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 THE MIGHTY STONE AND THE GREAT IMAGE DANIEL 2


INTRODUCTION:
The study concerning The Great Image of Daniel 2 is a common and generally understood portion of
Scripture. It reveals to us through symbols and figures the world’s historyfrom the days of king Nebuchadnezzar ‘till the close of time. Nevertheless, ourfocus will be centered on that portion of the king’s vision, which is notnormally discussed.
REVIEW :
Verses 1-27. 1. Read : In verse 28

The vision reaches its complete fulfillment in our time, and that the message is mainly for those living in the last days, i.e. Dan. 12:4; PK 547, 548 --- for the latter days.


2. Read: Verses 31-35.  The actual vision.

 A.  Tanhe various parts of the Image.

Head:GOLD-- Babylon
Breast and Arms:SILVER--Medo-Persia
Belly and Thighs:BRASS-- Grecia

Legs:IRON-- Rom

Feet:Part of IRON and Part of CLAY-- Present World
B.  We are now living in the days of the ten toes.
Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, Page 361
Our kingdom is not of this world. We are waiting for our Lord from heaven to come to earth to put down all
authority and power, and set up His everlasting kingdom. Earthly powers areshaken. We need not, and cannot, expect union among the nations of the earth.Our position in the image of Nebuchadnezzar is represented by the toes, in adivided state, and of a crumbling material, that will not hold together.Prophecy shows us that the great day of God is right upon us. It hasteth

greatly.

C.  What is the work of the stone? Dan. 2:45

 3. Where Did The Stone Come From ? ----- The Mountain

Read : Daniel 2:45.
a
The stone came from a mountain.
b
If the image ( gold, silver, brass, stone, etc.) is symbolical then the mountain must also be symbolical.

 

4. What Does A Mountain Symbolize In Scripture ? ----- People

Read : Dan. 9:16,20.

a Daniel in his prayer likens the church (Jerusalem) to a mountain.

b
It could not be a literal mountain, because a literal mountain cannot sin.

Read:
Isaiah 2:2,3.
a
God here shows that in the last days He will exalt His church above all other churches and kingdoms.
b
Also, many people will be invited by the saints to join the true church. Rev. 18:4 -- The finishing of the Gospel.

Further proof: Isa. 56:7, 2:2; Mic. 4:1-4; Rev. 17:9; Zech. 8:3; Matt. 5:14; Jer. 51:25; Isa. 51:16

 

5. Exactly What Church Does The Mountain Symbolize? ---SDA

a
It must be the church in the latter days (v. 28). I T 361.
b
The church of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14 -17).

 

6. Could Not The Mountain Include The Churches Of The World? ---NO
a
God has had only one church in each era. That is the Israelites.
b
According to Rev. 14:8, Babylon (The churches of the world) has fallen, indicating that God’s Spirit has been withdrawn from them. God does however have faithful people in these churches, but they will be brought into the S.D.A. church. See EW 33; John10:16.

 

7. What Or Whom Does The Stone Symbolize?

a
A remnant of the remnant church
b
If the mountain is people, then the stone must symbolize people as well, for the stone was cut out from the mountain.

8. Cannot The Stone Symbolize Christ At His Second Coming?
a
The Stone came from the church (mountain), not heaven or the sky. Dan. 2:45
b
If the mountain is people the stone must be people too.
c
The stone grows and becomes a Great Mountain -- great church. This is done through His people. Dan. 2: 45
d
The growth of the stone reveals the rapid growth of the purified church ( the stone). It indicates that many, many, new converts will join the ranks of the true people of God. This cannot happen at
the second visible return of Christ, for the gospel would have already been
completed, probation closed, and the plagues fallen.

 

9. Where Else In Scripture Is The Church Represented As A Stone?

Read: Zech. 12:3.

a Here the church (Jerusalem) is likened to a burdensome stone.

For further proof: I Peter 2:3-5 ; 8 T , 173

 

10. Who Are The People Symbolized By The Stone? --- 144,000

a
The people represented as the stone must be S.D.A.s because they came from the mountain (the church).
b
They (the stone) are used as God’s ‘servants’ to proclaim the gospel (in power) to the world. This is shown in the stone’s rapid growth.
c
The 144,000 are the only ones that embody these characteristics.

Read:
Rev. 7:1-4
a
They are said to be from Israel --- S.D.A. church, (verse 4). See 9T 164 or 5T 94 ,456.

Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, Page 456

God has called His church in this day, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth…The same disobedience and failure which were seen in the Jewish church have characterized in a greater degree the people who have had this great light from heaven in the last messages of warning. Shall we, like them, squander our opportunities and privileges until God shall permit oppression and persecution to come upon us?

 

b They are called by John, ‘servants’, indicating that they have a special work of proclaiming the gospel. They are, in other words, messengers of God.


Read: Rev. 14:1,4.

a
Here they are recorded to be ‘not defiled with women’ (other churches-doctrinally) for they are ‘virgins’ (profess a pure faith). See Jer.6:2 ; COL 406
b
They are called the ‘firstfruits’. This indicates that there are second fruits. One cannot have a first without a second, one necessitates the other. Therefore, the 144,000 are the first ones sealed, they in turn go out and gather in the second fruits- the Great Multitude of Rev.7:9 ; those from other churches of Babylon and the world.

For Further Study Read: EW 15 and TM 422.

Early Writings, Page 15                   

Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Page 422

Who are the subjects of the kingdom of God?—all those who do His will. They have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The members of Christ’s
kingdom are the sons of God, partners in His great firm. The elect of God are a
chosen generation, a peculiar people, a holy nation, to show forth the praises
of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.


NOTE: It is not recommended that one become too involved with all the details concerning the 144,000 and the Great Multitude. Such details are covered in the outline entitled ‘The 144,000’ and ‘The Great Multitude Who Are They?’ (Based on Revelation chapter 7).

 

11. How Is The Stone Cut Out Of The Mountain? --- Without Hands

Read: TM 46,47

Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Page 46

The church of Christ on earth will be imperfect, but God does not destroy His church because of its imperfection. There have been and will be those who are filled with zeal not
according to knowledge, who would purify the church, and uproot the tares from the midst of the wheat. But Christ has given special light as to how to deal with those who are erring, and with those who are unconverted in the church. There is to be no spasmodic, zealous, hasty action taken by church members in cutting off those they may think defective in character. Tares will appear
among the wheat; but it would do more harm to weed out the tares, unless in God’s appointed way, than to leave them alone. While the Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God.


Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, Page 47


The Lord forbids us to proceed in any violent way against those whom we think erring, and we are not to deal out excommunications and denunciations to those who are
faulty..
. The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not
committed into the hands of any man.


 a These references reveal that the wheat and tares are in the church and how they are brought in.

b Page 47:2, reveals that angels will accomplish the separation--not men.


 Read: 3T 266, 267

Testimonies for the Church Volume 3, Page 266-267

Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God’s sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the

pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the
abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor
and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding
sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing
and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.
But the general slaughter of
all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness,
and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the
mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: “Go ye
after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye
pity: 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 at My sanctuary.”


 


a That the true people of God are those who recognize sin in the church, stay aloof from it, but speak out against the sins.


b The closing work for the church is the sealing of the 144,000. TM 445.


c This work of the sealing of the 144,000 is “forcibly set forth” by the prophet (Ezekiel), when in vision he saw five men (angels) with slaughter weapons and the sixth with a “writer’s inkhorn.”


d Only those who sigh and cry for the wrongs in the church receive the seal.


e Inspiration itself tells us to read Ezekiel chapter nine.




 An objection: It is often stated that the slaughter of Ezekiel nine transpires during the plagues and /or at the second coming of Christ, based upon this statement found in 3 T 267:0: “They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked. .
.”
This however, could not
be so because:


 


1. The plagues are very different from the slaughter of Ezekiel nine. See # 14.




 2. When the sentence is quoted in full it would read as follows: “They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons.” This tells us that this
“general destruction” is that which destroys the “wicked” in the church (Jerusalem)
not the world--They are cut down by the five men (angels)
not by the “vials” of the seven angels in Revelation 16.




 3. The words “general destruction” is used in other portions of Sister E.G. White’s writings and does not refer to the plagues. See GC 26:0 (last sentence of the paragraph).


 


12. Read: Ezekiel 9


a “The higher gate which lieth toward the north” symbolically represents heaven--where God’s throne is located. (See Ps. 48:1, 2, Isa. 14:13).


b Even though Ezekiel calls them “men” they are in fact angels because they are seen coming from the “north” (heaven). See also Daniel 9:21.


c Only those who “sigh and cry” for the wrongs in the church receive the seal.


d The other five angels are sent by the Lord to slay (physically) those in the church who did not receive the seal.


e The Lord brings this slaughter because the sins in the church are “exceedingly great.”


 


13. Is This A Literal Slaughter? ---Yes


a No such thing as a spiritual slaughter is recorded anywhere in Scripture. Nobody knows what is a spiritual slaughter.


b Verse 7, says “fill the courts with the slain.”


 


Read: 5 T 211


Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, Page 211


The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with
slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and
smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 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 at My sanctuary. Then they began at the
ancient men which were before the house.”


Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people,
had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for
miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times
have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and th

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Replies to This Discussion

How do you know about the shepherds rod, brother?
Someone share this message to me.
Yes, i think if we found a message which we believe is the truth it is our duty to share it to others or else we are guilty to the LORD. How about you, why did you say that this message is a Shepherds Rod.? How did you know it? Are you a part of this message too?
Hi John

Leave her alone and examine the information closely.

We don't need to attack and condemn her for stating what she has shared. It looks as though she has taken some time to put it down.

I do not believe that it is in your favour to instantly cast her on the pile as a deceiver.

Don't you believe what the Lord has said through EGW?

She tells us to "take pains" to see the reasons the one presenting has to give, but not to condemn. Do I need to post the quotes?

It is time we act like the name conveys. That is, like the “Christ” in Christian and not as the “men who have lost their reason” I’d say.

Take Care

Walt
Do we need to hear this now?



“Every association of life calls for the exercise of self-control, forbearance, and sympathy. We differ so widely in disposition, habits, education, that our ways of looking at things vary. We judge differently. Our understanding of truth, our ideas in regard to the conduct of life, are not in all respects the same. There are no two whose experience is alike in every particular. The trials of one are not the trials of another. The duties that one finds light are to another most difficult and perplexing. {MH 483.1}
So frail, so ignorant, so liable to misconception is human nature, that each should be careful in the estimate he places upon another. We little know the bearing of our acts upon the experience of others. What we do or say may seem to us of little moment, when, could our eyes be opened, we should see that upon it depended the most important results for good or for evil. {MH 483.2}”

Here are a few lines that may prove useful to some.

The importance of having them noticed again at this time, should be obvious. Who would want it said of them in heaven above or in the earth beneath that, “they could not be reasoned with”?

“Those who criticize and condemn one another are breaking God's commandments, and are an offense to Him. They neither love God nor their fellow beings. Brethren and sisters, let us clear away the rubbish of criticism and suspicion and complaint, and do not wear your nerves on the outside. Some are so sensitive that they cannot be reasoned with. Be very sensitive in regard to what it means to keep the law of God, and in regard to whether you are keeping or breaking the law. It is this that God wants us to be sensitive about (GCB April 1, 1903). {7BC 937.2}”

“Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation. {CW 35.2}”

“Those who advocate the truth can afford to be fair and pleasant. It does not need the human mixing in. It is not for you to use the Holy Spirit of God, but it is for the Holy Spirit to use you. . . . {Ev 172.4}
Be careful that you do not rail once. We want the Holy Spirit of God to be life and voice for us. Our tongue should be as the pen of a ready writer, because the Spirit of God is speaking through the human agent. When you use that twit and fling, you have stirred in some of yourself, and we do not want anything of that mixture.--Manuscript 7, 1894.
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{Ev 172.5}”

“Those who hold the truth in righteousness will be fair; they can afford to be fair.” {RH, March 9, 1886 par. 7}

“All who preach the word in verity and truth can afford to be fair in its presentation. We are not to be deceitful in any way.” {ST, December 25, 1893 par. 6}

“I want that our brethren should feel the importance of praying more, and loving our brethren more. The love that is expressed, is revealed. It speaks with a voice that nothing can silence. For God sent His Son into the world because He loved the world. There may be a sharpness with some, another defect with another. But those who advocate the truth can afford to be fair and pleasant. It does not need the human mixing in. It is not for you to use the Holy Spirit of God, but it is for the Holy Spirit to use you. {7MR 79.2}
"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Be careful that you do not rail once. We want the Holy Spirit of God to be life and voice for us. Our tongue should be as the pen of a ready writer because the Spirit of God is speaking through the human agent. When you use that twit and fling, you have stirred in some of yourself, and we do not want anything of that mixture.”

_____________________________________________

“We cannot afford to let our spirits chafe over any real or supposed wrong done to ourselves. Self is the enemy we most need to fear. No form of vice has a more baleful effect upon the character than has human passion not under the control of the Holy Spirit. No other victory we can gain will be so precious as the victory gained over self. {MH 485.1}
We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live, not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. As we become interested in the salvation of souls we cease to mind the little differences that so often arise in our association with one another. Whatever others may think of us or do to us, it need not disturb our oneness with Christ, the fellowship of the Spirit. "What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." 1 Peter 2:20. {MH 485.2}
Do not retaliate. So far as you can do so, remove all cause
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for misapprehension. Avoid the appearance of evil. Do all that lies in your power, without the sacrifice of principle, to conciliate others. "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Matthew 5:23, 24. {MH 485.3}
If impatient words are spoken to you, never reply in the same spirit. Remember that "a soft answer turneth away wrath." Proverbs 15:1. And there is wonderful power in silence. Words spoken in reply to one who is angry sometimes serve only to exasperate. But anger met with silence, in a tender, forbearing spirit, quickly dies away. {MH 486.1}
Under a storm of stinging, faultfinding words, keep the mind stayed upon the word of God. Let mind and heart be stored with God's promises. If you are ill-treated or wrongfully accused, instead of returning an angry answer, repeat to yourself the precious promises: {MH 486.2}
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21. {MH 486.3}
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." Psalm 37:5, 6. {MH 486.4}
"There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known." Luke 12:2. {MH 486.5}
"Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." Psalm 66:12. {MH 486.6}
We are prone to look to our fellow men for sympathy and uplifting, instead of looking to Jesus. In His mercy and faithfulness God often permits those in whom we place confidence to fail us, in order that we may learn the folly of trusting in man and making flesh our arm. Let us trust fully, humbly, unselfishly in God. He knows the sorrows…”

“All who have the truth can afford to be fair in discussion, for truth will bear away the victory. This is the only way the word of God can be investigated with any success. If self is brought in there will not be an investigation of truth in the spirit of Christ all phariseeism is to be put aside. All assumptions and pre-conceived opinions are to be thoroughly tested by the standard of truth. {1888 46.2}”

“All who have the truth can afford to be fair. See to it, my brethren, that words coming from finite man are not received as the voice of God. We want to be Christians. We should pray and study our Bibles more. Nothing is safe that does not bear the credentials of heaven. Let God be true, and every man a liar. His word is infinite, and every man will find that it is sure and steadfast forever. {1888 175.1}”

“Brother Bell has not taken in the situation. Men [who have] come to mature years--even the meridian of life--having families of their own, have become embarrassed unnecessarily. They have sometimes been placed in the most embarrassing positions. Brother Bell has been exceedingly sensitive himself if his dignity was not respected, if he imagined that he was in thought or look or word ridiculed. He has not reasoned that there were minds just as sensitive as his own to sarcasm or ridicule and censure. In this he has wounded his brethren and displeased God. {20MR 182.4}
Brother Bell is naturally severe, critical, and exacting, and he will have to be guarded on this point constantly, with the elder as well as the


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younger.”

The Scriptures speaks thusly:

Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Romans 2:1 “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

“He who is guilty of wrong is the first to suspect wrong. By condemning another he is trying to conceal or excuse the evil of his own heart. It was through sin that men gained the knowledge of evil; no sooner had the first pair sinned than they began to accuse each other; and this is what human nature will inevitably do when uncontrolled by the grace of Christ. {MB 126.1}”
_______________________________________



“Ev 106.4}
A Warning to Workers of Experience.--I am bidden to say to my aged brethren, walk humbly with God. Be not accusers of the brethren. You are to do your appointed work under the direction of the God
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of Israel. The inclination to criticize is the greatest danger of many.”

“{GW92 444.1}
If Satan can employ professed believers to act as accusers of the brethren, he is greatly pleased; for those who do this are just as truly serving him as was Judas when he betrayed Christ…”

“{GC88 519.1}
Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect prayer and the searching of the Scriptures will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind. There has ever been a class professing godliness, who, instead of following on to know the truth, make it their religion to seek some fault of character or error of faith in those with whom they do not agree. Such are Satan's right-hand helpers. Accusers of the brethren are not few; and they are always active when God is at work, and his servants are rendering him true homage. They will put a false coloring upon the words and acts of those who love and obey the truth. They will represent the most earnest, zealous, self-denying servants of Christ as deceived or deceivers. It is their work to misrepresent the motives of every true and noble deed, to circulate insinuations, and arouse suspicion in the minds of the inexperienced. In every conceivable manner they will seek to cause that which is pure and righteous to be regarded as foul and deceptive. {GC88 519.2}
But none need be deceived concerning them. It may be readily seen whose children they are, whose example they follow, and whose work they do. "Ye shall know them
520
by their fruits." [MATT. 7:16.] Their course resembles that of Satan, the envenomed slanderer, "the accuser of our brethren." [REV. 12:10.] {GC88 519.3}”

Brothers and sisters, given even these few items now visible above, we at least need to be careful with our speech, and to also guard the thoughts. We need to make a point of speaking only the provable truth. This is especially so as it regards individuals. And even at that, not all that is known in regard to individuals and situations need be spoken. We need to practice “kindness”, and remember the “golden rule”.

“Then let those whose business it is act in accordance with this rule. Look not upon our own things but upon the things of others. Let us practice the golden rule, and do unto others as we would that they should do unto us were we in like circumstances.{DG 258.1}”

“Watch your religion with a jealous care, and let the word of God dwell in you richly. Let the question be asked, Am I a Christian? Do I love my neighbor as myself? Do I observe the golden rule, to do unto others as I would that they do unto me? Can I be a Christian, and taint and pollute my soul with sinful, corrupting imaginings? It was sin that crucified the Redeemer of the world. Seemingly upright
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men do strange things, utterly contrary to the oracles of God. Their righteousness is a pretense before Him who looks into the heart. We are not to study and plan for our own interest, but in keeping our souls pure give an example to the youth and to all with whom we associate.--Letter 5, 1890. {TSB 157.3}”

“ The golden rule is the principle of true courtesy, and its truest illustration is seen in the life and character of Jesus. Oh, what rays of softness and beauty shone forth in the daily life of our Saviour! What sweetness flowed from His very presence! The same spirit will be revealed in His children. Those with whom Christ dwells will be surrounded with a divine atmosphere. Their white robes of purity will be fragrant with perfume from the garden of the Lord. Their faces will reflect light from His, brightening the path for stumbling and weary feet. {MB 135.1}”

“And evil imparted also returns again. Everyone who has been free to condemn or discourage, will in his own experience be brought over the ground where he has caused others to pass; he will feel what they have suffered because of his want of sympathy and tenderness. {MB 136.2}
It is the love of God toward us that has decreed this. He would lead us to abhor our own hardness of heart and to open our hearts to let Jesus abide in them. And thus, out of evil, good is brought, and what appeared a curse becomes a blessing. {MB 136.3}
The standard of the golden rule is the true standard
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of Christianity; anything short of it is a deception. A religion that leads men to place a low estimate upon human beings, whom Christ has esteemed of such value as to give Himself for them; a religion that would lead us to be careless of human needs, sufferings, or rights, is a spurious religion. In slighting the claims of the poor, the suffering, and the sinful, we are proving ourselves traitors to Christ. It is because men take upon themselves the name of Christ, while in life they deny His character, that Christianity has so little power in the world. The name of the Lord is blasphemed because of these things. {MB 136.4}”

_______________________________________________


“The love of God is something more than a mere negation; it is a positive and active principle, a living spring, ever flowing to bless others. If the love of Christ dwells in us, we shall not only cherish no hatred toward our fellows, but we shall seek in every way to manifest love toward them. {MB 58.1}
Jesus said, "If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." The sacrificial offerings expressed faith that through Christ the offerer had become a partaker of the mercy and love of God. But for one to express faith in God's pardoning love, while he himself indulged an unloving spirit, would be a mere farce. {MB 58.2}
When one who professes to serve God wrongs or injures a brother, he misrepresents the character of God to that brother, and the wrong must be confessed, he must acknowledge it to be sin, in order to be in harmony with God. Our brother may have done us a greater wrong than we have done him, but this does not lessen our responsibility. If when we come before God we remember that another has aught
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against us, we are to leave our gift of prayer, of thanksgiving, of freewill offering, and go to the brother with whom we are at variance, and in humility confess our own sin and ask to be forgiven. {MB 58.3}
If we have in any manner defrauded or injured our brother, we should make restitution. If we have unwittingly borne false witness, if we have misstated his words, if we have injured his influence in any way, we should go to the ones with whom we have conversed about him, and take back all our injurious misstatements. {MB 59.1}
If matters of difficulty between brethren were not laid open before others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, how much evil might be prevented! How many roots of bitterness whereby many are defiled would be destroyed, and how closely and tenderly might the followers of Christ be united in His love! {MB 59.2}”

Once again it is seen that the Lord in His mercy has given us opportunity to “clear the record”. There is still time for all to ask for these blessings.

Take Care

Walt

____________________

“The Two Crowns

"In the vision given me at Battle Creek, Michigan, October 25, 1861, I was shown this earth, dark and gloomy. Said the angel: 'Look carefully!' Then I was shown the people upon the earth. Some were surrounded by angels of God, others were in total darkness, surrounded by evil angels. I saw an arm reached down from heaven, holding a golden scepter. On the top of the scepter was a crown studded with diamonds. Every diamond emitted light, bright, clear, and beautiful. Inscribed upon the crown were these words: 'All who win me are happy, and shall have everlasting life.'...

"I then saw a company pressing through the crowd with their eyes intently fixed upon the heavenly crown. As they earnestly urged their way through the disorderly crowd, angels attended them, and made room for them to advance. As they neared the heavenly crown, the light emanating from it shone upon them and around them, dispelling their darkness, and growing clearer and brighter, until they seemed to be transformed, and resembled the angels. They cast not one lingering look upon the earthly crown. Those who were in pursuit of the earthly, mocked them, and threw black balls after them. These did them no injury while their eyes were fixed upon the heavenly crown, but those who turned their attention to the black balls were stained with them....

"Those who are urging their way through the crowd for the heavenly crown, attended by holy angels, were shown me to be God's faithful people. Angels lead them on, and they are inspired with zeal to press forward for the heavenly treasure.

"The black balls which were thrown after the saints were the reproachful falsehoods put in circulation concerning God's people by those who love and make a lie. We should take the greatest care to live a blameless life, and abstain from all appearance of evil, and then it is our duty to move boldly forward, and pay no regard to the reproachful falsehoods of the wicked. While the eyes of the righteous are fixed upon the heavenly priceless treasure, they will become more and more like Christ, and thus they will be transformed and fitted for translation."--Testimonies Vol 1, 347-353”
Hi John

Labels and pre-judging is not so much, but the truth is all. So sayeth the Lord.

"Cultivating a Teachable Spirit

God calls upon those who hold responsible positions in Sabbath school work to put away all
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egotism, all self-confidence, and pride of opinion; if a message comes that you do not understand, take pains that you may hear the reasons the messenger may give, comparing scripture with scripture, that you may know whether or not it is sustained by the word of God. If you believe that the positions taken have not the word of God for their foundation, if the position you hold on the subject cannot be controverted, then produce your strong reasons; for your position will not be shaken by coming in contact with error. There is no virtue or manliness in keeping up a continual warfare in the dark, closing your eyes lest you may see, closing your ears lest you may hear, hardening your heart in ignorance and unbelief lest you may have to humble yourselves and acknowledge that you have received light on some points of truth. {CSW 28.2}
To hold yourselves aloof from an investigation of truth is not the way to carry out the Saviour's injunction to "search the Scriptures." Is it digging for hidden treasures to call the results of some one's labor a mass of rubbish, and make no critical examination to see whether or not there are precious jewels of truth in the collection of thought which you condemn? Will those who have almost everything to learn keep themselves away from every meeting where there is an opportunity to investigate the messages that come to the people, simply because they imagine the views held by the teachers of the truth may be out of harmony with what they have
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conceived as truth? Thus it was that the Jews did in the days of Christ, and we are warned not to do as they did, and be led to choose darkness rather than light, because there was in them an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. No one of those who imagine that they know it all is too old or too intelligent to learn from the humblest of the messengers of the living God.--TSS 62-66. {CSW 29.1}”

“If you are called to be a teacher in any branch of the work of God, you are called also to be a learner in the school of Christ. If you take upon you the sacred responsibility of teaching others, you take upon you the duty of going to the bottom of every subject you seek to teach. If you present a subject from the word of God to your pupils in the Sabbath school, you should make the reasons for your faith so plain that your scholars shall be convinced of its truth. You should diligently search and compare the evidences of the word of God on messages that He sends to the church, that you may know what is truth, and be able to direct those who look to you into the way of righteousness. {CSW 31.1}

To Listen With Candor

When asked to hear the reasons of a doctrine that you do not understand, do not condemn the message
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until you have given it a thorough investigation, and know from the word of God that it is not tenable. If I had an opportunity, I would speak to the students of every Sabbath school in the land, lifting up my voice in earnest appeal that they go to the word of God, seeking for truth and light. God has precious light to come to His people at this very time, and you should strive earnestly in your investigations to aim at nothing less than a thorough knowledge of every point of truth, that you may not be found in the day of God among those who have not lived by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God
. {CSW 31.2}
The momentous issues at stake through neglect of the word of God should be carefully considered. The study of he Bible is worthy of the best mental effort, the most sanctified ability. When new light is presented to the church, it is perilous to shut yourselves away from it. Refusing to hear because you are prejudiced against the message or the messenger will not make your case excusable before God. To condemn that which you have not heard and do not understand will not exalt your wisdom in the eyes of those who are candid in their investigations of truth. And to speak with contempt of those whom God has sent with a message of truth, is folly and madness. If our youth are seeking to educate themselves to be workers in His cause, they should learn the way of the Lord, and live by every word that proceedeth out of His mouth. They are not to make up their minds that the whole truth has been unfolded, and
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that the Infinite One has no more light for His people. If they entrench themselves in the belief that the whole truth has been revealed, they will be in danger of discarding precious jewels of truth that shall be discovered as men turn their attention to the searching of the rich mine of God's word. {CSW 32.1}”

“Those who have entered upon the work of teaching, or who have been called to any position of responsibility, should not be satisfied to take the product of the researches of other minds, but they should investigate truth for themselves. If they do not form the habit of investigating themes of truth for themselves, they will become superficial in their life and acquirements. The opinions of your associates may be of value to you, but you should not rely upon them and have no definite ideas of your own. You should examine the truths you have been led to believe, until you know that they are without a flaw. You lose much when you do not bring every point of faith you hold to the law and to the testimony, for you do not see or appreciate the truth as it is. Oh, that all our youth might appreciate the privilege that God has given! It is His will that you should go to the source of all light, and receive the enlightenment of His Spirit (for this will be given to every humble seeker for truth), and then you will know that the Spirit and the Word agree, and know that you know what is truth. What assurance this knowledge gives! You
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can then speak with power, proclaiming what you have learned as truth, knowing that you have not followed cunningly devised fables.--TSS 58-61. {CSW 33.1}

A Promise of Increasing Light


New light will ever be revealed on the word of God to him who is in living connection with the Sun of Righteousness. Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. The diligent, prayerful seeker for truth will find precious rays of light yet to shine forth from the word of God. Many gems are yet scattered that are to be gathered together to become the property of the remnant people of God. But light is not given simply to be a strength to the church, but to be shed upon those who are in darkness. The people of God are to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. ”

“As soon as the seeker for truth opens the Bible to read the utterances of God with reverence,
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possessing an earnest desire to know "what saith the Lord," light and grace will be given him, and he will see wondrous things out of God's law. He will not regard the law of Jehovah as a yoke of bondage, but as the gracious commands of One who is all-wise and full of compassion. He will make haste to fulfill His requirements. Great truths which have been neglected and unappreciated for ages, will be revealed by the Spirit of God, and new meaning will flash out of familiar texts. Every page will be illuminated by the Spirit of truth. The Bible is not sealed but unsealed. The most precious truths are revealed; the living oracles are heard by wondering ears, and the consciences of men are aroused into action.--TSS 30. {CSW 34.3}”

“Many know so little about their Bibles that they are unsettled in the faith. They remove the old landmarks, and fallacies and winds of doctrine blow them hither and thither. Science, falsely so called, is wearing away the foundation of Christian principle; and those who were once in the faith drift away from the Bible landmarks, and divorce themselves from God, while still claiming to be His children.--Review and Herald, Dec. 29, 1896. {CSW 35.1}”
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“Those who would become the educators of the youth and children must learn much, very much, both in precept and experience, in order that they may be successful laborers for God. They must grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, attaining unto the measure of the stature of Christ. Growth in grace is a testimony to the fact that you are abiding in Christ as the branch is abiding in the vine. If you abide in Him, you will have power to discern spiritual truth, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. {CSW 30.1}”

“The students and workers will follow the example set by those who have charge over them. The teacher is to be a pattern to the learner. If he

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wants the youth to respect him, he must respect them.--GCB, Apr. 25, 1901. {DG 141.3}”


“Not Pleasing to God to Demerit Oneself.--It is the privilege of everyone to so live that God will approve and bless him. You may be hourly in communion with Heaven; it is not the will of your heavenly Father that you should ever be under condemnation and darkness. It is not pleasing to God that you should demerit yourself. You should cultivate self-respect by living so that you will be approved by your own conscience, and before men and angels. It is not an evidence of true humility that you go with your head bowed down, and your heart filled with thoughts of self. It is your privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame and remorse. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." While we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, the Word of God does not condemn a proper self-respect. As sons and daughters of God, we should have a conscious dignity of character, in which pride and self-importance have no part.--RH, Mar. 27, 1888.{DG 142.1}

Counsel to One Who Had Lost Self-respect.--Jesus loves you, and He has given me a message for you. His great heart of infinite tenderness yearns over you. He sends you the message that you may recover yourself from the snare of the enemy. You may regain your self-respect. You may stand where you regard yourself, not as a failure, but as a conqueror, in and through the uplifting influence of the Spirit of God. Take hold of the hand of Christ, and do not let it go.--MM 43 (1903).{DG 142.2}

Bitter Words Result in Loss of Self-respect.--What harm is wrought in the family circle by the utterance of impatient words; for the impatient utterance of one leads another to retort in the same spirit and manner. Then come words of retaliation, words of self-justification, and it is by such words that a heavy, galling yoke is manufactured for your neck; for all these bitter words will come back in a baleful harvest to your soul. Those who indulge in such language will experience shame, loss of self-respect, loss of self-confidence, and will have bitter remorse and regret that they allowed themselves to lose self-control and speak in this way. How much better would it

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be if words of this character were never spoken! How much better to have the oil of grace in the heart, to be able to pass by all provocation, and bear all things with Christlike meekness and forbearance.--RH, May 19, 1891. {DG 142.3}

Self-respect, Humility, and Efficiency in God's Work.--In doing the work of God you will be placed in a variety of circumstances which will require self-possession and self-control, but which will qualify you to adapt yourself to circumstances and the peculiarities of the situation. Then you can act yourself unembarrassed. You should not place too low an estimate upon your ability to act your part in the various callings of practical life. Where you are aware of deficiencies, go to work at once to remedy those defects. Do not trust to others to supply your deficiencies, while you go on indifferently, as though it were a matter of course that your peculiar organization must ever remain so. Apply yourself earnestly to cure these defects, that you may be perfect in Christ Jesus, wanting in nothing.--3T 505 (1885).{DG 143.1}

Respect and Love One Another.--If we keep uppermost in our minds the unkind and unjust acts of others we shall find it impossible to love them as Christ has loved us; but if our thoughts dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for us, the same spirit will flow out to others. We should love and respect one another, notwithstanding the faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing. Humility and self-distrust should be cultivated, and a patient tenderness with the faults of others. This will kill out all narrowing selfishness and make us largehearted and generous.--SC 121 (1892).{DG 143.2}

Christians Have a Positive Duty to Cultivate Respect for Themselves.--It should be the fixed purpose of the youth to aim high in all their plans for their life-work. They should adopt for their government in all things the standard which God's Word presents. This is the Christian's positive duty, and it should be also his positive pleasure. Cultivate respect for yourself because you are Christ's purchased possession. Success in the formation of right habits, advancement in that which is noble and just, will give you an influence that all will appreciate and value. Live for something besides self. If your motives are pure and unselfish, if you are ever looking for work to do, if you are always on the alert to show kindly attentions and do
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courteous deeds, you are unconsciously building your own monument. This is the work God calls upon all children and youth to do. Do good, if you would be cherished in the memory of others. Live to be a blessing to all with whom you come in contact, wherever your lot may be cast. Let the children and youth awake to their opportunities. By kindness and love, by self-sacrificing deeds, let them write their names in the hearts of those with whom they associate.--YI, Feb. 7, 1901.{DG 143.3}”
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“ 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,
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many do not ask, Is it true--in harmony with God's word? but, By whom is it advocated? 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. {TM 105.3}
The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits--because it is truth. {TM 106.1}
The Bible must not be interpreted to suit the ideas of men, however long they may have held these ideas to be true. We are not to accept the opinion of commentators as the voice of God; they were erring mortals like ourselves. God has given reasoning powers to us as well as to them. We should make the Bible its own expositor. {TM 106.2}

Carefulness in Presenting New Views

All should be careful about presenting new views of Scripture before they have given these points thorough study, and are fully prepared to sustain them from the Bible. Introduce nothing that will cause dissension, without clear evidence that in it God is giving a special message for this time. {TM 106.3}
But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many
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will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them. {TM 106.4}
No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God's people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said,"I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time. {TM 107.1}

The Truth Will Stand

Truth is eternal, and conflict with error will only make manifest its strength. We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth. Suppose a brother held a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing? The only right way would be to sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented in the light of God's word, which will reveal truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position in the least if it were false, or strengthen your position if it were true. If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of Pharisaism cherished among us. {TM 107.2}

The Scriptures to be Studied with
Reverence


We should come with reverence to the study of the Bible, feeling that we are in the presence of God. All lightness and trifling should be laid aside. While some
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portions of the word are easily understood, the true meaning of other parts is not so readily discerned. There must be patient study and meditation and earnest prayer. Every student, as he opens the Scriptures, should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; and the promise is sure that it will be given. {TM 107.3}
The spirit in which you come to the investigation of the Scriptures will determine the character of the assistant at your side. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance. But if the Bible is opened with irreverence, with a feeling of self-sufficiency, if the heart is filled with prejudice, Satan is beside you, and he will set the plain statements of God's word in a perverted light. {TM 108.1}
There are some who indulge in levity, sarcasm, and even mockery toward those who differ with them. Others present an array of objections to any new view; and when these objections are plainly answered by the words of Scripture, they do not acknowledge the evidence presented, nor allow themselves to be convinced. Their questioning is not for the purpose of arriving at truth, but is intended merely to confuse the minds of others. {TM 108.2}
Some have thought it an evidence of intellectual keenness and superiority to perplex minds in regard to what is truth. They resort to subtlety of argument, to playing upon words; they take unjust advantage in asking questions. When their questions have been fairly answered, they will turn the subject [and] bring up another point to avoid acknowledging the truth. We should beware of indulging the spirit which controlled the Jews. They would not learn of Christ, because His explanation of the Scriptures did not agree with their ideas; therefore
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they became spies upon His track, "laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him." Let us not bring upon ourselves the fearful denunciation of the Saviour's words, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." {TM 108.3}

In Simplicity and Faith

It does not require much learning or ability to ask questions that are difficult to answer. A child may ask questions over which the wisest men may be puzzled. Let us not engage in a contest of this kind. The very same unbelief exists in our time as prevailed in the days of Christ. Now as then the desire for preferment and the praise of men leads people away from the simplicity of true godliness. There is no pride so dangerous as spiritual pride. {TM 109.1}
Young men should search the Scriptures for themselves. They are not to feel that it is sufficient for those older in experience to find out the truth; that the younger ones can accept it from them as authority. The Jews perished as a nation because they were drawn from the truth of the Bible by their rulers, priests, and elders. Had they heeded the lessons of Jesus, and searched the Scriptures for themselves, they would not have perished. {TM 109.2}
Young men in our ranks are watching to see in what spirit the ministers come to the investigation of the Scriptures; whether they have a teachable spirit, and are humble enough to accept evidence, and receive light from the messengers whom God chooses to send. {TM 109.3}
We must study the truth for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who he
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is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject one to another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us, in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions. {TM 109.4}
When a point of doctrine that you do not understand comes to your attention, go to God on your knees, that you may understand what is truth and not be found as were the Jews fighting against God. While warning men to beware of accepting anything unless it is truth, we should also warn them not to imperil their souls by rejecting messages of light, but to press out of the darkness by earnest study of the word of God. {TM 110.1}
When Nathanael came to Jesus, the Saviour exclaimed, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael said, "Whence knowest Thou me?" Jesus answered, "When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee." And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we seek Him for light that we may know what is truth. {TM 110.2}
If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need to know it. The Sabbath school teacher needs to know it, and every Sabbath school scholar ought to understand it. We are all under obligation to God to understand what He sends us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine -- "To
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the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." But if it is according to this test, do not be so full of prejudice that you cannot acknowledge a point simply because it does not agree with your ideas. {TM 110.3}
It is impossible for any mind to comprehend all the richness and greatness of even one promise of God. One catches the glory of one point of view, another the beauty and grace from another point, and the soul is filled with the heavenly light. If we saw all the glory, the spirit would faint. But we can bear far greater revelations from God's abundant promises than we now enjoy. It makes my heart sad to think how we lose sight of the fullness of blessing designed for us. We content ourselves with momentary flashes of spiritual illumination, when we might walk day after day in the light of His presence. {TM 111.1}
Dear brethren, pray as you never before prayed for beams from the Sun of Righteousness to shine upon the word, that you may be able to understand its true meaning.”

“The question is, "What is truth?" It is not how many years have I believed that makes it the truth. You must bring your creed to the Bible and let the light of the Bible define your creed and show where it comes short and where the difficulty is. The Bible is to be your standard, the living oracles of Jehovah are to be your guide. You are to dig for the truth as for hidden treasures. You are to find where the treasure is, and then you are to plow every inch of that field to get the jewels. You are to work the mines of truth for new gems, for new diamonds, and you will find them. {FW 77.1}
You know how it is with the papal power. The people have no right to interpret the Scriptures for themselves. They must have someone else interpret the Scriptures for them. Have you no mind? Have you no reason? Has not God given judgment to the common people just as well as He has to the priests and rulers? When Christ, the Lord of life and glory, came to our world, if they had known Him, they never would have crucified Him. God had told them to search the Scriptures: "In them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). {FW 77.2}
God help us to be Bible students. Until you can see the reason for it yourself and a "thus saith the Lord" in the Scriptures, don't trust any living man to interpret the Bible for you. And when you can see this, you know it for yourself, and know it to be the truth of God. You will say, "I have read it, I have seen it, and my own heart takes hold upon it, and it is the truth God has spoken to me from His Word." Now this is what we are to be--individual Christians. We need to have an individual, personal experience. We need to be converted, as did the Jews. If you see a little light, you are not to stand back
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and say, "I will wait until my brethren have seen it." If you do, you will go on in darkness. {FW 77.3}
God help us to have a knowledge of the truth, and if you have seen the truth of God, press right to the light and put up the bars behind you. Make not flesh your arm; but have a living experience for yourselves, and then your countenance will shine with the glory of God. You have walked with Him, and He has upheld you. You have wrestled with Him and pleaded with Him, and He has let His light shine upon you. {FW 78.1}”

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“Brethren, we must sink the shaft deep in the mine of truth. You may question matters with yourselves and with one another, if you only do it in the right spirit; but too often self is large, and as soon as investigation begins, an unchristian spirit is manifested. This is just what Satan delights in, but we should come with a humble heart to know for ourselves what is truth. The time is coming when we shall be separated and scattered, and each one of us will have to stand without the privilege of communion with those of like precious faith; and how can you stand unless God is by your side, and you know that He is leading and guiding you? Whenever we come to investigate Bible truth, the Master of assemblies is with us. The Lord does not leave the ship one moment to be steered by ignorant pilots. We may receive our orders from the Captain of our salvation. . . . {TDG 93.1}
If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us, for if it is truth, we need to know it. The Sabbath school teacher needs to know it, and every Sabbath school scholar ought to understand it. We are all under obligation to God to know what He sends to us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine--"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). But if it is according to this test, do not be so full of prejudice that you cannot acknowledge a point when it is proved to you, simply because it does not agree with your ideas. {TDG 93.2}
Do not catch at every objection, however small, and make it as large as possible, and preserve it for future use. No one has said that we shall find perfection in any man's investigations, but this I do know, that our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and for kindred truths. {TDG 93.3}”

“Let every
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student who values the heavenly treasure put to the stretch his mental and spiritual powers, and sink the shaft deep into the mine of truth, that he may obtain the celestial gold,-- that wisdom which will make him wise unto salvation. {FE 169.1}”

“Let those who are tempted to indulge in fanciful, imaginary doctrines sink the shaft deep into the mines of heavenly truth, and secure the riches which mean life eternal to the receiver. Precious treasure will be secured by those who study God's Word with earnestness,
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for heavenly angels will direct the search.--Undated Manuscript 111. {Ev 214.4}”

“Cultivate Faith and Love

There is a sad neglect of reading the Bible and searching it with humble hearts for yourselves. Take no man's explanation of Scripture, whatever his position, but go to the Bible and search for the truth yourselves. After hearing Jesus, the Samaritans said, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." There is the mine of truth. Sink the shaft deep, and you will possess that knowledge which is of highest value to you. Many have become lazy and criminally neglectful in regard to the searching of the Scriptures, and they are as destitute of the Spirit of God as of the knowledge of His word. We read in the Revelation made to John, of some who had a name to live while they were dead. Yes, there are many such among us as a people, many who claim to be alive, while they are dead. My brethren, unless the Holy Spirit is actuating you as a vital principle, unless you are obeying its prompting, depending on its influences, laboring in the strength of God, my message to you from God is: "You are under a delusion which may prove fatal to your souls. You must be converted. You must receive light before you can give light. ” TM. 155

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After this he saw in the Review the article of Brother A. T. Jones in regard to the image of the beast, and then the one from Elder Smith presenting the opposite view. He was perplexed and troubled. He had received much light and comfort in reading articles from Brethren Jones and Waggoner; but here was one of the old laborers, one who had written many of our standard books, and whom we had believed to be taught of God, who seemed to be in conflict with Brother Jones. What could all this mean? Was Brother Jones in the wrong? Was Brother Smith in error? Which was right? He became confused. When the important laborers in the cause of God take opposite positions in the same paper, whom can we depend upon? Who can we believe has the true position? {PC 150.1}
Brother Foster was in such perplexity, that he sent word by letter that he could not lead in the meetings. Since the beginning of the week of prayer, temptations have pressed so strongly upon him that he has received no benefit. These differences among our leading men have absorbed all his thoughts and he is much distressed over the matter. I told him I expected that others who should read these articles would have the same experience. These differences should not have been made public, for some who are weak in the faith would be caused to stumble, and as the result might lose their souls. I felt keen regret and deep sorrow of heart, for I knew that the Lord was displeased. {PC 150.2}
But I said, "Brother Foster, you have the Bible. Search its pages with a prayerful heart; your Redeemer has promised that the Holy Spirit shall lead you into all truth. You have an Instructor that is full of wisdom, one who never errs. I charge you before God to cease worrying, receive the precious rays of light that come to you, feast upon the truth as it in Jesus, walk in the light while you have the light, and more light will shine upon you from the Source of all light. Do not suffer your mind to dwell upon the differences you think you discern. If our leading Brethren are so unwise as to allow their conflicting views to appear in the paper published to go to the world; if they present these differences before the large gatherings that assemble to worship God in the tabernacle or else where, they are doing the very things the Lord Jesus told them not to do, and going directly contrary to the light given them through the testimonies."


151. {PC 150.3}
Now, brethren, the zeal that leads to this kind of work is not inspired of God; Christ never prompts any man to work against Christ. He will not lead us to counteract His own instruction, or to act contrary to the spirit of the prayer He offered for His disciples just before He left them. He knew they would be exposed to trials from the opposition of the world, and He said, "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves and I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil." {PC 151.1}
Our work is clearly aggressive. Our warfare is to be directed against error and sin, not against one another. God requires us to be a strength to one another, to heal, not to destroy. We are to be constantly receiving light; and we are not to spurn the message or the messengers by whom God shall send light to His people. {PC 151.2}
If before publishing Elder Jones' article concerning the image of the beast, Elder Smith had conferred with him, plainly stating that his own view differed from that of Brother Jones, and that if the article appeared in the Review, he himself must present the opposite position, then the matter would appear in a different light from what it now does. But the course pursued in this case was the same as that taken at Minneapolis. Those who opposed Brethren Jones and Waggoner manifested no disposition to meet them like brethren, and with the Bible in hand consider prayerfully and in a Christ-like spirit the points of difference. This is the only course that would meet the approval of God, and His rebuke was upon those who would not do this at Minneapolis. Yet this blind warfare is continued; men of the same faith, in the same city, turn their weapons against each other. It is an astonishment to the heavenly universe. I feel deeply grieved, and if these things are a grief to me, how do they appear to Jesus, who suffered untold agony upon the cross to redeem men from the power of Satan and make them one in Christ? "All ye are brethren." What can lead brethren to present before the world opposite opinions, without first coming together in love, and comparing views to see if they cannot come into harmony? Will my brethren tell me what spirit is moving them to action? {PC 151.3}
We know that Brother Jones has been giving the message for this time, meat in due season to the starving flock of God. Those who do not allow prejudice to bar the heart against the heaven sent message, cannot but feel the spirit and force of the truth. Brother Jones has borne the message from church to church, and from state to state; and light and freedom and the out-pouring of the Spirit of God has attended the work. As events of a most startling nature in the fulfillment of prophecy has shown that the great crisis in rapidly approaching, Brother Jones seeks to arouse the professed people of God from their death-like slumber, to see the importance of giving the warning

152.

to the world. But he advances some ideas with which all do not agree, and instantly Brother Gage is aroused; he harnesses for the battle, and before the congregation in the tabernacle he takes his position in opposition to Brother Jones. Was this in the order of God? Did the Spirit of the Lord go before Brother Jones and inspire Brother Gage to do this work? Suppose that Brother Jones' statement concerning the formation of the image was premature; did the case demand such demonstrations? I answer No, no; not if God has ever spoken by me. {PC 151.4}
The Bible rules must be strictly followed. The matter concerning which difference of opinion prevails should be calmly considered, with much prayer, with hearts yearning for unity, and with perfect love for one another's souls. Examine every point as if you could see the whole heavenly universe looking upon you. If there is positive evidence that one of the brethren is in error, try to convince him from the work of God. If success should not crown your efforts, even then the world has no business with the matter; for it would only dishonor the God of truth, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent
. {PC 152.1}
"



Walt
Hi John

Who’s rushing?

I know exactly what you are doing. The principles still hold.

She is not a “dog” even if she is of the Shepherd’s Rod belief. She is still a human being, and more also, for she sounds to me as a child of God, the King of the universe. So do not insult her, or even come close, for in insulting one of His children, you insult Him.

She has a right and even a responsibility to share what she has found. She is not to be made to feel evil for so doing.

If you do not believe, there is a way to state such without calling her a deceiver.

Yes, yes, the rules according to "John". Yet I'd go by God's rules and leave the things of men as they are -- of men.

Though "Shepherd's Rod" as you say, how do you know that she is not still a "seeker of God's truth"? Is she going to hell (right now, with no hope of heaven at all) for the belief, or is she still alive and on a journey to God?

Will you answer?

Take Care

Walt
Hi John [Nikoa]

Thank you for not answering my questions.

You have missed the point it seems. You had not just asked her questions.

I'm sure too Nikoa, that if you asked her, she would tell you if she considers herself a Seventh-Day Adventist. Remember that not everything the leadership today, of the Church, considers true and sound doctrine or policy is supportable by what the Lord has sent by both Bible or EGW.

So what is true SDA doctrine? I'd say, that which is taught by Bible and EGW, not necessarily though, that which is from the Conference men.

All must decide for themselves, and remember that the leaders of the Jews in the days of Christ did not consider Him or His followers to be part of their "denomination" either. That is why they sought to exterminate them all. Today the same spirit of intolerance exists. This spirit is of the evil one, yet many hold it as a virtue. Who then is deceived?

See what God has said:

“"The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." We see here that the men in authority are not always to be obeyed, even though they may profess to be teachers of Bible doctrine. There are many today who feel indignant and aggrieved that any voice should be raised presenting ideas that differ from their own in regard to points of religious belief. Have they not long advocated their ideas as truth? So the priests and rabbis reasoned in apostolic days: What mean these men who are unlearned, some of them mere fishermen, who are presenting ideas contrary to the doctrines which the learned priests and rulers are teaching the people? They have no right to meddle with the fundamental principles of our faith. {TM 69.1}
But we see that the God of heaven sometimes commissions men to teach that which is regarded as contrary to the established doctrines. Because those who
70
were once the depositaries of truth became unfaithful to their sacred trust, the Lord chose others who would receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and would advocate truths that were not in accordance with the ideas of the religious leaders. And then these leaders, in the blindness of their minds, give full sway to what is supposed to be righteous indignation against the ones who have set aside cherished fables. They act like men who have lost their reason. They do not consider the possibility that they themselves have not rightly understood the word. They will not open their eyes to discern the fact that they have misinterpreted and misapplied the Scriptures, and have built up false theories, calling them fundamental doctrines of the faith. {TM 69.2}
But the Holy Spirit will, from time to time, reveal the truth through its own chosen agencies; and no man, not even a priest or ruler, has a right to say, You shall not give publicity to your opinions, because I do not believe them. That wonderful "I" may attempt to put down the Holy Spirit's teaching. Men may for a time attempt to smother it and kill it; but that will not make error truth, or truth error. The inventive minds of men have advanced speculative opinions in various lines, and when the Holy Spirit lets light shine into human minds, it does not respect every point of man's application of the word. God impressed His servants to speak the truth irrespective of what men had taken for granted as truth. {TM 70.1}

Present Dangers

Even Seventh-day Adventists are in danger of closing their eyes to truth as it is in Jesus, because it contradicts something which they have taken for granted as truth
71
but which the Holy Spirit teaches is not truth. Let all be very modest, and seek most earnestly to put self out of the question, and to exalt Jesus. In most of the religious controversies the foundation of the trouble is that self is striving for the supremacy. About what? About matters which are not vital points at all, and which are regarded as such only because men have given importance to them. (See Matthew 12:31-37; Mark 14:56; Luke 5:21; Matthew 9:3.) {TM 70.2}
But let us follow the history of the men whom the Jewish priests and rulers thought so dangerous, because they were bringing in new and strange teaching on almost every theological subject. The command given by the Holy Spirit, "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life," was obeyed by the apostles; "they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. Then came one and told them, saying Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned." If the priests and rulers had dared act out their own feelings toward the apostles, there would have been a different record; for the angel
72
of God was a watcher on that occasion, to magnify His name if any violence had been offered to His servants. {TM 71.1}

Answer of the Apostles

"And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood upon us." (See Matthew 23:34, 35.) "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them." {TM 72.1}
Then the Holy Spirit moved upon Gamaliel, a Pharisee, "a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people." His advise was, "Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed." {TM 72.2}

Prejudice of Those in Authority

Yet the attributes of Satan so controlled their minds that, notwithstanding the wonderful miracles that had been wrought in healing the sick and in releasing God's servants from prison, the priests and rulers were so filled with prejudice and hatred that they could hardly be
73
restrained. "When they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." {TM 72.3}”

_________________________________

““The Lord has shown me that as a people we must have a purer morality. There is among us a flippant reproduction of arguments that are the product of other brains than ours, while the man who first uttered them has not spent hours of earnest study each day in order to know the truth. In his self-sufficiency he has turned away from the truth unto fables. He has not poured out before God his earnest prayer that he might know the hidden mysteries of God's Word, that he might present to the people things new and old, which by painstaking effort he has dug from the mine of truth. {11MR 85.1}
Mysteries which have been hidden for ages are to be revealed in these last days to a humble people, who lean upon the arm of infinite power. Truth will be opened to the humble seeker, whose life is hid with Christ in God. {11MR 85.2}
God calls upon His people to be Christians in thought, in word, and in deed. Luther made the statement that religion is never so much in danger as among reverend men. I can say that many who handle the truth are not sanctified through the truth. They have not the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. They become accustomed to handling sacred things, and because of this, many handle the Word of God irreverently. They have not walked in the light, but have closed their eyes to light. {11MR 85.3}
This is an age of signal rejection of the grace God has purposed to bestow upon His people, that in the perils of the last days they may not be overcome by the prevailing iniquity, and unite with the hostility of the world against God's remnant people. Under the cloak of Christianity and sanctification, far-spreading and manifest ungodliness will prevail to a terrible degree and will continue until Christ comes to be glorified in all them that believe. In the very courts of the temple scenes will be enacted


-86-

that few realize. God's people will be proved and tested, that He may discern "between him that serveth God, and him that serveth Him not." {11MR 85.4}
Vengeance will be executed against those who sit in the gate, deciding what the people should have, and what they should not have. These take away the key of knowledge. They refuse to enter in themselves, and those that would enter, they hinder. These bear not the seal of the living God. All who now occupy responsible positions should be solemnly and terribly afraid lest in this time they shall be found as unfaithful stewards
. {11MR 86.1}


Take Care

Walt
Hi John

You are probably right.

If you can by-pass all those direct quotes from the Lord and still maintain your position and attitude as correct in every particular, then fool I would be to think you would hear me.

I have done what I could.

Be blessed and hear not me. "Hear the word of the Lord".....

Walt
Hi John [Nikoa]

So then, with the present attitude maintained, whose side do you think you'd have been on in the days when Jesus walked the earth?

Note the strong language of the last reference: "vengeance". Why so? Simply for deciding what information the people have a right to see and examine for themselves. I dare say that no stronger language could be used or found in all of that which she was given, and did write.

Probably something to pay attention to, and to pray about.

We must be careful. What else of an offensive nature in His eyes, might we be doing?

Consider.

Take Care

Walt
Hi John

No further comment necessary. Truth will indeed.

You can have my turn.

Take Care

Walt
Hi Nikoa

I know.

Just trying to take a "short-cut" by putting your name in that post, to tell you the one thing more or less.

Risky.

Take Care

Walt

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