I was attending Walla Walla College a disaster occurred along the Columbia River. A pillar from under the John Day bridge was washed away, and the bridge came down. Some people came down with it and they were never seen again.

It is easy to see then, that if a foundation or a pillar is washed away, disaster is sure to come. The devil knows that, so he does not chip away at the roof of the building, He tries to get underneath and knock the foundation out. The devil has been trying to do this over and over again with the Adventist faith. He has been trying to knock the foundation or pillar out from under it, so the whole thing will come down.

What is the foundation, the central pillar of the Advent faith? “The Scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the Advent faith was the declaration: ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Daniel 8:14. These had been familiar words to all believers in the Lord’s coming. By the lips of thousands was this prophecy repeated as the watchword of their faith. All felt that upon the events therein foretold depended their brightest expectations and most cherished hopes. These prophetic days had been shown to terminate in the autumn of 1844.” The Great Controversy, 409.

Here it says that the central pillar of Adventism is found in Daniel 8:14. The devil has attacked this Scripture over and over again through our theological opponents for one hundred and fifty years his attacks have not ceased.

If you are a Seventh-day Adventist, or if you are thinking of becoming a Seventh-day Adventist and you want to understand the Seventh-day Adventist faith, you should make a special study of Daniel 8:10–14. Here is the central pillar and the foundation of our message. We will study Daniel 8 in its historical, linguistic and theological context.

“Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God.” Ibid., 488. All Christians have been given the command to perfect holiness in the fear of God. “The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the Word of truth. The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God.” Ibid.

We are to clearly understand the sanctuary and the investigative judgment. This is the central pillar and the foundation of our faith. If we do not understand it, then we cannot give anyone a rational reason why we are Seventh-day historic Adventists.

The faith of many Adventists today is in disarray because they do not understand Daniel chapter eight. They do not understand what the investigative judgment is or what the cleansing of the sanctuary is all about and so they do not have a rational reason to be Adventists.

Several years ago I was a teacher at Southwestern Adventist College. In one of the classes one day, after reading the daily devotional Scriptures, I asked the students a question about salvation. When they answered my question, I was shocked. Here were dozens of Adventist young people, even ministers children and they did not know the fundamentals of salvation. They were not talking like Seventh-day Adventists. They were talking like Baptists. Baptists teach that salvation is a one step process. Seventh-day Adventists know from the sanctuary that salvation involves more than a one step process.

I worked with an Inter-denominational jail ministry for a number of years. A Christian worker from another denomination would say to me, “Some people were saved tonight.” I said to myself, “What is he talking about?” As soon as a prisoner said, “I believe,” they thought this person was saved—that it was an accomplished fact. The plan of salvation is more involved than that and Adventists know it. That is one of the reasons that other Christians hated our pioneers. If the sanctuary message is true, there is more to it than merely saying, “I believe.”

We need to understand what the sanctuary doctrine is and what the investigative judgement is. Ellen White said, “All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith, which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position, which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face.” Ibid.

Daniel 8 begins with a vision in which Daniel sees a ram and a goat, which has a big horn. The he goat destroys the ram and then the great horn is broken. Then there appear four horns. And finally a little horn appears. That is in the first eight or nine verses of Daniel 8. To understand Daniel 8:14 we need to know who and what this little horn is, because the prophecy about the twenty-three hundred days deals with this little horn.

In Daniel 8:20 the angel tells Daniel that the ram represents the kings of Media and Persia. The he-goat represents the kingdom of Greece and specifically Alexander the Great. The ram of Media Persia is described in the Hebrew text as being great. The he-goat is called exceedingly great or very great. Greece was more powerful and a greater empire than the kingdom of Medo-Persia and it took in more territory. The little horn power is described in even stronger terms, translated as “great beyond measure.” From that description it would have to be a power that is much greater than the Medo-Persian Empire which was a world empire. It would have to be even greater than the kingdom of Greece. The only kingdom that fits that description is Rome.

The little horn power was not Antiochus Epiphanes. He was a vassal king and did not have a world empire. He was definitely not greater than Alexander the Great. The theory that Antiochus Epiphanes was the little horn does not make any sense in the Scripture, no matter how our theological opponents present it.

Some people say that the Bible says that this little horn comes out of one of those four horns. It does not say that. The literal Hebrew translation reads, “And there came up four conspicuous horns in its place toward the four winds of the heavens.”

There are two nouns there, one is “horns” and the other is “winds”. “Out of one of them . . .” verse 9. Someone says, “See Pastor John, it says out of one of the horns.” No, it does not say out of one of the horns. It says out of one of “them.” The word “them” in Hebrew is masculine. The word “horn” is feminine. So “them” cannot refer to horns.

In Greek and Hebrew a pronoun always has to agree with its noun in gender. Winds can be either masculine or feminine, but horns can only be feminine. So the word “them” cannot refer to horns. It refers to the winds, which is the noun directly preceding it.

“Out of one of them,” that is, out of one of the winds of heaven, “there came a little horn.” Daniel 8:9. When we look at the linguistic context, we see that the little horn comes out of one of the winds of heaven, the west wind.

We have seen that the historical context proves this little horn to be Rome, and the linguistic context points the same way. Let us look more closely at the little horn power. Verse 10 says, “And it became great, even to the host (army) of the heavens.”

Who is the host of heaven? The armies, or the hosts of heaven, is a term in the Bible that refers often to God’s people. (See Joshua 5:14, 15 and Exodus 12:41.) The angels are also referred to as the armies or the hosts of God. (See Luke 2:13.)

When the angel explained what this meant, he said that this little horn power would “destroy the mighty and also the holy people.” Verse 24. That is God’s people—the armies of heaven.

“He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host.” Verse 11. Jesus Christ is the Ruler of the armies of heaven. Revelation 19 describes His coming back to this world as the head of the armies of heaven. “He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:16. He is the Commander of the hosts of heaven. This little horn power would even exalt himself to oppose the Commander of the hosts of heaven.

Which government was involved in the crucifixion of Jesus? It was the Roman government. Roman soldiers nailed Him to the cross at the command of a Roman governor. It is not hard to figure out that this little horn power would exalt itself even to the Commander of the armies of heaven.

It [the little horn] cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground and trampled [destroyed] them. (Daniel 8:10.) Verse 24 says, concerning this little horn power, that he would “destroy the mighty and also the holy people.” Then notice what it says will happen. “He magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily was taken away.” Daniel 8:11.

The little horn power exalted the continuous, or the daily, or that which is continual. What is it that was continual? Verse 12 calls it the “continuance in rebellion.” Then it says that the very thing that he exalted, he later was given an army against it. The Bible translators could not figure that out, so they changed the wording to the “daily sacrifice.” They could not figure out how you could exalt something and then have an army given you to destroy it.

Ellen White said that the pioneers and William Miller had the truth on what the “daily” was. The continuance, that which was always in rebellion—even back before the flood; then at the Tower of Babel, in Egypt, in Assyria, in Babylon, in Medo-Persia, in Greece and finally it reached its epitome in Rome. It was the “continuance in rebellion” that was exalted to its highest level in Rome. For four thousand five hundred years it was a continuance in rebellion. It was paganism or heathenism which center around sun worship.

The history of Rome reveals what paganism does to a nation. The horrors and debauchery are too dreadful to be written down, but if you look in Romans chapter 1 you can get a small idea. Romans was written to the people who lived in that city and it describes the society in which they had to live.

Later on it says an army would be given to this little horn power to take away the continuance and set up an “abomination that would make desolate,” or that would depopulate it. In verse 12 it says, “Because of the transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.” The word translated “transgression” means a revolt or a rebellion.

There are two rebellions mentioned in these verses 10–12. The first one, the daily, is the daily in transgression or the “continuance in transgression” or rebellion. (Daniel 8:12.) Then there is the desolating transgression or the desolating rebellion. (See Truth Triumphant, by Benjamin Wilkinson.) The continual rebellion started before the flood and it kept on going after the flood until the beginning of the sixth century, A.D. When it was taken away, something worse was put in its place. That something is described in the Scriptures as Antichrist, the Man of Sin. The apostasy of the latter times that would last until the Second Coming of Christ.

The continuance, plus the abomination of desolation, refers to the sin problem from its beginning to its end. Somehow our detractors and opponents cannot seem to figure that out. It is one of the main thrusts of Daniel 8, 10, 11 and 12. It is connected here in Daniel 8 with the twenty-three hundred days because we read in Daniel 8:13, 14, “And then I heard a certain holy one speaking and he sent another holy one to that one who spoke. ‘Until when is the vision concerning the daily [“the continuance in rebellion”]?’” Daniel 8:13.

How long is the vision concerning the continuance and the desolating rebellion? It has been going on now for thousands of years. The time is coming when it is going to be taken away and the desolating rebellion put in its place. How long are both of these things going to continue into the future, “to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled? And he said to me, Unto two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed [made righteous, purified or restored].” Daniel 8:13, 14.

At the end of two thousand three hundred days, the sanctuary will be restored to its rightful state. “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the Holy City under foot for forty-two months.’ ” Revelation 11:1, 2.

What does it mean for the sanctuary to be restored, vindicated? God’s sanctuary is in heaven. They knew that, even in the Old Testament time. We enter into that sanctuary by faith. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the Veil, that is, his flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19–22. When this sanctuary is cleansed, friend, it is God’s measuring time. He is not just going to measure a building. The sanctuary, the temple, is a symbol of the church (See Ephesians 2:19–22.) The sanctuary, the altar and the worshippers will be measured. God has a measuring rod, and He will measure the people who are in it.

When the measuring is over, you will either be in it or you will be shaken out of it. When you lose your vision, and you turn your back on the Biblical teaching of the judgment like some people are doing today, you have been shaken out. You can go to church every week for the rest of your life, but you have been shaken out of God’s church. The sanctuary cannot be restored to its rightful state as long as those who are worshipping in it by faith are still full of sin. They must be purified, cleansed.

The central pillar and the foundation of the Advent faith cannot be knocked out from under the person who studies the Biblical texts carefully. It is rooted in the Bible. You can study it historically, linguistically, and theologically—any way you want to study it, and it will stand investigation.

It is measuring time and God is doing the measuring. Either by His grace we are going to measure up or we will be shaken out. (See Hebrews 12.) The good news is, Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you.” If you want to be saved, He will give you enough grace so that you can be purified, so that you will measure up, so that you can be restored. When the worshippers in the sanctuary are measured, when they are all put before the measuring rod, I want to be ready for that time so I will remain and will not be shaken out. How about you?


Bible Study Guides – Rock or Sand—Your Choice

March 14, 2010 – March 20, 2010

Key Text

“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.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 416, 417; The Faith I Live By, 314.


“Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind; these persons believe that they are right when they are wrong.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 417.

1 Who will enter into the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 7:21.

Note. “Christ declares that those who do His words are like a man who built his house upon a rock. This house the tempest and flood could not sweep away.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 368.

“Christianity is simply living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. We are to believe in, and live in, Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We have faith in God when we believe His word; we trust and obey God when we keep His commandments; and we love God when we love His law.” The Review and Herald, March 25, 1902.

2 Those who profess to know God but deny Him in works are described in what way? Titus 1:16; I John 2:4.

Note. “These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, ‘Lord, Lord’; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 975, 976.

3 What ground did the wise man, who heard the Lord’s words and did them, build his house upon? Matthew 7:24.

Note. “To a great extent everyone is the architect of his own character. Every day the structure more nearly approaches completion. The Word of God warns us to take heed how we build, to see that our building is founded upon the Eternal Rock. The time is coming when our work will stand revealed just as it is. Now is the time for all to cultivate the powers that God has given them, that they may form characters for usefulness here and for a higher life hereafter.

“Faith in Christ as a personal Saviour will give strength and solidity to the character. Those who have genuine faith in Christ will be sober-minded, remembering that God’s eye is upon them, that the Judge of all men is weighing moral worth, that heavenly intelligences are watching to see what manner of character is being developed.” Child Guidance, 164, 165.

4 What ground did the foolish man, who did not follow the Word of God, build his house upon? Matthew 7:26.

Note. “With some the knowledge of their true state seems to be hidden from them. They see the truth, but perceive not its importance or its claims. They hear the truth, but do not fully understand it, because they do not conform their lives to it, and therefore are not sanctified through obeying it. And yet they rest as unconcerned and well satisfied as though the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, as token of God’s favor, went before them. They profess to know God, but in works deny Him. They reckon themselves His chosen, peculiar people, yet His presence and power to save to the uttermost are seldom manifested among them. How great is the darkness of such! yet they know it not. The light shines, but they do not comprehend it.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 406, 407.

5 The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law is seen in which house? Matthew 7:26, 27.

Note. “Those who do not do Christ’s words are like the man who built his house upon the sand. Storm and tempest beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. It was an entire wreck. The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law, is seen in the wrecked house. Those who make a profession while failing to obey cannot stand the storm of temptation. One act of disobedience weakens the power to see the sinfulness of the second act. One little disregard of a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is sufficient to stop the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit. By disobedience the light once so precious becomes obscure. Satan takes charge of the mind and soul, and God is greatly dishonored.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 368, 369.

6 The foolish virgins and the stony ground hearers that had no root are parallels with the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. Matthew 13:5, 6. How would you explain a plant with no root in comparison with the foolish virgins and the foolish man?

Note. “Jesus explained this part of the parable as referring to a certain class of hearers. He said: ‘He that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended’ [Matthew 13:20, 21]. This class of hearers is again represented by the parable of the foolish builder. Jesus says, ‘Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it’ [Matthew 7:26, 27].

“The seed sown upon stony ground finds little depth of soil in which to take root.” The Review and Herald, June 7, 1892.

7 A fool is not obedient to the Laws of God, is lacking in discernment or comprehension which comes from God and so describes a foolish virgin or a foolish builder. What does the Word of God say about a fool and what they have become? Psalm 53:1–3.

Note. “He who would build up a strong, symmetrical character must give all and do all for Christ. The Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily he must learn the meaning of self-surrender. He must study the Word of God, getting its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus he may reach the highest standard of Christian excellence. There is no limit to the spiritual advancement that he may make if he is a partaker of the divine nature. Day by day God works in him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the day of final test. Each day of his life he ministers to others. The light that is in him shines forth and stills the strife of tongues. Day by day he is working out before men and angels a vast, sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings.” In Heavenly Places, 148.

8 A hearer of the law will listen and enjoy all that is said but has not been rendered just, or justified and therefore his house is built on sand. Why has he not been set free or rendered just? Romans 2:13.

Note. “In the lives of many whose names are on the church books there has been no genuine change. The truth has been kept in the outer court. There has been no genuine conversion, no positive work of grace done in the heart.” In Heavenly Places, 148.

9 A doer of the law is a performer, or accomplishes in thoughts, words and actions, what he has heard. Has the doer been rendered just or set free? Where is his house setting? Romans 2:13.

Note. “We should bear in mind that it is not the hearers of the law that are justified before God, but the doers of the law. If the principles of God’s law rule in our hearts, we shall have the spirit of Christ; we shall manifest in our daily life that mercy which is better than sacrifice. Every Christian must be a learner in the school of Christ; and there is need of diligent and persevering effort to reach that standard of righteousness which God’s word requires.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 232.

“The question of deepest interest to each one should be, Am I meeting the requirements of the law of God? … Only by a close examination of self in the light of God’s Word can we discover our deviations from His holy rule of right.” Lift Him Up, 342.

10 Wouldn’t it be terrible to think our foundation is all right when it is not? Our thoughts, words and actions are fruits flowing from our foundation. Matthew 7:20. On what foundation is your house sitting?

Note. “No stronger delusion can deceive the human mind than that which makes them believe that they are right, and that God accepts their works, when they are sinning against Him. They mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof. They suppose that they are rich, and have need of nothing, when they are poor, wretched, blind, and naked, and need all things.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 406, 407.

Additional Reading

“Those who obtain eternal life must give evidence to the world that they love God with all the capabilities that He has given them. They are to obey the two supreme commands, which embody all the whole law, acknowledging by their course of action that they are doers of the law.” The Upward Look, 367.

“The end of all things is at hand. The Lord is soon coming. Already his judgments are abroad in our land. We are not only to talk of Christ’s coming, but in every action, we are to reveal the fact that he is soon to be manifested in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Have we the wedding garment on? Have we personal piety? Have we co-operated with divine agencies, in a whole-hearted, unreserved manner, in weaving into our life’s practices the divine principles of God’s holy law? It is one thing to talk the law, and it is another thing entirely to practice it. It is the doers of the law that shall be justified before God; for those who do the law represent the character of God, and lie not against the truth.” Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers, vol. 3, 12.

“Those who claim modern sanctification would have come boastingly forward, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, do you not know us? Have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works’ [Matthew 7:22]? The people here described, who make these pretentious claims, apparently weaving Jesus into all their doings, fitly represent those who claim modern sanctification, but who are at war with the law of God. Christ calls them workers of iniquity, because they are deceivers, having on the garments of righteousness to hide the deformity of their characters, the inward wickedness of their unholy hearts. Satan has come down in these last days, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ Himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1087, 1088.

Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at .

Children’s Story – A Good Foundation

Johnny and his family had decided to move to a nice quiet area but just could not find the right house to purchase so they decided to rent a little house until they could build their own. It was made a matter of prayer that God would help them to find just the right location in which to buy land.

As they searched, Johnny saw all kinds of interesting places that he thought would make pleasant play areas that would be fun for him to invite his friends. His mom and dad had other priorities and decided on a piece of land way up on a hill which was not really easy to get to and covered in big rocks. As a family they prayed again that God would help them design and build a secure new home. Even though it was not Johnny’s choice of location, he was happy with their decision. He loved to see his mom and dad happy, because it made him happy too. He always asked God to help him to be happy and thankful at all times.

About this time, another family moved in next door to the home that Johnny’s family had rented. He was so excited to meet their son Teddy who was the same age as himself and they became very good friends, sharing many happy times together.

Teddy’s parents also planned to build their own home and Johnny often accompanied them while they looked for land. He was amazed to see how Teddy’s parents were so influenced by what he wanted. In fact, the land that they purchased was the very block that Teddy wanted. Johnny also noticed that Teddy got his way far too much and when he didn’t he was sometimes very disrespectful to his parents.

But now Teddy was very excited and boasted about all of the grassland where he could run and play. Johnny struggled as he compared this to the land that his parents had bought which was just full of rocks and hard to get to. It was not a good time for him at all as he struggled with jealousy and the thought that Teddy was much better off than he was and he really had to pray that God would help him to be content.

Construction started on the two houses. Teddy’s house was going up very quickly, first the foundation, then the walls, and in no time at all it was finished and the family was able to move in. Johnny was often invited over to play in the large, grassy yard. Oh, they had so much fun!

The house on the hill seemed to be so slow in building and Johnny started getting angry with his parents and becoming unhappy with all of their decisions. Then he realized that he was acting just like Teddy so he prayed that both he and Teddy would be more respectful to their parents.

Johnny enjoyed the closeness of working with his father and helped wherever he was able, learning from his experience how to carefully make sure everything was strong and secure. It seemed as though their house took forever while Teddy and his family had long since moved into their home. Finally the home on the hill was finished and with great excitement they were able to move in. He and Teddy had such fun climbing up and down the hills and rocks. In fact, Johnny enjoyed the terrain on the hill far more than at Teddy’s house on the flat.

Winter was now settling in and the weather had deteriorated. Johnny was so glad he felt safe in his fine warm, sturdy home on the hill.

But down on the flat land Teddy was not too sure about his. It was kind of cold and the house did not seem too sturdy when the winds blew. One night the rain came down so hard and the wind roared that it was just terrible! The river rose and soon filled Teddy’s yard with water and the house shook from the wind so much that the family had to evacuate.

Johnny’s parents made sure that Teddy’s family was all safe and comfortable in their home during the storm.

On returning the next morning they found their home in shambles. The wind had blown it to pieces and the flood water had destroyed most of their belongings. Everything was lost!

How grateful now was Johnny that his parents had taken the time and care to build such a secure home that it could withstand the storm. Jesus once talked about a house built high up among the rocks. The steep hillside was difficult to climb, and less accessible than the smooth valley below which was clothed with green grass and springing flowers. But on this low ground was pointed out a house that was now in ruins. It had appeared to stand strong until the wind and storm came and destroyed it.

Read what Jesus said in Matthew 7:24–27: “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Johnny’s house represents the one that the wise man built.

If you obey His word, Jesus will consider you like the wise man who built his house upon the rock. Each time you obey, you are building on the sure foundation just like Johnny’s family did and when the storm came, they were safe and you will be safe also.