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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

From Exodus to Advent

Elder Morris Venden wrote a book by the above title—a must read.

There are many interesting parallels between the Exodus and the Advent movements. Could the Holy Spirit be so wise as to write up the Exodus experience in such a way as to prophesy of the last great movement of God at the climax of Earth’s history? The answer is a resounding, Yes! Paul has already made this connection.

“They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1Cor. 10:4-12).

Israel left the enslavement of an Egyptian empire that had apostatized far from Noah’s preaching of righteousness, yet they retained a self-righteous exclusiveness (Gen. 43:32). The Seventh Day Adventists left a network of professed Protestant churches that had fallen far from the principles which had guided the Reformation. The Bible was no longer treasured and studied which had come down to them at the cost of so many Protestant lives. The Protestants were not protesting anymore. They were dead while they lived. The 3 angels’ messages freed and separated the Adventists from mainline Protestantism.

Because of unbelief, Israel wandered while waiting to enter the Promised Land. Likewise, because of unbelief, Adventism has also wandered in this world of sin and sorrow more than four extra generations since it could have gone into the heavenly Canaan shortly after 1844.

During the delay and wandering time many statutes and laws were handed down to each movement from the Son of God through His chosen human vessels, Moses and Ellen White. Both exalted the Law of God. Both of these vessels were more than prophets, their role each being to establish tightly bound organizations that would eventually endure until the full conquest of the Promised Land and battle the wiles of Satan until the coming of the Son of God in power.

Both dealt long with the rebellion of unconverted hearts. Both spent long years instructing and rebuking and giving a parent’s counsel. Both loved their Israel. Both interceded constantly for the people which they dearly loved. Both leaders had learned their lesson of walking with God in a warm relationship and a continuous communion, and both had to patiently deal with the thousands of others in the camp who hadn’t learned that lesson, and made life miserable for the leader.

But something will disturb us if we carry the parallel all the way to its conclusion. At the very end of the wandering period, after already successfully vanquishing the first three enemy nations, right on the banks opposite the Promised Land, occurs a great apostasy.

First it’s an invitation to the Israelite people and leaders to join in feasting. Soon, sexual seduction leads to the total overthrow of divine prohibitions. Finally, false worship crowns the whole event.

Then falls the wrath of God upon the camp of Israel. First, a plague runs its course, then all-out warfare between Israelite and Israelite, brother against brother. 23,000 die who joined in the apostasy.

How does this apply to our day? Everything in the comparison up to the end fits rather nicely. The grand finale must fit also. Are we seeing an apostasy among Adventists relating to the falling of standards and to false worship? Yes, we are.

Balaam, under Satan’s control, sought to stop Israel from entering the Promised Land. He tried to overtly curse them, which only led to their blessing by heaven.

If Israel represented the last group on earth preparing to go up and take the heavenly Canaan, then what organization would Balaam represent?

Balaam really was the alter-ego/ competitor of Moses, and the Moabites and Midianites were the competitors of Israel. If Israel under Moses represents the Adventists under Ellen White, then who does this say is trying to stop us from going in to possess the new heaven and new earth?

The 2nd beast of Revelation 13 is a miracle-working beast. “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.” (Rev. 13:13,14). “In the sight of the beast” means “for his benefit; under his direction.” The fire that the second beast brings down from heaven mimics that of God’s anointed ones of Rev. 11:5,6.

This innocent-looking 2nd beast simulates the powerful work of the Protestant Reformation. That beast is also called “the false prophet.” (Rev. 19:20). So we see a strong link between the 2nd beast of Revelation 13 and an apostatized Protestantism, which outwardly shows two horns like a lamb, but inwardly comes to think like Satan, and ultimately speaks like him.

Balak needed to stop Israel, who under God was stronger than Moab. So he enlisted the aid of Balaam, a backslidden prophet, a false prophet. While Balak indirectly sought to prevent Israel’s forward progress through Balaam, Balaam personally accomplished the work of destroying Israel.

What is Adventism’s number one earthly enemy? Catholicism. Who is the Vatican’s primary nemesis, but the Seventh-day Adventist church and its doctrines? Because the Vatican still lacks the political power until it grows stronger than the rest of the modern nations, it must enlist the help of another organization to prevent the world-wide preaching of the 3 angel’s messages.

Who would she call on for assistance? Mainline Protestantism, the fallen denominations who, in 1844, rejected the thought of Jesus coming literally, physically, in power to destroy all their worldly possessions. The circumstances surrounding Adventism’s birth resulting from the preaching of Baptist William Miller, simultaneously brought about the death of mainline Protestantism. The iniquity of the Amorites was almost full. The door of probation closed to those organizations. Now, anyone connected with them could only be saved by leaving them and joining in the Advent movement.

The cursing of Adventism by the popular Protestant denominations, which went on through the 19th and 20th centuries, only caused people to take better notice of the Adventist doctrines and find them filled with truth. Thus, all the anathematizing of Adventism by popular Protestantism only strengthened our cause and increased its membership.

But what do we see happening today in the Seventh-day Adventist church after having won so many battles due to the Lord’s blessing? How did Balaam finally succeed in bringing the disfavor of God upon Israel? Through false worship. Do we see false worship in the Advent movement today? Yes; the New Age Christianity which moved into the mainline denominations in the 40 years ago has made its way into Adventism.

Instead of preaching “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come,” we see praise music and Celebration churches. We have rock music in the worship services. We see Sabbath-keeping filled with excursions that lead away from God, instead of uniting with Him closer than possible all week. We see the falling of standards that will never return. The Bible is not studied; prayer is not wont to be made.

We see basketball to be more important to the youth than missionary work, time spent by all ages in entertainment—TV- and movie-watching, novel-reading and video-gaming instead of intensive studying of the plain word of God and earnestly imploring our Lord to save us and our loved ones from the temptations that abound everywhere.

Our prayers to God are not motivated by His word because we haven’t studied His word, but are simply an exercise in emotion, empty of any solid promises from God. These prayers differ little from Cain’s offering. Spiritualism is moving into the Advent movement. “Spiritual Formation,” a meditation method of emptying the mind in order to hear “God’s” voice, which comes straight from the occult, is being taught and practiced in Adventist colleges and universities.

The cross is not uplifted or carried. Jesus is not preached. Our preachers don’t seem to know how to declare the love of God in Christ. Their interests are in this world; they are dumb dogs that cannot bark. Thus, sanctification has been abandoned by a large sector of the denomination.

Has not the same process been repeated in nearly every church calling itself Protestant? As the founders, those who possessed the true spirit of reform, pass away, their descendants come forward and "new-model the cause." While blindly clinging to the creed of their fathers and refusing to accept any truth in advance of what they saw, the children of the reformers depart widely from their example of humility, self-denial, and renunciation of the world. Thus "the first simplicity disappears." A worldly flood, flowing into the church, carries "with it its customs, practices, and idols."
Alas, to what a fearful extent is that friendship of the world which is "enmity with God," now cherished among the professed followers of Christ!
GC p. 385.

Whole groups within the church now study how to “re-invent” the standards of the Spirit of Prophecy, to undo, and then glory in, the destruction of everything Ellen White handed down to us from heaven. The movement is unraveling, but all we seem to hear from the leadership is that the church is where the Lord wants her to be.

The Lord has not closed Heaven against his people, but their own course of continual backsliding has separated them from him. Pride, and love of the world, live in the heart. Few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. The general opinion is that the church is flourishing, and that peace and prosperity are in all her borders. Signs of the Times, January 11, 1883 par. 15.

A great shaking took place at Baal-peor, when the last of the rebels fell in the wilderness, as the Lord promised. Another shaking is on the way, huge in its magnitude, and it hasteth greatly. We are primed for multitudes to abandon the heaven-ward march and to hope only in this world. Woe be the day, when those who had once heard of the shaking and read of many with blood on their clothes, realize that they are who they read about or heard about so many times in the so long ago. Oh, the despairing fear that will grip them!

They will know by experience verses with which they had been well familiar.

“And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:51).

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Matt. 8:12;Mk. 9:44).

The natural covetousness and fear of persecution will prevent them from throwing all their mind and heart into the despised Adventist movement which began moving again after they left it. “Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” (Lk. 16:26).

Unable to find the remotest repentance in their heart, trying to forget what they know is coming, while hoping that the Bible was mistaken, will drive them to the point of insanity.

“And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek” relief from their abused conscience, “and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:12).

The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. GC p. 607.

In the end of the final conflagration and shaking, we see the 144,000, like the final numbering of ancient Israel at the end of their wandering, ready to fight for glorification and an eternal walk with Jesus. “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:4). And they go forth to give the 3 angels’ messages in the power of the 4th angel of Revelation 18.

The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant. Ev. p. 707.

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