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22. THE SDA CHURCH
September 28, 2007
by Ernie Knoll
www.formypeople.org

In my dream, I am standing on a sidewalk looking at the right side of the front of a very large church. The church is massive in size. It appears that it must take up an entire city block because of its size. I notice there are many windows on the sides and more windows above these. I notice there are several very large columns in front of the church. The base of the columns are at the top of the steps and they extend way up to support the roof.

Suddenly, I feel a tap on my right shoulder and someone calls me by my heavenly name. I turn and see “The Herald” standing behind me. I immediately tell him I have several questions to ask him. He smiles a patient smile and says, “You always have questions.” The Herald says, “Come, I am to show you many things.”

We walk down the sidewalk and stand at the base of the many stairs that go up to the front of the church. I watch as many, many people begin walking up the steps. My angel points out that some of the men are not thinking about what they might hear in church or the blessing they will receive. Many are thinking about their job and what they need to do to excel to get a higher position. Others are thinking about how good they look all dressed up. Others are thinking of who they might meet to find a mate. I see others dressed as if going to a picnic or a ball game. Some are even dressed in sports jerseys.

I watch as many, many women ascend the steps wearing expensive stylish shoes. The outfits they have selected are inappropriate for church. Some wear dresses and skirts that are very short. Many have tops which are cut very low, exposing much of themselves. Others are wearing tight form fitting clothes. Some have painted toenails and fingernails. Many wear jewelry and proudly display their wedding rings. They sport the latest decorative hairdos that say, “Look at me; I’m beautiful.”

We climb the stairs and enter into the foyer of this large church. In the foyer, I find it is very noisy. I see vending machines along the walls. There are also aluminum and wood carts offering tea, milk and coffee as well as bagels, pastries and a small assortment of very ripe fruit.

I notice that there are many sanctuaries that branch off from the foyer. My angel and I enter the first sanctuary and I notice many people inside. We listen as the preacher is explaining, “Jesus paid for each of us on the cross. We’re saved; don’t worry about a thing. We have been saved in our sins.” He continues, “All we have to do each day is ask for forgiveness and we will have eternal life. We are not to worry if we sin again as Jesus has paid for our right to be in heaven.” The people exclaim together, “Amen! Sin and be forgiven; Jesus has saved us.”

We leave this sanctuary and enter the next. In this sanctuary there is a large baptistery up front. I notice this sanctuary is filled with many people. There is a long line of people waiting to go up the stairs to the baptistery to be baptized. I see above and to the right of the baptistery a large digital counter, like a scoreboard, that increments each time an individual is baptized. I watch as some in line to be baptized are carrying suitcases. Others are carrying shopping bags full of items they just purchased at the store. The bags contain food items, reading material and other things a Christian would not bring with them to church, especially when they are going to be baptized. I see some with cigarettes in their pockets and still others eating unclean foods as they stand in line. I watch as individuals are placed under the water and then handed off to climb out of the baptistery. I see men in black suits discussing the counter. I know these are important men connected with the church. I hear them discuss how the counter needs to increase faster. I watch as they decide to place more helpers in the baptistery to move the people in, under and out faster. They exclaim, “IN, UNDER and OUT!” I watch as the counter goes faster. I notice the water they are in is very dirty as are those in the water. As they come out of the water, they are still dirty, but have now picked up additional dirt from others who have been previously baptized. I look at their faces and they appear tired and not very happy. I look to my angel and begin to cry and shake my head.

 

We leave this sanctuary and return to the foyer. My angel and I stop for a bit and he says, “Do not cry. I have been sent to show you these things. Conserve your courage.”

We then go to the next sanctuary where I notice a banner over the door which says “Team Church.” In the sanctuary I see that the pews have been removed and recliners installed. I see many visiting and talking. They are wearing football, baseball, basketball and other sports related clothing. Up front, the pastor is wearing his favorite team’s uniform. I hear him exclaim, “Jesus will beat the opposing team. We have a victory at His touch down, the game is won!” I hear the people cheer, holding their drinks and snacks up, saying, “Go team Jesus.” My angel and I walk back out to the foyer, where my angel reaches up and takes hold of the banner and begins to pull it away. I notice underneath the words that begin, “The Problem of Many Athletic Sports.... The Adventist Home, page 500.” (See quote at end of dream.) As I begin reading this, several men, seeing us do this, become very angry and begin placing the banner back up.

We then walk to the next sanctuary and find the pastor talking very smoothly to the many people. He is preaching that all we need is love and grace. We need not worry about anything else, just love and grace. I watch as he uses certain hand and arm movements, slowly walking from one side of the platform to the other. The people become very relaxed. He speaks about only certain parts of the Bible and shares how we are to learn new ideas. He speaks of a “community of faith” and of “innovation.” I see the people are listening; but they are lulled into a sleepy stupor. As we leave this room, I look up to my angel with a disgusted look.

We walk into another sanctuary where once again I see that there are many people. They are standing and singing. There is a large screen up front that has words displayed on it. As the people sing, they raise their hands and wave them back and forth. The song they are singing constantly repeats itself. There is no verse of inspiration. I then see many step out into the aisle where they begin slowly walking up and down, singing and waving. Gradually they begin skipping, and after a little more time they begin running up and down the aisle proclaiming that they have the “spirit.” They begin speaking with unintelligible languages. I look to my angel and ask if we may leave.

We walk to the next sanctuary and I find there are very few people inside. The few that are there are sitting quietly and listening intently. The pastor is speaking of preparing for the coming of Jesus. He talks from the heart. I look to my angel and I smile. He puts his left hand on my right shoulder and says, “Look closely at the pastor.” As I look I notice that a very bright light is shining down on him from heaven. I notice what looks like a flame is burning on top of his head. I see many angels carrying books. They are instructing him what to say.

We leave this sanctuary and return to the foyer. We walk past many other sanctuaries, the vending machines, and the many carts of tea, milk, coffee, bagels and pastry. We walk out of this massive church building. The Herald looks at me and asks, “May I have your hand?” I hold up my right hand to him and he takes a firm hold. We ascend into the air about a hundred feet. We turn, and for the first time I see the entire front of this massive church. I notice the large pillars that support the roof. Just below the roof is a large sign, deeply engraved with the words “SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH.”

He looks at me and says, “Hold strong to your faith.” As I watch, the church suddenly starts shaking left and right, forward and backward. The whole church begins twisting from side to side. I watch as many people are thrown from the windows. Many come running out and down the steps. I see the vending machines and pastry carts tumble out and down the steps. I see many, many people falling and rolling down the steps. I watch as this large building shakes. I expect to see it crumble to the ground. I squeeze my angel’s hand as I am afraid of what is going to happen to my church. He looks at me and says, “Hold tight to your faith.” As suddenly as it began, the shaking stops. I look and see that the many large pillars are still intact. We descend back to the ground and stand on the top step. I notice there is no damage to the steps. I turn and see many people now walking up the steps of the church. Their appearance is modest and many are singing an inspirational hymn. I notice all have laid self aside and are focused on Jesus. All worldly thoughts are put away. I watch as they enter the foyer. We walk into the foyer and notice that some are quietly whispering and there is a sense of reverence throughout the long foyer.

My angel and I begin going from sanctuary to sanctuary. I notice that each service is reverent, and each pastor is teaching the way to Jesus. My angel and I continue to the sanctuary where they were baptizing people. I notice here that ministers are praying and studying with each individual before they get in line. I see there is a room where the individuals go to get rid of their suitcases and shopping bags. There is a trash receptacle where they throw away their cigarettes and other tobacco items. I watch as an individual slowly walks into the baptistery. The minister stands next to them. He speaks of the commitment they are about to make before not only to those watching, but all of heaven. As the individual is lowered under the water I notice they are dirty. My angel directs me to look up. As I look up through the roof and all the way through the sky to heaven, I see angels cheering and singing as each individual is baptized. I look back at the individuals as they slowly exit the baptistery. I notice that as they come out, they are very clean. The garments they are wearing are bright white and their faces beam with happiness.

As we continue down the foyer to each sanctuary, I notice that the church stood without any damage. There is not even a crack in the walls. I think of how I watched as this building twisted and shook and how I was so afraid that it would fall.

The Herald and I turn, walk outside and down the steps. I look at him and ask when this will happen. He smiles a loving smile, and again, as in other dreams, I notice his dimples. He puts a hand on each of my shoulders and says, “After you awake, prepare what I have shown you. Send it to Sister Z. She will serve in editing. When she is finished she is to have her husband review it. He will know if anything has been left out as he has already been shown. When he is in agreement with what has been prepared, it is to be sent straightaway to Brother S for posting for His people.” I asked the Herald if Brother Z has received the dream. He said that many are shown and they share. Many are shown and they are afraid to share. Many are shown and they do not recall. Many are shown and they recall after the appointed time. And many are shown through the Father’s Spirit.

The Herald calls me by my heavenly name and says, “You are to now awake and share what I have shown you.”

The Problem of Many Athletic Sports.--"Vigorous exercise the pupils must have. Few evils are more to be dreaded than indolence and aimlessness. Yet the tendency of most athletic sports is a subject of anxious thought to those who have at heart the well-being of the youth. Teachers are troubled as they consider the influence of these sports both on the student's progress in school and on his success in afterlife. The games that occupy so much of his time are diverting the mind from study. They are not helping to prepare the youth for practical, earnest work in life. Their influence does not tend toward refinement, generosity, or real manliness.

 

Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling.

 

Other athletic games, though not so brutalizing, are scarcely less objectionable because of the excess to which they are carried. They stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement, thus fostering a distaste for useful labor, a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities. They tend to destroy a relish for life's sober realities and its tranquil enjoyments. Thus the door is opened to dissipation and lawlessness with their terrible results." Adventist Home, p. 500