The First Angel

31 Dec

December 30, 2014

Revelation Chapter 3

13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These
things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of
the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou
wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I
will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and
have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest
be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the
shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and
repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and
he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his
throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches.

Well i was thinking about the so-called “Christians” who are luke warm, or half hearted Christians. I thought about the ones who profess to love Jesus, but they insist on practicing pagan religious practices. Such as putting up Babylonian images in their houses. Such as christmas trees, and santas and all that. I finally figured out why some people still do these pagan things. Why? Because they are pagans! They don’t know any better. They don’t listen, they don’t learn, they just do things without even thinking. That’s why they practice pagan practices. They might say, Oh, we love Jesus, but we like to have Christmas trees in our house. Well a Christmas tree is an idol, a pagan image of a Babylonian god. So if you are going to have other gods and images of other gods before you, well, you’re not going to find Jesus there, mixed in among the pagan gods. Nope. The first commandment is very clear not to have graven images of other gods or idols and not to bow down before them. But many “christians” do. Why? Because they are “luke warm”. They don’t put all their heart into loving Jesus. They do it half-heartedly. They want to have Jesus and still have Christmas presents from santa under their Babylonian tree.

I thought about these so-called Christians and what would happen if Jesus just happened to show up on Earth on Christmas day? What would happen to all these so-called Christians who were on their knees before the image of their Babylonian god, searching underneath the tree to see if they had any more presents from Santa? What would happen to them if Jesus just showed up right then?

Matthew Chapter 25

THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins,
which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom
cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our
lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for
us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that
were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to
us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

I think the virgins with the Babylonian trees would be the foolish virgins. By the time they realized Jesus was already here, the door would already be shut. And then they would be calling Jesus – Let us in! But Jesus tells them He doesn’t know them. Why? Because they were too busy worshiping their Babylonian gods and images and bowing down before them. They did not love Jesus 100%. They still loved their pagan gods and images and practices. Jesus told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. And by the same token, Jesus also told us if we do not love Him, do not keep His commandments. And so if we do not love Jesus, neither will we keep His commandments.

Now i don’t know why, when it comes to being able to go to Heaven why people aren’t trying 110%? Because you can’t get into Heaven if you are not trying your hardest. If people want to go to Heaven, they should take it very seriously and try very, very hard. Scripture tells us that “few will find the way”. Not all. Not even many. Few will find the way to Heaven. And people should take this very seriously and do the very best they can. Because going to Heaven is not something that we should take lightly, or that we should be careless about. It’s a very serious matter and our eternal lives depend on what we do. So people should take it very seriously and do everything they possibly can to ensure that they can make it into Heaven. Why? Because if the don’t try very hard, they just might not try hard enough to make it. Then they will find themselves outside the city! Because they didn’t try hard enough. They didn’t get rid of their idols and images. They were messing around with Christmas trees and fake santas when Jesus showed up and now they missed out on Heaven.

Matthew Chapter 7

13 ¶ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is
the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth
unto life, and few there be that find it.

Why are there so few that will find the way unto Life? Because verse 15 tells us:

15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

False teachings and careless beliefs and being lukewarm and only loving God half heartedly will keep many people out of Heaven. If you want Jesus to know you love Him, you need to keep His commandments. If you do not keep God’s commandments, you are telling God that you don’t love Him. And then you won’t be going to Heaven if you tell God you don’t love Him.

Now i was reading more of Ellen White’s writings and i find it extremely fascinating. The things she wrote about, not even in 1944, but 1844, one hundred years before that, even. And she was very wise and had clear and concise teachings. One of the things i begin to realize about Ellen is that she is not perfect. She is extremely gifted and talented writer with extreme insights to the teachings of God. She is divinely inspired and guided i believe. But she is still not perfect. I thought about how she lost a lot of her credibility by putting forth a certain “date” that fell through. Now how could she fall for this, when Scripture clearly tells us that NO ONE knows the time when Jesus will return, ONLY the Father. She seems so extremely wise and insightful i just can’t comprehend how she could have missed so widely on this mark of setting a certain date for Jesus’ return. Also, i wonder curiously why Ellen is so focused on the Sabbath. Why is it so important to her? Why does she focus primarily on the Sabbath, the fourth commandment?

I realize this has a lot to do with her being in the 1800s. This was a hundred years before WW11, and before Viet Nam and all the current history. Back in those days, America wasn’t dumping out thousands of aborted babies every day, like they do today. There weren’t constant wars for hundreds of years in Ellens time. People weren’t going around the world killing people indiscriminately like they have been for the past 100 years or so. No, back then the big complaint Ellen had was the fourth commandment. People were not keeping the Sabbath holy, because the Catholic church had changed the Sabbath day.

So now i think if Ellen were here today, she would say something like “Oh my!” Because people aren’t keeping the fourth commandment. They aren’t keeping the first commandment, nor the second, not the third, nor the fourth, nor hardly ANY of the commandments! What would Ellen say if she were here today? I can only just imagine. I believe that her predisposition with the fourth commandment is indicative of the times in which she lived. I believe that the fourth commandment was merely the first domino in the commandments to fall over. And then after that, they all went down, one by one. Until today when it seems that many people don’t follow ANY of the commandments, and those who preach that we should follow and keep Gods commandments are persecuted and harassed and threatened. Because in this day and age it seems that no one wants to keep God’s commandments and people who do are treated like they are criminally insane or something.

Now one of the good things i find fascinating in Ellen’s writings are her prophecies for America in the end days. She talks about the different angels in Revelation and talks about the events that take place in the last days, just before Jesus returns to Earth. She talks about this in her book The Great Controversy pages 433-436. Here she talks about the first angel, and one of the first things that takes place at the beginning of the end days:

” Those who had accepted the light concerning the mediation of Christ and the perpetuity of the law of God found that these were the truths presented in Revelation 14. The messages of this chapter constitute a threefold warning which is to prepare the inhabitants of the earth for the Lord’s second coming. The announcement, “The hour of His judgment is come” (see Revelation 14:7), points to the closing work of Christ’s ministration for the salvation of men. It heralds a truth which must be proclaimed until the Saviour’s intercession shall cease and He shall return to the earth to take His people to Himself. The work of judgment which began in 1844 must continue until the cases of all are decided, both of the living and the dead; hence it will extend to the close of human probation. That men may be prepared to stand in the judgment, the message commands them to “fear God and give glory to Him,” “and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” Revelation 14:7. The result of an acceptance of these messages is given in the word: “Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. In order to be prepared for the judgment, it is necessary that men should keep the law of God. That law will be the standard of character in the judgment. The apostle Paul declares: “As many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law . . . in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” And he says that “the doers of the law will be justified.” Romans 2:12-16. Faith is essential in order to the keeping of the law of God; for “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” And “whatever is not from faith is sin.” Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:23.

By the first angel, men are called upon to “fear God, and give glory to Him” and to worship Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey His law. Says the wise man: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, KJV. Without obedience to His commandments no worship can be pleasing to God. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” 1 John 5:3. “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9. ”

Here Ellen is confirming what i had previously reported, that we need to fear God and give God glory and love Him. And, we need to follow His commandments! These things Ellen confirms what i had previously reported. And so hopefully this will be a reminder to all those who are still practicing pagan religious practices that practicing pagan religion is NOT keeping the commandments of God.

“That men may be prepared to stand in the judgment, the message commands them to “fear God and give glory to Him,” “and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” Revelation 14:7. The result of an acceptance of these messages is given in the word: “Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. In order to be prepared for the judgment, it is necessary that men should keep the law of God.”

Here Ellen says that the first angel says to love God and fear Him, and then Ellen says that some people do in Revelation 14:12. Ellen doesn’t go into great detail about what it exactly means to keep the law of God, but i think it is self-explanatory, keeping God commandments. So while it may appear that many people do not keep Gods commandments, this is reassuring to me that at least some of the people do. AT least some of the people feel that getting into Heaven and earning eternal life is not something to take lightly or carelessly and that loving God is not something we do ‘half heartedly’.

One thing i realized some time back is that i am not the only one who has a cross to bear. Certainly many others have their own crosses to bear. While many Christians may be poised, ready for “active duty” and waiting and willing to carry out God’s will, they may not even be asked to do anything. Such was the case for me, for many years, until one day i was asked to help out. And so it is with many Christians who are awaiting orders from God. That’s good. Whether you are on active duty or active reserve. It’s good to be ready, because you may never know just when you are called into action.

Now Jesus told us that we need to carry our cross. We need to bear our burden.

Matthew Chapter 10

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not
worthy of me.

I was thinking about this, and i thought about people who are struggling under their cross. The burden may be extremely heavy. It may seem like too much. So what do we do? Should we pray to God and say God, my burden is too heavy, take it off me, please! ? NO! Of course not! Because he who does not take his cross and follow Jesus is not worthy of Jesus! Do we ask God to make our cross lighter? NO! Again, we have to take our cross. And so what do we ask for when our burden is too heavy? We pray and ask for Strength, because we need increased strength to carry our cross. We don’t want our cross taken away or made lighter, we just need increased strength to carry it.

We pray to God for strength, and guidance, and understanding and peace of mind, and all the fruits of the Spirit. Because we KNOW that the few difficulties that we have in life here are NOTHING compared to Eternity in Heaven. We know that when this life and this EArth is done, then we will have Eternal life in Heaven. So we must ask ourselves, just how much is Eternal life in Heaven worth? How important is it, and how much effort are we willing to put into achieving life in Heaven?

http://www.ellenwhite.info/us-in-prophecy-05.htm

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