"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
THE WHEAT AND TARES
First Printing, 1988
Second Printing and Updating, 1990
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THE WHEAT AND TARES
This parable is found in Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43. It is well known to most people, having either studied it or heard it being preached over and over again. It may be so familiar that we think we know it already and may tend to skim through it without trying to search out the hidden truths that are buried beneath the surface.
In fact this parable may be the most misunderstood and misinterpreted one today and is used to bring about more confusion upon our people in the church, self-supporting institutions, and other circles, because of the ready acceptance of the teachings and traditions of the elders, without trying to search out the truth for ourselves.
Many would rather trust in human wisdom, to accept the plausible reasonings of the modern rabbis and pharisees instead of proving and testing their words to a "thus saith the Lord" and to the law and the testimonies.
But is this a safe course to follow? No! Jeremiah 17:5 says "Cursed be the man who trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm."
Desire of Ages (DA), p 140-41: "If Nathanael had trusted to the rabbis for guidance, he would never have found Jesus. It was by seeing and judging for himself that he became a disciple. So in the case of many to-day whom prejudice withholds from good....while they trust to the guidance of human authority, none will come to a saving knowledge of the truth. Like Nathanael, we need to study God's word for ourselves, and pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit."
So we cannot rely on the wisdom of men to lead us into a safe course, but we must prayerfully and diligently search for the truth ourselves. Laying scripture upon scripture, line upon line, testimony upon testimony, here a little and there a little. Then the confusion will blow away and God will let us clearly see His truths, free from the mass of rubbish of custom and tradition. Then we can act upon the truths revealed and know that our foundation standeth sure. In trying to understand this parable of the wheat and tares it is no different. Sister White states immediately after quoting this parable.
Review and Herald, vol 4 (4RH), p 395, col 2: "Read this instruction carefully, doing all in your power to understand the parable. The Holy Spirit will impress the minds of those who desire a clear comprehension of this parable."
Now the opposite of this testimony is also true. That those who do not carefully read this parable and who do not try to do all they can to understand it, will not receive impressions from God's Holy Spirit. They will misinterpret it and spread confusion and error everywhere, this is exactly what has happened and is continuing to occur.
So let us carefully read the parable, closely looking at and defining each of the symbols Christ uses in order to see if we cannot clear up some of the confusion which abounds today.
Matthew 13:24-5: "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way."
What represents the "kingdom of heaven or of God"? Is Christ speaking here of the dwelling place of God in the literal heaven above or is he trying to represent this in a spiritual setting, or in other words, the dwelling place of God, through His word written within our hearts or minds? Is Christ speaking here in the literal sense or in the spiritual sense?
Luke 17:20-21: "and when he (Christ) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
So Christ is referring to the spiritual meaning of the kingdom of God, being within our own minds through His word! Oh, don't you see the importance of studying for ourselves, digging into the Bible and the testimonies, eating and drinking the words of God for ourselves? How else are we going to be able to give the reason of the hope that is within us, if it is not there? How else are we going to be able to reflect Christ, to shine as bright stars amidst the darkness of this wicked world, and give Him the honor that is due His holy name? The kingdom of God must be within us.
Please do not forget this point because it is the single most important point to remember when trying to understand any of Christ's parables dealing with the kingdom of heaven.
Who represents the man sowing good seed or wheat? Christ (Matthew 13:37). So who would represent the enemy of Christ who sowed bad seed or tares in Christ's field? Satan (Matthew 13:39). Christ sowed the wheat seed in His field, signifying that Christ had purchased this field with a price.
Now who represents the field? We do! It represents our hearts or minds.
Spirit of Prophecy, vol 2 (2SOP), p 248: "The enemy sowing the troublesome seeds, is an illustration of Satan's work upon the human mind. Christ is the sower, who scatters the precious grain in the fallow ground of the heart."
But it also means something else. Christ says in Matthew 13:38 that the field represents the world. The Greek word for "world" used here is "kosmos," meaning an orderly arrangement of a group in the world. And Sister White makes it clearer.
Christ Object Lessons (COL), p 70: "'The field,' Christ said, 'is the world.' But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world."
So the field represents the church, but it also has a deeper spiritual meaning and represents our hearts or minds.
Who represents the good seed or wheat sown in His field? It would represent two things. Christ says in Matthew 13:38 that the good seed or wheat represents the children of the kingdom or God's true disciples in the church. It also represents God's pure doctrines or truth planted in our hearts or minds.
So who represents the bad seeds or tares sown in His fields? The tares are the children of the devil or Satan's true followers and agents in the church as Christ says in Matthew 13:38. And it also represents Satan's false doctrines or errors planted in our minds.
Now lets go over these verses again and replace the symbols with their meanings, and we will use the deeper spiritual meaning.
First, the kingdom of heaven (or salvation obtained by the indwelling of God's word written in our hearts or minds, and we then refuse to use our God-given powers or faculties to sin) is likened unto (or an example of this whole process is similar to) a man (or Christ Jesus) which sowed good seed (or scattered abroad God's pure truths) in His field (or in the minds of His Father's children whom God has purchased with the great price of His dear Son).
But while men slept (or God's people leaving the entrance into their mind unguarded) His enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way (or Satan entered and spread abroad his errors and false doctrines among God's pure truths, mixing them together, and left without being noticed or detected).
Now lets go over the same verses and use the other meaning to the symbols.
The kingdom of Heaven (same meaning as before or the process to obtain salvation) is likened unto (is similar to) a man (Christ) which sowed good seed in His field (put His remnant people in the church in the world).
But while men slept (or the leaders and caretakers of God's remnant people loosing their zeal and leaving the entrance into the heart of the church unguarded) His enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Satan entered and put his people and agents in the midst of the church mixing them together with the remnant and left undetected.
Now, who could represent the field or church? The SDA church. As Christ started with a clean field and a pure and chosen seed, so He began this church in purity with a chosen people, it was truly a remnant people and church. But what happened in the parable? The men, or the caretakers of the field, fell asleep and allowed an enemy to enter, to try and spoil the entire field by spreading and mixing his tares with the wheat.
Has this occurred in the SDA church? Did the church and it's leaders or watchmen fall asleep, loosing their zeal in working for the owner of the church? Yes!
Testimonies, vol 6 (6T), p 450: "Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God."
9T 29: "If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us."
So the leadership of the church and its watchmen did loose their zeal and they did fall asleep, but did they allow Satan to enter the church and spread his followers and agents or tares all throughout the ranks to try and spoil the wheat? Yes!
2T 439-46: "Men who stand in very responsible positions at the heart of the work are asleep. Satan has paralyzed them, in order that his plans and devices may not be discerned, while he is active to ensnare, deceive, and destroy.
"Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger, have given up their watch and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels. They remain inactive, while their wily foe enters the fort, and works successfully by their side to tear down what God has commanded to be built up. They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting; yet they take it all quietly, as though they had no special interest, as though these things did not concern them. They apprehend no special danger; they see no cause to raise an alarm....And Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst, and they are so completely deceived that they know not it is he....
"Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and him only....and Christ has departed. His Spirit has been quenched in the church. Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him. They have not the burden of the work. The solemn truths they profess to believe are not a reality to them....I was amazed as I beheld the terrible darkness of many of the members of our churches. The lack of true godliness was such that they were bodies of darkness and death, instead of being the light of the world. Many professed to love God, but in works denied him....Their own vileness will terrify them in that day which is soon to come upon us..."
Truly the leadership and watchmen of the SDA church have fallen asleep and they did allow Satan to come within the church. Satan has masterfully planted his hellish banner and sown his wicked tares among the wheat, and now the precious and the vile are mixed up together within the church.
Now what is a tare? Literally a tare is a bitter seed which causes nausea and vomiting. It is also a strong soporific poison which causes sleep and if enough is contracted, it brings death. So in other words it causes the sleep of death. What condition have I just described? The Laodicean condition, a sleepy Laodicean condition, and if remained in long enough it will cause the sleep of death. Now do lukewarm Laodiceans really represent tares?
Upward Look, p 35: "We have abundant evidence that tares grow with the wheat in the church of God. There are sincere Christians in the church and there are also lukewarm Christians."
To whom do these lukewarm Laodicean Adventists cause nausea and vomiting? To Christ!
Revelation 3:16: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold not hot, I (Christ) will spue (vomit) thee out of my mouth."
So these Laodicean SDA's cause Christ to spue or vomit them out because of their deplorable and utter wretchedness, yet they believe they are serving Christ and will be saved.
Now what does it mean for Christ to spue them out of His mouth?
6T 408: "The figure of spewing out of His mouth means that He cannot offer up your prayers or your expressions of love to God. He cannot endorse your teaching of His word or your spiritual work in any wise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you."
When does Christ vomit or spue the Laodicean symbolically out of His mouth? Is it as soon as they fall completely into this condition? Or is it sometime later, maybe at the close of their probation?
SDA Bible Commentary, vol 7 (7BC), p 963, col 2: "To those who do not practice it, the Word of God is a dead letter. Christ says of such, 'I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.' He cannot present their case to the Father. If they realized that they were sinners, He could plead in their behalf, and the Lord would arouse them by His Holy Spirit. But they are worse than dead in trespasses and sins. They hear the Word, but make no application of it to themselves; instead they apply the Word spoken to their neighbors." (see also 7BC 964, col 1).
Selected Messages, book 1 (1SM), p 357-58: "The true witness says of a cold, lifeless, Christless church, 'I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot:...So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth' (Rev. 3:15-16). Mark the following words: 'Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing...Christ cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self-sufficiency. He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of His help, who claim to know and possess everything."
What does "importune" mean? It means to answer requests or demands. So as soon as a person or church falls completely into the lukewarm, self-satisfied, Laodicean condition, Christ cannot answer their prayers or requests for blessings, He cannot present their case to the Father, which means that they have already been spewed out of His mouth! Before they can have any chance of being saved, they must repent and get out of this condition. Sister White said that the SDA church was in this wretched condition!
But did God leave the church in this spewed out condition to be lost? No! God sent testing messages of truth which would arouse His people and church, causing them to manifest the true spirit in their heart, or in other words to produce and bear fruit. These testing truths would show who was a wheat or who was a tare by either accepting and acting upon these truths or by refusing to accept and reject these truths or rising up against them.
Can you tell me what these straight and testing truths are upon which the destiny of God's people and church hang in the balance? It is the Laodicean message or the testing truths of stern rebuke. Sister White writes in Early Writings (EW), p 270, that indeed "the destiny of the church hangs" upon the straight testimony of the true witness (Christ) to the Laodiceans.
EW 270: "This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth....This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified....some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people."
So those who accept and obey this straight and testing truth will bear fruit or show themselves to be open wheat, and those who reject it and rise up against it will bear fruit or show themselves to be open tares.
Now when did this straight testimony to the Laodicean church and its members begin?
3T 260: "The people of God must see their wrongs, and arouse to zealous repentance, and a putting away of those sins which have brought them into such a deplorable condition of poverty, blindness, wretchedness, and fearful deception. I was shown that the pointed testimony must live in the church. This alone will answer to the message to the Laodiceans. Wrongs must be reproved, sin must be called sin, and iniquity must be met promptly and decidedly, and put away from us as a people.
"Those who have spirit of opposition to the work that for twenty-six years we (her and her husband) have been pressed by the Spirit of God to do, and who would break down our testimony, I saw are not fighting against us, but against God..."
So for 26 years her and James had been bearing the straight testimony of stern rebuke to the church and its members. Now when was this testimony written? 1873! So 1873 minus 26 years would make it about 1846-47 that the message of truth to the Laodiceans began to be preached to this people. Truly the watchmen of the church fell asleep fast, allowing Satan's tares to come in, all this occurred only 2 years after 1844!
Now when did the shaking begin?
EW 50: "The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth, and to sacrifice for God and His cause."
When was this written? Jan. 26, 1850. So the shaking had already started before 1850 and this shaking was being caused by the straight testimony of testing truth being poured forth upon God's people by His messengers. So the people were already showing themselves to be open wheat or tares by 1850, by either accepting the stern rebuke, purifying themselves and pouring forth the same message or by rejecting the truth and rising up against it and those who preached it.
Now it is important to realize that Christ began His remnant church in purity, but since the leadership allowed the tares to enter within the church body and organization, and they bear fruits of wickedness, the church body and organization as a whole, ceases to be classified as the "remnant church" because of the tares in it. But the people who continue to produce fruits of righteousness and fulfill the description and conditions of Revelation 12:17 are still considered to be the remnant people. It is just that the term, "the remnant church," cannot be used to describe the whole church body and organization, as it once was in the beginning, because the leadership fell asleep and allowed Satan's agents to enter the church.
That is why in Matthew 13:26-28, Christ's faithful servants are so eager to try and rid their church of these tares, or agents and children of the devil, so that they can bring their church and its organization back to its original purity.
But Christ says in vs. 29-30 that they are not to do this, they are not to separate the tares from the wheat, because He has a more perfect way: "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
In Matthew 3:12 it adds a little more and says: "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
We have a few more symbols which we need to define and we will begin with the harvest. I believe this is one of the most misinterpreted symbols in this whole parable, and those who thus misinterpret it will not be able to see and discern just what the Lord wants them to do. First of all lets go through the complete harvest process and all the different steps involved, and then we will look at when the period of the harvest is to take place.
As soon as fruit is produced the harvest can begin, and there are two major divisions to the harvest.
The first part of the harvest involves these processes:
- Reapers are hired to harvest or to cut down the stalks of wheat or the stalks of tares which have produced fruit.
- Reapers begin to separate the stalks of wheat from the stalks of tares.
- The stalks of wheat are gathered into sheaves or bundles and are bound together with a cord.
- The same is done to the stalks of tares.
Now as soon as a portion of the wheat is bound together into a sheaf, the second part of the harvest can begin.
The second part of the harvest involves these processes:
- Reapers harvesting the field or gathering up the sheaves or bundles of bound wheat and taking these out of the field to the threshing floor, which was usually above the field.
- The bundles of bound tares are gathered into one big pile to burn.
- The threshing of the wheat gathered out of the field takes place to loosen the external hull or chaff from the kernels of wheat inside.
- Sifting or winnowing takes place where the chaff is separated far away from the kernels of wheat.
- Precious kernels of wheat are gathered out of the threshing floor and put into the barn or garner where it is protected from storm or tempest.
So we find that the two divisions of the harvest takes place in two different and distinct areas!
- The first takes place within the field.
- The second takes place outside of the field.
We also found out that the beginning of each of these two divisions is referred to as "the harvest." The beginning of the first, or the cutting down of the grain which bears fruit, is called "the harvest." The beginning of the second, or the gathering up of the bound wheat, taking these out of the field is also called "the harvest." Look in your dictionary if you don't believe it. Websters' lists the harvest as meaning two separate events:
1. To reap or cut down grain.
2. To gather the crop from the field.
Both of these separate events are each called the harvest and both harvests must be done in order for the owner to obtain the precious kernels of wheat and save them in his barn.
Now what if only the first harvest and its processes were to be done, and the bundled wheat was not harvested out of the field; would there be any chance of these bundles of wheat being saved in the field? No!
They would be lost because they would just sit and remain in the field, and the time of the harvest would pass by and end. Then the storm and tempest would come suddenly upon them and thus they would become rotten and spoiled by the violent rains. Or they would be destroyed by the same fire which burns up the tares. Either way those bundles of wheat would be lost because they remained in the field too long and were not harvested out.
This second harvest, of the bundles of wheat out of the field, is extremely necessary so that the threshing and sifting processes can begin to separate away the chaff from the kernels of wheat. At this stage all the wheat are surrounded with an outer covering or hull called chaff, and are referred to as buds of wheat.
Now just to look at these buds, each has the potential of having a precious kernel of wheat inside. But you could not tell if they all had wheat inside, or if some were just professing to but didn't, because they all look the same on the outside. A bug or worm might have entered into some of them and destroyed the kernel, or perhaps the kernel just did not form at all. So these would just be chaff which the owner of the field has no use for at all.
All the buds of wheat which come to the threshing floor have the potential of having a precious kernel of wheat inside and being saved. But it will not be known just how much yield there was until all the external and worthless chaff is separated far away from being associated with the wheat and then the wheat is taken out of the threshing floor and into the barn where it is protected from the storm and tempest soon to come. But unless the bundled wheat is separated out of the field, the wheat have no chance of being saved in the owner's barn!
We have just looked at the harvest process. Both in and out of the field, and now we will look at the time of the harvest. When does the harvest occur and the wheat is separated from the tares?
The great majority of people today believe and have been taught that the harvest only takes place at the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, and only at this time the separation of the wheat from the tares will occur. So they reason that no one is to separate themselves until Christ comes! Is this true? No! Lets look at what Christ says about the time of the harvest to see if we can clear up some of the confusion.
Christ says in Matthew 13:39 that "the harvest is the end of the world." The Greek word for "world" used here is "Aion" which means "an age". But specifically it means a "messianic period whether present or future."
So we see that the end of the world means two things.
- In the present tense it means the ending or closing of a period of time involving the Messiah.
- In the future tense it means the complete end of the period of time involving the Messiah.
The word "Messiah" means a saviour or deliverer and liberator of His people from their bondage and captivity. Who is the real Messiah and Saviour? Christ Jesus.
So putting all these meanings together we find that a complete harvest takes place in the ending or closing of a period of time in which Christ is ministering for His people. Also we find that a complete harvest takes place after the final end of the period of time in which Christ has completely finished ministering for His people forever. The harvest in both periods involves Christ delivering and liberating His people from their bondage and captivity.
In what period of time are we living right now? We are living in the antitypical day of atonement. In the sanctuary service, the day of atonement was the very last ministration performed by the high priest for his people. So today we are living in the ending or closing period of Christ's ministration for His people or the time of the harvest!
Now when did this period start? 1844. So ever since 1844 we have been in the time and process of the harvest. The first part of the harvest process is the cutting down or harvest of the grain bearing fruit, the separating of the wheat from the tares, and the gathering of these into bundles and binding them with a cord. Does Sister White back this up? Yes!
EW 118: "I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, 'Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.'"
When did the third angel begin to do this work by presenting his messages of testing truths? 1844. So ever since 1844 we have been in the time and process of the harvest. From Oct. 22, 1844 to about 1846-47 these testing truths were given to our people.
In Counsels to Writers and Editors, p 30-31 she lists these precious messages, and among them was the sanctuary doctrine closely tied in and united with the first, second, and third angel's messages. Sister White says about these messages:
EW 258-59: "I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps,--the first, second, and third angel's messages....God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform."
EW 256: "These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan."
So the three angels message's are the firm platform of eternal truth upon which God's true remnant church is built. These messages are the established faith of the body of Christ. If we break away from this anchor, stepping off of the firm platform of truth, becoming independent from the established faith of the body of Christ, by beginning to give up these messages, then we are lost out at sea along with all those who follow us.
Now, how long did it take for all these testing truths to be given to our people? She says in 1SM 206-07: "...two or three years..." So all these truths were given by the years 1846-47 and we found that the church fell asleep around 1846-47! So when it came time to give these truths to the world and finish the work, the church had lost their zeal and its leaders and watchmen had fallen asleep, allowing Satan's true agents to come in and hinder the advancement of the work.
That is why God sent the testing truths of the Laodicean message to arouse the church and its members causing them to come to a decision either for or against these truths.
We ourselves individually show whether we are a wheat or a tare by either accepting and acting upon or rejecting and acting against these testing truths of God.
That is why the destiny of the SDA church hangs in the balance on the Laodicean message and repentance. Because if the leaders of the church reject these testing truths, they show themselves to be tares and they would begin to reject the other truths of God, breaking away from the anchor and setting out to sea on their own, independent of the established faith of the body of Christ or the true remnant church, and all would be lost who remained on their ship.
Now, how soon after fruit is produced does the harvest take place?
Mark 4:29: "But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."
So as soon as fruit is produced the harvest takes place, and then the separating of the wheat from the tares into different groups can occur, and the binding up of each can take place. Remember all this process occurs within the field or church, and it is the job of the third angel to do this.
All these processes are done by our reaction to the present testing truths of the third angel's message. So each one of us is actually deciding for ourselves which group we will be separating into, either to be with the precious wheat by accepting and repenting and willingly obeying and following God and these pure truths, or to be with the vile and corrupt tares by refusing to decide or by rejecting God and these pure truths and rising up against them.
But we ourselves choose who to be with and this is exactly how God has arranged it to be.
Letter 2, 1851: "I saw that God would separate the precious from the vile. There would be truth, or something from God, to call for a decision, and the corrupt have no disposition to receive that call for a decision, but are separated from the precious by the precious receiving this truth...God will work in mysterious ways to save the true, honest ones."
Now, what does it mean to be bound up in bundles with either wheat or tares?
EW 88-89: "A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board; that there could not be one left. Said the angel, 'They are binding in bundles ready to burn:' Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed and asked my attending angel who it was. He said, 'It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusion, to believe a lie, that they may be damned. This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and other of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them,' (So basically what we see here being described is a chain of dependence or a hierarchal structure) 'and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition.' I asked the angel if there were none left. He bade me look in an opposite direction, and I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united, bound together by the truth, in bundles, or companies. Said the angel, 'The third angel is binding or sealing, them in bundles for the heavenly garners.'"
So by accepting and practicing the truth of the third angel, we will be led away from those who reject these truths, to unite with those who have also accepted them and a company or bundle will be formed.
What represents the cord which binds and unites the wheat together into companies? Remember, she wrote "all seemed to be firmly united, bound together by the truth in bundles, or companies." It is the truth of the third angel which binds up the company of wheat into a bundle!
So the opposite is also true, it is by rejecting the testing truths of the third angel, that we will be led to unite with others who have also rejected it and a company, or bundle of tares, will be formed.
What would represent the cord which would bind the tares together into bundles? Falsehoods and errors. They would be given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie, that they might be damned. Why? 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 says, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Which particular testing truth of the third angel would cause these tares to be bound up in bundles if they rejected it?
2SM 53: "Men are binding up in bundles, ready to be consumed by the fires of the last days. Those who discard Christ, and His righteousness will accept the sophistry that is flooding the world."
So by the rejection of Christ and His righteousness, which is the third angel's message in verity, we will be bound up in bundles with tares to be consumed. Now the opposite of this is also true. If we accept and act upon this precious message of the righteousness of Christ, then we will be bound up together into bundles, or companies, with other wheat to be taken to the garner.
The binding up of the different bundles, or companies, of either wheat or tares could not take place until the testing truths of the righteousness of Christ was presented by the third angel. The harvest began shortly after 1844, but the binding of the bundles into companies could not take place until the righteousness of Christ was presented.
When did this precious message begin to be preached? A few years before 1888. So shortly before 1888, we should be able to see both the wheat and the tares beginning to be bundled. This is exactly what was occurring. Sister White writes in 1885.
1RH 501, col 3 (1-27-1885): "Men may reject the truth, but it is truth still. To us is committed the most solemn warning ever given to man; for us who are now upon the stage of action are reserved the most important scenes in this world's history. Many who gave the first and second messages greatly desired to see this day which we see, and saw it not. And not all who now believe will remain to the coming of the Lord; some will sleep for a moment. The master is binding the precious grain in bundles for the heavenly garner, while the wicked are gathering together as fagots for the fires of the last days."
The message of the righteousness of Christ was beginning to become known and God was uniting and binding those who had accepted it into companies so that the work could advance and be finished. But Satan was also permitted to unite and bind his forces together to oppose and hinder the advancement of God's work. She states also in 1885.
5T 384: "Can we not discern the signs of the times? Can we not see how earnestly Satan is at work binding the tares in bundles, uniting the elements of his kingdom, that he may gain control of the world? This work of binding up the tares is going forward far more rapidly than we imagine. Satan is opposing every obstacle to the advancement of the truth....Then let earnest and determined effort be made to beat back the terrible foe. We want on the whole armor of righteousness. Time is passing, and we are fast approaching the close of our probation. Will our names stand registered in the Lamb's book of life, or shall we be found with the unfaithful?"
Satan was uniting and binding together his tares to prevent the third angel's message from spreading abroad, and God was uniting and binding together His wheat so they could spread the truth abroad and finish the work.
In this tremendous time, what was the position of the SDA leadership and in which direction were they heading the church? Was it towards Christ and His truth or was it away from Christ and His truth?
2RH 231, col 1 (7-24-1888): "The solemn question should come home to every member of our churches, how are we standing before God, as the professed followers of Jesus Christ?...Spiritual death has come upon the people that should be manifesting life and zeal, purity and consecration, by the most earnest devotion to the cause of truth. The facts concerning the real condition of the professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass."
To get the complete picture of the seriousness of what has happened here, lets define some of the symbols she uses.
- Who represent the Eternal Rock? Christ Jesus.
- What represents the Anchor holding them to Christ? We found out earlier that the anchor represents the 3 angel's messages closely united with the sanctuary doctrine.
EW 256-57: "These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan....for he knew that those who broke loose from the anchor he could affect by different errors and drive about with divers winds of doctrine."
So they would be swept away to sea and be driven about by falsehoods and erroneous doctrines.
- What represents the cable or line connecting them to the anchor and to Christ?
1SM 206-07: "Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid....a line of truth extending from that time (1844) to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me."
So the cable represents the line of truth, the foundation of the faith of the remnant church and people, and if you leave this then you are no longer the remnant, but have become an "offshoot"!
- Who represents the power which cut the cable? Satan's power. Who does Satan work through? His agents. Who are his agents in the church? Tares. So it is the tares who cut the cable. And where would these tares have to be located, in order to cut the cable and lead the entire SDA church and organizational ship out to sea? These tares would have to be located in the highest leadership positions in the church.
- What represents the chart? She writes in 1RH 245, col 1, that the Bible is our chart!
- As the chart is the Bible then what would represent the compass? The Spirit of Prophecy! The chart shows the destination and where all the coral reefs, hidden rocks, and dangerous snares are hidden which would destroy the ship, and the compass shows the direction of where to steer the ship so it can safely reach its destination. Both are vitally necessary to guide the ship safely into harbor.
So putting these meanings all together we see the complete and overall picture of what condition the SDA church was in during this time. We find that Satan's tares or agents were in the highest leadership positions in the SDA church and had cut the line connecting the entire church to their anchor and to Christ. These tares were leading the church body and organization away from their original foundation of truth, away from the 3 angel's messages or the established faith of the remnant church, and were fast becoming independent of these truths or an "offshoot." They were also leading the church away from Christ so that the members would have to look to man, and to trust in man, and expect help from man instead of looking to Jesus for all these things.
They had taken the control of the church away from Christ, into their own finite hands, and were drifting it out to sea refusing to take the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy with which to steer and guide the church past all the coral reefs and hidden snares which would smash the structure and destroy the ship. What would happen to all those who stayed and remained with this Adventist ship? They would go right down with it and loose their lives.
But Satan's plan, through his tares and agents in control of the church, was even more devilish than we see here because she says:
Testimonies to Ministers (TM), p 412: "Many who now claim to believe the truth, but have no anchor, will be bound up with Satan's party."
Satan was seeking to have the entire SDA church and its membership bound up as tares in his bundles, and then to lead them to unite with his other satanic forces in the world. But did the Lord leave the church to continue to drift away from their anchor and from Christ to be bound up as tares and be destroyed? No!
TM 91-93: "The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety (Christ); it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family...
"This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure....The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear distinct lines,...For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines."
Was this the only message of the third angel that God desired our church and people to accept and give to the world? No!
2RH 266-67: "The peculiar work of the third angel has not been seen in its importance....the third angel's message comprehends more than many suppose. What interpretation do they give to the passage which says an angel descended from Heaven, and the earth was lightened with his glory?"
Where is this passage found in the Bible? Rev 18. This message is part of the third angel's message. It is this message, proclaiming the fall of Babylon the great and calling all of God's people to come out from everything that has become corrupt and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. It is this message that God wanted our people to accept and give to the world, and it is this message which is represented by the loud cry of the third angel!
8T 118: "As foretold in the eighteenth of Revelation, the third angel's message is to be proclaimed with great power...This is the message given by God to be sounded forth in the loud cry of the third angel."
God in mercy sent the righteousness of Christ of the third angel to bring the Adventist ship, with all its sleeping members back to their connection with Christ and their anchor on the truth. If this message would be accepted and acted upon, it would bind them into bundles or companies of wheat to advance and finish the work of God. But if refused and rejected by them, it would bind them into bundles or companies of tares and to unite with Satan's corrupting forces in the world, and they would become a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, and hence would hinder the advancement and finishing of God's work.
This message of the third angel was causing, not only the church, but the other fields in the world as well, to become bound up as either wheat or tares by their decision for or against it.
Why was the Revelation 18 message to be given to the world at this time? It was the testing truth necessary to gather up the bundled wheat from the world and harvest them out of their fields.
Letter 86, June 18, 1900 (MR #746): "The message of the angel following the third...is to be the harvest message, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of God."
This harvest message was to separate the bundles of wheat away from everything that was in connection with and corrupted by the world, from everything that was in apostasy from God's truth, and away from everything which had become a cage of every unclean and hateful bird; bringing them solely and completely to Jesus.
In view of all this, what position did the leadership of the church take regarding these messages presented to them at the General Conference session held at Minneapolis in 1888? Did they repent from leading the church away to sea, away from Christ, to come back into being connected with their anchor and their eternal rock? Or did they reject these precious messages, showing themselves to be the tares and agents of the devil in control of the church, and leading them closer and closer to uniting with the world and to strike the rocks before they reach the harbor? Which course did the leadership pursue?
Manuscript 13, 1889 (MR #574, p 15-16): "The men in responsible positions have disappointed Jesus. They have refused precious blessings, and refused to be channels of light, as He wanted them to be. The knowledge they should receive of God...they refuse to accept, and thus became channels of darkness. The Spirit of God is grieved."
TM 468: "The true religion, the only religion of the Bible, that teaches forgiveness only through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, that advocates righteousness by faith of the Son of God, has been slighted, spoken against, ridiculed, and rejected."
As they rejected the righteousness of Christ, refusing to believe that God's people could overcome all sin in this lifetime before Christ comes (see Acts of Apostles (AA), p 531), what did they do with the Revelation 18 message or the loud cry of the third angel?
"Taking up a Reproach" (published in the Brisbin Book p 10-11 and in "Some History, Some Experience and Some Facts" p 1, by A.T. Jones--NOTE: some reprints of this book do not include this): "In 1888 in the General Conference held at Minneapolis, Minn., the angel of Rev 18 came down to do his work, and was ridiculed, criticized and rejected."
But they did not only reject these 2 messages in 1888, they also rejected someone else?
MR #574, p 11: "Their (SDA church leadership) base passions were stirred and it was a precious opportunity to them to show the mob spirit...thus it was in the betrayal, trial and crucifixion of Jesus."
Now would they have really crucified Christ if He had been before them in person?
Series A#6, p 20: "Had Christ been before them, they would have treated him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ."
Which was? They crucified Him! So the SDA leadership refused to return the Adventist ship along with all its members back to its connection with their line, their anchor, and to Christ. These tares continued to drift the church with all of its sleepy members on board out to sea, farther and farther away from Christ and the platform of truth. To be blown around by the winds of false doctrine and error, and to sooner or later have its structure destroyed by striking the hidden rocks and snares which they did not see or know about because they refused to take along the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to guide them. The entire ship with all the members on board would go down into the black depths.
If this course were to continue on, the SDA ship would drift farther and farther away to sea, and away from Christ and salvation. If you were one of the members on board who had just awakened to the startling situation, what would be the only chance that you would have to save your life and maybe the lives of the other members? You would have to leave the doomed ship as quickly as you could, trying to warn as many of the members as you were doing so. Your only safety would be to fix your eyes upon the Eternal Rock and not rest until your feet were planted safely upon its firm foundation.
In other words, if the leaders of the SDA church would continue to manifest the same evil spirit that they did at Minneapolis; if they would continue to reject the third angel's message, then they would be bound up with Satan's tares and led to unite with them in the world, and the doom of the denomination is certain. Then, the only way to save your life would be to completely separate yourself from the church.
Did they continue to manifest the same evil spirit? Yes! She writes in 1890:
TM 467-470: "The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis are not dead by any means; the seeds sown there in some hearts are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest. The tops have been cut down, but the roots have never been eradicated, and they still bear their unholy fruit to poison the judgment, pervert the perceptions, and blind the understanding of those with whom you connect...There has been a departure from God among us, and the zealous work of repentance and return to our first love essential to restoration to God and regeneration of heart has not yet been done....With many the cry of the heart has been, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' Baal, Baal, is the choice. The religion of many among us will be the religion of apostate Israel, because they love their own way, and forsake the way of the Lord....The steps now being taken by the few cannot be followed by the remnant people of God. Your course cannot be sustained by the Lord."
What would happen if the remnant people or wheat would choose to follow the suggestions and plans of these tares who where controlling the church? Sister White writes exactly what would happen, after she describes the men who have rejected Christ's grace and righteousness and who would crucify Him again--which is exactly what the leadership of the SDA church did.
2SM 130: "...we cannot trust to their guidance and maintain our loyalty to Christ."
Did the leadership continue on in the same course? She says in 1895:
TM 89-97: "I inquire of those in responsible positions in Battle Creek (G.C. headquarters), What are you doing? You have turned your back, and not your face, to the Lord....What is the message to be given at this time?--It is the third angel's message. But that light which is to fill the whole earth with its glory, has been despised...I know not but some have even now gone too far to return and to repent....The Spirit of God is departing from among His people. Many have entered into dark, secret paths, and some will never return. They will continue to stumble to their ruin. They have tempted God, they have rejected light. All the evidence that will ever be given them they have received, and have not heeded. They have chosen darkness rather than light, and have defiled their souls....They have interposed themselves between the heaven-sent light and the people. They have trampled upon the word of God, and are doing despite to His Holy Spirit.
"I call upon God's people to open their eyes. When you sanction or carry out the decisions of men who. as you know, are not in harmony with truth and righteousness, you weaken your own faith, and lose your relish for communion with God....
"I would speak in warning to those who have stood for years resisting light and cherishing the spirit of opposition. How long will you hate and despise the messengers of God's righteousness?...Let me prophesy unto you: Unless you speedily humble your hearts before God, and confess your sins, which are many, you will, when it is too late, see that you have been fighting against God....no longer unto reformation and pardon...
"Your turning things upside down is known of the Lord. Go on a little longer as you have gone, in rejection of the light from heaven, and you are lost....I have no smooth message to bear to those who have been so long as false guideposts, pointing the wrong way."
Did the leadership in the General Conference heed the counsel given, or did they continue on? She states 1 year later in 1896.
TM 76-77: "That men should keep alive the spirit which ran riot at Minneapolis, is an offense to God....A voice has been heard pointing out the errors, and in the name of the Lord, pleading for a decided change. But who have followed the instructions given?"
Letter 81, May 31, 1896 (Spalding and Magan Collection, p 35): "The same work that has been done in the past will be carried forward under the guise of the General Conference Association....if the people in our churches understood the management of the men who walk in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, would they respect their decisions? I answer no, not for a moment. I have been shown that the people at large do not know that the heart of the work is being diseased and corrupted..."
So the same rejection of Christ and the third angel's message, and the same evil spirit that was manifested in the past at Minneapolis, will continue to occur through the entire General Conference Association to the end of time! The leadership of the church will continue to lead the entire church and organizational ship farther and farther away from their anchor and Christ, and the entire church membership will be in danger of being bound up in bundles with tares and loosing their eternal lives!
As this was the case, she writes and warns our people.
TM 409-15: "Unsanctified ministers are arraying themselves against God. They are praising Christ and the god of this world in the same breath....Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan....O, why will men be hindrances, when they might be helps? Why will they block the wheels, when they might push with marked success? Why will they rob their own souls of good, and deprive others of blessings that might come through them? These rejecters of light will remain barren deserts, where no refreshing, healing waters flow, and their ministration as barren of moisture as were the hills of Gilboa, where there was neither dew nor rain. They are not clothed with divine unction, and convey no blessings to others...
"I address the people of God who to-day are holding fast their confidence, who will not depart from the faith once delivered unto the saints, who stand amid the moral darkness of these days of corruption. The word of the Lord to you is: 'I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.' Can we not here see the paternal love of God expressed to those who hold fast to the faith in righteousness? The closest relationship exists between God and His people....The Lord rejoices over His people. He delights in them. He is their surety. He will beautify all who are serving Him with a whole heart, with the spirit of holiness. He clothes them with righteousness. He loves those who do His will, who express His image. All who are true and faithful are conformed to the image of His son."
So the leadership of the SDA church have proven themselves to be tares and were being bound up in Satan's bundles. She had tried to awaken our sleepy people to the fact that the tares, or the agents of the devil, would be their very own Adventist ministers, standing in their very own Adventist pulpits, preaching errors and falsehood to their very own Adventist people. Satan was trying to keep the majority of the church to continue on sleeping, while those who were awake he was trying to get to reject the third angel's message.
She also said that out of the entire church of SDA's, God only considers those who hold fast their confidence in His established truths firm to the end, and who do not give up their faith in the 3 angel's messages, to be His people, His true Jerusalem and that He would only clothe these with His righteousness. So the rest of the church, who do not fit this description would be tares and were not considered to be God's people, but were just a deceptive counterfeit of the remnant church.
So we can clearly see two distinct parties of Adventists, who were once united together, were being formed within the church.
5RH 341, col 2: "Here are plainly represented two distinct parties, formed from a company that was once united. The members of one of these parties are in resistance to the will of God. They have taken themselves from the side of the loyal and true, and are now resisting the warnings of the Spirit of God."
Since Satan was binding and uniting his tares and forces together in the world, making them corrupt and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, and the leadership of the SDA church has proven themselves to be tares, did Satan succeed in getting the SDA church to also unite with the world, making them corrupt and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird? She warns the leaders:
TM 265-77: "The world must not be introduced into the church, and married to the church, forming a bond of unity. Through this means the church will become indeed corrupt, and as stated in Revelation, 'a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.'...The world is the chief enemy of religion. The satanic forces are constantly at work through the world...Be afraid of uniting or binding up in bundles with them...Let us not form unholy bonds of union with the friends of the world; for God has pronounced His curse upon all such unions. Let the people of God take their stand firmly for truth and for righteousness."
So if the church united with the world, they would become corrupt and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Where is this found in the Revelations? Chapter 18, and we found out that Revelation 18 is the harvest message which harvests or separates the bundled wheat out of the field. Who did we find represents the field? The church!
So if the SDA church unites with the world, becoming corrupt and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, then the harvest message of Revelation 18 would go to the SDA church along with the rest of the churches or the other fields. Since this realization was so extremely important for the leaders and people to understand, she again repeats her testimony a few years later.
3RH 233, col 2: "The world must not be introduced into the church and married to the church. Through union with the world the church will become corrupt, 'a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.'"
Did the leadership unite the entire SDA church with the world? Yes!
8T 118-19: "The line of demarcation between worldings and many professed Christians is almost indistinguishable. Many who once were earnest Adventists are conforming to the world--to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God's law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is being converted to the world." (see also COL 315-16).
TDWG 28: "The central power of the earth is a demon. His throne is in the midst of the world, where should have been seen the throne of God. He has been patronized by the church, for the church has been conformed to the world, and is living in transgression of the Holy Law of God."
Manuscript 44, 1900, p 19: "The church has taken the world into her fellowship, and has given her affections to the enemies of holiness....The church prefers to assimilate to the world..."
So the leaders chose to unite the church with the world to more effectively oppose the work of God and to try to keep others from accepting the righteousness of Christ's truth and hence to reflect Christ's image perfectly in them.
6T 242: "They have united to destroy God's image in man, to counterwork the gospel by perverting its principles. They are represented in God's word as being bound in bundles to be burned. Satan is uniting his forces for perdition. The unity of God's people has been terribly shaken."
As the SDA church have united with the world, they have become corrupt and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, just like the rest of the world. As the Revelation 18 message is to be given to the world to harvest God's wheat out of the churches, so the Rev 18 message is to be given to the SDA church to harvest God's true wheat out also. Does Sister White agree with this, that the Rev 18 message is to be given to the church? Yes!
4RH 109, col 3: "The first, second, and third angel's messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church: '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....come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.'"
As this is true, it means the necessity of a coming out and a complete separation of all of God's true and honest people from the SDA church!
Is this true? Because I can just hear the majority of the church and almost all of the self-supporting institutions and people saying today, over and over again, "No way! Why Sister White never in her entire life, nor in any of her writings, ever foresaw the necessity of the coming out of God's people from the SDA church, no matter how corrupted and apostate the church would become."
I can also hear the White Estates quoting this statement from Willie White over and over again stating: "I told (Miss Lida Scott) how mother regarded the experience of the remnant church, and of her positive teaching that God would not permit this denomination to so fully apostatize that there would be the coming out of another church" May 23, 1915, White Estate, W.C. White correspondence file.
First of all lets deal with this statement that God would in essence preserve the purity of the SDA denomination and not allow it to fully apostatize. Is this true? No!
4T 165: "In these days he (God) has instituted no new plan to preserve the purity of his people."
So is it true what the White Estates, the church, and the majority of the self-supporting institutions are saying that Sister White never foresaw that there would come a time when there would be the necessity of another coming out of God's true people? Because if she did make such a statement, and it is in her writings, then it would prove the White Estates and the leadership of the church to be liars and deceivers and tares of the devil. It would also prove the majority of the self-supporting institutions and ministries to be either terribly mistaken, or also liars and deceivers or tares of the devil, and if they were honestly mistaken then they would need to publically apologize to all the people for misleading them, and then begin to strongly advocate separation from the church.
Did Sister White foresee the necessity of another coming out of God's people from the church?
Manuscript 30, June, 1889 (MR #895, p 2-5): "The Lord was working (at Minneapolis) and I must be faithful to speak the word given me of God, although I was passing through the most grievous trial of my life, for, from this hour, that confidence which I had hitherto had that God was leading and controlling the minds and hearts of my brethren was not as here to fore....from this time I must look alone to God, for I dare not rely upon the wisdom of my brethren. I see they do not always take God for their counselor, but look in a larger degree to the men that have set before them in the place of God...
"I then felt my spirit stirred within me, and I bore a very plain testimony to these brethren. I told them a little of how matters had been carried at Minneapolis...and the Seventh-day Adventist churches were affected...
"I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out....
"Those who went all through that meeting and left with the same spirit...were carrying on the same line of work they did at the meeting, and...would, unless they were changed in spirit and confessed their mistakes, go into greater deceptions. They would stumble and know not at what they were stumbling. I begged them to stop just were they were.
"Many are ignorant of the deception which palms off falsehood for truth....we will not keep silent. The church must be roused. We will secure halls in the cities and put out handbills and the people shall be enlightened....and yet men in responsible positions will in their blindness keep the key of knowledge, refusing to enter themselves and hindering those who would enter....and Satan is doing his utmost...that those who have accepted unpopular truth, who have had great light and great privileges, shall have the spirit that will pervade the world." (Need copies please write to P.O. Box 328, Rogue River, OR 97537).
So Sister White did foresee the necessity for another coming out of God's people from the church, if the leadership continue on to manifest the same evil spirit as they did at Minneapolis. We found that the leadership did indeed continue on and will continue to do so until the end of time. So if we can see them manifesting the same spirit today, following in the tradition and same rejection of truth that they did in 1888, then there is no question but that separation is a necessity. Are they following today in the same tradition of 1888?
In the SDA ministry magazine an advertisement appeared regarding the pre-session to the 54th General Conference Session which took place at the superdome in New Orleans. It says:
"In 1888 the direction of the Adventist church took an upward turn at the Minneapolis ministerial pre-session....and the church has not been the same since....the 1985 World Ministers Council follows in the tradition of 1888" Ministry Magazine, Nov. 1984 p 22.
As there is the necessity for all God's true wheat to separate themselves from their field, or church, in obedience to the third angel's message, we now come to the point of defining who are the ones who do this work of separation?
The majority of the church along with most all of the self-supporting (or I should say church supporting) institutions and ministries repeat over and over again, "That it is the angels who are the only ones who do the work of separation, so do not let any person try to do the work of separation today." Is this true?
Christ says in Matthew 13:39 that "the reapers are the angels." But which angel in particular is the one who is in charge of separating the wheat from the tares? The third angel! But who represents this third angel?
1T 77: "I was shown that the third angel, proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, represents the people who receive this message and raise the voice of warning..."
In fact in 7BC 978-79 God states that all 3 angels represent faithful people accepting these messages and raising their voices in warning! (see also 4SOP 199-200).
Oh, dear brothers and sisters, in this period of time today, it is not literal angels who do the work of separating the wheat out of all the corrupt churches who have become a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, including the SDA church, but it is people who do this work of separation by accepting the message and raising their voices, proclaiming all the plain, straight present truths. We have been deceived into believing that we had to stay and remain in the midst of all the apostasy and corruption within the church, and wait for the angels to pick us up and carry us out, when all we had to do was to willingly accept and obey the truth and willingly walk out of the church and unite our voices to call other precious wheat out also.
So in this period of time today, God's people are the harvesters! She says just that in 4RH 165, col 1. In fact, every part of the harvest process for this time is performed by people who speak the pure truths of God.
--God's people are the reapers or the ones who harvest or cut down the field! 3RH 327, col 3, John 4:38, Evangelism (Ev) 443.
--God's people separate the wheat from the tares! Ev 443.
--God's people bind the wheat in bundles! 3RH 327, col 3, Ev 443.
--God's people harvest or gather the bound wheat or sheaves out of the field or church! 3RH 197, col 3, 4RH 165, col 2.
--God's people are the threshing instruments! Jeremiah 51:20.
--God's people are the winnowers or sifters! 4RH 165, col 2.
--God's people are, in the hand of Christ, the sharp sickle to harvest.
4RH 20, col 1: "With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit's power we could, become living channels of light. We could then approach the mercy-seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward. We would take it by force, as did Jacob. Then our message would be the power of God unto salvation. Our supplications would be full of earnestness, full of a sense of our great need; and we would not be denied. The truth would be expressed by life and character, and by lips touched with the living coal from off God's alter. When this experience is ours, we shall be lifted out of our poor, cheap selves, that we have cherished so tenderly. We shall empty our hearts of the corroding power of selfishness, and shall be filled with praise and gratitude to God. We shall magnify the Lord; the God of all grace, who has magnified Christ. And he will reveal his power through us, making us as sharp sickles in the harvest-field."
God's people today are the ones who do the work of separating the wheat from the tares by conforming their lives to Christ and His truths and by raising their warning voices and proclaiming the testing truth.
God's people are the ones who separate and call out the wheat from the tares which is in perfect and complete harmony with Christ's explicit command to not separate the tares from the wheat, unless open sinning occurs! God's people, by exposing all the corruption and calling for separation, are not separating the tares from the wheat, but are calling out and separating the wheat from all the corrupt and apostate tares!
Now what about the lie that Jesus never separated himself from His church? Did He separate from the church? Yes!
2RH 48, col 2: "Christ was a protestant. He protested against the formal worship of the Jewish nation, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves. He told them that they taught for doctrines the commandments of men, and that they were pretenders and hypocrites. Like whited sepulchers they were beautiful without, but within were full of impurity and corruption. The reformers date back to Christ and the apostles. They came out and separated themselves from a religion of forms and ceremonies. Luther and his followers did not invent the reformed religion. They simply accepted it as presented by Christ and the apostles."
In DA 232 she states that "Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message." She even continues to say that Jesus gathered out as many as He could, so they could learn His truths and then carry them to others. (If you want other testimonies where she says Christ separated from His church read AA 16, TM 35, DA 626, 3SOP 81, 3RH 631, col 1).
Now what about the question of where do you go if you separate from the SDA church?
-- Why you would leave the arms and grasp of the devil, to go right into waiting arms of Jesus!
-- You would go from placing all your dependence upon man, to placing all your dependence upon Jesus!
-- You would go from following a "thus saith the church and man" to a "thus saith the Lord" or an "it is written!"
-- You would leave all the darkness and error, and come into the light and truth.
Isaiah 28:9: "Whom shall he (God) teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk (or those who go away from obtaining all their substance of knowledge from another human and are able to learn it from God alone--see Hebrews 5:13) and drawn from the breasts" (or those who are separated away from the mother church).
So only those who follow these 2 conditions, by studying for themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and who separate themselves from the church, will God be able to teach His knowledge and doctrine too!
Reform the church in your own home as she tells us in 4RH 440, col 1, and as the Israelites had to do anciently.
Signs of the Times, vol 1, p 264, col 3 (2BC 1010, col 2): "As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the sanctuary."
How do we today sanction abominations or sins?
DA 152: "...by our words or our deeds, our silence, or our presence."
Now what about the lie that you cannot willingly separate from the corrupt and apostate SDA church, who is teaching error and falsehoods from the hellish torch of Satan, because you need to stay in there and warn the people in person? Is this true? No!
4RH 42, col 1: "Even though you may not feel able to speak a word to those who are working on wrong principles, leave them. Your withdrawal and silence may do more than words. Nehemiah refused to associate with those who were untrue to principle, and he would not permit his workmen to associate with them."
God even tells us in EW 124, that it is a "necessity" to be physically separate from those who are advocating errors and "that neither young nor old should attend their meetings."
Did Sister White really tell our people to keep their young people away from their own SDA churches so that they would not become contaminated by the influence?
Letter 16F, May 9, 1892 (MR #995, p 5): "There is a little hope in one direction, take the young men and women and place them where they will come as little as possible in contact with our churches, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideal of what it means to be a Christian."
Does God council us as to when we can go among the error and corruption pervading all the churches, to warn the people and still be protected from its deadly influence? Yes!
EW 125: "God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness."
God tells us that the only time that we are protected from error and corruption in the church is if He leads us into it to warn the people in person. But when God does not lead us to warn the people in person, then other methods are to be used to warn and awaken them, such as tapes, letters, papers, books, phone calls, etc.
Series B#7, p 3: "The commission given me is, 'Meet it, not always by being present in person, but with the written message."
Manuscript #106, Nov. 20, 1905 (MR #454, p 23): "I am instructed to say that we must do all we possibly can for these deceived ones. Their minds must be freed from the delusions of the enemy, and if we fail in our efforts to save these erring ones, we must 'come out from among them' and be separate."
Now, some reason away these plain statements and decide to remain, saying that they will not become corrupted no matter how many tares are allowed into the church. Is this true? No!
8T 326: "Even the tares have a lesson to teach. They are of Satan's sowing, and if left unchecked, will spoil the wheat by their rank growth."
Now what about the lie that Sister White never foresaw that God's faithful people would give the call to the SDA church for all the true and honest wheat to come out and separate from the midst of her? Did she foresee this? Yes!
5T 83: "We cannot be half the Lord's and half the world's. We are not God's people unless we are such entirely. Every weight, every besetting sin, must be laid aside. Gods's watchmen will not cry, 'Peace, peace,' when God has not spoken peace. The voice of the faithful watchmen will be heard: 'Go ye out from hence, touch not the unclean. Go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.'"
Who is the her? The next two words say "the church."
So in this ending and closing period of Christ's ministration for us, His people are the ones who do the work of the harvest processes by raising their voices and pouring forth the clear, pure, straight, and testing truths.
When will this period of Christ's last ministration end? At the close of the world's probation. After that time the last great final harvest and gathering in of the precious wheat from all the tares in the world will be accomplished by the literal angels of God. Christ will then come to gather His people home.
At that time the wheat will be made up of who?
--The living saints, the 144,000 in literal number (see Rev 7:4, EW 15).
--The special resurrected saints who have died in the faith since 1844, who are along with, but not apart of, the 144,000 (see EW 285).
--And the great multitude of the resurrected dead or the righteous of all the ages (see DA 834, 623, 3SOP 253).
These 144,000, as Rev 14:4 says are not defiled with women, or churches, so they are not members of any earthly and corrupt church or organization, but they are only connected to and members of the Jerusalem above, or the Heavenly Jerusalem which is the mother of us all (see Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22-23, Psalms 137:6, Isaiah 33:20-22). If we are not connected to and members of this pure church above, with Christ as our only pastor, then we are lost!
The tares at that time will be made up of who? The whole rest of the wicked world who are still alive, especially the synagogue of Satan which are the greatest tares and agents of the devil, because they say they are Jews, or they say that they are the true remnant of God, but they do lie. They are not the remnant church or people at all, but are a deceptive counterfeit.
She writes in EW 124 and 282, about the leaders of this synagogue of Satan, that these false shepherds will not be tormented with just one or two of the 7 last plagues, but they will feel them all, and their suffering through these plagues will be 10 times more severe than that of their doomed people. These vilest of tares will be led to worship at the feet of the saints and will be the last ones of the wicked to die. You see, the greater your profession, the greater your punishment if unfaithful.
Who is this group which makes up the synagogue of Satan? She says in Word To The Little Flock, p 12, that this group is made up of "professed Adventists who have fallen away" and had given up God's truth and chosen darkness instead!
Oh, if there is still time left, I beg of the ministers in the church and self-supporting institutions and ministries, to awake, stand up for God and His total truth, and harvest yourself out of the doomed church. Time is almost over.
Now some will still refuse to accept that the harvest processes, the separation of the wheat from the tares etc. has already begun, and is going on right now, and will continue until probation closes. These will continue to believe and teach the great lie of futurism putting off the harvest and the separation of the wheat from the tares only into the future, and honest souls will continue to be deluded. It is to such as these that I quote this testimony written almost 100 years ago.
Letter 12, Aug. 22, 1892, p 3 (Last Day Events, p 90): "As character develops, men and women will take their positions; for varied circumstances brought to bear upon them will cause them to reveal the spirit which prompts them to action. Everyone will reveal the character of the bundle with which he is binding himself. The wheat is being bound up for the heavenly garner....the true people of God are now pulling apart, and the tares are being bound in bundles to burn, decided positions will be taken."
Please do not believe this great lie of futurism which puts off the harvest and the separation of the wheat from the tares only into the future, because the harvest and the separation of the wheat, or the precious jewels of God, from the midst of the Adventist church is going on right now. We decide ourselves into which bundle we will be binding ourselves; either wheat or tares. She had a vision of this exact time in which we are now living, and writes:
EW 69: "...the Lord showed me that a great work must be done for His people before they could stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. I was pointed to those who claim to be Adventists, but who reject the present truth, and saw that they were crumbling, and that the hand of the Lord was in their midst to divide and scatter them now in the gathering time, so that the precious jewels among them, who have formerly been deceived, may have their eyes opened to see their true state. And now when the truth is presented to them by the Lord's messengers, they are prepared to listen, and see its beauty and harmony, and to leave their former associates and errors, embrace the precious truth, and stand where they can define their position." (see also EW 261 and 3RH 169, col 2).
This is exactly what we are seeing right now. The message of the 3rd angel and the harvest message of Revelation 18 is now being given to the SDA church to ripen the field, separate the tares and the wheat into two groups within the church, and to harvest the bundled wheat or companies of God's people out from their connection to their field or church, so that they have a chance to be saved in the garner of God.
What is going to be your decision? If you choose to remain within the church or within the field, you have sealed your own destiny, to be bound up as tares and to be destroyed. Because it is only the wheat, who are harvested and separated out of their field, who have a chance to be saved.
It is only the wheat who left their field and who made it through the threshing and sifting process, proving themselves to really be true kernels of wheat, that will be saved at last in their master's barn.
This threshing and sifting process will not be easy but it is absolutely necessary to salvation, because all the chaff, all the rubbish and worthless material that surrounds the true kernel of wheat, must be separated and broken away.
3T 115: "The trials to which Christians are subjected in sorrow, adversity, and reproach are the means appointed of God to separate the chaff from the wheat. Our pride, selfishness, evil passions, and love of worldly pleasure, must all be overcome; therefore God sends us afflictions to test and prove us, and show us that these evils exist in our characters. We must overcome through his strength and grace, that we may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 'For our light affliction,' says Paul, 'which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.' Afflictions, crosses, temptations, adversity, and our varied trials, are God's workmen to refine us, sanctify us, and fit us for the heavenly garner."
So after you leave the field, Satan will do anything and everything to overthrow you and your faith, to try and keep you from being saved within the barn. While the wheat were in the field, things went pretty smoothly, but as soon as they were separated out, things got rough and many buds of wheat showed themselves to be but empty and worthless chaff, they left the refining process and blew away from the company of wheat. But Sister White admonishes us and says.
Letter 16F, May 9, 1892 (MR #995, p 8-9): "Satan has placed his active agents along the passage to dispute the way of every soul. Christ has encouraged his followers not to be intimidated, press on; urge your way through. 'Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.' Darling, cherished idols will have to be given up, and the sins that have been indulged, even if it comes as close as the plucking out of the eye or cutting off the right arm. Agonize! Force your way through the very armies of hell that oppose your passage....every energy of the soul must be aroused to force their passage, and seize the kingdom by force....
"Jesus has provided for every emergency. He, with His experience will create an atmosphere for the soul. He closes the door and brings the soul into seclusion with God, and the needy soul is to forget everyone and everything, but God. Satan will talk with him, but speak aloud to God and He will drive back the hellish shadow of Satan. With humble, subdued, thankful hearts they will come forth saying, 'thy gentleness hath made me great.' The sincere seeker comes forth from the alliance with God, rich in assurance of His love, to go forth to distill a heavenly prayer wherever he goes. He can talk of the righteousness of Christ; he can talk of the love of God with sincerity. He has trusted and he knows the Lord is good."
What has happened to this wheat, or person, being described here? He has been refined and has been secured into the shelter of the barn.
Now, who represents this barn, or garner, where all the kernels of wheat are to find their shelter within its open doors and to be protected from the storm and tempest?
3RH 197, col 3: "Souls are to be gathered as sheaves to Jesus Christ..."
Jesus, our merciful and blessed King and Saviour with His open and outstretched arms, waiting to shelter and protect the precious kernels of wheat, represents the barn.
Oh, brothers and sisters, that is why being harvested out of the church is so important. Because it is only those wheat who leave the field, who have a chance to be saved and secured in the barn. The same for us today!
Who will come out, fixing their eyes and hopes upon Christ, His righteousness, and eternal life with Him, and pass through the refining process triumphantly, proving to the whole universe that Christ did not die in vain for you?
What will your decision be? Your eternal life and eternal destiny hangs on your decision. Time, along with the harvest period, is almost over.
Please do not let these words apply to your case because you didn't decide quickly enough, but remained within the church without being harvested out and saved.
Jeremiah 8:20: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved."