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. 14, No. 10 Straight and Narrow October 2005
A Chosen People
By Allen Stump
Writing to the church at Ephesus, Paul stated: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2) Jesus calls Satan the prince of this world. (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) He is the prince of this world because he has taken the world captive and its inhabitants are giving their allegiance to him. But, God has a chosen people on this earth and through them He wants to do great things. He will use them to reclaim the territory that Adam and Eve lost. Last-day Christians have a very special place and purpose on this earth. God has always had a high ideal for His people. “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1, 2)
In verses 12-14 we read: The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them. And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Beloved, God designed for His people to occupy a high position so they can be a light to the world and show His wonderful character. Higher than the highest human thought can reach is Gods ideal for His children. (Education, p. 18) God surrounded Israel with every facility, gave them every privilege, that would make them an honor to His name and a blessing to surrounding nations. If they would walk in the ways of obedience, He promised to make them high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor. (Deuteronomy 26:19) (Ibid., p. 40)
God’s People to be The Head
When God said to His people, I want you to be the head, did He want them to be the head so that they could be a lord or a master to those who were underneath them? No, that was not His object nor His goal. He wanted them to be the head so they could be a bright light shining to the world. Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16) However, Satan had already overtaken the world. Very shortly after the creation of man, Satan overcame Adam and Eve and laid claim to this world. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, (Elohiym) knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5) Satan wasn’t saying to Adam and Eve that they were simply going to be godlike, but that they would be like the very God that created them.
Concerning the expression, Ye shall not surely die, A. T. Jones says in Ecclesiastical Empire, p. 591, under the chapter The Spirit of the Papacy: The common version translates it, Yea, hath God said, etc. The Revised Version gives it the same. The Jews English version translates it, Hath God indeed said, etc. But no translation can give it exactly. It can not be exactly expressed in letters so as to form a word that would give it truly. Yet everybody in the world is familiar with the expression. It is that sneering grunt (expressed only through the nose) c-ugh! which conveys query, doubt, suspicion, and contempt, all at once. C-ugh! hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And everybody knows that to this day among men there is nothing equal to this sneering grunt, to create doubt and suspicion; and no other expression is used so much by mankind for that purpose. And this is the origin of it. Satan, friends, is not only wily, but he is contemptuous against God, and he has taken this earth by storm. The sad fact is that he also took the nation of Israel captive and put them in such bondage that they finally came to the place where they were willing to crucify the Son of God. God tried again to establish a chosen people through the Reformation and, it is true, He did do some wonderful things through them. We owe a lot of our heritage to those people, but the question is, where is the remnant of that Reformation today? There may be Protestants, but no Protest-ants anymore. Where is the Reformation today? Those descendants of the Reformation are not protesting anymore and most of them are very quickly scurrying back to Rome. The rationale for Adventism is found in Daniel 8:14. The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the declaration: Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Daniel 8:14. (Great Controversy, p. 409) This is our rationale, friends, and if we give up this, we don’t have a leg to stand on for being Seventh-day Adventists. But, that leg, that truth, stands solid and it stands sure. God will have a people to restore His truth through and to send the message that will be the light of the world. God is going to recapture this world, friends, make no doubt about. God is going to claim this world again as His and He is going to have a people who will reject the leadership of Satan and come fully under His banner. This people will indeed be a light to the world; however, the sad fact is Adventism has given up. Although they say, in form, that they believe in the sanctuary message and although they say, in form, that they believe in the mediation of Christ, they have given up the very foundation of that message. The very foundational structure that holds everything together is the truth about God and who Jesus Christ is, and they are not in any shape today to give a message to the world, for they have sold out the truth for a mess of evangelical pottage.
This last summer I went to the General Conference Session and was able to talk to some of the people and to observe some of the activities that were going on inside the meeting center. I was able to notice how the people were dressed as they went to the meetings and one could tell by the different things they were involved in that these people, and may I say this kindly, are in no condition to give this dying world a special message. They are giving a message, no doubt about it. They are doing a work, that is unmistakable, but, beloved, they are only bringing in like kind and that is why the church is as it is today.
God still has a people and we believe that the mantle of truth has been passed along, and the question I ask today is, “Are we, the people who claim to now have the mantle, any better? Are we any more faithful as a people or obedient as a people to God and to His truth?” God has high ideals for His people and the same ideals He had for the Israelites, He has for His people today. “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6) God has a special people and a special purpose for them.
Deuteronomy 26:18 states: “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar (special) people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.” Friends, God has His people here for two main reasons. We are to be a holy people to carry His message to the world, but even more importantly, we are to be a holy and special people unto God, to serve Him, to bring pleasure unto Him, and to justify His cause and His character before the whole universe. This, friends, is greater than the cause of giving out pamphlets, tracts, booklets, and DVD’s. We must catch that vision! When we are talking about the work that God has for us, it is just as much and more the work of revealing God’s character and justifying His name and His cause among the inhabitants of the earth as it is in proclaiming His truth. God wants us to be the head and not the tail, and He has surrounded us with everything needful. He has given us every privilege to bring honor and glory to His name and to be a blessing to the people among us. If we, as spiritual Israel, will walk in obedience to Him and serve Him with our whole heart as He designed Israel to do, then this ideal will be reached.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5) Can you fully love someone you don’t know, someone who is vague, impersonal, and unreal to you? Of course not! You only fully love people that you get to know and appreciate. You may have a type of principled love for people, but to have a deep, passionate, and heartfelt appreciation, we have to get to know those people. As we get to know people at camp meetings or as we live and work closely together with people, the experiences we have produce a drawing influence. It binds us together! God wants His people to love and care for one another. He says He wants us to love Him with all of our “heart…, soul…, mind…, and strength” (Mark 12:30), but we can’t do it unless we know Him. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee…” (John 17:3)
I met many people at the General Conference Session. I had heard of some of these people, had seen their picture or had read their articles. I introduced myself to Mark Finley. I talked to Neal Wilson, former General Conference President, and to Samuel Bacchiocchi. However, the fact is I really don’t know any of those people. I know about them. Now, it is wonderful to know about God, but, friends, we must do much more. We must know God Himself. The knowledge that the world needs is not a knowledge about God. They need to know God.
In Deuteronomy the Lord instructs us, through Moses, how this is to be applied. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:6) Not just in our mind, not just on paper, and not just as something theoretical, but it is to be something we have applied to our lives and brings us close to Him. Then, in verse 7: “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” If we really did this as we are commanded to, people would think we were very fanatical and one-minded, not having time for anything else in this world. The truth of the matter is, friends, we should be like that. That is what God is calling us to do, and we need to be more like this, to be so absorbed with the things of God that nothing else matters. “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (verses 8, 9) The point of all of this is that the things of God should become our life and should be everything that we do and everything that is important to us. We are to teach these things very, very diligently.
Notice the warning in Deuteronomy 4:9, 10: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget [Is there a chance that we might forget? Yes. God knows that we are people who are frail, that we have human weakness and we are prone to forget, so He kindly reminds us not to forget.] the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb…” What happened on that special day? God spoke His ten-commandment law.
In Joshua 1:7, 8 God again encourages us: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:” A library of books can be a wonderful thing, but, friends, a library can also be a curse, depending on what it is filled with. We need to have libraries with books that are filled with good things, the things of the Lord, that will help us to rise to the high places and ideal God has for us. But, I am afraid many of us may have things that really aren’t important and that consume our time needlessly. We need to make sure that we are meditating day and night upon the things that are important.
The Light of the World
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. (Deuteronomy 4:6) Beloved, if we will live and work as God has directed, people will take notice! The Bible says that they will take notice and see that there is something different. The children of Israel were to occupy all the territory which God appointed them. Those nations that rejected the worship and service of the true God were to be dispossessed. But it was Gods purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite, and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God, were to unite themselves with His chosen people. As the numbers of Israel increased they were to enlarge their borders, until their kingdom should embrace the world. (Christs Object Lessons, p. 290)
There was a short period of time when the purposes of God were beginning to be fulfilled, during the end of the reign of David and the beginning of the reign of Solomon. And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. (2 Chronicles 9:22) Now, wisdom we understand, but Solomon also was very rich. Several years ago Robert Ripley of Believe It or Not tallied up all the iron, the gold, the silver, the brass, and the wood that David had been accumulating during his reign for the temple that he desired to build. We know the standard of values has changed radically, but Ripley calculated the amount of worth David had at that days standard to be several billion dollars. David accumulated a tremendous amount of wealth for Solomon to build the temple with. This temple was the most magnificent building which the world ever saw. (Great Controversy, p. 23) Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom and notice what the result was: “And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.” (verse 23) Wouldn’t you like it if people would seek you because they see that God has put something in your heart and they want to hear what God has put there? That is a great privilege, and it can be and must be ours!
God also provided His people with health. He wanted them to be the healthiest people on earth. The early Adventists achieved recognition in this area. At one time, John Harvey Kellogg was the most famous physician in the world and the Battle Creek Sanitarium one of the most famous health institutions in the world. Kings and queens went there for help. God told His people that if they would be faithful to Him He would not put any of the diseases of the Egyptians upon them. God didn’t say that they would never have disease or be sick, but the diseases of the Egyptians caused by their poor lifestyle and wicked choices would never come upon God’s people. He would have a people above all other people. They were to be a blessed people and today we should be a blessed people in this respect, but as I look and travel around, I don’t see a healthful people. We must appreciate the wonderful gift of health reform that God has given to us and as we follow it, we can be more healthful and thus be a brighter light for God.
Friends, we are living at the end of time, and I say this honestly and as humbly as I know how. Israel as a nation failed, the Protestant Reformation failed, and that which today claims to be Adventism has failed. Lets be honest, it has failed. Who are we to think that we are not going to fail? Friends, we will fail if we are not obedient to God and if we dont want Him more than we want the world. We desperately need to be filled with the Spirit of God, but friends, we are not going to get it unless we really want it and we are willing to do Gods will. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:32) We have to want it more than we want anything else in this world. This has to be our passion! This can’t be said enough and it can’t be lived enough. If we don’t want the Holy Spirit of God, we’re not going to get it. It’s that simple. If it is not a number one priority in our lives, it is not going to happen to us.
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1, 2) The oracles of God were given for a reason—to be shared, to learn from, and to help us know God. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)
I say humbly, friends, that God has given us, above every other people in the world today, an understanding of what He wants the world to know. There are seemingly so few of us. The light God sent in 1844 was never fully extinguished and is being restored. It seemed to almost flicker out and for many years remain dormant, but friends, God has had people all over this world who have begun to carry it forth and I believe that it is now starting to rekindle and grow brighter, but, despite this, we are still such a small people. We must have the latter rain experience in order to give the message that is to lighten the world with the glory of God. Here is the good news! When we were at the General Conference Session in St. Louis, as our church bus was moving from place to place, some of us would run and jump on. God’s bus is starting to move, friends, but we can still jump on! It was always such a thrill to ride our bus in St. Louis. I was always riding up front by the windshield where I could turn around and see our people and still be able to look forward at what was coming. I coveted that experience. I don’t want to be a lord and I don’t want to be a ruler, but I covet the experience of being a leader and a shepherd. I covet the experience of doing something special for God, and friends, the fact is the Bible says we are all called to be ministers of His grace to one another. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10) We are all called to do something very special for God and you should covet that experience and that opportunity too, so that you can do something special for God. He has given us something special that we need to take to the world and the bus is starting to move.
Lessons from Daniel
One of the main points of Daniel, chapter 1 is the test for Daniel and his friends on their diet. When Daniel was taken into captivity, he knew where he was being taken. It is a march of about 500 miles from Jerusalem to Babylon, going north around the mountains through the hot sand. Daniel and his companions had a long time to think about what was ahead of them. When they arrived at Babylon they werent surprised about what they saw. They were not amazed by the things that were there. But before they arrived, Daniel had made a decision not to compromise his faith for anything. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings meat, nor with the wine which he drank. (Daniel 1:8) Daniel made a decision and that decision occurred before the test and trial came. There are going to be tests and trials for us too and we are marching as a people, but I am fearful that many in this movement are on the verge of indifference, of Laodicean sleepiness, and even of Babylonian captivity if we do not awake to what is happening. We have to purpose in our hearts that we are going to do what is right. We should choose the right because it is right, and leave consequences with God. (Spirit of Prophecy Vol. 4, p. 293) Daniel purposed in his heart. He asked for a different diet. It was a simple vegetarian diet. What was the result? “And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.” (Daniel 1:15) It appears they had been in Babylon a short period of time when the question of diet arose. These people, even though they were the king’s seed, were probably emaciated due to the long, hard trip. They would have been underweight and would have lost much of their strength, but we see a noticeable difference in just ten days between Daniel and his companions and the other captives.
God did something special for these men. “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” (Daniel 1:17-20) Friends, if we will follow God’s program, if we will purpose in our hearts to do the right thing, God will do something special for us! He did for Daniel and everyone else noticed it, and He is no respecter of persons. (See Acts 10:34.)
They decided that as flesh-meat had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it. The fate of the sons of Aaron had been presented before them, and they knew that the use of wine would confuse their senses, that the indulgence of appetite would becloud their powers of discernment. These particulars were placed on record in the history of the children of Israel as a warning to every youth to avoid all customs and practises and indulgences that would in any way dishonor God. (Youths Instructor, August 18, 1898) When the heathen king judged Daniel and his friends, he found that their system was far superior to the system that he had himself instituted.
Ellen White says the Hebrew captives were without a peer. At the court of Babylon were gathered representatives from all lands, men of the choicest talents, men the most richly endowed with natural gifts, and possessed of the highest culture this world could bestow; yet amidst them all, the Hebrew captives were without a peer. In physical strength and beauty, in mental vigor and literary attainment, they stood unrivaled. (Education, p. 55, emphasis supplied) Without a peer! That means there was no one that measured up to them. In physical strength and beauty and in mental vigor and literary attainment, they stood unrivaled. Now, I want to ask you a question. Why do we teach stories about Daniel to our children? We want them to be like Daniel! Shouldn’t we expect to be like Daniel also, to live the kind of life he lived and to have the kind of experience that he had? I hope so.
Daniel is not only a book of prophecies but it is also a book of stories, and the stories are just as important as, or perhaps more important than the prophecies because many of these stories are enacted prophecies also. These stories are about experiences that parallel the experiences God’s people will have at the end.
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” (Daniel 6:1-3) Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Why did Darius elevate Daniel to be the first of three presidents? He recognized that there was an excellent spirit in Daniel. It was something clearly noticeable. He realized that this was a special person and that the God of heaven was using him in a special way. Beloved, if we will live a Godly life as Daniel lived, then it will be clearly manifested that there is an excellent spirit in us and God will be pleased to use us as a people.
Where were the people of Israel during the events of Daniel? They were mostly in captivity. Israel had gone into apostasy and God had no choice but to allow them to be in Babylonian captivity, but did God allow His witness to be extinguished? Did God say that His Spirit would not strive with them anymore? No! God used just a few people to keep His name and His character alive, and He used them in a way that they were able to manifest it to people who had influence.
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, the LORD [Yahweh, not the Persian god Mazda, but the God of the Hebrews] God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he had charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” (Ezra 1:1-3) Now, how did Cyrus know this? Because Daniel was his associate and Daniel was familiar with the book of Jeremiah. He knew that the seventy weeks of Jeremiah 25:11 were about fulfilled, so he showed Cyrus where he was mentioned by name in Isaiah 44:28 and then Cyrus made the proclamation. Daniel was just one man. What was the influence of this one man among the whole world? Daniel affected this one man, Cyrus, and it changed the world.
So I ask you the question, who are we? Those who are reading this issue of Old Paths and who are sympathetic with its view are such a small group of people. Friends, all God needs is just one person who is totally dedicated to Him, totally committed to doing His will and that one person can change the course and the outcome of this world. One person can do that. Do you want to be that one person? I do!
Israel as a nation failed. The mantle was passed to the Christian church. The mantle then went to the Reformation. The mantle was then passed to Adventism and now the mantle has been passed to the true historic Adventists. Friends, there is a restoration and a rekindling of the flame that was ignited in Adventism in 1844. That light is going to the world and we can be a part of it, and friends, we have to be part of it. If we don’t, who is going to take it? If we don’t take it, God will raise up someone else, but He will only use a people that He can pour His Spirit upon. He will only use a people who will stand up for the truth and who will say, “Here am I, Lord send me. I will not compromise Your truth. I will not sell it for a mess of evangelical pottage like R. A. Anderson, Leroy Froom, or William Johnnson have. I will take the truth and run with it.” It’s time to run! I am more encouraged today about the work than I have ever been in my life. I have been wondering for a long time how the work is going to be finished. I have been looking at my life for years, as we all have. We can see where God has helped us and where we have made progress by His grace, but we realize the progress has not been what it should have been and what it must be if we are going through the time of trouble without a Mediator. The Bible and Ellen White speak about the out-pouring of the latter rain and we know that we need this. Friends, God has taken my life and He has done something special with it in the last four months and He wants to do something special in all of our lives, if we will let Him. May God grant us, friends, a hungering and a thirsting after righteousness so that the things of this world lose importance and the things fraught with eternal weight and glory become all important. Then we can apply ourselves to giving this message and doing the things that have to be done. Then we will be the special chosen people of God who are fulfilling His will and bringing glory and honor to Him!
Elder Willis Smith of Cleveland, Ohio has two weekly Bible-based radio broadcasts on AM frequencies 1220 and 1440 Saturday evenings, from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST, and again on Sunday evenings, from 9:00-9:30 p.m. EST. Brother Lynnford Beachy was featured recently on one of these broadcasts. You may read a transcript of that program in the September 2005 issue of Present Truth.
Due to the straight testimony that Pastor Smith has been giving, many Sunday preachers have become very upset and have complained to the radio station demanding for Pastor Smith’s programs to be removed or toned down. Please pray that God will overrule these evil intentions.
Your prayers for this outreach are very much appreciated. You may write to Pastor Smith at: God’s Word—God’s Way, P O Box 94054, Cleveland, Ohio 44101. You may call Pastor Smith at: 216-271-9045. Editor
Heidi has Arrived!
|You are now looking at the very first issue of Old Paths that has been printed on our new Heidelberg press! We are overjoyed at “Heidi’s” presence in our print shop. She is absolutely beautiful and although she is a small press, she is unquestionably the finest offset printing press within her class in the world. Our old press, “Blessings,” also known infrequently as “Jezebel,” died an untimely but slow death and could not be resuscitated as parts could no longer be purchased for her, and God has graciously provided this wonderful gift to us just when we needed it. We are very thankful for all that you have done to make this dream a reality. Not only the quality, but also the quantity, of all our printing endeavors will now be greatly enhanced. Even though the plate-making process will have to be updated eventually, we are overjoyed with our new addition and hope that you can stop by sometime soon, not only to see us but also to see “Heidi” in action!||
Operator’s side of press
|Feeder end of press||Deliverly end of press|
Youths Corner Words to the Young
A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian. For “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” In every clime, in every nation, our youth should cooperate with God. The only way a person can be pure is to become like-minded with God. How can we know God?—By studying his word. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”
Of what profit is it to say pleasant things, to deplore the works of Satan, and yet at the same time to enter into the fulfillment of all his devices? This is being double-minded. “Wash ye, make you clean: put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
There must be a cleansing of the hands, and a purifying of the double mind. “Be afflicted, and weep and mourn: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into heaviness.” It is right to be cheerful, and even joyful. It is right to cultivate cheerfulness of spirit through sanctification of the truth; but it is not right to indulge in foolish jesting and joking, in lightness and trifling, in words of criticism and condemnation of others. Those who observe such persons who make a profession of religion, know that they are deceived. They know that the hands of such professors need to be cleansed, their hearts need to be purified. They need to experience genuine repentance for sin. What have they to mourn over? They should mourn over their inclination to sin, over the danger they are in from inward corruption and from outward temptation. They should be afraid because they have so feeble a sense of the sinfulness of sin, and so little idea of what constitutes sin.
When you truly repent of sin, you will not be satisfied to acknowledge simply that you are sinful, and let the matter rest there. Do you intend to remain sinful while life shall last? Do you mean to violate your conscience? Do you mean to do evil always? What does the Lord say to those who have had light, and yet have failed to live in accordance with it? “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” There is a repentance of sin that needeth not to be repented of. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Does this text mean that the human agent can remove one stain of sin from his soul?No. Then what does it mean to purify himself?It means to look upon the Lords great moral standard of righteousness, the holy law of God, and see that he is a sinner in the light of that law. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sin; and in him is no sin. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that the truth is accepted in the heart and the human agent is purified and cleansed. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Is it possible to be healed, while knowingly committing sin?No; it is genuine faith that says, I know that I have committed sin, but that Jesus has pardoned my sin; and hereafter I will resist temptation in and through his might. Every man that hath this hope in him [abiding in him] purifieth himself, even as he is pure. He has an abiding principle in the soul, that enables him to overcome temptation. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. God has power to keep the soul who is in Christ, when that soul is under temptation. Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. That is, every one who is a true believer is sanctified through the truth, in life and character. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth [not professeth to do] righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; . . . because he is born of God. In this children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Now mark where the distinction is made: Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither is he that loveth not his brother. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (Ellen G. WhiteYouths Instructor, February 15, 1894)
The Humble Heart is Mine Part 3
The focus of this study will be on our young people and young adults and their parents, and as such, I pray that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.” (Ephesians 1:17) We have gathered here today because we want to not only receive this spirit of wisdom, but we also have a longing for a greater revelation of our heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus.
When I was a young adult, before the birth of my first child, I considered abortion to be a viable option for parents when they knew they would not be able to give adequate love to their unborn child or if the child was most likely to enter a home of animosity and/or neglect. It seemed the logical and right choice for such parents to make. But I changed my mind! I changed my mind the first time I held my own child. In that moment God, did something special for me. With the gift of that first child came an indescribable gift of amazing love, a type of love I had never experienced before, a love that cradles and nurtures an innocent and helpless life, a love that is self-denying, and a love that offers a small glimpse into God’s love for us. Mothers worldwide understand and experience this every day, from the smallest to the greatest, from the richest to the poorest. It is God’s gift to each one of us, and our focus this morning will not only be on our children, young and old, but also on us as parents.
In today’s world there are many problems with parenting. There are attachment disorders not only for the children but also with the parents. Mothers can experience clinical depression following birth and children are born with special needs, but not withstanding all of this and more, God doesn’t leave us alone when He gives us a child to care for. He gives us of the fullness of His love. When we become parents, it changes our lives and it does something for us that is part of God’s plan that may not be accomplished in any other way. Remember the command in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply? When God blesses us in this way and when we are committed to Him, something good will happen. Now, I also know that there are many couples that want to have children and are unable to and I am sensitive to them and their desire, but for those of us who are blessed with parenting, God does something special for us as we depend on Him for wisdom and guidance.
Honoring our Parents
Let us begin with a well-known text in Exodus concerning parents and children, one that we probably all know by heart. “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12) Now the first question is, when God says to honor our parents, is He speaking to children or adults? He is speaking to anyone, young and old, who has parents. In fact, as we study the commandment in depth, we find God is commanding us to respect and love all our elders. The Hebrew word for ‘honor’ in this text is hard to define because it is used with various meanings in other texts, but if we turn to the New Testament where Jesus quotes this verse, we get a clearer understanding. Matthew 15:4 states: “For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” The Greek word used for ‘honor’ here means to prize or to fix a valuation upon. In other words, we are to respect our parents. We are to prize them as special people worthy of our attention. We are to value them, to listen to them, and to appreciate them. God expects this of us and it is His command for us, for they have a head-start on us and have years of experience to share with us.
Joseph’s Humble Example of Obedience
Jesus also said, Suffer the little children to come unto me. (Mark 10:14) But there are not many other commands in the Bible that we have for youth and for children except that they are to obey their parents. (See Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20.) So, lets look at some examples of young people in the Bible to see what lessons we can learn from them. Genesis 37 relates a familiar story concerning Joseph. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. (vs. 3, 4) Verses 5 and 6 are about a dream Joseph had, and verse 8 states, And his brethren said to him Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words, and then verse 11 says, And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. The sequence of events here is Josephs older brothers first hated him, then hated him even more and then envied him. After some time had passed, Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. (Verse 13) And how did Joseph respond? He said, Here am I. Even though his brothers hated and envied him, he told his father he would go. Joseph listened to his fathers instructions, and feared the LORD. He was more obedient to his fathers righteous teachings than any of his brethren. He treasured his instructions, and with integrity of heart, loved to obey God. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 138) And his father then told him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. (verse 14) We all know what happened. Once he arrived, his life completely changed, but he did his fathers will regardless of how he thought his brothers regarded him or might treat him. We are told that Joseph illustrates Christ (See Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 174.) and that Joseph brought God with him into Egypt, and the fact was made apparent by his cheerful demeanor amid his sorrow. As the ark of God brought rest and prosperity to Israel, so did this God-loving, God-fearing youth bring a blessing to Egypt. (The Youths Instructor, March 11, 1897) May we all, young and old, bring rest and prosperity to those around us because of our humble walk with God.
Gideon Honor’s God First and Foremost
Now, lets look at Judges 6. This is the wonderful story of Gideon. How many useful and honored workers in Gods cause have received a training amid the humble duties of the most lowly positions in life Gideon was taken from the threshing floor to be the instrument in the hands of God for delivering the armies of Israel. (Gospel Workers, pp. 332-333) And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. (verses 7-12) Verse 25 says: And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy fathers young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it. Now, his father owned the grove and the altar and shared in the apostasy of his countrymen, but God told Gideon that it needed to be destroyed. The deliverance of Israel was to be preceded by a solemn protest against the worship of Baal. Gideon must declare war upon idolatry before going out to battle with the enemies of his people. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 547) What did Gideon do? He obeyed God. This illustrates the principle that our first allegiance is to our heavenly Father and His will. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) We are to obey His voice even if it is in contradiction to our parents’ wishes. We must abide by our heavenly Father’s command first and after that, we are to be in obedience to and respectful of our parents. And so it came to pass that “Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.” (Judges 6:27)
The Rechabites Honor their Father
The obedience of the Rechabites is a beautiful example to us. “The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; And I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door: And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.” (Jeremiah 35:1-10) Now I ask you, is it a hard thing to dwell in tents all of your days? Is it a hard thing to have no wine to drink? I hope not. Living in this country, we might think it would be a hard thing to obey a command to live in tents all of our days, but I am telling you, if the love of God is present, it is not a hard thing. These people had a large, extended family about them and they continued to obey their deceased father’s command. They were still living in tents. They were abstinent of wine and were not sowing seed, etc. In verses 18 and 19, we read: “And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.”
I dont know how important it is to you that your family does not lack for a man to stand before our heavenly Father, but this is a high honor and a great blessing that God has granted them and continues to grant them, all because they obeyed God by honoring their fathers righteousness command. I am very mindful of the wickedness of our time, and I know of our worldliness here in America and how it is very easy for our young people to be drawn aside by music, dress, friends, entertainment, and by other allurements of this world. Satan has a way of making the worst things seem the most beautiful to us when we dont have our mind submitted to God. If we do not keep our eyes on Him and if we are not spending time in His word and on our knees, we will fall and we will walk down the path that Satan has planned for us. The Rechabites are a worthy example of not just one person, but of a whole household that adhered to their fathers wish. The lesson is for us. If the requirements of a good and wise father, who took the best and most effectual means to secure his posterity against the evils of intemperance, were worthy of strict obedience, surely Gods authority should be held in as much greater reverence as He is holier than man. (Prophets and Kings, pp. 425-426)
Abraham and Isaac both Honor God
Now lets turn to Genesis 22 for another familiar story. Verses 1 and 2 say, And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham, and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. So Abraham rose early and he obeyed. He knew his Fathers voice. He knew this was God speaking to him. So he arose, took Isaac and his servants with him, and you know what happened. They reached the place of Gods own choosing and Isaac asked, Where is the lamb for the offering? Abraham explained that God would provide one. And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. (verse 8) We know that Isaac did not fight his elderly father. He was much stronger than Abraham but he chose to obey his father. He honored his fathers request. I dont know how many of us would have been so compliant, but remember Abraham had an intimate relationship with God. Father and son build the altar, and the terrible moment comes for Abraham to make known to Isaac that which has agonized his soul all that long journey, that Isaac himself is the victim. Isaac is not a lad; he is a full-grown young man. He could have refused to submit to his fathers design had he chosen to do so. He does not accuse his father of insanity, nor does he even seek to change his purpose. He submits. He believes in the love of his father and that he would not make this terrible sacrifice of his only son if God had not bidden him do so. Isaac is bound by the trembling, loving hands of his pitying father because God has said it. The son submits to the sacrifice because he believes in the integrity of his father. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 368) This story is a type of the gospel that reveals the most complete and full obedience of a son to his father. The offering of Isaac was designed by God to prefigure the sacrifice of His Son. Isaac was a figure of the Son of God, who was offered a sacrifice for the sins of the world. (Youths Instructor, March 1, 1900)
Our Children Today
Not long ago, when I was still a social worker, a young man came into my office, needing someone to talk to and I happened to be that person. He had earrings in both ears. He was wearing a ball cap, baggy jeans, and a sweatshirt and he sat slouched in the chair. As he spoke, his eyes reddened and tears began to fall down his cheeks. He tugged on his short hair as he spoke. “I’ve been on my own since I was ten and in juvenile lock-up for two years.” He had been in juvenile lock-up because he had no home to go to. He was on the streets and the city officials couldn’t let him stay there, so they had no choice but to place him in juvenile detention. He went on to say that he had eight siblings, from age fourteen to age three. (He was nineteen years old.) He continued, “My father had a good job. We had a nice home. We had two cars in the garage, but all of this changed when he met a woman and she introduced him to drugs. Now he lives on the streets. He has overdosed on heroin three times (not as suicide attempts) and his last overdose was so serious the doctors did not think he would pull through. Now he is a very feeble person and I don’t expect him to live long.” When I asked him about his mother, he said, “She’s on crack in Florida,” and then he told me about his sister, who is fourteen years old. “She used to read all the time. She got good grades in school. She has a sharp mind, but now she also is into drugs, and is a prostitute, is rebellious, and doesn’t care. She got started on drugs through a girlfriend.” Next he told me about his four-year-old son. This young man had only recently moved to West Virginia from New Jersey, leaving his four-year-old son behind. “I miss him. His mother, whom I love, is on heroin also. She got started on this through a girlfriend too and she is a bag of bones. Her eyes are sunken in and her veins are black, but I love her. She is in rehab, but I don’t think she’ll stay.” Then he said, “I get panic attacks. It feels like there is a thousand pounds on my chest. I don’t know how to help them. I was the father figure for all my brothers and sisters and I don’t know what I can do to help them. The stress was so much that I had to leave Jersey. I just couldn’t stay, but now I am down here and I still can’t help them.”
These are the children we have in our world. What a condition the human family is in today! Have you ever seen before such a time of confusionof violence, of murder, theft, and every other kind of crime? (Selected Messages, bk. 1, p.98) If you wonder how to be a parent, then you must look at our heavenly Father. He is our Father! He pities us. He knows how to parent us, if we will listen to Him and learn from His word. He is aware of our frailty and feebleness, and His Son knows first hand of our infirmities. He [Jesus] was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. (Desire of Ages, p. 353) God doesn’t turn anyone away who is searching after Him, but these children, what do they have? If you still have your children with you, you are greatly blessed. Life is not easy for a lot of young people, but you who are here today, you have an opportunity to develop a relationship with your heavenly Father and with Jesus, just as Joseph, Isaac, and Gideon did. If you will do that, whatever the future holds for you, you will succeed. You will get through it and it will not overwhelm you and change and affect you like it has this young man, because God will be there to lead and guide you. Like Joseph, carry your religion with you everywhere, for this is the secret of unwavering fidelity. (See MS 59, 1897.)
The Fast that God has Chosen
Lets turn to Isaiah 58 and focus on parents for a moment. This is a favorite chapter for many of us. Starting with verses 6 and 7: Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Now, I ask you, what does it mean to hide not thyself from thine own flesh? God is describing here the fast that He has chosen. It is to break every yoke, to feed the hungry, to help the oppressed, to clothe those who have no clothing, and it is also to not hide yourself from your own flesh. Who is our own flesh? It would have to be at least our biological family—our parents, our children, our grandchildren, etc. Now, it is true that when our children are young, we stay with them and care for them, generally speaking, but for some reason, we sometimes think when our children become eighteen that they have become an adult, that we have done our job, and that they need to be gone and living on their own. Now it is true that it is usually not for their best interest that they live with us forever, but eighteen isn’t the magic number for leaving home, nor is nineteen or twenty. To hide not yourself from your own flesh means that when you see a need in your family, you don’t turn your back and you don’t close your eyes and say it is their problem, not yours. God does not do that to us and we are not to do it to each other, either in our biological family or in our church family.
Another client I had when I was still a social worker came to my office in tears because she has an 18-year-old son with slight mental retardation and with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He functions well enough to work at a fast food restaurant, but he does not know how to budget his money, for one thing, and he quickly spends it on things he does not need. He is also impulsive at home and had become so irritating to his stepfather that the father was forcing him out of the home. The problem was that he had nowhere to go and he could not live on his own without community supports being in place first. So, what is one to do in such a situation? What would you do? And more importantly, how would God want you to treat this young man if he were your son? All His gifts are to be used in blessing humanity, in relieving the suffering and the needy. We are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for the widow and the fatherless, to minister to the distressed and downtrodden. God never meant that the widespread misery in the world should exist. He never meant that one man should have an abundance of the luxuries of life, while the children of others should cry for bread. The means over and above the actual necessities of life are entrusted to man to do good, to bless humanity. (Christs Object Lessons, p. 370) Then the blessing will be yours of being able to call upon the Lord, “and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.” (Isaiah 58:9a) What a wonderful privilege!
Now, you may feel it is hard to be a parent because you may have been doing it for decades and you feel you deserve a break, but I am telling you, you dont need a break, you need strength from the Lord! Our children and grandchildren need us. Our nieces and nephews need us, and whatever their need is, we are to provide it if it is within our means to do so. Now, we want them to be independent, it is true. We want them to learn to think for themselves, to make good decisions, to reason from cause to effect, to have an income and budget wellall of those things that we have learned somehow, but I want to encourage you to consider this command of God, Hide not yourself from your own flesh, because we want to be right with God. It is easy to do these other thingswe feed people quite frequently, we help with clothing, and hopefully if people come to us with a heavy burden we have the right words to lift those burdens, but not hiding yourself from your own flesh is harder because it is often more demanding as our families almost always remain a part of our lives. How much of this hiding has been done! How many have closed the eyes and locked the door of the heart, lest a softening influence should prompt them to works of kindness and charity! The work of Christ never ceases. His tender love and goodness are inexhaustible; His mercy is over all the children of men. The Lord Jesus means that you shall be blessed in imparting to His needy, suffering ones. He has made men His copartners. (Welfare Ministry, p. 309)
Choosing the Better Part
Now, I have a few children. They are legally adults now, but they are still my children, and becoming a parent for the first time unleashed a passionate desire to plan for the best development of all of my daughter’s expected talents. She would be fluent in several languages. She would be able to play several instruments. She would sing, paint, and draw. Science and math would be opened to her in a significant way. She would know all about the celestial sky. She would have her own telescope and be able to chart the path of the stars. She would travel around the globe. She would know birds, trees, flowers, and animals. She would be conversant in history. I wanted to do everything within my power to make this little human being into the best adult possible, but I was leaving out the most needful thing. Early one morning as I was rocking and feeding my baby and making these wonderful plans for her, in my mind’s eye I saw my daughter standing beside me. She was now grown and both of us were looking up and intensely watching the sky, for Jesus was returning to earth. She looked at me and said with great pain in her voice, “Why didn’t you tell me about this? You gave me the best of everything in this world, but you didn’t tell me about the most important thing.” Of course she wasn’t ready to meet Jesus and that immediately changed me. I knew I had been focusing on all the wrong things. We started to have worship and attend church. God is so good. He helps our feeble efforts to be parents if we will just spend time with Him on our knees.
You may not be a mother or a father, but perhaps you have nieces and nephews that you can spend time with or there may be children in your church fellowship and in your community that need your attention. As we learn to parent and shepherd these little ones, the wisdom that God gives us is vital not only for our own character development but also to the growth and spiritual maturity of these young people. May God richly bless you as you seek to be not only a godly parent to the children around you, but a loving child to your elders as well.
(Sister Onycha Holt recently resigned from being a social worker to help assist in the Lords work at Smyrna. She is working as a personal assistant to me in the publishing work and she covets your prayers for her clients she leaves behind and for her, that she may be a rich blessing to all her labors and life touch. Editor)
Convocation in Orlando This Month!
The believers in the Orlando area will be having a convocation October 22, 2005, at the Woodland Lutheran Campground. Guest speakers will be Lynnford Beachy, Allen Stump, and Onycha Holt from Smyrna Gospel Ministries. A haystack lunch will be provided for all who attend. For further information you may contact Jerri Raymond at 1-407-291-9565 or Ed Cyrus at 1-813-426-5503. I hope to see you there!
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 -
Assistant to the Editor: Onycha Holt - E-mail email@example.com
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This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013