Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School Lesson

The Second Coming of Jesus

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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

 

International Day to Pray for Peace

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders are inviting members to join the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on Sunday, September 21 by responding to a call for a minute of silence at noon with prayer.

In prepared remarks for the upcoming day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged people to reflect on peace. “We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict. Peace is a long road that we must travel together—step by step, beginning today.”

The Adventist Church has promoted peacemaking efforts since its inception. In one of its official statements on peace the Church acknowledged that “Jesus wants his followers to be peacemakers in society and hence calls them blessed.”

John Graz, director of the Adventist Church’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department, said, “Durable peace can not be built without developing education, health, justice and freedom for all people. That’s why the Adventist Church has heavily invested in schools, hospitals and organizations promoting freedom of conscience.”

Graz described the International Day of Peace as a “time to strengthen the ideals of peace, and to celebrate those who dedicate their lives to peace making.”

Church leaders in various parts of the world where conflict is a present concern reflected on the theme of peace.

Homer Trecartin, president of the Church’s Middle East North Africa Union said, “I believe more than ever before that real peace will come when we are willing to follow the example of Jesus and suffer wrong without retaliation or revenge.”

Guillermo Biaggi, president of the denomination’s Euro-Asia Division said peace is something difficult to achieve and easy to lose. “We need to base it in a stronger, more permanent and unshakable foundation than human words, treaties and agreements. For peace to become true in our lives and modern societies, we need to pray earnestly to our Lord and to count with the One Who said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.”

 

 

Ejler Jensen, First Seventh-day Adventist Missionary to Okinawa

 


Remembrance: Jensen, 102, was Adventist pioneer to Okinawa

Jensen baptizes Enzo Yokomizo, one of the first residents of Okinawa to accept the Adventist faith. She became a Bible worker. Only the ocean was available for baptisms and, without any beaches, was risky because people had to walk over sharp coral filled with sea urchins and jellyfish to get into the water. [photo courtesy Linda Jensen]

Missionary built first Adventist church, hospital on island ravaged by WWII

September 09, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Andrew McChesney/Adventist Review

Ejler Jensen was the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary to the Japanese island of Okinawa, where he planted a vibrant church community, including a school and hospital, in the 1950s.

Jensen, who died at age 102 on August 27, set about building an Adventist church big enough for 200 people on Okinawa when there was 600,000 people and not one single Adventist on the island, which was devastated after World War II. Building materials consisted of war remnants and military supplies. The church opened in 1951.

He later opened a school in the southern part of the island, and then a church attached to the school. As church membership increased, Jensen began designing a 15-bed hospital that is regarded today as the leading private hospital on the island.

Thirty-nine patients showed up on opening day of the clinic, which was located up a steep hillside. “Within a year, the lone doctor was seeing over 200 patients a day,” his daughter Linda said. The facility, the Adobenchisuto (Adventist) Medical Center, moved to a new location with more than 100 beds a few years ago.

"Adventist members in Okinawa and the Japan Union Conference will never forget Elder Jensen, who built the foundation of the Okinawa Mission,” said Masumi Shimada, president of the denomination’s Japan Union Conference. “We appreciate his efforts and love for Okinawa and remember his service to the Lord.”

Ejler E. Jensen was born in 1912 to Danish immigrants in Alberta, Canada. The Lutheran family converted to the Adventist Church through an Adventist bookseller.

As a young child, Jensen became fascinated with mission stories told at campmeetings at Canadian Junior College (now Canadian Union University).

The family moved to Modesto, California, United States, in 1918 to grow table grapes, but a combination of drought, gophers, and a weak economy devastated them. Financially ruined, they moved back to Canada.

Attempts to farm wheat proved successful until the Dust Bowl and Great Depression hit in 1929 and 1930. The howling winds blew crops and soil away. The family lost everything and had to walk away, destitute and in debt.

At age 20, Jensen became a literature evangelist to raise money for college. He was given an old bicycle with wooden wheels and a territory of hundreds of miles. He later described this time as the most lonely of his life, going from house to house in the country, seeing strange faces every day and asking for a bed to sleep on.

Jensen attended Canadian Junior College from 1936 to 1939 and then transferred to California-based Pacific Union College, where he graduated in 1942 with a double major in Bible and history. At PUC, he met Iona Clark, and the couple married in 1942.

After serving as a pastor for two years in the U.S. states of Nevada and Utah, Jensen accepted a call in 1944 to work as head of the Alaska Mission, a territory that would later become a U.S. state.

At times it took days to reach remote parts of the territory, with Jensen catching rides on fishing boats, Coast Guard lifeboats and with bush pilots delivering supplies and mail with amphibious aircraft.

One night, while flying with a bush pilot, a storm forced a landing on a small, isolated inlet. Ice developed on the wings and propeller and the plane began to sink.

Jensen and the pilot jumped out and waded to shore. Disoriented, wet, and freezing, Jensen began to pray fervently. Then, out of the blowing snow, an old Eskimo appeared, dressed in white, and waved at the lost pair to follow him. He led them through the storm to a small settlement, where villagers gave them shelter until the storm passed.

When Jensen asked the villagers for the rescuer’s name in order to thank him, the villagers replied that no such person lived in the area.

“Dad was certain that his guardian angel had appeared to save him that day,” Linda said.

While in Alaska, Jensen accepted an invitation to serve as a missionary in Indonesia. Seventeen days into the voyage across the Pacific Ocean aboard a freighter he received a cable asking him to go to Japan instead.

The couple enrolled in a language school and spent the next year and a half becoming fluent in Japanese. In 1949, local Adventist leaders decided to open mission work on Okinawa, and the Jensens agreed to move there.

In 1960, after a decade on Okinawa, Jensen was appointed as the head of the Tokyo Sanitarium and Hospital (now Tokyo Adventist Hospital) and the pastor of a church on the same property. Six years later he moved to Malaysia, where he worked as business manager of the Penang Sanitarium (now Penang Adventist Hospital) as well as the pastor of the English-speaking church with a membership of 200.

With both daughters in college, he and his wife decided to return to the U.S. in 1969.

He worked for four years as an assistant credit manager at St. Helena Hospital in Deer Park, California, and then pastored a church in Miranda, California.

The couple retired in 1975 in California’s Napa Valley. Iona preceded him in death in 2005.

Today, Okinawa has 16 Adventist churches with a membership of nearly 2,100, according to the Adventist Yearbook.

 

 

Colombia Adventist University Promotes Missionary Work

 

In Colombia, university students urged to serve in mission field

International mission congress [photo courtesy North Colombia Union/IAD]

Mission congress challenges students to work beyond national borders

Nearly 2,000 young people, students and professionals from throughout Colombia, Peru and Argentina took part in an Adventist Missions International Congress coined as “I will go too.”


The congress sought to motivate professionals and university students to serve in the mission field. Organized by Colombia Adventist University in Medellin, July 13 to August 2, the initiative is the third such event to promote mission work around the world.

Holding the event on campus was key to confirming the commission God has given to His church to spread the gospel in every tongue, tribe and nation, said Abraham Acosta, president of Colombia Adventist University and main organizer of the event. It is the first such event ever organized in Colombia, organizers said.

“We wanted to inspire our young people who study different careers just as they grow academically, they can grow with a commitment and growing passion for the mission of the church,” Acosta said. “Our goal and challenge after this congress is to work with the global mission of training and motivating our young people to go beyond the borders of Colombia.”

Speakers from the Institute of World Missions and Global Mission at the General Conference and Andrews University, Adventist-Muslim Relations at the North American Division, Middle East Union and North Africa among others lectured the hundreds of participants on the importance of serving outside of their countries to spread the gospel.

“Our great challenge is reaching persons who are not Christians,” said Cheryl Doss, director of the Institute of World Missions at the General Conference. “To reach them we must be willing to change our current methodology of evangelism as the challenge goes much faster than the growth of the Adventist Church.”

One of the most basic aspects of serving in the mission field is to be willing to learn and adapt, said Wagner Kuhn associate director of the Global Mission Institute at Andrews University. “Look to understanding the native tongue to be able to speak to the hearts of the people, be servants and look to others with empathy,” Kuhn said.

More than 100 signed up for the school of missions at the university. Among the signees Jenny Paola Muñoz, who studies accounting. “I think God is touching the hearts of students thanks to this congress, because many of us are really motivated to preach the gospel to finish the work on earth,” Muñoz said.

Nathalia Andrea Lopez, a fourth-year preschool student, was also excited to participate in the congress because “there are so many places still out there to serve the Lord around the world.”

Already, the university has embarked on an initiative where 18 municipal districts in Medellin have been targeted as areas to be evangelized. Students are participating with church leaders to establish centers of influence there. In addition, students are involved in community outreach activities in hospitals and nursing homes.

For more information about the congress, visit unac.edu.co.

 

 

Pastor Wilson, Call to Educators

 

Wilson urges all Adventists to reaffirm stance on Creation

Grand Canyon field trip [photo: Larry Blackmer]

Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson expanded his recent call for Church educators to reaffirm their conviction that God created the Earth several thousand years ago to include all 18 million members of the denomination, saying the issue “involves the eternal destiny of each of us.”

Wilson’s comments came at the end of a 10-day International Conference on the Bible and Science in St. George, Utah, where about 400 educators approved a resolution pledging to teach the biblical understandings of origins in their classrooms and got ready to share the latest scientific research that they had learned with their students.

Wilson, speaking in an interview, said all Church members should carefully weigh an appeal that he made for Adventist educators to reject evolutionary origins during his opening speech at the conference on Aug. 15.

“This is so intrinsic to the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists that it is vital for all church members to reaffirm their conviction that God truly is the Creator and created this Earth in six literal days recently,” he said. “This is certainly a personal decision that has to be made, and in all kindness and love I urge every church member to do so because it involves the eternal destiny of each of us.”

Wilson, reiterating his August 15 speech, said that educators and pastors who accepted widespread teachings that the Earth evolved over millions of years should not be permitted to lead in Adventist classrooms and churches.

As for regular Church members, he said, the matter was personal, but people who hadn’t resolved it in their minds should pray earnestly and make a decision.

“These decisions on the part of every individual will help to determine how they relate to this extraordinary mission entrusted into our hands by heaven and proclaimed by the three angels’ messages, which includes the first angel’s message to worship God and give glory to Him for He has made everything,” he said, referring to the three angels’ messages recorded in Revelation 14 to prepare people for Jesus’ return to Earth.

'Employees Should Believe in Creation'

Wilson’s Aug. 15 speech—in which he said that anyone who rejected the literal six-day creation described in Genesis could not be described as a real “Seventh-day” Adventist because “Seventh-day” refers to the 24-hour Sabbath day that ended creation week—elicited much comment on Seventh-day Adventist websites during the past 10 days.

Some Adventists have embraced a popular theory that each day of creation might have lasted millions of years rather than 24 hours, thereby mixing the Bible account with evolutionary teachings. This line of reasoning, Wilson said, not only invalided the Sabbath but also cast doubt on the inspiration of the creation account and, by extension, the entire Bible.

“It is vital that every employee—whether an administrator, pastor, teacher, or whoever—should strongly believe in the fundamental understanding of creation as the Seventh-day Adventist Church enunciates it,” Wilson said Sunday. “To continue to be employed and hold a view other than that would not be compatible to the very reason for the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

He added: “As far as church members in general are concerned, it’s a personal matter that they need to discuss with the Lord in earnest.”

Wilson's Closing Speech

Wilson also mentioned the Church at large in a closing speech Sunday that focused primarily on the educators in attendance.

“As Seventh-day Adventist teachers, educators, pastors and church employees living in the end of time—and not only employees but all Church members—we should not reduce our ‘seventh-day’ distinctiveness but rather trumpet it as a wonderful feature of life,” he said.

Speaking directly to conference attendees, Wilson urged them to work hard, show love, and cling to the Bible.

“Scientists: Continue to do good scientific research. Do the work God has given you in a profound and careful way,” he said.

“Theologians: Do the same thing. Reach out to those who may not agree with what we have voted today and with what the Seventh-day Adventist Church has stood for. Reach out to those people in care and love—not in a condescending way, but in a loving way.

“But,” he said, “I want to tell you: Please do not in any way be reluctant to stand for biblical truth. Be open, be careful, but be bold.”

At the close of the 42-minute speech, Wilson asked the educators to reaffirm their conviction to the biblical creation by standing up and later pairing with seatmates to pray.

Conference Approves Statement

Shortly before Wilson’s speech, the conference attendees approved in a nearly unanimous verbal vote a statement that affirmed that the Bible presents "the reliable account" of a recent literal six-day Creation and that a global flood destroyed the Earth except for Noah’s family and animals in an ark.

“We reject those worldviews that intentionally remove biblical truth from public discourse and scientific endeavor,” the statement says. “We affirm the necessity of an intellectual environment in which competing theories about origins are presented and openly discussed within the context of a biblical worldview. We commit ourselves to teaching and advocating the biblical understandings of origins in our professional roles as Adventist educators.”

The document, which was developed during the 10-day event, will be submitted to the church’s major year-end business meeting, the Annual Council, in October, said Michael L. Ryan, a vice president of the Adventist world church and chair of its Faith and Science Council, which sponsored the conference.

It was unclear what influence, if any, the document would have on the wider church. Ryan said a separate working group of the world church was considering revisions to one of the church’s 28 Fundamental Beliefs—on creation—in preparation for a vote by delegates of the world church during the General Conference Session in July 2015.

High Demand for Resources

Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, director of the world church’s Education department, told the conference that she would use the statement to press for funding to produce and distribute more resources that support creation. The resolution calls for “a coordinated approach to be taken to the ongoing development, in all major languages, of high-quality, media-rich resources regarding the biblical account of origins and natural and earth sciences.”

Speaking in an interview, Beardsley-Hardy said conference participants have inundated her with requests for creation-themed materials.

“The biggest comment that I’ve gotten is, ‘We want materials so that when I go back to our schools we’ll be able to educate our students and educate our family about the issues,” she said. “They want textbooks, they want PowerPoints, they want to be able to download some of the presentations that were here so they can study them themselves and translate them into various languages.”

Beardsley-Hardy said some conference materials could be found on the Faith and Science Council’s website, fscsda.org, and the Geoscience Research Institute's website, grisda.org, and more would be released in the upcoming weeks and months.

But, as any major conference, some presentations might not be available for some time because their authors are preparing the research for publication in major scientific journals, said Beardsley-Hardy, who helped organize the conference and is a member of the Faith and Science Council.

“Some of the presentations that were here were cutting edge research, and the presenters can’t have those presentations shown elsewhere until they get published in peer-reviewed literature,” she said.

Beardsley-Hardy said she was pleased that scientists, theologians and other educators in attendance appeared enthusiastic about sharing what they had learned, and she expressed hope that they would leave feeling more informed and less intimidated about discussing the areas where science and the Bible overlap.

“Nature tells us some things, and the Bible tells us some things, and the Bible is a higher source of revelation because nature has been influenced by sin,” she said. “But there are areas of overlap, and I want our academics to be reasonably informed about the areas of overlap.”

 

 

Christians Persecuted in Iraq

Iraq persecution testimony before US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church Protests Religious Persecution in Iraq and Syria

 

Adventist Church president releases statement on persecution of religious minorities in Iraq, Syria

Ted N. C. Wilson is President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. [ANN file photo]

Wilson calls on members to pray for victims of extremism

Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson released the following statement today expressing concern over the persecution of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria:

It is with great sadness and deep concern that we have learned of the tragic situation where tens of thousands of Christians and others have been subjected to persecution, coercion, killings, intimidation and lack of religious liberty in certain areas of Iraq and Syria.

I urgently call upon all Seventh-day Adventist Church members around the world to pray for the victims of this extremism in religious intolerance. We also need to pray for various religious minorities who are targeted because of their religious convictions and beliefs.

It is important that the international community act unitedly to stop the persecution of Christian believers and others who represent those who have lived in relative peace with their Muslim neighbors in the Middle East for hundreds of years. The Seventh-day Adventist Church will do its best to assist victims of this new tragedy, which reflects a total lack of religious liberty, and we will earnestly pray for a positive resolution to this appalling situation. May the Holy Spirit as the Comforter come especially close to those facing immediate persecution and death at this time.

—Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

 

Pastor Wilson Encourages the Bible Diet

 

Adventist Church president makes case for vegetarianism

Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson delivers the closing sermon.. [photo: Andrew McChesney/AR]

Wilson wraps up week-long health conference with appeal for attendees to resolutely practice what they teach

Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson made a case for vegetarianism in a Sabbath sermon closing a weeklong health conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and he expressed disappointment that some people liken the church’s emphasis on a plant-based diet to fanaticism.

He also encouraged the audience of 1,150 Seventh-day Adventist leaders and health professionals from 81 countries to boldly share the Jesus-centered health practices that they had learned at the Global Conference on Health and Lifestyle, even if they faced opposition in their home churches.

Wilson, who compared the energy required of Adventists to the high metabolism of a hummingbird, said he was familiar with discouragement and the best recourse was to lean on Jesus.

“I hope you will go from this place filled with God’s intense desire, like the hummingbird, and to be careful in what you do, to be balanced in what you do, but to proclaim God’s precious word,” he said.

The conference, organized by the world church’s Health Ministries department, featured science-based presentations from leading global health professionals that showed the best safeguard against premature killers like cancer, heart disease and diabetes was a healthy lifestyle with a vegetarian diet and regular exercise.

The conference’s goal is to ultimately open community health centers with programs offering a Christ-modeled blend of physical and spiritual wellness in every Adventist church. The programs could include stress management courses, fitness classes, and Breathe-Free 2, a stop-smoking initiative unveiled at the conference.

Practice what you teach

In his July 12 sermon, Wilson returned to a theme that had dominated the conference: Attendees must apply what they were learning to their own lives in order to effectively share it with others.

“Lifestyle ought to be modeled,” he said. “Avoid detrimental lifestyles. Show the love of Christ in all that you do.”

Wilson added: “I want to tell you I feel sad when I hear of places that think that because you talk about healthy living, you’re a fanatic; if you talk about the sanctuary service, and its completeness, and the righteousness of Jesus, that you are some kind of a quack; if you talk of Jesus’ soon return, that you are a fanatic; if you talk about promoting the values in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, that you belong in another century.

“I want to tell you brothers and sisters: The principles in God’s Word and the Spirit of Prophecy are as fresh today as they were when they were written,” he said, drawing loud “amens” from the audience.

Wilson prefaced his remarks by saying that he had spent hours rejoicing and praying with conference participants during the past week but had been troubled by some of the things that they had shared.

Wilson then turned his attention to what Adventists eat.

“Nancy and I have been vegetarians all of our lives,” he said, referring to his wife, who was in the hall.

“That doesn’t mean I’m any closer to the kingdom of God than the person who is eating meat,” he said. “It simply means that I am trying to follow God’s health laws so that the frontal lobes and the delicate nerve endings can receive the impressions of the Holy Spirit in a wonderful way.”

The Adventist Church has no ban on meat eating with the exception of pork, shrimp and other meats designated as unclean in the book of Leviticus. Studies suggest that nearly half of North American Adventists are vegetarians, but many believers in other parts of the world such as South America and the former Soviet Union eat meat, and some have resolutely resisted change.

Presenters at the Geneva conference offered an abundance of scientific evidence suggesting that vegetarians live longer, healthier lives. They also pointed out that a healthy person tends to be more receptive to spiritual matters than a person who is distracted or numbed by fatigue or illness.

Wilson noted that Adventist church co-founder Ellen White foresaw that Christians awaiting Jesus’ return in the last days would not eat meat.

“I want to encourage you to read some of that and pray about it and see how the Lord impresses you in terms of your lifestyle: what you eat, what you watch, what you read, what you do. And I myself have to do the same,” he said.

Indeed, White wrote in her book Counsels on Diet and Foods: “Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it.”

Wilson, reiterating a point he made at the conference earlier in the week, stressed that vegetarianism would never determine salvation.

“I live in a healthful manner, not to earn my way to heaven, but because the Lord has told me that’s the best way to live,” he said. “And that’s what we need to share with others. I challenge you to live the lifestyle.”

‘Don’t Get Discouraged’

He told attendees to remain balanced and calm if they faced opposition from “your local church or even, God forbid, from your pastor or from a church administrator or an organization that doesn’t understand what we have been talking about this week.”

“Don’t get discouraged,” he said. “Lift people’s eyes to what Jesus did.”

Wilson said he could empathize with those tempted to feel discouraged. “Sometimes the things that people throw at me are, you know, things that aren’t very pleasant,” he said. “I’ve learned by God’s grace to just give them all to the Lord. Lean on Him.”

He then read from Matthew 5, which says: “Blessed are you when they shall revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven.”

“Go with that attitude,” Wilson said. “Be a vital missionary for Jesus. … Go in the power of Jesus. Be a vital proponent of God’s wonderful work.”

 

 

Wilson at Mich Camp-meeting Closing

Elder Wilson closed the Michigan Camp-meeting with an encouraging talk reminding God's church who we are. June 21, 2014.

 

 Victory in Jesus

 

 

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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