God's Contingency Plan
If you are unsure of the vital
straight testimony is
to play in preparing God's people for the final crisis, please consider the
feature by this title before continuing. Should you fail to do so, this module
could leave you seriously discouraged - and that is not the purpose of this
After having given His personal
attention to the needs of His church for all of six thousands years, after
giving His life and every manner of support and encouragement to His people,
Jesus is finally confronted with Laodicea. Infinite mercy has been poured
out on God's children, limitless grace has been showered upon humanity, eternal
love has spent itself - even to the point of death - in trying to win the hearts of men, and the end result is
a relatively small group of lukewarm, self-satisfied, self-righteous believers
who find it hard to believe that in the eyes of heaven they are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."
In order to better appreciate the
seriousness of the lukewarm Laodicean condition - for which I must carry my fair share of the blame
let us hear what Jesus would have to say to us today . . .
`Were you cold, there would be some hope
that you would be converted; but where self-righteousness girds one about,
instead of the righteousness of Christ, the deception is so difficult to be
seen, and the self-righteousness so hard to be put away, that the case is the
most difficult to reach. An unconverted, godless sinner stands in a more
favorable condition than such.' (2T175)
[lukewarm] Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and
noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colours. The
lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a
good Christian. Satan uses him to do a work that no one else can do.' (Letter
Surely Jesus must weep? How He
must weep at the pitiful response to His great sacrifice? How He must weep as he
considers how little we have accomplished with so much light?
"He weeps also over the
hardheartedness of those who, professing to be co-workers with Him, are content
to do nothing." (8T32)
God must surely wish that it
could be otherwise, but if the evidence of Calvary has not moved us, what will
move us? If volume upon volume of inspired instruction has not motivated us,
then what will motivate us? If eloquent message after eloquent message cannot
lift us out of our lethargic slumber, then what on earth will do so? What on
earth will make a self-satisfied, self-righteous church fall in humble penitence
at the feet of Jesus - that it may rise and shine in the robes of His
`This message [to the
Laodicean church] has not had the influence that it should have had upon the
mind and heart of the believers. The true state of the church is to be
presented before men, and they are to receive the word of God not as
something originating with men, but as the word of God.' (1888 1051.2)
At this point in time,
all of God's efforts to bring a significant and lasting revival seem to have
failed. Six thousand years have passed and, according to the pen of inspiration,
the average Laodicean is in a less favorable condition than a "godless sinner."
This, I believe, is one of the
high points of the throne-room meeting in chapter 4. This meeting is
recorded directly after Jesus' message to Laodicea in chapter 3 for the simple
reason that the Laodicean condition is the catalyst that gives rise to the
meeting of chapter 4.
If we were of the opinion that
Laodicea's failings were not that serious, then we might be inclined to doubt that her condition
would warrant consideration at a special meeting in the throne room of heaven. If it can
be proved, however, that
Laodicea's condition is extremely serious, and that her lukewarmness is having a
markedly negative impact on the rest of the world, then we would find it rather easy to to believe that
the Laodicean condition would warrant special consideration at a meeting in the
throne room of heaven.
With utmost humility and with the deepest
respect for the church that I love, and with only the best of motives and
intentions, and with an acute awareness of my own weaknesses and failings, I feel the need to prove to my reader that Laodicea's condition is
extremely serious - serious enough - perhaps by infinite degrees - to warrant most
serious consideration at the heavenly meeting that is
spoken of in chapter 4.
Please understand, that I am
not being judgmental in what follows for I know too well that I too have contributed to Laodicea's problems. The following, therefore, is not an attempt to hurt anyone,
or to criticize the church or its leaders, or to take credit away from those who
deserve credit. I am as sick as any and as guilty as
any. But in the light of all that Jesus has
done for us, and all that He has suffered for us, I would love to see us healed
of our terrible malady - both His sake, for our sakes, and for the sake of the ailing
planet that does not know what we know, an ailing planet that is desperate for our help.
While we will be dealing with
certain negative aspects of our corporate and individual faith experience,
please understand that this is not intended as a destructive exercise but as a constructive exercise.
After all, it is of vital importance
that we see ourselves as we really are - for this alone will enable us to appreciate God's solution to our problem - which
solution is dealt with later in this document.
Once again, if the reader has not
yet considered the
straight testimony feature, please do so before continuing.
In the case of physical illness, the
first step towards recovery is to acknowledge that we are ill - for only then
will we feel inclined to go in search of healing.
The same applies in the spiritual
realm. If Laodicea is suffering from an ailment that Jesus has diagnosed as
"wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked;" if "an unconverted,
godless sinner stands in a more favorable condition" than the average Laodicean,
then Laodicea's first need is to acknowledge
that this is in fact her condition. My reader will appreciate, therefore, why I am
using a "no holds barred" approach in what follows.
no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous;
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to
those who have been trained by it.' (Hebrews 12:11 NAS)
It is my sincere prayer that we will carefully consider what follows, and that the reflection
that we see in the mirror of truth will enable us to better appreciate our great need of Jesus,
and of His
mercy and His righteousness, and that
this realization will drive us
into His loving and waiting arms - there to be healed.
For good measure, let us first
of all remind ourselves that God loves Laodicea - and that He loves us despite
our condition. In the heart of Jesus'
message to His lukewarm church He tells us, "Those whom I love I rebuke and
In spite of Laodicea's failings, therefore, we have the absolute assurance that
Jesus loves Laodicea with a love that it is stronger than death. The genuineness of
His love is confirmed by the fact that He is willing to rebuke His church and to discipline
His church, and to convict His church of their
guilt, for He knows that this is just the medicine that Laodicea is in most
desperate need of.
At the risk of overemphasis, I
again wish to confirm that my
intention in what follows is not to make us feel guilty, but only to prove that we
and that we are in desperate need of grace -
and to thus prove that the Laodicean condition warrants special consideration at a special meeting in heaven.
Bearing in mind that we have far
more light than Israel ever had, and considering how little we have done with
this light, let us engage in some honest self-examination by trying to establish
just how guilty we are.
First of all, we have been told
that . . .
"There is a terrible
amount of guilt for which the church is responsible. Why are not
those who have the light putting forth earnest efforts to give that light to
others? They see that the end is near. They see multitudes daily transgressing
God's law; and they know that these souls cannot be saved in transgression. Yet
they have more interest in their trades, their farms, their houses, their
merchandise, their dress, their tables, than in the souls of men and women whom
they must meet face to face in the judgment. The people who claim to obey the
truth are asleep. They could not be at ease as they are if they were awake.
The love of the truth is dying out of their hearts. Their example is not such as
to convince the world that they have truth in advance of every other people
upon the earth. At the very time when they should be strong in God, having a
daily, living experience, they are feeble, hesitating, relying upon the
preachers for support, when they should be ministering to others with mind and
soul and voice and pen and time and money." (5T457)
As I consider these words I am
saddened, and yet I am a little consoled, for we have been told that "guilt is the first condition of
acceptance." (2MCP456). If this material helps us to feel a little more
guilty, therefore, let us at least be a little comforted by the fact that our feelings of guilt are
good medicine, for they are at least bringing us up to the starting blocks.
Next I would like us to consider a rather
sobering statement. This statement tells us that . . .
"The darkness of the Gentile
world was attributable to the neglect of the Jewish nation." (4BC1180)
Now, if the Jewish nation was answerable for the state of the Gentile world, does it not follow that we, the
present-day spiritual Israel, are answerable for the state of the world today?
If we have been entrusted with
light that could have had a profound effect upon the world, and we have refused to shine
that light, are we as a corporate body not largely responsible for the resultant darkness?
If we have been entrusted with
light that could mean the difference between life and death to millions of
people, and we have hidden that light under a bushel, are our hands not stained
with blood? This thought terrifies me, yet the words of inspiration tell us in
no uncertain terms that, . . .
`Everywhere people are perishing
for lack of a knowledge of the truths that have been committed to us.' (7T62)
CLAIM 6: Laodicea is responsible for much of the suffering in our world
Every time I consider this
statement I am shocked by the thought that people all over our planet
are dying as a result of our neglect?
And this even includes HIV/AIDS
sufferers. Our very own General Conference acknowledges that believers (and that
includes Laodicea) are
largely responsible for the HIV/AIDS epidemic:
`The radical (root) cause of the
HIV epidemics is the Failure of the Christian Church. The church failed to bear
a faithful witness of God, it failed to be an agency of care, it failed to
reveal Christ in works of mercy to His dying children. This failure challenges
Christ's church at this time.' (Guide For HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment and
Education, Prepared by The Committee on HIV/AIDS - General Conference of SDA's,
Considering the extensive
counsels on health that have been entrusted to us, and considering how little we
have done with those counsels, what group of believers can be more answerable
than we are?
In the light of the foregoing,
therefore, would you say that the consequences of Laodicea's
failings - these being the failings of the last church in world history - are serious enough to be considered at the throne room meeting that is recorded in chapters 4 and 5?
The following statement was
penned during the time of the Anglo Boer War - a brutal war that took place in
South Africa during the years 1899 to 1902 . . .
"Had the [church] work in Africa been
carried out as it should have been, the present war would not have been as it
now is." (TSA56)
This statement suggests
that if we
live out our
distinctive truth, we can turn the tide of war - and possibly even prevent war? Does this not mean that we are answerable,
to some significant degree, for the state of our war-torn
In the light of the foregoing,
therefore, we need to seriously consider
many people would be ready to receive the kingdom today if we had only made a
little more effort to share the gospel with them? Just how many people would be
living today, and how many people would not be in hospital today, and how many
people would not be sick today, if we had only made a little more effort to share our
message with them? Just how many divorced families would be together today
if we had only made a little more effort to share God's love with them? Just how
many countries would be at peace today if we had only wholeheartedly embraced
present truth and let our light shine?
Yes, we might even ask ourselves
if terrorism would be the problem that it is today if we had only been a better
reflection of the Prince of Peace?
According to Jesus, one of the
strangest symptoms of our particular illness is the fact that though we are
desperately ill, and though our sickness is wounding the rest of the world, and
though people everywhere are perishing as a result of our neglect, many of us are still
pretty much convinced that we are doing just fine, and that God is rather pleased with our condition.
`Many are deceived
concerning the condition of their hearts. They do not realize that the natural
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap
themselves about with their own righteousness and are satisfied in reaching
their own human standard of character. [But man] has nothing of his own but
what is tainted and corrupted, polluted with sin, utterly repulsive to a pure
and holy God. Apart from Christ, we have no merit, no righteousness. Our
sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfection make it impossible that we
should appear before God.' (1SM320, 342, 333)
It matters not whether our
problem is that we cannot see, or whether it is that we do not want to see, the
fact is that we have a desperate need of eyesalve. We all
need to realise and acknowledge that . . .
`The human family have all
transgressed the law of God, and as transgressors of the law, man is
hopelessly ruined; for he is the enemy of God, without strength to do any
good thing.' (1SM321)
If our great need is to
acknowledge that this is in fact our condition, then we can afford to be
ruthlessly honest with ourselves. We do not have to try and pretend that we are
not desperately ill, for we have a Great Physician and His nail-scarred hands
are reaching out to us - right now. In the Christian economy, we cannot rise
without first falling. In fact, we rise by falling. This being the case, let us be willing to fall
at the feet of Jesus and acknowledge our failings and our desperate need of His
Whichever way we consider our
condition, our best medicine is a long hard look into the mirror of truth. As we
humbly gaze upon the following reflection of ourselves, may the Lord help us to
admit that we are desperately ill - that we might rise, that we might be healed,
and that we might be used
by Him to make a difference.
¤ As typical Laodiceans,
one of our favorite topics is the soon coming of Jesus, but how many of us have
realized that we are largely responsible for the delay in His coming? In reality, the world has long been bad enough for Jesus to come, but the
that the church has
never lived up to her God-given mandate . . .
`Had the church done her
appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been
warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and
glory. If the people of God had preserved a living connection with Him, if they
had obeyed His Word, they would today be in the heavenly Canaan.' (Mar19, Ev694)
Does this not mean that Laodicea
has put the world through many decades of misery?
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
also love to discuss the signs of the times, yet how few of us have realized
that the signs of the times are in no small measure the signs of our crimes - the
sure signs of our neglect.
remedy for the sins and sorrows of men is Christ. The gospel of His grace
alone can cure the evils that curse society.' (1MCP66)
If we have been somewhat
ineffectual in sharing the gospel of His grace with the world, therefore, are we
not answerable in significant measure for many of the evils that curse society
¤ As typical Laodiceans,
our discussions often revolve around projects that involve the sending out of
radio messages, the sending out of tracts, the sending out of food parcels, the
sending out of missionaries, the sending out of evangelists, the sending out of
television broadcasts, etcetera, all of which are worthy projects that deserve
our prayers and our support, but how many
of us have forgotten our personal commission from Jesus . . .
"Behold, I send YOU." (Matthew
"The harvest truly is great, but
the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into His harvest." (Luke 10:2)
The following passage of
reminds me of the many times that I have refused to be "sent."
"The weak you have not
strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken,
nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost." (Ezekiel 34:4
All, therefore, who wish to gather under the
banner of the
commandment-keepers of God, must realize that . . .
`No-one can live the
law of God without ministering to others.' (DA584)
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
also love to hear about and to read about the latest church growth statistics, but
did the statisticians ever tell us about the great numbers of discouraged souls that have been leaving
the church via the back door? Did the statisticians tell us what proportion of
our "new converts" are children of current members? Did the statisticians tell
us how many of our new converts have never heard of the Spirit of Prophecy or
the health message? Did the statisticians ever tell us about the many who were
driven out of the church because they were sidelined by the position-seeking
inner circle that exists in so many churches today? Did the statisticians tells us that, . . .
`God would be better pleased to
have six thoroughly converted to the truth than to have sixty make a profession
and yet not be truly converted?' (GW370)
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
are challenged with the concept of "making disciples," but how many of us are comfortable with the fact
that it is discipline that makes a disciple? Is it perhaps true of Loadicea that . . .
`The test of discipleship is not
brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for
baptism. It should be understood whether those who profess to be converted are
simply taking the name [of the church], or whether they are taking their stand
on the Lord's side to come out from the world and be separate and touch not
the unclean thing.' (TM128)
`Those who have been brought from
error and darkness to truth and light have great changes to make, and unless the
necessity of thorough reform is pressed home upon the conscience, they will be
like the man who looked into the mirror, the law of God, and discovered the
defects in his moral character, but went away and forgot what manner of man he
was. The mind must be kept awake to a sense of responsibility or it will settle
back into a state of even more careless inattention than before it was aroused.'
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
are very pleased when we have the privilege of giving studies to prospective
converts? But what is the primary focus of our studies? Do we mould our new
converts into the mindset of Laodicea by telling them how right we are and how
wrong the other churches are, or do we teach them about how right Jesus is and how
wrong we all are? Do we ever tell them that . . .
`If you would gather together
everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man and then present
the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human
soul or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as treason ... any works
that man can render to God will be far less than nothingness. My requests are
only made acceptable because they are laid upon Christ's righteousness. The idea
of doing anything to merit the grace of pardon is fallacy from beginning to end.
"Lord, in my hand no price I bring, simply to thy cross I cling." Men can
achieve no praiseworthy exploits that give him any glory.' (FW24)
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
tend to look to the "specialists" to finish the work, and we comfort ourselves
with the thought that we are just too busy making a living to get too involved. Yet
is it not true that . . .
"Not one in a hundred among us is
doing anything beyond engaging in common, worldly enterprises?" (8T148)
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
speak much about our commission to carry the gospel to all the world, and so we
should, but how many of us really understand
the true gospel?
Here you can
judge for yourself . . .
In 1889 we were told that there
is "not one in a hundred who understands for Himself the Bible truth in regard
to the plan of salvation [gospel]." (1SM360)
In 1988, ninety-nine years later,
the editor of the Christian journal, The Review and Herald, shared his personal
conviction that nothing has changed. Has our understanding of the true gospel
made great strides since 1988? Personally, I do believe that we have
progressed since 1988, but I would hazard a guess that we still have an awfully long way to go.
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
are usually rather well acquainted with the Three Angel's Messages of Revelation
14, and we speak enthusiastically about taking these messages to all the world,
yet how many of
us are comfortable with the fact that . . .
third angel's message is present truth . . ., and the
question is as closely connected with that message as the arm is
with the body.' (MM266)
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
enthusiastically support our evangelistic campaigns with our prayers, and our
funds, and our presence, but how many of us have realized that our disregard of present truth
makes it extremely difficult for God to bless our evangelist campaigns?
"The subject of health reform has
been presented in the churches; but the light has not been heartily received.
The selfish, health-destroying indulgences of men and women have counteracted
the influence of the message that is to prepare a people for the great day of
God. If the churches expect strength, they must live the truth which God has
given them. If the members of our churches disregard the light on this subject,
they will reap the sure result in both spiritual and physical degeneracy. [Have
we not arrived?]. And the influence of these older church members will leaven
those newly come to the faith. The Lord does not now work to bring many
souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never
been converted, and those who were once converted, but who have backslidden.
What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would
they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?"
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we
sometimes refer to ourselves as "the commandment-keepers of God," but how many
of us, myself included, need reminding that . . .
is just as much a sin to violate the laws of our being as it
is to break one of the ten commandments, we cannot do either
without breaking God's law?' (2T70, 71)
In this light, how many of us, myself
included, have realized that:
first duty, one which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our
fellow man, is to obey the laws of God, which include
the laws of health?' (3T164)
¤ As typical Laodiceans, we will be
the proud owners of at least a few Spirit of Prophecy books - or at least we
should be. But what part do those books play in our lives - and in the molding
of our lives?
`Many are going directly contrary
to the light which God has given to His people, because they do not read the
books which contain the light and knowledge in cautions, reproofs and
Yes, most of us will usually pore
over the "comfortable" books such as the Desire of Ages, and the encouraging
books such as Christ's Object Lessons, but how many of us are spending enough
time with the challenging books such as the Testimonies and Counsels on Diet and
Foods - those that move us out of the comfort zone of
Christian living? those that highlight our shortcomings and that drive us to the
feet of Jesus?
`The Lord's professing
people have been sleeping over their allotted work, and in many places it
remains comparatively untouched. Heavenly angels marvel that those who for
so many years have had the light, have not carried the torch of truth into
the dark places of the earth.' (9T46.1; 44.2)
Would you agree with me that
Laodicea's condition is extremely serious? Would you agree with me that
something has to happen to shake us out of our lethargy?
In all honesty, and I say this
with utmost respect, while some might be making desperate
efforts to create the impression that God's church is succeeding and prospering,
I need to humbly and respectfully share with my reader that, generally speaking, the worldwide church is failing hopelessly.
Yes, there are isolated
individuals, isolated groups, and isolated churches that are doing a wonderful work for God, but if we are honest with ourselves,
we might just admit that a large proportion of our activity amounts to little
more than ministry to ourselves. After all, who attends our evangelistic campaigns?
watches our television broadcasts? who listens to our radio broadcasts? who do
we baptize? who do we minister to on Sabbath afternoons? The truth is that in terms of ministry to
the needs of the world, in terms of following Jesus by doing the work that He
loved to do, in terms of one-on-one evangelism, in terms of
our specific end-time commission,
we are progressing painfully slowly - if we are progressing at all.
Could it be said of us today, as
it was said of us many decades ago, . . .
people of God . . . are at ease, believing themselves to be in an
exalted condition of spiritual attainments. They know not that their condition is deplorable in
the sight of God?' (3T252-3)
Could it be said of
us today that `we are in no better condition than the Jewish people?'
Some might be of the
opinion that the health message is no longer important, and that
reform is no longer called for, but this is simply not true.
this experience of backsliding from the principles of reform, our
people have been repeating the experience of the children of Israel
in the wilderness during the forty years of travel. Those who
continue to follow their own course in this respect, eating,
drinking, as they please, will gradually grow careless of the
instructions the Lord has given regarding other phases of the
present truth; they surely reap as they have sown.' (PH128.1)
While we are eagerly
looking forward to crossing over into Canaan, the truth is that we are still wandering
around in the wilderness and, based on our current attitude towards the
principles of reform, we are still a long way away from the Jordan. Ouch! - sorry
but that is the truth.
Having considered this rather
sobering reflection of ourselves in the mirror of truth, we urgently need to
enquire whether anything is likely to change in the coming years?
Yes, things will change, but they
are only going to change when we accept that . . .
"God has withheld His blessings
because His people have not worked in harmony with His directions." (7T18)
For many decades, we have been trying
to do the work and to reach the world in every other way but
God's way. And the results are almost always the same - our great and
carefully laid plans meet
with little genuine, lasting "spiritual" success. And thus it will
always be until such time as we accept that . . .
`The body which treats
indifferently the right hand (health message), refusing its aid, is
able to accomplish nothing.' (MM238)
No, this is
not fanatical raving. No, I am not getting carried away
here. No I am not standing on a platform pretending to be
a perfect health reformer. But, yes, this is present truth. We have been called to do a
special work, and health reform lies at the heart of this
work. As such, we simply have to accept the
fact that . . .
light God has given on health reform is for our salvation
and the salvation of the world.' (RH 11-12-01)
light of our neglect of this message, therefore, is it any
wonder that sickness is rampant throughout the
world? Even now, strange and fatal illnesses are surfacing
all over the planet, and all too many of us have not
realized that we have been entrusted with
all the answers,
and that we have been entrusted with specific instruction for the world as to
how they may escape
If we are
serious about sharing
message with the world, therefore, and about
finishing the work in God's way -
which is the only way - we simply have to accept that . .
¤ `It is impossible to work
for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of
breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the
soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind.' (7T137)
¤ `It is impossible
for men, while under the power of sinful, health-destroying habits, to
appreciate sacred truths.' (OHC266)
¤ `It is impossible
for an intemperate man to be a Christian, for his higher powers are brought into
slavery to the passions.' (CH36)
diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual
indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body
and spirit impossible.' (Te147)
dietary and lifestyle habits "prevent divine truth from
impressing the mind," making it impossible for us "to
appreciate sacred truths," then surely we should be giving
the health message the highest priority in our work today?
Yet, sadly, we are simply not giving this message the
priority it deserves. According to one very reliable
report . . .
`Church administration has
gradually weakened its emphasis on health and temperance. At the division level
we have only one medical doctor (in the Far Eastern Division) serving as health
and temperance director anywhere in the world. In North America at the union
level there are no full-time health and temperance directors. Our 58 North
American conferences have less than 10 full-time equivalent directors of health
and temperance. Medically speaking, the "right arm of the message" has become
sort of an appendix. Church activities not leading directly to baptisms have
been de-emphasized in our push toward increased membership." (Adventist Review,
June 30, 1988, p. 9)
blessing will rest upon every effort made to awaken an interest in
health reform for it is needed everywhere. There must be a
revival in regard to this matter, for God purposes to accomplish much
through this agency.' (CH261)
Is it any wonder, therefore, that
. . .
`The percentage of vegetarians
among Seventh-day Adventists is falling steadily. The use of coffee, tea and
other caffeinated drinks among us has become common. Even alcohol and drugs are
making inroads in our ranks. At precisely the time when we have scientific
evidence that validates our health principles, the personal health practices of
many of us are deteriorating.' (Ibid)
Whichever way we read the above reports, they
confirm that our focus today is on increased membership, on "baptisms," rather than
on true conversions; on increased numbers instead of on increased spirituality.
Our message has become a "come into our
church," message, which is good for tithe income, when it should be a "come out
from the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing" message, which
is good for our spiritual vitality. (TM128).
Is it any
wonder, therefore, that the worldwide church is meeting with so little in the way of genuine
Yes, God's church is going to be
victorious, but we have no reason to believe that a revival will come until such
time as we accept the fact that:
is the foundation of all the graces that come from God, the foundation of
victories to be gained." (Te201)
We also have no reason to believe
that anything will change until such time as we are willing to be corrected,
and until we are willing to change, for it is ultimately our unwillingness
to change that has brought us to our present situation . . .
"The work the Lord would do to
set the churches in order is not done, because the individual members - and
especially the leaders of the flock -would not be corrected." (1SM47)
Need I pen one more word in an
effort to convince you that our condition - the condition of the last church in
world history - is
serious enough to warrant special attention at a special meeting in the throne room of heaven?
¤ We who have been called
to save life are causing lives to be lost.
¤ We who have been called
to educate the world in the basic principles of health, that they might
comprehend the wonders of the gospel, that they might escape
the plagues and be saved from untold pain and
suffering and premature death, and that they might live for ever, have refused to be educated ourselves.
¤ We who have been called
to preach the gospel to all the world have little more to boast about except
that perhaps a small percentage of
us have a correct understanding of
the true gospel.
`The Laodicean message has
been sounding. Take this message in all its phases and sound it forth to the
people wherever Providence opens the way. Justification by faith and the
righteousness of Christ are the themes to be presented to a perishing
world.' (1888 1054.1)
Sure, Jesus loves us, and sure we really are quite a nice
bunch of people, but are we doing the special work that God has given us to do
at this time? Are we sharing with the world "the message that is to prepare a people for
the great day of God?" (CD455). Have we accepted the fact that "true religion and the
laws of health go hand in hand?" (CH480). Are we following God's specific directions for daily
living? Are we planning to
finish the work in accordance with
God's clearest of directions?
Or do the statements following
present a more accurate picture of the church today?
churches, embellished in the most extravagant manner, are
erected on popular avenues. The worshippers array themselves
in costly and fashionable attire. A high salary is paid for a
talented minister to entertain and attract the people. His
sermons must not touch popular sins, but be made smooth and
pleasing for fashionable ears. Thus fashionable sinners are
enrolled on the church records, and fashionable sins are
concealed under a pretense of godliness.' (GC386)
In the light of the foregoing, it
is fitting to once again consider Pastor Roy Allan Anderson's description of
`But here is a church of which
the Lord says, Thou "knowest not." They possess all the outward evidence of
cultural attainment, yet they are actually wretched and miserable and poor and
blind and naked. "Increased with goods," they are wealthy as measured by the
world's standards, possessing beautiful church buildings, wonderful
institutions, and centers of learning, yet lacking the very essentials of
Christian experience.' (Roy Allan Anderson, Unfolding Revelation, p.44
- emphasis my own)
apostasy prevailing today is similar to that which in the prophet's
[Elijah's] day overspread Israel. In the exaltation of the human above the
divine, in the praise of popular leaders, in the worship of mammon, and in
the placing of the teachings of science above the truths of revelation,
multitudes today are following after Baal.' (PK170)
Can we now better appreciate why
the book of Revelation presents the throne room meeting immediately after Jesus'
message to Laodicea? To my mind, there is no question that Laodicea's failure
was high on the agenda at this throne room meeting. I have carefully
studied all the principles of interpretation and I can find no reason to believe
My dear brother, my dear sister,
I am humbled when I consider the part that I have played in Laodicea's failure,
but I know that Jesus still loves me, and that He loves you.
Knowing the extent to which I am
failing the Lord gives me a great incentive to want to change, but I do know,
from experience, that I cannot change myself. Yet the word of God assures me
that if I feel my need, and I acknowledge my need, and I hunger and thirst after righteousness, and I feast
daily on His Love and on His word, He can change me, and He can change you, and
He can make us brand new and lead us to victory - and it's all just so simple -
that's why we call it the good news.
In the light of the above we need
to ask, and this with utmost urgency, Is there anything that can heal
Laodicea of her terrible malady? Is there anything that will lead Laodicea to
even acknowledge that she is ill? What can God do to make us willing to be
corrected? What can God do to initiate change in our
hearts - so that we can make a radical change in our world?
Well, here is what God did in the
case of Israel.
failure was high on the agenda of the throne room scene in chapter
4 and chapter 5.
"As the years rolled on and His
purpose concerning Israel seemed to be utterly thwarted by the devices of men
inspired by satanic agencies, He still manifested His beneficent designs
through the captivity and restoration of the chosen nation."
Please note, out of beneficence
(kindness) God committed His chosen people to captivity . . . but the
grand purpose of it all was restoration.
One of the central teachings in
Scripture assures us that when we fail to respond to blessings bestowed,
God, in His infinite wisdom and love, uses blessings removed "that
[we] may be led to see [our] sins, and return to Him with all [our] hearts."
No-one can deny that Laodicea has
received an over-abundance of "blessings bestowed", yet her response has been
trifling. Our only hope, therefore, is a liberal dose of "blessings removed,"
for this, I believe, is just the medicine that Laodicea is needing today.
Like Jonah, the church has turned
its back on God's commission and, like Jonah, the church is going to have to
endure a time of suffering and darkness in "the belly of the whale."
While much of our suffering will
be as a consequence of our failings, all of our suffering will play a vital role
in God's plan to remove from us our idols and to turn our affections to Him.
"And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me."
`Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, that they may not blow
until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is
gathering, ready to burst upon the earth; and when God shall bid His
angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can
It is my firm belief, therefore,
that it is in the light
of Laodicea's failings that God calls a
special meeting of the elders of heaven to discuss the unrolling of a scroll - a
scroll that has writing on both sides -
a scroll that speaks of the history and the destiny of mankind - a scroll that tells of the blessings that must now be removed from the earth
- that a people "might be led to see their sins and return to Him with all their
hearts" - that a people might finally be used by Him to prepare a lost planet to meet
From eternity in the past God
must have known that this scroll would have to be unrolled, and that all that it
spoke of would have to take place, yet the seals on the scroll could not be
loosed until such time as all the universe had witnessed that the efforts of divine mercy,
divine love and divine patience had been fully exhausted and, tragically, that divine grace
in all its glory has failed to penetrate the Laodicean heart in all of its
`It is seen that all His dealings
in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of
His people and the good of all the worlds that He has created.' (AG373.4)
But who in all the universe is
worthy to unroll the scroll? Who can sanction the outpouring of such momentous
woes upon a people who have been bought by the blood of the Lamb? None other
than the Lamb Himself. By creation and by redemption we are His, and now, in the
presence of all the elders of heaven, we might hear Him declare . . .
"Ever pitiful to the truly penitent, ever
ready to receive them and to heal their maladies, he [Jesus] thus evidenced that
the open sinner is in a more favorable condition before God than professing
Christians who bear no fruit to his glory." (3SP19)
`Let the consequences of their
neglect teach them what My love, My mercy, and My grace could not teach them. My people have deprived the world
and themselves of the blessing of truth, now they will have to live in the
shadow of the resultant systems of error and oppression. There simply is no
other way. That which they could have done in times of peace and plenty they
will now have to do in times of turmoil and trial and famine. I will unloose the
seals and unroll the scroll. Let the final warnings sound - let the final woes
begin. Let suffering do her noble work that My people may be revived and that
they might be led to final victory - at last. Just as ancient Israel left us no
option but to allow them to be taken into captivity, so it is that
we now have no option but to allow modern-day Israel to be taken captive by
modern-day Babylon . . .'
"For I will no longer have pity
on the people of the land," declares the LORD. "I will hand everyone over to his
neighbor and his king. They will oppress the land, and I will not rescue them
from their hands." (Zechariah 11:6)
"For a time the oppressors
will be permitted to triumph over those who know God's holy commandments. It is
God's purpose that everyone will be tested and proved, to see whether he will be
loyal or disloyal to the laws which govern the kingdom of heaven. To the last
God permits Satan to reveal his character as a liar, an accuser, and a murderer.
Thus the final triumph of God's people is made more marked, more glorious, more
full and complete." (Letter 5, 1883)
"We need not be surprised at
anything that may take place now. We need not marvel at any developments of
horror. The scenes that transpired at the destruction of Jerusalem will be
repeated at the great and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful
manner." (3SM416; 417)
Meditational Nuggets: ` "I
struck you with blight and mildew and hail in the all the labors of your hands;
yet you did not turn to me," says the Lord.' (Haggai 2:17)
`When He slew them, then they
sought Him; And they returned and sought diligently for God.' (Psalm 78:34)
`Though He causes grief, yet He
will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.' (Lamentations
`For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole.' (Job 5:18)
The truth is that we are already
in Babylonish captivity. The reason we have not realized this is because
modern-day Babylon has something that ancient Babylon never had - a doctorate in
public relations - and this has enabled her to hide her evil and oppressive
intentions behind a facade of "well-meaning commerce," "caring governments,"
"holy intentions" and "noble benefactors."
In the modules that follow we
will be unmasking the true merchants of Babylon and we will be challenged to
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Dear reader and fellow
truth-seeker. Once again we would like to open the door to friendly dialog with
anyone who has any suggestion or constructive criticism that will contribute in
any way to
If you are a Bible scholar, we are inviting you especially to
insights with us,
to offer your suggestions, and
even to join us in completing the modules that are to follow.
If you would like to receive notification
as and when additional modules in
this series are published, please
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