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. 16, No. 7 Straight and Narrow July  2007

Will This Man Reign Over Us?

By Allen Stump 

While in school, I read George Orwell’s novel 1984 and the theme of the novel bears consideration. In this novel, which was published in 1949, the government’s “Thought Police” constantly spied on citizens to make sure they were not thinking rebellious thoughts. In the novel, thought crimes were severely punished by “Big Brother.” 1984 was intended as a warning against totalitarian governments that enslave and control their citizens and was specifically written with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in mind. Even though the iron curtain has come down in theory and the Berlin Wall has dropped, we need this urgent warning even more now because this world’s “Thought Police” are knocking on our door, whether we realize it or not. 

Encouraged by homosexual groups, the United States House Judiciary Committee recently passed what is in reality, a “Thought Crimes” bill. It is called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, but this bill is not about hate. It is not even about crime. It is about outlawing peaceable speech—speech that asserts, among other things, that homosexual behavior is morally wrong, and I believe this act will be a stepping stone for future restrictions on free speech. We are primed to receive this now because a recent poll has shown that almost 60% of the people believe that homosexuality is genetically determined and cannot be reversed. 

In places where hate crime laws have been passed, hate crimes have been defined to include verbal attacks and even peaceable speech. The “Thought Police,” as Orwell called them, have already persecuted and prosecuted Christians for hate crimes in England, Sweden, Canada, and even in some places in the United States. In Canada, for example, a Christian was fined $6,000 for printing three Bible verses against homosexuality, and a newspaper was fined $6,000 for accepting the advertisement. In another instance, a Christian printer was fined $5,000 for refusing to print stationery for homosexual activists. He spent $175,000 of his own money defending himself against the charges, until he became bankrupt. In Canada, a Christian was fined $35,000 for distributing what was called “hate literature,” which were tracts criticizing homosexuality. Recently, in Sweden a pastor was arrested and convicted for reading from the pulpit Scriptures criticizing homosexuality. Thankfully a higher court overturned his conviction. 

While this article does not deal with homosexuality, I bring up the issue of hate crimes for us to consider because it is at the forefront of what free speech is and is not. We need to be concerned because free speech, and all that is involved with it, is in danger! 

Philadelphia was the first seat of government for the United States. Independence Hall, along with the Liberty Bell, is in Philadelphia. While Pennsylvania is a wonderful place in many respects, its hate crime law was used to justify the arrest and jailing of nearly a dozen Christians a few years ago during a street fair called “Outfest,” organized by homosexual activists in celebration of “National Coming Out Day.” A group of Christians called “Repent America” went to the “Outfest” and encouraged the people attending the fair to repent and forsake their ways. As a result of their actions, eleven of them were actually arrested and incarcerated overnight for hate crimes against the homosexual participants, including a 72-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl. 

In classic 1984 fashion, peaceful speech will be redefined as a violent attack worthy of punishment. Now, why do I bring all this up? What is the real purpose for beginning our study this way? It is because we need to consider the basic premise of hate crimes, for within this premise is the seed of the theme for this article. 

The basic premise behind hate crimes is that there are no moral absolutes. There is no standard that is accepted as being the guideline for everyone. There is no black and white. There is truly no right or wrong and because of this everything is subjective to the individual. One person’s thoughts are just as good as another person’s thoughts. If this is so, beloved, then there is no justification for having absolutes and we are surely justified to pass laws that keep people from trampling upon the perceived moral values of others. But, beloved, is there not a moral standard? If there is a moral standard, if there is an exclusiveness of right and wrong, then there must be a way to know what the standard is. I want to tell you very plainly, without any question at all, that the moral standard is the Word of God. God has given us his Word so that we may know exactly what is right and exactly what is wrong. We are commanded over and over in the Bible not to sin. John states this very clearly, for example, when he says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not (1 John 2:1).” When God’s Word says that sinning is not the norm for the Christian, we need to believe it, for it is truth. If sinning is not the norm for our experience and total victory and overcoming is to be what we experience, then we need to have a clear understanding of what is right and wrong and know that God himself will empower us to walk in the way of righteousness. However, we are often wishy-washy and namby-pamby and have the idea that there are many ways to heaven. 

If you locate Welch, West Virginia, on a road map, you will find that there are five different roads that come into Welch, so we can say there is more than one way to get to Welch. We have all heard the old saying that “All roads lead to Rome,” and during the Roman Empire that was nearly true, but all roads do not lead to heaven. I cannot state that clearly enough. All roads do not lead to heaven. I do not believe in a gospel that allows for anything and everything to be believed, taught, and practiced. I like the name of the ministry Elder Smith works with—God’s Word, God’s Way. God’s Word is God’s way, and God’s Word is the only way. It does not matter if history says otherwise or how much tradition teaches otherwise, and it does not matter how much my family values differ from what the Bible says. It does not matter what I have been taught or what any church, group, individual, or minister believes. The only thing that matters is what God’s Word says and anything put above his Word is actually idolatry. Though the saving merits of Christ are clearly broad enough and wide enough to save the whole world, I believe the gospel is very exclusive. I do not apologize for saying so. Thieves, gluttons, drunkards, and the like will not be in the kingdom of God. Heaven is a place of peace, purity, and bliss, but only for those who love these things. 

The Exclusiveness of the Gospel 

Let us turn in our Bibles to chapter 2 of Genesis. God put a tree in the garden and he told Adam and Eve, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (v. 17).” God was very plain and exact to them. He told them the way they were to worship and serve him and what they were not to do. Satan directly contradicted God, however, by saying, “Ye shall not surely die (Genesis 3:4).” God had laid out a very plain path to Adam and Eve and he meant what he said. Did God fulfill his Word to them? God did not say they could worship him at different trees in the garden, in various ways. He told them specifically what he wanted them to do. 

In Genesis 4 is the story of Cain and Abel and once again we have an example of the use of choice and yielding submission to God. Were Cain and Abel going to yield to God’s way or were they going to have things their own way? You see, if God’s way is not necessary, then I have indeed set up my own standard, I have become my own God, and I am involved in idolatry. Probably none of us have golden idols in our homes to worship. We do not have images that we reverence, but if we put our own thoughts and our own philosophies or theologies in the place of God, that is idolatry. We have set up a god unto ourselves and we have set ourselves upon the throne. We have done spiritually what Lucifer wanted to do. We have, in our eyes, become like the Most High and have set ourselves in the sides of the north (Isaiah 14:13, 14). Our faith must rest upon the Bible; otherwise, we are setting up our own standard and our own idol! 

In Genesis 6 and 7 is the story of Noah. God declared he was going to destroy the earth because of the wickedness of the people. He gave Noah specific plans on how to build an ark of safety and he commissioned Noah to preach for one hundred twenty years that salvation would only be found inside that ark and if the people failed to go into the ark they would be lost. We know that Noah and his family went into the ark and we also know that no one else survived the flood. When God tells us something, we must obey him and not do anything according to our own ideas. 

The concept of obeying God and not following our own ideas is very prevalent in the teachings of Jesus Christ. For example, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13, 14).” Is Jesus giving us a vision of a day when there will be a wonderful revival in which the large majority of the inhabitants of earth will love the gospel, God’s way, and follow him? I think not, for in verses 21-23 we read: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them,” and these are probably the saddest words that will ever fall on human ear, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” 

Jesus also said, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [the “he” is supplied], ye shall die in your sins (John 8:23, 24).” Here Jesus claimed to be the “I AM” that spoke to Moses at the bush (Exodus 3:14). He was that angel who was a spokesman for God (Exodus 23:20, 21), but he says that if we do not believe in him as he reveals himself we will die in our sins, and Jesus declared himself to be the Son of God (John 3:16). It is interesting that many people of the world believe in the person Jesus Christ. We know that Catholics believe in Jesus and Protestants believe in Jesus, (and I say Protestants and not Pro-testants because there are not many Pro-testants left) and even the followers of Islam believe in the person of Jesus, but how do they believe in him? Jesus laid out very clearly that we must believe that he is the Son of God. The gospel is based upon this truth. (See Matthew 16:16.) Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the different facets of Protestants and Catholics, Hindus (who recognize Jesus as a philosopher), and Muslims (who recognize him as a prophet) all reject him as the literal, begotten Son of God. Friends, they acknowledge Jesus and say they believe in him but this does not constitute a saving experience for them. 

Jesus also stated: “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd (John 10:15, 16).” God’s plan and the teaching of Jesus Christ have one fold and one shepherd, not a multitude of folds and many ideas about the shepherd. The Bible teaches us specifically that in the very last days of this earth, in the time that we are now living, another angel comes down and joins the three angels of Revelation 14. This fourth angel lightens the earth with the glory of God and part of his message is to come out of Babylon. If there is anyone in the world who should be familiar with these four angels, it is Adventists. Yet, we are willing to look at Catholicism and say “Come out of her my people.” We are willing to look at Protestantism and say, “Come out of her my people.” We can look at Hinduism and say “Come out of her my people,” but we need to understand that there are not five, six, or even twenty versions of the gospel. I realize that some may feel that they can continue to work and labor in the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church and that God will accept their work there, but friends, anywhere Jesus is not lifted up as the literal, begotten Son of God and anywhere it is not clearly presented that the gospel is an exclusive gospel only for those who totally follow God’s Word and his way, that is part of Babylon and the call must be made to come out of her. 

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).” But, are there additional ways to the Father? No, there is only the way of Jesus and we must know who the real Jesus is and what he is like. 

In the first part of Matthew 22 is the parable of the marriage feast, but “when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless (Matthew 22:11, 12).” The actual Greek word for speechless means muzzled, implying there was nothing the man could say and no way he could speak. “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen (vs. 13, 14).” The conclusion to this parable illustrates clearly the investigative judgment. There is an inspection that we must pass. There are absolutes in the Christian’s life and one of the great absolutes is mentioned here—the wedding garment. We have an inspection to pass, and we will not pass using our own standards and our own ideas. I do not know how many times as a minister I have tried to reason with people on certain biblical issues and inevitably I have heard this excuse: “But, I think…this is the way I see it.” Friends, it does not matter how we see anything. The only thing that matters is what God’s Word says. 

Speaking of Jesus before the high priest and his associates, Peter said: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).” Peter is speaking of the name of Christ. If Jesus is not the Son of God and if he is not the only way, then we have all wasted a lot of time and energy through the years supporting what we have believed to be God’s Word. If we can all go to heaven just any way we want, then we have wasted a lot of hard-earned money that we could have used to eat, drink, and be merry with, but that is not what the Bible teaches. In Acts 10 Peter says: “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead (v. 42).” Who ordained Jesus to do this? Did a Trinitarian council come up with a plan for one to accept one role and another to accept another role? God ordained this plan. Verse 43 says, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” 

This singularity of access to God was the teaching of Paul as well. Let us turn to Galatians and allow God’s Word to speak to us. After giving a greeting in the first few verses of Galatians 1, Paul says: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ (vs. 6, 7).” In the evangelical world, one can believe just about anything one wishes, just as long as one believes, but, once again, it is not important what we believe or think about any subject. What is important is what God’s Word says. 

When I attended my twentieth high school class reunion, I learned that a classmate who had been a very good friend in high school had died in a water skiing accident. I asked a mutual friend of ours if he thought our deceased friend had had any Christian inclinations during the last few years of his life because during high school I knew he had had none. My friend said, “Well, my minister once talked with him to help him accept Christ and when the minister asked him if he believed Jesus really existed, he said that he believed Jesus was a true person.” This minister believes that because my friend acknowledged Jesus was a real person he is in heaven now because the Bible says that whosoever shall confess Christ shall be saved. Now, it is true that I do not know what went through my friend’s mind when he said that he believed Jesus was a true person, but if this is all he believed about Jesus, he will not, based upon God’s Word, be in heaven. This is not the kind of acceptance of Jesus the Bible speaks about but rather is a perversion of the gospel. Paul continues to say: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (vs. 8, 9).” The Bible states very clearly that there is not a multiplicity of ways to heaven. 

Chapter 10 of Hebrews contains further counsel from Paul: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh (vs. 19, 20).” Paul says the way is through Christ and him only. There is no other way and no other access. In Philippians 4 we read: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (v. 19).” God supplies our needs, beloved, through one great channel, Jesus Christ. He does not supply it through whatever means or pathways we choose. So, are we to tell the 1.2 billion Muslims that they are wrong? Are we to tell a billion Hindus that they are wrong? Do we dare tell the half a billion Buddhists that they are wrong? A billion Catholics? A billion so-called Protestants? Or even the approximately 15 million Seventh-day Adventists? In Revelation 13 we read about the mark of the beast, and there will be very clear and distinct lines drawn at that time. If today we are not willing to understand the narrowness of the gospel and that the gospel is not composed of a multiplicity of views and ways to heaven, what will we do at that time? In America, things are comparatively easy for us at this time, and I doubt that any of us can really say we have experienced a great deal persecution. If a person loses a job over the Sabbath, he or she might think they have been persecuted, but that is not persecution. “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan (Jeremiah 12:5)?” 

The Inclusiveness of the Gospel 

The exclusiveness of the gospel must be balanced, however, by its additional attribute of inclusiveness. In John 3:16 the Bible says that God so loved the world (not just a few people) that he gave his only begotten Son. The gospel is designed to be for everyone, but we also realize that not everyone will accept it. Not everyone will accept the limitations of the gospel in order to enjoy its privileges. In Revelation 22:17 the appeal is made that “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This appeal is for each one of us. God has called the 1.2 billion Muslims to accept Christ. He has called the billion Hindus, the half billion Buddhists, the billion Catholics, and the billion Protestants to accept Jesus as his Son. He has called them to find salvation and to one day walk in the city of gold. This is his desire, but for many the price is too high. 

God will accept whosoever comes to him. In Acts 10:34, 35, we read: “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Any nation. In heaven there will be no West Virginians, no Pennyslvanians or Californians, and no Ghanians. We will all be Christians in heaven. 

The Basis of Our Acceptance 

Jesus made a very powerful statement recorded by John: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).” I also think of when Naomi told Ruth to go back to her own people and Ruth replied: “Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God (Ruth 1:16).” Ruth realized that there was something different and special about the God of Israel that worshipping the gods of Moab did not provide. Worshipping false gods will not meet our needs today either. 

The basis of our being included into the family of God is by his grace through faith. Paul quotes several verses from the Old Testament in Romans 3:9-20 and makes a very strong case that everyone of us has the same problem with sin. We have all sinned and no one does righteousness. Paul culminates his thoughts with verses 20-24: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh [the unconverted] be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested [in the converted], being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:20-24).” Paul also states in Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Writing to the church at Ephesus, Paul said: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).” We read earlier about those who do righteousness and here in Ephesians we read that we are saved by grace through faith, but Paul goes on to say in verse 10 that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” You see, there is something we must have to enter heaven—a Christian character. Without that character we cannot enter the city of God. A character is something that is formed in our experience step-by-step. It is the work of a lifetime. Development of character is something God wants to do for each one of us. Our characters are developed by the things we do, by the choices we make, the thoughts we think, and the habits we live with. 

I envision in my mind’s eye, as I read Revelation; The Great Controversy and other such books; as well as certain sections of Early Writings, a view of heaven where we all come to worship God and when we do this, we will only worship him in his way as he directs. Today, there are many different forms of worshipping God, and even within Adventism we find different ways to worship him. We have celebration churches which have a very similar style of worship to Pentecostalism, and I am also sad to say that we have forms of worship in some of the churches that mimic the cemetery, for we have no life in our Christian experience. 

The Kingship of Christ 

As I was reading Acts 14 recently, a thought came to mind that I would like to share with you. Paul and Barnabas are at Lystra and, through the grace of God, Paul healed a man who had been crippled from birth. The people at Lystra were so impressed with the healing that they declared Paul and Barnabas to be gods—Paul to be Mercury and Barnabas to be Jupiter. The people made garlands and obtained oxen to sacrifice unto them. When Paul and Barnabas perceived what was happening, they said: “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein (v. 15).” In just a very short time the tide had turned. Jewish people, who were in opposition to the work of Paul and Barnabas, came along and began to say things to the people which incited a riot. The very men they were willing to worship as gods just a few minutes before they now turned on. They stoned Paul and left him for dead. These people were ready to worship but only on their own terms and to the gods they chose. 

Burger King has used the slogan, “Have It Your Way,” and this is the way we often want our religion—our way and not God’s way. Consider the rich young ruler that came to Jesus as recorded in Matthew 19:16-21: 

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 

The young man felt that he had kept God’s commandments, but, in reality, he had not. If the requirements of Christ were within the parameters that he was willing to accept, the rich young ruler would have been happy with Jesus and fine in accepting the gospel, “but when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions (v. 22).” 

The prophet Ezekiel told the people of his day that it was as if he was singing a beautiful song about their duty and responsibilities that they just loved to hear, but then they would not do what he had sung about (Ezekiel 33:31, 32). Music is a great power for good and a power for evil. People can be influenced to do the wrong things and influenced to be very complacent and feel like everything is sentimentally fine by music. All of God’s words are like sacred music from him to us and he does not give us license to only listen and then disregard his instruction. 

In Acts 6:7 we read about a great company of priests who were obedient to the faith. The word that is translated obedient in the Greek is upakouw (hupakouo). It is from two Greek words. One, upo (hupo), means to be under or come under, and the other Greek word, akouw (akouo), means to hear. Together they form the Greek word hupakouo which means to hear and to come under or to be obedient to that which you have heard. 

When a parent says to a disobedient child, “I want you to listen to me,” what he or she means is that they want the child to do more than just hear what is said, they want the child to hear and obey. 2 Chronicles records that Jehoshaphat heard the warning of the prophet Micaiah but did not heed what the prophet said. As a result, the king of Israel died and, except for God’s intervention, Jehoshaphat would have been killed also. Thankfully, Jehoshaphat learned the important lesson to both hear and follow the counsel of the prophets (2 Chronicles 20). 

During Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people laid palm branches down in his path and a great cry went out: “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee (Matthew 21:9-11).” Now, who was Jesus to most of the people? He was simply a prophet from Galilee, and remember the common teaching among the people was that no prophet was to come from Nazareth or Galilee (John 7:52). Many of the same people who cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David” are pictured elsewhere in the book of Matthew. In chapter 27 we read: “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified (vs. 22, 23).” “But not a few who had then shouted His praise, because it was popular to do so, now swelled the cry of “Crucify Him, crucify Him (The Desire of Ages, p. 743).” 

These were people who were willing to accept Christ on their own terms in their own way. The offense of the cross was very much in existence even before Jesus went to it, and the offense of the cross, as Paul speaks of it, has not ceased today. “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased (Galatians 5:11).” Jesus tried to warn his disciples of the offense of the cross and his warning is equally for us today. In Matthew 26:21 Jesus said: “All ye shall be offended because of me this night.” Offended. I wonder if Jesus were here today and we were to replay the scenario, would he say to each one of us, “You will all be offended of me in some way or another.” I hope and pray not. 

The Jews Rejected Jesus on His Terms 

The Jews rejected Jesus but they were willing to accept him on their own terms. For instance, John 6:15 states: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.” What kind of a king were they going to make Jesus? A worldly king. A king like the kings of other nations, only a better king. A king who could feed the soldiers, who could heal the wounded, and who could provide prosperity. A king they could have their way. 

Jesus was brought before Pilate, as recorded in Matthew 27: “And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest (v. 11).” Pilate wanted to know, “Are you the king of the Jews?” What was the reaction of the people to this? They said, “Let him be crucified (v. 22).” Herod and his soldiers mocked him. They plaited a crown of thorns and put it upon his head. They took a reed and put it in his hand like a scepter and robed him in purple, the color of royalty. They called him king, but, of course, they would not have this man reign over them. Even at the cross it was said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him (v. 42).” In other words, “We will take him if we can have him the way we want him, if he will do the things that we want him to do. If he will show himself in the way we want him to show himself, then we will believe in him.” A plaque was placed over the head of Jesus, “This is the king of the Jews.” He did, in fact, want to be their king; he was supposed to be their true king, but they would not have it so. 

Through reading the writings of A. T. Jones, I came to understand a principle a long time ago. Something very important has to be present for one to become a king and that is the will of the people. The people must desire it. No man ever serves as a sovereign except the will of the people allows it. No one man can override the will of the people. If the people do not want to serve him, they can and will rebel when they desire it bad enough. A decade ago we saw this in Europe and in Russia. It almost happened in China at Tiananmen Square. If there had been just a few more people who had been willing to die, to pay the price, a revolution would have begun in China. It apparently was not time for it, but the people ultimately still rule. If you will read the language in Revelation 13:14 carefully, it says that it is the people who make the decree—the people demand it. 

In our story about Lady Jane Grey in the “Youth’s Corner,” we see that Lady Jane at first was chosen to be queen because the people pressed her into it, following the will of King Edward VI. When the people’s opinion changed, though, Lady Jane was removed and Mary was crowned queen. When Queen Mary feared the people were gaining too much sympathy for Lady Jane and her husband, Lord Guilford, she later gave the order for their execution. 

A few centuries ago, a piece of legislation was passed by the British Parliament and a member of Parliament brought the bill to the Queen for her signature. Her signature was needed for the bill to become official, but the Queen did not like the bill and did not want to sign it. At first she refused and said to the representative of Parliament, “Do you not know who I am? I am the Queen! I have more power than you.” He said, “Yes, Your Majesty, but I represent the people and the people are greater than the Queen,” and she had to sign the bill! 

Will This Man Reign Over Us? 

After the account of Zacchaeus in Luke 19, we read: “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us (vs. 11-14).” The imagery of the parable is not very difficult to discern. Jesus comes to the Jewish people and they say, “We will not have this man to reign over us (v. 14).” You see, Jesus can only be king in our lives if we allow him to be the king. If we choose not to have Jesus reign over us, he cannot and will not reign over us. He will not force himself. A point of interest in this story is when the nobleman, who represents Jesus, came back, those who said they would not have this man reign over them are still there. The stewards and all the citizens of the land are still there in the parable. We can go through the motions: We can attend church, sing in the choir, be involved, and even preach, and yet all along in our minds we are saying, “I will not have this man reign over me.” In the parable, there was an outward compliance, but there was not heartfelt submission, and the end result is given in verse 27: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” In other parables Jesus said that there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:13, Luke 13:28).  

Beloved, we are coming to the very end of this world’s history, and we are going to be either saved or lost. We are not going to be able to sit on any fences. Many times we think about the end time and what it is going to be like. If there are any people who have understood and studied last day events deeply, they are the Seventh-day Adventist people. We have a far clearer understanding on eschatology despite some of the different views we have held on aspects of Revelation. As far as the big picture of the great controversy is concerned, however, no one understands it like Seventh-day Adventists do, but until we really experience Christ as king in our lives, it is all going to be meaningless. If we understand every verse of Revelation but do not experience the lordship of Christ in our lives, we are still going to be lost, and I daresay if we know nothing about the events foretold in the book of Revelation but we understand that our Father is the only true God and that Jesus is the one true Lord and if we allow Christ to be king over our lives in these end times, we will still be saved. 

Our Hearts Are the Issue

Have we really considered what it is going to be like at the time of the end? Where and how will we stand? Where will we be on that great day and what will we be doing? Will we have this man reign over us or will we make an idol unto ourselves? 

The End
  Have you ever heard, my friend,
Of the time that’s called “The End?”
That’s when time will cease to be,
And you’ll face eternity,
And you’ll have to count the cost–
Have you won or have you lost?
Have you ever heard, my friend,
Of the time that’s called “The End?” 

There was a time, my friend,
When I cared less about “The End.” 
But there was something deep inside 
From which I could not run or hide, 
And it was at times like these, 
When my mind was ill at ease, 
That I would stop and think, my friend, 
Of a time that’s called “The End.” 

Then these questions came to me: 
You came from where? 
Why are you here? 
Where will you spend eternity? 
This kept going through my head. 
Then I remembered what someone once said: 

For God so loved the world 
That He gave His only Son. 
And all this He would have done, 
Had I been the only one, 
In the whole wide human race 
Who stood in need of saving grace. 
So, I let Him be my friend 
And I’ll serve Him till “The End.” 

Now the questions come to you: 
You came from where? 
Why are you here? 
Where will you be when time is through? 
Think these questions through your mind. 
Then, perhaps, one day you too will find: 

Why God so loved the world 
That He gave His only Son. 
And all this He would have done, 
Had you been the only one 
In the whole wide human race 
Who stood in need of amazing grace. 
Why not let Him be your friend? 
Why not serve Him till “The End?” 

    Rick Shorter (Used by permission)

Revelation 19:16 says that when Jesus comes back the second time without sin unto salvation he comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If he is king only in a few areas of our lives, he is not really our king. He is king only if we allow him to reign in our hearts totally. If he is not lord of all he is not lord at all. “Almost but not wholly saved, means to be not almost but wholly lost (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 118).” If we cannot recognize that Jesus has claims upon us and be willing to accept the gospel on his terms and not our own, we are not going to be saved and I would be a false minister and I would be a liar if I told you anything else. 

What we really need above everything is for our hearts to be changed by Jesus. Christians who really love the Lord will not find it difficult to accept his ways. When you really love someone, it is not hard to try to please that person. You want to please those that you really and truly love. It does not matter the hardship it puts you through. 

We all are familiar with Deuteronomy 6:4 “The LORD our God is one LORD,” but the very next verse says that we are to love him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and Jesus said that if we really love him we will keep his commandments (Deuteronomy 6:5, John 14:15). God has promised to instruct and guide us. He does not want us to be like a horse that has to be held in with bit and bridle, but he wants to guide us with his eye (Psalm 32:8, 9). The Bible in Basic English says: “I will give you knowledge, teaching you the way to go; my eye will be your guide (Psalm 32:8).” This verse can be interpreted in a couple of different ways. One way is that God will look ahead and provide the way for us, but I prefer another understanding because I think it is more accurate: When you really know someone and are very intimately acquainted with that person, you don’t have to say everything. There can be a lot of nonverbal communication between two people. One person can give a certain look and, because they are well-acquainted, the other knows just what it means. That’s the way God wants it to be between us and him; he wants us to be deeply in love with him and intimately close. He loves us so much and he wants us to have this love experience in our lives which will allow him to be enthroned over us. 

Remember the rich young ruler? Was Jesus Lord of all in his life? Was he wholly saved? No, he was wholly lost. So, what about us? Our camp meeting theme has been “Total Preparation.” From what I have read in the Bible, to have total preparation means that we allow Jesus to be Lord of all and that we accept the gospel according to his terms. If we are going to be totally saved, he has to be the king of every part of our lives. It is really either a total preparation or it is nothing at all. 

I think back to when my children were younger and we went on camping trips. Probably there was not one camping trip that we ever took where we packed everything we wanted or needed to take. It seemed there was always something missing, but we still had a good time. We slept in rain-soaked tents. We had burnt food occasionally, but somehow we had a great time. We did not have to be totally prepared, and the first few times we went camping we were so inadequately prepared it was pathetic. The preparation for heaven, however, it is not going to be like our camping experience. We will not be able to forget. We will have to be mindful of all of God’s counsel for preparation, and in order to do that we have to be totally committed. Total preparation is total commitment; it is total love. We talk about righteousness by faith and I know there has been a lot of discussion on this issue in the last few years and it is good that there has been, but I think righteousness by faith all boils very easily down to one simple word and that word is love. If we really love God supremely, do you think he is going to leave any of us out of his kingdom? Do you think he will fail to help us understand what he expects of us and how he expects it? I know he will not. If we really love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength; we will also love our neighbors as ourselves. There is no middle ground. If we do not surrender our lives to Jesus totally, then everything else fails. There are some very big, strong men in this world, but I know one thing—the “old man” is too big for anyone to carry. He has to be crucified and put out of the way, and that is the only solution for any of us. It is the only way we can be totally prepared. I urge you to consider this today, for time is almost ended; the clock is ready to strike midnight. 

I really do not believe, beloved, that God wants and desires our worship of him to be in ignorance, and part of our intelligent worship of him is that he gives us the opportunity to know whether we are truly in fellowship with him or not. He will make it plain and clear to us. If we are not in fellowship with him, he will speak to our hearts through his Word and instruct us, for we cannot have fellowship with him in our own way. 

During the past year we lost someone very near and dear to me. She is not here at camp meeting this year. My dear Sister Opal Lanning will never experience another camp meeting upon this earth. Opal is resting in the grave now, and every future camp meeting there will probably be someone else who will not be with us, but when Jesus comes back, we can all be together. None of us have to be missing, but as Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14).” The good news is that we have the ability to choose. We can make the decision whether we will be among the redeemed or not. My decision is for Christ and I want it to be your choice also. If there is something in your life that you know God’s Word speaks contrary to, then I want you to give that up and follow Jesus fully from now on. We do not have time to fool ourselves, friends. Lucifer wanted to do things his way and we know that his destruction is sure. In our day-by-day lives we are either making decisions to fit the impress and mold of Christ or to please this world and the prince of this world. May we have such a glorious vision of God’s love and of the greatness of his character that we will desire him more than any of the fodder this world has to offer. May our heavenly Father not only be our Guide, Helper, and Friend; but also our Master and King.  Allen Stump

2007 West Virginia Camp Meeting

How does one measure the success of a camp meeting? Is the number in attendance the measuring stick by which to determine its success? Should not the quality of the messages given be considered? Have the people been blessed? First of all, we know that, while God wills all to be saved, few choose to accept him and his ways and Jesus calls his people the “little flock (Luke 12:32).” Secondly, we know that the greatest multitude of people do not have the Word of God and cannot receive the blessing that those who have the Word receive. Sometimes football and cricket stadiums can be filled with up to 100,000 people but we know that nothing spiritual is happening there. 

When we began the West Virginia camp meeting on Tuesday evening, June 12, we were just a handful of believers, but the spiritual blessings were not missed. Brother Lynnford Beachy shared the first of a series of beautiful messages on walking the Christian pathway. As Wednesday and Thursday came, there were more and more brethren coming, and by Friday and Sabbath the crowd had swelled into a large congregation. We were especially blessed by several brethren from the Indianapolis, Indiana, area who mostly came together as a small army. Though some spoke little English, others provided excellent translations and we were blessed to have them fellowship with us as one sweet family. 

The theme for camp meeting was “Total Preparation,” and it was one of the few camp meetings I have attended where nearly all the messages in one way or another addressed the theme. 

In addition to Brother Beachy’s messages, Brother Paul Agyeman from Ghana presented a series entitled “Watch and Pray.” Many were greatly blessed by this series and I think I know partly why. I was privileged to have Pastor Agyeman and his wife, Margaret, stay in my home during the camp meeting and although they were always friendly and social, I noticed that both of them were often in their room praying and studying the Word of God. 

Sister Ann Ford presented a series of studies on the Sanctuary. She used felts and poster-sized illustrations to make her points very clear. Pastor David Sims was also able to attend our camp meeting, along with his daughter Elyssa. He shared three studies on the science of education, contrasting Satan’s methods with God’s methods. 

There were two health presentations on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. The first presentation was entitled “A Chat with Arlene.” These were informal chats with Sister Onycha Holt interviewing Sister Arlene Bailey about nutrition and healthful food preparation. Arlene shared her knowledge on sprouts, crackers and many other things, including a demonstration on how to make homemade margarine. After her instructions, Sister Arlene provided many delicious samples which were greatly appreciated. We have included a few of her recipes at the end of this article for you to enjoy! Brother Leon Holt also spoke on Wednesday and Thursday on “The Miracle of Water.” He discussed what a blessing can be obtained from the use of water and how many diseases can be partly the result of chronic dehydration. 

The communion service conducted by Elder Willis Smith of God’s Word, God’s Way Ministry in Cleveland, Ohio was a highlight of the camp meeting. After sharing a few thoughts, Brother Willis asked for a short break before continuing so that brothers and sisters who might still have any differences could have a chance to talk. Many took good advantage of this and cleared the stale air between them. Brothers Don Cox, Ed Cyrus, Dennis Robertson, and Allen Stump helped to fill out the remaining scheduled speaking appointments. 

Recordings of the messages will be offered in three formats this year. All the messages will be on DVD, audio CD, and a special audio disc in compressed mp3 format containing all the messages. Please see page 15 for ordering information. 

As usual, Sisters Sandy McCrillis and Janet Cox worked with some of the children and provided both spiritual learning experiences and crafts for them. 

Brother Lynnford Beachy had special instruction for the teenagers and young adults. Bible studies were informally held at Pastor Stump’s house. With Pastor Sims’ help, there was even a session on how to build a compost pile. 

A special activity for the youth came in the form of repelling. Brother Lynnford recently has taken up this interesting type of outdoor exercise and was anxious to teach it to the youth. Lynnford propped a twenty-five foot ladder against a tall tree and after tying the ladder securely to the tree, climbed up another fifteen or twenty feet and then out on some branches to secure the repelling rope. I did not see him attach the rope, but I cringed to watch him remove it. Thankfully, the repelling procedure, once set up, was very safe. The person wanting to repel would strap on a harness, attach a rope to the harness with a carabiner, climb the ladder, and then swing over a drop-off near the base of the tree! Combined with the recessed sloop under the tree, an overall height of over 50 feet could be obtained by the more adventurous ones who were willing to start their swing from the top of the ladder! Swinging back and forth, they then lowered themselves down the rope slowly or quickly, depending on skill and experience. Brother Ken Corklin helped Brother Lynnford with this and he was an excellent person to supervise because his service in the United States Navy included a lot of repelling down ropes from helicopters! 

Brother Malcolm McCrillis lead out in arranging for special music, which was a real treat as various special selections were offered. One of my favorites was the children’s bell choir. Brother Don Cox was faithful to be early for each meeting to lead out in the congregational singing. With the addition of a digital piano this year, we were able to offer a nicer and more varied musical experience than our sanctuary piano could offer. With the digital piano weighing about 600 pounds less than our conventional piano, the movement was much easier and our sanctuary piano will not be out of tune because of a move. 

To many, the highlight of the camp meeting was the baptismal service. Our water supply was running adequately for drinking, cooking, and bathing; however, it was not quite up to filling our baptismal pool. In our area, we have no clear rivers such the Abana and Pharpar that Captain Naaman had in Damascus. All we have to offer is our muddy Jordan equivalent of the Guyandotte River. But off to the Guyandotte we went, and I am sure that the angels of God were singing and rejoicing with us despite the lack of a cleaner river. We are reminded that the Lord looks not on the outward appearance, but on the heart. 

One extra blessing we had this year was the absence of much rain during the camp meeting. In past years rain has been a faithful visitor to our camp meetings, but this year we only had one hard shower and it was very brief during the afternoon, giving time for anything wet to dry before evening! 

We were all thankful to see Brothers Steve Sutton and Hans Stump able to attend on Sabbath. They were a source of cheer and courage to many. They have both been very sick and to see them was encouraging. 

Our group at Smyrna is dedicated, but small. Without the help of many people who freely volunteer their time during and even before the camp meeting we could not have the type of camp meeting our guests are accustomed to experiencing. There were especially four angels sent by God the week before camp meeting who worked tirelessly to help prepare the grounds and meeting hall. To them and to those who helped with the different tasks such as cooking at the homes, cleaning the meeting halls, transporting the trash away, and other various jobs, we would like to say a big thank you. I will not try to mention names this year. I have done that in the past and it seems that all would prefer to go without specific public recognition. But rest assured that not only did we take notice of the tireless service given, but most importantly, God took notice of the work and the spirit in which it was given. 

Departing from camp meeting, as always, was very difficult. Saying goodbye brought tears and hugs. Before Jerusalem was captured during the Six-day War, the Jewish people had a notable saying concerning the Passover service: “Next year in Jerusalem.” We know that Jerusalem of old, though a sign to God’s people in prophecy, is no longer God’s chosen city. Today we look to the New Jerusalem that comes from heaven. While we will be thankful to have camp meeting next year if the Lord wills, may we in our hearts long for “Next year in the New Jerusalem.”  Allen Stump

Sister Arlene’s Recipes

Nature’s Fruit Patties 

Soak and then process in a food processor or blender: 1 cup dried apricots soaked one hour in ½ cup water, 1 cup dried apples soaked one hour in ½ cup water, 1 cup raisins soaked one hour in ½ cup water, ½ cup pitted dates soaked fifteen minutes in ¼ cup water. (Other fruits can be used, such as dried peaches, pears, etc.) 

Add 2 cups ground walnuts, 2 cups shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons grated orange peel, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, 1 cup sprouted buckwheat that has been dried in a dehydrator. (I prepare sprouted buckwheat (with a little salt) ahead of time and store in a container for use as a dry cereal also.) 

Mix all ingredients and place on a dehydrator teflex tray and dry at 105 degrees for about six hours. Turn patties over and continue dehydrating for another six hours. These patties are excellent as a travel food and for use during camp meetings. 

Millet Crackers 

Blend until creamy (about two to three minutes): ½ cup dry millet, ½ cup dry buckwheat groats, ½ cup coconut unsweetened, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, ¼ cup sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, ¼ t. salt, 2 cups water. 

Pour out thinly on cookie sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for twenty minutes. Take out and score to desired size. Replace and bake for twenty-six more minutes, and then crisp up at 250 degrees until done. 

Corn Crackers 

Blend until smooth 1¼ cups water and 1¼ cups cashews 

Then add and continue blending: 1 tablespoon coconut, ¾ cup cornmeal, ¾ cup rolled oats, ½ cup water, and ½ teaspoon salt. 

Thinly pour mixture on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. Remove and score. Return and bake for forty more minutes at 300 degrees. Check frequently to prevent burning. 

Rye Crackers 

Emulsify 2-3 tablespoons of liquid coconut oil with ¾ cup water. Add this to 2 cups of sprouted rye flour, ½ cup sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon salt. Let rest for 10 minutes and then roll out on unoiled cookie sheets. Cut to desired sizes and bake at 250 degrees for about 45 minutes. 

Coconut Butter 

Blend 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoons lecithin. Add to the mixture and continue blending: ¾ cup olive oil and 1 ¼ cup coconut oil (a little at a time). Blend until smooth and store in the refrigerator. The butter will harden and will have a consistency suitable for spreading on toast, bread, or a hot bun. 

Letters about Camp Meeting

From Tennessee: 

My wife and I wish to thank you for the wonderful hospitality we received at Smyrna Gospel Ministries last week. Thank you again for your wonderful meals. Also thank Ann Ford for her hospitality. 

We both listened intently to the many excellent sermons and messages. All the faithful servants of God, such as Willis Smith, David Sims, Ann Ford, and especially Lynnford Beachy, touched our hearts. We came closer to the Lord and we owe it to you all. 

We keep praying for Hans, your dear son. He may not be out of the woods yet, and we pray for his speedy recovery. 

From Ohio: 

What a wonderful camp meeting!!! Thank you for encouraging me to come. I thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship, the food, and the accommodations. Ann is such a wonderful person. She definitely has the gift of hospitality. My last night there, I finally saw the stars in their entire splendor. It was so quiet and peaceful and my heart was stirred with excitement as I looked into the night sky. You were so right! The stars were absolutely beautiful! Isn’t God amazing!!! 

When I arrived at the campground, my heart was so heavy from sadness and sorrow. But God renewed my spirit and freed me from that burden of sorrow and sadness. He has restored my strength and enabled me to stand firm in what I believe. And, he has ignited a blazing fire with me that I am so ready to serve him. 

From California: 

Thank you so much for putting camp meeting on! I think it has been one of my most favorite and best one I’ve been to. It was such a blessing and I was so happy to make it to all the morning meetings. I also loved the prayer bands and was sad I missed one. This camp meeting has been really special to me. The time went by too fast L. I miss you a lot and all the others at Smyrna and by God’s grace we’ll meet again, if not on this earth, in heaven at Jesus feet or at the sea of glass. 

Corrections: The reference to The Great Controversy on page 16 of the June 2007 issue should be 493, not 93. The reference to 1 Kings 17:21 on page 5 of the May 2007 issue should be 1 Kings 18:21. Many thanks to our careful readers! 

Northern California Camp Meeting

Brother David Sims and the Pacific Virtual Fellowship will be hosting a camp meeting with the theme “The Enoch Life.” This will be a spiritual experience you will want to live and will not be able to forget! 

The camp will be held from Wednesday, August 1, 6:30 a.m., to Sunday, August 5, at 10:00 a.m. Since the meetings start early Wednesday morning, we encourage all to plan to arrive Tuesday evening, July 31. 

Location: The camp meeting will be held at the Sims’ home in Lookout, California. The location is a 42-acre farm surrounded by other farms and situated in a high valley (4,100 feet elevation) with views of Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta. It is one hundred miles northeast of Redding and ninety miles south of Klamath Falls, OR. 

Cost: Free! Free-will offerings will be accepted, but there will be no charge. 

Food: Healthful, vegan food will be provided free of charge.  (No TVP, HVP, MSG, GMO, fermented, spicy, or otherwise unhealthful products will be included in the menu.)  Please inform us in advance if you have any food allergies or sensitivities we need to be aware of. There will be tables and chairs. 

Facilities and Lodging: Meetings will be held in a large meeting tent. Portable toilets, outdoor sinks, showers and laundry facilities will be provided.  You will need to provide your own tent and camping gear. For the elderly or sick that are unable to camp, we will lodge you in the house as long as space holds out. If you prefer the privacy and convenience of a motel, there are two motels within ten miles. 

Address: 9548 County Road 87,  Lookout, CA. (Two-story, yellow stucco house with blue roof; seven hundred feet off road. Address is on the fencepost at the driveway.) Please call us for specific directions. 

Activities: A day trip Thursday to see the steaming sulphur hot springs at Mt. Lassen; a trip to the blue, pristine Medicine Lake and ice caves on Sabbath.    Classes on physiology and natural treatments will be held and there will be a Music Ensemble. For those that would like to participate, we will be playing, “Nearer My God to Thee,” in the key of ‘F’ from the hymnal.  For questions or to contribute a special music, contact Rebecca: rlclifford@tds.net or 970-921-3862 

What to Bring: The usual camping gear: Tent, tarp, sleeping bag, pad, insect repellent (citronella oil works for me), flashlight, hard-hat for caves (recommended) and other camping equipment. Also, do not forget to bring your Bible, notebook, pen, work/play clothes and shoes, nice casual clothes for Sabbath. Also, you will need your own personal items including towels, soap, any special personal food items, National Parks Pass if you have one, flip flops for outdoor showers, and musical instruments. (Note: Plan for possible wind and temperature extremes.) 

Food for Thought: Of Enoch it is written that he lived sixty-five years and begat a son. After that, he walked with God three hundred years. 

During those earlier years, Enoch had loved and feared God, and had kept His commandments. 

In the midst of a life of active labor, Enoch steadfastly maintained his communion with God. The greater and more pressing his labors, the more constant and earnest were his prayers. He continued to exclude himself at certain periods from all society. After remaining for a time among the people, laboring to benefit them by instruction and example, he would withdraw, to spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for that divine knowledge which God alone can impart. 

He continued to exclude himself at certain periods from all society. Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the light that shineth in the face of Jesus. 

Communing thus with God, Enoch came more and more to reflect the divine image. His face was radiant with a holy light, even the light that shineth in the face of Jesus. As he came forth from these divine communings, even the ungodly beheld with awe the impress of heaven upon his countenance. His faith waxed stronger, his love became more ardent with the lapse of centuries. 

To him, prayer was as the breath of the soul. He lived in the atmosphere of heaven. (These thoughts adapted from the writings of Ellen G. White.) 

For more information contact: 

David Sims – 530-294-1115


Chuck or Lisa Clifford – 970-921-3862

Pennsylvania Camp Meeting

Seed of Truth Ministries is hosting the first northwestern Pennsylvania camp meeting July 11-15, 2007. For those who plan to attend, this is a tent-style camp meeting. Please bring camping equipment, such as: tents, sleeping bags, eating utensils, food, coolers, etc. For those who may need it, there is a natural food store in Cranberry, approximately seven miles from the camp meeting. Maps to the store and shopping areas will be made available at the camp meeting. 

To get to the camp meeting take Interstate 80 to exit 29 in Pennsylvania. This is the Barkeyville, Franklin, Oil City exit. You will be on Route 8. Take this road north to Oil City. As you come into Oil City Route 62 turns off to the right. Follow it over a bridge to the second traffic light and turn left and follow 62 for three miles and turn right on Route 157 (Strawberry Delight ice cream). Take this road three miles and turn right on Heckathorn Church Road for 1.25 miles. Turn left on Autumn Haze Lane and find 161 Autumn Haze Lane. 

For those who may need to do some shopping on the way take Route 8 north to Franklin. In Franklin Routes 8, 62, & 322 will all run together for a short distance, follow 322 thru Franklin. After leaving Franklin you will travel 6.5 miles to Cranberry, you will find a Wal-Mart on your right. Also you will see two strip malls, The one behind McDonald’s has God’s Little Garden Natural Food Store. God’s Little Garden is our outreach to the public and you can get directions to camp meeting from there. There are also a few hotels in the area. (Holiday Inn: 814-677-2640, Arlington Hotel: 814-677-1221.) Visit our temporary web site at www.seed-of-truth.freehosting.net for a camp meeting schedule.  Calvin Bickel 

List of 2007 Camp Meeting DVDs and CDs

The suggested donation for each DVD is $7.00, $3.00 per audio CD, and $5.00 for the single mp3 disc. If you would like three more of the DVDs or CDs, then the suggested donation is $6.00/DVD and $2.00/CD.


Message Title 

DVD #  

CD # 

Lynnford Beachy 

Preparation of the Heart 

2007 CM DVD  1 

2007 CM CD  1 

Lynnford Beachy 

If God Wills 

2007 CM DVD  2 

2007 CM CD  2 

Lynnford Beachy 

Denying Yourself 

2007 CM DVD  3 

2007 CM CD  3 

Lynnford Beachy 

Yield to the Will of God 

2007 CM DVD  4 

2007 CM CD  4 

Don Cox 

No Other Way 

2007 CM DVD  5 

2007 CM CD  5 

Ed Cyrus 

Righteousness by Faith 

2007 CM DVD  6 

2007 CM CD  6 

Paul Agyeman 

Watch and Pray – part 1 (Sleeping) 

2007 CM DVD  7 

2007 CM CD  7 

Paul Agyeman 

Watch and Pray – part 2 (Spiritualism) 

2007 CM DVD  8 

2007 CM CD  8 

Paul Agyeman 

Watch and Pray – part 3 (Fasting and Prayer) 

2007 CM DVD  9 

2007 CM CD  9 

Willis Smith 

Prepare to Meet Thy Maker 

2007 CM DVD 10 

2007 CM CD 10 

Willis Smith 

Talking to God 

2007 CM DVD 11 

2007 CM CD 11 

Willis Smith 

Freedom from Hatred 

2007 CM  DVD 12 

2007 CM CD 12 

Dennis Robertson 

A Brain, a Heart, and Some Courage 

2007 CM DVD 13 

2007 CM CD 13 

Leon Holt 

The Miracle of Water – parts 1 & 2 

2007 CM DVD 14 

2007 CM CD 14 

Ann Ford 

Sanctuary Studies – part 1( Foundations and Pillars) 

2007 CM DVD 15 

2007 CM CD 15 

Ann Ford 

Sanctuary Studies – part 2 (Sanctuary Symbols) 

2007 CM DVD 16 

2007 CM CD 16 

Ann Ford 

Sanctuary Studies – part 3 (The Day of Atonement) 

2007 CM DVD 17 

2007 CM CD 17 

Ann Ford 

Sanctuary Studies - part 4 (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh) 

2007 CM DVD 18 

2007 CM CD 18 

David Sims 

The Science of True Education – part 1 

2007 CM DVD 19 

2007 CM CD 19 

David Sims 

The Science of True Education – part 2 

2007 CM DVD 20 

2007 CM CD 20 

David Sims 

Living Fountains or Broken Cisterns 

2007 CM DVD 21 

2007 CM CD 21 

Arlene Bailey 

A Chat with Arlene – parts 1 & 2 

2007 CM DVD 22 

2007 CM CD 22 



2007 CM DVD 23 

2007 CM CD 23 

Allen Stump 

Will You Have This Man Reign Over You? 

2007 CM DVD 24 

2007 CM CD 24 

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Youth’s Corner — Lady Jane Grey

(We believe the following touching story is inspiring and helps us to see the kind of faith and love that God can inspire in even a 17-year-old girl. Knowing that in the future some of God’s people, including youth, will be asked to make the supreme sacrifice, we feel that this story is valuable. It was first brought to our attention through The Youth’s Instructor, December 5, 1883, which credited The Well-Spring as their source. Also part two of Advisement will be published next month.     Editor

The health of Edward VI of England had been failing many months, and his thoughts were turned toward his successor. Mary, his half-sister, was the rightful heir to the crown; but she was a fierce, cruel Catholic, and the young king feared, if she were to hold the scepter, persecution and misery would overspread the land. He resolved to transfer the crown to a more worthy head. 

His cousin, Lady Jane Grey, was wise and good. She played upon several instruments, sang sweetly, and could write and speak in French, Latin, Italian, and Greek. She was a Protestant, and would make a much better queen than Mary; and he decided to exclude his half-sister from the throne, and made his will, giving his crown to his cousin Jane. 

In a few days Edward died; and, after the funeral ceremonies were over, several court ladies and gentlemen went to Lady Jane to acquaint her with Edward’s will, and to pay her homage as queen. She was much surprised, and could hardly speak. Then she grew pale and faint. The crown did not belong to her. She said it was Mary’s by inheritance, and she did not wish to be made a queen instead of her. 

“Shall I,” she asked with spirit, “who would not steal a shilling, usurp a crown? Oh, if you love me, do not force me to that high station, so sure to be followed by a fearful fall.” 

The Duke of Northumberland, her husband’s father, told her it was Edward’s dying wish. Her parents commanded; and her loved husband, Lord Guilford Dudley, begged her to accept it. At last she consented with reluctance, and was proclaimed queen. 

Her reign was short. 

The people admired and respected her; but Mary was the lawful heir to the crown, and they did not wish to see her cast aside. They felt it was a wrong to their loyalty, and soon began to look upon Lady Jane Grey as a usurper. Mary’s cruel character was but little understood; and when she pressed her claims, the people rose to do her homage, and she was crowned in triumph. 

When these tidings reached Lady Jane, who had been queen only in name for nine days, she expressed no surprise or sorrow. “These words,” she said mildly, “are more pleasant than those in which you bade me be a queen.” 

Soon, the dark, cruel side of Mary’s character was seen. Almost her first act was to cause the arrest of the Northumberland family, and order the execution of the Duke. 

Her eyes were then turned with revenge on Lord Guilford Dudley and his wife. Their property was seized; and they were sent to prison, followed by weeping people. 

Days and weeks passed. 

Mary’s course did not please her subjects. The strict confinement of Lord Guilford Dudley and Lady Jane excited anger and pity everywhere. The murmurings faintly reached Queen Mary, and she feared the people might rise against her. She sent a message to Lord Guilford and his wife, bidding them to be ready for an immediate death. 

On the morning of their execution, February 15, 1554, Lord Guilford sent a request to his wife, asking to see her. She feared such a meeting would shake the courage of both and make death harder, and she refused. 

“Such a meeting,” she returned, “would only add to our affliction. It would disturb the peace with which we should arm our souls for dying. Defer it for a short time, and we shall meet where unions are no more severed.” 

When she saw her husband pass on his way to the scaffold, she showed great emotion, and waved her hand to him, a silent farewell. Her own doom came soon after. Before she reached the place of execution, she met men carrying the lifeless body of Lord Guilford. She stopped and looked a moment upon him, sighed deeply, and walked on with a firm step, with her eyes fixed on her prayer book. She ascended the scaffold still wet with her husband’s blood, and spoke to the people a few words. 

Then, she knelt down, and prayed calmly, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” 

The heart of the grim executioner was touched, and on his knees he asked her pardon. 

Lady Jane laid her head upon the block, closed her eyes, clasped her hands and prayed, “O Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” The next moment, by one blow, her life was over. 

Lady Jane was seventeen years of age. History cannot find another more accomplished, pure, and beautiful; and her early death filled the nation with horror and mourning.

Question from a Youth

Unclean Meats

Question: I live with my mother and my brother and I’m the only one who doesn’t eat unclean meat. Can this work? 

Answer: Greetings in the Lord. You have a good question and one that must apply to others as well. Before I answer, let me say with James, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience (James 1:2, 3).” God in his mercy at times allows us to have trials so that our characters are developed after the character of his dear Son. 

There are three aspects I would like to discuss in answer to your question. First of all, is abstaining from unclean meat important to Christians? Secondly, will God help us to do his will? And thirdly, what are the practical applications of how this can work in my home with my mother and brother? 

The first biblical reference to certain foods or meats being unclean is recorded in the flood account as noted in Genesis 7:2: “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.” Prior to this statement we have no record of a distinction being made, but the evidence is that this distinction must have been well understood, for the details of what was considered clean and unclean were not given in the Genesis account. Interestingly, God did not create any of the animals to provide food for mankind. Before sin, there was no death and the original diet of man, according to Genesis 1:29, consisted of the “herb bearing seed” and the “fruit of the tree.” It was never God’s design for any meat to be eaten by man or beast, for the animals were given “every green herb” for food (Genesis 1:30). 

After the flood we find God, for the first time, giving permission for man to eat meat. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it (Genesis 9:3-5).” Some have thought this allowance included the unclean meats. This cannot be, for in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 God still clearly prohibits these foods. It is clear that the allowance in Genesis must have only been designed to cover the clean meats. Also, if they were allowed to eat the unclean animals, they could have brought the first ones they ate into extinction since there was only one male and one female of each. 

Some have tried to use certain texts from the New Testament to declare that under the New Covenant, all foods are now clean. However, this cannot be, for the distinction between clean and unclean meats is prophesied as being in effect at the coming of Jesus. Isaiah states: 

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD (Isaiah 66:15-17). 

These are strong words, and we are told in the New Testament that we will be asked to give an account for how we have cared for our bodies because they are the dwelling place for his Spirit. 

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17). 

Today, we also have a great deal of scientific data to know that God was not unreasonable in prohibiting the eating of swine, shellfish, and other scavengers of the earth. By their nature, these animals cause disease and death when eaten. This is one reason that most doctors quickly request that these items be removed from their patients’ diets, especially those with heart disease. 

We know that unclean meat is not healthful, and, as we noted earlier, man’s original diet did not include any meat. God said in Genesis 9:5 that he would require the life of man for the life of even the clean beasts, and it is a proven documented fact that vegetarians live longer and healthier lives than those who do eat meat. We realize, also, that there will be no meat will be eaten in heaven, for no animals will be killed in heaven. God’s plan is always best. 

In his Word, God says: “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).” So, instead of a cruel God who would withhold good things from us, we see a picture of a loving God who dearly cares for his children and only wants to give them what is best. Shall we not willingly cooperate with him in this work? “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).” 

So, I think it is clear that we should be able to see that eating only the best things that God has for us is his desire and command. Now, will God provide the grace and strength to do his biddings? The answer to this must be a resounding yes. All things the Lord wills are not only possible, but workable, by his grace. Paul, in Philippians 4:13, boldly declares: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” In verse 19 of the same chapter, Paul also notes: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” So, be of good cheer. God knows of your situation and wants to help you. He pledges himself, the angels, and his Son as your help. 

Remember this, dear brother in the faith, God has measured every trial and temptation you will ever meet before it comes and will only allow that which your experience, combined with his grace, can save you from.  We are told, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).” We read in Jude, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24).” Please read carefully some of the promises below and you may claim the victory over all sin and temptation. God longs for us to bring his Word to him and ask him to honor that which he has promised! 

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1). 

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). 

How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein (Romans 6:2)? 

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? 

I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:16). 

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). 

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7). 

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (2 Peter 1:10). 

And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11). 

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city (Revelation 22:14). 

These verses are a few of many promises we find in God’s Word for overcoming and having victory. We read in Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” God cannot be fair and just in bringing all of our works into the judgment unless he is willing to give us power and grace to overcome each one. As one Christian writer noted: 

As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings (Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 333). 

Here we find the key: aligning our will with the will of God. As we surrender our will to God, he will purify and refine it and link it with his sympathy so that he may bestow upon us the tides of his love and power. By yielding your will to God and Christ, you ally yourself with the source of all strength and power. “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. … But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30).” Paul noted, “I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31).” Through day-by-day surrender to God, you will be strengthened to live the new life, even the life of faith. 

In your question you did not say there was, but it may be possible there is conflict in your home because of your desire to follow God’s Word concerning your diet. Perhaps your mother and brother do not understand why you wish to please God in this area of your life and they may even consider your request for different food to be disrespectful or disobedient, especially when it is considered in light of the Bible command to honor our parents. I encourage you to honor and respect your mother in every way you can. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right (Ephesians 6:1).” Our obedience to God, however, is first and foremost. So, if there is a conflict, please speak to your mother about it and even your brother if this is needed, and let them know that you wish to have peace and harmony in the home and to show respect and honor in every way you can. 

If your mother does most of the cooking in your home, she may feel inconvenienced by your desire for more healthy food. Perhaps you could offer alternative ideas, such as the use of beef instead of pork, and she may be glad to accept these suggestions; however, if she does not feel she is able to follow your suggestions, please allow her the freedom to prepare the food as she wishes and very kindly and respectfully inform her that you will be glad to eat all the different foods she makes except for the unclean meat. I do not know how much this type of meat plays a part in your family’s diet, but no matter what meager amount you may have left, you can be assured that God will bless that food as you ask him, and he will provide for your needs as he has promised. God blessed Daniel as a young man when he asked for a simple diet that apparently did not include any meat and the results were remarkable. In only ten short days, Daniel’s health was clearly better than those who were eating of the king’s table, which included all types of meat, clean and unclean. 

To sum up these thoughts: Yes, it is very possible for this to work in your home, hopefully with your mother’s cooperation, but even without her full cooperation, God will help you to do his will and to honor him. May God richly bless you, as he desires wonderful things for you! Allen Stump

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.
Assistant to the Editor: Onycha Holt - E-mail Onycha@smyrna.org

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