Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let's Talk: Jan Paulsen at PUC

Last night I watched an episode of Let's Talk, with pastor Jan Paulsen, which was taped at Pacific Union College. In case you don't know, Let's Talk is a television program where Jan Paulsen, President of the Adventist World Church, goes around to different cities, states and countries and talks to a small group of people from the local congregation. The format is such so that people ask random questions of him regarding our church.

Now, this must be a tough job even in the best of cases. To take that much heat for every perceived problem of every member must surely require a lot of grace, but this episode was especially saddening to me.

Overall, the sense I got from those students is that they are trying to make vital issues of no importance while at the same time trying to make huge dilemmas of what are essentially non-issues, or at least issues of far lesser significance.

One young man was asking "why should someone have to believe all the doctrines of Adventists in order to become part of the church? After all, shouldn't our church "community" be more important than our doctrines?"

My thought is this: We are God's Remnant church precisely because we hold these Biblical truths as our standard. In fact, it is our whole purpose as a church, according to Revelation 18, to lift up God's truths and call others out of Babylon (spiritual confusion, false doctrines, etc.). If we cease to define our church by the doctrines we believe and teach, then we also cease to be God's church. If community is most important, then we should choose a church based on which one has the best community. Yet we know that's not the answer. We choose a church, and stay in a church, based on its teachings, its doctrines.

A young lady, who said she's currently working with a group of homosexuals in San Francisco who go from church to church, said "The Adventist church is not on their list of "friendly" churches to visit, so we're failing to make homosexuals feel welcome."

My thought is this: Our church should receive and love everyone. We have all sinned, and simply because one person's sin seems more severe than an other's, we do not have the right to reject them, or withhold God's love. But, my feeling is that this young lady is asking for the church to accept that gay lifestyle. This is error. Our job as a church is to spread the truth. The church cannot accept or condone a life of sin, and the Bible is crystal clear that homosexuality is a sin. Having said that, we are to hate the sin, but love the sinner. So if she was asking that, as a church, we extend our invitation as "Come, we accept your choices." is simply impossible. But if she is simply saying we need to be more active in the gay community in saying "Come, we will show you God's truth, and God's love for you, and that He is calling you to follow Him."...she's right. I simply call it evangelism and it should be practiced with every group, not just homosexuals, or unbelievers, or those in Babylon. Since she feels so passionate about this particular group, I'd imagine God is calling her to minister to them by lifting up Christ and His teachings, and showing them the Way. "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." - Proverbs 14:12. Is it more important to make them feel accepted in their sin, or to save their souls from death?

One young man was asking Jan Paulsen "What are we doing about world poverty, and specifically about the situation in Darfur?" Well, Jan Paulsen pointed to ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) as working in Darfur as well as numerous other countries and disaster areas.

It seems like everyone wants their specific cause to be every one's #1 priority. This simply isn't possible. As a church we are doing everything we can with the resources we have. ADRA is a world organization that must help in many many places at the same time, it would be selfish and wrong to send all our funds and attention to one area, to the detriment of another. I can understand when someone is full of passion for a specific problem, but I believe that's the Spirit moving on your heart, and that that means you should personally get involved because God wants to use you to help that situation.

There were a couple other young men who asked rather pointed questions such as "Why is so much money going to administrators when pastors and teachers are so underpaid?" to which Jan Paulsen replied that, as far as he knows, the largest chunk of money from the churches are being given to education. Also, since our church is a global church, it is necessary to have administration to keep all our churches on the same wavelength, and that our administration is as streamlined as possible.

The other question was "How do you know that you're being led by the Holy Spirit when you are making decisions that effect the church?" Now, this in itself sounds reasonable, but it was the tone of voice and the facial expression of the young man that made this question border on rudeness. Jan Paulsen answered with grace and pointed to the fact that he is led by the Spirit the same as every Christian should be led by the Spirit, namely, by a firm belief in Christ as his Lord and Savior, by following Christ's teachings, by study of the Word of God and by earnest prayer.

Another person asked "Why the conferences in the south of the United States set up with black conferences and white conferences, and what is being done about it?" To this, Jan Paulsen responded that the conferences developed that way because of the situation in that area some 60 years ago. He stated that the conferences are functioning very well and are having no problems.

Basically, he was saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". My thoughts are that if there is no racism going on in these conferences, who cares if one is mostly black or one is mostly white or one is mostly hispanic, or whatever. What should we do? Force the mostly black conferences to give X number of positions to white people, or force the mostly white conferences to give X number of positions to black people? All to appease our own view, as an outsider, of the situation?

Another young woman asked "What progress is being made with regard the ordination of women as pastors and when can we expect that to be implemented?" To this, Jan Paulsen stated that it is an issue that comes up frequently, and that the church as met about and discussed this issue and decided that it is not the right direction to go, at least at this time. This young woman said that many women are using their skills in secular society because they can't use them in the church. That just seems like such a selfish thought, almost like a little child throwing a temper tantrum because they don't get their way. If there was some Biblical precedent, perhaps this would be a different issue, but there isn't. Women are used in a mighty way by God. But society today wants everyone to not only be equal (which is right), but wants everyone to be the same (which is wrong). Our Adventist youth (and adults?) are subscribing to these worldly views. God made men and women differently. He made us to serve different functions. We are equal, but not the same. To demand sameness is to say that your way is better than God's way.

In conclusion, it seems to me that our universities are becoming so dominated by worldly thinking and belief systems, that our young people are putting their own views and feelings ahead of God's truths. It seems that what is lacking is a humble spirit and a willingness to stand up and work for your own causes. Let us not look to others to solve our problems or fight our fights, but let us look to God, in prayer and study of scripture, and ask, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" - Acts 9:6. Let us look to heaven and say "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." - 1 Samuel 3:9

None of this is verbatim, as I only took a few brief notes but did not record the program. This is also not all of the questions and answers that came up, just the ones I took note of and remembered.

I'll be trying to remember all the students of our Adventist Universities in my prayers. I hope you'll do the same. Let's lift them up to God and ask Him to work on these campuses. Also, let's keep Pastor Paulsen in our prayers, as I'm sure his job is a difficult one. And hopefully you will keep me in your prayers as well, for God to correct beliefs I have that are incorrect, and to help me to follow the light He has revealed.

As always, God bless you and keep you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Levels of Study

I feel like writing a post expressing my thankfulness to Pastor Stephen Bohr. As I've stated in my story, I came to Bible truth in the Fall of 2004 by watching a series of Bible study seminars, as well as devouring sets of Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides (which earned me a couple of neat certificates).

Well, those teachings eventually became a little "inadequate" for my edification. At which point God led me to a different set of sermons and books that were of a more practical nature, although still thoroughly grounded in the Bible. Eventually those studies also felt "inadequate" and I wanted even more. We have a tendency to always want something more, something fresh, don't we?

So recently I've caught a few sermons (maybe 4) from Pastor Stephen Bohr and, once again, I am amazed by God's Word. Admittedly, I realize that I should be finding these things for myself and spending more of my own time in Bible study, and I have begun doing that but I still like to be fed some good stuff every now and then to freshen my own perspective.

So this is just the thought I had today:

There are different levels of Biblical truths,

1. The Basic Level, which includes things like Leo Schreven's Revelation of Jesus Christ seminar, Doug Batchelor's Millennium of Prophecy seminar, and recently Mark Finley's Discoveries '08. These are all wonderful tools to establish a firm foundational understanding of Bible truths. These help people study the Bible for the first time and come to understand how amazingly accurate and easily understood it is. This is milk. Full of nutrition to help the babe grow, yet not sufficient for the more mature Christian (though never to be neglected).

2. The Advanced Level, which includes things like Stephen Bohr's Studies in Matthew 24 as well as his messages on Sabbath Reform, Steve Wohlberg's Israel in Prophecy, and other material that I cannot recall at the moment. These messages give insights to insights. They dig deeper than the Basic Level studies and reveal scriptural links that give profound glimpses into the unity of God's Word. Messages of this level often concentrate on very specific topics in very great detail and assume that the hearer is already firmly grounded in the fundamental Bible truths. These messages can sometimes be confusing without a firm grasp of Basic Level truths. Even today, I watched a fascinating sermon by Pastor Bohr that showed the clear biblical link between heavenly manna, Christ's body, redemption and the Sabbath. I am loving this stuff and can't wait to see more messages from Pastor Bohr. This is meat. It strengthens mature Christians but is usually too much for babes.

3. The Practical Level, which includes all of the amazing messages from Jim Hohnberger such as Escape to God, Come to the Quiet and Men of Power, his wife Sally Hohnberger's messages to mothers such as Parenting by the Spirit, Ron Halvorsen's book Prayer Warriors, as well as some of the random sermons you hear from great preachers which are not part of a seminar. These help us draw always nearer to God in a practical, day-to-day sort of way. If the Basic Level is milk and the Advanced Level is meat, this would have to be the fruit, which is good for both babe and mature, and also leads to us bearing (you guessed it) the fruit of the Spirit.

4. The Personal Level, which is an essential type of Bible study where we leave all of our motives and baggage at the door and simply come to God through His word. This is when we don't seek to study a specific doctrine or issue, but rather take a verse or two or three and really let them sink in. At this level, we are simply trying to get a glimpse of God's character, we plead, "Show me your glory, Lord." This is a very intimate time spent between you and God. Some people refer to this time as "Devotions". An apt description, as this time is a result of our true devotion to Him who created us, our Heavenly Father.

I only know as much as I've experienced and am sure that there are even more levels of truth for God to reveal to us, an inexhaustible amount of truths that we shall be ever-learning and always amazed by throughout eternity. Praise God for His greatness.

Are there any specific messages that you are thankful for? If so, leave a comment and let us know. Which category do you think they'd fall into, or is there a whole new category?

1 Corinthians 3:2, "I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now are still not able;"

1 Peter 2:2, "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."

For extra credit: I seem to recall Jesus telling His disciples at one point that He wanted to tell them more, but that they wouldn't be able to bear it. I have looked and looked but I can't find the scripture. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but if you can find the verse I'm thinking of, you get a gold star!

Update: The extra-credit and gold star go to Deb, from Baby Steps to Christ, who told me the text is John 16:12, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." - Thanks, Deb! Also, thanks to Bringer of Peace for your reminding us of perhaps the most important level of Bible study!

God bless you and keep you!

Friday, November 28, 2008


I'd like to see countless Adventists and other Christians flooded with a reformation in our hearts and start participating in a global e-fellowship program where we all start a blog about our faith, about our Christian journey. A group of believers who lift each other up on prayer to God, and encourage each other through trials. A group of believers who hold each other accountable and study the Bible together. I'd like to see posts from those mining through the treasures of scripture and revealing what truths of gold they've uncovered, and how it applies to our lives today. It would sure be a beautiful thing, spreading across the world and uniting our faith. Who knows, we could set the whole world on fire!

I prayed that God would send many people to this site who are eager to study together to learn more truth and desire to come closer to Him though His word. If you find yourself here, perhaps there is a reason.

Isaiah 1:18, "'Come now, and let us reason together,' Says the LORD, 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'"

So, if you're interested in reasoning together and coming closer to God through e-fellowship, please leave a comment or follow this blog.

God bless.


Ellen White, False Prophet?

I will fully confess that there have been times when I questioned Ellen White's accuracy and whether or not she was an actual "prophet". These times are always when I wander onto a web site that quotes portions of her writings which I cannot make sense of. Today was such a day.

In my search for other Christian blogs for e-fellowship, I found one that was bashing an Adventist University for having tennis courts, because of something that Ellen White had written about being shown students practicing idolatry by playing tennis and cricket. Well that didn't seem to jive with what I know about the Bible's stance on living a healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet and exercise, so I began searching for answers as I always do when I find something of her writings that confuse me. After all, I can understand why a Christian shouldn't participate in sports like boxing, or perhaps even football...but tennis? Seriously? I mean, come on, tennis?

What I found put to rest not only my curiosity about this particular passage, but it also put to rest my unreal and un-Biblical expectation of a prophet to be infallible and unerring. It turns out, after a close study of prophets in the Bible, as well as the topics of inspiration and revelation, that prophets are humans, just like us. They make mistakes, just like us. To expect perfection from a human, even a prophet, is wrong and, even worse, likely to damage our faith in God Himself.

It turns out that Ellen White was more than just a prophet...she was also human.

I would highly recommend that if any of you Adventists out there have questioned some of Ellen White's statements, you visit this site and read at least part of the following book online:

More than a Prophet by Graeme Bradford. I've also linked to it on my sidebar. This book is wonderfully illuminating in regard to understand how God speaks through men using the Holy Spirit. I would recommend any Christian, not just Adventists, read this short book.

God Bless! :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanks to everyone who reads this blog,
and those who fight the fight...
Thanks to them who sacrifice,
to reach the world and spread His light...

Thanks to you for keeping faith,
even when the world seems cold...
Thanks to you for preaching Christ,
and please continue to be bold...

Thanks to heaven's angels,
for never leaving our side...
Thanks to our Creator,
who, for us, chose to die.

2 Corinthians 9:15, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"

Psalm 140:13, "Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence."

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where Are The Conservative Adventist Blogs?

Since I began this blog I have been searching and searching for conservative Adventist blogs but have found very very few, if any. There are many Christian blogs I've stumbled onto, most of which espouse blatantly sinful lifestyles which include drinking, smoking, premarital sex, etc. The few Adventist blogs I've found have been less blatant but have contained a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) "downplaying" of fundamental, conservative Adventist beliefs, and even fundamental Christian beliefs.

I watched a performer on LLBN the other day and ended up finding their myspace page because I really enjoyed the music, only to find their list of favorite movies, music, books are the ones popular with the world, full of sin, which put our Lord to shame.

Hebrews 6:4-6, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame."

Is it just the youth of the Adventist church that are falling away? Sadly, I don't think so. I've seen and heard just as much worldliness from those more "mature" Adventists and Christians.

Is there anyone out there who longs for Christ to put their sinful natures to death? Anyone who truly wants to be a new creature, instead of squeezing our Christian beliefs into our old nature?

Please don't think I have any sort of high opinion of myself, I do not. I am more sinful than any of you, even if sometimes not outwardly. But I hate it. I feel ashamed of the sin in my heart and I yearn for Christ to fill my heart with His Spirit. Is there anyone out there who feels this struggle with two opposing natures, as did the Apostle Paul? Is there anyone out there whose mind is always always always contemplating spiritual things when they have free moments? Christ is in my thoughts day and night, hour after hour, moment by moment.

Is there anyone out there who desires to talk to others of God and His love, anyone who desires fellowship with other pilgrims on their journey from this world to that which is to come? I pray that they will find my blog, because I'm having a difficult time finding theirs.

If this is your prayer, like it is mine, like it was David's, let's talk:

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight - that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you." - Psalm 51:1-13

I pray we all turn from our wicked ways, including myself, and hold His Word in the highest regard, and seek Him with all our heart. He promises He will be found. (Jer. 29:13)

Ezekiel 33:11, "'Say to them: "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?"'"

Prayer Warriors - Review

Prayer Warriors gets me excited about being in Christ's Army every time I start reading it! It's a book that really pumps you up with language that is especially appealing to those with adventurous hearts. It talks about being part of God's Elite Special Forces, Prayer Warriors, and goes over many many scriptures regarding prayer, putting them in the format of chapters titled:

War Zone

Battle Challenge

Knowing Your Enemy

Knowing Your Prince and Leader

Arming for Battle

Battle Skills


Jesus-The Model Prayer Warrior

The Secret Place of Prayer

Battle Tactics

The Arsenal of Prayer

The Sword and the Shield

Battle Cry

The book is in a very practical format, with each chapter being broken down into multiple sections with subtitles, large margins on the outside of each page (this book is quite wider than average), and a small workbook page at the end of each chapter with a few questions requiring your thoughts and answers. The paper quality and print quality are excellent.

Anyway, if you would like to receive advanced training in the art of spiritual warfare, and become part of God's elite special forces as a prayer warrior, I would highly recommend this book by Ron Halvorsen! Get it here.

Amazing Facts Bible - Review

I finally was able to get the Amazing Facts Bible: Prophecy Study Edition! I am very excited and pleased with it! It has abundant resources which will be invaluable to not only my own studies, but also in studying with someone else.

These resources are:

Biblical Cyclopedic Index (over 300 pages), which is just like it sounds. You can look up people, subjects, items, anything, and it gives you different scriptures referring to that thing.

Bible Symbols and Their Meanings. This includes animals, colors, metals, numbers, etc. and scriptures to show why they are symbolic.

Harmony of the Gospels. This is standard except it has the baptism of Jesus listed as 30 A.D. (should be around 27 A.D.), even though they have his birth listed as 4-5 B.C. (correct) and we know by Luke 3:23 that Jesus began His ministry at around age 30. But this is all corrected through the study guides.

The Jewish Calender.

The Parables of Jesus Christ.

The Miracles of Jesus Christ.

Prayers of the Bible. This is a list of people or groups of people who have recorded prayers in the Bible, and where those prayers can be located.

Read Your Bible Through In a Year.

Concordance. (64 pages)

All 27 Amazing Facts Study Guides. (193 pages) These go over topics such as the Bible, Sin, Salvation, Sabbath, Second Coming, Baptism, State of the Dead, Millennium, Judgement, Tithing, etc.

Guide to Bible Prophecy. (18 pages) These include 17 studies on subjects such as Nebuchadnezzar's Dream, the 2,300 days and 70 Weeks prophecy, the Three Angels Messages, etc.

A two-part section on: What is the Bible, and How Do You Study the Bible (11 pages).

NKJV with giant print, words of Christ in red, one place ribbon, 9 standard Biblical maps, available in genuine leather, synthetic leather, soft cover or hardback.

This Bible cuts down the need to carry around a number of resources with which to study and share. It combines everything the serious Bible student needs into one place. The only thing that may be needed for Bible study outside of this is perhaps an exhaustive concordance which, for obvious reasons, would not fit into a Bible.

There are only 2 things that I think could be improved upon: First, the pages are thin, like most Bibles, and being able to see text from the opposite page sometimes bugs me. Second, there are no headers either on top of the pages or within the Bible text itself such as "Jesus feeds 5,000" or "Moses parts the Red Sea" or "Lazarus raised from the dead", which I personally like to at least be at the top of the page for a quick reference if I'm looking for a specific event.

These are small things and should not keep anyone from getting this amazing Prophecy Study Edition Holy Bible. I HIGHLY recommend it. All my observations are based on my genuine leather edition. Now my wife wants one (Update: she got one! The cover of her leather edition is much smoother than mine, for some reason) and I want to purchase a couple more hardback editions for use with Bible-study groups. Buy one here.

Remember: Always practice with your Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, by memorizing scriptures. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ernie Knoll, False Prophet?

For a moment let me write about a matter which is causing quite a stir in some circles. The man at the center of this controversy is Mr. Ernie Knoll, a professed Adventist (update: Ernie Knoll has now been officially disfellowshipped from the Seventh-day Adventist church) who began having dreams in 2005 that he considered to be from God. In these dreams an angel named "the herald" gives information to Mr. Knoll. Many sincere Christians have reviewed these dreams and found them to contain large amounts of truth...but finally there appeared a seed of deception...then another, and another.

Mr. Ernie Knoll's dreams are in direct contradiction to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. It appears as if a great deception has begun. Many are being led astray. Get ready, and be sure to study study study the Word of God!

For some detailed analysis of some of the falsehoods in these dreams by a very respected and dear Christian evangelist, Steve Wohlberg, please visit the following site:

Here is an article about the dreams by another respected and well-known man of God, G Edward Reid:

Here is a link to a website where an in-depth review of Mr. Ernie Knoll and his dreams is made by numerous trusted Christians:

Mr. Ernie Knoll was, I'm sure, very sincere in the early stages of these dreams and truly believed that they were from God. He has since been shown his error through many sincere Christians from the Bible and has chosen to reject plain Biblical truth in favor of his dreams. Pride probably has a lot to do with it. I hope he will consider carefully the consequences of his rejecting God's Holy Spirit. Lucifer's prideful fall began so subtly that even he didn't realize what the end result of his stubbornness would be. Please pray for Mr. Ernie Knoll that he will open his eyes and ears to God's pleas for him to return to truth, before it's too late for himself and the many he has deceived. Please pray for not one more soul to be deceived by this man and his dreams, which are being used by satan as a great tool for the end-time deceptions.

The part that disturbs me the most is the way this false prophet is trying to align himself with our church and the two largest ministries of truth: Amazing Facts and It Is Written. Mr. Ernie Knoll prophesied that he would become connected with Shawn Boonstra who would help spread these dreams, and that his path would also converge with that of Doug Batchelor. Now, these are two Christ-like men doing honest ministry and spreading the truth, and both have shunned Mr. Ernie Knoll and his demonic dreams. Yet the more this false prophet tries to link his name with God's true church and true laborers, the more non-Christians will come to view God's true church and true laborers as "in the same league" with this wolf-in-sheep's-clothing, thus greatly hindering God's actual work of spreading His true Gospel. Since becoming an Adventist I have already come to the realization that a significant number of denominations and non-Christians think that Adventists are a cult. How mightily satan has wrought his work of deception in these latter days.

Thankfully, I know One who is more powerful than all the fallen angels! And He will deliver all His people from the snares and deceptions of the wicked one.

Psalm 91:2-4, "I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.' Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler."

John 8:31-32, "...If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

John 8:36, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."


Update: Ernie Knoll Admits He Was Lying

Not 1 in 20 are true Christians

While going through some of the sections in Ellen White's book "Last Day Events" (a compilation), I came across a statement where she said that "...not 1 in 20 Adventists are truly converted". How terribly sad is that thought!

As I look at our church, I am persuaded that the numbers are even less today. Compared to almost any Christian church in the late 1800's or early 1900's, all of Christendom today has been infiltrated by the world to a much larger degree. This is sadly confirmed by some of the "Adventists" I talk to and read of who espouse doctrines of accepting worldly views and beliefs, even in regard to God and the Bible!

It seems to me that so many people consider themselves Christians, yet try to reason away the plain meaning of scripture. Ladies and gentlemen, God's Word is our only source of truth in this world. We must, whatever the topic, always look at things from the perspective of God's Word being absolutely, infallibly, 100% true. Everything else, including science, philosophy, relationships, raising children, and anything else important to us, must fit into whatever model or facts God's Word gives us.

I know that humans were not a result of (macro) evolution. I know that the entire world was destroyed by a flood. I know that Jonah was swallowed by a sea creature, remained there for 3 days, and lived to tell about it. I know all these things because God's Word declares them to be true. If you ask me to make a choice between our human theories or the plain meaning of is not a difficult choice. Sola Scriptura!

I pray that as a people, we Christians (not just Adventists) would wake up and see how dire our circumstance has become! We are being conformed to the world more and more with each passing day!

Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

I pray that God, by His Spirit, would renew our minds each day from whatever worldliness has crept in unaware, so that we can accept, with humility, those things which God has revealed to us so plainly in His Word. We cannot trust the intelligence of our own minds. I pray that God will cleanse us of the pride that leads to believing we can distinguish truth from falsehood without our Creator. We cannot!

Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart (mind) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?"

If our minds are deceitful above all things, that necessarily means that greater intelligence equals greater deceitfulness and wickedness.

There was a time when I fancied myself fairly intelligent and thus reasoned that I could understand the truths of this world through my own efforts. I was wrong. The greatest minds are like that of an amoeba when compared to our Creator! We cannot trust our own thoughts, but must measure all things by His Word. Please hear me!

Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power - Review

I've finally received the book "The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power" by R.A. Torrey and am a little over halfway through it. So far it has been a very good book on practical Christian life and prayer.

In flipping through to find one of the many passages I found so terrific, so as to give you an excerpt, this is the one I found:

"Suppose some Englishman were summoned to Buckingham Palace to meet King George. He answers the summons and is waiting in the anteroom to be ushered into the presence of the King. What do you think that man would say to himself as he waited to be brought into the presence of the King? Do you think he would say, 'I wonder how much time I must spend with the King?' No, Indeed; he would rather think, 'I wonder how much time the king will give me.' But prayer is having an audience with the King of kings, that eternal, omnipotent King in comparison with whom all earthly kings are as nothing; and would any intelligent person that realizes that fact ever ask himself, 'How much time must I spend in prayer?' No, our thought will be, 'How much time may I spend in prayer, how much time will the King give me?'" - p77, The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power.

Of course, after reading this I began thinking how excited I would be if I was granted a private audience with the President of the United States. A chance to pick his brain and talk to him and get to know him, even if for only 10 or 15 minutes. Yet I feel nothing of that same excitement when I consider prayer. In fact, I look at it as a duty, and sometimes a tedious one at that.

One thing I love so much about this book is the large number of anecdotes/stories the author uses to illustrate his points. Most importantly,
though, is that he uses scriptures. One thing I don't like about this book is that he uses less scriptures than he should. You will perhaps read one scripture about prayer and then read 5 pages of exposition about that one verse. The serious Bible student knows that we need many scriptures to nail down a Biblical truth.

I would recommend this book to any Christian, although there are a few doctrinal errors, such as an eternal hell, which are mentioned in passing but not taught or dwelt upon. But these shouldn't bother anyone grounded in the Word of God. It was published in 1924 by the president of the Moody Bible Institute. He was D.L. Moody's protege.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Checking In

Hi everyone! I realized it's been awhile since I last posted, and that my last post wasn't the most positive thing ever, so I figured I'd tack on an extra post to say how happy I am that Christ loves us! Loves us not because we're good enough, but because we're His children! Amen!

I've been watching bits and pieces of this series on GCN lately and they have been featuring excerpts from R.A. Torrey's book "The Power of Prayer". These passages were so insightful and inspired that I've ordered the book from Amazon and am waiting to receive it! I'll post some texts from it when I get it. God bless you all!

Also, a friend of mine is beginning a Bible study with a few couples around our same age and we are looking forward to going although I am a little nervous around people I don't know. Did I say a little? I mean I'm terrified of socializing with people I don't know! But it's sure to be a blessing.

P.s. Along with Torrey's book, I also ordered a book set called "The Christmas Box collection" which features three Christian novels. The reviews were all excellent so I decided my wife might enjoy them. If anyone has read these books I'd love any comments. :-)

Update: The Christmas Box, along with other stories by this author, contain many doctrinal errors which have led to spiritualism invading even Christianity in these latter days. The main one is communicating with spirits of the dead, ghost encounters, etc. Which we know is very Biblically inaccurate as well as dangerous.

As the Bible says "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun." Eccl 9-5,6

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28,29

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not preceed them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" 1 Thes 4:13-16

There are, of course, countless other scriptures which speak of the the state of the dead, but that is for another study. :-)

So, after my wife reading these books and telling me about them, I would recommend you stay away from the works of Richard Paul Evans, as emotionally touching as they may be. I pray that God will bring to his study those truths which are so plainly revealed in the Bible.