Chapter 4 ~ “Down to the Minutiae”

As the path in the dream grew more and more narrow, so our understanding of God’s word and its application to our lives must correspondingly come closer and closer to home. But before continuing down this narrowing road of truth I think it is important that a warning be sounded against going farther than God would intend.

While Satan is content to have the vast majority walk down the broad road, he is even more delighted to have some depart out of the broad road, cross over the narrow road, and end up in that most disgraceful of roads—fanaticism:

“[Satan] would be better pleased to have fanatical persons embrace the testimony, and use it in his cause, than to have them remain in a lukewarm state.”  {2 Spiritual Gifts 223}

Having sounded that warning, let me continue down (I suppose it would be more in keeping with the vision to say up) this ever narrowing road. While what I am about to point out is certainly nothing new, I am convinced that for the vast majority of people—of all faiths—it is the great testing point. It can be expressed in one little word of supreme importance: ALL.

“He who hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.”
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past”, this great truth of supreme importance, “unto the fathers by the prophets”:

“These be the words that Moses spake unto all Israel…if thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”  {Deuteronomy 1:1; 4:29}

“Then Joshua said unto them…take diligent heed…to walk in all his ways, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  {Joshua 22:1, 2, 5}

“And Samuel said unto the people…serve the LORD with all your heart.”  {I Samuel 12:20}

“And Solomon…said…walk before [Him] with all [your] heart.”  {I Kings 8:22, 23}

“Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent…thus saith the LORD…ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  {Jeremiah 29:1, 10, 13}

“The word of the LORD that came to Joel…thus saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart.”  {Joel 1:1; 2:12}

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken,” this great truth of supreme importance, “unto us by His Son”:

“…Master, which is the first commandment of all? Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is…thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first and great commandment.”  {Mark 12:29, 30; Matthew 22:36, 38}

As some of those Old Testament texts brought out, obeying God is inseparably connected with loving Him:

“If ye love me keep my commandments…He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”  {John 14:15, 21}

“Here is what it means to love God. It means that we obey his commands.”  {1 John 5:3 NIrV}

Sadly, mankind has always been very slow to learn these lessons. But God, in His infinite love and wonderful patience, continues to teach them. This time through one whose words are both unmistakably clear and incredibly moving:

“True sanctification means perfect love, perfect obedience, perfect conformity to the will of God.”  {Acts of the Apostles 565}

“Look to Jesus, he is your pattern. Strive to have your lives as much like his as possible. Do not rest satisfied until you know that you love God with all your heart, and that his will is your will…O, get ready to meet your Lord in peace.”  {Youth Instructor, December 1, 1852}

Finally, I would like to present to you the paragraph containing the title of this chapter:

“One stood by my side and said: “God has raised you up and has given you words to speak to the people and to reach hearts as He has given to no other one…You must be unmoved by scorn, derision, reproach, and censure…The world abounds in testimonies given to please and charm for the moment, and to exalt self. Your testimony is of a different character. It is to come down to the minutiae of life.”  {2 Testimonies 607, 608}

Rather than comment on that last quote, I would just like to ask you: before you continue on, please do some very serious heart searching concerning all that I have shared with you in these last few chapters. As I said at the beginning of them, I believe this question of the exact place that God designs the Spirit of Prophecy to occupy in the life (and heart) of every true Seventh-day Adventist is possibly more important than anything else. To a large degree, everything else is affected by this.

I would like to finish this section with one last quote. I want to preface it by saying: the Spirit of Prophecy tells us, “All His promises, His warnings, are but the breathing of unutterable love.” {SC 35} This last quote contains both promises and warnings. Please, receive them for what they truly are, the breathing of unutterable love:

“Those who are reproved by the Spirit of God should not rise up against the humble instrument. It is God, and not an erring mortal, who has spoken to save them from ruin. Those who despise the warning will be left in blindness to become self-deceived. But those who heed it, and zealously go about the work of separating their sins from them in order to have the needed graces, will be opening the door of their hearts that the dear Saviour may come in and dwell with them. This class you will ever find in perfect harmony with the testimony of the Spirit of God.”  {3 Testimonies 257}