"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Important is a Good Foundation part 3

As we get ready to continue our journey, I would like to recap a little on were we have gone so far.  In the first part we journeyed to Italy were we explored the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.  While there we learned that the tower does not have an adequate foundation which is causing it to sink, and is also making a lot of unnecessary work.

         In the Second half we toured the Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt and viewed its massive structure.  Finding it to be much larger than the Leaning Tower of Pisa and yet still standing with no trace of sinking.  We learned that an unseen rock mountain comes up under the Pyramid, giving it the sure foundation it needs to stand the test of time.
Also in this second half we looked at an old story that Jesus told of two builders- One Foolish and the other Wise.  We saw how that story tied in with the two structures that we had just explored.  The Foolish builder did not waste his time with a good foundation.  Instead he built right on the soiled sand, leaving his house vulnerable when the floods and storms came.  The Bible says that great was the fall of his house (Luke 6:49).  This Foolish builder and his house remind me of the Leaning Tower of Pisa with its inadequate foundation.  Likewise the Wise builder, who carefully dug to the rock for a good foundation, reminds me of the Great Khufu Pyramid. 
The final question that we asked was, “If ‘our eternal safety depends upon our building upon the sure foundation’ (Desire of Ages p. 599.4) don’t you think we should know for sure what the foundation for our feet is?”
This time we will explore what the foundation is.  Before we get started though, we will take a quick glance at the reformation to help answer our last question.   
                In the fourteenth century the reformation began by a restoring of the Bible to the common people.  This was accomplished by John Wycliffe who has been called the, “Morning Star of the reformation.”  He was truly the “Morning star of the reformation” in more ways than one.  Yes we was one of the first reformers, but he also brought the dawning light of the Word of God in reach of the common people.  The Psalmist states, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)  The reformation could not have happened without this light from the Word of God, showing error and revealing darkness.

In the fifteenth century the world was shaken by the truth of, Righteousness by Faith, brought to view by the fearless Martin Luther.  This doctrine was key in the revealing of errors in the church.

The sixteenth century brought yet another reformer into view-John Smyth. God used this humble man to restore the doctrine of the Believers Baptism by immersion.  

So what did we, the Seventh- day Adventist’s contribute to the reformation?  One of the key things was simply the Sanctuary doctrine- Specifically the work of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary.   So how did we come to the understanding of this truth?
“God sent His angel to move upon the heart of a farmer who had not believed the Bible, to lead him to search the prophecies. Angels of God repeatedly visited that chosen one, to guide his mind and open to his understanding prophecies which had ever been dark to God's people. The commencement of the chain of truth was given to him, and he was led on to search for link after link, until he looked with wonder and admiration upon the Word of God. He saw there a perfect chain of truth. That Word which he had regarded as uninspired now opened before his vision in its beauty and glory. He saw that one portion of Scripture explains another, and when one passage was closed to his understanding, he found in another part of the Word that which explained it. He regarded the sacred Word of God with joy and with the deepest respect and awe.”  {Early Writings p. 229.1}
In this brief quote, it shows the leading of God in the life of the simple farmer, William Miller to search the Bible and especially the prophecies.  With only the aid of a Concordance William Miller went verse by verse through his Bible, not moving on to the next verse until he clearly understood the verse he was studying.  In this search of the Bible he was guided to the truth by Angels of God who gave him the “The commencement of the chain of truth” which aided him in the understanding of the prophecies.   The three Commencement dates (or starting dates) that were given him were: 677, 508, and 457. All three of these dates that William Miller was given culminated (or would end), he thought, in the year 1843. 

After several years of studying his Bible in this way, William Miller was deeply impressed that he needed to tell the world what he had learned from his study of the Bible.  This greatly troubled him, as he was somewhat shy and just a simple farmer.  But the Spirit of God would not leave him alone. Day and night he would hear a voice speaking to him, “Go tell it to the World! Go tell it to the world!”  Oh how he tried to ignore this voice, but it would not leave!  One day, after breakfast, as he sat down in his desk chair to study before going out to his work, the impression came upon him with such force that he must “Go tell it to the World.”
"The impression was so sudden, and came with such force, that I settled down into my chair, saying, 'I can't go, Lord.' 'Why not?' seemed to be the response; and then all my excuses came up - my want of ability, etc.; but my distress became so great, I entered into a solemn covenant with God, that, if he would open the way, I would go and perform my duty to the world. 'What do you mean by opening the way?' seemed to come to me. 'Why,' said I, 'if I should have an invitation to speak publicly in any place, I will go and tell them what I find in the Bible about the Lord's coming.' Instantly all my burden was gone, and I rejoiced that I should not probably be thus called upon; for I had never had such an invitation. My trials were not known, and I had but little expectation of being invited to any field of labor.  
"In about half an hour from this time, before I had left the room, a son of Mr. Guilford, of Dresden, about sixteen miles from my residence, came in, and said that his father had sent for me, and wished me to go home with him. Supposing that he wished to see me on some business, I asked him what he wanted. He replied, that there was to be no preaching in their church the next day, and his father wished to have me come and talk to the people on the subject of the Lord's coming. I was immediately angry with myself for having made the covenant I had; I rebelled at once against the Lord, and determined not to go. I left the boy, without giving him any answer, and retired in great distress to a grove near by. There I struggled with the Lord for about an hour, endeavoring to release myself from the covenant I had made with him; but I could get no relief. It was impressed upon my conscience, 'Will you make a covenant with God, and break it so soon?' and the exceeding sinfulness of thus doing overwhelmed me. I finally submitted, and promised the Lord that, if he would sustain me, I would go, trusting in him to give me grace and ability to perform all he should require of me. I returned to the house, and found the boy still waiting. He remained till after dinner, and I returned with him to Dresden.” ~ 1853 SB, Memoirs of William Miller p. 97-98

This was only the beginning of William Millers calls to preach.  As soon as he arrived home from Dresden there was an invitation for him to speak in Poultney Vermont.  And so the invitations came pouring in.  Soon others began to see the light and proclaim the prophetic truths.  One of these was Charles Fitch. 
“In May, 1842, a General Conference was convened in Boston Massachusetts. At the opening of this meeting, Brother Charles Fitch…”

Join us for part 4 next time.

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