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.
The secret of the LORD is with them
that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 25, No.11 Straight and Narrow
The Lord would have His
followers dispense their means while they can . . . in
publishing the truth and scattering it like autumn leaves all
over the world. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p.
In this issue:
Faith of Jesus - an Introduction
The Faith of
Jesus part 1
The Faith of
The Faith of
Jesus part 2
Spirit and Perfection
“The Third Angel’s Message
The Faith of Jesus: What Is It?”
The Faith of Jesus
- An Introduction
(This is an introduction to a series of studies that we are publishing this month and will continue to publish next month on the faith of Jesus. We pray that these articles will be a blessing to each reader. Editors)
A little more than one hundred seventy-two years ago, adventists, or Millerites, as they were known, were looking for the second coming of Jesus. The joy of that day turned into a most bitter disappointment that night, as Jesus did not come, but there was a small group of those Millerites who refused to believe that the calculations pointing to October 22, 1844, were incorrect. Their understanding of the event foretold in Daniel 8:14 might be wrong, but the timing had to be correct. As they studied more, they came to realize that instead of Jesus coming to purify the earth by fire, he had gone into the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to make the final atonement for his people.
As the Advent people studied, they realized that they were not ready for Jesus to come, for the law of God was now shining in a brightness that they heretofore had not seen. Especially shining was the light of the fourth commandment on the seventh-day Sabbath. They came to see much of the Bible in a new way. Especially was their attention drawn to Revelation 14:12:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
These serious biblical students came to believe that they were a movement of destiny who were to repair the breach made in God’s law. They went everywhere preaching the law of God with strength and vigor.
But along the way they failed to balance out and properly connect something with the commandments of God. That something was the faith of Jesus.
Interestingly, when one looks into the pioneer database and selectively searches only the William Miller materials of over one thousand pages, we find that he only quotes Revelation 14:12 once and that is in connection to the saints being patient. He only quotes the expression, “The faith of Jesus” one other time, and it is in connection with Revelation 14:12 and speaks of those who die in the faith of Jesus. (See William Miller’s Works, volume 1, p. 138.)
The Advent people were presenting the law, the law, and the law, but what kind of results did this bring? Ellen White, speaking at the Bible School in Battle Creek, said:
Let the law take care of itself. We have been at work on the law until we get as dry as the hills of Gilboa, without dew or rain. Let us trust in the merits of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. (Ellen White, Sermons and Talks, bk. 1, p. 137; “Who Will Accept the Light from Heaven? February 6, 1890, Battle Creek, Michigan)
The next month the following was published in the Review:
You will meet with those who will say, “You are too much excited over this matter. You are too much in earnest. You should not be reaching for the righteousness of Christ, and making so much of that. You should preach the law.” As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, March 11, 1890)
The Advent pioneers had certainly preached on the commandments of God, but what about the faith of Jesus? Interestingly, Ellen White realized that there was confusion upon this point, for she wrote:
The soul-saving message, the third angel’s message, is the message to be given to the world. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are both important, immensely important, and must be given with equal force and power. The first part of the message has been dwelt upon mostly, the last part casually. The faith of Jesus is not comprehended. We must talk it, we must live it, we must pray it, and educate the people to bring this part of the message into their home life. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). (Ellen White, Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 184; “Need for a Proper Concept of Righteousness by Faith,” counsel given to ministers at the Colorado camp meeting, September 13, 1889; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise stated)
While she does not give a specific definition here of the faith of Jesus, she strongly hints in the next few sentences:
There have been entire discourses, dry and Christless, in which Jesus has scarcely been named. The speaker’s heart is not subdued and melted by the love of Jesus. He dwells upon dry theories. No great impression is made. The speaker has not the divine unction, and how can he move the hearts of the people? We need to repent and be converted—yes, the preacher converted. The people must have Jesus lifted up before them, and they must be entreated to “Look and live.” (Ibid.)
What is the faith of Jesus?
Inspiration gives at least three places for us to look for an understanding of the faith of Jesus. This is not a single concept but, rather, a multifaceted gem.
1The doctrines of the New Testament
The first facet of this gem is the teachings of Jesus and of the apostles:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3)
Here Jude speaks about the faith given to the saints, and he is not speaking about faith in someone or something but Jude is using the term faith in the sense of a system of beliefs. For example, we might speak of the Advent faith, of the Catholic faith, or of the Baptist faith. In doing so we are clearly speaking of the doctrines or beliefs of those religious bodies. This same concept is used in the following verses:
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. (Acts 16:5)
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. (Titus 1:13)
Ellen White’s earliest pronouncement upon the subject came in 1853, when she wrote to Brother Stephen Pierce:
You inquire what the faith of Jesus is. I have seen that the brethren and sisters have not understood the faith of Jesus in its true light. They have taught that it is healing the sick, etc. It is not healing the sick, merely, but it is all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” I saw that it was the whole New Testament, which relates to Jesus. (Ellen White, Letter 11, December 3, 1853. This letter is referenced in Manuscript Releases, volume 5, and by Arthur White in The Early Years, volume 1 as dated in the year 1857.)
Ellen White says here that the faith of Jesus is the system of faith composed of the teachings of Jesus in the whole New Testament.
This position found wide acceptance among the leading Adventists. For example, J. H. Waggoner, the father of E. J. Waggoner, wrote:
“The faith of Jesus” covers the entire remedial system, the gospel, and includes all doctrines and duties peculiar to the gospel. (J. H. Waggoner, The Spirit of God, p. 138)
Joseph Bates also held this view:
Now it seems to me we can understand John in the text, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God (the ten that he wrote on tables of stone) and the faith of Jesus,” (what he taught his disciples, as in the above last instructions,) Matt. 28:19, 20. (Joseph Bates, Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps, p. 114)
Uriah Smith taught with simplicity:
They are the “commandments of God” to which the third message of Revelation 14 brings us, in connection with “the faith of Jesus,” which includes all the teaching and precepts of Christ and his apostles in the New Testament. Rev.14:12. (Uriah Smith, What Was Nailed to the Cross?, p. 1)
While this position is clearly one of the facets of this truth, there are still at least two other facets that must be understood.
2. Faith in Jesus as our sin bearer and faith in his redeeming work
The second facet of this gem is the truth that Jesus is our sin bearer and the faith spoken of is our faith in his redeeming work. In the most well known and well loved verses of the Bible, we read:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:15, 16)
Jesus says that believing upon him brings everlasting life.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47)
When Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi, God brought about an earthquake to deliver them. The Roman jailer, knowing that his life would be required for prisoners who escaped, was ready to take his own life, but Paul intervened:
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:28–31)
Our relationship as sons and daughters of God revolves around our faith in Jesus.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 John 3:23)
Our faith in Jesus is vital because he is the one who bore our sins and became our substitute.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
Ellen White agrees perfectly with this concept:
The third angel’s message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. The commandments of God have been proclaimed, but the faith of Jesus Christ has not been proclaimed by Seventh-day Adventists as of equal importance, the law and the gospel going hand in hand. I cannot find language to express this subject in its fullness.
“The faith of Jesus.” It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel’s message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. And faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus. (Ellen White, Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 172; Nov./Dec. 1888, Ms. 24, 1888, “Looking Back at Minneapolis”)
3. The faith of Jesus is the faith that Jesus had in his Father, lived out in us by the indwelling of his Spirit.
The third facet of this gem of truth is that the faith of Jesus is the faith that Jesus had in his Father, which he lived out in this world and which he wants to live out in us today.
Jesus lived by faith. “He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: Let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him” (Psalm 22:8). Or did he? Does this verse teach a fact or is it simply a prophecy of what some misunderstanding Jews would utter? Jesus said:
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
Concerning the time when Jesus was asleep in the back of a boat during a time of storm, Ellen White wrote:
When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the “Master of earth and sea and sky” that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, “I can of Mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30. He trusted in the Father’s might. It was in faith—faith in God’s love and care—that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God. (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 336)
This faith in God Jesus wants to live out in the life of the believer. Paul wrote to the Galatians:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. . . . I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:16, 20)
Commenting upon these verses, Ellen White wrote:
Said the great apostle to the Gentiles, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” By faith Paul appropriated the grace of Christ, and this grace supplied the necessities of his soul. By faith he received the heavenly gift and imparted it to the souls longing for light. This is the experience we need, that, in a time when defilement and corruption of religious faith prevail, we may each say, “I live by the faith of Jesus Christ, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Pray for this faith. Believe in it with heart and soul and strength. Strive for it. Pray that you may not fall short of reaching the standard God has set before you. We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. How important that we represent the truth in all its purity. (Ellen White, Ms11–1902)
May we pray for the indwelling of Christ Jesus to be in us, “to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). When we have Christ in us, we will have his faith, the faith of Jesus, in us, as well. For Christ to dwell in us, however, self must first die.
Those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ will be dwelling upon the themes of the great salvation. The Bible is the storehouse that supplies their souls with nourishing food. They meditate upon the incarnation of Christ, they contemplate the great sacrifice made to save them from perdition, to bring in pardon, peace, and everlasting righteousness. The soul is aglow with these grand and elevating themes. Holiness and truth, grace and righteousness, occupy the thoughts. Self dies, and Christ lives in His servants (Ellen White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 341)
. . . many choose to follow their own way instead of God’s way. They are not reconciled to God, neither can be, until self is crucified and Christ lives in the heart by faith. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 46)
Having the faith of Christ is not the same as having faith in Christ. When Paul wrote “for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26), he used the Greek preposition ἐν (en), which we most often translate in. The passages in Galatians 2 do not use the preposition in (ἐν), thus separating the faith of Jesus from faith in Jesus.
Now let us return to the idea that Jesus lived by faith and had to have faith to be our Saviour. Let us first begin reading about his temptations. Paul writes:
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:14–18)
Paul links the necessity of Christ’s becoming human with his ability to be tempted so that he could help us with our temptations. Then in Hebrews 4:15, he writes:
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Paul is stating clearly that Jesus was tempted, that his temptations were real, and that he suffered through these temptations. In fact, we are told:
Christ was tempted by Satan in a hundredfold severer manner than was Adam, and under circumstances in every way more trying. The deceiver presented himself as an angel of light, but Christ withstood his temptations. He redeemed Adam’s disgraceful fall, and saved the world. (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1898)
Why is this important? The trinitarian doctrine says that Jesus is a part of the one consubstantial God. He, therefore, in the incarnation, knew all things, even though he was also human. But if Jesus were omniscient in the incarnation, then faith could not have been a part of who he was. According to Hebrews 11:1, faith involves seeing the unseen, but if Jesus could spiritually see everything in advance, even in the incarnation, then there was no room for him to have had faith.
Continuing this line of thought, James says,
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. (James 1:13)
Why cannot God be tempted? One commentary gives the following reason:
There is nothing in God to which evil can make an appeal. He is literally “untemptable” … (The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 2, p. 822)
This commentary is stating that there is nothing in God to which evil can make an appeal. This describes the way Jesus repulsed sin. Inspiration declares:
“The prince of this world cometh,” said Jesus, “and hath nothing in Me.” John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character. (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 123)
While Jesus never consented to sin and there was nothing in him that responded to sin, he could still be tempted. As we saw, God the Father does not respond to sin, but he cannot be tempted, so there must be something besides a repulsiveness to sin involved. The Matthew Henry commentary gives further thoughts on this matter:
Let no man say, when he is tempted to take any evil course, or do any evil thing, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil. All moral evil is owing to some disorder in the being that is chargeable with it, to a want of wisdom, or of power, or of decorum and purity in the will. But who can impeach the holy God with the want of these, which are his very essence? (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, p. 2,409; emphasis in original)
Besides the purity of the will, Henry states that there could be a want, or a lack of, wisdom and power, as well, if one is tempted. Since God the Father is omniscient and omnipotent, he knows where all temptation leads, and he has the power to say no. But if Jesus were the second person of the trinity and had almighty power and omniscience like the Father, then where are his temptations? He knows where all things are heading and has almighty power to either resist the temptation or to change the circumstances so that the temptation cannot be realized. Where is there a need for faith? There is none, and we are left with a Jesus who has no faith for his life and, therefore, no faith to share with his people. This is truly a doctrine of antichrist. A Catholic source gives their position:
The Church teaches that Christ enjoyed the Beatific Vision both as God (of course) and as man. One who has faith only hopes to enjoy the Beatific Vision. That is why in heaven there is no faith. There is only sight. Now it is very mysterious that Christ could have prayed in the Garden as He did while still enjoying the Beatific Vision. Anyway, the teaching is that Christ had the Beatific Vision and, therefore, did not have faith in the ordinary sense of that world. To have faith is to accept the word of another (God) about some matter. But Christ was God. (Dr. Richard Geraghty; http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=291624&Pg=&Pgnu=&recnu=)
Here we see again how the ugly doctrine of the trinity sticks its head into the plan of salvation and, this time, in an effort to take the faith of Jesus away from us.
Concerning God having faith, the Christian Research Institute, the research ministry begun by the late Walter Martin, writes:
The whole idea that God has faith is completely foreign to the Bible. Biblical faith is: human beings trusting in a God they cannot see, to do things that He has promised. God sees all and knows all from all eternity. So, God doesn’t need to have faith. (http://www.equip.org/perspectives/the-faith-of-god-does-god-have-faith)
If Jesus were the second person of the trinity and a part of the consubstantial God, then could he have had faith? It might be argued that because he took human nature Jesus exercised faith, but if in his humanity he saw all and knew all from all eternity, then he did not need faith! Understanding the incarnation is of vital importance because misunderstanding it can affect our understanding on other issues, such as the faith of Jesus.
Today I am thankful for the true faith of Jesus, a faith that I can possess and, though I can be tempted, gives me power from above to overcome!
On the 172nd anniversary of the beginning of the final Day of Atonement, we can rejoice in the faith of Jesus, which is the teachings of Jesus and the doctrines of the New Testament, which are, in reality, the same teachings of the Old Testament that have been made new through the example and life of Jesus.
We can have faith in Jesus and believe in him as our Saviour. We can lay aside our sins and choose to follow Jesus, not like we follow political candidates, where we simply agree or disagree with ideas and theories. In 1992 Bill Clinton gained an edge over then President Bush, when he eloquently spoke about offering a new economic theory for the country. Enough people bought into his idea that Clinton was elected president, but we are not simply buying into an idea nor are we taking out a fire insurance policy. Faith in Jesus has to go beyond the head to the heart and beyond the intellect to love. We are accepting Jesus as lord of our lives, as Master, and we are trusting in him to live out his life in us and to keep us from the depths of sin.
We must hold to this experience day by day and moment by moment. Maybe we have believed in Jesus before. Maybe we have had him living in us by faith but now realize that something is not right. Somehow things have changed, and we do not have the experience we once had. People almost never go from having a vibrant Christian experience to having a cold one overnight. It happens gradually and if we are not careful, we will go from being strong in the Lord to the point of losing our hold on God, and we will not realize it until we are in trouble.
Recently I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a few friends and then out. As we were ascending the nearly vertical mile out, I noticed that my feet were beginning to hurt. I had hiked the canyon before, and I had never felt my feet hurt as badly. Was I just getting older? I felt sure that my shoes were not the issue. They were a good brand and had good foam padding. They also had Vibram soles, which are designed to provide excellent traction on the widest range of surfaces and are designed with a high degree of abrasion resistance. I thought it was impossible for them to wear out, but the day after the hike I took one of my boots to a reputable outfitter shop to have an expert look at it. To my amazement, I was shown how the foam was clearly compressed, and the sole that I was sure could not significantly wear down was terribly worn down. How did this happen without my realizing it? It happened a day at a time and a very little bit at a time. As I looked upon the soles of my boots each day I could not see the small changes, but those small changes, over the course of time, added up to a big overall change in the boots.
So can also be our experience. We, at times, think we are just fine, when, in reality, our experience is old and worn out. We do not see our souls creeping towards the world because it happens slowly. We, therefore, need to examine ourselves to see if we are of the faith or not.
We can have Jesus and his faith living in us, empowering us to overcome all sin.
The faith of Moses is not enough. He struck a rock.
The faith of David is not enough. He murdered Uriah.
The faith of Peter is not enough. He denied Jesus.
Remember the hymn about the old-time religion that was good enough for the Hebrew children? They perished in the wilderness.
And the faith that was good enough for dad and mother? Dad and mother did not know about keeping the Sabbath and about living in the Day of Atonement.
No, no, no! I need the faith of Jesus. That’s good enough for me! I need to live a life that dies to self and lives only for God, for Christ, and for others. That is the faith of Jesus, and that is what I want!
Last month notices in the margins of Old Paths incorrectly announced the dates for the 2017 camp meeting as June 12–16. The correct dates are June 13–17. This error occurred because we referred to a 2018 calendar instead of a 2017 calendar. Please make note of this correction and plan now to attend. We have some great ideas for camp meeting that are still in the planning stage and which we are sure you won’t want to miss.
The Faith of Jesus
Being ready for the return of Jesus should be the goal of all Adventists. But what does it mean to be ready for the return of Jesus? What is required from the last day believers? Jesus said:
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
Suppose, before I leave my home, I say to my wife, Shall I find food when I return? I am letting her understand that I hope to see food prepared when I return. It was the same for Jesus. Speaking of his return, he let his listeners understand that he hoped to see faith (alive) when he returns.
This question of Jesus is connected to the event described in Revelation 14:14, where we read:
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
But before this event, John saw a group having two characteristics:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)
Here is the response to the question asked by Jesus in Luke 18:8.
Friends, do we understand the faith of Jesus? We should. According to Inspiration, the faith of Jesus is one of the pillars of our faith.
The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God’s people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels’ messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God’s law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. All this cry about changing the old landmarks is all imaginary. (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 30; all emphasis in this article supplied unless otherwise noted)
Friends, do we should understand the faith of Jesus? We should. We have also been told that preachers should speak about it during the camp meetings.
In the work at our camp-meetings we should give prominence to the truths of the Third Angel’s Message. We are in danger of giving this message in so indefinite a manner that it does not impress the people. So many other interests are brought in that the very message which should be proclaimed with power becomes tame and voiceless. While the professed Christian world claim to believe in Christ, they are violating the law which Christ himself proclaimed from Sinai. The Lord bids us, “Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” The trumpet is to give a certain sound. Lift up the standard, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Make this the important theme. Then by strong arguments wall it in, and make it of still greater force. Dwell more on the Revelation. Read, explain, and enforce its teachings. (Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald, May 22, 1900)
Friends, do we understand the faith of Jesus? We should. When we consider the third angel’s message, we see that the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are opposed to the mark of the beast and his image. In other words, to escape the mark of the beast and his image means to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. So, the keeping of the commandments of God and of the faith of Jesus are the only way to avoid the mark of the beast and his image.
Friends, do we understand the faith of Jesus? We must!
The faith: the doctrine
The question of Jesus in Luke 18:8 was due to his prophetic knowledge of the last days. He knew that:
. . . some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
And that shall happen because:
. . . they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. . . . I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4, 7)
And through his servant (Paul), Jesus told a young minister (Timothy):
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (1 Timothy 4:6)
Establishing believers in the faith is the basic duty of the servants of the Word:
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:11–14)
As we read these words from the pen of the apostle, we noticed that when he uses faith he means doctrine, the sound, good, and only one. There are many references which present faith as a system of doctrine (Acts 6:7 cf. Acts 2:42; Acts 13:8, 12; 16:5; Romans 1:5; 16:25, 26; Galatians 1:23 cf. Acts 22:4; Colossians 1:22, 23; 2:6,7; 1 Timothy 6:10, 20, 21; Titus 1:10–14; Jude 1:3 cf. Romans 16:17; 1 Timothy 4:16).
The faith of Jesus: his doctrine
Thus, if the faith is equal to teaching or doctrine, the faith of Jesus must mean the teaching or doctrine of Jesus. And friends, the Advent pioneers understood.
In this time of popular religion, and when many, from political and worldly motives, united their names to the people of God, still there were some who held to the doctrine of Christ, and did not deny the faith. (Miller’s Works, Volume 2. Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ about the Year 1843, p. 138)
Joseph Harvey Waggoner
“The faith of Jesus” covers the entire remedial system, the gospel, and includes all doctrines and duties peculiar to the gospel. (The Spirit of God, p. 138)
Now it seems to me we can understand John in the text, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God (the ten that he wrote on tables of stone) and the faith of Jesus,” (what he taught his disciples, as in the above last instructions,) Matt. 28:19, 20. (Second Advent Way Marks and High Heaps, p. 114)
They are the “commandments of God” to which the third message of Revelation 14 brings us, in connection with “the faith of Jesus,” which includes all the teaching and precepts of Christ and his apostles in the New Testament. Rev. 14:12. (What Was Nailed to the Cross?, p. 1)
Ellen G. White
You inquire what the faith of Jesus is. . . . It is not healing the sick, merely, but it is all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” I saw that it was the whole New Testament, which relates to Jesus. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 290)
But today’s Seventh-day Adventists and the world reject this comprehension. Why? Certainly because it involves the doctrines of Jesus.
The doctrines of Jesus
In John 5:17, 18, Jesus told the Jews:
My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus was teaching about his sonship. This was a part of his doctrine. Jesus would shortly, therefore, state:
Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:14–16)
What was the doctrine that the Father gave to Jesus? Somebody will say: Oh! We were not in eternity with them, so we cannot know. But, friends, when an army has to send someone on a mission into a foreign land, this missionary will be certainly taught before leaving his country. Now, once on the field, the missionary may need a confirmation. Obviously, he will not be taught as he was before leaving for the field, but he could receive the very teaching that he needs on the foreign land.
In heaven God said many things to Jesus, but the Bible records that the Father told Jesus:
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. (Hebrews 1:5)
The gospels only record the Father speaking three times. So when he spoke, it was very important. When Jesus started his mission on the foreign field of this earth, God did not speak to Jesus all the teaching that he had received in heaven, but God spoke the one most important truth:
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17)
Christ’s sonship is the most important doctrine that Jesus received from his Father. So we can understand why that part of his doctrine is so often dwelt upon in the Gospels and in the Bible. But despite this clarity, some people say that the teaching of Jesus’ sonship is not simple and that it hides a mystery.
When the high priest asked about his doctrine, Jesus told him:
I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. (John 18:20, 21)
The word openly comes from the Greek word παρρησία (parrēisa), which means “frankness, bluntness, publicity…freely, plainly, openly” (Strong’s A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (vol. 1, p. 56). Jesus was saying to the high priest: You ask me about my doctrine, but what I taught to the world, in the synagogue, and in the temple was always plain and frank. It is so true that those who heard me are able to teach you my doctrine. Friends, this is the doctrine that comes from Jesus. It is so plain and frank that anyone who heard him is able to teach his faith. There was no mystery in the mouth of Jesus, especially concerning his sonship. But today’s worldly theologians say: No. Jesus’s doctrine about his sonship wasn’t so plain and so frank. He plays the Son, but he is in fact the second person of the Trinity. Unlettered people cannot understand that. And, if like Jesus, you told them that those who heard Jesus are able to teach his doctrine, it is likely that they will treat you like their fathers treated Jesus (see verse 22). In other word, those who have learned from Jesus are saying to the learned theologians, it’s your teachings that prevent the true doctrine from being taught. But whatever the professed religious establishment says or teaches, we, like the true believers of the first centuries, must not deny the faith of Jesus.
The type of the last apostasy
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is:and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth (Revelation 2:12, 13)
Brother Uriah Smith’s commentaries on these verses deserve our attention.
The word Pergamos signifies height, elevation. The period covered by this church may be located from the days of Constantine, or perhaps, rather, from his professed conversion to Christianity, A.D. 323, to the establishment of the papacy, A.D. 538. It was a period in which the true servants of God had to struggle against a spirit of worldly policy, pride, and popularity among the professed followers of Christ, and against the virulent workings of the mystery of iniquity, which finally resulted in the full development of the papal man of sin.
Where Satan’s Seat Is. – Christ takes cognizance of the unfavorable situation of his people during this period. The language is not probably designed to denote locality. As to place, Satan works wherever Christians dwell. But surely there are times and seasons when he works with special power; and the period covered by the church of Pergamos was one of these. During this period, the doctrine of Christ was being corrupted, the mystery of iniquity was working, and Satan was laying the very foundation of that most stupendous system of wickedness, the papacy. Here was the falling away foretold by Paul in 2 Thess. 2:3. (Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation, pp. 383, 384)
The faith of Jesus was corrupted by the mystery of iniquity, the papacy, and those who accepted its work denied the faith of Jesus. What were the teachings of the papacy which were opposed to the teachings of the faith of Jesus? Friends, the response to this question is a key to understand the fight of the faith that the saints of Revelation 14:12 have to fight. Indeed, Revelation 2:13 and 14:12 are the only verses in Revelation where the faith mentioned is clearly identified as the faith of Jesus, which involved a complete purity in doctrine. Moreover, the context of both mention the work of Satan, the papacy. But what were the teachings of the papacy that were opposed to the faith of Jesus? The following statement of James White is a very good answer:
As fundamental errors, we might class with this counterfeit sabbath other errors which Protestants have brought away from the Catholic church, such as sprinkling for baptism, the Trinity, the consciousness of the dead and eternal life in misery. (James White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 12, 1854, p. 36.)
Such were the teachings which were opposed to the faith of Jesus, and those who accepted them denied the faith of Jesus. Friends, do you think that what constituted a renunciation of the faith of Jesus in the first centuries will also constitute one under Revelation 14:12? I think so and so did Elder James White:
The mass who have held these fundamental errors, have doubtless done it ignorantly; but can it be supposed that the church of Christ will carry along with her these errors till the judgment scenes burst upon the world? We think not. “Here are they [in the period of a message given just before the Son of man takes his place upon the white cloud, Rev.xiv,14] that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” This class, who live just prior to the second advent, will not be keeping the traditions of men, neither will they be holding fundamental errors relative to the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. And as the true light shines out upon these subjects, and is rejected by the mass, then condemnation will come upon them.… Solemn dreadful, swiftly-approaching hour! (Ibid.)
It must be clear to us living at the time when Revelation 14 12 is most applicable that those who continue to believe and practice baptism by sprinkling or Sunday sacredness are denying the faith of Jesus. And, beloved, it must be also clear for us that those who believe in the trinity are denying the pure and holy faith of Jesus. This is why we must understand the faith of Jesus.
When we talk to people about the doctrine of God, many cannot see how the trinity is and will be involved in the receiving of the mark of the beast and his image. But, again, when we consider the third angel’s message, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are opposed to the mark of the beast and his image. Thus, the keeping of the commandments of God and the keeping of the faith of Jesus are the only way to avoid the mark of the beast and his image. But let us go further.
In Colossians 1:12–15, we read:
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature
The fact that Christ, the Son of God, is the image of God, was a clear and repeated teaching of the apostle.
Under the third angel’s message, there are two camps possible:
h The Beast’s Camp, where people worship the beast and his image (Revelation 14:9) and receive the sign thereof (Revelation 14:11)
h The Saint’s Camp, where people worship God and his image (Revelation 14:12) and receive the sign thereof (Revelation 14:1)
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). In keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, the saints of Revelation 14:12 worship God and his image (his Son, Jesus). Friends, the sign that we will receive will be according to our worship. We must abide in the faith of Jesus, his doctrine, in order to secure our worship.
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 1:9–11)
Many times do we hear that doctrine is not so important; love is the most important thing, but such preachers will not tell you that love “rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). The love which comes from God will never lead a church to accepts errors. And when a church falls in the darkness of errors, it’s because she has accepted the love of this world. Concerning the fall of the Jewish and of the Roman churches (the ones who gave birth to the papacy), Inspiration tells us:
It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation. (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 382)
Notice that these religious bodies were condemned by God because of the alliance they made with the heathen powers of this world. But what about later? Pay attention to the following statement:
Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. (Ibid.)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was to be the religious body of the time of the most holy place. However, because of what the church’s history tells us and of what we have seen in this study and because of the Adventist Church’s abandonment of the faith of Jesus in order to cling to the doctrine of Rome, it is clear that she has became a daughter of the great harlot and that the previous and the following statements may apply also to her:
Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God’s people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith. At the time of their rise these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth, and His blessing was with them. Even the unbelieving world was constrained to acknowledge the beneficent results that followed an acceptance of the principles of the gospel. In the words of the prophet to Israel: “Thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God.” But they fell by the same desire which was the curse and ruin of Israel—the desire of imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly. “Thou didst trust in thine own beauty,and playedst the harlot because of thy renown.” Ezekiel 16:14, 15. (Ibid., p. 382)
Now, let us consider how the rejection of the faith of Jesus will lead the Seventh-day Adventist denomination to reject the fourth commandment.
The papacy worships the god which claims Sunday as sacred, and that god is the trinity:
Q. 1092. What is Sunday, or the Lord’s Day in general?
A. It is a day dedicated by the Apostles to the honour of the most holy Trinity, and in memory that Christ our Lord arose from the dead upon Sunday . . . and therefore is called the Lord’s Day. It is also called Sunday from the old Roman denomination of Dies Solis, the day of the sun, to which it was sacred. (Henry Tuberville, The Douay Catechism, p. 125)
It took time for the papacy to accept the trinity, but it happened. Now, when a religious body, such as the papacy, wants to worship its god, do you think it can pronounce a different day to be sacred and then worship on that day, to the exclusion of the day the god claims? No. Thus, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination can be seen as leaving the Sabbath of the Lord to worship its god, the trinity, on the day the trinity claims as sacred, Sunday. And as it did with Rome, so this will take time, but it will happen. I speak of the future, but already we can see some movements which show that the advancement of this destiny is happening.
Can you see now how the doctrine of the trinity and of any false knowledge of the true God is preparing a people to receive the mark of the beast and his image? Friends, due to the fact that she has become a daughter of the great harlot by accepting, among other things, the doctrine of the trinity, the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of today, as well as other Christian groups, need us to minister unto them, because many of God’s people are still in their ranks. They need to know how to get victory over the beast and his image. They need to know “the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4, 5).
(Jean-Christophe Bolotte, of Le Reste (The Remnant Ministries), writes from France. You may contact him at: La Bergerie, La Jarrige 15270 Lanobre, France. Telephone: +33 6 12 60 13 69; e-mail: email@example.com. The Remnant Ministries materials can be viewed on the Internet at their website:
The Faith of Jesus
Have you ever heard people say that doctrine is not important? According to what we have seen in Part 1, we know now that such a idea is not of God. But such an idea is more than that. Indeed, Paul wrote:
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. (1 Timothy 1:9, 10)
God’s law is against all that is contrary to the sound doctrine. It means that both those who preach and those who accept false doctrines are led to be condemned by God’s law. And consequently, those who keep the faith of Jesus (his doctrine) are led to the obedience of God’s law. Let us then consider this last—obedience.
The faith of Jesus: the way to God’s righteousness
In Revelation 13:15, we see that the image of the beast leads the world to the obedience of the beast’s law. We then understand that Jesus, “who is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) leads those who keep his faith to the obedience of God’s law (Revelation 14:12). The image of the beast leads the world to transgress God’s law. Now we know that the transgression of God’s law is sin.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)
And the Scriptures also says that sin and unrighteousness are the same thing.
All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1 John 5:17)
Transgression of God’s law (sin) is equal to unrighteousness, and the converse that obedience of God’s law is equal to righteousness (Psalm 119:142; Isaiah 51:7) is also true. The faith of Jesus leads the believer to the righteousness of God. Having reached such a point, we can begin to have a deeper understanding of Matthew 6:33, where we read:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Jesus was leading the people of his time to the very substance of the third angel’s message: the keeping of God’s commandments and the keeping of Jesus’ faith. We must understand that salvation is the work of two personal beings, the Father and the Son.
The Faith of Jesus
The Testimony of Jesus
The seeking of the kingdom of God and his righteousness was presented by Jesus as an order, a command, and not some elective. He gave this command as a priority in the life of the believer, as evidenced by what he said in Matthew 6:33, and the reason of this priority was given by David:
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. (Psalms 24:3–6)
Friends, God’s righteousness is so important that when probation closes, it will be the first characteristic mentioned of God’s people at that time.
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still (Revelation 22:11)
Those who will be prepared for the second coming of Jesus will be those who are righteous, keeping the commandments of God. Unfortunately, due to the influence of the papacy, almost all of what is called Christendom rejects the truth that believers can, and are required to, give perfect obedience to God’s law, the Ten Commandments. We deplore this because souls are led to reject the gospel that Paul preached to the first Roman believers:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16, 17)
The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. But for whom? For him that believeth. And how does the attribution of righteousness work? From faith to faith, said the apostle. Oh, does that mean that I can give you my faith for that purpose, friends? No. So, what is this faith? Inspiration notes:
The righteousness of Christ is revealed from faith to faith; that is, from your present faith to an increased understanding of the faith which works by love and purifies the soul. Those who endure trial for the truth’s sake, who make sacrifices to help those in need, do so because of the presence of the love of God in the soul. When men and women give themselves unreservedly to the exercise of unselfish works, it is because the grace of Christ is in the heart, molding the life to his example. But if the heart is destitute of the Spirit of God, if it does not possess the rich grace of God, there is no oil in the vessel with the lamp, there is no treasure in the earthen vessel. (Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald, September 17, 1908)
In this process the goal is to have “the faith which works by love and purifies the soul.” At that level, unselfish works are the tokens “of the presence of the love of God” and that “the grace of Christ is in the heart.” Dear readers, while I can tell you about the faith of Jesus Christ, I cannot make you righteous. I cannot give you “the faith which works by love and purifies the soul.” I am not the man of whom Paul speaks about in Hebrews 12:2, when he said:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The holy faith, the faith of the church, the holy faith of every member of the church, comes from Jesus and must return to him. And do you know why? It is because:
. . . of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
We need a faith like Christ’s to reach his righteousness. Now let us consider what the apostle said in Romans 3:19–22:
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 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. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference. (Romans 3:19–22)
According to what Paul says, once we have transgressed God’s law, we are under it; that is, we are under its condemnation. But what is this condemnation? Previously, we saw that the transgression of God’s law is sin, and that sin is equal to unrighteousness. Thus, once we have transgressed God’s law, we are rendered unrighteous by the same law. And even if we obey God’s law in the future, our obedience cannot change our condemnation because obedience to the law cannot save or justify us.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. (Philippians 3:8, 9)
In fact, even if God’s law is righteous and good, it cannot do more than to proclaims its righteousness, and it is because God’s law is righteous and good that it cannot proclaim righteousness to those who have transgressed it.
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (Galatians 3:21, 22)
Now, Jesus Christ never transgressed the law of God, and was never at any time under its condemnation. Consequently, he was proclaimed by the law a righteous man. Moreover, he bore the condemnation of the law, that is the unrighteousness proclaimed by the law. While we have faith in his sacrifice, he removes our condemnation, justifies us, and gives us his righteousness. This is why that process is called righteousness by faith.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
And being thus justified, when we pass before the law, it cannot do anything else than to proclaim us as righteous men or women. From that moment, we can present ourselves before the holy God because of Christ’s assurance.
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him (Ephesians 3:11, 12)
Friends, only Jesus can give us access to the holy God. That is why John wrote:
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)
The faith of the Son of God
The Bible calls Jesus Christ “the righteous,” but why? The answer is in the following text:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
It is only by the faith of the Son of God — the one who lived in the same flesh that we have — that we are able to live a righteous life in the flesh. And when we receive Jesus as our Saviour, Jesus lives in us by faith. This is the true doctrine of Christ in you; it is the Son of God living in you by faith.
Now, let us consider why it is important to have the Son of God living in us by faith.
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:1–5)
Those who really believe that Jesus is the Christ are those who believe that he is the Son of God. Such people are real Christians. Those who are really born again are those who overcome the world. Such people are God’s real children. When you are a Christian, when you are a child of God, it is because you have the faith that enables you to keep God’s commandments. Friends, are you overcome by Satan through sin? You need of the faith of Jesus because it is by “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).
Satan is the master of sin, but also the master of the beast and his image. Those who do not get victory over sin will be overcome by the beast and his image. And friends, such a condition does not correspond to the very last people of God on earth, of whom it is said:
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. (Revelation 15:2)
Under the third angel’s message, those who are true Christians and who are the children of God will constitute the righteous and the holy ones of Revelation 22:11.
The faith of Jesus among the early Seventh-day Adventists
Among the first Adventist pioneers, few comprehended and talked about the faith of Jesus. Ellen G. White was of the number who did. Even though the righteousness of God, through the faith of Jesus, was not well understood among the Seventh-day Adventist Church of her time, God had revealed it to her and instructed her to bring it before the church to receive and live.
The soul-saving message, the third angel’s message, is the message to be given to the world. The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are both important, immensely important, and must be given with equal force and power. The first part of the message has been dwelt upon mostly, the last part casually. The faith of Jesus is not comprehended. We must talk it, we must live it, we must pray it, and educate the people to bring this part of the message into their home life. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5. (Ellen White, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 430)
And it was so clear to her that when she saw that the young pastors A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner were presenting this message more fully than she had done, she then encouraged them. Let us consider a statement where she talks about Waggoner and this message.
Elder E. J. Waggoner had the privilege granted him of speaking plainly and presenting his views upon justification by faith and the righteousness of Christ in relation to the law. This was no new light, but it was old light placed where it should be in the third angel’s message. What is the burden of that message? John sees a people. He says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). This people John beholds just before he sees the Son of man “having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle” (verse 14).
The faith of Jesus has been overlooked and treated in an indifferent, careless manner. It has not occupied the prominent position in which it was revealed to John. Faith in Christ as the sinner’s only hope has been largely left out, not only of the discourses given but of the religious experience of very many who claim to believe the third angel’s message. At this meeting I bore testimony that the most precious light had been shining forth from the Scriptures in the presentation of the great subject of the righteousness of Christ connected with the law, which should be constantly kept before the sinner as his only hope of salvation. This was not new light to me for it had come to me from higher authority for the last forty-four years, and I had presented it to our people by pen and voice in the testimonies of His Spirit. But very few had responded except by assent to the testimonies borne upon this subject. There was altogether too little spoken and written upon this great question. The discourses of some might be correctly represented as like the offering of Cain—Christless.…
The third angel’s message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. The commandments of God have been proclaimed, but the faith of Jesus Christ has not been proclaimed by Seventh-day Adventists as of equal importance, the law and the gospel going hand in hand. I cannot find language to express this subject in its fullness.
“The faith of Jesus.” It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs, to the third angel’s message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. Faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus. (White, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, pp. 211, 212, 217)
Let us have a look now at some views of Pastor Waggoner about the faith of Jesus and righteousness.
The faith of Jesus will do for us what it did for Him. And as it enabled Him to see the joy that was set before Him, and thus to endure the cross, despising the shame, so it will enable us, whose conflicts and trials are so much less than His, to walk joyfully in the Christian pathway. In Gethsemane and Calvary the faith of Jesus met the supreme test, and triumphed gloriously. And that was also an eternal triumph for those who follow Him. Having endured the greatest test, that faith will certainly endure all lesser ones. “And this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John v. 4, R.V. (E. J. Waggoner, The Present Truth, June 27, 1895, p. 401)
And a few years after, he wrote that:
The crown of victory is peace, and this has been given us; for Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” John xiv. 27. Therefore we know that the victory which Christ has won once for all, He gives to us.
Our fighting, therefore, is not to gain the victory, but to keep it. We are exhorted to keep that which is committed to us. The victory is in the faith of Jesus; and if we keep the faith, we shall never lose the victory. (E. J. Waggoner, The Present Truth, August 29, 1901, p. 560)
Beloved, do we want that victory over sin which will lead us to have victory over the beast and his image? Then we must receive God’s righteousness through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and as Christ lives in us, he strengthens us so that we are enabled to keep the commandments of God and to enter into his heavenly kingdom.
The victory of the faith of the Son of God
We will now see why it is important, especially in the last days, to keep the faith of the Son of God, and not that of another. In Daniel 12:1, we read:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
Here Michael (Jesus) ceases his work of intercession in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Consequently, his people living on earth at the time will have to wait for their deliverance from the flesh without sinning, for they are without a mediator. Christ’s people will sin no more because of the work of Michael, their High Priest. But what does the name Michael mean? This name comes from the Hebrew מִיכָאֵל (Mikael), which means who is like to Elohim (God). And interestingly, we read in John 5:17, 18:
But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
On earth, Jesus was the one like God and the Jews made war against him for that, but the Bible gives us the origin of that conflict:
I [Satan] will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:14)
Satan inspired the Jews to make war against Christ on earth, continuing the war that he commenced in heaven, where Jesus was called Michael. The Jew’s refusal of the identity of Jesus was, is, and will continue to be, the consequence of Satan’s rebellion. But the people that Michael will deliver will not be a rebellious people. They will know and accept the identity of their high priest. They will know and accept the faith of Michael (the Son of God), and that faith will set them free from sin. Of that people it is also said:
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2, 3)
Those who shall be considered like stars will be those who will have turned many to righteousness because of the faith of the Son of God in them. So, the other groups of preachers will be considered as fallen stars, due to the fact that they will have led people in unrighteousness. And we can be sure that these people will not be led by Michael but by the one who wanted, and still wants, to be Michael—Satan. And here are the two groups of whom the third angel speaks—the righteous and the unrighteous.
Many have to be turned to righteousness, and, with or without us, that work shall be completed. Where shall we be, friends? Where are we? What kind of righteousness do we have? The time has come for us to invite Jesus into our hearts and lives. The time has come for us to change our garments.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
(Parts 3 and 4 of this series will be published next month)
The Holy Spirit and Perfection
(Reprinted from The Review and Herald, November 8, 1898)
SO entirely is it true that the sole purpose of the gifts of the Holy Ghost is to bring to perfection the believers in Jesus, that when this shall be been accomplished, these gifts will “cease” and “be done away.”
Charity is the bond of perfectness. And as it is true that though a person were to have all the gifts, and yet had not charity, it would profit him nothing, this of itself shows that perfection in the believers is the object of the gifts.
This is also shown in the fact that “charity never faileth; but whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Prophecies, tongues, knowledge, and the other gifts are all given to bring us to charity; but when they have brought us to charity, they “fail,” “cease,” and “vanish away.”
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” Even by the gift of knowledge, we know only in part until we attain to that which is perfect. But when that which is perfect is come, we shall then know fully; we shall know even as we are known. Therefore the gift of knowledge, like all the other gifts, is given only as a means of bringing us unto perfection,—to bring us to charity, the bond of perfectness.
Charity is the love of God, and “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” Therefore the object of all the gifts of the Spirit is to bring the believers unto the keeping of the commandments of God. And this shows that the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon men, the greatest thing that can be done for them, by the Lord, is to bring them to the keeping of the commandments of God.
This is the third angel’s message; for “here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
“Ask, and it shall be given you.” “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” “Be filled with the Spirit.” “Desire spiritual gifts.” “Covet earnestly the best gifts.”
“The Third Angel’s Message
The Faith of Jesus: What Is It?”
(Reprinted from The Review and Herald, November 13, 1900)
IN briefest outline we have studied the great central thought of the Third Angel’s Message—”Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
We have studied, What are the commandments of God that must be kept to keep the faith of Jesus? and have found them to be nothing else than the ten commandments, which God spoke from heaven with a voice that shook the earth, and which he twice wrote with his own hand on two tables of stone.
We have studied, What is the faith of Jesus that must be kept to keep the commandments of God? and have found it to be nothing else than the faith which brings into the life of the believer in Jesus the righteousness, the virtue, the very character, of God—the faith that brings into the life of the believer the power of God to perform there the will of God.
The power of God comes to us in no other way than through the righteousness of God. The gospel is “the power of God,” only because that “therein is the righteousness of God revealed.” This righteousness reaches the believer only through faith, because it is revealed only “from faith to faith.” Rom. 1:16, 17. And this faith is the faith of Jesus which he brought to the world, which he tested victoriously to the uttermost in every species of temptation that can ever be known to man, and which is freely given to every man in the world as the gracious gift of God. Eph. 2:8-10.
The righteousness of God, being the character—the very quality—of God, is nothing apart from the very personality of God himself, and can not be had apart from the personality of God himself. Thus in Christ, by the faith which he exercised in the world, it was God who was manifest in the flesh, and who was reconciling the world unto himself. And in the believer in Jesus, in him who keeps the faith of Jesus, it is still God manifest in the flesh; for it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” and it is only God that is found in Christ.
Thus the faith of Jesus is that which brings God to men and men to God: it is that which joins the divine to the human, making men “partakers of the divine nature:” it is that by which God dwells in the heart and works in the life, “working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight;” working in you “both to will and to do of his good pleasure:” it is that by which “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
This, and this alone, is the faith of Jesus that must be kept in order for a person to be indeed a keeper of “the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,” in order to be a true believer of the Third Angel’s Message.
And now it comes before us to study this great and important question of How to Keep the Faith of Jesus.
Since the commandments of God can be kept only “by faith of Jesus Christ,” the whole question of the Third Angel’s Message as it is in truth, the whole question of the real keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, turns indeed upon the keeping of the faith of Jesus.
And since the real keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus—the real keeping of the faith of Jesus—is God manifest in the flesh, is Christ in you the hope of glory, the great and important thing for every believer of the Third Angel’s Message to know is, How is God manifest in the flesh? What is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”?
This is the great and important thing to know, because for anyone to be a true keeper of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, God must be manifest in his flesh: Christ must be in him the hope of glory.
And in order to know this great and important thing it is essential for us to “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” He is the answer to those all-important questions; he is the solution of this great problem; for he is the revelation of the mystery of God; he is God manifest in the flesh; he trusted in God with a faith that wrought the keeping of the commandments of God. Heb. 2:13; John 15:10.
Accordingly, next week we shall begin a study of the faith of Jesus as it is in Jesus himself, a study of God manifest in the flesh, as in Jesus himself.
And this is a study of the Third Angel’s Message as it is in truth; it is the study of the mystery of God which should be finished “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound.” Rev. 10:7.
Come, let us study it all together.
Youth’s Corner — Escape from Siberian Exile
(This installment presents Chapter 15 of Escape from Siberian Exile by John Godfrey Jacques, published by Pacific Press in 1921.)
HARBIN, being a Russian city, but on foreign soil, was policed even more strictly than were the cities of Russia. In the hotels, a newcomer was asked to show his passport before taking off his overcoat. Residents were forbidden to harbor any person for one night even, without first notifying the police; and failure to comply with this requirement made the offender liable to any consequences that might befall his guest.
Under these circumstances, the hospitality accorded me by our people in Harbin meant much both to them and to me. Those who lived in rented quarters must keep the owners of the premises in ignorance of my presence, unless these could be trusted not to divulge it, and were willing to risk the results.
The morning after my arrival in the city, I was invited to the home of our former pastor there, and was told that the owner of the house had consented to my coming—a consideration not to have been expected of a stranger, in view of the responsibility involved. The pastor himself was in prison because of his labors in connection with a church that was not endorsed by imperial Russia.
As far as practicable, I avoided being seen by others than our own people. Of some of the latter, I asked counsel in reference to my future course; for how to get out of Harbin was as perplexing a question as had been that of getting in. The railroad was Russian, and therefore not to be considered. Whatever other method of travel I might choose, I should be almost certain of arrest at the bridge I must cross in leaving the city, if I succeeded in getting even so far; and to come into contact with the police meant for me shackles and a dark dungeon.
One of the friends told of a man who some time before had aided several persons to leave Harbin; and it was proposed that his help be sought in my behalf. I caught at this straw, and one of our number was delegated to consult with the man.
The securing of a passport was the main object. To attempt this by irregular means was not regarded by the subjects of old Russia as it would be by loyal citizens of a free government. Yet, I would not have agreed to such a scheme, if I had had the confidence which I should have had in Him who had already brought me out of straits from which no human trickery could have rescued me.
The man to whom I now looked for aid was a Swiss, the Harbin representative of a large foreign shipping company and of other important business interests. When I was introduced to him, he manifested a desire to help me, but said he had better turn the matter over to a Polander in his employ, a political exile.
This Polander was much less prepossessing than his employer. Still, he claimed to be able to get a passport for me, and urged that I accompany him to see the police officer with whom he should have to deal. This I did not think a safe thing to do, but I did advance some money to him, which was declared to be needful.
Day after day I must have tiresome interviews with this fellow, he promising, each time, that I should soon have the desired document, and making a pretense of explaining why he did not yet get it. There were also repeated requisitions for money.
I was disposed to cease the negotiations altogether ; but friends advised that I defer such action for a time at least. We looked upon the Swiss as the responsible agent in the transaction; and his position with respectable business concerns, added to his appearance of sincerity, offset in part the unfavorable impression made by his “pool fellow.”
In the meantime, another plan was suggested. One of our church people told of a Manchurian who might act as a guide to take me on my way by horseback. This man was brought to me. He was shrewd looking, and knew the country well; but he was not one I should have trusted, except for the assurance of friends.
However, I was persuaded not yet to give up the effort to get a passport, that I might travel by train.
Eventually I seemed compelled to yield to the importuning of the Polander, that I go with him to see the police officer with whom he was treating. My signature was said to be the only thing lacking to obtain the passport.
While we were going to the office, the old trickster presumed to coach me on the answers I should give to questions that might be put to me. As I would not resort to falsehood, his coaching was superfluous.
I was admitted to the presence of the officer I had come to see, the Polander being left waiting in an anteroom. This officer informed me that he understood I had lost my passport; but he said that before he could issue a new one for me, he must telegraph to my home address, in order to verify my statements as to name, place of residence, and so forth.
I knew that such a message sent to the police authorities in my native district would mean my apprehension as an escaped exile. I was in dismay, suspecting that I had been betrayed to the police, and that they simply thought to extort more money from me, or to work up their case against me more fully, before letting me know their purpose. I wondered whether I should even be permitted to leave the room, except as a prisoner.
At this stage in the proceedings, another officer came in, looked me up and down, then went out. Still I tried to preserve a semblance, at least, of composure. I said to the officer with whom I had been speaking, that I hesitated to assent to the delay of telegraphing, as a reply might be long in coming, but that I would take a little time to think what I had best do. Then I decorously but quickly left the room.
In entering the building, I had passed through four doorways, each of which was guarded. Had I now believed that I should be allowed to pass out alone, I should have endeavored to evade my uncongenial companion, and get away from him altogether; but it seemed more feasible to let him go with me to the street, and rid myself of him as soon as I could afterwards.
When out of doors once more, I felt as if I had just emerged from a prison. But the Polander tenaciously kept with me. We were still together when we met an officer of the secret police. Undoubtedly the company I was in was sufficient to mark me as a suspicious character; and without any questioning, the officer bade me go with him. The old man protested, perhaps because he was unwilling to give up hope of wringing the very dregs from my purse; but he was warned that if he did not immediately “lose himself,” he would be taken along to headquarters.
Again, evidently, I was on the way to a prison cell, and not now as a religious nonconformist only, but as a fugitive from “justice” of the old Russian brand. The jail was in sight, only a few rods away.
The officer intimated that three hundred rubles might keep me out of it. I told him I did not possess that much money. He then reduced his figures to two hundred fifty rubles, and again to two hundred. I had not that amount, nor was there any way I could get it, unless possibly some of my fellow church members of but a few days’ acquaintanceship should be moved to supply it.
I requested that the police officer go with me, and I would undertake to borrow the sum named. He objected, saying that if I did not have the cash on my person, we would go on to headquarters; but before we reached that dread structure, he consented to do as I wished, and we took a cab to the home of one of my stranger friends.
When we came to the house, I left the cab, but the officer cautioned me not to go out of his sight. I rapped at the gate; and when the host came to open it, he was not slow to comprehend my situation.
How severe a mental struggle it may have cost this good man to decide to advance me a sum that must seem so large to a person of his means, was not evident from his manner; and after reentering the house for a few moments, he again appeared, got into the carriage with us, and directed that we be driven to a bank.
While he was in the bank, my custodian and I waited in a restaurant near. As we ate, or pretended to eat, our borscht—cabbage soup—the officer sought to convince me that he was not a bad fellow. It was customary, he affirmed, for police officers to get money in this manner. He even professed a disinterested regard for my welfare, and asked that I write him if ever I reached a place of safety. But I was content to bid him a final farewell when our deal was closed.
Not many months later, the amount this generous brother had lent to me was returned to him, and I had the satisfaction of receiving acknowledgment of the payment.
I was little concerned as to how the spoils were divided among the police officers, the old exile, and the ostensibly benign and honorable business man. I realized that not one such as these, nor on such measures as they employed, ought I to rely. I had subjected myself to danger, loss, anxiety, and compromise, in the attempt to get a passport, though a passport would have been useless without the special care of Him who had brought me over thousands of miles without a passport.
To be continued
Preheat oven to 350° F
Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
In a medium bowl mix and then whiz with an immersion blender:
In a separate bowl mix the following and then stir into above mixture:
Spray an 8 inch square pan with oil. Pour in cake mixture and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
*Recipe adapted from Caldwell B. Esselstyn,
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Cut a piece in half and generously top with fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and sliced strawberries. Sprinkle sugar lightly over the berries, and you have a nice treat for a special occasion. You may serve also with nondairy ice cream or top with the following:
Place in a small pan:
¾ c apple juice and ⅓ c water. Stir in ⅓ c agar flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat so the mixture simmers. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until agar dissolves, about 15 minutes.
While agar mixture is simmering, place the following in a blender and whiz until smooth and creamy, folding sides into the center:
1 box firm organic Mori-Nu tofu
Zest of one large lemon
¾ c sugar
1 heaping teaspoon vanilla powder
Juice and pulp of one half large lemon
When creamy, pour ⅔ of mixture into a bowl, leaving the remainder in the blender. Add the following to the mixture in the blender and whiz until smooth and creamy, stirring sides into the center:
When agar mixture is ready, slowly pour into blender, while whizzing at fairly high speed, and whiz until smooth and creamy. Now add the tofu mixture set aside in the bowl and whiz until the combined mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste for the need of additional lemon juice or zest.
Use as a soft topping with the cake or as a pudding in a layered fruit dessert, or place in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm up for a frosting. Whiz until mixture is creamy again before using as a frosting.
*Recipe adapted from Ann Gentry,
The Real Food Daily Cookbook
A MIGHTY FORTRESS
Words and Music by Martin Luther, 1483–1546
English Translation by Frederick H. Hedge, 1805–1890
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:1, 2)
October 31, 1517, is perhaps the most important day in Protestant history. This was the day when Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk and a professor of theology, posted on the doors of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, Germany, his 95 theses (complaints) against the teachings and practices of the medieval Roman Church. With this event, the 16th century Protestant Reformation was formally born.
The Protestant Reformation movement was built on three main tenets:
h The re-establishment of the Scriptures
h Clarifying the means of salvation
h The restoration of congregational singing
“A Mighty Fortress” was written and composed by Martin Luther. The date of the hymn cannot be fixed with any exact certainty. It is generally believed, however, to have been written for the Diet of Spires in 1529 when the term “protestant” was first used. The hymn became the great rallying cry of the Reformation.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe—His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing, were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He—Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same—and He must win the battle.
And tho this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us. The prince of darkness grim—we tremble not for Him; His rage we can endure; for lo! his doom is sure—One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs—no thanks to them—abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours thru Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still—His kingdom is forever.
(Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions, p. 326)
Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, 750 Smyrna Road, Welch, WV 24801–9606 U. S. A. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers.
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