Back up and FOCUS!!

Posted in Bible Topics on November 10th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — 1 Comment so far


How did this “middle age” phenomenon happen to me so soon?  Some of us jokingly say our arms get shorter as we age and we can’t hold our reading materials out far enough.   Actually, for me at least, that part of middle age came at the ripe old age of 19, when I was diagnosed as having hyperopia, or farsightedness, and fitted with reading glasses.  You can imagine my chagrin!  NINETEEN, and needing reading glasses!  I couldn’t see what was right under my nose!  While nineteen has long since passed, the reading glasses are sitting on my face as I write, and they sure make a difference.  These days, I can’t seem to back up far enough to focus anymore, and I have to have my lenses.

As I think about these glasses a real spiritual lesson is beginning to form in my mind.  We are sort of hyperopic in a spiritual sense.  We get so busy with “all things Adventisty”, that I’m afraid we miss the bigger picture of what it really means to be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian—and it’s right under our noses.  What IS a Seventh-day Adventist?  Who are we?  Why are we here?  What makes us different?  Or are we just one among many denominations?

One of the springboards for these thoughts was a question someone asked me about a year ago: “Hasn’t there always been sin in the church?”  I stood for a minute in total dismay as I stared at my questioner.   We had been discussing the topic of overcoming sin and living a life of victory.  (Many mistakenly call the belief in a life of victory “perfectionism”, though the correct descriptive is “perfection of moral character.”  What is the difference?  Perfectionism is a belief that, outside of Christ, one can live a life of purity and no longer sins and therefore no longer needs a Savior.  This is a self-centered and legalistic philosophy not found in the Bible, but rather springs from Greek philosophy.  Perfection of moral character, on the other hand, means that the individual not only surrenders entirely to Jesus, but maintains that surrender.  Therefore Jesus lives in the heart and guides the thoughts, the words, and the actions—choice by choice, moment by moment— victorious over sin.)

Why was I in dismay as I looked at my questioner?  Not only because it was a leader in the Seventh-day Adventist church who was asking, but because at that moment I realized just how dangerous that question really is.  The answer is right under our noses, and THAT is why the Seventh-day Adventist church exists!  WE hold the answer to that question, that problem, of sin in the church!!  I want to back up together for a few minutes, put on the lenses of sacred history and prophecy, and FOCUS.

There are some unique things about us as a people.  We go to church on Saturday, the Sabbath of the Bible (Hebrews 4:4, Eccl 12:13, etc.).  We don’t believe that the soul is immortal.  (Ps 115:17, 146:4; Ecccl. 9:5, Gen. 2:7, etc.).  We believe in healthful living.  (Eccl 10:17, 1 Cor 10:31, etc.).  And while there is more, there are other faiths who believe these things as well.  But what did we bring to the theological table that makes us different?  The Sanctuary Message: Daniel 8:14.  “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”  Most of us can, sketchily at least, rehearse the history of the “Great Disappointment.”  Maybe we are embarrassed by the “cornfield Cleopas” vision of Hiram Edson regarding the true position of Jesus after 1844?  Our brethren were trying to focus too near.  Jesus was moving in heaven, not coming to earth.  They needed to back up and focus!  I believe we do too.

Psalm 77:13 tells us that God’s “…way is in the sanctuary.”  God’s way of dealing with sin, of saving mankind, of maintaining the authority of His law; God’s way is in the sanctuary.  Therefore, we must look up from our “Adventisty” ways, and refocus on what really makes us Seventh-day Adventists.  We need to have our eyes lifted to where Jesus is now; to what Jesus is doing now.  Daniel 8:14 tells us not only WHAT will happen in the sanctuary, but WHEN it will happen.

Consider this: “The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844.  It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great Advent movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of his people.  As the disciples of Jesus, after the terrible night of their anguish and disappointment, were “glad when they saw the Lord,” so did those now rejoice who had looked in faith for his second coming.  They had expected Him to appear in glory to give reward to his servants.  As their hopes were disappointed, they had lost sight of Jesus, and with Mary at the sepulcher they cried, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.”  Now in the holy of holies they again beheld Him, their compassionate high priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer.  Light from the sanctuary illumed the past, the present, and the future.  They knew that God had led them by his unerring providence.” Great Controversy, 1888, page 423.

My purpose here is not to give a thoroughgoing description of all of the prophecies and steps that brought the Seventh-day Adventist church into existence.  Instead, my purpose is to help spur us to back up, look at the big picture of why we exist, and see, as the above passages says, what our “present duty” is in the light of the big picture—in the light of the sanctuary.  What are we supposed to be doing?  Where are we supposed to focus now, today?  The passage above tells us: “in the holy of holies…”  We need to have our eyes fixed there, in the holy of holies, where Jesus is now, for I am afraid in many ways we too have lost sight of Jesus!

In the typical services, when the high priest entered the most holy place on the Day of Atonement, what was the duty of the people?  “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.” Leviticus 16:29-30 (See also Acts 3:19).

Backing up a little further, we will briefly review the steps of the sanctuary: the guilty sinner brought his sacrifice (which represents Jesus) to the outer court, the sin was confessed upon the sacrifice, the victim was slain in place of the guilty.  Next, the priest (also representing Jesus) presented the offering on the altar, ministered the blood in behalf of the guilty, and carried it into the holy place, where the sin was covered, kept until the yearly atonement.  In this process, the sinner was released from his guilt, received a probationary life (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6), and returned to his home.

On the great Day of Atonement, the people were to gather around the sanctuary, fulfilling the passage above from Leviticus.  The confessed and forsaken sin—and do note that the sin was forsaken!—was then blotted out from the Most Holy Place.  It was transferred to the scapegoat, and the camp was clean.  All of this represented in symbol the work of Jesus in reality (Hebrews 8&9).

I do realize that my description above is very brief, and it is that way for a reason.  When you back up and focus you can see the bigger picture.  And that’s exactly what I believe we need to see today.  We need to see the bigger picture of why there is sin in the church, and what a shameful fact it is that there is still sin in the life and thereby in the church.   We need to see the bigger picture of what our responsibility is in the light of this fact.   We need to back up and focus on God’s solution to the problem of sin.

The sanctuary provides a clear picture of the plan of salvation.  Jesus is our High Priest.  We – and I’m speaking “Adventistese” here—are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement.  Jesus is in the Most Holy Place.  The purpose of the work of the high priest in the most holy place is to get sin—our sin—out of the sanctuary.  How can that happen if WE keep sending sin into the sanctuary?  Shameful question!

Backing up even further, it was Satan, while still in heaven, who declared that the law of God could not be kept.  And if this were true, then all the present suffering in the world is God’s fault, and the devil and all of his followers really do need to be allowed into heaven!!  And Jesus has to just keep forgiving and atoning ad infinitum.  With Paul, I say, “GOD FORBID!”

Yes, there has always been sin in the church.  And that is precisely why we exist as a people, and God is also counting on us to say with Paul, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”  Romans 6:2.  We need to back up and focus!  And until we do, the stupendous, time-ending truths with which we have been entrusted will remain blurry right under our noses!  We need to put on our prophetic glasses, back up, and focus.  And when we do, “By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return.”–The Desire of Ages, p. 633

“It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.”–Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 22, 23

When is it time to flee to the mountains?

Posted in Bible Topics, Preparation on October 31st, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — Be the first to comment!

Steve Wohlberg and Nick Meissner discuss when to flee to the mountains!  Vital information!!

Vain Religion?

Posted in Bible Topics on October 24th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — 5 Comments


Have you ever had one of those moments when you just knew that God was speaking to you and that you had better listen? Recently I woke up with a jolt at 3:15 AM, and knew that the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26. “Vain, Lord? Please show me. Lord, please speak to me.”, I responded.

That’s a very dangerous prayer–unless you mean it–, for that is a prayer that God loves and longs to answer, and truth is often painful. God did speak and it was painful as He put His all-knowing finger on my lips! But (and I hope that you can say you have experienced this) when the Lord puts His finger on sin and seeks to take some wicked thing from our hearts, it is because He loves us. He has something far better.

I think before I go any further with my story it behooves us to understand what the Lord means when He speaks of bridling the tongue, and what it is that constitutes having an unbridled or wicked tongue. We need also to look at the consequences of an “unbridled tongue”, as well as the rewards for allowing the Lord to purify our tongues.

Psalm 34:11-13 (which is closely mirrored by 1 Peter 3:10-12) is very full of instruction. I find verse 11 fascinating; “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” That reminds me of the first angel’s message of Revelation 14, where we are told to “Fear God, and give glory to Him…” Here in Psalm 34, the Lord is about to tell us what it means to fear God, and verse 12 follows to ask who it is that desires long life. Verse 13 answers with instruction as to how this is possible, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”

What is guile? What constitutes an evil tongue? Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines guile as “Craft; cunning; artifice; duplicity; deceit; usually in a bad sense.” Evil is defined as “Having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities which tend to injury, or to produce mischief.” According to this, anything that is not clearly straightforward is guile; anything that would produce injury or mischief is evil. Is it coming closer to home?

Zephaniah 3:13 speaks thus of those who will be numbered among the final generation: “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful (tending to mislead) tongue be found in their mouth…” Revelation 14:5 states that “in their mouth was found no guile: FOR they are without fault before the throne of God.” That word FOR is very telling, as we will see later.

It is clear that the Lord places an extremely high value upon having “no guile”, and that He takes quite seriously the misuse of the talent of speech. Jesus stated in Matthew 12:36-37 “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. ” Every word? Give account?? So what does He mean by idle? What does it mean to bridle-or unbridle- the words, as James 3:2, 3 says? “…If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.”

Having grown up breaking and training horses on our family farm, the analogy of bridling is very familiar to me. I’ve had more than a few incidences with an “unbridled” horse, and it isn’t pretty. It is frustrating to have a horse or mule choose to “take the bit”, “harden the mouth”, and refuse to obey. It’s more than frustrating, it’s dangerous, and I know your imagination can fill in the blanks. And we can be just as dangerous to the cause of Christ if we choose to “take the bit” and say whatever comes to mind. One thing I learned though is that, if you can get into the head of a horse and connect with him, obedience can be gained without a bit. And that is just what Jesus came to accomplish in our hearts.

I found some interesting passages in the Spirit of Prophecy that will help to clarify what God means by “guile”, and “corrupt communication”, and “idle words”. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart before you read any further.

“We are counseled to let no corrupt communication proceed out of our mouth; but a corrupt communication is not simply something that is vile and vulgar. It is any communication that will eclipse from the mind the view of Christ, that will blot from the soul true sympathy and love. It is a communication in which the love of Christ is not expressed, but rather sentiments of an un-Christlike character.” Volume 6 Bible Commentary, page 1117

“Not one word is to be spoken unadvisedly. No evil speaking, no frivolous talk, no fretful repining or impure suggestion, will escape the lips of him who is following Christ. The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.” Ephesians 4:29. A corrupt communication does not mean only words that are vile. It means any expression contrary to holy principles and pure and undefiled religion. It includes impure hints and covert insinuations of evil. Unless instantly resisted, these lead to great sin.” Christ’s Object Lessons, page 337

“A man’s character may be quite accurately estimated by the nature of his conversation. . . . Those who jest and joke and indulge in cheap conversation place themselves upon a level where Satan can gain access to them. . . . When you associate together, you may be a help and a blessing one to another if you surround yourselves with an influence that is divine. But there are those who have grave defects, which are gaining a deeper hold upon them and which if not overcome will drive the Spirit of God out of the heart. . . . Jesting and joking may please a class of cheap minds, and yet the influence of this kind of conduct is destructive to spirituality. I speak to you as a class and also as individuals: Guard your words. Let sobriety and sound common sense characterize your conversation. Do not trifle with the purity and nobility of your souls by condescending to indulgence in stale jokes, and in cultivating habits of trifling conversation.” Our High Calling, page 292

“In speaking foolish words, you have dishonored the name of Christ; for you have misrepresented Him in character. No word of guile was found in His lips, no word of prevarication or falsehood.” Our High Calling, page 292.

In Luke 6:45, Jesus said that, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” He also taught that it is what comes out of a man that defiles. Matthew 15:18. It is what the mind dwells on that the mouth expounds upon! “Let this mind be in you which, was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

Back now to our passage in Revelation 14:5, “And in their mouth was found no guile: FOR they are without fault before the throne of God.” FOR they are without fault! In order for our words to be pure, the fountain must be pure. What are we THINKING? Do you struggle with guile, repining, corrupt communications, jesting and joking, or evil speech? Then the thoughts, the heart, have become corrupted. The fountain must be once again purified.

I got up at 3:15 to pray that morning. I prayed for the Lord to cleanse me from what I do and don’t see in my heart. Lately I’ve looked at and talked more of my “unfavorable circumstances” than choosing to dwell upon the goodness of God and His blessings to me. Yeah, pray for me! But does this sound familiar? My speech is not always that which will point others to the lovely Jesus. Does THIS sound familiar? We need to pray. Join me on your knees. I want to be one of whom Jesus can truly say, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” As I learned to “get in the heads” of my horses in order to gain cooperation, only on a much higher plain, Jesus wants to “get in our heads” by dwelling in our hearts. Then we will no longer misrepresent Him, our Example; then there will be…no more guile!

Ty Bollinger tells the TRUTH…

Posted in Bible Topics, Health and Healing, Preparation on October 21st, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — Be the first to comment!

In this presentation Ty shares the dangers of “Big Pharma”.  As an RN and more currently a Gospel Medical Missionary, it was fascinating to me to view this presentation.  The reason I say that might surprise some.  It is not so much the physical, but rather the spiritual implications of this presentation that impacted me the most.  In this presentation I see such a similarity to “Big Religion”, where the consciences of men, women and even little children are being miseducated, misled and shaped to believe a lie.  Indeed, Brother Ty, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

Prophecy, Science & NWO #10–A. Branner

Posted in Bible Topics on September 29th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — Be the first to comment!

Prophecy, Science & NWO, part 9–Adam Patel

Posted in Bible Topics on September 25th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — 2 Comments

Is Jesus Coming Soon? DeLane Meier

Posted in Bible Topics on September 13th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — Be the first to comment!

IN honor of our dear friend and brother, DeLane Meier, we are reposting this video.

The Allegiance of Love

Posted in Bible Topics on August 20th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — 5 Comments


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

This phrase should be quite familiar to every American! We know it as the first amendment. Freedom was so precious to the founders of our nation that this brief but incredibly comprehensive phrase was penned! A man must be free to exercise his God-given power of choice—especially in matters of religion and conscience. I believe this conviction was God-inspired, springing from principles revealed ere time became a reality.

I believe the first amendment is in harmony with the Word of God; with God’s plan of government. The Father has told us we are to “have no other gods before Him.” Exodus 20:3. This is the first command out of God’s mouth at Sinai. Adam and Eve understood this, though it was not a written code at that time. Theirs was the allegiance of love, for the law was in their hearts. That is, until their God-given right to freedom of conscience was yielded to the flatteries, deceptions and subtleties of Satan. Selfishness then took the place of love, and self-preservation became the new rule of life! Remember the accusations that flew in the face of God from the guilty pair? It is only as the original allegiance is re-established that man can be truly free!

God allowed Adam and Eve freedom! Eve was free to wander from Adam’s side, though she’d been warned. She had freedom of speech and chose to converse with the deceiver. Eve had the freedom to publicize her convictions to Adam, and she did. And certainly, when God came in search of His children, He gave the guilty pair the right to petition His government “for a redress of grievances.” The Creator became the accused, judged guilty by those who had chosen to yield their religious convictions to a usurper! Time has only intensified the accusations against God and His government. Freedom certainly comes with its risks, doesn’t it?

One of my favorite Bible stories is that of the three worthies of Daniel 3. Arraigned with everyone else, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego felt they should comply so far as possible with the command to appear before the statue on the plain. But deeper issues really were at stake. I believe they were there with the principle embedded within their hearts to stand up for the Judged! Wasn’t God still on trial on the plain? Was He the One worthy of worship, or Nebuchadnezzar and his earthly kingdom of force? Their stiff hips would testify in the matter.

With the command ringing in their ears, complete with its impending death decree should anyone be so foolish as to disobey, these faithful young men stood erect. In their envy, their accusers were ready to pounce as, having become familiar with the integrity of their captives, they understood all too well the loyalty of these young men to their God. Most likely they expected such “disobedience” from these exiles and were no doubt watching them with no friendly eyes. Integrity always angers license! I like the way Matthew Henry describes this: “True devotion calms the spirit, quiets and softens it, but superstition and devotion to false gods inflame men’s passions. The matter is put into a little compass, Turn, or burn.”

Have you ever really considered the greater miracle here? I believe saving these men from cowardly compliance was a far greater miracle than saving them from the fire. Self-preservation had been miraculously replaced by the allegiance of love. A greater issue than life was at stake. It was the character of the Life Giver! Indeed, God was on trial that day!

And what about Peter, the one who fell at the tip of a girl’s finger? We are told that he set himself up for his fall; first by refusing to be corrected because he loved and trusted in himself more than Jesus, then by mingling with those he should have avoided.

“When Peter said he would follow his Lord to prison and to death, he meant it, every word of it; but he did not know himself. Hidden in his heart were elements of evil that circumstances would fan into life. Unless he was made conscious of his danger, these would prove his eternal ruin. The Saviour saw in him a self-love and assurance that would overbear even his love for Christ. Much of infirmity, of unmortified sin, carelessness of spirit, unsanctified temper, heedlessness in entering into temptation, had been revealed in his experience. Christ’s solemn warning was a call to heart searching.”

“Peter had not designed that his real character should be known. In assuming an air of indifference he had placed himself on the enemy’s ground, and he became an easy prey to temptation. If he had been called to fight for his Master, he would have been a courageous soldier; but when the finger of scorn was pointed at him, he proved himself a coward. Many who do not shrink from active warfare for their Lord are driven by ridicule to deny their faith. By associating with those whom they should avoid, they place themselves in the way of temptation. They invite the enemy to tempt them, and are led to say and do that of which under other circumstances they would never have been guilty. The disciple of Christ who in our day disguises his faith through dread of suffering or reproach denies his Lord as really as did Peter in the judgment hall.” Conflict and Courage 321.3.

There is a really valuable lesson in that for us today! No matter how much we think we love Jesus, if we are unwilling to be corrected, danger lurks! And how easy it is to just “mingle” instead of standing up for Jesus! Too often, it is far more difficult to stand before the pointed finger of shame than some more threatening consequence. And sometimes remaining quiet can be a denial of our faith as much as saying the wrong thing is.

Jesus had called Peter to a hearty self-examination in the light of His divine insights. But at that point, Peter loved himself more than Jesus. We know that something happened to change that though. His eyes were opened that day as his ear caught the crowing of the cock. The look of Jesus broke his proud heart and he ran to Gethsemane and became a changed man. His pride and self-sufficiency were replaced by the allegiance of love. No sacrifice was too great to make for his Redeemer!

The Bible is replete with examples of changed hearts and lives Peter, Mary Magdelene, Paul, Manassah, Moses, etc. But that’s history. What about now? What about me? What about you? Is self-preservation ruling in our hearts, or the allegiance of love? Is God worth dying for? Is He worth living for?

Romans 3:4 says that God is yet being judged. “…That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.” We know that parents are often “judged” by the behavior of their children. What representation to the world are we giving of our Father? Are we falling at the finger of the crowd? Are we bowing before the idols of this world? Or has the allegiance of love been planted deeply enough within our hearts to over-rule the self-preservation so rooted within our natures? Jesus is calling us to some serious heart searching as we look into the face of earth’s final moments. Here is some of what we will face: “The adherents of truth are now called upon to choose between disregarding a plain requirement of God’s word or forfeiting their liberty. If we yield the word of God, and accept human customs and traditions, we may still be permitted to live among men, to buy and sell, and have our rights respected. But if we maintain our loyalty to God, it must be at the sacrifice of our rights among men. For the enemies of God’s law have leagued together to crush out independent judgment in matters of religious faith, and to control the consciences of men. They are determined to put an end to the long-continued controversy concerning the Sabbath, to prohibit all further spread of the truth upon this point, and to secure the exaltation of Sunday, in the very face of the injunction of the fourth commandment.” The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893 par. 18.

I sincerely believe Peter would join his voice with that of his Beloved–a voice calling us have to the allegiance of love, for love is stronger than the fear of death: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings;….Whom having not seen, ye love…” 1 Peter 4: 12-13; 1:8.

Looking unto the Author and Finisher of our faith, I am so grateful that Jesus was faithful to His Father’s calling in Gethsemane and on Calvary. What kept Him? “In the agony of Gethsemane, the death of Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption. . . .” God’s Amazing Grace, page 188. Love kept Him! The allegiance of love! “Love bears all things” and “perfect love casts out all fear!”

Now I know why Jesus asked Peter, “Lovest thou Me?”


Doug Bachelor…Who’s next?

Posted in Bible Topics, Preparation on August 18th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — 12 Comments

We have already been banned from speaking in the Dakota Conference….now Br. Bachelor and David Gates have joined us!

Social Insecurity–Kalon Gesellchen

Posted in Bible Topics, Preparation on August 10th, 2015 by Danna Gesellchen — 2 Comments

About four months ago my wife and I were at the local Social Security office getting new Social Security cards so that we could renew our passports. We took our number and sat to wait our turn. While we were waiting another gentleman with a child of probably less than one year old came in. We were close enough to him to hear his conversation with the clerk. He was seeking to get a Social Security card for his child. After the gentleman made his request the the clerk asked if he had vaccination records for his child. “No”, he replied, “but I have his birth certificate.” The clerk responded that she could not issue a Social Security card unless the child had vaccination records. Looking quite disappointed, the man turned to walk away, depositing the paper the clerk had given him in the trash as he left the building without saying a word. Where was his freedom of choice? Where was his liberty of conscience?

Webster’s dictionary defines liberty as “the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely”, and “the power to do or choose what you want to do.” Conscience is defined as “the part of the mind that makes you aware of your actions as being either morally right or wrong.” The man with his child was not free to choose what he felt was morally right or wrong for his child. If he wanted that card, he must give up his convictions. This is not liberty of conscience!

Is this new? Hardly! It seems to me that the lamb is speaking more and more like a dragon these days. Our constitutional rights are being violated more and more and it seems very few are protesting. Is the protest over? We have been methodically dumbed down with the foods we eat, the “pseudo-news” blasted across the airwaves, the selfish lifestyles that are being promoted, and the medications pushed on the uninformed public. We are so distracted and disabled that blatant violations of what conscience remains are going unnoticed or with an “ignore it and it will go away” attitude. The deadly wound is being healed, and all the world is wondering!

It may seem to many in the world that Pope Francis could hardly be the anti-christ of the Bible. He is very well favored and is gaining much popularity with his apparent “relaxing” of Catholic doctrines and supreme interest of the well- being of mankind. Have we misinterpreted scripture? I would like you to remember that Pope Francis is the first Jesuit Pope. Remember too that we are told in The Great Controversy, page 234 that, “There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy.”

Can we imagine that Pope Francis has now recanted on his vow? It is said best by Bishop O’Conner. “Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world.” Great Controversy, page 565. It is because she does not yet have the power to rule as she pleases that we are not seeing greater abuses of liberty of conscience. But this is fast changing!

Revelation 13 tells us how God’s people suffered under the reign of the Papal beast for 1260 years before it received its deadly wound. We know that the Papacy will again regain the power it once had through the help of the United States of America. We see this unfolding before our eyes today. Liberty of conscience will again be taken away. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. that no man may buy or sell accept those that receive the mark of the beast.” Revelation 13:16,17. This is unfolding every day! Do you see it? Are you ready? Are you preparing others to be ready?

“When God has given us light showing the dangers before us, how can we stand clear in His sight if we neglect to put forth every effort in our power to bring it before the people? Can we be content to leave them to meet this momentous issue unwarned?” 5 Testimony, page 712.2. We as Seventh-day Adventists have been given much light and have a great responsibility to warn the world of what is about to come upon it.

Satan’s government is ruled by cruel force trying to usurp the worship of God. This evidence is found in Isaiah 14:13,14: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Satan was not interested in God’s character! He wanted His position and His power! It was the worship of man that was due God that Satan wanted from the beginning and is still striving for today. He wants control of the minds of the people, and he is using the church of his invention to accomplish his purposes. Comparing Satan’s government of force with God’s government we see that, “The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2.” Desire of Ages 22. Which government do you want to be under?

Patrick Henry was known for quoting the words “give me liberty or give me death”. The people of this great nation were at one time willing to give their lives for the hope of liberty. But now most don’t even realize or even seem to care that they are losing and have already lost many of their liberties. And those who do realize it, those who will be found faithful, will very soon feel wrath of that apostate power as never before. The lamb-like beast is gone and the voice of the Dragon is becoming clearer and clearer.

We as Bible believing Christians should neither be surprised nor discouraged by these events because we have the hope that Jesus is coming soon! This thought brings more and more comfort to me as I view the situation of the world. Our focus should not be on the issues of the world, even though they are signs for us, but on the joy of the soon return of the Son of God. How exciting that we shall soon see the blessed face of our elder Brother! The thought of his soon return should lift our thoughts above the corruption and violence that is everywhere-even in our churches.

Brothers and Sisters we need to be drawing nearer to God and to one another, we need to be earnestly seeking God in prayer and searching His Word. We need the out pouring of the Holy Spirit. We need to be sharing with our neighbors, friends and families, the good news of His soon return. There is little time left. Let us be laboring diligently; it is time to awake. Our liberties may be taken away but they cannot stop our voices as long as God has a message for us to share. Be faithful and encouraged and be in prayer for one another. Truth will triumph in the end!