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Together 2016?

” When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.” (Testimonies for the Church, volume 5 p. 451)

Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!

The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments.

Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the “church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err ” (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section 9, note 17), how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages?

The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution. (The Great Controversy, “Liberty of Conscience Threatened” pp.  563 & 564)

Isaiah Ministries Scriptural Evidence Against Together 2016

“Nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist. For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” (Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196-197)

Read (or listen to) The Great Controversy Online

“He (the antichrist) will be revealed and come to naught before the last day, so that every man shall comprehend and recognize that the pope is the real, true antichrist and not the vicar of Christ … Therefore those who consider the pope and his bishops as Christian shepherds and bishops are deeply in error, but even more are those who believe the the Turk (ISLAM) is the antichrist. Because the Turk (ISLAM) rules outside of the church and does not sit in the holy place, nor does he seek to bear the name of Christ, but is an open antagonist of Christ and His church. This does not need to be revealed, but it is clear and evident because he persecutes Christians openly and not as the pope does, secretly under the form of Godliness.” (Nicolaus Von Amsdorf, Furnemliche und gewisse Zeichen, sig.A2r.,v.)

Who did the reformers believe was the anti-Christ?

“And we ask you, brethren, in regard to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him, that ye be not quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled, neither through spirit, neither through word, neither through letters as through us, as that the day of Christ hath arrived;  let not any one deceive you in any manner, because — if the falling away may not come first, and the man of sin be revealed — the son of the destruction,  who is opposing and is raising himself up above all called God or worshipped, so that he in the sanctuary of God as God hath sat down, shewing himself off that he is God — [the day doth not come].  Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, these things I said to you? and now, what is keeping down ye have known, for his being revealed in his own time,  for the secret of the lawlessness doth already work, only he who is keeping down now [will hinder] — till he may be out of the way,  and then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the manifestation of his presence,  [him,] whose presence is according to the working of the Adversary, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders,  and in all deceitfulness of the unrighteousness in those perishing, because the love of the truth they did not receive for their being saved,  and because of this shall God send to them a working of delusion, for their believing the lie, that they may be judged — all who did not believe the truth, but were well pleased in the unrighteousness.

And we — we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, that God did choose you from the beginning to salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, to which He did call you through our good news, to the acquiring of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ;  so, then, brethren, stand ye fast, and hold the deliverances that ye were taught, whether through word, whether through our letter; and may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and Father, who did love us, and did give comfort age-during, and good hope in grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” (2nd Thessalonians 2, YLT)

Fox’s Book of Martyrs

“Though it be admitted that Rome was once the mother of all Churches, yet from the time when it began to be the seat of Antichrist it has ceased to be what it was before. Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt .. I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol.3, p.149)

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Why This Waste?

While his enemies were plotting to destroy Him, Yeshua was eating with His disciples in the house of Simon, a pharisee whom He had healed from Leprosy, and who had become one of His followers. They were in Bethany, where Yeshua’s friends Mary, Martha and their recently resurrected brother Lazarus lived. Mary believed Yeshua’s teachings that He would be killed. In her sorrow and love for her Master, she went out and spent a year’s worth of wages on one pound of precious, sweet-smelling perfume to anoint His body with. This was a great sacrifice to her, but worth every coin and every drop for her beloved Master.

But, something gave Mary hope that her Master was to triumph after all. So she brought this perfume to the feast to honor her Lord. In love and devotion, she poured the perfume on His head and feet, and then, weeping, wiped His feet with her hair.

The disciples murmured amongst each other. John recorded that Judas (who was soon to betray his Master) asked, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5, KJV)

Likewise, the disciples seemed to condemn Mary in their hearts, asking, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:8, NKJV)

“Why this waste?” The disciples were not all unified in their reason for asking this. Judas, the false disciple and traitor, condemned Mary (and indirectly condemned Yeshua, whom he professed to serve) by bringing up the use to which the cost of the perfume could have been spent, seeing the perfume being poured out upon the Lord as wasted. The other disciples may have agreed with Judas’ proposed intentions, thinking about all the good use the money could be put to in benefit of others. Perhaps, calling to mind their Master’s call to the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions and give to the poor (See Matthew 19:21), and knowing how their Master cared for the poor, even to the point that those who did not help them were condemned (see 25:31-46), they even believed or reasoned in their hearts that Judas’  concern was in harmony with their Master’s will and teachings.

But, though Judas wanted to stuff his own pockets, the Lord did not right then and there call out out His unfaithful disciple’s sin. Instead, He left that to be discovered later, and  called their attention to an even greater, more important point. Even if Judas’ expressed concern had been born from true and perfect motives, there was something more important that the disciples did not yet understand.

“Why trouble ye the woman?” (Matthew 26:10 [first part], KJV) He asked, “for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” (Matthew 26: 10 [last part]-13, KJV) 

John’s record of his Master’s response is shorter, leaving the point to stand out more clearly. The Lord explained that Mary had kept the ointment for His burial, and that they would always have the poor among them, but that He would not always be with them in person. (See John 12: 7, 8)

If only the disciples realized what they were saying when they complained about Mary and her “waste”. Why did they see this gift, given in pure love, this act of true devotion, as wasted, and condemn Mary as though she had poured it on the ground? Did they not value their Master? Of course they did (except for Judas). They loved and appreciated their Master, too, but they did not yet understand what was going to take place, nor the significance of the act. Perhaps Mary herself did not understand either. Nor could they read Mary’s heart, as Yeshua could. This gift was given with pure motives, and pure intentions, by a woman who truly wished to honor her Master, and it encouraged Him.

This is that same Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet some time before, listening to Him teach as her sister, Martha, busied herself around the house. Martha was busy working to serve the Lord and His disciples and her (or were they His?) guests. Mary was listening to her Master and learning from Him. Martha seemed to think that Mary was being lazy, not thoughtful or considerate of her needs or maybe Martha saw her sister as wasting time, when she should have been helping her to serve.

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10: 40, NIV) Martha complained.

Did Martha expect that the Lord would agree to her, and send Mary to help? Didn’t Martha ask in faith for this help?

But the Lord responded, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NKJV)

Martha wasn’t necessarily wrong in preparing for and serving the Lord actively. Actually, God’s people are supposed to “serve one another” (See Galatians 5:13) and to work to save souls (See Mark 16:15), but she was wrong in believing that her sister should serve in the same way that she was, at the same time that she was serving. In this passage, the Lord did not directly tell Martha that she needed to sit down and listen to Him teach also. There is no record in this passage that He directly (though what He said to her can be seen as an indirect invitation) invited Martha to leave her work and join her sister. No, what He told Martha was that she was “worried and upset about many things” (Luke 10:41 [last part], NIV), but that her sister, Mary, had chosen what was needed. What Mary needed to do at that point was to sit and listen to Christ. Did Martha join her sister at Jesus’ feet, or did she keep serving in the way that she was (perhaps with less complaint)? The Bible doesn’t indicate which choice Martha made. What it did say was that Mary had made the right choice. No, Mary might not have been helping her sister in her work, actively serving the Lord, but she was not wasting time either. She was learning from the Master.


Whether it is time, resources, or money, nothing given to God is ever wasted. When a poor widow cast her two mites into the donation box at the temple, Yeshua commended her to His disciples (See Luke 21:1-4) . This widow had so little that perhaps some, if they had noticed and knew the poverty in which this woman lived, would have considered those two coins wasted. Perhaps those mites could have been spent on a little some bread to fill her grumbling stomach, but what good would those two mites do in the donation box? What significance would they have amongst or in comparison to the huge offerings given by the rich? But no, Yeshua knew that she had given all that she had, and that it would not be wasted. Not only does every coin add up, but the widow had given everything from a pure heart and pure motives. These would be registered in the book of Heaven, and her deed has been registered in the book of Luke also. About two thousand years later, her story is still being re-told to encourage thousands to give their all to God, and to know that God reads their hearts and appreciates what they give to Him if they give from pure motives, from the heart, in love, no matter how small and insignificant their offering may seem to them or (especially) to others, that God is pleased with them, because He knows that they have given their all.


When a young boy gave his lunch, five loaves of bread and two small fish, the disciples thought that they and Yeshua might be able to share the meal and each have a little, or that at least their Master might be able to eat something. Maybe the boy was giving this food in faith, believing that he too would be fed, that Yeshua would share a little with him. Maybe he had already eaten and was giving what he had left. Maybe he was giving in faith believing that Yeshua could multiply them and feed everyone. Or, maybe this boy thought he was making a sacrifice, giving the only food that he had to eat. The Bible doesn’t specify the boy’s thoughts or motives, but he gave them. The child’s offering of food was not only not wasted, but the Lord multiplied that small offering abundantly, so that not only were over five thousand people fed (there were five thousand men plus women and children), but twelve baskets of leftover pieces. God not only multiplied the offering, providing extra blessings, but re-affirmed His disciples that nothing should be wasted, not even the leftovers, by telling them to “gather up the fragments” (See John 6:1-14).

Even in the parable of the ten talents, the unfaithful steward’s talent, which was given back to the master upon his return, was not wasted. In this parable, the master represents God (more specifically, he may represent Yeshua Himself), and the unfaithful stewards represent God’s servants (or even more broadly, all those whom God has given talents and resources to, which is everyone). Two stewards, who had been given more than the one, traded and invested their talents, and their talents were doubled. The unfaithful steward was given only one talent. Perhaps he was lazy, or perhaps he really thought that he had so little that there was nothing he could do with it, and in fear of losing it he put it in a safe place. The unfaithful steward was punished for hiding the talent rather than trying to use it. To the unfaithful steward, this talent was wasted, but in God’s service, it was not. Though the unfaithful steward was cast out and did not get to take part in the joy of his Master and the faithful stewards, his talent, at his master’s command was taken from him and given to the steward that had been given the most (See Matthew 25:14-30), because that steward had proven himself faithful in using and multiplying what he had been entrusted with.

Nothing given to God is ever wasted, even when it is mis-used. When Judas betrayed his Master, he sold Him for the price of a slave, thirty pieces of silver. It is possible that the silver that was used to buy Yeshua was taken from funds that were donated to the temple, the priests, or the rulers–from some form of offering or perhaps even the tithe. Even though the money that was possibly given to God was mis-used by people who should have been serving Him for selfish and horrifying evil purposes (to kill their Creator and their only Hope of freedom from sin and their only Way to  eternal life), it was still used to carry out God’s purpose and intentions of performing the ultimate sacrifice of His son, which was necessary for our survival (and eternal destiny, if we wish to be saved), but Judas, who accused Mary of wasting the oil, performed the ultimate waste. In selling his Master for 30 pieces of silver, he was selling his salvation. Judas traded eternal life in paradise with his Master for a measly thirty coins that he threw away before taking his own life. The money that he sold his soul for was no good to him, and was, as far as Judas was concerned, wasted (See Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-6), though it was used to buy a potter’s field to bury the dead (and therefore still used and not fully wasted, it was wasted as far as Judas was concerned, and so was his life, except that his story lives on as a warning to us all, but in Judas’ case the lesson was wasted).

Though it can be wasted by the people who misuse it, and people who should have benefitted from it can be denied because of this misuse, nothing given to God is ever wasted. To withhold or steal from God for our own selfish purposes is waste, and to turn our backs on our Master, and betray our Lord, and sell our souls to the devil, whatever the price, is a waste. Why this waste?

Have you been wasteful? Give Him whatever you have left. As Him for wisdom as to what He would have you to do with what you still have. Ask Him to help you to redeem the wasted time, and show you what to do with it. Then, do something for the Lord.

Even if you have sold your soul to the devil, it’s not too late. God is able, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…” (Ephesians 1:7, KJV)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9, KJV)

You see, you have no authority to sell yourself to the devil. “You do not belong to yourself.” (1st Corinthians 6:19 [last part], NLT) You belong to Christ and God the Father, who created you (See John 1: 1-4, 14), and who bought you back again after the human race sold themselves to the devil by partaking of forbidden fruit and continuing in sin (See Genesis 3). You were redeemed by a price (See 1st Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23), which is the blood of Christ, the Son of God, and the Creator (See 1st John 3:16, John 3:16 and 1st Peter 1:18).  It’s not too late to turn back to Christ, and he can rescue you.

But, He is alive. “Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25, World English Bible)

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)

“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” (Romans 6:22, NASB)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, KJV)

But, you have to believe (See John 3:14-21, or John 3:16 and 18 for short).

Other Sources: Matthew 26, John 6, John 12, The Desire of Ages “The Feast at Simon’s House”, Art by Gustave Doré (public domain, from my understanding, though please correct me if I am mistaken, and I will remove it) found here.


The Linen Girdle-Will you run or will you rejoice?

I almost missed the sermon this morning—not because I wasn’t there, but because it was in Thai. Thankfully, a young woman asked if I needed a translation and invited me to sit beside her. As the speaker spoke, she converted his words into a language which I could understand—English. Oh! How powerful it was! I feel compelled to share it with you. But this is mostly in my own words, and my understanding on what the speaker was communicating.

If the Lord came today. Would you be ready?

Jeremiah was a prophet, called in his youth, pre-destined before birth to be the Lord’s messenger, who lived to lived to see Jerusalem conquered by her enemies, sent to warn His people beforehand. Before the city was taken captive, God called Jeremiah to warn, instruct, and rebuke the people through preaching and acting out parables. (See the book of Jeremiah, particularly chapter 1 for more details on Jeremiah’s life and calling.)

On one occasion, the Lord told Jeremiah to buy a linen belt and to tie it around his loins. The prophet went to the market to buy the girdle, an then put it on as the Lord had instructed him. After an unstated and unindicated period of time, the Lord told Jeremiah to take the belt down to the Euphrates river and hide it in the hole of a rock. Obediently, Jeremiah went down to the river, found a rock with a hole in it, stuffed the belt inside, and left. A long, but unspecified length of time went by before the Lord reminded Jeremiah about the belt. He told the prophet to go and retrieve the girdle from the hole in which he had hid it.

Jeremiah went to look for the girdle. He found the place where he had hid the belt, but it was buried and he had to dig it out. When he finally pulled the girdle out from the hole, it was so badly damaged that it was no longer useful for anything. Then, the Lord said to him, “After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah…that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.” (See Jeremiah 13: 1-11)

Israel and Judah were God’s chosen people, but they had turned their backs on Him to worship idols instead. Now, He called them evil. They were once close to him, as though strapped to His waist, but now they were so ruined by idolatry that they were no longer fit to be called His people. Because they were worshipping other gods, they lost sight of the true God, and no longer had a saving relationship with Him. They did not know the true God.

One day, God is going to come to take His people back to Him, to bring them to His kingdom. In that time, it was revealed to His disciple, John, that “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:15-17)

On the last day, when Christ returns, people who have turned their backs on God to worship idols, whether idols of stone, or idols of wood, idols of money or of fame or material possessions, will run and try,in vain, to hide from the Lord of Glory. They will be filled with terror, knowing that they are not ready to meet Him and that their destruction is near. They will pray to their gods to cause the rocks to fall on them, to hide them from the true God, but God’s true people, those who know Him, and who worship Him, who trust Him, and who love Him, will look forward to His coming with joy. They will be excited and happy when He comes. (See Titus 2:13)

In order to be ready when He comes, we have to know the true God (See Matthew 7:23). We have to be close to Him. We cannot do this if we are worshipping other gods. Yes, these idols can be made of wood, or gold, or stone, or can be celebrities or even invisible spirits, but we can end up making idols out of other things—money, work, food, houses (See Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13), family, friends (See Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14: 26), opinions or our own reasoning and/or wisdom (See Proverbs 14:12 and 1st Corinthians 3:19) fiction or fantasy (See Revelation 22:15), entertainment or fame(See Hebrews 11:24-26) or even traditions in our church that do not meet God’s standards, or even forms or ceremonies that can be in harmony with Scripture, if we are doing it in order to be saved, and lacking in love (See Matthew 23:23). Anything that occupies the mind more than God has become our god, or our idol. If we look to these things for help, we are not trusting in God as we should. While we should use many of these things for survival and for God’s glory, they are gifts from God, and it is in God whom we should trust, putting Him above all these things. We should not let these things occupy our time so much that they take away time that could be spent drawing nearer to God, and learning from Him. (See Matthew 6:31-32, Matthew 16:26 and Mark 8:36)

In order to be ready, we need to have that relationship with God. We need to spend time in His Word, praying to Him, and trusting Him. And, we need to love Him. If we love and trust, we will also obey, as Jeremiah did, even when the Lord asked him to do strange things that may not have made much since, until they were explained to him, but Jeremiah trusted God, and he obeyed. When we have this relationship with God, trusting in Him for salvation, and truly believe and love Him (which is key to a relationship) will lead to obedience, then we will be ready when He comes, and we will look forward to His coming. (See Matthew 26:41, Luke 21:36, Mark 14:38, 1st Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:29, John 14:15 and 23, John 5:39, Revelation 14:12, and Hebrews 11.)

If He comes today, would you be ready?

But He’s not here yet. You still have some time to get ready, but don’t delay, because even if the Lord would not come today, nor tomorrow, nor this week, nor this year, nor this decade, we may not even have another hour. Don’t delay, but turn to God, and if you are already His, renew your commitment daily, hourly, even now. Prepare, and ask God, and He will prepare you, but you must cooperate with Him.

(See Luke 12:20, 1st Corinthians 15:31, 1st John 1:9, John 4: 10  and 14, Galatians 2:20, 1st John 4:8, Galatians 5: 22 and 23, and John 14.)

Disclaimer: Most of these extra verses were added for confirmation and study purposes, along with many comments and the brief history of Jeremiah, as this is my understanding of the sermon, and not a word-for-word manuscript. Picture is by Sweet Publishing and was downloaded from Distant Shores Media, used by permission through the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Bible text was taken from the King James Version, unless accidentally copied from other versions (If you notice that any of it was copied from another version, please contact me, and you can do so via commenting, and I will try to fix it. Thank you.)