Friday, January 02, 2009

“Heaven’s Means of Communication”

There are now fifteen million Seventh-day Adventists around the world who this new quarter are giving special study to the Gift of Prophecy, as it has been manifested to us as a people in our history.

We are all descendants of our fallen father, Adam, so that we already have his nature; “our beloved brother Paul” (as Peter speaks of him, 2 Peter 3:15) says that our carnal mind is “enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). That doesn’t sound like good news, does it?

Much as we wish it were otherwise, that “carnal mind” has demonstrated itself in our history as a people; now we are on the stage: what we are and what we say today will have a profound effect on the church in the time the Lord allows us to have as our future between now and His second coming.

But it is good news for us to recognize and confess the truth!

The Spirit of Prophecy is also described in Scripture as “the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17); if He were physically present with us today, His message to us would be what we have in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. If we had the news that Jesus personally was speaking in our church this coming Sabbath for the worship hour, we would all flock to hear Him; but He is already speaking to us in the writings which we know as “the Spirit of Prophecy.”

Since Paul is correct when he says that “the carnal mind is enmity against God,” and we all have it, we must recognize that our natural mind is “enmity” against the Spirit of Prophecy. Therefore, David’s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51 is an appropriate prayer for us to offer when we begin to read the writings of the Lord’s servant, Ellen G. White: “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. ... Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee” (vss. 11-13).

Let us remember, that it is only with a broken, melted heart, that we can teach or preach or talk in such a way that “sinners are converted.” Your Sabbath School class will know what are your personal qualifications for teaching a lesson: do you glorify self, or the Lord Jesus?

Ellen White demonstrated the prophetic gift in her life and in her writing of her 25 million words; if you are a Sabbath School teacher, take courage, because the Lord who inspired her hears your fervent, melted heart’s prayer for a portion of His “much more abounding grace” to teach the Lessons for this new Quarter. That “grace” is given freely to everyone who appreciates it.

Come “boldly” unto the throne of grace and ask for it (Heb. 4:16). It takes humility for sinners like me to come!

Robert J. Wieland