The Sword of the Lord
(Wilfred) I notice that there
are a number of folks here tonight that
been here before. You will be dropping into a situation that will leave
you a little high and dry in places I’m afraid but I will try to relate
back to what has gone before, and if you feel that you want to continue
attending it would be wise for you to go back and pick up what we have
already covered. So you will not be at a loss when we are making
reference the some of the things.
As John has pointed out, when we are dealing with items that some folks may have not discovered before or thought about, if we discuss them before we are competent to bring the evidences for what we say we usually get into some sort of difficulty. And I’m going to read to you some statements along that line. I think it would be necessary to get oriented in that so we know what I’m talking about. It is better to do like Mary did; she kept these things in her heart and pondered them. And that would be a good thing for us to do until at such time as we are able to substantiate and understand the totality of the things that we are discussing. The plan of salvation is very broad, it’s simple, but very complex, it is both at the same time. And some of the deeper things of the Scriptures and The Spirit of Prophecy will not be seen until we have dealt with a number of various facets of the total picture and then we can bring them together to see the concept.
You may be interested in these two statements, which I came across during the week. The first one is taken from Review and Herald Nov. 29, 1892, “The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of Christ to the Soul.” I’ll read that again. “The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of Christ to the Soul.” Did you notice that word “personal” in there? The Holy Spirit is the means whereby Christ can be personally present in the individual.
Then here is one in Evangelism page 616, “We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.” Now that was a statement made in connection with Avondale College. What I would like to point out here is the fact that the Holy Spirit is as much a person as God is a person.
Now, I’m reading just two or three things here for the benefit of those of you who are new here tonight. We didn’t get our introductions; I’ll have to meet you afterwards.
This is taken from Gospel Workers page 297, “God intends that, even in this life, truth shall be ever unfolding to His people. Whenever the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His Word." ... "They will discern new light and beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus it will continue to the end.” We are not yet at the end so we can still expect to discern new light and beauty and sacred truths of the Word, and to be obtaining a clear understanding of it. “But as real spiritual life declines,” That is when people get into a rut and fail to make progress. “It has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth. Men rest satisfied with the light already received from God's Word, and they discourage any further investigation of the Scriptures. They become conservative, and seek to avoid discussion.”
“The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God's people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what.”
“I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth, know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others, who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested, they knew not their great ignorance.”
“And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith, and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. ..."
“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His Word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures, and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold.”
“God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the Word of God, so that when the testing time shall come, and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith, they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.”
She goes on to say. “Agitate, agitate, agitate! The subjects that we present to the world must be to us a living reality. It is important that in defending the doctrines that we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents, but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny.”
“Whatever may be man's intellectual advancement let him not for a moment think that there is no need of thorough and continuous searching of the Scriptures for greater light. As a people, we are called individually to be students of prophecy. We must watch with earnestness that we may discern any ray of light which God shall present to us. We are to catch the first gleamings of truth; and through prayerful study, clearer light may be obtained, which can be brought before others.”
“When God's people are at ease, and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward, to receive the increased and ever-increasing light which is shining for them.”
And at that particular time as she was writing she said, “The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God. There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light. We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep. God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action."
Well, why aren’t we in the Kingdom yet?
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) We haven’t measured up. That’s right. So God does something to stir us up. And He is stirring people all over the place now, and I expect that within the next few months and at the outside in the next few years we are going to see some amazing things happening among our people. The Lord does not leave us forever in our Laodicean condition. He's going to do something to arouse us, and we are going to deal with that tonight. What He says, He’s going to do. And just before we get into it I have two or three more here. And again I say I am giving these for the benefit of the folks who are here for the first time. And the rest of you can bear with the repetition, it won’t do you any harm, you should memorize these statements anyway.
This one is Review and Herald Dec. 20th 1892, “There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error”. She doesn’t say they are erroneous she says just that we mustn’t think that they can’t be erroneous. “The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.”
Every single one of us must be prepared to modify our thinking. The fundamentals of our faith, the pillars of our truth, will never move. But there will be new unfoldings of understanding relative to these fundamentals which I could read you. They will grow out of the old, the new things will grow out of the old and expand. And she says that, if we fail to advance with the growing and expanding truth we’re not really grounded in the truth. And even the old truths will fade and become meaningless.
(John) I think she says, He who fails to see the new, does not in reality possess the old.
(Wilfred) Yes, I have that statement; I don’t know if I can stop it right away. Just give me half a minute. Maybe I should read it to get it right.
Christ’s Object Lessons page 128, “Christ in His teaching presented old truths of which He Himself was the originator, truths which He had spoken through patriarchs and prophets; but He now shed upon them a new light.” In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation.” “A message of God to the people of that generation.” And I think I pointed out to you that we are now a new generation from the pioneers, they’re all dead now.
”....The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new.” ... “But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old.” Now get this. “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.”
And she has another one here. “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. He will speak His mysteries to us personally.” A personal communion with God in which He reveals his mysteries to you personally. “Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch.” Did you get the condition though? Can anybody repeat the condition?
(John) To keep the Lord ever before us.
(Wilfred) Right. If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him. Then we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life and those things will be fulfilled. “When we eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood, the element of eternal life will be found in the ministry. There will not be a fund of stale, oft-repeated ideas. The tame, dull sermonizing will cease. The old truths will be presented, but they will be seen in a new light. There will be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that all will discern. Those who have the privilege of sitting under such a ministry will, if susceptible to the Holy Spirit's influence, feel the energizing power of a new life. The fire of God's love will be kindled within them. Their perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty and majesty of truth.”
Well, I won’t read any more of that just now.
(A man in the audience) Where was that taken from?
(Wilfred) Oh, that was from Christ’s Object Lesson’s, it’s the chapter, "Things New and Old." I just picked a few parts of it. You should read that chapter right through. It starts at page 124.
But here, I must just repeat these. Education, page 171, “It is impossible for any human mind to exhaust even one truth or promise of the Bible.” There isn’t one of you setting here in this room that can exhaust a single truth or promise of the Bible. Now if that’s the case, and that there is more to that particular truth or promise then it is very possible that you will discover one thing in there and I will discover a different thing. Isn’t that possible? You can see it one way and I can see it a different way. This is no cause for argument or quarrel; this is cause for communion and fellowship. And prayerful study, because both of those things could be true, and usually they are. Most of the arguments we have about doctrine and truth could be completely wiped off the map if we would just be open-minded. There are many conundrums in the Bible and in The Spirit of Prophesy, things that appear to contradict, but they don’t actually contradict. It’s a question of getting both eyes into focus; get the same image fused in the brain. You see both things at the same time and they fuse together and you get a deeper perspective of the thing. And there is a key that invariably brings the two thoughts together. What I am trying to point out is that just because somebody expresses a view that you’ve never heard before is no just cause for concluding that it must be wrong because it doesn’t agree with yours. Nor is it just cause for thinking that you must be wrong, you may both be right.
Again, Christ’s Object Lessons page 111, “His (That is Christ’s) words are truth, and they have a deeper significance than appears on the surface. All the sayings of Christ have a value beyond their unpretending appearance.” Did you get that? The things that Christ says, you can look for something deeper .... “Minds that are quickened by the Holy Spirit will discern the value of these sayings. They will discern the precious gems of truth, though these may be buried treasures.
One more here, Review and Herald, Oct. 21st, 1890, “To say that a passage means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit of God.” End of quotation. In other words, if you say that a certain passage means this and that’s all it means and nothing else, you are not speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. I just read it to you. If you say that, you are closing the possibility for that truth to expand. And God’s truth isn’t closed, it’s open. It keeps unfolding. It’s an ever-flowing fountain. Let’s bear that one in mind.
And just one more. I promise that this is the last one. Some of you are getting tired of my reading these. This is from God’s Remnant Church, page 20, “Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have a 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.” That applies to everyone. It’s not very many days ago that I had to give up one of my old cherished views because I discovered something that made it absolutely untenable. And we are not infallible, none of us is infallible we must not take what somebody else says just because they say it. It may have all the appeal in the world but as we search the scriptures if it does not fit the pattern we better just leave it rest awhile. Don’t condemn it right away, it may still be right. It just may be we haven’t seen it. But let it rest a bit. Let it simmer.
Now, tonight we want to go in to deal with this topic about the Laodicean message, the lukewarmness, and what the Lord is going to do to start the ball rolling. I’m going to read it to you and you may want to turn to it in your Bible so you know that it’s there.
It’s Revelation chapter 3 and the Laodicean message starts at verse 14. We are just going to read the first two or three verses, that’s all. You know who the Laodiceans are don’t you.
(John) Seventh-Day Adventists.
(Wilfred) The Spirit of Prophesy tells us that it is us. God’s people. God’s talking to us now so let’s listen to what He is saying to us. 14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” Now that’s verse fifteen. And that is the reason we are not yet in the Kingdom. That verse. Now God is going to do something about it. And He tells us in verse 16 what He’s going to do. 16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” That’s what He’s going to do. That’s very plain. Couldn’t be any plainer. And you know what we do? We say, Ok, He’s going to spit us out. And we get the idea that that means He is going to reject us. But if He was going to spit us out and reject us then why would He go on to verse 17, and give us some council? Do you see that point? Would He reject us? I mean, would He want to give us some council, if He was going to reject us? No, He would want to give us some council, wouldn’t He? I mean He wouldn’t want to reject us; He would want us to take the council. So, we say, All right. Now then if we don’t take the council then He’s going to reject us. That makes more sense to us doesn’t it? So He’ll spit us out.
All right, I’m not denying this view of this passage. I’m accepting this view; this is the view that we have had for many years. But just because we have had this view for many years, I have read you some statements now that say that that doesn’t mean that it doesn't mean something else. And if you say that is all it means and nothing else you are not saying that which is actuated by the Spirit of God. Now I have paved the way to bring in a new thought, haven’t I? And I have read the substantiation, the green light to go ahead. I’ll tell you frankly, that I recognized the meaning of this passage long before I ever found those statements in The Spirit of Prophesy. And for quite some years I didn’t say much about them I just sort of left them on the shelve and discussed it with a few people. But now that I have the substantiation I can move ahead a little further and share it with you. Do you know that I can’t find any place in my Bible where it says that God’s people are in his mouth? Have you found any place where God’s people are in his mouth? And when He gets discussed with them because they're lukewarm He spits them out. It actually means to vomit, to get rid of them. Lukewarm water, have you ever tried taking lukewarm water? It sort of nauseates you doesn’t it makes you want to vomit, to get rid of it. Well, that’s the way God’s people are, they’re lukewarm, He’s discussed with them. This is a figure of speech, you see. We’re not literally in his mouth. He’s just giving us an illustration of how He feels about it, He wishes we weren’t lukewarm, He wishes we were different. So He’s going to spew us out of His mouth. All right, let’s dig a little further and find out. Maybe if the Lord does have something in his mouth with which he could spew us. You know, there are two ways you can spew, you can spit out what is in your mouth, you know, if you get something sour, you spit it out or you can spit upon something. You can spew on it. See? Now, here are God’s people they are not in his mouth, and if He is going to spew them out of his mouth, He’s going to have to spew something that’s in His mouth on his people. Get the thought? Now just a moment. Just a moment.
Do you want to turn to Revelation 1:16 to find out what it is in the mouth of the Lord, besides his tongue. The first one to find it, tell us what it is.
(A man in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) A two-edged sword. A dull one? A sharp one, all right. Let’s turn to Revelation 2:16. Here He’s giving some council, He says, repent. 16 “Repent;" This is one of the other churches. "Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
Turn to Revelation 19: about 13, what does it say there? 13 "...and his name is called The Word of God.” Verse 15 “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:” Verse 21 “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth:” Now if you want to know what that sword is, you can get it from the text I have already given you, can’t you? What is it?
(A man in the audience) His Word.
(Wilfrd) His Word. But, if you want further proof, you’ll find it in John the first chapter verses 1 to 4, it talks about the Word being with God and the Word was God. What’s he talking about?
(Wilfred) Christ. Christ is the mouth piece of God, see? But then it goes on down to verse 14 to say that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. So the living Word is Christ.
Ephesians 6:17, And what does that say?
(A man in the audience) 17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:”
(Wilfred) What is the sword of the Spirit?
(A man in the audience) The Word of God.
(Wilfred) The Word of God. Now have I given you enough to convince you that there is something in the mouth of the Lord whereby He can do things? Why listen, it was by the Word of the Lord that the heavens were, it was by the Word of the Lord that He is going to destroy. That’s what He said there. He’s going to fight against him with the sword of his mouth. And it said something about the remnant were slain with the sword of Him who sat upon a horse. The sword was in His mouth. It’s his Word. All right, do you get what the Lord is going to do now to the Laodicean people now because they are lukewarm? What’s He going to do?
(John) He’s going to bring his truth to them.
(Wilfred) He’s going to bring his sword upon them. His sword. Would you like to read it? You can turn over to Ezekiel I think it is chapter 21. There are many things in the books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah which I am sure are going to unfold to us and in this day. Ezekiel 21 and about verse 9 this time. Everybody has it? I’ll read it and you can follow it. 8 “Again the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished:” Do you know what “Furbished” means? Polished. You know, so it shined and it glitters. It reflects more light. See? The sword of the Lord reflects more light. Do you get the significance? 10 “It is sharpened” What is it that the Spirit is going to do with this sword?
(A man in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Yes! And it says He is going to reprove the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. We are just too dull in our understanding and interpretation of sin. We don’t see ourselves as we really are. The Spirit of the Lord is going to come with the Word, his sword, to penetrate. It says in the Bible that it separates between the soul and the Spirit, that’s right. The penetration of the sword. It’s going to be sharpened, that’s what it says here, see? The sword is sharpened so that it will cut deeper. God has got to clean house, see? We’re lukewarm, we haven’t made it. We’re not ready to make the demonstration that the Lord needs before He can close this thing off. He’s got to demonstrate that his people can overcome sin and live the law of God in spite of all that the devil can do to knock them out. Without an intercessor interceding and we are not ready to do it. And this day of the Lord is coming upon us so fast. And we are unprepared. And I had several statements prepared and I thought I’d read tonight but time doesn’t permit all that reading of all these statements and you’ll fall asleep if I read too many. So I’ll just tell you. I think by now you know when I say something that I do have something behind it. And if you ever question it, let me know and I’ll do my best to give you the evidence. I have been accused of being a little too apologetic. I should be more positive. But I am so accustomed to people criticizing what I say because it is a little different from what they thought of, and we don’t like that you know. It hurts our pride when somebody points out something we haven’t thought of before or something. It does something. Because the first thing the natural heart does is to say, No, No, you’re all wrong. You see? So, I have become very habitually apologetic for statements I make when I don’t give proof for them. I’m sorry for that and I’ll try to improve.
“The sword is sharpened and it’s furbished to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? It contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree. 11 And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer.” And we are going to take a look at that a little later, but the slayer is over in Ezekiel chapter 9.
(John) That’s the sealing chapter.
(Wilfred) Yes sir, it is. But we will leave a moment and come back to it. 12 “Cry and howl, son of man:” For whom is this sword going to be upon? Do you remember the Laodicean statement? He is going to spew whom?
(John) His people.
(Wilfred) His people. And what is it that is in His mouth that He is going to spew them with?
(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Yes. And figuratively, His?
(John) His Sword.
(Wilfred) Yes, his sword. And where is this sword going to come?
(John) Upon his people.
(Wilfred) So, we are on the same track aren’t we? “For it shall be upon” The common people. ”my people, It shall be upon all the princes of Israel:” So nobody is going to escape, common people and the leaders, they’re all going to get it. “terrors by reason of the sword” Do you remember another statement over here in the Old Testament where it talked about terrors? We better look at it. I want to tie these things together so you get the picture.
Joel, chapter 2. This chapter tells us also what God is going to do to stir his people up. It’s all about the same thing. There are several chapters in the Bible that all deal with the same thing. Giving it a different slant.
1 “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:” Why do you have to do that? “Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” And what kind of a day is it? It goes on to tell you. 2 “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains:” But during that time, during that terrible day what’s God going to have? “A great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.” Now, He’s going to sound the alarm, let all the inhabitants of the earth tremble, this is a terrible day, see? But God is going to do this to bring out a strong people. Not this wishy washy lukewarm stuff, somebody that can stand. That’s what He’s going to do. Well, I’m not going to read the whole chapter; it’s a tremendous chapter. Down in verse 11 “And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army:” Do you see the sword? What’s the Lord going to do?
(John) Utter His voice.
(Wilfred) And what is his voice?
(John) His Word.
(Wilfred) His word. And what is his word?
(A woman in the audience) His sword.
(Wilfred) You get it? “The Lord is going to utter His voice before His army for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Then He talks about turning your heart to the Lord. ”Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting.” There are other places in the Bible that talk about turning the hearts for the great and dreadful day of the Lord is coming. It all ties together. 13 “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,” Maybe He’ll come and return and repent and leave a blessing. He definitely will. 15 “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: He goes on down there and in verse 21 “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. 22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.” Here’s the results, see? The fruit is coming out. God’s people are going to be purified and made holy. Malachi chapter 3, this is the same thing, dealing with the same thing. What’s he going to do in order to bring it about? 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. So what’s going to come along?
(John) The latter rain.
(Wilfred) The latter rain. You will never get a deeper understanding of the Word of God without the spirit. Unless the Lord is going to pour an abundant measure of his Spirit upon his people they will not understand his Word any further than they have understood it all down through the years and they will continue to be lukewarm. What is God going to do to stir the thing up? He’s going to baptize his people, not with water but with?
(Wilfred) Before that.
(A man in the audience) The Spirit.
(Wilfred) With the Spirit. And then with fire. And you want to go a little further? Verse 28, so we get the picture. 28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters” No, I didn’t read that right. I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh and one young women shall prophesy. You read it.
(A man in the audience) I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.
(Wilfred) “Sons”, what does that mean? Plural, more than one. And what?
(A man in the audience) And daughters.
(Wilfred) And daughters and that’s plural too isn’t it. So there is going to be at least four. “And your old men shall dream dreams, Oh well, they have been dreaming for a long time. These are going to be different kind of dreams. “And your young men shall see” - Not man, but men. So there is going to be at least two. Got the picture?
(John) It’s going to be many.
(Wilfred) Yes, there is going to be many. Well, I won’t read the rest of it. Now, It talks about the darkening of the sun and all the rest of it in that chapter. And there again we have the unfolding meanings and we can’t take time to go into all that.
(A woman in the audience) Mr. Johnson.
(A woman in the audience) That part back in ....
(Wilfred) I’m going back there, that’s where I want to go.
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible.
(Wilfred) Yes, I didn’t want to get into that because it has a slightly different trend there. The Lord often does that, He puts additional thoughts in that have wider expansion of meaning. And we can get so fouled up when we go into all these side avenues. But to contemn means to bypass, to go by. And, the rod, well I would have to go in and really do a job with that. Can I leave that and do it another time? Would you mine if I did?
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Probably. I can’t recall. But the sword, I would rather leave it and do it at another time so I don’t do a half job of it. What I want to get tonight is this business about the sword coming upon God’s people and terrors by reason of the sword. Verse 12 “Shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon the thigh.” Now I want you to get verse 13. Why is the sword coming upon God’s people? Ok, It’s coming “It is a trial,” You’ve heard about the shaking coming upon God’s people. Haven’t you? Now, I could go in and read you statements on that too, I’ve a bunch of them today. But, we can come back to them and read some of these statements latter.
We have thought in terms of the trial being persecution and that is correct, persecution is gong to come upon God’s people. When they proclaim the truth, persecution will start up. But I would like you to notice that this trial that we are talking about is a trial that comes from the Word of the Lord, His sword. This is a trial that will come upon God’s people to test them in the thing that is the most important thing relative to God’s law. Because He wants his people to come up to the standard of his righteousness. And do you know what His standard of righteousness is?
(John) Perfect obedience to the law of God.
(Wilfred) And do you know what the law of God is?
(John) Self-renouncing love.
(Wilfred) What kind of love?
(John) Self-renouncing love.
(Wilfred) That is the basic principle of God’s law on which everything is built. We’re to come up on this principle. But, listen, we can’t get along with one another yet, let alone with our enemies. And Jesus said. You have heard how it is said you are supposed to love your friends. Huh? Your brothers. But, I say unto you, love your enemies and it goes on to say, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” The Father loved his enemies, us, while we yet sinners. If we are going to reflect his character perfectly we’ve got to have that same self-renouncing love for our enemies, not just for our friends. Now, Don’t you see that God has to first start with his own people so they can love one another? Remember Jesus’ last prayer? His whole concern was for these follows who had no other thought than who was gong to be the biggest one in the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s all they were thinking about even after his resurrection. So Jesus, He had a long prayer there, I think it was in John 17 or somewhere in there. About getting along with your brother. I’m going to read you a statement shortly, from The Spirit of Prophesy which says it in so many words. That the Lord is going to bring new truth among his people to test them on this point. And I have read you preparatory statements so I hope when that test comes to you you’re going to meet the test and pass it. Do you follow me?
The sword is going to be sharpened and furbished. It will reflect more light. The sword will reflect more light. And when that light comes to you, as the Spirit of truth comes directly to you personally and reveals the mystery to you personally, as I have read it, and you tell that mystery to me I say, No, No, it doesn’t agree with what I see. And we start hackling and arguing and pretty soon we get hot under the collar and, you know how it goes. Now what’s the test?
(John) Brotherly love.
(Wilfred) Brotherly love. What’s the preparation statement that I read to you? One sees it from point of view and one sees it from the other point of view. Don’t downgrade your brother because he doesn’t agree with what you say. He may be wrong, he may be right. You may be dead sure you’re right and dead sure he is wrong, and some day you may have to swallow what you’ve said. You must be prepared to renounce your cherished opinion. That is what she says. If you are humble, and I can read you all those statements and I have done it before, if you are humble, if you are contrite, sincere, and you come to the word of God with an open heart and an open mind, willing to learn, recognizing that you don’t know very much. He will teach you, you will learn.
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Yes. And you will. Now while we are on this. Turn over to Ezekiel chapter 9. And you will see what this sword thing is really all about. 1 “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near,” .... Can you tell me who that is?
(A woman in the audience) The leaders.
(Wilfred) What is the city?
(A man in the audience) Jerusalem.
(Wilfred) And what is Jerusalem.
(John) The Church.
(Wilfred) The Church. Sister White makes a reference to this very passage and says that it is the Church. And who are the ones who have charge over the Church?
(A woman in the audience) The leaders.
(Wilfred) All right. So He’s calling them, causing them to come that have charge to draw near, right? He wants their attention. “Even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; 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 where is that?
(John) The Church.
(Wilfred) “Through the midst of Jerusalem,” And what is he to do? “And set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Sister White explains it to us. She says this is a picture of the sealing of God’s people. She also says that the sealing is a settling into the truth. Now, do you get the connection with the sword?
(John) The slaughter weapon.
(Wilfred) The slaughter weapon. A settling into the truth. The Spirit of truth is to come in the latter rain to guide us into all truth. That’s what the Bible says. That’s His job. The abundant out-pouring is coming; the Spirit of truth is to guide you unto all truth. Now the abundant out-pouring is coming in the latter rain. And it’s to prepare the people to stand in the last great conflict and it’s to keep them from sinning, it’s to transform their hearts, we have gone through all these things. And now, it is to seal them. And the sealing, and it says that Holy Spirit is......
(John) They are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.
(Wilfred) That’s right. The promise of the Spirit to come is the thing that’s going to seal. And when you become settled into the truth there is nothing that can move you. And that is what the sealing is. It’s a settling into the truth.
Now, she talks about a mark, and the Bible talks about a mark that nobody can read except the destroying angels. And he’ll pass over that. See? Nobody else can tell whether you are sealed or not. It’s an unseen mark. Now I say that reservedly, you can’t read the mark. But when the test comes upon God’s people it won’t be very long until it is obvious who is being sealed and who isn’t. That will be very obvious to those who are being sealed. And she says that very plainly too. She says that we don’t need to argue about who the hundred and forty four thousand are and quibble about this. She goes on to say. They’re going to know that positively very soon who they are. They will know.
What’s going on in the Church at the time of the sealing?
(Wilfred) And what are the saints doing about it?
(John) Sighing and crying.
(Wilfred) Why are they doing that?
(John) They’re pleading, they’re praying, they’re broken hearted at what’s taken place.
(A woman in the audience) If the Spirit of truth comes to guide us into all truth, shouldn’t everyone see that truth the same or will we all see it differently?
(Wilfred) Those who are sealed, their hearts will be perfectly united.
(A woman in the audience) They’ll see the same thing .......
(Wilfred) Well the fundamental truths, yes. They will all see the same; there may be peripheral truths that they see differently. And there is no crime in that. I mean, we all have different minds, different experience, and different jobs. So we see different things in preparation for doing those jobs. But you know what the sealing truth is, don’t you?
(A woman in the audience) The Sabbath.
(Wilfred) The Sabbath. Yes. And it says, that we are going to go forth and proclaim the Sabbath more fully. Note this: More fully. Now that could mean more extensively and it does, but it could also mean more in-depth. Do you understand? We’ll understand the Sabbath with a deeper meaning. And maybe we’ll have a chance to get at that one of these nights. The Sabbath has a profound meaning, a profound meaning. And that is the sealing truth.
Those who honor God’s law and his Sabbath will be sealed. Now then, it goes on to say that the other men were told to go through, after this sealing angel, “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 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” Where? At my sanctuary. - Right at the core. “Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Well I don’t think we need to read any more of that. You’ve got the essence of it. If you want to comment on that you can find it in Sister White’s writings, Early Writings.
(John) While you are looking that up, can I read two statements that you quoted?
(Wilfred) Yes, go ahead.
(John) The first one is on the hundred and forty four thousand it says, who is to compose the hundred and forty four thousand? Those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question. Volume 7A of the Bible Commentary, Page 978.
The other statement that Brother Johnson quoted about the sealing is this, it says just as soon as, and this is found in the forth volume of the Bible Commentary page 1161, “Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads, it is not a 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) Did you get that? As soon as we are prepared, it’s coming. What’s holding it up? We are not prepared. What’s God going to do to get us ready? He’s going to bring that sword upon us.
(John) Which is synonymous with the out-pouring of the Spirit at the latter rain.
(Wilfred) Yes, it is.
(A woman in the audience) The sealing then comes first?
(Wilfred) The sealing comes first. But it overlaps, I mean, some people are sealed before others.
(John) She goes on to say that in her day indeed it has already begun.
(Wilfred) Of course there are different levels of sealing too. People were sealed all down through the history of the Church. But this is a special type of sealing. These people have to stand without a mediator, see? It’s going to be a pretty deep settling into the truth.
Now, can I read what it is that causes the shaking? From Early Writings page 270, I’ll just read part of this. “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 is what will cause a shaking among God's people.” Did you notice where the shaking is? Among whom?
(John) Among God’s people.
(Wilfred) What is going to cause it?
(John) The straight testimony of the true witness to the Laodiceans.
(Wilfred) Who is the true witness to the Laodiceans? Jesus. The Testimony of Jesus is what?
(John) The Spirit of Prophesy.
(Wilfred) What is going to cause the shaking?
(John) The Spirit of Prophesy.
(Wilfred) What did we read in Joel that is going to happen when the Spirit is poured out?
(John) Many people will prophesy.
(Wilfred) And what are they going to say? What’s the sword all about? What’s the sword all about? It’s sharper and it’s brighter. What’s going to happen to the truth when the Spirit of Prophesy comes to these people?
(John) New things.
(Wilfred) Ok! New things! New things are going to come out of the Word. The Spirit of Prophesy, the straight testimony. It will build on the old and establish it. So that they become settled into it, they can see it so positively that they will never be moved. It won’t grow old and fade, and then lose its power. Like she says it will if they don’t move on, see? But those who move on and accept the advancing light and see it; it will be to them a seal, but it is going to cause the shaking among God’s people. Some will not bear the straight testimony. Do you get the picture?
(John) They rise up against it. She said.
(A woman in the audience)
(A woman in the audience) But it is not really The Spirit of Prophesy as we think of it, I mean, it is not Mrs. White, it’s these other people that come and prophesy and ..............
(Wilfred) Well, do you think that The Spirit of Prophesy is Mrs. White?
(Same woman ) No.
(John) She was an agent.
(Same woman) She was one of the prophets, the last prophet.
(Wilfred) Yes, but she is not The Spirit of Prophesy.
(Same woman) Well, I thought she was.
(Wilfred) Well let’s get that straight. Mrs. White is not The Spirit of Prophesy, she had the gift of the Spirit of Prophesy, and there will be others who will have the gift of the Spirit of Prophesy. Did I get that thought across tonight?
(Same woman) Yes.
(Wilfred) Well, I can also take it out of The Spirit of Prophesy itself. Although some people will not take the scales off their eyes to see it.
(Same woman) Well, since our Church has only one accepted prophet....Unintelligible
(Wilfred) That’s true. And we would not need any more prophets. We would not need any more if....
You said a very important thought there, you expressed it. And we have read a number of statements that deal with this and I have more.
We are facing the most critical time this Church has ever seen, barring none. This Church is going to be shaken all to pieces. And out of it are going to come a group of saints. Many are going to go to their graves and others are going to go through the seven last plagues. And the choice is ours, if we will open our hearts to the influence of God’s spirit and fulfill the conditions for receiving the latter rain and submit our will to the will of God as Jesus did through this terrible ordeal we will survive, and then God can give us back our freedom of choice. But the only freedom of choice we can have in this mess that we are in is freedom to choose to go God’s way. Freedom to choose to surrender our will to God. It’s the only choice we really have. If we don’t choose that way we are under the complete control of Satan. I could read you that.
(Same woman) Will we have the same freedom of choice....?
(Wilfred) Oh, yes. Oh, yes. We lost it, you see? The devil saw to that. He’s the fellow who questioned freedom of choice in the first place, and God’s law. So, God let him go ahead and show what the results really would be. And he lost his freedom and we lost it too when Adam sinned. But we have freedom to choose God. And if we do, He will supply the power wherewith we can overcome sin. He will provide the power, the blood, and we know what that is now, I hope. That will cleanse our soul temples from sin, and all filthiness. We’ll go through the grueling ordeal which will purify us and make us white and fit for the Kingdom of heaven.
It may not be a very pleasant thing to think about, some people have nightmares and bad dreams when they talk about the terrible day of the Lord. And I suppose the little boy who gets a spanking from his daddy has a few nightmares too. Parents?
(A woman) It depends on how much he realizes....
(Wilfred) Oh, come on. How many of you have had a good spanking from one of your parents at one time or the other. Did you have a bad dream after that? No? Oh, I knew some kids that would wake up howling and crying in the middle of the night. The Lord is going to spank his people. He doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t want to do it. He’s waiting and waiting, and waiting, but the world is getting to the point that now where if he waits very much longer there won’t be many people left in the world. They will destroy themselves. So he’s going to cut it short. And that’s why I’m here. And that’s why you’re here, if you are willing to take up the challenge. God needs voices to speak his truth, to stir his people up, to prepare them for the shaking and the sealing, and the ordeal that they are going to go through in order to accomplish it. That’s what He needs, and if you can see it and are willing to go God’s way you are going to meet the persecution that she talks about, no doubt about it, and you will meet it right from people within your own church. You will meet it right from people within your own family, some of you. And I can read you that, and I’m going to if my tape lasts. And that’s not very pleasant, but the Lord is going to give you a taste of what He’s been enduring for thousands of years. He is sensitive to all the wickedness in the world. Here is his perfect creation gone all haywire, everything He does to try to do it right the devil and all his angels and the ones he’s controlling in this world mess it up for Him. The righteous suffer things they don’t deserve to suffer, it’s not their own fault. Jesus suffered that too. He didn’t deserve any suffering whatsoever, but He suffered it. And He suffered it as an example for us, so that we should follow his steps, who did no sin. I guess we could read that at this point, couldn’t we?
You’ll find that over in I Peter chapter 2 starting with verse 19 about I guess 19 “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering”. Because he deserves it? No, wrongfully, wrongfully. Now that’s good, it is thankworthy if a man for conscience toward God can endure grief suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults. Ye shall take it patiently?” See, suppose you do get it because it’s your own fault, what’s that? You just deserve it. “But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called:” He has actually called you to endure wrongful suffering. You’re called to do that. “Because Christ also suffered for us,” Why? “Leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” Now where did His steps go?
(Wilfred) Yes, and read the next verse.
(John) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.
(Wilfred) Now if we follow his example and follow his steps we’re going to hit the same spot, aren’t we?
(John) It says neither was guile found in his mouth. And it says the same thing about the hundred and forty four thousand in the book of Revelation.
(Wilfred) Just keep your finger on that spot and go over to Revelation 14 you’ll see it. Verse 1, He talks about “The hundred and forty four thousand having his Father's name written in their foreheads.” Verse 4 “These are they .... which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” So they follow Him all the way, right?
(Wilfred) “Who”, talking about Jesus again back in I Peter 23 “Who, when he was reviled,“ He fought right back and told them you can’t get away with that. You can’t do that to me, I’m the King of the universe, who do you think you are? Is that what He did? “When He was reviled He reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;” But what did He do? “Committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Is that what you do? When one of your brothers does you wrong. Oh boy, The Bible says we are not supposed to take our brother to law. What do we do with him?
(John) Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
(Wilfred) Well, it depends upon the crime; you can talk to him about it. If he doesn’t listen to you take one or two brethren from the church with you and talk to him some more. If he doesn’t listen to you, the Bible says that you can treat him like an outcast. But that depends on the crime see?
(John) You mentioned about the shaking and what a fearful time it was, and I just though it might be appropriate to read this statement. It says, “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out - the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.”
(A woman in the audience) Well some will be going out as some will be coming in.
(Wilfred) For a while, but ultimately, there will be only the hundred and forty four thousand left.
(Another man in the audience) What is the reference on that quote?
(John) That’s the 7th volume of the Bible Commentary page 911.
(Same woman) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) The Spirit of Prophesy is a gift of the Spirit.
(Same woman) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Like apostles and teachers and pastors and what have you.
(Same woman) So that’s a gift?
(Wilfred) It’s a gift of the Spirit. Right.
What was the point of what you just read?
(John) The fact that the shaking must come but it is a terrible time of trial and that it appears as though the Church is about to fall but doesn’t fall.
(Wilfred) Now, I made the statement that we are going to have a terrible shaking and it’s going to shake our church all to pieces. Here is what I meant. When the shaking is over there will be a hundred and forty four thousand people in little companies scattered in isolated places,
(Another man in the audience) But they will still be the organized Church....everyone of them.
(Same man) How do you explain this? The same movement that left Egypt entered Canaan except in a different generation.
(John) Well, I would like to make this comment, That I don’t see how it is possible for an organization as we now understand it to go through because our whole organization is built up on a financial bases, and long before this is over no man can buy or sell, the tithe is going to dry up. I believe it’s going to be under the organization of the Holy Spirit. There is a statement in The Spirit of Prophesy that says, it will be seen that the Lord will be taking the reins into his own hands. Now if the tithe dries up and our organization is dependant on, God built this organization, it’s dependant though on a flow of money. When this disappears, the type of organization as such as we know little about must take its place.
(A woman in the audience) The government will make sure that by that time there is no General Conference.....
(Wilfred) She tells us that the time is coming when those who have money, it will be of no value. The work of the Church has an end, it will finish. By the time probation closes the work of the organized church is finished. There is nothing more to do. The work from there on in is by the Spirit of God with the individual soul.
(A woman in the audience) And really, I don’t think it would matter, people that come in from different churches, they’re not going to be worried about being called Seven-day Adventists, they have the doctrine but....
(Wilfred) See, when probation closes there is no more sinners that are going to be saved. The judgment is all finished. There is no point taking the gospel any further. What is the need for the organized Church? Those who are sealed are sealed, and those who are not sealed are not sealed, and let him who is righteous be righteous still. And let him who is filthy be filthy still, however, we don’t need to get hung up on this point, I didn’t even intend to bring it in, I don’t know how it got there.
What I meant to say is that among our people in our church we are going to have a terrible shaking. And I could read you statements in which she says that many of these people who think they are grounded in the Seventh-day Adventist faith and truth are going to be shaken off their feet, I mean they're just not going to hold.
(A woman in the audience) Especially those people who think you get
into Heaven if you are an organized church. Just by being there as a
(Wilfred) I think I’d better read a few statements at this point. Can you tolerate a few more?
(John) May I make just one statement that came to me?
(Wilfred) All right.
(John) Regarding this question that Brother Unruh made. The statement is made in The Spirit of Prophesy that the work will be finished contrary to any human planning. Contrary to any human planning.
(Same man) The Lord finishes the work, we don’t.
(Wilfred) Yes, that’s right. That’s correct. She definitely says that the time is coming when it will be seen that the Lord is taking the reins. REINS are those things you steer the horses by. He’s taking the reins into His own hands, that time is coming.
(Same woman) The sealing time is going to be very rapid times.
(Wilfred) They are going to be very rapid.
(Same man) That’s volume 5 of the Testimonies for the Church.
(Wilfred) Now don’t think I’m downgrading the organization. No, way. I wouldn’t be in this church today if I felt it wasn’t going to hang on. She has statements that indicate to me that this church is going to stay with it until the job's done. And I believe that, and that’s why I’m in it. God’s people are in this church, although the majority is still outside of it. God’s truth is in this Church, He has entrusted this Church with the truth. And the expanding truth is now coming into it. It’s kicking up all over the place. And our Church has voted to get a library of tapes from different people, and some of these people are bringing out truths that you need to listen to. The tapes will be loaned to you free. And if you want to follow through with what the Lord is doing you listen to those tapes and you will see. The Spirit of God is working with different minds bringing out different truths in a deeper and clearer manner that we have never really spotted before. We are in it already and it is high time that we got acquainted with it.
Listen to what she says here, and I have a lot here I just wanted to say tonight but I’ll just have to skip it. Maybe I’ll take another evening on this yet if it seems warranted. Listen to what she says in 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. They complained that He disturbed the people, and they wished He would let them alone; for He caused perplexity and dissension.” Now listen, here is the statement that tells why the Lord sends the light to his people. I’m quoting, “The Lord sends light to us to prove what manner of spirit we are of.” End quote. Here is the test of brotherly love. Do you see it? No? Ok. Some of you see it anyway.
The proclaiming to his own people truth that they already know and understand will not bring on a trial of dissension and persecution. Do you see that? If somebody proclaims the truth just as it’s always been proclaimed, is that going to cause any dissension and persecution? No, that won’t. So, It is the revelation of additional truth and greater light that will bring on this trial. Do you see that connection with that polished sword and that sharpened sword do you get that connection now?
Herein is the manner by which the true Witness will spew his lukewarm people with the sword that issues out of his mouth. I’m not reading this from the Spirit of Prophesy these are my own words but I’m reading them so I get them right. Nor will merely some of them be spewed, there is not going to be just a few of them thrown out. He said, because they were lukewarm He's going to spew them out of his mouth. It’s just that simple. The whole bunch of them are gong to get spewed by the sword. The text means exactly what it says. It is plain, it is a plain “Thus saith the Lord”.
“So then, because thou art lukewarm,” I’m reading it again. “And neither cold nor hot I will spew thee out of my mouth.” The servant of the Lord, that’s Sister White, has cautioned that if anyone would come forward with purported new truth let Him present a plain “Thus saith the Lord”. Here the Lord says plainly that He will spew his lukewarm Laodicean people out of his mouth. Now I have brought you a different way of looking at that text. And I am pointing you right now back to the text itself again to show you what it says. And I just read it, and it is as plain as it can be. It can’t be any plainer, that l can see. How could the Lord have said it any plainer then that? Because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot I will spew thee out of my mouth. And he is talking to the Laodicean people, not a part of them, to the people. Do you see logic in what has been presented on the point?
Now by the Spirit of truth will the Word be made bright, for the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. Every Seventh-day Adventist knows that there is to be an hour, a day, a great outpouring of the spirit upon God’s people. But not every Seventh-day Adventist realizes that then the Word of God will become a penetrating sword. By the power of the spirit through the word will the soul of each saint be laid bear. And the true thoughts and intents of the hearts made clear to the consciousness, you’ll find out what you’re like inside and you’ll get shocked.
Listen to what Hebrews says. Chapter 4 verses 12 through 13. I’ll read it so we don’t take too much time. 12 “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” You can’t hide anything. “13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight” Everything is open. ”But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” What does it say about the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:17? It says that they didn’t know that they were naked. They were blind, miserable, and poor, they didn’t know. Now the Spirit is going to come and show them.
Well, I think I can skip over a lot of this. I think I’ve got the point across. I want to read you a few statements. There is a number here about the purification of the character. I read you the one in Matthew 5; at least I referred to it, where it says love your enemies. That you may be the children of your father which is in heaven, be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect. The purification and perfection of our characters will come through the discipline of God through trials and suffering. And we are going to read a few things that's going to bear that out. Can you bear with me? don’t go to sleep, this is really important.
5 Testimonies for the Church page 136. “Soon God's people will be tested by fiery trials,” What kind? “And the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal.” How many people have we got here tonight? 21. “The great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal.” Now that doesn’t necessarily mean the great proportion of this group, it’s never us it is always the other fellow.
(Several talking a once in the audience) How can you make sure.... Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Well, I rather think that if you were base metal you wouldn’t even be here. I don’t think anybody is coming here for any other reason then to get the truth. If you are, the Lord will deal with you. If you’re coming here just to see what we are doing and see if you can tear it to pieces and you know what I mean. God will deal with you, and I feel sorry for you. But if you are coming here because you are genuinely interested getting truth and getting ready for the day that’s coming very soon, more power to you and the lord will bless you and do it for you. So, we are going to have severe trials.
Early Writings page 47, Oh, listen, here she talks very plainly, very plainly, she says, "God has shown me” Now this isn’t just her own idea. This is what God showed her. Early Writings page 47, am I going too fast? I am working under pressure against that tape, I want to get so much in because there is so much to go and we never know how many more days we’ve got. Some of us may not be here next week. “God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink,” Do you remember that experience where these two disciples, James and John with their Momma came to Jesus and Momma said to Jesus, Won’t you put one on one side and one on the other side with you in the Kingdom? Here’s that same thought again, self-exaltation, same old thought. Remember what Jesus said? I can’t do that; it’s not mine to give. It’s for the Father to decide that. But, He said, “Are you able to drink of that cup that I have to drink and be baptized with the baptism that I have to be baptized with?” That’s what He said to James and John. And they said yes, we can do that. And He said, you shall.
(John) They had a taste of that.
(Wilfred) They did. Listen what this cup is, “Bitter cup to drink,” What for? “To purify and cleanse them.” Have you prayed for purification and cleansing? Have you? Now do you see what you’re praying for? Are you willing to do it? Do you know why it was that Jesus suffered like that? As an example. He didn’t deserve that. He did it because it’s the only way that you and I could become purified. And if he hadn’t done it as an example for us where do you suppose we would have gone when it hit.
(John) Doesn’t it say, The captain of our salvation?
(Wilfred) I was just looking it up.
(Wilfred) Thanks John. Just let me read it. “Though He were a son yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” Now tell me, did Jesus need to learn obedience?
(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible
(John) In his humanity He did.
(Wilfred) He learned obedience as a child like every other child learns obedience, but He never sinned. He never sinned. Anything He did He did innocently. Now, I’m not prepared to say precisely what Jesus did when He was a little boy. I won’t say it. All I know is that the Bible says, He learned obedience. He learned it by the things which He suffered and being made perfect He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him. Now listen, He became the what of salvation? The author. Do you know what an author is? He’s the beginner of it. The one who makes it in the first place. Why did He go through this experience of learning obedience by suffering? Because that is the way of salvation and He showed us the way by example. Do you follow that? And He is going to give salvation to all that do what?
(John) Obey Him.
(Wilfred) Obey Him, right you are.
Now, here is another one, Hebrews chapter 2 and chapter 5, 9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” He was made a little lower than the angels so He could suffer the sufferings of death. 10 “For it became him,” That means it was suitable for Him. “For whom are all things, and by whom are all things,” It was suitable for this one, who made everything, created it all, “In bringing many sons unto glory,” That means, in bringing many sons to the perfection of His character. That’s what it means. Glory is his character. In bringing many sons to glory he is bringing them to the perfection of His character. It became Him in doing this to make the captain of their salvation, who’s the captain of their salvation?
(A man in the audience) Jesus.
(Wilfred) “To make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” It became Him to do that. 11 “For both he that sanctifieth” That would be Jesus. “And they who are sanctified” And that would be us. “Are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” Don’t you see? He came down to our level, became one of us, went through all the experiences, He even went through repentance before his baptism. Did you know that?
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Yes, it’s in your SDA Bible Commentary 7A. Check it. If I am wrong, I’ll take it back.
(John) What did He repent of?
(Wilfred) He went through the steps the same as we do.
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) That’s right. It does sound like he wasn’t perfect.
(John) There is a statement, and I can’t tell you exactly where it is but I can find it sometime tonight. It says, in His humanity He wrought out a perfect character. He wrought it out. And this character He offers to give to us.
(Wilfred) I wish I could find that other one. I would like to find it sometime tonight I don’t want you to go away with that idea which isn’t correct.
(A woman in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) What He did, He became sin for us, that’s what the Bibles says.
(John) He didn’t become a sinner.
(Wilfred) He did not become a sinner, but He became sin. I don’t want to stop to look that up now because I might be a while finding it. So will you let me go on, but we’ll find that statement, but in the meanwhile just tuck it away in the back shelf.
Jesus became the example for us so that when we have to go through this we will not become discouraged but we will rejoice. Listen to what Peter says, this is I Peter chapter 4 first verse, 1 “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh” And you read it.
(Several voices in the audience) Hath ceased from sin.
(Wilfred) “Hath ceased from sin;” There is a connection between suffering in the flesh and ceasing from sin. There is a connection between suffering and learning obedience. I’ve read that now from different places. Let me read a little more. 2 “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Down in verse 12 he says, 12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” 13 “But” Do what? Rejoice. Can you rejoice when you are plunged into fiery trials? Can you? You can if you’ll take this council. He says, “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of” Who’s suffering? What kind of sufferings did He have? Unjust, undeserved, the only kind He ever had and you’re partaking of that. What kind of suffering are you going to have? Unjust, undeserved, you’re going to be proclaiming truth from God’s Word and somebody is going to give you hail Colombia because you do it. Some people have even been thrown out of a church sometimes. Sister White was, not our church but the one she was in before, teaching the truth.
(John) She was very severely persecuted by some of the brethren at Battle Creek in the early days of our message when her husband had a nervous breakdown.
(Wilfred) Yes, and in the 1888 movement she took the side of Jones and Waggoner and the message of righteousness by faith, and she was very severely criticized, she was given a rough time. And she defended those two men, not so much the men as the message. And those two men were so ill treated, and it’s amazing what God did for them, but they were so ill-treated that they were unable to stand the test. And they apostatized, and Sister White stayed by. Now that was quite a blow, I would think. Here she supported two men who were teaching what she said was truth and those two men left the church. Imagine what kind of criticism she would get for supporting them. But she knew that they were teaching the truth and she never budged. She also knew that the brethren, some of them who were resisting the new light, the new truth, were wrong, but she submitted to the jurisdiction of the brethren. And patiently she waited, and gradually she brought in more statements and it has been only within the last few months that denominationally our brethren have admitted that something went wrong.
(A man in the audience) ...you can see that she was actually cleaning the church within a church...she cleaned the house...you can’t clean the house if you are on the outside of the church.
(Wilfred) If I get what you are stating you mean that it is better to work with the brethren than to become antagonistic and get thrown out and then throw darts back at the church.
(Same man in the audience) That’s right.
(Wilfred) That’s correct. And the folks who have been unwilling to submit to the discipline of God through his church have had to go through a more difficult route and some of them will lose their way and some of them won’t. But it’s a lot harder to get back. Who puts people out of the church incidentally? While we are on that we might as well just think a little bit about it.
(John) Their brethren.
(Wilfred) Yes, the local church. They are disfellowshiped from the local church. In other words, the local brethren, the brethren which the individual is working loses confidence in him and he is disfellowshiped for some specific reason. The moral of the story is that if you work with the brethren, if you are willing to pull in your horns, even though you are right, and wait for the angel to lead God’s people like Sister White did then you will survive and you will triumph. She says it in more than one place. She says in one place, if we move ahead of the angel who is leading this people we’ll have to retrace every step. She says in another place that if we move ahead of the angels who are leading this people we will have to retrace every step.
(John) Brother Johnson I don’t want to put you on the spot but I would like to read a text and ask if you would care to comment on it. Because it seems to be on the subject tonight and also just before Christ’s appears it says in Isaiah 66 verse 5, “Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his Word; 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.” Is this future? Or would you like to just put it on the shelf?
(Wilfred) I would prefer to let the future reveal itself. I would like to give this council, The most important thing in the mind of Jesus before He left his disciples was what?
(A man in the audience) Unity.
(Wilfred) Unity of the brethren. What do you think the most important thing today is?
(A woman in the audience) Unity.
(Wilfred) She says, press together. Press together.
(A woman in the audience) We need our brethren, in regards to these trials and stuff, we need our brethren even though we have to stand on ourselves....
(Wilfred) That’s true. Would you believe it? Some of the things I am telling you tonight I have known for over thirty-five years, but I could not share them, because the brethren would not tolerate them.
(A woman in the audience) Well, what were these things you just mentioned a little while ago that were just accepted in the last few months?
(Wilfred) The fact that the denomination rejected the 1888 message of righteousness by faith, they did not accept it in full. And that’s why we are still in the world today. If we had accepted the message and gone forward we would have been in the Kingdom. That admission has been made in the last few months. There have been quite a few folks kicked out of the church who have been waiting a long time for that to happen, now they’ve got nothing to say on that point. But, what about us? Shouldn’t we be ashamed of ourselves? Is it possible that somebody can make a mistake in our denomination? Do you think that is possible?
Well, just before I go on to that I want to finish this statement or we are going to get lost on it. This one about “Rejoice because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings”. Why do you rejoice? “That, when his glory shall be revealed,” What is his glory?
(John) His character.
(Wilfred) And how is it going to be revealed?
(A woman in the audience) Through his people.
(Wilfred) Through his people. “Ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” What is going to happen as you partake of these sufferings and you discover the nature of Christ’s sufferings?
(A woman in the audience) You will understand.
(Wilfred) You will understand what Jesus is doing for you and what He has done. What will that show you about Him?
(A woman in the audience) The love.
(Wilfred) The love for you. It will reveal to you his love. You will never understand the love of Jesus for you and the love of God until He permits you to plunge into the sufferings He has been going through for your sake. When you are plunged into it you will suddenly realize what your sin has done to Him. What’s that going to do to you inside? That’s going to stir your love for Him isn’t it? Love begets love. When you see what He has really done for you. Think about some of your friends here. You’re sick and you can’t do your own housework and some dear sister in the church comes in and does all your housework for you, how do you feel about it? You are so thankful. You just love her for doing that. She had her own work to do. See? But she did that for you. Here is Jesus who has been suffering from the time of the beginning of sin and He will continue to suffer as long as you continue to sin. He can’t lay down His mediatorial robes so to speak, until you quit sinning or you couldn’t stand. Do you see that? So, He is continuing to bear the sufferings of your continuing transgressions. And you may have a question about that but I can read you the statement that deals with it. It isn’t the same kind of suffering that he had on the cross in the sense that He have spikes put through His hands. No, it’s the pain in the heart. But do you realize that the physical suffering on the cross was not the real suffering? There have been lots of people who have been crucified. The real suffering was what went on inside. And I again refer to Sister White, she says, the cross of Calvary reveals to our dull senses the pain that entered the heart of God at the inception of sin. That’s not exactly word for word but it’s pretty close.
(John) Page 263 of Education.
(Wilfred) Good, All right, I’ve finished that verse. And we were talking about the test of brotherly love among the brethren and the animosity that arises sometimes because the spirit of Satan gets into the hearts of those who disagree and the character of God is not represented. You cannot represent the character of God until you are filled with the love of God. And this is the crucial thing, now Sister White set the example back in 1888, she set the example, she was a prophet of God and she submitted to the slowness of the church and waited for the angel to move the people ahead. Do you follow? And that’s what we have to do. If God gives you truth that is in advance of what we have at the present time, and He may do that, he has done it with others, you are at liberty to share it only in so far as you share it with people who will appreciate it and understand it without causing undue dissension among the brethren. At the same time the day is coming when they are going to pour forth the straight testimony, they can’t help themselves, the Spirit of God is going to come upon them and they are going to see it through. Well, when you get into that predicament you’ll know it. You won’t be able to do anything about it because you are going to say to yourself, I am telling you just exactly what she says. She describes it. You’re going to say to yourself, I‘m not going to talk about that anymore I refuse because look at what it gets me into. And she says that the Spirit of God will come upon them and they will pour forth the truth, can’t stop. You will be under the control of the Spirit of God doing God’s work. And then the persecution will come. But don’t bring on a time of persecution before the time or else you’re the one who gets hit.
Now, Not everybody who refuses, now, just before I go on to that. This all started with Early Writings page 47. My how we get off on these side streets. “God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them.” I’ll read the rest of it now. Please try to pay attention. “It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining.” So don’t do that. Accept it. “But those who receive it thus must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart." You have the choice either take as many draughts as is necessary to get rid of your murmuring and complaining or else be left filthy and impure. Whichever you want. One or the other. “I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened” Here’s the good part. This is the desert. “I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honored and glorified.” Who is going to be honored and glorified? God. And that should be your motivation for exercising patience and endurance, because He’s going to perfect you for His glory, and incidentally you’ll cash in on it too. This bitter cup is not merely a cup of physical suffering, I am reading my own writing here now, it is the cup of suffering of which Jesus drank. His suffering involved accepting the consequences of a complete submission to the will of God. Did you get that? His suffering involved accepting the consequences of a complete submission to the will of God. He was willing to submit to God completely no matter what happened and He suffered for it. The meaning of this statement will expand as our experience progresses, it included suffering that the consequences of speaking forth the truth in spite of serious misunderstanding by his own people regarding his true motives and character. His own people misunderstood his true motives and character. You know that don’t you? It involved being baptized with a baptism of fire, the antagonism, opposition, and persecution, arising from his own brethren in Israel because He preached the furthest word of truth. It was by this means that the Lord suffered. And by this means will the sword of the Lord come upon his people to reprove them. For Jesus said, and here is Mathew 10:34–36, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth” Wait a minute here, didn’t the angel say, that they came to the shepherds at night, Peace on earth good will toward men when Jesus came? Didn’t they say that? Well, what’s this all about? “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace, but a sword.” 35 “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” 36 “And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.” Did you know that Jesus said that? What’s He talking about?
(John) His Word.
(Wilfred) He’s talking about the very same thing we have been talking about. That when you preach the truth of His Word, when you bring out the message of the Laodicean to the Laodicean church, when you proclaim the straight testimony of the true witness, you are going to meet unfair opposition. And it may come from your own household. Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” 38 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” 39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” And that is also found in Mark 8:35 and Luke 12:49 more or less the same thing. Now it is not necessarily true that all who fail to attain the degree of perfection and purification which is required to stand before a Holy God after the close of probation that they will be lost, not necessarily. The fire whereby the gold is purified will try every man’s work and reveal whether it will endure precious metal or be burned as wood and stubble. But though his work may be burned and he may suffer loss yet he himself does not necessarily have to be lost. I Corinthians 11:15 you’ll find that.
I Corinthians 3:11–15, it says, 11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious, stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,” What day?
(John) The day of the Lord.
(Wilfred) Yes, “Because it shall be revealed” By what? “Fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” But listen to this next part. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” If a man is faithful, that is if he is full of faith unto death, he will be saved. That is, if his faith in the promises of God does not fail despite the burning of His works, he may not be qualified to stand as God’s witness during the seven last plagues but he will be plucked as a brand from the fire, he may meet a violent death of persecution but otherwise be laid in the tomb, but he will still be accounted righteous if his faith does not fail. For righteousness comes by faith. The promise is that Jesus will make up for his deficiency with his own divine merit. That’s in Ist Selected Messages, I don’t have the exact reference.
Now listen to what happens to these people who are unable to make it but they still hang on to the Lord. Isaiah 57 verses 1 and 2. 1 “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. 2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” Many of God’s people are going to be laid asleep, because they are unable to go through the final conflict. But they have been faithful unto death and He will save them. Not unless you turn away from God and give up your faith in Him will you be lost.
Now here is another one from Ist Selected Messages page 382.2, “When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as mans best service and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit.” That’s a tremendous statement. That’s the one that should give you comfort. You go as far as you can go, God will take care of it if you have done the best you can.
Well, I have a lot more here. But, it’s time to close. And I have really only gotten half way through. Some of the statements I wanted to read you, I just hate to let you go without reading them. I really do. Can I read you just a couple of them before you go?
This comes under the section of how the sword will operate. And I explained that here, but I’ll just read a statement. 5 Testimonies for the Church page 708 and 709, “When God's people are at ease and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them.” Does that sound like the Laodiceans? “It is His will that they should be ever moving forward to receive the increased and ever-increasing light” Do you know what that means? Understanding of the Word. “Which is shining for them. The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God. There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light.” Oh, I have heard sermons given right up here in our church; “We have the truth, we have the message, there is no need for any more light.” I’ve heard it. From fellows right down from Washington in our pulpit. I had a hard time keeping still. It is true that she says that all of the light necessary to see us through to the Kingdom of Heaven has been given. That’s true. It was given a long time ago. It’s all in here. But we haven’t seen it all, that’s the point. We haven’t seen it all.
Here is another one. This is Review and Herald April 1st 1890, “To our brethren who are standing in this self-confident, self-satisfied position, who talk and act as if there was no need of more light, we want to say that the Laodicean message is applicable to you.” That’s pretty straight forward isn’t?
Testimonies to Sabbath School Workers page 53, “Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. Many gems are yet scattered that are to be gathered together to be the property of the remnant people of God.” Many Gems.
Evangelism, page 296, “We must not think, "Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge." I know somebody right in this community who said that not very long ago to me. “The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.”
Testimonies to Ministers page 105, “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 - in harmony with God's Word? but,” They ask, ”By whom is it advocated?” That is, who’s bringing it? “And unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas that they will not examine the Scripture evidence with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.”
And I’ll read one more then I’ll quit.
First Selected Messages, page 413, “There are many among us who are prejudiced against the doctrines that are now being discussed. They will not come to hear, they will not calmly investigate, but they put forth their objections in the dark. They are perfectly satisfied with their position. "Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” How do you know? “How do you know but that the Lord is giving fresh evidences of His truth,” Listen. “Placing it in a new setting,” Why? “That the way of the Lord may be prepared?” Does that ring a bell? The way of the Lord may be prepared by placing truth in a new setting. “What evidence have you that God has not sent light to His children? All self-sufficiency, egotism, and pride of opinion must be put away.”
Well, I trust that the Lord will keep us humble, keep us open minded, willing to learn, but not gullible!
(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Did you hear that last statement that I made?
(Several voices in the audience) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) But not gullible. How can you be sure that you are going to get the truth?
(John) Be humble and study.
(Wilfred) Yes, there are several things. Diligent study, humility of a child, submission of your will to the Lord, open-mindedness. Listen! Here is one of the tests. Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, page 210, “When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness,” Then “we may know that it is the truth of God.”
There are others, but my tape is about ready to snap off, so I think we should call it a day.
(Same woman) Those people who are put to rest because they will not be able to stand, do they prove the devil wrong or is it just the one hundred and forty four thousand that prove the devil’s accusations are wrong?
(Wilfred) They can prove it at different levels. The one hundred and forty four thousand are going to meet the standard, they are going to come up to the standard of perfection that enables them to stand without a mediator, and the devil has total access to them. Except their life, he can’t take their life, like Job, but he can do anything else, and they won’t fall. That’s the level they’re going to reach. And only those who obey all of God’s Commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. They testify to their love of Christ by obeying all his commandments, or something to that effect.
(John) Brother Johnson, There is a statement that says we should strive with all our God given might to be members of the one hundred and forty four thousand.
(Wilfred) But not so that we can be big shots.
(John) Because we love Him.
(Wilfred) Because we love Him. Every one of those people, let me tell you, is going to reach a condition when they get flung into this fiery trial where they are going to say, “I don’t want it”. I’d rather just go to sleep. You are going to get to that point. And, then you will see Jesus. If you love me. If you love me won’t you do it? I need you as my witness, I am on trial, the devil has accused me of not being able to save you, that you can’t keep my law. My throne is at stake if you don’t become perfect. Right? My throne is at stake if you don’t become perfect, will you do it for my sake? Then you will come to your decision of total self-denial, which is the law of God.