LandMarks Magazine  

December 2009 Table of Contents


Price of Peace
By W.D. Frazee

Price of Peace

I Thessalonians 5:2 says, “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Now, what will the people be saying when they are surprised? “Peace and safety” [verse 3], or as we noted in other translations, “Peace and security.” Does God intend that His people shall be engulfed in this great disaster? No! We are to be saved from this overwhelming surprise.


In order to be saved we must be prepared. We must understand what is leading the world to these disasters and we must be kept, not merely from the end result, but from all the causes along the way. That is the purpose of these studies, to help us understand the basic causes that are leading the world to Armageddon.


We found in Isaiah 8 that because of the fear of war and the fear of want, men are being led to extensive combinations. God plainly states that His people are not to enter into those confederacies. While the people of this world are talking confederacies, where will God’s people be looking?—upward, to Him. That’s the answer. “When we look to man, trouble grows. When we look to God, trouble goes.” And we must learn that day by day in our own personal experience.


In The Review and Herald, November 4, 1965, there is a most interesting report of a statement made by a leading Roman Catholic Cardinal commenting on the Pope’s visit to the United Nations. He says, “It was a striking thing that no responsible voice has been raised in protest against the Pope’s visit. As recently as ten years ago a papal visit to the United Nations would have been considered an onslaught and an invasion, but today, people are simply thrilled at the invitation of the Pope to visit the UN and his willingness to do so. The reason for this is that people are so frightened of war that they’re willing to try anything in desperation.”


The Cardinal spoke more truth than he realized. He put his finger right on the point. It is not a sincere turning toward God or religion in the right sense that is motivating the world to welcome the leadership of the papacy. What is it? Fear! We read in Isaiah 8, verse 13, speaking to God’s people, “Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.” Are we afraid of war? No. Our Father is the King of this universe.


Notice the awful price that the people of this world are paying and will continue to pay, driven by their fear of war and fear of want. They are selling their souls for a mess of pottage, and they won’t even get the mess of pottage. Esau got his lentils, but the people of this world are not even going to get that for which they sell their souls.


What are they selling to get peace? What are they going to lay down in order to accept the leadership of the Pope of Rome? “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.” “All the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:8, 3. Verse twelve shows that the United States is the one that leads out in causing all the world to accept this leadership of the papacy. What is the price of all this?


Proverbs 23:23 is right on the point: “Buy the truth, and sell it not.” Can truth be bought and sold? Apparently. In Revelation 3:18, the True Witness says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire … and white raiment … and eyesalve.” The eyesalve is the discernment to know what’s right and what’s wrong. “Buy the truth.” But once you have bought it don’t sell it! This is the terrible mistake the popular churches are making today. In Reformation days men like Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, and Wesley bought the truth, and it led them to separation from Rome. Today the Protestant churches are selling that glorious heritage. They are selling the truth which their fathers sacrificed everything to buy. That’s the price they are paying to get back in favor with Rome in order that the Pope may save them from a third world war.


Do you know that some of the creeds of Christendom are being revised in order to say this—watch this little change—no longer “the Bible is the Word of God,” but the revised statement is, “The Bible contains the Word of God.” Which do you believe? John 17:17 says, “Thy word is truth.” The Bible is the Word of God. And there’s an infinite difference between those two things, my friends. The inroads of modernism, of higher criticism, are weakening the faith of Protestants in the Scriptures. These have prepared the way to accept a human court of appeal, in the person of the papacy, to interpret what is truth.


The servant of the Lord tells us that the reason the book, The Great Controversy, deals with the controversies of the past, the apostasy in the early ages, the rise of the papacy, the Dark Ages, and the reformation is simply this: What has been will be again. The last conflict into which we are even now entering is the climax of an age-long controversy. The issues are the same. The unseen forces are the same. And Rome that led the Christian world away from the Bible and set up the Pope as the representative of Christ; Rome which in the Dark Ages slew the saints of God, is the same Rome under whose leadership all the world will be united to war against God’s remnant.


On page 102 of The Great Controversy, we are told about the experience of John Huss, who was burned at the stake because he became a reformer. He had been a papist, but as he studied the Bible, he came to a certain conclusion, and this is the thing I want you to notice. “God speaking in the Bible, and not the church speaking through the priesthood, is the one infallible guide.” Here is the difference between Roman Catholicism on the one hand and true Protestantism on the other. And this is the truth which the Protestant world is selling that they may buy the favor of the papacy. And it is the fear of communism, the fear of atheism, the fear of war; yes, it is fear that is driving them to compromise.


Now notice the attitude of the true believers at the time the papacy was in process of formation. Here are the faithful few who would not go along with the Bishop of Rome and his hierarchy. “To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war.” The Great Controversy, 45. This has been the position of Christ’s followers in all ages: not to make trouble unnecessarily, not to push minor points of difference; but when it comes to a vital principle, no ecumenical idea justifies the selling of truth.


In the seventeenth chapter of John, verse 17, we have the Saviour’s earnest prayer for unity among His believers, but in that same prayer is this text we have already noticed: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” So the great question before Protestantism today is this: Which is more important, truth or unity? And there are thousands, yes millions, who are willing to sell the truth in order to secure unity. May I read this again: “To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war.”


Now, the next sentence is meaningful: “Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God’s professed people.” The Great Controversy, 46. The only thing, dear ones, which will keep us from being engulfed in this world movement for security and peace, the ecumenical movement, is a love for truth, so that we would rather have any war than give up truth. Our desire for peace must never degenerate into a willingness to compromise. And this must be manifest in the details of our personal lives. If we get in the habit of sacrificing principle so that we will be well thought of, we are on the road to Rome. No question about it. The remnant will be those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and who love not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).


Speaking of this apostasy in the early ages, we read in The Great Controversy, 49, “Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church.” How did this compromise come about? “Almost imperceptibly,” that is, unnoticed, like the twilight falls. Well, this was the twilight, and as the darkness settled upon the Christian world, it came “almost imperceptibly.” That is the devil’s game, to make the advances toward the world so small that the person who resists one of those advances is looked upon as silly, odd, unreasonable, and stubborn.


And it isn’t always in direct defiance to what God says that this compromise begins. “Rome began by enjoining what God had not forbidden, and she ended by forbidding what He had explicitly enjoined.” The Great Controversy, 290. Rome began by telling people to do things that God had not plainly said they shouldn’t do. Let me illustrate. Here is Christmas for the birth of Christ; Easter for the resurrection. Is there a verse in the Bible that says, Don’t celebrate the birthday of Christ; don’t celebrate the day of His resurrection? No. So Rome began by introducing things that weren’t expressly forbidden in the Bible. She ended by forbidding what He had definitely told people to do, and the Sabbath is the great outstanding example. When men get in the habit of accepting as religious guides those who tell them to do more than the Bible says, they will inevitably end up following those guides to do what the Bible has forbidden. And this is the path that Protestantism, so-called, has been following for many years.


“As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favor of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil; and as the inevitable result they will finally believe evil of all good.” The Great Controversy, 571. This is what is responsible for their current attitude toward the papacy. The popular thing in the Protestant churches today is to pat everybody on the back, and for the moment even Seventh-day Adventists are riding on the tide of popular favor, the ecumenical spirit. Many in the popular churches are ready to welcome Seventh-day Adventists as a part of the great Christian world. But the same spirit that leads them to welcome us is leading them to welcome Rome. We need to look very carefully at the hand that’s stretched out to us, remembering that it is also offered to the Vatican. Let us not be flattered by the spirit of compromise. That hand which has been extended toward Rome will eventually be used, not to welcome us, but to smite us.


We need to look deep into our own hearts and see if there is anything in our souls that responds to this spirit of compromise. Are we weary of the war? Are we tired of the toil? Do we long for release from the conflict, and will we, in order to buy that release, sell the truth? That’s the question. Will we give up conscientious convictions; will we soft-pedal the Word of the Lord? God forbid!


Now, I mentioned that the world is not going to get the mess of pottage for which it sold out. Oh, my friends, this world that is selling the truth in order to buy peace from the Pope of Rome, see what it’s going to wake up and find! Revelation 19:19, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war.” This power that has supposedly led the world to peace is going to lead it instead to war! This is the war against God. “I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.” And so while the nations of this world are following after the phantom of peace, they are led to the greatest war of the ages.


Again, Revelation 16:13, 14, “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Notice this in Testimonies, vol. 7, 182, “The world is filled with storm and war and variance. Yet under one head—the papal power—the people will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses.”


For a short time this world is going to be united. The next sentence says, “This union is cemented by the great apostate.” “Under one head—the papal power”—all the nations will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses. Where will you and I be? On one side or the other. We’ll either be with Jesus and His remnant church conscientiously standing for what the Word of God says, all ten of His commandments, or else we’ll be with the great popular movement which has sold the truth in order to buy peace. They are going to sell the truth, but they are not going to get peace. “When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them … and they shall not escape.” I Thessalonians 5:3. [Emphasis supplied.]


Oh, friends, when the voice of God ends the captivity of His people, when His law is seen in the sky, there will be a terrible awakening among all these churches that have combined together in compromise to buy peace. The union which the great apostate has cemented will fall to pieces. The great city will be divided into three parts and every man’s hand will rise up against the hand of his brother. Read the awful picture in Revelation 16, and Jeremiah 25, and in The Great Controversy in the chapter, “The Desolation of the Earth.” See the breakdown of civilization. See the churches in chaos and the members tearing the ministers and the priests limb from limb. The whole world is going to be plunged into the scenes of the French revolution. Peace? Oh, no. Not peace. Sacrifice of the truth can never lead to peace.


And so it means much to you and to me to answer the question, Do we love the truth enough to die for it, enough to live for it? Or are we willing to compromise?


Dear Lord, write upon our hearts Thy truth. Deep in our souls put a love for it so that we would rather die than sacrifice on principle. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.


Elder W.D. Frazee’s materials are reprinted with permission from Pioneers Memorial, a ministry he founded to promote the works of pioneer medical missionaries. Permission to reprint copyrighted material [in this publication, organization, or website] does not in any way imply affiliation with or endorsement by either the late W.D. Frazee or Pioneers Memorial. For more information, you may contact them at: Pioneers Memorial, PO Box 102, Wildwood, GA 30757, 706-820-9755.


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