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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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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Modern Noahs

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1Cor. 10:11).

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4).

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim. 3:16,17).

“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.” (Isa. 30:8).

“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” (Hab. 2:2).


     As a prophet, John was “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” In preparing the way for Christ’s first advent, he was a representative of those who are to prepare a people for our Lord’s second coming. The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan’s snares for destroying souls are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God’s word. For this reason temperance finds its place in the work of preparation for Christ’s second coming. Desire of Ages, p. 101.2.

Who will be the 144,000 John the Baptists? Which of us will be among the 144,000 Noah’s and Elijah’s and Jonah’s?


  “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.” Before the birth of John, the angel had said, “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.” God had called the son of Zacharias to a great work, the greatest ever committed to men. In order to accomplish this work, he must have the Lord to work with him. And the Spirit of God would be with him if he heeded the instruction of the angel.
     John was to go forth as Jehovah’s messenger, to bring to men the light of God. He must give a new direction to their thoughts. He must impress them with the holiness of God’s requirements, and their need of His perfect righteousness. Such a messenger must be holy. He must be a temple for the indwelling Spirit of God. In order to fulfill his mission, he must have a sound physical constitution, and mental and spiritual strength. Therefore it would be necessary for him to control the appetites and passions. He must be able so to control all his powers that he could stand among men as unmoved by surrounding circumstances as the rocks and mountains of the wilderness.
     In the time of John the Baptist, greed for riches, and the love of luxury and display had become widespread. Sensuous pleasures, feasting and drinking, were causing physical disease and degeneracy, benumbing the spiritual perceptions, and lessening the sensibility to sin. John was to stand as a reformer. By his abstemious life and plain dress he was to rebuke the excesses of his time. Hence the directions given to the parents of John,―a lesson of temperance by an angel from the throne of heaven.
     In childhood and youth the character is most impressible. The power of self-control should then be acquired. By the fireside and at the family board influences are exerted whose results are as enduring as eternity. More than any natural endowment, the habits established in early years decide whether a man will be victorious or vanquished in the battle of life. Youth is the sowing time. It determines the character of the harvest, for this life and for the life to come. Desire of Ages, p. 100.2-101.1.

Who will leave the cities and raise up a generation that can fulfill the Baptist’s commission?


     In the natural order of things, the son of Zacharias would have been educated for the priesthood. But the training of the rabbinical schools would have unfitted him for his work. God did not send him to the teachers of theology to learn how to interpret the Scriptures. He called him to the desert, that he might learn of nature and nature’s God.  Desire of Ages, p. 101.3.

Are we to be taught by men or by God? “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1Cor. 1:19,20).
“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isa. 2:22).

We are to be taught by God.

How are we to be taught by God?  “Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24).

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:10).

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1Tim. 1:5-7).

“Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.” (Hos. 6:5).

“For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in Thy sight.
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.” (Psa. 9:18-20).

We are to be slain by the Law until we know that we be but men. Then, in our total discomfiture and trembling, and ready to sink into hopeless destruction, we humbly lift up our eyes to eek out some evidence of God’s mercy, and the Spirit of God shows us His Son. Yes, God will accept us through His designated mediator, Jesus. Then we are baptized by the fire that fell on Elijah’s sacrifice, which devoured the whole altar and licked up the mote of water around it. Then we are the powerful sons of God, reconciled to God, and trained to speak powerfully for Him.

Once reconciled, God can teach us everything. “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” (1Jn. 2:27).

 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.…
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:9,10,12-16).


     It was a lonely region where he found his home, in the midst of barren hills, wild ravines, and rocky caves. But it was his choice to forgo the enjoyments and luxuries of life for the stern discipline of the wilderness. Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial. Uninterrupted by the clamor of the world, he could here study the lessons of nature, of revelation, and of Providence. The words of the angel to Zacharias had been often repeated to John by his God-fearing parents. From childhood his mission had been kept before him, and he had accepted the holy trust. To him the solitude of the desert was a welcome escape from society in which suspicion, unbelief, and impurity had become well-nigh all-pervading. He distrusted his own power to withstand temptation, and shrank from constant contact with sin, lest he should lose the sense of its exceeding sinfulness. Desire of Ages, p. 101.4.

Will we leave the cities and forgo the enjoyments and luxuries of life for the stern discipline of the wilderness? Will we happily accept the simplicity and self-denial that only country living best provides?


    Dedicated to God as a Nazarite from his birth, he made the vow his own in a life-long consecration. His dress was that of the ancient prophets, a garment of camel’s hair, confined by a leather girdle. He ate the “locusts and wild honey” found in the wilderness, and drank the pure water from the hills. Desire of Ages, p. 102.1.

Can we be modern-day Nazarites? The Nazarite vow could be claimed by males or females. It was a way to draw near to God for a period of time. John’s dress code could find its modern counterpart in sturdy, modest, simple clothing. The diet would be a vegan fare.


     But the life of John was not spent in idleness, in ascetic gloom, or in selfish isolation. From time to time he went forth to mingle with men; and he was ever an interested observer of what was passing in the world. From his quiet retreat he watched the unfolding of events. With vision illuminated by the divine Spirit he studied the characters of men, that he might understand how to reach their hearts with the message of heaven. The burden of his mission was upon him. In solitude, by meditation and prayer, he sought to gird up his soul for the lifework before him.  Desire of Ages, p. 102.2.

We must be missionaries in the wilderness or we will soon leave the life of seclusion and return to the cities; or if we don’t return, our children will. John was interested in current events, and we must be, also. As we watch the unfolding of the last days our faith will strengthen and we will have more to share with others.


     Although in the wilderness, he was not exempt from temptation. So far as possible, he closed every avenue by which Satan could enter, yet he was still assailed by the tempter. But his spiritual perceptions were clear; he had developed strength and decision of character, and through the aid of the Holy Spirit he was able to detect Satans approaches, and to resist his power.  Desire of Ages, p. 102.3.

Only away from the cities, and influenced by the God of nature, an influence which we came under when we were reconciled to Him, will our spiritual perceptions be clear and have strength and decision of character in order to resist the power of Satan’s temptations. But, to reiterate, the reconciliation with God is imperative for His Spirit to teach us and shield us from Satan. Without the reconciliation with God and the divine presence of His Spirit, we are no more than the ascetic Essenes who lived out in the same wilderness when John lived there; but they could never play the part of forerunner of the Messiah which John received the power to do, and which we desire to be for Christ’s second coming.


     John found in the wilderness his school and his sanctuary. Like Moses amid the mountains of Midian, he was shut in by God’s presence, and surrounded by the evidences of His power. It was not his lot to dwell, as did Israel’s great leader, amid the solemn majesty of the mountain solitudes; but before him were the heights of Moab, beyond Jordan, speaking of Him who had set fast the mountains, and girded them with strength. The gloomy and terrible aspect of nature in his wilderness home vividly pictured the condition of Israel. The fruitful vineyard of the Lord had become a desolate waste. But above the desert the heavens bent bright and beautiful. The clouds that gathered, dark with tempest, were arched by the rainbow of promise. So above Israel’s degradation shone the promised glory of the Messiah’s reign. The clouds of wrath were spanned by the rainbow of His covenant-mercy.
     Alone in the silent night he read God’s promise to Abraham of a seed numberless as the stars. The light of dawn, gilding the mountains of Moab, told of Him who should be as “the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.” 2 Samuel 23:4. And in the brightness of noontide he saw the splendor of His manifestation, when “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” Isaiah 40:5. Desire of Ages, p. 102.4-102.5.

We will also find similar inspiration and direction from the Spirit of God speaking through nature.


     With awed yet exultant spirit he searched in the prophetic scrolls the revelations of the Messiah’s coming,the promised seed that should bruise the serpent’s head; Shiloh, “the peace giver,” who was to appear before a king should cease to reign on David’s throne. Now the time had come. A Roman ruler sat in the palace upon Mount Zion. By the sure word of the Lord, already the Christ was born.  Desire of Ages, p. 103.1.

We, too, must search the prophetic scrolls discerning signs of Christ’s second coming. Soon we will see a Roman sitting as President of the General Conference. At that time it will be time to cry out and expect the Latter Rain to be born, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” (Acts 3:19,20).


     Isaiah’s rapt portrayals of the Messiah’s glory were his study by day and by night,the Branch from the root of Jesse; a King to reign in righteousness, judging “with equity for the meek of the earth;” “a covert from the tempest; . . . the shadow of a great rock in a weary land;” Israel no longer to be termed “Forsaken,” nor her land “Desolate,” but to be called of the Lord, “My Delight,” and her land “Beulah.” Isaiah 11:4; 32:2; 62:4, margin. The heart of the lonely exile was filled with the glorious vision.  Desire of Ages, p. 103.2.

The Latter Rain will be all of this. Adventism will revive. Our “conversation” will be of “heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:20). We will be “delivered…from the power of darkness, and…translated…into the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son.” (Col. 1:13). We will be “raised us up together, and made [to] sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6).

God will deliver us from Babylon. “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.” (Isa. 14:1-7).

“Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of His fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.
Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:” (Isa. 51:17-22).

  “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” (Isa. 52:1-3).

 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.” (Isa 10:20).


     He looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was forgotten. He beheld the majesty of holiness, and felt himself to be inefficient and unworthy. He was ready to go forth as Heaven’s messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine. He could stand erect and fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs, because he had bowed low before the King of kings. Desire of Ages, p. 103.3.

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12).


     John did not fully understand the nature of the Messiah’s kingdom. He looked for Israel to be delivered from her national foes; but the coming of a King in righteousness, and the establishment of Israel as a holy nation, was the great object of his hope. Thus he believed would be accomplished the prophecy given at his birth,―
      “To remember His holy covenant; . . .
      That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies
      Might serve Him without fear,
      In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our
      life.” Desire of Ages, p. 103.4.

But we know that Rome is not the enemy to be fought, but rather “principalities,… powers,…the rulers of the darkness of this world,…spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12). But we need the Holy Spirit from Jesus to discern the movements of the spiritual wickedness moving human agencies.


     He saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins. He longed to rouse them to a holier life. The message that God had given him to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up. Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin.  Desire of Ages, p. 103.5.

The Advent people are “deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins,” “people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins.” Does not this quote describe us to a “T”? Are we not following in the exact path of the Jews? Have we not passed through what has felt like our own 400-year period of silence from Jesus? And what has the affect been upon us? “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.” (Rev. 11:7). We have caved in to the lures of the world that the Protestants accepted. “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. 8:24,25). “But,” as Paul wrote to the church that was tricked into leaving the gospel, “he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.” (Gal. 5:10).


     God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, “What must I do to be saved?” Then the hand that has humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, “What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?”  Desire of Ages, p. 104.1.

We must always bear in mind that if we are not ever ready to lift up the slain from the words of our mouth, then we better not open our mouth. God never wounds for the sake of wounding; He only wounds to heal.

“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matt. 18:7-11).

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:3-6).


     When the ministry of John began, the nation was in a state of excitement and discontent verging on revolution. At the removal of Archelaus, Judea had been brought directly under the control of Rome. The tyranny and extortion of the Roman governors, and their determined efforts to introduce the heathen symbols and customs, kindled revolt, which had been quenched in the blood of thousands of the bravest of Israel. All this intensified the national hatred against Rome, and increased the longing to be freed from her power.  Desire of Ages, p. 104.

Is not Rome on the move again? And the people love to have it so. Is not Satan moving the nations to total cacophony and chaos? Has he not trained his sights on Adventism to snuff it out from the earth with a speedy riddance? Are they not on the docket for the next fascist ethnic cleansing holocaust? Yes, they sure are. Will we be among those who fight, or will we accept it as punishment for our lackadaisical effort to warn the world of this very judgment? Will we accept it as discipline to get the Advent movement back up to speed before the Latter Rain comes? Will we fight or will we surrender to the Lord and let Him fight our battles for us, like the 1888 message of Righteousness by Faith was originally designed to teach us all along?

“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.” (Isa. 30:15,16). Have we learned the lesson from that most precious message? We will soon have the opportunity to find out when the next administration comes into office.

By then, all the Protestants will consider Protestantism to be defunct and a failure. They will accept the prompts from Rome’s undercover emissaries and the whole American populace will complain about the separation between church and state. Complete social and economic will have collapsed because the Protestants indulged Rome’s temptations from Rome’s media and this will cause them to cry out to the pope for his prayers and guidance and bailouts. They will welcome their old cunning enemy into their hearts who orchestrated their apostasy and demise. But, thankfully Jesus already put the words into the mouths of His servants for the pope in that day, “Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” (Luk. 13:32).

Our message will have to be stern in order to marshal the confidence of a confused multitude. It will be a message full of promise, yet one that enforces God’s Law which the world and God’s own people have trampled upon. As David led the 600 disgruntled men, keeping them strictly disciplined, so will many SDAs need the same regimentation against the insubordination wrought in them from the lawlessness that has pervaded the Advent movement because we left the high standard of the Spirit of Prophecy and turned to Spiritual Formation, the spiritualist child of Ignatius Loyola.


     Amid discord and strife, a voice was heard from the wilderness, a voice startling and stern, yet full of hope: “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” With a new, strange power it moved the people. Prophets had foretold the coming of Christ as an event far in the future; but here was an announcement that it was at hand. John’s singular appearance carried the minds of his hearers back to the ancient seers. In his manner and dress he resembled the prophet Elijah. With the spirit and power of Elijah he denounced the national corruption, and rebuked the prevailing sins. His words were plain, pointed, and convincing. Many believed him to be one of the prophets risen from the dead. The whole nation was stirred. Multitudes flocked to the wilderness.
     John proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, and called the people to repentance. As a symbol of cleansing from sin, he baptized them in the waters of the Jordan. Thus by a significant object lesson he declared that those who claimed to be the chosen people of God were defiled by sin, and that without purification of heart and life they could have no part in the Messiah’s kingdom.  Desire of Ages, p. 104.3-104.4.

“The sign of circumcision, a seal of” “righteousness by faith;” “the righteousness of faith.” (Rom. 4:11;Gal 5:5; Rom. 4:13). The Lord gave circumcision to Abraham for the first dispensation, and baptism replaced the same sign during the second dispensation because circumcision lost its meaning of self-sacrifice, of accepting pain as the rite of membership into God’s kingdom; and He will give another sign in the final dispensation of the Holy Spirit because baptism has lost its original meaning. That sign will be the blotting out of sin from the character and the laying down of our life and soul for preparation for judgment day. It will be the final sealing that comes through the surrender to the clearest, strongest presentation of the Law of God ever given to man—the Spirit of Prophecy through Ellen G. White.


  Says the prophet: “Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2, 3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.
     When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing. “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” Malachi 3:4. Then the church which our Lord at His coming is to receive to Himself will be a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27. Then she will look “forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” Song of Solomon 6:10. Great Controversy, p. 425.1-425.2.

“When this work [the special work of purification] shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing.” Many Adventist voices today claim that God’s people will be sinning until the very day Jesus comes. This statement flatly contradicts such a notion. The only folks who would propagate such a glaring falsehood are people who have hated the Spirit of Prophecy and therefore have never known the surrender to its strong language. They have never submitted to the testimony of Jesus and received the reconciliation with Him and humility—the seal of the living God—that results. Only they can know sanctification.

And all others fall into the same the same condition of the Pharisees and Sadducees of the New Testament. These are the theologians and leaders, pastors and laity. Its an age-old recurrence. “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).


     Princes and rabbis, soldiers, publicans, and peasants came to hear the prophet. For a time the solemn warning from God alarmed them. Many were brought to repentance, and received baptism. Persons of all ranks submitted to the requirement of the Baptist, in order to participate in the kingdom he announced.  Desire of Ages, p. 105.1.

Conference presidents, theologians, pastors, military men, members of congress, and Adventists and non-Adventists from main street USA will come to hear the 144,000 John the Baptists.


     Many of the scribes and Pharisees came confessing their sins, and asking for baptism. They had exalted themselves as better than other men, and had led the people to entertain a high opinion of their piety; now the guilty secrets of their lives were unveiled. But John was impressed by the Holy Spirit that many of these men had no real conviction of sin. They were timeservers. As friends of the prophet, they hoped to find favor with the coming Prince. And by receiving baptism at the hands of this popular young teacher, they thought to strengthen their influence with the people.  Desire of Ages, p. 105.2.

Spiritual discernment will be greatly needed in those days. We will know them by their fruits. We will need to be “wise as serpents. “ (Matt. 10:16). Justice and mercy will be paramount. If any victory over sin is to be achieved, if anyone is to be born again as sons of thunder, then accountability and loving-kindness must be observed by the messengers of the Lord. “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” (Prov. 16:6).


     John met them with the scathing inquiry, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance; and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
     The Jews had misinterpreted God’s promise of eternal favor to Israel: “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:35-37. The Jews regarded their natural descent from Abraham as giving them a claim to this promise. But they overlooked the conditions which God had specified. Before giving the promise, He had said, “I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. . . . For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33, 34.
     To a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgments. This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation. Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins. They flattered themselves that they were better than other men, and entitled to His blessings.
     These things “are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11. How often we misinterpret God’s blessings, and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us! God cannot do for us that which He longs to do. His gifts are used to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.
     John declared to the teachers of Israel that their pride, selfishness, and cruelty showed them to be a generation of vipers, a deadly curse to the people, rather than the children of just and obedient Abraham. In view of the light they had received from God, they were even worse than the heathen, to whom they felt so much superior. They had forgotten the rock whence they were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which they had been digged. God was not dependent upon them for the fulfilling of His purpose. As He had called Abraham out from a heathen people, so He could call others to His service. Their hearts might now appear as lifeless as the stones of the desert, but His Spirit could quicken them to do His will, and receive the fulfillment of His promise.
     “And now also,” said the prophet, “the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.
     Under his heart-searching words, his hearers were convicted. They came to him with the inquiry, “What shall we do then?” He answered, “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.” And he warned the publicans against injustice, and the soldiers against violence.  {DA 107.2} 
     All who became the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.
     “I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance,” said John; “but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Matthew 3:11, R. V., margin. The prophet Isaiah had declared that the Lord would cleanse His people from their iniquities “by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” The word of the Lord to Israel was, “I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin.” Isaiah 4:4; 1:25. To sin, wherever found, “our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29. In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. Jacob, after his night of wrestling with the Angel, exclaimed, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:30. Jacob had been guilty of a great sin in his conduct toward Esau; but he had repented. His transgression had been forgiven, and his sin purged; therefore he could endure the revelation of God’s presence. But wherever men came before God while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed. At the second advent of Christ the wicked shall be consumed “with the Spirit of His mouth,” and destroyed “with the brightness of His coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8. The light of the glory of God, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked.
     In the time of John the Baptist, Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make manifest to men their sin. Only as they were willing to be purged from sin could they enter into fellowship with Him. Only the pure in heart could abide in His presence.
     Thus the Baptist declared God’s message to Israel. Many gave heed to his instruction. Many sacrificed all in order to obey. Multitudes followed this new teacher from place to place, and not a few cherished the hope that he might be the Messiah. But as John saw the people turning to him, he sought every opportunity of directing their faith to Him who was to come.  Desire of Ages, p. 105.3-108.2.

Let us prepare our own characters, let’s be part of that last movement that John so clearly revealed to us through his example. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2Cor. 7:1).

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:11-14).

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