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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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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The omega of apostasy

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (Rev. 11:7,8).

Omega to One of the Most Subtle Delusions―We are now to be on guard, and not drawn away from the all-important message given of God for this time. Satan is not ignorant of the result of trying to define God and Jesus Christ in a spiritualistic [USED HERE IN REFERENCE TO A SYSTEM OF INTERPRETATION, NOT SPIRITISM POPULARLY CALLED SPIRITUALISM.] way that sets God and Christ as a nonentity. The moments occupied in this kind of science are, in the place of preparing the way of the Lord, making a way for Satan to come in and confuse the minds with mysticisms of his own devising. Although they are dressed up in angel robes they have made our God and our Christ a nonentity. Why?—because Satan sees the minds are all fitted for his working. Men have lost track of Christ and the Lord God, and have been obtaining an experience that is Omega to one of the most subtle delusions that will ever captivate the minds of men. We are forbidden to ... set the imagination in a train of conjecture.―Diary, #48, pp. 153, 163, Aug. 25 and Aug. 28, 1904.

Ellen White Impressed to Delay Sending to J. H. Kellogg Messages Received in Europe―At times I have felt that I must print all the warnings given me for Dr. [J. H.] Kellogg, especially some that were given me while in Europe. But I have not yet done this, because I have been impressed to wait. If I should make a strong move in this direction, the battle would be on. Those who are opposing the light God has given would feel that they had been attacked, and would claim that they were compelled to make moves that otherwise they would not have made. And it would take much of our time to meet the issue.
Let us hold on patiently for a little while, and let the elements break forth that are struggling into life. Let not too many articles be published in the Review and Herald that are of a character to stir up strife....
Satan’s Deceptive Science Will Overcome Us Unless We Are Conformed to Christ’s Will―Unless the heart, mind, soul, and strength are completely conformed to the will of Christ, the science studied will not give entrance into the narrow way and the strait gate that lead to eternal life. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Because broad is the way, and wide is the gate that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat. Those who regard it as a valuable science to be sharp, to take advantage of and cheat their neighbors, are cheating their own soul, and unless they change, they can never enter the holy city. No crooked dealing, no deceptive science, will find a place in the heavenly courts....
As I am shown these special things of Satan’s science, and how he deceived the holy angels, I am afraid of the men who have entered into the study of the science that Satan carried into the warfare in heaven. Oh, how I have longed to be where I should not be compelled to see the same science practiced on this earth by medical practitioners. How my heart has been agonized as I have seen souls accepting the inducements held out to them to unite with those who were warring against God. When they once accept the bait it seems impossible to break the spell that Satan casts over them, because the enemy works out the science of deception as he worked it out in the heavenly courts. He uses human agencies to carry on his work with other human beings. He has worked so diligently with men in our day that he has won the game again and again.
Manuscript Release, vol. 11, p. 212.

At this crisis all are called upon to take their position. We must stand apart from those who are determined to make shipwreck of the faith. We must not sell our Lord at any price. We are to refuse to listen to the sophistries that have been brought in to make of no effect the truth for this time. Not a stone is to be moved in the foundation of this truth―not a pillar moved.... The time has come when even in the church and in our institutions, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. But God will keep that which is committed to Him.... Through those who depart from the faith the power of the enemy will be exercised, to lead others astray.— Letter 237, 1904, pp. 5, 6. (To Brother Butler, July 14, 1904.) Manuscript Release, vol. 7, p. 188.

Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature. ―Letter 263, 1904, p. 4. (To Our Leading Physicians, July 24, 1904.) 7MR 188.

What was, by far, the lion’s share of warning and reproof and instruction from Ellen White’s pen, which Christ inspired her to write? What was the nature of apostasy she worked so carefully to clarify and so many years to oppose? Did it not concern disobedience to God’s law and unbelief toward Christ?

Her definition of apostasy had a broad scope; it was not singled out to one doctrine or falsehood. The Lord’s message was the same when He was here in person. It even encompassed the building of character in little children and in encouraging their mothers. It encompassed the unselfishness of giving money to God’s work. It was about reforms, reforms of all shapes and sizes.

One of Christ’s reforms was Godhead reform. But that was one of many others—Sabbath reform, marriage reform, parental honor reform, tradition reform, ministry reform, faith reform, love reform, and more. His reformation was so broad and deep that no angel from heaven could have fully developed the redemption of this world or carried its burden to the cross.

Not one issue, not even the greatest single issue, but rather many issues comprised Christ’s work of revealing God to our world darkened by Satan’s delusions, so that faith could lay hold of Him and salvation could take place. He came to save men; He came to deliver them from sin and the tempter.

Jesus ever kept men grounded to this world and earthly matters, while pointing them to heaven. He planted their toes into the moist soil of earth and taught them to love it as God’s gift to man.

He placed the things of this life in their true relation, as subordinate to those of eternal interest; but He did not ignore their importance. He taught that heaven and earth are linked together, and that a knowledge of divine truth prepares men better to perform the duties of everyday life. He spoke as one familiar with heaven, conscious of His relationship to God, yet recognizing His unity with every member of the human family. Desire of Ages, p. 254.

Obedience to the law of God kept His disciples safely stuck on earth, while spiritualism has ever sought to take men from this mundane world and whisk them away into the astral planes of devil-manipulated imaginations. Science, pure mathematics and logic, philosophy, intellectual hors d'oeuvres, all tend to spiritualism, which itself is founded on “wisdom”, that is, the wisdom of the devils. Was not this Satan’s first inducement to Eve? “Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5).

Victory over sin and Satan is where Christ’s battle was always fought. All apostasy has resulted from failure in this victory and in the subjugation by sinful habits. Here is the focus of the Bible: Obedience to God through the faith of Jesus.

In 1888, when the message of obedience through faith and the emphasis on Jesus was brought to the attention of the Advent movement Satan immediately made war against it. The message of Christ Our Righteousness was “the third angel’s message in verity.” ―Review and Herald, April 1, 1890. Evangelism, p. 190.

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. Testimonies to Ministers, p. 91.

Yet that most precious message got argued and crowded out of existence. By what method was it crowded out? By other lesser issues that acted as diversions. What were those other issues? They were 1) the correct delineation of the ten tribes that broke up pagan Rome, 2) the subject of the Godhead.

Linked with the message of Christ Our Righteousness was the authority of Christ to forgive, His ability to intercede before a God of justice, His nature and God-ship. This led to the resurrection of a subject—long held and deeply rooted by pillars of Adventism—that Christ had a beginning, thereby being less than God.

But this issue Ellen White did not espouse when she accepted the message of Christ Our Righteousness given by E.J. Waggoner an A.T. Jones. On the contrary, she sought every opportunity to exalt Christ’s divinity and His eternal pre-existence. But more than that, she continued to emphasize obedience to God’s law and the faith of Christ as the only means to obtain obedience and salvation. She would not separate new light from the old light of our obligation to God. Christ fixed her to the principle He used and taught, “Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matt. 13:52).

It was as though our work of righteousness acts as an anchor when dealing with theology. Our focus on earthy matters is our protection from Satan’s insinuating of evil into good; our earthy, human ties, which act as the stabilizing rudder in the semi-solid stuff of this life, protect us from being blown about by every wind of doctrine.

Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned and the New Testament was full of spiritual things, especially in Paul’s letters. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Thus Peter’s admonition to safely stay grounded in the work of blessing others and growth in Christlikeness. “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” (2Pet. 3:16,17).

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off….
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” (2Pet. 1:5-10).

This is why Paul always added instruction in earthly righteousness to his epistles of heavenly mysteries. It was the general consensus to heed to good works and ministering to others’ needs. “When James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” (Gal. 2:9-10).

This is why the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are so chock full of instruction in righteousness. We have much light in the way of prophecy, the heavenly sanctuary and investigative judgment, and future end-time events. But, anyone who focuses on these subjects and biblical doctrines, to the neglect of this world’s responsibilities, becomes intellectual toward the third angel’s message, treating it as a theory, and spiritual pride sweeps that person away into darkness. They end up in Satan’s camp, filled with the chill of his presence, and often lost. This is because they would obey some of God’s commandments that are easiest to them, but not all of them, i.e., not only “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”, but also, “Thou shalt be a blessing.” (2Tim. 2:15;Gen. 12:2).

To get involved in the many issues afflicting the Advent movement today without a firm hold on victory over sin—in practice—and loving ministry to others, is the perfect formula to end up outside the New Jerusalem fighting against its establishment on earth after the millennium of the second investigative judgment.

To study theology at the expense of sacrificing self for the uplifting of fellow men is to wind up stuck in the trap of the rabbis and priests of Christ’s day. “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. 2:11,12).

The theologians became the Jews’ sorcerers. “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. 3:5).

The rabbis did not discern Satan’s cunning entrance into their religion as they detested the humbling work of reaching out to their own poor and by seeking the restoration of the Gentile people around them. So, all of their intellectual study allowed the ancient knowledge of spiritualism to work its way into their cabbalistic construction of God’s mysteries.

Later the same happened to the church. “When the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.” (Dan. 8:23-25).

Let us not permit Satan to remain victor any longer over the Advent moment. Let us return to the Lord and to His commandments and to serving our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and friends.

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut. 29:29).

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecc. 12:12-14).

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