Author Topic: Getting Doctrinal  (Read 10092 times)

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Joan

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Getting Doctrinal
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2001, 09:00:00 AM »
Dearest Mac,

With wide-eyed trepidation of expecting the worst, I read your opening comment to the above message, it implying something about your message would sound unusual to the readers. Thinking of all sort of weird possible combinations (perhaps he's going to swear off the faith, or hand in his church membership and join the Mormons, or even worse get remarried  :o )I read further and was I everso happily reasurred as you told about the giving out of tracts. Phewwwww ! What a relief it wasn't what I thought.

Now that's not so bad  :) As a matter of fact I think it is just wonderful. A tract in the purse or pocket, stuffed there in a hurry by the receiver who later in the bus or train pulls it out to read (because of wanting to beat some time before getting off at his stop) has helped some get a thought for the day in direction of God. That' preparing the soul for more of God's ways.

I just spent 6 days with 30 Adventists here in this conference house listening to our main speaker for the meetings, John Bishop, telling the in's and out's of witnessing for Jesus. We went door to door putting tracts in the mail boxes just last monday, which was Christmas eve, as practical appliance of our teaching sessions.

So God bless you in your tract-handing-out-times and God bless the one's receiving them from you with the truth of it's message. And God, please bless those in their Holland homes reading the tracts we left for them in their mailboxes.

:) Joan


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2001, 08:26:00 AM »
Thank you, Sis. Joan, for your comments. I was glad to hear that you and others have already begun the much needed activity so many need to be doing of "getting off our seats; into the streets; with this Gospel beat!" We have many who read in these public forums, and I hope that most, if not all, will CATCH THE VISION, realize the lateness of the hour, and--with true spirit-filled fervor and intensity--be about the business of God, which is the salvation of souls.

WE DON'T NEED ANYONE TO REMIND US!!! Nor do we need to look around to see how many we can get to go with us. Instead, the true, faithful, and loyal soldier in the army of the Lord will make himself/herself A COMMITTE OF ONE and proceed accordingly. Let us therefore not sit by idle and wonder: Who will go? Or, who shall we send? Instead, let us BOLDLY step forth and answer: Here am I. Lord, send me! (Isa. 6:8).

M.A.    

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2002, 09:03:00 AM »
Concerning a doctrinal matter on the holiness of Mary, an individual in another forum remarked:

"The Catholic theologians took care of that by their theory of the 'Immaculate Conception' of Mary in the womb of her mother. So Mary did not have 'original sin' to transmit to her holy fetus."

To which my reply was:

This is not how original sin was not transmitted to the Holy fetus. Nowhere in Scripture can we find that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was anything other than an ordinary female human being who was a virgin. One cannot find anywhere in Scripture where she possessed a special "holy spiritual birth." Mary was a sinner SAVED BY GRACE just as all others are who will be saved. To try to insinuate that somehow Mary was anything else is to teach that which cannot be substantiated by the Word of God.

In Matthew 1:20, the Bible tells us:

"...the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

The Bible very clearly tells us that Jesus was conceived OF THE HOLY GHOST. Mary served only as the medium or the means whereby He came into the world. He was, in other words, born as all other children were, with one exception. He was not brought into the world as a result of intimacy with Joseph or any other man. HE WAS CONCEIVED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Mary had to be pure and untouched sexually by any male because Scripture said of her that:

"...Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14).

There are those who will argue that because Mary brought Jesus into the world, she was involved in His conception. That is true, in part. Mary was involved only from the physical standpoint, but not the spiritual. It is of paramount importance that we understand sin is a spiritual act committed in the flesh against God who is a Spirit (John 4:24). Jesus came into the world to destroy sin IN THE FLESH by the life He lived (Rom 8:3). And Jesus overcame sin in the flesh BY THE SAME MEANS we have today: By "It is written" (The Bible) and the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus had to be born in the manner in which He was born. He took upon Himself sinful flesh only in that sin had been committed in the flesh in the person of Adam, Eve, and all other humans. The bottom line is: He Himself NEVER, EVER had one taint of sin. Nor did He sin. Sin was committed in the flesh. Therefore Jesus destroyed it in the flesh by the life He lived.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:22.

Salvation is very simple; and always has been. We humans are the ones who have made it difficult by our futile attempt to erect our own "towers of Babel." Jesus DEMONSTRATED in the life He lived how to be saved. The Bible makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR that He overcame sin by overcoming temptation. When the devil tempted Christ at His weakest moment, He did not respond by saying "I guess," or "I suppose," or "I believe." He overcame the devil and temptation by saying to him: IT IS WRITTEN!!! The Word of God HAS ALWAYS BEEN the Key to eternal life through Jesus Christ. The same thing it took for Adam and all the redeemed to be saved is THE SAME THING it takes for us today: UNRESERVED OBEDIENCE to Jesus Christ and the Word of God by way of the Holy Spirit.

M.A.

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2002, 08:48:00 AM »
Another individual asked the question:

"Are you saying that if I trust in Jesus alone for my salvation, but do not return to SDAism's distinctive beliefs, that I cannot be saved?"

My reply was, what I am saying is the distinctive doctrinal beliefs that are held by the Seventh-day Adventist Church exalt Jesus Christ and the Word of God as the only means of salvation. If you have not done so already, I strongly suggest that you get a copy of the book entitled What Seventh-day Adventists Believe...A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines and read it in its entirety. In it I am convinced that if you read this book WITHOUT BIAS toward it, or without being influenced by the prejudices of another, you will discover that what is written therein is Christ-centered.

It is not a matter of returning to "SDAism" in order to be saved because denominations do not save. What Seventh-day Adventism does better than any other church is to point one to THE SOURCE OF SALVATION: JESUS CHRIST. Salvation is possible ONLY in Jesus Christ, and most informed Seventh-day Adventists know this. They also know that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not perfect because we humans in it are not perfect. But the good news is WE CAN BE MADE PERFECT through Him who is perfect: Jesus Christ IF we would put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14) by ordering our lives after His Divine Likeness. But, unfortunately, many are unwilling to do this because THEY LOVE SELF MORE THAN THEY DO GOD. As a result, many rebel against, find fault with, and become enemies of THE STRAIGHT TESTIMONY and Bible-based doctrines upon which this church was founded BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THEM!!!

M.A.

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Dora

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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2002, 07:18:00 PM »
Hello All,
I have found this an interesting subject.  When I was baptized in 1955, there was a tendency to concentrate more on what the Bible said to do, than WHO the Bible was about.  I am not sure if it was my lack of understanding or what, but, it took years of determining to "try harder," going to campmeeting, coming home "on fire" determined that "I" was going to get it right this time.  Then, invariably, hard as "I" tried, "I" failed.  Not until l985 did I began to actually realize what was wrong.  That "I" could do NOTHING, and those words became more than just a text!  In 1986, I totally gave my life into Jesus' keeping.  I am a member of the SDA church, because it it THE church that teaches the same TRUTHS that Jesus; God the Son, proclaimed from EDEN, and is still proclaiming it through us as we allow Him to do so.

In the wonderful prayer that He prayed for His disciples, and, in turn for you and I, He said, "Sanctify (set them apart) them through thy truth; thy word is truth." Jn.17:17.  That is what I want, the TRUTH, found in Jesus, and the only place I have heard it taught is from the Seventh-Day Adventist church.

In Christ's Love,

Dora

Dora

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2002, 07:16:00 AM »
Thank you, Sis. Dora, for your very fine post. I hope all will read it because it contains a very wonderful point that I want to comment briefly on.

God in His Supreme Wisdom knew that all who were truly honest and sincere about being saved would not come into a SAVING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING of What He requires of us unto salvation at the same time. As a result, in His Supreme Patience, He has given unto us something very wonderful whereby, without it, it would be impossible to be saved. IT IS KNOWN AS TIME!!! Every Christian can look back over his/her life and can VERY CLEARLY SEE how God had led him/her EACH AND EVERY STEP ALONG THE WAY to the point where he/she is presently in his/her Christian experience. You pointed that out in your post above when you elaborated on what happened to you in 1986.

The good news for the Christian is time shall not last always because sin and suffering shall not last always. Soon and very soon, God is going to cut the work of salvation short in righteousness (Rom. 9:28). Soon, all will have decided WHICH GOD they will serve: whether the God who created the heavens and the earth, or the god of self. When that has come to pass, and the fate of all shall have been decided, then one can rest assured He that shall come will come, AND SHALL NOT TARRY! (Heb. 10:37).

M.A.  

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2002, 07:34:00 AM »
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26.

There is a very critical point that needs to be emphasized that is of paramount importance in our understanding of how we are saved. And that point is, there must be A PERFECT BALANCE between the law and the Gospel in the life of all who expect to be saved. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith (faith in Jesus) without works (obedience to God's Word) is dead also.

Heretofore in the past, some Seventh-day Adventists have placed heavy emphasis on church doctrines which emphasize "obey and live" (the law) that were devoid of a corresponding emphasis on salvation through Jesus Christ (the Gospel). I believe that the greatest need for Seventh-day Adventists today is TO FOCUS MORE ON JESUS and establish in the life the connection between the righteousness of Christ and obedience to God's Word. There must be a HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP between the two that is perfectly balanced. EVERY CHURCH DOCTRINE must be centered in Jesus Christ if it is to have saving grace, as illustrated by the following examples.

1. When one is asked: "Why do you keep the Ten Commandments?" Our answer should be: We keep God's Ten Commandments BECAUSE WE FOLLOW JESUS who kept God's Ten Commandments. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He came not to destroy the law BUT TO FULFILL IT. And He fulfilled God's Law BY LIVING IT OUT in His daily living. Therefore, AS FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST, we are to do likewise.

2. When one is asked: "Why do you worship on Saturday?" Our answer should be: We worship on the seventh day of the week BECAUSE WE FOLLOW JESUS who also worshipped on the seventh day of the week the Bible refers to as the Sabbath Day (Luke 4:16). The Sabbath is not just for the Jews. The Bible says THE SABBATH IS MADE FOR MAN (Mark 2:27). After Jesus established His Church (Matt. 16:18), both Jews and Gentiles worshipped on the Sabbath Day as Christians (Acts 13:42; 18:4)

The bottom line is: THERE IS NO SALVATION WITHOUT JESUS (Acts 4:12). Church doctrines do not save. What we must do, as described in the examples above, is to put Jesus Christ AT THE CENTER of all that we believe unto salvation. Christ MUST NOT be made secondary to theories and doctrinal arguments. Church doctrines may be correct, and even true, but they are meaningless AND HAVE NO REDEEMING VALUE unless presented within the framework of Jesus Christ. As the words of the song correctly emphasize:

"Jesus is the Answer, for the world today; above Him there's no other: JESUS IS THE WAY!!!"

M.A.

M.A.

Richard Myers

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Getting Doctrinal
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2002, 07:57:00 AM »
Amen, Brother Crawford!

Without Jesus in the heart, the law cannot be kept in an unselfish manner. The law reaches to the intent of the heart and a selfish heart cannot keep the law with the proper motive. All is selfishness.  As we come to Christ and receive His nature and a new heart we are given power to keep the law in the love of God. The law is written upon the table of the heart.   :)

Richard

[This message has been edited by Richard Myers (edited 02-20-2002).]

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

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2002, 07:42:00 AM »
It is worth emphasizing James 2:26 again which tells us that faith (faith In Jesus) without works (obedience to God's Word) is dead, or is meaningless where our soul salvation is concerned. This is the critical point that the devil does not want Seventh-day Adventists to understand today as we approach the close of probation. He does not want us to realize that the greatest need among Seventh-day Adventists is to experience the SPIRIT OF CHRIST at work in our lives. When Christ's Spirit is at work in our hearts as It should be, we will LOVE OUR ENEMIES, and bless those who curse us, and do good to them who hate us, and pray for them who despitefully use us and persecute us (Matt. 5:44). When Christ's Spirit is at work, we won't have the problem of LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS as ourselves (Mark 12:31).

Why is it there is such a problem of the Spirit of Christ BEING DEMONSTRATED in many of our congregations today? I believe one reason is because it has not been emphasized from the desk as it should be. Here, I believe, is the main problem: Those of us who are supposed to be leaders among God's people are supposed to LEAD BY EXAMPLE!!! A long-time pastor-evangelist in this church once rightly remarked: "God is not interested in our talk; He's interested IN OUR WALK!"

Another reason I believe the Spirit of Christ is not realized in many of our churches as it should is because many RESIST THAT SPIRIT, preferring to manifest ANOTHER SPIRIT in its stead. It is not because they do not know what "Thus saith the Lord." THEY KNOW, but choose to do not!

In James 1:22 we are reminded:

"But be ye DOERS OF THE WORD and not just hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

In other words, knowledge of, or mere mental assent to the truth, WILL AVAIL US NOTHING. There must also be the corresponding PRACTICAL APPLICATION of that same truth in the life of the Christian if it is to have redeeming value.

M.A.

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2002, 09:35:00 AM »
The Bible makes it very clear that IT IS THE SPIRIT that delivers us from the power of the flesh:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 1:1.

From this verse, I hope that we are beginning to understand how we are brought into oneness with God through Jesus Christ. In John 4:24, the Bible tells us:

"God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Romans 8:3 and 4 cast further light upon what it means to worship God in Spirit and in truth. They read:

"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: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."

How did Christ condemn sin in the flesh? BY REFUSING TO YIELD TO IT in the flesh. Thus proving that the accusations brought by the devil against God and His Laws were untrue. Romans 8:8 sheds even more light on human effort and pleasing God:

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

In my Bible, the phrase "in the flesh" is translated to read "obey their human nature," which renders the verse to read: So they that OBEY THEIR HUMAN NATURE cannot please God. This is what it means to "walk after the flesh" (v. 4), or to "mind the things of the flesh" (v. 5). As John 4:24 reminds us: God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT and in truth. Which brings me to my main point:

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9.

As true Christians, WE ARE NOT IN THE FLESH, but in the Spirit. That is, we are in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in us. Now, don't miss the last part of this verse: If any man HATH NOT the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NONE OF HIS!!! In other words, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to be a part of the true body of Christ, if we do not have the Spirit of Christ; or IF WE DO NOT HAVE THE LOVE OF JESUS IN OUR HEARTS FOR ONE ANOTHER!!! This is why we are told in 1 John 4:8:

"He that loveth not, KNOWETH NOT GOD; for God is love!!!"

This is why, I very firmly believe that--while there are still a few ticks left on the clock of this earth's history--OUR PRIMARY FOCUS AND ENERGY should not be on doctrinal discourse and argument, but on becoming SUPER-SOAKED AND SUPER-SATURATED with getting the Spirit of Christ IN OUR HEARTS.

M.A.

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M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2002, 08:57:00 AM »
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another as I have loved you...." John 13:34.

Why was this what Jesus said unto His disciples a new commandment? It was a new commandment then FOR THE SAME REASON IT IS A NEW COMMANDMENT TODAY IN MANY OF OUR CHURCHES!!! Because it had not been put into practice in their lives JUST LIKE TODAY as it should have been. The bottom line is: EVERYTHING that we do unto salvation must be tempered with the love of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit of Jesus' love needs to be manifested in every Adventist congregation, and emphasized in every sermon. The greatest need among us today is TO HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD IN OUR HEARTS. When we have the love of Jesus in our hearts as we should, THEN we will know how to talk to one another. THEN we will know HOW TO TREAT ONE ANOTHER in a Christlike manner. As pointed out in a previous post above, mere mental assent to the truth, or to that what is right, will avail us nothing.

One Adventist scholar and historian summed it up best when he said:

"'Christianity' that is merely head knowledge is not genuine Christianity at all. It is all too easy for us, as a church and as individuals, to think that just because we have responded to the Holy Spirit and put Christ rather than mere doctrines at the center of our belief system, we have somehow arrived at the real thing. What has really happened is that we have taken only the first step in the right direction. It is one thing to put Christ at the center of our belief system and VERBALLY ACCEPT justification by faith and the transforming, sanctifying concept of the Holy Spirit, but it is quite another actually TO LIVE THE CHRISTLIKE LIFE (Emphasis mine). Every Christian is to become a conduit for God's grace and love....

"If our lives don't express our version of the 'truth' in terms of loving, Christlike concern for those around us, it is because we have not yet found the TRUTH as it is in Jesus (John 13:35, author's emphasis)..." (Dr. George R. Knight, A User-Friendly Guide To The 1888 Message, pp. 171-2).

M.A.

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2002, 08:57:00 AM »
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another as I have loved you...." John 13:34.

Why was this what Jesus said unto His disciples a new commandment? It was a new commandment then FOR THE SAME REASON IT IS A NEW COMMANDMENT TODAY IN MANY OF OUR CHURCHES!!! Because it had not been put into practice in their lives JUST LIKE TODAY as it should have been. The bottom line is: EVERYTHING that we do unto salvation must be tempered with the love of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit of Jesus' love needs to be manifested in every Adventist congregation, and emphasized in every sermon. The greatest need among us today is TO HAVE THE LOVE OF GOD IN OUR HEARTS. When we have the love of Jesus in our hearts as we should, THEN we will know how to talk to one another. THEN we will know HOW TO TREAT ONE ANOTHER in a Christlike manner. As pointed out in a previous post above, mere mental assent to the truth, or to that what is right, will avail us nothing.

One Adventist scholar and historian summed it up best when he said:

"'Christianity' that is merely head knowledge is not genuine Christianity at all. It is all too easy for us, as a church and as individuals, to think that just because we have responded to the Holy Spirit and put Christ rather than mere doctrines at the center of our belief system, we have somehow arrived at the real thing. What has really happened is that we have taken only the first step in the right direction. It is one thing to put Christ at the center of our belief system and VERBALLY ACCEPT justification by faith and the transforming, sanctifying concept of the Holy Spirit, but it is quite another actually TO LIVE THE CHRISTLIKE LIFE (Emphasis mine). Every Christian is to become a conduit for God's grace and love....

"If our lives don't express our version of the 'truth' in terms of loving, Christlike concern for those around us, it is because we have not yet found the TRUTH as it is in Jesus (John 13:35, author's emphasis)..." (Dr. George R. Knight, A User-Friendly Guide To The 1888 Message, pp. 171-2).

M.A.

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2002, 07:31:00 AM »
The author goes on by saying:

"The core of the 1888 message as Ellen White saw it was to uplift Jesus and full salvation in Him. Her writing ministry literally transformed as she more fully comprehended the great need of both individuals and the church to PUT JESUS AND HIS SAVING RIGHTEOUSNESS at the center of their beliefs and lives (Emphasis mine throughout). It resulted in such books as The Desire of Ages and Steps to Christ.

"'The great Center of attraction, Jesus Christ,' she penned in 1894, 'must not be left out of the third angel's message. By many who have been engaged in the work for this time, CHIRST HAS BEEN MADE SECONDARY, and theories and arguments have had the first place' (RH, Mar. 20, 1894). On another occasion she wrote 'OUR CHURCHES ARE DYING for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths' (GW 301).

"Doctrines may be good and true, BUT THEY ARE MEANINGLESS outside of a saving relationship with Jesus. The church and its members must constantly keep at the forefront that doctrinal truth--truth with a small 't'--is Christian truth ONLY when placed in the framework of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice and ministry. He is 'the way, and the truth, and the life.' No one 'comes to the Father' except through Him (John 14:6, RSV). He is the TRUTH (Author's emphasis) with a capital 'T.' All other truths are true ONLY AS THEY RELATE TO HIM.

"JESUS IS THE GREAT NEED OF THE CHURCH TODAY....As Ellen White so nicely put it, 'Christ crucified' must be the center of our message. 'Talk it, pray it, sing it, and it will break and win hearts. Set, formal phrases, the presentation of merely argumentative subjects, IS PRODUCTIVE OF LITTLE GOOD. The melting love of God in the hearts of the workers will be recognized by those for whom they labor. Souls are thirsting for the water of life. Do not allow them to go from you empty. Reveal the love of Christ to them. Lead them to Jesus and he will give them the bread of life and the water of salvation' (RH, June 2, 1903)" (Ibid., pp. 169-70).

Thoughts to ponder: Is Jesus and His saving righteousness at the center of all that I believe and live unto salvation? Has Christ been made secondary; whereas theories and arguments have been made first with me?

M.A.

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2002, 09:48:00 AM »
"...By many who have been engaged in the work for this time, Christ has been made secondary, and theories and arguments have had the first place" (RH, Mar. 20, 1894).

This is the great problem in many of our Seventh-day Adventist churches today: CHRIST HAS BEEN MADE SECONDARY, and theories and arguments have had first place. Mrs. White saw this problem all the way back in 1894. This is the reason why the Spirit of Christ is not readily discernable in many of our congregations today: CHRIST HAS BEEN MADE SECONDARY, and theories and arguments have had first place.

But thank God there is a remedy to this situation. It is in Romans 13:14 which tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. And we do this by earnestly praying to God for the Holy Spirit to come in and make a change in our lives, then MOVE FORWARD IN FAITH. But the problem is this: WE HAVE TO WANT TO BE CHANGED!!! God is not going to force His Will on anyone. When we HONESTLY AND TRULY desire to be changed by the Holy Spirit, He will recognize this and will begin to work the work in us that will cause us TO DEMONSTRATE true love toward our brothers and sisters and our fellow man. It's all about moving forward in faith. There will be no magic performed. God does not operate that way. We are to claim the promises and go forward IN LOVE by actively engaging in acts of kindness expressed toward one another.

Of course, the devil will attempt to discourage and convince us that our cause is a lost one. But, I can't emphasize enough that we are to move out AND GO FORWARD IN FAITH that God will give us the strength to carry on through Christ by way of the Power of the Holy Spirit.

M.A.

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M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2002, 11:19:00 AM »
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

NEITHER IS THERE SALVATION IN ANY OTHER!! There is no salvation in religions or denominations, although there are individuals who try to MAKE A GOD out of both. Religions do not save. Denominations do not save.

Mankind has always tried to elevate "religion" to God above OBEDIENCE to God. As Ellen G. White pointed out in The Great Controversy (GC 494), sin began in Heaven with him who was next to Christ when he tried to substitue his "new religion" in the place of obedience to God. Lucifer said he was going to exalt his throne above the stars of God and BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH (Isa. 14:13).

Mistaking kindness and love as signs of weakness began in Heaven with Lucifer when he attempted to exalt his throne above the stars of God. He introduced a new "religion" based NOT UPON LOVE, but upon force, power, pride, and self-exaltation. He even convinced one third of God's Heavenly hosts to join his "new church" (Rev. 12:4). But churches and denominations do not save. This includes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many in this church are trying to build a religion based upon "partial obedience" to the word of God, but it will not work. The Bible VERY CLEARLY tells us that:

"...It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, BUT BY EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4, emphasis mine.

The Bible says what It means, and It means what It says.

Ellen G. White has rightly stated that there are many whose names are on the church rolls BUT ARE NOT ON HEAVEN'S ROLLS!!! (RH, Feb. 14, 1888). All churches and denominations can do unto salvation is TO POINT ONE TO THE SOURCE OF SALVATION: JESUS CHRIST!!! Then after one has been pointed to The Source, it is up to the individual to order his or her life--each and every day in each and every way--after that Source. In other words, we are to COPY THE MASTERPIECE in EACH AND EVERY DEPARTMENT of our lives.

Jesus Christ MUST BE AT THE CENTER of all that we say, do, and believe unto salvation. As true followers of Christ, We ARE NOT to say what He would not say; we ARE NOT to go where He would not go; we ARE NOT to do what He would not do; and we ARE NOT to think what He would not think. THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS to be covered with the Robe of Christ's Righteousness (Isa. 61:10), so when Jesus is seen coming in the clouds of His Glory, He will see NOT SINFUL YOU AND ME, but only A REFLECTION OF HIMSELF in our lives.

M.A.  

M.A.

jherbertthompson

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Getting Doctrinal
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2002, 02:44:00 PM »
Brother Crawford. Thought of your today when I uncovered this from an older paper. Hope you will gain a blessing from it.


"What is man," the psalmist inquires, "that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing." Thus, Isaiah declares, God regards the inhabitants of this world, not excepting those who stand at the head of the
nobility of the earth, those who have acquired the greatest learning, those to whose lot has fallen great riches and much honor.

Notwithstanding the insignificance of this world in comparison with the whole universe,
Christ volunteered to take upon Himself the nature of humanity, and to bear on His divine soul the sins of mankind, in order that He might redeem the fallen race and enable them to gain life eternal. Laying aside His kingly crown and royal robe. He left His high command in the heavenly courts, clothed His divinity with humanity, and entered the world as a helpless babe.

For our sakes He became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Satan, the powerful angel who had been cast out of heaven, had long claimed dominion on earth. Christ came to conquer this foe, in order that through divine grace we also might obtain the victory over the enemy of our souls. Standing at the head of humanity, Christ by perfect obedience to God's commandments, demonstrated to the universe that man could withstand Satan's temptations.
It was necessary for Christ to clothe His divinity with humanity. Only thus could He become the Redeemer of the fallen race. In order to be a Saviour indeed, it was necessary for Him to know the power of temptation, to endure every trial and affliction that befalls us. In all our
afflictions He was afflicted. He endured every hardship that comes to the poor and the needy. He suffered weariness and hunger. He understands every inconvenience to which we may be put.

Under all circumstances He remained faithful to every precept of God's law, living in our behalf a perfect life. From childhood to manhood He stood the test of obedience.
Everything that could be done has been done to make our salvation possible. Christ has
obtained an everlasting victory, in order that He might open to us the door of heaven. To obtain our salvation, He hung on Calvary's cross. For our sake He was laid in the tomb. For us He was raised from the dead; and for us, too. He declared over the rent sepulcher of Joseph. "I am the
resurrection and the life." And when at the close of His earthly ministry He ascended to heaven, the portals of the city of God were opened wide, and He entered as a conqueror, there to take up, in the heavenly sanctuary. His ministry in behalf of those for whom He had given His life. The divine human Son of God is now standing in the presence of the Father, pleading our cases and presenting His sacrifice as the atonement for our transgressions.

In view of Christ's infinite sacrifice, how cruel it is for men and women to refuse the great salvation, or to misrepresent their Saviour after professing to give themselves to His service! How cruel of them to doubt that He will hear their prayers! He says, "Ask, and it shall be given
you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Christ represents His heavenly Father as sustaining the same tender relation to us that an earthly parent sustains to his children. "What man is there of you," He inquires, "whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then,
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things unto them that ask Him?" God gives the Holy Spirit to every one who asks in faith.
Having access to the Source of all strength, why do we remain so weak that we yield to
temptation? Having so great an assurance of power to enable us to overcome, why are we so
faithless? Why do we not always come to our heavenly Father, to ask in simple, childlike faith for the things we need? We should pray much more than we do. In every hour of trial we may gain victory through the strength given in answer to earnest prayer.

Christ desires that we shall finally enter the heavenly city as conquerors. Through the grace that He constantly imparts to humanity. He is preparing a people to live with Him throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. This preparation every one who chooses to follow Him may receive.
Let us glorify His name by accepting the salvation so freely offered.

MS, January 14, 1903 "Our Assurance of Victory"  By: Mrs. E. G. White.

Your brother in Christ.



M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2002, 08:33:00 AM »
Thank you, Bro Thompson, for the very fine quote above. I am sure you have noticed how many times the servant of the Lord used the word "Christ" in that short message. The following quotation explains why:

"Christ crucified--TALK IT, PRAY IT, SING IT, and it will break and win hearts (Emphasis mine throughout). Set, formal phrases, the presentation of merely argumentative subjects, IS PRODUCTIVE OF LITTLE GOOD. The melting LOVE OF GOD IN THE HEARTS of the workers will be recognized by those for whom they labor. Souls are thristing for the water of life. Do not allow them to go from you empty. REVEAL THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO THEM. Lead them to Jesus, and He will give them the bread of life and the water of salvation" (RH, June 2, 1903).

M.A.

M.A.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2002, 09:57:00 AM »
I must say the discussion is uplifting!! It is such a blessing to hear of the real Jesus, and Him  crucified!!

Richard

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

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2002, 03:51:00 PM »
I responded to a concern in another forum (not in Remnant Online) and am impressed to share in this forum what I wrote there which includes the following.

How do we assist church members in understanding that the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20 to GO TELL includes all of us who are of the body of Christ, and not just pastors, elders, or church leaders? Perhaps the following will shed light on this question.

1. The pastor is the undershepherd of the local congregation. Therefore (after Christ), the people look to him for spiritual guidance; and rightly so. Therefore I believe it is the responsibility of the pastor, by way of his sermons and his example, to "feed the flock of God" (1 Peter 5:2) and very carefully make sure that the members under his tutelage are spiritually cared for and nourished. The example of Christ as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16) is the Pattern whereby ALL PASTORS should aspire to emulate.

2. I believe Church officers should be men and women of experience who possess the SPIRITUAL QUALIFICATIONS to hold the office to which they were elected. They should be individuals who strive to make sure their office is being used to help God's people grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in order that they might be saved. I see a church officer as being one who is elected TO SERVE GOD'S PEOPLE and to help them in their Christian growth and development. Therefore, I believe a church officer grows spiritually BY HELPING OTHERS TO GROW SPIRITUALLY!

3. Obviously, church members have a role to play in their own salvation. After pastors and church officers have done their part, it is then up to each individual member to do his or her part. Members have a responsibility to very carefully and prayerfully read and study their Bibles on their own. I highly recommend the Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides (contact your local ABC) as being excellent for use as an aid to provide structure and direction as one studies the Bible.

In order to avoid becoming spiritually emaciated, I believe it is of paramount importance that we as church members read or engage in some spirit-filled activity ON A DAILY BASIS. Just as we must be physically fed on a daily basis in order to maintain our physical health, I believe we must also be spiritually fed on a daily basis in order to maintain our spiritual health.

M.A.

M.A.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2002, 12:03:00 PM »
"For I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2.

In 1 Corinthians 2:1, Paul says when he came unto the Corinthians he didn't come unto them with a lot of religious rhetoric and verbosity. Neither did he come unto them showing how wise he was as he declared unto them the testimony of God. He states in no uncertain terms in verse 2 that HE IS DETERMINED not to know anything among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Paul knew then how utterly futile it is now to "make Christ secondary" and give center stage to doctrinal discussions and argumentation. The Bible very clearly tells us:

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" Acts 4:12. Emphasis mine throughout.

THERE IS NO SALVATION OTHER THAN IN JESUS CHRIST!!! This is why EVERY SERMON preached from every Adventist pulpit should begin with Christ, have Christ interspersed throughout it, and end with Christ. Otherwise, if we are not doing that, WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME unto salvation. But we must do more than just talk about Jesus. We must LIVE JESUS every day!!!

That sounds good. But what does that mean to us as Christians? Jesus told the devil when He was tempted of him in the wilderness:

"...It is writen, man shall not live by bread alone, BUT BY EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).

In other words we are to become LIVING EPISTLES, "known and read of all men" (2 Cor. 3:2). We are to VERY CAREFULLY AND PRAYERFULLY study the Life of Christ as presented in the Bible and order our lives after His Divine Likeness.

That sounds so good. But how many professed Christians are actually willing to do this? How many of us are actually willing to sacrifice and surrender self and COPY THE MASTERPIECE, JESUS CHRIST? When we face up to reality and the truth is actually told, we all have "skeletons in our closets" we need to pray about!!! We all have something in our lives that is not according to the Will of God. This is why angels of God RIGHT NOW are standing on the four corners of the earth holding back the winds of strife until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads (Rev. 7:1-3). A Loving and Merciful Saviour patiently waits until we get right with God. But HE IS NOT GOING TO WAIT FOREVER!!!

God knows all and He sees all. Let us honestly and sincerely pray that our DAILY EFFORT will be one of HUMBLE SUBMISSION to the Will of God as we seek to become more and more like Him in each and every department of our lives.

M.A.

M.A.