Knowing the Time, Part II

In Part 1 of this article [February 2006], ten points were given which help us know that, without question, we are living in the last days of this world. We are not at the beginning of the time of the end; we are at the end of the time of the end.

As important as it is to know the time in the world—and that is important—it is even more important to know the time in the church. Do you know the time in the church? Well, if you do not, I hope you will start a study on this subject.

Time in the Church

Verse 1 of 11 Timothy 3 says: “This know, that in the last days perilous times shall come”; grievous, difficult times are going to come. Then several social problems are listed, such as children being disobedient to their parents, people being fierce and brutal, not loving their neighbor, loving money. It gives a whole list of social problems! Coming to the end of these social problems, verse 5 tells us what is going to go on in the Christian church in the last days. This is scary. It describes the people as, “having a form of godliness [having a form of piety, a form of religion] but denying its power.”

What is going to happen in the church in the last days? The people are going to be very religious. In the Midwest, monstrous churches are being erected like none ever before built. There are churches in Wichita, Kansas, that will hold over 4,000 people. They are like huge amphitheaters or auditoriums, so for people to see and hear the speaker from the back, five or six large screens are used with an enlarged projection of the speaker. Oh, let me tell you, friends, we have religion today. We have a form of religion, but the Bible says that people will deny the power of it.

Power of Godliness

Let me describe very briefly what it means to deny the power of religion, to deny the power of the gospel, to deny the power of godliness. When Jesus came to this world, He did not come just to die on a cross and pay the price for our sins. That was part of it, but that was not everything. Before Jesus ever died on the cross, He lived in this world for over 30 years as our example, to show us how to live. He said, “If you will follow Me, I will give you the power to become like Me.”

John 1:12 says, “As many as received Him, to them gave He authority to become the sons of God, even those who believe in His name.” And when He returns, it says in 1 John 3:2, we are going to be like Him. What is the power of godliness? The power of godliness is the power of God to take some wretch like me who has a sinful nature, a weak will, and a wicked mind and transform me, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to make me—I say this reverently—like Jesus Christ. That is what the gospel is about.

Born of the Holy Spirit

If you have a form of religion and you go to church, pray, sing, read, shout, witness, and do all kinds of good things, but a transformation of character through the Holy Spirit never happens in your life, you will not be saved. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” John 3:5. He did not say that he should not; He said that he could not enter the kingdom of heaven. To enter, you must be born of the Holy Spirit, and when that happens, the Holy Spirit will work a miracle inside of you.

Ellen White says that it is through the Spirit that the heart is made pure. (The Desire of Ages, 671.) The Spirit has to work a change in you; otherwise you cannot go to heaven—even if you go to church. The power of God is the power to change your life so you do not think like the devil anymore, but you think like Jesus Christ. You do not feel like the devil; you feel like Jesus Christ. You no longer talk like the devil; you talk like Jesus Christ. You no longer act like the devil; you act like Jesus Christ, especially in your home. “A Christian in the home is a Christian everywhere.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1085.

Form of Godliness

But in the last days there is going to be a people who will have a form of godliness. They will have all the outward trophies of religion. They will go to church; they will pray; they will sing; they will witness; they will prophesy; they will talk in tongues; they will work miracles. In Matthew 7:21–23, you may read about these people who come to the Lord and say, “Lord, You made a mistake. I know I am saved, because I cast out devils in Your name, and I prophesied in Your name, and I worked many powerful miracles in Your name.” And then Jesus will say to them, “Depart from Me, I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. You who break the law are not a loyal subject.”

Some people say that it is just too bad that it is this way, but they guess they will just have to endure it. Oh, no, it is not that way. Oh, no, that is not what the Bible says. We did not read the end of the text: “Having the form of godliness but denying the power of it, from these turn away.” 11 Timothy 3:5. This is where it gets tough. Paul says that in the last days there is going to be a people who have a form of godliness but they deny the power. Let me put it plainly: denying the power is the new theology that tells us that we cannot overcome sin. That is denying the power.

Turn Away

When new theology is being preached, is Paul telling us to just stay in there and do the best we can, because we are living in the last days? What does he say? He says to turn away. Do you get the thrust of that? I know people all over—I have friends—who are trying to stay in there. I heard of one person who said that if it gets too bad while the Sabbath School lesson is being taught, just go into the bathroom and read the Bible and The Great Controversy. Is that what Paul is telling us to do? Go into the bathroom and read your Bible while all this racket is going on? Paul said to turn away! Are you going to do it?

I have friends who tend to think that I am a fanatic. They have decided that they are not going to turn away; they are going to stay in there and fight to clean things up. But let me tell you what happens after they stay in this situation a few years. Instead of getting it cleaned up, they become spiritually anesthetized, until they do not even see that there is a problem in the church anymore. I have seen it happen repeatedly. Do not say that you will be strong; you can resist it; you will be all right; you are going to be a light. That is not what the Bible says to do.

You are a human being, and when God tells you to turn away from something, if you want to be saved, you better turn away. If you do not, you will become like that with which you associate. Do not ever forget that.

Why was the Seventh-day Adventist Church raised up in the first place? Why did we not just stay with the Baptists and the Methodists and the other Christian churches? Why? Because they rejected the truth of the Three Angels’ Messages.

I am sorry to have to say this, but there are many Seventh-day Adventist preachers and many Seventh-day Adventist churches today that have rejected the Three Angels’ Messages. If you are in one of them, you better get out. From those people turn away—people who no longer believe in the investigative judgment; people who no longer know who Babylon is; people who no longer know who the beast or antichrist is. The Bible says that there will be people who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof; from these turn away.

Similar to Jews’ Experience

Number two. What is the time in the church? It is the last days. It is the time of the end. What is going to happen at the time of the end in the church? Read Selected Messages, Book 1, 406. Ellen White said that God told her this over and over again. If God told Ellen White something over and over again, do you suppose that it may have some rather unusual importance?

What did He tell her over and over again? He told her that our experience in the second advent movement, just before the second coming of Christ, would be very similar to the experience of the Jews just before the first coming of Christ. That is not just a prophecy anymore; it is happening right around us.

Immodest Dress

Number three. This is a point I would encourage you to study more on your own. Isaiah 2 begins a prophecy about the last days, which continues in chapters 3 and 4. In chapter 3:16–26, it indicates that there is going to be immodest and prideful dress among the daughters of Zion in the last days.

I do not want any woman to think I am trying to point a finger at her, because I am not. I am not trying to say that women are any worse sinners than men. Men have their own problems, and women have their own problems. Let me explain what the men’s problem is; then I will explain what the women’s problem is.

A man’s problem is that he has a moral responsibility to guard his eyes. Men have a natural tendency to look at women, and the fewer clothes the women have on, the more the men tend to look. Jesus warned against that. In Job 31:1, Job said, “I cut a covenant; I made a covenant with my eyes. Why should I look intently upon a virgin?” He said, “ I will not do it.” Men have to guard their eyes. That is a man’s problem. A man has a moral responsibility to God to say, “Lord, help me to be careful as to what I am looking at, and what I am thinking about when I am looking at it.”

A woman has an opposite problem. Just as men are tempted to look at women, women are tempted to encourage men to look at them. Oh, my dear sister, do you realize that by immodest clothing, by the kind of clothing described in Isaiah 3, you can help to take some men to hell? Read Matthew 5:27–30. It was in regard to this problem that Jesus told men that it would be better to pluck out their eye or cut off their hand to get rid of it, to get away. If you are a woman and some man goes to hell as the result of looking at you, do you not think that the Lord is going to tell you about it in the Day of Judgment?

Number four. In Isaiah 8:12, we read, “Say not a confederacy or a conspiracy to all those who say a confederacy or a conspiracy. Do not fear their fear.” This is something that is happening in Adventism today and has been happening for over 20 years.

Wake Up

Number five. In Matthew 25—the story of the ten virgins—we see that the church in the last days is asleep. Have you ever gone into your closet or wherever you do your private praying and said, “Lord, please have mercy on me and wake me up”? Paul said, in Romans 13:11, that it is the hour to wake out of sleep. It is time to wake up. Ask the Lord to please wake you up, to send the Holy Spirit to help you hear that still, small voice. Do you realize that probation is going to close, and Jesus is going to come, and some Seventh-day Adventists are not going to wake up until it is too late? In Early Writings, 71, Mrs. White describes it exactly. When the plagues begin to fall, then they wake up, but it is too late to wake up then.

Number six. What has happened in Adventism while we have been asleep? In Matthew 13, Jesus told us what would happen while we were asleep. He said that while men slept the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. There have been so many tares sown in Adventism that unless the Lord works a miracle the tares will choke out the wheat crop. (See Review and Herald, October 3, 1899.)

That is one of the reasons that there are independent Seventh-day Adventist churches today, because Ellen White says very clearly that it is possible for the tares to choke out the wheat, so there is no crop.

Yielded Leaders

Now we come to one of the most important points of all. Do you believe that we are in the last years of this earth’s history? Following is one of the most startling prophecies ever written by the pen of Ellen White about what is going to happen in Adventism in the last years of earth’s history. It was written during the time of the alpha of apostasy. “In His Word the Lord declared what He would do for Israel if they would obey His voice.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 379. What did God promise to do for them, if they would obey His voice? He said, “You would be the head and not the tail”; “I will bless you, I will bless the fruit of your womb, I will bless your cattle, I will bless your crops, I will bless your children, I will bless your land.” Deuteronomy 28:13; 7:13.

In fact, if they had followed the Lord fully, they would not even have had to chase the Canaanites out of Canaan. The Lord told them that He was willing to send hornets after them; they would not even have to do it. (Exodus 23:28.) Read the blessings that were promised to the children of Israel, if they would have obeyed; it makes your mouth water! We wonder, with promises such as this, how anybody could not pay attention! But here is what happened.

“But the leaders of the people yielded to the temptations of Satan, and God could not give them the blessings He designed them to have, because they did not obey His voice but listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer.” Ibid. Who yielded? The leaders of the people! God could not give Israel the blessings He desired, because they listened to Satan’s temptations. They did not obey God; they listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer.

That is the easy part to read. Now we will read something that is absolutely scalding hot. “This experience [the experience of the leaders leading the people astray, listening to the voice and policy of Lucifer, and not obeying the Lord] will be repeated in the last years of the history of the people of God, who have been established by His grace and power.” Ibid. Who are the people of God who have been established by His grace and power in the last days? They are the Seventh-day Adventists. God could not do for ancient Israel what He wanted to do, because the leaders listened to the temptations of Satan; they did not obey God. They obeyed the voice and policy of Lucifer. Mrs. White says that the same thing is going to happen at the end, in the last days.

Sanctify Lucifer

If we are now in the last days, what do you think is happening right now? The leaders of God’s people have succumbed to the temptations of Satan. They are not obedient; they are not following Bible order. They have listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer, and then somebody says that we have to stay with this! This is God’s church? Wait a minute! Are the synagogue of Satan and God’s church the same thing? She says, “Men whom He has greatly honored will in the closing scenes of this earth’s history pattern after ancient Israel.” Ibid.

Jesus and Lucifer do not work in partnership. Do not ever get that wrong. Again, Jesus and Lucifer do not work in partnership. A few years ago we received a phone call from a clergyman who was quite irate. I am not saying that the people in our church did not make a mistake, because they went to his church’s parking lot while the congregation was meeting and put literature on the windshields of the cars parked there. That was not wise, because it was private property. The clergyman was quite irate because of this literature. (This clergyman was a clergyman in Babylon.) This literature told the evils of Halloween. Halloween is a holiday that has its origin in Druid and Satan worship. Halloween is all right today, he told us, because (concerning his church) we sanctified it.

Can you sanctify what Lucifer does? Friends, Seventh-day Adventists think like this today. They think that we, because we are Seventh-day Adventists, can sanctify something, and it is all right, even if it is the voice and policy of Lucifer.

Ellen White said that these leaders of ancient times listened to the voice and policy of Lucifer, and it is going to happen in the last years—and it is happening. It has been happening for several years already.

How to Relate

How do you relate to this? Some people get angry. There are a lot of angry Seventh-day Adventists today, because of the wickedness and evil going on in Adventism. There are some people who are just absolutely, white-hot angry. They are like the zealots in the time of Christ. They were angry too. They were ready to start a revolt and drive out the Romans. One of those zealots was one of Jesus’ disciples.

But then there are other people who say that we are to just stay in there no matter what the church or its leaders do, because it is the true church, and we will lose our souls if we leave it. In 11 Timothy 3:5, we have already studied that Paul said, in such a situation, we better turn away. We need to investigate the question, and then we need to understand the answer to that question.

Ellen White was shown that just as it was before the first coming of Christ, it would be before the Second Coming of Christ. It is one of the greatest signs that we are right at the end.

What about You?

How are you going to come out of all this? Friends, Jesus is coming soon. Ellen White saw that few Adventists would be saved. (Testimonies, vol. 1, 608, 609.) I am sorry that few people are going to be saved in the world, and I am sorry that few people are going to be saved in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have said that I wish the whole city of Wichita, Kansas, would be saved, but it will not be. I can preach, but then the people have to decide. I wish the whole Seventh-day Adventist Church would be saved, but it will not be. You, however, can make a decision as to whether or not you are going to be saved.

I have often thought about Noah and his family in the ark. When the rain was falling, do you suppose any of them said, “There are so few of us in here; I wish I were out there with the others”? The people were drowning out there! Even though there were only a few in the ark, they were glad they were in it. I want to tell you something, friends. The few people who stay with the Three Angels’ Messages will triumph with it. Do you want to be part of that group?

I am sad. I am not happy reporting to you from the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible about what is happening. I do not like to see people lose their souls. I am not happy about that, but I cannot help it. I tell them, and they will not listen. They say that I am a fanatic. Is anybody listening? Is anybody willing to live by the Word of God? Is anybody willing to say, Yes, I will still believe, and I will still spread the Three Angels’ Messages?

The Three Angels’ Messages will triumph. They are infallible. If you stay with them, you will triumph also. I have decided that this is where I want to stay. I am not going to attend a church where the Three Angels’ Messages are not preached, no matter what name is on the front of the building. It is the Three Angels’ Messages that are going to triumph, not a name.

[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]

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