The Papal Sun Day

Supported by the Heathen in America

And Congress?

Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath School Lesson

Crucified and Risen

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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

 

Indian Court Rejects Bible Sabbath

In India, court refuses to reschedule Sabbath exams

                                                                            [Photo: Kuskela [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons ]

The Karnataka High Court says the Bible does not indicate that Saturday alone is the Sabbath.

 

An Indian court has rejected a Seventh-day Adventist petition to reschedule exams from Saturday, citing a lack of biblical evidence that Saturday is Sabbath and the fact that the Indian government does not recognize Sabbath on its list of official festivals.

The South Central India Union of Seventh-day Adventists, which filed the petition, vowed Thursday to appeal the June 15 ruling of the top court in Bengaluru, capital of the southwestern state of Karnataka.

The South Central India Union and a student, Justin Josh, had gone to court to challenge a local government decision to schedule pre-university exams on July 2 and 9, both Saturdays.

The petitioners said that scheduling Saturday exams violated Adventist students’ constitutional right to worship, telling the court that Adventists observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday throughout the year and do not engage in work during that time, local media reported.

But the Karnataka High Court sided with government lawyers in declaring that the Bible does not indicate that Saturday alone is the Sabbath and that it forbids a person from studying on that day, the reports said.

“Justice Aravind Kumar said the Bible verses quoted by the petitioner do not indicate that Saturday alone is a Sabbath day and that a student cannot study on that day,” The Times of India newspaper reported. “Citing several judgments of the apex court [India’s Supreme Court], he said the right to freely to profess, practice, and propagate religion under Article 25(1) of the Constitution is subject to public order, morality, health and other provisions.”

Government lawyer Puttige R. Ramesh had argued that rescheduling the II pre-university supplementary exams — which students in India take after a second, final year of studies in preparation to enter university — would cause unnecessary hardship to the more than 272,000 students who were expected to show up in Karnataka state.

He also said that the Bible made no specific mention that the Sabbath should be observed on Saturday and that the court could not direct the authorities to reschedule the exams because the Sabbath was not included in the government-published list of festivals.

Several months earlier, the South Central India Union sought unsuccessfully to convince the same court to reschedule Sabbath exams on March 14 and 26.

Cheluvaraju Ramaswamy, executive secretary of South Central India Union, said the church would appeal that latest ruling.

“We are going to appeal to the court again and show the name of the days as mentioned in the Bible,” Ramaswamy said in a statement forwarded to the Adventist Review by the church’s Southern Asia Division. “Please continue to remember us in your prayers.”

 

 

Major Evangelistic Meetings Set For Romania and Former USSR

 

Next major evangelistic series to reach Romania and former Soviet Union

Church leaders gather in Romania to lay the groundwork for the early 2017 meetings.

Days after historic evangelistic meetings ended in Rwanda, Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders gathered in Romania to prepare for a major series that will be held in early 2017 across the East European country and much of the former Soviet Union.

Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson is meeting with Romania’s 400 Adventist pastors, as well as representatives of the church’s Inter-European Division and Euro-Asia Division, in a conference center nestled in the scenic mountains of Transylvania.

Accompanying Wilson is Duane McKey, his special assistant for Total Member Involvement and director of the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department of the Adventist world church.

“Our trip to Romania is focused on meeting our church members and planning with pastors and leaders for Total Member Involvement evangelistic outreach,” Wilson said Friday. “Church members and pastors will be focusing on many programs to make friends with the public and provide a comprehensive approach to outreach.”

Total Member Involvement — the active participation of each church member in inviting people to Jesus — proved key to the success of the May 13-28 evangelistic meetings at 2,227 sites in Rwanda, church leaders say. As of last weekend, 98,298 people had been baptized as a result of those meetings, expanding the church’s membership in the African country to more than 818,000 people.

The Adventist Church has 66,385 members worshipping in about 1,100 churches in Romania, according to the most recent figures compiled by the world church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research.

Hundreds of Meeting Sites

Evangelistic meetings will be held at 2,000 to 2,500 sites on Feb. 10-25, 2017, across Romania, which part of the Inter-European Division, Wilson said. In addition, hundreds of sites will operate on the territory of the neighboring Euro-Asia Division, which encompasses Russia, 11 other former Soviet republics, and Afghanistan, in February and March, depending on weather-related factors.

“We are planning for pastors and lay members to hold hundreds of meetings all across Romania,” Wilson said, writing on his Facebook page. “In addition, the entire Euro-Asia Division is planning to participate, with hundreds of meetings across that vast division.”

Wilson, as in Rwanda, intends to lead a set of evangelistic meetings in Romania. 

Also like Rwanda, employees of the General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist world church, and other church workers will be invited to join several thousand local pastors and lay members in preaching at sites in Romania and the former Soviet Union, McKey said.

Wilson and his wife, Nancy, who spent a week in the United States after leaving Rwanda on May 29, arrived in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, on Wednesday, June 8, and immediately met at the Romanian presidential palace with two senior state officials: Sergiu Nistor, presidential counselor for culture, religious affairs, and national centennial activities, and Diana Lorena Păun, state counselor on public health.

“The meeting represented an opportunity to get acquainted, to acknowledge existing cooperation between the presidential administration, public authorities, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and to discuss aspects that are important for Romanian Adventist believers,” Dragoș Mușat, director of public affairs and religious liberty for the Adventist Church in Romania, told the Adventist Review.

At the meeting, Nistor expressed his appreciation for the ongoing development of Adventist educational and healthcare systems in the country and spoke specifically about plans to build Romania’s first Adventist hospital, the local church said in an e-mailed statement. Church leaders hope to unveil the plans for the hospital in Târgu-Mores in the near future, it said.

Speaking With Pastors

On Thursday, Wilson headed up the mountains of Transylvania for the gathering of 400 pastors and other church leaders in Stupini. They met in a church-owned conference center on property seized by Romania’s former communist government years ago and returned to the church around 2000.

Between serious discussions and earnest prayers, Wilson enjoyed a light moment when he was introduced to a Romanian pastor who bears a resemblance to him. They took a photo together.

“At the meeting with the 400 pastors, I met my Romania ‘twin,’” Wilson wrote beside the photo on his Facebook page. “People tell him we look alike. What a privilege to be brothers in Christ!”

Wilson, meanwhile, appealed to church members worldwide to join the church leaders in Romania in prayer.

“I will pray that this massive Total Member Involvement evangelistic outreach will be blessed by God beyond imagination and the latter rain will fall,” he told the Adventist Review. “It could be the re-ignition of Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic zeal in Europe!”

 

 

97,344 Baptisms in Rwanda

 

Historic evangelism meetings in Rwanda yield 97,344 baptisms

                                                                   Photo:  East-Central Africa Division

Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, says members in Rwanda have set an example to the rest of the world church.

A record breaking 97,344 people in Rwanda committed themselves to Christ and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church through baptism as a result of an evangelistic series that took place throughout the country from May 13 – May 28. 

Additional baptisms connected to ongoing meetings during the next few weeks are expected to bring the total to more than 100,000, making the series the largest of its kind in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 

In his remarks, Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, commended the Church in Rwanda for being an unprecedented model of “Total Member Involvement." 

“You are an example for the entire world. We praise God for that,” Wilson told a crowd of 6,000 people at the final Sabbath worship service in the city of Gisenyi

“Total Member Involvement” is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that encourages its 19.1 million members worldwide to find ways to share Jesus with friends and community members. The previous record was 30,000 baptisms after a two-week evangelistic series in Zimbabwe in May 2015. 

Herson Byilingiro, president of the church in Rwanda, observed that many were amazed at the level of the members’ participation throughout the evangelistic series.   

Through their interactions and outreach ministries with locals in their communities, Church members throughout Rwanda embodied sermons. Members gave cows to the most vulnerable people in their communities, paid for health insurance, built and rehabilitated houses, paved roads, visited the sick and incarcerated, built bridges, and donated food and clothes. The value of all the time and goods donated exceeded more than 262,571,070 Rwandian Francs, or $335,773 (USD). 

With the newest additions to the church in Rwanda, local membership has topped 815,000 in the country of 11.8 million people.

 

 

Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division President Resigns

 

Paul Ratsara Steps Aside as SID President

Paul Ratsara in Pretoria, South Africa, July 2013.        (photo: Daryl Gungadoo / ANN)

Adventist Church president Ted Wilson thanks Ratsara for his many years of church service.

Paul Ratsara has resigned as president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division of Seventh-day Adventists in what he described as an effort “to refocus the church that I love, back to its God-given mission.” 

The General Conference Executive Committee, voting Tuesday, accepted a request from Ratsara to step aside for possible reassignment as a local church district pastor in his home Indian Ocean Union, which includes Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles. 

“To refocus the church that I love, back to its God-given mission, and to prevent it continuing to be distracted, I have humbly decided to voluntarily request reassignment as a local church district pastor somewhere within the territory of the Indian Ocean Union, my home union,” Ratsara said in a letter to the General Conference Executive Committee, the top decision-making body of the Adventist world church. 

Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, thanked Ratsara for serving as division president since 2005 and, before that, as the division’s executive secretary. 

“We thank Paul Ratsara and his wife, Joanne, for their dedication to the cause of God and Pastor Ratsara’s many years of service to the church,” Wilson said. “Many positive aspects of church growth in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division have taken place under his leadership. We will pray for God’s guidance and blessing on their continued witness for the Lord.” 

Ratsara’s decision came after questions were raised within the territory of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division about an academic degree held by Ratsara.

Ratsara received a Doctor of Theology degree in systematic theology in 2014 from the University of South Africa, or Unisa, the largest university in the country. 

It will be up to a local conference or field to invite Ratsara to work as a district pastor. 

Ratsara said he would serve Jesus in any way he could.

“I love the Word of God, the preaching of the Word, and will enjoy focusing on helping church members value the beauty of evangelistic activities and witnessing through Total Member Involvement,” he said in his letter to the General Conference Executive Committee.

Solomon Maphosa, executive secretary of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, will function as the division’s acting president until the election of a new president.

 

Revelation of Hope Rwanda

Evangelistic meetings at over 2,200 sites in Rwanda has resulted in a large harvest. Close to 30,000 were baptized prior to last Sabbath when many more were scheduled to testify of their commitment to live for Christ. Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh Day Adventist Church has been preaching in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religious Liberty Summit Reveals Lack of Concern

The 2016 International Religious Liberty Summit gives advocates a platform to address scarce media coverage of worldwide discrimination and persecution cases

The 2016 International Religious Liberty Summit gives advocates a platform to address scarce media coverage of worldwide discrimination and persecution cases

A panel discussion on strategies for international religious freedom engagement included (from left) Michael Wear, former director of faith outreach for President Obama’s 2012 campaign; Brian Bachman, senior advisor to the Ambassador at Large, Office of International Religious Freedom at the US State Department; Elizabeth Cassidy, acting co-director for policy and research at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom; and, Dr. Chris Sieple, President Emeritus of the Institute for Global Engagement. Dwayne Leslie, associate director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, served as the panel's moderator. [Photo: Maria Bryk/Newseum]

The Seventh-day Adventist Church organized the summit, which took place in Washington D.C., to highlight its core value of protecting religious freedom for all.

As religious freedom continues to deteriorate around the world, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has brought together a broad range of advocacy organizations and public leaders to consider ways to drive the issue higher on the public agenda.

The 2016 International Religious Liberty Summit, held May 24 at the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Center in downtown Washington, D.C., focused on what has become a key concern for religious freedom advocates—the relatively scarce media and political attention given to rising rates of religious discrimination and persecution. The Pew Research Center estimates that some 5 billion people globally face significant religious restrictions, and one in three people live in places where religious freedom is severely restricted.

“There are cries of the persecuted that we are refusing to hear,” said former United States Congressman Frank Wolf, one of the keynote speakers at the Summit. Wolf, who was a leading supporter of religious freedom legislation during his 36 years in Congress, now works closely with the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, an organization that raises awareness of religious freedom violations around the world.

At the Summit, Wolf described visits to Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan and China where he encountered, first-hand, the tragic consequences of persecution by repressive regimes and those motivated by religious bigotry and intolerance.

“We need to be clear-eyed about the times in which we live,” said Wolf, and he urged those present to not to allow the persecuted to become “faceless, nameless victims in distant wars and hard to pronounce prison cells.”

Dwayne Leslie, associate director of Adventist Church’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department, organized the Summit, and said the event reflected the Church’s more than 150-year commitment to defending freedom of religion of belief for all people, no matter what their faith.

According to Leslie, interest in the Summit exceeded expectations—plans were originally made for 120 attendees, but registration soon surpassed that number, and reached capacity of 250 people. The tremendous interest, Leslie believes, stemmed largely from the practical, hands-on approach of the Summit.

“As I talked to people throughout the day,” says Leslie, “I heard that they were forming new relationships, discovering new ideas for how to get their message out, beginning to think in terms of collaborating with others to push toward shared goals.”

It is this pragmatic, results-focused approach to religious freedom advocacy that Leslie hopes will be a long-term legacy of the Summit. 

“The state of religious freedom around the world is clear,” he said. “But the focus of this Summit was to ask: How can we be better advocates for religious liberty? How can we be more effective in raising awareness of discrimination and persecution, and in mobilizing a response? How do we get our message out and get things done?” 

Realizing the vital importance of media outreach, Leslie drew several prominent journalists into the conversation. E.J Dionne, Jr., renowned political commentator and syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, was the Summit’s second keynote speaker. He warned against the danger of allowing the current culture wars in the United States to narrow the understanding of religious freedom issues globally.

“In the international sphere,” he said, “it's life or death." 

Other journalists speaking at the Summit were Lynn Sweet, Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief for the Chicago-Sun Times, Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Doyle McManus, syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and David Cook, Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief for the Christian Science Monitor. In a wide-ranging panel discussion, they reflected on the relative lack of media attention for international religious freedom issues, and offered advice to advocates for more effective media engagement.

The 2016 International Religious Liberty Summit was co-sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and by the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Center. It was funded by Adventist donors who wanted to support and enhance the Church’s religious freedom advocacy efforts. The Summit was live-streamed by both the Newseum and ABC News. Video of the entire Summit will be available next month on the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Center website:  religiousfreedomcenter.org

 

 

Problems in the the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID)

General Conference releases statement on Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division review

General Conference releases statement on Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division review
 

Church members are invited to pray.

May 26, 2016 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) is working with the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) in reference to questions raised about division leadership. Since this is an ongoing review, certain details remain unclear. We invite you to join us in prayer as we work through this matter.

 

 

Rwanda Evangelistic Meetings

Nearly 30,000 baptized halfway through Rwanda’s evangelistic meetings

Baptism in Rwanda's Lake Kivu on Sabbath, May 21. [Photo: Andrew McChesney / AR]

 

Nearly 30,000 people have been baptized partway through a Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic series in Rwanda, putting the local church on course to reach 100,000 baptisms by next weekend and encouraging members to replicate the effort next year, church leaders said Sunday.

A total of 29,029 people accepted Jesus through baptism on Sabbath, May 21, the midway point of two weeks of evangelistic meetings at more than 2,200 sites across the African country. Local church leaders set a goal of 30 baptisms, or a total of 60,000, at each site ahead of the meetings, and they are now praying that 100,000 people will be baptized.

Many meeting sites reported that baptismal candidates were asking to be baptized on the last Sabbath of the evangelistic series, raising the possibility that the largest mass baptism in the Adventist Church’s history will take place May 28.

“People want to be baptized next Sabbath. That means we’ll have a big number next Sabbath,” said Sophonie Setako, president of the Adventist Church’s North-West Rwanda Field, where 1,385 people were baptized last Sabbath, including 415 in the picturesque Lake Kivu.

Information from various sites in the North-West Rwanda Field confirmed that much bigger numbers could be expected next Sabbath. For example, 82 people were ready for baptism last Sabbath at the Kanyefurwe Seventh-day Adventist Church in the town of Mahoko, where about 1,000 people are attending nightly meetings. But only 21 were baptized because the rest asked for May 28, local leaders said.

In any case, Rwanda is already close to making Adventist history with last Sabbath’s baptisms. The previously largest baptism occurred in May 2015 when 30,000 people were baptized after a countrywide evangelistic series in Zimbabwe.

On May 13, when the evangelistic meetings began, Rwanda had about 720,000 Adventist members among its largely Christian population of 11.8 million.

“A Precious Sight”

Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson, who is preaching at a site in Gisenyi near Lake Kivu, said he was touched to see people gathering on the lakeshore at 9:30 a.m. Sabbath to be baptized by about a dozen pastors.

“It was a precious sight to see all those robed candidates marching into the water,” he said. “God is certainly pouring out His blessing in an incredible way in Total Member Involvement in Rwanda.”

Wilson especially spoke about his joy at seeing an 89-year-old woman named Martha hobble to the water with a walking stick in one hand and the supportive arm of a friend in the other. Martha had attended evangelistic meetings led by Wilson’s wife, Nancy, every night.

Nancy Wilson, who is leading her first series, had tears in her eyes as Martha recommitted herself to Christ.

“Years ago she was baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist, but she wandered away from God and left the church,” said Nancy Wilson, seated beside Martha before the baptism. One arm was wrapped around Martha’s shoulders. “But when she heard about the meetings, she started coming. And she was re-convicted of biblical truth and wanted to be re-baptized today. I am thrilled to see Martha.”

The baptisms are the result of months of efforts dubbed locally as “Total Membership Involvement,” in a nod an Adventist world church initiative that encourages each of the world church’s 19.1 million members to find ways to actively share Jesus in their communities. 

The groundwork began with local and world church leaders providing training to church members, and the members then giving Bible studies in their communities to prepare them for the evangelistic meetings.

Following Rwanda’s Example

Rwanda’s experience has been an inspiration to many church members and will be duplicated across the division annually, said Joel Okindoh, director of evangelism for the church’s East-Central Africa Division, which encompasses 11 countries, including Rwanda. 

Starting next month, Okindoh said, each church member in the division will be challenged to lead one person to Christ over the next year under the motto: “Total Member Involvement: Win one. Lose none. Make all disciples.”

“This is our application of Total Member Involvement,” Okindoh said.

A similar concept is already in place in southern Africa. Under a program called “One Member, One Soul,” the church’s Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division challenges each member to bring at least one person to Christ every year.

The East-Central Africa Division’s yearlong initiative will culminate in two weeks of evangelistic meetings at the end of June 2017, Okindoh said.

“It’s a first trial that we will have with the experience we have gained here,” he said. “We want to see where the Lord will lead us.”

 

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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