Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School Lesson

How Shall We Wait?

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The Papal Sun Day

Supported by the Heathen in America

And Congress?

Pope Calls for Sunday Rest

After the Vatican has called for national Sunday laws, the pope now calls it "freedom" to rest on the sun day.

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Nature Testifies of God

Upon all created things is seen the impress of the Deity

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Christ says, "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, . . . and have the keys of hell and of death."     Revelation 1:18.

Looking upon His disciples with divine love and with the tenderest sympathy, Christ said, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him." Judas had left the upper chamber, and Christ was alone with the eleven.

Justification by Faith

Signs of the Times

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Jesus said "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars....For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."

 

 

Christian History

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In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work for the same end as in all preceding ages. That which has been, will be. Satan's deceptions will be more subtle. If possible, even the very elect would be deceived.

A Faithful Record

Nature God's Second Book

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Nature is an open book which reveals God. All who are attracted to nature may behold in it the God that created them.

Book of Nature

 

Kenyan Judge Refuses to Work on Sabbath

Judge refuses to work on Sabbath if appointed as Kenya's chief justice

                             David Maraga         Photo courtesy of the East-Central African Division

 

A judge being vetted for the post of chief justice of Kenya’s Supreme Court said he is a faithful Seventh-day Adventist who will not work on Sabbath if appointed.

Court of appeals judge David Maraga told the Judicial Service Commission, which is responsible for nominating Supreme Court candidates to the president, that he would not enter the courtroom on Sabbath even in a presidential election dispute.

“It would be very difficult for me to sit on a Saturday to hear a case,” Maraga said in reply to a commission member’s query about a hypothetical situation, local media reported. “I would rather talk with my colleagues in the court to accommodate me and exempt me from sitting if the hearing extends to a Saturday.”

Identifying himself as a staunch Adventist, Maraga said his practice was to worship God in church on Saturdays.

“According to the judge, only a matter of life and death can make him miss church on Saturday — for instance, an accident happening on his way to church in which case he would stop to help the victims,” Kenya’s Standard newspaper reported Thursday in an article with the large headline, “I Will Not Compromise Church for Work, Says Judge.”

The Judicial Service Commission, which is comprised of Supreme Court judges and other legal experts, interviewed Maraga on Wednesday as it seeks to fill three openings in the African country’s seven-member Supreme Court. Three judges, including the chief justice and deputy chief justice, retired earlier this year.

The commission’s recommendations are forwarded to the president who, after endorsing them, sends them to the parliament for final approval.

Maraga’s stance won praise from Kenyan Adventist believers on Facebook.

“Wow, [I] am encouraged to trust and believe in Him more,” said Janet Michira, a sales and marketing worker in Nairobi.

“I love the fact that there are still men walking in true honesty,” said Phyllis Karimi.

Facebook user Erick Ruto added, “May God help us all to stand for Him in all situation that He may be glorified.”

Maraga is a longtime judge who currently serves as chief judge of the court of appeals in Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city.

He told interviewers with the Judicial Service Commission that he is independent and not influenced by outside forces, the Standard reported.

He also described himself as a “time stickler unafraid to make tough calls,” the Capital News newspaper reported.

“I write judgments very fast and in Kisumu, where I’m the presiding court of appeals judge, we apologize if court starts even 10 minutes late,” he said

 

Floods and Landslides in Nepal

Nepal Landslide

Nepal Landslide

[photo: ADRA International]

The Adventist Development and Relief agency has responded to a natural disaster in Nepal that has displaced nearly 1,000 people. The results of heavy rainfall last month caused floods and landslides in 43 of Nepal's districts. At least 102 people were killed, and 58 were injured.

In spite of various challenges caused by the damaging water, including impassable roads, risk of further landslides, and disease outbreak due to dead livestock, ADRA Nepal has coordinated with local agencies to assist with relief aid distribution.

The agency hasalready distributed 150 sets of temporary shelter kits to families in the most highly affected areas, and will continue to distribute more. The shelter kits include 1 tarpaulin, 2 blankets, 1 mattress, and 1 rope for each family.

 

 

Church Manual Updated After Inadvertent Omission

Church Manual updated after inadvertent omission

Then-Undersecteary Homer Trecartin reading the Church Manual at the 2010 GC Session in Atlanta. (Robert East / ANN)

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has updated the Church Manual after finding that part of an amendment voted at General Conference Session last year was unintentionally excluded.

“It has come to our attention that there was omission on p.127 of the current Church Manual. The correction has been made, and a statement has been issued in that regard,” Hensley M. Moorooven, associate secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said Wednesday in an e-mail to General Conference employees. 

The church said in a statement on its Adventist.org website that the section on page 127 now reads: “Who May Conduct the Communion Service — The communion service is to be conducted by an ordained/commissioned pastor or an ordained elder. Deacons or deaconesses are not permitted to conduct the service.”

The italicized words were voted by delegates of the General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2015 but inadvertently omitted in the latest edition of the Church Manual, the statement said.

The Church Manual can only be revised during General Conference Session, which is held every five years. Many of the modifications in the latest edition were minor edits. 

The Church Manual, first published in 1932, traces its roots to a 1875 statement by church cofounder Ellen G. White, who wrote: “The church of Christ is in constant peril. Satan is seeking to destroy the people of God, and one man’s mind, one man’s judgment, is not sufficient to be trusted. Christ would have His followers brought together in church capacity, observing order, having rules and discipline, and all subject one to another, esteeming others better than themselves” (Testimonies for the Church, Volume 3, page 445).

A section about the Church Manual on Adventist.org notes that God is a God of order and says the Church Manual seeks to achieve order “through principles and regulations that guide the church in its internal operations and in the fulfillment of its mission to the world.”

Both the updated version of the 2015 Church Manual and the statement are available at: https://www.adventist.org/en/information/church-manual/

 

Nigeria Asked to Stop Holding Elections on Sabbath

Nigeria asked to stop holding elections on Sabbath

 iStock Photo

A Seventh-day Adventist Church leader has appealed to Nigerian authorities to stop holding elections on Saturday, saying the arrangement was disenfranchising Adventist voters.

Nigeria has scheduled local and national elections for Saturdays for years despite repeated pleas from the Adventist Church, which has about 223,000 members in the African country of 174 million people.

Oyeleke A. Owolabi, president of the Adventist Church’s Western Nigeria Union Conference, said Nigeria offers religious freedom in recognizing the church’s observance of the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday but it is depriving members from their right to vote.

“We are not feeling comfortable because we are being disenfranchised,” Owaloabi said at a news conference in Ado Ekiti, a major city in southwest Nigeria. “We have written many letters to the INEC [the Independent National Electoral Commission] on the need to shift elections from Saturday, and I know that it will accede to the request one day.”

Read also: Nigerian Adventists to Miss Key Elections on Sabbath

Owaloabi, speaking at the opening of a five-day Men’s Conference organized by the church last week, said Nigeria’s traditionally low voter turnout improved significantly when a recent gubernatorial election was held on a Tuesday instead of the usual Saturday.

“We have seen a situation whereby a gubernatorial election was conducted in the country on Tuesday, and I think the country recorded the highest turnout in history,” he said, according to the Daily Trust newspaper. “So we are begging the INEC to put the interest of our people at heart.”

Adventist Church leader Ted N.C. Wilson, during a visit to Nigeria in 2014, personally asked then-President Goodluck Jonathan to avoid holding both elections and state exams on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, thereby allowing Muslims and Christians of all faiths to worship as they wished.

More recently, Nigerian church leaders appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission to change the 2015 presidential vote, which Jonathan lost, from Saturday to another day of the week.

In other remarks, Owaloabi called on Nigerians to work together to eradicate corruption and urged the government not to levy taxes on churches and mosques, which he said are not profit-seeking ventures.

He also said the Adventist Church would establish a college of medical sciences in Otun Ekiti to train health professionals and provide health-care services to the community, The Nation newspaper reported.

 

 

Prison Baptism in Kenya

Prison Baptism

[photo: East-Central Africa Division]

Thanks to a week-long evangelism event in a prison in southwestern Kenya, 70 inmates joined the church through baptism, and an additional 30 prisoners surrendered their lives to Christ by responding to an appeal. The culminating ceremony of the camp-meeting at the Kodiaga Prisons, which has more than 2,000 inmates, took place on July 23. In addition to the baptisms, an additional 70 inmates also graduated from the Voice of Prophecy Bible Study program.

The ongoing prison ministry is organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nyanza. Leaders of the prison system have allowed the Adventist Church to build a house of worship within the prisons. The church, which is led out by inmates with the assistance of chaplains, draws 200 inmates on a weekly basis.

Young Seventh-day Adventists Bless Oaxaca Mexico

 

Generation Hands in Action - Hands for Oaxaca

  Hands for Oaxaca                                                                                      [photo: Inter-Oceanic Mexico Union]

To help reach the Mexican city of Oaxaca with a population of 600,000 people, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the region recently launched a group of youth who flooded the territory with prayers and hope. More than 100 youth took off from work and studies to participate in "Generation Hands in Action – Hands for Oaxaca," which began the week of July 10. The event was also coupled with daily evangelism training sessions for the visiting delegates.

Young people also took part in praying for the city, helping communities build family gardens, singing praise songs in buses, distributing meals and food baskets and working with local church leaders to share the gospel in communities where there is no Adventist presence.

At the end of the two-week project, nearly 100 youth stayed to be part of the second phase to assist in a public campaign led by Adventist Evangelist Jose Vicente Rojas. Tonny Gil, director of youth ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Inter-Oceanic region, said, "We hope to have a well-prepared army of young people, fully involved in bringing in other young people to proclaim the message of the crucified, resurrected and soon coming Christ."

 

 

Huge Outreach in Venezuela

In Venezuela, Adventists share hope and kindness in more than 50 cities

 "Smile, God Believes in You." [Photo: East Venezuela Union]

“Close to You Venezuela—Smile, God Believes in You” reaches more than 700,000 people as leaders call it the biggest impact the country has ever seen.

Thousands of Seventh-day Adventists flooded cities and communities across Venezuela with a touch of kindness, a helping hand and a message of hope during a week-long outreach program held Aug. 7-13, 2016.

The program coined as “Close to You Venezuela—Smile, God Believes in You,” has become the church’s most comprehensive social program, benefiting more than 771,000 people in 50 cities in a single week.

Church leaders are calling it the biggest impact the country has seen since the social program began in the eastern part of the country three years ago.

This year both major church regions in the east and western parts of the country joined efforts with nearly 27,000 volunteers participating in dozens of coordinated activities. Activities included massive blood donations, planting trees in abandoned parks and areas, distribution of food baskets, restoring recreational areas, free medical check-ups, hospital and nursing home visitations, donating hair for children and women with cancer, teaching moral values in vacation Bible schools for children, health talks, exercise activities, and more.

Thousands of young people stood by traffic lights sharing smiles and message of God’s love, said Prieto, coordinator of the “Close to You Venezuela” in the East Venezuela Union. Volunteers aimed to collect pictures of people smiling to display one million smiles on social media networks.

The initiative was covered through national television, radio, print and social media.

“This has been a great breakthrough for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Venezuela,” said Prieto. “In the four years that the initiative has taken place, we have seen how God has blessed us and how our hero volunteers have given the best of themselves to help the community.”

Prieto said that thousands of church member volunteers gave of their time, money and effort to donate food for those in need, even in the midst of limited supplies and economic challenges.

In the east Venezuela region alone, where the “Close to You” initiative originated, more than 47 cities and municipal districts were reached. Over 400,000 people received free medical checkups and 141 Adventist churches opened its doors as centers to teach about health and family and to teach vacation bible schools. Almost 1,400 blood and plasma donations were collected, 676 young people donated their hair for cancer patients, 3,000 pieces of clothing were donated, 1,336 trees planted, and more than 300,000 pieces of literature were distributed.

“We are proud of our young people who have gone out to show the world that they are a different generation, ready help others, taking the message of hope, sharing hugs and smiles to a country that needs it so much,” added Prieto.

The Adventist Church in the West Venezuela region joined the initiative for the first time this year mobilizing more than 9,000 volunteers through the streets of Barquisimeto and eight other cities. More than 371,700 people benefited from the outreach program, with 1,161 blood donations, 2,200 new trees planted, 478 hair donations for cancer patients, 357,000 pieces of literature distributed and hundreds of prayers offered for people in need.

Volunteers also cleaned beaches, painted faces, visited orphanages, performed concerts, offered free massages, hair cutting services, and more.

“‘Close to You Venezuela’ has been a very significant initiative because the program is about the method Jesus used to connect with people, by socializing and meeting their needs,” said Pastor Julio Palacio, president of the church in West Venezuela. “This encourages us as a church to get closer to the community, because the community needs more of our presence,” said Palacio.

Luis Marquez was among those who benefited from a massage in the city of Valeria. “I thank the group of the Adventist Church for this program because this motivates people in these moments of crisis to move forward, to have hope and not lose faith at any moment.”

Showing that the church is concerned for the needs of people is at the core of the initiative, said Paul Gómez, who oversees a district in the north part of the city of Barquisimeto. “We saw so many people filled with joy and grateful for everything they received,” said Gómez.

The sacrifice of church members was a blessing to see, added Gómez. “Many of our members shared God’s blessings by donating vegetables from their gardens, baked goods and donated food items from what they had in their homes to distribute 4,000 food baskets,” said Gómez.

This is about the church understanding it’s mission well, said Emilio Perche, communications director for the church in West Venezuela. “It is about getting outside of the four walls of the church to be in the streets, in the community,” said Perche.

“As church leaders this initiative has helped broaden our vision to be closer to people, to the community, to keep the churches open during the week and continue with ‘Close to You Venezuela’ as a permanent initiative,” said Pastor Palacio.

Church leaders from both church regions vowed to continue the national annual initiative and carry on weekly activities to benefit those in need in their communities.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Venezuela has more than 314,600 members worshiping in 1,676 churches and congregations.

For more information on the “Close To You Venezuela” initiative, visit cercadetivenezuela.com

 

 

Pray for Nepal

Members asked to pray after Nepal bans evangelistic outreach

Dedication of a new Adventist church in Kaping, Nepal, in April 2016. [Photo: Umesh Pokharel]

The Adventist leader in Nepal says a new approach is needed to share the gospel.

The leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nepal has called for prayers amid a state clampdown on evangelistic outreach, including the distribution of religious literature and even having a Bible in a Christian orphanage.

All evangelistic activity is prohibited under a new Nepalese Constitution that came into force in September 2015. Article 31(3) of the Constitution says that “any act to convert another person from one religion to another, or any act or behavior to undermine or jeopardize the religion of another, [is] punishable by law.”

“It is time to reconsider our approach toward reaching other communities with the gospel,” said Umesh Pokharel, president of the Adventist Church’s Nepal Section.

The Constitution does not spell out what constitutes “any act to convert,” but the authorities have started to interpret the law. The Social Welfare Council, the government agency responsible for approving foreign aid used to conduct local programs, has stopped approving Christian activities, Pokharel said. Distributing Christian literature invites punishment, and the authorities have warned the leaders of Christian boarding schools and orphanages that they face large fines, the confiscation of property, and closure if a single piece of literature is found on their premises. The government also has banned adults for praying with children and giving them Bible studies.

The clampdown could expand even further, Pokharel said.

“Holding church services accessible to all or organizing events to help underprivileged and disadvantaged people could be interpreted as evangelistic and considered a violation of the law,” he told the Adventist Review.

The Adventist Church has about 5,000 members worshipping in 37 churches and 16 companies across the country of about 28 million people.

Pokharel said Adventist believers have experienced challenges for decades in the predominantly Hindu nation, which has never officially recognized Christianity as a religion.

“But Christianity has been increasingly under threat in recent times,” he said.

“In this difficult time for Christian community in Nepal, we kindly solicit your sincere and continuous prayer for all our brethren, evangelists, pastors, and co-workers serving in parts of this country,” he said.

 

 

 

Food For Life

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.       2 Corinthians 3:18

Tell of His Grace

Testimonies of the power of grace to change lives......

 

I was born into a non Adventist home, well that is an understatement really. My father was and still is a heavily practicing Satanist and as such, myself being a female, made me a target for ridicule and I was most certainly placed way below my brothers in the family......Tamara's Testimony

Country Living

Mar10 Demo Image Too late to move?

Moving to the country is becoming very hard in some locations. Selling a home and financing a new one is difficult. Some government agencies want to move everyone into the cities. God's people need to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. We should now begin to heed the instruction given us over and over again: Get out of the cities into rural districts, where the houses are not crowded closely together, and where you will be free from the interference of those who are opposed to the truth. Pray that God will open a way.

Religious Liberty

European Sunday Law?

The world will urge an outward compliance with the laws of the land, for the sake of peace and harmony. And there are some who will even urge such a course from the Scripture: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. . . . The powers that be are ordained of God." But what has been the course of God's servants in ages past? When the disciples preached Christ and Him crucified, after His resurrection, the authorities commanded them not to speak any more nor to teach in the name of Jesus. "But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." Today, our liberty is being threatened.

European Sunday Law

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