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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

Beautiful Video

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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

 

Russia Publishing House Celebrates 25 Years

Russia Publishing House celebrates 25 years instilling hope

Since 1992, “Source of Life” has published 50 million copies

The Seventh-day Adventist publishing house in Russia recently celebrated 25 years instilling hope during a special weekend of thanksgiving and missionary commitment. From June 2-4, Source of Life Publishing House employees and church leaders met in Zaoksky, Tula Region, Russia, to thank the Lord and the faithful workers responsible for the publication of 50 million copies of books and handbooks of various genres and styles.

“It is the Lord who has blessed our efforts during these 25 years of service,” said church leaders time after time during the celebratory events. Source of Life is the only Russian Protestant publishing house with its own printing facilities in the Russian Federation and publishes Christian literature in thirteen languages, including Armenian, Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek.

A Long Tradition of Book Promotion

The Adventist Church literature evangelist ministry—or the activity of selling religious books door to door—started early in Russian Empire. By the end of the 19th century, literature evangelists were not only selling books, but private printing houses were producing Adventist magazines. When authorities imposed a total ban on religious books, copying books by hand and self-publishing became the methods faithful Christians chose to keep sharing their beliefs.

“We all understand that the essence of your business is education,” said Larisa Akimova, head of the Zaoksky district, who stopped by at the anniversary celebrations to congratulate the publishing house employees. “[Your] books bring people joy and enlightenment.”

World church vice-president Billy Biaggi believes that a highlight of the publishing house has been its role in bringing people hope. “Millions of people are living without faith and hope, even though they badly need both,” he said. “Book publishing is bringing people hope.”

Weekend Celebrations

Those attending the solemn liturgy dedicated to the anniversary celebration paused to remember the pioneers who preserved books by copying them by hand. They also thanked the publishing house booksellers and readers, who keep the ministry moving forward. The focus of thanksgiving, however, was on God’s faithfulness.

“God fulfilled His promise because His Word has not returned empty,” leaders said.

“In remote villages and big cities, these books witness of the power of Jesus Christ to change lives,” said Publishing Ministries director Pavel Liberanskiy. “Even in places where there is not yet a single preacher, books are there, bringing hope.”

Liberanskiy said that in the last decade, Source of Life has published two volumes featuring stories of people who came to God thanks to their books. As part of the Sabbath worship service, several people shared their testimonies about finding Jesus through a Source of Life book donated or purchased.

Celebrations were capped by an Open House Day, which included lectures, literary cafés, and “meet the author” events.

“It was a miracle when the publishing house opened 25 years ago,” said Source of Life General Director Daniil Lovska. “And every year, the Lord continues to do wonders.”

 

 

 

Adventists March in St. Maarten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         [photo credit: Raphael Dowe, Facebook]

Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists filled the streets of two St. Maarten neighborhoods to embrace communities reeling from a sharp increase in crime, illegal drug-use and violence during a March of Witness last month.

Leaders and members expressed the church’s loving support for families as they greeted residents during the March of Witness in the Dutch Quarter and Belvedere communities–two of the most densely populated communities.

“We are here today because we understand that there are lots of hurts and pains because of the crime and violence in our community and in our society. We want the community to know that as a church we are able to assist,” said Henry Peters, personal ministries director of the Adventist Church in the North Caribbean.

Marchers distributed magazines with life-impacting messages to help recipients personalize the Lord Transform Me journey of values and seek a relationship with Christ.

“Our main challenge is making the Adventist Church known so that citizens can be committed to God and society, looking to model values like honesty and respect,” said Vashni Cuvalay, coordinator of the Adventist Mission work in St. Maarten.

The march held on Sabbath, June 24, marked the end of a special lay rally, said Henry. “It allowed our church members who are consistently engaged in soul-saving initiatives an opportunity to inspire their brothers and sisters with testimonies of God’s intervention.”

The Church in St. Maarten encourages members to remain alert to the ills being suffered by society, said Henry.  “Our members are urged to respond tangibly in the short term, and in the long term by consistently reflecting Christ’s character in their daily lives, as a reminder for the community to seek the transformation that God offers.”

The evangelistic initiatives have resulted in 185 new church members so far this year and a new group of believers established.

Church leaders said the Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Maarten has been a positive force on the island and the members have been active in extending help to the community in various ways. The church presently operates a soup kitchen that serves more than 300 meals to the community every week. There are about 3,000 Seventh-day Adventists in St. Maarten.

 

 

117,000 Baptisms in Tanzania and Uganda

 

A major evangelistic thrust in Tanzania and Uganda has resulted in 117,000 baptisms, dramatically expanding a Seventh-day Adventist initiative to proclaim Jesus’ soon coming through Total Member Involvement evangelism.

About 24,000 speakers, mostly lay people, participated in June 16-July 1 evangelistic meetings at 8,000 sites in the neighboring African countries, church leaders said Wednesday. Thousands of church members also reached out to their communities with free medical clinics and other forms of practical assistance. 

“We praise the Lord for His leading this far,” said Joel Okindoh, director of evangelism for the Adventist Church’s East-Central Africa Division, whose territory includes Tanzania and Uganda.

Okindoh said 80,806 people were baptized in Tanzania, and another 35,969 people were baptized in Uganda. Additional evangelistic meetings are being held in the two countries this month, and more baptisms are expected, he said.

The recent baptisms bring church membership to about 600,000 in Tanzania and 330,000 in Uganda. 

Okindoh credited Total Member Involvement, or TMI, with playing a key role in the baptisms and said all church members needed to be encouraged to make it part of their everyday lives. 

“The greatest task is to nurture these new believers and to make TMI the lifestyle of our unions, conferences, local churches, institutions, and individual members,” he said by e-mail.

TMI is a world church initiative that encourages each of the church’s 20 million members to actively share Jesus with others. 

Among the TMI efforts in Uganda, Adventist health professionals ran a weeklong free medical clinic in the city of Mbarara that treated more than 800 people a day, the East-Central Africa Division ​said on its website

Ham Youngsik, a South Korean pastor and missionary, who assisted with the free clinic, expressed joy that 35 patients were baptized.

“God avails money and skills to do His work,” he told the website.

The latest baptisms mark the second time that the Adventist Church as surpassed the 100,000 mark during a TMI evangelistic campaign. A similar initiative in May 2016 resulted in 110,000 baptisms in Rwanda, which is also part of the East-Central Africa Division. TMI evangelism took off with 30,000 baptisms in Zimbabwe in 2015, and it has led to thousands of baptisms in Romania, Ukraine, and ​the Philippines so far this year. In Kenya, ​73,000 people were baptized in March alone as local church members ​aim for an annual record of 400,000 baptisms.

“After the Total Member Involvement experience in Rwanda in 2016, TMI has become a standard feature of the East-Central Africa Division!” Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson said ​on his Facebook page. “We praise God for how the lay people are rallying to the call to become completely involved in soul winning. What a joy to see the thousands upon thousands being baptized through the Holy Spirit’s power and the hard work of pastors and lay people united in mission for Christ sharing the good news of the three angels’ messages and Christ’s soon coming. Let’s all be part of TMI!” 

Duane McKey, who oversees TMI for the Adventist world church, said that after Rwanda the world church provided the East-Central Africa Division with 1,200 special video projectors that work with only a flash drive, no computer needed, and he encouraged division leaders to hold 20,000 evangelistic series in 2017.

“It looks like they are well on their way,” he said by e-mail. “Like Pastor Blasious Rugori, president of the East-Central Africa Division, says, ‘God is up to something HUGE.’”

TMI evangelism has not only led growing numbers of people to Christ but also encouraged visiting speakers to expand the program in other countries. Hugely successful evangelistic meetings across Romania in February prompted the Inter-European Division, who leaders preached at the meetings, to announce that it would expand the initiative throughout its territory.

About 550 foreign guests from within and without the East-Central Africa Division participated in the Tanzania and Uganda events. The visitors left inspired to follow the model in their home countries, Okindoh said.

“TMI has generated a spiritual revival among all the participants and enhanced unity through foreign guests’ involvement across the territories,” he said. “TMI is here to stay by the grace of God.”

 

 

 

AWR Evangelism in Philippines

 

About 1,400 people were baptized on an island in the  Philippines after a groundbreaking evangelistic campaign propelled by 49 Japanese presenters and Adventist World Radio.

Among those who gave their hearts to Christ on Mindoro island on Sabbath, June 24, were dozens of former Adventists, an entire village of 85 people, and 12 villagers who hiked for 12 hours to reach the nearest river.

The outreach effort, which saw a total of 15 villages express an interest in baptism, marks the first time Adventist World Radio has taken a frontline role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Total Member Involvement evangelistic meetings, and it is to be replicated in Japan next year.

“Adventist World Radio has never had such a successful experience,” said Duane McKey, who serves as Adventist World Radio president and oversees the Adventist world church’s Total Member Involvement initiative.

The evangelistic work started on March 1 when nine local radio stations started airing one to three hours of Adventist World Radio programming daily across Mindoro, which is the seventh-largest island in the Philippines and located five hours by boat and car south of the Philippines’ capital, Manila. 

But the health and lifestyle programs generated little response over the first three weeks, so Adventist World Radio tweaked the programming to include daily evangelistic sermons on topics such as the state of the dead and the seventh-day Sabbath, McKey said.

At 11 a.m. every day, listeners were asked a question about the previous day’s sermon, and the first five people who called in with the correct answer received a small radio, a copy of Ellen White’s book “Steps to Christ,” or another gift. 

Read: 10 Philippine Villages Request Baptism After Hearing Adventist World Radio

Big Radio Response

“The response mushroomed,” McKey said, speaking by telephone from Manila on Sunday. “People were running down the mountains to find a radio to listen to the sermons. They were excited. They took notes as they listened so they could answer the question the next day.”

Adventist World Radio connected callers with local churches, which, in turn, sent out Bible workers and organized Total Member Involvement events such as free health screenings and street marches against illegal drugs.

“The focus was connecting people with the local churches, and that is why it worked so well,” McKey said.

About 1,400 people were baptized on Sabbath, and more than 100 others will be baptized in the next week or two. 

McKey participated in the baptisms at Mangyan village of 85 people, baptizing the village chief and other villagers. 

Later in the day, he and other church leaders met 12 baptismal candidates at a river 48 miles (77 kilometers) from their mountainside village.

“They walked a solid 12 hours to get to the river for baptism,” McKey said.

All 250 families of the village had wanted to be baptized after listening to sermons on the radio, but the others weren’t ready, he said. 

“We sent a Bible worker to work with them,” he said.

Twenty-five families made the 12-hour walk to attend the baptisms.

The radio broadcasts and evangelistic meetings also brought former Adventists back to church, and they were rebaptized on Sabbath.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many residents from the 15 villages who expressed interest in baptism were baptized on Sabbath, but five villages have decided to prepare for baptism. Another island with 10 villages just contacted Adventist World Radio just this weekend to request a Bible worker to help villagers prepare for baptism.

Adventist World Radio has decided to expand its broadcasts and set up a permanent presence in the Philippines, McKey said.

“We were going to broadcast only for six months, but now we will broadcast for another year and help them get their own radio station,” he said.

 

Enthusiasm in Japan

Thirty pastors and 19 laypeople from Japan participated in June 9-24 evangelistic meetings in Japan.The Japanese presenters — who are preparing for national evangelistic meetings in Japan in 2018 — were reenergized by the experience, McKey said.

“They said this was so life changing,” he said. “Some thought that public evangelism couldn’t be done anymore, but now they see that you can preach the message and get results.

Enthusiasm also is growing back in Japan, with one local church voting a U.S.$120,000 budget for public evangelism next year. McKey said the day after the church board approved the budget, the pastor found three envelopes containing $10,000 each in his office. The following Sabbath, an elderly church member placed another $10,000 in the Sabbath School offering plate.

“Church members are saying, ‘Do something!’” McKey said. “It’s been a thrill to see that happen.”

 

 

 

First Church in Nauru

 

 

The first Seventh-day Adventist church on the small island of Nauru was officially opened last month. The ordination of the church was attended by Maveni Kaufononga, president of the Adventist church in the Trans-Pacific region, based in Fiji, and Nauru Government Minister Shadlog Bernicke. Reagan Aliklik, the elder and landowner who donated the land for the church, shared a brief history of Adventism in the small nation.

Construction of the church began last year after lengthy negotiations. Land in Nauru is expensive and not easily transferred to others. There is enough space of the land to build a primary school, and plan are in hand for this.

The church reports that Church members have also been actively involved in visiting asylum seekers at the processing centre on Nauru. Today, total membership has grown to more than 50. [photo: South Pacific Division]

 

 

 

 

Walla Walla Hospital to Close

Adventist Health has pulled out of their plans to transfer control of Walla Walla General Hospital to Providence Health & Services. They instead just announced plans to close the hospital effective July 24. The Seventh-day Adventist hospital's plans changed due to unexpected regulatory changes. According to Adventist Health, no matter what they did, which included investing $68,000,000 during recent years, they cannot continue to provide hospital services in Walla Walla. The hospital serves Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon.

 

 

 

Meeting Commemorates the Protestant Reformation

                                                                                                                                                                                                       photo: Maria Bryk

Dozens of religious freedom scholars, advocates, and supporters met on June 1 at the Washington D.C. Religious Freedom Center to commemorate and discuss the implications of the Protestant Reformation for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. The one-day event, themed “Commemoration of the 500-year Anniversary of the 16th Century Protestant Reformation: Conversations on the Reformation, Christian Identities, and Freedom of Conscience,” sought to delve into the multiple connections between the watershed 16th-century event and our ongoing contemporary quest for freedom of conscience and worship. 

“The 16th-century world lived in the grip of fear, explaining every disease outbreak with all kinds of superstitions,” said Ganoune Diop, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist Church. People would ask how they could ever be righteous before God, he said. “The Protestant Reformation was an answer to those questions,” Diop explained.

People Who Made a Difference

In compact 15-minute presentations, scholars from different Christian traditions emphasized the trailblazers and ideas that changed the religious landscape forever. At the same time, presenters often focused on lesser-known or even contradictory approaches of some of the Reformers.

“The kingdom of God was central to [Martin Luther’s] beliefs,” said Diop. “His theology expected the end of the world. So, in this doctrine too, he was a Reformer.”

Diop also pointed out that while Luther’s work opened ways for the freedoms we enjoy today, there was a long way to go. “At first, religious freedom was granted to States, not to individual persons,” he said, as he added that such a path often ends in tragedy, resulting in violence and suffering. “Claim to truth must be paved with the individual freedom to believe or not.”

While Luther was the most obvious reference in the commemoration talks, presenters also emphasized other forerunners of the principles of religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

“George Fox believed that Christian life should inform and affect everyday life,” said Gretchen Castle, general secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, in referring to the founder of the Quaker movement in 17th-century England. “He believed faith and actions are not separated, which is still reflected in the Quaker’s commitment to making the world a better place.”

Founder of the US State of Pennsylvania, William Penn, was another name mentioned when reflecting on the trailblazers of the promotion of freedom of conscience. Penn, who was a Quaker, is credited with bringing and applying the principles of freedom of worship to America in the 17th century.

David Little, research fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center, reminded attendees that for the first reformers, “religious uniformity was the foundation of public safety and prosperity.” Advocates of individual freedoms, however, such as Roger Williams, emphasized that freedom of conscience is the cornerstone of religious freedom. “He got it right,” said Little, “many years before [US Constitution signatories] Madison and Jefferson.”

An Adventist Approach

Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, summarized the specific Adventist contribution to freedom of conscience and worship.

“Believing that we are created in the image of God is the basis of human dignity,” Wilson said. “All human beings are endowed with dignity and infinite worth, and human conscience is an essential part of it.”

After briefly reviewing the adamant commitment of Adventist pioneers to freedom of conscience, Wilson explained that such emphasis is ingrained in the character of God Himself.

“Seventh-day Adventist pioneers believed that acting according to one’s conscience is an inalienable right,” Wilson said, and referring to the Bible book of Revelation 12 and 13, he added: “Followers of Jesus do not force others. Freedom of conscience is a universal right—it is for all.”

Wilson concluded by saying even when their rights are violated, Seventh-day Adventists seek the welfare of others for God’s sake. “Seventh-day Adventists are determined to help develop a global culture that respects every person’s freedom of conscience,” he said.

An Ongoing Process

It is difficult to trace a straight line from the Reformation to our current focus on religious freedom, said Neville Callam, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance. We must remember, however, that “any alliance with secular powers will eventually force us to submit to one of those powers,” he said. “It is one of the reasons why Reformation needs to keep informing our witness and our life.”

César García, general secretary of the Mennonite World Conference, concurred. “Using politicians to support Christianism affects the ability of the churches,” he said. “To know the truth always implies a voluntary decision.”

This ongoing commitment should inform everything we do in the present, not only in church but especially outside of it, said Castle. “[We] desire a church that is always reformed and reforming,” she said. “This is our spiritual imperative—to act and be active, to take risks for social change, and to choose to love.”

 

 

 

54 Ordinations in the Country of Rwanda

54 pastors were ordained this past week in Rwanda following a national three-day ministerial convention held in the city of Nyamata.    

After the baptism of more than 100,000 last year, one of the challenges the Adventist church in the Rwanda territory faced was a lack of ordained ministers to carry out the mission and attend to the new members. 

On Sabbath June 3rd, thousands of church members gathered from around the region under beautiful white tents to witness the unprecedented event. Pastoral couples marched down a beautiful carpet attired in their Sabbath best for this very special occasion.  

“It was a grand celebration!” said Blasious Ruguri, president of the Adventist Church in the East-Central Africa region and keynote speaker for the event.  "God has found the answer to the challenge in Rwanda at the right time." He added that "the ordination was another testimony of the incredible church growth of the church in Rwanda." 

Ruguri charged the newly ordained ministers to follow the steps of Jesus and the example of the apostles as they work to fulfill the mission. He reminded the pastor's wives they had become mothers twice. First for their children and second for all the children in the church. He also told the couples that ministry is not a shortcut to wealth but a gateway to servanthood and selfless service for the Savior.  

Alain Coralie, executive secretary of the Adventist church in the East-Central Africa region, said. "The best gift ordained ministers need nowadays is genuine prayer." He prayed for their success in mission and the power of the Holy Spirit to attend them in their service.  

Many of the 54 ordained ministers were veterans who have served the church for many years baptizing thousands of people.  The church members joyously appreciated their service as they came forward for to be ordained.   

Pastor Hesron Byilingiro president of the Adventist Church in Rwanda joyously expressed his happiness and thanksgiving for the dynamic growth of the church in Rwanda. 

Before the ordination, there had been a three-day ministerial convention, which brought together more than 400 pastors and church leaders to be equipped and trained for ministry excellence.  

Church leaders expressed that most of the pastors had been so busy energizing and reviving church members, that they never had their own particular time to discuss the various missional challenges in their territory.  

Participants shared they were excited by the convention and grateful since it provided the opportunity for them to share experiences with other pastors, build comradery and find common solutions together.  

During the Convention, Coralie gave a special presentation on prayer ministry. He reminded attendees that many Adventists read the word and teach it but they pray less.  As a result, they do not see God’s miracles.  

Rwanda Union Mission has nudged a membership of more 800, 000 registered Adventists in a country with a population of over 12,000,000.

 

 

 

 

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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