Old Paths Masthead

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. 22, No.4 Straight and Narrow April 2013


 

This month’s articles:

Rome Never Changes

The Protestant Reformation Part 7 Martin Luther, The Warrior Part 1

Salt

To Whose Kingdom do We Belong?

From the File Cabinet of History

Youths Corner

Tasty Recipe

DVD

 


 

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He maketh the storm a calm. (Psalm 107:29)


 Rome Never Changes

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Revelation 13:1–4)

Pope Francis

On March 19th, the 266th Papacy, that of Pope Francis, officially began. Francis had been elected pope six days earlier on March 13. He is former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Prior to becoming pope, Bergoglio was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. After being installed as pope, Bergoglio greeted heads of state, including United States Vice President Joseph Biden.

Pope Francis began his study for the priesthood at the age of twenty-one and entered the Society of Jesus in 1958. He was ordained as a priest in 1969, eleven and a half years later. This is the Jesuit way. Jesuits are thoroughly trained. He is the first Jesuit ever to be pope. According to Jesuit Father James Martin, we learn the following:

First, most cardinals come from the ranks of the diocesan clergy.That is, most study in diocesan seminaries and are trained to work in the more familiar Catholic settings of parishes—celebrating Masses, baptizing children, presiding at marriages and working closely with families in their parish.Their lives are perhaps more easily understood by the public at large.They begin as parish priests, and later are appointed bishops and archbishops and, later, are named cardinals by the pope.

Members of religious orders, like the Franciscans, Dominicans and Jesuits, live a different life.We take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and live in communities with one another.(By contrast, parish priests receive salaries.) We are also not as focused on parish life. In this country, for example, the Jesuits are known mainly for their educational institutions: middle schools, high schools and colleges and universities like Boston College, Georgetown, Fordham and all the schools named “Loyola.”So our lives are different from those of the diocesan clergy; not better or worse, just different. So members of religious orders may seem more “unfamiliar” to cardinals. Thus, not many popes in recent history have been from religious orders.When choosing a leader, then, the cardinals naturally prefer someone from their “world.”

Martin also noted:

In the early 1980s, because of tensions between the Jesuits and the Vatican, Pope John Paul II “intervened” in our internal governance.After a stroke felled our superior general, the pope appointed his own representative as our leader (rather than allowing the normal procedure, which was for us to elect a successor).That was his right as pope, but it still discouraged many Jesuits.A few years later, we elected a new superior general and the warm relations were restored. Still, the cloud persisted in some quarters of the Vatican, which meant that a Jesuit pope was too far-fetched to even imagine.

What does it mean to have a Jesuit pope?Several things.

First, the new vicar of Christ is thoroughly steeped in the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in 1540.Pope Francis has twice in his life, as all “fully formed” Jesuits do, participated in the Spiritual Exercises, the month long silent retreat that focuses on the life of Jesus Christ.The Exercises call on you to use your imagination to enter into the life of Jesus in prayer.So Pope Francis, we can assume, is an intensely spiritual man who has plumbed the depths of the life of Christ in a particularly Jesuit way.Since his election Wednesday, I have heard at least a dozen Jesuits say, “Well, I don’t know much about him, but I know he made the Exercises.”

Second, Jesuit training is extremely long.Pope Francis entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1958, at the age of 22, and was not ordained until in 1969.(That’s about the average length of time of training for a Jesuit priest.) (Father James Martin, http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/14/my-
take-what-it-means-for-one-of-my-brothers-to-become-pope/; accessed March 12, 2013)

We will look more at the Jesuit connection later, but let us notice some of the firsts about Francis. As noted Francis is the first pope that is a Jesuit. He is also the first pope from South America, as well as from the Western Hemisphere. He is the the first to use the name Francis and the first pope to ask the people to pray for him before he prayed and blessed them.

As cardinal, Bergoglio clashed with Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over proposed laws allowing gay marriage and the free distribution of contraceptives. Interestingly, she was the first dignitary to be greeted by the pope after his instillation mass.

Pope Francis is considered a straight shooter, who calls things as he sees them, and a follower of the church’s most conservative wing. He was appointed cardinal by John Paul II. His current position on abortion, contraception, men-only priesthood, and no gay marriage aligns with John Paul II and Benedict XVI; though some seem inclined to believe he could tackle the issue of contraception because of his supposed compassion upon the poor.

Also, like John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Bergoglio has denounced Liberation Theology.

By now you have heard that he used public transportation and cooked his own meals. We certainly cannot fault that, nor should we. He also has a gold plated silver papal ring, instead of a solid gold one, like his predecessors.

Francis took his name from Saint Francis of Assisi, who was noted for work among the poor, as well as being the first to produce a nativity scene. Pope Francis is said to be very compassionate toward the poor, and that certainly cannot be faulted. So is it possible that we have a good pope, someone who will turn the papacy around? Should Protestants hold out an olive branch to the papacy now? No, No, No! The papacy has not changed; she is still the man of sin. While Pope Francis may appear compassionate and kind, the fundamental points that make the papacy the man of sin are all fully supported and advocated by Bergoglio.

Rome Never Changes

One of the chief characteristics of God is that he does not change:

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

In this one respect, to a degree, Satan is like God—he does not change. Satan is so set in his ways that he will never change in his rebellion against God. The tools he uses are always tools that are designed to bring destruction, and the papacy is his masterpiece of deception.

This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of “the man of sin” foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power—a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will. (The Great Controversy, p. 50)

While the outside veneer of this masterpiece may appear different at times, inside, her heart does not change in the least.

The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. (The Great Controversy, p. 571; all emphasis in this article is supplied unless otherwise noted)

And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. (Ibid., p. 581)

If you have studied the history of Gregory VII and Innocent III, you know that they were popes who sought not only religious power, but great civil authority too. In this specific area, the papacy stands ready for the opportunity to regain power.

Rome never changes. She claims infallibility. (The Review and Herald, June 1, 1886)

If you have infallibility, than you make no mistakes and have no need to make changes. How can one be better than being infallible?

Rome never changes. Her principles have not altered in the least. She has not lessened the breach between herself and Protestants; they have done all the advancing. But what does this argue for the Protestantism of this day? It is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy. (The Signs of the Times, February 19, 1894)

To secure worldly gains and honors, the church was led to seek the favor and support of the great men of earth; and having thus rejected Christ, she was induced to yield allegiance to the representative of Satan—the bishop of Rome. (The Great Controversy, p. 50)

The pope is not regarded by God as anything more than a man who is acting out in our world the character of the man of sin, representing in his claims that power and authority which Satan claimed in the heavenly courts. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 102)

Beloved, what we see in these quotations is what the papacy is and means, in the light of inspiration and not just in what people say or think. The pope is not our friend, nor the friend of the world; he is the representative of Satan! We cannot consign our view of Rome to the historical trash heap, thinking that she has changed and is a kinder and gentler papacy today. Most of the above statements are from the book The Great Controversy, and if there were ever a book outside of the Bible that is inspired, it is The Great Controversy.

The papacy is simply an extension of the rebellion that started in heaven. When Satan first began his rebellion in heaven, he did not attack God with atomic weapons or any such thing. No, Satan said that he was all for God and for the upbuilding of his kingdom but that there were some things that needed improvement. God’s word was good, but was not to be fully trusted. Lucifer was a light bearer, and he supposedly had insight to know how to adjust the government of God in such a manner that others could be happier and better.

Failed Interpretations

Last month we noted that Robert Hauser and others had predicted certain events to happen when the two popes after John Paul II appeared. All of those predictions failed, and there is no evidence from the Bible that this pope has any more or less significance than other popes. But we should not allow ourselves to be spiritually asleep, for the time is far spent, and we certainly are at the end of time. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

Let us not make the fatal mistake of sleeping because we think that all things are continuing as they have for thousands of years. Time is about up, and the favorable light that this pope is already being presented in by professed Protestants should be a warning. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

The Principles of the Papacy

The fundamental principles of the papacy that hold her up are all fully believed and supported by Pope Francis.

Does Pope Francis believe and support the Trinity doctrine? Of course, he does. It is the central most fundamental doctrine of his church.

But what does the Bible say? It says that “there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). The Bible defines the one true God to be the Father. This fully agrees with what Jesus said when he prayed his high-priestly prayer:

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:1–3).

The Catholic Church and anyone else who believes in the Trinity, such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church, would say that they believe in one God, but to them that one God is defined as “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal persons.” But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says the one God, the only true God, is the Father. Period! The Bible does not teach that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity; it never uses that term, but rather inspiration declares him to be the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16).

Does Pope Francis believe in Sunday sacredness? Yes, he does.

But what does the Bible say?

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8–11)

The seventh day is the Sabbath, not the first day of the week, but the Catholic Church claims to have changed the sacredness of the day:

Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. (Peter Geiermann, The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50)

Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., p. 524)

“Sunday … is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church” (Ibid., p. 529)

Pope Francis is squarely behind Sunday worship, and remember that Sunday is the day dedicated to the worship of the Trinity.

Does Pope Francis believe in the pagan doctrine of the immortal soul? Does he believe “the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)? Of course not. Francis prays to Mary and the supposed other saints because he believes that, instead of knowing nothing, they know everything! You do not pray to someone you think is dead!

But what does the Bible say? “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). The first lie to mankind was a denial of the mortality of man (Genesis 3:4). Francis is certainly in agreement with this false doctrine.

Does Pope Francis believe in transubstantiation and the mass? The day after being elected pope, he conducted a mass for the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. He preformed the abomination of the mass, claiming to have the bread turn into the real body of Jesus and the wine into the blood of Jesus. Through the mass Jesus is said to be offered again and again.

But what does the Bible say? “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

Does Pope Francis believe in the supremacy of the Scriptures over tradition? He fully supports the traditions of the church. Catholic teaching is as follows:

Some of the truths which God has revealed and which have always been taught by the Catholic Church, are not contained in the Bible. These truths have come down to us by what is called oral tradition; that is, they have been handed down by word of mouth. By Catholic Tradition, therefore, we understand all those truths which the Church received from Jesus Christ and the Apostles, but which are not found in the Bible. These truths we firmly believe, because they were revealed by God and are proposed to us by the Church.

Some of the truths that have been handed down to us by Tradition and are not recorded in the Sacred Scripture, are the following: that there are just seven Sacraments; that there is a Purgatory; that, in the New Law, Sunday should be kept holy instead of the Sabbath; that infants should be baptized, and that there are precisely seventy-two books in the Bible. (Francis J. Butler, Holy Family Series of Catholic Catechisms, Boston: Thomas J. Flynn & Co., 1904, p. 63; quoted from The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Students’ Source Book, p. 1040)

But what does the Bible say? The Bible is very plain on this matter. Concerning the word of God, we read:

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:15–17)

What does the Bible say about tradition? “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).

Does Pope Francis believe in the union of church and state? Need you ask!? He is the head of a declared sovereign state, the Vatican.

But what does the Bible say? “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). Paul said, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 ESV).

Does Pope Francis believe in the mediation of saints? This is a very special point, for much of the rest of Catholic doctrine begins, ends, and meets here. Being at the head of the largest system of human priesthood in the world, Pope Francis is, of course, supportive of the mediation of saints and of a human priesthood.

But what does the Bible say? First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God [the Father], and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” The Bible calls the papacy the man of sin:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4)

The temple of God was a place of sacrifice and mediation. The doctrines of the papacy focus toward a human priesthood, with a confessional. Instead of going to God through Christ for forgiveness of sins, the sinner must go to a confession box and confess to a priest, who will then instruct him or her as to what he or she is to do to be absolved. The Bible specifically prophecies that this human priesthood with a confessional was to take away the continual or daily priesthood of Jesus (Daniel 8:11, 12). But the Bible says of Jesus:

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

Beloved, it is not the priest, Mary, or any pope who can make intercession for you, but only Jesus Christ. The Church of Rome, however, teaches that Jesus never lives to intercede for you. Instead of Jesus being a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 5:6), Jesus is never a priest fully able to mediate for his people, so they must seek human priests, Mary, and dead saints. This system is an abomination to God!

But beloved, we may each come to God through Christ; for he is our mediator and one in whom we may fully trust! He will not betray our secrets; he will not order penance; he will not fail us. He has power to forgive sins. “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)” (Mark 2:10).

The Jesuits

Now let us return to the subject of the Jesuits. What do we really know about the Jesuits, formally called the Society of Jesus (S.J., SJ or SI)? A Jesuit is a Catholic male religious order founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola. Members must be willing to accept orders anywhere in the world and to live in extreme conditions. Jesuits work today mostly in education, founding schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries and in intellectual research.

Ignatius developed what are called spiritual exercises that use mental images. They are divided into four thematic weeks of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of twenty-eight to thirty days. They were supposedly composed with the intention of helping the person going through them to discern Jesus in his life, leading them to a personal commitment to follow Jesus. The Spiritual Exercises booklet was formally approved in 1548 by Pope Paul III. Though the underlying spiritual outlook is Catholic, the exercises are often made today by Protestants. A new relative of the spiritual exercises, spiritual formation, is even taught in some Adventist schools.

The Jesuits became one of the most active agents in the counter-reformation, including introducing two new methods of prophetic interpretation whose purpose was to remove the onus from the papacy for being the beast of Revelation 13. Two Spanish Jesuits, Francisco Ribera and Luis de Alcazar, developed the concepts of futurism and preterism, respectively.

The Oath

Perhaps you have heard of what is supposed to be the Jesuit Oath, first published in 1883. The oath is said to state:

I do further promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly and openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Masons, as I am directed to do, to extirpate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex nor condition, and that will hang, burn, waste, boil, flay, strangle, and bury alive these infamous heretics; rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women, and crush their infants’ heads against the walls in order to annihilate their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly I will secretly use the poisonous cup, the strangulation cord, the steel of the poniard, or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honour, rank, dignity or authority of the persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agents of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Father of the Society of Jesus.

In confirmation of which I hereby dedicate my life, soul, and all corporal powers, and with the dagger which I now receive I will subscribe my name written in my blood in testimony thereof; and should I prove false, or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the militia of the Pope cut off my hands and feet and my throat from ear to ear, my belly be opened and sulphur burned therein with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth, and my soul shall be tortured by demons in eternal hell forever. That I will in voting always vote for a Knight of Columbus in preference to a Protestant, especially a Mason, and that I will leave my party so to do; that if two Catholics are on the ticket I will satisfy myself which is the better supporter of Mother Church and vote accordingly. That I will not deal with or employ a Protestant if in my power to deal with or employ a Catholic. That I will place Catholic girls in Protestant families that a weekly report may be made of the inner movements of the heretics. That I will provide myself with arms and ammunition that I may be in readiness when the word is passed, or I am commanded to defend the Church either as an individual or with the militia of the Pope.

All of which I,_______________, do swear by the blessed Trinity and blessed sacrament which I am now to receive to perform and on part to keep this my oath.

In testimony hereof, I take this most holy and blessed sacrament of the Eucharist and witness the same further with my name written with the point of this dagger dipped in my own blood and seal in the face of this holy sacrament. (U.S. House Congressional Record, 1913, p. 3216.) The citation is H.R. Rep. No. 62–1523 (1913), reprinted in the Congressional Record for February 15, 1913, at pp. 3215–3221.

But is this true and can it be proven, and how did the Jesuit Oath end up in the Congressional Record?

In the 1912 elections, the two candidates for Congress from the Seventh Congressional District in Pennsylvania were Eugene C. Bonniwell, a Catholic Democrat, and a Republican, Thomas S. Butler. Butler had been serving in Congress, representing the Seventh District since 1897. Mr. Bonniwell, the unsuccessful candidate, filed an objection with the Speaker of the House, asking that Mr. Butler not be seated to represent the district. His objections were investigated by a House Committee on Elections, which prepared a report (House Report 1523). That report was submitted to the House on February 15, 1913, and upon request of Congressman Olmsted, was included in the Congressional Record.

The House Report reproduced in its entirety Mr. Bonniwell’s written statement of objections. Among other items, Mr. Bonniwell’s objections included discussions of religious slander committed by supporters of Mr. Butler. These supporters published the supposed oath but it was actually labeled as the “Knights of Columbus Oath” and not the Jesuit oat!. Interestingly, both Butler and Bonniwell denounced the authenticity of the Oath.

This does not make the supposed oath false, but it certainly does not prove it. But how quick we are to jump on the let’s condemn the papacy bandwagon without evidence.

This reminds me of statements supposedly made by Pope Benedict XVI before he became pope concerning Matthew 28:19 and the doctrine of the Trinity. However, the context proved to be about the Apostles Creed and not the Trinity. Benedict supposedly wrote:

The basic form of our (Matthew 28:19 Trinitarian) profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text (Matthew 28:19) comes from the city of Rome. (Supposed statement of Ratzinger, sourced from emails and various web sources)

That is a very strong statement, if it is true. When you read something in a book, newspaper, or magazine and you see a set of parentheses ( ), you know that what is within the parentheses is supposed to have been written by the author of the publication. If the words, on the other hand, are enclosed in brackets [ ], standard grammatical rules tell you that what is enclosed in the brackets is something that was added by someone other than the author and that it is not a part of the original text. Now, in the quotation that I received in an email and found in dozens of sources on the Internet, “Matthew 28:19 Trinitarian” is in parentheses and so is “Matthew 28:19,” but actual book reads:

The answers can only be found by looking at the concrete shape of Christian belief, and this we now mean to consider, using the so-called Apostles’ Creed as a guiding thread. It may be useful to preface the discussion with a few facts about the origin and structure of the Creed; these will at the same time throw some light on the legitimacy of the procedure. The basic form of our profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text comes from the city of Rome; but its internal origin lies in worship; more precisely, in the conferring of baptism. This again was fundamentally based on the words of the risen Christ recorded in Matthew 28.19: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, pp. 50, 51)

Another name that comes up when discussing the Jesuits is Alberto Rivera. Rivera claimed to be a former Jesuit priest who revealed many of the so-called secrets of the Jesuits. Some of Rivera’s authenticity has been challenged.

A More Sure Word

But frankly, do we need to relay upon hearsay or questionable sources? Has not God given his people already the needed understanding of the Jesuits? He certainly has, and I am reminded of what Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:19. Peter had been on the Mountain of Transfiguration with Jesus. He had heard the Father and had seen Moses and Elijah, but he said that the Bible was more sure than anything his senses had perceived. He said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” God has, through the inspiration of Ellen White, given us something that is sure and true that we can depend upon, even more than so-called evidence that we can see or hear. So let’s see what Inspiration says about the Jesuits:

Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced by formidable foes. The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from earthly ties and human interests, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order, and no duty but to extend its power. The gospel of Christ had enabled its adherents to meet danger and endure suffering, undismayed by cold, hunger, toil, and poverty, to uphold the banner of truth in face of the rack, the dungeon, and the stake. To combat these forces, Jesuitism inspired its followers with a fanaticism that enabled them to endure like dangers, and to oppose to the power of truth all the weapons of deception. There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy. (The Great Controversy, p. 234)

This one statement tells it all in a quick summary. It gives us the scope of what this organization is willing to do to accomplish its purposes and how dedicated they are to fulfilling their purposes.

When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed. It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church. Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind and dazzle and captivate the imagination, and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery. (Ibid., p. 235)

Does this mean that all Jesuits are bad people or cannot be changed? Writing about the great religious awaking that led to the advent movement, Ellen White noted:

In South America, in the midst of barbarism and priest-craft, [Manuel Diaz] Lacunza, a Spaniard and a Jesuit, found his way to the Scriptures and thus received the truth of Christ’s speedy return. Impelled to give the warning, yet desiring to escape the censures of Rome, he published his views under the assumed name of “Rabbi Ben-Ezra,” representing himself as a converted Jew. Lacunza lived in the eighteenth century. (Ibid., p. 363).

Lacunza was a Jesuit, but he found the Christ of the Scriptures and began to preach the second coming of Jesus Christ. So there are individual persons who change, but they are not the ones who are in so deep that they can obtain the office of the pope.

Truth or Error

We need to note that it has already been passed on the Internet that Cardinal Bergoglio was not born Jorge Mario but rather Peter (Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone) and that he later changed his name. This is supposed to fulfill the prophecy of St. Malachy (see Old Paths, March 2013), but there is no documentation for this given to date.Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone is, however, the original birth name of Francis of Assisi (c. 1182–1226).

This reminds me of the erroneous email forwards we get that spout off juicy things, like the one above about Ratzinger and Matthew 28:19. We accept hearsay without any reasonable documentation, and we read with lustful glee and press the forward button and continue to spread lies and errors. One message I recently received stated, “We are not the source, just a messenger.” This is wrong, wrong, wrong! We have enough documented and inspired statements to indict and condemn the Jesuits. We do not need to spread errors and lies by which we will lose our eternal salvation. We damn the papacy and we damn the Jesuits and wait anxiously for God to consign them to the flames, but we think that God will overlook our iniquity. Or do we now believe that the end justify the means, as long as it helps us to condemn Rome and her instruments? God instructs his people, “You must not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked to be a malicious witness” (Exodus 23:1 HCSB) What we need is truth and truth alone. We have been also told that the “righteousness of Christ, . . . is pure, unadulterated truth” (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 65).

Beloved, we may not have a specific prophecy about Pope Francis, and a demon did not personate John Paul II to replace Benedict XVI, but the sure word of prophecy clearly tells we are at the end. While Francis may have a lamblike appearance, he is seated in the chair of the representative of Satan. He is of the most cruel and cunning order of priests within the beast power. The signs of the times are upon us, and the real question that we should seek and strive to answer is, Are we ready?

The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 81)

Interestingly, we are not told in this statement that it will be those who drink of the false wine and doctrines of Babylon that will be the ones who accept the mark of the beast, but rather those who have “yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs.” The third angel’s message needs to ring loud and clear now. Rome never changes and is still the beast of Revelation 13 and the harlot of Revelation 17. This message needs to go forward in truth and in the power of the Spirit of truth. Time is of the essence, as we are in the eleventh hour. One hundred thirty-one years ago, the time was not far distant. It is closer today. Allen Stump


The Protestant Reformation

Part 7

Martin Luther, The Warrior Part 1

“I am rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike. I am born to fight against innumerable monsters and devils. I must remove stumps and stones, cut away thistles and thorns, and clear the wild forests; but Master Philippus [Melanchthon] comes along softly and gently, sowing and watering with joy . . .”1

Five hundred twenty-nine years ago, Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, the first child of poor, hard-working peasants, who at times, taking little Martin with them, hauled wood on their backs from the nearby mountains and forests to support their growing family. Luther’s young life was one of hardship. His father enrolled him at the timid age of four in the local school, where he was often roughly treated by the school master. When he was fourteen, he was sent, without financial support, to a school in another town, where he was forced to go door to door, singing for his dinner. Often he went to bed discouraged and hungry, and at the University of Erfurt he nearly reached the decision to withdraw from school and return home and work in the copper mines with his father, but a kind lady, who had noticed his serious attention in church and his sweet voice outside her door, invited him in for a warm meal and then to live in her home which he gladly accepted. Now he was able to apply himself to his studies with renewed energy and without the gnawing pain of hunger.2

Thus for a short space of time, the destiny of the Protestant Reformation lay unbeknownst in the hands of a kind and gentle lady in Erfurt, Germany. Her benevolence allowed the young student to finish his Master’s degree and to continue further studies—that is, until a thunderstorm struck in July 1505 as he returned to Erfurt, following a visit with his parents. Lightning knocked him to the ground. If this had happened to you or me, we might have gotten up, brushed ourselves off, and thanked God for his protection, but not Luther. He was frightened and immediately vowed that if God would spare his life, he would enter a monastery, for you see, Luther was afraid of death.

For him, “the woods and winds and water were peopled by elves, gnomes, fairies, mermen and mermaids, sprites and witches. Sinister spirits would release storms, floods, and pestilence, and would seduce mankind to sin and melancholia. Luther’s mother believed that they played such minor pranks as stealing eggs, milk, and butter; and Luther himself was never emancipated from such beliefs. ‘Many regions are inhabited,’ said he, ‘by devils. Prussia is full of them, and Lapland of witches. In my native country on the top of a high mountain called the Pubelsberg is a lake into which if a stone be thrown a tempest will arise over the whole region because the waters are the abode of captive demons’” (Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, p. 19). Luther was often depressed and fought the devil, throwing an inkwell at him at one time, and this is understandable when you consider the culture in which he was raised. He was not a son of the Renaissance, reaping the benefit of art and so-called enlightenment; he was the son of rugged, coarse German peasants who held the most conservative faith of the Middle Ages, a faith full of fear and superstition.

Each town in which Luther went to school was full of churches and monasteries. Everywhere it was the same: steeples, spires, cloisters, priests, monks of the various orders, collections of relics, ringing of bells, proclaiming of indulgences, religious processions, cures at shrines. Daily at Mansfeld the sick were stationed beside a convent in the hope of cure at the tolling of the vesper bell. Luther remembered seeing a devil actually depart from one possessed. (Bainton, p. 20)

Hell was ever kept before the people in an effort to drive them to the Church, but if hell caused too much terror in their hearts, purgatory could be offered instead. The themes of hell and purgatory were graphically portrayed, and in one particular woodcut devils pulled people by the hair from their graves and threw them into hellfire, while Christ sat on a cloud overseering it all. Luther was familiar with such art, and the thought of Jesus as Judge thoroughly terrified him. So, when he narrowly escaped death on the road to Erfurt, the only sensible thing for him to do was to enter a monastery, for it was commonly believed that he who died wearing the robe of a religious order was given preferential treatment in the afterlife. For example:

Once a Cistercian in a high fever cast off his frock and so died. Arriving at the gate of Paradise he was denied entry by St. Benedict because of the lack of uniform. He could only walk around the walls and peep in through the windows to see how the brethren fared, until one of them interceded for him, and St. Benedict granted a reprieve to earth for the missing garment. . . . this is what the common man believed, and Luther was a common man. (Bainton, p. 24)

The Church was the only hope the people had—hope in its sacraments, its pilgrimages, and its indulgences; hope in the intercession of its saints; and especially hope in the choice benefits offered by joining a religious order, for in joining, one was thought to be restored to the innocence one had when baptized as an infant: “St. Thomas Aquinas himself declared the taking of the cowl to be second baptism, restoring the sinner to the state of innocence which he enjoyed when first baptized. The opinion was popular that if the monk should sin thereafter, he was peculiarly privileged because in his case repentance would bring restoration to the state of innocence. Monasticism was the way par excellence to heaven” (Bainton, p. 24).

While at the university in Erfurt, Luther saw many examples of people seeking this innocence and seeking a freedom from sins—monks roamed the streets of Erfurt who were only lads but who had aged far beyond their years because of the austerities to which they willingly submitted. While attending school in Magdeburg, Luther saw Prince William of Anhalt, “who had forsaken the halls of the nobility to become a begging friar and walk the streets carrying the sack of the mendicant. Like any other brother he did the manual work of the cloister. ‘With my own eyes I saw him,’ said Luther. ‘I was fourteen years old at Magdeburg. I saw him carrying the sack like a donkey. He had so worn himself down by fasting and vigil that he looked like a deaths’-head, mere bone and skin. No one could look upon him without feeling ashamed of his own life’” (Bainton, p. 25).

Luther struggled with the prospect of death, and the thought of a future judgment day terrified him. He was truly caught in the clutches of an evil system, on the one hand aware that he was a sinner and on the other hand not knowing how to find peace with God. His fear was increased because of his embedded belief in “sinister spirits conspiring for his doom, the denizens of hell who roamed abroad and infested the earth, riding on the wings of the wind, lurking in woods and waters, ready ever with sardonic laughter to lure and bolt the unwary into hell” (Bainton, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, p. 27).

Because he had been taught how, at school and by his parents, Luther knew what he could do to guard himself against hell—receive the sacraments, perform the seven works of mercy, and call on the heavenly intercessors—but nothing promised to be as effective a protection as entering a monastery. This was the surest way to heaven. Though the Ten Commandments applied to everyone, the Church taught that the commands of Jesus to sell all, to forsake father, mother, and child, and to resist not evil were reserved for the cloister: “The monk was to have no goods, no wife, no weapons. Poverty, celibacy, and pacifism . . . were the counsels of perfection and these conferred an unusual reward” (Ibid.). So, when lightning frightened him in 1505, Luther was ready to renounce all and to enter the monastic life—he had been set up, so to speak, for such a step.

But the relief he gained was only temporary. Soon the old fear that he would be rejected of God because of his sins and be, instead, consigned to everlasting torment consumed him. His superiors tried to help him overcome this fear with the “benefits” of self-help. The rigorous life of monasticism afforded the greatest opportunity for this, and Luther determined to engage in all the austerities he could—he kept long vigils, he fasted, and he was cold, casting off all garments except what decency required—but he never gained the assurance that any of these deeds secured his acceptance with God. He was plagued with thoughts that he would never find peace and that penance was a virtual dead end for achieving merit, since it was only his duty to perform in the first place. He began to deeply question the church’s system of forgiveness, which required penance. Individual sins did appear to be nullified when the priest granted absolution for them after confession was made, but Luther was in turmoil over confession. Could a person truly confess his sin if he was not sorry for it, and if he was sorry, how did he know he was sorry enough? These questions also forced him to consider the use of indulgences by the church, for indulgences offered forgiveness of sin for a price—plain and simple—and with no contrition being required! And then to Germany came the infamous John Tetzel:

It was quite an occasion as he passed from town to town complete with price lists for different sins. For all practical purposes Indulgences were a license for sin, and human nature being what it is, if a man paid the price, he would see to it that he got his money’s worth. It was an iniquitous and immoral system, an offense to pious men everywhere and to Luther an utter abomination.” (William Stevenson, The Story of the Reformation, p. 34)

All of these concerns (and more) at first spun Luther deep into depression and doubt, but by October 31, 1517, the eve of All Saints day, he was ready to post his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. “In these Theses Luther insisted on the need of real penitence and contrition. He further maintained that there can be no human mediation between a man’s soul and God. No Indulgence can absolve guilt: forgiveness rests not with the pope but only with God. . . . the condition of Germany was such that only a spark was required to set it ablaze. The Ninety-five Theses struck the spark: the Reformation had begun” (Ibid.).

The festival of All Saints was approaching, a day of great importance to Wittenberg, and especially for the church which the Elector had built there and filled with relics. On the 31st of October, the eve of the feast, crowds of pilgrims began to flock together from all quarters, eager to obtain the indulgence promised to those who visited the church on that day and made confession there. “Now is the time,” said Luther. He took the propositions which he had carefully written out, left the convent, and prepared to post them up. He little thought that by the deed he was about to do the whole world would be shaken. The monk, holding the papers in his hand, walked along as usual. On reaching the Castle church, he fastened to the door of that sanctuary the great indictment he had drawn up against the Papacy; but that evening the propositions excited very little attention.

On the morrow, the great day of the feast, Luther was at the University, prepared to defend his propositions as he had announced; but no one came forward to attack them. He returned to his cell, and leaning on the table, with his head in his hands, he exclaimed, sorrowfully: “Alas! This word will pass away, like so many others.” Just as he was indulging in these reflections, a friend entered, saying,—“A great crowd is collected in front of the door of the Castle church, and everybody wants to read the propositions you have posted there. People are commenting on them—some attacking, some defending. Come and speak to them yourself.” Luther quitted the cell in haste.

It was a fine autumn evening. Monks and pilgrims, tradesmen and magistrates, knights and professors, soldiers, students, men, women, and even richly dressed courtiers, had crowded together in front of the church. In the morning the priests had brought out and exhibited the relics. Pilgrims had flocked thither to adore these precious remains, but ere long the priests were left alone. They were listening anxiously to an unusual noise from without, when a man rushed hurriedly into the church, and said: “All the city is in an uproar. There is a great crowd in the square, where they are reading some propositions which a monk has posted up. Come and see for yourselves.” (J. H. Merle D’Aubigné, Historic Scenes in the Life of Martin Luther, p. 16) Onycha Holt


Salt

By Onycha Holt3

In 2010 Dr. Michael Jacobson4 wrote that salt “may cause more health havoc than trans fat, saturated fat, sugar, food additives, pesticides—you name it” (Nutrition Action Healthletter, January/February 2010), and he also wrote that table salt, which is 40% sodium (by atomic weight), raises blood pressure which can result in heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.

The Nutrition Source5 states that the average American consumes far too much salt—at least 1½ teaspoons per day—and that for many people worldwide much more is the norm. The United States currently recommends a maximum of one teaspoon of salt a day (2300 mg) and a lower amount (1500 mg) for those who are diagnosed with high blood pressure or who are at a high risk of developing high blood pressure—African Americans, anyone over the age of 40, and anyone who currently has a somewhat elevated blood pressure, and all these who are at risk comprise about 70% of the population!

Sodium and Our Bodies

The human body requires only a very small amount of sodium since it is exquisitely effective in conserving whatever is in our body. The transmission of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscle fibers depend on sodium. Along with potassium, it is essential for maintaining a proper fluid balance in and around cells. It takes very little sodium to accomplish these tasks. The Yanomamo people, who inhabit the Amazon forests, take in just 200 milligrams of sodium a day (one-tenth a teaspoon of salt) while the average American gets 3,400 milligrams (about 1½ teaspoons of salt). Before the 1970s, the residents of northern Japan took in a whopping 10,300 milligrams (4½ teaspoons of salt) a day; public health efforts have managed to bring that down considerably. Consuming such a low sodium diet protects the Yanomamo from hypertension, which is virtually absent in their society.

The body has an intricate system of checks and balances to maintain a steady amount of sodium in the fluid that bathes cells and in the bloodstream, regardless of intake. When sodium levels fall, or the mineral is in short supply, the kidneys and sweat glands hold onto water. This keeps sodium from leaving the body. The opposite happens when you take in more sodium than you need—the kidneys flush out the excess by making more urine, or making it saltier.

[However,] in most people, the kidneys have trouble keeping up with the excess sodium in the bloodstream. As it begins to accumulate, the body responds by holding onto water to dilute the sodium. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream. That means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. It can also lead to heart failure. There is also some evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys without increasing blood pressure, and that it may be bad for bones, too.

. . . The more salt you take in, the more calcium your body flushes out in the urine. If calcium is in short supply, it can be leached out of the bones. So a diet high in sodium could have an additional unwanted effect—the bone-thinning disease known as osteoporosis. (“Lower Salt and Sodium: A Key to Good Health,” The Nutrition Source)

Large amounts of sodium in the body causes the body to “hold onto water to dilute the sodium,” which raises the blood volume, compelling the heart to pump more forcefully, the result of which is high blood pressure.

Sodium in the Supermarket

Most of our salt comes from prepared foods, like ready-made breads and crackers, canned and frozen foods, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, cheese, and restaurant foods. . . . salt is a cheap additive that enhances flavor and livens up bland food. It makes meat retain water, adding weight for which we pay top dollar. Salt also makes us thirsty, and is one way the food industry nudges us to buy more soft drinks. (Ibid.) salt and high blood pressure thinkstock

Why is there so much sodium in processed foods? For one because large amounts of sodium can cause cravings for more of it (we will discuss this later), which is good news for the manufacturer, but also because salt is the great fixer of unwanted qualities in processed foods:

It corrects myriad problems that arise as a matter of course in the factory. Cornflakes, for example, taste metallic without it. Crackers are bitter and soggy and stick to the roof of your mouth. Ham turns so rubbery it can bounce….In commercial bread making, salt keeps the huge, fast-spinning machinery from gumming up and the factory line from backing up. Salt slows down the rising process so that the ovens can keep up with the pace.

Among all the miracles that salt performs for the processed food industry, perhaps the most essential involves a plague that the industry calls ‘warmed-over-flavor’ . . . [which] is caused by the oxidation of the fats in meat. (Michael Moss, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, p. 281)

Warmed-over-flavor is what canned meat without enough salt tastes like when it is reheated, a flavor that has been described as cardboard and as damp dog hair, but salt is the antidote! It overpowers the distasteful warmed over flavor so that consumers are unaware of it.

Sodium in the form of salt is not the only source of sodium in processed foods, however. Sodium bicarbonate (commonly known as baking soda, and also found in some baking powders), sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, and sodium acid pyrophosphate are also found in products on grocery shelves, but we don’t have to be overwhelmed with the sodium content because labels will help us! A guideline Jeff Novak, a nutritionist, recommends is for the milligrams of salt in a single serving of a product not to exceed the calories for that serving. In other words, if the calories in a single serving of the product you are considering are fifty, then the milligrams of salt for that serving should be fifty or less.

It is good to know that our craving for salt can easily be reversed. Stop eating processed foods for a while, as did the following people, and see what happens!

. . . six women and three men [were studied] as they slashed their consumption of salt by half by avoiding certain processed foods. For the first few weeks, nothing much happened, apart from the subjects missing the foods they used to eat. But then, slowly, bit by bit, a radical change occurred. The test subjects didn’t stop liking salt, nor did they lose their taste for it. Rather, the salt-sensitive taste buds in their mouths—the same ones that had grown used to bombardment by salty foods—became more sensitive to salt, so they needed less salt to experience its pleasures. A lot less. Enough to get them within the limits now being urged upon Americans by the federal government. “At the end of twelve weeks, after being on the low-sodium diets, we allowed them to use as much salt from their saltshakers as they wanted to, and all they added back to their diet was about 20 percent of the salt we had taken out,” Beauchamp told me.

The subjects had, in effect, unhooked themselves from salt, or at least from the levels of salt that are considered potential killers. (Ibid., pp. 283, 284)

Our bodies cannot manufacture sodium, so it must be ingested, and just like anything we have learned to like, we can eat too much, if we are not careful.

Sodium and Nitric Oxide

. . . there is no question that a high level of sodium in the diet raises blood pressure and the risk of chronic hypertension by stiffening arteries and blocking nitric oxide, which relaxes arteries. Hypertension, in turn, contributes to heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death. (Jane E. Brody, “Sodium-Saturated Diet Is a Threat for All,” The New York Times, December 26, 2011; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted).

Do you remember reading about nitric oxide in earlier issues of Old Paths? Nitric oxide was named the molecule of the year in 1992 by Science, a journal which has commemorated annually either a discovered molecule of major significance or a breakthrough in science. The discovery of nitric oxide was so important that it later led to Nobel-prize winning research. As Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn explains, it is the typical western diet of processed oils, dairy, and meat that

. . . destroys the life jacket of our blood vessels known as our endothelial cells. This cell layer is a one cell thick lining of all of our blood vessels. Endothelial cells manufacture a magical protective molecule of gas called nitric oxide, which protects our blood vessels. It keeps our blood flowing smoothly, it is the strongest dilator (widener), of our blood vessels, it inhibits the formation of blockages (plaques), and it inhibits inflammation. . . . Every western meal of processed vegetable oils, dairy products, and meat (including chicken and fish) injures these endothelial cells. As individuals consume these damaging products throughout their lives, they have fewer functioning endothelial cells remaining and thus less of the protective nitric oxide. Without enough nitric oxide the plaque blockages build up and grow creating eventually heart disease and strokes. . . . In an intensive 5 hour counseling session for a group of heart patients my first priority is to eliminate the mystery of what causes their disease. It has not been stress, or genes. It is their western diet of processed oil, dairy, and meat. Hypertension, diabetes, and smoking must be controlled but food trumps all. I spend at least an hour defining the protective role of endothelial cells and nitric oxide functioning as the ultimate guardians of our blood vessels. They quickly understand that their lifetime of ingesting these harmful products has totally overwhelmed and destroyed their endothelium to an extent where it is unable to protect them. They fully grasp that they must forever eliminate ingesting foods that will further destroy their already compromised endothelium. They understand heart disease is a food borne illness. (http://www.heartattackproof.com/huffpost.htm)reading label thinkstock

Dr. Esselstyn compares nitric oxide to Teflon because it allows the blood to glide freely through every vessel, but as we read above, if we have a compromised endothelium, we will need to do all we can to prevent further destruction. This includes limiting our intake of sodium and eating a rich variety of unprocessed plant-based foods, especially legumes, which are rich in L-arginine, an amino acid our bodies need to manufacture nitric oxide.

Sodium and Potassium

The amount of sodium we ingest affects our health, but the ratio the of sodium to potassium we ingest is also of importance:

When people whose meals contained little sodium relative to potassium were compared with those whose diets had a high sodium-to-potassium ratio, the latter were nearly 50 percent more likely to die from any cause and more than twice as likely to die from ischemic heart disease during a follow-up period averaging 14.8 years. (Brody)

Potassium is important because it activates “nitric oxide and thus reduces pressure in the arteries, lowering the risk of hypertension” (Ibid.), so we want a diet that has a high ratio of potassium to sodium, and guess what—natural foods provide this! Kale, collards, broccoli, carrots, corn—many, if not all, vegetables and fruits—provide the proper ratio of higher potassium and lower sodium.6

Eat In and Make Your Own!

Most of the salt we consume comes from foods prepared outside the home, so eat in and use plant-based unprocessed foods:

Ninety percent of the sodium in the American diet comes from salt, three-fourths of which is consumed in processed and restaurant foods. Salt added in home cooking and at the table accounts for only a minor proportion of sodium intake.

The body’s requirement for sodium is very low—only 220 milligrams a day—but the average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams daily. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a maximum of 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon of salt) for people over age 2, but only 1,500 milligrams for the 70 percent of adults at high risk of sodium-induced illness: people older than 50 [another source referenced earlier said 40], all African-Americans, and everyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. . . .

Dr. Kuklina7 recommends eating fewer processed foods, especially processed meats, and more fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy products that are low in sodium, like yogurt and milk. Increase your potassium intake not by taking supplements, but by eating more cantaloupe, bananas, oranges, grapes, grapefruit, blackberries, yogurt, dried beans, leafy greens, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

When ordering in a restaurant, she suggests, ask that your food be prepared without added salt and your vegetables steamed, and always request that salad dressings and sauces be served on the side, enabling you to use far less than the chef might. Consider splitting an order between two people, which would cut the salt intake in half. And if a dish arrives that is too salty, send it back to the kitchen.

[Also] avoid fast-food restaurants, where a single meal can contain a day’s worth of sodium. (Brody)

Emotion and the Choices We Make

Why do most people make the choices they do, even the choices for the basic needs of sustenance and survival? We would like to think it is due to logic and prefrontal thinking, which is a deliberate, conscious effort, but underlying all of our conscious thinking is emotion. E-motion moves us; inherent in every form of emotion is a push, of some sort, for action. “The emotional brain also determines what we choose to pay attention to. The more emotionally charged” the advertising for a particular product, for example, the more likely the product will be noticed on the store shelf (Douglas Van Praet, Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, p. 62).

If . . . you’ve enjoyed the joy of a reunion of family or friends, or have been moved by an old song, admired an inexplicably beautiful work of art, or simply felt the feeling of comfort in choosing a familiar brand or the excitement of trying a new one, your emotional brain has been activated deep within your central nervous system. (Ibid.)

The potential problem inherent in emotion is that our important decisions—decisions that affect other people or that affect our eternal lives—are often unconsciously swayed by it, and emotion also affects the more mundane choices we make, such as the food we eat and the brand names we choose. Think about the comfort, and even the joy, most people associate with the ingestion of sugar, fat, and salt—eating salty, buttery popcorn may appeal to us because of our memories of doing so around a fireplace or camp fire as a child, or we may be drawn to eating a big bowl of ice cream because of its association with an emotionally comforting time, and so on. We have Kodak moments stored in our brains that exert a powerful force on how we relate to people and to God, on how we perform our duties, and even on how we relate to hunger itself.

Stephen Woods, professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati “compared eating to taking narcotics. Both, he wrote, pose a considerable challenge to the body’s fundamental goal of staying on an even keel. This balancing trick is known as homeostasis, and eating, like doing drugs, throws things out of whack” (Moss, p. 276). Moss then quotes Paul Breslen, a biologist who conducts research at Rutgers University and at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia:

Ultimately whatever you eat ends up in your blood, and our body wants the blood levels of everything—from carbon dioxide to oxygen to salt and potassium and lipids and glucose—to be constant. . . . When you eat, you’re pushing all kinds of stuff into your blood, which goes against the concept of homeostasis . . . You have to get yourself back to some constant homeostatic level. Insulin is one of the things you release to push sugar out of the blood and into the cells. This is exactly what happens when you take drugs, your body . . . has to try and metabolize these things.

The blood gets especially besieged when processed food is ingested, flooding the system with its heavy loads of salt, sugar, and fat. But where the links between eating and drugs get really interesting is in the brain. There, narcotics and food—especially food that is high in salt, sugar, and fat—act much alike. Once ingested, they race along the same pathways, using the same neurological circuitry to reach the brain’s pleasure zones, those areas that reward us with enjoyable feelings for doing the right thing by our bodies. Or, as the case may be, for doing what the brain has been led to believe is the right thing. (Ibid.)

Researchers at the University of Iowa concluded in 2008 that salt, when overdone, possesses addictive qualities, and according to Paul Breslin, when people abuse drugs long enough, “the motivation to take more drugs becomes less a matter of wanting the benefit of the drug—the high—and more a matter of wanting to avoid the awful feeling generated by the craving itself. Similarly [and this is important] when people start feeling hungry, they are not seeking the primary benefit of food, the calories needed to keep them alive. Rather, they are responding to the body’s signal that it does not ever want to be put in the position of needing to eat. Most people in America never feel true hunger pain, the gut-wrenching result of being starved for nutrition. Consider how often people say they feel hungry during a single day, Breslin said. ‘With few exceptions, we can go a day without food . . . with no problems whatsoever. The body has enough calories. But people who fast for a day feel awful. Your body comes to expect that we will feed it, and it has all these mechanisms in place so if you don’t do it, then you start to feel awful. Ultimately you end up feeding yourself in order to feel okay’” (Moss, pp. 277, 278; emphasis in original).

Interesting thought—what we most often call hunger is really the uncomfortable feeling produced by a body poised and ready for digestion, a feeling that comes timed to our habits of eating. All of us know that if we just wait long enough, this unpleasant feeling will pass, and we can go about our duties without too much distress from missing a meal.

The Habit of Salt

But getting back to salt, Howard Moskowitz, a food scientist who worked with the company that produces Dr. Pepper, “found that people are drawn to foods that are heavily salty, sweet, or fatty for reasons other than hunger” (Moss, p. 278), yet people are not born liking salt. It is an acquired taste. Studies have found that babies will reject or, at the least, not respond to salty water, but will smile when a droplet of sugary water is placed in their mouths. Scientists at Monell tested for the development of a taste for salt with two groups of children, starting at infancy—one group eating what their parents ate, salty cereal and crackers and bread made by food manufacturers and the other group receiving foods that had little or no salt, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. “By preschool, the salted kids were getting foods from throughout the grocery store that were loaded with salt—potato chips, bacon, soup, ham, hot dogs, French fries, pizza, crackers” (Moss, p. 280). These children were not born liking salt, but were taught to like salt, and once they had learned to like it, it had a deep, lasting effect on their eating habits. Children in the salty portion of the study were found to lick salt from the surface of foods and to eat it plain from the shaker, and the food industry is the major reason for the development of this craving for salt.See this important link.8

In 1985 a symposium for nutrition scientists was held in Los Angeles, and a professor from Helsinki presented a paper on Finland’s effort to address its salt habit.

In the late 1970s, the Finns were consuming huge amounts of sodium, eating on average more than two teaspoons of salt a day. As a result, the country had developed significant issues with high blood pressure, which in turn brought an epidemic of heart attacks and strokes—indeed, men in the eastern part of Finland had the highest rate of cardiovascular disease in the world. Research showed that this plague was not a quirk of genetics or the result of a sedentary lifestyle—it was a matter, simply put, of processed foods. (Moss, p. 302)

Finland approached the health issue squarely and efficiently—every item on the grocery shelf that was heavy in salt had to be labeled with a prominent warning of “High Salt Content.” At the same time, the public was educated about the effect of high salt intake. By 2007, Finland’s salt consumption had dropped by a third which was “accompanied by an 80 percent decline in the number of deaths from strokes and heart disease” (Moss, p. 303)!

Seated in the front row, listening intently to the report, was Robert I-San Lin, the chief scientist for Frito-Lay for the years 1974–1982, the time when America was beginning to understand the health hazards of a high sodium intake, and the two men began a friendship, Lin reporting to the professor the struggles he faced working for a company that depended on sales of heavily salted products. Moss also interviewed Lin, and Lin more than once stated “people get addicted to salt” (Moss, p. 305). Today Lin’s cupboards contain few, if any, processed foods, and during an interview with Mr. Moss, he stated: “When I see salty food, I still love to taste it, but I will stop at a certain point. Even though I like it, and can crave it, I’m educated. I know that my body is not designed for eating a lot of salt” (Moss, pp. 314, 315).

Potato Chips

Potato chips are a favorite of many people, but do you know that potato chips are loaded with sugar?

Not the kind of sugar you will find on the label, though some chip makers do add sugar to their potato chips to meet the cravings of kids. No. The sugar in regular chips is the kind of sugar that the body gets from the starch in the potatoes. Starch is considered a carbohydrate, but more precisely, it is made of glucose, the same kind of glucose you have in your blood. Potatoes don’t taste sweet, but the glucose starts working on you like sugar the moment you bite into it, said Eric Rimm, an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health . . . “The starch is readily absorbed,” he told me. “More quickly even than a similar amount of sugar. The starch, in turn, causes the glucose levels in the blood to spike, and this is a concern, in relation to obesity.” (Moss, p. 329)

And the problem doesn’t stop there. These surges in blood sugar will cause people to crave more food, according to Moss, for as long as four hours after eating whatever caused the surge in the first place. So, we snack again, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Brothers and sisters, salt is good—our bodies need sodium to survive—but we can ingest too much of it and be harmed. “In China, high blood pressure is the leading cause of preventable death, responsible for more than one million deaths a year” (The Nutrition Source). Think of it—a million deaths a year just in China! And “the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research concluded that salt, as well as salted and salty foods, are a ‘probable cause of stomach cancer’” (Ibid.). Satan is behind this, of course. He wants to destroy us physically, as well as spiritually, but we can be educated, just like Dr. Robert I-San Lin is, and instead of allowing salt to destroy us, we can use it intelligently. We can also become the symbolic salt of the earth, encouraging the spiritual life and physical health of others:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matthew 5:13)

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14:34, 35)


To Whose Kingdom Do We Belong?

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). These profound words of Jesus help us to know how to focus our efforts in the up building of his kingdom. If there were ever a person with dynamic abilities to become a politician and with the oratory to be a statesman, it was Jesus Christ. Yet throughout his ministry he stayed totally aloof of politics, so much so that he would not even attempt to answer an inheritance dispute. When asked, “Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me?” (Luke 12:13), Jesus simply responded, “Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you” (v. 14). Jesus even said, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). Jesus would not act as judge or magistrate on this earth, and if we are to follow his example, we shall avoid all forms of civil politics.

The Apostle Paul outlined the position of the Christian when he noted that we are to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Commenting upon this text at the 1895 General Conference Session, A. T. Jones noted:

This is not simply the ordained minister, for all who receive the grace of God are to minister that; they are ministers of that grace. So it is written: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

So then, “we are ambassadors for Christ.” An ambassador is one sent, and accredited by one government as the representative of that government to another country. Now the principle of ambassadorship prohibits him from any interference whatever with the political concerns of the government to which he is accredited. If the British ambassador to the United States, or the ambassador from France or any other of these countries, should express an opinion upon, or take any part in, any of the political concerns of this country, his sovereign would be immediately notified that he was no longer an accepted person here, and would be called upon to withdraw him from the position of ambassador in this country. That has been done at least twice in my recollection.

“We are ambassadors for Christ.” The people who are building up the “beast and his image” profess to stand in the place of and profess to be, ambassadors for Christ; yet they not only express opinions, but they lay down laws, they manipulate campaigns, they mold politics, and shape the whole political course of the governments among the nations and the people to whom they are accredited, and thus violate the first, the last, and every principle that is involved in ambassadorship.

. . . our preaching the message and the warning against the worship of the beast and his image, against the evils which are simply the result of the violation of the principles here laid down—our opposition to that, our warning against it, must be one of principle, and not merely in theory, nor from policy. Unless our proclamation against it is founded upon principle and is loyal to principle, our proclamation will amount to nothing. If we hold in theory only that it is wrong and make the proclamation against it even in the words of Scripture and in practice ourselves violate the principle, our proclamation will amount to nothing. So that our connection with this must be with the principle and that in principle and in loyalty to the principle and that from the heart—not in theory, not assenting to it merely. The principles of Jesus Christ speak to the heart. They take hold of the heart and are of value only as they have hold upon the heart. If they do not have hold upon the heart, the man who professes these principles will violate them in his actions, no matter what his profession. (General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1895)

Paul also noted that “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). The word conversation was used in older English for the word lifestyle, but in this case the Greek word that is translated conversation is politeuma, and it means citizenship or place of citizenship. We derive our English word politics from this word. The Bible says that our politics are in heaven, for we are ambassadors for heaven whose king, Jesus, is not of this world, but of heaven. For a Christian, therefore, to become involved in the politics of this world without the direct intervention of God, such as in the case of Daniel, is to deny before heaven that he or she is a citizen of heaven. Jones also commented on this verse, saying:

Now, as our citizenship, the citizenship of every Christian, is in heaven, what has any citizen of heaven or of the heavenly government rightly to do with the political or governmental affairs of any other government or any other kingdom? In fact what has a citizen of any government rightly to do with the political concerns or management of any other government?

Many people who profess to be of those whose “citizenship is in heaven” are constantly involving themselves in the political workings of the governments of this earth. They profess to have a citizenship in heaven and yet they manipulate the affairs of the kingdom of earth. They profess to be citizens of the kingdom of God, yet they propose to regulate the affairs of the governments of men. But that is a thing that never can rightly be done.

If a citizen of Great Britain should come into the United States, still retaining his citizenship in the government of Great Britain, and should take part, or attempt to take part, in the political affairs of this government, his action in that respect would be resented by every citizen of the United States. It matters not with what party he might wish to ally himself and work, they would not have it; they would say to him, That is none of your business; you do not belong here; you are a citizen of another government; if the laws of this country do not suit you, that has nothing to do with the case. The political systems of this country suit us, and if things do not suit you, just let them alone, or else change your citizenship from the government to which you belong, and bring your citizenship here, and then begin to discuss the laws and how they should be made and what they should be.

You know that that is so. You know that that is the way that a citizen of another country would be treated by all the citizens of this country if he should undertake to manipulate, to control, or have any part in the political concerns of this country. That is not denying his right to live here; he may do that, but all do deny his right and his very citizenship in another country denies his right to have anything to do with the citizenship of this country or with the political affairs of this country. (General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1895)

The papacy became a harlot by her false doctrines, but it was her association with the civil powers that made her a beast and by uniting with the state became a union of church and state. Just as soon as a professed believer becomes involved in civil politics, there is in that person, then, a union of church and state. We may honestly believe that social and moral issues may best be addressed by the government, but this is not so. The example of Jesus clearly demonstrates that if we wish to truly help people, we have to reach them on the inner, not the outer, level:

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.

When the apostle Paul began his ministry in Corinth, that populous, wealthy, and wicked city, polluted by the nameless vices of heathenism, he said, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2. Writing afterward to some of those who had been corrupted by the foulest sins, he could say, “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1:4.

Now, as in Christ’s day, the work of God’s kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20. (The Desire of Ages, pp. 509, 510)

Truth is its best defender and it does not need aid from civil government nor carnal force to advance its cause. As Roger Williams said, “The armies of truth, like the armies of the Apocalype, must have no sword, helmet, breastplate, shield, or horse, but what is spiritual and of a heavenly nature” (C. S. Longacre, Roger Williams, His Life, Work, and Ideals, p. 81).

The basic principles of religious liberty are simple enough that one does not need to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to understand them. That is why we are so surprised to see the famous Seventh-day Adventist neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson recently become engaged in political rhetoric. Dr. Carson is a world-renowned surgeon and head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Carson is the author of several books, including his best seller Gifted Hands.

Dr. Carson was the keynote speaker at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast held February 7th this year. During his speech, Carson began by quoting Scripture, but then ventured into several social and fiscal issues, including political correctness, education, the national debt, health care, and taxation. His speech hit YouTube, and the link was widely spread on the Internet via email. Because of the unapologetic conservative nature of the speech, with President Obama sitting just feet away, the speech made many heads turn.

On March 16, Dr. Carson was a featured speaker at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), speaking on Sabbath morning at this political event.

Overnight, he was embraced by conservatives including those at The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which proclaimed, “Ben Carson for President” — a suggestion Dr. Carson helped feed at a high-profile gathering last weekend, the Conservative Political Action Conference. He was interrupted by sustained cheers when he coyly said, “Let’s just say if you magically put me in the White House...” (The New York Times, March 21, 2013)

Carson announced that he is retiring from medicine this year to pursue other interests, including working with his foundation, but did not rule out possible political adventures.

While Dr. Carson, 61, [in an interview at his office] said that there were better candidates out there, he did not rule out a presidential run in 2016. “Certainly if a year and a half went by and there was no one on the scene and people are still clamoring, I would have to take that into consideration,” he said in the interview. “I would never turn my back on my fellow citizens.” (Ibid.)

Carson even received enough votes in the straw poll for president at the CPAC meeting that he was tied for seventh place. How such a presentation and involvement can be excused upon the holy Sabbath is beyond inspiration, where we are told to honor the Sabbath and to not do our own pleasure on his holy day (Exodus 20:8–11; Isaiah 58:13).

What kind of example does this set? Surely this is not the example we want to set before our people, nor the world, of what Seventh-day Adventists believe and stand for. “Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 81).

We appreciate all the work that Dr. Carson has done to make people’s lives better, and we do not wish to condemn him, but his actions should not be held up for emulation, as so many have done on the email circuit. Perhaps the question we should ask and attempt to answer is, Is the kingdom we belong to of this world or of heaven? Please think seriously about it. Allen Stump


From the File Cabinet of History

White to Carr 1 2


 

Youth’s Corner
Among the Advance Heralds of the Reformation

(This month we continue a series based upon the book Youthful Witnesses by W. A. Spicer, published in 1921. This month we offer a slightly edited version of chapter 5.)

These had given earliest notice, as the lark
Springs from the ground the morn to gravitate;
Or rather rose the day to antedate,
By striking out a solitary spark,
When all the world with midnight gloom was dark—
Then followed the Waldensian bands, whom Hate
In vain endeavors to exterminate.
— Wordsworth

Faithful everywhere, without reference to time or occasion, the aged apostle Paul seemed to glory in the fact that by him the witness was borne in Rome itself and before Nero, the lord of the world. Fifteen centuries later it was a young Waldensian who again in Rome sealed a testimony to the gospel with his life, this time in the presence of the Pope, who sat in the seat of the Caesars.

Young Paschale had come of a long line of youthful witnesses. Before repeating the story of his witness at Rome, we may well review the history of his people, and the part that the youth of the Alpine valleys before him had acted in helping to prepare the way for the great Reformation.

The children of the Vaudois (or Waldenses), the “Israel of the Alps,” had, for centuries before the Reformation, been taught the truths of God’s Holy Word in their valley homes. Their training had kept them clean and strong and noble, when the masses without the light of the word of God were sunken in sin. An old troubadour song of the twelfth century, the “Noble Lesson”— evidently composed as one means of religious propaganda in those days when traveling singers were publishers and news carriers—says this:

If there be an honest man, who desires to love God and fear Jesus Christ, who will neither slander, nor swear, nor lie, nor commit adultery, nor kill, nor steal, nor avenge himself of his enemies, they presently say of such a one he is a Vaudés, and worthy of death.— The History of Protestantism, Wylie, vol. 1, book l, chap. 7, footnote.

In the early centuries before the “falling away” predicted in prophecy, the gospel had won its way among the people of the remote Alpine valleys. There, in the fastnesses of the mountains, many had clung more closely to the primitive faith, while the great body of the church had fallen away from it. In the earlier times of this period, we even find traces of Sabbath-keeping among some of these valley peoples, bringing the denunciations of the earliest inquisitors. Thus the light of the holy Sabbath was kept burning, though dimly, through the long, dark centuries, waiting for the time when the spread of the word of God in the great Reformation was to bring a revival of Sabbath-keeping in many parts of Europe.

These believers of the mountain valleys had the word of God in their own tongue. They early recognized the prophetic portrait of the papal church in the Scriptures and bore their witness against Rome’s perversions of the gospel the more earnestly, as the ignorance of the word and the darkness increased. These early churches in the valleys of the Piedmont had for their common seal a design showing “a taper burning in a golden candlestick, scattering its glorious beams in a sable field of thick darkness.”

It was an appropriate symbol for those who were keeping the light burning in the Dark Ages. They became, by force of the need in those times, a missionary people, advance heralds of the coming Reformation. Their youth were trained for this service.

The old inquisitor, Reinerius, who died about the year 1263, has left a precious portrayal of these believers of the valleys—a portrayal the more to be regarded in that it is the word of a bitter enemy. He wrote:

Heretics are known by their manners and their words. In their manners they are composed and modest. They admit no pride of dress, holding a just mean between the expensive and the squalid. In order that they may better avoid lies and oaths and trickery, they dislike entering into trade; but by the labor of their hands they live like ordinary hired workmen. Their very teachers are mere artisans. Riches they seek not to multiply, but they are content with things necessary. They are chaste also, a virtue in which the Leonists particularly excel. In meat and drink they are temperate. They resort neither to taverns, nor to dances, nor to any other vanities. From anger they carefully restrain themselves. They are always engaged either in working, or in learning, or in teaching; and therefore they spend but little time in prayer.— (Rein. de haeret. c. 7) Faber, pp. 71, 72.

Their teachers, or pastors, were called barbes, a term of respect, we are told, meaning literally “uncle.” Here is a description of the training the young men received before going out as teachers:

It was in the almost inaccessible solitude of a deep mountain pass that they had their school, where the whole influences of external nature were opposed to anything soft and yielding in the soul. They were required to commit to memory the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John, the general epistles, and a part of those of St. Paul. They were instructed, moreover, during two or three successive winters, and trained to speak in Latin, in the Romance language, and in Italian. After this they spent some years in retirement, and then were set apart to the holy ministry.— History of the Waldenses, Muston, vol. 1, pp. 18, 19.

It was by no light course of study and discipline of life that the Waldensian youth entered the service of Christ in those dark days. “These missionaries,” says Muston, “always went forth two and two, to wit, a young man and an old one.”— Ibid., p. 19.

All manner of ways were devised for spreading the light. Our keen inquisitor, who tells his story so well, says again:

The heretics cunningly devise how they may insinuate themselves into the familiarity of the noble and the great; and this they do in manner following: They exhibit for sale, to the lords and ladies, rings and robes and other wares which are likely to be acceptable. When they have sold them, if asked whether they have any more goods for sale, one of these traveling peddlers will answer: I have a jewel far more precious than these, which I will readily give you if you will secure me against being betrayed to the priests. The security being pledged, the heretic then proceeds to say: I possess a brilliant gem from God himself, for through it man comes to the knowledge of God; and I have another, which casts out so ruddy a heat that it forthwith kindles the love of God in the heart of the owner. In like manner proceeds he to speak of all his other metaphorical gems. Then he recites a chapter from Scripture, or from some part of our Lord’s discourses.

Splendid! We thank God for this thirteenth-century picture of those Waldensian men and youth in the service by which they sowed the seeds that later sprang up in blessed harvest. This is the testimony on which Whittier based his beautiful poem, “The Vaudois Teacher.” He takes an aged missionary as his theme, but remember that the youth were out in the wide world field for God in the same service.

THE VAUDOIS TEACHER

“O lady fair, these silks of mine are beautiful and rare—
The richest web of the Indian loom, which beauty’s queen might wear;
And my pearls are pure as thy own fair neck, with whose radiant light they vie;
I have brought them with me a weary way — will my gentle lady buy?”
The lady smiled on the worn old man through the dark and clustering curls
Which veiled her brow, as she bent to view his silks and glittering pearls;
And she placed their price in the old man’s hand and lightly turned away,
But she paused at the wanderer’s earnest call, “My gentle lady, stay!
“O lady fair, I have yet a gem which a purer luster flings
Than the diamond flash of the jeweled crown on the lofty brow of kings;
A wonderful pearl of exceeding price, whose virtue shall not decay,
Whose light shall be as a spell to thee, and a blessing on thy way!”
The lady glanced at the mirroring steel where her form of grace was seen,
Where her eye shone clear, and her dark locks waved their clasping pearls between;
“Bring forth thy pearl of exceeding worth, thou traveler gray and old,
And name the price of thy precious gem, and my page shall count thy gold.”
The cloud went off from the pilgrim’s brow, as a small and meager book,
Unchased with gold or gem of cost, from his folding robe he took!
“Here, lady fair, is the pearl of price, may it prove as such to thee!
Nay, keep thy gold — I ask it not, for the word of God is free!”
The hoary traveler went his way, but the gift he left behind
Hath had its pure and perfect work on that highborn maiden’s mind,
And she hath turned from the pride of sin to the lowliness of truth,
And given her human heart to God in its beautiful hour of youth!
And she hath left the gray old halls, where an evil faith had power,
The courtly knights of her father’s train, and the maidens of her bower;
And she hath gone to the Vaudois vales, by lordly feet untrod,
Where the poor and needy of earth are rich in the perfect love of God!

It was a perilous vocation, this combining of the business of salesmanship with that of the missionary, but it was esteemed the highest to which any youth could be called.

Of this spreading of the word of God by the messengers from the valleys, and the blessings brought to hearts that hungered, we give yet another testimony from the book The Great Controversy, which follows so thrillingly the story of these times:

In secret places the word of God was thus brought forth and read, sometimes to a single soul, sometimes to a little company who were longing for light and truth. Often the entire night was spent in this manner. So great would be the wonder and admiration of the listeners that the messenger of mercy was not infrequently compelled to cease his reading until the understanding could grasp the tidings of salvation. Often would words like these be uttered: “Will God indeed accept my offering? Will He smile upon me? Will He pardon me?” The answer was read, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Faith grasped the promise, and the glad response was heard, “No more long pilgrimages to make; no more painful journeys to holy shrines. I may come to Jesus just as I am, sinful and unholy, and He will not spurn the penitential prayer. ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee.’ Mine, even mine, may be forgiven!”

A tide of sacred joy would fill the heart, and the name of Jesus would be magnified by praise and thanksgiving. Those happy souls returned to their homes to diffuse light, to repeat to others, as well as they could, their new experience; that they had found the true and living Way. There was a strange and solemn power in the words of Scripture that spoke directly to the hearts of those who were longing for the truth. It was the voice of God, and it carried conviction to those who heard.

The messenger of truth went on his way; but his appearance of humility, his sincerity, his earnestness and deep fervor, were subjects of frequent remark. In many instances his hearers had not asked him whence he came or whither he went. They had been so overwhelmed, at first with surprise, and afterward with gratitude and joy, that they had not thought to question him. When they had urged him to accompany them to their homes, he had replied that he must visit the lost sheep of the flock. Could he have been an angel from heaven? they queried.

In many cases the messenger of truth was seen no more. He had made his way to other lands, or he was wearing out his life in some unknown dungeon, or perhaps his bones were whitening on the spot where he had witnessed for the truth. But the words he had left behind could not be destroyed. They were doing their work in the hearts of men; the blessed results will be fully known only in the judgment.

The Waldensian missionaries were invading the kingdom of Satan, and the powers of darkness aroused to greater vigilance. Every effort to advance the truth was watched by the prince of evil, and he excited the fears of his agents. The papal leaders saw a portent of danger to their cause from the labors of these humble itinerants. If the light of truth were allowed to shine unobstructed, it would sweep away the heavy clouds of error that enveloped the people; it would direct the minds of men to God alone, and would eventually destroy the supremacy of Rome.— pp.74–76.

At last the mighty power of the Papacy was aroused, and until Reformation times cut short the persecutions by that power, these people were relentlessly pursued.

Strange ideas the superstitious people had of these Christians of the valleys. After the failure of Pope Innocent’s plan to depopulate the valleys by fire and sword, a deputation of the Vaudois met the Duke of Savoy, their prince. He wanted to see some of the children, of whom he had heard grotesque descriptions. When he saw them, he said: “Is it possible that these are the children of heretics? What charming creatures they are! They are by far the prettiest children I ever saw.”

But this crusade against the Waldenses brings us again to the story of the young man of whom we spoke, who witnessed in Rome itself.

Young John Louis Paschale had been chosen to go to southern Italy to minister to the Waldensian colonists in the province of Calabria. Muston says:

Two days before his being selected to be sent into Calabria, he had been betrothed to a young woman of his own nation, Camilla Guarina, born like himself in Piedmont, and who like himself had fled to Geneva, in order to live according to the gospel.

When he made known to her the call which he had received, and asked her consent to leave her and go into Calabria, the poor girl could only answer him with tears. “Alas!” she exclaimed, “so near to Rome, and so far from me!” But she was a Christian, and she submitted.— History of the Waldenses, vol. 1, pp. 78, 79.

It is well that we have here and there such brief glimpses of the more personal and human side of the story. Otherwise we might think these people cast in a heroic Roman mold, dead to all the common sentiments that God planted in the human heart to make this a happy, joyous world. Their hearts were the same as normal hearts are now. Life was as sweet and the ties of true and noble affection as dear. And all was laid understandingly on the altar of service for Jesus, the heart submissive to his will, trusting his love and power.The Matterhorn Thinkstock 92205192

Paschale hoped he might soon return to take his betrothed with him to Calabria. But no sooner had his work revived the activities of the believers in Calabria and drawn upon him the hatred of the priests, than he was arrested and taken in bonds to Naples and to Rome.

In the prison at Rome his brother visited him. The brother was not a Protestant. May we take space to give a few words from the brother’s account, showing how the truth and hope of the gospel stood by the young man in bonds for Christ’s sake?

“I entreated him to yield a little,” the brother said, “and not to bring upon his family the disgrace of a condemnation.”

“Must I honor my Saviour less than them, that I am to become perjured to Him?” replied Louis.

“You will honor Him in your heart,” urged the worldly-wise brother, “although you remain in the church.”

“If I am ashamed of Him on the earth, He will deny me in heaven,” was the reply.

“Ah! my dear brother,” begged the other, “return to the bosom of your family; we should all be so happy to have you there.”

“Would to God that we were all met again, united in the Saviour’s love! for my native skies would be pleasanter to me than the vaults of this prison. But if I remain here, it is because Jesus abides with me.”

“Would it be to lose Him, to come with us?”

“Yes; for the gate of my dungeon will not open except by means of an abjuration, and that would be the loss of my soul.”

“Your friends, then, are nothing to you? “

“Jesus says, ‘He that is not ready to give up his father or his mother for My sake, is not worthy of Me.’”

“Then,” says the brother, “I went the length of promising him the half of all that I had, if he would come back with me to Coni; but he, with tears, answered me that to hear me utter such words afflicted him much more grievously than the fetters with which he was bound; “for,” said he, “the world passeth away, with the lusts thereof, but the word of God endureth forever.” And when I wept also, he added, “grant me such strength that I may never forsake Him.”

Then the monk who sat by to listen to the conversation, said to him: “If you will die, die then!”

That was all the monk saw in it. Coming to us over the centuries, it is a testimony that the promises of God of which we read and sing and speak in these days of light and freedom are real and living words of the living God, able to sustain age or youth in every time of need.

We may read Paschale’s cheery courage and deathless hope in the farewell letters to his intended bride and to the Calabrian believers. To his intended, he wrote:

“Greet all my fellow students at Geneva, and tell them to get the sickles ready and well sharpened, because the harvest is great and the laborers are few.”

Of the last witness borne by the young pastor, on the Janiculum Mount, in the presence of the Pope and his cardinals, surrounded by the ancient monuments and grandeur of the Eternal City, Wylie says:

He mounts the scaffold, and stands beside the stake. Every eye is now turned, not on the wearer of the tiara, but on the man who is clad in the sanbenito. “Good people,” says the martyr—and the whole assembly keep silence—“I am come here to die for confessing the doctrine of my divine Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” Then turning to Pius IV, he arraigned him as the enemy of Christ, the persecutor of His people, and the Antichrist of Scripture, and concluded by summoning him and all his cardinals to answer for their cruelties and murders before the throne of the Lamb.— The History of Protestantism, vol. 2, bk. 16, chap. 9, p. 475.

The Pope and cardinals gnashed their teeth in rage, and the executioners were hastened on with the strangling and the burning. That day the papal persecutors seemed to triumph. How different the case will appear when the first and second resurrections gather the dead, small and great, to stand before the great white throne, the faithful within the city of light, the unbelieving awaiting eternal doom without!?


Tasty Recipe: Oat Crackers

Thanks to Barb Spencer for this delicious and easy recipe from her cooking class.


Camp Meeting: The West Virginia camp meeting will be held June 26–June 30, so mark your calendars now and plan to attend.


Rome_Never_Changes

On DVD by request or you may view this video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Ef6w9NOfI.


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 site. The url is: http://www.smyrna.org. Phone: (304) 732-9204. Fax: (304) 732-7322.