Divided We Stand

by Tim Rumsey July 30, 2019

Divided We Stand

This article is excerpted from the book Divided We Stand by Tim Rumsey, available in paperback and as an ebook from Pathway to Paradise Ministries.

On July 16, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb exploded at the Alamogordo Bombing Range 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico. The bomb, sitting on top of a 150-foot tower and encased in a steel device nicknamed “the Gadget,” detonated at 5:30 a.m. The resulting explosion released 18.6 kilotons of power, instantly vaporized the tower, and transformed the surrounding asphalt and sand into a sheet of green glass. Kilometers away, observers were knocked to the ground by the enormous blast. The successful test opened the way for the U.S. military to use atomic weapons in warfare, and not long after, two atomic bombs destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, quickly ending World War II in the Pacific Ocean.

An atomic bomb explodes when a single neutron of radioactive material divides from its nucleus and strikes the nucleus of a neighboring atom, knocking several more neutrons free. Those neutrons then slam into other nuclei, separating still more neutrons and releasing high amounts of energy. The chain reaction of dividing atoms spreads instantaneously and results in an explosion of incredible power and brightness.  
Atomic bombs result in death. The Bible, on the other hand, predicts an end-time explosion of spiritual power and light that brings eternal life to all those who participate in it. In Revelation 18, an angel brings a message of division that reverberates with the power of a spiritual atomic bomb:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:2-4, emphasis added).

This heaven-sent message of division produces an end-time spiritual revival of power and light as people allow God to separate them from this sinful world, and be fully united with Him. I invite you on a journey through Creation week to see how Earth’s first seven days parallel the history, mission, message, and destiny of this end-time spiritual revival predicted in Revelation. It’s a journey that follows God’s divine principle of division.

The Division Principle

On each day of Creation, God used the principle of division to transform a dark, lifeless planet into a beautiful cosmic oasis bursting with life.

  • On Day 1, God divided the light from the darkness.
  • On Day 2, God divided the waters above and under the firmament.
  • On Day 3, God divided the water again and created dry land in between. Later that day, He created an abundance of plant life that was divided and multiplied “according to its kind” (Genesis 1:11).
  • On Day 4, God created the sun, moon, and stars to divide the day from the night.
  • On Day 5, God created sea life and birds that fly in the sky—animals divided by their habitat and method of transportation.
  • On Day 6, God created the land animals and divided them, too, by species (Genesis 1:25). Next, God knelt down and “formed man of the dust of the ground” (Genesis 2:7), and then separated Adam from that dust by breathing into him the breath of life. Eve, too, was created through division as God separated a rib from Adam's side and then created her.
  • On Day 7, God concluded His work of creation by dividing time itself. The Creator separated the Sabbath as a 24-hour unit of time from the preceding six days.

So what does God’s use of division in Genesis 1 and 2 mean for us today? We are about to discover powerful parallels between God’s work of physical division at Creation and His work of spiritual division at the end of time.

Divided

After the establishment of the Christian church, the light of biblical Christianity almost blew out during the Dark Ages. However, for nearly 700 years God has used the principle of division to bring Christianity back into the light of truth and prepare people to meet Jesus Christ at the second coming. The Reformation began as the light of Bible truth pierced the spiritual darkness, just as God began Creation week by creating light that “divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4). During the Reformation, God’s work of dividing people from error continued as many people rediscovered sanctuary truths, including the reality of Jesus Christ as humanity’s High Priest in heaven’s sanctuary. Just as some people accepted those truths and others rejected them, on Day 2 of Creation week God placed “a firmament in the midst of the waters” to “divide the waters from the waters” (Genesis 1:6). In Bible prophecy, water can represent people (Revelation 17:15), and truth has always divided people between those who accept it and those who don't.

On Day 3 of Creation week, dry land appeared and again divided the waters. Similarly, God prepared a “wilderness” (Revelation 12:6,14) in a New World that offered religious freedom and protection for those who desired to follow the Bible. Day 3 of Creation week ended with vegetation springing up to bear fruit (Genesis 1:12), and it was also about this time, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, that Christianity began bearing "fruit" once again as missionaries, literature, and Bibles were sent around the world. One historian records Christianity's missionary explosion this way:

For the fifty years preceding 1792, little attention was given to the work of foreign missions. No new societies were formed, and there were but few churches that made any effort for the spread of Christianity in heathen lands. But toward the close of the eighteenth century a great change took place…From this time the work of foreign missions attained an unprecedented growth.[1]

In the nineteenth century, the Reformation grew into an Advent Awakening as Christians from many denominations, and from many places in the world, concluded from the light of Bible prophecy that Christ’s second coming was near. Specifically, it was a time prophecy about the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 that led so many to expect Christ's return in the early to mid-1840s. Similarly, on Day 4 of Creation week, God placed “lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth” (Genesis 1:15). Since light can represent prophecy (2 Peter 1:19), and the "firmament" can point to the heavenly sanctuary (Psalm 150:1), Day 4 of Creation week contains a powerful parallel of the Advent Awakening.

When Jesus didn't come back in the fall of 1844, a small group of Christians continued studying the Bible and soon understood that the time prophecy in Daniel 8:14 pointed to the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, and the simultaneous cleansing of human hearts here on earth. At this same time, a young girl named Ellen Harmon, whose last name later became White, received her first vision of the Advent people walking on a narrow road being divided from the earth. Behind them a bright light shone, and in front of them a second, brighter, light guided them on their journey.[2] In the same way, on Day 4 of Creation week, "God made two great lights…and set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth" (Genesis 1:16,17). Later in her life, when Ellen White compared her writings to the Bible, she referenced God's creation of the two lights on Day 4: "[T]he Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.”[3]

Today, that Advent Awakening lives on as an Advent Movement, commissioned to share Revelation’s Three Angels’ Messages with the world. At the core of the Three Angels' Messages is the good news of Christ's ongoing, but soon to end, intercession for humanity in heaven's sanctuary. In the same way, on Day 5 of Creation week God created winged creatures that “fly above the earth in the open firmament [or sanctuary] of heaven” (Genesis 1:20).

On Day 6, God completed His work of physical creation by separating man from the dust and then breathing into Him the breath of life. Similarly, as God’s work of spiritual division draws to a close today, through the power of the everlasting gospel He will re-create many people “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), with His character, separated from sin and filled with the Holy Spirit of Christ’s presence. When this happens, Christ will “be joined unto his wife,” the church, “and they two shall be one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31), just as Adam and Eve were united together in marriage at the conclusion of Day 6. Finally, Adam and Eve celebrated their marriage by entering into God’s Sabbath rest on Day 7 of Creation week. Similarly, the sign of God’s completed work at the end of time will be participation in Sabbath rest on God’s holy seventh day, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10).

The Cleaver of Truth

Jesus wants nothing more than to be eternally united with the people He died to save. Today, He remains knocking at the door of our hearts, repeating the promise, “[If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Yet, rather than open that door and pursue true and complete unity with Christ, far too many of us remain fascinated and entranced under the tree of death, staring longingly, like Eve, at the forbidden fruit. Embarrassed by our past, shy about our message, and fearful to stand alone, we remain divided from Christ, and united with the world.
Seventh-day Adventists must not now, at this most critical time, surrender the unique history, prophetic identity, or the heaven-inspired message and mission that have shaped and guided this final phase of the Advent Movement for over 170 years. Our challenge today is the same challenge that has faced God’s people through all of history—to stand divided from the world:

Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. By the great cleaver of truth He has cut them out from the quarry of the world and brought them into connection with Himself. He has made them His representatives and has called them to be ambassadors for Him in the last work of salvation. The greatest wealth of truth ever entrusted to mortals, the most solemn and fearful warnings ever sent by God to man, have been committed to them to be given to the world.[4]

As the world pushes for a blind unity that leads to doctrinal compromise, worldly favor, and spiritual death, Seventh-day Adventists must sound a different call—a call for division from sin and unity with Christ. If we fail, our only reward will be to plunge off “the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2) into the void and darkness of Babylonian confusion.

United to this darkness, we fall. Divided, we stand.

[1]     Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (Boise: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1911), p. 287.

[2]     This vision can be found in the book Early Writings by Ellen White, page 14.

[3]     Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald (January 20, 1903).

[4]     Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7 (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1948), p. 138 (emphasis added).




Tim Rumsey
Tim Rumsey

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