1989 March-April Vol. 5 Num. 2
Fifth National 1888 Message Conference Scheduled To Meet at Andrews University; August 8 to 12
"Facing the Second Century—The 1888 Message and the End Time" is the theme selected for the Fifth National 1888 Message Conference scheduled August 8-12 at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
We extend a special invitation to the hundreds of readers who have been added to our mailing list since last year’s conference. Share with us the warm fellowship and the evident blessing of the Holy Spirit we enjoyed last year as we listen and learn and pray together again this year.
Speakers are not yet finalized as we go to press, but we expect to be able to give complete details of the program for adults and children in the May-June issue of the Newsletter.
A less crowded schedule is planned this year in order to provide more time for one-to-one and small group interaction. More time will also be available for workshops.
Those who attended the second and third national conferences at Andrews will remember the very pleasant, air-conditioned accommodations that were provided in Lamson Hall. There are RV hook-ups and camp grounds available within a few miles.
Detailed information and a registration form will be provided in the May-June issue. If someone needs more specific information sooner, we will be glad to provide it by phone or letter.
Television Series Nears Completion
The first program of the pilot TV series, The Good News Is Better Than You Think, will be aired over the Three Angels Broadcasting Network, in the near future according to present plans. The first sermon is entitled, "The Word That Turned the World Upside Down."
The other titles are: "The Faith That Works by Love"; "Why the Good News Is Better Than You Think"; and "How Could Christ Be Tempted as We Are?"
Viewers will be invited to enroll for the Glad Tidings Bible Study Guides. Requests and follow-up will be handled by the volunteer team in DeLand, Florida.
Although this is a small beginning, it will make the program available to the 5 million American homes that have satellite dishes. 3ABN programs are also carried by a number of cable TV stations, mostly in the West.
As announced in our last Newsletter, the four half-hour segments in this initial series will be available on one two-hour video tape for use in churches or homes. The 50-minute question-and- answer tape suitable for Adventists, which was recorded at the same time, will also be available. The subject is "Righteousness by Faith and the Cleansing of the Sanctuary." (See price list.)
It has taken longer than anticipated to fill orders for the video cassettes, but we expect to be able to ship them by April 1.
Because this TV project is in its experimental stage, it will be very helpful to hear from any of you who watch the programs on TV or show them in your church or home.
Message Heard on Three Campuses
Our prayers that the beautiful message of Christ our righteousness might reach the hearts of Adventist young people have begun to be answered as students on three college campuses have had opportunity to hear.
As part of the Andrews University Centennial Observance last November, Elder Wieland spoke on "What Happened at the Cross in My Place." Also in November, Carl Cosaert and fellow students at Union College arranged for a week-end seminar.
More recently, Don La Tour, religious vice- president for the student body at Loma Linda University, scheduled a week-end seminar that filled Burden Hall and on Sabbath, overflowed the 400-seat Randall Visitor’s Center. About 150 people not already on our list signed their names to receive the Newsletter.
Committee Appeals for Help to Meet Demand for Books
At a recent meeting of our Ohio Book Distribution Committee, we struggled with a problem that is too big for us. So we decided to share it with you who read our Newsletter and support us with your prayers and gifts.
The problem is how to stretch our budget to meet the demands upon it. An adaptation of Grace on Trial for non-Adventists is in preparation. We expect heavy demand for it for use in personal evangelism. An initial printing of 20,000, to avoid the added expense of reprinting, will require an investment of about $10,000.
And then there is Revelation of Things to Come. It is no longer feasible to import these from East Africa—just as our Sabbath school lessons will be creating interest in this vitally important subject!
Both books should be available to offer on our TV program—that is, if the Lord opens the way for us to proceed beyond our first four segments and expand our media coverage beyond 3ABN.
And then there are the manuscripts Shirley Finneman is preparing for children’s books so often requested by our readers.
Books and study guides are now being prepared for print in French and Spanish. And letters are coming from Third World countries pleading for literature that they have no way of paying for. We have sent the Newsletter by surface mail to limit our postage bill, which means that they arrive 3-5 months late...if at all. To send our present overseas mailings by air will cost about $400 per issue.
Growing response to the 1888 message involves more work, which increases the pressure on our Ohio staff—Greg and Jo Lynne Owen on a missionary wage and the Cates, fulltime volunteers. We must find a way to provide another staff member, paid or volunteer.
Some of you have already stretched your —giving to the limit, but we write this in the hope that others will feel called to join us in this effort to spread the Good News.
There is another possible solution. In order to reprint 1888 Re-Examined, three people invested interest-bearing loans to be repaid as the books are sold. If any of you would like to invest some of your savings in one of the printing projects mentioned above we will be glad to hear from you. In any case, we ask you to unite with us in daily prayer that we may be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.^
Our appointment calendar is not as crowded as usual this time. Elder Wieland is spending every possible moment producing a manuscript for non-Adventists, which we hope to have printed in time for the National Conference at Andrews University.
Elder Snyman is deep in plans for trips to Europe, South Africa and Australia and in production of Sabbath School lesson tapes and duplication of slides for the use of lay people.
Several other speakers, including Joe Gresham, Tony Phillips and the Florida team, are conducting seminars but don’t have them scheduled far enough ahead to list them here.
Lake Worth, FL, March 3-5
Speaker: Robert Wieland
Auburn, CA, March 11
Speaker: Robert Wieland
Oakdale, NE, March 17-19
(Previously announced in Neligh)
Oakdale Community Center (Sponsored
by the Albion Adventist church)
Speaker: Robert Wieland
Call: Dave Crockett, 402-776-2469
San Francisco area, March 24-26
Speaker: Robert Wieland
Colfax, CA, April 1
Speaker: Robert Wieland
Mifflintown, PA, April 8
9:15 a.m. Worship service
Speaker: Harold Toms
Lewistown, PA, April 8
11 a.m. Worship service
Speaker: Harold Toms
Angwin, CA, April 14-16
Village Church. Speaker: Robert Wieland
Chehalis, WA, May 12-14
Speaker: Robert Wieland
The Glad Tidings Bible Study Guides have been used by a group of laymen in the Maritimes to enroll 200 people in Bible studies.
The Canadian group have incorporated as the Hopewell Hill Foundation, which receives support from the Moncton, New Brunswick, Seventh-day Adventist church.
The details of their program may be helpful to others who are interested in using the studies in evangelistic outreach.
Names of interested people are received from two sources:
1. It Is Written leads from dark county areas provided by the conference.
2. Literature evangelism.
The first two Glad Tidings studies are sent to each new name. People are asked to return their completed studies, but most of them do not, so they continue to receive additional studies.
When they have received Lesson 11 on the Sabbath, a personal contact is made by Jim Reeder, the full-time Bible worker in the group. He finds very few people who say they are not interested.
If he finds a good strong interest, he turns it over to the nearest Adventist church with a set of the Glad Tidings studies so that the pastor is in touch with what the people are studying.
Once a month members of the Moncton and Hopewell Hill churches come together to mark the studies that are returned and stuff envelopes.
The program began the middle of last year so it is still in the experimental stage. At the beginning of 1989, Glen Striemer, the literature evangelist who works with the group, started giving Lessons 1 and 2 on the spot to interested people he contacts.
To provide the basis for evaluating and adapting the program, statistics are being compiled.
If you are using the studies in any kind of outreach program, we are eager to have a report from you.1*
From the Mailbox
"Praise the Lord for This Awakening"
We...are thrilled with this beautiful message of Christ our righteousness. We have been studying it in prayer meeting, and I have presented one sermon on the power of the Word by Elder Jones. Our church is thrilled with the message and our pastor is on fire with this powerful message. We praise the Lord for this awakening and our prayers are with you and your efforts. —Washington
Malasian Student Requests Literature For Countrymen
I’m from Malaysia, a student in Hartland College. It is a great miracle—God brings me here to equip myself to serve Him in my homeland.
I always searching for good spiritual present truth to send back to my homeland to awake the lukewarm condition in the mission as a whole....
When I read the book Grace on Trial, the Holy Spirit help me to understand the 1888 message. I strongly feel that my homeland ministers and church members need to know the true message of 1888.
I gain many spiritual blessings by reading Grace on Trial. Now I'm asking you to donate a minimum of 20-30 copies to send to Malaysia, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak Missions. —Virginia
Teacher Appreciates Seminar
I want to learn all I can about the 1888 message as I feel I need it, and so does our church. I am praying that I may be able to hold some kind of study in our church for those interested. Yesterday in Sabbath school a boy from Wiemar prayed and mentioned the 1888 message, and one of our elders told someone that this was 1989 now; we didn't need 1888. So you see not all will be thrilled. But since the series at Reading, I have felt happy, and more satisfied, though I realize I have a long way to go....
I have Grace on Trial, which I wish all our people would read, as it has the message we need.... Again I want to praise the Lord for allowing us to hear the message that you gave in Reading. —Pennsylvania
The Agape Message Brings Healing
It seems that the Lord is really helping me to turn the corner on my health.... My mind is healing and now my heart too with the 1888 Message. What a God we have!...
This message and the warm and loving folks who support it reached out to me when my family deserted me—how can anyone ignore that kind of love? —Colorado
Newsletter Answers Prayer
If I said the January-February Newsletter was an answer to prayer I'd be telling the truth.
I'm a personal ministries leader in a very small church.... I saw two articles that sparked my interest— "Training Workshops Planned" and "Study Guides Used in Door-to-Door Work." I plan to present the idea of the newspaper ad at the next board meeting....—Connecticut
Seeing Jesus Is Life-Changing
God bless you, Brother Wieland. I thank you for coming down to ’little" New Zealand in 1984 and showing me our Saviour. Life was never the same after that. —New Zealand
Physician Blessed by Messages
Enclosed is a check for the work of the 1888 Message Study Committee. We were greatly blessed by the messages presented recently in Loma Linda.—California
Cleveland Man Recounts Life-Long Search for True Gospel
I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Catholic faith, but started my journey out of it at the age of 11 (seventh grade). We were being indoctrinated into the deeper meaning of the Ten Commandments so that we could receive the sacrament of confirmation. Everything was fine until we got to the third commandment (Catholic version), "Keep holy the Sabbath day." Someone in the class asked, Was this another name for Sunday? The priest very patiently explained that the Sabbath was the seventh day (Saturday) and all the reasons why the Catholic Church had the right to change it. With each argument, the class grew more rebellious. Patience used up, he resorted to the final argument: You are under pain of mortal sin if you don’t believe. We knew that meant we would all go to hell, so the discussion stopped, but for me it didn’t end. I knew then that the Sabbath was the right day of worship.I knew I was a Catholic rebel. Two days later I was a rebel against God when I had great difficulty with the ninth and tenth coveting commandments. Why didn't God make just one and it would be easier. We were also told not to read the Bible.
In the next few years we learned about (1) salvation through acts (which by the time I was 13 I found to be impossible) and (2) the immortality of our souls. I knew I was really going to hell. The mortal sins were so many now I couldn’t count them or remember them all.
Now a real turning point occurred in my life; my classmates and I were introduced to St. Augustine. Here we learned the established Catholic doctrine—that the Blessed Mother Mary and Christ were the only ones not born with original sin. (If I felt bad before, now I really felt full of guilt.) That was why we should pray to her as an intercessor or to people the Vatican said were saints. Since Jesus had the nature of unfallen Adam, we needed intercessions.
It just didn't make sense; the Catholic Church never denied that Christ was the Saviour, but Mary got more feast days. I could no longer accept these doctrines as truth. By this time I was about 17 and fully committed to leaving the Catholic Church at the first opportunity. This chance came in 1965 when my wife and I got married and decided not to be Catholics.
In 1973 a young Jewish student showed me that God had indeed made only one coveting commandment and that the Catholics had removed the second commandment so that to have ten they made two out of the last one. This made me think maybe I had misjudged God.
In 1981 through the Greek Orthodox Church I made a commitment to Christ. I was a "born again Christian." They told me to study the Bible, obey what it says and let Jesus be my example. I told them I had never read the Bible, but I did have one question: Now that we are converted Christians, we worship on Sabbath instead of Sunday, right? Wrong! That's legalistic. It doesn’t matter what day you worship; the commandments were nailed to the cross. Just pray and study your Bible. The next day was Sunday. I prayed, "God, please help me," and I opened the Living Bible. I learned that we were eating the wrong foods.
Monday morning I told my new friends what I read and was strongly rebuked. Stay out of the Old Testament; it's too hard to understand. I told them it didn't seem to be that hard, but they insisted that I read the New Testament until I got light from the Holy Spirit. I said, What do you recommend? Read Matthew or Mark and tell us what you learned.
Following their advice, I asked them the following week, When are we going to be baptized by immersion like Jesus was? Where are you getting this stuff they asked? Out of the New Testament Gospels you recommended. At this time I decided to look around for a church so I could be baptized like Jesus. About 1984 I met a woman who told me she was a Seventh-day Adventist and they worshiped on the true Sabbath. I was excited.
After I attended two or three Sabbath services, she gave me a set of booklets called Amazing Facts. I read them through twice the Sabbath I received them. I called her and told her I wanted to be baptized and that the Adventists had the beautiful truth. What unbelievable joy and peace, what a treasure found!
Our church received a new pastor and I was baptized in February, 1985.1 attended the pastor's doctrinal studies for new Adventists and everything was great until we had a class on the nature T)f~Christ. The'ghost of St. Augustine surfaced again, speaking through the mouth of our pastor —Jesus had the same nature as unfallen Adam. I couldn’t believe my ears. When was he going to tell us about original sin, the Blessed Mother, praying to saints and all the rest from the Catholic Church?
I do not believe that Jesus Christ had the nature of Adam before his fall. When I read in the Scripture that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, it tells me Jesus was in fact one of us with the same fallen nature. Jesus was an overcomer. He was our example. He calls us to be overcomers through Him.
I would urge you, please don't accept the false doctrines of Augustine. They are for the lost since they offer no hope. If you do, you might as well go to church on Sunday. Don't let someone else's university degree pull you away from God's truth. The message of Jesus and the salvation He provided is so beautiful and simple. Like the church of Berea, search the Scriptures for yourself.—Dennis Hitesman
Not words but power. The phrase beat against my mind as I traveled home from the 1888 Centennial in Minneapolis. Turning to my Bible for the source of the words that claimed my thoughts so insistently, I found them in 1 Corinthians 4:20: "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power."
Paul had matched minds with the world's keenest thinkers at Athens just before going to Corinth. No doubt as a result of that experience, he confessed:
"And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NKJV).
Is there danger that we who rejoice in the revival of the pure New Testament gospel might let it become an abstraction to be clothed in impressive language rather than a living power in our lives? Or that we might heed the criticism of those who consider the message we bear to be "too simplistic"?
The Pharisees, who had been entrusted with heavenly truths for their day, "proved their zeal for religion by making it the theme of discussion" (DA 261).
In contrast, the disciples at Pentecost "grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. Thousands were converted in a day" (AA 38). What made the difference?
"The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church" (AA 38).
The chapter on Pentecost in Acts of the Apostles is not only a thrilling historical record but a call to soul-searching in this latter-rain time. We would do well to read and reread and pray over it. If the message which, if accepted, would have prepared a people to meet Jesus a hundred years ago is to triumph at last, we must take seriously this inspired counsel:
"The dispensation in which we are now living is to be, to those that ask, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. Ask for His blessing. It is time we were more intense in our devotion. To us is committed the arduous, but happy, glorious work of revealing Christ to those who are in darkness. We are called to proclaim the special truths for this time. For all this, the outpouring of the Spirit is essential. We should pray for it. The Lord expects us to ask Him. We have not been wholehearted in this work" (TM 511-512).
So let us ask with heart-searching, remembering that the first gift of the Spirit, which makes all other gifts available, is the gift of repentance.
(A Spirit of Prophecy compilation, "The Holy Spirit—Indispensable Gift," is available on request from the Newsletter office. Please enclose self-addressed, stamped envelop.)
Questions People Ask
Does Ellen White agree with E. J. Waggoner's view of the two covenants as taught by him in the 1890's and found in The Glad Tidings (pp. 71-87)?
Here is her brief statement that appears on the surface to say we should live under the old covenant:
"The covenant that God made with His people at Sinai is to be our refuge and defense [Exodus 19:3-8]. This covenant is of just as much force today as it was when the Lord made it with ancient Israel” (1 BC 1103; SW March 1,1904).
"This is the pledge that God’s people are to make in these last days. Their acceptance with God depends on a faithful fulfillment of the terms of their agreement with Him. God includes in His covenant all who will obey Him." (Idem.; RH June 23,1904).
(a) In context, this statement does not disagree with Waggoner’s beautiful presentation of the new covenant of God’s grace. In her other writings, she firmly supports Waggoner's view. She is not teaching and supporting the old covenant of "obey and live," which the Apostle Paul says "gendereth to bondage" (Gal. 4:24). Nor does she endorse the view of the dear brethren who rejected the 1888 message, such as Uriah Smith, Dan T. Jones, G. I. Butler, R. C. Porter, R. M. Kilgore, and others (cf. 1888 Re- Examined, pp. 45-49). When studied carefully in context, these statements are not self-contradictory.
(b) Here is how Ellen White firmly supported Waggoner's view of the two covenants (The Glad Tidings presents this view):
"I am much pleased to learn that Professor Prescott is giving the same lessons in his class to the students that Brother [E. J.] Waggoner has been giving. He is presenting the covenants. John thinks it is presented in a clear and convincing manner.
"Since I made the statement last Sabbath that the view of the covenants as it had been taught by Brother Waggoner was truth, it seems that great relief has come to many minds....
I thought it time to take my position, and I am glad that the Lord urged me to give the testimony that I did." (Letter 30,1890).
"Night before last, the Lord opened many things to my mind. It was plainly revealed what your influence [Uriah Smith's] has been, what it was in Minneapolis....
Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing. Yourself, Dan Jones, Brother Porter and others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented. When you had received the true light which shineth, you would have not imitated or gone over the same manner of interpretation and misconstruing the Scriptures that [sic] did the Jews.... They handled those things that they could make a means of clouding and misleading minds.
"The covenant question is a clear question and would be received by every candid, unprejudiced mind, but I was brought where the Lord gave me an insight into this matter. You have turned from plain light because you were afraid that the law question in Galatians would have to be accepted.” (Letter to Uriah Smith, 59,1890).
Will Ellen White contradict herself 14 years later? Never.
(c) Her clearest and most extensive exposition of the two covenants is in Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 370-373. Here again her position is in full harmony with Waggoner’s. Thus, with three clear, unequivocal statements in support of Waggoner’s view, how shall we understand the 1904 statement which appears on the surface to contradict it?
(d) The context of the Review 1904 statement quotes Isaiah 56:4-6. When the Lord speaks there of ”My covenant” He is clearly referring to the covenant He made with Abraham—the so-called ’’new covenant,” because Ellen White goes on to say, "This is the covenant spoken of in the following scripture," Exodus 19:1-8. The only covenant which the Lord mentions there refers to His covenant with Abraham. He was calling on Abraham’s descendants to have his faith:
”Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed”—in truth, earnestness, and sincerity,—"and keep My covenant....”
The Hebrew word here for "obey” (shamea) means to "listen,” to "hear, hearken” (cf. any lexicon or Young's). The word for "keep" is a cognate word (shamar), not the usual word for "obey” or ”do.” It has the root meaning of "cherish." For example, Adam was to "dress and to keep" (shamar) the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:15). He could not "obey or do" the Garden," but he could cherish it. The word shamar connotes the beautiful idea of heart appreciation.
Thus what the Lord said to Israel in Exodus 19 was, "Now therefore, if you will listen to My voice indeed in truth, earnestness and sincerity, and cherish (or appreciate) the covenant I made with your father Abraham...,” you will be a "kingdom of priests," etc. All of Abraham's true descendants were to have the heart-felt faith of Abraham. The Lord never intended them to institute a hard-hearted program of salvation by works. Nor does Ellen White dare to change a Biblical righteousness-by-faith text into a legalism text.
Unless we wish to force Ellen White to contradict both herself and the gospel, we must understand her as using the word "obey" in the same sense as the Lord used it in Exodus 19. The faith of Abraham, true listening and heeding, true heart-appreciation, always leads to full and true obedience to God’s law. The doing always follows the heart-believing.
(d) Ellen White’s use of the word "pledge" must therefore mean heart "commitment," the same response as Abraham’s. Yet he made no vain promise as did Israel 430 years later. He never said, "Lord, I’ll be good; I’ll do everything just right; You can depend on me!" He believed God’s promise, and the Lord counted his faith for righteousness.
Ellen White never says that we must make promises to God. What she is saying in her 1904 article is that the world needs to see Abraham's faith lived out through our believing the gospel: "This scripture is to be received by our people as a message for today. The glad tidings of salvation are to be carried to those who have not heard them.... Christ calls upon the members of his church to cherish the true, genuine hope of the gospel" (emphasis supplied). Note again her unconscious use of the Hebrew shamea—the word "cherish." What does she mean, "Their acceptance with God depends on a faithful fulfillment of the terms of their agreement with Him"? Obviously exactly what she says—"faithful," full of faith. No way does she want us to go back to the "bondage" of the self- centered old covenant. Let’s let new covenant faith work obedience in our lives.
(e) The inspired messenger of the Lord cannot contradict what she said in Steps to Christ, p. 47. Here she discloses the tragic consequence of living under the old covenant. Instead of our making promises to
Him, He asks us to believe His "better promises" to us:
Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you; but you need not despair.
The controversy over the covenants erupted again in 1906-1907, where we find the Review and Herald and even The Signs of the Times leaping to the defense of those who opposed the Jones-Waggoner view of the two covenants. To borrow her phrase of a century ago, even our Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary and Bible Dictionary today perpetuate "a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother Waggoner has presented" which Ellen White was "shown" was "truth." It is probably safe to say that no denominationally published book today presents the two covenants as did the 1888 messengers.
Waggoner: The Christian’s Role in the Great Controversy
"The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan is a household phrase among us. What is the controversy over? It is over the souls of men, and the place of their abode. Who shall have your service and mine, is the question that they are fighting over. The controversy is between Christ and Satan. They are not only the principal ones in the controversy, but the whole controversy is between them and them alone.
We have this much to say—neither one of them can take our service against our will. Of ourselves we have no power to stand against Satan; we have tried that. We have no power to meet him; we cannot face him and conquer him. We have no power at all; but at the same time we know that we do not want to be his servants. Yes; and we will not only say, I do not want to be his servant, but I will not be his servant. So instead of putting our strength against Satan, we yield ourselves to Christ and repeat over and over again, like David, the psalmist, "O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bonds." Psalm 116:15
I was a bond-servant of Satan’s, but just the moment I said to Christ, "I will be your servant," He loosed my bonds, and took upon Himself the responsibility of defending me against Satan, who has no right to me. So when Satan comes to take me back and make me his bond-servant again, Christ meets him, even as He met him when He was here upon the earth. So simply tell your own heart, and Satan, that you are Christ's, and that He has loosed your bonds. Then you are loosed, indeed. You have counted the cost, and now you can take the words of David and repeat them over and over.
Your life is no longer your own, it is the life of Christ. His life, His very existence, is pitted against Satan. The battle goes over our heads, for we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God. Says the psalmist, "Thou shalt keep them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues."...This is the victory that overcometh the world, for Christ has gained the victory over Satan, and by grasping the promises of Christ by faith, and laying hold upon the life of Christ, the victory over Satan is ours.
Does not Christ say that all power is given Him in heaven and in earth? Note the precious words in Ephesians 1:19-21: "And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named."
That same power...’’Quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.’’...Then the victory is ours in Christ, and He has gained the victory already....
The strength of the Christian lies in submitting—the victory in yielding to Christ so that He may keep us in His presence, and cover us up in His pavilion from the strife of tongues. Then it does not matter how great the trial may be, if we have Christ, there will be peace in our hearts.—E. J. Waggoner, Bible Studies on the Book of Romans, pages 45,46.
A large proportion of all the infirmities that afflict the human family are the results of their own wrong habits, because of their willing ignorance, or of their disregard of the light which God has given in relation to the laws of their being. It is not possible for us to glorify God while living in violation of the laws of life. The heart cannot possibly maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible. The apostle understood the importance of the healthful conditions of the body for the successful perfection of Christian character. He says, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." ...’They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."—Ellen White, Health Reformer, March, 1878
Behold the Wonder Of Self-sacrificing Love
It was the day around which all eternity revolved. From this point the fourth dimension, time, spread its essence. As never-ending as the eternal God, it swept through the universe filling an endless void.
For on this day the Creator of all time, the Author of all eternity, the Son of the eternal God, died. Our calloused minds cannot comprehend the events of that day. Yet we were there wrapped in the burden of guilt that pressed heavily upon His heart of self-sacrificing love. Our lives of rebellion against God focused upon that life and crushed it from existence. We were there, and still today our wayward feet tread carelessly upon the Man of Calvary. For we do not take time to behold the Man.
John beheld Him, and his gospel swells with the glory of the Word which was made flesh—the eternal God, the Creator of all things, who came and lived with him. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Here is the mystery of incarnation! Here the wonder of self-sacrificing love. Catch the wonder of the aged apostle as he seeks to convey the thrill which stirs his soul. ’’That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3).
On that day of days, John stood at the foot of the cross. He beheld the Man as never before. While supporting the trembling form of a very human mother, he gazed upon those nail- pierced hands. Hands which had rested upon his head in ordination, hands which had washed his dusty feet. And now the blood which dripped from the gaping wounds testified to the reality which he knew. The Word had been made flesh so that God could touch the very heart of humanity.
He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, ”in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). It was, and is, this fact that calls forth a love response unequaled anywhere in the universe. It was the reality of God "sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), One who is able to be "touched with the feelings of our infirmities" because of the things which He "suffered” "in the days of His flesh" (Hebrews 5:7, 8) that enabled the early Christians to "come boldly to the throne of grace” to "obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
To behold God is not enough. For God is afar off and cannot be approached by sinful man. God is almighty, omniscient and omnipresent. He dwells in glory unapproachable. Men tremble at the sound of His voice and are struck dead by His glory. No, it was never enough to behold God. For man to be saved, he must behold the Man Jesus Christ.
For with the sight comes assurance that God now understands. He is now, like us, of the seed of Abraham. He "learned obedience" as every son or daughter of flesh must learn it (Hebrews 5:8). And having learned obedience to the Father, He gave His perfect, sinless life for us "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled" in us (Romans 8:4).
Follow the footprints of the Man Jesus Christ. They lead from the grave to the courts of glory. It is there that He ministers for us. Why is He there? He answers the question in His own words, ’That where I am there ye may be also" (John 14:3). When His heavenly ministry closes He is coming again to receive those who have allowed Him to dwell within their hearts. Here lies the secret: the union of the human with the divine.
Christ longs to reproduce His character within each of His children. It is His one objective to deliver from sin and its power, to create within you the "mind of Christ" (Philippians 2:5). With His mind you will think His thoughts and live His life. Here is the fulfillment of the new covenant: "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people" (Hebrews 8:10). If you long for this experience, "Behold the Man," for what He did in His life He
...what He did in His life He can do in yours
can do in yours. That is the message of the incarnate Christ.
When the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, men beheld His glory, and they were changed into His likeness. Explaining the experience of the early Christians, Paul says, "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). Responding to His matchless love, their hard hearts were softened, their spiritual blindness healed, and the beauties of holiness appreciated. And so it will be with us.
We approach another day of days. A day when the Son of Man will come for His own. He is lonely in heaven. He wants us to be there with Him. His heart aches as we endure the burdens of a life of sin in a world of suffering. His Spirit calls us to take a closer look at the Man Jesus Christ. To come to understand what it meant for the Word to become flesh. To know that He who has started the work of salvation within us is able to finish that same work.
Calvary cries of a mighty Love given "that he might sanctify and cleanse" us. That He might present us "a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing"; but that we "should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27). What untold wonders we experience as we come to "Behold the Man"!—Bruce Ullom
Sabbath School Lesson Tapes On Revelation Ready
Elder Alex Snyman's Sabbath school lesson tapes are ready for the second quarter. They will cover the first half of Revelation, which is to be the very important subject of our study for the next two quarters.
Our "perpetual" list continues to grow as people subscribe in order to be sure of receiving the tapes at the beginning of each quarter. (Set of 7 tapes, $15.75 plus shipping charge available from our Book Distribution Center, 915 Parks Avenue, SE, Paris, OH 44669-9746.)
Let GALATIANS Set Your Heart On Fire!
Through his free paraphrase of Paul's letter to the Galatians and a series of 4 studies on audio cassettes, Robert J. Wieland shares the pure New Testament gospel that he first discovered in The Glad Tidings, Waggoner’s verse-by-verse study of the book.
The Glad Tidings, Galatians for Today's Youth (Paraphrase), Studies in Galatians (Tapes) (The set) GT-1, $13.00
This offer will expire May 15, 1989. Shipped postpaid (Reg. 18.20)
Special "Close-out” Offer
An Introduction to the 1888 Message, 4-audio cassettes by R.J. Wieland
Brief Presentation of 1888 Concepts BAS-1, $5.50
shipped postpaid (Reg. $11.50)
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1888 MESSAGE NEWSLETTER
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