Sabbath, August 7, 2010
“If you have any hope of being finally exalted to join the company of the pure, sinless angels and to live in an atmosphere where there is not the least taint of sin, cherish modesty and virtue. Nothing but purity, sacred purity, will stand the grand review, abide the day of God, and be received into a pure and holy heaven.” –Counsels on Health, pp. 611, 612.
Characteristics of the remnant
1. What should be the position of true Adventists in regard to moral purity?
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
“Seventh-day Adventists, above all other people in the world, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation.” –Counsels on Health, p. 568.
“The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming.” –Evangelism, p. 695.
“Seventh-day Adventists, who profess to be looking for and l oving the appearing of Christ, should not follow the course of worldlings…. Commandment-keeping Adventists occupy a peculiar, exalted position. John viewed them in holy vision and thus described them: ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ ” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 450.
2. Nevertheless, what is the general situation?
Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
“The people of God are unready for the fearful, trying scenes before us, unready to stand pure from evil and lust amid the perils and corruptions of this degenerate age.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 446.
“But all who profess to keep the commandments of God are not possessing their bodies in sanctification and honor. They can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by the truths they profess.” –A Solemn Appeal, p. 142.
“Their own vileness will terrify them in that day which is soon to come upon us, a day when ‘the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.’ Oh, that terror might now lay hold upon them, that they might have a vivid sense of their condition and arouse while there is mercy and hope, confess their sins, and humble their souls greatly before God, that He might pardon their transgressions and heal their backslidings!” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 446.
3. What circumstances prevail among the people of God? What warning was given as early as 1870?
Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Matthew 20:16 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
“I have tried in the fear of God to set before His people their danger and their sins, and have endeavored, to the best of my feeble powers, to arouse them. I have stated startling things, which, if they had believed, would have caused them distress and terror, and led them to zeal in repenting of their sins and iniquities. I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved….” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 445.
The armor of the overcomers
4. What armor will be worn by every sincere child of God to fight against evil?
Ephesians 6:11-18 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
“They have not on the armor of righteousness, and are unprepared to war against the prevailing iniquity. Many are not obeying the commandments of God, yet they profess so to do. If they would be faithful to obey all the statutes of God they would have a power which would carry conviction to the hearts of the unbelieving.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 446, 447.
Leave the broad way
5. Why will many among the people of God not reach the goal? Where are those who are indifferent, impenitent, and disobedient actually walking?
Matthew 7:13, 14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
“The way marked out by our divine Lord was too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them with their grasp upon the world, or while cherishing selfishness, or any corruption. All these there was no room for, and there are but few who will consent to part with these things, that they may pass the narrow way, and enter the strait gate.” –Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, p. 10.
6. What happens with a sin that is not confessed and abandoned?
Ezekiel 24:13 In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
“By continuing their course of sin, they are violating their consciences, hardening their hearts, and stiffening their necks, just the same as though the testimony had been borne directly to them. In passing on and refusing to put away their sins and correct their wrongs by humble confession, repentance, and humiliation, they choose their own way, and are given up to the same, and are finally led captive by Satan at his will. They may become quite bold because they are able to conceal their sins from others and because the judgments of God do not come in a visible manner upon them. They may be apparently prosperous in this world. They may deceive poor, shortsighted mortals and be regarded as patterns of piety while in their sins. But God cannot be deceived.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 447, 448.
A solemn message to God’s people
7. Therefore, what solemn message comes to God’s people now?
Romans 6:12, 13 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
“Professed Christians, if there is no further light given you than that contained in this text Romans 6:12, 13, you will be without excuse if you suffer yourselves to be controlled by base passions….
“The most solemn message ever committed to mortals has been intrusted to this people, and they can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by the truths they profess. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God’s commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than the classes I have named who do not acknowledge the law of God binding upon them.” –Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, pp. 23, 17.
“… The people who profess to keep the law of God, He corrects, He reproves, He points out their sins, and lays open their iniquity; because He wishes to separate all sin and wickedness from them, that they may perfect holiness in His fear, and be prepared to die in the Lord, or for translation to heaven. God will rebuke, reprove, and correct them, that they may be refined, sanctified, elevated, and finally exalted to His own throne.” –Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, p. 20.