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. 10, No. 1 Straight and Narrow January 2001
by Lynnford Beachy
Old Paths is now entering its tenth year of publication. For this we are thankful. However, it is published primarily with the focus of the Adventist community in mind. To help share the three angels’ messages with non-Adventists, we began to publish the monthly study-paper Present Truth three years ago. Present Truth was designed to be sent to anyone regardless of their background: Christians, and even non-Christians from all walks of life.
When we began publishing Present Truth in January 1998 we only had a small mailing list, but it has rapidly increased in size, now going to most of the fifty states in the United States and to many countries. We have also made tracts and books available that can be given to people from all denominations and backgrounds. On the back of each of these tracts we make an offer for a free book about last day events (America in Prophecy, another title for The Great Controversy) and free Bible studies. Whenever someone contacts us to receive this literature we add them to the mailing list to receive Present Truth each month.
Even though Present Truth has been designed to be sent mainly to non-Adventists, there are several Adventists who have requested to be added to this mailing list as well. In this publication we have presented articles that cover vital issues such as salvation, obedience to God’s law, the state of the dead, the fate of the wicked, the truth about God, the death of Christ, the Sabbath, Christian growth, and many others. We have endeavored to have at least one article each month dealing with salvation and Christian growth so that everyone will be able to gain something from each issue. At the same time we have been sharing deep spiritual food for those who are hungering and thirsting to know God’s will for their lives.
Smyrna Gospel Ministries also has a web site dedicated to Present Truth. The current issue, and all back issues, can be found at http://www.presenttruth.info. All of the non-Adventist literature we print is also available at this web site. Please keep this in mind the next time you share your faith with a non-Adventist.
Within the last three years we have received some very encouraging letters concerning the work of Present Truth and the non-Adventist literature we have been publishing. I think you would be encouraged by these letters so I am including some of them for you here.
I have read with much interest your two most recent issues of Plain [Present] Truth. It is a subject some of my friends and I have discussed at length in Bible studies over the past year. I was wondering if I might be able to make copies to distribute to them. Iowa
like these back issues on these titles of Present Truth. I really enjoyed
reading them and sharing these articles with my family and friends because Present
Truth is straight forward. Here are the titles of the back issues I would
like to have. —What the Bible says About Hell—The Reward of the Wicked—The
Plan of Redemption—The Truth About God—How Many Gods are There?—The
Importance of Knowing the Truth About God—Righteousness by Faith.
I have read a copy of the Present Truth and am very impressed with this message on the Trinity. Please place me on the mailing list for your magazine as soon as possible. I wonder if I could receive the back issues for 1999. Thank you. Canada
I’m a reader of your Present Truth mail letter. I really enjoy the work of God from the States. Once again, well done and keep it up in the Lord’s work. God bless all of you. West Malaysia
I wanted to thank you for the letters that I have received the past year. I know if it wasn’t for a friend that had these sent to me I wouldn’t have the blessings that I get from reading them all… The last letter about Creation or Evolution was very interesting… Here’s a check for helping to get the letters out to people. Ohio
I would like to copy and pass around your August 1999 issue of Present Truth called “A Time to Choose.” …I love Present Truth. Tennessee
I have been enjoying your Present Truths. They sure are a blessing and insight for my walk with the Lord. I recently saw two studies offered that I’m interested in and wondered if you could make them available to me. They are: “The Reward of the Wicked,” and “What the Bible says about Hell.” May God bless you in the work He has set before you! Thank you again! North Dakota
Please send me a copy of the book Steps to Christ. I really enjoy reading Present Truth. I just want to thank you for the wonderful issues of Present Truth. Missouri
I would like to know what denomination your publication is associated with. I am a United Methodist and do not always agree with everything you write, but always enjoy reading Present Truth each month and look forward to getting it. Keep up the good work and may GOD bless you. Alabama
I received your address from a friend and I would very much like to be on your mailing list for your newsletter Present Truth. Oklahoma
I prepared on my new computer my first number of Present Truth about 144,000… I read your papers regularly and I can see that up to now all your teachings are in accordance with my opinion. It’s great! I’ll translate some of your articles and I’ll print it in my paper. So you can see there are two Present Truth; one in USA and one in Poland… I have another request; can you send to me some your materials and papers with your teachings, especially about Trinity. I have friends in many countries and I can send it to them. Poland
I would like the monthly publication Present Truth. Australia
We are very thankful to you for sending us some literature… When we received this we were shocked with joy because we don’t know about you and the Smyrna Gospel Ministries till when we received the parcel, but now we are very happy. God gave a good and new brother and new path to share about the eternal kingdom. In future, if possible kindly send me the monthly issues of Present Truth and some useful literatures to prepare and stand for everlasting life. Really we are very thankful to you and for the literature. We are praying for your ministry by literature work. Kindly remember us in your prayers. May God bless you everywhere. India
Last year one brother has receive from you one package with a lot of material about trinity. It seems to me very interesting and I’d like to know if it’s possible more about this issue. If it is possible please send me more material on this topic of trinity. I can not pay it because the life condition are terrible in our country. Thank you very much for your understanding. Romania
I happened to come across a certain pamphlet on the subject of Trinity and I felt some urge to read it. Could you please send me some of those booklets and many more on the same subject… Please do find me a lot on Trinity. Zimbabwe
I have now read your attachment on the Arian controversy and enjoyed it. I am familiar with this, but liked your presentation and coverage of it. If you do not mind I have saved it for some future moment when it may help someone else. I have also taken a brief look at your web page and read most of your most recent newsletter. I would like to receive your Present Truth.… I am happy to see that your printed work has reached others around the earth.… The God of our Lord Jesus the Nazarene bless you. California
The April 2000 edition of Present Truth has some real gems on the subject of salvation. Sad to say, I thought I knew all about it, yet glad to say, the truth is much richer and deeper than whatever I thought I knew. To consider the fullness of it is completely overwhelming, and for anyone so hard-hearted, that is saying quite a lot. Texas
I am glad to write you this letter to inform you that [we received] your book called ‘Shelter in the Storm’ and tracts, which I and my Ministry read. And beloved man of God called _____ gave us freely. Then we went back to him to collect more books and tracts. He told us that it has finished. Then, we request you to send us many copies of your books and tracts. We are in great need of them. Help us in this great task. Since we have been looking for a way to get this life changing Words of God, but God has directed us through your books. We are waiting from you. May God richly bless you all. Nigeria
Friends sent me one of your leaflets, “The Importance of Knowing the Truth About God.” I am surely impressed with your diagram on page 10; so much so, that I am asking for permission to reproduce it for use in our ministry. A copy is enclosed so you will know exactly what portion I am speaking of. We enclose a donation for your ministries. Thank you. Texas
Greetings of love in Christ. A friend I learned to know recently shared with me your publication, Present Truth. I feel I have profited from this paper and wish to receive it here. Tennessee
really convinced of your step to present truth to readers world-wide. Keep up.
The Present Truth is so rich that I feel my students should be able to
have their personal copies. Can we have up to 25 copies every issue? It is very
educative in matters of spiritual truth.
I also find your tracts very useful, that I am forced to translate “One Hundred Bible Facts on the Sabbath” to “Efik” language. This language is read by more than seven million people in Nigeria. I felt that it is self explanatory and as such should be made to reach every home in their own language. Pray the mighty God to provide me with necessary funds to carry this aspect of the three angels’ messages to the people of Nigeria. Nigeria
Would you please add me to your mailing list for Present Truth. I’ve enjoyed reading the copies my neighbor has shared with me, but often find myself wanting to go back and read again something over, but don’t have the paper. A friend shared her copy of May 2000 and it was wonderful. Please send me one. God bless you. Thank you. Tennessee
I am interested in attending the above mentioned camp meeting (West Virginia). I have been receiving Present Truth for the last one year and have been enjoying New Revelation on the present truth. Kenya
This is to
inform you that my ministry is very great in need of gospel materials. After I
have attended one crusade which _____ held at _____ many people attended and
many people accepted Christ; and there he distributed tracts and books and I
could be able to read some which interested me like “A Time to Choose,”
“The Law of God,” and “The Character of God.” Those materials are very
good and educative even “The Shelter in the Storm” which have been helping
me in my family even the entire members in my ministry.
Due to how people are requesting it from me, I went to _____ for more and he said that no more in his hand and therefore I decided to write you directly. Therefore I am appealing to you to send us many copies of your materials. Such as tracts, books, and Bibles for the use within my family, ministry and outreach. Help us in this great task. Nigeria
Thank you so much for helping us to understand the truth concerning our Father in heaven and His only begotten Son and how the trinity doctrine is so destructive to understanding His amazing love toward sinful humanity. Minnesota
I accidentally got your web site and am thrilled with the contents of the truths you wrote. Please send me the Newsletters on a regular basis. If it is possible would you please send me some of the back issues. Canada
I want to thank you for sending me all those books and pamphlets. They really enlighten me in finding the truth.… I really appreciate all your Present Truth. Hopefully, if I ever get out of prison I look forward to visiting Smyrna Gospel Ministries to worship and fellowship with the Lord and the true believers. But until then I will pass along the Present Truth to other inmates in here and win as many souls for the Lord as I can. Ohio
While in my quest for knowledge I happened across a pamphlet you printed. If you would please send me your free book on last day events and start me in your Bible studies. Any other book that you feel would help me along the way would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. California
I just received today your letter of September and in a couple of hours I read it without stopping. I feel like saying that somehow these letters from different saints from all over the world are stronger than the studies. Not really stronger but encouraging me and those who read them. They are like living reports which brings hope of victory to my life and tells me that I am not alone. There are also another 7000 which did not yield before Baal.… I read your letters so fast sometimes I read them again like a Bible study. Finland
Twice now I have received messages from you. But I have been quiet for a reason which I can’t express to you now. Thank you very much and now I am studying the message. Only keep on sending me more books and messages, Ecclesiastes 11:1-4. My kind request is can you visit me in Uganda? The Lord bless you as you think about the issue. I work in hardship but I know that the Lord has many messengers like you and the rest there. Please aid us to take the present truth to those souls which are in need. Uganda
My name is _____. I’m an inmate at _____. Another inmate has just recently let me borrow a couple of your Present Truth newsletters. I just read the July 2000 issue and it has a list of back issues. If it is possible could you send me all the back issues and current issues. He also told me to ask for the pamphlets on Hell, God, Satan’s lies, etc., “A Time to Choose,” the mini books “America in Prophecy” and “Shelter in the Storm” by E.G. White. Thank you very much for your time. Ohio
Would you please take me off your mailing list? I've been receiving your monthly publication and I've found some problems with what is written in them. I don't mean for you to take this as an offense against you or your beliefs. Please forgive me if it seems that way. California
While broadening my thirst for knowledge I came across the book “America in Prophecy.” Very impressing—quite interesting. To my disappointment I had to return it unfinished. Could you please send it to me, and any other book that E. G. White has written. Thank you and God bless. New Jersey
Hello! I am writing because I am interested in getting the Present Truth monthly newsletter. Brother ____ has been sharing a lot of materials from you that’s all in the Bible. My eyes have been opened about the trinity doctrine and the truth Sabbath which is Saturday. Could you please send me some pamphlets of various subjects and the “America in Prophecy” book, and your Bible studies on last day events. Thank you for sharing the truth. Ohio
In the last [few] days I have printed out many of your Newsletters and some books from the Home page. They help me to understand better the truth about God and to prepare a material in Hungarian. Hungary
This is a sample of some of the mail we have been receiving as a result of the work of Present Truth around the world.
We wanted to let you know about the existence and work of Present Truth so that you may be able to utilize this tool when witnessing to others. If you know anyone who you think would be blessed by receiving this publication, please send us their address and we will add them to the mailing list. Just like Old Paths, we send Present Truth out at no charge. It is sent free upon request. Also if you would like back issues for sharing or reading yourself, just contact us with your request.
Whatever your background, please join us in praying for the work of Present Truth and the spread of God’s truth around the world. There are still many, many souls who need to be reached with God’s last message to the world—a revelation of God’s character of love. Every person you pass by is a candidate for heaven. God’s word tell us that each person must be reached with this message in the future, and perhaps under the most unfriendly circumstances. Please keep this in mind as you go through your daily lives.
May the Lord bless His work by raising up more workers in the vineyard.
Speech is one of the great gifts of God. It is the means by which the thoughts of the heart are communicated. It is with the tongue that we offer prayer and praise to God. With the tongue we convince and persuade. With the tongue we comfort and bless, soothing the bruised, wounded soul. With the tongue we may make known the wonders of the grace of God. With the tongue we may also utter perverse things, speaking words which sting like an adder.
The tongue is a little member, but the words it frames have great power. The Lord declares, “The tongue can no man tame.” It has set nation against nation, and has caused battle and bloodshed. Words have kindled fires that have been hard to quench. They have also brought joy and gladness to many hearts. And when words are spoken because God says, “Speak unto them my words,” they often cause sorrow unto repentance.
Of the unsanctified tongue the apostle James writes: “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” Satan puts into the mind thoughts that the Christian should never utter. The scornful retort, the bitter, passionate utterance, the cruel, suspicious charge, are from him. How many words are spoken that do only harm to those who speak and those who hear! Hard words beat upon the heart, awaking to life its worst passions. Those who do evil with their tongues, who sow discord by selfish, jealous words, grieve the Holy Spirit; for they are working at cross purposes with God. They are working on lines marked out by the enemy of all good.
The inspired apostle, seeing the inclination to abuse the gift of speech, gives directions concerning its use. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,” he says, “but that which is good to the use of edifying.” The word “corrupt” means here any word that would make an impression detrimental to holy principles and undefiled religion, any communication that would obscure the view of Christ, and blot from the mind true sympathy and love. It includes impure hints, which, unless instantly resisted, lead to great sin. Upon every one is laid the work of barring the way against corrupt speech.
It is God’s purpose that the glory of Christ shall appear in his children. In all his teaching, Christ presented pure principles. He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Constantly there flowed from his lips holy, ennobling truths. He spoke as never man spoke, with a pathos that touched the heart. He was filled with holy wrath as he saw the Jewish leaders teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, and he spoke to them with the authority of greatness. With terrible power he denounced all artful intrigue, all dishonest practices. He cleansed the temple from its pollution, as he desires to cleanse our hearts from everything bearing any resemblance to fraud. The truth never languished on his lips. With fearlessness he exposed the hypocrisy of priest and ruler, Pharisee and Sadducee. He entered into conversation with high and low, learned and unlearned. He encountered malice, misrepresentation, opposition, and falsehood, yet his whole life was without a flaw. He could say to his enemies, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?”
Guard well the talent of speech; for it is a mighty power for evil as well as for good. You can not be too careful of what you say; for the words you utter show what power is controlling the heart. If Christ rules there, your words will reveal the purity, beauty, and fragrance of a character molded and fashioned by his will. But if you are under the guidance of the enemy of all good, your words will echo his sentiments.
The great responsibility bound up in the use of the gift of speech is plainly made known by the word of God. “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned,” Christ declared. And the psalmist asks: “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” The wild beast of the forest may be tamed; “but the tongue can no man tame.” Only through Christ can we gain the victory over the desire to speak hasty, unchristlike words. When, in his strength, we refuse to give utterance to Satan’s suggestions, the plant of bitterness in our hearts withers and dies. The Holy Spirit can make the tongue a savor of life unto life. (Mrs. E. G. White – The Youth’s Instructor, July 26, 1900)
The God of the Bible
By David Clayton
This Bible study deals with a very touchy subject. Most people are very sure about what they believe, even though there are many conflicting beliefs about God. Some of these beliefs have been around for hundreds of years and have become widely accepted. All these beliefs cannot be correct. Yet people are often very unwilling to listen to anything which goes against the traditions which they have received from their churches, or from their ancestors.
This study is not dealing with tradition or custom. It is simply dealing with the plain and simple truth of the Bible. If you will carefully read the verses quoted in this study you will see that it is telling the truth, and you may be surprised to see how many false ideas there are, even among Christians.
Some say, “God is a Trinity.” This is a very popular belief which is held very strongly by many people and some think it is blasphemy to teach anything else.
What is the Trinity?
All of these beliefs are sometimes referred to as the Trinity, or the Triune God. These ideas are very interesting and they have been around for hundreds of years, yet they are not true!
Does the Bible say that God is a Trinity?
There is not one single verse in the Bible which says that God is a Trinity. The Bible speaks of God and of His Son Jesus, and of God’s Spirit, which is His invisible presence. But it does not say these are a Trinity.
Who is God?
This is an extremely important question because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, told us that those who worship God should worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24). If we do not worship God in truth can we be saved? The Scripture says that those who believe a lie will be damned. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
The Bible tells us who God is:
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. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
God is the Father. It is He who is the greatest Being in the universe. (Please see also 1 Corinthians 11:3; John 17:3; Ephesians 4:6; and Mark 12:29-34.)
Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
Was Jesus Christ created by God?
No. He was not created. He was begotten of God.
... God sent his only begotten Son into the world ... (1 John 4:9)
Does the Bible tell us when Christ was begotten?
Christ was begotten by God before the universe was created. The book of Proverbs tells us of this and of the relationship which He enjoyed with God in the days before the world was made. Though He is referred to as “wisdom,” yet it is plain that the passage is speaking of the Son of God. We should note that in 1 Corinthians 1:24 Christ is called, “the wisdom of God.”
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth ... Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth ... When he prepared the heavens, I was there ... when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. (Proverbs 8:22-31)
Jesus Himself tells us that He was the begotten Son of God. He says,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son... (John 3:16).
Why is Jesus sometimes called God?
Because He has the same nature as God. He was born from God so He is God by nature, but He is not the One who is the supreme Being in the universe. There is One who is greater than He. This is the One the Bible is talking about when it says that there is only one God.
How many Beings are there who have the divine nature, or the nature of God?
According to the Bible there are two Beings who have this nature. They are God, and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. (John 1:1)
Who created the world?
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
It is God the Father who created all things. He is the originator and the source of all things.
Why then does the Bible say that Jesus is the Creator?
Because God created all things by Jesus Christ and gave him power over all things.
...God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:9)
God, ... Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, ... by whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
But doesn’t the Bible say that God and Christ are one?
Yes. But in the same way it says that Christians should be one. Christians do not become one human. Neither do the Father and His Son become one God. It simply means that They are in unity as we are to be in unity.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one … . (John 17:21-23)
What is wrong with the Trinity doctrine?
It teaches that Christ is another God like the Father, equal in power and authority, and that He was not actually the real begotten Son of God. If we do not believe that Jesus was the actual Son of God, then how can we appreciate how much God loved us in giving Christ to die for us?
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9)
Can God the Father die?
No. This is impossible. He cannot die under any circumstances. He cannot be made into a mortal being.
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16)
Could Jesus Christ, the Son of God die?
Christ could be made mortal so that He could die. He became a man and did truly die to save us from our sins. This was not pretense. This was reality.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
God cannot die and if Jesus was God Himself, then it cannot be true that He really died for our sins.
Does God have a spirit?
Yes. God’s spirit is His personality or His mind which is present in every place. God’s bodily presence sits on a throne in heaven, but His mind or spirit is everywhere.
... Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24)
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? (Psalm 139:7)
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Matthew 10:20)
Does man have a spirit?
Yes. The Bible says that man has a spirit. When a man dies the body perishes, but the spirit returns to God and remains in an unconscious state until the resurrection when God will give it a new body.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
Is there a similarity between God’s Spirit and man’s spirit?
Yes, the Apostle Paul writes, paralleling man and his spirit and God and His spirit.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)
Whom do the beings in heaven worship?
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:10-11)
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9-10)
Why is it that the Holy Spirit is never worshipped anywhere in the Bible?
Because the Holy Spirit is the presence of the Father and the Son; not another third being. (John 14:19-23; John 17:21,23; 1 John 1:3). The Father and His Son ought to be worshipped but if men worship the Holy Spirit they would worship a god who does not exist.
And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:13)
What must we know if we would like to have eternal life?
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3) ?
(Pastor David Clayton, of Restoration Ministries, writes from Jamaica. You may contact him at: P. O. Box 23, Knockpatrick, Manchester, Jamaica, West Indies. Telephone: (876) 904-7392; e-mail: email@example.com.)
The Kingdom of Christ
By E. J. Waggoner
When Christ was before Pilate, he said, “My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36. Christ did not refrain from fighting because his following was too small to cope with the Roman Government, because each one of his loyal disciples, together with himself, could have had a legion of angels at his back. Matt. 26:53. But his kingdom was not of this world, and could not use earthly power. The using of force would have been his ruin, for he himself said, “They that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
There was a time when the disciples and all the people were going to take Jesus by force to make him king, and if he had consented, the whole Jewish nation would have flocked to his standard; but he would not listen to the proposition. Surely if the kingdom of Christ could be advanced by civil power, then was the time to make use of it. The fact that Christ would have nothing to do with it, shows what he expects of his followers. By allowing himself to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men, and suffering the cruel death of the cross, Christ showed how only his kingdom can be gained and advanced. Because of the suffering of death, he was crowned with glory and honor. Let none of the professed servants of Christ think to gain the kingdom in a different manner. To make such an attempt is to deny Christ and to make his sufferings of no account.
Men have nothing to do with giving Christ his kingdom. All they are called upon to do is to yield themselves to the Holy Spirit, that they may be fashioned into fit subjects for the kingdom which the Lord God will give unto him. True, “the government shall be upon his shoulders,” but it is the “the zeal of the Lord of hosts” that is to give it to him. Isa. 9:6, 7. The Father hath sworn to give unto him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession (Ps. 2:7, 8); but when he receives them it is that he may dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. But he will do it in person, and not by deputy.
Christ himself showed how and when he was to receive his kingdom. He spoke a parable for the benefit of those who thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He likened himself to a nobleman who “went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom,” etc. Luke 19:11-27. Christ has now gone to that far country to receive the kingdom. The receiving of it is described in Dan. 7:13, 14. When he comes the second time, he will come in his kingdom. Then he will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance upon them that know not God. 2 Thess. 1:7-9. Then will those that would not have him to rule over them be slain before him,—“punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” And when he shall have destroyed all the wicked, “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matt. 13:43. “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Christ is now sitting upon his Father’s throne (Rev. 3:21), reigning as a priest, and devising peace for his people (Zech. 6:12, 13). He is the “one Mediator between God and men.” 1 Tim. 2:5. He is Mediator between God and men, not between God and nations. Moreover, his authority as Mediator is not that of compulsion, but that of love and entreaty. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev. 3:20.
Christ’s ministers are ambassadors, not judges nor officers in earthly kingdoms. The ambassador who should presume to interfere in the affairs of the country to which he is sent, or who should even express his opinion about the politics of that country, would at once lose his position. Christ’s ministers are sent as ambassadors to the whole world. They are to know nothing of nations as nations, but only to deal with individuals. Whether those individuals be in a palace or a hovel, makes no difference. Princes and peasants are all the same to them, so far as their mission is concerned, only they acknowledge constituted authority wherever they are. Of the affairs of nations, they have no opinion to express, for they are not sent to judge the world, but to save the world.
The sum of the whole matter, therefore, is that, while Christ is supreme over everybody and everything, he is to be left to exercise his supremacy in his own way and time. No men, not even his own followers, are to presume to exercise authority in his stead. He is indeed “the Prince of the kings of the earth,” but no man or body of men is authorized to be his deputy in exercising dominion. Only divinity can exercise divine power. Christ himself uses no force, neither over men as individuals, nor over nations, and therefore none of his followers can do so. He judges no man now, although all judgment has been committed to him, because there is a day appointed when all shall stand before his judgment seat. Therefore his followers are to “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come.” Until that time they are to be content to be in this world even as he was,—despised and rejected, pilgrims and strangers. (E. J. Waggoner—Signs of the Times, April 18, 1895)
Digital Video Project Update
Last month we reported that with the Lord’s help, we were able to acquire some digital video equipment and were beginning production on a series of messages entitled: “The Good News About God.” This series is designed to cover the basic issues concerning the truth about God and its relationship to the gospel. These messages will be presented by David Clayton, Lynnford Beachy, and Allen Stump.
The series will be produced in two different formats; one for Seventh-day Adventists, and another designed just for non-Adventists. The non-Adventist series will not include the last four titles in the following list, or use Spirit of Prophecy writings to clarify the truth.
We thank and praise our heavenly Father for providing this equipment to help us find another avenue with which to reach souls with the gospel presentation!
A current list of the titles we are planning for the series: “The Good News About God” are:
The message, “Who is the God of the Bible?” is now finished and available for distribution. We hope to have the message, “The Love of God” ready by next month and the rest of the titles to follow in quick succession.
The digital format allows production with quality that is at least 25% clearer than Super VHS. The digital editing provides us with the ability to superimpose captions, Bible texts, and Ellen White quotations on the screen while the minister is speaking. Multiple sound tracts, and video layering with “pip” (picture in picture) effects are just some of the advantages of being able to digitally edit.
Our goal has been to enhance the presentation without overdoing the effects to the point where they are dwelt upon and the message becomes secondary.
While these messages have been produced primarily for the video tape format, there will be audio cassettes available as well.
We are also exploring the possibility of making these messages available in audio CD format and a video version on CD–ROM for computer usage. In addition to this, we are considering the possibility of making these messages available in DVD format as well. Your feedback concerning this would be greatly appreciated.
You may request a copy of the new tape, “Who is the God of the Bible?” by phone, fax, e-mail, or postal mail. The tape is sent free upon request. For those who are able and wish to help with the expenses, the cost of video tape production and postage is $7.00 U.S.—$10.00 outside the U.S. The cost of audio production and postage is $2.00 U.S. —$4.00 outside the U.S.
(Each week we receive several letters. While some of the letters are negative in nature, the majority are encouraging. Most months we run short on space in this publication and therefore do not publish letters. However, I believe that it has been too long since we published a cross section of letters and space must be made in this issue. The blessings that others are receiving should be shared. I know that we here at Smyrna Gospel Ministries are blessed by the letters that come in and I believe that you will be blessed too as well as you read of others’ experiences. Editor)
My wife and I have been enjoying reading Old Paths for several months now. Thank you for sending it to us. We have to say that we agree with your religious views, especially regarding the Trinity and other matters. The articles written in “Old Paths” are remarkable for their theological truth and accuracy. I especially appreciated the issue dealing with the General Conference session in Toronto and your efforts to spread the truth to believers from around the world. At this time we would like to make a small donation to your ministry. May the Lord guide and bless you. CA
I have been reading your articles in the “Old Paths” and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Please add me to the list to receive the Old Paths. FL
Wish I had more time to write. Your newsletters are such a blessing. Really liked your tribute to the Stringfellows and message to Vance Farrell. Does he ever respond? Thank you for the spirit-filled articles. SD
I appreciate very much your publication and all the work you do there at Smyrna. May God continue to bless you in abundance. I’m looking forward to the next camp meeting. CO
This [letter] constitutes a disagreement with the theology of Beachy, Stump and Clayton in their latest Old Paths, as presented by David Clayton. The first page of the article which is entitled, WHICH GOD? Follows. … Internet
I wish to order the 18 West Virginia camp meeting audio cassettes as listed on p. 11, September Old Paths at $2.00 each. Enclosed find a check for $50.00 to cover the cost of $36 plus mailing and handling. The testimonies in your two journals this month were such a blessing—read them twice. May God continue to bless your labors for Him. NC
Please accept the enclosed gift as tithe for your work and ministry and continue to pray that all things are well with you, the family and staff. Thank you again for your most interesting publications. I do enjoy and appreciate it very much. PA
I would very much appreciate being placed on your subscription list for your newsletters. Wishing you God's blessings. Internet
Greetings in the blessed name of our Heavenly Father and His only Begotten Son. I pray that this letter finds you all doing well by His grace. I’m very sorry that I was not able to make it to any of the camp meetings this past year to see some “old” faces and meet new ones. But by God’s grace I’ve already been planning to attend the camp meeting in Arizona and possibly in Washington state if there are plans to have one in that area again. If the Lord grants, I hope to see some of you there. Thank you again so much for your continued service in the Lord’s work. May He abundantly bless you above all that you may ask or think. It sounds like He has a little bit already with the purchase of the digital video equipment. Praise God for that. I will continue to look forward to your newsletters put out for God’s glory for as long as it is possible. May the Lord continue to add His blessing that our hearts might be prepared to meet Him when He comes in the clouds of glory. Please send the video presentation by Brother Dana Uhl titled “A Song of Hope and Trust.” Please use the little bit of extra to cover the cost of a tape for someone who may want to, but cannot afford it at this time. CO
I’m still receiving Old Paths and am ever learning. God is so blessing your ministry. I’ve witnessed to two ladies that will benefit greatly by receiving a copy of Old Paths, so I am asking please send them each copies. FL
Thank you for taking the time to send me the issues of Old Paths publications. It is a tremendous blessing to me. I look forward to receiving each issue. I would like to order the following audio cassette tapes from the West Virginia camp meeting. OH
I’m glad and happy you sent me this new magazine Old Paths. I ask you kindly send it to me every month and if possible the other old numbers of this year like the Berean Attitude. Time is very short, and we need strong food [such ] as this to keep us aware and up, not asleep. Finland
I’m writing in regards to Old Paths. I received Jan. to July. Since then no copies. I hope my name was not taken off the monthly publication. I have learned so much more than I knew with my walk through faith. CA
I received my Old Paths today and part of the back page was gone. I like Ben Vela messages very much, so was wondering if you would send me another page 12. Our mail service here is really rough. I’m so glad you are going to do a set of videos. That is wonderful. I would like to have them. Would you please send me “A Song of Hope & Trust” by Dana Uhl. AR
We just want to let you know that we truly appreciate the Old Paths and tracts that you’ve sent us. Since we are not giving our tithe to organized SDA church, we decided to give to the efforts of Smyrna Ministries. OR
Thank you for sending me such a God-inspired publication. I’ve been in the Godhead message for about 6 years and in Adventism for over 20. The Lord is really working through your little paper. I so much enjoyed this last article by David Clayton concerning the judgment (July 2000). I’ve never in my 40 years ever heard it explained with such clarity and deep searching meaning. May God continue to bless this work until it grows into the Loud Cry and the Latter Rain. TN
Here is the money for the tapes we requested, also for tithes. We know how hard all of you work there at the ministry and we appreciate it so much. The monthly newsletters are also appreciated. We have read through the entire latest edition of “Old Paths” and most of “Present Truth.” They are very inspiring. We share them with family and friends. God bless all of you at Smyrna Gospel Ministries, and may He richly increase your ministry with blessings. IL
Thank you very much for the book Foundation of Our Faith. We just received it today so have not had time to read but the Table of Contents gives us a desire to get to it very soon. MI
I would like to receive whatever materials you have related to the interpretation of the Godhead in Ellen G. White and the SDA Church. Internet
Could you please send a copy of the book “Foundation of our Faith”? I’m already on your mailing list. And please send the bill. CA
Concerned Publications Videos
We are thankful to let you know that Concerned Publications’ videos are now available through Smyrna Gospel Ministries. As most of our readers know, Elder Bill Stringfellow, of Concerned Publications, died last year. However, we believe that in fulfillment of Revelation 14:13, the messages of Elder Stringfellow should still be heard. Recently, Bill’s wife Dee donated the master copies of most of Bill’s video- taped messages to us for distribution. We do not have a list of the messages ready for this issue of Old Paths, but, Lord willing, we will make a list of these messages available soon. We would like to extend a special thanks to Dee for entrusting these precious master tapes to us. Even though we do not have a list for publication at this time, if you have any specific message(s) we might have that you are interested in, let us know.
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. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump -
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also visit our Present Truth Website!
This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013