Present Truth for the Finishing Workby Theron S. Tupper
This is my effort to tell you of my reading of the Spirit of Prophecy of what I believe to be the most needed present truth. This does not in any way disrupt the foundation of our faith or breakdown the system of organization and order which has made us as a people what we are. All comments will be appreciated and honored.
by Theron S. Tupper
P. O. Box 422
Orosi, Calif. 93647
Believing that “through the Testimonies Christ is speaking to His people as assuredly as He spoke to the Apostles of old,” we have the present truth needed to understand our part in our Lord’s plan for the finishing work and the, closing events for these last days. By faith we accept His word for our direction in that finishing work as being the very purpose for which we were called.
The testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God’s people at the present time and is designed to fit them for the loud cry of the third angel. —1T 186
It is an amazing fact that in 1844 it was possible for a small group with little funds or material possessions to have given the last warning to the world and prepared the way for His coming. World events were keeping pace with them as the Sunday law was about to become a reality.
Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work completed and Christ would have come for the redemption of His people. —GC 458, 275
The Advent movement of 1840 to 1844 was a glorious manifestation of the power of God. —GC 611
Why was it the Lord did not come at that time? If all who had labored unitedly in the work in 1844 had received the third angels message and proclaimed it in the power of the Holy Spirit . . . Christ would have came for His people. —GC 458
As glorious as their work was they failed in one point. They had the power of God but they were
not giving the third angels message. Two very definite parts comprise the finishing work, power of God and the third angel’s message.
Adventists after 1844 could have made it possible for Christ to come but again there was something lacking.
Had Adventists after 1844 proclaimed in power Christ would have come. —1SM 68.1 [This reference reads as follows: “Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward.”]
This statement, “Christ would have come,” shows that they were proficient in everything except that which was mentioned. They had the message but had lost the power. The disappointment added heavy trials. Why was it they did not have power with their message?
If the counsel of the true Witness had been fully heeded, God would have wrought for His people in greater power. —1T 186
Seventh-day Adventists have continued this same error for 134 years. We have the message but have never been in the closing power. We have overlooked the part of the Testimonies that give in detail Christ’s directions for His people to come into His power. The purpose of this writing is to present some of the references from the Spirit of Prophecy that should be studied for our use at this late time.
If our people continue in the listless attitude in which they have been, God cannot pour upon them His Spirit. —5BC 7114
I was shown God’s people waiting for a change to take place, a compelling power to take hold of them, but they will be disappointed for they are wrong. —5T 261
We are living in a time when even greater earnestness is needed than in the Apostles day. —5T 132
Without the Spirit and power of God it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth. —5T 158
The power of God is the latter rain the full blessing of the Godhead. It is the greatest blessing God has for His people. Everything about His coming depends upon this people in that blessing. We have an even greater need for His power than the early disciples needed to complete the work Christ had called them for.
(The disciples work for blessing) The same work only in greater degree must be done now. —TM 507
I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel!’ Great power was with these chosen ones. —EW 271
Miracles will be wrought. The sick will be healed and signs and wonders will follow the believers. —GC 611
How do we get this power?
Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise it is given on conditions. —DA 672
What are the conditions?
Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. —Acts 3:19
I saw, that none could have the refreshing unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world and over every wrong word and action. —EW 71
Many statements tell that that the condition imperfection. There are a number of ideas of what that word means.
I believe there are two kinds of perfection. One we have always known is the continuous advancing stages to higher levels, never quite fully attaining. I have read in the SOP somewhere that the full attainment is that this perfect state might be permanent. But that will be only at His coming. This perfection is in progress now, but soon there will be a time when any SDA that is in this progressive state, will be lost.
Then there is a perfection that is promoted by many references that is a vastly different kind. This kind is the very reason and purpose for which SDA’s are called. This is for an SDA who recognizes his solemn responsibility to act for Christ to be in the closing work, speaking with power, going through the time of trouble, Satan’s great works, the judgments, the Sunday laws, sealing, shakings, day of God, close of probation, protection during the plagues, experiencing the first thrilling indications of his coming, be able to stand before a holy God, and be one of those that will form the square on the sea of glass before the saved of all ages and the heavenly throng and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. What a terrible, wonderful, rewarding experience that will be. We will find that the perfection that this takes is the exact character of God.
Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us . . . the perfection of His character? When the Lord’s people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. —OHC 150, 154
Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble. —GC 623; DA 123
Those who receive the seal of the living God, and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully. —EW 71
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father
which is in heaven is perfect. —Matt. 5:48; Eph. 4:13
The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. —OHC 154
By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. —TM 506
Contemplating what that involves is quite shocking. I have to constantly remind myself that Christ is doing the talking, demanding and planning of all this and all I have to worry about is obeying. But one cannot but wonder if it is really possible in his life.
We can overcome, yes, fully, entirely. Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome every evil temper, every sin, every temptation, and sit down at last with Him. —1T 144
Christ died to make it possible for you to cease from sin. —R&H 8-28-1894
How is it possible for me to do all this? What does it mean, it is left with us, we can overcome, possible for me, prepare themselves and other statements that say that I can do something to receive the character of Christ?
Many are hard set against anything being done on our part to obtain the sinless life of Christ. We must be able to prove the harmony between the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. These outstanding words of Christ cannot be in opposition to the Holy Scriptures. The very fact that one is an SDA is because of works on his part made possible by the grace of God. In faith we do these things He desires and we are blessed, strengthened and encouraged to cooperate in others. Christ sold He received from the Father because He did those things that pleased Him. No one believes that we, alone could ever attain the perfection of God. If we enter into the
work Christ has given us to do to receive more of His grace, we will have the ability to accomplish all He asks.
God’s people are not prepared for the loud cry of the third angel. They have a work to do for themselves which they should not leave for God to do for them. —1T 486
Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement, then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples at Pentecost. —5T 214-7BC 970
It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of God. —R&H March 22, 1892
It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. —5T 214
The complete statement of course is—
Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. —GC 424
When are we to do this work? One reference has said, “it is our work today.”
Now while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us we should seek to become perfect in Christ. —GC 623
While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin among God’s people upon earth. —GC 425
Sister White often refers us to the early Apostles
as our example. By. faith they obeyed Christ and did a great work of soul cleansing to receive power for their commission.
The Testimonies are very certain about a work we are to do.
The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the same work only in greater degree must be done now. —TM 507
The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. —1T 619
I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful . . . therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. —EW 71
This preparation so needful, is a work we must do and it is called many times the “work of preperation.” It is the work we must do for ourselves.
Ministers and people are unprepared for the time in which they live and nearly all who profess to believe present truth are unprepared to understand the work of preparation for this time . . . they are wholly unfitted to receive the latter rain. —1T 466
I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. (An angel cries) “Get ready, get ready, get ready, for the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come . . . ye suffer your minds, to be diverted too readily from the work of preparation and the all important
truths for these days.” —EW 119
But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. —GC 424, 425.
The time that so many are now allowing to go to waste should be devoted to the charge that God has given us of preparing for the opproaching crisis. —5T 717
My brethren do you realize that your own salvation as well as the destiny of other souls depends upon the preparation you now make for the trial before us? —5T 716
“The great day of the Lord is near it is near and hasteth greatly.” But where do we behold the true advent spirit? Who are preparing to stand in that time of temptation which is just before us? —5T 101
What are you doing brethren in the great work of preparation? —5T 216
Not only are we to be in this work now because time is getting short but when the next event just ahead of us starts, the time of trouble, all SDA’s who have not made the preparation before that time will be lost. Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such such is hopeless. —GC 620
In the interest of time, understanding this verse could be a shock to those who believe that Christ’s coming is not far off. It says that those who delay a preparation cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or any time after that. We have to have the latter rain to go through to the end, we have to have a preparation to receive the latter rain but if we do not have the preparation before the time of trouble starts, we cannot obtain it later and therefore we
will be lost. The point is that, the time of trouble, which is just before us is the first in a long list of events way before the close of probation and His coming. To anyone believing that Christ’s coming is soon, that makes the necessity of the work of preparation —yesterday.
The importance of the preparation is so great it cannot be put into words here. There is so much on it it is hard to choose what to use. Actually we are told to pray that His coming is held up until we do this work of preparation. The Sunday low comes soon after the time of trouble.
Fervent effectual prayer should be ascending to heaven that this calamity (Sun. law) may be deferred until we can accomplish the work which has so long been neglected. —5T 714
How is it that we are ever able to do anything good? By faith we desire to follow Christ and by His grace we are able to do it.
We shall attain to the full stature of men and women in Christ only as the result of a steady growth in grace. —5T 105
From Him we are to receive the grace that will enable us to overcome. only by receiving this grace can we go on from strength to strength; and gain a fitness for eternal life. —R&H Aug. 18, 1977
Especially should we, with unwavering faith seek God for grace and power to be given to His people now. —5T 717
(Gift of grace for the perfecting of the saints) Till we come in the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God into a perfect man, unto the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ. —Eph. 4:13
He desires that through the appropriation of His grace humanity shall become partakers of the divine nature. —9T 279
Grace? Well sure, we have the grace of God now. Why then haven’t we been given the latter rain? I believe the answer to that question is that we have missed the most important moment in the lives of the Apostles as a part of our instructions, By faith, it is as though we too have followed Christ up on the mount. But now our greatest moment comes. We both have received one final command. Will our training and association produce faith enough to obey as they did? “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high,” we both are told. Power —the most needed blessing to be effectual for the master. But why did He wait? Why didn’t Christ give them right there the power they needed to do the commission He called them for? They were not ready to receive it, and neither are we. They had a great work to do for themselves. In that tarrying time, by the grace of God, they did a great work of soul cleansing, cleansing the body temple of every defilement. Then they were ready for the blessing when it was needed. We will have to decide soon if we are going to obey that command too.
I counsel you to tarry at Jerusalem, as did the early disciples, until like them, you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. —5T 159
And since a special work of the Spirit was necessary to prepare a people for the first advent of Christ, how much more so for the second, especially since the last days were to be perilous beyond all precedent. —EW 134
Ever since 1844 the two groups with the message have lacked His power to complete the finishing work. All heaven is still waiting for us, the last days apostles to, enter into that plan.
Through the plan of redemption God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait and resisting every temptation however strong . —1SM 82
We see that those who are now keeping the
commandments of God need to bestir themselves, that they may obtain the special help which God alone can give them. —R&H Dec. 18, 1888
While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven . . . there is to be a special work of purification of putting away of sin among God’s people upon earth. —GC 425
Fervent, effectual prayer should be ascending to heaven that this calamity (Sun. law) may be deferred until we can accomplish the work which has so long been neglected. —5T 714
What is the means, special help, special work and a work which has long been neglected? What is Christ telling us here? Do we know a means for victory that we refuse to do? Do we know of a special help but don’t use it? No. This is something new that the church has not entered into yet. This is something added to make possible God’s character in His people for the finishing work. This command has been neglected so long that it goes back to the first Apostles.
Before we read what this added work is we should decide if we really believe that our Lord is speaking to us in the SOP. We should decide also that if this is a true, exact reading of the SOP, will we do that work regardless of what it is.
In 24 years I have never found an SDA that knew what our first work is. Always the answer is, finish the commission. The reference said that in vain we labor to give the message without His power. His power demands a revival in our lives to His likeness.
A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us but because we are unprepared to receive it . . . but it is our
work by confession, humiliation ‘repentance and earnest’ prayer to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. —R&H March 22, 1887
In our interest to obtain the blessing we have to stay in the Spirit of Prophecy to understand the greatness of what Christ’s idea of “earnest” means. He has a lot to say about that, a fantastic direction in the special work or means. We know that prayer is important but not in the importance that Christ is directing US to. We will find that this is the most important present truth before us today. This is the very reason for which we were called.
Christ is Using others to convey truths but the finishing of time for this wicked world depends only on SDA’s Only those people who will by faith take on a special work for great grace to overcome and be blessed with His power to finish His work, go through the end events and be of those who will never taste death is the finishing work given to. All heaven is waiting for us to act our part in the plan.
We have been going to God in prayer for blessings, but now that is out —OUT. Christ has answered prayers of this people from miracles to the building of His organization upon earth, But now —something of much greater results must be had. Therefore a much greater prayer is needed for that revival to the character of God. And time is short.
When temptation and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God and agonize with Him in prayer. —EW 46
There is the great difference —agonizing. This is the means, special work, special help and the work long neglected. I see it as the ultimate in prayer. Have faith. This is opposed but without proof. Satan has misused it and so we have a natural dislike for it. But it is important to Christ. It is as necessary to our salvation as any other point of the gospel.
I saw how this (His) grace could be obtained, go to your closet and there alone plead with God. Be in earnest, be sincere. Agonize. —1T 158
This is grace sufficient to overcome to His character. Notice the three separate works. Each as important as the other. Agonizing has not been understood and neither has the reason for the need of praying in the closet. We may have thought we understood something of what these mean but Christ has a fantastic use for these two that is beyond anything we imagine. Remember, we all have to have the latter rain to go through, and agonizing is as vital to that as anything we know.
Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for his blessing will not obtain it. —GC 621
(Adventists awake) there must be earnest supplications offered to God, agonizing prayer to Him. —2SM 382
He (Jacob) would not be turned from his purpose but held fait the angel and urged his petitions with earnest, agonizing cries until he prevailed. —GC 618
Our great interest should be to have the character of God. We must have it. Christ has gone to a lot of trouble to interest us in His plan. Can we ask for anything more certain or clearer than the next reference?
Man may become a partaker of the divine nature. Those who would overcome must put to the tax every power of their being. They must agonize on their knees before God for divine power. —R&H Feb. 18, 1890
The divine nature is the very thing we most need right now. And for that we must do something that we are not now doing. How do you read that? Is it possible that we need a better wording? This reference alone should be all that Christ would need
to say. But there will be those who will decide against it regardless. I consider it in the same understanding as of Sister White’s statement on missionary work. Get into it, whether you like it or not . . . Then God can bless us and the angels will attend you.
There are persons in the church who are not converted and who will not unite in earnest prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. —1SM 122
We are warned that there will be a great shaking of SDA’s over the SOP.
I asked the meaning of the shaking (of His people) I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the true Witness to the Laodiceans. (Jesus Christ speaking to the SDA church through the Spirit of Prophecy) Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it and this will cause a shaking among God’s people. —EW 270
Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent who did not join with those who prized, victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it did not obtain it. They were left in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others. —EW 271
To me that reference names the point on which the shaking will be over. Agonizing —the very thing we are reading about. I can believe that because this reading of the SOP has always met with opposition or silence which is almost the same thing. Never has there ever been any correction of this use of the SOP in the 24 years I have been promoting it. I cannot give up these “must” references for these last days until there is some proof of an error.
Our youth should enter into this work.
Oh that they would . . . send forth their earnest
agonizing prayers to God for sound experience. —2T 145-2T 144
We cannot get along in this world without the help and the warfare angels of God engage in to hold back the overwhelming influence of the evil ones. We can lose all that if we reject the special work.
Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them . . . The angels of God left these. —1T 180
Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading . . . The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest praying ones. —EW 270 and again in 271
It is admitted that agonizing is not understood. Is it possible that Christ would give us so many commands to do something and then leave us without any knowledge of what it is! To appreciate what agonizing is a reading should be made around the following references. I feel that only the SOP can give meaning and dignity and purpose to what we don’t quite understand and naturally reject. It comes to us by the best of examples though.
He (Christ) frequently spent the entire night upon the damp ground in agonizing prayer. —1T 505
Souls are very precious in His sight. It was for this that Christ wept in agony. —6T 16
(Sister White) Our petitions were fervent and agonizing. —1T 84. Their first son was dying. I frequently remained bowed in prayer nearly all night, groaning and trembling with inexpressible anguish. —1T 26
(John writing) For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears. —2Cor. 2:4
Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping and with mourning; and turn unto the Lord your God. —Joel 2:12
It may seem odd to us that God desires this type of worship. But God is speaking. We now have a little more understanding of why God commands us to pray in the closet.
The disciples prayed with intense earnestness and cried to the lord. —AA 37
(Disciples preparation) The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them foe the work of soul saving. —AA 37
Did you notice what they did in their all-out effort in their pleading for their great need? This is a people worrying about nothing except that they have a great need for help beyond anything human.
(Speaking of youth) As for the earnest pleading with tears and strong cries to God for His pardoning grace and for strength from Him to resist the temptations of Satan they have found it unnecessary to be so earnest and zealous. —1T 505
I have not found many that could show that in heaven you will have a real flesh, bones and blood body. A real person in a real place. Without that I don’t see how anyone could really be earnest and zealous in their effort to be there. Can you see that these references describe those \who have let themselves go all out for their great need?
Jesus in the garden sweat great drops of blood you must make an effort. —1T 158
To me Jesus is showing here that my greatest effort is little of what a human could experience if he had enough desire for heaven and an interest in others getting there, as He did. I don’t need to worry about overdoing my pleading.
(Christ) Fervent prayer, pouring out His supplications with strong crying and tears and persevering, He urged His petitions. —5T 385; EW 167; 1T 353
The children of God are to exercise their faith in secret prayer. —EW 72
Be afflicted and mourn and weep. —James 4:7-10.
I can now appreciate the experience Jacob had.
How few have ever had their souls dawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. —GC 621
I realize that this is a cold approach to this new demonstrative prayer that Christ expects. But this will be no hindrance for those who appreciate Christ’s special words to His special people for the last days. Many of the references I have on this subject are given here and with those you have; a much better reading of the subject will be had. I think it all depends as this reference says.
But there is power for us if we will have it. There is grace for us if we will appreciate it. The Holy Spirit is waiting our demand if we will only demand it with that intensity of purpose which is proportionate to the value we seek. —6T 175
Have we spent hours contemplating what a fantastic life that will be in the home made by God? Do we understand, as much as we can, how terrible the time just ahead will be? Do we understand the end events as they are to progress? That is supposed to be a help for us in that time. Having some idea of all that makes me realize how much depends on Christ working for me. If our hope is great enough we will have an intensity of purpose for that grace.
My definition of the work is, “Agonizing is soul anguish outwardly expressed by a determined effort of one’s whole being, proportionate to the value
we hope to receive.” All from the SOP.
My reading of the Spirit of Prophecy tells the plan of God this way. By faith we accept the SOP as being Christ’s direction to His people for the last days. Not fully understanding but in faith obeying His order, we enter the work of agonizing prayer. Added grace that is promised comes and we are able to overcome further. As we continue this work there is more love, unity and earnest participation in the Lord’s work. As we progress together we go forth and proclaim the Sabbath more fully. The wicked become aroused and begin their work to silence the truth. The time of trouble begins and God gives us His power to go forth mightly. The end events have begun and their progress will be rapid. Heaven is not far off.
It is also a special blessing of Christ that He asks us such a simple thing to do to make all that possible and that there is still time left to accept His offer. The only difficulty is a mental one.
Some say they are sure that they will agonize when there is a, need for it. We are in the best time to give the warning we will ever have. Time is fast closing. The roof is about to cave in on us. The “beast” is breaking the U.S. down and the U.S. is doing fantastic work for him. The judgments of God are in the land warning us to get with it before we are weighed in the balance.
Others say that no doubt they would agonize if they felt like it. It is not feeling that must motivate us but faith.
Many do not exercise that faith which is their privilege and duty to exercise, often waiting for that feeling which faith alone can bring. Feeling is not faith. —EW 72
Perhaps we have all agonized somewhat in our praying, but will admit not in the description Christ has given of it.
This “special work” poses no problem for me,
not even a second thought. First, I believe that the SOP is Christ speaking to me. Secondly I had a real experience I wish all could have. Hiking in the vast area in the mountains I lost my way and wondered around for a few days in the most unusual weather. I could find no way out. The prayers one makes at such a time, realizing his ability is zero, and calls out for help are quite different.
In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. —5T 210
This reference gives us further evidence of what agonizing is. Not only is agonizing to be a great part of our prayer but some form of it will be in our warning to the world to accept salvation before it is too late. The time before us is so important, so demanding that we cannot comprehend how trying it will be, and also how important the work of preparation is at this time. We cannot appreciate God’s insistence that we come before Him with great earnestness and soul anguish.
One last word; let us not forget that we have to decide about his special work now. When the need comes it will then be too late to make provision.
The solemn testimony (of the True Witness) upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed. —EW 270
The one all important inquiry which should now engross the mind of everyone is: am I prepared for the day of God? Can I stand the trying test before me? —1T 355
The people need to be aroused in regard to the dangers of the present time . . . To be not alarmed is the peace and safety cry. —5T 715