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. 19, No.10 Straight and Narrow October 2010


Near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.” In response, “the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down . . . the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23. (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 55)

God’s Grace, The ABCs, (Part 1)

The 2010 General Conference theme was “Proclaiming God’s Grace.” How can we proclaim God’s grace, however, if we do not know what it is? How can we share it with others if we do not know how it is received?

The term grace is used in 159 verses in the Bible (thirty-seven times in the Old Testament and 122 times in the New Testament). The first usage is in Genesis 6:8, and the last usage is Revelation 22:21, the last verse in the Bible. * In Revelation, there is one other verse for grace – 1:4; two for love–2:4; 3:19; and four for faith – 2:13, 19; 13:10; 14:12.) The focus of this study is to explore the meaning of grace, how it is received into our lives, and what it will do for us.

The Bible presents grace as favor received, usually without merit. The Hebrew word translated grace is chen. Chen is translated grace thirty-eight times and favor twenty-six times. For example, in Genesis 18:3, when Jesus and two angels visited Abraham in the form of men, Abraham said, “My Lord, if now I have found favour (chen) in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.”

Joseph is said to have found grace in the sight of Potiphar (Genesis 39:4). Though he did his work well, Joseph was still a slave and the favor that Potiphar gave to him was certainly not what was usually accorded to a slave. Though Israel was in bondage to the Egyptians, God arranged matters so that he “gave the people favour (chen) in the sight of the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:36). The book of Esther speaks of Esther finding “favor” or “grace” with the king, or those at his court six times (Esther 2:15, 17; 5:2, 8; 7:3; 8:5).

The first time that the word grace is found in the Bible is in Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Noah found grace, or favor, in God’s sight. While this is the first usage of the the term grace and the Hebrew word chen, it is not the first time that the concept of grace is found in the Bible. Just as soon as Adam and Eve sinned, as recorded in Genesis 3, grace was in operation. Favor was being shown to our first parents that they did not deserve!

Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings. We did not seek for it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow His grace upon us, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our only claim to His mercy is our great need. (The Ministry of Healing, p. 161)

Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. (Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 347)

It is not the sinner who finds and chooses God, but rather God who first looks for and chooses the sinner. Jesus said: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). This is not to be understood that Jesus only chooses a few for salvation and that some are chosen to be lost. No, no, no; Christ has chosen all for salvation! The sad reality is, however, that only a relative few will accept the grace that is freely offered.

It has been said that grace is an acronym for:

God’s

Riches

At

Christ’s

Expense.

I am not sure anyone has ever traced down the origin of this acronym, but it certainly tells the story that grace does not come to us simply at Christ’s expense but also at God’s expense, for it is God who loved us so much that he gave his only begotten Son.

The Gift of Grace

That grace is a free gift bestowed upon the children of men is one of the clearest teachings of all the Bible. Ephesians might well be called the grace book of the Pauline Epistles. Verse for verse, Ephesians mentions grace more times than Romans. Three outstanding verses that speak of grace being a gift are found in chapters 2-4. The first is Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Grace is declared to be “the gift of God.” In Ephesians 3:7, we read of “the gift of the grace,” and Ephesians 4:7 says that “every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” While we all receive a measure of grace from God, Peter adds that a special measure is given to the humble.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (1Peter 5:5)

Paul noted that as Christians we are what we are because of God’s amazing grace. “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1Corinthians 15:10). Paul later told the believers in Corinth: “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (2Corinthians 6:1). He did not receive God’s grace in vain, and it was also his desire for the Corinthians to not receive it in vain.

Grace for All

The verses we have just examined and others help us to understand the universality of grace, not that everyone will be finally saved but that God has given a measure of the gift of grace to every individual. Were it not for this gift of grace nobody could come to repentance. Because of sin, our hearts are too stony and hard to change of themselves. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:9)? God’s grace has been given so that we can find the gift of repentance. Paul notes: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. . . . For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:53,55). Commenting upon these verses, Ellen White notes:

This is true of our physical nature. To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament. And how much more are Christ’s words true of our spiritual nature. (The Desire of Ages, p. 660; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted)

Grace by the Word of God

God creates by his word. When God wanted grass upon the earth, the Bible records: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:11). All things come through the creative power of the word of God.

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. … For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6, 9)

God’s word is “powerful” (Hebrews 4:12), and as God spoke the creation of this earth into existence, so he also speaks creation to us in the plan of redemption. Just as forgiveness comes by his word, so grace comes by his word. All would agree that the voice of God was majestic, grand, and full of power on the day the law was proclaimed at Sinai, and the words we read in the Bible are no less the words of God with no less power. So when we read “grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 1:3), we are to receive grace from this text just as if God were here to give us grace and peace, for, according to his word, God is here through his Spirit!

Every epistle of Paul, except Hebrews, begins with the pledge of grace and peace to the reader. (See Romans 1:7; 1Corinthians 1:3; 2Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1Thessalonians 1:1; 2Thessalonians 1:2; 1Timothy 1:2; 2Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; and Philemon 1:3.) These greetings were more than the salutations of a man; they were the inspired (God-breathed), creative words of God. Since God’s word is self-fulfilling, when he speaks grace and peace to us, we have as much grace and peace as we are willing to receive the gift, for God will force nothing upon any person.

The Work of Grace

The work of grace upon our lives brings salvation through faith that works by love. The Bible is crystal clear – salvation is by grace:

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24)

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they [The Gentiles]. (Acts 15:11)

God has laid out a process that we are privileged to understand. Let us start with grace and work our way backward to the source of grace. Ephesians 2:5 states that “by grace ye are saved.” This is so important that Paul repeats it again three verses later, but he adds something important. “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Faith is believing and trusting in God. In fact the Greek word for believe, pisteuo, is simply the verb form of the noun pistis which we translate faith. This faith is not simply an acknowledgment of existence, for “the devils also believe (pisteuo), and tremble” (James 2:19). The faith that Paul is speaking about is a faith that submits to God by love and depends upon his word.

Writing to the Galatians, Paul said: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6). Here is a great key to opening this mystery. Faith is needed, but it must be faith that works and the only true way that faith can work is by love.

When we speak of faith, there is a distinction that should be borne in mind. There is a kind of belief that is wholly distinct from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of His word, are facts that even Satan and his hosts cannot at heart deny. The Bible says that “the devils also believe, and tremble;” but this is not faith. James 2:19. Where there is not only a belief in God’s word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith–faith that works by love and purifies the soul. (Steps to Christ, p. 63)

So we have saving grace which we receive through faith that works by love and the source of all love is God! “God is love” (1John 4:8, 16). It is not uncommon for people to ask me why I speak and write so much about God having an only begotten Son. The reason is that it is the basis for and the heart of the gospel, the whole plan of salvation! God is the fountain of love and the great gift of his Son is the foundation of our receiving and knowing his love (1John 4:9, 10; John 3:16) “We love him, because he first loved us” (1John 4:19). With this love, our faith can work, and grace is received through faith! If Satan can hide God’s love, it will prevent grace from being received into the life of the believer.

Let us remember that a measure of grace has been given to all men and women (Titus 2:11). God has also “dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). In other words, God has given to each person, before he accepts Christ, a measure of grace and faith. Also, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8; see also Titus 3:4). God has showered this world with a measure of his love, with the ability to believe, and with his unmerited favor so that sinners can repent and find salvation through the priceless gift of his Son.

Without this work of God, man could not, of himself, ever find salvation or even repent. The Bible says “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). When Adam and Eve sinned, their natures became depraved, and they lacked within themselves the power and disposition to resist Satan (Patriarchs and Prophets, page 53). Because God has taken the initiative, man can, by God’s grace, repent, believe, and be restored to harmony and peace with God.

Not only does grace achieve justification for the believer, but grace also achieves sanctification. Paul noted that through Christ we “have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5).

God amazing grace does not find us filthy in a muddy ditch and simply cover us with a clean cloth to hide our dirt. No, not at all! God’s grace is able to build us up and to strengthen us. When Paul was on the island of “Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church” (Acts 20:17). What a solemn meeting, for under inspiration Paul knew that he would never see them again (verse 25). Notice some of his parting words:

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

Grace sanctifies the believer and builds him or her up. True grace brings change. Paul also noted:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

Christ has given himself to us that we might be redeemed from all sin and purified to good works! This grace does not give one a license to sin but rather puts the offender under a much greater obligation to live righteously.

Once a conscientious Adventist lady traveled to another state on Friday to visit the widow of her grandson on Friday. She wanted to take her grandson’s wife shopping before Sabbath, but time was swiftly passing by. In her haste, she was not as careful as she should have been and drove over the speed limit. Soon blue lights were seen in her rear-view mirror. A ticket was given, and though delayed and driving slower, she continued on her way. A summons ordering her to appear in court soon arrived. Being a Christian, she could not lie and make up a more plausible story about why she was speeding. When the judge asked her how she pleaded, she said: “Your honor, I am guilty, and I am sorry.” She then explained the purpose of her trip and pleaded for the mercy of the court. The judge took pity upon this dear soul and stated that if she kept her driving record clean in his state for three months, he would expunge the record of her ticket. She has driven in that state since then and is very careful now. Even though the three months are over, she still drives carefully because of her respect and appreciation for the judge and her respect for the laws of the state.

As Christians, we have broken God’s holy law, but through grace we find forgiveness and the strength to turn around and walk a different pathway. This is not done without resistance, for “like a roaring lion” Satan is seeking for his prey. He tries his wiles upon every unsuspecting youth; there is safety only in Christ. It is through His grace alone that Satan can be successfully repulsed” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 409). Only through the grace of Christ can Satan be turned away. Furthermore, we are told: “His grace alone can enable us to resist and subdue the tendencies of our fallen nature” (Ibid., vol. 8, p. 291).

The good news is that God’s grace is more than sufficient for all of our needs. Paul notes that we shall “receive abundance of grace” (Romans 5:17) and that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (v. 20). In 2Corinthians 9:14, Paul speaks of “exceeding grace,” and he knew firsthand that the grace of Christ was sufficient for him (2Corinthians 12:9).

Perhaps we know some very rough persons and think that the grace of God could not reach them, but remember that they are only alive today by the grace of God. We are told to “never … consider the most hardened sinner beyond the reach of the grace of God” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 537).

It is by God’s grace alone that man can be saved, by grace through faith, and Paul argues well to show it could not be otherwise. In Romans 11:6, he says: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Why must it be by grace alone? It is because, as we noted earlier, the Bible teaches that we of ourselves can do nothing good. “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). All of the good that we might wish to do or be is simply filthy! Praise God his true grace is enough and is sufficient for each person (2 Corinthians 12:9).

One of the most powerful and sublime statements written by the pen of inspiration declares:

Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 508)

The beginning and the end require grace, and everything in between requires grace. Grace alone can accomplish the work of redemption in man!

You may, and must, come to the throne of grace. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). In the confidence of a child for his loving parent, we are to come to the throne of grace and there “find grace to help in time of need.”

Perhaps you have heard of La Guardia Airport in New York City, but maybe you do not know about the man for whom it was named, Mayor Fiorello Henry La Guardia.

A story is told about Fiorello La Guardia, who, when he was mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of WWII, was called by adoring New Yorkers “the Little Flower” because he was only five foot four and always wore a carnation in his lapel. He was a colorful character who used to ride the New York City fire trucks, raid speakeasies with the police department, take entire orphanages to baseball games, and whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, he would go on the radio and read the Sunday funnies to the kids.

One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. La Guardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself. Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told La Guardia that her daughter’s husband had deserted her, her daughter was sick, and her two grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. “It’s a real bad neighborhood, your Honor,” the man told the mayor. “She’s got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.”

La Guardia sighed. He turned to the woman and said “I’ve got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions—ten dollars or ten days in jail.” But even as he pronounced sentence, the mayor was already reaching into his pocket. He extracted a bill and tossed it into his famous sombrero saying: “Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. ‘Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.’”

So the following day the New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered old lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren, fifty cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner, while some seventy petty criminals, and New York City policemen chipped in the rest. (Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, pp. 91-92)

Just like that grandmother, we are all guilty and have nothing good to plead for ourselves. Praise God that though the penalty had to be paid, God gave his most precious treasure, his beloved son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty of our sin. Like La Guardia, God did more than provide forgiveness. He did more than redeem us from the curse. He also provided us with something to live on after we first received grace.

The Bible says that we may “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:18) as our faith works by God’s amazing love, demonstrated on a hill called Calvary.


Prayer Requests

W1e were saddened to receive news of the death of Sister Maria Corklin on September 12. Maria had been in a battle with pulmonary hypertension for the last eight years. Her courageous battle was an inspiration to us all. Please pray for her loyal husband Ken; children Zachary, Janine, and Jennifer; and the rest of her family as they begin to sort out life after their great loss.

Brother Aland Ashton in Peru, who has long been on our hearts due to illness, has been diagnosed with liver cancer.Please keep him and his family in special prayer for wisdom and strength at this time.

Pastor Stump will be traveling to speak in Europe from late October to late November. Please keep these events in your prayers.


New Leadership (Part 2)

Just before the beginning of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton gathered a group of men together for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The goal was to be the first group of men to cross Antarctic. By some standards, Shackleton was one of the greatest explorers ever and certainly a tremendous leader of men, especially under the strain of adversity. Sir Raymond Priestley, a British geologist and Antarctic explorer once remarked, “For scientific leadership, give me [Robert] Scott; for swift and efficient travel, [Roland] Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”

Shackleton’s ship for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition was named Endurance. Endurance was a strong ship made of the finest materials and strongly reinforced. Her hull in places was over four feet thick. Some of the ship was constructed of greenheart, a wood as heavy as iron and almost as strong.

Shortly after war was declared in 1914, the Endurance left England. Later that year, as the ship entered southern waters Shackleton and the crew were faced with the loose pack ice around Antarctic. On January 18, 1915, the boat, within miles of the continent, became surrounded by ice and was frozen tight. Several attempts were made to free the boat by literally sawing through the ice in front of the boat. Finally on February 24, it was declared that the boat could not be freed and the men would have to spend the Antarctic winter on the boat locked in ice. Their expectation was that the summer temperatures would melt the pack ice and free the ship.

However, the boat was now doomed, though none knew it, not even Shackleton. For ten months the Endurance and her crew drifted in the ice flow waiting for the warm summer days that would thaw the ice enough to free the boat, but on October 24, ice broke into Endurance and early the next morning her rudder was torn off. On November 21, the Endurance slipped beneath the icy waters of the Wedell Sea, never to be seen again.

Though Shackleton had tried various attempts to free the boat and then repair her after she was being crushed, even he had to finally admit that she could not be saved and the only safety for his men was to abandon ship. Miraculously, after a lengthy ordeal, all were finally saved. Though Shackleton had proved himself a great leader, he was unable to save his ship, Endurance. He could not bring her back to port.

We are now almost three months past the election of Ted N. C. Wilson to the presidency of the General Conference and three months past his Sabbath sermon which called for the church to stand by the old landmarks. His Sabbath sermon stirred both the liberal and the conservative factions of the church. The liberals are bemoaning his appeals that, to them, seem backward and the conservatives are applauding his sermon as an effort to aright a ship that they feel has been on the verge of sinking since the evangelical conferences of 1955 and 1956 with the resulting book Questions on Doctrine being published. What kind of course does this ship hold with a new captain at the helm?

The title of Wilson’s sermon was “Go Forward.” Several times in the message he said, “Go forward, not backward!” To the liberals and conservatives alike, these calls to go “forward” meant that we were to go back to an older theology. The call for the church to not retreat was a plea against a “new theology.”

There were several points to Wilson’s sermon that the conservatives appreciated beginning with his suggestion that if they agreed with a point give “a heartfelt amen instead of applause” as had been the custom of the session.

Wilson reaffirmed his belief of a literal, recent, six-day creation week. Perhaps the most notable was his declaration that under his watch; the church would stand by the old landmarks. He counseled the church:

Don’t succumb to fanatical or loose theology that wrests God’s Word from the pillars of Biblical truth and the landmark beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Wilson specifically included the Sabbath as one of those landmarks:

The observance of the Sabbath is not only a sign of his creatorship in the beginning but will be the sign of God’s people in the last days in contrast to those with the mark of the beast representing an attempt to keep holy a day which God has not set apart as holy.

Concerning the Sabbath issue, Wilson also stated: “If you worship the beast and his image you are rejecting the one sign God has proclaimed as his test of allegiance . . . the seventh-day Sabbath.”

Wilson seemed to also strongly uphold the Spirit of Prophecy as manifested in the life and writings of Ellen G. White:

The Spirit of Prophecy is one of the identifying marks of God’s last-day remnant people and is just as applicable today as ever before because it was given to us by heaven itself. As God’s faithful remnant, may we never make of none effect the precious light given us in the writings of Ellen G. White.

Wilson cautioned the church not to look outside its borders for wisdom and methods of instruction in our gospel work. He said:

Do not succumb to the mistaken idea, gaining support even in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, of accepting worship or evangelistic outreach methods merely because they are new and trendy. …

Look within the Seventh-day Adventist Church to humble pastors, evangelists, Bible scholars, leaders, and departmental directors who can provide evangelistic methods and programs that are based on solid Biblical principles and the great controversy theme.

Concerning salvation, Ted Wilson noted that:

You cannot separate what Christ does for you, justifying you daily as if you had not sinned from what he does in you, sanctifying you daily as you submit to him and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to change your life to become more and more like Jesus.

Here we see an equal emphasis upon sanctification and justification. In connection with this theme, Wilson stated:

The atoning blood of Jesus Christ on the cross and the atoning ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary have but one purpose; the salvation of every repentant sinner.

Concerning Biblical interpretation Wilson decried the process of higher criticism” declaring:

Let Scripture be its own interpreter. Our church has long held to the historical-biblical or historical-grammatical method of understanding scripture allowing the Bible to interpret itself, line upon line, precept upon precept. However, one of the most sinister attacks against the Bible for those who believe in the historical critical method is upon us. This unbiblical approach of higher criticism is a deadly enemy of our theology and mission.

With this sermon, the historic Adventists and conservatives of the church were ready to coronate the new captain. Yes, a new captain, but of a sinking ship!

If we do not consider specifics of his new agenda as president, Elder Wilson spoke many pleasing things to the conservative side of the church. He has assured the conservatives that his leadership will be one that they can support and iniciate change. Some leading conservatives said amen and did everything but applaud the sermon. But what are the real facts of the situation?

Elder Wilson’s sermon clearly was a call to a more conservative time in our church’s history. But not so far as some would think! If you think he is talking about a faith that would take us back to be in harmony with James White, J.N.Andrews, Joseph Bates, or Uriah Smith please reconsider. In harmony with most of the “historic” Adventists like Raphael Perez, John Grosboll, and Colin Standish, Wilson accepts the new theology of the trinity doctrine.

The most often quoted statement of Ellen White concerning a list of the pillars of our faith is found in Counsels to Writers and Editors. There we read:

The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God’s people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels’ messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God’s law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. (pp. 30, 31)

The above statement was penned in 1889, just after the Minneapolis Conference. Under the list we find the first, second, and third angels’ messages. To fail to understand all that they comprehend is to fail to fully understand the landmarks and pillars of Adventism. Basic to the understanding of those messages is the understanding of God. In 1905 Ellen White clarified the matter. What many people do not know is that Ellen White specifically mentioned the doctrine of God and Christ as a pillar of our faith. Writing in 1905, Ellen White warned God’s people:

Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor (Ms 62, 1905; first published in MR 760, The Integrity of the Sanctuary Truth, 1980, 1981). (See also Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 235.)

At the time she wrote this, the church did not accept the trinity doctrine. The trinity is not simply a part of the “new theology” but it is actually the foundation for the “new theology” just as the doctrine of God is the foundation of all religious systems.

What about the cry in Wilson’s sermon to look within the church and not without for methods of worship or evangelistic outreach? You might find it interesting to note the educational background of Elder Wilson. According to the Adventist Review, Wilson holds “a master of divinity degree from Andrews University and a master of science degree in public health from Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health” but he also has “a doctorate degree in religious education from New York University” (http://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=3501).

Elder Wilson called the church to go forward but they must have not gotten the word concerning music. For those who were not in attendance at the General Conference, or have not heard any of the recordings from the sessions, a great deal of the music certainly did not glorify God. There was loud music with large doses of heavy rhythm that was anything but holy. Some music had dancing to accompany it. Interestingly, Elder Wilson was the chairperson of the music committee for the General Conference Session! As the chairperson, did he approve of this music? If not, he failed to publicly condemn it. What would Elijah have done? Would he have been quiet?

On the last night of the session, when the abominable Parade of Nations took place, where was the rebuke from the “Go Forward” president? Wilson could not have been unaware of this pageantry going on during Sabbath in the name of Christ’s work! It is a General Conference tradition that any officer would know well. Wilson’s ringing plea for a return to an emphasis upon the Sabbath made just hours before, now thudded hollow. What would Elijah have done? Would he have been quiet? Absolutely not! Yet, we are to carry an Elijah message and if Wilson is to carry that message he must be willing, as Elijah, to give that message at risk of his own life.

The basis of the Sabbath is found in the creation account. Elder Wilson is chairman of the board of the Seventh-day Adventist Geoscience Research Institute. He claims to believe in a recent, literal six-day creation. Where was his condemnation of the open, unashamed teaching of evolution at La Sierra University?

Point by point, Elder Wilson illustrated that talk is cheap. A person can say all he or she wishes, but without action, words are meaningless. Wilson can talk about what grace does inside the individual but when grace is received inside; it has charity to all and especially to those who are of the household of faith. True charity would have declared that we cannot any longer use sacred money to take those who are Seventh-day Adventists in spirit, but not on the record books, to civil court to sue and ruin them for simply erecting signs! If Wilson was really serious about sanctification he would have publicly condemned the lawsuits brought against such groups as The Eternal Gospel Church and The Creation Seventh-day Adventist Church.

You might be thinking that the president is not a pope and cannot force changes like the curriculum at La Sierra. This is true, but here is his one chance to speak to the entire church’s leadership as well as many within the church and set the tone and declare his goals and to call for repentance. We are to carry an Elijah message and if Wilson is to carry that message he must be willing, as Elijah, to give that message no matter how unpopular it might be or what consequences might follow its delivery.

But realistically, what can be expected at this time in the history of the corporate church? In 1903, Ellen White noted that the church would face a judgment:

In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 247)

Later, writing 1909, she gave us opportunity to know for what we would be held accountable.

In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import–the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.

The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God’s people are to be true to the trust committed to them. (Ibid., vol. 9, p. 19)

The simple truth is that the corporate church has compromised the truth about the three angels’ messages especially the final atonement in heaven. Instead of the truth as it is in Jesus, we teach the error as it is in Questions on Doctrine and reaffirmed in Seventh-day Adventists Believe. That church which had received great light has rejected that light over and over. A man once told me that if I see an animal in a field that looks like a cow, eats grass like a cow, sounds like a cow, and gives milk like a cow, then certainly it is a cow. When we see a church teaching for its central doctrine the central pillar of the whore, when we see a church, like the beast of Revelation 13, using the civil powers to enforce her doctrine, when we see a church leave the word of God for the teachings of the tradition and science falsely so called:, we can know that she is not the daughter of Zion but a daughter of “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5).

We are not dealing with apostasy within the church but an apostate church. While this sounds similar, the matter can be simplified. The call for reform within the Roman Catholic Church did not begin with Luther, or even Wycliff. Hundreds of years before these men, priests, bishops and even archbishops called for reform within the church. But that reform centered around individuals and individual abuses. The system was considered good and right, but there were corrupt men abusing the good system. Many of the popes were recognized to be evil. When the pope would die they would search all Europe to find one good man to replace him in an effort to steer the ship into a safe harbor. But what happened? The good man became a bad man because the system was evil and bred evil. The reformation did not truly begin until the reformers finally were able to look at the papacy and say, this is more than bad people or a church in apostasy, but this is an evil system that is apostate.

Do you remember Shackleton? He was a great leader and unlike some, meant what he said. However, even he could not save a sinking ship and Wilson is in a position even worse than Shackleton. When Shackleton received his ship, it was floating and 100% seaworthy. Wilson has inherited a ship that is simply a phantom with the hull, mast, sails, and the rest already sunken to the bottom of the icy Apostate Sea. No doubt prior to the General Conference a great deal of discussion occurred concerning the next president. It was not the liberal policies of Paulsen they wished for, or the shrewd calculated methods of Falkenburg they needed; but instead they got on their knees and prayed for Elder Wilson to come to the rescue of the ship SDA. Sadly, Elder Wilson is in the impossible situation of attempting to raise a sunken ship and restoring it to God’s favor when it has been weighed in the balances of the Sanctuary and found wanting. What is ahead for Elder Wilson? “Power corrupts; total power totally corrupts.” In the case of the Endurance, the only hope for the crew was to abandon ship. Today, the only hope for the crew is found in the call of Revelation 18:

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:1-4)

May the words of Jeremiah ring down clearly to us today: “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these” (Jeremiah 7:4). Allen Stump


Sabbath School Lesson
Comments Announcement

We want to explain this month’s lack of the usual Sabbath School Comments Booklet. We will not be printing comments this quarter for two reasons. Firstly, the material in the lessons is not greatly controversial. There are no deep theological issues discussed. The study guide, Background Characters in the Old Testament, written by Gerald and Chantal Klingbeil actually have some respectable lessons. Secondly, due to speaking appointments and other commitments that we have this autumn, our time is too limited to write on lessons that are not needful of expanded comments.

There will be, from time to time, some points in the lessons that need comments, but we will keep those brief comments within Old Paths. Please understand that our silence on some portions does not imply an endorsement of that material.

One comment on lesson 2 concerning Caleb should be considered. On Mondays’ lesson for October 4 we read:

Caleb must have been bitterly disappointed. He had seen the good land. He was faithful and ready to enter. But now he must wander in the desert for 40 years became of everyone else’s fault. Caleb, however, has a strong sense of community and realized what it means to be part of a whole. He leads by example and encourages. Caleb does not break away and start a new movement. The spirit of simply leaving when there is trouble or lack of faith may be a current phenomenon, but it is not biblical.

If one applies this counsel within the scope of “trouble or a lack of faith” it might be reasonable. But to accept counsel to stay with a sinking apostate ship would be quite a different matter. No doubt Peter, James, John and the other apostles had a strong sense of community. When one reads Romans 11, Paul’s love for Israel is very clear. Yet these men grasped the reality of the seventy-week prophecy and acted accordingly.

A “new movement” is started when differences arise over teachings or organization. There has clearly been differences brought into the Advent Movement which was started by the Spirit of God after 1844. The paradox is that those who brought in the differences now claim that they are the heirs to the movement and charge those trying to hold to the original platform of truth with starting a new movement.?


Walking Further

A Follow–up to Step–by–Miraculous–Step

By Daisy Albertson

On my first Sabbath in attendance at the local Seventh-day Adventist Church, I asked the Lord, “Please hold my hand and walk with me.” He was my Confidant and Friend. I was welcomed home.

Settling into a job requiring twelve to fourteen hours per day for five days a week, personal concerns for the sixth day, and attending church on the seventh day became my routine. As Pastor Harris had remarked the day of my baptism, there were changes in the church, but to my untrained eye they were hardly noticeable — at first.

Though it was good to be back in my home church I did not have time to be personally involved with ministry programs, etc. Pastor B, with his down-to-earth preaching, was the kind of Adventist preacher I remembered. We, in the congregation, were sorry to see him leave. With the new minister, Pastor A, changes came. The literature display in the vestibule disappeared and Sabbath School classes were broken up into small cell groups. One church meeting I attended stands out in my mind. A church manual of beliefs was presented. I do not recall what was changed, but I was concerned. It just did not seem right, but I assumed it was my lack of understanding — after all, long-standing members surely knew more than I knew. Who was I to question?

About this time I began experiencing “bad spells,” which were affecting my driving. I found it necessary to give up a favored vocation, along with income. The Lord, in his wisdom, would plant my feet on a better path. He saw fit to provide my needs for an entire year, until I could receive assistance. My Father knew I would need some down time in which to study doctrinal truths being distorted by the ministry in Seventh-day Adventism.

One new teaching capturing my attention was that we will be sinning till Jesus comes. I was sure this was not correct. Another time, I was approached by Brother TR, who asked me what I thought about the Holy Spirit. I hadn’t given the subject any special thought, though I had never thought of the Holy Spirit as an actual “being.” He quizzed me further. “Do you think it is separate from God — like floating in the air? Can you see it, etc., etc.” I was puzzled.

Shortly thereafter, while enjoying a Sabbath fellowship luncheon, I shared a table with Sister JR, who, in turn, shared a newsletter with me written by Elder Bob Trefz. I was astonished by the things being introduced into Adventism. For those not familiar with NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), I invite you to read the November 2005 issue of Cherith Chronicle by Bob Trefz. I have observed Seventh-day Adventist ministers on video, using these very tactics of which Elder Trefz had written.

On an early summer Sabbath morning in 1992, a minister from a nearby Sunday-keeping church was invited to present the Sabbath sermon to our local Seventh-day Adventist Church. When I could no longer control my feelings of dismay, I made my exit, as did a few other fellow believers. I wept as I left. I longed for the “Bread of Life,” not unbiblical half-truths being presented by a Sunday-keeping preacher. From the time of my initial conversion, I believed the Seventh-day Adventist Church was God’s true church. As I have grown spiritually, my understanding of the word “church” has changed. I no longer think of it as a denominational organization but a people, as represented in Revelation 12:17:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, [church] and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

If memory serves me correct, each member in the Billings, Montana Seventh-day Adventist Home Fellowship, the name we chose for our small home church, elected to transfer membership to the Troy, Montana Seventh-day Adventist Church. I was elected to deal with correspondence between the Montana Conference and our Home Fellowship. In a letter dated March 16, 1993, we were informed that the Troy Church had been expelled as of March 7, 1993, from the sisterhood of churches in the Montana Conference. (See “Conference News–Montana” in the April 5, 1993, NPUC Gleaner, pp. 11-13 and Committee Action 92–119 “Reasons For Disbanding Troy Church” in the same issue.) I believe the Troy Church had already withdrawn their membership, which was the reason we applied for membership with the Troy Church.

We accumulated some interesting two-way correspondence with Brother P, then President of the Montana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. (Note: I did not retain membership with the Troy church, as our different understanding of the doctrine of God came to the forefront. Sadly, disagreement over this teaching also divided our “Seventh-day Adventist Home Fellowship.”)

Our close-knit home ministry temporarily printed a newsletter, Thus Saith The Lord Ministries, to which we each contributed. According to our July “94” newsletter we were able, on May 1, 1994, to receive Prophecy Countdown on cable for a year with Pastor John Osborne. Here we listened to different “break-away” historic Adventist preachers give the message each Sabbath.

One day my dear friend, DB (now deceased), approached me in a serious manner. She asked me to read a small booklet she carried in her hand. It was Liberty Review which had been republished by Bill Stringfellow of Concerned Publications. As stated earlier, I had not given much thought as to the constitution of the Holy Spirit. Now, spurred on by DB’s enthusiasm, learning the truth about this subject became my goal. I prayed the Lord to keep me from error. The Lord has blessed his flock with faithful ministers who are searching for truth (Acts 17:11). There are many, though, who are unwilling to delve deeper; not wanting to uproot their long–held beliefs. Not so with DB. She was a faithful witness. One thing to be observed about the “truth” is that it does not lie! Any number of publications can be read at one time. If each author is led by the Spirit of God, it’s as if all are the same “Author,” which they are in truth. The truth about God is an “expandable” topic of study. The more one learns, the more there is to learn.

It was a blessing to study, via video, and written word, with the late Bill Stringfellow, whose legacy lives on through his outstanding presentations on many topics, including the doctrine of God, and with many others preaching and teaching God’s truth. I have been blessed by God’s grace and by his grace hope and pray to remain faithful to his dear truth.?


The Waldensian Center
Goes Online

We are excited to announce the start of the next session of the Waldensian Center. For those of you who have wished to attend classes in the past but could not due to work schedules and other responsibilities, we are pleased to announce that we will now offer online, interactive classes through a web conferencing service, using interactive devices such as white boards and file sharing.

The Waldensian Center is a modern-day school of the prophets, a Bible college patterned after the Madison School blueprint and operated by an association of home churches called Seventh-day Home Church Fellowships.

Areas of study will include agriculture; perspective drawing; aviation; Bible; business administration; bookkeeping; computer science; family; government and law; home arts; health science; history; industrial arts; language studies, including writing, Greek, and Hebrew; music; and redemption science. Most of those broad areas of study include an array of subjects.

“Every human being … is endowed with a … power to think and to do. … It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men's thought” (Education, p. 17).

Teachers will include (but are not limited to) Thomas Akens, Todd Brown, Chuck and Lisa Clifford, Onycha Holt, Elaine Nailing, David Sims, Allen Stump, and Glenys Walkom.

There is no age requirement for the online courses. Some courses may require some time on the site. Classes start November 1. Registration will be from October 1 – 18. Registration must be accomplished in time to receive the needed materials before the start of classes.

The schedule, course description, registration, updated information, etc., should be posted on our website by September 30. Please visit us at http//www.waldensiancenter.org or call us at 530-294-1115.?


Answers to Quiz on Job 32-33

(Sorry we were not able to publish these last month due to space. We will have the next quiz in the November paper.)

1. Elihu is the main speaker in Job 32.

2. Elihu was the son of Barachel of the kindred of Ram.

3. Elihu was angry against Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar because they “found no answer, and yet condemned Job” (Job 32:3).

4. Elihu waited to speak because he was young.

5. Elihu declared that God gives understanding.

6. Elihu is in effect, saying in Job 32:14 that he has a new thought or idea on the matter.

7. The literal translation of the word “within” in Job 32:18 is “in my belly.”

8. Flattery is condemned in Job 32:21, 22. Some other verses that also condemn flattery are Job 17:5; Psalm 12:2, 3; 78:36; Proverbs 2:16; 7:21; 28:23.

9.The expression “uprightness of heart” in Job 33:3 means sincere.

10. The Hebrew word for “Almighty” in Job 33:4 is Shadday.

11. Elihu would use Job’s words as the foundation of his accusations.

12. Job 9:21 shows that the accusation recorded in Job 33:9 was not correct.

13. Job 33:12 states that “God is greater than man.” While this is true, it was the wrong basis for the argument because might does not make right.

14. In Job 33:14-18 the speaker claims God will use visions and dreams to bring a person to repentance.

15. According to Job 33:19, God uses afflictions to call men to repentance.

16. According to the speaker, man must have a ransom to be saved from going into the pit of death.

17. In Job 33:31-34, Elihu is in effect asking for Job’s attention and for him to hear him.?


Christ Triumphant, (Part 2)
(Triumphant Life)

Seventh-day Adventist Theology is light years in advance of all professed Christians due to an understanding of what we call The Great Controversy theme. We owe a debt to God for the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy to help us to understand this concept in a way that no church, people, or group under heaven understand.

The Great Controversy theme is really the theme of Christ Triumphant. This is the second in a series of studies designed to cover the highlights of Christ’s Triumphant. Two months ago we looked at the beginning of this controversy in heaven and how it spread to this earth. In this study we will see this controversy in the life of Jesus during the incarnation up to his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. His triumphant Life.

The Incarnation

The word incarnation means “in the flesh.” Part of Christ’s triumphant life was to come in the flesh in such a way that he could later say, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). How could Jesus say this if his life and birth were different from ours?

The most detailed account of the beginning of the incarnation is given in Luke 1:35:

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

In the King James Bible, words that have been added due to their need for correct translation are usually italicized. In this verse however the word “thing” is not italicized in the text but we have italicized it because it has been added. The Greek word translated “holy” hagion (a{gion) with “thing” is in the neuter gender and an adjective form. Because the gender always agrees in the Greek, holy is an adjective that is modifying a word in the neuter gender. The only word in the verse in the neuter gender that it could refer to is “Ghost,” better translated spirit. Thus the verse would be better translated, “therefore also that holy spirit which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Ellen White noted concerning Jesus; “A divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh” (The Youth’s Instructor, December 20, 1900). From his birth he was filled with a holy divine spirit yet he took the flesh of sinful humanity. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). It should be noted that this was “according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3). Paul further states:

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:3, 4)

The Lord Jesus Christ “took upon His sinless [holy] nature our sinful nature, that He might know how to succor those that are tempted” (Medical Ministry, p. 181). Because Jesus personally knows our struggles, he knows how to succor or help those who are tempted. We all have internal struggles with sin and Jesus also experienced these same struggles but was always victorious. John describes the internal struggle of Jesus.

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (John 2:24, 25)

The verb knew in the last part of the verse is in the imperfect tense and is best rendered as in Young’s Literal Translation, “he himself was knowing what was in man.”

After exalting the divine nature of Jesus in chapter 1 of Hebrews, Paul notes the necessity of the humanity of Jesus in Hebrews chapter 2:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:14-18)

The following story was told a few years ago on a television series that makes a point worth considering.

This guy is walking down the street when he falls into a hole, the walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription and throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole and can you help me out?” And the priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in a hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, “Hey Joe, its me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid, now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out!” (“The West Wing,” Aaron Sorkin)

Jesus has been down here before and he knows the way out. He is well acquainted with our needs and knows by experience in such a way that we have confidence to know he knows our needs.

Jesus was filled with the spirit or mind of God from conception and because he combined divinity with humanity he was a victor. We have been told:

In Christ divinity and humanity were united, and the only way in which man may be an overcomer is through becoming a partaker of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Divinity and humanity are blended in him who has the spirit of Christ. (The Youth’s Instructor, June 30, 1892)

Remembering that the concepts of mind and spirit are often interchangeable in the Bible (Isaiah 40:13; Romans 11:34), we can see why, in part, we are commanded to have the mind or spirit of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

Our hearts or minds are naturally full of disobedience against God. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). But when one accepts Jesus into their life and partakes of his spirit, the flesh is overcome and held in check by a power much greater. But a word of caution should be exercised here. Ellen White said:

… let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves: for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with divinity, it is not necessary for us to know. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 19.)

Notice in this statement she is dealing with the blending of divinity and humanity. There was an aspect of Christ that was not “altogether human”! That part was his mind or spirit. Yet we are told that we must have the mind of Christ, receive of his spirit and this is how we become a “partakers of the divine nature” (2Peter 1:4). A.T.Jones gave a similar caution:

In the Scriptures all the way through He is like us and with us according to the flesh. He is the seed of David according to the flesh. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. Don’t go too far. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, not in the likeness of sinful mind. Do not drag His mind into it. His flesh was our flesh, but the mind was “the mind of Christ Jesus.” Therefore it is written: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” If He had taken our mind, how, then, could we ever have been exhorted to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus?” It would have been so already. But what kind of mind is ours? O, it is corrupted with sin. (A. T. Jones, General Conference Bulletin, p. 327, February 25, 1895)

Christ’s Life as a Child

The Scripture is silent on the life of Jesus as a child with two exceptions. Firstly we know shortly after his birth his family traveled to Egypt. Secondly, his visit to Jerusalem when he was twelve is recorded. After he had been separated from his parents and found he replied to his mother’s request, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49)? Jesus was of single focus even as a youth to do the will of God. No wonder the record continues: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

While Christ was teaching others, He Himself was receiving light and knowledge about His own work and mission in the world, for it is plainly stated that Christ “grew in knowledge.” What a lesson there is in this for all the youth of our day! They may be like Christ, and by studying the Word of God, by receiving the light that the Holy Spirit can give them, they will be able to give light to others. (The Youth’s Instructor, November 28, 1895)

The Temptations in the Wilderness

The next major event in the triumph of Christ was his victory in the wilderness. The Bible says that he was “led … of the Spirit” (Matthew 4:1). He was not forced into this battle but entered it of his own free will.

Why was it that at the beginning of His public ministry Christ was led into the wilderness to be tempted? It was the Spirit that led Him thence, and He went, not in His own behalf, but in our behalf, to overcome for us. There was no compulsion about it. He was led by the Spirit, His humanity to be proved, as one who had undertaken to stand at the head of the fallen race. (Christ Triumphant, p. 189)

Before Jesus was to directly engage the enemy he prayed and fasted:

While in the wilderness Christ fasted, but He was insensible to hunger. Engaged in constant prayer to His Father for a preparation to resist the adversary, Christ did not feel the pangs of hunger. He spent the time in earnest prayer, shut in with God. It was as if He were in the presence of His Father. He sought for strength to meet the foe, for the assurance that He would receive grace to carry out all that He had undertaken in behalf of humanity. The thought of the warfare before Him made Him oblivious to all else, and His soul was fed with the bread of life, just as today those tempted souls will be fed who go to God for aid. He ate of the truth that He was to give to the people as having power to deliver them from Satan’s temptations. He saw the breaking of Satan’s power over fallen and tempted ones. He saw Himself healing the sick, comforting the hopeless, cheering the desponding, and preaching the gospel to the poor—doing the work that God had outlined for Him; and He did not realize any sense of hunger until the forty days of His fast were ended. (Ibid.)

Satan approached Jesus when he was physically at the very lowest of lows and tried to control the mind of Jesus using hypnotism!

Satan tempted the first Adam in Eden, and Adam reasoned with the enemy, thus giving him the advantage. Satan exercised his power of hypnotism over Adam and Eve, and this power he strove to exercise over Christ. But after the word of Scripture was quoted, Satan knew that he had no chance of triumphing. (Ibid., p. 190)

One of the principles of hypnotism is that you have to give consent in some form for your mind to be taken over. Many like Adam and Eve yield their minds without realizing what they have done. Satan still uses hypnotism today. He may use music, NLP, or other devices but we all must be on guard as Jesus was and be ready with a “thus saith the Lord.”

In the first temptation Satan said, “If thou be the Son of God” (Matthew 4:3). It was not that Satan did not know. He knew well that Jesus is the Son of God and the incarnate Christ had the assurance of his Father still ringing in his ear from his baptism (Matthew 3:16, 17). Not only does Satan know the truth about the sonship of Jesus, but all the devils know. The demons had declared Jesus to be the Son of God (Matthew 8:28, 29, Mark 3:11). How did the demons know the identity of Jesus? They had been with him in heaven before the rebellion of Lucifer.)

Jesus’ temptations are for our temptations and his triumph, as we noticed earlier in Hebrews 2:17, 18, is for our triumph.

It was necessary for Him to know the power of all our temptations, to pass through all the trials and afflictions that we are called to pass through, in order to be indeed a Saviour. . . .Satan, the powerful foe who had been turned out of heaven, had long claimed to have dominion on the earth, and Christ came to conquer this foe, in order that we might, through divine grace, also obtain the victory over the enemy of our souls. Standing at the head of humanity, Christ by His perfect obedience demonstrated to the universe that human beings could keep the commandments of God. (Christ Triumphant, p. 192)

In his triumph in the wilderness, Jesus overcame in three areas in which we are specially tempted.

Firstly, Jesus was tempted to satisfy the lusts of the fleshly appetite. This was the first place that man fell and redemption must begin here.

The strength of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man’s perceptions that sacred things could not be discerned. Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite; Christ overcame by the denial of appetite. And our only hope of regaining Eden is through firm self-control. If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold, the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power which withstood the fiercest temptations that Satan could invent, he too may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God. (Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 54)

With Christ, as with the holy pair in Eden, appetite was the ground of the first great temptation. Just where the ruin began, the work of our redemption must begin. As by the indulgence of appetite Adam fell, so by the denial of appetite Christ must overcome. (The Desire of Ages, p. 117)

Secondly, Jesus was tempted on presumption. Adam and Eve presumed upon the love and mercy of God and now that temptation must be overcome.

The second temptation was on the point of presumption … Satan now supposes that he has met Jesus on His own ground. The wily foe himself presents words that proceeded from the mouth of God. He makes it evident that he is acquainted with the Scriptures. But when he quoted the promise ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee,’ he omitted the words ‘to keep thee in all thy ways,’ that is, in all the ways of God’s choosing. Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience. He would not force Providence to come to His rescue, and thus fail of giving us an example of trust and submission. … Jesus declared to Satan, ‘It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience, but to depart from it is to venture on Satan’s ground. There we are sure to fall. . . .” (Christ Triumphant, p. 194)

Just as in the garden of Eden, Satan quoted Scriptures. But unlike then when he added to the word of God, here he correctly quotes the Bible to Jesus. A serious lesson should be considered here. Quoting the Bible, even correctly, does not assure that truth is being presented, for the Scripture can be taken out of context.

Thirdly, Jesus was tempted on the pride of life. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10). Jesus would not obtain the triumph of salvation on a rose-pedaled path but through suffering. The prophets had “testified beforehand [of] the sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter 1:11). Christ would not obtain this the easy way but rather through sufferings.

Christ suffered keenly under abuse and insult. At the hands of the beings whom He had created, and for whom He was making an infinite sacrifice, He received every indignity. And He suffered in proportion to the perfection of His holiness and His hatred of sin. (The Desire of Ages, p.700)

The Bible declares that Satan is the “god of this world” (2Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). Satan used his position to tempt Jesus with the prospect of worldly honor:

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power [authority] will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. (Luke 4:5-7)

But Jesus answered back, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (v.8). Jesus would have no such kingdom based upon disobedience to his Father. Christ was victorious and he later said, “the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).

Satan had been at least partly successful with some of the greatest men of the world, even such men as Moses and Elijah who are today in heaven, but not so with Jesus, even at his weakest time.

It was in the time of greatest weakness that Christ was assailed by the fiercest temptations. Thus Satan thought to prevail. By this policy he had gained the victory over both men and women. When strength had failed and the willpower weakened, and faith ceased to repose in God, then those who had stood long and valiantly for the right were overcome. Moses was wearied with the forty years’ wandering of Israel, when for the moment his faith let go its hold upon Infinite Power. He failed just upon the borders of the Promised Land. So with Elijah, who had stood undaunted before King Ahab; who had faced the whole nation of Israel with the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal at their head. After that terrible day upon Carmel when the false prophets had been slain and the people had declared their allegiance to God, Elijah fled for his life before the threats of idolatrous Jezebel…

Whenever one is encompassed with clouds, perplexed by circumstances, or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan is at hand to tempt and annoy. He attacks our weak points of character. He seeks to shake our confidence in God, who suffers such a condition of things to exist. We are tempted to distrust God, to question His love. (Christ Triumphant, p. 219)

By fasting, prayer, and the trusting in the word, Jesus overcame. This is the meaning of abiding in him and his victory is for us. The Bible declares that we have been chained to sin, become its servant (John 8:31, 32, 36) but Jesus sets us free from sin and provides victory! “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 15:57).

Christ’s Triumphant Life

Let us now look at the triumphant of Christ in humiliation, faith, and love.

Concerning Jesus, it was said; “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him” (Mark 6:3). I remember a man who had been a carpenter that was called to be a pastor. This brother of keen spiritual qualities did not possess a degree or letters beside his name and some of his ways of dress were more humble than some thought was becoming of a minister. This actually caused some of the church people to be offended. But Jesus bore such humiliation and shame for his followers who would, likewise, be discounted by the world-loving church members.

The Jews had proudly boasted that Christ was to come as a king, to conquer His enemies and tread down the heathen in His wrath.” (Christ Triumphant, p. 232)

The scriptural record of Jesus’ humility is summed up in Philippians chapter 2:

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:3-8)

Christ’s life of humiliation should be a lesson to all who desire to exalt themselves above others. Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity. (Christ Triumphant, p. 232)

This kind of humility is not naturally within humanity. A person must be born again (John 3:3) or born from above (Greek). Jesus was born from above, and as we are born from above we receive a new spirit and new nature.

Jesus would not allow the people to make him an earthly king. “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone” (John 6:15). When the spirit of Jesus reigns within us we shall wish to exalt him and not self. Just as Jesus’ triumph was in humility, so our triumph will be in humility. Peter tells us to “humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1Peter 5:6). In God’s good time he will exalt his meek followers.

Christ’s life was a triumph in faith. He trusted in God at every step of his life so much so that even some of those who derided him at his crucifixion declared, “He trusted in God” (Matthew 27:43).

Most of the Jewish leaders did not believe the divine claims of Jesus instead declaring that he had a devil (John 8:52). But Jesus knew his Father and knew his own true identity. Carefully consider these plain and strong statements:

But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. (John 7:29)

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)

Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. (John 8:54, 55)

Just as Jesus believed in God and trusted in him and believed in his sonship, we are to trust God and believe that we are his children by faith. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). Our salvation comes through faith in the triumphant Christ.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

The record in the book of Revelation is that the saints “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

Finally, let us see Christ’s triumph in love (agape). While it is true that “God so loved the world” the Son loved us enough to agree to the Father’s plan. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:2). The Bible specifically records how Jesus loved—the rich young ruler (Mark 10:21) and Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11:5, 36)

Jesus told his disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). Jesus could truly say, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love” (John 15:9).

Jesus truly knows the value of each soul, and his love constrained him to give his life even for a single soul.

The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul. (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 196)

Jesus has commanded us to love one another: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. … These things I command you, that ye love one another” (John 15:12, 17). Paul tells us to “owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). God’s biddings are his enablings. Beloved if he commands us to triumph over selfishness with love, he will enable us to do so.

Paul could write to the believers at Thessalonica, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another” (1Thessalonians 4:9). Can this be said of you and me? Do we have “unfeigned love of the brethren” (1Peter 1:22)?

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. … Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (1 John 3:11; 4:7)

Christ came to live as we must live, accepting our fallen nature, being tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. His triumphant life can save you from the penalty of sin, but yet much more. Christ’s triumphant life can save you from the power of sin and finally from the presence of all sin. This will be the experience of the 144,000 of whom we are told to strive to be a part. The angel told Mary, “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus can and will save you from your sins if you will open your heart to him. He says:  

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. 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. (Revelation 3:20, 21)?


Tasty Recipe — Kasha

2 cups coarsely chopped or whole grain buckwheat

4 cups water

1 tablespoon chicken–style seasoning

2 large leeks, washed and sliced

3 large zucchini, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

Olive oil

Bring water to boil. Add chicken–style seasoning, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and buckwheat (Kasha). Return to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.

In 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet, sauté leeks, zucchini, and carrots until tender. Add cooked buckwheat, toss together, and serve. Thanks to Bobbie Beck for this tasty recipe!

Youth’s Corner

The John Snow Story: A Boy Who Became a Man

Our story this month is about a boy who became a man, which reminds me of this poem by Edgar A. Guest:

“When shall I be a man?” he said,

As I was putting him to bed.

“How many years will have to be

Before Time makes a man of me?

And will I be a man when I

Am grown up big?” I heaved a sigh,

Because it called for careful thought

To give the answer that he sought.


And so I sat him on my knee,

And said to him, “A man you’ll be

When you have learned that honor brings

More joy than all the crowns of kings;

That it is better to be true

To all who know and trust in you

Than all the gold of earth to gain

If winning it shall leave a stain.


“When you can fight for victory sweet,

Yet bravely swallow down defeat,

And cling to hope and keep the right,

Nor use deceit instead of might;

When you are kind and brave and clean,

And fair to all and never mean;

When there is good in all you plan,

That day, my boy, you’ll be a man.


“Some of us learn this truth too late;

That years alone can’t make us great;

That many who are three-score, ten

Have fallen short of being men,

Because in selfishness they fought

And toiled without refining thought;

And whether wrong or whether right

They lived but for their own delight.


“When you have learned that you must hold

Your honor dearer far than gold;

That no ill-gotten wealth or fame

Can pay you for your tarnished name;

And when in all you say and do

Of others you’re considerate too,

Content to do the best you can

By such a creed, you’ll be a man.”


John was a little boy who was the oldest of eight brothers and sisters, and he lived in a very poor family in York, England, in the early 1800s. His home was in a dirty part of town beside a smelly river. Drainage around his home was poor when it rained, which only increased the dank, humid atmosphere in his home, both summer and winter. His father was a laborer who worked very hard to feed his growing family, and his parents were too poor to send any of the children to school. A rich man in York, however, started a free school for the poor children in York, but there was room for only three or four children from the whole neighborhood (which included several parishes) to start each year. This was because it was only a small school, and once a student enrolled, he or she stayed in the school until they had finished every grade. Each year when three or four children graduated, there was room for only three or four new students to start. Now, we do not know why, except that it was God’s perfect plan, but John was chosen for one of the openings the year he turned six. Each morning he was able to run down the dark alley from his home, turn the corner into another tightly enclosed road, and thread his way through town until he arrived at the schoolroom. He would learn to read and write at school, for they were free subjects, but if he wanted to learn about math and science, his parents had to pay. Do you know that even though his family was very poor, somehow enough money was saved each year so that John could learn all about math, wonderful math, and science! These two extra subjects were very important for the work John would do when he grew up. God had a wonderful plan for him!

John stayed in school until he was fourteen and had finished every grade the school offered. Then he waved good-by to his mother and father and left the town of York in a wagon, for he was on his way to Mr. Hardcastle’s home in Newcastle, England. He would not see his family again for seven long years.

Mr. Hardcastle was a doctor in Newcastle, and he had agreed to take John into his home and teach him how to be a doctor. He charged a lot of money to do this for John, an amount equivalent to about $12,000 today, and, to this day, we do not know how his family was able to pay Mr. Hardcastle. Perhaps a wealthy uncle helped, but we do know that God had a purpose for John’s life.

While John lived with Mr. Hardcastle, he learned how to grind herbs for Mr. Hardcastle’s patients, he made appointments for Mr. Hardcastle, he took messages for Mr. Hardcastle, he wrote the daily entries in Latin for what had been done during the day for the patients in Mr. Hardcastle’s office. For the next seven to either years, he assisted Mr. Hardcastle in everything, from pulling teeth to delivering babies. While he was learning to be a physician, however, an enemy was on the way. This enemy started in Calcutta, India, crossed the mountains of Russia, then the mountains of Afghanistan, and then slowed down its march during the winter months. When summer arrived, however, it started west again across Europe, and headed straight for England. No one knew about this enemy, however, until one day on the River Wear, a boatman was thirsty and scooped up some river water in his hand to drink. The enemy had arrived in England! Now, this enemy could not be seen and could not be heard. It also could not be tasted in the water or smelled, and it certainly couldn’t be felt! Nobody knew it was there, but there it was nonetheless. Today we call this enemy cholera. After the boatman scooped up and drank some contaminated, polluted water from the River Wear, he became very ill. In fact, he died because of the enemy in the water, and so did his wife and daughter, and an epidemic began along the River Wear. This epidemic disappeared after a period of time but was back a few years later, this time in Killingsworth, two miles north of Newcastle, where Mr. Hardcastle and John lived.

Mr. Hardcastle said to John, “You have been with me for seven years now. You know just about everything I can teach you. I am responsible for the people in Killingsworth, but I cannot go there and help those who are sick with cholera. You will have to go and take care of the people.” So, John Snow left Newcastle for Killingsworth, but there was not much he could do. Many people became ill. Some improved, but many died. It was very sorrowful for him to see so many people ill and have no real treatment to offer. In those days, the doctors thought that since cholera caused vomiting, vomiting was what the body needed to do, and they would cause the body to vomit even more. Instead of getting better, the people actually became more dehydrated and eventually died from lack of fluids. Well, this epidemic also eventually came to an end, and John Snow left Killingsworth, to attend a formal medical school, from which he graduated.

After graduation, Dr. Snow began attending the lectures of the medical society in London. He loved learning truth of all kinds, whether it be about the human body, about health, or about science, and so he always went to the meetings to learn what the other doctors knew. He even presented papers of his own, but nobody knew who John Snow was, and the other doctors were too self-important to even talk to him. For a long time they would not address him by his name and, instead, even ignored him. Even though John was a very quiet and reserved person, he was not afraid to speak up when something was true, so he kept going back and presenting papers about things he had learned. Finally the other doctors started to refer to him in broad, general terms, such as “the last person who spoke,” but eventually they started to use his name, and Dr. John Snow even became president of that society! But he didn’t push his way in; instead, he was very kind.

John Snow used his influence and was responsible for helping the people in England understand that cholera is not spread by breathing the smelly air rising from the garbage and the sewage around their homes. Dr. Snow was able to track the outbreak of cholera in London to drinking the polluted water of the Thames River. One of the pumps in the city pulled water from the river for the people to use in drinking and cooking. They would bring their buckets to the pump and fill them. Dr. Snow knew this water was infected with cholera, but he had to convince the people this was true. So he drew a map of the houses around the pump and marked each house where cholera was found. He took this information to the city officials, and they finally agreed to take the handle off the pump so no one else would have access to the polluted water. Clean water was available for the people at other pumps, for it came from springs, and in this way the epidemic in London slowly dwindled and finally disappeared.

Now what made the water dirty? In those days, there was no way to flush the toilet after using the bathroom. Instead of this material being flushed into a septic system, it ran along in gutters by the street and drained into the river or it collected under houses to slowly drain away. In either case, a terrible smell arose, and the doctors of the day believed breathing this foul air is what caused cholera. But John Snow knew better, and he would only drink water that had been boiled.

Dr. John Snow is well–known today because of the understanding we now have that cholera is spread by drinking contaminated water. The reason I am telling you this is because the water that they drank did not seem bad. You could not see anything in it. You could not smell anything in it. You couldn’t even taste anything bad in it, but it was impure, polluted water, nonetheless. Jesus, however, promises to give us clear, good water to drink, and he is the source of the best water, for Jesus is the water of life.

Now, Dr. Snow was kind to everyone he met. He worked in his office or in the hospital during the day, but when a poor person needed him in the evening, off he went to help that poor person, and he returned home late in the evening as cheerfully as if he had received a large sum of money for his services. He also loved children. If a little child hurt his hand, you can just imagine Dr. Snow bending over and patiently looking at the injury, soothing the child and helping him to know that he was going to be alright and that in just a little bit of time that injury would heal.

Dr. Snow was also a man of firmness and of great order, and he loved truth. The expression of truth was his first order of business, whether it be in writing or in speaking, and it was this love of truth that guided his life. This is why he was not afraid to speak up about cholera and tainted water, even though no one believed him at first. He was not tempted to change what he knew to be truth by people, friends, or even circumstances, and even the highest-placed official could not stop Dr. Snow’s campaign to crush the enemy cholera. Dr. Snow’s faith was a practical religion. He walked always as if in the presence of his heavenly Father. He was a Christian, and he did all the good he could for his fellow man. God had a plan for his life, and Dr. Snow surrendered his life to that plan. The world is better place because of his strict adherence to truth. Many lives have been saved, and the course of medicine has been changed because of the influence of this one man in tracking cholera and in determining its cause.

Now, we are all becoming men and women. Some of us are further along than others, and we may not be a Dr. Snow with such an important work to do. God, however, wants us all to be godly men and women. This is the most important work any of us can engage in, and if we are true and faithful to God, then we have done even more than what has been done by Dr. Snow, for ours is a work that has eternal consequences. The whole universe is watching us, especially those of us who claim to be Christians. We want to be faithful to God and not be swerved from truth and righteousness nor drink from polluted waters. We want to be faithful to the Bible and to the Spirit of Prophecy. Just as Dr. Snow, we want to follow God and walk as in the very presence of our heavenly Father. If we do this, then we will not swerve to the left or to the right, for God’s Spirit will direct us with a word behind us, saying “this is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21).

Dr. Snow’s colleagues and friends acknowledged the great work he had done in the field of medicine and in his development of character by placing a memorial on his grave site, which states:

TO

JOHN SNOW, M.D.

BORN AT YORK

MARCH 15, 1813

DIED IN LONDON

JUNE 16TH, 1858.

IN REMEMBRANCE OF

HIS GREAT LABOURS IN SCIENCE

AND OF THE EXCELLENCE

OF HIS PRIVATE LIFE

AND CHARACTER

THIS MONUMENT

(WITH THE ASSENT OF

MR. WILLIAM SNOW)

HAS BEEN ERECTED OVER

HIS GRAVE

BY HIS PROFESSIONAL BRETHREN

AND FRIENDS.

May it also be said of young men and young women, as well as older men and women that there is an excellence to our private life and character, an excellence such as Daniel, Moses, and Abraham had!?


What’s In a Name?

If we think of important moments of Adventist history, October 22, 1844 is, without controversy the most important date, and this month we remember the great disappointment. But did you know that there is another event that happened in October that is being celebrated this month? On October 1, 1860, a meeting was held in Battle Creek, Michigan, to discuss the formation of an organization that could legally own the publishing house. With this action, a name would need to be chosen. After some discussion, David Hewitt, Joseph Bates’ first convert in Battle Creek in 1852, moved to use the name Seventh-day Adventist.

October 1, 2010 the corporate church is celebrating the 150th anniversary of this event. They have even prepared a special website: http://www.150sda.org which includes some history and three video presentations, one each by James Nix, Jan Paulsen, and General Conference President Ted Wilson.

What is in the name Seventh-day Adventist? Nix noted in his video presentation: “When choosing our church name, the pioneers incorporated into it two primary teachings that still characterize us today:observance of the biblical seventh-day Sabbath and belief in the soon return of Jesus.” Ellen White endorsed this name as well.

The name Seventh-day Adventist, carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 223)

But this name, while laying out two of our main tenants of faith, does not mention the sanctuary doctrine, the central pillar of our faith, the three angels’ messages, or anything about the God we worship. No name could do all that and we do not expect someone to find such a name. But, the truth is, this name, in 1860, represented a people who believed in all of these doctrines and considered them fundamental to their faith.

Today we “garnish the sepulchres” of the pioneers. We name our theological university after one of them, and we proclaim loudly our great heritage. But, we would not allow these pioneers to be members of our church today and would disfellowship (excommunicate) them if we found them already among our midst! We dismiss them as “theological crackpots.” The declaration of Jesus still hauntingly rings, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33)?

Who really owns the name Seventh-day Adventist? The corporate church declares to have a trademark on this name (and about every other name ever associated with it, as well). But the truth is, God owns the name just like he owns everything in this world (Psalm 24:1). To deny the use of this name, by the actions of civil enforcement, as the corporate church has done, is to usurp the authority of God and declare that those whom he accepts are unacceptable!

Elder W. A. Spicer, a former president of the General Conference, was asked what he would be if he were not a Seventh-day Adventist. His simple reply was, “I’d be ashamed of myself.” Today, the real Seventh-day Adventist is thankful for his or her heritage, but sadly I am ashamed of what the name Seventh-day Adventist has come to mean today.

Notice what Ellen White said concerning the interpretation of her writing: “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered” (Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 57).

God’s people were anciently known as Israel. A name that God gave his people. Perhaps it was the only name that they felt truly represented them as a people. But when the kingdom divided, Judah, where the capital of Israel had been, did not sue the northern kingdom for the name! After Jesus was crucified, the disciples did not content that they were the rightful heirs of a name and demand the ownership of that name.

Many glowingly look to great charity work done, the thousands being baptized each day and like Jeremiah’s contemporaries they say, “ The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these” (Jeremiah 7:4). Yet God says just before this that these are “lying words!”

In discussing the name of a church, Elder C. D. Brooks once told the story of seeing a dirty bar that was named “Paradise.” Elder Brooks rightly declared that just having the name Paradise did not make the bar paradise. Just because the corporate church has chosen to steal the name from true believers and trademark it, does not make them Seventh-day Adventists.

The real Seventh-day Adventist will carry on the truths of the pioneers including the final atonement in heaven and will be afflicting their souls during the Day of Atonement instead of celebrating their achievements with parades of nations.

The real Seventh-day Adventists will not go to the arm of the civil government to enforce her doctrines but will rather loudly proclaim by both precept and action the necessity of the separation of church and state.

The real Seventh-day Adventists will believe and worship the same God that raised up this movement and not disfellowship those who are willing to call Babylon by its right name! Jesus says to the church at Sardis, “ I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1). Jesus is saying that they have a name that claims to have life and vitality, but in reality they are dead.

What is in a name? Jacob became Israel only because his actions and his character changed! To use a name that does not truly represent one is to live a lie and be a deceiver. Jesus will not look upon this lightly in the judgment. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48). Allen Stump


Gazing into the Future?

Researcher Julian Cribb has spent several years looking, as it were, into the future and has recently written a book on what he has seen — starvation and war, refugee crises, and the collapse of nation-states, all resulting from rising food prices and growing food shortages, and he concludes that “the greatest test of our global humanity and our wisdom we have yet faced” will be for the world’s food growers:

… to double their output of food — using far less water, less land, less energy, and less fertilizer. They must accomplish this on low and uncertain returns, with less new technology available, amid more red tape, economic disincentives, and corrupted markets, and in the teeth of spreading drought. Achieving this will require something not far short of a miracle. (The Coming Famine, p.13)

We know, however, that the miracle he desires will not happen, for during the time of trouble just before Jesus comes “sword, famine, and pestilence” will be in the land (Early Writings, p. 56; emphasis supplied). We will not be able to outrun this problem.

Other researchers have looked at current ocean data and have predicted whole coastlines, including port cities, will disappear over a short period of time due to expanding seas. They have recommended people sell their homes within several miles of the coast, relocate, and prepare themselves for an agricultural lifestyle, for when the port cities go, the shipping of food will cease. We know that seaports and even whole islands will disappear under the sea, but it will not be because of a gradual loss of coastline. Neither will it be during a time of relative peace when people can expect to grow gardens. This calamity, instead, occurs after the seven last plagues have fallen and God delivers his people. It occurs when the voice of God is heard:

… like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17. That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ Verses 17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. (The Great Controversy, pp. 636, 637)

We need not attempt to gaze into the future, for God has already revealed it. We can expect famine, war, and natural disasters, but God has told us how to prepare for these difficulties:

“Out of the cities; out of the cities!” — this is the message the Lord has been giving me. The earthquakes will come; the floods will come; and we are not to establish ourselves in the wicked cities, where the enemy is served in every way, and where God is so often forgotten. (Country Living, p. 31)

Concerning food shortages, we also know that it requires more natural resources to produce a meat-based diet than it does to produce a plant-based diet, so the counsel that has been given us concerning the use of meat, dairy, and eggs in our diets has a double blessing. We have been told, for example, that “cheese should never be introduced into the stomach” (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 368) and that “as disease in animals increases, the use of milk and eggs will become more and more unsafe” (Ibid., p. 365). This is good counsel not only for our own physical health, but for the well-being of the whole earth as well.

Vegetarian eating is becoming more widely-accepted. Wolf Blitzer, for example, recently interviewed former President Bill Clinton, and one segment addressed his health. The following is a transcript of the health segment:

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Wolf Blitzer: How did you lose so much weight? What kind of diet are you on?

President Clinton: The short answer is I went on essentially a plant-based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit. I drink a protein supplement every morning; no dairy. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder. So I get the protein for the day when I start the day out, and it changed my whole metabolism, and I lost twenty-four pounds, and I got back to basically what I weighed in high school.

But I did it for a different reason. I mean, I wanted to lose a little weight, but I didn’t dream this would happen. I did it cause after I had this stent put in, I realized that even though it happens quite often, that after you have by-passes you lose the veins [used in the by-pass] cause they’re thinner and weaker than arteries, the truth is, it clogged up, which means that the cholesterol was still causing buildup in my vein that was part of my by-pass. And thank God I could take the stents. I don’t want that to happen again.

So I did all this research, and I saw that 82% of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant-based, no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken, turkey (I eat very little fish. Once in a while I’ll have a little fish, not often.), if you can do it, 82% of the people who have done that, have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up; the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up.

This movement has been led by a doctor named Caldwell Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic; Dean Ornish, whom you know out in California; the Doctors Campbell, father and son, who wrote The China Study; and a handful of others, but we now have twenty-five years of evidence. And so I thought, “Well, since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea’s wedding, I’ll become part of this experiment. I’ll see if I can be one of those that can have a self-clearing mechanism.” We’ll see.

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Perhaps you also think that it is time to switch to a plant-based diet! We know you will be blessed! Onycha Holt


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

Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: editor@smyrna.org.
Associate Editor: Onycha Holt - E-mail Onycha@smyrna.org

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