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Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2014, 05:29:09 PM »

Newsletter - July 4, 2014


Our Country - Its Dangers
by E.G. White - Signs of the Times, July 4, 1899

     The greatest and most favored nation upon the earth is the United States. A gracious Providence has shielded this country, and poured upon her the choicest of Heaven's blessings. Here the persecuted and oppressed have found refuge. Here the Christian faith in its purity has been taught. This people have been the recipients of great light and unrivaled mercies. But these gifts have been repaid by ingratitude and forgetfulness of God. The Infinite One keeps a reckoning with the nations, and their guilt is proportioned to the light rejected. A fearful record now stands in the register of heaven against our land; but the crime which shall fill up the measure of her iniquity is that of making void the law of God. 
 
     Between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah will come the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. Upon this battle we are now entering,--a battle not between rival churches contending for the supremacy, but between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition. The agencies which will unite against truth and righteousness in this contest are now actively at work.   

     God's Holy Word, which has been handed down to us at such a cost of suffering and blood, is but little valued. The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity of the law of God, are practically rejected by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands who pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible, and a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the Scriptures, and to spiritualize and explain away their most important truths. Many ministers are teaching their people, and many professors and teachers are instructing their students, that the law of God has been changed or abrogated; and they ridicule those who are so simple-minded as to acknowledge all its claims.   

     In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Lawgiver. It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone. Satan leads men to conceive of God in a false character, as having attributes which He does not possess. A philosophical idol is enthroned in the place of Jehovah; while the true God, as He is revealed in His Word, in Christ, and in the works of creation, is worshiped by but few. Thousands deify nature, while they deny the God of nature. Tho in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. The god of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists, the god of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological institutions, is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia. 

     No error accepted by the Christian world strikes more boldly against the authority of Heaven, none is more directly opposed to the dictates of reason, none is more pernicious in its results, than the modern doctrine, so rapidly gaining ground, that God's law is no longer obligatory upon men. Every nation has its laws, which command respect and obedience; and has the Creator of the heavens and the earth no law to govern the beings He has made? Suppose that prominent ministers were publicly to teach that the statutes which govern our nation and protect the rights of its citizens were not obligatory,--that they restricted the liberties of the people, and therefore ought not to be obeyed; how long would such men be tolerated in the pulpit? But is it a graver offense to disregard the laws of States and nations than to trample upon those divine precepts which are the foundation of all government? When the standard of righteousness is set aside, the way is open for the prince of evil to establish his rule in the earth.   

     It would be far more consistent for nations to abolish their statutes, and permit the people to do as they please, then for the Ruler of the universe to annul His law, and leave the world without a standard to condemn the guilty or justify the obedient. Would we know the result of making void the law of God? The experiment has been tried. Terrible were the scenes enacted in France when atheism became the controlling power. It was then demonstrated to the world that to throw off the restraints which God has imposed is to accept the rule of the cruelest of tyrants.

   Wherever the divine precepts are set aside, sin ceases to appear sinful, or righteousness desirable. Those who refuse to submit to the government of God are wholly unfitted to govern themselves. Through their pernicious teachings, the spirit of insubordination is implanted in the hearts of children and youth, who are naturally impatient of control; and a lawless, licentious state of society results. While scoffing at the credulity of those who obey the requirements of God, the multitudes eagerly accept the delusions of Satan. They give the rein to lust, and practice the sins which called down judgments upon the heathen.   

     Let the restraint imposed by the divine law be wholly removed, and human laws would soon be disregarded. Because God forbids dishonest practices,--coveting, lying, and defrauding,--men are ready to trample upon His statutes as a hindrance to their worldly prosperity; but the results of banishing these precepts would be such as they do not anticipate. If the law were not binding, why should any fear to transgress? Property would no longer be safe. Men would obtain their neighbors' possessions by violence, and the strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be respected. Those who disregard the commandments of God sow disobedience to reap disobedience. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power, would, if he desired, take his neighbor's wife by violence. The fifth commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would not shrink from taking the life of their parents, if by so doing they could obtain the desire of their corrupt hearts. The civilized world would become a horde of robbers and assassins; and peace, rest and happiness would be banished from the earth.

     Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God's requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation, and opened the flood-gates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide. In the family, Satan is at work. His banner waves, even in professedly Christian households. There is envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy; estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions, as if they had attained an enviable distinction. The greatest publicity is given to their character and crimes. The papers publish the revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into the practise of fraud, robbery, and murder; and Satan exults in the success of his hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil.

     Courts of justice are corrupt. Rulers are actuated by desire for gain, and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the faculties of many, so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, passion envy, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among those who administer the laws. "Justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." 

     Our land is in jeopardy. The time is drawing on when its legislators shall so abjure the principles of Protestantism as to give countenance to Romish apostasy. The people for whom God has so marvelously wrought, strengthening them to throw off the galling yoke of popery, will, by a national act, give vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, and thus arouse the tyranny which only waits for a touch to start again into cruelty and despotism. With rapid steps are we already approaching this period. When Protestant churches shall seek the support of the secular power, thus following the example of that apostate church, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will there be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2014, 08:02:28 PM »

The Third Option
by Richard Myers
August 6, 2014

As we study the history of the newly organized Christian Church, we find that Satan did all he could to arrest the new church's progress. He led Judaizers into newly established churches to attack the foundation of our faith. Paul had labored untiringly to establish churches in Corinth and Galatia. They were on solid ground with their understanding resting upon righteousness by faith in Christ and His Word. Converts began their journey trusting in Jesus for their salvation, but in the apostles absence, they were led astray. Instead of looking unto Jesus, they began looking to self and their good works to save themselves. The Judaizers had perverted Scripture and the people lost sight of their dependence upon Christ. They were following another gospel.

Unlike the Galatians and the Corinthians, the Bereans placed their belief in Christ and his Word. Even the Apostle Paul's teaching was not accepted until it had been compared to Scripture. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."  Acts 17:11. How does God look at those who turn from the light given to His church? Paul was inspired to tell us that when the Gospel message once delivered unto the Saints is perverted, he who has done this is accursed. He made it clear in his letter to the Galatians. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8,9.

Today, we have rebellion in the church. All are aware of the situation with Western Europe, Australia, and North America. As in their societies, they want to make women leaders of men. The North American Division voted to reject the World Church and change their bylaws to allow women to be conference presidents, to remove the distinction between men and women in the church. While this is not Biblical and was rebellion against the church, it is not the gospel message.  Many who are in leadership positions reveal a lack of discernment and a rebellious heart. Many of these are responsible for bringing a false gospel into God's church.  A rebellious heart is a bad tree and a bad tree does not bring forth good fruit.

Today the hellish torch of Satan is found in God's church leading away from the light of inspiration. The gospel has indeed been perverted and strange teachings have come into God's church. The teaching of Shakespeare and evolution in our schools, the acceptance of homosexuality is in the church, and God is a "she" is heard from Seventh day Adventist pulpits.

The battle between Scripture and human wisdom has taken a new turn. Some who believe the Bible does not allow for Women to rule over men have proposed a third option, a compromise that would allow women to rule over men to preserve unity in the church.

This reminds me of Paul's situation when he came to Jerusalem for the last time.  With the arrival of Paul there was great fear on the part of the other apostles. Paul had been preaching and teaching against the ceremonial law. The other apostles knew that when Paul came back into Jerusalem he would be met with fierce opposition from the Jews. They rightly understood that this would mean persecution for the Christian Church in Jerusalem. Fear caused them to compromise the truth. They asked Paul to partake in the purification rites that were soon to take place. This was contrary to the truth and what Paul had been teaching. Paul, not wanting to offend his friends did what they asked. This brought about the death of one of the church's greatest pillars. It was not God's will for Paul to give up the truth in order to maintain unity with the leadership of the Christian Church.

Jesus never purchased peace by compromise, we ought not either. We should be very careful lest in seeking to prevent discord we surrender the truth. We are to "follow after the things which make for peace." Romans 14:19. But, real peace can never be secured by compromising principle. And no man can be true to principle without exciting opposition. A Christianity that is spiritual will be opposed by the children of disobedience. Those who are true to God need not fear the power of men nor Satan. In Christ their eternal life is secure. Their only fear should be lest they surrender the truth, and thus betray the trust with which God has honored them.       

Today there is set before us a choice, we can offend God by not following the truth that He has entrusted to us, or we can offend friends who refuse to walk in the light given in Scripture. Whom do we fear to offend most, God or our friends?  Jesus told His disciples, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28. Or, better yet, whom do we love more, God or our friends?

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:34-37.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2014, 07:55:05 PM »

The Feminization of Seventh-day Adventist Males
by Mimi
September 5, 2014

The following Spirit of prophecy statement troubled me for the greater part of a day:

In the face of the most positive commands of God, men and women will follow their own inclinations, and then dare to pray over the matter, to prevail upon God to allow them to go contrary to His expressed will. Satan comes to the side of such persons, as he did to Eve in Eden, and impresses them. They have an exercise of mind, and this they relate as a most wonderful experience which the Lord has given them. But true experience will be in harmony with natural and divine law; false experience arrays itself against the laws of life and the precepts of Jehovah.  Counsels on Health, 109

It worked upon my heart because something was terribly wrong and it addressed the problem: men and the authority of God's Word. Mankind is given "most positive commands of God"... and yet "men and women will follow their own inclinations, daring to pray over the matter, to prevail upon God to allow them to go contrary to His expressed will." It brought to mind the feminization of the Seventh-day Adventist male and the turbulence left in its wake.

Is the following an exaggeration or is there truth in it as you have seen it unfold?

“Feminists are neutering the American male and the American male is letting it happen…No matter who they have been—capitalists, communists, college students, dropouts, Christians, atheists, blacks, whites, young, or old—they have had one problem in common. They have suffered to one degree or another from the touch of the feminizing forces that have taken over the land. These men have not been sure what it means to be a man...they are men who refuse to take responsibility. Their passivity and inaction ensure that…leadership in their homes belongs to their wives. Bowing to the strident sniping of radical feminists, men have allowed themselves to be transformed into a bunch of wimpy eunuchs who, rather than stand their ground, have ceded their manhood to women who want to be men.” 1

Here’s more from another cultural observer:

“God's prophet warned that one of the marks of a nation under divine judgment is when "women rule over them." (Isa. 3:12) Today, women must be appeased and catered to. They are the heads of businesses, the heads of churches, and the heads of their homes. In politics, the women's vote is usually the one that turns the election. Women serve on military ships and in military operations. They dictate their children's upbringing (which explains why most of them grow up undisciplined and spoiled, by the way) and have the final word on virtually all family decisions. Such a phenomenon is the sign of a nation in trouble.

“Men have abandoned their responsibilities of leadership, and our nation is going down the tubes because of it. In the black community, the vast majority of children are being raised without a father. The white community is not far behind. Furthermore, in those homes where fathers do exist, they are largely detached and provide no real influence. Mom is in charge, and everybody in the household knows it.

“There was a time when men took their families to church and taught their children the fundamental values of honesty and integrity. Believe it or not, there was a time in America when men took pride in being the spiritual heads of their homes. They actually knew how to balance a checkbook and how to read the Good Book. They were the kind of men that women loved and children respected.

“However, the feminization of America is so complete, so thorough, that I am not certain if old-fashioned, masculine men are even desirable anymore. You would not know it by looking at our politicians, or our preachers, that is for sure. The politicians, and everyone else, seem determined to continue to appease the feminized majority that comprises this new America.” 2

 
And it is that majority comprising America that is quickly spreading world-wide. But alas we can say, it had been brewing far and wide for decades.

Friends will once more indulge me for telling of my experience when rejoining God’s church. For a year I was headlong into Scripture and the Spirit of prophecy. Grandfather left me his Bible and books. I was rich with time, so I read them, re-read them and studied them to exhaustion. The Ellen G. White Estate had listed more books than Grandfather owned, so I continued reading online. It was a glorious year of discovery and recollection of the religion of my childhood. As an adult making inquiry of heaven, daily was my prayer, “What must I do to be saved?” God’s Spirit wooed me to the church doors at the end of that year. It was June 2001 when the Holy Spirit nerved me up to go to prayer meeting and finally to meet the "saints." A woman elder met me at the door in cutoffs and tee top, red lipstick and diamond rings. I literally blurted out, "Isn't this the Seventh-day Adventist Church?" The one I left in 1967 was very different than the one I stepped back into in 2001. I did not recognize it. Very little of it remained. But because a decision with eternal consequences faced me every single day, I decided it was Jesus Who had not changed His Word or His messages in the Spirit of Prophecy, but a people inside His church did this, molding it after earthly culture and fallen churches. Most were worldly, reckless, and far from holy. Anticipating I would return to a band of righteous people, a blue lagoon far from the storm I was battling, it was devastating, yet it directly resonated with His message in Revelation 3 and it was only then that a determination came over me to live among them, come-what-may. Jesus described the Laodiceans and gave a remedy of great promise if heeded. She would repent and return to her first estate and "go through" to the end victorious, bright and clean – without blemish! That hope and absolute promise remains for Jesus' sake, to say nothing of ours.

Immediately after the encounter, the agitating question on the drive home was: Why is there a woman who has the title of elder? It was intriguing, confusing and against everything I had studied up to that moment of shocking discovery. There was nothing that caused me to investigate the church prior to joining it. Why would I? Rejoining her was my heart’s desire. Church people would be my people and reconciliation with the Father would be complete while all of us abided in Him and worshipped together. But a woman was holding an office historically and Biblically reserved for men. It shocked my very foundation. What happened to His church? But more importantly, where are the men? What gave way to cause this change and, what would be God’s reaction? The Bible always recorded consequences to bad behavior, so what would He do in answer to this? I began to cry, wondering if I made a huge mistake. For weeks I wrestled with what to do. In direct answer to prayer, I left home for a year to study further. There were people with answers who faithfully led me through the chain of events that produced the woman elder and many more throughout the rank and file of our denomination. Little did I know how widespread it had become.

Would it become a deal-breaker? Almost.

Could I join a church that so flagrantly disregards Scripture and the Spirit of prophecy?

After agonizing over that one question and almost walking away, I had to join. There was no other choice. We do not turn our backs on God or His church because of bad decisions the church makes. We stay despite the error. God’s promises are true and Grandfather did not make foolish choices. I moved forward in faith with a determination to hold on and remain focused on the prize: an eternity with Jesus, the redeemed, and worlds unknown.

In the ensuing years, women elders became women pastors and one even became a conference president, all with presumed yet usurped authority over men. The heat of change intensified. Study committees were formed 3 and although the focus was in response to the question of ordination, women’s ordination continued to have the spotlight. It has reached such a fevered pitch that now there is under consideration “A Third Option” 4 for fear of disunity interrupting mission. Can you imagine compromise at this point in the great controversy?  Said a prophet, “If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war.” 5  Strong words, but that is where we are – examining women and their roles, again, as if that is the real problem. It is not the real problem. It is a symptom of a much deeper problem.

As a woman who holds Scripture as the absolute authority on all issues having to do with activities on earth and in heaven, I have a few questions. Where are the men and what has become of them? It is a serious question deserving an equally serious answer. Do the men cited at the opening of this paper have it right? Have we feminized our men because culture demands it? Women’s ordination is only part of a larger problem and it happened when the men sat down refusing to stand. The woman elder, pastor or conference president in your district holds office because a collective of ungodly men allowed this present state of disruption to occur, spreading as a cancer among us, heaping shame upon God’s name, His creation order, and the bulk of Scripture. Are they evolutionists as well? Their actions would certainly suggest it by discounting the opening chapters of Genesis. God has always held the male to a higher level of accountability because of his responsibilities within the home and the church. He is the priest and Divine lawgiver of the home 6 while the female presides as queen over her domain. 7  How are we to reconcile the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy with role reversals both in the home and the church and expect God to bless it? He cannot and He will not. How do I know? The Bible says He won’t if He holds true to past actions against rebellion, which He will.

Why did the men cease listening to God when they could have curbed the rebellion? Why are men so willing to suddenly (in the context of 6,000 years) allow women to rule over them through an acceptance of The Second Option?8  Isaiah 3 places such a thing under Divine judgment. And to make matters worse, as a possible solution of compromise to pacify both camps for the sake of unity and mission, The Third Option coming from The Ordination Study Committee wants us to go expressly against God’s will by accepting conditions that are second best lest we fall apart? At a time in earth’s history when we have so much light as to God’s expectations for fallen humans, how can such a compromise lead us over the river and into the kingdom? To what lengths will the feminization of man go to appease an aspiring woman, relinquishing that which was his, mandated by God?

While the world and church suffer under the devastating taint of sin, it is imperative to remember those who are faithful to God. Not all are in the ranks of the men described. Let us personally remember and individually name in prayer those we know are unceasingly faithful and display the character of Christ. May God keep them. In the meantime, we can examine women and their roles ad infinitum but that will not address the core problem of men who sat down and refused to stand while a wave of silly women crept in to take their places.


_____________________________
1  David L. Goetsch, Neutering the Male of the Species: The Feminization of American Society
2  Author Unknown, The Feminization of America
http://www.adventistarchives.org/ordination#.VAJEz2ODu28
http://www.scribd.com/doc/228366133/TOSC-Final-Papers
5  Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 45
6  Ellen G. White, Adventist Home, p. 212
7  Ellen G. White, Adventist Home, p. 87
http://www.scribd.com/doc/228366133/TOSC-Final-Papers


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2014, 02:55:49 PM »

To Him that Overcometh
by Richard Myers
November 6, 2014

Jesus speaks to His people today "Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." Such an honor to be sent to the world by our Creator God! We surely do not deserve such an honor. And, there are many who are not yet prepared to go anywhere, for they neither have a message nor an experience. To take a message not sent of God to those seeking truth would be deceive and cause the loss of souls. Who then is called? It is those who have overcome and are overcoming.

What then does it mean to "overcome"? Let's look at the statement in context. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne." Revelation 3:21.  Here we have a study set before us. I fear that many do not understand that even though Christ was perfect, He did indeed overcome. So, how about us? If we have truly overcome, is that the end of overcoming? Of course not. That is why we do not say "I am saved" even though we may be in a "saved" condition at the moment. Sanctification and justification are the work of a lifetime. As Paul said "I die daily."

A proper understanding of what it means to overcome sets aside the false teaching that one is justified in having eternal life when sinning a known sin. Who will sit with Jesus on His throne? "Him that overcometh" will be in heaven. Those who do not overcome will not enter the kingdom of God. Overcome what? That is a hard question for many who have  been taught they are saved in sin, or that they are in a converted or saved state when sinning a known sin. For Jesus means "Him that overcometh" sin. He who ceases to sin is he that over overcometh sin.

Moses sinned just prior to his death. Did he overcome sin? Well, what would you say about Moses just prior to his last great sin of pride and anger? The Bible says that he was faithful. "And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth..." Numbers 12:6-8. Moses had overcome sin. That does not mean that he would never sin again. It means that he had ceased sinning just as the thief on the cross had ceased sinning. The difference being Moses had ceased over a longer period of time. Since the thief had overcome, he will be in heaven. "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in paradise." It is "to him that overcometh" that Jesus will I grant to sit with Him in His throne.

"In the kingdom of God, position is not gained through favoritism. It is not earned, nor is it received through an arbitrary bestowal. It is the result of character. The crown and the throne are the tokens of a condition attained; they are the tokens of self-conquest through our Lord Jesus Christ." The Desire of Ages, pg. 549. Does this mean that salvation is purchased? No, that is not what is being said. It was stated clearly this is not the case. "It is not earned." That "self-conquest" was not the result of self, but of the divine nature which empowered the repentant sinner to develop habits of righteousness. Those habits that Moses had developed by allowing Christ to rule in his life were seen in what happened after he sinned his great sin of pride and anger at the end of his earthly life. His character, his habits, enabled him to turn back to Jesus when he came to his senses and saw what he had done to Jesus with his great sin.

Would we not be better off if we had been living a righteous life over an extended period of time? Do you really have to think about getting out of bed early, or eating healthy food, or making your bed, or brushing your teeth? For those who used to smoke, they do not have to think about not smoking anymore because they have developed a character that does not smoke. They are no longer a slave to cigarettes. How is it with us? Are we still enslaved by sin?

"I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Romans 7:23. Or, have we been set free from sin? "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Romans 6:22. Are we overcoming temptation or yielding to it? Are we filled with the Spirit of God or are we walking after our flesh? "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 6:22. When we surrender to Jesus, His Spirit comes into the heart and purifies it then and there. The motives are then holy, not corrupt. The flesh remains vile and evil, but it has no power to do any wrong thing. The divine nature of Christ indwelling the heart keeps the body under, as Paul puts it. We do not yet have holy flesh, but we may possess a holy mind and heart. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5. The new covenant promise is to write God's law upon the heart, the new heart, the purified heart that comes with power to obey God's law. We are recreated from the inside out. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

Cleansed from sin, that is what it means to be an overcomer. "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalms 51:5-7. It is the power of grace received into the heart that brings about this miracle of miracles, the new birth wherein dwells Christ and His righteousness through His Spirit. That experience must be maintained if the righteousness of Christ is to remain in the sinner. We must remain dead to sin and alive unto Christ.

So....where do we stand today? Or better yet, where is Christ standing in your life today? Is He in your heart? If not where does He stand? Many err here. They do not understand what it means when Christ says that He will not forsake us when we sin. He does not mean He will remain in the heart, He does not mean He will cover unconfessed and unforsaken sins. Then where is Jesus when we sin? "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." Why does He stand at the door knocking? Because Jesus promises the unrepentant sinner "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation  3:20. Then we will have both a message and an experience to go where He sends us, to a world soon to perish. "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #64 on: December 17, 2014, 06:27:59 PM »

The Teacher Sent From God
by E.G. White
Education, Chapter 8
December 17, 2014

   "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
 
     In the Teacher sent from God, heaven gave to men its best and greatest. He who had stood in the councils of the Most High, who had dwelt in the innermost sanctuary of the Eternal, was the One chosen to reveal in person to humanity the knowledge of God.

     Through Christ had been communicated every ray of divine light that had ever reached our fallen world. It was He who had spoken through everyone that throughout the ages had declared God's word to man. Of Him all the excellences manifest in the earth's greatest and noblest souls were reflections. The purity and beneficence of Joseph, the faith and meekness and long-suffering of Moses, the steadfastness of Elisha, the noble integrity and firmness of Daniel, the ardor and self-sacrifice of Paul, the mental and spiritual power manifest in all these men, and in all others who had ever dwelt on the earth, were but gleams from the shining of His glory. In Him was found the perfect ideal.
 
     To reveal this ideal as the only true standard for attainment; to show what every human being might become; what, through the indwelling of humanity by divinity, all who received Him would become--for this, Christ came to the world. He came to show how men are to be trained as befits the sons of God; how on earth they are to practice the principles and to live the life of heaven.

     God's greatest gift was bestowed to meet man's greatest need. The Light appeared when the world's darkness was deepest. Through false teaching the minds of men had long been turned away from God. In the prevailing systems of education, human philosophy had taken the place of divine revelation. Instead of the heaven-given standard of truth, men had accepted a standard of their own devising. From the Light of life they had turned aside to walk in the sparks of the fire which they had kindled.
 
     Having separated from God, their only dependence being the power of humanity, their strength was but weakness. Even the standard set up by themselves they were incapable of reaching. The want of true excellence was supplied by appearance and profession. Semblance took the place of reality.

     From time to time, teachers arose who pointed men to the Source of truth. Right principles were enunciated, and human lives witnessed to their power. But these efforts made no lasting impression. There was a brief check in the current of evil, but its downward course was not stayed. The reformers were as lights that shone in the darkness; but they could not dispel it. The world "loved darkness rather than light." John 3:19.
 
     When Christ came to the earth, humanity seemed to be fast reaching its lowest point. The very foundations of society were undermined. Life had become false and artificial. The Jews, destitute of the power of God's word, gave to the world mind-benumbing, soul-deadening traditions and speculations. The worship of God "in Spirit and in truth" had been supplanted by the glorification of men in an endless round of man-made ceremonies. Throughout the world all systems of religion were losing their hold on mind and soul. Disgusted with fable and falsehood, seeking to drown thought, men turned to infidelity and materialism. Leaving eternity out of their reckoning, they lived for the present.
 
     As they ceased to recognize the Divine, they ceased to regard the human. Truth, honor, integrity, confidence, compassion, were departing from the earth. Relentless greed and absorbing ambition gave birth to universal distrust. The idea of duty, of the obligation of strength to weakness, of human dignity and human rights, was cast aside as a dream or a fable. The common people were regarded as beasts of burden or as the tools and the steppingstones for ambition. Wealth and power, ease and self-indulgence, were sought as the highest good. Physical degeneracy, mental stupor, spiritual death, characterized the age.
   
     As the evil passions and purposes of men banished God from their thoughts, so forgetfulness of Him inclined them more strongly to evil. The heart in love with sin clothed Him with its own attributes, and this conception strengthened the power of sin. Bent on self-pleasing, men came to regard God as such a one as themselves--a Being whose aim was self-glory, whose requirements were suited to His own pleasure; a Being by whom men were lifted up or cast down according as they helped or hindered His selfish purpose. The lower classes regarded the Supreme Being as one scarcely differing from their oppressors, save by exceeding them in power. By these ideas every form of religion was molded. Each was a system of exaction. By gifts and ceremonies, the worshipers sought to propitiate the Deity in order to secure His favor for their own ends. Such religion, having no power upon the heart or the conscience, could be but a round of forms, of which men wearied, and from which, except for such gain as it might offer, they longed to be free. So evil, unrestrained, grew stronger, while the appreciation and desire for good diminished. Men lost the image of God and received the impress of the demoniacal power by which they were controlled. The whole world was becoming a sink of corruption.
 
     There was but one hope for the human race--that into this mass of discordant and corrupting elements might be cast a new leaven; that there might be brought to mankind the power of a new life; that the knowledge of God might be restored to the world.   

     Christ came to restore this knowledge. He came to set aside the false teaching by which those who claimed to know God had misrepresented Him. He came to manifest the nature of His law, to reveal in His own character the beauty of holiness.
 
     Christ came to the world with the accumulated love of eternity. Sweeping away the exactions which had encumbered the law of God, He showed that the law is a law of love, an expression of the Divine Goodness. He showed that in obedience to its principles is involved the happiness of mankind, and with it the stability, the very foundation and framework, of human society.
 
     So far from making arbitrary requirements, God's law is given to men as a hedge, a shield. Whoever accepts its principles is preserved from evil. Fidelity to God involves fidelity to man. Thus the law guards the rights, the individuality, of every human being. It restrains the superior from oppression, and the subordinate from disobedience. It ensures man's well-being, both for this world and for the world to come. To the obedient it is the pledge of eternal life, for it expresses the principles that endure forever.
 
     Christ came to demonstrate the value of the divine principles by revealing their power for the regeneration of humanity. He came to teach how these principles are to be developed and applied.
 
     With the people of that age the value of all things was determined by outward show. As religion had declined in power, it had increased in pomp. The educators of the time sought to command respect by display and ostentation. To all this the life of Jesus presented a marked contrast. His life demonstrated the worthlessness of those things that men regarded as life's great essentials. Born amidst surroundings the rudest, sharing a peasant's home, a peasant's fare, a craftsman's occupation, living a life of obscurity, identifying Himself with the world's unknown toilers,--amidst these conditions and surroundings,--Jesus followed the divine plan of education. The schools of His time, with their magnifying of things small and their belittling of things great, He did not seek. His education was gained directly from the Heaven-appointed sources; from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and from the experiences of life--God's lesson books, full of instruction to all who bring to them the willing hand, the seeing eye, and the understanding heart.

    "The Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him." Luke 2:40.
 
     Thus prepared, He went forth to His mission, in every moment of His contact with men exerting upon them an influence to bless, a power to transform, such as the world had never witnessed.
 
     He who seeks to transform humanity must himself understand humanity. Only through sympathy, faith, and love can men be reached and uplifted. Here Christ stands revealed as the master teacher; of all that ever dwelt on the earth, He alone has perfect understanding of the human soul.   

     "We have not a high priest"--master teacher, for the priests were teachers--"we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are." Hebrews 4:15, R.V.
 
    "In that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:18.
 
     Christ alone had experience in all the sorrows and temptations that befall human beings. Never another of woman born was so fiercely beset by temptation; never another bore so heavy a burden of the world's sin and pain. Never was there another whose sympathies were so broad or so tender. A sharer in all the experiences of humanity, He could feel not only for, but with, every burdened and tempted and struggling one.
 
     What He taught, He lived. "I have given you an example," He said to His disciples; "that ye should do as I have done." "I have kept My Father's commandments." John 13:15; 15:10. Thus in His life, Christ's words had perfect illustration and support. And more than this; what He taught, He was. His words were the expression, not only of His own life experience, but of His own character. Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching, power.

     Christ was a faithful reprover. Never lived there another who so hated evil; never another whose denunciation of it was so fearless. To all things untrue and base His very presence was a rebuke. In the light of His purity, men saw themselves unclean, their life's aims mean and false. Yet He drew them. He who had created man, understood the value of humanity. Evil He denounced as the foe of those whom He was seeking to bless and to save. In every human being, however fallen, He beheld a son of God, one who might be restored to the privilege of his divine relationship.
 
    "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17. Looking upon men in their suffering and degradation, Christ perceived ground for hope where appeared only despair and ruin. Wherever there existed a sense of need, there He saw opportunity for uplifting. Souls tempted, defeated, feeling themselves lost, ready to perish, He met, not with denunciation, but with blessing.
 
     The beatitudes were His greeting to the whole human family. Looking upon the vast throng gathered to listen to the Sermon on the Mount, He seemed for the moment to have forgotten that He was not in heaven, and He used the familiar salutation of the world of light. From His lips flowed blessings as the gushing forth of a long-sealed fountain.

     Turning from the ambitious, self-satisfied favorites of this world, He declared that those were blessed who, however great their need, would receive His light and love. To the poor in spirit, the sorrowing, the persecuted, He stretched out His arms, saying, "Come unto Me, . . . and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.
   
     In every human being He discerned infinite possibilities. He saw men as they might be, transfigured by His grace--in "the beauty of the Lord our God." Psalm 90:17. Looking upon them with hope, He inspired hope. Meeting them with confidence, He inspired trust. Revealing in Himself man's true ideal, He awakened, for its attainment, both desire and faith. In His presence souls despised and fallen realized that they still were men, and they longed to prove themselves worthy of His regard. In many a heart that seemed dead to all things holy, were awakened new impulses. To many a despairing one there opened the possibility of a new life.

     Christ bound them to His heart by the ties of love and devotion; and by the same ties He bound them to their fellow men. With Him love was life, and life was service. "Freely ye have received," He said, "freely give." Matthew 10:8.   

     It was not on the cross only that Christ sacrificed Himself for humanity. As He "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38), every day's experience was an outpouring of His life. In one way only could such a life be sustained. Jesus lived in dependence upon God and communion with Him. To the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty, men now and then repair; they abide for a season, and the result is manifest in noble deeds; then their faith fails, the communion is interrupted, and the lifework marred. But the life of Jesus was a life of constant trust, sustained by continual communion; and His service for heaven and earth was without failure or faltering.
 
     As a man He supplicated the throne of God, till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that connected humanity with divinity. Receiving life from God, He imparted life to men.   

    "Never man spake like this Man." John 7:46. This would have been true of Christ had He taught only in the realm of the physical and the intellectual, or in matters of theory and speculation solely. He might have unlocked mysteries that have required centuries of toil and study to penetrate. He might have made suggestions in scientific lines that, till the close of time, would have afforded food for thought and stimulus for invention. But He did not do this. He said nothing to gratify curiosity or to stimulate selfish ambition. He did not deal in abstract theories, but in that which is essential to the development of character; that which will enlarge man's capacity for knowing God, and increase his power to do good. He spoke of those truths that relate to the conduct of life and that unite man with eternity.
 
     Instead of directing the people to study men's theories about God, His word, or His works, He taught them to behold Him, as manifested in His works, in His word, and by His providences. He brought their minds in contact with the mind of the Infinite.   

     The people "were astonished at His teaching (R.V.), for His word was with power." Luke 4:32. Never before spoke one who had such power to awaken thought, to kindle aspiration, to arouse every capability of body, mind, and soul.

     Christ's teaching, like His sympathies, embraced the world. Never can there be a circumstance of life, a crisis in human experience, which has not been anticipated in His teaching, and for which its principles have not a lesson. The Prince of teachers, His words will be found a guide to His co-workers till the end of time.
 
     To Him the present and the future, the near and the far, were one. He had in view the needs of all mankind. Before His mind's eye was outspread every scene of human effort and achievement, of temptation and conflict, of perplexity and peril. All hearts, all homes, all pleasures and joys and aspirations, were known to Him.
 
     He spoke not only for, but to, all mankind. To the little child, in the gladness of life's morning; to the eager, restless heart of youth; to men in the strength of their years, bearing the burden of responsibility and care; to the aged in their weakness and weariness,--to all, His message was spoken,--to every child of humanity, in every land and in every age.
   
     In His teaching were embraced the things of time and the things of eternity--things seen, in their relation to things unseen, the passing incidents of common life and the solemn issues of the life to come.   

     The things of this life He placed in their true relation, as subordinate to those of eternal interest; but He did not ignore their importance. He taught that Heaven and earth are linked together, and that a knowledge of divine truth prepares man better to perform the duties of daily life.

     To Him nothing was without purpose. The sports of the child, the toils of the man, life's pleasures and cares and pains, all were means to the end--the revelation of God for the uplifting of humanity.
 
     From His lips the word of God came home to men's hearts with new power and new meaning. His teaching caused the things of creation to stand out in new light. Upon the face of nature once more rested gleamings of that brightness which sin had banished. In all the facts and experiences of life were revealed a divine lesson and the possibility of divine companionship. Again God dwelt on earth; human hearts became conscious of His presence; the world was encompassed with His love. Heaven came down to men. In Christ their hearts acknowledged Him who opened to them the science of eternity--
 
    "Immanuel, . . . God with us."

     In the Teacher sent from God, all true educational work finds its center. Of this work today as verily as of the work He established eighteen hundred years ago, the Saviour speaks in the words--

     "I am the First and the Last, and the Living One."   
     "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." Revelation 1:17, 18, R.V.; 21:6, R.V.
 
     In the presence of such a Teacher, of such opportunity for divine education, what worse than folly is it to seek an education apart from Him--to seek to be wise apart from Wisdom; to be true while rejecting Truth; to seek illumination apart from the Light, and existence without the Life; to turn from the Fountain of living waters, and hew out broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
 
     Behold, He is still inviting: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said," out of him "shall flow rivers of living water." "The water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life." John 7:37, 38; 4:14, R.V.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2015, 03:17:36 PM »

Islam, the Counterfeit Revealed
by Richard Myers
February 7, 2015

When studying our Bibles and history, we find that Satan has been very successful with his deceptions. He led one third of the angels to rebel against God. He tempted successfully Adam and Eve to turn against God. He led Cain to kill Abel. He caused Israel's first king to apostatize. He led the wisest man to build idols to worship and his father to murder a faithful servant. His greatest victory was to lead God's chosen people to put to death His dear Son, their Messiah.

Have we fully considered what he has done with Islam? We know that Islam is revealed in Daniel chapter 11 and in Revelation chapter 9. We know that the Prophet Mohammed taught that Jesus was a lessor prophet and the Koran supersedes the Bible. Muslims believe that Abraham's son Ishmael was the promised one, not Isaac.

We also understand that God used Islam to block the spread of the papacy in the dark ages and allowed the Protestant Reformation to succeed and spread light around the world. Not all of the prophecy involving Islam has been fulfilled. What we witness today is prophecy unfolding before our very eyes. In the process we find that a counterfeit has been revealed.

Since the terrorist attack on America on 9/11, I have been sharing the truth about Islam's persecution of those who do not believe as they do, especially Muslims who leave Islam. I do so not so much to reveal what Islam is, but to reveal the truth about liberty of conscience and that there are other religions that are like Islam. They do not believe in religious freedom, nor do they believe in separation of church and state. We know that the test just before us will involve persecution of God's faithful by those who will use the state to enforce a religious doctrine. As the world is horrified by what ISIS is doing, we have set before us the truth of what is to come upon all of the faithful, but not by way of Islam. The attention of the world is focused away from the beast power to the counterfeit. Meanwhile the "image to the beast" is being formed.

Yet, we have a wonderful opportunity to discuss the lie that is the underlying principle that Satan is using. We may point to the Protestant Reformation and the presentation of the truth that God does not want forced worship, but leaves man free to choose whom he will serve. Islam does not allow liberty of conscience, neither does the beast power. In their effort to convert Christians to Islam, ISIS attempts to force conversions through fear. But, their butchery is evoking a backlash from even Muslim nations. Some are infuriated over the horror of ISIS placing the Jordanian pilot in a cage and burning him alive. This is not the work of God, as some Muslims believe and is taught by Sharia law.

It is interesting to note that a Roman Catholic priest has something to say about liberty of conscience. Fr. Samir believes Muslims need to respect freedom of conscience and the rights of religious minorities. “The importance of liberty of conscience, few people feel that or understand it." “But the Pope is repeating it — and in my experience it is fundamental.” On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attack in America Pope Benedict spoke to the issue of Islam and their failure to allow religious freedom. On September 12, 2006, he addressed an audience of seminary students, professors, and theologians in the lecture hall of Regensburg in his native Bavaria. He stated
 
"No God can be the enemy of reason. No deity who desires but does not command the worship of free willed creatures could operate outside the realm of logic." - Pope Benedict

We must teach this principle and hold up these truths as presented by not only Roman priests, but by a pontiff himself. This brings us to what the current papal monarch has said publicly regarding freedom of religion. He condemned the violence done in the name of Allah when ISIS burned alive the Jordanian pilot, but he then went on to threaten you and me: If a friend "says a swear word against my mother, then a punch awaits him." "One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun of faith." It appears that the pope is saying you cannot kill one who insults your faith, but it is ok to exhibit violence against him. Seems inconsistent? We know the answer, but many do not. Here we see the greatest adversary of religious freedom is religion itself. Not all who profess to love and serve God do so in love. Some countries have strict laws enforcing freedom of religion. Others such as Islam have laws restricting religious liberty. The principles involved in this important subject will become more important as we near the end.

In the time of the Reformers, some were afraid of the influence on the church of those in error, and hence special pain was taken to make iron rules that the common people should not read and interpret the Scriptures for themselves. Thus the church came to exercise tyranny over dissenters. . .

We should never let the impression prevail that only a privileged few have a knowledge of the Scriptures and that others must refer to these—one or another of their favorite ministers—as authority for their doctrines. People should be educated to search the Scriptures for themselves, to dare to think for themselves, taking the Bible as their guidebook, their standard of faith. Although heresy may lift its head boldly, and insult the truth by perverted ideas and false interpretations and misapplication of Scripture, there should be no suppression of religious freedom by reformers.

The church should ever bear in mind that they are never to ascribe to fallible mortals the unerring wisdom of the one living God. . . . We want all souls to have a pure gospel and to feel the necessity of searching the Scriptures for themselves, to know what saith the Lord, and bind themselves to the great heart of Infinite Love. Letter 12, 1890.


We are nearing the end of time on this Earth as we know it. We have not done that which has been assigned to us. Soon our way is going to be much more difficult. Yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President of the United States gave us an opportunity to share truth in a most remarkable manner. He did what we could not do. He spoke a truth that all need to hear. He did not do it for God's glory, but he did it to lessen the image of evil being done by Muslims from Northern Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and all around the world. But, God wanted him to say what he said and will turn it to good. He said “humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
 
They killed millions who would not give up their Bibles nor their faith. They too, burned alive those who would not recant.

We are reminded of the work done by the Roman Catholic Church in the past. They killed millions who would not give up their Bibles nor their faith. They too, burned alive those who would not recant. Many do not know this history, others believe the Roman Church has changed. But, the pope's remarks about curtailing our freedom to speak about his church's failings reveal that she has not changed. And, despite what is uttered, we see other contradictory actions taken by the papacy. Under the rulership of Pope John Paul II we heard his call for the nations of the world to legislate a religious law, a Sunday law (Dies Domini, 5/31/98). The Roman Church has not changed, she seeks to force us to keep the Sunday holy.

Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers, have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. An example of this is given in the long-continued persecution of dissenters by the Church of England. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of non-conformist ministers were forced to leave their churches, and many, both of pastors and people, were subjected to fine, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.

It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy,—the beast. Said Paul, There shall “come a falling away, . . . and that man of sin be revealed.” [2 Thessalonians 2:3] So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast. And the Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord there will exist a state of religious declension similar to that in the first centuries. “In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” [2 Timothy 3:1-5] “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” [1 Timothy 4:1.] Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” And all that “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” will be left to accept “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” [2 Thessalonians 2:9-11.] When this state of ungodliness shall be reached, the same results will follow as in the first centuries.  The Great Controversy, pgs. 443,444.


Are we ready? Do we clearly see past the counterfeit to the real object of the usurper of the throne of God? The counterfeit, Islam, is only a marker of end time events, the real threat to the world is taking the stage and will soon manifest his power to deceive by working through apostate Protestantism and what used to be a "Protestant" government.

When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near.  Testimonies, vol. 5, pg. 451.

The Roman Catholic pope has never been allowed to appear before the Congress of the United States, but that will soon change. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has invited him and he will address Congress September 24. Boehner, a Republican and a Catholic, just announced “we’re humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat and also a Catholic, was equally delighted. “We are eager to welcome His Holiness to the U.S. Capitol and we look forward to hearing his call to live our values, to protect the poor and the needy, and to promote peace.”

That the law which was spoken by God's own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan's power. By substituting human law for God's law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25.

Men will surely set up their laws to counterwork the laws of God. They will seek to compel the consciences of others, and in their zeal to enforce these laws they will oppress their fellow men.

The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.  Desire of Ages, pg. 763.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #66 on: March 10, 2015, 02:03:15 PM »

The World is on the Verge of a Stupendous Crisis
by Mimi
March 10, 2015

Humankind, long in years, experience, and saving faith in God Almighty, has through His grace the ability to endure untold hardships. They have tested the Lord and found He is good, merciful and just. In turn, God has tested them to the benefit of eternal salvation, a character in the similitude of Christ Jesus. They are His elect. Yet, in the time of the end they will be among those which will be found crying and sighing for the whirlwind of evil marching upon the land, and more importantly, marching into the inner offices of His church.
 
     The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church, because its members are doing after the manner of the world.
     The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger, He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in its purity, and kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them. – Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 187

 
Today we are eyewitnesses to worldwide atrocities that have largely heretofore been kept from sight. Evil’s agenda is spread before us on a level that is numbing to the senses. Daily we are shown new acts of torture of those opposed to the enemy of souls. He has agents proud of evil deeds. Nightly news, cable news, You Tube, Twitter, websites and blogs spew forth their dreadful acts and agenda. While many recoil at the viewing, others are enticed to join them. It is enough to cause the world to sigh and cry, even those who reject the existence of our coming Savior. How much more the elect who know these things must come to pass and of what is about to take the world by huge surprise? How much more the heart of Christ Jesus as He watches the great controversy unfold upon His creation, knowing the evils of Satan must be exposed to the full?
 
     Satanic agencies have made the earth a stage for horrors, which no language can describe. - The Review and Herald, February 6, 1900

     The world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis. - Education, 180


Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus told His disciples: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” – Matthew 24:16

Those words are as relevant today as they were the day Christ spoke them. Evil will appear to rein victorious, yet the horror of death and massive bloodshed is a prophecy that must be fulfilled. But, the end is not yet.

All these are the beginning of sorrows. The world is in agitation. Trumpet after trumpet is blowing. There is more evil to come. And then Jesus said, "See that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass." What a statement! Do we have the faith today to be untroubled? Did the disciples while they were with Him? Or can we rejoice in peace and steady calm, looking up knowing our redemption draws nigh? It is a difficult thing to consider, knowing our quivering hearts, seeing the slaughter and persecution in the world as well as abominations in the church. A prominent South African evangelist informed a group of attendees of his excitement in seeing the fulfillment of prophecies, as difficult as they are, because it means God's word is the sure word of prophecy. Jesus is quickly coming.     

     The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law.
     Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old. – Great Controversy, 614


From a Review and Herald article dated November 23, 1905, comes an encouraging present truth statement that should be of particular interest to us:

     Men are now passing the boundary line, and the Lord is permitting the enemy to do his will. We hear of floods, of earthquakes, of storms by land and on the sea, blotting out hundreds of lives in a moment of time; but the end is not yet. The tread of the Lord will be heard upon the land and upon the water. For his own honor's sake, God is now about to repress iniquity. He will soon, very soon, vindicate the claims of his law. – Review and Herald,  November 23, 1905 par. 2

There is no need for more commentary when we have the words of a prophet. Here is the article in its entirety. I realize most if not all have read it because the time of the end is of great interest to us as a people. Please read it again - with fresh eyes given what we are witnessing in 2015. God is now about to repress iniquity in the world and in His church. Signs of the times bear witness.
 
Take comfort. Fear not.

 
The Time of the End
Review and Herald - November 23, 1905
Mrs. E. G. White

     The Lord is soon to come. Wickedness and rebellion, violence and crime, are filling the world. The cries of the suffering and the oppressed rise to God for justice. In the place of being softened by the patience and forbearance of God, the wicked are growing stronger in stubborn rebellion. The time in which we live is one of marked depravity. Religious restraint is thrown off, and men reject the law of God as unworthy of their attention. A more than common contempt is placed upon this holy law. David in his time saw the wickedness of the last days. He saw the law of God's kingdom trampled under foot, and in righteous indignation he exclaimed, "It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law."

     Men are now passing the boundary line, and the Lord is permitting the enemy to do his will. We hear of floods, of earthquakes, of storms by land and on the sea, blotting out hundreds of lives in a moment of time; but the end is not yet. The tread of the Lord will be heard upon the land and upon the water. For his own honor's sake, God is now about to repress iniquity. He will soon, very soon, vindicate the claims of his law.

     The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the Word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced upon the last king of Israel, is given the message:--

     "Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: . . . exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him."

     The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, "It shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him."

     That time is at hand. Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of the events to precede his coming: "Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . . Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."

     The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place--that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.

     Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid his angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.
 
     "Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof; . . . because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate. . . . The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth."
 
     "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down."

     "Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it."
 
     "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast."   

     To us who are standing on the very verge of the fulfilment of these great scenes, of what deep moment, of what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come--events for which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God's children have watched and waited, longed and prayed!

     At this time, before the great final crisis, as before the world's first destruction, men are absorbed in the pleasures and the pursuits of sense. Engrossed with the seen and the transitory, they have lost sight of the unseen and the eternal. For the things that perish with the using, they are sacrificing imperishable riches. Their minds need to be uplifted, their views of life broadened. They need to be aroused from the lethargy of worldly dreaming.

     A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance. The warning message is to be sounded in all parts of the world. There must be no delay. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and surmounted. A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth for this time.

     Now is the time for us to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: "It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law." Let the servants of God weep between the porch and the altar, crying, "Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach." God has always wrought in behalf of his truth. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to his power and his overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the haters of his truth and his people can be turned aside, even as the waters of a river could be turned, if thus he ordered it. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep--the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of his people, if they will call upon him in faith. He will restrain all the forces of darkness, until the warning is given to the world, and all who will heed it are prepared for his coming.

     God's people should make mighty intercession to him for help now. And they must put their whole energies into the effort to proclaim the truth during the respite that has been granted. As they consecrate themselves unreservedly to God's service, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others, and light will shine into many hearts. My brethren and sisters, sleep no longer on Satan's enchanted ground, but arouse, and call into requisition every resource for the proclamation of the message of mercy. The last warning is to be given "before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."

     My heart is often burdened because so many who might work are doing nothing. They are the sport of Satan's temptations. Every church-member who has a knowledge of the truth is expected to work while the day lasts; for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. Erelong we shall understand what that night means. The Spirit of God is being grieved away from this earth. The nations are angry with one another. Widespread preparations are being made for war. The night is at hand. Let the church arouse and go forth to do her appointed work. Every believer, educated or uneducated, can bear the message.

     Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. What are we doing, what are we thinking of, that we cling to our selfish love of ease, while all around us souls are perishing? Have our hearts become utterly callous? Can we not see and understand that we have a work to do in behalf of others? My brethren and sisters, are you among those who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not? Is it in vain that God has given you a knowledge of his will? Is it in vain that he has sent you warning after warning of the nearness of the end? Do you believe the declarations of his Word concerning what is coming upon the world? Do you believe that God's judgments are hanging over the inhabitants of the earth? How, then, can you sit at ease, careless and indifferent?

     Every day that passes brings us nearer the end. We are one year nearer the judgment, nearer eternity, than we were at the beginning of 1905. Are we also nearer to God? Are we watching unto prayer? Another year of the time granted us for labor has rolled into eternity. Every day we have been associating with men and women who are judgment-bound. Each day may have been the dividing line for some soul. Each day some one may have made the decision which will determine his future destiny. What has been our influence over these fellow travelers? What effort have we put forth to bring them to Christ?

     Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word in season will be sent home by the Holy Spirit as a nail in a sure place. Tomorrow some of these souls may be where we can never reach them again. May God help us to work while the day lasts.

     Unmistakable evidences point to the nearness of the end. The way must be prepared for the coming of the Prince of Peace. Let not our church-members complain because they are so often called upon to give. What is it that makes the frequent calls a necessity? Is it not the rapid increase of missionary enterprises? Shall we by refusing to give, retard the growth of these enterprises? Shall we forget that we are laborers together with God? From every church, prayers should ascend to God for an increase of devotion and liberality. My brethren and sisters, do not plead for retrenchment in evangelical work. So long as there are souls to save, our interest in the work of soul saving is to know no abating. Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can do the work waiting for them in their own neighborhood; and all can give of their means for the carrying forward of foreign missions.

     There are new fields to be entered, and we must have your help. Shall we ignore the commission given us, and thus forfeit the fulfilment of the promise accompanying the commission? Shall the people of God become careless and indifferent, and refuse to give of their means for the advancement of his work? Can they do this without severing their connection with him? They may think thus to economize; but it is a fearful economy that places them where they are separated from God.

     Let the Lord's people pay a faithful tithe, and let them, also, from parents to children, lay aside for the Lord the money that is so often spent for self-gratification. The Lord has made us his stewards. He has placed his means in our hands for faithful distribution. He asks us to render to him his own. He has reserved the tithe as his portion, to be used in sending the gospel to all parts of the world. My brethren and sisters, confess and forsake your selfishness, and bring to the Lord your gifts and offerings. Bring him also the tithe that you have withheld. Come confessing your neglect. Prove the Lord as he has invited you to do. "I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land."

     My brethren and sisters, it is too late to devote your time and strength to self-serving. Let not the last day find you destitute of the heavenly treasure. Seek to push the triumphs of the cross, seek to enlighten souls, labor for the salvation of your fellow beings, and your work will abide the trying test of fire.

    "If any man's work abide . . . he shall receive a reward." Glorious will be the reward bestowed when the faithful workers gather about the throne of God and of the Lamb. When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead. He was not able to endure the sight. But when the children of God have put on immortality, they will "see him as he is." They will stand before the throne, accepted in the Beloved. All their sins have been blotted out, all their transgressions borne away. Now they can look upon the undimmed glory of the throne of God. They have been partakers with Christ in his sufferings, they have been workers together with him in the plan of redemption, and they are partakers with him in the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of heaven, there to praise God through all eternity. 
     

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #67 on: June 11, 2015, 08:15:09 AM »
REPUBLISHED

The Remnant Online Newsletter
June 2012


"The Shaking" Has Begun

 
"Gold Tried in the Fire"

by Richard Myers


The Seventh-day Adventist Church is foretold of in Bible prophecy. In the Book of Revelation, it is the last of the seven churches, the church of Laodicea. Some may wonder if it is good or bad to be the Laodicean Church. It is both - good and bad. Bad, because we have brought great reproach upon Christ and His Word. Good, because Laodicea is the last church and it will repent of its evil deeds and accomplish the work entrusted to it. I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.....Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. Ezekiel 36:23,25. The glory of God will be seen in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We will be His witnesses on this earth.

How is it that this transformation will take place? When will it begin?



I was shown the people of God, and saw them mightily shaken. Some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, were pleading with God.

Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these, and I saw them hastening to the assistance of those who were struggling with all their energies to resist the evil angels, and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But the angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them. As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, a ray of light from Jesus would at times come to them, to encourage their hearts, and light up their countenances.

I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God's people. The testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it will obey it and be purified.
  [1]


Many today disregard this message. Some hate it and have devised a false theology in their attempt to obscure this message that will "work deep repentance" and purification of the church. Who is this True Witness to the Laodiceans and what is His counsel? What is this "straight testimony"? And why will some "rise up against it"? 

The straight testimony is that God's church, as a people, are in a lost condition and do not know it. As a people, we believe we are "rich and increased with goods." Jesus, the True Witness to the Laodiceans says Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Now, will you rise up against this? Will you want to kill the messenger, or just demean him? There is more straight testimony, but if this cannot be swallowed, then what good would it do to share more? It is all recorded in the "little red books" that have been despised by so many in North America and Europe where many are rich and increased with goods and know better than the "little old lady" who lived almost two centuries ago. Unlike these, there are many who do appreciate the truth and know that she was more than a prophet. How many have read all she wrote? Sadly, very few. It is not just Ellen White that is despised, but the One who inspired what she wrote. This is the straight testimony that is causing a shaking in the church.

The call for revival and reformation has gone forth from the highest authority in the church. There is a response. Rebellion has taken hold of some and they are standing in defiance of the authority of the world church. When there is a need for reformation, it means  something is not right. The truth is, much is not right. Counsel after counsel has been ignored or rejected. Bible truth is ignored or rejected. The world has come into the church and many will not have Jesus rule over them.

The church today has its "Korah, Dathan, and Abiram" with their 203 princes. They see the World Church as responsible for the division in the church and deny any Biblical basis for headship in the church. [2]  The shaking has begun. How will it end?




Soon I heard a voice that sounded like many musical instruments, all in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard. It seemed to be so full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel: "Look ye!" My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying with agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, firmly, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude, and holy, sacred joy. The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out, and left by the way. [See Revelation 3:15-17.] The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, but their numbers were immediately made up by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks. [3]


The message to the Laodiceans, is more than a strong rebuke, it is a message full of hope from Christ Himself. "All that truly receive it will obey and be purified." Such a promise!! It is for us, today!  We have heard the rebuke, but there is more. Jesus tells us how it is that we may escape the corruption that we possess. Like the message to Nicodemus in the garden, Jesus does not just reprove us, He encourages us to be changed, to be born of His Spirit, and He tells us what we must do to be changed into His likeness and be saved.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Rev 3:18-21.

Jesus loves us! He loves you! We may have the power to overcome our flesh, to overcome sin, by the grace of God.

The answer to our lostness is found in the words of the True Witness. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich." What is this gold tried in the fire that will make us rich? And what is the "white raiment" and the "eyesalve"? Today, we will look at the gold tried in the fire. Gold is a precious metal. It is a representation of Jesus in Scripture. The purity of His character is seen in gold that has been tried in fire, that has been purified of all impurities. This He offers to us, as a free gift. He has already paid a very high price to purchase it for us. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:8,9.

The Laodicean Message was heard in the early church. But, in 1888 the "gold tried in the fire" offered to us by the True Witness was manifest in unmistakable terms. The gold is faith. But, you may say, "God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3. Yes, but "gold tried in the fire" is not just a measure of faith. No, it is faith that works unto salvation. It is "saving faith." How does one get this faith that works? Jesus told Nicodemus how to get it. He did not leave Nicodemus without instruction on how to be "born again." He told the leader in Israel "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14,15. What has this to do with gold tried in the fire? The answer to our lost condition is the very same answer that Christ gave to Nicodemus. We must drink His blood and eat His flesh (John 6:53). Unless we have Christ, we do not have life (Romans 8:9). We must feed upon Jesus, upon His Word. By beholding the uplifted Brazen Serpent,  those bitten by the fiery snakes would live. So, today, all who will behold Jesus will be saved. By beholding His glory, which is His character, we shall be recreated in His image (2 Cor. 3:18). It is a spiritual and an intellectual truth that by beholding we become changed.

The True Witness to the Laodiceans offers us gold tried in the fire. This gold that has been purified is the character of our Lord. If we will accept the offer He has made to come into our hearts, He will give us His character. He will both impart it and impute it to all who will love Him supremely. This gold which has been purifed through suffering is ours for the taking. Jesus says to buy it. With what shall we buy it? We are to give in exchange for His character, our sin polluted hearts, our selfishness, our evil desires. The gold tried in the fire is faith, saving faith, that works by love. Love begets love. "We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14. It is by beholding His love that we are enabled to work the works of righteousness. Gold tried in the fire, is faith that works by love, His love for us while we were yet sinners. The Righteousness of Christ is everything to us. It is His grace that transforms our very nature as we partake of His divine nature.


______________________________________________________

Continued    Part 1 of a 3 part series.

[1]  Counsels for the Church; EG White,  pg. 338

[2] Jan Paulsen suggests the World Church is responsible for the division in the church while denying there is a Biblical principle involved in headship in the church.

April 17, 2012 Jan Paulsen Spring Meeting devotional

It is appropriate that we should remind ourselves that while uniformity is no biblical requirement, unity is!

You have heard me speak often in the past on the value of unity. Well, I am not done yet, for we must answer to God on how we handle this. --

Our unity as a global family is these days being tested with respect to the role of women in ministry and leadership in our church. Some insist that those who advocate the ordination of women in our church will split the church. Maybe. The other side answers that those who deny women ordination will be the ones who split this church. Maybe. If the church cannot find a way forward in this matter without compromising the unity God wants us to hold and preserve, we shall all have to answer for how we contributed or failed to contribute to overcome our impasse, and I suspect that those who said “No” will be held as responsible in the eyes of God as those who said “Yes”.....
 
If there were clear inspired mandates, in the Scriptures or in the Writings of Ellen White, giving us directions in this matter, we would not be having this discussion as a global church. We have in the past concluded, through the work of several commissions and reported back to this council, that we find no such mandate on which there is broad agreement. If that is the case, then it all comes down to a matter of time and place. - Adventist News Network.

October 31, 2011 vote from NAD

According to the General Conference’s Office of General Counsel, the vote numbered 162 in favor of the affirmation and 61 against it.

Prior to the discussion of this policy, Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division, led the congregation through the hymn “Have Thine Own Way Lord” and asked for the Holy Sprit’s leading in the discussion. Also, attendees separated in small groups (about three times) to pray about the proceedings. “My desire is that at the end of this discussion everyone present says in their own mind ‘I was in the presence of the Spirit of God,’” said Jackson. - Adventist News Network.

Mid November 2011 vote from TED

This week's vote affirms unions in TED to manage the parity between male and female pastors within the framework of the division's existing guidelines for ordained and commissioned pastors, voted in 2009. Additionally, any decisions made by union officials must be in consultation with TED.

"What works best for the TED at this time is to let all know where we stand and what we want regarding women in leadership, while doing all we can to promote women as pastors and leaders in our church within the working policy," said TED President Bertil Wiklander. The vote took place at the division's year-end business meetings, held in Montenegro. Division officials passed the motion by 91 percent via secret ballot. There were 45 voting delegates. - Adventist News Network.

[3] Counsels for the Church; EG White,  pg. 339





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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #68 on: October 26, 2015, 06:04:05 AM »

God's Church in Crisis
by Richard Myers
May 6, 2015

As we near the upcoming General Conference Session in San Antonio, we do so with a heavy heart. No matter which way the church votes on the subject of making women rulers over men, there will be a great divide in the church. How shall we look upon this very sad situation? How does God view the matter?

There is much written on the subject of our blind condition as a people, and some light has been given on rebellion. Therefore, we are not left without understanding as to what to do and what will be the end result. Jesus does not want His children to fear for the future nor doubt He is in control of all that will happen in and out of the church. Let us review what has been so graciously given to His church.

God foresaw our present condition when Jesus inspired this counsel: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:14-21.

Not only has Jesus warned us of our dangerous condition, but He gave us the solution to the problem in these precious verses. And, if we are so blinded that we cannot understand what has been stated in Scripture, then we have this additional counsel: "The Laodicean message applies to the people of God who profess to believe present truth. The greater part are lukewarm professors, having a name but no zeal. God signified that He wanted men at the great heart of the work to correct the state of things existing there and to stand like faithful sentinels at their post of duty. He has given them light at every point, to instruct, encourage, and confirm them, as the case required. But notwithstanding all this, those who should be faithful and true, fervent in Christian zeal, of gracious temper, knowing and loving Jesus earnestly, are found aiding the enemy to weaken and discourage those whom God is using to build up the work. The term 'lukewarm' is applicable to this class. They profess to love the truth, yet are deficient in Christian fervor and devotion. They dare not give up wholly and run the risk of the unbeliever, yet they are unwilling to die to self and follow out closely the principles of their faith.
     The only hope for the Laodiceans is a clear view of their standing before God, a knowledge of the nature of their disease. They are neither cold nor hot; they occupy a neutral position, and at the same time flatter themselves that they are in need of nothing. The True Witness hates this lukewarmness. He loathes the indifference of this class of persons. Said He: 'I would thou wert cold or hot.' Like lukewarm water, they are nauseous to His taste. They are neither unconcerned nor selfishly stubborn. They do not engage thoroughly and heartily in the work of God, identifying themselves with its interests; but they hold aloof and are ready to leave their posts when their worldly personal interests demand it. The internal work of grace is wanting in their hearts; of such it is said: 'Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.'   
     Faith and love are the true riches, the pure gold which the True Witness counsels the lukewarm to buy. However rich we may be in earthly treasure, all our wealth will not enable us to buy the precious remedies that cure the disease of the soul called lukewarmness. Intellect and earthly riches were powerless to remove the defects of the Laodicean church, or to remedy their deplorable condition. They were blind, yet felt that they were well off. The Spirit of God did not illumine their minds, and they did not perceive their sinfulness; therefore they did not feel the necessity of help.
     To be without the graces of the Spirit of God is sad indeed; but it is a more terrible condition to be thus destitute of spirituality and of Christ, and yet try to justify ourselves by telling those who are alarmed for us that we need not their fears and pity. Fearful is the power of self-deception on the human mind! What blindness! setting light for darkness and darkness for light! The True Witness counsels us to buy of Him gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eyesalve. The gold here recommended as having been tried in the fire is faith and love. It makes the heart rich; for it has been purged until it is pure, and the more it is tested the more brilliant is its luster. The white raiment is purity of character, the righteousness of Christ imparted to the sinner. This is indeed a garment of heavenly texture, that can be bought only of Christ for a life of willing obedience. The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise. God has given His church eyes which He requires them to anoint with wisdom, that they may see clearly; but many would put out the eyes of the church if they could; for they would not have their deeds come to the light, lest they should be reproved. The divine eyesalve will impart clearness to the understanding. Christ is the depositary of all graces. He says: 'Buy of Me.'
     Some may say it is exalting our own merits to expect favor from God through our good works. True, we cannot buy one victory with our good works; yet we cannot be victors without them. The purchase which Christ recommends to us is only complying with the conditions He has given us. True grace, which is of inestimable value, and which will endure the test of trial and adversity, is only obtained through faith and humble, prayerful obedience. Graces that endure the proofs of affliction and persecution, and evidence their soundness and sincerity, are the gold which is tried in the fire and found genuine. Christ offers to sell this precious treasure to man: "Buy of Me gold tried in the fire." The dead, heartless performance of duty does not make us Christians. We must get out of a lukewarm condition and experience a true conversion, or we shall fail of heaven.
     I was pointed to the providence of God among His people and was shown that every trial made by the refining, purifying process upon professed Christians proves some to be dross. The fine gold does not always appear. In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church. As a class, their spirits are not steadfast with God. They go out from us because they are not of us; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, many are offended.
     Let these look back a few months to the time when they were sitting on the cases of others who were in a condition similar to that which they now occupy. Let them carefully call to mind the exercise of their minds in regard to those tempted ones. Had anyone told them then that notwithstanding their zeal and labor to set others right, they would at length be found in a similar position of darkness, they would have said, as did Hazael to the prophet: 'Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?'
     Self-deception is upon them. During the calm, what firmness they manifest! what courageous sailors they make! But when the furious tempests of trial and temptation come, lo! their souls are shipwrecked. Men may have excellent gifts, good ability, splendid qualifications; but one defect, one secret sin indulged, will prove to the character what the worm-eaten plank does to the ship--utter disaster and ruin!" Vol. 4, Testimonies For the Church; pg. 90.


We may disdain the rebellion taking place in regards to making women rulers over men, when the  Bible and the world church have have refused to do so, but the doctrinal error upon which the rebellion is founded is not nearly so important as is the truth upon which the foundation of God's church is established, the gospel of grace. It would be well to study the whole statement since it reveals much. We need Jesus in order to be saved. Without Christ in our hearts, we can do no good thing. Notice the statement quoted is contrary to what is widely taught in the church: "Some may say it is exalting our own merits to expect favor from God through our good works. True, we cannot buy one victory with our good works; yet we cannot be victors without them. The purchase which Christ recommends to us is only complying with the conditions He has given us."

Let's follow this truth a little deeper. Many abhor the false religion of the papal power. We understand that salvation can be purchased by indulgences, that man can merit favor with the church and God in this false teaching. How shocked many will be to find this same teaching in God's church. The following is a description of the two great deceptions within the Roman Church. "A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy, and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but men are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world,--those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power."  Bible Echo, February 1, 1887.

Which of the two are being taught in our church? Both, the latter being most widely seen. Being "saved in their sins" means just what it says,  believing one is in a saved condition when having sinned one known sin. The first error can be seen when one believes he has salvation because he is keeping the commandments, but does not see the need to be vitally connected to Christ. This is to say that he does not see that when converted, he will manifest the fruits of the Spirit, not one will be missing. He does not understand that his good works are as filthy rags because he does not have Christ in his heart. Until converted, we remain unsanctified and unholy.

We are to be encouraged by this in that we have precious promises that the Laodicean condition need not be fatal. We see in the  statement by Christ, that He is pleading  with His people to repent, and offers a solution free of charge. We are to come to Jesus just as we are. What do we bring in exchange for the gold, the white raiment, and the eye salve? We bring to Jesus a sin polluted heart. We are to give our hearts to the One who gave all for us. What a deal!!! Who can refuse such an offer!! Most of the world and many in the church.

If this statement as written is hard to understand, listen to a further explanation of the promise to the church:

     Dear Brethren and Sisters: The Lord has again visited me in much mercy. I have been greatly afflicted for a few months past. Disease has pressed heavily upon me. For years I have been afflicted with dropsy and disease of the heart, which has had a tendency to depress my spirits and destroy my faith and courage. The message to the Laodiceans has not accomplished that zealous repentance among God's
    The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus. This fearful message will do its work.
people which I expected to see, and my perplexity of mind has been great. Disease seemed to make continual progress upon me, and I thought that I must lie down in the grave. I had no desire to live, therefore I could not take hold of faith and pray for my recovery. Often when I retired to rest at night I realized that I was in danger of losing my breath before morning. In this state I fainted at midnight. Brethren Andrews and Loughborough were sent for, and earnest petitions were offered to God in my behalf. The depression, the heavy weight, was lifted from my aching heart, and I was taken off in vision, and shown the things which I now present before you.   
     I saw that Satan had been trying to drive me to discouragement and despair, to make me desire death rather than life. I was shown that it was not God's will that I should now cease from the work and lie down in the grave; for then the
enemies of our faith would triumph, and the hearts of God's children would be made sad. I saw that I should often feel anguish of spirit, and should suffer much; yet I had the promise that those around me would encourage and help me, that my courage and strength might not fail while I was so fiercely buffeted by the devil.   
     I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God's people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts. But God has given the message time to do its work. The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus. This fearful message will do its work. When it was first presented, it led to close examination of heart. Sins were confessed, and the people of God were stirred everywhere. Nearly all believed that this message would end in the loud cry of the third angel. But as they failed to see the powerful work accomplished in a short time, many lost the effect of the message. I saw that this message would not accomplish its work in a few short months. It is designed to arouse the people of God, to discover to them their backslidings, and to lead to zealous repentance, that they may be favored with the presence of Jesus, and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel.......
     God proves His people in this world. This is the fitting-up place to appear in His presence. Here, in this world, in these last days, persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. It will elevate the receiver, and make him noblehearted and generous, like his divine Lord. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be selfishness, covetousness, pride, and evil passions.
     The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Professors of religion are not willing to closely examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith; and it is a fearful fact that many are leaning on a false hope. Some lean upon an old experience which they had years ago; but when brought down to this heart-searching time, when all should have a daily experience, they have nothing to relate. They seem to think that a profession of the truth will save them. When they subdue those sins which God hates, Jesus will come in and sup with them and they with Him. They will then draw divine strength from Jesus, and will grow up in Him, and be able with holy triumph to say: "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." It would be more pleasing to the Lord if lukewarm professors of religion had never named His name. They are a continual weight to those who would be faithful followers of Jesus. They are a stumbling block to unbelievers, and evil angels exult over them, and taunt the angels of God with their crooked course. Such are a curse to the cause at home or abroad. They draw nigh to God with their lips, while their heart is far from Him. The Laodicean Church, Volume One, Testimonies For the Church.


The Laodicean Message will bring revival and reformation to God's church. It is a promise, "this fearful message will do its work." It is the straight testimony of Jesus, the True Witness, it will bring a shaking in the church. I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God's people.

The testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it will obey it and be purified.  ibid pg 181.

On the subject of rebellion we are told "I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable. Study in Patriarchs and Prophets the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. This rebellion was extended, including more than two men. It was led by two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation, men of renown. Call rebellion by its right name and apostasy by its right name, and then consider that the experience of the ancient people of God with all its objectionable features was faithfully chronicled to pass into history. The Scripture declares, 'These things . . . are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.'" 1 Notebook Leaflets, pg 57.
 
Be not fearful, Jesus knows the end from the beginning. He has revealed to His prophets what is to come. We claim the promises of God and look beyond what we see with our eyes, those things which will pass away, to the things which are unseen, which are eternal. If we will come to Jesus just as we are, then all things will work for our good and God's glory!! Let us press together as we see darkness falling upon the world and God's glory will fall upon His church!



God's Church in Crisis....Part Two
by Richard Myers
June 6, 2015

In part 2 of our series on God's Church in Crisis we will continue to address issues that pertain to the upcoming General Conference Session at San Antonio. We do so in hopes that the delegates will make decisions based upon the light we have been given as a people. It is shining brightly upon us.

The crisis is a result of the Laodicean condition of which Jesus warned us. The solution follows the warning as we revealed in our last article. Jesus is our only hope, and He stands at the door knocking. It is an extremely encouraging message that we find  in the third chapter of Revelation in the message to the Laodicean Church.

Some leaders in God's church have not faith enough to believe that God  can purify His church. They see the present situation and have revealed they think God may not bring the church through to the end. They believe the  "organized church" may fail to do its appointed work. That is contrary to the light we have in in Scripture and the Spirit of Prohecy. We read in Ezekiel chapters thirty six and thirty seven that God has promised to cleanse his church. Some take that to mean those who are keeping the commandments of God, not the  organized church. If it is not the organized church, and it is the faithful who are not in apostasy, then why is there need of reformation?  Those who are faithful need not repent. No, the message given by Ezekiel addresses a filthy dead, dead, dead church. These two chapters need to be studied by our pastors that the church may be encouraged that there will be revival and reformation in the organized church.

Jesus is speaking to a church through the prophet, He is speaking to us, we are modern Israel. "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes....Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you" Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes....Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you."

The message is a promise, it is unmistakable and coincides with the Laodicean message. When God wants to make a point, He always repeats the message as we see in the rest of chapter thirty six. But, this message is of such  importance that He continues through the prophet Ezekiel in chapter thirty seven.

"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel." Ezekiel 37:1-11.




God's Church in Crisis...Part Three
by Richard Myers
June 6, 2015

Having revealed from Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy that God has promised revival and reformation to the organized Seventh-day Adventist Church, we can be thankful that the trials we experience are part of the reformation process. The division in the church was not created by God, but He warned us that there would  be division. In last week's Sabbath School lesson we read from the Book of Luke, verse 12:51: "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." The truth divides those who believe and live it from those who do not. We are seeing prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.

We mentioned rebellion in the first part of this series. The rebellion is not because some are wanting to ordain women pastors or even wanting to make women rulers over men as conference presidents. Being in doctrinal error does not rise to rebellion. The rebellion is composed of those who are acting contrary to their bylaws, Scripture, and the World Church's decision to not ordain women. When the General Conference turned down the North American Division's request for a variance so they could make women conference presidents, the division voted by a large majority to go ahead and change their bylaws anyway. This  is rebellion. This reveals the separation taking place amongst leaders in God's church.

The division over the ordination of women pastors is only a symptom of the real problem, a Laodicean church. As with  the  Jews at the time of Christ, many leaders are leading their churches away from seeing their continual need of Jesus to do any good thing. Thankfully, there are faithful pastors and elected conference officials that do understand the power of grace to transform our lives. Amongst them are two General Conference presidents, Robert Folkenberg Sr. and Ted Wilson. They have both been special targets for the arrows from the evil one. Both are of good courage and have been doing an excellent work within the church. Let us pray for Elder Wilson, that he will be re-elected as General Conference president at San Antonio. The thing that impresses me most about the man is not that he is faithful to Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy, but that in every message he delivers, he places Jesus at the center. Praise God for the spiritual discernment of our dear brother, Ted Wilson. We also solicit your prayers for Elder Folkenberg in his illness. As always, he is looking beyond what he sees with his eyes to that which is unseen and eternal.

There has always been a spiritual battle wherein some exalt the Holy Spirit while transgressing the Word of God, while others exalt doctrine and have no connection with the Holy Spirit. When we neglect either, we are in trouble. It is the Spirit of God that opens our minds  to understanding Scripture. It is He who comes to live within our hearts when  we fully surrender to Jesus. It is His power that is seen in the life with the fruits of His Spirit.

When we presented the promises found in Ezekiel, the promises of God's church coming  alive, we read in chapter 36 verse 25, that water would be sprinkled upon the church to cleanse us from our idols and filthiness. "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." What does the water represent? "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:26, 27. Ezekiel 36 reveals a cleansing by the  Word. But, Ezekiel 37 presents raising up a dead church by breath. "Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live." What does breath represent? "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7. This is the Spirit of God. Without the Spirit, we ought to be dead, but God granted to sinful man a period of probation that he might learn his need of God, to be reconciled to Him. In Ezekiel 37 we see that we need the Spirit, and in Ezekiel 36 we see we need the Word. God has promised both if we want them.

Let  us not neglect either our study of the Word nor asking for the Holy Spirit to indwell our hearts. "The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church." The Desire of Ages; pg 805.

This statement is the truth, yet what is preached from many pulpits and printed on our presses is contrary to it. When we have the Holy Spirit in the soul, then we have the life of Christ. Notice what that means. When we make a full surrender to Jesus, the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart. When this happens the receiver is imbued with the "attributes of Christ",  the character of Christ. His character is not only imputed to repentant man, but it is imparted. When? Not at the end of time, but at conversion. There is a radical transformation of character at the beginning of the Christian walk. Yes, there is much growth that must take place, but do not ignore what happens at a true conversion. The heart is cleansed from selfishness. The motives are then pure and holy even though the repentant sinner may eat the wrong food, wear the wrong dress, and attend church on the wrong day. The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches.

In other words what we have been taught to a great extent is a cause for the Laodicean condition in the church. Here is what inspiration has to say about this: "The minds of many are clouded with unbelief because those who unite with the church as the chosen of God do not reveal the virtues that are the fruits of the Spirit. Joining the church is not a sure evidence that a man has joined himself to Christ. The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ." Manuscript 148, 1897.

It was "rare" to find those who had truly been converted when the prophet was alive in the church. Notice the date, it was after 1888. When we look around at the neglect of our institutions to follow the  light given, it would be hard  to deny the situation is any better today. In fact, we today are facing the greatest crisis ever to come upon  the Seventh-day Adventist  Church. By God's grace you and I shall not be sifted out. But, we must turn to Jesus with the whole heart, not part of it. "The great inquiry should be: 'How can I save my own soul and be the means of saving others?' I saw that no halfhearted work in this matter is accepted of God. He wants the whole heart and interest, or He will have none." Adventist Home; pg 355.

Those who are delegates to the General Conference Session in San Antonio have a great responsibility resting upon them. If they are not fully surrendered, if the Holy Spirit is not in their hearts, if they lack spiritual discernment, then what will be the  results of the meeting? This brings to mind the General Conference Session in 1990 at Indianapolis. Robert Folkenberg was elected GC president at that session. I was sitting with the Russian  delegation when he addressed the church for the  first time after his election to that office. As he preached, I was impressed, so much so that I wanted to know if he was reading a prepared text or if the Holy Spirit was leading him. I quickly went up three levels to the GC Communications leader, Shirley Burton and asked for a copy of the sermon which  she gladly provided. I sat there and continued listening as I caught up with the sermon's text. Elder Folkenberg was following the text very closely when suddenly he departed from the text. Now, my question was did he know the voice  of God? Did he know the Holy Spirit was to be his power and guide? Or was he just following a prepared text which many church  pastors are very good at preparing and delivering without any connection to God.

When he departed from the text, his subject was the Holy Spirit. He said that the night before he was attending a small meeting with some pastors. He then said that the Holy Spirit was in that meeting. That was just why I had left the floor of the session and sought a copy of the text. I wanted to know if this new GC president understood that we are dependent upon the Spirit of God in order to do any good thing. My concern was answered in a most remarkable manner. Elder Folkenberg knew the voice of God. He recognized the Holy Spirit.

Do you have the Holy Spirit in your heart? How can we tell? Listen to what Jesus said about this subject: "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."  Matthew 7:17-20. What are these fruits that come when the Spirit is invited into the heart? Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance which is self-control. You can find them in Galatians. It is interesting that not only does Paul identify what we possess when we are in a converted state, he also identifies in Galatians chapter five what things are not in the life of those who are converted. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.

Have you discovered why many are not converted, because there are teachings throughout Christianity that have convinced many that they are converted when self has never died. They do not believe the wages of sin is death. They have been taught that Jesus will cover their unconfessed and unforsaken sins. But, Seventh-day Adventists, the "people  of the Bible" ought to understand. We have such clear unmistakable counsel that tell us "No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven." The Desire of Ages; pg 555. Paul is also very clear on what it means to be converted: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:5-9.

We need Jesus. We need Him continually, not just now and then. When we have Jesus, when we abide in Him and He in us, then we have life. If we do not have Christ living in the heart through the  Spirit, we do not have eternal life. This is the simplicity of the gospel. In 1888 a message was brought before the church in a most remarkable manner. What was this message? It can be summarized simply as "the loveliness of Jesus". If we would behold Christ, we would love Him. If we would spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating His life, we would be changed into His likeness. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18. This is a well kept secret. Satan has worked  hard to hide this from the church. Why? Because  it is a spiritual and an intellectual  truth that by beholding, we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. The mind is malleable. We already know why it is that so many young people are driving their cars so haphazardly and why some can kill without batting and eyelash. What are they doing daily on the computer? They have become what they have been beholding day after day while gaming.

What do we spend  our time doing each day? Do we stop morning, noon, and night to strengthen our connection with God as did Daniel, through prayer? This is not some kind of game that  we can start over again when the  end comes.  We are in a drama called  "the  great controversy". We are acting our part. How  are we doing? Are we being faithful witnesses  for  our  Lord? Or are we not reflecting His character? There is still time to choose Jesus, to let Him into our hearts. If we cannot do that today, it is alright. If we will go to Him just as we are, and  pray this prayer: "Lord take my heart for I cannot give  it, I believe, take away my unbelief," Jesus will help us come to Him. Does not the Bible say that He  is drawing us to Himself? "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 2:32. If we will not resist that drawing, Jesus will finish the work He began in us.

As we look at the world, we see that Jesus' coming is imminent. The pope is going to address for the first time, the  Congress of the United States of America. Pope John Paul II had already called for national Sunday laws. Homosexuals have influenced enough in the United States to cause the President of the United States to promote homosexual marriage. The world economy  is headed downhill  when it is already devastated. Natural disasters occur on a regular basis. The seventh trumpet is blowing loudly. By these signs we are  being warned  that time shall not last much longer. Many are already being laid  to rest around the world. Jesus wants to come and take us home. If we will give to Jesus our sin sick hearts, He will cleanse them. Then when He comes, He shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." 


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #69 on: October 26, 2015, 06:05:08 AM »

The Loveliness of Jesus
by Richard Myers
August 7, 2015

With the issue of women's ordination settled, it is good to be able to move to more important subjects in God's church. The loveliness of Jesus is the all important subject that we all need to concentrate on. It is by beholding this great love that we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory by His Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

It is a beneficial study to compare the sanctification of Enoch with the sanctification of the thief and on the cross and how it is they became sanctified. By so doing we gain a better understanding of what it means to be a true Christian. Some do not understand when one is converted he is transformed in character. When justified, we are sanctified. I knew a pastor who did not ever want to say that one was "sanctified", past tense. He was never willing to admit that one could be sanctified. The thief on the cross was indeed sanctified when Jesus told him he would be in heaven. It was not a future event that would cause him to be sanctified. No, if we are not sanctified in this life, we shall not be sanctified when Jesus returns to take us home.

Enoch was sanctified when he was converted, but when he left this earth there was something very different about his character than the character of the thief on the cross when he died. It is that difference that we want to look at more closely.

We know Enoch was sanctified for he walked with God. "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:22-24. Does this make Enoch something that we are not when we are converted, justified, and sanctified? There is a difference, but it is not that he was holy and we are not when we are truly in a converted state.

Many regard Enoch as a man to whom God gave special power to live a life more holy than we can live. But the character of the man who was so holy that he was translated to heaven without seeing death is a representation of the character to be attained by those who will be translated when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven. Enoch's life was no more exemplary than may be the life of every one who maintains a close connection with God.

Surrounded with influences so corrupt that God brought a flood of water upon the earth to destroy its inhabitants for their wickedness, Enoch was by no means free from temptation; yet in the midst of a society no more friendly to righteousness than that which surrounds us, he lived a life of holiness. Breathing an atmosphere tainted with sin and corruption, he remained unsullied by the prevailing iniquity of the age. For three hundred years he "walked with God."
 
It was through constant conflict and simple faith that Enoch walked with God. He realized that God is "a very present help in trouble." When in perplexity, he prayed to God to keep him, and teach him His will. What shall I do to honor Thee, my God? was his prayer. His will was submerged in God's will. His feet were always directed in the path of obedience to God's commandments. Constantly his meditations were upon the goodness, the perfection, the loveliness, of the divine character. His conversation was upon heavenly things; he trained his mind to run in this channel. As he looked to Jesus, he became changed into the glorious  image of his Lord, and his countenance was lighted up with the glory that shines from the face of Christ. Signs of the Times, October 12, 1904.

What was the difference then between the thief and Enoch? He was more sanctified, he was more holy, he was more perfect in character. We mature after conversion in the same manner as did Jesus. "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:8,9. What does it mean "being made perfect"? Was not Jesus always perfect? Indeed He was. Our idea of perfect generally does not allow for growth in perfection, but Bible perfection does. It is maturity. Jesus matured. He was not ready for Gethsemane when He was twelve years old. "For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28.

Each blade of corn is perfect, so is each truly converted Christian. Perfect in moral character. His motives are holy, just, and good. He may eat the wrong food and keep the wrong day, but it is out of ignorance. Christ sits on the throne of his heart. The truly converted Christian has the mind of Christ. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5. Those who have made a full surrender to Christ have become partakers of His divine nature. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.

This was the experience of Enoch and it was the experience of the thief on the cross. Both were filled with the Holy Spirit, both manifested the fruits of the Spirit, not one was missing while they were abiding in Christ and He in them. Was there a difference in the kind of fruit? No, both had love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance, not one of these was missing. But, Enoch had more of this fruit. Enoch had an experience that was much different from the thief's. He had more time to develop both a knowledge of God's ways and strength  of character. Therefore, God allowed greater temptations to come to Enoch. Remember the promise God has made to us? "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13. This is a conditional promise. The only way it works is if we are truly converted and are partakers of His divine nature. Without Christ, we cannot resist the smallest temptation. But, through Christ, we can do all things. Christ did not have to endure Gethsemane at 12, nor do we. But, Enoch could be tempted way beyond what the thief on the cross could bear. His sanctification was more perfect.

There are great trials coming to God's people. As it was with Israel of Old, so it with us today. Great deceptions abound. Satan has had 6,000 years to plan for us. The Omega of Apostasy is well beyond the understanding of a Laodicean people. But the wise will understand. Our wisdom can only be found in Christ. If we will spend that thoughtful hour each day contemplating the loveliness of Jesus, we shall be granted wisdom from on high. As we near the end, the line between truth and error is ever so close. We are only able to discern the difference if we are abiding in Christ and have spiritual discernment. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14.
 
In the Sabbath School lessons we are studying Biblical Missionaries. The lesson continues to come home to us that if we wish to be missionaries for Christ, we must rightly represent Him in character, just as did the missionaries we are studying in the Bible. Otherwise, if we call ourselves Christians and misrepresent Him in character, we do damage to our God. We are here to not only tell of His goodness, but to reveal His goodness. That is only possible if we are abiding in Christ and He in us. We need to let His mind be in us that we might manifest each one of the fruits of His Spirit. Jesus had it right when He told Nicodemus he had to be born again. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:6,7.

It is not good enough to help someone to know he needs to be born again, that he is not right with God, and to leave him without a knowledge of what he must do in order to have this experience. Jesus told Nicodemus "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14,15. Jesus was speaking of the time when Moses was leading Israel out of Egypt. The people were rebelling against God, so He removed His hand of protection and allowed the serpents to come into camp. When a person was bitten, they would die. Moses was told to make a bronze serpent and hold it up before the people telling them if they would look, they would live. All who were bitten, if they looked upon the uplifted serpent, they would live. There was no magical power in the bronze serpent, it was a symbol of Jesus lifted up upon the cross.

We all have been bitten by sin. Our only hope is to look upon the loveliness of Jesus. If we will look, we shall live.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2015, 06:06:25 AM »

What Shall I Do?
by Richard Myers
September 6, 2015

Now that the World Church has made plain what it believes Scripture says about making women rulers over men, what will the General Conference do about the divisions, unions, and conferences in rebellion? Ask not what the General Conference will do, but what you can do. We do not have a hierarchy, no kings or popes in the church of God. While some General Conference Executive Committees have usurped the authority of the General Conference in Session, it was not in their prerogative to do so. The authority to make doctrinal decisions is to be made by the World Church leaders in Session. So it is with the decision to expel a rebellious conference. That authority is only given to the General Conference in Session, not to a smaller body of men at Annual or Spring Council. The procedure for removing a union is spelled out in the General Conference Working Policy B 95 15. It specifies that it is the General Conference in Session that has the power to expel a conference from the World Church. How does the process begin?  It begins with a determination that the conference is in apostasy and will not repent of wrong doing. In other words, it is in rebellion against the World Church. The case is presented to the General Conference Executive Committee and is placed on the agenda of either an Annual Council or a Spring Council for a vote on moving it to the next General Conference Session, or if deemed necessary, a specially called General Conference Session to vote on the matter. Again, we do not have a hierarchy. The General Conference Executive Committee does not have the authority to remove a conference. That authority rests with the representatives of the churches from around the world when in Session.

The General Conference Executive Committee has many responsibilities, some of which have been neglected. We suffered  many years with poor leadership in the Sabbath School. We have watched General Conference media spread false gospels and work contrary to the vote of the General Conference Session to not ordain women. The General Conference Executive Committee headed by President Ted Wilson has been patiently dealing with the rebellion and it will rest upon their shoulders to refer the rebellious unions to a General Conference Session if the rebellion does not end. Let us  pray for the administrators of the General Conference as they seek wisdom from above.
 
In His time, the General Conference administration has responded to the unions in rebellion and those who have contemplated joining with them. The General Conference Secretariat has just presented a document to the church entitled "Unions and Ordination to the Gospel Ministry-----Comprehensive Working Policy Explanation". It answers the heresy being widely circulated in the church that unions have the ultimate authority in deciding who shall be ordained to the gospel ministry. It is true they have the authority to make that decision as long as it is in harmony with their constitution and bylaws which  must be in harmony with the World Church, if they wish to remain in the World Church. After a detailed explanation of how authority in the church works, a summation is given. "In sum, there is nothing in the GC WP that enables unions to ignore the actions of the GC Sessions or the Executive committee. In selecting who should and should not be ordained to gospel ministry, each union is bound to maintain and implement the criteria for ordination found in the GC Working Policy, and to comply with the World Church practice and policies."

We see God's leading in the statement prepared  by the General Conference Secretariat. The statement has come in a timely manner, just as some unions are having to deal with the vote at San Antonio. In its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, August 19, the North Pacific Union Conference executive committee voted 26-4 to rescind the call for a special constituency meeting to discuss the ordination of women pastors. "We do not believe that convening a special constituency meeting about the ordination of women as pastors would be productive at this time for the North Pacific Union Conference."
 
The Netherlands Union, the Pacific Union, the Columbia Union, and the Northern German Union have all transgressed their Bylaws and voted to ordain women pastors. There are other things the General Conference Executive Committee can do in attempting to deal with the rebellion. The General Conference Bylaws provide for the removal of General Conference elected officers for cause. Three Divisions of the World Church have responsibility for unions in rebellion. A division president who is not faithful to the decision of the General Conference Session, to not ordain  women pastors and thus not make women conference presidents, can be removed from his office. "The General Conference Executive Committee shall have power to elect or remove, for  cause, officers, directors, and associate  directors  of departments/associations/services and committee members, and to fill for the current term any vacancies that may occur in its offices, boards, committees, or agents due to death, resignation, or other reasons. The phrase 'for cause,' when used in connection with removal from an elected or appointed position, shall include but not be limited to 1) incompetence; 2) persistent failure to co-operate with duly constituted authority in substantive matters and with relevant employment and denominational policies..." Article XIII -General Conference Bylaws   
 
Not being a hierarchy, the General Conference president does not make this decision, nor does a majority of the Executive Committee decide the matter. It takes a two thirds vote of the Executive Committee to remove an elected officer. "The removal from office by the General Conference Executive Committee of any person elected under Article VI, Sec. 1. of the Constitution or its withdrawal of credentials or license  shall  be by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any regular meeting." Article XIII -General Conference Bylaws.

It was the highest authority in the church that said no to women's ordination at San Antonio. Some seek to act as kings and popes and take to themselves the authority given only to the World Church in Session. Doctrinal matters such as the ordination of ministers is to be decided by the World Church when in session, not by a local conference, union, or division. Not even the General Conference Executive Committee in its Annual Meeting is to decide such important matters. When important doctrinal issues need to be decided, it is the work of the General Conference in Session. The General Conference Executive Committee takes care of routine business between sessions. If something cannot wait until the next scheduled Session, then a meeting of the World Church can be called by the Executive Committee. It must not usurp the authority of the Session as it did when deciding a woman could be ordained as a local elder. That was an illegal act. It is a doctrinal matter and such a change in doctrine is to go before the World Church when in Session.

Since the matter of ordaining women elders was decided by an Annual Council, then an Annual Council can undo their error in usurping the authority of the General Conference in Session. The World Church has made clear women are not to be rulers over men. Yet, the General Conference Executive Committee voted years ago to allow women elders. This is a contradiction to what was just voted at San Antonio. We are hopeful the General Conference Executive Committee will address this at its upcoming Annual Council Meeting.

While the World Church leaders have their responsibilities, so do church members. What shall I do? Did I play a part in allowing rebellion to grow in the church? How did some unions end up with leaders that have rebelled? Because the church is not a hierarchy, and the church member has so much influence to select leaders, what happened? Well...work it out.  How did America end up with Bill Clinton being re-elected after the country found out who he was and what "it" is. Or how did America end up re-electing Obama after finding out who he is? Late term abortions and homosexual marriage did not just happen because Obama wanted it. Some think the system is broken, but it is not. Both America and the church see the results of what happens when the people are not right with God.

In order to have a just and moral society or church, the citizens and church members must be moral. They must care about what is happening around them. When they do, when church members are consecrated and living for Jesus, then they will elect consecrated representatives. They will have spiritual discernment. And, no matter what the cost, they will speak and vote their conscience. As with the County Clerk in Kentucky, USA, they will go to jail before compromising their faith. "The greatest want of the world is the want of men,--men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall." Education, pg. 57. How is it in your church? Do church members speak up? Or do they leave it all to the pastor? A good example of how representative government works is found in the South-eastern California Conference. Not all church members in Southern California are immoral and not walking with Jesus. But, it is hard to be consecrated when living in Sodom. Look at the surrounding culture. It is like the Netherlands and much of Western Europe, full of immorality. When the world comes into the church, the culture of the world is what you get -- the teaching of evolution in a Seventh-day Adventist university, homosexual church members, and the making of a woman conference president. There  is no difference between men and women in the world, the  husband stays home with the baby and the wife serves in the army on the front line. With the world in the church, there is no difference between men and women in the South-eastern California Conference, nor in their union. The Executive Committees of the Pacific Union and the Netherlands Union rebelled against their own constituency and bylaws, as well as Scripture and the World Church when they approved the ordination of women pastors.

In a representative democracy, leaders are a reflection of those who elected them. It all begins with the individual church member and works its way up to the highest level of church administration. That Elder Wilson is the General Conference president means that not all divisions are a reflection of Europe, North America, and Australia. How far has America fallen? She no longer appears as a lamb, but has transitioned to speaking as the dragon. She has invited the pope to speak to her legislature this month. Both Republicans and Democrats have revealed they no longer see America as a Protestant nation. Not one United States Supreme Court Justice is a Protestant. The Court consists of a majority of Catholics, six, and the rest, are Jews in name only. The influence of the nation is seen in God's church.

The course being pursued by the United States is not only far from Protestant, but is anti-Protestant, anti-Bible. We are nearing the end. What must I do? How can I make a difference in my local conference? It takes the power of grace to make us brave and courageous Christians. First we must believe. We must believe not only in Jesus, but in His promises to transform us, to change our characters. "Notwithstanding the prevailing iniquity, there was a line of holy men who, elevated and ennobled by communion with God, lived as in the companionship of heaven. They were men of massive intellect, of wonderful attainments. They had a great and holy mission--to develop a character of righteousness, to teach a lesson of godliness, not only to the men of their time, but for future generations. Only a few of the most prominent are mentioned in the Scriptures; but all through the ages God had faithful witnesses, true-hearted worshipers.

How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world--Enoch, pure in heart, holy in life, holding fast his faith in the triumph of righteousness against a corrupt and scoffing generation; Noah and his household against the men of his time, men of the greatest physical and mental strength and the most debased in morals; the children of Israel at the Red Sea, a helpless, terrified multitude of slaves, against the mightiest army of the mightiest nation on the globe; David, a shepherd lad, having God's promise of the throne, against Saul, the established monarch, bent on holding fast his power; Shadrach and his companions in the fire, and Nebuchadnezzar on the throne; Daniel among the lions, his enemies in the high places of the kingdom; Jesus on the cross, and the Jewish priests and rulers forcing even the Roman governor to work their will; Paul in chains led to a criminal's death, Nero the despot of a world empire.

Such examples are not found in the Bible only. They abound in every record of human progress. The Vaudois and the Huguenots, Wycliffe and Huss, Jerome and Luther, Tyndale and Knox, Zinzendorf and Wesley, with multitudes of others have witnessed to the power of God's word against human power and policy in support of evil. These are the world's true nobility." Conflict and Courage; pg.9.

Be a Daniel! Be an influence for Christ! Be a savor of life unto life. Time is running out. If not today, then when? The choice is ours. Want a fancy car, a large new home, or expensive clothes? Go for it, but think about it first. If you want the things  of this world today, then you are giving up your inheritance of tomorrow. And, like the young man who received his inheritance to enjoy the pleasures of this world, he landed in a pigpen without any friends. The worldly pleasures of this world are fleeting deceptions. They do not make one truly happy as does sharing Jesus with those who know Him not.

If you find yourself in a conference in rebellion, look around. What do you see? Reason from cause to effect. Who elected the delegate to your conference constituency meeting? He was at the meeting that elected your conference president, secretary, and treasurer. The conference business is not a rubber stamp. What happens at the constituency meeting is up to the church  delegates that vote. Twenty years ago I stood before my local conference constituency meeting with a resolution to support the decision of the General Conference to not ordain women pastors. The conference had asked me to withdraw the resolution numerous times before the constituency meeting. I refused. The conference secretary stood before the meeting opposing the resolution telling us there was no need to vote yes on the matter because the conference was bound by its bylaws to follow all General Conference regulations. The constituency followed the reasoning of the conference leaders and voted no on the resolution. Not long after that my local conference voted to ordain women pastors.

These are only symptoms of a much deeper problem. It is very sad, but many of the division leaders in both the NAD and the TED need to have a conversion experience. A vast majority of the NAD and TED leaders voted to rebel against the General Conference. It is one thing to disagree, it is altogether another  matter to outright go contrary to church law and Bible truth. The church remains in a Laodicean condition. The problem begins with unconverted pastors baptizing unconverted men and women. "The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ."  Vol. 6, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary; pg 1075.

False teaching pervades the church on the very foundation of our faith. How many NAD and TED pastors understand and agree with this truth: "Holiness is wholeness to God. The soul is surrendered to God. The will, and even the thoughts, are brought into subjection to the will of Christ. The love of Jesus fills the soul, and is constantly going out in a clear, refreshing stream, to make glad the hearts of others."  Ibid. pg. 1076.

According to the New Testament writings of the Apostle Paul many of these leaders in the NAD and TED are accursed. Paul says that those who have brought a false gospel into God's church are accursed. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8,9.

Achan had brought an accursed thing into the camp of Israel as they were on their exodus out of Egypt. "Accursed" is a very strong word to be used to identify those who have brought a false gospel into the church. Here is a passage from Joshua that describes what it means  to have an accursed thing  in the church. "Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." Don't think the church will be blessed as long as we allow these false teachers to continue to teach false gospels in the church. God will allow us to continue to suffer as long as the accursed remain.

Come let us reason together saith the Lord. Reason from cause to effect. As long as we have the blind leading the blind, then we remain a blind people. Many want to kill the messenger, but don't argue with me. It is Jesus that tells us we are a blind  people, but He tells us this in an effort to save us from ourselves and our blind  leaders. Jesus gives us the solution to our lost condition. "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation. 3:17-22.

It would be good to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Jesus. For it is by beholding His character that we are changed into  the same character (2 Cor. 3:18). Matthew 24 tells  us the end is at hand. We see the world is as it was at the  time of the great flood, a sign that Jesus is coming very soon. America has reached across the abyss and is walking  hand in hand with the papacy. Have you considered what is about to happen in America with the campaign for the upcoming presidential election? A Seventh-day Adventist is on the campaign trail. What does this mean? Can it have a bearing on the soon coming of Jesus? I think so.

"I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question, to unite the hearts of God's dear waiting saints...I saw that God had children, who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They had not rejected the light on it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth, and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the church, and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time, God's chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. And I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments down on them. They rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed." Broadside 3.

Notice that when the Sabbath is being brought to the attention of the world, there is a reaction because it is the truth especially controverted and cannot be refuted by Bible truth. It appears that God may not be waiting on us to begin this last act in the drama of the ages. He has been waiting on us for over 170 years. Something comes to mind when we see the pope coming to address the American Congress, and Dr. Ben Carson high in the polls for U.S. president. Do you recall one of the female candidates seeking the same position as Ben Carson, the Republican nomination for president four years ago, Michele Bachmann? It seems she had a problem that caused her to leave her church. "Michele Bachmann has removed her membership from a church in Minnesota which teaches the pope is the anti-Christ. Bachmann was asked about the church’s statement when she was running for Congress five years ago. 'It's abhorrent, it's religious bigotry, I love Catholics, I'm a Christian, and my church does not believe that the pope is the antichrist, that's absolutely false.'”  abibleanswer.org  She left that Lutheran Church when she found out it was true, her church does teach the pope is the anti-Christ.

That is not the only Seventh-day Adventist teaching that will come up in the next year as Dr. Carson and his beliefs are scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. What will Dr. Carson do on the Sabbath Day when meetings may be scheduled or work is to be done? The Sabbath will come to the attention of many who have no idea there is such a thing, or at least not that it is on the seventh day or that it is still binding, or that it means just what the fourth commandment says. "The seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." When professing Protestants and Catholics who like his conservative positions on many issues discover just what Seventh-day Adventists believe, including Sabbath worship and rest, there will be arguments over these doctrines. If not in the primary election, absolutely in the election in November when the Democrats take aim if he is the Republican candidate.

But, astute Republicans are wise enough to see what lies ahead if he is their candidate. As attractive as he looks today, that can all change rapidly when church doctrine enters the debates. Of course this can all be dodged by Dr. Carson if he substitutes Sunday worship for Sabbath Worship. If this were to happen, then preparing a people for the second coming will be delayed until Seventh-day Adventists do the work of proclaiming the Sabbath more fully. That will require a revival and reformation in the church called by Jesus, Laodicea. That revival will begin with individuals seeking Christ. The question again to be asked is "what shall I do"? If we want to see a transformation in the Netherlands Union and the Pacific Union, then we need to see a revival in those union's churches. It begins with us. If we want consecrated leaders, then it will take consecrated church members to elect them.

It is past time that we buy "gold tried in the fire", "white raiment", and "eyesalve". What is the cost? We must give up our sin polluted hearts to Jesus. What a deal! Jesus stands at the door knocking, wanting in. Has He not done enough for us that we would finally let Him in? It is true, dying to self is the hardest battle we shall ever fight, but if we will go to Jesus, just as we are, if we listen to Him when He says "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst....I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," what is the greatest battle ever fought will be won through the power of His grace. If we will feed upon Jesus, if we will spend that hour each day learning of Him, seeing His great sacrifice for us while we are yet sinners, then we shall be changed into His image from glory unto glory! It is a Bible promise that cannot fail!


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #71 on: October 26, 2015, 06:08:08 AM »

Will I Receive  the Latter Rain? - Part One
by Richard Myers
October 6, 2015

Who will receive the Latter Rain? Has the Latter Rain begun to fall? Has the Latter Rain ever begun to fall? What is the Latter Rain? These are all very important questions that involve each of us. Deceptions abound in the world and in the church. Satan has had 6,000 years to prepare for this day. If we think the deceptions ceased long ago, we will certainly be surprised when we find out that most professing Christians are on the wrong side of the  battle between good and evil. As it  was in the days of Israel when they, the chosen people of God, put to death God's dear Son, so it is today. It will be the  professed people of God that persecute those who love God and  keep His commandments.

There are many that have been encouraging church members to pray for the Latter Rain. That would seem to be good counsel. But, what if a Laodicean was praying  for the Latter Rain not knowing it would not fall upon him? To encourage those who have never received the "Former Rain" to pray for the "Latter Rain" would seem to be aiding Satan in his work of keeping the blind blind.

Why is it necessary for the Christian to be receiving the Former Rain before he can receive the Latter Rain? We first need to understand what we are speaking of when we say Former and  Latter Rain. We need to understand the purpose God has in sending the "Rain" upon His children. What is the Latter Rain?

As diligent Bible students, we first turn, not to man, but to  Scripture to understand what God means. The first mention of the term latter rain in found in Deuteronomy, verses 13 and 14 in chapter 11. "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil."

Here we see the use of latter rain, but rather than "former rain", we find "first rain". We find the object lesson in nature. God gives humanity rain that we might have food. Both the first rain which gets the seed to germinate and starts the growth of the plant, then the latter rain that brings the crop to maturity and the harvest. And again in Joel: "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil." 2:23,24. Here we see the term "former rain" being used to describe the "first rain".

Here are two last verses to study that we might understand the Spiritual application when using the term "Latter Rain". "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James  5:7,8.

James is here pointing us to the spiritual lesson using the  early and latter rain. As the plant cannot grow without the rain, both the former and the latter, so it  is with the Christian in the last days just before the coming of Christ. James tells  us the "husbandman" waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth." We, too, are to be patient, preparing our hearts for the soon coming of Jesus. As the plants need rain to live, so  it is with us, we need God. Jesus has left this Earth, but before leaving He made a promise that we would not be left alone. He promised the Comforter, the  Holy  Spirit. That Gift was richly poured out on the Day of Pentecost when great power came upon those in the upper room. Before  the disciples could receive the pouring out of the Spirit, there was a work to do. So it is in our day. If we wish  to glorify God by receiving the Holy Spirit in great power (the Latter Rain), we must first have received the Former Rain.

The "Early Rain" or "Former  Rain" is understood in two ways. First it was poured out on the  Day of Pentecost. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:1-4. This pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost will be seen again as the Latter Rain in our day, but in greater measure.

Secondly, we use the term Former Rain as pertaining to the receiving of the Holy Spirit prior to our receiving the Latter Rain. If we are not receiving the  Spirit in the Former Rain, we shall not be given greater amounts of the Spirit when the Latter Rain falls. While there is associated with the Latter Rain, great power as on the Day of Pentecost, more important is what the Latter Rain reveals to those who are seeking more light. It is true there will be additional truths made known, but that is not what is most  important.

Before revealing the blessing to be poured out, let's consider the office of the Holy Spirit. For what purpose are we given the Holy Spirit?  What did Jesus say when He  promised the Spirit would come? "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26. It is the work of  the third person of the godhead to reveal truth to us. He is the great Teacher, without which our minds could  not  be enlightened.

Before the Spirit will come into the  heart of the sinner, there must first be a work done in the life of the sinner. He must be brought to repentance. What causes this repentance  not to be repented of? Is it not the "goodness  of God"? Until there is  "godly sorrow" for what we have done to the bleeding Lamb of God, there is no repentance not to be repented of. How  is it we come to know  of this great unmerited gift which  is offered to us at such a great  price? It is through  the teaching of the  Holy Spirit. He is the One that is revealing the  stripes laid upon our Lord, the  stripes which ought to have been mine and yours. We are saved by grace. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us that grace which  surrounds us as thick as the air we breathe.

Now we are beginning to see a picture develop in which  the Holy Spirit plays the important role. Who was it that caused you to fall on your face because standing on your feet was too high in the presence of our God? If you have seen God, then it was the Holy Spirit that revealed Him. As you read about Jesus, as you listen to His  Words, it is the Spirit revealing that unfathomable love. It is the Spirit of God seeking entrance into your heart. If you deny Jesus,  through  the Holy Spirit, your whole heart, then what do you think He can do when you ask  for the  Latter Rain which is the Holy Spirit in greater measure?

The Latter Rain is already beginning to fall. Will it fall on all who profess to be Christians? We know it won't. Will it fall on all Seventh-day Adventists? We know it won't. Will it fall on you, or will fall all around you?  "Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it." FLB 333

Do you wish to know more about the loveliness of Jesus? If so, then the Spirit is teaching you each day. If your study is not the goodness of God, then how can the Holy Spirit fall on you in great power. The all important theme the Latter Rain will bring  is the righteousness of Christ. These are not words when falling, but it is the grace of God revealed in the  character of our Savior and God. I pray this has inspired an interest in the righteousness of Christ and what the Spirit is attempting to do in our lives.
 
There will soon be only two classes of people in the world. Those who have the seal  of God, and  those who do not. Today is the day of salvation. Soon Jesus will throw down His censor and leave the precincts of the heavenly Sanctuary never more  to forgive  sins. He delays this departure and His coming  in glory, that those of us who are not yet  prepared to live in a heavenly kingdom where there is no sin, might gain the  experience necessary to fit  us for such a home. It is only through grace this  may be obtained. It  is  only through the work  of the Holy Spirit that we can see how far short we come, in and of ourselves, in being prepared to meet Jesus. It is the Spirit indwelling the heart that empowers a sinner to become a partaker of God's divine  nature. It is Christ through the Spirit that transforms the character of the truly converted Christian..

It would be well to heed the counsel of the true Witness, to buy of Him gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and  eye salve. If we do not yet understand what this means, then let us pray to God for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes that we might see. It would also be well to spend  a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the  life of Christ, especially the closing scenes. While we have been teaching from the Bible, I would be remiss if I did not testify to two things. It is by beholding Jesus in a book called The Desire of Ages that I have had so clear a revelation of my Lord that I know I  am too high when  fallen on my face. And, as I have come in contact  with others of our  faith,  I also testify that those who  I have found to be standing firmly on the Rock  of our salvation have  also been beholding Jesus in the same manner. This most beautiful revelation of Christ is God's gift to the world that we might know Him who gave all for us while we were yet sinners.

It is not too late to turn to Jesus with the whole heart. Pray, "Lord take my heart for I cannot give it, I believe take away my unbelief." Sincerely praying this, Christ will not desert you. The Holy Spirit is searching the Earth for all who are seeking to give their hearts to Christ. May God forgive us our sins, cleanse our hearts, and prepare us for the battle that has begun in earnest and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Latter Rain power.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #72 on: October 26, 2015, 06:09:39 AM »

Newsletter - October 25, 2015

Laodicean Condition of Church
by E.G. White

In many of our organized churches the banner of truth is trailing in the dust because the members are not doing service to God, but are serving their own pleasure. They work through the influences that surround the soul. By precept and example, in self-indulgence, in their worldly habits of dress, in their words and actions, they testify against the truth, against self-denial, against the meekness of Christ. They are cold spiritually, and far separated from Christ. If they followed in the footsteps of Christ, they would be partakers of His self-denial, of His self-sacrifice, that they might lift up and save the souls that are ready to perish. 
 
The talents entrusted to men may be used in an unconsecrated manner, by doing a good action from impulse in a haphazard way, refusing to see opportunities that are close by and that should claim the attention. Many practice self-denial and self-sacrifice by fits and starts. They need to seek the wisdom that comes from God alone. They need to consult their Leader. They need to do much praying, much trusting in Jesus Christ that His Holy Spirit may work in them, revealing a straightforward course of service which God will approve, and which will be a benefit and blessing to many souls. The consecration of all our words and actions to God makes us His witnesses. It develops a character that is the result of cherishing the truth in all its principles. Truth is not a cheap commodity; it is as precious gold, tried in the fire.

We pass through this world but once. Let every step taken by those who claim to be sons and daughters of God be forward. Listen to the words of Christ: He that "will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" [Matthew 16:24]. This alone will designate each of us as His disciples. Are we witnessing before the angels of heaven and before the worlds unfallen that we as human beings recognize that we understand what this means, "Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20]. 
 
Entire consecration to God, living an undivided heart-life of service, this is a living testimony to the world that you recognize your accountability to improve. Every entrusted talent is to be treated as absolutely and really belonging to Him whose you are by creation and redemption. Consecration of words, of voice, of every work, is needed. This act of sanctification of soul, body, and spirit is not an act on the part of the human agent of creating anything and rendering it to God. All we have is from God and by Him. It is just as much His, if we do not recognize it thus and take some credit to ourselves. By consecrating all to God, you are simply showing the angels of heaven that you recognize that soul, body, and spirit belong to the Lord, and are to be devoted to His service.

The talent given to the unprofitable servant, which he wrapped in a napkin and buried in the earth, was the Lord's own, entrusted to the servant for use. It was to be so used that it would gain other talents. Our life is to be a life of earnest, thoughtful service to God. Those who feel no real obligation to represent the truth in life and character, who do not testify to the power of the grace of Christ by revealing the reformation it has wrought in them, fail to exalt the law of God before those whose characters are demonstrated in making that law void by their wrong principles.

The true commandment-keeping people of God show to the world a character of unspotted integrity, testifying by their own course of action that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Thus the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, through His obedience to the law of God, exalted and made that law honorable. God will surely condemn every member of every church claiming to be Seventh-day Adventist, who is not doing Him service, but through pride, selfishness, and worldliness, is showing that the truth of heavenly origin has not worked a reformation in his character.

Please read carefully Revelation 3:15-18. The voice of Jesus Christ is heard. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore [not half-hearted], and repent. Behold, I [your Saviour] stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcome, and am set down with My Father in His throne" [Revelation 3:19-21].

Will the churches heed the Laodicean message? Will they repent, or will they, notwithstanding that the most solemn message of truth--the third angel's message--is being proclaimed to the world, go on in sin? This is the last message of mercy, the last warning to a fallen world. If the church of God becomes lukewarm, it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment-keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep His commandments. 
 
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" [1 John 2:4]. This includes all who claim to have a knowledge of God, and to keep His commandments, but who do not manifest this by good works. They will receive according to their deeds. "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him" [1 John 3:6]. This is addressed to all church members, including the members of the Seventh-day Adventist churches. "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" [1 John 3:7-10].

All who claim to be Sabbath-keeping Adventists, and yet continue in sin, are liars in God's sight. Their sinful course is counterworking the work of God. They are leading others into sin. The word comes from God to every member of our churches, "And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears" [Hebrews 12:13-17]. 
 
This is applicable to many who claim to believe the truth. Rather than give up their lustful practices, they venture on in a wrong line of education under Satan's deceiving sophistry. Sin is not discerned as sinful. Their very consciences are defiled, their hearts are corrupted, even the thoughts are continually corrupt. Satan uses them as decoys to lure souls to unclean practices which defile the whole being. "He that despised Moses" law [which was the law of God] died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" [Hebrews 10:28-31]. --Letter 35, 1898.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2015, 04:40:44 AM »

Will I Receive  the Latter Rain? - Part Two
by Richard Myers
November 3, 2015

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12.

Many trust in the "arm of flesh" and are deceived with human wisdom. Yet, God has at great expense provided an opportunity for all sinners to be saved. We are granted a period of probation in which we can learn of God. If we will avail ourselves of the opportunity time affords, if we will study the light given, then there is the hope that we will be transformed in character so that we will be prepared for heaven. We are given precious promises. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30. Our part in the plan of salvation is to come to Jesus just as we are. Our part is immeasurably small, God's part is immeasurably large.

The Latter Rain is not necessary for you and I to be saved today. But, it will come as promised. As we discovered in our last  message, it will only come to those who have the Spirit of God in their hearts, those who are walking in the Spirit and keeping the commandments of God.

In part one we quoted Deuteronomy chapter 11, verses 13 and 14: "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil."

If God requires we love Him with the whole heart and with all of the soul in order to receive rain for our crops, do we then suppose He will require less in order to receive His  Holy Spirit in Latter Rain power? This brings us full circle to the truth we saw last month. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead is the Teacher of truth. His work is to reveal the character of God to the sinner. Before He can really do that, He must reveal to the sinner, he is a sinner in need of God. Many in this world believe they are good. They were reared with good characters. But, they do not know of what nature they really are. Given a certain situation, all who are not born again of God's Spirit will reveal the selfish fallen nature given to every human ever born. We come into this world in need of a Savior, in need to be transformed in nature. Our fallen nature is justly condemned for it can do no good thing until reconciled to God. When we make a full surrender of self, the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart and we become partakers of a new nature, God's divine nature. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.

To pray for the Latter Rain in our fallen condition will avail nothing. Until we see who we are apart from God, we see no  need to seek out a Savior. It is when we understand we are condemned because of our nature, and when we have tried to do good, but cannot, that we then begin to seek an answer to our inability to cease sinning. It is then that we cry out "O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the  body of this death?" It is then that the commandment, which was ordained to life, we find to be unto death. It is then that the law has done its work as the "schoolmaster" in pointing us to the Savior who only has the power to  deliver us from captivity to the law of sin which is in our members.

Again, it is the work of the Holy Spirit in first revealing our wretched nature and condemnation, and then to reveal the grace of God. When we read of Jesus standing at the door of the heart knocking, it is the Holy Spirit that is pleading with the sinner to cease resisting Christ's immeasurable love. It is through the Spirit that Christ indwells the heart of the penitent. It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that we have known the grace of God. The "goodness of God" that leads us to repentance is revealed by the third person of the Godhead when the Former Rain has fallen.

What we are attempting to show is the direct relationship between the "Former Rain" and conversion, without which one  cannot receive the Latter Rain. When building a house, do we ask for roofing shingles before we pour the foundation of the house?  So it would be by asking for the Latter Rain before we have sought the Holy Spirit that we might be transformed in character. Jesus made it perfectly clear that none will enter heaven unless born of the Spirit, for that which is born of the flesh is flesh and cannot enter heaven. The fallen flesh is evil by nature and must be replaced at the second coming. Jesus told Nicodemus "that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."  When Jesus returns in His glory, all who have been born of the Spirit will receive new bodies, but will keep the character given and formed after conversion.

The Holy Spirit, the True Witness who is inspiring the Laodicean message and its application to the church today, also has inspired the solution given in that message. What does God hope to achieve with the giving of the Laodicean message today? The same He hoped to achieve shortly after He was baptized in the River Jordan. He continued giving the message John the Baptist had been giving. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15.

We find Jesus saying the same to us today. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation  3:19-21.

Jesus loves us, He died for all in the world while we were yet sinners. He wants to bring us to repentance just as He wanted to bring Israel to repentance. Many are called, but few choose to come to Christ even though He is drawing all. The solution given in the Laodicean message is the same message given to Nicodemus who came to Jesus in the Garden under cover of darkness. It is also the same message given to the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1888 by Waggoner and Jones. It is also the same message given to the church prior to 1888 and for another 25 years by Ellen White. We will discuss this more in part three, the last part of this series on the Latter Rain.

What is this "solution" given to Nicodemus, and seen in the third chapter of Revelation, and in the 1888 message? How does it bring a sinner to repentance and what has it to do with the Latter Rain? In our last message we revealed from Scripture how it is that God  brings one to repentance. Let us repeat this since it is so important. All else is built upon this truth.There are two verses that speak directly to this. "Despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans 2:4. It is a knowledge of God's character that transforms a sinner into a saint. When Satan sinned, he did so with a knowledge of God's character. He could not be  brought to repentance for he sinned despite knowing the goodness of God. There was nothing more God could show him. But,  with man it is different. We have been deceived about God's character. Through a knowledge of His character, by a revelation of His love, we may be reconciled with Him.

The second verse is like the first, it is a revelation of His love with the added thought that I have wounded the One who gave  all for me. "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." 2 Corinthians 7:10. When I see His great love for me and understand it was my sins that put Him on the cross, it is then that grace is revealed, the highest of all forms of love. For His love is unmerited love. He loves us in our sins. We do not deserve it, we deserve death. He has proved His love and by His stripes we are healed.

This being the foundation of conversion, how is it seen in the three messages we speak of? Let's start with the Laodicean message. Here is the solution given to those who are blind to their lost condition. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Revelation 3:18.

What is "gold tried in the fire"? It is faith that works by love. Faith in what? In God. How do we get that faith? To each is given a measure of faith, but that is not enough or else all would be saved. We need "saving faith". We are told how to obtain more faith. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. But, what is the motivation for the Laodicean to hear the Word? Let the sinner find himself in the "fire" and see if his faith in God will grow. I can testify that I became a Christian  because I was in the "fire" and had no place to turn except to God. As I read my Bible I discovered  God's character of love and my faith was settled and has never been moved. Yes, I have  sinned, but never have doubted God's love and truth. In other words, it is by understanding God's love for us that our faith becomes steadfast so that we are converted from unbelief to trusting God with the whole heart and soul. This is how God purifies the heart at our conversion, this is gold tried in the fire. This is faith that works by His love.

When in an unconverted state we are indeed "naked". The problem for the Laodicean is he does not know he is shamefully naked. Christ has promised us "white raiment" to cover our black shame. We see here God promising to give us what we don't have. He will give us a pure and holy character. What will this cost us? We must surrender our pride and sinfulness. Is this too much to ask? For many, yes. But, if we will come to Jesus just as we are, He can make us willing to give up our filthy garments for white ones. He will bring us to repentance. It is then that Jesus gives the command "take away the filthy garments from him....I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." Zechariah 3:4. Born of His Spirit, the character is changed. We then being partakers of His nature, filled with His Spirit, manifest all of the fruits of His Spirit. He writes His law upon the heart. This is the white raimant He has promised to all who will come to Him.

And, for the blind, God has promised He will send the Holy Spirit that we might see. What does this cost? Nothing from us, if will but ask for it. The price was paid at the cross. As a father, I enjoy giving my children good gifts. I don't do it at Christmas or on their birthdays when gifts are expected. I want them to know I love them and it pleases me to give them things on any day, when it is not expected. "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:11-13. Ask that you might see, and you shall receive the Spirit of truth.

We find the solution to our lostness in Christ. There is a condition to receiving these promises. We must come to Jesus just as we are. We must spend time with Him that we might know Him, know of His love and grace.

Let's turn to Nicodemus and see what Jesus pointed him to that he might be born again of the Spirit. After telling Nicodemus he was not converted and did not have eternal life, did He leave Nicodemus without any understanding of what he must do in order to be born again (converted)? Is that the character of the God we love? Absolutely not. Jesus did reveal to Nicodemus how to be converted, how to be transformed in character.

After the reproof, Nicodemus then asked Jesus "how can these things be?" John 3:9. Jesus answered, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14,15. Is this similar to what we read in Revelation? Yes, it is. We saw in Revelation that it is Jesus that saves. We must have faith in Him. In order to have faith, we must learn of His love. So it is here revealed on that dark night in the Garden. Jesus is telling Nicodemus to consider what God required in order to save those bitten by serpents almost 2,000 years earlier. We remember the story how the Israelites were complaining about how bad things were. God had kept the poisonous snakes out of their camp, but now He wants to help them understand He loves them and has been protecting them. Sadly, human nature does not easily see God's love nor humanity's vileness. But, when God's protecting hand is removed, then man can better see his vulnerability and his need of help. When the bombs begin to fall, there are few atheists in foxholes.

"And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Numbers  21:5-9.

Was there mystical power in the brass serpent? Of course not. Then what healed those who had been bitten and looked upon it? Since God commanded it and made the promise, then it was God who healed those who looked upon the uplifted serpent. For what purpose did God choose this method, and  why did Jesus speak of it? What has it to  do with the conversion of Nicodemus? It was an  object lesson to teach the  Israelites, Nicodemus, and us that there is power in looking up. There is power to save all who have been bitten by sin IF we will look. Look at what? Why was Moses commanded to make a snake? It is not good enough to know God loves the world. We must know that He loves those who put Him on the cross. That means we must understand He took our sins upon Himself, that He was made sin for us. Yes, the serpent represents sin. It was because He took our sins upon Himself that He was lifted up on the cross. It is by beholding Jesus taking the stipes that we deserve that we are saved. It is called grace, unmertied favor. Nicodemus must see the Messiah in a different light than he had been taught. He must look upon Jesus as a Lamb led  to the slaughter to pay the price for his sins. It is by grace that we are saved. It was by beholding Jesus on the cross that Nicodemus was saved.

Jesus was lifted up as He prophesied in John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." If we will behold Him lifted up, we shall be saved just as surely as those who were bitten by the serpents lived when they looked upon the uplifted serpent. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes which reveal our uplifted Savior.

Jesus wants us to know Him. Our heavenly Father wants us to know Him, He wants to give us the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised  to send Him that we would know this important truth. This is the "Former Rain" that we have been speaking of. If we want the Latter Rain, if we want to live, then we must fall in love with our God. Jesus said we must drink His blood and eat His flesh. If we want to have physical life, we must eat our daily bread. If we want to have spiritual life, we must feed upon the Bread of Life which came down from heaven. "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35.

Where do we find Jesus that we may behold Him? First, in the Word. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14. Then, God sent a prophet in our day who gave us the Desire of Ages which is the most beautiful revelation of Christ. And lastly, we see God in nature. Even with sin having perverted man and nature, we still see the handwriting of God in His creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." Psalms 19:1. The Sabbath was given that we might take time to remember God's love for us as we contemplate what He created for us. It also testifies to His power to not only create, but to re-create fallen man in His image.
                                                                                                                                                                         
And when we are re-created and filled with His Spirit, we will press together with others who are likewise filled with the Spirit of God. The Latter  Rain will be poured out and we shall receive even greater revelations of our God. Jesus will continue to add to our number until the glory of God will lighten the earth. Amid the darkness of this Earth, God's church will be filled with His glory, a testimony to the power of His grace.

Let us behold our uplifted Savior that we might live and give glory to Him. By beholding His immeasurable love, we shall be transformed into His image from glory unto glory. It is an unfailing promise!


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: TRO Newsletter Archive
« Reply #74 on: February 05, 2016, 08:53:36 PM »

The Enoch Walk
by Sean Brizendine
December 1, 2015



“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24.

As we near the close of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan on Earth before the glorious second coming of Jesus, so many competing voices call for our attention. To which voice will we give heed? We are invited in God’s word to “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. When every other voice is hushed, and in silence we wait before Him, the quietness of our souls allows the voice of God through sincere prayer to be more clearly heard. As Enoch beheld the prevailing iniquity surrounding him in his time before the Flood, he found it necessary to withdraw from constant association with people, and to spend much time with God in prayer and meditation.

The theme that so deeply moved Enoch’s heart was the infinite love of God. And this very theme is to be prominent in all our presentations of the gospel as it is in truth: the love that would lead the Father to give His only begotten Son to come and be born a helpless babe in Bethlehem, subject to the weakness of humanity, to live a life on earth with the risk of failure and loss for eternity. Not only did Christ come to our world to live for us, but He endured the most horrific death on account our sins, feeling the horror of divine justice against transgression, and in dying for us, makes the way of salvation available to all. Let us behold the Lamb of God! Let us meditate upon the matchless gift of God for a world that did not love Him! Through an entire surrender to Him, our sinful hearts can be replaced by the miraculous gift of a new heart! “A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27. The sure result of a union with Christ by faith is the evidence of His presence by the Holy Spirit. The word of God takes root in our lives: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” How is this fullness seen? Like the bright light of the sun containing every hue of the spectrum of color, Christ’s presence in the new heart by the Holy Spirit will reveal all each of His attributes. When we live by faith on the Son of God, His abiding presence means that all the fruits of the Spirit are present in the life—not one will be missing! Let us praise God for the assurance that “the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.” Proverbs 12:12. And these are the fruits He graciously fills us with, to be manifest to all in blessing: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

When Christ abides within you, His presence cannot be hidden, as is manifest by His Spirit. But if we choose to sin against God, His presence is no longer abiding in the heart—not that He leaves us to be lost, but that He takes the earnest position of seeking to arouse us to our need of being justified again by His blood, through confession of our sin to Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. The only thing Christ hated on earth was sin—and that was because it separates humanity from God. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2. But praise God, we do not have a picture in the Scriptures of God indifferently leaving us alone in our sins to die—no, no! His assurance is clear: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5. The problem is not God forsaking humanity, but humanity turning from God. The fearful warning of trifling with sin is shown in the words of the wise man: “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” Proverbs 5:22. By persistently refusing to surrender to God, the heart becomes hardened, no longer desiring to heed the invitation of Christ, and becoming less and less capable of yielding to Him. How important then that we continually behold Him, yield to Him, and if we sin—surrender to Him in penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross, knowing He will take us back in His arms of love—for He has sought us out! Thankfully, He earnestly seeks us back as straying sheep, calling to our hearts, knocking on the door of the hearts for entrance that we would choose to surrender anew to Him: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. Let us make it our prayer, then, that Christ will keep us abiding in Him.

But sadly, many who profess the name of Christ fulfill the prediction of the last days in the following words: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. The last point is so powerful—having a “form of godliness”—but there is no power in the life. What is the power we need?

“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: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17. The power we so need is the power of the gospel—not preached merely, but lived! Enoch exemplified the gospel because He understood the importance of deep, meaningful communion with God. How well would it be if each of us, without giving first concern or thought to all the pressing duties of the day, would spend a thoughtful hour in contemplation of Christ’s life for us, with a special focus upon what He has done for us in the closing scenes of His earthly life. Let us in imagination grasp the meaning of His sacrifice, and let us allow sacred emotions to rise in our hearts as we reflect upon His ministry now for us in the sanctuary above: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16.

Soon Jesus is to come—but the experience of faith needed is only possible when constrained by the active love of Christ in our hearts. That which we most need is “faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6. But the love we are to behold is substantial—it is the love of God revealed in Christ, shown in His word, and beautifully exemplified in the book The Desire of Ages. What a privilege and opportunity we have to come to Him today with hearts willing to be shaped and molded by His divine grace. And as we contemplate His word and works in nature, as we take time from the intense strain of life’s activities to commune with God as did Enoch, our hearts, like those of the disciples on the road to Emmaus will also burn within us. “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:31-32.

To know God is to love Him. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. What a privilege is afforded us to choose to continually abide with Christ. Learn to cultivate the habitual sense of His presence by praying without ceasing—even amid the daily duties of your life. When you have the opportunity, take time for memorization of Scripture, meditation upon God’s word, and sincere prayer. Let your whole life breathe out the fragrance of His holiness, as did Enoch’s life. In love and mercy, God did not permit His faithful servant to pass to the grave. He was the first to be translated to heaven, for He had the testimony of faith! “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5.

God is faithful, and He will fulfill His word to the weakest of His saints who choose to trust Him, as their relationship with Him is motivated by His infinite love. “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-13. None of us has any power to withstand temptation apart from Christ abiding in our hearts, as Paul could honestly confess in his agonizing struggle of being convicted of His sinfulness but unconverted in the experience of Christ abiding within Him: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The power we need is the power of of God’s grace in the life, that which Christ imparts to us: “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4. God’s goodness is what makes repentance possible—it is not something we achieve apart from Him. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31. Yet He will not force His way—He asks for complete surrender!

May this day be a day of translation preparation. For Enoch’s holy life is a witness of the kind of lives God will have among His faithful whom He will translate to heaven: “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:3-5. May your whole soul’s desire be to remain, moment by moment, abiding in Christ, bearing fruit to His glory. Through the grace of God afforded in Christ, impelled forward by the Holy Spirit, may you even now, through entire surrender of your heart, mind, and will to Him, begin—or continue—the Enoch walk.

 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #75 on: February 05, 2016, 09:03:10 PM »

Will I Receive the Latter Rain?- Part Three
 
by Richard Myers
January 6, 2016




As we begin a new year, we think of how close we are to the end of this world's history. Will it be two years, five years, or longer? We don't know, but we know it is coming very soon. All of the signs of the times are fast fulfilling. When the pope stands in front of the leaders of the Congress of the United States of America, and they are both Roman Catholic, and he addresses a joint session of Congress, we know the end is near. The pope supports the "global warming" theory. And now the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence is pushing a "green sabbath" rest. The sun day is gaining momentum and the world is wondering after the beast.
 
It may be that your time or my time will end in this world before Jesus returns. Who knows but God, how much time individuals have left. Today may be our last day. Are you ready to have your character judged? What is the standard in the judgment? It is the law of God. Are we keeping the commandments of God.....from the heart? If we are doing as did Paul before his conversion when he was "blameless", we will not inherit eternal life. Our faith cannot be of the flesh, but of the Spirit that allows Christ to impute and impart His righteousness to us. When we make a full surrender of all we are and all we have, He then takes possession of the heart and writes His law therein. Paul finally understood. "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." Philippians 3:4-6. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:3-9.

Our righteousness must be pure and holy, it must be that which can only come from a heart purified by the Spirit of Christ. The law, the law, the law cannot save, it can only reveal our condemnation if we are not obeying from the heart. We understand the law has not been abolished, it is still binding, all of the moral law. The ceremonial and the civil laws are not binding, but all moral law remains as our guide to morality.
 
In our first two articles in this series we spoke of our need to be born again in order to receive the latter rain, that it will only fall upon those who have received the "former rain". We understand the direct relationship between the Holy Spirit and the reception of both the former rain and the latter rain. Let's review this statement again: "Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it." FLB 333

Notice "we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain." There are manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. Why? Because it is the Holy Spirit that is residing in all who are converted and are receiving what the latter rain brings. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. How many today understand what was poured out in the church in 1888 by the Holy Spirit? The latter rain was falling and yet so few understood it. They did not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that were being poured out upon those who were converted and open to more of the Spirit.

In our second message in this series we made reference to the Laodicean message given by Jesus to us, the message given to Nicodemus by Jesus, and the message brought to the church in 1888 as the latter rain began to fall. All three messages were designed to reveal the need to be converted and to bring about a conversion experience. Whether it be one individual as with Nicodemus, or a whole church that is being addressed, the message is the same.

In 1888 the church had been backslidden for many years. It had been preaching the law, the law, the law until the church was as dry as the hills of Gilboa. "As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth. Our eyes must be anointed with eye-salve. We must draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to us, if we come in his own appointed way. O that you may go forth as the disciples did after the day of Pentecost, and then your testimony will have a living ring, and souls will be converted to God." 1888, pg 560.

Notice the solution was not to do away with the law, but to "preach Christ in the law". The law was given that we might see our sins and know that we are condemned. Remove the law and the sinner will not see he is sick and in need of a physician. Christ came to save the lost, but He cannot save those who do not see they are lost, the Laodiceans. We see a direct parallel between the message to the Laodiceans and the 1888 message in that both were to a lost church, and both presented Christ as the only solution. The essence of the messages being given in 1888 was Jesus and the sinners great need of Him. The messages to Nicodemus, to the Laoicean church, and the message to the church in 1888 were all rebukes, but also were encouraging messages for they presented the solution to the sinner's lost condition, Jesus Christ.

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Though the professed followers of Christ are in a deplorable condition, they are not yet in so desperate a strait as were the foolish virgins whose lamps were going out, and there was no time in which to replenish their vessels with oil. When the bridegroom came, those that were ready went in with him to the wedding; but when the foolish virgins came, the door was shut, and they were too late to obtain an entrance.   
     But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Review and Herald, Aug. 28, 1894.


The message to Nicodemus began with reproof that shocked him. He was told he was not good enough to enter heaven, that he must be born again. But, Jesus did not leave this sinner without encouragement. He told Nicodemus that eternal life would come from looking upon the One who would be made sin and would be "lifted up". It is by beholding the loveliness of Jesus that we are changed into the same image, character, by the Spirit. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18. It is an intellectual and a spiritual truth that by beholding we become changed. The mind is as plastic. It gradually adapts itself to that which it beholds. As those who were bitten by serpents would live if they looked upon the uplifted serpent, so would Nicodemus if he would look upon the uplifted Savior. He did look and he was converted.

In 1890 Ellen White had a message for the Brethren in Responsible Positions. It encompassed the message given in 1888. The message began "Brethren in responsible positions, you are in danger. I lift my voice in warning. Beware. Unless you watch, and keep your garments unspotted from the world, Satan will stand as your captain." God's prophet encouraged the leaders of His church to behold the loveliness of Jesus. Just as Jesus did with Nicodemus, and, as He encourages church members today in the message to the Laodicean Church. She closed her message then with what was not only important in their day, but is present truth in our day.

     As the end approaches, the testimonies of God's servants will become more decided and more powerful, flashing the light of truth upon the systems of error and oppression that have so long held the supremacy. The Lord has sent us messages for this time to establish Christianity upon an eternal basis, and all who believe present truth must stand, not in their own wisdom, but in God; and raise up the foundation of many generations. These will be registered in the books of heaven as repairers of the breach, the restorers of paths to dwell in. We are to maintain the truth because it is truth, in the face of the bitterest opposition. God is at work upon human minds; it is not man alone that is working. The great illuminating power is from Christ; the brightness of his example is to be kept before the people in every discourse.
     The rainbow above the throne, the bow of promise, testifies to the whole world that God will never forget His people in their struggle. Let Jesus be our theme. Let us with pen and voice present, not only the commandments of God, but the faith of Jesus. This will promote real heart piety as nothing else can. While we present the fact that men are subjects of a divine moral government, their reason teaches them that this is truth, that they owe allegiance to Jehovah. This life is our time of probation. We are placed under the discipline and government of God to form characters and acquire habits for the higher life. Temptations will come upon us. Iniquity abounds; where you least expect it, dark chapters will open that are most terrible, to weigh down the soul; but we need not fail nor be discouraged while we know that the bow of promise is above the throne of God. We shall be subject to heavy trials, opposition, bereavement, affliction; but we know that Jesus passed through all these. These experiences are valuable to us. The advantages are not by any means confined to this short life. They reach into eternal ages. Through patience, faith, and hope, in all the changing scenes of life, we are forming characters for everlasting life. Everything shall work together for good to those that love God.
     All the scenes of this life in which we must act a part, are to be carefully studied, for they are a part of our education. We should bring solid timbers into our character building; for we are working both for this life and eternal life. And as we near the close of this earth's history, we advance more and more rapidly in Christian growth, or we retrograde just as decidedly.
     "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth ..... And I will remember my covenant, ... and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh." In the rainbow above the throne is an everlasting testimony that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Whenever the law is presented before the people, let the teacher of truth point out the throne arched with the rainbow of promise, the righteousness of Christ. The glory of the law is Christ; He came to magnify the law, and make it honorable. Make it distinct that mercy and truth have met together in Christ, and righteousness and peace have embraced each other. It is when you are looking to His throne, offering up your penitence and praise and thanksgiving to God, that you perfect Christian character, and represent Christ to the world. You abide in Christ, and Christ abides in you; you have that peace that passeth all understanding. We need constantly to meditate upon Christ and His attractive loveliness. We must direct minds to Jesus, fasten them upon Him. In every discourse dwell upon the divine attributes.
     As the bow in the cloud is formed by the union of the sunlight and the shower, so the rainbow encircling the throne represents the combined power of mercy and justice. It is not justice alone that is to be maintained; for this would eclipse the glory of the rainbow above the promise; man could see only the penalty of the law. Were there no justice, no penalty, there would be no stability to the government of God. It is the mingling of judgment and mercy that makes salvation full and complete. It is the blending of the two that leads us, as we view the world's Redeemer, and the law of Jehovah, to exclaim, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." We know that the gospel is a perfect and complete system, revealing the immutability of the law of God. It inspires the heart with hope, and with love for God. Mercy invites us to enter through the gates into the city of God, and justice is satisfied to accord to every obedient soul full privileges as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. If we were defective in character, we could not pass the gates that mercy has opened to the obedient; for justice stands at the entrance, and demands holiness, purity, in all who would see God. Were justice extinct, and were it possible for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race, irrespective of character, there would be a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony of heaven would be broken up. The change from earth to heaven will not change men's characters; the happiness of the redeemed in heaven results from the characters formed in this life, after the image of Christ. The saints in heaven will first have been saints on earth.
     The salvation that Christ made such a sacrifice to gain for man, is that which is alone of value, that which saves from sin, the cause of all the misery and woe in our world. Mercy extended to the sinner is constantly drawing him to Jesus. If he responds, coming in penitence with confession, in faith laying hold of the hope set before him in the gospel, God will not despise the broken and contrite heart. Thus the law of God is not weakened, but the power of sin is broken, and the scepter of mercy is extended to the penitent sinner. 1888 pg 730.

The penitent sinner will be forgiven. Thus the truth has been opened before our eyes. How many will accept such a straight message? That is not of concern. What is of concern is will I accept the truth and ask God to take my heart, my whole heart today. The impenitent sinner will not receive mercy. Unless one is repentant, he will not be justified. Unless one receives the Spirit of God into his heart, he will not receive the former rain. Only those who are born of His Spirit and maintain that experience will receive the latter Rain. It is the desire of Jesus that you and I receive the latter rain. He wants to reveal Himself to the world through you and me. Yes, we may reflect the character of Christ today, for "the change from earth to heaven will not change men's characters; the happiness of the redeemed in heaven results from the characters formed in this life, after the image of Christ." The thief on the cross made a full surrender to Jesus and thus he was born of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit came into his heart, wrote the law of God upon his heart, and imparted to him the character of Christ. Yes, the thief will go to heaven with a character formed on this earth, for "the saints in heaven will first have been saints on earth" by beholding the loveliness of Jesus.
 
By faith born of spending that thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Christ, you and I can give honor and glory to our God. We may be witnesses of His love and power in a world soon to perish. What more could Jesus have done for us? Heaven was emptied that we might know of His love for us while we were yet sinners. Let us not deny Jesus His reward for all He has done. What a God we serve! Let us not only praise Him, but honor Him in all we think, say, and do. This will hasten His soon coming that will put an end to sin, suffering and death. As we do this, we may in principle and good conscience pray for the latter rain.
 

 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wisdom For the Church of God

by Richard Myers/Ellen G. White
January 21, 2016




"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."   Proverbs 14:12.
 

In the year 1888, God had been delivering a most needed message to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He had been doing so for a great number of years prior to 1888, but it had not gotten through to most in the church. He added to the prophet's voice that of two young men, Waggoner and Jones. The message was not what the Apostle Paul would call "meat", but it was dealing with the foundation of Christian faith, the gospel of grace. Ellen White stated the difficulty the church was facing.

    There are many outside our people who are in the favor of God, because they have lived up to all the light that God has given them. For nearly two years we have been urging the people to come up and accept the light and the truth concerning the righteousness of Christ, and they do not know whether to come and take hold of this precious truth or not. They are bound about with their own ideas. They do not let the Saviour in. I have done what I could to present the matter. I can speak to the ear, but I cannot speak to the heart. Shall we not arise, and get out of this position of unbelief? Shall we not bruise Satan under our feet? I beseech of you, Come up where the living waters flow.
     Yesterday morning I arose with an agony upon my soul, and I could only say, "Lord, thou knowest all about it. My heart is burdened, and thou knowest that I cannot bear this load. I must have more help than I yet have had. Thou knowest that when I see men taking positions contrary to thy word, I am crushed under the load, and I can do nothing without thy help." It seemed that as I prayed a wave of light fell about me, and a voice said, "I will be with thee to strengthen thee." Since then I have been resting in Jesus. I can hide in him. I am not going to carry this load any longer. I shall lay it down at the feet of my Redeemer.   
     Brethren, shall we not all of us leave our loads there? and when we leave this meeting, may it be with the truth burning in our souls like fire shut up in our bones. You will meet with those who will say, "You are too much excited over this matter. You are too much in earnest. You should not be reaching for the righteousness of Christ, and making so much of that. You should preach the law." As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth. Our eyes must be anointed with eye-salve. We must draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to us, if we come in his own appointed way. O that you may go forth as the disciples did after the day of Pentecost, and then your testimony will have a living ring, and souls will be converted to God.  1888 pg. 560.

The message has not been received and heeded by the church, even to this day. We may point to many things that are not right in the church, the rebellion against Scripture and church authority, the teaching of evolution in our schools, the high rate of divorce in the church, the loss of our children to the world, the acceptance of homosexuals into church membership, but these are only symptoms of the true problem, a lack of understanding of what it means to be a Christian and how to obtain that experience.

Recently I became aware of conference leaders in the North American Division who are intent on bringing about a change in church structure, a structure that has served the church well for many years and one that was ordained of God and patterned after the structure of the American system of government where the power is vested in the people through  a representative government, not a hierarchy run by popes and kings.

Worldly studies have led some men to think there is a better way to run a church than the method given by God. There are many leaders in two divisions in the church that would like to have more freedom from the decisions made by the world church. In restructuring the church to obtain this goal, they would also like to reallocate church funds. It is my prayer that the following article will be a blessing for those who are concerned about what is transpiring in God's church and are seeking His wisdom, not the wisdom of the world.


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Danger in Adopting Worldly Policy in the Work of God    
Ellen G. White



November 3, 1890, while laboring at Salamanca, N.Y., as I was in communion with God in the night season, I was taken out of and away from myself to assemblies in different States, where I bore a decided testimony of reproof and warning. In Battle Creek a council of ministers and responsible men from the publishing house and other institutions was convened, and I heard those assembled, in no gentle spirit, advance sentiments and urge measures for adoption that filled me with apprehension and distress.

Years before, I had been called to pass through a similar experience, and the Lord then revealed to me many things of vital importance, and gave me warnings that must be delivered to those in peril. On the night of November 3, these warnings were brought to my mind, and I was commanded to present them before those in responsible offices of trust, and to fail not, nor be discouraged. There were laid out before me some things which I could not comprehend; but the assurance was given me that the Lord would not allow his people to be enshrouded in the fogs of worldly skepticism and infidelity, bound up in bundles with the world; but if they would only hear and follow his voice, rendering obedience to his commandments, he would lead them above the mists of skepticism and unbelief, and place their feet upon the Rock, where they might breathe the atmosphere of security and triumph.

While engaged in earnest prayer, I was lost to everything around me; the room was filled with light, and I was bearing a message to an assembly that seemed to be the General Conference. I was moved by the Spirit of God to make a most earnest appeal; for I was impressed that great danger was before us at the heart of the work. I had been, and still was, bowed down with distress of mind and body, burdened with the thought that I must bear a message to our people at Battle Creek, to warn them against a line of action that would separate God from the publishing house.

The eyes of the Lord were bent upon the people in sorrow mingled with displeasure, and the words were spoken, "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." He who wept over impenitent Israel, noting their ignorance of God, and of Christ their Redeemer, looked upon the heart of the work at Battle Creek. Great peril was about the people, but some knew it not. Unbelief and impenitence blinded their eyes, and they trusted to human wisdom in the guidance of the most important interests of the cause of God relating to the publishing work. In the weakness of human judgment, men were gathering into their finite hands the lines of control, while God's will, God's way and counsel, were not sought as indispensable. Men of stubborn, iron-like will, both in and out of the office, were confederating together, determined to drive certain measures through in accordance with their own judgment. I said to them: "You cannot do this. The control of these large interests cannot be vested wholly in those who make it manifest that they have little experience in the things of God, and have not spiritual discernment. The people of God throughout our ranks must not, because of mismanagement on the part of erring men, have their confidence shaken in the important interests at the great heart of the work, which have a decided influence upon our churches in the United States and in foreign lands. If you lay your hand upon the publishing work, this great instrumentality of God, to place your mold and superscription upon it, you will find that it will be dangerous to your own souls, and disastrous to the work of God. It will be as great a sin in the sight of God as was the sin of Uzzah when he put forth his hand to steady the ark. There are those who have entered into other men's labors, and all that God requires of them is to deal justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with God, to labor conscientiously as men employed by the people to do the work entrusted to their hands. Some have failed to do this, as their works testify. Whatever may be their position, whatever their responsibility, if they have as much authority even as had Ahab, they will find that God is above them, that his sovereignty is supreme."
 
Let none of the workers exalt themselves, and seek to carry through their ideas without the sanction and co-operation of the people of God. They will not succeed, for God will not permit it. The foundations of the institutions among us were laid in sacrifice. They belong to the people, and all who have denied self, and make sacrifices great or small according to their ability, to bring these instrumentalities into existence, should feel that they have a special interest in them. They should not lose their interest, or become despondent in regard to the success of the work. As the perils of the last days thicken about us, they should pray more earnestly that the work may prosper. Those who have lifted burdens when the work went hard, should have a part in important councils; for they acted a part when counseling together was considered a far more solemn and sacred matter than it is now. No confederacy should be formed with unbelievers, neither should you call together a certain chosen number who think as you do, and who will say Amen to all that you propose, while others are excluded, who you think will not be in harmony. I was shown that there was great danger of doing this.

"For the Lord spake thus unto me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy, neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. . . . To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The world is not to be our criterion. Let the Lord work, let the Lord's voice be heard.
 
Those employed in any department of the work whereby the world may be transformed, must not enter into alliance with those who know not the truth. The world know not the Father or the Son, and they have no spiritual discernment as to the character of our work, as to what we shall do, or shall not do. We must obey the orders that come from above. We are not to hear the counsel or follow the plans suggested by unbelievers. Suggestions made by those who know not the work that God is doing for this time, will be such as to weaken the power of the instrumentalities of God. By accepting such suggestions, the counsel of Christ is set at naught.

There is cherished altogether too little fear, love, and reverence for the God of heaven. There is far too little faith in the workings of his providence, in matters concerning his cause, with those who are connected with the active management of the publishing house. Why is this? Because they are not spiritually wise. The great peril is in the fact that men live so far apart from Jesus that they fail to discern his voice, receive his counsel, keep his way, and honor his name; they become self-exalted, and walk in the sparks of their own kindling. Because of this they fail to understand the devices of Satan, and are led to adopt measures that appear right, although they are instigated by the artful enemy of God and man, to place a human mold upon the work, dishonoring the name of God.

As far back as 1882, testimonies of the deepest interest on points of vital importance, were presented to our people, in regard to the work, and the spirit that should characterize the workers. Because these warnings have been neglected, the same evils that they pointed out have been cherished by many, hindering the progress of the work, and imperiling many souls. Satan is wide awake, and while men sleep, he sows his tares. In completing the work of rebellion, Satan is represented as a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he may devour. Those who are self-sufficient, who do not feel the necessity of constant prayer and watchfulness, will be ensnared. Through living faith and earnest prayer the sentinels of God must become partakers of the divine nature, or they will be found professedly working for God, but in reality giving their service to the prince of darkness. Because their eyes are not anointed with the heavenly eye-salve, their understanding will be blinded, and they will be ignorant of the wonderfully specious devices of the enemy. Their vision will be perverted through their dependence on human wisdom, which is foolishness in the sight of God.

The eye of the Lord is upon all the work, all the plans, all the imaginings of every mind; he sees beneath the surface of things, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not a deed of darkness, not a plan, not an imagination of the heart, not a thought of the mind, but that he reads it as an open book. Every act, every word, every motive, is faithfully chronicled in the records by the great Heart-searcher, who said, "I know thy works."

I was shown that the follies of Israel in the days of Samuel will be repeated among the people of God today, unless there is greater humility, less confidence in self, and more trust in the Lord God of Israel, the Ruler of the people. It is only as divine power is combined with human effort that the work will abide the test. When men lean no longer on men or on their own judgment, but make God their trust, it will be made manifest in every instance by meekness of spirit, by less talking and much more praying, by the exercise of caution in their plans and movements. Such men will reveal the fact that their dependence is in God, that they have the mind of Christ.

Again and again I have been shown that the people of God in these last days could not be safe in trusting in men, and making flesh their arm. The mighty cleaver of truth has taken them out of the world as rough stones that are to be hewed and squared and polished for the heavenly building. They must be hewed by the prophets with reproof, warning, admonition, and advice, that they may be fashioned after the divine Pattern; this is the specified work of the Comforter, to transform heart and character, that men may keep the way of the Lord.

I now raise my voice in warning; for you are in danger. The people are to know when peril is threatening them; they are not to be left in darkness. "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sins, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man that the righteous man sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul."

Since 1845 the dangers of the people of God have from time to time been laid open before me, and I have been shown the perils that would thicken about the remnant in the last days. These perils have been revealed to me down to the present time. Great scenes are soon to open before us. The Lord is coming with power and great glory. And Satan knows that his usurped authority will soon be forever at an end. His last opportunity to gain control of the world is now before him, and he will make most decided efforts to accomplish the destruction of the inhabitants of the earth. Those who believe the truth must be as faithful sentinels on the watchtower, or Satan will suggest specious reasonings to them, and they will give utterance to opinions that will betray sacred, holy trusts. The enmity of Satan against good, will be manifested more and more, as he brings his forces into activity in his last work of rebellion, and every soul that is not fully surrendered to God, and kept by divine power, will form an alliance with Satan against heaven, and join in battle against the Ruler of the Universe.

In a vision given in 1880 I asked, "Where is the security for the people of God in these days of peril." The answer was: "Jesus maketh intercession for his people, though Satan standeth at his right hand to resist him." "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" As man's Intercessor and Advocate, Jesus will lead all who are willing to be led, saying, "Follow me upward, step by step, where the clear light of the Son of Righteousness shines."

But not all are following the light. Some are moving away from the safe path, which at every step is a path of humility. God has committed to his servants a message for this time; but this message does not in every particular coincide with the ideas of all the leading men, and some criticise the message and the messengers. They dare even to reject the words of reproof sent to them from God through his Holy Spirit.

What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who have cast aside his warnings and reproofs, and have accredited the testimonies of the Spirit of God to no higher source than human wisdom? In the Judgment, what can you who have done this, offer to God as an excuse for turning from the evidences he has given you that God was in the work? "By their fruits ye shall know them." I would not now rehearse before you the evidences given in the past two years of the dealings of God by his chosen servants; but the present evidence of his working is revealed to you, and you are now under obligation to believe. You cannot neglect God's messages of warning, you cannot reject them or treat them lightly, but at the peril of infinite loss. Caviling, ridicule, and misrepresentation can be indulged in only at the expense of the debasement of your own souls. The use of such weapons does not gain precious victories for you, but rather cheapens the mind, and separates the soul from God. Sacred things are brought down to the level of the common, and a condition of things is created that pleases the prince of darkness, and grieves away the Spirit of God. Caviling and criticism leave the soul as devoid of the dew of grace as the hills of Gilboa were destitute of rain. Confidence cannot be placed in the judgment of those who indulge in ridicule and misrepresentation. No weight can be attached to their advice or resolutions. You must bear the divine credentials before you make decided movements to shape the working of God's cause.

To accuse and criticise those whom God is using, is to accuse and criticise the Lord, who has sent them. All need to cultivate their religious faculties, that they may have a right discernment of religious things. Some have failed to distinguish between pure gold and mere glitter, between the substance and the shadow.

The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis are not dead by any means; the seeds sown there in some hearts are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest. The tops have been cut down, but the roots have never been eradicated, and they still bear their unholy fruit to poison the judgement, pervert the perceptions, and blind the understanding of those with whom you connect, in regard to the message and the messengers. When by thorough confession, you destroy the root of bitterness, you will see light in God's light. Without this thorough work you will never clear your souls. You need to study the word of God with a purpose, not to confirm your own ideas, but to bring them to be trimmed, to be condemned or approved, as they are or are not in harmony with the word of God. The Bible should be your constant companion. You should study the Testimonies, not to pick out certain sentences to use as you see fit, to strengthen your assertions, while you disregard the plainest statements given to correct your course of action.

There has been a departure from God among us, and the zealous work of repentance and return to our first love essential to restoration to God and regeneration of heart has not yet been done. Infidelity has been making its inroads into our ranks; for it is the fashion to depart from Christ, and give place to skepticism. With many the cry of the heart has been, "We will not have this man to reign over us." Baal, Baal, is the choice. The religion of many among us will be the religion of apostate Israel, because they love their own way, and forsake the way of the Lord. The true religion, the only religion of the Bible, that teaches forgiveness only through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, that advocates righteousness by the faith of the Son of God, has been slighted, spoken against, ridiculed, and rejected. It has been denounced as leading to enthusiasm and fanaticism. But it is the life of Jesus Christ in the soul, it is the active principle of love imparted by the Holy Spirit, that alone will make the soul fruitful unto good works. The Love of Christ is the force and power of every message for God that ever fell from human lips. What kind of a future is before us, if we shall fail to come into the unity of the faith?

When we are united in the unity for which Christ prayed, this long controversy that has been kept up through Satanic agency will end, and we shall not see men framing plans after the order of the world because they have not spiritual eye-sight to discern spiritual things. They now see men as trees walking, and they need the divine touch, that they may see as God sees, and work as Christ worked. Then will Zion's watchmen unitedly sound the trumpet in clearer, louder notes; for they will see the sword coming, and realize the danger in which the people of God are placed.

You will need to make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. We are surrounded by the lame and halting in the faith, and you are to help them, not by halting yourselves, but by standing, like men who have been tried and proven, in principle firm as a rock. I know that a work must be done for the people, or many will not be prepared to receive the light of the angel sent down from heaven to lighten the whole earth with his glory. Do not think that you will be found as vessels unto honor in the time of the latter rain, to receive the glory of God, if you are lifting up your souls unto vanity, speaking perverse things, in secret cherishing roots of bitterness. The frown of God will certainly be upon every soul who cherishes and nurtures these roots of dissension, and possesses a spirit so unlike the Spirit of Christ.

As the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, I seemed to be present in one of your councils. One of your number rose; his manner was very decided and earnest as he held up a paper before you. I could read plainly the heading of the paper; it was the American Sentinel. Criticisms were then passed upon the paper and the character of the articles therein published. Those in council pointed to certain passages, declaring that this must be cut out, and that must be changed. Strong words were uttered in criticism of the methods of the paper, and a strong unchristlike spirit prevailed. Voices were decided and defiant.

My guide gave me words of warning and reproof to speak to those who took part in this proceeding, who were not slow to utter their accusations and condemnation. In substance this was the reproof given: The Lord has not presided at this council, and there is a spirit of strife among the counselors. The minds and hearts of these men are not under the controlling influence of the Spirit of God. Let the adversaries of our faith be the ones to suggest and develop such plans as you are now discussing. From the world's point of view some of these plans are not objectionable; but they are not to be adopted by those who have had the light of heaven. The light which God has given should be respected, not only for your own safety, but also for the safety of the church of God. The steps now being taken by the few cannot be followed by the remnant people of God. Your course cannot be sustained by the Lord. It is made evident by your course of action that you have laid your plans without the aid of Him who is mighty in counsel; but the Lord will work. Those who have criticised the work of God need to have their eyes anointed, for they have felt mighty in their own strength; but there is One who can bind the arm of the mighty, and bring to naught the counsels of the prudent.
 
The message we have to bear is not a message that men need cringe to declare. They are not to seek to cover it, to conceal its origin and purpose. Its advocates must be men who will not hold their peace day nor night. As those who have made solemn vows to God, and who have been commissioned as the messengers of Christ, as stewards of the mysteries of the grace of God, we are under obligation to declare faithfully the whole counsel of God. We are not to make less prominent the special truths that have separated us from the world, and made us what we are; for they are fraught with eternal interests. God has given us light in regard to the things that are now taking place in the last remnant of time, and with pen and voice we are to proclaim the truth to the world, not in a tame, spiritless way, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. The mightiest conflicts are involved in the furtherance of the message, and the results of its promulgation are of moment to both heaven and earth.

The controversy between the two great powers of good and evil is soon to be ended; but to the time of its close, there will be continual and sharp contests. We should now purpose, as did Daniel and his fellows in Babylon, that we will be true to principle, come what may. The flaming fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated, did not cause these faithful servants of God to turn aside from allegiance to the truth. They stood firm in the time of trial, and were cast into the furnace; and they were not forsaken of God. The form of the Fourth was seen walking with them in the flames, and they came forth not having even the smell of fire upon their garments.

The den of lions did not deter Daniel from a steady adherence to duty. He did not hide his purpose or lower his colors because death threatened him if he stood faithful to his God. Three times a day, in the face of the king's decree, he sought his Lord in his chamber, with his window open toward Jerusalem. He was cast into the den of lions, but God delivered him.   

Let us look at the case of Elijah. The time has come when he must meet his mortal enemy, the cruel Ahab, the despot of Israel, the apostate from the religion of his fathers. In anger the king inquires, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" Does Elijah weaken before the king? Does he cringe and cower, and resort to flattery in order to mollify the feelings of the enraged ruler? Israel has perverted her way, and forsaken the path of allegiance to God, and now shall the prophet, to preserve his life, betray sacred, holy trusts?

Does he prophecy smooth things to please the king, and to obtain his favor? Will he evade the issue? Will he conceal from the king the true reason why the judgments of God are falling upon the land of Israel? No; as the messenger of God he must proclaim the truth, just such truth as the occasion demands. He carries a great weight of sorrow on account of the apostasy of Israel. He must hold up before them their defection, that they may humble themselves in the sight of the Lord, that his fierce anger may be turned away from them. Elijah faces the enraged king, and answers, "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim."

Today the world is full of flatterers and dissemblers; but God forbid that those who claim to be guardians of sacred trusts, shall betray the interests of God's cause through the insinuating suggestions and devices of the enemy of all righteousness.

There is no time now to range ourselves on the side of the transgressors of God's law, to see with their eyes, to hear with their ears, and to understand with their perverted senses. We must press together. We must labor to become a unit, to be holy in life and pure in character. Let those who profess to be servants of the living God no longer bow down to the idol of men's opinions, no longer be slaves to any shameful lust, no longer bring a polluted offering to the Lord, a sinstained soul.
                     
                                                                                                                   SpTA02b - pg 123 (1892)


 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wisdom For the Church of God --Part 2

by Richard Myers/Ellen G. White
February 6, 2016





"But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."   Romans 7:6
 
In the year 1892, four years after Minneapolis, we read Ellen White's warning to a church that rejected the 1888 message. "I now raise my voice in warning; for you are in danger. The people are to know when peril is threatening them; they are not to be left in darkness. 'Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sins, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man that the righteous man sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.'"
     
Why was this passage from Ezekiel chosen by the prophet to share in her day? It was presented to the church because the condition of the church then was the same as it was in Ezekiel's day. And, it remains so today. Before looking closer at the inspiration given in these verses, let us consider how important they are. Do they not seem simple enough to understand? Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. So, some will not appreciate what was said. As with Israel, the message will be met with stern rejections. It is said "one does not lose their salvation because of one sin." Or, it is said, "one does not have to be re-justified after sinning one sin." We are not talking about Islam, modern day Judaism, or Evangelical theology. We are discussing what is in God's church today.

God considered this simple message very important when given by Ezekiel. How do we know? Read it in context in chapter three. It is made plain that God had given a message that would be hard for Israel to accept. It was designed to meet the error in the nation. When God wants a people to understand something is very important, He does not give it just one time. In this case, He gave it through Ezekiel three times. Yes, the very same simple message on three different occasions. You may read it in chapters three, eighteen, and thirty three.

The message proclaims God's mercy in forgiving  the repentant sinner, and it reveals God's justice in not giving eternal life to one who had life, but sinned. This appears as heresy to many in the church today. The message given to the church in 1888 was similar. It lifted up Christ and His righteousness. The church had been presenting the binding claims of the law, but had left Christ out of the message. Then, what happened to the law in 1888? Was it done away with as some teach today? Absolutely not. Christ can be both merciful and just. It is not just Christ, nor just the law. The message in 1888 was Christ in the law.

We must have Christ. We must abide in Him and He in us. We must be born of His Spirit. "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9. Keeping the letter of law is not good enough. God wants the heart, the whole heart. And, this is what happens when true conversion takes place. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6. We must be born again of the Spirit of Christ. Then we will be living representatives of Christ. We will be His witnesses in a world soon to perish.


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Living Channels of Light
Ellen G. White



     The Lord has a people for whom he prays that they may be one with him as he is one with the Father. If we are, as Christians, doers of the word, we shall practice in our lives that for which Christ prayed; for by his Holy Spirit Jesus can bind heart to heart. We are living amid the perils of the last days; evil times are upon us; gross darkness has covered the land. Satan seeks to intercept his hellish shadow between us and God, so as to obscure the light of Heaven by every device at his command; but all who claim to be Christians, if they are Christlike, will follow closely in the footsteps of Jesus. They will have the mind which was in Christ Jesus.
     We are standing in the presence of the Lord God of Israel, and no one can stand before God in his own strength. Those only who stand in Christ's righteousness have a sure foundation. Those who attempt to stand before him in their own righteousness, he will humble in the dust. Those who walk in humility will feel their own utter unworthiness. To such the Lord says, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Noah preached the righteousness of God; Jonah called the city of Nineveh to repentance, and there is a similar work to be done today. There are now more than one Noah to do the work, and more than one Jonah to proclaim the word of the Lord. While discord and strife, crime and blood-shed are in the land, let God's people love one another. Plagues and pestilence, fire and flood, disaster by land and by sea, horrible murders, and every conceivable crime exist in the world, and does it not now become us who claim to have large light to be true to God, to love him supremely and our neighbor as ourselves?
     Shall not every soul who has light and truth now come before God in humility and with earnest prayer, that God may kindle a purer flame in our souls, and give us a higher, better love, a love pure and undefiled, a love for the truth as it is in Jesus, a respect and jealousy for the honor of God, and an intense desire for the salvation of our fellow-men? We have no time for the indulgence of pride. We must keep the way of the Lord, and speak and act as standing in his sight, living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, that no strange fire shall mingle with that which is holy. Light and darkness cannot be mingled and harmonize. Many act partly as children of time, and partly as children of eternity , and this course God abhors. "If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." If you believe the word of God, submit your ways to its guidance in all things, even though your own inclinations are crossed. Believe the truth heartily. Do not stand as many of you have done, apparently wavering between dependence upon the righteousness of Christ, and dependence upon your own righteousness. Deception has come upon some minds until they have thought that their own merits were of considerable value. Their minds are confused and perplexed where all is clear and plain. The end is near! We have no time to halt between two opinions.
     What has not the Lord God of Israel done for his people? He has given them his word; he has followed them with his testimonies, which have warned, reproved, rebuked, encouraged; he has given signs; he has given precious promises; and how few give him praise or glory! Many think if they tolerate the movings and workings of God in their behalf, they ought to be commended. Oh, how few really know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent! He has spoken by prophets and apostles of what will be in the future. He has given living testimonies of himself in these last days when he spake unto us by his Son, and yet it is a truth that pains my soul, that the Lord is grieved with hard hearts and unteachable minds. How few believe and repent! to how few is the arm of the Lord revealed! "And go, get thee. . . unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear." All will come to a decision to declare wholly for God or for Baal. God has sent to his people testimonies of truth and righteousness, and they are called to lift up Jesus, and to exalt his righteousness.
     Those whom God has sent with a message are only men, but what is the character of the message which they bear? Will you dare to turn from, or make light of, the warnings, because God did not consult you as to what would be preferred? God calls men who will speak, who will cry aloud and spare not. God has raised up his messengers to do his work for this time. Some have turned from the message of the righteousness of Christ to criticize the men and their imperfections, because they do not speak the message of truth with all the grace and polish desirable. They have too much zeal, are too much in earnest, speak with too much positiveness, and the message that would bring healing and life and comfort to many weary and oppressed souls, is, in a measure, excluded for just in proportion as men of influence close their own hearts and set up their own wills in opposition to what God has said, will they seek to take away the ray of light from those who have been longing and praying for light and for vivifying power. Christ has registered all the hard, proud, sneering speeches spoken against his servants as against himself.
     The third angel's message will not be comprehended, the light which will lighten the earth with its glory will be called a false light, by those who refuse to walk in its advancing glory. The work that might have been done, will be left undone by the rejecters of truth, because of their unbelief. We entreat of you who oppose the light of truth, to stand out of the way of God's people. Let Heaven-sent light shine forth upon them in clear and steady rays. God holds you to whom this light has come, responsible for the use you make of it. Those who will not hear will be held responsible; for the truth has been brought within their reach, but they despised their opportunities and privileges. Messages bearing the divine credentials have been sent to God's people; the glory, the majesty, the righteousness of Christ, full of goodness and truth, have been presented; the fullness of the Godhead in Jesus Christ has been set forth among us with beauty and loveliness, to charm all whose hearts were not closed with prejudice. We know that God has wrought among us. We have seen souls turn from sin to righteousness. We have seen faith revived in the hearts of the contrite ones. Shall we be like the lepers that were cleansed who went on their way, and only one returned to give glory to God? Let us rather tell of his goodness, and praise God with heart, with pen, and with voice.   
     The work of every ambassador of Christ is to bear witness to the light. He is not to take Christ's place, but to reveal Christ to the world, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. God has sent his ministers out as his standard-bearers. They are to point to Jesus who taketh away the sin of the world. They are not to awaken the sympathy of the people for themselves, but to carry their sympathies above themselves to the precious object of their praise and reverence, that they may lead the people to love Christ and him crucified. If, through the grace of Christ, you have caught some beams of the light of truth as it is in Jesus, do not place yourself upon the pinnacle; do not think that you have caught all the rays of light, and that there is no increased illumination to come to our world.
     We are to be constantly receiving and giving. We are to be living channels of light. The transforming grace of Christ must come to every minister that he may sanctify himself, that others also may be sanctified. There should be earnest effort put forth to wake up an ease-loving, sleepy Church that has great light and knowledge, but not corresponding faith and works. There must be a living testimony borne, pointing out the necessity of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God upon every church-member, that light may shine forth to others that are in darkness. There is altogether too little done in ministerial labors. There is plenty of surface plowing, and the result is manifest -- there is scarcity of fruit-bearing Christians. 
     There should be deep searching of the Scriptures that the ministers of God may declare the whole counsel of God. The relation of Christ to the law is but faintly comprehended. Some preach the law, and feel that their brethren are not doing their whole duty if they do not present the subject in the very same way in which they do. These brethren shrink from the presentation of justification by faith, but just as soon as Christ is discovered in his true position in relation to the law, the misconception that has existed on this important matter will be removed. The law and the gospel are so blended that the truth cannot be presented as it is in Jesus, without blending these subjects in perfect agreement. The law is the gospel of Christ veiled; the gospel of Jesus is nothing more or less than the law defined, showing its far-reaching principles. "Search the Scriptures," is the injunction of our Lord. Search to find out what is truth. God has given us a test whereby to prove doctrine: "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Search the Scriptures diligently, earnestly, unweariedly, to find out what God has revealed concerning yourself, your duties, your work, your responsibilities, your future, that you may make no mistake in seeking for eternal life. You may, in searching the Scriptures, know the mind and the will of God; and although the truth does not coincide with your ideas, you may have grace to lay down every prejudice in favor of your own customs and practices, and see what is truth, pure and unadulterated. Here is the word of the Lord. Obey it from the heart. Christ is full of pitying tenderness to all who repent. He will pardon the transgressor.   
                                                1888 pg. 674.   (1892)


 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.