I am very happy to be able to worship the Lord with each one of you today and my wife and I seek an interest in your prayers because we are on our way--if the Lord wills--to Africa this coming week and we need the Lord's help and blessing in our mission there.
The other day I was in the waiting area of a professional office and I looked over on the coffee table and there was a news magazine. It was telling about what you have all heard about, about the young man whose father was the President of the United States that crashed his airplane out in the ocean several days ago. Almost the whole magazine was devoted to this story.
So I happen to have an interest in airplane crashes, sol picked up the magazine and I began to look through it to find the description of what had happened. I found out that the airplane descended from fifty-five hundred feet to thirteen hundred feet in just a matter of several seconds. As I was reading that, I realized right away that there was a terrible problem with the attitude.
Now the word "attitude" is a special technical word that we use in aeronautics or aviation. Here is the dictionary definition of attitude in regard to aviation or aeronautics. It says, "It is the position of an aircraft in relation to a given point of reference, usually on the ground level." That is the horizon. So your attitude in an airplane is not something of passing interest. It is of vital life-and-death importance.
Next time you get on a jet airliner as you are boarding the aircraft, if it is a 737 and you can look up into the cockpit, you will see there in front of the sticks there is a big instrument there. It is called a flight director. One of the principal functions of a flight director is so that the captain at any moment just from a glance of the eye can instantly tell exactly what the airplane's attitude is.
Because the attitude is even more important than the altitude. You might have been sailing along fine, just like that airplane was. Everything was going fine at fifty-five hundred feet until just a few minutes before the landing. Then something went wrong with the attitude.
Do you know what? Flying airplanes is not the only things in which attitude is important. Attitude is important in our Christian experience. Your altitude may be fine. Everything may have been going fine, but if your attitude is wrong, you are headed for trouble. That is true in Christian experience, not just with flying aircraft.
I would like to read to you just a few inspired statements that will help us to understand how important attitude is. Here is one from the book Reflecting Christ, 303. "The character we cultivate, the attitude we assume today, is fixing our future destiny." What is it doing? It is fixing our future destiny. Here is another one. "His spirit, his attitude and actions, are delineated on the record above, and will determine whether or not he can be trusted with the eternal riches of heaven." Signs of the Times, February 20, 1896.
So attitude is important, of life-and-death importance. I had a flight instructor one time who liked to take little round pieces of paper and cover up one instrument after another then require me to fly the airplane with the instruments that were left. I found out that he expected me to be able to tell something about the airplane's attitude from almost every single instrument on the dash of the cockpit.
There are many, many things in life that reveal our attitude. It is so important that it fixes our eternal destiny and it determines whether or not we can receive the Holy Spirit right here and now. The law of God has to do with attitude. Maybe we should read that in the Bible. Open your Bible to the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 4:12. It says, "For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Word of God goes right to the heart to discern the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Now the intent of the heart is your attitude. Other people may not be able to see it. We are living in the shaking time and during the shaking time b4ore it is over the thoughts and intents of every single person's heart, whether saved or lost, is going to be revealed in public.
The law of God has to do, the Word of God has to do with attitude with the thoughts and the intents of the heart. In fact the law of God has to do so much with attitude that the entire law can be understood from the perspective of attitude with just one word. That word is the first word of the fifth commandment. What is the first word of the fifth commandment? Honor.
Honor your father and your mother. Every single one of the ten commandments has to do with that basic principle, every one. That is why there are people that can break all the ten commandments and tell you that they are keeping them because they do not understand the spiritual principle upon which they are based. If I lose my sense of honor, I break the entire law in one stroke, because the entire law of God is based on that one principle.
You cannot have love without honor. It is impossible. However, that is not our primary subject this morning. We want to study now how the principle of honor runs through the law of God, but we want to study the principle of attitude as it has to do with your eternal destiny because our attitude has to do not just with your destiny, if you are flying an airplane. It has to do with your eternal destiny in God's kingdom.
You see the reason the attitude is more important that the altitude is two people can be at the same level in their Christian experience but if their attitude is different, they are going to end up different. Right now they may be at the same level. They may be at the same altitude. They may be in the same area of sanctification but if the attitude is different, they are going to end up at different places. That is what we want to study.
The Bible has a lot to say, also, about the attitude of God toward sinful man. We could study that, but that is a separate study. The Lord says to the sinner, He said, I do not have any pleasure in your death. I would like for you to turn around and turn away from your wickedness so you can live because I do not have any pleasure in your death. Why do you not turn around so you will not have to die? You can read that in Ezekiel 33. That is the attitude of God toward sinners.
What we want to study is our attitude and the first section that I would like to study with you in regard to our attitude is: This is a question you need to ask yourself. It is a question I need to ask myself That is, What is my attitude toward the law of God? What is it? If you are converted, we read it in our Scripture Reading this morning. If you are converted, if the Holy Spirit has been working on your heart and mind, what will your attitude be toward the law of God? What did it say in Psalm 1:2? "His delight is in the law of the Lord."
He is happy about the law of God. He wants to keep it. There are even people who are trying to keep the law of God that do not delight in it. They say, Ughhh. It seems like just a bunch of restrictions to them. If you think the law of God is just a list of restrictions, does that tell something about your attitude toward it? It certainly does. Your attitude is very, very important because your attitude is going to determine your destiny, even more than your present altitude.
What if you break the law of God? Let me read you a statement about that. "Every willful transgression is an act of rebellion against its author. [That is the author of the law.] Everyone who assumes this attitude, is by his practice saying to the people, 'The requirements of God are exacting and severe, a yoke of bondage. Let us break this yoke from off our necks and be at liberty." Signs of the Times, January 1, 1882. That is the attitude of a large portion of the world toward the law of God today. They say, This is restricting. This is exacting. This is a type of bondage. Let us be free from this.
So we have all kinds of teachings to set us free from the law of God in religion. We have all kinds of theological theories. Have you heard of some of them? I am sure you have. We go over some of the main arguments against the law of God that the devil has conjured up and uses spiritual teachers and theologians and ministers to advocate at our prophecy seminar. Things like, that the law was nailed to the cross. You do not have to keep it anymore. Jesus kept it, so you do not have to keep it any more.
There are all kinds of arguments against the law of God. When a person starts engaging in that, is that person delighting in the law of God? Absolutely not. They are not delighting in the law of God. People say, I just want Jesus. I want to be Christ-like. Well, what does it mean to be Christlike? Look at the record of Jesus Himself described here in Hebrews the tenth chapter.
Hebrews 10:5. This is a description of Jesus. It says, "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offering and sacrifices for sin You had not pleasure.' Then I said, 'Behold, I have come--in the volume of the book it is written of Me---to do Your will, 0 God."
And then down further it says in verse 9, "Then He said, 'Behold, I have come to do Your will, 0 God." What did Jesus come to do? Did He come to do His own will? No, He came to do God's will and this is one of the primary differences between a person who is converted and a person who is not converted. It is a difference of attitude. The one person says, I want to do what I want to do. The other person says, I want to do God's will.
What is your attitude? Are you self-willed, saying in effect in your life, I do not want Your way, Lord, I want my own way? That is what they said in Noah's day. We do not want Your way, Lord. We want our own way. And the world today has the same philosophy. It is a form of insanity to tell the Creator of the Universe that we know what we ought to do. We are not going to listen to Him.
Just think it through. It is. It is a form of insanity and it is all throughout our world today. What will happen if I am self-willed? Well, here is a statement from Christ's Object Lessons, 210. It says, "They may claim to be children of God, but they are acting out the spirit of Satan. By their attitude toward their brethren, these accusers place themselves where God cannot give them the light of His countenance." So we place ourselves where God cannot bless us by being self-willed.
But I want to go immediately to several other areas that are important to understand in regard to attitude and one of the principal ones that applies to us all is our attitude in the family, especially in the family circle. Our attitude determines what is going to happen in our families and in our family circle. Does anybody in your family make mistakes? Well, what do you do when people make mistakes? Now obviously it depends on what kind of mistake it is.
There are mistakes that are so bad that Jesus said, There are mistakes that are so bad that it is called the unpardonable sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit. But we must be careful that when somebody makes a mistake in our family, we do not blow it up so that it is bigger than it has to be. Are you willing to forgive somebody in your family that has made a mistake? You see, forgiveness is an attitude. Unforgiveness is an attitude--an opposite attitude.
This is what Ellen White wrote to a wife. She said, "My sister, you cannot please God by maintaining your present attitude. Forgive your husband. He is your husband, and you will be blessed in striving to be a dutiful, affectionate wife. Let the law of kindness be on your lips. You can and must change your attitude." Adventist Home, 345. Well, I do not know whether she did or not.
Here are a couple of other ones on attitude at home. "Concerning the obligations resting upon husbands and wives, and the attitude they should sustain to each other, the apostle Paul writes." Review and Herald, December 10, 1908. Then she quotes from Ephesians 5:25-28. And then this one. "The husband and wife must love and respect each other." Review and Herald, January 12,1911. What is respect? It is an attitude. It is an attitude of honoring somebody else. And incidentally when the respect and honor is gone, Ellen White says that very soon the love will be gone and all there will be to your marriage is a piece of paper. You will not have anything.
Attitude is very important. She says the husband and wife should love and respect. Something to study out, the concept of honor and respect. You must have it or you will not have a happy home. By the way, it does not say they must respect themselves, it says they must respect each other.
"Thus only can the children be taught to respect their parents." Ibid. That is the fifth commandment. But she says, If the husband and wife do not respect each other, what will happen to the children? They cannot learn the fifth commandment. They are stuck. "If parents realized how greatly their attitude toward each other influences the conduct of the children, they would offer earnest prayers to God for wisdom to understand and teach the way of the Lord." Ibid.
So, attitude is of vital importance, not just in airplanes, in your family. Do we have a forgiving spirit toward others in our family when they make a mistake? And do we not just love but respect, that is honor each other? Just read your New Testament about this. It says a lot about honoring each other. If we lose respect, pretty soon the love is gone. There is nothing left.
When you bring up this subject, there is always somebody that says, Well, you just can not know who I have to live with. Yes, that is true. It is true. Maybe the person you are living with has so much disrespect of the law of God that eventually your home will be broken up. That happens sometimes. It always happens because one or more parties is not keeping the law of God and does not respect the law of God. It never happens if both parties are willing to abide by the law of God. It never happens.
But whatever somebody else might do, if you and I, if we are going to be ready to go to heaven--now it is unfortunate, but we have to face the truth because we are near the end of the world--there are going to be some families in which some of the people of the family will go to heaven and other people in the family will not go to heaven. Now we do not like to think about that, but that is reality.
If you are in a family where some people do not have a sense of honor, unless they get it, they are not going. But you and I are not going unless we get it either. We have to ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to give us this sense of honor and respect first toward God and then toward our fellow men. That is a foundation principle of the law of God. We have been talking about the family, but, of course, as you can readily see this principle extends far beyond just the family. It extends to people that we are working with, whether they are fellow workers or patients or clients.
Ellen White wrote about this also one time. I would like to read you the statement then read it to you from the Bible. She says, "There are some, both men and women, who gossip more than they pray. They have not clear spiritual discernment. They are far from God. When they talk with the patients, their attitude seems to say, "Report and we will report it." Medical Ministry, 212. Their attitude leads to what? It leads to gossip.
Now that is a quotation from the Bible. Maybe you would like to read it in the Bible. It is in Jeremiah the twentieth chapter. Jeremiah 20:10. Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet and he bad such a hard time. He had the whole nation against him. He had the government against him
and he had almost all of God's professed people against him and he says here. Look at verse 9 first of all in Jeremiah twenty. "Then I said, 'I will not make mention of him nor speak any more in His name." That is God's name. He decided it was so hard and so awful, he was not even going to be a prophet anymore.
But he says in the next part of the verse, "But His word was in my heart like a burning fife shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not." So he could not stop being a prophet, even though be wanted to. But notice the situation he was in. Verse 10. "For I heard many mocking: fear on every side!' 'Report', they say, 'and we will report it!' All my acquaintances watch for my stumbling, saying, 'Perhaps he can be induced; then we will prevail against him, and we will take our revenge on him."
They had a problem with attitude. What was their attitude? These were his supposed friends. But were they really his friends? You see the Holy Spirit revealed what their attitude was, what they were saying in private when he could not hear. They were his supposed friends but their attitude was one of an enemy and not of a friend.
Well, if we fall into the habit of gossiping and our attitude leads to gossip, we will end up causing great spiritual destruction among our friends and our institutions and our churches or anywhere we go. It comes from an attitude of saying, Report and we will report. But one of the most interesting statements in inspired writings about attitude is one that we have read here from this desk a number of times in the past.
I will read it again. It is from Selected Messages, vol. 1, 406, and it reads like this. "We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ,--how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God's servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth."
Notice it says that the Lord has told her over and over again that the attitude of the Jewish people at the time of the first coming of Christ would be the experience of God's people that were living just before the second coming of Christ and are we those peoples? We are those people. What was the attitude of the Jews at the first coming of Christ? Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, nobody, that is no human beings, could tell what their attitude was for sure.
But God arranged it so that their attitude would become public. Their attitude toward the Light of the World would become public and it unfolded more and more and more and more. It started unfolding in Bethlehem with the shepherds and the wise men. That was the beginning of the rejection of Jesus. It unfolded more when He entered His ministry and cleansed the temple.
But it completely unfolded at the end of His life. What did God's professed people do with the Light of the World at the end of His life? They crucified Him. Could the whole universe see what their attitude really was? And is that going to happen again? It is happening right now.
You see, the devil was so skillful as a deceiver that even the angels did not totally comprehend what his real attitude toward Jesus was. So the Lord arranged things so that even the devil himself would demonstrate what his real attitude was. God is in the process of doing that again. Every one of us before the second coming of Christ will reveal in a most public way what our real attitude is. Nobody in the church, nobody in your family may know for sure right now.
The Lord is working things out so that it is going to be revealed. his something for you and me to pray about. It is not for me to try to read your heart or for you to try to read my heart. But let me tell you that when God decides that what is in your heart or my heart is going to be revealed, you are not going to stop it.
That is one of the most awesome things in all inspired writings that I have ever read, the fact that what happened at the first coming will happen again at the second coming. They reveal to the whole universe what their real attitude was. Their real attitude was, We do not want this Man to rule over us. People are in the process of revealing their real attitude again.
Well, that is an interesting subject that you can study out and pray about as far as your own personal attitude. But this subject has many, many dimensions. The Lord is getting ready in our time, this is a subject of Bible prophecy, to mark or to seal certain people. You can read about it in Revelation 7. You can read about it in Ezekiel 9. God is going to seal certain people and it will be a mark or seal of deliverance.
If you receive that mark or that seal, you have nothing further to worry about. The devil and all his hosts cannot kill you or harm you. You will not have anything to worry about from the plagues of God that are coming on this world described in Revelation 1 6--if you have the seal or the mark. But do you know what determines whether or not you get that seal or that mark? Did you know that a large part of whether you are going to get it or not is determined by your attitude? It is your attitude.
Let me read that to you. "Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God. Those whose hands are not clean, whose hearts are not pure, will not have the seal of the living God. Those who are planning sin and acting it will be passed by. Only those who, in their attitude before God, are filling the position of those who are repenting and confessing their sins in the great anti-typical day of atonement, will be recognized and marked as worthy of God's protection." Testimonies to Ministers, 445.
Which people? Those that have a certain kind of an attitude before God. What kind of attitude is that? An attitude of repenting and confessing their sin. You know what repentance is? Repentance is when you change your attitude. That is what the word repentance means. It means that you turn around. That is a change in attitude, right? That is what the word repentance means. It means to change your mind, to turn around, to turn away from sin.
The person who is not converted is planning sin and doing it, but the person who is converted turns away from sin and says, I am sorry I was involved in that. Lord please forgive me and deliver me from it. And it is the people that are turning away from sin. Remember, turning away from sin is an attitude. What is your attitude today? What is your attitude toward the law of God? Do you delight in it? Or what is your attitude toward sin?
Your attitude has everything to do with whether or not you will receive the seal of God and be protected from the seven last plagues. And then money! Do you know that money reveals people's attitude? In fact, there are few things in this world that can reveal more about a person's attitude and character than money. Did you know that very often God gives money to people, sometimes lots of money?
I was reading one time, I should not have been surprised, but I was surprised when I read this in the Spirit of Prophecy. She said how the Lord could make everybody rich in a very short time. He could do that. Everybody in the world the Lord could make them all rich. The reason He does not do it, by the way, is because He is trying to save a few people. Jesus said it is harder for a rich man to go into the kingdom of heaven that for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.
But the Lord does give some people money and the Lord gives some people a lot more than others. Of course, they think that they earned it, it is all their own. It is all their own wisdom, skill and knowledge. Why does God give some people money? If God has given you a lot of money, remember this, when God gives somebody money, listen, it is a test. Did you know that? Money is a test.
Let me read this to you. This is talking about men who have much treasure. Ellen White says, "God has committed this treasure to prove them, that they may manifest their attitude to His cause, and show the thoughts of their heart toward Him." Counsels on Stewardship, 112. What is the money for? What did God give you the money for? So He could prove you. So He could test you and He will be able to tell what is your attitude toward His cause. What is your attitude toward His cause? And what are the thoughts of your heart toward your Creator and Redeemer?
She says, "They are not only trading for time, but for eternity, with their Lord's money, and the use or abuse of their talent will determine their position and trust in the world to come." Ibid. Interesting, is it not? Money, however much money you have, money is a test and the Lord can tell by the way you spend your money what your attitude is. Now, of course, the Lord could tell without the money. But He has arranged things so everybody could see. And the angels can all tell what your attitude is by the way you spend your money, too.
Let us go to another subject having to do with attitude. This is of special interest to those that are living in the end of time because it has to do with the Laodicean Church. Now you have heard of the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3. Do you know what the big problem is with the Laodicean Church? They have an attitude problem.
They say, I am rich and increased with goods and I have need of nothing. The Lord looks down on them and He said, You do not know that you are miserable and wretched and poor and blind and naked. You see, an airplane went down into the ocean several days ago because somebody did not figure out quick enough what the attitude was. It is dangerous to now know what your attitude is and what your condition is.
They say, Everything is all right. Let me tell you just a personal observation from my experience as a pastor. The people, the Christians that I am most concerned about their soul salvation are the people that are the most self-confident. I have learned that. Self-confidence is a Laodicean attitude. I am all right. I keep the law of God. I know the truth. I am going to be ready.
And if we understood the reality of the situation, we would say. . . What would we say? Would we say, I am headed for a crash unless there is a complete change in my life. The Laodicean problem is a problem with attitude and they do not know that they have a problem. The Lord says, You need to come to Me so that your problem can be solved.
And here is one that is closely related to the Laodicean attitude. The Bible says that we are all sinners and if you are a sinner and you want to be delivered and saved from sin, only Jesus can save you but He has only promised to save you under certain conditions. We have already gone over the conditions.
The condition is that you are willing to change your attitude and turn away from sin and confess your sins. Is that fair? God says that it is fair. The Lord says, I will pay the price for your sins. I will suffer the agony of your sins. I will pay the1rice for you. You cannot do it, but if you are going to avail yourself of this salvation that I have purchased for you, you have to repent, that is change your attitude, turn around and confess.
Do you know what? Confession of sin is one of the most difficult things for many people to do. I have it happen over and over again. Somebody says something like this: Well, Pastor John, cannot I just go and talk to the Lord about it? Yes, if nobody else is involved, if nobody else is hurt. if nobody else has been injured by your breaking the law of God, well then you can just talk to the Lord about it.
Ellen White wrote, "Those who make no acknowledgment of sin, those who refuse to confess because they think it would hurt their position and influence, will never be cleansed from unrighteousness unless they make a decided change in their attitude." Review and Herald, July 13, 1905. Friend, it is not worth losing eternal life because we are too proud to confess our sins. It is not worth it. It is not worth it.
Do you want to have victory in your Christian life? Often I have people ask me, How can I have victory. I do not know how to have victory. Did you know that having victory in your Christian life has a lot to do with what attitude you are going to assume? So your attitude does not determine where you are. Where you are right now is determined by your past attitude. But your attitude has everything to do with what is going to happen to you in the future. Are you interested in your future?
What type of attitude will bring you where you want to go? Here it is. "We must maintain a constant living connection with Christ, Who has power to give victory to every soul that will maintain an attitude of faith and humility." Sons and Daughters of God, 370. Is that not interesting? If you have an attitude of faith, that is trust in Jesus that He is going to help you win the battle. And you are humble. If you have those two things, what is going to happen? You are going to have victory in your life.
And you are not going to be coming to the pastor or the elder or the Bible worker or somebody else and saying, I cannot make it. I am stuck. Because the Lord is going to give you the victory if you made an attitude of trust in Him, faith in Him and humility. If you have those two things, you are going to have victory in your life. That is the attitude that will bring it.
We are living in a time, however, we are living in a time when many people are developing an attitude like they developed in the time before the flood and like they developed in the time of Sodom and like God's professed people developed just before they went into the Promised Land. I have pondered this over and over again.
You might like to read about it this afternoon or sometime out of your own copy if you have the book called Patriarchs and Prophets. There is a chapter there called, "Apostasy at the Jordan." It is about the experience of the Children of Israel just before they went into the Promised Land. It is recorded in Numbers 25. It is also described in the Psalms. Ellen White says what the devil did with the Children of Israel back there just before they went into the Promised Land, he is going to try to do again to antitypical or modern Israel just before they go into the Promised Land.
Something terrible happened and it has right to do with what we are studying. It has to do with attitude. Now they were committing adultery and fornication as well as worshipping idols and eating the sacrifices of the dead, it says in Numbers 25:1-3. Now I do not what anybody to think that lam belittling sin when I say this, I am not. But I can tell you there are going to be a lot of people in the kingdom of heaven that in this world committed those sins because they repented and turned away from them and the Lord forgave them.
So there are going to be a lot of people in the kingdom of heaven that have committed those sins. Well, then, why did God send such terrible judgments upon them that thousands of them were killed? Why was that? Do you know why it was? It was not just because of a sin they committed, listen, it was because of their attitude. It was because of their attitude and let me tell you, if you develop the attitude that they had, and that is going to happen among the professed people of God just before the end, according to the Spirit of Prophecy.
If you develop that, you are in such a dangerous situation, well, you are apt to receive the judgments of God. What was the attitude that they developed? I am going to read it to you. It was not just their immorality. Notice how it is described. It says, "Satan through his agents worked with his temptations and licentiousness came into the camp in a very bold, defiant attitude." Pamphlets, vol. 1, 24.
Licentiousness came into the camp, how? In a bold, defiant attitude. Now if that happens among the people of God, how can that be stopped? Now this is not the fun part of what we are studying, I can tell you, If there is sin and then instead of repenting and confessing the sin, the person gets bold and defiant, do you know what has to happen next? You see, there are some people that read the Bible very casually and they say, Why was this sinner treated like this and why was that sinner treated like that? Why did David get so much mercy and why did Saul not get that mercy?
It was because of their attitude. It was not because of the sin itself; it was because of their attitude. Now when you have sin and then you have a bold defiant attitude and you do not have repentance and confession, no contrition. Then what has to happen? Here is what has to happen. It says, "The very harshest punishments alone could stop the bold advance of impurity and crime."
What was the only way that God could stop it? By the most harsh judgments. Oh, somebody says, God never would do anything like that. He did! Because that was the only way to deal with the problem. Well, she has a lot more to say along that subject. When there is a bold, defiant attitude about sin, like in the original apostasy, those that are innocent are accused of the very things that the guilty are doing. And it can only be stopped by the very harshest punishments.
In closing, I want to study with you for just a very few minutes about the original apostasy in the courts of heaven by Satan himself, or Lucifer. It is revealed to us in inspired writings that what happened there was a problem with attitude. The devil started working on the minds of the angels. The reason I am looking at this is because -as you go to the end of the statement, if you have Manuscript Releases, it is vol. 12, 37.
She says that what the devil did then, he is now trying to do here in the world now. Well, what did he do then? Well, here is what he did. It says, He "was determined to bring God to his ideas, his way, to force Him to change the law of His government. This was the cause of the war in heaven. Satan worked upon the sympathies of the angelic host by his deceptive attitude."
How did he work on the sympathies of the angelic host? By his deceptive attitude. In other words he claimed that he was interested in doing this but actually he was interested in doing something else. Do you know, friends, whether it is then or now, you may fool everybody else, but you cannot fool God? God knows what your real attitude is or what my real attitude is. You may fool everybody else but God knows what is in your heart.
And so be started working on the sympathies of the angels by his deceptive attitude. But it says, "He was expelled from heaven, and now he is determined to carry out on this earth the plans [he] instituted in heaven. If he can persuade men to be disloyal to the law of God, he will feel that he is revenged upon God. He strives to instill into the minds of men his masterly deceptions, thus perverting judgment and justice, trampling down the law of God. This work--the conflict between truth and error--lies at the foundation of the trials and tribulations that the children of God will experience. This is the 'trial of their faith."
What is the trial of the faith of God's people? It is these masterly deceptions that the devil brings in that people think it means this but underneath it is actually going a different direction. We must quit.
As I studied this subject, I found out that, we have not gone to this and we are not going to study this now, I found out, I was amazed at how many statements Ellen White had about this. Did you know that this was the big problem at the Minneapolis General Conference in 1888? And there are dozens of statements about it.
This was the big problem in the Adventist Church. This was the problem of the Jewish Church in the time of Christ It was the problem in Noah's time. It was the problem of the Children of Israel just before they went into the Land of Canaan.
Now as you think about this, I want to make an appeal to you. It is not for me to try to read your heart or for you to try to read my heart. But, do you know what? It is perfectly all right for you to check into your own heart and say, Lord, what is really in here? What really is my attitude toward Your law? Toward my family? Toward Your people? Toward You? What really is my attitude?
It makes all the difference in the world where you are going to end up. Remember, your attitude is more important than your present altitude, because it is going to determine where you are going to be in the future.
As I was studying about it, I found out that God wants to send His Holy Spirit into, among His people to change their attitude. When I was studying that, I said, Lord, I want my attitude changed. I want my heart changed. I am willing for any change to happen, if I could receive the Holy Spirit. How about you? Are you willing to have your attitude changed? Do you want to receive the Holy Spirit and what God wants to give you so much that you say, I want to change anything in my attitude or my heart so that I can receive the Holy Spirit.
Is that what you want? Are you willing to tell the Lord that today? Are you willing to change and change your attitude in order that you may receive the Holy Spirit? You see, we need to look into our own hearts. It is not for me to look into yours or for you to look into mine, but we need to look in our own and say, Is there something in my attitude that is keeping me from receiving the Holy Spirit?
Let me tell you something. When you have a whole church full of people who have looked into their hearts and their attitudes are right, the Holy Spirit is going to come and it is not going to wait until next week. But we have to get ready for it and we have to look into our own hearts and say, Is there something in my heart? In my attitude that is keeping me from receiving the Holy Spirit?
Before we sing our closing song, if you want to look into your own heart and you want to ask the Lord to look into your heart and show you what needs to be changed--it will be painful. Let us kneel down and pray and ask the Lord to do this for us.
Father in heaven, we thank you for Jesus. We thank you that He came to this world to make a way so that we could be delivered from the slavery of sin--if we are willing to change our attitude toward it. Oh, Lord, we each one of us live in a temple of sinful flesh. We each one of us have a fallen, carnal, sinful human nature and it is natural for that sinful human nature to love sin. But we choose to turn away from that. We choose to walk after the spirit and not after the flesh. I pray for each person here that You will help all of us, that you will give us repentance, give us the ability, the strength to turn away from sin, to change our attitude toward it. We need to change our attitude toward Your law so that You may change our hearts and we may have a different attitude toward each other and be ready to receive the Holy Spirit. Oh, Lord, we know that You are waiting and longing to pour out Your Holy Spirit upon people who are ready to receive it. Our hearts are grieved because we know that the reason that we do not have more of the Holy Spirit is because we are not prepared to receive it. And so we humbly pray that You will help each one of us as we search our own heart, that we may have a change in our attitude so that we will be ready to receive the Holy Spirit and to finish your work in the world. We thank you for this, in Jesus name and for His sake.