4. The Relationship of Enmity

By John Thiel, Relationships in the Last Days Conference, Study 4, mp3

Scripture reading: Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

This is our last study in this series on Relationships in the Last Days. We are launching out into the year 2009. As we launch out into this New Year, what are we to expect? and how are we going to meet it? Let us reflect now upon the meditations we have had through this conference.

When sin came onto the planet, what did God, He who orchestrates all relationships, introduce into the relationship between man and Satan?

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This twofold activity between the woman’s seed and the serpent’s seed commenced very soon after the fall in the story of Cain and Abel. Who were they? Brothers.

Cain and Abel represent two classes that will exist in the world till the close of time. {PP 72.5}

Where are we? In the close of time. So that story of Cain and Abel is still very relevant now.

The class of worshipers who follow the example of Cain includes by far the greater portion of the world; for nearly every false religion has been based on the same principle–that man can depend upon his own efforts for salvation. {PP 73.1}

The murder of Abel was the first example of the enmity that God had declared would exist between the serpent and the seed of the woman–between Satan and his subjects and Christ and His followers. {PP 77.1}

By far the greater portion of the world is of the class of Cain, and the tiny little company who will remain faithful are under the threat of the murderous activity of Cain, extending to this time. Satan was wroth with the woman, and what did he do with the remnant of her seed? He did just what Cain did to Abel.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Here you have the woman’s seed and the two worshipers’ story going on from one generation to the other, right through and extended to this time – through the time of Christ and from Christ through to now. Two thousand years ago Jesus suffered as Abel did at the hand of Cain. Ever since that time, we look on:

As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; {DA 232.2}

They had no thought of it. But what happened?

…but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, {DA 232.2}

Did Cain tolerate the light? This class goes on through succeeding generations, and again and again the same thing is repeated by the leaders who do not tolerate the humble, faithful activities of the Abelites. Follow carefully our experience.

…and those that bore [the light] were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. {DA 232.2}

These words are fraught with deep meaning. Whatever guise – the most obscure kind of people will present the truth, and it can’t be accepted because the guise doesn’t sound like it is acceptable to the populace.

Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, {DA 232.2}

Do you love the church? Do you want to stay in God’s church militant? What is happening? Do you have any desire to leave? I haven’t. But we are forced. They have been forced to leave the churches they love,

…in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience. {DA 232.2}

Here are the salient points: To be able to proclaim the word and to render obedience without hindrance. Here is the true motive that separates these people. Again and again the history has been repeated. How does the Spirit of Prophecy take us through to now and here after along this very vain?

The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. {UL 131.3}

That was a terrible affront to God’s church at the time.

God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the word of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach. . . . {UL 131.3}

What does the above statement suggest to you? Where are we situated now? Does God still work on the same principle? So let us brace ourselves and recognise the principles that have been transpiring over the last year. He is working on the same principle. The wheat and the tares are being separated. What will the tares do to the wheat?

The Relationship of Enmity

Kings, governors, and great men will hear of you through the reports of those who are at enmity with you, and your faith and character will be misrepresented before them. {Mar 253.2}

Those who are at enmity with the faithful will report these brethren to the authorities.

But those who are falsely accused will have an opportunity to appear in the presence of their accusers to answer for themselves. They will have the privilege of bringing the light before those who are called the great men of the earth, and if you have studied the Bible, if you are ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, your enemies will not be able to gainsay your wisdom. {Mar 253.2}

Here we have a revelation of the repetition of every succeeding generation in the very last moments, which we are looking fair into the face of. What will happen? Like Judas delivered Jesus to the authorities, those who are the tares, who are at enmity with the others worshipping with them, will deliver them into the hands of the authorities to answer for the things they have been accused of. The detail is profound. Our brethren who didn’t like the faithfulness of the Abelites, what will they do?

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, {GC 608.2}

How many? A large class, more than a score of Judases.

…a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. {GC 608.2}

Many people read this to mean that they join the Catholic Church. No. They just continue as a church like all the other churches have continued. But in heart they are in harmony with the opposition.

By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, {GC 608.2}

They once rejoiced in the truth together with God’s faithful remnant, but now they

…employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. {GC 608.2}

This is a terrible experience to go through.

They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them. {GC 608.2}

We have already experienced these false reports, these insinuations among the company, and it is only going to become more serious. This is how God’s faithful people are going to become exposed to the beast and his image. You will see why as we go on here. It is a very strange development that takes place. This strange development is that God’s own people, the ministers, the men of pleasing address, are going to completely turn against those who are remaining faithful. Now how do these faithful ones become exposed to the Sabbath/Sunday issue? By their brethren. That is what we read here. They know exactly how we are situated towards the Sabbath; they know us well, because they were our own brethren. The public don’t know us, but they are the ones who will say to the public, Here they are. Your own brethren. That is what we are to expect.

Conscientious obedience to the word of God will be treated as rebellion. {GC 608.1}

Have you been entitled as rebellious? Why? Because you are simply trying to hold on to the original beliefs of God’s faithful people.

Blinded by Satan, the parent will exercise harshness and severity toward the believing child; the master or mistress will oppress the commandment-keeping servant. Affection will be alienated; {GC 608.1}

Those silken cords of affection will be alienated. It is a confusing experience, isn’t it?

…children will be disinherited and driven from home. The words of Paul will be literally fulfilled: “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God’s fear and love are removed. {GC 608.1}

Very cruel. They can claim to be such good Christians while at the same time saying, You’re going to get destroyed. Don’t be confused by a smiling face, by a seeming Christian character. Look at the thrusts and deliberations; that is what counts. Strange developments? Indeed. What is a strange development? Did you think that because the church is going to be preaching the beautiful truths, we are going to be caught up by the Catholics? Is that what you thought was going to happen? I did. We were going to do big outreach missions. The independents have done this; they have put out these flyers announcing that the papacy is the beast, and they thought, just like every Adventist thinks, that this is what is going to stir the people against us. No! It is the tares being stirred against the wheat in God’s church that will cause us to be confronted by the papacy. How did that happen? Have we misread something? We actually misread Revelation 13:11-17. There are some very important statements in this text that we trip right over, and then we think it is going to happen in a certain way, forgetting what those words really say. Here are the things which we all think we know so well:

Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth;

We know that this is apostate Protestantism in the United States of America.

Revelation 13:11 …and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

The United States of America are a very technological and capable country. Great wonders – Are the USA responsible for bringing fire down from heaven in the sight of men? What happened at Hiroshima? Was that fire from heaven? Absolutely. It wasn’t a bomb that hit the ground, it was a bomb that exploded in the air and flames of fire and pillars of smoke came down (See Joel 2:30). This is the power of the USA.

Revelation 13:14 And [he] deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

So far we are very clear that apostate Protestantism, the papacy working through the USA, is going to do this. But now what?

Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Does it say that the image of the beast, the USA and the papacy, are going to kill? It doesn’t say that, does it? He is going to cause anybody who doesn’t worship the beast and his image to be killed.

Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

That word cause is the salient terminology of how this is going to happen. Our shallow reading of the word has confused us. Satan has learnt through the Dark Ages that he can’t use the Catholic Church the way he did then. Have you heard the Catholic Church apologise for the Dark Ages? Oh, that was so lovely. Every heart is now won back to the Catholic Church. They acknowledge their wrong. So Satan is not going to do that again. What is he going to do? He is going to work far more subtly. He is going to work through democracy. “Let us get the whole world.” Can’t you see them fighting for it? “We have to bring everyone into democracy.” Then they can cause the whole world to subject themselves to their control. But not to their control as such, because the populace is going to control. How are they going to control?

Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

What have they caused to do? Everybody is enjoying the miracle-working technology and all the wonderful life of modern living in such a way that they now think, “Oh, we can’t let that be taken from us. If there is anybody that will suggest, by obedience to God’s word, that what we’re doing is wrong, now, we’re going to get him.” That is how he causes it. The populace will become our enemies. He is working through the whole program to turn even those who are being moulded by the world in the church to become our first enemies. “Don’t be so ridiculous. You don’t have to dress like the old days. You’ve got to keep up with the times.” We have been conditioned, and people who are leaders in the church are accepting the conditionings of the papacy and apostate Protestantism. Who will put us into courts? Our own brethren.

The class of worshipers who follow the example of Cain includes by far the greater portion of the world; {PP 73.1}

As a consequence of that, here is the story of the events:

Isaiah 59:9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, [but] we walk in darkness. 10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if [we had] no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; [we are] in desolate places as dead [men]. 11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but [there is] none; for salvation, [but] it is far off from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions [are] with us; and [as for] our iniquities, we know them; 13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. 15 Yea, truth faileth; and he [that] departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw [it], and it displeased him that [there was] no judgment.

Is this a description of our time? Is it true? Truth as it really is, is it fallen in the street? Is the judgement that comes from courts perfectly clean? There are the rights of the child, the rights of homosexuals, the rights of any false religion, but no rights for the pure. Equity, truth, is fallen in the streets, now. When you go to court, you are going to be very, very perplexed to be able to work your way through this mess. Here is the challenge that we meet:

Already the judgments of God are abroad in the land, as seen in storms, in floods, in tempests, in earthquakes, in peril by land and by sea. {5T 136.2}

Has that increased since Sr. White’s time?

The great I AM is speaking to those who make void His law. When God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth, who will then be able to stand? Now is the time for God’s people to show themselves true to principle. When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few–this will be our test. {5T 136.2}

When our own brethren in the church are in the majority against faithfulness, this is our test. Mark very carefully how you are going to survive:

At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. {5T 136.2}

This is the time to act on opposites. You know how it is, when someone says, Do this, there is an immediate, opposition reaction, No, I’m not going to do it. Now is the time to do it in God’s stead. As they go along and say, “You do as we say;” you say, Oh you’re cold from God’s word, I’m not interested in that, no.” Gather courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. When the majority forsake us we can actually respond very firmly within ourselves, No.

How are we to meet this? This is the preamble that takes us to the point when we will have to relate to the beast and his image. Because the beast and his image have caused the whole world to follow after it, it is the world that we now have to conquer. What does it say in 1 John? This is the victory that overcometh what? The world! The whole world is following the beast and his image. We must have a faith that will conquer that. How are we to meet our relationship with the beast and his image as we are brought face to face with these realties? The fallen churches, Babylon, how are we going to relate to them? This is the meditation with which we want to conclude. How are we going to relate to these false systems that we are going to be brought face to face with? I ask you the questions, Are these false systems the governing civil authorities? Are they?

We had a very good study on how to be obedient to the civil authorities. In the time of Christ, was Babylon the governing authority? Yes, it was. The fallen Roman Empire. That was Babylon. Pagan Rome was Babylon. Where did paganism start from? It started from Babylon, the great city that Nimrod built. All paganism is Babylon. When apostate Christendom joins into the worship of idols, it also becomes Babylon. If you listen to the three angels’ messages, you see that this is exactly what it’s all about. In the time of Christ, the Roman Empire was Babylon; the authority was Babylon. In our day the authority is the beast and his image in the civil authorities. That is how they have achieved their ends. When you stand up before them, you stand up like the three worthies did before Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. It is the same issue. But these authorities don’t know about us unless our own brethren will put us to them. As we have to relate with the civil authorities in this terrible time, how do we handle it? In this time when everything that is right and pure is no longer being cared for, how do we handle it? He who serves God and does what is right becomes a prey. Therefore in such a time, if you understand how it is going to happen, you know that you are going to be a prey; and how do you handle it when the authorities come into the picture?

Amos 5:10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. 11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading [is] upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. 12 For I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate [from their right].

This is what you do:

Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it [is] an evil time.

What? I thought we were supposed to be preaching? In this evil time, the prudent will keep silence. Careful.

Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

Is it wise to throw your pearl among the swine? These authorities are swine; they are Babylon. Seal your mouth.

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself:

Justice is fallen in the street, truth doesn’t work anymore. You can’t depend on them, now you are left to your own careful wisdom. If you are prudent person you can foresee the evil, and hide yourself.

Proverbs 22:3 …but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The simple go straight in like fools, rushing in where angels fear to tread, and they are punished. Our religion is not be foolishly paraded.

Bible religion is not to be boastfully paraded, but quietly practiced in good words and works.–Ms 74, 1897. {VSS 30.3}

Does this harmonise with, “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet; show My people their transgressions”? Is there a confusion here? Not at all. It is because you have been trumpeting the truth among God’s people that those of our tare-brethren will cause us to be brought to the courts. Yes, My people must hear a straight message, but those people who are Babylon and who don’t want it, careful, walk wisely, because there is no justice out there. Don’t rely on them for justice. Hide yourself in the crowd. Hide yourself amongst all the arguments of religious interaction out there. Don’t you get in there and start to argue along the same vein.

How will you relate to them as you uphold the pure truth? How will you relate to these governing powers and to the people out there who are committed to their religious beliefs? Listen to God’s own response here; we are looking right at our relationship with the beast and his image:

God is angry with those who pursue a course to make the world hate them. If a Christian is hated because of his good works and for following Christ, he will have a reward; {1T 420.1}

It is by good works that we are to do it, not by parading ourselves and saying, “We are God’s church! Listen to us!” No! That is what God hates.

…but if he is hated because he does not take a course to be loved, hated because of his uncultivated manners and because he makes the truth a matter of quarrel with his neighbors, and takes a course to make the Sabbath as annoying as possible to them, he is a stumbling block to sinners, a reproach to the sacred truth, and unless he repents it were better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck and he were cast into the sea. {1T 420.1}

You can be very foolish with the truth that you love. The Sabbath is to be made holy, and if anyone breaks the Sabbath, we start to annoy, quarrel and condemn. Sorry, you are making the Sabbath a burden to those who may yet be won. Do you ever make the Sabbath a burden for your children? “Don’t do that! That’s wrong. You shouldn’t be doing this; and you shouldn’t be doing that.” The Sabbath then becomes obnoxious. But what you should do is make the Sabbath what it really is – a joy with Jesus Christ. But if you make it a quarrel on doctrinal argumentation, you are making God very angry.

In our relationship with the beast and his image, we are to treat them with respect. They are the enemies of the Lord, yes, but that is their choice. So let them be. Avoid them. Hide. Don’t make your voice too loud in their ears. Share the word quietly like the Waldenses did. That is the prudent man.

When it comes to the Sunday laws, “You shall not work on the Sunday.” What does it say? “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work;” and when the Sunday law comes in, you must not work, so what are you going to do? “I’m going to work none the less.” Is that what you should do? No! What is written? Here is a question that was asked Sr. White:

Question: “Should not those in the Southern field work on Sunday?”  {2MR 299.2}

They had a problem with a Sunday law.

Ellen G. White Answer: If they do this, there is danger that as soon as the opposing element can get the slightest opportunity, they will stir up one another to persecute those who do this, and to pick off those whom they hate. At present, Sundaykeeping is not the test. The time will come when men will not only forbid Sunday work, but they will try to force men to labor on the Sabbath. And men will be asked to renounce the Sabbath and to subscribe to Sunday observance or forfeit their freedom and their lives. {2MR 299.3}

Did that happen in the First World War? Was there a Sabbath/Sunday issue there? Absolutely. They had to go to war on the Sabbath. Have you heard of this Desmond Doss who is so highly put up? I watched an interview of him recently, did you know that he was there as a stretcher bearer? He was highly regarded as a wonderful man. But there on the island of Okinawa, where he was, which by the way was a bloodbath, the General of the Army was going to attack on the Sabbath, but they couldn’t attack without him. So he, Desmond, said, Look, it’s my faith. They said, Alright, you go and read your Bible, we’ll hold the attack off until you’ve read your Bible and prayed, and then you’re coming. And he did come. Yet he is so much hailed as a faithful servant of God. It is breaking the Sabbath which is the Sabbath/Sunday question, not whether you are going to work on Sunday or not.

They must move as the Lord shall direct them, but let them consider that they can do the best missionary work on Sunday. {2MR 299.3}

That is what you do on the Sunday when the Sunday law is enforced. You do the best missionary work on the Sunday, and you don’t cause persecution by going out there and saying, I am working because this is what God has commanding me to do on the Sunday! Yes, go do work, missionary work, that’s fine. You don’t have to cause an imprudent action to create a horrible reaction.

How do God’s prudent disciples live in these last days in their relationship with the beast and his image? How do they behave towards those who do not wish to serve God like they do? Respect their choices. Don’t become a stumbling block to them. When people say to me, Merry Christmas, I say to them, Yes, you have a Merry Christmas, because that is all they are going to get. When people say to me, We had such a wonderful time at sports, I say, Good on you, have fun. Don’t stand there and say, “I don’t go to sport; I don’t do this, I don’t do that.” We don’t have to do that. You can say, Good on you, have fun. Respect every man. Respect the authorities. Let them do what they want to do. That is their choice. Just don’t do what they do. Speak courteously to them. Avoid confrontation with them. For those who will cause divisions within the church, within the faithful, what shall I do with them? Shall I confront them? Shall I argue with them? Shall I say, You’re a Jesuit? Shall I say that to them? Sorry. What does the Bible say you should do with them?

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Do exactly the same as with the authorities. Slip through, just like Jesus did. When they wanted to push Him over the cliff, He passed through. In our relationship with the authorities and with our enemies and the tares, we are to be a Christlike person to them. We are to mark them; and then to confront them? No. They will confront you. You don’t have to worry about confronting them. When they confront you, then you appeal to them and say, Here is the truth that I am standing on; please, give me the freedom. They won’t. They will kick you out. “That’s fine, goodbye.” Here is the closing text that we want to embrace and to walk within the New Year:

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all [men].

Did you want to make a big noise in the world? I didn’t. I was actually told, You always make a big noise! Why is it that you always make such a big noise, you are getting too strong, we have to put you down! Isn’t that what they said? But what have I done? Preached the word, and it’s going all over the world. I had no intentions of doing that. Just stand in your lot, do what God wants you to do, and your obedience is spread across the whole world.

Romans 16:19 …I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

There is our counsel.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you. Amen.

Do we know what to do? May God grant us faithfulness to what we have contemplated here and to make decisions accordingly.


About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 17/10/2009, in Relationships in the Last Days (Seminar), The Shaking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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