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. 23, No. 4 Straight and Narrow April 2014
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning,
or ever the earth was. When there were no depths,
I was brought forth; when there were no fountains
abounding with water. (Proverbs 8:23, 24)
In This Issue
The Axis of Evil
The Wisdom of Solomon
A Letter from Peru
Meetings in Florida and Arizona
West Virginia Camp Meeting
Bible Studies to do at Home
From the File Cabinet of History
The Axis of Evil Reaches Its Hands Across the Gulf
During World War II the nations of Germany, Italy, and Japan became known as the Axis powers. They were considered to be fighting to promote evil and to destroy what was good and righteous. Long before the twentieth century, however, there was a threefold axis of evil working to prepare the world for the last great battle.
The book of Revelation portrays a threefold confederation of evil that will attempt, in the last days, to rule the world, while destroying God’s people. This threefold union has as its members the beast of Revelation 13, the false prophet, and the dragon. Without going deeply into the proofs because most of our readers know their identities, we can declare, without reservation, that the dragon is Satan, especially working through the medium of spiritualism (Revelation 12:9). The beast of Revelation 13 is the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church (Daniel 7; Revelation 13; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). The false prophet is the Protestant churches that have quit protesting and that have joined with Rome to help promote her imperial will upon the people of the earth (Revelation 13). The Bible teaches that these three forces unite fully at the end of time:
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:13, 14)
These powers perform miracles and deceive the political rulers of the world, as well as their subjects, and gather the inhabitants of the world for the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16.)
This is hardly a far-distant future event, for we now see these powers working swiftly. Through the false revival of the Pentecostal churches, we see a combination of apostate Protestantism and a subtle, yet powerful, form of spiritualism. Remember that spiritualism, in its basic form, is communication with evil spirits and through a false spirit, many of these people are receiving messages from Satan and his angels, all happening under the cloak of Christianity.
The law of God is a special point of controversy in this last great struggle. Daniel 7:25 says that the papacy, as symbolized by the little horn power of Daniel 7, will “speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25).
While claiming to uphold the Ten Commandments and declaring that God requires obedience to them, the papacy has drastically altered the Ten Commandments. The second commandment, which forbids idol worship, has been removed. To keep unity in the number of ten, the last commandment has been divided into two commandments. The first commandment has not been altered, but it has been violated with the worship of a strange god called the trinity. The fourth commandment has been altered to command worship on the first day of the week, Sunday, instead of on the seventh-day Sabbath. Most of these changes have been accepted by Protestants, without a single Scripture to command such change and in the face of many texts that confirm the Ten Commandments as given at Sinai as still being valid.
Jesus said, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law (Matthew 5:18). The law of God is a revelation of his will; it is a transcript of his character and must forever endure. Not one of the Ten Commandments has been made null and void; not a jot or tittle has been changed. David said: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). “All his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever” (Psalm 111:7, 8). We have been told:
Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course [of persecution] toward those who honor all the divine precepts. (The Great Controversy, p. 615)
Coming events cast their shadows before. (The Desire of Ages, p. 636)
This year shadows were ominously cast in Fort Worth, Texas, at Kenneth Copeland Ministries. While hosting a large group of televangelists and ministry leaders for a conference on January 21 of this year, Kenneth Copeland introduced Anglican/Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer from the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC).
Tony Palmer gave a short personal history of himself and explained that the real purpose of his visit to the conference was to encourage unity, claiming that the Reformation is no longer valid. He then delivered a personal video message from Pope Francis, whom he claims as a spiritual father and close friend.
The pope gave a greeting, first speaking in English and then continuing in Italian. English subtitles were provided in the video.
In this message the pope claims to greet the people with a message of love to God and love to brothers and sisters. He then states that he has been friends with Bishop Palmer for years.
After the greeting, he speaks of his yearning to see God work among his people. He laments that they, Christians, have been separated by sins. He declares that all share in this blame, and he yearns for the separation to come to an end. He speaks of Joseph in Egypt, when his brothers came to buy bread, and uses it as a symbol to represent how they must “encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together like Joseph did. These tears will unite us, the tears of love.”
Pope Francis declares that he is speaking to them “as a brother” and desires that they might “embrace one another and together . . . worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of history.”
The pope then gives thanks that the people have listened and asks the favor of their prayers. He pleads that the Lord will unite them all and encourages those listening, saying: “Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.”
The pope ends his message by quoting the Italian author Manzoni and then asks that those listening bless him, after which he then declares a blessing upon them.
After the video Kenneth Copeland led the congregation in prayer for the pope. Copeland’s prayer ended with Copeland speaking in some unknown tongue or gibberish. Copeland then had Bishop Palmer record a video message from Copeland to the pope, assuring the pope of Copeland’s desire to be in unity. Copeland then pronounced a repetitive blessing upon the pope which was backed up in unison by the congregation.
So how do we understand the significance of this event? Let us first begin with the three main persons involved.
Pope Francis is the best known of the three and leader of the world’s one billion plus Roman Catholics. He is the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from South America. Insiders say he was a leading candidate from the prior conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. He comes across as simple, humble, and very friendly. Though his theology, in some respects, is strictly orthodox, he has made calls for unity and has spoken peaceably to and about those of other faiths, including those of the Islamic faith.
Kenneth Copeland is one of the leading Pentecostal televangelist ministers in the United States. His ministry is based near Fort Worth, Texas, on thirty-three acres of property and includes the Eagle Mountain International Church, television production and audio recording facilities, a warehouse and distribution facilities, the residence of the Copeland family, and the Kenneth Copeland Airport. Ministry assets also include two Cessna jet airplanes, one of which has a new cost of over twenty-two million dollars. Copeland lives in an 18,000 square foot house, valued at over six million dollars. The ministry is known as KCM (Kenneth Copeland Ministries), and it employs approximately five hundred people.
Copeland was born in 1936 and was first a music artist, making popular recordings. In November 1963 he states that he was born again. After that Copeland committed the rest of his life to gospel ministry work. In the fall of 1967, he enrolled in Oral Roberts University, where he soon became the pilot and chauffeur for televangelist Oral Roberts. Today he is seen on television and holds meetings in different parts of the world.
Tony Palmer was born in the United Kingdom and moved to South Africa as a teenager. He met his Italian wife, Emiliana, when she and her family were living in South Africa. Together with their children, Daniel and Gabriella, they now live in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
While living in South Africa, Tony claims to have been born again (twenty-two years ago). After his conversion, he and his wife immediately began sharing with all the people who lived in their suburb what they understood to be the gospel. Early in their experience they began watching Kenneth Copeland and his message of evangelical Pentecostalism, and it struck a chord in their hearts and encouraged them. Shortly after this time Palmer claims to have attended Rhema Bible Training College, founded by Kenneth Hagan, and received training for the ministry. He went to work in South Africa and within a short period of time (1998) was the director of KMC in Africa.
After two and a half years, Palmer claims to have received a call from Rome (though he does not say from where in the Roman Catholic Church he received this call) to work toward and with the Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal features, among other things, prophecy, faith healing, and glossolalia (speaking in tongues).
Later Palmer went to work for the Catholic Church in Argentina, where he met Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who would later become Pope Francis. During this time Palmer became good friends with the Cardinal, and the Cardinal became a mentor to Palmer, as they often visited and studied together.
In 2002 Tony and Emiliana Palmer founded The Ark Community. This ministry claims it was based on a small group of committed friends from various churches, united by a common commitment to Christ and Christs purposes. Discipleship and personal transformation are said to be at the heart of the community. The title, The Ark Community, uses a triquetra for the A in Ark, thus strongly promoting and announcing the trinitarian doctrine as one of its foundational points.
The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, to which Palmer belongs, was formed in 1995 as a concentrated effort to blend charismatic experience, biblical renewal, liturgical renewal, and sacramental worship (http://www.theceec.org/CEEChistory.html; accessed 32014). Tony Palmer has also completed short courses in biblical archaeology and biblical studies (UNISA University, RSA), has a Masters Degree in Philosophy, from the College of Theology (St. Alcuins Seminary, USA), and has an English Teachers Certificate from Cambridge University, UK (CELTA). While some of Palmers credentials do not come from accredited schools and while the CEEC is a relatively small group, it cannot be denied that within the pope’s circle and within the Pentecostal charismatic circles, he is someone notable who must be taken seriously.
Palmers visit to KCM and the message from the pope have lit up the Internet, and there are multiple sites on YouTube where this service and the popes message have been posted. With this overview and background, we now wish to examine in more detail the message of Tony Palmer to KCM and the popes message to KCM. We will provide a transcript of the two messages now, interspersed with comments.
Palmers Message to KCM
As we will see Palmer makes some very bold statements, but we shall also see that some are simply incorrect and others are only a partial picture of reality. (All of the following paragraphs that are indented in quotationformat in this section will be from the transcript of Palmers message, and the non-indented paragraphs will be our comments.)
Palmer: God bless you all. I would like to thank Kenneth and Gloria for giving me this opportunity to spend a couple of moments introducing to you something really, really special and historic. Kenneth asked me if I would give a little bit of background to whoI am, our connection, and what we are about to show you tonight. About twenty-two years ago, I came to faith, a radical conversion experience, and it changed everything about my outlook and my life and within a year, I found myself in full-time ministry, working for the church where I got saved, and I was door-knocking, giving the gospel to every single family in our suburb which was about three and one half thousand homes. It took me and my wife eight months to speak to every single person in our suburb about Jesus Christ and that was twenty-one years ago. And I remember (I have never told you this, Brother Kenneth) that before we used to go out in the morning to do this evangelization, door-knocking, we used to watch this crazy Texan preach the gospel (and we had never heard anything like this before), Kenneth Copeland. He used to be our encourager every morning to go out and preach the gospel, and thats how I came across the message, the word of faith, by preparing myself every morning to go out and preach the gospel by watching some video VHS tapes. Do you remember those back in the 1930s [sic]? And we used to get courage, and it was amazing the work that we did.
That was just the beginning. Then I went into Bible school, got trained for the ministry, and eventually I got, I went, into the ministry in South Africa to ask a friend of mine, Steve Kutsia [? spelling] who was your South African director at the time, for some building advice and instead of building advice, I got a job. I was hired by KCM and within a year, they asked me to be the director for Africa. That would have been 1998, and I promised John when he interviewed me, I told him straight, I said, John, Ill come and work for you guys, but Im leaving; Im going to Italy. I am kind of not telling you I am leaving you before joining you, but youve got to know I can only stay for awhile.
So he asked me for three years, and I said, Fine, unless the Holy Ghost tells me otherwise. That was our covenant; we made that agreement. Well, it was about two and one half years later, and the Holy Ghost said otherwise, and we were sent out to Italy, where my wife is from. I have been married to Emie now for twenty-two years, and it has been a lot of fun. Italian wives are incredibly fun. I say that with a big smile. And it was an incredible time for us because I was born again, spirit-filled, and in an evangelical Pentecostal church. Like I said, I came to radical faith, both me and Emiliana, my wife. We had radical conversion experiences. We had been raised in the word of faith, wed worked for Kenneth and Gloria in South Africa, but the call that we got to Italy was the call from Rome. You see, while we were visiting Italy, our family, on an annual basis and we would share our faith with our family, it was hard for us because when they would get born again, there was nowhere for them to fellowship because the evangelical churches at that time in Italy were incredibly legalistic, where women, men and women, had to sit separate, and women had to wear veils on their heads, and you couldn’t even go to the beach because it was considered nudity. So as Jesus-loving Christians, we did not want to send our family to those kind of churches, but then sending them back to the Catholic Church, which was so traditional, that was going to kill their faith. (All bold emphasis supplied in Palmer’s narrative unless otherwise noted.)
Comment: Palmer does not specify where or from whom the call from Rome originated. Rome is the headquarters of the Catholic Church, but there are many units and divisions. He does not say it was from the Vatican or if so from what part. This area is gray.
Palmer: So me and my wife prayed in 1992 in my grandmothers bedroom. Nobody knew about this prayer. We said, Lord if you want us to leave South Africa, we will leave on one condition, that we come to Italy, but it must be through the Catholic Church. Nobody knew about that prayer. 1992. Well, in 2003, ten years later, eleven years later, I got a call, an email actually, from Rome, saying: Tony weve seen your ministry, and wed like you to share your ministry with the Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Would you be willing to come to Italy, and (there was a clause) you must be self-funded.
Comment: Again Palmer notes that he received a call from Rome, but he does not define who the we are in the sentence, “Tony we’ve seen your ministry. . .”
Palmer: So I thought, no problem. As Protestants, wed been praying for the Catholic Church for years, so obviously people are going to back me and send me. I sent out my letters for partners. I mean, I worked for Kenneth and Gloria for three years. I knew about how partners worked, and Kenneth and Gloria were the first, and the only, who said Yes, well partner with you, and he hasnt stopped since. So the Lord said, What have you got? I said, Weve got a house; weve got a car. So we said, Thats it. We put our house and our car in the ministry, and we moved to Italy with nothingno ministry connection, couldnt speak Italian, some crazy evangelical who had been called by the Roman Catholic Church to work with them, and we were self-financed, except for one partner. Well, that was ten years ago and if you do get to know me personally, youll find out I am not really a good net worker. I dont try to get myself into places. In fact, I prefer to sit in the back, out of the lights, so I can enjoy the service, but God orchestrated so many divine appointments, like Joseph, and it excites me because I know what I havent done to be put in front of the people I found myself [in front of], and tonight is a culmination of whats happened in the last ten years. And we have a very special message, and I wanted you to understand the connection between KCM and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal because the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the church, the Catholic Church.
I was at a meeting at St. Peters, I think it was about a year and a half ago. It was Pentecost, celebrating the remembering of the coming of the Holy Spirit and Pope Benedict. There was four hundred fifty thousand of us outside of St. Peters singing Come Holy Spiritall Catholics, except for a couple of us who they called us the ecumenical delegation. I remember the first time I actually put on the long teleriaits a long black cassock. Youve seen the priests when they wear the cassocks. I had to wear mine, and I didnt know that you had to wear trousers underneath. So I remember and because we were honored guests, they put us on the first row and the pope was right next to us, and I crossed my legs, and my leg came out, and all the bishops looked at me, and they said, Hes Anglican; dont worry. Funny. So I was really not trying to work the system. Pope Benedict, he said to all the charismatic leaders, charismatic Catholics, publicly, he said this in Italian to them, he said: You charismatics, you are the hope of the church [applause in the audience]. Stop, that is only the antipasto. He said, And you need to evangelize within before you evangelize outside. And when I saw that, I realized I had given my life to a good cause, cause it wasn’t just some political diplomatic maneuvering of the Catholic Church to try to get us all to become one big thing. He really wanted their people to come to faith.
About eight years ago I was working for the Catholic Church in South America in Argentina, and its protocol when we go into a Catholic diocese, we go visit the Catholic bishop, and we ask his permission to work among his people. And when I went to Argentina, the bishop that I had to visit at that time was Father Mario Jorge Bergoglio, and he and I struck up a very intimate relationship.
I have three spiritual fathers. The man who ordained me a priest, Archbishop Robert Wise, ten years ago and then later consecrated me four years ago as a bishop, he is my spiritual father. Kenneth Copeland, without a doubt. He received me in South Africa very much, so we connected very quickly, you and I and Emie and Gloria, my wife [sic]. We had good times on those three victory campaigns in 99 and I remember the day before I was ordained a priest, I came to Brighton [? spelling] to visit you [Kenneth Copeland] and ask for your permission and your blessing to be a priest, and you prayed for me behind the curtains, behind the stage, before I went off the next morning and became a priest. And the third spiritual father was Mario Jorge Bergoglio because, you see, my wife, when she saw she could be Catholic and charismatic and evangelical and Pentecostal and it was absolutely accepted within the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with her Catholic culture, so she did. And so I was working with the Catholic Church; my wife was a charismatic Catholic; my children were going to a Catholic school. So we raised our kids Catholic, charismatics, Pentecostals, evangelicals. Jesus was all of those, you know.
Comment: I certainly do not know that! While there is a biblical understanding of charisma (Greek: charis, translated grace in the New Testament), while there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) that Jesus received (Matthew 3:16), while the Bible speaks of being evangelical (Greek: euaggelizo, giving the gospel news), the common definitions of these words today and how they are used by Catholics and apostate Protestants does not define the Christ of the Scriptures. It is blasphemy to so portray our Redeemer. Palmer’s wife re-converted to Catholicism. Why does not Palmer also convert to Catholicism? It is because he is a better tool of Rome working from without than from within.
Palmer: Jesus is sacramental. He instituted the sacraments. He did the things that were required of him in the synagogue. He believed in sign and symbol. He used it all the time in his parables, but he was also evangelical because he said you have to be born again; it is written. He was also the contemplative; he was also the charismatic. How much of Jesus do you want? Do you only want one denomination of Jesus? Jump in; get it all.
Comment: No, thank you. We shall not jump in and get all that the man of sin and the false prophet offer.
Palmer: So, Padre Mario, Father Mario, he took me aside when he heard about my testimony about having this ecumenical family, and he started a friendship with me. We started studying together, meeting more often, to a point where he became one of my mentors. And it was very surprising to me when he emailed me a week before the election of the pope last year, and he said, Tony, will you please pray for me because they have called me into the conclave. Now conclave is when they chose the pope because conclâve means with key, with key conclâve. Thats what it means, with a key. They literally lock the cardinals into the Sistine Chapel until they have made a decision. Conclâve. So I was thinking maybe he had to go in there and be one of the cardinals, cause he was a cardinal, to pray for the pope, and I was on the train, leaving Rome, that day when they announced the pope, and the pope was Mario Jorge Bergoglio. My friend, my spiritual father, had become the pope. [Congregation: loud applause]
Now you need to be clear. This is not about my story, even though I promised, Kenneth asked me if I would just connect the dots so you would understand this is important for you. Its important for the partners because you support the work I do, but this is not about my story. This is about his-story, his story [pointing up], because God is doing something.
Now I walked in after . . . well I’m jumping the gun. Let me just say this Christmas time. Because my spiritual father, one of my spiritual mentors, had become pope, I am mature enough to know that my relationship is going to change now. I mean, he’s got a new job description. I didn’t expect to have a friendship like I had before, but I felt blessed that I had that time with him. He imparted many things to me, like all my spiritual fathers have.
I got a phone call just after Christmas when I was relaxing with my son, watching a bit of TV, and I grabbed my mobile phone and said, Yes. Tony Palmer speaking, and he says, Hello, this is Pope Francis. I thought it was one of my friends. They were looking at me through the window. And I said, Father Mario. He said, Yes. So I ran upstairs to my office, where there was no noise, and I said, What are you phoning me for? He said, When are you going to be in Rome next? I said, Ill be in Rome next, two weeks time. I have to visit one of my congregations. He said, Can you come and see me? This nobody from South Africa who gives up his house to follow some crazy call from the Catholics ends up getting a phone call at home from the pope. So I said to him, Look, Ill be there on the thirteenth. He said, No, Im busy. This is, I am not making this up, this is how it was. Emie was at the door, listening to the conversation. And I said, Well, I can do the fourteenth. I can stay one day extra in Rome. He said, Let me go get my diary. I heard the phone go on the table. I heard the feet come back. He said, Bishop Tony? I said, Yes. [He said,] The fourteenth is good for me. Im free. He said to me, What time? I said, Youre the pope, and youre asking me what time? He said, Yeah, what time suits you? So I thought, Well 10 oclock cause I can miss the traffic. Rome is bad for traffic. So I said, 10 oclock will suit me fine. [He said,] See you at 10 oclock. So I said to him, Pope Francis, I cant believe that youre phoning me. I dont know how to react to you. I was just being honest. He said, What do you mean? I said, Youre the pope of the universal church. 1.2 billion people? And Im just an everyday clergyman doing his bit for the kingdom.
Comment: There is a church with 1.2 billion people, but it is not God’s church. It is part of the synagogue of Satan, and to use such language should make any true Protestant sick to the core.
Palmer: He said, Tony, we cut coven [sic; perhaps Palmer meant covenant]. We are brothers. He said, Nothing will change our friendship. I was blessed because all of these stories you have heard about Francis, about picking his friends up in his Popemobile and taking them and all, and going out to visit people. This, he hasnt changed his spots.
Comment: Notice that the pope claims he and Tony have a coven(ant). They claim to be brothers.
Palmer: So, I went last Tuesday. I went to see him. We had the morning together, just me and him, the whole morning in his apartments, and I asked him, I said, So whats the agenda? Why did you call me? He said, I have no agenda. There is nothing to discuss. Thats a father; thats a mentor. So, I started to tell him, You know, I cant believe Im sitting here. You know how much we can do together? [Francis said,] Yes, and we made a covenant to work for unity for the church. And I said, Listen, next week I am going to Kenneth Copeland Ministries Ministers Conference, and I told him about you. I told him all your crazy stories. I said, There is going to be thousands of leaders, and these guys have their jets, theyve got TV shows, and I said, Theyve got churches of ten thousand, two thousand, twenty thousand. I said, These are big fishes! So he said, Well, what do you want to do? And I said, Can you pleaseI told him about Kenneth and Glorias partnership from day one. I lost a lot of evangelicals because they thought I had betrayed the faith cause I was building a kingdom and not an empire. Sorry. And so I said to him, Hows about you give Kenneth a word and give the leaders a word. He said, Okay. So I am waiting for him, and he says, You want to take a message next week to Texas for me? I said, Yes, sir. I said, Do you want me to write it down? He said, Why dont we make a video? Now, I had in the back of my mind (I had my iPhone, right? I always have my iPhone.), I had in the back of my mind to ask him, but I didnt want to be cheeky and break the friendship. I dont want to abuse a friendship. Friendships are sacred; they are a gift from God. You cant use friendships; let God use your friendship, but you dont use it. And so I was waiting to see if like there was a Holy Spirit opportunity to ask him, but he was the one who asked. He asked, Can I make a video? So weve had it edited; weve had it subtitled cause he speaks in Italian. He doesnt speak English. He tries in the beginning, but then he switches to Italian straightaway. So tonight, the pope. Its a historic moment because Ive never, Ive served three popesbecause I started working with them when John Paul was still alive, and then Pope Benedict, and now Pope Francis. And you know Pope Francis (St. Francis of Assisi was an open charismatic), this is the first pope in history that has took Franciss name because he is openly charismatic, and this is history that weve got a pope who recognizes us as brothers and sisters, speaks to us as brothers and sisters, and has sent a message to us, and you will see what the message is about.
Comment: This first part of Palmers address to the ministers at KCM was not posted on the CEECs website nor on The Ark Community website, but the following portion is posted, starting after the word because in the first sentence. This is the most important part of Palmer’s talk.
Palmer: And I need you to at least understand a little bit of the history behind this because we are living in an incredibly important generation. I believe that God has brought me here to this ministers conference in the spirit of Elijah. Let me explain. If you look carefully, the spirit of Elijah was on John the Baptist to turn the hearts of the sons to the fathers and to turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons, to prepare the way for the Lord, and we know that prophecy always has a double fulfillment, and we know that Elijah will come before the second coming, as well, and I have understood that the spirit of Elijah is the spirit of reconciliation to return hearts to each other. This is very important.
Comment: We certainly know the Elijah message is important, and Malachi does mention the hearts of the children and fathers being drawn to each other (Malachi 4:5, 6); however, did Elijah promote the unification of Baal worship and that of Jehovah while striving for unity or reconciliation? No! Elijah slew the prophets of Baal! He would have no fellowship or agreement with them. The truth is, in the New Testament, Jesus declared that the message of John the Baptist was a fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy of Malachi (see Matthew 11:214), but the great and terrible day of the Lord did not come in Johns day, and so we look for the complete fulfillment of this prophecy in the end, not a second fulfillment, as Palmer declares all prophecy to have when he said that “we know that prophecy always has a double fulfillment.” (This is a Jesuit idea.)
The prophecy of Elijah that Malachi speaks of is that of drawing the hearts of the parents to the children and of the children to the fathers, but in what way? What does it mean in its historical context with Elijah, as well as in applied context in John’s day? It is only as we understand these that can we know how to apply it for today.
During the time of Elijah, under the influence of Jezebel, Israel had fallen deeply into apostasy and worshiped Baal. Elijah came to denounce the worship of Baal and to call for a worship of Jehovah. After three and a half years of drought, Elijah called for a meeting on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal miserably failed to bring rain. Then Elijah repaired the altar of the LORD and laid the wood and sacrifice upon the altar. After soaking it with twelve barrels of water, he prayed and in the last part of the prayer, he said: “Hear me, O LORD hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again” (1 Kings 18:37). The call of Elijah is the call to worship the true God during a time when the worship of a false God is prevalent.
Here is the turning of the heart that Malachi predicts must happen. It is a turning away from false gods to the worship of the true God. The issue is not simply a matter that parents and children cannot communicate due to a generation gap; it is that there have arisen differences between them as to who is the true God and the worship of that God. Some children and some parents agree with Jehovah and some differ. God wants them united in their worship of him.
In the time of John the Baptist, John was calling for the people to prepare their hearts to meet the Messiah. It was not a specific message about nuclear family restoration, but of the spiritual house of God to fear the only true God and accept his Son who was sent to be the saviour of the world.
Today, there is a people who carry an Elijah message of behold your God. This message, planted and nurtured in the heart, will indeed draw hearts of all kindred Christian spirits towards each other because they have been drawn towards God, and this message will prepare a people to meet the only true God and his son, Jesus Christ, at his second coming.
Palmer: We know that the first thousand years there was one church. It was called the Catholic Church, and the word catholic means universal; it doesnt mean Roman. Raise your hand if youre born again; you are a catholic. Take back, redeem, what belongs to you. We are catholics. Then there was a split at the end of the first millennium. We had the orthodox, east and west, two churches. Then five hundred years later, we have Luther and his protestthree churches in fifteen hundred years. Three denominations, not three churches, and then from Luthers protest onwards, thirty-three thousand new denominations.
Comment: This is simply not true. The church did not go for one thousand years without division. Paul could write, For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (2 Thessalonians 2:7). John spoke of divisions in his epistles. There was splintering among professed believers from very early times. Some divisions are well-known by the names of the leaders of the movements. For example, Arius raised objections to the worship of a false god during the fourth century. By the time the papacy was well-established, the true church had to go into hiding into the wilderness. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:13, 14). This is the same period of time that was prophesied by Daniel: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25). In biblical prophecy a day of prophecy equals one year of literal time. Using the rule of 360 days to the biblical year, we have 3 ½ times (3 ½ years) equaling 1,260 years. This time period from AD 538 till AD 1798 was a time that the church went into hiding in the wilderness.
Palmer: Ive come to understand that diversity is divine; its division that diabolic. Its true what you were saying about the glory. I agree with you. Of course, its true. The glory that the Father had he gave to Jesus. The glory was the presence of God. What is the charismatic renewal? It is when we experience the presence of God. And he said and I give them the glory (pragmatic reason), so that they may be one. Its the glory that glues us together, not the doctrines. Its the glory. If you accept that Christ is living in me and the presence of God is in me and the presence of God is in you, thats all we need because God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs. Therefore, Christian unity is the basis of our credibility because Jesus said until they are one well not believe. The world will not believe as they should, until we are one. Division destroys our credibility. It is fear that keeps us separated because fear is false evidence appearing real an acronym fear false evidence appearing real. Because most of your fear is based on propaganda.
Comment: This paragraph is diabolic! Palmer says division is diabolic, but unity in error is not blessed. It is God in his word that calls for division and separation from evil and even from professed Christians who hold to false doctrines. Read carefully the following verses: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:17). And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, That ye be not partakers of her sins, And that ye receive not of her plagues (Revelation 18:4). If we do not come out of Babylon, we will be a partaker or have fellowship (Greek) with her sins. John could write, Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9–11). (See also Isaiah 52:11; 48:2; Jeremiah 50:8; 51:6.)
Palmer says that the charismatic renewal is experiencing the presence of God, but the god that he is experiencing in his renewal is a false holy spirit. Revelation 16:14 and 13:13, 14 speak of the spirits of devils that work miracles. This miracle-working power is attributed to the working of the Holy Spirit, but these professed Christians worship the trinity and are confused on the identity and role of the Holy Spirit.
Palmer is teaching that since God lives in all of us, we are all brothers and sisters and are not to allow doctrines to stand in the way of fellowship. He says that the doctrines are not the glue. It is the glory, or this charismatic experience of the Holy Spirit in the life, that makes the people one, but there are two big problems with this idea. Firstly, this spirit in the modern emerging church, this spirit in the Pentecostal movement, this spirit in the celebration church is not from God, but from the devil. Secondly, what Palmer says is not what the Bible says about unity. Paul in Ephesians 4 plainly states that we are to all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). We have been also told to unify, but it must be done upon a Scriptural basis (Selected Messages, book 1, page 175). Anything less is not true unity.
Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome (The Great Controversy, p. 563)
Palmer declares that our Christian unity is the basis of the believers credibility in the world. He claims that the world will sit up and take notice of Christianity when it has the unity of which he speaks. Palmer does not quote a text, but the reference must be from John 17:21, where Jesus says: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. But notice that the issue is not credibility with the world so that the world might believe in Jesus, but rather that he was sent of the Father. Furthermore, this unity is based upon being sanctified by the truth! Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:17–21).
Palmer says that “it is fear that keeps us separated,” but we should be fearful to be joined unto the harlot and her daughters! This is not based upon propaganda, but upon the Bible! We should be fearful to sanction sin and be fearful to let go of the sinner and make no effort to restore him.
Palmer: Now, why is it historic? Because in 1999 the Roman Catholic Church and the protestant Lutheran Church signed an agreement that brought an end to the protest. Luther believed that we were saved by grace through faith alone. Amen. But thats not it. The Catholic Church believed that we were saved by works. And that was the protest. In 1999 they wrote this together because in the Protestant church weve got a lot of cheap salvations. People were getting born again but no fruit whatsoever and because we didnt even look for fruit, it wasnt the issue because it wasnt necessary for salvation, and no, its not, but its a good judge if you are saved. So what these two churches did, they put the two definitions together. Listen to it. Im reading verbatim from the Catholic Vatican website: Justification means that Christ himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father. Together we Catholics and Protestants, Lutherans, believe and confess that by grace alone, in faith in Christs saving works and not because of any merit on our part we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works (underlining supplied).
Comment: This is where the facts begin to become even more garbled and fuzzy. There was an agreement signed in 1999 between the Vatican and a group of Lutherans called the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The LWF is a global communion of 142 churches in the Lutheran tradition, representing over 70 million Christians in 79 countries (http://www.lutheranworld.org/content/about-lwf, accessed March 19, 2014). The LWF has been in study with the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II and has more plans for 2014. Within America, the largest branch of Lutherans and the largest that belong to the LWF is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This is a very liberal branch of Lutherans which ordain women and homosexuals to be priests. While the majority of Lutherans worldwide fall under the LWF, they certainly do not represent all Lutheran.
The LWF did sign a joint statement of faith on justification in 1999, but it is not as simple as Tony Palmer makes it sound. Palmers reading of a verbatim quote is not an exact verbatim quote. He says, Together we Catholics and Protestants, Lutherans, believe and confess . . ., but the text does not say Catholics and Protestants, Lutherans. While the agreement was between Catholics and Lutherans, it does not say Protestants, and I, for one Protestant, object to being included in this verbatim statement. Part of the Joint Declaration states:
In faith we together hold the conviction that justification is the work of the triune God. The Father sent his Son into the world to save sinners. The foundation and presupposition of justification is the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. Justification thus means that Christ himself is our righteousness, in which we share through the Holy Spirit in accord with the will of the Father. Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christs saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works. (Accessed 32514 at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html)
Remember that 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). Yes, the joint document uses the expression by grace alone, but the document does not define how this grace is achieved. It is a long-held belief in Catholicism that we are prepared for grace through our works. Furthermore, when the document uses the expression “faith alone,” it is in reference to the Lutheran position and not to the joint position. In the appendix to the document, we read:
Where, however, Lutheran teaching construes the relation of God to his human creatures in justification with such emphasis on the divine monergism or the sole efficacy of Christ in such a way, that the persons willing acceptance of Gods gracewhich is itself a gift of Godhas no essential role in justification, then the Tridentine canons 4, 5, 6 and 9 still constitute a notable doctrinal difference on justification. (APPENDIX, Resources for the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification; Ibid.)
The scope of this article in Old Paths is not able to include all the subtle differences, but rest assured that Rome has not changed. The Council of Trent has not been repudiated. Notice these statements from the Council:
CANON IX.If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.
CANON XIV.If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.
CANON XXIX.If any one saith, that he, who has fallen after baptism, is not able by the grace of God to rise again; or, that he is able indeed to recover the justice which he has lost, but by faith alone without the sacrament of Penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and universal Church—instructed by Christ and his Apostles—has hitherto professed, observed, and taught; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Sixth Session).
But what does the Bible say? Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Romans 3:28). For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).”Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
The Council of Trent also declares: CANON XXXIII.If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.”
This council declared that if anyone disagrees with it that person is anathema or damned. Palmer continues:
Palmer: This brought an end to the protest of Luther. Brothers and sisters, Luthers protest is over. Is yours? In 1999 this was signed by the Lutheran Church, the federation worldwide. Later, about five years later, the worldwide Methodist signed the same agreement but as of today, we still have had no Protestant evangelical that will stand up and sign this agreement, to agree with our brothers and sisters that we are saved by grace through faith to good works, and I believe thats something that needs to be fixed. Theres a challenge for you.
Comment: Beloved, the Lutherans protest may be over, but mine is not. To clarify about the Methodists signing on to the statement, the facts are that on July 18, 2006, members of the World Methodist Council (WMC), meeting in Seoul, South Korea, voted unanimously to adopt the declaration on the doctrine of justification. The WMC is a consultative body and association of churches in the Methodist tradition. It comprises 76 member denominations in 132 countries and representing about 75 million people, among them the United Methodist Church, the Free Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the United Church of Canada, the British Methodist Church, the Uniting Church of Australia, the Wesleyan Church, and the Church of the Nazarene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Methodist_Council). So when Tony Palmer says that nobody else has agreed or stood up, he is not totally accurate, for it is not just the Methodists, but several groups, including the Church of the Nazarene that have done so. (This is a development that may not be fully understood on the local level of these churches. I contacted an ordained minister of the Church of the Nazarene, whom I personally know, and asked if he was aware that the Church of the Nazarene was associated with the WMC and about the joint statement of faith. He replied that he did not know of any such association or declaration of faith. I then called the Church of the Nazarenes international headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, and it was confirmed that the denomination is indeed a member of the WMC. )
Palmer: So, the protest has been over for fifteen years. And I get a bit cheeky here cause I challenge my Protestant pastor friendsif there is no more protest, how can there be a Protestant church? Maybe we now are all catholics again, but we are reformed. We are catholic in the universal sense. We are not protesting the doctrine of salvation by the Catholic Church anymore. We now preach the same gospel. We now preach you are saved by grace through faith alone. The word alone was the argument for five hundred years. The word alone is there. You can read it yourself. The protest is over. The protest is over.
Comment: Notice the steps that Palmer has taken. He falsely states that the protest is over because there is nothing to protest any longer; therefore, there should be no Protestant church. There is a thread of truth in what he says in that if we have nothing to protest, we should return to Rome. The distance between most Protestant churches and Rome is far less than it once was, but it is not because Rome has moved. It is because the Protestants have moved towards Rome, but for those who have not moved and who will not move, we continue to protest in the strongest terms! We refuse to be categorized as Catholic in any manner. We state clearly that there is much that prevents our unity, including a proper understanding of justification, but not limited to that. We cannot, and will not, accept papal infallibility, Mariology, transubstantiation, prayers to the saints, purgatory, limbo, deuterocanonical books, the doctrine of eternal torment, and many other monstrosities that the man of sin teaches. What about sola scriptura? The Roman Catholic Church does not even pretend that Scripture is the sole authority for its faith and practice. For this essential fact to be ignored shows the duplicity or the ignorance of the unity movement.
The protest is not over!
The word alone is in the document but looking under the surface of the document, it is clear that the meaning is not what all Protestants think it is. Palmer continues to say:
Palmer: So let me pray, and then well start the video. I believe we will begin to see more and more people called out to go into the world and work among the churches in the spirit of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Ministries of reconciliation. We need to throw as much resources and energy into the ministry of reconciliation as we do to the ministry of evangelization, or are we building walls without foundations? I challenge you to find a bridge-builder and back him or her, and Id like to pray this prayer, and if you agree, you can say amen. This was a dying mans prayer and when you know you are about to die you certainly pray the most important prayers.
Comment: One of the titles of the Roman emperors that the pope uses is Pontifex Maximus. It literally means great bridge builder. The pope is the bridge builder that Tony Palmer wants everyone to find.
Palmer: He said, I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, so [sic] that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You have given [sic] Me I have given them, that they may be one [sic] as We are one [John 17:2022 NKJV].
Glory to the Father. Amen.
Comment: This prayer of Christ included that his followers be sanctified by the truth (John 17:17), for he knew that nothing but the truth could, in reality, set his followers free (John 8:32).
Pope Franciss Address
After this introduction Palmer played the video of the pope. We do not have an unedited version, but there appears to be very little editing done, as there are no noticeable cut edits in the video. Below, in quotation format, are the English subtitles of the popes address to Kenneth Copeland and the big fishes (ministers at Copeland’s conference), as supplied by Tony Palmer. All punctuation, grammar, capitalization, and bracketed insertions are in the original.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Excuse me because I speak in Italian, but I am not speaking English. I will speak no Italian, no English, but heartfully. It’s a language, more simple and more authentic, and this language of the heart has a special [particular] language and grammar. A simple grammar. Two rules: Love God above all and love the other [neighbor] because he is your brother and sister. With these two rules, we can go ahead. I am here with my brother, my bishop brother, Tony Palmer. We’ve been friends for years.
He told me about your conference, about your meeting, and it’s my pleasure to greet you, a greeting both joyful and nostalgic [yearning]. Joyful because it gives me joy that you have come together to worship Jesus Christ the only Lord and to pray to the Father and to receive the Holy Spirit. This brings me joy because we can see that God is working all over the world. Nostalgic [yearning] because, but it happens, as within our suburbs, in the suburbs, there are families that love each other and families that don’t love each other, families that come together and families who separate themselves. We are kind of, permit me to say, separated.
Separated because it’s sin that has separated us, all our sins, the misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord. I am nostalgic [yearning], that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion.
I am nostalgic [yearning] of that embrace that the Holy Scripture speaks of when Joseph’s brothers began to starve from hunger. They went to Egypt to buy so that they could eat. They went to buy. They had money, but they couldn’t eat the money. But there they found something more than food; they found their brother. All of us have currency—the currency of our culture, the currency of our history. We have a lot of cultural riches and religious riches, and we have diverse traditions, but we have to encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together, like Joseph did. These tears will unite us. The tears of love.
I am speaking to you as a brother. I speak to you in a simple way, with joy and nostalgia [yearning]. Let us allow our nostalgia [yearning] to grow because this will propel us to find each other, to embrace one another, and together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of history.
I thank you profoundly for listening to me. I thank you profoundly for allowing me to speak the language of the heart, and I also ask you a favor. Please pray for me because I need your prayers, and I will pray for you. I will do it, but I need your prayers, and let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all. Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.
A famous Italian author named Manzoni once wrote in his novel of a simple man amongst the people who once said this: “I’ve never seen God begin a miracle without Him finishing it well.” He will complete this miracle of unity. I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you. Thank you.
Comment: Clearly Tony Palmer has a close relationship with the pope. Pope Francis declares that they have been friends for years. The pope calls Palmer his brother and addresses those listening to the video as brothers. He speaks of the separation that they have had and says it has been because of sin. But does Francis accept the blame because of the damnable doctrines and monstrosities of Rome, such as the Inquisition, which necessitated the Reformation? No, he says all are to blame and states we have all sinned and only Christ is blameless, but this is ignoring the issues and casting blame where it does not rest.
The pope then speaks of the brothers of Joseph who went to Egypt to buy corn and thus found their brother. He tries to imply a modern day parallel. Joseph’s brothers are the Protestants, and the papacy is Joseph in this parable, but notice that Joseph did not go out to meet his brothers halfway; instead, they came all the way to him. In the Bible, Egypt is symbolic of sin and in reality, the Protestants are going to meet the man of sin.
The pope says that we are to “embrace one another, and together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of history.” But it is not the pope who will move in doctrine and worship to the Protestants, but the Protestants in doctrine and worship to the pope. Again the pope emphasizes that he and his listeners are brothers and that he wants to give them a spiritual hug. He says, “Let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.” Clearly a work of unity has begun, but it is not a work of God, but of the god of the papacy, Satan. The pope then declares that God “will complete this miracle of unity.”
Finally, the pope asks Kenneth Copeland and the ministers to bless him, and he declares a blessing to those at KCM, with one last reference to being brothers and giving thanks.
The response at KCM was overwhelming. The people gave the pope a loud, standing ovation, with hands raised. Kenneth Copeland then prayed for the pope and agreed with the pope and with his “quest for the unity in the body of Christ.” Copeland then said that he would pray for the pope in spirit with words that are not his own and then began speaking in tongues. After that he asked for Tony Palmer to take a video of him in front of the congregation to take back a message to the pope. He said:
Copeland: My dear sir, thank you so from the bottom of our hearts. All of these leaders represent literally tens of thousands of people that love you, that believe God with you and in answer to your request, we have just prayed for you and with you, and we did so in the spirit, and we believe we receive according to the words of Jesus in Mark 11:24 that whatsoever thing you desire, when you pray, believe you receive them, and you shall have them. Our desire, sir, along with you, is in the fourth chapter of the book of Ephesians: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a mature man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Thank you, sir. We do bless you. We receive your blessing. It is very, very important to us, and we bless you with all of our hearts. We bless you with all of our souls. We bless you with all of our might, and we thank you, sir. We thank God for you. And so, all of us declare together [Copeland turns to congregation], be blessed. Once again, all together, be blessed! Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Palmer tells Copeland, “You’re going to have to come to the Vatican.”
To this Copeland replies, “I will. I’m available. Praise God. God’s will be done. Amen.”
Maybe you have not heard of Tony Palmer before this. I knew nothing about him until learning of this meeting at KCM. Most Christians, however, know that Kenneth Copeland is a big time, Protestant, Pentecostal televangelist; and everyone knows that Pope Francis is a big time player. Regardless of the means, we see hands reaching across the gulf and unity among former enemies. I am reminded of what the servant of the Lord wrote:
The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed! (The Great Controversy, p. 563)
The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. (Ibid., p. 588)
Two of the great errors with which the papists and the vast majority of Protestants agree are the trinity and Sunday sacredness. Adventism has fully embraced the first and is flirting with the second in many ways. When pressure is brought forth, it will be declared that we all worship the same God (the trinity); therefore, we should worship the trinity on the day dedicated to the trinity (Sunday). Pressure will be brought to bear and favors will need to be repaid. We have been told:
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. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 81)
A prototype of such yielding can be seen in the example of Dr. Ben Carson, the most famous Seventh-day Adventist in America and perhaps in the world. This year, as well as last year, Carson spoke about secular themes at a large conservative political rally on the Sabbath. Many believe that Carson is going to run for president of the United States and is trying to maneuver himself into a favorable position in the eye of the public. Interestingly, these Sabbath speeches have received little negative comment within Adventist circles. Another example of yielding was shared with me by a worker at an Adventist elementary school who said the government came to them with certain requirements for the school to meet that the school did not wish, nor felt obligated, to perform. However, they were reminded that the school served milk each morning at its breakfast program and that the milk was supplied by the government. They were then told it was time for payback, and the government got what it wanted. Acceptance with the other churches and continuation of a 501(c)(3) status will not be given up by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Compromise, instead, will be made.
It was by satanic aid that Pharaohs magicians were enabled to counterfeit the work of God. Paul testifies that before the second advent of Christ there will be similar manifestations of satanic power. The coming of the Lord is to be preceded by the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10 (The Great Controversy, p. 553)
The Pentecostal, charismatic, ecumenical movement is exactly on target for the celebration style, emerging church which seeks to minimize doctrine and emphasizes fellowship and spirit. How do you think the people who reject this Pentecostal, emerging church will be received? Jesus said, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). We have also been told:
The miracle-working power manifested through spiritualism will exert its influence against those who choose to obey God rather than men. Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony. (The Great Controversy, pp. 590, 591)
Beloved, we may not be at the end of the end yet, but we certainly are very near it. We know that, according to biblical prophecy, there are more things to soon happen, but we can see the stage is being set. Coming events have been casting shadows, and the reality is now upon us. USA Today reported that on March 13 “House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, extended a formal and open invitation Thursday to Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress” (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/13/boehner-pope-francis/6373779/; accessed March 16, 2014). No pope or religious leader that serves as a head of state has ever addressed Congress. Boehner, a Roman Catholic, stated:
His address as a visiting head of state before a joint meeting of the House and Senate would honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions. . . . It would also offer an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full. (Ibid.)
In other words, the pope is being invited to use the United States Capitol building as his pulpit!
USA Today also reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also a Roman Catholic and normally a bitter political enemy of Boehner, has joined Boehner in welcoming Pope Francis to address Congress. The article also reported that
Pelosi attended his inauguration at the Vatican and praised him as a moral force. (Ibid.)
If the pope were to speak from the United States Capitol building with the full support of Congress, it would certainly constitute a repudiation of our Constitution. We have been told:
When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 451)
Simply knowing the last-day event schedule is not enough to be ready for the return of Jesus. While Hosea says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6), knowledge itself will not save us. The devil knows more than we do, but he will not be saved. Even if we know every detail of last-day events, we shall not be saved unless we know the hand that controls the last-day events and that says “thus far, and no further.” Our only hope and refuge is in Christ; he alone can save (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). We certainly need to be on guard. We certainly should be watching the signs of the times but above all, we must trust in Jesus and cling to him and like Jacob say “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Exodus 32:26). Finally:
The time is upon us when the miracle-working power of the arch deceiver will be more decidedly revealed. And his deceptions will increase in their delusive attraction, so that they will perplex, and if possible, deceive, the very elect. The prince of darkness with his evil angels is working upon the Christian world, inducing those who profess the name of Christ to stand under the banner of darkness, to make war with those who keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus. An apostate church will unite with the powers of earth and hell to place upon the forehead or in the hand, the mark of the beast, and prevail upon the children of God to worship the beast and his image. They will seek to compel them to renounce their allegiance to Gods law, and yield homage to the papacy. Then will come the times which will try mens souls; for the confederacy of apostasy will demand that the loyal subjects of God shall renounce the law of Jehovah, and repudiate the truth of his word. Then will the gold be separated from the dross, and it will be made apparent who are the godly, who are loyal and true, and who are the disloyal, the dross and the tinsel. What clouds of chaff will then be borne away by the fan of God! Where now our eyes can discover only rich floors of wheat, will be chaff blown away with the fan of God. Every one who is not centered in Christ will fail to stand the test and ordeal of that day. While those who are clothed with Christs righteousness will stand firm to truth and duty, those who have trusted in their own righteousness will be ranged under the black banner of the prince of darkness. Then it will be seen whether the choice is for Christ or Belial. Those who have been self-distrustful, who have been so circumstanced that they have not dared to face stigma and reproach, will at last openly declare themselves for Christ and his law; while many who have appeared to be flourishing trees, but who have borne no fruit, will go with the multitude to do evil, and will receive the mark of apostasy in the forehead or in the hand. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, November 8, 1892)
Cedar tree courtesy of Neosnaps_flickr
Youths Corner The Welsh Girl and the Beginning of Modern Bible Distribution
(This month we continue a series taken from the book Youthful Witnesses by W. A. Spicer, published in 1921. This months story is Chapter 17.)
The story begins with a little Welsh girl’s question, “Why haven’t we a Bible of our own, mother?”
“Because Bibles are scarce, child, and we’re too poor to pay the price of one.”
Two miles from Mary Jones’s home lived a farmer who owned a Bible. She secured permission to call and read its pages now and then. The story of the first visit we must repeat:
The good farmer’s wife went away, leaving Mary alone with a Bible for the first time in her life.
Presently the child raised the napkin, and, folding it neatly, laid it to one side.
Then with trembling hands she opened the Book, opened it at the fifth chapter of John, and her eyes caught these words, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.”
“I will! I will!” she cried, feeling as if the words were spoken directly to her by some divine voice. “I will search and learn all I can. O, if I had but a Bible of my own!”
And this wish, this sigh for the rare and coveted treasure, was the keynote to a grand and glorious harmony which, years after, spread in volume until it rolled in waves of sound over the whole earth. Yes, that yearning in a poor childs heart was destined to be a means of light and knowledge to millions of souls in the future. (Mary Jones and Her Bible, pp. 58, 59)
Now the girl began to work untiringly to gather money to buy a Welsh Bible of her own. It was in the year 1800, after six years of saving, that she made the barefoot journey of over twenty-five miles to the town of Bala, with the price of the book in her pocket.
How her hunger for the living word was used to start an agency for feeding the hunger of the nations is told briefly by one of the British Bible Society’s secretaries:
She was told she had better go to Mr. Charles at Bala, and perhaps he would be able to procure her a Bible. Bala was a great way off — twenty-five miles or more among the hills; but she set out very gladly on her journey. Now you must think of her going on that long and lonely way; walking barefoot on the mountain track or the hard highroad, for like a thrifty country maid, she carried her shoes and stockings ‘ to save them; ’ singing to herself, I have no doubt; resting a little sometimes on the green turf or under the shadow of a tree, and eating a little from her store; but always busy in her thoughts with her Bible, and her meeting with Mr. Charles, and her joyful journey home again.
As she drew near Bala, she stopped to wash in a brook and to put on her shoes; but it was already late when she reached Mr. Charles’s house, and she could not see him, for it was his custom to go early to rest and to rise at cockcrow. So she stayed that night at the house of the worthy elder, David Edward, and next morning, between five and six o’clock, he took her to Mr. Charles’s. Yes, there was a light in his study window, and he was already hard at work. They knocked and were admitted, and David told Mr. Charles her story.
“Really,” said the good minister, “I am very sorry that she should have come from such a distance, for I fear, indeed, that I cannot spare her a copy; Bibles are so very scarce.”
For thirteen years Mr. Charles and other devout ministers of the gospel had been trying to obtain a plentiful supply of the Scriptures in Welsh for their fellow countrymen, but they had met with little success. At last the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge had consented to print ten thousand Bibles and two thousand Testaments. It was a large number, you think; but as soon as the books were ready, they were eagerly bought up, and by April in that very year every copy had gone, and the people were asking for more. The only copies that Mr. Charles had belonged to friends for whom he had obtained them.
Poor Mary! When she heard his answer, her disappointment was so great that she burst into tears, and sobbed as if her heart would break. Mr. Charles was deeply moved, and tears filled his eyes, partly in sorrow for his country, where the word of God was so scarce, and partly in pity for Mary. He could not bear that she should return home in grief and disappointment.
You shall have a Bible,” he said, and he gave her one of the reserved copies. Mary’s tears were now tears of joy as she paid for her treasure.
Well, David Edward, said Mr. Charles, turning to the elder, who had been weeping too, is not this very sad that there should be such a scarcity of Bibles in the country, and that this poor child should have walked some twenty-eight or thirty miles to get a copy? If something can be done to alter this state of things, I will not rest till it is accomplished. (Little Hands and Gods Book,” by W. Canton, p. 22)
And he did not rest. He told the story of Mary Jones at a meeting in London. The idea of a society to multiply and distribute the Scriptures in all languages began to form. In 1804, at a meeting held in the commercial warehouse of Old Swan Stairs, still standing near London Bridge, the Bible Society was launched. It was fully organized at a meeting called later. One who was there entered that day in his diary:
March 7, 1804 Memorable day! The British and Foreign Bible Society founded. I and others belonging to the tract society had long had it in view; and after much preparation, in which we did not publicly appear, a meeting was called in the London Tavern, and the society began with a very few. . . . Nations unborn will have cause to bless God for the meeting of this day. (After a Hundred Years, p. 2)
It was a true utterance. The societies for Bible distribution multiplied, and the word of God speaks today, in whole or in translated portions, in more than six hundred tongues. God, who uses the weak things of this world so often in His work, used the journey of the young Welsh girl to start His word journeying to and fro through this world in these latter days.
Stirring scenes have been witnessed again and again as the first Bibles have reached a people or tribe. It was the joy of Mary Jones over her first Bible, re-enacted over and over again.
The first issue of the British Bible Society, appropriately enough, was the Welsh New Testament. The first shipment of five hundred was ordered sent to Mr. Charles, of Bala, the place where Mary Jones had wept her tears of grief and then of joy. The news that the books were coming spread through the valleys.
By the Thursday week, the whole country was wild with excitement, and people began to pour into Bala from the neighboring villages and hill slopes at an early hour. When the time came for the carrier to be at no great distance from the town, the people went out in crowds to meet him; the old mare, which had ever before been obliged to struggle with her load as best she could, was now relieved of it, and muscular farm servants pushed themselves into the shafts. Ropes were adjusted and manned and maidened, and the cart was literally swarmed on all sides; then the joyful procession proceeded toward the town, where they were hailed by crowds which blocked up the streets. (Life of the Rev. Thomas Charles, vol. III, p. 68)
In 1810 the Moravian missionary, Benjamin Kohlmeister, returned to the bleak coast of Labrador with the first Scripture portion, the Gospel of John. The little kayaks, or canoes, filled with men, women, and children, crowded about the ship, and with tears and shouts of joy the missionary and his Book were welcomed home. Mr. Canton says:
The books were distributed in the winter, when all had come home from their hunting excursions; and as they were given only to those who could read, considerable progress was made by scholars of all ages. The people took St. John with them to the islands when they went out in search of fish or game, seals, wild geese, or berries; and in their tents or snow houses they spent the evenings reading by the glimmer of the moss in their lamps of soapstone. But most they liked to gather in some large dwelling at nightfall, when they returned from the sea or the hunting ground, and hear the word of God read by some one, child or adult, who had been taught in the schools of the mission. (Little Hands and Gods Book, p. 44)
Again, one of the secretaries of the Bible Society tells of the arrival of a ship in the Society Islands in 1816, bringing the paper from the society for the printing of the Gospel of Luke in Tahitian. The islanders had been turned from cannibalism within a few years, and “the stones which had been used in human sacrifices, the missionary employed for his printing press.” Mr. Canton says:
Now was not this a marvelous thing, that in 1800 a little barefoot girl went fifty miles over the Welsh hills for a Bible, and that in 1816 some portion, if not the whole, of that Sacred Book had reached the ends of the earththat the Eskimo read it under the glow of the northern lights, and the Hottentot child spelled it under the pear tree in the Clough of Baboons, and the Negro learned it by heart on the sugar plantations, and the Red Indian carried it in his breast as he threaded the forest or paddled on the Great Lakes, and that the society had sent it to the seaports of South America and the Australian settlements, and was having it translated into the languages of India and China and the Malay Archipelago? (Ibid., p. 49)
In 1852 the missionary, Mr. Buzacott, returned to Rarotonga with the printed Bible for which the people had waited. Mr. Canton describes the scene:
A rush was made for the boat when it approached the shore; the crew jumped out, and the boat, with all on board, was lifted onto the shoulders of the people, and carried up the beach toward the house, the men shouting, the women weeping, for joy. . . . The heavy packages were brought through the surf over the reef, and the happy “sons of the Word” lightened their labor with a song in their own tongue:
The Word has come!
One volume complete!
Let us learn the good Word!
Our joy is great!
The whole Word has come!
It is enough, said Papehia, when the books were distributed,Papehia, the old native teacher, who first landed on Rarotonga thirty years before, when the people were savages and cannibals, my eyes have seen what my heart has so long desired. I say with Simiona, Now, Lord, let Thy servant depart in peace! (Ibid., p. 105)
Space fails to tell of long journeys made through wildernesses to secure the precious Book. “In the West Indies an old grayheaded slave trudged fifty miles to obtain a Bible in order that it might be read to many of his friends; and at the end of three months he returned, as he had promised, with the price of it, which had been collected among the slaves.” Thus to hearts in darkness in all parts of the world has come the blessed “dayspring from on high.”
One of the treasures of the Bible House Library in London is the buried Bible, in the Malagasy tongue, from Madagascar. The wicked Queen Ranavalona had turned against the Christians. It was in the year 1835. To be found with a Bible was punishable with death. Search was made for the books. How this copy, now in London, was saved by the Christians of one village is told by the organ of the society, The Bible in All the World:
A little to the northeast of their village was a hill, near the foot of which stood a cluster of large bowlders. Inside that cluster, from ten to thirty of the converts used to hold a service each Sunday. Underneath one of the largest of the bowlders at the foot of the hill, the people had dug out a cave to serve as a smallpox hospital for the village; in a dark corner of this cave their Bible was hidden between two slabs of granite.
The queen’s officers arrived at the village to search for the Bible and other Christian books which the queen and government believed, from the reports of spies, were to be found there. A search was made in vain in the huts of the suspected and in the rice fields; and then the officers made straight for the cluster of bowlders on the hillside. When they were actually on the point of entering the cave where the Bible lay, a villager said, “I suppose you know that this is the smallpox hospital.” “We did not,” they said, starting back in horror. “Wretch! Why did you not tell us sooner? Why did you let us come so near?” The officers beat a hasty retreat, and the Bible was safe.
It is not the words of man about the Book, but the inspired words themselves, that have the power to let the light into our dark hearts. Of the planting of one Bible in the heart of the Dark Continent, the late Henry M. Stanley, the African explorer, told the following story:
Janet Livingstone, the sister of David Livingstone, made me a present of a richly bound Bible. Not liking to risk it on the voyage round the Victoria Nyanza, I asked Frank Pocock, my companion, to lend me his somewhat torn and stained copy; and I sailed on my way to Uganda, little thinking what a revolution in Central Africa that book would make. We stayed in Uganda some time, and one day during a morning levee, the subject of religion was broached, and I happened to strike an emotional chord in the king’s heart by making a casual reference to angels. Kings and chiefs were moved as one man to hear more about angels. My verbal descriptions of them were not sufficient. “But,” said I, “I have a book with me which will tell you far better, not only what angels are, but what God and His blessed Son are like, to whom the angels are but ministering servants.”
“Fetch it,” they eagerly cried, “fetch it now; we will wait.”
The book was brought, opened, and I read the tenth chapter of Ezekiel, and the seventh chapter of the Revelation from the ninth verse to the end; and as I read the eleventh and twelfth verses, you could have heard a pin drop; and when they heard the concluding verses, They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat, I had a presentiment that Uganda would eventually be won for Christ. I was not permitted to carry that Bible away. Mtesa never forgot the wonderful words, nor the startling effect they had on him and on his chiefs. As I was turning away from his country, his messenger came, and cried: The Book! Mtesa wants the Book! It was given to him. Today the Christians number many thousands in Uganda. They have proved their faith at the stake, under the knobstick, and under torture till death. (The Modern Mission Century, Arthur T. Pierson, pp. 95, 96)
The psalmist said: “He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: His word runneth very swiftly” (Psalm 147:15). In this time of the end the printed word has been running to and fro through all lands. And God, who is ever bringing great results from small beginnings, used the Bible-loving Welsh girl’s plea as the call to Christendom to spread the word of light throughout the world.
W. A. Spicer
A Letter from Karina Ashton
(Recently Sister Karina, wife of Brother Aland Ashton, wrote us a little of her husbands history with liver disease and of the grace that God has been providing. Several times we have requested prayer for Brother Aland, and we ask you to continue to lift him and his family up in prayer to our heavenly Father. Pastor Allen)
Dear Brother Allen,
The grace and peace of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ be always about you and about the family of Smyrna forever.
I waited until now to write and have meditated much on your email last. Thank you very much. I felt much better when I stopped to ponder all that has happened at home and how hard it is to see someone you love in delicate health. This was definitely so when this all started. Already I have spent five long years since then, and I still believe in the promises of the Lord: “But in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Many sad memories are stored in my head and in my heart. Only the love of God gives me the strength, every moment telling me not to let go of his hand. “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29), and it is at this time that God knew it was time to give this great testimony of faith:
It was Sunday, I remember, almost 10 p.m. and my ideal, Brother Aland, he was passed out in the bathroom of the house in a pool of blood. I was desperate and not knowing what to do to, going into shock, and I thanked the Lord that my children were sleeping: Yovel (age 6), Levmach’er (age 5), Brakhot (age 2), Yerushalayim (age 14), but it was my daughter (Yerushalayim) who helped me lift her dad, who then weighed 120 kg and in a fainted state seemed much heavier. The Lord allowed him to rise, and I left for the hospital in a taxi, leaving my children alone by her sister and taking care of my little Brakhot, then even breast-feeding. They could do nothing at the hospital twenty-five minutes from the house, so we were sent to Lima, one hour thirty minutes away, with gastrointestinal bleeding and unconsciousness. We cried out to God for Aland, brother, holding his hand tightly heard that said: “LORD, IN SHEOL I’LL PRAISE.” Filled with his forces I also cry and cry out to God: “Though I walk through valleys of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” After a long journey with emergencies, out walked a doctor who told me, “You must be prepared that this one today does not die, as he has lost a lot of blood.” And I replied that God will do the work and that I will be taking my husband out of here, walking and eating, and that it was God who came before us.
They sent me to buy many medicines, and it was almost 2 a.m. The hospital where we were is situated in a very dangerous area of Lima and when I wanted to go out and buy the medicines, the young security guard at the door asked me not to leave because it was very dangerous. I closed my eyes and cried to heaven and said: “Jehovah’s angels encamp around those who fear him and deliver them” (Psalm 34:7), and I went to a pharmacy but not find what I wanted. Suddenly came inside another vendor and offered to buy the medicine for me and for me to wait, and he did! Then I return to the hospital, thanking God for his strength, and knew at the time, and the Lord confirmed to me, that he would be with me. “I will lift up mine eyes the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1,2). There were thirty-one days sleeping on the floor of the hospital in the emergency ward—no waiting rooms—crying to the Lord and telling me of strength to go on and of his angels encamped at my house around my children.
Suddenly received a call from my daughter, Yerushalayim. Brakhot is desperate because my baby, Brakhot, did not want to take the bottle and me in the hospital with my breasts full of milk and supporting the most indescribable, untouchable pain completely by just rubbing my arms. My tears fell alone for the pain I felt. I asked the Lord for many forces to support and to allow my baby to take a bottle and remove his distress of hunger, as this was more than being sad and asking your mother for help, only the forces of the Lord could help, and it was you have exalted my horn like that of unicorn, you will be anointed with fresh oil (Psalm 92:10). The next day I called and Yerushalayim was happy and told me that the baby had already accepted the bottle, and I was more than surprised that I no longer felt the pain in my breasts and that there was no milk in them. I told the Lord that if it was his will, it will be.
I looked after my ideal, sometimes took his hand and told him that through this test we will be together because from our heavenly Father and his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, we have from his hand. But his bleeding did not stop because they discovered that gastrointestinal bleeding was because seven varices in the esophagus that had collapsed and would not stop bleeding and had to leak. Two weeks in the hospital and I was extremely exhausted and went to stand and sleep in the hospital furniture at office. It was 3 in the morning, and I fell asleep. A lady woke me up and told me the doctors would soon come to care for their patients and was concerned for what she said was the time. It was almost 4 a.m. I ran to see Brother Aland and found him covered and drawn to the morgue because he had no pulse. God sent a doctor who said he passed the patient who had pressure too low, and he administered medicine for its pressure level and put in blood and plasma, Blessed be the Lord. I am sure and I feel in my heart that God sent an angel to give me notice and run to see what happened to Brother Aland, and the next day when I went to thank the security guard lady who woke me, they told me in there all the security personnel were males. I lift my eyes to heaven and said, Thank you Lord.
There were days and nights of anguish, but I told myself that suffering produces perseverance, AND PATIENCE TEST, AND TEST HOPE (Romans 5:3,4), and it is that hope that focused my faith. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Pastor Allen, there were so many things I experienced in those thirty-one days, including a call telling me that my baby, Brakhot, fell off the bed and hit one of the four little teeth that had root. His sister took him immediately to the dental surgeon and said he would have to use prosthetics for life for having left his tooth and root, ripping all the gum. He now almost turns 7 years old and you know, Pastor Allen, his little tooth is sprouting. It is the Lord because for him there is nothing impossible. If a tooth is nothing to the Lord, imagine a liver. Blessed be his holy name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, his only begotten son. It will be five years that Brother Aland was told it was hopeless and that he only had three years of life. If it has been five, it can be fifteen, twenty, twenty-five; God knows; he is the master of life. And so Pastor Allen Brother Aland was discharged September 13, 2009, and until now still fighting the good fight of faith, but has the symptoms still. Cry in faith for healing for Brother Aland. And all those who were awaiting Brother Aland, and you will always be in our prayers. Thank you for agreeing to be a channel of blessing for Brother Aland.
Thank you for your words, Pastor Allen, and the Lord bless you and the Smyrna family richly.
Sister Karina Ashton
Lima – Peru
YouTube Channel: We are pleased to announce that we have posted several new videos on our YouTube channel this month.
To see these new videos, including character-building science demonstrations, we invite you to visit our Youtube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/swiftkayak?feature=results_main.
At press time we are still working on the video version of the message, The Axis of Evil . . . The video should be posted soon. Perhaps by the time you receive this issue of Old Paths, it may be ready. So please check our YouTube channel soon and download this message to share with others. It is alsoavailable on DVD.
Meetings in Florida and Arizona
Pastor Stump will be holding meetings in Florida and in Arizona soon and if you are in the area, we hope you will be able to attend the services.
Florida: Sabbath, April 26, 2014, at 5220 SE 25th Ave., Ocala, Florida. You may contact Dee-Dee Hirschi at 352–208–8446 for more information.
Arizona: Sabbath, May 3, 2014, at 5141 East Forge Circle Mesa, Arizona. You may contact Sally at 480–247–2831 for more information.
WV Camp Meeting
We are pleased to announce that the West Virginia camp meeting will be June 24–28 this year. The theme of the camp meeting will be the Character Perfection. Several speakers are being arranged, and we hope to have some new speakers from overseas that we know you will not want to miss. We certainly encourage you to come and share the blessing with us. Camping is free to all, but each camper will be responsible for his or her own meals, except on Sabbath when a fellowship meal will be provided. We will have full details next month, but please check your calendars now and block off the time.
Bible Studies to do at Home
A new, updated version of Bible Studies To Do at Home by David Sims is now available at Smyrna Gospel Ministries. We encourage you to obtain a copy and complete the lessons Brother Sims has written on This Is Life Eternal, The Personality of God, That They Might Know Thee, The Father & The Son, The Only True God, And Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, A Day With God, and Gods Love on Trial. Please contact the Smyrna office at 3047329204 if you are interested in obtaining a copy or copies to share.
From the File Cabinet of History: See the February and March issues for the first part of the letter.