Friday, May 28, 2010

What is a very important message given in Revelation?

By: Rob Peralta

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

The Sabbath - What it is and how to keep it

By: Rob Peralta

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
6)ministering acts
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

We Can Have Victory Over Sin!

Do you believe that we can overcome sin in this life? Do you believe God is powerful enough to keep us from sinning? Do you believe that it's possible to keep the commandments of God while we have a fallen nature?

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 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

Adventist Women as Ordained Pastors

One of those famous old philosophers was known for his insistence upon "defining the terms" in order that people might accurately address a topic without either party sliding out of corners by altering or confusing the definitions of the terms being discussed.

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'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?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't Wait 1,000 Years to Bow the Knee

"A little here, a little there...and the entire church crumbles.

The unconverted within our ranks (the vast majority of Adventists, according to EGW) continue to chip away at the pillars of faith upon which God has established His end-time church...and who can say how many precious souls will be lost because of it.

Someday, over a thousand years in the future, even the knees of those who most vehemently (or subtly) opposed the truth will finally bow to God and admit that all His judgments are indeed true and just.

How sad that it will then be too late. Please, let's humble ourselves and submit to Christ as Lord while there is still time...let us leave behind our vain reasonings and worldly logic.

Much love."