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. 20, No.7 Straight and Narrow July 2011
My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. (Deuteronomy 32:2)
The Presence of God The Holy Spirit
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the Sabbath is something very special. The Sabbath is a time of fellowship with the God of heaven, and correct fellowship is important. The Seventh-day Adventist world church is studying the subject of worship in their Sabbath Schools this month, yet the most foundational issue of worship is knowing the one you worship! Our worship might seem to be correct and proper and we might use all the forms and ceremonies correctly, but we could still be worshiping an idol of wood, stone, or simply an own idea of our own invention.
Our fellowship is to be with the God of heaven, his Son, and the faithful saints. Christians have a holy, royal name. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called (James 2:6, 7)? As holy Christians we are not to have fellowship with evil. I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils (1 Corinthians 10:20). People can actually have fellowship with devils! But Gods people will shun all wickedness and the followers of the wicked one:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)
Instead of having fellowship with devils, the Bible says that we are to have fellowship with God and his Son: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). As each Christian has fellowship with God and Christ and is drawn closer to them, they are, of necessity, drawn closer to other. The closer we come to God, the closer we come to each other. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another (verse 7).
How do we, as Christians, have fellowship, or communion, with God? Second Corinthians 13:14 states: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. The Greek word translated fellowship is koinonia, which is the same Greek word for fellowship in 1 John 1:3. Does this mean, however, that God the Father does not come himself to be with us or that Jesus does not come to be with us, but rather that they have someone different, distinct, and apart from them come? Or do the Father and Son themselves come by their Spirit?
Do you believe in the holy spirit? I bet you do! What or in which holy spirit do you believe? Remember the last few months we have seen that most people believe in God and also in Jesus, but they have radically different views of God and Christ and, therefore, worship a different God or Christ. Just about everyone who believes in God also believes in the holy spirit. But which spirit? For example, we have seen that Islam believes in God and in Jesus, and they also believe in the holy spirit:
Those apostles we endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honor); to Jesus the son of Mary we gave Clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. (Su 2:253 - Quran)
Even the Jehovahs Witnesses claim to believe in the Holy Spirit.
Do you believe in a holy spirit that is a co-equal and co-eternal God or a part of a triune godhead?
Sometimes early Adventists are accused of not believing in the Holy Spirit; however, there is an abundance of evidence to the contrary. Notice this advertisement for the Review:
The ADVENT REVIEW, containing thrilling testimonies, written in the Holy Spirit, by many of the leaders in the Second Advent cause, showing its Divine origin and progress. 48 pages. (James White, Advent Review, November 1850)
October 12 and 13, we met in conference with the brethren at Topsham, Me. The necessity of a full preparation for the day of wrath, and coming of the Lord, was one of the principal subjects introduced. All seemed to realize its importance. One dear brother, who had become engrossed in the cares of this poor world, and for whom we greatly feared, was fully restored, and again consecrated himself and his substance to the Lord. It was a time of great refreshing from the presence of the Lord. We never witnessed a meeting, where there was more of the power of the Holy Spirit manifested. (Ibid.)
Last Sabbath my former French Baptist deacon and his wife were received as members of the true church of God. We had a very interesting meeting that day at Bro. Whipples house, at Perrys Mills. The Holy Spirit was manifested in our midst. (Uriah Smith, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, August 5, 1858)
It may not be out of place for us to consider for a moment what this Spirit is, what its office is, what its relation to the world and to the church, and what the Lord through this proposes to do for his people. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God; it is also the Spirit of Christ. It is that divine, mysterious emanation through which they carry forward their great and infinite work. It is called the Eternal Spirit; it is a spirit that is omniscient and omnipresent; it is the spirit that moved, or brooded, upon the face of the waters in the early days when chaos reigned, and out of chaos was brought the beauty and the glory of this world. It is the agency through which life is imparted; it is the medium through which all Gods blessings and graces come to his people. It is the Comforter; it is the Spirit of Truth; it is the Spirit of Hope; it is the Spirit of Glory; it is the vital connection between us and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; for the apostle tells us that if we have not the Spirit of Christ, we are none of his. It is a spirit which is tender; which can be insulted, can be grieved, can be quenched. It is the agency through which we are to be introduced, if ever we are introduced, to immortality; for Paul says that if the spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he shall quicken also your mortal bodies by that Spirit which dwelleth in you; that is, the Spirit of Christ. Rom.8:11. So there is no experience in the Christian life, there is no truth that can come into the heart of man, there is no good and holy resolve we can make, there is no prayer we can offer to Heaven, but that must be vivified and made potential by the influence of the Holy Spirit. And if this is the spirit from which these gifts come, then certainly it becomes us carefully and reverently to study this subject. (Uriah Smith, General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 18, 1891)
You will notice in these few verses the apostle brings to view the three great agencies which are concerned in this work: God, the Father; Christ, his Son; and the Holy Spirit. (Ibid.)
The pioneers certainly did believe in the Holy Spirit. The early Adventist pioneers understood the biblical term Holy Spirit of God, to refer to Gods life or inner nature (his thoughts, feelings, mind, personality, omnipresence, etc.). They understood that Gods Spirit was a contradistinction to his outer body, physical form, and features. The Adventist pioneers also understood the Holy Spirit to be a person when referred to in the context of the divine nature, personality, or presence of God the Father and/or his Sonbut never as a separate divine being such as God the Holy Spirit, a term never used in Inspiration.
The pioneer understanding about the Holy Spirit was that when God gives us his Spirit, instead of giving us someone other than himself, he is giving us his very self, his inner divine nature. With that overview, let us now look at some basic principles that will help us to understand the identity of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says that God created man in his own image: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26, 27). God made man to have a physical body and the breath of life, or a spirit. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils (Job 27:3). The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life (Job 33:4).
Man was created in the image of God, not only in character, but in form and feature (The Great Controversy, p. 645; emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted). According to both Daniel and Ezekiel, God has a physical form akin to man:
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool. (Daniel 7:9)
And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. (Ezekiel 1:26)
So while we read that God has a physical form, there is another aspect to God. Jesus said: God is a Spirit (John 4:24). Gods Spirit is his inner being, mind, thoughts, and personality, which is not restricted to physical form. If God is a two-dimensional being, bodily form and spirit, then man, who is made in his image, is a two-dimensional being. This is not to be confused with the concept of the immortal, undying soul. An important difference between the Creator and the creature must be noted. Gods inner spirit can consciously dwell apart from his physical form. Upon death, mans spirit (breath) returns to God and is never conscious while separate from his physical form. Writing to the Corinthians, Paul compares the divine spirit with the human spirit:
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:612)
So as man is to his spirit, God is to his Spirit. My spirit is not another person, but rather the real, inner me! My spirit can be grieved, and hurt and so can Gods Spirit.
Spirit and Mind
The Hebrew word translated spirit is ruwach, while the Greek word usually translated spirit is pneuma. These words can be defined as air, wind, breath, or spirit. Both ruwach of the Old Testament and pneuma in the New Testament carry the concept of mind or intellect. Isaiah 40:13 states: Who hath directed the Spirit (ruwach) of the LORD, or being his counselor hath taught him? The Septuagint (LXX) reads: Who has known the mind (Greek: nous) of the Lord? and who has been his counselor, to instruct him? Paul quotes this verse in Romans 11:34: For who hath known the mind (nous) of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Here we see that both the translators of the LXX and of Paul understood the concept of spirit and mind to be closely related.
Spirit, however, goes much further than just the concept of mind; it is the very essence of being or the inner person. Suppose a person has become paralyzed and is lying in a bed unable to move or even speak, yet his mind and thoughts are clear. Is his paralyzed body the real essence of his person? Of course not! Nick Vujicic, an Australian, was born without arms or legs, yet everyday he is an inspiration to others with his talks of Gods goodness and with his personal witness. Is he any less of a person simply because he has less of a body than most people? Of course not!
Twice Luke records that Jesus waxed strong in spirit (Luke 1:80; 2:40). This is not speaking of a physical process but, rather, of a development of that aspect of a person that cannot be explained in physical terms. To illustrate this further notice these words Paul wrote to the believers:
For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. (Colossians 2:5)
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit. (1 Corinthians 5:3)
In these verses Paul speaks of being present in another place by his spirit rather than by his physical body.
Words . . . are Spirit
Words express the concepts of the mind and are defined by Jesus to be spirit. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63). This truth is taught by parallelism in Proverbs 1:23. There we read: Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. The parallel is between spirit and words. Also in Ezekiel we read: And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me (Ezekiel 2:1, 2). Here Gods spoken words and his Spirit entering are synonymous with one another.
The pouring out of Gods Spirit is also referred to as rain. Deuteronomy 32:2 says, My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Here Gods doctrine (words) comes as the rain (spirit). When God pours out his Spirit, he does it through words and concepts. This is why, in Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers on page 507, Ellen White describes the latter rain as greater light. This complements the scriptural teaching that calls Jesus the word of God, stating that he came to deliver the word of God to men. I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things (John 8:28).
The following two quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy parallel Christ with the latter rain, the refreshing dew of the Lord:
As with life, so it is with growth. It is God who brings the bud to bloom and the flower to fruit. It is by His power that the seed develops, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Mark 4:28. And the prophet Hosea says of Israel, that he shall grow as the lily. They shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine. Hosea 14:5, 7. And Jesus bids us consider the lilies how they grow. Luke 12:27. The plants and flowers grow not by their own care or anxiety or effort, but by receiving that which God has furnished to minister to their life. The child cannot, by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth. The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life air, sunshine, and food. What these gifts of nature are to animal and plant, such is Christ to those who trust in Him. He [Christ] is their everlasting light, a sun and shield. Isaiah 60:19; Psalm 84:11. He [Christ] shall be as the dew unto Israel. He [Christ] shall come down like rain upon the mown grass. Hosea 14:5; Psalm 72:6. He [Christ] is the living water, the Bread of God . . . which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. John 6:33. (Steps to Christ, pp. 67, 68)
The plant grows by receiving that which God has provided to sustain its life. It sends down its roots into the earth. It drinks in the sunshine, the dew, and the rain. It receives the life-giving properties from the air. So the Christian is to grow by co-operating with the divine agencies. Feeling our helplessness, we are to improve all the opportunities granted us to gain a fuller experience. As the plant takes root in the soil, so we are to take deep root in Christ. As the plant receives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain, we are to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. The work is to be done not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech. 4:6. If we keep our minds stayed upon Christ, He [Christ] will come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. Hosea 6:3. As the Sun of Righteousness, He [Christ] will arise upon us with healing in His wings. Mal. 4:2. We shall grow as the lily. We shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine. Hosea 14:5, 7. By constantly relying upon Christ as our personal Saviour, we shall grow up into Him in all things who is our head. (Christs Object Lessons, pp. 66, 67)
God Is Omnipresent by His Spirit
Even though God has a bodily presence, it is by his Spirit that God can be omnipresent. Notice the words of David who wrote: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there (Psalm 139:7, 8). Here we see Hebrew parallelism in verse 7, with the words spirit and presence used interchangeably. The Spirit of God is not an extra God, but the essence of Gods inner person, that aspect of God that is not physical. As noted earlier the term God the Holy Spirit is nowhere to be found in inspiration. Neither the Bible nor Sister White ever used that term. It is a manmade term to promote the idea of a separate, third being that is co-equal and co-eternal with God and Christ.
While the Bible does not speak of God the Holy Spirit, it does speak of the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ:
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. (1 Samuel 11:6)
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. (Job 33:4)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (1 Peter 1:11)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:911)
These usages of spirit are in the possessive form, with the last reference (Romans 8:9) using Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ interchangeably. Jesus said, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18). Jesus said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him because he had been anointed to preach the gospel. Jesus was set up [anointed, given the Spirit of God] from everlasting (Proverbs 8:23). The very term Christ means the anointed one. God anointed Christ with his Spirit. This is why we are told in Philippians 2:5, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. The mind, or spirit, that was in Christ was the mind, the spirit, of the Father.
Jesus, Another Comforter
Writing to the church at Corinth, Paul said: The Lord is that Spirit, (2 Corinthians 3:17). As we compare Scripture with Scripture, it becomes very clear that if Jesus is that Spirit, he must be the Comforter, for Jesus said that the Comforter, . . . is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The basis for the necessity of Jesus Christ being the Comforter is found in the incarnation. To be able and qualified to comfort and help his people, he had to be made like his brethren. Paul notes:
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 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. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. (Hebrews 2:911)
The Greek word for became in verse 10 is prepo. It is defined as suitable, proper, or fit or right. Matthew uses this word in describing the dialog between John and Christ at his baptism. Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh (prepo) us to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). Paul also uses it later in Hebrews: For such an high priest was what we needed for (prepo) us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens (7:26 margin). What then is Paul trying to tell us in Hebrews 2:10? Simply that it is suitable, proper, fit, and right for God to make Christ perfect through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10). Paul also clearly defines those whom Christ had to be made likehis brethren who were sanctified and who had received of the Spirit of God. Paul continues:
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. (Hebrews 2:1416)
Christ partook of the seed of Abraham. Paul, in Romans 1:3 says that . . . Jesus Christ our Lord . . . was made of the seed of David [not immaculate or sinless] according to the flesh. Paul leaves the reader with no doubt that he has a Saviour that comes close to him.
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 2:17, 18)
The word translated behooved in the Greek is opheilo, which means: to be bound to, under obligation, indebted, owe. Commenting on this, Elder M. L. Andreasen wrote:
If Christ is to be a merciful and faithful high priest, Paul says it behooves Him in all things to be like His brethren. This is obligatory. It is a duty He owes and must not avoid. He cannot make reconciliation for men unless He takes His place with them and in all things becomes like them. It is not a question of choice. He should, He must, He ought to, He is under obligation to, He owes it. Unless He has to struggle with the same temptations men do, He cannot sympathize with them. One who has never been hungry, who has never been weak and sick, who has never struggled with temptations, is unable fully to sympathize with those who are thus afflicted. (Letters to the Churches, Series A, #1, p. 6)
Christ did not partake of the human experience in order to send somebody else to comfort us! Let us notice closely the words of Jesus to the disciples on the night of his betrayal:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:1523)
In verse 17 Jesus says that the world does not know this Spirit of truth, nor does it receive him. Now let us compare this to what John wrote earlier in his gospel when he was writing about Jesus:
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. (John 1:1012)
Jesus stated that he would send the Spirit of truth who was already dwelling with themsomeone they already knew. Then Jesus clearly stated, I will come to you. The question that must be settled is, did Christ mean that he himself would come or that he would send an associate? The word comforter is from the Greek parakletos, which means an intercessor or one called beside. Parakletos is also found in 1 John 2:1: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (parakletos) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. John says that our advocate, or comforter, is Jesus.
Two words related to parakletos are: parakaleo and paraklesis. Parakaleo is the verb formgiving comfort. Paraklesis is the noun formthe comfort we receive. Parakletos as used by John is the one who gives the comfort. Paul describes the work of a comforter, writing to the church at Corinth:
Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort (paraklesis); Who comforteth (parakaleo) us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort (parakaleo) them which are in any trouble, by the comfort (paraklesis) wherewith we ourselves are comforted (parakaleo) of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation (paraklesis) also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation (paraklesis) and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted (parakaleo), it is for your consolation (paraklesis) and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation (paraklesis). (2 Corinthians 1:27)
While God is acknowledged as the one who sends the comfort, he does it through his Son, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:4 NKJ). A person may sympathize, but they cannot empathize with another person unless he or she has had a similar experience. A comforter can give comfort because he has suffered the same trials and struggles as the one he seeks to comfort. This is why Paul stated that it was imperative for Christ to accept the fallen nature of man so that he could properly comfort him. This concept makes the following Spirit of Prophecy statements shine with increased clarity:
The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it. Christ has all power in heaven and in earth, and he can strengthen the wavering, and set right the erring. He can inspire with confidence, with hope in God; and confidence in God always results in creating confidence in one another. (The Review & Herald, August 26, 1890)
What saith our Saviour? I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. When trials overshadow the soul, remember the words of Christ, remember that He is an unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit, and He will be the peace and comfort given you, manifesting to you that He is with you, the Sun of Righteousness, chasing away your darkness. If a man love me, Christ said, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Be of good cheer; light will come, and your soul will rejoice greatly in the Lord. Letter 124, 1897 (Daughters of God, p. 185)
If Jesus is the Comforter, why did he speak of another Comforter? The text in question is John 14:16 where Jesus says: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. To express the thought of Christ, John uses the Greek word allos. Allos means another of the same kind, as opposed to the Greek word heteros, which means another of a different kind. Notice the usages as given in the examples:
Another (allos) parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. (Matthew 13:24)
And there were also two other (heteros), malefactors, led with him to be put to death. (Luke 23:32)
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros) gospel: Which is not another (allos); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6, 7)
Thus when Jesus said that he would send another (allos) Comforter, he was saying that the disciples future comfort was to be of the same nature as the comfort that he had given them. Receiving another Comforter did not imply receiving a different Comforter. Think of having a nice glass of water but still being thirsty. You might ask someone for another glass of water; however, you do not expect them to give you a different glass with water but to use the same glass and give you more water. Christ said he would pray the Father and he would send them more of the same Comforter (as they now had) that he might abide with them forever.
If Jesus is speaking of himself as the Comforter in John 14:16, he is referring to himself in the third person. This would also be true in the following texts:
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)
Are there any Scriptures which give a clear precedent of Jesus speaking of himself in the third person? Yes. In the following texts Jesus refers to himself in this very manner:
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:1318)
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
This same concept is revealed in Ellen Whites writings: Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent (Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 23.) To be divested means to be stripped of something that you already possess. If the Holy Spirit is a separate being from Christ, he has never known any human flesh, let alone fallen sinful flesh, of which to be divested.
Close Link in the Incarnation
The first chapter of Luke records Gabriels announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of the Christ:
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. (Luke 1:35)
Though not noted in the King James Version, the word thing is a supplied word, with the adjective holy in the neuter gender. The same adjective (holy) is used in the beginning of the verse with the word Ghost (pneuma-spirit). Therefore, the missing word to be modified in the second usage would best be spirit rather than thing. The verse would then carry the following meaning: The Spirit of the Father would overshadow Mary and the Holy Spirit that would be born would be called the Son of God. This understanding parallels a statement from Sister White:
Think of Christs humiliation. He took upon himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united himself with the temple. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, because by so doing he could associate with the sinful, sorrowing sons and daughters of Adam. (The Youths Instructor, December 20, 1900)
A parallel scripture for Luke 1:35 is found in Matthews record: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18).
Joseph was then told, Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost (v. 20). The Adventist pioneers were quick to realize that if the Holy Spirit were a separate, co-equal and co-eternal person in all the same respects that God and Christ were, then Jesus would not be the Son of God as the Scriptures clearly state, but rather the son of the Holy Spirit. While some trinitarians may not see a problem with that, it is contrary to the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and to the understanding of the Adventist pioneers.
The Pioneer Understanding
Hampton W. Cottrell, an old pioneer in the movement, writing to the then younger LeRoy Froom, commented on Matthew 1:18, 20:
The conclusion drawn at that time [the time of the pioneers] was that the Holy Spirit was not a person in the sense that God and Christ are persons, if so, the same difficulty would be encountered with the Holy Spirit being everywhere present as is held by the Trinitarians concerning God and Christ as persons being everywhere present, and if it should be so conceded Christ would be the son of the Holy Spirit, rather that of God as the Bible declares him to be. (Letter of H. W. Cottrell to LeRoy Froom, September 16, 1931)
Elder Cottrell (18521940) lived during a time when he had an opportunity to know and to work with most of the early pioneers, as well as with the new workers that came up after the turn of the century. He, like the rest of the early workers, was not a believer in the doctrine of the trinity. Elder Froom had written to Elder Cottrell, asking for information concerning the early believers position on the Trinity-Godhead. Brother Cottrells answer began: From my personal knowledge the doctrine of the Trinity-Godhead was not taught by Seventh-day Adventists during the early days of my ministry. He went on to write:
It was taught and presumably believed to be true that the terms God, Christ, Holy Spirit and Comforter were expressions frequently used in the Bible interchangeably as follows:
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor. 3:17. It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Mat. 10:20. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Rom. 8:912. I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:19. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21. (Ibid.)
After making a few more observations with Scripture quotations, Cottrell concluded his letter by saying:
Elder Froom, It has been several weeks since I received your letter concerning the Trinity-Godhead. I first thought best not to get mixed up in this or similar questions, so concluded not to write, but today there came to my mind a very strong impression that I ought to refer to a few of the Scriptures that were formerly used in favor [of] the view then advocated, at least in the section of country where I labored. (Ibid.)
Interestingly, Elder Cottrell labored in many sections of the country and world. The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia records that Elder Cottrell began his missionary work in Cleveland, Ohio, and then labored in Canada, New England, and Europe. He helped with the transition of the denominational headquarters from Michigan to Washington, DC. Later in life he served as president of the Pacific Union, the Western Oregon Conference, and the North Pacific Union. Therefore, it is difficult to know what part of the country he was making reference to in his letter. However, history documents that the early brethren in all these areas were non-trinitarian.
Parallels in Inspiration
Now let us notice some parallels in Scripture between Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Peter states in his second epistle that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21); however, in his first letter he wrote that the prophets were inspired by the spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11).
Revelation chapters 2 and 3 present seven messages addressed to seven churches. Each message begins with an introduction by Christ using terminology connected with himself in the first chapter that reveals he is the one giving the message. The first message to the church at Ephesus is addressed as coming from the one who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand (Revelation 2:1). In Revelation 1:16 Jesus is described as having the seven stars in His right hand. The second message is addressed to the church at Smyrna by the first and the last, which was dead and is alive (Revelation 2:8). In Revelation 1:17 and 18 Jesus is described in the same manner. This is the pattern in each of the seven messages. The speaker is introduced in a way which leaves no doubt that it is Jesus Christ speaking, yet every single message ends with the admonition he that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22).
Another parallel is found in the record concerning Abraham and Sarah. Galatians 4:29 states that Isaac was born after the Spirit; however, in the Genesis account we read that it was the LORD who visited Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18:10, 14). Here the one speaking (Christ) said very plainly that he would return unto her.
Jeremiah 31:3134 records the new covenant experience and states that it is the LORD who is speaking. Yet, in the New Testament, it is attributed to the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:1517).
Paul, writing to the Romans, declares that the Spirit makes intercession for the saints (Romans 8:26, 27). The same apostle declares in Hebrews that it is Jesus who ever liveth to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Also, Paul, writing to Timothy, stated clearly: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). No middle-man comes between the sinner and Christ (The Signs of the Times, June 28, 1899). And this brings us to the point of the matter. A correct understanding of the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit assures the believer that he has personal access to God through Christ. The believer has a Saviour, a high priest who personally knows about the sinners struggles and can perfectly relate to him or her and bring just the comfort needed! With Paul we say, Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Tasty Recipe: Hummus
Whiz garbanzos in blender to break into chunks. When they will no longer blend on their own, add the remaining ingredients, except the water. Be patient; it takes time for the mixture to whiz into a smooth mixture.
If you use fresh tofu, some water may be needed to blend smoothly.
From Tarsus to Ephesus
By Onycha Holt
Tarsus of old, part of the Roman Empire, lay about ten miles north of the Mediterranean Sea and about 1800 miles north of Jerusalem. Mountains rose as its backdrop, and from these mountains and through the center of the city flowed the Cydnus River, which widened into a natural inland lake several miles south of the city. This lake was connected to the Mediterranean Sea by a manmade channel and provided Tarsus with a spacious and protected harbor on the lake. Tarsus soon became a crossroads for commerce. Trails over and through the neighboring mountains were carved, connecting the east with the west, and merchandise traveled freely over the wagon trails and the sea lanes, and so did ideas. Tarsus became a distinguished seat of Greek philosophy and literature and was home to a number of schools with highly respected teachers, ranking with those found in Athens and Alexandria, and in the midst of thriving commerce and Greek scholars and artisans, Paul was born, a member of a Jewish colony within a Roman city influenced by Greek thought.
Paul was a Tarsian citizen, but he was also a Roman citizen, and this citizenship was a symbolic passport that allowed him to travel to distant lands and to be shielded from the caprices of municipal laws and the injustices of local magistrates. In any provincial town he entered, he was able to stand above the common people, so to speak, and rank with the aristocracy. He soon became a statesman par excellence, as he grew to understand the larger issues of governments and citizenship, and even taught us, as Christians, that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20, NKJV) and that we are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19).
During the first and second centuries, the Roman Empire included all the civilized countries that fringed the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, the Mediterranean could be considered to be Romes personal lake. Piracy was kept down by fleets at sea, allowing ships to sail to distant lands in safety. Romes highway system was also well-developed and spread out like a fan from Italy, with safety on the roads secured by armed forces. Paul, the statesman and distinguished Roman citizen that he was, became an ambassador for Jesus Christ throughout the Roman Empire. He sailed the Mediterranean Sea and traversed the Roman highways, often under difficult circumstances, bearing the message of a risen Saviour.
One of the places visited by Paul was Ephesus, another bustling, energetic, and intellectual Greco-Roman city. At the time, Ephesus was considered to be the gateway of Asia. In fact, one of its statutes required that when a new Roman proconsul came to take office as governor of Asia, he must disembark at Ephesus and enter his province at Ephesus. For all travelers and for all trade, from the valleys round about, from Galatia, from Euphrates, and from Mesopotamia, Ephesus was the highway to Rome. Later Ephesus became known as the Highway of the Martyrs because it was through Ephesus that Christians were taken from Asia to the arena in Rome, At the time of Paul, however, Ephesus was a convenient and comfortable city in which to live.
Like Rome, the main streets of Ephesus were built straight and wide. Its side streets were also straight, and both were clean and paved. Houses had enclosed gardens and were supplied with water and drains. Terraced houses of the wealthy were built against the side of the mountain. These homes were decorated with beautiful frescoes and mosaics and had luxurious bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms with eating couches along three walls, and kitchens.
The city also had two large, open markets, called agoras, the largest surrounded on three sides by arched shops forty feet deep, and it is quite possible that Paul worked here with Priscilla and Aquila in their tent-making business. Temples were frequent, such as the Serapis Temple and the Temple of Hadrianus, and offices were built where councils and magistrates conducted business. Open-air business was also conducted in the smaller agora near the library. Also in Ephesus were public latrines built of stone and abundantly supplied with water, public baths with central heating, theaters, an amphitheater (where two of Pauls companions were carried by the mob), circuses, libraries, gymnasiums, and hotels and inns. It was one of the most important cities of antiquity, a cosmopolitan citysuccessful and thrivingand known, first and foremost, as the home of the largest of thirty-three temples throughout the Asia for Diana.
Over the centuries this temple was rebuilt four times, and the third reconstruction was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. I have seen the walls and Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high Pyramids and the tomb of Mausolus. But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade (Philon of Byzantium). It was, indeed,the largest temple of any god or goddess, surpassing in size by four times the Parthenon in Athens. It was made completely of marble, had 127 columns that were 197 feet tall, thirty-six of which were carved. It was so magnificent that Alexander the Great wanted to be credited as the builder and offered to finance the completion of its construction (which took over one hundred twenty years) if the city would record his name as such, but his request was tactfully refused.
During the time of Paul, pilgrims from the far reaches of the Roman Empire came to Ephesus to worship Diana. His witness in Ephesus, however, was so successful that this deeply-engrained worship system was threatened. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth (Acts 19:26, 27).
All that is left of the temple today are ruins, and even the pieced column shown in the picture would not be standing had it not been erected to remind visitors where the temple once stood. When Paul disembarked at Ephesus, this temple surely had to be one of the first things noticed by him.
From the harbor, Paul could have immediately started walking down the Arcadian Way, which was the main street of the city and which led from the harbor to the theater. It was a straight, broad highway (over one hundred feet wide), paved in marble, and lined with rows of massive columns fifty feet deep. Galleries and rows of shops lined the street, and at night it was lit with lanterns.
The amphitheater, cut in three tiers on the hillside , seated an estimated 25,000 people on limestone seats covered with marble, and it was here that the great uproar over Diana of the Ephesians took place, as recorded in Acts 19.
If Paul had turned left after disembarking, he would have traveled down a street that led to the temple of Diana, also known as Artemis. For over a thousand years this idol was worshipped, her first temple predating Greece. The same spiritualism at work today was at work in the days of ancient Ephesus, as can be seen in the report the historian Pliny recorded concerning the placement of the beams of the third temple, the temple of Pauls day.
Earthen ramps were utilized to place the heavy stone beams on top of the columns, and all went well until one of the largest beams was put into position above the door. It went down crookedly, and the architect could find no way to get it to lie flat. He was beside himself with worry until he had a dream one night in which Diana herself appeared to him, saying that he should not be concerned. She, herself, had moved the stone into the proper position, and the next morning the architect found it was trueduring the night the beam had settled into its proper place. Through wonders such as these, Satan kept and continues to keep multitudes in darkness.
Knowledge was also valued in Ephesus, and the library of Celsus held approximately 15,000 scrolls, was double-walled to help keep out humidity, and was located near one of the agoras where people would normally congregate. You can imagine well-dressed people walking up and down its steps and entering its three doors in a quest for wisdom. To the right of the library you can see part of the arched entrances to the main agora.
When Paul stepped into Ephesus for the first time, he was surrounded with idolatry, intellectual self-sufficiency, thriving commerce, wealth, and a sophisticated government that supported a substantial infrastructure of living, yet he went there on a mission and was unmoved by what he saw.
On May 31, 1887, and June 7, 1887, the Review and Herald published two articles by Ellen White on Revelation 2:17, entitled The Church at Ephesus and Losing Our First Love. We encourage you to read both articles, for they are they are full of relevant information for us today. The following are some thoughts gathered from the first article:
Here the ministers of righteousness are symbolized by the seven stars, which the First and the Last has under his special care and protection. The Lord Jesus Christ is acquainted with the number of the stars. He calls them by their names, binds the sweet influence of Pleiades, and looses the bands of Orion. The ministers of the gospel of Christ are greater blessings to the church than are the stars to our world. All are in Gods hand. He directs their motions. He disposes of them in their different orbs in their positions. He fills them with light and influence. He supports them, else they would soon be falling stars. They are instruments in his hands, and all the good they do is done by his hand and by his Spirits power.
He walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is symbolized the relation of Christ to his churches, and the stars are used to represent his ministers. He is represented as walking up and down among the golden candlesticks. He is in communion with his people. He knows their true state. He observes their order, their vigilance, their piety, and their devotion; and he takes pleasure in them if he sees these fruits manifest. Although Christ is mediator in the heavenly Sanctuary, yet he walks up and down in the midst of the churches on earth. He goes about from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from soul to soul. He observes their true condition,--that which is neglected, that which is in disorder, and that which needs to be done. He is represented as walking, which signifies unrest, wakefulness, and unremitting vigilance. He is observing whether the light of any of his sentinels, or candlesticks, is burning dim or going out. These under-shepherds may sleep, but He that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. If these candlesticks were left to the charge of human powers, the flickering flame would languish and die. But He is the true watchman of the home, the sleepless warden of the temple courts.
We are also told:
The first experience of the Ephesus church led to good works. God took delight in the fact that His church reflected the light of heaven by revealing the spirit of Christ in tenderness and compassion. The love that dwelt in the heart of Christ; the love that caused Him to give Himself a sacrifice for humanity, and to suffer with forbearance the reproach of men, even to the extent of being called a devil; the love that prompted Him to perform mighty works of healing during His ministrythis was the love that was to be revealed in the lives of His disciples.
But they neglected to cherish Christs compassion and tenderness. Self, as manifested in hereditary traits of character, spoiled the principles of the grand, good works that identified the members of the Ephesus church as Christians. The Lord Jesus must needs show them that they had lost that which was everything to them. The love that constrained the Saviour to die for us, was not revealed in its fullness in their lives; and hence they were unable to bring honor to the name of the Redeemer. And as they lost their first love, they increased in a knowledge of scientific theories originated by the father of lies. (Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, p. 277)
Next month we will continue to explore the message of Jesus to his people in this city, as well as his message to Smyrna, and how they apply to us today.
The Testimony of Jesus
The testimony of Jesus is one of the great truths we hold as a people. It is one of our pillars that hold and support our faith. The only safety now is to search for the truth as revealed in the word of God, as for hid treasure. The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold Gods people in these perilous times (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 300). Surely we need a solid, unmovable and unshakeable belief in this precious gift from Jesus, for it is his testimony!
Some have denounced this precious gift, declaring that all we need is the Bible and even quote from the Spirit of Prophecy in doing so, declaring that she wrote: If you had made Gods word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 605). Yet how many of us can honestly say we have studied the Bible as we could have and should have? This same testimony goes on to say, It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with Gods inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings (Ibid.).
Now it is also true that Ellen White also said: Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light (The Review and Herald, January 20, 1903). How should we relate to this?
I have been in a few caves in my life; maybe you have, too. If so, you know that the farther you go into a cave from its entrance, the darker it becomes. If you go far enough into a cave you may enter into what is called total darkness where there is no light at all, not even enough to see your hand directly in front of your face. Now suppose you were to find yourself in a deep cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and passages. It is totally dark, but you wish to go out of the cave into the bright sunlight where you can see. Oh, how you wish to see the sunlight again. But suppose someone were to offer you a small flashlight, what would be your response to it? Would you say, I do not want that lesser light I want the greater light of the sun? I doubt very seriously you would even think such a thing, let alone say it. You see, beloved, when we realize that we are in trouble, we are very glad to have all the help we may get. I need much help and I am thankful for all the light and help that Jesus has chosen to send to me!
The Church Is Christs Body
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ likens his church, to a human body. Paul, writing to the Corinthians about spiritual gifts, stated: For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12). The human body is made up of ten major, complex systems that work harmoniously together. These systems include the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, integumentary, urinary, immune, and reproductive systems. All these systems are designed to work together and all are needed for the health and well-being of the person. Within systems we have various organs, bones, tissues, and fluids. Again, all of these are needed in their respective spheres for the body to function properly. A person may have a perfectly healthy heart, but if an artery leading to the heart becomes clogged with a blood clot, then the heart will suffer damage and death may occur, all because of a small plaque that has ruptured in just one artery!
Paul compared the various members of the human body to the gifts in the church. Just as each part of the body is needed, so each gift is also needed.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. (1 Corinthians 12:1321)
The Purpose of the Gifts
Paul explains the purpose of the gifts being placed in the church. Firstly, in Gods great wisdom and knowledge it has pleased him to do so! But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him (1 Corinthians 12:18). If we were not able to understand Gods reasoning for this, we should still be happy to accept his desire to so work among his people, and instead of complaining about the gifts or rejecting the gifts, we should be happy that he has been pleased to give these gifts. Suppose you wanted to give a special gift to someone you loved. Perhaps it might be something that will be of great use to them later in life, even if they do not need it now. How would you feel if that person rejected your gift or gave it back to you, declaring that they had no need of such a gift? Being human we might also wonder if the gift was not actually a bad idea. We would be disappointed, at the least. But, friends we are not the infinite and omniscient God. God does know best about everything, and when we reject his precious gifts, it must make him sad that our faith or/and love is so little as to slight his gifts.
Secondly, Paul says that the gifts have been put in the church so that there should be no divisions and that the brethren would have true love for one another: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another (1 Corinthians 12:25). God does not wish for his church to be fragmented, but rather to be bound together in love.
Thirdly, the gifts have been placed for the perfection of the saints:
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12, 13)
Fourthly, the gifts have been placed so that Gods people will not be deceived by winds of doctrine:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14)
Lastly, the gifts have been placed so that we may grow up into Christ:
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
This is certainly a hefty list of reasons that any born-again believer should be thankful in which to receive help. What are some of these gifts? Paul gives two lists that we will note:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:27, 28)
These gifts will perfect and edify the church while shielding it from false doctrines. Paul had the gift of apostleship, but he also possessed the prophetic gift. When heresy threatened to destroy the churches in Galatia, Paul wrote them a loving, but stern letter of correction. When Satan threatened the Advent movement with pantheism through Dr. Kellogg, the spirit of prophecy was used of God to meet the crisis.
When all the body systems are functioning properly, we have health. So it is with the church. When all the gifts are in the church and functioning properly, the church will be healthy and growing.
There is one gift that the remnant has which causes Satan to be violently angry and to persecute the church. In Revelation 12:17 we find that the dragon, Satan, is wroth with the woman, and goes to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. According to Revelation 19:10, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Satan hates Gods commandments and he also hates the spirit of prophecy because he knows that it, above all gifts, will unmask his deceptions and reveal him as the enemy of God and Gods people.
Gift of Prophecy in the Old Testament
At first prophets were not called prophets, but rather seers because they would be given visions and see the future or see the direction that God wished to lead his people. Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer (1 Samuel 9:9). The seer was the eyes for the church and guided it.
When one loses his sight, he stumbles about as if in darkness. Historically, when Gods people were obedient to him there was the prophetic gift among them, but when they strayed away from his commandments, he withdrew the gift from among them. Concerning Israel, God declared through Jeremiah:
Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD. (Lamentations 2:9)
The importance of the gift is seen in Proverbs 29:18 where we read, Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Here again we see obedience to the law and the gift of prophecy associated together.
The Gift in Latter Times
The gift of prophecy was clearly in the church during apostolic times. However, when the church apostatized, the gift was withdrawn. For the 1260 year period, when the Papacy trampled down the law of God and reigned supreme, the world was almost in total darkness. Copies of the Scriptures were few and very precious in those days. But, Paul prophesied that the waiting church would come behind in no gift.
Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: . . . Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:6, 7, 10)
Christs church will not come behind in any gift. It will be a united churchnot in uniformity, but in unity of the faith, keeping all the commandments of God and having the spirit of prophecy, as we saw earlier from Revelation 12:17 and 19:10. Please note that the spirit of prophecy is not some vague idea or concept of being inspired in a general sort of way; it is being a prophet! Remember what the angel told Johnhe was his fellowservant, and of his brethren that have the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 19:10). Now let us see who these brethren are:
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (Revelation 22:9)
Commonly people associate prophets with men like Elijah, Moses, and Daniel. But did you know that there were women who received the prophetic gift? They were known as prophetesses. Miriam, the sister of Aaron, was a prophetess (Exodus 15:20). Deborah, the wife of Lapidoth, was a prophetess, and she also judged Israel (Judges 4:4). Huldah, the wife of Shallumthe, who lived during the early reign of Josiah, was a prophetess (2 Kings 22:14). Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, was a prophetess (Luke 2:36). Also we read that Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven;. . . . had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy (Acts 21:8, 9).
We see, therefore, that in the giving of the gift of prophecy, God is no respecter of person concerning gender.
True Versus False Prophets
History records false prophets who have been used of Satan to try to deceive Gods people. In the time of Jehoshaphat there was a false prophet named Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah (1 Kings 22:11). In the time of Paul there was a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus (Acts 13:6), and Jesus warned his people that especially in the last days there would be false Christs, and false prophets who would, if possible deceive the church (Matthew 24:24). Some of these false prophets will even shew great signs [Greek: semeionmiracles] and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Ibid.).
If false prophets can appear to be much like true prophets, how shall we know the difference? The disciple John declares: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). John says we are to try, or test, those who claim to have the gift of prophecy, and indeed the Bible gives several tests whereby we may know if the prophetic claim is genuine or not.
John gives one of the first tests in the next two verses: Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (1 John 4:2, 3). So a true prophet will confess the true humanity of Jesus Christ.
A true prophet will be a genuine Christian. Jesus said, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. . . . Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:15, 20). Paul clearly laid out this Christian fruit in Galatians 5:22, 23.
A true prophet will teach according to the Bible. We are to prove what they teach, based upon the Bible. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20). Paul instructs us to quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:1921).
As we saw earlier, many of these false prophets claim to work miracles as proof that they have communication with God. However, miracles, even claims to know the future, are not a reliable gauge by which to judge a prophet. God, knowing that this would become a controversy, stated:
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. (Deuteronomy 13:14).
Even if professed prophets can perform miracles or make predictions that come to pass, if their teachings are contrary to the scriptures, do not believe them! Of course, the predictions of a true prophet will come to pass:
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)
When Paul was in vision he was unconsciousness of his surroundings (2 Corinthians 12:24). When the prophet Daniel was in vision, those around did not see what he saw or heard what he was hearing: And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves (Daniel 10:7). Daniel did not breathe while in vision (Daniel 10:17b) and when Balaam was in vision, his eyes remained open (Numbers 24:4).
Role of Prophets
Not only did the prophets see, as in being a seer, but they were to communicate to Gods people what they had seen and heard. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream (Numbers 12:6). God reveals himself and his secrets to his people through the prophets. Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). It is comforting to know that God will allow his children to be intelligently informed as to his plans. While sometimes this information is given in cryptic form, such as the book of Revelation, God provides his Spirit to his children so that they can discern spiritual things.
The messages of the prophets are to help bring about a polarization among Gods people so that they will seek him. However, if they reject the messages, they will serve as a testimony against those who reject them. Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them (2 Chronicles 24:19).
Special End-Time Role
There are several parallels between Israel of old and spiritual Israel. One of these parallels is found in Isaiah 11:16 where we read: And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. How was it that God brought Israel out of the land of Egypt? Hosea 12:13 tells us it was by a prophet: And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. Beloved, there has never been a time in the history of the church when a prophet was more needed than today. There is a mountain of confusion not only in the religious world as a whole, but also among those who profess to be Gods people.
The book of Revelation, clearly a special book with great emphasis upon the last days, also places more emphasis upon the gift of prophecy than any other gift.
Once when Gods people were in trouble, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper (2 Chronicles 20:20). Someone once said that having the gift of prophecy and following that gift would give the church perfect 20/20 vision, making a reference to the chapter and verse in 2 Chronicles. Certainly the church that has this gift will have perfect vision. Like a pair of corrective eyeglasses which are only good if used, Gods gift of prophecy will only bless the church when it is used. Then the church will see her way out of the darkness in these last days and find her way to the kingdom of God.
The Spirit of Prophecy and Ellen White
For over one hundred sixty years, Seventh-day Adventists have believed that the gift of the spirit of prophecy was manifested in the life of Ellen White. Who was Ellen White? Since Old Paths is a magazine designed for Adventist people, we might all think we know Ellen White. As Adventists we are probably all familiar, to a degree, with the life of Ellen Gould White. The older we are, the more we may have been exposed to her testimonies and instructions, as well as to her frailty and struggles. Likewise, the younger we are, the more we have to gain from a study of her life and works. Ellen White was a humble Christian who was used by God in a remarkable manner. She received the gift of prophecy and served as a spokesperson for God. Yet her ministry included much more than the prophetic gift.
As Adventists we should feel greatly indebted to the wonderful gift of inspiration God bestowed upon her and for the counsel she gave under the inspiration of his Spirit. If we will read and study these testimonies and submit to the counsel God gives us through them, our lives will be changed in a wonderful and marvelous way. Through them, we are better molded into the image of the Saviour she loved so dearly.
God has throughout history used many men and women who have lived lives of steadfast integrity to help his people maintain their walk with Christ. We can learn much from the study of these mens and womens lives and works. Because of our vast wealth of biographical knowledge we have about Ellen White, we have the opportunity to see in a deeper and clearer way how the grace of God can transform and enable a life for dedication and devotion to him. In no other life of Gods giants, have we been permitted to see so much of the day-by-day life of a true servant of God, as we see in the life of Ellen White.
When Ellen White was just nine years old, she was the victim of a terrible assault. A jealous classmate threw a rock at Ellen, striking her in the face, breaking her nose and facial bones. The injury was so severe that Ellens life hung in the balance for days. Though she recovered, Ellen was physically marred for life, yet she was not resentful to the girl nor bitter toward God. Even at an early age, we see in her a forgiving spirit and a trust in God, for she completely forgave the offender and instead of being torn from God, depended even more upon him.
At age fourteen Ellen White was baptized into the Methodist church and at eighteen she married James Springer White. Soon after their marriage they read the tract of Joseph Bates, The Seventh-day Sabbath, a Perpetual Sign, on the truth of the seventh-day Sabbath and became Sabbath-keepers. Sister White wrote forty books in her lifetime and today, with compilations, there are over one hundred titles available. She wrote more than 5,000 articles for church periodicals and more than 50,000 pages of manuscript, some of which we have access to today. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature and the most translated American author of either gender. Steps to Christ, for example, has been printed in more than 140 languages. She received nearly 2,000 visions and dreams during her lifetime, experiencing her first vision at age seventeen. Of what other servant of God can this be said? More importantly, however, is the content of her writings and of her visions and dreams. She was given counsel which provided for the sure and steady growth of the Advent Movement. Her teachings were so varied and balanced that she was used of God to prepare a people for the return of Jesus physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
Some may have been exposed to her for so long that it is very possible she is taken for granted. Her monumental health message is often put on a back burner. The sweeping events of the last days were opened before her and she unflinchingly shared them with us, but, alas, few really take them to heart. With the inroads of worldliness, some of the Advent people have been enticed away from their pilgrimage on the straight and narrow path to a journey on a broad and pleasant highway, to a life unknown to our sweet messenger of God. The knowledge of the true God, the importance of prayer, the great gift of salvation, our high priest in the heavenly sanctuary, the vital necessity of total submission to God, healthful and modest dress, the Christians responsibility for mental improvement, the exalted and sacred relationship of marriage, the need for the will to control emotions, and the high and holy mission of parenting are all watered-down subjects to most of us today. Watered-down because worldly philosophy has permeated them all, but this need not continue to be so.
James and Ellen White devoted their lives to the establishment and the strengthening of the Advent Movement. Snow did not stop them, swollen rivers did not deter them, and rain and sleet were accepted as their traveling companions. They traveled by foot, train, horse and buggy, and even by covered wagons to reach their destinations. Though often weary and sometimes ill, they continued to press on, knowing God was a continual source of strength in time of need.
As Seventh-day Adventists we believe the Bible to be the standard of all of our teachings and doctrines and that the Bible is first and primary. In fact Ellen White, in the most important book she ever wrote, The Great Controversy, states: But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms (p. 595).
Throughout her seventy plus years of ministry, Ellen White never tired of uplifting Jesus and of praising God. She never asked people to look to her but, rather, directed people to look to God. And she was used in a mighty way to direct Gods people upward and to show them the best manner of carrying forward the work. Whether she was in America, Europe, or Australia, Ellen White always carried the same message about the three angels of Revelation 14. If you have never read the book Life Sketches by Ellen White, we highly recommend this account of Gods work in her life and of how he used her to be a blessing to his church and many others.
Shall the Women Keep Silence
in the Churches?
By Uriah Smith
LET your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35).
This passage, together with 1 Timothy 2:11, has been construed as an objection to womens speaking in public; and thousands of females that have submitted their hearts to God, and have received a baptism of the Holy Ghost, their hearts burning with love to God, and the word of the Lord as a fire shut up in their bones, have been deprived of the privilege of speaking out their feelings in the public congregation, to the almost entire loss of their enjoyment, by the false construction put upon these passages, notwithstanding the great amount of evidence which can be brought to prove that all who are made partakers of such love have a right to speak forth his praises.
Often have I been in meetings where it was contrary to the rules of the church for females to speak; and while the brethren would speak of their enjoyment, some humble sister whose heart would be overflowing with the love of God, would sit bound down by the chains of the church creed, while her flushed cheek and flowing tears told plainly that she was an unwilling slave to the laws of the church.
I saw a case a few evenings since. A school teacher who had been educated a Presbyterian attended a meeting where my brother was preaching. She became convinced of sin and gave her heart to God, and was made happy in a Saviours love. She, together with her sisters who also were converted, had been forbidden to speak in public by their parents; but while others were speaking and telling what God had done for them, her feelings were such that she could not hold her peace. Her tongue was loosed, and she was enabled to speak forth the praises of God, and also exhorted sinners to flee to Christ, while one of her sisters that had been blessed and desired to speak of it, but durst not for fear of her parents, sat and wept as though her heart would break. This is but one of many cases where parents, professing to be religious, have endeavored to bind the consciences of their children.
But says one, What is the meaning of the passage above alluded to? I understand it to mean a troublesome asking of questions, which could be better answered at home than in their religious meetings. That the asking of questions had become troublesome, is obvious from the following considerations. When the gospel was first preached, it excited astonishment in the minds of a large number of those who heard it. It was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. And even to the sober and sincere inquirers it presented mysteries in which they desired to be more perfectly instructed. Hence it became common for doctrinal questions to be asked. And this practice, in time, became troublesome by being abused, and led to an impertinent, inquisitive disposition respecting unimportant things. Hence the apostle cautioned Timothy not to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions rather than edifying (1 Timothy 1:4). And in the same epistle he further cautions him against some who were proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, etc. (1 Timothy 6:4, 5). And in 2 Timothy 2:23, he charges him, But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. He gives the same caution to Titus [chap. 3:9]; from all of which it is clear that the asking of questions had become troublesome in their religious meetings. And as he makes so direct an allusion to such inquiries, or questions in the text under consideration (let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame, etc.), it is at least a fair inference that he designed to put a stop to this, but had no allusion to the exercise of a gift in the ministry or in exhortation.
Indeed, we cannot suppose that the apostle would attempt to prove the impropriety of their speaking or exhorting in public, by reminding them that they might ask questions of their husbands at home. What relation could this bear to the case in hand? What question could a pious female ask at home, that would relieve her mind from the burden of a message she had received to deliver in the church. Thus it is evident that as the prohibition of the apostle in the passage above cited, related to asking of questions, and such as could properly be answered at home by their husbands, it had no relation to the exercise of a gift which God had given them to use for the advancement of his cause. Their usurpation of authority over the men, as prohibited by the apostle, related, I should suppose, to their domestic concerns; for preaching, prophesying, exhorting or praying in public, is not usurping authority and has nothing to do with it. Our Lord on one occasion reminded his disciples, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them; but it shall not be so among you, etc. (Matthew 20:2527).
But what puts the question beyond all doubt as to the sentiment of the apostle, is that he actually gave directions how the women should behave in the exercise of their gifts. First Corinthians 11:5 [But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.]. He uses the words, prayeth, and prophesieth, which he certainly would not have done had it been prohibited. He not only gave such directions, but he mentions, with peculiar regard, certain women that had labored with him in the gospel. Philippians 4:3. And Phillip, the evangelist, had four daughters, virgins which did prophesy, Acts 21:9.
We find also that in the prophecy of Joel as quoted by Peter [Acts 2:17, 18], the promise of the effusion of the Holy Spirit was to sons and daughters, servants and handmaidens. The promise of the Spirit is as positive to the daughters and handmaidens, as to the sons and servants. And Peter says [verse 39], For the promise is to you and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Then where is the authority for saying that females should not receive a gift of the Holy Spirit in these last days. Verily God hath promised it; and I would to God that more of his handmaidens were endued with power from on high.
We read that females prophesied under the old dispensation, such as Miriam, Deborah and Huldah. The prophetess, Anna, testified to the coming of the Messiah, as did also Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. It was a woman to whom that clear exposition of worship was given at Jacobs well; and she immediately commenced inviting others to come and see a man that had told her all that ever she did. Is not this, said she, the Christ? And so effectually did she preach Christ that many believed from her testimony, and sought him for themselves. And how many there are in these days that can say with Bro. Robbins that it was under the exhortations or prayers of females that they were led to consecrate themselves to God.
It was a woman that first announced the glorious tidings of the resurrection of our blessed Lord; and let it be remembered that these glad tidings were preached to the apostles themselves, who at that time were sunk into despair. They were then scattered as sheep without a shepherd, and all their prospects were involved in gloom. How cheering then the message Jesus sends by a woman, Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend to my Father and to your Father, etc. John 20:17. Priscilla, as well as Aquilla, instructed the eloquent Apollos more perfectly in the nature of the gospel dispensation. And numerous cases are mentioned in the New Testament of women who labored in the gospel. Seeing that females were admitted to the high office of prophecy under the old dispensation, and in the promise of the more general effusion of this gift, the daughters and handmaidens were equally included with the other sex, that they were among the first messengers of the gospel, and after the churches were formed and settled received particular instruction how to conduct themselves in the church, in the exercise of their gifts, it is strange that the privilege should have ever been called in question.
We are informed on the authority of divine revelation that male and female are one in Christ Jesus; that in the relation in which they both stand to him, the distinction is as completely broken down as between Jew and Gentile, bond and free. Thus revelation has made known the important truth, and reason will bear testimony to the same thing. The mind of the female is certainly susceptible of all those sensibilities, affections and improvements which constitute the Christian character. In a state of renovation we must admit it has equal access to the fountain of light and life. And experience has proved that many females have possessed the natural qualifications for speaking in public, the range of thought, the faculty of communicating their ideas in appropriate language, the sympathy with suffering humanity, a deep and lively sense of gratitude to God, and of the beauty of holiness, a zeal for the honor of God, and the happiness of his rational creaturesall these are found among the female part of the human family, as frequently and as eminently as among the men. Then let no stumbling-block be thrown in their way, but let them fill the place that God calls them to fill, let them not be bound down to silence by church rules, but let their tongues speak forth the praises of God, and let them point sinners to the Lamb of God, and grieve not the holy Spirit by silence in the congregation. (Uriah Smith, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 23, 1860)
(The following are a few excerpts from an article taken from the Portadown News, Ireland, of March 2, 1861, which Uriah Smith later published in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald on July 30, 1861. Smith partially prefaced the article with these remarks: We have nothing to say upon what the writer claims to have been done by certain females. That to which the attention of the reader is especially called is the argument by which he shows that they have a right to do this, or any amount besides in the same direction. Editor)
I will say here that if a woman can effect good in a world like ours, where so much is yet to be done for its reformation, I would think twice before I would discourage her or throw any obstacle in her way. Perhaps no man living has effected half as much for a revival of religion as Mrs. Phoebe Palmer. I hold that each individual in this world is morally bound to do as much good to others as he or she can; and he or she is bound to leave the world better than he or she found itif they possibly can. And is Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe and other ladies to teach me through my eyes, and are they prohibited from teaching me through my ears? Certainly not! Has Miss Buck, of England, powers in the pulpit equal to the greatest pulpit orator of the day, and is she not to use such powers? Are Spurgeon and such men to be lauded to the skies while sowing the heresy of Calvinism, mixed up with scraps of street songs and old wives fables, and is Miss Buck to be condemned while she preaches, with much superior eloquence and dignity, the glorious gospel of the grace of God to sinful, fallen mankind none excepted? Let us hear no more of this condemnation of woman going about doing good. I suppose, indeed I might venture to assert, that Mrs. Palmer, Miss Buck, and women like them, have each done more to lead sinners to a Saviour than any man of the same period; and will not the souls thus saved be to these women a crown of rejoicing? To be sure they will.
Who would object to a woman rescuing his friend from temporal death? No man. Then why object to a woman rescuing men from eternal death? Who would dare say that Grace Darling did wrong to go out in the life-boat and rescue the crew of a sinking vessel? No man. Why then object to a woman pushing out the gospel life-boat to rescue men sinking into perdition? Who would dare say Mrs. Fry did wrong in seeking to rescue men from dismal dungeons? No man. Then why object to woman going to seek and to save those that are pining in the dungeons of sin and iniquity?
Youths Corner Mrs. Demas and Her Boys
The Bay Point School for Boys
Mrs. Demas boys were not really her children.They were boys who had grown up on the streets of Miami and who were constantly doing wrong things. They were members of gangs, they fought with each other, and they were always in trouble at school. In fact, they had been arrested so many times that they were finally told they would either have to go to jail or the Bay Point School for Boys. And they chose the school.
The Bay Point School for Boys was a school where the boys lived and went to class, a school where they ate and slept, a school where they had to obey the rules, and a school where Mrs. Demas taught.
She is actually Dr. Demas, and she has worked with many schools to improve the quality of food served. She has even taught school children to plant gardens and raise crops and to harvest the crops and cook them for food. She had had lots of experience in nutrition when the Bay Point School for Boys asked her to start a nutrition class for their students, and this is how she became acquainted with her boys from the streets of Miami. They were young men with an attitude who did not want to be at Bay Point, but were, and who did not want to obey the rules, but did.
Soon after arriving she said to the students: I would like to do a study about your health, and I need volunteers to help me. You will have blood tests performed at the beginning of the study and blood tests at the end. You will only be allowed to eat plant-based foodsno meat, no fish, no chicken, no cheese, no other dairy products, no eggs, and also no junk food. But it will only last for three weeks. Also, you will learn how to cook, and you will make your own meals. If you want to be part of this study, then join us in the kitchen tomorrow morning. And about twenty boys signed up. They put on their aprons and began to learn all about good food.
At first it was hard for the boys to take part in the program because the rest of their friends said things like: You are going to become weak like a girl eating that kind of food! Thats rabbit foodyou dont want to eat that! But they had signed up and had already had their first blood tests done, so they did not quit. They cooked their food together in the kitchen and then ate together at the same long table in the cafeteria. For the first couple of days, it was hard, but then something remarkable happened.
Out on the field, they ran faster and played longer than the other boys. They had more energy and more strength. This diet was doing something for them! They even felt better and could get up in the morning without feeling groggy. Now they could say to the other boys: Can you run as fast on your diet?
Not only that, they started to think better, too. Their school grades improved. The grades of their friends were very poor, but these twenty boys of Dr. Demas not only had more energy and more endurance, but were better students, too. Now the other boys began to get interested in what was happening. In fact, some of the others boys came by their table and asked, What is it you are really eating over here? And when the chef boys brought out their food and placed it on the table, they said to the other boys, Now, just look at our food and look at the food you are eating and you tell us what looks better to eat. Of course, it was the colorful, plant-based food set out on their table.
Before the three weeks was up, one of the boys received a pass to go home for the weekend, and Dr. Demas came to the boy and said, Luis, I know you are going home, and I know at home you are not going to have the foods to eat that we have been eating here. So if you decide to eat some of the food they cook for you at home, that is okay. It wont hurt my feelings, but I need you to be honest with me because pretty soon we will have that second blood test and if you have deviated from the program, it will change the data we are gathering. So, please, just be honest with me.
And Luis said, Oh, Dr. Demas, you dont have to worry about me. I am not going to go off this diet. In fact, I want to take all my recipes with me and when I get home, I am going to make them because my grandmother has cancer, and I know this good food will help her. I am going to make our recipes and put the food in the freezer so she can eat it after I leave. You dont have to worry about me, Dr. Demas.
Well, the study ended, and most of Dr. Demass boys enjoyed learning about nutrition and about how to cook healthfully. She took them on field trips to whole food markets and to citrus farms. Most of the boys in her program had never eaten a grapefruit in their lives, and at one of the citrus farms they were able to try sixteen different varieties!
Dr. T. Colin Campbell at Cornell University invited one of Dr. Demass good boys to speak to his nutrition class and when the young man arrived, he explained what had happened to him at the Bay Point School for Boys: I want to tell you the difference it has made in my life. When I was in grade school, I was recruited into a gang. All we did was fight and get into trouble. I thought for the rest of my life I would have to struggle to stay one step ahead of the police, but all that changed when I went to Bay Point School for Boys and met Dr. Demas. Now I have more energy. I do better in school, and not only that, I dont have the violent thoughts I had when I was on the street in Miami. I am different, all because of a healthy, plant-based diet.
Another guest was present in Dr. Campbells class that day. She was from Johnson and Wales University, and she was so impressed with Luiss testimony that she returned to her office and arranged for full scholarships for Dr. Demass boys. The only requirement was that they had to finish high school, or obtain a GED, first, and they were already working toward this goal at Bay Point.
Whole Foods Helped a Boy in a Coma
Another story Dr. Demas shared was about a young man who had been bounced out of the back of a pick-up truck, resulting in terrible injuries that caused him to lapse into a coma. For two years he remained in a coma, and his doctors finally told his mother that he had no hope of recovery and should be allowed to die and that he was being transferred to a hospice setting. During the two years he was in a coma, he was fed a corn syrup-chemical solution through a feeding tube. His mother, however, wanted to give him whole foods in a broth or a soup mixture and repeatedly asked permission to do so, but the doctors always refused. When they told her that they were transferring her son to hospice because his days were limited and that he would never recover, she asked again, Can I give him some good food through his feeding tube?
This time the doctors agreed, and once the young man was in the care of a hospice, she and Dr. Demas made a nutritious, soup mixture for him. Dr. Demas said not to give it to him all at once, but to gradually phase it into his feeding program. They started giving him one cup of healthy soup a day for a week and increased that amount the second week, and then he opened his eyes! The nurses realized he was following them with his eyes, and when they talked to him, he was able to answer yes or no by blinking his eyes! He was communicating with them! This young person has now almost fully recovered and is enrolled in college, and it all happened because of the nutritious food God has provided us!
Young people, if you are in school, even if it is a school like Bay Point School for Boys, you will do much better in your school work if you eat a healthy, plant-based diet. In fact, your whole life will be better, so when your mother and father ask you to eat your vegetables and fruits and not to eat processed food, they are only trying to help you improve in every way.
Do you remember when the king ordered all the people in Daniels school to eat of the kings table and to drink of his wine? Daniel asked, instead, for plant-based food to eat and for water to drink, and in ten days Daniel and his three friends were fairer and healthier than all the other students in the school who had been eating the kings food.
After they were finished with their studies, the king interviewed Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and found them to be ten times wiser, more skillful and brighter than all the magicians and all the supposedly wise people in King Nebuchadnezzars court. Eating food that is good for you is important physically, mentally, and spiritually. It helps you to bring honor and glory to God in every way, and God will bless you, just as he blessed Daniel and gave him wisdom, understanding, and skill.
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.
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This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013