WHY THEY ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED
DATE OF PUBLICATION: MAY 2002
Warnings and Reproofs
WHY THEY ARE NOT WANTED
school teacher knows that a major reason why the public schools are in
shambles is because the teachers are not permitted to provide any
conscientious church member knows that a major cause of the growing
problems in our denomination is due to the fact that warnings and reproofs
are either not given or are ignored; so those working to lower our
standards and change our doctrines have no fear of discipline or
study will tell you what Gods Word says about the matter. It is one of
the most solemn collections of statements ever produced by the present
And the people answered him not a word. Not one in that vast
assembly dared utter one word for God and show his loyalty to Jehovah.
What astonishing deception and
fearful blindness had, like a dark cloud, covered Israel!
This blindness and apostasy had not closed about them suddenly; it had
come upon them gradually as they had not heeded the word of reproof and
warning which the Lord had sent to them because of their pride and
their sins. And now, in this fearful crisis, in the presence of the
idolatrous priests and the apostate king, they remained neutral. If God
abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing
nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a
religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the
very worst type of hostility against God.3 Testimonies,
Another and still another will
arise and bring in supposedly great light, and make their assertions. But
we stand by the old landmarks. [1 John 1:1-10, quoted[. I am instructed to
say that these words we may use as appropriate for this time, for the
time has come when sin must be called by its right name. We are
hindered in our work by men who are not converted, who seek their own
glory. They wish to be thought originators of new theories, which they
present claiming that they are truth. But if these theories are received,
they will lead to a denial of the truth that for the past fifty years
God has been giving to His people, substantiating it by the demonstration
of the Holy Spirit.Letter 329, 1905; 1 Selected Messages, 162.
We can read from cause to effect
and see the greatness of the act is not that which constitutes sin; but
the disobedience of Gods expressed will, which is a virtual denial of
God, refusing the laws of His government.1 Bible Commentary,
I must speak the truth to all.
Those who have accepted the light from Gods Word are never, never to
leave an impression upon human minds that God will serve with their sins.
His Word defines sin as the transgression of the law.Manuscript
16, 1901; 1 Selected Messages, 115.
When our eyes look by faith into
the Sanctuary, and take in the reality, the importance and holiness, of
the work there being done, everything of a selfish nature will be abhorred
by us. Sin will appear as it is,the transgression of Gods holy
law.4 Bible Commentary, 1141.
It is not the greatness of the
act of disobedience that constitutes sin, but the fact of variance from
Gods expressed will in the least particular; for this shows that
there is yet communion between the soul and sin. The heart is divided in
its service. There is a virtual denial of God, a rebellion against the
laws of His government.
Were men free to depart from
the Lords requirements and to set up a standard of duty for
themselves, there would be a variety of standards to suit different
minds and the government would be taken out of the Lords hands. The
will of man would be made supreme, and the high and holy will of
GodHis purpose of love toward His creatureswould be dishonored,
men choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God.
They will have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they are at war with
the very principles of heaven. In disregarding the will of God, they
are placing themselves on the side of Satan, the enemy of God and man. Not
by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken,
shall man live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may
seem to us, and be safe. There is not a commandment of the law that is not
for the good and happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to
come. In obedience to Gods law, man is surrounded as with a hedge and
kept from the evil. He who breaks down this divinely erected barrier at
one point has destroyed its power to protect him; for he has opened a way
by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin.
venturing to disregard the will of God upon one point, our first parents
opened the floodgates of woe upon the world. And every individual who
follows their example will reap a similar result. The love of God
underlies every precept of His law, and he who departs from the
commandment is working his own unhappiness and ruin.Mount of
The True Witness says: I know
thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. And again, As many
as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Then comes the promise: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any
man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup
with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit
with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My
Father in His throne.
people of God must see their wrongs and arouse to zealous repentance and a
putting away of those sins which have brought them into such a deplorable
condition of poverty, blindness, wretchedness, and fearful deception. I
was shown that the pointed testimony must live in the church. This
alone will answer to the message to the Laodiceans. Wrongs must be
reproved, sin must be called sin, and iniquity must be met promptly and
decidedly, and put away from us as a people.3 Testimonies,
The great reason why so few of
the worlds great men and those having a college education are led to
obey the commandments of God is that they have separated education from
religion, thinking that each should occupy a field by itself. God
presented a field large enough to perfect the knowledge of all who should
enter it. This knowledge was obtained under divine supervision; it was
bound about with the immutable law of Jehovah, and the result would have
been perfect blessedness.
did not create evil, He only made the good, which was like Himself. But
Satan would not be content to know the will of God and do it. His
curiosity was on the stretch to know that which God had not designed he
should know. Evil, sin, and death were not created by God; they are
the result of disobedience, which originated in Satan. But the knowledge
of evil now in the world was brought in through the cunning of Satan.
These are very hard and expensive lessons; but men will learn them, and many
will never be convinced that it is bliss to be ignorant of a certain kind
of knowledge, which arises from unsatisfied desires and unholy aims.
The sons and daughters of Adam are fully as inquisitive and presumptuous
as was Eve in seeking forbidden knowledge. They gain an experience, a
knowledge, which God never designed they should have, and the result
will be, as it was to our first parents, the loss of their Eden
home. 5 Testimonies, 503-504.
If men resist the warnings the
Lord sends them, they become even leaders in evil practices; such men
assume to exercise the prerogatives of God, they presume to do that which
God Himself will not do in seeking to control the minds of men. Thus
they follow in the track of Romanism. They introduce their own methods and
plans, and through their misconceptions of God they weaken the faith of
others in the truth and bring in false principles that work like leaven to
taint and corrupt institutions and churches.
that lowers mans conception of righteousness and equity and impartial
judgment, any device or precept that brings Gods human agents under the
control of human minds, impairs their faith in God and separates the soul
will not vindicate any device whereby man shall in the slightest degree
rule or oppress his fellow man. As soon as a man begins to make an
iron rule for other men, he dishonors God and imperils his own soul and
the souls of his brethren. 7 Testimonies, 181.
Never was there greater need of
faithful warnings and reproofs, and close, straight dealing, than at this
very time. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is
short. He is flooding the world with pleasing fables, and the people of
God love to have smooth things spoken to them. Sin and iniquity are not
abhorred. I was shown that Gods people must make more firm,
determined efforts to press back the incoming darkness. The close work of
the Spirit of God is needed now as never before. Stupidity must be shaken
off. We must arouse from the lethargy that will prove our destruction
unless we resist it. Satan has a powerful, controlling influence upon
minds. Preachers and people are in danger of being found upon the
side of the powers of darkness. There is no such thing now as a neutral
position. We are all decidedly for the right or decidedly with the
wrong. Said Christ: He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that
gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad. 3 Testimonies,
I urge you to consider Isaiah
58, which opens a wide and extensive vineyard to be worked upon the
lines which the Lord has pointed out. When this is done there will be an
increase of moral sources and the church will no more remain almost
stationary. There will be blessing and power attending their labor. Manuscript
28, 1900; 4 Bible Commentary, 1148.
My brethren, you need to study
more carefully the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. This chapter marks out
the only course that we can follow with safety . . The prophet receives
this word from the Lord, a message startling in its clearness and
aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people
their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Though they
are called the people of God, the house of Jacob, though they profess to
be linked with God in obedience and fellowship, they are far from Him.
Wonderful privileges and promises have been given to them, but they have
betrayed their trust. With no words of flattery must the message be
given them. Show My people their transgression, and the house of
Jacob their sins. Show them where they are making a mistake. Set
their danger before them. Tell them of the sins they are committing,
while at the same time they pride themselves on their righteousness.
Apparently seeking God, they are forgetting Him, forgetting that He is a
God of love and compassion, long suffering and goodness, dealing justly
and loving mercy. Worldly policy has come into their business and
religious life. Their hearts are not purified through the truth. God looks
on their outward ceremonies of humility as a solemn mockery. He
regards all religious sham as an insult to Himself. Letter 76,
1902; 4 Bible Commentary, 1149 [italics hers].
Our work now is to rouse the
people. Satan with all his angels has come down with great power, to work
with every conceivable deception to counterwork the work of God. The Lord
has a message for His people. This message will be borne, whether men will
accept or reject it. As in the days of Christ, there will be the deep
plottings of the powers of darkness, but the message must not be
muffled with smooth words or fair speeches, crying peace, peace, when
there is no peace, to those who are turning away from God. There is no
peace, saith my God, to the wicked [Isa. 58:1-2, quoted.]
whole chapter is applicable to those who are living in this period of the
earth's history. Consider this chapter attentively; for it will be
fulfilled.MS 36, 1897; 4 Bible Commentary, 1149.
The testimony of the Word of
God is against this ensnaring doctrine of faith without works. It is
not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the
conditions upon which mercy is to be granted, it is presumption; for
genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the
none deceive themselves with the belief that they can become holy while
willfully violating one of Gods requirements. The commission of a known
sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit and separates the soul
from God. Sin is the transgression of the law. And whosoever
sinneth [transgresseth the law] hath not seen Him, neither known Him. 1
John 3:6. Great Controversy, 472.
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 wrong doing with a coat of untempered mortar. I
urge our brethren to unify upon a true, Scriptural basis. Manuscript
10, 1905; 1 Selected Messages, 175.
is constant need of earnest, decided messages of warning. God will have
men who are true to duty. At the right time He sends His faithful
messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah. 5
The mountain was covered with
people full of eager expectation. The king [Ahab] came in great pomp, and
the idolaters, confident of triumph, shouted his welcome. But God had
been greatly dishonored. One man, and only one man, appeared to vindicate
the honor of God. With clear, trumpetlike tones Elijah addressed the vast
multitude: How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be
God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. The result was that
the Lord God, who ruleth in the heavens, was vindicated, and the Baal
worshipers were slain. Where are the Elijahs of today? 5
The history of Achan teaches the
solemn lesson that for one mans sin the displeasure of God will rest
upon a people or a nation till the transgression is searched out and
punished. Sin is corrupting in its nature. One man infected with its
deadly leprosy may communicate the taint to thousands. Those who occupy
responsible positions as guardians of the people are false to their trust
if they do not faithfully search out and reprove sin. Many dare not
condemn iniquity, lest they shall thereby sacrifice position or
popularity. And by some it is considered uncharitable to rebuke sin.
The servant of God should never allow his own spirit to be mingled with
the reproof which he is required to give; but he is under the most
solemn obligation to present the Word of God, without fear or favor. He
must call sin by its right name. Those who by their carelessness or
indifference permit Gods name to be dishonored by His professed people,
are numbered with the transgressor, registered in the record of
heaven as partakers in their evil deeds . .
love of God will never lead to the belittling of sin; it will never
cover or excuse an unconfessed wrong. Achan learned too late that Gods
law, like its Author, is unchanging. It has to do with all our acts and
thoughts and feelings. It follows us, and reaches every secret spring of
action. By indulgence in sin, men are led to lightly regard the law of
God. Many conceal their transgressions from their fellow men, and flatter
themselves that God will not be strict to mark iniquity. But His law
is the great standard of right, and with it every act of life must be
compared in that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, with
every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Purity of heart will lead
to purity of life. All excuses for sin are vain. Who can plead for the
sinner when God testifies against him? Signs, April 21, 1881;
2 Bible Commentary, 996-997.
There are many false prophets in
these days, to whom sin does not appear specially repulsive. They
complain that the peace of the people is unnecessarily disturbed by the
reproofs and warnings of Gods messengers. As for them, they lull the
souls of sinners into a fatal ease by their smooth and deceitful
teachings. Ancient Israel was thus charmed by the flattering messages
of the corrupt priests. Their prediction of prosperity was more
pleasing than the message of the true prophet, who counseled repentance
servants of God should manifest a tender, compassionate spirit and show to
all that they are not actuated by any personal motives in their dealings
with the people, and that they do not take delight in giving messages
of wrath in the name of the Lord. But they must never flinch from pointing
out the sins that are corrupting the professed people of God, nor cease
striving to influence them to turn from their errors and obey the Lord.
who seek to cloak sin and make it appear less aggravating to the mind of
the offender are doing the work of the false prophets and may expect the
retributive wrath of God to follow such a course. The Lord will never
accommodate His ways to the wishes of corrupt men. 4
Those who have in the fear of
God ventured out to faithfully meet error and sin, calling sin by its
right name, have discharged a disagreeable duty with much suffering of
feelings to themselves; but they get the sympathy of but few and
suffer the neglect of many. The sympathizers are on the wrong side, and
they carry out the purposes of Satan to defeat the design of God.
always hurt human nature. Many are the souls that have been destroyed by
the unwise sympathy of their brethren; for, because the brethren
sympathized with them, they thought they must indeed have been abused, and
that the reprover was all wrong and had a bad spirit. The only hope for
sinners in Zion is to fully see and confess their wrongs, and put them
away. Those who step in to destroy the edge of sharp reproof that God
sends, saying that the reprover was partly wrong and the reproved was not
just right, please the enemy.
way that Satan can devise to make the reproofs of none effect will
accomplish his design. Some will lay blame upon the one whom God has
sent with a message of warning, saying, He is too severe; and in so
doing they become responsible for the soul of the sinner whom God
desired to save, and to whom, because He loved him, He sent correction,
that he might humble his soul before God and put his sins from him. These
false sympathizers will have an account to settle with the Master
by-and-by for their work of death. 3 Testimonies, 328-329.
When the Jews rejected Christ they
rejected the foundation of their faith. And, on the other hand, the
Christian world of today who claim faith in Christ, but reject the law of
God are making a mistake similar to that of the deceived Jews. Those
who profess to cling to Christ, centering their hopes on Him, while they
pour contempt upon the moral law, and the prophecies, are in no safer
position than were the unbelieving Jews. They cannot understandingly
call sinners to repentance, for they are unable to properly explain what
they are to repent of. The sinner, upon being exhorted to forsake his
sins, has a right to ask, What is sin? Those who respect the law of God
can answer, Sin is the transgression of the law. In confirmation of this
the apostle Paul says, I had not known sin but by the law. 1
Selected Messages, 229.
Rebuke sin firmly, and give it no
sanction. The refuge of lies for the covering up of sin must be torn
away in order that poor deluded souls may not sleep on to their
everlasting ruin. Testimonies to Ministers, 182.
God pities men struggling in
the blindness of perversity; He seeks to enlighten the darkened
understanding by sending reproofs and threatenings designed to cause the
most exalted to feel their ignorance and to deplore their errors. He
endeavors to help the self-complacent to become dissatisfied with their
vain attainments and to seek for spiritual blessing through a close
connection with heaven.
plan is not to send messengers who will please and flatter sinners; He
delivers no messages of peace to lull the unsanctified into carnal
security. Instead, He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the
wrongdoer and pierces his soul with sharp arrows of conviction. Ministering
angels present to him the fearful judgments of God, to deepen the sense of
need and to prompt the agonizing cry, What must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:30. But the Hand that humbles to the dust, rebukes sin, and puts
pride and ambition to shame, is the Hand that lifts up the penitent,
stricken one. With deepest sympathy He who permits the chastisement to
fall, inquires, "What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?"
man has sinned against a holy and merciful God, he can pursue no course so
noble as to repent sincerely and confess his errors in tears and
bitterness of soul. This God requires of him; He accepts nothing less than
a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Prophets and Kings, 435-436.
God has no sympathy with the
evildoer. He gives no one liberty to gloss over the sins of His people,
nor to cry, Peace, peace, when He has declared that there shall
be no peace for the wicked.
Those who stir up rebellion
against the servants whom God sends to deliver His messages are rebelling
against the word of the Lord. 4 Testimonies, 185.
To the end of time, men will arise
to create confusion and rebellion among those who claim to be
representatives of the true God. Those who prophesy lies will encourage
men to look upon sin as a light thing. When the terrible results of
their evil deeds are made manifest, they will seek, if possible, to
make the one who has faithfully warned them, responsible for their
difficulties, even as the Jews charged Jeremiah with their evil
fortunes. But as surely as the words of Jehovah through His prophet were
vindicated anciently, so surely will the certainty of His messages be
established today. Prophets and Kings, 442.
The only definition we find in
the Bible for sin is that sin is the transgression of the law (1
John 3:4). The Word of God declares, All have sinned, and come short of
the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). There is none that doeth good, no, not
one (Rom. 3:12). Many are deceived concerning the condition of their
hearts. They do not realize that the natural heart is deceitful above
all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap themselves about with their
own righteousness, and are satisfied in reaching their own human standard
of character; but how fatally they fail when they do not reach the divine
standard, and of themselves they cannot meet the requirements of God.
may measure ourselves by ourselves, we may compare ourselves among
ourselves, we may say we do as well as this one or that one, but the
question to which the judgment will call for an answer is, Do we meet the
claims of high heaven? Do we reach the divine standard? Are our hearts
in harmony with the God of heaven? 1 Selected Messages, 320-321.
The warning is for all time.
Christ's act in cursing the tree which His own power had created stands
as a warning to all churches and to all Christians. Desire
of Ages, 584.
Men cannot with impunity reject
the warnings that God in mercy sends them. From those who persist
in turning from these warnings, God withdraws His Spirit, leaving them
to the deceptions that they love. Acts of the Apostles, 266.
In the final victory God will
have no use for those persons who are nowhere to be found in time of peril
and danger, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are
required to make a charge upon the enemy. Those who stand like faithful
soldiers to battle against wrong, and to vindicate the right, warring
against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, will each receive
the commendation from the Master: Well done, good and faithful
servant . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. 3
You have heard the Word of God
in reproofs, in counsels, in warnings, as well as in the entreaties of
love. But hearing is not
enough. Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving
your own selves. It is easy to be borne along by the current, and to
cry Hosannah with the multitude; but in the calm of everyday life, when
there is no special excitement or exaltation, then comes the test of true
Christianity. It is then that your heart becomes cold, and your zeal
abates, and religious exercises become distasteful to you. 4
If wrongs are apparent among
His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they
virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will
just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made
responsible for the sins of the guilty. In vision I have been pointed
to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect
on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing
among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by
the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they
shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable
to their feelings; therefore they avoided it. 3 Testimonies,
Gods authority should be held
in as much greater reverence as He is holier than man. Our Creator and
our Commander, infinite in power, terrible in judgment, seeks by every
means to bring men to see and repent of their sins. By the mouth of His
servants He predicts the dangers of disobedience; He sounds the note
of warning and faithfully reproves sin. His people are kept in prosperity
only by His mercy, through the vigilant watchcare of chosen
instrumentalities. He cannot uphold and guard a people who reject His
counsel and despise His reproofs. For a time He may withhold His
retributive judgments; yet He cannot always stay His hand. Prophets
and Kings, 426.
Not one in twenty of those who
have a good standing with Seventh-day Adventists is living out the
self-sacrificing principles of the word of God. 1 Testimonies,
Gods people of today are in
danger of committing errors no less disastrous [than did King Saul]. We
cannot, we must not, place blind confidence in any man, however high his
profession of faith or his position in the church. We must not follow his
guidance, unless the Word of God sustains him. The Lord would have His
people individually distinguish between sin and righteousness,
between the precious and the vile. Signs, August 17, 1882; 2 Bible
Deal faithfully with wrong
doing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive
themselves. Call sin by its right name. Desire of Ages,
The hearts of men are hardened.
They recognize not the warning voice of God. They will not flee to the
only refuge from the gathering storm.
Many who have been placed upon the
walls of Zion, to watch with eagle eye for the approach of danger and lift
the voice of warning, are themselves asleep. The very ones who should
be most active and vigilant in this hour of peril are neglecting their
duty and bringing upon themselves the blood of souls.
brethren, beware of the evil heart of unbelief. The Word of God is
plain and close in its restrictions; it interferes with your selfish
indulgence; therefore you do not obey it. The testimonies of His Spirit
call your attention to the Scriptures, point out your defects of
character, and rebuke your sins; therefore you do not heed them. And to
justify your carnal, ease-loving course you begin to doubt whether the
testimonies are from God. If you would obey their teachings you would be
assured of their divine origin. Remember, your unbelief does not
affect their truthfulness. If they are from God they will stand. Those who
seek to lessen the faith of Gods people in these testimonies, which
have been in the church for the last thirty-six years, are fighting
against God. It is not the instrument whom you slight and insult, but God,
who has spoken to you in these warnings and reproofs. 5
We must study the warnings and
corrections He has given His people in past ages. We do not lack light.
We know what works we should avoid and what requirements He has given us
to observe; so if we do not seek to know and do that which is right, it
is because wrong doing suits the carnal heart better than right
doing. 5 Testimonies, 532-533.
Before the Lawgiver shall come
to punish the disobedient, transgressors are warned to repent, and
return to their allegiance; but with the majority these warnings will
be in vain. Says the apostle Peter, There shall come in the last
days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. 2 Peter 3:3. Patriarchs
and Prophets, 102-103.
As the Word of God is walled in
with these [Spirit of Prophecy] books and pamphlets, so has God walled
you in with reproofs, counsel, warnings, and encouragements. Here you
are crying before God, in the anguish of your souls, for more light. I am
authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the
Testimonies will shine upon your pathway until you make a practical use of
the light already given. The Lord has walled you about with light; but
you have not appreciated the light; you have trampled upon it. While some
have despised the light, others have neglected it or followed it but
indifferently. A few have set their hearts to obey the light which God
has been pleased to give them. 2 Testimonies, 606.
Warning, admonition, promise,
all are for us, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Therefore
let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 1
Thessalonians 5:6.6 Testimonies, 410.
In prophetic vision he [Enoch] was
instructed concerning the death of Christ, and was shown His coming in
glory, attended by all the holy angels, to ransom His people from the
grave. He also saw the corrupt state of the world when Christ should
appear the second time, that there would be a boastful, presumptuous,
self-willed generation, denying the only God and the Lord Jesus
Christ, trampling upon the law and despising the atonement. Patriarchs
and Prophets, 85-86.
While we cannot now comprehend the
works and ways of God, we can discern His great love, which underlies all
His dealings with men. He who lives near to Jesus will understand much of
the mystery of godliness. He will recognize the mercy that administers
reproof, that tests the character, and brings to light the purpose of the
Jesus presented the testing truth that caused so many of His disciples to
turn back, He knew what would be the result
of His words; but He had a purpose of mercy to fulfill. He foresaw that
in the hour of temptation every one of His beloved disciples would be
severely tested. His agony in Gethsemane, His betrayal and
crucifixion, would be to them a most trying ordeal. Had no previous
test been given, many who were actuated by merely selfish motives would
have been connected with them. Desire of Ages, 394.
There was a coming out, a
decided separation from the wicked, an escape for life. So it was in
the days of Noah; so with Lot; so with the disciples prior to the
destruction of Jerusalem; and so it will be in the last days. Again the
voice of God is heard in a message of warning, bidding His people separate
themselves from the prevailing iniquity. Patriarchs and
Seventh-day Adventists, above
all other people in the world, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart
and in conversation. I related in the presence of N. Fuller that the
people whom God had chosen as His peculiar treasure were required to be
elevated, refined, sanctified, partakers of the divine nature, having
escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Should
they who make so high a profession indulge in sin and iniquity, their
guilt would be very great. The Lord reproves the sins of one, that
others may take warning and fear . .
signify their loyalty to the God of heaven by yielding obedience to the
laws of His government. They are Gods representatives upon the earth. Any
sin in them separates them from God and, in a special manner, dishonors
His name by giving the enemies of His holy law occasion to reproach His
cause and His people, whom He has called a chosen generation, a
royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should
show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into
His marvelous light.2 Testimonies, 451-452.
The word is: Go forward;
discharge your individual duty, and leave all consequences in the hands of
God. If we move forward where Jesus leads the way we shall see His
triumph, we shall share His joy. We must share the conflicts if we wear
the crown of victory. Like Jesus, we must be made perfect through
suffering. Had Christ's life been one of ease, then might we safely
yield to sloth. Since His life was marked with continual self-denial,
suffering, and self-sacrifice, we shall make no complaint if we are
partakers with Him. We can walk safely in the darkest path if we have
the Light of the world for our guide.
Lord is testing and proving you. He has counseled, admonished, and
When the watchman, seeing the
sword coming, gives the trumpet a certain sound, the people along the line
will echo the warning, and all will have opportunity to make ready for
the conflict. But too often the leader has stood hesitating, seeming to
say: Let us not be in too great haste. There may be a mistake. We
must be careful not to raise a false alarm. The very hesitancy and
uncertainty on his part is crying: Peace and safety.' Do not get
excited. Be not alarmed . . Thus he virtually denies the message sent from
God, and the warning which was designed to stir the churches fails to do
trumpet of the watchman gives no certain sound, and the people do not
prepare for the battle. Let the watchman beware lest, through his
hesitancy and delay, souls shall be left to perish, and their blood
shall be required at his hand. 5 Testimonies, 715-716.
When warnings and entreaties come
to them, they say: Doth she not speak in parables? Words of
warning and reproof have been treated as idle tales.
Christ looked down from the crest of Olivet, He saw this state of
things existing in every church. The warnings come down to all that
are following in the tread of the people of Jerusalem, who had such great
light. This people is before us as a warning. By rejecting Gods
warnings in this our day, men are repeating the sin of Jerusalem. The
Lord sees what the human agent does not see and will not seethe outcome
of all the human devising in Battle Creek. He has done all that a God
could do. He has flashed light before the eyes of the people, that
their sins might not reach the boundary where repentance cannot be felt. But
by a long process of departure from just and righteous principles, men
have placed themselves where light and truth, justice and mercy, are not
discerned. This course has become part of their very nature. 8
The Lord clearly defined obedience
as the way to the City of God. Prophets and Kings, 179.
The prevailing spirit of our
time is one of infidelity and apostasy, a spirit of avowed
illumination because of a knowledge of truth, but in reality of the
blindest presumption. Human theories are exalted and placed where God
and His law should be. Satan tempts men and women to disobey, with the
promise that in disobedience they will find liberty and freedom that
will make them as gods. There is seen a spirit of opposition to the plain
Word of God, of idolatrous exaltation of human wisdom above divine
have allowed their minds to become so darkened and confused by conformity
to worldly customs and influences that they seem to have lost all power to
discriminate between light and darkness, truth and error. So far have they
departed from the right way that they hold the opinions of a few
philosophers, so-called, to be more trustworthy than the truths of the
Bible. The entreaties and promises of Gods Word, its threatenings
against disobedience and idolatry, these seem powerless to melt their
hearts. A faith such as actuated Paul, Peter, and John they regard as
old-fashioned, mystical, and unworthy of the intelligence of modern
thinkers. Prophets and Kings, 178.
Looking down to the last days, the
same Infinite Power declares, concerning those who received not the
love of the truth, that they might be saved: For this cause
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. As they
reject the teachings of His Word, God withdraws His Spirit and leaves
them to the deceptions which they love. Great Controversy, 431.
The people who are at war with the
law of the great Jehovah, who consider it a special virtue to talk,
write, and act the most bitter and hateful things to show their contempt
of that law, may make exalted profession of love to God, and
apparently have much religious zeal, as did the Jewish chief priests and
elders; yet, in the day of God, Found wanting will be said of them
by the Majesty of heaven. By the law is the knowledge of sin.
mirror which would discover to them the defects in their characters, they
are infuriated against, because it points out their sins. Leading
Adventists who have rejected the light are fired with madness against
Gods holy law, as the Jewish nation were against the Son of God.
They are in a terrible deception, deceiving others and being deceived
themselves. They will not come to the light, lest their deeds should be
reproved. Such will not be taught. 2 Testimonies, 452-453.
The Lord had repeatedly set before
the ten tribes the evils of disobedience. But notwithstanding reproof
and entreaty, Israel had sunk lower and still lower in apostasy.
Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer, the Lord declared:
My people are bent to backsliding from Me. Hosea 4:16; 11:7. Prophets
and Kings, 281.
God requires prompt and
unquestioning obedience of His law; but men are asleep or paralyzed by the
deceptions of Satan, who suggests excuses and subterfuges, and conquers
their scruples, saying as he said to Eve in the Garden: Ye shall
not surely die. Disobedience not only hardens the heart and
conscience of the guilty one, but it tends to corrupt the faith of others.
That which looked very wrong to them at first, gradually loses this
appearance by being constantly before them, till finally they question
whether it is really sin and unconsciously fall into the same error. 4
Such has been Satan's work from
the days of Adam to the present, and he has pursued it with great success.
He tempts men to distrust Gods love and to doubt His wisdom. He is
constantly seeking to excite a spirit of irreverent curiosity, a
restless, inquisitive desire to penetrate the secrets of divine wisdom and
power. In their efforts to search out what God has been pleased to
withhold, multitudes overlook the truths which He has revealed, and
which are essential to salvation. Satan tempts men to disobedience by
leading them to believe they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge.
But this is all a deception. Elated with their ideas of progression, they
are, by trampling on Gods requirements, setting their feet in the path
that leads to degradation and death. Patriarchs and Prophets,
Many have a name to live while
they have become spiritually dead. These will one day say: Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out
devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work
will be pronounced against thee, if thou loiter and linger until the Sun
of Righteousness shall set; the blackness of eternal night will be thy
portion. Oh, that the cold, formal, worldly heart may be melted!
Christ shed not only tears for us, but His own blood. Will not these
manifestations of His love arouse us to deep humiliation before God? It
is humility and self-abasement that we need, to be approved of God. 5
In vain were the kings
threats. He could not turn these noble men [Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abednego] from their allegiance to the great Ruler of nations. They
had learned from the history of their fathers that disobedience to God is
dishonor, disaster, and ruin; that the fear of the Lord is not only
the beginning of wisdom but the foundation of all true prosperity. They
look with calmness upon the fiery furnace and the idolatrous throng. They
have trusted in God, and He will not fail them now. Their answer is
respectful, but decided: Be it known unto thee, O king, that we will
not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set
up (Dan. 3:18),Sanctified Life, 37.
Like will attract like. Those
who are drinking from the same fountain of blessing will draw nearer
together. Truth dwelling in the hearts of believers will lead to blessed
and happy assimilation. Thus will be
answered the prayer of Christ that His disciples might be one even as He
is one with the Father. For this oneness every truly converted heart will
the ungodly there will be a deceptive harmony that but partially conceals
a perpetual discord. In their opposition to the will and the truth of
God they are united while on every other point they are rent with hatred,
emulation, jealousy, and deadly strife.
pure and the base metal are now so mingled that only the discerning eye of
the infinite God can with certainty distinguish between them. But the
moral magnet of holiness and truth will attract together the pure metal
while it will repel the base and counterfeit.
The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly; but
where do we behold the true advent spirit? Who are preparing to stand in
that time of temptation which is just before us? The people to whom God
has entrusted the sacred, solemn, testing truths for this time are
sleeping at their post. They say by their actions: We have the truth;
we are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing
while the True Witness declares: Thou knowest not that thou art
wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
what fidelity do these words portray the present condition of the church:
Knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind,
and naked. Messages of warning, dictated by the Holy Spirit, are
borne by the servants of God, defects of character are presented before
the erring; but they say: That does not represent my case. I do not
accept the message you bring. I am doing the best I can. I believe the
evil servant who said in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming,
professed to be waiting for Christ. He was a servant, outwardly
devoted to the service of God while at heart he had yielded to Satan.
He does not, like the scoffer, openly deny the truth, but reveals in his
life the sentiment of the heart, that the Lords coming is delayed.
Presumption renders him careless of eternal interests. He accepts the
worlds maxims and conforms to its customs and practices.
Selfishness, worldly pride, and ambitions predominate. 5
Many now despise the faithful
reproof given of God in testimony. I have been shown that some in these
days have even gone so far as to burn the written words of rebuke and
warning, as did the wicked king of Israel. But opposition to
Gods threatenings will not hinder their execution. To defy the
words of the Lord, spoken through His chosen instruments, will only
provoke His anger and eventually bring certain ruin upon the offender. Indignation
often kindles in the heart of the sinner against the agent whom God
chooses to deliver His reproofs. It has ever been thus, and the same
spirit exists today that persecuted and imprisoned Jeremiah for obeying
the word of the Lord.
men will not heed repeated warnings, they are pleased with false teachers
who flatter their vanity and strengthen their iniquity, but who will
fail to help them in the day of trouble. Gods chosen servants should
meet with courage and patience whatever trials and sufferings befall them
through reproach, neglect, or misrepresentations because they faithfully
discharge the duty that God has given them to do. They should remember
that the prophets of old and the Saviour of the world also endured abuse
and persecution for the Words sake. They must expect to meet just such
opposition as was manifested by the burning of the roll that was written
by the dictation of God.
Lord is fitting a people for heaven. The defects of character, the
stubborn will, the selfish idolatry, the indulgence of faultfinding,
hatred, and contention, provoke the wrath of God and must be put away from
His commandment-keeping people. Those living in these sins are deceived
and blinded by the wiles of Satan. They think that they are in the light
when they are groping in darkness. There are murmurers among us now,
even as there were murmurers among ancient Israel. Those who by unwise
sympathy encourage men in rebellion when their self-love is smarting
beneath merited reproof are not the friends of God, the great Reprover.
God will send reproof and warning to His people as long as they continue
upon earth. 4 Testimonies, 180.
The Lord has His appointed
agencies; and if these are not discerned and respected by those who
are connected with His work, if men feel free to disregard Gods
requirements, they must not be kept in positions of trust. They would
not listen to counsel, nor to the commands of God through His appointed
agencies. Like Saul, they would rush into a work that was never
appointed them, and the mistakes they would make in following their human
judgment would place the Israel of God where their Leader could not reveal
Himself to them. Sacred things would become mingled with the
common. Youths Instructor, November 17, 1898; 2 Bible
CONTINUE: PART 2