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. 26, No.4 Straight and Narrow April 2017


DOES IT MATTER WHOM AND HOW WE WORSHIP?

 

In this issue:

The Jealous God

Tasty Recipe

No Great Love

2017 West Virginia Camp Meeting

History of the Sabbath and the First Day of the Week Quiz

Loma Linda and Higher Education

Youth’s Corner

 

The Jealous God

One of the most challenging portions of Scripture is the latter portion of Ezekiel. Few have given it serious study and even fewer understand it, but in this study there is one great lesson we will learn from Ezekiel. Starting in Chapter 40, there is a detailed description of a temple and of restored services, a temple that was never built. Was it God’s purpose to have it built but Israel failed to do so, or, perhaps, was God attempting to teach Israel lessons from the plan? Some evangelical Christians believe that this temple will still be built.

This temple’s dimensions were massive. Counting its outer court, the area was five hundred cubits square and over nine hundred feet in length and width. The most holy place was sixty cubits square, and these cubits were the royal cubit of about twenty-two inches (Ezekiel 40:5). The description is given in Chapters 40–42 and in Chapter 43, we are ready for the return of the glory of God.

Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:1, 2)

Ezekiel had seen the glory of the Lord depart earlier from the east gate. (See Ezekiel 10:18, 19: 11:1, 23.) This was a result of the four abominations mentioned in Chapter 8. Ezekiel said the voice was “like a noise [sound] of many waters.” (See Revelation 1:15.)

And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. (Ezekiel 43:3)

In Ezekiel 1:1, Ezekiel says he was by the river Chebar and saw something no other prophet had claimed to see, “visions of God.”

And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. (Ezekiel 43:4)

The glory is now returning, after the judgment of Ezekiel 8, 9:

So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. (Ezekiel 43:5)

God is now beyond the outer court and into the inner court, where “the altar that was before the house” (Ezekiel 40:47) was located.

When the wilderness tabernacle was set up, the glory of Yahweh filled it:

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34, 35)

Now God prepares to fill the temple which Ezekiel sees. Before we continue we should try to answer a fundamental question: Would God have filled the wilderness tabernacle if the children of Israel were worshiping Baal or Moloch?

Quickly we say, Of course not. Why? Because of the hideous nature of those false gods. Their worship did not lead to the true God or to his character.

Baal — Baal was the Phoenician sun god who was worshiped as the god who provided fertility. This worship was especially a temptation to Israel:

They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind. (Jeremiah 19:5)

Molech — Molech was the god of the children of Ammon. Molech is the name of a pagan deity to whom human sacrifices were made. Parents made their children pass through fire.

And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 18:21)

There was no way that God would have filled the tabernacle or any temple dedicated to his worship, if that temple had been host to the worship or Baal and/or Molech!

And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. (Ezekiel 43:6, 7)

God has taken residence in his house. The Hebrew in verse 7 is emphatic, “This is the place of my throne” (ESV, NASB, NIV, HCSB). No longer will God be in competition with others. Their whoredoms, which had been both physical and spiritual, must stop.

The name Baal means lord. When Israel was worshiping Baal, they were saying, O Lord, hear us (as the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:26). To many the distinction between the worship of Baal and the worship of Jehovah was blurred. In some respects it was an unconscious apostasy. The rulers and the people tried to deny it, but Jeremiah exposed it:

How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done . . . (Jeremiah 2:23)

Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. (Jeremiah 2:35)

And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; . . . Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour. . . . For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things. (Jeremiah 16:10, 11, 13, 17, 18)

This apostate worship was practiced and mingled with the worship of Jehovah in the temple:

Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 7:9–11)

Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. (Jeremiah 7:14)

This apostasy was promoted and led by the rulers of the nation, both priests and prophets. (See Jeremiah 23:11–15, 26, 27.)

And though this worship was in many ways similar to the worship of “the only true God” (John 17:3), God did not and could not accept it!

The name molech is from the Hebrew word melek, meaning king. Molech is translated king in many translations of Amos 5:26.

God would not condone the whoredoms of Israel or “the carcases of their kings.” What does God mean by the expression “the carcases of their kings?” Interestingly, God refers to idols as carcases:

And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. (Leviticus 26:30)

Therefore, the phrase carcases of their kings cannot mean simply the bodies of kings buried near the temple, but it means the idols that were to represent Molech! Notice the following thoughts on this:

Some commentators understand it literally of the burial of some of the kings in the Temple area; but there is no historical proof that any were so buried, the gardens of the royal palace being quite too distant for the language here used, nor is there anywhere any allusion to such defilement. (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, comments on Ezekiel 43:7)

Nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places — Idols are called carcasses, because they are without life and motion, and likewise upon the account of their being hateful and loathsome in the sight of God: . . . They are called carcasses of kings because they were set up, and the worship of them encouraged, by the idolatrous kings of Judah, who erected high places for that purpose near Jerusalem, in the very view of the temple, 2 Kings 23:13. (Benson Commentary on Ezekiel 43:7)

Continuing in Ezekiel 43, we read:

In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. (Ezekiel 43:8)

In the former times there was no outer court. Only a single wall separated the temple from the king’s palace. They had these abominations, with their posts (door posts) by God’s posts (door posts), so God in his “anger” consumed them. The four abominations of Ezekiel[1] all involved worship, in some form, with the use of idols and false gods. This was what originally drove God from his house. Continuing in Ezekiel 43:

Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. (Ezekiel 43:9)

This was the essential requirement of God in order to reside among his people. You may be thinking that we do not worship Baal or Molech today, that we do not worship at sun pillars or weep for Tamuz, and that we do not bake cakes to the queen of heaven, but carefully consider the following:

No outward shrines may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshiping the true God as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His place? (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 173, 174; all emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted.)

So, does it really matter to God how he is worshiped? The way we worship God will depend upon whom we believe he is and upon what we believe he is like. Jesus was particular about his worship, and so should we be. When tempted by Satan, he said:

Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10)

Here Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:13 LXX, and he emphasizes that his Father will not be in competition with others.

The first table of the decalogue deals with man’s duty to God. In three of these four commandments, God reveals something about his identity to humanity. In the second commandment, forbidding idols and their worship, God declares:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. (Exodus 20:4, 5)

Within the context of idolatry, God declares himself to be the jealous God. When we think of jealousy, we may have negative connotations. For example, Song of Solomon 8:6 says that “jealousy is cruel as the grave,” but one definition of being jealous is to be “fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions”(New Oxford American Dictionary).

God does all he can to protect his people, and he is jealous for them to be faithful to him and to exclusively worship him. The Spirit of Prophecy concisely states:

“I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” The close and sacred relation of God to His people is represented under the figure of marriage. Idolatry being spiritual adultery, the displeasure of God against it is fitly called jealousy. (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 306)

He is a jealous God, and requires heart service and perfect obedience to all his commandments. (Ellen White, The Spirit of Prophecy, bk. 1, p. 260)

The Father not only declares himself to be a jealous God but also that his name, or character, is Jealous!

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14)

For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

God’s name is Jealous, and this prompts him to work in a jealous manner.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. (Ezekiel 36:5)

In repeating the Ten Commandments, God says:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. (Deuteronomy 5:9)

Again, God calls his name Jealous amidst the discussion on idolatry. We are told:

The Lord is a jealous God. He will not be trifled with. He has spoken concerning the manner in which He should be worshiped. He has a hatred of idolatry, for its influence is corrupting. It debases the mind, and leads to sensuality and all kinds of sin. (Ellen White, Sermons and Talks, bk. 2, p. 184)

God is specific about the manner in which he must be worshiped. Not just any method of worship is acceptable to him, and, further, he will share his glory with no false gods.

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8)

The Lord God is a jealous God, and he will not be silent when his glory is tarnished, his worship corrupted before the world, and his character misrepresented to men. He has regard unto his honor and the glory of his name before all nations. He expects those who claim to be his worshipers to be loyal to the principles of righteousness, not only for their own soul’s interest, but for the good of those with whom they are associating. He would have them represent the principles of the government whose subjects they claim to be and whose King they profess to serve. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, June 5, 1894)

Who is this jealous God and what is he like? Let us look at dozens of verses that reveal the identity and character of our God.

The God revealed in the Bible

The Creator: God is the creator of all things. The very first words of holy writ state: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The first clause of the verse is sublime, “In the beginning God.” The four and twenty elders fall down before the one sitting upon the throne in Revelation 4 and say, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). The Bible says that God created all things by or through his Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17; Hebrews 1:2). Even though Christ is the Father’s active agent in creation, the Bible presents God the Father as being the great architect of all creation.

The Father: God is presented in the Bible as the Father. Interestingly, the most basic and simple word in the Hebrew language is the word for father. In Hebrew the word father is composed of the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the aleph and the beth, or the a and b of Hebrew. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God is called father. For example, in the Old Testament:

Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? (Deuteronomy 32:6)

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? (Malachi 2:10a)

The name Eliab is broken down as Eli – ab, meaning God (Eli) is my father (ab). The name Joab, Jo – ab, means Jehovah is Father.

In the New Testament, God is referred to as Father scores of times. For example, in the writings of Paul, we read:

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. (Colossians 1:3)

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:6)

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

This last verse is important because it clearly states that God is the Father. Period. Unlike the Catholic councils that declare God to be a unity of three co-equal persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Paul teaches that the individual we call God is the Father. He is the one of whom (the architect) are all things and that they come by (the active agent) Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Father of Jesus Christ: God is not only our Father but seven times Peter and Paul call God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:6)

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. (2 Corinthians 11:31)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 3:14)

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. (Colossians 1:3)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

Over fifty times in the New Testament Jesus is recorded as calling God “my Father.”

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22)

Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. (John 8:19)

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)

In this last verse Jesus calls God “my Father,” but he also calls him his God and our God. Paul also writes:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. (Ephesians 1:17)

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. (2 Corinthians 11:31)

Peter agrees:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

The testimony of Scripture is that the Father is the God of Jesus Christ. Jesus is never called the God of the Father. Ellen White called God, “the Sovereign of the Universe” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34).

God is not a trinity

Within Christianity, a doctrine that is considered fundamental and established and “conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true,”[2] is said to be orthodox. The word orthodox is “from Greek orthodoxos…from orthos ‘straight or right’ + doxa ‘opinion.”[3] Thus, something orthodox is supposed to be the straight or correct opinion, but, honestly, dear reader, what good are men’s opinions compared to what the word of God declares? As Martin Luther declared at Worms:

“I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by the clearest reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the word of God, I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me. Amen.” (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 160; quoting D’Aubigne)

The orthodox doctrine on God is called Trinity. It declares that God is composed of three persons, sometimes referred to as “three individual centers of intelligence”[4] in one being or hypostases. Thus God is declared to be “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons.”[5]

However, while this is certainly a strong doxa, it is not orthos. Let us see why. One of the most important texts in the Old Testament is Deuteronomy 6:4. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” This is called the Shema of Israel, for the Hebrew word for hear. Concerning this text, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, a decidedly trinitarian work, states:

Literally, “Jehovah our God, Jehovah [is] One.” In striking contrast to the nations about them, who were polytheists, the Hebrews believed in one true God. This profession of faith has been the watchword of the Hebrew race for more than 3,000 years (See Mark 12:29). (vol. 1, p. 974)

As we shall soon see, God has desired to make himself known to humanity, and if God were a trinity why did he never plainly declare it? God was very clear on which day is the Sabbath. God was very clear that he created the world in six days. God was very clear that salvation could only come through Jesus, but if he were a trinity, why did he not make a clear, plain, unequivocal statement of such a nature? No, God says he is one in number, not many in number. Jesus agreed with this understanding, too.

One day, near the close of Christ’s ministry, a scribe came to him with a question:

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? (Mark 12:28)

Jesus answered him by quoting Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 and Leviticus 19:18:

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29–31)

To this, the scribe responded:

And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. (Mark 12:32, 33)

Mark records that “Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, [and] he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God” (v. 34). Both Jesus and the scribe agreed with Deuteronomy 6:4 and the text notes that the scribe answered discreetly. The Greek word translated discreetly is nounechōs, and it means wisely, sensibly, or intelligently. If the scribe had been wrong, Jesus would not have thought the scribe answered well. Again, if God were a trinity and if Jesus were the second person of this so-called trinity, here was a perfect opportunity of Jesus to clarify matters. But he did not!

If God were a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then any place we find the term God in the Bible, speaking of the supreme being of the universe, we should be able to substitute Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the word God. But even just a few texts will show the folly in this idea. For example:

But to us there is but one Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6, modified with trinitarian belief substituted in the text)

This certainly does not make sense, but it should, if the doctrine of the trinity were correct. 1 Timothy 2:5 declares:

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Paul says “to us.” He is not speaking to the Jews but to all believers of Christianity. Paul declares that there is one God, and he is the Father. In Galatians 3:20, he says that “God is one.” James joins in the discussion, too:

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19)

James gives us two valuable thoughts here. He says that we do well to believe the truth that there is one God. That belief, however, must be more than a simple intellectual acknowledgment but must be a saving faith that works by love. (See Galatians 5:6.)

When Jesus was praying the night before his crucifixion, he said to his Father:

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

You may say it does not mean what it says, and if you do, you argue with Jesus and not with me. You are free to argue with any man as you wish, but I caution you not contradict Jesus Christ.

God wants to make himself known

Not only is the Father the only true God, but he is a God that wants to make himself known!

What is God like? He is a God that reveals himself to man. One of his great goals is to reveal his wonderful character. One great goal of the New Covenant experience is to have the knowledge of God spread to all his creatures:

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

From the book of Job, we read: “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21). As we become acquainted with God, we have peace.

In the Garden of Eden, before there was sin, perfect face-to-face fellowship with God existed. But after sin, the nature of our God and his holiness necessitated a separation from humanity for the safety of man, “for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). God, however, wants to restore humanity to himself. He desires for us to find him, and he has promised:

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

The way that God has appointed that we find him is through Jesus Christ. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Only the one who had been in the bosom of the Father could properly represent him and reveal him. Jesus said he was “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way to the Father, he is the truth about the Father embodied, and Jesus brings us the life of the Father. God wants to us to know him, and he has given to us his Son so we might understand his character.

A God of Love: The most important aspect of God is his love. It may seems strange that the jealous God is a God of love, but remember that God’s jealousy is not a selfish jealousy. His jealousy stems from a desire for his creatures to have the best and to be protected by him from sin and evil. The greatest text of the Bible is the one that proclaims the depths of God’s love:

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)

How great is God’s love for you, beloved? He did not give a goat or a sheep for you. If so, you might be tempted to value yourself at the level of a goat or a sheep. God did not even give an angel for you, and that would have been a lot. We would have considered ourselves to be worth that of an angel. But God did more; he did infinitely more! He gave the greatest gift he could give in the gift of his only begotten Son. He did not simply give a friend or an associate, but he gave his only begotten Son, one torn from his very bosom for us. Jesus declared the degree of God’s love for us in John 17:23, where he noted:

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Wonder of wonder and wonder of heaven! Jesus, the faithful and true witness, declares that the Father loves us like he loves his only begotten, pure, and holy Son, Jesus Christ. That is love!

John, the apostle of love, wrote that “God is love” (1 John 4:18), and his love was manifested, or expressed, in the gift of his only begotten Son:

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9, 10)

Abraham was privileged to understand more than others of the great sacrifice that God made in the gift of his Son, when he was commanded to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. The record begins:

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (Genesis 22:1, 2)

Notice the language, “Abraham: . . . Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” Abraham knew Isaac was his only begotten son of promise (Hebrews 11:17), and he knew how much he loved him. It is as if God was provoking Abraham to deep thought with these words. In this test, the focus is not on Isaac, who represented Christ, but it is upon Abraham. While we marvel at Isaac’s willingness to follow his father’s plan and to be the submissive lamb, representing Jesus, the Lamb of God, the real message of this story is the anguish of Abraham and his experience. In the gift of God’s Son, all heaven was emptied.

God is love. He has shown that love in the gift of Christ. When “He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” He withheld nothing from His purchased possession. (John 3:16.) He gave all heaven . . . (Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 316)

We are also told:

Abraham’s test was the most severe that could come to a human being. (Ellen White, The Youth’s Instructor, June 6, 1901)

I was watching a presentation from a well-known theologian about the trinity recently, and during his short presentation, he used the term acts twice and the term role once in discussing the work of the individual members of the so-called trinity. I heard that the Father is called the father because he acts as a father and that the Son is called the son because he acts as a son, and the Holy Spirit plays a different role. But the idea is that the three persons of the trinity are all co-equal and co-eternal, and they have roles that could have been interchanged. In other words, the person called the father could have played the role of the son, the son could have been the holy spirit, etc., but, beloved, our God condemns theatrics. When the Bible says that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, it is true.

But we might wonder, If God loved us so much, why did he send his Son to die for us instead of dying himself? It seems selfish for God to have his Son die for us instead of he himself making the atonement. My only begotten son, Hans, was a joy to me beyond words. Nothing could have matched my love for him. He loved God and the things of God. He wanted to be in church each Sabbath, and he never missed singing the songs of Zion each Wednesday night at prayer meeting. But one dreadful day I learned he had brain cancer. As his father my heart was wrung with anguish. I pleaded with God for his life, offering to give my life in exchange for his. If God would heal him, I would take the cancer or God could take my life in an accident. The mode did not matter to me. My life seemed small compared to his. God, in his wisdom, did not grant that prayer and today Hans sleeps, waiting for Jesus, but I think you get the point!

So, why did not God the Father offer himself instead of giving his Son? Because, friend, he could not. There are two things the Bible presents that God cannot do. One is lie (Titus 1:2) and the other is die. Of all the beings in the universe, the Father alone has an unconditional immortality. Paul, writing to Timothy, said:

That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:14–16)

Paul makes his point in verse 16, but verses 14 and 15 are included here so that the context is clear. Jesus Christ will show “who only hath immortality.” This is the Father. We think of the good angels as being immortal and even the righteous will one day have immortality, but these are conditional immortalities. Only the Father cannot die, but Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Father, could become a man and die. And wonder of heaven again, the Father sends him to this world to die for humanity and the experience of the Father is revealed in a small way upon Mt. Moriah, with Abraham and his great soul anguish.

God suffered with his Son. Man cannot comprehend the sacrifice made by the infinite God in giving up his Son to reproach, agony, and death. This is the evidence of the Father’s boundless love to man. (Ellen White, The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p. 100)

God suffered with his Son, as the divine Being alone could suffer, in order that the world might become reconciled to him. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, October 22, 1895)

This is the love of God! No human can fully grasp what it meant to the Father for his Son to suffer. Suppose you had a child dying with great suffering and you were not able to communicate, comfort, or help. Furthermore, suppose your child was being mistreated and abused at this same time. Would it not hurt you greatly?

If the trinity were true, then God has kept back the most important thing from the people he has declared that he wanted to give them: a clear understanding of himself. It is pitiful to think that some people believe and teach that God taught the pioneers about pork, dress reform, and even the Sabbath, but waited fifty years to teach his people about himself! But this false concept is not supported by reality or by the testimonies. Ellen White wrote:

Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years? (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, May 25, 1905)

When Doctor John Harvey Kellogg was promoting his book, The Living Temple, Ellen White did not object to the physical health treatments in the book, but she did object to the theology that Kellogg interspersed in the book. Kellogg admitted that though the teachings in The Living Temple were not clear, his acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity helped him to have a clearer understanding of how God was everywhere.[6] Writing about the teachings in The Living Temple, Ellen White noted:

I am so sorry that sensible men do not discern the trail of the serpent. I call it thus; for thus the Lord pronounces it. Wherein are those who are designated as departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, departing from the faith which they have held sacred for the past fifty years? I leave that for the ones to answer who sustain those who develop such acuteness in their plans for spoiling and hindering the work of God. (Ellen White, Special Testimonies, series B, no. 7, p 61, November 1905)

The trail of the serpent leads to the trinitarian doctrine and to spiritualism. Ellen White declared that our safety lay in the teachings of the early part of the movement. Yet, as one studies the history of that movement, one does not see the teaching of the trinity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was not until after Ellen White died that such teachings were accepted by the church.

It is essential to know God as the Bible reveals him

In the book, The Ministry of Healing, Chapter 35 is entitled “A True Knowledge of God.” That chapter begins:

Like our Saviour, we are in this world to do service for God. We are here to become like God in character, and by a life of service to reveal Him to the world. In order to be co-workers with God, in order to become like Him and to reveal His character, we must know Him aright. We must know Him as He reveals Himself.

A knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation. It is this alone that can make us like God in character.

This is the knowledge needed by all who are working for the uplifting of their fellow men. Transformation of character, purity of life, efficiency in service, adherence to correct principles, all depend upon a right knowledge of God. This knowledge is the essential preparation both for this life and for the life to come. (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 409)

Beloved, the doctrine of God is important. Do not let anyone tell you that it is not important and to concentrate, instead, on subjects like the Sabbath and the three angels’ messages. Beloved, we cannot worship or give glory to God when we worship him wrongly. The record of inspiration is that God will not accept false worship, when our minds have the opportunity to know the truth.

Our God is a jealous God; and He requires us to worship Him in spirit and in truth, in the beauty of holiness. The psalmist says: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” As workers we must take heed to our ways. If the psalmist could not be heard if he regarded iniquity in his heart, how can the prayers of men now be heard while iniquity is regarded by them? (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 591)

Who only will be involved in the last great work?

Biblical student, do you want to be involved in the last great work of the gospel upon the earth? Then seriously consider the following testimony:

The great and holy One is a jealous God, and He will have holy men to carry His truth. The holy law spoken by God from Sinai is a part of Himself, and holy men who are its strict observers will alone honor Him by teaching it to others. (Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 101)

Only those who are strict observers of God’s law will be allowed to have a part in the last great work. God is a jealous God, whose name is Jealous. He cannot and will not accept less than perfection for the 144,000.

Allen Stump

[1]. For a study on these four abominations, please see the February – June 2010 issues of Old Paths.

[2]. New Oxford American Dictionary

[3]. Ibid.

[4]. Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, p. 150

[5]. Fundamental Belief #2 of Seventh-day Adventists, https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/god/trinity/

[6]. See the first page and a half of the letter of A. G. Daniells to Willie White, October 29, 1903, below

Daniels AG to White WC 10-29-03 P1_20160706_0001.jpg
Daniels AG to White WC 10-29-03 P2_20160706_0001.jpg

Tasty Recipe

Pineapple Delight

Vera Antisdel

Crust:

1 C quick oats

1 C whole wheat flour

1 C unsweetened coconut

1/2 t salt

Place dry ingredients in bowl. Then stir together

1/2 C syrup or honey

1/3 C oil

Mix this into dry mixture. Press lightly onto bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and fill with pineapple topping.

Topping:

3 C pineapple juice

1/2 C cornstarch

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple in its own juice

1–2 T honey, optional

Put cornstarch in 2 quart sauce pan. Add enough juice to dissolve corn starch. Stir in remaining juice and cook over medium heat to thicken. Stir in the can of crushed pineapple and cool. Pour into prepared crust.


NO GREATER LOVE

No greater love could ever be

Than that of Christs who died for me.

He left His Fathers home above,

The Only Begotten Son of love,

To demonstrate how much They care

For fallen man.

I cannot fully understand

The depth of love God has for man,

But know that Jesus loving heart

Reflects the Fathers love in part.

I hope and pray my life reflects

My love for them.

Vera Antisdel


2017 WV Camp Meeting

We are already almost down to the last call for the camp meeting! That is hard to believe. The West Virginia camp meeting will be June 13–17, 2017, and we hope you will make every effort to join us. The theme is “The Message and Its Right Arm,” and we plan to devote the meetings during the day to our health message and the meetings in the evening and on Sabbath to the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14. You will not want to miss being here. Brother Jean-Christophe Bolotte will be here from France and will speak on each of the three angels. Elder S. T. Lewis from Ohio will also speak on the three angels’ messages, as will Pastor Allen Stump. We are sorry to inform you that the visa for Sister Ira Raylean from Moldova was denied, so she cannot attend camp meeting, but Brother Elvis Alberto of Curaçao will be here, and he will address practical areas of health for the gentlemen, such as massage, fomentations, and hot foot baths. In addition, Andy and Christy Whitehurst will be here to share health insights, as will Raquel Akens and Elaine Nailing, and Onycha Holt will address the history and the application of Ellen White’s health counsels, based on Dr. Mervyn Hardinge’s book, A Physician Explains Ellen White’s Counsel on Drugs, Herbs, and Natural Remedies. We have invited other speakers to participate, and other areas of interest are being considered. We will keep you updated, but please plan now to partake of the blessings of camp meeting.


History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week by J. N. Andrews

Questions by Elder James White

Chapter 4 “The Fourth Command”

Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 10, 1863

1. To what sublime event are we now brought in the investigation of the Sabbath?

2. Who descended upon Mount Sinai?

3. How many texts of scripture show that God was present with his angels? See footnote for answer.

4. For what is the 16th chapter of Exodus remarkable?

5. What fact renders the 19th chapter remarkable?

6. For what reason is the 20th chapter also an important and remarkable chapter?

7. How is it customary with some to speak of the Sabbath?

8. Why is the Sabbath called Jewish?

9. But how does the Creator speak of himself? Exodus 24:10, etc.

10. If then the Sabbath became Jewish because given to the Jews, what does the very same argument prove with reference to God?

11. Were the Hebrews honored by being thus entrusted with the Sabbath?

12. What Bible writers speak of the high exaltation of Israel on this account?

13. What is the testimony of William Miller on this point? See footnote.

14. After what event were the people brought forth out of the camp to meet with God?

15. What was the appearance of Mount Sinai when the Lord descended upon it?

16. What did God proclaim from the summit of the mount?

17. What was the fourth of these precepts?

18. Repeat the Sabbath commandment.

19. How did the Law-giver show the estimate which he placed upon the Sabbath?

20. What is proved in regard to the Sabbath by its being placed in the midst of nine immutable moral precepts?

21. Is it a small honor which is thus conferred upon the Sabbath?

22. What scripture shows that God spake just the ten commandments and no more?

23. In what respect does the Sabbath commandment differ from the others?

24. Why is the Sabbath to be remembered and kept holy?

25. What is meant by God’s hallowing the Sabbath?

26. When was the Sabbath hallowed?

27. To what time did the act of setting apart the rest-day relate?

28. To what time does the fourth commandment reach back, and what does it embrace?

29. And how far forward does the sanctification of the Sabbath in paradise extend?

30. What shows these facts?

31. How does the narrative respecting the wilderness of Sin show these facts?

32. What is a decisive proof that the Sabbath did not originate in the wilderness of Sin?

33. Is the fourth commandment definite or indefinite?

34. What is the first point embraced in it?

35. What is that precept?

36. What is the second point?

37. What is the explanation of that precept?

38. What is the third point?

39. By what is it all enforced?

40. To what do the blessing and sanctification pertain?

41. Why may it not be merely one seventh part of time, or an indefinite one day in seven, as some contend?

42. What objection to the observance of a definite day is drawn from the revolution of the earth on its axis? See footnote, p. 48.

43. To suit such objections what should be the motion of the earth?

44. But if the earth were stationary, what would be the effect?

45. How then can these objectors be suited?

46. Give a true statement of the case respecting the revolution of the earth. (See last half of note above referred to.)

47. That the seventh day of the fourth commandment, is the seventh-day of the New Testament week, is a fact of the utmost importance, and one which the Scriptures most clearly prove; where do they prove this?

48. State the facts by which this is proved.

49. How do you know that the day that the holy women kept in accordance with the requirements of the fourth commandment, was the last, or seventh, day of the week?

50. What is the testimony of Nehemiah relative to the Sabbath?

51. This testimony is sometimes used to prove that the Sabbath was not known previous to the time of Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness of Sin, but was then made known. What fact shows the shortsightedness of this objection?

52. What then does the language “madest known” signify?

53. Give an illustration of this manner of speaking.

54. What distinction is to be observed in the language?

55. The moral obligation of the fourth commandment is often denied; yet how can this obligation be clearly shown?

56. State some facts connected with the origin of all things.

57. From whose benevolence does man derive six days of the week for his own use?

58. What was the act of God in setting apart the seventh day in memory of his own rest?

59. What is it then on our part to observe this day?

60. To appropriate it to ourselves is what?

(Note by James White—There will probably be found in each lesson more or less resembling what has already been asked in previous lessons, which may seem like a mere repetition. But there will be nothing lost in this. Let it be remembered that our object in studying the great subject of the Sabbath, is to acquire a perfect familiarity with it, in all its particulars; and nothing will more conduce to this than to often survey the same ground and look at the same facts from different points of view.)


Loma Linda and Higher Education

by Onycha Holt

The Seventh-day Adventist Church operates a state-of-the-arts medical center and university in Loma Linda, California. The property was acquired in 1905, but only after much prayer and discussion and in spite of formidable opposition from church leaders, for a large investment was required, and the needed money was nonexistent. The asking price had dropped from $110,000 to $40,000 (due to an economic recession), but still funds were like vapor, and not even the $1,000 down payment could be raised. Paradise Valley Sanitarium had recently been purchased, admittedly at a reduced price, but it was ill-equipped and needed upgrades, and Glendale Sanitarium had also been acquired, again at a reduced price, but it, too, was lacking in needed resources. Staff was also hard to supply, for Seventh-day Adventist doctors and nurses were scarce, and undertaking another institution seemed out of the question, but Sister White urged them on. She had seen in vision the place God had chosen, and it was not Paradise Valley or Glendale. Denominational leaders, however, refused to follow her counsel, even when she explained funds would be obtained in an unexpected way.[1] Finally Pastor John Burden, manager of the Glendale Sanitarium, on his own and without denominational support, stepped out in faith, though with the full support of Ellen White. He inspected the property and sent her a report:

He found that Loma Linda included 31 acres of grain, 22 acres of alfalfa, vegetable gardens, an apricot orchard, a barn, and a 23-acre terraced hill covered with orchards, gardens, and beautifully landscaped lawns. Its grounds included scores of tall shade trees and pepper trees filled with canaries, a profusion of flowers and ornamental shrubs, carriage drives, and more than a mile of gracefully curving concrete walks. The summit of the hill rose about 75 feet above the valley floor. Structures included five cottages, a large recreational hall, two bowling alleys, and the five-story, 64-room frame hotel. All in excellent condition, the buildings were lighted with electricity and heated with steam. Water was piped throughout the property from a large artesian well. The price also included $12,000 worth of almost new equipment and a stock of supplies that had never been used. (Richard Schaefer, The Glory and the Vision, vol. 1, p. 32)

Ellen White later added these details:

Its name, Loma Linda—“beautiful hill”—describes the place. Of the sixty acres comprised in the property, about thirty-five form a beautiful hill . . . Upon this hill the sanitarium building is situated.

The main building is a well-planned structure of sixty-four rooms, having three stories and a basement. It is completely furnished, heated by steam, and lighted by electricity. It is surrounded with large pepper trees and other shade trees.

About ten rods away and on the highest part of the hill there is a group of fine cottages. The central cottage has nine beautiful living rooms and two bath rooms. In the basement is a heating plant for the five cottages.

Prettily grouped around this larger cottage are four smaller ones, having four rooms each, with bath and toilet. An interesting feature of three of these cottages is that each room has its veranda, with broad windows running to the floor, so that the beds can be wheeled right out onto the veranda, and the patients can sleep in the open air.

Between these cottages and the main building there is a recreation building, which can be used as a gymnasium, and for class rooms and meetings.

In all, there are ninety rooms. The buildings are furnished throughout and are ready for use.

There is a post-office in the main building, and most of the trains stop at the railway station, about forty rods from the sanitarium.

The seventy-six acres of hill and valley land is well cultivated, and will furnish much fruit and many vegetables for the institution. Fifteen acres of the valley land is in alfalfa hay. Eight acres of the hill are in apricots, plums, and almonds. Ten acres are in good bearing orange orchard. Many acres of land round the cottages and the main building are laid out in lawns, drives, and walks.

There are horses and carriages, cows and poultry, farming implements and wagons. The buildings and grounds are abundantly supplied with excellent water.

This property is now in our possession. It cost the company from whom we purchased it about $140,000. They erected the buildings, and ran the place for a time as a sanitarium. Then they tried to operate it as a tourist hotel. But this plan did not succeed, and they decided to sell. It was closed last April, and as the stockholders became more anxious to sell, it was offered to us for $40,000, and for this amount our brethren have purchased it. . . .

Until our recent visit, I had never before seen such a place as this with my natural eyes, but four years ago just such a place was presented before me as one of those that would come into our possession if we moved wisely. It is a wonderful place in which to work for the sick, and in which to begin our work for Redlands and Riverside. (Ellen White, Special Testimony B03c, pp. 39, 40)

Though Sister White had instructed Brother Burden to immediately secure an option to purchase, the president of the Southern California Conference, G. W. Reaser, sent him a telegram telling him not to make a deposit on the sanitarium. In his confusion Burden sought counsel, again, of Sister White, who told him to “secure the property by all means”:

Dear Brother Burden,

Your letter has just been read. I had no sooner finished reading it than I said, “I will consult no one: for I have no question at all about the matter. . . . Secure the property by all means, so that it can be held, and then obtain all the money you can and make sufficient payments to hold the place. Do not delay; for it is just what is needed. I think that sufficient help can be secured to carry the matter through. I want you to be sure to lose no time in securing the right to purchase the property. We will do our utmost to help you raise the money. I know that Redlands and Riverside are to be worked, and I pray that the Lord may be gracious, and not allow any one else to get this property instead of us. (Ellen White, Special Testimony B03b, p. 8)

One of Burden’s friends, Roderick Owen (who later became a teacher in the department of religion), remembered a man who had stated he would be willing to donate to a good cause if his property sold. Not knowing if the property had sold or not, Burden and Owen went to see him:

On Thursday afternoon, May 25, 1905, Burden and Owen went by rail to the man’s farm. He lived south of Los Angeles, near the coast. Nobody was home. The two walked a mile and a half back to the rail crossing. There they failed to flag down the electric car. Now they had to wait for two hours for a return car.

Burden always believed that they were providentially impressed to return to the farmer’s home. They arrived at dusk to find the farmer and his family already eating supper. Burden and Owen introduced themselves.

Upon hearing of Mrs. White’s telegram and letters, the farmer suddenly exclaimed, “Praise the Lord. I have been praying for months for the Lord to send me a buyer for my place, that I might get out of the city and devote my means to advance His cause. A few days ago a man came and purchased my place, and the money is now lying in the bank. The devil has been tempting me to invest it again in land, but I am sure the Lord wants it to secure this property.

Burden later wrote “Without hesitation he turned over to us $2,400. It was such a surprise it fairly took our breath. We finally recovered our poise and said: ‘We have no receipt, brother.’ He said that was all right, as the Lord was in this thing. (Schaefer p. 34; see also Arthur White, Ellen G. White: Volume 6—The Late Elmshaven Years: 1905–1915, p. 18)

The following Monday papers was signed, and two weeks later Ellen White made her first visit to Loma Linda:

As she arrived with her son by express wagon from Redlands, she gazed at the main building. “Willie, I have been here before,” she exclaimed.

Willie (who would know) responded, “No, Mother. You have never been here.”

“Then this is the very place the Lord has shown me, for it is all familiar.” She turned to one of the ministers in her party and added, “We must have this place. We should reason from cause to effect. The Lord has not given us this property for any common purpose.

As she inspected the facility with about 20 other church members, she said repeatedly that she recognized it as the very place she had been shown four years before in the fall of 1901.

Then she sat down in the recreation hall and spoke of the educational work someday to be conducted in Loma Linda, and urged that men of experience be invited to help establish the enterprise. (Ibid.)

As attractive as the land and buildings were and as obvious as it was that the Lord was leading, challenges remained. Doubts began to creep in among church members. If the previous owners had not been able to make a sanitarium work, how could they hope to be successful on their meager resources? Others suggested they were just trying to replicate the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and, to top it off, the second payment of $5,000 was due on July 26, 1905, and by the 25th the first dollar had not been donated. Anxiety was high and the possibility of failure was heavy, but there were those who remembered the words of Sister White and though they knew not how they would obtain the money, they refused to accept defeat. The payment was not due until 2:00 p.m. on the 26th, so they decided to wait until the mail arrived on the morning of the 26th, before making any decisions.

Soon they heard the postman walking up the stairs. The mail included a letter from a woman in Atlantic City, New Jersey. No one on the committee recognized the name of the sender. And she remains unknown to this day. The letter had traveled, possibly for weeks, all the way across the North American continent. Inside a note read: “I do not know just what your immediate need is, but if this will help, use it.” “It” was a bank draft for $5,000, the exact amount needed less than four hours later on that deadline day.

Suddenly, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.… Burden later reported, “It was as solemn as the judgment day. …We then took new courage, as we felt that our Lord was going before us.” (Schaefer, pp. 38, 39)

On August 24, 1905, John Burden signed the Articles of Incorporation as the president of the Loma Linda Sanitarium, and the first patients (two in number) arrived on October 12. In 1909 the School of Medicine opened its doors to students and in 1914 graduated its first doctors (six in all).

What an interesting and faith-building story! God had led his people in obtaining the property, and this was an indication of his future leading. Sanitariums had been purchased at Paradise Valley and Glendale, but they did not match what Ellen White had seen in vision and when the property at Loma Linda became available, she strongly advised purchasing it, in spite of adamant opposition, for she knew it was God’s will.

The early twentieth century were years of major changes in the field of medicine. Medical treatment shifted from a homeopathic emphasis to an allopathic focus,[2] and before and during this time, Ellen White published statements against the use of the poisonous drugs of her day and of the benefit gained by using the God-given remedies of fresh air, sunshine, healthful foods in healthful amounts, rest, exercise, trust in God, and water, which were used in treatment at the sanitarium at Loma Linda. When the medical school opened in 1909, instruction in these natural remedies comprised part of the education given the students.[3] Today The College of Medical Evangelists is now Loma Linda University, which has eight major schools of education, including schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and public health, and several specialized centers of instruction, as well as institutes, programs, and outreaches.

The campus has greatly changed from days of old. Gone are the fields of grain, the vegetable gardens, the orchards, and, of course, the hotel. We might wish that some of the orchards and gardens could have been preserved; nevertheless, today there are three medical centers, including the premier trauma center for four surrounding counties, and dormitories, classrooms, laboratories, research centers, churches, and libraries. Mission outreach, locally and internationally, continues to be a part of student and teacher opportunities. Regardless of how you may view the present university in comparison to the original college, you have to acknowledge that God has led in its past. Without a doubt, sinful man has tried to shape its development since its inception, attempting to prevent advances that were deemed fringe science at the time or deemed just plain worthless, such as research to prove the benefits of a vegetarian diet, hosting stop smoking clinics, and establishing a school of public health.[4] The university has also had to weather at least one lawsuit alleging stolen research data and/or dishonesty in claiming a scientific discovery and has had to deal with the mishandling of funds, abuse of power, self-aggrandizement of leaders and professors, etc., such as all major institutions are prone to face. It is a pity to acknowledge that into an institution of God’s own founding, selfishness, pride, and worldly policy have crept, but hopefully godly teachers exist who attempt to fight the strong lure worldly success has for students and who seek, instead, to instill a spirit of humble service and a desire for righteousness in them.

Knowledge has increased in the sciences, and the schools at Loma Linda reflect this increase in knowledge, and this is as it should be. We cannot begrudge this or say it is against God’s will for the school. Knowledge of vitamins, for example, was non-existent when the school opened, as well as was the understanding of what happens during a myocardial infarction and how immediate intervention can often prevent or lessen permanent damage to the heart. DNA, RNA, and the human genome were unknown terms. In 1910 Sister White made it plain that the school was to prepare medical students to meet the standards demanded by the state so that they could practice in their chosen fields,[5] but an understanding of God’s word and of his law is the highest education that can be taught or acquired. We pray that this education will take priority in every class and by every student and teacher, for all, teachers and students alike, as well as all others, have an eternity to win and a hell to shun.

While textbooks change to keep pace with acquired knowledge, the textbook of salvation never changes, and it is this textbook that Satan has striven to corrupt because by so doing he deceives mankind. He can deceive people to believe cold viruses do not exist, for example, or to believe any number of false theories about health or that the earth is flat, but such opinions, of themselves, will not cause one to lose salvation. When Satan, however, takes God’s word and twists, changes, and/or deletes it, then we have much to be concerned about and much to resist.

One of the main issues we have resisted over the years is the doctrine of the trinity. This is not a recent concern, however, for it has been an issue since the fourth century:

…the trinitarian controversy, dates from about A.D. 319, the preaching of Arius, to about A.D. 419, the completion of Augustine’s On the Trinity, although the main features of the resolution of this dispute were set by A.D. 381 with the Council of Constantinople.…

Through all the turmoil and tomes, there is one basic issue as the center of the debate: What is the relation of the divine in Christ to the divine in the Father? Or, to put the matter somewhat differently, how is the church, in an intellectually satisfying manner, to integrate the doctrine of one God, Father and Creator, inherited from the Old Testament and Judaism, with the revelation that this God had disclosed himself uniquely in Jesus and had given the Holy Spirit to the church? It will become readily apparent that there were no quick or easily accessible answers that protected both aspects of the tension: the monotheism so deeply ingrained in the biblical tradition, and the distinctiveness and divinity of the Son. (William G. Rusch, The Trinitarian Controversy, pp. 1, 2)

Trinitarianism has become an issue within Seventh-day Adventism since the death of Ellen White. While Adventism has held onto some aspects of its original platform of truth, such as the sacredness of the seventh-day sabbath and the doctrine of the non-immortality of the soul, it has reached across the gulf and grasped hands with Catholicism and with evangelical Protestantism in the acceptance and promotion of the trinitarian doctrine. We have stated before that this doctrine is the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church,[6] and when any Protestant denomination accepts it and/or teaches it, that denomination becomes a daughter of the harlot.

While it is true that Ellen White uses the symbolic language of reaching across the gulf in the context of accepting Sunday sacredness, we can expect that the same intellectual ardor and the same persistent preaching and writing that has gone into changing the direction of Adventism over the last ninety plus years concerning the issue of the trinity may very will go into changing the organization’s stance on the holiness of the seventh-day sabbath.[7] It will be at this time that we will have to derive warmth from the coldness of others:

When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. The nation will be on the side of the great rebel leader. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 136)

One way to introduce Sunday sacredness to Seventh-day Adventists would be to promote both Sabbath sacredness and Sunday sacredness at the same time.[8] After all, everyone has the freedom of choice, and it may be reasoned that God accepts the worship of the heart over the worship of the day. The Adventist world could be ready for acceptance of such a duality because we find another kind of dual acceptance already making its way through our midst in the promotion for the acceptance of homosexual lifestyles. Movies, blogs, organizations on Adventist college campuses, newspaper articles, Kinship fellowship meetings, and liberal Adventist newsletters are all means within the framework of Seventh-day Adventism that promote the acceptance of such a lifestyle, and the more we are exposed to it, the less likely the sin will seem offensive to us, unless we continually resist it mentally and spiritually. This same approach could happen concerning the day of worship. One Adventist may not be able to conscientiously worship God on Sunday, but another member might, and since we cannot judge the heart, it could be argued that we should allow each one freedom of choice, instead of creating dissension over the issue. With this type of reasoning, the day of worship within Adventism would become an individual choice, not a God-sanctioned day. This kind of thinking, of course, would only be an intermediate step in the observance of Sunday sacredness, for we know that laws will be enacted to enforce worship on Sunday, but it is possible that before this time arrives pressure will be applied using the same approaches that are being now used to promote the LGBT agenda as legitimate and as morally acceptable.

Over the years we have written about other assaults of Satan on truth, such as the lunar sabbath, time-setting for the return of Jesus, misapplied or misinterpreted time prophecies, the final atonement completed at the cross, and faith without works, as well as works without faith. We hate to go over them again, but today all of these errors still exist, taking root most offensively in God’s remnant people. It seems we can be slow to understand truth and at the same time eager for specious new truth. Some may wish for a new prophet, for example, but at the same time may overlook the counsels of the old. We must be very careful, for God has promised to give us the desires of our hearts, and if that desire sidesteps truth in order to chase dragonflies of error, then a strong delusion may very well overcome us that we cannot escape.

Our present truth is the three angels’ messages, which, in part, tell us of God’s yearning for his people to perfect their characters through his free grace and strength and for them to be ready to stand in his defense against all error and against all pressure to deny him. We often get tired, however, of hearing the same thing over and over. We look for something that has a new ring, for a new present truth that will advance us closer to what we think Jesus wants us to be, so our eyes can wander into spiritualistic health and healing (for we all value health), into spiritualistic twists on biblical truth and/or into new understandings or applications of old truth (for we all want spiritual growth), or into a strict lifestyle that God does not impose on us (for we all desire to be willing to sacrifice for his name).

Brothers and sisters, we have a solid foundation. It was laid during the early years of our message, and not one pin of it is to be removed, and in case you are inclined to think that we are doing just what we condemn by promoting a new present truth when we present non-trinitarianism, may we remind you that Seventh-day Adventism, as a whole, was non-trinitarian until after the death of Ellen White? It was the majority of Adventist leaders after her death and later the organization as a whole that wandered into the new so-called truth of trinitarianism.

God’s word and his counsels through the writings of Ellen White are our sure standard. We will never be misled if we depend on God alone and on his will as revealed in his written word and in the Spirit of Prophecy, but we must be careful to interpret his word with prayer and with exegesis and not with eisegesis. Satan knows how to give present truth a new slant that grabs our attention but which, in reality, deviates from truth. He has a deception for every mind. We may be aghast at 99.9 percent of his delusions, but it takes only one to trap us, and Satan knows the longer we dwell upon that one deception, the stronger and more believable it becomes. God calls it a strong delusion, even for the very elect.

Our safety is in God and in his written word. He has promised to never leave us. He has promised to give us his Spirit to teach and guide us, but we must judge carefully, for example, when we think God has spoken to us on an individual basis, for we can be easily misled by things of a supernatural nature. It can be exciting and even pride-encouraging to think that God would single us out to speak to, out of so many others, and we can easily misunderstand what we are experiencing, for Satan is smart enough to fool us. Even though he cannot read our thoughts, he can make educated guesses about what we are thinking and can often lead us down the seemingly rosy path of delusion.

One red flag that should alert us and should cause us to more closely examine our spiritual life is the experience of having visions and/or prophetic dreams. As much as we may want the close personal relationship with God that visions and prophetic dreams connote, if we are not respecting the information he has been pleased to give us in the Scriptures and in the Spirit of Prophecy, we should not expect any further revelation. This is not to say that God would never give further revelation to someone ignoring the old, for only he knows the heart and only he knows whether that person is acting out of genuine ignorance or not, but the presence of visions and/or prophetic dreams should call us to closely scrutinize our spiritual experience.

Another red flag is anything of a spiritual or of a physical nature that is promoted as being from God but is either not covered in the Scriptures/Spirit of Prophecy or, even worse, is contrary to them. Just because it seems to work does not mean it is of God, so we must, with discernment and with God-given wisdom, carefully consider anything that is said to be of God but falls outside the boundaries of the Bible and/or the Spirit of Prophecy. Remember Satan is smarter than any of us, and he is bent on our destruction.

A third red flag is something that feels right because it matches what we have been thinking and studying on our own or because it makes us feel more loving to God and to others. After all, Satan can only give much light and power, but no love, peace, and joy (Early Writings, pages 55, 56), but you have to consider what true love, joy, and peace are versus Satan’s counterfeit of emotional love, joy, and peace. The emotional will change according to circumstances, but God’s love, joy, and peace are principles that last in spite of circumstances. Satan can also attempt to influence what you study, knowing all the while that he will be sending someone your way with a certain twist to truth. You cannot accept something as being from God based on what appears to be providential circumstances. This does not mean that God cannot lead through such occurrences, of course, but, by itself, it is not to be a deciding factor. Such leading must always be evaluated in light of truth and not in light of collating circumstances.

A fourth red flag is the application of symbolic interpretations to biblical prophecies when the prophecies are obviously literal or the application of literal interpretations to prophecies that are obviously symbolic in nature. When the misapplied interpretations seem to fit, we can be overjoyed because we think we have found a supposed new key to the unlocking of what we think are undiscovered truths in the Bible. Just because something fits does not make it truth. Science is replete with discoveries in which the pieces seemed to fit but which were later discounted.

May we hold fast to the great truths God has given us for these last days.

In times like these you need the Bible,

In times like these O be not idle;

Be very sure, be very sure

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

—Ruth Caye Jones

[1]. See The Medical Evangelist, June 1920, page 32.

[2]2. Up to this time, schools of medicine were generally homeopathic. Homeopathy teaches that substances that cause the disease will cure it; in other words, the body’s natural defenses are stimulated by using an infinitesimal amount of a substance that in larger amounts reproduces the symptoms of the disease. Allopathy treats disease by contradicting the symptoms. For example, nausea would be treated with an anti-nausea substance, not with a substance that causes nausea.

[3]. See copies of The Medical Evangelist online at http://cdm.llu.edu/cdm/search/collection/medevn/searchterm/the%20medical%20evangelist/order/nosort

[4]. See Mervyn G. Hardinge, My Unexpected Life

[5]. “The light given me is, We must provide that which is essential to qualify our youth who desire to be physicians so that they may intelligently fit themselves to be able to stand the examinations required to prove their efficiency as physicians” (Ellen White, Pacific Union Recorder, 2–3–1910).

[6]. Handbook for Today’s Catholics, page 16

[7]. Sunday is the day dedicated to the worship of the trinity (based on footnote 6), and since the Adventist denomination worships the trinity, it should come as no surprise to think that Sunday services may be tolerated by the denomination and even pressed upon the people and that many Adventists will acquiesce. Consider Ezekiel 8:16.

[8]. This is how Constantine solved his dilemma.


Youth’s Corner — A Happy Transition

(This installment is the completion of Chapter 18 and part of Chapter 19 of Escape from Siberian Exile by John Godfrey Jacques, published by Pacific Press in 1921.)

About midnight or later I came to higher ground. The air was colder, the stars were hidden, and a sleet beat in my face. I did not know which way to go. Across the desert of snow, I saw carts coming toward me. I waited till they came along, and then, inquiring of the drivers, learned that they were going the same way I wished to go. For hours I followed them along the winding road. After the lights of the Russian railway terminal came in sight, the cartmen turned off on another road; but I continued toward the station.

I almost held my breath as I passed the buildings, each moment expecting that a watchman would step out from the shadows. But I saw none; and at daybreak, I reached the first station of the Japanese railway — Changchun.

Knowing that the Japanese were allied with the Russians, I kept away from their part of the town, though it looked much more inviting than the Manchurian section. I entered an inn, in hope of finding a place to rest; but it offered no such boon.

I had walked continuously for thirty hours, and felt that I could go no farther. The pain from the torn flesh of my feet was sickening. In my extremity, I even contemplated attempting to board a train for Mukden, although that would have implied almost certain arrest. I went to the station, but found that no train was to leave until late in the evening.

Praying for guidance, again I sought a place where I might rest. Suddenly my attention was attracted by the sign, “British and Foreign Bible Society.” Those words meant to me renewed hope.

Chapter 19—A HAPPY TRANSITION

THE elderly Chinese in charge of the establishment could not understand what I said to him; but he tried to make me comfortable.
Later a young man came in, who spoke a little English; and when, with him to act as interpreter, the older man learned that I wished to find a quiet place to spend the night, he mentioned an English mission in the outskirts of the town, and volunteered to take me there. Early in the evening, we set out. It was about as much as I could do to keep up with the nimble Oriental.
On reaching the mission, we learned that the superintendent was absent; but an English gentlewoman welcomed me very graciously, and as supper was in readiness, I was taken directly to the dining room. There I was introduced to a guest, Mr. Morgan Palmer, a man perhaps thirty-five or forty years old.

As I thought best to give a brief account of myself before accepting further hospitality, I told, in few words, of my exile, my endeavor to reach America, and my need of rest. Our hostess assured me that I was free to remain where I was as long as I might desire to do so.
Mr. Palmer was restless; and soon he rose abruptly, came to me, seized me by the arm, and announced that I must go with him. His residence, he said, would be a more suitable place for me, being less public.

Two horses—one of which he had ridden, and a servant the other—stood at the door; for he had been on the point of leaving some minutes before I arrived, but had yielded to an invitation to stay for supper. He afterwards expressed his conviction that the delay was decreed by Providence.

Despite the remonstrances of our hostess, he hurried me out of doors, designated which horse I should mount, and we rode off. I did not feel quite positive as to whether I was to be taken to a retired place to rest, as represented, or landed again in a dungeon.
After a ride of some miles, we stopped in front of a large gate. Guards stood at attention on each side. Mr. Palmer remarked that they were not ‘’black angels”—a term I had used in speaking of the Russian prison guards—but his private attendants. In the compound, servants took our horses, and waited upon us.

The house was an old Manchurian structure, not elegant, but interesting. My host ordered a bath prepared for me, and some of his own clothes substituted for my worn and soiled ones.

After supper, I observed that servants were improvising a small bed—for me, I supposed; but instead, it was for Mr. Palmer, and I was to occupy his bed. Protests availed nothing.

My emotions were perhaps akin to those of Sojourner Truth, who, on the first night after her liberation from slavery, not once supposing that the “beautiful, high, white bed” in the room where she was put was intended for her, crawled under the bed to sleep.
Mr. Palmer had been several years in China. In the earlier of those years, he taught in the Peking University; but he was now inspector for the government salt administration in the provinces of Kirin and Heilung-chiang. The salt industry is a government monopoly, importation of that commodity being prohibited.

In the book “A Thousand Miles of Miracle in China,” is told the part acted by this energetic American in the rescue of missionaries in the interior of China at the time of the Boxer uprising. But these things I did not learn till later.

The first night in that blissful haven, I could sleep but little, so affected was I by the change in my situation. I remained there for a fortnight. My host went about his business each day, leaving me to rest, read, or do whatever I would; but the evenings we spent together, and most congenially.

Still I knew that I was liable to capture there, for Russians might at any time call at the house, or my presence might in other ways become known to the Russian consul.

One evening, Mr. Palmer, knowing that I wished to reach Shanghai, suggested a plan by which possibly I might accomplish the journey. A hundred miles or so away, in the city of Kirin, lived a German who was known to have helped refugees to get from place to place. Mr. Palmer proposed to send an attendant with me to interview this man. As we could reach the place by the Chinese railway, a passport would not be required.

The next morning, my host accompanied me to the Chinese railway station, and purchased tickets for me and the servant who was to go with me. The train was full, and a howling crowd outside were trying to get on board. We succeeded in getting standing room, but many were not so fortunate.

Reaching Kirin, we took a carette to the home of the man we sought. He was quite affable. Because of my speaking the German language, he apparently took for granted that I was a German; and he explained that he was connected with an organization whose object it was to help fellow countrymen reach the fatherland. He had funds at his disposal for that purpose, and operated a sort of “underground railway” across the hills, with buffalo carts as vehicles. He did not claim that this method of travel was safe. Indeed, he admitted that serious mishaps sometimes occurred to persons traveling thus.

But a hitch in negotiations developed. When the man learned that I did not expect to go to Germany and join the German army, he lost all interest in me.

I could only go back to Mr. Palmer’s home and seek to evolve another plan of operation.

Mr. Palmer was disposed to write to our missionaries in Mukden, in reference to my future, and this he did. After that, he was obliged to be away from home for a number of days; and at his suggestion, I took a horseback ride each evening during his absence, attended by one of his servants, the darkness shielding me from observation. Russian-like, I might almost be said to have grown up on a horse, and I gloried in that form of recreation. Thus I was recuperating strength while awaiting developments.

Soon after my host’s return, one of our Mukden missionaries also arrived at the place, in response to the letter sent him. He was on his way to Harbin, but designed to come back; and it was arranged that he should bring my baggage along. Then I was to go with him to Mukden.
It was a real trial for me to bid good-by to Mr. Palmer, and his regret at our parting evidently was no less than mine.

In company with my latest-found friend, I made the journey to Mukden by the Japanese railway. At each large station, Japanese officers eyed us quizzically, but each surprised us by making no demand for passports.

I spent the Sabbath quietly at the mission. Across the street was the Japanese consulate, and my host was solicitous lest I should be seen by some of the attaches. The officers of the mission provided me with funds, trusting to a satisfactory adjustment later—which was duly effected; and thus equipped, I took train on the Chinese railway for Shanghai, four days distant.

To be continued


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.

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