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Posts Tagged ‘ellen g. white’

Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the people of Japan who have been devastated by the terrible earthquake(s), tsunami(s), and now face the grim prospect of a nuclear meltdown. Our horror as we watch these scenes can only be exceeded by that of those who have lived through them. At time such as this our minds turn to God.  Does He have a role in it? Apparently, He has a role to play, but we have been so mistaken as to what that role is.

Listen carefully as Jesus talks about disasters that occurred in His day, He asks, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:4, NIV).

Disasters occur because God is not there to  protect; He has been pushed out, and we have the Biblical data to prove it. God does not kill, but sinners perish. The Japanese people are not more or less guilty than the rest of the world. In their disaster we see a picture of our own fate, unless we repent.

Here are just a few statements by Ellen G. White that seemed appropriate for us to think about at this time:

“John [the Revelator] was a witness of the terrible scenes that will take place as signs of Christ’s coming. He saw armies mustering for battle, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. He saw the earth move out of its place, the mountains carried into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof roaring and troubled. He saw the vials of God’s wrath opened, and pestilence, famine, and death come upon the inhabitants of the earth.

“Already the restraining Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. Men cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed, but, when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture” (Ms. 84, undated)

“Already sprinklings from the vials of God’s wrath have been let fall upon land and sea, affecting the elements of the air. The cause[s] of these unusual conditions are being search for, but in vain.

“God has not restrained the powers of darkness. . . .These things are the result of drops from the vials of God’s wrath being sprinkled on the earth” (Ms. 24, 1/1891)

“The enemy has worked, and he is working still. He is come down in great power, and the Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth. God has withdrawn His hand. We have only to look at the Johnstown [Pennsylvania] flood. He did not prevent the devil from wiping that whole city out of existence. And these very things will increase until the very close of this earth’s history” (Ms. 5, 6/19/1889).

“The vials of God’s wrath and the sprinkling of them are already coming. . . . You hear of calamities by land and sea, and they are constantly increasing. What is the matter? –the Spirit of God is taken away from those who have the lives of men in their hands, and Satan is coming in to control them” (Ms. 1, 2/1/1890).

“Satan has charged God with Satanic attributes” (Ms. 39, 10/9/1894).

“When God’s restraining hand is removed, the destroyer begins his work. . . . The Lord puts constraint upon His own attributes. Omnipotence is exerted over Omnipotence Himself. . . . Ere long there will be a sudden change in God’s dealings. . . . God’s Spirit will not always strive with men” (Ms. 127, 11/22/1897).

 

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As we continue “beholding Christ,” let us remember that the worse thing He suffered and that which took His life was the hiding of His Father’s face. Nothing brought Him greater pain than this, and it caused His death. With that in mind, I want to draw your attention to a line in Desire of Ages:

“The most dissolute men engaged in infamous abuse of the Saviour. (p. 715)

When the Lord first called my attention to this line, my human nature kicked in and I wanted to kill someone. Then I wanted to weep. It’s not enough that the Sovereign Lord and Creator of the heavens and earth had to die for us, but how could He have been willing to go this far?

The line may need no further comment; it renders speechless those who thought they knew it all about the Savior’s matchless redeeming love. I believe that sentence is enough for you to ponder for now. I shall try to have some thoughts to share with you next week about it.
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“I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2).

E. J. Waggoner tells us in The Everlasting Covenant (Glad Tidings Publishers, 8784 Valley View Drive, Berrien Springs, MI 49103) that many times God meant to bring His children home to heavenly Zion, and as many times that effort failed, with continued existence of His children on this sin-cursed earth. Let us see if we can support that thesis from inspired sources.

Eden “Had that long-lived people . . . devoted themselves to the service of God, they would have made their Creator’s name a praise in the earth and would have answered the purpose for which He gave them life. But they failed to do this” (PP 90).

Exodus. “Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in, The sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established (Exodus 15:17. There is much more that supports this in The Everlasting Covenant.).

Repatriation from Babylon/Persia.  “The promise of blessing should have met fulfillment in large measure during the centuries following the return of the Israelites from the lands of their captivity. . . . ‘I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of Hosts the holy mountain.’ And of His people He said, ‘Behold . . . I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.” Zechariah 8:3, 7, 8. These promises were conditional on obedience” (PK 703-4. Here reference is to heavenly Zion and Jerusalem; notice references to truth and righteousness. You will find more on this theme in The Everlasting Covenant.).

Messiah.          “Jesus raised His hand,—that had so often blessed the sick and suffering,—and waving it toward the doomed city, in broken utterances of grief exclaimed: ‘If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!—Here the Saviour paused, and left unsaid what might have been the condition of Jerusalem had she accepted the help that God desired to give her,—the gift of His beloved Son. If Jerusalem had known what it was her privilege to know, and had heeded the light which Heaven had sent her, she might have stood forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her God-given power. There would have been no armed soldiers standing at her gates, no Roman banners waving from her walls. The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose up before the Son of God. He saw that she might through Him have been healed of her grievous malady, liberated from bondage, and established as the mighty metropolis of the earth. From her walls the dove of peace would have gone forth to all nations. She would have been the world’s diadem of glory” (DA 576-7).

Protestant Reformation “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. . . . [I]f you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you” ( Revelation 3:1, 2).

Millerites/Adventists.             “If those who claimed to have a living experience in the things of God had done their appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would have been warned ere this, and the Lord Jesus would have come in power and great glory” (RH 10/6/1896).

Seventh Era Out of the full body of believers emerges the remnant, who know how to live by faith.

Don’t mistake foreknowledge for God’s perfect will. He predicted a long 2300 days/years from Daniel’s time to cleansing of the sanctuary. “We are apt to look at what was, as though it was what ought to have been, forgetting that from first to last Israel refused, to a greater or less extent to walk in the counsel of God” (Waggoner, The Everlasting Covenant, 277).

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In honor of the census, it might be worthwhile to talk about the two “censuses” in Scripture and compare them with the question, Did God approve of taking a census in Israel?

He apparently didn’t disapprove of the first census; read about it in the first chapter of Numbers. The Lord spoke to Moses from the Tent of Meeting in the second year of their travels through the wilderness. “From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go forth to war” (Numbers 1:3). We have always taken these words at face value, never questioning that God wanted a census in Israel. There are no words—anywhere—telling us otherwise.

But when we apply the measure of God’s changelessness, we get a somewhat different story.

For when David thought to conduct a census in Israel many years later, we have much evidence that God disapproved. What evidence do we have? No where in Scripture does God give instruction that no census be taken in Israel. It just isn’t there. How do we know that God disapproved?

First, that secular warrior Joab objected. “May the Lord your God add a hundred times as many people as there are, and let the eyes of my Lord the king see it; but why does my Lord the king delight in this thing,” a mild objection to be sure, but Joab who entered so half-heartedly upon his work, never finished it (2 Samuel 24:3, Amplified).

Second, we are told that “Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1, ASV). If Satan inspired David to do this work, that’s a good indicator that God did not approve.

[We’re told also that the Lord moved David to number Israel (2 Samuel 24:1), but that’s another story. The Lord didn’t intervene to prevent it. The story can’t be understood otherwise.]

Last, when David was convicted and recognized it as wrong and against God’s will, the prophet Gad came to him with the three choices of how he would be punished for conducting a census in Israel. This is how we know God disapproved. We have no other indicators.

Did God approve of the taking of the census in Numbers but disapproved when David did it? With no census, how would they have known if they had enough soldiers to conduct war? Isn’t God changeless? Particularly are these questions relevant when we realize, “If the children of Israel had not murmured against the Lord, He would not have suffered [allowed] their enemies to make war with them” (1SP 229). They never had to take a census—not in their wilderness journey, not in David’s time, if they had not murmured against the Lord. God did not approve either time. All evidence points out that, no more than in David’s time, the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land required no census either.


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“I will destroy you” is presented as the final word on God’s character, that this aspect of God’s character is self-evident. But wisdom requires that we not be taken in. We must refer to Ezekiel 28 and take in the full measure of everything that chapter says. When we read “I will destroy you,” we must ask:

2. How does God destroy? When God says, “I will destroy you,” turns out He is speaking of Satan, under the symbol of the king of Tyre, and Ezekiel 28 is one of the most eloquent Biblical chapters that describes Christ’s nemesis. Besides “I will destroy you,” here is what it says:

I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas” (vss. 7, 8 )

Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised in the hand of strangers” (v. 10).

I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee . . . .never shalt thou be any more” (vss. 18, 19).

As it turns out, five verses in that chapter expand on and tell how “I will destroy you.” It might be worth mentioning, too, that the entire verse says, “I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (v. 16), mentioning that He will not allow him access to the “sea of glass, as it were mingled with fire” (Rev. 15:2) that exists in His glorious kingdom.

Therefore we can see that taking one small text or part of a text and concealing the rest will never yield full light on any Biblical question. We must take in everything on that topic.

But one thing does concern me. We know that any heavenly light that is rejected results in loss of the soul. “From those who have rejected truth the light of God has departed” (Ms. 32, 1886). It grieves me deeply that the individual(s) who wrote this book have thus made a very firm commitment to error, have led others into error, and they will be lost. None of us can accept that we could be lost. This is particularly true for leaders. Can he/they “man up” and stand before the people and confess that they have been wrong? It is a very humbling experience and very difficult to do. But if they will be saved, they cannot become the enemy of light that God would have shine on the people.

Now, I told you that you would have an assignment with this blog. Here it is.

In your Bible reading, anyplace in the Bible, keep the facts that you have read here uppermost in your mind. You will find statements that seem just as clear as “I will destroy you.” When you find such statements, look at the context. Find those texts that tell “HOW” God will accomplish this task. You’ll find them everywhere. We just read right over them in days past; now look for them. I predict great joy for you, as you come to understand God’s character and learn that “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”

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http://www.BeholdYourGod.info/sda

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