Adventists are recognized
as a people who are very knowledgeable regarding prophecy. I
visited a lady just the other day who told me "'you Adventists are
very good in explaining prophecy." And so we should. After all,
prophecy is very important.
Peter 1:19 says, "We have also a more sure word of
prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star
arise in your hearts.”
A more sure word of
prophecy! If there is anything that builds up confidence in the
Bible and in the Word of God it is prophecy. The Church that does
not have the gift of Prophecy is a sightless Church, for this gift
provides eyes for the Church.
I never cease to wonder
how our Church has been so wonderfully blessed in having the Gift
of prophecy. For this precious gift has opened up tomorrow to
those who wish to peer into the future.
Time Travel in Visions
Here is a statement from
Spiritual Gifts, Vol.2. page 292. "A times I am carried far ahead
future and shown what is to take place. Then
again I am shown things as they have occurred in the past."
In vision Allen White was
shown in detail how the great controversy between Christ and Satan
would come to its climax. How Satan, knowing he has a short time,
would do everything in his power to bring ruin to the world and to
deceive and mislead God's people.
We have passed the time of
sham battles. The pressure is really on. Everyone is thankful that
Vietnam is no longer the big trouble spot of this world where for
so long innocent blood was spilt for what apparently was a rather
But Bible prophecy tells
us that we are moving into a conflict that will engulf the whole
world. Satan is mustering all his forces to prepare for the last
desperate struggle where he will try to wrench the world and its
inhabitants from Christ and to plunge it to destruction.
Breakdown in Standards Today
A grim picture, yes it is!
Let us face it, it is happening before our very eyes. Thinking
people are very disturbed about the general trend in the world
today. There is no question of what is happening, for the forces
of evil seem to be taking over.
One hardly needs to point
to the great breakdown in moral standards. It is so obvious.
Wherever you look, whether it be to the Social world, Political
world with dangerous inflation, Entertainment world with low moral
standards, Academic world with its evolutionary teachings, it does
not matter where. There is a very rapid decline in standards.
GOD knew that this would
be the case so He gave this warning found in
1 Timothy 4:1. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that
in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed
to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
The Book of Revelation
brings further warnings that are designed to put us on our guard.
The 'Spirit of prophecy'
or the writings of Mrs. E.G. White amplify those prophecies and
clarify some of the things that were a little obscure.
I think that it should be
made very clear right from the outset of this study, that the
writings we speak of as the 'Spirit of Prophecy' are not to be
used in place of the Bible or as a Bible, but rather they are a
grand commentary on the Bible.
I know how much my
ministry has been enriched by having this wonderful material at my
disposal, and countless others can testify of this too. The wise
counsel that has been given to the Church as a whole has been
responsible for establishing this church on very sound and
Examples of Prophetic Insight
One does not need to look
beyond Australia to see this. Take a look at Avondale, training
ground of countless workers in God's cause. It was a matter of
more than human foresight which was responsible for selecting this
wonderful site for a training institution. One never stops
marveling over this wise selection, and the remarkable development
that has gone on there.
The Sydney Adventist
Hospital, so wonderfully situated in one of the best suburbs in
Sydney. Today that land is worth almost a fortune and yet in the
early days it was considered too far from Sydney proper. There was
much criticism of the selection. Once again prophetic vision was
able to peer into the future and to see that this was to be the
I could go on reciting the
many instances where we as a people have been blessed because we
had that Prophetic eyesight.
Prophetic Writings for the Future
But today I wish to
present rather, the things that are written to help us in
understanding the future, for everyone is interested in the
future. We are all naturally curious of what will happen. And
people are conscious that something great and decisive is about to
take place. The hearts of men and women today are troubled because
they cannot understand nor explain what is happening with this
world of ours.
GOD gave Ellen G. White
messages that were designed to guide us, to give us courage and to
prepare us for the days that lie ahead, as well as to prepare us
for eternal life.
on the Verge of Catastrophe
Listen to this, an extract
from ‘Prophets and Kings’. "The world is on the verge of a
stupendous crisis..." page 537. Now, does that statement picture
things as they are today?
Listen to this! "The whole
world appears to be in the march to death." ‘Evangelism’ page 26.
A grim statement but it is true enough; the rising road toll,
death by disaster, death by violence, death by war. You could go
on in a long recital but I want to link this with another
statement, "The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the
world that that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being
withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in
quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes, and
tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood with great loss of
life and property."
One of our ministers in
the USA scanned the front pages of the Chicago Tribune for a three
week period and he found that 1796 persons had lost their lives in
disasters and destruction by aeroplane crashes, landslides, mine
explosions, fires and flood.
In 'Prophets and Kings'
page 278 we read this statement, "We are standing on the threshold
of the crises of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of
God will follow one another; fire, and flood, and earthquake, with
war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by
events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot
remain much longer to shelter the impenitent."
Not only is Satan causing
thousands to go to untimely graves by land, air and sea; but far
greater numbers are being caught up in great deceptive net. The
charismatic movement is a phenomenon that is sweeping the world
In the ‘Great Controversy'
page 593 we read, "so closely will the counterfeit resemble the
true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except
by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and
every miracle must be tested."
For a long time we have
not really understood in what way this counterfeit revival would
come, but now as we see the way the Charismatic movement is
sweeping over the world and into even the most conservative
churches. It is becoming apparent that this could be the way in
which the great counterfeit revival will come.
Not so long ago a copy of
the ‘Review and Herald’ came in and there was a special promotion
of the Youth magazine Insight, The great Counterfeit Revival, has
it already begun? It goes on to say that four issues of Insight
were specially dealing with the Tongues Movement. Catch statements
were: already the tongues movement has penetrated more than 40
denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church. Is it possible
that the great counterfeit revival has already begun?
"Today the 'gift of
tongues' is gathering people of all religions and beliefs:
Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Spiritualists, cultists, all under
one mighty umbrella with a rapidity that is nothing short of
amazing. All you have to do to belong is, to be able to speak in
tongues. It is an ecumenical movement the like of which has never
been seen before.
In the early New Testament
Church Christ gave special gifts that were designed to build up
the church and to bring about unity. One of those gifts was the
Gift of Tongues.
In the book of Mark Jesus
made a statement regarding this gift.
16:17 says, “And these signs shall follow them that
believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak
with new tongues; Verse 18 They shall take up serpents; and if
they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall
lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
"They shall speak with new
tongues." Keeping this statement within the context it is clear
that the new tongues were to be given for the purpose of winning
new converts. The disciples performed their miracles not only to
help some unfortunate individuals but also to demonstrate that
they were true followers of the Master, for Jesus had done these
things before them.
The Gift of Tongues is
mentioned three times in the Book of Acts.
says, "And they... began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit
gave them utterance."
10:45.46 says, "...on the Gentiles also was poured out the
gift of the Holy Ghost, For they heard them speak with tongues..."
19:6 says, "...the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake
Definitely it was a gift
and without this gift, the Gospel, could not have been proclaimed
in such a remarkable manner as it was, for the people of various
nations who were gathered in Jerusalem at that time would not been
able to hear the message.
Paul makes it clear that
not everyone is to have this gift, but like all the other gifts it
would be given with discrimination.
to Speak in Foreign Languages
There were two different
manifestations of the gift of tongues given in the Apostolic
The first one was given at
Pentecost where the disciples were given the ability to speak one
or more foreign languages without having studied them previously.
The reason for this is obvious. Jews from the four corners of the
earth were assembled in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. For
their special benefit the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to
proclaim the gospel fluently in their own national language.
This miraculous ability to
speak in other languages gave the strongest possible proof that
their commission was carried out under the authority of God
The second manifestation
of the gift of tongues was manifested in the church in Corinth and
was certainly different from the one at Pentecost.
Let us consider what Paul
has to say in
1 Corinthians 14:2-4, "For he that speaketh in an
unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God…
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and
exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he
that prophesieth edifieth the church.”
You will notice that this
gift was primarily designed for private, personal edification and
was not recommended by Paul for public assemblies. This gift as
manifested at Corinth. It served to edify the speaker but not
others. Also it was only to be used when it could be interpreted.
Paul continues in
1 Corinthians 14:27, 28,33. "If any man speak in an
unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and
that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the
33 For God is not the author of confusion…”
Notice that when they were
speaking in tongues they were to take turns, "and that by course"
as Paul puts it, and not all at once.
verse 2 Paul says, "For he that speaketh in an unknown
tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man
understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
The one who spoke in
tongues addressed God not men. He was in a state of ecstasy with
his conscious mind dormant.
Warnings of the Abuse of Tongues
1 Corinthians 14:39,40. "… forbid not to speak with
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.”
There is no doubt that the
gift of tongues was a genuine gift of the Spirit.
Paul did not condemn, but
he certainly did endeavour to counsel carefully how it should be
used and not used, and to warn very strongly against its abuse.
Obviously there was and has been much abuse of this gift. There
were evidently occasions when many people spoke at the same time,
making for wild and noisy confusion.
Unfortunately it is a
little obscure as to the precise manner in which this second gift
of tongues was manifested, and because of this Satan has not found
it hard to counterfeit.
In voodoo and in pagan
worship incoherent mutterings is common. The witch doctors revel
There are those who claim
they definitely have the gift of tongues. They work themselves
into a state of excitement then they cry out, go into contortions,
followed by ‘holy laughter’ or ‘Spiritual singing.’ There is no
reverence and the house of God is turned into confusion.
There is definitely a true
gift of tongues and there is just as definitely a false gift of
Discern the True Gift of Tongues
The big question is 'how
to distinguish the True from the False’.
First of all we must be clearly aware of the
fact that before probation closing there will be a worldwide
religious movement that will closely counterfeit the mighty
revival that will be experienced by those who "keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”.
One of the surest ways by
which we may know whether a charismatic movement is genuine or
not is to begin with basic Biblical doctrine and not with physical
manifestations that tend to dazzle the mind and move the emotions.
Any last day group that is in disagreement with the biblical
teaching regarding the state of the dead would not be honoured by
God with the gifts of the Sprit.
You see it is impossible
for one to speak under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and
still deny any of Christ’s teachings such as His Divinity, His
resurrection, His second coming, His teaching that death is a
sleep, that the seventh day is the 'Sabbath’ and so on.
Notice some of the counsel
God has given us for these lasts days. ‘Selected Messages’ page 43
Book 2 says, "...the Holy Spirit ...always comes... in a way that
commends itself to the judgment of the people. In our speaking,
our singing, and in all our spiritual exercises, we are to reveal
that calmness and dignity and godly fear that actuates every true
child of God."
Pentecostals Resisting the 10 Commandments
When I was in Esperance
the charismatic movement was sweeping through the district. It did
not become accepted by the local churches but on this occasion it
was promoted by the Pentecostal group. At this time I was studying
with a young couple. The wife came from a very good family. She
had had a rather close contact with the Pentecostal group as some
of them were close relations. She told me that there was one thing
certain, and that was she would never allow her daughter to go to
their meetings, as she said the music they played in the Youth
groups was far too suggestive. This same lady told me that
immorality was rife amongst the movement. She knew of ministers
who had run off with other men's wives. Very recently this same
thing has happened to a Methodist minister who has been speaking
in tongues right here in South Australia.
The Pentecostalists have
always been bitterly opposed to the 10 Commandments, so one could
expect that their standards would not be very high. The fact that
they reject the 10 Commandments indicates very clearly that they
are not blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit but rather that
they are the counterfeit gift. I have noticed over the years that
they have mushroomed and increased almost overnight but have
declined almost as quickly.
I read this excellent
statement. ‘Selected Messages’, page 24. "Let God's people act so
that the world will see that Seventh-day Adventists are an
intelligent thinking people whose faith is based on a surer
foundation than the bedlam of confusion."
Healings Linked to Tongues
Healings are often linked
with tongues. A recent convert to the movement wrote. "When Ken
prayed for me, he prayed in a beautiful language I had never heard
before. You might have intellectual arguments against the baptism
of the Holy Spirit and the speaking in tongues, but when somebody
prays for you in tongues and heals you, what is there left to
argue about? That was the first time I had heard someone
manifesting a new language." Soon after this person was healed, he
began speaking in tongues.
From Gospel Business Men's
Voice, July/ August, 1972, "Some will be tempted to receive these
wonders as from God. The sick will be healed before us. Miracles
will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial
which awaits us when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more
fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? By
departing from the plain precepts and commandments of God, and
giving heed to fables, the minds of many are preparing to receive
these lying wonders. We must all now seek to arm ourselves for the
contest in which we must soon engage. Faith in God’s Word,
prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield
from Satan' s power and will bring us off conquerors through the
blood of Christ."
Another way that Satan is
endeavoring to loosen our hold on Christ is through the medium of
music. Three very evil ways are used by Satan to gain control of
our Youth. There is rock music, drugs and Satan worship.
I read the story of
Calvin, reared in an Adventist home, a fine young man with healthy
ambitions like any youth of his age. He became interested in rock
music, and from rock music to drugs. Then he just slid down that
dangerous path which leads to total oblivion. Realizing that he
was heading straight for hell he awakened his parents one morning
and told them of the L.S.D. trip he had just been through. Through
prayer and studying God's word he found Christ. Now he wants
people to realize that “rock groups turn kids on to drugs, and
under the influence of drugs, rock music leaves an open channel
for the working of Satan on the mind and body."
He went on to say that
eight out of ten records promote in a subtle way some sort of
devil worship. Some songs have language so vulgar that I would not
dare read it in a mixed group, yet idle young people everywhere are
singing these songs and do not know what they are singing. Some songs cannot really
be fully understood until a person in under the influence of
Calvin also went on to
say, "Rock music today is progressing into deep and heavier
records portraying grosser sins with unbelievable rapidity."
Influence in Religious Services
Mrs. White writes of
Satan's influence in religious services just before the close of
‘Selected Messages’, Book 2. page 36 says, “There will he
shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational
beings, will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to
make right decisions...This is an invention of Satan to cover up
his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure sincere,
elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time...The powers
of satanic agencies blend with the din and the noise, to have a
carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working."
It is very noticeable that
Young People today are turning to the oriental religions. And it is the young people
whose minds have been distorted by the use of drugs and through
these drugs have had mystical experiences; who often turn to
Eastern Cults and devil worship.
David Wilkerson who has
done so much for drug addicts in New York wrote these words. "I
have yet to find a Satan worshipper who did not first open his
mind to mystical experiences through drugs. Devil worshippers are
graduates of the school of psychedelia.”
Listen to what Ellen G.
White saw would happen in the end of time. ‘Evangelism’ page 609
says, “With the imagination highly wrought, and voices musically
tuned, they picture the broad road as one of happiness and
glory... Satan... covers his hideous purposes, and succeeds too
well in deluding the unwary who are not firmly anchored upon
Calvin is grateful for
God's forgiving grace and that he has been released from this
world of rock music and drugs. As he has studied the Spirit of
Prophecy he says, "Ellen G. White is so far ahead of her times
that many cannot grasp it. It is about time we were catching up."
Sodom and Gomorrah
Another warning that the
cities would become just like ancient Sodom. In ‘Testimonies’ Vol. 9
page 89 we read, "The cities of today are fast becoming like Sodom
A columnist for Newsweek
wrote recently, "We are living in a Babylonian society more
Babylonian than Babylon itself... all codes have been broken
We have been warned for a
long time now that the cities would become dangerous places to
live in. In many of the large
cities it is not safe for a person to be out at night.
Yet in spite of the gross
wickedness that would prevail in the cities, the Lord's messenger
wrote, "In every city, filled through it may be with violence and
crime, there are many who with proper teaching may learn to become
followers of Jesus. Thousands may thus be reached with the saving
truth and be led to receive Christ as a personal Saviour."
‘Prophets and Kings’ pg. 277.
At the present moment a
large scale effort is to be carried on in New York. Plans are
being laid to carry on a full scale mission effort in that city. Mrs. White long ago spoke
of New York as a fruitful place for evangelistic ventures,
"Millions living in these congested centres are to hear the third
angels message." ‘Review and Herald’ July 5 1906. 'Evangelism'.
And now for a few quick
glimpses into the future. Despite all the efforts of
Satan to stamp out Christianity and to demoralize God' s
people it will conclude in triumph.
The ‘Spirit of Prophecy’
has told us that thousands will go from place to place warning the
people, working miracles, speaking in the true gift of tongues,
and preparing folk for the Lord’s coming.
Also she speaks of when
the big test comes to God' s people, when Sunday laws are
enforced, a great shaking will take place, an experience in which
"the church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall ."
2SM page 380. Then she goes on to say
that the church remains, but “the sinners in Zion will be sifted
out; the chaff separated from the precious wheat."
I would like to close with
this very encouraging message. MS 97 1898. "There are men who will
receive the truth, and will take the places made vacant by those
who become offended and leave the truth...The Lord will work so
that the disaffected ones will be separated from the true and
loyal ones. Those who like Cornelius will fear God and glorify
Him, will take their places. The ranks will not be diminished.
Those who are firm and true will close up the vacancies that are
made by those who become offended and apostatize.
I am glad that we as a
people have this wonderful counsel. I ask you where would we be
without it. Thank God for the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’.