Eden Life | Lesson 5, Part 2

Greetings MOL Family!

Welcome back to our lesson on the roles that angels play in this Great Controversy. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed earnestly for help from His Father. Do you know what the angels wished to do as they heard that prayer? They wished to answer it right away.


Imitate Their Harmony & Order

 

They wished to surround the Son of God, but the commanding angels suffered them not. – Early Writings, pg. 167

There are three things in this last sentence that I want you to notice: The 1st is that the angels wanted to do something, but they didn’t do it. Isn’t that a strange thing? You’d think an angel would never want to do anything but what he should do. Some people think that’s what an angel is. What they wanted to do wasn’t something wicked. It wasn’t the right time. And sometimes it’s almost as bad to do the right thing at the wrong time, as it is to do the wrong thing.

The angels wanted to do something, but they didn’t do it. The 2nd thing that I want you to notice is why they didn’t do it? They were commanded not to. Do you mean an angel has to be commanded? Sometimes. I wonder when they’re going to grow up? These have been around more than 4,000 years; I don’t know how many years before that.

Now the 3rd thing, and this is perhaps the most interesting: It wasn’t God that told them what they were to do and not do; it was another angel. Another angel. Isn’t that interesting? What would you have done? Would you have kept rank and obeyed orders when you didn’t understand the reason why? They did; and that wasn’t the last time that happened. Just a few hours later, when Jesus was in the judgment hall, and had been scourged and spit in His face, and mocked. It says:

It was difficult for the angels to endure the sight. They would have delivered Jesus, but the commanding angels forbade them. – Ibid, pg. 170

Here it is. They wanted to do something, but they didn’t. Why not? They were commanded not to; and who was it? The commanding angels.

Again, follow up to Calvary:

The angels who hovered over the scene of Christ’ crucifixion were moved to indignation as the rulers derided Him…They wished to come to the rescue of Jesus and deliver Him, but they were not suffered to do so. – Ibid, pg. 177

Three times within a few hours, good angels, beautiful angels, bright angels, experienced angels had to be told not to do what they were about to do. And in each case, it was not a direct command from God, but a command issued by the angel that was in charge of that particular company.

Now back to our statement in Volume 1. If we want the help of these angels, it says that we are to imitate their harmony and order.

All who desire the cooperation of the heavenly messengers must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can cooperate with them. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1, pg. 649

Shall we send the angels the word, today, that we’re with them in this?

Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word. – Psalm 103:20

Whether it comes direct from the throne, or is passed down through the organization that Heaven has set up. Oh, this is a wonderful lesson, friend. A wonderful lesson. When we fully learn it, we’ll be fully ready for Heaven. We’ll be ready to take the place of those rebellious angels. But until we learn it, we can’t. Now on the next page it says:

Satan knows what success can only attend order and harmonious action. He well knows that everything connected with heaven is in perfect order, that subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. – Ibid, pg. 650

What is it that marks the movements of the angels? – Subjection and thorough discipline; that’s the thing. And so, this goes on to say that satan tries to get you and me to depart from that as much as he can, and he causes people to feel that all the efforts to establish order are dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence to be feared as popery.

 


This Is The Issue

 

Now, going back to this crisis that took place in Heaven, before the world was made, in the book Great Controversy we have a very interesting statement. At the time when Lucifer and his angels rebelled:

With one accord, Satan and his host threw the blame of their rebellion wholly upon Christ, declaring that if they had not been reproved, they would never have rebelled. – Great Controversy, pg. 499

Who did they blame for their rebellion? They blamed Christ. What was their defense? “Oh”, they said, “if you hadn’t reproved us we wouldn’t have rebelled.” We might say they had a point there. But if we think that justifies their rebellion, then we are on the side of satan. God is looking for people who will sympathize with Him instead of the great rebel. What do you say?

I want to be very frank, for I’d like to help somebody. I’d like to help you if you’ll let me. We are living in the most rebellious age in all the history of the world. There has been nothing quite like it in all past history. And the people of God, today, are going to be a little remnant that will be distinguished from all the world by their love for law and order, manifested in their daily lives: in their homes, in their churches, and if they’re connected with institutions, in those institutions, in every phase and facet of life. A love for order, organization, discipline. This is the mark of the Remnant church. We say the Sabbath is the mark. But as we read Revelation 12:17, ask yourselves, does this say anything about the Sabbath? I know it’s included, but watch what the mark is:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. – Revelation 12:17

What is it that marks them? They keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. They’re obedient to the law and the Spirit of Prophecy. If Jesus speaks through His commandments, they listen. If He speaks through His testimony, the spirit of prophecy, they listen; and they not only listen, they do it, they obey, they keep.

Now the 5th one of those commandments is what?

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God gives thee. – Exodus 20:12

In the book Patriarchs and Prophets, in the chapter of “The Giving of the Law”, the Spirit of Prophecy says that that commandment applies not only to parents, but to ministers and civil rulers, and everyone else that God has delegated authority to; they are standing with the authority of the 5th commandment in back of them.

That’s right! And when a supervisor in an institution asks a helper to do this, or that, or the other thing, back of that supervisor is the authority of the 5th commandment. When the superintendent of the Sabbath School stands up and says, “We’ll sing number 519 to open the Sabbath School this morning”, the authority of the 5th commandment is back of that superintendent. So, we might go on with many illustrations. Every day our life touches authority all day long. And my dear friends, we either like that or don’t like it. Which is your experience? Soon everyone in the universe will be wholly in love with law or wholly in rebellion against it. Oh, I wish I knew how to get that message clear, deep in the soul of everyone study our lesson today. This is the issue in this final hour. And while the Sabbath is the sign of that, it is the flag. It’s possible for the enemy to sometimes infiltrate into a camp where the flag is flying. Isn’t it? The important thing is not the flag, it is for that which the flag stands – loyalty and obedience.

I repeat that this generation is the most dangerous on this point. And young friends, if you learn the lesson that we’re studying, you will be fully out of step with your generation. You’ll be fully out of step. What is it they call anybody that’s anywhere near to this? A square. Well, I hope you’ll be foursquare for God in full obedience.

I’d like to say a word to older ones on this. Do you know why Lucifer finally launched out in full rebellion against God? Because he had sympathizers. If he had not had sympathizers, Lucifer would finally have come around back in obedience to God. You can read that.

Over 60 years ago, one of the brightest lights among us in this movement went out. Doctor John Harvey Kellogg, one of the greatest physicians that this world ever had, planned by God to lead this people into a full observance of health reform and a full participation in medical missionary work. He lost His way over this question, my friend, over this question. He could give orders, but couldn’t take them.

If you read the inspired testimony, you will find that if it had not been for men who sympathized with him, his heart would have surrendered to the appeals of his brethren, and he would have found his place once more in union with them. But he allowed himself to be surrounded with men who egged him on, instead of pleading with his soul.

Oh, my dear ones, it is a serious thing, a solemn thing, a terrible thing to sympathize with a young person who is in rebellion against parental authority, institutional authority, church authority, or any authority of God. It is a serious thing. And whether the one who is in rebellion is young or old, Jesus says, “Keep your hands off.”

Never sympathize with someone who is complaining, murmuring. Did you know this is why Korah, Dathan, and Abiram finally perished? Why the earth opened up and swallowed up those murmurers and complainers against the authority of Moses? They had sympathizers. In fact, that spirit of sympathy with rebellion was so strong that the next day after that mighty miracle, the congregation rose up and murmured against Moses and Aaron and said, “You’ve killed the people of the Lord.”

Well, Moses hadn’t killed them at all. God had sent fire from Heaven to destroy Korah, and the earth opened up and swallow up Dathan and Abiram. Wouldn’t you think that would stop it? Rebellion is a hard thing to kill. In fact, the servant of God said, “I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable.” So, dear ones, if you have tampered with this thing or allowed it to tamper with you, I beseech you, while the day of probation lingers, while your own heart is still impressionable, flee from this spirit as though it were a serpent, for it is the serpent.

May I be very frank also and tell you, this is something that must be settled in all our hearts, before God can do anything very miraculous. And so I beseech you, if you desire to see the mighty movings of God in His camp, seek first of all for an experience where love for law and order is throbbing in your own heart. Reach out to try to help others to get that. Help them to see the joy of it.

If what we’ve studied today is true, and we’ve read it from the books, shouldn’t everyone who exercises authority seek to do it in the spirit of Jesus? What a shame it is for any parent, any teacher, any supervisor, or any church officer to use the spirit of the dragon in teaching and enforcing the law of God. So I appeal to everyone who exercises authority, plead with God that He will make you in one and the same experience, firm and loving. Firm and loving.

The failure on the part of a parent does not excuse a child in rebellion. A lack of good judgment on the part of some minister or church officer does not excuse a church member in going into an off-shoot. And the failure on the part of some supervisor or administrator in an institution to show the spirit of Jesus, is not the first reason for disobedience, rebellion, dissatisfaction, and murmuring. God has willed to teach us in a world of imperfect parents, obedience to parents. God has willed to teach us in a church where ministers and church officers are still far from perfect the lessons of cooperation, order, and organization. Oh, let’s be willing to accept His classrooms and accept His assignments, what do you say?

Concerning Jesus, it is said that He learned obedience by the things that He suffered. He was obedient even unto death. No greater proof of obedience could have been given. So today, as you and I, as young people and older ones, face this problem, let us by beholding Jesus determine that we shall learn the lesson that He exemplified in His life. Let us send word to those angels who are in subjection, who move in order under command, that (by God’s grace) we’re going to imitate them so that they can cooperate with us, and help to keep us from sin, and help us in the soul winning work that they’re so interested in.

 


“Are we willing to comply with the conditions? Will we obey God and keep His commandments? Will we be doers of the Word and not hearers only? God’s law is as immutable and unchangeable as His character. Whatever men may say or do to make it void does not change its claims or release them from their obligation to obey.” {FW 42.3}

Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… 

Continue on to the next study–


 

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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.