Sabbath, May 29, 2010
“The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!” Lamentations 5:16.
1. Whom did Satan also cause to fall by means of his most powerful deception? What did the vast majority of Adventists reveal during crisis?
Jeremiah 6:16-19 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
Matthew 24:48, 49 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.
“After the war broke out, there was a division among the Adventists. The majority wanted to invalidate their principles during the war, while others insisted on the sacredness of the Sabbath even in time of war. This dispute led to the disfellowshipment of those who proclaimed the validity of the old beliefs.” –Kölnische Zeitung, September 21, 1915.
“God is weighing our characters, our conduct, and our motives in the balances of the sanctuary. It will be a fearful thing to be pronounced wanting in love and obedience by our Redeemer, who died upon the cross to draw our hearts unto Him. God has bestowed upon us great and precious gifts. He has given us light and a knowledge of His will, so that we need not err or walk in darkness. To be weighed in the balance and found wanting in the day of final settlement and rewards will be a fearful thing, a terrible mistake which can never be corrected.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 370.
The bride is unfaithful
2. What will be the fate of the evil servant? What happened to the church that had received the light of God’s truth?
Matthew 24:50, 51 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
“Let there be an earnest consideration of these words. Let none say, ‘That does not mean me; I am a Christian.’ Who says this, yourself or He who reads the heart? The unfaithful steward had solemn responsibilities entrusted to him; before the world he appeared as a servant of Christ; but, oh, how deplorable for himself, and for all connected with him; he is an evil servant! He is imperiling his Lord’s goods. He is teaching souls to trample upon the holy law of God. He calls Christ, ‘My Lord.’ But he says, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 237.
“I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: ‘Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? “How is the faithful city become an harlot!” My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 250.
Position concerning war
3. What does an apostate church always do? Who repeated this?
Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
James 4:1-4 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
What opportunity was lost?
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
“A Christian cannot at the same time hold the sword of the state in one hand and the sword of the Spirit in the other. Only an apostate congregation–or someone who has separated from the principles of Christ’s kingdom and surrendered to the power of the state–could do such a thing. But a Christian who is faithful to his principles struggles for the faith given to the saints. He keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus and cannot, according to the sixth commandment, kill his fellowmen. He obeys Jesus’ command to put the sword away, saying, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Acts 5:29. A firm Christian prefers to die for the gospel and obtain eternal salvation rather than to act against God’s holy will and lose eternal salvation.” –Christlicher Hausfreund, a Seventh-day Adventist publication, September 1915.
4. Who introduced the concept of “liberty of conscience”–that every member could decide his relationship to the government, war, and bloodshed, in accordance with his own personal conviction? Who allowed the leaders of the different countries involved in the conflict to take part in the war?
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
“As soon as the war began in Europe, this subject was thoroughly studied in America….
“We decided that everyone should act according to his own conscience in this matter….
“We should allow each citizen to take a position before the government according to his own conscience….
“While we do not have certain limitations and guidelines regarding our position before the government, we should let each one act according to his own conscience. The brethren from America have taken the same moderate and tolerant stand as our brethren from Europe. We have followed the same way as our brethren in England, France, and other countries.” –President of the General Conference, A.G. Daniells, in Friedensau, July 1920, in the Protokoll der Verhandlung mit der Gegenbewegung
“The delegates of the Southern German Conference declare that they agree with the point of view of the leadership of the work regarding military service in time of war. They consider it the duty of the citizens to obey the government because, according to the authorities established by God referred to in 1 Peter 2:13, 14 and Romans 13:4, 5, they have the right to demand compliance. The General Conference Commission also considered this point of view and in its session of November 1915, as an answer to the question of the brethren in charge of the leadership in Europe, expressed its position in the following way: The brethren in the different countries of the world are totally free, in the future, as they have been until now, to comply with the respective legal determinations.” –German Adventist magazine Zionswächter, Hamburg, March 6, 1916; see also “Curierul Misionar Bucuresti,” No. 3, 1916, Romania. This resolution was approved and published in all the conferences in Germany.
The cable is cut
5. What was lost by all who linked themselves with the powers of earth against the God of heaven? How is the church still affected today?
Lamentations 4:1 How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
Jeremiah 6:29, 30 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.
“The church is not now the separate and peculiar people she was when the fires of persecution were kindled against her. How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!” –Early Writings, p. 227.
“But what is the state of the Lord’s professed people as compared with the early church? Where is the Spirit and power of God which then attended the preaching of the gospel? Alas, ‘how is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 240.
6. What position was thus lost by that church that had been specially called by God?
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
In what condition has the organization been ever since?
“And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” –The Review and Herald, August 1, 1893. The bracketed comments were inserted by Ellen G. White.
“The facts concerning the real condition of the professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass.” –The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.
Measured by God
7. What path was abandoned? How was this shown?
Matthew 7:14, 19-22 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
“The good tree will produce good fruit. If the fruit is unpalatable and worthless, the tree is evil. So the fruit borne in the life testifies as to the condition of the heart and the excellence of the character. Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul. And though the eternal reward is not bestowed because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work that has been done through the grace of Christ.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 314.
8. What happens when someone is weighed and found wanting?
Daniel 5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
“In this balance of the sanctuary, the individual members of the Christian church will be weighed; and if her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond to the benefits and blessings conferred upon her, she will be found wanting.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 450.
“If her talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not perfect before God, if her light has become darkness, she is indeed found wanting.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 84.