Read the Missionary Report from Mali below
Sabbath, August 27, 2016
“There will be a shaking of the sieve. The chaff must in time be separated from the wheat. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. It is the very time when the genuine will be the strongest.” –(Letter 46, 1887) Last Day Events, p. 173.
Acceptance or rejection of the Faithful Witness’ message
1. What must happen in the church before Jesus returns? Why?
Matthew 3:11, 12 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Amos 9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
“The Lord is soon to come. There must be a refining, winnowing process in every church, for there are among us wicked men who do not love the truth or honor God.” –(Review and Herald, March 19, 1895) Last Day Events, p. 173.
“We are in the shaking time, the time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The Lord will not excuse those who know the truth if they do not in word and deed obey His commands.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 332 (1900).
2. What other prophecy tells of a great shaking? According to the Spirit of prophecy, when did the shaking begin?
Haggai 2:6, 7, first part For thus saith the Lord of hosts; 7Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations,…
Hebrews 12:26, 27 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
“The Lord gave me a view, January 26, 1850, which I will relate….
“The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth and to sacrifice for God and His cause. The angel said, ‘Think ye that any will be compelled to sacrifice? No, no. It must be a freewill offering. It will take all to buy the field.’ “ –Early Writings, p. 50.
3. Why does a shaking occur?
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.
Revelation 3:15, 16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
“November 20, 1857, I was shown the people of God, and saw them mightily shaken….
“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 181.
“One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan’s banner will first give up their faith in the warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God’s Spirit.” –Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 84 (1903).
A pure church
4. What is God’s purpose in the shaking?
Romans 12:2, 3 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
“Where is the spirituality of the church? Where are men and women full of faith and the Holy Spirit? My prayer is: Purify Thy church, O God….
“God is sifting His people. He will have a clean and holy church. We cannot read the heart of man. But the Lord has provided means to keep the church pure. A corrupt people has arisen who could not live with the people of God. They despised reproof, and would not be corrected. They had an opportunity to know that theirs was an unrighteous warfare. They had time to repent of their wrongs; but self was too dear to die. They nourished it, and it grew strong, and they separated from the trusting people of God, whom He is purifying unto Himself. We all have reason to thank God that a way has been opened to save the church; for the wrath of God must have come upon us if these corrupt pretenders had remained with us….
“The sieve is moving. Let us not say: Stay Thy hand, O God. The church must be purged, and it will be.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 99, 100.
5. While God is testing His people, how is the shaking going forward?
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.
Malachi 3:1-3 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. 2But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
“I was pointed to the providence of God among His people and was shown that every trial made by the refining, purifying process upon professed Christians proves some to be dross. The fine gold does not always appear. In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church. As a class, their spirits are not steadfast with God. They go out from us because they are not of us; for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, many are offended.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 89.
“In the absence of the persecution there have drifted into our ranks men who appear sound and their Christianity unquestionable, but who, if persecution should arise, would go out from us.” –Evangelism, p. 360 (1890).
The final test
6. With what test will the shaking end?
Revelation 13:15-17 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
“The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 81 (1882).
“When the law of God is made void the church will be sifted by fiery trials, and a larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” –Selected Messages, book 2, p. 368 (1891).
7. Will many people be found faithful and pass successfully through the shaking time?
Romans 11:3-5 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Zephaniah 3:12, 13 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. 13The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
“The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But, it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven, but do not see stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.” –Christian Service, p. 49.
“The time is not far distant, when the test will come to every soul…. In this time, the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 80, 81.
For personal study
Last Day Events, chapter 12
To be read on Sabbath, August 27, 2016
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, September 3, 2016
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:5, 6.
The Republic of Mali is a relatively large landlocked country in northwest Africa bordering Algeria on the north, Mauritania on the west, Niger on the east, and Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso on the south. The country covers 1.24 million square kilometers (480,000 square miles) and has a population of about 14.5 million. In addition to local languages such as Bambara, the official national language is French.
Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled the trans-Saharan trade. At its peak in the 1300’s, the Malian Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa. In the late nineteenth century, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. However, in 1960, Mali declared itself an independent republic. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution.
The country’s economy centers on agriculture, fishing, and mining; it is the third largest producer of gold and salt. About half of the population lives below the international poverty level of US $1.25 per day. Almost 90 percent of the people are Muslims (mostly Sunni and Ahmaddiya), approximately 5 percent are Christians (about two-thirds of whom are Roman Catholic), and the remaining 5 percent adhere to indigenous or traditional animist beliefs. The 1991 constitution established Mali as a democratic, multi-party state and provided for freedom of religion, which the government generally respects.
A few years ago, the present truth entered Mali under the International Missionary Society, S.D.A. Church, Reform Movement, through the private visit of Brother Christian Gadoxor from Ghana. Later, missionary activities in Mali were intensified when the General Conference requested Pastor Mohammed Inusah, from Benin, to follow up on the interest. In April 2014, he baptized the first two souls in Mali, and more individuals have become believers and joined the church. The work is still very young in this new missionary field and therefore needs both your prayers and your financial support. One of the great needs is a place for worship and the field headquarters. At present a house is being rented for services; but since people in Mali do not appreciate home churches, a suitable building is very necessary for the growth of God’s cause.
Furthermore, since Mali is dominated by the Muslim religion, the General Conference would like to push forward a concentrated effort through the use of focused materials and public outreach to Muslims. Therefore, your cooperation is very important here. Not everyone can travel to such countries to work, but everyone can support with their gifts those who have the ability and opportunity to do so. The Special Sabbath School offering to be gathered next week provides the perfect opportunity for that. As you consider how you will join with your fellow believers to meet the needs of the gospel work in Mali, remember these inspired words: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” Matthew 24:14, 45, 46, New International Version.
“God has made men His stewards. The property which He has placed in their hands is the means that He has provided for the spread of the gospel. To those who prove themselves faithful stewards He will commit greater trusts. Saith the Lord, ‘Them that honor Me I will honor.’ 1 Samuel 2:30. ‘God loveth a cheerful giver,’ and when His people, with grateful hearts, bring their gifts and offerings to Him, ‘not grudgingly, or of necessity,’ His blessing will attend them as He has promised.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 529.
May God’s rich blessing attend your sacrifice for His cause.
–Parmenas N. Shirima
African Division Leader