Has the Professing SDA Church Violated the Second Angel's Message and the Midnight Cry?

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Dear Reader,

In a quest to discover the reasons why God and Ellen White said that spiritual “Jerusalem,” the professing Seventh-day Adventist church will be the object of a literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 9, we will here explore whether or not that church has violated the second angel’s message and the Midnight Cry of Matthew 24.

First, we will cite the second angel’s message and then the Midnight Cry:

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

What is the penalty for violating any one of the three angel’s messages, considering that one pays homage to the beast power and disobeys commands of God in doing such:

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Now the Midnight Cry and the Second Angel’s Message:

Matthew 25


1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then at midnight all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

In 1844, Ellen White said that the Midnight Cry gave power to the second angel’s message.

     The churches would not receive the light of the first angel's message, and as they rejected the light from heaven they fell from the favor of God. They trusted in their own strength, and placed themselves by their opposition to the first message where they could not see the light of the second angel's message. But the beloved of God, who were oppressed, answered to the message, Babylon is fallen, and left the fallen churches. {1SG 140.1}

Note:  It is clear to see that rejection light on and disobedience to any one of the angel’s messages a church falls from the favor of God to become part of Babylon.  

     Near the close of the second angel's message, I saw a great light from heaven shining upon the people of God. The rays of this light seemed bright as the sun. And I heard the voices of angels crying, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him! {1SG 140.2}

The words “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him” constitute the Midnight Cry of Matthew 25:6.

     The midnight cry was given to give power to the second angel's message. Angels were sent from heaven to wake up the discouraged saints, and prepare them for the great work before
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them. The most talented men were not the first to receive this message. Angels were sent to the humble, devoted ones, and constrained them to raise the cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Those entrusted with the cry made haste, and in the power of the Holy Spirit spread the cry, and aroused their discouraged brethren. This cry did not stand in the wisdom and learning of men, but in the power of God, and his saints who heard the cry could not resist it. The most spiritual received this message first, and those who had formerly led in the work were the last to receive and help swell the cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. {1SG 140.3}

     In every part of the land, light was given upon the second angel's message, and the cry was melting down thousands. It went from city to city, and from village to village, until the waiting people of God were fully aroused. Many would not permit this message to enter the churches, and a large company who had the living testimony within them left the fallen churches. A mighty work was accomplished by the midnight cry. The message was heart-searching, and led the believers to seek a living experience for themselves. They knew that they could not lean upon one another. {1SG 141.1}

   The saints anxiously waited for their Lord with fasting, watching and almost constant prayer.
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Even some sinners looked forward to the time with terror, while the great mass seemed to be stirred against this message, and manifested the spirit of Satan. They mocked and scoffed, and everywhere was heard, No man knoweth the day and the hour. Evil angels exulted around them, urging them on to harden their hearts, and to reject every ray of light from heaven, that they might fasten them in the snare. Many professed to be looking for their Lord, who had neither part nor lot in the matter. The glory of God they had witnessed, the humility and deep devotion of the waiting ones, and the overwhelming weight of evidence, caused them to profess to receive the truth. But they were not converted. They were not ready. A spirit of solemn and earnest prayer was everywhere felt by the saints. A holy solemnity was resting upon them. Angels with the deepest interest had watched the result, and were elevating those who received the heavenly message, and were drawing them from earthly things to obtain large supplies from salvation's fountain. God's people were then accepted with him. Jesus looked upon them with pleasure. His image was reflected in them. They had made a full sacrifice, an entire consecration, and expected to be changed to immortality. But they were destined to be again sadly disappointed. The time to which they looked, expecting deliverance, passed. They were still upon the earth,
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and the effects of the curse never seemed more visible. They had placed their affections on heaven, and in sweet anticipation, had tasted immortal deliverance; but their hopes were not realized. {1SG 141.2}

     The fear that had rested upon many of the people did not at once disappear. They did not immediately triumph over the disappointed ones. But as no visible wrath of God was felt by them, they recovered from the fear they had felt, and commenced their ridicule, their mocking, and scoffing. The people of God were again proved, and tested. The world laughed, and mocked, and reproached them; and those who had believed without a doubt that Jesus would then come and raise the dead, and change the living saints, and take the kingdom, and possess it forever, felt like the disciples of Christ.-- They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. {1SG 143.1}

Note: So the second angel’s message was a cry that Babylon had fallen and the Midnight Cry instructed to go out of Babylon, the fallen churches.  It was a message of separation from the world and churches that had become to much like the world than no difference could be seen.

The Sins of Babylon

     I saw that since the second angel proclaimed the fall of the churches, they have been growing more and more corrupt. They bear the name of being Christ's followers; yet it is impossible to distinguish them from the world. Ministers take their texts from the Word of God, but preach smooth things. To this the natural heart feels no objection. It is only the spirit and power of the truth and the salvation of Christ that are hateful to the carnal heart. There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble, or applies to the heart and conscience the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come. Wicked men are generally pleased with a form of piety without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion. {EW 273.1}

Note: Clearly, to link with the fallen churches is to link with the world, because it is impossible to distinguish them from the world.  Linking to Babylon in any way is to marry the church to the world.

"Like ancient Israel, the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties, and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and CHRIST HAS DEPARTED. His Spirit has been quenched in the church. Satan works wide by side with professed Christians yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him." E.G. White, Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 441-442.

 

In Ellen White’s day, though the church was playing the harlot by departing from her duties, she had not joined Babylon’s associations, councils and confederacies.  That occurred in the early 1960’s when she joined the Council of Free Churches in Hungary and other National Councils of Churches around the world.  In the latter 1980s, 1500 Hungarians protested the church’s MEMBERSHIP in the Hungarian Council of Free Churches, which was a MEMBER of the World Council of Churches.  Those members were barred from their churches by body guards placed at the door on Sabbath mornings.  This action by the SDA church has never been repented of or corrected.

     Said the angel, "Nothing less than the whole armor of righteousness can enable man to overcome the powers of darkness and retain the victory over them. Satan has taken full possession of the churches as a body.

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The sayings and doings of men are dwelt upon instead of the plain, cutting truths of the Word of God. The spirit and friendship of the world are at enmity with God. When the truth in its simplicity and strength, as it is in Jesus, is brought to bear against the spirit of the world, it at once awakens the spirit of persecution. Very many who profess to be Christians have not known God. The natural heart has not been changed, and the carnal mind remains at enmity with God. They are Satan's faithful servants, notwithstanding they have assumed another name." {EW 273.2}

     I saw that since Jesus left the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and entered within the second veil, the churches have been filling up with every unclean and hateful bird. I saw great iniquity and vileness in the churches; yet their members profess to be Christians. Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God. Said the angel, "God will not smell in their assemblies. Selfishness, fraud, and deceit are practiced by them without the reprovings of conscience. And over all these evil traits they throw the cloak of religion." I was shown the pride of the nominal churches. God is not in their thoughts; their carnal minds dwell upon themselves; they decorate their poor mortal bodies, and then look upon themselves with satisfaction and pleasure. Jesus and the angels look upon them in anger. Said the angel, "Their sins and pride have reached unto heaven. Their portion is prepared. Justice and judgment have slumbered long, but will soon awake. Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." The fearful threatenings of the third angel are to be realized, and all the wicked are to drink of the wrath of God. An innumerable host of evil angels are spreading over the whole land and crowding the churches. These agents of Satan look upon the religious bodies

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with exultation, for the cloak of religion covers the greatest crime and iniquity. {EW 274.1}

God’s Separation Message

2Cr 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,

 

God will gather His bride, the 144,000 remnant, and bring her into wilderness outposts.  She will give the Loud Cry of the third angel from these outposts, and will purge all from the Kingdom of Heaven who will not receive her cry to the world.

 

“Rebels will be purged out from among the loyal and true.”  MR, Vol. 5, , p. 297.

 

34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Luk 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

Deu 14:2 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth.

Tts 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Friend, the call out was a call to come out and stay out of association, counsel, girding and confederacy with Babylon.  The Directory of Christian Councils, published by the World Council of Churches, copyrighted 1985, says on the last page:

Chap. 176 - Work the Cities from Outposts

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 2 Cor. 6:17.

     As God's commandment-keeping people, we must leave the cities. As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them. {Mar 184.1}

     As far as possible, our institutions should be located away from the cities. . . . It is not God's will that His people shall settle in the cities, where there is constant turmoil and confusion. Their children should be spared this; for the whole system is demoralized by the hurry and rush and noise. The Lord desires His people to move into the country, where they can settle on the land, and raise their own fruit and vegetables, and where their children can be brought in direct contact with the works of God in nature. Take your families away from the cities is my message. {Mar 184.2}

     The truth must be spoken, whether men will hear, or whether men will forbear. The cities are filled with temptation. We should plan our work in such a way as to keep our young people as far as possible from this contamination. {Mar 184.3}

     The cities are to be worked from outposts. Said the messenger of God, "Shall not the cities be warned? Yes; not by God's people living in them, but by their visiting them, to warn them of what is coming upon the earth." {Mar 184.4}

     When iniquity abounds in a nation, there is always to be heard some voice giving warning and instruction, as the voice of Lot was heard in Sodom. Yet Lot could have preserved his family from many evils had he not made his home in this wicked, polluted city. All that Lot and his family did in Sodom could have been done by them, even if they had lived in a place some distance away from the city. Enoch walked with God, and yet he did not live in the midst of any city polluted with every kind of violence and wickedness, as did Lot in Sodom. {Mar 184.5}

     He [Enoch] did not make his abode with the wicked. . . . He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God-given message. . . . After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. {Mar 184.6}

"He [Enoch] did not make his abode with the wicked He did not locate in Sodom, thinking to save Sodom. He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God given message. Every visit he made to the world was painful to him. He saw and understood something of the leprosy of sin. After proclaiming the message, he always took buck with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became overcomers, and died before the flood came. But some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness.

 

During this time, while the ark was building, the voices of Noah, Methuselah, and many others were heard in warning and entreaty, and every blow struck on the ark was a warning message. . . For one hundred and twenty years Noah proclaimed the message of warning to the antediluvian world; but only a few repented Some of the carpenters he employed in building the ark believed the message, but died before the Flood; others of Noah's converts backslid. Many of the believing ones kept the faith and died triumphantly.

 

The sermon preached by Enoch, and his translation to heaven was a convincing argument to all living in Enoch's time. It was an argument the Methuselah and Noah could use with power to show that the righteous could be translated.. Those who believed when Noah began to build the ark, lost their faith through association with unbelievers who aroused all the old passion for amusement and display." SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 7-A (7A), pg. 20.

 

Note:  Likewise SDA association with unbelievers aroused the passion for Celebration churches, where the youth are entertained rather than prepared for the greatest time of trouble encountered by planet earth, Matthew 24:21 and Ezekiel 5:9.

 

The following is taken from a publication by the World Council of Churches entitled Directory World Councils: This book also lists Seventh-day Adventists as FULL MEMBERS of the World Council of Churches, in the following countries:

 

Belize, p. 100.

Hong Kong, p. 63.

Cook Islands, p. 189.

Sweden, p. 158.

Bahamas, p. 99.

Hungary, p. 142 (SDA’s are a FULL MEMBER of this National Council of Free Churches in Hungary which ties them in with the WCC.

 

I sent for a number of copies of Directory World Councils, in the 1980’s for my church group members.

 

“Functions and Purposes—The WCC is constituted for the following functions and purposes:

 

1)    to call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and in one Eucharistic fellowship expressed in worship and in common life in Christ, and to advance towards that unity in order that the world may believe.

 

2)    to facilitate the common witness of the churches in each place and in all places;

 

3)    to support the churches in their worldwide missionary and evangelistic task;

 

4)    to express the common concern of the churches in the service of human need;

 

5)    to foster the renewal of the churches in unity, worship, mission and service;

 

6)    to establish and maintain relations with national councils and regional conferences of churches, world confessional bodies and other ecumenical organizations.

 

7)    To carry on the work of the world movements for Faith and Order and Life and Work and of the International Missionary Council and the World Council on Christian Education.

 

Organization of the Council

 

The WCC carries out its functions through an Assembly, A Central Committee, an Executive Committee and the staff.  The Assembly is the supreme legislative body and ordinarily meets once every seven years.  The Central Committee is responsible for implementing the policies adopted by the Assembly.  It elects the Executive Committee which carries out decisions of the Central Committee and implements policies adopted by it.

 

The General Secretary, elected by the Central Committee, is the chief executive officer of the WCC.  There are three Program Units: Faith and Witness, Justice and Service, Education and Renewal.  In addition, there are two specialized units, the Library and the Ecumenical Institute, and the Departments of Communication and of Finance and Central Services.  An office in New York maintains relations with US Member churches[RB1] .

 

Regional and National Councils Related to the WCC

 

The WCC recognizes the seven regional conferences of churches as essential partners in the ecumenical enterprise.  Thirty-eight national councils of churches are recognized as associate councils of the WCC, and an additional 34 national councils and missionary bodies are affiliated to CWME.  The WCC is in working relationship with another 32 National councils of churches.

 

Total Budget and Sources

 

In 1985, Sfr.36.8 million.  The main contributors are the member churches and their mission and aid agencies.

 

Note by Ron:  In 1988, I called the SDA General Conference Treasurer, Butler, and asked him how much the church gave to the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. for that year.  He looked it up on his ledger and gave me a figure in excess of $8,000. So SDA tithe money is being used to sponsor Babylon’s agenda and her errors.  

 

In addition, SDA pastors join a more local arm of the World Council of Churches called Ministerial Associations.  I called an Official at the Canadian Council of Churches and asked about the chain of command.  I asked if Ministerial Associations are a more local arm of the WCC.  The lady replied “Yes, yes,” twice.  SDA ministers also pay annual dues to these local arms of the WCC, thus, once again supporting Babylon’s agenda.

 

Ecumenical Relationships

 

“Ecumenical Relationships—In addition to the relationships with regional and national councils of churches mentioned above, the WCC is in working relationship with many Christian World Communions, including the Anglican Consultative Council, Baptist World Alliance, Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, Friends World Committee for Consultation, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Lutheran world Federation, Mennonite World Conference, Old Catholic International Organization, Reformed Ecumenical Synod, Salvation Army, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Convention of Churches of Christ, World Evangelical Fellowship, and World Methodist Council.

Since 1967 there has bee a Joint Working Group between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.”  Directory Christian Councils, published by the World Council of Churches, 1985, pp. 243, 244.

 

Friends, a “working relationship,” is not observer status, which is all SDA church leaders usually admit to.  A rule of the WCC is that member churches will not “steal sheep,” by seeking converts from the already churched.  This is in direct contravention to the church mission and commission, the Three Angel’s Messages.  Over and over again on the Celebration video I have by Kirk Weedman, he quotes SDA leadership sources as forming Celebration churches to reach the unchurched.  So the SDA church is conforming to the rules of the WCC in a clandestine way.

 

However, the SDA church also “cheats” on its pledge to the WCC, and goes after the members of other churches in its evangelistic campaigns.  It is this “cheating” of the SDA’s that will finally enrage Babylon, and she will come against professing Seventh-day Adventists in an Ezekiel 9 slaughter.  This is not my personal private interpretation. The SDA Bible Commentary says that the six men with the slaughter weapons (Ezekiel 9:2) will be Babylonians.  Notice:

 

“2. Six men. These executioners of vengeance are pictured as human in form.  In primary application they represent the Babylonians, who were to execute the divine sentence upon the city. In secondary application they portend the agencies of judgments which, at the close of time, will execute sentence, first upon those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people, and later upon the wicked in general.”  SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 605.

 

“So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast.”  E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 444.

 

“And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.”  Matthew 22:6, 7.

 

Ellen White reapplies Matthew 22:6 to the end-time.  We will explore this further in a later document.

 

The SDA Encyclopedia has the following to say about the ecumenical movement they now support with their finances, thus paving the way for the image to the beast:

 

—“On the basis of Bible prophecy and the writings of Ellen G. White, SDA’s anticipate the eventual success of the ecumenical movement, both in eliminating the divisions of Protestantism and in reuniting Christendom by bridging the gulf that separates non-Catholic communions from Rome.  The ecumenical movement will then become a concerted effort to unite the world and to secure universal peace and security by enlisting the power of civil government in a universal religio-political crusade to eliminate all dissent.  SDA’s envision this crusade as the great apostasy to which John the revelator refers as “Babylon the great.”  They understand, also, that God’s last message of mercy to the world prior to the return of Christ in power and glory will consist of a warning against this great apostate movement, and a call to all who choose to remain loyal to Him to leave the churches connected with it.  See Rev. 13:15-17; 14:6-11; 16:12-14; 17:1-6; 18:1-4; GC 444, 445, 573, 588, 589, 615.”  SDA Encyclopedia, p. 411, and page 362 in some later editions.

 

"By parleying with the enemy we give him an advantage." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 5, May 14, 1908, p. 412, col. 2.

 

"We should never give sanction to sin by our words, our deeds, our silence or our presence." Desire of Ages, 152.

 

And we could safely add:  by our finances.

 

Presence principle-- "While manifesting perfect trust in his Father, he [Christ] would not place himself, unbidden, in a position that would necessitate the interposition of his Father to save him from death.. He would not force Providence to come to his rescue, and thus fail of giving man an example of trust and submission." E.G. White, Review and Herald, vol. 5, p. 412, col. 3, May 14, 1908.

 

Has the professing New Movement SDA Church linked itself to Babylon’s Associations, Councils, Girdings and Confederacies?  Oh yes friend, it certainly has, and it fiancés them with annual dues which run up into large sums of money considering all the councils and associations of Babylon that it patronizes around the world. 

 

In Jeremiah 11:9-15, the Jews violated Isaiah 8:9-13.  These verses are the Old Testament counterpart to the second angel’s message.  For so doing, they committed unpardonable sin for that generation because God, the Holy Flesh departed and He said not to pray for them.  Where was His beloved remnant at that time in the days of Shinar?

 

 "The recreant priests added licentiousness to the dark catalogue of their crimes yet they still polluted by their presence the tabernacle of the Lord, and, laden with sin, dared to come into the presence of a holy God. As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the Sanctuary." E.G. White, The Signs of the Times, vol. 1, p. 264, col. 3, December 1, 1881.

 

Read the following document and you will see further evidence if you are in any doubt presently.

 http://omega77.tripod.com/isaiahchap8.htm

God bless your search for hidden treasure in His Word,

Ron Beaulieu

P.S. I add the following as Elijah was a type of the 144,000 SDA church triumphant that will operate from the wilderness during the time of trouble:

Chap. 17 - The Call of Elisha

     God had bidden Elijah anoint another to be prophet in his stead. "Elisha the son of Shaphat . . . shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room" (1 Kings 19:16), He had said; and in obedience to the command, Elijah went to find Elisha. As he journeyed northward, how changed was the scene from what it had been only a short while before! Then the ground was parched, the farming districts unworked, for neither dew nor rain had fallen for three and a half years. Now on every hand vegetation was springing up as if to redeem the time of drought and famine. {PK 217.1}

     Elisha's father was a wealthy farmer, a man whose household were among the number that in a time of almost universal apostasy had not bowed the knee to Baal. Theirs was a home where God was honored and where allegiance to the faith of ancient Israel was the rule of daily life. In such surroundings the early years of Elisha were passed. In the quietude of country life, under the teaching of God and
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nature and the discipline of useful work, he received the training in habits of simplicity and of obedience to his parents and to God that helped to fit him for the high position he was afterward to occupy.
{PK 217.2}

     The prophetic call came to Elisha while, with his father's servants, he was plowing in the field. He had taken up the work that lay nearest. He possessed both the capabilities of a leader among men and the meekness of one who is ready to serve. Of a quiet and gentle spirit, he was nevertheless energetic and steadfast. Integrity, fidelity, and the love and fear of God were his, and in the humble round of daily toil he gained strength of purpose and nobleness of character, constantly increasing in grace and knowledge. While co-operating with his father in the home-life duties, he was learning to co-operate with God. {PK 218.1}

     By faithfulness in little things, Elisha was preparing for weightier trusts. Day by day, through practical experience, he gained a fitness for a broader, higher work. He learned to serve; and in learning this, he learned also how to instruct and lead. The lesson is for all. None can know what may be God's purpose in His discipline; but all may be certain that faithfulness in little things is the evidence of fitness for greater responsibilities. Every act of life is a revelation of character, and he only who in small duties proves himself "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" can be honored by God with higher service. 2 Timothy 2:15. {PK 218.2}

     He who feels that it is of no consequence how he performs the smaller tasks proves himself unfit for a more honored position. He may think himself fully competent to take up the larger duties; but God looks deeper than the surface.
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After test and trial, there is written against him the sentence, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." His unfaithfulness reacts upon himself. He fails of gaining the grace, the power, the force of character, which is received through unreserved surrender.
{PK 218.3}

     Because they are not connected with some directly religious work, many feel that their lives are useless, that they are doing nothing for the advancement of God's kingdom. If they could do some great thing how gladly they would undertake it! But because they can serve only in little things, they think themselves justified in doing nothing. In this they err. A man may be in the active service of God while engaged in the ordinary, everyday duties--while felling trees, clearing the ground, or following the plow. The mother who trains her children for Christ is as truly working for God as is the minister in the pulpit. {PK 219.1}

     Many long for special talent with which to do a wonderful work, while the duties lying close at hand, the performance of which would make the life fragrant, are lost sight of. Let such ones take up the duties lying directly in their pathway. Success depends not so much on talent as on energy and willingness. It is not the possession of splendid talents that enables us to render acceptable service, but the conscientious performance of daily duties, the contented spirit, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others. In the humblest lot true excellence may be found. The commonest tasks, wrought with loving faithfulness, are beautiful in God's sight. {PK 219.2}

     As Elijah, divinely directed in seeking a successor, passed the field in which Elisha was plowing, he cast upon the
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young man's shoulders the mantle of consecration. During the famine the family of Shaphat had become familiar with the work and mission of Elijah, and now the Spirit of God impressed Elisha's heart as to the meaning of the prophet's act. To him it was the signal that God had called him to be the successor of Elijah.
{PK 219.3}

     "And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee." "Go back again," was Elijah's answer, "for what have I done to thee?" This was not a repulse, but a test of faith. Elisha must count the cost--decide for himself to accept or reject the call. If his desires clung to his home and its advantages, he was at liberty to remain there. But Elisha understood the meaning of the call. He knew it was from God, and he did not hesitate to obey. Not for any worldly advantage would he forgo the opportunity of becoming God's messenger or sacrifice the privilege of association with His servant. He "took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." 1 Kings 19:20, 21. Without hesitation he left a home where he was beloved, to attend the prophet in his uncertain life. {PK 220.1}

     Had Elisha asked Elijah what was expected of him,--what would be his work,--he would have been answered: God knows; He will make it known to you. If you wait upon the Lord, He will answer your every question. You may come with me if you have evidence that God has called you. Know for yourself that God stands back of me, and
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that it is His voice you hear. If you can count everything but dross that you may win the favor of God, come.
{PK 220.2}

     Similar to the call that came to Elisha was the answer given by Christ to the young ruler who asked Him the question, "What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" "If thou wilt be perfect," Christ replied, "go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." Matthew 19:16, 21. {PK 221.1}

     Elisha accepted the call to service, casting no backward glance at the pleasures and comforts he was leaving. The young ruler, when he heard the Saviour's words, "went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." Verse 22. He was not willing to make the sacrifice. His love for his possessions was greater than his love for God. By his refusal to renounce all for Christ, he proved himself unworthy of a place in the Master's service. {PK 221.2}

     The call to place all on the altar of service comes to each one. We are not all asked to serve as Elisha served, nor are we all bidden to sell everything we have; but God asks us to give His service the first place in our lives, to allow no day to pass without doing something to advance His work in the earth. He does not expect from all the same kind of service. One may be called to ministry in a foreign land; another may be asked to give of his means for the support of gospel work. God accepts the offering of each. It is the consecration of the life and all its interests, that is necessary. Those who make this consecration will hear and obey the call of Heaven.
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{PK 221.
3}

     To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace, the Lord appoints a work for others. Individually we are to stand in our lot, saying, "Here am I; send me." Whether a man be a minister of the Word or a physician, whether he be merchant or farmer, professional man or mechanic, the responsibility rests upon him. It is his work to reveal to others the gospel of their salvation. Every enterprise in which he engages should be a means to this end. {PK 222.1}

     It was no great work that was at first required of Elisha; commonplace duties still constituted his discipline. He is spoken of as pouring water on the hands of Elijah, his master. He was willing to do anything that the Lord directed, and at every step he learned lessons of humility and service. As the prophet's personal attendant, he continued to prove faithful in little things, while with daily strengthening purpose he devoted himself to the mission appointed him by God. {PK 222.2}

     Elisha's life after uniting with Elijah was not without temptations. Trials he had in abundance; but in every emergency he relied on God. He was tempted to think of the home that he had left, but to this temptation he gave no heed. Having put his hand to the plow, he was resolved not to turn back, and through test and trial he proved true to his trust. {PK 222.3}

     Ministry comprehends far more than preaching the word. It means training young men as Elijah trained Elisha, taking them from their ordinary duties, and giving them responsibilities to bear in God's work--small responsibilities at first, and larger ones as they gain strength and experience. There are in the ministry men of faith and prayer, men who can
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say, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." 1 John 1:1-3. Young, inexperienced workers should be trained by actual labor in connection with these experienced servants of God. Thus they will learn how to bear burdens.
{PK 222.4}

     Those who undertake this training of young workers are doing noble service. The Lord Himself co-operates with their efforts. And the young men to whom the word of consecration has been spoken, whose privilege it is to be brought into close association with earnest, godly workers, should make the most of their opportunity. God has honored them by choosing them for His service and by placing them where they can gain greater fitness for it, and they should be humble, faithful, obedient, and willing to sacrifice. If they submit to God's discipline, carrying out His directions and choosing His servants as their counselors, they will develop into righteous, high-principled, steadfast men, whom God can entrust with responsibilities. {PK 223.1}

     As the gospel is proclaimed in its purity, men will be called from the plow and from the common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind and will be educated in connection with men of experience. As they learn to labor effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulty will be removed and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth will be heard and understood. Men will
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know what is truth. Onward and still onward the work will advance until the whole earth shall have been warned, and then shall the end come.
{PK 223.2}

     For several years after the call of Elisha, Elijah and Elisha labored together, the younger man daily gaining greater preparedness for his work. Elijah had been God's instrument for the overthrow of gigantic evils. The idolatry which, supported by Ahab and the heathen Jezebel, had seduced the nation, had been given a decided check. Baal's prophets had been slain. The whole people of Israel had been deeply stirred, and many were returning to the worship of God. As Elijah's successor, Elisha, by careful, patient instruction, must endeavor to guide Israel in safe paths. His association with Elijah, the greatest prophet since the days of Moses, prepared him for the work that he was soon to take up alone. {PK 224.1}

     During these years of united ministry, Elijah from time to time was called upon to meet flagrant evils with stern rebuke. When wicked Ahab seized Naboth's vineyard, it was the voice of Elijah that prophesied his doom and the doom of all his house. And when Ahaziah, after the death of his father Ahab, turned from the living God to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, it was Elijah's voice that was heard once more in earnest protest. {PK 224.2}

     The schools of the prophets, established by Samuel, had fallen into decay during the years of Israel's apostasy. Elijah re-established these schools, making provision for young men to gain an education that would lead them to magnify the law and make it honorable. Three of these schools, one at Gilgal, one at Bethel, and one at Jericho, are mentioned
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in the record. Just before Elijah was taken to heaven, he and Elisha visited these centers of training. The lessons that the prophet of God had given them on former visits, he now repeated. Especially did he instruct them concerning their high privilege of loyally maintaining their allegiance to the God of heaven. He also impressed upon their minds the importance of letting simplicity mark every feature of their education. Only in this way could they receive the mold of heaven and go forth to work in the ways of the Lord.
{PK 224.3}

     The heart of Elijah was cheered as he saw what was being accomplished by means of these schools. The work of reformation was not complete, but he could see throughout the kingdom a verification of the word of the Lord, "Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal." 1 Kings 19:18. {PK 225.1}

     As Elisha accompanied the prophet on his round of service from school to school, his faith and resolution were once more tested. At Gilgal, and again at Bethel and Jericho, he was invited by the prophet to turn back. "Tarry here, I pray thee," Elijah said; "for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel." But in his early labor of guiding the plow, Elisha had learned not to fail or to become discouraged, and now that he had set his hand to the plow in another line of duty he would not be diverted from his purpose. He would not be parted from his master, so long as opportunity remained for gaining a further fitting up for service. Unknown to Elijah, the revelation that he was to be translated had been made known to his disciples in the schools of the prophets, and in particular to Elisha. And now the tried servant of the man of God kept close beside him. As
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often as the invitation to turn back was given, his answer was, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee."
{PK 225.2}

     "And they two went on. . . . And they two stood by Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee." {PK 226.1}

     Elisha asked not for worldly honor, or for a high place among the great men of earth. That which he craved was a large measure of the Spirit that God had bestowed so freely upon the one about to be honored with translation.
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He knew that nothing but the Spirit which had rested upon Elijah could fit him to fill the place in Israel to which God had called him, and so he asked, "I pray thee, let a double portion of thy Spirit be upon me."
{PK 226.2}

     In response to this request, Elijah said, "Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." See 2 Kings 2:1-11. {PK 227.1}

     Elijah was a type of the saints who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ and who will be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," without tasting of death. 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. It was as a representative of those who shall be thus translated that Elijah, near the close of Christ's earthly ministry, was permitted to stand with Moses by the side of the Saviour on the mount of transfiguration. In these glorified ones, the disciples saw in miniature a representation of the kingdom of the redeemed. They beheld Jesus clothed with the light of heaven; they heard the "voice out of the cloud" (Luke 9:35), acknowledging Him as the Son of God; they saw Moses, representing those who will be raised from the dead at the time of the second advent; and there also stood Elijah, representing those who at the close of earth's history will be changed from mortal to immortal and be translated to heaven without seeing death.
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{PK 227.
2}

     In the desert, in loneliness and discouragement, Elijah had said that he had had enough of life and had prayed that he might die. But the Lord in His mercy had not taken him at his word. There was yet a great work for Elijah to do; and when his work was done, he was not to perish in discouragement and solitude. Not for him the descent into the tomb, but the ascent with God's angels to the presence of His glory. {PK 228.1}

     "And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The Spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him." 2 Kings 2:12-15. {PK 228.2}

     When the Lord in His providence sees fit to remove from His work those to whom He has given wisdom, He helps and strengthens their successors, if they will look to Him for aid and will walk in His ways. They may be even wiser than their predecessors; for they may profit by their experience and learn wisdom from their mistakes. {PK 228.3}

     Henceforth Elisha stood in Elijah's place. He who had been faithful in that which was least was to prove himself faithful also in much. {PK 228.4}

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                 


 [RB1]The office of the World Council of Churches in New York, has the same address as the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., 75 Riverside Drive.