FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
End-Time Tower Builders and Idolaters
QUOTES FOR THE WEEK
“It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone.”
“The men of Babel had determined to establish a government that should be independent of God. . . . The monument to their pride became the memorial of their folly.”
— Both from the inspired pen of Ellen G. White
Every rationally-minded Christian already knows it by heart. Reminders not needed.
So think those who, in their hearts, say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that that [they] are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Rev. 3: 17, N.K.J.V. This is a specific, special message for the true church of the last days, not the apostate churches—the “daughters of the Mother.” (See on Revelation 17). Another specific message is given to them in the Second and the Fourth angels’ message, Rev. 14: 8 and Rev. 18:1-5, respectively.
Peter, the sincere yet impetuous and fiery apostle-in-the-making had a serious character flaw: fatal self-confidence. So long as it remained in him, he wasn’t ready to be an apostle, one of the first Twelve who, when ready, formed the foundation of the church with Jesus as its Rock or Cornerstone. There is only one remedy for this spiritually fatal disease of self-confidence and presumption which leads to the loss of appetite–the “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” and waning desire to continue “growing in the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Matt. 5: 6; Eph. 4: 13, 14. This singular divine remedy is called “the straight testimony to the Laodiceans.” Rev.3: 18-22.
Truth lieth on the streets.- The gospel prophet revealed what was to happen to the truth in the last days: “In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen on the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth falls, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey [of the scheming liars].” Isa. 59: 18-22. N.K.J.V.
John says, “No lie is of the truth.”1 John 2: 21. It’s truth—not “alternative facts” — the latter a newspeak cunning counterfeit of the former. These two opposites are so often switched around nowadays, confusing minds particularly of those weak in the faith, causing them to gradually lose the ability and commitment to continue making a clear distinction between the two and decisively take the higher ground, unpopular and inconvenient though it be. The pressure to conform to the world can be overpowering were it not for God’s grace and power imparted to the humble, seeking believer!
To those who love the truth in its wholeness, this alarming trend of justifying untruth and outright lies as simply rhetoric serving political purposes only (which is another lie) is deplorable and depressing. But it hardly surprising for it is one of those noble virtues, once held in the highest esteem by the godly patriarchs and prophets, disciples and apostles, reformers and revivalists and all the truly great and honorable men of the earth, that was prophesied to be trampled upon, ushering in the “perilous times” of last days. It doubtless an extension of Paul’s prophecy that “there will come a falling away first and that man of sin, the son of perdition be revealed.” 2 Thess. 2: 1-3.
Experts and scholars are flummoxed that with all the amazing advances in the fields of science and technology, giving rise to booming new business and communication realities, they are now dealing new, unknown, bigger problems as well. Once again, that’s a no-brainer for all are touched and affected one way or another, some more, some less.
So what’s that which all need to pay closer attention to? It is this: whether we are aware or not, we are living in, and more alarmingly, participating in expanding the territories and reach of the modern-day Babylonian spiritual empire—both in its grandest application as well as its more specific aspects, according to the revelations of Bible prophecy. Far too many in this approaching-midnight hour of earth’s history, do not quite get it yet. They, we, are still snoozing in carnal security. Ever heard of the midnight cry? How about the loud cry?
From the “The Coming Conflict” chapter, Spirit of Prophecy Vol. 4, 1884 edition, we read:
“The greatest and most favored nation upon the earth is the United States. A gracious Providence has shielded this country, and poured upon her the choicest of Heaven’s blessings. Here the persecuted and oppressed have found refuge. Here the Christian faith in its purity has been taught. This people have been the recipients of great light and unrivaled mercies. But these gifts have been repaid by ingratitude and forgetfulness of God. The infinite One keeps a reckoning with the nations, and their guilt is proportioned to the light rejected.
“A fearful record now stands in the register of Heaven against our land; but the crime which will fill up the measure of her iniquity is that of making void the law of God. [Ps. 119: 126].
“Between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah will come the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. Upon this battle we are now entering,—a battle not between rival churches contending for the supremacy, but between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition. The agencies which will unite against the truth and righteousness in this contest, are now at work.”- p. 398.
Tower Builders of the Last Days
God’s messenger during this antitypical day of atonement and pre-advent judgment, Ellen G. White, wrote (emphasis mine):
“There are tower builders in our time. Infidels construct theories from the supposed deductions of science, and reject the revealed word of God. They presume to pass sentence upon God’s moral government; they despise His law, and boast of the sufficiency of human reason.[Such was the foundation of the French Revolution that we just covered in our past issues.] Then ‘because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.’ Eccl. 8: 11.
“In the professed Christian world, many turn away from the plain teachings of the Bible, and build up a creed from human speculations and pleasing fables; and they point to their tower as a way to climb up to heaven. Men hang with admiration upon the lips of eloquence while it teaches that the transgressor shall not die, that salvation may be secured without obedience to the law of God. If the professed followers of Christ would accept God’s standard, it would bring them into unity; but so long as human wisdom is exalted above His holy Word, there will be divisions and dissensions. The existing confusion of conflicting creeds and sects is fitly represented by the term ‘Babylon,’ which prophecy applies to the world-loving churches of the last days.
“Many seek to make a heaven for themselves by obtaining riches and power. [Many educated observers refer to this as the “swamp.”] They ‘speak wickedly concerning oppression, they speak loftily’ trampling upon human rights, and disregarding divine authority. The proud may be for a time in great power, and may see success in all that they undertake; but in the end they will find only disappointment and wretchedness.
“The time of God’s investigation is at hand. The Most High will come down to see that which the children of men [in contrast to the spiritual children of God] have built. His sovereign power will be revealed; the works of human pride will be laid low. ‘The Lord looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of His habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants on earth.’ ‘The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to naught; He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.’ Ps. 73: 8; 33: 13, 14, 10, 11.” – Patriarchs & Prophets, pp. 123-4.
Not All Idols Are Made of Wood or Stone
“No outward shrines may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshipping the true God as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His place? God is a God of truth. Justice and mercy are the attributes of His throne. He is a God of love, of pity and tender compassion. Thus He is represented in His Son, our Savior. He is God patience and long-suffering. If such is the being whom we adore and to whose character we are seeking to assimilate, we are worshipping the true God.” –Ibid, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 174.
“Behold the well-nigh universal [catholic means universal] disregard of the Sabbath commandment. Behold also the daring impiety of those who, while enacting laws to safeguard the supposed sanctity of the first day of the week, at the same time are making laws legalizing the liquor traffic, (NOTE: this refers back to the late 1880s when the Prohibition was rescinded and replaced with laws legalizing alcohol while bills were being introduced to Congress seeking the enactment and enforcement of the day of worship the sponsors called the “Christian Sabbath,” which was Sunday]. Wise above that which is written, they attempt to coerce the consciences of men, while lending their sanction to an evil that brutalizes and destroys the beings created in the image of God. It is Satan himself who inspires such legislation. He well knows that the curse of God will rest on those who exalt human enactments above the divine; and he does all in his power to lead men into the broad road that ends in destruction [Matt. 7: 13, 14].
“So long have men worshipped human opinions and human institutions that almost the whole world is following after idols. And he who has endeavored to change God’s law is using every deceptive artifice to induce men and women to array themselves against God and against the sign by which the righteous are known.” – Prophets & Kings, p. 186.
”In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. [Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14: 6]. In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Lawgiver [See on James 4: 12]. It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone. By misrepresenting the attributes of God, Satan leads men to conceive of Him in a false character. With many, a philosophical idol is enthroned in the place of Jehovah; while the living God, as He is revealed in His Word, in Christ, and in the works of creation, is worshipped by but few. Thousand deify nature, while they deny the God of nature. Though in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world to-day, as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. [The three angels’ messages combined, including the sanctuary and the 2300 days, is the antitypical Elijah message for these last days]. The god of many professedly wise men, philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists,—the god of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even some theological institutions,— is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia.” – Ibid, (1911 ed.), p. 583.