It is my belief that many here have never
had the opportunity to study the condition
of the church from its early beginnings.
So I think it would be a good thing to do
a year-by-year assessment of the condition
of the church since 1855. This assessment
should give us a better perspective as to
where we are now. God bless. sky
YEAR BY YEAR ASSESSMENT
From 1855 to 1862
1855: "I have seen an angel standing with scales in his hands weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God. In one scale were the thoughts and interest tending heavenward; in the other were the thoughts and interest tending to earth. Oh what a solemn thought! The angels of God standing with scales, weighing the thoughts of the professed children of God--those who claim to be dead to the world and alive to God. The scale filled with thoughts of earth, vanity, and pride quickly went down, notwithstanding weight afer weight rolled from the scale. The one with the thoughts and interest tending to Heaven went quickly up as the other went down, and oh, how light it was! Said the angel, 'Can such enter Heaven? No, no, never. Tell them the hope they now possess is vain, and unless they speedily repent, and obtain salvation, they must perish.'" Testimonies, Vol.1, p.124-126, 1855.
1856: "I was shown in vision some things that concern the church. I was pointed back to the years 1843 and 1844. There was a spirit of consecration then that there is not now. What has come over the professed peculiar people of God? I saw conformity to the world, the unwillingness to suffer for the truth's sake...
1856: "I saw the dreadful fact that God's people were conformed to the world, with no distinction, except in name... I saw that Jesus was wounded and put to an open shame. Said the angel, as with sorrow he saw the professed people of God loving the world, partaking of its spirit, and following its fashions; 'Cut loose! Cut loose! lest He appoint you your portion with hypocrites and unbelievers outside the city. Your profession will only cause you greater anguish, and your punishment will be greater because you knew His will, but did not do it...'
"God will have a people separate and distinct from the world. As soon as any have a desire to imitate the world, just so soon God ceases to acknowledge them as His children. They are the children of the world and of darkness." Testimomines, Vol.1, p.127-137. May 27, 1856.
1857: "The Lord has shown me in vision some things concerning the church in its present lukewarm state, which i will relate to you. The church was presented before me in vision. Said the angel to the church: 'Jesus speaks to thee, 'Be zealous and repent.' This work, I saw, should be taken hold of in earnest. There is something to repent of. Worldly-mindedness, selfishness, and coveteousness have been eating out the spirituality and life of God's people." Testimonies, Vol.1, p.141. 1857.
1859: "The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of Christ is not in her midst." Notebook Leaflets, p.99.
"The figure of spewing out of His mouth means that he cannot offer up your prayers or your expressions of love to God. He cannot endorse your teaching of His word, or your spiritual work in anywise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you." Testimonies, Vol.6, p.408.
1862: "The distance is widening between Christ and His people, and lessening between them and the world. The marks of distinction between Christ's professed people and the world have almost disappeared. Like ancient Israel, they follow after the abominations of the nations around them."
"Those who will be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to the immortal inheritance, will be peculiar. Yes, so peculiar that God places a mark upon them as His, wholly His. Think ye that God will receive, honor, and acknowledge a people so mixed up with the world that they differ from them only in name?" Testimonies, Vol.1, p.274-87.
to be continued
John I am not crusading against adventist leadership. I am
only watching, like watching a movie, or a documentary,
the Lord's own assessment of His people over the years.
Please stay with me.
1898 was an interesting year too as far
as the Lord sending more warnings to us
for He loves us so much.
Of course organization was indispensable. Nothing gets done in an environment of chaos, or very little anyway.
In the creation story, every day is defined by and evening (erev) followed by a morning (boqer). The earliest known definition of erev is not evening; it is chaos or disorder. The earliest known definition of boqer is not morning; it is order. (research by Chuck Missler and often repeated in his series of videos on the book of Genesis). When Genesis 1 begins we find God's spirit moving over and trhough something that is already there, something other verses in the Bible tell us that God had already created.
In Isaiah 45:7 God tells us that he created darkness, yet in Genesis 1 the darkness is already there. So was the deep; and whether you define the deep as a watery mass as most Christians used to teach, or as the void of space, it is still something that was already created since scientists know the fabric of the universe is considerably different than what existed before the universe was created by whatever process created it, whether big bang or something else.
But we also see that the earth was already here but was without form (no order) and void (empty). This is also an idiom that is commonly used of women who are not pregnant, or worse, who are barren. Darkness is also considered to be a state of ignorance if used symbolically and ignorance always implies disorder. So Genesis 1 is a story about God coming to impose order on something he had created earlier.
The word bara, which we translate as created means to take something that is already there, and shape it, much as you would do with a piece of wood or metal in a milling process. It also speaks of an on-going process, so that many of the rabbis speak of that process continuing on today, and even Paul makes allusion to this in 1 Corinthians 15 where he speaks of Jesus eventually handing a completed and perfected creation over to his Father.
So all of creation, in that first known week, and throughout the ages until the entire creation is fully perfected, is about imposing order over chaos. Order is definitely necessary to be the most fruitful possible. Every farmer knows this and that is why crops are planted in rows instead of simply scattered as they used to do. This is why Adam was told to dress the garden instead of simply let it do what it wanted. The question is, have we taken that order that God gave and called good, and used it to praise and enrich ourselves at the expense of others, or have we used it to serve God and our fellow man and to leave the world in better shape than when we found it.
As we look around at the things man has done, there are many things that we have left much more ordered and productive than when we found it. Modern agriculture (ignoring the genetic engineering) is one example, but even in that much selfishness and damage can be found. But then you look at other industries such as mining and refining, which not only only damage the immediate environment considerably and usually nothing is done to repair that damage and make the earth fruitful in that spot, but the waste products are toxic and are often simply released into the environment to poison it and end the productivity of the earth that other people have improved, and often kills off those people as well.
Every construction project begins with some form of destruction. There is no secret in that, and it is true whether you are building a new house or remodeling an old one. But every carpenter knows you do not leave the refuse under foot where it is in the way and will eventually cause you to fall and break your neck as you attempt to create whatever you are creating. And you don't leave the mess where it will be damaging or even just an inconvenience for someone else and you try to plan your cuts so that there will be a minimum of waste and damage in the first place since all of it has to be repaired and cleaned up before the project is finished.
There has been much talk on this thread about all the good things the organization has done. That is great, and I won't even fuss much about the damage done since it is often absolutely necessary. But no amount of good excuses unnecessary damage or damage that is left unrepaired, especially if that damage is covered over. There is also the question of whether we took God's order, which is the most efficient for his purposes, and used it or if we chose our own order which is less efficient to God's purposes but is often necessary to greatly increase the things we take for ourselves, for our own personal enrichment. (This does not necessarily mean monetary enrichment since it is clear that SDA's do not get rich in this way, unlike the leaders of some ministries. There are other things coveted by some such as personal power and authority over others.)
There are, and always will be, selfish men who misuse the resources and twist the organizational chart for their own enrichment, no matter what that organizational chart looks like. It is true we should be seeking to determine God's will for that organizational chart and match it to God's as closely as possible, but even if we do there will still be the leaders who misuse it. And even in the worst organizational system God will still place a few leaders who seek to do the most good for the people under their care. We should be more concerned about the heart attitude of the leaders than we are about the organizational chart.