to me, Pastor John, are not all Christians God’s people? Well,
I would never argue that point except when I am talking about
God’s people just before the close of probation. I am talking
about a specific group of people whom the Bible calls “The Remnant.”
So, if you have your Bible, just for a quick review on who the
remnant are, turn in your Bibles to Revelation 12:17.
It says, “And
the dragon was enraged against the woman, and he went out to make
war with the rest of her offspring [remnant of her seed; the ones]
who keep the commandments of God and have [the ones having] the
testimony of Jesus.” These are the two characteristics of the
remnant. Notice the remnant people of God, the seed of the woman
in the last days, the ones with whom the devil is enraged, have
two characteristics, they keep the commandments of God and they
also have the testimony of Jesus.
I was interested
to hear Doctor Standish talking this morning about how his parents
took him and his brother to evangelistic series. My father believed
in taking his family to evangelistic series. We lived in Colorado
and we went to evangelistic series all over, in Boulder, in the
Broomfield area, in Denver, wherever there were evangelistic series
our family went to them.
when I was a boy, Seventh-day Adventist evangelists would read
this text and they would tell the people, You only have to know
two characteristics to find the true church in the last days.
That is what they all said when I was a boy and I went to the
evangelistic meetings. They read this text and they said, To
find the remnant people of God in the last days, you only have
to look for a group of people who have two characteristics.
One is they
have to be a people who keep the commandments. Now they could
not be called commandment-keepers if they break one, because it
says in James 2:10 that if you keep the whole law but you offend
in one point, you are guilty of all. So God’s people in the last
days, the remnant, would have to be a people who do not practice
idolatry and are not a Sunday-keeping people, because the fourth
commandment forbids us to do that.
So God’s people
in the last days would have to be a people who keep all ten of
the commandments. We will not review the Ten Commandments, but
you know, the Ten Commandments. I hope you are like the man in
Psalm 1, who meditates on the law of God day and night. This
is something very critical for us to be studying, because there
are many churches today that are not only allowing people, and
teaching people, to break the fourth commandment and the second
commandment, but also even allowing their clergy to break the
A second characteristic
is that they must have the testimony of Jesus, and the Bible spells
out very clearly what the testimony of Jesus is. It says in Revelation
19:10 that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.
It is the spiritual gift of prophecy. Now there are churches
that believe in all the commandments and keep all the commandments
that do not have the gift of prophecy and we do not condemn those
churches cannot fulfill the specifications of Revelation 12:17.
Does that sound reasonable? We do not condemn other churches
who are keeping the commandments. We do not say that they are
not Christian, but they cannot be the remnant people of God in
the last days as described in Revelation 12:17. Of course, we
believe that we have the gift of prophecy and that we have it
I do not know
everybody here, but maybe there is somebody here who has never
heard of this before. If there is, I hope that you will contact
me at the end of this service and if you have not heard of this
subject before, I would love to send you a book called The
Prophet of the End. When we have prophecy seminars and we
talk about this subject, we give this book to all of the people.
That is too
big of a subject to get into right now, but what we want to talk
about is the experience of God’s remnant people, the people who
keep the commandments and the people who have the gift of prophecy.
If there is
somebody here who has not studied this before, Seventh-day Adventists
believe that this gift of prophecy was manifested in the life
and in the ministry of a woman called Ellen G. White. That was
her married name. Her maiden name was Harmon. There are very
sincere Christian people, all over the world today, who are keeping
the commandments and have this gift of prophecy and they are studying
it and they are the ones, we believe, who are specified in Revelation
12:17 as the people who keep the commandments and have the testimony
of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.
It is predicted
in the Bible, and it is predicted in the writings of the Spirit
of Prophecy, what is going to happen among these people as we
approach the close of this earth’s history. I have not made an
absolute systematic study throughout the whole Bible about this
subject, but in my Bible study I have been astounded at how much
the Bible says about the experience of God’s people just before
It says a
lot about it in both the Old and the New Testaments. I want to
study with you a few things about the experience of God’s remnant
people just before the close of probation, and I want to begin
by going to Luke 19:41.
If you have
your Bible, please open to Luke 19. It says, “Now as He drew
near (this is Jesus), He saw the city and wept over it, saying,
‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the
things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from
your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will
[surround you and] build [a siege, mount or] an embankment around
you [that is against the wall of the city], [and they will] surround
you and close you in on every side, and [they will] level you,
[with the ground] and your children within you, to the ground;
and they will not leave in you one stone upon another [a stone
upon a stone, why?], because you did not know the time of your
was the problem with the Jewish people not knowing the time of
their visitation? This has been a marvel to Christians, including
myself, for a long time. In the Christian Church it has been
a marvel that the Jews did not recognize the coming of the Messiah.
They did not know the time of their visitation.
In the children
of Israel, there were some that the Lord sent as prophets. They
had priests and they had kings, but Jesus was a Prophet, a Priest,
and a King, all three. Jesus was the greatest of the prophets.
When Jesus wept over the city, was He just weeping over that city?
No, because Jesus was a prophet. Let me read to you what He had
in His mind.
This is from
the pen of Ellen White. If you have these books called Testimonies
for the Church, this is in vol. 5, 72. It says. “The great
sin of the Jews was that of neglecting and rejecting present opportunities.
As Jesus views the state of His professed followers today, He
sees base ingratitude, hollow formalism, hypocritical insincerity,
pharisaical pride and apostasy. The tears which Christ shed on
the crest of Olivet were for the impenitence and ingratitude of
every individual to the close of time. He sees His love despised.”
the Lord want from you? It is not hard to answer that question.
He wants the very same thing that you want from another individual
if you want to develop a secure permanent, long-term relationship
with that person. What do you want from somebody else? If you
are single and you are looking for a spouse, what are you looking
for? That is a dangerous question to ask today, because we live
in such a society that you never know what somebody is going to
answer when you ask that question.
If you have
your senses about you and you are not totally demoralized by the
society in which you live, what are you looking for? Well, you
want that person’s heart and you want all of it. What would you
think if you were courting somebody and they said, I just love
you totally with the bottom half of my heart! What would you
think of that? Would you marry them? The Lord will not accept
the top half!
This is what
the Lord wants: “It is the whole heart that Jesus prizes. The
loyalty of the soul is alone of value in the site of God.” Ibid.
73. He wants your whole heart or none at all. Well, the Jewish
people did not know. Now let me ask you another question. This
is a thought question. Why did the Jewish people not know? Was
it because they did not have the information? No, they had the
I had never
studied this out, even when I went to Walla Walla College and
was a freshman studying for the ministry. I was in a class one
day, and the teacher handed out a sheet of mimeographed paper.
We did not have Xerox machines and computers and all the kinds
of things that we have today. But he handed out a mimeographed
On this sheet
it said, Here are the texts in the Old Testament that give predictions
about the Messiah. Do you know how many there were? There were
about sixty, and let me tell you, all kinds of details were predicted
about His life. Not just the time that He would be born; not
just the place where He would be born; not just who His parents
would be; or what His lineage would be.
It was predicted
by Isaiah, the prophet, that the Messiah would exercise His ministry
in a territory called Galilee. Galilee, by the way, is a Hebrew
word. It is right in the Hebrew Old Testament and it says that
Galilee was where the Messiah was going to exercise His ministry
and it describes what He is going to do. All kinds of details
about the work of the Messiah were specified, and it is astounding,
even to people who have not been Christians very long, when they
start to study the evidence from the Old Testament about the Messiah,
and they see all these details, and you see these details perfectly
fulfilled in the life of Christ, they say, Why, why did they not
Well, I suppose
there is no one easy answer to that, but I will give you a few
were a lot of them who were not reading and studying the prophecies.
That is one reason.
were a lot more of them who, whenever they studied about the prophecies,
were interpreting them in light of what the priests were telling
them. And the priests had developed a whole tradition about the
Messiah, that Jesus did not fulfill all those traditions, and
so they said, He cannot be the Messiah. You can see that in the
There is one
place that the apostle John records that Jesus was at the feast
and the people said, When the Christ comes, nobody will know from
where He comes, but we know where this One comes from, so He cannot
be the Christ. They were talking about that, and Jesus answered
their questions right there. Where did they get that idea? Does
the Old Testament say that when the Messiah comes, nobody will
know from where He comes?
No, the Old
Testament does not say that, but that was part of their traditions.
They had traditional interpretations of these prophecies. Now,
remember this scene we just read about in Luke 19:41–44 was not
just about God’s people in ancient times. This was about God’s
people until the end of time. And, my friend, I want to talk
to you about something very frankly. I am not here to get after
anybody, but I want you to think about this.
If God has
taken the pains to have thousands of pages of information written
out for His people to direct them back to Bible truth, do you
think that we should be reading and knowing what the instruction
of the Lord says or not? Or do you think that we will be held
accountable for instruction that has been given to us and we do
not even know what it is? Are we going to be able to say, Well,
I did not know? Maybe you heard of the person who said about
a certain book on the subject of health, I do not want to read
that book, so I will not be held accountable.
Lord, I do
not want anybody to give me a Bible study about the Sabbath, so
I will not be held accountable. Friend, please, I am not here
to get after anybody, but I want you to think. Are you reading
the instruction that the Lord has given? Somebody says to me,
Pastor John, I am not a very good reader. Let us talk about that
for a moment. The people who are not very good readers.
At Steps to
Life, we have morning worship with our staff, five days a week.
Now, in your family, you can have worship in the morning and in
the evening seven days a week and that would be fourteen. But
I am only going to tell you what happens when you have staff worship
five days a week.
We have been
doing this for several years now. We read through the book, The
Desire of Ages. We read through the book, Christ’s Object
Lessons. Twice, we read through the book, Sketches from
the Life of Paul. We read Upward Look. And then some
of us got to thinking, well, why do we not read the Testimonies?
And so we started. I do not remember exactly when it was. I
suppose it was a little over a year ago that we started reading
the Testimonies. We have read every single testimony in
Volume One. We have read all of Volume Two and we are in Volume
Three right now.
We only read
two pages a day and we only have staff worship five times a week.
If you have family worship morning and evening, twice a day, seven
days a week, you would be reading almost three times as much as
we have, if you read two pages at a time. You see, you would
read the whole Testimonies through in the neighborhood
of three years. It would be real easy.
please, I am not here to get after anybody, but I want to read
you something that Ellen White wrote is going to happen to Adventist
people right at the end. This is in Testimonies, vol.
5, 681. She says, “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 warnings. . . . Skepticism and infidelity are increasing everywhere.
Light, so precious, coming from the throne of God, is hid under
a bushel. God will make His people responsible for this neglect.
An account must be rendered to Him for every ray of light He has
let shine upon our pathway, whether it has been improved to our
advancement in divine things or rejected because it was more agreeable
to follow inclination.”
will there be many Christians, will there be many professed Adventists
who will not know the time of their visitation at the end? Will
there be? Yes, we know that there will be. There are many statements
in the Spirit of Prophecy that help us to understand this. One
is in the book Early Writings, 71. I have read this statement.
The more times I read it, the more astounding it becomes.
She is talking
to Adventists here, and she says that many—now we do not know
how many, just many—they will not realize what is going on until
the plagues begin to fall. You read it. I did not bring my Early
Writings with me and I do not want to take five minutes to
read it. It is most of a page where she goes into a long description
of these people.
Now, my friend,
can you think how horrible it would be to not realize what is
going on in the spiritual world until the plagues begin to fall,
and then wake up? You see, when the plagues begin to fall, probation
has already closed, so either you are saved or you are unsaved
and there is no more probation. Either you are saved already
or you are not going to be saved at all.
So, I want
to appeal to you, there is so much instruction that we all need,
and I want to say this as kindly as I can, but I hope that you
will get the point. No matter what preachers you call in to preach
at a campmeeting or at special convocations, the preachers actually
cannot teach you everything you need to know. You need to be
doing some reading for yourself.
Do you know
what happens when people do not study what the Lord has given
to them? Isaiah wrote about this. I will just read you this
short text. It says, “Alas [or woe] to the ones calling evil
good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness;
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20.
Now how in the world do people get that mixed up? Well, it is
because they do not read the books. And that is predicted over
and over again to be a great problem among the professed people
of God right at the end.
I have another
reference, which says the very same thing in Testimonies,
vol. 5, 211. It is talking about the period just before the close
of probation when God’s people are being sealed and about people
who are not reading and studying and do not know what is going
on. That was the trouble with the Jews.
I want to
go over several points very quickly.
We have already
talked about the importance of reading and studying the books.
God’s people, just before the close of probation, are going to
be in a very testing, trying time. Everywhere I go I find that
God’s people today are in various kinds of trouble. There is
a reason for that. It is in trials and in troubles that we prepare
Do you remember
the apostle Paul said that we must, through much tribulation,
enter into the kingdom of God? And concerning our Lord and Master
Himself in Hebrews 5:8, the apostle Paul writes, “though He was
a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
We are in this period right now, when God’s people are being tested.
They are going through conflict. They are going through trials,
because, as you can read in Hebrews 12 or in Titus 2, God has
a purpose to purify a people and His people cannot be purified
without testing, without trials, without some suffering.
We are also
living in a period of time, I do not fully understand what I am
going to say to you now, but I know that it is so, because I can
read it in the Spirit of Prophecy. You can read it in your Bible
in Isaiah 28:21 and in that text it talks about God doing a strange
When I was
a boy growing up in the Adventist Church, I was always taught
that God doing His strange work was when He was going to burn
up the wicked. And I am not contradicting that. But I want you
to read what Ellen White says about when God is going to do a
strange work, because I believe that we are seeing this strange
work right now. This is one of the reasons why so many of God’s
professed people are so perplexed and they come and they say,
What is going on? I cannot comprehend what is going on.
Oh, here is
what is going on. “The patience of God has an object, but you
are defeating it. He is allowing a state of things to come that
you would fain see counteracted by and by, but it will be too
late. [I personally believe that we are already in the time when
it is too late, but I am not a prophet. I am just reading to you
what a prophet wrote.] Who knows whether God will not give you
up to the deceptions you love. Who knows but that the preachers
who are faithful, firm, and true may be the last who shall offer
the gospel of peace to our unthankful churches. It may be that
the destroyers are already training under the hand of Satan and
only wait the departure of a few more standard-bearers to take
their places, and with the voice of the false prophet cry, ‘Peace,
peace’ when the Lord hath not spoken peace. [That is an allusion,
by the way, to Jeremiah 6.] I seldom weep, but now I find my
eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon my paper as I write.
It may be that erelong all prophesyings among us will be at an
end. [Has that happened? That has happened!] And the voice
which has stirred the people may no longer disturb their carnal
slumbers. [In other words, they are allowed to sleep on.] When
God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands
bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people. Oh, that
thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that
belong to thy peace.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 77.
are living in this time. We are living in the times when prophesyings
are not present. There is no living prophet any more; just like
in the days before Samuel. We are living in the time that she
predicted. She said, When the time comes that “holy hands bear
the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people.” That is why
we are in the trouble that we are in.
Now that is
an allusion to the experience that the children of Israel had
in the days of Eli. Eli had two sons; you can read about it in
the Bible. They were very wicked sons, but they were of the priesthood
and they thought that if they took the ark out to battle, that
they would for sure win. So they did it. They took the ark to
the battle. Did they win the battle? No, they did not.
I do not know
if you have thought through the implications of that story or
not, but I have people say to me, Well, the church is going through.
Well, just wait a minute. The church did not go through that
day, let me tell you. About 30,000 men were killed and the ark
was captured by the Philistines. They did not even have the ark
with the law of God in it any more, the Philistines had it.
the people bearing the ark were not holy people. You see, inside
that ark there was a law and the people carrying the ark were
not obedient to that law. They were disobedient to it, yet they
thought that the Lord was going to work a miracle for them because
they had it. It is actually a form of idolatry, or like heathenism.
I am not saying anything against any organization, any church
or any person.
We need to
think things through. Let me state it in very plain language
in a different way. The Adventist message will not take you
through to the end if you are not sanctified by it. That
does not mean that there was anything wrong with the ark. That
does not mean that there was anything wrong with the Ten Commandments.
The problem was that the people who were bearing the ark were
not in harmony with the law that was inside the ark, so what could
the ark do for them?
what can the Adventist message do for you if you are not sanctified
by it? Well, it is just like it was in the days of Eli. One
of their big problems then was sensuality. Ellen White, in writing
in Testimonies, vol. 5, 78, about the church just before
the end, says it is going to be a time of terrible sensual sins.
I do not want to dwell on this. I hate to even talk about it.
Did you know
that Ellen White wrote, that even in those days that the sins
of the Sodomites were among us. Did you know that she said that?
And the message—nothing is wrong with the message—but the message
will not take you through to the end and protect you if your hands
are not pure and holy. You have to have clean hands and a pure
no matter what is going on in your heart, or no matter how dirty
your hands are, Jesus has the ability to clean you up if you are
willing. But there is not going to be anybody who is not an overcomer
who goes through the pearly gates. That includes all the preachers.
But it does not just include preachers, it includes everybody
else. Do you know that God is going to have a people who are
pure and true? He is! He has already decided it. It is in the
Bible! Read Titus 2:11–14. He says He is going to purify to
Himself a people. God has already decided. He is going to have
a people who are pure and true.
says, Pastor John, does it not say that the wheat and the tares
are going to grow together? Yes, but it says that they are going
to be separated at the end. Is that not what the parable says?
And we believe that we are living in the time of the end.
How is it
all going to separate out? How is the church going to be purified?
God has decided that He is going to have a people who are pure
and true. Do you know that there is coming a time—now I am not
the one to do it, God and the angels are going to do it, not me!
But there is coming a time when every single tare will be taken
out of the church. Are you aware of that?
There is coming
a time! We should never rest and be complacent and say, Well,
the wheat and the tares are going to grow together. Listen, friend,
if you and I are tares, the Lord is going to see to it that we
are taken out. How is this going to happen? Well, here is how
it is going to happen. See if you recognize that we are going
through any of this right now.
“But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace.
God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon
to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength
of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord
will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly
purge His floor.” Ibid. 80. That is an allusion to the preaching
of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:12. The days are fast approaching….”
Now we are
going to go over about six points quickly as we close. “The days
are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion.”
Ibid. 80. Do you see any perplexity or confusion in Adventism
today? I told you last night that I considered myself to be one
of the most privileged of mankind, because I had the privilege
of being born into a Seventh-day Adventist family. Both my father
and my mother were Seventh-day Adventists before I was born.
So I have gone to a Seventh-day Adventist Church ever since I
And I can
tell you that when I was growing up, we did not have the perplexity
and confusion in Adventism that we have today. Now there were
some problems. I remember one time, when I was a boy, we were
attending a church dinner. The men of the church were standing
around, talking. Since I was a boy, I was just standing eavesdropping
to what the men were saying, like boys do. They were talking
about a terrible thing that had happened.
This was in
the Pacific Northwest. A terrible thing had happened in that
Conference, not in our local church. All the time that I was
growing up this never happened once in our local church. But
they were talking about a terrible thing that happened in the
Conference; some other local church. Do you know what that terrible
thing that happened in this conference was? There was a man in
the conference who had divorced his wife. He was a member of
the Seventh-day Adventist Church and so they were talking about
how the Church had to deal with this.
So there were
a few problems when I was growing up, but not one hundredth part,
I do not think, of what we have today. Great perplexity and confusion.
Why is the
perplexity and confusion? This is being allowed for a reason.
Listen, “Satan clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible,
the very elect.” Ibid. Now what does it mean when it says, Satan
clothed in angel robes? That means that Adventists are going
to be told that they are receiving a message from heaven. It
is going to look like we are receiving marvelous new light from
heaven. But if you check the writings out, you will find out
that it is not the right thing. Now I will leave you to try to
figure out whether there is any of that going on and how much.
But look at
the next one. It says, “There will be gods many and lords many.”
Ibid. Now what does that mean? Well, first of all, what is a
god? Well, the Ten Commandments say, “You shall not have any
other Gods before me.” A god is somebody who has ultimate authority.
In fact, a god is even above the law. That is why only somebody
who was God could pay the price for the breaking of the law.
is underneath it, but God is not underneath it. Jesus is not
underneath it. There has been no yoke laid upon Him, He is above
law. God could tell Abraham to go and sacrifice his son. None
of us could tell Abraham that. Even an angel would not have the
authority to tell Abraham that, except at God’s command. A God
is somebody with ultimate authority. And it says here that there
are going to be many gods and many lords.
And then this
very interesting sentence; just a short one. “Every wind of doctrine
will be blowing.” Ibid.
I am not a
prophet, but I think it is all right if a preacher recognizes
something when he sees it and hears it, and I believe we are living
in the days when every doctrine is blowing right now. I do not
think that is future any more, I think it is happening right now.
It is happening all over. It is happening in home churches; happening
in Conference churches and it is happening all over the world.
When I was
in Europe recently, I came back and I told my staff, “Every problem
that we are facing here in the United States, I saw every single
one when I was over there.” Every problem that we are facing,
all kinds of problems with doctrines, I saw every one that we
are facing when I was in Europe, they are facing the same ones.
“Every wind of doctrine is blowing.”
is all this building up to? All this perplexity, this confusion,
this gods many and lords many and Satan coming into the church
clothed in angel robes to deceive the very elect, to what is all
is the answer. “The time is not far distant when the test will
come to every soul.” Ibid. 81. My friend, when it says that
the test comes to every soul, it is coming to every soul in the
world, but it is coming to Seventh-day Adventists, I believe,
first. And what is the test? Well, you know what the test is.
You have read Revelation 14, the test is that “The mark of the
beast will be urged upon us.” Friend, it is coming. It is coming.
That will be a surprise, because we will be surprised that it
came so soon. She says that the test is coming and what is the
test? The test is that the mark of the beast will be urged upon
us. Read Revelation 14:9-12. It talks about this mark.
That is the
Third Angel’s Message, talking about the mark of the beast. Read
Revelation 13:14–17. It talks about the two-horned beast enforcing
the mark of the beast on pain of death, and that you will not
be able to buy or sell and eventually there will be a death decree
if you do not accept it. The test is coming.
Do you know
that the God we serve knows how to do thorough work? And by the
time this test is over, every tare will be out of the church.
The church will be a lot different then, because, you see, there
will be multitudes of people coming in and there will be multitudes
of people going out. Here is the way she describes it.
have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to
worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the
powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult,
threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the
Commandments of God and the commandments of men.” Ibid. That
is what the contest is over.
I have said
many times, there are only two kinds of religion in the world.
There are not hundreds of kinds of religion in the world; there
are only two. All religion is based on one of two things. All
religion is based either on the Word of God and the commandments
of God, or it is based on the word of man and the commandments
of men. That is what the contest is over.
Why is God
allowing you to go through the tests and trials you are going
through? I find that everywhere I go, God’s children are getting
tested and tried like never before. Why is God allowing you to
go through this? So that you are going to be ready for a big
test coming up. The big test is coming, and it will not be a
test that you can fail a few times and then take over. It will
not be like that.
So God is
allowing you to go through some tests and trials, some trouble
and some perplexity and be involved in things that involve confusion.
You will be saying, Lord, I cannot believe what I am seeing.
I cannot believe what I am hearing. God is getting you ready
for a test. He has told us what the test is. It is an amazing
thing. God can tell you in advance what the test is, what the
questions are and what the answers are.
is a one-question test and you can answer it with yes or no.
You know what the question is, you know what the test is in advance.
You know everything, and all you have to do is say yes or no and
that will determine, friend, your eternal destiny.
Are you ready
for the test? That is what we are going through now. God is
preparing a people for this test.
Here is what
is going to happen in this time. “The gold will be separated
from the dross in the church.” Ibid. She goes on to describe
this. Now, friends, you and I, we need to do everything that
we are supposed to do. I want us to make an introductory statement
on this so that nobody gets the wrong idea.
We do have
an obligation. You read Christ’s Object Lessons, the chapter
on the tares. We have an obligation, as church members, to not
allow open sin in the church. We have that obligation. People
who are living in open sin are to be disfellowshipped. But, friend,
even when we do that, you and I cannot purify the church. Purifying
the church has to do with what is going on in the heart, things
that we cannot even read.
But God knows
it and He said, I am going to purify the church and when I get
done, it is going to be just the pure and the true. I want to
ask you this question in closing. When the only people left among
God’s professed people are the pure and the true, will you still
be part of it? Will I be part of it? I have dealt with this
question on my knees, and I have said, Lord, I need a miracle
in my life. I want perfect purity. I want perfect holiness.
I want perfect victory over any temptation that the devil can
send my way. That is what I want, but, Lord, only You can make
it happen. I am determined to cooperate, but Lord, I want you
to work a miracle in my life. Because friend, read Psalm 24,
the only people going through the gates, are people who have clean
hands and a pure heart. That is all. Nobody else is going in.
It does not
matter what you have done, even if you have been an evangelist,
even if you have baptized thousands of people. I have worked
with evangelists who have baptized thousands of people, but you
still are not going in. The apostle Paul said, I keep my body
under subjection lest what? Lest I be reprobate or cast away.
Do you know
what that word reprobate means? It means somebody who has been
rejected. And, friend, I do not want to be rejected at the end,
and you do not either! That is the reason you are here. Before
we dismiss our worship service this morning, while we are thinking
about something that is very important and very, very serious,
I think we ought to pray. I think we ought to pray that the Lord
will give us clean hands and a pure heart that will involve the
application of the blood and also involve the application of the
Holy Spirit to our hearts.
It is the
Spirit, Ellen White says, that makes the heart pure. We have
to be forgiven. We have to be washed. We also have to be purified
by the Spirit. We have to be changed, otherwise, one of these
days we are going to have a test come and we are not going to
make it. People who do not have clean hands and a pure heart
will not pass the test. It is guaranteed! Because, Ellen White
says, you will not be able to pass the test unless you are standing
in the power of God.
That is the
only way you will be able to stand. That means that I will never
be able to make it—except as the power of God is revealed in my
life. Remember Hophni and Phinehas. The ark will not give you
the victory if you are not sanctified by the truth. Just knowing
the truth will not take you to the end, oh no!
Do you want
to have clean hands? You know what that means? That means that
what you do is in harmony with the law of God. Do you want to
have a pure heart? You know what that means. That means that
your thoughts and your feelings are in harmony with the law of
God. As I have studied this subject, I have recognized that I
have to have a miracle in my life, because the law of God means
that I must love God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my
mind, and my neighbor as myself.
The more I
have studied that, the more I have recognized that is not the
way I am. So I have gone to the Lord and said, Lord, I need a
miracle in my life. I need a new heart. I need a new spirit.
Do you want to have a new heart and a new spirit? A purified
heart and clean hands? If you do, before we dismiss, I want to
invite you to pray with me. I believe that prayer can bring an
answer that will give us a new heart and completely change our