Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time for long standing Christians to graduate from Milk


Tough times are ahead, soft smooth sermons will not cut it. Congregations need the solid word. People need to turn the leaves of their Bibles. Bibles that have remained new in the hands of members for years need to age by usage in a week. Leaves must be ragged, notes must be taken alongside verses. Texts must be memorize and call upon to aid the weary stressed out souls. Sermon listeners must become Bible pager turners. Line upon line ,line upon line, precept upon precept ,Here a little there a little, foundations of faith must be built. Who would be able to stand when the trouble decisive times come ? Surface readers will be deceived and will fall away like the chaff in the wind . Get into the deep Word of God.
royalblood

1 Corinthians 3:1,2

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
(The carnal mind must start at the milk, like babes . how long have you been in the church how long have you been a Christian and still fighting up with simple lessons like faith, grace etc mature Christians should have experiential knowledge of these things and move on to harder Biblical stuff )

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (Some cant bear all Bible Truth it would require them to reorder their lives.some are not willing to make such a drastic changes)

Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (those that are weaned from milk are ready or accept the hard truth in doctrine and prophecy)

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (those who know the truth who have been in the word who should be teachers have not matured or stayed steady in the word and must be thought as babies again.How long must we be taught faith, grace ,righteousness, must we still be fighting with overcoming sin? We should have an experiential knowledge by now.)

1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: ( The only reason we have to lay aside all these evils mentioned above malice, guile(bitterness),envies its because the simplicity of the gospel has not taken effect on harden hearts.that is why the sincere milk the baby milk must be given again, again ,again and gain.)

All people of faith, growth is essential, lets move on to the perfecting (John 17:17, Matthew 5:48,James 1:4) that Christ requires.
Be ye perfect as your father in Heaven is also perfect.

I leave with you

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskillfull in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

source me :Royalblood

The one-hour labourers (The Truth is taking root in hearts) Christians and none Christians alike are finding the

Hebrews 11:6 I give God praise that Christians and none Christians a like are coming to a full understanding of Bible truth. Some people are now seeing behind the dangerous cocktail of the Christianity and the traditions of men. Bible Truth, What God says in his word is finding its way in hearts all over the globe.The amazing thing is this.These people are relying on the word of God,they are not dependent on preachers,pastors,leaders, some may here sprinkling of truths here and there but the bulk of their convictions are from turning the leaves of the Bibles they had sitting on shelves and boxes.
Bibles that have remained new and have one or two highlighter marks have now marked,highlighted,notes here and there as though it has been use for decades.
The Truth Bible Truth will set many free,people are hungry for the truth something beyond feel good celebratory religion.What the pastor say is not enough "I want to challenge it", i want to see it for my self .. "I want to see what God says for myself".
royalblood

Inspired pen says:
There are diligent students of the word of prophecy in all parts of the world, who are obtaining light and still greater light from searching the Scriptures. This is true of all nations, of all tribes, and all peoples. These will come from the grossest error, and will take the place of those who have had opportunities and privileges and have not prized them. These have worked out their own salvation with fear and trembling lest they shall become deficient in doing the ways and will of God, while those who have had great light, have, through the perversity of their own natural hearts, turned away from Christ because displeased with His requirements. But God will not be left without witness. The one-hour labourers will be brought in at the eleventh hour, and will consecrate their ability and all their entrusted means to advance the work. These will receive the reward for their faithfulness, because they are true to principle and shun not their duty to declare the whole counsel of God. When those who have had abundance of light throw off the restraint which the Word of God imposes, and make void His law, others will come in to fill their place, and take their crown.

Lead me lord


Take My Hand Precious Lord

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I'm tired, I am weak I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry,
Hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet,
Hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

911, islam(sons of Ishmael) ,USA & Sunday law predicted in prophecy since 1843.This is profound the time is nearer than we could imagine

I must confess i was home listening to this presentation and it made me fall to my knees close to the end . I thank God for rescuing me and for the mercy he extended and for giving me some time. A friend of mind listen to it and it prompted a similar response. God words is powerful she said ,I cant help but say a humbling Amen.
Get your Bibles and listen to this .


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunday law watchers could miss the latter rain





To wait and watch for the sunday law and do nothing is the biggest mistake Seventh day Adventist can make .
While many are waiting for the Sunday law to kick start a series of events in the End Time and in Adventism. Much disappointment awaits many of us.
1 For one The latte rain will fall progressively. Then the sudden outpouring that everyone is expecting will come.
2. Leading up to the sunday law the latter rain would of already soak the 144000, A few would of already put away sin in his or her own life in preparation to receive the latter rain drenching.
3 Perfection,which many in the church think and preach as an illusive dream would of been attain by the 144000 and the time of trouble would be just the polish to finish off gems prepared to meet The Bridegroom.
4 I forgot to mention the sunday law would be passed progressively ,No time would we wake up and here the sunday law is past and enforced by death. It will be passed in some countries most likely in the USA then others countries would follow the US model .No enforcement would be impressed.
Then it will be enforced stronger ,then forcefully impressed upon all and then be punishable by death.
Some seem to remove probation from the whole equation ,the sealing must take place .
Judgment begins at the house of God. If you have doubts about that see Ezekiel 9

Now is the time for all who have been under the banner of truth to make a turn around.
Now is the time to bruise our knees in petition asking God to remove every sin from us and SIN NO MORE.
royalblood

Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.

source :Testimonies to ministers
The latter rain is drizzling at this time.
Wake up and feel the moisture remnant people.
royalblood
See this PDF file that address this matter fully.
click here

Just Like the Jews who rejected Christ the Messiah ,Many reject the plain Bible truth today and thus seal their faith

When Christ came into the world to exemplify true religion, and to exalt the principles that should govern the hearts and actions of men, falsehood had taken so deep a hold upon those who had had so great light, that they no longer comprehended the light, and had no inclination to yield up tradition for truth. They rejected the heavenly Teacher, they crucified the Lord of glory, that they might retain their own customs and inventions. The very same spirit is manifested in the world today. Men are averse to investigating truth, lest their traditions should be disturbed, and a new order of things should be brought in. There is with humanity a constant liability to err, and men are naturally inclined to highly exalt human ideas and knowledge, while the divine and eternal is not discerned or appreciated.

source :Counsels on Sabbath School Work (1938) Ellen G White page 47, paragraph 2

Economic Crisis to lead to Civil Wars to lead to a Sunday Law

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones… The enemy has succeeded in perverting justice and in filling men’s hearts with the desire for selfish gain. “Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14… The cries of starving humanity are coming up before God, while by every species of oppression and extortion men are piling up colossal fortunes… Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis.{Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 11-13}

Money will soon depreciate in value very suddenly when the reality of eternal scenes opens to the senses of man. {Welfare Ministry, p. 266}


The land boom has cursed this country, extravagant prices have been paid for lands bought on credit; then the land must be cleared, and more money is hired; a house to be built calls for more money, and then interest with open mouth swallows up all the profits. Debts accumulate, and then come the closing and failure of banks, and then the foreclosure of mortgages. {Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 317}

In India, China, Russia, and the cities of America, thousands of men and women are dying of starvation. The monied men, because they have the power, control the market. They purchase at low rates all they can obtain, and then sell at greatly increased prices. This means starvation to the poorer classes, and will result in a civil war. There will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. [Daniel 12:1, 2 quoted] (General manuscript, untitled, typed August 13, 1899.) {Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 305}

While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. {Great Controversy (1911), pp. 589, 590}

Climaxing towards the hight of Sodom.An end to this is coming soon

By Mary A. Fischer

CNN Features

Lately, a new kind of sisterly love seems to be in the air. In the past few years, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon left a boyfriend after a decade and a half and started dating a woman (and talked openly about it).

"Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon and her partner Christine Marinoni, left, at a 2008 reception.

"Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon and

her partner Christine Marinoni, left, at a 2008 reception.

Actress Lindsay Lohan and DJ Samantha Ronson flaunted their relationship from New York to Dubai. Katy Perry's song "I Kissed a Girl" topped the charts. "The L Word," "Work Out," and "Top Chef" are featuring gay women on TV, and there's even talk of a lesbian reality show in the works.

Certainly nothing is new about women having sex with women, but we've arrived at a moment in the popular culture when it all suddenly seems almost fashionable -- or at least, acceptable.

Statistics on how many women have traded boyfriends and husbands for girlfriends are hard to come by. Although the U.S. Census Bureau keeps track of married, divorced, single, and even same-sex partners living together, it doesn't look for the stories behind those numbers.

But experts like Binnie Klein, a Connecticut-based psychotherapist and lecturer in Yale's department of psychiatry, agree that alternative relationships are on the rise.

"It's clear that a change in sexual orientation is imaginable to more people than ever before, and there's more opportunity -- and acceptance -- to cross over the line," says Klein, noting that a half-dozen of her married female patients in the past few years have fallen in love with women. "Most are afraid that if they don't go for it, they'll end up with regrets."

Feminist philosopher Susan Bordo, Ph.D, a professor of English and gender and women's studies at the University of Kentucky and author of "Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body," also agrees that in the current environment, more women may be stepping out of the conventional gender box.

"When a taboo is lifted or diminished, it's going to leave people freer to pursue things," she says.

"So it makes sense that we would see women, for all sorts of reasons, walking through that door now that the culture has cracked it open. Of course, we shouldn't imagine that we're living in a world where all sexual choices are possible. Just look at the cast of 'The L Word' and it's clear that only a certain kind of lesbian -- slim and elegant or butch in just the right androgynous way -- is acceptable to mainstream culture."

That said, of the recent high-profile cases, it's Cynthia Nixon's down-to-earth attitude that may have blazed a trail for many women. In 1998, when "Sex and the City" debuted on HBO, she was settled in a long-term relationship with Danny Mozes, an English professor, with whom she had two children.

They hadn't gotten married: "I was wary of it and felt like it was potentially a trap, so I steered clear of it," Nixon said in an interview with London's Daily Mirror.

In 2004, after ending her 15-year relationship with Mozes, Nixon began seeing Christine Marinoni, at the time a public school advocate whom she'd met while working on a campaign to reduce class sizes in New York City. Marinoni was a great support when the actress was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Far from hiding the relationship, Nixon has spoken freely in TV and newspaper interviews about it not being a big deal.

"I have been with men all my life and had never met a woman I had fallen in love with before," she told the Daily Mirror. "But when I did, it didn't seem so strange. It didn't change who I am. I'm just a woman who fell in love with a woman."

Over the past several decades, scientists have struggled in fits and starts to get a handle on sexual orientation. Born or bred? Can it change during one's lifetime?

A handful of studies in the 1990s, most of them focused on men, suggested that homosexuality is hardwired. In one study, researchers linked DNA markers in the Xq28 region of the X chromosome to gay males. But a subsequent larger study failed to replicate the results, leaving the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association to speculate that sexual orientation probably has multiple causes, including environmental, cognitive, and biological factors.

Today, however, a new line of research is beginning to approach sexual orientation as much less fixed than previously thought, especially when it comes to women. The idea that human sexuality forms a continuum has been around since 1948, when Alfred Kinsey introduced his famous seven-point scale, with zero representing complete heterosexuality, 6 signifying complete homosexuality, and bisexuality in the middle, where many of the men and women he interviewed fell.

The new buzz phrase coming out of contemporary studies is "sexual fluidity."

"People always ask me if this research means everyone is bisexual. No, it doesn't," says Lisa Diamond, Ph.D, associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah and author of the 2008 book "Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire."

"Fluidity represents a capacity to respond erotically in unexpected ways due to particular situations or relationships. It doesn't appear to be something a woman can control."

Furthermore, studies indicate that it's more prevalent in women than in men, according to Bonnie Zylbergold, assistant editor of American Sexuality, an online magazine.

In a 2004 landmark study at Northwestern University, the results were eye-opening. During the experiment, the female subjects became sexually aroused when they viewed heterosexual as well as lesbian erotic films. This was true for both gay and straight women.

Among the male subjects, however, the straight men were turned on only by erotic films with women, the gay ones by those with men.

"We found that women's sexual desire is less rigidly directed toward a particular sex, as compared with men's, and it's more changeable over time," says the study's senior researcher, J. Michael Bailey, Ph.D. "These findings likely represent a fundamental difference between men's and women's brains."

This idea, that the libido can wander back and forth between genders, Diamond admits, may be threatening and confusing to those with conventional beliefs about sexual orientation.

But when the women she's interviewed explain their feelings, it doesn't sound so wild. Many of them say, for example, they are attracted to the person, and not the gender -- moved by traits like kindness, intelligence, and humor, which could apply to a man or a woman.

Source CNN

So what does the Bible say about Homosexuality ?

Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13 ,1 Cor. 6:9-10 , Rom. 1:26,27,28,

Homosexuality is clearly condemned by the Bible. It goes against the created order of God. He created Adam and then made a woman. This is what God has ordained and it is what is right. Unlike other sins, homosexuality has a severe judgment administered by God Himself. This judgment is simple: They are given over to their passions. That means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins (Romans 1:18ff). As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing. Without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance and trusting in Jesus. Without Jesus, they will have no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation.

What should be the Christian's Response to the Homosexual?

Just because someone is a homosexual does not mean that we cannot love him (or her) or pray for him (her). Homosexuality is a sin and like any other sin, it needs to be dealt with in the only way possible. It needs to be laid at the cross, repented of, and never done again.

As a Christian, you should pray for the salvation of the homosexual the same you would any other person in sin. The homosexual is still made in the image of God -- even though he is in grave sin. Therefore, you should show him same dignity as anyone else you come in contact with. However, this does not mean that you are to approve of their sin. Don't compromise your witness for a socially acceptable opinion that is void of godliness.

God in His mercy always put a limits to sin see Daniel 9:24 ,Also Sodom, and the people in Noah's time had probationary time. If you are of the opinion that God can change or the stories of Sodom ,Israel and Noah's time were just that ...Stories then think again. God is real and He is coming soon to clean up.

Maranatha

Royalblood


Eating Well on a Tight Budget (Recessionary times)

With no end in sight to the global financial crisis, many families are finding that now is a good time to bring back the basics (e.g. nutritious and affordable foods that were staples during the depression, but have been all but forgotten during more affluent times).

You don’t have to eat stone soup or junk food to save money. By turning to some Depression-era standbys, however, you may also be able to carve a significant chunk out of your grocery budget. In addition to a lower food bill, these tried-and-true foods also provide the benefit of improved health—and a reduction in girth.

Cheap, empty-calorie foods are not the answer. The key is to look for the most healthy nutrients (as opposed to the most calories) for the dollar. Fortunately, there are many foods that are affordable, nutrient-rich, and not loaded with empty calories.

Value-Added Foods

So which foods provide the best “nutrient bang” for your buck? A short list would include beans, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, kale, collards, onions, bananas, apples, peanut butter, and almonds, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, and brown rice. Frozen foods to consider include corn, broccoli, and peas.

Contrary to popular opinion, fruits and vegetables do not have to be fresh to be nutritious. While fresh food is certainly wonderful, canned and frozen foods generally cost less and require less preparation. People tend to waste less when using canned and frozen foods. Also, because such foods are harvested at the peak of ripeness (as opposed to fresh fruits and vegetables which are often harvested early), they may even contain more nutrient value. This is not to recommend canned or frozen over fresh foods—only to say, don’t rule them out as less healthy because they’re not fresh.

Though often maligned as salty or high in fat, potatoes are actually one of the “good guys” when it comes to high nutrient, inexpensive, and versatile foods. Potatoes can be prepared in many delicious ways with little or no added fat, and they are nutritious. For example, one potato alone can provide 35% of the daily allowance for Vitamin C, 20% of Vitamin B6, 6% of the daily protein allowance, and 10% of niacin, iron, and copper.
Beans are another low-cost, nutritional powerhouse that is rich in nutrients, low in fat, and richer in protein than any other plant-based food. Cabbage, collards, and kale are other nutrient-dense foods that are low in sodium, calories, and price. In terms of fruit, it’s hard to beat apples and bananas for foods that are economical, versatile, and nutritious. Ranging from snacks to smoothies, there are many great ways to prepare these fruits as well.

Other budget-minded tips include:

• selecting less expensive store brands of canned and frozen produce
• cooking in batches, then freezing some ahead
• whipping up main-dish soups and stews for filling yet low-calorie meals (a crockpot or slow cooker can be a great help in this regard).

In a study observing of families of overweight children at the State University of New York at Buffalo, researchers found that basing the family diet on low-calorie, high-nutrient foods provided a double benefit: improving the health of the entire family and reducing the amount spent on food. While no one wants to go hungry during lean economic times, there are ways to be satisfied, healthy, and budget-conscious—all at the same time.

When God lays a foundation no one can,should,or attempt to move it

This is indeed a great article written for all Seventh Day Adventist to read.
Non Christians and none SDA's a like may take a peek and understanding the foundations of the what this church is built on. With God Truth is constant ,It is standard however to man Truth will be progressive because we are ever learning ever discovering Gods truth. But the truth however progressive to us due to our limited sinful minds remains a constant a standard,the way,the light royalblood. Confusing ? read on.
Seventh-day Adventist Doctrines and Progressive Revelation

by P. Gerard Damsteegt

Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 2/1 (1991): 77-92.

Progressive revelation has played an important role in the development of the Seventh-day Adventist church and its theology. By "progressive revelation" I mean God's continuous unfolding of prior revealed truth.1 Without such progressive revelation, the unfolding of inspired truth building on truth previously revealed and never denying it, the Seventh-day Adventist Church would not exist.

Throughout their history Seventh-day Adventists have looked forward to discovering or receiving additional truth that would harmonize with prior truth. Ellen G. White, one of the principal founders of our church, kept this hope alive with statements such as: "Truth is an advancing truth"2 and, "There are mines of truth yet to be discovered by the earnest seeker."3

In speaking of "truth" she always meant truth as given by God in His divine Word.

The preamble to the 1980 statement of Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists reflects this attitude:

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.4

This article looks at some trends among Seventh-day Adventists, having to do with the operation of progressive revelation.

Some Current Trends

Historically, Seventh-day Adventists have viewed new light as something positive, a continuation or unfolding of previous revelation.

At times, however, some members have been skeptical of progressive revelation out of fear that it would destroy the foundations of Adventism. Such a fear was displayed at the 1888 Minneapolis General Conference and during its aftermath. Ellen G. White responded frequently with appeals for openness to further understanding.

Today some members feel a need for significant changes in methods of Biblical interpretation and doctrine, and a transformation of the understanding of the Adventist experience. Among the underlying assumptions for their thinking is that our doctrines are not based simply on the Scriptures but rather they represent our church's understanding of what the Bible teaches at a particular time and place. They claim that our doctrines reflect the specific culture in which our community operated at the time of its formation. Consequently, the time has come they say, for indigenized theologies such as an African Adventist theology, an Asian Adventist theology, and a European Adventist theology.

The role of doctrine in the community of believers is both to safeguard the faith once delivered and to communicate the community's religious experience. At the first formulation of doctrines these two dimensions are integrated into the lives of the believers. Doctrine clearly reflects harmony with the religious experience of the pioneers.

After the passing of the founders, a second, third, and fourth generation come onto the scene who, living in a changing society with different challenges and having a different religious experience, can still affirm the truth in one way or another but may feel it has lost its relevance. Thus there arises a call for change in doctrinal formulation, for a "present truth" adapted to current times and places.

The view just presented gives the impression that doctrines are open-ended, that they are molded by the interaction of the community of believers in its socio-cultural settings with the Scriptural testimony as understood in those settings, that whatever the community later decides on is acceptable as progressive revelation. But this view is not necessarily correct.

Doctrinal Developments

Analysis of the doctrinal statements of the Seventh-day Adventist church over the years is revealing. The early statements of 1872 and 1889 show clearly the impact of the 1844 experience on the Adventist pioneers. They thus demonstrate an integration of belief and religious experience.

The 1872 statement consists of 25 articles. These articles include the main truths of traditional Christendom, such as the doctrines of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures, baptism, and the new birth, but clearly call attention to the distinctive doctrines that came as the result of proper progressive revelation and that contributed to the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

The 1872 formulation of Adventist doctrines gave an explanation of the nature and historical fulfillment of prophecy, revealing that the mistake of Adventists in 1844 was not related to the prophetic time calculations but to the nature of prophesied events. Christ began the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary as the antitype of the Day of Atonement in 1844 as Scripture taught. They call the period since 1844 a time of investigative judgment, during which the blotting out of sins takes place for the righteous dead as well as the righteous living. Since the 1840's God has sent a proclamation symbolized by the three messengers of Revelation 14 that magnifies the law of God and its role in preparing people for the second advent of Jesus Christ.

In 1889 three additional articles were provided, concerning Christian conduct, modesty of dress, and tithing and freewill offerings&emdash;bringing the number of articles to 28.

In 1980 a thorough revision and rewriting of the Fundamental Beliefs was undertaken in which the articles were arranged more or less in categories of systematic theology: the Doctrine of God (1-5), the Doctrine of Man (6-7), the Doctrine of Salvation (8-10), the Doctrine of the Church (11-17), the Doctrine of the Christian Life (18-22), and the Doctrine of Last Things (23-27).

This new arrangement undoubtedly has advantages for comparing Seventh-day Adventist beliefs with those of other churches. However, in the process the Seventh-day Adventist distinctive doctrines lost some of their distinctiveness, because of the usage or superimposition of categories taken from the discipline of systematic theology.

Will people who join the Adventist Church exclusively on the basis of a limited exposure to the 1980 Fundamental Beliefs have a different religious experience and doctrinal view than earlier Adventist believers? This may indeed be so, because the belief system and faith experience are not as integrated as was the case for earlier believers and can lead to an attitude that some doctrines are irrelevant or outdated. On the other hand, those persons who have been exposed to the structure of doctrines in categories of systematic theology as set forth in the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe (1988) may develop a greater understanding of them than those who do not have such an opportunity.

Some Adventists have attempted a rewriting of the Fundamental Beliefs in the context of Christ and the cross. Others have called for doctrinal changes in order to increase the relevance of our beliefs to the religious experience of the present generation even though it was as recent as 1980 that the current rewriting was undertaken and voted at the General Conference session held in Dallas. For the very purpose of updating them and bringing them together into a more relevant and harmonious unity.

What direction should the Adventist Church take to make its beliefs more relevant to its members as well as to the Christian community and the world at large? It seems that no matter how carefully one tries to rewrite the doctrines, or change their sequence and or categories, there will continue to be a demand for change, additions, and eliminations.

How to Understand Seventh-day Adventist Doctrines

In conversations between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Dr. Paul Schwarzenau, the WCC representative, made a significant observation. He said,

Prior to and underlying every particular church doctrine, however objectively it may be based on biblical exegesis and theological argument, are experiences of faith which have left an indelible mark on that doctrine and are the source which consciously or unconsciously determines the questions, inquiries and teachings of the church in question. The living resonance of the Protestant, "Scripture principle" rests on the fact that Luther had earlier experienced in the depths of despair the converting power of the Gospel (his so-called "tower experience"). And it is very much to the point that Adventist doctrine is rooted in and derives strength from an event which Adventists later referred to as "the great disappointment" (October 22, 1844).5

Schwarzenau concluded that "the full truth of a church's doctrine is therefore not yet grasped so long as, in its details or as a whole, we see it in isolation from such events and as mere doctrine."6

Anyone who wants to understand the soul and genius of the Advent movement and wishes to perceive the full truth and continual relevance of its beliefs will never succeed as long as the current fundamental beliefs are studied in isolation from the action of God in the 1844 Advent experience.

The 1844 Advent experience "opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God's hand had directed the great Advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people."7

It was a progressive revelation that illuminated the past, present, and future of God's loyal remnant people.

Many arguments used by those who seem to be dissatisfied with the relevance of doctrinal formulation have to do with a failure to see Adventist theology in the context of God's opening providence at the time of the origin and rise of the Advent movement. The need to participate mentally in the 1844 Advent experience is one of the most crucial challenges for every Seventh-day Adventist and those desiring to understand the movement.

Emphasizing the crucial significance of understanding the past Adventist experience, Ellen G. White stated: "As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history."8

She considers it of sacred importance for ministers and people to recapture God's providence in this original Advent experience. A revival of this experience is indispensable to the relevancy of the church's doctrines for believers and its proclamation to the world. She challenged believers "to revive and recount the truths that have come to seem of little value to those who do not know by personal experience of the power and brightness that accompanied them when they were first seen and understood. In all their original freshness and power these truths are to be given to the world."8 Yet as vital as this experience is, Ellen G. White called on believers to search for additional light, because God is more than willing to bestow additional light that harmonizes with previous light.

The questions now to be explored are: In what way should we expect progressive revelation to affect Adventist doctrines? What new doctrinal developments can we expect in the near future? Will some doctrines be replaced by others? How does new light change doctrine and the interpretation of Scripture? Is appropriate change to be determined by majority opinion? But before coming to these questions let us examine briefly the principles under which proper progressive revelation operates.

Operating Principles of Progressive Revelation

Ellen G. White's comments have been quite influential. Many believers have quoted her views, especially those who have advocated a need for a change in doctrinal formulation. It is, therefore, most appropriate to analyze her views on advanced or new light.

A. Nature and relevance of advanced light.

The light of truth advances constantly (Prov 4:18). Ellen White wrote that "we shall never reach a period when there is no increased light for us ''10 "In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation.''11 This further development of truth and the new light, also designated as present truth, "is a test to the people of this generation"&emdash;who are accountable for truth that past generations were not accountable for.12

B. Its true source.

God is the source of advanced truth. "If God has any new light to communicate, He will let His chosen and beloved understand it, without their going to have their minds enlightened by hearing those who are in darkness and error."13

C. Particular areas of advancement.

The areas of advancement are associated in a special way with the practical dimension signs of Christian life. They touch upon matters necessary for the perfection of the faith and of the faithful.14 New light is intended to lead God's people "onward and upward to purity and holiness.''15

One particular area of potential advancement is light on the character of God. Ellen G. White wrote, "It is our privilege to reach higher and still higher for clearer revealings of the character of God.''16 And because Christ is the key to our understanding of God, it is vital for us to wrestle with truth "as it is in Jesus." We must bring "Jesus before the churches and before the world."17

Truth in Christ and through Christ is measureless. The student of Scriptures looks, as it were, into a fountain that deepens and broadens as he gazes into its depths. Not in this life shall we comprehend the mystery of God's love in giving His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. The work of our Redeemer on this earth is and ever will be a subject that will put to the stretch our highest imagination.. The most diligent seeker will see before him a boundless, shoreless sea.18

Another special area for advancing light is Christ's righteousness.19 It is God's desire that finally "one interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,&emdash;Christ our righteousness."20 When this one interest does prevail, the brilliance of God's final message of mercy will illuminate the entire world. (See Rev 18:1.)

Additional light is to be expected also on final events,21 the book of Revelation 22 and the antitypical significance of the Jewish economy.23

D. Conditions for Reception.

The prerequisites for the bestowal of new light mentioned by Ellen White generally focus on individual spirituality. They involve diligent and prayerful study of the Bible,24 living a righteous life,25 growing in grace,26 having a vital connection with Christ,27 walking obediently in present light,28 purging sin from the life,29 having an attitude of humility,30 following the light of health reform,31 accepting and applying the old truths,32 accepting the Spirit of Prophecy,33 being chosen and illuminated by the Holy Spirit,34 and advancing in proportion to the light.35

E. Harmony with previous revelation.

Ellen G. White stressed a close relationship between old truth and new truth:

1. New Perspectives of Old Truth. The long established truths of redemption continue to offer new perspectives, "though old, they are ever new, constantly revealing to the seeker for truth a greater glory and a mightier power."36

2. An Unfolding of the Old. "The old truths are all essential;" "new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it.... It is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old. He who rejects or neglects the old does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power and becomes but a lifeless form."37

3. In Harmony with the Foundations of Adventism. New truth always will be in harmony with previous truth and will not divert the attention from Christ or the special Seventh-day Adventist mission.38

Progressive revelation understood in the proper sense in no way diminishes the relevancy of the truths upon which the Seventh-day Adventist church was founded. Ellen G. White cautioned: "Let not any man enter upon the work of tearing down the foundation of truth that has made us what we are."39 "Not one pillar of our faith is to be removed. Not one line of truth is to be replaced by new fanciful theories."40

The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit.... We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith. They gather together a mass of Scripture, and pile it as proof around their asserted theories.... And while the Scriptures are God's word, and to be respected, the application of them, if such application moves one pillar from the foundation that God has sustained these fifty years, is a great mistake.41

4. In Harmony with the Landmarks. Ellen G. White strongly defended the theological landmarks of Adventism that were discovered around the time of 1844. "Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast," she said. "They are seeking to bring in uncertainties as to set the people of God adrift without an anchor."42

In 1889 she defined the landmarks as follows:

The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angel's messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, "The Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of God's law. The non immortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks.43

5. In Harmony with the Historicist Hermeneutic. Seventh-day Adventists interpret Scripture in a way similar to that of the Reformers and William Miller. Ellen White had a high regard for Miller's rules of interpretation, five of which she especially recommended."

Miller's rules were part of the historicist method of prophetic and Biblical interpretation.

The Acceptance of Progressive Revelation by the Church

Great care must be taken in the introduction of purportedly "new light."

A. Attitudes towards new light:

Ellen White called for an openness to new light and strongly opposed the attitude that we have all the truth for our time.45 New light is not a private affair, for no one should claim that he or she has all the light.46

The investigation of new ideas is important. She stated:

Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy. If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it. We are all under the obligation to God to know what He sends us.47

Ellen White illustrated the correct attitude toward new Scriptural insight with her personal experience in 1844.

In 1844, when anything came to our attention that we did not understand, we kneeled down and asked God to help us take the right position; and then we were able to come to a right understanding and see eye to eye. There was no dissension, no enmity, no evil-surmising, no misjudging of our brethren.48

B. Procedure for discussing new light:

The way in which new light should be discussed is crucial. The Bible must be studied "with fasting and earnest prayer before God."40

The Bible is the norm for the evaluation of any new point. It is the "standard for every doctrine and practice.... It is the word of the living God that is to decide all controversies.... God's Word is our foundation of all doctrine."50

The baptism of Holy Spirit is indispensable for the elimination of the spirit of prejudice. "When the Spirit of God rests upon you there will be no feeling of envy or jealousy in examining another's position; there will be no spirit of accusation and criticism, such as Satan inspired in the hearts of the Jewish leaders against Christ.''51

C. Tests of new light:

The following tests are recommended to determine the genuineness of new light:

1. Is it Christ-Centered? Ellen White recommended a simple test to determine new light: "Does this light and knowledge that I have found, and which places me at variance with my brethren, draw me more closely to Christ? Does it make my Savior more precious to me and make my character more closely resemble His?"52

2. To the Law and to the Testimony. God "has given direction by which we may test every doctrine,&emdash;'To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them' [Isa. 8:20]. If the light presented meets this test, we are not to refuse to accept it because it does not agree with our ideas."63

3. Does it Produce Fruits of Righteousness? The most convincing testimony that we can bear to others that we have the truth is the spirit which attends the advocacy of that truth. If it sanctifies the heart of the receiver, if it makes him gentle, kind, forbearing, true and Christlike, then he will give some evidence of the fact that he has the genuine truth. But if he acts as did the Jews when their opinions and ideas were crossed, then we certainly cannot perceive such testimony, for it does not produce the fruits of righteousness.64

Implications for Adventist Doctrines

From the above discussion of the way progressive revelation operates it is clear that the doctrines Adventists hold are not open-ended or in a state of flux, ready to be changed at any time. We shall briefly list some implications of progressive revelation.

A. The impact on current doctrine.

New light will not manifest itself in a form that is altogether different from the light the church already possesses. It will take the form of a further advancement of present truth. It is a fuller, clearer, and brighter unfolding of the old truth. There will be harmony with the theological landmarks, the Spirit of Prophecy, and historicist principles of Bible interpretation. Thus it will not replace, substitute, radically change, or tear down the foundations of Adventist faith and practice.

B. Expected new doctrinal developments.

Further developments can be expected, particularly in the areas of presenting the truth "as it is in Jesus." All teachings should be viewed in the light of Christ our Righteousness. Christ our Redeemer is "the center of all our faith and hope."55 The ''sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster."56

C. Conditions for changes.

All changes, whether in doctrinal positions or elsewhere, are controlled by the careful application of the revealed guidelines for the reception of new light.

First and foremost, the spirituality of those calling for change and claiming new light need to be examined. This is vital because God reveals new light only to those who diligently and prayerfully study the Scriptures, who live righteous lives, are growing in grace, and have a living connection with Christ. They have purified sin from the life, and attempt to walk obediently in the present light. They live in harmony with and support the full messages of the Spirit of Prophecy and are advancing in proportion to the light already given.

Suggestions for doctrinal change should be investigated, not simply by administrators, but by brethren of experience, who are diligent Bible students. The investigation should be done with fasting and prayer, calling upon God for a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Personal investigation is crucial. No one is infallible. No one should rely on the views of others. The Bible must be the norm by which any light is to be investigated and tested.

Every one should be clear on what the old landmarks are and support them. All prejudice should be eliminated so that everyone involved approaches the investigation with an open mind. Finally, the tests for new light must be applied: Is it in harmony with the law and the testimony, the Bible in its entirety? Does it support the Spirit of Prophecy, or is it in disharmony with it? Does the change produce a greater Christ-centeredness? Will it bring fruits of righteousness based on the foundation of the Bible as the Word of God?

During the investigation there should be ample time given to the study of the Scriptures in all its aspects. Nothing can be rushed. Nothing can be decided by a majority vote. When the procedures outlined above are followed, God will not leave His church in doubt about what direction it should take. When God is leading His people into further truth, the study of the Scriptures, together with prayer and fasting, will lead the body of believers as a whole to a general consensus just as He did in 1844 at the time of the Great Disappointment and its aftermath.

D. Change by majority vote.

When the church follows proper guidelines for the evaluation of new light it can expect unity of faith and practice. If the body of the church, i.e., the General Conference in session, has taken an action on a point, then it is best for believers to let an issue rest for awhile, because further agitation at the time has the potential to divide and destroy the unity of the church. Majority votes by groups or committees are not the way to decide on Bible truth and doctrinal change.

During the Reformation the majority of Christians continued to follow the traditions of an apostate Christianity. The Reformers were a minority who dared to challenge the apostasy in Christendom with the Bible as the final norm of faith and practice.

It happened the same way during the nineteenth century second advent movement that had a great impact on many Christian denominations. Yet it was only a remnant of these churches that decided to submit themselves to the full teachings of the Bible. That remnant separated itself from other ecclesiastical organizations which placed creedal statements and man-made traditions above the Word of God.

These experiences in the history of the Christian Church are a lesson for us today. It is possible that, as in the past, a part of God's people will gradually slip into apostasy, give up their respect for the Bible as the final authority for all faith and behavior, and depart from Bible doctrines and practices.

When this takes place, a remnant, inspired by Scripture and the Testimony of Jesus, will continue to call upon God's people to return to the Word of God. Their mission will be successful in spite of heavy losses. The firm assurance is given that at the very end of time

God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority&emdash;not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain "Thus saith the Lord'' in its support.57

Endnotes

1 For a critical discussion of contemporary usages of the concept of "progressive revelation," see Gerhard E Hasel's essay, "The Totality of Scripture," in this issue.

2 Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 33.

3 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, 5:204.

4 Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1986 ed., p. 23.

5 Paul Schwarzenau, So Much in Common (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1972), p. 106.

6 Ibid., p. 107.

7 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 423.

8 Ellen G. White, Life Sketches, p. 196.

9 Ellen G. White, Diary, Jan. 31, 1890; Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 2:574.

10 Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, 1:404; White, Testimonies, 5:650.

11 White, Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 127, 128.

12 White, Testimonies, 2:693. Cf. Ellen G. White, Early Writings, pp. 42,43.

13 White, Early Writings, p. 124.

14 Cf. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 48.

15 White, Testimonies, 5:534.

16 Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 464.

17 Ellen G. White, Sons and Daughters of God, p. 259.

18 White, Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 128, 129.

19 Ellen G. White, MS 9, 1890; 1888 Materials, 2:537. 92 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society

20 White, Sons and Daughters of God, p. 259.

21 White, Testimonies, 2:692, 693.

22 White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 133.

23 Ibid.

24 Ellen G. White, Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 27; White, Sons and Daughters of God, p. 259; White, Writers and Editors, p. 35.

25 White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 34, 35.

26 White, Testimonies, 5:706.

27 White, Editors, p. 35; White, Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 130, 131.

28 Ellen G. White, My Life Today, p. 310; cf. White, Testimonies, 2:67.

29 White, Ministry of Healing, pp. 464, 465.

30 Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, "Be Zealous and Repent," Dec.23,1890.

31 White, Testimonies, 2:67, 70.

32 White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 127; White, Testimonies, 5:369.

33 White, Life Sketches, pp. 198-200.

34 Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, p. 297; White, "Be Zealous."

35 White, Testimonies, 5:534.

36 White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 127; c£ ibid, p. 130.

37 Ibid., pp. 127, 128.

38 White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 49.

39 Ellen G. White, MS 62, 1905, p. 5.

40 Ellen G. White, Medical Ministry, p. 96.

41 White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 32; cf. White, Selected Messages, 2:115; Ellen G. White, MS 62, 1905, p. 5.

42 White, MS 62, 1905. p. 5.

43 Ellen G. White, MS 13, 1889, p. 3., 1888 Materials, 2:518.

44 Ellen G. White, "Notes of Travel," Review and Herald, Nov. 25, 1884.

45 White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 33.

46 White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 107; White, Great Controversy, p.343. For Biblical support she referred to Job 11:7; Isa 55:8, 9; 46:9,10.

47 White, Gospel Workers, p. 301.

48 Ibid., p. 302.

49 Ellen G. White, MS 13, 1889, 1888 Materials, 2:517; Ellen G. White,"How to Meet Controverted Points of Doctrine," Review and Herald, Feb. 18, 1990; 1888 Materials, 2:534.

50 Ellen G. White, Letter, Aug. 5, 1888.

51 Review and Herald, Feb. 18, 1890; Ellen G. White, MS 2, 1890, Ellen G. White, "Open the Heart to Light," Review and Herald, March 25, 1890; Ellen G. White, Letter, Jan. 7, 1890.

52 White, Testimonies, 3:444.

53 White, Gospel Workers, p. 301.

54 Ellen G. White, Letter, March 13, 1890.

55 Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 172.

56 Ibid., p. 190.

57 White, Great Controversy, p. 595.


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