Old Paths

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

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


Vol. 11, No. 11    Straight and Narrow    November 2002


The Heart of God

By David Clayton

Some events have happened in the last few months that have had a negative effect on me. The first thing that happened was, I read an article entitled, “The Agenda of Islam.” It was negative in the sense that it brought home to me the fact that there are millions and millions of people in the world who do not know Christ and, also, millions of these people have an agenda that the knowledge of Christ, as the Son of God, should be obliterated from the world; and this movement, and these people, are growing stronger and stronger.

The second thing that happened was that two of my dear friends in the United States were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was deeply moved over this, and the thing that kept going through my mind over and over was, “What have they seen to convince them to make a move like this.”

The third thing was to receive word from a former believer in Australia that she had “converted” to Islam and was now rejoicing that she had finally found her god!

A fourth thing happened: I visited Dr. Loraine Day’s website and discovered that she has embraced some very strange ideas. One of the things that she has come to believe is that everybody will eventually be saved good, and wicked alike, and she goes into the Greek language to attempt to demonstrate that when it says at the end of time the wicked will be destroyed, it means reborn. They will be reborn.

When God healed Dr. Day of her cancer, I was so impressed at how God was working in her life. Yet, when I see something like this happen, I am challenged. And I believe if you think like me, you might be challenged too. The thought that came to me was, “I am so convinced that this sister was earnestly seeking God, and yet she ended up with some very strange ideas” How does one become so mixed up if they are earnestly seeking God?” Things like this challenge even my Christianity, because I keep saying to myself, “David, how do you know that you’re in the right pathway? Do you believe you have an inside track to God, that you’re closer to Him than other people? Others might go astray, but you are certain that He is guiding you?”

I was troubled and a little shaken, but sometimes it’s good to be in that condition because, as a little child seeks his mother’s bosom, I went to pray and share with God the concerns in my heart. What else could I do? I could go to any of my brethren and talk to them and they would give me their ideas, but trust and faith fundamentally lay in my confidence in God and the fact that I believe in the relationship that I have with Him. I know that when it comes to intellectual wisdom I have great limitations. Sometimes I cannot recollect well. My mind is getting weaker. I am not able to answer many questions as quickly as some children can. I realize that intellectually I am behind, so where do I place my confidence? I believe that my confidence is in my relationship with a Person who knows my limitations, that will not let me go, and I hold to that relationship; that’s my confidence.

In answer to my troubled heart, God showed me some things that have helped me a great deal and I want to share them with you.

God’s Great Desire

In Malachi 1:11 we read a verse that expresses what I would call God’s greatest desire, the hope of His heart, the expectation that God has. The first part of it says, “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles.” This is the promise of Jehovah. It will happen! This is God’s expectation, His dream and His determination. The time will come when the entire planet will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of His name.

Habakkuk 2:14 says, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Numbers 14:21 has a phrase that is meaningful. It says, “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.”

It’s interesting that God not only says that the earth shall be filled with His glory, but He takes an oath to that effect. The Bible says that we should not take oaths. Jesus said, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:37) However, I notice a couple of times in the Bible, God took oaths. One time, in speaking to Abraham, He swore by Himself and now He swears by His existence. He says, “As I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Why does God swear an oath? Why does God, who cannot lie, go to this extent in verifying and reinforcing His Word with an oath, swearing by Himself?

According to Hebrews 6:14, when He swore, it was to show more abundantly the immutability of His counsel. It was to show abundantly the immovability, the unchangeableness of His Word. God says, “I love you,” but He also says, “I swear that as I live, I love you.” He is trying to add weight to what He is saying, and so He swears by Himself and says, “The earth shall be filled with My glory.”

One billion of the world’s population today belongs to the Muslim faith. Another billion are of the Roman Catholic faith. There are several million apostate protestants. The number who follow eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, etc, runs into the billions! Genuine Christianity is a very small minority, but God swears and it shall be fulfilled. I am challenging you: As a child of God, how do you relate to that great goal of our Father’s heart that the earth shall be filled with His glory? This is what we exist for, and so He wants to emphasize how dear this matter is to His heart, and so He swears an oath.

Think about this. The purpose of the entire controversy is that the universe should be restored to affection and loyalty to God, and there is only one way that this can be accomplished. It can only be accomplished by a true appreciation of the true character of the Father.

Many times we reflect about the plan of salvation and we think: “Boy, I might be lost or I might be saved.” But deeper than that, the great underlying issue in the universe, is that God wants to be restored to a relationship of love with us.

In the beginning, when God had fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, I think about it and I wonder what that fellowship was about? What kind of fellowship did they have? I wonder if He would sit on the grass with them, whether He would put His arms around their shoulders, or whether they would just talk in a sort of formal way, or whether they would laugh. What kind of relationship did they have? We are human beings and we need to relate to things in a practical way. What kind of relationship did they have, really? I enjoy sitting with my brethren discussing spiritual things. However, I don’t think God’s relationship with children was one-sided. I don’t think they just discussed spiritual issues, like studying the Bible all day. Though, of course, they didn’t have a Bible. I think there was relaxation. There was fun. I suppose it was like with your children; you will hug them sometimes. I wonder if all of this was involved in the relationship God had with them at the beginning, and then it was lost. Satan cut it off and suspicion replaced love and trust. God’s plan and desire was, and is, to fully restore that love and fellowship with His children. That is what He is after. I hope I can show it to you in such a way that it may move your heart. I don’t want just your heads to be stirred, but your hearts also.

God’s Heart Yearns for His Children

The entire universe once loved the Father. Every single creature recognized His love, goodness, and mercy. Every creature once recognized God as One that was approachable, offering unrestrained fellowship. Think about the lack of restraint of a child in dealing with his parents. Children come and plop down in the parent’s lap. Sometimes you see little babies have their hands pushing down in their mother’s bosom. They are unrestrained. They feel free and uninhibited because there is such a trust relationship between them. They have no hesitation about coming and telling you anything at all, whatever is in their heart or their mind, and they have no restraint in the relationship. Was there such a relationship between the Almighty and His creation in the beginning? Was there a lack of inhibitions in Adam’s and Eve’s dealings with God?

There are a couple of verses in the Bible that suggest to us that God does not want inhibited fellowship with us. In Deuteronomy 5:29 you hear God crying out saying, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” You hear God’s heart crying out in a desire for His children’s sake that it might be well with them. In Matthew 23:37 you hear Jesus saying, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

There are many illustrations that one can use to talk about care, concern, and love, but the illustration about the hen and the chickens is very graphic and illustrative. I once read a story about a forest fire that had swept through a vast area of the United States. It burnt down a lot of trees and, after the fire was over, one of the forest rangers was passing through and he spied the charred body of a bird sitting there burnt to a crisp. He kicked over the body of the charred bird and out from under the body rushed three little chickens. The mother bird refused to move amidst the heat of the fire, as she was being scorched and roasted. She refused to move because the chickens were under her wings. This makes more graphic the statement of Jesus, “As a hen gatherth her chickens under her wings.” This statement speaks of great intimacy. Jesus was careful with His words here. He does not say, “I want to gather you together as a commander gathers his soldiers to the fort,” or “I want to gather the army into the ballast.” It was not a stiff, formal situation. It was a relationship of love that He wanted, and when He couldn’t get it, He cried over the city.

The rebellion of the fallen angel, Lucifer, was founded, and has been founded, upon a smear campaign against God. Satan mislabeled God’s character and misconstrued God’s motives. Satan intruded a wall of doubt and misunderstanding between God and His creation. Satan is called a “liar” and the “father of lies” and we find him at work in Genesis 3 where he deceives Adam and Eve into believing that God cannot be trusted. I am going to suggest to you that the best of us don’t relate to God in the right way because we have some misconceptions of Him.

God’s Plan for Revealing His Heart

1Timothy 6:16 says God dwells “in the light which no man can approach unto.” He is called the “great and terrible God.” (Deuteronomy 10:17) Jehovah is the awe-inspiring, fear-inspiring God! Because of sin, our Father veils Himself so that we are not instantly struck dead. Because of this, we may believe God is a fearsome, mysterious Being who is difficult to approach. Some of these grand images take the pre-eminence in our minds, don’t they? When we think of God we think of great and awesome; the Almighty, and all of that is true, but it must be placed in its proper context. What is important to me is not that my father is the prime minister, is not that my father is the head of the army. What is important to me is how my Father relates to me as His child. I believe that as His professed children, we don’t clearly see the picture of how He wants to relate to us. Many times we still relate to Him as the prime minister, as the great sovereign, as the terrible judge, and we fail to see what He is trying to say to us.

God says that when He looks at us He does not look at the outward appearance, but at the condition of the heart. (See 1Samuel 16:7) I had never thought that I should treat Him the way He treats me. I should look at the heart! God says that is what He does, and I believe that He wants us to do the same. We look too much at the outward appearance, and we see too little into the heart hidden by all this might, power, glory and the veil of invisibility. How does God want to relate to me? What kind of relationship does He want us to have?

The Bible tells us that God has a plan. He has a plan whereby He will open up His heart and show it to us in a way we can never mistake. He told us in Deuteronomy 18:18 that he would send a prophet like Moses, and in the book of Acts we are told that this prophet was Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-3 also brings this out: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

What this means is that God’s plan is to speak to us in a way that we cannot mistake. In the past, God spoke by prophets in trying to make Himself known, but in the last days, He decided to give a demonstration that was far clearer, far better, and far more unmistakable, so He spoke to us by His Son. The meaning of this verse is that in this Son we can find an accurate description of what our Father is like, for the Son is the “express image (carakthr - charakter) of his person.” In other words, Christ has the exact character that God does!

A World of Darkness

From the Desire of Ages we read, “The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; … ” (Desire of Ages, p. 22) The problem of this world today is not poverty! Osama bin Laden and terrorists are not the greatest darkness that this world faces. The greatest problem is a misapprehension of God!

Why is it that our zeal is so little? It is because our love is so little. Our love is so little because our knowledge of Him is so little. To know Him is to love Him, and the greater the knowledge of Him the greater the love. One is proportionate to the other. “His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must arise, ‘with healing in His wings.’ Malachi 4:2.” (Ibid.)

I read an article on Islam that said the Muslims are rapidly spreading their doctrine in non-Islamic countries, including Jamaica. I went to Port Maria to hand out tracts and I met several Muslims and they were very aggressive. The thing that burns me is that the world needs to see one thing only. It brings home more sharply to my mind the horror of these false religions. What the world needed was a revelation of God, and only one Being in the universe could do this. Muhammad couldn’t do it; he couldn’t come close to doing it. Muhammad came and taught a doctrine; Buddha taught a doctrine, but they can’t be compared to Christ. Muhammad and Buddha came and taught doctrines, but Christ came and lived a doctrine!

When the Bible talks about the coming of Christ it says, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Isaiah 9:2) This is no ordinary life. In this life the Father was saying something that can transform the hearts of all men and bring them back to God. The abomination that these other religions can come to, trying to compare themselves with true Christianity, seems so totally out of place when you look at it this way. In the life of Jesus, God sent to the world a great light. There was power in that life to transform an entire planet, an entire universe, and win it back to its place with the Father.

Colossians 1:20 says, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” What does it mean by the phrase “things in heaven”? We can understand things in earth needing to be reconciled to God, but what is the meaning of the phrase “things in heaven”? There is no sin in heaven; not since Lucifer and his angels were expelled. Yet, this text states that things in heaven were also reconciled to God by the blood of the cross. What this suggests is that even in heaven there was some kind of restraint in the relationship of the heavenly angels towards God. Not sin, but a restraint.

Up to the time of the rebellion of Satan, the angels had never heard a lie. Falsehood had never been expressed. There was no need to measure or weigh the truthfulness of another’s statements. The concept of error must have been difficult for the angels to grasp. Satan said some things about God that were not true. This being, who stood by the throne of God, whose job was to disseminate the truth of God in the universe, was saying things about God that were untrue. And even though most of the angels did not side with him, their thinking had been tainted. There was now a restraint between them and God. When I went to Europe this last year to share the message, Brother Allen Stump of Smyrna Gospel Ministries went with me. I know Allen very well, and some of the people we met knew that I was well acquainted with him. Suppose I told those people, “You’ve got to watch Allen. He appears nice and friendly, but weigh your words carefully around him.” I might not have even directly said anything bad about Allen, but I have cast a seed of doubt in the minds of the people, and although Allen is friendly and nice, the people will be very careful around him until they know that they can trust him.

Sinlessness is Not Good Enough for God

Although the remaining angels in heaven were sinless, there was this restraint among at least some of them. Interestingly, God was not satisfied with just sinlessness! That is an awesome thought. Do you know why God wanted to reconcile things in heaven? He wasn’t satisfied. Sinlessness of itself, is not good enough for God! We hear a lot about overcoming sin, and that is important, but if I just reach the place where I stop sinning, I have not achieved what God is after! That is not good enough for God. If a parent has a child that never disobeys, but cowers around the parent wondering if he will be spanked at any time, and never says, “I love you,” would that parent be satisfied? In heaven it was sinless, but God wanted all restraints to be removed, and it was through the blood of the cross that finally, even in heaven, they got to see what the Father’s heart was really like.

So I say to you, sinlessness is not good enough. There is a need of a relationship where there is fire between us and the Lord; fire in our feelings, in our love; where there is relationship and openness and freedom with our Father. He does not want me to come to His worship, whether in church or at home, feeling restrained or not quite sure how I am to behave. He wants me to know the type of person He is so I can feel absolutely free with Him, and so He wants me to know Him as He really is. The ultimate purpose of the plan of salvation is that all things should be reconciled to God. The word “reconcile” suggests a restoration of fellowship; a re-establishing of something which was once there, but was removed, damaged, destroyed.

To understand what He is really like, He has spoken through His Son; finally, fully, and completely. God desires unshadowed, unrestrained fellowship with us. We often think that it is we that desire this, with God keeping us at a distance. The truth is, it’s the other way around.

When I was in high school there was a certain teacher who liked to use a lot of big words. One day a boy went up to him quite familiarly and touched him, and he drew back saying, “Boy, don’t exercise your pugnacity so ferociously.” We all had a good laugh, but the teacher didn’t seem to appreciate the fact that the boy was being so familiar with him. The teacher wanted to keep this student at a distance, and sometimes when we approach somebody who is higher up in rank than we are, we have this kind of restraint. We are programmed this way in the world. Even when somebody professes to be my friend, if they are a little higher up on the social ladder than I am, I tend to be restrained in my relations with the person. And this carries over in the way we relate to God, doesn’t it? He is at the pinnacle of the ladder, and so coming to Him we restrain ourselves, and we think, “Am I using the right word in speaking to Him? Am I in the right position? Are my thoughts right?” And sometimes we are so busy analyzing ourselves that we forget what we are to pray about, or the thoughts won’t come and we lose our concentration. It is God that desires to have an unshadowed relationship with us. While He cannot remove that veil of invisibility, we can, by faith, see into His heart. We cannot see it with our physical eyes. If we could see Him with our physical eyes all we could see is this glory that would frighten and then destroy us. However, through faith we can see into His heart. Faith is such a thing that if you don’t keep your eyes fixed upon the things that breathe faith, you find that it is easy for false ideas to be propagated. And so it is critical that we perceive, believe, and receive what He has revealed of Himself in Jesus, His only begotten Son.

Jesus Perfectly Reveals God

In The Desire of Ages, page 19, we read, “By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,—God’s thought made audible.” (emphasis supplied) How does God feel? I can never discern or discover God by meditation or by reading books or discussing with brethren. Do you want to know what God is thinking? Go to Jesus. He is God’s heart made visible. When you look at Him you are seeing God’s heart, plus nothing, minus nothing. God’s heart is revealed in Christ. It goes on to say, “In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which ‘seeketh not her own’ has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.” (Ibid.)

John 1:17 says, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Early in my Christian experience I puzzled over what this verse meant. It seemed to be saying, “Moses doesn’t matter any more.” In fact, a lot of people that say the law is abolished use this verse. They say they don’t need Moses and the law because we now have Jesus Christ, giving grace and truth. But what was it really saying? Moses gave rules, laws and regulations. There is no personality, love, or feeling in a law. When you look at God through the eyes of the law, what do you see? You see a judge, a lawgiver. You see administration impassive, unfeeling; relentlessly meticulous, just, perfect, but unfeeling. The law is holy, just and good, but it has no feelings. Moses brought law. If law was good enough there was not any need for Christ. But law was not good enough. God wanted us to see far more than the law. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In other words, God’s attitude of love, mercy, and goodwill was unveiled through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, God becomes known as Father, friend, counselor, and lover.

It was God’s plan that, through Christ, we should come to discern the warm heart beneath the impenetrable face of God. If I want somebody to know what my friend Howard is like, if it were possible to know his heart, I might say I am going to write a book about him, and I could write about all his qualities, or maybe I could paint a picture. I could say, “In this picture is reflected what kind of person he really is.” But all of these have some kind of limitations, and so it comes back to what the Bible says: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” There is no possibility of anything more perfect to have been done. God couldn’t come, so He sent somebody who was His express image, a perfect carbon copy of His heart and character.

In Colossians 1:15 it says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. What does that mean? Was He physically the image of God when He was here? Definitely not! His physical presence did not strike men dead. Was Jesus omniscient like God? In other words, could He work out math problems in a fraction of a second? Did he have that kind of mental capability? No, He had a human brain. His brain’s ability was like ours. The way in which He was exactly like God was morally and spiritually. This is important to recognize, especially in light of the truth about who God is.

Writing to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is emphatic that we can only truly know God through Jesus Christ. After stating that Jesus “is the image of God,” he wrote: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Corinthians 4:6) Where do we see “the glory of God”? “In the face of Jesus Christ.”

When Jesus was on earth, His reflection of God’s image was so perfect that when Philip asked Him to “show us the Father,” He said, “Do you mean I have been so long with you and you don’t know me?” (See John 14:8, 9) In other words, what He was saying is that “My reflection of God in the things that you need to know is absolutely perfect. You don’t need to see anything else. If you see Me, you have seen God.” The disciples did not see the power of God, they did not see the mental ability of God, but they saw the emotional, spiritual, and moral side of God through Jesus, and so these are the qualities that we need to concentrate on. We don’t need to look at a Mike Tyson or Arnold Schwarzenegger and say, “These men reflect the physical capabilities of God.” We don’t need to look at an Isaac Newton or John Nash and say, “These men reflect the mental capabilities of God. That is not what Jesus came to focus on. We need to look at the spiritual attributes of Christ when we talk about the image of God.

The Guarantee That
Jesus is Just Like the Father

I’m going to ask a question that most people don’t think about. How do you guarantee that Jesus was the perfect image of God? Now let’s see if we can answer this question by using an illustration. The Muslims say that Muhammad was a son of God. The Hindus say that Krishna was a son of God. The Bible says that Adam was a son of God, and different religions all claim that their founder or their guiding light is a son of God. What do they mean by this term, “son of God”? What they mean is that the person they are talking about received special illumination from above and had great insight. In other words, the term “son of God,” to them, means something like a prophet; somebody who’s mind has been illuminated so he can teach you what God wants you to hear.

However, the Bible says something about Jesus that sets Him apart by light years from any other being who has ever walked this planet. The Bible says that He is the “only begotten Son of God.” This is the premier confession of the New Testament. If you have read the Bible, you know this to be true. It is what the apostles focused on, and the truth that they insisted people should believe. When Philip met the Ethiopian eunuch the man said, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:36, 37) In fact, 1 John 5:5 says, “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

The guarantee that we have a perfect revelation of God in Christ is the fact that Jesus was truly the Son of God. We know this by the rule of kinship. To put it in a simple way, like produces like. We find this principle in Genesis 5:3 where it says, “Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image.” That is the rule of kinship. Now the rule of kinship makes us know that Jesus must have been like the one who brought Him forth. If Jesus was not really the Son of God, no matter whether you say He is the Son of God by designation, or He’s a good friend, or companion, or great prophet, you break that rule of kinship. And you don’t give me a guarantee that God is like that, if He is not the Son of God. If Jesus Christ is not the Son of God in the sense of being begotten, you break the rule of kinship.

God is all-powerful. He had the power to take a baby and, by His Holy Spirit, take over his mind. He could have made this person live a perfect life so that he never once did anything wrong. He could have made this person take up babies in his arms. He could have made him to perform miracles and heal the sick and go about ministering to people. Why is it that that would not have been a good demonstration? This person would be a robot. He would not be a free person. He would be like a channel. It would be God simply taking over a body and using that body to put on a show. But the thing about the life of Jesus that means so much is that He was an independent, free Being. He was not a robot, and by His own choice He chose to live a sinless life. Why did He choose to live that way? Jesus lived that way because He had the divine nature of God. How can I guarantee it? because He is the only begotten Son of God, and like begets like! He had to be the Son of God, and because He was the Son of God, we have the guarantee that His character is just like God’s.

So I don’t need to look any further to know what God is like. He sent me something that was perfect, and that is why the Bible says that Jesus is “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father.” (John 1:18.) This verse is not talking about geographically where Jesus is sitting. It is referring to His place in terms of His vantage point. If I say I’m in my friend Howard’s heart, I’m in his very heart. If somebody says, “I am going to ask Howard to do something but I doubt he will do it,” I could say, “He will do it.” The person says, “How do you know?” I say, “I am in his very heart.” What you would understand me to be saying is that I know what goes on inside his heart. I’m in such close contact with his heart that I know exactly what is happening in there; and that’s what the Bible is saying. The relationship is so perfect: Jesus is in the bosom of the Father. What you see in Jesus is what God is.

Implications of the Fact That the
Revelation of God in Christ Was Perfect

Now why is this truth so important? When a Jew, Greek, Muslim, Rastafarian, or any other non-Christian for that matter, confesses: “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” what does that do to him? What does that mean to him? Why is that so important? Think about a man who is a Muslim, for example, and then he comes and he says, “I believe Jesus is the Son of God.” What revelation bursts in his brain when he says that? Simply that Jesus was once in heaven? Is that all that comes from that? He learns something immediately about God if he confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. You know what he learns immediately? First, he learns that God loves him so much! I mean could the Almighty God love him enough to send such a Person? God didn’t take a human being and place His Spirit on that human being. No, it was the real Son of His bosom! This was guaranteed to break the heart of this Greek or this Jew or this Muslim, and if it hasn’t broken your heart it is because you don’t believe it as you should.

The second thing that would happen is that he would recognize the greatness of sin. “What is it that I’ve done in my life that justified the death of the Son of God? What have I done?” Have you ever asked yourself that question and you couldn’t come up with an answer? You don’t think you did anything that really deserved such a price? What is it that I have done that the Son of God would have to die for me? Why? Now if you meditate on it, think about it enough, it’s going to bring you to the realization of how dangerous sin is. Too many of us play with sin; we compromise with sin; we become familiar friends with sin; but an understanding of what it cost God to buy me back from the power of sin would give me an appreciation of how I should relate to sin.

The third thing that would happen is that when a Muslim comes to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, immediately his concept of God would change. The Muslim god is a hard being. He says, “Convert them to Islam or destroy them.” That is the policy of Islam; it says the whole world must become Muslim, and they go about it aggressively, and they will do anything to remove the obstacles that stand in their way of achieving this. However, if a Muslim comes to accept Jesus Christ, immediately his concept of God changes, doesn’t it? Right away the concept of a loving Father, that he sees in Jesus, is going to transform his life. And that is why, when a man can say, “I believe Jesus is the Son of God,” it means so much.

MOMENTS WHICH REVEALED
THE HEART OF GOD

God is Concerned About Our Petty Trials

Let us now look at a few moments in the life of Jesus which reveal the heart of God. First, He is concerned about our petty trials. How can I say this? Do you remember when He went down to Cana of Galilee and they came to Him and told Him that the supply of wine was exhausted? How was that going to stop the sun from rising the next morning? How was that going to stop the force of gravity from working? How was that going to stop God from sitting on His throne? What did running out of wine have to do with God’s business? You know why Jesus turned the water into wine? It had nothing to do with any agenda of the Father. The universe would have continued. It had nothing to do with eternal consequences, but you know why? Let me give an example that will help. My little child is coloring in her book and she loses her red or yellow crayon, and I’m in my office working on an important document and she comes to me and says, “Daddy, I can’t find my crayon.” Why do I get up and leave my important document and go and help the child find her crayon? Because it’s my child, and her concerns move her father’s heart. Her concern moves my heart; it’s nothing to me, but her concern touches me. Jesus showed us that our concerns are our Father’s concerns. Yes, the wedding celebration would be marred, but what is that to God? But look, it is something to His heart! He is so concerned because we are so concerned. Isn’t that wonderful? Jesus felt the concern of those present and He helped out because His heart demanded it. He could refuse the people, but how could he refuse what was in His heart?

God Has a Deep Concern for the Lonely, Despised, Rejected, and Self-condemned

Secondly, God has a deep concern for the lonely, the despised, the rejected, and the self-condemned. Do you ever feel despised? Do people look down on you and have all kinds of bad things to say about you? Do you feel lonely? Perhaps you feel like you don’t have any friends and nobody will visit, call, or encourage you? Rejected? You have done something wrong and everybody is blaming you and thinking badly of you. You feel self-condemned. You don’t even forgive yourself for what you have done; it’s resting on your heart. Does God care for people like this? Look at Zacchaeus the publican. Zacchaeus climbed up in a tree hoping to get just a glance at Jesus. It was all he deserved. Do you know who chose to walk that way? Jesus. Here comes Jesus passing by underneath. Zacchaeus didn’t call to Him; he didn’t say a word. However, Jesus looked up and called him, and invited Himself to the man’s house. Do you think He only wants to do that for Zacchaeus? This is an illustration to us. (See Romans 15:4) He wasn’t just acting. It was what was in His heart. He went out of the way to find the man that nobody wanted to be seen with. I want to have a heart like His.

Jesus walked under the tree and stopped to have personal intercourse with him; to invite Himself to His home. Jesus took all these steps because He wished for fellowship with Zacchaeus, and He wants to come to the home of all those who are similarly despised.

You can see Him doing the same thing with the woman at Jacob’s well. Remember that this woman did not have a good history or track record. One night Brother Charles Peter and I were handing out some tracts on a street in Kingston. We came to a corner where two prostitutes were standing and we stopped to begin conversation with them. They were kind of reluctant to talk at first. They thought maybe we were trying to make fun of them. As we were sharing Christ with them, and vehicles were passing up and down the street, I looked around and felt a little uncomfortable. I was wondering what those passing by were thinking, because it was very obvious these women were prostitutes. Now I think of Jesus. He put Himself in the way of this woman. She had had five husbands! She was a husband stealer, and you know how women despise husband stealers. You don’t want to see your husband talking to somebody like that. You don’t want her coming to your home to visit you because you never can tell when she’ll go after number six.

Here came this husband stealer to the well, and Jesus put Himself in the way of this woman and started a conversation with her. Jesus built up the conversation, reached out for this woman, who, in her heart, was longing for a better way of life. Jesus reached out for this woman that nobody would have given her ten cents worth of their time. Yet He, with the heart of God, could not leave her alone. And still He is searching for people like this, because this is how He is. He is deeply sensitive to our needs. You know why Jesus treated this woman as He did? It was because that is exactly how the Father would treat her!

God is Deeply Sensitive to Our Needs

Look at the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years. She had gone to doctors and spent all her money. Every day she was bleeding, worrying, and bothered about it. Maybe her friends said, “I hope things will get better for you tomorrow, we’re praying for you.” Jesus didn’t say, “You’re guilty, you should have used natural remedies or lived health reform.” He didn’t blame her. He understood this poor woman who came through the crowd, desperately reaching out to just touch the hem of His garment. He chose that street so that He could meet her need. You know why He did that? Because that is exactly what God would have done!

Blind Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside, and as he heard that Jesus was passing by he cried, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:47) The entire crowd was shouting at him to be quiet. People can be so unfeeling and heartless, but never our God. Jesus stopped everybody and calmed the multitude. He then called Bartimaeus to Himself and gave him the desire of his heart. Jesus is sensitive to our needs, exactly as God is sensitive.

Can you imagine the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda? Every day he goes to the pool waiting for the angel to stir the water even though he knows he’ll never get there in time, but what else can he do? He’ll never make it on time because there’s always somebody friskier than he who reaches the water first. So he goes there every day in his hopeless desperation, planning to die in this condition. But who comes looking for him? He does not seek out Jesus; the Lord, with the heart of God, seeks him, finds him, and cures him of his infirmity. The only reason He doesn’t do more for us these days is because we’re so unbelieving. But He wants to help us because His heart is like that. And the good news truly is that His heart is like that because that is exactly how God’s heart is!

Think of when the disciples tried to chase away the mothers with their babies. In their hearts they are thinking, “Go away, the Master is too busy for you.” Jesus was upset with His disciples because in His heart He was thinking, “How can you think I don’t have time for these little babies?” Jesus took the babies in His arms and blessed them because that is exactly what God would have done.

God Appreciates Our
Familiarity and Intimacy

The next story is one of my favorites. God appreciates our familiarity and intimacy. You know, when I say familiarity here I mean in the sense where somebody would say, “Don’t get too familiar, keep your distance, show a little respect.” Think of when John leaned upon Christ’s bosom at the last supper. That is a graphic picture that I can never forget. Jesus was not unhappy with John. In fact, He was happy that John was there. Jesus didn’t ease him off or become uncomfortable. I wonder how United States President George W. Bush might react to something like that? Even if my best friend comes and leans on my bosom, I might shift about a little bit; put him away; not let him get so close. But Jesus was happy. He desired the fellowship; He was glad that John felt so confident in Him. The good news is that God is exactly like that! I am not saying that we approach God with disrespect, but the God of heaven, this great and terrible God, appreciates, and even longs for, our familiarity and intimacy. I tell you, when it reached me, I was blessed.

We Are Not Too Lowly or Unclean
for God to Personally Minister to Us

We are not too lowly or wretched or unclean for Him to personally minister to us. Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Would God, the Almighty, wash my feet? Well, the first time the thought hit me I didn’t even want to consider it. However, I was compelled to reflect upon it because the Bible says that Jesus is the express image of the Father’s person. Jesus came here to show me what the Father is like, so the thought came to me that if God could leave His throne, and put aside His glory, He would wash my feet. That’s how He thinks about me! Now it might seem like blasphemy to think about God that way, but when I study the life of Jesus, I cannot escape it.

Talk about making communication with the Father more real! I would never say that my Father is my servant, but I would say that He is meek and lowly in heart! Jesus says, “I am your Master and I’ve washed your feet.” The point is that even though He is our Master, He wants a relationship with us that is such that He could wash our feet. Grasping this concept changed my relationship, and my concept of Him, forever; and will change yours also.

God wants us to recognize the importance of having the right concept of Him. He wants to draw the universe back to Him, not as “hired servants,” but as warm sons; as loving, beloved sons. He wants warmth in that fellowship, and He’s after it, and He’ll not be satisfied until He has it.

One morning Jesus cooked breakfast for the disciples. They were out fishing on the Sea of Tiberias, and when they came in that morning He had fish and bread, which He had prepared for them with His own hands, ready for them. He said, “Come and dine.” (John 21:12) God has promised to provide for your needs. He may help you to find a guava in the bush or somebody might come and give you ten dollars. But for Him to come into your kitchen, provide the food, and personally prepare it for you, tells you that His heart is close and warm towards you. Today, God is veiled, but look into His heart, which shows His real character. You must relate to God, not on the basis of what you see outside, but what you see as you look at His heart. And the heart of God is wonderfully beautiful.

He Appreciates the Little We Do for Him

God appreciates the things that we do for Him. For instance, when the widow dropped two mites into the box, what did He say? Even though it was small, He noticed it, didn’t He? No matter how small, He appreciates what we try to do for Him. When Mary spent her three hundred pence and bought an alabaster box of ointment, and poured the ointment on Christ’s head and feet, everybody criticized her. However, He was indignant towards the wrong attitudes of the critics because He appreciated Mary’s gift so much.

God Feels the Needs and Pains of Those Who Are Not Recognized as His People

God also feels the needs and the pains of those who are not recognized as His children. In the church we all claim to be His people and He’s supposed to love us and feel for us. But how do you feel about the little man out on the road who is drunk every morning? What about him and the other wrecks of humanity that you pass, in whom the image of God is so defaced you can barely recognize them as human beings? Well, Jesus walked forty miles down to Tyre and Sidon to find a woman whom the Jews would never talk to. She had a demoniac daughter, and Jesus traveled the forty miles down there to cast the demon out of this woman’s daughter; somebody that the “people of God,” so-called, would have despised.

Jesus immediately responded to the need of the Roman Centurion whose servant was sick. He truly “felt his pain.” He feels the needs and the pains of those whom we don’t recognize as His people, and we need to change our attitude toward these people.

God Feels Terrible Pain at the
Thought of Those Who Will Be Lost

There was once a sign on a store window that said, “God condemns, but Jesus saves.” It might as well have said, “God hates you and wishes for your destruction, but Jesus is not like God. Jesus is kind and loving and doesn’t want you to be lost.” The truth is, our Father feels pain, loves us, and doesn’t desire that any be lost. Notice this statement from The Great Controversy, especially the last part:

“Amid the universal rejoicing of the triumphal entry, while palm branches waved, while glad hosannas awoke the echoes of the hills, and thousands of voices declared Him king, the world’s Redeemer was overwhelmed with a sudden and mysterious sorrow. He, the Son of God, the Promised One of Israel, whose power had conquered death and called its captives from the grave, was in tears, not of ordinary grief, but of intense, irrepressible agony.” (Great Controversy pg. 18)

Have you ever seen someone uncontrollably crying when a close loved one had unexpectedly died? That is what I see being described here: “intense, irrepressible agony.” He was sobbing. It wasn’t just little tears slowly running down His face; He was sobbing. He was crying over Jerusalem! He was crying over those who would be forever lost. Jesus was in intense, irrepressible agony because He is exactly like God in His feelings.

You cannot see God’s tears, there is too much light about His face. But what goes on inside that heart? To think that Jesus was crying, to think that that is what the Father feels when He looks at us, to think that He cares about us so much shakes me up. I never thought about God in that way before. Yes, I thought of a great Almighty sadness, an unfeeling sadness, some kind of principle of sorrow, but feeling that makes you sob? The concept racks your being and tears out your soul. As Jesus looked on the city, what was He crying over? The ivory? The marble temple? The heritage or the history of Israel? No, He was looking on the people He loved who were going to die. The thought that they would be lost caused great tearing sobs to rack His Being.

That is what our Father is like! “The Majesty of heaven in tears! the Son of the infinite God troubled in spirit, bowed down with anguish!” (Great Controversy, p. 22) It also says, “The waves of mercy, beaten back by those stubborn hearts, returned in a stronger tide of pitying, inexpressible love.” (Ibid., p. 20) All these actions and attitudes revealed the true attitude and the heart of the Father.

Our Response

In The Desire Of Ages we read: “Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see ‘God with us.’” (The Desire Of Ages, p. 24) The following two verses stand out in stark contrast to each other. Our own choice will determine which describes our experience.

“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5)

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 9:2)

David ClaytonWhat will you respond to? “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1) May God help us that these words will not fall upon stony hearts, but that we may truly come to appreciate what they mean.?

(You may contact David Clayton of Restoration Ministries by postal mail at: P.O. Box 23, Knockpatrick, Manchester, Jamaica, W.I. His e-mail address is: david000@cwjamaica.com. His phone number is (876) 904-7392.)


Prayer Request
A New Baby in the Smyrna Family
has Special Needs.

On Spetember 21, 2002, Rebekah Jade Beachy was born. She is the daughter of Brother Lynnford Beachy and his wife, Kendra. Rebekah arrived into the world weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces (5 kg), and was 21 inches long (53.3 cm).

Beachy FamilyWe praise God for this new life and Lynnford and Kendra are very happy to have a daughter to raise for the Lord with their son, Josiah, age three.

Shortly after Rebekah was born, she started to experience some respiratory difficulties. At first this was deemed to be a cold or a flu, but when Rebekah did not recover within a reasonable period of time, professional care was sought. Upon the advice of competent physicians and midwives, Rebekah was hospitalized for diagnosis and treatment.

Although Rebekah outwardly appeared normal, tests of her lungs showed evidence of some serious problem. Rebekah’s blood oxygen level was too low and she was having trouble keeping food down. Currently the family is home, waiting on the results of specific tests, and Rebekah is doing better.

Your prayers for Rebekah’s total recovery will be greatly appreciated. Editor


  Youth’s Corner
Lessons from the Life of
Daniel — The Fiery Furnace

The proud monarch was surrounded by his great men, the officers of the government, and the army that had conquered nations; and all united in applauding him as having the wisdom and power of the gods. In the midst of this imposing display stood the three youthful Hebrews, steadily persisting in their refusal to obey the king’s decree. They had been obedient to the laws of Babylon, so far as these did not conflict with the claims of God; but they would not be swayed a hair’s breadth from the duty they owed to their Creator.

The king’s wrath knew no bounds. In the very height of his power and glory, to be thus defied by the representatives of a despised and captive race was an insult which his proud spirit could not endure. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than was its wont. And without delay the Hebrew exiles were cast in. So furious were the flames, that the men who cast the Hebrews in were burned to death.

Suddenly the countenance of the king paled with terror. He looked intently upon the glowing flames, and, turning to his lords, in tones of alarm inquired, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” The answer was, “True, O king.” His voice trembling with excitement, the monarch exclaimed, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God”!

When Christ manifests himself to the children of men, an unseen Power speaks to their souls. They realize that they are in the presence of the Infinite One. Before his majesty, kings and nobles tremble, and acknowledge the living God as above every earthly power. The Hebrew captives had told Nebuchadnezzar of Christ, the Redeemer that was to come, and from the description thus given, the king recognized the form of the fourth in the fiery furnace as the Son of God.

His own greatness and dignity forgotten, Nebuchadnezzar descended from his throne, and hastened to the furnace. With remorse and shame he cried, “Ye servants of the most high God, come forth.” And they obeyed, before that vast multitude showing themselves unhurt, not even the smell of fire being upon their garments. True to duty, they had been proof against the flames. Only their fetters had been burned.

“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.”

A change passed over the multitude. The great golden image, set up with such display, was forgotten. Men feared and trembled before the living God. The king published a decree that any one speaking against the God of the Hebrews should be put to death; “because there is no other god that can deliver after this sort.”

True Christian principle does not stop to weigh consequences. It does not ask, What will people think of me if I do this? or, How will it affect my worldly prospects if I do that? With singleness of purpose, the children of God desire to know what he would have them do, that their works may glorify him. The Lord has made ample provision that the hearts and lives of his followers shall be controlled by divine grace, that they may be as burning and shining lights in the world.

These faithful Hebrews possessed great natural ability; they had enjoyed the highest intellectual culture, and now occupied positions of honor; but they did not forget God. Their powers were yielded to the sanctifying influence of his grace. By their steadfast integrity, they showed forth the praises of him who had called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. In their wonderful deliverance were displayed, before that vast assembly, the power and majesty of God. Jesus stood by their side in the fiery furnace, and the glory of his presence convinced the proud king of Babylon that it could be no other than the Son of God. The light of heaven had been shining forth from Daniel and his companions, until all their associates understood the faith that ennobled their lives and beautified their characters. By the deliverance of his faithful servants, the Lord declares that he will take his stand with the oppressed, and overthrow all earthly powers that would trample upon the authority of the God of heaven.

What a lesson is here given to the faint-hearted, the vacillating, the cowardly in the cause of God! What encouragement to those who will not be turned aside from duty by threats or peril! These faithful, steadfast characters exemplify sanctification, while they have no thought of claiming the high honor. The amount of good which may be accomplished by comparatively obscure but devoted Christians, can not be estimated until the life-records shall be made known, when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened.

Christ identifies his interest with this class; he is not ashamed to call them brethren. There should be hundreds, where there is now one among us, so closely allied to God, their lives so closely conformed to his will, that they would be bright and shining lights, sanctified wholly, in body, soul, and spirit.

The conflict still goes on between the children of light and the children of darkness. Those who name the name of Christ should shake off the lethargy that enfeebles their efforts, and should fulfil the momentous responsibilities that devolve upon them. All who do this may expect the power of God to be revealed in them. The Son of God, the world’s Redeemer, will be represented in their words and in their works, and God’s name will be glorified. (Mrs. Ellen G. White, Youth’s Instructor, April 26, 1904)


2002 West Virginia
Camp Meeting Video Tapes

As we noted last month, we are thankful to announce that the videos from the 2002 West Virginia camp meeting are ready. We are very sorry for the delay. Due to improper settings when the videos were recorded, some of the audio from the introduction and trailer scenes do not exactly match the rest of the tapes and some of the tapes are not in stereo. However, the main messages are all intact. The suggested donation is $7.00 U. S. per tape plus actual postage. Page fourteen of this issue has a list of all the taped messages.

While all of the messages are excellent, I would like to recommend the following for your consideration:

“The Heart of God,” by David Clayton. This study appears in printed form as the lead article of this issue of Old Paths. Having traveled to several different camp meetings this year with David, I have had the chance to personally hear this message several times. Each time it was fresh and very uplifting. Sister Ford mentioned that when she was proofreading this study, it brought tears to her eyes. So often we hear people complain that they do not see the practical side of the gospel enough. I am sure that many times this criticism is well founded. However, this study really deals with heart-felt issues. This is an excellent tape for sharing with others.

“Collection of Eight Short Health Talks,” by Dr. Stephen Burks. Dr. Burks gave two sets of health talks during the camp meeting. Four morning talks were given that are applicable especially to Seventh-day Adventists. The four evening talks were designed to be given to the general public. Dr. Burks has an interesting, as well as informative, style of talking and you will find the messages not only helpful, but interesting and easy to listen to.

“Special Musical and Song Selections” by various brothers and sisters. This tape has twenty-three selections on it. Some of the songs include, “Amazing Grace,” “Blessed Assurance,” “I Surrender All,” “It is Well With My Soul,” “Lamb of God,” “Babylon,” “Almost Persuaded,” and “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.” These songs are done by soloists, duets, quartets, and choirs. Besides being available in video cassette format, we also have this selection prepared for audio cassettes. The suggested donation for the audio cassettes is $2.00 each plus actual postage costs. Ask for CM 2002-1A

Tape # 

Speaker 

Date 

Subject 

CM 2002-01 

Lynnford Beachy
Ben Vela 

July 2
July 3 

The Everlasting Gospel
The Ink of God 

CM 2002-02* 

Allen Stump
Howard Williams 

July 3 

July 3 

I Am Not Ashamed
Are We A Part of the Church 

CM 2002-03 

David Claytons
Lynnford Beachy 

July 3
July 3 

The God of the Bible
The Son of God 

CM 2002-04 

Malcolm McCrillis
Lynnford Beachy 

July 4
July 4 

Church/State Issue and the Holy Spirit
The Death of Christ 

CM 2002-05* 

Willis Smith 

July 3 

Forgiveness 

CM 2002-06* 

Willis Smith 

July 4 

Assault on God’s Character 

CM 2002-07* 

Willis Smith 

July 5 

The Sabbath 

CM 2002-08* 

Willis Smith 

July 6 

The Choices We Make 

CM 2002-09 

Dennis Robertson
Bob Habenicht 

July 4
July 4 

One Nation Under God?
Experiences from South America 

CM 2002-10* 

Bob Habenicht 

July 5 

Ecumenism 

CM 2002-11 

Lynnford Beachy 

July 6 

Brotherly Love 

CM 2002-12* 

S. T. Lewis 

July 5 

Encouraging Words from Revelation 

CM 2002-13* 

S. T. Lewis 

July 6 

Fulfilling the Law 

CM 2002-14 

David Clayton 

July 4 

Satan Worship 

CM 2002-15 

David Clayton 

July 5 

Sinless or Sin Less 

CM 2002-16 

David Clayton 

July 6 

The Heart of God 

CM 2002-17 

Danny and Gina Campbell 

July 3-5 

Three-part Vegan Cooking Seminar 

CM 2002-18 

Various Brothers and Sisters 

July 3-6 

Special Musical and Song Selections 

CM 2002-19 

Dr. Stephen Burks 

July 3-6 

Collection of Eight Short Health Talks 

* These tapes have a short health talk by Dr. Stephen Burks on them. 

Last month we incorrectly labeled all the tapes with a 2001 number instead of a 2002 number. The updated tape numbers are in the chart above. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please order by tape number.

Except the musical selections, the audio cassettes are still not ready, but we hope to have them available soon. Most of the audio cassettes will carry just one message due to tape length limitations. We will print a notice as soon as they become available. Editor


Letters

Literature:

I need about five copies of What Did the Pioneers Believe? I’m out and have several people who would like one.CA

We ordered a range of books and booklets from you recently. These have been helpful to us. We would like particularly to share two of these with some other people. Please send us 100 copies of each of the following: Who is Telling the Truth About God and The Spirit of Antichrist.Australia

Videos & Cassettes:

Thank you for sending me “The Roots of the Trinity” video. Your kindness is greatly appreciated. As always, Brother Clayton did an excellent job of presenting the message.

Would you please send me 5 more videos of “The Roots of the Trinity” to share with others. I would also appreciate receiving one each of the follow [camp meeting] videos.NC

Newsletters:

Please send me a copy of The Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity. Please also send me a box of assorted tracts. We have two book/magazine racks at the North 40 Truck Stop at I-40 and Hwy. 641. They serve 2000 to 2500 people a day.TN

Thanks a million for everything. Thanks for your paper, Old Paths, and thanks for making it possible to receive your video. You didn’t mention anything about shipping and handling, but I suppose it’s to be included, so I’m sending $7.00 extra. If that isn’t enough, please indicate on return mail, and I will send it back to you.

Thanks loads, and may God ever bless and keep you always is our daily prayer! We solicit your prayers as well.MI

(The postage varies according to the weight of the package, therefore you need to check the postage on each package for the cost of mailing. Thank you)

Thank you for your ministries and for the letters of Old Paths. I want to send you my new address.NY

Keep up the good work in spreading the good news about God! You are in my prayers. Please pray for us here in Wheeling. We are trying to spread the good news also. Thank you for sending the Old Paths. I enjoy them very much. It has been very enlightening.WV

Miscellaneous:

Thank you for the wonderful and Biblical materials you provide for studying the truth about God. I can’t wait to view the videos I am ordering.

Just this week I was forced to resign from my position (in our SDA church) as Youth Sabbath School teacher because I do not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. Although I had never made that subject a topic for discussion in my class, nor did I ever make a point to express my views in my class, nevertheless, I was removed for having a different view on the Godhead.

One of my spiritual gifts is teaching, and now that I am no longer allowed to teach at church, I feel a sense of not belonging there. The pastor of our church went so far as to say that nobody can give literature to anyone at church without having it approved first. Ridiculous! May God continue to bless your ministry abundantly. CA

Keep preaching truth about God. May God bless you in all that you do for God’s glory.WV

I thank God for the booklets, books, and tapes ... prepared by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, Present Truth Ministries and Restoration Ministries, I feel these are the materials more informative for our enlightenment in present truth.

We are now conducting Daniel and Revolution seminars for the last month for Roman Catholic brethren and they are much interested in listening to our messages and they have accepted our present truth also. We have got our little congregations in a few areas of our country here. We have got two bible workers to work in the field here. Already we are separated from_______ Church and we are doing this ministry in India. May God bless you. India


Directory of Believers

(This notice was run earlier this fall. Several have responded , but some who expressed interest have not responded yet. To give as many as are interested, who have not done so or have not seen this notice yet, a reasonable opportunity to respond, we are running it again. Editor)

On Friday afternoon of the 2002 West Virginia camp meeting we held a meeting to discuss ways believers could work more efficiently together, and the need for greater cooperation among the churches around the world. We recognized that one way we could work together better would be to have a church and believer directory, listing the many Historic Seventh-day Adventist groups around the world who believe the truth about God and are unified on the rest of the early Seventh-day Adventist message. We discussed that this directory could include not only those groups that have been established with a permanent meeting place, but also those like-believers who are eager to have fellowship with others who share their faith, even if they do not yet have an established church fellowship in their area. In this way the directory could help to establish new Historic SDA church groups who believe the truth about God, as well as to help strengthen and expand existing church groups.

We often receive calls from people asking if we know of any like-believers who fellowship together in their area. Sometimes we are able to help them, and other times we are not. One thing that has hindered us somewhat in this area is that we do not give out a person’s phone number or address unless we have acquired their permission. Because we have not received permission from very many people, we are not at liberty to give out this information. This directory would provide us with that permission for those who volunteer it.

There are people who have received the truth about God and His Son, and believe the rest of the early Adventist message, who are isolated, without anyone to fellowship with. Many of these people do not realize that there may be others nearby, perhaps even in the same town, who also are isolated and without fellowship because they believe the same truths. This directory could help bring these people together, and also provide those who travel, a church group with which to fellowship when we are in a distant location.

Let us state again for clarity: people or groups will only be included in this directory if they voluntarily request that they be included. Please fill out the enclosed card and return it to us if you would like to be included in this directory. Fill in only the information that you would like to appear in the church and believer directory and mail it to us at the address listed below.

We would like to stress that this directory is for Historic Seventh-day Adventists who believe the truth about God as well as the rest of the early SDA message. In order to avoid confusion, and to help insure that people are blessed rather than hindered by this directory, we will only include those people or groups that, to the best of our knowledge, maintain the true Historic SDA message.

We believe that this directory will help to network like-believers all over the world so that we can be more effective in our witnessing and more fruitful in our own lives. For those who have been isolated from fellowship, we pray that they will soon be able to say with David, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1) We hope that this will also help us to heed the counsel of Paul when he wrote that we should, “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24,25)

Allen and Lynnford


Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. U.S.A. It is sent free upon request. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our web sites. The urls are: http://www.smyrna.org and http://www.presenttruth.info. Phone: (304) 732-9204. Fax: (304) 732-7322. 

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

Please also visit our Present Truth Website!

This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013