09 Come Out from Among Them

By John Thiel, The Last Generation Challenge series, mp3

Scripture reading: Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Everything around us in the times of our generation, reminds us that we are living in perilous times, and we have to meet challenges, as God’s children and as those who desire to be God’s children, that are very, very magnified in their implications upon us. One of the most frightening declarations of Jesus is the one above. There is such a possibility that the very people that are God’s elect could be deceived in this time, because there are false Christs and false prophets that teach doctrines that have to be so close to the truth that even the elect would have difficulty to be able to discern whether that message is really the truth that is going to save them.

There is another scripture going parallel to this statement of Christ. In Proverbs this frightening reality is for us to find our way past and through, to meet the challenge and come through successfully at the end:

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

This statement still haunts me today. Could I be in such a position that I feel perfectly sure that the way that I am embracing is right? I have to keep on meeting this challenge to find my way to the pure word of God all the time, on any point of my experience; because if I was to be part of God’s elect I would have to check myself time and time again to make sure that I am not going to be in the multiple paths and ways of death. And I plead with God constantly, Let me not fall into that mentality of being sure that I am right, and I am on the wrong path after all. The consequence of this multiplicity of ways – every individual thinking that they are right – leads to the multiplicity of the churches of today and of the different companies who all teach paths to dwell, which they believe they are right in. This multiplicity of churches is addressed in the prophetical symbolism of Song of Solomon:

Song of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. 9 My dove, my undefiled is [but] one; she [is] the [only] one of her mother, she [is] the choice [one] of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; [yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?

One and one only among the multiplicity of everyone thinking they are right. Virgins – not only organisations, which are depicted by queens and concubines, but virgins without number – little companies all coming into existence because of the Christian teachings, but not being part of the mainstream companies. How do these all arise? The statement in itself leaves you with a vivid appreciation. “My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.” What we are looking at here is the history of the development of one church that was once a queen, and then became corrupted; and it gave birth to another, and that one became corrupted as well; and that particular one gave birth to another, and so you have different churches developing, being born from their mother. In Revelation 17 it talks about that corrupt woman who is the mother of harlots, because she also started, in the early stages, as a faithful people, and then became corrupted. That became the papal church. Then she gave birth to others, because as she became corrupt, others wanted to stay with the pure truth; they were born out of her demise. So it happened over the history – one church gave birth to another, gave birth to another, and so you have all the daughters, and you have the one at the very end, or the one that has been God’s faithful one all through the course. This woman that looketh forth as the morning, fair as a moon, clear as sun, is the woman that is described in Revelation 12, dressed in the sun and with the moon under her feet. This is God’s faithful people, and in the time of Revelation there, it was the disciples. Then, from that time, as the church grew, it became the Ephesus church, to which Jesus said, I have something against you, you have lost your first love. He calls for repentance, and then He take us through the different church periods, the development of the papal church, and the development of other faithful Reformed people, who then became churches. So this is how it arises.

In the midst of these arising companies they come into existence because of a certain belief that has been entrenched in their study of God’s word.

There are many doctrines current in our world. There is many a religion current that numbers its thousands and tens of thousands, but there is but one that bears the superscription and the stamp of God. There is a religion of man and a religion of God. We must have our souls riveted to the eternal Rock. Everything in God’s world, both men and doctrines and nature itself, is fulfilling God’s sure word of prophecy and accomplishing His grand and closing work in this world’s history. {12MR 324.1}

Here is a prophecy in Song of Solomon. This is being fulfilled in front of our eyes. What is it? Many doctrines, many a religion numbering its thousands and tens of thousands, but there is but one that bears the superscription and the stamp of God. There is one religion. As I used to read this in the past, I used to be affected by this proud feeling, My church is the right one. I was at that time in more of an organisation with multiple churches, and I thought, This is the one, this is the virgin that is like an army, etc. Yet I kept on having to reassess my thoughts on this. But the way this is written here helped me to find my way through that. I realised that maybe, at a particular time, a church that stood on the pure truth was the only one. But this it is talking about the religion that is the only one amongst all the different religions. What does it say? “There is many a religion current that numbers its thousands and tens of thousands, but there is but one religion that bears the superscription and the stamp of God. There is a religion of man and a religion of God. We must have our souls riveted to the eternal Rock.” It is a religion, a religion that stands with an army behind it.

This religion that is God’s religion, and not man’s religion, has comprised an army through the ages. The army in the Old Testament was not necessarily the Israel people, but it was the faithful ones that stood on the right religious principles. That was the army. You see them in Hebrews 11. There they are; there is the army – the church of God in Hebrews 12 that is written in heaven. This is the army – a people who stood on God’s religion. And we, as individuals, today, and as a people that are maybe a very small company, are to examine whether we are part of that church, that woman that is dressed in the sun, in the brilliance of the pure truth of Jesus Christ, and has the moon under her feet, which is the reflection from the sun, the Old Testament. The New Testament church that is depending on the Old Testament reflection of the pure gospel – this is the religion. There is only one amongst the many religions of today that comprise their thousands, and millions too.

That still leaves us now with the challenge of whether I am part of that army, that pure religion, or not. We go to the word of God and see whether we can find safety in that which we are pursuing in our faith today:

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.

This is often read in terms of, I must be part of an organisation to be under the counsellors of that multiple-membership. That’s the way I’ve always read it in the past. But as I kept on discovering, I saw that in those multitudes of counsellors, when the error has crept in, I couldn’t trust that counsel. And Sr. White writes it – ecclesiastical counsel that people depend on, is not necessarily the true dependence on the Lord. So I have had to examine closely what is my safety. Not to depend on my own way which I think is right, but on the counsels of those who have already been identified by God as being His counsellors. We today, in the time when even the very elect could be deceived, can go back to the counsellors of the past ages, the counsellors that I rely on, rather than my own counsel. In the multitude of counsellors.

Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. 21 [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Now you put those two scriptures together: the multitude of counsellors who have depended on the counsel of the Lord, these are the ones that I have to rely on for safety; and as I will hear their counsel and receive their instruction, I will be wise in the latter days, in my latter end. This is the very beautiful safety material for us that should turn our attention to something very important.

When Jesus left this earth, He ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. What did He give?

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

This has been our study, to reach a perfect character, the fullness of Christ’s character. How do we get it? In the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God. It has to be the truth; it has to be that which the counsellors that God had raised over the years had revealed. Who are these? Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. I meet Christian churches today and leaders of churches that ask me (for instance when I was in the Seventh-day Adventist church), Do you have any present-day prophets? So we say, “Well, yes, E. G. White.” “But, no, no; now, in your church? Now prophets? Now apostles?” There is the Apostolic Church that believes that their leadership is the twelve apostles, and that it has been passed down from year to year. That’s why it is called the Apostolic Church, because they still claim to be the twelve apostles. This is the interpretation of verse 11. Talking about present-day church, people will say, If you are God’s church today, you are a church today that you have to rely upon for counsel; when really it is the people whom God has identified for us over the years as His apostles – the twelve apostles in the beginning, prophets that have been tested and proved (and Sr. White is one of them), and evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. The evangelist is the Ecclesiastes; he’s an evangelist. Solomon is identified as an evangelist. So you have a collection of people over the years that can be identified as counsellors, so that we can be part of the faithful line, if we will submit ourselves to their counsel. And as we do so, we then have the true appreciation of the unity of the faith, so that we don’t have various different opinions and teachings, but a faith that is secure on perfect unity and perfect truth, and unity of the knowledge of the Son of God. We then can find our way to perfection in Him.

Ephesians 4:14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

I read in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that even if there’s only a little company, twos and threes, Christ is there, and that is God’s church. Well, how can you, in twos and threes, or fours and fives, or a small company like ours, how can we get the full benefit of the different parts of the body that are beyond our present time and experience? How can we get the benefit of them? It’s all recorded, the history, we can identify with them, the faithful ones throughout the ages; and we can get benefit. We are told that we can catch the looks of Jesus, and that He, as the Head, is our personal comfort and blessing. What about all those who have been His apostles, and all the faithful Reformers of the past, and all the faithful people who became Adventists in 1844 onwards? We have them, they are part of the body, and Christ is the head. So this challenge that we meet today with people saying, “Here is Christ, there is Christ,” as it says in Amos, Don’t go to Bethel, and don’t go to Gilgal (ch. 5); don’t think that these are the ones. It is those ones that have been faithful over the years and generations that we can benefit from. We can benefit from their wonderful comfort of support and help. As it says, with them the whole body is fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, and maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This safety, this pure truth of unity, was established in the experience of God’s church of the three angels’ messages. They also were a very little company, and their little company had to rely on that which had been delivered to them from the past, and they had to examine closely to measure up with those faithful ones of the past.

The Spirit of Prophecy identifies the secure platform that we may be built upon, so that we can feel assured that we are not relying on our own understanding, but on the understanding of the counsel of brethren:

Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority. {CW 52.1}

The people who were met by the three angels’ messages, by the first angel, which was launched out under the help of God with William Miller, from them it built up, until the Great Disappointment; and in 1844 there was a little handful left who would study deeply and look for the perfect answers. The Holy Spirit was poured upon them, and E. G. White received an outpouring of the Spirit of Prophecy, so that when she was in vision, in their study, they were able to measure up to what the Lord was giving there in vision. There was a firm platform that was established, and that we are to find as a security for our path to walk in, so that we don’t walk in our own counsel.

Notice how emphatically the Spirit of Prophecy identifies the importance of that platform of truth:

I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. {CW 53.1}

A company – I want to be part of the company that was identified here, a company that would not unsettle the faith that had been established under the authority of God.

God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps,–the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Said my accompanying angel, “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.” I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. {Ibid.}

I cannot emphasise this statement enough, because we want to be able to be the company who stands on that platform, not relying on our own ideas, but on the counsels of those who have gone before us. Now we see a very important lead to find our way through this challenge today:

In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?– Review and Herald, May 25, 1905. {CW 53.2}

When I first read this statement I was in such a plight because I was growing up in the Adventist church and I came across this offshoot and that offshoot and the other, and I saw in my experience how the Adventist church was no longer standing, as far as I understood, on everything that had been established by the brethren of their former years. And the institutions were not being run by the directions of the Spirit of Prophecy. I thought, Where am I, Lord? How am I going to find my way through this morass? So I was listening to one and to another, and it all made so much sense. They all gave their conflicting doctrines and it all made sense to my mind, and I thought, What? Lord, where is it? Then here it was, “Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?” I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this for our own security today. We must rely on the counsels of the multitude that has developed under God’s direction those pure platform doctrines. When these different subjects come up, like the sanctuary in heaven, they will say that it doesn’t exist, and you get all sorts of variations of that in Adventist church today, amongst the independents. It started with Des Ford, and even earlier before that.

The development of virgins without number out of the Adventist mainstream church was unleashed from my time, and even before that time; and to find your way through it seemed just impossible. Then the Lord said, That which has been established over the last fifty years is your safety, John. Thank you, Lord. And that has been my focus. From 1905, when that statement was written, I go back over the fifty years, and everything that was accumulated as the doctrine that they stood upon together, unitedly, and that developed out of their lack of understanding, under God’s direction, until it was all firmly established, that was the safe platform.

Let us pursue the method that they pursued to produce so solid a foundation. Let us follow their example through so that we can follow their counsel in getting the assurance that what they had found is truly upon the authority of God, a religion of God, and not of man.

The apostle says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The Bible is its own expositor. One passage will prove to be a key that will unlock other passages, and in this way light will be shed upon the hidden meaning of the word. By comparing different texts treating on the same subject, viewing their bearing on every side, the true meaning of the Scriptures will be made evident. {FE 187.2}

There lies a principle that they built upon. In counsel together and studying together through the subjects that they were trying to come into unity upon, they practiced this principle. If they had an opinion but the Bible didn’t clearly expose it from itself, they had to lay it down. And they had plenty of opinions, just like Christians do today. I have to do exactly that same thing. I think something means this, and then later on, Oops, it means something different. It is the foundation that has been established in this manner that we are to build our security upon.

Here is the counsel of the Reformers who stood behind Martin Luther. They were also establishing their understanding on this principle. They said to the Diet of Spires:

“There is no sure doctrine but such as is conformable to the word of God. . . . The Lord forbids the teaching of any other doctrine. . . . The Holy Scriptures ought to be explained by other and clearer texts; . . . this Holy Book is, in all things necessary for the Christian, easy of understanding, and calculated to scatter the darkness. We are resolved, with the grace of God, to maintain the pure and exclusive preaching of His only word, such as it is contained in the biblical books of the Old and New Testaments, without adding anything thereto that may be contrary to it. …” {GC 203.1}

We are now able to hear the counsel of these brethren! Can you see? We are not to rely upon our own ideas, but to follow the right procedure of Bible study that they laid out before us. This was exactly the way that the pioneers of the Adventist church did it.

The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error. {GC 598.3}

We are to let the Bible speak in its simple language, the obvious meaning, and then let the Bible explain those statements that are symbolic or that are difficult to appreciate. The key of one statement will unlock the other one and explain it from God’s viewpoint. So take the Bible as it reads. Difficult texts are to be explained by clearer ones, comparing scripture with scripture.

Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little: … 12 … This [is] the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

I want to be resting in the assurance that I’m not relying upon my own way, which is the ways of death, but that I rely implicitly in restful assurance on a firm authority from God. The apostle Paul writes to Timothy that this here a little, and there a little needs to be carefully assimilated and brought together:

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Here lies a profound responsibility in discovering the platform of truth – to read here a little, and there a little, reading it as it reads, and letting the Bible explain those texts that seem a little bit hazy to us by clearer texts, and comparing scripture with scripture, so that we can finally be approved of God. This is the way that our brethren ahead of us have established that platform of truth with the assistance of the prophet.

As we read the Bible statements, we must be very careful not to read it from our own perspectives and add thoughts to it that are not actually there.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Interesting. The 144,000 have no guile in their mouths. They rely on a straight statement of God’s word – they have no lying; whereas the false doctrines are lies – doctrines of devils. So we have very assured comfort. This is also what is written in Deuteronomy 4:2, Don’t add to it, don’t take away from it.

As the pioneers of the Advent faith searched the truth, and found the platform of truth, they were searching for hidden treasure. In other words, the Scriptures had some treasure in them that were not always right up front; but by comparing scripture with scripture, the treasure was found.

Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

Take each statement as it reads. Look and seek through the book, and read. Each statement is to be left on its own, for its own meaning, and then another statement is to be taken on the same subject, for its own meaning, and all are to be gathered together under the Spirit. The Spirit hath gathered them. So, on a subject you let the Spirit of God help you to gather together the quotes that make the story complete. This is what develops such a platform of truth. Sr. White saw a people, a company, standing on that platform. This is where our security lies, as we examine how they brought it together. It was all firmly established, let not a pin be removed, not the slightest thing altered. But when people come along later on (which today has happened) and they do this kind of study, all of a sudden they come up with something special, Oh! I found a new light! and that new light doesn’t harmonise with the platform of truth that the pioneers established under God’s direction. This is what Sr. White saw as a dreadful reality:

My soul is much burdened, for I know what is before us. {CTr 362.2}

I can really see what she means, because in the vision she sees us today.

Every conceivable deception will be brought to bear upon those who have not a daily, living connection with God. Satan’s angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light and will proclaim it as new and wonderful; {Ibid.}

I have met this over the years. Oh, this powerful thing that they brought before my mind, yes, it captivates you, it’s a powerful thing, and you think it’s wonderful;

…yet while in some respects the message may be truth, it will be mingled with human inventions and will teach for doctrine the commandments of men. . . . Many apparently good things will need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path that lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from it. . . . {Ibid.}

Can you understand now the words of Jesus, There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets? He said, If it were possible, the very elect could be deceived; because it is scarcely distinguishable.

A new order of things has come into the ministry. There is a desire to pattern after other churches, and simplicity and humility are almost unknown. {CTr 362.3}

We must beware as new light comes to us, or somebody is trying to tell us they found this beautiful new light and tells us, Look, and they give text upon text to prove their theory. This is the warning:

There are those now living who, in studying the prophecies of Daniel and John, received great light from God as they passed over the ground where special prophecies were in process of fulfillment in their order. They bore the message of time to the people. The truth shone out clearly as the sun at noonday. Historical events, showing the direct fulfillment of prophecy, were set before the people, and the prophecy was seen to be a figurative delineation of events leading down to the close of this earth’s history. The scenes connected with the working of the man of sin are the last features plainly revealed in this earth’s history. The people now have a special message to give to the world, the third angel’s message. Those who, in their experience, have passed over the ground, and acted a part in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages, are not so liable to be led into false paths as are those who have not had an experimental knowledge of the people of God. . . . {2SM 102.1}

What is this saying? As the younger generation comes up they think they have found some beautiful teachings, and they even want to come to those of the older generation and say to them, Look, you’ve made a mistake there. I’ve heard those of younger generations from that time saying this, They were not quite correct here, and there, and there. But it says that only those can be trusted who have acted a part in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages, and that they are not so liable to be led into false paths as the other ones.

There have been one and another who in studying their Bibles thought they discovered great light, and new theories, but these have not been correct. The Scripture is all true, but by misapplying the Scripture men arrive at wrong conclusions. We are engaged in a mighty conflict, and it will become more close and determined, as we near the final struggle. {2SM 102.2}

Where are we today? In the final struggle.

We have a sleepless adversary, and he is constantly at work upon human minds that have not had a personal experience in the teachings of the people of God for the past fifty years. {Ibid.}

Have we? Has any of us had that personal experience? No, we haven’t. Those who had it have long died, and we have to rely on their counsel. Satan is constantly at work upon human minds that have not had a personal experience in the teachings of the people of God for the past fifty years.

Some will take the truth applicable to their time, and place it in the future. Events in the train of prophecy that had their fulfillment away in the past are made future, and thus by these theories the faith of some is undermined. {Ibid.}

This is exactly what you have today – futurists ignoring the prophecies that have already been fulfilled and thinking they have a second application. This is serious.

Many will honestly search the Word for Light as those in the past have searched it; and they see light in the Word. But they did not pass over the ground in their experience, when these messages of warning were first proclaimed. Not having had this experience, some do not appreciate the value of the truths that have been to us as waymarks, and that have made us as a peculiar people what we are. They do not make a right application of the Scriptures, and thus they frame theories that are not correct. It is true that they quote an abundance of Scripture, and teach much that is true; but truth is so mixed with error as to lead to wrong conclusions. Yet because they can weave Scripture into their theories, they think that they have a straight chain of truth. Many who did not have an experience in the rise of the messages, accept these erroneous theories, and are led into false paths, backward instead of forward. This is the enemy’s design. {2SM 110.4}

In our challenge today, we are called upon to rely on the multitude of counsellors; not those counsellors that today have brought in variations, but the counsellors that have gone before us, by whom the truth has come to its beautiful fruition to prepare a people to be able to enter into heaven, if they would have been faithful back then. Sr. White writes that Jesus could have come two or three years after the 1888 message, if they had accepted it. So all the truths that were necessary to be ready for Jesus to come were already in place. Why do we need to come up with new light today? It is not necessary. When people lift up that new light, they think they’ve got something over the ones who had the experience in that.

There are different doctrines today that have crept into the ranks of Christians and Adventists. One of them is that the law is not important anymore. They quote scriptures, “Christ is the end of the law.” “Don’t let any man judge you with regards to a Sabbath” (Colossians). I have not come to destroy, said Jesus. Now comes a plain statement. They say the Ten Commandments are not necessary, Jesus is the end of the law. But Jesus said plainly, I have not come to destroy. That is a plain statement that helps us to understand that He did not mean that the law is abolished. We look for statements that are plain and straightforward and that explain the other ones that bring confusion to some minds.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses of today – they claim to be Jehovah’s witnesses, I call them JW’s, because they’re not Jehovah’s witnesses, not at all. They teach that there is only one God, that Jesus Christ is His son, and that there is no Holy Spirit. This is what they teach. Jesus was born sometime in the past, they say. But there is clear text, a text that needs no interpretation, in Psalm 2. Was Jesus ever born, like in a birth, from God the Father? This is just an example to help us understand how to let the Bible explain itself. This is what it means when it says that Jesus is the Son of God. Here is the Father speaking to the Word, who then became Jesus. Jesus is there in existence, as also is the Father:

Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Is the Begotten the production of someone who wasn’t there before? You can see how plain this is. He was in existence and the Father was speaking to Him, and said, “I’m going to make a decree, You are My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” How clear can it be? Was He ever born? Never, He always was in existence. That is what is written. He was without beginning and without end. Was there a beginning of Him? No! He wasn’t ever born from a position in which He was not. He was always there; but He became the Father’s Son by decree.

We can also read other very plain statements to show that Jesus is indeed God.

Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

The Lord, who was on earth, brought fire down from the Lord out of heaven. When I read that in the JW’s Bible, it says, Jehovah rained fire from Jehovah out of heaven. They recognise that Jehovah is God, but here is Jehovah on earth bringing fire down from Jehovah out of heaven.

And today, as this corrupt mental idea has entered even into the ranks of Adventists, there is a movement of people who say that there are not three persons in the Godhead, but that there is only one. They say the other one is His son, and the Holy Spirit is not a person. But there are plain statements (Jn 14:16; 16:13) where Jesus said, He, the Holy Spirit, takes of Me, and shows it to you; He will lead you into all truth. Those plain statements are ignored when people want to show their theory, and so they put wrong constructions on a plain statement of God’s word.

In these perilous times, where we have so many doctrines flowing around us, let us not, as the elect of God, be deceived; but rather let us heed the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible – the multitude of counsellors. Let us unite with the company of the three angels, a company well-guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. May God help us, I tell you, this is life and death to me, because I read from God’s word that these deceptions are around us. Jesus warns us, and the Spirit of Prophecy directs us. We must pay attention to what the challenge is for us in these latter days. May God grant us to establish ourselves, although we are small in number, not to become overwhelmed with the thought that, We have to be part of an organisation to be able to stand according to what we read there in Proverbs. I’m afraid the organisations that exist today are no longer on all points on the platform.

A defective link in a chain makes it worthless, {YRP 129.2}

The weak link in a chain makes that chain of no value. There is a chain of truths, a chain of Bible texts, and if one of them, one of those things in God’s word, is a weak link in the chain, is it a safety for me to rely on that teaching? Not at all.

May God help us to take this challenge seriously and secure our assurance to walk with God and surrender ourselves to Him, and follow the directions in His word, that we may be ready for Jesus to come. This is my prayer.

Amen.

Posted on January 12, 2017, in Divine Service Sermons, The Last Generation Challenge Series and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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