Watch the Signs

The “abomination of desolation” is first described in the book of Daniel (Daniel 11:31). A few days before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to His disciples about this entity saying, “whoever reads, let him understand” (Matthew 24:15).

The meaning of the Hebrew word abomination in the book of Daniel is translated abomination or a detestable thing. Throughout the Old Testament the word is quite common and is almost always used in regard to detestable idols or something to do with idolatry.

In the New Testament the words eramus or eromosis are used for desolation or devastation.

Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come [notice the context]. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ” (Matthew 24:14–18). (See also Mark 13:14–16).

The expression “abomination of desolation” is not used in the gospel of Luke, but it talks about the same thing. It says, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her (don’t return). For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20–22).

This was the clear instruction given by Jesus just a few days before He was crucified. When they saw the abomination stand where it should not, they were to flee out of Jerusalem. If they were in the country, they were not to return to the city.

What exactly is the abomination of desolation?

There have been many different explanations, but here we will stick with inspired statements that tell us what we need to know.

“Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains’ (Matthew 24:15, 16). When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reach the city wall, and be saved ‘so as by fire’ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 26, 27.

The signal to flee, according to this passage, was when the idolatrous standards of the Romans were set up outside the city walls. It was so important that they escape that there was no time for delay, not even to go to their house to get a coat.

Unmistakable signs were given by Jesus. “All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of His words of warning, ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matthew 7:2).

“Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 31.

What were some of these signs and wonders?

“A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city. An unnatural light was seen hovering over the temple. Upon the clouds were pictured chariots mustering for battle. Mysterious voices in the temple court uttered the warning words, ‘Let us depart hence.’ The eastern gate of the inner court, which was of brass, and so heavy that it was with difficulty shut by a score of men, and having bolts fastened deep into the firm pavement, was seen at midnight to be opened of its own accord.

“For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city.” Ibid.

How many Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem?

“Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. After the Romans had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly withdrew their forces, at a time when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. In the providence of God the promised signal was thus given to the waiting Christians, and without a moment’s delay they fled [in the fall of A.D. 66] to a place of safety—the refuge city Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.” Ibid., 32.

The greatest sign was when the abomination of desolation stood, but before that there were many other signs that told it was time to get ready to go. When the abomination of desolation appeared, it was the last call for Christ’s followers who had listened to His warning to find safety in flight, and thus save their lives, so that not one Christian perished.

The first siege of Jerusalem, under the Roman army, happened under General Cestius. He surrounded Jerusalem with the Roman armies but, when it seemed favorable to attack, he unexpectedly withdrew his forces. When Cestius began to retreat, he planted the abomination of desolation, the banner of Rome, on the holy ground. When the Roman standards were planted there, right outside the city of Jerusalem, it was the sign for the followers of Christ to flee. All the predictions that Christ gave concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter.

Ellen White wrote in Christ’s Object Lessons, 296, that when Jerusalem was destroyed, the whole area where the temple had been was plowed like a field.

In the spring of A.D. 70, when there were over a million Jews inside the city of Jerusalem for the Passover, the Roman army, with Titus at its head, returned and surrounded the city again. This second and final siege lasted from the time of the Passover in March/April until the city fell about August 30 of that same year.

Ellen White describes it this way: “Terrible were the calamities which fell upon Jerusalem in the siege of the city by Titus. The last desperate assault was made at the time of the passover, when millions of Jews had assembled within its walls to celebrate the national festival. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have been sufficient to supply the inhabitants for years, had previously been destroyed through the jealousy and revenge of the contending factions, and now all the horrors of starvation were experienced.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 32.

Horrible things happened. “The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews, and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them.” Ibid., 33.

The destruction of Jerusalem is a type of what is going to happen at the end of the world. “The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible scene was but a faint shadow.” Ibid., 37.

This is a scary thought! History records that over a million Jews were slaughtered during the destruction of Jerusalem. We have no idea just how many were led away captive and taken to Rome. Some of them were killed by gladiators for their entertainment in the coliseum. Others were made slaves and sent all over the world. What happened then was to have another fulfillment.

Ellen White says that that terrible scene was “a faint shadow” of a future event. The word faint means small, almost insignificant.

She says, “The second advent of the Son of God is foretold by lips which make no mistake: ‘Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). …

“Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. He has declared that He will come the second time, to gather His faithful ones to himself, and to take vengeance on them that reject his mercy. As He [Jesus] warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin that they might make their escape, so He has warned His people of the day of final destruction, and given them signs of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Those who behold the promised signs are to ‘know that it is near, even at the door’ (verse 33, last part).” Ibid., 38.

What is the abomination of desolation today?

Remember, this is a two-fold prophecy. We know what the abomination of desolation was to the Christians in Jerusalem, but what does it represent today? Christians must identify the banner or flag of Rome, today. It is Sunday worship. The abomination of desolation today is Sunday worship, the symbol, sign, and mark of Rome’s self-assumed authority.

Look back again at Matthew 24:14–18. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ [remember, Jerusalem was called the holy city] (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ”

Notice, the gospel goes to all the world and then the abomination of desolation is planted.

Let’s look at the first fulfillment. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul said that the gospel had been preached throughout the world. He said, “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:23). This letter was written before A.D. 66.

“After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, at a time when every conceivable power of evil is set in operation, when minds are confused by the many voices crying, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ ‘Lo, He is there,’ ‘This is truth,’ ‘I have a message from God,’ ‘He has sent me with great light,’ and there is a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith—then a more decided effort is made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 406.

One of the signs that precedes the setting up of the abomination of desolation is a removing of the landmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist faith—a removing of the landmarks.

There is a good reason that the magazine we publish here at Steps to Life is called LandMarks of Historic Adventism. There are many baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church who do not know the historic fundamentals of Adventism. That is why we hold that name—because a removing of the landmarks and the pillars of the Adventist church has been going on for a long time.

Let’s review the history of ancient Jerusalem and pay particular attention to the events surrounding the planting of the abomination of desolation. In The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 4, page 31, it says, “Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.”

She says, “A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city.” Ibid. Because the Chinese began documenting signs in heaven over 200 years before Christ, we have accurate records of the history of Halley’s comet from that time clear up to the present day. And we know then, that Halley’s Comet was seen by those in Jerusalem around February, of A.D. 66. Cestius began his siege a few months later. Halley’s comet was one of the major signs warning of impending destruction in Jerusalem.

“At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of the Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety.” The Great Controversy, 31. This was in the fall and Halley’s Comet was in the spring.

The siege was not resumed by Titus until Passover time, A.D. 70, which was a little over three years later. Why is it that Jesus said in both Matthew and Luke that when that happens, flee? Don’t even come back down into your house. Don’t even come back from the field. Flee, right then. I don’t know if I know the complete answer to that question yet. I have been thinking about this and studying it for a long time. But, part of the answer had to do with the internal corruption that occurred in Jerusalem during that time.

The people were instructed by false teachers that no matter what happened, you should stay in the city to be protected, but that was an error. What the people were taught was exactly opposite of what Jesus had predicted. So if you believed what Jesus said, you fled and got out. If you listened to what the church said, you stayed in and perished.

“In their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God’s own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even when Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God.” Ibid., 29.

The leaders instructed not to flee. Stay right there, and God will save you. Everybody who listened to their lie got slaughtered. It says, “To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries.” Ibid.

The greatest danger of coming back to the city of Jerusalem was the risk of being deceived by the false teachers saying that safety and security was in staying there and waiting for deliverance that would never come. Sadly, the majority of the people obeyed man instead of God. They showed that they loved man and their church more than God whom they professed to follow and obey.

Who represents Jerusalem today?

Now we come to a critical question. As the abomination of desolation is a two-fold prophecy, meaning that it is going to have another occurrence in the last days, then who represents Jerusalem today? Who is God’s chosen church, as was Jerusalem, that has been given the oracles of God?

Referring to the Seventh-day Adventist church, Ellen White said, “Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 67.

Has the Seventh-day Adventist Church been favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts? Who is it that has all the publishing rights to the prophetic works of Ellen White? The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the depositary of sacred trusts.

“But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery.” Ibid.

“There was danger that Battle Creek would become as Jerusalem of old—a powerful center. If we do not heed these warnings, the evils that ruined Jerusalem will come upon us.” Ibid., 133.

“The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God’s servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God’s people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments. The desolation of Jerusalem stands as a solemn warning before the eyes of modern Israel, that the corrections given through His chosen instruments cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Ibid., vol. 4, 166, 167.

If we don’t listen to the warnings God has given to us, the ruin that came upon Israel will come upon us. Ellen White said in a letter in The Early Elmshaven Years, 45, 46: “For a week before I fully consented to go to Battle Creek [church headquarters], I did not sleep past one o’clock. Some nights I was up at eleven o’clock, and many nights at twelve. I have not moved from impulse, but from the conviction that at this time that I must begin at Jerusalem.”

This is a very interesting statement. Jerusalem represents the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Will the abomination of desolation, that is, the banner of Rome, Sunday worship, be planted in the headquarters of the professed Seventh-day Adventist Church?

In Ezekiel 8, the prophet in vision is told about abominations in the temple in Jerusalem. Then in chapter 9, it tells about the destruction that is going to occur because of these abominations and about the people of God who are sighing and crying for these abominations that are occurring within the church.

Years ago, while I was attending Walla Walla college and studying these prophesies, my teacher tried to explain to me that this was all about something that was going on in Ezekiel’s time. But that is not the case.

In Selected Messages, vol. 3, 338, it says, “Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” They spoke more for our time.

“All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days.” Ibid., 339.

“The last books of the Old Testament show us workers taken from the laborers in the field. Others were men of high ability and extensive learning, but the Lord gave them visions and messages. These men of the Old Testament spoke of things transpiring in their day, and Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel not only spoke of things that concerned them as present truth, but their sights reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Ibid., 419, 420.

Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel are specifically mentioned that they had “their sights” clearly down on our time. When we read from Ezekiel, we are not just reading about something that happened several hundred years before Christ. We are reading about something that’s going to happen in the last days.

Ellen White said that the prophecy in Ezekiel 9 will be fulfilled to the very letter. (See The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1303.)

When Ezekiel mentions Jerusalem, he is talking about the Seventh-day Adventist church. When He talks about the temple, He is talking about the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church. These abominations in Ezekiel 8 will be seen occurring within the Seventh-day Adventist church and we need to be aware of these things.

Ezekiel 8 verse 16 states: “So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.”

This is what the faithful were sighing and crying about in chapter 9. Did you notice how many people there were? “About twenty-five men.”

In the 1901 General Conference Bulletin, on page 378, it says, “The general conference constitution.” Under article 1 it says, “This organization shall be known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” [April 22, 1901-Extra # 17]

Under article 2, “Object. The object of this Conference shall be to unify and to extend to all parts of the world, the work of promulgating the everlasting gospel.”

Article 4, on the executive committee, section 1, on page 379, says: “The Executive Committee of this Conference shall be twenty-five in number.” Interesting!

This article is not intended to point a finger at anybody. God’s people interpret prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past and we try to understand prophecy that will be fulfilled in the future. However, if you look at history you will find that we have a very poor track record at recognizing when a prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of us.

Remember, Jesus came to His people and said, “This day” this prophecy is “fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). And what happened? They tried to kill him.

We have a very poor track record.

My dear friends, prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes, and the question is, Will we not recognize it until it is too late?

We had better pay attention and recognize the signs. They are like the handwriting on the wall and we would not want to miss them.

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

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

Bible Study Guides – “They Overcame Him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of Their Testimony”

MEMORY VERSE: “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.” Revelation 10:11.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 1, 58–61.

INTRODUCTION: “The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant. In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment and with confidence in Christ as leader. 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.” Review and Herald, October 12, 1905.

  • How is the remnant of God’s church in the final generation described? Revelation 12:17.

NOTE: “Those who are living amid the perils of the last days, days which are characterized by the masses turning from the truth of God to fables, will have close work to turn from the fables which are prepared for them on every hand, and have an appetite to feast upon unpopular truth. Those who turn from these fables to truth are despised, hated, and persecuted by those who are presenting fables to the people for their reception. Satan is at war with the remnant who are endeavouring to keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. Evil angels are commissioned to employ men as their agents upon the earth. These can the most successfully exert an influence to make Satan’s attacks effective against the remnant whom God calls ‘a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ This, Satan is determined to hinder. He will employ everyone who will engage in his service to hinder the chosen people of God from showing forth the praises of Him who has called them from darkness into His marvelous light. To hide, to cover up this light, to cause people to distrust it, to disbelieve it, is the work of the great rebel and his host. While Jesus is purifying His people unto Himself, redeeming them from all iniquity, Satan will employ his forces to hinder the work and prevent the perfection of the saints. He does not exert his power upon those who are all covered up with deception and walled in by fables and error, and who make no effort to receive and obey the truth. He knows he is sure of them; but those who are seeking for truth, that they may obey it in the love of it, are the ones who excite his malice and stir his ire. He can never weaken them while they keep close to Jesus; therefore he is pleased when he can lead them in a course of disobedience.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 105.

  • Against what particular error are those who live in the last days warned? 2 Timothy 3:1 and 5.

NOTE: “We are living in perilous times, when those who profess to love and obey God deny Him in their daily lives. ‘For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.’ God does not want you to be found among this class . . . In His word you may learn how to shun these evils, and in the end be overcomers . . .It is not enough for you to avoid the appearance of evil; you must go farther than this; you must ‘learn to do well.’ You must represent Christ to the world. It must be your daily study how you can learn to work the works of God. His followers are to be living epistles, ‘known and read of all men.’ You can never secure a good character by merely wishing for it. It can be gained only by labour. Your desires in this direction must be expressed in earnest, honest endeavour and patient toil. By taking advance steps each day up the ladder of progress, you will find yourself at last at the top, a conqueror, yes, more than a conqueror, through Him who has loved you.” Youth’s Instructor, November 5, 1896.

  • What message must be proclaimed to the whole world before Jesus comes? Revelation 14:6–12.

NOTE: “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention. The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God’s people are to be true to the trust committed to them. They are not to engage in speculation, neither are they to enter into business enterprises with unbelievers; for this would hinder them in their God-given work. Christ says of His people: ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ Matthew 5:14. It is not a small matter that the counsels and plans of God have been so clearly opened to us. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to understand the will of God as revealed in the sure word of prophecy. This places on us a heavy responsibility. God expects us to impart to others the knowledge that He has given us. It is His purpose that divine and human instrumentalities shall unite in the proclamation of the warning message.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 19.

  • How does the prophecy of Revelation 10 picture the worldwide proclamation of the final message and the disappointment of those who first proclaimed it? Revelation 10:1–11.

NOTE: “The message of the coming of the Lord in the autumn of 1844 spread rapidly through America and other parts of the world. It greatly moved the hearts of men and stirred the Protestant churches of that time. Tens of thousands looked for the coming of the Lord at the close of the great prophetic period of 2300 days in 1844. Every preparation was made to greet Him with great joy and gladness, and then came the bitterness of disappointment, for the Lord did not come….The disappointment, however, was no evidence that the Lord was not in the movement, for in this tenth chapter of Revelation He anticipates this very experience, and in the last verse points His people to a task of world-wide extent He had yet for them to perform prior to His glorious appearing, for their work had not yet been finished.” Daniel and the Revelation, Uriah Smith, 528.

  • Against what development in the church in the last days are we warned? 2 Timothy 4:3.

NOTE: “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillarsof our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?” Battle Creek Letters, 81–82.

  • What will guard God’s people against such developments? Acts 17:11.

NOTE: “The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God’s people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 707.

  • What are the Scriptures able to do for the one who has faith in Jesus? 2 Timothy 3:15.

NOTE: “The truth of God received into the heart is able to make you wise unto salvation. In believing and obeying it you will receive grace sufficient for the duties and trials of today. Grace for tomorrow you do not need. You should feel that you have only to do with today. Overcome for today; deny self for today; watch and pray for today; obtain victories in God for today. Our circumstances and surroundings, the changes daily transpiring around us, and the written word of God which discerns and proves all things—these are sufficient to teach us our duty and just what we ought to do, day by day.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 333.

  • What salvation did Jesus come to this world to offer? Matthew 1:21.

NOTE: “The work of gaining salvation is one of co-partnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner.” Acts of the Apostles, 482.

“Your only hope and salvation is in overcoming as Christ overcame.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 457.

“The Ten Commandments, ‘Thou shalt,’ and, ‘Thou shalt not,’ are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. ‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments.’ Here is the sum and substance of the law of God. The terms of salvation for every son and daughter of Adam are here outlined.” Bible Echo, June 17, 1901.

  • What responsibility does God place upon parents? Deuteronomy 6:6–7.

NOTE: “In every Christian home, God should be honoured by the morning and evening sacrifices of prayer and praise. Children should be taught to respect and reverence the hour of prayer. It is the duty of Christian parents, morning and evening, by earnest prayer and persevering faith, to make a hedge about their children. In the church at home the children are to learn to pray and to trust in God. Teach them to repeat God’s law. Concerning the commandments the Israelites were instructed: ‘Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ Deuteronomy 6:7. Come in humility, with a heart full of tenderness, and with a sense of the temptations and dangers before yourselves and your children; by faith bind them to the altar, entreating for them the care of the Lord. Train the children to offer their simple words of prayer. Tell them that God delights to have them call upon Him. Will the Lord of heaven pass by such homes and leave no blessing there? Nay, verily. Ministering angels will guard the children who are thus dedicated to God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 110.

  • What promise is given concerning children taught in this way? Isaiah 54:13.

NOTE: “What can give you greater joy than to see children and youth following Christ, the great Shepherd, who calls, and the sheep and lambs hear his voice and follow Him? What can spread more sunshine through the soul of the interested, devoted worker than to know that his persevering, patient labour is not in vain in the Lord, and to see his pupils have the sunshine of joy in their souls because Christ has forgiven their sins? What can be more satisfying to the worker together with God, than to see children and youth receiving the impressions of the spirit of God in true nobility of character and in the restoration of the moral image of God—the children seeking the peace coming from the Prince of Peace?” Christian Education, 156.

  • What must be the foundation of every preacher’s message? 2 Timothy 4:2.

NOTE: “This solemn charge to one so zealous and faithful as was Timothy is a strong testimony to the importance and responsibility of the work of the gospel minister. Summoning Timothy before the bar of God, Paul bids him preach the word, not the sayings and customs of men; to be ready to witness for God whenever opportunity should present itself, before large congregations and private circles, by the way and at the fireside, to friends and to enemies, whether in safety or exposed to hardship and peril, reproach and loss.” Acts of the Apostles, 503.

“Ministers are not to preach men’s opinions, not to relate anecdotes, get up theatrical performances, not to exhibit self; but as though they were in the presence of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are to preach the word. Let them not bring levity into the work of the ministry, but let them preach the word in a manner that will leave a most solemn impression upon those who hear. Let them not present their own ideas and fanciful notions as God’s word, but let them present the pure word of God, in all sincerity.” Review and Herald, September 28, 1897.

“Our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths.” Gospel Workers, 301.

“Instead of discussing erroneous theories, or seeking to combat the opponents of the gospel, follow the example of Christ. Let fresh truths from God’s treasure house flash into life. ‘Preach the word.’ ” Christ’s Object Lessons, 40.

  • What will be the effect of the Word of God on those who are willing to receive it? Acts 20:32.

NOTE: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. We must have the holy unction from God, the baptism of His Spirit. This is the only efficient agent in the promulgation of sacred truth. It is the Spirit of God that quickens the lifeless faculties of the soul to appreciate heavenly things, and attracts the affections toward God and the truth. What we need, what we cannot do without, is the power of the Holy Spirit to work with our efforts. All pampering of self must be at an end. There is a weakness of intellect, a lack of religious fervour, in those who want to lean upon others, to be petted, waited on, and propped up. There must be an earnest longing, a soul-hunger, for the presence of the Lord. Make Him your support, your front guard and your rearward.” Home Missionary, November 1, 1890.

  • Against what form of religion are God’s people warned to turn away? 2 Timothy 3:5.

NOTE: “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavour to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.” Great Controversy, 464.

Bible Study Guides – Fulfilling Signs and the Church

September 1–7, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Romans 12:9, 10.

SUGGESTED READING: Early Writings, 285–295; The Adventist Home, 533–550.

INTRODUCTION: “Of special value to God’s church on earth today—the keepers of His vineyard—are the messages of counsel and admonition given through the prophets who have made plain His eternal purpose in behalf of mankind. In the teachings of the prophets, His love for the lost race and His plan for their salvation are clearly revealed. The story of Israel’s call, of their successes and failures, of their restoration to divine favor, of their rejection of the Master of the vineyard, and of the carrying out of the plan of the ages by a goodly remnant to whom are to be fulfilled all the covenant promises—this has been the theme of God’s messengers to His church throughout the centuries that have passed. And today God’s message to His church—to those who are occupying His vineyard as faithful husbandmen—is none other than that spoken through the prophet of old: [Isaiah 27:2, 3 quoted.]” Prophets and Kings, 22.

1 Of what did Christ caution His followers, as they see the end times approaching? Luke 21:34, 35.

NOTE: “Dear Brethren and Sisters in _____: June 12, 1868, I was shown that the love of the world was to a great extent taking the place of love to God. You are situated in a pleasant country, one that is favorable to worldly prosperity. This places you where you are in constant danger of having your interest swallowed up in the world, in laying up treasure upon the earth. Your hearts will be where your treasure is. You are situated where there are temptations to be plunging deeper and deeper into the world, to be continually accumulating; and while you are thus engaged, the mind becomes engrossed with the cares of this life to such an extent as to shut out true godliness. But few realize the deceitfulness of riches.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 183.

2 What other peril will confront the church in the last days? Matthew 24:48–51.

NOTE: “The evil servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delayeth his coming.’ He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord’s coming is delayed. He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure seeking.” The Desire of Ages, 634.

3 In the parable of the ten virgins, how did Jesus illustrate the attitude of His people immediately before His return? Matthew 25:5.

NOTE: “Here [Matthew 25] is brought to view the church living in the last days, the same that is pointed out in the close of chapter 24. In this parable their experience is illustrated by the incidents of an Eastern marriage. . . .

“Two classes are represented. All had taken their lamps, the Bible, and by its light had gone forth to meet the Bridegroom. . . .

“By the tarrying of the bridegroom is represented the passing of the time when the Lord was expected, the disappointment, and the seeming delay. . . . ‘They all slumbered and slept;’ one class in unconcern and abandonment of their faith, the other class patiently waiting till clearer light should be given. Yet in the night of trial the latter seemed to lose, to some extent, their zeal and devotion. The halfhearted and superficial could no longer lean upon the faith of their brethren. Each must stand or fall for himself.” The Great Controversy, 393–395.

4 What should our first priority now be? Romans 13:12–14

NOTE: “Not one is to feel that he can use his time as he chooses. Heavenly requirements are not to be ignored. It is the universal tendency of men to subordinate the eternal realities to temporal matters, to make the claims of the future, immortal life subservient to the commonplace affairs of this fleeting life.” Signs of The Times, July 30, 1894.

5 What urgent counsel has Christ left on record for His remnant church? Revelation 3:15–19.

NOTE: “Christ now calls them [professed Christians]: ‘Be zealous and repent.’ He kindly and faithfully admonishes them to buy gold, white raiment, and eyesalve. They can choose either to be zealous, and partake largely of salvation, or be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord as disgusting, and be thrust from Him. God will not bear always. He is of tender pity, yet His Spirit will be grieved away for the last time. Mercy’s sweet voice will be no more heard. Its last precious notes will have died away, and those described will be left to their own ways, to be filled with their own doings.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 153.

6 What is the duty of God’s people as the end of time approaches? Revelation 14:6.

NOTE: “In the prophecy this warning of the judgment, with its connected messages, is followed by the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. The proclamation of the judgment is an announcement of Christ’s second coming as at hand. And this proclamation is called the everlasting gospel. Thus the preaching of Christ’s second coming, the announcement of its nearness, is shown to be an essential part of the gospel message.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 227.

7 What response does God expect from His church to this message? Revelation 14:7.

NOTE: “The gospel invitation is to be given to all the world—‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.’ Revelation 14:6. The last message of warning and mercy is to lighten the whole earth with its glory. It is to reach all classes of men, rich and poor, high and low. ‘Go out into the highways and hedges,’ Christ says, ‘and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.’

“The world is perishing for want of the gospel. There is a famine for the word of God. There are few who preach the word unmixed with human tradition. Though men have the Bible in their hands, they do not receive the blessing that God has placed in it for them. The Lord calls upon His servants to carry His message to the people. The word of everlasting life must be given to those who are perishing in their sins.

“In the command to go into the highways and hedges, Christ sets forth the work of all whom He calls to minister in His name. The whole world is the field for Christ’s ministers. The whole human family is comprised in their congregation. The Lord desires that His word of grace shall be brought home to every soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 228, 229.

8 How are the members of the remnant church to manifest their faithfulness? Hebrews 10:23–25.

NOTE: “You need to take a decided interest in religious meetings. You have no strength to keep yourself under the sharp assaults of the enemy. You are kept by the power of God through faith. Make earnest and determined efforts to be to every meeting possible. The divine direction is, Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much the more as you see the day approaching. [See Hebrews 10:25]. You are to be found among the little few who meet to worship God. The help of every soul who loves the truth is needed to bear testimony of the truth and act as missionaries of God, home missionaries to strengthen the things that remain, that are ready to die. Every jot of influence from Christ’s soldiers is now called for on the Lord’s side. Where two or three are assembled together in My name, there am I in the midst and that to bless. [See Matthew 18:20.]” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 105.

9 How should the remnant church relate to the needs of mankind? Matthew 25:31–40.

NOTE: “All His gifts are to be used in blessing humanity, in relieving the suffering and the needy. We are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for the widow and the fatherless, to minister to the distressed and downtrodden. God never meant that the widespread misery in the world should exist. He never meant that one man should have an abundance of the luxuries of life, while the children of others should cry for bread. The means over and above the actual necessities of life are entrusted to man to do good, to bless humanity. The Lord says, ‘Sell that ye have, and give alms.’ Luke 12:33. Be ‘ready to distribute, willing to communicate.’ 1 Timothy 6:18. ‘When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.’ Luke 14:13. ‘Loose the bands of wickedness,’ ‘undo the heavy burdens,’ ‘let the oppressed go free,’ ‘break every yoke.’ ‘Deal thy bread to the hungry,’ ‘bring the poor that are cast out to thy house.’ ‘When thou seest the naked, . . . cover him.’ ‘Satisfy the afflicted soul.’ Isaiah 58:6, 7, 10. ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Mark 16:15. These are the Lord’s commands. Are the great body of professed Christians doing this work?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 370, 371.

10 What should be the spiritual objective of the church that is waiting for Christ to come? 2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:14, 15.

NOTE: “Christ is soon coming in the clouds of heaven, and we must be prepared to meet Him, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. . . . The converting power of God must be upon our hearts. We must study the life of Christ, and imitate the divine Pattern. We must dwell upon the perfection of His character, and be changed into His image. No one will enter the kingdom of God unless his will is brought into captivity to the will of Christ.” In Heavenly Places, 285.

11 What will be the highest goal of every true Christian? 1 John 3:2, 3.

NOTE: “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 214.

12 What reward awaits those who persevere to the end? Revelation 2:10; Matthew 24:13.

NOTE: “If we move forward where Jesus leads the way we shall see His triumph, we shall share His joy. We must share the conflicts if we wear the crown of victory. Like Jesus, we must be made perfect through suffering. Had Christ’s life been one of ease, then might we safely yield to sloth. Since His life was marked with continual self-denial, suffering, and self-sacrifice, we shall make no complaint if we are partakers with Him. We can walk safely in the darkest path if we have the Light of the world for our guide.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 71.

13 How much is promised to the faithful? Matthew 19:29; Revelation 21:7.

NOTE: “Says John: ‘Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.’ Sons of God, members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King! Can there be any other honor equal to this bestowed on finite man? Yet the world does not discern our relationship to the divine, nor know the source of our strength. They know not that we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance. We may inherit all things. We may have a home where there will be no more death, neither sorrow nor sighing.” Review and Herald, October 7, 1884.

“There is much hard work to be done for the Master, and much wisdom must be brought into the work. It is the unconquerable perseverance, the never-failing endurance, which will bring the victory. Many have a theory of truth, but know scarcely anything of the sweet victories through that faith which overcometh the world. An experience must be gained by each one for himself, or we shall never sit down with the suffering Man of Calvary. It will cost us all we have, but as a reward we shall inherit all things.” Signs of the Times, September 7, 1891.

From the Pen of Inspiration – Delusions of the Last Days

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 588.

The signs and wonders of Spiritualism will become more and more pronounced as the professed Christian world rejects the plainly revealed truth of the Word of God, and refuses to be guided by a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” accepting instead the doctrines and the commandments of men. Through rejecting light and truth many are deciding their destiny for eternal death; and as men reject truth, the Spirit of God will gradually withdraw itself from the earth, and the prince of this earth will have more and more control over his subjects. He will show great signs and wonders as credentials of his divine claims, and through Spiritualism will work against Christ and his agencies.

The Scriptures positively forbid intercourse with evil angels on the supposition of communion with the dead. Through this deception Satan can educate souls in his school of falsehood, and make of none effect the lessons that Christ would teach, which, if practiced, would result in the eternal life of those who obey. Satan is seeking to form a great confederacy of evil by uniting fallen men and fallen angels. . . .

The great power that attends Spiritualism has its origin in the great leading rebel, Satan, the prince of devils. It is through his artifice that evil angels have been able to substitute themselves for the dead, and through lying hypocrisy they have led men to have intercourse with devils. Those who commune with the supposed spirits of the dead are communing with those who will have a corrupting, demoralizing power upon the mind. Christ commanded that we should have no intercourse with sorcerers and with those who have familiar spirits. This class are represented in the Gospel as among those who shall perish in their iniquity,—”the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” [Revelation 21:8.]

For years Spiritualism has been growing in strength and gaining in popularity by advocating a certain kind of faith in Christ, and thus many Protestants are becoming infatuated with this mystery of iniquity. It is little wonder that they are deluded, when they persistently retain the error that, as soon as the breath leaves the body, the spirit goes immediately to heaven or hell. Through the hold this doctrine has upon them the way is prepared for the delusive working of the prince of the power of the air. Satan personated the serpent in Eden, regarding this creature as best adapted for his line of temptations. Satan has been increasing in skillful methods by constantly practicing upon the human mind. It is his one purpose to complete the work which he began in Eden, and work the ruin of mankind. Through his mysterious workings he can insinuate himself into the circles of the most educated and refined, for he was once an exalted being, in a high position of responsibility among the heavenly hosts. It is a mistake to represent him as a monstrous being with hoofs and horns, for he is still a fallen angel. He is capable of uniting the highest intellectual greatness with the basest cruelty and the most degrading corruption. If he had not this power, many would escape his snares who are now charmed with his attractive representations and taken captive by his delusions.

As the Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from the earth, Satan’s power will be more and more manifest. The knowledge that he had through being in connection with God, as a covering cherub, he will now use to subordinate his subjects who fell from their high estate. He will use every power of his exalted intellect to misrepresent God and to instigate rebellion against Jesus Christ, the Commander of heaven. In the synagogue of Satan he brings under his scepter, and into his counsels, those agents whom he can use to promote his worship. It is not a strange matter to find a species of refinement, and a manifestation of intellectual greatness, in the lives and characters of those who are inspired by fallen angels. Satan can impart scientific knowledge, and give men chapters upon philosophy. He is conversant with history, and versed in worldly wisdom.

Almost every phase of talent is now being brought into captivity to the prince of the power of darkness. Worldly minded men, because they wish to exalt themselves, and have separated from God, do not love to retain God in their knowledge, for they claim to possess a higher, grander intellect than that of Jesus Christ. Satan envies Christ, and makes the claim that he is entitled to a higher position than the Commander of heaven. His self-exaltation led him to despise the law of God, and resulted in his expulsion from heaven.

Through the Papacy he has manifested his character, and brought out the principles of his government. Of this power the apostle Paul says: “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. . . . For the mystery of iniquity doth already work. . . . Shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” [2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7–12.] . . .

Satan will use his agencies to carry out diabolical devices, to overpower the saints of God, as in times past he used the Roman power to stay the course of Protestantism; yet the people of God can look calmly at the whole array of evil, and come to the triumphant conclusion that because Christ lives we shall live also. The people of God are to advance in the same spirit in which Jesus met the assaults of the prince of darkness in the past. The evil confederacy can advance only in the course which Jesus has marked out before them; every step of their advance brings the saints of God nearer the great white throne, nearer the successful termination of their warfare. The confederacy of evil will finally be destroyed; for the prophet says, “Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” [Malachi 4:1.] Even of him whose heart was lifted up because of his beauty, who corrupted his wisdom by reason of his brightness, the Lord says: “I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” [Ezekiel 28:18, 19.] The Signs of the Times, May 28, 1894.

Editorial – Great Wrath, Part II

We are living in the last days. “Jesus Christ is the only refuge in these perilous times. Satan is at work in secrecy and darkness. Cunningly he draws away the followers of Christ from the cross, and brings them into self-indulgence and wickedness.” Signs of the Times, April 20, 1876.

“Satan was determined to keep his hold on the land of Canaan, and when it was made the habitation of the children of Israel, and the law of God was made the law of the land, he hated Israel with a cruel and malignant hatred, and plotted their destruction. Strange gods were introduced through the agency of evil spirits; and because of transgression the chosen people were finally scattered from the land of promise.

“The same experience is repeating in the history of God’s people. God is leading them out from the abominations of the world to keep his law in the land of the enemy, and the rage of ‘the accuser of the brethren’ knows no bounds. . . .

“It is time to heed the Saviour’s injunction as never before: ‘Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’ Trust in God, however perplexing may be your situation. Seek his counsel, and turn not after them that have familiar spirits to be defiled by them.” Ibid., August 26, 1889.

We see the truth of the above statements everywhere we look. The great mass of those professing the Adventist faith, in Western countries, is doing very little for the advancement of the three angels’ messages. If a person is not witnessing for his faith, if he is not genuinely converted, is he really a Christian? Is he really part of the body of Christ, if he has not the same spirit as his Master? (See Romans 8:9.) We hear constantly talk about the work being finished, while the great majority are doing almost nothing to help finish it, and there is unconfessed, open sin in the camp of the Lord’s professed people!

“If the youth could only awake to deeply feel their need of strength from God to resist the temptations of Satan, precious victories would be theirs, and they would obtain a valuable experience in the Christian warfare.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 373.

“The only safety for the young is in unceasing watchfulness and humble prayer. They need not flatter themselves that they can be Christians without these. Satan conceals his temptations and his devices under a cover of light.” Ibid., 374.

“I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.” Ibid., vol. 5, 217.

“The time has come when all the differences must be put away fully and thoroughly; and now, without delay attempt a united, systematic effort for the one great object: sanctification through Jesus Christ to the obedience of the truth.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, January 8, 1902.

Are you willing, without delay, to attempt a united systematic effort for the one great object? Your decision will determine your eternal destiny.

[All Emphasis Supplied.]

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 1

December 29- January 4, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “[God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” Hebrews 1:2

SUGGESTED READING: “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 921, 922; Fundamentals of Christian Education, 404.

INTRODUCTION: “God gives us sufficient evidence to enable us to accept the truth understandingly; but he does not propose to remove all occasion for doubt and unbelief. Should he do this, there would no longer be a necessity for the exercise of faith; for we would be able to walk by sight. All who with a teachable spirit study the word of God, may learn therefrom the way of salvation; yet they may not be able to understand every portion of the Sacred Record. The apostle Peter declares that in the epistles of Paul, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, there are ‘some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.’ Whatever is clearly established by the word of God we should accept, without attempting to meet every doubt which Satan may suggest, or with our finite understanding to fathom the counsels of the infinite One, or to criticise the manifestations of his grace or power.” The Signs of the Times, June 23, 1887.

1 By whom did God speak in times past? Hebrews 1:1.

NOTE: “Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and they plainly stated that they spoke not by their own power, nor in their own name. They desired that no credit might be ascribed to them, that no one might regard them as the originators of anything whereof they might glory. They were jealous for the honor of God, to whom all praise belongs. They declared that their ability and the messages they brought, were given them as delegates of the power of God. God was their authority and sufficiency. Jesus had imparted a knowledge of God to patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The revelations of the Old Testament were emphatically the unfoldings of the gospel, the unveiling of the purpose and will of the infinite Father. Through the holy men of old, Christ labored for the salvation of fallen humanity. And when he came to the world it was with the same message of redemption from sin, and restoration to the favor of God.” Review and Herald, January 7, 1890.

2 In what different ways has God spoken to men? Genesis 15:1; 18:1, 2; 19:1; 20:3; Numbers 12:6–8.

NOTE: “In every period of this earth’s history, God has had His men of opportunity, to whom He has said, ‘Ye are My witnesses.’ In every age there have been devout men, who gathered up the rays of light as they flashed upon their pathway, and who spoke to the people the words of God. Enoch, Noah, Moses, Daniel, and the long roll of patriarchs and prophets,—these were ministers of righteousness. They were not infallible; they were weak, erring men; but the Lord wrought through them as they gave themselves to His service.” Gospel Workers, 13.

3 By whom has the Lord spoken in these last days? Hebrews 1:2, first part.

NOTE: “The words which God spoke to Israel by His Son were spoken for us also in these last days. The same Jesus who, upon the mount, taught His disciples the far-reaching principles of the law of God, instructed ancient Israel from the cloudy pillar and from the tabernacle, by the mouth of Moses and Joshua. . . . Religion in the days of Moses and Joshua was the same as religion today.” The Signs of the Times, May 26, 1881.

“The whole Bible is a revelation; for all revelation to men comes through Christ, and all centers in Him. God has spoken unto us by His Son, whose we are by creation and by redemption. Christ came to John exiled on the Isle of Patmos to give him the truth for these last days, to show him that which must shortly come to pass. Jesus Christ is the great trustee of divine revelation. It is through Him that we have a knowledge of what we are to look for in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. God gave this revelation to Christ, and Christ communicated the same to John.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 150.

4 What do the words “in these last days” mean? Acts 2:17; 1 Peter 1:5.

NOTE: “All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days. . . . We are under the influence of the whole. What manner of persons ought we to be to whom all this rich light of inheritance has been given. Concentrating all the influence of the past with new and increased light of the present, accrued power is given to all who will follow the light. Their faith will increase, and be brought into exercise at the present time, awakening an energy and an intensely increased earnestness, and through dependence upon God for His power to replenish the world and send the light of the Sun of Righteousness to the ends of the earth.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 339. [Emphasis supplied.]

5 To what is the Son appointed heir? Hebrews 1:2, middle part.

NOTE: “[Jesus] chose his life of suffering, his dreadful death, and, in the way appointed by his Father, to become a lawful heir to the kingdoms of earth, and have them given into his hands as an everlasting possession.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 34, 35.

6 Are any others heirs with Him? Romans 8:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 3:21–23.

NOTE: “God loves His obedient children. He has a kingdom prepared, not for disloyal subjects, but for His children whom He has tested and tried in a world marred and corrupted by sin. As obedient children, we have the privilege of relationship with God. ‘If children,’ He says, ‘then heirs’ to an immortal inheritance. . . . Christ and His people are one (Letter 119, 1897).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1077.

7 By whom were the worlds made? Hebrews 1:2, last part. Compare John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16.

NOTE: “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. . . . And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22–30.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

8 In whose glory and image is the Son? Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15, first part.

NOTE: “In Him [Jesus] is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 115.

“Jesus, the express image of the Father’s person, the effulgence of His glory; the self-denying Redeemer, throughout His pilgrimage of love on earth, was a living representation of the character of the law of God. In His life it is made manifest that heaven-born love, Christlike principles, underlie the laws of eternal rectitude.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 49.

9 How only can we learn and understand the glory and fullness of God’s power and grace? John 1:18; 14:7–9; 1 John 5:20.

NOTE: “What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God.” That I May Know Him, 38.

10 How could a being of such glory and power purge our sins by the sacrifice of himself? John 1:14; Philippians 2:6–8.

NOTE: “By his obedience to all the commandments of God, Christ wrought out a redemption for man. This was not done by going out of himself to another, but by taking humanity into himself. Thus Christ gave to humanity an existence out of himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. Christ took human nature that men might be one with him as he is one with the Father, that God may love man as he loves his only begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in him.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

11 Where is this mighty One now sitting? Hebrews 1:3, last part; 8:1.

NOTE: “The Lord Jesus lays His hand upon the eternal throne of God with all the ease and assurance of one who rules and reigns, putting on His head the crown of deity. He sits at the right hand of God and receives supreme honor as God, the glory He had before the world was. He distributes His gifts to all who by faith shall claim them. . . .” That I May Know Him, 338.

“Christ is a living Saviour. Today he sits at the right hand of God as our advocate, making intercession for us; and he calls upon us to look unto him and be saved. But it has ever been the tempter’s determined purpose to eclipse Jesus from the view, that men may be led to lean upon the arm of humanity for help and strength; and he has so well accomplished his purpose that men, turning their eyes from Jesus, in whom all hope of eternal life is centered, look to their fellow men for aid and guidance.” Review and Herald, September 29, 1896.

12 Who were commanded to worship Christ? Hebrews 1:6.

NOTE: “Our great Exemplar was exalted to be equal with God. He was high commander in heaven. All the holy angels delighted to bow before Him.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 426.

13 What are the angels in their nature? Hebrews 1:7.

NOTE: “When Christ ascended to the Father, He did not leave His followers without help. The Holy Spirit, as His representative, and the heavenly angels, as ministering spirits, are sent forth to aid those who against great odds are fighting the good fight of faith.” Messages to Young People, 17.

“Good angels are ministering spirits, exerting a heavenly influence upon heart and mind . . . .” Review and Herald, July 19, 1887.

The Last Days of Noah

The world is in gross darkness. The people know not what truth is. We are indeed living in the last days, the remnant portion of the history of this world. There are biblical, biographical parallels from which we can learn lessons. They help us see what we must be and can be, in this day and age, as God’s people. Ellen White wrote, “History will repeat itself.” The Signs of the Times, February 22, 1910. Those are no idle words. Those words have been inspired, and they were for you and me.

As we look back over the past, we see how men and women reacted to similar circumstances that we find ourselves in today, and the way they reacted is the way that we can react in harmony with God’s will. We can learn lessons; we can become strengthened and inspired by looking at their lives.

Without Him, We can do Nothing

Jesus made a statement that we should never forget. On the way to Gethsemane, He said to His disciples, “I am the vine, [ye are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5.

Jesus is the source of all true reform. If we are seeking to reform without Jesus or by merely making a profession in Jesus, we will be on the road to fanaticism. It is as simple as that. If we are going to have our lives transformed and reformed to harmonize with the light that He has given to us, we are going to have to be walking in full agreement with Him. We are going to have to know Him as a personal Saviour. We are going to have to know His voice speaking to our hearts. We are going to have to receive the grace that He wants to give to us, individually. We are going to have to know that experience. Without Jesus, no amount of knowing what we must be or can be is worth anything.

It will lead us into either the road of fanaticism or of presumption, one of the two. We do not want to be fanatical. We surely do not want to presume upon our God who has been so gracious to give to us such wonderful light in which to walk.

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30.

Invitation Still Extended

Jesus Christ is giving this invitation at this very moment, at this very hour. You see, the door of probation has not yet closed; this invitation is still extended. It is the voice of Jesus from the Most Holy Place, and He says, “Come unto Me.”

Some day, this invitation will no longer be given. Men and women will seek to hear it, but it will no longer be spoken. God is very earnest with us, because He sees in the near future that the door is going to close.

God inspired Ezekiel to write the following words for the children of Israel, the professed people of God in his day. “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it [the land], they should deliver [but] their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 14:14. It is amazing how God can zoom in and focus on the individual. Has God changed? No, He has not changed. The same holds true for us within His professed body that we call the church today.

Noah’s Day

Ezekiel refers to Noah, Daniel, and then Job. In this article we will concentrate on Noah. We will look at what God expects of us today and what He expected of men and women in Noah’s time. As we look at Noah’s experience, we see what we can become, by the grace of God. What Noah was in his day, we can be in our day.

By the sixth chapter of Genesis, approximately 2,000 years of mankind’s history had transpired. At this point, we come to Noah’s time. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:1–4.

The time in which Noah lived revealed only two classes of people, the sons of God and the daughters of men. God had a professed people in that day. A mingling began to take place between these two classes. An apostasy was taking place among God’s people. When we have an intermingling, we lose Bible truth; we experience a compromise of truth. Eventually we compromise the truth so much that we do not understand what is truth anymore. That is what we see happening today.

Paul says, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” Romans 1:21, 25.

Denying the Power

The antediluvians were people who lived before the flood. These people turned from God to serve themselves, but they continued to profess to be Christians, believers in God.

We know that the days in which Noah lived were evil. But let us draw a parallel to our day. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof . . . .” 11 Timothy 3:1–5.

About whom was this speaking? The people in the church, the professed Christians in the last days. It says they have a form of godliness. The world does not have a form of godliness. Why has this happened in these last days? They have become just like the people in Noah’s day. It happened the same way! When they intermingled they became just like the world.

The Parallel to Our Day

“And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. Not only did God see this in the unbelieving world, but also He began to see it constantly among His professed people.

“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Verse 6.

Sin touches the heart of our heavenly Father—not just a whole world of sin, but one man in sin grieves our Father’s heart. That is what is being revealed here. Tremendous sorrow is here brought to view. Jesus is grieving over the sin of men—not only a world, but also one man.

We see that wickedness continually grew. It was a wicked world, a wicked time. It became so bad that even God repented that He had created man. Those were the times, as we just read in 11 Timothy 3, that parallel with our day. The world has become exceedingly wicked.

A Perfect Man

What was Noah’s experience? Singular to say the least. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:8. We know that grace is unmerited favor. Noah did not earn this grace, but he walked in it.

“Noah was a just man.” Verse 9. He was a just man in an unjust world. What does just mean? Righteous. He was a righteous man in an unrighteous world.

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he [speaking of Jesus] is righteous.” 1 John 3:7. To be righteous is to do righteousness—right doing, doing what is right for the right reason at the right time.

Noah, living in a world of injustice, was just. Living in a world of unrighteousness, was righteous. Why? Because he chose to do what was right as God revealed it to him. What else was his experience? Noah was “perfect in his generations.” Genesis 6:9. He was a perfect man.

The word perfect means wholeness. To be holy is to be whole, wholehearted. That is perfection. A perfect man is a wholehearted man, 100 percent consistent. In a world that was totally inconsistent with God, Noah was 100 percent consistent.

As we look at the life of this man—living in a similar time and under similar conditions as do we—it should encourage us to know we can live the life that God has set before us today. If God helped Noah live like that, He can help us live like that.

“And Noah walked with God.” Verse 9. He walked with God! How did Noah walk with God? “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. The inference is that if you are going to walk together, you are going to be in perfect agreement. Agreement is another word for covenant. What was in the ark in the most holy place? The Law of God. God’s Law is His covenant. If we are walking in perfect agreement with Him, we are in perfect harmony with His Law.

Condemning the World

Noah was a commandment-keeper. Paul talks about Noah. Remember, this man lived this kind of experience in a very polluted and contaminated environment. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7.

Noah condemned the world. How do we condemn the world? Do we condemn the world by going to them and saying, You are not doing what God says and cursed be you? That is how some Christians believe that you condemn the world. How did Noah condemn the world in his day? He simply did what God told him to do.

Noah walked with God by faith! “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 11 Corinthians 5:7. He did not see God; God did not talk to him audibly. God did talk to him in visions and dreams; but Noah did not see Him.

Another parallel that we have with Noah is that he was given a warning message to give to the world. Notice how Noah gave his message. “While Noah was giving his warning message to the world, his works testified of his sincerity. It was thus that his faith was perfected and made evident. He gave the world an example of believing just what God says.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 95. He gave an example. That means that he lived everything that God told him.

If you were to walk over to the ark back in Noah’s day and look at the workmanship that Noah was doing on the ark, what would you see? Carelessness? No! Noah was very careful in what he did. He was working for God, and everything that he did, he did in an excellent manner. Everything was in its place. Everything was done carefully and thoroughly.

But here is something more interesting. When you left the ark and went back home to eat lunch at Noah’s place, what do you think you found? Neatness and orderliness. Noah was walking with God constantly! Wholeness, wholeheartedly! That means everywhere, all the time.

Called by God

Noah was everything God intended for him to be at all times, and God is calling us to be such a people. He honored God’s truth everywhere and in everything he did. Are we living up to the truth in all that we do everywhere? “Belief in the near coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven will not cause the true Christian to become neglectful and careless of the ordinary business of life.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 309.

That entails everything that we do around our houses. “Their work will not be done carelessly and dishonestly, but with fidelity, promptness, and thoroughness. Those who flatter themselves that careless inattention to the things of this life is an evidence of their spirituality and of their separation from the world are under a great deception. Their veracity, faithfulness, and integrity are tested and proved in temporal things. If they are faithful in that which is least they will be faithful in much. I have been shown that here is where many will fail to bear the test. They develop their true character in the management of temporal concerns.” Ibid.

That is called practical godliness. You allow God to work in your hearts, and the truth becomes everywhere evident in your life—not only when in church or out witnessing to others, but if someone comes into our home, they would see the truth everywhere evident. If we are going to walk with God, we are going to be like God. He is a God of order. He is a God of carefulness, a God of thoroughness.

Standing Alone

Noah stood alone, and there is coming a day when you and I will have to stand alone. “It was not multitudes or majorities that were on the side of right. The world was arrayed against God’s justice and His laws, and Noah was regarded as a fanatic.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 96.

We have already found that, if we are walking with Jesus, we are not a fanatic. If we are a reformed Christian walking with Jesus, we will look, from the world’s standpoint, like a fanatic, but from heaven’s standpoint we are walking with God.

“But Noah stood like a rock amid the tempest. Surrounded by popular contempt and ridicule, he distinguished himself by his holy integrity and unwavering faithfulness.” Ibid. Wholeheartedness is revealed here, though he stood alone.

Let us look at the parallel of Noah’s time and our time. Jesus spoke the words, “But as the days of Noe [Noah] [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37–39.

In these verses, Jesus makes the parallel with our day. He says, What it was in Noah’s day, it will be in the last days just before I come. And we saw the wickedness there, the apostasy, the compromise, the presumption, the rebellion, the injustice, and the violence—all of it to the point that it grieved God that He had even created man on the face of this earth. Jesus said, Before I come again, the world will be exactly like it was in the days of Noah.

Message of Warning for the World

This is where the parallel takes on reality. In Revelation 14:6–12 we find a message of warning that God gives to this world. We know this message as the Three Angels’ Messages. Noah had a message of warning, and we have one. Do our lives warn people? If this message is not only being given but also being lived, our lives will be a warning to people.

Two classes of people are brought to view in Revelation 14:11, 12. There are those who receive the mark of the beast and those who keep the commandments of God. We just saw that Noah, in his day, was walking with God and keeping God’s Law. He was in harmony with God’s will. God is going to have a people on the face of this earth in the last days who are going to be walking in harmony with His Law. They are going to be contrasted against those who rebel against God’s Law, who rebel against God’s light. Let us never forget that in Noah’s day there were professed followers of God who were taken in the flood. There will be professed Seventh-day Adventists who receive the last plagues. There is a correlation here that should alarm us.

The center of controversy in Noah’s day was the Law of God. We know that the fourth commandment especially is going to be one of the outstanding features of the controversy of the last days.

In Revelation 14, we are told of a small remnant, a little company who choose to follow God. In fact, Ellen White uses the phrase “little company.” (See Testimonies, vol. 9, 231.) That should alarm a denomination of nine million members! A little company in Noah’s day was one little household of eight persons. It is hard to understand. But God says, As in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.

History Repeated

History is going to be repeated. God said it would be just like it was in the days of Noah. As you survey the world, you can see that history has repeated itself; we indeed live in a world just like Noah’s world. We have a church just like Noah’s professed church.

On one hand you have a small company that chooses to follow God, and on the other hand you have the rest of the world, following one another. Just like it was in the days of Noah—the little company, the ones that are in the ark, will be saved. That is all that God reveals to us. It is sad, yet it can be joyous, because we can be a part of the little company.

Serving God Wholeheartedly

God wants us to be like Noah. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Genesis 6:22.

Noah was wholehearted, not only in regard to the building of the ark, but in all that God asked him to do. When God revealed light to him on a subject, he walked right into that light, and he kept going in the light. That is how Noah walked with God, and that is how Noah found grace in the sight of God. “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1.

God is looking at what we are doing with the light. Do we acknowledge the light? Are we walking in it? God sees us. He sees us as we really are. If we are not living the message, we cannot be giving the message, because, if we are giving a message but not living it, we would be giving a wrong message. The only way we can live the message is to have it in our hearts and in our lives.

Do You Know Him?

Are there things that you need to put in order in your heart and in your home to measure up to Noah’s experience? The days of Noah were a solemn period of history, but the time in which we live is even more solemn, because it is the end of everything. In Noah’s time, there was a continuation, a second chance for the little company. This time there is no continuation; the door of mercy will be forever closed.

“We are living in the most solemn period of this world’s history. The destiny of earth’s teeming multitudes is about to be decided. Our own future well-being and also the salvation of other souls depend upon the course which we now pursue. We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth.” The Great Controversy, 601.

Craig Meeker directs the Bible Correspondence School for Steps to Life Ministry. He may be contacted by e-mail at:

Nothing to Fear. . . , Part II

We are living in the last days, that epochal period of earth’s history that will be marked by great unbelief. (See 11 Peter 3:3–7; Matthew 24:37–39.) Those who are truly seeking to know and to do the Lord’s will are desirous of exposing their minds only to the truth, avoiding looking at or studying error. Ellen White addresses these issues plainly in her writings: “I was shown the necessity of those who believe we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily receiving or imbibing new error. I saw that neither young nor old should attend the assemblies of those who are in error and darkness. Said the angel, ‘Let the mind cease to dwell on things of no profit.’ ” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 425. In this statement, written in 1853, she was referring to those who had accepted the message of William Miller about the soon coming of Jesus and who had not accepted the Three Angels’ Messages which lead directly to an understanding of the sanctuary and the Sabbath.

“Many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angels’ messages, and gladly received them in their order, and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly sanctuary. These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan.” Early Writings, 256.

The central truths of the Three Angels’ Messages (Revelation 14) are under attack in the Christian world and in the Adventist world today. The devil knows that those who cling to the truths as contained in these messages will be so anchored that they will not be swept away by his many delusions.

If we have the faith of Jesus, we will accept the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12; 12:17.) Ellen White not only claimed to have the gift of prophecy but she wrote that “all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in in these last days.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 320.

The Bible tests to be applied to anyone claiming to have the gift of prophecy are:

  1. They must speak according to the law and to the testimony of the Bible. (Isaiah 8:20.) The opponents of Ellen White have tried over and over to find something in the Bible that disagrees with something in her writings. Those who oppose the Three Angels’ Messages find fault with Ellen White, because she teaches these messages, including the investigative judgment.
  2. Their predictions come to pass. (Jeremiah 28:9.) Although well over 100 predictions that Ellen White made have been fulfilled already, her opponents attack statements that contain conditional prophecy. (See Jeremiah 18:7–10.) With this technique, even the Bible writers can be proved false prophets, including Isaiah and Jeremiah and especially Jonah.
  3. A prophet’s writings will produce good fruit, or results, in the lives of those who follow their teachings. (Matthew 7:15–20.) Opponents of Ellen White blame her if they find somebody who has become fanatical or mentally unbalanced.
  4. A prophet will confess the fact that Jesus came in the flesh. (1 John 4:1–3.) This is not talking simply about the fact that Jesus came in human flesh but that He came in fallen human nature, which is the technical way that the word flesh is used in the New Testament. (See 1 John 2:15–17; Romans 6–8; Galatians 5, 6.) To document Ellen White’s position on this topic, see Elder Ralph Larson’s book, The Word was Made Flesh.
  5. A prophet will have visions and dreams. (Numbers 12:6.) This must be documented from public or published evidence before you can be sure that any person who claims to be a prophet really has the prophetic gift.

Bible Study Guides – Warning and Invitation

May 29, 2004 – June 4, 2004

Memory Verse

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33.

Suggested Reading: The Desire of Ages, 489, 518–523; Christ’s Object Lessons, 252–259.


“Watch and pray always. Dedicate yourself unreservedly to the Lord, and it will not then be difficult to serve Him. You have a divided heart. This is the reason that darkness, instead of light, encircles you. The last message of mercy is now going forth. It is a token of the long-suffering and compassion of God. Come, is the invitation now given. Come, for all things are now ready. This is mercy’s last call. Next will come the vengeance of an offended God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 225.

1 What admonition is given by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 12:1?

note: “[Hebrews 12:1 quoted.] The weights that are here referred to are the evil habits and practices we have formed by following our own natural dispositions. Who are the witnesses? They are those . . . who have breasted the evils and difficulties in their way, and who in the name of the Lord have braced themselves successfully against the opposing forces of evil. They were sustained and strengthened and the Lord held them by His hand.

“There are other witnesses. All about us are those who are watching us closely, to see how we who profess a belief in the truth conduct ourselves. At all times and in all places, so far as possible, we must magnify the truth before the world.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 934.

2 What words did Jesus utter against some of the cities of Galilee? Matthew 11:20–24.

note: “It is time that we were closely examining our hearts to see whether or not we are in the faith and in the love of God. If there is not an awakening among us who have had so great light and so many privileges, we shall sink to ruin, and our fate will be worse than that of Chorazin and Bethsaida.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 529.

3 What warning is given to us? Hebrews 4:1.

note: “While God has given ample evidence for faith, He will never remove all excuse for unbelief. All who look for hooks to hang their doubts upon will find them. And those who refuse to accept and obey God’s word until every objection has been removed, and there is no longer an opportunity for doubt, will never come to the light.

“Distrust of God is the natural outgrowth of the unrenewed heart, which is at enmity with Him. But faith is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it will flourish only as it is cherished. No man can become strong in faith without a determined effort. Unbelief strengthens as it is encouraged; and if men, instead of dwelling upon the evidences which God has given to sustain their faith, permit themselves to question and cavil, they will find their doubts constantly becoming more confirmed.” The Great Controversy, 527.

4 What special warning is given to those living in the last days? Luke 21:34. Compare Luke 17:26–30.

note: “[Luke 21:34 quoted.] Our danger is presented before us by Christ Himself. He knew the perils we should meet in these last days, and would have us prepare for them. ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.’ [Luke 17:26.] They were eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the Flood came and swept them all away. The day of God will find men absorbed in like manner in the business and pleasures of the world, in feasting and gluttony, and in indulging perverted appetite in the defiling use of liquor and the narcotic tobacco. This is already the condition of our world, and these indulgences are found even among God’s professed people, some of whom are following the customs and partaking of the sins of the world. Lawyers, mechanics, farmers, traders, and even ministers from the pulpit are crying, ‘Peace and safety,’ when destruction is fast coming upon them.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 309.

5 What are we admonished to do that we may be kept steadfast? Luke 21:36.

note: “In consideration of the shortness of time we as a people should watch and pray, and in no case allow ourselves to be diverted from the solemn work of preparation for the great event before us. Because the time is apparently extended, many have become careless and indifferent in regard to their words and actions. They do not realize their danger and do not see and understand the mercy of our God in lengthening their probation, that they may have time to form characters for the future, immortal life. Every moment is of the highest value. Time is granted them, not to be employed in studying their own ease and becoming dwellers on the earth, but to be used in the work of overcoming every defect in their own characters and in helping others, by example and personal effort, to see the beauty of holiness. God has a people upon the earth who in faith and holy hope are tracing down the roll of fast-fulfilling prophecy and are seeking to purify their souls by obeying the truth, that they may not be found without the wedding garment when Christ shall appear. . . . The signs foretold in prophecy are fast fulfilling around us. This should arouse every true follower of Christ to zealous action.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 306, 307.

6 What warning is given against seeking after the riches of the world? 1 Timothy 6:9–11. Compare 1 John 2:15, 16.

note: “The Bible does not condemn the rich man because he is rich; it does not declare the acquisition of wealth to be a sin, nor does it say that money is the root of all evil. On the contrary, the Scriptures state that it is God who gives the power to get wealth. And this ability is a precious talent if consecrated to God and employed to advance His cause. The Bible does not condemn genius or art; for these come of the wisdom which God gives. We cannot make the heart purer or holier by clothing the body in sackcloth, or depriving the home of all that ministers to comfort, taste, or convenience.

“The Scriptures teach that wealth is a dangerous possession only when placed in competition with the immortal treasure. It is when the earthly and temporal absorbs the thoughts, the affections, the devotion which God claims, that it becomes a snare. Those who are bartering the eternal weight of glory for a little of the glitter and tinsel of earth, the everlasting habitations for a home which can be theirs but a few years at best, are making an unwise choice.” Counsels on Stewardship, 138, 139.

7 What renunciation of the world is necessary for the Christian? Luke 14:33.

note: “In giving ourselves to God, we must necessarily give up all that would separate us from Him. . . . Whatever shall draw away the heart from God must be given up. Mammon is the idol of many. The love of money, the desire for wealth, is the golden chain that binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. But these slavish bands must be broken. We cannot be half the Lord’s and half the world’s. We are not God’s children unless we are such entirely.” Steps to Christ, 44.

8 What is the result of allowing worldly things to occupy a place in the heart? Luke 8:14.

note: “The very blessings which God has given to these men [professed believers] to prove them, to see if they will render ‘unto God the things that are God’s,’ [Matthew 22:21] they use as an excuse that they cannot obey the claims of truth. They have grasped their earthly treasure in their arms and say, ‘I must take care of these things; I must not neglect the things of this life; these things are mine.’ Thus the hearts of these men have become as unimpressible as the beaten highway. They close the door of their hearts to the heavenly messenger, who says, ‘Come; for all things are now ready,’ and throw it open, inviting the entrance of the world’s burden and business cares, and Jesus knocks in vain for admittance.

“Their hearts are so overgrown with thorns and with the cares of this life that heavenly things can find no place in them.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 384.

9 What warning is given to some who are looking for the coming of Jesus? What will be the result of such unbelief? Matthew 24:48–51.

note: “[Matthew 24:48–51 quoted.] Let there be an earnest consideration of these words. Let none say, ‘That does not mean me; I am a Christian.’ Who says this, yourself or He who reads the heart? The unfaithful steward had solemn responsibilities entrusted to him; before the world he appeared as a servant of Christ; but, oh, how deplorable for himself, and for all connected with him; he is an evil servant! He is imperiling his Lord’s goods. He is teaching souls to trample upon the holy law of God. He calls Christ, ‘My Lord.’ But he says, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’ He does not say that Christ will not come; he does not scoff at the idea of His second coming; but he tells the people that His coming is delayed. He is removing from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. Thus they are off their watch and they echo the words of the unfaithful watcher; still others catch them up, and the evil spirit, and men are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Their course is downward, not upward; they are not looking for and hasting unto the day of God. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 237, 238.

10 What admonition is given to all? Mark 13:35–37.

note: “When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided. This is the time of reckoning with His servants. To those who have neglected the preparation of purity and holiness, which fits them to be waiting ones to welcome their Lord, the sun sets in gloom and darkness, and rises not again. Probation closes; Christ’s intercessions cease in heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping. They became weary of waiting and watching; they became indifferent in regard to the coming of their Master. They longed not for His appearing, and thought there was no need of such continued, persevering watching. They had been disappointed in their expectations and might be again. They concluded that there was time enough yet to arouse. They would be sure not to lose the opportunity of securing an earthly treasure. It would be safe to get all of this world they could. And in securing this object, they lost all anxiety and interest in the appearing of the Master. They became indifferent and careless, as though His coming were yet in the distance. But while their interest was buried up in their worldly gains, the work closed in the heavenly sanctuary, and they were unprepared.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 191.

11 What comforting promise is given to those who remain steadfast? Revelation 3:10.

note: “In the time of trial before us God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. Christ will say to His faithful ones: ‘Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ Isaiah 26:20. The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 404.

12 On whom are we invited to cast our burdens? 1 Peter 5:7. What will this surrender bring to the trusting soul? Matthew 11:28–30.

note: “The Lord estimates every weight before He allows it to rest upon the heart of those who are laborers together with Him. Jesus has borne sorrows and burdens, and He knows just what they are. He has His eye upon every laborer. . . . The Lord invites you to roll your burden on Him for He carries you on His heart.

“Then have real practical faith in Jesus, and believe He will carry every load great or small. You must take the anxieties to Jesus, and believe He takes them, and bears them for you . . . .” Christian Leadership, 76, 77.

These lessons are reprinted from Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1912.

Ask the Pastor – How to Cope with the Last Days


It is troubling for me to study about the last days. When I read that the majority are going to forsake us, I find myself weeping. How are we to deal with these conditions which we even now see coming at us from all directions?


Studying last day events should always have a sobering effect upon us. But when we study, we should never allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by what we read. What we do need to remember is that God is in control of every event. There is nothing that happens in this world or to us of which God is not completely aware. What we need to understand is that God has revealed to us everything that is necessary so we can be victorious and be overcomers in this life. Being victorious overcomers does not mean that we will be able to change the events which we are told will take place. It only allows us to anticipate them and take measures for ourselves so that we will not be caught in some trap.

The devil has set many traps hoping that he will catch some of the saints of God. He does not use just one method. He has many methods. We need to make sure that we are reading and studying in such a way that we are taking into account what Inspiration has said, rather than what men have said. If we are depending upon God rather than upon some man, we will be found on the right side.

As I have traveled around the world, I have found that, for the most part, those who live in the Western world are very oriented toward and conscious about money. If you want to gain a following and build a bank account, then what you need to do is to write a book or produce a video in which you unfold secrets which nobody else knows. There seems to be something about the words: “They do not want you to know these things,” and it seems almost instantly that there is support and a following. We all want to know. We all want to have the inside information. This does not change as things move into the spiritual arena.

Men and women who are not knowledgeable about the Three Angels’ Messages have developed theories and prognostications concerning what is going to be taking place in the future. Some have been spiritually minded and others have been totally secular minded, but the surprising thing is that many historic Seventh-day Adventist ministry leaders have been drinking in all this information which has come from questionable sources and are formulating the information into an Adventist format and proclaiming it as gospel. The tragedy of all this is that many unsuspecting people are being swept into these fable-ridden theories and are making decisions that could affect their outlook on last day events and eventually affect their salvation.

We need to be very careful of those seeking support, who come with theories and prognostications which are designed to scare. Our God has not called us to fear; He has called us to hope. Even though we may not be able to escape the events of the last days, we can have peace in our hearts. I believe that it is God’s will that we are moved by reason and Inspiration rather than by speculation, which is not based on Inspiration.

When you hear a story about the last days, check it out with divinely-inspired writings. This will bring peace and eliminate fear for what is coming on the earth.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to: or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.