(Wilfred) It’s a major undertaking to get these recorders going. I
the tape today and I noticed a number of things that could have been
clarified perhaps. There is one or two I want to deal with first. I
made a statement that Jesus went through the steps that we go through.
His repentance before his baptism, and I said that the statement is
found in The Bible commentary
7A. I was not able to find it there. I
was sure it was, however I have found similar statements in other books
that I will bring you and I’ll keep looking for the other one. I think
it must have been in one of the
Sabbath School Quarterlies some time
back. I haven’t had time to go back and find it. I know just about what
the statement says and it is very similar to the ones I’m going to read
to you here. But I thought we’d better get clear on this because it
seems to me that someone was questioning what Jesus had to repent for, remember?
Forth volume of The Testimonies for the Church, page 40, She’s talking to some youth, or writing to them.
“To these youth I am authorized to say: Repent ye and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. There is no time for you to waste. Heaven and immortal life are valuable treasures that cannot be obtained without an effort on your part.” Now here’s the part. “No matter how faultless may have been your lives as sinners you have steps to take. Note that word “Steps”. Then she goes on to list them. “You are required to repent, believe, and be baptized.” Then she makes the comparison. “Christ, was wholly righteous; yet He, the Saviour of the world, gave man an example by Himself taking these steps” She’s just listed them, repent, believe and be baptized. Jesus wholly righteous and the Savior of the world gave man an example by Himself taking the steps which He requires the sinner to take. The same ones you see? To become a child of God and an heir of heaven." And it goes on to say. “If Christ, the spotless and pure Redeemer of man condescended to take the steps necessary for the sinner to take in conversion,” Is that clear?
Now, Desire of Ages, page 111, gives us a little more light on that. “Why should He who needed no repentance” He didn’t need to repent because He hadn’t sinned. That’s what somebody brought out last week. What did He repent of? He didn’t sin. So, here it is. “And why should He who needed no repentance submit to a rite that was a confession of guilt to be washed away? By doing it He was putting Himself in a place where He was confessing guilt, right? Why should He have to do this? The answer comes right away. “Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on his own account. He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do. His life of suffering and patient endurance after his baptism was also an example to us.” So why did He do it?
(A man in the audience) As an example to us.
(Wilfred) As an example to us. He submitted Himself to that discipline. And in the things we talked about last week, the sufferings, which are to come upon God’s people, He also went that route and left us the example. It’s the only route whereby we get through and rather than to have us misunderstand and fall by the wayside He paved the way. He went the route, He says, now take up your cross and follow me. And the question is, do we really want to do it? Now, I didn’t finish with this last week and as I proceed with the rest of it I hope to answer the other question that came to mind as I listened to the tape. Some of you may have got the feeling the I was a little anti-denomination and I hope that you didn’t get that feeling because it is not the truth and I hope that I will demonstrate that tonight so we have that clear. There really wasn’t anything on the tape that said that I was but the tenor of it in some spots might have given you that idea. At the same time we must be willing to look things right straight in the eye, and there is no doubt whatsoever that the work of the organized church when it is completed will leave no excuse for the existence of the organized work. If it continues to exist after it’s work is completed it would merely be a hollow shell functioning formally. Now, some people have got the feeling or notion, or thought, that that will happen to the denomination, that it will just continue to function after the work is finished in some manner or other when it actually isn’t needed. Perhaps the idea comes from the thought that this happened in the old Jewish system, they continued with their ceremonies and forms as an organized religion after the savior had come and gone and it was just a formality, and it still carries on to this day up to a point.
Well, I think that some of these statements I will read tonight will pretty well clarify that, perhaps not totally but, does it really matter just how the denomination will finish its work and come to a close, and what is going to do it. I don’t really think that this is all that important, the important thing is that the individuals in the denomination are ready for the experiences that are coming to them as individuals. I think that is the important thing. The church was organized to perform a certain work and it has been doing it. When that work has been completed then sooner or later either at that point or after that point it will come to an end in some manner. And I am not prepared to predict that and I don’t think as I say as far as I’m concerned I have no burden in that direction. I do have a heavy burden right now that we all cooperate with God’s organized church so that it can finish the job, but at the same time I recognize and as I read some of these things that you will recognize that I hope that within this denomination we are heading into a horrible shaking. And that the test of discipleship will be that same as it has always been, love of the brethren. Hereby know we that we are his disciples. Right? If you have love one to another. That’s the test.
We went over some items last week that indicated what that test is going to be. Do you remember what that was?
(John) The sword.
(Wilfred) The sword of the Lord. Which is?
(John) His Word.
(Wilfred) And what was done to the sword that made it so effective?
(Many voices at once in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) It was sharpened and it was polished. Now when it is sharp it penetrates a little deeper doesn’t it? And what is the work of that sword which is the sword of the Spirit? What is the work of that sword? What’s it to do when it a sharp and penetrating? It’s to reprove of?
(Wilfred) It’s to reprove of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We are to become completely free from sin. We are to overcome all sin, there is to be no more sin in God’s people before the close of probation. But we don’t even see our own sins let alone get rid of them. So there is a very sharp work that the Spirit is going to do in the lives of those who are willing to submit themselves to God’s closing program. The second thing that the Spirit is going to do, the Bible says, He is going to lead you into all truth. There is going to be a fresh unfolding of truth, and I read you quite a number of statements on that already in previous meetings, and last week. And I will probably read you a few more tonight. And I read you at least one statement which indicated that these unfolding understandings of God’s Word, this polished sword which represents his Word which is going to reflect more light because it is polished. You know when it is polished it glitters more and reflects more light. Do you understand? So this Word is going to be polished up and it’s going to reflect more light. And you remember back in Job there the Spirit is going to be poured out and what is going to happen to some of these young people and some of these older folks. They are going to get thoughts in their minds in result of what gift?
(John) The Holy Spirit.
(Wilfred) The gift of the spirit of prophesy, right. Are we ready to accept that fact? Do you think that it is a reality? That it actually will happen. How long are we going to have to wait before it happens?
(John) I think it is happening in the minds of many people. Maybe some right here as we study these things and I think in various parts of the world. People are seeing things they didn’t see before. Certainly even people in our denomination Brother Johnson, are seeing positions different from which they took ten or fifteen years ago.
(Wilfred) Are you all listening? Because what he’s saying is correct. There are minds here and there and everywhere in our denomination today which are becoming enlightened on different gems of truth as we read last week that are to be gathered in, right? They are becoming enlightened. You watch your Review, watch the Ministry Magazine, watch the publications as they come off the press. And when you go down to camp meeting take a look at the book shelves. And, if you do any amount of reading you will discover that there are things coming through, there definitely are gems of truth coming through. These things are all going to bring about a test of brotherly fellowship, brotherly love. That’s what we found out last week. And if you want to repeat all of that you can do so by auditing one of the tapes. Are we ready for that? Do you think we’re ready?
Well, just a little thought on the sealing again. What's going to happen during this sealing process? It was described in Ezekiel chapter 9. Remember? I think we’d better look at it again, Ezekiel chapter 9. Sister White tells us that this is a description of the sealing, I think that’s in the Bible Commentary 7A too. Now, I don’t think I’ll point out everything in this passage at this point, there is more to it than we’ll mention. But this is an important passage. 1 “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near,” Who is he calling to come near?
(A man in the audience) Those who have charge over the city.
(Wilfred) And what is the city?
(A man in the audience) Jerusalem, the church.
(Wilfred) And those who have charge over the city, who are they?
(Several voices in the audience) The leaders.
(Wilfred) So he calling then to draw near, but what have they got in their hands?
(Several voices in the audience) Swords.
(Wilfred) Wait a minute now, Every man with his .... Unintelligible
(John) Slaughter weapon.
(Wilfred) Destroying weapon it says here. Destroying weapon. Now who is it talking about?
(Several in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) And what have they got in their hand?
(A man in the audience) Destroying weapon.
(Wilfred) All right, maybe we’re going to have to talk in parables for a while here until we get straightened around. 2 “And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man” What did he have in his hand?
(John) A slaughter weapon.
(Wilfred) How many came?
(Wilfred) What did they represent?
(Silence in the audience)
(Wilfred) First verse.
(A woman in the audience) Leaders.
(Wilfred) All right, you’ve got that straight. “And one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. 3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; 4 And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,” .... Now what is the city again?
(John) The church.
(Wilfred) “Through the midst of Jerusalem,” And what is he to do?
(Several in the audience) Set a mark.
(Wilfred) Set a mark. Where?
(John) On the foreheads.
(Wilfred) What does that mean?
(A man in the audience) In the mind.
(Wilfred) In the mind of the men that are doing what?
(John) Sighing and that crying for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
(Wilfred) In the midst of what?
(John) The church.
(Wilfred) Are you sure?
(Wilfred) Are there abominations going on in the midst of the church?
(A man in the audience) There are abominations in the midst of us too.
(Wilfred) Yes, that was my next question. What makes up the church?
(A woman in the audience) People.
(Wilfred) The people. If there are abominations in the church there must be something wrong with the people. Have you any smattering of information concerning changes that have been taking place in the church over the years? I mean the people in the church, the people of the church. Are they getting better or worse?
(A man in the audience) Worse, They’re Laodicean.
(Wilfred) Laodicean. Where is Laodicea, at the top, at the bottom, or in the middle?
(A man in the audience) In the middle.
(Wilfred) It’s lukewarm isn’t it? But the Lord’s going to do something about that.
(A woman in the audience) I think they are going to be warmer or colder.
(Wilfred) That’s right. That’s exactly right. That’s what is happening. The shaking is already beginning to take place in the church. The separation is gradually creeping in. Some people are going up and some people are going down.
(A woman in the audience) That’s not only happening in our church, a girl said to me today that the same thing is happening in their church.
(Wilfred) Yes, it is, no doubt about in. Well, my question now is, at the time of the sealing, what is there going to be in the church?
(No response from the audience)
(Wilfred) Some of the people in the church are going to be doing what about it?
(A man in the audience) Sighing....
(Wilfred) Sighing and crying. Why don’t they do something more practical? They have already done that. They have cried and shuffled and preached and kicked and talked and you name it, admonished and what is happening? They still keep on going down hill? Parents losing control of their kids, it used to be when a kid ran away from home at eighteen it was a tragedy. Christ stood by until He was how old?
(A woman in the audience) Thirty.
(Wilfred) Thirty or so. Now they start taking off at thirteen or fourteen. What’s the matter? Something is wrong. Why aren’t we doing something about it? We’re doing what we can. We come to the point where we realize, what can you do. You tell me. I’ve got some ideas, but the point is that the time of the sealing there are abominations in the church. And there are people in the church who don’t like those abominations. They have tried to do something about it, but they have come to the point that they realize they are helpless, so they are sighing and crying. These are the people that the Lord is going to pick on to seal. Get the point? There it is right there in verse four. And by the way, where are these people, in the church or out of the church? They are in the midst of Jerusalem, that’s where they are. They’re in there.
(A woman in the audience) May I ask a question? That man with the inkhorn is clothed with linen and the others weren’t. Is he different somehow from the others because of that linen?
(Wilfred) What do you think?
(A woman in the audience) Well, I think he was but I don’t know if that is significant except purity or something.
(Wilfred) Yes, in other parts where you come across the same idea, it stands for righteousness, purity, of the saints that they get from Christ. And yes, he was different. Now whether he was one of the six or whether he was a seventh, I haven’t quit found the conclusion to that yet, whether it matters or not. But there is a statement in The Spirit of Prophesy that fortifies the one over here in the next verse or two or some place. I think it’s here. Let’s just read on. Verse 5. “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:” Now, who is it that is going to the city to smite?
(John) The other six.
(Wilfred) Now, who are they?
(A woman in the audience) The leaders of the church.
(Wilfred) Yes, that’s the only conclusion you can come to if you take the whole passage. What are they to do? 6 “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Where did they begin?
(John) At the General Conference.
(Wilfred) I suppose you could paraphrase it. That’s the general interpretation of the verse at least. 7 “And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.” Now you’re going to say, Johnson now I think you’d better close up shop. What are you talking about anyway? Well I'm not talking about anything I’m just reading what’s in the Bible. And I am telling you what Sister White said this was all about. Did you find that statement, John, by any chance?
(John) There is a statement
here, and there is a more
full one in the Testimonies
for the Church, in The
volume 4 page 461, it says, She is commenting on the 9th chapter of
Ezekiel she says,
“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in
their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a
settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they
cannot be moved—just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared
for the shaking, it will come.”
(Wilfred) Is this a comment on Ezekiel chapter 9?
(John) Yes, but there is reference and I can go down stairs and get it in just a couple of minutes. In the Testimonies for the Church she definitely points out that chapter 9 of the book of Ezekiel is the chapter on the sealing.
(Wilfred) No, I don’t think we need to take time out to do that and if somebody wants it, we can get it afterwards.
(John) You can get it out of the three-volume index if you look up the word “sealing”.
(Wilfred) Ok, I just wanted these folks to be aware that Sister White verified that this is talking about the sealing of the saints.
Now, if you go on down to verse 11, No, let’s read it all. 8 “And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou destroy all the residue of” What?
(Several voices in the audience) Israel.
(Wilfred) Do you know what Israel is?
(John) God’s children.
(Wilfred) God’s people. “Wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? 9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. 10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. 11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.” I want you to notice that this slaying business takes place right during that sealing work. And not until that has been done does the man with the writers inkhorn goes back to report that the work is done. Do you get that point? Now, Sister White has a statement that says she saw the angel with the writer’s inkhorn return and report the matter. So, there is an angel in charge of this situation. This passage like most other passages in the Bible has its symbolic applications, it’s not literal Jerusalem it’s talking about, it’s talking about the church. Its not literal Israel that it’s talking about it is talking about Spiritual Israel. It’s not a literal sword that it’s talking about, what is it?
(Several voices in the audience) The Word.
(Wilfred) The Word. Now maybe you’ll get some sense out of this.
(A woman in the audience) Now, is the sealing and the slaying going on simultaneously?
(Wilfred) I can only tell you the way it’s given here. I just read it.
(John) In this statement that we just read from Ezekiel, she does say that just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking it will come.
(Wilfred) Yes, there is an overlapping in there because not everybody is sealed at the same time. What I tried to point out, I think I stated it but I guess I am not very emphatic here tonight or something. Do you see that the command goes forth to these men with the swords after the man with the writers inkhorn starts going through and puts this mark on. See? The others were told to go after him. So he goes putting the mark on and they come right along after him. So, the two are tied together. He is putting a mark on. See? And the others are coming back and they also using the sword which is what?
(John) The Word.
(Wilfred) The Word. And what are they doing? What is the result of their preaching this Word after the man with the writer’s inkhorn?
(A man in the audience) Separation.
(Wilfred) That’s right. That’s a separation. But what does it do to the people?
(John) It slays them.
(Wilfred) It slays them. It slays them.
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Why yes, it’s not a literal sword. See, this is a symbolic application of the passage and Sister White backs it up. That this passage refers to the sealing which is a settling into the truth. So, we have tied it in with what we had last week that the sword of the Lord was there in the Laodicean message that’s coming upon his people is a part of this particular message. How can I put it more plainly? I’m not doing a very good job I know.
(A man in the audience) So they’re spiritually dead then, those who haven’t received the mark?
(Wilfred) That’s right.
(A woman in the audience) And what those men say to them kills what spark they had before....
(Wilfred) You’re coming on the right track now. Be careful now. Something is going to happen when the mark goes on to these people who are sighing and crying for the abominations. Which is the truth, the expanding truth that they become settled into and cannot be moved. Something is going to come from the denomination, from the Word. Did you get that? Swords. They’re coming on behind and what are they going to do? Whatever it is that they say, whatever it is they are bringing forth is going to do something to those people who did not get the mark. Do you understand? Now I have already told you what will happen to the people who don’t get the mark. There is one of two things that can happen, 1. They can give up the faith and be lost. 2. They will not understand the sealing, they will mistake it for heresy, that it is something the devil is doing. They will turn to the Lord as they have always done in total consecration, but they are not going through to translation. Do you get the point? And I have already shown you what's going to happen to them, they are going to be placed in their beds and laid to rest.
(A man in the audience) Could it be through either one of two ways? Through either martyrdom or accident or disease or....?
(Wilfred) There is any number of ways that people can be put to sleep.
(A man in the audience) There’s going to be a vast number go in a short time though.
(Wilfred) There’s going to be a vast number go in a short time, that’s right. I’m going to read you some passages now so don’t think we are way out on a limb here and we are going to crack the limb off.
(John) Could I ask a question Brother Johnson? There are six men that follow, do you see this as indicative of the whole denomination, the official denomination, or just a part of it takes their stand behind the man with the writer’s inkhorn?
(Wilfred) I would rather that we do not become too specific in dealing with the details in connection with this work, because past experience has shown that when we try to become too detailed about some of these prophesies we have to pull in our horns again. It is far safer simply to take what it says and then when the thing happens we’ll recognize it. As Elder farraq said at prayer meeting last night it’s not very often that prophecies are understood in detail ahead of time. Not until the prophecy begins to unfolds or take place or even has taken place do we recognize that’s it, there it is. But only as we have fortified our minds with the prophecies will we recognize them. That’s logical.
(A man in the audience) How do you mean your thought of seven, whether it’s a consequence or not. Just from reading this I can’t really gather how there are seven.
(Wilfred) Well, there’s the addition of the man with the writer’s inkhorn.
(Same man in the audience) Yes, but here it says, one man among them.
(Wilfred) Yes, it could be the other way. I wish somebody would check some of the other translations on that, just maybe to iron it out. To me it doesn’t make that much difference but it probably has significance. I’m concerned tonight with the major thing that’s what I am concerned about and not get tied up with too many details or we won’t get the major thing clear. I’m trying to show you that the sealing and the shaking is wrapped up in this passage. That it ties in with what we studied last week in the Laodicean message. And as I said, I am going to bring you some passages here in a moment. After you have had a chance to simmer on it and see if we can get this thing clear.
The sword of the Lord that is going to come upon his people to try them is his Word. And there is going to be two facets as indicated here, 1. A facet that comes through the agency of the man with the writers inkhorn which causes a sealing to take place among those who are sighing and crying for the abominations and they become the hundred and forty four thousand, we can get evidence for that. 2. The second facet is going to come through some agencies within the church that are going to bring forth truth from the Word and I think it is fairly clear, in my thinking it is at least, it is going to be a reiteration of the truths as we have held them for many years with a refusal to move out and to expand, to take in the unfolding truth. Some minds cannot do it. They cannot do it. And it says very positively that if they do not follow on, the old truths will what?
(John) Lose their power.
(Wilfred) Lose their vital power. That’s right.
(John) I think she makes the statement that he who does not see the new, in reality does not possess the old.
(Wilfred) That’s right. It’s in Christ’s Object Lessons. Should I take time to read that again? Or will you be content without it?
(A woman in the audience) Does that mean then that these who don’t see the new, does that mean that they don’t have eternal life?
(Wilfred) Oh no. I am glad you asked that, I didn’t think I would be giving you that idea. It’s just that they are not sealed and don’t go through to translation they are put in their graves. Do you understand? Although, if they give up their faith then they will either go to their graves and come up in the second resurrection or they’ll go on in to the seven last plagues and right through to the end or during the seven last plagues there is going to be a lot of people killed. You are aware of that I imagine?
(A man in the audience) It’s just going to be the hundred and forty four thousand that go through the seven last plagues, right?
(Wilfred) Of the righteous? Yes. Here it is, I’ve got it. Its in Christ’s Object Lessons page 129. “In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation.” And we have pointed that out today. The message to this generation is a renewed message, but it is an expanded message. There have been many, many people in our denomination, and there still are many, who feel that you cannot become perfect until the second coming of Christ. There are many who feel this. But there is a raising tide of voices that are returning to the old faith of the Advent people which definitely teaches, and Sister White definitely teaches that sin is going to be overcome by the close of probation. God’s going to have a pure people, a holy people who are keeping all of his Commandments. Now that is the core of the message for this hour, for this final generation. We are now a different generation from Sister White’s day. They are all gone. There are no two ways about it. And she says in another place, That God has a special message for that generation. Well, what is that message? It’s the same message that it has always been, the message that comes out of the provisions of the Everlasting Covenant. The Everlasting Covenant is going to be confirmed with God’s people in this last generation. It’s going to be fulfilled.
(A man in the audience) It’s going to be broader right?
(Wilfred) Broader, yes, and deeper. Better understood. The Everlasting Covenant has a number of stipulations in it, but the primary one is that the law of God is going to be placed in the heart, and the people are going to be God’s people and He is going to be their God, restoration of the Kingdom relationship, the allegiance to God on a voluntary bases, and the Love of God in the heart which enables them to keep the commandments. This is it. That’s the core. Now, some people will not accept that, there are people in our denomination today that will not accept that. Now listen to what she says,
(A man in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Well, they feel that it doesn’t happen until Jesus comes through some miraculous transformation at that point. And the issue ties in with the human nature of Christ too. And, as far as I can see that will probably be the central issue in this shaking conflict within the church. That will probably be the central issue. Now listen to what she says, “The old truths are all essential;” In other words, Righteousness by faith imputed will always be essential, in fact that is the only way you’ll ever get into heaven. But that does not preclude the fulfillment of righteousness imparted, and the sanctifying process into the fullness of measure of the stature of Christ. That’s the final development. The proof that the plan of salvation actually works. “The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it.” There is no question about it, we have pointed out before on a number of occasions that there is no way you can have imparted righteousness without imputed righteousness. There is no way that you can have the law of God in your heart and demonstrate that you are serving God out of an unselfish heart without the principle of imputed righteousness whereby you gain eternal life entirely apart from your commandment keeping. If your commandment keeping becomes a condition of your eternal life as such, it can never be proved that you’re not keeping those commandments outside of a selfish purpose. The only way it can be proved that you are not keeping them from a selfish purpose is for your commandment keeping to be no condition of eternal life. I’m treading on thin ice here. Your commandment keeping, your righteousness is not adequate to purchase eternal life. Do you agree? Therefore, the only commandment keeping that is capable of buying your ticket to Heaven is the perfect commandment keeping of Jesus. Are you clear on that? That’s imputed righteousness. Now, if my commandment keeping is not my ticket to Heaven, if my commandment keeping is like filthy rags, inadequate, and the only commandment keeping that is adequate is Jesus and He gives that to me as a gift, which He does. Then what incentive have I got left to keep the commandments?
(A woman in the audience) Your love for Jesus.
(Wilfred) My love for Jesus. That’s the only way that He could prove that I am keeping the commandments not out of a selfish motive. Can you follow that? Ok, good.
So then it is an unfolding of it. “It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new.” She goes on to say, “He who rejects or neglects the new does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and becomes but a lifeless form.”
I’m going to be very frank now and bring you some passages, and I hope that you use discretion as you think about them and as you ponder them and that you will not misuse them. This thing is going to be hard enough as it is without our deliberately making it any harder. But there is going to be a controversy within the Seventh-day Adventist church, a shaking and it is going to be centered around the sword of the Lord. That’s the test. And the sword of the Lord is His Word which is going to unfold his truth. It will unfold and some will understand the unfolding because they will have the Spirit which is sealing them and guiding them into all truth. And there are certain conditions that they are fulfilling that enables that to happen. And when that happens they will understand the unfolding truth and it will be so clear and sharp in their thinking that they cannot be moved, they are settled into it, they are sealed. Have I got that across? Those who are not receiving the unfolding truth, to them, the old truth is going to do what?
(A man in the audience) It’s going to lose its effectiveness.
(Wilfred) It’s going to lose its effectiveness. Now, what I’m saying, you can easily see will effect some minds very powerfully. No one wants to be told that, or even to be put into a position where he gets the idea that’s what you are really implying, that he isn’t getting the additional light and he is not being sealed and he’s not going to through to translation. Do you understand? So, you don’t talk that way, you just don’t. Our job, as is the job of any loyal servant of God, is to share the truth, and leave the consequences with God. Isn’t that it? But in doing it, be discreet, tactful, and yet, we have to give the truth or it will not happen. God isn’t going to proclaim the truth from Heaven, Oh, sure, He’s going to send that third angel and send that mighty angel that adds to the loud voice of the third angel. He’s going to do that but you are not going to see those literal angels flying around. Those messages are going to come through human lips, including yours. But as the messages expand there will be other human minds that will not expand with them. Now, have I said enough to show you how the trial of God’s people is going to come about within the circle? No, or can you catch it? Now, if it happens you know that I told the truth. If it doesn’t happen then you’ll know I am thankful and.....
(A woman in the audience Interrupts Wilfred at this point.) Unintelligble
(Wilfred) Now, let’s turn to Isaiah chapter 66. Before I read it I’m going to remind you that we have previously read the first three verses of Malachi chapter 3. Do you remember what it said? If you don’t you might want to hold your finger in Isaiah 66 and just glance back at it. It says, 1 “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.” I want to ask you, What is the old view of that passage?
(A man in the audience) The old view is the coming of Christ in 1844 to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.
(Wilfred) That is correct. What view do you see in this passage?
(A woman in the audience) The coming of the Holy Spirit.
(Wilfred) The coming of the Holy Spirit. The messenger of the covenant, which is to deliver the terms of the Everlasting Covenant to God’s people by doing what?
(John) Sealing them.
(Wilfred) More specific. What are the terms of the Everlasting Covenant?
(John) Writing the law on the tables of the heart.
(Wilfred) Right. What temple is He coming to?
(Many voices in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) The human temple. And what’s He going to do in there? He’s going to write the law in the heart. Right? And what else is He going to do when He comes to these people? Let’s read it. 2 “But 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:” Are you looking for the Spirit to come in the latter rain, to get you ready for the second coming of Jesus Christ, and prepare you to stand and enable you to get rid of your sin and to seal you? Are you looking for this? He’s going to come “suddenly”. Do you see that? And when He comes, are you aware that your life is really going to get rough? Are you? You’re going to be plunged into the great and dreadful day of the Lord. When He’s going to bring out that sword, and these six men are going to come through with their slaughter weapons. That’s what you are going into. But listen, 3 “And 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.” Oh, there is a lot in there. But summing it up, it simply means this, that the Spirit of God is going to use the Word to penetrate through to you and to haul out your sins to your consciousness and to perform the process of refining. You have a part to play and the spirit has a part to play. But essentially, the basic test is going to be love of the brethren. There are two things that have to be tested, your faith and your love. Your faith is tested by your own personal sufferings, primarily. Your love is tested by your relationship to your brethren. Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And the test is as I have pointed out to you, if you want to be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect you have to love your...?
(Several voices in the audience) Your enemies.
(Wilfred) The fellers that come with the sword to slay you. You’ve got to love them. Got it?
Alright, now back to Isaiah chapter 66.
(John) Brother Johnson, These men that fellow after the man with writers inkhorn are not doing the same type of work that the man with the writers inkhorn has done. At least that is what I gathered from your last statement.
(Wilfred) Yes. Is he slaying anybody?
(John) No, he’s putting a mark on and it is five men, I found a statement on that.
(Wilfred) Yes, it is five and he is the sixth. I looked it up once and I had forgotten which it was. Which goes to show that it didn’t make a very deep impression on my thinking.
(John) I just caught this for awhile as I read that and as we studied this evening, I thought well, the six men and the man with the writers inkhorn are all doing the same work but the six men are coming out to try then to counter-act the work of the man with the writers inkhorn. This is the way I see it now. Is this correct?
(Wilfred) I don’t know whether to use the word “Counter-act” or not. Whatever it is that they are doing is to spiritually slay the people who did not get the seal. That much I can say because that is what the Bible says. And the rest of the ideas I have, I don’t feel confident to share them with you. I think that these things will iron out. We are constantly trying to speculate on details you see, and I think we should try to avoid that at this point. We don’t know, or at least I don’t know enough of the details to be able to say it.
(A woman in the audience) Who are the sons of Levi?
(Wilfred) The sons of Levi? You’ll find it over, just a second it will take me a moment to find it. I think it is Exodus 32:26. Do you remember when Moses went up into the mount for forty days and the people have said that everything that the Lord wanted them to do they would do? Then when Moses came down again with the tables of stone at the end of the forty days what were the people doings? Worshiping this golden calf that just automatically got put together according to the way Aaron describe it. So, here is what Moses did when he came down. Verse 26 of chapter 32, 26, “Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” All right, who are those sons of Levi?
(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) The ones who chose to be on God’s side. Who are the ones that are going to be purified by the messenger of the Covenant coming suddenly to his temple?
(John) Those who have chose to be on the Lord’s side.
(Wilfred) The ones who chose to be on the Lord’s side. Is that clear? Now, you make the choice. You want to make it happen, it will happen.
(A woman in the audience) All Christians choose to be on the Lord’s side but not so definitely, is that the idea?
(Wilfred) They don’t implement their decision. I chose to be on the Lord’s side and I continue to build the golden calf. Is that being on the Lord’s side?
(John) In I Peter chapter 2 verse 9, remember that the Levites became the priesthood, the priests, didn’t they? And it says, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
(Wilfred) We’d better clarify this perhaps. The priests were the sons of Aaron, the Levites were of the tribe of Levi and they were the officiators in the ceremonies of the sanctuary. They were not as I understand it, the ones who were called the priests. But I think there is a statement in The Spirit of Prophesy where she uses the word “priests” that refers to the total group. There again we could get sticky on the details. It’s the sons of Levi however in Malachi and the identifying characteristics of them today is not that they are literal sons of Levi but they have chosen to stand on the Lord’s side and they are willing to go. They were willing to stand with Him. Ok, we got that point good.
Now here is Isaiah chapter 66, verse 5, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; your brethren that hated you," Who is this? You know who the brethren are?
(John) The church members.
(Wilfred) All right. “Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” Well, it talks about the noise in the city, you know? 6 “A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies.” Here’s verse 15 “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." Why? What’s He doing here? 16 “For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” Getting any thoughts?
(A woman in the audience) Is that fire trial or torture or....
(Wilfred) It’s trial. But it parallels the work of the Holy Spirit. Because when the Holy Spirit comes to reprove of sin you are going to enter into some pretty severe trials, and you will understand that when you hit it. Some people have already had the experience, that I know of, they have tasted it, they know what it is like. Remember when John the Baptist made this statement, he said, I indeed baptize you with water but there’s coming after me who will baptize you with....?
(Several in the audience) With fire.
(Wilfred) With the Holy Ghost and with fire. There you have it again. Those two things together. “For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” Now, would you like to turn over to chapter 48 verse 9, “For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.” Now why is the Lord feeling like this? Have you any idea?
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) I want to know why the Lord is feeling like this. Why is He angry and why is He trying to defer his anger so He doesn’t cut you off? What’s the matter?
(A man in the audience) Because we are not sealed.
(Wilfred) Good for you. Here He’s been waiting years and years and years for his people to come around and we haven’t come yet and we’re still fumbling. And when some start to come around some of the brethren are going to poke fun at them, criticize them, misunderstand them.
(John) Maybe cast them out.
(Wilfred) And maybe cast them out. 10 “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver;” Get your mind into this now. Here’s the Lord, He says, “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger.” He says, “I’ll hold off for mine name’s sake. For mine praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.” “Behold, I have refined thee,” Who’s going to do it now? Who’s going to take over? “But not with silver. I have chosen thee....” Where?
(John) “In the furnace of affliction.”
(Wilfred) So have we been telling the truth? Yes, I think so. On to the next verse, 11 “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will....
He says He is going to refrain and defer His anger. Why? Because of his own sake. For my own sake will I do it, He said, “For how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another." His throne is at stake and the perfection of his people. Do you understand? He is waiting for somebody that he can work through to prove perfection. Now He is going to do it. “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
Now, let’s go over to Zachariah 13:7, 7 “Awake, O sword,” Here we have it again. “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” Now we have had an interpretation of this. Who does it refer to?
(Wilfred) Yes, But the word "shepherd" is not capitalized here, did you notice?
(Another man in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) It applied to Christ, He had the experience. That’s right, The principle involved in this experience will be applied to every one of the hundred and forty four thousand, they are all going to share the experience of Jesus. They will share his sufferings, Right? And this was one of his sufferings, so they will share it. Look at what it says, He’s going to turn His hand upon the little ones. 8 “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried:” Do you get any connections here? “They shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” Who are these people?
(A man in the audience) The hundred and forty four thousand.
(Wilfred) The hundred and forty four thousand upon whom the terms of the Everlasting Covenant will be fulfilled.
(A man in the audience) The other two parts, would that be the righteous that have died and the wicked that have died?
(Wilfred) Here, we are going into details again. This is talking about the sheep and the shepherd, I think it is God’s people he is talking about. And if you want to be literalistic but I hesitate to do it. But you might be tempted to think, Ok, two thirds of God’s people are going to fall by the sword and the other third are going to be sealed. And it could be true, I don’t know.
(A woman in the audience) Well, aren’t the hundred and forty four thousand....
(Wilfred) If that were true then the number of the redeemed would be equal to the original number of the angels. But this is all speculation; at least to me it’s speculation. I’m not saying that someone else didn’t have this revealed to them. The Lord can do it and sometimes He does it. As I have told you before, there are minds all over this denomination now in whom the Spirit is working. And you are going to find in the next few months or a few years at the outside that there will be all kinds of truths coming through. Some of them will fit the picture and some of them won’t. And you are going to have to live awfully close to God and do some very close checking to find your way through it. False doctrines and heresies are going to float all over the place, we have been told that. And your only safety is in checking everything with the Word of God and The Spirit of Prophesy, and even there you can make mistakes. We are going to have to have a very close relationship with God. And there are promises given that if we fulfill the conditions we will not be deceived. And one of those promises is, not one watching, praying, trusting soul, will be deceived. That’s one of them. Not one watching, praying, trusting soul will be deceived. There are others. The real key to the whole business my friends is obedience to God’s commandments. That’s the key to the whole thing. You say, why? His commandment keeping takes our place. Yes, but that is a means to an end. The end or the goal or the purpose of the plan of salvation is just what it says, salvation. And it’s not salvation only from eternal death, it is salvation from sin. That’s what it is. And unless we are prepared to demonstrate that we mean business we cannot take advantage of the promises. Only the fellow that is sincere and puts his whole heart and soul into it, only the one who makes a complete all out effort is going to make it through this conflict.
Now, I want to do a little more reading of statements to help us get a balance on this. I have told you before and I tell you again that you can find statements that will support a certain view and then you can find other statements that will support another view and we get into all sorts of trouble because of that. So just give me a moment to find just exactly what I want here. Here’s the first part on how the sword will operate, and I think I may have touched on some of this last week but I got sidetracked from it.
There are two ways in which the sword of the Spirit will come upon God’s people as a test. The first of these is through a personal reproving of sin and of righteousness and of keener judgment. The Spirit of truth will reveal to a man a clearer meaning of a passage of Scripture and will show him where and how that truth has a sharper and a more penetrating application to his own personal life. That he has not been doing a close enough work in conforming to this truth. Then the testing situation arises and the truth becomes a sword piercing the heart. In every command of God there is power to fulfill it. When God says, Keep My commandments, you can do it. Do you believe that?
(Wilfred) You can’t do it in your own strength but the very fact that He asked you to do it is a promise that the power is available. So go ahead and make the decision, and go ahead and act as though you can implement it, and the power is available, but you won’t make it. The reason you won’t make it, well, there is more than one reason. One of the reasons you won’t make it is that character can only be built through resistance. So God tests you, He tests your faith in his promise and permits you to make your decision and flunk, make your decision and flunk, and make your decision and flunk, will I ever get over this stupid thing? I have been at it for years. How is your faith in the promise? Do you still believe that He means what He says? Or, do you say, Ok, Lord you fooled me, it doesn’t work, which is it? Sometimes the Lord gives the power right away, There are people who say, I’m not going to smoke any more and they throw their tobacco away and never have the urge to smoke, not a bit. There are people who say, Ok, I’m reforming my diet, I’m not going to eat this or that or the other thing and never do it again, no problem. There are other people who struggle and struggle and struggle without end. Have they no will power? Yes, they’ve got will power. But their will power isn’t strong enough to do it. And God hasn’t chosen to answer the prayer and fulfill the promises, yet. Because there are certain things He wants to develop in that personality. You follow me? But never give up your faith. Never. And for your benefit, Sister White says, that the last sin to be overcome is the sin of appetite, depraved or perverted appetite. That’s the last one that will be overcome by God’s people. Now, that doesn’t say that some of them won’t overcome it. It doesn’t say that. But as a people, that will be a prevailing sin that will be present until the final struggle.
Ok, He may find it hard to surrender himself to the greater obligation indicated by the deeper understanding of the truth. He may not wish to give up his cultivated attachments to the things and the ways of the world. You know, some of those TV programs and a few other things and to return to primitive Godliness, and he will want to shun the scoffing and the resistance of his friends and brethren who have not seen the more penetrating view and who wish to have him remain in their lukewarm realm and not to have their consciences agitated by his example of reformation. Do you follow that? But, he must crucify self, he must be slain by the sword, he must be ruled by the rod of iron. At the same time the Holy Spirit may reprove another man quite differently. For not all things which may be sin to one, are not necessarily also sin to another, particularly in matters of diet and conduct. What is poison to one is food for another. So, we’re not all in same boat.
There are individual differences involved in this matter of right and wrong and God takes these differences into account. So, just because you master the sin of eating two pieces of banana cream pie instead of one, somebody else doesn’t, that’s no cause for you to criticize the other person. You work out your program; you get rid of your sins and don’t be too critical of the other fellow who isn’t doing exactly what you want to do. That’s a hard thing to do incidentally, if you don’t believe it, try it. There is something about putting the other fellow down that bolsters you when you are fighting some of these things. I lost 15 pounds last month somebody says, and the other person didn’t lose any, see, that gives them a little superiority. Nevertheless, such differences can easily give rise to... Are you watching this now? Such differences easily give rise to contention, and malicious strife and form a barrier of animosity between brethren. And thus is a test of brotherly fellowship set up. God’s people must learn to live with one another’s differences while yet retaining their brotherly love. Therein is a test of discipleship, of tolerance, and of love for ones brother. Before God’s people are ready for translation they must overcome all resentment and antagonism one toward another. They must come into the unity of faith and love for which Jesus prayed in his last great intercessory prayer on earth. You will find that in John 13:34, 35, and chapter 17:19–26. This will be accomplished through the discipline of God. Revelation 3:19 also Malachi 3:1-3 and others that we have read. And this discipline will come through the furbished and sharpened sword of the Lord as we have already mentioned. The sword of the Spirit will come upon God’s people as a test through the revelation of new truth. The sword with which the Lord will spew his people to try them will be a sharpened and polished sword. It will be his Word of truth unfolding greater light and with sharper penetrating power. The proclamation of this increased light and expanded meaning will stir up resentment, antagonism, resistance, persecution and thus will the saints be tested and proved to demonstrate whether they will surrender fully to the will of God and accept the principle of brotherly love.
May I read again this little statement from Gospel Workers page 301? “We should never permit the spirit to be manifested that arraigned the priests and rulers against the Redeemer of the world.” We should never permit that to happen. “They complained that He disturbed the people, and they wished He would let them alone; for He caused perplexity and dissension.” But listen, “The Lord sends light to us to prove what manner of spirit we are of.” And may I point out that the proclaiming to God’s own people of truth that they already know and understand, this will not bring on them a trial and dissention and persecution. It’s the revelation of additional truth and greater light that will bring on this trial. Is that not clear? Herein is the manner by which the True Witness will spew his lukewarm people with the sword that issues out of His mouth and they are not going to be spewed only upon a few of them, they’re all going to be spewed, because it says, “So then because thou are lukewarm neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” He doesn’t say, some of you, they’re all going to get hit.
Well. I think I went over this last day so I’ll move on.
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible.
(Wilfred) Well they had the opportunity to, I would think.
Now, I left off last day of reading this statement. From Testimony to Ministers, page 105, this we’ll pick up where we were.
“Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, is it true, is it in harmony with God's word? But, instead they asked, by whom is it advocated? And unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it.” In other words, they are more concerned about the channel than about the truth. “So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas that they will not examine the scripture evidence with a desire to learn, but they refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.”
Now, here is one from Selective Messages page 413, “How do you know but that the Lord is giving fresh evidences of His truth, placing it in a new setting, that the way of the Lord may be prepared?” "What evidence have you that God has not sent light to His children?" She is chiding somebody who isn’t willing to come and take a look at it. “All self-sufficiency, egotism, and pride of opinion must be put away.”
Now, let me go on to a few more, 1888 Materials, p. 167, “I have been shown that Jesus will reveal to us precious old truths in a new light,” Get that? “Old truths in a new light if we are ready to receive them; but they must be received in the very way in which the Lord shall choose to send them. The light may not come in accordance with plans that men may devise. But all who reverence the Word of God just as it reads, all who do His will to the best of their ability,” Did you get that point? "All who do His will to the best of their ability and who take the Word of God just as it reads." Those are the two conditions here. They... “Will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,” So there are two more conditions for discerning true doctrine from false.
(John) It’s just a valuable statement, that’s all.
(Another man in the audience) Can you read that one more time?
(Wilfred) Ok, “I have been shown that Jesus will reveal to us precious old truths in a new light, if we are ready to receive them; but they must be received in the very way in which the Lord shall choose to send them. The light may not come in accordance with plans that men may devise. But all who reverence the word of God just as it reads,” That’s condition #1. “All who do His will to the best of their ability,” That’s condition #2. They. ...“will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,” Then there is a little bit omitted. “And let no one pursue an unfair course, keep in the dark, not willing to open their ears to hear and yet free to comment and quibble and sow their doubts of that which they will not candidly take time to hear.” That’s a very typical reaction.
Oh, here’s a good one, Testimonies to the Church, volume 5, page 729, “To souls that are earnestly seeking for light” They are seeking. “And that accept with gladness every ray of divine illumination from his holy Word,” That’s the second point. They who accept with gladness every ray of divine illumination from His holy word “To such alone light will be given.” In other words, if they don’t fulfill those conditions, they will not get the light. It’s just that plain. “It is through these souls that God will reveal that light and power which will lighten the whole earth with His glory.”
“To souls that are earnestly seeking for light and that accept with gladness every ray of divine illumination from His holy Word, to such alone light will be given. It is through these souls that God will reveal that light and power which will lighten the whole earth with his glory.” Do you know what light is? It is the last message of mercy to a dying world. It is a revelation of the love of God. That’s right. And who’s going to give it? Those that are earnestly seeking for light and that accept with gladness every ray of divine illumination from His holy Word. Those are the people who will carry that message. I read it, I didn’t invent it, its in volume 5 of the Testimonies for the Church and it’s been there for many, many, many years. And all Adventists have had a chance to read it.
(John) Does that mean brother Johnson that when I’m reading in the Testimonies for the Church and I see something that cuts across my pattern of life and instead of saying, Well, I’m not going to bother with that now, I will say, praise the Lord. I am so thankful I know about this and I want to change my life in harmony with this instruction.
(Wilfred) Good. Good for you. That’s what it means. Well, let me go on. Review and Herald August 27th 1889. “We should be ready to accept light from God from whatever source it may come,” Where should we be willing to accept it from?
(Several voices at once in the audience) From whatever source.
(Wilfred) From whatever source. Are you sure she didn’t make a mistake? I had a fellow write me a letter once who had apostatized from the Adventist Church and he didn’t believe in the Spirit of Prophesy and he wrote to me some things that he had found in the Spirit of Prophesy that absolutely he could not accept, therefore she was a false prophet. And he figured that if he sent me those statements which he thought were rare and nobody knew about them that it would make me think and make me want to turn against the denomination and against the Spirit of Prophesy and be one of his chumps. But the statements that he sent me verified in my thinking one of the things that I was hesitating on and wondering now, Didn’t Sister White, no, it can’t be that way, she just couldn’t agree with that. It must be wrong. And when those statements came, there she said it in black and white. This dear brother who had lost his way on the Spirit of Prophesy was a tool to bring truth to me. He was quoting from Sister White, I agree, so I accepted it on that bases, but what I am trying to show is, God can use any source to bring truth, don’t shut them off. When somebody sends me some literature that I think, Oh, its just junk, its just trash, if I can possibly find the time to read, I still read it. Because, sometimes buried in that trash there is a gem. So don’t turn away from someone who wants to share something with you. But don’t be gullible. Now, usually you can tell pretty quickly how genuine most of the stuff the individual is peddling, you can generally tell pretty soon by the nature of the material or things in it and by the nature of the person and his practices in life. They reveal something don’t they?
(John) By their fruits you shall know them.
(Wilfred) Yes. If everything checks out then you can be reasonably safe in at least holding on to that thing and seeing if it doesn’t turn out to be truth.
She says again in Gospel Workers, page 301, “No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive it with the meekness of Christ. But many do not do this.
Testimonies to Ministers page 109, Upon whom must we rely for divine enlightenment? Now, I hope you are not getting too tired; we have just a few minutes left here. And I hope you get these, they’re valuable statements. Some of you have had them before but some of you have not and it’s a good thing to review them anyway. “We must study the truth for ourselves, no man should be relied upon to think for us.” Now, take that to heart. “No man, no matter who he is or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us. We are to council together to be subject one to another but at the same time we are to exercise the ability that God has given us in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment.” Now take it to heart. Now if you do not have a personal relationship with God, if the Spirit of the Lord cannot work through your mind as an individual you’re in bad shape. If you are going to have to depend on somebody else to interpret everything for you, you are still in the infant stage, a childhood stage. God wants to have a personal relationship with every one of his people. Every one of his saints in the one hundred and forty four thousand group who will be sealed by the Holy Spirit is not only going to have the law of God written in the heart and in the mind, they are going to have the faith of Jesus, the testimony of Jesus which is the Spirit of Prophesy written in the heart and in the mind. See the parallel? Here are they that have the faith of Jesus or the testimony of Jesus, keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, remember that?
(John) The testimony of Jesus.
(Wilfred) All right. Now, It’s not enough to have the commandments on the two tables of stone, they must be placed on the heart under the terms of the New Covenant. It is not enough to have the Spirit of Prophesy in the volumes of the books on the library shelves; it must be in the heart and in the mind. And then we must have that personal relationship with God so that the Spirit of the Lord can function through us individually. And I have read you some statements on that before on how He can reveal his mysteries to you personally. And if you don’t have that experience that is something for you to seek.
(John) Brother Johnson, it says in the book Education, “He who depends upon the mind and judgment of another will sooner or later be mislead.”
(Wilfred) Very good. Let me run on here, I’ve got some pretty powerful ones coming up. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 7, page 205, “Let the truth of God be the subject for contemplation and meditation. Read the Bible, and regard it as the voice of God speaking directly to you.” Now, if you do that “Then will you find inspiration and that wisdom which is divine.” What she is saying is, that it is possible for you to read the word provided you are letting the truth of God be the subject for contemplation and meditation. Provided you do that, then read the Bible and regard it as the voice of God speaking directly to you. If you do those things then you will find inspiration and divine wisdom. That’s what the promise says.
Testimonies to Ministers, page 105, we have to guard against two extremes here. “We are not to think as did the Jews that our own ideas and opinions are infallible.” In other words, we know it; we’ve got it right, everybody else is wrong. We shouldn’t think that way. Nor should we think with the papists that certain individuals are the sole guardians of truth and knowledge and that men have no right to search the scriptures for themselves but must accept the explanations given by the fathers of the church.” That’s the other extreme. “They have felt that investigations should not be permitted that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God's word will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error.” I don’t think I’ll reread that one, unless someone wants to ask a question on it.
What is God’s purpose in bringing forth controversial truth? Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, page 33, “God means that truth shall be brought to the front and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God's means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber.” Again, I say, don’t be indiscreet. Use discretion.
Gospel Workers, page 301, I’ve read this one before. It’s the one that ends up, "The Lord sends light to us to prove what manner of spirit we are of."
Next question, “From whom may we aspect resistance to the good things which are to come to the people of God in a manner which may not be discerned as of God?” That’s my question. I’ll read it again. “From whom may we expect resistance to the good things which are to come to the people of God,?” That is, the good things which are to come to the people of God in a manner which may not be discerned as of God? That is, that it doesn’t look like it is from God. That’s what it’s saying.
1888 Materials, Page 1024, “If we are to bear a part in this work to its close,” Now that identifies who it applies to doesn’t it?
(John) The hundred and forty four thousand.
(Wilfred) “If we are to bear a part in this work to its close we must recognize the fact that there are good things to come to the people of God in a way that we had not discerned; and that there will be resistance from the very ones we expected to engage in such a work.” God manages His own work and woe to the man who puts his hand to the ark of God. So, you don’t always get cooperation.
Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, page 728, “We need never expect that when the Lord has light for His people, Satan will stand calmly by and make no effort to prevent them from receiving it.” Ok, We don’t need to expect that when the Lord sends light to His people that Satan is just going to stand by with His arms folded and do nothing. “He will work upon minds to excite distrust and jealousy and unbelief. Let us beware that we do not refuse the light God sends, because it does not come in a way to please us. Let not God's blessing be turned away from us because we know not the time of our visitation.” And when God comes with a message of truth for you, try to recognize the time of your visitation and don’t let it pass by.
What means will God use in bringing an awakening to his people?
Loma Linda Messages, pages 131, 132, “But the Lord will use in the accomplishment of his work means that we do not now see.” Got that? He is going to use means that we don’t see now. And here is what she says it is. “He will raise up from among the common people, men and women to do his work, even as of old He called fishermen to be his disciples. There will soon be an awakening that will surprise many. Those who do not realize the necessity of what is to be done, will be passed by, and the heavenly messengers will work with those who are called the common people, fitting them to carry the truth to many places.” Did you get the message? This statement reveals that some will not realize the necessity of what is to be done and that particular failure could apply to the truth concerning imparted righteousness, becoming perfect, as He is perfect. There are people who don’t believe it. And God can call common people to bring it to those who He wants to have it.
When God calls a messenger to bring forth new light what attitude should be shown toward Him and His message?
Councils to Sabbath School Workers, page 32, “When new light is presented to the church it is perilous to shut yourselves away from it. Refusing to hear because you are prejudice against the message or the messenger will not make your case excusable before God. To condemn that which you have not heard and do not understand will not exalt your wisdom in the eyes of those who are candid in their investigations of truth. And to speak with contempt of those whom God has sent with a message of truth is folly and madness.” Well, if you want to be called a fool or if you want to be called mad, meaning crazy, you just start calling down one of the messengers that God has raised up to bring His final message of truth, you just try it. I told you last week that God would deal with anybody that attempted that type of thing, and he will. And here is the statement that bears it out.
Is it not safe to trust to the judgment of leading brethren in determining the validity of new truth? That’s my question. And I go to The Spirit of Prophesy to get the answer.
Gospel Workers, page 303, “We must not trust to others to search the Scriptures for us.” Is that clear? Oh, you say, but that doesn’t apply in every case. Well, I’m going to read on. The same statement. “Some of our leading brethren have frequently taken their position on the wrong side; and if God would send a message and wait for these older brethren to open the way for its advancement, it would never reach the people.” Could she have made anything any plainer? “The rebuke of the Lord will rest upon those who would bar the way, that clearer light shall not come to the people. A great work is to be done, and God sees that our leading men have need of more light, that they may unite with the messengers whom He sends to accomplish the work that He designs shall be done.
(John) That to me is an amazing statement brother, It’s saying that the leading men in the denomination have to have their eyes opened that they will unite with the men that God sends to bring a message.
(Wilfred) That’s what it says. And it says in a previous statement where He’s going to get his messengers from.
(A woman in the audience) Isn’t that humiliating to the leaders?
(Wilfred) We’ll let them worry about it.
(John) Could I just read a statement here from Great Controversy that I think is saying the same thing that you said? It’s talking about the final warning, it says, "As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions."
(Wilfred) Ok, I’m going to have to hurry here. Thanks John. I’m going to have to hurry because I want to get some things on the tape before I close. I don’t want to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth here. I’ll just have to dash on.
Testimonies to Ministers, page 107, are you listening now? “Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence,” What have they not been in the habit of doing? Searching the Bible for themselves or weighing the evidence. “They have confidence in the leading men, and accept the decisions they make, and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to his people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.” And she said in the other statement that they have frequently taken their position on the wrong side. Now, I’m not trying to run down the leading brethren but don’t get me wrong here I’ve got some more statements and I hope I can get to them before that tape runs out. I’m trying to point out to you what the servant of the Lord says so that you can relate these things to what we’ve already said is going to take place in God’s church, the shaking. And unless you know what Sister White had said, you’re going to be detracted onto the wrong channel, that’s all, you’re going to be deceived. If you are not fortified with the truths that have been revealed you are not going to stand through that conflict. That’s what she says. So, we’d better get all these things, let’s get all the statements, let’s find what she says so that we have all the equipment here for the Spirit of the Lord to sort out and zero in on so we can function through our experience, have a right relationship with God and follow through with a purpose for which He has created us.
Well, I read on. “They who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves or weighing the evidence have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions that they make and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people if these leading brethren do not accept them.” Now, she doesn’t say they won’t accept them, she says “If they don’t." ... "And if you have confidence in the leading men and don’t search for yourself then you are going to be lead astray. Even if all our leading men refuse light and truth that door will still remain open. The Lord will rise up men who will give the people the message for this time. Is that plain?
Testimonies to Ministers pages 69 and 70, “We see here that the men in authority are not always to be obeyed, even though they may profess to be teachers of Bible doctrine.” .... “But we see that the God of heaven sometimes commissions men to teach that which is regarded as contrary to the established doctrines.” Now I read that, and I didn’t make it up. That comes from the mouth of God’s prophet to the remnant church. And I’m just sharing it with you. So don’t take it out on me please. But she says, that God sometimes commissions men to teach that which is regarded as contrary to the established doctrine. How are we going to know if it is contrary or not? Well, it will show up. How are we going to know whether it’s true or not? I have already read to you what to do. But the Holy Spirit will from time to time reveal the truth through its own chosen agencies. Where do men get the gifts from?
(A woman in the audience) From the Holy Spirit.
(Wilfred) The Holy Spirit. And when the Spirit gives a man the gift if he does not abuse it he is free to use it. Is that right? In fact he’s not only free to use it, the compelling power will come upon him ultimately and he will not be able to refuse to do it. Well, I shouldn’t say that because he can refuse to do it, but only as he has submitted to God. And she says, no man, not even a priest or a ruler has a right to say, "You should not give publicity to your opinions because I do not believe them." Nobody has a right to say that.
Testimonies to Ministers page 106, “The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits - because it is truth.” Is that plain? That’s the reason He sometimes passes by those to whom we would normally look for light to come. He passes them by and chooses someone else. Why? Because He wants us to accept truth because it’s truth, not because it came through a certain person. Do you understand?
I don’t know whether I am going to finish here or not. Gospel Workers page 300 again. “Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy. If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it. We are all under obligation to God to know what He sends us." It’s our obligation to know that. “He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine, - "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." “But, if the light presented meets this test, we are not to refuse to accept it because it does not agree with our ideas.
All right. Some of these I am going to skip, I’ve read them before I think. The statements that I am skipping are the ones that deal with the fact that there is a new development of truth in every age, a message of God to the people of that generation.
This one here I think I’ll read. This is from Christ’s Object Lessons page 78, “For His church in every generation God has a special truth and a special work.” And you know that He has a special truth and a special work, now, before probation closes. Don’t you? “At the outset its advocates are few.” So, is everyone going to accept it right away? No, “By the great men of the world and by a world-conforming church, they are opposed and despised.” Now, did you get that? One of the reasons I have been reading all these statements is that you won’t get shocked when you read this. “By the great men of the world and by a world-conforming church” What’s going to be in the church when the sealing is going on?
(Wilfred) Abominations. Is that a world conforming church?
(A woman in the audience) Yes.
(Wilfred) All right. Now, by a world conforming church, they, the ones receiving special truth, are opposed and despised. Is that clear? Do you understand what it means to you? “See John the Baptist,” She says. “The forerunner of Christ, standing alone to rebuke the pride and formalism of the Jewish nation." And she says in Bible Commentary 7A, “That a similar work that took place under John the Baptist is to take place just before the end.” And you know that don’t you?
Ok now, some of these others, I think I have read them; she talks
about how if men would be obedient they would understand the plan of
God’s government. What have we been talking about? The plan of God’s
government, the mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, His
atoning sacrifice, these are topics that will come out during this
Christ’s Object Lessons, page 30, “He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth....
Christ’s Object Lessons, page 134, “Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes.” She’s talking about the gospel and it’s mysteries. “We are to comprehend the deep things of God.”
Christ’s Object Lessons, page 131, “If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend.” Then, “He will speak His mysteries to us personally.
Education, page 171, The fact needs to be emphasized, and often repeated, that the mysteries of the Bible are not such because God has sought to conceal truth, but because our own weakness or ignorance makes us incapable of comprehending or appropriating truth.” “God desires us to understand as much as our minds are capable of receiving.” Now I want to read these others very quickly here before my tape clicks off. And we will get a balance on this thing. Let me just do it real fast.
Testimonies for the Church volume 3, page 414, please listen closely. “The first step that such a one would take independently of the church should be regarded as a device of the enemy to deceive and destroy. Many, Many minds that have been enlightened with new truth have stumbled on this spot. Because they were not accepted right away, they were impatient and they started blowing off steam and they ended in tragedy. No cooperation, no patience, no waiting for the angel to lead the people, she says that if anybody goes ahead of the angel that is leading his people, he is going to have to retrace every step. So, we can’t go any faster than God leads his people. “God has made his church a channel of light, and through it He communicates His purposes and His will.” Well, just take a look at your Sabbath School Quarterlies for the last three or four years. And if you haven’t seen that his church is a channel of light you sure have been blind. ...."Through it He communicates his purpose and his will. He does not give one an experience independent of the church. He does not give one man a knowledge of his will for the entire church, while the church, Christ's body, is left in darkness.”
And on page 417 of the same book, “Independence is a poor thing when it leads you to have too much confidence in yourself and to trust to your own judgment rather than to respect the counsel and highly estimate the judgment of your brethren, especially of those in the offices which God has appointed for the saving of His people. God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for in so doing he despises the voice of God.” Now, do you know what I am talking about when I say you can find contradictory statements? You see that? You’ve got to find your way through these. And you can if you read them closely and compare statement with statement and the light will dawn and you’ll see the road. I’ll give you the key if I have time before the tape goes off. If I don’t maybe I’ll give it to you afterwards.
Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, page 293, “There are a thousand temptations in disguise prepared for those who have the light of truth;” Now, if you have the light of truth there are a thousand temptations in disguise that you can’t see, they are hard to detect, in store for you. “And the only safety for any of us is in receiving no new doctrine, no new interpretation of the Scriptures, without first submitting it to brethren of experience. Lay it before them in a humble, teachable spirit, with earnest prayer; and if they see no light in it, yield to their judgment; for "In the multitude of counselors there is safety."
God’s Remnant Church page 20, “Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.” Well that’s obvious, isn’t it?
Testimonies to Ministers page 27–30, “Let none entertain the thought that we can dispense with organization. It has cost us much study and many prayers for wisdom, that we know God has answered, to erect this structure.” ... “Then let everyone be exceedingly careful not to unsettle minds in regard to those things that God has ordained for our prosperity and success in advancing His cause.” ... “Those who have the unction from on high will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can cooperate with them."
Testimonies for the Church volume 3, page 432, “The Son of God identified Himself with the office and authority of His organized church. His blessings were to come through the agencies that He has ordained, thus connecting man with the channel through which His blessings come.”
Acts of the Apostles, page 163, “To neglect or despise those whom God has appointed to bear the responsibilities of leadership in connection with the advancement of the truth, is to reject the means that He has ordained for the help, encouragement, and strength of His people. For any worker in the Lord’s cause to pass these by, and to think that his light must come through no other channel than directly from God, is to place himself in a position where he is liable to be deceived by the enemy and overthrown.”
Testimonies for the Church volume 3, page 433, “The church is the channel of communication. Those who boast of personal independence need to be brought into closer relation to Christ by connection with His church upon the earth.” Are these plain? Or do we need comments on it?
Acts of the Apostles, page 162, “The circumstances connected with the separation of Paul and Barnabas by the Holy Spirit to a definite line of service show clearly that the Lord works through appointed agencies in His organized church.”
God’s Remnant Church, page 60, “We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.” (Also 2SM 390.1) So, the church is going to hang on. See?
Testimonies for the Church volume 3, page 428, “The word of God does not give license for one man to set up his judgment in opposition to the judgment of the church, neither is he allowed to urge his opinions against the opinions of the church. If there were no church discipline and government, the church would go to fragments; it could not hold together as a body.” Now, I think she is talking more here in connection with meetings. You know, board decisions and so on. To get cooperation between members. But it also applies to cooperation among people who have various views.
Review and Herald Sept. 20th 1892, And this is the last one I have in this section. “There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and he will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong.” Who is supposed to look after the mistakes at the top?
(Wilfred) So what is our job?
(A man in the audience) To co-operate.
(Wilfred) To co-operate and look after our own problems. “Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port.” Now, can I tie this in together? God’s church is his organized ordained means of leading his people. This is in normal circumstances. All this is truth. But I have read you that there are times in emergencies when God will bypass the organized channels to bring messages through the common people to raise up his own. But there is still to be a cooperation. But again, there are rare occasions when someone receives a special commission, and he is not accountable to anybody but God. At the same time, nobody in God’s church will defy the brethren and ignore co-operation. Do you understand? Now we’re going to see this type of thing, there’s no question about it. As the shaking develops we are going to see people who the Lord is raising up to give specific points of truth. And, as far as I am concerned He is already doing it. I have spotted a number of points from different sources. It is coming. And, I am very thankful to see that our leading brethren are much broader minded today than they were a few years ago. They’re going to have to be because the Lord is taking the reins into his own hands. She says that He will do it, and He’s doing it. Now, the tests for his people are going to be more severe, it’s obvious. And don’t forget what I pointed out to you that the real trial is going to be love of the brethren, that’s the trial. And what’s going to bring it about? The expanding truth. She says that. That is the test. What is the sword going to do in Ezekiel? That sword that comes upon his people. What for? It is a trial. That’s what he said.
Well, next week - I’m not sure what we’ll do. I have a sequence to this, but whether we are ready to take it yet or not I don’t know for sure. I’ll look to the Lord for some guidance to what we do next week.