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 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 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 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 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