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Posts Tagged ‘spirit of prophecy’

Two Groups

Continuing on with Ellen White’s statement that there will be two groups in the church when Jesus returns . . . .

Today the church is in a great state of fluctuation in the manifestation of these two groups, with some leaving one camp for another group, and others pulling back as they leave and going in another direction, leadership too busy having their heads in “evangelism” to provide meaningful direction to their confused members. And then there are those who seem unaffected by it all, who continue mindlessly attending church, preparing for potluck, and doing their part in the programs of the church, for the most part unaware of the conflict in the church over righteousness—or How Does God Save Humans? It’s business as usual. But underneath it all there is a current, a tide, moving the members progressively into the two great camps of which she spoke.

Sandy Workman in The Creation of the 144,000 wrote about it also in these insightful words:

“On one side stand those who cling to the laws and doctrines which they have been taught to believe are the messages of Revelation 14:6-12 (I was there). On the other side stand those who have taken the more liberal position of the evangelical world (only believe and you will be saved – but there is not real victory over sin before Jesus comes). Both of these groups believe they have the truth on the matter.

“Then there is a third group in the Adventist world. They believe that the message initially sent through William Miller and his friends, and brought again through Waggoner and Jones, is the third angel’s message in verity and is the truth that will finish the work. While the first two classes struggle for supremacy in the church, this third class is preoccupied with learning, living and teaching the truth as it is in Jesus” (p. 44).

She goes on to compare this situation with that of Jesus in the first century. Two groups united to crucify Him, but we shall leave that subject for another time.

I want to talk about the third group, what it looks like from my POV (Point of View). It seems to me that there are many in the third group who know the theory of righteousness by faith very well but who have not entered into the experience of it. And righteousness by faith is most definitely an experience.

Let me give you an example. We recognize A. G. Daniels’ Christ Our Righteousness as a nonpareil of righteousness by faith. But I suggest that Daniels knew only the theory of righteousness by faith; he did not have the experience. If he had, he would not have opposed Ellen White in her insistence there was “kingly authority” in the church around the turn of the twentieth century. At Ellen’s insistence, they had a reorganization at that time. There was to be no hierarchical governance. They established a congregational form which lasted a short time until A. G. Daniels manipulated himself back into the presidency, and Ellen White gave up. Clearly, he had no concept of the experience of righteousness by faith. Is it possible that others in the righteousness by faith movement know the theory well but have never entered into the experience?

History will most likely designate the early twenty-first century as a time of change in the Seventh-day Adventist church. There is the old guard, many of whom are mindlessly unaware that any change is taking place. Then there are those who do know but zealously guard the past, because they know God requires full obedience and they mistakenly believe that they can provide it. There are those who realize the Adventist church has been legalistic, and they believe the only other choice is the “new theology,” where they exchange one error for another.

Lastly, there are those who believe the theory of true righteousness by faith. And a small percentage of these have found the Lord Jesus, His righteousness lived out in them and the peace that attends them, as they live their lives in humble praise and thanksgiving to Him. Stay tuned. . .

 

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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By now you should know that I am an unapologetic believer in the prophetic ministry of Ellen White. I seldom encounter Adventists who are embarrassed by her, but I did recently. That got me to thinking.

It was said she was “inspiring” but not “inspired.” She cannot predict the future. But if she is not good at predicting the future, she is not a prophet or messenger of God. Many people are inspiring; many enhance our relationship with God. But they are not inspired in the “prophetic” sense, it doesn’t matter how inspiring they are. We must conclude if she cannot accurately predict the future, that she is a false prophet, that her source is from somewhere other than God.

Here are just a few of the prophecies she has made (and prophecies made about her):

  •  Revelation 12:17 and 19:10 describe the last church as keeping the commandments of God (a Sabbath-keeping communion) and having the testimony of Jesus which is the Spirit of Prophecy. If this doesn’t describe Ellen White, then who does it describe?
  • In the Review and Herald, October 13, 1904, she said, “The fourteenth chapter of Revelation is a chapter of the deepest interest. This scripture will soon be understood in all it bearings.” Has our understanding of Revelation fourteen been enhanced in recent years? Yes. In the years since 1904 we have learned from F. T. Wright that there are seven angels in Revelation 14, not just three. My work, the Seventh Era (coming soon to this blog), further expands our understanding of Revelation 14 and makes it a “chapter of the deepest interest.” We can now see much more of what she saw when viewing Revelation 14. My question: Who told her?
  • “Old controversies will arouse to new life” (TM 116). A striking fulfillment of this prophecy is the antitrinitarian belief that is growing in the church. This is an old controversy. It dates back to the very beginnings of the Seventh-day Adventist church, and farther. It began in heaven, when Lucifer became jealous of Christ and from that point desired to “demote” Him. I ask, Who told her?
  • She said in Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415, that the last message to be given to the world will be a revelation of God’s character of love. And now, in the tag end of time, what has sprung spontaneously upon us? A new message, “illuminating in its influence and saving in its power.” A message that cannot be refuted. A message that says our God doesn’t “steal, kill . . . [or] destroy,” just as Jesus said. A message that clarifies God’s character so that humans can, in Him, imitate it. Who told her?
  • In Letter 1, Oct 13, 1975, she wrote, “The third angels message means far more than we take it to mean. We should search to find out all that is possible concerning this solemn message.” Recent research has revealed that this message, the third angel, is given to refute the claims of the great imitator, who is here, on the earth, when this message is given in its primary, antitypical form. If you don’t believe it, I invite you to watch “The Seventh Era: Advanced Prophecy for SDAs” (coming soon). Who told her, if not God?
  • “The enemy will ring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith” (RH 5/25/1905). If the sanctuary doctrine is not under attack, then Ellen White is a false prophet. If it is under attack, she knew it many years ago. Is she then a true prophet? I’m sure we can all agree that the slaying of animals got wholly out of hand in ancient times. If they had just stopped sinning, no more blood would have had to flow. The killing of innocent animals is repulsive to most—almost as repulsive as the innocent Son of God having to come to this planet and give His life a ransom for our souls. But who told her this? How did she know?
  • And you who imply or state she was a false prophet, she talked about you. Yes, she did. She said, “I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week” (Ms. 15, 3/27/1896). Isn’t our faith beginning to look a lot like theirs?
  • And all her pronouncements on health? Who told her?  Who enabled her to be at least a century before her time regarding health and healing? Who gave her the information that makes Adventists desirable candidates for medical research studies? They live about ten years longer than non-Adventists who don’t follow her health counsels.

But what of those failed prophecies? Can we properly assess them from our vantage point this side of eternity?  According to my understanding, she still has some time left. What about changed conditions that made the fulfillment of prophecy impossible? There are many reasons for her prophecies to appear unfulfilled. But the great bulk of them are either fulfilled or in the process of fulfilling, and it is on these that believers in SOP choose to trust.

There are atheists who don’t believe in the Bible largely for the same reasons that some supposedly enlightened Adventists no longer believe in Spirit of Prophecy. Many, many other prophecies and predictions could be cited as evidence that Ellen White knew what she was talking about. If you have decided to discard her because she was human and sometimes did human things, perhaps you might want to rethink your position. She was right too many times.

The Bloggery
www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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Can Ellen White predict the future? There are many today, both in and out of the church, who say she cannot. Many of those inside the SDA church say she is inspiring but not inspired. We cannot depend upon her prophetic statements. Do we have the Spirit of Prophecy among us, as Rev. 12:17 and 19:10 seem to indicate, or do we not? Today I thought we could begin a series in which we ask, Is Ellen White inspired enough that her prophetic statements are reliable for us today? One of the statements she made is as follows:

A new light is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people. But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed (Ms. 32, 1896).

Note the date of this statement—1896. We live more than a hundred years beyond this date—enough time to assess the statement’s reliability. Within contemporary Adventism we find two parties forming out of four, as follows:

True Legalism. These members trust their church membership to save them. They think their obedience is good enough. Emphatic in right doing and busy with church activities, they seldom think about how they are doing in the obedience department.  Historic Adventists frequently fall within this category. They are the “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” and they don’t know it.

Legalist. These individuals try to obey, render a surface obedience, but are often troubled in their efforts. They know that God requires perfect obedience of them, and they know they haven’t it to give. They are powerless to know what to do about it, and are often vulnerable to counterfeit righteousness.

Counterfeit Righteousness by Faith: These people have given up. They have developed a theory that since perfect righteousness is required and they know they haven’t it to give, they assume that means Christ’s righteousness is lived out on their behalf. They don’t worry or even think about it any more. They purport to have the “assurance of salvation” but, unbeknownst to them, it is a sliding slippery slope.

True Righteousness by Faith: Among the doctrines of the church, righteousness by faith may be the most important. Righteousness is a person—the Lord Jesus Christ. We get his righteousness by getting Him to walk with us through our days. The folk who have found true righteousness by faith have discovered how to abide in Him. They have fellowship with Him through praise and thanksgiving. He has become to them, not a theory, but a living, daily reality.

Oftentimes we hear statements coming from leaders in the church, and we say w-h-a-t? Then maybe we go along with them because we are so confused. If only we had a number affixed over our  head or embroidered on a vest in order that people always know what category we are in. If we are obliged to be in a church with such an array of beliefs, perhaps it is the only way we can avoid soul-destroying confusion. But God requires that we give the trumpet a certain sound.

Remember, in the final analysis, there are only two categories when the end comes. Divisions will come, then two parties will be developed. The unique thing about Ellen’s pronouncement is that both parties are in the church. In the weeks ahead I will discuss each category more fully and perhaps suggest some helpful insights for each. And we will continue to probe the question: Is Ellen White inspired enough that her prophetic statements are reliable for us today?
The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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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.
The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocaplyse.com

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We should spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene (DA 83), “consider[ing] Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession” (Heb. 3:1, NASB). By that contemplation perhaps it will make us better people, for by beholding we become changed.

Let us first consider Jesus’ attitude toward money. Showing its importance, He included reference to it in one of His first public discourses, the Sermon on the Mount, and the very first reference admonished us to sacred secrecy in giving to the poor. He said to store up treasure in heaven; it is the only way we can keep our treasure permanently. Most of all He told us not to be anxious about our material goods.  Money is important because it is not important. Our God will take care of us.

His life says He took His own counsel. Although He was always poor, as the world sees it, no record can be found where He ever worried about money. Indeed, He never seemed to notice His poverty. He rose above it, as He rose above all negative circumstances, and no one noticed His lack.

How did Jesus fund His work? How did He provide for twelve men, some of them married. Did their wives and children accompany Him in ministry also? If they did not, those men still had an obligation to care for their families no matter where the families were located—with Him or waiting for their return on their own piece of real estate. Despite the impossibility that occurs to our human minds, the Master provided for them for three and a half years. Wouldn’t you have liked to sit in on their discussions about how they were to fund their ministry? Or did they even discuss it?

Jesus worked in Joseph’s carpenter shop until He came of age. As a skilled worker, everything He made was perfect. His use of tools was perfect. He always returned them to their place when He finished with them (DA 72). It is not unreasonable to suppose that the popularity of the carpenter shop was largely due to His conscientiousness.

When Joseph died, did Jesus become part owner of the carpenter shop, sharing proprietorship with His brothers? Or did they sell the carpenter shop and re-invest, with Jesus putting His share into ministry? We don’t know; the Bible doesn’t say.

And then there is the matter of the fish. Once at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus said “Thank you” to Peter and his brother for use of their boat.  The catch of fish they pulled in at that time was so large it nearly sank the boat. This happened again, after Jesus’ resurrection. What did they do with the fish? They were commercial fishermen, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that in each case they sold the fish and used the money to support themselves and their families while they worked with Jesus.

Then there was an occasion where Jesus sent Peter to pull a coin out of a fish’s mouth to give to the authorities for taxes. I wonder what that was about—what we are to learn from it. Jesus had no obligation to pay the tax. But nevertheless He paid it anyway. Does this speak to us today?

When Jesus ministry began, Judas was His self-appointed treasurer, with the other disciples approval, (John 13:29) and kept in a bag with him money contributed by Mary Magdalene, Joanna, wife of Herod’s steward, Susanna and many other prominent women who supported the group out of their private means (Luke 8:1-3). But Judas was a thief who routinely pilfered money out of the funds left in his custody (John 12:6). Jesus seemed to take no notice. Judas concocted the plan of the cross to cover his larceny. He was tired of moving slowly. The sooner Jesus was on the throne of Israel, the better he would like it. Jesus can raise the dead; He won’t allow Himself to be taken. So Judas sold Him for thirty pieces of silver. He put the money into the bag and watched and waited for Jesus to release Himself. He would then have to declare Himself king of Israel. Judas could see no other option.

But Jesus didn’t declare Himself king. Jesus never used force. What Judas failed to take into account was that Jesus was living out His own character to perfection, while the disciples awaited His declaring His true character to the world.

Unbelief was taking possession of their minds and hearts. Love of honor had blinded them. They knew that Jesus was hated by the Pharisees, and they were eager to see Him exalted as they thought He should be. To be united with a teacher who could work mighty miracles, and yet to be reviled as deceivers, was a trial they could ill endure. Were they always to be accounted followers of a false prophet? Would Christ never assert His authority as king? Why did not He who possessed such power reveal Himself in His true character, and make their way less painful? Why had He not saved John the Baptist from a violent death? Thus the disciples reasoned until they brought upon themselves great spiritual darkness. They questioned, Could Jesus be an impostor, as the Pharisees asserted? (DA 380).

To Judas it was a temptation He was not in the habit of refusing. His extraordinary “brilliance” saw the prospects before him as too good not to be exploited. So he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and waited and watched for his plan to work out.

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For those who have read The Seventh Era: Advanced Prophecy for SDAs let me ask you this question: Is it right or wrong? Since no one has all the truth, are my prophetic understandings more right than wrong?

I dislike boasting, but I have to say, If my view of prophecy is correct, shouldn’t it be mentioned? A few days ago I got into a discussion of the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 and put it in the setting of my understanding of prophecy. The person with whom I was speaking implied I was fanatical for so doing. He spoke as though my interpretation of prophecy was flawed, as if it was one interpretation among many, and here I was giving it the status of truth.

For the benefit of all, yes, it is truth. I could say, I believe it to be truth, but that would not be strong enough to convey my belief in it. I went to a lot of trouble, spent a lot of money, even had a stroke, to make it readily available on the Internet. No one has yet shown me my error. Until they do, I will continue to believe and speak about events of prophecy within this setting.

Has any other Adventist told you what the warning is in Daniel 12? Have they informed you how the Seals, Angels, Trumpets, and Plagues go together? Has anyone else shown you what the Daniel 12 timelines mean and how they fit in with last-day events?

I remember once hearing a man remark, “Truth is always truth, even if no one believes it.” And in the case of this truth, it must be emphasized, it could save your life one day.

Assuming that all truth comes from Jesus, it might be said that these prophetic interpretations are that elusive truth which the “builders” rejected, but is destined to become the chief cornerstone. It’s always that way on planet earth.

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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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).

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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