What I am going to write, today, has troubled me and I didn’t know how to approach this. So, yesterday I stopped writing until I received guidance and the certainty given the go-ahead to finish this. Today, I received what I needed. God told me to read the Three Angel’s Messages. I did and I am encouraged about what I saw.
There seems to be a movement afoot which is willing to do away with the “landmarks” of the foundation of our faith in the name of “love”. It is being now classified those of us who will not budge from these landmarks as having a “spirit of Pharisaism”, because we are willing to adhere to our foundation. It is now being believed that “love” covers everything to the point the Sabbath, Women’s Ordination considerations, our stance regarding homosexuality, jewelry, Surge Movement, etc., is not one of love but being pharisaical because we do not embrace these concepts.
While (re)viewing the South Central Camp meeting video which has received quite a buzz, and rightly so, I was disturbed when the speaker stated he had been going through a transition, which I fully understand and appreciate, because I’m going through a similar experience. (Now, I need to make this clear: I have nothing against Pastor MyRon Edmonds although it seems of recent I have been critical of him. I think he is a dynamic young man but I also believe he’s going about accomplishing goals in the wrong way. Also, not only is he the pastor of the church I grew up in where my foundation was established, but he is also a part of a family in which I have been grafted into, and have been a part of now going on more than forty years.) He said, “Those things which I had been taught I am finding them not true.” Now, this is truly a possibility. Then he went on to state and quite emphatically, “The seal of God is NOT the Sabbath.” And this is where he lost me. He went on to say what is often heard in nominal churches, quoting a text:
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise…” Eph 1:13 (KJV)
I think we’re beginning to get it twisted as to what constitutes the “Seal of God”, which is the Sabbath, and what, or through Whom, gets us to this understanding, which is the Holy Spirit.
“Men and women will arise professing to have some new light or some new revelation whose tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Their doctrines will not bear the test of God’s Word, yet souls will be deceived. False reports will be circulated, and some will be taken in this snare. . . . We cannot be too watchful against every form of error, for Satan is constantly seeking to draw men from the truth.”—Testimonies to the Church, Volume 5, pages 293, 295, 296 (1885).
“I urge those who claim to believe the truth to walk in unity with their brethren. Do not seek to give to the world occasion to say that we are extremists, that we are disunited, that one teaches one thing, and one another. Avoid dissension.”—Testimonies to Ministers, page 57 (1893).
“Exalt the Word of God
“If we work to create an excitement of feeling, we shall have all we want, and more than we can possibly know how to manage. Calmly and clearly “Preach the Word.” We must not regard it as our work to create an excitement. The Holy Spirit of God alone can create a healthy enthusiasm. Let God work, and let the human agent walk softly before Him, watching, waiting, praying, looking unto Jesus every moment, led and controlled by the precious Spirit, which is light and life.”—Special Messages, Volume 2, pages 16, 17 (1894).
“We must go to the people with the solid Word of God, and when they receive that Word, the Holy Spirit may come, but it always comes, as I have stated before, in a way that commends itself to the judgment of the people. In our speaking, our singing, and in all our spiritual exercises, we are to reveal that calmness and dignity and godly fear that actuates every true child of God.”—Special Messages, Volume 2, page 43 (1908).
“It is through the Word –not feeling, not excitement–that we want to influence the people to obey the truth. On the platform of God’s Word we can stand with safety.”—Special Messages, Volume 3, page 375 (1908).
I’m providing a link for the video and if you wish to view its entirety, which I recommend, you will be in a better position to determine if I’m off-base or not. Or, you can begin watching at 44:25 to see if you are taken aback by his remarks regarding the “Seal of God” which is a tenant of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Let me provide Spirit of Prophecy commentary regarding the “Seal of God”:
“The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the Fourth Commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s Law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” (Which is the Sabbath!)
“The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord’s memorial of creation. . . . The mark of the beast is the opposite of this–the observance of the first day of the week.” Maranatha – Page 212
“Too late they see that the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment is the seal of the living God.” – Great Controversy, pg. 640
Personally, and I don’t know if you would agree with me on this point, but I sort of wished General Conference 2015 was already over! I would like to see us remain fast and firm on the foundation, traditions and established landmarks we’ve been secured with for the past 160 years. If there is division and we do know it is coming, then let them go. Let them go graciously while leaving those of us who are considered old-fashioned, stick-in-the-mud believers to continue to worship our Lord in Spirit and in Truth while not bowing to form and fashion, to coincide with the popular movement of other churches and society. We need to pull away from, not be closely drawn to them. Why can’t we learn by Israel’s experience of wanting to be like the other nations instead of becoming a modern day Israel, except there will not be a servitude bondage to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome because the next great event will be the Second Coming of Christ and it will be too late to get it right!
When I read the “Three Angel’s Messages” I don’t see a “love covers all” type of message. I see “warnings”. I see “corrections”. I see “punishments”. However, I see all of these embodied in the “love” of God but this is not one of those times for all to grab our partner’s hands and sing “Kumbaya”! I see holding and repairing the breach as per Isaiah:
“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12 (KJV)
No, we do not serve an angry God but we do serve a God who will not hesitate to wipe you off the face of eternity for failure to do as He has asked us to do. He will not overlook blatant sin especially if you knew better. He will not have you step on His Commandments thinking you are heaven-bound and to feel comfortable about doing it. He is not the God who loves the actions of the infidel, the homosexual, the liar, cheat and thief. He expects when you have accepted Him, because He’s already accepted you, that you would desire Him to change those parts of your life, but you must be willing to work WITH Him in order to bring about reconciliation, and all of this is done through love, by love, but you cannot think for one moment He will save you “in” your sin. He won’t. He cannot.
You cannot throw away the foundation of this great church, this “Remnant” church for the last days because you’re not able to measure up. You don’t lower the standards to make it easier for those who’ve never wanted to be a part of it to give them some semblance of membership enabling them to continue practicing their sinful ways. You don’t open the doors for those who are wanting only to come in based on fear. No lives will change and have ever changed because of fear. It is always accomplished in love, but the love must be characterized as “strict”, “strait” and “unbending” and even “painful” until there is a resolve to comply and be accepting of what He wants to do in an otherwise life which is bent toward sin and the love for it!
What was given to our pioneers was what God wanted them to have, to separate them from the nominal churches which continue to this day. They’re not changing. Why should we? Landmarks don’t change, but it is our perception they do. Whenever we have ventured from the path, it is those landmarks which assures us we are home—again. Even though we may go through transitional changes, and growth pains, and a change of ideology, there is comfort in finding the pioneer’s path because they went through the struggles to lay down the direct way. There IS no other paths to follow which lead in the same direction. To search for them is foolishness.
Keep to the landmarks.
June 26, 2015