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. 18, No.11 Straight and Narrow November 2009


 

"Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap;
for the harvest of the earth is ripe" (Revelation 14:15).

The Three Angels’ Messages and Separation

The July through October issues of Old Paths have carried studies on the first, second, third, and fourth angels’ messages. In these articles, we gave an overview of the messages with some of the historical background where appropriate. Within the thirty pages of the articles, we presented some of the width and depth of these messages. If you have not read these articles, I would encourage you to request them and carefully read the studies.

God raised up the Advent movement in 1844 to prepare and to perfect a people who would live and share the true gospel. This demonstration would bring glory to God and vindicate his character to the universe. As this gospel would be given, a polarization would occur in the world, with some accepting the message and the rest rejecting the message. This polarization will, one day soon, finally be complete, and all the people on earth, both good and evil, will be fully ripe for the second coming harvest of Jesus Christ. The three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 are designed to fully accomplish this ripening process in the perfection of character within the saints.

Says the prophet: “Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2, 3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. (The Great Controversy, p. 425)

God has a desire for his people that we read about in Ephesians 4:13: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” God wills that his people become perfect and have unity of the faith. This perfection and unity happens in those who accept and cooperate with the three angels’ messages. These believers will be the ones who receive the seal of the living God.

However, the people who reject the three angels’ messages will accept another gospel. They will be religious, for sure. They will worship, for sure, but their worship is of a false god through a false gospel. Paul says emphatically that there can be “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6). This religion claims to offer salvation, for it calls itself the gospel; however, one of the great hallmarks of this gospel is that it will deny the power of God to overcome sin. Speaking of the professed church in the last days, Paul writes: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5). These people will finally receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:9).

Concerning the giving of the three angels’ messages, Ellen White wrote:

I was shown three steps—the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Said my accompanying angel, “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.” I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. God had led them along step by step, until He had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. (Early Writings, pp. 259, 260)

In 1844 and shortly thereafter, God desired to lead his people, step-by-step, onto a firm platform of truth. But for this platform of truth to accomplish its goal, there was to be a corresponding experience with Christ that would be firmly grounded.

The First Angel’s Message: Ellen White tells us that the purpose of the first angel’s message “was to separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influence of the world ” (The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 231; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted). 

The Second Angel’s Message: Again, the Spirit of Prophecy helps us to see the purpose of the second angel’s message. “As the churches refused to receive the first angel’s message, they rejected the light from heaven and fell from the favor of God. They trusted to their own strength, and by opposing the first message placed themselves where they could not see the light of the second angel’s message. But the beloved of God, who were oppressed, accepted the message, ‘Babylon is fallen,’ and left the churches” (Early Writings, p. 237; see also pp. 249, 250). 

The Third Angel’s Message: As with the first and second angels’ messages, the third angel’s message was to bring a separation. Ellen White, commenting upon those who accepted the first and second angels’ messages, stated: 

They were not free from errors. And I saw the mercy and goodness of God in sending a warning to the people of the earth, and repeated messages to lead them to a diligent searching of heart, and study of the Scriptures, that they might divest themselves of errors which have been handed down from the heathen and papists. Through these messages God has been bringing out His people where He can work for them in greater power, and where they can keep all His commandments. (Early Writings, p. 249)

Ellen White also noted:

When you are baptized with the third angel’s message, the soul-purifying truth for this time will make a separation between you and the world. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 291)

The third angel’s message is infallible. It is to unite a people to do a special work, preparing them with perfection of character to unite in one great family in the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. (Ibid., vol. 15, p. 362)

Thus we see that all three messages were to bring about a work of separation. The message of the first angel was to separate the people from the corrupting influences of the world and from known sin. The second angel’s message was to separate the people from the corrupt churches that rejected the first angel’s message. The third angel’s message was to separate the people from every corrupt error, as well as from the love of the world. These messages will result in perfection of character. God will be able to present to the universe those whose lives are changed by these messages. He will be able to proclaim, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). This group will have the genuine faith of Jesus and will live above the corruption of both the world and of the churches.

This group has the Father’s name written in their foreheads. They are partakers of the new covenant experience, and God says about them: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33). Let us notice some more about this group:

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Revelation 14:1-5)

Besides having the Father’s name written in their foreheads, John sees, as recorded in verses 4 and 5, a description of the specific character traits of the 144,000. Specifically, we have a description of the character of the 144,000 that they receive from accepting the three angels’ messages.

The first characteristic mentioned is that they are virgins not defiled with women. In the Bible, women are symbolic of churches (Jeremiah 6:2). There are two types of women or churches depicted in Revelation. The first type is a pure woman, and she represents a pure church (Revelation 12:1). There is nothing here from which to be defiled. The second type of woman is a harlot, and she represents a corrupt church (Revelation 17:1). Those who are corrupted by the woman in Revelation 14:4 must be in association with the corrupt churches, but God’s people will have refused to associate with these harlots and neither will they support this harlotry with their finances.

In Revelation 17:2 and 18:9, God condemns a church which has an unlawful relationship with the kings of the earth, using them to either support her, protect her “good name” or prosecute those she considers to be heretics or dissidents.

To be loyal to both Christ and a church not following Christ is impossible. We must choose one or the other. Christ will not accept divided service. The 144,000 will “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4), not a corrupt church playing a  harlot!

Another characteristic of the 144,000 is found in verse 5, where we read that “in their mouth was found no guile.” The Greek word for guile is dolos (doloV) which means bait or deceit. Since false doctrine is deceitful, the 144,000 have given up all false doctrine; including errors about God and his character, errors concerning righteousness by faith and errors about God’s government and purposes for humanity. 

The 144,00 have made a decision to give up every known sin and to follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Yet today they may still have many character defects that are being revealed to them one-by-one, step-by-step, and they will overcome them by the power of Christ. If we were to say that there is some area of character development that cannot be perfected now, we would be saying that the Lord lacks the power to aid his people in overcoming every defect of their character. But this is not true! Step-by-step, he is leading his people along, and their growth is a result of acceptance and submission to the three angels’ messages.

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: “They are joined to their idols, let them alone,” and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 187)

Beloved, if we cherish sin and cling to any false doctrine or if we refuse to be separated from any character defect, we will not be prepared for the time ahead, and we will, positively, for sure, accept the mark of the beast rather than die. But the testimony about God’s people will be that “they overcame him 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).

Today the Adventist Church, by its lack of the true spirit of Christ, by its false teachings such as the trinity and by its refusal to separate from the world, is preparing its people to accept the mark of the beast in their foreheads and/or hands.

Jesus said that we are sanctified by the truth. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The serious nature of the truth will not be overlooked intelligently or experientially by the 144,000. However, no matter what the profession, if we reject part of the message or do not allow it to work in our hearts, we will, at last, accept the mark of the beast.

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third message, but have not been sanctified through it, abandon their position, and take refuge under the banner of the powers of darkness. By uniting with the world [and not separating from it] and partaking of its spirit, they come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. (The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, p. 426)

The three angels’ messages will prepare a people to stand in the presence of a holy God. Sin defiles and will be destroyed at the end of the great controversy. Those who cling to their sins will finally be destroyed with their sins. All will be finally separated from sin either by choice now or by destruction later. God calls upon his people to “choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

The work of the Holy Spirit is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing in a high, elevated sense, the line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God, and those who trample them under their feet. (Bible Training School, December 1, 1903)

Here are some additional thoughts of inspiration for your consideration:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

[2 Corinthians 6:17-18 quoted] These are the conditions upon which we may be acknowledged as the sons of God– separation from the world, and renunciation of those things which delude, and fascinate, and ensnare.

The apostle Paul declares that it is impossible for the children of God to unite with worldlings: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” This does not refer to marriage alone; any intimate relation of confidence and copartnership with those who have no love for God or the truth is a snare. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 13)

The first thirty years of Christ's life were passed in retirement. Ministering angels waited upon the Lord of life as He walked side by side with the peasants and laborers among the hills of Nazareth, unrecognized and unhonored. These noble examples should teach us to avoid evil influences and to shun the society of those who do not live aright. We should not flatter ourselves that we are too strong for any such influences to affect us, but we should in humility guard ourselves from danger.

Ancient Israel were especially directed by God to be and remain a people separate from all nations. They were not to be subjected to witnessing the idolatry of those about them, lest their own hearts should be corrupted, lest familiarity with ungodly practices should make them appear less wicked in their eyes. Few realize their own weakness and that the natural sinfulness of the human heart too often paralyzes their noblest endeavors. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 109)   Allen Stump


Prayer Requests

We at Smyrna Gospel Ministries thank all of you for your continued prayers for God’s work around the world and for his people as they study and seek a closer walk with him. This month we ask that you continue to uplift Brother Aland Ashton in Peru, along with his family, as he seeks to regain his health following a recent illness. In addition, we ask for your prayers for the work we must do in preparing for the General Conference session next year. There is much work to be done and many workers needed. We also want to remember our young people, as many of them are attending school or are making plans to attend. Our prayers are that God will guide each one in service for him. Editors


Christ or Caiaphas

By Elder Arthur L. Bietz

(The following is an edited study of a sermon given by the late Arthur L. Bietz in 1963. Elder Bietz then published it in edited form in 1966 in his book When God Met Men. The principles presented by Elder Bietz in this message are alive and well today and need careful consideration by all who wish to obey the three angels’ messages, especially the message of the second angel. Editor)

 I want you to be able to use your imagination to catch the meaning, the drama, the heart throb, the intensity of this situation; for these are days of crisis, days of tremendous meaning.

In some ways, Caiaphas is one of the most tragic figures of the New Testament, yet in another way he is a man of tremendous splendor, a man who was loved and probably, in some respects, greatly adored. The historical facts are that the people stood in awe before him, for he was indeed the symbolization of the great heritage of Israel. He embodied everything that Israel had fought for, all that Israel had prayed for, and theirs was, indeed, a glorious heritage.

Caiaphas had been chosen by the children of Israel as a “custodian” of the great religious institution, but now something had happened.

Suddenly, the world that then was found itself polarized in two centers: On the one side stood Caiaphas, the high priest; on the other side stood Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The loyalties had congealed, and the crisis was on.

This was a tragedy with a degree of splendor in it, for Caiaphas was a very notable person with an impressive personality. Indeed, he was the most powerful man in Judaism at the time of Christ. He had not only ecclesiastical power, but he also held civil authority.

People have always responded to those who stand in authority. There is something splendid, something awe-inspiring, about a man in this position. The children of Israel looked to Caiaphas for guidance.

Caiaphas was feared by some, greatly respected by others. Do not ever think for a moment that this man was despised, for he was not. He was the symbol embodying all religious leadership at that time. He had under him some twenty thousand priests over whom he was the absolute head, and they moved under his command. They were the spiritual leaders of the nation which were now suddenly faced with a desperate situation.

Caiaphas, on the one side, leads a great religious institution with a marvelous religious heritage, while opposing him stands Jesus Christ. A schism threatens to split the church. One or the other must go. Who shall be crucified? Can you feel the drama in your own life and heart? Where would you have stood before these two opposing powers? Would you have cast your vote with the recognized religious institutional authority? Or would you have accepted Jesus Christ?

Caiaphas, who headed the religious parades in all the Jewish festivals and on the annual Day of Atonement, caused all Israel to tremble before his presence. This was the high priest, their representative before God. It was to him that God would speak and bring his message of forgiveness to the people. He stood as their representative between God and the people.

When Jesus spoke to Caiaphas, he did not speak with the respect or with the esteem that the people thought he should give a religious leader. This is why one of the very devout Jews struck the Lord in the face. That was a tense moment. This was a day of choice, a day of salvation. It was a day when human hearts and minds were hanging in eternal destiny. Where would you have cast your vote?

“And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?” John 18:22. Our Lord, the one whom we worship, is struck with a forceful blow. I can see our Lord weaving as the blow struck him. Then came the words, “You do not speak to our religious leader like that.” A tense moment, indeed.

Caiaphas had only one purpose and that was to save the religious institution that he represented. He said, “We must save the church.” Yet, on the other hand stood the Son of God, who also came to save the church. Two forces are represented; both want to help save the church.

But Jesus had often spoken concerning the heartlessness of the religious leaders of his time. He did not mince words. Jesus had said, “They make up heavy yokes and packs and pile them on men’s shoulders.” In contrast to this indictment,  Jesus had said, concerning himself: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Would you have liked it if someone had stigmatized your religious leader as heartless?

On the same occasion, Jesus said of Caiaphas’ institutional leadership: “You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.” Can’t you just see the high priest stand up in disbelief and shout, “This is blasphemy! I am the high priest and I am the head of the religious organization that opens the kingdom of God to mankind, but this man, Jesus, comes and says that we shut the door in the face of the people!”

Christ had also said that Caiaphas and the religious leaders were more interested in power and prestige and status than in shepherding the flock. Although there were twenty thousand religious priests paid out of the temple taxes, Jesus said: “Look at the people. There is nobody interested in the people. All are serving the religious institution, but they have no shepherds. The temple servants are parasites, living off the institution.” That really stepped on some toes. Preachers do not like to hear that they are not doing their job correctly.

The people did not like it either. Even the mother of Jesus did not like it, for she told the brothers of Jesus to tell him not to speak thus against the religious authorities.

There is an old Negro spiritual that goes something like this: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, yes, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Were you? Are you there today contemplating that great sacrifice and following in the steps of Christ? We have before us the destiny of our souls.

Jesus revealed the motives of the Jewish leaders when he said, “Everything they do is done for show. Places of honor at the feasts and the chief seats at the synagogue are taken by your leaders, and they do it for show.” This was a fearful thing for him to say.

Jesus even dared to expose the corruption in the financial structure of their organization. He said, “You eat up the properties of the widows while you say long prayers for appearance’s sake, but you are going to receive a severe sentence.”

Jesus also had something to say about their mission program, and you do not speak against the mission program of the church. He said, “You travel over sea and land to win one convert and when you have won him, you make him twice as fit for hell as you are yourselves.” It is any wonder that these two had to meet—Jesus and Caiaphas?

Such a situation could not go on any longer. This had to come to a showdown, and everyone knew it. All the people in Jerusalem and the surrounding territories recognized the moment of destiny had come. And so we will have to stand before the Almighty God and before religious institutions and give an answer.

Christ said, “You are not at all ministers of spiritual insight or spiritual values. You are blind. You are blind guides of the blind. You are falling into the ditch, and the people are falling into the ditch with you. You swear by the sanctuary. You swear by the gold. You swear by the altar. You strain at a gnat, yet you gulp down a camel. The organization of the temple is more important to you than God. You are tombs covered with whitewash, full of dead men’s bones.”

Was it any wonder that these two had to meet when Christ had said all of their religious organization, all of their twenty thousand priests ministering in the temple, all of their financial structure and their spiritual leadership were absolutely blind; and their organization, house, and institution had become desolate, for God was not in it? How brave of him, and what a terrible indictment!

For the Jews, the temple symbolized their entire religious heritage. It was very dear to the people, yet Jesus said it was forsaken of God. The temple house is needed, but there needs to be a loving family within it. The institution, the organization, is necessary but only as a means in helping to shepherd the people. If you have lost contact with the needs of the hearts of the people, your house is desolate.

This, also, is a terrible indictment. Finally, the high priest speaks to those who have gathered to make a decision about this man who claims to be the Son of God. He says, “You know nothing whatsoever. You do not use your judgment. The trouble with you is that you do not have good judgment. It is more to your interest that one man should die for the people than that the whole nation should be destroyed.” And thus the decision is made. But where would you have stood? The decision has to be made. It was religious institutionalism versus a personal human being, Christ our Saviour. It was an organizational religionism versus the gospel. It was organization versus a person. It was vested interest against Christ, for the earthen vessel had become more the object of devotion than the treasure within the vessel, and herein lies the universal tendency of human beings toward idolatry.

Man wishes to make himself secure within religious institutions, and, therefore, he hides himself from the presence of God. Laodicea thinks that she has everything, but Jesus Christ stands outside the door and knocks and knocks. The question is as alive today for you and for me as it was two thousand years ago because Caiaphas is very much alive in every one of us.

The issue is before us today, and you will have to make your own decision, if you have not already made it. Anti-organizationalism is of the rudest of follies because we need order and organization, but when the organization becomes the means as well as the end of our devotion, then we have crucified once again our Saviour, Jesus Christ. It can happen today, just as verily as it happened then.

What could have happened if Caiaphas, the high priest, had said: “Look, we are confronted with the Son of God. Let us accept him.” What a help and inspiration for the repenting souls that would have been. If he could have only said, “Let us use this institution, this money, everything, in order to glorify God, and let it be God who is the center.” All institutionalism becomes corrupt with itself. It begins to build and build until we have forgotten the purpose of its building, and we seek security in everything except God himself.

When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, let us remember that there will be a unity of our hearts, the binding of mind to mind, of heart to heart, and of spirit to spirit. Institutionalism can provide us with an outward uniformity, but only the baptism of the Holy Spirit can give us an interior union of our spirits.

Oh, that God would help us to understand that religious institutionalism can become the greatest tool of the devil. Dr. Henry P. Van Dolson, who wrote in The United Church Herald, states: “The Holy Spirit has always been troublesome to officialdom and to institutionalism because He is unruly, unpredictable and radical. The call to the ministry is to be alert, to discover every moment of the living, confounding, uncontrollable Spirit of God in what someone has called His Sovereign Unpredictability. We want security but we do not want to be shaken out of our false securities. When our false securities are shattered and we stand helpless before a superior person who vitalizes our lives, suddenly we recognize ourselves to be under the guidance of the Spirit of God. When you are under the guidance of the Spirit, you cannot control it. And, of course, institutionalism is built on control. So there is an everlasting problem here.”

Dr. John A. MacKay, formerly president of both Princeton Theological Seminary and the World Presbyterian Alliance, once told a Presbyterian convention:

“A crudely emotional approach to religion is preferable to religious formalism and institutionalism which is purely esthetic and orderly and lacking in dynamic power. One of our serious troubles in the church today is that it has become legitimate to be institutional, but deep feelings and enthusiasm no longer exist. The moment the church becomes completely programmed and depersonalized, it becomes a monument to God’s memory and not an instrument of divine power.”

 You see, when men build institutions they becomes their ultimate end instead of just the means to an end. That is idolatry. Men build and build, and they forget the purpose of the building. Institutions become more important than people.

There are no shepherds in the institution any longer—only people trying to prevent the ship from rocking. Then it is that truth suffers and good men are crucified. Then it is that the Spirit departs. The glory of God has departed.

Dr. Ernest Wright, of Harvard, writes:

“God, through the work of the Spirit, has always been at war with human institutionalism because the institution becomes idolatrous, self-perpetuating, and self-worshipping because church membership becomes synonymous with the new birth.”

Caiaphas thought he must save the church; therefore, Christ must die. But Christ had come to save the church. Where would we have stood had we been there that day? The issue before Caiaphas is everlastingly present. We have to choose continually between tradition and scripture, between the institution and the individual, between what is popular and accepted and what is true.

There is no need to crucify Christ that the institution may be saved. Unless Christ lives, the institution is already dead!

This is what Caiaphas had to face. How can you attack an institution and still retain it? How can you shatter that which you love? I happen to be one who has been reared in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and all my tenderest emotions and feelings are tied into Adventism. This can also become my greatest curse and damnation because I begin to trust in it instead of the living God. If I begin to think that the structure is what makes me a Christian instead of a personal friendship with my God and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, my faith is resting on an institution instead of on the Lord.

I think I can say concerning institutions that I love none better than Adventism. I was nurtured in it. I was cradled in it. I loved it. But this can also be my damnation unless I know that all of this is but for one purpose and that is to bow my head and my mind before the living Jesus and say that unless Christ lives within the institution it has become only desolation and hostility, nothing but an empty institution.

The issue that faced Caiaphas is everlastingly alive in your heart and mine. What could happen if our hearts were blended together under Jesus Christ!

Oh, that God would help us today to once again understand the issues clearly and to make right choices. The people two thousand years ago had to make a tremendous choice, and their choice was a devastating decision, affecting their eternal destiny. If you have never gone through such an experience, you do not know what I am talking about, but those of you who know what I am speaking about realize the gravity of such a situation. It has shaken you completely until you have experienced a kind of death. The very thing in which you have trusted has been shattered before you, and you will never be the same again because the basis of your life now is Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ.


Repentance the Gift of God

By Mrs. E. G. White, published in The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890

(One of the aspects of the third angel’s message that was understood by Ellen White and others was that it contained the message of righteousness by faith. Ellen White declared, “It is the third angel’s message in verity.” This article is the original source for this statement, and it is a very interesting article, for it gives us the context of her statement.  Within this article, there is a principled balance presented, using terminology that all can readily understand.     Editor)

There are many who have erroneous ideas in regard to the nature of repentance. They think that they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares them for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Saviour. But must the sinner wait until he has repented before he can come to Jesus? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour? Jesus has said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Christ is constantly drawing men to himself, while Satan is as diligently seeking by every imaginable device, to draw men away from their Redeemer. Christ must be revealed to the sinner as the Saviour dying for the sins of the world; and as he beholds the Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary, the mysteries of redemption begin to unfold to his mind, and the goodness of God leads him to repentance.

Although the plan of salvation calls for the deepest study of the philosopher, it is not too deep for the comprehension of a child. In dying for sinners, Christ manifested a love that is in comprehensible; and in beholding this love, the heart is impressed the conscience is aroused, and the soul is led to inquire, “What is sin, that it should require such a sacrifice for the redemption of its victim?” John, the beloved disciple, declares that “whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” The apostle Paul instructed men in regard to the plan of salvation. He declares, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” John, speaking of the Saviour says, “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”

The living oracles do not teach that the sinner must repent before he can heed the invitation of Christ: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Men must come to Christ because they see him as their Saviour, their only helper, that they may be enabled to repent; for if they could repent without coming to Christ, they could also be saved without Christ. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ that leads to genuine repentance. Peter makes the matter clear in his statement to the Israelites, when he says, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Repentance is as much the gift of Christ as is forgiveness, and it cannot be found in the heart where Jesus has not been at work. We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience, than we can be pardoned without Christ. Christ draws the sinner by the exhibition of his love upon the cross, and this softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition and repentance in the soul.

Paul says, “I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” What was it that brought that commandment to the mind of Paul but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom Jesus said, “the Father will send in my name? He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Paul continues, “And the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which was good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”

Men sometimes become ashamed of their sinful ways, and give up some of their evil habits, before they are aroused to manifestly come to Christ; but it is the power of the gospel, the grace of Christ, that is drawing them to make reformation in their conduct. An influence of which they are unconscious works upon the soul, and the conscience is quickened, and the outward life is amended. And as Christ draws them to look upon his cross, to look upon him whom their sins have pierced, the commandment comes home to the conscience. The wickedness of their life, the deep-seated sin of the soul, is revealed to them. They begin to comprehend something of the righteousness of Christ, and exclaim, “Was all this love, all this suffering, all this humiliation demanded that we might not perish, but have everlasting life?” They then understand that it is the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance. A repentance such as this lies beyond the reach of our own powers to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high, and has given gifts unto men. Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one who can arouse in the natural heart enmity against sin. He is the source of our power if we would be saved. No soul can repent without the grace of Christ. The sinner may pray that he may know how to repent. God reveals Christ to the sinner, and when he sees the purity of the Son of God, he is not ignorant of the character of sin. By faith in the work and power of Christ, enmity against sin and Satan is created in his heart. Those whom God pardons are first made penitent.

The pleasing fable that all there is to do is to believe, has destroyed thousands and tens of thousands, because many have called that faith which is not faith, but simply a dogma. Man is an intelligent, accountable being; he is not to be carried as a passive burden by the Lord, but is to work in harmony with Christ. Man is to take up his appointed work in striving for glory, honor, and immortality. God calls upon men for the use of every talent he has lent them, the exercise of every power he has given; for man can never be saved in disobedience and indolence. Christ wrestled in earnest prayer; he offered up his supplications to the Father with strong crying and tears in behalf of those for whose salvation he had left heaven, and had come to this earth. Then how proper, yea, how essential that men should pray and not faint! How important that they should be instant in prayer, petitioning for the help that can come only from Christ our Lord! If you will find voice and time to pray, God will find time and voice to answer. Some of our brethren have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting this doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. If there had not been a remissness in the past to properly instruct the people of God, there would not now be a necessity of calling especial attention to it. Some of our brethren are not receiving the message of God upon this subject. They appear to be anxious that none of our ministers shall depart from their former manner of teaching the good old doctrines. We inquire, Is it not time that fresh light should come to the people of God, to awaken them to greater earnestness and zeal? The exceeding great and precious promises given us in the Holy Scriptures have been lost sight of to a great extent, just as the enemy of all righteousness designed that they should be. He has cast his own dark shadow between us and our God, that we may not see the true character of God. The Lord has proclaimed himself to be “merciful and gracious, long- suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”

Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message, and I have answered, “It is the third angel’s message in verity.” The prophet declares, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” Brightness, glory, and power are to be connected with the third angel’s message, and conviction will follow wherever it is preached in demonstration of the Spirit. How will any of our brethren know when this light shall come to the people of God? As yet, we certainly have not seen the light that answers to this description. God has light for his people, and all who will accept it will see the sinfulness of remaining in a lukewarm condition; they will heed the counsel of the True Witness when he says, “Be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

The Church is presented as standing in a self-satisfied, pleased, proud, independent position, ignorant of her destitution and wretchedness. By her attitude she says, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” How many who claim to be keeping the commandments of God are in this position today! The charge against the Church is, “Thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot.” But while many may be satisfied with their lukewarm condition, the Lord is far from pleased, and declares that unless you are zealous and repent, he will spue you out of his mouth. But he warns you, he entreats you. He says, “Thou knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.”

The gold that Jesus would have us buy of him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eye-salve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.

To our brethren who are standing in this self-confident, self-satisfied position, who talk and act as if there was no need of more light, we want to say that the Laodicean message is applicable to you. Many professed Christians are without  Christ because they refuse to weave his principles of truth into their life. The word of God declares, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” We should pray earnestly and inquire with sincere hearts as to what the will of the Lord is, that we may be ready to receive the blessing we so much need.

We must have oil in our vessels with our lamps, and not be like the foolish virgins of the parable whose lamps went out as they slumbered and slept, and who had no oil to replenish them, and so failed to be ready to meet the bridegroom. We should seek for a living experience, and obtain the grace of Christ. We need his love and gentleness; we need our faith revived. Let no one disregard the counsel of God, but let us all buy of him gold, and white raiment, and plead for the anointing of his Holy Spirit. Jesus desires us to have a personal knowledge of the truth, and we should search the heart carefully, critically, cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Jesus says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.” No one should feel like rebelling, like standing in defiance of God, because he rebukes you on account of your lukewarm condition and spiritual pride. God condescends to entreat you that he may talk with you, and invites you to open the door of the heart, that he may come in and sup with you, and you with him. He declares, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”


Youth’s Corner — E. R.’s Stand for the Sabbath

By Onycha Holt

E. R. was born in Brazil about one hundred years ago, and when he was a young person he learned about the God in heaven, and he and his family became Seventh-day Adventist Christians. When he finished high school, he started attending the Brazilian Adventist Seminary, but he knew that at any time the military might call him for service because it was the law of the land that young men served their country for three years. Before that time came, however, he purposed in his heart, just like Daniel had, that he would be true to his heavenly Father and to his Saviour, Jesus, no matter what happened.

Sure enough, one day the dreaded envelope came. He opened it and realized he was going to have to leave college and serve in the military, but he continued to purpose in his heart that he would not deny his heavenly Father or his Saviour, Jesus Christ.

During the first few weeks in the military, he underwent physical examinations and a lot of testing, and, finally, he was assigned to the Ninth Calvary Regiment. The commander of that regiment was quite friendly and did not give E. R. any problems about Sabbath until a class started. This class was to prepare certain people in the regiment for a work they would need to do while in the service, so they were required to attend the class, and E. R. was one of the people selected! And guess what! Classes were scheduled for every Sabbath. Now in America today, our young people are not required to go school on Sabbath, but in some countries school is held on Sabbath, and parents have to decide whether to send their children to school or not or to keep them at home and possibly be in trouble with the school officials. But E.R. had already purposed in his heart to serve God first and foremost, and he did not go to class on Sabbath.

When the first Sabbath class was over, his supervisor asked him why he did not attend class, and he answered that it was because he was a Seventh-day Adventist and that he kept the seventh day holy. E. R. said, “I told you when I first came that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God and that I cannot do any secular work or anything of that sort on the Sabbath day, so I did not go to the class.”

His commander said, “Well, I understand what you are saying, but it is okay to attend these classes on the Sabbath if duty requires you to, and I am requiring you to do it!” E. R. said, “No, no sir. That is not true, and I will show it to you in the Bible if you want me to.” The commander said, “Oh, no, no. I know what. I will be responsible for you, and if you are sinning on the Sabbath by going to class, then it will be me who is really sinning and I will answer to God for you.” E. R. could not believing what he heard, and he said: “No! No man can do that. Nobody can stand in for me when I do wrong. Only one person can do that.” And who is that, young people? Jesus Christ.

Well, E. R. was dismissed, but the next Sabbath came and another class. Do you think E. R. went to that class? No, he did not, and he was called in to see the commander again. The commander asked, “Why do you insist on being disobedient?” E. R. was then sent to another commander, and that commander said: “You must obey,” and he sent him to prison for eight days.

Then he was released from prison, and the next Sabbath came with another scheduled class, and what do you think E. R. did? The same thing! He did not go to school. And the same thing happened again after class—he was called before the commander, who said: “You are insistent on being disobedient. You cannot be this way!” And it was off to prison again, this time for fifteen days. This happened a total of three times, and the third time he went to prison it was for twenty-one days.

After the third trip to prison, the officers realized they were not going to change E. R., so they began to think he had a “problem” in his head and that he was sick, so they sent him to the hospital to be examined. At this hospital, the doctor told him, “E. R., you cannot keep doing this because you will get in a lot of trouble and may go to prison for ma-n-y years! You have to change. This is foolishness!” But this doctor was not a psychiatrist, so they sent him to another hospital to be examined by a specialist. While at the second hospital, they kept asking him, “Why do you keep doing what you do?” And E. R. always said, “I will do anything my commanders ask me to do as long as it is not against the commands of my heavenly Father, who is really my Commander! And he has commanded me, in the fourth commandment, to keep the seventh day holy, and that is what I must do! And I cannot change for any man!”

Well, they scratched their heads and said, “There is something very weird about this way of thinking. There is something very wrong about this man. He has seventh-day mania!” This is the diagnosis they gave him, but he did not have seventh-day mania at all. He was simply obeying God’s commandment.

Finally, after several days at that hospital, the doctors realized E. R.’s reasoning was sane and stable but that he was just different on the Sabbath issue. The psychiatrist even said to him, “It may be that God wants us to worship a day each week, but you are different from the rest of the whole world! They worship God on Sunday! What is this about the seventh-day? You are strange! There is something wrong with the way you are thinking!” But E. R. did not change the way he thought.

Finally, E. R. was released from the hospital, but during the time he had been hospitalized, the commander of his regiment back on the base was moved to another regiment and now there was a new commander of the 9th Calvary. This commander said to E. R., “Okay, we will do it your way. Just on the other six days, work for us and do what we command you, and the seventh day will be yours.” 

E. R. was very happy. He was able to finish his three years of mandatory service in the military without further trouble over the Sabbath. He was able to keep the Sabbath holy, but he was allowed to do this because he had purposed in his heart to be true to God. He was not going to be changed by man but was committed to doing what God wanted him to do.

Before he went to the hospitals, even his friends in the 9th calvary regiment, his comrades so to speak, tried to talk him out of keeping the Sabbath holy. So his commanders tried to change him, his friends tried to talk him out of keeping the seventh day holy, and the physicians in the hospital tried to tell him he was wrong, but nothing worked. Do you know why? E. R. loved his heavenly Father. He understood the great gift the Father has given us in his Son, Jesus Christ, and he appreciated the great work Jesus Christ has done for us by leaving beautiful heaven and its peace and joy and coming down to this old wicked earth to help you and me. 

Things worked out for E. R., but it does not always work out as well for everyone. Sometimes people have a very hard time. In certain countries today you are not allowed to meet with even one other person tonstudy the Bible, and if you are caught doing that, it is off to prison you go for a very long time under very difficult circumstances. But if we are called to go to prison under such circumstances, we can be sure none of us will go to prison alone. We will always have a Comforter with us, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father. We will always have their presence with us if we are true to them and obey their will.

Always remember what Acts 5:29 says: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”


Scripture Record-Holders

Some of the people in the Bible were in a class by themselves. Can you identify them?

1. Very doubtful

2. Very fat

3. Earliest man

4. Very fast

5. Oldest

6. Very rash

7. Very strong

8. Wisest

9. Very tall

10. Very short

11. Very wicked

12. Very beautiful

13. Meekest

14. Very proud

15. Very frightened

16. Very much traveled

17. Very sorrowful

18. Very guilty

19. Very persecuted

20. Greatest prophet

____ Judas – Matthew 27:3-5

____ Jephthah – Judges 11:30-35

____ Solomon – 1 Kings 3:12

____ Moses – Numbers 12:3

____ Thomas – John 20:24-29

____ Manasseh – 2 Chronicles 33:1-13

____ Belshazzar – Daniel 5:6

____ Eglon, king of Moab – Judges 3:17

____ Zaccheus – Luke 19:3, 4

____ Job – Job 1, 2

____ Asahel – 2 Samuel 2:18

____ Jeremiah – Jeremiah 9:1

____ Samson – Judges 14:6; 15:14

____ Goliath – 1 Samuel 17:4

____ Methuselah – Genesis 5:27

____ John the Baptist – Matthew 11:7-14

____ Nebuchadnezzar – Daniel 4

____ Adam – Genesis 2:7

____ Esther – Esther 2:7

____ Missionary Paul – Acts 13:4; 18:23


Letters

I am studying the three angels’ messages right now. I have [the articles in Old Paths] printed out so it is much easier to read. A few weeks ago [I was told] something very interesting during one of our meetings on Sabbath…that most of us don’t understand the three angels’ messages, that we do not live these messages, and that is why we cannot tell others about these messages. And I thought to myself, but I understand what is written in Revelation 14:6-11, and I know the messages. But now that I am studying these messages, I understand what he was talking about. I am so glad that in Old Paths the last three months I have found the explanation of the three angels’ messages. I am not ready yet; I am still studying, but it is a blessing.     Curaçao 

This new truth [about God] has been revealed to myself and my wife firstly while doing a study on the trinity. This was in Jan/Feb 2009. We were trying to show a fellow believer his errors in believing in tritheism.Upon doing this, we started to look at everything that God revealed to us in regards to who He is. We discovered at first that neither tritheism or the trinity were the truth but that the truth was something that we never thought God could possibly lead us into believing. We had a stigma about it because of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But upon studying the truth more, we came to see the huge difference between what they believe and what the truth in God’s word happens to be. It was difficult to accept at first but the more we studied, the more the truth would shine through. The Bible is so clear on the matter! My wife and I were surprised that we had never noticed the truth before. For the first time in our Christian walk, we could understand the depth of the sacrifice that God made by giving us his Son! Oh what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the children of God! By April 2009, we felt it was time to start sharing with people the truth. We started telling our members at church, my parents, my wife’s parents, our friends, and even some of our co-workers. Since that time, ten other adults along with five young children have accepted the truth... We still have many people here from our church that are confused about what we believe. Since May 2009, there have been five sermons to our knowledge that were given to deal with the subject of the trinity. We have been present for three of them. I had to stand up for truth at the end of one of the sermons and clarify false statements made against what we believed, and I appealed to everyone to come ask us what it is we believe. No one has yet approached us. We finally stopped attending the SDA Church and are now starting to fellowship with the online Smyrna worship services on Sabbath.     Canada 

The message you [Pastor Stump] brought on the Lord’s Day was an eye opener for me. Two years ago I made a decision in my heart to find truth, and to seek it as best as I could. The Lord has been guiding and teaching me through his Holy Spirit; which I have come to the recognition of now. There have been many truths that have been revealed to me by the Spirit of God that I am thankful and most grateful for, and I know there is more truth for me to learn as the Lord allows. I am exceedingly grateful for being at the presentation in Toronto, Ontario, last Sabbath, August 15, 2009. I have never learned the doctrine of God, according to what you taught upon that faithful day. For this I want to thank you and thank God Almighty and his blessed Son, Jesus, for allowing me to come to this revelation.

Brother Stump, let me just tell you a brief recap of my journey till now. I was raised in a Pentecostal denomination, but I rejected it in my late teens and was an agnostic/atheist in my early twenties. I saw confusion in the “church” that didn’t make sense and I rejected it. I came back under an omen that something was about to happen concerning me, but I was never told what that would be. I thought and decided it’s time to find out if God is real or not, so I decided I would get baptized after consulting my father and mother…I started to learn about the Sabbath from a pastor name Doug Bachelor. I set my mind to study and learn if this were truth or not for myself, and I could not deny that this was a truth that the Bible speaks throughout the scriptures, so I started to keep that day as holy. I started to attend the Seventh day Adventist Institute nearby to learn and to grow more in the knowledge and understanding of God.

The reason I let you know this Brother Allen Stump is because concerning the doctrine of God, no doctrine has been as truthful, honest, and scripturally sound as the doctrine that you have come to learn and teach. That doctrine seems, for I am still studying the subject, to be the most sound and continuous doctrine concerning God. This has been one of the greatest truth revealed to me by your mouth and by the Holy Spirit which teaches all that love God. What surprises me the most is how often I have read those scriptures not taking them for the value that they have—scriptures stating that the Father (God Almighty) had an actual Son… What you are teaching and preaching now concerning the doctrine of God is what the Bible has being saying for ages, but I was so blinded by the teaching of the trinity and similar ideas that I was unable to see the obvious truth that the Bible speaks of…I thank you for telling the truth; I thank God Almighty for allowing me to come to know this great truth.     Canada

Thank you for the monthly newsletter and the booklets you’ve been mailing. I always read them along with my Sabbath School lesson. My church is so firm on the trinity; it is very discouraging. I didn’t or couldn’t believe that when I was a Lutheran. I became Adventist in 1984. I remember very clearly when it was published in our bulletin that the church was accepting that doctrine. At my church we have two different people who teach the Sabbath School. I gave the booklet “Red Flag Waving” to one to read, a woman I’ve known for years. She no longer treats me very friendly. I just hope she has read it. She has never told me. I recently turned 82. Please keep up the good work, and may God bless you all.     South Dakota

Your commentaries on the 2009 Sabbath School quarterlies have been very helpful and stimulated much discussion at my local SDA church. Several years ago, when leading the Sabbath School class, I presented the truth about the trinity to them. Even though they voted to prohibit me from teaching Sabbath School, and the pastor himself decided that I could no longer preach there either, I still attend because I want them to learn the truth, and there are those present there who are interested in the truth even if the church is proved to be wrong, which it is.     Michigan


Quiz on Job 18-19

1. Who is the speaker in Job chapter 18?

2. What part of Job 18:3 might have been substantiated by something Job had said, and what part had no basis for being said?

3. Into what class was Job described in verses 5 and 21?

4. In verses 5-21, we read of the calamities of the wicked. How many times is something said about them falling in or being snared by a trap? List the verses and key words.

5. The “brimstone” of Job 18:15 might have reference to what?

6. What was meant by Job in Job 19:1 about his friends vexing his soul?

7. In Job 19:2, Job says that he had been reproached ten times, yet there have only been five speeches by this friends at this time. How do we account for this? There are references in the Bible to the phrase “ten times” that might shed light up this question.

8. Who is the “He”  and “His” that Job is speaking of in verses 8-13? What does this tell us about Job at this time?

9. What would be the significance of the expression “he counteth me” in Job 19:11?

10. What does Job 19:20 indicate about Job’s physical condition at this time?

11. Using Strong’s Concordance or other language book, please find the Hebrew word for “book” in Job 19:23?

12. What is the Hebrew word translated “redeemer” in Job 19:25? How is it also translated, especially in the book of Ruth?

13. Though the worms would eat his flesh, what hope did Job express?

14. In Job 19:28, Job is representing his friends as saying that they can be cruel to him due to his sin, but what does he warn them about in Job 19:29?

Answers to Quiz on Job 15-17 

1. The speaker in Job chapter 15 is Eliphaz.

2. The “east wind” in Job 15:2 represents destruction. See Genesis 41:6, 23, 27; Exodus 10:13; and Jeremiah 18:17.

3. The statement of Job 15:6  was not true. Job’s words did not condemn him. Matthew 26:65 would be a parallel verse in thought.  The High Priest said that Christ’s words were proof of his guilt, but they were not.

4. Job 15:12 tells us that Job is, as it were, winking his eyes in astonishment at the charges against him.

5. The exposition of God’s ways with man, as recorded in Job 15:17-35, are based upon the wicked and not the righteous who are afflicted by God.

6. According to these verses, the riches of the wicked will be lost. “He travaileth with pain all his days but he will be desolate and not rich.”

7. In effect in John 15:34, Job is called a hypocrite and someone who bribes.

8. Job is the speaker in Job chapters 16 and 17.

9. Job 16:1-6 has the speaker reproving his friends for their unmerciful attitudes. In Job 16:5, he said he would strengthen his friends with good words if the roles were reversed.

10. In Job 16:7, Job begins to describe God as being at the head of his troubles, although he does not understand why.

11. The expression “My face is foul with weeping” (Job 16:16) means “My face is red with weeping, and on my eyelids is deep darkness” (RSV).

12. Although the speaker may feel God is against him, the speaker declares that heaven has a record to vindicate him.

13. In Job 16:20, he has spoken to his friends, but they have scorned him, so now he turns to God to plead his case.

14. The Hebrew word for “breath” in Job 17:1 is ruwach.

15. A modern translation or understanding of the phrase “put me in surety with thee” from Job 17:3 is “Be a surety for me with thyself” (Rothrham). In effect, post a bond for me.

16. Job was later noted for patience (James 5:11).

17. In Job 17:7, the speaker meant that his body had become frail and was only a shadow of what it had been.

18. In Job 17:11-16, he held out death as his only hope.

19. Job symbolically described the physical corruption that occurs in death, even the worm as his sister in Job 17.


We Are Not of Them Who Draw Back unto Perdition

By Ruben Luna Marte

(The following message was given at the 2009 West Virginia Camp Meeting.    Editor)

This message is mostly a message of encouragement, a message of realization of where we are in earth’s time history. Christians need to go forward and not backwards in their experience, especially us who are living in the antitypical day of atonement. We need to go forward and not backwards. Paul uses a beautiful imagery to try to get this point across and I hope that by God’s grace and by the guidance of his Spirit that we can all get a glimpse of the vision that Paul tried to present in the book of Hebrews and in doing that we can truly go forward, even in those areas that might be difficult, whether it is diet or whatever it may be. Wherever God leads, we need to follow.

For background purposes, let us begin in Hebrews 11:35: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” That confidence could be viewed as faith. In Hebrews 3:6, Paul uses that same concept: “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” If you move down to verse 14, he goes on to say, “For we are made partakers of Christ,” but under what conditions? “If we hold the beginning of our confidence [or our faith] stedfast unto the end.” So we are made partakers with Christ, we are become the house of God because it says in verse 6, “Christ the son of his own house whose house we are.” We are God’s house for the express purpose that he can dwell and be with us.

Going back to chapter 10 of Hebrews, we read: “Cast not away your confidence.” Don’t cast away the relationship that you have with Jesus, “which hath great recompence of reward.” Paul goes on to say, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” (v. 36). This is God in Christ through Paul telling us we have need of patience. When many read that word, patience, what comes to mind is that we need to have patience with one another, and that is true. There are many people in our families that try our patience. But, oddly, more often than not where we tend to fail is that we do not have patience with God. There is the tendency whenever we find ourselves in a straight that instead of waiting on the Lord, we resolve the problems ourselves. Whenever something shocking comes to us, whether through scripture or someone presents it to us, we have a tendency not to take it to the Lord in prayer but to take it to ourselves and we make a decision. Paul says we have need of patience.

Psalm 27:14 says that we are to: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD,” and in Psalm 37:34 we read: “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.”

In this concept of waiting on the Lord, the wise man in the book of Proverbs said in chapter 20 and verse 22: “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.” When you enemies encompass about you or someone is constantly hounding you and you are tempted to retaliate, the wise man says to wait on the Lord.

This concept of waiting on the Lord even when you believe that God has arranged matters so that you can take vengeance upon an individual can be best illustrated in the life of King David. Before he was king, David was running for his life because Saul was hounding him. We find this story in 1 Samuel 24. David had a close relationship with God, and in verse 4 we read the Lord arranged it so that David had an encounter with his enemy: “And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee.” The day came when David had the opportunity, the mandate of God to do to his enemy whatever he saw fit, whatever his enemy deserved. Saul, now the enemy of David had rebelled against God and deserved death. But instead of death, David gave him mercy. David fulfilled the promise of the Lord. He gave King Saul back which he did not deserve—mercy—and he gave him mercy with the express purpose so that Saul could see and recognize:

Saul came almost to that point, for we read in verse 17 that he said to David: “Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.”

Let us return back to Hebrews and patience, the ability to wait on the Lord, and let us take it one step further because in the Bible it tells us that David had an army of 400 men. Later on he added 200 men, but when he had an army of 400 men, the testimony in Samuel shows us what happens when you have a relationship with the most high God. Not only are you impacted and transformed, but others are as well. Let us capture the full weight of the transformation that these 400 or 600 men of David went through. In 1 Samuel 25 we see that David’s men were roaming the land, as it were. In verses 14 and 15, we read: “But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them. But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields.” David’s men, those who killed 10,000 of the Philistines per se, these men behaved themselves, Christ-like, as it were. I ask you, where do you think David got his men? From the choir? Let us look at 1 Samuel 22:2. David did not get his band of men from the front row of the church. “And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.” These men were the low class, the rabble-rousers of the town, and in a short time these individuals manifested the very character that was in David, and the character that was in David was the character of Christ, which is the character of our heavenly Father.

Let us return again to the concept of patience in Hebrews and read again verses 36 and 37: “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” As Adventists, we have a constant desire to share the second coming of Jesus. We love to think of that day and long for it. I am not disputing that, but I ask you to look at this verse in light of what we are discussing. When we are in a straight, when we are in temptation, this text is very true then as it will be at the second coming. God is asking us to be patient. We must wait a little while because he that will come will not tarry. Many people go ahead of God whenever they are tempted, whenever they are tried and they do not wait on him because of impatience. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.”

Paul goes on to say in Hebrews 10:38, 39: “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” This whole chapter of Hebrews 11 talks about this same thing that he enumerates in these two verses—faith.

I want to bring your attention to the concept of not drawing back because Paul picks up this idea again in chapter 12 where he equates faith to a physical manifestation or to a physical action that somebody does and he specifically refers to what occurred on Mount Sinai. Paul is asking us not to draw back (unbelief), but he is urging us to go forward (faith). In chapter 12, Paul reminds us: “ For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)  But ye are come unto mount Sion” (vs. 18-22). The incident that Paul is talking about is in Exodus 19. In this passage, Moses goes up to the mountain and there he talks to God. God tells him to “be ready against the third day” (v. 11). He told them: “There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount” (v. 13). The command of that moment in time was at the sound of the trumpet, come forth to the mountain, and Moses did as the Lord said. In chapter 20 the Ten Commandments are spoken. We then read: “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off” (Exodus 20:18). They took a step back! This is the imagery Paul is alluding to, asking us not to do. Do not draw back. Stand your ground, as it were. The Lord brought you hither and even though Moses quaked and feared, he went forward. What was the beautiful privilege that he had? It is found in Exodus 24:11: “They saw God, and did eat and drink” with him. The servant of the Lord goes on to say that they did not see the deity, they did not see the Father because John 1:18 says that “no man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” So, who did they see and commune with? They saw Christ and communed with him. The point  is that they came to the mountain and then they removed a far off. This concept about living righteously was not new from 1888. In Exodus 20:19, 20 we read: “And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” The ability to not sin is directly related to hearing the voice of God and having that relationship with him.

This has everything to do with the three angels’ messages. Beloved, many people err because they go to the wrong doctor and listen to the advice of the wrong doctor. You have to go to the right doctor, but sometimes we go to the right doctor and listen to the advice, but we don’t like it. You need to go to the right doctor, listen to the advice and take it.

The great Physician said in Revelation 3 that God’s people think themselves to be rich and have need of nothing and his remedy is to buy gold, raiment and eyesalve. Nevertheless, God will still have a people who will present the third angel’s message, so much so that when the message is given to come out of the confusion, out of Babylon, people will hear the voice from heaven and that voice from heaven they hear it in you only because Christ, the one giving the message is in you. That is the only way. If people come out of Babylon per se, they cannot come out of Babylon because some person says so. People can only come out of Babylon if they hear the voice of God through Christ through you. If they hear that voice, they will come out.

Back to Hebrews 12: “ But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (vs. 22-24). Paul says a lot of things here that we would do well to mediate upon, but I want to focus on verse 25, back to the same concept that we covered in chapter 10 of Hebrews and we picked up in verse 18 of chapter 12 also. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they [Israel at Sinai] escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth [Sinai]: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven” (vs. 25, 26). In verse 27, Paul explains verse 26 in this fashion, and we would do well to meditate upon it: “And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (v. 27). What things are made? Everything! The only thing that will not be shaken are those things that are not made! And who or what are they? The Father and his Son. The shaking, beloved, according to the servant of the Lord, is your response to the heavenly doctors’ prescription. Your response to the heavenly doctors’ prescription is what causes you to be shaken in or shaken out or to remain where you are. The shaking, beloved, is the removing of those things that are made so that the thing that is not made can remain.

If Christ does not abide in you, you will be shaken because   you reject the faith that works by love, the discernment of the Holy Spirit, and the robe of Christ’s righteousness. To have the faith of Jesus, you must have him in you.

We are living in the antitypical day of atonement. God has a message or purpose for this generation, for people that live in this generation, and the admonition is, when we come to Mount Zion, do not draw back. Go forward on the things that you have heard. I know sometimes it sounds difficult to the human mind to accept, but if you wait on the Lord, he will carry you on through. Even though Moses was afraid and the people were afraid and they took a step back and they were fearful, but though Moses was afraid too, he then took a step forward.

Galatians 6:3 says, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” All of us are nothing. Why? Because we came from dust. God made Adam from the dirt, and the dirt comes from where? God spoke and out of nothing something appeared. According to Paul, the only thing in the universe that is “something” is the Father and the Son. We are nothing, and the only way we can be something is if God dwells in us. Paul takes up this concept about being nothing in both Galatians and 1 Corinthians under the concept of circumcision. We are nothing and whatever we do is nothing: circumcision and uncircumcision. Now consider the way the Jews viewed circumcision. To the Jew, this was his work, what he would and could do. Yet  Paul says that both circumcision and uncircumcision availeth nothing. The only thing that avails is the keeping of the commandments of God, and again, the only way that we can keep the commandments of God is if Christ himself dwells within us and he works them out in and through us. Paul goes on to say, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Galatians 6:15). In Galatians 5:6, we read: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” So, if you put those three things together, the things that run through those three texts, circumcision and uncircumsion are not anything. The only thing that avails is the keeping of the commandments, the new creature and faith which worketh by love, and to have those things manifested in our lives we must have that close relationship with Christ. We must listen to him every step of the way. And I urge you, as I have urged myself many a time, be patient, don’t get discouraged. Again, beloved, wait on the Lord, and again I say, wait on the Lord.


A Sign of the Times
Many Anglicans Returning to Papacy

About four hundred fifty years ago, Henry VIII, King of England, broke from the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of marriage and began what became the Church of England, the forerunner of the Anglican Communion. The issue of marriage is again surfacing, along with issues of the priesthood, but this time the matter is reversed! Last month, on October 20, the Vatican announced that a plan had been worked out for many Anglicans who are dissatisfied with their faith to join the Catholic Church. According to the Vatican, there are large numbers of Anglicans across the world who wish to come back to the mother church. Allowance of ordained women, openly gay clergy, and blessed homosexual partnerships are the main reason for the dissatisfaction these members have with the Anglican Church.

According to Cardinal William Joseph Levada, the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “The Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion” (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/20/vatican.anglican.church/index.html?iref=newssearch).”

Reportedly, there are fifty Anglican bishops and many priests who wish to convert to Catholicism.

Interestingly, those who convert will be able to retain their Anglican rites, but they must recognize the pope as their leader. The agreement also allows for the Anglican priests who are already married to be ordained as Catholic priests but according to Levada, the married bishops will not be so recognized.

Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia of the Catholic Church,  said: “We’ve been praying for this unity for 40 years and we’ve not anticipated it happening now. . . . The Holy Spirit is at work here” (Ibid.).

Both the archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster said in a joint statement that continued dialog would follow.

Levada noted: “Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” (Ibid.).

Let it ever be remembered that Rome never changes. “Protestants were once thus apart from this great church of apostasy, but they have approached more nearly to her, and are still in the path of reconciliation to the Church of Rome. Rome never changes. Her principles have not altered in the least. She has not lessened the breach between herself and Protestants; they have done all the advancing. But what does this argue for the Protestantism of this day? It is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy” (Signs of the Times, February 19, 1894). Allen Stump


CHILDREN’S CORNER 

By Ashleigh Holt

Wisdom 

It’s what you learn after

 you know it all that counts.  

Are You Like John Burroughs? 

He liked wild animals. Every day he

went to the woods to see them. He

wrote books about them so boys and

girls who lived in cities could like them too.

 You can read his books too. Here are some of

 the names of the books: The Return of the Birds 

and Wake Robin

Multiple Choice 

Circle the correct answer. 

What woman led an army into battle?  Judges 4:6-9

A. Ruth

B. Deborah

C. Esther

Thoughts for Adults Made by Little Hands         =^..^=

“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth” ( Psalm 96:1). 

Our new song, sung with a little modification to the tune Maitland for the hymn “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone?” #274 in the 1941 SDA Church Hymnal:

“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, . . . his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:3a, 6b, 7).

Memory Verse 

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Special Thought 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

If you are a “little person” and would like to help with thoughts or suggestions, please do so and send them to us at our address on the back page. Thanks!!!


Knowing Your ABCs Other Essential Nutrients

Iodine

Iodine is a water soluble mineral important for the function of the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones support normal growth and development in children and help to maintain the body’s metabolic rate. Iodine is also essential for brain development, and it is particularly important that unborn babies, infants and young children have enough iodine. Our bodies do not produce iodine, so we must obtain it from our diets. This can be accomplished by the use of iodine-fortified salt, one quarter teaspoon of which contains 95 micrograms (recommended daily intake is 150 micrograms for adult men and women). Sea salt should also contain iodine, but it is hard to assess a daily intake of iodine from sea salt, as the quantity of iodine in the salt is sometimes not known. Important food sources of iodine include reduced or low-fat milk and milk products, eggs and seafood. For vegans, however, seaweed, such as kelp, and iodized salt are the main options for iodine.

In areas where there is little iodine in the diet, typically remote inland areas and semi-arid equatorial climates where no marine foods are eaten, iodine deficiency gives rise to hypothyroidism, symptoms of which include extreme fatigue, goiter and mental slowing. Iodine deficiency is also the leading cause of preventable mental retardation, a tragic result which occurs primarily when babies or small children suffer hypothyroidism through lack iodine. The addition of iodine to table salt has largely eliminated this problem in the wealthier nations, but as of March 2006, iodine deficiency remained a serious public health problem in the developing world.

Foods containing excessive levels of the minerals manganese and cobalt can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland through the extraction of iodine. If you are in the habit of eating large amounts of raw cabbage, for example, you must ensure you are also getting sufficient iodine, and if you choose to use supplemental iodine, there is a tolerable upper limit, and you should seek medical advice for how much of and how often iodine supplements can be safely taken.

Calcium

Calcium is a water soluble element essential to life. It is needed in mineralization of bones (and shells) and is the fifth most abundant element by mass in the human body. Calcium “plays an important role in building stronger, denser bones early in life and in keeping bones strong and healthy later in life,” says the National Osteoporosis Foundation. In addition to its necessity in the formation and maintenance of our skeletal structure, calcium provides other important functions. It is required for muscle contraction, blood vessel expansion and contraction, secretion of hormones and enzymes, and transmitting impulses throughout the nervous system. Calcium is vital in the electrical conduction system of the heart, and it is needed for the movement of substances through cell membranes. A deficiency of calcium can lead to rickets, poor blood clotting and osteoporosis, but because many food substances are rich in calcium, deficiencies do not need to occur. In addition to dairy products; spinach, collards and turnip greens are rich in calcium. Green soybeans are a good source of calcium and so is tofu but only if the tofu is processed with a calcium salt. (Tofu processed with other salts does not provide significant amounts of calcium.) Please visit the United States Department of Agriculture nutrient database at  http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/SR22/nutrlist/sr22w301.pdf for a thorough list of the calcium content of many foods.

The two main forms of calcium in supplements are carbonate and citrate. By weight, calcium carbonate is 40% calcium, and calcium citrate is 21% calcium. Calcium carbonate is more commonly available and is both inexpensive and convenient. It is also able to neutralize stomach acid and is found in some over-the-counter antacid products, such as Tums and Rolaids. Both the carbonate and citrate forms are similarly well-absorbed, but individuals with reduced levels of stomach acid can absorb calcium citrate more easily. The body absorbs calcium carbonate most efficiently when the supplement is consumed with food, whereas the body can absorb calcium citrate equally effectively when the supplement is taken with or without food. Most experts recommend that no more than 600 mg be taken at a time and that the doses be spread throughout the day because the percent of calcium absorbed by the body decreases as the amount of supplemental calcium increases.

Zinc

The element zinc has many functions in the human body. It serves as a cofactor for over one hundred enzymes in the body, especially those involved with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol; and is essential for protein synthesis, integrity of cell membranes, maintenance of DNA and RNA, tissue growth and repair, wound healing, taste acuity, prostaglandin production, bone mineralization, proper thyroid function, blood clotting and cognitive functions!

Zinc deficiency is rare in the United States, but alcoholics, elderly, low-income children, and vegetarians are at risk for marginal zinc intake. The body best absorbs smaller amounts of zinc at one time. The upper limit of safety for zinc established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is 40 milligrams daily for adults. Rich sources of zinc are nuts and seeds, whole grains, tofu, legumes and milk. One fourth cup of pumpkin seeds, for example, contains 4.2 mg, one fourth cup of almonds 2.0 mg and one half cup cooked lentils 1.3 mg.

Sodium

Sodium is the primary electrolyte that regulates the extracellular fluid levels in the body. Sodium is essential for hydration because this element pumps water into the cell. In turn, potassium pumps the by-products of cellular processes out of the cell, eventually eliminating these “wastes” from the body.

In addition to maintaining water balance, sodium is necessary for osmotic equilibrium, acid-base balance and regulation of plasma volume, nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Excessive consumption of sodium on a regular basis is often associated with hypertension and edema. High intakes of sodium can also lead to osteoporosis because sodium can increase urinary calcium losses. No upper safety limits for sodium have been established because the body generally excretes excess sodium through the kidneys, but health organizations recommend a daily consumption of less than 2400 mg (about half of that found in the typical American diet). One teaspoon of table salt contains 2358 mg of sodium.

Magnesium

Magnesium has roles in energy metabolism, muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission and bone mineralization. It is a required cofactor for an estimated three hundred enzymes. Muscle contraction occurs because of increased calcium concentration in the cells, and this is counteracted by increased magnesium concentration in the cells which results in muscle relaxation. Magnesium and calcium also coordinate the constriction and relaxation of capillary blood vessels which contributes to regulation of blood pressure.

Milling of whole grains reduces the magnesium content of the processed flour to 20% of the amount initially present, and high intakes of calcium can inhibit magnesium absorption. Rich sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds, soybeans, tofu, dark-green vegetables, legumes, wheat germ and dairy products. Exposure to magnesium from dietary sources is unlikely to result in toxicity, but since magnesium balance is regulated by renal mechanisms, patients with renal disease are prone to toxicity.

Iron

Iron is involved in energy metabolism as an oxygen carrier in hemoglobin and as a component in electron transport. Iron is a structural component of a large number of enzymes, covering a wide array of diverse metabolic functions. These include neurotransmitter synthesis and function, phagocyte antimicrobial activity, hepatic detoxification systems, and synthesis of DNA, collagen and bile acids.

Dietary iron can be obtained either from meat sources or from vegetables, whole grains, fortified grain products, and supplements. It is true that iron from meat sources is more bio-available than iron from plant sources because plant-source iron may form insoluble complexes in the small intestines, rendering it unavailable for mucosal uptake; but intestinal absorption of plant-based iron is enhanced in acidic pH and in the presence of free amino acids. Acidic foods such as tomato sauce or orange juice consumed with a plant source of iron, such as pasta or breakfast cereal, will significantly increase the amount of iron absorbed from the meal. Good plant sources of iron are pumpkin seeds, tofu, raisins, pinto beans and sweet potatoes.

Iron absorption efficiency from plant sources may be reduced, however, by use of antacids or high dose calcium supplements. Phytates and oxalates in foods may also decrease the bio-availability of plant-based iron. High dose supplements of calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium or copper reduce iron absorption through competition for mucosal uptake. Tannic acid in coffee and tea also adversely affects iron absorption. Consumption of coffee or tea one hour before or after consumption of a plant dietary source of iron can reduce absorption of this mineral by as much as 40%!

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency disease worldwide. Groups most at risk of iron deficiency are children, pregnant and menstruating women, and repeat blood donors. Blood loss of significant amounts for any reason can also contribute to iron deficiency.

Impairment in energy metabolism and neurological function may occur with depletion of iron reserves even in the absence of serum detectable anemia. Uncorrected iron deficiency will progress to iron-deficiency anemia which is characterized by low hemoglobin levels from lack of sufficient iron for synthesis, and by decreased volume of red blood cells due to lack of sufficient iron to support their growth.

Iron toxicity from consumption of plant food is rare because the efficiency of absorption of the iron decreases when the intake increases. However, consumption of large amounts of alcohol increases mucosal iron uptake, particularly among individuals with hemochromatosis or who are carriers of this recessive trait, and iron supplements may be fatal for adults when taken in doses of 200-250 mg/kg body weight. Iron poisoning may also occur in children who take adult supplements even at low doses, and individuals who receive repeated blood transfusions are most at risk of iron toxicity.

Copper

Copper is involved in collagen synthesis; and capillaries, scar tissue, and bone matrix are most sensitive to copper status. Copper is also integral to iron metabolism. High dose zinc supplements (150 mg/day) can dramatically contribute to copper deficiency by decreasing the amount of protein available to bind with copper. High dose vitamin C supplements (1500 mg/day) may also decrease copper absorption because the reduced form of the element, which is increased in the presence of vitamin C, is less well-absorbed than the oxidized form. Although severe copper deficiency is rarely observed, marginal copper status is not uncommon. High dose supplements of zinc, vitamin C, and iron are contributing causes of marginal copper deficiency.

Copper toxicity is unlikely unless exposure to large amounts occurs as a result of industrial contamination or inappropriate use of supplements. Large dose copper supplements (10-20 mg/day) may contribute to liver damage, abnormalities in red blood cell formation, weakness and nausea.

The upper limit of safety established for copper by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is approximately 900 mcg daily for adults. Copper is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, cherries, dried fruits and potatoes. One half cup of dry roasted cashews, for example, contains 80 mcg, one half cup roasted pumpkin seeds 78 mcg, one half cup sunflower seeds 60 mcg and 10 dried prunes 40 mcg.

Information for some of these nutrients has been obtained from the Northwestern University nutrition website. For further information on other minerals needed for good health, you can visit this site at http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/nutrition/index.htm

May God richly bless you as you seek to achieve and maintain health of body, soul and spirit. Onycha Holt


Tasty Recipe: Pastor Allen’s Crispy Potatoes 

Everyone at Smyrna loves these easy-to-make treats. This recipe was inspired by some brethren in Canada.

4 medium sized potatoes
½ t salt
1 T paprika
¼ t rosemary
1/8 t sage
1/8 t Italian seasoning
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion (optional)

Mix the oil and the seasonings in a large bowl. Wash the potatoes, leaving the peelings on, if possible. Cube the potatoes into small blocks, dice the onion, and stir them into the seasoned oil. Spread onto two large baking sheets coated with nonstick spray. It is important to use two sheets so that they may be spread out and can bake evenly and become crispy. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. For crispier potatoes, bake longer.  Serves four. Bon appétit!


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  Editor: Onycha Holt - E-mail Onycha@smyrna.org

Please also visit our Present Truth Website!