Old Paths

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14


Vol. 6, No. 11 - Straight and Narrow - November 1997


Report from
“Stand in the Gap”

They came to Washington, D.C. by car, bus, train, chartered airplane, motorcycle, bicycle, some even walked from California to attend “Stand in the Gap.” Billed as a “sacred assembly” meeting by the Promise Keepers, the October 4th “Stand in the Gap” was the largest religious gathering ever in America’s history. Estimates are that one-half to two million men were gathered on the Mall in the nation’s capitol to repent of their sins and to pray for America.

From all fifty states and from several countries, men of every social, political, and racial background attended the historic gathering. Over 1,000 credentialed press members reported the event worldwide as believers sang, prayed, and preached about their faith in Jesus and the need for men to stand firmly in their position in the home, church, and nation—a responsibility that they believe God has given them. While the rally was scheduled to officially begin Saturday at 12:00 noon, the Mall was covered by 9:00 a.m. with a solid mass of men representing virtually every evangelical church.

After personally attending and speaking with hundreds of Promise Keepers, I came away with several deep impressions about both the meeting and the men who attended.

The meeting had a distinct ecumenical flavor sprinkled with a mild dose of Pentecostalism. There was “Christian rock” music, swaying, and high-fives. One attendant described it as the biggest pep rally he had ever attended. At one point when prayer was being called for, it was made clear that “all forms of prayer” would be acceptable. The meeting also had some very conservative moments with fine uplifting music, sincere Bible preaching and excellent messages calling for commitment to moral and spiritual purity. Men were urged to humble themselves and pray in a prostrate position where possible.

One characteristic that seemed to pervade the atmosphere among the Promise Keepers was sincerity. Most of these men had forfeited at least one day’s wage, if not several, to attend. They also had to absorb the cost of travel and lodging. Make no mistake, their zeal was undeniable. Many of them committed or recommitted their lives to Jesus Christ and dedicated themselves to serving their wives, children, and church.

One police officer stated that the Promise Keepers was the most orderly and well behaved large group that had ever been on the Mall. The Metro subway system officials stated the same concerning the order with which the men used the inter-city train system.

Cheered—or Feared

Time magazine asked on the cover of its October 6 issue, should Promise Keepers “be cheered—or feared?” Quite frankly, we believe both. There are some excellent virtues that Promise Keepers stand for. Asking a man to stand up and accept responsibility for what God has put on his shoulders is correct. Being a better husband and father is an excellent goal. Breaking down racial barriers and seeking national revival are wonderful. Coveting to serve God and to become men of integrity is worthy of the highest aspirations. These, along with other worthy aims, are to be commended. So why, or what, is there to fear of these “men of integrity?” We will first examine the basis of their understanding of Biblical unity and then the means of obtaining the desired unity.

The Basis of Unity

Promise number six of the seven promises of Promise Keepers states: “A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.” This complements the fifth point of the Promise Keepers’ D.C. Covenant which states: “We covenant by Your grace to pray for and to facilitate unity in the body of Christ. Where our pride, insensitivities and prejudice have divided the Church, we commit to seek forgiveness, understanding, and reconciliation. Where we have done little to confront the sins of sectarianism and racism, we commit to intentionally love the brotherhood of believers and be an observable example of unity in Christ, that He might be exalted and known as the Son of God.” (Emphasis supplied.) Sitg logo

We boldly agree with the Promise Keepers in calling racism a sin, but what is meant by the sin of “sectarianism?” Sectarianism relates to sects which are defined as: “A group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice or divisions within a larger part of a religious body. A religious body, especially one that has separated from a larger denomination.” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1992 ed.)

Sects are formed because of “refinements or distinctions of belief or practice or divisions within a larger part of a religious body.” Does the Bible condemn sects? Writing to the Galatians, Paul listed “heresies” as one of the “works of the flesh” which will prevent one from inheriting “the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21) The Greek word for “heresies” is airesiV (hairesis) which is also translated “sect” in Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5; 26:5; and 28:22. Paul is concerned about the integrity of the truth that sectarianism would destroy. To condemn sectarianism is correct. God declares that there is “one faith,” not many! (Ephesians 4:5)

God does not want His people to be confused on doctrine, but united on what they teach. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) God’s watchmen will be in unity: “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.” (Isaiah 52:8)

For the most part, Promise Keepers do not seem to have an aversion to the different doctrines and practices that form sects, just an aversion to the refusal of different denominations to worship and work together. In fact, at one point in the rally, everyone was asked to shout the name of their respective denomination in a show of unity.

What is the gel that binds the Promise Keepers together while coming from such diverse backgrounds? Three points of doctrine appeared to be common among all the participants: the Trinity, Sunday sacredness, and a belief in the immortality of the soul. Of these three doctrines, only the Trinity forms a part of the Promise Keepers’ Statement of Beliefs. In fact, three of their five statements express belief in the Trinity. God condemns Babylon for teaching false doctrine. (Revelation 14:8; 18:2, 3)  The doctrines that tie the Promise Keepers together are all pagan doctrines introduced into Christianity by the “mother of harlots.”

Bible prophecy indicates that the “image to the beast” is formed in America as apostate Protestantism seeks the aid of the civil powers for the enforcement of her doctrine. She will claim to be seeking the favor of God and will even “make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” (Revelation 13:13) This pseudo revival has Satan as its true founder. Using the false wine of ecumenism, he gathers the fallen churches into a confederacy which claims outwardly to be seeking the favor of God, while they are really under the banner of the prince of evil. God plainly says that He is not involved in this false revival of unity among the churches.

Methodology

One concern that some have about the Promise Keepers is that their mission will become a political agenda. Currently the leadership of Promise Keepers claims to have no political agenda. Founder and CEO Bill McCartney appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the day following the rally to be interviewed. When asked by Tim Russert, “Is your vision America being a Christian Nation?” McCartney replied: “Well, our vision is that Christ in you is your hope of glory. And the reality of what we believe, and the reason you see the numbers you do, is because without Christ, you really have no hope for eternity, because that’s what we believe, because that’s what Christ taught and that’s what the Bible teaches.” (NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” October 5, 1997)

While giving an answer which seems to put those who would fear political action at ease, McCartney did not answer Russert’s question. In fact, according to the transcript of the interview, nearly one-fourth of the direct questions asked of McCartney were side stepped in one manner or another. Later Russert asked: “There has also been criticism of the support of your organization, some early money from James Dobson, a very conservative fundamentalist Christian. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have expressed strong support for the Promise Keepers. Will you accept any financial support from those men in the future?” (Ibid.) To this McCartney replied: “First of all, you got to understand, those guys love Jesus Christ and they’ve been born in the spirit of God. We’re all in the same family. We’re going to spend all eternity together. Now, as organizations, we’re not intertwined. Dobson saw the value in men standing up, and so he got behind it early to give us a little sustenance so we could survive, because we started with nothing. But really those guys encourage men to come to our events because they want to see men live out the mandates of the gospel. That’s the extent of it.” (Ibid.) Later, David Broder of the Washington Post joined in the questions and the following exchange took place:

MR. BRODER: I know that you’ve, and others, have stressed that this is not a political movement. But the survey that my paper did of the folks on the Mall yesterday showed a rather remarkable political coloration to the gathering. Fifty-five percent of those we interviewed said that they had supported Senator Dole, 15 percent said they had supported President Clinton. The rest either hadn’t voted or voted for somebody else. Do you think that there’s something about your appeal that particularly reaches Republicans or conservatives, or what’s this about?

MR. McCARTNEY: Hopefully we reach all men and hopefully those that have been born again of the spirit of God will step forward and participate. We’re bonded-we have the same seed. We’re going to live forever together, and that's what brought us together. It's not political affiliation.

MR. BRODER: But if this were a universal message, why would we have this kind of really remarkable political tilt to the gathering?

MR. McCARTNEY: Well, I don’t think there was a political tilt. You know, we don't do that kind of research, and we don’t have that kind of information and we're not interested in it. We believe that, really, it’s Almighty God that orchestrates and directs things. And so we want to stay in touch with him as opposed to what man might reason out.

MR. BRODER: The people that we talked to said that they did not want to see the organization become political in the sense of endorsing candidates. But they would be very happy if it took the lead on issues like toughening the divorce laws and combating homosexuality and so on. Is that at all possible in the future of the organization?

MR. McCARTNEY: Probably not. No.” (Ibid.)

McCartney denies that the goal or aim of the Promise Keepers organization is to become a political force.

However, as the Washington Post survey revealed, the average Promise Keeper believes quite strongly in political activism. This matches the survey that Brother Fred Allaback did among Promise Keepers at the “Stand in the Gap” meeting. Of the Promise Keepers interviewed, over eighty percent favored political action to help bring about “Christian laws” in America. When asked if Promise Keepers could and/or should influence legislators to pass Christian laws, answers such as these were given:

“A million and a half men standing at the capital should.”

“Oh yes, the politicians, they can’t help but see what’s going on. Something of this magnitude can’t be overlooked.”

“Amen, yes, yes, by the grace of God it will be done.”

One Promise Keeper who differed from the majority, wisely responded: “No I don’t. We cannot pass any laws to make a morality. First they have to change inside, that they will follow the word of the Lord. … We already have enough laws.”

The reason that the nation’s capital was chosen for the meeting was given in a sample press release as found on the Promise Keepers’ official web site:

“Promise Keepers originally announced in 1995, plans for this event to be held in Washington last year, but delayed it a year to avoid coinciding with an election year. ‘Our hope in America does not lie in the change advanced by public policy, but in the transforming power of personal purity,’ said Promise Keepers’ President Randy Phillips. Washington, D.C. was chosen as the site by Promise Keepers because of its role as the emotional heart of America, set apart as a piece of land for all people, not owned by any one state.”

“Washington, D.C. is also one of the few places in America with the public transportation, sanitation, safety and crowd control resources in place to accommodate a gathering of this size.” (http://www.promisekeepers.org/pkpress/224e_142.htm)

While this sounds very nonpolitical, the Promise Keepers have scheduled rallies on the capitol steps of every state capitol in America for the year 2000. The same defense given for choosing Washington D.C. cannot be offered for either the year or the location of the rallies. With an emphasis on grass-roots strength, Promise Keepers appear to be a movement that can accomplish as much by combining their efforts on the local level as by a single large show of power and influence. While the final chapter is yet to be written on the Promise Keepers, we are reminded of the following statement:

“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” (The Great Controversy, p. 445)

Hands Across the Gulf

Revelation 13 is clear that Protestant America will form an image to the Roman hierarchy. This is being fulfilled today since Protestants now have so much in common with Rome. In fact, Bill McCartney was raised Catholic and as a Protestant today claims to “support Catholicism.” Notice his statement from the “Meet the Press” interview:

MR. RUSSERT: You were baptized and raised a Catholic.

MR. McCARTNEY: That’s correct.

MR. RUSSERT: You’re no longer a Catholic.

MR. McCARTNEY: That’s correct.

MR. RUSSERT: Why?

MR. McCARTNEY: Well, I support Catholicism, but what happened to me in my own experience, I was born again of the Spirit of God at the age of 33. I practiced Catholicism for the next 15 years. And then I moved into a community where I didn’t feel like our children were being fed like they needed to be fed on the vine. And so we found a church where they could get fed properly and they are being fed. And we find that they’re prospering in that setting.” (“Meet the Press,” op. cit.)

How can a true Protestant, claiming to being fed on the vine of God’s word and whose family is now prospering spiritually, not have an aversion to “Catholicism?” Please note that I said “Catholicism,” not “Catholics.” A true Christian will love all of God’s children: Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Islam, etc., but we must not support that which God’s holy word declares to be Babylon! Even as little as 100 years ago, almost all Protestants believed that the Papacy was the harlot of Revelation 17. “The Epistle Dedicatory” of the King James Bible boldly declared the Papacy to be the “man of sin.” Yet the leader of the Promise Keepers movement, with its millions of adherents, supports Catholicism! Perhaps part of the problem is that McCartney depends on his pastor for his interpretation of the Bible. He stated:

“I depend on my pastor to help define the word of God for me. I haven’t studied, I haven’t been to seminary. I’m very much at risk, if you will, and I need to stay under constant monitoring and tutelage.” (“Meet the Press,” op. cit.)

This papal statement should never come from a true Protestant. It reflects a portion of the D.C. Covenant which calls for the Promise Keepers to “follow their [Pastor’s] spiritual leadership.” While pastors have a God-given responsibility to lead, the laity has a God-given responsibility to study for themselves. (See John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15.) While all Christians need the guidance and help of one another, each is to think for himself. True education trains Christians “to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts.” (Education, p. 17)

A Sacred Assembly

The “Stand in the Gap” meeting was designated as a “sacred assembly.” This term is used in the NIV Bible and other current translations. While not found in the King James Bible, it is comparable to the “solemn assembly” mentioned therein. In ancient Israel, the solemn assemblies were often associated with fasts:

“Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.” (Joel 1:14) “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.” (Joel 2:15)

While not given the title “sacred” or “solemn” assembly, the most hallowed gathering of all Israel occurred at Mt. Sinai. Not only was a fast proclaimed, but the people were to wash their clothes and prepare their hearts for the event. The reverence which pervaded the camp of Israel was extremely solemn. The atmosphere at the giving of the law was not a party or pep rally environment. One writer described the sacred nature of the giving of the law as follows:

“On the morning of the third day, as the eyes of all the people were turned toward the mount, its summit was covered with a thick cloud, which grew more black and dense, sweeping downward until the entire mountain was wrapped in darkness and awful mystery. Then a sound as of a trumpet was heard, summoning the people to meet with God; and Moses led them forth to the base of the mountain. From the thick darkness flashed vivid lightnings, while peals of thunder echoed and re-echoed among the surrounding heights. ‘And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.’ ‘The glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount’ in the sight of the assembled multitude. And ‘the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder.’ So terrible were the tokens of Jehovah's presence that the hosts of Israel shook with fear, and fell upon their faces before the Lord. Even Moses exclaimed, ‘I exceedingly fear and quake.’ Hebrews 12:21.

“And now the thunders ceased; the trumpet was no longer heard; the earth was still. There was a period of solemn silence, and then the voice of God was heard. Speaking out of the thick darkness that enshrouded Him, as He stood upon the mount, surrounded by a retinue of angels, the Lord made known His law. Moses, describing the scene, says: ‘The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, He loved the people; all His saints are in Thy hand: and they sat down at Thy feet; every one shall receive of Thy words.’ Deuteronomy 33:2, 3.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 304, 305)

This presents quite a contrast to the picnic-type environment on the Washington Mall with many men wearing shorts and tee shirts (some didn’t even wear any shirt), and with coolers, rock music, dancing, shouting, and clapping all a part of the scene.

Witnessing Experiences

With a desire to help these sincere men have a better understanding of the issues involved in the great controversy going on now between Christ and Satan, two special “Stand in the Gap” tracts were prepared for the October 4th meeting. The purpose of the tracts was to inform these honest men about the truths contained in the everlasting gospel as revealed in the three angels’ messages, and then to encourage them to reach out further in their religious experience and “stand in the gap” by keeping all of God’s commandments. One of the tracts offered the book America in Prophecy while the other tract offered the book, God’s Mystery, Finally Understood.* While not an exact account, approximately 110,000 to 120,000 tracts were given out by the thirty plus workers who were on the scene. The response has been excellent, with several requests coming in for the books. Request such as these have come in:

“I’m troubled with evil stronger than my church. [I] need prayer. Send me America in Prophecy.” Ohio

“Please send me a copy of America in Prophecy. Thank you and God bless.” New Hampshire

“I would like to receive your free book offer of America in Prophecy. Thank you for your consideration of this request and may our Great God continue to bless your work for His Kingdom.” Illinois

One brother from Illinois who received a tract requested more tracts so he could help share the message in the tracts! Requests have come in from nearly every part of the country. We will be following up these contacts, and anyone who would like to personally help with the follow-up for contacts in their area may contact us here at Smyrna for further information.

Several good discussions and mini-Bible studies were entered upon. By God’s grace there has already been some sweet fruit from the effort and we expect much more to follow.

The experiences of those who passed out the tracts were very enriching. The promise of God’s word is: “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” (Proverbs 11:25) I personally know that my experience grew and I saw the Christian experience of my two young teenage children grow by several spiritual inches that memorable day. Although the day was physically exhausting, the spiritual rewards were beyond calculation.

* A copy of the tract offering America in Prophecy has been included with this newsletter. Surplus tracts are available for witnessing. A donation of $2.00 per 200 tracts will help cover the cost of postage.

Allen Stump


Youth’s Corner

Word Search

N O I T P M E D E R X A L I D P
U O Z O C Y B B T R U T H T A A
B P I P W A O T Q M W Y S C E H
J Z F T C S A B B A T H A R H O
W Z Q H A O C M L O C R C E D S
L F C P N C M A P W U J R A O T
M A R M O E I M N T G K E T G R
P I V U I R S F A E B Z D O R E
E T C I T W U B I N V R B R H N
L H G R A Z S W K T D O C A O G
B L I T E K E H J O C M L Y P T
I J M F R K J Q C A N N E Y E H
B T I S C M J W C D E F A N G D
x S P I H S N A M K R O W S T T
V E T T M B R C D O T X G D D Z
F R E M E E D E R O T D R O L W

Sanctification
Commandment
Creation
Strength
Sabbath
Triumph
Faith
Lord
Workmanship
Redemption
Redeemer
Bible
Jesus
Hope
Godhead
Sacred
Truth
Creator
Rest
Love

Christ Our Righteousness

(WE wish to encourage all who are young, at least in heart, to study these lessons and fill in the blanks with answers from the Bible.)

Creation and Redemption

1. Which commandment of God is related to creation? Exodus 20:8-11 (See Note 1)


2. Which day does the Bible call the Lord’s day? Matthew 12:8; Isaiah 58:13


3. Whom was the Sabbath made for? Mark 2:27


4. What distinguishes the true God from the
false gods? Jeremiah 10:10-12 (See Note 2)


5. What work of God is closely related to creation? Colossians 1:13-17


6. Whom is our Redeemer? Romans 5:8, 9


7. Is the Creator also the Redeemer? Isaiah 43:1


8. We are God’s workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus unto  _________   ___________.” Ephesians 2:10 (See Note 3)


9. What is the Creator able to give to those without strength? Isaiah 40:26-29 (See Note 4)


10. What would the Psalmist triumph through? Psalm 92:1-5


11. How is the eternal power and Godhead of the Lord revealed? Romans 1:20


12. Besides creation, of what is the Sabbath a sign? Ezekiel 20:12


13. Is sanctification God’s will for His children? 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (See Note 5)


Notes:

1. In Genesis 2:1-3 we read that the Creator rested. Since God created all things through Christ, it was Christ that rested that first Sabbath with God.

2. It is God’s power to create that sets Him apart from all others. (See Jeremiah 14:22 and Revelation 16:6-10) The Sabbath, being a memorial of His creation, is therefore the sign of God’s authority and creative ability.

3. See also Ephesians 4:20-24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; and Psalm 51:10.

4. God’s “power is, in fact, the ability to create everything from nothing; therefore He can work wonders through those who have no strength. He can bring strength out of weakness. Surely, then, anything which serves to keep before the mind the creative power of Christ must tend to renew our spiritual strength and courage!” (Christ Our Righteousness, p. 37)

5. See also 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24; Matthew 5:48; and Jude 24.


Prayer Requests

We would like to bring three requests to your attention for special prayer.

Sister Cynthia Rendel in Lowndes, Missouri needs prayer for a serious health problem that is causing a great deal of pain.

Brother Mike Wilson has had a serious stroke and is in a hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Mike has requested that all the brethren remember him in their prayers.

Please remember those who have recently received literature at the Promise Keepers’ meetings.


What is Mary’s Role?

Recently there has been a growing movement among Catholics “asking the pope to exercise the power of papal infallibility to proclaim a new dogma of the Roman Catholic faith: that the Virgin Mary is ‘Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God.’ …in the last four years, the pope has received 4,340,429 signatures from 157 countries-an average of 100,000 a month-supporting the proposed dogma. Among the notable supporters are Mother Teresa of Calcutta, nearly 500 bishops and 42 cardinals,… it isn’t often that Catholics beg a pope to make an infallible pronouncement.”

“If the drive succeeds, Catholics would be obliged as a matter of faith to accept three extraordinary doctrines: that Mary participates in the redemption achieved by her son, that all graces that flow from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ are granted only through Mary’s intercession with her son, and that all prayers and petitions from the faithful on earth must likewise flow through Mary, who then brings them to the attention of Jesus. This is what theologians call high Mariology, and it seems to contradict the basic New Testament belief that ‘there is one God and one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus.’ (1 Timothy 2:5). In place of the Holy Trinity, it would appear, there would be a kind of Holy Quartet, with Mary playing the multiple roles of daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit.” (Newsweek, August 25, 1997, p. 49)

Are these new teachings concerning Mary biblical teachings? Does the pope have the authority to pronounce doctrines that are contrary to Scripture?

Co-Redemptrix

What does it mean to be a co-redemptrix? A Redeemer is someone who redeems us. Job said, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:” (Job 19:25) Who, specifically, is this verse referring to? It is evident from the masculine pronoun that it is not referring to Mary in any way. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:13, 14) It was Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us so that He could redeem us from all our sins. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.

The American Heritage Dictionary describes the prefix “co-” in the following way:

1. Together; joint; jointly; mutually: coeducation.

2. a. Partner or associate in an activity: coauthor; cofounder.” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1992 ed.)

To be a co-Redeemer is to be a partner, associate, or joint participant in the act of redemption.

In 1918, Pope Benedict XV spoke of Mary in this way, “She suffered so much for us, almost to the point of dying with her suffering and dying Son. Therefore we may rightfully say that she has, with Christ, redeemed the human race.”

The Catholics go on to proclaim, “Mary so loved the world that she gave her only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Legion of Mary, Dublin, 1958)

Does the Bible ever refer to Mary in this way? The following verses speak more highly of Mary than any other verses in the Bible. “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.… And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” (Luke 1:28, 30) Mary is said to be highly favoured. Does this imply that we should exalt her to be worshipped, prayed to, or made a co-Redeemer? There are several others in the Bible who are referred to in a similar way. Take Daniel for example: “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.” (Daniel 10:19) Abraham was called “the Friend of God.” (James 2:23) God referred to David as “a man after mine own heart.” (Acts 13:22) The fact that Mary was referred to as highly favoured is not a good enough reason for us to exalt her to be a co-Redeemer, or exalt her above Daniel, David, Abraham, or any other faithful servant of God.

It was said of Mary, “the Lord is with thee.” The same phrase was applied to Gideon and David. (Judges 6:12, 2 Samuel 7:3) Again, this is not a sufficient reason to exalt Mary to be a co-Redeemer.

It was said of Mary, “blessed art thou among women.” Is this a sufficient reason to exalt Mary? She was said to be blessed among women, which means that other women were to be blessed in a similar way. Mary was included among the women that are to be blessed. This does not mean that she was blessed above every other woman. In fact, the Bible tells us of another woman who was blessed above women. “Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.” (Judges 5:24) Mary was said to be blessed among women, while Jael was said to be blessed above women. Obviously there is no reason to exalt Mary above other faithful women simply because she was said to be blessed among women.

It was said of Mary, “thou hast found favour with God.” We read that David also “found favour before God.” (Acts 7:46) Clearly, the fact that Mary found favour with God does not justify us to exalt her to be a co-Redeemer. The Greek word that was translated “found” is eureV and means this: “after searching, to find a thing sought.” After searching to find favour with God, Mary came into favor with God. This clearly shows that at some point Mary was not in favour with God. What saith the Scriptures? “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) When the Bible uses the word all how many do you suppose that includes? Everyone! Would that include Mary? There is no record in the Bible that Mary was exempted from this universal proclamation that all have sinned. Yet, since 1854, by a proclamation of the pope, the Catholic church teaches that Mary never sinned at any time in her life.

“Catholic doctrine teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary was not only conceived immaculate, that is without the slightest stain of original sin, but was without the smallest actual sin throughout the whole course of her life. …She was not only without sin, original or actual, but she was also in a certain sense incapable of sinning because of a special privilege.” (The Sign published by The Passionist Missions, Inc., August, 1941 p. 48)

While Protestants claim to reject the doctrine of the immaculate conception, many accept a variation of it when they believe that Jesus did not accept the fallen sinful nature of man. While rejecting an immaculate conception for Mary, they attribute the very same concept to the conception of Jesus. Mary is, in this teaching, nothing more than a human incubator! Catholic belief states that Mary “was created in a condition more sublime and glorious than that of all natures, whether intellectual or corporeal.” (Catholic Belief, p. 217, quoted from, The Consecrated Way, p. 37) Protestants have borrowed this same concept and applied it to the nature of Christ instead of Mary.

“The Catholic doctrine of the human nature of Christ is simply that that nature is not human nature at all, but divine: ‘more sublime and glorious than all natures.’ It is that in His human nature Christ was so far separated from mankind as to be utterly unlike that of mankind, that His was a nature in which He could have no sort of fellow-feeling with mankind.

“But such is not the faith of Jesus. The faith of Jesus is that ‘as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.’

“The faith of Jesus is that God sent ‘His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.’

“The faith of Jesus is that ‘in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren.’

“The faith of Jesus is that He ‘Himself took our infirmities’ and was touched ‘with the feeling of our infirmities,’ being tempted in all points like as we are. If He was not as we are, He could not possibly be tempted ‘like as we are.’ But He was ‘in all points tempted like as we are.’ Therefore He was ‘in all points’ ‘like as we are.’” (The Consecrated Way, pp. 38, 39)

Who should we believe, God’s word, or the pope? “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) If the words of the pope are in harmony with Scripture then we can agree, but when they go contrary to the Word of God, we are instructed to obey God rather than men.

Mediatrix of All Graces

The above term is defined in this way, “that all graces that flow from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ are granted only through Mary’s intercession with her son.” (Newsweek, August 25, 1997, p. 49) Do we receive grace from God only through Mary’s intercession? What saith the Scriptures? “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2) According to the Bible, grace comes to us “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Paul said, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:7) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11) Again, Paul used the universal word all signifying that every person has had the opportunity to receive grace from God. This would include men such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, etc. To which of these men did Mary administer grace? Clearly, Mary had no way of administering grace to these men since she had not yet been born.

God gave grace long before Mary was alive. “He giveth grace unto the lowly.” (Proverbs 3:33-34) “Thus saith the Lord, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.” (Jeremiah 31:2) Surely none would claim that Mary administered the grace that was received by those faithful believers in the Old Testament.

The Catholic Church teaches that Mary is a mediator between us and God, yet the Bible says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) This leaves no room for speculation. There is only one mediator between us and God. God has not set up any man, saint, angel, church, or anyone else to mediate between us and Him. Jesus Christ is our only mediator. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) We are instructed to come directly to Christ. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

In fact, it would be quite difficult for Mary to mediate for anyone, since she is dead, and has been for quite some time. The Bible declares, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) There is no reason for us to conclude that Mary is exempted from this verse. Mary is dead, and has no consciousness of anything that is going on, so it would be quite difficult for her to be the mediator for anyone. Clearly, according to the Scriptures, Mary is not our Mediator in any way.

Advocate for the People of God

This teaching proposes that “all prayers and petitions from the faithful on earth must likewise flow through Mary, who then brings them to the attention of Jesus.” (Newsweek, August 25, 1997, p. 49) The Bible clearly tells us who our advocate is, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1) The word advocate is only used once in the entire Bible, and in this place it is quite clear that Jesus Christ is our advocate. An advocate is “One that pleads in another’s behalf; an intercessor.” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) As we have already noted, Christ is our only mediator who “ever liveth to make intercession for” us. (Hebrews 7:25)

To suppose that Mary is our mediator, or advocate is to put Mary in the place of Christ. Let us not interfere with the position that Christ fills as our only mediator. A million Marys could never do as good a job as our great High Priest, and blessed Savior, Jesus Christ.

Apparitions of Mary

An apparition is a visual supernatural encounter. “From almost every continent, visionaries have reported more than 400 ‘apparitions’ of the Virgin-more than in the previous three centuries combined, Miravalle estimates. Taken together, these visions point to what the Marian movement believes is a millennial ‘Age of Mary,’ which will produce a final dogma that confirms her ongoing maternal mediation between God and humankind.” (Newsweek, August 25, 1997, p. 50)

These apparitions of Mary bring messages, supposedly from Mary. What does the Bible say about communicating with the deceased? There is only one instance in the Bible where someone supposedly communicated with the dead.

“And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” (1 Samuel 28:5, 6) Saul, the king of Israel, had walked contrary to the word of the Lord for so long that the Lord would not communicate with him by any means.

“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.” (1 Samuel 28:7, 8)

Since the Lord would not communicate with Saul, he decided to use a forbidden means to try to communicate with a deceased prophet named Samuel. “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:27) God had strictly forbidden any such use of familiar spirits.

“Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.” (1 Samuel 28:11, 12) Samuel was a righteous prophet of God, yet Saul asked the witch of Endor to bring Samuel up. Many Christians suppose that when a righteous man dies he goes up to heaven immediately. If this were true, then Samuel would have to come down from heaven, rather than up from the earth. Was this really Samuel that appeared to the witch of Endor? What saith the Scriptures? As before noted, the dead know not anything, and are unconscious. Therefore, according to the Bible, there is no way that Samuel could have appeared and spoken to Saul. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) Satan and his angels very well know how to impersonate deceased loved ones. When we allow these familiar spirits to communicate with us, we are opening the door for Satan to fill our minds with every evil imaginable.

“So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.” (1 Chronicles 10:13, 14)

Clearly, you can see the danger of opening yourself up to communication with the deceased. An apparition of Mary is communication with devils. What messages are being brought by these supposed communications with Mary?

“The rosary shall be the most powerful armor against hell; it shall destroy vices, weaken sin, overthrow unbelief …it will cause virtue and good works to flourish; It will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God …Oh, how many souls will be sanctified by this means! …The soul which has recourse to me through the rosary, shall not perish. …Every day I deliver from purgatory souls devoted to my rosary.” (An Apparition of Mary to Alan de la Roche, Holland 1463. Printed in A Litany of Mary by Ann Ball, published by Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1988)

The Rosary

The rosary is a string of beads that is used by Catholics to recite a series of formulas as a prayer. There are fifty-nine beads on the rosary, and as the believer grasps each bead, he or she is to recite a formula. With a short examination of the ritual, we can see that this custom exalts Mary. In a Catholic handbook the ritual is described in this way: See Graphic.

“We begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Then we say the Apostles’ Creed, one Our Father, Three Hail Marys, and one Glory to the Father (Prayer of Praise) on the small chain. Then recall the first mystery, say one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory to the Father. This completes one decade. All the other decades are said in the same manner with a different mystery meditated during each decade. At the end of the rosary, the prayer Hail, Holy Queen may be recited.” (Handbook for Today’s Catholic pp. 67, 68)

Out of fifty-nine beads on this rosary, fifty-three are used to recite the Hail Mary, fifty of which are used three times each. Here is the Hail Mary formula:

“Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” (Ibid., p. 62)

This is to be recited 153 times during the recitation of the rosary. At the end of this long ritual, the believer is admonished to recite the Hail, Holy Queen, which reads as follows:

“Hail, holy queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. …grant, we beseech you, that meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.” (Ibid., p. 69)

Repeating these words over and over again will not bring us any closer to God, for Christ said, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7) Reciting the Hail Mary formula 153 times is definitely “vain repetitions.” This will do us no good whatsoever, and in fact we are instructed not to do it at all. Not only that, but to exalt Mary, and believe that by reciting her rosary we will “not perish” is trusting in something other than the free gift of God in giving up His only begotten Son.

Many Catholics are instructed to wear a brown scapular with a picture of Mary and her son on one side, and these words on the other: “Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” The Bible nowhere alludes to such a false assurance of simply wearing some mystical piece of apparel that will assure the wearer of eternal life.

The Trinity Connection

In Conyers, Georgia there have been many apparitions of Mary. There have also been some apparitions of Jesus. In one such apparition to Nancy Fowler, Jesus supposedly told her the following: “Look at the four points on the cross. I will explain. See the Holy Trinity of God in three points. See in the other point My Mother, part of the Holy Trinity of God.” (To Bear Witness, p. 38, Message of August 14-15, 1990)

This new idea of God goes along with this push to exalt Mary even higher than ever before. “In place of the Holy Trinity, it would appear, there would be a kind of Holy Quartet, with Mary playing the multiple roles of daughter of the Father, mother of the Son and spouse of the Holy Spirit.” (Newsweek, August 25, 1997, p. 49)

It is not difficult to understand how the Catholic church came up with the idea that Mary is a mediator between us and God, for they have said that they base every doctrine of the Catholic church upon the doctrine of the trinity. “The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith. Upon it are based all other teachings of the Church.” (Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11) If the trinity doctrine were a correct teaching, then the Son would be equal in every respect to the Father. The Bible clearly states that we need a mediator between us and God the Father, and if the Son of God is exactly like the Father in every respect, then naturally we would need a mediator between us and the Son as well. Hence the Catholic church came up with the idea that Mary mediates between us and Christ, and that we also have many other mediators in the person of dead saints.

If we base every teaching upon a doctrine that is not correct, then every teaching based on that doctrine will be false also. For many of the false doctrines of the Catholic Church, the line of reasoning can be traced all the way back to the false doctrine of three Gods in one, otherwise known as the trinity. Let’s take the immortality of the soul for example. Trinitarians teach that Jesus Christ did not die completely at the cross, and that some part of Him remained alive while his human body was dead. Based upon this false concept, it is not hard to come up with another concept equally false, such as the idea that when a person dies they do not really die, but continue to live separate from their body.

I pray that this brief examination will be a help to all of you in your walk with the Lord. God the Father loved us so much that He gave up His only begotten Son. Believing that Jesus Christ is in reality “the Son of the Living God,” and serving Him will attain for us eternal life. False teachings about God lead to a confused relationship, and many times, ultimate destruction. Choose life!

Lynnford Beachy


Old Lie—New Name

The story of Elijah and his confrontation on Mt. Carmel with the prophets of Baal is a very familiar one. Elijah, after three years of drought, called evil King Ahab and all the people to Mt. Carmel for a test. He whose God answered by fire would be the true God in Israel. As we know, fire came down from heaven and consumed Elijah’s sacrifice, and a revival began in Israel.

What has perplexed many is how Israel could have fallen into such deep apostasy. Elijah said, “how long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” (1 Kings 18:21) Why were the people silent? Were they not the children of Israel? What went wrong? Part of the answer concerns the “two opinions.” Did they half worship God and half worship Baal? Jesus declared that our worship may not be divided! “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

The fact of the matter is, that Israel was worshipping Baal but thought they were worshipping God. By turning to our Bibles, we can follow Israel’s history and find a simple line of truth. 1 Kings 16:30 says “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.” What kind of evil was it? The answer is found in verse 31: “And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.” So Ahab walked in the sins of Jeroboam.

We find the story of Jeroboam in 1 Kings 12:25-33. Because of Solomon’s sins, God allowed the kingdom to be divided. The northern ten tribes were called Israel; the southern two tribes Judah. The commands to worship before the Lord in Jerusalem were not altered and the people were to come on the feast days to appear before the Lord. Fearing the hearts of the people would be turned back to David’s kingdom, Jeroboam established his own feast days and worship system.

First, 1 Kings 12:28 tells us he “took counsel”—evil counsel. Next, he set up two calves of gold. He told the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” This verse reminds us of the apostasy at Sinai. The Lord does not leave us without insight. Who did Aaron say they were worshipping when they made their “golden calf?”. “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD (Jehovah).” (Exodus 32:5) Yes, the LORD, Jehovah—the true God. They thought they could worship God through their calf!

Next, Jeroboam made high places and priests. These priests were the priests of Baal. Were they Philistines or Canaanites? No, they were “priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.” (1 Kings 12:31) “The king tried to persuade the Levites, some of whom were living within his realm, to serve as priests in the newly erected shrines at Bethel and Dan; but in this effort he met with failure. He was therefore compelled to elevate to the priesthood men from ‘the lowest of the people.’” (Prophets and Kings, p. 101) Then, according to 1 Kings 12:32, he set up his own feast days. This was Baal worship.

The word “Bel” or “Baal” simply meant lord, master, the infinite one, mighty creator, most high. He was represented as a bull. Baal was Ninus or Nimrod, the sun god. (The Two Babylons, p. 26) In modern Hindu worship we still see the same thing—Brahm is Baal and is a bull from which we get the Brahma bull term.

Baal worship was the worship of Nimrod (Baal); Semiramis (Ashtoreth), his wife (Judges 2:13); and Tammuz, her son. (Ezekiel 8:14) Baal was considered mean and was never worshipped openly. Human and animal sacrifices were made to appease his wrath. Baal, the bull, was always worshipped through a mediator or intercessor. They prayed to this intercessor, and this intercessor made their prayers acceptable to Baal. This may shock you, but Baal was called the father; Tammuz, the son; and the intercessor was Ashtoreth: the dove, the holy spirit, the tabernacle of god in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the godhead bodily. (See The Two Babylons, p. 305-310.)

When the children of Israel entered the promised land, they followed God for only one generation—while Joshua was alive. After this one generation they worshipped Baal and Ashtoreth. “And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.” (Judges 2:13) It was through worship of this queen of heaven that the Northern Kingdom fell. Even the Kingdom of Judah fell to the Babylonians because of such false worship. Jeremiah records the influence that this false worship obtained in Judah. See Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19, 25.

This Madonna worship was and is the key to all pagan sun worship. She has gone by many names: Venus, Athena, Juno (the dove), Diana (Acts 19:24), Ashtoreth, and now, of course, the Virgin Mary. She is found all over the Old Testament. To find her, look up “Queen of Heaven,” “Ashtoreth,” and “Grove.” Why “Grove,” you might ask? Because the Hebrew word translated “grove” is hdva (asherah, Strong’s #842), the Phoenician goddess and or image to her. The comparative is tdtse, (Ashtoreth, Strong’s #6253). These groves were high places where idols of Ashtoreth were set up. “Images of Baalim and Ashtoreth were everywhere to be seen.” (Prophets and Kings, p. 115) According to 1 Kings 14:15, these groves provoked the Lord to anger.

Let’s draw some conclusions:

1. The people in Elijah’s time thought they were worshipping the true God: “...Jeroboam thought to appeal to the imagination of the Israelites by setting before them some visible representation to symbolize the presence of the invisible God.” (Prophets and Kings, p. 100) “From the time of Jeroboam’s death to Elijah’s appearance before Ahab the people of Israel suffered a steady spiritual decline.” (Prophets and Kings, p. 109)

2. The 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the groves (Ashtoreth) were Israelites. “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:19)

3. Elijah was asking the people to choose between Baal worship (father/son/holy spirit) and the worship of the only true God that Jesus taught. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

4. Worship of Baal is the same today. A false trinity established at the Council of Nice by Egyptian Christians demanded that God was a trinity—father, son, and holy spirit. They said the third god was Mary—the dove, the holy spirit. (See The Two Babylons, p. 82) “The apostasy of Israel had developed gradually. From generation to generation, Satan had made repeated attempts to cause the chosen nation to forget ‘the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments’ that they had promised to keep forever. Deuteronomy 6:1. He knew that if he could only lead Israel to forget God, and to ‘walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them,’ they would ‘surely perish.’ Deuteronomy 8:19.” (Prophets and Kings, p. 296) Satan desires to be god (Isaiah 14:14) and the third position of the godhead suits him just fine.

5. The Bible says to pray to God through Christ. Nowhere does it say to pray to the Holy Spirit. Today, we hear “pray to God through the Spirit.” “Catch the Spirit” is the phrase. In modern Adventism, it is “We need the latter rain, so pray to the Spirit”. What spirit is it? Whose spirit is it?

There was no confusion among us as a people in the early days of this movement. Our pioneers could call people out of Babylon because they were not in it, worshipping Baal. They knew there was one God, the father; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, “the son of the living God.” The Holy Spirit was known too. They didn’t try to define its nature, only who it was. (2 Corinthians 3:17: “the Lord is that Spirit.”) Ellen White wrote it best when she called the Spirit, “the Omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ.” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p.179)

Yes, Jesus is the Comforter. “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18) This verse amplifies and clarifies Romans 8:26: “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.” Christ is that Spirit. An intercessor is a mediator: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5) Paul also wrote: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge.” (1 Corinthians 8:6, 7)

There is one God, the Father; one Lord, the Son; and one Spirit which Paul declares is the Lord. “How long halt ye between two opinions?”

Ken Corklin

(Brother Ken Corklin writes from his home in Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife Maria and their three children. You may contact Ken at Box 20771 S. Brown Hill Rd, Centerville, PA 16404.)


Video Documentary

One of the most popular, interesting and effective ways of conveying information is through videos. Probably all of us can remember a particular video story or documentary that had a dramatic influence in our lives. I remember what an impact the “Celebration” videos by John Osborne had on me and many other people around the world. “Waco, the Big Lie” (by Linda Thomson) told the story like no book or magazine ever could.

The great burden of my heart for many years has been to present the truth about God; the saving knowledge of the Father and His Son, in a broadcast quality video documentary. There is no question that Adventists and non-Adventists alike would be greatly benefited by a clear presentation of the history and devastating effects of the “wine of Babylon.” Video

Bill Stringfellow has done an excellent job in presenting much of this material in a preaching style format. We believe there is also a need for presenting these vital truths in a complementary, high quality, documentary style, with many pictures and interviews, etc. Let me give you an idea of the incredible work involved in such a project.

A typical documentary video involves a change of picture (cut or edit) every three to six seconds. This keeps the story line flowing and interesting. In a sixty-minute documentary video there are between 300 to 600 edits. This involves not just acquiring many different pictures, but arranging and putting them on tape in the proper sequence with background music and narration. The huge amount of time and work involved in acquiring all the material and making many edits, is why professional videographers charge between $500 to $1,000 for a “finished” minute of video. That’s between $30,000 to $60,000 just for one video documentary.

The two basic ways of editing a video are “linear” (VHS tape for example) and “nonlinear” (digital or computer language). Let’s use a simple analogy to describe the advantages of editing digitally. Before computers and word processors people used old-fashioned typewriters. Once the words were typed, the only way to change them was to use correction fluid; then go back and try to type on the same place, or crunch up the paper and start over. When word processors came along, you could copy, cut or paste any word, sentence, or paragraph anywhere in the whole document without starting all over. Word processing allows the author to change the margins or text size, and insert or take out a picture in only seconds, when it would have taken hours or days using a regular typewriter.

Within the last year, electronic technology has advanced enough so that digital video can be affordably edited like using a word processor. Audio and video clips can be arranged and rearranged, cut out, copied and pasted anywhere in the video without starting all over again (like with tape). The advantages in time and effort are easily seen when using the typewriter and word processor analogy. An editing system that would have cost $200,000 five years ago can be purchased for under $20,000 today.

We are currently in desperate need of funds to purchase a digital video editing system and a digital VCR. A digital camera has already been acquired for this project. I also have recorded many good video clips and interviews for the documentary; yet we still need about $12,000 to make the system complete. With this equipment we could do documentaries on the history of the Sabbath, state of the dead, union of church & state, and the mark of the beast as well. The possibilities are unlimited!

If you feel a burden to help in any way to make this project a reality, please write or call and we will send you a short demo video. With the needed equipment we could have a high quality video finished within a very short time.
Your brother in Christ,

Fred Allaback


Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204; home phone: (304) 732-8609Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.

Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: editor@smyrna.org.

Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail: berean@smyrna.org