By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. Thank you for joining me again as we explore a direct attack on the most important message God has ever given His people in all of earth’s history. The world is getting darker, and at the very time when the fullness of the light of the truth about Christ’s righteousness in the three angels’ messages is to be shared, there are those among us who are preparing a coordinated broadside attack on those that uphold the truths committed to the last generation. They want to make it very unpopular to believe Bible truth concerning the last generation. Yet this group of “theological elites” thinks they know better than anybody else, what God’s truth is. And people look up to them because they have advanced degrees from universities. Their focus will surprise you. In their own words, I will show you what they are really aiming for. They are trying to convince you that you don’t need to concern yourself about being prepared for the time of trouble that is soon to come upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.
Now as we begin, let us bow our heads and pray. Our dear Father in heaven, it is no surprise that the enemy of souls wants to destroy Your end-time church. We are living in confusing times. And sometimes even good people can get caught up in a deception because it comes from respected religious leaders. That’s happening all the time in most churches today. But unfortunately it is also happening in God’s church. Please send Your Holy Spirit to teach us how to understand the things that are developing today in the battle over Last Generation doctrine, and keep our eyes wide open. In Jesus name, amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter 6 verse 8. The scripture tell us the amazing power of the Holy Spirit in the life of Stephen. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” Stephen was dragged before the religious leaders at the Jewish council. These men were the elders, like the rabbis, the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees. The high priest was there too. These were the theologians, professors and church leaders of the day. Stephen gave them a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ. They saw his face as the face of an angel (verse 15). The apostle says in chapter 7, verse 54 that they were “cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.” In other words, they became so enraged that they lost control of themselves. But Stephen was given a vision of heaven with Christ standing at the right hand of the Father. But they were so full of rage that they lost their reason and dragged him out of the city and stoned him.
Now think about this for a minute. Here are the Jewish church leaders, professors and theologians, hurling stones at Stephen until they killed him. He did not die with the first stone, or the second, or the third. In fact, there may have been many stones thrown at him until finally, one hit him so hard, probably on the head, that it killed him. These stones were of the same material, probably a pale dolomitic limestone, which has been used as a building material since ancient times. These stones were not cut stones. They were broken stones with many facets each. They were small enough to grab them with one hand and hurl it forcefully at the offender. Perhaps the final stone that killed Stephen was larger and was picked up by one of these angry men and raised above his head and forcefully brought down upon his skull.
No doubt you remember this story. But today I’m going to make an unusual application of it to our own times. But before I do, I must give you some background information about what is going on today.
Today, we are going to examine a devastating attack on God’s last three-fold message, the three angels’ messages. This attack is going to shake God’s church to its core. The rebellion to God and His requirements for salvation among His own people has just gone to a new level. Perhaps it has gone viral. What was once believed and taught by Bible-believing members of God’s church is now being openly ridiculed and opposed as if it should be on the trash heap of history. Even the theologians at the seminaries have come out against it.
Now turn in your Bibles to Revelation 18:1-4. Let us read these verses. “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.”
These words reveal that at the end of time there will be a people, represented by the mighty angel, who has a unique and vitally important message to share with a very dark world under the bright power of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.
Babylon represents the false system of worship that will take over the world through collaboration with the rulers and economic leaders of the world. The “loud voice” refers to the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people who have made themselves ready for Jesus’ to use them in the time of the latter rain to call as many as possible out of Babylon to join God’s faithful in proclaiming His last message of righteousness amid prevailing evil and temptation. This is a special last generation of human beings. There is no getting around it without twisting the scriptures and the teachings of God’s messenger to that last generation.
The last generation concept is a thought system of “Biblically informed, theologically mature, and spiritually balanced” people that God will use in a powerful and special way in the last days to reveal His character through Christ living in them. And because of His special presence in their lives, by their Christian standards, and by their love for lost souls, they will be given the Holy Spirit in latter rain power and will call people around the world out of false systems of worship, especially that of Roman Catholicism and her fallen daughter churches to join God’s true people in the true worship of Jehovah.
The message to come out of Babylon will be given at a time when it will be a very unpopular message. The ecumenical movement, which has united the fallen churches with Rome, has made it that way. Even though Rome is riddled with scandals, yet, people still want to collaborate with her because she helps them get power and money. So, they don’t fight her too strongly. Yet, Rome is fully exposed. While minds are being blinded to her iniquity, her sins are shouted from the rooftops. And the wickedness is not merely skin deep. It is systemic. It is the nature of the beast. It’s in its DNA.
As the enemy’s power is manifested in the world on virtually every front, God intends to have a unique group of people that will vindicate the character of Christ in its purity, and answer the final questions in the great controversy between Christ and Satan, all amid the darkest and most dramatic time ever in the history of the world – a time of trouble such as never was. Matthew 24:21.
As Rome covers “the record of her horrible cruelties” with pious apologetic language along with beautiful vestments, gold plated chalices, rosary beads, financial settlements, and hush money, she remains unchanged. She is still the great apostate. The Bible still declares her to be the prime cause of the wickedness in the last days. In contrast, God will have a people who will condemn her publically and draw attention to the Spirit of God within them by their righteous and sinless lives so that He can complete His work in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary and answer the final objections that the enemy hurls at Christ, and end this world of sin and suffering.
The last generation of God’s people are those who will draw special attention to God’s law. They are a very special people that have been given a very special message to share with the world, namely the third angels’ message of Revelation 14:9-11, which we will read in a minute.
Listen to this statement from The Great Controversy, page 606. “Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service.”
This will be men and women like Stephen. They are not educated by the religious leaders and theologians of today. They are common people. What this statement is saying is by “consecrating themselves to His service,” they are completely disassociating from Satan and will no longer serve him in any way. That means that they are determined to live a consecrated law-abiding life. They have renounced all sin, and now Christ gives them power to resist every temptation of the enemy however small or large.
I’ll read on, “The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions.”
Notice that it is the unction of the Spirit, not the academic degrees that will qualify those messengers that will receive the latter rain. If you have a degree from some literary institution, plead with God to purge you of anything that you were taught that is not according to His word. This is not saying that there aren’t those among the last generation that have literary degrees from academic institutions. But, unfortunately, it is often those with academic degrees that are now arguing against last generation principles and even its doctrines.
I’ll continue reading. “Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked.”
You see friends, this is the message, and it leads to the message of the fourth angel of Revelation 18, which represents that unique last generation of faithful souls who give the final warning and the loud cry “behold the bridegroom cometh.” Matthew 25:6.
We find the fullness of that message and the contrast between the people of God and the people of the enemy in the last days in Revelation 14:6-12. Let us read it.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 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. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
Verses 6 and 7 are about the people of God who worship Him according to His Law. They are the ones who live by the principles of health reform. They are the ones who keep God’s holy seventh day Sabbath. They are the ones that turn from all iniquity and give glory to God by their lives. What does “glory” represent in scripture? It represents character. Their characters are like that of Christ, because Christ lives in them. And because He does, they stop sinning because they love Him so much. They aren’t trying to work their way to heaven. They are just so loyal to Christ, that the enemy has no appeal to them at all, no way to get them to do his bidding on any front. This, in itself, is a unique experience.
The three angels’ messages are the most complete, the most comprehensive, the most systematic, the most mature, and therefore the most unique message ever handed to a group of people in all of history. These three angels and their messages are a summary of the whole of scripture, actually. Their connection to the other parts of scripture is like a complex web in which its threads connect in multiple places throughout the scriptures, linking multiple layers of content and ideas. That message is stern and startling and under the power of the latter rain awakens people to their danger. And because it is unique, those that give it must also be unique in their lives.
But the conditions of salvation today are what they have always been. Listen to this from Steps to Christ, page 62, “The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,—just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents,—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.”
Yet today, there are many people who are members of God’s remnant church that teach otherwise. “You cannot overcome sin,” they say. “You cannot keep all the commandments, even by the grace and power of Christ living in you.”
This argument has been going on for a very long time. And there are some very smooth and very articulate scholars and teachers in the schools, seminaries and universities of God’s church that are teaching this to the next generation of church leaders, whether pastors or administrators.
For over 60 years there has been a steady increase in those who no longer believe that there are a special people in these last days. And they include current and retired seminary professors (the rabbis), church leaders (the elders) and many prominent lay people who support them. And they have been throwing theological stones at a figurative Stephen, which are those who believe the biblical last generation concepts. Many books and articles have been written about this, so I’m not going to give a Bible study on each of these figurative stones. But here are some examples.
One of the stones hurled at the true followers of Jesus these days, the Stephens of our time, is that sin is by nature, not by choice. That means that you and I were born guilty of Adam’s sin. This is unbiblical. Sinful flesh is not guilty flesh. It is weakened flesh that inevitably chooses to sin. But that flesh, when empowered by Christ living within, also by choice, can overcome all the temptations of the enemy. But remember, it is by choice.
And those who oppose the truth about sin by choice not by nature, do not believe you can be an overcomer. They are ultimately saying that you will continue to live in sin until Jesus comes. They do not believe that Christ can give you ultimate and total victory before He comes. They do not want you to be an example of righteous living in Christ. They don’t want you to be a modern Noah, or Enoch. After all, this would make them a liar. But they are already liars because they claim to be followers of Jesus, but they do not believe or teach that it is possible to keep all His commandment. Here is what the Bible says in 1 John 2:4. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
These are the men and women who are trying to undermine the truth of the Bible on Righteousness by Faith. These are they who do not accept the Great Controversy. They do not teach a powerful Christ who is “able to keep you from falling.” Jude 24.
Here is another stone hurled at our figurative Stephen, or the last generation of believers. “Jesus did not come in fallen sinful flesh,” they say, “because if He did, He would have been a sinner.” This is also false. But it cuts to the heart of biblical last generation concepts. Jesus demonstrated that it is possible to live without sin in sinful flesh. And therefore He intends to demonstrate it in the lives of His last generation followers. The Bible is very clear about this. And there is a lot of material available on this topic today.
Here is yet another stone hurled at the last generation. The message of full victory over sin contradicts the Bible message of salvation by faith alone. The opponents of last generation principles accuse those who believe that Christ is able to “keep you from falling” into all temptation, of being legalists and trying to earn their salvation through obedience. Nothing could be further from the truth. The true follower of Jesus lives by all the Ten Commandments, but it is Christ in him that obeys them all. It cannot be done any other way. You see, these false teachers are teaching a weak and worthless Christ. They teach a superficial gospel and that Christ is unable to “save to the uttermost” and deliver me from my sins and empower me never to do them again. That’s far better than merely being pulled out of the gutter to keep on sinning at least to some degree. To save to the uttermost means that every temptation can be overcome.
Listen to this powerful statement from Selected Messages, Vol. 3, and page 360. “He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.” Notice that it is Christ that keeps us from sinning, not ourselves.
Here is another stone thrown toward our modern “Stephen.” These opponents of Bible faith suggest that after the close of probation, the righteous will stand on their own. This is utterly false. The only thing that the saints, and all of humanity for that matter, will not have after the close of probation is a means or method of forgiveness. The wicked have passed the point of no return, and the righteous will have Christ in them so fully, that they will not sin any longer, no matter how much the pressure. Christ stands by their side, and works for them to will and to do of His good pleasure. They no longer need an intercessor. Christ demonstrates the truth of His power, and the enemy’s allegations are finally defeated.
I’ll mention one more of many stones that have been hurled at those who teach the concept of a unique people at the end of time (the figurative Stephen). They try to say that the teachings of the last generation have never been part of the teaching of the mainstream remnant church. This is patently false too. The book called “The Great Controversy” was first published in 1884 in an abbreviated edition and was later expanded in subsequent editions until 1911, when the final edition was published. It was the centerpiece of last generation concepts and theology. But it is also a biblical concept. Revelation 12 reveals a special people in the last days that are called the remnant and who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy according to Revelation 19:10. This is a unique people with a unique work to do. But their own fellow church members depreciate and despise them, ridicule them, and oppose them at every turn.
Friends, these stones are an attack on the Three Angels’ messages, the fourth angel of Revelation 18, the Sabbath, the meaning of the sanctuary in heaven, and the antichrist, among other things. If you follow these false teachings to their logical conclusions, you will find that they are an attack on the core message of God’s last church itself in the name of defending it.
And now the conflict has matured and the largest and most devastating stone of all is going to be hurled at our figurative Stephen. This is the stone that killed him. Will it kill us? This was the stone that the young Saul watched crash into the head of Stephen as he held the coats of those angry, out-of-control church leaders and seminary professors. He was convicted of the rightness of Stephen’s cause. This was the seed that was dropped into Saul’s heart that blossomed into repentance as he sat in the house in Damascus, blind and helpless. That very stone was the foundation or platform for the mighty work of Paul in spreading the truth of the gospel all throughout Asia Minor. What will be the effect of that final modern stone that is figuratively about to be, and is already being thrown at the distinctive group of last generation believers?
That deadly stone is a culmination of 60 years of stone throwing by unbelieving professors and church leaders. It is a direct attack on the idea that there is a people who have a unique work to do in the last days of vindicating Christ and purifying their lives and preparing for the coming time of trouble and the second coming of Christ. In reality it is a full-on assault on everything the remnant church stands for, including the concept of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. It is a masterpiece of deception designed to marginalize anyone who still believes in a unique and distinctive final generation before Jesus comes. And the battle is pitched, and the conflict is only going to intensify.
And I think it is interesting that as the world is polarized and there is anger, resentment and mob rule between political parties, there is polarization, anger and even mob rule at times in God’s church. The seething undercurrent of hostility to the last generation can be palpated.
Three books have been recently written against the Last Generation concepts of Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy. One of them is by George Knight a retired seminary professor from Andrews University who has long opposed many of the distinctive teachings of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy in relation to the last generation. It is called End-Time Events and the Last Generation. He writes with passion against the likes of M. L. Andreason, who was one of the foremost of faithful men to warn against the change in last generation doctrine in the 1950s as manifested in the book Questions on Doctrine. Knight essentially patronizes Andreason by suggesting that he misunderstood the writings of the book Great Controversy, Desire of Ages and other inspired books, particularly on the nature of Christ, the nature of sin, and the nature of the atonement. He appears to know better than Andreason, and through his allegedly scholarly research he has now come to a better understanding of the true meaning of the gospel. Unfortunately, it is more in line with traditional evangelical teachings. And yes, this is the very same man who recently accused the General Conference President of being a Nazi because he disagrees with the president about church discipline.
A second book that has recently been published against biblical last generation principles is by a group of prominent seminary professors from Andrews University called God’s Character and the Last Generation. The authors include Jiří Moscala, the dean of the seminary, John C. Peckham, Woodrow Whidden, Martin Hanna, Richard M. Davidson, Denis Fortin, who defended the seminary invitation to two Jesuits to teach a class at Andrews University Seminary on missions, Ante Jerončić, Peter Swanson, Darius W. Jankiewicz, Felix Cortes, Ranko Stephanovic, and Jo Ann Davidson. Most of these are current professors, though some are retired.
These professors are essentially attempting to sound academic in their assault on God’s truth in the last days and put a scholarly spin on their opposition. They are very strongly opposed to perfection of character, even by the grace and power of Christ alone. They are utterly opposed to the idea that God has any special people in these last days that will ultimately vindicate God’s character in the final years of earth’s history.
Now a third book, by Reinder Briunsma, former president of the Dutch Union, called In All Humility: Saying No to Last Generation Theology. Bruinsma pretends to be pastoral as he undermines publically, once again, the teachings of God’s spirit in the book The Great Controversy, among other inspired books and resources. He accuses those who believe in Christ’s power to overcome all sin, as legalists. Though this is nothing new in the conflict between liberals and conservatives, Bruinsma is now joining the seminary professors and leaders at Andrews University in assaulting the God-given message of the three angels and the idea that there is a unique people that have a unique work to do in these last days. That’s what it really is, my friends, an assault on the very foundations of last generation doctrine.
The great controversy theme runs throughout scripture and history, but it has special significance for those who are living in the last days because Christ is preparing a fully spirit-powered group of people to live in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. He will stand by their side in the time of trouble, when God’s people are placed under unrelenting pressure to renounce their faith in Christ. But because Christ dwells within, they will not sin after probation. And therefore they don’t need a mediator.
It is this concept that these men are determined to undermine. They believe that their emphasis, which is against the Bible and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, is correct and that there is no special people alive today who will fully represent Christ in their characters or who have a special message to give that is different from previous generations or other contemporary churches.
These men set up “straw men,” which is a misrepresentation of Last Generation biblical principles. Then they un-stuff these straw men and replace them with their own false teachings. Instead of humility, they are actually quite arrogant in their public beliefs and teachings, because they have set themselves up as the judge of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.
They oppose the plainest and clearest statements of the Bible and God’s messenger to the remnant church. Statements like, “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…” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 216.
Friends, these opponents of Last Generation doctrine do not believe this plain statement. They think it is legalism. They teach that it is not a valid expression of God’s will for His people in the last days. But in order to convince the unwitting, they have to spin their specious error as if theirs is the best interpretation of the inspired writings, when in reality, even when quoting the Testimonies, they are opposing the very words of inspiration.
If we are not the last generation, then why would we care to warn people of Rome’s encroachments as described in Revelation 14:8-11. These men do not believe the warnings. They do not see Rome as the final antichrist that empowers the nations to fight God and His eternal law through His followers.
In fact Bruinsma makes this revealing statement in reviewing George Knight’s conclusion, with which he agrees. Listen to what he says. “I found [Knight’s] conclusion quite convincing that most of the theological turmoil…—in which [Last Generation Theology] plays an important role—is the underlying unceasing tension between those who want to stress the similarities between Adventism and traditional Christianity on the one hand, and those who believe the unique features of Adventism must receive primary attention on the other hand.”
In other words, Bruinsma and Knight are saying that the raging conflict is between those who are more interested in focusing on similarities with other Christian denominations, rather than emphasizing that which makes God’s last generation distinctive. Friends, this is the very concept behind the ecumenical movement. De-emphasize the unique and distinctive features of your faith, while emphasizing the things on which we agree with other denominations, specifically the fallen churches of Babylon, or as Bruinsma along with Knight call it, “traditional Christianity.”
In other words, the anti-last generation theologians are ecumenical at their foundation. This will lead us straight to Rome, my friends. These authors, in opposing last generation doctrine, are in reality promoting Romanism without saying so. This is shocking! Though they would never admit it, I wonder if they are infiltrators ordained by Rome to do this divisive work among God’s people. After all, this is Rome’s pattern. Infiltrate, divide and conquer. And do it subtly so that few, if anyone, suspects that you are advocating ecumenism.
But that is exactly what these men are attempting to do. They may not even understand their own motives or their own logical conclusions. But Bruinsma made it clear in that shocking statement of sympathy with the ecumenical movement. But now, the division has almost reached its maturity. These liberal elements who are attacking the Testimonies, among other things, have been working to destroy God’s church for a very long time. Some of them have passed from the scene of action, but new ones have taken their places.
How is it that these men now dominate the seminaries, and now teach our youthful pastors how to think and act as well as what kind of message to preach? Are they getting the three angels’ messages in the seminary? I would imagine not, particularly since their professors are so opposed to it. How is it that many church administrators have similar ideas and fight against the faithful teaching of scripture on a host of issues?
The concept of the remnant or the last generation we have believed and taught for 174 years. Now, strangely, some, perhaps many who are in high positions in the seminaries, the conferences, unions and other places are beginning a coordinated attack on the last generation principles and teachings. They want to destroy the idea that the last generation ever existed. They want to tell you that there is no unique message given to us to share with the world. They want to tell you that we don’t have to declare that Babylon is fallen and that we are to separate from her. They want to go in the other direction.
This amounts to a direct attack on the biblical doctrines that have guided the last generation church through its history. It is a direct attack on the sanctuary doctrine, the seventh-day Sabbath, the non-immortality of the soul, and any other doctrine that distinguishes God’s people from other churches. And it is a direct attack on the authority and inspiration of the Spirit of Prophecy. If they are successful, they will turn God’s church into just another variation of the fallen daughters of Babylon.
I have prepared this message today to make you aware of this problem. I would not be faithful to the Lord if I did not do so. But like in Noah’s time I have to tell you the truth. There will be those that will take me to task over some small thing. They will ridicule the idea that you can be an overcomer through Christ living in you at all times. They will mock the idea of a sanctuary in heaven. They will denounce the unique and life-changing truths that have been the pillars of the faith of God’s remnant church for nearly two centuries.
Two decades ago, when I was the Academic Dean of Hartland College, I was invited to an academic administrator’s meeting, which I think was at a fancy hotel resort in Chicago. My wife Betsy and I went to the meeting, though we stayed with friends (to save the expense) in order to discover what sort of people were the deans of other Universities linked to the remnant church. What I found was shocking!
On Sabbath morning, the person chosen to speak for “divine service” was the dean of one of the universities represented. His main theme seemed to be that we are not the remnant church and that there is no such thing. I couldn’t believe my ears! Betsy and I were stunned. We managed to find one other academic administrator that was also fuming about it and commiserated with him. Little did I realize that the seeds had been sown, and that they would one-day, 20 plus years later, blossom into a full-blown assault on God’s distinctive truth for these last days.
Friends, they profess friendliness for the Testimonies. They quote them often, but they misrepresent them and undermine them. In doing so, they demonstrate that they actually hate them.
Listen to this statement from Selected Messages, Vol. 1, and page 48. “There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.”—
Letter 40, page 1890.
In more recent times, my wife and I attended a medical conference in which the Friday evening speaker, another academic administrator or professor, expressed his discontent with the Bible teachings of the remnant church, its doctrines and its president because he obviously didn’t agree with them. Fortunately, there were medicos in the audience who raised the alarm and pointedly criticized him in return for undermining God’s message.
Friends, if this is where we’re headed as a people, it will destroy the distinctive and decisive message that God has intended to be given in these last days.
Then, even more recently, I was preaching one Sabbath in North Queensland, Australia and some of the local folk there told me of the South Queensland Conference camp meeting that had taken place the week before. Aside from the concerns about the music and other liberal advances, they told me of one of the speakers, named Reinder Briunsma, who attacked the unique last generation theology of God’s people. He promoted his new book, which I mentioned above, and was boldly advocating from the pulpit of the main meeting that we abandon our distinctive message in pious and deceptive language, of course. And friends, you can be sure that the South Queensland Conference paid for his airfare, and whatever honorarium that they might have given him (if any), from the sacred tithe. Imagine that!
In other words, leaders who are committed to stripping God’s last church of its last-day significance are now foisting these concepts on a mostly unwitting church. That means that its members who go along with this false teaching will not be prepared for the overwhelming surprise that is coming upon the world.
It also means that those of us who raise the alarm as this message is designed to do, will be marginalized and treated as enemies, just as they now treat those who oppose women’s ordination by demeaning them, patronizing them, and belittling them.
Friends, the enemy wants to deceive even the very elect. Those who know God’s truth, the three angels’ messages, or who at least have been given the opportunity to know it, will lose out on eternal life if they accept the false teachings of these seminary professors and church administrators. Keep in mind that they are training the next generation of ministers for God’s church. They will not only have their student’s blood on their hands, but they will have the blood of all the people those young pastors lead astray on their hands as well.
Here is another statement that we should remember. “We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” Selected Messages, Vol. 1, page 122.
And now this statement from Our Father Cares, page 263. “Those who try to interpret the Word according to their own ideas, who read it in accordance with their opinions, will never see the truth, and will die in their sins. Those who eat of the forbidden tree accept Satan’s fallacies in the place of “Thus saith the Lord,” and unless they repent, they will never gain that life which measures with the life of God. As did Adam and Eve, they exclude themselves from the tree of life, the fruit of which perpetuates immortality…”
Friends, the biggest problem we face today is biblical interpretation. If we interpret it according to our own ideas, we’re like the unfaithful servant who buried the treasure in the ground. And that is what these men and women are trying to do, bury the most important treasure that God has given to His last church on earth.
Here is another statement that should grab our attention. “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” That’s from Selected Messages, Vol. 1, page 204.
I believe it is rather amazing and even somewhat thrilling that we have actually come to a time such as this. A system of intellectual philosophy has been introduced. Books of a new order have and are being written to lead God’s people in persistent opposition to God’s will for them just before Jesus comes in the clouds of glory. Just at the very time when they should be perfecting their characters through Christ’s power, seminary professors and church leaders are publically teaching that it is impossible.
Nothing is being allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. And they are trying to change our religion with considerable success.
You see, my friends, we are very near the time when the great shaking will take place, and only those who have the seal of God will survive it. Even the very elect will be deceived, if possible. That’s what Jesus Himself says. Listen to His words from Matthew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Couple Jesus statement with this one from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, and page 81. “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death.”
How easy will it be for those who have opposed the principles of truth as taught by the Bible about the last generation, to yield their faith? They are already promoting the ecumenical idea and will easily unite with Rome when pressure is put on the true followers of Christ.
I’ll continue reading. “The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.”
I think there is something else that is interesting too. Think about it, it has taken over 60 years to get to the place where these men and women can now boldly stand in full blown opposition to God’s true message. That shows you how strong last generation concepts of the Bible really are. It has taken them a long, long time to get to the point where they are nearly able to stone these teachings to death. They are dismissive of the significance of this by falsely saying that it has never been mainstream teaching.
The stoning of the figurative Stephen has been going on for a long time, my friends. They will kill him if they can. But remember, from the blood of the martyr, the great apostle Paul was converted and did a mighty work for God. Likewise, if they kill off or marginalize the voice of last generation doctrine, it will only create a far more powerful force that will rise up to defend God’s unique and distinctive truth for the last generation.
Friends, some of our brightest lights will go out. If you accept what prominent professors and teachers and other great men of renown say, even if it is in opposition to the plainest statements of inspiration, you will join them in their opposition to the God of heaven and will lead others astray.
While many of us have been watching false doctrine about righteousness by faith develop among God’s people for many years, in more recent times it has manifested itself in the determination of many leaders in some of the most wealthy and powerful divisions of God’s church to change the church so that women can be ordained to the ministry. They have now joined forces to oppose their core opposition, those who believe last generation concepts of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. They see this as the underlying problem in preventing them from achieving their goals. Those who teach last generation principles are linked to the conservative majority of church members. So they have to attack them. It may well be the crowning act of the enemy in his last efforts to destroy the church that God raised up nearly 200 years ago.
Just at the time when the final message is to be given, the enemy has infiltrated God’s people and raised up men who will undermine confidence in the Bible message of Revelation 14 and 18 that God has ordained to be given to the world. They undermine confidence in the inspired messenger that God has given to His church to warn them of the apostasy that is coming upon them. They have long ago moved away from the three-angels’ logo and replaced it with an ecumenical logo that looks like it could come from an evangelical church or a mainstream protestant church.
Here is a description of the methods used in this war against the great controversy theme. It is from Testimonies for the Church, page 295. “Satan hopes to involve the remnant people of God in the general ruin that is coming upon the earth. As the coming of Christ draws nigh, he will be more determined and decisive in his efforts to overthrow them. Men and women will arise professing to have some new light or some new revelation whose tendency is to unsettle faith in the old landmarks. Their doctrines will not bear the test of God’s word, yet souls will be deceived. False reports will be circulated, and some will be taken in this snare. They will believe these rumors and in their turn will repeat them, and thus a link will be formed connecting them with the archdeceiver. This spirit will not always be manifested in an open defiance of the messages that God sends, but a settled unbelief is expressed in many ways. Every false statement that is made feeds and strengthens this unbelief, and through this means many souls will be balanced in the wrong direction.”
Did you get that? The settled unbelief is expressed in many ways and it will not always be in open defiance. They can’t. There are still too many who would raise the alarm. So they often have to be subtle. But that is the very reason I am raising the alarm today. Also, did you notice that they will make false statements that strengthen their unbelief? That is what is happening now.
“In every age false prophets have been the most dangerous enemies Christianity has had. Men have appeared who claimed to be champions of truth, professing to have a great burden for the souls of their fellow-men. But they taught false doctrines, and perverted the truth. The spirit they manifested, the work they wrought, testified to the character of their religion. Such men have arisen and do arise, and will continue to arise, in our own day. They will criticise, judge others, will be always ready for controversy, and will resist the truth.”
But this next couple of sentences describe exactly what is happening today. Listen carefully. “They will put false interpretations upon the Scriptures. They will misstate the words of those who advocate truth, and some who listen to them, who do not have spiritual discernment, will be misled by these false teachers, and be found fighting under the black banner of the adversary of God and man.” Signs of the Times, July 18, page 1892.
The real target is the Testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy. “I know your danger. If you lose confidence in the testimonies you will drift away from Bible truth. I have been fearful that many would take a questioning, doubting position, and in my distress for your souls I would warn you. How many will heed the warning? As you now hold the testimonies, should one be given crossing your track, correcting your errors, would you feel at perfect liberty to accept or reject any part or the whole? That which you will be least inclined to receive is the very part most needed. God and Satan never work in co-partnership. The testimonies either bear the signet of God or that of Satan. A good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. By their fruit ye shall know them. God has spoken. Who has trembled at His word?” That’s from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 98.
Friends, the modern stoning of Stephen is nearly complete. The enemies of God’s truth are circling their victim. They want to destroy those that believe in the last generation concepts of scripture. They want to overthrow your faith. Please don’t let them do that.
Friends, let us truly live for Jesus. Let Jesus run your life for you so that the enemy will not be able to get you to sin under any circumstances. You can be an overcomer. Otherwise Jesus would not have said it so many times in the book of Revelation.
Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, we see that there is coming a deception upon us that will deceive the very elect if possible. They are already developing their arguments, and starting to put pressure on those that teach the truth for this time. They are seeking to undermine the principles of the last generation. We now understand how this is being done and where it is coming from. But Father, please help us resist the introduction of false teachings among us. And may we live for You today and every day, in Jesus’ name, amen.