Old Paths Masthead

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. 26, No.3 Straight and Narrow March 2017


Habenaria_radiata_flower_s2.jpg

He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. (Matthew 3:16)
(Photo courtesy of Alpsdake)

 

In this issue:

The Loud Cry, the Latter Rain, and the Fall of Babylon

The Spirit Testifying

Youth's Corner

Sabbath School “Lessons for Bible Students”

2017 WV Camp Meeting

New Web Conference Address

 

 

 

 

The Loud Cry, the Latter Rain, and the Fall of Babylon

Crucial to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit within Adventism are the concepts of the latter rain and the loud cry. For reasons soon to be noted, these teachings must be connected with the fall of Babylon. Ellen White especially dwelt upon these concepts in her writings. Writing of the shaking, she stated:

I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them.

They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, “It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.” (Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 271)

Writing of the time just before probation closes, she penned:

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. (Ibid., p. 86)

The latter rain gives power for the loud cry to go forth.

From where does the concept of the loud cry come? Within the three angels’ messages, we have these words:

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand. (Revelation 14:7–9)

In the message of the fourth angel, we also read:

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:1–4)

The expressions loud voice and strong voice are the same in the Greek: megalē phōnē (great voice). From this expression we have obtained the English word megaphone!

Within the context of Scripture, the rationale for the latter rain and for the loud cry is the fall of Babylon and the need to warn all to flee the sinking ship of Satan before it is eternally too late. The Bible says that Babylon is a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. It is a dwelling place of devils. This is serious! Think about it. Would you stay in a real haunted house? Would you knowingly live in a house with demons? I dare say that we would not even enter such a house, let alone stay in one, even for a single minute!

We are also told that the message of the fourth angel joins the third angel and swells into a loud, or strong, cry.

When the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd’s voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together, and present to the enemy a united front. . . .

The love of Christ, the love of our brethren, will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 401)

What is the latter rain spoken of by the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy? Words express the concepts of the mind and are defined by Jesus to be spirit: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). This truth is taught by parallelism in Proverbs 1:23:

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

The parallel is between spirit and words. The pouring out of God’s spirit is the same as making his words known. A similar parallel is found in Ezekiel 2:1, 2:

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

Here we are told that the words God speaks and his spirit that enters are synonymous. The pouring out of God’s Spirit is often referred to as rain. Deuteronomy 32:2 says, “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and the as the showers upon the grass.” Here God’s doctrine (his word) comes as the rain (spirit). When God pours out his Spirit, he does it through words and concepts. This is why Ellen White describes the latter rain as “greater light.”

But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 507)

Early and latter rain

There are two special times of rain in the Near East that are mentioned in the Bible. The first is the early rain, which falls from late October to late December. These rains help the planted seeds to germinate and to begin to grow. Then in March and April comes what is termed the latter rain, which ripens the crops for harvest. Joel speaks of both:

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. (Joel 2:23)

Here Joel speaks of a former (early) rain and of the latter rain. Concerning the Hebrew of the text, one commentary notes:

Of great interest, however, is whether the phrase “autumn rains in righteousness” should be translated “teacher of righteousness.” The Hebrew is ambiguous and could mean either. Some believe that this phrase in Joel, interpreted as “teacher of righteousness” by the Qumran sectarians, led them to believe that a certain teacher who appeared among them at the very time the Jews were suffering under the Romans was the prophesied “teacher of righteousness.” (Hosea, Joel, The New American Commentary, vol. 19A, p. 361)

Indeed, if you have a Bible with marginal references, you will find in the margin for Joel 2:23:

the former rain moderately: or, a teacher of righteousness. moderately: Heb. according to righteousness.

Who could have been the teacher of righteousness predicted by Joel to whom the Essenes looked forward? Nicodemus said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God” (John 3:2). Certainly there has never been a greater teacher of righteousness than Jesus.

A. T. Jones understood that the giving of the early rain and the latter rain involved the teaching of righteousness and that it would come from a teacher of righteousness. During the 1893 General Conference session, he spoke at length about this:

Now calling attention again to a thought that we have studied before, with which to begin this study tonight directly, that is, what this righteousness is to us now, let us turn back to that passage in Joel, the second chapter, and 23rd verse, and notice also the marginal reading. “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for he hath given you the former rain moderately and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain.”

Our study on that was in Bulletin No. 7, p. 183. What is the margin? “He hath given you the former rain?” What is that? “A teacher of righteousness.” “Given you the former rain moderately.” What is that, moderately? What was the former rain at Pentecost? “A teacher of righteousness.” “He hath given you a teacher of righteousness according to righteousness.” Was that the former rain? And He will give you “the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” as at the first. What will the latter rain be? “A teacher of righteousness” again. According to what? [Congregation: “Righteousness.”] But what is another expression for the latter rain? [Congregation: “The outpouring of the Spirit.”] What is another one? [Congregation: “The times of refreshing.”] What is the latter rain to the third angel’s message? [Congregation: “The loud cry.”] What is the latter rain in connection with the fall of Babylon? It is the bestowal of that power and that glory with which the angel of Rev. 18 comes down and lightens the earth.

Now let us read a few passages of those that we have had already to get the connection here definitely. On page 58 of the Bulletin in Brother Haskell’s lesson, we had, as it was read from the Review of November 22nd, these words:

“The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ. . . . This is the beginning of the light of the third angel, whose glory shall fill the whole earth.”

Another passage on page 16 of the Bulletin, in that Testimony that was read:

“Yet the work will be cut short in righteousness.”

What “work will be cut short in righteousness”? [Congregation: “God’s work.”]

“The message of Christ’s righteousness is to sound from one end of the world to the other. This is the glory of God which closes the work of the third angel.”

What is this message of Christ’s righteousness as we read here before in these other places? “This is the beginning of the light of the third angel, whose glory shall fill the whole earth.” Now, “This is the glory of God which closes the work of the third angel.” Then, when we have come to that time what time have we reached? [Congregation: “The loud cry of the message.”] We have reached the time when God is going to close it up. That is the glory that closes the work of the message. (A. T. Jones, February 13, 1893, General Conference Daily Bulletin, pp. 242, 243; emphasis in original)

In the second paragraph above, Jones quoted from the November 22, 1892, Review and Herald article written by Ellen White, in which she declared that “the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ. . . . . This is the beginning of the light of the third angel, whose glory shall fill the whole earth.”

But a few months prior to this statement, Ellen White had written:

The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, . . . It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (The Review and Herald, March 22, 1892 par. 13; all emphasis supplied in this article unless otherwise noted)

In early 1892 the message was “swelling into a loud cry.” In late 1892 the loud cry of the third angel had “already begun.”

What was the background to the events happening in late 1892? The 1888 Minneapolis General Conference session had taken place four years earlier, and the light from that conference had prepared the people to receive the beginning of the latter rain!

Three areas of the message

When most Seventh-day Adventists think of the 1888 Conference, they believe righteousness by faith was the issue of the conference. This is only partly true or true within a limited scope, for the 1888 message as given by Jones and Waggoner reached out to the entire sphere of humanity. It certainly dealt with justification, or how the individual relates to and comes into harmony with God, but there are two other areas that became major components of the message.

A second component of the message upon which Jones and Waggoner expounded extensively was church organization or how the individual relates to the body of believers. The third area covered was religious liberty or how the individual and the body of believers relate to the civil governments.

The diversity of these three areas can be seen in a list of the studies that A. T. Jones gave in 1889 at the Ottawa, Kansas, camp meeting, shortly after the 1888 conference A. T. Jones spoke on religious liberty fourteen times and church organization eleven times and spoke only six times on justification. While there are no minutes preserved from the Minneapolis Conference, we know that Jones spoke a great deal on religious liberty at that time because in the preface to his book, Civil Government and Religion, he wrote:

THIS little work is the outgrowth of several lectures upon the relationship between religion and the civil power, delivered in Minneapolis, Minn., in October, 1888. (A. T. Jones, “Preface,” Civil Government and Religion)

Jones noted that he had given “several lectures upon the relationship between religion and the civil power.” What was happening then that would have stirred an interest in the relationship between religion and civil power?

In May 21, 1888, Senator Henry William Blair, the sophomore Republican senator from New Hampshire, proposed S.2983, a bill with the following intent:

To secure to the people the enjoyment of the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord’s Day, as a day of rest, and to promote its observance as a day of worship. (Jones, Civil Government and Religion, p. 65)

This bill was fought by A. T. Jones and was later defeated. On December 13, 1888, A. T. Jones spoke on the floor of the United States Senate, stating:

We object to the whole principle of the proposed legislation.  We go to the root of the matter and deny the right of Congress to enact it. (Ibid., p. 119)

Jones understood the phrase might was not right!

Senator Henry Blair and the bulk of his supporters based the thrust of their movement on the premise that the majority was the decisive factor in what was ultimately good and desirable for American society! (Seneca Vaught, “The Blair Sunday Bill of 1888: Religious Reform or Social Engineering?”; http://www.oakwood.edu/historyportal/ejah/2011/blair.htm)

This is some of the backdrop to this time. Three weeks after the testimony about the loud cry going forth was published, we find these words in the Review.

After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, “Lo, here is Christ, Lo, he is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, he has sent me with great light.” Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith.

A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false Sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God himself by supplanting the day he has blessed and sanctified. This false Sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law.

Satan and his angels are wide-awake, and intensely active, working with energy and perseverance through human instrumentalities to bring about his purpose of obliterating from the minds of men the knowledge of God.

But while Satan works with his lying wonders, the time will be fulfilled foretold in the Revelation, and the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory, will proclaim the fall of Babylon, and call upon God’s people to forsake her. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, December 13, 1892; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted)

In 1892 the Lord was moving upon his people. The political stage was being set. Something happened that stopped the process. It should be obvious that the loud cry does not need over one hundred twenty years to finish the work. Why was it cut off?

At the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Franklin Graham gave one of the invocation prayers. He began:

Mr. President, in the Bible, rain is a sign of God’s blessing.

In this Graham was correct. The giving of rain was a sign of God’s pleasure, but the withholding of rain would represent his displeasure, such as in the time of Elijah. Notice what God told Israel, through Jeremiah:

Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. (Jeremiah 3:3)

To spiritually play the harlot is to worship false gods. But do we have to have idols and call upon gods with strange names to spiritually play the harlot? We are clearly told:

No outward shrines may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practicing idolatry. 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. Are we worshiping the true God as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His place? (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 173, 174)

Ellen White asks a question, and we should answer it. The truth is that the corporate Adventist Church has decided to serve a false god. The doctrine of the Trinity, whose roots are steeped in paganism and exalted today by the man of sin has entered into our church. While this did not happen in 1888, the seeds were beginning to be sown shortly thereafter.

The call of Revelation 18 is to come out of Babylon. What is Babylon? The name Babylon means confusion. We are told:

In Revelation 14 the first angel is followed by a second proclaiming: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:8. The term “Babylon” is derived from “Babel,” and signifies confusion.

It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman — a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church. (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 381)

The great sin charged against Babylon is that she “made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This cup of intoxication which she presents to the world represents the false doctrines that she has accepted as the result of her unlawful connection with the great ones of the earth. Friendship with the world corrupts her faith, and in her turn she exerts a corrupting influence upon the world by teaching doctrines which are opposed to the plainest statements of Holy Writ. (Ibid., p. 382)

It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation.

Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. (Ibid., p. 383)

Considering these points we must honestly ask and then try to answer the following questions:

Could a church that teaches as its central doctrine the foundational doctrine of the beast power be Christian or be the remnant?

Revelation 17:2 says that “the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her [Babylon’s] fornication.” Wine in the Bible is a symbol of false doctrine, and the churches, as well as the world, are drunk today. I am not proud to admit it, but during some of my young and foolish days, I drank alcohol, sometimes to the point of being very drunk. One thing a drinker knows is that once he or she is drunk, the only way to sober up is to stop drinking. If a person continues to drink, that person will never sober up! When a person or a church continues to partake of the wine of Babylon, that person or that church cannot become spiritually sober.

Could a church that uses the power of the state to persecute church members be the remnant?

When A. T. Jones was speaking before the United States Senate in 1888 against the Blair Bill, the issue of exemptions came up. The Seventh-day Baptists were agreeable to the bill, if an exemption was made for them and other Sabbath-keepers. To this idea A. T. Jones strongly objected. Jones stated that if, for example, someone wanted to open a saloon on Sunday, they could simply state that they were Seventh-day Baptists and get an exemption. To this A. H. Lewis of the Baptists stated that no Seventh-day Baptist Church would allow any such person as a member and from what he knew, no Seventh-day Adventist Church would sanction such a member, either. Therefore, the objection of Jones did not have an application. But to this Jones remarked:

Mr. Chairman. It is certainly true that, so far, a saloon-keeping Seventh-day Baptist, or Seventh-day Adventist, either, is an unknown thing. But if Sunday laws are enforced with an exemption clause in favor of those who keep the seventh day, this would not be an unknown thing much longer.

It is true, also, that such a man could not obtain membership in any Seventh-day Baptist or Seventh-day Adventist church. But what is to prevent the saloon keepers from organizing Seventh-day Baptist or Seventh-day Adventist churches of their own, and for themselves?

What is to prevent them, or any class of business men, from organizing their own churches, electing their own officers, and even ordaining their own pastors, and calling themselves Seventh-day Baptists or Seventh-day Adventists?

There is nothing to prevent it unless, indeed, the State itself shall take charge of all seventh-day churches and doctrines, and attend to their organization and the admission of members. (The National Sunday Law, pp. 153, 154)

If Jones were alive today and were able to see the way that the professed people of God try to protect their good name by having the civil governments enforce their trademark laws, he would be appalled and would denounce it in the strongest terms, saying that an unlawful alliance with the world had been made!

Could a church that denies the work of Jesus to fully cleanse his people from sin; a church that declares salvation was all purchased on the cross, that the atonement was finished there, and that Christ obtains nothing for us in heaven today be Christ’s church?

No, not at all, for the true church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

Remember, the 1888 message was about more than justification. It involved the whole sphere of humanity, including church organization and how men dealt with men. Part of the merchandise of Babylon mentioned in Revelation 18 is the “souls of men” (v. 13). At the very heart of Romanism is the control of men over men.

In connection with the fall of Babylon must be a message that denounces that which helps to make Babylon Babylon. Note carefully the following testimonies:

God has given to men talents of influence which belong to Him alone, and no greater dishonor can be done to God than for one finite agent to bring other men’s talents under his absolute control, even though the benefits of the same be used to the advantage of the cause.

In such arrangements one man’s mind is ruled by another man’s mind, and the human agency is separated from God and exposed to temptation. Satan’s methods tend to one end—to make men the slaves of men.White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 360, 361)

The goodness, mercy, and love of God were proclaimed by Christ to Moses. This was God’s character. When men who profess to serve God ignore His parental character and depart from honor and righteousness in dealing with their fellowmen, Satan exults, for he has inspired them with his attributes. They are following in the track of Romanism. (Ibid., p. 362)

The righteousness of Christ by faith has been ignored by some; for it is contrary to their spirit and their whole life experience. Rule, rule, has been their course of action. (Ibid., p. 363)

Ellen White wrote these things in 1895. What would she say, if she were alive, today?

If one looks into a field and see an animal that looks like a cow, eats grass like a cow, gives milk like a cow, and moos like a cow, what would one think it is? A cow! If we see a church that teaches the doctrine of God like Babylon does, that persecutes using the civil authorities like Babylon does, that rules over its members like Babylon does, it may not be Babylon, the mother of harlots, but Babylon has daughters, and the daughters symbolize those “churches that cling to her [the mother’s] doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world” (White, The Great Controversy, pp. 382, 383).

Do not call the Church Babylon

Ellen White’s counsels against calling the church Babylon have been repeated voluminously. This issue is discussed in detail in last month’s issue of Old Paths in the article, “Does God Change?” If you are not acquainted with that message, please read it now. In that study we saw the importance of studying the testimonies, as Ellen White said they should be studied, in relationship to the time and place they were given. The real issue is not what Ellen White wrote, for example, about the General Conference in 1901, when she said:

That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be,—that is past. (Ellen G. White, General Conference Bulletin, April 3, 1901, par. 25)

We might also say that the issue is not what she said about the General Conference in 1909:

At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God.

But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 260, 261)[1]

The real issue for us in 2017 is what God says today about us, about the message we proclaim, and about the lives we live. Are we classed with those that she writes about in The Acts of the Apostles?

From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 11)

We may not be a member worshiping at a great cathedral. We may not be a part of the national establishment or part of one of the various denominations, but may we be a person who loves God and keeps his commandments:

. . . the people who love God and keep His commandments. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. (Ellen White, The Upward Look, p. 315)

The mark of the beast is soon to be urged upon us, beloved. Are we ready for that time?

The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God—candidates for heaven. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 216)

To those who hear these words and think, I am better than those apostates who compromised the truth. I will always teach the truth, please consider the following testimonies:

Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works.

These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom should have acted their faith. They should have commanded their households after them, that by a well-ordered family they might present to the world the influence of the truth upon the human heart. (White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 213)

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. (Ibid., p. 214)

Zechariah 10:1 says to “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.” We are to ask, beloved, but it is in vain to ask, if we do not bring our lives in line with God’s word so that our characters may be fitted for heaven.

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:7, 8)

Allen Stump

[1]. When Ellen White wrote these words in 1909, she was vouching for a duly appointed representative General Conference. She said it was to be respected and considered the voice of God! Now, we need to put into our thinking caps the fact that the rules for assembling a General Conference in 1980 were the same basic rules as in 1909. In 1980 a duly called conference was assembled at Dallas, Texas, where a new set of fundamental beliefs was voted that included the doctrine of the Trinity and a finished atonement on the cross and that deleted our view that the papacy was the man of sin and was foretold in prophecy to have “misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment” (A Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by the Seventh-day Adventists, 1872).


The Spirit Testifying

J. N. Loughborough

WHEN reference is made to the working of the Holy Spirit, in both the Old and New Testaments, it is frequently spoken of as the Lord speaking to, or by, his Spirit, through the individual. David said: “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Sam. 23:2, 3. Respecting this mode of communicating with his people, we read in the Acts of the Apostles, “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand.” Acts 28:25, 26. Also Peter’s statement: “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” Acts 1:16. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul says, referring to an expression found in Ps. 95:7: “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Heb. 3:7, 8. In the prophecy of Jeremiah, we read: “His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could, not stay.” Jer. 20:9.

In the New Testament records of the Lord’s working by his people, we have other testimonies concerning the Spirit’s speaking. We will first notice the occasion of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost: “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4. Of Philip, “the evangelist,” who had four daughters, virgins, that did prophesy (Acts 21:8, 9), we read, “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.” Acts 8:29. In the account of Peter’s receiving instruction, that he might labor among the Gentiles, the following is found: “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” Acts 10:19, 20. Of this same circumstance, Peter thus spoke: “And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting.” Acts 11:12. Again we read of the Spirit of the Lord communicating with Agabus, a prophet: “When he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” Acts 21:11.

The Spirit as a guide

When Paul wrote his epistle to the Corinthians, he gave this clear statement concerning the object of the Lord in giving us of his Spirit: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit [mind] of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Cor. 2:9–13.

From the plain statements of the Scriptures we are given to understand that the Bible — the word of God —is the source of our instruction; and that by it all our ideas must be tested. The apostle Paul said of it, when writing to Timothy: “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” 2 Tim. 2:7. Let us examine what the Word says: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4. Again: “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:38–40. And again: “What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:62, 63. So also the following: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” John 16:13.

There are persons who will urge as a reason for not accepting and obeying plain statements of Scripture, “The Spirit teaches me. I am guided by the Spirit, so I do not have to study the Bible.” These persons will quote the text, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Rom. 8:14. The apostle says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” So his word, in its instructions, is the leading of the Spirit of God. The direct leadings of the Spirit of God will always be in harmony with his word; hence the following statement is true: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Rom. 8:16. The application some individuals make of this text is, “I know I am a child of God, because I feel it. My feelings tell me that God accepts me; and if he accepts me, I know I am right, even if I am not doing exactly as his word says.” Such persons may persist in going in a way which they admit is directly in opposition to what the Bible says; and yet they say they must be right, because they feel that they are right.

Relative to such reasoning, I will quote from the “Testimonies for the Church.” Speaking of the working of Satan, the writer says: “He led many to lay aside reason and judgment, and to be governed by impressions. The Lord requires his people to use their reason, and not lay it aside for impressions. His work will be intelligible to all his children. His teaching will be such as will commend itself to the understanding of intelligent minds. It is calculated to elevate the mind. God’s power is not manifested upon every occasion. Man’s necessity is God’s opportunity.” “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. I, page 230.

So the Spirit, bearing witness with our spirit, is not simply following our impressions and feelings; but it is the weighing of those evidences of truth presented to the mind by the Spirit, exercising our mind, our reason, and our judgment. This course is not in opposition to what Paul says of the Spirit’s casting down “imaginations” (“reasonings,” margin); for it is the reasoning “that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,” which faith casts down. 2 Cor. 10:4, 5.

Of this witnessing of the Spirit, we quote again: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit [mind] of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit [mind] of God.” 1 Cor. 2:11. Again: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” Verse 16. Further, we read: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth [“discerneth,” margin] all things.” Verses 14, 15.

In the first epistle of John are found these words: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” 1 John 5:9, 10. The witness, then, with our spirit, is not simply our feelings; but, as expressed by Paul, “What saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart [mind]; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart [mind] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart [mind] man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:8–10.

The witness of the Spirit, then, does not rest simply on our feelings; but “with the heart [mind] man believeth unto righteousness.” Rom. 10:10. He believes the record of God’s word: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Verse 7. Our mind, on our part, grasps the promise. God, on his part, has spoken the word “pardon.” We say, “Amen, pardoned.” Thus the Spirit of God witnesses to us that we are the children of God. It is ours, while thus submitting and believing, to CLING to the fact that God has accepted us, because he has said so, as firmly as the limpet clings to the rock.

- - - - - - - - - -

This is the second article in Loughborough’s series on the Holy Spirit and is reprinted from The Advent Review & Sabbath Herald issue of October 4, 1898. The first article was reprinted in the second comments booklet on the 2017 Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. We encourage you to study his entire set of articles, which were published in The Advent Review & Sabbath Herald on 10–11–1898, 10–18–1898, 10–25–1898, 11–1–1898, 11–8–1898, 11–22–1898, 11–29–1898, 12–6–1898, 12–13–1998, 1–3–1899, 1–31–1899, 2–7–1899, and 2–14–1899. These articles cover various aspects of the Holy Spirit, such as the spirit of a sound mind, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, sanctification of the Spirit, praying for the Spirit, and the mind of the Spirit.


Youth’s Corner — Afoot and Alone

(This installment is the completion of Chapter 17 and part of Chapter 18 of Escape from Siberian Exile by John Godfrey Jacques, published by Pacific Press in 1921.)

In less than two hours, I had lost the road; but I found it again after a time. Then I discovered that I was too close to the railway, and must quickly take a different route.

This program was often repeated. The map made for me by the young man at whose home I stayed while preparing for the journey, was of much benefit to me, but it did not contain sufficient details; and when I endeavored to obtain information of Manchurians along the way, not only was I hampered by ignorance of their language, but some apparently found malicious pleasure in giving misinformation.

But though I often missed my way, I seemed never to miss any of the dogs. They assailed me in droves. In such cases, I plied my walking stick with good effect.

Chapter 18 — Encountering Russian Guards

REACHING a village late in the evening, cold and tired, I was besieged, in the inn, by a curious crowd, who felt my clothes, my pockets, and my traveling bag. Some spoke a few words of Russian, and they began to question me. They gave me no opportunity to sleep.

Then I thought of the Chinese New Testament that I had unwillingly put into my bag at Harbin. I learned that some of the men could read, and I asked one to read aloud to the company. Soon he had attentive listeners. I have seldom witnessed more reverential attention to the Scriptures, in any land.

Notice being thus diverted from me, I lay down on the brick bed, made a pillow of my shoes, and with no covers, tried to sleep.

Repeatedly thereafter, in other villages, I employed this device to get a little rest. And I needed the rest, for I walked many miles each day.

In shunning roads near the railway, more than once I paid for my caution by being obliged to “back track.” Often I climbed hills to get a view of the roads. Sometimes I could find no cue to the route, and could only pray Heaven to lead, and blindly wander on. And verily Heaven heard.

The increasing cold, though it added to my discomfort, was an advantage to me, in that it caused ice to form thicker on the rivers; and now I could cross on the ice without fear of its breaking, and thus could keep clear of the bridges, with their Russian guards.

Sometimes, in crossing thus, I had difficulty in scaling the bluffs on the farther side. Nor did I escape the Russian soldiers altogether. In a little village that I came to at one time as I left the river, one of these dreaded representatives of the despotism from which I was fleeing, caught sight of me.

I went into an eating house, knowing that Russian soldiers in uniform were prohibited from entering Manchurian buildings. He stopped at the doorway, and ordered food brought to him. Would he wait there to catch me as I left the place?

I ate with relish the dumplings served for me, notwithstanding the prospect awaiting me outside, and the smoke and dirt within. My meal finished, I ventured on the street again, but saw no more of the soldier.

My feet had become so sore from walking, that I could hardly spur myself on. Moreover, not far outside the village, I found myself almost completely shut in by swamps and high bluffs. The only way I could proceed was by a long bridge, at the farther end of which was a Russian military post. Retreat would give no assurance of safety, and would be most disheartening. I decided to go ahead.

With feigned nonchalance, I started toward the bridge, taking the precaution to draw my knit cap close about my face. The natives gazed at me in obvious astonishment, rightly surmising, no doubt, that I was a fugitive, and marveling that I should walk into the very arms of my captors.

I met only one soldier, and he merely glanced carelessly at me as I passed. Thus I went on unhindered.

This escape from what had seemed like inevitable capture, gave me new hopefulness; and despite the crippled condition of my feet, I hastened forward.

According to my map, the next city was not so far but I might possibly reach it that night, and the cities furnished more secure hiding places than did the small villages. But as darkness began to steal over the snowy fields, and the city was not yet in sight, I knew that I could not see to keep the road much longer. Then I determined to follow the railroad; for as I had so lately passed a military post, there would not be another for some miles.

Natives warned me not to stay out after dark, for fear of bandits. Still I went on.

Out of the darkness came sounds as from a human abode. There were lights also. I went toward them, but my advance was soon blocked by a wall. I hunted for a gateway, and found one, but it was closed and locked. Likewise another and still another. Finally I came to one that opened to an inn, and there I entered.

Before I had begun to eat the typical Manchurian supper that was put before me, the news had spread that a European was in the inn. Men and boys flocked into the dingy room, and pressed about me. But by that time, I had become accustomed to such a performance; and in spite of it, I slept.

When I awoke, the air of the room was suffocating. My head ached, and my eyes were inflamed by the smoke. Cattle had been brought into the room, that they might be protected from the cold, and to add to the warmth of the inmates.

To get away from these surroundings, I started out into the night, though my feet were so sore and my joints so stiff that I could not make my usual headway. Nor could I see the road; but by means of my staff, I felt my way along the railroad.

The figure of a human being emerged from the darkness. I was certain that he was a guard; but the darkness, though it did not conceal me, did conceal my race, and I was permitted to pass.

Then a horseman was heard near. It is not improbable that he was a member of a band of Mongolian marauders. But again I was unmolested.

At dawn, a fog enveloped the country. Seeing only a few feet ahead of me, I came unexpectedly upon a barrack. Several dogs rushed out, snarling ominously. Fearing not so much the dogs as the soldiers, I beat ahead as fast as I could; but the brutes kept after me. I still think with regret of the walking stick I broke in pieces on them.

Before the soldiers located the din of the dogs, I had contrived to get away, and was hidden by the fog. Thus the same fog that had betrayed me into danger, delivered me from it.

In about an hour, I was at the gate of the city. People were coming out to their work in the fields. With them were mules, donkeys, water buffaloes, cows, goats, sheep, and dogs. It was a satisfaction, after my solitary night walk, to see human beings again.

Our evangelist at Shwang-chang-puo had given me the address of a Christian shopkeeper in this city, and I readily located him. When I mentioned the evangelist to him, his face expressed genuine pleasure, and he received me with a cordiality that was both Oriental and Christian.

I was taken to a guest room that was in strong contrast to the inns at which I had stopped. Instead of straw mats, there were beautiful carpets. The raised platform was provided with bedding, which was rolled back against the wall in the daytime. The premises entire were marked by the neatness that invariably distinguishes the homes of Christians from those of the heathen.

After a few hours’ rest, I started out again, edging my way through streets teeming with buffalo and mule carts, and with men smoking long pipes.

The next day, the road again led across the railway. I saw no way of avoiding it; for in all other directions, high hills closed me in.

Two Russian soldiers accosted me, demanding my passport. As I had none, they talked together as to what was to be done with me. It was suggested that perhaps I was a runaway soldier. They themselves were experiencing the hardships of a soldier’s life under the rule of the czar, and they may have had a fellow feeling for one whom they supposed to be fleeing from such a life. Whatever their reason, they signaled me to pass on.

To what influence, natural or supernatural, I owe my deliverance from dangers throughout that journey of several thousand miles, I am willing the reader shall judge.

More and more my aching feet protested against going farther. I wrapped them in cloths, and tried to keep up my daily mileage; but I could not now make more than fifteen or twenty miles a day.

Once a Manchurian invited me to ride in his cart, and I did so; but it jolted so violently, because of the irregularities in the huge wooden wheels, that I was not sorry when our routes diverged, and I must again walk.

Many hundred miles still lay between me and Shanghai, the last milepost on the trans-Asiatic journey mapped out for me. Yet, most of the time, I felt confident that I should ultimately reach it.

One morning, after traveling several miles before sunrise, I came to a town where there was a Christian mission, as I had been told by the Christian merchant whose guest I had been some days before; but there was little ground for thinking that I could find it.

I went into an inn—a comparatively clean one; and as many of the guests of the night before had already gone, I hoped to have better opportunity to rest than ordinarily. But the heat of the room, after the severe cold outside, caused a painful prickling of my flesh. Then, too, I was alternately feverish and chilly.

A Manchurian who was in the room, seemed very benevolently disposed, and did what he could for my comfort. I endeavored to tell him of my quest for the mission; but my very limited vocabulary apparently did not suffice to make me understood.

The man left the inn. Soon afterwards he came back; and beckoning me to go with him, he took me to a mission building where two young natives were in charge, who I learned were Catholics. They were very amiable. I ate with them the most appetizing meal I had eaten in Manchuria.

The head teacher spoke some English; and in the course of our conversation, he told me that his assistant, though his services were of much value, appeared to be unable to give up the use of intoxicants. The converts of the Catholic missions, in some instances, use intoxicants more than do the heathen. Yet I could but acknowledge the good effect of their teaching in the line of neatness.

This head teacher’s knowledge of English enabled him to give me more information in reference to my route than any one else I had met. He told me that the next town on the railway was a Russian military fortification. Hence I knew that there was need of being most discreet.

As I was leaving the mission, a heavy cart drawn by five horses came along. Accepting this as a guide, I followed it till I reached a place where the road had been flooded, and a wide field of ice spread before us. The cart then turned to the north. As my route lay in general to the south, I kept on across the ice. Footprints showed that others had gone that way before me.

Having crossed the ice and climbed the bank beyond, I found a great stretch of sand. There was no trail, walking was difficult, no sign of a shelter could be seen, and night was not far away. The hills beyond were covered with a network of brush and roots of fallen trees, which signified that all this space was under water when the river was high.

I struck off to the northwest, to get away from the sand waste; and after some time, I came to a road that I thought might be the one I should take. Then on ahead I caught sight of the cart that I had followed from the city. Again I trudged along in its wake.

We were now going toward the west, whereas I should go south; but to the south was a high bridge, and I dared not go near it, because of its Russian guard.

Continuing to the west, I crossed the river on the ice, and took the road that wound up the steep bank on the other side. Presently I came upon a little village in a nook of the hills. Shielded as it was from the cold wind, it was a real bit of summer land. Men were threshing grain by driving horses over it. The scene was an attractive one, except for the hogs and the dirt—both prominent features of Manchurian life.

This was the end of the road. What should I do now? I had gained but little ground all the afternoon, and I did not want to go back over the route I had been traveling. I started across the fields, hoping to reach a road that would lead in the direction I ought to go.

Without warning, I found myself at the edge of an old Russian fort. Hot and cold chased each other up and down my spine. The fort evidently had been abandoned; but not far away I could see a garrison of soldiers, and they could see me if they should glance that way, though probably they could not see that I was a European.

I scrambled down a steep bank on the farther side, and came out on a road. There I overtook an old man, and of him I inquired the way to the next city. He pointed forward; and I pushed on, to find a place to stay that night. Ahead of us I could see some men driving mules loaded with brush, and soon I caught up with them. My lacerated feet and tired muscles rebelled against being driven any farther; but I rallied all my reserve energy, and hastened along the darkening road.

After a time, I came up with a caravan of Manchurians taking produce to market. I thought best to join them, in order to get entrance to the city when we should reach it; and they raised no objection. I chafed at the slowness of their gait, yet I did not think that I should do well to go on alone.

We met a company of Manchurian soldiers; but I was not in the danger from them that I was from Russian soldiers.

Over hills and through valleys we went, and finally, rounding a hill late at night, came into a town. I helped the men of the caravan to put up their horses, then went with them to a long, barn-like building where they were to spend the night.

There was a Manchurian military training camp in this town, and many of the soldiers were in the inn gambling. They were quite friendly; but their very friendliness was wearisome, for I greatly needed rest. I took from my bag my Chinese New Testament, and asked one of the company to read aloud. This he did, while the others listened intently —and I slept.

Before another dawn, I was again on the road. About noon, I must cross the Russian railway, not far from a military post; and I could see that a little way ahead, the road, winding about, again crossed the track, this time close to the barracks. I stopped at a country inn to consider what to do. Even there I was not safe, as soldiers from the post were likely to be about.

There was no way for me to go except ahead, and ahead I went. As I approached the crossing, I saw that an officer and a civilian were on guard. The former halted me, and asked where I was going.

Instantly the thought came to me that I should appear unafraid, but make no reply. The officer then told the civilian to repeat the question in German, and he did so. Still 1 was silent, though I understood him perfectly.

Next the interpreter spoke in English—very poor English, however. I replied, in English, that I was an evangelist, and had been visiting a mission station, and was now on my way to the next town. This was all true, though it was not the whole truth.

I suspect that the interpreter did not understand English well enough to know what I had said, but disliked to confess his ignorance to his superior. He recited to him, in Russian, an absurd story about my having been sent on a tour of inspection of some sort.

The audacity of the fiction and the perplexity of the officer so diverted my mind that I almost forgot, for the moment, the peril of my situation; and doubtless my unconcerned manner had to do with convincing the guard that I had all due authority back of me. I must have looked more like a hobo than like any sort of inspector.

The guard seemed not to think of asking for proof of my commission, or even for my passport. After a few moments’ hesitancy, he gave me leave to go on—and I did not need to be urged.

To some, this might seem like a mere novel adventure; but it was much more than that to me. My freedom and even my life were at stake; and when the incident was over, and I realized what a position I had been in, I was so overwhelmed I could scarcely stand.

As I passed through the next village, an innkeeper hailed me, remarking that the sun was already setting. But I went on. Dogs attacked me in such numbers and so viciously that I almost used up my second walking stick on them.

Walking was torture to my bleeding feet, and I knew that I could not keep up much longer. Still I was resolved not to stop until I had passed Kwanchengtze, the terminus of the Russian railway, which I was sure must be a place of special danger, because of the strong guard stationed there. A few miles beyond that was Changchun, where the Japanese railway begins.

The beauty of the night was an inspiration. I lost all trace of the road, but kept the general direction by the aid of the stars.

Down deep ravines, across marshes, and through bamboo thickets, I struggled on. I heard dogs barking, and shots fired. Whence these sounds came, or whether they had to do with me, I did not know. One thought dominated my mind—Changchun. I did not have strength to think of anything else. To be continued


Sabbath School “Lessons for Bible Students”

In 1863, Elder James White began a series of lessons, entitled “Lessons for Bible Students” in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (ARSH).[1] The lessons are a series of questions based on the first part of J. N. Andrews’s book, History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week, and we will reprint his first four lessons in the next few issues of Old Paths, starting with Lessons 1 and 2 below. You will find many questions below because we combined the questions for Chapter 2 into our publication this month, instead of breaking it up over two publications, as Elder White had done. Hereafter, we will address only one set of lessons each month.

The ARSH was a weekly paper and over a short period of time, Elder White was able to publish twenty-one lessons. We will, however, reprint only the first few, for it would take nearly two years to publish, on a monthly basis, the entire set. The complete set, however, will be available (with answers) on our website, and the book, History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week, is available on the Internet and in the pioneer section of the Ellen G. White database. It is also available as a hard copy.

Our combined online and phone conference Sabbath School class[2] has begun using Elder Andrews’s book and Elder White’s accompanying questions as the basis of study each week. We encourage you to read this month in Elder Andrews’s book and to answer the questions posed by Elder White, for loyalty to the Sabbath will be the great test for those of us who are alive at the time of Christ’s return, and we want to be well-grounded in the Sabbath truth.

The Sabbath is a test, not a human requirement, but God’s test. It is that which will distinguish between those who serve God and those who serve him not; and upon this point will come the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. . . .

Some will urge that the Lord is not so particular in his requirements; that it is not their duty to keep the Sabbath strictly at so great loss, or to place themselves where they will be brought in conflict with the laws of the land. But here is just where the test is coming, whether we will honor the law of God above the requirements of men. This is what will distinguish between those who honor God and those who dishonor him. Here is where we are to prove our loyalty. The history of God’s dealings with his people in all ages shows that he demands exact obedience. (Ellen White, Counsels for the Church, p. 268)

[1]. February 17 through July 14, 1863

[2]2. See “New Web Conference Address” on page 16 for details.


History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week by J. N. Andrews

Questions by Elder James White

Chapter 1 “The Creation”

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 17, 1863
 

Answers are found on pages 9–12 of the book in the EGW database.

1. What is time, as distinguished from eternity?

2. From the earliest date in Genesis to the resurrection of the unjust, at the end of the millennium, what period of time is measured off?

3. What marks the commencement of the first week of time?

4. What was accomplished by the Creator’s work on the first day?

5. What was done on the second day?

6. What is the firmament and what is its use?

7. What was the third day’s work?

8. What was accomplished on the fourth day?

9. What on the fifth day?

10. What on the sixth day?

11. How was the seventh day distinguished from the rest?

 

Chapter 2 “The Institution of the Sabbath”

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 17 and March 3, 1863
 

Answers are found on pages 13–32 of the book in the EGW database.

1. Gen. 2:2 reads: And on the seventh day, God ended his work. Did God perform any labor on the seventh day?

2. What is the genuine reading of this passage? See Ex. 31:17.

3. As God rested upon the seventh day of the week, what did that day thus become?

4. But the Creator fainteth not, neither is weary, Is. 40:18. Why, then, did he rest on the seventh day?

5. Having rested upon the seventh day, what was the second act of God concerning it?

6. Why did he bless and sanctify that day?

7. What third great act completed the sacred institution?

8. What is the meaning of the word sanctify?

9. When was the first of these three great acts performed?

10. On what day were the second and third acts performed?

11. To what, then, did the blessing and sanctification of the seventh day relate?

12. How are the days of the week measured off?

13. To whom were they given to use?

14. In order to set apart one of these days to a holy use, what must be done?

15. What is Gesenius’ definition of the Hebrew verb kadash, rendered in our version to sanctify?

16. Give some instances of its use.

17. Where is found the most striking illustration of the use of this word?

18. What, then, was it to sanctify the Sabbath in Eden?

19. In the light of these facts, is it correct to say that there was no command given for the observance of the Sabbath prior to the giving of the law on Sinai?

20. What does the term Sabbath signify?

21. To what time and event does the fourth commandment point back for the origin of its obligation?

22. Where is the next mention of the Sabbath after the book of Genesis?

23. Did Moses do anything to the seventh day in the wilderness to make it the rest-day of Jehovah?

24. Had anything been done, up to this time, since the acts recorded in Gen. 2:2, 3 to make the seventh day the Sabbath?

25. What conclusion follows from these facts?

26. What is the testimony of our Lord relative to the origin and design of the Sabbath?

27. What renders the original of his language peculiarly emphatic? and why?

28. God first made the Sabbath his by solemn appropriation. Why did he do this?

29. What reasons can be given to show that Gen. 2:2, 3 is a record of what took place at the close of the creation week, not something spoken by anticipation?

30. Did God sanctify the Sabbath in the wilderness of Sin?

31. How is the Sabbath there mentioned?

32. Why does the Sabbath commandment commence with the word Remember?

33. What gives especial importance to this memorial?

34. What is the observance of the Sabbath on our part?

35. What would have saved the world from atheism and idolatry?

36. What was the character of the seventh day, as hallowed in Eden?

37. Being instituted in Eden, can it be a memorial of the flight of Israel from Egypt?

38. Do the most distinguished Jewish writers claim the Sabbath as a Jewish memorial or deny its primeval origin?

39. What allusion does Josephus make to the Sabbath in the wilderness of Sin?

40. How does he speak of it at creation?

41. What does Philo say of the Sabbath as a memorial?

42. The Sabbath being instituted before the fall, could it be a shadow or type of man’s rest after his recovery from the fall? Why not?

43. Why may not the Sabbath be one of the carnal ordinances imposed till the time of reformation? Heb. 9:10.

44. Where is the next mention of the Sabbath after man’s apostasy?

45. What objection to the institution of the Sabbath in Paradise is attempted to be drawn from the fact that the book of Genesis does not contain any formal precept for its observance?

46. State the defects in this argument.

47. From what other sins besides Sabbath-breaking does the book of Genesis contain no prohibition?

48. Can we affirm from this that the patriarchs were under no restraint in these things?

49. Why was it not necessary that the book of Genesis should contain a moral code?

50. How much time is spanned in its brief record?

51. From the fact that the book of Genesis, after giving the institution of the Sabbath, does not again mention it, what conclusion has been drawn?

52. State the defect in this argument by naming other important doctrines not mentioned in that book.

53. By what penalty was the Sabbath enforced after the time of Moses?

54. Yet how long a period is passed over after the time of Moses, without a mention of the Sabbath?

55. What other observances, which were at that time important, are passed over in silence?

56. What conclusion follows from these facts?

57. From what is the reckoning of time by weeks derived?

58. What texts of scripture show that the patriarchs so reckoned time?

59. Could they retain the week and yet forget the Sabbath?

60. How would the facts respecting the creation, naturally, and even necessarily, become diffused among the godly of mankind?

61. What succession of holy, and probably inspired, men, spanned the whole time from Adam to Abraham?

 

Chapter 3 “The Sabbath Committed to the Hebrews”

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 3, 1863
 

Answers are found on pages 33–43 of the book in the EGW database.

1. What is the record concerning Abraham?

2, How is the Sabbath next mentioned among his posterity?

3. What is it only necessary to do to vindicate the Sabbath from the reproach of being Jewish?

4. What were the reasons for separating the family of Abraham to be the depositaries of divine truth?

5. What means did God take to distinguish them from the heathen around them?

6. What foreshadowed to Abraham the bitter servitude of Egypt?

7. How long after the promise to Abraham was the deliverance from Egypt?

8. God brought Israel from Egypt to give them his Sabbath, his law, Ps. 105:43–45, and himself, Num. 15:41. Why did he enter into this formal transaction with them? (See top of page 37.) Although God thus became the “God of Israel,” yet he is “the God of the Gentiles also,” Rom. 3:29; and in like manner the Sabbath did not thus become Jewish, but still continues to be the Sabbath of the Lord and the law to be the statutes of the Most High.)

9. At what point in the narrative of Moses, do we find the second mention of the Sabbath?

10. In Ex. 16:4–30, we have a circumstantial narrative touching the Sabbath. What is the first point proved by this record?

11. In what respect did God test his people by giving them bread from heaven?

12. How do we know that the holy Sabbath was a part of that existing law?

13. Did Moses here give any new precept respecting the Sabbath?

14. What did the people do on the sixth day?

15. Did they do this of their own accord?

16. What did they show by this act?

17. What proves that the reckoning of the weeks had been correctly kept up to that time?

18. What assurance did God give on this point?

19. Was there any act of instituting the Sabbath in the wilderness?

20. Did God then make it his rest-day?

21. Did God then bless and sanctify the day?

22. What does the record show to the contrary?

23. Give the substance of the following texts: Genesis 7:4, 10; 8:10, 12; 29:27, 28; 50:10; Ex. 7:25; Job 2:13.

24. Does the language of the record show that the obligation to observe the Sabbath existed and was known before the fall of the manna?

25. When some of the people violated the Sabbath, what did the language in which they were reproved imply?

26. What was the effect of this rebuke of the Lawgiver?

27. What does the language of Ex. 16:29 imply? (See footnote 1 on page 42.)

28. Every man was commanded to abide in his place on the Sabbath; to what did this have reference? (See footnote 2 on page 42.)

29. What proves this?

30. What texts of Scripture show that religious assemblies were to be held on the Sabbath?

31. Did the act of God in committing the Sabbath to the Hebrews as a special trust imply that they had not before observed it?

32. Moses is said to have given circumcision to the Hebrews, yet how long had they had it before his time? (See in connection, note, p. 41.)

33. What does the language, “The Lord hath given you the Sabbath,” imply?

34. As no act of instituting the Sabbath here took place, how could God give them the Sabbath?

35. In what sense was the Sabbath a sign to the Hebrews?

To be continued next month


2017 WV Camp Meeting

Plans are taking shape for our next camp meeting, June 13–17, 2017, and we hope you will make every effort to join us. The theme is “The Message and Its Right Arm,” and we plan to devote the meetings during the day to our health message and the meetings in the evening and on Sabbath to the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14. You will not want to miss being here. Brother Jean-Christophe Bolotte will be here from France and will speak on each of the three angels. Elder S. T. Lewis from Ohio will also speak on the three angels’ messages, as will Pastor Allen Stump. An attempt to obtain a visa for Sister Ira Raylean from Moldova is currently in process, and if obtained, she will address practical aspects of health for the ladies, such as massage, fomentations, and hot foot baths. Brother Elvis Alberto of Curaçao will also attend camp meeting, and he will address the same areas of health for the gentlemen. In addition, Andy and Christy Whitehurst will be here to share health insights, as well as Raquel Akens and Elaine Nailing, and Onycha Holt will address the history and the application of Ellen White’s health counsels, based on Dr. Mervyn Hardinge’s book, A Physician Explains Ellen White’s Counsel on Drugs, Herbs, and Natural Remedies. We have invited other speakers to participate, and other areas of interest are being considered. We will keep you updated, but please plan now to partake of the blessings of camp meeting. ?


 New Web Conference Address

Starting March 15, 2017, we will be using a new web conference address to broadcast our services. The company we have been using, Voxwire, has informed us that their services will no longer be available after March, so we have signed up for a very similar service that we can use just as we have used Voxwire. The interface is very similar but more streamlined.

The new URL is https://onsync.digitalsamba.com/go/smyrna/1844. You will not need a password to enter as a participant. We will begin this service March 15 but until then, our current URL http:www.webmeetinglogin.com/go/church/services will be in effect. You can also listen to our services by using a phone. To hear the broadcasts, dial 1–218–486–1616 and then enter the access code 755896. We regularly broadcast the following services:

•Story Hour Monday 7:00 p.m. EST

•Prayer Meeting Wednesday 7:00 p.m. EST

•Sabbath School Sabbath 9:15 a.m. EST

•Worship Service Sabbath 11:00 a.m. EST


Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, 750 Smyrna Road, Welch, WV 24801–9606 U. S. A. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our website. The url is: http://www.smyrna.org. Phone: (304) 732–9204. Fax: (304) 732–7322.

Editor Allen Stump—editor@smyrna.org
Associate Editor Onycha Holt—onycha@smyrna.org