“I saw that this door at which the enemy comes in to perplex and trouble the flock can be shut. I inquired of the angel how it could be closed. He said, "The church must flee to God's Word and become established upon gospel order, which has been overlooked and neglected." This is indispensably necessary in order to bring the church into the unity of the faith.” Early Writings, p 100.
“Until all shall carry out the plan of systematic benevolence, there will be a failure in coming up to the apostolic rule…Each member of the different families in our churches who believes the truth may act a part in its advancement by cheerfully adopting systematic benevolence. "Let every one of you lay by him in store [by himself at home],... that there be no gatherings when I come." The burden of urging and pressing individuals to give of their means was not designed to be the work of God's ministers. The responsibility should rest upon every individual who enjoys the belief of the truth. "Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." Every member of the family, from the oldest down to the youngest, may take part in this work of benevolence.” Testimonies, vol 3, p 411-412.
“God desires all His stewards to be exact in following divine arrangements. They are not to offset the Lord's plans by performing some deed of charity, or giving some gift or some offering, when or how they, the human agents, shall see fit. It is a very poor policy for men to seek to improve on God's plan, and invent a makeshift, averaging up their good impulses on this and that occasion, and offsetting them against God's requirements. God calls upon all to give their influence to His own arrangement. He has made His plan known; and all who would cooperate with Him must carry out this plan, instead of daring to attempt an improvement on it.” Counsels on Stewarship, p 101-102.
“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” Matthew 23:8.
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. “ 1 Corinthians 1:10.
“In heaven there is perfect order, perfect obedience, perfect peace and harmony. Those who have had no respect for order or discipline in this life would have no respect for the order which is observed in heaven. They can never be admitted into heaven, for all worthy of an entrance there will love order and respect discipline. The characters formed in this life will determine the future destiny. When Christ shall come, He will not change the character of any individual.” Testimonies, vol 4, p 429.
“The world's Redeemer has invested great power with His church. He states the rules to be applied in cases of trial with its members. After He has given explicit directions as to the course to be pursued, He says: "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever [in church discipline] ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Thus even the heavenly authority ratifies the discipline of the church in regard to its members when the Bible rule has been followed.
“The word of God does not give license for one man to set up his judgment in opposition to the judgment of the church, neither is he allowed to urge his opinions against the opinions of the church. If there were no church discipline and government, the church would go to fragments; it could not hold together as a body. There have ever been individuals of independent minds who have claimed that they were right, that God had especially taught, impressed, and led them. Each has a theory of his own, views peculiar to himself, and each claims that his views are in accordance with the word of God. Each one has a different theory and faith, yet each claims special light from God. These draw away from the body, and each one is a separate church of himself. All these cannot be right, yet they all claim to be led of the Lord. The word of Inspiration is not Yea and Nay, but Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. “ Testimonies, vol 3, p 428-429.
“There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is "present truth" that the flock needs now. I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.
“But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell. Early Writings, p 63.
“The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels' messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, "The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God's law. The non-immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. All this cry about changing the old landmarks is all imaginary.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 30-31.
“The Body--the Arm--the Head. The medical missionary work has never been presented to me in any other way than as bearing the same relation to the work as a whole as the arm does to the body. The gospel ministry is an organization for the proclamation of the truth and the carrying forward of the work for sick and well. This is the body, the medical missionary work is the arm, and Christ is the head over all. Thus the matter has been presented to me.
“It has been urged that because the medical missionary work is the arm of the body, there should be a oneness of respect shown. This is so. The medical missionary work is the arm of the body, and God wants us to take a decided interest in this work.
“Christ was bound up in all branches of the work. He did not make any division. He did not feel that he was infringing on physicians when He healed the sick. He proclaimed the truth, and when the sick came to Him for healing, He asked them if they believed that He could make them whole. He was just as ready to lay His hands in healing on the sick and afflicted as He was to preach the gospel. He was just as much at home in this work as in proclaiming the truth; for healing the sick is a part of the gospel.
“To take people right where they are, whatever their position, whatever their condition, and help them in every way possible-- this is gospel ministry. It may be necessary for ministers to go into the homes of the sick and say, "I am ready to help you, and I will do the best I can. I am not a physician, but I am a minister, and I like to minister to the sick and afflicted." Those who are sick in body are nearly always sick in soul, and when the soul is sick, the body is made sick.” Medical Ministry, p 237-238.
“Simple organization and church order are set forth in the New Testament Scriptures, and the Lord has ordained these for the unity and perfection of the church.” Letter 178, Dec. 6, 1909. (also in Loma Linda Messages, p 816; LLM 87, small book; p 464 (CD edition)
“The organization of the church at Jerusalem was to serve as a model for the organization of churches in every other place where messengers of truth should win converts to the gospel.” Acts of the Apostles, p 91.
“Neither should we insist that current Seventh-day Adventist Church organization and ceremony are modeled directly after the pattern of the New Testament.” Ministry Magazine, May 2002, p 27.
“We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men.” Gospel Workers, p 389-390.
“The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political scheme. We cannot labor to please men who will use their influence to repress religious liberty, and to set in operation oppressive measures to lead or compel their fellow-men to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. The first day of the week is not a day to be reverenced. It is a spurious sabbath, and the members of the Lord's family cannot participate with the men who exalt this day, and violate the law of God by trampling upon His Sabbath. The people of God are not to vote to place such men in office; for when they do this, they are partakers with them of the sins which they commit while in office.
“We are not to compromise principle by yielding to the opinions and prejudices which we may have encouraged before we united with God's commandment-keeping people. We have enlisted in the army of the Lord, and we are not to fight on the enemy's side, but on the side of Christ, where we can be a united whole, in sentiment, in action, in spirit, in fellowship. Those who are Christians indeed will be branches of the true vine, and will bear the same fruit as the vine. They will act in harmony, in Christian fellowship. They will not wear political badges, but the badge of Christ.
“What are we to do, then?--Let political questions alone. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" [2 COR. 6:14, 15.] What can there be in common between these parties? There can be no fellowship, no communion.
“The word "fellowship" means participation, partnership. God employs the strongest figures to show that there should be no union between worldly parties and those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ…
“Those teachers in the church or in the school who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, should be relieved of their work and responsibilities without delay; for the Lord will not co-operate with them. The tithe should not be used to pay any one for speechifying on political questions. Every teacher, minister, or leader in our ranks who is stirred with a desire to ventilate his opinions on political questions, should be converted by a belief in the truth, or give up his work. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him. If he does not change, he will do harm, and only harm…
“The question may be asked, Are we to have no union whatever with the world? The word of the Lord is to be our guide. Any connection with infidels and unbelievers that would identify us with them, is forbidden by the Word. We are to come out from among them, and be separate. In no case are we to link ourselves with them in their plans of work. But we are not to live reclusive lives. We are to do worldlings all the good we possibly can. “ Gospel Workers, p 391-394.
“The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they are His obedient subjects, that they keep holy His law. The observance of the Sabbath is the means ordained by God of preserving a knowledge of Himself and of distinguishing between His loyal subjects and the transgressors of His law. This is the faith once delivered to the saints, who stand in moral power before the world, firmly maintaining this faith.” Testimonies, vol 8, p 198.
“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Testimonies, vol 6. p 355.
Has the Lord prohibited us to cook food on the Sabbath day?
"And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” Exodus 16:23.
“The Lord is no less particular now in regard to his Sabbath, than when he gave the foregoing special directions to the children of Israel. He required them to bake that which they would bake, and seethe (that is, boil) that which they would seethe, on the sixth day, preparatory to the rest of the Sabbath. Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment, and are transgressors of God's law. All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, will not cook any food upon the Sabbath. They will, in the fear of that God who gave his law from Sinai, deny themselves, and eat food prepared upon the sixth day, even if it is not so palatable. God forbade the children of Israel's baking and boiling upon the Sabbath. That prohibition should be regarded by every Sabbath-keeper, as a solemn injunction from Jehovah to them.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol 1, p 225.
On the contrary, the profess leaders of SDA church now teaches that we may cook food or take a bath on the Sabbath day. Let us remember that “Whatever contradicts God’s word, we may be sure proceeds from Satan.” PP 55.
“Why did the prohibition of Sabbath cooking still persists during E.G. White’s time? Because of the aspect of cooking common to both the wilderness generation and E.G. White’s generation. That is, cooking takes a lot of work when they had to bring in firewood into the kitchen to stoke woodburning ovens…
“If I were living during the days of E.G. White, I and my family will never cook on “Sabbath” day. But our cultural and economical situations differ from that of the wilderness generation and that of E.G. White’s. Cooking on the Sabbath now does not spend much time and no longer laborious by using electric stoves and gas ranges.
“We can conclude that… “bake” and “seethe”… are all situational. They are applicable not in all places and ages. As long as cooking is not laborious, and does not spend much time, it may not be sin, at least in our context. But in the context of E.G. White, cooking on “Sabbath” day is sin.” Documented Answers on Seventh-day Adventist Issues, by Gideon Durante, p 6-7. (1994)
“4. Today most Christians live in homes where the water is plumbed to the bathroom, and heated by a waterheater. The taking of a shower (or bath) does not, today, involved the immense amount of work it did in the closing days of the 19th century; it simply means turning a tap (faucet), jumping in and out of the shower, in a matter of a few minutes.
“ a. In today’s circumstances, quite different from EGW’s time, a bath does not require the work it did then, and may not be ‘wrong’, as it was ‘wrong’ in her day.” Documented Answers on Seventh-day Adventist Issues, by Gideon Durante, p 7. (1994)
“Indeed, there are universal restrictions, such as avoiding business for profit and needless work. But precisely what constitutes needless work? The answer may vary according to time and place. Back in Ellen White’s day, she said it was wrong to bathe on the Sabbath. Why? Heating up buckets of water over an open fire and pouring them into a bathtub involved a lot of effort. These days it is no work to turn a faucet on and enjoy hot water. But is that work, violating the Sabbath? Many hardly think so.” Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, July Aug Sep 2001, Teachers Edition, p 49.(Please note that in page 1, it is “authorized by the General Conference Church Ministries Department”)
But what really constitutes sin? Is it the amount of work of cooking or bathing?
“…we can read from cause to effect and see the greatness of the act is not that which constitutes sin; but the disobedience of God's expressed will, which is a virtual denial of God, refusing the laws of His government.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol 1, p 1083-1084.Truly, the nominal SDA church had “greatly lowered the standard” of God’s law and had “lightly regarded” the Sabbath as stated in TM 153 and 1SM 205, respectively.
“You are in danger of failing to hold fast the faith once delivered to the saints, of making shipwreck of your faith. The words were spoken: "A very small leak will sink a ship. One defective link makes a chain worthless." Testimonies, vol 8, p 158.
“The responsibility of the watchmen of today is as much greater than in the days of the prophet as our light is clearer and our privileges and opportunities greater than theirs. It is the minister's duty to warn every man, to teach every man, in all meekness and wisdom. He is not to conform to the practices of the world, but, as God's servant, he must contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” Testimonies, vol 5, p 16.
“All who in that evil day would fearlessly serve God according to the dictates of conscience, will need courage, firmness, and a knowledge of God and His word; for those who are true to God will be persecuted, their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, and their names cast out as evil. Satan will work with all his deceptive power to influence the heart and becloud the understanding, to make evil appear good, and good evil. The stronger and purer the faith of God's people, and the firmer their determination to obey Him, the more fiercely will Satan strive to stir up against them the rage of those who, while claiming to be righteous, trample upon the law of God. It will require the firmest trust, the most heroic purpose, to hold fast the faith once delivered to the saints.” Acts of the Apostles, p 431.
“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30.
“We have a most solemn work before us, the importance of which we can only understand by the light which is shining from God's Word on the past and the present. Who is holding fast the faith once delivered to the saints? Who, amid the cries of "Lo here" and "Lo there," is showing unshaken confidence in the Word of God? The faith of the present connects us with the past and points us to the future.” Upward Look, p 331.
“The principles necessary for our youth to cultivate must be kept before them in their daily education, that when the decree shall go forth requiring all to worship the beast and his image, they may make the right decisions, and have strength to declare, without wavering, their confidence in the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, even at the very time when the law of God is made void by the religious world. Those who waver now and are tempted to follow in the wake of apostates who have departed from the faith, "giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils," will surely be found on the side of those who make void the law of God, unless they repent and plant their feet firmly upon the faith once delivered to the saints.” Testimonies, vol 5, p 525.
“Romanists have persisted in bringing against Protestants the charge of heresy, and willful separation from the true church. But these accusations apply rather to themselves. They are the ones who laid down the banner of Christ, and departed from the faith once delivered to the saints.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol 4, p 53.
“Satan therefore laid his plans to war more successfully against the government of God by planting his banner in the Christian church. If the followers of Christ could be deceived and led to displease God, then their strength, fortitude, and firmness would fail, and they would fall an easy prey.
“The great adversary now endeavored to gain by artifice what he had failed to secure by force. Persecution ceased, and in its stead were substituted the dangerous allurements of temporal prosperity and worldly honor. Idolaters were led to receive a part of the Christian faith, while they rejected other essential truths. They professed to accept Jesus as the Son of God and to believe in His death and resurrection, but they had no conviction of sin and felt no need of repentance or of a change of heart. With some concessions on their part they proposed that Christians should make concessions, that all might unite on the platform of belief in Christ.
“Now the church was in fearful peril. Prison, torture, fire, and sword were blessings in comparison with this. Some of the Christians stood firm, declaring that they could make no compromise. Others were in favor of yielding or modifying some features of their faith and uniting with those who had accepted a part of Christianity, urging that this might be the means of their full conversion. That was a time of deep anguish to the faithful followers of Christ. Under a cloak of pretended Christianity, Satan was insinuating himself into the church, to corrupt their faith and turn their minds from the word of truth.
“Most of the Christians at last consented to lower their standard, and a union was formed between Christianity and paganism. Although the worshipers of idols professed to be converted, and united with the church, they still clung to their idolatry, only changing the objects of their worship to images of Jesus, and even of Mary and the saints. The foul leaven of idolatry, thus brought into the church, continued its baleful work. Unsound doctrines, superstitious rites, and idolatrous ceremonies were incorporated into her faith and worship. As the followers of Christ united with idolaters, the Christian religion became corrupted, and the church lost her purity and power. There were some, however, who were not misled by these delusions. They still maintained their fidelity to the Author of truth and worshiped God alone. Great Controversy, p 42-43.
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