Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sabbath vs. Sunday in the Bible

If you aren't familiar with what the Bible says about the Sabbath and about the first day of the week (Sunday) watch this little study.  If you know someone who is curious, they might enjoy it.

Ted Wilson Addresses German Adventists

After reading an article by Lothar E. Träder, a retired Adventist pastor and teacher in Germany, in which he decried Ted Wilson's series of sermons (five so far) preached to the German churches since he became the General Conference President, I was moved to comment.  It is immediately apparent, if you read the entire article, that Seventh-day Adventism in Germany is suffering the same trials as the church in the United States, Australia, and most likely around the world.  Namely, the widening gap between those who desire to embrace the world, and those who desire to surrender to Christ.

A few impressions after reading the article:

"So when Ekkehard Müller denounces German-speaking churches as being “deeply polarized”, many feel that such generalized statements are of little help and accuracy."

- Many of your own statements later in the article testify to the accuracy of Muller's that "German-speaking churches (like all Adventist churches) are 'deeply polarized'" (e.g. "They insist on a more rigid traditional form of Adventism, fighting against a more supposedly liberal brand of Adventism.")

"Don’t misunderstand me: the majority of the churches in Germany are theologically healthy, mission-oriented, living harmoniously their faith."

- Nothing could be further from the truth. This statement exemplifies the Laodicean state that our church is characterized by in the book of Revelation. We are NOT "theologically healthy, mission-oriented and living harmoniously our faith" any more than we are rich, increased in goods and have need of nothing.

"First, I noticed a dangerous version of endtime theology. He never ceased to emphasize the imminence of the Second Advent. Taking as a starting point the somewhat peculiar and overemphasized notion of the latter rain."

- It saddens me to hear someone in the Adventist church speak of an emphasis on the soon-coming of Jesus and the latter rain as a negative.

"What will happen if next year in all the pastors’ conventions around the globe ministers are called to preach this message, but the longed-for cosmic event will not materialize? Wouldn’t that create something like a second great disappointment among Adventists?"

- Would the world and church be better served by avoiding speaking of Christ's soon coming, thus affirming our Laodicean attitude? Nay, it is our mission to spread the message of His soon coming and that His judgment is already come!

"Deeply convinced in Mannheim that Christ’s return would be imminent, in Friedensau he dared to formulate that it is of little relevance whether Christ will return in five or fifty years."

- That one can look at these two points of Ted Wilson's sermons and conclude that "perhaps his visits to the places of the reformation had deeply impressed him" and that "Ted Wilson is a learner like all of us and perhaps he should come back to Germany more often to discuss issues with our fine theologians in Friedensau" shows just how deep the schism has become between the two groups in Adventism. Ted Wilson's theology has not changed, nor does his emphasis on the imminent return of Christ in one sermon and proclamation that it is of little relevance whether Christ returns in 5 years or 50 in the next present a conflict or evolution of belief.

We DO believe in the imminent return of Christ, and we ALSO believe that we are called to live the same life whether He comes in 5 years or 50. That is why the date of His return is of little relevance to the life of the believer...unless you believe that if we know Christ isn't coming for 50 years we can then "relax" and live a more worldly life, not spending so much time thinking about the things of heaven and spreading the Gospel?

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Lesson On Faith

As you may already be aware, Jones and Waggoner are the two young men who delivered the powerful message of Righteousness by Faith to the church at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis.  I was recommended a book of theirs entitled, Lessons on Faith.

In this post I'm going to do a quick summation of a sermon and a part of that book.

God, through the apostle Paul, says in Romans 1:17, "The just shall live by faith."

So here we see how those abiding in Christ ought to live...by faith.

Then we turn to Matthew 4:4 and find that Christ, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16, says, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God' "

When we look at these two truths together we must come to one of two conclusions. Either 1.) There are two different ways a follower of Christ may live, or 2.) These two verses are descriptions of the same way of living.

I'd propose that it's the latter, in which case we find that:

Living by faith is the same as living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

What a beautiful and biblical definition of faith: to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Let's look at a second example.

Matthew 8:5-8,10, "Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.'

And Jesus said to him, 'I will come and heal him.'

The centurion answered and said, 'Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.'

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!' "

So here we find Christ Himself identifies what it is to have great faith. What is it that Christ was referring to about the centurion that was not just faith, but great faith?

The centurion said "But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed." The centurion believed that the word of Christ alone had the power to accomplish what it said would happen.

Together, these three passages lead to a solid conclusion about what it is to have faith: To live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God...to believe that word has the power to accomplish what it says it will.

This is why Bible promises are so powerful. This is why Christ upon His triumphal entry said, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:40) Because the word of God had declared that those shouts would be heard upon Christ's entry (Psalm 118:26) and if the people wouldn't have cried out, the very stones would have...because God's word declared it, and God's word has the power to accomplish what it says.

Isaiah 55:11, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."


Well...I don't want this lesson to be too long-winded, so I'll stop right here.

God bless, and be faithful.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The other night I was laying in bed thinking how crazy it is that during Christ's time, there was a sect of Jews, God's chosen people, who didn't believe in a resurrection. I mean, it is such a basic, foundational doctrine, yet the Sadducees denied it.

But there was, in those days, another group. A group who stood against these Sadducees and their false beliefs. A group of spiritual leaders. A group of pious men whose whole life was centered around God's law. In fact, so valuable did they hold God's law, that they even began to place hedges around the law to be absolutely sure they wouldn't get anywhere near breaking it. These devout men went far above and beyond God's original law. For example, they didn't only pay tithe of their income, but even gave tithe of their herb gardens! Of course, I am speaking of the Pharisees.

I think the church today has become a lot like the Pharisees of old. So caught up in arguing and defending doctrines that we lose sight of the One to whom all doctrines point.

How often today must God look down and say, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me." (Mark 7:6)

Paul speaks of these things in Romans 14 and 15, and 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. He says not to dispute over doubtful things. Don't let these little issues divide the body of Christ! In those days it was things like meat offered to idols, which days to observe and fast on, etc. Today we die on the mountains of Christian dress, jewelry, music, styles of worship, etc. I won't die on those mountains! If something is against someone's conscience, we ought not to push it. For if they violate their own conscience, they sin. "But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23)

Paul says, "Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:32-33) "And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble." (1 Corinthians 8:11-13) "Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand." "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." (Romans 14:4,19) "We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves." (Romans 15:1)

We are not the Holy Spirit, it is not our job to convict. Sometime God uses us as a tool in His hand to reveal the truth, but we are never to compel obedience to it.

There's an old rhyme that says,
"A person convinced against their will,
is of the same opinion still."

Another old saying says,
"A person has to know that you care before they care what you know."

How true.

"Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me'" - EGW

God bless you and keep you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

See With New Eyes

Please take a moment to check out this series by Ty Gibson which focuses on seeing the loving character of God.  It will enrich your Christian walk to no end!

In Jesus Christ the character of God is perfectly revealed to humanity.

See With New Eyes

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Sabbath Journey Through the Bible

I was so exhausted when I made this video, so please forgive me if I seem a little tired.

part 1

part 2

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Day Events: Seal then Destruction

Revelation 7:1-3...

After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

Ezekiel 9:3-6...

And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple.

Early Writings, page 36...

I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgements of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed.

Early Writings, page 43...

Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the sealing was past, until the covering was drawn over God's people, and they left without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues. God has begun to draw this covering over His people, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. God will work in power for His people; and Satan will be permitted to work also.

The Great Controversy, chapter 39: The Time of Trouble, page 613...

When the third angel's message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received "the latter rain," "the refreshing from the presence of the Lord," and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received "the seal of the living God." Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, "It is done;" and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death.

Daniel 2: Christ, the Rock from the Mountain of God

What does the 'Stone cut without hands' do in Daniel's vision? It smashes the image on the feet, shattering the entire thing to dust, then it grows into a mighty mountain which covers the whole Earth. It is Jesus Christ who will destroy the kingdoms of this world, not His followers. It is Christ's kingdom which will grow to an everlasting kingdom covering the entire Earth, not His followers' kingdom. To say that the Stone represents the followers of Christ is to remove Christ from the prophecy. It is to usurp for ourselves the glory and power that belong to Him alone. What self-exaltation, what self-righteousness, what self-centeredness! As one of my favorite preachers, Lyle Albrecht, said about why he hates the teaching that the last week (seven years) of the 70-week prophecy is applied to antichrist: "They take away the beautiful work of my Saviour, Jesus Christ and apply it to satan! How dare they!"

I will not remove Jesus Christ from the center of my theology which is taught so plainly in the Bible, and apply His work and His power and His glory to 'wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked' humans, relegating Christ to the background as some unseen force simply enabling humans to be the focus. I cannot, will not, remove Jesus Christ from my doctrines...for then they would all be in vain. In John 5:39, He Himself said, "You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but they are they which testify of Me."

What was the vision in Daniel 2 referring to? Kingdoms and their kings! Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar in 2:38b-39a, "You are this head of gold! And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours."

So we can see the Bible is clear that the materials in this vision refer to kingdoms and their King.

So how illogical and how much a wresting of Scripture would it be to suddenly change the rules for the last part of the vision and say now at this last part, the material no longer represents a King and His kingdom, but instead the Stone represents a small section of God's people which destroy the kingdoms of the world and then grow to cover it?

Brothers and sisters, I beg, implore and beseech you to never ever ever remove Christ from theology and doctrines which all point to Him and Him alone! To put ourselves in the place of God is to make the same mistake that was made in the very beginning. (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:17)

Let us remember that we are but dust. Our lives, a vapor in the wind. God is the Almighty.

Here are some verses I compiled while studying the topic of Daniel 2 and whether the Stone cut without hands was indeed Jesus Christ, as Seventh-day Adventists believe, or the 144 thousand, as the Shepherd's Rod believes.

Shepherd's Rod doctrine on Daniel 2 hinges on the mountain always being a symbol of God's people and they give 2 verses to back that claim up, but look at all these verses calling Christ the Rock/Stone and referring to the mountain as the dwelling place/righteousness of God...

Jesus Christ the Rock/Stone:

Matthew 21:44, "And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."

Psalm 118:22, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone."

Acts 4:11, "This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'"

Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

Matthew 7:24, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock" and again in Luke 6:47-48

1 Peter 2:4, "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious"

Isaiah 26:4, "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal"

Matthew 16:16-18, "Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."

Daniel 2:34-35, "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."

Daniel 2:45, "Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."

The Mountain as God's Dwelling Place/Righteousness:

Isaiah 14:13, "For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north"

Exodus 15:17, "You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O LORD, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established."

Ezekiel 28:16, "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire."

Psalm 36:6, "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast."

Exodus 19:3, "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:"

Hebrews 12:22, "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly"

Isaiah 24:23, "The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously."

Isaiah 27:13, "And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem."

Psalm 68:15, "A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan."

Psalm 68:16, "Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the LORD will dwell in it forever."

Exodus 3:1, "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bible Prophecy Fulfilled - Over 2,500 Years of World History

Easy one...

Daniel chapter 2.

Daniel was one of the Hebrews who had been taken captive by the nation of Babylon and trained in Babylonian schools. Through God's provision he had become a respected wise man of Babylon, though he was only around 20 years old at the time the following story happened. Anyway...

One night the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had this very vivid dream and when he awoke he couldn't remember it, but he knew it was important so he called his magicians, astrologers and sorcerers together and asked them to tell him 1.) what his dream had been, and 2.) what its interpretation was.

Of course they couldn't do it. So they said, "Tell us the dream and we'll tell you the interpretation."

See, their job as "wise men" involved, among other things, listening to the king's dreams and making up some phony interpretations to please him.

So anyway, now they're in a bind so they tell him that they can't do it and the king realizes that he's been duped this entire time by these guys, so he makes a decree to kill all the wise men in Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar had a bit of a violent temper...ask me if you want another example.

So this guy from the king's army, the captain of the guard, shows up at Daniel's door to kill him (because he was considered one of the wise men) and his three friends...and Daniel goes, "What happened?? What's with this harsh decree?" and the captain of the guard tells him what happened.

So Daniel asks to speak with the king, is granted an audience, and says to the king that if he'll give him time, he would be able to give him the dream and its interpretation. The king agrees.

So Daniel goes home and tells his three buddies what happened and they pray to God to reveal this dream so that they won't be slain. And that night, Daniel dreamed the same dream that the king had and was given its interpretation, and Daniel praised God!

So Daniel is called before the king and the king asks him if he's able to make known the dream and its interpretation, and Daniel says, "Your wise men, astrologers and magicians can't tell you this stuff...BUT there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets and makes known to the king what will be in the last days. God is showing you what is going to come to pass from here on. And it is because of God that this dream is revealed, not because of me or because I have any more wisdom than anyone else."

And Daniel recounts this dream which was of this big statue of a man, whose head was gold, arms and chest were silver, belly and thighs were bronze, legs were iron, and feet were iron mixed with clay. Then all of a sudden this big rock that was cut without hands flew down and struck the statue on the feet and shattered it...then the rock grew into a huge mountain that covered the whole earth.

So the king gets all excited and exclaims, "That's it! That was the dream!"

And he knows that if Daniel can tell him the dream that he dreamed, surely his interpretation can also be trusted. For sure.

So he tells the king, "God gave you this kingdom and all your power.

You are the head of gold.

Then after you is going to rise up a kingdom inferior to you, just like silver is inferior to gold,

then a third kingdom of brass,

and the fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron, and just like iron breaks and crushes all these other metals, this kingdom will crush everything else too.

Then just like the feet of iron mixed with clay, the fourth kingdom will be divided. Just like the toes were partly of iron and partly of clay, it will be partly strong and partly broken. And just like you saw iron mixed with clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men but they shall not adhere one to another, just as iron does not mix with clay.

And in the days of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom and the kingdom will last forever."

So the king is floored, and decides to make Daniel the governor over all the kingdom...and Daniel requested his three friends be put in charge too.

All this can be found in Daniel chapter 2. It's interesting because in the next chapter the king builds this huge statue of a man and makes it all of gold, instead of just the head...kinda hoping his kingdom would last forever. But anyway.

So the Bible is clear the the starting point of this world-history timeline of kingdoms who would rule the then-known world is Babylon which is represented by the head of gold. And that Babylon would be conquered by another kingdom, and then that kingdom would be conquered by a third kingdom, and then that kingdom would be conquered by a fourth kingdom, and that the fourth kingdom WOULDN'T be conquered by a fifth kingdom, but instead would be divided up...and remember the ten toes, just stick that on a shelf in your mind, there will be more on that later.

Let's check history...

Babylon, head of gold, reigned from 605-539 BC, and was conquered by...?

Medo-Persia, chest and arms of silver, who reigned from 539-331 BC, and was conquered by...?

Greece, belly and thighs of brass, who reigned from 331-168 BC, and was conquered by...?

Rome, legs of iron, who reigned from 168 BC - 476 AD, and was conquered by...?

If the fourth world-empire had been conquered by a fifth, you could throw your Bibles in the garbage and say it was all fairy-tales...but it wasn't.

Any A-students out there? What happened to Rome? It disintegrated from within and was divided into smaller kingdoms. Through unparalleled luxury, political corruption and moral decay, Rome lost its stability and strength and became easy prey for the various Barbarian tribes that began invading the empire during the fourth century A.D.

By 476 AD, Rome had divided into ten parts, or tribes. They were:

The Alemanni (today's Germans)

The Franks (French)

The Saxons (English)

The Visigoths (Spanish)

The Burgundians (Swiss)

The Lombards (Italians)

The Suevi (Portugese)

and the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths (these three are now extinct, more on that later)

The current nations of Europe developed from these various tribes of the divided Roman empire.

Remember that part about mingling themselves with the seed of men but not adhering together just as iron won't mix with clay?

MANY rulers have tried to reunite Europe, often through royal marriages, you know? Like the princess of this country is wed to the prince of that country, etc etc...trying to reunite the nations of Europe by the mingling of seed...but it never worked.

Then there were the military conquests of men who tried to reunite the nations of Europe, men like Charlemagne, Charles V, Louis XIV, Napoleon Bonaparte (who reportedly was told of this prophecy and that he wouldn't succeed, and then threw the Bible across the room...it's said that after Waterloo he said, "God has been too much." or something like that), and more recently, Adolph Hitler.

Bible prophecy...unreal. It happened just like God said it would, and later the prophecy is given again in even MORE detail...so much so that it is seriously mind-blowing.

In that world time-line...where are we? We are living in the tips of the toes, at the veeeerrrryyyy bottom of the statue, the very end of the timeline, well into the days of divided Rome.

Remember what happened next?

The Rock came and struck the image on the feet (right where we are in time), shattering it into dust, and then the Rock grew into a huge mountain that covered the whole earth...who is the Rock? Who is coming back very soon to destroy the kingdoms of the earth and establish an everlasting kingdom? Christ is the Rock.

Just wait until you hear the NEXT prophecy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It Gets Better (For Adventists Too)

To my gay brothers and sisters...God loves you. He made you...He knew you before you were born. He has a special place in His heart for you and only you. He loves you as if you were the only person He has ever made. He watches over you, speaks to you, woos you and entreats you. He loves you so much that He became a man and suffered and died to take the punishment that justice requires of you.

Recently, there has been a group in the Seventh-day Adventist church who have joined hands with the rest of the world in promoting an "inclusive" philosophy towards homosexuality. That is the reason for this article.

God created this world as a lush, beautiful garden...a veritable paradise. When sin entered the world at the fall of Adam, that perfect creation was shattered. Sin spread like a cancer through every living creature and every plant, through every drop of water and every breath of air.

Many animals began to attack and devour one another and became venomous...many plants developed thorns and thistles and became poisonous...nothing, neither plant nor animal, was left unaffected.

It is said that Adam and Eve wept over the first fallen leaf as we weep today for the death of a child. These things were never meant to be. Death was never meant to be.

But it wasn't physical changes alone that came with the entrance of sin; there were spiritual changes taking place as well. Since that day, around 6,000 years ago, mankind has been slowly degrading both physically and spiritually. While Adam was said to be perhaps 15 feet tall or more, with a mind that was able to recall every sight, sound, touch, taste and feel that he had ever been exposed to...today men are lucky to stand even 6 feet, with minds that sometimes struggle to remember even such things as what we had for breakfast.

And while we have become more and more debased, our lusts have grown more and more perverse until now we see so much adultery, fornication and fetishes that it all seems normal. A man thinks nothing of going to a bar and bringing to bed whatever girl he strikes up a conversation with that night, oftentimes never to see her again. A woman thinks nothing of letting men use her in any vulgar way he pleases. Children now, often before puberty even begins, are engaging in sexual acts without batting an eye.

As this broken Earth has fallen further and further from it's former perfection, so too have we who inhabit it. We are all born with natures that are selfish, greedy and lustful...seeking to maximize our pleasure and minimize our discomfort. And the world just urges us on, encouraging us to be proud of who we are...to be ourselves.

But dear one, ourselves are wicked wicked things. That is what the world doesn't understand. We were made for greater things. We were made to be greater things. Pure and joyful and holy. We were made in the very image of our Creator!

We all struggle with sins...those sins which do so easily ensnare us...a man's lust to sleep with women outside of marriage, a woman's lust to sleep with men outside of marriage, a man's lust for men, a woman's lust for women...a lust for the riches and power of this world...a lust for food and drink...a pride deep within that says we know best. There are so many things we struggle with because we are a broken creation. But please know...it does get better.

The more we surrender to God and the more we decide to follow His will even though our hearts desire our own way, the more His Spirit comes in and comforts us. As we die to self, He begins living in us. And His light shines brighter and brighter until that perfect day when He shall make us brand new again...when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality. And God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; and there will be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

So please, my brothers and sisters...do not lose hope. Do not go to the right hand or to the left, but listen to that still small voice behind you saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it." Forsake self and be reborn, for if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Take hold of Jesus' loving hand and let Him lead you all the way through the gates of heaven. Trust the promise of the One who said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." For He also said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

God's great mercy be forever with you.
With Christ's Love,

Scripture References (almost in the order I used them):

John 3:16, Jeremiah 1:5, Ezekiel 33:11, Genesis 1:28-31, Genesis 3:18, Isaiah 51:6, Romans 8:22, Romans 5:12, Matthew 24:12, Jeremiah 17:9, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 John 2:16, Isaiah 53:6, Ephesians 2:10, Revelation 4:11, Isaiah 45:18, 1 Peter 2:9, Genesis 1:26-27, Hebrews 12:1, Romans 1:27, John 14:16, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Corinthians 15:31, Galatians 2:20, Proverbs 4:18, Job 11:17, 2 Peter 1:19, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, John 3:3, Revelation 21:4, Proverbs 4:27, Isaiah 30:21, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 16:33, John 14:2-3.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Non-Adventist Speakers

Recently there has been much controversy about the invitation of T.D. Jakes to speak at an Evangelism Council taking place this December, 2011, at Oakwood University. There is truly no need for this controversy.

First of all, this particular event has more than likely come under such scrutiny because of a very popular YouTube
video where pastor T.D. Jakes attacks the Sabbath, which has placed him on the Seventh-day Adventist radar. But, truth be told, this event is not unique (aside from the controversy it has caused) because there are many non-Adventist speakers invited to churches, colleges and other Seventh-day Adventist institutions every year.

Secondly, God has given extremely clear and unambiguous light about this subject through His prophet, Ellen White. So, without further ado, God's thoughts on the matter at hand:

"If God has any new light to communicate, He will let His chosen and beloved understand it, without their going to have their minds enlightened by hearing those who are in darkness and error.

I was shown the necessity of those who believe that we are having the last message of mercy, being separate from those who are daily imbibing new errors. I saw that neither young nor old should attend their meetings; for it is wrong to thus encourage them while they teach error that is a deadly poison to the soul and teach for doctrines the commandments of men. The influence of such gatherings is not good.

If God has delivered us from such darkness and error, we should stand fast in the liberty wherewith He has set us free and rejoice in the truth. God is displeased with us when we go to listen to error, without being obliged to go; for unless He sends us to those meetings where error is forced home to the people by the power of the will, He will not keep us. The angels cease their watchful care over us, and we are left to the buffetings of the enemy, to be darkened and weakened by him and the power of his evil angels; and the light around us becomes contaminated with the darkness.
" - Early Writings, pp. 124, 125.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Little Sticks Story

By: Rob Peralta

Perhaps one of the most dramatic and lesson-filled stories in God's word occurred in the book of Numbers. I call it "The Little Sticks Story." It has important truths and lessons we can learn. God has it there FOR A REASON. It is the observant, humble, learning servant that will gain wisdom when he studies this story. God places truths like little gold nuggets, and if we dig a little we'll find them and be joyful to know His word and truth. Let us look at this BIG AND IMPORTANT LESSON.

Our story begins in Numbers 15:22 to 15:31. The Lord tell His people through Moses and Aaron that if they sin (break His Commandments) there shall be two ways to deal with it: the "ignorant" sin would be forgiven with atonement. The "Blatant" or "Presumptuous" sin would not be forgiven, these people boldly decide to break His Law and therefore should be "cut off."

We must stop here for a moment and reassess what the situation was with these people (in their relationship with God). God had performed GREAT feats and wonders IN THEIR EYESIGHT, they saw Him in action. He left little doubt as to His closeness to them. The cloud during the day, the fire during the night. He now wanted "accountability" from them. So He made sure they KNEW just what sin meant. He was in effect warning them by basically saying "I AM YOUR GOD, THE GREAT I AM, PLEASE LISTEN TO ME."

To continue, we read in Numbers 15:32-34, "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks on the Sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron and unto all the congregation. And they put him in a ward because it was not declared what should be done to him." Let's look at this part more in depth.

We know that the Lord had previously declared that His Laws were holy and to be obeyed. They were not the "10 suggestions." He declared "presumptuous" sin was very serious and the offender must be "cut off." So the Lord left ALL without excuse. This man no doubt had a family and being in the desert (cold nights) probably was running low on firewood and wanted to provide for his family. But here is the big issue. This man's thinking and lack of fear of God, led him to think, "The Lord will understand, He knows we will suffer tonight if I don't get these sticks. He is compassionate." How many are thinking along THESE SAME LINES TODAY? The Lord will let this or that slide. He'll understand my circumstances. I can break these Commandments under the right circumstances.

Stop and think about something for a moment. Why do you think the Lord is so concerned that we keep His Sabbath Holy? I think there is a clear answer in His word. We, being HIS PEOPLE, are sanctified by keeping His Sabbath! (Exodus 31:13) "..My Sabbaths you shall keep (holy), for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that YOU MAY KNOW that I am the Lord WHO SANCTIFIES YOU." Each Sabbath we keep we get a little holier!

Then the story ends with the Lord declaring the man must die. Like I said it's a dramatic story but a important lesson to learn. In (Malachi 3:6) we read "For I am the Lord, I change not." That means He's the same as when this story took place. His Laws remain just that --His Laws.

So let's learn the lesson here. Our "little sticks" can do us real harm if we think we can be presumptuous and think that our Lord doesn't mean what He says and say what He means. Be strong my brothers and sisters, He wants NOTHING MORE than to embrace you and call you His own in His kingdom. But there is a requirement. In Christ's love, Rob

Friday, July 8, 2011

Re-posted Some YouTube Bible Study Videos

Hi guys, just wanted to let you know that a few days ago I re-posted the Bible study videos that I had posted on YouTube for a friend a while back.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Support the Free Adventist Dating Site

Someone had a burden to create a free dating website for Adventist singles. Much hard work and dedication has been placed into this site and it really shows. Also, it's constantly improving. If you are a single Adventist please stop by and check it out here.

Maybe God has that special someone waiting for you right now! :-)


Friday, July 1, 2011

A Snare Amongst Us

By: Rob Peralta

In today's high tech world there is a snare in our midst. The devil has always found a way to use almost all things in a way that leads us away from God. He's brilliant at creating "snares". The snare I wish to talk about is the very one you are using right now---the computer! The fun, exciting and sometimes all time consuming--computer. Let's look at how this may be a BIG trap for you if you're not careful.

For a while now the small steady voice of the Holy Spirit has been nudging me about my use of the computer. I have been using it quite a lot, just like many of you. For one thing, I am faithfully on it for 3 or 4 hours on Sabbath evening putting out a contemporary post of what I see as important for people, based on what I have been guided by the Lord in my walk. This, I believe has the FULL backing of our Lord. But the "other" times during Sabbath (Saturday) I was getting a nudging. He said " Hey Rob, you know I want to be closer to you (prayer and reading) and you're making it harder to communicate with me by being on the computer most of the Sabbath". I started to see this clearly. And it also started me thinking about our dear friend(Computer) becoming an "idol".

There is basically two parts of this message I would like to tell about with this computer problem-- The Sabbath usage, and the daily usage. Let's talk about the daily usage first.

Indeed many are being touched and moved by God's truth being spread through the computer, it is quite awesome to observe! Many souls are being reached through this medium. However, Satan observes this too and sure enough he finds a way to mess things up. His first plan is to get you "on it" ALL the time! You neglect your Bible studies, readings, household time with family or friends, etc. In (Exodus 20:5) we are told "...For I the Lord, your God, am a JEALOUS God...". Here we must ask, jealous about what? Well, it is "serving" other things, and if we are spending almost all our free time chatting with friends and playing games and such on the computer, are we not basically putting it BEFORE our Lord? Remember God watches our time and how it is spent.

Please don't get in the habit of mindlessly getting up, grabbing you coffee or juice and going immediately ON THE COMPUTER! Grab the scriptures or S.O.P. FIRST! Let God know HE'S FIRST not some wired machine! We must create GOOD habits. I think many should pray this prayer, "Father, give me the wisdom to know when enough is enough, and that I am starting to make an 'idol' of the computer, please warn me clearly." God will be faithful in answering this you can be sure!

Now, about the Sabbath and the computer. We must first know it is HIS DAY not ours. In (Isaiah 58:13-14) we are told "...not speaking our OWN words. Then we will delight in the Lord." I wonder how many are chatting away mindlessly to their friends---how is your car? how is you new living room furniture--blah, blah, blah. Can the Lord be pleased with this? Think of it like this. The Sabbath is our "date" with Him. Would you like it if you were with some VIP for a special date, and they were practically on the phone the whole time? Of course not. It's the same with the Lord. He wants us to listen to Him on His Day (in prayer).Or spend time reading His love letters (the Bible).

So to summarize, let us be mindful of the computer. It can be a good and big part of our lives IF done in the right way with temperance. In Christ, Rob

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stay Focused On That Which Is Essential For Our Salvation

"I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to lead minds to dwell upon some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to our salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the 'present truth,' when all their investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure than before, and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth." - 14 MR

One of Satan's great deceptions is to divert our focus from that which truly matters to that which is not essential. Let us all beware of these deceptions and heed Ellen White's counsel. Let us focus on our Lord, Jesus Christ.

‎"Satan beguiles men now as he beguiled Eve in Eden by flattery, by kindling a desire to obtain forbidden knowledge, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. It was cherishing these evils that caused his fall, and through them he aims to compass the ruin of men." - GC p. 554

There is a measure of pride associated with going off after fanatical doctrines and with feeling like you are privy to some exclusive, private or secret knowledge or interpretation of the Bible or, more specifically, prophecy.

This can be seen all around us with such groups as the "Shepherd's Rod" and the "Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement," as well as those who promote such things as the 2520 "prophecy," the keeping of feast days, the pronouncing of the Father and Son's names in Hebrew only, the lunar Sabbath, the idea that God won't destroy anyone in hell, the idea that Jesus was created, the idea that the Holy Spirit is not part of the Godhead, the idea that it's a sin to shave your beard...and the list goes on and on and on.

The devil is working...but God is also working. No one is being deceived against their will. But when they've made the decision to persistently turn away from truth that God is impressing upon their hearts...He will allow them that which they wish. The end will be as follows:

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." - 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Once someone has lost a love of the pure truth, they will be blown about by every wind of doctrine. So hold fast the anchors of truth which have been given to us by God. Such is also the advice of God through Paul:

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle." - 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Friday, June 17, 2011

You Go Girl!

By: Rob Peralta

For several years there has been a catchy slogan "You go girl" describing women who got their stuff together or are doing something noteworthy. Nowhere in the history of mankind, or in this case womankind, has that phrase ever been more fitting than describing one Ellen G. White. God took a very weak and frail girl and turned her into the "summation" of all the prophets. He would even the score, as before He typically used "men," but now it was time to show what a lady could do!

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. God, being the righteous and fair God, would wait till the last days of earth's history to bring out His best. His word says (2 Cor. 12:9) "...My strength is made perfect in weakness". For this young girl would go on to surpass ALL the prior Prophets in spreading God's truths. Her two best sellers "The Great Controversy" and "The Desire of Ages" stand out as two of the greatest works of all time. I can honestly say, apart from the Bible, her truths can sometimes "wear me out" lol.

One of the most fascinating things about her life was her "supernatural" abilities. Her ability to go into her visions WITHOUT BREATHING was captivating! It is well known that SEVERAL certified doctors (who were non-believers) witnessed this and each could NOT deny it! In fact, one was so amazed that he started visibly shaking and bolted for the door saying, "Get me out of here!" So we must then ask-- Could this have been from the devil? Of course not. He could never have used a "Commandment Keeper" for they would only go about spreading God's truth!

God's word was directly shown in her life (John 14:21) "He (or she) 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." Her many signs, dreams and visions all attest to this "revealing." Like I say SO MANY TIMES: Commandment keeping is THE KEY to Him revealing Himself to you. We must do as Ellen did, learn them completely and keep them in our hearts, so that our daily walk is guided by them as we ponder them in what we do and say. Ellen's walk experienced HIS LOVE AND POWER. Her life SHOWED that He is alive. Our Lord is just waiting to show us things (dreams, signs, visions) if we'll only believe and walk righteously according to His Commandments.

Her writings are so packed with truths! For example, let's look at a snippet of Ellen's work in regard to prayer. You businessmen can really relate to the this! (Christ's object lessons P.143)

"Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the conditions, insult Jehovah. They bring the name of Christ as their authority for the fulfillment of the promise but they do not those things that would show faith in Christ and love for Him. Many are forfeiting the condition of acceptance with the Father. We need to examine closely the deed of trust wherewith we approach God. If we are disobedient, we bring to the Lord a note to be cashed when we have not fulfilled the condition that would make it payable to us."

As inspiring as Ellen was, we must never do what a friend of mine recently told me. She said an elder in her church got one of the brothers kicked out of church because the brother said he didn't want to put Ellen's writings before the Bible! As the old saying goes, Ellen would have turned over in her grave if she'd heard that. A Prophet or Prophetess should never be viewed as exalted above God's first and foremost word-- The Holy Scriptures.

In summary, let's thank God for giving us a truly wonderful and inspiring lady. One who was faithful and solid to the end! You GO GIRL!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Regarding the Resignation of Four La Sierra University Employees Over a Recorded Conversation

If you came to listen to the recordings, I'm sorry but I have not posted them yet. I'm not sure it's right or even legal. I obtained them from Educate Truth, but they have taken down the article from which they were made available.

Below are some thoughts about this whole controversy that I posted over at Spectrum.

"Those who have listened to the recording and see nothing wrong with it only demonstrate the heart of the problem that the Adventist church is facing. Please understand that the larger problem is not the sin displayed but our blindness to it. We cannot see the sinfulness of sin anymore.

Those who salivate for this matter to be taken to the courts would gain such a blessing from meditating on 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 and Romans 12:14-21.

To Pierre who said 'there goes 90% of French Adventists...' and that 'alcohol prohibition seems to be particularly American...' Please understand that it is not an American prohibition, but a biblical one. It is God, not man, that declares the destructive nature of alcohol. Sadly, those Adventists who willfully neglect the word of God by drinking alcohol or insisting to dismiss God's account of creation...are not truly Adventists at all.

The Adventist church is defined by the doctrines it holds, as is any church. If one falls outside the doctrines, he also falls outside the church.

The remnant church is not here to form a nice 'community' or 'culture'...it is here to deliver a message to the last generation. The message is the truth. It can be found so plainly in scripture and in the spirit of prophecy, if we would only surrender ourselves to God and say, 'not my will, but Thy will be done.'"

"I'll try...

I have downloaded the recordings but have not yet listened to them so I am speaking generally, although I did read selected portions of the transcript. The behavior recorded was far from benign...these attitudes of the heart that we are increasingly prone to seeing as 'no big deal' are ripping us away from God, whether we know it or not.

We have become so incredibly removed from the example that Christ gave us when He walked on earth as a human and that His disciples displayed in the early church after He left.

Little flags are everywhere in the discussion of these events...from the notion that any 'context' will somehow lessen the sinfulness of drinking alcohol, or that those crying out are somehow 'puritans' because they choose to deny self and to follow God's will for His children.

I don't understand why so many people feel the need to preface alcohol with 'a small cup' or 'just a little'...as if moderation is what's lacking.

All our sins are symptoms...our disease is 'self'. The only cure is complete surrender to Christ, and yet every fiber of our being is violently opposed to the thought.

Yes yes and yes to showing forgiveness and being 'redemptive'...but does God forgive us the sins which we don't repent of? He longs to forgive us, to pour out His grace all over us...but His righteousness will not allow it unless we first confess and repent. He is a just God.

I hope with all my soul that these four guys are sorrowful and repentant. I hope with all my soul that they don't harden their hearts and continue to follow their own inclinations and reasonings. We need God's guidance...we are absolutely incapable of leading ourselves. There MUST be something absolute with which to judge ourselves. It is God's word. God's plain word."

Please pray for Lenny Darnell, Jeff Kaatz, Jim Beach and Gary Bradley...God loves them each so dearly and none of them can ever be replaced. Pray fervently that they, and we, all surrender fully to Christ.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mankind's Whole Duty

By: Rob Peralta

In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon describes many of the trials and pleasures of life. He wrote of his experiences, as many as there were. He unmistakably let's us know "this life" will not fulfill us in our carnal pursuits. Then he finishes his insightful writings with a great summary of what really matters in this life. (Ecc:12:13) " Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, FEAR GOD, and keep His Commandments, for this is the whole duty of man". As I have written quite a lot about keeping His Commandments, I thought it was time to talk about our OTHER duty- Fear God. You'll notice God's inspired word said we just have TWO duties, nothing more and nothing less. God does not change neither does His word. These two duties REMAIN our duties. As Solomon also wrote ( Prov. 1:7) " Fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom...)

I can certainly understand how this second duty can be misunderstood. After all "fear" is usually not associated with God. When we think of our Lord, we think love, understanding, compassion and those "good" things. Fear just doesn't come to our mind for many of us when we think of God. BUT that is exactly what the adversary wants you to think! God had a reason why he put "Fear Him" as a duty of ours.

This is why I believe God has told us to fear Him. "Fear" in this duty really means "Holy reverence". That means we look upon God in His real place - Almighty, Powerful, and Righteous, willing to love mankind yet NOT willing to have His Holy Laws trampled upon. These represent His character, His whole essence of being, in other words --- His core! When we fear Him, we really "respect" Him. We hold Him in Holy reverence, we OBEY our duty. He then says " My Son (or Daughter) you have listened to my words, I am well pleased".

On the other hand we should not think of fear as God just waiting and watching to condemn us. This kind of thinking is from the evil one as he tries to twist God's words "Fear Him" into something completely different. A destructive and useless fear is certainly not God's intention.

Let's look at a great example of this "fear" shown one of God's great servants - Job. In (Job 1:5) we read "And when it was, the days of feasting were going on, that Job sent and sanctified them, offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all: For Job said 'It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did this continually."

Look at this. Job was "afraid" that his sons were not doing righteously before God. He was fearful that God would be upset, so he prepared in advance an "apology" of sorts in their behalf. Here we can see Job performing his duty spectacularly! In fact look how impressed our Lord was ( Job 1:8) "And the Lord said unto Satan, 'has thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in all the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that FEARETH God and hateth evil?". We should all have such holy reverence as this!

This is why we should NEVER take our walk with God for granted. Thinking foolishly that we can bypass our duties and be safe because we know God will excuse us from our duties and make an exception for us. Jesus' sacrifice was tremendous and it cleaned our slate but IT DID NOT relieve us of our duties. We now do them with JOY! We say "your will is our command my Lord, we shall be pleased to do them as you said."

I believe there are 3 things the Lord especially loves in His people 1) The humble 2) The courageous 3) Those that fear Him in Holy reverence. It has been said that the definition of a saint is this--- One who looks upon sin in horror. How true this is. So let us strive to rise as far as we can in our walk, and if possible to arrive where saints come--that place where we look at sin in horror and we FEAR God in holy reverence. In Christ's love, Rob

Friday, May 20, 2011

Apostle John -- The Beloved Apostle

By: Rob Peralta

I believe John's relationship with the Lord transcended a "normal" follower relationship. It was an elevated spiritual "at one with Jesus" relationship. As we will look into this relationship we will see John "got it"! He was the closet to Jesus during His 3 years mission work. He understood Salvation above and beyond all the Apostles. A truly "beloved" of the Lord.

As we will shortly see John had a COMPLETE knowledge of the "basics essentials" of Salvation. - How to LOVE the Lord, how to KNOW the Lord, and he perfectly described the thing we need to avoid and can seperate us for our Lord---SIN. This was DIVINE work entrusted to this Apostle and perfectly written as planned by him.

We know the Bible is God's book to humanity. His holy words written to guide us towards Him. But His LAST book was "special". Kinda like when someone is going away for a long long time and decides to write their final words to their "loved ones". They know this special message must have impact and heartfelt love and caring. Look who our Lord entrusted to write His LAST message in His book to humanity ( Revelation) --- John!

John was one of the 3 Apostles to witness the transfiguration. We find Jesus entrusting him to watch His earthly mother. He is believed to be the ONLY Apostle to be standing at Jesus' cross. So we know Jesus had great trust and faith in John. And John would not let Jesus down. He heard Him well both during Jesus' life and AFTER, hence the Lord trusting him to write Revelation.

But let's now look at what John wrote concerning HOW TO LOVE JESUS.

(1 John 5:3) " For this is the LOVE of God, that we KEEP His Commandments, and His Commandments are not burdensome". Many times I am in debates with Sunday keepers and they frequently say "We can't keep His Commandments, we're human, we are prone to sin". Well if we "can't" keep His Commandments they ARE BURDENSOME! They are too difficult to keep, this word of God is lying, make sense? Ofcourse not. If something is not a burden, it is not difficult to do, right? Now add to the fact that by keeping them , we show we LOVE Him, then it is totally doable!
(John 14:15) " If you love me, KEEP My Commandments". There it is! The most simple straight forward instructions FROM OUR LORD on how to LOVE Him. John made sure not to miss making sure he wrote this! Notice Jesus did not say " If you love me keep some of My Commandments".
(John 14:21) "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 will REVEAL Myself to him". What I find very interesting here is that our Lord connects keeping His Commandments with Him SHOWING Himself to us. Amazing and quite a PROMISE! I personally can fully attest to this being true.

So we can see John clearly wrote that "love" is showing we obey His word, and specifically HIS COMMANDMENTS.But the most pointed and also dangerous (for non-believers in keeping His Commandments) scripture John wrote was ( 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". Now that begs the question - If we don't know Him, can we be saved by Him? Jesus answered this question ( Matt 7:22) " Many will say 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name , and cast out demons, and done many wonderful works? And I will say to them, I NEVER KNEW YOU, depart from Me, you who PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS "(transgressing His Law).

John understands just what "salvation" truly is and tries to say in the most simple and understandable way just what we must DO to know and keep this Salvation. He carefully says what sin is in the following words ( 1 John 3:4) " ...SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW".

The whole point of Jesus dying on the cross was because we were sinners (transgressing His and His Father's Law). So now that Jesus paid our price with His great sacrifice, do we go on continuing to "sin" (transgress His Law)?? Or do we say " Thank you SO MUCH my Lord for what you did for me, now I want to LOVE you and know you and be with you". If this is our attitude we read John's word and know EXACTLY what to do , right?

You see I have a choice, I can "love" Jesus my way or His way. Which would you do? Would you do things that go against His word (transgress His Law) and PRESUME you are loving Him? Or would you trust in HIS WORD and love Him as he said to do? I think it is a no-brainer. Let us be like His beloved Apostle and understand this powerful truth--- Commandment keeping equals an eternal LOVE relationship with our Lord.

I will leave you with this truth. In God's last book (Revelation) He leaves us a LAST INSTRUCTION on how to make it to heaven, here it is--- (Rev 22:14) " Blessed are they that DO His Commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city". Don't make things complicated. Be like John and have this simple and true understanding. The Lord loved John greatly and He will love you just the same if you obey Him and keep His Commandments, amen.

Friday, May 6, 2011

SDA -- Fastest Growing Church in US

By: Rob Peralta

In the USA Today article dated 3/17/2011 written by G.Jeffrey MacDonald we learn some surprising statistics.http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-03-18-Adventists_17_ST_N.htm Some good some not so good. The good--we are the fastest growing denomination in North America. The bad--the "growth" is too small (as compared to overseas).

Started in the mid 1800's the SDA church was kind of an off-shoot from the Anabaptists. The Europe based believers from the 1700's and 1800's. The Anabaptists were also Sabbath keepers until Satan and crew got a hold of them and brought them into compliance--hence today's 'Baptist" churches(Sunday keepers). But the SDA has remained firm in it's core doctrines, particularly the keeping of the Sabbath.

The article states the SDA is growing at a 2.5% growth rate. Sounds rather small in the general scheme of things but I guess it's because it's against the "Babylon" false teaching churches so prevalent in US today.

So If the SDA church is the fastest growing of the bunch, we must ask--why? I believe it's because God has put in motion His 3 Angels message and it going out right now in a BIG WAY. With 3abn (http://www.3abn.org/) Hope channel (http://www.hopetv.org/)
and Amazing facts (http://www.amazingfacts.com/) the message is being "shouted" to the world right now. The FINAL WARNING to God's people is taking place RIGHT NOW. People are being drawn to God's truth and His Holy Sabbath is being illuminated. God has opened many minds and hearts and those who truly SEEK the truth, now find it and see it clearly.

But whatever we do let us NOT sit upon our merits and fail to reach out to win souls. The Lord said to our church (SDA) "...Be zealous therefore and repent"(Rev.3:19) Zealous and repent, that is an interesting combination(?) We all can understand the "zealous" part but what about the "repent" part? Let me give you some good examples of why repentance is needed in our churches!

We as God's representatives of His church have a great responsibility. How we act and what we say and how good we keep our word is OMNI-IMPORTANT. Recently I found out an SDA church in my area owns a large plot of land next door to it. There is a business that rents from it. THAT BUSINESS IS OPEN ON SATURDAY!! What part of "within your gates" do they not understand? How can they be forgiven of this if they don't repent of it? Most likely they don't even THINK about their wrong doing--amazing! I will do my part to warn them-you can count on it and so too, I need your prayers.

Another example is my OWN CHURCH. The leaders have accepted a female associate pastor. God's word comes second to their decisions.

These are just a "few" of the things the SDA is in need of repenting for. While our "growth" beats the other churches, we need to pray that we can right the ship and continue to spread His last day message but also get the "logs" out of our eyes as well.

Please consider donating to those wonderful above mentioned ministries. Thank you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Look Back

By: Rob Peralta

Recently I posted on our sister site http://www.godsloveandlaw.wordpress.com/ a post called "God sends a hummingbird" about how God sent a sign to me to quit paying homage (even occasional) to a past idol of mine- carnal music. In His infinite wisdom I would like to share further truth from these recent events. In our Christian walk we are ever learning, adjusting and hopefully growing. ALL of us are in need of growing and walking closer to God. We must humble ourselves and say "Dear Lord, show me my wrong ways, that I may correct them and walk more uprightly before you". With that hummingbird, prayer was definitely answered.

Let me explain what happened AFTER I got that sign. It was quite a dramatic sign and it did affect me. The Lord had REACHED me. I can be quite stubborn but He knows me and that did the job! So I decided once and for all to stop listening to pop and rock music. Although it was occasional, that was not right before the Lord. He expects a lot more out of me. A week went by with out me even listening ONCE to carnal music. First time in probably decades! But something occurred to me (no doubt His spirit telling me this). "Hey Rob, you have quit this long time sin but what about all those CDs, tapes, albums YOU STILL HAVE IN YOUR HOUSE?" Wow!! That was a powerful thought. Yes, I thought--- what am I doing?? Am I still holding on to them for some reason? Do I plan on listening again someday? Was the Lord's sign meaningless? Something just for now, then later I can return later? All these thoughts swirled in my head. I KNEW what I had to do!

Not wasting much time I grabbed a large trash can and started throwing EVERYTHING carnal out. The thought occurred that my collection was worth some good money, how about taking them to the record shop and cashing in? Oh no, that would be terrible. I would be in effect saying "hey give me my money, and you can go ahead and sin in this way, not me." Terrible idea, in the trash they went! 30 years of collecting the WRONG music down the drain--all for the Lord, amen I said as I did it! (Heb. 10:39) Comes to mind "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them who believe to the saving of the soul" and our Lord's own words (Luke 9:62) "..No man who starts to plow and LOOKS BACK is fit for the kingdom of God". God only knows the depths that carnal music had on my soul, now it was over! I am free to listen to our Lord without such diversions.

So we must take a good look at ourselves. Are we still holding on to a sin in our life? Each must search their own situation. We CANNOT expect growth in our walk if we are not willing to forsake known sins we continue to cherish. If you've had a problem with lust, do you still have old playboys or x-rated DVDs in the house? If you've had a alcohol problem, do you still have old booze bottles stashed away? Maybe even the same carnal music problem? When we "let go" of our sins, we must do so ALL the way, not holding on and looking back. Our sanctification is God given process, let us not hold Him back. In Christs love, amen.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Great 10

By: Rob Peralta

Before I begin with this post I want to let you know about an email I received recently. I was told that the SDA church in Japan was largely spared amazingly. It is being used as a sanctuary and shelter. How fitting is that? God's church protecting the people. Just like when Haiti's earthquake hit and the SDA church remained standing (where most buildings came crashing down around it) like a beacon for the world! May many around the world and in Japan look to the one who can save them, amen. In Christendom I would estimate that less than 10% know the 10 Commandments 1 to 10 and 10 to 1. Sure they are familiar with them but ask them to go from 1 to 10 and they are stumped. It truly amazes me how one can call themselves "Christian" and not know the ONLY part of the whole bible HE WROTE HIMSELF! And if He didn't want "anyone" else to write these Commandments, doesn't it stand to reason they are omni-important? Let us look at the "Big 10" and learn some truths.

Number 1 " Thou shall love the Lord they God with all you heart, mind , and soul" Here in the number one spot is an often misunderstood Commandment. The accepted Hebrew belief is that when God began His vocal Commandments to the people He began with "I am the Lord your God"and wrote exactly this on the stone tablet. Here, the common belief was that God, being so pure and loving could not say for Himself "You must love Me with all your heart and mind and soul". For love cannot be forced or commanded. God guides in the first Commandment to come to that decision yourself. If we cannot acknowledge Him and love him first and foremost then all other Commandments cannot be followed.

Number 2 "Thou shall have no other God's before Me" Here in number two, again we have some mis-alignment with traditional understanding. Most put this in number one. But after explaining what number one is, this naturally falls to number two. Also the command to not make graven images and to bow down or serve them, only reinforces the words not to have God's before Him. Again that is what was wrote upon the stone tablet for number two.

Number 3 "Thou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" Here is the first Commandment that has been correctly translated through out Christendom. The term "in vain" can actually mean carelessness also. And example would be "Oh my God" in an everyday useless way. While not as demeaning as using God's name in a vulgar or cuss way, it would still be a transgression of the Commandment from God's point of view.

Number 4 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" While it is believed to have that short version on the stone, it is the longest Commandment in the scripture as being "said" by Him. Only one to have "remember" in it. It pointed the people to the past in keeping it holy and it pointed to the future because GOD KNEW many would forget later in time.

The following 6 direct us to the love and respect our fellow human beings. Our Lord, the writer, described a perfect summary in (Matt 22:38-40) by consolidating the 10 into 2. Sadly though some mis-guided souls believe the 10 has been eliminated down to the 2. To use that logic, I guess adultery and stealing no longer apply, try comprehending that one!

Number 5 "Honor thy Father and Mother" Here is the first Commandment that breaks away from the people's responsibility to God.

Number 6 "Thou shall not murder" In this one there has been a subtle error passed on many generations. Many believe it is "Thou shall not kill". But that is not correct. First of all God told His people to kill several times in the Old testament. So if it was "kill" God was telling His people to go ahead and break one of His Commandments. Obviously this could not be. The Hebrew word used in this Commandment is "murder" not "kill". Murder being a killing of a human being without justifiable defense or cause.

Number 7 "Thou shall not commit adultery" Here is a very simple and easily understood Commandment. Perhaps the first "cut and dry" right to the point Commandment.

Number 8 "Thou shall not steal" Another right to the point Commandment. Stealing in ALL forms is meant here. Even when one breaks the Sabbath, in addition to breaking the 4th, he really is stealing God's day away for himself.

Number 9 "Thou shall not bear false witness against they neighbor" Here there is great debate about whether it is describing not to lie to our neighbor or not to bear false witness AGAINST our neighbor. Both sides make good arguments. I personally believe it means exactly as our Lord described "against" our neighbor. In other words actions such as making up a falsehood "against" someone, such as lying in court or to a police officer or such. But don't get the idea lying is ok (Prov. 12:22) "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.."

Number 10 "Thou shall not covet" This one I believe was the downfall of Satan. And it is SO prevalent in today's society it boggles the mind! Hopefully you've gained a more clearer understanding of the "great 10".

For more insight on the original Hebrew teachings go to http://www.levitt.com/ (Christianity through Jewish eyes) I cannot attest to ALL their beliefs, only their views on the 10 Commandments.

Yours in Christ, Rob.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Let The Women Shine (Part 3)

By: Rob Peralta

After reading God's word from Pauls writings. I believe that the main point is that women stand to gain a tremendous blessing if they follow these words. As we know it is a Commandment, and as such we can now look at Jesus' words in (Matt 5:19) "Whosoever shall break one of the least Commandments, and shall teach man so, shall be called the least in heaven, but WHOEVER shall do and teach the same (Commandments) shall be CALLED GREAT IN HEAVEN" There you have it! A specific Commandment given to the woman to show her obedience which shall turn into GREATNESS!

Do not think that women are useless in God's plan. THEY CERTAINLY ARE USEFUL! Ellen White goes to great lengths in her writings to tell how God can use women in ministry. She specifically advises "canvassing" and "personal ministering" as an excellent way to spread God's message. And in our churches there are countless ways women are a great help and most desperately needed. It is just God's order we want to follow and not trample His instructions and Commands.

In my own experience I have found women "get" my message clearly and they have really rewarded my ministry. So many times I will have studies and such with them and they understand the truth very well. It's just unfortunate our church leaders have often been weak and ignorant of God's order, and therefore they are not really aware of this completely.

Some bring up Ellen White as an example of "women pastors". But Ellen I believe was shown by God to be gifted at a very early age. Visions, dreams, and the such were given her and as such God declared to the world HE WANTED HER HEARD. So, yes, God does make exceptions sometimes and we should always be ready for God's revealing in these matters. For an excellent study on what Ellen White had to say about women in ministry see "Ellen G. White and Women in Ministry" by William Fagal ( assoc. director of the Ellen White estate) http://www.adventistsaffirm.org/

In summary, let us always remember God's Commandments are for "our" good. Never does God do something to degrade His creatures , always to rise them up and make them SHINE!

Let The Women Shine (Part 2)

By: Rob Peralta

In speaking about how the feminist movement has transferred over , in some ways, to the church, Mr. Batchelor makes a point about what happens when men fail to lead. He says " I should hasten to say that the blame does not lie with just the liberal feminist movement.In fact, the brunt of the blame must fall on indifferent and even lazy men within the church. They are failing their roles as strong, loving, and servant-oriented leaders. As a result, women are naturally stepping into the vacuum.

Yet Isaiah 3:1-12 offers a sobering thought about this scenario "...And I will give children to be their princes (leaders) and babes shall rule over them...As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. It appears that when men fail to lead as they should, women and children fill the void as a negative consequence. This often comes with bad results, as was the case with Queen Jezebel, who usurped her husbands authority ( Kings 18,19,21)."

So it comes down to "order" and a natural order decreed by God's word. Before Paul addresses this important issue he first establishes "what" he wants to imply. It is God's order. (1 Cor 14:33) says " For God is not the author of disorder, but of peace, in ALL churches of the sacred ones." He does not say the the following very direct words to "bring down" the women rather to exalt God's order. (1 Cor 14:34) " Let your women keep silent in the churches, for it is not permitted for them to speak (some use "preach" here) , but they are commanded to be under obedience, as the law says."

I realize that those words are quite direct . But when we understand a cardinal rule of proper bible interpretation we cannot sidestep it's significance and truth (even in today's churches). The hermeneutical rule says " what a 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 of the text speak, not ignore, sidestep, silence or twist the meaning of the text, nor read into the text something the author is not saying. Those who do this are doing so many times to further their theological or sociological agenda. Text is king, context it's chief minister, and the closer the chief minister (context) stands next to the king (text) the more significant is it's effect and influence."

But the final confirmation comes in (1 Cor. 14:37) " If any man think himself a prophet, or a spiritual person, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD." Paul, in effect tells us "hey everybody, I am not telling you this about the order and women on my own, but being in the spirit , I have been told this by God, and it's not a suggestion, it's a Commandment from HIM." How many of us Christians want to break a Commandment of God? Let those with wisdom do God's word and be blessed abundantly for it! ..... to be continued