Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 10, No. 5 Straight and Narrow May 2001
The Latter Rain
By Mattie Laurell
“In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:15, 16)
“At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the “latter rain,” or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.” (Early Writings, p. 85, 86)
Many people have their own theories regarding the latter rain—perhaps you’ve heard some of them. The leaders of the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church think that it has been falling for some time now: “Just see what has been happening throughout the world. The truth has been going like wildfire. See the thousands upon thousands of people who are joining the church everywhere! People are bringing them in by the hundreds and thousands! Is not this the falling of the latter rain? Surely, this is that wonderful manifestation! Not only the Adventist church, but other churches as well are bringing in large numbers as well”.
While the outward appearance seems to be very good, what does inspiration say concerning this?
“Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.” (Jeremiah 5:24 )
Putting off their preparation; looking toward the harvest and the latter rain, they are not ready.
“The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of Man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection.
“There is to be ‘first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.’ There must be a constant development of Christian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience. This we should seek with intensity of desire, that we may adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour.
“Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving his light and knowledge, must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now.” (Review and Herald, March 2, 1897)
How was it that the early disciples prepared themselves for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the former rain? It was by confession and forsaking of sin, earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God. The same work, only in a greater degree, must be our preparation for the latter rain. What does our preparation involve?
First, we must know God.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10) One who knew God was Enoch. The Bible says that Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)
Concerning Enoch’s walk and experience with God, Ellen White wrote:
“Let us not be in any way deceived. Let us realize the weakness of humanity, and see where man fails in his self-sufficiency. We shall then be filled with a desire to be just what God desires us to be, pure, noble, sanctified. We shall hunger and thirst after the righteousness of Christ. To be like God will be the one desire of the soul.
“This is the desire that filled Enoch’s heart. And we read that he walked with God. He studied the character of God to a purpose. He did not mark out his own course, or set up his own will, as if he thought himself fully qualified to manage matters. He strove to conform himself to the divine likeness.” (Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 309)
Second, we must experientially know God’s unadulterated truth as it is in Christ Jesus.
Please consider the following statements not only for their relationship to the subject of the latter rain, but for their importance concerning the truth about God as well.
“Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the day of Pentecost, are to shine from God’s word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new.” (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 473)
“The old truths, given us at the beginning, are to be heralded far and near. The lapse of time has not lessened their value. It is the constant effort of the enemy to remove these truths from their setting, and to put in their place spurious theories. But the Lord will raise up men of keen perception, who with clear vision will discern the intrigues of Satan, and will give these truths their proper place in the plan of God.” (Review and Herald, August 20, 1903)
“The warning has come: Nothing is to be allowed to come in that will disturb the foundation of the faith upon which we have been building ever since the message came in 1842, 1843, and 1844.” (Review and Herald, April 14, 1903)
“Satan has laid his plans to undermine our faith in the history of the cause and work of God. I am deeply in earnest as I write this. Satan is working with men in prominent positions to sweep away the foundations of our faith. Shall we allow this to be done, brethren?” (Review and Herald, November 19, 1903)
“It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and his attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal.” (Review and Herald, December 3, 1908)
Third, we must have a great love for and desire to save perishing souls.
“Meetings should be held in every church for solemn prayer and earnest searching of the word to know what is truth. Take the promises of God, and ask God in living faith for the outpouring of his Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is shed upon us, marrow and fatness will be drawn from the word of God.
“When the churches become living, working churches, the Holy Spirit will be given in answer to their sincere request. Then the truth of God’s word will be regarded with new interest, and will be explored as if it were a revelation just from the courts above. ... The Bible will be regarded as a charter from heaven. Its study will absorb the mind, and its truths will feast the soul. The promises of God now repeated as if the soul had never tasted of his love, will then glow upon the altar of the heart, and fall in burning words from the lips of the messengers of God. They will then plead with souls with an earnestness that cannot be repulsed. Then the windows of heaven will be open for the showers of the latter rain.” (Review and Herald, February 25, 1890)
The condition necessary to receive the latter rain experience:
“I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action.” (Early Writings, p. 71)
“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 214)
“I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.” (Early Writings, p. 71)
Later, God’s messenger makes an earnest and desperate plea to God’s people: “I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Stupidity, like lethargy, seemed to hang upon the minds of most of those who profess to believe that we are having the last message. My accompanying angel cried out with awful solemnity, ‘Get ready! get ready! get ready! for the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come. His wrath is to be poured out, unmixed with mercy, and ye are not ready. Rend the heart, and not the garment.’” (Ibid, p. 119)
“Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God.” (Ibid, p. 71)
Is the latter rain to assist us in preparing our characters to meet Jesus and our heavenly Father? No! Be sure you understand this. We are to reflect the image of Jesus fully before we can receive the latter rain. The latter rain is to prepare us to stand in the time of trouble and the plagues without an intercessor before a holy God, and to swell the loud cry.
We have a wonderful and merciful God who has given us the following for our comfort:
“We must examine well the foundation of our hope, for we shall have to give a reason for it from the Scriptures. This delusion will spread, and we shall have to contend with it face to face; and unless we are prepared for it, we shall be ensnared and overcome. But if we do what we can on our part to be ready for the conflict that is just before us, God will do His part, and His all-powerful arm will protect us. He would sooner send every angel out of glory to the relief of faithful souls, to make a hedge about them, than have them deceived and led away by the lying wonders of Satan.” (Ibid, p. 88)
“Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 507)
“There are in the ministry men who gain apparent success by swaying minds through human influence. They play upon the feelings at will, making their hearers weep, and in a few minutes laugh. Under labor of this kind, many are moved by impulse to profess Christ, and there is thought to be a wonderful revival; but when the test comes, the work does not endure. Feelings are stirred, and many are borne along by the tide that seems to be setting heavenward; but in the strong current of temptation they quickly float back as driftwood. The laborer is self-deceived, and he misleads his hearers.” (Gospel Workers, p. 382)
“Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit.” (The Great Controversy, p. 464)
“Wherever men neglect the testimony of the Bible, turning away from those plain, soul-testing truths which require self-denial and renunciation of the world, there we may be sure that God’s blessing is not bestowed. And by the rule which Christ Himself has given, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits’ (Matthew 7:16), it is evident that these movements are not the work of the Spirit of God.” (Ibid, pp. 464, 465)
“The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labor of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work.” (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 407, 408)
“The circumstances may seem to be favorable for a rich outpouring of the showers of grace. But God Himself must command the rain to fall. Therefore we should not be remiss in supplication. We are not to trust to the ordinary working of providence. We must pray that God will unseal the fountain of the water of life. And we must ourselves receive of the living water. Let us, with contrite hearts, pray most earnestly that now, in the time of the latter rain, the showers of grace may fall upon us. At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend, that at this very time God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised.” (Ibid, p. 508)
What blessings can we expect of the latter rain? Will we know when it has arrived in its fullness?
“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers.” (The Great Controversy, p. 612)
“The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received ‘the latter rain,’ ‘the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received ‘the seal of the living God.’ Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death. Christ has made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins.” (Ibid., pp. 613, 614)
Jesus, our wonderful Saviour, comforts us with a text straight from His heart: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) What a loving, caring God we have!
“Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” (Zechariah 10:1) “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
(Sister Laurell writes from her home in New Richmond, WV. You may write her at P. O. Box 647, Pineville, WV 24874. You may call her at (304) 294-8424.)
As noted in earlier newsletters, Smyrna will be having a camp meeting from July 17-21.
Interest is currently running very high and we expect the attendance to significantly increase over last year’s camp meeting. We have some excellent speakers coming to share God’s Word. Further details are in the April 2001 issue of Old Paths.
If you received an attendance reply card, please fill it out and return it, if you are interested, so we will know best how to plan for the accommodations necessary.
If you are in the western part of the United States, remember the Arizona camp meeting, May 9-12, (520) 442-9278; and the California camp meeting, June 15-17, (931) 692-3325. Editor
THE BASE SIN OF AMALGAMATION
By Malcolm McCrillis
As a young boy growing up in the home of an Adventist pastor in northern California, I was exposed to a message and principles that at the time I did not clearly understand in their spiritual context. But I accepted them as truth because my parents said they were truth and lived them out in their personal lives.
In my teens I entered private schools that were of the same faith and principles that I learned at home. The school offered a handbook of it’s rules and regulations to each student so that our conduct would exemplify that which the school required.
One of the regulations in those handbooks, if violated, would mean expulsion from school. It was considered a serious violation. Prior to enrolling in these schools I was taught at home that to violate this particular principal was a sin. Interestingly, I don’t ever remember it being explained spiritually as to why it was and is wrong, or why it is a sin.
In this study I wish to share the why. It is not intended to point a finger, cause embarrassment or violate personal freedom. But those who have a love for the truth will, hopefully, see the love and light God is expressing in His Word concerning this particular subject. I want to thank Stephen Bohr for stimulating my interest in this profound truth. I share it with you, hoping it can bless others as I was blessed.
I pray that those who read this message will be led to positive decisions and a love of the truth as it is in Christ. In John 12:48, Jesus is speaking to the Jewish leaders and He has some very interesting words to share with them. He said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
Now, it’s very popular in Christian circles, when someone talks about something that goes against the practices of many people within denominational structures, to say, that the pastor, by speaking about these matters, is being judgmental. In other words, in our politically correct society, anything that opposes any practice that people have which is contrary to the Word, they say, “don’t be judgmental, don’t judge me.” But in reality, what is judging these people? It is not the word of the one who would correct evil. What is judging these people is the Word of God. Jesus says that His word will judge the transgressor. (See John 12:48) What this means is that my role as a minister is to preach God’s Word, and it’s for the congregation to evaluate and to determine whether what I am preaching is God’s Word or not. Now, if it is God’s Word, then you cannot say the minister is judging you. If you refuse to come to terms with what you understand from the Word of God, and you know it to be true, you will not have to respond to me. You will have to respond to God, because the Word of God will judge you in the last day. But it is the role of the minister to preach, and your role to evaluate, to listen, to weigh and, if it’s God’s Word, to receive.
I’d like to invite you to turn in your Bibles to the book of Genesis, chapter six. It’s speaking about the condition of the world before the flood, and it says in verse five, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Notice the vivid description. The fruit of this is found in verses 11-13. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” This is a picture of universal wickedness and depravity.
Now, immediately we ask the question: What is it that led to such a universal widespread apostasy and depravity of the human race? The book of Genesis has the answer.
There were many sins that were being committed, but there is one particular sin that is singled out in Genesis chapter six as being the cause for the universal depravity that existed in the world, notice what it says in verses 1 and 2. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” The specific cause is found in verse 3. “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with men, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” The immediate result of the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men leads God to say something. He says “because of this union My spirit is not going to strive forever, it will strive for 120 years.”
Now I want you to notice that the same idea in verse 2 is repeated in verse 4. “Also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them.” Incidentally it says “there were giants in the earth.” (Genesis 6:4) Some publications state that the giants were the product of angels and human women, however, the truth is, the text doesn’t say that. Notice what the verse says, “There were giants: and after that.” Do the giants come only after the sons of God and the daughters of men mix? No! It says AFTER there were giants, so there were giants before. And by the way, the word used here for “giants” in Hebrews is Nephiyl (Strong’s #5303) which is used only one other place in Scripture and that is in Numbers 13:33 where it speaks about the giants in the promised land. And we know those giants were not a result of a union with angels and women. They were simply giants in physical stature as well as their wickedness.
So notice again as God has mentioned the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men. He is going to describe it in the next verse; the wickedness that results. Notice verse 5: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Do you notice the structure here? It speaks of the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men, and God says, “My spirit will not always strive with man.” Then he goes back, and once again describes the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men, and it says in verse 5, “The wickedness of man was great and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually.” So in other words the great universal wickedness was due primarily to what? It was due to the union of the sons of God with the daughters of men.
Now immediately we ask the question, Who are the sons of God and the daughters of men? This is of crucial importance if you want to know what the cause of the flood was, or the primary cause for the destruction of the world by a flood. We need to understand who the sons of God and the daughters of men are because they joined together and this led to the universal wickedness when God’s people were reduced in number continually until only eight persons out of the millions in the world were left faithful to God. So we must know who the sons of God and the daughters of men were who united in these relationships.
When we study the Bible, we look first for the immediate context, then we look for the wider context, then we look at the widest context.
Now the immediate context of Genesis chapter 6 is chapters 4 and 5. The wider context is the book of Genesis, and the widest context is the whole of the Bible. Now what about the immediate context of chapter 6? Well, the truth is if you look at Genesis chapter 4, you will find that it delineates the lineage or descendants of Cain. What type of person was Cain? He was very wicked. In other words, Genesis chapter 4 gives the genealogy of the wicked. Then in Genesis chapter 5 we have the genealogy of Seth. What kind of person was Seth and all of those in that lineage? He and they were the righteous. Then in Genesis 6:1 & 2 you have the sons of God and the daughters of men. So the context would indicate that the sons of God are the descendants of Seth. They are the righteous who have been born again, whereas the daughters of men would be connected to the genealogy of the wicked Cain.
In other words what this is saying is that Christians so to speak, mixed with worldlings. The righteous mixed with the wicked. That’s the first argument.
There is a another verse which has to do with the wider context of Genesis chapter 6. You know Genesis is the book about the two seeds. Genesis 3:15 talks about the serpent and the woman. They both have seed, representing the wicked and the righteous. So the book of Genesis, from chapter 3 on, shows that it is dealing with two seeds. The followers of Satan and the followers of God. This is evident throughout the book of Genesis. Let’s look at them.
For example, Cain and Abel. Was one of them wicked? Was one righteous? Then let me ask, did the same woman conceive both sons? Yes. We are not talking about some hybrid here (combination angel-human being). No, simply the character of the two seeds of Genesis 3:15 are illustrated in the two sons of Adam and Eve.
All through the Bible we have this theme. For example, we have the builders of the tower of Babel. They are called the sons of man. Then in Genesis 12, we have Abraham, who comes out from where the tower was built, and he was a son of God. So we have the two ideas once again.
Also in Genesis we have the two seeds of Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac is the line through which the Messiah would come; the righteous. Ishmael is in the line of the unrighteous. Then we have Jacob and Esau. So the wider context of Genesis would indicate that the sons of God and the daughters of men represent the two seeds.
The Bible, in its entirety, identifies who the sons of God are. In Romans chapter 8 verse 19 it says, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” If we back up to verse 14 we find this, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” The sons of God are those who have been converted by the truth of God. Finally, John gives us this evidence: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12)
Whom would the daughters of men be? Were the builders of the tower of Babel righteous or wicked? “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” (Genesis 11:5) Here it says the “children of men,” which would include the daughters.
In Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3 page 60, we are told, “Seth was of more noble stature than Cain or Abel, and resembled Adam more than any of his other sons. The descendants of Seth had separated themselves from the wicked descendants of Cain. They cherished the knowledge of God’s will, while the ungodly race of Cain had no respect for God and his sacred commandments. But when men multiplied upon the earth, the descendants of Seth saw that the daughters of the descendants of Cain were very beautiful, and they departed from God and displeased him by taking wives as they chose of the idolatrous race of Cain.” (Emphasis supplied.) We have a union of God’s people, His church, with the world, through marriage.
“If there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast, which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.” (Ibid., p. 64) Notice Sister White did not say man with beast, but “man and beast.”
The devil, in his laboratory, intercrossed animals physically to amalgamate them; and by uniting the wicked with the righteous, Satan amalgamated the human race. God considered this a “base crime.”
Now I have a very important question. We know that there were daughters of men. Do you believe that there were daughters of God? Were they unattractive? The sons of God thought they were not as attractive as the daughters of men.
We are going to give some amazing biblical evidence for this, line upon line, and precept upon precept. (See Isaiah 28:10.) We are not speculating. If there were sons of God, obviously there were daughters of God. On the ark there were four sons of God and four daughters of God. The human race had diminished to that. Amalgamation had caused devastating results!
So the sons of God see the descendants of Cain and say, Wow! These women are beautiful! What about the daughters of God? Were they all ugly? No! However, there must have been something external. You say, “but preacher, you’re speculating.” No, let’s see what Genesis 6:2 says: “They saw.” There was something external that appealed to the eyes of the sons of God that the daughters of God did not have. There must have been something external about the daughters of men that the daughters of God did not have. So we ask the question: What could it have been?
Before we answer that, there is something about the book of Genesis that is very important to understand. In Genesis names are of crucial importance. Their meaning has to do with the character of the individual, or relation to an event. Eve means, “the mother of all living;” Adam means, “humanity;” Seth means, “substitute;” Babel means, “confusion;” Esau means, “red;” Bethel means, means “house of God;” Jacob means, “supplanter,” changed later to Israel, which means, “prince of God.”
So names are of crucial significance and you may ask, why emphasize that point? Genesis chapter 4 provides the clues we need to understand this matter. There is an interesting thing about genealogies in the Bible. With the exception of two accounts, one in Genesis 4 that includes three women, and one in Matthew 1 that includes four women, all other genealogies are exclusively made up of men.
In Genesis, chapter 4, why are there women mentioned in the genealogy of Cain? They are mentioned because God wants us to connect Genesis chapter 6 with chapter 4 relating the daughters of men, with the descendants of Cain. We must find out, in the line of Cain, what characterized these women. As we examine the names of these three women we discover why the sons of God looked at the evil descendants of Cain and not at the daughters of God.
Notice the name of the first one in verse 19 of Genesis 4 is “Adah.” Here is an interesting discovery! This is from the proper noun, Adah (aw-daw', Strong’s # 5711). However, in other Old Testament texts this same word is not used as a proper noun, but as a common noun to describe the characteristic of the individual. We ask, what is that characteristic? Exodus 33:4 tells us: “And when the people hear these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments, (adiy ad-ee’, Strong’s #5716). Both Adah (#5711) and adiy (#5716) have the same root word adah (aw-daw’, #5710).
The identical Hebrew word used in Exodus 33:4 is also used in verse 5 where it says, “Put off thy ornaments (adiy) from thee.” What does the name Adah mean? Ornament. Why would she be called ornament? In its root form as a verb, Adah (#5710) translates: deck, decked and deckest.
Jeremiah 4:30 says, “Though thou deckest (adah #5710) thee with ornaments (adiy #5716) of gold.” You might say, “oh your stretching it.” Wait till we get to the other two names, because every characteristic is eternal, and it has to do with the subject matter. Notice also Ezekiel 23:40, “Thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst (adah #5710) thyself with ornaments (adiy #5716).” Also Hosea 2:13, “She deckest (adah #5710) herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers and forgot me saith the Lord.” So the name of this first woman relates to being decked with ornaments.
The next woman mentioned is also found in Genesis 4:19; her name is “Zillah” Tsillah (tsil-law, Strong’s #6741). If you read most of the commentators you’re going to find that Zillah means shadow. However, further research reveals something interesting. The consonants used for this name transliterate “tsll.” In the original Hebrew, vowels were not used in writing, but were added by the reader. Tsll is translated as Zillah. When you add the vowel “e” it translates “shadow” tsel (tsale, Strong’s #6738). However, if you add the vowel “a,” it translates tinkling, (akac aw-kas’ Strong’s #5913). Shadow in the masoretic text is tselel, tinkling is tsalal. Both of these Hebrew words define Zillah. Now why would she be called tinkling? The last line of Isaiah 3:16 says, “And making a tinkling (#5913) with their feet.” If you read the first part of this verse you will find that this is talking about the daughters of Zion, God’s people. See, it’s always God’s people that have this problem. They become like the world and their influence spreads like a disease among God’s people. The use of jewelry in the Bible is almost always connected with pride, or is a sign of apostasy.
By the way, there are cases in the Bible where God’s people use jewelry, and you know what is interesting, whenever jewelry is spoken of in the Bible, in a positive light it is God who puts it on.
In the story of the prodigal son, the father gave the son a ring. That was the father that gave him the ring, and his father was a symbol of God. The ring was a signet or seal.
“Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon.” (Isaiah 3:17, 18)
So one of the daughters of Cain is called “decked” or “ornamented,” and one is called “tinkling.” Now you say, what about the third woman? Go to Genesis 4:22, “The sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.” (Na`amah nah-am-aw’, Strong’s # 5279) This word means pleasant, pleasurable, external beauty. Look at Song of Solomon 1:16, “Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant; (Naamah) also our bed is green.” If you look at the context it’s talking about the physical appearance, or outward beauty. Notice also, “How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights.” (Song of Solomon 7:6) The narrative goes on to describe her physical beauty. So here you have three women in the line of Cain: the decked one, the tinkling one, and the pleasurable one because of her external beauty.
I ask again, what did the sons of God see in the daughters of men that they did not see in the daughters of God? Jewelry!
Now it is likely that those who are not studying to show themselves approved unto God will say, preacher you are being judgmental. Yet, my responsibility is to share what the Lord has revealed to me.
Let me ask you, were the daughters of God intimidated after a while? Is it possible they said, “Hey, we better deck up too. Because look, the sons of God are looking at the daughters of Cain, so we better deck up or we are going to lose our power and influence. They are not going to look at us,” and so they started wearing jewelry. How can I say that this is a possibility; yes, even a probability? When the flood came, there were only four faithful men and four faithful women, which tells us that the sons of God, as well as the daughters of God, had apostatized.
Usually, when we study the jewelry issue, we present long lists of texts, but we don’t study the whole structure or historical context of what God is trying to say here. We need to put everything together as it is written, piece by piece, and not just an isolated text here and an isolated text there, and as Adventists we are experts at doing this. For example, individuals will take a text speaking about the law being done away with, and we will find a text showing that it is still valid in today’s world. What we need to do is reconcile and relate both sets of texts in their context so people can understand them.
Let me ask you: Was there one individual in the middle of this apostasy that said, “no, I will not look at the daughters of men?” Did he denounce what was going on? Who was he? That’s right, Noah. He made up part of the faithful remnant who did not give in to sin. “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9) Noah is reminiscent of those who will be sighing and crying for the abominations going on today.
Was Noah’s message popular or politically correct? If Noah were here today, do you think he would denounce abortion as the murder of unborn infants? Do you think he would call homosexuality the defacing of God’s image? Do you think he would uphold the principle of the separation of Christianity from the worldly state? Would Noah denounce the church for asking permission from the worldly state to incorporate to be able to function and exist? Would he not call this treason against the Most High God? Do you believe he would cry aloud if he knew that God’s professed people were worshiping a false God known as the Trinity? Absolutely! Was Noah more interested in being popular with God than with that wicked generation? You know the answer to that.
You might say, “well that’s Genesis.” Friends, it never ceases to amaze me as I listen to Christians. If tithing is the issue, no, that was for the Jews. If the Law of God is the issue, no, that was for the Jews. If diet is the issue, no, that was for the Jews. If the Sabbath is the issue, no, that was for the Jews. The issue of dress in all of its variations, no, that was for the Jews.
You know what’s interesting? The book of Genesis shows that all of the above-mentioned issues pre-dated Moses. We are talking about principles that were in existence long before Jews walked this earth. These are not cultural issues, they are universal in their application to the human race.
Now you ask, “What about the end time?” Go with me to Matthew 24:37-39. Let’s notice the import of this warning, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” As it was then, the same shall be now at the end.
Jesus said that the world is going to be in a similar condition at the end of time! The same problems that were present in Noah’s time will exist at the end of the world, including the mixing of God’s people with the people of the world. Is it happening now? According to Matthew 24 we have to answer in the affirmative. Many will, and are even now, becoming entangled with the world; the customs and practices of Babylon. In doing so they loose their identity and favor with God.
They “will continue to lack wisdom, and will call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. The multitude of deceptions that will prevail in these last days will encircle you, and you will change leaders, and not know that you have done so.” (Review & Herald, December 16, 1890) Have God’s professed people fulfilled this prophecy by accepting the tradition of the papacy called the Trinity? I would have to say as Noah would have said, “they have changed leaders.” Because of this condition, God’s people will dwindle down until there are only a very small remnant left, faithful to the one true God.
So I ask again, is the problem that existed before the flood the same problem that exists now among God’s professed people? Yes, this and other serious problems exist, but God tells us that the 144,000, like Noah, will say, “We will not be enticed by Babylon.” In Revelation 12, God’s people are clothed with the sun and in Revelation 19:8 it says, they are clothed in fine linen, clean and white.
Now look at 1 Peter 3:1-4: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
I’m going to share something very interesting with you here. I want you to notice two words here. Notice that the word “conversation” in verses 1 and 2 means “conduct,” or “behavior.” In verse 3 the word “adorning” is from the Greek word, kosmos (kos’ –mos, Strong’s #2889). It can mean, “ornament,” “decoration,” “adornment,” or “the world,” or “the universe.” It is the root word for Kosmetikon from which we get the English word “cosmetic.” So Peter is saying, “Let your beauty not be in worldliness or cosmetics.”
The prophet Isaiah, describing Jesus, said, “He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (53:2) Where was the beauty of Jesus, inside or outside? We will look in vain for a physical description of Jesus in the Gospels. So it must not have been very important. However, we do find a constant description of the character of Christ, how He loved, how He gave, His inner beauty not His external appearance.
The Bible says our bodies are temples of God’s spirit. While they should be neat, clean, and representative on the outside, we should be especially careful about their inward beauty. Our beauty should not be hung on the outside lest people are attracted to us instead of being attracted to the God we worship.
In conclusion, I would like to share eight principles of Christian attire that will help us to represent Christ, exalting Him and not ourselves.
God does not accept a legalistic, jewelry-less person any more than a licentious jewelry-filled person. God wants hearts that are willing to be adorned by Him so our witness can be singular as was Noah’s. No man can maintain silence in the presence of wrong doing without being false to his generation, a traitor to his own soul, and an enemy of God.
(Brother McCrillis writes from his home in Tennessee. You may contact him at, 901 Heaton Creek Road, Roan Mountain, TN 37687. You may call him at: (423) 772-3161. His fax number is (423) 772-0128.)
5525 Parsons Road, Wildersville, TN 38388
(Brother Danny Campbell asked us to make the following announcement. Editor)
The International Institute of Original Medicine, (IIOM) is now taking applications for the Certified Original Medicine Specialist course of study. Our curriculum is unlike any other natural medicine institute curriculum in the world. Our curriculum is founded on Biblically based principles and the Ten Laws of Health outlined in the Holy Bible. IIOM is preparing God's people to proclaim the “Third Angel’s Message” utilizing the “Right Arm.” This is a correspondence course that allows you to complete the course work in your home and at your own pace. All residency benefits are realized at our facilities in Wildersville, TN. Additional studies are also offered. For the 200l catalog call (901) 845-5443. Dr. Duane McEndree, N.D., Ph.D., President - International Institute of Original Medicine
Thankfulness, and the True Object of Our Affections
We have much to be thankful for. Yes, we have enough to cause our hearts to overflow with love and praise to our Redeemer. We should be very thankful that we are numbered with those who keep the Commandments of God.
Do you seek to glorify God, and honor him in your life? You should seek and pray for a spirit of thankfulness for all the blessings you enjoy, and seek earnestly for the Holy Spirit to dwell in you. If you do not possess the Holy Spirit, there is a fault, and the fault is in you; for Jesus says, “If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” With such an assurance as this of the willingness of your Father in heaven to give you his Holy Spirit, how can you remain away from him? How can you longer neglect to ask him in confidence to perform that work in you so necessary to make you a devoted Christian? O, come to Jesus now, dear young friends, with a broken heart, and with confidence in the mercy and promises of God, plead for pardon for your past wanderings from the fold of Christ—plead in earnest prayer till you feel his pardoning love, and the fullness of his Spirit dwelling in you.
Why are the young generally so backward to talk of a Saviour’s love? They can readily talk of dress, the appearance, and of things that are of but little consequence. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Those who profess to love God, should delight to talk of him they love. And if his love is in the heart, the mouth will speak it out. His praise will be in your hearts and on your lips. Your song will be “Hear, what the Lord has done for me.” Your hearts can beat with ardent affection and love for Jesus, who first loved you.
Why do we not hear the voices of the young, in praise to God for his love that is shed abroad in their hearts? I fear that things of less importance divert the mind, and that the affections, designed by God to be bestowed upon their Redeemer and Saviour, are placed upon others. There is an affection and attachment manifested among the young that is wrong. This uniting with a few, to the exclusion of others, and the few uniting together to praise, caress and flatter each other, is a curse to themselves and to all within its influence. It has a blighting effect upon all the young that such associate with. Spiritual death marks their track, and they leave a curse behind them where they go. They act out the foolish affection manifested by the world for each other. Those who do not profess to love God, have chosen poor earthen vessels, or weak mortals, as their gods to place their affections upon, and this is their all and in all. But we profess to have a noble Object on whom to bestow our ardent affection and warmest love.
The young associating together might be a benefit instead of a curse. If they had God’s glory in view when they meet, they would watch their opportunity to do good, to correct a selfish, vain, trifling spirit, exaltation and pride, and help one another. But there is but little of this faithfulness manifested among the young. Many join hands to take the affections from Jesus, and center them upon each other. They unite in trifling and foolish conversation. This affection cherished among them, is a curse. Let the affections first center in Christ, pass through the right channel, be purified by his Spirit, then they will lead to a yearning of soul for each other, not to bundle together to their hurt, but an earnest desire to have all share the gift of Jesus and his love.
The young can find words enough to express their ardent affection for each other. They are none at loss for words. But when Jesus is mentioned, many are silent. His name does not arouse the ardent love of the soul. Why are such so dumb to the wondrous love of God? Why, at the mention of Jesus name whose love was so exalted, so devoted, so pure, do they hold their peace? Dear friends, have you no words to speak in Christ’s favor? Have you no ardent affections to bestow upon Him that was meekly slain to save you from death? Why! O, why! do we not hear your voices in the full gratitude of your soul speak forth his praises? Why are not the praises of God heard gushing from your affectionate hearts, warmed by a Saviour’s love? His love should call forth music from the soul and lips. What is the matter children? “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” A fountain cannot send forth sweet water and bitter. You visit the fountain of salvation too seldom. You must be devoted, yes, consecrated to God. He wants the whole heart. He is a jealous God, and he requires the whole heart, and the warmest affections. Children, arouse, to your eternal interest. Your season to lay up a treasure in heaven will soon be past. Awake every energy of thy soul. Awake and love and adore thy Redeemer. Be a living example to others, and give full proof that you are Christ’s disciples. (Ellen G. White, Youth’s Instructor, February 1, 1856)
A Special Prayer Request
As many of our readers are aware, on October 1, 1999, my son Hans was diagnosed to have a spinal cord tumor. Surgery was performed two days later. The November 1999 and February 2000 issues of Old Paths detailed the early events. This article wishes to give some of the current details.
Hans is now dealing with the damage to the nerve system that was caused by the tumor. After doing relatively well for about one year, Hans has had some recent setbacks. While recent CT and MRI scans do not, at the present time reveal any cancer, the long-term effects of the former tumor have caused his walking to become weaker. Very recently he lost the ability to walk altogether. However, with the empowerment of God, he is now able to walk some using a walker. Hans’ spirit has been very strong and he is quite a source of inspiration to his family.
Due to Hans’ needs, my professional time in the ministry will again be very limited. Not only does Hans still need special attention, but without my “right hand” at full strength, I will have to attend to matters of responsibility that he carried in the past. The last few years Charmaine and I have depended on Hans a great deal and we have learned the last eighteen months, just how much we had depended on him. Please keep us all in prayer, and that Hans may continue to heal and be completely restored. Above all, pray that we will be drawn closer to the Father and His only begotten Son. Allen Stump
Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump -
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013