Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reviewing the Adventist Review

September 27, 2012
Vol. 189, No.27

This is the revival issue. It’s not often I quote an author as extensively as I am about to do. Ted Wilson’s notion of current “revival” could be lifted out of a 19th century Adventist pamphlet describing the Second Coming, a description of the righteous saved, and the magical power bestowed upon those who uncritically read and contemplate the Word in light of the Sacred 28. Ted’s long quote will be followed by excerpts from other contributors who echo Wilson’s sentiments and a story about how a CD of Christian songs expelled an evil spirit.

Finally, I’ll include a quote from Ellen White that seems to me to provide a cautionary historical footnote to these current proclamations about end-time events. (Since she wrote those words, there have been World Wars I & II, Korea, Viet Nam, Rwanda, and various other horrific genocides.)

The Truth as It Is in Jesus
As we live in this momentous time of earth’s history it is particularly important that we understand how all of our doctrines are centered in Jesus.

Soon end-time events will be upon us. Soon Christ will return and ultimately place the final penalty on Satan. The blood of Jesus Christ, our sacrifice, on the cross and the ministry of our high priest, Jesus Christ, in the heavenly sanctuary have one purpose—that you and I and all who submit to Him, confessing our sins and accepting Him as our Savior, may be made right with God and have eternal life through Christ’s all-encompassing ministry. We do not have to fear the judgment if we know the Lamb—if we know the High Priest and our coming King.

The Coming King
It is important to understand the sequence of what will happen in the near future. When Christ comes at His second coming, all eyes shall see Him. This will be the blessed hope that we are waiting for and that I believe is to take place very soon. We see even now that things around us are falling apart. Matthew 24 tells us of the signs of His coming. We have only to look around us at the economic upheaval, political instability, devastating illnesses, and social and moral decay to see these signs being fulfilled. There already are ecumenical movements aimed at creating a unified religious system that will oppose the worship of God on the seventh-day Sabbath and ultimately eliminate religious liberty and promote a substitute day of worship.

When He does come that second time, His feet will not touch this earth, but we will rise up into the heavenly cloud “to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17). Prior to His glorious return, however, Satan will seek to “deceive the very elect,” as the King James Version of Matthew 24:24 tells us. Satan will attempt to transform himself into an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) and will try to impersonate Christ. How will you and I know this impostor from the real Christ? Imagine the frenzied media coverage that will supposedly “prove” to all that this “christ” is real. “Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect.”4 We will not be able to trust our physical senses. We will have to have our spiritual eyes renewed by the Holy Spirit. We will need to be so in tune with our Savior, so familiar with His voice in the Word, that we will be able to “live by faith” (Rom. 1:17) in earth’s darkest hour.

Near the Finish Line
I believe that God’s dream of a finished work will soon be realized. I am confident that as we seek to know Jesus better, God will pour out His Holy Spirit without measure. He will use us to proclaim His truth, and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14, NKJV). The work of God on earth will be completed. Jesus will come as the Mighty Deliverer. He will come as the King of kings and Lord of lords to take His children home.

Angel Manuel Rodríguez: MAKING GOD’S WORD OUR OWN
God’s Word and Me
We are the addressed of the Word of God. He speaks to us as Creator and Redeemer because we have to know His plan and His will for us. We have to come out of our existential darkness into the light of a meaningful life.

Bonita Joyner Shields: HEART AND SOIL
Good Soil, Good Harvest
What is your heart made of? Do you value God’s Word? Are you rooted in His Word so that you can withstand the temptations of the enemy? Do you want Him to calm your anxious heart? Whatever the condition of your heart, God is willing and able to plant His seeds of life within it.

Pray for a pure heart. Hear, understand, accept, and obey His Word. Abide in Him, looking to Him for growth. He will accomplish it—even in the most unlikely places.

Lessons for the Promised Land
As world history rushes to its end we are standing again as a church at the border of the Promised Land. Sometimes we forget this, especially when the valleys of acacias are in blossom.

Accepting God’s Call 
We are living on the edge of eternity. Solemn and frightening days threaten our safety. How the angels must weep as they see the condition of the Laodicean church—a people who are blind to their needs and the dangerous times.

Voiced With Sincerity
True new light must be distinguished from the so-called new light of heresy. We do this by checking Scripture. The Holy Spirit will not contradict Himself in what He teaches. We also check with the community of true believers. On a personal level, we study broadly and avoid hobby horses.

A Practical Suggestion
Some years ago a pastor received a phone call asking if he could come and pray a blessing of God over someone’s house. Apparently a woman named Glenda had recently been widowed, and the superstition of her culture had taught that her dead husband’s spirit would come to visit the house for 40 days after his death. About a week after his death she began to hear rapping sounds in the part of the house in which he had died. Glenda was an educated woman, but she didn’t know how to handle this supernatural phenomenon. As the pastor prepared to go to Glenda’s house, he was impressed to take a CD of Scripture songs with him. He encouraged Glenda to play it in her home and to hide God’s words in her heart. The next morning Glenda called excitedly: “The rapping is gone!” The evil spirit harassing Glenda had been expelled from her house by the power of the Word of God! Glenda experienced the revitalizing power of God’s Word, and her life was transformed.

Revival Fuels Mission—and Mission Revival
This article has been excerpted from a piece first published in The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 13, 1888. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.

The law of God is being trampled underfoot, the blood of the covenant is being despised; and can we fold our hands and say that we have nothing to do? Let us arouse! The battle is waging. Truth and Error are nearing their final conflict. Let us march under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, and fight the good fight of faith, and win eternal honors; for the truth will triumph, and we may be more than conquerors through Him who has loved us. The precious hours of probation are closing. Let us make sure work for eternal life, that we may glorify our heavenly Father, and be the means of saving souls for whom Christ died.

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