TheDesire of Ages and the SDA Church Today

 

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James Franks

 

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Prophecy - The Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

 

Often I have thought about the quotation from the pen of Ellen G. White found in Testimonies vol. 4 p. 374 that says in part: "It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life." Then it continues to state that there are many lessons to be learned from this study.

In my twenty plus years (since 1988) of being a Seventh-day Adventist, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. I have read and referred to "The Desire of Ages by Ellen G. White", numerous times and I'm sure the reader will agree with me that it is the most beautiful book (outside of the Bible itself) of love ever written. But around the late 90s I believe the Lord impressed me to take a different look at this book.

Love is all important, and we never want to do anything without it; but sometimes when we are focused in one spot too long, our vision of the bigger picture can become blurred. I believe that the Lord prompted me to take another look at Desire of Ages and refocus my study, not about love, but about prophetic parallels. That's not to say that love has been forgotten, certainly not, but with my focus on prophetic parallels I discovered that The Desire of Ages is one of the most important books ever written for this exact time.

Over the last several years it has become painfully apparent, (generally speaking), that many of the professed leaders of the Adventist organization have lowered the standard to such a point that in far too many places "the church" is almost completely different from what it was, say thirty, or even twenty years ago. As if this isn't alarming enough, we are witnessing a bold trend of these "professors" exerting their brash "liberal beliefs" right in the faces of those who love the Adventist movement and message with all their hearts.

Unfortunately for those who for most of their Christian lives have given strict loyalty, it is being quickly realized that the leaders are far more interested in maintaining their own power than a "thus saith the Lord".

Brothers and Sisters, as surprising as this has been in this "soft generation", it's really nothing new. Most of our "heroes" had to stand up against this type of apostasy and hypocrisy in their day - and if they had shunned such a disagreeable duty, you and I wouldn't be enjoying the liberty of this discussion today.

Spiritual giants such as Moses, Joshua & Caleb, Enoch, Elijah, John the Baptist, all of the disciples, Martin Luther, Tyndale, Huss, Zwingli, Knox, Ellen White, many, many others, and the greatest Hero of all, our Lord Jesus Christ, had to meet this "enemy within".

In this study, we will discover that when the Lord inspired Sister Ellen White to pen the words found in 1SM 122, He knew the greatest weight of these words would fall in our time: "We have more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world... how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan's devices."

Everywhere people are discovering, most for the first time, that we need to let the Lord lead and not man. People are realizing that it is important to put God first and man second, no matter who the man is, whether a pastor, Conference President or General Conference President. They are discovering that this battle isn't a matter of vindictiveness on the part of faithful independent ministries, but of hypocrisy and lack of faith in the lives of professed leadership.

They are discovering what you are about to discover (or rediscover); Jesus wants you all to Himself and He has made provision for you to move forward even if the whole world chooses to do otherwise!

Pray, dear friend, for the Holy Spirit to guide you in this study. For what you are about to embark on is, I believe, one of the most important studies you will ever do in your life. This message is the same message that Jesus gave to His disciples in a time past which mirrored our own. In it you will discover that we are living in the express parallel of the days of Christ and the "church" of His day. All the "players" in that "play" are still present in our day - the Conference, Headquarters, and even the self-supporting Ministers whom Jesus raised up to continue the pure "Seventh-day Adventist" message in His day of reform. You will find in this fascinating study that absolutely nothing has changed, that in the book "Desire of Ages" is the same message which set the disciples free and the exact work that Jesus did for them - He is doing for us today.

In this study, I believe if rightly understood, will be given God's blessing, as you choose to serve Him first and relegate to man a second position. In Christ's day "the church" had strangely "changed leaders" and rejected the Originator of their movement. In our day we face this same tragedy. Most "Ancient Adventists" - our spiritual ancestors - were lost because of their misplaced loyalty in a leadership (priesthood) that had become corrupt. Today their history has once again become our reality.

 

Note:

Within the last several years, you may have heard the term "Ancient Adventists" used for Ancient Israel. Ellen White certainly knew and made public claim of this parallel many, many times when she rightly called the Seventh-day Adventist people "Modern day Israel". In over forty places of her writings (I've looked up every one) she plainly shows, by calling the Seventh-day Adventist people "Modern day Israel", that the parallel is true.

If we (SDAs) are "Modern day Israel", then it stands to reason that we are abusing nothing, in the spiritual sense by calling them "Ancient Adventists". Because this is so simple and nearly all Adventists with whom I have spoken with have readily recognized the Biblical analogy, I will not spend any more time with it here, although we will revisit the topic briefly in "Section 1 Desire of Ages -- Chapter 63".

As we continue in the study, if there is any doubt, things should not remain confusing very long. If they do, you may be in a lot more trouble than you think. End Note.

It is now your privilege, and mine, to discover and understand that this same Jesus - Who lived through the history of our ancestors, in His grace and mercy toward us, has had The Desire of Ages written, not just to show us what love is, but for much deeper reasons than this. He is giving us, Seventh-day Adventists in particular, a last chance to learn from the mistakes of others and take heed. Whether or not you do will determine your eternal destiny!

My prayers are with you; along with hope and desire that you will find the freedom that our Saviour has died to give you - only then will you be free indeed. But if not, you will be chained to men who have no higher concept of Adventism than did their counterparts found in the conference office of the ancient church - the Sanhedrin.

This study will take us through the heart of "The Desire of Ages" beginning with a brief Introduction leading straight into Chapter 63, "Thy King Cometh", and concluding with Chapter 78, which is "Calvary".

All statements from The Desire of Ages (as well as the Bible and other Spirit of prophecy statements) will be in this color Blue.

When you have finished, I hope you will be much richer for the labor and much wiser for the study. May the Lord be with you.

Introduction

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

How many times have you heard it said or have said yourself: "We shouldn't criticize"? I can remember when there used to be such a thing as constructive criticism. So far have we been removed from those days of honest correction that we no longer use such terminology. Why? Because when someone in our ranks today says we shouldn't criticize, they mean we should keep from speaking anything that's "negative", especially if it's directed at the "leadership" of "the church".

Almost always on the heels of this comment you will hear someone say that "Jesus never condemned anybody". And once again this comment is calculated to place a grim opinion on anyone who would proceed to prove that "they are out of step with what Jesus would have done".††††

Maybe you have been in Sabbath School and have tried to make a critical point on the lesson or have challenged some leader for his wrong actions and someone has said (on cue), "Jesus never condemned anybody!". You could have almost "heard" the minds of all the Sabbath School members slam shut about this time and your voice would not be heard for the rest of the session. Your influence has just been killed!

But to make such statements, in reality, shows the prejudice of the comment and exposes the ignorance of the one who makes it. If Jesus never condemned anyone, then why did "the church" (leaders) crucify Him! It doesn't take a genius to realize that to say "Jesus never condemned anyone" is to be very inaccurate and shows that the one making such comments knows not - what the Spirit of Prophecy says nor the Bible itself.

All one has to do is read through the four Gospels and pay attention to the red lettering. I guarantee that you will find in a big way throughout that Jesus was, in fact, condemning the leadership of the Ancient Conference of His day. To deny this obvious fact is to deny the simplest historical accounts of the New Testament.

Jesus called the apostate leaders of His day "sons of the devil" (John 8:44), "hypocrites" (Matt. 6:2, 15:7, 23:13 and numerous other places), and "white sepulchers" (Matt. 23:27). He certainly agreed with John the Baptist, (His cousin), who called the leaders a "generation of snakes" in Matt. 3:7. As a matter of fact, Jesus spoke of John as the greatest prophet who ever lived (Matt. 11:11).

We could sight many more situations when Jesus did things that most Seventh-day Adventists would be appalled at today, such as overthrowing the money tables in the courts of the church, but this should demonstrate that most people either don't know what Jesus was like or they really don't want to be "just like Jesus".

It's also quite simple to prove that Christ condemned the leadership of "the church" by looking at many plain Spirit of Prophecy statements. We will but take a quick look at one or two. DA 616: "The Saviour continued (that means He had already been doing it) His DENUNCIATIONS of the scribes and Pharisees: 'Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, ...'".

Another example is found in DA 618: "But when obedience to God requires self-denial and humiliation, these very persons stifle their convictions, and refuse obedience. Thus they manifest the same spirit as did the Pharisees whom CHRIST CONDEMNED." ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

(All emphasis of this author/me - is supplied in capital letters, underlinings, emboldings, or contained within brackets unless otherwise stated).

We will see further comments on some of these [above] passages later in our study, but it only takes a little examination by an honest student to discover that the person who makes the comment that "Christ never condemned anybody" - for whatever reason - simply doesn't know what he/she is talking about. Once we learn the truth about the matter we are obligated by our love for the truth and for God's people, professed or otherwise, to educate those who remain ignorant.

One might ask oneself, "Where did we get the idea that Jesus never condemned anybody or that we should never condemn anybody?" The answer is found in the same place the disciples found it - from the same leaders that Jesus was condemning!

Certainly, if you have been around Adventist churches for any length of time, you have heard this next comment: "We should never speak against the leadership". Well, we have pretty much answered that above, but once again if you will just think for a moment, you will find that it is not a sin to expose that which leads people away from God. As a matter of fact, I have made a little challenge in times past and will make it here again:

Think of any three "heroes" from the Bible or Reformation Period of this earth's history. Now as you're choosing your favourite three, reflect upon what makes them your heroes and show me, if you can, that they didn't experience affliction in their day for speaking up against apostate leadership. I dare say, with very few exceptions, it doesn't matter what three you choose; most of them fit the above criteria and this is what actually makes them your heroes! Because they took a stand against their leaders and laid everything on the line, you admire them.

The problem we face is, as historic as they are, modern day heroes are rarely appreciated by their own generation or in their own country as the Bible states. But whether accepted or not, the Lord will continue to raise them and they will continue to lay everything on the line.

Here's another statement that in itself is wonderful but sometimes calculated to hold the tongue of the reformer: "I just want to be like Jesus". This statement sounds so good and so pious. But one must be very careful how he uses this statement. The appropriate question to those who are trying to use it to silence an honest approach to truth, may well be - "are you sure you are willing to be just like Jesus?"

To be just like Jesus is to speak and act just as Jesus did. Without elaborating, at this point it is all too clear that Jesus' words and actions got Him killed by His own church! Are we really ready to be just like Jesus? If we are, we will pay much more attention to what His Father tells us to do than to men who are in leadership positions or to their opinions. This is what Jesus did and He was rejected by those who claimed they were interested in righteousness while at the same time plotted to kill God! They, the conference leaders of that day, did end up "killing God" and all who remained loyal with them (conference leaders of that day) ended up with the same crime written in the books of heaven - right there beside their names. Think about it.

How about this statement: "The church is going through". Almost anyone who has been an Adventist any length of time at all has heard this echoed time and time again. But even in the statement itself, the way it's stated is a subtle deception and we shall discover how - more in detail later. But for now this is what is really meant, most of the time, when you hear the above words, it means: "The Conference is going through".

When people don't want their "comfort zone" disturbed, they don't want to take responsibility for working out their own salvation. In some cases people are just honestly confused. When they say the church is going through, they really mean the conference is going through. This we will discover is a "taught" understanding by those who are trying to protect their own interests. The words "conference" and "church" in the sense of Biblical understanding are NOT the same thing - although "leadership" would have us believe they are.

Our understanding of the truth in this matter alone is crucial and our study in the Desire of Ages will be a blessed one in helping us to realize God's definition of the true church.

Maybe you have heard someone make this comment: "If anything is wrong in the church, I'll read it in the Review". Well, all I have to say at this point about this statement is that it has some truth. If you wish to read what's "wrong" in "the church" just read the Adventist Review aka Adventist World (official magazine)!

Here's yet another: "The Conference is the voice of God". The fact of the matter is that Ellen G. White's last comment on this subject still stands and was never reversed. It is found in Manuscript Release #37 (this can be easily verified with the White Estate) written in 1901 on page 8: "It [the 1901 General Conference] is working upon wrong principles, that has [have] brought the cause of God into its present embarrassment. The people have lost confidence in those who have the management of the work. Yet we hear that the voice of the Conference is the voice of God. Every time I have heard this, I have thought it was almost blasphemy. The voice of the Conference ought to be the voice of God, but it is not, because some in connection with it are not men of faith and prayer, they are not men of elevated principle. There is not a seeking of God with the whole heart; there is not a realization of the terrible responsibility that rests upon those in this institution to mold and fashion minds after the divine similitude."

If one is to understand and analyze the principles that Ellen White has established as to what makes true leaders for God, then the subject of who and what is "the church" could be simply decided from the above statement alone. It is either God's way or no way.

Also, notice that she doesn't say "all" the leaders in connection with the work but "some" leaders. This makes a big difference and has always been true when investigated. When Jesus left the professed "true church" of His day desolate - not ALL the leaders were apostate but MANY of them were.

If people are waiting until the day they can say, "Well, I know now that every leader in the structure is now in apostasy", before they make their own decision as to what course to follow, they will find themselves beating on the outside of the ark. But the door will have already been shut.

Just a couple more comments you have probably heard that have become common within the past few years: "I'm not held responsible for what happens to my money once it's paid to the Conference". Oh really!? Please allow me to demonstrate how ridiculous this comment is in our day:

Let's say that you and I are walking down the street of some major city here in America. We are discussing how wonderful the Lord has been to us and relating some blessing the Lord has brought our way. In the midst of our testimonies a man stumbles out of an alley we are passing. We "size him up" in just a couple of seconds.

Standing in front of us we see a man who is quite unkempt and unclean. His clothes and general makeup are in much disarray. He says something about having gone without several meals and asks if we might have a couple of dollars to help him out. As we listen to his story we can't help but notice the repulsive odor that emanates from his person and the slur in his voice. Nonetheless, we are sympathetic to his present lot in life.

When he is finished relating his troubles, we politely offer to escort him back a block or so to the cafe we just passed a few minutes prior to our encounter. We tell him that we will purchase the meal he is seeking, but as we extend our offering he declines and tries to convince us that he can handle the situation on his own if we will only part with the cash.

Friend, at this point anyone who is even just a little bit "street wise" knows that this fellow is not asking for our money to be spent on any meal unless in liquid form. While making a profession of Christianity at this juncture, we must make a decision concerning our response to his request.

Let me ask you this simple question as you are contemplating this scenario. Knowing that this man will take the money, which the Lord has entrusted to you, and he then proceeds down to the nearest liquor store to buy his next "meal", do you think the Lord would hold you responsible if you had thus parted with your cash?

The answer is all too clear. Of course He would, and that is why you wouldn't and couldn't give this man cash, knowing he would get drunk off your money if you just gave it to him. You would conceive that the Lord would not approve. Well, what made the difference in your decision? Yes, you had information that brought you to the realization that the Lord would not approve of you "helping" this man in the way he wanted you to.

Now let me ask you another simple question. If you have knowledge that you are giving to a cause or a church where God's money is going to be mishandled, are you responsible for what happens to it? The answer is just as simple as the one above. Of course you are! I am not telling you what to do with your money, but if we are not acting from right principles, we will be held accountable.

For one to say in this day and age (and I'm addressing this to the present situation in the "church") that "all I have to do is put my money in any offering plate and my responsibility stops there" is being willingly naive and is taking a dangerous position.

To be a good steward means to educate oneself regarding the issue to the best of one's ability. After we have done this, our responsibility is then complete if we act according to an honest conscience.

... And then, of course, there is the story of Achan - as well as MANY other biblical examples.

The last "comment" that we will deal with has been more recently heard than some of the rest: "If the Conference takes away your membership, you're lost unless you repent and are accepted back in". In many places the Spirit of Prophecy plainly teaches that having our names on the rosters of the Seventh-day Adventist Membership books does not place us on Heaven's book. God's Amazing Grace, page 249: "The fact that our names are on the church books will not secure for us an entrance into the kingdom of heaven. God asks, Have you used your opportunities for service and for the development of Christian character? Have you traded faithfully with your Lord's goods? Knowing the will of God concerning you, how have you obeyed that will?"

Of course, the opposite is true as well. Just because someone has taken our names off the "church's" books does not mean we are taken off the rolls of heaven's books. Brothers and sisters, if this were true, then Jesus, Himself would be lost. For you cannot be disfellowshipped any harder than to be crucified by your church!

So with these initial points in place, let's dive into our study of Desire of Ages and Prophetic Parallels. Remember, we are concentrating in this study on our research as to what happened in Christ's day and its parallels to our own day.

 

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 1

DESIRE OF AGES

Chapter 63

DA 569: "Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Zechariah thus foretold the coming of the King to Israel."

And at the bottom of the next paragraph: "The hope of the new kingdom was again springing up."

Note:

Now let me explain something right here so as to not be blamed for unnecessary things later. Our study, although detailed in many ways, will be nonetheless, an overview of the most important points pertinent to the study.

By necessity, we will skip many paragraphs and words to be as efficient as we can. But lest any make the charge of "an attempt to deceive" by doing this "skipping", then please, feel free to read every word as I, of course, have several times. You will find that it will not detract from anything parallel that is uncovered and, in fact, many times you may think, "Dude, you should have used this one!" - End Note.

So for five hundred years the Lord had brought to view the reality that the Messiah was on His way. But do you know what happened before He arrived? The educational system of these "Ancient Adventists" became polluted. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, the Conference leaders "knew" more than He did - or so they claimed.

Remember when they asked Him by what authority had He to preach? They made the charge that He didn't have any authority because He hadn't attended any of their schools and THEY had not given Him any authority. These same apostate leaders later made the same exact charges against the disciples.

At the time of Christ's arrival the "church" had a misconception of the event. And where did they get this misconception? From the Conference leaders, of course. The Desire of Ages explains more in detail on page 457: "Many among Christ's hearers who were dwellers at Jerusalem, and who were not ignorant of the plots of the rulers against Him, felt themselves drawn to Him by an irresistible power. The conviction pressed upon them that He was the Son of God. But Satan was ready to suggest doubt; and for this the way was prepared by their erroneous ideas of the Messiah and His coming. It was generally believed that Christ would be born at Bethlehem, but that after a time He would disappear, and at His second appearance none would know whence He came. There were not a few who held that the Messiah would have no natural relationship to humanity. And because the popular conception of the glory of the Messiah was not met by Jesus of Nazareth, many gave heed to the suggestion, 'Howbeit we know this Man when He is; but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.'

"While they were thus wavering between doubt and faith, Jesus took up their thoughts and answered them: 'Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of Myself, but He that sent Me is true, who ye know not.' They claimed a knowledge of what the origin of Christ should be, but they were in utter ignorance of it. If they had lived in accordance with the will of God, they would have known His Son when He was manifested to them." - DA 457.

So you see, God's "chosen people" had disregarded the manner in which He had said He would come. They could not rightly discern spiritual things because they had not lived in accordance with the will of God.

When Christ arrived on the scene, the "church" had been polluted with the leading of diluted teachers. Even the disciples were not immune to these things and as they listened to Christ's words, "The hope of the new kingdom was again springing up".

DA 570: "... But hope brightened in their hearts with the joyous thought that He [Jesus] was about to enter the capital, proclaim Himself King, and assert His royal power. While on their errand they communicated their glowing expectations to the friends of Jesus, and the excitement spread far and near, raising the expectations of the people to the highest pitch."

Here we see the disciples of Christ spreading the "gospel" of Christ's arrival and exciting the people with their news. But their news was based on the popular belief of their day that they had received from their leaders which was wrong. In reality, although the disciples didn't understand it, while they were getting the people excited, they were really setting themselves and the people up for a great disappointment.

We see the parallel to this first in the period of 1843. Because of belief in popular theology, there was a misunderstanding not so much as to the event - but how the event would take place.

During 1843 the people thought that Christ was coming back that year. They had been taught by the leaders of their day that the earth was the sanctuary and if Christ was about to cleanse the sanctuary this then meant they were about to experience the second coming of Christ. Many became excited about this "gospel news" and began fervently sharing it with anyone who would listen and people's expectations raised to the point that they stopped all other activities and even left their farms and places of business. But while they thought they were doing the right thing they were really being set up for the great disappointment of 1843-44.

The same thing is happening all over again. You ask how? I'll tell you how:

The popular "gospel" today (and remember we're talking within Adventism, and no other denomination) is that you can continue to sin, and because God understands we are human, He will still save us. While the majority of Adventists may be excited about this, they are really being set up one last time for the great disappointment. There is one big difference, however. This time it will be an eternal disappointment and by the time most realize they've been deceived, it will be too late.

Because we are studying Prophetic Parallels this might be a good place to set in motion some ground rules. Now I'm going to make the claim that in this study we will discover that essentially nothing has changed in the story as far as what had happened 2,000 years ago and what is happening today. I'm making the claim that Jesus has intentionally inspired the writing of this parallel in Desire of Ages and has graciously brought it to the forefront at this time because it's time to do so.

In keeping with this, let's pause to discuss the "players" in this drama.

If we had lived 2,000 years ago, and had only the knowledge the Jews at that time had, it would have been obvious to us who the church was. Most of us would have recognized that "the church" was the Sanhedrin. We would have said that Jerusalem was "Conference Headquarters" and the priests, scribes, and Pharisees were the Conference leaders of our day.

We would have been right based on the same assumptions that are being made today by the majority. This is so obvious as illustrated by verses in Scripture already mentioned, and by statements from the disciples themselves such as, "Don't you know, Jesus, You just offended the pastors?" (Matt. 15:12). And you may also want to note Jesus' corresponding response.

If we would have been guilty of not diligently studying to show ourselves approved and part of the popular thought of that day, 2,000 years ago, we would have definitely believed that the Conference was the church and that the Conference was the hierarchy or the Sanhedrin. To deny this simple truth is either the admission of gross ignorance or the height of prideful piety.

Ellen White certainly knew and made public claim of this parallel many, many times when she rightly called the Seventh-day Adventist people "Modern day Israel". In over forty places of her writings she plainly shows, by calling the Seventh-day Adventist people Modern day Israel, that the parallel is true.

I'll demonstrate the analogy before we press on with our study.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

If we are supposed to be "the bolt of cloth" or "remnant" claiming to be "the modern day chosen people", from where did we originate? Who are our "spiritual ancestors", if not the Jews? Well, I think this point has been agreed upon a long time ago and we as SDAs have been claiming it for well over 100 years now.

Along with the truths just pointed out would come the one that "as we had clung to Conference thought" we would NOT have accepted Jesus as anyone more than a divisive troublemaker whom we finally voted to put away. Now I realize this is hard to take but not any more difficult to take than it was for those to whom the disciples told it. What one must do with this information is to decide how to react toward it.

In Christ's day there were two groups:

1 - those who decided to continue to fight against these truths;

2 - those who repented for hanging on to that which had put Christ on the cross.

In His day, how would Christ and His disciples have been identified?

They would have been recognized by most of us as Self-supporting ministers. They would NOT have been recognized as: having "authority" to give their messages - and this is plainly pointed out in Scripture.†††

Remember, it is only those who began to look at the truth for themselves who discovered the Conference leaders of their day to be wrong. All those who clung to the self-promoted idea that "the church (Conference) was going through" died in the slaughter of A.D. 70. Not only were they removed that day from off the face of the earth but also from the Lamb's Book of Life!

Do we realize, Brothers and Sisters, that if it hadn't been for the Self-supporting Ministers, there wouldn't have been any "1844"? As a matter of fact, there wouldn't have been an "Adventist movement" at all! Our own modern-day forefathers were blamed by their own church for the same thing some of us are being blamed for today. They endured the same thing that Jesus endured, and we are grateful they did!

And what was it that originally put in action the downfall of the structure in ancient times? It was the choosing of a King.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

The Scriptures plainly teaches that this was never God's plan. Let's read about it in 1 Samuel 8:5-8: "...make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

"Modern day Israel" has followed in the same footsteps and is in the same trouble. The reason God didn't desire for Israel to have a king is a good one. Having one man at the head is not God's plan; for nearly every time this has been the case, that "king" ends up protecting his own kingdom to the destruction of God's.

DA 571-2: "This day, which seemed to the disciples the crowning day of their lives, would have been shadowed with gloomy clouds had they known that this scene of rejoicing [the triumphal entry] was but a prelude to the suffering and death of their Master. Although He had repeatedly told them of His certain sacrifice, yet in the glad triumph of the present they forgot His sorrowful words, and looked forward to His prosperous reign on David's throne."

Of course, The Great Controversy speaks of this parallel; during the time the church is looking to years of prosperity, sudden destruction comes.

Jesus had tried to warn them - but their minds were so full of preconceived ideas placed there by the corrupt priesthood that His words fell on deaf ears.

Although Christ has renewed His warnings to His professed people in the volumes of Spirit of Prophecy books, today for the most part, they are falling on deaf ears. In a time when the "church" is crying peace and safety, in a time when the "church" is looking forward to years of prosperity, sudden destruction IS about to fall.

DA 572: "Many Pharisees witnessed the scene, and, burning with envy and malice, sought to turn the current of popular feeling. With all their authority they tried to silence the people; but their appeals and threats only increased the enthusiasm. They feared that this multitude, in the strength of their numbers, would make Jesus king. ... They declared that such noisy demonstrations were unlawful, and would not be permitted by the authorities."

Here we have the Conference Pastors witnessing the scene and they are burning with envy and malice. Now do you know what malice is? If you look it up you will find that it is defined as "hatred or intense hatred".††††††††††††††††††

Why did the Ancient Adventist Pastors hate Jesus, the very One Who they were claiming to worship? We also read that these same Pastors feared that the multitude would make Jesus their king. Why would an Adventist Pastor fear that the laity would make Jesus their king?

I'll tell you why, for the reason hasn't changed over the last 2,000 years. The Adventist Pastors feared that if the people had made Jesus their king, they would have found out the truth about "who the Pastors really were" and what "their style of pastoring was really all about". They feared that their own authority would be nullified and they would be without a job! They feared they would lose control of the money and lose all their authority. You want to know something? They were right! I hope you are thinking about parallels in our own day.

DA 576: "In the midst of a scene of rejoicing, where all were paying Him homage, Israel's King was in tears; not silent tears of gladness, but tears and groans of insuppressible agony. ...

"The tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of His own suffering."

Jesus had some very real and deadly enemies but His was always the spirit of unselfish love. His weeping was for a lost people. It broke His heart to know that the Ancient Adventist Church, the very church which He Himself had raised up, had rejected Him. His tears were shed not for Himself but for these people who claimed to be "the church" but were sadly blinded by their own pride and stubbornness.

Also, this is the same lamentation of Christ described in The Great Controversy, p.17 (1911 edition).

On page 25, same reference, she defined the destruction of Jerusalem as a "prefigure". This further connects the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem with Ellen White's statements that Ezekiel 9 WILL be literally fulfilled.

Christ was not lamenting mere individuals in the apostate Jerusalem church. He was lamenting the need of uttering a fearful denunciation against a nation, who, though privileged to have Him among them, did not profit by his ministry.

Here is The Great Controversy, p. 17, rendition of His lamentation:

"If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:42-44.

From the crest of Olivet, Jesus looked upon Jerusalem. Fair and peaceful was the scene spread out before Him. It was the season of the Passover, and from all lands the children of Jacob had gathered there to celebrate the great national festival. In the midst of gardens and vineyards, and green slopes studded with pilgrims' tents, rose the terraced hills, the stately palaces, and massive bulwarks of Israel's capital. The daughter of Zion seemed in her pride to say, I sit a queen and shall see no sorrow; as lovely then, and deeming herself as secure in Heaven's favor, as when, ages before, the royal minstrel sang: "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, . . . the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2.

Notice that the words (in blue) of the R&H Dec. 2, 1902par. 1 article: "Christ's lament over Jerusalem was for those also who today have had great light, and who have seen wonderful manifestations of his power and goodness, but who have not fulfilled God's purpose for them," apply to ANY church that has had great light but has not fulfilled Godís purpose for them, and that this is the context and the reason for Ellen White's three statements that "the Seventh-day Adventists would be brought down to hell" which means more than individuals in that church body, but rather refers to the church body in particular.

Moving on:

DA 576: "The thought of His own agony did not intimidate that noble, self-sacrificing soul. It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus -- Jerusalem [Ancient Adventist Headquarters] that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love, that refused to be convinced by His mighty miracles, and was about to take His life. He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound."

DA 576: "The record of more than a thousand years of Christ's guardian care and tender love, such as a father bears his only child, was there. In that temple the prophets had uttered their solemn warnings. There had the burning censers waved, while incense, mingled with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended to God. There the blood of beasts had flowed, typical of the blood of Christ. There Jehovah had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. There the priests had officiated, and the pomp of symbol and ceremony had gone on for ages. BUT ALL THIS MUST HAVE AN END."

Christ does not easily give up on people nor does He quickly cast them aside. For centuries He labored and cared for this church He had started but it all had to come to an end.††††††

You might say "Well yes, the sacrifices of lambs and other animals did have to come to an end", and you would be right; but go back and read all of the above quotation. It says that the "church" in Christ's day had to come to an end.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††

Why? Because they had rejected Him and become corrupt. Although they had been raised by Christ, they no longer represented the work and purpose for their original existence and it had to stop. Christ no longer accepted their apostasy as His church.

Are there any parallels today? If the circumstances of our day are the same, will not the results be the same as they were in the days of our spiritual forefathers? To the honest, truth seeking Christian, the answer is clear.

DA 576-577: "Here the Saviour paused, and left unsaid what might have been the condition of Jerusalem had she accepted the help that God desired to give her, ... The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose before the Son of God. ...

"But the bright picture of what Jerusalem might have been fades from the Saviour's sight. HE REALIZES WHAT SHE NOW IS UNDER THE ROMAN YOKE, BEARING THE FROWN OF GOD, DOOMED TO HIS RETRIBUTIVE JUDGMENT."

Did you read that friend? Are you thinking of prophetic parallels? Can you see that the Seventh-day Adventist organization is moving toward Rome? Do you know that it will be apostate Seventh-day Adventists who will fall under the Roman yoke fully and will betray the true Seventh-day Adventists who will be hunted down, imprisoned, and/or killed?

You've heard or read this quotation before -- 1SM 122: "We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan's devices."

Did you notice that she is speaking about fearing those who are unbelievers but profess to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus? Is there any doubt in your mind that she is speaking about fearing those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists but who don't live up to the name? Notice that she never says we need to fear those who are true Adventists, but those who make a profession of Adventism without corresponding works based on the inspiration of true Adventism which is the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

DA 577: "Christ came to save Jerusalem with her children; but PHARISAICAL PRIDE, HYPOCRISY, JEALOUSY, AND MALICE had prevented Him from accomplishing His purpose."

Jesus came to save Jerusalem. Does this mean that Jesus didn't come to save anyone else, including the Jews who didn't live in Jerusalem? How many of the 12 disciples lived in Jerusalem? Remember that His own mother didn't live in Jerusalem!††††

The reason Jerusalem is mentioned here is because Jerusalem was indeed the headquarters and, therefore, represented ALL of Israel or Ancient Adventism.

But Jesus couldn't save the headquarters of Ancient Adventism.

Why? Because of Pharisaical (Pastoral) pride, hypocrisy (teaching the laity one thing and doing another themselves), jealousy (the love of self over the love of other men and God), and malice (or hatred). Because of these things Jesus could not accomplish what He otherwise could have. Do you realize the gravity of what's being said here? Jesus came to give the people the very message that would have placed them into His kingdom, but the leadership of the Ancient Adventist Church actively blocked Him from doing this vital work.††††††††††††††††††††††††

If we were to rewrite this in the modern day vernacular, this is how it might read:

Christ came to save "Silver Spring (Maryland-USA) and her children"; but pastoral pride, professing one thing, but doing another, protecting their jobs but not protecting others and the truth, and hatred for sacred things prevented many from knowing the truth who otherwise might have been saved.

DA 577-578: "Jerusalem had been the child of His care, and as a tender father mourns over a wayward son, so Jesus wept over the beloved city. How can I give thee up? How can I see thee devoted to destruction? ... When the fast westering sun should pass from sight in the heavens, Jerusalem's day of grace would be ended."

Jerusalem indeed represented headquarters of the system of religion that Christ Himself had raised up. Israel, Ancient Adventists, were indeed the "chosen" people who Christ had entrusted to do a special work.

He had also promised them that they would "go through". But as with every other promise, these chosen people had either forgotten or ignored the condition/detail that all was based on obedience to God's instructions. Look in the book of Isaiah and count the number of times God uses the word "if" as a condition to receiving His blessing.††

Our own books tell us in many places that history repeats itself and "we are worse than they".

If God has not changed, then this "chosen" generation (today) of professors without belief, with its headquarters, will suffer the same end as did their unbelieving forefathers 2000 years ago.††††

If God has changed, no one can trust Him nor can we look forward to the hope of salvation.

For anyone who has been in "the church" for any length of time, you have heard the statement, "The church is going through". In reality the statement means: "The conference is going through". Most Adventists believe just as their counterparts did that no matter what the conference does, "the church and the conference are going through".†††††††

Well, let me ask you this simple question. Do you believe in once saved, always saved?

You may say, "no", but are you sure?††

If you believe that the conference is going through and that it cannot do otherwise no matter how corrupt it becomes, then you indeed do believe in "once saved, always saved".

Let's take a familiar story out of the Bible to graphically illustrate the point:

1 Samuel 8:4-7 "Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

Did you know that one of the major steps the leaders of Israel took which put them on the road to apostasy was to choose a king to rule over them? The Spirit of Prophecy has many things to say regarding this subject and kingly power.

Praise the Lord, however, for He does not easily cast us aside! Right from the start the Lord has always had a plan "A" to follow. If we would follow this plan we would have far less concerns than we do presently. Also, right from the start the Lord has usually had a plan "B" to implement - if plan "A" was not followed by the people. I am so thankful beyond words-could-express that the Lord loves us with this kind of love, aren't you?

So Israel's leaders had insisted on having a King rule over them. God had told Samuel that they had rejected Him by making this request. But, nonetheless, He implemented plan "B" rather than casting them aside at this time.

1 Samuel 9:15-17 "Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me, And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people."

So the Lord went to plan "B" and told Samuel what it was. Now, did the Lord hand-pick Saul? Yes! And was there to be an ordination for this man who was handpicked? Yes! Let's continue.

1 Samuel 10:1 "Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?"

So indeed the Lord handpicked Saul and the Lord had Saul ordained to the mission of ruling over His people.

1 Samuel 10:6 "And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man."

Brothers and sisters, this has to be one of the most exciting stories in all of the Bible! Here we have a man who is handpicked by God. He is ordained to his mission by the prophet Samuel and now he is given the promise that the Holy Spirit will fill him and he will be changed into another man! How would you like a True Prophet of God to promise you a quick, total conversion? Not maybe, but YES for sure! Let's see what happened.

1 Samuel 10:9-11 "And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?

What an exciting story! I dare say, that with few exceptions, you won't find too many more stories like this one anywhere. So to recap -- Saul had been handpicked, he was anointed to the position, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied, and was given a new heart. If this isn't a total conversion experience direct from God, I don't know what is! But sadly this is not the end of the story.

1 Samuel 15:16-23 "Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee King over Israel? And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of the Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

Now I would like to ask another one of those simple questions.

Was the Seventh-day Adventist "Church" handpicked with a different set of rules than was Saul?

Did everyone in the Administration have the same conversion experience as Saul or do you think for the most part Saul has the edge in this part of the story?

One last time. Saul was handpicked. He was appointed and anointed. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. He prophesied among the other prophets before witnesses who knew him. He was in fact given a new heart. Brothers and Sisters, as long as you're living on planet earth, you just can't get anymore "saved" than this!

Now here's the question and the point. Will Saul be in heaven?

Many of you have thought that you have never believed in once saved, always saved but in the light of the story we just read I think many Seventh-day Adventists do believe, (so far as the conference "going through" is concerned), that they cannot be lost because God has chosen them. If you believe that, then you don't believe the story of Saul to be true or inspired. If this is the case, I implore you to please get on your knees and beg God to give you the eyesalve of Revelation 3.

Saul will NOT be in heaven for a simple and plain stated reason. He broke his contract of salvation with God. When he rejected the Word of the Lord, the Lord rejected him. His course took him into spiritualism. And strangely enough we are told in the book Great Controversy that a three-fold union will rise up to exterminate God's people. Also, strangely enough, there is MUCH Solid Evidence of the fact that there are many professed Seventh-day Adventist leaders who have been or are being educated in NLP [Neuro-Linguistic Programming] techniques and are using other spiritualist techniques (including [Eriksonian] hypnotism) right in the very "church sanctuary" on Sabbath mornings. Things have not changed over the centuries, for if you choose not to go to the Lord for wisdom, then where is there left to go?

Just as surely as Samuel told king Saul that God rejected Him as the ruler of the laity in his day, so Jesus had rejected the "Ancient Conference" whose kingly and corrupted power were in the service of another master in His day.

"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life. He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.

God is not 'worshipped with men's hands, as tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

 

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 2

DESIRE OF AGES

Chapter 64

DA 580: "The triumphal ride of Christ into Jerusalem was the dim foreshadowing of His coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, amid the triumph of angels, and the rejoicing of the saints."

Our study of prophetic parallels is right on, so far. Here the Lord showed Ellen White that this experience two thousand years ago was but a small scene to be reenacted at Christ's second coming.

DA 580: "THE DISCIPLES SAW THE HATRED OF THE JEWS TO CHRIST, BUT THEY DID NOT YET SEE TO WHAT IT WOULD LEAD."

Now unless you know the inference of the above statement, it really doesn't make any sense. Let's take a closer look. "The disciples saw the hatred of the Jews to Christ..."

Weren't the disciples Jews? Wasn't Christ a Jew? Does the above statement indicate that Christ's own family and friends who were all Jews hated Him? Of course not, so what does the above statement really mean?

It means this:

The disciples witnessed the hatred of the Jewish leaders (Ancient Adventist Conference leadership) to Christ. This is what it really means, but let's demonstrate the truth of this by going to God's Word.

We will be proceeding to the book of John, chapter nine, and I would suggest reading the entire chapter to get the full impact. Most of you will recognize the story of the man born blind whom Christ healed. The conference men enter the scene and we will pick up the story using verses 18-22.

John 9:18-22 "But the Jews [conference leadership] did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. THESE WORDS SPAKE HIS PARENTS, BECAUSE THEY FEARED THE JEWS..."

Now let's stop right here before continuing and analyze what's being said. The Pharisees, who were in fact part of the conference leadership of their day, came to these parents and tried to disprove that Christ had healed their son. These parents were obviously feeling intimidated and were fearful to answer these questions from the conference men.

The first point is that it's obvious that the Bible says these parents "feared the Jews" and that means: the Jewish leadership. The second point is the answer to WHY they had this fear. Let's read on.

"...FOR THE JEWS [ANCIENT ADVENTIST CONFERENCE LEADERS] HAD AGREED ALREADY, THAT IF ANY MAN DID CONFESS THAT HE WAS CHRIST, HE SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE."

Brothers and sisters, if you don't grasp this plain and simple truth, you are in real trouble. These parents were fearful of their conference leaders because they already knew that they would be put out of "the church" if they took a stand for Jesus. The parallel today is just as obvious! Today many are being "put out of the synagogue" by the conference men for confessing Christ.

But let's make absolutely sure regarding this "fear of the Jews" inference, shall we?

John 7:1 "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."

We will continue in Desire of Ages chapter 64, but first let us take a closer look at this verse. Jesus had already fed the five thousand and had spoken many times with the people who were all Jews. Was it these people who were seeking to kill Jesus? No! Any honest student will readily see the point and realize the correct inference. John seven, verse one, is clearly speaking of the Ancient Conference Leadership who wanted to see Jesus dead in order to kill His influence.

John 7:8-13 "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. HOWBEIT NO MAN SPAKE OPENLY OF HIM FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS."

For fear of what Jews?

Now lest anyone think that we have become unbalanced, let me quickly say that not for a moment do I believe that every single conference man of Christ's day was an unbeliever. The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy clearly present these statements in general terms and it should be understood as such. But that certainly doesn't negate the fact that the unbelievers (who, by the way, were in the majority - and still are) took over the power of the conference and used their corrupted energy to destroy what Christ had raised up. Let's continue to demonstrate:

John 12:42 "Nevertheless among the chief rulers [high officials in the conference] also many believed on him; BUT BECAUSE OF THE PHARISEES THEY DID NOT CONFESS HIM, LEST THEY SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE:"

So you see, according to the Bible, there were "many" of the Ancient Adventist Conference Officials who believed on Jesus. But the Bible also says that they would not confess Him (publicly take a stand for Jesus) because they would be "put out of the church". Today, SDAs would say "disfellowshipped". Rome calls it "excommunicated". It's all the same meaning. Unless you are without eyesalve you know that there is much truth in the parallel atmosphere in which we live.

I'm sure that many folk could share stories of not only how the Lord has blessed you during times of trial, but how He has blessed specifically when you have had to stand for the Sabbath truth. Many could also share with the rest of us how "your Conference Pastor" has encouraged you to stand for truth and has given reassurance on more than one occasion that the Lord would not forsake you.

That brings me to this simple, honest, question. Where are all the pastors who used to encourage us to lay our jobs on the line to stand for truth?! Why are not these same pastors making themselves known in the midst of the wide-spread apostasy? Why are they not following their own counsel? Where is their faith and how come they aren't willing to lay their jobs on the line for truth knowing that the Lord won't forsake them?

I do know this for certain. If these pastors don't face these real questions very soon, they certainly will face them in the judgment. If they "wait and see" much longer they will "see" that they were "blind and lost" too late! We need to earnestly pray that the men whom the Holy Spirit is trying to get through to - will listen and cast their lot with God and His people.

Now let's take one more look at our verse, and this time let's add a verse to find out why the Ancient Conference Leaders, who even believed on Christ, would not confess Him.

John 12:42-43 "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: FOR THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD."

This is a vital point and the same thing is true today. It's church by popular vote. Salvation by legislation. Getting into God's palace by political means. Let me tell you something: I believe God hates politics! Politics is killing God's professed people. What God wants and will save is not politics, but principle. God cannot use men of politics. Why do you think we are told that He will have leaders of His own choosing in the end? And if they are the leaders of His own choosing, then who chose the leaders who are presently in place? There are only two masters! God can only use men whose policy IS God's principles.

Jesus paid absolutely no attention to whether truth was popular or politically correct before He took a stand. And He certainly wasn't moved by situation ethics, making a decision on whether He would be popular or censured.

DA 330 "In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. HE WAS NEVER ELATED BY APPLAUSE, NOR DEJECTED BY CENSURE OR DISAPPOINTMENT. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But MANY WHO PROFESS TO BE HIS FOLLOWERS HAVE AN ANXIOUS, TROUBLED HEART, BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID TO TRUST THEMSELVES WITH GOD. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. UNLESS THEY MAKE THIS SURRENDER, THEY CANNOT FIND PEACE."

Dear friend, don't you desire this peace that passes all understanding? If you're a pastor or a leader, don't you want to go all the way with the Lord and be all that the Lord has called you to be? Don't you want to BE the leader that Jesus is giving you the opportunity to be? I say this with much compassion; if you don't make up your mind quickly, your present leadership or profession to truth will all be for naught. What a horrible reality!

Continuing in the book of John about the fear of the Jews, meaning the fear of the Conference Leaders, we turn to John 19:38.

"And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, BUT SECRETLY FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: ..."

You will remember that Niodemus did the same thing when he had the secret night interview with the Lord. We are also told that on the night of Jesus' capture by this corrupt priesthood, Joseph and Nicodemus were not called to sit on this council but were purposely left out. Here's what these men did and what many of us are pleading with others to do:

DA 177 "After the Lord's ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church [notice this church was not part of the Conference] that the Jews [apostate Conference Leaders] had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, [self-supporting ministers of God's own choosing] and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world's goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus."

These are the men whom the Lord will use to lead His people and to educate those who want to know the truth. "They have administered impartial discipline, laying their hand upon all false teaching, upon false brethren whose works have denied the faith. Amid the scorn of men, suffering worldly loss, they have manifested steadfast integrity. While temptations to worldliness and licentiousness cause the love of many to wax cold, they stand true as the needle to the pole, as faithful workers, as standard-bearers for God, in principle firm as a rock." RH 1/21/90.

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 64, and the prophetic parallels...

DA 580: "The disciples saw the hatred of the Jews to Christ, but they did not yet see to what it would lead. They did not yet understand the true condition of Israel, nor comprehend the retribution that was to fall upon Jerusalem."

This describes very well "the valley of confusion" in which most Seventh-day Adventists find themselves. Most SDA's don't understand where this apostasy is leading and they certainly don't comprehend the retribution that's about to fall upon Jerusalem (headquarters).

The encouraging news is that's exactly why the Lord went about doing the work He did while He was here, and that's exactly why I am so excited about The Desire of Ages.

This study that you are now doing is the very study Jesus taught His own disciples; and after they finally got the message, Christ's work became very successful. We'll have more on this subject in another chapter.

I am making the claim loud and clear that nothing in principle has changed from two thousand years ago and the Lord knew it wouldn't change. I believe that Jesus wanted The Desire of Ages written for much deeper reasons than we first believed. Yes, He desired for us to know how much His Father, He, and His Holy Spirit love us. But there's much more to it than that - and the reason we haven't seen it before is because it wasn't yet time to see it, although it's always been laying right in front of our noses.

I'm making the claim that Jesus has given us The Desire of Ages so that we would be warned of present-day happenings and be able to understand that it's His will that we move forward in the same way He taught His disciples when He was here on earth.

I'm also claiming and know - that most of you who study this with an honest approach will agree with me in the end - The Desire of Ages is the greatest book of prophecy (outside the Bible, of course) for instruction of what is happening inside "the church" that has ever been written.

Oh that we were uplifting the gift the Lord has given us in the Spirit of Prophecy books rather than burning them and dumping their counsel in the pulpits of Conference Churches!

DA 580: "The last appeal to Jerusalem had been in vain."

A few years ago, research was brought forth by various "Independent" Ministries that exposed the "Celebration" style of worship. Not long after, we became aware of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), being taught in SDA churches. Many Self-supporting "Independent" Ministries have been faithful in doing this work of exposing these abominations.

For the last several years these "Independent" and Self-supporting Ministries have joined together - much as the disciples did - and have been warning the Conference of what would be the result if they did not repent of these and many other evils. Overwhelming evidence has been brought forth and I can say that I have only showed in part what I have seen. Time, money, and health will not permit one to bring to the attention every abominable thing that's going on today. True, the worst abominations of the church we don't know. But they are indeed bad enough to warrant another manifestation of Ezekiel 9.

The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide.{5T 211.3}

Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be LITERALLY FULFILLED; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling; will you hear? Will you receive His message? Will you be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity. Letter 106, 1909, pp. 2, 3, 5, 7. (To "The [SDA] churches in Oakland and Berkeley," September 26, 1909.) {1MR 260.2}

To their amazing discredit and true to the parallel, these appeals to SDA world headquarters (Silver Spring, Maryland, USA) for reformation, repentance, and restitution have been in vain. We, the various "Independents", have shown literally mounds of evidence which totally prove the claims made to those who are not comatose; but show me ONE ARTICLE FROM THE OFFICIAL PAPERS OF HEADQUARTERS WHERE THEY ADMIT TO THESE APOSTASIES AND WHERE THEY HAVE REPENTED. Please show me even one!

DA 581: "The entire night Jesus spent in prayer, and in the morning He came again to the temple. On the way He passed a fig orchard. He was hungry, 'and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves;..."

In 7A of the SDA Bible Commentaries, page 16, we are told that "the fig-leaves represent the arguments used to cover disobedience." Then it goes on to say: "When the Lord calls the attention of men and women to the truth, the making of fig-leaves into aprons will be begun, to hide the nakedness of the soul. But the nakedness of the sinner is not covered. ALL THE ARGUMENTS PIECED TOGETHER BY ALL WHO HAVE INTERESTED THEMSELVES IN THIS FLIMSY WORK WILL COME TO NAUGHT."

Because Jesus rightly expected the tree to have fruit on it but it didn't, He decided to teach His disciples an important lesson. As a matter of fact, the lesson He was trying to teach them is the exact same lesson He is trying to teach us right now, and it's only those who learn it who have the privilege of going to heaven!

In order to teach this lesson so the disciples wouldn't forget (it must have been extremely important!), He invested the fig tree with moral qualities, and later when they passed that way again, the fig tree was dead! The disciples were astonished! They could hardly believe what they were seeing. They knew He had said that He came not into the world to condemn it but to save it - so they did not understand this act. (Please read DA 582 the whole page.) "But it is in mercy and love that He lifts the veil from the future, and reveals to men the results of a course of sin." DA 582.

Let's read more about this from The Signs of the Times, 10/5/1876: "Christ invests the fig-tree with moral qualities, and makes it the expositor of divine truth that he many teach a lesson to his disciples, and NOT ONLY TO THEM BUT TO ALL WHO SHOULD BELIEVE ON THE WORD. Many, like the portentous fig-tree, make high profession of godliness, but bear no fruit to the glory of God. They have not responded to the sacred influences which God has given them. Opportunities have been unimproved, blessings have been unappreciated, warnings and reproofs have been rejected. The fostering love and care of the Redeemer has been unrequited, and like the barren fig-tree they stand forth fruitless, having nothing but leaves."

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 64, and the prophetic parallels...

DA 582: "The cursing of the fig tree was an acted parable. That barren tree, flaunting its pretentious foliage in the very face of Christ, was a symbol of the Jewish nation. THE SAVIOUR DESIRED TO MAKE PLAIN TO HIS DISCIPLES THE CAUSE AND CERTAINTY OF ISRAEL'S DOOM."

Are you thinking of prophetic parallels? Did you read that last sentence?! I didn't write that! Jesus inspired the prophetess, Ellen G. White, to write it. Remember, it was Christ's work that we're talking about. He was trying to somehow make the disciples believe that the Ancient Adventist Church (Conference) was NOT going through! Was Jesus right or was the Conference? If the disciples hadn't finally listened to Him, would they now be among your heroes of the New Testament? I don't think so.

You may want to think about what's really going on and the gravity of what the Lord is trying to once again teach us. We'll speak more on this later.

DA 582-3: "The Jews stood forth distinct from all other nations, professing allegiance to God. They had been specially favored by Him and they laid claim to righteousness above every other people. [Are you thinking of our claims as Seventh-day Adventists or Modern Israel?] But they were corrupted by the love of the world and the greed of gain. [Read Rev. 3 and the counsel to Laodicea.] They boasted of their knowledge, but they were ignorant of the requirements of God, and were full of hypocrisy. ... The Jewish religion, with its magnificent temple, its sacred altars, its mitered priests and impressive ceremonies, was indeed fair in outward appearance, but HUMILITY [a child-like trust and eagerness to learn], love [faith and emotions that work according to God's principles], and benevolence [putting God first and foremost in everything] were lacking."

DA 584: "Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. Time is of value to them only as they can gather for themselves. In all the affairs of life this is their object. Not for others but for themselves do they minister."

I have a concern that seems to go along with the above statement. What does it mean to be a minister or to have a ministry? To me, the above statement is full of wisdom and helps me to consider my own motive for what I do.

The Lord is accurate regarding some "ministers" who are "serving" their flocks. It seems to me that in order to minister properly at least two ingredients must be present:

A minister should have time or take the time (within reason) to pay attention to those whom the Lord has given him the privilege to minister unto. If a minister is too busy for his flock, then he may be paying too much attention to the wrong business.

Also, it seems to me that a minister must be willing to place his own reputation on the line for the truth. I cannot see how it could be otherwise if the minister is going to live up to his calling. The minister says he loves the Lord and the precious flock and this is good. The ONLY way, however, that we know that the Lord's and the flock's best interests are being placed first are from the works of the minister. How can a minister claim to love the flock and the Lord and not pay particular attention to truth and principle?

A minister who is not willing to live and work for truth's sake and by the principles of God's government will prove to be a lover of self more than a lover of his precious flock or the God of truth. It would be better for these self-ministering pastors to do something which would have NO influence on anybody else.

Certainly ministers of this nature who are, in fact, in the majority in ALL churches - including the professing Seventh-day Adventist Church are:

DA 584: "Those who thus live for self are like the fig tree, which made every pretension but was fruitless. They observe the forms of worship, but without repentance or faith. In profession they honor the law of God, but obedience is lacking. They say, but do not. In the sentence pronounced on the fig tree Christ demonstrates how hateful in His eyes is this vain pretense. He declares that the OPEN SINNER IS LESS GUILTY THAN THOSE WHO PROFESS TO SERVE GOD, BUT WHO BEARS NO FRUIT TO HIS GLORY."

The fruit here spoken of, if you will notice, is not baptisms like so many Adventists are lead to believe, but character or the fruits of the spirit. Bringing people to Christ is very important and the Lord would certainly have us to show others the way to the cross and crown. But men who have maintained that "we can't overcome" or that "we will continue to sin until the second coming of Christ" have taught their flocks that "fruits" signifies baptisms - and this is incorrect.

Primarily "fruits" are the fruits of the Spirit - character development from heaven, turning carnal man into the image of God. When the people of God make this their personal, primary objective, they will find the peace and the unity that will come in no other way. It is a sad fact that most Adventists (modern day Jews) will be lost because they chose to listen to the corrupt priesthood rather than to the Lord.

Jesus knows us well, praise His holy name, and thankfully, He doesn't give up on us easily. He personally came to give His people every advantage that could be given, and mercy in human flesh was poured out of heaven into Jerusalem. But we MUST understand that justice is the heavenly balance of mercy and the two are inseparable.

DA 584: "Increased care was to be given the unfruitful tree. It was to have every advantage. But if it remained fruitless, NOTHING COULD SAVE IT FROM DESTRUCTION."

Let's take a closer look at the above statement and its modern day parallel. Jesus has given the Adventist movement increased care and every advantage, even to a greater extent than was given to the Ancient Adventists (Israel).

The Spirit of Prophecy graciously given to this movement IS our modern day John the Baptist. I like to think that the Lord has FINGER PAINTED THE PATHWAY TO HEAVEN by giving us the Spirit of Prophecy. But comparatively few Adventists respect this "John the Baptist" any more than the Ancient Adventists did and they are actively "beheading him" once again.

Brothers and sisters, I believe that all, everyone, who continue to show disrespect for this glorious gift will be lost. What is the last deception to be brought upon God's people?

Last Day Events 177 -- under the title "The Shaking." - "The VERY LAST deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. 'Where there is no vision, the people perish' (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to UNSETTLE THE CONFIDENCE of God's remnant people in the true testimony." 1SM 48 (1890)

We are in the shaking time NOW! It is not within the scope of this study to examine ALL the particulars of that topic here, but the very last deception is in full swing among God's people right now! There are many who are shaking the confidence of God's people in this precious and vital gift. Satan has been successful to the point that the majority of professed Adventist Preachers are now also making of none effect the testimonies of God.

The sure result of this hellish work is seen in the lowering of the standards and sermons that effectively consign the people in slavery to sin. Adventist people may or may not realize, but the bulk of the Adventist Pastors are actively keeping them from an experiential knowledge of Jesus, and His character and His power to overcome sin. This is so vital I cannot express the proper words that will describe the horror of what's really going on. Those who do not understand what is happening will be lost unless they wake up before it is too late!

Vengeance will be executed against those who sit in the gate, deciding what the people should have, and what they should not have. These take away the key of knowledge. They refuse to enter in themselves, and those that would enter, they hinder. These bear not the seal of the living God. All who now occupy responsible positions should be solemnly and terribly afraid lest in this time they shall be found as unfaithful stewards. {11MR 86.1}

Very few, in comparison, are desperately trying to warn God's people of this deception. Fewer still, are doing everything they can to show God's remnant that Satan's attack is being waged directly at their own souls and the souls of their families. These men and women raised up by the Lord are laying everything on the line in an all or nothing attempt to educate God's professed people of their attacker and his tactics. In contrast to those who are not, these people, in the example of Christ, are willing to stake their own reputations and everything else on the line for the cause of truth.

In heaven it will be seen that we owe our very presence to such ones who were actuated by the Spirit of Jesus, who gave His all that we might be saved. Men and women who are hated now, I assure you, won't be hated then.

And then the last part of the statement on page 584 of Desire of Ages. "But if it remained fruitless, NOTHING could save it from destruction."

We may shout until we are blue in the face or until blood runs thick from the temple (as it did in A.D. 70) that "the church is going through" but God has NEVER been obligated to save anyone or any structure that has betrayed a sacred trust. As a matter of fact, God is obligated not to save them or it!

Right up until the Roman Army in AD 70 slaughtered the last apostate Conference Leader they were yelling, "The church is going through!" Every single layman who believed them died - not only that day but for eternity.

As stated before, the Conference wants you to believe that "the church is going through" and "the Conference is going through" is the same statement and is what God meant. This simply is not true and is demonstrated graphically and with eternal consequences in the beseige of Jerusalem. Those who chose to believe apostate Conference Leaders were lost, but how many true Christians were lost?

RH 11/05/89: "When Jerusalem was to be destroyed, the followers of Christ [true Christians] were warned of its impending doom. Christ had told his disciples what they were to do when certain things should come to pass. He said, 'When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.' ALL WHO BELIEVED IN THE WARNING OF CHRIST, ESCAPED FROM THE CITY, AND NOT ONE PERISHED WHEN JERUSALEM WAS OVERTHROWN. By the destruction of Jerusalem is symbolized the last great judgment of God that is to come upon the world." (Please also read the very first chapter of The Great Controversy).

So you see, not even one Christian was lost in the siege of Jerusalem, because they listened to their God rather than to apostate Conference Leaders. We are told in the last sentence of the above (RH 11/05/1889) statement that this is what happens in the last great judgment of God to come upon the world. Can you see the Roman Army once again surrounding the city? If you can, then pay real close attention to what the Lord is trying to show His people.

Ezekiel, chapter 9, plainly states that this judgment first starts with the Conference Leaders and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, professed and true. Ellen White confirms this in Chpter One of The Great Controversy and 5T 207-212 (211). If we are to be saved in the siege now upon modern day Jerusalem, we had better listen to this same Jesus who saved every true follower in the prior siege.

DA 584: "By Christ's act in cursing the barren fig tree, the result was shown. They had determined their own destruction. ... they had rejected His warnings and slain His prophets."

DA 587: "In every age there is given to men their day of light and privilege, a probationary time in which they may become reconciled to God. But there is a limit to this grace. Mercy may plead for years and be slighted and rejected; but there comes a time when mercy makes her last plea. The heart becomes so hardened that it ceases to respond to the Spirit of God. Then the sweet, winning voice entreats the sinner no longer, and reproofs and warnings cease.

"...In rejecting the warnings of God's Spirit, Israel had rejected the only means of help. There was no other power by which they could be delivered."

The Lord has instructed Sister Ellen White to directly compare the destruction of Jerusalem with the situation at the end of the world. It is only the height of blind pride that cannot see that if God gave up the Jewish Conference Office who chose not to follow His plan, He certainly will give up the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Office who make the same choice.

Was it not the same God Who raised up Jerusalem and let it go to destruction - the same God who raised up Battle Creek/Silver Spring? Have the rules changed? Is God not the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow? These questions, no matter how painful, must be answered for surely our eternal destiny hangs in the balance.

It is not necessarily vindictive warriors who ask such questions anymore than it was those who escaped the destruction of Jerusalem, but rather caring, concerned folk, who are studying to know the will of the Father, people who have not only their own salvation in mind but the salvation of those they claim to love.

Would it not have been easier for Jesus just to have lived a quiet life and to have stayed clear of the battle for truth? Wouldn't He have had a much easier time of it if He would have stayed away from exposing the apostate Conference Leaders of His day? What about the Old Testament prophets? What about Martin Luther and other Reformers? Wouldn't it be true for those who do the same work today? Don't you think that most of these people would find it much easier to leave the battle alone - and don't you think that they would rather live without being in the war? Here's the answer:

RH 5/8/1888: "Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood-stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy. 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the blood-stained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering. But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven. We cannot accept peace on such conditions. Let it be war, war, to the end of earth's history, RATHER THAN PEACE THROUGH APOSTASY AND SIN."

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 64, and the prophetic parallels...

DA 587 "The Jewish nation was a symbol of the people of all ages who scorn the pleading of Infinite Love. The tears of Christ when He wept over Jerusalem were for the sins of all time. In the judgment pronounced upon Israel, those who reject the reproofs and warnings of God's Holy Spirit many read their own condemnation.

"In this generation there are many who are treading on the same ground as were the unbelieving Jews. They have witnessed the manifestation of the power of God; the Holy Spirit has spoken to their hearts; but they cling to their unbelief and resistance. God sends them warnings and reproof, but they are not willing to confess their errors, and they reject His message and His messenger. The very means He uses for their recovery becomes to them a stone of stumbling."

For the last few years there have been those of us who have clearly shown the apostasy that is firmly embedded in the Conference. Literally, with mounds of hard evidence and proof, we have set forth the truth of the situation and pleaded with the Conference Leaders and laypersons to repent and make restitution to God and His people, "but they cling to their unbelief and resistance."

Men, and women, across the globe, have brought forth stacks of proof to verify their claims and concerns. Can someone please bring forth one official article from the professed leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist structure that confesses these evils, repents of them, and is making up the time to the Lord? Please show just one! For the past three years (at the time of this writing - 2008) I have asked this question of nearly every SDA individual or group of SDAs I've spoken with concerning this topic and I am still searching for any one article.

In general, I am making the claim that the Conference Offices have no intention of repenting - and for those who are waiting for a "primitive" revival to come within the General Conference controlled Seventh-day Adventist Church, your wait WILL be in vain. In fact, IF the Conference were to repent, then this would make Ellen White, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Isaiah (just to name a few) false prophets!

The Conference Leaders (once again, remember these statements are always housed in general terms) will continue their programs of apostasy and will continue to move closer to Rome. The "war" will intensify and people will see things happen "from within" (the Church Organization) that they would have never dreamed possible. Even now many are seeing that the Conference is acting in such a way as to surprise those who have for many years given allegiance to it - but have also remained true to principle.

Also, many have wondered if the work of exposing the church's "dirty laundry" has anything to do with the work of Christ. But they are quickly relearning that Jesus' work includes even that which proves to be most unpleasant in order that some might be saved.

DA 587: "The prophets of god were hated by apostate Israel because THROUGH THEM THEIR HIDDEN SINS WERE BROUGHT TO LIGHT."

Any Adventist who has been associated with the Advent Message any length of time realizes that the Elijah message is SUPPOSED TO BE for the professed people of God within "the church". We would expect, therefore, that these messages of reproof would be directed at all of us who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists. Most, however, also believe that it is wrong to include the sins of the Conference Leadership in this reform and straight talk. But where did we get this idea? Was it not from the leaders who don't wish to be exposed? In the life of Elijah you certainly don't see him excluding the apostate leaders of his day!

When John the Baptist came, he did so in the power and spirit of Elijah. This is a basic truth that almost everyone would readily admit. But who did John the Baptist have trouble with most? Who did he immediately expose when the opportunity arose in his day? Did Jesus reprimand him for this work? Who was he speaking to when he said, "O generation of vipers?" It will do well in this study of prophetic parallels to look at the text:

Matthew 3:7-10: "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees [Ancient Conference Leaders] come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: [the "church or conference is going through"] for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

So here we have it from God's own Word. This exposure of the apostate Conference Leaders was THE very work of Elijah the prophet, and we read in the very next lines of Desire of Ages why Elijah and all who do the work of Elijah are hated by the apostate Conference Leaders.

DA 587: "Ahab regarded Elijah as his enemy because the prophet was FAITHFUL TO REBUKE THE KING'S SECRET INIQUITIES. So today the servant of Christ, the reprover of sin, meets with scorn and rebuffs. Bible truth, the religion of Christ, struggles against a strong current of moral impurity. Prejudice is even stronger in the hearts of men now than in Christ's day."

People, we must get a handle on the truth and balance of what's being said here. If you take men's words above those which God has plainly stated, then you are doomed to the same fate as were those who took their apostate Conference Leaders word over that of Jesus'. The majority of professed Seventh-day Adventists and their "leaders" are repeating ancient history to the tee. Only those who repeat the history of those who were saved from the apostasy of Jerusalem will share in the glorious fate of their ancient counterparts. This is a hard work for - "Prejudice is even stronger in the hearts of men now than in Christ's day." Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy!

DA 588: "God does not propose to remove every objection which the carnal heart may bring against His truth. To those who refuse the precious rays of light which would illuminate the darkness, the mysteries of God's word remain such forever. From them the truth is hidden. They walk blindly, and know not the ruin before them."

This is the horrible description of the lukewarm condition of Laodicea that progresses into coldness and darkness. Those who continue to shun the truth for the popular apostasy will too soon be unable to discern what the truth is - For, like a dependent drug user, they become addicted to apostate Conference Leaders for their fix. They love these men who supply them with the drug of justifying their sins. This dependency will one day in the near future carry them to places never dreamed of such as killing their brothers and sisters who stand for truth. Any reformed drug addict would understand this concept. (The needed "fix" becomes the idol, and the "pusher" becomes the god.) Professed Seventh-day Adventists who refuse to take God at His word and are more interested in the popular ministry are making themselves guilty of serving man rather than serving God.

God will not remove every obstacle for us. We are to study to show ourselves approved and we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. I have a real fear that most SDA's are waiting for the "leadership" to tell them what to do. If my fears are correct, then these people are literally placing their eternal destinations in the hands of others. I wonder how many of these same people would give their weekly pay-checks to these men and trust that all their bills would be paid and their families would be taken care of? I might even be surprised at how many would, but I hope you get the point.

DA 588: "Christ overlooked the world and all ages from the height of Olivet; and His words are applicable to every soul who slights the pleadings of divine mercy. Scorner of His love, He addresses you today. It is 'thou, even thou,' who shouldest know the things that belong to thy peace. Christ is shedding bitter tears for you, who have no tears to shed for yourself. Already that fatal hardness of heart which destroyed the Pharisees is manifest in you. And every evidence of the grace of God, every ray of divine light, is either melting and subduing the soul, or confirming it in hopeless impenitence.

"Christ foresaw that Jerusalem would remain obdurate and impenitent; yet all the guilt, all the consequences of rejected mercy, lay at her own door."

My prayer is that these parallels will continue to become more and more plain. Also, I hope that you are beginning to see that this study is vital to your eternal destiny. This is the very work that Christ set out to do and it was mostly thwarted by the apostate Conference Leaders of His day because they had successfully taught the people that "the church" was "the conference". But as we shall see in the very next chapter and succeeding ones, such teaching is NOT the truth!

Those who persist in having their own way eventually become blind and truly no longer realize they are lost -- but they are lost just the same! What a solemn thought.

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 3

DESIRE OF AGES

Chapter 65

In the last chapter I promised that we would go right to the Word of the Lord to establish who and what the church is and that's just what we're going to do.

It's alarming to find so many people who profess to be Adventists tossing out the Spirit of Prophecy. I have heard things like, "Well, if you need Ellen White, I guess that is all right for you, but I just need my Bible". Perhaps these poor souls do not realize that when we throw away the Spirit of Prophecy, we are throwing away the Bible at the same time for, in the description of the "remnant church" in Revelation, one of the identifying marks of the true church is the gift of prophecy.

In the book of Acts we will discover the plain, simple truth about who and what the church is. We will better see if people are throwing out only the Spirit of Prophecy. Actually, this will prove that those who do not want to accept the truth will throw it aside no matter where it is found.

The good news is that this little study in Acts is amazingly clear; and the honest Christian searching for truth and direction from the Lord will praise His name!

You know the story of Stephen. Now, was Stephen a Conference man or an Independent man? Well, of course, Stephen had been chosen by the disciples (Independent Preachers). The Conference did not recognize these men and told them they had no authority to preach. They forbade them to preach in the name of Christ.

The "Independent" Preachers (including Stephen) preached anyway because they didn't get their orders from the Conference, but from the Lord. Stephen was "called in" by the Conference Committee (aka Sanhedrin) and as he was explaining to them the prophecies concerning Christ, the Conference men became very angry. As a matter of fact, Acts 7 verse 54 says, they "gnashed on him with their teeth". Let's pick up the story in verse 55:

Acts 7:55-60: "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord [UNITY], And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."

Now we know that those who stoned Stephen were the Conference Leaders of their day. And we know that Stephen was an "Independent" Preacher who was being murdered by the Conference Leaders for preaching for the cause of Jesus.

Who was Saul? Was he a Conference man or an Independent? Saul, of course, was a Conference man in whom the Conference put a lot of confidence. His future with the Conference looked bright indeed. Saul was gifted in the ability of argumentation and he was bold.

One important lesson we surely don't want to miss is the spirit Stephen possessed as the Conference was literally stoning him for taking a stand for Jesus. Stephen rather than being bitter, rather than being vengeful, asked the Lord not to lay this sin against their charge. This is the same spirit that Jesus Himself demonstrated as He was being martyred by the same Conference people. Neither one of these men shunned the duty of exposing the true character of this apostate Conference and neither took on the spirit of hate while doing it. Both Jesus and Stephen truly were "not blind, nor bitter", but let's read on:

Acts 8:1-4: "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against THE CHURCH which was at Jerusalem;" -- STOP!

Let's look at this closely because in these few words is a great truth and revelation!

"And at that time there was a great persecution against..." Whom? Yes! The church! Now, who was persecuting whom in Jerusalem? Were the Romans persecuting the Conference men? No. The Conference men were persecuting the "Independents" and here the Bible, God's Word, plainly says that this was THE CHURCH. Not A church but THE church. Brothers and Sisters, can it be any plainer than this? Here it is right in the Word of God and to dismiss these plain words you will have to throw away your Bibles. But let's read on. There's more.

"And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, EXCEPT THE APOSTLES." -- STOP!

Do you see it? The Bible plainly states that THE church being persecuted which was scattered abroad had the apostles in it. This proves beyond any doubt whatsoever that THE church in Christ's day was NOT the Conference but those who followed Jesus or whom the Conference would have called "the Independents" at that time. The Conference hated the Apostles and the other "Independent Leaders" who had been chosen by someone other than the Conference. This is why they were persecuting them and this is why Saul was persecuting them. But hate them or not, recognize their authority to preach Christ or not, the Conference plainly did not have the say. God did! God said they were THE CHURCH! But we're not done yet!

"And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of THE CHURCH..." -- STOP!

Saul made havoc of whom? Yes! THE church. Now just whom was Saul making havoc of? Was Saul making havoc of the Ancient Conference Leaders? Of course not, for he was employed by the Ancient Conference, he being an Ancient Conference man. You know, Saul was making havoc of "the Independents" and those who supported them for taking a stand for Jesus. Going on.

"And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of THE church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."

Folks, it just doesn't get any more simple than this. Here we see clearly that although the Ancient Conference had originally been raised up by Christ Himself and was claiming, "The church is going through, the church is going through", it was NOT - THE CHURCH - THAT WAS GOING THROUGH.

Most Adventists (modern day counterparts of the ancient Jews) have fallen into the same trap that the Jews (Ancient Adventists) fell into. Their pride influenced them to trust wholly in the Conference which had been raised by Christ. But when the Conference became corrupt the people which didn't adhere to principle became corrupt with them and with blind loyalty followed after these men. That's why Jesus had so much trouble while He was here. That's why Jesus was rejected by the Conference while He was here. That's why Jesus rejected and brought to an end the Conference HE HAD RAISED (they hadn't raised themselves) while He was here. That's why Jesus chose Independent Leaders (Independent from the Conference) and told them to move on with the work while He was here. AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHY HE IS DOING THE SAME THING TODAY.

What are our people reading today?! Many of you know the quotations which clearly tell us that the last day leaders will be educated by the Holy Spirit rather than by literary institutions, that God will have leaders in the last days of His own choosing. Doesn't it clearly seem that the Lord is having to do just what He had to do while He was here? Are we like King Belshazzar who could not read the handwriting on the wall? This lesson that we are studying is vital! Just as vital to our understanding as it was in the days of our precious Lord for ONLY THOSE WHO GRASP THE LESSON WILL BE SAVED! Please allow me to ask another question. I don't want anyone to miss these simple truths.

Later in the same story of Saul, what happened to him? He was on his way to Damascus continuing his persecution of THE church. He was on his way there to find those who were following "the Independents" and to throw them in jail. We read about it in Acts 9:1-2: "And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem."

So what Saul was doing was securing the authority from the Conference to go down to the local churches to disfellowship people in the strongest way. He was going to "take care of these troublers of Israel who followed Jesus Christ", those whom the Conference rejected. But Saul never got the job done. Something happened out of the ordinary and we read about it in the very next verses.

Acts 9:3-5: "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined around about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:..."

And so on the road to Damascus Saul literally sees the light and realizes that although he may have thought he was doing "the proper work", he was actually persecuting the wrong people! The story goes on, as you know, and because of this experience on the Damascus road, Saul is blinded and spends a few days in Damascus. While there, the Lord sends a disciple, Ananias, to him who gave him back his sight and he was then filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:17-18: "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized."

This is where the story of Saul's intended work takes a drastic change, and also where the prior claims which the Bible sets forth regarding who was THE CHURCH is verified once again.

Acts 9:19-21: "And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that DESTROYED THEM WHICH CALL ON THIS NAME IN JERUSALEM, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?"

Can there be any doubt as to what the Bible is clearly saying here? I think not. God's Word is expressing in Acts 9 exactly what it did in Acts 7 & 8. God's church was being persecuted in Jerusalem and that church was NOT the Conference.

Understandably, the church in Damascus (the followers of Jesus) was very apprehensive of Saul. They rightly stated that this was the same man who was persecuting the church in Jerusalem and they were nervous about trusting this Conference man. They were concerned that his intent was to drag them off to the Conference Committee that had already killed Jesus and stoned Stephen. It's true that this was Saul's original intent, but the Lord had other plans, praise His name!

Acts 9:22: "But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ."

So, I think Saul understood the situation and was willing to take up his new duties immediately to prove his new loyalty. You might want to ponder the point that Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, lead Saul to preach in His name rather than send him back to some literary institution.

What happens next is very interesting and proves that the apostate Conference will, in the end, even turn on its own men rather than listen to plain words of truth.

Act 9:23: "And after that many days were fulfilled, the JEWS TOOK COUNSEL TO KILL HIM."

The story goes on, of course, and Saul tries to work with the disciples in Jerusalem but they are nervous about his intentions. The Lord eventually works out the details and Saul becomes Paul - one of our aforementioned: "heroes".

In this story we can learn many things, and I want to ask a few questions which will give opportunity for you to reflect upon some important points. Why did the Jews now want to kill Paul, (Saul)? When he saw the truth as it is in Jesus, what was his course of action? Did Saul, who became Paul, continue to persecute THE church or did he support it? ... and which church after his conversion was it that he supported? Did Saul remain a Conference Leader or did he become an "Independent" Leader? Did the Ancient Adventist Conference support his decision? Will Saul, who became Paul, who became an Independent Leader for Jesus, be in heaven? ... will the Ancient Adventist Conference Leaders?

I can't place enough emphasis on the above scriptures and the vital lessons that are clearly in them. What a glorious God we serve - Who has made provision for our every need. Most will end up like the Ancient Adventists did, unfortunately. Our own Adventist books tell us this - but we who love the truth as it is in Jesus need not be deceived.

Now let's get back into the Desire of Ages and continue our study in prophetic parallels.

DA 590: "The priests and rulers had hardened their hearts through selfishness and avarice. The very symbols pointing to the Lamb of God they had made a means of getting gain. Thus in the eyes of the people the sacredness of the sacrificial service had been in a great measure destroyed....AGAINST THESE PRACTICES CHRIST HAD SPOKEN THROUGH THE PROPHETS."

What is Avarice? Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language says: "insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth."

Insatiable, means: "not satiable; incapable of being satisfied."

The word inordinate, is described as: "not within proper limits; immoderate; excessive; disorderly; uncontrolled; unrestrained in conduct, feelings, etc."

Did you know that millions of the dollars of which God has entrusted to you and of which you believed were going directly into the Lord's work have been gambled in the stocks and bonds market? That's right. You didn't misread it. As a matter of fact, I have the documentation which proves that in 1980, at least $117,000,000 (117 million dollars) were "invested" in the world's Stock Market. The documentation is very revealing to the layman who has no idea that this has been happening and this documentation is available on the Internet, and in official SDA publications - namely the "1980 financial report of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists". Let me share a letter written in 1983 by one concerned soul who understood what was going on.

"Dear Elder xxxxxx,

"As a faithful member of the Seventh-day Adventist church, I am greatly concerned in regard to what goes on within the church structure. At this writing, I am concerned regarding the finances and handling of the finances of the church. The December 31, 1980 financial report of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Investments leaves many unanswered questions. This report shows that as of December 31, 1980 the General Conference had $117,858,288.07 in investments, and the current value as of December 31, 1980 was $103,909,802.99, making a net loss of $13,948,379.92. This figure alone makes it very plain that our financial leaders and advisors in the General Conference are woefully lacking in following the Lord's specific instructions to His church. Furthermore, 54 of the long-term investments do not mature until 2000 to 2020 A.D. and this amounts to almost $20,000,000. I have a question. Are the brethren in the financial department of our church putting off the coming of our Lord, or do they really expect Him to come at all? You will find these long-term investments listed on pages 28, 29, 30, 33, 47, 48, 49, 50, and 52 of the 1980 financial report of the General Conference.

Those of us who are old enough to remember what happened in the years 1930-1932 know perfectly well that if we had a depression now such as we had at that time, these millions of dollars of the Lord's funds would be worthless as far as carrying on the church work is concerned."

Signed, xxxxx.

This same brother who has shared this documentation with us has also informed me personally, that a couple of years after this letter was written, he was told that the invested amount had risen to over $250,000,000 and a couple of years after that to over $450,000,000 (450 million dollars U.S.)!

There is not much I could add to what the letter above states; but I would like to ask just three honest questions to go along with those already asked in the letter. Did you know that the funds you were sending in to "finish the work" were being invested in stocks and bonds? Why is God's money being invested in worldly enterprises in the first place? And do you want to continue sending YOUR TITHE dollars to those who do NOT place them into the finishing of God's work but instead they invest them in the stock market?

I can assure you that God will hold everyone responsible for what happens to the means He has entrusted to them according to the knowledge they have. And this principle doesn't stop with the leadership, but is just as binding right down through the ranks to the lowliest layman.

In the Desire of Ages, it states that the very things God had entrusted to the church were turned into a way of making large profits and this caused many to lose respect for the sacredness of these entrustments.

I have always been offended (because I believe the Lord is) by the selling of magazine subscriptions, such as the Signs of the Times, (or any other "new book" that the Conference wants us to read - such as "Messiah" by Jerry Thomas or "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren) in the Sanctuary on the Sabbath. I was a colporteur for about three years. I would never have thought of selling a book on the Sabbath and certainly not in the Sanctuary during Sabbath Services! I would have given one away, if need be, but never would have "done business" during these sacred hours - or in the Sanctuary at ANY time. This (during the Sabbath hours) plainly would have been a violation of the Fourth Commandment. But the Conference thinks nothing of selling these things in the Sanctuary during Sabbath. This is something even the apostate Jews didn't do! Has the result been a lowering of sacredness for the sanctuary, the Sabbath, and other sacred things? You know it has. This is one of the ways SDAs are worse than the Jews who, we readily admit, rejected Jesus.

DA 590: "HE KNEW THAT HIS EFFORTS TO REFORM A CORRUPT PRIESTHOOD WOULD BE IN VAIN; nevertheless His work must be done; to an unbelieving people the evidence of His divine mission must be given."

Jesus knew that His work to reform the corrupt Ancient Conference would be in vain. As stated earlier, people have been showing for years how the Conference is in apostasy and have tried to plead with these men to reform, but it has been in vain. Jesus, although knowing the Ancient Conference wouldn't reform, did His work anyway. Why? Because on the books in Heaven the warnings have to be recorded; also, others who were listening to the words of Christ would some day be converted. Even though we know that our work is in vain toward an apostate Conference, we also know that honest souls will come to conversion as a result of it, just as they did in Christ's day. The same loving Jesus is still working through His Holy Spirit - Who speaks to those who are willing to be taught. We must continue our work, having faith that these precious souls will come to a correct knowledge and walk in the light.

DA 591: "Those standing nearest Him drew as far away as the crowd would permit. Except for a few of His disciples, the Saviour stood alone."

As this contest intensifies, the majority of those calling themselves Adventists will draw as far away from the truth as they dare and from those who are advocating it. Like the disciples of Christ, we must be willing to stand with Him alone and will have many opportunities to do just that. When it came time to stand against the apostate Conference in Christ's day, few were willing.

DA 592: "But a large number pressed through the hurrying crowd, eager to reach Him who was their only hope."

These are the ones Christ is working for. These are the precious souls who accept His sacrifice in Heaven and on the cross and are willing to stay on the narrow path of Jesus wherever it leads them. These are those who realize that Jesus is their ONLY hope.

DA 592: "When the panic had abated, they were seized with anxiety to know what would be the next movement of Jesus."

Here, Jesus was coming to stand in His rightful place in the sanctuary which He had ordained. Here, He was standing in the midst of the people He had chosen. HE OWNED THEIR VERY NAME, ISRAEL (are you thinking about parallels?), for it was He who had given it to Jacob. Why then were these Conference men and their loyal followers panicking?

Now you must know that after Jesus had cleansed the temple the first time that these Conference Leaders met in one of their committee meetings and discussed what had just taken place. I can almost hear them saying, "If this young fellow from Nazareth ever tries anything like that again, it will be a much different story. We'll take care of him next time!"

Well, it did happen again and they panicked again! Why? Because darkness and Light cannot co-habitate. When Christ takes a commanding position, the devil's agents have to give way. As the evidence of apostasy continues to be uncovered and Jesus makes plain to those who want to know the truth, we will witness more and more panic from the apostate Conference Leadership. Panic finally drove the Ancient Conference to seek out, persecute, and murder its own people. Has anything changed after two thousand years? Are you beginning to understand why this study is so important and why Jesus wanted us to have this knowledge? I pray that you are.

DA 593: "One whom they could not intimidate was in command."

So many times I have witnessed Seventh-day Adventist laymen shake in their shoes when someone from the conference was "sent down" to their church to take care of a "problem". Maybe you have been one of those who have become very nervous when this event has taken place. If you have, or have been involved in a meeting of this type, you know what I'm referring to. It seems the whole church just automatically crumbles in fear when the conference man shows up. I'm so glad that Jesus was "One whom they could not intimidate", aren't you?

In this little statement (above) there's a revealing lesson to be learned. If we are being intimidated by those who are trying to get us to serve something or someone other than Jesus, then Jesus is not our Commander. When we are totally converted and Jesus is in full command we cannot be intimidated by anyone, especially those who are trying to scare us into doing that which would dishonor our Lord.

DA 593: "Repairing to the temple where He was teaching, they proceeded to question Him: 'By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority?' They expected Him to claim that His authority was from God. Such an assertion they intended to deny. But Jesus met them with a question apparently pertaining to another subject, and He made His reply to them conditional on their answering this question. 'The baptism of John,' He said, 'whence was it? from heaven, or of men?'"

Are you thinking about parallels? Have you heard similar questions being asked about those who are just preaching and teaching the truth? What they were really telling Christ was, "You can't preach! You didn't go to any of our schools and you haven't obtained our permission!"

John 7:14-16: "Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, HAVING NEVER LEARNED? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me." If you read the remainder of John 7, you will see that the apostate Conference Leadership didn't want Jesus to preach and were actively trying to stop Him.

They also asked Jesus, "Who gave thee this authority?", or "Who told you that you could be a pastor?". Many times have I heard this question directed toward me. To many, just as in Jesus' day, the question is not: Is this man bringing to us truth? It is rather: Who said you could preach or who said you could be a pastor? The inference is, of course, the Conference didn't say that you could be a pastor, so what do you think you're doing? How sad that we have all this history of the Ancient Adventists and we are still asking such questions. How Satan must marvel at our dullness of mind and stupidity. But, fortunately, the lessons don't stop here.

DA 593-4: "The priests saw that they were in a dilemma from which no sophistry could extricate them. If they said that John's baptism was from heaven, their inconsistency would be made apparent. Christ would say, Why have ye not then believed on him? John had testified of Christ, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' JOHN 1:29. If the priests believed John's testimony, how could they deny the Messiahship of Christ? IF THEY DECLARED THEIR REAL BELIEF, THAT JOHN'S MINISTRY WAS OF MEN, THEY WOULD BRING UPON THEMSELVES A STORM OF INDIGNATION; for the people believed John to be a prophet."

One important lesson we can learn is how to use the methods of Christ; here is the parallel of the above quotation: When someone or some leader who claims to be an Adventist is giving you trouble when you are merely trying to clarify the truth, just ask them: from where did the Spirit of Prophecy come? The writings of Ellen White, from where did they come? From the Devil or from God? If the person says from God, you should rightly be able to direct him to whatever references state the truth you are promoting. If he says from the Devil, he will be exposing himself. It's a good question; and just what the Lord did in similar circumstances. This won't always work however, and there's another valuable lesson that is vital for us to know and understand:

In the introductory pages 6-11 of Great Controversy, Ellen White claims very plainly to be "that prophet who has come in the Spirit and power of Elijah". She says that you either have to acknowledge her prophetic gift as from God or the Devil - one way or the other. Now read these words (DA 593-4) once more and let's see the implication:

"If they (the apostate Conference Leaders) declared their real belief, that John's ministry was of men, they would bring upon themselves a storm of indignation: for the people believed John to be a prophet."

Dear fellow Seventh-day Adventists, we have to stop being so naive! Don't you realize that a large portion of the professed Leadership of the Adventist church does NOT believe Ellen G. White to be inspired! As a matter of fact, they are trying to eradicate her. From a large number of pulpits every Sabbath her writings are either being dismissed or actively trashed. But if you think these Conference Leaders are so foolhardy as to openly declare their true belief ( "that John's [Ellen White's] ministry was [is] of men," and "bring upon themselves a storm of indignation" ), then we are indeed in need of the eye salve.

DA 594: "By their cowardice and indecision they had in a great measure forfeited the respect of the people, who now stood by, amused to see these proud, self-righteous men defeated."

While all this apostasy has been going on openly in the Adventist structure, the same cowardice and indecision have taken place. You probably remember when folk first began exposing the "Celebration" churches, the official statement from the General Conference President was: "we will wait and see" (It was announced in the Review in the summer of 1999). Brothers and Sisters, Jesus never "waits and sees" in the midst of a spiritual crisis! If men who call themselves leaders are afraid to actually lead, then surely it would be better for them to find a position somewhere in which their influence would be minimized. Since they are not likely to pursue that course, let me tell you how it can be brought about anyway: DON'T ALLOW THEM TO LEAD YOU!

We can place the blame on the "leaders", and this is correct to some extent, but that's not where fault stops. The decision of who leads YOU firmly rests with your own God-given power of choice. I am very happy to say that many have already made this choice and are determined to support those leaders who ARE supporting the truth, as it is in Jesus.

While the Conference Leaders continue to "wait and see", Satan continues to divide and conquer. "By their cowardice and indecision they had [have] in a great measure forfeited the respect of the people."

Before we move on, let me point out one other revealing truth about this decision to "wait and see" where it concerns the "Celebration" churches.

Garrie F. Williams wrote the manual "Trinity Power Circle" that mirrors another book, "20/20 Vision" written by a "Celebration" Sunday preacher by the name of Dale Galloway. My research of this manual led me to pertinent data which clearly showed that "Trinity Power Circle" was THE manual for bringing the "celebration service" into our SDA churches. Many Adventist Conference men would have you believe that they didn't really have a part in all this and they weren't even educated enough to make a judgement on it, so they wanted us to "wait and see". But Brothers and Sisters, I have "Trinity Power Circle" and PLAINLY WRITTEN ON THE BACK COVER ARE THE WORDS "GENERAL CONFERENCE WORLD MINISTRY COUNCIL, INDIANAPOLIS 1990. SEMINAR NO. GCM 7274"!! Did Garrie Williams slip these words onto the back cover without anybody from the General Conference knowing about it? If we believe that, we are very naive! Let's read the quotation from the back cover about the author:

"Garrie Williams is a New Zealander by birth who studied and worked in Australia for 15 years before moving to the USA in 1982. He has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a pastor, evangelist, college lecturer and, since 1985, as Ministerial Director of Oregon Conference. Elder Williams has TRAVELED EXTENSIVELY AROUND THE WORLD and has taught Spirit-filled ministry seminars in a NUMBER OF DIVISIONS. In 1987 he FOUNDED the Homes of Hope small group ministry, and in 1989 and 1990 was chairman of the FIRST NATIONAL Adventist Small Group Conference. Garrie Williams is strongly committed to the historic Seventh-day Adventist message and mission, and believes that we are living in the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit."

This quotation really says a lot! It reveals that this man has been intricately involved with the General Conference which has known for years what he has been doing. When you think about it, the main men who have plagued the Seventh-day Adventist church with heresy in recent years have mostly come from either the West coast of the U.S. or from Down Under. (And you can take that any way you wish, the application fits either way). Is it any surprise that the author of "20/20 Vision" is the proprietor and pastor of the Sunday-going celebration church which was the same one rented by the Seventh-day Adventists who started the first "Celebration" church in Oregon that later became known as "the Milwaukee Church"? Isn't it also an interesting coincidence that the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Office of the Pacific Northwest is a mere four blocks or so from the same church?

As we continue to uncover these important truths for God's honest children, it is wonderful to realize that many are breaking the mold of their past and studying to show themselves approved of God. Friends, we are in a desperate struggle for our very salvation. We are moving rapidly to the center of this battle that WILL intensify to the bitter end. The enemy will not surrender and he is not likely to give up any ground easily. Just a few years ago there were only a handful who saw what was going on. I am happy to say, however, that now there are many more.

DA 594 "But as the popular feeling turned in His favor, the hatred of the priests toward Jesus increased."

We can read our own future in this statement and I believe the Lord would have us do just that. He warned His disciples many times of what was to come and He would have us realize that we, too, face the same future. Many of us have thought that it would be in the world where our greatest danger lay but we now realize: "We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan's devices." 1SM 122.

DA 595-6 "In His contest with the rabbis, it was not Christ's purpose to humiliate His opponents. He was not glad to see them in a hard place. He had an important lesson to teach."

For those who still say that it's sinful to enter into this exposure of the Conference Leaders, I ask the question: What does "In His contest with the rabbis..." mean?

We ALL need so much to quickly learn that: "Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood-stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy. 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the blood-stained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering. But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven. We cannot accept peace on such conditions. Let it be war, war, to the end of earth's history, rather than peace THROUGH APOSTASY AND SIN." - RH 5/8/88

But on the other hand, Jesus was not elated that His work had to put them in a difficult place. His motive was one of salvation and He was sorrowed to see human beings for whom He was about to die being humiliated. There is a real fear we need to respect - that we will become bitter toward our enemies. Jesus would have us ever keep in mind that vengeance is the Lord's alone and we are to love even our enemies and not hate them. We are to be "not blind, nor bitter". Our work must be the same work as Christ's. That means that some of us will have to do the unpleasant work of exposure, etc. But we are to do our work so that precious souls might cast their lot for Jesus - NOT BECAUSE WE ENJOY SEEING PEOPLE BURN! The Bible plainly teaches that any man who takes on this attitude of Satan, even though he may be gifted in all other areas, will himself be lost. Especially as the battle intensifies, we need the grace of Jesus in our lives so that the enemy of all souls is not able to place his character of hate into our motives. As the quotation above (DA 594) states, "the hatred of the priests [apostate leaders] toward Jesus [His followers in these last days] increased", we will need the love of Jesus fully to keep our own motivation pure.

DA 595-6: "They made great professions of piety, they claimed to be obeying the law of God, but they rendered only a false obedience. The publicans were denounced and cursed by the Pharisees as infidels; but they showed by their faith and works that they were going into the kingdom of heaven before those self-righteous men who had been given great light, but whose works did not correspond to their profession of godliness."

Jesus is trying to teach us that we should not follow the example of - or allow the influence of - such men to rule over us. Yes, we are all human beings and we all make mistakes. But making an occasional mistake (and repenting for it) and making a mockery of inspiration are two different things. You know the difference. The Lord says that we should not allow the men who have no real interest (demonstrated by their works) in the truths we hold near and dear to our hearts to have persuasion over our lives.

DA 597 : "His warnings, failing to arouse them to repentance, would seal their doom, and He wished them to see that they had brought ruin on themselves. He designed to show them the justice of God in the withdrawal of their national privileges, which had already begun, and which would end, not only in the destruction of their temple and their city, but in the dispersion of the nation."

Jesus came to the very church He had raised. He had handpicked them from among the other nations that He might show the rest of the world His goodness. This church had gone it's own way and was misrepresenting Christ while professing to be the expression of who He was. Over the years Jesus had sent many to warn this church of the certain disaster that a lack of repentance and reform would bring. This church's leaders, time and time again, refused these warnings. Now Jesus had come Himself to give the last call and was being rejected by the people who owed their very existence to Him. (See also: Luke 20).

Today, dear friends, can you see the parallel experience that we are passing through? If you ask any professed Adventists if we are living in the last days most of them would say, "Yes". Do they not see then that the warning given in the message to the Laodiceans is the last message and that it's close is in the near future? Oh, that we would understand the time of our visitation! The last message to God's professed people is going forward. We ARE living in the reality of Ezekiel chapter 8. Ezekiel, chapter 9, is just around the corner and what are we doing?! As these statements above reveal, the main reason that the Adventist system will be lost - will be due to those apostate leaders who refuse to be guided by Christ's Holy Spirit.

Not only this, but to some degree we will continue to lose our national privileges and the dispersion of the Adventist "nation" will be caused by these self-destructing professors of Adventism.

The next line in The Desire of Ages is startling; the implication and the lesson to be applied is extremely important for us to better understand our situation:

DA 597: "The hearers recognized the warning."

Dear precious Adventist family and friends, please understand that we are dealing with apostate leaders who have calculated what they are doing. They KNOW AND RECOGNIZE THE WARNING. However, they are determined to carry out their present agenda. I can tell you with a completely clear Christian conscience that the agenda hasn't changed and these apostate leaders are indeed "forging ahead" on their present course. Please don't be fooled by an occasional strategically well-placed statement here or there. These occasional statements or articles are one of two things. 1- Either a Joseph or Nicodemus is trying to hold the line from the inside or 2- they are calculated to deceive you about the intentions or direction of apostate leaders. Please, do not be tricked by those who come in old clothes and have molded bread. We need to pray earnestly for the eyesalve of discernment. Our Lord Jesus will make sure it is applied if we do our honest part. He has died for us that we might be saved and He brings these truths forward that you shouldn't be deceived. We all have made mistakes in the past. We all have at times felt that we are struggling to learn and understand. But let us run to Jesus as fast as we can, for "In Christ the guilty heart has found relief. His is the sure foundation. ALL WHO MAKE HIM THEIR DEPENDENCE REST IN PERFECT SECURITY." "To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation." DA 599.

DA 600: "And what was it that destroyed the Jews?"

I hope you are still thinking about prophetic parallels as you read this inspired answer to this most important question:

DA 600: "Men set themselves in opposition to God, and all that would have been their salvation was turned to their destruction. All that God ordained unto life, they found to be unto death. In the Jews' crucifixion of Christ was involved the destruction of Jerusalem. The blood shed upon Calvary was the weight that sunk them to ruin for this world and for the world to come. ...

"By many illustrations and repeated warnings, Jesus showed what would be the result to the Jews of rejecting the Son of God. In these words He was addressing all in every age who refused to receive Him as their Redeemer. Every warning is for them. The desecrated temple, the disobedient son, the false husbandmen, the contemptuous builders, have their counterpart in the experience of every sinner. Unless he repent, the doom which they foreshadowed will be his."

It is critical, friends, that we understand what constitutes God's true church. After all, the great controversy is all over what? Yes, whom you are going to worship. We need to take God at His Word and not replace it with man's opinion or popular committee votes. There is no such thing as a democratic legislation by the professed church on how to be admitted into God's kingdom. I guarantee, based on the Word of God, that when we are all standing at the Judgment Bar of God, He will not acquiesce to the authority of the Conference Committee.

I will admit that the apostate Adventist Leaders and their followers do have "a church". In the book of Revelation, both "the true" and this "other" church are spoken of - so it would be well for us to read about these churches and their last experience with one another on earth.

Revelation 3:8-9, 12: "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my work, and hast not denied my name. Behold I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, WHICH SAY THEY ARE JEWS, AND ARE NOT, BUT DO LIE; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

All those professed Adventists who believe in the doctrine of the "New Theology", all professed Adventists who are preaching and believing that we don't have to overcome but can go on sinning and still get into the kingdom because, after all, Jesus understands; all these poor diluted souls have a church - but it is of the synagogue of Satan.

Brothers and Sisters, be ye not deceived! Jesus does indeed understand, and it is not He who is confused - it is His professed people who are confused! Read your Bible for it plainly states, "to him who overcometh will I grant ..". What we need to do is quit loving sin and love Jesus enough to understand and believe by an experiential knowledge that we serve an all knowing, all loving, ALL POWERFUL God who will indeed finish the work of perfection which He has started in EVERY WILLING SOUL. May we, poor sinners take on the humility of our crucified Saviour and learn these most sacred truths.

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 4

DESIRE OF AGES

Chapter 66 & 67

DA 601 "The priests and rulers had listened in silence to Christ's pointed rebukes. They could not refute His charges. But they were only the more determined to entrap Him, and with this object they sent to Him spies,..."

We have seen this kind of behavior in our present day. These priests and rulers weren't interested in the truth, they were interested in entrapping Jesus. You will notice that they could not refute His charges and that these charges were pointed. For many years the evidence has been continuing to pile up against the corrupt priesthood of our day and yet they can not and will not refute the charges with a "thus saith the Lord" for in the attempt, they would only expose themselves all the more.

DA 602: "He (Christ) declared that since they were living under the protection of the Roman power, they should render to that power the support it claimed, so long as this did not conflict with a higher duty. But while peaceably subject to the laws of the land, they should at all times give their first allegiance to God."

The reason for directing readers to this quotation is because there are those today who advocate and promote such law-breaking as: refraining from procuring a marriage license or paying taxes. They say that if you get a marriage license, the children become a "product" of the state for, after all it was the state which "allowed" you to become married. According to such reasoning, the marriage license, therefore, becomes a tool of the state enabling the state to seize from you your children when and if it chooses to do so.

The Lord declared that we should obey the laws of the land as long as they didn't conflict with the higher duties of a Christian. This includes doing things that are morally correct, and shunning the appearance of evil - which avoiding getting legally married would not do. Certainly a piece of paper doesn't give a person grounds for divorce, but Jesus said that when it is appropriate to do so, we should obtain such papers, so as to do things in order. I guarantee that when or if the state decides to take your children, it will do so regardless of whether you have a marriage license or not.

Some also say that, because the government is corrupt, we shouldn't be paying taxes. I will admit I don't know very many people who believe that the way taxes are collected and spent is totally fair, or folk who enjoy paying them - but that's not the bigger point. The Lord told us to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. Also, I have yet to run into any of these non-taxpaying advocates who refuse to use the highways or the many other conveniences the tax dollars subsidize. Unfortunately, these folks are bringing on a time of trouble [for themselves] before they should, and will bring reproach to the cause of God in the process.

DA 603: "The Pharisees were rigid adherents to tradition. ... But Christ declared that they made void the law of God by teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

You will notice, it did not say the Pharisees were rigid adherents to God's Word.

In the early 1890's, a committee of ten men were chosen to do a study and report on whether the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination should adopt a church manual. J.N. Loughborough was one of the men on the committee which unanimously voted that the Adventist Denomination should NEVER do such a thing. The following insight that Brother Loughborough offered has turned into somewhat of a prophetic statement:

E.G. White, Early Years #1 p.453: "The first step of apostasy is to get up a creed, telling us what we shall believe. The second is to make that creed a test of fellowship. The third is to try members by that creed. The fourth, to denounce as heretics those who do not believe that creed. And fifth, to commence persecution against such."

Could anyone have expressed a truer summation of what is transpiring today? One of the greatest charges ever leveled at the Ancient Conference by Christ was that they made void the law of God by teaching the doctrines of man for the commandments of God. In other words, making of none effect the testimonies of the Spirit of God. "Satan is...constantly pressing in the spurious--to lead away from the truth. The VERY LAST DECEPTION OF SATAN will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. 'Where there is no vision, the people perish; (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, TO UNSETTLE THE CONFIDENCE OF GOD'S REMNANT PEOPLE IN THE TRUE TESTIMONY." 1SM 48.

This was the major reason for the fall of the Ancient Adventist Conference two thousand years ago. This is the very last deception to be used by Satan to unsettle the confidence of GOD'S REMNANT PEOPLE in the true testimony. If you can't see that we are squarely living within the borders of this prediction, I beg you to get on your knees and plead with your Lord for help.

Now, instead of telling you where I think the Conference is headed, let me ask you an honest question. All I ask in return is for you to give an honest answer. Q- If the Lord rejected the very Ancient Adventist Conference whom He Himself had "raised up" - because they made of none effect the testimony of God, and if the conditions are the same today, would we expect the same results from a God Who never changes but is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

DA 608: "In the law is embodied the same principle that is revealed in the gospel. The law points out man's duty and shows him his guilt. To Christ he must look for pardon and for power to do what the law enjoins."

One cannot look to God's law with success without looking to God's Son. The reason for a large number of the problems in the Adventist structure is because of the self-righteousness of the "Scribes" and "Pharisees". They refuse to operate the structure in the power of Jesus Christ. They are trying to assert their own power and in so doing have set themselves higher than Christ. They will fail, as did the Jews.

DA 610-11: "He (Christ) had set before these leaders their real condition, and the retribution sure to follow persistence in their evil deeds. The warning had been faithfully given. Yet another work remained for Christ to do. Another purpose was still to be accomplished.

"The interest of the people in Christ and His work had steadily increased. They were charmed with His teaching, but they were also greatly perplexed. They had respected the priests and rabbis for their intelligence and apparent piety. In all religious matters they had ever yielded implicit obedience to their authority. Yet they now saw these men trying to cast discredit upon Jesus, a teacher whose virtue and knowledge shone forth the brighter from every assault. They looked upon the lowering countenances of the priests and elders, and there saw discomfiture and confusion. THEY MARVELED THAT THE RULERS WOULD NOT BELIEVE ON JESUS, WHEN HIS TEACHINGS WERE SO PLAIN AND SIMPLE. They themselves knew not what course to take. With eager anxiety they watched the movements of those whose counsel they had always followed."

What a fitting description of the atmosphere in Adventism today! As I have stated previously, just a few short years ago there was only a "handful of people", addressing abominations within the church. Now, however, we are witnessing the interest of the people in Christ's present truth steadily increasing. Many of us are also aware that a large number of the professing Adventists are in "the valley of decision" and seem to be greatly confused. I can certainly understand why. I don't question these dear folks' honesty, but rather, I think the statement above reveals to us today the same problem as was in ancient times. Succinctly put: The people have respected the Conference Pastors and Leaders for their intelligence and apparent piety. In all religious matters, they have ever yielded implicit obedience to their authority. This is where the problem lies. Recall, Jesus had this same trouble at first with His own disciples.

There's much said today by the Conference Leaders about respecting "properly constituted church authority" and how those of us who have challenged them have not had, as we should, "the proper respect for their authority". We certainly want to do everything in order and according to the principles that the Lord has laid before us. Jesus manifested proper respect when and where it was due; He was not intimidated, on the other hand, by men who were trying to manipulate people into doing that which dishonored His Father. Let's take an example from the Word of God to illustrate how Jesus handled the exact problem in the exact atmosphere that parallels our day. This example will also illustrate that even the disciples didn't initially understand how to properly handle the issues or where certain principles lay.

Matthew 15:1-16: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

"And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

"Then came his disciples, and said unto him, KNOWEST THOU THAT THE PHARISEES WERE OFFENDED, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. LET THEM ALONE: THEY BE BLIND LEADERS OF THE BLIND. AND IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, BOTH SHALL FALL INTO THE DITCH.

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, ARE YE ALSO YET WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING?"

First of all, it might be well for us to remember that Jesus was the One who set forth this system of religion for which He certainly did have "respect". But it wasn't a lack of respect He showed toward the Ancient Adventist Movement when He denounced the corrupt leadership of His day. It was a lack of respect for the apostasy which they promoted. It was a disdain for the way they were leading and a hatred for what it was doing to the people. Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Father do not like, approve, or respect deception. They certainly are not in the business of supporting those who claim to be leaders in a system which is involved in deceptive practices. Our Heavenly Father represents just the express opposite - honesty and forthrightness.

Please notice as well, that although the laity (including the disciples) equated their Conference Leadership as being men of God, Jesus plainly stated that this wasn't the case. "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up". In other words, Jesus was informing His disciples that while they might have been taught that being a Conference Leader automatically made them "of God's choosing", He said it was NOT the case. This is something that we desperately need to get straight in our own minds. Just because a Conference Leader or a Conference Committee insists that they are to be respected because God chose them and because they told you so, doesn't mean anything unless you believe it! The test is: HOW do leaders lead and WHERE do leaders lead? It is not: I told you, I was chosen and that's the end of it - now keep quiet and follow me! And if you don't, I'll have you kicked out of the synagogue!

These Conference men had come to Jesus and had asked Him why His disciples did not follow the "Church Manual". Jesus asked them in return what many are asking the present-day leaders of the structure, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"

As God had set forth the Commandments, they were just and good. But the Conference Leaders commanded control of the people and so they formulated a "creed" to gain an authority they would not have otherwise had, which belongs to God alone. This authority, as it developed, actually kept the people from a true knowledge of God! This "authority" did Jesus not only disapprove and disrespect, but openly attacked and rebuked! Jesus rightly understood that the "Leadership" was standing in the way of the people's salvation. They were actively keeping the flock from an experiential knowledge which would allow them (laity) to enter the kingdom of God (we'll prove this later). This is the meaning of verse nine: "But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

The people, and even the disciples, were confused and questioned Jesus (God Himself) as if to ask, "Do you know what you are doing?" When His disciples pointed out to Him that He had just offended the Conference Leaders, as people expect today, He admitted His lack of respect for "properly constituted church authority" and went immediately and apologized. Right? No! If He had, He would have been doing the work of the devil, not of His Father! He told His disciples that if they expected to find the heavenly path, they must STAY AWAY FROM THE "LEADERSHIP". It wasn't Jesus who misunderstood THE work, the misunderstanding was by those who had put their trust in a corrupt priesthood. Jesus had an extremely difficult time convincing people (even His disciples) because they had so much unfounded faith (blind faith) in the professed leadership of their day.

I certainly pray that you are seeing the parallels to all of this in our present-day situation. If you are, you are starting to come to a knowledge that Jesus so wanted His disciples to have. As a matter of fact, we will learn later in this study, that until these men came to this knowledge, they could not be very effective in bringing others to salvation. I hope you are beginning to realize that the confusion of their day and the reasons for it are the same as in our own day. This understanding is just as vital now as it was then.

Dear Brother and Sister, we are passing through the exact portal that the disciples passed through and it is the way of Christ's leading. This is the road that leads to the feet of Him who has traveled this road before us. I hope that you will trust Him, as did His disciples, and that you will follow. The way of the cross leads home. I am confident that as we move through this transition, the Lord will eventually have a people who will understand and follow Him wheresoever He leadeth.

DA 611-12 "In the parables which Christ had spoken, it was His purpose both to warn the rulers and to instruct the people who were willing to be taught. But there was need to speak yet more plainly. Through their reverence for tradition and their blind faith in a corrupt priesthood, the people were enslaved. THESE CHAINS CHRIST MUST BREAK. THE CHARACTER OF THE PRIESTS, RULERS, AND PHARISEES MUST BE MORE FULLY EXPOSED."

At times it's difficult for an author to not capitalize, underline, and embolden the whole paragraph. I must admit that this is one of those times. These few words are loaded with information which will take us far down the path of understanding if we desire to know why they were left for us.

Many have indicated that they want to be "just like Jesus" and "do the same work Jesus did". Do we really realize what we are saying when we make such statements or is this just an ascent to some dreamy ideal? Are we just trying to impress others with these statements, or could it be we don't understand what Jesus was really like? It seems that perhaps the latter is the most appropriate. We have been taught that Jesus is just "love and hugs". This seems wonderful but it can be a deadly deception if we're not on our toes. In this "Dr. Spock, if-it-feels-good-do-it generation", we don't want anything to do with discipline because it's so "negative". These same sentiments rule in "the church". Those of us who care to see the reality of where this has lead us understand all too well why our society is in so much trouble and why double-standard government doesn't work except for evil. Unfortunately, the same problem exists to a gross extent among those who claim to be "the church".

When Jesus was on earth, His work was two-fold as we are told above. These are inspired words, folks, not mine or anyone else's for that matter. "It was His purpose both to WARN THE RULERS and to instruct the people WHO WERE WILLING TO BE TAUGHT." This is exactly what many "Independent" Leaders have been doing for the last several years.

Jesus understood that He had come to a professed church who: "Through their REVERENCE FOR TRADITION and their BLIND FAITH IN A CORRUPT PRIESTHOOD, THE PEOPLE WERE ENSLAVED."

Succinctly put, Jesus was in the business of saving people, not playing politics. Because He came to the "Seventh-day Adventist Church" (of that day) didn't mean He had to ask permission to do the work. It didn't mean that he had to bow to the Conference men when they walked into the room. It didn't mean that He had to get their corrupted opinions before He could press on with the job which His Father had given Him to do. It didn't mean He had to seek "unity at all costs" with "the church". It didn't mean He had to exchange heavenly principles for earthy power. It didn't mean that paying attention to "properly constituted church authority" was more important than paying attention to His Father's authority. But He came to a people who had placed their faith in corrupt men instead of a Holy God. Today, my friend, we find ourselves in this carbon copy dilemma.

By the time Christ showed up on the earthly scene, and it's a shame to have to say it, He had to save the people FROM the Conference, not IN the Conference! Was this His fault? Was He to blame for all the trouble His message of reform brought? Was He the rebellious One? You know the answers to all these questions. Are you willing to answer the same questions that are their present-day parallel just as honestly? I believe your eternal salvation depends on it!

If Christ was going to save His people, if Jesus was going to bring the people to a balanced knowledge of His Father, if He was going to instruct those who were willing to be taught but were enslaved to a corrupt priesthood by their blind loyalty, what was He to do?

The Desire of Ages says, "THESE CHAINS CHRIST MUST BREAK." In order for Jesus to give the people a real opportunity to come to a knowledge of salvation, He must break the chains of slavery the corrupt priesthood had over them. The Spirit of Prophecy has much to say regarding kingly power and Ellen White had her share of trouble with it. We'll not take the time here, but it is an interesting study which I would encourage you to pursue.

Jesus didn't enjoy being in this kind of predicament, but loving the people so much, He knew He must break this stranglehold the Conference men had on the laity. If the people were going to have an opportunity to hear what was truth, He would have to break the confidence the people had placed in these men who were leading folk away from God, not toward Him as they claimed. And how was the strength of these chains to be overcome? "THE CHARACTER OF THE PRIESTS, RULERS, AND PHARISEES MUST BE FULLY EXPOSED."

Now, are you absolutely sure you want to be just like Jesus? Many have said and continue to say that it is the work of the devil to "speak against the leadership of the church", but IF this is true, then Jesus clearly did the work of the devil or many would have-to believe He did. The problem is not what Christ did but rather concerning the same prejudice that He had to deal with. It's like trying to convince someone who is an alcoholic (who denies it) that he has a drinking problem. The problem lends itself to denial, and in turn to misunderstanding, and in turn to difficulty in achieving a successful turn-a-round. We should be careful of how we treat the leadership of the church. We had better make sure, however, that we realize who they are and what the church is.

Nonetheless, Christ stood His ground and did the disagreeable duty, even though at the time hardly anyone understood, supported, or agreed with what He was doing. I'm so glad that Jesus did what He had to do, aren't you? If He were to pay attention to what the majority are shouting today, you and I wouldn't even be here much less have an opportunity to live forever. We must learn what is hard to learn and unlearn some of that which we've been taught. We must understand what was so difficult for the disciples to understand. The work of Christ is: freeing people to live for His Father and His Father only. The work of Jesus is: showing people that they are to follow and worship not man, but God. As long as the leaders whom Christ raised-up showed the people these truths, everything was as it should have been. But when a priesthood becomes corrupt and leads those for whom Christ died to the one who killed Him, He has no choice but to go to the next step of exposing the apostasy and breaking the chains.

These leaders were willing to sacrifice Christ, God Himself (in the flesh), in order to save their precious Conference authority. They had said that it was better to sacrifice one man (meaning Jesus) in order to save the nation (meaning the Conference men's job security), John 11:47-48. They were saying that they were willing to sacrifice the truth in order to maintain their own status. Jesus had no choice but to break the chains of enslavement. The character of the Pastors, Conference Presidents, and the General Conference Leaders must be more fully exposed.

Should you have any remaining doubt regarding what you are reading, let's take a quick look at Ezekiel chapter 8:

Ezekiel 8:6-9: "He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.

"And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here."

I could write a book on this topic alone. It is full of treasure for our present-day understanding and I hope you will take the time to study it. Our own SOP books tell us that the judgement starts with the Seventh-day Adventist movement and from the top down, meaning those who claim to be leaders down through the ranks to the lowliest layperson.

Folks, we are witnessing the living expression-Antitypical Fullfillment of Ezekiel, chapter 8! We are living in this chapter's day of end-time fulfillment. We NEED to understand that God is no respecter of persons. This isn't meant to say that He doesn't respect or love people. It simply means that His judgment is fair and doesn't make exceptions (for certain people) to the eternal principles He has set forth. If the rules or principles can be changed, they are flawed - and this is not possible because God is perfect.

God is not going to let Brother A into His kingdom because He loves him more, and shut Brother B out because popular opinion views him as being "difficult". The reverse is true as well. The Father is not going to keep a TRUE gospel worker out of the kingdom just because popular opinion "votes" to censure or disfellowship him, and let an apostate leader in just because he has the majority vote of a church.

When we are standing at the judgment bar (spiritually speaking), God is not going to ask the Conference Committee or the editors of the Review if it's all right or OK to let us in. It will work the same for those who should be kept out. This may come as a shock but nobody, nobody, is going to heaven except those who follow Jesus. It doesn't matter what position we may have had or how long we have held it. The requirements for entrance into heaven are the same for every single individual. The only difference it will make is that, if you make a great profession, if you claim to be a leader AND DO NOT LEAD OTHERS TO JESUS, you only increase and lengthen your own damnation!

Jesus did the work of Ezekiel 8 while here, and that same work is being done for the last time, right now. I strongly encourage you to take a look at the next event to take place which is found in the next chapter of Ezekiel. We are told that this will be literally fulfilled.

18MR 236: "Study the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be LITERALLY FULFILLED; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling. Will you hear? Will you receive His message? Will you be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity."

Does this mean the TRUE Seventh-day Adventist Church, comprised of a faithful remnant who flee Jerusalem (the Corporate SDA church) Isaiah 37:31, 32, will be destroyed? No! No! No! It means that a small remnant will escape from the professing church militant to become the SDA Church triumphant. per Ezekiel 5:1-3 and Isaiah 37:31-32. The remaining whole church three-thirds, Ezekiel 5:1-2, will be destroyed - men, maidens and little children perishing together, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p.211.

Make no mistake about it, Ellen White is speaking expressly, specifically, and directly, of, and to Seventh-day Adventists. She says on page 25 of The Great Controversy, that the AD 70 Destruction of Jerusalem, was a PREFIGURE. That means TYPE.

What entity was destroyed in TYPE? The Sanctuary Temple (Church) of the chosen people of God. Not Babylon! That destruction did indeed prefigure the destruction of the world at the end-time, but judgment begins at the house of God, says Scripture, and the TYPE in AD 70 involved God's chosen people and their Sanctuary.

Ellen White says that the counterpart to that Sanctuary will be destroyed at the end-time, Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 211. But the real proof that this destruction will involve the professing apostate SDA Church first, and then the world, is Ezekiel 5:1-3. In verse 3, the words "Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts..." signifies a small remnant that escape, and then three thirds, the entire remainder of the church is destroyed or scattered.

Ezekiel 5 is another take on Ezekiel 9. Proof absolute that this chapter applies first to the professing "chosen people" church at the end-time, is: because it applied to such in the AD 70 PREFIGURE TYPE.

But another proof is found in verses 7, 8. These verses prove that a church has not "...done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you." In verse 8, God executes judgments "in the midst of thee" (Jerusalem - the Corporate church) "...in the sight of the nations." So this does NOT apply to the world, because the [SDA] church is judged in the sight of the nations of the world.

In verses 14, 15, the church is made a waste, a reproach, a taunt, an instruction, and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about her when judgments are executed in furious rebukes against her (the church).

Remember, that in order for AD 70 to be a prefigure, we must find an end-time counterpart to "the chosen people" back then, and that counterpart is indeed non other than the professing Seventh-day Adventist apostate church. A faithful remnant WILL be taken in His skirts and saved, while the remaining three-thirds or whole church will be destroyed.

The church will be made "an example of" in the sight of the nations (and/or denominations) of the world. And then, the destruction will spread to the entire world. An extremely important fact is that the destruction of AD 70, according to Josephus, began at the TEMPLE, THE SANCTUARY, and then spread to the rest of the CITY, JERUSALEM. Ellen White confirms this in Chapter One of The Great Controversy. Thus, it will be in the antitypical fulfillment or the next literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 5 and 9, which are different descriptions of the same event.

How did Ellen White Know That Ezekiel 9 Would Have Another Literal Fulfillment? Ezekiel 5:9, alludes to the worst thing God ever does, past, present or future. If that occurred in 70 AD at that destruction of Jerusalem, then THAT would have been the worst thing God ever does. Matthew 24:21 describes the greatest tribulation that ever shall be, and that tribulation is at the end-time destruction of Jerusalem, beginning at the professing SDA Sanctuary, then progressing to the other fallen churches, and then progressing to include the entire world. This is the order of progression because judgment begins at the House of God.

Ellen White said that the PREFIGURE (TYPE) destruction of Jerusalem, was but a faint shadow of the one to come at the end-time, BEGINNING AT HIS SANCTUARY, and continuing to finally engulf the entire world.

"The prophecy which He uttered was TWOFOLD in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it PREFIGURED also the terrors of the last great day." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 25.

"The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was by A FAINT SHADOW. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world [and a professing Sanctuary Church] that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 36.

Remember, in Testimonies, vol. 5, Ellen White says that it BEGINS AT HIS SANCTUARY, THE HOUSE OF JACOB, and the world IS NOT HIS SANCTUARY, AND IS NOT THE HOUSE OF JACOB. Neither are the other fallen churches.

In AD 70, the destruction began at THE SANCTUARY, THE TEMPLE, and later spread to "the city proper" of Jerusalem. That was a TYPE OR PREFIGURE of the next fulfillment of Ezekiel 5 and 9. In AD 70, every true Christian had fled the Temple Sanctuary, and the city of Jerusalem, when in the spring and autumn of AD 66, there was a respite after the Romans planted their banner on Jewish soil (which extended some furlongs outside the city walls - Great Controversy p.25). Then, every true Christian took that opportunity to flee to the mountains of Pella. per: SDA Bible Commentary, 74-77.

According to Ellen White, the counterpart "sign" or "signal" for us to flee to the mountains, and the last time for folk to flee the SDA apostate church, will be at the time of the first inception of the National Sunday Law, which Ellen White equates with the erection of the Roman Banner on Jewish soil - Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 451, 464, 465.

A small escaped remnant will effect a "revival of primitive godliness", and be saved. Proof absolute that the professing SDA (Corporate) Church does NOT engage any "revival of primitive godliness" is the following statement:

"The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time. Better never have the worship of God blended with music, than to use musical instruments to do the work which last January was represented to me would be brought into our camp meetings. The truth for this time needs nothing of this kind in its work of converting souls. A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working." E. G. White, Selected Messages, Vol. 2, 36.

It is critical that you never forget the words "JUST BEFORE THE CLOSE OF PROBATION" in the above statement. If the church is so engaged at such a critical time, she will not be in any state of primitive revival! This scenario is according to PREFIGURE TYPE. All we have to know is: what happened in AD 70, as that was a microcosm of what WILL occur IN the church, THE HOUSE OF JACOB, BEGINNING AT HIS SANCTUARY, at the end-time - Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 211.

After judgment begins at His Sanctuary - the apostate "professing SDA church", it (judgement) will then come upon the other fallen churches, and then the entire world. The entire world then becomes like the city Jerusalem, because it will have heard the Everlasting Gospel by that stage of developments. Thus, you have the next destruction of Jerusalem in type and antitype.

Matthew 24:14-15, thus have another "literal fulfillment" involving the apostate SDA Church, the "chosen" people Sanctuary church. Yes, it does symbolize and prefigure the destruction of the world, but it BEGINS AT HIS SANCTUARY, THE HOUSE OF JACOB, Testimonies, vol. 5, 211, and THE HOUSE OF JACOB is NOT the Babylonian churches!

Ellen White's 1888 Materials p.1303: "The Lord reads the heart as an open book. The men who are not connected with God have done many things after the imagination of their own evil hearts. The Lord declares concerning them, 'They have turned unto Me their back, and not the face, though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them; yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.' We are amid the perils of the last days, the time will soon come when the prophecy of Ezekiel 9 will be fulfilled; that prophecy should be carefully studied, for IT WILL BE FULFILLED TO THE VERY LETTER."

Back to Desire of Ages, chapter 67, and the prophetic parallels...

The only way the people could be free to follow the Father was if the chains were broken. The only way the chains could be broken was for Jesus to expose the characters of these apostate leaders. This work is in process even now as you read this sentence. Please ask the One who lead His disciples to the path of life to guide you just now to the same path. He certainly will if you let Him.

DA 612: "'The scribes and the Pharisees,' He said, 'sit in Moses' seat. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.' The scribes and Pharisees' claimed to be invested with divine authority similar to that of Moses. They assumed to take his place as expounders of the law and judges of the people. As such they claimed from the people the utmost deference and obedience. Jesus bade His hearers do that which the rabbis taught according to the law, but not to follow their example. They themselves did not practice their own teaching.

"And they taught much that was contrary to the Scriptures. Jesus said, 'They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.' THE PHARISEES ENJOINED A MULTITUDE OF REGULATIONS, HAVING THEIR FOUNDATION IN TRADITION, AND UNREASONABLY RESTRICTING PERSONAL LIBERTY. And certain portions of the law they so explained as to impose upon the people observances which they themselves secretly ignored, and from which, when it served their purpose, they actually claimed exemption."

As Jesus plainly states above, we are to follow only those things leaders teach which uphold the law and are the requirements of the Father. He told the people however, not to follow their example. Why? Because they weren't following the truth or the law of God, they were not even following their own teaching when it didn't suit their purpose.

Sighting a modern-day example is a startling, personal situation I experienced approximately 12 years ago. I was in the midst of a discussion at church regarding Sabbath breaking, while at this same time, some brothers and sisters were in the Sanctuary collecting money for registration at the upcoming SDA summer camp we would be attending. My argument was that business should be done on any day other than the Sabbath, believing the Sabbath commandment to be so clear that what I was saying was a foregone conclusion to any SDA person.

To my utter surprise and amazement, the Florida Conference guest speaker entered into the discussion along with another leader from the Conference Headquarters and proceeded to give me a thrashing! They informed me that I should understand that Adventist Leaders everywhere traveled on planes, in taxis, and bought food in restaurants on Sabbath in order to "do the Lord's work".

I, a Literature Evangelist at the time, informed them, much to their dislike, that no true Adventist Leader did these things unless under extreme emergencies. I used the example of: "if it were me - making these purchases etc..." - I asked them if they had ever heard of packing a "sack lunch" or fasting so far as having to actually purchase food on the Sabbath. I have to tell you that I was offended by these "leaders" professing to be "the standard-bearers for the Seventh-day Adventist Church". But now, I better understand why the church is having so much trouble with standards among the laity.

At the same time these types of "leaders" are leading the people to lower the pure, elevated standards of Jesus, they are enjoining a multitude of regulations having their foundation in tradition, and unreasonably restricting personal liberty - yet it's O.K. for them to enjoy such luxuries, because they are after all, "Church Leaders doing the Lord's work". (sarcasm intentional)

How many times have you or someone you know had to ask for "permission" from the Pastor or Conference Leaders before you could do some work the Lord has placed on your heart? More than this, how many of you have ever experienced (or know someone who has), these same "leaders" telling you that you could not do this or that work! The above DA 612 quotation is also speaking loudly and clearly about "the church manual" aka 28 Fundamentals of Belief (SDAB).

I know of a young SDA man who recently was at his own disfellowshipping and the Pastor (aka Prosecution) asked for the use of a church manual to make his point [in order to ensure a "Court Martial" against the young man]. This young man took a Bible and tried to hand it to the Pastor telling him THIS was the church manual. The Pastor wouldn't accept it! Interestingly, at another friend's trial, the Conference Leaders threw out the church manual because it didn't serve their purpose - exactly as the Spirit of Prophecy said they would.

Moving on.

DA 613: "When persons were invited to a feast, the guests were seated according to their rank, and those who were given the most honorable place received the first attention and special favors. The Pharisees were ever scheming to secure these honors. This practice Jesus rebuked.

"He also reproved the vanity shown in coveting the title of rabbi, or master. Such a title, He declared, belonged not to men, but to Christ. Priests, scribes, and rulers, expounders and administrators of the law, were all brethren, children of one Father. Jesus impressed upon the people that they were to give no man a title of honor INDICATING HIS CONTROL OF THEIR CONSCIENCE OR THEIR FAITH.

"If Christ were on earth today, surrounded by those who bear the title of 'Reverend' or 'Right Reverend,' would He not repeat His saying,' 'Neither be ye called MASTERS; for one is your Master, even Christ'?"

This has always bothered me and this is the appropriate place to share it with you. I don't intend to give it much space, but I do ask for your prayerful consideration, and I also wish to demonstrate how, to the letter, we are living in the parallel of Christ's day. I will place my concern in the form of yet another question.

How can any Seventh-day Adventist Pastor accept the title of "Master (or Doctor) of Divinity"? If bestowing such titles to any human on earth today is not dangerously close to open blasphemy and in direct violation of Jesus' expressed command concerning this subject - I don't know what is. I'll be the first to confess that I didn't attend the "rabbinical" schools, but I can read in simple English in the Inspired Word of God, that ONLY THE GODHEAD have any right to claim the title of "Masters (or Doctor) of Divinity"!

Now we come to a quotation which is quite revealing. This ancient experience gives us an invaluable modern-day lesson. This is for all the New Theology people and their pastors. Those of you who want to be set free may indeed know and understand what the Lord is trying to tell us in the next few words:

DA 614: "By perverting the Scriptures, the priests and lawyers blinded the minds of those WHO WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE RECEIVED A KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM, AND THAT INWARD, DIVINE LIFE WHICH IS ESSENTIAL TO TRUE HOLINESS."

Dear Christian friend, what is Jesus telling you and me in this statement? It seems to me that He is revealing that these apostate leaders are perverting the Scriptures in such a way as to not only deceive people but to actually KEEP THEM FROM GAINING A KNOWLEDGE THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BRING THEM TO PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING WHICH IS ESSENTIAL TO TRUE HOLINESS. Is that what you read? If not, then what? Please, tell me. Are these apostate leaders bringing people to an understanding that there is NO excuse for sin, not even one?!

Are they showing that: "God leads His people on step by step. The Christian life is a constant battle and a march. There is no rest from the warfare. It is by constant, unceasing effort that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. As a people we are triumphing in the clearness and strength of the truth. We are fully sustained in our positions by an overwhelming amount of plain Scriptural testimony. But we are very much wanting in Bible humility, patience, faith, love, self-denial, watchfulness, and the spirit of sacrifice. We need to cultivate Bible holiness. Sin prevails among the people of God. The plain message of rebuke to the Laodiceans is not received. Many cling to their doubts and their darling sins while they are in so great a deception as to talk and feel that they are in need of nothing. They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for or that it does not mean them. Such are in the greatest need of the grace of God and spiritual discernment that they may discover their deficiency in spiritual knowledge. They lack almost every qualification necessary to perfect Christian Character. They have not a PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF BIBLE TRUTH, WHICH LEADS TO LOWLINESS OF LIFE AND A CONFORMITY OF THEIR WILL TO THE WILL OF CHRIST. They are not living in obedience to all God's requirements." 3T 253.

This is just as serious as your next breath! As a matter of fact, it is more important! Jesus told His disciples to flee from the "New Theology" Pastors of His day. He told them they were being lead by these leaders in the way of death not the way of life. Sure, it took them a while before they listened, but they did listen and were saved! Are we listening today? Are we determining to follow our baptismal vows even if it leads in the same direction as it did the disciples? I pray that we are, for in fact, and in reality, we MUST go the same way the disciples went - or we WILL end up in a place that we would rather not be. Better to be alone in heaven than to be in unity with the crowd in the lake of fire!

DA 614: "The Pharisees had great influence with the people, and of this they took advantage to serve their own interests. They gained the confidence of pious widows, and then represented it as a duty for them to devote their property to religious purposes. Having secured control of their money, the wily schemers used it for their own benefit. To cover their dishonesty, they offered long prayers in public, and made a great show of piety. This hypocrisy Christ declared would bring them the greater damnation. The same rebuke falls upon many in our day who make a high profession of piety. Their lives are stained by selfishness and avarice, yet they throw over it all a garment of seeming purity, and thus for a time deceive their fellowmen. But they cannot deceive God."

Listen, you "pious widows" and all the rest of us who need to heed this lesson. I have heard some real horror stories of how once the Conference obtains someone's "trust account or property", the trusting party has a terrible time retrieving it if they want, and sometimes can't. We are witnessing the same demonstration involving the local churches and this reveals the great "sin" in handing over the deed to the Conference to be the "trustee". We are now witnessing the closure of some of these churches - in the very faces of those who paid for and built them with the gift-offering (not Tithe) out of their own pockets! And who is doing this shameful work of padlocking these churches against their rightful owners? Answer: The Conference trustees!

Here's some free advice: If the people of your church (building) haven't given the deed of the church property over to the Conference "trustees", DON'T! If you are going to build a physical "church building", make sure you have no intention of giving it away - to anyone. If you let the "trustee" (no matter who they are) look after your property they may take it away! Isn't this exactly what the parable of the Husbandman is all about? God placed the vineyard into the "trustee's" hands and when He sent His Son to claim it, they killed Him and stole the property! It's past time we paid attention, don't you think? If you don't agree, you WILL pay the price!

DA 616: "The Saviour continued His denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees: "Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. Ye fools and blind, for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? and, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind; for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?" The priests interpreted God's requirements according to their own false and narrow standard. They presumed to make nice distinctions as to the comparative guilt of various sins, passing over some lightly, and treating others of perhaps less consequence as unpardonable. For a money consideration they excused persons from their vows. And for large sums of money they sometimes passed over aggravated crimes. At the same time these priests and rulers would in other cases pronounce severe judgment for trivial offenses.

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." In these words Christ again condemns the abuse of sacred obligation. The obligation itself He does not set aside. The tithing system was ordained by God, and it had been observed from the earliest times. Abraham, the father of the faithful, paid tithes of all that he possessed. The Jewish rulers recognized the obligation of tithing, and this was right; but THEY DID NOT LEAVE THE PEOPLE TO CARRY OUT THEIR OWN CONVICTIONS OF DUTY. Arbitrary rules were laid down for every case. The requirements had become so complicated that it was impossible for them to be fulfilled. None knew when their obligations were met. As God gave it, the system was just and reasonable; but the priests and rabbis had made it a wearisome burden."

According to the Spirit of Prophecy, money, especially tithe money, is NOT a test of fellowship or membership in the Adventist Church. For that matter, the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual also recognizes the right of independent ministries to exist (see page 68), and also provides that no church member's standing should be called in question because of his failure to give financial support to the church (see page 165). But is tithe paying not a test of fellowship today?

Note: http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/church_manual/Seventh-day-Adventist-Church-Manual-17th-edition.pdf

This money problem and the manipulation of the people through this medium is nothing new. Desire of Ages shows us clearly that 2,000 years ago the Apostate Leadership of Christ's day also used God's money to manipulate the people. They censored and disfellowshipped those who would not support them and they made money a test of fellowship.

Many Adventist Pastors today use Malachi, chapter 3, extensively to support their views using specifically verses 8 and 10: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. ... Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

When it comes to money, leaders are to "grant freedom" to people by the Biblical standard in upholding and preaching the truth. But they are to leave the people to carry out their own convictions of duty. They are not to set up arbitrary rules and then use money as a weapon against certain groups as we see happening throughout the entire Adventist structure.

If the leaders were truly concerned for the right reasons, regarding the subject of tithe, why are they only disciplining those who choose not to pay their tithe to them? Why aren't they disciplining the majority of the people who are actually robbing God and not paying tithe at all? The fact that the Conference Leaders are only "picking on" one certain group of people reveals not only their prejudice, but their lack of consistency and their self-serving purposes. Of course, this is another fine example of the hypocrisy of Conference Leaders throwing out not only the Spirit of Prophecy, but their own church manual because it didn't serve their purpose.

I firmly believe that people should leave others alone regarding this subject, except for trying to guide them in the right path. The principle of tithe paying is right and it should be shared with the people. But how many times have you heard the pastors say that the Lord was reproving the leadership for mishandling His money in Malachi 3?! The reproofs and promises of Malachi are plainly to the leadership as well as to the people. Read chapter two and you will see whom the Lord is speaking to and about. Also, look at verse 3 of chapter 3. "And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify THE SONS OF LEVI, and PURGE THEM as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."

Why is the Lord saying in Malachi that He must purify these pastors? Because they were not pure. Of course, the laymen weren't pure either, and not being pure was an individual responsibility but it was largely due to the leadership because: "The church will rarely take a higher stand than is taken by her ministers. We need a converted ministry and a converted people. Shepherds who watch for souls as they that must give account will lead the flock on in paths of peace and holiness. Their success in this work will be in proportion to their own growth in grace and knowledge of the truth. When the teachers are sanctified, soul, body, and spirit, they can impress upon the people the importance of such sanctification." 5T 227.

Moving on.

DA 618: "The Pharisees built the tombs of the prophets, and adorned their sepulchers, and said one to another, If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have united with them in shedding the blood of God's servants. At the same time they were planning to take the life of His Son. This should be a lesson to us. IT SHOULD OPEN OUR EYES TO THE POWER OF SATAN TO DECEIVE THE MIND THAT TURNS FROM THE LIGHT OF TRUTH. Many follow in the track of the Pharisees. They revere those who have died for their faith. They wonder at the blindness of the Jews in rejecting Christ. Had we lived in His day, they declare, we would gladly have received His teaching; we would never have been partakers in the guilt of those who rejected the Saviour. BUT WHEN OBEDIENCE TO GOD REQUIRES SELF-DENIAL AND HUMILIATION, THESE VERY PERSONS STIFLE THEIR CONVICTIONS, AND REFUSE OBEDIENCE. THUS THEY MANIFEST THE SAME SPIRIT AS DID THE PHARISEES WHOM CHRIST CONDEMNED."

Today various tours are available both on the East coast and the West coast of the U.S. to view the places where Ellen G. White lived, worked, had visions, and died. Many nice things are said and outwardly she is honored during these times. At the same time, a large group of Adventist leaders are actively trying to destroy her inspired work and influence, just as the Ancient Adventist Leaders did in the days of Christ. It has always been amazing to me that a person can be honored for showing the Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Lutheran, Jehovah Witness, or the many other people in various churches their mistakes and bringing them to the truth, but when you bring the truth "home" to the Adventist(s), you are no longer a hero - but a heretic. Why is this?

We need to have a certain respect for the power of the enemy, lest we underestimate such. Satan is "roaring as a lion" and he is very angry especially toward those who are determined to maintain the truth as it is in Jesus. The Laodicean condition is the most dangerous position to be in. It is a curse, not a privilege. It is a position where persons really do not study for themselves but rather place their trust in those who seem to. They are riding on the shirt-tails of someone else's experience. I might add that this condition exists in people no matter what "group" they may be in. One can have the Laodicean condition in the Historic or Reform group just as easily as those in the structure. Truth-filled books, magazines, audio tapes, and videos are good, and they should be utilized as tools to further one's knowledge but that certainly should not be the total sum of the experience. We must hunger and thirst after righteousness and study to show ourselves approved. We must know for ourselves what and why we believe the way we do. We cannot get to heaven by hitching a ride on the shoulders of someone else. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way.

Many people, especially in Adventist circles, find it so easy to speak of "the stupidity of the ancient Jews" and how "we would never do what they did". At the same time, we are doing things far worse than what they did! How can this happen? How can we have all their failures in open view and still be making the same mistakes, having the same spiritual pride and end up persecuting the same people within our own ranks? (And at the same time, making sport of the ancient Jews!). It boggles the mind to try to comprehend it! "But when obedience to God requires self-denial and humiliation, these very persons stifle their convictions, and refuse obedience. Thus they manifest the same spirit as did the Pharisees whom Christ condemned." DA 618 (above) Did you notice here that inspiration plainly says that Christ condemned people? Next time you hear someone insisting that Jesus never condemned anyone, ask him or her to explain this quotation for you. If honest people are around you, it should take care of the argument; or at least let everyone know who's interested in truth and who isn't.

How many times have you heard of someone reading a simple and plain "thus saith the Lord" to someone, just to hear the response, "I haven't been convicted on that". These things should open our eyes to the power of Satan to deceive those who have turned away from the light. We should ask the True Witness for all the help He has promised to give us so that we might discern "what is truth".

Remember the four little words, "not blind, nor bitter"? Although we are in a real battle, although we must fight the enemy for every inch of ground, although the Christian walk is a battle and a march, although we must expose apostasy and call sin by it's right name, and although we will end up being hated, persecuted, and possibly killed by those who once said they loved us, we need to maintain our Christian dignity and spirit of salvation toward others, even our enemies. In the spirit of Christ we want to be "not blind, nor bitter".

DA 619: "Christ's indignation was directed against the hypocrisy, the gross sins, by which men were destroying their own souls, deceiving the people, and dishonoring God. In the specious, deceptive reasoning of the priests and rulers, He discerned the working of Satanic agencies. Keen and searching had been His denunciation of sin; but He spoke no words of retaliation. He had a holy wrath against the prince of darkness; but He manifested no irritated temper. So the Christian who lives in harmony with God, possessing the sweet attributes of love and mercy, will feel a righteous indignation against sin; but he will not be roused by passion to revile those who revile him. Even in meeting those who are moved by a power from beneath to maintain falsehood, in Christ he will still preserve calmness and self-possession."

Our struggle must be fought on a higher level than that of our enemies. We must always have the best interests of others in mind, even in times of rejection, even in times when others refuse to recognize our motives for what they are, even in times of persecution and slander, and in the face of death. Yes, we have real, live enemies. Yes, they can hurt us and break our hearts and our bones. They can surely cause us undue pain and grief. But our Lord and Saviour gave up all that He possessed to travel this road before us. He showed the way that leads home and He has demonstrated that to live His life is the best and only way. He revealed THAT even in meeting those who are "moved by a power from beneath to maintain falsehood", by His example and power we will still preserve calmness and self-possession.

Dear Brother and Sister, see Jesus in the garden. See Him being taken by that brutal mob and betrayed by one of His own. View our beautiful Jesus in the judgement hall at His "trial". How calm and self-possessed is His countenance. By His example, isn't it this calmness and self-possession that draws you to Him? Isn't it this that is partly the reason Jesus is so much your hero? Don't you wish to be this way in the face of adversity? Then enter the battle you must.

There is no other way except through the garden, to the trial, and on up Golgotha's hill. We must be "crucified" to self and given totally to Jesus. But praise the Lord! He will "resurrect" us anew. He has already provided for our every need and He so much wants to give us, each one, of His Spirit. Just take that which He offers, friend. It matters not what our heritage may be. We can be German, Irish, Scottish, Latin, French, Italian, Chinese, African, Arabian, American Indian, or anything else. We can continue to excuse our human tempers and be lost - or we can give them to Jesus and be saved. The decision is as simple as that. But if we choose to trust ourselves to Jesus, if we are willing enough to place our lives into His nailed-scarred hands, He will finish in us that which He has started.

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 5

DESIRE OF AGES

Chapter 68 & 69

DA 621: "And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast; the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew, and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

"At this time Christ's work bore the appearance of cruel defeat. He had been victor in the controversy with the priests and Pharisees, but it was evident that He would never be received by them as the Messiah. The final separation had come. To His disciples the case seemed hopeless. But Christ was approaching the consummation of His work. The great event which concerned not only the Jewish nation, but the whole world, was about to take place. When Christ heard the eager request, 'We would see Jesus,' echoing the hungering cry of the world, His countenance lighted up, and He said, 'The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.' In the request of the Greeks He saw an earnest of the results of His great sacrifice."

Jesus had labored faithfully and yet it certainly appeared as if His work had been in vain. The church He had come to, the same church He had raised, protected, honored with His presence had rejected Him. After years in the service of salvation, He stood almost alone. Even His closest friends had little encouragement to offer. But in the words "we would see Jesus", Christ caught a glimmer of hope that in future days would shine more brightly in a dark world. These few words Jesus understood.

Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself so that others might be saved. This is the type of service that is acceptable to the Father. Our work must be of the same nature for it to receive Heaven's blessing. As with Jesus, we must be willing to lay it all on the line for the cause of truth. We must willingly place even our reputations into the hands of God and labor for His glory rather than for our own. We must say the words "we would see Jesus". This is what constitutes true service to God and for others.

DA 623: "The grain of wheat that preserves its own life can produce no fruit. It abides alone. Christ could, if He chose, save Himself from death. But should He do this, He must abide alone. He could bring no sons and daughters to God. Only by yielding up His life could He impart life to humanity. Only by falling into the ground to die could He become the seed of that vast harvest, --the great multitude that out of every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, are redeemed to God.

"With this truth Christ connects the lesson of self-sacrifice that all should learn: 'He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.' All who would bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ must first fall into the ground and die. The life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need. Self-love, self-interest, must perish. And the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation."

We can choose to keep to ourselves but Heaven requires more. Jesus did not have to elect to die for us. He could have said "No, I am not going to do this". Having made that choice He would have saved Himself a tremendous trouble, pain, suffering, and rejection. But Christ loved us with a love that is very difficult for us to grasp. After all, we are not that great a prize except in the eyes of Heaven and then only because of what Jesus did. We may think we are remarkable, we may think we are of most importance, but when it boils right down to it, we are bacteria on the otherwise perfect body of the Heavenly universe.

It is only in Christ that we have any value. We have hope only because Jesus cast His own life into "the furrow" of the world field and died that there might be a harvest of souls. By giving up His own life Jesus demonstrates the true Spirit of Christianity.

This isn't merely speaking of giving one's life at the end of the road but rather now on a daily basis. "Not my will, but thine" must be the watch words of our daily experience. Many have made an ascent to dying a martyr's death. We have some kind of romantic or heroic attachment to this kind of end and I think to some degree this is understandable. But what Jesus wants more than anything else is that daily death that evades so many of us. The miracle to be demonstrated is not so much "the stake", but is rather in the kitchen, at work, in our conversations, in the treatment of others, or in other words, in our everyday lives. It is by dying daily that the life and death of Christ is honored in its highest expression. To make manifest to the Lord our greatest appreciation, He would have us, as He did, cast ourselves to the ground and die. To do this is placing ourselves as seeds in God's service and He WILL bring forth fruits unto salvation. Then the words "we would see Jesus" will change. They will become "we have seen Jesus".

DA 626: " 'Nevertheless among the CHIEF RULERS also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, LEST THEY SHOULD BE PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE.' THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN RATHER THAN THE APPROVAL OF GOD. To save themselves from reproach and shame, they denied Christ, and rejected the offer of eternal life. ...

"Alas for those who knew not the time of their visitation! Slowly and regretfully Christ left forever the precincts of the temple."

Take heed to these words! You, who are in the pews, in the pulpits, in high Conference positions, if you love the praise of men over the approval of God; if you are denying the truth because of fear of Conference Leaders or of being put out of the synagogue, you are lost! Eternally lost!

I do believe that there are those in positions in the Organization who know the truth. I do believe that some have been trying desperately to "hold the lines" behind the scenes. But I also know according to the above statement that if these ones do not get their priorities in order very soon, they will understand too late! God means just what He says. Please, do not trade this opportunity that Christ extends for some temporary praise you might gain from men who cannot save you. If God has called you to lead, then LEAD, but do so only by following Jesus down the blood-stained path. This is where the true glory lies. Do not trade the glory of Heaven for the glitter of this world. It is far past time that those who are going to stand for the cause of Christ stand together! Now is the time of our salvation! Our visitation is today! Do not make the mistake our forefathers made and send Jesus out of the sanctuary of your heart in order to maintain some kind of political status. It's not worth it!

DA 627: "Christ's words to the priests and rulers, 'Behold, your house is left unto you desolate,' (Matthew 23:38) had struck terror to their hearts. They affected indifference, but the question kept rising in their minds as to the import of these words. An unseen danger seemed to threaten them. Could it be that the magnificent temple, which was the nation's glory, was soon to be a heap of ruins? .... You point to these walls as apparently indestructible; but listen to My words: The day will come when 'there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'"

The Conference is shouting "The church is going through, the church is going through" (meaning the Conference is going through), but the above quotation just doesn't get any plainer on the issue. Two thousand years ago "the church" was telling the laity AND God that "nothing could destroy it, no matter what it was going through". Jesus expressed the complete opposite. The question is: Who are you going to believe? The majority of the Ancient Adventist Church went along with the Conference and were lost! How long is it going to take for us to learn that God is no respecter of persons? Any person, any nation, and, yes, any church organization that rejects God -- God rejects.

DA 628-29: " '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.' Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, men wrestled for the supremacy. Emperors were murdered. Those supposed to be standing next the throne were slain. There were wars and rumors of wars. 'All these things must come to pass,' said Christ, 'but the end [of the Jewish nation as a nation] is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.' Christ said, As the rabbis see these signs, they will declare them to be God's judgments upon the nations for holding in bondage His chosen people. They will declare that these signs are the token of the advent of the Messiah. Be not deceived; they are the beginning of His judgments. The people have looked to themselves. They have not repented and been converted that I should heal them. THE SIGNS THAT THEY REPRESENT AS TOKENS OF THEIR RELEASE FROM BONDAGE ARE SIGNS OF THEIR DESTRUCTION."

Jesus, speaking to His disciples, is trying to give them a look into their future as it pertains to what the Conference will be saying. He knows that the Conference will have their eyes on the events - but because they have rejected His truth, they will not see the personal danger the event is pointing to.

If you will notice, in the Desire of Ages passage above, someone (EGW?) other than me has added the words [in brackets] "but the end [of the Jewish nation as a nation] is not yet". I think this is providential and bears out the truth. Those of us who care to look are also staring prophecy right in the face, although most will reject it, as in days of old.

Please, don't be surprised or naive as to how this works. Jesus spoke plainly in the common vernacular of His day. He warned them openly and they refused to see it. So why should we be so shocked as we witness the exact repeat of this?

The Advent Movement has preached since our beginnings that Matthew 24 had a dual application and this is right and true. But now our own book (The Desire of Ages) is giving us a more in-depth look. Are we willing to take the truth at face value or will we reject it? Let's continue to look at this passage:

"As the rabbis see these signs, they will declare them to be God's judgments upon the nations for holding in bondage His chosen people. They will declare that these signs are the token of the advent of the Messiah. Be not deceived; they are the beginning of His judgments. The people [Jews] have looked to themselves. They have not repented and been converted that I should heal them. THE SIGNS THAT THEY [the Jewish Leaders] REPRESENT AS TOKENS OF THEIR RELEASE FROM BONDAGE ARE SIGNS OF THEIR DESTRUCTION."

Can you not see what is about to take place? I know that this all seems impossible but maybe it will give you a better understanding of what the disciples endured. This is no trick, but the truth! As Jesus was warning those who would listen in His day, He now is warning all who will listen in our day.

If you will read Matthew 24, you will discover that the very first thing that Jesus says concerns the destruction of the Apostate Ancient Adventist System -- equated with the temple. This IS the subject matter. Let's look at it.

Matthew 24:1-2: "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the building of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

You can almost hear the disciples and experience their unspoken concern. They take Jesus to the outside of the temple as if to say: "Are you sure of what you are doing? Do you understand what road you're heading down and asking us to follow?" But Jesus understood their concern and spoke with them plainly. He told them, "Brothers, I want you to know for certain that "the church" IS NOT GOING THROUGH!" That's what the "verily" in the verse means. It means: for certain or for a truth -- you can take this to the bank! -- I'm not mixed up in what I'm about to tell you.

Then Jesus told them, "Take heed, let no man deceive you". Why did He tell them this? Jesus knew that the Conference Leaders had a "hold" on these men and He purposely was bringing them to a point of decision. By what Christ was revealing, He knew He was placing them in a position of having to choose between Him - or the Conference.

"Now when the truth is being presented, there are applications that need to be made and appeals to press it right home for a decision, for an important decision. Who is there when this truth is being presented? Somebody besides you. The devil and his angels are there to catch away the seeds of truth. Are these all? Angels of God and Jesus Christ are on the ground. Then what? When you seek to impress the truth upon the heart, you will be a co-laborer with Jesus Christ." -- Ms 11, 1891. {VSS 233.2 - The Voice in Speech and Song}

Jesus went on to disclose to them that the Conference would try to convince them of the opposite of what He had just spoken and that many would claim to be working for God by using this falsehood.

The things that Christ shared with His disciples in Matthew 24 were to warn them of two things. There is indeed a dual application but maybe not until "this" present-day time have we known what they are, for Jesus is even now trying to warn you and me of the very same dangers.

Jesus said that they should beware of certain things as they viewed the world or other nations taking certain actions (Matt. 24). But the insight we (Christians in general, and SDAs in particular) have missed until now is that Jesus also wanted His disciples to beware of the actions the apostate church would take. Here was their larger danger! We will see in the next quotation that what I am trying to point out to you right here, is the truth in verity:

DA 629: " 'Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.' All this the Christians suffered. Fathers and mothers betrayed their children. Children betrayed their parents. FRIENDS DELIVERED THEIR FRIENDS UP TO THE SANHEDRIN. THE PERSECUTORS WROUGHT OUT THEIR PURPOSE BY KILLING STEPHEN, JAMES, AND OTHER CHRISTIANS."

Brothers & Sisters, I hope you can see the plain truth in the above statement. Matthew 24 reveals what happens to Christians by "the church"! "Oh, I don't think so!" some poor soul may still be saying. Then answer this simple question: What was the religion of these fathers and mothers who were betraying their children? What was the religion of these children who were betraying their parents? What was the religion of the "friends" who delivered their friends? And if you haven't gotten the truth yet, who were the Sanhedrin? And if you still haven't gotten it yet, who killed Stephen?

Folks, not one Christian was killed in the destruction of the Ancient Adventist Conference in AD 70. But we must clearly discern what they discerned or we will not share their salvation.

DA 630: "Through His servants, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent. He manifested Himself through His witnesses in their arrest, in their trial, and in their imprisonment. Yet their judges pronounced on them the DEATH SENTENCE. They were men of whom the world was not worthy, and by killing them the JEWS crucified afresh the Son of God. SO IT WILL BE AGAIN."

Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, please, allow the above quotation to sink in deeply. History is indeed repeating itself almost to the letter. God has raised up faithful servants to warn the professed leaders and laity alike of the impending doom that is sure to come. Most, instead of repenting and reforming, will end up persecuting these true messengers and will ultimately be guilty of murder!

DA 630: "On every occasion when persecution takes place, those who witness it make decisions either for Christ or against Him. Those who manifest sympathy for the ones wrongly condemned, show their attachment for Christ. Others are offended BECAUSE THE PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH CUT DIRECTLY ACROSS THEIR PRACTICE. Many stumble and fall, apostatizing from the faith [you notice it doesn't say from the "church"] they once advocated. Those who apostatize in time of trial will, to secure their own safety, bear false witness, and BETRAY THEIR BRETHREN. CHRIST HAS WARNED US OF THIS, THAT WE MAY NOT BE SURPRISED AT THE UNNATURAL, CRUEL COURSE OF THOSE WHO REJECT THE LIGHT."

Christ has left clear instruction and warning of how things will be in the last great struggle, that struggle in which we have, even now, already entered into. All the players, to a large extent, are in place. Do you believe the words He speaks or are you in the group of unbelievers? Your own destiny will be determined by which group you choose to be in.

DA 633: "In the prophecy of Jerusalem's destruction Christ said, 'Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.' THIS PROPHECY WILL AGAIN BE FULFILLED. The abounding iniquity of that day finds its counterpart in this generation. So with the prediction in regard to the preaching of the gospel. Before the fall of Jerusalem, Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declared that the gospel was preached to "every creature which is under heaven" (Col. 1:23). So now, before the coming of the Son of man, the everlasting gospel is to be preached "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. (Rev. 14:6, 14)."

DA 634: "God has always given men warning of coming judgments. Those who had faith in His message FOR THEIR TIME, AND WHO ACTED OUT THEIR FAITH, in obedience to His commandments, escaped the judgments that fell upon the disobedient and unbelieving. ... So Christ's disciples were given warning of the DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. Those who watched for the sign of the coming ruin, and fled from the city, escaped the destruction. So now we are given warning of Christ's second coming and of the destruction to fall upon the world. Those who heed the warning will be saved."

Now, you might say: "See, Jesus is speaking about the destruction of the world, not of the Conference". Yes, that would be right as far as it goes, but Jesus has clearly pointed out that in the final phase of this planet's history is also involved the destruction of the apostate structure. Just look at the quotation from DA 628-29 again, found earlier in this chapter, as well as the quotation from DA 611-12 in the previous chapter. Jesus is plainly telling His disciples that "the church" will be preaching the destruction of the world and not realize that it's own doom comes first!

DA 634: "Those who watch for the Lord's coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. The expectation of Christ's coming is to make men fear the Lord, and fear His judgments upon transgression. It is to awaken them to the great sin of rejecting His offers of mercy. Those who are watching for the Lord, are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls."

While expecting the Lord's return, we are not to sit back in the pews and be bench-warmers. Those who are in tune with God's last day program will be busy for souls. They will have a realization of the coming judgment and they will be in preparation for the coming event. They will be actively engaged in the sanctification process by allowing God to purify their souls through obedience to the truth. They will possess a faith that is not passive but energetic and at work. They will understand the truth for their present day (ie: present truth) and will be acting upon that truth.

DA 634-35: "But Christ brings to view another class: ... The evil servant says in his heart, 'My lord delayeth his coming.' He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by HIS ACTIONS AND WORDS HE DECLARES THAT THE LORD'S COMING IS DELAYED. HE BANISHES FROM THE MINDS OF OTHERS the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure-seeking. He smites his fellow-servants, accusing and condemning those who are faithful to their Master. He mingles with the world. Like grows with like in transgression."

Do you think that an organization that places millions of dollars (your Tithe dollars) in stocks and bonds which do not come to maturity until FORTY YEARS LATER believes that the Lord is coming SOON? Do you believe that pastors who belong to that same organization and preach the message that we don't have to overcome sin are preparing a people for the judgment? Are they not banishing from the minds of the people the soon appearing of our Lord? Are they not turning faith into presumption?

This class which is by far the majority, by word and by action, declare the Lord delayeth His coming. These professors of Seventh-day Adventism unite with the world and use their influence to cause others to lower the standards. Instead of being in the business of perfecting a people, they are in the business of persecuting those who are.

Many people are living in anxious expectation of coming calamity. Many of these people are in the professed SDA church and other churches and are claiming to love Jesus. They know deep down that something is not right. They can "feel" that the needed preparation in their own lives is being delayed; they are anxious that the day of the Lord's visitation may come unexpectantly and their chance will pass them by. These ones will change "tomorrow". But, "When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle: when the student is eagerly seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief." (DA 635)

NOW is the time to engage in the preparation needed! The time is far spent and the "tomorrows" are running out! Most will delay one day too long! And I'm not excluding professing Seventh-day Adventists. Deep down you know, dear friend. Right now, as the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, won't you give it to Him? What do you have to lose except your sins and a trip to the fiery abyss? The Lord loves you so much that He gave His life for you. If this were not true, why then did He give us this book "Desire of Ages"? He wants you and me, to live with Him, forever.

DA 636: "Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, murders of every grade. Who can read the future? Where is security? There is assurance in nothing that is human or earthly. Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen. Restlessly are they waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord's appearing. Another class are falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. FEW BELIEVE WITH HEART AND SOUL THAT WE HAVE A HELL TO SHUN AND A HEAVEN TO WIN.

"The crisis is stealing gradually upon us."

Oh, how I would like to say that this description is fitting for the situation in the world only. But the above quotation horribly describes the makeup of "the church". The polarization is taking place and we ARE living in the days of the shaking. Most Adventists believe: that as God inspired Ellen White with the written words, "all that can be shaken will be shaken", He meant, shaken out of the organization. How these poor souls are being [willingly] deceived. Let me ask you this question? When the Jews killed Jesus Christ, how many of them had already left "the church"? When the Jews killed Stephen, how many of those who were throwing the stones - had already left "the church"?

Many SDAs are waiting for this "mass exodus" to be some kind of sign that they are all-right with God. But in the days of Christ when "the church" killed Him, the only exodus was that of those who followed Christ! Most of the members stayed with the Conference. The Conference that killed Christ! The Conference that persecuted His disciples! So those who are waiting for the shaking to shake-out the "dissidents" from the Conference are in the EXACT SAME POSITION as the people who stayed with their Conference were during Christ's day!

The majority of Seventh-day Adventists don't realize that when you have left "the faith, you have left "the church"! It matters not, as graphically demonstrated by the destruction of Ancient Adventist Conference Headquarters, Jerusalem, where you are physically, but spiritually. Our Ancient counterparts who stayed with the Conference ALL LEFT "THE CHURCH" BECAUSE THEY HAD ALL LEFT THE FAITH. Those who left the Conference NEVER LEFT "THE CHURCH" BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT LEAVE THE FAITH!

The same crisis that stole a march on the people two thousand years ago is with us again. It is no longer "gradually coming our way", we are NOW in it! I have one more question to ask: Are you sure you are in THE CHURCH? I pray that you are.

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 6

DESIRE OF AGES

CHAPTER 70, 71, & 72

DA 637-38: "...Christ on the Mount of Olives pictured to His disciples the scene of the great Judgment day. And He represented its decision as turning upon one point. When the nations are gathered before Him, there will be but two classes, and their eternal destiny will be determined by what they have done or have neglected to do for Him in the person of the poor and the suffering....

"Jesus had told His disciples that they were to be hated of all men, to be persecuted and afflicted. Many would be driven from their homes, and brought to poverty. Many would be in distress through disease and privation. Many would be cast into prison. To all who forsook friends or home for His sake He had promised in this life a hundred-fold. Now He assured a special blessing to all who should minister to their brethren. In all who suffer for My name, said Jesus, you are to recognize Me. As you would minister to Me, so you are to minister to them. This is the evidence that you are My disciples....

"THOSE WHOM CHRIST COMMENDS IN THE JUDGMENT MAY HAVE KNOWN LITTLE OF THEOLOGY, BUT THEY HAVE CHERISHED HIS PRINCIPLES. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives."

Here Jesus sets forth the truth regarding those who will be saved in the last days, those who consist of His disciples. First of all, a ministry that is commended by Christ is one in which people are the main concern. The ministry will be paying attention to the best interests of the people. Secondly, Jesus also says that the true ministers would be hated of all men, persecuted and afflicted. Those who minister, in turn, to these faithful leaders are those whom Christ commends in the Judgment. These "may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles". ... "they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God".

I know from my own experience that it is not imperative that one knows every answer to realize when they hear something, whether it's right or not. Many times over the last several years I have waited on something I've heard, choosing not to act on it because the principle of "it didn't seem to square up with the Lord's principles". Many more times than not have I been glad to have adhered to what I thought was God's principle in the matter. Time and time again it has proven to be a saviour to me.

The better you understand what the principles of God are, the better you will be safeguarded in any given situation. When you decide to act on the right principle, even if you don't happen to know everything about the subject in question, it usually ends up saving you a lot of unnecessary grief later.

DA 639: "The angels of heaven are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. We know not now who they are; it is not yet made manifest who shall overcome, and share the inheritance of the saints in light; but angels of heaven are passing throughout the length and breadth of the earth, seeking to comfort the sorrowing, to protect the imperiled, to win the hearts of men to Christ. Not one is neglected or passed by. God is no respecter of persons, and He has an equal care for all the souls He has created."

Two important principles are brought to light. God's love extends to every soul and the love itself is unconditional. Now please, don't get this mixed up with the nonsense some folk propagate. They would have you believe that because God's love is unconditional, His promises are unconditional. This would be a fatal mistake! NONE OF GOD'S PROMISES ARE UNCONDITIONAL. ALL OF HIS PROMISES ARE CONDITIONAL BASED UPON OBEDIENCE. God loves you no matter what you do, but He will not "save you no matter what you do". God's love and God's promises are two different things; and if not rightly understood can result in disaster. God is no respecter of persons. Poverty or riches mean nothing to God. Neither do profession or position. All are judged by the same laws set forth by God.

Also, let us be very sensitive to the timing of the last events which we are now experiencing. While the heat of the battle intensifies, we should be aware that it is only God who closes probation, not any man. Even the angels cannot do this. "We know not now who they are; it is not yet made manifest who shall overcome, and share the inheritance of the saints in light;..." Let's not forget that Saul, a staunch Conference man who fiercely persecuted THE church, became Paul AFTER the "Corporate church" leaders had crucified Jesus and AFTER the stoning of Stephen.

DA 641: "Those who minister to others will be ministered unto by the Chief Shepherd. They themselves will drink of the living water, and will be satisfied. They will not be longing for exciting amusements, or for some change in their lives. The great topic of interest will be, how to save the souls that are ready to perish. Social intercourse will be profitable. The love of the Redeemer will draw hearts together in unity. ...

"Love to man is the earthward manifestation of the love of God. It was to implant this love, to make us children of one family, that the King of Glory became one with us. And when His parting words are fulfilled, 'Love one another, as I have loved you;' (JOHN 15:12) when we love the world as He has loved it, then for us His mission is accomplished. We are fitted for heaven; for we have heaven in our hearts."

Those who secure heaven will have a genuine love for their fellow man. When one is called to minister, it involves far more than just preaching. It means service to others - in love. It means having a sincere interest in the well-being of others. Even as the enemy of Christ sought to destroy Him, even through gossip and slander "the church" attempted to destroy His influence and defame His character, even in the face of apparent failure, Jesus demonstrated that He valued every soul. No matter how vile, no matter what present or past sin, Jesus never turned away a soul who came to Him for salvation. Jesus pitied those who refused His invitations of mercy and forgiveness. He NEVER took pleasure in their destruction.

DA 643-4: "There was 'a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.' THIS CONTENTION, CARRIED ON IN THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST, GRIEVED AND WOUNDED HIM. The disciples clung to their favorite idea that Christ would assert His power, and take His position on the throne of David. And in heart each still longed for the highest place in the kingdom. They had placed their own estimate upon themselves and upon one another, and instead of regarding their brethren as more worthy, they had placed themselves first. The request of James and John to sit on the right and left of Christ's throne, had excited the indignation of the others. That the two brothers should presume to ask for the highest position, so stirred the ten that alienation threatened. They felt that they were misjudged, that their fidelity and talents were not appreciated. Judas was the most severe upon James and John. ...

"Another cause of dissension had arisen. At a feast it was customary for a servant to wash the feet of the guests, and on this occasion preparation had been made for the service. The pitcher, the basin, and the towel were there, in readiness for the feet-washing; but no servant was present, and it was the disciples' part to perform it. But each of the disciples, yielding to wounded pride, determined not to act the part of a servant. All manifested a stoical unconcern, seeming unconscious that there was anything for them to do. By their silence they refused to humble themselves.

"How was Christ to bring these poor souls where Satan would not gain over them a decided victory? How could He show that a MERE PROFESSION OF DISCIPLESHIP DID NOT MAKE THEM DISCIPLES, OR INSURE THEM A PLACE IN HIS KINGDOM? How could He show that IT IS LOVING SERVICE, TRUE HUMILITY, WHICH CONSTITUTES REAL GREATNESS? How was He to kindle love in their hearts, and enable them to comprehend what He longed to tell them?

"The disciples made no move toward serving one another. Jesus waited for a time to see what they would do. Then He, the divine Teacher, rose from the table. Laying aside the outer garment that would have impeded His movements, He took a towel, and girded Himself. With surprised interest the disciples looked on, and in silence waited to see what was to follow. 'After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded.' THIS ACTION OPENED THE EYES OF THE DISCIPLES. BITTER SHAME AND HUMILIATION FILLED THEIR HEARTS. THEY UNDERSTOOD THE UNSPOKEN REBUKE, AND SAW THEMSELVES IN ALTOGETHER A NEW LIGHT.

"So Christ expressed His love for His disciples. Their selfish spirit filled Him with sorrow, but He entered into no controversy with them regarding their difficulty. Instead He gave them an example they would never forget. His love for them was not easily disturbed or quenched. He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He came from God, and went to God. He had a full consciousness of His divinity; but He had laid aside His royal crown and kingly robes, and had taken the form of a servant. One of the last acts of His life on earth was to gird Himself as a servant, and perform a servant's part."

Many of us today (not only those in Conference offices) are needing to learn what is defined as "humble service". These passages above were written primarily, in all fairness, about the experiences of the Independent Leaders - that is: those chosen and tested by Christ. THEY were to take a message to the Ancient Adventists (and those connected with "the church") and also to the world, that message was especially attended by the power of the early rain at Pentecost. This "time" and these "events" are being repeated.

You might ask, "How, is this "time" and these "events" being repeated". That is a very good question. Suffice to say, this is another instance where I could write a book on this topic alone. But for now, I will just say this: The Everlasting Gospel - which "the three angels' messages", and the "Midnight Cry" are indeed a part of, is to go to all that dwell on earth--every nation, kindred, tongue and people. When SDAs today have certainly heard and understood ALL those messages, and later violate them, those warning messages henceforth apply to them. Contrary to what "leadership" would have you believe, SDAs are NOT EXEMPT FROM THOSE MESSAGES - because they were "chosen" to give those messages. SDAs are many times more responsible for heeding those messages because they know them better than anyone else!

Has the modern day professing Seventh-day Adventist Church reneged or violated any of those messages? Oh yes friend, it certainly has. It has violated and reneged EVERY ONE OF THOSE MESSAGES. Thus, the warnings now apply also to SDAs! And why shouldn't the messages apply to SDAs if they violate them after knowing them? This is serious for ALL professing Seventh-day Adventists. We must pass these tests if we are to continue to be Christ's disciples.

The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the word of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.--14MR 102 (1903).

Who are these Others [that are] are then chosen to bear important responsibilities ?

As a people, we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time has not lessened their value. It is the constant effort of the enemy to remove these truths from their setting, and to put in their place spurious theories. He will bring in everything that he possibly can to carry out his deceptive designs. But the Lord will raise up men of keen perception, who will give these truths their proper place in the plan of God. {SpTB02 51.2}

God never leaves the world without men who can discern between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness. God has men whom he has appointed to stand in the forefront of the battle in times of emergency. In a crisis, he will raise up men as he did in ancient times. Young men will be bidden to link up with the aged standard-bearers, that they may be strengthened and taught by the experience of these faithful ones, who have passed through so many conflicts, and to whom, through the testimonies of his Spirit, God has so often spoken, pointing out the right way and condemning the wrong way. When perils arise, which try the faith of God's people, these pioneer workers are to recount the experiences of the past, when just such crises came, when the truth was questioned, when strange sentiments, proceeding not from God, were brought in. {RH, Nov. 19, 1903 par. 1}The experience of those aged workers is needed now; for Satan is watching every opportunity to make of no account the old waymarks,--the monuments that have been raised up along the way. We need the experience of the men who through evil report as well as through good report have been steadfast to the truth; men who have not built their house upon the sand, but upon the solid rock. {RH, Nov. 19, 1903 par. 2}

The Lord will raise up men, and place his Spirit upon them, and prepare them for the work which must be done. He himself, the God of truth, will qualify them to bear a fresh, living testimony for him. They will be witnesses for God. They will not spring up from their own prompting; they will be constrained by the Spirit of God to volunteer to advocate truth. God will sustain them. He sees what is needed, and year by year he arranges for his plan of operation. He will not allow men to drift as they choose. If men will be men, God will work in and through them. {RH, May 25, 1897 par. 11}

The old truths, given us at the beginning, are to be heralded far and near. The lapse of time has not lessened their value. It is the constant effort of the enemy to remove these truths from their setting, and to put in their place spurious theories. But the Lord will raise up men of keen perception, who with clear vision will discern the intrigues of Satan, and will give these truths their proper place in the plan of God. {RH, August 20, 1903 par. 8}

The Lord will raise up men to bear the message of truth to the world and to his people. If those in responsible positions do not move onward in the opening providences of God, bearing an appropriate message for this time, the words of warning will be given to others who will be faithful to their trust. Even youthful Christians will be chosen to "cry aloud and spare not." {SSW, April 1, 1892 par. 6}

Here is a Website address, to a Brother whom I truly believe to be one of these men whom: The Lord will raise up men to bear the message of truth to the world and to his people. ... who will give these truths their proper place in the plan of God. ... who with clear vision will discern the intrigues of Satan ... .

The address is: http://omega77.tripod.com/AAAEXP.htm

After we have concluded our study, I would strongly encourage you to visit his website, and invest time studying the Present-Truth found therein. May God help you to stand the test and preserve your integrity. Cling by faith to Jesus. Disappoint not your Redeemer.

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 71, and the prophetic parallels...

DA 646-9: "Like Peter and his brethren, we too have been washed in the blood of Christ, yet often through contact with evil the heart's purity is soiled. We must come to Christ for His cleansing grace. Peter shrank from bringing his soiled feet in contact with the hands of his Lord and Master; but how often we bring our sinful, polluted hearts in contact with the heart of Christ. How grievous to Him is our evil temper, our vanity and pride. Yet all our infirmity and defilement we must bring to Him. He alone can wash us clean. We are not prepared for communion with Him unless cleansed by His efficacy."

We, like Peter, should realize that we must allow the Lord to wash us totally of every defilement. The foot-washing is a "symbol or type" of higher cleansing that comes from Christ alone. It represents: His work of purification in the life of the sinner - sanctification. Judas refused this higher cleansing. Peter realized that without it he would be lost!

Thus we have two "Independent Leaders" with two very different experiences. Judas knew what needed to be done. Judas was drawn to Christ. But Judas refused to be humbled, and instead, he clung to his pride. Judas became possessed by a demon, and then committed suicide. Peter, at first refused the Lord's offer as well. Peter also became aware that he needed to let go of his pride and thus decided that he would. Peter became possessed by the Holy Spirit, and went on to be very productive in spreading the gospel. Two "Independent" ministers: one entered into the cleansing and was saved; one entered not and was lost.

DA 649: "Christ would have His disciples understand that although He had washed their feet, this did not in the least detract from His dignity. 'Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for so I am.' And being so infinitely superior, He imparted grace and significance to the service. No one was so exalted as Christ, and yet He stooped to the humblest duty. That His people might not be misled by the selfishness which dwells in the natural heart, and which strengthens by self-serving, Christ Himself set the example of humility. He would not leave this great subject in man's charge. Of so much consequence did He regard it, that He Himself, One equal with God, acted as servant to His disciples. While they were contending for the highest place, He to whom every knee shall bow, He whom the angels of glory count it honor to serve, bowed down to wash the feet of those who called Him Lord. He washed the feet of His betrayer."

The system (or individual) that tries to make itself greater than others, because of "position" or some "accomplishment", is not of God. God is so great because of His unselfish service to those whom are all much lower than Himself. Those who choose to remain self-serving, although engaged in the "Lord's work", will never be in God's kingdom. A life of humble service is what is great in God's sight. He says: "In My kingdom the principle of preference and supremacy has no place. The only greatness is the greatness of humility. The only distinction is found in devotion to the service of others." (DA 650)

DA 652-3: "Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin-offering, and HE WOULD THUS BRING TO AN END THE SYSTEM OF TYPES AND CEREMONIES THAT FOR FOUR THOUSAND YEARS HAD POINTED TO HIS DEATH. AS HE ATE THE PASSOVER WITH HIS DISCIPLES, HE INSTITUTED IN ITS PLACE THE SERVICE THAT WAS TO BE THE MEMORIAL OF HIS GREAT SACRIFICE. THE NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE JEWS WAS TO PASS AWAY FOREVER. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through ALL ages.

"The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all. The ordinance of the Lord's supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ. Till He shall come the second time in power and glory, THIS ORDINANCE is to be celebrated. It is the means by which His great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds."

The system of "types and ceremonies" which were instituted during the time of Moses was a reminder to the people that God had freed them from the bondage of Egypt. ALL of these were ended "forever" at the cross. It had been Jesus Himself - Who had instructed Moses to institute these "types and ceremonies" and it was this same Jesus Who ended them. It was also this same Jesus Who "instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice". Did you notice that it doesn't say that He added to these ceremonies, but rather instituted in the place of them.

There are several, I believe to be "well-meaning people" who are confused on this very issue and are actively confusing others in their attempts of trying to convince them that "the old ways" should be revived. What these honest, but misguided folks, apparently don't realize is that Jesus was doing away with the ENTIRE Jewish system economy. For four thousand years this system, (which included the slaying of beasts), had gone on. It had started with Adam and his sons AFTER SIN entered the world; twenty-five hundred years later, at the time of Moses, other ceremonies had been added. This is when the Sanctuary service was instituted, as well as all the ceremonies representing "the future death of Christ" (and a reminder of their release from the grips of bondage in Egypt).

What does it mean: "Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies..." ? Something was about to change. Something would be set aside forever, and something else (new) would take the place of the old. Of course, the God (Jesus) Who had instituted one could replace it with another if He so chose - and this IS what He did.

Jesus knew the future. He was about to do away with "the Jews", not trusting them anymore to evangelize the world, nor recognizing them any longer as a nation of "chosen" people. After all, it was He Who had chosen them. They had rejected Him and He was forced to let them go their own way.

As would be consistent with a continued rebellion against the truth, the Jews refused to accept that Christ had "done away with" the "types and CEREMONIES THAT FOR FOUR THOUSAND YEARS HAD POINTED TO HIS DEATH". But Jesus was moving away from the Jewish "leaders". He chose laymen and told them to first re-educate the Jews who would listen, and THEN go to the Gentiles.

Again, as would be expected, those who had rejected Christ but who were exerting their authority in "the church" rose up against the present truth and steadfastly endeavored to retain and enforce the old. This is what the argument in Acts 15 is all about. This is what Colossians 2 is all about. The Bible plainly reveals that these ceremonies were NOT to be laid on the Gentiles. The Bible clearly indicates that all these ceremonies and "their" Sabbaths are of the past. Most Seventh-day Adventists realize this and know the difference between THE Sabbath and A Sabbath. One is the perpetual Sabbath instituted during the creation week, it was here before sin entered into the world and will be here after sin is gone. The other "Sabbaths" were instituted as "high days" as part of the ceremonial laws and passed away at the cross.

These arguments concerning "the feast days" and "their Sabbaths" are nothing new. It was argued vehemently by the Apostate church leaders who had killed Christ. They wouldn't believe Him before the cross and they still didn't believe Him after the cross! No matter how heated folks may get, it is very obvious in God's Word that Gentiles were NOT to be yolked with a burden that Jesus had "blotted out". The Jews were wrong (and still are) to cling to these things, and the Orthodox Jew (the old style Jew who still doesn't accept Christ as the Messiah) is still lost. He is still keeping the ceremonies. He is still keeping the feast days. He is still keeping all those old Sabbaths, but the reason he is doing so is because HE IS STILL REJECTING JESUS!

On the other hand, the Gentiles were NEVER commanded to keep these ceremonies, feast days, or Sabbaths (excepting THE Sabbath) because the Apostles rightly understood they had been replaced with "the new" (covenant) by Jesus Himself, also the originator of "the old" (covenant). Please don't miss this point. IT WAS ONLY THOSE WHO WERE REJECTING CHRIST WHO TRIED TO FORCE THESE THINGS UPON THE GENTILES. I believe many should and need to restudy this issue and stop trying to make "the way of salvation" through the methods of the rejected Jewish nation. I do not have to read mounds of "convincing" information from well-meaning but misguided folks to understand and believe the plain words left to us in God's Word and given to us through the present-day prophet (EGW).

(1 Cor. 11:23-25.) To Feel the Pulse of Conscience.--In this ordinance, Christ discharged His disciples from the cares and burdens of the ancient Jewish obligations in rites and ceremonies. These no longer possessed any virtue; for type was meeting antitype in Himself, the authority and foundation of all Jewish ordinances that pointed to Him as the great and only efficacious offering for the sins of the world. He gave this simple ordinance that it might be a special season when He Himself would always be present, to lead all participating in it to feel the pulse of their own conscience, to awaken them to an understanding of the lessons symbolized, to revive their memory, to convict of sin, and to receive their penitential repentance. He would teach them that brother is not to exalt himself above brother, that the dangers of disunion and strife shall be seen and appreciated; for the health and holy activity of the soul are involved. {5BC 1139.5} This ordinance does not speak so largely to man's intellectual capacity as to his heart. His moral and spiritual nature needs it. If His disciples had not needed this, it would not have been left for them as Christ's last established ordinance in connection with, and including, the last supper. It was Christ's desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed--that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which -1140- the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah. Eating of the body, and drinking of the blood, of Christ, not merely at the sacramental service, but daily partaking of the bread of life to satisfy the soul's hunger, would be in receiving His Word and doing His will (RH June 14, 1898). {5BC 1139.6}

What is to be done today, in substitution for keeping each of those feasts?

Rather than keeping a Passover and wave sheaf, we are to come to Christ, accept Him as our Saviour, confess and forsake our sins, and take hold of His empowering strength to enable us to obey His Written Word. Christ is our Passover now, not attendance at Passover meetings. The antitypical Passover is: being a Christian.

Rather than observing a Pentecost, we are to pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, as the disciples did in antitype. This is to be a morning-by-morning experience. Then we are to go out and witness our faith to others. Share books and tracts, and give Bible studies. The antitypical Pentecost is: evangelism - both personal and public.

Rather than attending a Feast of Trumpets, we are to prepare our hearts for the judgment, and we are to symbolically "blow the trumpet" both in Zion and in the world, warning others to prepare for the coming crisis. We are to call the attention of men and women to the great issues of salvation, which are so summarily stated in Revelation 14:12.

Rather than gathering ourselves to an annual October Day of Atonement meeting, we are, by faith, to gather around the sanctuary above - and, in boldness of holy faith, we are to enter it! Approaching the majestic throne of grace, we are to bow in trembling and supplication - and plead for grace to overcome and witness to others. We are to study the sanctuary message in depth, and we are to share it with others. It is a great tragedy that few of our own people know that message, yet they have been called out of the world with the express commission of sharing that message, as well as other Advent truths, with the world.

We may wish to attend (but are not "obligated" to) a Feast of Tabernacles to rejoice in the blessings God gives us. But, best of all, we may do this all year long - every day of the year! We may express our thanksgiving to Christ for His manifold blessings every day in the year, and do all in our power to encourage and strengthen the faith of everyone we meet throughout the year.

There are those who would still argue that Paul kept the feast days and taught that we must do likewise. However, the servant of the Lord clearly explains the nature of Paul's preaching to the Jews for she states of Paul: When he had given many discourses upon these subjects, he testified that the Messiah had indeed come, and then preached the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. This was the craft which Paul mentions, saying that he caught them with guile. He thus tried to allay prejudice, and win souls to the truth. He refrained from urging upon the Jews the fact that the ceremonial laws were no longer of any force. He cautioned Timothy to remove any occasion for them to reject his labors. He complied with their rules and ordinances as far as was consistent with his mission to the Gentiles. He would not mislead the Jews nor practice deception upon them; but he waived his personal feelings, for the truth's sake. {LP-Sketches from the Life of Paul 161.1} "Some in the church were still striving to mold Christianity after the old customs and ceremonies that were to pass away at the death of Christ....They saw that they had been held in bondage by the Jewish customs and traditions, and that the work of the gospel had been greatly hindered..." {Life of Paul, p 211}

Moving on ...

DA 654: "The disciples had searched one another's faces closely as they asked, 'Lord, is it I?' And now the silence of Judas drew all eyes to him. Amid the confusion of questions and expressions of astonishment, Judas had not heard the words of Jesus in answer to John's question. But now, to escape the scrutiny of the disciples, he asked as they had done, 'Master, is it I?' Jesus solemnly replied, 'Thou hast said.'

"In surprise and confusion at the exposure of his purpose, Judas rose hastily to leave the room."

Only two people knew the true condition, character, and motives of the self-serving Judas. Jesus had labored with him for three and a half years, but Judas (an Independent Leader, by the way) would not surrender. He was indeed "doing the work"; He had a head knowledge of the ways of the Master; He was on the "front lines". But Judas refused to enter into that experience which every saved person must have. Judas did not possess the saving knowledge that is vital in a Christian's life. He did not have an experiential knowledge of Christ. He had even fooled all the other disciples and the laity, but he could not fool Jesus.

Christ demonstrates that there IS a limit to God's forbearance and man's probation in His dealings with this Independent Minister. What we need to learn as professed followers of Christ is that the heavenly principles of truth, mercy, and justice always outweigh human profession and position. It makes no difference what "group" or "camp" you are in so far as this principle is concerned. You can and will be just as lost if you support and follow Judas instead of Jesus.

DA 655-56: "Though Jesus knew Judas from the beginning, He washed his feet. And the betrayer was privileged to unite with Christ in partaking of the sacrament. A longsuffering Saviour held out every inducement for the sinner to receive Him, to repent, and to be cleansed from the defilement of sin. This example is for us. When we suppose one to be in error and sin, we are not to divorce ourselves from him. By no careless separation are we to leave him a prey to temptation, or drive him upon Satan's battle-ground. This is not Christ's method. It was because the disciples were erring and faulty that He washed their feet, and all but one of the twelve were thus brought to repentance."

Oh, the longsuffering of our Lord! We must learn to love and be longsuffering as Jesus was with Judas. Our motives must constantly be checked. There is a time, of course, when we must let one go, but I believe that in many cases we "throw people away" far too quickly. Christ "let Judas go" to do his work of betrayal with deep pity in His heart. He had not carelessly driven Judas onto Satan's ground.

Even in the midst of the battle, the motives of Jesus were pure and noble. He was truly interested in the salvation of souls and not in their destruction. He finds NO pleasure in the destruction of His enemies; (and neither will we if we have His spirit within us). We have ALL been [at one time or another] the enemies of God; and those who have loved God's pity and forgiveness on their own behalf will not carelessly cast-off others. Remember, the bridge of forgiveness you burn may one day be the bridge that you yourself may need to cross.

DA 659-61: "The communion service points to Christ's second coming. It was designed to keep this hope vivid in the minds of the disciples....

"These are the things we are never to forget. The love of Jesus, with its constraining power, is to be kept fresh in our memory. Christ has instituted this service that it may speak to our senses of the love of God that has been expressed in our behalf. There can be no union between our souls and God except through Christ. The union and love between brother and brother must be cemented and rendered eternal by the love of Jesus. And nothing less than the death of Christ could make His love efficacious for us. It is only because of His death that we can look with joy to His second coming. His sacrifice is the center of our hope. Upon this we must fix our faith. ...

"As faith contemplates our Lord's great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.

"As we receive the bread and wine symbolizing Christ's broken body and spilled blood, we in imagination join in the scene of communion in the upper chamber. We seem to be passing through the garden consecrated by the agony of Him who bore the sins of the world. We witness the struggle by which our reconciliation with God was obtained. Christ is set forth crucified among us.

"Looking upon the crucified Redeemer, we more fully comprehend the magnitude and meaning of the sacrifice made by the Majesty of heaven. The plan of salvation is glorified before us, and the thought of Calvary awakens living and sacred emotions in our hearts. Praise to God and the Lamb will be in our hearts and on our lips; for pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the soul that keeps fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary.

"He who beholds the Saviour's matchless love, will be elevated in thought, purified in heart, transformed in character. He will go forth to be a light to the world, to reflect in some degree this mysterious love. The more we contemplate the cross of Christ, the more fully shall we adopt the language of the apostle when he said, 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.' (Gal. 6:14)."

Jesus instituted "the communion service" in order that we would remember Him. We are to keep in our minds that it was with a tremendous struggle that the Father and the Son paid the supreme sacrifice for each of us while we were (or maybe still are) His enemies.

We are, also, to remember the self-sacrificing life of Christ and the path that He trod alone to Calvary in our stead. We, too, have the same path to travel in our own sphere IF we are to share in His glory. And we are not to forget that others are just as precious in Heaven's sight as we are. That is, we are to maintain a respect for the worth of every soul.

The memories of the Communion Service are to "lift us up to higher ground". Above the natural tendencies toward pride and prejudice of the carnal heart is this ceremony - to lift those who would follow Jesus.

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 7

The Desire of Ages

Chapter 73

DA 663: "While He was building mansions for them, they were to build characters after the divine similitude...

"There are not many ways to heaven. Each one may not choose his own way. Christ says, 'I am the way.... No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.'"

Today, many demonstrate either by word, action, or both - that they believe there is more than one way to heaven. These "leaders" are using their influence to try to convince others that it really doesn't matter how we worship God. Remember that Cain had this same attitude. These same folks are also saying that we need not worry so much about forming perfect characters because "Jesus understands we are only human". Unfortunately, most people will continue to believe this lie.

You see, Jesus DOES understand our humanity! And the problem isn't Jesus, but us. We need to understand His divinity! Those who do and trust Jesus all the way will find the ONLY way to heaven. We will discover eventually that all of these "poor little me" arguments to excuse sin are in vain. What good will have been accomplished at that time? It will be forever too late when people see that God was right. We cannot afford to allow this to be our experience. You have all that is necessary for yours to be a success story in the books of heaven. All you need is a sanctified choice (will) and Jesus. IF you will do your part -- Jesus has given His life to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, He will do His part. What good will it have been to have gone to church or anything else if it's all been wasted in the end?

Those who in the end are safe to be saved for eternity will be those who trusted God will all their minds, bodies, and souls. It is a law of the universe that if we choose to place our confidence in man instead of God; if we choose to doubt God's ability to bring us all the way to a perfected character, then our doubts will be realized. It is "all the way" with Christ or "none of the way" with Him. Those who meet Jesus halfway will lose heaven - all the way.

DA 664: "How earnestly and perseveringly our compassionate Saviour sought to prepare His disciples for the storm of temptation that was soon to beat upon them. He would have them hid with Him in God."

It was education time in the "Ancient Adventist Church" and this education Christ came to impart to His disciples. Even these "Independent Ministers" (Christs disciples) who were to take this education TO the Conference (and laity alike) were not prepared for the approaching storm that was to commence WITHIN the Corporate structure. The message that Jesus gave to these men to share would cause them much trouble, but nonetheless, it was the message they were to give IF they would remain faithful. These same messages of warning and education are being brought again at the Lord's command, for the last time. Only those (just as in the Ancient Adventist days), who heed the messages will be protected in the end.

DA 664: "As Christ was speaking these words, the glory of God was shining from His countenance, and all present felt a sacred awe as they listened with rapt attention to His words. Their hearts were more decidedly drawn to Him; and as they were drawn to Christ in greater love, they were drawn to one another."

Much emphasis is placed on "unity" these days within the circles of Adventism. Certainly Jesus prayed for His people to have unity; and all heaven is waiting for this to take place. However: "Christ calls for unity. BUT HE DOES NOT CALL FOR US TO UNIFY ON WRONG PRACTICES. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to UNIFY UPON A TRUE, SPIRITUAL BASIS." (1SM 175)

All this talk of unity will have no value in the sight of God if it isn't based on His high standard. Unity in itself is against God's kingdom if it's based on any other foundation than to hold up truth and the pure principles of the heavenly kingdom. Some day soon, God will have this unity among His true people. Will you and I be among this group? No man can make us do otherwise if this is where we choose to be.

Love for the pure truth of God is the glue that alone will bring this binding together of which so many speak. This unity will ONLY come to those who honestly have the eternal interests of God's government in mind. ONLY those who protect God's throne while on this earth of sin will share in His glory in the world made new. This class is the ONLY one who will survive the great controversy.

DA 664: "The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. JESUS REVEALED NO QUALITIES, AND EXERCISED NO POWERS, THAT MEN MAY NOT HAVE THROUGH FAITH IN HIM. His PERFECT HUMANITY is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was."

If we can partake of Christ's Divine Nature (2 Peter, 1: 4-11), What Power did He Have That we Cannot Have for the Purpose of Overcoming?

"He suffered the death which is was ours, that we might receive the LIFE WHICH WAS HIS". Desire of Ages, p.25.

Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.

Thy way, O God, is in the Sanctuary, Psa 77:13. There is a Sanctuary in heaven. Before the Incarnation, Christ's life (blood) had to be offered in the Sanctuary in heaven. That blood, HIS LIFE, HIS "HOLY" SPIRIT was shed (DIVESTED) FOREVER. The very being of Christ, AS HIS BLOOD AND SPIRIT EXISTING TOGETHER, in His first Estate, WAS SET-ASIDE, SEPARATED, SHED, WAS TAKEN FROM CHRIST FOREVER, to be shared with us as: "the Holy Spirit (Ghost)". This satisfied the requirement of the death of the Testator (Covenant Maker), inasmuch as Christ left that first Estate of His pre-Incarnated Being FOREVER, to be invested with His humanity, thus comprising a New, Third, Member of the Godhead.

There is a meaning to all this that is opposed to the erroneous Trinity doctrine. The trinity doctrine does not include humanity as becoming part and parcel of the Godhead FOREVER via Christ's humanity, and does not include the fact that the Holy Spirit, the PRE-INCARNATE DIVINE LIFE OF CHRIST (symbolized by His blood) is given to all who will partake of it for the purpose of overcoming all sin this side of glorification.

"But through the power of the incarnation of Christ, God manifest in the flesh, the strength of God is revealed in gentleness and beauty. To 'as many as received him, to them gave he POWER to become the sons of God.' By this POWER we may OVERCOME OUR EVIL TENDENCIES and so modify our imperfect dispositions that the will of God may be fulfilled in us."--Letter 79, May 7, 1903, to J.A. Burden and wife. E.G. White, The Upward Look, 141.

The power is in the blood, the Spirit, the life of Christ. Christ relinquished FOREVER the life (blood-Spirit) that WAS His, to give it to us who deserved nothing but death. This was the purpose of the Incarnation. This is what the Third Person of the Godhead demonstrates. The third person of the Godhead demonstrates more than "divinity", or "three persons as God". It demonstrates the Godhead adopting humanity FOREVER (2 Cor. 4:6; 5:19). Christ is the head of that humanity body, and those who receive him comprise the rest of the body. Thus, the Godhead includes far more than the erroneous doctrine of the Trinity teaches. The trinity doctrine omits the very adoption of humanity by the Godhead, and into the Godhead. This is a most important distinction between the trinity doctrine's version of the Godhead, and the actual facts concerning the True Godhead. Succinctly put: The trinity doctrine robs us of our inheritance as Christian believers. Declaring: "It is a mystery, which cannot be understood." makes our witness to others often weak, if not impotent. Not only does it rob us, it robs God of the Glory due Him!

Thus it is that Adventist pioneers believed that the trinity doctrine did total despite to the ATONEMENT, and THE VERY PURPOSE OF THE ATONEMENT. It was not merely to save all who name the name of Christ. It was to redeem and restore man to the image of God - NOW, in this present life, by receiving the LIFE OF CHRIST, HIS HOLY SPIRIT - NOW. Christ, coming in sinful flesh, proved the feasibility, the viability of this schema of things. Thus, a proper understanding of the Human Nature of Christ is paramount to a proper understanding of the Godhead, and a proper understanding of man's role and responsibility in the process of redemption. We will look more into this when we reach page 671.

Moving on.

DA 667: "All who will go to work, trusting not in what they themselves can do, but in what God can do for and through them, will certainly realize the fulfillment of His promise. 'Greater works than these shall ye do,' He declares: 'because I go unto my Father.'"

Do you believe that Jesus has enough power to overcome all the sin in your life? Do you believe that Jesus is your only hope if you are to be an overcomer? Do you believe that Jesus will help you cease from liking whatever sin it is that you may be holding on to? If you can answer "yes" to the preceding questions, Brother or Sister, there is hope! But you and I must be willing to put it ALL on the altar of the Lord. We must be willing to agonize, if need be, in order to overcome. As Christ overcame through this agonizing in the garden, so we too must travel this road. Remember, sanctification is a lifelong process, not a single event. God is not building for just a moment, but for eternity.

There are three identifying marks of "the remnant". We hear of two of them quite often, but we need to understand the third much more than we seem to. The "remnant" will keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. But this is not all. The "remnant" also will have the faith OF Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to have the faith OF Jesus Christ? It means that the people who comprise the remnant, the only "church that's going through", will have the same faith that Jesus had. This faith is much more than a profession of belief. This faith believes with the total soul. It's THE faith that the entire universe possesses. This is the ONLY faith that entrusts itself completely and totally to the Heavenly Father. It is total trust, total commitment, total partnership with the Creator. This faith is the secret ingredient, (and the only one), that will ensure total victory. This living faith will, for eternity, bar sin from ever returning to God's expansive domain. Only those who obtain this faith will be trusted with the responsibilities of the faithful. The wonderful, wonderful news of Adventism is that all of heaven is active in giving us "all the help we need" to make the faith of Jesus our own - IF we want it more than anything else. But we must want it just as much as Jesus wanted it. We must want it enough to "lay down our own lives" for the Father, for Jesus said: He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

The Doctrine of the Remnant Church

I hesitate about using the phrase "remnant church". The phrase "remnant church" does not appear anywhere in the original Testimonies as published by James and Ellen White. For proof of this, search the White-estate (the whiteestate.org website or the Ellen G White Complete cd), search for "remnant_church" and specify "OT" (Original Testimonies) for the books to search. You will come up with zero paragraphs because the phrase does not exist in the original works.

The description of "the remnant" in the Bible is strongly contrasted with the concept of an "organized church". The "remnant" in Rev. 12:17 is stated to be the "remnant of her seed". The word "her" refers to "the woman or church" which "goes before the remnant". THAT CHURCH is readily identifiable in the Christian churches that existed during the 1260 year reign of the Papacy from 538 to 1798 A.D. The "remnant" is NOWHERE called "a woman or a church", and by contrast with the symbol of "a woman" used to describe the foregoing organizations must be understood to be something other than "an organized church".

Thus, any reference to a "remnant church" must be wrong and contrary to the Bible. This exact phrase, ("the remnant church"), occurs MANY times in the writings published as the work of Ellen White, but NOT ONE OF THEM OCCURS BEFORE the death of James White. After his death, the Conference gained control of the publication of her works, and, as we will shortly see, fabricated a "new" theology.

Examples of the use of the phrase "remnant church" abound in Conference-controlled publications. You can easily find all of these locations where the treacherous phrase, "remnant church", exists by simply searching the White-estate website, or The Ellen White Complete Published Edition cd,for "remnant church". What you won't find, is a single use of that phrase before 1883. James White died in 1881.

Clearer proofs of the manipulation of the writings of Mrs. White by the conference leaders and editors can be found in the nine volumes of the Testimonies which were published under the direction of Uriah Smith AFTER James White died. Prior to his death, James White had jointly published 30 small volumes of Testimonies with his wife. These volumes were published "independently" (of the Conference) by the couple up until his death. After that time, Uriah Smith and his "committee of 5" (W. C. White, Uriah Smith--chairman, J. H. Waggoner, S.N. Haskell, George I Butler - R&H Nov. 27, 1883), undertook to republish all of the Testimonies, regrouping the works into fewer (than 30) volumes.

In volume five, we read: "Zechariah's vision of Joshua .... They will 'be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends.'" Testimonies for the Church, Volume Five, p. 472, Chap. 54, Para. 2.

The entire paragraph cited above from 5T does not occur anywhere in the original testimonies. It seems to be a pure invention of the Conference men. In like manner, the following paragraph from volume 6 contains the same unbiblical phrase and does not appear in any paragraph in the original works which corresponds.

"Mysteries into which angels desire to look, ... explains the deliverance wrought out by the great sacrifice He made." Testimonies for the Church, Volume Six, p. 19, Chap. 1, Para. 4.

Another example is perhaps worth mentioning. Two years after the death of Mrs. White, the Conference published the book "Prophets and Kings" in 1917 with her name on it as the Author. It is practically certain that she never had anything to do with that book. I have never found any reference in her writings, including her diaries, where she ever referred to preparing a manuscript for this book.

Little wonder then that we find the contradiction with the Bible in this book also. "Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing scenes of the great day of atonement. The remnant church will then be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects; he has gained control even of many professing Christians. But here is a little company who are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God. Men will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law." Prophets and Kings, p. 587, Chap. 47, Para. 2.

This paragraph, just quoted, contradicts a statement on Page 1 of "Spaulding and Magan". It is my understanding that the Spaulding and Magan volume was published outside (or independent) of Conference control (just like the 30 original testimonies published by James and Ellen White were published), and that the letters which comprise that volume were also "held" outside of the E. G. White Estate.

In the following quote from that uncorrupted volume, we can clearly see that EGW foresaw two very distinct groups of Adventists, one of whom she called "nominal Adventists and nominal Church". The nominal Adventists / nominal Church (or Conference) were those who would turn out to hate the second group because the second group, (the remnant - NOT nominal), would continue to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath and the nominal Adventists could not disprove that doctrine.

"I saw the nominal church and nominal Adventists, like Judas, would betray us to the Catholics to obtain their influence to come against the truth. The saints then will be an obscure people, little known to the Catholics; but the churches and nominal Adventists who know of our faith and customs (for they hated us on account of the Sabbath, for they could not refute it) will betray the saints and report them to the Catholics as those who disregard the institutions of the people; that is, that they keep the Sabbath and disregard Sunday. [Spaulding-Magan Collection p. 1 para. 05]" 1852 Manuscripts, p. 13, Para. 2.

Here, in the original writing of Sister Ellen White, we find that she clearly recognized a difference between "church Adventism" and "the remnant". The "Adventist church" is shown to be a persecuting power which persecutes the other group of Adventists. Furthermore, this church is stated to be the "nominal church". "Nominal church" can ONLY mean Seventh-day Adventist Church because that is the only church with "the name". The second group is NOT described as "a church", just as the Bible does not describe the remnant as a church or woman.

We have clearly seen: two different theologies presented. Mrs. White presents the remnant as a non-church (per se') who are persecuted BY the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Conference-controlled materials present the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a "remnant church", which will themselves be persecuted. We have seen entire paragraphs with false theology passed off as the authentic writings of Ellen White.

The only possible conclusion to this conundrum is that the Conference changed at least one doctrine in order to cause Adventists to continue to cling to their church. (Note: I have not attempted to quote every occurrence of the phrase "remnant church" because there are simply too many. Also, it is not within the scope of this study to do so. Nonetheless, after it's first creation in 1883, it seems to have been a popular "catch phrase" which was repeated over and over in the Conference literature - End note). Therefore, certain portions of The Testimonies, as published by the Conference, are indeed corrupt, and are not generally usable for doctrine. They have been shown to repeatedly disagree with the Bible. As shocking as this is, it ought not come to us as a big surprise. For Mrs. White publicly recognized that certain influential leaders were manipulating her writings in her day. She wrote of the Omega of apostasy; She said the omega would surely develop and wax stronger until Jesus comes (SpTB07 57.1); She said: Books of a new order would be written (1SM 204-5); She wrote: "The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our own people in the Testimonies ...". Today, we see far too many professed Adventists questioning the inspiration of Ellen White's writings (as a whole) - which I believe, to be a direct result of that very manipulation of her writings by the Adventist leaders.

At this point, I would like to clarify something. Yes, Ellen White was aware, and personally approved of, certain "editing" of her writings. But there was also some "editing" in which she did NOT approve of. And there was also some "editing" in which she did not know of. Furthermore, based upon the fact that the leaders were doing such when she was alive, and considering the prophecies she made concerning the Seventh-day Adventist Church, then it is not unreasonable to suspect that such "editing" and manipulation of her writings is still going on today - in order to cause Adventists to continue to cling to their church.

One more example before moving on. How many times have you heard (or even said yourself) words to the effect of: ".. counsel of the True Witness OF the Laodiceans ..", or ".. message OF the Laodiceans .."? Look at Maranatha 201.4, this is the ONLY occurance, in all of Ellen White's writings where you will find this exact phrase. This book was published in 1976. On the other hand, search Ellen White's writings for ".. Witness TO the Laodiceans .." and ".. message TO the Laodiceans ..". You will find about 50 places with the precise phrase "to the laodiceans". Friends, It is either TO or OF, it cannot both!

There is indeed a message TO Laodiceans by the true reformers. Ellen White says that Laodicea is the foolish virgins state of the church (RH, August 19, 1890 par. 10). Ellen White said that the shaking would be caused by a "startling denunciation" of straight testimony TO the Laodiceans. How can a message arising OF (from) the foolish virgins reform the other foolish virgins when the presence of God is not in any of their midst's? What messages OF or from Laodicea are CAUSING the shaking? Point me to messages from folk like Doug Bachelor, Mark Finley, and/or ANY other SDA minister, that are a startling denunciation of Laodicea's true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness ... testimony so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks. Show me a "most startling message" from any SDA pastor that is a startling denunciation of Laodiceans, and I will show you a false prophet in the person of Ellen White, because she said that the dumb-dog watchmen would NEVER AGAIN, show the House of Jacob their sins. If there is a most startling denunciatory message from any Conference employed SDA pastor (watchman), then Ellen White would thus be a false prophet (which she was not!). The only most startling and denunciatory messages involving Laodiceans that I know of are from the "Independents" camp, and those messages are TO the Laodiceans. If you believe that an apostate church is going to give straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness, then I implore you to please get on your knees and beg God to give you the eyesalve of Revelation 3.

The White-estate and the Adventist leaders pride themselves on carefully examining and scrutinizing every jot and tittle, before releasing a SOP book or compilation. Since "OF the Laodiceans" has indeed recently become a popular "catch phrase" within Adventist circles, and is constantly repeated over and over in the Conference literature (of the past 30 years), given all the evidence above, I find it extremely difficult to accept any notion that Maranatha 201.4 is a honest "typo" mistake.

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 73, and the prophetic parallels...

DA 667: "As yet the disciples were unacquainted with the Saviour's UNLIMITED RESOURCES AND POWER. He said to them, 'Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name.' (John 16:24.) He explained that the secret of their success would be in ASKING FOR STRENGTH AND GRACE in His name. He would be present before the Father to make request for them. The prayer of the humble suppliant He presents as His own desire in that soul's behalf. Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven. It may not be fluently expressed; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the Father without one awkward, stammering word, beautiful and fragrant with the incense of His own perfection."

If we are honestly seeking to follow God's will, although we may not know how to ask properly, Jesus takes our personal requests upon Himself and presents them in such a manner that the Father is pleased to grant to us the blessing sought. Here is an interesting statement from the pen of inspiration: "The Holy Spirit will make intercession for the sincere petitioner with groanings which cannot be uttered ..." (RH, November 19, 1895 par. 9, RH, February 9, 1897 par. 10). Is there a contradiction here? No. Upon this point, I would encourage you to re-read the earlier portion of this chapter found between pages DA 664 & 667 (more about this in a moment).

How may one grow in grace? "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;....knowledge;....temperance;.... patience;....godliness;....brotherly kindness; ....charity". 2 Peter 1:5-8. This is all related to the three angel's messages which are capstoned thusly: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus". Revelation 14:12.

Jesus Christ is the author of salvation to all who obey Him by His proffered grace power given to us as an unmerited favor gift to all who sincerely repent - and sincere repentance involves a sincere attempt at overcoming sin in the life - aka: obedience. Remember, He is the author of salvation to all who obey Him. This sincere repentance is our effort to obey Him, and the power for the effort is provided as a free gift.

We can receive grace or divine influence power upon the heart in order to obey God. This we do by partaking of His Divine Nature, His Spirit - which is obvoiusly "Holy". Is there power in divine influence? Yes! We are admonished to partake of that same Divine Nature, and such would be in vain if it did not provide influential power.

Some call this perfectionism. Some call it legalism. God calls this "a prescription for salvation" for all who will obey. To deny this truth is to deny the gift. Thus, we do despite to one of the prime purposes of the incarnation Atonement, that of restoring man to the image of God.

DA 667-8: " 'In My name,' Christ bade His disciples pray. In Christ's name His followers are to stand before God. Through the value of the sacrifice made for them, they are of value in the Lord's sight. Because of the imputed righteousness of Christ they are accounted precious. For Christ's sake the Lord pardons those that fear Him. He does not see in them the vileness of the sinner. He recognizes in them the likeness of His Son, in whom they believe.

"The Lord is disappointed when His people place a low estimate upon themselves. He desires His chosen heritage to value themselves according to the price He has placed upon them. God wanted them, else He would not have sent His Son on such an expensive errand to redeem them. He has a use for them, and He is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises.

"But to pray in Christ's name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour's promise is given on condition. 'If ye love Me,' He says, 'keep My commandments.' He saves men, NOT IN SIN, BUT FROM SIN; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.

"All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart-work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.

"AS CHRIST LIVED THE LAW IN HUMANITY, SO WE MAY DO if we will take hold of the Strong for strength."

It is true that we are not to be proud and selfish. We are to esteem others better than ourselves, as well. But the fact that heaven paid such a high price for our redemption should help us to realize that we are valued highly in the eyes of the Father. Have you ever had a friend who you KNEW valued you? Perhaps, the two of you had been through a lot together, and your friendship had stood the test. As a matter of fact, on reflection about some of the hard times, you have come to realize that these "times" helped to cement the relationship even more. This is a miniaturized reflection of how God feels about you, my friend. It is hard to explain the love of God, but He has proven to us this love IS real.

The Father is not looking for people who have learned to follow a set of do's and don'ts. The majority of Earth's inhabitants have been taught that God is lurking somewhere, everywhere, just waiting to "pounce on them" when they sin or even make "honest" mistakes. With this belief, is it any wonder that the requirements of God seem negative to most Christians? What the Father is really "lurking" around for is to find someone to appreciate Him, just as we would appreciate a true friend who has done much for us. God will have a people who finally realize their Best Friend has paid the supreme sacrifice because He so much wants them to be with Him. With this belief intact, they will understand rightly that they are so much in His debt, they will literally do anything for Him. And this is exactly what they will be doing for eternity. Eternity with God will be living with your Best Friend forever.

Those who will be saved out of this last generation, and especially the 144,000, will understand this love relationship better than any other generation before it. True obedience can never come from a heart that HAS to do what the Lord says. True obedience comes from a heart that WANTS to do what the Lord says because that heart wants to please their Best Friend.

DA 669: "When for the truth's sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side. All the reproaches that fall upon him, fall upon Christ. Christ is condemned over again in the person of His disciple. When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love."

When the battle really heats up, as it surely will, the Lord has promised to bring the needed help. We are not to be concerned about this, for "Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer" (DA 670).

Already we are seeing examples of how family members and many in "the Church structure" follow the mandates of the leadership to shun or ignore the true and the faithful. We are now getting glimpses of our own future, Brothers and Sisters. The treatment of those who are preaching and standing for the plain truth is but a prelude of worse, much worse abuses to come. But Jesus has promised that though these things would happen and all would forsake us, as they forsook Him, yet He would NEVER leave us.

DA 670: "Jesus had opened before His disciples a vast tract of truth. BUT IT WAS MOST DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO KEEP HIS LESSONS DISTINCT FROM THE TRADITIONS AND MAXIMS OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES. THEY HAD BEEN EDUCATED TO ACCEPT THE TEACHING OF THE RABBIS AS THE VOICE OF GOD, AND IT STILL HELD A POSER OVER THEIR MINDS, AND MOLDED THEIR SENTIMENTS. Earthly ideas, temporal things, still had a large place in their thoughts. They did not understand the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, though He had so often explained it to them. Their minds had become confused. They did not comprehend the value of the scriptures Christ presented. Many of His lessons seemed almost lost upon them."

When I read this statement above, I thought how nothing, absolutely nothing has changed since two thousand years ago. The trouble in Christ's day and the trouble in our own day is the same. I looked up four key words in the quotation and thought it very interesting:

The word "maxims" -- rules of conduct written in precise form. I thought about the "church" manual immediately. 2-"Scribes" -- official writers, copyists, editors. I immediately thought of the Review & Herald. 3-"Pharisees" -- (primarily leaders) who insisted on the validity of the tradition of the Elders. I immediately thought about Conference Committees who enforce "commandments" by opinion or popular vote. Thus, putting man's opinion above God's requirements. 4-"Sentiments" -- a mental attitude or response to a person, subject or idea conditional entirely by feeling instead of reason. I knew this was speaking of the reason "the church" is in so much trouble. People are acting upon "feeling" instead of principle. After looking up these words, I put the above DA 670 quotation into the modern day language and this is how it reads:

"Jesus had opened before His Independent Leaders a vast tract of truth. But it was most difficult for them to keep His lessons distinct from the traditions and church manual and writings of the Review and the Conference. They had been educated by these same people to accept the teaching of the Conference as the voice of God, and it still held a power over their minds and molded their feelings".

Of course, this was before the upper room experience but it demonstrates all too well just the situation in which most Adventists find themselves. Most Adventists are placing their confidence in the wrong place. Most Adventists are confused and are having a difficult time taking God at His Word. Most Adventists have been educated by the Conference Leaders to accept whatever they say as "the voice of God". But here is what the prophet of The Lord has to say about that: "...We hear that the voice of the Conference is the voice of God, but IT IS NOT, because some in connection with it are not men of faith and prayer, they are not men of elevated principle." (Manuscript Release # 365).

Two thousand years ago the disciples and the general populace of "the church" had some real problems with Jesus because they had been educated by their Conference Leaders to believe that the Conference was the voice of God. When Jesus tried to show them the truth, they were confused and upset that Jesus had such an apparent disregard for that which was sacred to them. Nonetheless, Jesus forged ahead with the work of re-educating the people who would listen.

The Conference was on one side and Jesus on the other. The Conference was telling the people that Christ was a liar and an imposter. They were telling the people that "the church was going through". Of course, the people automatically equated "the church" with "the Conference" because of the way they had been taught by these same men. Their sentiments (feelings) had been molded in such a fashion as to effectively block the work of Christ.

Today, the exact same thing is happening throughout the ranks of Adventism. The sentiments of the people are the same as in former days. The confusion is also the same, as well as the effectiveness of the Conference. But in former times, not all the people stayed confused. There were some who finally took Jesus at His word. It was (as it is now) these who "went through" - not the Conference. It was these who were "the REAL church that went through" and Biblical history dictates these facts. The Conference is NOT "the church"! And the Conference is NOT "going through"! God's church is made up of people who follow Him; not traditions and maxims of Scribes and Pharisees who don't follow Him.

It was not Christ's purpose to be at odds with the very system He had raised up. Christ came to save the lost and make salvation sure for all those who would except His truth. But here's where the "rub" comes in:

Christ ended up at odds with the counter system because that system stood directly in the way of His real purpose, which was saving people. The Conference of His day was leading the people contrary to His Father's will and hence not to heaven, but to hell. This left Christ with no choice but to oppose this corrupt Conference.

Most of us who find ourselves in the exact position of that in Christ's day have not purposed in life to be at odds with the system that Christ has raised up. We want to do the same work that Christ did, and has called us to do, which is bringing the truth of salvation to the people. But the Conference is standing directly in the way of truth. The modern Conference, like the ancient one, is leading the people contrary to the Father's will and hence not to heaven, but to hell. This leaves us with no choice but to oppose this corrupt Conference. They may be proclaiming, "The church is going through". But, as in the old days, they mean that "the Conference is going through". Frankly, we know better because the principles of God have NOT changed since two thousand years ago. We understand prophecy, and, that the same history WILL, without a doubt, bring the same result.

I realize the process of which I speak is sometimes painful and upsetting. For we humans are creatures of habit, and it's hard for us to change and come to some of these realizations. As the disciples said, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" But Jesus understands this all too well and He WILL help us if we seek it. If we don't seek His help, we will never come to understand: "We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed." (1 SM 37).

Whether we like it, whether we admit it, or however we choose to deal with it - we are living in the mirror image of Christ's day, His first coming. The situation is the exact same and our choices, as in the days of old, WILL determine not so much IF the church is going through, but IF we are in THE church that does!

Dear friends, I would never ask you to take my word for these things. That's what led most "Ancient Adventists" into trouble and that's what is causing the trouble now - people taking a man at his word. (There is indeed: A time and A place to take a man at his word, but spiritual matters is neither THE time nor THE place). The Bible says that the ONLY way to prove things is: to the law and to the testimony. Please don't take any man's word, but rather study to show yourself approved. This is our only safety. We can have confidence that Jesus is still leading and through His Holy Spirit, guide you into all truth - if this truly is your desire.

DA 671: "The Comforter is called 'the Spirit of truth.' His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. IT IS THROUGH FALSE THEORIES AND TRADITIONS THAT SATAN GAINS HIS POWER OVER THE MIND. BY DIRECTING MEN TO FALSE STANDARDS, HE MISSHAPES THE CHARACTER. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself."

Can you comprehend these words, Brothers and Sisters? Jesus is showing us HOW the deception comes. He is showing us not only how and why the Conference of His day rejected him, but how and why we are living in THE parallel time. Thirty years ago, the "Religious Liberty Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" warned the Church to keep the "Charismatic Movement" OUT of the system! Now, the Charismatic Movement is well received by professed Adventists. We know it today as the "Celebration Movement". As a matter of fact, a few years ago, one of the "king-pins" who helped to bring this whole movement into the Adventist system got a call to become a member of the General Conference, (coming from Oregon Conference). Thus giving additional manifistation of: "By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character".

Through the New Theology and the Church Manual, Satan gains his power over the mind. This IS EXACTLY what has happened in the Adventist structure and why "it WON'T go through". Oh, some, perhaps many, will say that I can't possibly know what I am speaking about. After all, as defective as it is, the Lord has promised that the church is going through.

What I fear that most do not realize are two things of premier importance. 1- God's promises to anyone, or any organization or any nation are ALWAYS CONDITIONAL - based on obedience. The one who expects the promise to come true is expected to hold to his end of the contract. 2- You have to realize what God's church is. How will we know what His church is? Well the study that you are now doing in Desire of Ages is a good place to find out. For it is in the inspired words which tell the history of our forefathers where the secret lies. Why do you suppose Jesus has been so particular in having these things written? He meant what He said, and He said what He meant - period. Why do you think the Bible plainly says these things were written down for those whom the end of the Earth comes upon? These are NOT cunningly devised fables or just bedtime stories. Our very existence depends on our acceptance of God's Word as it is stated. It is not God Who is trying to deceive us, but demon inspired men who are. What we have such a hard time accepting is that "we have far more to fear from within than without". It is INSIDE "the system" where we must fear the enemy the most. And if we look at the past with an honest seeking for truth, we shall learn the lessons that Christ desires us to know and which we must know.

DA 671: "The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this Satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. CHRIST HAS GIVEN HIS SPIRIT AS A DIVINE POWER TO OVERCOME ALL HEREDITARY AND CULTIVATED TENDENCIES TO EVIL, AND TO IMPRESS HIS OWN CHARACTER UPON HIS CHURCH."

For forty centuries the power of evil had steadily strengthened before Jesus came the first time. It has now been sixty centuries and we are practically told "the days in which we live are worse than when Jesus was here" (9T 11.1-3, etc..). Two thousand years ago, did the church that claimed to be THE church take on Christ's character? Was THAT Conference, which made the exact same profession that the modern-day Conference is now making, THE church? Is the same question directed at the current Conference any less valid simply because it lays at our own door? Who is God's church? The Conference which refuses the high standards of Heaven or those who accept the character of Christ and become overcomers?

Earlier, I mentioned: At times it's difficult for an author to not capitalize, underline, and embolden the whole paragraph. I must admit that this is one of those times. These few words are loaded with information which will take us far down the path of understanding if we desire to know why they were left for us. Well friends, this is another one of those times. Even though it momentarily takes us away from our main objective of studying prophetic parallels, it would be foolish to not take advantage of these opportunities to discover and understand deeper truths that the Lord has provided for us.

There are many professed Seventh-day Adventists who, in support of the trinity doctrine, say that Ellen White changed the anti-trinitarian thinking of the church by writing a book called "The Desire of Ages" in 1898 - which is the very book we are now studying. They say that when people began to read this book they came to understand that God is really a trinity. They say it was Ellen White who changed the thinking of the church. Now, let us notice something most significant. Most of us are reasonably familiar with Scripture and the writings of Ellen White; so I want to ask this: Do you agree that Ellen G. White would've been classed as a false prophet if she held "heretical views" on the Godhead? Do you agree that Ellen G. White would've been classed as a false prophet if she consistantly contradicted herself? Do you believe that God gives revelation to people or groups who subscribe to "heretical doctrines", like denying the Trinity?

Friends, I believe with all my heart and soul, that Ellen G. White was/is a True Prophet of God - The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, Moses, David, Elijah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Paul, and John the Revelator.

Furthermore, my objective is not necessarily to disprove the trinity doctrine. My prime purpose is to interpret Ellen White's statements [on whatever subject] so that nothing contradicts (RH, November 25, 1884 par. 24). In an effort to do that very thing, it will be proven that Ellen White was NOT a trinitarian. It will be proven that those who advocate her as being "trinitarian", thus make her into a false prophet. And more importantly, it will be proven how the trinity doctrine destroys the Atonement and the Sanctuary Service messages. I cannot overstate how vital it is that we understand this.

Now please, let us review the Desire of Ages paragraph immediately above, this time, paying extra attention to the portions that are underlined, as well as the portion that is capitalized: DA 671: "The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this Satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. CHRIST HAS GIVEN HIS SPIRIT AS A DIVINE POWER TO OVERCOME ALL HEREDITARY AND CULTIVATED TENDENCIES TO EVIL, AND TO IMPRESS HIS OWN CHARACTER UPON HIS CHURCH."

Most SDAs do not recognize the subject of the Godhead as a Landmark or Pillar doctrine of pioneer Seventh-day Adventism: "Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor." (E.G. White, Manuscript Releases 760 9.5) "I entreat every one to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God's Word are plain. Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality, which denies the personality of God and of Christ." (Review and Herald, August 31, 1905 par. 11) "The Father and the Son each have a personality. Christ declared: "I and My Father are one." Yet it was the Son of God who came to the world in human form. Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity through His infinite sacrifice might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust." (9T pages 67-68)

Is it not interesting that Ellen White does NOT mention the personality of the Holy Spirit in the above statements? IF the Holy Spirit has been the third person of the Godhead since eternity past, then why does she not mention Him? The reason she does not is because she elsewhere defines the personality of the Holy Spirit to be that of the life and soul of Christ, and it would thus be redundant to mention the personality of the Holy Spirit as extra to that of God and Christ.

What Was the Landmark SDA Teaching Concerning the Identity of the Holy Spirit? "The Power of God in the Third Person.--The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit." (E.G. White, Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37) {1897}. DA 671: "Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead ...".

The Bible says that it is Jesus, God's Son, whom the Father sent to bless us, turning away every one of us from our iniquities. Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. The "power of evil" is synonymous with iniquity, so unless Ellen White disagreed with the Bible, (and she did not!), we know that the Son is the Holy Spirit - which is the ONLY agency which holds in check or resists the prince of the power of evil or iniquity.

Did Ellen White Say that the Holy Spirit was Christ? "Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin. In the gift of the Spirit (HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE), Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow. ... The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. ... It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." (E.G. White, Review and Herald , May 19, 1904 par. 1, 2, 3).

Thus we have the landmark pillar doctrine teaching of the pioneers concerning the Godhead. It becomes clear that any other doctrine would work total despite to the Atonement and the Sanctuary doctrine as well as the terms of the Everlasting Covenant, which demanded the death of the Testator.

What the Trinity Doctrine blasphemes is the fact that Jesus shed His Holy Spirit FOREVER, to become invested with humanity. This is one of the greatest condescension's of the Incarnation, and the Trinity Doctrine denies this great sacrifice on the part of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The trinity doctrine teaches that this other spirit which is separate from Christ's breath of His own Spirit, His own life, abides in men, rather than the life of CHRIST'S OWN LIFE abiding in men. This is an abomination. This is blasphemy. This is antichrist. James White, J.N. Andrews, and ALL the other SDA pioneers recognized this truth.

The regeneration--regenerating agency was NOT Christ's death on the cross. It was something else without which "His sacrifice on the cross would have been of no avail". That "something else", was His Holy Spirit mind, soul and breath, in addition to His blood shed on the cross. The other three--the Holy Spirit mind, soul and breath, was shed or laid aside at His Incarnation, to be [later] given to us, as a gift, for the purpose of regeneration-regenerating us into the image of God. THAT was the highest good and the crowing gift that Christ gave to us, NOT only the death of His humanity on the Cross. For without the regenerating Holy Spirit life, breath and soul (mind) of Christ, sin could have proliferated forever. That is another reason why the truth of this issue is so relevant to the Sacrifice of Christ and EVERYTHING He sacrificed - not just the cross. The Cross Sacrifice provided for justification. The Incarnation Sacrifice provided for sanctification.

"Christ gives them the breath of HIS OWN SPIRIT, the life of HIS OWN LIFE. The HOLY SPIRIT puts forth its highest energies to work in the heart and mind." (E.G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 827). All this could mean is: exactly what Ellen White says that it means. The Holy Spirit is the life, breath and soul of Christ - imparted to us as a regenerating agency, made possible for the first time under the New Covenant, by Christ "laying aside that life" and "bequeathing it to us". If Christ had not given His original life Holy Spirit as a regenerating agency, then His sacrifice on the Cross would have been of no avail, because man could never have overcome and the Sanctuary would never have been cleansed. The Cross provided justification for sins past, but the Holy Spirit life, breath and soul of Christ, which He possessed in Heaven before His Incarnation into humanity, was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for sanctification, overcoming, and the final cleansing of the Sanctuary. Without this gift the Sanctuary would never be cleansed.

This is what Ellen White was referring to, when in the Alpha of Apostasy, she saw THE SANCTUARY GONE--THE ATONEMENT GONE. In other words, IF Christ did not give us His original state-of-being Holy Spirit as a regenerating agency, the Atonement could have never been complete and would have been of no avail.

Sanctuary Gone Atonement Gone -- "In a representation which passed before me, I saw a certain work being done by medical missionary workers. Our ministering brethren were looking on, watching what was being done, but they did not seem to understand. The foundation of our faith, which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of the Scriptures, was being taken down, pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon--the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone." (E.G. White, The Upward Look, p.152). This is what the Omega Heresy of the trinity doctrine has achieved. It completely denies that Christ sacrificed His personal Holy Spirit at His Incarnation. Acceptance of the trinity doctrine makes the Atonement and the Sanctuary Service null and void, because it is by CHRIST'S PERSONAL Holy SPIRIT that sanctification is effected. The trinity doctrine teaches that Christ did not sacrifice His personal Holy Spirit. The trinity doctrine teaches that the Holy Spirit was another separate and distinct person from - the person of the Son.

Without the sacrifice of the Son's own personal Holy Spirit, AT HIS INCARNATION, to be given as a regenerating agency, the entire sacrifice of Christ would be null and void and the requirement of the FOREVER death of the Testator of the Covenant - would not be met.

The Scriptural answer to this conundrum is that the Holy Spirit was and is the life, breath and soul of the Son, until the Son gave up His first state-of-being (pure Divinity) to be forever linked with humanity at His Incarnation. This is the ONLY answer that makes all Ellen White statements on the subject of the Godhead, interpret so that nothing contradicts.

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 73, and the prophetic parallels...

DA 672: "Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like EVERY OTHER PROMISE, IT IS GIVEN ON CONDITION. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people 'to will and to do of His good pleasure.' (Phil. 2:13.) BUT MANY WILL NOT SUBMIT TO THIS. THEY WANT TO MANAGE THEMSELVES. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. THIS PROMISED BLESSING, CLAIMED BY FAITH, BRINGS ALL OTHER BLESSINGS IN ITS TRAIN. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive."

Those who claim to be "Christians" but continue to "rule on the throne" instead of allowing God to rule - will come to their end. Their kingdom will perish. It is only by having the faith OF Jesus (perfect trust in God) that God's true and faithful can and will receive the blessings of the Early and Latter Rain.

In the gift of the early rain, all other blessings will "follow in their train". God's people will realize the gift of character perfection and become the reflection of Jesus. They will share in the experience of the overcomer and will at last be free indeed! The fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the character, not one missing. Heaven's work for this people will be accomplished. God has promised: this WILL happen! There's no question about it. The question is, will you and I choose to be a part of this experience?

In the blessing of the latter rain the fourth angel will combine his power with the third angel's message, giving it convincing persuasion on the heart of the recipient. Those who have been totally engaged in the work of the early rain will be privileged at the time of the latter rain to bring others to the feet of Jesus. During Pentecost thousands were converted in a day! "These scenes are to be repeated, and with greater power. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant. The Spirit awaits our demand and reception. Christ is again to be revealed in His fullness by the Holy Spirit's power. Men will discern the value of the precious pearl, and with the apostle Paul they will say, 'What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.'" (C.O.L. p.121, Phil. 3:7,8.)

DA 675: "Israel had been represented as a vine which God had planted in the promised land. The Jews based their hope of salvation on THE FACT OF THEIR CONNECTION WITH ISRAEL. But Jesus says, I am the real Vine. Think not that through a connection with Israel you may become partakers of the life of God, and inheritors of His promise. Through Me alone is spiritual life received."

The Jews (Ancient Adventists) based their hope of salvation on the fact their church had been "handpicked" by God. It was true that God had indeed handpicked their church. It was also true that this same God was now standing directly in front of them, telling them plainly that they were lost unless they followed Him. Today, the Adventists (modern Jews, spiritually speaking) are claiming that their salvation is "sure" because their church was handpicked by God. It is true that God handpicked the Adventist church. It is also true that this same God is now for the last time, through His Word and the Spirit of Prophecy, standing directly in front of US, telling US plainly that we are lost unless we follow Him. It is ONLY by following Jesus that we are saved, NOT by following an apostate Conference. Our connection with "Israel" will NOT get us into heaven.

DA 675: "Many were attracted by the beauty of this Vine, and declared its heavenly origin. But to the LEADERS IN ISRAEL it appeared as a root out of a dry ground. They took the plant, and bruised it, and trampled it under their unholy feet. Their thought was to destroy it forever. But the heavenly husbandman never lost sight of His plant. After men thought they had killed it, He took it, and replanted it on the other side of the wall. The vine-stock was to be no longer visible. It was hidden from the rude assaults of men. But the branches of the Vine hung over the wall. They were to represent the Vine. Through them grafts might still be united to the Vine. From them fruit has been obtained. There has been a harvest which the passers-by have plucked."

The Ancient Adventist Conference Leaders bruised, beat, and killed the Vine-Stock (Jesus). The Father took Him back unto Himself and Jesus commissioned His "Independent Leaders" to bring His message of life to all who would listen. First to the Jews, and then, to the Gentiles was this message given. All who studied these things and believed the Ancient Independent Leaders came into the light of truth. Those who were faithful were saved - although the Ancient Adventist Conference was lost.

DA 675: "Though He was about to be removed from them, their spiritual union with Him was to be unchanged. The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine-stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ's strength, his emptiness to Christ's fullness, his frailty to Christ's enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved."

We are accepted by the Father only if we, by our own free choice, are grafted into His Vine, Jesus Christ. When this happens, the life of the Stock becomes the life of the branch. The fruit comes from the Stock and is exemplified in the branch. Christ's victory becomes our own.

DA 676: "This union with Christ, once formed, MUST BE MAINTAINED. Christ said, 'Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.' This is no casual touch, NO OFF-AND-ON CONNECTION. The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant. Separated from the vine, the branch cannot live. No more, said Jesus, can you live apart from Me. The life you have received from Me can be preserved only by continual communion. Without Me you cannot overcome one sin, or resist one temptation."

When anyone preaches a message that is anything short of what upholds total victory through the power of Jesus Christ, utilizing justification AND sanctification, you may know that he is a false shepherd. The generation that is now in power (to a great extent) in the Adventist system is that generation that has always rebelled against authority (CE 10.3; RH, October 21, 1890 par. 5). It was educated to do the precise work of destroying the moral fiber of Christianity. It believes, "if it feels good, do it!"

The power structure of the Adventist system has shifted from one that paid attention to the high standards of God's moral government to: no standard - that of the world. This is why the Leaders are acting from policy in the place of principle. But I can assure you on the authority of inspiration that entrance into God's kingdom will NEVER be based on Conference Committee vote!

Whether or not we choose to take God's standard serious, He does! This and this alone will determine our entrance into His kingdom or the barring of us from it. God HATES sin and He is NOT going to allow anyone off this planet who will continue to pollute His creative work. He sets before us life and death. It may not be popular with the "now" generation, but soon enough it will be realized that the "now" generation will be the extinct generation! I for one, do not wish to be a part of the "now" generation. How about you? Wouldn't you rather be popular with God than with man if it has to be that way?

DA 676: "So long as the soul is united to Christ, there is no danger that it will wither or decay. ...

"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our life; not one will be missing."

The precious news of True Adventism is: it matters not what background we have. It makes no difference who our parents are or what they stood for or didn't stand for. It is not of supreme importance if they have European, African, Asian, Hispanic, or American blood running through their veins. If we give ourselves over to Christ, the victory that He has gained for us will be ours. It is not excuses for our lack of faith that will be heard, but exercises in our faith that will be seen by those who see Jesus in us.

DA 676: " '...Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away.' While the graft is outwardly united with the vine, there may be no vital connection. Then there will be no growth or fruitfulness. So there may be an apparent connection with Christ, without a real union with Him by faith. A profession of religion places men in the church, but the character and conduct show whether they are in connection with Christ. If they bear no fruit, they are false branches. Their separation from Christ involves a ruin as complete as that represented by the dead branch."

Many, many Adventists have been taught that the fruits spoken of above indicate the number of people we have influenced into being baptized into "the church". This is incorrect. The fruits spoken of are primarily the fruits of the Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 13, and the fruits of obedience. Personal character development with all the fruits of the Spirit, active and vibrant, is the evidence that we are co-laborers with Christ.

DA 678: "This love is the evidence of their discipleship. 'By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,' said Jesus, 'if ye have love one to another.' When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand that supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart."

The love for the truth and love for the salvation of souls creates the unity among His people that Christ prayed for. This, Satan hates, and his agents, (those who refuse this love and converting power of the gospel), will intensify the persecution until the end. Some of the most flagrant demonstrations of hatred will come from those within "the church".

DA 678: "This love, manifested in the church, will surely stir the wrath of Satan. Christ did not mark out for His disciples an easy path. 'If the world hate you.' He said, 'ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.' THE GOSPEL IS TO BE CARRIED FORWARD BY AGGRESSIVE WARFARE, IN THE MIDST OF OPPOSITION, PERIL, LOSS, AND SUFFERING. BUT THOSE WHO DO THIS WORK ARE ONLY FOLLOWING IN THE MASTER'S STEPS."

Now, are you sure you want to "be just like Jesus"? Many do not as yet comprehend or quite believe that there was physical war in Heaven. They do not realize that the way to eternal bliss is blocked by the devil, and that we will have to overthrow him as Christ did to seize the promised land. There is NO OTHER WAY but through this terrible struggle. We [especially] who have been spoiled by "civilization" are at a great disadvantage. If we are to gain the eternal prize at all, it will only be by aggressive warfare in the midst of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. But praise the Lord! He has traveled this road before us and He knows the way to safety. If you want Him to guide you through this wilderness on to the promised land, you must be willing to follow Him wherever He leads. Are you willing?

DA 679-80: "It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame.

"Christ designs that heaven's order, heaven's plan of government, heaven's divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth. Thus in His people He is glorified. Through them the Sun of Righteousness will shine in undimmed luster to the world. Christ has given to His church ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. He has bestowed upon His people capabilities and blessings that they may represent His own sufficiency. The church, endowed with the righteousness of Christ, in His depositary, in which the riches of His mercy, His grace, and His love, are to appear in full and final display. Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection, as the reward of His humiliation, and the supplement of His glory,--Christ, the great Center, from whom radiates all glory."

If you are convinced that what you are reading above is inspiration, then this has to be read as more than just "a statement of purpose". It is also a promise of which church Christ will present before the universe and to the Father. We MUST decide if we will be a part of this church or not. This is our opportunity [and privilege] to do something in return for Him who gave us His all. Those who submit fully to Jesus will be to Him the long awaited reward. Then all His suffering and sacrifice will have been worth it. His heart will then be satisfied.

DA 680: "As a consecrated high priest He intercedes for His people. As a faithful shepherd He gathers His flock under the shadow of the Almighty, in the strong and sure refuge. For Him there waits the last battle with Satan, and He goes forth to meet it."

In the faithful of the Lord - the ONE AND ONLY true church of God - lies the last great battle between Christ and Satan. Those who develop a pure love for Christ will not desert Him because it costs them something. To the contrary! They firmly and resolutely engage in the warfare with one purpose - to vindicate the character of God.

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 8

The Desire of Ages

Chapter 74-75

Oh, the love of our Saviour and His Father! Can we really grasp even a particle of the vast truth about the gift that heaven emptied out for our salvation in the life and death of our Master and friend Jesus Christ?

The God Who was and is the originator of our very existence, the God Who is the way, the truth and the life was about to experience death - for us. In this trip through Gethsemane's gate Jesus would know what it means to be separated from the blessings of His Father and what the fate of those who reject His offering of redemptive mercy will suffer.

DA 686: "The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man's sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.

"Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, 'Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.' (Zech. 13:7.) As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.

"As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness...."

It is so difficult for the dull minds of sinful humanity to comprehend the price paid to give us an opportunity for salvation, or even to realize that God loves us so much that He would want to do it in the first place!

Christ was now going through an experience that was "new" and unspeakably dreadful. But in doing so, He demonstrated two powerful lessons for those who choose to believe. God will separate from Himself those who continue in sin. If Christ Who knew no sin was separated when He was made sin for us, then it is crystal clear that those who choose to make sin a part of themselves will indeed be separated from the Father.

The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane, the insult, the mockery, the abuse, heaped upon God's dear Son, the horrors and ignominy of the Crucifixion, furnish sufficient and thrilling demonstrations that God's justice, when it punishes, does the work thoroughly. The fact that His own Son, the surety for man, was not spared is an argument that will stand to all eternity before saint and sinner, before the universe of God, to testify that He will not excuse the transgressor of His law. (E.G. White, Lift Him Up, 158.3)

What is the solution to our sin problem and how can we escape this eternal separation? The answer lies in the second lesson: total faith, the faith OF Jesus Christ -- that is the key that opens the door of victory. The faith OF Jesus is the only way through our own Gethsemane. It is in this garden experience that our eternal destiny hangs and it is only those who choose the faith OF Jesus who will come out of it victorious as Jesus did. Those who continue to make excuses for their unbelief, lack of trust in God, and their love for sin will NOT share in the victorious glory of the redeemed. Rather, they will share in the experience of Judas who was separated as a betrayer of sacred trust. IT IS THE FAITH OF JESUS THAT IDENTIFIES HIS TRUE CHURCH.

DA 367: "Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan's kingdom, and would never more be one with God.

"...How hopeless appeared the guilt and ingratitude of men! In its hardest features Satan pressed the situation upon the Redeemer: 'The people who claim to be above all others in temporal and spiritual advantages have rejected you. They are seeking to destroy you, the foundation, the center and seal of the promises made to them as a peculiar people. One of your own disciples, who has listened to your instruction, and has been among the foremost in church activities, will betray you. One of your most zealous followers will deny you. All will forsake you.' Christ's whole being abhorred the thought. That those whom He had undertaken to save, those whom He loved so much, should unite in the plots of Satan, this pierced His soul. The conflict was terrible."

Satan told Christ that the Ancient Adventist Church, (the Jewish system), who made the same claim that the modern "Adventist Church" makes, were the very people seeking to destroy Him! Is this happening today? Is there a real correlation between the experience of the past and that of our present day? Sadly to say, the answer is an astounding "Yes". The organization has slipped into the same spiritual pride of our forefathers. It is true that not all are demonstrating this rejection of Jesus but the evidence of apostasy is overwhelming. Only those who have been blinded by things other than inspiration can't see or won't see the obvious truth or the present situation.

I want to say, as well, that I have known for some time that there has indeed been a tremendous struggle behind the scenes to hold on to the pillars of our faith by the "Josephs and Nicodemuses" in the organization. Please allow me to tell you a little story that took place several years ago to demonstrate.

Shortly after I initially became involved with exposing the SDA church's apostasy, I received an email from out of state. The lady on the other end at first requested that I not insist she identify herself until we had "spoken awhile", and to this I agreed. She told me that her brother-in law was a well-known writer who wrote for the magazine of the SDA "Conference Union" in which he held church membership, and that he had been asked to write on a certain subject within the next few months.

I will not disclose the contents of the article nor the actual name of the Official SDA Publication in which it appeared because I do not wish to break a trust, but I will tell you that she asked me to send her copies of all my materials on that subject which I had gathered up to that point in time. She wished to provide her brother-in law with this material to allow him to be well-versed in what was "really" going on. I shared with her that I would be happy to do this; I believed at the time that she was an honest and sincere SDA Christian - and I still believe it.

A couple of weeks later, we spoke on the telephone for a few minutes, and at that time she revealed who her brother-in law was. Immediately I "recognized his name" and told her so. I think she was checking my attitude about certain things - and this was all-right. I have found out on several different occasions with very different people that when honest hearts get together, even when they may disagree in some areas, in many cases if they understand your attitude is one of salvation rather than destruction, all can still be friends. Far too many "Christians" are making enemies unnecessarily. Far too many "Christians" are turning away from people whom the Lord loves and would not cast aside. Far too many "Christians" are taking the attitude that it's "my way, or no way at all".

Brothers and Sisters, it is my continued experience that those who TRULY do have my eternal interests in mind are NOT the enemy! We may not be able to come together on certain things just now, but the Lord will sort out these differences IF we are truly seeking to uphold His truth and not our own. (And who knows if I might be the one who needs a little character development myself!) Well, I think you get the point. Pride and politics have polluted God's people to an alarming and deadly degree. Anyway, back to the story:

Before we ended our phone conversation I just had to ask this Sister a question. I shared with her that I just couldn't believe that with everything that was going on there wasn't some kind of internal struggle, behind the doors (so to speak), in the organization. She told me, "If you only knew what struggles have really been going on that the general laity have no idea about". And then she went on to say, "The younger generation of pastors and administrators told us some time ago that when they came into power things would be different. Now they are beginning to out-vote us and we can't stop it. They are now taking over".

Friends, we need to realize that not ALL the people in "the Conferences" are Judases; we also need to realize that not ALL in "the Independents" are Christ's true disciples. We are in a transitory time and this will take more than a few weeks, or even a few months. I do want to add something here, however. Time is certainly running out for everyone; and decisions will have-to be made before it's forever too late.

Remember that probation closes on God's professed people first. Joseph and Nicodemus didn't ALWAYS "work behind the scenes" and there are great and important lessons for those who are still doing this work. And to those who are the "Josephs and Nicodemuses" in the organization, I ask you in brotherly love to understand what part these two men finally played - and to do that which they did. I fear that if you don't, your experience will end up different from theirs. For when these two honest souls finally understood the messages of Jesus and where He was leading, they removed themselves from the apostate organization, and eagerly followed Christ and eventually became a tremendous help to His true people and church.

By the way, the above "brother-in law" in our story did write an article for the aforementioned SDA Publication right at the time his sister-in law said he would. It still remains the finest article I have seen (on the subject) in any of the "Official SDA Publications" since I began revealing the apostasy. I personally openly thank this Brother for writing it and commend him for taking the stand he did. If he or his sister-in law should someday happen to read this document - they will understand.

In the DA 367 passage above, we see that Satan had come directly to Christ and pressed "some truth" upon Him in an attempt to get Him to turn aside from His chosen path. Logically speaking, Satan's argument made sense. But Jesus knew that God had promised just the opposite of what Satan was telling Him, and in faith He clung to these promises. I have found that Satan's tactics are very interesting, and he will lie and contradict his own arguments if it serves his purposes.

Today, Satan is telling professed Adventists (and all other professed Christians) just the opposite of what he told Jesus in the garden. Today, from many professed Seventh-day Adventist pulpits, comes the modern message that "we can go on sinning and there will be no separation from the Father". Two thousand years ago Satan told Jesus that if He became sin, the separation would be eternal. Today, he tells us that if we remain in sin, the separation of which he tried to convince Christ - doesn't really exist! This is absolutely insane! And what's even more insane is the fact that MOST professed Seventh-day Adventists refuse to see the contradiction! Because of their love for sin, most "Christians", including Seventh-day Adventists, either knowingly or unknowingly forsake the very Jesus Whom they claim to honor.

DA 688: "They did not intend to forsake their Lord, but they seemed paralyzed by a stupor which they might have shaken off if they had continued pleading with God. They did not realize the necessity of watchfulness and earnest prayer in order to withstand temptation."

DA 688-89: "...the disciples trusted to themselves. They did not look to the mighty helper as Christ had counseled them to do. Thus when the Saviour was most in need of their sympathy and prayers, they were found asleep. Even Peter was sleeping.

"And John, the loving disciple who had leaned upon the breast of Jesus, was asleep. Surely, the love of John for his Master should have kept him awake. His earnest prayers should have mingled with those of his loved Saviour in the time of His supreme sorrow. The Redeemer had spent entire nights praying for His disciples, that their faith might not fail. Should Jesus now put to James and John the question He had once asked them, 'Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' they would not have ventured to answer, 'We are able.' (Matt. 20:22)."

Many of us - myself included, quickly need the experience of watching and praying - not just prayer that covers the areas of "the larger crisis" we find ourselves in the midst of, but also in our everyday decisions. Total victory follows close behind total reliance on God and total communion with God. This must be our experience! It WILL be the experience of the redeemed. It is not confidence in self that will win for us the prize, but communion with God that gains for us that which we cannot possibly realize on our own.

With urgency I say we must understand that: "Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God's people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty. ...

"Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints--those whom they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a Satanic influence. Oh, that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan and be on their guard! I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God's people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing STIFFLY FOR PRESENT TRUTH. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not FIRMLY PLANTED ON THE TRUTH, and the covering of Almighty God could NOT BE DRAWN OVER THEM WHILE THEY WERE THUS TREMBLING. ...

"Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God's people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for His people; and Satan will be permitted to work also." Early Writings 43-44

Two thousand years have not changed the minds of men. We are still the same people with the same basic problems of self-reliance. We still are suffering from the same problems of which the people of Christ's day suffered. Somehow we MUST REALIZE that we are, in fact, IN THE TIME in which this "sealing process" is taking place! I am absolutely convinced that this event is NOT in the future! I firmly believe we are going through that process right now!

Only those who understand the gravity of these events and choose to be convinced by God's Word will have a chance to make a decision for eternal life. All others will be deceived and not know it until it is too late - because they knew not the time of their visitation! Please, get on you knees with the Word of God and honestly ask Him to show you what you must know. The God Who was willing to give His all for our salvation still reigns on the throne. Praise His name!

DA 690-93: "But now the history of the human race comes up before the world's Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission."

Jesus knows what it means to be "tempted to leave a post of duty". He knows and understands the pressure to want to walk away. I believe Jesus has a special place in His heart for pastors who are holding to their sacred trusts but are sorely tempted to leave their post. He understands, first hand, what the convincing arguments are which Satan uses to turn the true minister aside from his sacred vows.

Even as I write this I am becoming more and more aware of the tremendous pressures being applied to every person and every family. I've asked different folk if they have felt "the increase of this pressure over the last several years" and almost without exception, the answer has been a firm "yes". We see pastors falling under the load and we all know of fragmented families and marriages.

Many of us are aware of situations where, a spouse who wishes to leave the other spouse - and may not even be convinced that our own marriage is under this sort of decay. We also know of those whom we thought "solid in the faith" who have left the faith. Notice I did not say: "The Adventist Church" (denomination). And of course, there are families even in leadership (not necessarily in the Conferences only) who are showing the public a much different picture than that which is "the truth behind closed doors".

It is unnecessary to name names or try to convince anyone here. You know in your heart whether this scenario fits you or someone you know. You also know, or at least I would hope you are honest enough to know that: It matters not if you are able to fool every single human being on the entire face of the earth. It will make no difference in the soon coming judgment.

Whether we are Conference, Independent, Self-supporting, Reform (or whatever we deem appropriate) leaders or laity, the principles of God's eternal government are exactly the same for everyone. If we don't accept it now, we will know soon enough (when probation closes) that God has a mutual respect for every single soul. Yes, He loves us supremely - but at the same time He will in no wise clear the guilty. Whether prince or pauper, His treatment of us in the judgment will be the same. If we are to be safe in our salvation, we must understand, accept, and enter into these terms with an honest willingness to vindicate God's character and not our sinful ones. To vindicate our character is to choose eternal death and separation. To lay down our character and despise it, to replace it with the eternal righteousness of the Father and the Son is to choose life. Although this process may at times be embarrassing and painful [for sure], it is my hope and prayer that all of us will choose life.

The lesson of Christ's experience in the garden is multifaceted of course, but one of the important lessons is that we may at times have to stand alone in our decision for Jesus. Oftentimes, and especially in the actual end-times, we will feel alone even though we may have many others around us. Salvation is offered to each individual and becomes an experience for and of the individual. Because of sin, it can be an awful experience of death and sacrifice but, nonetheless, it is the experience we must be willing to go through. In the end we will know that heaven was "cheap enough" and our awful experiences will forever be turned into a glorious one.

DA 693: "The Saviour trod the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.

"But God suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the Saviour's agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of Satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched. Could mortals have viewed the amazement of the angelic host as in silent grief they watched the Father separating His beams of light, love, and glory from His beloved Son, they would better understand how offensive in His sight is sin."

DA 694: "...He heard the footsteps of the mob in search of Him, and said, 'Rise, let us be going; behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me.'

"No traces of His recent agony were visible as Jesus stepped forth to meet His betrayer. Standing in advance of His disciples He said, 'Whom seek ye?' They answered, 'Jesus of Nazareth.' Jesus replied,

'I am He.' As these words were spoken, the angel who had lately ministered to Jesus, moved between Him and the mob. A divine light illuminated the Saviour's face, and a dove-like form overshadowed Him. In the presence of this divine glory, the murderous throng could not stand for a moment. They staggered back. Priests, elders, soldiers, and even Judas, fell as dead men to the ground."

In this portion of the Garden experience we find that the Corporate structure, calling themselves "the church", has joined forces with the government (of their day) in order to "kill" God. The Great Controversy and the book of Revelation tell us this experience will be repeated in the near future. The apostate "people of God" will use the government to persecute God's true and faithful. As a matter of fact, it WILL be apostate Seventh-day Adventists among those who will "turn in" True Adventists - so that they may be killed! Jesus said to the disciples that their worst enemies would be those of their own household. Jesus knew what He was talking about. After all, it was the Ancient Adventist Church that put Him on the cross.

Having said that, and wanting to stay fair to the story, let's not forget that the betrayer of Christ was an "Independent Leader" who refused to be converted. Although he had held this position of leadership for several years, (3 years anyway), he turned back to a corrupt priesthood in the end to betray the Lord. This will be the fate of any pastor, no matter what "group" he's in or how extensive his following - who refuses to be fully converted.

This conversion is only demonstrated in practical Christian living. Preaching "straight sermons" is not enough. It is that experiential knowledge of which we are speaking here that the Spirit of Prophecy is concerned with. Only those who engage in the character changes that God has promised to give - will be, or stay loyal to, the Lord.

DA 696: "The disciples had thought that their Master would not suffer Himself to be taken. For the same power that had caused the mob to fall as dead men could keep them helpless, until Jesus and His companions should escape. They were disappointed and indignant as they saw the cords brought forward to bind the hands of Him whom they loved. Peter in his anger rashly drew his sword and tried to defend his Master, but he only cut off an ear of the high priest's servant. When Jesus saw what was done, He released His hands, though held firmly by the Roman soldiers, and saying, 'Suffer ye thus far,' He touched the wounded ear, and it was instantly made whole. He then said to Peter, 'Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?'"...

In reprimanding Peter for resorting to violence, Christ demonstrated that these methods are NOT to be the weapons of our warfare. The warfare is one of a spiritual nature and we are to lean on Jesus as He leaned on the Father - in faith. While defending the honor of God we are to leave the vengeance to Him and not take it into our own hands. While we are to expose error, we are not to do so with violent human passion.

DA 696: "The official dignity of the Jewish leaders had not prevented them from joining in the pursuit of Jesus. His arrest was too important a matter to be trusted to subordinates; the wily priests and elders had joined the temple police and the rabble in following Judas to Gethsemane. What a company for those dignitaries to unite with, -- a mob that was eager for excitement, and armed with all kinds of implements, as if in pursuit of a wild beast."

The Ancient Adventist Apostate Church Leaders could not "stoop low enough" in their pursuit to maintain their power over the people. The priesthood itself took the lead in the planning and capture of Christ. The laity, later got "caught up" in this Satanic frenzy; but it was clearly the Ancient Conference men that was still leading in the death of Christ. The people, although guilty, were relatively "innocent" compared to those who ruled over them.

DA 697: "Turning to the priests and elders, Christ fixed upon them His searching glance. The words He spoke they would never forget as long as life should last. They were as the sharp arrows of the Almighty. With dignity He said, You come out against Me with swords and staves as you would against a thief or a robber. Day by day I sat teaching in the temple. You had every opportunity of laying hands upon Me, and you did nothing. The night is better suited to your work. 'This is your hour, and the power of darkness.'"

This darkness of which Jesus speaks concerning His own church is once again enshrouding us. The same methods of the Ancient structure are realized in the modern. As the Ancient Adventist Conference played the lead role two thousand years ago, we see AN EXACT REPLICA of our future in the current movements of the present Conference.

The journey through Gethsemane was just "the beginning of the end" for Jesus, and this experience of decision and faith was only "the gate" which led to Golgotha's hill. Upon Christ's capture by the then recognized "church" Jesus was discreetely "whisked away" to face the General Conference President and the Conference Committee (of His day). Even though they had become grossly corrupt, they were still recognized by the laity as "the voice of God". I hope you are still paying attention to Prophetic Parallels.

DA 698: "Annas was the head of the officiating priestly family, and in deference to his age he was recognized by the people as high priest. His counsel was sought and carried out as the voice of God. He must first see Jesus a captive to priestly power. He must be present at the examination of the prisoner, for fear that the less-experienced Caiaphas might fail of securing the object for which they were working. His ARTIFICE, CUNNING, and SUBTLETY must be used on this occasion; for at all events, Christ's condemnation must be secured."

Once again I decided to look-up a few key words taken from this paragraph and would like to share their meaning with you. 1-Artifice (from the same root word as artificial - interestingly enough) -- a clever trick or stratagem; tricky; guile; or craftiness. Remember that the church which does "go through" is comprised of people who have no guile. 2-Cunning -- skill employed in a crafty manner, as in deceiving. And, 3-Subtly -- fine or delicate, often when likely to elude perception or understanding, otherwise well-skilled in the qualities of oration and used to persuade others to ones argument by use of deception; able to baffle people by skilled argumentation.

Is it any surprise that the Conference structure is pouring thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours (per selected person - mostly pastors) into learning skills in communication which involve practices that are deceptive and covert in nature? And yet with these evils unearthed, the majority of the laity still recognize a polluted Conference as "the voice of God".

It is strange that the Lord brings forth all this evidence and gives us all this history and still we refuse to learn. It's no wonder that our own prophet stated that we are worse than they, the Ancient Adventist people. Praise God, that there are many more today who have and are recognizing the truth in these matters as the Lord continues to show the clear evidence of these parallels.

DA 699: "Not a few among the priests and rulers had been convicted by Christ's teaching, and only fear of excommunication prevented them from confessing Him. The priests well remembered the question of Nicodemus 'Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?' (John 7:51). This question had for the time broken up the council, and thwarted their plans. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were not now to be summoned, but there were others who might dare to speak in favor of justice. The trial must be so conducted as to unite the members of the Sanhedrin against Christ. There were two charges which the priests desired to maintain. If Jesus could be proved a blasphemer, He would be condemned by the Jews. If convicted of sedition, it would secure His condemnation by the Romans. The second charge Annas tried first to establish. He questioned Jesus concerning His disciples and His doctrines, hoping the prisoner would say something that would give him material upon which to work. He thought to draw out some statement to prove that He was seeking to establish a secret society, with the purpose of setting up a new kingdom. Then the priests could deliver Him to the Romans as a disturber of the peace and a creator of insurrection."

Can a better description of what is going on be found? The Conferences are trying desperately to find anything to discredit and belittle "the Independent Ministries". They are bringing the charge of "lack of respect for properly constituted church authority" to gain the support of the people. This is the echo of insurrection or disruption inside the church. One day in the near future, BEFORE the seven last plagues, these same people will transfer this "charge" to a broader scope - and blame the faithful few for the judgments falling upon the land.

Also, as stated previously in this chapter, the "Josephs and Nicodemuses" NEED to understand that their eternal fate WILL depend on what choices they make: either come forward for God or remain behind for apostate Adventism. They need to side with the true people of God, or they WILL side with those who are against the government of God and thus be forever lost. The Laodicean "middle ground" is forever disappearing, and soon, if a decided choice is not made for the right, then a choice for the wrong will be registered in the books of heaven next to the names of those who refused to take a stand for Jesus. The "mock-trial" that Jesus went through and all of it's "players" WILL be duplicated in our day. This we must realize, and we must make a firm choice to stand for the right if we are indeed TRUE Seventh-day Adventist Christians. If this choice is not made, we are, in reality, Seventh-day Adventists in name only - ie: nominal.

DA 699: "The Saviour contrasted His own manner of work with the methods of His accusers. For months they had hunted Him, striving to entrap Him and bring Him before a secret tribunal, where they might obtain by perjury what it was impossible to gain by fair means. Now they were carrying out their purpose. The midnight seizure by a mob, the mockery and abuse before He was condemned, or even accused, was their manner of work, not His. Their action was in violation of the law. Their own rules declared that every man should be treated as innocent until proved guilty. By their own rules the priests stood condemned."

According to their own "Church Manual", the trial of Christ was NOT legal. Take it from folk who have first-hand experience in this matter: These same trials and this same disregard for their own rules, when it's convenient for them to do so, is very much alive and in operation today.

There's an old saying "there's no honor among thieves". That also goes for liars and power mongers. These people will use every means to "save" their own authority. They will even break their own rules when it seems necessary. In reality, and it will eventually be seen, there are no rules among this group, at least none which have anything to do with Christian morals. The only reason they have to give an impression that there is, is for the purpose of fooling those whom they want to support them. But as with any corrupt organization, these very leaders will find out all too soon and yet far too late, that their leader, the Devil, has no rules either, and they, (people and/or rules - take your pick), mean nothing to him. In the end they-all will lose ALL their authority and their very existence. If you understand this, you will also understand why it's fatal to give these people ANY authority over your spiritual life.

DA 700: "Christ suffered keenly under abuse and insult. At the hands of the beings whom He had created, and for whom He was making an infinite sacrifice, He received every indignity. And He suffered in proportion to the perfection of His holiness and His hatred of sin. His trial by men who acted as fiends was to Him a perpetual sacrifice. To be surrounded by human beings under the control of Satan was revolting to Him. And He knew that in a moment, by the flashing forth of His divine power, He could lay His cruel tormentors in the dust. This made the trial the harder to bear."

If we could but comprehend just a "sliver" of the truth concerning Christ's sacrifice, we would not only understand Him as our only true friend, but our hearts would take the opportunity to reach out to Him with the appreciation we owe Him. It is in this approach to God's grace and His law that we find a balance, and subvert both cheap grace and legalism.

I do what I do because Christ first loved me. I try to do the works of Christ because I appreciate what He has done and is still doing for my salvation, as-well-as in the here and now. This is love in action, and the pure motivation that actuates from a heart that wants to say to God, "Thank you Lord, here am I".

When it comes to personal trial, we need to learn the ways of Christ so much! His spirit of longsuffering, calmness, and gentleness is the hallmark of God's love. We also need to grasp: from WHOM these insults and abuses were coming from and why it hurt Jesus so much. As we do, it will help us to understand much about our own immediate future.

DA 703-4: "When the council had assembled in the judgment-hall, Caiaphas took his seat as presiding officer. On either side were the judges, and those specially interested in the trial. The Roman soldiers were stationed on the platform below the throne. At the foot of the throne stood Jesus. Upon Him the gaze of the whole multitude was fixed. The excitement was intense. Of all the throng He alone was calm and serene. The very atmosphere surrounding Him seemed pervaded by a holy influence.

"Caiaphas had regarded Jesus as his rival. The eagerness of the people to hear the Saviour, and their apparent readiness to accept His teachings, had aroused the bitter jealousy of the high priest."

Just a couple of questions: What council had assembled? Caiaphas sat as presiding officer. Who was Caiaphas? Who were the judges? Who were those especially interested in the trial? And why did Caiaphas regard Jesus as his rival?

DA 705: "There were plenty of witnesses to prove that Christ had denounced the priests and scribes, that He had called them hypocrites and murderers; but this testimony it was not expedient to bring forward. The Sadducees in their sharp contentions with the Pharisees had used to them similar language. And such testimony would have no weight with the Romans, who were themselves disgusted with the pretensions of the Pharisees. There was abundant evidence that Jesus had disregarded the traditions of the Jews, and had spoken irreverently of many of their ordinances; but in regard to tradition the Pharisees and Sadducees were at swords' points; and this evidence also would have no weight with the Romans. Christ's enemies dared not accuse Him of Sabbath-breaking, lest an examination should reveal the character of His work. If His miracles of healing were brought to light, the very object of the priests would be defeated.

"False witnesses had been bribed to accuse Jesus of inciting rebellion and seeking to establish a separate government. But their testimony proved to be vague and contradictory. Under examination they falsified their own statements."

How many times have you heard the statement [from different others whose religious experiences differ widely] that "Jesus never condemned anyone? And so we should never say anything against anyone, especially the leadership, or anything that might offend anybody". I have thought frequently how these same people and multitudes of others don't understand or believe the plain Word of God. This teaching of many a Conference man is pure falsehood and an attempt at self-preservation. Many Conference men and laity are extremely hypocritical in this area. Jesus certainly did condemn others as-well-as the leadership of His day. For this very reason the Adventist Church of two thousand years ago murdered Him on a cross!

As the struggle in the great controversy intensifies, the "gulf" between the two camps within the Advent movement will continue to broaden. These "sons of Ancient Apostate Adventist Conference Leaders" will continue to play out their role in the attempted destruction of Jesus - in the persons of "His true people" one last time.

DA 706-7: "Patiently Jesus listened to the conflicting testimonies. No word did He utter in self-defense. At last His accusers were entangled, confused, and maddened. The trial was making no headway: it seemed that their plottings were to fail. Caiaphas was desperate. One last resort remained; Christ must be forced to condemn Himself...

"At last, Caiaphas, raising his right hand toward heaven, addressed Jesus in the form of a solemn oath: 'I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God.'

"To this appeal Christ could not remain silent. There was a time to be silent, and a time to speak. He had not spoken until directly questioned. He knew that to answer now would make His death certain. But the appeal was made by the highest acknowledged authority of the nation, and in the name of the Most High. Christ would not fail to show proper respect for the law. More than this, His own relation to the Father was called in question. He must plainly declare His character and mission. Jesus had said to His disciples, 'Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.' (Matt. 10:32). Now by His own example He repeated the lesson."

Christ did not defend Himself. He maintained a spiritual dignity that confused and exposed His accusers. It would be well for us to realize, that just as important as "not defending self" is the lesson -- that when God's honor is brought into question, our silence is a denial of our profession, and thus, Jesus denies us before the Father.

DA 708: "The thought that there was to be a resurrection of the dead, when all would stand at the bar of God, to be rewarded according to their works, was a thought of terror to Caiaphas. He did not wish to believe that in future he would receive sentence according to his works. These rushed before his mind as a panorama the scenes of the final Judgment. For a moment he saw the fearful spectacle of the graves giving up their dead, with the secrets he had hoped were forever hidden."

Just as today, because pastors have gone to Babylon to be educated, the Ancient Adventist pastors, were "split" even within their own ranks because of unbiblical theology. Caiaphas shuddered at the thought of having to meet his works at the judgment bar, so he openly taught there was no resurrection. Today, Apostate Adventist pastors shudder at the thought of having to meet their sins at the judgment bar, so they openly teach that we don't have to quit sinning and God will still save us.

DA 708: "The scene passed from the priest's vision. Christ's words cut him, the Sadducee, to the quick. Caiaphas had denied the doctrine of the resurrection, the Judgment, and a future life. Now he was maddened by Satanic fury. Was this man, a prisoner before him, to assail his most cherished theories? Rending his robe, that the people might see his pretended horror, he demanded that without further preliminaries the prisoner be condemned for blasphemy. 'What further need have we of witnesses?' he said; 'behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy. What think ye?' And they all condemned Him."

This piece of inspiration definitely states that this leader -- Caiaphas, the official head of the structure -- placed Christ on trial and pressed to take His life, not because Jesus had wrong theology but because He assailed Caiaphas' cherished errors. The reflection of this experience can be seen in many of today's "trials" being held by the conferences in regard to certain people who are "rocking the boat".

DA 709: "Everything worn by the priest was to be whole and without blemish. By those beautiful official garments was represented the character of the great antitype, Jesus Christ. Nothing but perfection, in dress and attitude, in word and spirit, could be acceptable to God. He is holy, and His glory and perfection must be represented by the earthly service. Nothing but perfection could properly represent the sacredness of the heavenly service. Finite man might rend his own heart by showing a contrite and humble spirit. This God would discern. But no rent must be made in the priestly robes, for this would mar the representation of heavenly things. The high priest who dared to appear in holy office, and engage in the service of the sanctuary, with a rent robe, was looked upon as having severed himself from God. By rending his garment he cut himself off from being a representative character. He was no longer accepted by God as an officiating priest. This course of action, as exhibited by Caiaphas, showed human passion, human imperfection.

"By rending his garments, Caiaphas made of no effect the law of God, to follow the tradition of men."

The representation of the "perfect garment" is the equivalent to the perfect character of Christ and His righteousness. This lesson has great significance in the light of the present situation. Two things happened if a pastor tore his garments. One, he made of none effect the law of God; and second, he immediately disqualified himself from being a pastor.

The teaching of what has become known as "the new theology" today, is the same, spiritually speaking, as "rending the robe". It rends the pure, righteous character of God and makes it something else that is both human and satanic. In teaching this "new theology" pastors are disqualifying themselves from representing Christ and leading God's people, just as surely as did Caiaphas when he tore that which represented to the people the character of God.

Dear people, Jesus did NOT accept this authority. As a matter of fact, He did everything in His power to tear it down! Is this what you are doing? Or are you siding with a power which seeks to destroy God's government and all those who support it?

DA 709: "When Caiaphas rent his garment, his act was significant of the place that the Jewish nation as a nation would thereafter occupy toward God. The once favored people of God were separating themselves from Him, and were fast becoming a people disowned by Jehovah."

As the modern day officials of "the Corporate structure" continue to lower the standards in "the church" and in the official media, as they continue to teach new "purpose-driven" theology and defend their unbiblical "positions of authority", they are doing exactly what Caiaphas did. God has not changed, so the result will be the same. If you choose to support them, your result will be the same, as well.

DA 714-15: "And so by the third condemnation of the Jewish authorities, Jesus was to die. All that was now necessary, they thought, was for the Romans to ratify this condemnation, and deliver Him into their hands.

"Then came the third scene of abuse and mockery, worse even than that received from the ignorant rabble. In the very presence of the priests and rulers, and with their sanction, this took place. Every feeling of sympathy or humanity had gone out of their hearts. If their arguments were weak, and failed to silence His voice, they had other weapons, such as in all ages have been used to silence heretics, -- suffering, and violence, and death.

"When the condemnation of Jesus was pronounced by the judges, a Satanic fury took possession of the people. The roar of voices was like that of wild beasts. The crowd made a rush toward Jesus, crying, He is guilty, put Him to death! Had it not been for the Roman soldiers, Jesus would not have lived to be nailed to the cross of Calvary. He would have been torn in pieces before His judges, had not Roman authority interfered, and by force of arms restrained the violence of the mob.

"Heathen men were angry at the brutal treatment of one against whom nothing had been proved. The Roman officers declared that the Jews in pronouncing condemnation upon Jesus were infringing upon the Roman power, and that it was even against the Jewish law to condemn a man to death upon his own testimony. This intervention brought a momentary lull in the proceedings; but the Jewish leaders were dead alike to pity and to shame.

"Priests and rulers forgot the dignity of their office, and abused the Son of God with foul epithets. They taunted Him with His parentage. They declared that His presumption in proclaiming Himself the Messiah made Him deserving of the most ignominious death. The most dissolute men engaged in infamous abuse of the Saviour. An old garment was thrown over His head, and His persecutors struck Him in the face, saying, 'Prophesy unto us, Thou Christ, Who is he that smote Thee?' When the garment was removed, one poor wretch spat in His face.

"The angels of God faithfully recorded every insulting look, word, and act, against their beloved Commander. One day the base men who scorned and spat upon the calm, pale face of Christ, will look upon it in its glory, shining brighter than the sun."

ALL of the above events, ALL of the heinous crimes committed against the person of Jesus Christ WILL BE AGAIN committed BY professed Seventh-day Adventist "Christians"! Two thousand years ago, it got so bad that even the heathen soldiers became indignant at the depths of cruelty these "church" leaders and laity could heap upon another human being. Brother and Sister, why do you suppose all of this has been left for us to understand, by the same Jesus Whom this abuse was leveled upon?

Who was it that made sure an accurate account was left for us who are facing these issues today? We must know present truth! If we don't, we will not know that this is THE time of our visitation and we will treat it just as the Apostate Church did. We certainly don't want that to be the eternal account written next to our name, do we?

 

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 9

The Desire of Ages

CHAPTER 76-77

DA 716: "The history of Judas presents the sad ending of a life that might have been honored of God. Had Judas died before his last journey to Jerusalem, he would have been regarded as a man worthy of a place among the twelve, and one who would be greatly missed. The abhorrence which has followed him through the centuries would not have existed, but for the attributes revealed at the close of his history. But it was for a purpose that his character was laid open to the world. It was to be a warning to all who, like him, should betray sacred trusts.

"...Through becoming the slave of one vice he gave himself to Satan, to be driven to any lengths in sin."

The testimony of Judas is a solemn warning left for all to understand that we may fool everyone around us for a time, but we cannot fool God. I know that I take the experience of Judas very seriously. It tells me that all people, especially pastors whether Conference or Independent who continue to break sacred trusts will in no wise enter God's kingdom. It also tells me that although it is right to support those whom God has raised up to lead, we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and not man.

How solemn to realize that one cherished sin will keep us out of heaven. How many of us have clung to some cherished idol knowing deep inside that we need to let it go and telling ourselves that we will, tomorrow? But "tomorrow" never comes. Folks, Today, is the "tomorrow" we worried about yesterday! Letting go of our sin will never get any easier than it will be today. NOW is the time to make this resolve and cling to the Rock of Jesus Christ. The Lord loves us, but one thing is certain: No matter what we may think we have accomplished in this life, if we cling to one vice He will not make exception for us. Either we will make Jesus bigger than our sin or our sin will become bigger in our life than Jesus.

DA 717: "He felt in his own person the evidence of Christ's power. He recognized the teaching of Christ as superior to all that he had ever heard. He loved the great Teacher, and desired to be with Him. He felt a desire to be changed in character and life, and he hoped to experience this through connecting himself with Jesus. The Saviour did not repulse Judas. He gave him a place among the twelve. He trusted him to do the work of an evangelist. He endowed him with power to heal the sick and to cast out devils. But Judas did not come to the point of surrendering himself fully to Christ. He did not give up his worldly ambition or his love of money. While he accepted the position of a minister of Christ, he did not bring himself under the divine moulding. He felt that he could retain his own judgment and opinions, and he cultivated a disposition to criticize and accuse."

Of course, the above principle applies to each soul, but the specific lesson in this paragraph is regarding "a pastor". Pastors have been given a broad scope of influence because of the "position" they hold and, therefore, that position is a very serious one. With this position comes all the dangers that were the end of Judas. A large number of pastors WILL share the fate of Judas because they have abused their sacred trust and brought others, not to Jesus, but to their own perverted teachings. And in all fairness, let us not forget that Judas was an "Independent" Leader.

DA 720: "At the reproof from Jesus his very spirit seemed turned to gall. Wounded pride and desire for revenge broke down the barriers, and the greed so long indulged held him in control. This will be the experience of every one who persists in tampering with sin. The elements of depravity that are not resisted and overcome, respond to Satan's temptation, and the soul is led captive at his will."

These few words that you just read are full of instruction and warning that we all must reflect upon. We must plead with the Lord to help us to be honest with ourselves and to be open with our weaknesses in our dealings with Him. Please notice that it does NOT say that this "might" be the experience of every one who persists ... but this WILL be the experience!

Pride is a dreadful killer. It stalks its prey slowly, it's danger is undetected at first until it finally consumes its possessor. I have taken stock of what some of the attributes of pride are, and one thing that is most scary is that pride is what I'll call: "super-self protecting". Even when you recognize that you have the problem, it raises its ugly head and is still "in control", it can take TOTAL possession of you! Pride, it seems, usually has a "life of its own". I believe pride to be a most dangerous vice.

Another problem is, when the Lord allows a man to accomplish much, we human beings must be extremely guarded, because pride is a "natural tendency" (propensity) of the human heart. Pride spoils the best of blessings and can ruin a life that otherwise would have been full of glory as demonstrated in the life of Judas. Even if someone has preached "the straight truth" for years, pride is so bad that, those who cling to it will finally lose all reason-ing and seek to literally annihilate those who dare to expose their sins. I have personally seen this in action. Everything goes along smoothly and it's "fine to expose the sins of others", but when you point out a concern for the one who is cherishing pride, although you thought this person to be a good friend, he can turn on you with a vengeance. This "turning" is for no other reason than: pride that is filling the heart. Pride is why the church of two thousand years ago "killed God". We must recognize it for what it is and give it to Jesus. He alone can cure this cancer.

DA 721-22: "As the trial drew to a close, Judas could endure the torture of his guilty conscience no longer. Suddenly a hoarse voice rang through the hall, sending a thrill of terror to all hearts: He is innocent; spare Him, O Caiaphas!

"The tall form of Judas was now seen pressing through the startled throng. His face was pale and haggard, and great drops of sweat stood on his forehead. Rushing to the throne of judgment, he threw down before the high priest the pieces of silver that had been the price of his Lord's betrayal. Eagerly grasping the robe of Caiaphas, he implored him to release Jesus, declaring that He had done nothing worthy of death. Caiaphas angrily shook him off, but was confused, and knew not what to say. The perfidy of the priests was revealed. It was evident that they had bribed the disciple to betray his Master.

" 'I have sinned,' again cried Judas, 'in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.' But the high priest, regaining his self-possession, answered with scorn, 'What is that to us? See thou to that.' (Matt. 27:4.) The priests had been willing to make Judas their tool; but they despised his baseness. When he turned to them with confession, they spurned him."

This will be the fearful experience of many a pastor who has falsified his sacred obligations. Even the devil, although he uses these people, hates a coward. The experience of Judas' terror will be replayed by every pastor and all in positions of influence, no matter what "group" they are in, who choose not to let go of their pride. Pride is the ultimate lie about oneself. It says to its "lover" that he is something in which he is not. It strokes the ego of man until man forgets that: NOTHING good can ever be accomplished by any person unless God sees to it. No man deserves anything but death, yet pride robs God of His goodness and perverts man into thinking God's glory belongs to himself. The true Christian understands and realizes that if the Lord gives him "anything good to do", it is a privilege - and nothing else. This realized privilege, in turn, melts the heart of its receiver and the glory continues to be returned to the rightful owner - God.

DA 722: "Judas now cast himself at the feet of Jesus, acknowledging Him to be the Son of God, and entreating Him to deliver Himself. The Saviour did not reproach His betrayer. He knew that Judas did not repent; his confession was forced from his guilty soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a looking for of judgment, but he felt no deep, heart-breaking grief that he had betrayed the spotless Son of God, and denied the Holy One of Israel. Yet Jesus spoke no word of condemnation."

In this act of "repentance" is a future scene brought to light which can be found in Revelation, chapter 3, verse 9. At that time it will be seen that these people do have "a church". But the church they belong to is the synagogue of Satan.

DA 723: "In the judgment-hall of Pilate, the Roman governor, Christ stands bound as a prisoner. About Him are the guard of soldiers, and the hall is fast filling with spectators. Just outside the entrance are the judges of the Sanhedrin, priests, rulers, elders, and the mob.

"After condemning Jesus, the council of the Sanhedrin had come to Pilate to have the sentence confirmed and executed. But these JEWISH OFFICIALS would not enter the Roman judgment-hall. According to their ceremonial law they would be defiled thereby, and thus prevented from taking part in the feast of the Passover. IN THEIR BLINDNESS THEY DID NOT SEE that murderous hatred had defiled their hearts."

In parallel terms, who were the judges of the Sanhedrin, priests, rulers, elders, and the mob? They were none other than the Conference Committee, pastors, Conference workers, and elders or otherwise the acknowledged "Adventist Church" of their day. It certainly doesn't take a degree to figure out this simple truth. Another truth is that we are repeating the history of our spiritual forefathers! The same spiritual pride is blinding the majority so that they do not know who and what "the church" is. In reality, just as it was two thousand years ago, most will not see the truth until it's too late! Run to the Lord, friend, and plead with Him not to let this happen to you. God's people must understand what it means to be let go from a depraved mind. The strong delusions and the deception to come upon the unconsecrated mind WILL be "total delusion and deception".

DA 724: "Again Pilate asked, 'What accusation bring ye against this man?' The priests did not answer his question, but in words that showed their irritation, they said. 'If He were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him up unto thee.' When those composing the Sanhedrin, the first men of the nation, bring to you a man they deem worthy of death, is there need to ask for an accusation against him? They hoped to impress Pilate with a sense of their importance, and thus lead him to accede to their request without going through many preliminaries. They were eager to have their sentence ratified; for they knew that the people who had witnessed Christ's marvelous works could tell a story very different from the fabrication they themselves were now rehearsing."

What is now happening to Historic Adventists across this nation and around the world (within the Adventist structure) not only mirrors what happened between Pilate and Christ, but what will continue to happen in the courts again. The Apostate Adventist Leaders (Ancient and Modern) could not bear-up under honest scrutiny and this is why they pressed their own authority instead of the authority of God's Word. Many today are being brought either under censure or disfellowshipped on a charge that is the same - "not respecting properly constituted church authority". This charge, the same tactic used by the ancient forefathers, is now being utilized by the modern-day Sanhedrin. For a time it may seem that they have the upper hand, but in reality their authority will be short-lived.

Two thousand years ago the Apostate Adventist Leaders pressed their own authority by bringing Christ and His faithful followers before the secular Courts - for condemnation. Today, it has been clearly revealed to us that the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists has indeed begun to move forward with their expected "legal" persecution of true and faithful Adventists.

In the year 1981, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists enacted a civil law with the United States government, trademarking it's name. From that time it has gone forward taking faithful individuals and ministries to court who could not, in good conscience, either submit to the Conference's strategies or surrender the name "Seventh Day Adventist", believing it to be a mark of their faith. Where coercion and threats have failed, force has been employed by the leaders of denominational Adventism to accomplish their aims and "protect the church" from those it perceives as it's enemies. However, It is only when Christians mistakenly come to believe that Christ's kingdom is of this world that they resort to force in defending what they take to be its interests. (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol.5, p. 527).

An important part of the Gospel for these last days is not merely an individual abstinence from known sins, but also a corporate purity. The Bride of Christ is one Bride, and it does not have recourse to the world for heavenly motives. Adventists once taught that to go to human strength in support of a spiritual matter is a rejection of the very Sabbath commandment! Faithful Adventists continue to teach this startling message: that the 10 Commandments must be kept in both letter AND spirit, and the Spirit of the Sabbath involves trusting in Christ to take care of His own people. In all of ecclesiastical history, whenever there has been a union of church and state, an "image" of papal Rome - that first, great enemy of Christianity - has been formed; the Sabbath has been lightly regarded, and "It has ever been true that a backslidden body, one that has turned from God's word to men, from God's power to the state, was never reformed in itself. Invariably God's message has called out those from the fallen church who would do His will and preach His gospel." (SDA Sabbath School Quarterly, 1896). Remember, "it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God's precepts." (Signs of The Times, 22 April, 1889).

Though the satanic efforts put forth by the General Conference in enforcing it's decrees have gone relatively unreported in the past few years, it must not be thought that they have ceased from their course of action. In fact, recent information shows that they are still actively going forward with their oppressive law, and a new round of legislation is most revealing.

Consider: June 11, 2008, United States Federal Court, Memphis Tennessee, Case#: 1:06-cv-01207-JDB Judge James D. Todd presiding. -- The trademarked name "Seventh day Adventist" was upheld by the judge's decision in favour of the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists. However, a complete "victory" was denied the General Conference, regarding the actual words "SDA" and "Adventist". In the matters concerning the terminology "Adventist" and the acronym "S.D.A.", these were scheduled for jury trial, which is scheduled to begin in October 2008.

What this means in essence is: 1- The question as to the name "Seventh Day Adventist" has been decided before the trial and without the hearing of a jury. 2- The judge declined to rule in favor of the Plaintiffs in the matters of the related term "Adventist" and the acronym "S.D.A.", opting to leave these for jury trial, which is was scheduled for October. What this essentially means is that when the case does go to court, the rights to the usage of the term "Adventist" and the acronym "S.D.A." will be decided by a jury instead of a judge. In short, the U.S. Government (via the Court - jury) will decree precisely whom (including you and/or I) may refer to themselves as "Adventist", or even "SDA". They have already decreed precisely whom may refer to themselves as "Seventh-day Adventist".

This actual scenario above is equivalent to the papal church of Rome using the secular Government to decree who can and/or cannot refer to themselves as "Christian". If you are one of those who would scoff at this notion, declaring, such could never occur; it is my privilege to inform you, that this very thing indeed has happened! (Be sure to read A. T. Jones' article in the Review and Herald, May 8th, 1900; and also see his fine book: The Two Republics). Consider too, did not this very thing also happen in Christ's day, when He, as-well-as His disciples, (and also John the baptist), were all charged by their Conference leaders saying: "By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority?".

Thus, it has been revealed (through various agencies) to the entire world that the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists has indeed created "an" image to the beast (not necessarily "the" image - nor unlike it - Revelation 13:11-16), and have in fact, begun to move adamantly forward with their expected "legal" persecution of those who would stand in their way, (that is, those who cling to the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ - Revelation 12:17; 19:10), even to the point of confiscating internet domain names [and all of it's documents therein] on the world scale, simply because such folk refer to themselves as "Seventh-day Adventists".

For those of us who are sincerely trying to remain faithful to the word of God, regardless of what the World's secular governments and their courts decree, the question begs: "What are we to do, are we to stop calling ourselves Seventh-day Adventist, or Adventist, or SDA?". This is a legitimate question, that one day very soon we each will have to address personally. The reason presented to us, of course, is that our continued using of these names is sub-ject to controversy and ridicule, accusations of theft, and subsequent legal battles. Thus, we are confronted with: "Why not, simply give the name up and teach the same gospel under some other name?" As it presently stands, the United States Government has banned Seventh-day Adventism of any form - outside of denominational control and regulation. It is said to us, "You can still believe whatever you want; you simply have to call it something else". Yet this we cannot do.

It can (and should) be noted that the name "Christian" is not one that is "required" for the preaching of Christ; one could call themselves a Baptist, or a Messianic, or a Nazarene, or a host of other terms. Yet were our government or anyone else to demand us (us being: any "Christian" group) to deny the name "Christian", how many would consent to "just change their name?" Few, very few; for this would violate liberty. No man, when faced with the options of death or denying he is a Christian, has ever rightly reasoned thus: "I can say I am not a Christian here and now, but still believe I am in my heart". None of the Reformers in the Middle Ages ever reasoned thusly, and they were indeed addresses with that very issue! (Read: The Great Controversy and/or Foxe's Book of Martyrs). For, such declaration would be labeled cowardice, and dishonesty - and rightly so! To deny oneself as a Christian is to deny all that the term Christianity embodies and represents. To deny Christianity is to deny the acceptance and faith of Christ - even if you were to call yourself something else to justify it in your mind. Is this not so?

We cannot [and should not] acknowledge the united demand of an apostate church and the State as a sound reason to abandon our namesake; for we are Seventh Day Adventists. We are as much Seventh Day Adventists as we are Christians, for the terms are equivalent, and to deny the name Seventh Day Adventist is to deny the acceptance and faith of true Seventh-day Adventism. It is NOT "simply a name"; it is what we are; it is what we believe - even though the apostate demonination no longer believes such. For us to deny the name Seventh day Adventist would be for us to deny who and what we are, no matter the reasoning. The "powers that be" have thus made it illegal for us to be what we are - they have demanded that we deny it "in name only", yet the name is the very representation of it. What are we, if not Seventh Day Adventists?

When a church in alliance with the state employs the secular power to enforce its doctrines by punishing heretics, it repudiates the essential idea of Christianity. - W.W. Prescott, Protestant magazine, (published by the Review and Herald), Nov. 1911

 

Back to The Desire of Ages, chapter 77, and the prophetic parallels...

 

DA 725: "The priests were in a dilemma. They saw that they must cloak their hypocrisy under the thickest concealment. They must not allow it to appear that Christ had been arrested on religious grounds. Were this put forward as a reason, their proceedings would have no weight with Pilate. They must make it appear that Jesus was working against the common law; then He could be punished as a political offender."

Now, why do you suppose the Ancient Adventist Conference was trying desperately to keep the focus away from "religious grounds"? They knew that this exposure would show their true purpose and reveal them for who they really were. Their type of argumentation has already been seen today in the modern Adventist structure and will be seen again in the courts soon enough.

DA 726: "With noisy cries, priests, scribes, and rulers demanded that He be sentenced to death. The cries were taken up by the mob, and the uproar was deafening. Pilate was confused. Seeing that Jesus made no answer to His accusers, Pilate said to Him, 'Answerest Thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against Thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing.'

"Standing behind Pilate, in view of all in the court, Christ heard the abuse; but to all the false charges against Him, He answered not a word. His whole bearing gave evidence of conscious innocence. He stood unmoved by the fury of the waves that beat about Him. It was as if the heavy surges of wrath, rising higher and higher, like the waves of the boisterous ocean, broke about Him, but did not touch Him. He stood silent, but His silence was eloquence. It was a light shining from the inner to the outer man."

God speaks to each heart so we know when we are "defending self", even in the midst of a religious battle. The spirit of Jesus shines brightest when we refuse to defend "self" during those times when we are being abused for His name's sake.

DA 727: "Christ affirmed that His word was in itself a key which would unlock the mystery to those who were prepared to receive it. It had a self-commending power, and this was the secret of the spread of His kingdom of truth."

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. If the message we bear, either verbally or physically, is not a continual understanding of "soul value", then it is not of Christ. Those who "see Jesus" will discern whether or not a man is walking with Christ. Those who live by heavenly principles, keeping their eyes firmly fixed on Christ, will be able to rightly judge what is the truth about such men. Remember, it is not so much what is preached but rather what is lived that is the factor which determines whether or not a man is truly converted. By their fruits you shall know them.

Those who are convinced merely by the words that a man preaches can be fooled as those same people would have been in their opinions of Judas. In thus being fooled, they place themselves in a position of disadvantage with Satan. He then has an opportunity to have some control of the person who places confidence in the one preaching who is not truly converted.

DA 727: "These words from a heathen judge were a scathing rebuke to the perfidy and falsehood of the rulers of Israel who were accusing the Saviour. As the priests and elders heard this from Pilate, their disappointment and rage knew no bounds. They had long plotted and waited for this opportunity. As they saw the prospect of the release of Jesus, they seemed ready to tear Him in pieces."

Be ye not fooled! Even today there are those of us who realize the Conference is plotting to "do in" certain individuals and certain Independent Ministries. The true reasons and the arguments starting to surface are strangely similar to those of long ago. We are not blind to the forecast on the horizon. There are many who may be unwary of these things, but be certain that not everyone is. The Lord has left us these plain Testimonies for serious contemplation, and not everyone will forsake the Word of the Lord. While the majority of professed SDAs are literally "dumping" the Spirit of Prophecy, there are others who are indeed praising God's Holy Name for this extended blessing.

DA 728: "Angry voices were now heard, declaring that the seditious influence of Jesus was well known throughout the country."

Sedition = conduct or language inciting to rebellion against the authority of the state.

The ancient leaders were, in fact, worried about Christ causing rebellion - but not against the state! They are still worried today about the same thing. It has already been shown in this very chapter (77) of our study, and will continue to be seen (outside of this book study) in the future, that this concern for the overthrow of their own apostate power has been and will be transferred to the "state level" in order that testimony might be brought against God's true people. Our own books reveal how it will all end - as in the trial of Jesus we can clearly define our own future, whether we are faithful or among those who are not.

DA 729: "Herod questioned Christ in many words, but throughout the Saviour maintained a profound silence. At the command of the king, the decrepit and maimed were then called in, and Christ was ordered to prove His claims by working a miracle. Men say that Thou canst heal the sick, said Herod. I am anxious to see that Thy wide-spread fame has not been belied. Jesus did not respond, and Herod still continued to urge: If Thou canst work miracles for others, work them now for Thine own good, and it will serve Thee a good purpose. Again he commanded, Show us a sign that Thou hast the power with which rumor hath accredited Thee. But Christ was as one who heard and saw not. The Son of God had taken upon Himself man's nature. He must do as man must do in like circumstances. Therefore He would not work a miracle to save Himself the pain and humiliation that man must endure when placed in a similar position."

If we could but understand what Christ was willing to do because of His love for us while we were yet His enemies. I have heard many claim that "Christ had an advantage in His overcoming sin that we don't have". I shudder to think what many of us would have done if we had the power that was Christ's - which He chose not to use for our sakes.

The DA 729 statement above shows that in many ways Christ had a decided disadvantage - which made His journey as an overcomer all the more difficult. Jesus took no "advantage" that we cannot take if we choose to have it. The problem is not with any advantage or disadvantage but with people who murmur about wanting to go to heaven while clinging to their cherished sins. We can't have it both ways.

DA 730: "Again the priests and rulers, in great anxiety, urged their accusations against Him. Raising their voices, they declared, He is a traitor, a blasphemer. He works His miracles through the power given Him by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils."

When people credit Lucifer with the work of God, or the other way around, they are the ones guilty of blaspheming. It would be wise to understand that not all claimed miracles are such - nor are they from the Lord. Another point to ponder is "the true works of God", done by the true and the faithful, will be misaligned by those who wish to discredit the influence of the servant. We should know that this will be "the lot" of those who choose to stand on the side of the Lord. When these events come about (it's already started), we cannot afford to allow them to discourage us. We must take a firm resolve as did Job - and stay on course no matter who brings us a discouraging report, even if it be our "friends".

I think I'll take an opportunity here to mention the subject of "gossip in the church". Please understand, gossip is indeed a form of murder. When rightly understood, it will be detested by God's people. Reporting that which is true within the framework of God's principles is proper, but in many cases these principles are not followed.

A "gossiper" is one who reports without verifying the truth of the matter. A gossiper is one who reports publicly the shortcomings of one who is truly not rebellious or in open sin but who is struggling to overcome. A gossiper is one who is more interested in the destruction of the one being spoken of - than in his salvation. I can assure you that no gossipers will be found in heaven. Before we go reporting on someone, let's consider our own motivation and let's make sure we have followed Biblical principle.

Having said that, let's also understand and accept the fact that the majority have no interest in what is written above and therefore gossip will continue and get worse. It happened to Jesus, and He told His disciples that it would happen to them. As we follow God's principles as true followers, it will save us much grief in at least two ways: We ourselves will not be gossipers and when we hear gossip, if we follow God's principles, will find out the truth before we believe what was said or pass it on as though such were gospel truth. I believe if this one evil was overcome, it would be a great blessing to all of us. A gossiper literally invites the devil to dine at his table.

DA 731: "No sooner were these words spoken, than a rush was made for Christ. Like wild beasts, the crowd darted upon their prey. Jesus was dragged this way and that, Herod joining the mob in seeking to humiliate the Son of God. Had not the Roman soldiers interposed, and forced back the maddened throng, the Saviour would have been torn in pieces."

Once again I ask the question: Who made up the crowd that made Jesus a prey? Who was the crowd that the Roman soldiers had to stop? If it had been left up to "the church" two thousand years ago, "the church" would have torn Jesus to bits! There is indeed a future fulfillment of this scene, and the players represented at the trial of Christ will all be in their places to act out their parts.

DA 731-2: "He had declared that Jesus was innocent, yet he was willing for Him to be scourged to pacify His accusers. He would sacrifice justice and principle, in order to compromise with the mob. This placed him at a disadvantage. The crowd presumed upon his indecision, and clamored the more for the life of the prisoner. If at the first Pilate had stood firm, refusing to condemn a man whom he found guiltless, he would have broken the fatal chain that was to bind him in remorse and guilt as long as he lived. Had he carried out his convictions of right, the Jews would not have presumed to dictate to him. Christ would have been put to death, but the guilt would not have rested upon Pilate. But Pilate had taken step after step in the violation of his conscience. He had excused himself from judging with justice and equity, and he now found himself almost helpless in the hands of the priests and rulers. His wavering and indecision proved his ruin."

The principles of actions displayed by Pilate are a sad testimony of how many are acting, right now. Rather than taking a stand for the truth as it is in Jesus, many pastors and laity alike are "swarming" to the popular side. This fatal mistake can be changed, but only by taking a firm stand for what is right and leaving the consequences with God. Those who cannot bring themselves to trust totally in the Lord will have no place with Him.

An example of this in today's Adventist society: Many times lately, I have heard complaints about placing such books as the Great Controversy "in the forefront". The comments generally go something like this: "You are bringing on a time of trouble before it is time". These comments are coming from the laity and Conference folks alike.

At the same time these comments are being made, we have clear testimony in numerous places that tells us that God could have come over a hundred years ago if we would have done our part. To the unbelieving, the comment of "bringing on a time of trouble prematurely" will ALWAYS be valid. What is really being stated, however, to the discerning mind is that "we want to live out our lives in peace and wish not to be disturbed". Thus, the sleeping virgins want to continue to sleep - and not join the wedding procession.

In this generation, the evidence is clear that everyone's peace WILL be disturbed. The Lord is convincing many that it's time to go into the promised land. I firmly believe that no matter what the complaint, this work is on it's way to completion and nothing will stop it this time. We are in the shaking time, the time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The Lord will not excuse those who know the truth if they do not in word and deed obey His commands. (6T 332 - LDE 173.4)

It was "the murmuring of Israel" which kept them out of the promised land; and it will be murmuring that will keep out the majority this time. Let's pray that we will stop our murmuring and place our trust and confidence in our Guide and go home!

DA 733: "He was confused by his own conflicting emotions. But while he had been delaying to act, the priests and rulers were still further inflaming the minds of the people. Pilate was forced to action."

The "church" played on the emotions of Pilate. These pastors and administrators knew how to apply the pressure and they seized this opportunity with success. Pilate was FORCED into action because his emotions ruled his principles instead of the other way around. This is why we see the big push on the "mushy love" that's been pouring from the pulpits for so long. True love is a combining balance of mercy and justice. The laity are being force-fed the "mercy" without the "justice" which is nothing more than what we blame other churches for, but with a different name -- cheap grace.

DA 736: " 'Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?'

"Jesus answered, 'Thou couldst have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above; therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.'"

An extremely important lesson which we need to ask the Lord to help us to learn has to do with God's sovereign power. As we enter into our own experience of persecution, we must understand what Jesus always knew. What gave Him the faith to be victorious? He knew that nothing could happen to Him except as His Father would allow. He knew that His Father wouldn't betray Him in His hour of need. This solid belief allowed Jesus to leave events and consequences fully in His Father's hands. This is how to have the faith OF Jesus Christ. This is what we MUST have!

DA 737: " 'He that delivered Me unto thee,' said Jesus, 'hath the greater sin.' By this Christ meant Caiaphas, who, as high priest, represented the Jewish nation. They knew the principles that controlled the Roman authorities. They had had light in the prophecies that testified of Christ, and in His own teachings and miracles. The Jewish judges had received unmistakable evidence of the divinity of Him whom they condemned to death. And according to their light would they be judged.

"THE GREATEST GUILT AND HEAVIEST RESPONSIBILITY BELONGED TO THOSE WHO STOOD IN THE HIGHEST PLACES IN THE NATION, THE DEPOSITARIES OF SACRED TRUSTS THAT THEY WERE BASELY BETRAYING. Pilate, Herod, and the Roman soldiers were comparatively ignorant of Jesus. They thought to please the priests and rulers by abusing Him. They had not the light which the Jewish nation had so abundantly received. HAD THE LIGHT BEEN GIVEN TO THE SOLDIERS, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TREATED CHRIST AS CRUELLY AS THEY DID.

"Again Pilate proposed to release the Saviour. 'But the Jews cried out saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend.' Thus these hypocrites pretended to be jealous for the authority of Caesar. Of all the opponents of the Roman rule, the Jews were most bitter. When it was safe for them to do so, they were most tyrannical in enforcing their own national and religious requirements; but when they desired to bring about some purpose of cruelty, they exalted the power of Caesar. To accomplish the destruction of Christ, they would profess loyalty to the foreign rule which they hated."

Those at "the top" who are betraying their sacred trust will be condemned the most - not by men, but by God!

I want to point out an insight here and I pray that you grasp it. You will notice that the ancient Jews hated the Romans - but when they needed them, they would "exalt" them. Today we hear the Conferences making the claim that they would never enter into league with the Roman power. But I ask you this: Do you really think that the makeup of the human brain has changed? If you do, you are sadly mistaken.

History has been and is being repeated because the minds of men have not changed. So, will an apostate conference go into league with the Roman power? The answer is seen in the trial of Christ. Jesus is trying to show us the truth in these matters. IT IS ONLY THOSE WHO ACCEPT THESE TRUTHS WHO WILL JOIN HIM ON HIS THRONE.

There is also the matter of ecumenism; wherein it is a verifiable fact that the professing Seventh-day Adventist church has indeed entered into league with fallen Babylon. Brothers and Sisters, we could very easily spend 500 pages on this topic alone. But I will save that for another time. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about this VITAL issue, I would encourage you to visit the website address I mentioned earlier in Section 6 (ie; Chapter 71).

Moving on.

DA 737-8: "...by choosing a heathen ruler, the Jewish nation had withdrawn from the theocracy. They had rejected God as their king. Henceforth they had no deliverer. They had no king but Caesar. To this the priests and teachers had led the people. For this, with the fearful results that followed, they were responsible. A NATION'S SIN AND A NATION'S RUIN WERE DUE TO THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS."

By choosing "the association of Babylon" and using "the courts of the land" against other Seventh-day Adventists, the Conferences have left the theocracy - and chosen a king - other than God. We are told in the book Great Controversy that the religious leaders of this nation will bring about national ruin. The guilt of this disaster will not rest upon the leaders of "other" Protestant churches alone but upon apostate Adventist leaders as well. As a matter of fact, the guilt of these Adventist leaders will be the greater -because of their greater claim to "the truth of Adventism".

DA 738: "Pilate longed to deliver Jesus. But he saw that he could not do this, and yet retain his own position and honor. Rather than lose his worldly power, he chose to sacrifice an innocent life. How many, to escape loss or suffering, in like manner sacrifice principle. Conscience and duty point one way, and self-interest points another. The current sets strongly in the wrong direction, and he who compromises with evil is swept away into the thick darkness of guilt."

Many professed Christians, (not excluding Seventh-day Adventists), will share in the feelings of Pilate because they are living by the same compromise he did. We must remember that it is the law of the universe that: for every cause there is an effect. Whatever we choose to do will have it's consequences somewhere down the line. For those of us who have made our share of mistakes, now is the pristine time to give our shortcomings to the Lord that the effect of our bad choices might be minimized - and not be held on "our account" for all eternity.

DA 738-40: "When Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Christ, Caiaphas answered defiantly, 'His blood be on us, and on our children.' The awful words were taken up by the priests and rulers, and echoed by the crowd in an inhuman roar of voices. The whole multitude answered and said, 'His blood be on us, and on our children.'

"The people of Israel had made their choice. Pointing to Jesus they had said, 'Not this man, but Barabbas.' Barabbas, the robber and murderer, was the representative of Satan. Christ was the representative of God. Christ had been rejected; Barabbas had been chosen. Barabbas they were to have. In making this choice they accepted him who from the beginning was a liar and a murderer. Satan was their leader. As a nation they would act out his dictation. His works they would do. His rule they must endure. That people who chose Barabbas in the place of Christ were to feel the cruelty of Barabbas as long as time should last.

"Looking upon the smitten Lamb of God, the Jews had cried, 'His blood be on us, and on our children.' That awful cry ascended to the throne of God. That sentence, pronounced upon themselves, was written in heaven. That prayer was heard. The blood of the Son of God was upon their children and their children's children, a perpetual curse.

"Terribly was it realized in the destruction of Jerusalem. Terribly has it been manifested in the condition of the Jewish nation for eighteen hundred years, -- a branch severed from the vine, a dead, fruitless branch, to be gathered up and burned. From land to land throughout the world, from century to century, dead, dead in trespasses and sins!

"...Those who mocked and smote Him will be there. The priests and rulers will behold again the scene in the judgment-hall. Every circumstance will appear before them, as if written in letters of fire. Then those who prayed, 'His blood be on us, and on our children,' will receive the answer to their prayer. Then the whole world will know and understand. They will realize who and what they, poor, feeble, finite beings, have been warring against. In awful agony and horror they will cry to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?'" (Rev. 6:16, 17.)

To claim to be spiritual Israel but not to follow Christ's instructions is to share in the curse of "let His blood be upon us and our children!"

Desire of Ages and the SDA Church today

Section 10

The Desire of Ages

Chapter 78

DA 741: " 'And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him.'"

Who are the "they" in this quotation? Christ died for us all because we need a saviour - but the Ancient Adventist Church should not have been the ones to murder Him.

DA 742: "The crowd that followed the Saviour saw His weak and staggering steps, but they manifested no compassion. They taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the heavy cross. Again the burden was laid upon Him, and again He fell fainting to the ground. His persecutors saw that it was impossible for Him to carry His burden farther. They were puzzled to find any one who would bear the humiliating load. The Jews themselves could not do this, because the defilement would prevent them from keeping the Passover. None even of the mob that followed Him would stoop to bear the cross."

No one who refuses to bear the humiliating load of Christ's cross will share in the glory of Christ's crown. Even though "the church" was literally killing the Son of God, they would continue on with "business as usual", and looked forward to keeping the Passover which represented the very Person whom they were killing! They had become so blind that they couldn't recognize the Truth even when it was actually right before them! Do not be fooled into believing that something like this could not happen in the Seventh-day Adventist "Church". It not only can happen, it has happened, and is currently happening right now and will continue to do so for a short while longer.

DA 742-43: "Not a few women are in the crowd that follow the Uncondemned to His cruel death. Their attention is fixed upon Jesus. Some of them have seen Him before. Some have carried to Him their sick and suffering ones. Some have themselves been healed. The story of the scenes that have taken place is related. They wonder at the hatred of the crowd toward Him for whom their own hearts are melting and ready to break. And notwithstanding the action of the maddened throng, and the angry words of the priests and rulers, these women give expression to their sympathy. As Jesus falls fainting beneath the cross, they break forth into mournful wailing.

"This was the only thing that attracted Christ's attention. Although full of suffering, while bearing the sins of the world, He was not indifferent to the expression of grief. He looked upon these women with tender compassion. They were not believers in Him; He knew that they were not lamenting Him as one sent from God, but were moved by feelings of human pity. He did not despise their sympathy, but it awakened in His heart a deeper sympathy for them. 'Daughters of Jerusalem,' He said, 'weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.' From the scene before Him, Christ looked forward to the time of Jerusalem's destruction. In that terrible scene, many of those who were now weeping for Him, were to perish with their children."

Even these non-believing "women" are amazed at the hatred that the Conference Leadership has toward Christ! Brothers and Sisters, I believe the above passage is deeply rich with meaning. We know that in Scripture,"women" or "woman" is also symbolic. It would not be difficult to write a few chapters on this subject alone, while at the same time showing the relationship to the above DA passage as it corresponds to our study, as well as parallels throughout history and the time of trouble to come in the not too distant future.

But for the sake of simplicity, recall (above) that Jesus tells these non-believing "women" that they should be weeping for themselves. Why? Because He was looking forward, and He knew that MOST of the people in the crowd would continue to be influenced by the apostate conference men who would continue to say "The ship is going through". They, in turn, would continue to believe this - and would be destroyed with that particular ship because it, in truth, was NOT the ship that was going through.

DA 743: "From the fall of Jerusalem the thoughts of Jesus passed to a wider judgment. IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE IMPENITENT CITY HE SAW A SYMBOL OF THE FINAL DESTRUCTION TO COME UPON THE WORLD. He said, 'Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?' By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself, the innocent Redeemer. God suffered His wrath against transgression to fall on His beloved Son. Jesus was to be crucified for the sins of men. WHAT SUFFERING, THEN, WOULD THE SINNER BEAR WHO CONTINUED IN SIN? ALL THE IMPENITENT AND UNBELIEVING WOULD KNOW A SORROW AND MISERY THAT LANGUAGE WOULD FAIL TO EXPRESS."

If Jerusalem is a symbol of the bigger destruction of the world, what then can we learn? Who made up the populace of that city? Jerusalem, the headquarters of "the church", was also the headquarters of Rome in that region of the empire.

We will find in the near future that the physical headquarters of modern Rome will be located "not too far from" the Adventist structure's headquarters, (in Silver Spring Maryland - USA). Rome will indeed have "A" headquarters in Washington DC. And, as the Romansworked "hand in hand" for the destruction of Christ, likewise in the future they will work "hand in hand" for the destruction of God's last day people. This may be difficult to believe; but not any more difficult than two thousand years ago. Only those who took God (Jesus) at His Word escaped the destruction of Jerusalem. We can expect that a similar group of believers will escape the destruction to come, as it surely will.

Leaders who teach their congregations that they can continue in sin and "cannot stop sinning" either knowingly or unknowingly are leading these people to eternal damnation. If we truly love others, the exposure of this deadly heresy [as well as several other deadly heresies] must take place and be openly challenged. People must be given the opportunity to know the truth to stop listening to the lies of these agents of Satan.

DA 743: "Of the multitude that followed the Saviour to Calvary, many had attended Him with joyful hosannas and the waving of palm branches, as He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. But not a few who had then shouted His praise because it was popular to do so, now swelled the cry of 'Crucify Him! crucify Him!' When Christ rode into Jerusalem, the hopes of the disciples had been raised to the highest pitch. They had pressed close about their Master, feeling that it was a high honor to be connected with Him. Now in His humiliation they followed Him at a distance. They were filled with grief, and bowed down with disappointed hopes. How were the words of Jesus verified: 'All ye shall be offended because of Me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.' (Matt. 26:31)."

To follow Christ for "political reasons" because it's "popular to do so" or for any other reason than from conviction based on a love for God and His truth, will prove to be fatal! Every single person whose motivation and actions fall below His "standards" WILL betray, forsake, and be lost!

DA 744: "The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death-dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness, -- 'for they know not what they do.'"

Here Jesus wonderfully demonstrates the balance of warfare and welfare. While He had exposed His enemies and denounced them with scathing rebukes, He had no human feelings of vengeance toward them, but only pity. He would have gladly forgiven them if they had repented; He had no pleasure in the thoughts of their future destruction. Today, although we are to do the same work, we can be guilty of murder ourselves if we enjoy the destruction of our enemies. We must do what we do for the purposes of salvation, not for the purpose of destruction. Jesus had the perfect balance of "not blind, nor bitter".

DA 744-45: "Had they known that they were putting to torture One who had come to save the sinful race from eternal ruin, they would have been seized with remorse and horror. BUT THEIR IGNORANCE DID NOT REMOVE THEIR GUILT; for it was their privilege to know and accept Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them would yet see their sin, and repent, and be converted. Some by their impenitence would make it an impossibility for the prayer of Christ to be answered for them. Yet just the same God's purpose was reaching its fulfillment. Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father's presence.

"That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. 'Whosoever will' may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life."

Here is yet another description of the modern "Adventist Church". No one has (or has had) greater opportunity to learn about Jesus and His truth than those in "the Adventist movement". The majority are ignorant of the weightier matters, but willfully so. Their ignorance will not be valid during the judgement period, but it does explain "WHY they do what they do". Some, during this time of ongoing education, will see the truth, repent and be converted. Others (the majority) because of stubbornness, willful blindness, wanting to be popular, and love for cherished idols will refuse to be converted. This group is the reason why God inspired Ellen White to write that "Our religion would be changed" and "we have more to fear from within than without".

DA 745: "Pilate then wrote an inscription in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and placed it upon the cross, above the head of Jesus. It read, 'Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.' This inscription irritated the Jews. In Pilate's court they had cried, 'Crucify Him!' 'We have no king but Caesar.' (John 19:15.) They had declared that whoever should acknowledge any other king was a traitor. Pilate wrote out the sentiment they had expressed. NO OFFENSE WAS MENTIONED, EXCEPT THAT JESUS WAS THE KING OF THE JEWS. THE INSCRIPTION WAS A VIRTUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE ALLEGIANCE OF THE JEWS TO THE ROMAN POWER. IT DECLARED THAT WHOEVER MIGHT CLAIM TO BE THE KING OF ISRAEL, WOULD BE JUDGED BY THEM WORTHY OF DEATH. The priests had overreached themselves. When they were plotting the death of Christ, Caiaphas had declared it expedient that one man should die to save the nation. Now their hypocrisy was revealed. In order to destroy Christ, they had been ready to sacrifice even their national existence."

You will notice that the only offense charged to Jesus was, in fact, the truth. You will also notice that the Jews' (Ancient Adventists who were in apostasy) allegiance was with Rome and not God. To declare that the truth of Christ was above the traditions of Rome meant sure death. In the not too distant future, the true and faithful who will stand for God's Word and declare that the traditions of Rome are "not valid" will face the death decree. The other group - who declares that the traditions of Rome are above God's Word will also face the death decree. It is up to you to decide which death decree you want to face.

DA 746-49: "And Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross. The archfiend and his hosts were co-operating with the priests and rulers. The teachers of the people had stimulated the ignorant mob to pronounce judgment against One upon whom many of them had never looked, until urged to bear testimony against Him. Priests, rulers, Pharisees, and the hardened rabble were confederated together in a Satanic frenzy. Religious rulers united with Satan and his angels. They were doing his bidding."

Just as Jesus was completing "this phase" of the plan of salvation, Satan and his angels, in human form, appeared to deceive all who could be deceived. The same deception will take place just as Jesus is bringing "the final phase" of salvation to a close. We are told in Revelation and the book Great Controversy that Satan will appear as an angel of light to deceive the nations.

Most Adventists I've met realize that Satan will personate Christ in order to deceive; but I have met very few Adventists who understand that Satan will not "come alone". Did you realize that he will bring "the apostles" with him? Let's read it here in Great Controversy page 557: "The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth." Maybe you can better understand that unless we have the mind of Christ, which can only be obtained by "following Him all the way", this deception to come will be overpowering. Only those who are fully connected with Christ will make it through this time. The preparation time which we are now enjoying is quickly disappearing and we had better be paying attention.

DA 749: "In their mockery of the Saviour, the men who professed to be the expounders of prophecy were repeating the very words which inspiration had foretold they would utter upon this occasion. Yet in their blindness they did not see that they were fulfilling the prophecy."

This same blindness is even now being repeated. This prophecy is having its fulfillment in our day. In their blindness, the leaders are preaching toward their own doom and fulfilling the prophecy of their own destruction.

DA 753: "Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father's mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father's reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.

"SATAN WITH HIS FIERCE TEMPTATIONS WRUNG THE HEART OF JESUS. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God, that their separation was to be eternal. CHRIST FELT THE ANGUISH WHICH THE SINNER WILL FEEL WHEN MERCY SHALL NO LONGER PLEAD FOR THE GUILTY RACE. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God."

Every soul who takes a stand for Jesus in these last days will have to go through a similar experience in their own sphere which He had to go through. But especially will the 144,000 understand by experience what price Jesus paid for our salvation. During "the time of trouble AFTER probation closes", this group will feel a similar anguish of soul that wrung the heart of their Saviour. This will be "a terrible ordeal" but in the end it will separate this group from any other in the entire universe. Theirs will be an elevated experience known only to them and their Lord.

On the other side of the coin, those who choose apostasy instead of Christ will feel a deepened terror that was only felt by those who killed Christ. There will not be another group of human beings who share in this same terror. Thus, to make a profession of Adventism and turn from what it really means (especially so for the leadership) is serious business. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, we do not want to be a part of this "church"! To one day face the reality of this truth and know that eternity was "in the palms of our hands", yet be forever lost! The terror will be indescribable. Let us choose rather to place our feeble selves in the hands of a caring Father for He will see us through the trouble ahead.

I have always believed and taughtthat "no one will escape persecution in the end anyway". A small group will be persecuted by man and Satan. The larger group will be persecuted by God (Matt 10:28 - Rev. 19:20). Let us choose the right group in which to be persecuted.

DA 756: "In silence the beholders watched for the end of the fearful scene. The sun shone forth; but the cross was still enveloped in darkness. Priests and rulers looked toward Jerusalem; and lo, the dense cloud had settled over the city, and the plains of Judea. The Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, was withdrawing His beams from the once favored city of Jerusalem. The fierce lightnings of God's wrath were directed against the fated city."

Jesus Christ Who had "raised up Jerusalem" with His own power - had the power to reject it (Jerusalem). According to this history, the "fierce lightnings of God's wrath" will be directed against the apostate people of Jerusalem - Apostate Adventists.

DA 756: "Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father's acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father's favor was withdrawn. BY FAITH, CHRIST WAS VICTOR."

All immediate evidence suggested that the Heavenly Father had forsaken His Son; but Christ's personal "life experience with God" had developed the faith that was victorious over all the assaults of Satan. This faith, the faith OF Jesus Christ, identifies His true people who: ARE HIS TRUE CHURCH.

DA 756-57: "Never before had the earth witnessed such a scene. The multitude stood paralyzed, and with bated breath gazed upon the Saviour. Again darkness settled upon the earth, and a hoarse rumbling, like heavy thunder, was heard. There was a violent earthquake. The people were shaken together in heaps. The wildest confusion and consternation ensued. In the surrounding mountains, rocks were rent asunder, and went crashing down into the plains. Sepulchers were broken open, and the dead were cast out of their tombs. Creation seemed to be shivering to atoms. Priests, rulers, soldiers, executioners, and people, mute with terror, lay prostrate upon the ground.

"When the loud cry, 'It is finished,' came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. In this place the shekinah had dwelt. Here God had manifested His glory above the mercy-seat. No one but the high priest ever lifted the veil separating this apartment from the rest of the temple. He entered in once a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people. But lo, this veil is rent in twain. The most holy place of the earthly sanctuary is no longer sacred.

"All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God's Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living was is prepared for all. No longer need sinful, sorrowing humanity await the coming of the high priest. Henceforth the Saviour was to officiate as priest and advocate in the heaven of heavens. It was as if a living voice had spoken to the worshipers: There is now an end to all sacrifices and offerings for sin. The Son of God is come according to His word, 'Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.' 'By His own blood' He entereth 'in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.' (Heb. 10:17; 9:12)."

This "terror and confusion" spoken of, here in Desire of Ages, is the same that will be on the earth, and in the hearts of apostate pastors, leaders, and all who reject God's warnings and mercies. ALL the scenes that you have studied in this wonderful book are now being repeated, and will continue to follow the same course viewed two thousand years ago.

When the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom at the command of God, it was a signal and an invitation to all to understand that no pastor or priest would stand between man and God save Jesus Christ alone. In this study, inspiration has clearly demonstrated that God is not "bound" to any pastor, Conference Worker, Conference Leader, General Conference, or a people once chosen - even though those same people would have you believe otherwise.

This study has been researched and written in the honest hope that all who read it will come to a better understanding of not only "what has been", but also "what is and what will be". I am truly convinced that our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, is warning us about "events just now happening and those about to happen" so we are not deceived. I also understand that many statements in this study are "hard sayings", but it is just as imperative that we take them into our lives as it was for the disciples.

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" says God's Word, for we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that the majority will be lost because they refused to take God at His Word.

Wherever you are, or whatever you're doing, no matter where your present loyalties lie, I would implore you to take this study most seriously. If our understanding of the past is correct, I believe that your very existence depends on how you choose to react to what you have read.

It's decision time, dear Brothers and Sisters. What will it be? Will you go to man for your salvation or to God? Your eternal destiny hangs upon your answer.

Choose ye this day....

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(Portions adapted from the book:

Prophetic parallels: the church "then" and the church now by Terry S. Ross)

....freely you have received, freely you give. Matt 10:8