Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School Lesson

The Divinity of the Holy Spirit

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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

 

GC Leaders Continue Workiing With NAD

Seventh-day Adventist General Conference officers, Ted Wilson, G.T. Ng, and Juan Prestol-Puesan met with North American Division officers and union presidents yesterday to discuss the rebellion taking place in some unions that have violated the world church's position on not making women rulers over men.

The meeting is in response to a decision made by the General Conference at the Annual Council held last October to deal with what is being called "non-compliant church entities." These entities are conferences that are in rebellion against the world church and their own constitutions by ordaining women pastors, and in one case having made a woman a conference president. This growing rebellion has the support of the North American Division.

The Annual Council delegates voted a "redemptive plan" to bring the rebellious conferences into "reconciliation and adherence with voted actions and policies of the world church." This redemptive process has begun. The meeting held yesterday found common ground in that God would have His church unified. But, that unity is not seen in the same light by the rebellious conferences and the world church leaders.

The North American Division believes that the culture of Africa and the culture of North America and Europe must be allowed to dictate what course to follow in regards to the role of women in the church. Thus, unity is seen as allowing for culture to be involved in making exceptions to what Scripture reveals.

There has been accusations made by some in the rebellion that "kingly power" is being exercised at the General Conference level. But, General Conference president, Ted Wilson, points out that it is the conferences who are working contrary to the vote of the delegates representing churches from around the world who are exercising "kingly power."

                                                                                                  GC President Ted Wilson addressing Annual Council

“As president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I am duty bound with a sacred responsibility, as are all other officers of every level of organizations throughout the church as is indicated in Working Policy, to follow what the world church has voted in session (whether I agree with it or not)....To go against this vote would be exercising kingly authority....What could be more of a ‘kingly authority’ action than to deliberately go against what has been voted by the worldwide representation of delegates from around the world at a General Conference Session? Three times this subject has been addressed in some form by a General Conference Session.”

If these meetings which are designed to be redemptive do not accomplish their purpose, then the General Conference will draft a second document to deal with the rebel conferences. One of the fruits seen in the life of those who love God supremely is the fruit of "love", love for our enemies. Another is "long-suffering".  Both are seen in the patient protracted process of dealing with a rebellion which began decades ago.

Discuss Meeting

 

 

Adventist World Radio President Retires


The Adventist World Radio (AWR) Board of Directors has elected Duane McKey as the new president of Adventist World Radio, replacing Dowell Chow, who has served as president for the past six years. McKey has been director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as well as assistant to Ted Wilson, the president of the denomination, for Total Member Involvement since 2015. Prior to that, he was vice president of the Southwestern Union Conference in Texas, USA, and president of the Arizona Conference.

Chow is retiring in January, 2017, after 50 years of service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a variety of roles and countries. He first joined AWR in 2005, working as vice president for finance, before stepping into the role of president. Prior to that, he served in positions ranging from chief financial officer/treasurer of the Columbia Union Conference in Maryland, president of the New Jersey Conference, and stewardship, trust services and ministerial director, to senior pastor in Puerto Rico, and mission secretary/treasurer and Book & Bible house administrator in Venezuela. Over the years, he was an active member of multiple boards, including Washington Adventist University, Adventist Health, Washington Adventist Hospital, and additional health entities in New Jersey.

During his time at AWR, Chow was a tireless traveler. He hiked across mountains in Mexico to deliver audio players to isolated tribal villagers, baptized new Adventists in a muddy pit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, verified FM signals in the Canary Islands, helped train new producers for Bhutan, and more.

Under his leadership, AWR’s active broadcasts – heard via shortwave, AM/FM, and podcasts – grew by more than a dozen languages, including Dzongkha, Tibetan, Yemba, and Oriya. At last count, AWR’s daily podcast downloads had reached 18 million. Chow spearheaded the negotiations for the first Adventist FM broadcasts in India (which now serve millions of listeners in 22 major cities). He was thrilled to see plans for four production studios in mainland China become reality. He had a passion for the people of North Africa, and worked closely with the Spanish Union of Churches Conference on FM broadcasts that would serve listeners in multiple colloquial languages.

Chow says, “Serving the church through Adventist World Radio has been a privilege. It is a thrill to see the gospel commission being played out in the world, assisted by the ministry of AWR. I would like to express special gratitude to our faithful supporters. Brighter days are still ahead, and it is my prayer that under the leadership of our new president, AWR will grow and continue to be a blessing to world.”

AWR senior vice president Greg Scott says, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with Dowell, as God has used him a powerful way. As he and his wife, Heidi, move on to the next phase of their life, we truly wish them all the best and pray for God’s richest blessings upon them.”

 

 

 

Seventh-day Adventist University in the Dominican Republic

 

Leaders of an Adventist university in the Dominican Republic are celebrating the record number of graduates who recently concluded their studies. 530 graduates from 17 undergraduate and 3 graduate programs marked a historic moment for Dominican Adventist University.

Several dignitaries attended the graduation service on November 27, 2016, including the Senator of the Monseñor Nouel Province, Felix Nova Paulino. Senator Nova said, "We applaud your efforts in moving forward and positively influencing the development of these communities."

The school has seen steady growth, especially during the last five years. In 2012, 220 students graduated compared to the 530 who graduated 3 months ago. The president of the University, Feliberto Martínez, said, "This increase in the number of students is no more than the blessings brought by the work that we do in the fulfillment of the mission of the world church at a national level."

 

 

 

 

 

Refugee Children Helping Other Refugees

 

 

 

                       Refugee children at refugee camp in Middle East

Twenty-seven Syrian refugee students from the Adventist Learning Center (ALC) in Beirut, Lebanon piled into a tiny rented bus for the one and a half hour to north Lebanon to deliver sacks of clothing and some donated foods.

This annual project started as a simple assignment for the Adventist Learning Center to express gratitude for the donations and support it receives from around the world. For example, the refugee children of ACL have been given winter jackets and rain boots. 

Every Christmas the center gives a child a shoebox full of useful things. This Christmas, the students were issued a challenge to find a project that helps someone else. 

“Each of our students has their story of loss and trauma, but despite their past, they can learn to reach out and bless others as well,” said Alexis Hurd-Shires, director of Adventist Learning Center. 

Hurd-Shires said even though many of these kids come from homes that lack proper doors, windows, and walls, where their parents don't have jobs, and families who don’t know how they’re going to pay the rent or put food on the table, they were diligent in their task. 

Asking friends and neighbors, and even digging in the donations they personally received, the students collected clothes and shoes bag-by-bag. As a result, they collected more than 30 large black trash sacks of goods.

This gesture of self-sacrifice from the refugee children touched church leaders. 

“Sometimes I am struck with how many times we share what we have at no sacrifice, but others share what they need at great sacrifice,” said Rick McEdward, president of Middle East and North Africa Union.

The story of refugee children’s act led him to more thoughts. “Could it be that the poor are less attached to things, so they are willing to be at risk to share even out of their poverty?” McEdward said. 

No sooner had the tires sunk into the mud before the bus was surrounded by the occupants of the scattered UNICEF tents.

When the refugee students, who came with jackets, rain boots, and warm hats pulled over their ears, got off the bus, they were immediately shocked at many unusual scenes, such as children walking without shoes and refugees washing clothes outside in the freezing weather. 

Teachers were no exception. 

“It was completely unexpected when a drop of icy water rolled down my neck and two more soaked through my hair,” said Giedre Asmar, fourth-grade teacher of Adventist Learning Center. “When I was shocked to see the broken tent roof from the weight of the rain water, refugees told me that their living conditions are tolerable until it snows.”

After their visit, the snow season began in northern Lebanon.

The Syrian refugee children from the Adventist Learning Center took turns carrying the bags of clothes and food to each tent and then scattered out to spend some time with the refugees.

It provided them with opportunities to observe the living conditions. 

“There is no running water, no carpet on the floor, and no school,” said Mohammad, a 10-year-old Syrian refugee who studies at Adventist Learning Center.

The students played a game of football under the olive trees with the tent kids who hadn’t seen a ball in a long time, while others wandered through the tents talking to the people who lived in them.

Behind one tent a group of boys found a teenage girl trying to build a tiny fire to heat some water for washing clothes. Quickly they scattered to help her find more wood then manned the fired under her metal pot.  

After the visit, the visitors and refugees gathered in the mud-field to say goodbyes. 

 “When we were about to leave, one older woman whispered me that for a few hours we made them forget their circumstances and where they are,” Hurd-Shires said.

 

 

 

A New Year of Life


 

     Although in one sense the first day of the new year is no more to God than any other day, yet He often puts into the hearts of His children at that time a desire to begin the new year with new resolves,--perhaps with plans to carry out some worthy enterprise,--and with purposes to depart from the wrongs of the old year and to live the new year with new determinations.   
     In God's plan for His ancient people, He gave the command, "On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle." We have no tabernacle to set up as had the children of Israel, but we have a work of building to do, the importance of which all need to understand. Let us remember that character is not the result of accident, but day by day it is forming for good or for evil. Great importance attaches to this work of character building; for it is far-reaching in its results. We are builders for time and for eternity. Few realize the power of habit. Examine your own heart and life in the light of God's Word, and ask yourself, "What has my record been for the year that is just closing? What advancement have I made in the Christian life? What victories have I gained? And what have I done to help others, and to lead them to Christ?"
     God has not placed you in the world to lead an aimless life. He designs that you should be useful, and reach a high standard of moral excellence. To each one some work is given. During the old year have you performed your appointed tasks with cheerfulness and fidelity, having an eye single to the glory of God? Opportunities and privileges have been granted you; what use have you made of these gifts entrusted to you by our Heavenly Father? Have you made yourself a blessing to those around you? Have you done what you could to make them happy and win them to Christ?
     All this is a part of your appointed work. God also requires each of us to subdue self, not giving the rein to self-indulgence or appetite, and to form characters that will stand the test of the judgment and go with us into the future life. 
     Shall the close of the year find you further advanced than you are today? Will you put away evil habits? Will you be considerate of others, faithful to do the work of a Christian? If you will carry the principles of right-doing into all the affairs of life, you will find that it will promote health of body, peace of mind, and prosperity of soul. You will have a strength, dignity, and sweetness of character that will have a transforming influence upon others. 
     We are now entering upon a new year, and may it prove a beginning of years to us. If in the old year we have made failures, let us commence the new by rectifying these errors as far as we can. If the old year has borne into eternity a spotted record of opportunities neglected and privileges slighted, let us see that that of the new year is free from these blemishes. Its days are all before us; let us begin now to make the history of each as it passes, such as we shall not tremble to meet in the judgment. Let us fill each one full of loving, helpful work for others. Let us develop all our powers, and make of ourselves all that God designed that we should.  
     In the keeping of God's commandments there is great reward. A reward awaits the overcomer in the great day, when he shall hear from the lips of our Lord, "Well done, good and faithful servant"; and there is also a present reward in the peace and happiness that flow from the conscience at rest, from the sweet assurance that we enjoy the favour of God. "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies." To all who walk in His ways the new year will be crowded with goodness and blessing.

International Religious Liberty Law Signed into Law in U.S.

Former US Congressman Frank R. Wolf                                                     photo: Maria Bryk/Newseum

Legislation signed into law last week by United States President Barack Obama represents a much-needed step forward in the global effort to combat religious persecution, says the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s liaison to Washington, D.C. 

Dwayne Leslie, an associate director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department for the Adventist world church, says the impact of the new law is potentially significant. It increases the emphasis on religious liberty issues within US foreign policy—such as requiring religious freedom training for all diplomatic officers, mandating tracking of religious repression around the world, and raising the status of the office of the Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom.

“In recent years, we’ve seen the devastation of Christian communities in the Middle East, along with increasing religious violence in so many parts of the world—from Nigeria, to Pakistan, to the countries of Central Asia,” says Leslie. “As Adventists, we believe that every person, regardless of where they live, has a right to worship or not to worship according to their conscience. This fundamental freedom is one that governments around the world have a responsibility to both recognize and protect.” 

The passage of bill, known as the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, came in the final legislative moments of 2016 and was passed by unanimous consent by the US House of Representatives after earlier passage by the Senate. This was the last step in a five-year-long effort to pass the bill. President Obama signed the legislation into law on December 16.

“The Adventist Church encourages governments of every country to protect and promote human rights, generally, and the principle of freedom of religion or belief, in particular,” explains Leslie. “As such, we are pleased to have been a part of the advocacy effort that helped move this legislation forward.”

“We pray that this new law will stimulate greater awareness, both within the United States and around the world, of the pivotal place that religious freedom occupies within the pantheon of human rights,” says Leslie. “And most importantly, we hope that it will help shine a spotlight on the plight of the many millions of men, women and children—members of vulnerable religious minorities—who suffer hostility or worse for choosing to remain faithful to their conscience.”

Dr. Ganoune Diop, director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the world church, says that supporting legislation such as this within every nation’s political system is a core part of the work of PARL. “Here at the world church headquarters, as well as at each of the church’s 13 world divisions, PARL leaders are charged with monitoring legislation, and advocating for legal change that will increase protections for religious freedom for all,” he says. This, he adds, is a vital part of the church’s more than 150-year commitment to promoting religious liberty as a fundamental human right.

The law is named after former US Congressman Frank Wolf—a lawmaker known for his relentless efforts, for more than two decades, to protect religious minorities around the world. Wolf was a keynote speaker, earlier this year, at the Adventist Church’s International Religious Liberty Summit, held at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

 

Pacific Union College Gets Interim President

During a special session on December 13, 2016, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees elected a new president, Eric Anderson, a senior faculty member, to serve until June 30, 2017. Anderson’s six-month appointment begins January 9, 2017.

“I am grateful to Dr. Anderson for agreeing to take on this important leadership role,” says Board Chairman Bradford Newton. “He has the experience, vision, and commitment to lead PUC during the upcoming search committee process.”

According to Newton, Anderson will be asked to help in the process of finding a long-term president for the 134-year old liberal arts college. With the administrative team, he will also be expected to reshape the college budget.    PUC

 

 

 

UAE Church Ministering in the Community

                                                                                                MENA Photo

More than 50 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined a clean-up project of Al-Qasba corniche, one of the few public beaches in the third largest Emirate in the UAE.

The members had been discussing for some time about what they could do for their community with the year-end holidays approaching. The church members wanted a simple way to engage more people. From that desire, an idea was created to clean a place that local community members love.

The church members were encouraged to invite their friends, colleagues and neighbors, and five non-Adventist friends to join the community service.

The church provided visibility vests with the Seventh-day Adventist Church logo and name on the front, and the email address of the church on the back. As the volunteers were picking up trash, there were many passers-by who stopped to take a closer look and checked out the print on the back of the vests.

 “While we were spread out along the beach collecting trash, people came by to talk to us, and they volunteered to join us,” said Akhan Awungashi, senior pastor of the Sharjah Adventist Church.

After the community service, church members served breakfast for the friends who they invited.

“One lady, originally from Egypt, asked how she can join our group, so we invited her to an another year-end program,” Awungashi said. “She said she will surely join us and she will bring her husband along.”

The Sharjah church board voted to conduct one outdoor community service every month during the cooler half of the year, October to March, as part of the church’s Total Member Involvement program. The church pastor expects more people to participate in their initiatives.

“This is an important program that allows the Church to impact our community,” said Awungashi.

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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