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' 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' 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