Old Paths Masthead

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Psalm 25:14


Vol. 25, No.12 Straight and Narrow December 2016


 

 

walkers in snow edited 2.psd

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

(Amos 3:3)

 

In this issue:

The Faith of Jesus Part 3

The Faith of Jesus Part 4

The Spiritual Skeleton

Youth's Corner

Not for Milk Drinkers

Stephen Smith and the Unread Testimony

Tasty Recipe

Publisher Information

 

 

The Faith of Jesus

Part 3

In this series on the faith of Jesus, we have written about doctrine and about having faith in Jesus, the Son of God, to enable us to reach God’s righteousness. With this in our lives, do you think that we are completely ready for the coming of Jesus? Is there anything else needed for our preparation for this great event? If yes, where do you think we can find it? In order to respond to these questions, I think that the last message of mercy to this world must be considered, which says:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6, 7)

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (Revelation 14:8)

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:9–12)

If at a camp meeting or a seminar, the different speakers give messages which are not compatible, the congregation will become confused. That is why the leaders in God’s work must know the truth and be careful to faithfully handle the teachings given to the people, so that the congregation may receive only the truth. In Revelation 14 we see a parade of angels. They follow one after another and their messages are all in agreement. The message of the second angel supports the message of the first, and the third supports the first and second.

The first angel announces the coming of the judgment of God, and, according to his message, to fear God, to give him glory, and to worship him is a manifestation of the acceptance of the everlasting gospel. Let us now focus on one part of this everlasting gospel.

The faith of Jesus and the health message

In 1 Corinthians 6:19–20, we read:

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)

We are taught here that our mind (spirit) works with our body. We also read:

The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 241)

And, interestingly, this concept is in the second angel’s message, where the drinking of wine (false doctrine) leads to the fall of Babylon due to confusion of mind. While the language is symbolic, the symbol would carry no force if there were not a parallel in the physical world. Thus, our mind works with our body, but our body also has an influence upon our mind.

This is why Apostle Paul wrote:

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Friends, can we give glory to God through poor health habits that result in weakening our body and our mind? No! So, the everlasting gospel leads us also to have good health. We must only eat and drink that which will promote good health.

We will all pass before the judgment bar of God but according to the first angel, those who will be found lacking in the gospel will be found wanting in the judgment. What does that means? The third angel proclaims the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus and this message is not contrary to the first two messages. Rather, it is supporting them.

What are the commandments of God spoken of in Revelation 14:12? They are the ten words of the decalogue, the immutable law of God. And what is the faith of Jesus? The gospel. Now, tell me what will enable the believers to stand in the judgment day? The faith of Jesus. The faith of Jesus is related to the command to give glory to God, especially in our health. This is the reason why Inspiration said, with regard to the faith of Jesus:

The medical missionary work is to the work of the church as the right arm to the body. The third angel’s message goes forth proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The medical missionary work is the gospel in practise. All the lines of work are to be harmoniously blended in giving the invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.” (Ellen White, PH156, “Special Testimony to the Brethren in Battle Creek, 1898, An Appeal to our Brethren in Battle Creek,” p. 10; emphasis supplied in this article unless otherwise noted)

In another place she added that:

The church militant is not the church triumphant. The Lord desires His tried servants, as long as they live, to advocate temperance reform. Unfurl the temperance banner. Teach the people to practice temperance in all things, and to be champions in favor of obedience to physical laws. Stand firmly for God’s truth. Exalt before the people the banner bearing the inscription, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 221)

Remember that in our previous studies we found that the faith of Jesus leads to the obedience to God’s law. If the faith of Jesus leads its possessor to the obedience of God’s law, then the faith of Jesus also leads to health of body, for it leads its possessor to obedience of God’s health laws for the body. The negligence or non-respect of health laws constitutes a transgression of God’s law, and has the same value that the transgression of the decalogue has, for it declares “thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Following bad health habits is simply suicide on an installment plan. We are now able to have a deeper comprehension of what Jesus said to the man who had been sick for thirty-eight years:

Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee (John 5:14)

This man was infirm for thirty-eight years because he had sinned in violating God’s health laws in his body.

When Christ healed disease, He warned many of the afflicted ones, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” John 5:14. Thus He taught that they had brought disease upon themselves by transgressing the laws of God, and that health could be preserved only by obedience. (White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 113)

Jesus told this man to respect what he had violated, that is the health laws, or God’s laws in his body. This is why the servant of the Lord said:

The health reform is one branch of the great work which is to fit a people for the coming of the Lord. It is as closely connected with the third angel’s message as the hand is with the body. The law of ten commandments has been lightly regarded by man; yet the Lord will not come to punish the transgressors of that law without first sending them a message of warning. Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetite and lustful passions, without violating the law of God. Therefore he has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may realize the sinfulness of breaking the laws which he has established in our very being. Our heavenly Father sees the deplorable condition of men who, many of them ignorantly, are disregarding the principles of hygiene. And it is in love and pity to the race that he causes the light to shine upon health reform. He publishes his law and its penalties, in order that all may learn what is for their highest good. He proclaims his law so distinctly, and makes it so prominent, that it is like a city set on a hill. All intelligent beings can understand it if they will. None others are responsible. To make natural law plain, and to urge obedience to it, is a work that accompanies the third angel’s message. (Ellen White, Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p .9)

In another place, she said:

There is a close relation between the moral law and the laws that God has established in the physical world. If men would be obedient to the law of God, carrying out in their lives the principles of its ten precepts, the principles of righteousness that it teaches would be a safeguard against wrong habits. But as, through the indulgence of perverted appetite, they have declined in virtue, they have become weakened through their own immoral practises and their violation of physical laws. The suffering and anguish that we see everywhere, the deformity, decrepitude, disease, and imbecility now flooding the world, make it a lazar-house in comparison to what it might be even now if God’s moral law and the law which He has implanted in our being were obeyed. By his own persistent violation of these laws, man has greatly aggravated the evils resulting from the transgression in Eden. How dishonoring to God is all this, how opposed to His design that men should glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His! How destructive, too, to the health and happiness of mankind! (Ellen White, Pacific Health Journal, February 1, 1902)[1]

The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are both involved in the spiritual arena of life and also in the physical aspect of life. Making known the health laws is a part of the third angel’s message. The third angel proclaims God’s moral standard of righteousness (the decalogue) and the way to meet it (the faith of Jesus). But the message also includes the proclamation of God’s physical standard of righteousness (the health laws) and the way to achieve it (the faith of Jesus). How does the faith of Jesus work with regard to healing? Let us consider a lesson from the life of the Master. Matthew states:

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

Jesus focused upon three areas: teaching, preaching, and the healing of the sick. That is why inspiration said:

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. (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 290)

This statement was written because some of the believers at the time thought that the faith of Jesus was only healing the sick. Without the word merely, this statement would mean that the faith of Jesus was not healing the sick at all. But the wording shows that healing the sick is a part of the faith of Jesus, for “it is not healing the sick merely.” This confirms what we see in the ministry of Jesus on earth. Those who live under the third angel’s message work like Jesus because the faith of Jesus leads them to teach, to preach, and to heal the moral, as well as the physical ills of the people. The medical missionary work, as a part of the faith of Jesus, cannot be avoided, when we work to prepare people for the second coming of Jesus. That’s why we read:

In the preparation of a people for the Lord’s second coming, a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism and the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided, and in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulation of the appetites and passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God. They should be taught the truth in physical as well as in spiritual lines, that “the fear of the Lord tendeth to life.” Proverbs 19:23. “If thou wilt enter into life,” Christ says, “keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17. Live out My law “as the apple of thine eye.” God’s commandments, obeyed, are “life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:22. (Ellen White, Counsels on Health, p. 206)

God’s people have to be completely prepared for the return of Jesus. That is why they need the same faith as the one who lived and worked perfectly before God on earth. That faith will lead them to obey and to show others how to obey God’s spiritual and physical laws. Friends, let us follow the Son of God, the great Physician.

Jean-Christophe Bolotte

To be continued

 

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: info@lereste.org. The Remnant Ministries materials can be viewed on the Internet at their website: http://lereste.org.

 

[1] Medical science is understanding this link better. Recently the BBC reported on a study from The University of Cambridge, where Dr Lucy Cheek’s research showed a direct link between obesity and memory loss. (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161031-why-obesity-damages-your-mind-as-well-as-your-body).


The Faith of Jesus

Part 4

As Christians fighting the good fight of faith, we must never forget that we have an enemy against our souls. We must never forget that Satan is always seeking to counterfeit or to cancel God’s law in the life of the believer. But God and Jesus know this; they are fully aware and consequently they have set up something for the believer’s sake. What we are going to learn about is not only available for the faith of Jesus in regard to the health message, but also for the doctrine of Jesus and his righteousness. Let us start with the reading of Psalms 119:142, where it says:

Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

God’s righteousness is everlasting because his law is the truth. Next, in John 8:14 we read:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

Jesus boldly declared that his record is true. Remember that Jesus is the image of God. And what comes from him is an image or is just like what comes from the Father. The Greek word translated record in this text is μαρτυρία (marturia), which means “record, report, witness” and also “testimony” (James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible). Marturia is also found in Revelation 12:17, where it says:

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

When we compare this text with Revelation 14:12, the testimony of Jesus Christ seems to be another expression for the faith of Jesus. In order to know if this is the case, we must know what the testimony of Jesus is.

Jesus came from the one who is the author of the spiritual and physical laws, and because of this, his faith and his testimony always comply with God’s laws. In other words, God uses something true to lead us in the truth. I want you to bear this in mind because that will help us later. Now in Revelation 19:10, we read:

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

From that text we know that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Who are these brethren that have it? Let us go to Revelation 22:8, 9, where we read:

And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The brethren of John who have the spirit of prophecy are the prophets. Thus the spirit of prophecy includes the teachings of the prophets, and the testimony of Jesus is the testimony, the records, that the prophets bear. But a vital point to remember is that the prophets’ messages are not their own. They are the messages of Jesus. Now, what is the purpose of the spirit of prophecy? The Apostle Paul reveals it in 1 Corinthians 14:22, when he said:

Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

Prophecy is given for the believer’s sake; that is, prophecy is given for the members of God’s church. And in 1 Corinthians 12:28, the Apostle Paul explained that it is a gift of God for his church.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)

I want you to note the position of this gift. It comes after apostles and before teachers. Friends, this gift is not a little one.

As teachers of the truth for the last days, the Adventist pioneers understood this.

What is the faith of Jesus? Answer,—Chapter 12th, 17th verse says it is his “testimony;” chapter 19th, 10th verse, says his “testimony is the spirit of prophecy.” “Teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”—Matt.28:20 Now observe, the faith, or testimony of Jesus, embraces all his teachings. (Joseph Bates, A Vindication of the Seventh-day Sabbath, and the Commandments of God, p. 221; all emphasis supplied in this article unless otherwise noted)

In this statement Brother Bates presents the unity existing between the faith of and the testimony of Jesus. Now in presenting them, Inspiration makes a nuance.

The faith of Jesus and the testimony of Jesus are blended. They are to be clearly presented to the world. But in God’s word we are shown the consequences of proclaiming this message. “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (White, PH086, “Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church, 1898, Forgetfulness,” p. 6)

Here we learn that they are blended, but we learn also that “they are to be clearly presented to the world.” So they are two distinct things which are nevertheless blended. And why are the two blended? It’s because they come from Jesus, and Jesus is not divided. Let us now consider how these two things work together. Remember that in Part 1 of this series, we saw that the faith of Jesus is the gospel. In his book The Spirit of God, Joseph Harvey Waggoner said:

“The faith of Jesus” covers the entire remedial system, the gospel, and includes all doctrines and duties peculiar to the gospel. “The testimony of Jesus” is more restricted; it is a part of the gospel system,-it “is the Spirit of prophecy;” it pertains to the gifts which were set in the church for the accomplishment of the work of the gospel. And as the commandments of God are not kept while one of them is violated, for no one is a keeper of law who breaks even one law, even so the faith of Jesus, the gospel, is not honored while one part of it is dishonored. And above all we should honor the gifts of the Spirit of God, remembering the warning of our Saviour, that a word spoken against the Spirit may place us beyond the reach of forgiveness. And the occasion on which he gave this warning shows that they spoke against the Holy Spirit by speaking against its works. (J. H. Waggoner, The Spirit of God, p. 138)

Thus, the testimony of Jesus has to help the work of the gospel, the faith of Jesus. Later in this book, he gave an example of how this gift edifies the church.

The Seventh-day Adventists have, from their beginning, maintained these two unpopular ideas, of keeping all the commandments of God, and all the faith of Jesus, not rejecting the “Spirit of prophecy.” By this gift they have been preserved from many evils and errors, and to it they are indebted for that extraordinary state of union which has thus far characterized them, and been the great means of their wonderful prosperity. They fully believe in the gifts of the Spirit as the appointed means to perfect the church, and to bring to the unity of the faith, and to preserve the unity of the Spirit. (Ibid., p. 139)

This is a proof of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14, namely that the [spirit of] prophecy serves and edifies the believers, the church. Without this gift, evils and errors would destroy God’s work at its beginning. So how should we consider such an important gift? Inspiration says that:

Very many will get up some test that is not given in the word of God. We have our test in the Bible,—the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.” This is the true test, but many other tests will arise among the people. They will come in in multitudes, springing up from this one and that one. There will be a continual rising up of some foreign thing to call attention from the true test of God. (Ellen White, The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 1752)

Friends, do you understand why we are still discussing the faith of Jesus? It is because the faith of Jesus is among the Bible’s tests. The commandments of God and the faith and the testimony of Jesus Christ are among heaven’s tests, and it is by these things that heaven has tested, is testing, and will be testing all believers. God’s remnant have the testimony of Jesus because they were taught to do so in Isaiah 8:12–20:

Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:12–20)

It is because the Jews attached themselves to men’s sayings rather than to the records of the prophets of God that they rejected Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. And that will not be different with us, if we do not accept this help of God for the faith that Jesus wants to see in us. The preparing for the coming of Christ means also to bind up the testimony (the spirit of prophecy) among Christ disciples in order that they remain his disciples and not fall away. If the testimony is not bound, here is what will happen:

The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism . . . (Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 78)

We have been told that Satan’s very last deception will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. When we consider the wandering of the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of today, and even of certain ones among the Godhead movement, the common point is that these people have lost, in a certain way, their confidence in the Spirit of Prophecy. My prayers for you and for myself, dear readers, is that the testimony may be bound up for us, so that we may not be carried away by Satan’s winds of doctrine. May we bind up the testimony so that righteousness and health will be a part of our lives and ministry. Let us trust in God and in Jesus, as it is written in John 14:1:

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Let us trust in the commandments of God and in the testimony of Jesus Christ, because only those who trust in the testimony of Jesus can have the perfect faith of Jesus. My friends, let us trust in God and in Jesus, as it is written in 2 Chronicles 20:20.

Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

Jean-Christophe Bolotte

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: info@lereste.org. The Remnant Ministries materials can be viewed on the Internet at their website: http://lereste.org.


The Spiritual Skeleton

By Allen Stump

Most newborn babies have three hundred five bones. Many of these bones are more like cartilage than bone. This is why newborns are so limber, for cartilage is more pliable than bone, but as children grow, their bones get harder and some of the bones fuse, reducing the number to two hundred six bones as adults. The skeletal system forms the support for the rest of the body. Without it we would be sort of like a jellyfish, worm, or some blob!

In our spiritual life we have a skeleton, a spiritual skeleton, something that gives shape and form to our spiritual lives. That spiritual skeleton is our doctrines or beliefs.

In the New Testament the body of essential truths to which Christians hold is often referred to as the faith. This faith is, of course, the faith of Jesus, as well as given by Jesus, for he is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

The faith as the truth that Christians believe

The following texts speak of the term the faith in a manner that indicates it means the system of truths believed by the church:

But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. (Galatians 1:23)

And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

One Lord, one faith, one baptism. (Ephesians 4:5)

Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Timothy 1:2)

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)

As we have noted before, the Spirit of Prophecy says:

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. (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 290)

Terms equivalent to or closely related to the faith

There are other terms that are equivalent to the expression, the faith, in the New Testament. As we see these terms and compare them, we have our view of the faith of Jesus expanded. One such equivalent expression is the truth. Some texts that refer to this concept are:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)

In this last text, that upon which the church is grounded is called the truth. This certainly should teach us that a church which is teaching the wine of Babylon cannot be the pillar and ground of the truth, i.e. God’s true church. John also notes:

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. (3 John 3)

The apostles’ teaching

Another phrase that is used to express the skelton of the spiritual body is the apostles’ doctrine.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

The gospel

An important, yet simple expression used by Paul is gospel. In the first chapter of Galatians, he uses two Greek words, heteros and allos to distinguish between the true gospel and a false gospel. The difference between heteros and allos is: Allos “expresses a numerical difference and denotes ‘another of the same sort’; heteros expresses a qualitative difference and denotes “another of a different sort” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, vol. 2, p. 29). With this in mind, notice verses 6–9:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros) gospel: Which is not another (allos); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6–9)

The good deposit

Though not translated as such in the KJV, the concept of a good deposit is given by Paul in the Greek of 2 Timothy 1:13, 14:

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The expression that good thing which was committed is translated from the Greek expression, ten kalen parakatatheken, which means the good deposit or the good trust. The key word is parakatathēkē, which comes from two Greek words which mean lay down and beside. The idea is something that is laid down beside you for you to keep as a trust. Another translation of Paul’s statement states:

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. (2 Timothy 1:13, 14 ESV)

The faith has been given by God and Christ

The faith, the truth that which the apostles taught, the gospel, or the good trust committed to the church is not of man’s devising but is of God. John wrote:

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

The truth that Jesus taught he received from the Father:

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. (John 8:40)

Paul claimed direct inspiration for his teachings and all that of the gospel:

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11, 12)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)

The faith is passed on to us by apostles and teachers

The faith that was given by heaven was passed on to the apostles and teachers, who taught it to others, and this teaching has continued since apostolic times:

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)

The faith that has been taught to God’s people will build them up in their experience and enable them to walk, even as Jesus walked:

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6, 7)

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. (Jude 20)

The danger of turning from the faith

Jesus teaches that it is by the truth that the believer is sanctified: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). To turn away from the truth, from the faith, therefore, is dangerous. Turning away from truth is apostasy. God repeatedly warns his people of the danger of turning from the truth:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. (2 Corinthians 13:5, 6)

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust (parakatathēkēn), avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:20, 21)

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (Hebrews 2:1)

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. (Hebrews 10:35)

No wonder we are told to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). In fact, Paul says to sharply rebuke those who bare a false witness.

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. (Titus 1:10–13)

The Greek for sound ὑγιαίνω (hugiainō) means healthy. The purpose of rebuke is not to put someone down, or demean them. To purpose is to help those who have erred to have a sound or healthy faith. The ultimate goal of rebuke, even sharp rebuke, is to save the one who is in error. Interestingly, the word sharp here does not mean sharp in the sense to cut or criticize. It comes from a Greek word that literally means to cut. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary notes:

As the surgeon’s knife cuts away diseased tissue in order that sound health may result, so the words and discipline of Titus and the Cretan elders are to cut away that which endangers the future of the church. (The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 362)

Paul kept the faith: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7), and he told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Can we do any less? But we cannot keep the faith and fight for it if we do not know it or are not well acquainted with it. It will be impossible to know the truth without spending time in our Bibles and time in thought and prayer with the word of God. Then we can obey the command of Peter:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)


Youth’s Corner — A Futile Attempt at Flight

(This installment presents Chapter 16 of Escape from Siberian Exile by John Godfrey Jacques, published by Pacific Press in 1921.)

IN harmony with the advice of friends, I now engaged the Manchurian guide who had been recommended to me, to go with me by horseback to Mukden, about four hundred miles south, not far from the boundary line between Manchuria and China proper. This young man could speak the Russian language well enough to act as interpreter for me, as well as guide, I having no knowledge of Chinese.

Separated from Harbin by the railroad, is the little Manchurian village of Fudziadzian. There the Russian police had no jurisdiction; and I made my way thither, that I might be the safer while preparing to continue my flight. I afterwards learned that the Russian police did not always let lack of authority deter them from seizing one they wished to make a prisoner.

To reach this village, I must pass through a field where all sorts of offal had been thrown, including dead bodies of animals and even of human beings. There were open sewers, and almost every conceivable source of vile odors, which were more in evidence the nearer I came to the gate of the village.

My first business in the village was to visit the horse market. I found it crowded with dealers and customers, nearly all Manchurians. There was much bickering between the two classes, the owners praising their animals, and asking exorbitant prices for them, while prospective buyers berated them, and offered absurdly low prices.

When a dealer took the hand of a customer, and drew over it his long sleeve, that meant he was ready for business; and the price he then fixed was the lowest he was likely to accept. Any one who did not come to business after clasping hands with a dealer, put himself in great disfavor.

Adjacent to the market was a road where horses could be tested before a deal was closed. And there was need of testing them, for all the tricks of the professional horse trader were used to palm off worthless animals. Many of these animals had been drugged to make them appear spirited and in good flesh; some were balky, others vicious; few were strong enough for the jaunt I had in prospect.

Negotiations were so protracted by the circumlocution necessary in dealing with the owners, that I was obliged to spend three days in selecting two horses, together with saddles, riding whips, and feed, and getting the required papers made out. Any one found in Manchuria with a horse in his possession for which he cannot show a deed duly signed and witnessed, is liable to arrest as a thief.

My guide took me to the home of a family of his acquaintance, with whom I could stay at reasonable cost until we were ready to start on our journey. My repugnance for everything Asiatic, I here resolutely put aside, knowing that contact with Manchurians on the way would be unavoidable.

A young son of this family had worked for a number of years on a steamer running on the Sungari (Black) River from Harbin to northern Siberia, and had learned to speak Russian well enough to be understood. He did me valuable service by drawing a map of the route I was to take.

As the river was then frozen over, I could cross on the ice, instead of having to face the Russian guards at the bridges. My apparently fruitless sojourn at Harbin had prevented my beginning the journey before the ice formed.

In starting on my way, I had to go through old Harbin again; but coming from a Manchurian town, in company with a Manchurian, and being so bundled up as not to be readily distinguishable from one of that race, I was unnoticed by the police. Soon we were out on the open highway, and started off on a gallop.

The guide proved to be a poor horseman; and before we were well under way, his horse, being ill managed, fell into a ditch, laming himself, hurting the rider, and dislodging the baggage.

In half an hour, we were once more in our saddles. The roads were poor, but that did not impress me as a serious handicap.

A short distance outside the city were stationed the last of the Russian guard. I passed them without being accosted, doubtless because they mistook me for a Manchurian. I was beginning to feel jubilant at getting away from Harbin; but my guide was not at all jubilant. He lagged far behind; and when I waited for him to overtake me, he dismounted and led his horse. He complained that he was suffering from the effect of his fall, and that furthermore he was not dressed warmly enough for such weather. I induced him to remount, and we rode on for a little while.

Again and again this performance was repeated, the fellow becoming continually more spiritless. He talked of difficulties ahead—uncertainty of securing feed for our horses or food for ourselves, and what not; said he was sick; and finally could not be prodded any farther.

What could I do? To go on alone with the two horses was out of the question, and I could ill afford to abandon one. Then, too, to travel without guide or interpreter would be to attract much attention in making purchases and inquiring about the roads; and if I had a horse to care for, there would be less opportunity for concealment than if I had none.

I determined to return to the horse market, sell the animals, leave my baggage with friends, and start out afoot.

Though chagrined at the failure of my recent efforts, I was not disheartened.

I reached Fudziadzian again without difficulty; but the sale of the horses and equipment was not easily effected, and the amount I received when I did sell them was much less than I had paid.

After disposing of them, I ventured into Harbin, to spend one more night with the faithful friends there. Undeniably this was a rash thing to do; but the encouragement found in association with these good people, outweighed the danger incurred.

To be continued


Not for Milk Drinkers

By Allen Stump

Writing to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote:

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Paul loved the church at Corinth. He personally labored hard for them, yet they were perhaps the most disappointing church he ministered to, as they seemed to be slow to learn.

Later writing in Hebrews, he said:

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (Hebrews 5:12)

Today it is time to move to a meat diet! A diet that fortifies one with the word of God so much that one cannot be moved.

Today we are going to be talking about a subject that will be touchy for some, disturbing and perhaps unsettling for others. But I want us to be grounded in truth and not to lose our faith when it is challenged or when we think that our faith is being uprooted and destroyed before our eyes. Perhaps even worse is the concept that our faith has been slowly and subtly changed and we have changed with it and do not realize it. We have drifted out into the ocean of doubt and confusion and yet think we have come closer to the heavenly port!

The importance of the truth

Jesus teaches that it is by the truth that the believer is sanctified: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Therefore, to turn away from the truth, from the faith, is dangerous. Turning away from truth is apostasy. God repeatedly warns his people of the danger of turning from the truth:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. (2 Corinthians 13:5, 6)

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust (parakatathēkēn), avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:20, 21)

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (Hebrews 2:1)

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. (Hebrews 10:35)

No wonder we are told to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). In fact, Paul says to sharply rebuke those who bare a false witness.

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. (Titus 1:10–13)

The Greek for sound hugiainō means healthy. The purpose of rebuke is not to put someone down, or demean them. The purpose is to help those who have erred to have a sound, or healthy, faith. The ultimate goal of rebuke, even sharp rebuke, is to save the one who is in error. Interestingly, the word sharp used here does not mean sharp in the sense of being critical. It comes from a Greek word that literally means to cut. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary has this note:

As the surgeon’s knife cuts away diseased tissue in order that sound health may result, so the words and discipline of Titus and the Cretan elders are to cut away that which endangers the future of the church. (The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 362)

Paul kept the faith: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7), and he told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Can we do any less? But we cannot keep the faith and fight for it if we do not know it or are not well acquainted with it. It will be impossible to study and know the truth without time in our Bibles and in thoughtful prayer with the word of God. Then we can obey the command of Peter:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)

A distinct people

The three angels’ messages, capped with Revelation 14:12, combined with Revelation 12:17; 19:10, make us a distinct people.

It is no secret, nor something done under a tree, that for the last decade there has been a separation of the work of Smyrna from the work of Restoration Ministries in Jamaica. It has been my desire to see this breach repaired. Sadly, while we have held to our prior positions, Restoration Ministries has moved in a different direction, one I sincerely believe they think is correct and needed but, make no mistake, is a new theology. It is no longer Adventism as we have known it.

If the Adventism we have known and believe is error, then we must discard it and move ahead, becoming something Restoration Ministries calls “a Bible-based Christian.” But if the Adventism we have known is truth, then we cannot afford to move from this platform of truth.

There are some troubling areas of theology that Restoration Ministries has ventured in, and I will not make an attempt to discuss all of their teachings. We will examine, however, one of their teaching and compare it with a principle which they taught fifteen years ago and see if we cannot be edified by their work of fifteen years ago. But first, let us consider the current position.

For those who have been reading Open Face or listening to Restoration Ministry’s presentations the last few years, you will have noticed that they no longer quote the writings of Ellen White but attempt to sustain all their positions just from the Bible. This is not wrong of itself, but the matter of correct interpretation is an issue. In Open Face we read:

One thing I have discovered about Ellen White’s writings is that I can find statements to support all that I teach and believe there, but for the past few years I have deliberately refused to support what I believe in this way. first [sic] of all I think it is setting a bad example, if I hold to the Bible as my ultimate authority I should not be acting contrary to my convictions. Secondly, I know that for every statement I find to support what I believe, somebody will find another one to contradict it. I am sorry, but that is the way it is and anyone who is not aware of this is simply very unfamiliar with Ellen White’s writings. I first began to see this very clearly in the godhead controversy and now I see it in many other areas, so I don’t want to be hypocritical and quote to support my point of view when I know that there are statements which equally contradict my point of view.

So, the bottom line is, I have become a Bible-based Christian and it is the best thing that ever happened to me. (Open Face, September 2016, p. 8)

If not outright saying so, the implication, at minimum, is that the writings of Ellen White are unreliable[1] and, instead of giving the trumpet that certain sound, are two-faced or, even worse, present multiple views on many doctrinal positions, from equally strong points of view.

I said we would look at a principle from the past teachings of Restoration Ministries, and we will shortly, but let me first state that the Bible teaches the doctrine of spiritual gifts and to deny the spiritual gifts is, then, to deny the Bible. Our pioneers understood this principle. J. N. Andrews wrote:

9. Now it is plain that those who reject the work of the Spirit of God under the plea that the Scriptures are sufficient, do deny and reject all that part of the Bible which reveals the office and work of the Holy Spirit.

10. Thus 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4, which define the gifts of the Spirit of God, cannot really form a part of the rule of life of those who affirm that the Scriptures are so sufficient in themselves that the gifts of the Spirit are unnecessary. (J. N. Andrews, The Review and Herald, February 15, 1870)

In fact, our Adventist pioneers so unanimously believed this that they published it in their fundamental beliefs:

XVI. That the Spirit of God was promised to manifest itself in the church through certain gifts, enumerated especially in 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4; that these gifts are not designed to supersede, or take the place of, the Bible, which is sufficient to make us wise unto salvation, any more than the Bible can take the place of the Holy Spirit; that, in specifying the various channels of its operation, that Spirit has simply made provision for its own existence and presence with the people of God to the end of time, to lead to an understanding of that word which it had inspired, to convince of sin, and to work a transformation in the heart and life; and that those who deny to the Spirit its place and operation, do plainly deny that part of the Bible which assigns to it this work and position.

The Bible does, indeed, teach the doctrine of spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. Ephesians 4:

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)

The spiritual gifts that God gives are to edify the body of Christ. The body is, of course, the total of the parts, with the individual members being the parts that make up the body. This edifying brings the body to the unity of the faith and perfection. One by product of spiritual gifts is that we “be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” If we do not recognize spiritual gifts, how can they keep us out of doctrinal error when the winds of doctrine blow? We can certainly say that we are going to believe only the Bible, but the Bible teaches spiritual gifts and in some way or ways, spiritual gifts help us to stay on the biblically correct doctrinal path.

First Corinthians 12 teaches that there are diversities of gifts but that they come from the one Spirit. Not all believers receive the same gifts, but the gift of prophecy is certainly one of these gifts and in 1 Corinthians 14:1, Paul says: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” The New King James says, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” Certainly we must heed the counsel, “Despise not prophesying” (1 Thessalonians 5:20). To do otherwise is not following the Bible!

Reasons to doubt and reasons to believe

Now let us talk about a principle that Restoration Ministries taught fifteen years ago. In a sermon entitled “Reasons to Doubt, Reasons to Believe,” it was stated that many of the same reasons people use to cast doubt upon the Spirit of Prophecy could be used to cast doubt upon the Bible. For example, some say that the Bible teaches multiple views on some specific subjects and that it contradicts itself. But it was correctly brought out that the Bible does not contradict itself. Any apparent contradictions are there simply because we do not fully understand the Bible. Let me give you a few examples:

Concerning death, we can read:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. (Philippians 1:21–23)

And:

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (Luke 16:22–24)

But we can also read:

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

And:

For in death there is no remembrance of thee: In the grave who shall give thee thanks? (Psalm 6:5)

And:

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his thoughts perish. (Psalm 146:4)

And:

His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; And they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. (Job 14:21)

And:

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. (Daniel 12:2)

You get the point. While there are texts that seem to speak differently, the weight of evidence is clearly that the dead know nothing and are in a state that the Bible compares to being asleep. (See John 11:11–14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; and 1 Corinthians 15:18, 20.)

There are also texts that seem to speak differently on the destiny of the wicked. For example, in the heart of the third angel’s message, we read:

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. (Revelation 14:11)

We also read:

And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)

But we can also read:

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9)

And:

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12)

And:

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 3:16)

And:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

We could speak about the atonement:

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:11)

By this some would teach that the atonement was completed at the cross. But we can also read:

For on that day [the day of atonement] shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. (Leviticus 16:30)

And:

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:16, 17)

Concerning the doctrine of God, we can read biblical texts like Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and 1 John 5:7, but we know that these have to be understood by the light of other scriptures, as well. Yet because of these we do not reject the Bible. They may cause us to have reasons to doubt, but we have reasons to believe.

We could read texts that seem to teach us we can eat meat, in fact, any meat we want:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1–5; see also Acts 10:9–15)

We can read about church collections on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2) and even about believing in tradition from the Bible!

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

But again we understand that there is a harmony of the Bible. If there appear to be contradictions, it is simply a lack of understanding the matter properly. If I were to write the Bible, would I have stated Revelation 14:11 and Philippians 1:23 differently? In my ignorance, I surely would have. I am thankful that God did not trust me with such a task and though we may not see the wisdom in the way God has given his word to us, I assure you that it is exactly as it needs to be. We do not discard the Bible because we do not see how to harmonize various texts. However, we do have faith that there is a weight of evidence that will help us to understand how we may approach these and other such passages.

With all my heart, soul, and mind I believe the same is true about the writings of Ellen White, for they are the testimony of Jesus. Are there references from the writings of Ellen White that seem to speak differently on the atonement, the incarnation, and the Godhead? There certainly are such references, but they are certainly not of equal weight in number or strength, as Open Face declares.

Did Ellen White write the following?

In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. “He that hath the Son hath life.” 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 530)

Yes, she did write it, and she also wrote:

In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as His personal Saviour. (Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 296, 297)

This reference, originally published a year before The Desire of Ages, says that humanity can have life original, unborrowed, and underived as a gift from Christ. This does not make humanity a part of any trinity. Ellen White also wrote:

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,”—not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father’s person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895)

Did Ellen White write the following?

He planted the cross between heaven and earth, and when the Father beheld the sacrifice of His Son, He bowed before it in recognition of its perfection. “It is enough,” He said. “The atonement is complete.” (Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald, September 24, 1901)

Yes, she did write that, and she also wrote:

He next entered the Most Holy Place, to make an atonement for the sins of the people, and to cleanse the sanctuary. His work as high priest completes the divine plan of redemption by making the final atonement for sin. (Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 157; all emphasis in this article suppled unless otherwise stated)

And:

As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary. (Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 253)

And:

The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement. (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357)

In the same way inspiration works in the Bible, we find it working in the testimony of Jesus. God presents such a big, complex picture that we have to carefully study it all so that we can have the most complete and clear view of his will to man. Today I am glad for that study given fifteen years ago by Restoration Ministries, for it has helped to keep me in balance and steady concerning the gift foretold in Revelation 12:17 and in Revelation 19:10. I sincerely appeal to the brethren in Restoration Ministries to go back and consider this message and its counsel. The issue is not over whether we quote the Spirit of Prophecy or only use the Bible for doctrine. No, the issues are: Are we rejecting spiritual gifts that Christ has given his church, and do we realize the perilous danger that such rejection brings?

I have tested the writings of Ellen White for forty years now, and I have found that they ring true. They have that certain sound! They are not hollow. Ask Stephen Smith, who received a testimony from Ellen White, encouraging him to change things in his life and explaining what the results would be if he did. Smith, at the time, had no faith in Ellen White and refused to even open the letter she had sent him. Instead of opening it and reading it, he put it in the bottom of a trunk and there is stayed for twenty-eight years! Twenty-eight years later he opened that letter and read in it ,exactly what his life had become. How did she know twenty-eight years before? God had shown her. History records many such stories and events that reveal Ellen White was used in a supernatural way by God. The reading of her books, like Patriarchs and Prophets, The Desire of Ages, and The Great Controversy, clearly lift up Jesus and his teachings like books from no other author.

Beloved, Ellen White claimed to have had visions and dreams from God. She was faithful in relating these dreams, but if we believe that she was a false prophet, if we believe that she taught error, and if we believe that she did not really have these dreams and visions, then we should plainly state so and not be hypocritical.

We are told:

The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God’s people in these perilous times. (Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 300)

Anchors keep us from drifting away from where we need to be. They will help keep us from being blown around by winds of doctrine. Arguably her greatest book, The Great Controversy, teaches that the beast of Revelation 13 is the papacy. Of course, this agreed with hundreds of years of Protestant teaching. I have attended many Adventist evangelistic meetings and have also preached in many public meetings where the beast of Revelation 13 and the mark of the beast is discussed. Not once, in my meetings nor in any others I have attended have I quoted or heard Ellen White quoted to prove the papacy was the first beast of Revelation 13. So we are not dependent upon Ellen White for this truth, but she certainly agrees. But when we discard the Spirit of Prophecy, which serves as an anchor for our positions, we can write things such as:

. . . the beast of Revelation 13 is not the Papacy as I was always taught, but that it represented a political empire and not a church. (Open Face, September 2016, p. 1)

We may honestly believe we have a better understanding than what is in the Spirit of Prophecy, but that is not the case. God has foreseen all of the mess that people have been and are now in and has written counsel for his people to warn them.

It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. (Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 211)

The following warning, given over one hundred years ago, is still vital:

The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our own people in the Testimonies, and when these errors come in they claim to prove all the positions by the Bible, but they misinterpret the Scriptures. They make bold assertions, as did Elder Canright, and misapply the prophecies and the Scriptures to prove falsehood. And, after men have done their work in weakening the confidence of our churches in the Testimonies, they have torn away the barrier, that unbelief in the truth shall become widespread, and there is no voice to be lifted up to stay the force of error.

This is just as Satan designed it should be, and those who have been preparing the way for the people to pay no heed to the warnings and reproofs of the Testimonies of the Spirit of God will see that a tide of errors of all kinds will spring into life. They will claim Scripture as their evidence, and deceptions of Satan in every form will prevail.—Letter 109, 1890. (Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. 83)

Satan does not usually openly take a sledge hammer to truth, for he knows that we would be repulsed by such an attack. Instead, he chips away a little here and a little there. He is persistent and non-tiring in his work, until we are finally ready to accept what we would at one time never dream of believing.

Satan is ... constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.—Letter 12, 1890.

There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.—Letter 40, 1890. (White, Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 48)

Today, the words Jehoshaphat still ring true:

Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. (2 Chronicles 20:20)

To be continued

[1]. The author acknowledges that Ellen White was used by God in the establishing of the Advent movement.


Stephen Smith and the Unread Testimony

By Arthur L. White

This is the story of Stephen Smith. It is constructed from the records of the early days as found in the manuscript vault of the Ellen G. White Publications. His name is used with his expressed permission.

It was in 1850 that Stephen Smith, a man in middle life, accepted the third angel’s message. He loved the Sabbath truth, and he rejoiced in the Advent message. Mrs. Smith and the children too loved this truth. They lived in the vicinity of Washington, New Hampshire, where the Adventists first began to keep the Sabbath in 1844. It was not long until Brother Smith was giving his time and strength to heralding his new-found faith. Though he traveled a good bit, the Washington, New Hampshire, church was his home church.

But in those early days, as sometimes today, discordant voices were heard, as now and then someone came along with so-called new light. Stephen Smith was swept off his feet with some such teaching concerning the spiritual Advent of Christ, and began to push his new-found but strange views. Having turned from one of the fundamentals of the message, he employed his influence to undermine confidence in the leaders of the work, and was especially critical of Elder and Mrs. White.

We find him next at a conference of the believers held in Washington, New Hampshire, in late October, 1851. Here seventy-five of the believers assembled, some coming from other States. Elder and Mrs. White were there. Stephen Smith was bitter in his criticism and opposition. He was ardent in promulgating his discordant views. Near the close of the Sabbath, Mrs. White was taken off in vision, and the state of things in Washington was revealed to her. In plain words she told the brethren what she had been shown. The handwritten record of that early day reads, “The vision had a powerful effect. All acknowledged their faith in the visions except Brother ______ and Stephen Smith.” Before the conference closed, the assembled group, because of his discordant views, withdrew the hand of fellowship from Brother Smith. The next year, however, after a seeming change of heart and deep confession, Stephen Smith was back in the church again, but not for long.

Clinging to the Sabbath truth, but in bitter opposition to the visions, poor Mr. Smith was ready to join this little group and that offshoot party, each of which claimed to have new light for God’s people. He saw no need for the Spirit of Prophecy. His sympathies were first with the Messenger Party till it came to nought. He espoused the 1854 time setting till this collapsed, and then he was off with the Marion Party, with their no-organization, no-sanctuary, and no-Spirit-of-Prophecy teachings. The true nature of these discordant teachings was clearly seen by the church as the Lord opened up the true significance through the visions to Mrs. White, but Mr. Smith felt no need of these warnings and counsels.

Now, the Lord loved Stephen Smith. During this time of wavering and alienated sympathies, a vision was given to Sister White pointing out his dangers, showing the ultimate results of his course of action, but assuring him of God’s love and acceptance if he repented. Painstakingly Mrs. White wrote out what had been revealed to her and closed the epistle with an appeal to turn from his waywardness and walk with God’s people. At this time the Whites were residing at Battle Creek, Michigan, so the communication was sent to Mr. Smith through the mail.

Calling at the post office for his mail shortly thereafter, Mr. Smith was handed a long envelope, and his eyes fell on the return address, Mrs. E. G. White, Battle Creek, Michigan.

“Mrs. White has written me a testimony,” he said to himself, as in anger he felt the blood rushing to his cheeks, “and I don’t want any testimony.” In silence he held it for a time in his trembling hand, uncertain as to what he should do.

“No, I’ll not read it,” he said to himself as he pushed the unopened envelope in his pocket and hurried home. Reaching the house, he noticed the trunk over in the corner, and immediately he knew what to do with the letter. In anger he raised the lid, reached down, and lifted the contents enough so that he could slip the unopened letter into the bottom of the trunk. He slammed the lid down and locked it tight. For twenty-eight years that testimony lay on the bottom of his trunk unopened and unread.

Now, Stephen Smith went on in his own way. I hardly need to describe the course he took. One who knew him well said that he “had the most withering, blighting tongue of any man I ever heard. He could say the meanest things, in the meanest, most cutting way of any man I ever met.” He was particularly bitter in his criticism of Mrs. White and the Spirit of Prophecy. Mrs. Smith, who remained loyal to the message, and the children had an unhappy time indeed. Manifesting such a spirit and such an attitude, Stephen Smith spent what should have been the best years of his life.

Twenty-seven years rolled by. It was now 1884, and his hair had turned white and his back was bent. One day he picked up from the parlor table a copy of the REVIEW and HERALD— and the REVIEW should be on the parlor table of every Adventist home. As he turned its pages and his eye caught the name of Ellen G. White as the author of one of the articles, he stopped to read it, and when he finished he said to himself, “That’s the truth.” The next week he got hold of another issue of the REVIEW, and there was another article from the pen of Sister White, and he said again, “That’s God’s truth.”

And that is the real test of the Spirit of Prophecy, isn’t it? It is the way the Lord speaks to our hearts from the pages of the Spirit of Prophecy books, and constitutes the strongest evidence that the work is of God.

From week to week Stephen Smith read. He began to soften in his words and his attitudes. His wife and others noticed the change.

The next summer, 1885, Eugene W. Farnsworth was asked to go back to his old home church at Washington, New Hampshire, to hold revival meetings. This he was happy to do. It was his father, William Farnsworth, right there in the little frame church, who in 1844 had taken his stand for the Sabbath. The word soon got around that Eugene Farnsworth was coming to hold meetings. Stephen Smith, now living at Unity, twelve miles to the north, wanted to see Eugene again and hear him preach. He had known him as a lad and had seen him grow up. So the old man journeyed the twelve miles to Washington to be present at the meeting to be held Sabbath morning. He sat in the audience, and Elder Farnsworth preached. His topic was the rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Movement—a movement of prophecy.

When Elder Farnsworth had finished his sermon, a rustle was heard in the audience, and Stephen Smith was struggling to his feet. He wanted to speak, but Elder Farnsworth did not know whether he dared let him speak or not. He expected that if he did speak, it would be a tirade of ridicule and of criticism, but he thought perhaps he better let the man get it out of his system. This is what Smith said:

“I don’t want you to be afraid of me, brethren, for I haven’t come to criticize you—I’ve quit that kind of business.” He then reviewed the past; he told how he had opposed church organizations and “most everything else”; he referred to his connection with the Messenger Party, his sympathy with the Marion Party, and his general hatred of our work and our people. Finally, he said, he had been comparing notes for a year or two, and he’d seen those parties, one after another, go down, and those who had sympathized with them come to confusion.

“Facts,” he said, “are stubborn things. But the facts are that those who have opposed this work have come to nought, and those who have been in sympathy with it have prospered, have grown better, more devoted and Godlike. Those who have opposed it have only learned to fight and debate, and they’ve lost all their religion. No honest man can help seeing that God is with the Advent Movement and against us who have opposed it. I want to be in fellowship with this people in heart and in the church.”

After this public confession Stephen Smith began to review his past experience. On Thursday he recalled that letter in the bottom of his trunk. It had been years since he had thought of it. For the first time in twenty-eight years he wanted to know what was inside that envelope.

He found the key, and with trembling hand unlocked the old trunk and lifted up the lid, and he reached down to the bottom feeling for the envelope. Finally he had it in his hand. He pulled it out, looked at it for a minute, and then tore it open. He slipped out the folded handwritten sheets, dropped into a chair, and read.

There he read a picture of what his life would be if he followed the course he had embarked upon. He read of bitterness and disappointment. There he read an accurate picture of what his life had been, for he hadn’t changed his way. There he read an appeal to turn to God.

Sabbath morning he was back again at Washington. He did not want to miss the meeting. Elder Farnsworth, who knew nothing of this experience, preached on the Spirit of Prophecy, and he no sooner finished than old Stephen Smith was on his feet again. Listen to his words: “I received a testimony myself twenty- eight years ago, took it home, locked it up in my trunk, and never read it until last Thursday.” He said he didn’t believe the testimony, although he didn’t know a word that was in it. He said he was afraid to read it, for fear it would make him mad, but he said, “I was mad all the time nearly anyway.”

Finally he said, “Brethren, every word of that testimony for me is true, and I accept it. I have come to that place where I finally believe the testimonies are all of God. And if I had heeded the one God sent to me as well as the rest, it would have changed the whole course of my life and I would have been a very different man. Any man that’s honest must say that they lead a man toward God and the Bible always. If he’s honest, he’ll say that; if he won’t say that, he’s not honest.

“If I had heeded them, it would have saved me a world of trouble. The testimony said there was to be no more definite time preached after the ‘44 movement, but I thought I knew as much as an old woman’s visions,’ as I used to term them. May God forgive me. But to my sorrow I found the visions were right, and the man who thought he knew it all was all wrong, for I preached the time in ’54, and I spent all I had, when if I had heeded them, I should have saved myself all that and much more. The testimonies are right and I am wrong.

“Brethren,” he concluded, “I’m too old to undo what I’ve done. I’m too feeble to get out to our large meetings, but I want you to tell our people everywhere that another rebel has surrendered.”

Our first reaction is one of joy that old Stephen Smith even late in life came to see the light and walked in the light. (And I am glad to tell you that he was faithful till his death.) But, then we think of the situation. There in his old trunk unopened and unread was a message that God sent to save him from a wrong course—a message that God sent to bless and guide him—but there it lay, unopened and unread, and Stephen Smith went on in his own way. According to his own testimony that message, if it had been read and had been heeded, would have changed his life, and he would have, lived a godly, useful life. But the testimony was unheeded because it was unread.

And then I think of our experience—yours and mine. Over on the shelf are those Spirit of Prophecy books—books filled with counsel for us. If they are not on the shelf, we can easily secure them. These books are filled with counsel that meets the problems we are confronted with today. They are filled with light as to the experiences before the church. There’s hardly a page that does not bring a positive message to our hearts. True, our names are not mentioned there, but the messages deal with our experience. They give us guidance and furnish help in living the Christian life and in making decisions each day. If we leave those books on the shelf unopened and unread, are we any less responsible than was old Stephen Smith?

(The Review and Herald, August 6, 1953)


Tasty Recipe

Hearty Burgers

Burger.psdThe following recipe is adapted from Jeff Novick’s burger recipe but extends it to make an even greater burger.

Jeff’s burger recipe is simple and easy to adapt. It calls for beans, rice, oats, a type of tomato sauce, and seasonings. The type of beans and seasonings determine the style of burger produced. The recipe below is my favorite adaptation of Jeff’s recipe. This recipe creates a batch of about sixteen burgers.

Ingredients:

The above amounts can be adjusted or changed according to your individual preferences or needs.

Something that has helped me produce a smoother and more consistently textured burger is to use a fine chopper, such as the ½ quart Ninja Express Chopper. This is a double bladed chopper that is perfect for this recipe. If you do not have a chopper, you can use a potato masher to mash the beans and a sharp knife to chop the onion, pepper and other ingredients.

Combine one half of the beans with 3 tablespoons of the tomato sauce in the chopper and whiz until smooth. Place this is a large mixing bowl and repeat with the rest of the beans and the sauce. Then add the rice, which can be whizzed, if you wish, into the mixing bowl, along with the oats, egg replacer, and seasonings. Use the chopper to finely chop the onion, pepper, olives, and nuts. (Be careful not to liquefy the onion, pepper, or olives!)

This is then add the chopped ingredients to the mixture and thoroughly combine. If the mixture seems too moist, add more oats until it is just moist enough to mix well.

The mixture can then be formed into patties. I like to use a wide mouth canning jar ring and lid for this process. I place the lid down in the ring and spray this with no-stick spray. I then take a spoon and fill the ring/lid combo with the mixture, I then spray the patty with the no-stick spray and place in on a skillet set to about 350°F. The ring and lid can carefully be removed and the next patty formed. This way only the part of the skillet that needs spray receives it and it creates very uniform sandwich-sized burgers. You may also bake the burgers for about twenty minutes at 350°F, turning them after ten minutes.

This burgers are nice to serve on fresh whole grain bread with lettuce and all the normal things one likes on a burger!

Allen Stump


Old 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. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our website. The url is: http://www.smyrna.org. Phone: (304) 732–9204. Fax: (304) 732–7322.

Editor Allen Stump—editor@smyrna.org
Associate Editor Onycha Holt—onycha@smyrna.org