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. 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 ( Hope channel (
and Amazing facts ( 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.

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