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. 7, No. 2 Straight and Narrow February 1998
Special Report on
the Work In Jamaica
As our flight descended into Montego Bay, Jamaica, we could clearly see the lush, beautiful mountains and tropical hillsides from our plane windows. The beauty of the translucent emerald-colored bay is beyond my words to express. However, much more beautiful and equally difficult to express was the beauty and Christian joy we found in our brothers and sisters of Jamaica!
Several months ago we had heard reports from Elder Bill Stringfellow of brethren in Jamaica who were earnestly studying out the truth about the Godhead. Later Brother Lynnford received contact from Brother Howard Williams of Mandeville, Jamaica. Then this fall, Brother Howard called in behalf of the believers to invite us to come visit the brethren in Jamaica and attend a camp meeting in December. What we found exceeded our highest expectations! The hand of God was clearly seen in the lives and the work of the fellow believes in Jamaica.
We arrived in Montego Bay on the afternoon of December 17. When we had left West Virginia the outside temperature was 20° F. We were happy to know that the local temperature was 80° F. Upon entering the airport, a small group of singers in traditional dress pleasantly surprised us by singing a song, We Welcome You to Jamaica. Brothers David Clayton and Howard Williams were waiting patiently at the airport to pick up us and our luggage. David and Howard are working under the hand of the Master-Shepherd in Jamaica to help spread the full truth of the three angels messages. They immediately impressed us with their open, unfeigned love. This was a precursor to what we would find from all the sweet brethren during our stay.
David informed us that there was a meeting planned that evening in Mandeville (near the center of the island) for the believers there to meet us. The drive was one we will not forget soon. The roads are narrow and rough and the traffic is crazy. Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road and that made everything seem even more bizarre. Howard is an excellent driver and he displayed his skills well in getting us to the meeting. On the way he treated us to cup-soup he bought from a roadside vender.
Even with Howards great skills we arrived in Mandeville about an hour late. Upon entering the home church, we found a brother was sharing a thought from the Spirit of Prophecy. When he finished, everyone was very eager to hear from us. We each gave a little of our testimony and shared a couple of thoughts. There were around forty people present at Conard Howards home. They filled the meeting room, sitting on homemade pews, couches, and chairs. There was not enough room inside so some stood, or sat on benches outside and looked through the door and windows.
After we spoke, Brother David Clayton shared some thoughts and then began discussing an article published the day of our arrival in a weekly tabloid, The XNEWS, that is distributed over the entire island. This was the third article published about the historic brethren in Jamaica who are teaching the truth about the Godhead. The Western Mirror, a paper that covers the western end of Jamaica, published the first two. These articles, which were written in an ambiguous manner so as to make few direct accusations but several implications, accused the brethren of belonging to a group which practices horrible sins of immorality. (These are the same articles against the faithful brethren that Jan Marcussen recently noted in his newsletter.) These extremely fictitious articles were filled with numerous misrepresentations and errors, which inspired some to be apprehensive of the brethren and even caused the police to visit to see what was going on.
Our brothers and sisters claimed the promise of Romans 8:28 that says, We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Even in these slanderous reports God was to be glorified! The articles stirred up the brethren to take stock of their own spiritual conditions; and to examine themselves to know if they were ready for further persecution yet to come. A revival among the brethren resulted. It also gave them a chance to share with the police officers who came to the meetings, and they eagerly extended an invitation for them to return. As one brother said, They need to hear the gospel too! Also, as often happens in similar circumstances, some honest seekers of truth wanted to investigate to find out about these people who seemed far too loving and kind to be guilty of the base crimes they were accused of.
Brother P. D. Clayton, Davids father, wrote a reply to the first article published in The Western Mirror. In it he wrote in part: This apologia does not perhaps adequately answer all areas an ignorant inquirer may wish to explore, but as all our doors are always open, our invitation must be, Come and see. The disciple is not greater than his Lord; those who crave His leadership must also accept His unmerited cross. At this time the brethren believe that nothing further need be done except to live and teach the truth and allow the Lord to exonerate the truth in His own good way.
David shared some scriptures about not being afraid of what men may do or say, and getting ready for the time of trouble. It was a solemn time. After the meeting the brethren welcomed and talked with us for a while. Each person was very warm and friendly, and spoke so that it was very evident they were sincerely desiring to have a pure heart, ready for the return of their Lord. The earnestness of these believers was a real encouragement to us.
We awoke Thursday morning to the sound of a friendly rooster at 4:00 A.M. (After a few more days this rooster started to tempt Lynnford to cease vegetarianism!) Our first morning we were treated to some native fruits. We ate sweetsop: a green, rough fruit with a custard-like inside; passion fruit: a lemon-looking fruit with a strong-tasting inside with many small seeds; tangerines and oranges. We also ate ackee fruit, the Jamaican national fruit. The taste and consistency were similar to scrambled tofu. We enjoyed the opportunity to eat some native fruits. It was very encouraging to know that the Jamaican brethren are very health conscious. Most were vegetarians who were careful to eat only that which would strengthen their bodies and minds. The diet of the people is simple, composed of very little processed food and many fresh fruits. Whole-wheat dumplings are a favorite in Jamaica.
Thursday was national election day in Jamaica. The streets were filled with people carrying on the usual political activities with a zeal worthy of a much better cause. While staying in Mandeville, we were the guests of Howard and Karlene Williams. Their hospitality was extremely generous and typical of the treatment that we would be receiving during the rest of our stay.
Allen worked on an old tabletop printing press that the brethren had purchased. All the rollers and many parts need to be replaced. Good printing presses at an affordable price are very scarce in Jamaica. Several parts are missing and most of the remaining parts are worn out. A newer, better-equipped press would be a real blessing to them. Howard, David, and others have written several good tracts and studies that they are currently having commercially printed.
Jamaica is a very poor country. The believers are mostly of humble stock who have few material possessions. While several homes have electricity, many do not have running water, and most do not have hot water systems. The clothes in Jamaica are washed by hand and hung out to dry in the sun. Although there are few washing machines and little hot water, we were very impressed with their cleanliness. If cleanliness is next to Godliness, our brothers and sisters of Jamaica are very close to God. This was strongly contrasted with the uncleanness of some of the rest of the population. Brother Lloyd Campbell was an outstanding testimony of how the Lord can change a man. He testified that when he was young he was very unkempt and dirty. He smoked marijuana, or as they call it, ganja. This former Rastafarian stood clean and noble, yet humble, to testify of Gods grace that found and changed a sinner like him.
Our second evening in Jamaica we had another meeting with the church in Mandeville. Again there was a group of at least forty who warmly welcomed us. Brother Lynnford shared a study on the spiritual experience end time believers must have. He discussed the experience of Christ in Gethsemane and compared it with the experience of Jacob. It was very well received.
After the meeting we again had some wonderful fellowship with the people. They all expressed their wish that we would have a good visit while in Jamaica. Their wish for us came true. Jamaica is truly a lovely place. Not only are the temperature and scenery pleasant, but the people are extremely kind and friendly!
Friday marked the arrival of Brother Randall Mercer, his wife Lucy, and their children, Jerry and Melinda to Mandeville. Randalls family had flown in from Illinois earlier in the week and Howard picked them up at Montego Bay.
Friday afternoon we traveled to the capital city, Kingston. There we met another group of believers. That evening Allen shared a study on what the early Adventist pioneers believed about the nature of God, along with their strong Bible arguments for their convictions. The meeting was held in a rented room at a public high school. The warmth we experienced at Mandeville radiated also in Kingston. Friday evening we stayed with Brother Lloyd Martin. He and his family made us feel very much at home.
On the way to the school the next morning for services, the car we were in passed by military soldiers patrolling the streets, wearing combat uniforms and carrying automatic weapons. As noted earlier, they had just held the national elections Thursday. We learned that there is always a good amount of strife during election time. In fact, more people annually die on that day in Jamaica that any other day because of the fighting that occurs.
Before going to Jamaica we had read that the crime rate was very high there. The island appears to present a paradox. While the crime rate is quite high in some larger city areas like Kingston and Montego Bay, the rural areas are relatively safe. Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other country! As Brother David noted, Jamaica has some of the best of the best; and some of the worst of the worst!
The Sabbath in Kingston was a real blessing. Brother Randall Mercer gave a stirring testimony about his conversion. Everyone was blessed to hear the experiences that the Lord had led him through. After this meeting Brother Lynnford gave a study on the importance of understanding the truth about God. The attention to the subject was intense, with many taking notes and several amens.
We were treated to a fellowship lunch at Brother Charles Peters home where we again enjoyed an opportunity to fellowship with our new friends. It was a real blessing to learn of their experiences. The scenery was beautiful. The blue mountains arose behind the city in majesty.
In the afternoon Allen shared a study on the death of Christ, after which we opened the meeting for questions. Two men were not in agreement and brought up some questions concerning the Godhead. Their questions were answered in a clear way, and others were able to ask questions as well. The two brethren that disagreed with our beliefs left on good terms. While we were having questions, Brother Lynnford found the following quotation on the E. G. White compact disc that was very encouraging:
In his name, through his grace, man may be an overcomer, even as Christ was an overcomer. In Christ divinity and humanity were united, and the only way in which man may be an overcomer is through becoming a partaker of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Divinity and humanity are blended in him who has the spirit of Christ. The apostle Paul writes, In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted. We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (The Youths Instructor, June 30, 1892 emphasis supplied.)
After the questions, testimonies were shared. What a wonderful experience we had as we heard the testimonies of these brothers and sisters. Jamaican testimonies are very intense. These folks do not hesitate, as much as people in America, to state what the Lord has done for them. Many testimonies would last several minutes. They believe in the truth of Psalm 34:1-2: I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
We returned to Mandeville after Sabbath and were glad to get some well-needed rest - at least until the chickens and cows got started. Sunday Allen worked on the printing press and Lynnford assisted with computer software help. We also got a chance to do our laundry by hand so that we could have clean clothes when we left to go to the camp meeting.
Sunday night was one of the few evenings that we did not have a meeting during the length of our stay. We had a pleasant talk with Howard about angels and their work. It was a blessing to be able to exercise our minds on heavenly things. Howard is a deep thinker and Bible student. In fact, the brethren as a whole are quite knowledgeable of the Scriptures and able to fulfill the counsel of 1 Peter 3:15 that says: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
We also went Sunday evening to Brother Ayon Baxters house. Besides being a short wave radio operator and computer genius, Ayon is a good singer who plays the guitar beautifully. While we were at Kingston, Brother Ayon sang a lovely song he had written entitled, In Your Time. The singing, prayer, and other facets of worship among the brethren in Jamaica carry a great deal of solemnity and reverence. While they are enthusiastic, there is no loud harshness or frenzied spirit among them. After group prayer, they all recite in unison Psalm 19:14: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Monday brought another morning call from the neighbors roosters. If the rooster did not succeed in waking us, the cold shower afterward never failed to finish what the rooster started! We began our preparations for going to the camp meeting the next day and Brother David Clayton graciously took some time from his busy schedule to take us to a secluded fishing beach for a short afternoon swim and a little sight seeing. We arrived back at Howards home just in time to get cleaned up and go to the evening meeting. Brother Randall Mercer shared his testimony with the Mandeville group. About forty people showed up for the meeting, and it was a blessing to fellowship with them again. This was the last meeting we had in Mandeville and we really hated the thought that when we left for Copper the next day we would not be able to return before flying back to America.
Tuesday brought much excitement as we had to make final preparations to go to the camp meeting. After a long day of getting ready for the trip we finally got all packed up and piled into Howards big dump truck. Everyone who needed a ride to the camp or needed more room to haul camping supplies could either ride in the truck or send their supplies in it. The bed of the dump truck is about sixteen feet long and nine feet wide with a four-foot high rail around the edge. There were twelve of us in the back of the truck along with lots of luggage.
The ride to the camp was very interesting and lasted more than three hours. By the time we made some stops and waited on some others, the trip took nearly five hours. When we reached the place for the camp meeting, our luggage had shifted and was now spread out over all the truck with people sitting on it. Some of our luggage got a little wet because a jug of water leaked, but it was not too bad. Setting up our tent at 11:00 P.M. was made much easier with the help of Brother Dennis Hue, better known as Chino. He proved to be a true brother who was always thinking of the good of others. His life reflected that of the Master and reminded us of Philippians 2:3, 4: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
The camp at Copper is on a parcel of land leased by the Dalton Smith family. It is several miles out in the forest and there is neither electricity, nor running water, nor most other modern conveniences. However, the camp that we saw when we arose Wednesday morning was a beautifully clean, well-kept oasis. The grass was well cut and the lawn was in good order. The outhouses had been freshly painted, and stalls for showering had been installed. Water was obtained from a spring about half a mile from the camp. Everybody had a water bucket that they could take to the spring to bring water back for bathing and cleaning. Some would draw water and go off into a secluded part of the forest to bathe.
The Smith family would haul water from the spring in a barrel for the cooking and cleaning needs of the kitchen. The food that they served was always filling, healthful, and tasty. They cooked many meals in a large pot over an open fire outside the Smith home. Inside the pot would be such treats as yams, Irish potatoes, green bananas, and of course, whole-wheat dumplings! Sister Joy, who was in charge of the kitchen, was careful to make sure that while there was little surplus, there was always enough to go around!
Coconuts were a favorite at the camp. Brother Stephen Bailey displayed his skill in tree climbing and went straight to the top of a tall coconut tree to pick the fruit. He then dropped the coconuts onto a sheet held by two brothers so that they would not burst. With their sharp machetes the Jamaican brethren would take the top off the coconut and drink the sweet water inside. Then the shell would be split and they would eat the coconut jelly. Raw sugarcane was also a special treat.
The schedule at the camp meeting was full, but relaxed. Meetings were held in the early morning, midmorning, afternoon and, with the help of a generator for lighting, in the evening. There were more than one hundred people at the camp meeting on Sabbath and seventy to ninety during the week.
The meetings were well attended and all showed a great deal of interest in the theme: Preparing for the Latter Rain. Brother David Clayton gave an especially stirring message on the latter rain centered around Deuteronomy 11:13-17. Several different speakers gave studies through the week and there was time given for special music and many testimonies.
Sabbath, December 27, was one of our richest experiences ever as Christians. The early morning began with Brother Neville Morris giving an excellent study on thirsting for the living water. He appealed to the people to have the Lord fill them with His Spirit. The midmorning service began with a beautiful song service. Brother Charles Peter from Kingston gave an excellent talk on health and the body temple. There was special, special music. Brother David Wilson shared his unique ability to mimic a trumpet with his mouth. Others gave special testimonies and then Brother Allen had the main morning study on the death of the cross. The message was well received and many important points were brought out. After the study, there was more special singing by a quartet composed of Howard Williams, David Clayton and his two brothers Tony and Don. Surely the Kings Heralds never sang sweeter.
The afternoon meeting began with more songs and testimonies. Then Brother Lynnford gave an encouraging study on the Love of God. Brother David Rose followed this, sharing an exciting testimony about a dream that he had recently received. (See page ten for an account of the dream.) Brother Randall Mercer shared a study about the personality of the Father and His Son, and the willingness on the Fathers part to give up the relationship that He had with His Son. It was a beautiful study and very appropriate for the time. Randall also shared a story from the movie Schindlers List about the remorse that Schindler felt when he realized that he had not given up everything that he could have to save just a few more Jews. He related the story to the eagerness with which we should share the gospel with those who are dying for lack of knowledge. This story touched many hearts and the people commented that the presentation blessed them.
The evening was a time of sweet fellowship. We all seemed to realize that this heavenly time was soon to come to a close. Brothers Jerry Mercer, David Wilson, Howard Williams, and Don Clayton played music and some of the rest of us sang. One of those singing was Brother Kevito Brett. Brother Kevito is a precious young brother of twenty years. Lord willing, he will be preaching the truth soon. He has a deep desire to share the truth and be a blessing to others. We accounted ourselves privileged to have met Kevito. He worked very well with the youth and always seemed interested in helping in any way possible.
Words could not express how sad leaving Copper, Sunday morning was. We had met many people who had left an indelible impression upon us. How we wish that we could publicly acknowledge them all and thank each one for their unfeigned love. Our Jamaican brethren are not yet a perfect people. They are still striving to overcome faults just as their brethren in other parts of the world struggle. Their attitude is well expressed by the Apostle Paul: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12, 13)
As we write this report, the brethren in
Jamaica are currently holding a tent meeting to introduce others
to the wonderful Jesus. God has richly blessed these people who
are worldly poor but spiritually rich. They need Spirit of
Prophecy books. Few are available, and the cost is so high as to
make it difficult for many of the poorer families to have the
common books that those in America take for granted. We ask that
you lift up our people in Jamaica with your prayers. If you are
impressed that God would choose to use you to help supply some
Spirit of Prophecy books, help with a printing press, or some of
the other needs of the Jamaican brethren, you may contact them
directly in care of David Clayton, P. O. Box 23, Knockpatrick,
Manchester, Jamaica, West Indies. Or you contact us for further
information on how you can be a help.
Allen Stump & Lynnford Beachy
Shortly before going to press we received a special challenge. A sister who had been saving money for a personal computer for her family donated the $800 she had saved to go towards helping the believers in Jamaica purchase a printing press. She asked that we challenge each reader of Old Paths to help with the project, and as a whole, the readers would at least match her contribution. This sister is asking for no recognition and nothing for herself or the local church that she worships with. Her spirit is revealed simply in her statement: I figured that they could do more to spread the truth with a printing press than I could with a computer.
Let us remember the appeals of Paul as recorded in the New Testament. While he did not ask for himself, he did not hesitate to ask the churches to help with those who had needs. Please consider the following thoughts: Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7) Unvarnished truth must be spoken, in leaflets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn. (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 231)
All special help for this matching project can be sent to Smyrna and clearly noted: Jamaican Press. Surely there are many things we all can give up to help with this worthy project. I believe that the believers in Jamaica can do more to spread the truth with a printing press than we can with many of the nonessentials that we are accustomed to having. We will keep the field updated on this project. ?
The Polish Peasant Knew
How The Prophet Felt
Over the front door of a certain house in Warsaw you will see an iron tablet with a very unique engraving in it. The house was built in the late 1700s by King Stanisiaus for a peasant named Dobry. The engraving, along with a few sentences below it, tells this story.
Dobrys grandfather had trained a raven which he later set free. The raven flew into the front door just as Dobry had opened it to see if the landlords hired men were coming to throw him, his wife and family, and their meager possessions out into the cold.
Dobry had been out of work for some time. Their money had been spent and they were now in arrears with the rent. He had gone to his landlord three times to appeal for mercy, but in vain. This was the last day they could remain in the home despite the fact it was the middle of a very severe winter.
Having heard very little about God, it seemed very strange when Dobry suggested that they ask this God to help them. He knelt on the cold, hard floor and poured out his broken heart to the God who answers prayer.
After he had finished his pleadings, his wife told him that she had a tablet on which she had copied some parts of a hymn her mother had sung a few times before her death. Together, shivering as they sang, the words filled the tiny home, Dein werk kann neimand hindern, which means Nothing thy work suspending. The rest of this Lutheran pastors old hymn went like this, No foe can make Thee pause When Thou, Thine own defending, Dost undertake their cause.
After singing the few verses, they sat down and said nothing to each other. Then Dobry spied the raven once again.
Hes got something in his beak!
He took the object from the birds grasp and held it up for closer examination. It was a beautiful and very expensive ring.
God has answered our prayers, his wife said excitedly. He sent us this valuable ring,
But, the ring isnt ours, Dobry said. We dont know where that raven got it. Maybe we should see if we can find the owner.
Dobry! his wife almost shouted, you just prayed for God to help us. Here is the answer! Lets sell the ring and get the money God sent us,
As Dobry looked at the emaciated faces of his little babies, and his crying wife, he tried to decide what was best to do.
If we go and try to find out who lost this ring, well come back to find our things piled up in the snow. God sent us this ring. Lets sell it and live!
Dobry was torn apart with mixed emotions. If God did indeed send the ring; He could have just as easily have sent the raven with a bag of gold, he told himself. Was this the answer to my prayer? His mind was whirling. I just cannot believe God would want me to have something that belonged to someone else.
He decided that it was better to be poor than to be a thief. So, he trudged the long snow-filled road to the heart of Warsaw. He went to see the Christian minister.
When he had told the minister of his condition, his prayer, and of the raven, he showed him the ring. The minister stunned Dobry as he said, I believe I know who this ring belongs to. It looks exactly like one I saw King Stanislaus wear. As you know, there arent very many men around who can afford such an expensive ring.
Dobry thanked the minister and left. Once again his mind was flooded with all kinds of thoughts as well as fears. If I tried to sell it, I would have been arrested for stealing it.
Dobry made his way to the magnificent palace to attempt to see the king. He had to return it even if the king thought he had stolen it.
After a long interrogation by several guards, Dobry was allowed to wait in a chamber while someone went to discuss it with the king. Dobry was terrified with the thought that the king wouldnt believe that a pet raven had brought the beautiful ring to him in his beak.
To Dobrys surprise, the king agreed to see him. Dobry was even more surprised to see the minister there, too.
I have heard all about you, Dobry, and Im proud that there is a man in my kingdom who would allow his family to be thrown out into the snow before he would keep my ring.
Dobrys heart was pounding faster than it ever had in all his life.
The king gave Dobry a large sum of money with which to pay his rent, buy food and clothing, and live on until the summer came. Then came a surprise that almost took Dobrys life through disbelief.
The king had ordered a new home built in Warsaw for Dobry and his family where he lived comfortably the rest of his life.
The iron tablet with the unique engraving, of course, stands over Dobrys front door. The engraving? A picture of a raven with a ring in its beak. rrr
(This story was reprinted from the book, The Hand That Still Intervenes, - W. A. Spicer and Helen Spicer Menkel © 1982 by Concerned Publications. Permission to reprint this article was graciously granted by the publishers.)
Christ Our Righteousness
The Righteousness of God (Part 2)
1. Who shall be justified? Romans 2:13
2. How many have sinned (broken the law of God)? Romans 3:23 (See note 1.)
3. Can we be justified by the deeds of the law? Romans 3:20 (See note 2.)
4. Can our righteousness exceed Gods? Psalm 16:2
5. What is the heart of man like? Jeremiah 17:9
6. Did Jesus know mans heart? John 2:24, 25
7. Can the carnal man please God? Romans 8:7, 8
8. What is mans righteousness declared to be? Isaiah 64:6
9. According to Jesus, what only can come from an evil heart? Luke 6:44, 45 (See note 3.)
10. Does the Bible speak of people who are righteous? Isaiah 3:10
11. Does the Bible speak of a righteous nation? Isaiah 26:1, 2
12. What constitutes the truth which the righteous nation keeps? Psalm 119:142
13. Who will enter Gods kingdom? Matthew 7:21
1. To justify means to make righteous, or to show one to be righteous. Now, it is evident that perfect obedience to a perfectly righteous law would then constitute one a righteous person.
But for one to be judged a doer of the law, it would be necessary that he had kept the law in its fullest measure every moment of his life.
The law speaks to all who are within its sphere; and in all the world there is not one who can open his mouth to clear himself from the charge of sin, which it brings against him. (Christ Our Righteousness, p. 54)
2. The law, being holy, and just, and good, cannot justify a sinner. In other words, a just law cannot declare that the one who violates it is innocent. (Ibid., p. 55)
3. Therefore works done by a sinful person have no effect to make a man righteous. Man must first be made righteous by Christ before he can do the goodness that is required of him. How this is accomplished is the subject of the next lesson. rrr
Vision of David Rose
(The following is a transcription of a testimony that Brother David Rose gave at the recent camp meeting in Jamaica. Editors)
I just want to relate a vision that the Lord has given me. I didnt know that the Lord would use this empty vessel, but I am greatly touched for the Lord to use me in this way.
It was on a Thursday night. It was around two in the morning, I was lying down sleeping and the Lord came to me in a vision. It was a dark place and there were noises. It was like angels around me. When I looked up, the angel bid me to look up and I saw the Lord was going, moving up and He was stepping up the step, and it was the last step; and I realizeg that He was going out of my heart. Thats when I realized and I shouted out and cried, Lord, whats happening? Have mercy! And the angel said to me, He is going around sealing His people and who is ready is going [with the Lord]. So I said, You cant leave me, I have been an Adventist, I have done so many good things. The Lord, would not look back at me. He just stopped there and wouldnt look back. And the angel said, He cant look at sin; and because of sin, thats why the Lord cant look at you. I said, I have done all these good things. And he said, Yes, you keep asking the Lord to do things for you, but you havent been rebuking the devil to come out of your life.
So then I started to plead and the Lord stopped. Then the angel said, Because you have pride in your life that is why the Lord cant reach you, because of pride. And you have blocked in my people, you are stopping the work. (Because generally I didnt want my wife to go and visit this group [independent meetings]. I never wanted her to go [to] the group because of the Waco thingthats why I didnt really want her to come.)
Then the Lord showed me that I have been hindering His people from doing His work. And then when He said that, I looked to my left and I saw David Clayton, and he was in a red shirt and black pants and he held something in his handmaybe a Bible or a bag. Then I didnt see him anymore.
I started to cry and started to scream; and then I started to pray, and then the angel said, Because of pride; thats why you wont wake up your wife to pray with you. (But I didnt want to wake up my wife because I didnt want her to know that I had sin in my life.) Eventually she shook me and said, You have had a bad dream. And I said, I am not dreaming. You could come down and pray for me. Then she came off the bed and we both fell on our knees, and we started to pray. We prayed for an hour and ten minutes, and then she wanted to turn the light on and I said, No, leave the light [off], because I wanted to go back [to sleep] to see if the vision could continue, because I wanted to see if the Lord [would] look at me because He was in a position to turn to look, but He didnt look at me.
So then she [Sister Rose] was supposed to come here this Saturday, and because of the article that [was] written about these people, I didnt want her to come, I didnt want my family to get involved inside this sort of thing so I said I wouldnt come. I have three vehicles but I made excuses that none of the three vehicles [would] work. So this Sabbath morning around five oclock I woke up and saw my wife sitting on the bed, so I said to her, Whats the matter with you? She said, Nothing. So I said, Is [it] down to that place you want to go? She said, Yes. I said, Okay then, Ill take you down there. And then she went to the bathroom. And before she got to the bathroom I said, Could you stop for us to ask the Lord for a sign? I asked the Lord, because one of the cars is hard to start. So I said, If I go downstairs and the car starts easy, Ill go. If it doesnt start, then I wont go. So when I went downstairs and touched the ignition, the car made one start and so we decided to come down here.
We had it difficult on our way down [we were nearly in a bad accident], but we eventually got here, and to my amazement, when I got here I saw David [Clayton]. When he came, the same clothes that I saw him [wearing] in the vision, they were the same clothes he had on when he came here. So there and then, I knew that the Lord had been working, and He is going around sealing His people. And I am just glad to be a part of His servants, and I hope that this testimony may do good to you all.
I didnt want the thing [vision] to come out. Because of pride we do a lot of things. So when I got the vision I said to her [Sister Rose], I hope you dont tell anybody [about] this. She said, Okay then dear, if you dont want me to say anything to anybody then I wont say. But before I know, the testimony started to go out. Dont ask me how it started, but now it is going worldwide! rrr
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
When Jesus spoke these words, the Jews replied immediately: We be Abrahams seed and were never in bondage to any man. These were strange words coming from the Jews. How could they say such a thing? For four hundred and thirty years they had been slaves in Egypt. For seventy years they had been captives in Babylon and at that very moment they were under the dominion of the kingdom of Rome. So why did the Jews make such a boastful and untrue statement?
The answer is to be found in their words, We be Abrahams seed. In these words we find the very foundation of the Jewish blindness. God had promised to bless Abraham and his seed forever, and the Jews were absolutely convinced that because of this promise they would be a sacred people, special, and peculiar to God forever. They did not realize that this would only be true if they remained faithful to God and were obedient to His word. They felt that they would never, ever, under any circumstances, be cast off or rejected by God, no matter how disobedient and unfaithful they were. So blinded were they by this false idea that it led them even to deny the fact that they were in bondage at that very moment.
Therefore, the words of Jesus, Ye shall know the truth, annoyed the Jews. Here He was suggesting that they did not know the truth, yet they were Abrahams seed! They were the chosen people of God, belonging to the true church, and they could prove it. They could trace the history of their nation in an unbroken line, right back to Abraham who had been the friend of God. God Himself had given them many promises that He would never cast them off. (See Jeremiah 51:35-37.) He had even delivered to them by His own mouth, and by His own hand, His sacred laws. At that very moment they were standing in the great temple which they had raised up to the honor and glory of God. If ever there was a people who had the truth it was the Jews, and yet Jesus was suggesting that they did not know the truth, and that they were in bondage. The very suggestion filled them with anger.
But did the Jews really know the truth? What is the truth? Is it a set of carefully guarded doctrines? Is it the knowledge of Gods ceremonies and laws? Is it something that can be locked up within the walls of a certain church? In a general sense, when we talk about truth we mean that which is not false. We mean that which tells us the reality of things. However, Jesus was talking about truth in a particular context. He was speaking about that truth that will enable us to achieve the whole goal and purpose of Gods plan for our lives; that truth which will enable us to become fully what God wants us to be. In this context what, in fact, is the truth?
Well, according to Jesus, truth is the thing that sets men free. What would men be free from?
Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin . . . if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)
Gods truth sets men free from sin! No matter what theories we believe, no matter what religious group we belong to, as long as we continue to commit sin it means that we do not know Gods truth. Whoever commits sin is in bondage. He does not know the truth! For hundreds of years the Jews had faithfully carried out their religious services. They had studied the laws and the sacred writings; they had jealously guarded against those who tried to change their faith, but despite all this they did not know the truth because THEY HAD NOT BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN! They had never come to know the truth because Gods truth is not found in mere doctrine; truth is a Person and that Person is Jesus Christ.
Jesus saith unto him. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6)
The Jewish religion was NOT the truth, and it had never been the truth. God had only intended that it should be a means by which they could come to know Him, because He, and He alone, was the truth. The Jews had missed the mark completely. They had come to believe that the system itself was truth. Therefore, they believed that by being a part of the system they had the truth! They naturally came to the place where they worshipped the system and they considered it the greatest heresy for somebody to speak against the system as Jesus did.
This, then, was the problem that the Jews had. They were so secure with what they had, so sure that they had the truth, that they saw no need of anything else. They were rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing. (Revelation 3:17) The system had blinded their eyes and therefore they could not see Jesus. The Jews faced a choice, they would either have to choose Jesus, or the system. They could not be loyal to both because the system had replaced God. To take His rightful place in the hearts of the people, it was necessary for Jesus to first destroy the reverence that they had for the church. However, the leaders of the Jews recognized what Jesus was doing and so, to save the church, they crucified Jesus. In their zeal to preserve the truth, they murdered the Truth! (See John 11:49, 50)
Is it any different today? Jesus is still the Truth. No system, no organization, no church can set men free. Yet, the great majority of those who claim to be Christians have diligently followed in the footsteps of the Jews. They worship their churches. They regard these systems as the sources of light and truth and they fiercely attack those who dare to criticize them.
Friend, what is your hope of salvation? Is it the fact that you were baptized into a certain church? Is it because you have accepted the fundamental beliefs of an organization or carefully observe the commandments as taught by your church? This is the position of millions of people today. The religious leaders have caused them to believe that when they joined the church they were saved. They were told, Our church has the truth. We are the true church. And yet, although these people claim to know and to have the truth, they tell a lie because they are not free from sin!
Can your church take away your sins? Was it a set of doctrines that hung bleeding on the cross for you? Is it a denomination that loves you with a love stronger than death? No! It is a Person, a living, thinking, feeling Person. Therefore, the reality of Christianity is to know Jesus. That is it, no more, no less. You owe no loyalty to any human organization. Do not follow them. You owe your all to Jesus, follow Him.
Repeatedly, God has sent holy men to the churches with messages to turn the eyes of the people to Jesus. Yet every time Jesus is lifted up, the towers of Babel (mans systems) are torn down. The religious systems have never allowed, and will never allow Jesus to be the ruler of the people. They have crucified Him repeatedly as they have cast out and slandered and destroyed His servants.
Every time men have come to know Jesus, there has been a separation from the religious systems, such as happened at Pentecost and during the Protestant reformation. Each time there was also great persecution of the true Christians by the religious organizations, as the leaders saw that the systems which they worshipped were in danger of falling.
Today it is no different. When men come to know Jesus there will be freedom. They will find the power to overcome weakness and temptation. In Jesus Christ there is freedom from sin. Without a blind loyalty to a denomination or religious group, they will understand the word of God, without prejudice or bias, giving them freedom from falsehood.
Nevertheless, the churches will unite to persecute and destroy those who dare to be different who dare to worship in a different way. Again, as in the past, the established churches will view the work of Christ as a threat, as something that is dangerous, and they will rise up to persecute and to crush those who are determined to follow Christ alone. The Bible testifies that this is how the last great persecution will come against Gods true people. (See John 16:2.)
Friend, are you still enslaved, or have you been set free? Your church cannot set you free. Your doctrines cannot set you free. In fact, these may be the greatest obstacles to your freedom. Friend, there is one way, and only one way to salvation!
Ye shall know the Truth [Jesus] and the Truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
Do you believe that this is an unimportant matter? Gods word tells us that in the last days people will not endure sound doctrine, but that they will find teachers for themselves because they have itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will believe fables. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4). Gods sure word is that, because of this, because they do not love the truth, He will leave them to receive a STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe a lie, and the result is that they all might be damned who believed not the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) My friend, the churches are full of false teachers: men who are only in this business to make a living and to seek profit, persons who are paid to do their job. These men must teach what they are told to teach. They dare not teach the Bible as it reads; it would cost them their jobs. Beloved, you know in your heart that I am telling the truth: money is the bottom line! Can you afford to sacrifice your soul for another mans profit? To lose eternal life because another man is securing his paycheck?
My friend, God wants you to be free. He is speaking to you now through this study. The whole world is in bondage, but do you want to be free? Do you wish to escape the great delusion that has blinded the world? Then please turn away from man-made systems that only exist to glorify themselves. Turn to the Lord with all your heart. (See Jeremiah 29:13.) Make it the business of your life to spend much time in talking with God alone. Find a quiet place where you can reason with Him often. Open your whole life to Him and let Him take control. Develop the habit of communing with Him regardless of your situation. Take the Bible as your only source of instruction. Feed upon it continually and ask the Lord to wash your mind clean from the empty traditions of men and their denominations.
My friend, this is life. This is your life. Eternity is too important for you to treat it lightly. May God set us free from mans systems that we can find the real life and truth of God in Jesus Christ.
(This study was adapted from a tract that Brother David wrote and published for public distribution. You may contact brother David Clayton by writing to: Restoration Ministries, P. O. Box 23, Knockpatrick, Manchester, Jamaica, W. I.)
We are happy to announce that Brother Doug Goslin
has begun publishing a new evangelistic paper entitled Present
Truth. Present Truth is a monthly, Bible-based study paper sent
out to non-Adventists to whom the presentation of present truth
is vital at this time. Brother Goslin is currently sending the
paper out to several contacts from the Promise Keepers
meetings. This paper will help fulfill the need for a
well-written and tastefully-presented periodical that presents
the basic truths of the three angels messages.
We have been told: God will soon do great things for us if we lie humble and believing at His feet. . . . More than one thousand will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications. (R&H, Nov. 10, 1885)
Brother Goslin is leading out in this new publication with Brother Lynnford Beachy assisting. If you know of anyone you think would be helped by receiving this new paper, please contact Doug Goslin for subscription information. Doug may be contacted at: 13264 Jobes Road, Newark, Ohio 43055; phone number: (614) 763-2242; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smyrna Gospel Ministries will print Present Truth and asks all the brethren to pray that this new publication will be a blessing to many.
Letters to the Editor
We received a copy of your November 1997 Old Paths newsletter from the [New Burnside] 7th day Adventist home church. Wow, what a good newsletter! Could you please put us on your mailing list? Colorado
Please send me 100 Sabbath tracts. My family are all Sunday keepers (Lutheran). I hope and pray these will help them. Thank you for the Third Angels Message #20 - The Seal of the Living God! I am taking it to the care center where my husband is since I cant care for him. He is 90 and Im sure he will like it! He does a lot of reading and studying. Tennessee
I want to thank you so much for sending me the newsletter Old Paths. Its wonderful!! I look forward to receiving it. I read every word of it. Im impressed with some of your [Lynnfords] articles. Texas
Have benefited from your articles on the Holy Spirit. You got me to look at the Trinity. Dont know how close we are on it; but no longer hold the Trinity as truth. Nevada
Peace be unto you. In your latest newsletter you write: The Spirit of Jesus is the Mind of Jesus. In this article you are trying to define the Holy Spirit. Be careful, be very careful. Page 52 AA is so clear. Even if I do not believe in the trinity I cannot follow you into these speculations, you are entering an area where you leave your mission. If the Spirit of Jesus is the mind of Jesus, this means that His mind is divided or that He works in Heaven today without a mind - this is spiritualism, it is in my simple way of saying it. It is nonsense. Come to your senses, your calling has been to get the trinity doctrine out of the remnant peoples preaching, fine, then move in lines and let the Spirit of God work His work among us. God bless you. Looking forward to your answer. Denmark
(Editors note: Brother Beachy is preparing a follow up study which will address these and other concerns.)
Hope you have a joyful and prosperous new year. The article by Lynnford Beachy The Holy Spirit of God in the latest Old Paths was wonderful. I suggest that you condense it if necessary but hopefully it could be utilized in full and put it in a tract for distribution. Just a thought. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family. Ohio
We want you to know how blessed we have been with two of your [Lynnfords] articles on your new message board - The Love of God and Was Jesus Brought Forth From His Father? We are printing them to share with people here. We were also greatly blessed with your contribution in Old Paths this month on The Holy Spirit of God. Many people locally have commented on it. Your voice is being heard in the wilderness of cyberspace, as well as through the printed page. The Lord is using the work you are doing for His glory. We praise His name! North Carolina
(Editors note: Brother Beachy is currently managing an Internet posting board for Bible studies. We hope to expand this project soon. The posting board address is: http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb29481.)
Warm greetings unto you from Quebec. I pray this letter finds you well and happy. Prayerful thanksgiving for your kind letter of November 30 and for sending me some materials. Your papers have been a real blessing to my heart. I found your materials inspirational and enlightening. Im interested to receive a free copy of your book Shelter in the Storm. I request also to be on your mailing list to receive a subscription for 1998 to the Old Paths publication. Once again, prayerful thanksgiving for your labor of faith and love for giving and sharing with the scattered brethren. Quebec
Thank you so much for the first issue of Present Truth. My kindest regards to Doug Goslin. Doug, by the grace of God may you continue this publication. It is well-written, well-thought out, and timely. I will be looking forward to future issues. Montana
Allen, I received a phone call from a gentleman in Barbados. For some reason, he thought that he could get your book The Foundation of Our Faith from us and was calling to request it. I told him I would be happy to send you his name and address so that you could send one off to him. [He] has a very active ministry going on. He is sending me some samples of the literature he sends out. We had a pleasant discussion on the phone. It is so thrilling to visit with brethren from all over the world and listen to how the Lord is bringing a group into unity. Wonderful things are happening! Minnesota
Florida Camp Meeting: There is a camp meeting scheduled for March 26-29 at the Ocala National Forest, River Forest campground. The campground is located near the St. Johns River on Rt. 542 about ¼ mile west of Crows Bluff off of Rt. 42.
Check in time will begin at noon, Thursday the 26th. All campsites will need to be cleared by 10:00 A.M. Monday morning. The camping fee will be $25 per family. The campground has showers and bathrooms. Trailers may be brought but there will be no hook up facilities. All R.V.s must be self-contained. Do not forget your tents, bedding, flashlight, food, toiletries, modest clothes, special music, etc.
We wish to encourage all the believers in the southeast to attend. For further information you may contact either Brother Goslin at (614) 763-2242, or Sister Peggy Nemeth at (352) 821-1681. rrr
Obituary: On January 7, 1998 Brother Doug Zoppo of Del Rio, Tennessee was killed in a traffic accident. Doug was thirty-two years old. He leaves behind his wife Teresa and Teresas sons Jeremy and Brandon.
Doug made the best choice a person could possibly make. He had confessed his sins to God and accepted Christs sacrifice for his sins. Gods word assures us that when Christ comes the second time to gather His people, Doug will be awakened from his sleep with the rest of the righteous dead; and, with the righteous living meet Christ in the air.
During Dougs time with us, he and his family had many an opportunity to personally think about their walk with Christ. This man had made it known to me and others that his house was set in order. In other words, he was prepared daily to meet the Lord. He was at peace with God.
Those who wish to send messages of sympathy and/or financial help to the family may write Teresa Zoppo at: 800 Johns Creek Road, Del Rio, TN 37727. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27) rrr
News from Cincinnati: The church at Cincinnati is following up on the Washington, D.C. meetings, and taking leftover fliers and leaving many at local churches. We are getting several responses, good and bad, with most people having the fear of the Jews. So continue to pray for us and let us know whats going on there. I like the idea of response cards and so does the church. I would love to see something similar to the Christmas ones for all year round and if you could get us a list of newsletters and materials available from you it would be a blessing to us here. May God bless you richly, Bruce Hablutzel. rrr
(We are working on a list of present truth materials currently available. Editors)
New Internet Web Sites: We are pleased to let the readers of Old Paths know of two recently new web sites that are being published by a pair of young Christian brothers. Adam and Daniel Lewellen have each published Bible studies on the Internet that are very interesting and informative. Daniels URL is: http://www.angelfire.com/tn/drl. Adams URL is: http://www.angelfire.com/tn/onelord. Also check out Brother Beachys Bible study posting board at: http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb29481. rrr
Update on Jamaican Meetings: Just before going to press we received this e-mail from Brother David Clayton concerning the evangelistic tent meetings currently being held.
Greetings in the name of our Father and His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus.
The meetings have been a blessing. Each night the attendance has improved a little and most importantly, the folk who attend have been listening closely. The past two nights I spoke about the Sabbath and the law of God and I was blessed in these presentations. I think that those who attended should have a very good understanding of the truth that Gods law stands forever, and that Christians are still required to keep the Sabbath holy. One young man asked to speak with me after the meeting on Wednesday night. He said, Sir, for the first time in my life I am convinced that the Seventh-day Sabbath should be kept holy. He went on to tell me a little about himself, then he ended by saying, I think I want to worship with you folks. Needless to say, I was thrilled. We knelt together and prayed and he promised to return to the meetings every night However, he did not come the following night (which was last night) and I am wondering what could have happened to him. I am going to try to find him if I dont see him on Sunday night. Please pray for him. His name is Christopher Gayle.
There are also two other young men who have attended every night and shown deep interest. I request your prayers on their behalf as well. One is Garth, and the other is Clevie. Another young man who is apparently a member of a Pentecostal church has attended several nights. Last night when I spoke on the subject Has Gods Law Been Abolished? he paid close attention and looked up every text in his Bible. At the end of the meeting he spoke to one of the sisters and said in a thoughtful way. You know, I dont like the way how Seventh-day Adventists worship. It seems that he is struggling with the realization that the truth is pushing him in a certain direction, even though he may not like that direction! I am praying for him as well.
Nevertheless, Allen, it has been a great blessing so far. The support of the brethren has been overwhelming. It seems they are willing to make whatever sacrifices may be required. Sister Smith has even come all the way from Montego Bay to spend a few days so that she can help with the visiting.
One night a Rastafarian young man came to the gate and gathered a crowd around him. He proclaimed on the top of his voice that we were antichrist and Babylon and deceivers of the people as well as many other things. However, I had a talk with him and challenged him to come inside and to ask any questions about our message which he thought was false. Well, he promised to come and he came on the night when I was preaching on the subject of the Sabbath. He had not a word of objection, but shook his calabash rattle from time to time in approval, his way of saying amen. I will write again and give you another update, hopefully, soon. rrr
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) 732-8609. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: email@example.com.
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The page was last updated on Friday, January 18, 2013