Our Greatest Need Ron SpearGOurreatestRevival & Reformationin the Seventh-day Adventist ChurchRon SpearNeed
1OUR GREATEST NEEDR EVIVALAND REFEFORMAORMATIONIn theSevententh-dah-day Advdventisentist t Churc hbyRon Spear
This Book, Revival and Reformation, is a companionbook to the books, Retreating Towards Egypt, and Rebellion.This book was conceived and written as a solution toour rebellion—apostasy.I am deeply indebted to Dr. Vernon Sparks for his help inrearranging and formatting this very important material. I alsowant to thank Elder Clark Floyd, Joe Olson our ExecutiveDirector, and other board members for copy editing, counsel,and encouragement in the use of my dedicated pen in theplacing of present truth before our people in this crisis hour—the final generation.Elder Ron SpearCopyright © 2003Ron Spear3249 Old Baldy RoadRice, WA 99167, USA
ContentsPREFACE ...................................................................................... 5INTRODUCTION ............................................................................ 7Chapter OneTO BE A CHRISTIAN ....................................................................11Chapter TwoCHRIST SPEAKS TO HIS END TIME CHURCH ............................... 19Chapter ThreeTHE CAIN PRINCIPLE .................................................................. 25Chapter FourLESSONS FROM THE PAST .......................................................... 31Chapter FiveCONFUSION AT THE END ............................................................. 45Chapter SixOVERCOMING CONFUSION ......................................................... 59Chapter SevenPURPOSES OF THE SANCTUARY ................................................... 71Chapter EightTHE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRIST ................................................ 81The Key to Understanding God’s Great Plan of SalvationChapter NineISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS ......................................................... 91Chapter Ten1888 REVISITED ........................................................................119God’s Attempt to Revive and Reform the ChurchChapter ElevenOUR GREATEST NEED ................................................................ 137Revival and Reformation Now
4 OUR GREATEST NEED
PREFACE5IT WAS the year 1945, in the month of May. The Senior theologystudents at La Sierra College were taking a course in ChurchHis-tory, taught by Dr. Keld J. Reynolds. At that time Dr. Reynoldswas the Academic Dean of the college. He later became EducationalSecretary of the General Conference.On this particular morning he was lecturing the class about the Jesuits.He described their origin, their history, and their specific functionin the Roman Catholic Church. According to him, they were the SecretService of the Catholic Church, who kept the Vatican well informedabout the affairs of all nations, and all churches. This was done,he said, by all of the known methods of spying, and especially byinfiltration.They patiently and adroitly maneuvered to get their agents into allchurches, even into leadership positions. So, he said , there are Jesuitsin every denomination, and doubtless in our own denomination as well.This was a shock to me. The idea that a Jesuit could infiltrate ourchurch, carefully work his way up to a position of leadership, and thenuse his influence to create evil in the church, seemed simply incredible.But that was in the year 1945. This is the year 2003, and I haveretired from forty years of ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.I no longer have any doubt that Dr. Reynolds’s statement was accurateand true.I have watched in dumb-founded amazement as persons in highoffice in our church have supported and even introduced changes inour theology, from truth to cunningly disguised falsehood. They havelabored to lower our standards, and to bring worldly procedures intoour worship services. And they have demonstrated great zeal in theirattempts to destroy faith in the Spirit of Prophecy. They recognize it astheir greatest enemy. These activities are well worthy of the Jesuits,and would bring them high commendation from the Vatican.I have not been alone in my observations. Ron Spear has had anexperience similar to mine, he has made observations similar to mine,5
6 OUR GREATEST NEEDand he has courageously raised a standard against the evil. His journal,Our Firm Foundation, has brought courage and strength to thousands.His untiring world-wide ministry has brought light through thedarkness in countless homes. His present volume, Our Greatest Need,is a welcome addition to the impressive total of his publications in defenseof the purity of our faith. It is well worth your careful study. I amhappy to recommend it to every sincere Seventh-day Adventist.Ralph Larson
12 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe gospel is not a lowering of the Old Testament standards:It is a dangerous theory that leads men to declare that allthat is necessary to salvation is to simply believe in Christ,while disregarding His plain commands. The gospel is notthe Old Testament standard lowered, it requires faith thatworks righteousness, that keeps the commandments of God.Says the apostle, “This is the love of God that we keep hiscommandments, and his commandments are not grievous.”When men claim to be saved while living in violation of God’slaw, they claim that to which they have no right. Their salvationis not assured, but they are deceived by the falsehood ofthe evil one. The same sophistry is indulged, the same lierepeated by men, as was first spoken in Eden through themediumship of the serpent. Though the medium is changed,the sentiment is the same. Signs of the Times, May 12,1890.Full obedience is required of man, just as of angels:It is transgression in the little things that first leads the soulaway from God. By their one sin in partaking of the forbiddenfruit, Adam and Eve opened the floodgates of woe uponthe world. Some may regard that transgression as a verylittle thing, but we see that its consequences were anythingbut small. The angels in heaven have a wider and more elevatedsphere of action than we, but right with them and rightwith us are one and the same thing. Testimonies, vol. 4, 573.Obedience and submission are the conditions for eternal life. Thewages of sin is eternal death:Obedience and submission to God’s requirements are theconditions given by the inspired apostle by which we becomechildren of God, members of the royal family. Everychild and youth, every man and woman, has Jesus rescuedby His own blood from the abyss of ruin to which Satan wascompelling them to go. Because sinners will not accept of thesalvation freely offered them, are they released from theirobligations? Their choosing to remain in sin and bold trans-
TO BE A CHRISTIAN13gression does not lessen their guilt. Jesus paid a price forthem, and they belong to Him. They are His property; and ifthey will not yield obedience to Him who has given His lifefor them, but devote their time and strength and talents to theservice of Satan, they are earning their wages, which is death.Immortal glory and eternal life is the reward that our Redeemeroffers to those who will be obedient to Him. He hasmade it possible for them to perfect Christian characterthrough His name and to overcome on their own account asHe overcame in their behalf. He has given them an examplein His own life, showing them how they may overcome. “Thewages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life throughJesus Christ our Lord.” Ibid., vol. 3, 365.Satan knows that one unrepented of sin disqualifies us as Christiansand of eternal life. He knows that even “a little disobedience” ruins ourotherwise chain of perfect obedience to God:Satan will come in many ways to tempt the soul away fromChrist. He will first tell you that you are good enough of yourself;that you do not need a work of reformation wrought for you. Hewill suggest to you that you have made but few mistakes in yourlife, and that these will be overbalanced by the good you havedone. If you have lived such a life as he would make you believeyou have, it would be like a chain with unsound links in it, whollyworthless. One sin unrepented of is enough to close the gates ofheaven against you. It was because man could not be savedwith one stain of sin upon him, that Jesus came to die on Calvary’scross. Signs of the Times, March 17, 1890.We may flatter ourselves that we are free from many thingsof which others are guilty; but if we have some strong pointsof character, and but one weak point, there is yet a communionbetween sin and the soul. The heart is divided in its service,and says, “Some of self and some of Thee.” The childof God must search out the sin which he has petted and indulgedhimself in, and permit God to cut it out of his heart.He must overcome that one sin; for it is not a trifling matter inthe sight of God. Messages to Young People, 91.
14 OUR GREATEST NEEDOne willful sin silences the Holy Spirit and removes God’s blessing:Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God willpardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one ofHis requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silencesthe witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates thesoul from God. Ibid., 114.One cherished sin makes us a representative of Satan rather than ofChrist:Worldly policy and the undeviating principles of righteousnessdo not blend into each other imperceptibly, like the colorsof the rainbow. Between the two a broad, clear line isdrawn by the eternal God. The likeness of Christ stands outas distinct from that of Satan as midday in contrast with midnight.And only those who live the life of Christ are His coworkers.If one sin is cherished in the soul, or one wrongpractice retained in the life, the whole being is contaminated.The man becomes an instrument of unrighteousness. The Desireof Ages, 313. All emphases supplied unless otherwisenoted.Indeed, Satan’s most camouflaged and effective decoy is the professedChristian who fosters but one sin:The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitouslife of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast;it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honorable,and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged.To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation,trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, suchan example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin.He who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth andhonor, does yet willfully transgress one precept of God’s holylaw, has perverted His noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius,talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may becomedecoys of Satan to entice other souls over the precipiceof ruin for this life and the life to come. Thoughts Fromthe Mount of Blessings, 94–95.
TO BE A CHRISTIANWe will never be saints in heaven unless we are first saints here:There are many, many, professed Christians who are waitingunconcernedly for the coming of the Lord. They have noton the garment of His righteousness. They may profess to bechildren of God, but they are not cleansed from sin. They areselfish and self-sufficient. Their experience is Christless. Theyneither love God supremely nor their neighbor as themselves.They have no true idea of what constitutes holiness. They donot see the defects in themselves. So blinded are they, thatthey are not able to detect the subtle working of pride andiniquity. They are clad in the rags of self- righteousness, andstricken with spiritual blindness. Satan has cast his shadowbetween them and Christ, and they have no wish to study thepure, holy character of the Saviour.Those who do not become saints here can never be saintsin heaven. Review and Herald, February 26, 1901.To be a Christian means to obey and follow Christ’s directives:Ungodliness is not Christianity. Do not think that you canstand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuelunless as faithful soldiers you obey His orders. In word andaction you must say, “I am a Christian.” Ibid., December 31,1901.To follow Christ means . . . to render obedience. We areunder service to God, and we must obey His commands.No soldier is counted a follower of his commander unless heobeys his general’s orders. Ibid., August 21, 1894.Christianity is simply living by every word that proceedethout of the mouth of God. Faith and Works, 122.We must follow the directions given through the Spiritof prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time.This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God hasspoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us throughthe Testimonies to the church, and through the books that15
16 OUR GREATEST NEEDhave helped to make plain our present duty and the positionthat we should now occupy. Testimonies, vol. 8, 298.If we are not obeying Christ’s commands, we are being used ofSatan:Those who would at last be victorious must meet andconquer the forces of Satan, who with fierce determinationopposes every step of advance.They must meet a vigilant foe, a crafty enemy who neversleeps, and who tries untiringly to undermine the faith of God’sservants and to induce them to carry out plans of his making.He declares that these plans will advance God’s work, whenin reality they are part of his insidious devisings and will separatefrom the Lord’s cause those who follow them.We are to stand always on guard, for the enemy is workingwith all deceivableness of unrighteousness. He has legions underhis control, emissaries of evil, who cooperate with their leaderfor the deception and destruction of the human race. Satan iscapable of exercising great subtlety, and while men sleep he isawake. Those who are off their guard are in great danger. It isnot safe to be presumptuous, to ignore Satan’s shrewdness, orto fail to have a correct estimate of the efforts that we must makeif we escape being taken in his snare. It is a fact that many deceivershave gone out into the world, and unless we obey ourCaptain’s orders, we shall be used by Satan to serve his purposes.Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 28.Disobedience leaves us defenseless before Satan and his agents:When Balaam was called to curse the Hebrews he couldnot, by all his enchantments, bring evil upon them; for theLord had not “beheld iniquity in Jacob,” neither had He “seenperverseness in Israel.” Numbers 23:21, 23. But whenthrough yielding to temptation they transgressed God’s law,their defense departed from them. When the people of Godare faithful to His commandments, “there is no enchantmentagainst Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.”Hence all the power and wily arts of Satan are exerted toseduce them into sin. If those who profess to be the deposi-
TO BE A CHRISTIAN17taries of God’s law become transgressors of its precepts,they separate themselves from God, and they will be unableto stand before their enemies. Patriarchs and Prophets, 457.At our baptism, we solemnly vowed to be obedient to every wordfrom the mouth of God:By our baptismal pledge we avouched and solemnly confessedthe Lord Jehovah as our Ruler. We virtually took a solemnoath, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of theHoly Ghost, that henceforth our lives would be merged into thelife of these three great agencies, that the life we should live in theflesh would be lived in faithful obedience to God’s sacred law.We declared ourselves dead, and our life hid with Christ in God,that henceforth we should walk with Him in newness of life, asmen and women having experienced the new birth. We acknowledgedGod’s covenant with us, and pledged ourselves to seekthose things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the righthand of God. By our profession of faith we acknowledged theLord as our God, and yielded ourselves to obey His commandments.By obedience to God’s Word we testify before angelsand men that we live by every word that proceedeth out of themouth of God. Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 118.Yes, to follow Christ, to be a Christian, means to obey every wordthat proceedeth out of His mouth. Only thus can we reach heaven:To believe in Christ, we must come to Christ and followHim. Repentance toward God means the confession and forsakingof all sin. It means laying hold of Christ as a personalSaviour, and continuing to hold fast to Him as the chief good.He is our Prince, our Saviour. Only through Him can weapproach the Father. Loving Him day by day and hour byhour, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, taking Him asthe man of our counsel, living by every word that proceedethout of His mouth—only thus can we reach heaven. Reviewand Herald, August 13, 1901.
18 OUR GREATEST NEED
Chapter Two19CHRIST SPEAKS TO HIS END TIME CHURCHAS WAS POINTED OUT, perfect obedience to all of God’srevealed will has always been the condition for retaining orreceiving God’s approval and eternal life. The condition forsalvation, since the Fall, has remained constant throughout all generations.Also, since the Fall, the only way of meeting those conditions hasbeen through the pardoning, enabling, and transforming grace of JesusChrist. The only variable in the equation of salvation is the volume ofGod’s will, the amount of light, given to any generation.Seventh-day Adventists are God’s remnant people. We are livingin the end of this fallen world’s existence. Through the Bible, we havethe accumulated light of God’s six-thousand years of dealing with sinfulman. Each of the ancient prophets spoke more for our day than fortheirs, and the history of God’s people down through the ages hasbeen recorded for our admonition, for our benefit.Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their owntime than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples:and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the endsof the world are come” 1 Corinthians 10:11. “Not unto themselves,but unto us they did minister the things, which arenow reported unto you by them that have preached the gospelunto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven;which things the angels desire to look into” 1 Peter 1:12.Selected Messages, book, 3, 338.The glorious beams of continually-increasing light are allconcentrated in our time. Signs of the Times, January 13,1898.19
20 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe following graphically describes this purpose of the Holy Scriptures:The travels of the children of Israel are faithfully described;the deliverance which the Lord wrought for them, their perfectorganization and special order, their sin in murmuringagainst Moses and thus against God, their transgressions,their rebellions, their punishments, their carcasses strewn inthe wilderness because of their unwillingness to submit toGod’s wise arrangements—this faithful picture is hung upbefore us as a warning lest we follow their example of disobedience,and fall like them. Gospel Workers, 1892 edition,159–160.The experiences of God’s faithful in past ages are to be an encouragementto us:The Bible has been your study-book. It is well thus, for it isthe true counsel of God, and it is the conductor of all the holyinfluences that the world has contained since its creation. Wehave the encouraging record that Enoch walked with God. IfEnoch walked with God, in that degenerate age just prior to thedestruction of the world by a flood, we are to receive courageand be stimulated with his example that we need not be contaminatedwith the world but, amid all its corrupting influencesand tendencies, we may walk with God. We may have the mindof Christ. Selected Messages, book, 3, 338.God’s Latest MessengerYes, God communicates His will to His end time people through allof the recorded prophets of the past. In addition, He speaks to usthrough His special messenger for our day—Ellen G. White. Her ministry—Christ’smessages through her—is one of the evidences of ourbeing Christ’s Remnant Church:And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went tomake war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandmentsof God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.Revelation 12:17.
CHRIST SPEAKS TO HIS END TIME CHURCH 21Just as God called Moses to guide ancient Israel from slavery tofreedom in the earthly Canaan, just so did God call Ellen G. White tobe His prophet and messenger to lead His remnant church into theheavenly Canaan. Repeatedly Ellen White asserted that her writingsand messages to the Seventh-day Adventist Church were from theLord. In Publishing Ministry, 172, she refers to her counsels to leadersof the publishing work at Battle Creek as “the word of God, givenin the Testimonies of His Holy Spirit.”Just as Jesus spoke through His messenger Moses, delineating Hiswill for nearly every aspect of ancient Israel’s corporate and personallives, just so has He communicated His will to modern Israel. Persistencein rejecting any part of Christ’s messages through Moses wasidentified by God as stiff-necked rebellion. So it is in modern Israel.To persist in neglecting or rejecting any part of the Testimony of Jesusthrough E. G. White, be it regarding our corporate or personal lives, isrejection of Christ and ends in loss of God’s blessings and hope ofeternal life.Christ speaks to His people today just as earnestly through theTestimonies as He did through the apostles and prophets of the past:In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophetsand apostles. In these days He speaks to them by thetestimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when Godinstructed His people more earnestly than He instructs themnow concerning His will and the course that He would havethem pursue. But will they profit by His teachings? will theyreceive His reproofs and heed His warnings? God will acceptof no partial obedience; He will sanction no compromisewith self. Testimonies, vol. 4, 147–148.Those who, by word and/or example lessen the faith of God’s peoplein the Testimony of Jesus are in rebellion against God:My brethren, beware of the evil heart of unbelief. Theword of God is plain and close in its restrictions; it interfereswith your selfish indulgence; therefore you do not obey it.The testimonies of His Spirit call your attention to the Scriptures,point out your defects of character, and rebuke yoursins; therefore you do not heed them. And to justify your
22 OUR GREATEST NEEDcarnal, ease-loving course you begin to doubt whether thetestimonies are from God. If you would obey their teachingsyou would be assured of their divine origin. Remember, yourunbelief does not affect their truthfulness. If they are fromGod they will stand. Those who seek to lessen the faith ofGod’s people in these testimonies, which have been in thechurch for the last thirty-six years [written in 1882], are fightingagainst God. It is not the instrument whom you slight andinsult, but God, who has spoken to you in these warningsand reproofs. Ibid., vol. 5, 234–235.The balance of many souls will be tipped in the wrong direction bythose who have a settled unbelief in the messages of the Testimony ofJesus:Satan hopes to involve the remnant people of God in thegeneral ruin that is coming upon the earth. As the coming ofChrist draws nigh, he will be more determined and decisivein his efforts to overthrow them. Men and women will ariseprofessing to have some new light or some new revelationwhose tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Theirdoctrines will not bear the test of God’s word, yet souls willbe deceived. False reports will be circulated, and some willbe taken in this snare. They will believe these rumors and intheir turn will repeat them, and thus a link will be ormed connectingthem with the archdeceiver. This spirit will not alwaysbe manifested in an open defiance of the messages that Godsends, but a settled unbelief is expressed in many ways. Everyfalse statement that is made feeds and strengthens thisunbelief, and through this means many souls will be balancedin the wrong direction. Ibid., 295–296.We should not therefore be surprised that Satan’s final deceptionfor us as a people is, by one way or another, to make of none effect thetestimony of the Holy Spirit:Satan is . . . constantly pressing in the spurious—to leadaway from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will beto make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God.“Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18.
CHRIST SPEAKS TO HIS END TIME CHURCH 23Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and throughdifferent agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnantpeople in the true testimony.There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies whichis satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faithof the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have soclear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls inhis delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of theSpirit of God are heeded. Selected Messages, book 1, 48.Yes, Jesus Christ has spoken through His messenger E. G. Whiteand we neglect and reject His directives at the peril of our personaland corporate lives.God has indeed blessed Seventh-day Adventists with a flood oflight unimaginable by previous generations. It is estimated that EllenWhite, over a period of some 70 years, penned some 25 million wordsof instruction, the fruitage of over 2,000 visions and dreams from theLord. Jesus Christ has thus focused a flood-light of truth and guidanceupon His end time people. Not only are His directives through EllenWhite a flood-light due to their volume, but also due to their wideavailability and ease of access, at least in developed countries.Ancient Israel was dependent largely upon the public reading of thewritings of Moses and the other Old Testament prophets, and theirmemories, for a knowledge of God’s will. There were no printingpresses, duplicators, photo copiers, or even carbon copy paper. Everyportion of Scripture had to be laboriously copied by hand andindividually copy edited. And yet, under what we consider very primitiveconditions, Israel was held accountable for the light sent them.Today, most families have several copies of the entire Bible, and usuallyin several versions. Not only are they in the printed form but also inaudio form on tapes and CDs. Not even the frenetic, time-pressedmodern life style is an excuse for not knowing God’s Word. Indeed,the words of the Lord recorded in Habakkuk 2:2 are true in our day:Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that hemay run that readeth it.The same is true of the Testimony of Jesus through His messenger EllenG. White. Over sixty printed books are in circulation and include reprints
24 OUR GREATEST NEEDof her periodical articles. All of her published writings, along with the Bible,are conveniently available on an economical CD. With only a few keystrokes on our computers we can bring up all of the published counsels ofthe Lord on any subject. Many of her writings are also available on audiotapes and audio CDs. As busy as Seventh-day Adventists tend to be, Godis leaving us without excuse for not knowing His will regarding nearly everyaspect of our individual and corporate lives.Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be muchrequired. Luke 12:48.Yes, Christ has spoken to Seventh-day Adventists more than toany other of His chosen people. He has spoken to us through HisWord—the Old and the New Testament Scriptures. He has also spokenvoluminously to us through His messenger E. G. White. His communicationsto His end time people are readily available in printed,electronic, and audible forms. We are absolutely and totally withoutexcuse for not knowing and for not obeying fully Christ’s directives.Perilous times are before us. Every one who has a knowledgeof the truth should awake, and place himself, body, soul,and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on ourtrack. We must be wide awake, on our guard against him. Wemust put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directionsgiven through the Spirit of prophecy. We must loveand obey the truth for this time. This will save us from acceptingstrong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. Hehas spoken to us through the testimonies to the church, and throughthe books that have helped to make plain our present duty andthe position we should now occupy. The warnings that havebeen given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should beheeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer?Gospel Workers, 308. Emphasis supplied.The reader is referred to the booklet Issues at the End, 57–83,available from Hope International, for a thorough presentation of thepresent importance and relevance of the Testimony of Jesus’ writingsthrough Ellen G. White.
Chapter Three25THE CAIN PRINCIPLETRAGICALLY, we tend to follow Cain in pretended, but onlypartial, acceptance of Christ’s leadership. We fail to recognizethat partial obedience is in reality disobedience. In our personallives, and in our work for Jesus, we tend to offer Him the “benefits”of our opinions, our wisdom, our theological training, our triedand proven experience—the fruits of our labor—rather than renderChrist full and explicit obedience:These two brothers, Cain and Abel, represent the wholehuman family. They were both tested on the point of obedience,and all will be tested as they were. Abel bore the provingof God. He revealed the gold of a righteous character,the principles of true godliness. But Cain’s religion had not agood foundation; it rested on human merit. He brought toGod something in which he had a personal interest—the fruitsof the ground, which had been cultivated by his toil; and hepresented his offering as a favor done to God, through whichhe expected to secure the divine approval. He obeyed inbuilding an altar, obeyed in bringing a sacrifice; but it wasonly a partial obedience.As far as birth and religious instruction were concerned, thesebrothers were equal, though Cain, being the first-born, was insome respects the favored one. Both were sinners, and bothacknowledged the claims of God as an object of worship. To alloutward appearance, their religion was the same up to a certainpoint of time; but the Bible history shows us that there was atime when the difference between the two became very great.This difference lay in the obedience of one and the disobedienceof the other. Signs of the Times, December 23, 1886.25
26 OUR GREATEST NEEDWhen we pick and choose in the Testimony of Jesus as to “whatportions are inspired,” or “still relevant,” or “important,” we, like themajority of the Christian world, are following the principle of Cain,which is really a principle of Satan—pretended obedience:Cain represents those who carry out the principles andworks of Satan, by worshiping God in a way of their ownchoosing. Like the leader whom they follow, they are willingto render partial obedience, but not entire submission to God.Man, in the pride of his heart, would like to believe that hecan confer some favor upon God; that our heavenly Fathermay be the receiver, and not always the giver. . . .In all ages the multitudes have accepted the Cain principle,and have maintained that a partial obedience is all thatis necessary. They have claimed a right to the favor of God,while disregarding His positive commands. This is the positionof the Christian world today. Ibid.King Saul adopted the principle of Cain and demonstrated the greatdanger of human wisdom adapting the Lord’s counsels to fit “our circumstances,”“our culture,” or our “experience” and “wisdom.”The Lord commanded Saul to “utterly destroy the sinnersthe Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.”.. . But Saul had spared the king, the most wickedand merciless of them all; one who had hated and destroyedthe people of God, and whose influence had been strongestto promote idolatry.Saul thought he had done all that was essential of thatwhich the Lord commanded him to do. Perhaps he even flatteredhimself that he was more merciful than his Maker, asdo some unbelievers in our day. He met Samuel with thesalutation, “Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performedthe commandment of the Lord.” But when the prophet askedwhat meant the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of theoxen which he heard, Saul was obliged to confess that thepeople had taken of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief ofthe things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrificeto the Lord in Gilgal.
THE CAIN PRINCIPLE27Did the Lord accept this justification of Saul’s conduct?Was He pleased with this partial obedience, and willing topass over the trifle that had been neglected out of so good amotive? Saul did what he thought was best, and would notthe Lord commend such excellent judgment? No. SaidSamuel, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offeringsand sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold,to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat oframs. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornnessis as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejectedthe word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from beingking.”These instances show how God looks upon His professedpeople when they obey part of His commandments whilein other respects they follow a course of their own choosing.Let no one flatter himself that a part of God’s requirementsare nonessential. He has placed no command in Hisword that men may obey or disobey at will, and not sufferthe consequences. If men choose any other path than that ofstrict obedience, they will find that “the end thereof are theways of death.” Ibid., July 17, 1884. All emphases suppliedunless otherwise noted.The Jewish leaders, in the time of Christ, developed the Cainprinciple of pretended obedience to a very high, self-deceiving level.They demonstrated the spiritually blind claim to accept and followGod’s messengers of the past while rejecting God’s Messenger ofthe present. They professed to be servants and followers of Moses,the spokesman of Christ, while refusing to accept and obey ChristHimself:Christ’s miracle of restoring the sight of the man who hadbeen born blind was a convincing evidence of the divinity ofHis mission. When the people saw the transformation in theman, they said to him, “How were thine eyes opened?” Heanswered, “A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointedmine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, andwash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Thensaid they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.”
28 OUR GREATEST NEEDThen they brought him to the Pharisees, and “the Phariseesalso asked him how he had received his sight. He saidunto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed; anddo see.”But with hearts hardened by prejudice and unbelief, thePharisees said, “Give God the praise: we know that this manis a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner orno, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind,now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee?how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have toldyou already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear itagain? will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him,and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, weknow not from whence he is.” Review and Herald, February11, 1902.When we doubt the inspiration of the Testimony of Jesus throughthe ministry of Ellen G. White, when we pick and choose as to whatwe believe in the Spirit of Prophecy is important or relevant, we areliving and working “for the Lord” according to the pretentious principleof Cain. When we profess to be Bible Christians but cannot discernthe same Inspiration in the Testimony of Jesus, we are exhibitingour Laodicean blindness in echoing the position of the Jewish leadersof Christ’s day and of the majority of Christianity today. By so doing,we are placing our learning and our wisdom above a “thus saith theLord” and worshiping self and human wisdom in place of God. Yes,we can have our Adventist Village commemorating and reenacting thelives of the early pioneers and the ministry of Ellen G. White, but aslong as we continue to refuse to obey the counsels of the Lord throughEllen G. White, we are tragically, in reality, commemorating and reenactingthe lives of the God-rejected leaders of ancient Israel. Whileclaiming to obey Christ, we are saying to Him, in regards to His spokeswoman,“We know not from whence she is:”The great leaders of religious thought in this generationsound the praises and build the monuments of those whoplanted the seed of truth centuries ago. Do not many turnfrom this work to trample down the growth springing from
THE CAIN PRINCIPLE29the same seed today? The old cry is repeated, “We knowthat God spake unto Moses; as for this fellow [Christ in themessenger He sends], we know not from whence he is.”John 9:29. As in earlier ages, the special truths for this timeare found, not with the ecclesiastical authorities, but with menand women who are not too learned or too wise to believethe word of God. Christ’s Object Lessons, 79. The wordsin brackets are in the original.
30 OUR GREATEST NEED
Chapter Four31LESSONS FROM THE PASTCHRIST HAS RECORDED the experiences of ancient Israelas important lessons, especially for “those upon whom theends of the world are come:”The apostle Paul plainly states that the experience of theIsraelites in their travels has been recorded for the benefit ofthose living in this age of the world, those upon whom theends of the world are come. We do not consider that ourdangers are any less than those of the Hebrews, but greater.There will be temptations to jealousies and murmurings, andthere will be outspoken rebellion, as are recorded of ancientIsrael. There will ever be a spirit to rise up against the reproofof sins and wrongs. But shall the voice of reproof behushed because of this? If so, we shall be in no better situationthan are the various denominations in our land who areafraid to touch the errors and prevailing sins of the people.Testimonies, vol. 3, 358.Tragically, we are following in the same path as Israel of old:I have been shown that the spirit of the world is fast leaveningthe church. You are following the same path as didancient Israel. There is the same falling away from your holycalling as God’s peculiar people. You are having fellowshipwith the unfruitful works of darkness. Your concord with unbelievershas provoked the Lord’s displeasure. You knownot the things that belong to your peace, and they are fastbeing hid from your eyes. Your neglect to follow the light willplace you in a more unfavorable position than the Jews uponwhom Christ pronounced a woe.31
32 OUR GREATEST NEEDI have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies hasbeen steadily increasing as the people backslide from God.It is all through our ranks, all over the field. But few knowwhat our churches are to experience. I saw that at presentwe are under divine forbearance, but no one can say howlong this will continue. No one knows how great the mercythat has been exercised toward us. But few are heartily devotedto God. There are only a few who, like the stars in atempestuous night, shine here and there among the clouds.Ibid., vol. 5, 75–76.Satan’s snares are laid for us as verily as they were laidfor the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into theland of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people.Lightness, vanity, love of ease and pleasure, selfishness, andimpurity are increasing among us. There is need now of menwho are firm and fearless in declaring the whole counsel ofGod; men who will not sleep as do others, but watch and besober. Ibid., 160.Let us study some of the lessons from the past:But with many of them God was not well pleased: forthey were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these thingswere our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evilthings, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as weresome of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eatand drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication,as some of them committed, and fell in one day threeand twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some ofthem also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neithermurmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyedof the destroyer. Now all these things happened untothem for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore lethim that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. 1Corinthians 10:5–12.
LESSONS FROM THE PASTLessons In Health Reform33The church in general at Battle Creek have not sustainedthe Institute by their example. They have not honored thelight of health reform by carrying it out in their families. Thesickness that has visited many families in Battle Creek neednot have been, if they had followed the light God has giventhem. Like ancient Israel, they have disregarded the light,and could see no more necessity of restricting their appetitethan did ancient Israel. The children of Israel would haveflesh meats, and said, as many now say, We shall die withoutmeat. God gave rebellious Israel flesh, but His curse waswith it. Thousands of them died while the meat they desiredwas between their teeth. We have the example of ancientIsrael, and the warning for us not to do as they did. Theirhistory of unbelief and rebellion is left on record as a specialwarning that we should not follow their example of murmuringat God’s requirements. How can we pass on so indifferently,choosing our own course, following the sight of ourown eyes, and departing farther and farther from God, asdid the Hebrews? God cannot do great things for His peoplebecause of their hardness of heart and sinful unbelief. Counselson Diet and Foods, 378–379. All emphases suppliedunless otherwise noted.Lessons In EducationThe nation, of which he [Solomon] had been the pride,followed his leading. Though he afterward repented, hisrepentance did not prevent the fruition of the evil he hadsown. The discipline and training that God appointed forIsrael would cause them, in all their ways of life, to differfrom the people of other nations. This peculiarity, whichshould have been regarded as a special privilege and blessing,was to them unwelcome. The simplicity and self-restraintessential to the highest development they sought toexchange for the pomp and self-indulgence of heathenpeoples. To be “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5) was
34 OUR GREATEST NEEDtheir ambition. God’s plan of education was set aside,His authority disowned.In the rejection of the ways of God for the ways of men,the downfall of Israel began. Thus also it continued, until theJewish people became a prey to the very nations whose practicesthey had chosen to follow.As a nation the children of Israel failed of receiving thebenefits that God desired to give them. They did not appreciateHis purpose or co-operate in its execution. . . .The experiences of Israel were recorded for our instruction.. . . With us, as with Israel of old, success in educationdepends on fidelity in carrying out the Creator’s plan.Adherence to the principles of God’s word will bring as greatblessings to us as it would have brought to the Hebrewpeople. Education, 49–50.Lessons In Purity of LifeThe Israelites, who could not be overcome by the armsor by the enchantments of Midian, fell a prey to her harlots.Such is the power that woman, enlisted in the service of Satan,has exerted to entrap and destroy souls. “She hath castdown many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slainby her.” Proverbs 7:26. It was thus that the children of Sethwere seduced from their integrity, and the holy seed becamecorrupt. It was thus that Joseph was tempted. Thus Samsonbetrayed his strength, the defense of Israel, into the hands ofthe Philistines. Here David stumbled. And Solomon, the wisestof kings, who had thrice been called the beloved of hisGod, became a slave of passion, and sacrificed his integrityto the same bewitching power. . . .Satan well knows the material with which he has to dealin the human heart. He knows—for he has studied with fiendishintensity for thousands of years—the points most easilyassailed in every character; and through successive generationshe has wrought to overthrow the strongest men, princesin Israel, by the same temptations that were so successful atBaalpeor. All along through the ages there are strewn wrecks
LESSONS FROM THE PAST 35of character that have been stranded upon the rocks of sensualindulgence. As we approach the close of time, as thepeople of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan,Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent themfrom entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for everysoul. It is not the ignorant and uncultured merely that need tobe guarded; he will prepare his temptations for those in thehighest positions, in the most holy office; if he can lead themto pollute their souls, he can through them destroy many. Andhe employs the same agents now as he employed three thousandyears ago. By worldly friendships, by the charms ofbeauty, by pleasure seeking, mirth, feasting, or the wine cup,he tempts to the violation of the seventh commandment.Satan seduced Israel into licentiousness before leading themto idolatry. Those who will dishonor God’s image and defile Histemple in their own persons will not scruple at any dishonor toGod that will gratify the desire of their depraved hearts. Sensualindulgence weakens the mind and debases the soul. The moraland intellectual powers are benumbed and paralyzed by the gratificationof the animal propensities; and it is impossible for theslave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law ofGod, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value uponthe soul. Goodness, purity, and truth, reverence for God, andlove for sacred things—all those holy affections and noble desiresthat link men with the heavenly world—are consumed inthe fires of lust. The soul becomes a blackened and desolatewaste, the habitation of the evil spirits, and the “cage of everyunclean and hateful bird.” Beings formed in the image of Godare dragged down to a level with the brutes. Patriarchs andProphets, 457–458.Lessons In Presumptuous Pride—“God’s Chosen People”The Jews had deceived themselves by misinterpreting thewords of the Lord through His prophets, of His eternal favorto His people Israel. Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 52.
36 OUR GREATEST NEED“Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light byday, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for alight by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereofroar; the Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances departfrom before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israelalso shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thussaith the Lord: If heaven above can be measured, and thefoundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will alsocast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saiththe Lord.” Jeremiah 31:35–37.These words the Jews applied to themselves. And becauseGod had shown them so great favor and mercy, theyflattered themselves that, notwithstanding their sins and iniquities,He would still retain them as His favored people, andshower especial blessings upon them. They misapplied thewords of Jeremiah, and depended for their salvation uponbeing called the children of Abraham. If they had indeed beenworthy of the name of Abraham’s children, they would havefollowed the righteous example of their father Abraham, andwould have done the works of Abraham.This has been the danger of the people of God in allages; and especially is this the danger of those living nearthe close of time. We are cited by the apostle to the unbelief,blindness, rebellion, and repeated sins of the Hebrews,as a warning. Paul plainly states that “all these things happenedunto them for ensamples; and they are written for ouradmonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” If,in these last days of peril, for the encouragement of personsin responsible positions, God in mercy gives them a testimonyof favor, they frequently become lifted up, and losesight of their frailties and weaknesses, and rely upon theirown judgment, flattering themselves that God cannot accomplishHis work without their especial aid. They trust in theirown wisdom; and the Lord permits them, for a time, to apparentlyprosper, to reveal the weakness and folly of thenatural heart. But the Lord will, in His own time, and in Hisown way, bring down the pride and folly of these deceived
LESSONS FROM THE PAST 37ones, and show to them their true condition. If they will acceptthe humiliation, and by confession and sincere repentance,turn unto the Lord, perfecting holiness in the fear ofGod, He will renew His love to them. But if they shut theireyes to their own sins, as did the Jews, and choose their ownways, the Lord will give them up to blindness of mind, andhardness of heart, that they cannot discern the things of theSpirit of God. Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 52.Lessons In Lack of FaithMany who, like ancient Israel, profess to keep God’scommandments have hearts of unbelief while outwardly observingthe statutes of God. Although favored with great lightand precious privileges, they will nevertheless lose the heavenlyCanaan, even as the rebellious Israelites failed to enterthe earthly Canaan that God had promised them as the rewardof their obedience.As a people we lack faith. In these days few would followthe directions given through God’s chosen servant asobediently as did the armies of Israel at the taking of Jericho.The Captain of the Lord’s host did not reveal Himself to allthe congregation. He communicated only with Joshua [EllenG. White], who related the story of this interview to the Hebrews.It rested with them to believe or to doubt the wordsof Joshua [Ellen G. White], to follow the commands given byhim [her] in the name of the Captain of the Lord’s host, or torebel against his [her] directions and deny his [her] authority.They could not see the host of angels, marshaled by the Sonof God, who led their van; and they might have reasoned:“What unmeaning movements are these, and how ridiculousthe performance of marching daily around the walls of thecity, blowing trumpets of ram’s horns meanwhile! This canhave no effect upon those strong towering fortifications.”But the very plan of continuing this ceremony through solong a time prior to the final overthrow of the walls affordedopportunity for the increase of faith among the Israelites.
38 OUR GREATEST NEEDThey were to become thoroughly impressed with the ideathat their strength was not in the wisdom of man, nor in hismight, but only in the God of their salvation. They were thusto become accustomed to putting themselves out of the questionand relying wholly upon their divine Leader.Would those who today profess to be God’s people conductthemselves thus under similar circumstances? Doubtlessmany would wish to follow out their own plans and wouldsuggest other ways and means of accomplishing the desiredend. They would be loath to submit to so simple an arrangementand one that reflected upon themselves no glory savethe merit of obedience. They would also question the possibilityof a mighty city being conquered in that manner. But thelaw of duty is supreme. It should hold sway over human reason.Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier,overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heartof the enemy’s camp.God will do marvelous things for those who trust in Him.It is because His professed people trust so much to theirown wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity toreveal His power in their behalf, that they have no morestrength. He will help His believing children in every emergencyif they will place their entire confidence in Him andimplicitly obey Him. Testimonies, vol. 4, 162–163. Wordsin brackets are added.The experience of the children of Israel is to help us in ourwork. The Word of God declares, “These things happenedunto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,upon whom the ends of the world are come.” TheLord brought the children of Israel into trying places to testtheir faith. He had promised to lead them into the promisedland, and if they had waited patiently for Him, reviving theirfaith by recounting His great goodness and wonderful worksin their behalf, He would have shortened their test. But theyforgot their Leader. Murmuring and complaining, they ventedtheir wrath upon Moses, forgetting that their emergency wasGod’s opportunity.
LESSONS FROM THE PAST 39Today God says to His people, Do not imitate the conductof the children of Israel at Rephidim by showing unbeliefwhen brought into difficulties. “There hath no temptationtaken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful,who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, thatye may be able to bear it.”God is declared in all His dealings with His people; andwith clear, unclouded eyes, in adversity, in sickness, in disappointment,and in trial, we are to behold the light of Hisglory in the face of Christ, and trust to His guiding hand. Buttoo often we grieve His heart by our unbelief. Our faith isshort-sighted, and we allow trial to strengthen our naturaltendency to distrust. Brought into strait places, we dishonorGod by murmuring and complaining. Instead, we should helpthose in need of assistance, those who are seeking for light,but know not how to find it. Such have a special claim on oursympathy, but how often, instead of trying to help them, wepass by on the other side, intent on our own troubles. Reviewand Herald, April 7, 1903.Lessons In PatienceThe people of God, and especially the men who occupypositions of trust, need to study the history of Moses’ failureto enter Canaan. Let them stop and think what it means tobecome angry, to show a spirit unworthy of a leader of God’speople. There are those in God’s service who have givenway to anger, and who have not felt the repentance that Mosesfelt. These men have braced themselves to follow an unchristiancourse, and have gone on from one wrong to another.Ibid., January 7, 1904.And there are murmurers in the church, who easily losetheir self-control. If everything does not move to please them,they become irritated, and provoke one another to evil. Theyhave not the light and love of God in their souls; if their way is
40 OUR GREATEST NEEDcrossed, they give loose rein to an unsanctified, irritable spirit.Review and Herald, January 7, 1904.Lessons In CovetousnessThere are many in this day that would designate Achan’ssin as of little consequence, and would excuse his guilt; but itis because they have no realization of the character of sin andits consequences, no sense of the holiness of God and of Hisrequirements. The statement is often heard that God is notparticular whether or not we give diligent heed to His word,whether or not we obey all the commandments of His holylaw; but the record of His dealing with Achan should be awarning to us. He will in no wise clear the guilty. . . .The children of Israel often repeated this experience intheir history. Not profiting by the examples of those who hadsinned, nor being warned by the judgments that had fallenupon the transgressors, they lightly regarded the precepts ofJehovah, and came under condemnation. The nation that,through the favor of God, had gone forth as invincible andvictorious, because of disobedience lost their power, theirdefense departed from them, and they became the proverbof the heathen and the prey of their enemies. Ibid., March20, 1888.Lessons In Disbelief / RebellionThose who in sincerity and truth believe the words ofChrist sent to them through His ambassadors, will understandwhat is the import of those words; but those who haveentrenched themselves in unbelief, will be as were the Jews,blinded to the light. By rejection of evidence, they lost theirspiritual eyesight, and could not discern between good andevil, between truth and error, light and darkness. Those whoare filled with unbelief can discern the least thing that has anobjectionable appearance, and by beholding the objectionablefeature, they can lose sight of all the evidence that God
LESSONS FROM THE PAST 41has given in manifesting His abundant grace and power, inrevealing precious gems of truth from the inexhaustible mineof His word. They can hold the objectionable atom underthe magnifying glasses of their imagination until the atom lookslike a world, and shuts out from their view the precious lightof heaven. But instead of placing that which appears objectionablebeneath the eyes, why not bring before the soul theprecious things of God? Why make the things of pricelessvalue of little esteem, while the worthless things are mademuch of? Why take so much account of that which may appearto you as objectionable in the messenger, and sweepaway all the evidences that God has given to balance themind in regard to the truth?With the history of the children of Israel before us, let ustake heed, and not be found committing the same sins, followingin the same way of unbelief and rebellion. Ibid., April18, 1893.Yes, when we openly and brazenly ignore, or reject the directivesof Christ through the Spirit of Prophecy, we are wearing the samespiritual blinders as Israel in Christ’s day. We are saying “We knowthat God spoke unto Moses [and Peter, John, and Paul]; as for thisfellow [Christ in the ministry of Ellen G. White], we know not whencehe is.” God is no respecter of persons. The same spiritual conditionstoday will produce the same results as they did in the days of ancientIsrael. Christ would have us turn from the stubborn unbelief and rebellionof ancient Israel and her pretentious Pharisees and Sadducees andlearn the simple faith, trust, and obedience developed by Moses, Caleb,Joshua, Peter, John, and Paul:God is no respecter of persons; but in every generationthey that fear the Lord and work righteousness are acceptedof Him; while those who are murmuring, unbelieving, andrebellious, will not have His favor or the blessings promisedto those who love the truth and walk in it. Those who havethe light and do not follow it, but disregard the requirementsof God, will find that their blessings will be changed intocurses, and their mercies into judgments. God would have uslearn humility and obedience as we read the history of an-
42 OUR GREATEST NEEDcient Israel, who were His chosen and peculiar people, butwho brought their own destruction by following their ownways. Counsels on Diet and Foods, 379.Yes, we are blessed with many valuable lessons from the past. Withsuch clear examples of the fruits of disobedience and stubborn rebellionin God’s people of the past, how much clearer can God reveal tous the absolute necessity of full surrender to His revealed will? Whatmore can God say or do to impress upon us the need for revival andreformation? Because of the increased light and the lessons from thepast shining upon us, persistence in disobedience will bring greaterguilt upon us than upon those who crucified the Son of God.There is less excuse in our day for stubbornness and unbeliefthan there was for the Jews in the days of Christ. Theydid not have before them the example of a nation that hadsuffered retribution of their unbelief and disobedience. Butwe have before us the history of the chosen people of God,who separated themselves from Him, and rejected the Princeof life. Though they could not convict Him of sin, though theycould not fail to see their own hypocrisy, they hated the Princeof life because He laid bare their evil ways. In our day greaterlight and greater evidence is given. We have also their example,the warnings and reproofs that were presented tothem, and our sin and its retribution will be the greater, if werefuse to walk in the light. Many say, “If I had only lived inthe days of Christ, I would not have wrested His words, orfalsely interpreted His instruction. I would not have rejectedand crucified Him as did the Jews;” but that will be provedby the way in which you deal with His message and Hismessengers today. The Lord is testing the people of todayas much as He tested the Jews in their day. When Hesends His messages of mercy, the light of His truth, He issending the spirit of truth to you, and if you accept the message,you accept of Jesus. Those who declare that if theyhad lived in the days of Christ, they would not do as did therejecters of His mercy, will today be tested. Those who livein this day are not accountable for the deeds of those whocrucified the Son of God; but if with all the light that shone
LESSONS FROM THE PAST 43upon His ancient people, delineated before us, we travel overthe same ground, cherish the same spirit, refuse to receivereproof and warning, then our guilt will be greatly augmented,and the condemnation that fell upon them will fall upon us,only it will be as much greater as our light is greater in thisage than was their light in their age. Review and Herald,April 11, 1893.The reader is referred to the books Retreating Toward Egypt,and Rebellion, available from Hope International, if it is not crystalclear to you as to why we as Seventh-day Adventists, individually andcorporately are in long-term, serious disobedience to the counsels ofJesus Christ.
44 OUR GREATEST NEED
46 OUR GREATEST NEEDing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movementand revealing present duty as it brought to light the positionand work of His people. The Great Controversy, 423.Within just a couple of years of the great disappointment, our pioneershad made great progress in the correct understanding of Christ’satoning ministry:The Lord showed me in vision, more than one year ago,that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of thesanctuary, et cetera, and that it was His will that Brother C.should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star,Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lordto recommend that Extra to every saint—A letter from E. G.White to Brother Eli Curtis, New York City, dated Topsham,April 21, 1847. A Word To the Little Flock, 12.The conclusions of serious bible study by Brethren Hiram Edsonand O. R. L. Crosier regarding Daniel 8:14 were published by BrotherCrosier in the Day-Star, Extra mentioned above. They are as follows:1. If the atonement was made on Calvary, by whom was it made?The making of the atonement is the work of a priest; but whoofficiated on Calvary? Roman soldiers and wicked Jews.2. The slaying of the victim was not making the atonement; thesinner slew the victim, Leviticus 4:1-4, 13-15, etc., and afterthat the priest took the blood and made the atonement. Leviticus4:5-12, 16-21.3. Christ was appointed High Priest to make the atonement, andHe certainly could not have acted in that capacity till after Hisresurrection, and we have no record of His doing anything onearth after His resurrection, which could be called the atonement.4. The atonement was made in the sanctuary, but Calvary was notsuch a place.5. He could not, according to Hebrews 8:4, make the atonementwhile on earth. “if he were on earth, he should not be a priest.”The Levitical was the earthly priesthood; the divine, the heavenly.
CONFUSION AT THE END 476. Therefore, He did not begin the work of making the atonement,whatever the nature of that work may be, till after Hisascension, when by His own blood He entered His heavenlysanctuary for us.We are now over 150 years nearer to the close of probation andthe end of this world, and tragically Satan has succeeded in bringingspiritual confusion again into Christ’s remnant movement.Let Christ tell us how vital it is that we have a clear understanding ofthis great truth that concerns every soul:The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgmentshould be clearly understood by the people of God. Allneed a knowledge for themselves of the position and workof their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible forthem to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or tooccupy the position which God designs them to fill. Everyindividual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pendingat the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face toface. How important, then, that every mind contemplate oftenthe solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and thebooks shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individualmust stand in his lot, at the end of the days.All who have received the light upon these subjects are tobear testimony of the great truths which God has committedto them. The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’swork in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon theearth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing usdown to the very close of time and revealing the triumphantissue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is ofthe utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigatethese subjects and be able to give an answer to everyonethat asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them. GreatControversy, 488–489.The majority of the so-called Christian world believe and teach thatthe death of Christ on the cross was the complete and final atonementfor fallen mankind. Tragically, this erroneous teaching has made seriousinroads into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is one of the sad
48 OUR GREATEST NEEDresults of our theologians obtaining their “advanced” degrees at thefeet of the spiritually blind teachers of Babylon. In our discussion ofthis subject, we must keep in mind that:Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but alwaysbrings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous. Theenemy has great power over minds that are not thoroughlyfortified by prayer and established in Bible truth. Testimonies,vol. 5, 292.One of the earliest, if not the earliest, attacks in our midst againstthe sanctuary truth appeared in the Seventh-day Adventist magazinefor ministers, Ministry of February 1957. It announced a doctrinalposition never before propounded by official Adventism, that “the sacrificialact on the cross [was] a complete, perfect, and final atonementfor man’s sin.”The article spoke first of “the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross,”then of “the ministry of our heavenly High Priest in the sanctuary aboveon the antitypical day of atonement,” and finally concluded that eachaspect is “incomplete with out the other, and each [is] the indispensablecomplement of the other.” Apparently the writer nor the editorssaw any contradiction in these confused and confusing statements. Thereader is referred to a booklet by Dave Fiedler, Adventism and WalterMartin, available from Hope International, for a more thorough presentationof the beginnings of the serious doctrinal confusion amongus.On pages 33 and 34 of the above publication, Brother Fiedler delineatessome of the serious consequences to the true gospel by adoptingthe atonement-completed-on-the-cross teaching:Belief in a finished atonement leads to the conclusionthat the individual Christian is not able, of himself, to decidehis own destiny. To the Catholic, Christ finished Hispriestly work of atonement at the cross, thus supplying astockpile of merit which must be applied to the sinner’saccount by the intercession of earthly priests, Mary, andthe Saints. To the Calvinist, Christ finished the atonementat the cross, thus placing the question of salvation beyondthe influence of human decision. It is from this belief that
CONFUSION AT THE END 49the doctrine of predestination (and its first cousin, “oncesaved-always-saved”)is derived.It takes no imagination to see that, no matter which branchof this theology one might choose, accepting the doctrine ofan atonement finished at the cross will rule out the truth ofChrist’s high priestly ministry in heaven. Once that concessionis made, other truths quickly erode. If there is no highpriestly ministry in heaven, what possible need is there for aheavenly sanctuary? What merit would there be in cleansinga non-existent sanctuary? What could be said for the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel? And what need would there be fora remnant church if it had no greater truth to proclaim orspecial mission to fulfill?Confusion regarding the sanctuary and its associated topics such asfull obedience, victory over sin in this life, and character perfection inthis life, is rampant among us. In many of our published discussions ofsalvation issues, we tend to lean toward the position of apostate Christianity.We do this by subtly lifting up the cross to the downplaying orignoring of Christ’s heavenly ministry.We lift up faith and downplay works. We lift up justification anddownplay sanctification. We lift up pardon and forgiveness and downplaytransformation. We lift up mercy and downplay enabling grace.We lift up imputed righteousness and downplay imparted righteousness.We lift up Christ’s life of victory over temptation 2000 years agoand downplay His life of victory in the lives of His saints in the here andnow. While this type of theological confusion is expressed by manyspeakers and authors, here are a few examples from just one author:I understood justification by faith. I knew all the texts inRomans. I could give Bible studies on it. . . . Yet that day Iexperienced the great Biblical truth that my only hope of salvationwas rooted in what Christ did outside of me, and inthe place of me 2000 years ago at Calvary.I experienced the truth that no matter how sanctified andobedient I became, works—even the ones done through Christin me—could no more justify me before God than the bloodof pigs could wash away my sins. Clifford Goldstein, Ministry,February 1996.
50 OUR GREATEST NEEDThey [the 144,000] have no hope of salvation apart fromwhat Christ did for them on the cross two thousand yearsago! . . .The only thing that enables these people to pass throughthe judgment is the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christstands in their stead, pleading the merits of His perfection ontheir behalf one last time. . . .And the more one talks about the final generation thatlives without a mediator, the more one must talk about theperfect life of Christ imputed to that final generation. CliffordGoldstein, Between the Lamb and the Lion, 111–112.Again, the issue here is not salvation. These people [the144,000] have already been sealed in Christ, vindicated inthe judgment by His righteousness pleaded on their behalf.No matter how holy and righteous they are or how fully theyreflect the image of Jesus, their only hope is in what Christdid for them on the cross.“God has only one criterion for salvation:” writes BeatriceS. Neall, “faith in the merits of a crucified Saviour. Justificationalone is our title to heaven. For God to change the requirementson the last generation would be unjust.” Ibid.,116. Emphasis in the original.On page 25 of the teachers edition of the Second Quarter of 2003’sAdult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, our confusion was wordedthis way:But not only did Christ die for our sins, He freed us of oursins by taking them upon Himself. We no longer need to bearthe guilt of sin. At the Cross there is both retribution and restoration.There is punishment for sin and deliverance from sin.The Lord is the God of the Old and the New Testament.He requires obedience to His law and demands justice whenthat law is broken; but He also shows mercy by forgiving uswhen we disobey His law and promises to restore us at Hissecond coming to a sinless state.Here we are told that Christ freed man of his sins at the cross. Inreality, Christ transferred our confessed sins to the heavenly sanctuary
CONFUSION AT THE END 51where they remain to our account until they are blotted out at the closeof probation.Here we are told that repentant man will be restored to a sinlessstate at Christ’s second coming. In reality, Christ is presently ministeringenabling grace to enable His true followers to overcome sin in thispresent life.This subtle distortion of the gospel—downgrading of the sanctuarymessage—was portrayed on page 68 of the regular edition of the sameStudy Guide.Nevertheless, think about this; Of all the things we canknow, what is the most important? Of course, that Jesus Christdied for our sins and that through faith in what He has donefor us at the Cross, we have the promise of eternal life. Afterall, in contrast to that, what else really matters? (Matthew16:26).The above page closes with a statement that all will agree with: “ . .. the most crucial of all human questions to human existence [is]: Howare we saved?”No mention is made of the role of the heavenly sanctuary or ofChrist’s atoning ministry there. As is frequently the case, what is notsaid is what causes the greatest distortion. Partial truth—the presentationof one aspect of Christ’s salvational work for man to the neglect ofthe other—results in serious error.Missed OpportunitiesThe subject title for the above quoted Study Guide was “The Forgiven.”During the quarter’s study, obedience and victory over sin werepresented as important but they were never ranked in importance withbeing forgiven. Forgiveness and transformation were never presentedas equally important in one’s salvation. The imbalanced confusion waspresented for Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in the following words:Of course, as Christians we are called to a high standard,the highest possible standard (Matt. 5:48). Yet, before seekingto reach that standard, we must be sure we understandthat the foundation of our salvation rests not in how close wecome to that standard (because we can never get close
52 OUR GREATEST NEEDenough to earn salvation) but only in Jesus. He not onlyreached that standard for us; He offers His achievement inplace of our failures.Because of the wording in the above paragraph, one might arguethat it is all true. But, unfortunately it is not all of the truth. A greatopportunity to present the full explanation and balance of the gospelwas missed. How much better it would have been to have named thesubject title “The Forgiven and Transformed.” How much better it wouldhave been to present forgiveness and transformation as equally essentialto salvation. How much better it would have been to have presentedjustification and sanctification as opposite but equal sides to thecoin of salvation. What a missed opportunity to strengthen our beliefthat resistance to all temptation to sin is just as important today as ithas ever been.The Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide for the third quarterof 2003 is also a serious, missed opportunity to present the full truth.The topic title is “Sanctuary Themes, the Book of Hebrews.” This isindeed an important topic and the book of Hebrews is essential to afull understanding of the sanctuary truth. This is the foundational truthfor the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As a people, we have learnedthat to arrive at truth on a given subject we must gather all relatedreferences from the entire Bible and then harmonize them. The materialpresented by the Study Guide on the book of Hebrews, in its self,may be good, but the full soul-stirring, attention-riveting truth of Christ’sministry in the heavenly sanctuary is not complete without a significantemphasis on the investigative judgment/day of atonement since 1844as presented in Daniel 8:14. Daniel 8:14 is not even listed in the regularStudy Guide. Daniel 8:13, 14 is listed once, but not quoted, as optionalmaterial in the Teacher’s Edition, page 95. It is listed along with2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 4:16 and 9:23–25. Then four discussionquestions follow. The first reads:Early Adventists regarded the vision of the heavenly sanctuaryas a charter for the continued existence of Adventism.Has it become less important to us today? Would you personallyremain a Seventh-day Adventist if you were conclusivelyconvinced traditional Adventist beliefs about the heavenlysanctuary were incorrect? Why, or Why not?
CONFUSION AT THE END 53Our confusion is further demonstrated by the following quotationon page 94 of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide for thethird quarter of 2003:The sacrifice of Christ assures Christians of two greatfacts: First, the Act has been done that solves the sin problem.They don’t have to strive and stretch, to hunger andthirst, to press and prevail, in the frantic, frenzied—and futile—effortto find cleansing from their sins. By one sacrificefor all time God has utterly dealt with sin. Nothing we mightdo can add to that or diminish from it. Calvary gives us absoluteconfidence of the putting away of sins.Second, Calvary assures us of our full access to the presenceof God. No matter who we might be, we belong inJesus Christ. The gates of the temple stand flung open. allwho believe may enter—not cringing, but boldly. William G.Johnsson, In Absolute Confidence (Nashville: SouthernPublishing Association, 1979), 118. Emphases in the original.Again, we see an imbalanced, uplifting of the cross to the neglect ofthe importance of Christ’s present heavenly ministry. It fails to pointout that we must obtain mercy “and grace to help in time of need”from Christ’s throne of grace in our “bold” entering of the temple above.It is a distortion of the equal necessity of mercy and grace—pardonand victory, justification and sanctification—in the salvation equationas presented in Hebrews 4:15, 16:For we have not an high priest which cannot be touchedwith the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points temptedlike as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldlyunto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and findgrace to help in time of need.Many Seventh-day Adventists will perceive these, and other incidences,as serious attempts to teach Sabbath School members thatwe can still be Seventh-day Adventists without believing in the importanceof 1844, the investigative judgment, and the cleansing of theheavenly sanctuary as reflective of Christ’s cleansing of His earthlytemple—His church members on earth. Some will see this as an at-
54 OUR GREATEST NEEDtempt by those desiring to make our teachings more acceptable to thechurches of Babylon by amputating that portion of the sanctuary truththat presents the urgency of victory over temptation as essential toparticipation with Christ in the cleansing of the sanctuary. This discussionis not an attempt to judge the motives of the authors and editors ofthe Adult Sabbath School Study Guide. This is an attempt to make usacutely aware that partial truth can easily be presented and/or be perceivedas the full truth and thus be error.At the least, the Adult Sabbath School Study Guide for the thirdquarter 2003 is another example of a serious missed opportunity forus as a people to refresh our minds regarding foundational truths of theplan of salvation and of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and thus tohelp remove, rather than to promote, the spiritual confusion so rampantamong us. When studying foundational truths, we need to be certainthat our study and presentation is not a mere pretense but that it isour best, sincere effort to present the full truth. Let us do all that wecan to be certain that our presentations are not merely partial truthswhich can readily be misunderstood, and in reality be misleading.One’s understanding of how, what, and when, repentant man isrestored to at-one-ment with God will have a great impact upon how,when, and to what degree a sinner becomes righteous. No one willbecome righteous by accident. Only as we have a clear goal as towhen and how we are made righteous, will any of us, by God’s grace,ever achieve it. Make careful study of the two following descriptions,and the continued discussion of these subjects in this present book.Pray for divine, spiritual discernment. “For we wrestle not against fleshand blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulersof the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”Ephesians 6:12. Let us pray that we will have a clear understanding ofthe gospel and thus be able to experience it, and to then clearly presentit to the world.Unfortunately, the idea of a final, faithful generation is usuallytaught in the context of soteriology and perfectionism, noteschatology. Whatever character the final generation form,however strictly they “keep the commandments of God” andexercise the “faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12), they are savedonly by what saved the thief on the cross: the righteousness
CONFUSION AT THE END 55that Jesus wrought out for them, in place of them, outside ofthem, 2,000 years ago at Calvary. Anything else is salvationby works. God is not trying to perfect a generation holyenough to earn their way to heaven: rather, He seeks thosewho by beholding Him will reflect His character and remainloyal in a manner that will honor and glorify Him before theonlooking universe.Obedience to the law, or even character perfection, cannever blot out sin. Only Christ’s substitutionary righteousnesscan. Obedience comes when we love God and want toglorify Him before the onlooking universe. “For this is thelove of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3).Clifford Goldstein, “The Full and Final Display,” Ministry,October 1994, 62.The Bible does not teach us that God calls us righteoussimply because Jesus of Nazareth was righteous eighteen hundredyears ago. It says that by His obedience we are maderighteous. Notice that it is present, actual righteousness. Thetrouble with those who object to the righteousness of Christbeing imputed to believers is that they do not take into considerationthe fact that Jesus lives. He is alive today, as muchas when He was in Judea. “He ever liveth,” and He is “thesame yesterday, and today and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. Hislife is as perfectly in harmony with the law now as it was then.And He lives in the hearts of those who believe on Him.Therefore it is Christ’s present obedience in believers thatmakes them righteous. E. J. Waggoner, Waggoner on Romans,101–102.The reader needs to compare the above positions with the followingcapsulated, inspired truths from Scripture and the pen of Ellen G.White.
56 OUR GREATEST NEEDTrue Righteousness by FaithBy His death, Christ first reconciles us to God and then, by His lifeHe saves us:For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled toGod by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled,we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10.When we die daily with Christ, He lives His life in us:I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in theflesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, andgave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.Christ living His life in us is our hope of glory. See Colossians 1:27.Jesus Christ is everything to us—the first, the last, thebest in everything. Jesus Christ, His Spirit, His character,colors everything; it is the warp and the woof, the very textureof our entire being. The words of Christ are spirit andlife. We cannot, then, center our thoughts upon self; it is nomore we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, and He is thehope of glory. Self is dead, but Christ is a living Saviour. TheFaith I Live By, 150. All emphases supplied unless otherwisenoted.With true daily conversion our nature is replaced by that of Christ’s.We then find eternal life in the obedience which Christ works out in usday to day through our faith in His transforming power:It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to possessChrist’s nature, a nature far above that which Adam forfeitedby transgression. He who sees the Son by faith and believesin Him, is obedient to the commandments of God, and inthis obedience he finds everlasting life. The Upward Look,18.The active obedience of Christ clothes the believing sinnerwith the righteousness that meets the demands of the law.The Youth’s Instructor, November 29, 1894.
CONFUSION AT THE END 57Christ died to purchase salvation for us. He was raisedfor our justification, and He ever lives to make intercessionfor us. His life and death bring salvation to every believingchild of God. By His death we are reconciled to God; by Hislife, as it is wrought out in our life, we shall be saved. Wemay be poor in temporal things, but we are rich in the treasurethat endures forever. We have the deeds to an immortalinheritance, the title papers to a life that measures with the lifeof God. The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1903.Of what avail would it have been to us that the only begottenSon of God had humbled Himself, endured the temptationsof the wily foe and wrestled with him during His entirelife on earth, and died the just for the unjust . . . if the Spirithad not been given as a constant, working, regenerating agentto make effectual in our cases what had been wrought out bythe world’s Redeemer. Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 331.
58 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe Church’s Great Need“A revival of true godliness among usis the greatest and most urgent of all our needs.To seek this should be our first work.There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord,not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us,but because we are unprepared to receive it.Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spiritto them that ask Him,than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children.But it is our work, by confession, humiliation,repentance, and earnest prayer,to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promisedto grant us His blessing.A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.While the people are so destitute of God’s Holy spirit,they cannot appreciate the preaching of the Word;but when the Spirit’s power touches their hearts,then the discourses given will not be without effect.Guided by the teachings of God’s Word,with the manifestation of His Spirit,in the exercise of sound discretion,those who attend our meetings will gain a precious experience,and returning home,will be prepared to exert a healthful influence.”Selected Messages, book 1, 121.
Chapter Six59OVERCOMING CONFUSIONTHE SECRET of getting rid of any confusion regarding the relationshipbetween Christ’s death on the cross and His sanctuaryministry, and also other aspects of the gospel such as justificationand sanctification, and faith and works, is to have a clear understandingas to how, when, and where God deals with confessed sins.As was stated, a true understanding of the sanctuary provides a completeand harmonious understanding of the gospel. Let us spend a littletime reading about God’s dealing with confessed sins. A study of thelessons from the past will be very helpful:For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given itto you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls:for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.Leviticus 17:11.If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin ofthe people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned,a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of thetabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall layhis hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock beforethe LORD. And the priest that is anointed shall take of thebullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, andsprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, beforethe vail of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of theblood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before theLORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; andshall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the59
60 OUR GREATEST NEEDaltar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacleof the congregation. Leviticus 4:3–7.And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance,while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandmentsof the LORD concerning things which ought not to bedone, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, cometo his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of thegoats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hathsinned. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sinoffering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burntoffering. And the priest shall take of the blood thereof withhis finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering,and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom ofthe altar. And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fatis taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; andthe priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour untothe LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him,and it shall be forgiven him. Leviticus 4:27–31.Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the lawof the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering iskilled shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it ismost holy. The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in theholy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle ofthe congregation. . . . All the males among the priests shalleat thereof: it is most holy. Leviticus 6:25–26, 29.Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holyplace, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you tobear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement forthem before the LORD? Behold, the blood of it was not broughtin within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in theholy place, as I commanded. Leviticus 10:17–18.Important truths concerning the atonement are taught bythe typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’sstead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the
OVERCOMING CONFUSION 61victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferredto the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinneracknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt intransgression, and expressed his desire for pardon throughfaith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirelyreleased from the condemnation of the law. On the Dayof Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering fromthe congregation, went into the most holy place with the bloodof this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directlyover the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in hischaracter of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and borethem from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head ofthe scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus infigure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goatthen bore them away, and they were regarded as foreverseparated from the people. The Great Controversy, 420.All emphases supplied unless otherwise noted.Thus we can conclude the following:1. Atonement for sin was made with the slain substitute’s blood.2. Atonement required that the blood was to be applied as well asshed. For the anointed priest and also for the congregation(see Leviticus 4:13–21), the blood was applied to the horns ofthe altar of incense and also sprinkled before the veil. The bloodof the sin offerings of the individuals of the common peoplewas applied to the horns of the altar of burnt offerings.3. The confessed and forgiven sins were not cancelled but wereregistered in the holy place. The sin bearing blood of the sinofferings of the priest went directly to the holy place. By eatingof the sin offerings of the people, the priest became their symbolicsin bearer and when he next sacrificed a sin offering forhimself, the sin bearing blood of the people was also placedsymbolically in the holy place. See C. Mervyn Maxwell, GodCares, vol. 1, 169.4. The repentant sinner was not fully released from the condemnationof the law during the daily services of the sanctuary. Thesinner was on probation until the yearly day of atonement ser-
62 OUR GREATEST NEEDvices which entailed sin laden blood being sprinkled on themercy seat. The confessed sins of the whole year were thenplaced upon the scapegoat who bore them away. The congregationwas then forever separated from their repented of sins.5. Substitutionary blood had to be applied for the confessed sinner,not only in the daily ministry of the Holy Place, but againin the yearly cleansing of the sanctuary. Only thus and thenwas the atonement completed for the sinner.Such was the service performed “unto the example andshadow of heavenly things.” And what was done in type inthe ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality inthe ministration of the heavenly sanctuary. After His ascensionour Saviour began His work as our high priest. SaysPaul: “Christ is not entered into the holy places made withhands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself,now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews9:24.The ministration of the priest throughout the year in thefirst apartment of the sanctuary, “within the veil” which formedthe door and separated the holy place from the outer court,represents the work of ministration upon which Christ enteredat His ascension. It was the work of the priest in thedaily ministration to present before God the blood of the sinoffering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers ofIsrael. So did Christ plead His blood before the Father inbehalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the preciousfragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitentbelievers. Such was the work of ministration in the firstapartment of the sanctuary in heaven. . . .For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continuedin the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ,pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardonand acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remainedupon the books of record. As in the typical service therewas a work of atonement at the close of the year, so beforeChrist’s work for the redemption of men is completed thereis a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanc-
OVERCOMING CONFUSION 63tuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 daysended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, ourHigh Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last divisionof His solemn work—to cleanse the sanctuary.As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placedupon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, infigure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant thesins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred,in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typicalcleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal ofthe sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansingof the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, orblotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But beforethis can be accomplished, there must be an examinationof the books of record to determine who, through repentanceof sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefitsof His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary thereforeinvolves a work of investigation—a work of judgment.This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christto redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward iswith Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation22:12.Thus those who followed in the light of the prophetic wordsaw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination ofthe 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the Most HolyPlace of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the closing workof atonement preparatory to His coming.It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed toChrist as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christas a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author ofsin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally beplaced. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood ofthe sin offering, removed the sins from the sanctuary,he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, by virtueof His own blood, removes the sins of His peoplefrom the heavenly sanctuary at the close of His ministration,He will place them upon Satan, who, in the executionof the judgment, must bear the final penalty. The
64 OUR GREATEST NEEDscapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, neverto come again into the congregation of Israel. So will Satanbe forever banished from the presence of God andHis people, and he will be blotted from existence in thefinal destruction of sin and sinners. The Great Controversy,420–422.As Christ’s ministration was to consist of two greatdivisions, each occupying a period of time and having adistinctive place in the heavenly sanctuary, so the typicalministration consisted of two divisions, the daily and theyearly service, and to each a department of the tabernaclewas devoted.As Christ at His ascension appeared in the presence ofGod to plead His blood in behalf of penitent believers, so thepriest in the daily ministration sprinkled the blood of the sacrificein the holy place in the sinner’s behalf.The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentantsinner from the condemnation of the law, was not tocancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuaryuntil the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sinoffering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in thesanctuary until the Day of Atonement.In the great day of final award, the dead are to be“judged out of those things which were written in thebooks, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12. Thenby virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all thetruly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven.Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from therecord of sin. In the type, this great work of atonement,or blotting out of sins, was represented by the services ofthe Day of Atonement—the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary,which was accomplished by the removal, by virtueof the blood of the sin offering, of the sins by which it hadbeen polluted. Patriarchs and Prophets, 357–358.From the above, we can clearly see that Christ’s death on the crossdid not, at that time, make atonement for any soul. If Christ’s substitu-
OVERCOMING CONFUSION65tionary death was a completed or final atonement then Christ’s resurrectionwould have not been essential for man’s salvation.And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, andyour faith is also vain. 1 Corinthians 15:14.For Christ’s blood to atone, it had to be applied as well as shed.Prior to His death on the cross, it had been applied and atonementmade only by faith. When He ascended to heaven He began in realitymaking atonement for the sins of the world in the Holy Place. Whenwe come to Christ and confess our sins, we are pardoned, justifiedbefore God. We are placed on probation with access to Christ’senabling and transforming grace to reform us into His likeness. Onlythus, with the new birth experience, can we complete our probationarylife successfully. The completed and final atonement takes placewhen He presents His shed blood to the Father in the Holy of Holies inthe antitypical day of judgment/atonement which began in 1844. Whenthe day of Atonement is completed, those who have ended their probationarytime abiding in Christ—by His grace obeying all of His revealedwill—will have their sins blotted out and they will be placedupon Satan. All sin and sinners will be blotted out with Satan in thelake of fire.Those who, at one time had accepted Christ and had had sins forgiven,but later returned to a life of sin and thus are not participating inthe day of atonement’s full cleansing from sin, will have their once pardonedguilt placed back upon them. Their names will be blotted out ofthe book of life and their sins will be reckoned to them “in full.” Theywill have to bear the full weight of their sins to the lake of fire reservedfor the devil and his angels:For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in thatsame day, he shall be cut offf from among his people. Leviticus23:29.Will sins which have once been forgiven, ever be chargedagain to the sinner’s account? If the soul whose sins have beenforgiven abides in Christ, he remains justified, and he is sanctifiedby the Holy Spirit; but if he continues in sin, he cuts himselfoff from communion with God, and, unless he repent, his sinsare reckoned unto him in full, and the wrath of God abideth
66 OUR GREATEST NEEDon him. The forgiven of God must abide in Christ, in faith andobedience. Review and Herald, December 9, 1890.We are now prepared to understand and harmonize the followinginspired statements which are sometimes portrayed as contradictoryto what we have just learned:As the sinbearer, and priest and representative of manbefore God, He [Christ] entered into the life of humanity,bearing our flesh and blood. The life is in the living, vital currentof blood, which blood was given for the life of the world.Christ made a full atonement, giving His life as a ransomfor us. . . . By death He overcame death. The death of Christbore to the death him who had the power of death, andopened the gates of the tomb for all who receive Him as theirpersonal Saviour. Ellen G. White Comments, SDA BibleCommentary, vol. 7A, 462.Christ’s sacrifice in behalf of man was full and complete.The condition of the atonement had been fulfilled. Thework for which He had come to this world had been accomplished.He had won the kingdom. He had wrested it fromSatan and had become heir of all things. He was on His wayto the throne of God, to be honored by the heavenly host.Acts of the Apostles, 29–30.We are not merely to see a way by which to cross the gulf ofsin, but we are to appreciate the value of the ransom paid for oursouls; we are to realize something of what has been suffered thatwe might be forgiven, and rescued from destruction. We are torejoice that the atonement is complete; and believing in Christas our complete Saviour, we may know that the Father loves us,even as He loves His Son. Review and Herald, November 11,1890.He planted the cross between heaven and earth, and whenthe Father beheld the sacrifice of His Son, He bowed beforeit in recognition of its perfection. “It is enough,” He said. “Theatonement is complete.” Ibid., September 24, 1901.
OVERCOMING CONFUSION 67Some use the above, and similar, statements, to support their claimthat the atonement was completed by Christ’s death on the cross.Rather, we have to harmonize them with all of the other inspired statements:Let us study God’s law in connection with the work ofChrist. Man broke the law. Christ came to this earth to makean atonement for transgression. His atonement was completein every part. As He hung on the cross, He could say, “It isfinished.” The demands of justice were satisfied. The way tothe throne of grace was opened for every sinner. The Signsof the Times, July 31, 1901.Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people untilHe had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by theFather. He ascended to the heavenly courts, and from GodHimself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sinsof men had been ample, that through His blood all mightgain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made withChrist, that He would receive repentant and obedient men,and would love them even as He loves His Son. Christwas to complete His work, and fulfill His pledge to “make aman more precious than fine gold; even a man than the goldenwedge of Ophir.” Isaiah 13:12. All power in heaven and onearth was given to the Prince of Life, and He returned to Hisfollowers in a world of sin, that He might impart to them ofHis power and glory. The Desire of Ages, 790.The above two paragraphs clarify several issues. Every part or phaseof the whole atonement is complete or ample in itself. But no one completepart of the atonement is, of itself, the whole or the completedatonement. At His ascension, because of Christ’s perfect life and sacrifice,repentant and obedient men would be accepted and loved bythe Father. Christ would now complete His work of refining and purifyingHis followers. Yes, atonement involves both repentance and obedience,pardon and transformation, justification and sanctification,Christ’s work on earth and Christ’s work in heaven.Some may conclude that there are two atonements—the sacrificialatonement of Christ as victim, complete on the cross, and the media-
68 OUR GREATEST NEEDtorial atonement of Christ as Priest purifying His people, and finalizedwith the blotting out of sin at the close of the antitypical day of atonement.However we may compartmentalize the redemptive work ofChrist for mankind, no portion is effective in saving man without thewhole. No man will be saved alone by Christ’s death on the crossunless he also abides in Christ and has his sins blotted out of the heavenlyrecords. Neither will any man be benefited by the blotting out ofthe sins in the heavenly sanctuary unless he has accepted the substitutionarydeath of Christ on the cross. All phases of the atonement fromthe cross to the blotting out of sins must be accepted, experienced,participated in for any phase to be permanently effective in a person’slife. Yes, atonement is made with the blood of Jesus Christ shed onceon Calvary’s cross, but it is made effectual only when it transfers theconfessed and repented of sins to the heavenly sanctuary and when itis applied again in the close of the Antitypical Day of Atonementwhen the then forsaken sins are blotted out from the Heavenly Sanctuary.The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuaryabove is as essential to the plan of salvation as was Hisdeath upon the cross. By His death He began that work whichafter His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven.The Great Controversy, 489.Without a doubt, Christ and Him crucified is the central truth ofman’s salvation.There is one great central truth to be kept ever before themind in the searching of the Scriptures—Christ and Him crucified.Every other truth is invested with influence and powercorresponding to its relation to this theme. It is only in thelight of the cross that we can discern the exalted character ofthe law of God. The soul palsied by sin can be endowed withlife only through the work wrought out upon the cross by theAuthor of our salvation. The love of Christ constrains man tounite with Him in His labors and sacrifice. The revelation ofdivine love awakens in them a sense of their neglected obligationto be light-bearers to the world, and inspires themwith a missionary spirit. This truth enlightens the mind andsanctifies the soul. It will banish unbelief and inspire faith. It is
OVERCOMING CONFUSION 69the one great truth to be constantly kept before the minds ofmen. Yet how dimly is the love of God understood; and in theteaching of the word it makes but a faint impression. EllenG. White 1888 Materials, 806.As implied by this last statement, Christ and Him crucified is effectiveonly as His shed blood is applied, not just to the heavenly sanctuaryabove, but to the personal lives of His followers on earth. Christ’sshed blood is effective only as it is allowed to impress us with God’sgreat love, only as it is allowed to transform us into sanctified representativesof Him.Yes, Christ’s atoning work for the salvation of fallen man includesHis perfect life on earth, His substitutionary death, and His mediatorialwork in the heavenly sanctuary as our intercessory High Priest. To thistime of earth’s history, the hope of every believer down through theages has been focused by faith on the anticipated blotting out of theirconfessed sins, in what must be now the not too distant future. Thislong anticipated entire, final, and completed atonement will be efficaciousonly for those who have allowed Christ to live out His life ofobedience in them. Yes, full and entire atonement requires faith andobedience:Not one sin has yet been blotted out from the book ofGod only through the faith of the believer who holds the beginningof his confidence firm unto the end. We may havehope in anticipation of the full and entire atonement made;for this is efficacious if sin is put away. John declared: “Whoeverabideth in him sinneth not. Whoso sinneth hath not seenhim, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceiveyou. He that doeth righteousness is righteous.” ManuscriptReleases, vol. 4, 155.
70 OUR GREATEST NEED
Chapter Seven71PURPOSES OF THE SANCTUARYAKNOWLEDGE of the when and where of the atonement asdiscussed in the preceding chapter is of value to us only as ithelps us to participate in that atonement in a personal manner.The purpose of the earthly sanctuary and temple, and their services,was to teach man how, and illicit man’s participation in, the cleansingfrom sin. Again, let us turn to the past for the lessons recorded for ourexample and edification:Precious were the lessons taught to Israel during their sojournat Sinai. This was a period of special training for theinheritance of Canaan. And their surroundings here were favorablefor the accomplishing of God’s purpose. On the summitof Sinai, overshadowing the plain where the people spreadtheir tents, rested the pillar of cloud which had been the guideof their journey. A pillar of fire by night, it assured them of thedivine protection; and while they were locked in slumber, thebread of heaven fell gently upon the encampment. On everyhand, vast, rugged heights, in their solemn grandeur, spokeof eternal endurance and majesty. Man was made to feel hisignorance and weakness in the presence of Him who hath“weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.”Isaiah 40:12. Here, by the manifestation of His glory, Godsought to impress Israel with the holiness of His characterand requirements, and the exceeding guilt of transgression.But the people were slow to learn the lesson. Accustomedas they had been in Egypt to material representations of theDeity, and these of the most degrading nature, it was difficultfor them to conceive of the existence or the character of the71
72 OUR GREATEST NEEDUnseen One. In pity for their weakness, God gave them asymbol of His presence. “Let them make Me a sanctuary,”He said; “that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8.In the building of the sanctuary as a dwelling place forGod, Moses was directed to make all things according tothe pattern of things in the heavens. God called him into themount, and revealed to him the heavenly things, and in theirsimilitude the tabernacle, with all that pertained to it, wasfashioned.So to Israel, whom He desired to make His dwelling place,He revealed His glorious ideal of character. The pattern wasshown them in the mount when the law was given from Sinai andwhen God passed by before Moses and proclaimed, “The Lord,The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundantin goodness and truth.” Exodus 34:6.But this ideal they were, in themselves, powerless to attain.The revelation at Sinai could only impress them withtheir need and helplessness. Another lesson the tabernacle,through its service of sacrifice, was to teach—the lesson ofpardon of sin, and power through the Saviour for obedienceunto life.Through Christ was to be fulfilled the purpose of whichthe tabernacle was a symbol—that glorious building, itswalls of glistening gold reflecting in rainbow hues the curtainsinwrought with cherubim, the fragrance of ever-burning incensepervading all, the priests robed in spotless white, andin the deep mystery of the inner place, above the mercy seat,between the figures of the bowed, worshiping angels, theglory of the Holiest. In all, God desired His people to readHis purpose for the human soul. It was the same purposelong afterward set forth by the apostle Paul, speaking by theHoly Spirit:“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that theSpirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple ofGod, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy,which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. Education34–36. All emphases supplied unless otherwise noted.
PURPOSES OF THE SANCTUARY 73The lessons from the sanctuary for modern Israel are the same asfor ancient Israel:1. The holiness of God’s character and requirements—His law.2. The exceeding guilt of transgression.3. His glorious character is the ideal for our character.4. There is pardon of sin through the Saviour.5. There is power for obedience unto life through the Saviour.6. The tabernacle symbolized Christ’s ministry for man’s salvation.7. The overall lesson of the tabernacle was to illustrate God’spurpose for the human soul—to be His temple, His dwellingplace.From this, we can conclude that the tabernacle in the wilderness,and later the temples in Jerusalem, with their services were an illustrationof Christ’s atoning ministry for and in the hearts of His people.Thus, the daily ministry of confession and turning away from sin, culminatingin the Day of Atonement cleansing of the sanctuary was an illustrationor reflection of Christ’s cleansing work in the human soul. Thus,the justification provided the repentant sinner in daily ministry was retainedonly as he allowed Christ to transform or sanctify his heart/character into one of willing obedience. The probationary time providedfor this sanctification process culminated in the investigative dayof atonement approval of transformation success or disapproval oftransformation failure. Just as the ongoing confession of sins pollutedthe sanctuary during the daily ministry illustrated the defective charactersof God’s people, just so the cleansing of the sanctuary on theinvestigative day of atonement illustrated the character perfection requiredof those for whom the final atonement was effective. In otherwords, when God’s people disobeyed, the sanctuary became defiled.When God’s people, by His enabling grace turned from all disobedience,they were clean and the sanctuary could be cleansed.Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall thesanctuary be cleansed. Daniel 8:14.All agree that the heavenly sanctuary is referred to in this prophecyof Daniel. But does the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary involve andaffect the people of God? Some believe this cleansing is only a judicial
74 OUR GREATEST NEEDact of God in heaven which does nothing for the human soul. Is it anywonder that Daniel 8:14 has no great impact on the heart of the church?This close relationship between the sanctuary and the worshipersneeds to be clearly established:And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and theangel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God,and the altar, and them that worship therein. Revelation 11:1.According to the above verse, the saints “worship” in the heavenlysanctuary. By faith they abide in Christ’s presence and they may beunderstood to be among those “that dwell in heaven.”It is our privilege to draw nigh to God, to breathe in theatmosphere of His presence. . . . Nothing short of abiding inthe presence of Christ will bring peace, freedom, courage,and power. In Heavenly Places, 7.And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, toblaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwellin heaven. Revelation 13:6.Their bodies are on earth, but their thoughts, minds, affections, sympathiesand prayers are by faith in the heavenly temple:Those who, with a knowledge of the truth from the Scriptures,had also the Spirit and grace of God, and who, in thenight of their bitter trial, had patiently waited, searching theBible for clearer light—these saw the truth concerning thesanctuary in heaven and the Saviour’s change in ministration,and by faith they followed Him in His work in the sanctuaryabove. The Great Controversy, 427.I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: andevery branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bringforth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which Ihave spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As thebranch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine;no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:1–4.
PURPOSES OF THE SANCTUARY 75In the same way and in the same sense that they abide/dwell inChrist, they dwell in the temple. Just as Jesus and His people are one,so the sanctuary and God’s people are one. This truth was plainlytaught by the type. When the saints were defiled, the sanctuary wasdefiled at the same time:And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Again, thoushalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of thechildren of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel,that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be putto death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him offfrom among his people; because he hath given of his seedunto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane myholy name. Leviticus 20:1–3.Wherefore, as I live, saith the LORD God; Surely, becausethou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things,and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminishthee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.Ezekiel. 5:11.Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that isdead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of theLORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because thewater of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall beunclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. . . . But the manthat shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soulshall be cut off from among the congregation, because hehath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separationhath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. Numbers19:13, 20.When the sanctuary was cleansed the people were cleansed:For on that day shall the priest make an atonement foryou, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sinsbefore the LORD. . . . And he shall make an atonement forthe holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for thetabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall
76 OUR GREATEST NEEDmake an atonement for the priests, and for all the people ofthe congregation. Leviticus 16:30, 33.Christ’s followers “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”Ephesians 2:6. Christ’s church is said to be held securely as a star inChrist’s right hand.Christ is represented as holding the seven stars in Hisright hand. This assures us that no church faithful to its trustneed fear coming to nought, for not a star that has the protectionof Omnipotence can be plucked out of the hand ofChrist. Acts of the Apostles, 586.Especially are the ministers of the gospel represented by the sevenstars in Christ’s right hand. If not sustained by Him, they become fallenstars:“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; Thesethings saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand,who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.”Revelation 2:1. . . .Here the ministers of righteousness are symbolized by theseven stars, which the First and the Last has under His specialcare and protection. The Lord Jesus Christ is acquaintedwith the number of the stars. He calls them by their names,binds the sweet influence of Pleiades, and looses the bandsof Orion. The ministers of the gospel of Christ are greaterblessings to the church than are the stars to our world. All arein God’s hand. He directs their motions. He disposes of themin their different orbs in their positions. He fills them with lightand influence. He supports them, else they would soon befalling stars. They are instruments in His hands, and all thegood they do is done by His hand and by His Spirit’s power.Review and Herald, May 31, 1887.In light of the above, is it not reasonable to believe that when theprophet Daniel portrays the “little horn”—Satan through the papal powers—castingdown and stamping upon “some of the host and of thestars” that God’s people, His church, are included? The inseparableidentity of the sanctuary and the people is clearly demonstrated in Daniel.The prophet beheld the sanctuary and some of “the host of heaven”
PURPOSES OF THE SANCTUARY 77being trodden down. They shared a common fate at the hands of theantichrist:And out of one of them came forth a little horn, whichwaxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward theeast, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, evento the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host andof the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, hemagnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by himthe daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuarywas cast down. And an host was given him against thedaily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast downthe truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered. Daniel8:9–12.It seems clear, that the host of heaven referred to as being troddenunder foot is applicable to God’s people as persecuted during the longyears of papal supremacy. Are we to believe that the rise of the papalantichrist caused more of the hitherto faithful, angelic host of heaven tofall? Daniel then heard the question, “How long shall be the vision . . .to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”Verse 13. Is it not more reasonable to believe that “the host” in thisquestion is referring to God’s people rather than to the angelic hosts?Are we to believe that fallen angels are to be cleansed along with thesanctuary? The answer given to the question is that it will be at the endof 2300 days:And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundreddays; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Daniel 8:14.Why did not the angel answer the question by saying “then shallthe sanctuary and the host [God’s people] be restored?” Clearly, therestoration of the host [God’s people] is implicit in the restoration ofthe sanctuary. If the question had not been answered, the inquirer wouldcertainly have asked again, “When will the people [the host] also berestored to their rightful state?”The conclusion follows that the restoration of the sanctuary includesthe restoration of the faithful.It must be obvious that the sanctuary cannot be cleansed until thosewho dwell in it are cleansed. Leviticus chapter 16 plainly states that
78 OUR GREATEST NEEDboth the sanctuary and the people were typically cleansed by the specialservices of the Day of Atonement. Numerous other Bible passagesshow that the cleansing performed in the heavenly sanctuaryincludes a cleansing of the saints.Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall preparethe way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenlycome to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant,whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith theLORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming?and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like arefiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refinerand purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi,and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer untothe LORD an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:1–3.The Great Controversy 424–426, states that this passage refersto the same event as Daniel 8:14. The prophet Malachi here declares,“The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple . . . andhe shall purify the sons of Levi” (God’s people).Consider these statements:Christ is cleansing the temple in heaven from the sins ofthe people, and we must work in harmony with him upon theearth, cleansing the soul temple from its moral defilement.Review and Herald, February 11, 1890.We are in the day of atonement, and we are to work inharmony with Christ’s work of cleansing the sanctuary from thesins of the people. Let no man who desires to be found with thewedding garment on, resist our Lord in His office work. As Heis, so will His followers be in this world. We must now set beforethe people the work which by faith we see our great High-priestaccomplishing in the heavenly sanctuary. Those who do not sympathizewith Jesus in His work in the heavenly courts, who donot cleanse the soul temple of every defilement, but who engagein some enterprise not in harmony with this work, are joiningwith the enemy of God and man in leading minds away from thetruth and work for this time. Ibid., January 21, 1890.
PURPOSES OF THE SANCTUARY 79Daniel 8:14 refers to the cleansing of the new covenant sanctuarywhich is brought to view in Hebrew 8:1–2:Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum:We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand ofthe throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of thesanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched,and not man.Not only does Ellen White refer to this as the sanctuary in heaven,but she also makes the following significant application:The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christianchurch. . . . The church on earth, composed of those whoare faithful and loyal to God, is the ‘true tabernacle,’ whereofthe Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched thistabernacle on a high, elevated platform.This tabernacle is Christ’s body, and from north, south,east, and west He gathers those who shall help to composeit. . . . A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christas their personal Saviour. . . . Christ is the minister of the truetabernacle, the high priest of all who believe in Him as a personalSaviour. Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA BibleCommentary, vol. 7, 931.Yes, the earthly and the heavenly sanctuaries and services are anillustration/reflection of God’s purpose for the human soul. What occurredby faith in the typical, earthly sanctuary and services of ancientIsrael, is occurring in reality in the true, heavenly sanctuary of modernIsrael. The real issue for each Seventh-day Adventist is to know for acertainty that he/she is cooperating with Christ in the cleansing processduring this true and final day of atonement.
80 OUR GREATEST NEED
Chapter Eight81THE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRISTThe Key to UnderstandingGod’s Great Plan of SalvationACORRECT UNDERSTANDING of the human nature ofChrist is essential to a correct understanding of the gospel.Some aspects of Christ’s incarnation, such as the relationshipbetween Christ’s divine nature and His human nature, are inexplicableto our minds. However, inspiration gives us a clear description of thehuman nature of Christ which Christ took when He came to this earthas a man. Unfortunately, there is much confusion among us on thissubject just as we have discussed regarding the heavenly sanctuarytruths. Both of these topics are critical to a true understanding of Christ’splan of salvation and of our ability to describe and document it correctly.Jesus came down to the level of fallen human beings, not to be justour Substitute, but also our Example in overcoming all temptation andsin.This has never been a mute declaration. It has always been verybasic, and the foundation of Christ’s sacrifice, one of the basic reasonsfor His life and His cross—to show men, women, children, and youngpeople how they, too, can overcome as He overcame.First, we need to examine the position of the pioneers on the natureof Christ as found in Bible Readings for the Home Circle, 1915 edition,174:In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful, fallen nature.If not, then He was not “made like unto His brethren,” wasnot “in all points tempted like as we are,” did not overcomeas we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the completeand perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved.81
82 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinlessmother, inherited no tendencies to sin, and for this reason didnot sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, andfrom the very place where help is needed. On His humanside, Christ inherited just what every child of Adam inherits—asinful nature. On the divine side, from His very conceptionHe was begotten and born of the Spirit. And all thiswas done to place mankind on vantage ground, and to demonstratethat in the same way every one who is “born of theSpirit” may gain like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh.Thus each one is to overcome as Christ overcame. SeeRevelation 3:21. Without this birth there can be no victoryover temptation, and no salvation from sin. See John 3:3–7.Emphasis in the original.The Spirit of Prophecy teaches this concept. Brother Waggonerand Jones preached it. See Christ and His Righteousness byWaggoner, 25–32.A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that ifChrist took upon Himself the likeness of man, in order thatHe might redeem man, it must have been sinful man that Hewas made like, for it is sinful man that He came to redeem.Death could have no power over a sinless man, as Adamwas in Eden; and it could not have had any power over Christ,if the Lord had not laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Moreover,the fact that Christ took upon Himself the flesh, not of asinless being, but of sinful man, that is, that the flesh which heassumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies towhich fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the statementthat He “was made of the seed of David according tothe flesh.” David had all the passions of human nature. Hesays of himself, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sindid my mother conceive me.” Christ and His Righteousness,26–27.A total of 1200 times the pioneers and Ellen White verified thisimportant doctrine—400 times by our prophet Ellen White accordingto Elder Ralph Larson’s book, The Word Was Made Flesh.
THE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRIST 83Clad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God camedown to the level of those He wished to save. In Him was noguile or sinfulness; He was ever pure and undefiled; yet Hetook upon Him our sinful nature. Clothing His divinity withhumanity, that He might associate with fallen humanity, Hesought to redeem for man that which by disobedience Adamhad lost, for himself and for the world. Review and Herald,August 22, 1907.It was in the order of God that Christ should take uponHimself the form and nature of fallen man, that He might bemade perfect through suffering, and Himself endure thestrength of Satan’s fierce temptations, that He might understandhow to succor those who should be tempted. Spirit ofProphecy, vol. 2, 39. All emphases supplied unless otherwisenoted.He made Himself of no reputation, took upon Him theform of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinfulflesh. . . . Sinless and exalted by nature, the Son of God consentedto take the habiliments of humanity, to become onewith the fallen race. The eternal Word consented to be madeflesh. God became man. Signs of the Times, February 20,1893.He (Jesus) knows how strong are the inclinations of thenatural heart, and He will help in every time of temptation.Testimonies, vol. 5, 177.He [the Saviour] knows by experience what are the weaknessesof humanity, what are our wants, and where lies thestrength of our temptations; for He was “in all points temptedlike as we are, yet without sin.” The Ministry of Healing,71.Our Saviour came to this world to endure in human natureall the temptations wherewith man is beset. Sons andDaughters of God, 230.
84 OUR GREATEST NEEDChrist was put to the closest test, requiring the strength ofall His faculties to resist the inclination when in danger, to useHis power to deliver Himself from peril, and triumph overthe power of the prince of darkness. Review and Herald,April 1, 1875.I present before you the great Exemplar. . . . As really didHe meet, and resist the temptations of Satan as any of thechildren of humanity. In this sense alone could He be a perfectexample for man. He subjected Himself to humanity tobecome acquainted with all temptations wherewith man isbeset; He took upon Him the infirmities and bore the sorrowsof the sons of Adam. Our High Calling, 57.Christ alone had experience in all the sorrows and temptationsthat befall human beings. Never another of womanborn was so fiercely beset by temptations. Education, 78.In the wilderness of temptation . . . He [our Lord] wasexposed to the assaults of satanic agencies. These assaultswere more severe than man has ever passed through. . . . Inthis conflict the humanity of Christ was taxed as none of uswill ever know. . . . These were real temptations, no pretense.Christ “suffered being tempted.” Selected Messages,book 1, 94–95.He [Christ] not only became an exile from the heavenlycourts, but for us took the risk of failure and eternal loss. TheDesire of Ages, 131.Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of thehuman race would have perished. Divine wrath would havecome upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and thechurch would have been without hope. Manuscript Releases,vol. 16, 119.In His closing hours, while hanging upon the cross, Heexperienced to the fullest extent what man must experience
THE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRIST 85when striving against sin. He realized how bad a man maybecome by yielding to sin. Youth’s Instructor, July 20, 1899.Was He then different from us? Did He then have an advantage?Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers,that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfecthumanity is that which all His followers may possess, if theywill be in subjection to God as He was. The Desire of Ages,664.As a man He supplicated the throne of God, till His humanitywas charged with a heavenly current that connectedhumanity with divinity. Receiving life from God, He impartedlife to men. Education, 80–81.When we supplicate the throne as He did, we will have the samepower to resist temptation that He had. Did Christ have an advantageover us? No. He was tempted far beyond what we will ever be tempted.He had divinity. I do not. The devil provoked Him for thirty-threeyears, trying to get Him to use His divinity to keep from temptation orsin. The wilderness experience was one place where He was temptedto use divinity, as was also His daily confrontation with church leadersand finally at the cross. He used only the Holy Spirit to keep Him fromsin and to work miracles. His divinity was then a disadvantage in regardsto being tempted.Had there been one deviation from the divine mind in thework of Christ, the plan of redemption would have proved afailure. Review and Herald, February 15, 1898.In the book Issues, published by the General Conference, it wasdeclared that the nature of Christ was a mute doctrine that had beenargued and debated on, but never agreed upon by theologians. Theologians,and even some Seventh-day Adventists may be confused, butthe inspired writings are very clear:Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which wasmade of the seed of David according to the flesh. Romans1:3.
86 OUR GREATEST NEEDFor what the law could not do, in that it was weak throughthe flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinfulflesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. Romans 8:3.Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to beequal with God. But made himself of no reputation, andtook upon him the form of a servant, and was made in thelikeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, hehumbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even thedeath of the cross. Philippians 2. 5–8.Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh andblood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; thatthrough death he might destroy him that had the power ofdeath, that is, the devil. Hebrew 2:14.For we have not an high priest which cannot be touchedwith the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points temptedlike as we are, yet without sin. Hebrew 4:15.Born of a woman, Mary, a sinner. He accepted the heredity of thehuman family in its fallen state, without yielding or participating in sin.To be our Saviour, He had to show to the unfallen worlds of God’sgreat universe, to angels, and sinners of this world, that there was powerfrom God through the Holy Spirit. That all who were willing to bemade willing, could overcome all temptations and sin as Jesus overcame.He accepted humanity after 4000 years of falling.Satan had pointed to Adam’s sin as proof that God’s lawwas unjust, and could not be obeyed. In our humanity, Christwas to redeem Adam’s failure. But when Adam was assailedby the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. Hestood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the fullvigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the gloriesof Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings.It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness tocope with Satan. For four thousand years the race had beendecreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral
THE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRIST 87worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degeneratehumanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowestdepths of his degradation.Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcomeby temptation. Then He could not have been placed inAdam’s position; He could not have gained the victory thatAdam failed to gain. If we have in any sense a more tryingconflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succorus. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. Hetook the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation.We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.The Desire of Ages, 117.He was eternally rich, yet for our sakes He became poor,that we through His poverty might be made rich. He wasclothed with light and glory, and was surrounded with hostsof heavenly angels waiting to execute His commands. Yet Heput on our nature and came to sojourn among sinful mortals.Here is love that no language can express. It passes knowledge.Great is the mystery of godliness. Our souls should beenlivened, elevated, and enraptured with the theme of thelove of the Father and the Son to man. The followers of Christshould here learn to reflect in some degree that mysteriouslove preparatory to joining all the redeemed in ascribing“blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, . . . unto Himthat sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever andever.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 215.If He did not have our fallen nature without participating in sin, Hecould not be our example. If He did not partake of our fallen nature,He could not have been tempted as fallen man is tempted.If it was not possible to yield to temptation, He could not be ourHelper in fighting with battles of Satan.The Son of God was assaulted at every step by the powersof darkness. After His baptism He was driven of the Spiritinto the wilderness, and suffered temptation for forty days.Letters have been coming in to me, affirming that Christ couldnot have had the same nature as man, for if He had, He would
88 OUR GREATEST NEEDhave fallen under similar temptations. If He did not have man’snature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partakerof our nature, He could not have been tempted as manhas been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptation,He could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality thatChrist came to fight the battles as man, in man’s behalf. Histemptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy thePattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature.In Christ, divinity and humanity were combined. Divinitywas not degraded to humanity; divinity held its place, buthumanity by being united to divinity, withstood the fiercesttest of temptation in the wilderness. The prince of this worldcame to Christ after His long fast, when He was an hungered,and suggested to Him to command the stones to becomebread. But the plan of God, devised for the salvationof man, provided that Christ should know hunger, and poverty,and every phase of man’s experience. He withstood thetemptation, through the power that man may command. Helaid hold on the throne of God, and there is not a man orwoman who may not have access to the same help throughfaith in God. Man may become a partaker of the divine nature;not a soul lives who may not summon the aid of Heavenin temptation and trial. Christ came to reveal the Source ofHis power, that man might never rely on his unaided humancapabilities. Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.By placing Christ’s humanity as the unfallen Adam, we makeHis cross ridiculous. Satan would have responded, “you have provednothing.”Christ came down to fallen man’s level without participating insin. Death has no power over a sinless being. He took on Himselfthe sins of the fallen race. It was these sins, which took His life.Adam, before he sinned could not have died. It was sin—the transgressionof the sacred law—which was the cause of all death in theworld; and Christ had to accept the fallen nature in order to acceptdeath for the broken law.
THE HUMAN NATURE OF CHRISTTrue Reformation Is Obedience to God’s Law89True reformation begins with soul cleansing. Our workfor the fallen will achieve real success only as the grace ofChrist reshapes the character and the soul is brought intoliving connection with God.Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to God’s law, andin this He set an example for every human being. The life thatHe lived in this world we are to live through His power andunder His instruction.In our work for the fallen the claims of the law of God andthe need of loyalty to Him are to be impressed on mind andheart. Never fail to show that there is a marked differencebetween the one who serves God and the one who servesHim not. God is love, but He cannot excuse willful disregardfor His commands. The enactments of His government aresuch that men do not escape the consequences of disloyalty.Only those who honor Him can He honor. Man’s conduct inthis world decides his eternal destiny. As he has sown, so hemust reap. Cause will be followed by effect.Nothing less than perfect obedience can meet the standardof God’s requirement. He has not left His requirementsindefinite. He has enjoined nothing that is not necessary inorder to bring man into harmony with Him. We are to pointsinners to His ideal of character and to lead them to Christ,by whose grace only can this ideal be reached.The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanityand lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that becauseof the weakness of human nature they could not overcome.Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,”and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity,does not commit sin. The Ministry of Healing, 180.There is Power, Hope for the HopelessNothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible,than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies whollyon the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of His
90 OUR GREATEST NEEDword, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of humanbeings may live in contact with the living Christ, and Hewill hold them by a hand that will never let go. The Ministryof Healing, 182.Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for theGod of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not againstme, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit indarkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. . . . He will turnagain, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue ouriniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of thesea. Micah 7:7–8, 19.I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even aman than the golden wedge of Ophir. Isaiah 13:12.And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in theirforeheads. Revelation 22:4.The Incarnation is the Mystery of Godliness.And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in theworld, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16.In this dynamic subject of the incarnation of Christ taking the fallenhuman nature and yet, by His Father’s grace, living without sinning, werecommend the scholarly presentation, by Elder J. R. Zurcher, who isnow waiting the resurrection. The church has lost a real patriarch. Hisbook Touched With Our Feelings, the preface by Elder KennethWood, must be read to see the great depth of heaven’s sacrifice. Acorrect understanding on this topic is essential to a full, clear, and defensiblethree angels’ message which must go to the whole world.
Chapter Nine91ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESSAS WE HAVE SEEN, there is confusion among us as to howChrist makes a man more precious than gold. In these closinghours of the great antitypical day of atonement, Satan hasbeen successful in confusing God’s remnant people as to what is thetrue gospel. There is artful, tragic error among us as to the full relationshipbetween pardon and transformation, justification and sanctification,imputed and imparted righteousness, and faith and works in thetrue gospel.As we have seen, a study of the earthly sanctuary and its services,sheds much clarifying light on these various themes of the gospel. Inthis chapter, let us delve further into inspiration regarding as to howessential it is for us to not only understand, but to experience the fullnessof the truths regarding these issues.Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: showme thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faithby my works. . . . But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faithwithout works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justifiedby works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon thealtar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and byworks was faith made perfect? . . . Ye see then how that byworks a man is justified, and not by faith only. . . . For as thebody without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is deadalso. James 2:17–18, 20–22, 24, 26.Fallen, sinful man is confronted with a perfect law by a perfect Godwho requires perfect obedience:Christ does not lessen the claims of the law. In unmistakablelanguage He presents obedience to it as the condition of91
92 OUR GREATEST NEEDeternal life—the same condition that was required of Adambefore his fall. The Lord expects no less of the soul now thanHe expected of man in Paradise, perfect obedience, unblemishedrighteousness. The requirement under the covenant ofgrace is just as broad as the requirement made in Eden—harmony with God’s law, which is holy, just, and good.Christ’s Object Lessons, 391.Heaven can never be gained by an imperfect obedience;for this would place all heaven in jeopardy, and make possiblea second rebellion. Signs of the Times, December 30,1889.We are faced with an impossibility: with our unregenerate characters—thoughts,feelings, desires—full of selfishness and rebellion againstselfless Love we are required by God’s Word to reflect the image ofour Creator, the personification of selfless love—agape.Just like the Ethiopian and the leopard, we cannot change ourselves:Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.Jeremiah 13:23.The spiritual condition of ancient Israel was a reflection of humanity’sdesperate condition:The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. Fromthe sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundnessin it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they havenot been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.Isaiah 1:5–6.We are sick with sin from the crown of our head to thesole of our feet, and this is why we need a Physician. HistoricalSketches of the Foreign Missions of the SeventhdayAdventists, 132.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 93The Great PhysicianWe are not without hope for “God has provided a balm for everywound. There is a balm in Gilead, there is a Physician there.” SelectedMessages, book 2, 273.Christ’s perfect life of obedience, while on this earth in our fallennature, united with the divine guidance, and the power of the HolySpirit enabled Him to develop a perfect character. His perfect humancharacter united with His Divinity qualified Him to be the perfect Lambof God—our perfect Substitute. By dying our death Christ made itpossible for us to live His life:He [Christ] was condemned for our sins, in which Hehad no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness,in which we had no share. He suffered the deathwhich was ours, that we might receive the life which wasHis. “With his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. TheDesire of Ages, 25.Christ came also to give an example of how humanity with a fallennature, but allied to Divinity, can magnify God’s law and character byobedience to all of God’s will:Christ came to give an example of the perfect conformityto the law of God required of all, from Adam, the first man,down to the last man who shall live on the earth. He declaredthat His mission was not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it inperfect and entire obedience. In this way He magnified thelaw, and made it honorable. In His life He revealed its spiritualnature. In the sight of heavenly beings, of worlds unfallen,and of a disobedient, unthankful, unholy world, He fulfilledthe far-reaching principles of the law. He came to demonstratethe fact that humanity, allied by living faith to Divinity,can keep all the commandments of God. Review and Herald,November 15, 1898.Obedience Vindicates God’s LawsChrist’s life of obedience vindicated God’s law, and proved thateven man with a fallen nature can do the same:
94 OUR GREATEST NEEDChrist came to vindicate the sacred claims of the law. Hecame to live a life of obedience to its requirements and thusprove the falsity of the charge made by Satan that it is impossiblefor man to keep the law of God. As a man He mettemptation and overcame in the strength given Him from God.As He went about doing good, healing all who were afflictedby Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s lawand the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possiblefor us also to obey the law of God. Testimonies, vol. 8,207–208.If we consent Christ will give us power to cease from sin:The Lord Jesus Christ, when in human flesh, successfullyresisted every temptation of the enemy. His efforts of superhumanlove, made to save the race, were successful. FromHim men and women may receive power to overcome, ifthey will consent to cease from sin. Christ gave every sonand daughter of Adam unmistakable evidence that throughthe provisions God has made they may overcome. Each onemust rely on the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Hetakes every repenting soul into covenant relation with Himself.The General Conference Bulletin, October 1, 1899.Christ’s perfect life lived in our fallen nature not only qualified Himto be our essential Substitute but also our essential Pattern:It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battlesas man, in man’s behalf. His temptation and victory tell usthat humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become apartaker of the divine nature. Selected Messages, book 1,408. All emphases supplied unless otherwise noted.Healed From SinChrist lived a sanctified, righteous life in order that He might sanctifyor transform His followers:And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also mightbe sanctified through the truth. John 17:19.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 95Christ condemned sin in the fallen flesh of His human nature inorder that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in fallenhumanity:There is therefore now no condemnation to them whichare in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after theSpirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hathmade me free from the law of sin and death. For what thelaw could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Godsending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the lawmight be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but afterthe Spirit. Romans 8:1–4.Christ’s substitutionary death makes the plan of salvation possible,but His death avails us nothing other than probationary life unless wealso accept His life as our Pattern and are transformed into that moldby the ministry of the Holy Spirit:The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and withoutthis the sacrifice of Christ would have been of noavail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries,and the submission of man to this satanic captivitywas amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome onlythrough the mighty agency of the Third Person of theGodhead, who would come with no modified energy, butin the fulness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makeseffectual what has been wrought out by the world’sRedeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure.Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of thedivine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine powerto overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies toevil, and to impress His own character upon the church.Review and Herald, May 19, 1904.There is no pardon for sin until we are willing to be rescued fromthe power of sin. We are not counted righteous until we are willing tobe made righteous. There is no pardon—justification—without associatedtransformation—the new birth and sanctification:
96 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe Word of God gives us no encouragement that a sinneris pardoned in order that he may continue in sin. He ispardoned on condition that he receives Christ, confessingand repenting of his sin and becoming renewed. Many whopass under the name of Christian are not converted. Conversionmeans renovation. The sinner must enter into the renovatingprocess for himself. He must come to Jesus. He mustgive up the wrong habits in which he has indulged. He mustbring his unsubdued, unchristlike tendencies under the controlof Christ, else he cannot be made a laborer together withGod. Christ works, and the sinner works. The life of Christbecomes the life of the human agent. It is through the renewingpower of the divine Spirit that man is fashioned into aperfect man in Christ. Loma Linda Messages, 103–104.We are pardoned—justified—on the condition of future obedience.You will come from a concentrated study of the themeof redemption strengthened and ennobled. Your comprehensionof the character of God will be deepened; andwith the whole plan of salvation clearly defined in yourmind, you will be better able to fulfill your divine commission.From a sense of thorough conviction, you can thentestify to men of the immutable character of the law manifestedby the death of Christ on the cross, the malignantnature of sin, and the righteousness of God in justifyingthe believer in Jesus, on condition of his future obedienceto the statutes of God’s government in heaven andearth. Review and Herald, April 24, 1888.When justification is obtained, it can be retained only throughcontinual obedience.But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinnerthrough the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soulwith the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicingknown sins, or neglecting known duties. God requiresthe entire surrender of the heart, before justification cantake place; and in order for man to retain justification,there must be continual obedience, through active, liv-
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 97ing faith that works by love and purifies the soul. SelectedMessages, book 1, 366.We must accept Christ’s image and mind if we are to accept Hispardon:To be pardoned in the way that Christ pardons, is notonly to be forgiven, but to be renewed in the spirit of ourmind. The Lord says, “A new heart will I give unto thee.”The image of Christ is to be stamped upon the very mind,heart, and soul. The apostle says, “But we have the mind ofChrist” 1 Corinthians. 2:16. Ibid., book 3, 190.The New BirthTo be able to benefit from Christ’s death by the copying of His lifewe must be born again. Only as we are born again will our higherpowers be able to discern the requirements of the life we must live ifwe would see the kingdom of God:Have you been born again? If you have not, then it is timefor you to obtain the experience that Christ told one of thechief rulers that he must have. “Ye must be born again,” Hesaid. John 3:7. “Except a man be born again, he cannot seethe kingdom of God.” Verse 3. That is, he cannot discern therequirements essential to having a part in that spiritual kingdom.Fundamentals of Christian Education, 459.We cannot escape the dominion of sin and the doom of eternaldeath of the family of the first Adam until we experience a rebirth intothe spiritual family of the Second Adam—Christ Jesus. We must bemade into new men and women for entrance into the kingdom of God:In order to serve God acceptably, we must be “bornagain.” Our natural dispositions, which are in opposition tothe Spirit of God, must be put away. We must be made newmen and women in Christ Jesus. Our old, unrenewed livesmust give place to a new life—a life full of love, of trust, ofwilling obedience. Think you that such a change is not necessaryfor entrance into the kingdom of God? Listen to thewords of the Majesty of heaven: “Ye must be born again.”
98 OUR GREATEST NEEDJohn 3:7. “Except ye be converted, and become as little children,ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew18:3. Unless the change takes place, we cannot serveGod aright. The Youth’s Instructor, September 9, 1897.Conversion involves a transformation, the receiving of a new mindand new affections:Conversion is a work that most do not appreciate. It isnot a small matter to transform an earthly, sin-loving mindand bring it to understand the unspeakable love of Christ, thecharms of His grace, and the excellency of God, so that thesoul shall be imbued with divine love and captivated with theheavenly mysteries. When he understands these things, hisformer life appears disgusting and hateful. He hates sin, and,breaking his heart before God, he embraces Christ as the lifeand joy of the soul. He renounces his former pleasures. Hehas a new mind, new affections, new interest, new will; hissorrows, and desires, and love are all new. . . . Heaven,which once possessed no charms, is now viewed in its richesand glory; and he contemplates it as his future home, wherehe shall see, love, and praise the One who hath redeemedhim by His precious blood. The works of holiness, whichappeared wearisome, are now his delight. The Word of God,which was dull and uninteresting, is now chosen as his study,the Man of his counsel. It is as a letter written to him fromGod, bearing the inscription of the Eternal. His thoughts, hiswords, and his deeds are brought to this Rule and tested. Hetrembles at the commands and threatenings which it contains,while he firmly grasps its promises and strengthens hissoul by appropriating them to himself. Faith I Live By, 139.The new birth transforms even our inherited and cultivated evil tendencies:The converting power of God can transform inherited andcultivated tendencies; for the religion of Jesus is uplifting.“Born again” means a transformation, a new birth in ChristJesus. Adventist Home, 206.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 99Beholding ChristBy beholding the crucified and risen Lamb of God we will die toselfishness and our past life of sin, and we will follow Christ:Hanging upon the cross Christ was the Gospel. Now wehave a message, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takethaway the sins of the world.” John 1:29. Will not our churchmembers keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour,in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This isour message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to theimpenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hopefor every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men’sminds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we maystep aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyesupon the Lamb of God. They thus receive their lesson. Whosoeverwill come after Me, let him deny himself, and take uphis cross, and follow Me. See Matthew 16:24. He whoseeyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness.He will believe in all the Word of God, which is sogloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ. ManuscriptReleases, vol. 21, 37.The leaven of truth sanctifies our higher faculties as were Christ’s:The leaven of truth works secretly, silently, steadily, totransform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened andsubdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted.A new standard of character is set up—the life ofChrist. The mind is changed; the faculties are aroused to actionin new lines. Man is not endowed with new faculties, butthe faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience is awakened.In Heavenly Places, 21.Genuine conversion unites our weak and ignorant humanity withthe strength and wisdom of Divinity:Genuine conversion will unite our hearts in faith and love.It will teach us to hold fast our confidence in Him who is ouronly hope. By conversion we join our weakness to God’sstrength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to
100 OUR GREATEST NEEDHis merits, our poverty to His boundless riches, our helplessnessto His enduring might. Ibid., 248.A knowledge of God and Christ imparts power to us to live Christ’slife of the sanctified higher powers controlling the evil tendencies, appetites,impulses, passions, and propensities of the lower nature:In His prayer to the Father, Christ gave to the world alesson which should be graven on mind and soul. “This is lifeeternal,” He said, “that they might know thee the only trueGod, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3.This is true education. It imparts power. The experimentalknowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent,transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man themastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of thelower nature under the control of the higher powers of themind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir ofheaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of theInfinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe.Christ’s Object Lessons, 114.It is truth and never error that transforms our characters into theimage of Christ:The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformationof character. Christ prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth;thy word is truth.” John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, theWord of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute.The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faiththat springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conformingus in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Ibid.,100.The constant looking unto Jesus in His Word kills the natural natureand creates a new life:By looking constantly to Jesus, from morn till eve, withthe eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make themost precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people.They will find that Christ is a personal Savior. They feed uponHis Word, for it is spirit and life. This Word kills the natural,
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 101earthly nature, and a new life in Christ Jesus is created. ManuscriptReleases, vol. 10, 166.Dying DailyAlthough the old nature is described as being killed, the old manmust die daily. We must be converted daily if we are to have a perfectcharacter like Christ:The Lord requires us to be submissive to His will, subduedby His Spirit, and sanctified to His service. Selfishnessmust be put away, and we must overcome every defect inour characters as Christ overcame. In order to accomplishthis work, we must die daily to self. Said Paul: “I die daily.” 1Corinthians 15:31. He had a new conversion every day, tookan advance step toward heaven. To gain daily victories in thedivine life is the only course that God approves. Testimonies,vol. 4, 66–67.The life of the truly converted is both peace with God and daily warwith the old man:When the Spirit of God controls mind and heart, the convertedsoul breaks forth into a new song; for he realizes thatin his experience the promise of God has been fulfilled, thathis transgression has been forgiven, his sin covered. He hasexercised repentance toward God for the violation of thedivine law, and faith toward Christ, who died for man’s justification.“Being justified by faith,” he has “peace with Godthrough our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.But because this experience is his, the Christian is nottherefore to fold his hands, content with that which hasbeen accomplished for him. He who has determined toenter the spiritual kingdom will find that all the powersand passions of unregenerate nature, backed by the forcesof the kingdom of darkness, are arrayed against him. Eachday he must renew his consecration, each day do battlewith evil. Old habits, hereditary tendencies to wrong, willstrive for the mastery, and against these he is to be ever
102 OUR GREATEST NEEDon guard, striving in Christ’s strength for victory. The Actsof the Apostles, 476–477.Perfecting a Christ-like CharacterTrue conversion is a progressive experience that is completed onlywith the perfection of character:None are living Christians unless they have a daily experiencein the things of God and daily practice self-denial,cheerfully bearing the cross and following Christ. Every livingChristian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advancestoward perfection, he experiences a conversion toGod every day; and this conversion is not completed until heattains to perfection of Christian character, a full preparationfor the finishing touch of immortality. God’s Amazing Grace,291.This side of eternity the saints will never be able to claim that theyare perfect, for they will never know when the Holy Spirit has finishedrevealing to them defective areas of their life yet to be overcome throughHis power. Likewise, there will never be holy flesh that will not temptus to sin, until our vile fallen nature is eternally removed from us atChrist’s second coming. Until that glorious day, the saints perfectionwill be limited to the spiritual life. It will consist in living, by Christ’senabling grace, in full surrender to, and in complete harmony with, allknown light. Until Jesus glorifies us at His second coming, we will dailyhave hard battles with self to fight:Every missionary will have hard battles to fight withself, and these combats will not become fewer. But if weare constantly growing in Christian experience, if we continueto look to Jesus in faith, strength will be given us forevery emergency. All the powers and faculties of a regeneratednature must be brought into constant, daily exercise.Every day we shall have occasion to crucify self, towar against inclination and a perverse temperament thatwould draw the will in a wrong direction. The repose andtriumph of victory are not yet ours, except as we by faith
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 103enter into the victory that Christ has gained for us. ReflectingChrist, 108.Let no one suppose that conversion is the beginning andend of the Christian life. There is a science of Christianity thatmust be mastered. There is to be growth in grace, that isconstant progress and improvement. The mind is to be disciplined,trained, educated; for the child of God is to do servicefor God in ways that are not natural, or in harmony withinborn inclination. Those who become the followers of Christfind that new motives of action are supplied, new thoughtsarise, and new actions must result. But they can make advancementonly through conflict; for there is an enemy thatever contends against them, presenting temptations to causethe soul to doubt and sin. Besides this ever vigilant foe, thereare hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil that must beovercome. The training and education of a lifetime must oftenbe discarded that the Christian may become a learner inthe school of Christ, and in him who would be a partaker ofthe divine nature, appetite and passion must be brought underthe control of the Holy Spirit. There is to be no end tothis warfare this side of eternity, but while there are constantbattles to fight, there are also precious victories to gain, andthe triumph over self and sin is of more value than the mindcan estimate. The effort put forth to overcome, though requiringself-denial, is of little account beside the victory overevil. Christian Education, 122.In Union With DivinityA life of victory over temptation is possible only through the unionof humanity with Divinity. To work out our own salvation with fear andtrembling we must unite our work with that of God:Those who leave their work in the service of God forsome others to do, freeing themselves from religious responsibility,will not experience the latter part of the assurance,“For it is God which worketh in you.” I wish to set this mat-
104 OUR GREATEST NEEDter before every member of our churches. The religious liferequires the harmonious action of mind and heart with thedivine forces. No man can of himself work out his own salvation,and God cannot do this work for him without his cooperation.But when man works earnestly, God works withhim, giving him power to become a son of God. ManuscriptReleases, vol. 21, 38.Transformation requires determined and painstaking human effortwith Christ providing the enabling power:Nothing but divine power can regenerate the human heartand imbue souls with the love of Christ, which will ever manifestitself with love for those for whom He died. . . .But those who are waiting to behold a magical change intheir characters without determined effort on their part toovercome sin, will be disappointed. We have no reason tofear while looking to Jesus, no reason to doubt but that He isable to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him; but wemay constantly fear lest our old nature will again obtain thesupremacy, that the enemy shall devise some snare wherebywe shall again become his captives. We are to work out ourown salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that workethin you to will and to do of His good pleasure. God’sAmazing Grace, 302.To renounce their own will, perhaps their chosen objectsof affection or pursuit, requires an effort, at whichmany hesitate and falter and turn back. Yet this battle mustbe fought by every heart that is truly converted. We mustwar against temptations without and within. We must gainthe victory over self, crucify the affections and lusts; andthen begins the union of the soul with Christ. . . . After thisunion is formed, it can be preserved only by continual,earnest, painstaking effort. Christ exercises His power topreserve and guard this sacred tie, and the dependent,helpless sinner must act his part with untiring energy, orSatan by his cruel, cunning power will separate him fromChrist. Ibid., 321.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 105In the copartnership of humanity with Divinity all the power and allthe glory belongs to God for it is Christ’s righteousness that accomplisheseverything through grace. As we cooperate with Christ by receivingfrom Him new thoughts and new feelings, He will successfullytransform our characters.God works and man works . . . . There must be a copartnershipin which all the power is of God and all the glorybelongs to God. The responsibility rests with us. We mustreceive in thoughts and in feelings, to give in expression. Thelaw of the human and the divine action makes the receiver alaborer together with God. It brings man where he can, unitedwith Divinity, work the works of God. Humanity touches humanity.Divine power and the human agency combined willbe a complete success, for Christ’s righteousness accomplisheseverything. Faith and Works, 26–27.An Obedience That PurifiesPerfect obedience to God’s will, made possible by imparted divinepower, purifies and sanctifies the believer:The conversion of the human soul is of no little consequence.It is the greatest miracle performed by Divine power.Actual results are to be reached through a belief in Christ asa personal Saviour. Purified by obedience to the law of God,sanctified by a perfect observance of His holy Sabbath, trusting,believing, patiently waiting, and earnestly working outour own salvation with fear and trembling, we shall learn thatit is God that worketh in us to will and to do of His goodpleasure. Evangelism, 289–290.Everyone, by placing their will on the side of God’s will, can do allthings through Christ who strengtheneth them. “All things” include havingvictory over all temptation; even every temptation that arises fromour fallen nature:Everyone may place his will on the side of the will of God,may choose to obey Him, and by thus linking himself withdivine agencies, he may stand where nothing can force himto do evil. Education, 289.
106 OUR GREATEST NEEDTrue Righteousness by FaithBy His death, Christ first reconciles us to God and then, by His lifeHe saves us:For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled toGod by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled,we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10.When we die daily with Christ, He lives His life in us:I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in theflesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, andgave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.Christ living His life in us is our hope of glory. See Colossians 1:27.Jesus Christ is everything to us—the first, the last, thebest in everything. Jesus Christ, His Spirit, His character,colors everything; it is the warp and the woof, the very textureof our entire being. The words of Christ are spirit andlife. We cannot, then, center our thoughts upon self; it is nomore we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, and He is thehope of glory. Self is dead, but Christ is a living Saviour. TheFaith I Live By, 150.With true daily conversion our nature is replaced by that ofChrist’s. We then find eternal life in the obedience which Christworks out in us day to day through our faith in His transformingpower:It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to possessChrist’s nature, a nature far above that which Adam forfeitedby transgression. He who sees the Son by faith andbelieves in Him, is obedient to the commandments of God,and in this obedience he finds everlasting life. The UpwardLook, 18.The active obedience of Christ clothes the believing sinnerwith the righteousness that meets the demands of the law.The Youth’s Instructor, November 29, 1894.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 107E. J. Waggoner, one of our principal preachers on righteousness byfaith, summarized it in the following words:The Bible does not teach us that God calls us righteoussimply because Jesus of Nazareth was righteous eighteen hundredyears ago. It says that by His obedience we are maderighteous. Notice that it is present, actual righteousness. Thetrouble with those who object to the righteousness of Christbeing imputed to believers is that they do not take into considerationthe fact that Jesus lives. He is alive today, as muchas when He was in Judea. “He ever liveth,” and He is “thesame yesterday, and today and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8. Hislife is as perfectly in harmony with the law now as it was then.And He lives in the hearts of those who believe on Him.Therefore it is Christ’s present obedience in believersthat makes them righteous. Waggoner on Romans, 101–102.Our only hope is to cease from sin. Christ’s implicit obedience inus is the condition of salvation:It is thought strange by some that our salvation shoulddemand our entire submission to the law of God. But theLord could not do a more cruel thing than to save man inhis rebellion. No man can be saved unless he comes underthe rule of Christ. Salvation means to us completesurrender of soul, body, and spirit. Because of the unrulyelements in our nature, our passions often gain the mastery.The only hope of the sinner is to cease from sin. Thenhis will is in harmony with the will of Christ. His soul isbrought into fellowship with God. Those who enlist in thearmy of Christ must in all things submit to His authorityand consult His will. Implicit obedience is the conditionof salvation. God’s law must be obeyed in every particular.It is our salvation to make His law our rule, His lifeour pattern, His glory our chief aim. To keep ourselves inthe love of God, to be bound to obedience by His requirements,this is to be free in Christ. Signs of the Times,November 15, 1899.
108 OUR GREATEST NEEDChrist met the claims of the law by His life of perfect obediencetwo thousand years ago. Christ also meets the claims of the law throughthe perfectly obedient lives of those He transforms today:God has given to the world and to angels the evidence ofthe changeless character of His love. He would part with Hisonly begotten Son, send Him into the world, clothed in thelikeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin and to die uponCalvary’s cross to make it manifest to men that there is provisionin the counsels of heaven for those who believe inChrist, to keep the commandments of God. Aside fromChrist, man cannot in spirit and in truth keep one of the commandmentsof God, but in Christ Jesus the claims of the laware met, because He transforms the nature of man by Hisgrace, creates in the heart a new spiritual life, implants a holynature, and men become Christlike in character. ManuscriptReleases, vol. 14, 86.Both justification and sanctification are obtained by grace throughfaith in the righteousness of Christ:The proud heart strives to earn salvation; but both ourtitle to heaven and our fitness for it are found in the righteousnessof Christ. The Desire of Ages, 300.The sanctifying or transforming righteousness of Christ is actuallyimparted or given to us:The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed;the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. Thefirst is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven.Review and Herald, June 4, 1895.Christ, the perfect Redeemer, delivers the surrendered soul fromthe power of sin through a transformation of the character:The part man has to act in the salvation of the soul, is tobelieve on Jesus Christ as a perfect Redeemer, not for someother man, but for his own self. He is to trust, to love, to fearthe God of heaven. There is a certain work to be accomplished.Man must be delivered from the power of sin. Hemust be made perfect in every good work. In doing the words
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 109of Christ is his only assurance that his house is built upon thesolid foundation. To hear, to say, to preach, and not to do thewords of Christ, is building upon the sand. Those who do thewords of Christ will perfect a Christian character, becauseChrist’s will is their will. Thus is Christ formed within, thehope of glory. They are beholding, as in a glass, the glory ofGod. By making Christ the subject of meditation, He willbecome the subject of conversation; and by beholding, wewill actually be changed into the same image, from glory toglory, even by the Spirit of the Lord. Man, fallen man, maybe transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that he can“prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will ofGod.” Romans 12:2. How does he prove this? By the HolySpirit taking possession of his mind, spirit, heart, and character.Where does the proving come in? “We are a spectacleto the world, to angels, and to men.” A real work is wroughtby the Holy Spirit upon the human character, and its fruitsare seen; just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will thetree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden producegood fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evilthoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purgedfrom the soul temple. The tendencies, which have been biasedin a wrong direction, are turned in a right direction.Wrong dispositions and feelings are rooted out. Holy tempersand sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne uponthe Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place.This is the work to be wrought. We see by experience that inour own human strength, resolutions and purposes are of noavail. Must we, then, give up? No; although our experiencetestifies that we cannot possibly do this work ourselves, helphas been laid upon One who is mighty to do it for us. But theonly way that we can secure the help of God is to put ourselveswholly in His hands, and trust Him to work for us. Aswe lay hold of Him by faith, He does the work. The believercan only trust. As God works, we can work, trusting in Himand doing His will. Pamphlet no. 28. Elder Daniels andthe Fresno Church, 8–9.
110 OUR GREATEST NEEDIn order to enter Christ’s kingdom we must receive Christ’s transforminggrace, His imparted righteousness:Christ does not acknowledge any caste, color, or gradeas necessary to become a subject of His kingdom. Admittanceto His kingdom does not depend upon wealth ora superior heredity. But those who are born of the Spiritare the subjects of His kingdom. Spiritual character is thatwhich will be recognized by Christ. His kingdom is not ofthis world. His subjects are those who are partakers ofthe Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is inthe world through lust. And this grace is given them ofGod. Christ does not find His subjects fitted for His kingdom,but He qualifies them by His Divine power. Thosewho have been dead in trespasses and sins are quickenedto spiritual life. The faculties which God has given themfor holy purposes are refined, purified, and exalted, andthey are led to form characters after the divine similitude.Review and Herald, March 26, 1895.Qualified Through SanctificationChrist’s mediatorial work in heaven involves not only the obtainingof God’s pardon of our transgressions but also obtaining the Father’stransforming—sanctifying—experience for us, which is what qualifiesus for the immortal inheritance:We have an Advocate at the throne of God, which isencircled by the bow of promise, and we are invited topresent our petitions in the name of Christ before the Father.Jesus says: Ask what ye will in My name, and it shallbe done unto you. In presenting My name, you bear witnessthat you belong to Me, that you are My sons anddaughters, and the Father will treat you as His own, andlove you as He loveth Me. Your faith in Me will lead youto exercise close, filial affection toward Me and the Father.I am the Golden Chain by which your heart and soulare bound in love and obedience to My Father. Expressto My Father the fact that My name is dear to you, that
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 111you respect and love Me, and you may ask what you will.He will pardon your transgressions, and adopt you intoHis royal family,—make you a child of God, a joint heirwith His only-begotten Son. Through faith in My nameHe will impart to you the sanctification and holinesswhich will fit you for His work in a world of sin, andqualify you for an immortal inheritance in His kingdom.The Father has thrown open, not only all heaven,but all His heart, to those who manifest faith in the sacrificeof Christ, and who through faith in the love of God,return unto their loyalty. Those who believe in Christ asthe Sin-bearer, the Propitiation for their sins, the Intercessorin their behalf, may through the riches of the graceof God, lay claim to the treasures of heaven. He thatspared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?Jesus says, “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy maybe full.” John 16:24. Signs of the Times, June 18, 1896.Our eternal destiny is determined by the character produced in ustoday:The character formed in this world determines the destinyfor eternity. Youth Instructor, August 17, 1899.We are all to be tested here in this life to prove whether, ifadmitted to heaven, we shall repeat the same course thatSatan pursued there. But if the character which we developduring our probation is according to the divine Pattern, itqualifies us to receive the welcome, “Well done, thou goodand faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”Matthew 25:21. Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 201.Reproducing Christ’s CharacterIf we are to be a saint in heaven we must first be a saint with aperfected character here on earth:The character you bear in probationary time will be thecharacter you will have at the coming of Christ. If you would
112 OUR GREATEST NEEDbe a saint in heaven, you must first be a saint on earth. Thetraits of character you cherish in life will not be changed bydeath or by the resurrection. You will come up from the gravewith the same disposition you manifested in your home andin society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming.The work of transformation must be done now. Our dailylives are determining our destiny. Adventist Home, 16.Christ’s glory—His character—is revealed in His law and also inthe perfected characters of His saints:The glory of Christ is revealed in the law, which is a transcriptof His character, and His transforming efficacy is feltupon the soul until men become changed to His likeness.They are made partakers of the divine nature, and grow moreand more like their Saviour, advancing step by step in conformityto the will of God, till they reach perfection. God’sAmazing Grace, 80.Just as God sent Christ to the world to reveal His character, soChrist sends transformed men and women to also reveal that samecharacter:Jesus has helped the whole world to an intelligentknowledge of His divine mission and work. He came torepresent the character of the Father to our world, and aswe study the life, the words, and works of Jesus Christ,we are helped in every way in the education of obedienceto God; and as we copy the example He has given us, weare living epistles known and read of all men. We are theliving human agencies to represent in character Jesus Christto the world.We are ever to be thankful that Jesus has proved to usby actual facts that man can keep the commandments ofGod, giving contradiction to Satan’s falsehood that mancannot keep them. The Great Teacher came to our worldto stand at the head of humanity, to thus elevate and sanctifyhumanity by His holy obedience to all of God’s requirementsshowing it is possible to obey all the commandmentsof God. He has demonstrated that a lifelong obedi-
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 113ence is possible. Thus He gives men to the world, as theFather gave the Son, to exemplify in their life the life ofJesus Christ. Lift Him Up, 169.Christ bruised the head of Satan by His life of perfect obedience toHis Father. He also gives a fatal wound to Satan through the fully obedientlives of His saints:And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, andbetween thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, andthou shalt bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15.Christ was the special One who should bruise the head ofthe serpent; but the prophecy also includes all those whoshall overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, and bythe word of their testimony. . . . Those who truly unite withChrist will be found doing the same work that Christ didwhile on the earth—they will be found magnifying the lawand making it honorable. . . .Whenever a soul takes a decidedstand for truth, the head of the serpent is bruised bythe seed of the woman. . . . When the advocates of truthreveal the efficiency of truth in their life and character, a blowis struck against the kingdom of Satan. Youth’s Instructor,October 11, 1894.The Vindication of GodThe honor of God—the vindication of His character—is involvedin the perfection of the characters of His people:Of the Spirit Jesus said, “He shall glorify Me.” The Saviourcame to glorify the Father by the demonstration of Hislove; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His graceto the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced inhumanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involvedin the perfection of the character of His people. The Desireof Ages, 671.The obedience of His commandments by His people exalts Godbefore the world:
114 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe blessings of God’s covenant are mutual. . . . Godaccepts those who will work for His name’s glory, to makeHis name a praise in a world of apostasy and idolatry. Hewill be exalted by His commandment-keeping people thatHe may make them “high above all nations which he hathmade, in praise, and in name, and in honour.” Deuteronomy26:19. Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 118.One of the major issues of the great controversy is Satan’s claimthat God’s laws—a reflection of His character—cannot be obeyed orreflected in the lives of His creatures—specifically the sons and daughtersof fallen Adam. Satan’s claims will be proved to the whole universeto be totally false as God’s remnant people reflect God’s characterand His laws in their own Christlike characters:Christ came to the world to counteract Satan’s falsehoodthat God had made a law which men could not keep. Takinghumanity upon Himself, He came to this earth, and by a lifeof obedience showed that God has not made a law that mancannot keep. He showed that it is possible for man perfectlyto obey the law. Those who accept Christ as their Saviour,becoming partakers of His divine nature, are enabled to followHis example, living in obedience to every precept of thelaw. Through the merits of Christ, man is to show by his obediencethat he could be trusted in heaven, that he would notrebel. The Faith I Live By, 114.The fact that the law is holy, just, and good is to be testifiedbefore all nations, tongues, and peoples, to worlds unfallen, toangels, seraphim, and cherubim. The principles of the law ofGod were wrought out in the character of Jesus Christ, and hewho cooperates with Christ, becoming a partaker of the divinenature, will develop the divine character, and become an illustrationof the divine law. Christ in the heart will bring the whole man,soul, body, and spirit into captivity to the obedience of righteousness.Christ’s true followers will be in conformity to themind and will and character of God, and the far-reaching principlesof the law will be demonstrated in humanity. Reviewand Herald, March 9, 1897.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS 115The greatest fear of God’s final generation after the close of probation,during the time of trouble, is that there might be some imperfectionof character manifest in them that would bring reproach upon God’sholy name:Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies whoare bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which theysuffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; theyfear that every sin has not been repented of, and that throughsome fault in themselves they will fail to realize the fulfillmentof the Saviour’s promise: I “will keep thee from the hour oftemptation, which shall come upon all the world.” Revelation3:10. If they could have the assurance of pardon they wouldnot shrink from torture or death; but should they prove unworthy,and lose their lives because of their own defects ofcharacter, then God’s holy name would be reproached. TheGreat Controversy, 619.We are promised that eventually the final and full display of God’slove—His character and laws—will be manifest in the lives of Hischurch members when they demonstrate the transforming power ofChrist to save man from sin, not in sin:The church is the depositary of the wealth of the richesof the grace of Christ, and through the church eventuallywill be made manifest the final and full display of the loveof God to the world that is to be lightened with its glory.The prayer of Christ that His church may be one as Hewas one with His Father will finally be answered. The richdowry of the Holy Spirit will be given, and through itsconstant supply to the people of God they will becomewitnesses in the world of the power of God unto salvation.Testimonies to Ministers, 50.When the character of Christ is perfectly reproduced in Hispeople, then the character of God and His laws will be fully vindicated.The hour of His judgment can then be brought to a close,the sanctuary will be finally cleansed, and Christ can come to takeHis people home:
116 OUR GREATEST NEED“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth inthe sickle, because the harvest is come.” Mark 4:29. Christis waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himselfin His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectlyreproduced in His people, then He will come to claim themas His own. Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.When Christ’s people understand and experience the transforming,saving power of His spiritual kingdom, then the true gospel will quicklygo to the whole world and Christ will come:And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in allthe world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the endcome. Matthew 24:14.To be redeemed means to cease from sin. No heart thatis stirred to rebellion against the law of God has any unionwith Christ, who died to vindicate the law and exalt it beforeall nations, tongues, and peoples. Pharisaic self-complacencyand bold assumptions of holiness are abundant. There aremany who do not see themselves in the light of the law ofGod. They do not loathe selfishness; therefore they are selfish.Their souls are spotted and defiled. Yet with sin-stainedlips they say, “I am holy. Jesus teaches me that the law ofGod is a yoke of bondage. Those who say that we mustkeep the law have fallen from grace.”Christ says, “Blessed are they that do his commandments.”The heavenly benediction is pronounced upon those who keepthe law. “They shall have right to the tree of life,” the Saviourdeclares, “and shall enter in through the gates into the city.”We must decide for ourselves whether or not these wordswill be spoken to us. A right decision will be revealed byaction in harmony with the law of God. But we can not possiblykeep the commandments without the help of Christ. Healone can save us, by cleansing us from all sin. He does notsave us by the law; but neither will he save us in disobedienceto the law. He draws us to himself because he has beenlifted upon the cross of Calvary. Review and Herald, September25, 1900.
ISSUES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS117
118 OUR GREATEST NEEDSimple Agencies Will Be Used“Representations have been made to me,showing that the Lord will carry out His plansthrough a variety of ways and instruments.It is not alone the most talented,not alone those who hold high positions of trust,or are the most highly educatedfrom a worldly point of view,whom the Lord usesto do His grand and holy work of soulsaving.He will use simple means;He will use many who have had few advantagesto help in carrying forward His work.He will, by the use of simple means,bring those who possess property and landsto a belief of the truth,and these will be influencedto become the Lord’s helping handin the advancement of His work.”Selected Messages, book 1, 128.
Chapter Ten1191888 REVISITEDGod’s Attempt to Revive and Reform the ChurchTHE GREAT SIN of ancient Israel was that of placing theirown opinions, desires, preferences, and “wisdom” in place ofGod’s revealed will. They tended to look to themselves, or totheir wayward leaders, and even to the pagan nations around them for“ideas” and “inspiration” as to how to live and work for the Lord.Their great sin was to look to man rather than to Christ for their wisdomand guidance.The Hebrews were not willing to submit to the directionsand restrictions of the Lord. They simply wanted their ownway, to follow the leadings of their own mind, and be controlledby their own judgment. Could they have been left freeto do this, no complaints would have been made of Moses;but they were restless under restraint. Testimonies, vol. 3,360.Looking to man rather than to Christ has been modern Israel’s greatsin also—for quite some time now. Because of our tendency to placeour own wisdom, or that of other men, ahead of that of Jesus Christ,the Lord sent a special message of revival and reformation to our churchin General Conference session in Minneapolis in October and November1888. It was a call to turn from looking to man and to focusour attention upon the uplifted Saviour and His atoning heavenly ministryin our behalf. It was a special call from the Lord for His church tonot just know and preach the theory but to actually experience thethree angels’ messages of Righteousness by Faith.The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious messageto His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This119
120 OUR GREATEST NEEDmessage was to bring more prominently before the world theuplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invitedthe people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which ismade manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyesdirected to His divine person, His merits, and His changelesslove for the human family. All power is given into His hands,that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the pricelessgift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent.This is the message that God commanded to be given to theworld. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimedwith a loud voice, and attended with the outpouringof His Spirit in a large measure.The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious workas the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense thepriceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchasefor every soul who should believe on Him. John couldnot express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad;he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleadingfor the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for thosefor whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood.Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoningsacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was tobe given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the worldshould no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk thelaw, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ.The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presentedto the people with freshness and power, that their faith mightlay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warmblood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incenseascended before God, so while we confess our sinsand plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayersare to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of ourSaviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, weare ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take awaysin and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before Godwith a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of
1888 REVISITED121the church. As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness byMoses, and all that had been bitten by the fiery serpents werebidden to look and live, so also the Son of man must be liftedup, that “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, buthave everlasting life.”Unless he makes it his life business to behold the upliftedSaviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilegeto claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Petercould walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixedsteadily upon Jesus. Testimonies to Ministers, 91–93.For some time prior to the 1888 General Conference session, themessenger of the Lord—Ellen G. White—had also been giving strongcalls for revival and reformation. The urgency of turning from the followingof man to full obedience to Jesus Christ was emphasized in lightof our living in the great antitypical day of atonement. If the followingwords from Jesus Christ were of importance, and applicable, to Adventistsover a century ago, how urgent and serious must they be forevery one of us today. This solemn appeal was entitled “The Church’sGreat Need.”A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest andmost urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our firstwork. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing ofthe Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessingupon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. OurHeavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit tothem that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good giftsto their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation,repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditionsupon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. . . .We have far more to fear from within than from without.The hindrances to strength and success are far greater fromthe church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a rightto expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandmentsof God and the faith of Jesus, will do more thanany other class to promote and honor, by their consistentlives, by their godly example and their active influence, thecause which they represent. But how often have the pro-
122 OUR GREATEST NEEDfessed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle toits advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed,the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels,and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’sdevices. . . .Let us confess and forsake every sin, that the way of theLord may be prepared, that He may come into our assembliesand impart His rich grace. The world, the flesh, and theDevil must be overcome. We cannot prepare the way bygaining the friendship of the world, which is enmity with God;but by His help we can break its seductive influence uponourselves and upon others. . . . There can be and must be awithdrawal from conformity to the world, a shunning of allappearance of evil, so that no occasion shall be given forgainsayers. We cannot escape reproach; it will come; but weshould be very careful that we are not reproached for ourown sins or follies, but for Christ’s sake.There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the peopleof God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, sothat the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing churchand an impenitent congregation. If Satan had his way, therewould never be another awakening, great or small, to theend of time. . . .We are in the great day of atonement, when our sinsare, by confession and repentance, to go beforehand toJudgment. God does not now accept a tame, spiritless testimonyfrom His ministers. Such a testimony would not bepresent truth. The message for this time must be meat in dueseason to feed the church of God. But Satan has been seekinggradually to rob this message of its power, that thepeople may not be prepared to stand in the day of the Lord.In 1844 our great High Priest entered the Most HolyPlace of the heavenly Sanctuary, to begin the work of theinvestigative Judgment. The cases of the righteous dead havebeen passing in review before God. When that work shall becompleted, judgment is to be pronounced upon the living.How precious, how important are these solemn moments!Each of us has a case pending in the court of heaven. We are
1888 REVISITED123individually to be judged according to the deeds done in thebody. . . .Shall we not become intelligent in regard to the work thatis being accomplished for us at this time, and the position thatwe as sinners should occupy while this work of atonement isgoing forward? If we have any regard for our souls’ salvation,we must make a decided change. We must seek theLord with true penitence; we must with deep contrition ofsoul confess our sins, that they may be blotted out. . . .Let the church arise, and repent of her back-slidings beforeGod. Let the watchmen awake, and give the trumpet acertain sound. It is a definite warning that we have to proclaim.God commands His servants, “Cry aloud, spare not,lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people theirtransgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” The attentionof the people must be gained; unless this can be done, alleffort is useless; though an angel from heaven should comedown and speak to them, his words would do no more goodthan if he were speaking into the cold ear of death. The churchmust arouse to action. The Spirit of God can never come inuntil she prepares the way. There should be earnest searchingof heart. There should be united, persevering prayer, andthrough faith a claiming of the promises of God. There shouldbe, not a clothing of the body with sackcloth, as in ancienttimes, but a deep humiliation of soul. We have not the firstreason for self-congratulation and self exaltation. We shouldhumble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. He will appearto comfort and bless the true seekers. Review andHerald, March 22, 1887. All emphases supplied unless otherwisenoted.Just a few months prior to the 1888 General Conference session,Ellen White penned an article entitled “How Do We Stand?” She gavethe painful description of God’s people as having their anchor to Christsevered and thus drifting “without chart or compass”—as being spirituallydead. She pointed out that we may claim to believe in Jesuswhen we understand that His death makes it possible to cease from sinand to perfect a righteous character. She directed her readers to Christ
124 OUR GREATEST NEEDas our Saviour from our sins—a life of victory through faith and obedience.She gave a moving call to the work of overcoming. This call torighteousness by faith, is especially appropriate in this our day of “subtletemptation to worldliness, to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness,false doctrines, and immorality of life.”The solemn question should come home to every memberof our churches, How are we standing before God, asthe professed followers of Jesus Christ? Is our light shiningforth to the world in clear, steady rays? Have we, as a peoplesolemnly dedicated to God, preserved our union with theSource of all light? Are not the symptoms of decay and declensionpainfully visible in the midst of the Christian churchesof today? Spiritual death has come upon the people thatshould be manifesting life and zeal, purity and consecration,by the most earnest devotion to the cause of truth. The factsconcerning the real condition of the professed people of God,speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evidentthat some power has cut the cable that anchored them to theEternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, withoutchart or compass.What is to be done? The True Witness points out the onlyremedy: “Repent, and do the first works; or else I will comeunto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of hisplace, except thou repent.” Christ will cease to take yourname upon His lips in His intercession with the Father, unlessthere is a decided change in the life and characters of thosewho have wandered from the living God, and forsaken hisservice. . . .Today let the question come home to the heart of everyone who professes the name of Christ, “Dost thou believe inthe Son of God?” Not, “Do you admit that Jesus is the Redeemerof the world?” Not to soothe your conscience andthe consciences of others by saying, “I believe,” and thinkthat is all there is to be done. But do you believe with all yourheart that Jesus is your Saviour? Do you bring Him into yourlife, and weave Him into your character, until you are onewith Christ? Many accept Jesus as an article of belief, but
1888 REVISITED125they have no saving faith in Him as their sacrifice and Saviour.They have no realization that Christ has died to savethem from the penalty of the law which they have transgressed,in order that they may be brought back to loyalty to God. Doyou believe that Christ, as your substitute, pays the debt ofyour transgression? Not, however, that you may continue insin, but that you may be saved from your sins; that you, throughthe merits of His righteousness, may be re-instated to thefavor of God. Do you know that a holy and just God willaccept your efforts to keep His law, through the merits of Hisown beloved Son who died for your rebellion and sin?You may say that you believe in Jesus, when you have anappreciation of the cost of salvation. You may make this claim,when you feel that Jesus died for you on the cruel cross ofCalvary; when you have an intelligent, understanding faiththat His death makes it possible for you to cease from sin,and to perfect a righteous character through the grace of God,bestowed upon you as the purchase of Christ’s blood. . . .“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealoustherefore, and repent.” Has there been a departure from God?then there must be a returning unto Him; there must be adoing of the first works; there must be a close examination ofthe life. The state of the character must be compared withthe great moral standard of righteousness. There must be asearching out of the peculiar sins which have been offensiveto God, which have dishonored His name, and quenched thelight of His Spirit, and killed the first love from the soul. . . .“I counsel thee,” saith the True Witness, “to buy of megold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raimentthat thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thynakedness do not appear.” Christ’s righteousness will notcover the unrighteousness of any one. “All unrighteousness issin,” and “sin is the transgression of the law,” therefore, thosewho are breaking the law of God and teaching others to breakit, will not be covered with the garments of Christ’s righteousness.He came not to save men in their sins; but fromtheir sins. . . . We need an advocate with the Father, becauseit is the Father’s law that we have broken. We need to re-
126 OUR GREATEST NEEDpent of our transgression, and return to our allegiance to God.“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: forsin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he wasmanifested to take away our sins: and in him is no sin. Whosoeverabideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hathnot seen him, neither known him.” Here it is plainly statedthat whosoever abideth in Christ will not be a transgressor ofthe law of God. . . .He who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest ofconquerors, would point His followers to His life, His toils,His self-denials, His struggles, and sufferings, through contempt,through rejection, ridicule, scorn, insult, mockery, falsehood,up the path of Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion,that they might be encouraged to press on toward the markfor the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assuredthrough faith and obedience. Let us make an applicationof the words of Christ to our own individual cases. Arewe poor, and blind, and wretched, and miserable? Then letus seek the gold and white raiment that He offers. The workof overcoming is not restricted to the age of the martyrs. Theconflict is for us, in these days of subtle temptation to worldliness,to self-security, to indulgence of pride, covetousness,false doctrines, and immorality of life. “By their fruits ye shallknow them,” and every church is to bear the test of God’slaw. Shall we stand before the proving of God? Ibid., July24, 1888. Emphasis in the original.Satan does all that he can to encourage our natural tendency to notlook to, and to not follow Christ. He does all that he possibly can toeclipse our view of Jesus and to get us to be more concerned as towhat man thinks of us than of what Jesus does. He gets us to lookingto man for guidance and counsel rather than to Jesus Christ. It wasbecause of Satan’s success in this area that God had Waggoner andJones present their messages on righteousness by faith—the third angel’smessage.Now, it has been Satan’s determined purpose to eclipsethe view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust toman, and be educated to expect help from man. For years
1888 REVISITED127the church has been looking to man and expecting much fromman, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternallife are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimonythat presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is thethird angel’s message, in clear, distinct lines. Testimonies toMinisters, 93.To not be looking to and following and obeying Christ, or to beexpecting much from anyone other than Christ, whether from our ownwisdom or from other men, is to walk in step with the beast, and theimage warned against by the third angel’s message. In this antitypicalday of atonement, we must especiallly be looking to Christ rather thanto man for our spiritual guidance and character development. This thirdangel’s message of looking to Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, ratherthan to man—the beast and his image—must be sounded to awakenthe people:It is in this time of probation that we are to prepare eitherfor eternal life in glory, or for perdition. It is here that we areengaged in the work of character-building; and if we succeed,we shall merit from the Master the welcome, “Welldone, thou good and faithful servant.” Christ has gone intothe most holy department, and has left us word to watch andpray, lest He return suddenly and find us sleeping. The characterwhich we are now making will come in review beforeGod before Christ leaves the sanctuary. Here God will seewhat characters we have been building for time and eternity.How shall we stand before the great Eternal? How manysheaves will we have brought to the Master through our earnestefforts? . . .All have defects of character to overcome, and thereforeno human being can be your pattern. You should not feelcontent to do merely as others do. If they do not live out thetruth, will it excuse you for disobedience? You should notimitate their example; you should try to help them by a rightcourse of living before them. . . . .The third angel’s message must go over the land, andawaken the people, and call their attention to the commandmentsof God and the faith of Jesus. Another angel unites his
128 OUR GREATEST NEEDvoice with the third angel, and the earth is lighted with itsglory. The light increases, and it shines out to all the nationsof the earth. It is to go forth as a light that burneth. It will beattended with great power, until its golden beams have fallenupon every tongue, every people, and every nation upon theface of the whole earth. Let me ask you, What you are doingto prepare for this work? Are you building for eternity? Youmust remember that this angel represents the people that havethis message to give to the world. Are you among that people?Do you really believe that this work in which we are engagedis truly the third angel’s message? If so, then you understandthat we have a mighty work to do, and that we ought to beabout it. We must sanctify ourselves by a strict obedienceto the truth, placing ourselves in right relation to God andHis work. Review and Herald, August 18, 1885.God raises up men to meet the need of the hour. He raises up thosewho call His people to look to and to follow Jesus in obedience as theSource of our righteousness—right doing (see Christ’s Object Lessons,312):God has raised up men to meet the necessity of this time whowill cry aloud and spare not, who will lift up their voice like atrumpet, and show my people their transgressions and the houseof Jacob their sins. Their work is not only to proclaim the law,but to preach the truth for this time—the Lord our righteousness.The curse of Meroz will be upon those who do not nowcome up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Well may thequestion be asked in the spirit of Elijah. “How long halt ye betweentwo opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal,then follow him.” Ibid., August 13, 1889.The servant of the Lord went on to give a warning to those whoworked contrary to His chosen messengers. Those who would doanything to calm rather than help to awaken the people to the solemnityof this hour [the great day of atonement}, if they persisted, wouldreceive the reward of those who are in open rebellion against God:All heaven is interested in the work that is going on uponthe earth. But there are those who see no necessity for a
1888 REVISITED129special work at this time. While God is working to arousethe people, they seek to turn aside the message of warning,reproof, and entreaty. Their influence tends to quiet the fearsof the people, and to prevent them from awaking to the solemnityof this time. Those who are doing this, are giving thetrumpet no certain sound. They ought to be awake to thesituation, but they have become ensnared by the enemy. Ifthey do not change their course, they will be recorded on thebooks of heaven as stewards who are unfaithful in the sacredtrusts committed to them, and the same reward will be apportionedto them as to those who are at enmity and in openrebellion against God. Ibid.When inquired of, the servant of the Lord clarified that justificationby faith in Jesus Christ is “the third angel’s message in verity.” Shewent on to discuss the church’s great need of experiencing the revivaland reformation advocated by the True Witness in the message toLaodicea. The members were to look to and obey Christ as the onlysource of the righteousness represented by the wedding garment:Several have written to me, inquiring if the message ofjustification by faith is the third angel’s message, and Ihave answered, “It is the third angel’s message in verity.”.. . God has light for His people, and all who will acceptit will see the sinfulness of remaining in a lukewarmcondition; they will heed the counsel of the True Witnesswhen He says, “Be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold,I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear myvoice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and willsup with him, and he with me.”The Church is presented as standing in a self-satisfied,pleased, proud, independent position, ignorant of her destitutionand wretchedness. By her attitude she says, “I am rich,and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”. . .The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is goldtried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has nodefiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is therighteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christalone can give. The eye-salve is the true spiritual discern-
130 OUR GREATEST NEEDment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must bespiritually discerned. Ibid., April 1, 1890.The question of most vital importance in the end time is “Who is onthe Lord’s side?” Only those who experience the transforming graceof Christ will be able to give the final angel’s message to the world:The question of most vital importance for this time is, “Whois on the Lord’s side? Who will unite with the angel in givingthe message of truth to the world? Who will receive the lightthat is to fill the whole earth with its glory?” Those who cherishthe light that they have, will receive more. Increasing lightwill shine about the souls who yield to the softening, subduinggrace of Christ; and those who love the light, will be savedfrom the delusions of Satan. He will strive with intense energyto exhibit, through his miracle-working power, signs andwonders that will seem to eclipse the work that God will doin the earth. And all will be deceived except those whosenames are written in the Lamb’s book of life. We need lightnow at every step, lest we be swept away with the error ofthe wicked. Ibid., November 5, 1889.Only as we experience the revival and reformation of turning fromself and looking solely to Christ are we fitted to witness effectively toothers. When we cease from looking to man and rather look to Jesus,we will become righteous by faith through transformation into His likeness:When the heart is emptied of self, it will be ready forthe baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then you will be fittedto strengthen the sheep and lambs of the flock of Christ;for self will be hid with Christ in God. The Spirit of Christwill be manifested in your daily life. The apostle says, “Beye holy in all manner of conversation.” You are to be foundwithout spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Your wholebody, soul, and spirit are to be preserved blameless untothe coming of the Lord. What we need is the deep movingsof the Spirit of God; for the standard of Christian life isexpressed in these words: “Thou shalt love the Lord thyGod with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
1888 REVISITED131thy mind, and with all thy strength. . . . Thou shalt love thyneighbor as thyself.”In order to fulfill this divine requirement, we need to lookupon Him whom our sins have pierced, and become changedinto His image. We need the endowment of the Holy Spirit.Signs of the Times, August 1, 1892.In 1888, Satan used differences in understanding of the law inGalatians to distract God’s leaders from the call to revival and reformationwhich they so desperately needed. Controversy as to whetherPaul was referring to the moral law or to the ceremonial law as being“the schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” was associated with such aspiritual state of our leaders that they were unwilling to surrender preconceivedopinions and surrender to the messages for revival and reformation.They persisted in looking to and upholding their own opinionsand ways, and those of other leaders, and refused to turn andlook only to Jesus for the needed guidance and revival. The consequenceswere most disastrous and wide spread. Because of their failureto look to Jesus in contrition and obedience—experience righteousnessby faith—they were unable to receive the Holy Spirit in latterrain power. In 1896, eight years after the 1888 General Conferencesession, the servant of the Lord penned the following sad commentary:“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,that we might be justified by faith” Galatians 3:24. In thisscripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especiallyof the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causesus to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardonand peace by exercising repentance toward God and faithtoward our Lord Jesus Christ.An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, andto accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share ofthe opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’smessage through Brethren [E. J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones.By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting awayfrom our people, in a great measure, the special power of theHoly Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemyprevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might
132 OUR GREATEST NEEDhave been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as theapostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The lightthat is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted,and by the action of our own brethren has been in agreat degree kept away from the world. Selected Messages,book 1, 234–235.In the same year, Ellen White sent the following severe rebuke toleaders who were continuing to refuse to follow and obey Jesus Christfully. By failing to experience righteousness by faith—justification andsanctification—they were false guideposts:I have no smooth message to bear to those who havebeen so long as false guideposts, pointing the wrong way. Ifyou reject Christ’s delegated messengers, you reject Christ.Neglect this great salvation, kept before you for years, despisethis glorious offer of justification through the blood ofChrist and sanctification through the cleansing power of theHoly Spirit, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.I entreat you now to humble yourselves and ceaseyour stubborn resistance of light and evidence. Say unto theLord, Mine iniquities have separated between me and myGod. O Lord, pardon my transgressions. Blot out my sinsfrom the book of Thy remembrance. Praise His holy name,there is forgiveness with Him, and you can be converted,transformed. Testimonies to Ministers, 97–98.Has not this serious refusal to experience righteousness by faith—to cease from the ways of man, and rather to look to and to obeyChrist implicitly as a result of contrition and transformation—persistedto the present time? We are still here upon this earth. God has still beenunable to place approval upon our stubborn waywardness in our personallives and in our work for Him. He has not yet been able to pourout the latter rain upon us. We have not yet been empowered to givethe loud cry. We profess to believe in righteousness by faith, but inreality we are unrighteous because of lack of faith in, and lack of obedienceto, the leadership of Jesus Christ. Christ’s messages to us throughthe Spirit of Prophecy—the Testimony of Jesus—are to a great extent
1888 REVISITED133of none effect among us. Ever since 1888, because of our unrighteousnessfrom lack of faith in the counsels given, we have not beenfound qualified to receive the latter rain or to give the loud cry. Becauseof our stubborn persistence in looking to, and in following man,we have not been found qualified to give, in latter rain power, the threeangels’ messages of full surrender to Christ. Because of the great discrepanciesbetween our practices and our preaching, we have not yetbeen found qualified to finish the Lord’s work upon this earth. In 1903—100 years ago—the servant of the Lord penned the following strongrebuke and warning:Our position in the world is not what it should be. We arefar from where we should have been had our Christian experiencebeen in harmony with the light and the opportunitiesgiven us, had we from the beginning constantly pressed onwardand upward. Had we walked in the light that has beengiven us, had we followed on to know the Lord, our pathwould have grown brighter and brighter. But many of thosewho have had special light are so conformed to the worldthat they can scarcely be distinguished from worldlings. Theydo not stand forth as God’s peculiar people, chosen and precious.It is difficult to discern between him that serveth Godand him that serveth Him not.In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventistchurch is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privilegesand advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experiencedoes not correspond to the advantages that Christ, atinfinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferredhave not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on herwill be pronounced the sentence: “Found wanting.” By thelight bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.Testimonies, vol. 8, 247.Because we have allowed Satan to “make of none effect the testimonyof the Holy Spirit” among us, we are unprepared to receive theHoly Spirit in greater power:God has in store love, joy, peace, and glorious triumphfor all who serve Him in spirit and in truth. His command-
134 OUR GREATEST NEEDment-keeping people are to stand constantly in readiness forservice. They are to receive increased grace and power, andincreased knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s working. But manyare not ready to receive the precious gifts of the Spirit whichGod is waiting to bestow on them. They are not reachinghigher and still higher for power from above that through thegifts bestowed, they may be recognized as God’s peculiarpeople, zealous of good works. . . .Would we not now have much greater light if, in thepast, we had received the Lord’s admonitions, acknowledgedHis presence, and turned away from all practicescontrary to His will? Had we done this, the light of heavenwould have shone into the soul-temple, enabling us to comprehendthe truth and to love God supremely and ourneighbors as ourselves. Oh, how greatly Christ is dishonoredby those who, professing to be Christians, disgracethe name they bear by failing to make their lives correspondto their profession. Ibid., 247–248.Because of our stubborn persistence in choosing our own ways ofliving and working for Christ contrary to His counsels to us, God saysthat He will choose our delusions:One who sees beneath the surface, who reads the heartsof all men, says of those who have had great light: “They arenot afflicted and astonished because of their moral and spiritualcondition.” Yea, they have chosen their own ways, andtheir soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choosetheir delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; becausewhen I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did nothear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that inwhich I delighted not.” “God shall send them strong delusion,that they should believe a lie,” because they receivednot the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” “but hadpleasure in unrighteousness.” Isaiah 66:3, 4; 2 Thessalonians2:11, 10, 12. Ibid., 249.What stronger delusion could come upon us than that our pretenseof obeying the Lord, when in reality we are following the ways of theworld, is acceptable to Him and is being blessed by Him:
1888 REVISITED135The heavenly Teacher inquired: “What stronger delusioncan beguile the mind than the pretense that you are buildingon the right foundation and that God accepts your works,when in reality you are working out many things according toworldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah? Oh, it is agreat deception, a fascinating delusion, that takes possessionof minds when men who have once known the truth, mistakethe form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof; whenthey suppose that they are rich and increased with goodsand in need of nothing, while in reality they are in need ofeverything.” Ibid., 249–250.When we are living like the world and adopting the methods andstandards of the world for our institutions and ministry, our pretendedgarments of righteousness are spotted with stains of the world and weare spiritual harlots:Who can truthfully say: “Our gold is tried in the fire; ourgarments are unspotted by the world”? I saw our Instructorpointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Strippingthem off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then Hesaid to me: “Can you not see how they have pretentiouslycovered up their defilement and rottenness of character?‘How is the faithful city become an harlot!’ My Father’s houseis made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divinepresence and glory have departed! For this cause there isweakness, and strength is lacking.” Ibid., 250.A century ago, fifteen years after we rejected the message of righteousnessby faith, the messenger of the Lord closed the above rebukeand warning to us with a call to revival and reformation. If we persist inrefusing that call to live and work in the manner Christ has instructedus—according to His will— we do so at our eternal peril:Unless the church, which is now being leavened with herown backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eatof the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself.When she resists the evil and chooses the good, when sheseeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling inChrist, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith
136 OUR GREATEST NEEDlaying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will behealed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity,separate from earthly entanglements, showing that thetruth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeedbe the chosen of God, His representatives.The time has come for a thorough reformation to takeplace. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer willactuate every believer and will banish from the church thespirit of discord and strife. Those who have not been living inChristian fellowship will draw close to one another. Onemember working in right lines will lead other members tounite with him in making intercession for the revelation of theHoly Spirit. There will be no confusion, because all will be inharmony with the mind of the Spirit. The barriers separatingbeliever from believer will be broken down, and God’s servantswill speak the same things. The Lord will cooperatewith His servants. All will pray understandingly the prayerthat Christ taught His servants: “Thy kingdom come. Thy willbe done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10. Ibid.,250–251.
Chapter Eleven137OUR GREATEST NEEDRevival and Reformation NowAS WE HAVE SEEN in our study thus far, there is only onegospel of salvation—the everlasting gospel. It consists of pardonand transformation through faith in what Christ has done2,000 years ago outside of us and what He can do within us nowthrough His High Priestly ministry. By God’s grace, we can not only bepardoned fron the guilt of our sins, but also delivered, in this life, fromthe power of sin. Christ came and took our fallen nature to show thathumanity, united to divinity, does not sin. He is our Example and by Hisgrace we can represent Him correctly in this present life.Victorious living is possible only when the life we live is the result ofChrist living in us. Christ’s professed people are those who claim tohave opened their heart doors to His indwelling and are consideredHis temple, His dwelling place—“which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians3:17. When Christ’s followers sin, His temple is polluted, in need ofcleansing.When a sinner confesses and repents, the earthly “temple”—theindividual and the church—is forgiven. (Sin usually does not resultin guilt solely for the perpetrator. As the case of Achan teaches, thegroup is held accountable for the individual. Very rare indeed is thegroup who has given a proper example and complete instruction inrighteousness to each of its members. Thus, sins of one memberare partly the responsibility of all.) The confessed and forgiven sinis transferred to the heavenly sanctuary where it is registered to theindividual’s and to the church’s account. The pardoned parties areplaced on probation. They are declared clean but not cured fromthe leprosy of sin. The probationary time is for experiencing sanctificationthrough the transforming power of “Christ in you the hopeof glory.”137
138 OUR GREATEST NEEDOn the great day of atonement, in which we are living since 1844,the cases of all are reviewed to document who have taken advantageof the cure from sin so freely offered. Those who have allowed Christto cleanse the soul temple from the power of sin are declared cured,their sins are blotted out, and their names retained in the Lamb’s bookof life. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross—the second deathof complete separation from God—cancels the guilt of the curedsinner’s disobediences and the redeemed is restored to full union withGod and eternal existence in His universe. Those who have retainedeven only one unconfessed and unrepented of sin are declared uncuredand incurable. Their sins are not blotted out, but rather theirname is removed from the book of life. They must bear the guilt of theirown sin and must suffer eternal separation from God—eternal death.When all of the cases of Christ’s professed followers, from thegarden of Eden until now, are reviewed and their status of cured orincurable is determined, the guilt of the sins of the incurable is placedupon them, the guilt of the sins of the cured is placed upon Satan forhim to bear his share. The temple on earth consisting then of only thosecured from sin—Christ’s true followers—are then fully released fromtheir culpability. Their atonement is completed.These are indeed life and death issues. All repentant sinners fromAdam and Eve onward have looked forward to this our day “uponwhom the ends of the world are come.”It is difficult for the human mind to comprehend the full importanceof the Great Day of Atonement in which we live. We can be certain ofone thing, and that is that our eternal destiny is being reviewed andChrist is establishing for all time whether or not each of His professedfollowers is cured or incurable—are they safe to save. We can alsoknow that for Christ to be able to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary, forHis heavenly ministry to be able to cease, for Him to be able to comethe second time, and for the great controversy to be drawn to a close,Christ must be able to find a generation of followers who are just asdesirous and willing to be cleansed from participation in sin as they arefrom the guilt of sin. For Christ to be able to cleanse the heavenlysanctuary, His temple on earth must demonstrate, by His grace, thatthey are cleansed and cured from sin. Christ must have a generationwho have allowed His character to be fully reproduced in them asdemonstrated, at least in part, by their full obedience to His will. Yes,
OUR GREATEST NEED 139“The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection ofthe character of His people.” Desire of Ages, 671.It is indeed an awesome and humbling thought that the Godhead’shonor, their law, their character, the foundation of their government isaffected by their being able to demonstrate that their plan of salvationis able to save repentant sinners from their sins and not in their sins. Ifthe latter were not true, then repentant Adam and Eve could have beenimmediately restored to the Garden of Eden.Words fail us to depict the awesome importance of this Great Dayof Atonement in which we live. And only the Holy Spirit can help eachone of us to evaluate correctly our behavior and conduct while oureternal destinies are being decided, not just in heaven, but by our dayto-daysurrender to Christ’s transforming, sanctifying, soul-cleansingpower. We can be certain that if it was ever safe for a follower ofChrist to knowingly ignore, neglect, or reject any counsel through anyof His chosen messengers, it is not safe to do so in the day of atonement.If it was ever safe for God’s people to knowingly participate insin, it is not now safe in the day of atonement. The reader is referred tothe book Why Jesus Waits, by Herbert E. Douglass, available throughyour Adventist Book Center, for an in-depth presentation of the spiritualcondition of God’s final generation.The whole [day of atonement] ceremony was designedto impress the Israelites with the holiness of God and Hisabhorrence of sin; and, further, to show them that theycould not come in contact with sin without becoming polluted.Every man was required to afflict his soul while thiswork of atonement was going forward. All business wasto be laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel wereto spend the day in solemn humiliation before God, withprayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart. Great Controversy,419–420.From the above, we can conclude that the day of atonement wasnot a time for partying or celebration; certainly not prior to their atonementbeing completed at the close of probation with the words “hethat is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him beholy still.” We can conclude from the statement which follows that nowis also not a time for approving pluralism or for neutrality for neutrality
140 OUR GREATEST NEEDis treason against God. In a spiritual crisis, blindness develops in anyattempt to be neutral on doctrinal issues and church policies which arein error:What astonishing deception and fearful blindness had, likea dark cloud, covered Israel! This blindness and apostasyhad not closed about them suddenly; it had come upon themgradually as they had not heeded the word of reproof andwarning which the Lord had sent to them because of theirpride and their sins. And now, in this fearful crisis, in the presenceof the idolatrous priests and the apostate king, they remainedneutral. If God abhors one sin above another, of whichHis people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency.Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regardedof God as a grievous crime and equal to the veryworst type of hostility against God. Testimonies, vol. 3, 280–281.Christ’s followers have no right to stand on the ground ofneutrality. There is more hope of an open enemy than of onewho is neutral. Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.You cannot affiliate with the world without becoming apartaker of its spirit, without becoming guilty of treason againstthe Lord who has bought you. Ibid., August 26, 1890.Let us listen to the servant of the Lord as she describes the urgencyof our spiritual situation:We are now living in the solemn period of the antitypicalday of atonement. In the type, the sins of the people were,on the atonement day, to be called to mind and repented of.It was a time of humiliation and affliction of soul. The greatestcare was enjoined that every part of the service be attendedto with becoming reverence, lest the anger of the Lord bedisplayed. The high priest was required to make the mostcareful and solemn preparation, and he must guard himselfwith the utmost diligence from all contamination. How muchmore while the antitypical atonement is going on in heaven,
OUR GREATEST NEED 141should those who minister in sacred things be holy. “Be yeclean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Said Christ, “I sanctifyMyself that they also may be sanctified.” Those who aresent to the people in Christ’s stead should be men of God,pure in life, pure in conversation, ensamples to the flock. Theyhave a solemn work before them, warning every man andteaching every man, in all wisdom, that we may present everyman perfect in Christ Jesus. “Whereunto I also labor strivingaccording to His working which worketh in me mightily.”Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 5–6.We are now living in the great day of atonement. In thetypical service, while the high priest was making the atonementfor Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentanceof sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they becut off from among the people. In like manner, all who wouldhave their names retained in the book of life should now, inthe few remaining days of their probation, afflict their soulsbefore God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. Theremust be deep, faithful searching of heart. The light, frivolousspirit indulged by so many professed Christians must be putaway. There is earnest warfare before all who would subduethe evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work ofpreparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups.The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want ofthese qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass injudgment before God, yet He will examine the case of eachindividual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there werenot another being upon the earth. Everyone must be testedand found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing workof the atonement. Momentous are the interests involvedtherein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above.For many years this work has been in progress. Soon—noneknow how soon—it will pass to the cases of the living. In theawful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. Atthis time above all others it behooves every soul to heed theSaviour’s admonition: “Watch and pray: for ye know not when
142 OUR GREATEST NEEDthe time is.” Mark 13:33. “If therefore thou shalt not watch,I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know whathour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3. Great Controversy,489–490.In this great day of atonement our work is that of heartsearching,of self-abasement, and confession of sin, eachhumbling his own soul before God, and seeking pardon forhimself individually. Anciently every one that did not on theday of atonement afflict his soul, was cut off from the people.God would have us work out our own salvation with fearand trembling. If each will search and see what sins are lurkingin his own heart to shut out Jesus, he will find such a workto do that he will be ready to esteem others better than himself.He will no longer seek to pluck the mote out of hisbrother’s eye while a beam is in his own eye. HistoricalSketches, 213.The time of trouble such as never was, is soon to openupon us; and we shall need an experience which we do notnow possess, and which many are too indolent to obtain. Itis often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than inreality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The mostvivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal.And now, while the precious Saviour is making an atonementfor us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ.God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn themeekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever settingbefore us, not the way we would choose, which is easier andpleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. None can neglector defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.Maranatha, 275.Over 100 years ago, Ellen G. White gave us the following strongrebuke and solemn appeal from Christ. How long dare we delay inheeding its call?In 1844 our great High Priest entered the most holy placeof the heavenly sanctuary, to begin the work of the investiga-
OUR GREATEST NEED 143tive judgment. The cases of the righteous dead have beenpassing in review before God. When that work shall be completed,judgment is to be pronounced upon the living. Howprecious, how important are these solemn moments! Each ofus has a case pending in the court of heaven. We are individuallyto be judged according to the deeds done in thebody. In the typical service, when the work of atonementwas performed by the high priest in the most holy place ofthe earthly sanctuary, the people were required to afflict theirsouls before God, and confess their sins, that they might beatoned for and blotted out. Will any less be required of us inthis antitypical day of atonement, when Christ in the sanctuaryabove is pleading in behalf of His people, and the final,irrevocable decision is to be pronounced upon every case?What is our condition in this fearful and solemn time? Alas,what pride is prevailing in the church, what hypocrisy, whatdeception, what love of dress, frivolity, and amusement, whatdesire for the supremacy! All these sins have clouded themind, so that eternal things have not been discerned. Shallwe not search the Scriptures, that we may know where weare in this world’s history? Shall we not become intelligent inregard to the work that is being accomplished for us at thistime, and the position that we as sinners should occupy whilethis work of atonement is going forward? If we have anyregard for our souls’ salvation, we must make a decidedchange. We must seek the Lord with true penitence; we mustwith deep contrition of soul confess our sins, that they maybe blotted out.We must no longer remain upon the enchanted ground.We are fast approaching the close of our probation. Let everysoul inquire, How do I stand before God? We know nothow soon our names may be taken into the lips of Christ,and our cases be finally decided. What, oh, what will thesedecisions be! Shall we be counted with the righteous, or shallwe be numbered with the wicked? Selected Messages, book1, 125–126.
144 OUR GREATEST NEEDThe Early and the Latter RainsLeaders and laity, if there was ever a proper time for a revival andreformation among God’s people, now is that time! Revival and reformationmust begin with a deep, earnest searching through the Spirit ofProphecy and to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us every step we musttake now to prepare ourselves, and our people for the outpouring ofthe latter rain experience, which must come soon. The early rain experiencemust come first to prepare us for the great Pentecost that ispromised.Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD:his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall comeunto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto theearth. Hosea 6:3.Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORDyour God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately,and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the formerrain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:23.By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God isto be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformedinto the likeness of Christ.The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritualgrace that prepares the church for the coming of the Sonof man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be nolife; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showershave done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed toperfection. . . .“Many have in a great measure failed to receive the formerrain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God hasthus provided for them. They expect that the lack will besupplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance ofgrace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts toreceive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work thatGod has begun in the human heart in giving His light andknowledge must be continually going forward. Every individualmust realize his own necessity. The heart must be emp-
OUR GREATEST NEED 145tied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling ofthe Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, byearnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, thatthe early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the HolySpirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greaterdegree, must be done now. Then the human agent had onlyto ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect thework concerning him. It is God who began the work, andHe will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ.But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by theformer rain. Only those who are living up to the light theyhave will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancingin the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shallnot recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latterrain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shallnot discern or receive it. . . .If we do not progress, if we do not place ourselves in anattitude to receive both the former and the latter rain, weshall lose our souls, and the responsibility will lie at our owndoor.” Ibid., 506–508.The Former Rain ExperienceIs Victory Over All Temptation to SinTo prepare for the latter rain:And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour outmy spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughtersshall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your youngmen shall see visions. Joel 2:28.In His Word, God has committed to men the knowledgenecessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be acceptedas an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. Theyare the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, andthe test of experience. . . .Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men throughHis Word, has not rendered needless the continued presenceand guiding of the Holy Spirit. . . .
146 OUR GREATEST NEEDThere are those who will be glad to lull you to sleep inyour carnal security, but I have a different work. My messageis to alarm you, to bid you reform your lives and ceaseyour rebellion against the God of the universe. Take the Wordof God, and see if you are in harmony with it. Is your charactersuch as will bear the search of the heavenly investigation?The Faith I Live By, 293.Self-will in us must die; Christ’s will alone must be obeyed.The soldier in Christ’s army must learn to endure hardness,deny self, take up the cross, and follow where his Captainleads the way. There are many things to do which are tryingto human nature, and painful to flesh and blood. This work ofself-subduing requires determined, continuous effort. In fightingthe good fight of faith, obtaining precious victories, weare laying hold of eternal life. Youth’s Instructor, Dec. 22,1886.God’s faithful souls among ministers, leaders, and laity have now agreater responsibility than ever has been in this great controversy betweenChrist and Satan. The leaders of the Protestant reformation ofthe 14 th to 16 th centuries were willing to die for what they accepted astruth from their study of the Scriptures. These freedom-loving reformersset themselves to accept death rather than compromise the truth,as they understood it. These reformers pointed the people away fromthe arm of flesh by presenting the freedom of conscience to study Scriptures,and the Holy Spirit was their teacher.These reformers, Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, Martin Luther, Knox,and the Wesley’s were the true heroes of the reformation. God needsheroes in this final crisis hour. True reformers—men and women—willstand for truth without a single compromise. The faith and freedombequeathed to us by these brave and gallant men must now be revivedin the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We must now understand thegreat sacrifice that heaven has made. The great responsibility that nowis ours is to complete the reformation that was given to the church afterthe disappointment of 1844.The Omega of Apostasy is strangling God’s people; keeping themfrom completing the gospel commission. The reformers led the way
OUR GREATEST NEED 147out of the darkness of the Middle Ages to the glorious light of justificationby faith that was responsible for the papacy receiving the deadlywound. That deadly wound is nearly healed. The prophecies of Matthewchapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapters 17 and 21 areclearly being fulfilled. Truly, the devil has come down to the world, andespecially to Seventh-day Adventist leadership, pastors, and laity, withgreat wrath because he knows now that his days are numbered. See 1Peter 5:8.God’s faithful apostles, with the experience of Pentecost, took themessages of warning, rebuke, and the gospel to the world in their day.That same experience is now offered to those who are willing to bemade willing to move forward with revival and reformation. There isnow an awakening among our people. It may be the greatest sign ofthe end.We are made sad as we see in many places so much leftundone that should be done. But the Lord will use in theaccomplishment of His work means that we do not now see.He will raise up from among the common people, men andwomen to do His work, even as of old He called fishermento be His disciples. There will soon be an awakening that willsurprise many. Those who do not realize the necessity ofwhat is to be done, will be passed by, and the heavenly messengerswill work with those who are called the commonpeople, fitting them to carry the truth to many places. Now isthe time for us to awake and do what we can. Loma LindaMessages, 83.Let us now remember, that under the showers of the latter rain, thefaithful and loyal Seventh-day Adventist will answer the call to comeinto line—to live and to work under the direction of our Lord andSaviour, Jesus Christ. He will call men from the plow, and from otheroccupations to be His ministers.The Lord must be given an opportunity to show men theirduty and to work upon their minds. No one is to bind himselfto serve for a term of years under the direction of one groupof men or in one specified branch of the Master’s work, forthe Lord Himself will call men, as of old He called the humble
148 OUR GREATEST NEEDfishermen, and will Himself give them instruction regardingtheir field of labor and the methods they should follow. Hewill call men from the plow and from other occupations, togive the last note of warning to perishing souls. There aremany ways in which to work for the Master, and the GreatTeacher will open the understanding of these workers, enablingthem to see wondrous things in His word. Counselson Health, 395.God will carry on His work through wholly consecratedworkmen. If His ministers fail of representing Christ, He willturn to others, many of whom have not been prepared forthe work by a regular course of study, and will put a messageinto their lips, even the last message of warning. Reviewand Herald, December 9, 1902.Those workers who are fearful of the consequences of giving thestraight testimony demanded by God in this crisis, which is so crucialnow, those who believe their pay-check and security is more importantthan preaching the truth in the love of Christ to awaken our peoplethat probation is soon to close, they will soon no longer walk with thefaithful, loyal, and obedient people—Seventh-day Adventists.The Eleventh Hour WorkerThey will be replaced by the faithful of other churches.Let not those who have the truth as it is in Jesus givesanction, even by their silence, to the work of the mystery ofiniquity. Let them never cease to sound the note of alarm. Letthe education and training of the members of our churchesbe such that the children and youth among us shall understandthere are to be no concessions to this power, the manof sin. Teach them that although the time will come when wecan wage the war only at the risk of property and liberty, yetthe conflict must be met, in the spirit and meekness of Christ;the truth is to be maintained and advocated as it is in Jesus.Wealth, honor, comfort, home—everything else—is to be asecondary consideration. The truth must not be hid, it must
OUR GREATEST NEED 149not be denied or disguised, but fully avowed, and boldly proclaimed.The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 902.There must now come a revival in our honesty, our integrity. Whenwe refuse to call sin by its right name, we become responsible forthose sins.Duty to Reprove SinI have been shown that God here illustrates how He regardssin among those who profess to be His commandment-keepingpeople. Those whom He has specially honoredwith witnessing the remarkable exhibitions of His power,as did ancient Israel, and who will even then venture to disregardHis express directions, will be subjects of His wrath.He would teach His people that disobedience and sin areexceedingly offensive to Him and are not to be lightly regarded.He shows us that when His people are found in sinthey should at once take decided measures to put that sinfrom them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But ifthe sins of the people are passed over by those in responsiblepositions, His frown will be upon them, and the peopleof God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins. InHis dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows thenecessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinnermay diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God fromthe entire congregation. When the people realize that darknessis settling upon them, and they do not know the cause,they should seek God earnestly, in great humility and selfabasement,until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit aresearched out and put away.The prejudice which has arisen against us because wehave reproved the wrongs that God has shown me existed,and the cry that has been raised of harshness and severity,are unjust. God bids us speak, and we will not be silent. Ifwrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servantsof God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain andjustify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely
150 OUR GREATEST NEEDreceive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsiblefor the sins of the guilty. In vision I have beenpointed to many instances where the displeasure of God hasbeen incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to dealwith the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those whohave excused these wrongs have been thought by the peopleto be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply becausethey shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The taskwas not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.Testimonies, vol. 3, 265–266.I saw that many souls will sink in darkness because oftheir covetousness. The plain, straight testimony must live inthe church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people assurely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. Godholds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existingin individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglectto diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasureof God upon the body, they become responsible forthese sins. But to deal with minds is the nicest work in whichmen ever engaged. All are not fitted to correct the erring.They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. Theyare not inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tendercompassion with faithful reproofs. Some are ever needlesslysevere, and do not feel the necessity of the injunctionof the apostle: “And of some have compassion, making adifference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of thefire.” Ibid., 269–270.That is, if one neglects the duty Christ has enjoined, oftrying to restore those who are in error and sin, he becomesa partaker in the sin. For evils that we might have checked,we are just as responsible as if we were guilty of the actsourselves. The Desire of Ages, 441.
OUR GREATEST NEED 151In ClosingIn closing this important document, we summarize by saying, it istime, past time for God’s people to stand-up and be counted on God’sside of present truth. We have waited too long. Satan’s theology—saved in sin—has a firm grip (hopefully it will yet be broken) on manyof our ministers, leaders, and therefore, our laity. It is time to arise andtell the leaders and pastors, we can no longer remain silent. This willbring a very strong reaction from men who have usurped the authority,which belongs to God only. His theocracy must again be reestablished—His rule.He has promised that His church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church,will go through shaken and purified. Only the faithful and obedient willendure to the end and be part of God’s finishing work. His hand is stillon the lever of all the circumstances. There will soon come a true revivaland reformation that will climax in the little time of trouble, whichmay be already in progress. Persecution will rage through the worldand our churches. Our greatest enemies will be the apostate leaders,pastors, and laity who have rejected the truth.There are persons in the church who are not converted,and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We mustenter upon the work individually. We must pray more, andtalk less. Iniquity abounds, and the people must be taughtnot to be satisfied with a form of godliness without the spiritand power. If we are intent upon searching our own hearts,putting away our sins, and correcting our evil tendencies, oursouls will not be lifted up unto vanity; we shall be distrustfulof ourselves, having an abiding sense that our sufficiency is ofGod.We have far more to fear from within than from without.The hindrances to strength and success are far greater fromthe church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a rightto expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandmentsof God and the faith of Jesus, will do more thanany other class to promote and honor, by their consistentlives, by their godly example and their active influence, thecause which they represent. But how often have the professedadvocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to
152 OUR GREATEST NEEDits advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed,the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels,and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’sdevices. Selected Messages, book 1, 122.God would have His people brought into harmony and unity ofmind and judgment:God would have His people disciplined and brought intoharmony of action, that they may see eye to eye and be ofthe same mind and of the same judgment. In order to bringabout this state of things, there is much to be done. The carnalheart must be subdued and transformed. God designsthat there shall ever be a living testimony in the church. It willbe necessary to reprove and exhort, and some will need tobe rebuked sharply, as the case demands. We hear the plea:“Oh, I am so sensitive, I cannot bear the least reflection!” Ifthese persons would state the case correctly, they would say:“I am so self-willed, so self-sufficient, so proud-spirited, thatI will not be dictated to; I will not be reproved. I claim theright of individual judgment; I have a right to believe and talkas I please.” The Lord would not have us yield up our individuality.But what man is a proper judge of how far thismatter of individual independence should be carried? Testimonies,vol. 3, 360.Tragically, many of our people in these final hours of the Great Dayof Atonement are in harmony with the unfaithful watchmen who see noneed to disturb our idolatry. Let not any reader of this book be founddescribed in the following words of reproof:Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn thepeople of danger have given up their watch and recline atease. They are unfaithful sentinels. They remain inactive, whiletheir wily foe enters the fort and works successfully by theirside to tear down what God has commanded to be built up.They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting;yet they take it all quietly, as though they had nospecial interest, as though these things did not concern them.They apprehend no special danger; they see no cause to raise
OUR GREATEST NEED 153an alarm. To them everything seems to be going well, andthey see no necessity of raising the faithful, trumpet notes ofwarning which they hear borne by the plain testimonies, toshow the people their transgressions and the house of Israeltheir sins. These reproofs and warnings disturb the quiet ofthese sleepy, ease-loving sentinels, and they are not pleased.They say in heart, if not in words: “This is all uncalled for. It istoo severe, too harsh. These men are unnecessarily disturbedand excited, and seem unwilling to give us any rest or quietude‘Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregationare holy, every one of them.’ They are not willing that weshould have any comfort, peace, or happiness. It is activelabor, toil, and unceasing vigilance alone which will satisfythese unreasonable, hard-to-be-suited watchmen. Why don’tthey prophesy smooth things, and cry: Peace, peace? Theneverything would move on smoothly.”These are the true feelings of many of our people. AndSatan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so manywho profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbedtheir sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner rightin their midst, and they are so completely deceived that theyknow not that it is he. The people have not erected gravenimages, yet their sin is no less in the sight of God. They worshipmammon. They love worldly gain. Some will make anysacrifice of conscience to obtain their object. God’s professedpeople are selfish and self-caring. They love the thingsof this world, and have fellowship with the works of darkness.They have pleasure in unrighteousness. They have notlove toward God nor love for their neighbors. They are idolaters,and are worse, far worse, in the sight of God than theheathen, graven-image worshipers who have no knowledgeof a better way. Ibid., vol. 2, 440–441.God counsels His unfaithful watchmen:You have injured the cause of God; your willful coursehas wounded the hearts of God’s people. Your influence encouragesa slack state of things in the church. You shouldbear a living, pointed testimony. Stand out of the way of the
154 OUR GREATEST NEEDwork of God, step not in between God and His people. Youhave too long wrapped up the sharp testimony, and stoodopposed to the severe censure which God lays upon individualwrongs. God is correcting, and proving, and purifyingHis people. Stand out of the way that His work be not hindered.He will not accept a smooth testimony. Ministers mustcry aloud, and spare not. The Lord has given you a powerfultestimony, calculated to strengthen the church and arouseunbelievers. But these things wherein you lack must be corrected,or your testimony will become powerless, and yourinfluence injure the cause of God. The people look to you foran example. Do not mislead them. Let your influence be tocorrect wrongs in your family and in the church. Ibid., vol. 1,215–216.God’s watchmen must give a pointed testimony:Those who engage in the solemn work of bearing the thirdangel’s message, must move out decidedly, and in the Spiritand power of God, fearlessly preach the truth, and let it cut.They should elevate the standard of truth, and urge the peopleto come up to it. It has been lowered down to meet the peoplein their condition of darkness and sin. It is the pointed testimonythat will bring up the people to decide. A peaceful testimonywill not do this. The people have the privilege of listeningto this kind of teaching from the pulpits of the day. ButGod has servants to whom he has entrusted a solemn, fearfulmessage, to bring out and fit up a people for the coming ofChrist. There is a great a difference in our faith and that ofnominal professors, as the heavens are higher than the earth.. . .God’s servants must bear a pointed testimony. It will cutthe natural heart, and develop character. Spiritual Gifts, vol.2, 299–300.The pointed testimony must live in the church:I was shown that the pointed testimony must live in thechurch. This alone will answer to the message to theLaodiceans. Wrongs must be reproved, sin must be called
OUR GREATEST NEED 155sin, and iniquity must be met promptly and decidedly, andput away from us as a people. Testimonies, vol. 3, 260.According to the light that God has given me in vision,wickedness and deception are increasing among God’speople who profess to keep His commandments. Spiritualdiscernment to see sin as it exists, and then to put it out of thecamp, is decreasing among God’s people; and spiritual blindnessis fast coming upon them. The straight testimony mustbe revived, and it will separate those from Israel who haveever been at war with the means that God has ordained tokeep corruptions out of the church. Wrongs must be calledwrongs. Grievous sins must be called by their right name. Allof God’s people should come nearer to Him and wash theirrobes of character in the blood of the Lamb. Then will theysee sin in the true light and will realize how offensive it is inthe sight of God. Ibid., 324.Let us arise while there is still a moment of time and enter intoserious soul searching and purification under the transforming powerof Christ our Mediator. Let us turn from looking to man and look onlyto Him as to how we are to live and work for Him. We must all cometo acknowledge that our self-sufficiency is of nothing and that our onlysufficiency is in our all sufficient Saviour:Every heart in every household needs to take up the workof self-examination, else some will find, as did Saul, that theyare appointed to destruction. Especially is this applicable tomen in positions of responsibility. Saith the Lord: “I will notserve with any selfish devising.” Everyone needs now to seekthe Lord. God’s people will not endure the test unless thereis a revival and a reformation. The Lord will not admit intothe mansions He is preparing for the righteous, one soul whois self-sufficient. Ibid., vol. 7, 285.Let us refer once more to the following message from Christ, whichis so appropriate for our present situation:Perilous times are before us. Every one who has a knowledgeof the truth should awake, and place himself, body,
156 OUR GREATEST NEEDsoul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is onour track. We must be wide awake, on our guard againsthim. We must put on the whole armor of God. We mustfollow the directions given through the Spirit of prophecy.We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will saveus from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to usthrough His word. He has spoken to us through the testimoniesto the church, and through the books that have helped tomake plain our present duty and the position we should nowoccupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line,precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregardthem, what excuse can we offer? Gospel Workers, 308.May we, each one, enter into that experience of full revival andreformation which our loving Redeemer desperately desires for us andwhich has cost Him so much to make available to us, is my prayer.
Our FirmFoundation157Boldly proclaiming theSeventh-day Adventist truthsthat place us on a firmfoundation in the midst of atroubled world.You will find that Our Firm Foundation:• Strengthens your faith• Addresses the challenges facing God’s remnant churchtoday• Is refreshing in its clear, positive approach• Provides solid answers from the Bible and the Spirit ofProphecy• Resolves many of the confusing winds of doctrineblowing through our churches and ministriesSubscribe today and get 12 issues for only$18.75.*Mail in your order today—or call our toll-freeorder line at1-800-468-7884Hope International • P.O. Box 220 • Knoxville, IL 61448*Offer is for U.S.A. addresses only. Please inquire for foreign subscription rates.
158 OUR GREATEST NEEDRetreating Toward EgyptBy Ron Spear$3.00 PB 59 pgs., 2002IN THE PAGES of this book,author and revivalist Ron Spearaddresses the question, Is theChurch retreating towardEgypt? God has given us theanswer:“The church has turnedback from following Christ herLeader and is steadily retreatingtoward Egypt. Yet few arealarmed or astonished at theirwant of spiritual power. Doubt,and even disbelief of the testimoniesof the Spirit of God, isleavening our churches everywhere.Satan would have itthus. Ministers who preach selfinstead of Christ would have itthus. The testimonies are unreadand unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining fromHis word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted anddisregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion andearnest faith among us.“Let each put the question to his own heart: "How have we falleninto this state of spiritual feebleness and dissension? Have we notbrought upon ourselves the frown of God because our actions do notcorrespond with our faith? Have we not been seeking the friendship andapplause of the world rather than the presence of Christ and a deeperknowledge of His will?” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 217–218.Are you headed for the heavenly Canaan—or are you retreatingtoward Egypt? This is the question to prayerfully consider as youstudy the pages of this book.Place your orders for this book at Hope InternationalSpecial prices are in effect to facilitatewide distribution to pastors, administrators, and laity.1 – 9 copies: $3.00 each; 10 or more copies: $2.00 eachFull case of 110 copies: $1.25 eachShipping for USA addresses: 10% of total cost plus $3.00Call 1-800-468-7884 to place your orders.
RebellionBy Ron Spear$3.00 PB 74 pgs., 2003159ELDER Ron Spear’s book,Rebellion, leaves no room forcomplacency or self-satisfaction.It leads to the inescapableconclusion that all segments ofthe Seventh-day AdventistChurch—leaders, pastors,teachers and laity—sharefearful culpability for theimpotency of God’s remnantchurch.“Not all in this world havetaken sides with the enemyagainst God. Not all havebecome disloyal. There are afaithful few who are true toGod; for John writes: “Here arethey that keep the commandmentsof God, and the faith ofJesus.” Revelation 14:12. Soon the battle will be waged fiercely betweenthose who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everythingthat can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot beshaken may remain. . . .“Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of waris stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in themidst of the time of trouble that is coming—a time of trouble such ashas not been since there was a nation—God's chosen people will standunmoved. Satan and his host cannot destroy them, for angels that excelin strength will protect them.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 15–17.May we finally acknowledge our undone condition, confess ourpitiful spiritual state, repent with heart-felt sincerity, turn from ourwicked ways, and return unto the mighty God.Place your orders for this book at Hope InternationalSpecial prices are in effect to facilitatewide distribution to pastors, administrators, and laity.1 – 9 copies: $3.00 each; 10 or more copies: $2.00 eachFull case of 110 copies: $1.25 eachShipping for USA addresses: 10% of total cost plus $3.00Call 1-800-468-7884 to place your orders.
160 OUR GREATEST NEEDOther Publications by Elder Ron Spear:The Counterfeit and the Genuine, (BESR-CGEN) .................. $3.50Paperback, 123 pages, 1987Does God Kill? (BESR-DGKI) ........................................................ $1.00Paperback, 17 pagesIssues at the End, (BESR-IAEN) .................................................... $3.95Paperback, 96 pages, 2000The Message of 1888, (BESR-MO18) ........................................... $0.65Paperback, 156 pagesPreparing for Eternity, (BESR-PFET) .......................................... $8.95Paperback, 149 pages, 1988Theocracy, (BESR-THEO) ................................................................. $8.00Paperback, 96 pages, 2001The Voice of Authority, (BESR-VOAU) ....................................... $1.00Paperback, 30 pages, 1989Waymarks of Adventism, (BESR-WOAD) ................................... $3.95Paperback, 95 pages, 1999What I Believe, (BESR-WIBE) ........................................................ $7.95Paperback, 127 pages, 1999What Is the Church? (BESR-WICH) ............................................ $4.00Paperback, 106 pages, 1994Bible Sanctification, (TESR-BSAN) ............................................ $0.35Booklet, 17 pagesHope International • P.O. Box 220 • Knoxville, IL 61448Shipping for USA addresses: 10% of total cost plus $3.00Call 1-800-468-7884 to place your orders.