Separation and Redemption

Separation Brings Unity

We hear a lot about unity today, but I want to look at separation. You will see that separation and redemption brings unity. It is an amazing thing.

Throughout the Word of God, the Bible declares there is no redemption without separation. None! In Genesis 12:1, we find Abraham being called out by God from Ur of the Chaldees to go to the Promised Land. In Exodus 20:1, 2, we find these words: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

In Matthew 1:21, we have the familiar text of Scripture where Gabriel said, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.”

Jesus came into this world to separate His people from sin. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.

Redemption Demands Separation

There is no redemption without separation. The final call of God to His people will be, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins.” Revelation 18:4. From Genesis to Revelation there is a thread that runs through all that God says to His people, and this thread is separation, separation!

God illustrates this separation to which He calls His people by calling them “…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.” 1 Peter 2:9.

Jesus illustrates the work of separation as calling His people out of darkness into light. He separates us from the darkness into the light. There are three truths revealed in this text that we want to look at.

  1. He separates us from darkness. He brings us out of the darkness of sin and error and confusion into the light of truth.
  2. He separates us to show forth His praises. The marginal reference for praises in the King James Version says virtues. God wants to separate us from the darkness of this world and bring us into the light of His truth, so we can show forth His virtues, His goodness to a world that does not have any idea what kind of God we serve.
  3. Separation comes by God! He is the only One who can separate us from the darkness and bring us into the light. All our efforts, no matter how good they might be, will leave us short and still in the darkness without God. God is the only One! He has the power to bring us out of the darkness into the light. There is no redemption without separation.

A Foreign Word

When you look in Webster’s Dictionary under the word separation, you find these singular definitions: “Divide, sever, disunite, isolate, alone.” Separation seems to denote a lot of negatives, and I would suggest to you, that before sin entered this universe the word separation was a foreign word in the language of heaven.

Scripture tells us what heaven was like before sin entered. Everything was in harmony: “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17. That is heaven.

Let us look at those words, “the work of righteousness”,—they infer an outward work. We know that righteousness means right doing, doing what is right. In heaven, before sin began, everyone was doing the work of righteousness. They were doing what was right, at the right time, for the right reason.

The foundation for all of God’s righteousness is found in Psalm 119:172, which says, “All Thy commandments are righteousness.” The foundation of all of God’s righteousness, the righteousness of heaven before sin entered, is His Law, His commandments. Every being in heaven, in the vast universe of God’s creation, was in harmony with God’s Law.

It is a wonderful thing to be in harmony with God’s Law. You can see the world from a different perspective if you are in harmony with the Law. All heaven was in harmony with God’s Law, and it brought forth the fruit of righteousness.

The effect of the work of righteousness, and outward revelation of harmony with God’s Law, was quietness. No sound of murmuring or complaining was heard in the courts above, before sin began. Why? Because everyone who was in harmony with God’s Law of righteousness, had quietness within their hearts. They were at peace with God, their Creator, and they were at peace with one another. There was no murmuring; there was no complaining heard.

The effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance. Righteousness brings assurance to your heart. Assurance of what? Assurance that the Creator God loves you as a personal being and that He is no respecter of persons. He loves you the same as He loves me.

Before sin there was an assurance brought forth by this work of righteousness that was in harmony with God’s Law, a personal assurance that all was well. There was no sound of envy. There was no sound of jealousy. There was no striving to be number one. Why? Because the work of righteousness brings not only quietness, but it also brings assurance that you are accepted. Righteousness, God’s righteousness, produced a harmony in heaven before sin entered.

The Sound of Separation

“So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

And then the next word says, “But!” “But a change came over this happy state.” Ibid. And you and I know all about that change. The word separation was introduced when sin was originated in the mind of a created being. And the word separation brought a sound that was totally foreign to the universe of God.

The sound of separation began with a created being. What was this sound that was so different from anything heaven had ever heard up to that point? “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:15.

When you look up the Hebrew definition of the word iniquity, interestingly enough you will find that it means unrighteousness was found in thee. So from the sound of righteousness that was in perfect harmony with God’s Law, now we had another sound, and that was the sound of unrighteousness.

The Sound of Unrighteousness

What does God call this sound of unrighteousness that now was becoming more prevalent in the kingdom of God? “All unrighteousness is sin.” 1 John 5:17. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the [God’s] Law.” 1 John 3:4.

So this new sound, the sound of unrighteousness, came into being as a result of choosing to be out of harmony with God’s Law. And to show you how foolish sin is, let me use an example.

There is not one of us who would jump out of a plane with a parachute and half way down cut the parachute away. No, because we respect the physical Law of gravity too much to do that. God wants to help us see that He has this marvelous Law that is filled with His love. Romans 13:10 tells us, “Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” God has filled His Law full with His love. It is for our good.

So now we have this sound of unrighteousness reverberating through the universe. It started with one created being. Separation from God’s Law brings a new sound, the sound of unrighteousness. Isaiah 59:2 tells us of the ultimate separation that takes place as a result of imbibing this new sound. “But your iniquities [What are iniquities? They are unrighteousness. What is unrighteousness? It is sin. What is sin? It is the transgression of God’s Law. It is separating ourselves from God’s Law. Now what do they do?] have separated between you and your God.” That is what takes place when we choose to imbibe the sound of unrighteousness, to listen to unrighteousness and to practice unrighteousness, which is transgressing God’s Law. We have chosen to separate ourselves from the God who created us.

Separation from Sin Reunites Us to God

Now, if separation from God’s Law, or His righteousness, separates us from God, then separation from sin will reunite us to God. Do you see that? The gospel is simple. The only thing that will reunite us to God is separation from sin. And what is sin? Sin is the transgressing of God’s Law. It is our separation from God’s Law.

Matthew 1:21 tells us that Jesus came into this world to save us from sin, from our sins. He came into this world to separate us from sin. If He came to separate us from sin, which is the transgression of God’s Law, then He came to bring us back into harmony with God’s Law!

He is calling us out of the darkness of error, the darkness of unbelief, the darkness of falsehood into the bright light of His truth—if we will receive it, if we will respond. He has the power to separate us from the darkness unto the light. He is the only Being in the entire universe who can separate us, whether we are young or old, from the darkness of sin into the bright light of His righteousness.

Separated from the Darkness into His Light

What is the power that Jesus only can give us, which will help us to be separated from our sins, separated from the darkness into His light? We find our answer in Romans 1:16, 17. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.”

The power is in His righteousness! The power that we can access is Christ’s righteousness! If we are willing to receive it, it is user friendly.

If the power is in His righteousness, that means that righteousness is also embodied in His Law. “All Thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172.

Three Requirements for Power

There are three things necessary for us to access, or to receive and reveal this righteousness, three things in which God is asking us to cooperate with Him so that we might receive His righteousness. In receiving His righteousness, we receive His power, power that will enable us to separate ourselves from the darkness of sin into the light of His truth.

Faith: First is a marvelous promise, but there are tremendous conditions attached. “But without faith it is impossible.” Hebrews 11:6. We can go no further without faith. If we choose to not have faith, it is impossible to be separated from the darkness and to be brought into the light.

God cannot do anything unless we have faith. Faith in what? Faith in His Word. That is the only thing in which God is asking you to have faith. What He has said, He wants us to believe. But if we do not have faith, it is impossible to be separated from sin. Notice the kind of faith that God wants us to have. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Ibid.

Do you have that kind of faith? Can you have that kind of faith? Yes, if you base it on the Word of God, but if you are trying to have that kind of faith based on your feelings or based on your own works, you will fail. It is impossible.

We can have that kind of faith if we simply come to God’s Word, believe what God says, and go no further. Let us stop adding and subtracting. Let us believe what God has said and believe that God means what He says.

That is what He wants from us—to believe that He is and to believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently, consistently, constantly seek Him, believing that He will reward us according to the promise. Faith is number one, but we see that it has to be a certain kind of faith.

It is the kind of faith that God asks for, not the kind of faith that you and I try to exercise in and of ourselves, apart from Him, having good feelings and occasionally being on a religious high. No, God wants us to be consistent, constant, diligent and faithful. Can we be? Yes, if we are basing it all on His Word, His promises, with nothing added, nothing subtracted.

Obedience (or Works): Second, there is another condition, if we are going to access the righteousness of Jesus. This righteousness of Jesus is the power that is going to enable us to separate ourselves from all sin. Here is the condition: “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” James 2:20–22.

So, we need two things; we need faith and works. Now let us consider Hebrews 11:8. Abraham was mentioned as an illustration of someone who had faith with works. Notice what those works were:

“By faith Abraham, [So we know that Abraham had faith, but what are the works?] When he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed.” Do you see any works there? Obedience! God is looking for obedience as the fruit of our faith.

The third necessary item we need to access the righteousness of God, to give us the power to separate from sin, is a motivating influence.

Love: Faith and obedience need a motor. They need a motive, and this is it: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6.

There it is. That is the motivating influence. It is the greatest influence that we need to move us to choose to exercise the kind of faith that we saw in Hebrews 11:6 and to work the works that we saw in James 2. We need the motive of love, and there is only one Being who can give us that love. It is the same One who gives us His righteousness—Jesus.

Jesus wants us to have a faith that works by love. How do we get that? Well, in 1 John 4:19, John says, “We love Him, because He first loved us.”

We will never love God until we believe that God loves us. You can have good desires; you can have good intentions; you can have religion. But until you personally believe that God loves you, you will never love Him supremely to the degree that you will have a faith that works and allows Him to separate you from sin and from darkness.

The Price of Redemption

What has Jesus paid to give us an opportunity to choose to be separated from sin? We are going to go right to the heart of the issue. Jesus had been ministering for three and a half years to a people who did not want to be separated from their sins, to a people who had chosen to love darkness rather than light, to a people who would rather hear the sound of unrighteousness than the sound of heaven and its righteousness. For three and a half years Jesus had been separated from every human being, to a great degree, by misunderstanding.

They did not understand Him. Jesus experienced an emotional separation that we can never fully understand. It was part of the price, coming into a world that loved darkness rather than light. And now He is in a garden. “And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it be possible,…’”

Was it possible? Oh, yes, it was possible. It was possible, but it would have meant that it would have been impossible for you and for me. Yes, for Jesus it was possible to get up off that ground and go back to heaven. But He would leave us in an impossible situation, because without Him, we would never be separated from sin. Never!

“…let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt.’” Matthew 26:39.

Not My Will, Thine be Done

That is the genuine motive of every true, born-again Christian. “Not as I will but as Thou wilt.” Every temptation, every trial that we go through in life, as professed Christians, should be met with, “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

His humanity is struggling here. “He went a short distance from them, and fell prostrate upon the ground. He felt that by sin He was being separated from the Father.” The gulf between them appeared so broad, so black, so deep, that He shuddered before it.” The Story of Jesus, 102.

Remember that we are talking about separation and redemption. You and I cannot separate the two. There is no redemption without separation. We are seeing the greatest illustration of that in this quote. We cannot fully understand these inspired statements. We cannot fully understand, because we have no idea of the tremendous intimacy that existed between the Father and the Son, and the tremendous love that They have for one another. We can only measure what Jesus went through by understanding the intimacy between the Two.

“Again Christ went away, and prayed that if it were possible this cup might pass from Him. His soul was filled with an overpowering fear of separation from God in consequence of sin. Satan told Him that if He became the Substitute and Surety for a sinful world, He would nevermore be one with God, but would be under his control.” Signs of the Times, June 3, 1897.

The Ultimate Consequence—Separation

This was the strongest, almost overmastering temptation that came to Jesus while on this earth. If there were any being in the universe of God who would best understand the intimacy between the Father and the Son, it would be the being who stood next to Christ in the courts of heaven. His name was Lucifer, Light Bearer. Now he is Satan, the adversary.

The ultimate consequence for Jesus was paying the price to give us an opportunity to be separated from the darkness unto the light. “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” Matthew 27:45, 46.

For three hours His cross was clothed in darkness. Three hours during which we have no idea what was transpiring in the heart of Jesus, other than what we have read.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Verse 46.

The separation had taken place. What He feared was now apparently a reality. Do we understand the price Jesus paid? Oh, He wants to help us understand. He wants to help us see clearly so we will be willing to accept His righteousness and allow Him to separate us from all the darkness, from all the sin in this world. Then we can show forth His praises and His virtues.

“But now with the terrible weight of guilt [that] He bears, He cannot see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt. Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that their separation was to be eternal.” The Desire of Ages, 753.

Restoring Harmony

It cost so much to give us an opportunity to separate from sin. We will never understand it. “Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race.” Ibid.

He does not want us to experience what He experienced for us.

“It was the sense of sin bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” Ibid.

Separation cost a tremendous price. It cost the Father and the Son everything to give us the opportunity to be separated from the darkness into the light, from our sins into His righteousness, from being out of harmony with God’s Law to being brought back into harmony with heaven’s ways.

It cost everything. Jesus was willing to give everything. Oh, how ashamed we should be when we are hesitant to give Him our sins. All of us have need to grow in faith, in obedience, in love to Him and to allow Him to do the work that He came to do. He came to separate us from our sins.

Now let me ask you a question. How many sins would have brought the separation from the Father upon Jesus? One sin!

What will make us fully His separated people, separated from darkness into the light? “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2. What a wonderful text, inspired by God’s Spirit for those of us who are choosing to cooperate, to be separated from our sins unto His righteousness!

What does it say? “Looking unto Jesus.” He is the only One in all the universe of God, who can help us become separated from the darkness into the light. But we must look to Him. We must have our focus on Him, not upon each other, not upon another man.

Finishing the Good Work

“Looking unto Jesus who is the Author.” What does that mean? He is our beginning; He is the One who is going to author your character, if you allow Him to do that. He wants to finish what He begins, and He will, if we submit. Do you see that in all the works that God has made? Ah, that is a part of His character. Jesus wants to finish the work that He has begun in your heart. If you have never allowed Jesus to begin the work in you, He is inviting you to give Him your approval to begin that work today.

In Luke 9:23, Jesus says, “‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’”

You see, it is not enough to merely look at Jesus. We must follow Him. We will only follow Him if we believe His Word, which He has given us. So when we read His Word and we read the promises, we choose to believe and we choose to act. We have a faith that is motivated by a love that is going to bring forth the fruit of obedience.

God is going to have a separated people, separated from sin in their hearts. That is His people. We can come out physically from apostasy, but unless we have allowed Jesus to come in and separate us from sin, we have not fully come out and been separated from the darkness. Looking unto Jesus and following Him will make us fully His separated people.

Oh, brothers and sisters, let us not allow the separation of Calvary to have been in vain for us! Let us, with renewed faith and determination, choose to not only look to Jesus, but also to follow Him, allowing Him to separate us from all our sins and bring us into harmony with the sound of heaven, even His righteousness! What do you say? “For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2.

Commitment to God’s Church

Week of Prayer for Sabbath

Many times, at Steps to Life and the Prairie Meadows Church, we receive telephone calls and letters questioning us as to why we are an independent church of Sabbath-keeping believers, not connected with the local conference, the union conference, or the General Conference structure of Seventh-day Adventists. While this is too extensive a question to be answered in one article, a few questions and answers will be given that, hopefully, will stimulate God’s people to think through their position relative to the coming of Christ.


In an effort to avoid misunderstandings, it should be stated that we have not in the past called, nor are we at the present calling, the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon. In LandMarks magazine, the writer has published articles titled, “The Black and White Christian” [September and October 2005]. A large percentage of Catholics and Protestants, including Seventh-day Adventists, are black and white Christians. So many people say, “Either the church must be Zion or it must be Babylon; there are only two sides in the Great Controversy, so it must be one or the other.” They see that the church is in apostasy, which is a cardinal characteristic of Babylon, so they conclude that it is Babylon.

Most of the people we know who call the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon do so, in large part, because they see apostasy in the church at all levels. If we refuse to call the church Babylon, then these people conclude that it must be Zion—God’s church, and everyone should belong to it and work through the problems associated with it. However, in real life, a situation can be more complicated than just a simple yes or no.

Previous Independent Workers

Before addressing directly the situation of the present day, it is fair to ask the question, Are there instances in the Holy Scriptures or in the writings of Ellen White where individuals or groups of people did not work within the church structure of their day and yet were being led by God to do a work for Him? Many examples should immediately come to mind for any serious Bible student.


First of all, there was Jethro. Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law, and he gave advice to Moses concerning church organization. Yet, Jethro was not a member of the children of Israel and refused to become one when Moses extended an invitation to him. Ellen White says, “When Moses was much burdened the Lord raised him up in Jethro an advisor and helper.” Christian Leadership, 55. Obviously, Jethro was being led by the Lord, but, as far as we can tell, he was never a member of the children of Israel. He was a priest and a prince but separate from the children of Israel, as far as membership was concerned. “Jethro was singled out from the darkness of the Gentile world to reveal the principles of heaven. God has ever had appointed agencies, and has ever given abundant evidences that these agencies were heaven-appointed and heaven-sent (Letter 190, 1905).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1099.

Jethro did not understand all things, but he was spiritually in advance of Moses when Moses fled from Pharoah. He helped Moses to develop a more correct faith: “All the idolatrous rubbish of heathen lore must be removed, bit by bit, item by item, from Moses’ mind. Jethro helped him in many things to a correct faith, as far as he himself understood. He was working upward toward the light, when he could see God in singleness of heart. . . .” This Day With God, 321.

“And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel. And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred. And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes. And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.” Numbers 10:29–32.

Eventually, at least some of the descendants of Jethro lived among the children of Israel, and the wife of one of these descendants killed Sisera. (See Judges 4.)


A second example is Elijah. The church organization was in apostasy and had been taken over by the woman Jezebel. The times of Elijah are very instructive for people who are confused by the arguments of those who believe that all people must belong to the organization of “God’s church.”

Had God by divine arrangement denominated the children of Israel as His special people? Yes, God had done this very thing.

Were the children of Israel called by a divinely appointed name, and were they God’s chosen people? Yes, they were.

Had their church been organized by divine appointment, and, therefore, was it God’s chosen and organized church? Yes, it was.

Then why did Elijah not cooperate by being obedient and submissive to the church organization? Because the leadership had decided to fight and destroy God’s people and to go contrary to the historic truths of the organization. Therefore, it could not be said any longer that the leadership had divinely constituted authority. They were no longer to be followed. In fact, if you followed the authority of the church leadership, you would be separated from God. The authority of the church organization was not duly authorized by God and did not constitute divinely authorized leadership, because they had decided to follow the practices of the world around them instead of the Word of God.

This is a key point that many people fail to understand. It is only the words and writings of prophets and apostles that give any church organization (including the Seventh-day Adventist Church) divine authority. As soon as a church organization makes decisions that are not in harmony with the Word of God or the writings of prophets, then that church organization no longer has any divine authority. This is true even if the decision is made in a conference session with delegates from all over the world. If the reader would like an example of a decision directly contrary to inspired writings, examine the decision concerning marriage and divorce made at the General Conference session in the year 2000.

There were believers in Elijah’s day who did not submit to or obey the church organization or have any part of it at all—at least 7,000 of them. These people would, today, be thought of as offshoots. They were the ones meeting in home churches and refusing to be a part of the general apostasy. Elijah was accused of being the troubler of Israel. He was saying many things against the church organization, and since he was separate from the church organization, he was no doubt accused of being a separationist. It is never wrong to be separate from apostasy.

Elijah could have been accused of starting a new movement, a new church, a new organization—the same accusations that are leveled at those in independent churches today. But the truth of the matter is that Elijah was being loyal and faithful to the movement that God had originally established, just as we are trying to do today.

The big question that needs to be answered is not to what organization are you loyal, but are you loyal and faithful in practice to the inspired writings? If not, then whether you are a physician, a lawyer, a judge, a minister, or whatever you may be, you are not really being loyal and faithful, even if you are a member in good and regular standing in a church organization. We are headed for the final judgment, and the question is going to be whether or not we were obedient to the Law of God.

Elijah could be accused of pulling apart from God’s organization, and, like today, people probably said that this was not a good sign. Elijah would have responded that the organization had pulled apart from the truth, and he was staying with the truths that had been vouchsafed to God’s people. Elijah could be accused of separating from the organized body.

The experience of the true and faithful in Elijah’s time is very similar to the experience of the true and faithful today. They were unknown. They were, to human sight, unauthorized to be organized in their little groups in caves and other out-of-the-way places. They were, however, recognized in heaven and written down in God’s book as the people who would not in any way participate in the apostasy, not even so much as by a kiss.

New Testament Examples

Other examples from the Old Testament could be given, but it is in the New Testament where we see God calling and using people independent of the organization, of the chosen people of God. This does not mean that the organization is Babylon. It does mean that we need to rise above the level of black and white Christians. We must perceive that God has many ways to perfect His plans, and some of them may be contrary to what humans believe is the only right way to do things.

John the Baptist

John the Baptist worked entirely independent of the church organization of God’s chosen people. He said, “The ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Matthew 3:10. “Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.” The Desire of Ages, 107.

“To a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgments. This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation. Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins. They flattered themselves that they were better than other men, and entitled to His blessings.

“These things ‘are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ 1 Corinthians 10:11. How often we misinterpret God’s blessings, and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us! God cannot do for us that which He longs to do. His gifts are used to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.

“John declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride, selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham. In view of the light they had received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to whom they felt so much superior. They had forgotten the rock whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which they had been digged. God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose. As He had called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service. Their hearts might now appear as lifeless as the stones of the desert, but His Spirit could quicken them to do His will, and receive the fulfillment of His promise.” Ibid., 106, 107.

Would to God that we all could learn the lesson. God is not dependent on the historic Adventists or the home churches or the Adventists in conference churches. He is not dependent on our organizations or institutions to finish His work. He can finish His work through others: “We have a great work to do in our world. If ministers and doctors will work in God’s lines, He will work with them. But they must change, decidedly change, in spirit and character. They must remember that they are not the only ones to whom the Lord will give wisdom. If His people will not follow in His way, the Lord will employ heathen princes to do His will. . . .” Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, vol. 1, 62.

The Lord

We will pass over the example we have in the life of our Lord Himself. He took a position independent of the church organization of God’s chosen people, and remember that this was before probation had closed on the Jews as a nation. Some people say that, until probation closes on a church, all should remain in it and work under its authority, forgetting the example of our Lord who said, concerning the leaders of God’s chosen people, that they were blind leaders of the blind. (Matthew 15:14.) He cautioned His children for all future ages that if they followed those who were blind, they, as well as the leaders, would fall into the ditch. He said to let them alone. There is a time when the only safe thing to do is to be separate from those who will lead you into the ditch if you follow them.

“While they had been with Him, the disciples had often been perplexed by the teaching of the priests and Pharisees, but they had brought their perplexities to Jesus. He had set before them the truths of Scripture in contrast with tradition. Thus He had strengthened their confidence in God’s word, and in a great measure had set them free from their fear of the rabbis and their bondage to tradition.” The Desire of Ages, 349.

“Since the healing at Bethesda He had not attended the national gatherings. To avoid useless conflict with the leaders at Jerusalem, He had restricted His labors to Galilee. His apparent neglect of the great religious assemblies, and the enmity manifested toward Him by the priests and rabbis, were a cause of perplexity to the people about Him, and even to His own disciples and His kindred. In His teachings He had dwelt upon the blessings of obedience to the law of God, and yet He Himself seemed to be indifferent to the service which had been divinely established. His mingling with publicans and others of ill repute, His disregard of the rabbinical observances, and the freedom with which He set aside the traditional requirements concerning the Sabbath, all seeming to place Him in antagonism to the religious authorities, excited much questioning. His brothers thought it a mistake for Him to alienate the great and learned men of the nation. They felt that these men must be in the right, and that Jesus was at fault in placing Himself in antagonism to them.” Ibid., 450.

“It was most difficult for the disciples of Christ to keep His lessons distinct from the traditions and maxims of the rabbis, the scribes, and pharisees. The teachings which the disciples had been educated to respect as the voice of God held a power over their minds and molded their sentiments. The disciples could not be a living and shining light until they were freed from the influence of the sayings and commandments of men, and the words of Christ were deeply impressed upon their minds and hearts as distinct truths, as precious jewels, to be appreciated, loved, and acted upon.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 39.

The Apostle Paul

We will also pass over the example of the apostle Paul. Although he was raising up churches all over the Roman Empire, much of his work was done entirely independently of the church organization in Jerusalem. His imprisonment and martyrdom were the result of opposition and unbelief by the church structure, which included some of the apostles. (See Sketches from the Life of Paul.)

Current Time

In our time, did God authorize, during the lifetime of Ellen White, any work and workers which were separate from the church structure and independent of the church structure? For a beginning, look up the expression “irregular lines” in the writings of Mrs. White.

When Madison College and Sanitarium were being started, Ellen White gave the following counsel: “It was quite a problem with Brethren Sutherland and Magan and their faithful associates as to how, with limited means, they were to adapt themselves to the work in Madison, Tennessee. They had many obstacles and difficulties to meet, some of which need never have come into the work.

“The reason these brethren were persuaded to purchase the place now occupied by the Madison school, was because special light was given to me that this place was well adapted for the educational work that was most needed there. It was presented to me that this was a place where an all-round education could be given advantageously to students who should come from the North and the South for instruction. In what has already been accomplished by the Madison school, the Lord is making it manifest that He is blessing the work carried forward there, and is leading the teachers who are associated together in bearing the burdens of the work.

“Many obstacles have been placed in the way of the pioneers at the Madison school of a nature to discourage them and drive them from the field. These obstacles were not placed there by the Lord. In some things the finite planning and devisings of men have worked counter to the work of God.

“Let us be careful, brethren, lest we counterwork and hinder the progress of others, and so delay the sending forth of the gospel message. This has been done, and this is why I am now compelled to speak so plainly. If proper aid had been given to the school enterprise at Madison, its work might now be in a far more advanced stage of development. The work at Madison has made slow advancement, and yet, in spite of the obstacles and hindrances, these workers have not failed nor become discouraged; and they have been enabled to accomplish a good work in the cause of God.

“The Lord does not set limits about His workers in some lines as men are wont to set. In their work, Brethren Magan and Sutherland have been hindered unnecessarily. Means have been withheld from them because in the organization and management of the Madison school, it was not placed under the control of the conference. But the reasons why this school was not owned and controlled by the conference have not been duly considered.

“The lack of interest in this work, by some who should have valued it highly, is decidedly wrong. Our brethren must guard themselves against the repetition of such experiences.

“The Lord does not require that the educational work at Madison shall be changed all about before it can receive the hearty support of our people. The work that has been done there is approved of God, and He forbids that this line of work shall be broken up. The Lord will continue to bless and sustain the workers so long as they follow His counsel.

“Brethren Sutherland and Magan are as verily set to do the work of the Lord at Madison as other workers are appointed to do their part in the cause of present truth. The light given me is that we should help these brethren and their associates, who have worked beyond their strength, under great disadvantages. Let us seek to understand the situation, and see that justice and mercy are not forgotten in the distribution of funds.

“The leaders in the work of the Madison school are laborers together with God. More must be done in their behalf by their brethren. The Lord’s money is to sustain them in their labors. They have a right to share the means given to the cause. They should be given a proportionate share of the means that comes in for the furtherance of the cause.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 11, 30–32.

“The Lord has instructed me that, from the first, the work in Huntsville and Madison should have received adequate help. But instead of this help being rendered promptly there has been long delay. And in the matter of the Madison school, there has been a standing off from them because they were not under the ownership and control of some Conference. This is a question that should sometimes be considered, but it is not the Lord’s plan that means should be withheld from Madison, because they are not bound to the conference. The attitude which some of our brethren have assumed toward this enterprise shows that it is not wise for every working agency to be under the dictation of conference officers. There are some enterprises under certain conditions, that will produce better results if standing alone.

“When my advice was asked in reference to the Madison school, I said, Remain as you are. There is danger in binding every working agency under the dictation of the conference. The Lord did not design that this should be. The circumstances were such that the burden bearers in the Madison school could not bind up their work with the conference. I knew their situation, and when many of the leading men in our conferences ignored them, because they did not place their school under conference dictation, I was shown that they would not be helped by making themselves amenable to the conference. They had better remain as led by God, amenable to Him, to work out His plans. But this matter need not be blazed abroad.

“In their change from Berrien Springs, Brethren Sutherland and Magan made many sacrifices. The Lord counseled them where to go, and in their labors at Madison, they have worked far beyond their strength. But under the direction of the Lord they are capable of doing a good work. They will give to the students who come there an education altogether different than what has been given in Washington during the past years. They will not only labor to impart an education in book knowledge and manual work, but they will endeavor to teach the students to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.

“These teachers should be regarded, not as men who have had no valuable experience, but as men who have in the past accomplished a great and good work, and who have suffered privations for the cause of God. They have not exacted their just dues. Had some of their brethren been better able to reason from cause to effect, there would be a different record. The restrictions by which their hands have been tied are not pleasing to the Lord. They might have had a sanitarium and suitable buildings, and they might have been years in advance of where they now are. I would say, Let justice now be done.

“The world is our field. God’s children who feel a burden for the work of the message are to be allowed to work where the Spirit directs them. Let not a forbidding power be exercised to restrict them in their work. Let God accomplish His work through the agencies that He chooses. A great mistake has been made in the exercise of human authority in God’s work, and I am bidden to proclaim the message: ‘Break every yoke, and let the oppressed go free.’ [Isaiah 58:6.] I am bidden to say to church members, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee’ (Isaiah 60:1).

“When the disciples returned from their first missionary tour, the Saviour asked them, ‘Lacked ye anything?’ And the answer was given, ‘Nay, Lord.’ [Luke 22:35.] The same power that supplied the needs of the first disciples will provide for the necessities of those who today go forth to labor earnestly to give the last gospel message to the world. O, why do men and women feel so little burden to take up the work that needs to be done? Angels of God are waiting to go forth with them in this work.

“In the restrictions that have been placed on some who desired to do a definite work, many have found an excuse why they should not engage in active missionary work. I am bidden to bear my testimony against unnecessary restrictions being laid on those who desire to act a part in the work of the Lord.

“In all their associations together, God desires His followers to guard their personal responsibility to Him, and their individual dependence upon Him. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. No ruling power of man over man is to be exercised. We have as a people lost much time and means, because we have not followed closely the Lord’s plan for us. By carrying out their own devisings, men get in the way of the Lord, and close up the avenue by which He would reach those who need the blessings of the gospel.

“My brethren, stand out of the way of your fellow-beings. . . .

“In the day of final reckoning, the Lord will deal with each soul individually. . . .

“There are among our church members faithful souls who feel a burden for those who know not the truth for this time. But one will say to such, The conference will not support you if you go here or there. To such souls I would say, ‘Pray to God for guidance as to where you shall go; follow the directions of the Holy Spirit, and go, whether the conference will pay your expenses or not.’ ‘Go work today in My vineyard,’ Christ commands. [Matthew 21:38.] When you have done your work in one place, go to another. Angels of God will go with you, if you follow the leadings of the Spirit.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 202–207.

“Some have entertained the idea that because the school at Madison is not owned by a conference organization, those who are in charge of the school should not be permitted to call upon our people for the means that is greatly needed to carry on their work. This idea needs to be corrected. In the distribution of the money that comes into the Lord’s treasury, you are entitled to a portion just as verily as are those connected with other needy enterprises that are carried forward in harmony with the Lord’s instruction.

“The Lord Jesus will one day call to account those who would so tie your hands that it is almost impossible for you to move in harmony with the Lord’s biddings. ‘The silver and the gold is mine, saith the Lord, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.’ [Haggai 2:8; Psalm 50:10.]

“You and your associates are not novices in educational work, and when you are in stress for means with which to advance the work, you are just as much entitled to ask for that which you need as are other men to present the necessities of the work in which they are engaged.

“You have in the past done much to bring means into circulation in the work of God. And you need not now feel troubled about accepting gifts and free-will offerings; for you will need them in the work of preparing young men and women to labor in the Lord’s vineyard. As you carry on this work in harmony with the Lord’s will, you are not to be kept on a constant strain to know how to secure the means you need in order to go forward. The Lord forbids the setting up of walls and bands around workers of experience who are faithfully acting their God-appointed part.

“Much precious time has been lost because man-made rules and restrictions have been sometimes placed above the plans and purposes of God. In the name of the Lord I appeal to our conference workers to strengthen and support and labor in harmony with our brethren at Madison, who are carrying forward a work that God has appointed them.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 411, 412.

“Well,” someone may say, “Sutherland and Magan started a school, a sanitarium, and a publishing ministry that were independent from the conference, but that was all right, because Ellen White endorsed it.” (Or would it be more fair and correct to say that she endorsed it because it was right—exactly what God wanted them to do at that time?) They continue, “But you are starting churches which are independent from the conference, and that is wrong and not endorsed by Ellen White.” We will look at independent or self-supporting churches in future articles.

Pastor John Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas.

[Editor’s Note: This topic is so important and extensive that it will be further addressed in additional articles in future LandMarks.]

Editorial – Separation And Loyalty

God’s work cannot be amalgamated with people or organizations who do not obey the law of God.


The results of disregarding inspired counsel on this point is plainly prophesied: “I raise my voice of warning against the mingling in our institutions, of the worldly element with those who believe…If in our institutions persons are placed in positions of trust, they are educators. Others are taught to look to these persons for instruction, and in this is a snare to the unwary; their ideas become confused in regard to righteousness and truth. They hear those persons who have no respect for the truth, sneer and speak disparagingly of the truth, which should be held firmly and sacredly as truth. When the day’s work on Friday should be planned with reference to the Sabbath of the Lord, there is Satan working with those children of disobedience to prolong the service into the sacred hours, and give their orders that those under their direction shall do work on the Sabbath, and then they exult and Satan triumphs. And when men in the highest responsible positions make no difference between those who serve God and those who serve him not, they evidence that their eyes are not single to the glory of God; therefore their whole body is full of darkness. When these men in authority have so mingled with the spirit of worldlings that the words of complaint from the lips of these unbelievers are gathered as verity and truth, they know not what spirit they are of. When they encourage this spirit, and complaints against the people of God, they evidence that they are working on the enemy’s side, to belittle and humiliate those whom the Lord loves, and that they strengthen the hands of the wicked, who are doing evil work. When they feel free to suffer the accusers of God’s children to plan for them against his chosen ones, they do not have Christ to plan with them.


“…If any workers in our institutions for health are murmured against…Go to those supposed to be in error, talk with them, not working with duplicity and hypocrisy, meeting them day by day with apparent friendship, and at the same time plotting against them in perfect unity with the satanic agencies at work to uproot, to tear down, to remove from the institution the ones the unbelieving element wants removed, while not a word is spoken with the brethren or sisters in the faith to redeem them, to heal them, if they are in error; and if they are not in the wrong, to vindicate the right, and put the rebuke where it belongs,—upon the plotters of an evil work, because Satan is behind the scene…The Lord hates all deception, secrecy, and guile. This Satan’s work; the work of God is open and frank…may the Lord bless his people with spiritual eyesight, to see that the children of God and the world can never be in copartnership…While every individual should work with Christ to transform the children of darkness, by showing them the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, they cannot have overflowing sympathy with worldlings in such a degree that they lend them their influence to carry out their suggestions to weaken and do injustice to God’s chosen ones. God does not work in this way. In perfect and complete unity there is strength. Not in numbers, but in the perfect trust and unity with Christ, one can chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. Let us not form unholy bonds of union, with the friends of the world; for God has pronounced his curse upon all such unions…Already we see the terrible consequences of uniting believers with unbelievers. The result is, the unbelievers are given the confidence that belongs to those only who love and revere God.


“Already has the power of darkness placed its mold and superscription upon the work that should stand forth, untainted, unpolluted, from Satan’s cunning devices. We lift our voice of warning upon the social attractions by worldly bids and worldly baits. Keep clear, Touch not the unclean thing. Let not the world’s direction and propositions be given to God’s people to control them. Woe be unto him whose wisdom is not from above but from beneath! Men of superficial piety, by their desire to receive patronage, to obtain fame, betray the most sacred interests into the hands of unbelievers. Let not money be obtained by touching or sanctioning any unclean practices. Let the grace of Christ be brought into the heart, and if the workers be few, and God can work with them in our institutions, they will prevail. There must be no deceiving power at work, for it is an unclean thing.” Special Testimonies Series A, 11-16.

Editorial – Separation, Necessary or Just Advice?

The Scripture says, “what participation has righteousness with lawlessness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. The lawless are those who break one or more of God’s commandments and teach others to do so. We are to love these people enough to tell them the truth of the Three Angel’s Messages. But as long as they have heard and not accepted the Three Angels’ Messages in entirety and are not living by them, they are described in the scripture as the “unclean,” (those who break God’s law are described throughout scripture as defiled or unclean) the “children of the world,” the “children of darkness,” the “world,” and unbelievers,” etc. This does not mean that they are not professed Christians, but they are still part of what the book of Revelation calls “Babylon” and are called to come out. Revelation 14:8-12. As long as they remain in Babylon in their lawbreaking condition, God’s faithful children must be separate from them. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Notice how clear the counsel of God is: “Those who join themselves to worldly men, that they may carry out their unsanctified purposes, make a fearful mistake; for they forfeit the favor and blessing of God.” This Day With God, 354.

“You are not to unite with unbelievers in medical work.” Medical Ministry, 45.

“Let not God’s people in any of our institutions sign a truce with the enemy of God and man. The duty of the church to the world is not to come down to their ideas and accept their opinions, their suggestions, but to heed the words of Christ through His servant Paul. (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15 quoted.) This means in a special sense marriage with unbelievers, but it covers more ground than this: it means in our instrumentalities ordained of God, in our institutions for health, in our colleges, in our publishing houses.” Testimonies to Ministers, 271.

“The children of the world are called the children of darkness. They are blinded by the god of this world, and are led by the spirit of the prince of darkness. They cannot enjoy heavenly things. The children of light have their affections set on things above. They leave behind them the things of this world. They fulfill the command, ‘Come out from among them and be ye separate.’ Here is the conditional promise, ‘I will receive you.’ Christ from the beginning has chosen his people out of the world, and required them to be separate, having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. If they love God and keep his commandments, they will be far from having the friendship, and loving the pleasures, of the world. There is no concord between Christ and Belial.” Review and Herald, June 25, 1861.

“’Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean.’ This means that the children of God are in no case to be contaminated with the spirit of the world, to receive its evil suggestions, nor to come under its influence. Be afraid of uniting with the world in secret societies, or of being bound in bundles with them. Be afraid of communicating to the world that which concerns the cause of God; for they would have no sympathy with those who love the truth of God.” Review and Herald, July 31, 1894

“Satan is constantly seeking to strengthen his power over the people of God by inducing them to enter into alliance with the hosts of darkness. And to accomplish this he endeavors to arouse unsanctified passions in the heart which is naturally prone to evil. It is not safe for Christians to imitate the example of the ungodly, or to yield to their influence. The wisest counsels of the wicked are not to be relied upon.” Signs of the Times, October 6, 1881.

“May the Lord bless his people with spiritual eyesight, to see that the children of God and the world can never be in copartnership. Whosoever will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God…Let us not form unholy bonds of union, with the friends of the world; for God has pronounced his curse upon all such unions…Let not the world’s direction and propositions be given to God’s people to control them. Woe be unto him whose wisdom is not from above but from beneath! Men of superficial piety, by their desire to receive patronage, to obtain fame, betray the most sacred interests into the hands of unbelievers. Let not money be obtained by touching or sanctioning any unclean practices.” Testimonies to Ministers, 276, 277.

The End

Are There Tares in Your Field?

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” Matthew 13:24–30.

Jesus taught in parables to help us understand the unknown by explaining something we understand. Jesus describes the spiritual world in terms of the physical world. He takes us from what we understand to what we do not understand.

“Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.’ He answered and said to them: ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’” Matthew 13: 36–43.

The field is the world and the wheat and tares are both being planted in this field. In the Middle East there is a weed that looks like a wheat plant when it first springs up. There actually were people in Jesus’ day who took the seed of this weed, or tares as it was called, and scattered it in their enemies wheat field. Although the weeds could not be seen at first, as they grew you could see them all through the wheat. The weeds take nutrients and water and if there are too many of them they can actually choke out the wheat. The presence of tares represents a very dangerous situation.

The Field of the Mind

Here Jesus is talking about the spiritual world and illustrating it with the natural world. The field is the world—the spiritual world. What is the spiritual world? It is the world of the spirit working on the minds of men. God’s spiritual field are those who claim to be His children, or His professed church. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field.” 1 Corinthians 3:9. [All emphasis supplied.] Each one of us who is part of God’s professed church, is part of this field. Our spirit, our mind, is part of this field. The aggregate of all the minds of all who profess to be God’s people in the whole world is the whole field.

The field is the world—the spiritual world. Then what is the good seed Jesus came to plant? The good seed is the gospel, the truth of the Bible. Jesus came to plant the gospel, the truth, in the minds of those that choose to follow Him. As this good seed grows up and matures in your mind, eventually it becomes an integral part of your character so that you are called the good seed. Jesus said the good seed are the children of the kingdom.

The Battle Over the Mind

What are the tares? Or what is the seed that produces the tares? The tares are spiritual ideas that are implanted in the mind by the devil. If this seed grows up and matures in a person’s mind, even though he professes to be a child of God, in reality, he is a child of the devil.

The devil cannot force himself on you, but you can open up your mind to him, and that is very dangerous. There are some statements by Ellen White on this subject. “If there is any way by which Satan can gain access to the mind, he will sow his tares and cause them to grow until they will yield an abundant harvest.” Adventist Home, 402. Notice that your mind is the field. If the devil can gain access to your mind, he is going to sow tares. “In no case can Satan obtain dominion over thoughts, words, and actions, unless we voluntarily open the door and invite him to enter. He will then come in and, by catching away the good seed sown in the heart, make of none effect the truth.” Ibid.

The devil is out there, friends. There is a battle going on in the world today and the battle is for your mind. What are you reading? What are you listening to? What are you looking at? The devil has gone all over the world sowing seeds. “Satan is their chosen leader. It is while men sleep that the enemy sows his tares in the heart.” Manuscript Release, vol. 10, 323. Satan is seeking access to your mind to sow these spiritual plants. They are poisonous plants and if they grow up, you will lose your soul. We want to study what these tares are that the devil plants in the minds of God’s professed people.

Safety in the Spirit of Prophecy

We are living in the time of the end when there will be all manner of deceptions. It is the most treacherous time in the history of the world. God knew and foresaw thousands of years ago that perilous times would come. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Malachi 4:5. This special reformation prophet is one of the two identifying marks by which you can identify God’s people in the last days. 1. They keep all of God’s commandments and 2. have the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 12:17; 19:10.

If we follow and stay close to the spiritual gifts God has given to His people in these last days, we will not be tripped up. The Lord has revealed to us what the tares are that the devil plants in people’s minds. If our minds were strong enough to understand everything that was in the Bible, we would not need the Spirit of Prophecy. But most of us do not understand our Bibles very well, and the Lord has given us some special help.

“The good seed represents those who are born of the word of God, the truth. The tares represent a class who are the fruit or embodiment of error, of false principles. ‘The enemy that sowed them is the devil.’ Neither God nor His angels ever sowed a seed that would produce a tare. The tares are always sown by Satan, the enemy of God and man.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 70. The tares are false spiritual principles, or teachings.

Let us look at some statements which will make it more specific. “The warnings and the messages that the Lord has graciously given me to correct the errors that would come in, and to set things in order, the people should have, for the enemy will continue to work to bring in false theories and to mingle with the truth strange suppositions. These appear as light to those who receive them, but they are deceptive theories that will be brought in as tares sown among the wheat.” Paulson Collection, 6. False theories are one kind of tare.

False Doctrine is Dangerous

“Satan has sown plentifully the seed of dangerous heresies, that will produce a harvest of corruption, and will be as tares among the wheat.” Signs of the Times, July 11, 1895. Dangerous heresies––another kind of tare. Is doctrine important? Have you ever met someone who said, “I don’t think doctrine is too important as long as you are sincere.” Martin Luther and all the rest of the Protestant Reformers thought doctrine was important. The apostles thought doctrine was important. Wrong doctrine can lead you straight to destruction.

Jesus, the great teacher, taught His disciples how to distinguish truth from error, how to distinguish a tare from the wheat. “He weeded life of its vanities and follies, distinguishing between the tares and the wheat.” Signs of the Times, March 28, 1895. That is why we need to be studying the Bible. The apostle Paul, writing to people who had just become Christians, told them to desire the sincere milk of the word. Then they needed to grow so they could understand the solid food of the Word. 1 Corinthians 3:1–4. One reason you need to attend church, is to associate with mature Christians and learn to tell the difference between truth and error, between the tares and the wheat.

I have observed that people who are fifty or sixty years of age and have been diligent students of the Word of God for thirty to fifty years, go and seek counsel from someone else when they find something new in their studies. They ask, “I found this in the Bible, what do you think about it?” The anomaly, the paradox of the situation, is that so often when someone who is around eighteen to twenty-two years of age and has been a Christian for five or ten years, finds something in the Word of God they have never seen before, they are ready to tell it to the whole world without going for counsel to anyone. One of the reasons God placed elders in the church was to be spiritual guardians of the flock, especially of those who are new Christians. Now an elder is not someone to lord it over another, but isn’t it nice if you need advice to have someone you can go to who is a mature Christian and can help you when there is a text in the Bible you wonder about. That is one of the reasons for the church, to help people so they will not be confused between the tares and the wheat. Heresy is dangerous. It is planted by the devil.

Coarse Manners

There are a lot of other things the devil tries to plant in the mind of God’s professed people so they will be ruined before the harvest comes. “They persist in carrying with them their objectionable traits of character. [She is talking about professed church members.] They have vulgar sentiments, coarse manners, low habits. They carry these to others through their school association, and through life they sow tares instead of precious wheat.” Signs of the Times, October 13, 1909. Vulgar sentiments, low habits, coarse manners––that is part of what the devil is sowing in the human mind. Jesus was a refined, courteous person. There was never any coarse or low talk that escaped out of His lips. He did not even think that way, so He did not talk that way. Those kinds of things––cheap foolish talk, coarse talk, vulgar thinking and acting in speech—are part of the tares the devil plants in the human mind that destroy so much peace and happiness in the family. If the tare grows to maturity, it prevents a person from having eternal life.

Unbelief and doubt––these are popular tares that the devil has scattered throughout the professed people of God all over the world today. Some people believe it is a good thing to be able to doubt, but Jesus never commended anyone for doubting, He rebuked them for it. Unbelief or doubt will be one of the special sins that develop among people in the last generation. 2 Peter 3:3–6.

Remember, tares are people who profess to be part of God’s people. “They do not love the truth, and it has not a sanctifying, refining influence upon them. The time will come when the sensual, the proud, the careless in heart, those who are opposed to the truth, will have to be separated.” Bible Echoes, September 18, 1899. The sensual, proud and careless––these things are tares the devil plants in the human heart.

Reap What You Sow

“It is anything but wise, my young friends, to seek your own pleasure, to sow a crop of tares in foolish, sinful actions, which will not only lead others to do the same but will bring forth a bitter harvest.” That I May Know Him, 236. Young friend, I want to ask you, What kind of seed is being sown in your mind? “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7. What you are sowing today, you are going to reap tomorrow.

Jesus summarized what all the tares were like in Matthew 13. He said the time is going to come when the tares are taken out of the field. “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness.” verse 41. Those who break God’s law will be separated out. That is a summary statement that covers all the different kinds of tares. All the weeds the devil plants in the human mind lead people to break God’s law—lawlessness.

The devil is the one who plants the tares. When did he plant them? While people were asleep. “It is while the husbandman sleeps that tares are sown; while the shepherds are neglecting their duty, the wolf finds entrance to the fold.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 201. It is when the spiritual leaders are neglecting their duty that the tares are planted. How is it in your home? God wants parents to be the spiritual leaders of their family. Are you spiritually asleep? Is the devil planting tares in the minds of your children? “It is not by force that Satan takes possession of the human mind. While men sleep, the enemy sows tares in the church. While men are spiritually sleeping, the enemy accomplishes his work of iniquity. It is when his subject ‘understandeth it not’ (Matthew 13:19) that he catcheth away the good seed sown in the heart.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 353. What is happening in your church? Are the pastor, the Sabbath School teacher, the elder, the father, the mother, spiritually asleep? If they are, the enemy of all good is out to plant tares in the minds of your church, your family and your young people. Parents, we need to know where our children are and what they are doing. If we were more alert, the devil would not have so much opportunity to plant tares. There are some young people growing up in whose minds the devil is planting more tares than in others.

Planted While Asleep

“If faithfulness and vigilance had been preserved, if there had been no sleeping or negligence upon the part of any, the enemy would not have had so favorable an opportunity to sow tares among the wheat. Satan never sleeps. He is watching, and he improves every opportunity to set his agents to scatter error, which finds good soil in many unsanctified hearts.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 113. If you are asleep, there is someone out there who is planting tares in the minds of your family and church members. The more tares planted, the bigger the job in getting them out. Those tares have to come out if your family and friends are going to be saved.

How sad it is that so many spiritual leaders have been asleep, and in God’s professed church all over the world, tares have been sown and terrible delusive heresies have infiltrated. It is causing the loss of millions of souls.

We have a responsibility. You yourself can make a decision to open your heart and let the devil plant tares inside. Some people do that. For every new doctrine and teaching they say, “I want to find out about that!” They allow these new theories to get a foothold before they have carefully studied God’s Word. “There have been and will continue to be entire families who have once rejoiced in the truth, but who will lose faith because of calumnies and falsehoods brought to them in regard to those whom they have loved and with whom they have had sweet counsel. They opened their hearts to the sowing of tares; the tares sprang up among the wheat; they strengthened; the crop of wheat became less and less; and the precious truth lost its power to them. For a time a false zeal accompanied their new theories, which hardened their hearts against the advocates of truth as did the Jews against Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers, 411. There are some who receive lying reports, slander, against the messengers of God. If you receive a lying report against a true minister, a messenger of God, and turn your back on them, you have no promise in Holy Writ that God is going to send you someone else. It is very dangerous to reject a messenger of God. Spreading evil reports is one of the ways the devil sows tares and causes people to lose their souls. Some just live on these reports. Someone will say, “Do you know about this?” and they will say, “Is that so!?” Then they believe it. That is very dangerous.

Books of the Pioneers

We need to be opening our minds to the truth and find books that have been written by people who are mature and experienced Christians and love the truth. In the nineteenth century there was a man named J.N. Andrews. He knew several other languages as well as biblical languages. He made the comment one time to someone he knew that if the New Testament was lost, he could reproduce it from memory. He was an outstanding biblical scholar. He was also a student of history and wrote the History of the Sabbath, a fascinating book.

“I am instructed that the Lord, by His infinite power, has preserved the right hand of His messenger for more than half a century, in order that the truth may be written out as He bids me write it for publication, in periodicals and books. Why?—Because if it were not thus written out, when the pioneers in the faith shall die, there would be many, new in the faith, who would sometimes accept as messages of truth teachings that contain erroneous sentiments and dangerous fallacies. Sometimes that which men teach as ‘special light’ is in reality specious error, which, as tares sown among the wheat, will spring up and produce a baleful harvest. And errors of this sort will be entertained by some until the close of this earth’s history.” This Day With God, 126.

What are you reading? When we open our mind and read religious books, we need to know we are reading something by someone who has been born again and believes all the Bible and is following it. I have observed among new Christians, that when someone reads a book or magazine and they become confused, it takes a Bible worker weeks or months to help them to see again what the Bible says. There is a lot of that happening today. The devil is sowing all kinds of tares.

What Do We Do About Tares?

There is a lot of confusion in the Christian church today on the tares. Whenever you talk about this subject there are some people who say, “Well, they are just supposed to be left.” Notice what Jesus said about the tares when the servants of the owner asked if they should gather them up: “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them . . . Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” Matthew 13:29, 40.

We need to understand who and what a tare is. When a tare is just growing up, you and I cannot tell the difference between them and the wheat. Who is the tare? It is someone who professes to love Jesus and be a part of His professed people, but his heart is entertaining sins you and I cannot see. We cannot judge someone’s heart. Consequently, we cannot disfellowship or separate them from the church. You cannot interpret what Jesus said in a manner to make Him contradict the rest of the Bible.

In I Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul is very clear that if a tare grows up in a persons life to the point where they are living in open sin––if they are lying, stealing, committing adultery, taking their brethren in the church to court––we are to put them out from among us. But can you tell when someone is proud or covetous? You might guess, but you can not tell. Only God knows for sure.

Tares Kill Out the Wheat

No one can be uprooted or disfellowshipped from the church because of a motive or a sin of the heart, but they can and should be disfellowshipped if they are living in open sin among God’s people. Do you know why? Because, if you have too many tares and they grow too much, they will destroy the wheat. That is one of the greatest dangers in the church today. There are people who want to say, “Let’s keep all the tares in!” Friends, the Bible says when a tare gets to the point where the person is living in open sin, you had better get that tare out. If you do not, it will destroy the whole church. In the Christian church today, people who are living in open sin are allowed to be members of the church and it is destroying the whole crop.

“Tares have a lesson to teach. They are of Satan’s sowing, and if left unchecked will spoil the wheat by their rank growth.” Counsels to Teachers, 189. Have you ever had a garden and the weeds got away from you? “If the attributes of Satan are not expelled from the soul, the wheat crop will be stunted. The tares will come to be the crop, and will kill out the wheat.” Review and Herald, October 3, 1899.

Do you want the wheat crop to be destroyed? That is what will happen if the tares grow up and go to seed and become mature, and are not disfellowshipped from the church. If this is done the tares will destroy the whole crop. “The thorns of sin will grow in any soil; they need no cultivation; but grace must be carefully cultivated. The love of the world in the heart leaves no room for Christ. Those whose hearts are divided claim to believe the truth, but do it not. They wish the crown, but refuse the cross.” Ibid.

We would not be in as much trouble in the Christian world today if we had always been awake so the devil could not have planted so many tares in the church, but we have been asleep. “The earth was cursed because through disobedience man gave Satan opportunity to sow in the human heart the seeds of evil. The ground that in the beginning produced only good began to produce tares and their growth called for continual warfare.” This Day With God, 12. If there are tares in my mind, what am I to do? I have to fight a continual battle against them. If there are tares in my family, among my children, I have a battle to fight to help them to get those tares out; otherwise souls will be lost.

Getting Tares Out

How do you get the tares out? “When truth is received into the heart, the tares growing there are uprooted.” Youth Instructor, August 16, 1900. That is why we need to be studying the Bible. If I have the tare of impatience, as I study the Bible I find how I am supposed to talk and I can change. It takes work, but the Holy Spirit will help me to change my habits. No one in heaven will lose their temper. If I am going to heaven, I have to be that way, too; that tare has to come out of my life. I need to help my children get the tares out of their lives. If a child has Christian parents, they can help that child so that it will actually be easier to be saved. Help your children so there are not so many tares that get planted in their lives when they are young. If the tare is something in the heart, we are not to disfellowship, but people need to be warned about the tares so they can work to get them out of their life.

When you get involved in this warfare, to help people get the tares out of their life, an interesting thing happens. If you are a pastor in a church and begin preaching sermons to help people get the tares out of their lives, there are always some who do not like that kind of preaching. They have some darling plants they are growing in their minds. “If persons are as deserving of being separated from the church as Satan was of being cast out of heaven, they will have sympathizers. There is always a class who are more influenced by individuals than they are by the Spirit of God and sound principles; and, in their unconsecrated state, these are ever ready to take sides with the wrong and give their pity and sympathy to the very ones who least deserve it. These sympathizers have a powerful influence with others; things are seen in a perverted light, great harm is done, and many souls are ruined. Satan in his rebellion took a third part of the angels.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 114, 115. Can you imagine that, one-third of the angels! They were in a perfect place. There was no pain or trouble like there is here. Why were they deceived? It was because of sympathy. One of the problems pastors get involved in is when a parent comes and says, “I want to help my son or daughter overcome this bad habit. My spouse does not want to.” It is a big problem. “Satan in his rebellion took a third part of the angels. They turned from the Father and from His Son, and united with the instigator of rebellion” Ibid., 155. False sympathy is a problem to contend with when you want to help someone get the tares out of their life.

The reason we are interested in helping people get the tares out of their life is not because we want to be hard–hearted––we want them to have eternal life! None of us can have eternal life if any tare remains and goes to seed in our character. The tare will spoil and kill out the wheat. There is a danger of mingling voluntarily with tares. There are some who, when they casually read this parable of the wheat and tares, say, “They are all going to grow together anyway so we just won’t worry about it.” Have you ever noticed what happens to a wheat plant if there are tares planted all around it? It gets choked out.

We need to be thinking very clearly in our minds about the responsibility we have as to who we associate with. If you voluntarily associate with tares all the time, God will not work a miracle to keep them from having an influence upon you. “The tares and wheat are now co–mingled, but then the one Hand that alone can separate them will give to every one his true position. Those who have had the light of truth, and heard the warning message, heard the invitation to the marriage supper,––farmer, merchant, lawyer, false shepherds who have quieted the convictions of the people, unfaithful watchmen who have not sounded the warning or known the time of night,—all who have refused obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God, will have no right therein. Those who have sought an excuse to avoid the cross of separation from the world, will, with the world, be taken in the snare. They mingled with the tares from choice. Like drew to like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation. Men choose to stand with the first rebel, who tempted Adam and Eve in Eden to disobey God. The tares multiply themselves, for they sow tares, and they have their part with the root of all sin.” Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers, 6.

Are We In the Harvest?

The focal point in the parable about the wheat and the tares is about the harvest. What is the harvest? Jesus said it is the end of the age. Today we are still living in the age of grace. No matter how bad you have been you can be forgiven and God wants to help you take all the tares out of your life. He wants the seed of the gospel to grow up in your life. But there is a time when the age of grace will be over. That will be the harvest. When you watch someone harvesting a wheat field with a combine, you notice the harvest does not happen instantly. It takes a period of time; and that is the case with the spiritual harvest, too.

The spiritual harvest takes some time. There are two harvests mentioned in the parable. “Let both grow together [that is both the tares and the wheat] until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares.’ ” Matthew 13:30. The tares are harvested first. They are bound up in bundles to burn. After the tares are harvested, then the wheat is harvested. Notice, in the time of the harvest a separation takes place. All have professed to be the children of God, to be part of His church, but now a separation is going to take place. The angels are going to do that separation. When the harvest time comes the tares and wheat no longer look alike because now the plants are mature. Whatever plant has been growing up in the mind, will then be evident to the whole universe. The wheat and the tares are going to be fully distinguished and differentiated.

The tares are harvested first and are bound in bundles. This binding in bundles is happening right now! Here are some ways people are being bound into bundles today. “The world is leagued against the truth, because it does not desire to obey the truth. Shall I, who perceive the truth, close my eyes and heart to its saving power because the world chooses darkness rather than light? Shall I bind myself up with the bundles of tares because my neighbors refuse to be bound up with the wheat? Shall I refuse light, the evidence of truth which leads to obedience, because my friends and relatives choose to follow in the path of disobedience which leads away from God? Shall I close my mind against the knowledge of the truth because my neighbors and friends will not open their understanding to discern the truth as it is in Jesus? Shall I refuse to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ because my neighbors choose to remain dwarfs spiritually?” God’s Amazing Grace, 6. There are many people who say, “Oh, my husband is not doing it, so I am not going to do it either.” They are binding themselves in bundles with their friends and associates who are going to perdition.

“The true people of God are now pulling apart [that is when a separation takes place], and the tares are being bound in bundles ready to burn. Decided positions will be taken. Satan will move upon minds that have been indulged, upon men who have always had their own way, and anything presented to them in counsel or reproof to change their objectionable traits of character is considered faultfinding, binding them, restraining them, that they cannot have liberty to act themselves. The Lord in great mercy has sent messages of warning to them, but they would not listen to reproof.” 1888 Materials, 995. If God sends me a warning, a reproof, and I will not listen and just go on my way, I am binding myself in a bundle with the tares.

This binding in bundles in our age of the world is happening with very rapid speed. There are large groups of Christians today that are already bound up in bundles. “Can we not see how earnestly Satan is at work binding the tares in bundles, uniting the elements of his kingdom, that he may gain control of the world? This work of binding up the tares is going forward far more rapidly than we imagine. Satan is opposing every obstacle to the advancement of the truth. He is seeking to create diversity of opinion and to encourage worldliness and avarice. He works with the subtlety of the serpent and, when he sees it will do, with the ferocity of the lion. The ruin of souls is his only delight.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 383.

There are many ways people are binding themselves up in bundles today. At His trial, Jesus said He did not do anything in secret but in the open. Today people are binding themselves in bundles in secret societies with other people who do not believe the Bible. People are binding themselves with other associations which cause them to break the law of God. We need to be careful we do not bind ourselves with those who are preparing themselves to be lost. It is happening all over the world. People are being bound in bundles.

The Shaking and the Harvest

There is another figure of speech used in the Bible to describe this separation process where the tares and the wheat are separated. In the Bible it is called the “shaking.” When you see the shaking taking place in the church, you know we are in the time of the harvest––and the tares are bound in bundles first. “The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous. ‘They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.’” Testimonies to Ministers, 234. Members of the same family are separated in the time of judgment.

“A new life is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people. But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 113. When you see division coming, two parties developing in the church, where are you in the history of the world? You are at the harvest, the end of time. What we see happening in the Christian church today, in the Seventh–day Adventist Church today, should cause us to wake up and realize where we are. We are in the time of the harvest. The shaking is the beginning of the harvest.

“Trials are to come upon God’s people and the tares are to be separated from the wheat.” Review and Herald, March 19, 1895. The final separation is coming sooner than we expect. The signs of the times in the religious world and in the Seventh–day Adventist Church show us clearly we are in the time of the harvest when two parties are being developed. Don’t you hear everyone talking about it? There is a division in the church. The tares and the wheat are being separated. Soon the final separation is going to take place. Are you going to be bound in bundles with a group of people who may claim to be Christians but are going to lose eternal life, or are you going to be part of the wheat? Is the truth going to grow up to full maturity in your heart?

I have always looked at this parable as being in the future, but no longer. We are now in the harvest time. Divisions have come, two parties have been developed and the angels are doing a work that just a few years ago we did not understand. If there was ever a time to say, “Lord, I want all the tares out of my life and the plant of the gospel of truth to grow up to full maturity in my mind,” it is now.

I want to be gathered into God’s garner, in the harvest. It is time to get on our knees and say, “Lord, I want the Holy Spirit to take all the tares out of my life. I want the truth to grow up to full maturity in my life.” When we see Jesus, we are going to be like Him. The plant of the truth is going to have grown to full maturity in our lives.

The End

Editorial – What God Has Joined, part 2

Although, in extreme cases, separation is at times necessary, we note that this course was something that even the prophet of God left to the judgment of those who were in these trying situations—she did not advocate the separation of that which God had joined together and she gave serious warnings to anyone who would do this even when there was question as to whether the persons involved had a biblical right to marry in the first place.

Example 1: “Your letter has been received and read. I have had acquaintance with several such cases and have found those who felt conscientious to do something in similar cases to the one you mention. After having stirred things up generally, and torn to pieces, they had not wisdom to put things together to make matters better. I found that those who were so zealous to tear things down did nothing to build them up in right order. They had the faculty to confuse, distress, and create a most deplorable condition of things, but not the faculty to make them better.

“You have asked my counsel in regard to this case; I would say that unless those who are burdened in reference to the matter have carefully studied a better arrangement, and can find places for these where they can be comfortable, they better not carry out their ideas of a separation. I hope to learn that this matter is not pressed and that sympathy will not be withdrawn from the two whose interests have been united. I write this because I have seen so many cases of the kind, and persons would have great burden till everything was unsettled and uprooted and then their interest and burden went no further. We should individually know that we have a zeal that is according to knowledge. We should not move hastily in such matters, but look on every side of the question; we should move very cautiously and with pitying tenderness, because we do no know all the circumstances which led to this course of action.

“I advise that these unfortunate ones be left to God and their own consciences, and that the church shall not treat them as sinners until they have evidence that they are such in the sight of the Holy God. He reads hearts as an open book. He will not judge as man judgeth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 164, 165

Example 2: “I have just read your letter concerning Will E. I regard the matter in the same light that you do, and think it a cruel, wicked thing that the father of Will E. Should take the course that he is taking; but I have not dared to answer his letters. If anything can come from me through you to him, I would say that his case cannot be improved by leaving the present wife. It would not better the case to go to the other woman in the question….

“I have not written to Will E., but know that if the father would repent before God and do his first works, and cease to consider himself as one that can help his son, he would ask himself the question, ‘Is my name written there, on the page white and fair?’ He might well begin to humble himself before God, and leave Will Wales with God.

“Let the father and brother make diligent work for themselves. They both need the converting power of God. May the Lord help these poor souls to remove spot and stain from their own characters, and repent of their wrongs, and leave Will E. with the Lord.

“I am so sorry for the man, for his course is in such a shape that it will not answer to be meddled with, for there are difficulties upon difficulties. I would say that the Lord understands the situation, and if Will E. will seek Him with all his heart, He will be found of him. If he will do his best, God will pardon and receive him.

“’Oh, how precious it is to know that we have One who does know and understand, and will help the ones who are most helpless. But the rebuke of God is upon the father and the brother who would drive to destruction and perdition one who stands in the sight of God under no worse condemnation than themselves, and yet they will so use their gifts of speech as to dishearten, discourage, and drive Will E. to despair.

“‘Will E. may hope in God and do the best he can to serve God in all humility of mind, casting his helpless soul upon the great Sin Bearer. I have not written a word to either father or son. I would gladly do something to help poor Will E. to make things right, but this cannot be done as matters are now situated, without someone’s being wronged.

“I understand perfectly the situation between Will E. and his first wife….and I knew how the case would terminate; for Will E. cannot endure to be a slave, his identity lost in a wife who made herself his judge in conscience, in his duty, and in his work generally.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 225-227