Friday, December 24, 2010
This is a special Sabbath. Let us enjoy family and friends, yet keeping in mind our Lord through out this day. Let each one reflect on all the Lord has done for us through out this year. Take special time to "talk" with Him and to thank Him for coming to our planet to redeem us!
Let us renew our faith and trust in Him as we approach the new year. Let us ask ourselves " Am I walking upright in the Lord? Do I have unrepented sins I am still holding onto?" For just as Ellens says, we are to be spotless, forsaking our selfish sins. As we do this our life opens up and His voice becomers clearer. We can then know His will for us clearly.
God has created us for His own and we must yield all selfishness in order to become a true image of God. The devil will try to "knock us down" but looking to our Lord and calling upon His word will help us to remain firm.
While it may be true that this day, December 25, may not be our Lord's birthday, nevertheless we can tell of Him and use this day to witness the good things He has done. God judges our heart ( 1Sam 16:7) so for those who approach this day "looking" to our Lord and giving Him praise, it can be a very good day to the Lord.
May you have a blessed Christmas and Sabbath, remembering His love and mercy for you. Amen
Friday, December 10, 2010
We all are aware of the "basics" of the Sabbath Commandment. Not to work and keep it holy. But two specific scripture quotes really dial in "how" we can complete this honoring of the Lord on His day. I believe we get out of the Sabbath what we put in it. When we "go through the motions" we get a colder, less alive day with our Lord. We honor it with our best effort, we get a real blessing and closeness to the Lord ( not only that Sabbath but through-out the following week).
The Sabbath is like this. It's a hidden treasure ( surely so with the vast Christian world today) and the map(Bible word), if followed, will lead us to riches ( Lord's blessings).Two scriptures offer us a clear path to understanding important Sabbath issues. In (Isaiah 58:13) we read "If you turn away your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor him, not doing your own things, nor finding your own pleasures, OR SPEAKING YOUR OWN WORDS. Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken this"
In the quote above, I believe a real key is the "or speak your own words". I will give some personal experiences of what I mean. Being fairly new in my church a couple years ago, I was invited by some well meaning church members to go to "lunch" after service. Being somewhat new to the whole Sabbath experience I gladly went along. But I remember, as we sat around the table, that the conversation was mostly about worldly matters (cooking, politics, etc.). Not to mention the obvious "buying of food". Looking back, I can clearly see that, that simple meal really "dis-honored" the Lord in two ways. ( Nehemiah 10:31) says " And if the peoples of the land bring goods or grains on the Sabbath to sell, WE WILL NOT BUY FROM THEM ON THE SABBATH..." So both Isaiah's and Nehemiah's word from the Lord was ignored. Keep in mind, when you buy on His holy day, you are actually encouraging people to "work" that day.
So, fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I knew the correct Sabbath honoring. I was invited by some church members to go to one of the member's homes for lunch after service. As this certainly did not invloved buying or selling I gladly accepted. But the Lord has been working on me to spread the word about honoring His day through NOT speaking worldly things. So when I got this invite, I knew this was my opportunity to try to be an example to some of my fellow church members to keep the conversation on HIM. The "preponderance" of our conversations should be about Him on His day.
As we sat down, sure enough the conversation started to drift to world matters. I then spoke up and told the people about Doug Batchelor's two part DVD series called "The Lord's day". I actually brought one of them to show and tell . I had prepared myself for steering the conversation to the Lord. Then some got real excited to know more and we went on to have a nice long discussion centered around the "things of the Lord". My mission had worked.
God's word says (John 12:26) "...if any man serve me, him will My Father honor". So when I got home that day, I felt I had done God's will by keeping our conversation around "honoring" Him. I took a nap and dreamed. I usually don't dream during the day but I got a clear one, short but clear. In it I see my sister. She is holding her left side of her face and is in real pain. Then I awake. I remember it, but thought "That was strange". Turned out it was from the Lord. He was letting me know He was with me that Sabbath. We can't always know the Lord's ways but I soon found out. I emailed my sister and told her my dream and asked if she was ok. She responded that a few days before she had accidently bite her tongue on the left side and it had gotten infected (painful). There was NO WAY of knowing this except from that dream from the Lord. I had been "honored" by receiving this revelation. He wants to speak to you also! Obey His word and you WILL receive from Him.
Let us keep the Sabbath as holy as possible so that at the end of the day ( or maybe even in the middle of it :-) the Lord will say "Well done my faithful servant". Amen.
Friday, November 26, 2010
The following story comes from Paul Wong, a Chinese man who is a minister, and is devoutly involved in spreading God's truth in China and elsewhere. Although dated, this story nevertheless is awesome and shows how God goes out of His way to show the people His truth.
I (Paul) was brought to the True Jesus Church in Fuqing that had a tremedous revival in the mid-eighties. At that time the Fujian Theological Seminary organized a debate on the seventh day Sabbath issue. The Sunday keepers had three speakers and the Sabbath keepers also had three speakers. There were two speakers from the True Jesus Church and one from the Seventh Day Adventist Church(all in support of the seventh day Sabbath). The debate started on a Monday and ended on a Friday. It was fiercely contested and both sides claimed victory. But God had a very clear and decisive way of showing which side really won.
On the first Sabbath after the debate, one of the debate speakers from the TJC was preaching that day. As he was preaching about the Sabbath, a church sister that was sitting in the front pew saw an angel standing beside him. She made the remark that she saw an angel, after that several other people also saw the angel.
All of them gave a similar description of the angel. He was fair skinned, broad shouldered, had golden hair and was handsome looking. he was wearing a shiny, white garment. The next Sabbath more angels appeared and the news traveled fast. More church members attended the Sabbath service and the hall was packed to capacity. The angels appeared during the Sabbath services many more times after that.
Over a period of eight months there were 23 appearances of the angels during the Sabbath services. During that period the TJC in Fuqing enjoyed the GREATEST REVIVAL that they had ever know.
Many Sunday keepers also came and attended the Sabbath services hoping to see the angels, and they were not disappointed. The Sunday churches were so scared of losing their members to the TJC that they issued a public statement emphasizing the appearance of the angels was not because of the Sabbath, but because of the church building that originally belonged to them. Not many people were convinced of their rationale.
Paul goes on to say that the membership of the TJC increased tremendously! And he gave God all the praise. I can see this "great revival" happening very soon here in the US, and such signs and wonders will be freely seen and witnessed. Prepare yourselves people, God will open these acts shortly. Amen.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Jesus knew His signs, wonders and miracles would have an important impact on many. He said in (John 14:11) "...at least believe in me for the works I do" And when we see them we are awed and amazed at "the works" He does. Paul, also knew that God's power was strong evidence of these workings of God within the life of the believer. He said "... I will know, not by their speech (words) of them puffed up, but BY THEIR POWER. For the kingdom of God is not in the word, but in the power" ( 1 Cor 4:19-20)
Each one of us has the ability to call upon God's power. I have had this same dream off and on since I was a boy. In it I am able to fly in the air, amazed and excited, all I could do was think of how I was going to tell the world. God has revealed to me that this was a dream to let me know what is possible IF WE BELIEVE. Amazing things can happen. It is only when our belief is in full measure that we can "do" such miraculous signs such as this little Chinese lady's story will show. Jesus said " If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes" (Mark 9:23).
Many have been brought to the Lord by His signs and wonders, look at Nebuchadnezzar as an extreme example. In the chapter where he himself writes (Daniel chapter 4) in the very beginning he says "I thought it good to show (tell of) the signs and wonders that the high God has brought toward me. How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders....!" ( Dan 4:2-3)
So the following story is written to inspire you and give you confidence that the Lord is "out there" working (increasingly more and more). You will notice that Commandment keepers are promised these signs and wonders. As His word says " He that has my Commandments and KEEPS them, he it is that loves me and shall be loved by the father, and I will love him, and REVEAL Myself to him" (John 14:21). Signs and wonders done on our behalf is certainly a "revealing" of Himself.
Due to the length of space, it is necessary to include one miracle story this post, but will include the other next post. This story comes from our elder Mr. Burgess, who has made trips to China, and told us this story last Sabbath.
Her name is Mrs. Chin, a small diminutive older lady, living in China. She is a born again Christian. But not your typical passive one. She has a "fire" for the Lord. And judging by the power she showed, a right spirit before the Lord.
Often she would ride the country train to and from the closet city. She is poor and must survive as best she can. She decided one day to make little "Jesus" tracts and hand them out to the people as she rode the train. Well, she kept this up for a few trips until finally someone complained about it to the authorities. Amazing how satan and his workers try to shut down God's workers, isn't it?
Then she boards the train sometime later and discovers that the authorities have posted signs on the train saying " No handing out religious material on this train". But being truly in the spirit(listens to God rather than man) she ignores this sign and keeps up her faithful witnessing. Sure enough one of the guards notices it and calls the station ahead and tells them about Mrs. Chin. When she arrives and comes off the train she is arrested and put in a police vehicle. She "gladly" welcomes them and is very polite as they load her in. All the way there she keeps telling the officers about "Jesus". They put it in high gear just to get rid of her and take her to the station.
Once there they take her to the head officer. He immediately starts lecturing her about keeping the law, etc. Mrs. Chin waited until he was done then talked about Jesus and continued to talk about Jesus. So much so that finally the officer yelled "JESUS JESUS JESUS! What has He ever done for me???" The little lady quitely walked over and looked him in the eye and said "Well, Mr. Officer have you ever asked Jesus to do something for you?" "NO" he replied. The spirit was with Mrs Chin, and she was guided to ask this question " What would you have Jesus do for you if you could ask Him something right now?" The officer pondered for a moment and said "My nose. Ever since I was a kid I have had this crooked nose" Then the power came into Mrs. Chin and she said "Here" and she touched his nose and said "Jesus can fix that". And IT WAS FIXED!!! His nose became straight!
The power of God did work because this small little old lady BELIEVED and never doubted! Infact doubt never even entered her mind as she reached out her hand upon his nose. You see, the poor and humble of heart can obtain more power than the Kings and rulers because they believe. We too, must learn to believe. For God's power is not prejudice and can and will work for all that believe! Amen.
Friday, November 5, 2010
It really is unbelievable that some former SDA members have labeled the SDA Church as part of "babylon". I can think of no other church which has for such a long time, expounded such great truths such as the Sabbath, Sanctuary,State of the dead, Commandment obedience, etc. Some are saying this church has numerous errors and therefore should be abandoned. I submit they are VERY wrong.
The very first thing we must realize is that "Church" is WHAT WE MAKE IT! Can we imagine Jesus going into church back then, and after noticing the many errors, saying "There's too many hypocrites in here, things are not being done just right, I'm outta here!" NO! Jesus continued to go into God's house of prayer and worship, despite the Pharisees and unrighteous around Him. He was a "Light" and "example" before them. So too should we be. Let us work within our churches, and not stand back and throw rocks and accuse. If we go to our Church with "pure heart" God counts this to our credit, not withstanding the sin that may surround us. For each man(or woman) will give account for "HIS" actions and motives.
The true "babylon" churches are vast indeed and SO numerous. Just look around at the doctrines being preached! "Faith" is all you need , forget about obedience! Jesus did it all, therefore you can just sit back and enjoy yourselves, be free! Your words are what counts not necessarily your actions. I could go on and on. That is where we must concentrate our reproves and loving guidance. In Revelation, God had THESE churches in mind concerning "babylon".
Look at what our new GC president is behind. They have started a mission to mail out the paperback version of the "Great Controversy" through out the country! Things are being "done", praise God. Their goal is for it to go out to 116 million homes! Like it or not, we as SDA members have a solemn duty before God to get OFF our behinds and procrastinations. To proclaim the Three Angels message before the end of probation shortly occurs.
I do not deny that we have errors within our church. For instance in my own church, I have seen MANY errors and weakness of Christ from our members. But I decided to DO something about it. I attended the recent board meeting and let the leaders know what I thought we could do to improve our church. Specifically to WIN MORE SOULS. The luke warmness within our church MUST change. Far too many are happy to "sit" on their own salvation. Our church is NOT about how we can improve or increase our comforts or "fun" activities, it's about SOUL WINNING! Jesus final command was to "GO into all the world, and proclaim the gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15)
But thank God He has raised up some strong leaders for His truth. For example, let me mention the following outstanding workers for God WITHIN our church today.
1) Doug Batchelor of Amazing facts organization. This man is truly a powerful witness for God's truth, and talk about "knowledgeable"! Truly God has reached many through him.
2) Steve Wohlberg of White horse media. Another great speaker of God's truth, very personable and effective in driving home the main points.
3) Leo Schreven of Goallpower.com Effective motivator and "doer" for God. Tiredless energy for His truth being spread.
4) Tom Mogambi Mose and Wilfred Ondande, Kenya SDA pastors. They are being very successful in winning many "babylon" pastors to the truth. This is great because they are converting the "leaders" who will in turn teach the people God's truth from His word!
Obviously the is just a snipet of the hard workers for God out there. So let us be clear, WE CAN make God's truth known by becoming involved from WITHIN. Let each one of us ask God how we can help and then LET US DO IT ! Seek His will and happiness will fill your soul. Amen.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Acts II is just beginning! As we approach the final days I believe God's signs and wonders and even great miracles will occur with more and more frequency. In Acts we read of wonderous signs and miracles performed as God's spirit was alive and manifest in the peoples lives, the SAME will occur in our time! It gives me great joy to write of this following story I received this week from Pastor Tom Mogambi Mose of Kenya. It shows God is working and moving the people to repent and become "awake" as His REAL truth is being "shouted" to the people in these last days.
I believe we are in the prophetic last days where Jesus said that the "gospel will be preached to ALL the world , as a witness to all nations, THEN THE END WILL COME" ( Matt 24:14) It has just about reached "all" the nations, with the breakdown of communism in the last 15 to 20 years. The explosion in communications has insured this "gospel spreading" so that Jesus' words will come true.
But the great thing is that the TRUE gospel in now being preached and that is this --- "Salvation" is simplified in the following 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. 2) Love your fellow man (woman) as yourself 3) Accept and testify that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior 4) Obey his holy Ten Commandments. Anyone who teachs different than this is risking the wrath of God. Now, let us see and hear how God is "protecting" the said "gospel" in these last days.
Here is his testimony.
" I received an invitation to go and speak at a meeting in Bariadi, a town in the country of Tanzania.So I prepared myself and took off to the crusade. When I arrived, I found there would be two speakers (myself and another fellow). I was to speak on prophecy and the other was to speak on the gospel truth. The attendance was good the first day. The choirs sang beautifully and many were drawn by their wonderful sound. Then I spoke about Daniel chapters 2, 7 and 8. And Revelation 13 and 17. People were very interested in what the animals were, that were coming out of the sea. Also about the woman decked in purple riding the scarlet beast. It was a lively meeting. The gospel was very powerful and appealing to many hearts. People stayed from 7 pm. to 10 pm. Our meeting was in the center of the business district with our stage surrounded by many shops.
In this town there are other churches, but they are Sunday keeping churches. So the people had not be exposed to our gospel and prophecy. The Catholic church has many members there. So as we began to preach , the shop owners, who were Sunday keepers, were discouraging those who were coming to our meeting. We could see them assembled outside the shops sitting, chatting and laughing loudly, mocking our testimony. Nevertheless, we continued. Then came Friday and we prepared for Sabbath. Friday evening came and we had Sabbath serivce on the ground where our meeting was, and many people came out.
Now on the Sabbath (Saturday) we opened our service early and had bible study for one half hour. Then after that we opened for testimonies and some people came forward to witness what the Lord had done for them, how they benifited from our meeting ( the Lord was moving their hearts). At 11:00 am we had divine service and preacher preached and at end of sermon made a call for people to come forward to give their lives to Jesus. Some came forward but most did not. Then the preacher made a urgent appeal that today is the day of salvation! He said that for one week we had witnessed to them, do not harden your hearts. But still not many seemed to respond. Then he invited me to do closing prayer. I made my way to pulpit at about 1:30 pm, the sky was clear and no wind, just very nice weather. Then as I began to pray and we all kneeled, suddenly a strong wind burst forward blowing exceedingly strong. It was directed to the large shop were the Sunday keepers had been mocking us. It completely blew off the roof of the shop! God spared the people and no one was hurt and it did not come near the meeting place. After this had taken place suddenly many people came forward to accept Jesus and our message. Many said it was God pointing his finger at them and warning them to come into His truth.
Now many of those who witnessed God's power are submitting to being baptised, praise God! That evening the meeting was attended with many more people! Praise God He can speak to us in many ways! May God bless you, Tom "
Let us get prepared and watch for these kinds of power and signs that will awake His people and many will come to Him as we approach the end of probation, God be with you!
Friday, October 8, 2010
Perhaps the most broken of all the Commandments today is the worshipping of idols and images. The devil has made sure that many "things" take up our time and away from God. Sadly, what a GREAT SUCCESS this has been for him! My heart truly goes out to the Lord, as I know He sees the tremendous idol worshipping going on today. And His heart bleeds anew.
In our Christian life God measures our "time". What do we do with it? How many hours do we spend on this or that each week? We have SO MANY distractions today. Where do I start? Let's see, there is TV, DVDs, IPODS, COMPUTERS, PHONES, MUSIC, THEATRE, VIDEO GAMES,VEHICLES, SPORTS, ETC. You get the point. And each and every one of these can, and in many cases, DOES become an "idol" to us!
In my own personal life before I became a true Christian I also had some idols. I worshipped money, tobacco,music and chess. For these things encompassed "most" of my weekly waking hours. You see, God COUNTS our hours each week and if we spend most of our time on a specific idol or image (TV for example) we are indeed "worshipping" an idol. We BREAK His Commandment! If we continue to do this we place our salvation in serious jeopardy. That is why I was sent a direct sign from God ( Please visit our sister site http://www.godsloveandlaw.wordpress.com/ , the post called " The Lord turns on the light" under "prayers answered") I had been spending much of my evening hours watching TV or on the computer.
The Christian life MUST have it's primary focus on God! Our Lord should be our desire and concern. TIME must be spent reading His word, spreading His word and truth, fellowshipping, prayer, and learning from "in the spirit" teachers and preachers of God's truth. Our Lord spoke these words "I am the way, the truth and the life"(John 14:6) Our "new" life is a life in Jesus, the old is done away with! Meaning we must discard our old idols and have NO IDOLS except our Lord. If you say a prayer like this "Dear Lord,
help me to remember that YOU are first in my life and if I am doing something that comes in front of you, please let me know" He will be faithful and guide you, rest assured! You will start to feel "guilty" from the Holy Spirit when doing that something wrong. Also remember, the word says "His Commandments are NOT burdensome " (1 john 5:3) Our Lord knows you have a life to live and won't overly burden you.
Of course our weekly work is a necessity and those hours are not counted against us. And we can even "glorify" God by doing hard , honest, cheerful work! So please look at your life and the "time" spent each week. Is something "in front" of our Lord? If so, get rid of it or at least cut it back so that the time with our Lord exceeds the time for our worldly distractions.
Peace and understanding to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Friday, September 24, 2010
We as Christians, must try each day to walk uprightly and to do God's will. But many times we will face Satan and his angels' attacks and it will seem unrelenting. After all, scripture tells us this is indeed "Satan's" world and as such we are in enemy territory. But scripture also says "...greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world" (1 john 4:4) We have the "power" if we will only "use" it.
As "Commandment Keepers", we get the brunt of Satan and the devil's attacks. For it is very clear Satan is at war with the people of God who choose to obey His Holy Laws. In (Rev.12:17) we read "The dragon (Satan) was enraged with the woman(Church), and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring (true believers AND obeyers), who keep the Commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus". Satan and his angels know scripture a lot better than any human, and therefore I believe they kind of "take it easy" on the Christians who continually "break" God's Commandments. They have them right where they want them! But the "Commandment keeper", they zero in on.
With all the above laying the groundwork, let's look to our Master and how "HE" dealt with Satan and His attacks. After being led into the wilderness Jesus was strongly tempted. In (Matt 4:3) it says "And when the devil came to Him, he said "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made of bread". And Jesus' response was to USE SCRIPTURE! He said "It is WRITTEN 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God' " Here, we can learn that Jesus directly quoted scripture when He was tempted. He also quoted "relevant" scripture. Notice the word of God He used had to do with what the temptation was! He didn't respond with some unrelated scripture such as "You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, mind and soul". We can take this great example to our "own" temptations.
For instance, you may be tempted to smoke cigarettes. The devils really use this one due to the POWERFUL effect on people. But we can quote scripture such as (Psalm 23:1) " The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not WANT" each and every time we have temptation. The Lord's word is POWER and if we BELIEVE as we quote them against our adversary IT WILL WORK!! Our desire should leave and we no longer "want"a cigarette. The KEY is to BELIEVE it will work against the devil when we say it. If we say it with doubt, the Lord's word is very weak against the attacks and we may fail. Jesus said "....ONLY BELIEVE"(Mark 5:36)
Another BIG temptation today is the "lust" of the flesh. With the onslaught of nudity on TV, movies, Internet, etc. Satan has created a vibrant adulterous and fornicating empire! But when we look AGAIN to scripture when we are tempted we can prevail. We can use (Eph 5:5) "For this we (I) know for sure, that no fornicator ....has any inheritance in the kingdom of God" Be gone from me devil! And again we can experience the same victory that our Lord had and have the devil flee!
Whatever we do against temptation we should NOT rely on our own power. We shouldn't say "Oh, I am strong, I can resist this". We are NO match for the devil. Scripture describes him as a "roaring lion" and we all know how powerful a lion is. We need help and the Lord has shown us the way out of these attacks, let us follow His example. So if you are facing a "specific" temptation, then find some specific scripture to help arm you, you'll find it is VERY powerful against the devils, and they MUST flee, when you say it and BELIEVE it will prevail. Amen.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Currently there is a quick study of the "once saved always saved" doctrine done for a friend, as well as Bible readings in the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude. There is more to come. :-)
Friday, September 10, 2010
In today's Christian society there is so much false interpretation of the Bible I thought it would be helpful to show the correct method of interpretation.
Recently I was studying (1 Cor.14-34-35) and I came across this most helpful instruction of the correct way to interpret the Bible. It states as follows " Bible verses are quite controversial and when we look at them in detail we must know that correct hermeneutical method is the correct way to interpret the Bible. Many Bible students nowdays seem to have picked up the idea that 'context is king' or, to put it another way, that there are three rules of Bible interpretation, context, context, context. These people , I submit, have got the spoon by the wrong end.
"As anybody who writes blogs needs to be reminded, context is king. The same rule applies to Biblical interpretation: text comes before context. That is, the text in question is what we wish to understand. It's words are of more importance than some other words elsewhere in the Bible. Ofcourse, the immediate context is often an invaluable help in making sure that we understand the words of our text alright, and even, on some occasions, we need to consider a more remote context. But what the Bible interpreter must NEVER DO is foist upon a text some idea that is NOT found in the actual text itself. The role of the Bible interpreter is to let the words speak for themselves, not ignore, sidestep, silence, or twist the meaning of the text, nor read into the text a meaning to further a belief and to advance their own theological or sociological agenda. Nevertheless text is king and context is it's chief minister. The closer the chief minister (context) is to the king(text), the more significant is it's effect and influence."
After understanding the above, it truly is amazing how so many "false" doctrines are believed. For example 1) immediate entrance into heaven or hell upon death 2) Sunday as the Lord's day 3) eternal hell fire. The believers in these false doctrines must face the fact that their beliefs are strongly contradicted in their own book(Bible) , which they profess to follow. The Bible CANNOT contradict, only concur truth upon truth.
Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to see the truth and understand God's word (John 14:26) " And the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your memory, whatsoever I have said unto you".
Friday, August 27, 2010
Courage is a great and honorable trait to the Lord. Great men in the bible showed this courage and were blessed for it. Our Christian walk should like wise have courage. We will see just what God does to those who possess and USE this courage.
David, as a young lad, proved to be a man of great courage. When none of the other big and mature "men" would stop the great giant Goliath, he stepped forward. The taunts and cursing of God's people was just too much for him to take. He went out to meet this giant (supposedly 9 feet 9 inches). The giant started laughing. We can imagine God's eyes intently watching this courageous teenager. David remember's that God had promised to help His people overcome their enemies. David pulls out the slingshot, loads the stone and fires. Bam! It perfectly lands in the giant's forehead and he collapses. David grabs the giants sword and finishes the deed and beheads him.
In the above story we can see that David took the first step and showed COURAGE. Backed by faith in God he proceeded to "action". God took notice as He always does when someone acts courageously. And then God completed this act of courage by guiding the stone and helping it's force do the deed.
Then we have the great story of the three men, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. When Nebuchadnezzar erected a large golden idol, he ordered everyone to bow down to it. The three men knew that it would directly break a Commandment of God. So they refused and showed great courage and did not summit to the King's wishes. They knew very well that they were most likely going to be burned alive yet, just like David, they "acted" upon their COURAGE in the Lord and stood their ground. Then the horrible act came upon them, they were led to the furnace. But God's eyes were watching intently. And then God covered them with His protection and the flames were as a cool breeze.
The next story is not in the bible but must be brought up due to this man's awesome courage in doing the "right" thing and standing up for justice. His name was Wyatt Earp. Many of you probably have heard about Him. In the book called "Wyatt Earp, frontier Marshall" by Stuart Lake, the life story of this one man, is truly amazing in regards to courage. If you want to read about "courage" read this book!
In just one of the stories ( and there are many!) Wyatt was just a young man in his mid 20's when he happened to come into a town called Ellsworth, Kansas. Shortly after arriving he learned that the town had been "corralled" by the bad cowboys and they were shooting up and raising kane. He wasn't a marshall yet but noticed that a horrible thing had happened. The town marshall had just been shot by one of the 'Thompson" brothers (notorious cowboy leaders).
After watching the meyhem as a bystander, he noticed the assistant marshall wasn't doing anything about this crime. "Go get em" Wyatt instructed. "Not me" the assistant replied. "See all those cowboys over there, they'd go gunning for me if I did". Wyatt shook his head and watched the action. Then the mayor came on the scene and began to complain why anything wasn't being done. Wyatt overheard him and said "I know what I would do" then the mayor looked at the young man and said "WHO are you???" "Just a looker on. It's none of my business, but if it was I'd arrest Ben Thompson or kill him" Wyatt replied. The mayor was taken back by this young man's boldness, even as his own assistants had failed him. "Well" the mayor shot back. "I'm making it YOUR business. You're marshall of Ellsworth. Here's your badge."
Wyatt proceeded to go to the gun shop and got some "second hand" 45's and holster. Wyatt knew that peace must be restored or else even more killing would come. He stuck up for justice. he hooked up the guns and walked out ALONE and towards Ben Thompson ( the leader). Wyatt could have called upon other men to "help" him but he chose to go it alone (as he almost always did against the bad guys). The troublemakers were half drunk and scattered all over town, and their leader (Ben) was with many others backing him up, sitting on their horses, talking about what their next move would be. Then a lone man comes walking down the dirt street. Ben Thompson notices he's walking for him and yells "Hey, Wyatt what do you want?" Wyatt is at about 50 yards and says "I want you Ben" and slowly walks towards him. Then what happens next truly had God's hand guiding the situation.
God was keenly aware that this one man wanted justice and had the COURAGE to face as many as a hundred half drunken cowboys to get justice done. Ben , no doubt stunned by this man's courage yell's out "I rather talk than fight Wyatt" Wyatt, not giving up his edge responds "I'll get you either way Ben". Wyatt was very close now and Ben says "What do you want Wyatt?"
"Throw up your hands, and tell your friends to stay out of this" Wyatt responded. "Ok boys, do as Wyatt says" Ben responded. The battle was over and the outlaw and all his friends threw down their guns and Wyatt marched Ben into jail.
The preceding stories show that when we take a stand of courage to do the right thing, whether it's stopping someone from stealing, or taking the Lord's name in vain, God WILL BE WITH US. Courage is keenly noticed by him. So let us be full of courage in the Lord and we will prevail, for once we start our act of courage He will finish it, be assured!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
While my post was tongue-in-cheek, I have no doubt that Ted Wilson's strategy will likely be to get the most conservative men into top positions in the whole of California eventually. The little pockets of conservatism they now have are not enough to stem the tide of liberalism there, so it behooves them, if they want to execute a calculated takeover of the whole state, to install men who will set the stage for an eventual purge of what many conservatives in the church consider the tarnishing black spot of the NAD.
I am not conservative by any stretch of the imagination and I abhor purges, but I also hold a lot of the constituency (of the SCC mostly) responsible for the mess we are in right now, for continually testing the boundaries and limits of Adventism. Do you think it is just coincidence that Dale Ratzlaff and Colleen Tinker's Former Adventist ministry is located in California? Of course not. It's the hub of disenfranchised Adventists and the pickings couldn't be better for them anywhere else. Larry Kirkpatrick apparently couldn't handle it anymore and promptly fled CA.
Pushing incessantly for years on the women's ordination issue, going ahead with WO in defiance of GC policy, Hyveth Williams peeving off the conservatives at every opportunity during her tenure as pastor with her controversial sermons, teaching theistic evolution in the colleges, being the epicenter of Moral Influence Theory and God-Does-Not-Kill theology, openly drinking wine and coffee, pushing for acceptance of gay marriage, openly attending and proudly endorsing movies, relegating EGW to devotional writer and nothing more, going out to eat on Sabbaths, featuring Desmond Ford as a speaker in many churches....
And you think this is going to do anything but infuriate and fuel the anger of fundamentalist SDA's? It's tantamount to thumbing the nose at the right wing of the church and it's needlessly antagonistic. Does one prance through a pride of lions with raw meat in hand and then feign surprise when the lions awake and attack?
Remember Union President Tom Mostert's editorial in the Pacific Union Recorder entitled 0+0+0+0=0 where he bemoaned the state of California Adventism just before his retirement?
That was just one of the rumbles heard in the past about lax California Adventism. It was a foreshadowing of things to come. It's almost as if Mostert was issuing a cry of help in 2007 which echoed down the tunnels of time into the future where Ted Wilson would hear and respond with aplomb in 2010.
Even notorious California SDA liberal Steve Daily finally wrote an open letter which was posted on on Educate Truth pleading with West Coast constituents to cease and desist inflaming and stirring up the witch hunt crowd, specifically calling out the La Sierra bio professors as the prime offenders at the moment.
Being immersed in the laid-back California style environment has apparently caused many West Coast Adventists to forget that while they are contentedly indulging in their own Liberal SDA Disneyworld, there is a massive segment of fire-breathing, EGW-venerating, hard-core conservative SDA's out there in the NAD they are miffing off who are losing their minds and just foaming at the mouth for the California cleanse that is sure to come eventually. California liberals poke and provoke the slumbering beast and rouse it to its full fury time and again, and such can only end very badly.
It's one thing to privately, in one's own personal life, live out the Adventism one chooses...but if you are out there for all the church to see, read and hear, stirring the pot - can you honestly act surprised when the backlash arrives in full-force?
I would again, with Pastor Daily, like to plead for California liberal Adventists to tone it down and scale it back, as I agree with you guys more often than not on a lot of issues - but I fear it may well be too late. The conservatives are making it increasingly clear that enough is enough and already we see the forces mounting as they push, pressure and lobby the GC to deal with the liberal West Coast situation once and for all.
Because, you see, Ted's in the house now and you can bet the farm he has his sights set on that segment of the NAD for a good 'ole fashioned purge. It's coming and I don't think even moderate and reasonable Dan Jackson will be able to stop it or hold it back for long. Liberal Adventists claim they just want to 'live and let live' and that they don't want to go to war with the right wing. But war is coming, whether they want it or not, and their brazen flaunting of liberal Adventism is primarily what is to blame for the marshaling of forces we are now seeing with the likes of Hold Them Accountable, GYC and Educate Truth.
The unfortunate thing is, liberal Adventism has shot itself in the foot. The writing was on the wall a long time ago, it was just a matter of getting the right man into power.
Posted by: City Lights (not verified) 12 August 2010 at 6:20
Friday, August 13, 2010
I recently blindly opened my bible, as I frequently do (to let the Lord lead), and came upon (John 15:1-2) it says " I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He discards. And every branch that beareth fruit, He prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit"
It is amazing how the Lord says so much truth in so few words. Let me tell you the truth I received from these words. The first words " I am the true vine" is a fascinating analogy of "who" the Lord is. We can believe that the Father's being flowed through the Son, and by the Son all life and form came. In imaging the vine, as it is pulsating, breathing, it is giving life through out it's being. We can see our Lord pervading all life and matter(the true vine), and as such He is a part of the good and bad. Aware of His good parts and sadly aware of His bad parts.
His Father, the gardener (ultimate judge) cannot accept the rotten or useless branches, and as such must eliminate them, lest they spread and destroy even the good branches.(Reminds me why the devil was "pruned" out of heaven). Then the Father carefully cares for the "good branches" and helps us to bear fruit to make the Father and Son proud. Just as a gardener stands proud of his beautiful vine.
After reading this I was inspired to talk about this "fruit". How can we produce more of it? The first thing is to stand strong against "sin". Our Christian walk is a lifelong process of sanctification and our sins are not eliminated immediately. I recently was greatly tempted to engage in a previous lifelong sin, which to me, was a dire one. I was in need of some serious help and I prayed earnestly for strength from the Lord and I also rebuked the devil. IT WORKED! Right after I immediately felt relieved. The more victorious we are to each sin temptation, the STRONGER our armour of God becomes. Another bolt is added to our tank. The devils bombs (temptations) become less tempting and our steadfastness becomes easier.
As we continue in our walk, with more and more victories, our mind and heart naturally turns to producing fruit due to the confidence we have in overcoming "sin". God's spirit is pleased and helps us to produce two different types of fruit. One is the fruit produced by showing God we love HIM, and the other fruit is produced by showing our BROTHERS AND SISTERS we love them. By showing God we love Him, the fruit we produce is by keeping His Commandments AND teaching people to obey His Commandments. Also a VERY important fruit to produce is to FEAR Him(hold Him in reverence). Just as the wise man Solomon said ( Ecc. 12:13) " For this is the sum of all that matters, FEAR God and keep His Commandments, for this is the WHOLE DUTY of man".
In producing fruit concerning our brothers and sisters, we become to them, better givers, listeners, and helpers. The down and out, the poor, the sick, strike a cord in us and we reach out to be there for them. A most beautiful fruit is produced and the great "Gardener" stands back and admires this.
In summary, let us make our best effort daily, beginning each day with a thankful prayer. For when we STAY in the vine and produce fruit, we make our Lord and our God, most proud. Amen.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Our Lord showed much kindness and courtesy while He walked this earth, to be an example for us. Just look at His extreme courtesy and thoughtfulness when, after rising from death, He thoughtfully FOLDED His own burial cloth. His awareness of others was indeed inspiring.
With the advent of the internet, we have many who proclaim His word and truth, which is a great thing. It's helping to fulfill the 3 Angel's message. Amen! But are we also showing thoughtfulness and courtesy in our "proclaiming"? I have noticed some are not.
Paul states in (Gal 6:10) "As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good to all, ESPECIALLY to those who are in the faith". We should strive to be as supportive as possible to our brethren and sisters in the faith. But I've noticed many times that people ignore comments or questions in regards to their post. We should NEVER ignore the questions or compliments to our proclaiming message. How do you think Jesus was to those who inquired of Him? Can we imagine our Lord turning away from a question or kind word? Absolutely not. For we are called to "serve" not "ignore".
The people, even the less knowledgable or ignorant have their "two cents" to add to our message or blog. Does it make them feel a part of our message to ignore them? They may get discouraged and feel they cannot contribute so we in effect lessen their faith. Jesus said in ( Matt 25:40) "...verily I say to you, in as much as ye have done to the least of the brethren, ye have done to me". We, as representatives of Christ, must show "Christ" like behavior and kindness.
I bring this message concerning the proper internet kindness, because our Lord is using this medium in a BIG way, as the 3 Angel's message is being proclaimed. We have taken on this responsiblity and as such, our behavior must be one of "caring" rather than "ignorance"
Let us go forth and proclaim His message, and reach out to our brothers and sisters who support us and want to be a part in what we're doing, Yours in Christ.
Ps. Thank you all, for taking the time to read Todd and my posts! It is truly our pleasure to be serving God and proclaiming His truth!
Friday, July 16, 2010
A few weeks ago I posted on our sister site http://www.godsloveandlaw.wordpress.com/ a post called "Are we DOING His great commission or the great omission?". It warms my heart to bring this story about what can happen when we go out and "do" His great commission (spread the TRUE gospel)
His name is Wilfred Ondande, a pastor from a small town called Kiisi, Kenya. Wilfred is not a man of great worldly wealth, but one thing he does have is the Holy Spirit of God in him. That is wealth beyond measure. He daily survives on meager means but continues to work for God. Not letting up on God's truth.
It is truly great to see how God works His plans and the awesome way He get's results. All the credit goes to God. I am just a regular worker, who He uses to help people see God's truth. From this Job, I do not shrink back. Perhaps it's better to put Wilfred's own words, which I just received recently, in this post.
"Dear brother Rob, to me it seems a big miracle, since it is my first mission in having direct studies with Sunday ministers, on the Sabbath question. Before I wrote you, I had really been pushed to the wall by the brethrens, and even more worse, it was at a time I was considering to begin a ministry but was really in a terrible situation. Although I was somehow working for God, I had bad feelings of despair, since I did not have the funds to start the ministry. Let alone conviction that I am worthy of the task. I was advised by a friend to seek friends through the internet. I really needed books to give to the brethrens, especially those with talks about the Seventh day sabbath. I contacted a brethren in Facebook, but he grew suspicious
, that I might be a scammer and stopped communicating with me. I then abandoned the idea of the ministry and continued our meeting with the brethren. A friend gave me the book called 'The conflict between heavens two sons. They indeed helped me alot. Finally, I contacted you, and it is then that the motivation and surety to continue with the ministry materialized. The website articles have been keeping me going that all lessons we have discussed with them (Sunday pastors), were sourced from your website. The books you sent have really moved them like nothing else on the 10 Commandments. Remember they are pastors, of revival churches. The biggest trouble is that they are keen to ensure their members are not disturbed by their new found faith, and that is that they want us to find a way to reach them before any fall out, if any. They have confessed that they had never known that the question of the Seventh day Sabbath rest was such a serious matter before God. And that they were not aware that the Sunday rest has no Biblical basis, and that they were all along in a church with no history. THEY HAVE SETTLED FOR THE SABBATH REST"
Wow! Praise God! what I love about the pure in heart is that they receive His truth quickly! For just as our Lord said (Matt 18:3) "Truly, I say to you, except unless you become converted, as little children, you shall not inherit the kingdom of God". The puffed up and believers in "man's traditions" will never see the light such as these humble people do, unless they too, become as little children, opening up to God's word and truth. Amen!
Friday, July 2, 2010
This situation requires God's wisdom and grace. Perhaps this is one of the most touchy situations that we (believers in ALL the commandments) have to deal with.
On the one hand we are close to our family and friends, yet on the other we know they are not doing His Commandment. We must remember they are "Commandments" meaning we MUST do them. They are not the 10 suggestions. Clearly God's word says that the people living in the last days (which we are) are going to be saved by testifying of our Lord and KEEPING the Commandments(Rev.14:12). So what are we to do?
First, we must realize that great love is when we try to save someone from destruction. These people are heading for destruction (once they know it's a Commandment) because God makes NO exceptions. Jesus said (Matt 7:22, 23) "Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And cast out demons in Your name? And did many wonderful works in Your name? And then I will say unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, you that PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS." His Law cannot be changed. (Psalms 89:34) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter that which comes from my lips." The great 10 commandments came from His lips and the heart of those Commandments is the Sabbath.
I am NOT saying that ALL Sunday keepers who have ever lived will perish because if they were never shown that the Sabbath is a Commandment and they walked in the light that they "knew" then God's grace may have sufficed. But once they KNOW that the Sabbath is a Commandment of God, then accountability comes unto them. It is our responsibility to help them see that God truly cares for them and wants their obedience to His word. We MUST do this in a humble and caring way. (Hebrews 10:26) is VERY clear about this accountability. "If we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there remains NO MORE SACRIFICE for our sins" Here it is clearly showing that when we know His truth (i.e. the Commandments) we must obey them.
How important is His word and the thing that came out of His mouth? Read (Psalms 138:2) "...for You have exalted Your word above Your name." So we can see the importance of obeying His word.
Once we have warned them, then we have done our part to try to save them from destruction. We care so much for them that we don't neglect this truly important duty. Yet Jesus made it clear when He said in (Matt 10:37) "he that loves his Father or Mother more than me , is not worthy of me". So to neglect our duty for the sake of our relationship with our family or friends is to put them before our duty.
After we have tried and we meet a hardened heart that will not listen it is important to realize that it is time for us to rely on prayer. The Holy Spirit must take over. If we push too much it will only harden their hearts even more against obeying His Commandment. I have heard of many stories where the family member or friend FINALLY accepted His Commandment after years of prayer from the Sabbath keeper.
Let us always continue to show the way to our family and friends, if our direct words won't persuade them, then our loving actions may. Yours in Christ.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
For those who love God, His commandments are not to be grievous. Yet why is this so often not the case with us? Instead, usually we are trying our utmost to keep His commandments and are constantly struggling with feelings of weakness and guilt; constantly meeting with defeat after defeat. Other times, we find ourselves on the verge of giving up, feeling that it’s impossible to keep the commandments of God.
“Why,” we wonder, “is this Scripture not true in my life? Why do I find His commandments so grievous?”
Once we are honest enough with ourselves to admit that His commandments are grievous to us, we can then begin to apply ourselves to finding out why. And not only the cause, but also the remedy! And where do you suppose we can find all this? Yes, in the Bible.
Where better to start our search for an answer to a troubling passage of Scripture than in close proximity to that very passage? And so we find that in the very next verse, the issue begins to reveal itself.
1 John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
God’s Word says that those born of Himself do overcome the world. And as Christ Himself said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Yet instead of us overcoming the world, we find the world overcoming us, and are “drawn away after our own lusts.” But, this verse contains a key to unlock the mystery of overcoming, for it tells us what the victory that overcomes the world is…and if we know what it is then we can begin to seek it. And what is this victory of overcoming the world? “Even our faith.”
Faith! Our faith “is the victory that overcometh the world!” And thus is revealed overcoming the world by faith. And what is overcoming the world, except keeping the commandments of God? And what is keeping the commandments of God, except righteousness? And so we have come face to face with Righteousness by Faith.
Here we find the heart of the Gospel; that message which lay dormant in the hearts and minds of Christians for centuries…that message which was proclaimed with such power and clarity in 1888 by A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner, who removed all manner of theological sophistry and grasped the pure and true message of Righteousness by Faith, revealing it to us as the matchless charms of Christ.
And so what is it that our faith must be placed in? Christ, and Him alone. For in the very next verse we find yet another key, which unlocks the mystery of our faith, for it describes that which our faith
must be applied to.
1 John 5:5, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
And so we find that our faith is the victory that overcometh the world, and that it is in Him who overcame the world: Jesus, the Son of God!
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
And here is the promise, that in Christ we might no longer find the commandments grievous but, instead, finally have peace.
“But,” we say, “I already have faith in Jesus, believing that He is the Son of God. So why do I not also have the victory that overcomes the world?”
Indeed. So we must keep digging.
FAITH...and what is it? Consider this...do we really need to have the definition perfectly pinned down if we know how to get it? If we know how to get as much faith as we'll ever need, does it really matter if we know exactly what it is?
Romans 10:17. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God!"
There it is, friends!! The word of God! That is what will give us the faith we need to overcome the world!
When God brought the people of Israel out of captivity in Egypt and led them through the wilderness until they crossed the river Jordan into the promise land, just as He brings us out of captivity in sin and leads us through the wilderness of this life until we cross the river of death into the promise land of heaven, what did He feed them with? What did He sustain them with in the wilderness? Manna! Manna is what gave them the strength to get through the wilderness into the promise land. As long as they got that manna they had the strength to overcome...and as long as we keep getting faith we will have the strength to overcome!
The Hebrew word manna literally means "What is it?" They had no idea what it was! But they knew where to get it. As long as we know where to get faith, does it matter if we know exactly what it is?
One thing I have noticed when talking to other Christians is that there seems to always be a common denominator when they are struggling with not overcoming the world: lack of consistent searching of the Scriptures.
You would be shocked if you could see the actual number of people who read their Bibles faithfully every single day. If we would all concentrate on just 3 things, our entire lives would be changed, and our entire church would be changed, and the entire world would be changed, and Jesus Christ would be on His way back!
The three things are so simple: Bible study. Prayer. Sharing.
Can you imagine what would happen if every member of our church committed themselves to reading God’s word every day, praying all day, and sharing the Gospel at every opportunity?
This study is not entirely fleshed out and complete...but I have had this written down for a few weeks and wanted to get it out there. I hope that it will be helpful to someone out there. :-) God bless.
Friday, June 18, 2010
It has been said "The less we sin, the more we win". That is a simple yet profound truth. And one of the "big" wins is in our prayer life. We have closer communication with our Lord which brings us to a higher level in our Christian walk. Many today are wondering "Why do I feel when I pray, that the Lord just isn't listening and I'm talking to myself?" In (Isaiah 59:2) we read " your sins have seperated you from God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear." So many times we are walking in many errors before the Lord and therefore, our prayers are given up to Him in our compromising position. Hence the the prior quote comes into truth before the Lord.
From my own experience, I can really feel a bond or closeness in prayer to him, when I am living a more upright life. On the contrary , when I have messed up and did wrong according to my conscience, I have felt very little connection in prayer. But the great thing in our walk is to be able to actually feel and KNOW our Lord is listening from on high! I mean your soul actually grows and glows when we know he is listening to us. The bible says the "prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).
Many of you have seen the front picture of "The story of redemption" by Ellen White. It shows Jesus in prayer talking to God the Father. To me that picture, like they say, tells a thousand words. One of the primary things I've noticed is that Jesus is kneeling BUT His face is to the heavens. This to me should be our practice in prayer. When you pray, you don't have to tuck your chin into your chest and mumble almost silently. Rise up your face! Speak to him directly as if He is standing right in front of you. How many would like for their friends or family to walk up and start a conversation, chin tucked down, mumbling softly? Jesus should be our example in all things, even prayer. This is not to say that the other method of kneeling and prayer is bad, but to suggest something more uplifting for you.
As we all know, communication is best when it is shared and not just a "one-way" street. In prayer it is JUST AS IMPORTANT to LISTEN as to speak. How many actually kneel and listen instead of talking and talking? If we are walking upright with our Lord, his small still voice can be heard through the Holy Spirit. You're at his command, silent and ready for His ideas and thoughts to come into you. THEN you can talk back to Him based on what He has "occured" to you. I like to call Him the "Great God of occurrence" because often, thoughts that just happens to "occur" may indeed be sent from Him(Like my being told a dream was coming). Again I cannot stress the supreme importance of walking righteously before Him, not "perfectly"(although we should always strive for this) but righteously according to His Commandments. In (Proverbs 28:9) we read "If ANYONE ( and that means Jews, Gentiles or even "Born again Christians") turns his ear from hearing of the Law, even his prayers are an abomination". Wow, pretty powerful words from our Lord!
Finally, I would like to add some personal thoughts. In prayer Jesus referred to His Father as "Abba". Which was considered a very affectionate term for Father. In prayer I call our Lord "Pops" and I really feel close to Him when I call Him this. But keep in mind if you do call Him an affectionate name, DON'T use that same name for ANYONE else! Also it is better to use "less" words in prayer than "many" words. Jesus said "let your no be no, and your yes be yes"(Matt 5:37). I amazed sometimes when I hear a pastor on TV or somewhere, go on and on in prayer, rarely even remembering their prayer a couple days later.
May you discover one of the greatest experiences we have, and that is in PRAYER! May your prayers be clearer and heard by our most gracious and loving Lord.
Monday, June 7, 2010
For a little over a year I have been praying this frequent prayer "Dear Lord, please help me walk in your righteousness and according to your Laws. Please admonish me if I walk in error, make it CLEAR to me, that I might know my wrongdoing." And the Lord did not disappoint!
Ever since I was a young teenager I have been a avid boxing fan. I mean I almost worshipped the sport. I watched every big fight through the years. I knew all the boxers and even bought the boxing magazines (before there was the Internet, lol). I would not hesitate to cancel any and every important thing that stood in the way, in order to watch a good fight. Then I came back to the Lord. But guess what? I still did not want to give up my beloved boxing. That all changed just a few days ago.
Remember my prayer above? Well I was in my kitchen the other night and I heard the Lord say to me "Tonight I am going to give you a dream" I said "Ok, Lord I am ready, you know how I really look forward to hearing your messages in the dreams." Since I have been "born again" I have had several dreams which were messages from the Lord, affecting my life. Little did I know this one would "knock me out" lol.
I knew that this particular dream would be something profound. Because I had never before been "told" beforehand a dream was coming. So I went to sleep that night. And I did get a dream. Normally I am one of those who won't really remember a dream, or not have any at all. Here's what happened.
I was in a room and I see Oscar De La Hoya (world famous former champion boxer) sitting at a desk with some other people (like body guards). I approach him and reach out to shake His hand. We shake firmly. I sit down and began to tell him "Hey Oscar, you know it's not right, you really should return the rental deposit back to your tenant"(Don't ask me why I asked this,lol)
Then all of a sudden Oscar eyes flashed at me, and I mean really flashed, with immense hatred towards me. Like he wanted to kill me. he said "Ok, I'll do it" but He continued to stare at me angrily. Then I get up to leave. Next I am at the rental house thinking he's coming over to get me. But strangely I feel not alone but protected. Then I awake.
When I awoke I remembered clearly this dream, yet I wondered "what was that about??" Then the Lord reminded me about His promise of a special dream. And here is the best part HE EXPLAINED IT TO ME! Praise God! The shaking of the hands was me "embracing boxing" The hatred of Oscar towards me was "boxing wanting to kill me or do me harm." the Lord was telling me this is a wicked sport and it will do you harm if you continue to sin in watching this brutal sport. Amen Lord! Thank you for answering my prayer in guiding me to stay on the righteous path.
So please be aware that the Lord will speak to you in many different ways. And one of the best and clearest is in dreams! Keep praying that he will guide you in ALL areas of your life. Will I miss boxing? I probably will for a while but you know what? My elation of knowing that our ever watchful Lord has guided me FAR outweighs this loss.
May you look to the Lord for every aspect of your life. He'll guide you always!
Friday, May 28, 2010
The last book of the Bible was not put there by happenstance. It was because God gave His "final" word for who will be saved. Alot of times we as Christians make things much more complicated than we need to. Even distorting scripture when we shouldn't. As I have posted many times, many Christians say "Oh, I have Jesus, I don't want to hear about the Commandments of God". But we'd do well to read God's word more clearly.
In these latter days many lay preachers have sprung up via the internet and elsewhere. Telling people "you must pronounce God's name correctly, or you must know the Godhead clearly to be saved. The Holy Spirit is not part of the trinity, etc. etc." let's look at what Revelation says about just who will be saved.
In (Rev. 14:11) it talks about the last day "mark of the beast" and who get's it. Then right after in (Rev 14:12) it shows who "escapes" this mark saying "Here is the patience of the saints, they that KEEP the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" Now, we don't have to be a genius bible scholar to see the clear and simple meaning. It plainly tells us that the last day people of God, won't be holding on to this doctrine or that, but simply KEEPING the Commandments of God. And it doesn't say "keep the ones you want" or "keep 9 of 10, and leave out the Sabbath".
This simple truth needs no "addition", it's ALL we need to be saved, period! As Jesus said (John 15:10) "If you keep my Commandments, ye SHALL abide in my love, even as I have kept my Fathers Commandments, and abide in His love". Jesus kept the Holy 10 Commandments and so should we.
God wants us to know his "last days" message, are we understanding it correctly? More importantly are we DOING it? I am constantly coming across "Christians" who say "Well, we just can't keep them, Jesus knows this and still loves us". You are then saying God's word is misleading in Revelation. Why would he save those who keep the Commandments if we couldn't do it? Infact the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to keep them.(1 John 5:3) "For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments, and His Commandments are NOT BURDENSOME". And I would add, it's because of the help of the Holy Spirit we CAN do it.
In Revelation 22:14 God gives His FINAL word on "who" it is who will be saved. "Blessed are they who DO his Commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" And oh what a city it will be! So we see clearly what requirements God asks of us to be saved. Many will say "Lord, Lord" but they will have failed to heed God's final warning and instructions in Revelation. Do not be deceived, as scripture says (1 John 2:3-4) "This is how we KNOW we know Him, IF we keep His Commandments, he that says 'I know Him', and does NOT keep His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him"
So do not be lead astray by the many last day teachers, who make things difficult to understand your salvation. They say "you must do this or that, believe this or that, you can ignore this or that"". No, we must read and believe God's SIMPLE and straight forward words! Christ be with you.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
After learning (by a direct sign from God) that His holy Sabbath is real, I undertook a serious study to learn, just what is this day called "Sabbath"? The word of God says that if we seek we will find and I have "found" the answers to my questions. I am aware, even among my own church members (Seventh day Adventists) that a great many STILL don't know how to "keep" the Sabbath. So God has inspired me to post this message with the prayer that all who seek His truth may be enlightened to "keep" His Sabbath as He intended. There really is not alot of do's and don'ts. But one thing is sure, we, as Christians cannot "strangle" this day (by over regulating it) as the Pharisees and religious leaders did in Jesus' day.
From the beginning of the world, God(Our Lord) spoke all things into existence. The Word say's that NOTHING was made without Him. The "last" thing the Lord created was the "seventh day". He blessed this day, and set it apart by sanctifying it (made it holy). This was all so pleasing to Him! The seventh day was a day he observed His creation and rested from, His creation. It's kinda of like a great artist paints His most beautiful work then, when he is done he stops and just stares at it for a good while. Observing all that he had done, and admiring it. The seventh day was that time of admiration for the Lord. One important thing to notice is that NO OTHER day was "blessed and made holy". So the seventh day is "different" from the other days.
So we know from God's word that this day had special meaning to the Lord. He called it from the beginning to bring our attention to it. For HE KNEW that this Sabbath day would play a VERY important role for mankind. Now I am aware of all the arguments for NOT keeping the Sabbath and this post will not deal with that now. This is for the people who KNOW God's true holy day already(or at least they think they do :-)
Once we are committed to honoring and keeping His holy day, just how should we do it? The first thing to remember is that it is a day of "rest". That means STOP working and doing you normal worldly things. I know many have to work their jobs and feel wronged by their circumstances. But DO NOT underestimate the Lord's power to bring you into His will! If you will pray and CONTINUE to pray relentlessly for a change in schedule or some type of deliverance from the Lord, he will do it(remember the parable of the persistent man). It may take time but keep it up, your faithfulness will be rewarded. I have many testimonies of these exact situations but due to time and space will hold it for another day. I also find it's a perfect day to take a long nap :-)
The Sabbath consists mainly of the following (ofcourse there are more but these appear the most important)
1)Rest (already discussed)
2)Honor the Lord
5)NO buying or selling
7)reading His word and God inspired readings
8)abstaining (from worldy things, even food if inspired)
I'll briefly cover each point. Honoring the Lord is what the Sabbath is all about! That is our primary purpose. We are given our life, breath, everything from the Lord. He is deserving of a full 24 hour period at least once a week to honor Him, wouldn't you say? So keep in mind every Sabbath is your chance to say "Thank you Lord for all you do for me."
Think of the Sabbath as a day the Lord really "dials in" the antenna for you. When we pray this day I believe the Lord so much enjoys talking with us. I personally find that in prayer, sometimes it's better to "wait" on the Lord. Meaning that we should be quiet and listen to Him as opposed to speaking to Him. Quietness and kneeling on the Sabbath can only bring blessings!
The bible says a "holy convocation" is good(Lev.23:3). And what better time than the Sabbath. Find a church you enjoy and get spiritual benifit from and worship our Lord EVERY Sabbath. We know it was Jesus "custom" to be in the synagogue. He is our leader, teacher, as well as Lord. So let's follow His example.
This next one is probably the most "wrong doing" done on the Sabbath. God's word clearly says NOT to buy and sell things (Neh 13:15-19). In my own church after I was going there for short while, I was invited to go to "lunch" after the Sabbath service. Being somewhat "new" to the Sabbath, I thought nothing of it. Later, I discovered that it was not right to the Lord, to do such a thing. But then I thought "how is it that these people, who have been going to Sabbath service for such a long time, ignore God's word and instruction?" For what good is it to "obey and keep" His Sabbath on one hand, and yet throw away and disregard it on the other? The same goes for "shopping, movie theaters, sports events, etc". If we truly want God's blessings and approval, we must honor His day as HE SAID, not our opinion of how to do it.
Acts of kindness and reaching out to our fellowman is very much allowed on this Day. Alot of Jesus' documented healings were done on this day.(Matt 12:10-12) "It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" Therefore, it's a good day to go visit the local nursing home, or the homeless shelter. God loves such kind deeds on His holy day! But keep in mind ,you do for the Lord on His Sabbath, therefore while you minister , tell of His love and of Him.
I find this day a PERFECT day to read God's word. The quietness, the peacefulness, all make it such a great time to study and learn His beautiful truths. Even good Christian books, such as Ellen White's and such are fine.
Finally, we must remember God has called this day "special", meaning we should not make it ordinary and do all the normal worldy things such as gossip, watch TV, listen to wordly music, etc. Most of us do that already six days a week!lol. Let us set apart the day He asks us to, and we'll be blessed for it! I can tell you this, after experiencing His holy day I CANNOT imagine wanting to ever STOP IT!! May God bless you and help you to enjoy His Sabbath.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Most of Christendom doesn't. Most Adventists have come to believe what Desmond Ford believes...that we will never be fully sanctified until Jesus Christ returns and gives us unfallen natures. But what does the Bible say?
What does God call His followers to be?
1 Peter 1:15-16, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
God grants us to live how, all the days of our life?
Luke 1:74-75, "That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life."
Of what does God say that His followers will not serve, are reckoned dead to, that it shall not reign in their mortal body, that they shall not obey, that it shall not have dominion over them, and that they are free from?
Romans 6:2, 6, 7, 11-15, 22, "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ... Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. ... Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. ... But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
What are given by Christ to His followers that they may partake of the divine nature and escape corruption?
2 Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
What does the Bible say about those who abide in Christ and who are born of God?
1 John 3:3, 6, 9, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. ... Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. ... Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
What effect do God's promises have on Christians?
2 Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
What is it that will cause the heathen to know that Christ is Lord?
Ezekiel 36:23, 26, 27, "And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. ... A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
How much does God sanctify His followers?
1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
How does God describe His true church?
Ephesians 5:27, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
What does God tell His children not to do?
1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
What is it that enables us to live as Christ lived?
Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
What does the Spirit of God do to those who follow Him?
1 Corinthians 6:7, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
What does faith in God do to His followers?
Acts 26:18, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
What type of person will followers of Christ become?
Ephesians 4:13, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
What is God able to keep His followers from doing?
Jude 1:24, "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."
How much can followers of Christ do?
Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
What does the Lord know how to do?
2 Peter 2:9, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations."
What does God make sure comes with every temptation?
1 Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
We are to follow Christ's example...how did He walk?
1 Peter 2:21, 22, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."
Who does Christ grant to sit with Him on His throne?
Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
What should be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ?
2 Corinthians 10:5, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
What will not be fulfilled by those who walk in the Spirit?
Galatians 5:16, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
How do the 144,000 stand before the throne of God?
Revelation 7:2-4, 14:1, 5, "And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed, and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. ... And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. ... And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."
What do the remnant keep?
Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
The Bible is crystal clear that it is possible to keep the commandments of God, and that those who follow Christ will do just that. It's a question of God's power. Either God is more powerful than sin, or sin is more powerful than God. So, how powerful is your God?
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I see that this altering or confusing of terms seems to be playing a major role in conversations regarding this topic, with people having different definitions for terms such as "ministry" "minister" "ordained" "laborer" etc.
One group defines all Christians as laborers, or ministers, in keeping with 1 Peter 2:9, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;"
Therefore, they say, all Christians are to be ministers to their fellow man. All Christians are part of the ministry, but not all Christians are to fulfill the role of an ordained pastor.
The ordained pastor, they say, is a specific part of the church structure, or hierarchy. The position of an ordained pastor within the organized church body is entirely separate from the Gospel work and ministry that every believer is called to.
Thus, saying that all believers should be part of the ministry, or Gospel work, is a true statement, whereas saying that all those in the ministry, or Gospel work, should be ordained pastors is a false statement. Otherwise you're concluding that all believers should be ordained pastors.
We must separate "laborers," "ministry," and "Gospel work" from "ordained pastor," for they are not one and the same. We needn't be ordained pastors to partake in the ministry of spreading the Gospel. We needn't be ordained pastors to be laborers in the harvest.
Case in point: Ellen White, who we all accept as having such a vital and important ministry, as being such a powerful worker in the spreading of the Gospel and as being such an effective laborer in the harvest, yet who did not think it appropriate to be ordained.
The other group will point to verses such as Luke 10:2, "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." and conclude that by not ordaining women we are thus sending fewer labourers into the harvest.
So, you can see that this group has defined "laborer" as meaning "ordained pastor." Therefore, they say, by not ordaining women we are hindering the Gospel work, or ministry.
But if taken to its logical conclusion, that would mean that every baptized member of the church should be ordained, so that we can all be Gospel workers or ministers to the fullest degree. Otherwise, if we do not ordain every baptized member, are we not then hindering the work?
But was Jesus Christ really referring only to ordained pastors or elders as "labourers?" Or, was He actually referring to all believers as "labourers?" And if so, is it really those who are refusing to ordain women based on lack of Scriptural support that are hindering the work? Or, is it actually those who are displaying an attitude of rebellion from the organized church body and who are creating dissension that are hindering the work?
Of course there are those who refer to this issue as "women in ministry," such as our beloved brother, pastor Doug, who are simply defining "ministry," in this instance, as meaning ordained pastors and elders. I think it would probably be wise not to use the word ministry in that sense, only because the opposition clings onto that word and cries, "You're refusing to let women be part of the ministry, or Gospel work...you're refusing to let women be labourers in the harvest!"
So, in conclusion, if we force participants in this discussion to define their terms, we can quickly set aside this false notion of the ordination of women having anything to do with the Gospel work, for we can then easily see that a "labourer" is not defined as an "ordained pastor." (In fact, I'd imagine that most of the labourers in the harvest are not ordained pastors.)
And if we have defined our terms and dismissed this first faulty argument, we can then begin to concentrate on the true issue: Is there Scriptural support for the ordination of women?