Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School Lesson

Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath

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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

Vatican Official Exhorts the Sunday

Sunday should be a day for worship, rest and time with family and friends, said Monsignor Miquel Delgado Galindo, under secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

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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

 

GC Dedicates Additions at HQ

 
 
The Adventist Church’s Headquarters Dedicates Three New Additions To Its Facility

The gallery, visitor center and library highlight the Bible and Adventist History

 

Executive officers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday dedicated three physical additions to the Church’s headquarters during a grand opening ceremony.

The program on April 12 marked the opening of the Eden to Eden Art Gallery, Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center and the Biblical Research Institute Library.

The Eden to Eden art exhibit is a permanent display that illustrates salvation’s story from creation to the restoration of the new earth after the second coming of Christ. Eden to Eden transforms the headquarters’ main lobby into an art gallery that contains more than 70 pieces of art with Biblical stories. Seventh-day Adventist artists, including Nathan Greene, and Lars Justinen, created all of the artwork showcased in the gallery.

Plans for the gallery began shortly after Ted Wilson was elected president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2010. Elder Wilson wanted the Church’s headquarters to give an immediate impression of an institution that believes in the Bible and is centered in Jesus.

“What I’m hoping people will take away from here is the incredible love of God, and his willingness to enter into our lives and be able to guide us towards his eternal purposes for each of us,” Wilson said. “And as they view what God has done in the past, and the way he’s leading now, they will see that God has truly led in their own life. And when they leave here I hope they’ll be inspired to keep their hand in God’s hand.”

Church leaders also had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center, which is also located in the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The newly renovated Estate was designed to give a 21st century take on the life and ministry of Ellen G. White, the co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The various interactive exhibits feature many aspects of her life, including her humble beginnings, her acceptance of her prophetic gift and her writings.

Jim Nix, director of the Ellen G. White Estate, had a passion to create an experience for visitors that would prompt them to get to know the woman behind the prophetic call.

“It’s been a dream for a long time. I’ve dedicated my life to try to bring Adventist history to life, for our members, for our young people, and the visitor center in a sense is a culmination of that,” Nix said.  “I really wanted a place where parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, families on vacation; they could come here with their young people; pastors can bring new members here, and they can see a bit about Ellen White’s life and her ministry.”

The newly renovated library of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Biblical Research Institute was also dedicated on Sunday.

During the program, Artur Stele, general vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Chair of the Biblical Research Institute, presented an award of recognition to Gerhard Pfrandi, part-time associate director of the Biblical Research Institute. Pfandi was honored for his instrumental role in the renovation of the library and for his long-standing commitment to the institution.

 The institute promotes the study and practice of Seventh-day Adventist theology. The library will support the institute’s mission by providing Church leaders, employees and researchers the ability to explore scholarly and theological materials.

While the Eden to Eden gallery is currently open to the public, the Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center is undergoing further touchups and adjustments before its permanent opening to the public in June.

 

 

 

SDAs Killed in Kenya Massacre

 

Church Leaders Confirm 10 Adventists Were Killed in Garissa University Massacre

 

Gunmen stormed Garissa University College, located in Garissa, Kenya on Thursday, April 2, leaving an estimated 147 people dead.  It is being reported that members of a terrorist group targeted and killed Christian students, including 10 Seventh-day Adventists. 

Among the dead was Eric Nyumbuto, the leader of the student-led Adventist Church on campus.

Stanley Rotich, a member of the local Garissa Adventist Church, reported he was in a nearby building when he heard the gunshots, which prompted him to call Nyumbuto. The conversation abruptly ended when the phone was disconnected. He later learned of his friends’ death.

Over the course of the attack, 500 students managed to escape, and several were left severely injured.  

 One of the first policemen to respond to the attack was Philmon Okal, a Sabbath School Superintendent for the local Adventist Church in Garissa.

 “Words can’t describe how horrific this event was to experience. But this attack reminds me that the second coming of Jesus is very near,” Okal said. “We must continue to look for that day when violence, death and destruction will be no more.”

Several people have already been arrested in connection to the attack and the Kenyan government has promised to bring swift justice to all those involved.

This is the deadliest attack in Kenya in almost two decades. The group that claimed responsibility for the attack is the same group that committed the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church mourns the deaths of the students killed last week. Members from the Garissa Seventh-day Adventist Church said, “We are heartbroken by this senseless loss and solicit your prayers for all of the victims of this terrible tragedy.”

 

UN Secretary Meets With SDA President

 

 
Adventist Church President Holds First Meeting With UN Chief

 SDA President,Ted N.C. Wilson and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon UN photo

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concerns about growing religious intolerance worldwide during a private meeting with Adventist Church leader Ted N.C. Wilson, and he invited the Seventh-day Adventist Church to work with the UN in helping people.

Wilson, the first Adventist Church president to meet with a UN chief, noted that the church has long supported religious liberty and said it was willing to team up on initiatives that followed Christ’s ministry of helping people physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

Ganoune Diop, associate director of the Adventist world church’s public affairs and religious liberty department, said his department takes Jesus’ words of being the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” in Matt. 5:13, 14 seriously. 

“Its representatives mingle with political and religious leaders in every country without losing or compromising a distinctive Adventist identity,” said Diop, who attended the meeting.

Ban met with Wilson, Diop, and John Graz, director of the public affairs and religious liberty department, at 12:10 p.m. Monday for a 45-minute meeting in his office at the United Nations headquarters in New York. 

The meeting was arranged with the personal involvement of Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed, dean of the UN undersecretary-general and a friend of Seventh-day Adventists, who regularly corresponded with Diop to make the meeting a reality, Diop said.

“It was a real privilege to meet the secretary-general and to hear his appeal for assistance for humanity,” Wilson told the Adventist Review

“Seventh-day Adventists should be ready to witness for the Lord anywhere we go and to testify of God’s blessing in our lives and what we can do in His name,” he said. “The world is waiting for this type of heaven-inspired testimony with clear answers to today’s problems.”

Ban spoke about global issues such as poverty and a lack of education before voicing his concern about religious intolerance reaching unprecedented levels globally. Just last week, a militant Islamist group killed 148 people in an attack on Christians at a Kenyan university. IS and other extremist organizations in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere have also targeted Christians and other religious groups with often-deadly violence in recent months.

Ban underscored his belief that people should cultivate a respect for all, including those of other faiths. He indicated that he appreciated the Adventist Church’s work in promoting religious liberty as well as education, health, and humanitarian aid through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency. ADRA has worked with the UN in assisting refugees in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Wilson thanked Ban for the meeting and told about various church initiatives that correspond with the UN’s mission to help people.

“We had an excellent meeting with the secretary-general and some of his staff, sharing with them about the Adventist Church’s activities,” Wilson said. “We focused on certain things that the Adventist Church can help with, such as religious liberty, freedom of conscience, ethical and spiritual values, respect for human dignity, family guidance, encouragement for young people, and basic human necessities like pure water and fundamental education.”

Wilson added: “It is only if we are led by the Lord that we can truly be effective in our outreach to the world preparing them for Christ’s soon coming by carrying out the practical ministry of Jesus through the Holy Spirit’s power.”

Earlier Monday, Ban held talks with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, whom Wilson incidentally met during a visit to the East African country in February.

At the meeting with Wilson, Graz gave a short report about major congresses organized by the church-affiliated International Religious Liberty Association that promote religious liberty and the church’s strong support of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says everyone has the right “to change his religion or belief.”

Graz, secretary-general of the International Religious Liberty Association, said he was encouraged to see Ban’s concern about religious intolerance and desire to see people of goodwill work together to bring justice and freedom. 

“It was a historical meeting between the UN secretary-general and the president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church about the state of the world and how we can help people living in very difficult environments,” Graz said. 

“As disciples of Jesus, we want to help people and especially those who are voiceless, discriminated against, and persecuted,” he said. “In this way, we share the essential values of the UN.” 

Diop said he also saw ways that the church and UN could cooperate, particularly in eradicating poverty and promoting education and healthcare.

“The impressive portfolio that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has developed for the service to the whole human family remarkably resonates with the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN,” he said in a statement.

Religious Liberty in Columbia

 

In Inter-America, Congress promotes religious freedom across the region

Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Photo courtesy of North Colombia Union

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America held it’s second religious liberty congress in the city of Medellin, Colombia, Mar. 18-19, 2015.

 After the religious liberty congress, the church in north Colombia held a festival of religious freedom where more than 4,000 people gathered in Medellin’s Plaza Mayor.


The conference gave church leaders in the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory the opportunity to talk about the importance of strengthening relations between church and state, as well as reinforcing the presence of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) across the region.
 Top church leaders emphasized the need for the constant defense of religious liberty among all the countries operating its administrative offices and institutions.


Adventist World Church President Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson spoke to the 300 delegates on the commitment of the Adventist church when defending freedom of religion for people of all faiths.


“I am very proud because the Seventh-day Adventist Church has maintained a firm position that persons with a religious perspective different from ours be defended because we believe they have the right to freedom of conscience,” said Pastor Wilson. “We have the obligation to ensure that people from whatever social, educational, economic and ethnic situation can enjoy freedom of conscience.”


A country with a history of struggles and religious freedom issues, Colombia was an important country in which to host the congress because of the advances in religious liberty achieved during the last few years, said Roberto Herrera, public affairs and religious liberty director for the church in Inter-America.


Coordinator of Religious Affairs in Colombia, Dr. Lorena Rios, spoke of the IRLA and its influence in ensuring that issues are reflected in the law of religious liberty in the country.


Colombia is being watched by the world because we are going through a key process for peace and postwar and the church has played a key role through chaplaincies,” said Rios. “The government will establish the framework so the church can operate towards that.”


Although there are no countries in the IAD which restrict religious freedom to individuals “our leaders in all of our countries must remain vigilant and continue strengthening relationships with government authorities in favor of this religious liberty cause,” said Herrera.


During the event, Pastor John Graz, IRLA’s secretary general, made reference to the difficult global scenario where religious wars occur often.


“One of the great questions we have to ask ourselves is whether we are willing to sacrifice freedom of expression for security and peace, and that is the reason why, when we have the privilege of living in a country like Colombia and other countries in Latin America, where there is religious freedom, we have to take time to thank God, country and government,” said Graz.


Dr. Graz received a special award for the more than 30 years of service in favor of religious liberty around the world.


Congress delegates participated in presentations on the importance of church-state relations and how to improve them, how to meet a government official or influential person, the role of the state and the church from a theological perspective, the Muslim minority in Europe, the issue of the law against religious defamation, the role of Christian universities in strengthening church-state relations, and more.


For Kern Tobias, president of the church in the Caribbean Union, religious liberty is enjoyed in the dozens of islands that belong to the region. Religious freedom has been crucial when upholding the freedom of worship of some individuals as well as issues with university students presenting exams on Saturday, he added.


“The government across our islands respects the Adventist Church highly because they know the church is contributing to society through our schools and hospitals so we continue to stay active in promoting religious liberty in our territory,” Tobias said.


Ada Maria Funes, an Adventist lawyer in Honduras, said the congress brought reaffirmation and a boost to continue fighting for the rights of individuals back in the Central American country when it comes to religious liberty. There are some challenges because there is little legislation in Honduras to favor church members.


“We have had to face many challenges with a lot of ignorance regarding the rights of our members as well as on the part of the authorities,” said Funes.
 Currently, the church through her services has been able to collaborate with law schools to train laywers and train in educational institutions on religious liberty to facilitate the cases that come up on students testing on Saturdays.


“We have about one case per week where we deal with Adventist students who need to present their tests on days other than Saturdays, so we are working on changing the legislation to assist in these cases,” Funes added. During the 
Religious Liberty Festival 
Pastor Wilson reminded religious freedom promoters and members to continue lifting the flame of religious liberty and challenged the church to fulfill its mission with the message for salvation.


“What a tremendous responsibility we have to proclaim Jesus’ message in the context of religious freedom,” said Pastor Wilson. “The mandate of the great God is to be a messenger of the cross and help people understand that religious freedom is a gift from heaven.”


The special festival was highlighted by music and testimonies of religious freedom in Colombia, and included various awards to distinguished religious freedom promoters in Colombia and across Inter-America.


“God reminds us today that we are a remnant church, that religious liberty is a means that we should use to preach the gospel,” said Herrera as the torch of freedom was passed on from church leader to church leader.


 

 

Two SDAs Arrested in Bangladesh

 
Two Adventists Detained in Bangladesh

Image by Daniel Taipe.

The Adventist Church asks members worldwide to pray

 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church said Tuesday that two Adventists were detained in Bangladesh on unclear charges. 

They have been released from custody ahead of a court hearing, church spokesman Garrett Caldwell said. 

The Adventist Church is seeking to clarify the circumstances surrounding the case.

“While the Seventh-day Adventist Church places a high value on religious freedom and encourages respect for all religious traditions, we realize that misunderstandings may occur in areas of the world where we are a religious minority,” Caldwell said. “It is our hope that the situation can be resolved as we work with local authorities to clarify the matter.”

He asked Adventists worldwide to pray about the situation.

Bangladesh, which is bordered on three sides by India and Myanmar to its southeast, has the world’s fourth-largest Muslim population after Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. An estimated 86 percent of the population of 157 million is Muslim, followed by 12 percent Hindu and 1 percent Buddhist. Christians comprise about 0.4 percent of the population.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has nearly 18.5 million members worshiping in 140,000 congregations around the world. It also operates a network of hospitals and schools, and conducts humanitarian work through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in more than 120 countries.

 

 

Vanuatu Hit by Cat5 Cyclone

Cyclone Pam packing winds up to 170 mph, a cat 5 storm, made a direct hit on the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila. ADRA is doing relief work in the islands. Laymen Ministry's Medical Clinic is staffed by Dr. Turnbull on Gaua Island. No world yet from the Dr. and his family. The damage  is extensive with some  of the islands out of contact since communications have been knocked out.

 

 

First SDA Medical School in Asia to Open in Philippines

 

Philippines approves new Adventist medical school

College of Medicine at Adventist University of the Philippines

 

The Philippines has granted approval for an Adventist medical school to begin classes in August, making it the first Adventist medical school in Asia and the denomination’s sixth medical school worldwide.

The Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines in December approved the opening of the Adventist University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine, located on campus in Silang in the province of Cavite.

The program has also met requirements set by the International Board of Education of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Church leader said.

The institution, slated to begin with as many as 35 students, was designed to serve the denomination’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division, Adventist leaders said.

“We’re very excited. They have worked very hard for this day, a dream of more than 30 years,” said Dr. Peter Landless, Health Ministries director for the Adventist world church.

“This creates an opportunity for the entire Southern Asia-Pacific Division to benefit from this school,” Landless added.

The College of Medicine will use Batangas Medical Center as its main teaching hospital for its volume and variety of patients. The college will also partner with Adventist Medical Center—Manila.

“AUPCOM envisions to train and graduate physicians who are service-oriented, effectively witnessing for God and promoting the worldwide mission of the Adventist Church as medical missionary-minded doctors wherever they may be,” said Dr. Doris Mendoza, the founding dean of the medical school.

AUP President Dr. Francisco D. Gayoba, president of AUP, said, “Opening the doctor of medicine program was a journey of faith.”  

AUP has been partnering with Loma Linda University School of Medicine, an Adventist university in the United States, for advising on student admissions, curriculum development and faculty development.  

“Over the past 100 years, Loma Linda has refined a process to select mission-focused graduates who have carried out the healing ministry of Christ and the commission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and their mentoring of AUP and our other new medical schools has been vital,” said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Education director for the Adventist world church.

The denomination opened its fifth medical school in Peru in 2012. Other Adventist medical schools are located at Loma Linda University in the United States, Montemorellos University in Mexico, River Plate Adventist University in Argentina, and Babcock University in Nigeria.

A seventh Adventist medical school is currently being planned for the denomination’s East-Central Africa Division, Beardsley-Hardy said.

“To carry out our mission, especially in the underserved parts of the world, we need many more physicians who speak the language of patients and are culturally competent, in addition to being excellent clinicians,” she said.

 

Remember SDA Prisoners in Togo?

30 Togo inmates baptized at new prison chapel

A Lomé prison inmate being baptized in a new baptistery. [photo courtesy Eastern Sahel Union Mission]

Thirty inmates were baptized at a Togo prison chapel built by the Seventh-day Adventist Church after prison officials asked for help replacing a previous chapel that collapsed in bad weather.

The inmates took their stand for Jesus during a special dedication ceremony at the main prison in Lomé, the bustling capital of the sub-Saharan African country, Church leaders said Friday.

The chapel, which contains an outdoor baptistery, benches for 100 people, and electricity to run lights, fans, and a sound system, was financed with a $6,000 donation from the General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist Church.

General Conference President Ted N. C. Wilson approved the expenditure from a special presidential discretionary fund after being contacted by the Adventist Church’s Togo-based Eastern Sahel Union Mission.

“Thirty souls sealed their covenant with the Lord through baptism in the new baptistery built with your donation,” Sélom Kwasi Sessou, executive secretary of the Adventist Church’s Togo-based Eastern Sahel Union Mission, wrote in a letter to Wilson.

The baptisms, conducted Saturday, February 21, were the result of an evangelistic series led by Bruno Amah, an Adventist member jailed in the prison, together with the Togo church’s Chaplaincy Ministries department, said Sessou, who headed a Church delegation at the dedication ceremony.

In addition, 120 inmates took part in a communion service during the ceremony.

The prison director thanked Sessou and the Adventist Church for the funds for the chapel, and he promised to pray for God’s blessings on the church.

“He promised that the room will be multifunctional and be put to good use,” Sessou said. “He said they will ask the Almighty God to continue to keep a benevolent eye on the Adventist Church and that He opens more doors for possible blessings.”

A plaque on the front of the chapel bears the Adventist Church logo and recognizes the role of the Church and Wilson in the construction of the building.

Wilson expressed gratitude to God for the 30 baptisms and to asked that church members around the world remember Bruno Amah and all Adventist prisoners in prayer.

“Praise God for His leading in this prison outreach,” Wilson 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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