Dr. B.B. Beach's Adventist Review Article on Ecumenical Participation--A Study Into SDA Double-Speak

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Dear Reader,

The following item is an excerpted part of an article appeared in the Adventist Review and Herald on October 9 and 16, 1969, and was written by Dr. B.B. Beach. This article demonstrates the double-speak of the SDA church concerning its ecumenical involvement as observers only versus active advisor status.

The World Council of Churches/Seventh-day Adventist Conversations and Their Significance

3. Channels of Communication

While prior to 1965 the channels of communication between the SDA Church and the WCC were not non-existent, they were very weak and spasmodic Today, largely as a result of the Consultations, a number of actively used channels of communication are entertained, especially with the General and Faith and Order Secretariats. Information once ignored or difficult to come by, is now regularly communicated. In addition the SDA/WCC Conversations were at least partly instrumental in opening new channels for contacts between the SDA Church and other confessional bodies of churches.

Note by Ron: Active communication and conversations is not indicative of mere observer status, which is the line we are so often given by SDA leaders. End note.

4. WCC Statement Concerning SDA Church 

A very useful product of the Conversations is the statement regarding the SDA Church which was published in the January, 1967 issue of the Ecumenical Review. While the statement was prepared by the Faith and Order Secretariat, the SDA participants in the 1966 Conversations had the opportunity to discuss the draft statement and make some useful observations. After incorporating some relatively minor suggestions, the document was published substantially as originally written. The statement has had a wide distribution, not only through the Ecumenical Review, but as a Faith and Order paper. Seventh-day Adventists consider this article as one of the fairest and finest statements published by non-Adventists about Adventists.

Note by Ron: “We are in the greatest peril when we receive praise of one another, when we enter into a confederacy to exalt one another. The great burden of the Pharisees was to secure the praise of men; and Christ told them that that was all the reward they would ever receive.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 133. End note.

5. Participation in Meeting of World Confessional Families

Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented at the annual meeting of “Secretaries of World Confessional Families.” This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly. It is hoped that expanded cooperation will ensue between the World Confessional Families in the vital realm of religious liberty.

Note by Ron: Active representation and participation in conversations and contacts and a hope for expanded cooperation is hardly mere observer status. End note.

6. Observer and Advisor Status

Since the Conversations got under way, it has become the accepted procedure for the SDA Church to be represented at various EWCC meetings, including the Assembly, by observers. These observers have not just been present pro forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings they attended.

Note by Ron: The Assembly is meetings of the Central Committee of the WCC. It is the highest echelon of the WCC as far as participants are concerned. Here we see B.B. Beach’s double speak at its most blatant. In one sentence he says SDA’s attended as “observers,” and in the very next sentence he says they were not merely present pro forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings. An active interest is participation, not just observer status. End note.

And additional step was taken when the General Conference, as a world confessional body or church, was represented by an advisor in Canterbury at the 1969 meeting of the WCC Central Committee.

Note by Ron. Again, the WCC Central Committee is the highest order in the WCC. End Note. So SDA’s have taken an active interest (participation) within the highest committee of the World Council of Churches. End note.

7. SDA on Faith and Order Commission

An evident result of the Conversations was the appointment of a Seventh-day Adventist as a MEMBER of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. While it is clear that churches are not members of this Commission and theologians selected for MEMBERSHIP are chosen in their personal capacity, and therefore the SDA Church is not a member of the Faith and Order Commission, it does meant that the Commission will have the benefit of hearing a bona fide SDA voice, and the Seventh-day Adventists would have the opportunity of learning from the discussions of the Faith and Order Commission.

Signed B.B. Beach with the following annotation:

*Dr. B.B. Beach, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is the Secretary of the Department of Public Affairs, Northern European Division, United Kingdom.

End Adventist Review Article

Note by Ron: This notion of personal capacity membership is a sham. B.B. Beach was paid by the SDA church for every minute he served as the Secretary of the Department of Public Affairs, Northern European Division, United Kingdom. Under item 6, above, Beach said: “Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented at the annual meeting of “Secretaries of World Confessional Families.” Every member of the church who knew that this active representation in Babylon, was corporately responsible, especially the church leadership who were aware of such. The following statement applies:

"The plain straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body [corporately], responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them." Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 269.

 

The excuse of religious liberty is often intoned, but God says not to fear their fear, Isaiah 8:9-13, and not to join them in association, counsel and confederacy because of fear.

End Adventist Review Article

Some Pertinent E.G. White Statements

“The central power of the earth is a demon. His throne is in the midst of the world, where should have been seen the throne of God. He has been patronized by the church, for the church has been conformed to the world, and is living in transgression of the holy law of God. E.G. White, Letter 78, Jan 20, 1900, to Brother and Sister Haysmer.

The Jewish leaders loved the praise of men more than they loved God. EW, 195.

“By studying how they can adopt the plans of worldly policy in their work for God, men disarrange God’s plans of humility and simplicity, which He desires shall be followed in advancing His kingdom.—E.G. White, Manuscript 53, June 30, 1901. Untitled Manuscript—The Upward Look, 196.

“For the Lord spake thus to 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.’ Isa. 8:11-13, 20. The world is not to be our criterion. Let the Lord work, let the Lord’s voice be heard.” E.G. White, Life Sketches, p. 322.

“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….” E.G. White, Life Sketches, p. 322.

“Does anyone suppose that the messages of warning will not come to those whom God reproves? The ones reproved may rise up in indignation and seek to bring the law to bear upon God's messenger, but in doing this, they are not bringing the law upon the messenger, but upon Christ, who gave the reproof and the warning. When men endanger the work and cause of God by their own wrong course of action, shall they hear no voice of reproof? If the wrongdoer only were concerned, and the work reached no farther than him, he alone should have the words of warning; but when his course of action is doing positive harm to the cause of truth, and souls are imperiled, God requires that the warning be as broad as the injury done. The testimonies will not be hindered. The words of rebuke and warning, the plain "Thus saith the Lord," will come from God's appointed agencies; for the words do not originate with the human instrument; they are from God, who appointed them their work. If a suit is instituted in earthly tribunals, and God suffers it to come to trial, it is that His own name may be glorified. But a woe will be upon the man who gives himself to do this work. God reads the motives, whatever they may be. I pray that the Lord will teach our brethren to be straightforward, and make no compromise in the matter. The cause of God has been bruised and wounded by any such men connecting with it, and the sooner they are separated from it, the better. . . . {2SM 152.4}

“We are in the greatest peril when we receive praise of one another, when we enter into a confederacy to exalt one another. The great burden of the Pharisees was to secure the praise of men; and Christ told them that that was all the reward they would ever receive.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 133.

“The enemy is buying souls today very cheap. ‘Ye have sold yourselves for nought,’ is the language of Scripture. One is selling his soul for the world’s applause, another for money; one to gratify base passions, another for worldly amusement. Such bargains are made daily. Satan is bidding for the purchase of Christ’s blood and buying them cheap, notwithstanding the infinite price which has been paid to ransom them.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 133.

“There is to be no compromise with those who are worshipping an idol sabbath. We are not to spend our time in controversy with those who know the truth, and upon whom the light of truth has been shining, when they turn away their ear from the truth to turn to fables. I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week. In this controversy the whole world will be engaged, and the time is short. This is no time to haul down our colors.” Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 385.

  The light we have received upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll; but a most solemn work is to be accomplished in our world. The Lord's command to His servants is: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1. {6T 17.1}

“There is to be no change in the general features of our work. It is to stand as clear and distinct as prophecy has made it. We are to enter into no confederacy with the world, supposing that by so doing we could accomplish more. If any stand in the way, to hinder the advancement of the work in the lines that God has appointed, they will displease God. No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.”{6T 17.2}

B.B. Beach told me over the phone in 1988, that we joined the Radio and Television Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. in order to receive a cheaper broadcasting rate. This is going to Satan for assistance:

“God has given us plain directions regarding our work. We are to proclaim the truth in regard to the Sabbath of the Lord, to make up the breach that has been made in His law. We are to do all that we can to enlighten those in ignorance; but we are never to confederate with men of the world in order to receive financial assistance.” {9T 233.3}

“God has permitted apostasies to take place in order to show how little dependence can be placed in man. We are always to look to God; His word is not Yea and Nay, but Ye and Amen.—Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 395.

“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 sin-stained soul. {LS 330.2}

September 23, 1873 The Laodicean Church

“In the case of the sin of Achan, God has shown how he regards sin among those who profess to be his commandment-keeping people. Those whom he has especially honored with witnessing the remarkable exhibitions of his power, as did ancient Israel, and that will venture to disregard his express directions, will be subjects of his wrath. God would teach his people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to him, and not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when his people are found in sin, they should at once take decided measures to put the sin from them, that his frown should not rest upon all his people. But if those in responsible positions pass over the sins of the people, his frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for the sins that exist in their midst. God, in his dealings with his people in the past, shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs that exist among them. One sinner may diffuse darkness which will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, then they should earnestly seek God in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve God's Spirit are searched out and put away from among them. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 1}

“If wrongs exist among the people, and the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are guilty alike with the sinner, and will receive the displeasure of God just as surely as the sinner; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty. Those men who have excused wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable, and of lovely disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain and scriptural, duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.” {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 2}

     “The spirit of hatred which has existed with some because the wrongs among God's people have been reproved, has brought blindness and a fearful deception upon their own souls, making it impossible for them to discriminate between right and wrong. They have put out their own spiritual eyesight. They may witness wrongs, but they do not feel as did Joshua, and humble their souls in humiliation because the burden of souls is felt by them.” {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 3}

The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand, who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men, each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 4}

 

     Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God, and murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them, and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! These, unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work, and holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of all the wicked, represented by the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those "that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done" in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in an agony, even sighing and crying. Read Ezekiel, chapter nine. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 5}

 

     But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: "Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 6}

 

     God said to Joshua (in the case of Achan's sins), "Neither will I be with you any more except ye destroy the accursed from among you." How does this instance compare with the course pursued by those who will not raise their voice against sin and wrong; but whose sympathies are ever found with those who trouble the camp of Israel with their sins? Said God to Joshua, "Thou canst not stand before thine enemies until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." He pronounced the punishment which should follow the transgression of his covenant. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 7}

 

     Joshua then began a diligent search to find out the guilty one. He took Israel by their tribes, and then by their families, and next, individually. Achan was designated as the guilty one. But that the matter might be plain to all Israel, that there should be no occasion given them to murmur, and to say that the guiltless was made to suffer, Joshua used policy. He knew that Achan was the transgressor, and that he had concealed his sin, and provoked God against his people. Joshua discreetly induced Achan to make confession of his sin, that God's honor and justice should be vindicated before Israel. "And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done. Hide it not from me." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 8}

 

     "And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 9}

 

     God said to Joshua, that not only had Achan taken the things which he had positively charged them not to take, lest they be accursed, but had stolen, and also had dissembled. The Lord said that Jericho and all its spoils should be consumed, except the gold and silver, which was to be reserved for the treasury of the Lord. The victory obtained in taking Jericho was not through warfare, or the exposure of the people. The Captain of the Lord's host had led the armies of Heaven. The battle was the Lord's. The children of Israel did not strike a blow. It was the Lord who fought the battle. The victory and glory were the Lord's. The spoils were his. He directed it all to be consumed, except the gold and silver which he reserved for his treasury. Achan understood well the reserve made, and that the treasures of gold and silver which he coveted were the Lord's. He stole from God's treasury for his own benefit. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 10}

 

     There are many who profess to keep the commandments of God who are appropriating to their own use the means which the Lord has entrusted to them, and which should come into his treasury. They rob God in tithes and in offerings. They dissemble, and withhold from God to their own hurt. They bring leanness and poverty upon themselves, and darkness upon the church, because of their covetousness, and in dissembling, in robbing God in tithes and in offerings. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 11}

 

     Those who work in the fear of God to rid the church of hindrances, and to correct grievous wrongs, that the people of God may see the necessity of abhorring sin, and that they may prosper in purity, and the name of God be glorified, will ever meet with resisting influences from the unconsecrated. Zephaniah describes the true state of this class, and the terrible judgments that will come upon them. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 12}

 

     "And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees; that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil." "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 13}

 

     It is in time of conflict when the true colors should be flung to the breeze. It is then the standard-bearers need to be firm and let their true position be known. It is then the skill of every true soldier for the right is tested; shirks can never wear the laurels of victory. Those who are true and loyal will not conceal the fact, but will put heart and might in the work, and venture their all in the struggle, let the battle turn as it will. God is a sin-hating God. And those who will encourage the sinner, saying, It is well with thee, God will curse. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 14}

 

     Confessions of sin made at the right time to relieve the people of God will be accepted of him. But there are those among us who will make confessions, as did Achan, too late to save themselves. God may prove them and give them another trial, for the sake of his people to evidence to them that they will not endure one test, one proving of God. They are not in harmony with right. They despise the straight testimony that reaches the heart, and they would rejoice to see every one silenced that gives reproof. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 15}

 

     The people of Israel had been gradually losing their fear and reverence for God, until his word through Joshua had no weight with them. "In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 16}

 

     While Israel was apostatizing, Elijah was a true prophet of God. He remained loyal and true to God. His faithful soul was greatly distressed as he saw that unbelief and infidelity were fast separating the children of Israel from God. Elijah prayed that God would save his people. He entreated that the Lord would not wholly cast away his sinning people, but by his judgments, if necessary, arouse them to repentance, and not permit them to go on to still greater lengths in sin, and thus provoke him to destroy them as a nation. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 17}

 

     The message of the Lord came to Elijah to go to Ahab, with the denunciations of his judgments, because of the sins of Israel. Elijah traveled day and night until he reached the palace of Ahab. He solicited no admission, and waited not to be formally announced. All unexpectedly to Ahab, Elijah stands before the astonished king of Samaria in the coarse garments usually worn by the prophets. He made no apology for his abrupt appearance, without invitation. He raised his hands to heaven, and solemnly affirmed by the living God, who made the heavens and the earth, the judgments which would come upon Israel: "There shall be neither dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 18}

 

     This startling denunciation of God's judgments because of the sins of Israel fell like a thunderbolt upon the apostate king. He seemed to be paralyzed with amazement and terror; and before he could recover from his astonishment, Elijah, without waiting to see the effect of his message, left as suddenly as he came. His work was to speak the word of woe from God, and he instantly withdrew. His word had locked up the treasures of heaven, and his word was the only key which could open them again. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 19}

 

     The Lord knew that there was no safety for his servant among the children of Israel. He would not trust him with apostate Israel; but sent Elijah to find an asylum among a heathen nation. He directed him to a woman that was a widow, who was in such poverty that she could barely sustain life with the most meager fare. A heathen woman, living up to the best light she had, was in a more acceptable state with God than the widows of Israel who had been blessed with especial privileges, and great light, and who did not live according to the light which God had given them. As the Hebrews rejected light, they were left in darkness. God would not trust his servant among his people who had provoked his divine anger. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 20}

 

     Now there is an opportunity for apostate Ahab and pagan Jezebel to test the power of their gods, and to prove the word of Elijah false. Jezebel's prophets are numbered by hundreds. Against them all, stands Elijah, alone. His word has locked heaven. If Baal can give dew and rain, and cause the vegetation to flourish, if he can cause the brooks and streams of water to flow on as usual, independent of the treasures of heaven, in the showers of rain, then let the king of Israel worship him, and the people say he is God. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 21}

 

     Elijah was a man subject to like passions as ourselves. His mission to Ahab, and the terrible denunciation to him of the judgments of God, required courage and faith. On his way to Samaria, the perpetually flowing streams, the hills covered with verdure, the forests of stately, flourishing trees, everything his eye rested upon, flourishing in beauty and glory, would naturally suggest unbelief. How can all these things in nature so flourishing be burned with drought? How can these streams that water the land, and that have never been known to cease their flow, become dry? But Elijah did not cherish unbelief. He went forth on his mission at the peril of his life. He fully believed that God would humble his apostate people, and through the visitation of his judgments would bring them to humiliation and repentance. He ventured everything in the mission before him. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 22}

 

     When Ahab recovers in a degree from his astonishment at the words of Elijah, the prophet was gone. He made diligent inquiry for him; but no one had seen him or could give any information respecting him. Ahab informed Jezebel of the word of woe that Elijah had uttered in his presence, and her hatred against the prophet was expressed to the priests of Baal. They unite with her in denouncing and cursing the prophet of Jehovah. The news of the prophet's denunciations are spread all through the land, arousing the fears of some and the wrath of many. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 23}

 

     After a few months, the earth, unrefreshed by dew or rain, becomes dry, and vegetation withers. The streams of water that have never been known to cease their flow, decrease, and the brooks of water dry up. Jezebel's prophets offer their sacrifices to their gods, and call upon them night and day to refresh the earth by dews and rain. But their incantations and deceptions formerly practiced to deceive the people do not answer the purpose now. The priests have done everything to appease the anger of their gods, and with a perseverance and zeal worthy of a better cause, have they lingered around their pagan altars, while the flames of sacrifice burn on all the high places, and the fearful cries and entreaties of the priests of Baal are heard night after night through doomed Samaria. But the clouds do not appear in the heavens to cut off the burning rays of the sun. The word of Elijah stands firm, and nothing that Baal's priests can do will change the word spoken by Elijah. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 24}

 

     An entire year passes, and another has commenced, and yet there is no rain. The earth is parched, as though a fire had passed over it. The flourishing fields become as the scorched desert. The air becomes dry and suffocating, the dust storm blinds the eyes, and nearly stops the breath. The groves of Baal are leafless, and the forest trees give no shade, but appear as skeletons. Hunger and thirst are telling upon man and beast with fearful mortality. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 25}

 

     All this evidence of God's justice and judgment does not awaken Israel to repentance. Jezebel is filled with insane madness. She will not bend or yield to the God of Heaven. Baal's prophets, Ahab, Jezebel, and nearly the whole of Israel, charge their calamity upon Elijah. Ahab had sent to every kingdom and nation in search of Elijah, and he required an oath of the kingdoms and nations of Israel, that they knew nothing in regard to the strange prophet. Elijah locked heaven with his word, and had taken the key with him, and he could not be found. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 26}

 

     Jezebel then decided, as she could not make Elijah feel her murderous power, that she would be revenged by destroying the prophets of God in Israel. No one who professed to be a prophet of God should live. This determined, infuriated woman executed her work of madness in slaying the Lord's prophets. Baal's priests and nearly all of Israel were so far deluded that they thought if the prophets of God were slain the calamity under which they were suffering would cease. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 27}

 

     But the second year passes, and the pitiless heavens give no rain. Drought and famine are doing their sad work, and yet the apostate Israelites do not humble their sinful, proud hearts before God. But they murmur and complain against the prophet of God who has brought this dreadful state of things upon them. Fathers and mothers see their children perish with no power to relieve them. And yet they were in such terrible darkness that they could not see that the justice of God was awakened against them because of their sins; and that this terrible calamity was sent in mercy to them, to save them from fully denying and forsaking the God of their fathers. {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 28}

 

     It will cost Israel suffering and great affliction to bring them to that repentance necessary in order to recover their lost faith, and a clear sense of their responsibility to God. Their apostasy was more dreadful than drought or famine. Elijah waited and prayed in faith through the long years of drought and famine, that the hearts of Israel through their afflictions might be turned from their idolatry, to allegiance to God. Notwithstanding all their sufferings, they stood firm in their idolatry, and looked upon the prophet of God as the cause of their calamity. And if they could have had Elijah in their power they would have delivered him to Jezebel, that she might satisfy her revenge by taking his life. Because Elijah dared to utter the word of woe which God had bidden him, he has made himself the object of their hatred. They could not see God's hand in the judgments under which they were suffering because of their sins. They charged them to the man Elijah. They abhorred not the sins which had brought them under the chastening rod, but hated the faithful prophet, God's instrument, to denounce their sins and calamity. "And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go show thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth." {RH, September 23, 1873 par. 29}

 

     Elijah hesitated not to start on his perilous journey. He had been hated, and hunted from city to city by the mandate of the king, for three years, and the whole nation had given their oath that the prophet could not be found. And now Elijah, by the word of God, is to present himself before Ahab. Through the apostasy of all Israel, the governor of Ahab's house has proved faithful to God while his master is a worshiper of Baal. He had, at the risk of his own life, preserved the prophets of God, by hiding them by fifties in a cave, and feeding them. While the servant of Ahab is searching throughout the kingdom for springs and brooks of water, Elijah presents himself before him. Obadiah reverenced the prophet of God, and as Elijah sends him with a message to the king, he is greatly terrified. He sees danger and death to himself and also Elijah. He pleads earnestly that his life might not be sacrificed; but Elijah assures Obadiah with an oath that he will see Ahab that day. The prophet will not go to Ahab, but as one of God's messengers to command respect, he sends by Obadiah a message, "Behold, Elijah is here." If Ahab wants to see Elijah, he has now the opportunity to come to him. Elijah will not go to Ahab.
                           (To be Continued.)


                                                               
{RH, September 23, 1873 par. 30}

“The peculiar work of the third angel has not been seen in its importance. God meant that His people should be far in advance of the position which they occupy today. But now, when the time has come for them to spring into action, they have the preparation to make. When the National Reformers began to urge measures to restrict religious liberty, our leading men should have been alive to the situation and should have labored earnestly to counteract these efforts. It is not in the order of God that light has been kept from our people--the very present truth which they needed for this time. Not all our ministers who are giving the third angel's message really understand what constitutes that message. The National Reform movement has been regarded by some as of so little importance that they have not thought it necessary to give much attention to it and have even felt that in so doing they would be giving time to questions distinct from the third angel's message. May the Lord forgive our brethren for thus interpreting the very message for this time.” {5T 714.2}

 

“The people need to be aroused in regard to the dangers of the present time. The watchmen are asleep. We are years behind. Let the chief watchmen feel the urgent necessity of taking heed to themselves, lest they lose the opportunities given them to see the dangers.” {5T 715.1}

 

“If the leading men in our conferences do not now accept the message sent them by God, and fall into line for action, the churches will suffer great loss. When the watchman, seeing the sword coming, gives the trumpet a certain sound, the people along the line will echo the warning, and all will have opportunity to make ready for the conflict. But too often the leader has stood hesitating, seeming to say: "Let us not be in too great haste. There may be a mistake. We must be careful not to raise a false alarm." The very hesitancy and uncertainty on his part is crying: "'Peace and safety.' Do not get excited. Be not alarmed. There is a great deal more made of this religious amendment question than is demanded. This agitation will all die down." Thus he virtually denies the message sent from God, and the warning which was designed to stir the churches fails to do its work. The trumpet of the watchman gives no certain sound, and the people do not prepare for the battle. Let the watchman beware lest, through his hesitancy and delay, souls shall be left to perish, and their blood shall be required at his hand. {5T 715.2}

 

God bless all who search and heed His Word,

 

Ron Top of Form

Bottom of Form

 

 

Also see: http://omega77.tripod.com/egwisaiahchap8.htm