Author Topic: Why the Testimonies?  (Read 4804 times)

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Richard Myers

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Why the Testimonies?
« on: March 03, 2000, 07:00:00 PM »
"The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the Word of God their study, are found living in direct opposition to its plainest teachings. Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the Word that they have neglected to follow. The Word of God abounds in general principles for the formation of correct habits of living, and the Testimonies, general and personal, have been calculated to call their attention more especially to these principles."

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In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Avalee Lohman

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2000, 05:46:00 AM »
Richard this is not the quote that I was looking for but thought I would post it anyway. I was searching for another one...but as the time is getting close for me to start getting ready for church I thought I had better search at another time. I did find this one and some others I had not read before, which I saved to my desktop to read later on.

Selected Messages Book 1,
page 41, paragraph 1
Chapter Title: Attitudes Toward the Testimonies


Safe Instruction for Closing Days

A wealth of moral influence has been brought to us in the last half century. Through His Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the Spirit of prophecy. Repeatedly the word has come, Write the things that I have given you to confirm the faith of My people in the position they have taken. Time and trial have not made void the instruction given, but through years of suffering and self-sacrifice have established the truth of the testimony given. The instruction that was given in the early days of the message is to be held as safe instruction to follow in these its closing days. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken. If we study carefully the second chapter of Hebrews, we shall learn how important it is that we hold steadfastly to every principle of truth that has been given.-- The Review and Herald, July 18, 1907.

----end of quote-----


Happy Sabbath

Avalee


Gerry Buck

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2000, 10:24:00 AM »
Makes me wish I had more access to her books.
I have the conflict of the ages series and some of the commentaries,on a fixed income it's difficult to get more.
What I do have I read,and they have helped me immensely in my walk.
Like I said on another post else where( I think on the 'other' forum) the bible is a roadmap for our lives,her writings help us to understand the symbols used on  the map,they work together to guide us on the right "road".

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He is LORD!

Gerry

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me: try my reins and my heart.Ps.26:2
Gerry B.

Laurie Mosher

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2000, 03:43:00 PM »
  Amen Richard, Avalee, and Gerry!
  The small town where I live mines rock salt for industrial use, and commercial use. There is a seaport here where the big ships come in, load up salt, and go worldwide with their cargo; however, they have to be navigated through a river channel to the wharf (loading pier). Without the small PILOT boats, it would be impossible for the big ships to keep from running aground.
  There is an object lesson here. I liken the ships to the Word of God, and the pilot boats as the Spirit of Prophecy...used to enlighten us with the "finer details" as recorded in God's Holy Word. Does SOP negate the Bible? Of course not! But where would the Remnant church be today without the SOP? We wouldn't be any different than the other 499 religious denominations!
  Keep "the" faith!
   Br. Laurie     :)

[This message has been edited by Laurie Mosher (edited 03-24-2000).]

Keep "the" Faith,  Brother Laurie

Richard Myers

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2000, 07:57:00 PM »
Brother Gerry, I have emailed you some information that will give you some help. Let me know how is works.  :)

Brother Laurie, I like your object lesson.  :)
We certainly do need all the help we can get. Why would anyone reject the light?

In His love and grace,     Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2000, 08:11:00 PM »
"What has not the Lord God of Israel done for his people? He has given them his word; he has followed them with his testimonies, which have warned, reproved, rebuked, encouraged; he has given signs; he has given precious promises; and how few give him praise of glory! Many think if they tolerate the movings and workings of God in their behalf they ought to be commended. Oh, how few really know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent! He has spoken by prophets and apostles of what will be in the future. He has given living testimonies of himself in these last days when he spake unto us by his Son, and yet it is a truth that pains my soul, that the Lord is grieved with hard hearts and unteachable minds. How few believe and repent! to how few is the arm of the Lord revealed! 'And go, get thee . . . unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.' And will come to a decision to declare wholly for God or for Baal. God has sent to his people testimonies of truth and righteousness, and they are called to lift up Jesus, and to exalt his righteousness."  RH 5-27-90.

How few believe and repent and how few truly exalt the Christ of the Bible. Let us be thankful for all that Jesus has done for us and all of the light He has sent.

In His love and grace,   Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Paul

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2000, 01:14:00 AM »
I love these quotes and the object lesson too Laurie. Amen and amen.

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"WATCH THE LAMB"


Gerry Buck

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2000, 06:43:00 PM »
My biggest problem from the attitude that to many professed SDA's evince.

They have no problem quoting SOP or scripture  as long as it conforms to their own beliefs.

When it tells them something they don't want to hear, they reject it as 'cultural' or 'not inspired'.

2Tim.3:16,17 tells us that 'all scripture' has been given to us and that it is 'profitable'.
For our profit, to benefit us. To 'instruct,reprove,correct and define our doctrine'.

What is this purpose?
v.17-that 'the man(or woman) of God may be complete'  all together, ready to do--- what?
'good works.'

We have His word, and He didn't want to leave anything to chance, and knowing what was coming, He wanted us to have ALL we needed to 'fight the good fight.

my $.02

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Abstain from ALL  appearence of evil. 1Thess.5:22
Gerry B.

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me: try my reins and my heart.Ps.26:2
Gerry B.

DavidTBattler

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2001, 10:38:00 PM »
Well,

I hope that it's OK to resurrect an old topic!   :)

As I was praying this evening; the Lord told me to look for a thread on the SOP here @ TRO, and start to post what I believe.

I actually don't know yet, why He wants me to do this; but I have been learning to listen to that still, small voice:  There is so much to say about this exciting topic!

I will post this in bits and pieces so as not to overwhelm with volume!   :)

The Spirit Of Prophecy In God’s Remnant Church
A Personal View by “DavidTBattler.”


“Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh Day Adventists, to take the place of the Truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle  working power of the Lord.  But, the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and as God has signified through His Word, and the testimony of His Spirit;  He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles, that are based upon unquestionable authority.”  (Counsels To Editors And Writers, 1946 ed., pg.52).

As the SDA Church, we are a people of the Word of God, and like Martin Luther, we take our stand on it’s sure foundation.  The Bible, and the Bible only, is our rule of faith, and practice.  This is the Source of the waymarks that have made us a people; and we shall be preserved as such, only as we allow the Light of God’s Word, to shine upon our pathway.

As SDA’s, we are blessed not only with God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures; but also, with the amazing gift of the Spirit Of Prophecy; which was placed by God within the Remnant Church, “to bear a message of Truth to the erring, and of encouragement to the meek and lowly.”  R & H, (Jan.26th, 1905), pg.9.

As a Seventh Day Adventist ,  I have staked my hopes for the present life, and for the future, upon five main facts, which to the non-Christian, would be mere assumption, but to the Christian, plain facts of faith.

The Five Facts

1/  First, by faith, I recognize the existence of God.  Because of my  implicit or unbounded faith in God; I take for granted that He is.  I ask for no proof; but I simply know that God “is in His holy temple,” therefore, “let all the earth keep silence before Him,”  (Hab.2:20), “for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  (Heb.11:6).  (compare also Job 22:21, 26).

Without hesitation, or one word of proof, Christ admonishes all who claim His name, “have faith in God,” and millions of SDA’s, from every corner of the earth declare: “Lord, we believe; help Thou our unbelief.”

2/  By faith; I accept the whole Bible as God’s personal message to me, and everyone else living.  It is a revelation of His love, His will, , His plan, His purposes, and His standard for people of all generations and all backgrounds.  Paul’s counsel to Timothy is God’s Word to all people, who, by faith, have accepted the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation:

“14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. {throughly…: or, perfected}

I have personally chosen to receive the Scriptures as the Voice of God, speaking directly to me.  I take every thought, every sentence, every verse, every chapter, as a very real message from a very living God; given through His chosen messengers of old.  As taught in the SDA Church; I have chosen to open my heart, and my mind to receive God’s Word for every circumstance; because in His Word, are God’s commands, entreaties, counsels, appeals, warnings, and promises.  I accept these freely, and literally, and fully, as being from God, and therefore I can’t afford to treat any of these things from God’s Word lightly.  I have no license to add or diminish from anything in God’s Word.  I have no liberty that can accept one thing, and then reject another, according to my various whims, or convenience.  I am indeed, dealing with “The Word Of God:”

“11  As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13  For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”  (1 Thes.2:11-13).


3/  By faith in God’s expressed Word, I acknowledge that all people everywhere have sinned and have fallen short of both their own ideals, and of God’s ideals for them.  I think this could be considered a more universally accepted fact, than all the others upon which Christianity is based.  People don’t have too much trouble seeing this point.  Proof, and circumstantial evidence of how we have all fallen drastically short can be found everywhere.  The thing that I assume in all of this, or take by faith, is not so much the fact that we, as the human race, are grossly sinful; but, that we all need a Savior.  I recognize that not everyone is ready to acknowledge their need of Jesus:

“23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”  (Rom.3:23).

“24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? {the body…: or, this body of death} “  (Rom.7:24).


4/  By faith; I am convinced that Jesus Christ is my Deliverer, my Savior, and my Lord.  The answer to my desperate need and MY URGENT appeals for a Savior are found in Rom.7:25, 8:1-3, 6:

25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {for sin: or, by a sacrifice for sin}
6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. {to be carnally…: Gr. the minding of the flesh} {to be spiritually…: Gr. the minding of the Spirit}

As a sinner, I am saved FROM my sin, by Jesus Christ, who came from God, to lead all people back to God.  This transaction is based wholly on the personal faith of a person in Jesus as their Savior, AND their Lord:

“In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of Satan.  But, He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation: ‘Being found, in fashion, as a man; He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’  Phil.2:8.  As the High Priest laid aside his gorgeous, pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest; so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered Himself [as] the victim.  ‘He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.’  “  (DA 25).

As a Seventh Day Adventist; I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as my one and only Savior and Lord; and my faith in God, and in God's Word, causes me to truly rejoice in His plan, for my salvation, and also that of all His children:

12 “ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” {power: or, the right, or, privilege}   (Jo.1:12).
“31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  (Acts 16:31).
“1  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;
2  (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 :P
3 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 Jo.1:1-3).

As a Seventh Day Adventist; I consider myself as one of His children in the great family of God; and I believe that it is my duty to begin a Christian experience, which becomes a growth in grace, and, a life-long process in sanctification, leading ultimately to a perfection of character, and a fitness for the society of angels, and the literal presence of God.

Salvation, for me, by faith in Jesus as my Savior AND Lord has been the work of a moment, but, the “growth in grace,”  (2 Pet.3:18), has been, and is a process dealing with my entire life span.  Some would call it becoming a mature Christian.  The apostle Peter describes this in 2 Pet.1:2-9, and concludes:

“10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (2 Pet.1:10-11).

5/  By faith, I recognize also, from God’s Word, that God speaks to me, and to His church, “by His prophets,” and that this method of communication is the one used by God, from the very earliest period of time, right up to our own time, today.  Right up to my doorstep!  

“If there be a prophet among you; I, the Lord, will make Himself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.”  (Num.12:6).

If, by faith, I accept the fact of God, and recognize the Bible as God’s Word, then it is natural, and logical, that as a Christian; I should accept the fact of prophets, as God’s spokesmen.  I will ask for no more proof that God speaks to me personally, and to the Church corporately, through prophets, than I do for the fact, that the Bible is God’s personal Word to me, and to His Church.  

Concerning prophets, Paul wrote:

“18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19  Quench not the Spirit.
20  Despise not prophesyings.
21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Thes.5:18-23).

     I can see that God’s message through His Word, which came by prophets as His spokesmen, is for the purpose of changing men and women from sinners to saints, and to make them ready for the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The Spirit Of Prophecy is for me, and is for God’s Remnant.

Salvation is what happens by grace, through faith in Christ.  (Eph.2:8).    

Sanctification, and it’s ultimate end of perfection, comes through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  

Through prophets, God has set forth both in the Bible, and in the writings of the Spirit Of Prophecy, a pattern of Christian living, which shows us the kind of people that a Christian must be, both here, and in the everlasting kingdom; because if we would be saints in the kingdom to come; we must be saints in the world now.

The business of Christianity is not so much how to get an individual into heaven, as it is how to get heaven into the person.  This, is the ONLY work of ALL PROPHETS, IN BOTH Old and New Testament times; and ESPECIALLY NOW, in God’s Remnant Church – the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  We need a little bit of heaven here, if we are to enjoy it “there!”


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"Know the grace of God in Truth."  (Col.1:6).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler


Claudia Marie

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2001, 09:16:00 AM »
I just wanted to say something that I think is really important. It may be somewhat off the topic, but not really.

When I went to other forums where the more "liberal-minded" Adventists are, they'd question as to why I believed as I do. If I'd give a Spirit of Prophecy quote they'd balk at that and want Bible verses. Mostly it was because they dont really believe in the Spirit of Prophecy.

But the experience did make me realize something. In the end, we will perhaps have to stand before others who are not of our faith and give reasons why we hold to the beliefs that we do. Not just the basic SDA beliefs, but as to why we believe on things like Justification by faith, and all the rest of it. At that time we are not going to be able to say quotes from the Testimonies to support why we say we believe as we do.

I think that while we should totally and completely respect, believe in and go by the Spirit of Prophecy, that amongst many of the more Conservative Adventists there is a tendency not to realize that we should be making sure we know how to support our every belief by the Scriptures, and be able to sit down and have a Bible study about all that we believe with someone who asks.

Here are a few Spirit of Prophecy quotes that seem to admonish us of this same thing:


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Last Day Events, page 209, paragraph 1
Chapter Title: The Loud Cry
Kings, Legislators,
Councils, Hear the Message
It does not seem possible to us now that any should have to stand alone, but if God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils and before thousands for His name's sake, and each one will have to give the reason of his faith. Then will come the severest criticism upon every position that has been taken for the truth. We need, then, to study the Word of God, that we may know why we believe the doctrines we advocate.--RH Dec. 18, 1888.

Maranatha, page 45, paragraph 1
Chapter Title: Ready to Answer
Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15.
I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they know not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. .

God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. . . . Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.

Maranatha, page 253, paragraph 4
Chapter Title: Witnessing Before the Great Men of the Earth
You know not where you may be called upon to give your witness of truth. Many will have to stand in the legislative courts; some will have to stand before kings and before the learned of the earth, to answer for their faith. Those who have only a superficial understanding of truth will not be able clearly to expound the Scriptures, and give definite reasons for their faith. They will become confused, and will not be workmen that need not to be ashamed. Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you.

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Claudia

Claudia

Claudia Marie

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2001, 09:45:00 AM »
Now that I think more about it, I can give an illustration of what I mean by the things I said in my above post.

My husband told me a story yesterday about something that happened where he works. He just started working there about 7 or so months ago.

Suddenly yesterday, there were a team of people at the hospital, asking all sorts of questions about something and saying that an unexpected patient was being brought in who had had radiation poisoning.

Everyone began "running around like chickens with their heads cut off"... in confusion... not knowing what to do in this emergency situation.

Well my husband has had lots of experience with handling hazardous materials, so he knew right away it was just a drill. He told that to the the guy who was supposed to handle the whole thing. Then my husband got the emergency papers and was ordering everyone on what to do... bailing the other guy out of the situation.

The team of guys who were doing the inspecting wrote down on all points how perfectly the situation was handled. But they were talking amongst themselves about how strange it was that at first, everyone was in total confusion.

Anyway later, they guy my husband had bailed out was in a room with the emergency team who were asking him all sorts of questions about how to handle things... so they could write down a report. This guy didnt know how to answer the questions because he had just been following my husband's orders. He'd say, "uhhhhhh, I dont know, let me get back with you later on that" and basically he was making a fool of himself.

See, he knew what to do but not why he was doing it. He was just following the orders of someone else who did know why the things ought to be done. He ended up in embarrasment because of his ignorance.

Later, everyone knew my husband had given the orders.

But it just goes to show what I was saying about the Testimonies and Ellen White's writings... we ought to believe and follow them, but at the same time, we'd better know why we are doing all the things she says to do... we'd better know all the whys and wherefores about everything from the Scriptures. Because a day may come when we will have to answer for everything we do and believe- to a group of non-Adventists.

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Claudia

Claudia

DavidTBattler

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2001, 12:16:00 PM »
Wow!  All I have time for now is a quick "Amen" for now Claudia.   :)  I'll be back.

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"Know the grace of God in Truth."  (Col.1:6).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler


Dugald T Lewis MD

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2001, 12:33:00 PM »
Dear Claudia,

Your statement; "we ought to believe and follow them, but at the same time, we'd better know why we are doing all the things she says to do... we'd better know all the whys and wherefores about everything from the Scriptures. Because a day may come when we will have to answer for everything we do and believe- to a group of non-Adventists."

How very true! Sometimes I wonder if its worth the effort to debate with those calling themselves SDA's who are using every argument that they can muster in order to rationalize their rejection of the SOP.

Let us prepare for a global spread of the 3 angels message using our own experiences, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit as our guide. Much of our experience also comes from reading the SOP.

Great to have you with us.

Sincerely
Dugald


Richard Myers

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2001, 08:10:00 PM »
Thank you, Brother David for your post and thank you, Sister Claudia for yours also. Yes, I agree with what you have shared and the need to study for ourselves. In the BOL forum we have quite a number of ongoing threads. It is a blessing to read through them and see that the Bible is the foundation upon which we build.  :)

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Liane H

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2001, 08:34:00 PM »
I would like to pass one thought by you all that I stated in the Hebrew Sanctuary topic.

We have the old testament part of the Bible. It is a good book and if the Jewish nation had not rejected Jesus we never would have had a new testament. But we do!

There are scriptures and verses regarding many things that are in the New Testament that are not in the Old Testament. Again we can find the same thing in the Spirit of Prophecy penned by inspiration that are not in the Old or New Testament. This is called Present Truth.

Am I adrift?

When we are asked to give cause for our faith, they already know what we believe from the Bible, they will know that when we are arrested. They will already know the differences. It is the SOP that they will attack us on. Even one pastor who has left the church admits that the sabbath and the state of the dead are believed by many other denominations and accept by the mainstream  churches as a whole.

It is the judgement and the sanctuary that is what makes us set apart from them all. It was the Spirit of Prophecy coming to life from our fathers that brought it to light through the study, prayer and visions of Ellen G. White and expounded upon through the pen of inspiration by our Lord.

We will be attacked for our proclaiming that the SOP is inspiration that it comes from God and is not just the good words of an old dead woman.
 
Liane


[This message has been edited by liane (edited 05-12-2001).]

Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

M.A. Crawford

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2001, 08:37:00 AM »
"We have the old testament part of the Bible. It is a good book and if the Jewish nation had not rejected Jesus we never would have had a new testament. But we do!"

I believe I understand what you are saying here, Sis. Liane, but we must also remember that Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), which was before there was a Jew. In Genesis 3:15 we see the first prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is given: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; IT [margin, He] SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALL BRUISE HIS HEEL" (Emphasis mine). Herein again, this took place long before the Jewish nation was even established by the first Jew, Abraham.

Jesus came into the world to (1) pay the penalty for sin of which the human race was under ("For as in Adam all die..."[1 Cor. 15:22].), and (2) to provide A MEANS OF SALVATION from the personal sins we have committed since being in the world ("For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" [Rom. 3:23].). Therefore, the New Testament is more than just about Jesus. JESUS CHRIST IS THE NEW TESTAMENT!! What He did was to PERFECTLY LIVE OUT THE OLD. His Testimony, by way of the life He lived in the flesh, is the ONLY MEANS whereby we can be saved and safely navigate from this world to the next. It is His Example AND HIS ALONE that provides us with the means of Salvation THAT WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD.

M.A.  

M.A.

Liane H

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2001, 12:51:00 PM »
Hi MA:

We must remember that the Jews rejected Jesus and therefore by rejecting Jesus we have the New Testament. Jesus was written throughout the Old Testament. If the Jews had been faithful to the trust and truth that was given them, they still would haven been the light of the world through Jesus Christ and the good news would have been given by them through Jesus.  

Therefore because the Jews rejected Jesus they lost their calling and therefore a New Testament was needed to proclaim the good news to the Gentiles and to the world.

At least that is my understanding. Does it make sense?  

Liane

 

[This message has been edited by liane (edited 05-13-2001).]

Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

DavidTBattler

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2001, 05:44:00 PM »
This discussion is getting interesting; but to get us back on track with the actual topic; I have a few more related comments.   :)

Exciting Channels Of Communication Between God And Man

To accept the existence of God is to accept His statement as to how He has chosen to communicate with the human race.  It is neither reasonable, nor sensible, to accept God’s Word, and then try to deny or reject anything He says regarding His prophets, through whom He has chosen to speak to people here, on planet Earth.

The Bible doesn’t really offer scientific proof, or a really well reasoned argument for or against prophets.  

It simply declares that there are prophets through whom God spoke: God, who at various times, and in various manners, spoke in times past unto the fathers, by the prophets, hath in these last days, spoken unto us by His Son.”  (Heb.1:1-2).  And, the Bible does describe a few tests for a true prophet.

God, At Various Times, Spoke Through The Prophets:

In Eden, God spoke directly to Adam and Eve.  (see Gen.2-3).  “And they heard the Voice of the Lord God, walking in the garden, in the cool of the day.”  (Gen.3:8).

This interesting line of thought is amplified by James White: “Once man walked with God in Eden.  With open face, he beheld the glory of the Lord, and talked with God, with Christ, and with angels, in paradise – with no dimming vail between.  

Man fell from his mortal integrity and innocence; and was then driven from the garden, from the tree of life, and from the visible presence of the Lord, and His holy angels."
(James White, Introduction in Ellen G White, The Spirit Of Prophecy, vol.1, pg.7).

When sin came, it formed a wall of partition between  God and man.  But, God did not discard or neglect the work of His hand.  He chose to communicate with people, primarily, through

a) Prophets:  (Gen.20:6-7).
b) Angels: (Gen.16:7-13).
c) Priests: (Gen.14:18)

(see also 2 Chron.36:15, Jer.33:15, 2 Pet.1:21).

As the Lord’s prophet said it:

“God has been pleased to communicate His Truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men, and enabled them to do this work.  He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak, and what to write.  

The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet, it is, none the less, from heaven.  The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet, IT IS THE TESTIMONY OF GOD; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and Truth.”  (GC, Intro., pg.vi-vii).

The people chosen to do this very essential, , and all-important work, were usually known as prophets; but there are other names or titles applied to them in the Scriptures:

a) prophet – 1 Sam.9:9
b) son of man – Ez.4:1, 5:1
c) seer – 2 Chron.16:7
d) messenger – Mal.3:1, Haggai 1:13
e) spokesman – Ex.4:16, 7:1
f) fellow servant – Rev.22:9, 19:10
g) servant of God – 1 Chron.6:49
h) man of God – 1 Sam.9:6, 2 Pet.1:21
i) watchman – Isa.52:8

The work of all these men, by whatever title they were known, is well-stated in these words:

"From the earliest times, prophets had been recognized as teachers, divinely appointed.  In the highest sense, the prophet was one who spoke by direct inspiration, communicating to the people the messages he had received from God.  But the name was given also to those who, though not so directly inspired, were divinely called to instruct the people in the works and ways of God.”  (Ed. Pg., 46).

God’s Method Of  Transmitting His Message To Man

In Rev.1:3, God tells us the steps involved:

a) God gave His message to Jesus Christ
b) Jesus gave that message to His angel (Gabriel)
c) His angel “sent and signified,”   it to the prophet
d) The prophet spoke, or wrote it out for the people

Rev.1:1  “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.”

This is how the prophet would bear “record of the Word of God., and of the testimony of Jesus.”  (Rev.1:2).  Also, a special blessing is promised to all who read and hear the words of prophecy, and then ACT on what they read and hear.

Rev.1: 3  “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

This blessing is true of all the prophecies that have come from the mind of God, through His chosen channel.  It is only natural, that we should expect to see the prophets among God’s people, and there sure have been a plentiful supply of those who have claimed to be God’s special prophets for these last days.  

This too, is in agreement with Scripture, and therefore, we are counseled not to “despise prophecyings,” but rather to “prove all things,” holding “fast that which is good.”  (1 Thes.5:20-21).  

Looking down the corridors of time to our day now, Jesus Himself said: “There shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and they shall “show great signs and wonders; in so much that, if it were possible; they shall deceive the very elect.”  (Mat.24:24).  

Through John, Jesus adds this caution: “Beloved, believe not every spirit; but try the spirits, whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  (1 Jo.4:1).

Somehow, it is to be expected, that where the true exists, there is likely to be the false; where there is the genuine, there you will find also the counterfeit.  Our main business, as Christians, is to “try”  “test”  “prove,”  and “hold fast that which is good,” in order to find the true, and reject that which is false.

Accepting Or Rejecting The Prophet And Their Message

The question cannot be, “Has God ever had prophets?”  The real question must be: “How can I know if those who claim to be prophets are true?”  And,  the most important aspect of this question is “How shall I relate myself to both the prophets, and the messages of the prophets?”    The question is in essence, a matter of acceptance, or rejection, of the prophet and their message.”   Apparently, this was the important question in ancient times, and is one that still applies today:

2 Chron.36:16 – “16  But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. {remedy: Heb. healing} “

It certainly was not the case where all of the people, rejected all of the prophets.  But, there are unfortunate examples where people have rejected both God and His prophets, and God was forced, in turn, to also reject them...He will not force His love on anyone.  But, the same is true of Christians today.  Let’s look briefly at two examples from ancient times first:

a) Jehoiakim: Jeremiah was asked by God to write in a scroll, God’s Words of condemnation, against Israel, Judah, and the surrounding nations.  There was a good chance to hope for reformation and divine forgiveness, if Jeremiah’s messages were heeded by the people:

Jer.36:2-3: “2  Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

Therefore, Jeremiah dictated these messages from God, and Baruch, his secretary, wrote them out in the language best suited for the time and place where they were.  When these writings were read, the people, and even some of the princes, were very much impressed by what they had heard; and in fact, they even thought that the King himself should also both see and read.

The scrolls of Jeremiah were read to the King, as he warmed himself by the fire.  As the Monarch listened to, and then, examined the prophet’s words, he became very angry, seized the manuscipt, and then tore it to shreds.

Then, in royal, presumptuous fashion, the King threw these pieces into the fire, until the entire scroll was totally consumed.  Then, the record adds for us, these significant words:

“Yet, they were not afraid.”  (Jer.36:24).  

Something like Jehoiakim of old, many Christians, and their leaders of today, would just as easily dispose of the message, the messenger, and even the God who sends the message.  As in this example, we need to remember, not even fire can get rid of God, His messenger, or His message.

b) King David: was a man of human passions, and was a lot like other people who held no throne.  

At the devil’s bidding, David chose to commit an unspeakable outrage against Uriah, and his beautiful wife.  The King also chose to try and keep this matter secret, and to cover up his crime with deception and murder.  But, God’s eye, watching over all, sees clearly what human eyes cannot hope to perceive.  The Bible tells us: “But the thing that David had done, displeased the Lord.”  (2 Sam.11:27).

God asked a prophet by the name of Nathan to go to King David’s palace, and speak a few Words for Him, to King David.  

The man of God went forth on his mission to bear a rather unpleasant message to his king, and Nathan presented it in the form of a parable, or metaphor.  The King did not immediately grasp the point, and was so smoothly entrapped in his sin, that he declared:  “As the Lord liveth, the man that has done this thing shall surely die.  He shall restore the lamb four-fold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”  (2 Sam.12:5-6).

We need to take note that Nathan did not ask even one question to the King.  He did not hedge or sidestep the issue at hand, nor did he offer the King any alibi, or sympathy.  Instead, without fear, Nathan pointed his finger at the King of Israel, and delivered God’s message...undiluted: “Thou art the man.”

What was King David’s reaction?  He might have went into a raging fit, denied the charges, rejected the message, and put Nathan to death at sunrise.  But, the man of God had spoken with tears in his voice; I think, and yet, with a finality that even David could not escape.  Like the great man that he was, inspite of his human frailty and weakness; he admitted: “I have sinned against the Lord.”  

The Bible is so brief, on this point, that it likely does not tell us the whole story of David’s sincere repentance, confession, and restitution; but it simply closes the incident with these Words: “And Nathan said unto David, ‘The Lord also, hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not surely die.”  (2 Sam.12:13).


To BE Continued   :)


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"Know the grace of God in Truth."  (Col.1:6).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler


Richard Myers

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2001, 06:06:00 AM »
Sister Liane, that is an interesting thought. I have never looked at the New Testament in that way.  It has always seemed to me that when Jesus died, there was a need to make a record of His life and death for all who were yet to live. The New Testament is that record with the addition of the inspired testimony of those who were witnesses of the happenings at that time.

Yes, the rejection of Christ was important to explain and the change in the "organized" church needed to be set forth clearly also.  Good points and it helps us to see that there are definitely times when God sees that we need to have more light and to have it in recorded form for those that will follow.

The Testimonies were for people who are now dead, but in God's wisdom they were recorded for our benefit, that we might have answers for similar situations today.  :)

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

DavidTBattler

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Why the Testimonies?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2001, 06:51:00 AM »
Amen  Liane

I agree with Richard.  You made some interesting new points, I had never thought of either.  I am currently studying how to study the Bible, and you have given me some interesting food for thought.   :)

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"Know the grace of God in Truth."  (Col.1:6).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler