IS SUNDAY THE LORD’S DAY?


To my Pentecostal, Catholic, Anglican, Methodist brothers and sisters. Have you ever search the Scripture to know what is TRUTH?

Isaiah wrote:

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

Moses also wrote:

“at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Deut 19:15

Jesus Christ repeated the same words:

“in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Matt 18:26

WHAT IS THE LORD’S DAY?

Apostle John said, “I was in the Spirit on the LORD’s DAY, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” Rev 1:10

WHO ARE THE WITNESSES TO THESE FACT?

Witness 1: MARK

Mark said Jesus is the Lord of the sabbath (Seventh day) and not first day (sunday) or any other day.

“And he (Jesus) said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man (JESUS) is LORD also of the sabbath.” Mark 2:27, 28

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Seventh day) and not the Lord of Sunday.

Witness 2: MATTHEW

Matthew also witness to what mark wrote that Jesus is the LORD of the sabbath day. Matthew said sabbath day, showing that the sabbath is a DAY that means one can’t decide to chose any other day apart from the DAY Jesus is LORD of.

“For the Son of man (JESUS) is LORD even of the SABBATH DAY.” Matthew 12:8

Witness 3: ISAIAH

Isaiah is another witness who identified the authority of God on the Sabbath by calling it “MY HOLY DAY.” No where in the Bible has GOD called the First day of the week (SUNDAY) my holy day.

“If thou turn away thy foot from the SABBATH, from doing thy pleasure on MY HOLY DAY; and call the sabbath a delight, the HOLY OF THE LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words” Isaiah 58:13

Witness 4: MOSES

The Sabbath is the seventh day, and the seventhday is Saturday and not Sunday. SUNDAY was never appointed as a holy day by God.

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Gen 2:2, 3

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the SEVENTH DAY IS THE SABBATH OF THE LORD THY GOD: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11

Witness 5. LUKE

Luke a gentile convert to christianity, wrote that the disciples of Jesus went back home to keep the sabbath according to the commandment given to them by God. They would rather obey God’s commandment than anoiting Christ’s body.

“And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:54-56

I pray the Lord will teach us his word better.

IDENTIFYING CHRIST BIRTHDAY: A BIBLE STUDY ON CHRISTMAS (Part 2)


WAIT A MINUTE! You need to study Part 1 before moving further.

In part 1 we identified the Priestly order among the 24 courses ordained by King David and we also saw from the Bible the various  months in the Jewish calendar. It would be advisable to study part 1 before studying part 2. The two tables below in this present article summarizes part 1.

Also in part 1, we  clearly said that, “To understand Christ birth, we need to understand his cousin’s birth, John the Baptist. The Birth of John the Baptist will shed more light on Christ birth. Malachi wrote about John as the messenger that will prepare the way of the Lord.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” Mal 3:1.

John was the lesser light that was to shed light on God’s word for people of God in relation to Jesus ministry. Therefore, in God’s infinite wisdom, John’s birth will shed light on Christ birth.”

Again, i will encourage us to study the two tables below and part 1 before we continue the study. Therefore we will pick up from where we stop yesterday.

Q: When was John the Baptist conceived by Elizabeth? That is, when did Elizabeth became pregnant?

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia . . .” Luke 1:5.

“And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his [Zachariah’s] ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying” Luke 1:23-24.

Following the Jewish calendar, Zachariah’s schedule of courses will fall on the 10th week of the month of Sivan because he is from the course of Abia (also called Abijah, 1 Chron 24:10). Sivan is the 3rd month in the Jewish calendar year which falls from mid of May to mid of June (May-June). Abijah is the 8th course which means two of the three major feast most have occurred before the 8th course, that is, the feast of unleavened bread (15-21 Nisan) and the feast of weeks or Pentecost (6 Sivan). Infact the course of Abijah (Abia) begins immediately after the Pentecost because the feast of Pentecost begins first week of the month of Sivan (May-June).

Zachariah’s duty in the temple must then begin on the second Sabbath of the third month (Sivan); this is Sabbath evening because the Pentecost will be ending to the evening of the Sabbath in the third week in the same month of Sivan.

We were told Zachariah ended his duty in the temple on the 3rd Sabbath in the month of Sivan after which he returned home “and after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five month.” Luke 1:23.

Therefore, John undoubtedly must have been conceived by Elisabeth in the month of Sivan (May-June) but the exact day is not known. But we are convinced without doubt, from scriptural evidence that Elizabeth conceived or became pregnant in the month of Sivan.

Q: When was Jesus conceived? Or when did Mary became pregnant with Jesus?

“And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.” Luke 1:24-25

Take note: Elizabeth hid herself for 5 months after conception. This is very important in order to understand Christ birth.

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27

The same Angel that appeared to Zachariah now appeared to Mary, a virgin in the city of Galilee in the Sixth month. This sixth month is also the sixth month of Elizabeth conception.

“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.” Luke 1:36.

Notice the Angel explaining to us that the 6th month of Elizabeth pregnancy is the first month of Mary’s conception. Now let is carefully do the calculation:

The 6th month spoken of here is not 6th month of the Jewish calendar which is called Elul (August-September). The 6th month Angel Gabriel is talking about is the month of Kislev. Kislev is the 9th month in the Jewish calendar (Nov-Dec). When we count 6 months from the month when Elizabeth conceived (became pregnant) which is the month of Sivan (May-June) we will arrive late in the 9th month of Kislev (Nov-Dec).

Mary conceived Christ 6 months after Elizabeth conceived John.

Elizabeth conceived in the month of Sivan (May-June) which is the 3rd month of the Jewish calendar.

Mary conceived 6 months after in the month of Kislev (Nov-Dec) which is the 9th month of the Jewish calendar.

It is imperative to note also that the first day of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah which is also called the feast of Light or rededication of temples falls on the 25th day of December.

“The other postexilic holiday was Hanukkah, a festival which began on the twenty-fifth day of Kislev (Dec.) and lasted eight days. Josephus referred to it as the Feast of Lights because a candle was lighted each successive day until a total of eight was reached. The festival commemorates the victories of Judas Maccabeus in 167 B.C. At that time, when Temple worship was reinstituted, after an interruption of three years, a celebration of eight days took place. The modern celebration does not greatly affect the routine duties of everyday life. This feast is referred to in John 10:22, where it is called the feast of dedication.”—Holman Bible Dictionary.

This feast of light lasted for 8 days. Jesus certainly must have been conceived in the womb of Mary during this period because Jesus is the light of the world.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. (see also John 9:15, 12:46)

Q: When was John the Baptist given birth?

Thank God for His word. Through His Apostles and Prophets, God have revealed enough to us that we might not err. We were told by Apostle Luke that Mary stayed with Elizabeth in her house for 3 months after she heard Elizabeth was pregnant.

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. 57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.” Luke 1:56-57.

This means that Mary was already pregnant for 3 months when she went visiting Elizabeth had been pregnant for 6 months in addition to the 3 months of Mary’s stay making it 9 months of Elizabeth pregnancy. No wonder vs 57 says, “Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.” Her full time came when Mary returned to her own house after she had stayed with her for 3 months.

To recap, Elizabeth conceived on the 3rd month of Sivan (May-June), when we project 6 months of her pregnancy forward plus 3 months of Mary stay making 9 months, we will arrive at the month of Nisan (March-April).

This proves that John the Baptist must have been born in the middle of the month of Nisan probably around the feast of unleavened bread which begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan/Abib.

Q: What about Jesus? When was He given birth?

We can now clearly see that answering this question would not be difficult given the conception month of John the Baptist. We have previously identified that Jesus was conceived six months after John the Baptist was conceived. We have also established the likely date of John’s birth was 15th Nisan (Abib). Also we know Mary had been in pregnancy for 3 month when John was given birth. All we need do is to project 6 months forward from the 15th of Nisan to arrive at a likely date of 15th day of the 7th month of Tishri or Ethanim (September-October). What happen on the 15th of Tishri? The feast of Tabernacles or the feast of ingatherings or the feast of booths.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.” Lev 23:33-34.

The feast began on the fifteenth day of Tishri (the seventh month), which was five days after the day of atonement. It lasted for seven days (Leviticus 23:36 ; Deuteronomy 16:13 ; Ezekiel 45:25 ).[1]

The Feast of Booths took place on Tishri 15, five days after the Day of Atonement, in what is now mid-October.[2] 

The feast of Tabernacles was the last of the feast to which all men of Israel were to gather in Jerusalem for temple services (Lev 23:34). It is also the 3rd of the major feast in the Jewish calendar year.

At this point, it would be imperative for us to study the tables below for more understanding. This two tables give us a better understanding of what we are discussion. Table 1 below gives the weekly schedule of priest. On the 3rd week all the priest will have to gather in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. This will also be done for the feast of Pentecost and the feast of Tabernacle (ingathering) which falls on the 7th month of Tishri as we can see in Table 2.

Table 1

 

 

1st Month 2nd Month 3rd Month 4th Month
Abib – Nisan
(March – April)
Zif – Iyyar
(April – May)
Sivan
(May – June)
Tammuz

(June – July)

First Week Jehoiarib (1) Seorim (4) All Priests
(Pentecost)
Eliashib (11)
Second Week Jedaiah (2) Malchijah (5) Abijah (8) Jakim (12)
Third Week All Priests
(Feast of Unleavened Bread)
Mijamin (6) Jeshuah (9) Huppah (13)
Fourth Week Harim (3) Hakkoz (7) Shecaniah (10) Jeshebeab (14)

 

Table 2

Jewish month Begins the
New moon of
John the Baptist Jesus christ
1. Abib / Nisan March-April

(Feast of Unleavened bread)

Birth of John
15 Nisan
  4
2. Zif / Iyyar April-May   5
3. Sivan May-June

(Feast of Pentecost)

Conception of John
after 3rd Sabbath
  6
4. Tammuz June-July 1   7
5. Ab / Av July-August 2   8
6. Elul August-September 3   9
7. Ethanim / Tishri September-October

(Feast of Tabernacle)

4 Birth of Jesus
15 Tishri
8. Bul / Marheshvan / Heshvan October-November 5
9. Chisleu / Chislev / Kislev November-December 6 Conception of Jesus
25 Kislev ?
10. Tebeth / Tevet December-January 7   1
11. Shebat / Shevat January-February 8   2

Courtesy:  Michael Scheifler

 

 

 

 

[1] Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for ‘Festivals’. Holman Bible Dictionary. http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/f/festivals.html. 1991.

[2] Elwell, Walter A. Entry for ‘Feasts And Festivals of Israel’. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bed/f/feasts-and-festivals-of-israel.html. 1996.

IDENTIFYING CHRIST BIRTHDAY: A BIBLE STUDY ON CHRISTMAS (Part 1)


Christmas: Should We Celebrate It?

Among the faithful, those seeking to obey all that the Holy Spirit has revealed to humanity through the Scripture, there have been a never ending discussion that often spring up every year about CHRISTMAS. The question most Youths and Elders in Church often ask is: “Should we celebrate Christmas?” And I would say, “This is a sincere question which, if asked with the desire to know the truth, the Holy Spirit, through His revealed word will give an answer.” In this series of articles which I would divide in parts due to length, the reader will have an answer to the following questions:

  1. Can we know when Christ was given birth from the Bible?
  2. Is Christmas Biblical?
  3. Where does it come from?
  4. What does history and scholars have to say?
  5. What does Ellen G. White say?

Also my intention is not to make this topic too long to avoid boredom, thus I will divide them in parts for every day reading. To have an exhaustive discussion of the historical study, I will direct us to download a fascinating book written by Elder Vance Ferrell titled The real story behind: Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. Just click on the title of the book and it will download in PDF format. Before downloading, make sure you have adobe reader on your device. Some of what the reader will learn from these series of article will be extracted from the Book. My primary focus is to compare the Old testament with the New testament to give us an understanding. This present article is the first part and subsequent parts will be posted soon. I will welcome any criticism and comment  but let us base it on the word and in Love.

Q: Why this study?

As sincere Christian, there is nothing wrong when we ask questions about the prevailing customs in our day and we should not rest until he receives an answer because Christ will ask judge us according to our works (Rev 22:12).  We should be ready to give an answer to them that ask of the hope that is us. Apostle Peter wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”1 Peter 3:15. As Bible Christians, we should say like the Psalmist, “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed” Psalms 119:46. As Christians, when we as asked about Bible topic, we should with meekness and fear in the Lord give an answer to them and never walk out on them. But this reply can only come when we have the word abiding in us and the Holy Spirit teaching us. The Holy Spirit cannot remind you of what He has not taught you. He will bring all things to your remembrance when you have previously learn from Him in your private devotional time. When it comes to the issue of Christmas, you cannot give a true testimony with meekness and Love when you have not been under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.

I once argued about this particular topic and I found myself doing more harm to the hearer than blessing them, all because I didn’t allow the Holy Spirit to teach me. I discussed the issue in the flesh and allowed my emotion to give way. I pray the readers of this article would not be like the old me. It is better we humble ourselves before the Lord and exalt His word, than exalting ourselves before the Lord which often leads to spiritual disaster.

Q: Was Christ born on December 25TH?

“The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour’s birth. History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, He would have spoken through His prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes.”[1]

It is true the Bible did not give us the precise time of Christ birth, but we can induce from Scripture evidences using the Old Testament feast days and types to locate the likely time period Christ was born.

Was He actually born on the 25th of December as generally accepted by the world both with believers and unbelievers? Can we determine the likely date of Christ birth from the Scripture? These and many more will be looked into in this fascinating question and answer study.

To understand Christ birth, we need to understand his cousin’s birth, John the Baptist. The Birth of John the Baptist will shed more light on Christ birth. Malachi wrote about John as the messenger that will prepare the way of the Lord.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” Mal 3:1.

John was the lesser light that was to shed light on God’s word for people of God in relation to Jesus ministry. Therefore, in God’s infinite wisdom, John’s birth will shed light on Christ birth.

Q: Of what course (class) was Zachariah, the father of John Baptist, from?

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.” Luke 1:5-9

As a priest, Zachariah was of the course of Abia. It was his duty to execute the priest’s office before God according to the order of courses. An angel appeared to him and gave him a message about his unborn son and after which he went home.

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying” Luke 1:23-24

Q: Into how many groups did king David divided the sons of Aaron, Ithamar and Eleazar?

“Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office. 3 And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service. 4 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.” 1 Chron 24:1-4.

Not that, sixteen chief me from the sons of Eleazar plus eight among the sons of Ithamar will give us 24 priests.

“11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, 12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: 13 Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.” 1 Chron 28:11-13

King David divided them into 24 groups and setup a schedule by which the temple of the Lord was to be staffed and organized all year by the priests. Lots were drawn to determine the sequence in which each group is to serve in the Temple (see 1 Chron 24:7-19).

Q: When is each of the 24 courses of priests to begin and end their Temple services?

“So the Levites and all Judah did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, and took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that were to go out on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses.” 2 Chron 23:8

“And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king’s son. 5 And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king’s house; 6 And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down. 7 And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king. 8 And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in. 9 And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.” 2 Kings 11:4-9

The Priest in each course was to begin on the evening of the Sabbath and end the evening of the following Sabbath. That is, the tour of duty was to be for one week from Sabbath to Sabbath.

Q: How many times were the men of Israel to appear before the Lord in a year to celebrate God’s festivals?

Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. 17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.” Ex 23:14-17.

Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.” Ex 34:23.

Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty” Deut 16:16.

They were to appear 3 times in a year to celebrate 3 major festivals which include:

  • Feast of Unleavened bread;
  • Feast of weeks (or Feast of Pentecost);
  • Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of ingathering or Feast of Booths.

Q: When does the Jewish Calendar begins and when does it end?

In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.”  Esth 3:7

“And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” Esth 3:13.

Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)  . . . To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly.” Esth. 9:1, 12.

According to Holman Bible Dictionary:

“The earliest practice was to use the Canaanite month-names, of which four survive in the Bible: Abib (March-April); Ziv (April-May); Ethanim (September-October); and Bul (October-November) (Ex. 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; 1 Kings 6:1,37-38; 8:3). The other Canaanite months are known from Phoenician inscriptions. These are all agricultural names and reflect a seasonal pattern of reckoning, as in the Gezer calendar. . .

When the Jews returned from Babylonian Exile, they brought with them the names of the Babylonian calendar, at the same time counting the new year from the spring. Although the rabbis returned to an autumnal new year, Judaism retains these Babylonian names as its own: Nisan (March-April); Iyyar (April-May); Sivan (May-June); Tammuz (June-July); Ab (July-August); Elul (August-September); Tishri (September-October); Marcheshvan (October-November); Chishylev (November-December); Tebeth (December-January); Shebat (January-February); Adar (February-March). The intercalated year is called WeAdar, “and-Adar.”[1]

The Jewish calendar begins in the spring during the month of Nisan (or Abib) and the 12th month, which is the last month of the year, is the month of Adar.  We are presently using the Gregorian calendar which is different from the Calendar in Bible times. Therefore, in this study we are focusing on the Bible calendar.

Let us now go back to the 24 course of priest and their duties. The first course of priest would be the family of Jehoiarib (1 Chron 24:7). According to the instruction given from the Lord to David, this family of priest will serve in the first month of Nisan (Abib) from Sabbath to Sabbath making 7 days. This family will serve in the first week of the first month.

The second week will then be the the responsibility of the course of Jedaiah (1 Chron 24:7). The 3rd week would be the feast of unleavened bread. This is what the Lord said about this feast:

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.” Ex 12:18

“Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.” Ex 13:6-7.

“Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)” Ex 23:15.

“The Passover was also called the feast of unleavened bread (Ex. 23:15; Deut. 16:16) because only unleavened bread was eaten during the seven days immediately following Passover (Ex. 12:15-20; 13:6-8; Deut. 16:3-8).” —Holman Bible Dictionary.

The Month of Nisan is also called Abib (Ex 23:15; Esther 3:7). The month of Abib is the month of Exodus and Passover which is falls from March-April. Abib is the month of young barley ears or tender Crop. It is the first month of the Jewish calendar year.

Therefore, in the beginning of the third week at Sabbath evening, which is “fourteenth day of the month at even” in the month of Nisan or Abib, all priest were to gather in Jerusalem for the service and to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread.

After this week, the schedule will begin in the fourth week with the family of Harim in the evening of the Sabbath as the feast of unleavened bread is ending (1 Chron 24:8). The rotation will continue to the 24th course after which the priest the cycle will repeat its course.

51 weeks will be covered or 357 days. This means that, in one year, each course of priest would have served in the temple twice. When we add to their schedules the 3 major festivals, each of the priest duty in the temple would be 5 weeks because in the remaining 3 weeks added, all the priest must be present in Jerusalem to partake in the temple services.

Having this background and knowledge of the priestly service, duty and the major feasts let us now turn our attention to the life of Zachariah, Elizabeth and John the Baptist their son.

Continued in the next study . . . Watch out.

[1] Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for ‘Calendars’. Holman Bible Dictionary. http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/c/calendars.html. 1991

[1] Ellen G. White, Adventist Home, 477

The Trinity VS Anti-Trinity: The Debate continues.


In recent times among the Seventh-day Adventist brethren, there have been a fast growing anti-trinitarian movements which are proposing to the flock of God that “the Holy Spirit is a force or energy of holy influence from the Father and the Son.” What is even more scaring is that, both camps (i.e, the Trinitarians and anti-Trinitarians) base their study and argument on the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White making those who are not conversant with the scriptures and Sister White writings to feel uncomfortable and discouraged.

This present study is not an extensive one, but it is written for those who are willing to further their study and search for truth amidst the prevailing confusion in our beloved Church.

The original author of this article is Elder (Dr.) Dennis Priebe. The whole article and many more studied can be gotten from his website.

THE TRINITY

The contemporary anti-Trinity movement teaches that there is no third Person of the Godhead. They believe that the Holy Spirit is a force or energy of holy influence from the Father and the Son. One representative of this movement says, “The Bible teaches that there are only two who are worthy of worship.”

A corollary of this teaching is that Jesus is literally the Son of the Father, having a beginning in time when the Father brought Him into existence. One has stated, “The Father and Son are both divine but not absolutely equal.” They believe that only in this way could Christ die, since the Father is immortal and cannot die. In support of this teaching, they point to some Adventist pioneers who clearly taught this, from the 1840’s to the 1890’s.

As with all errors, there is a truth at the foundation of this teaching. After the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. the papal party took the title of Trinitarians. They said that the Godhead consists of three personalities and one essence or substance, using very philosophical and metaphysical terms.

Following is a sample of Catholic instruction for confirmation. “The Son proceeds from the Father by an act of the intellect and this is termed ‘Eternal Generation,’ by which we mean not only that there never was a time when the Father existed without generating the Son, but also that the act of Generation is a continuous act.” The manual teaches that there could be no separation between the Father and the Son on earth, since this would interrupt the act of generation. Thus the Son would not exist, which would mean that the Father would not exist. Since they are of one essence, neither the Father nor the Son could exist separately from the other. (Alfred Mortimer, Catholic Faith and Practice) Is there any wonder that the pioneers rejected this doctrine of the Trinity? J. N. Andrews said, “This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Review and Herald, March 6, 1855)

Part A–Three Persons

If we want to defend the truth that there are three persons with the family name of God, it might be better to use the Biblical name Godhead, as Ellen White consistently did.

Matthew 28:19 tells us to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” “Name” is singular here, and all three that follow are on the same level, with one name. The definite article is used for all three beings. The Three are God and yet they are one God.

In John 14:16 Jesus promises to send “another Comforter.” The word “another” means of the same kind as Christ, with equal rank.

In 2 Corinthians 13:14, we read of “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost.” These are three gifts from three individual beings.

1 Peter 1:2 tells of “the foreknowledge of God the Father,…sanctification of the Spirit,…and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Here we find three functions of three individual beings.

The Spirit of Prophecy has many references to the three beings. “Three great powers of heaven.” (8T 254) “There are three living persons of the heavenly trio.” (Ev 615) “The eternal heavenly dignitaries–God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit.” (Ev 616) “The three highest powers in heaven–the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” (Ev 617)

Part B–Holy Spirit

There are indications in Scripture that the Holy Spirit possesses personality traits that only a individual Being could have.

In Ephesians 4:30 He can be grieved. In 1 Corinthians 12:11 He divides “to every man severally as he will.” In Acts 16:6,7 He forbids Paul to preach in Asia and Bithynia. In Acts 15:28 “it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us” to hand down a vital decision. Notice that the Holy Spirit has a personality similar to the personality of the apostles. In Acts 5:3,4 Ananias lied “to the Holy Ghost,” which is lying “unto God.”

“The Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.” “The Holy Spirit is a person.” “The Holy Spirit has a personality.” (Ev 616-617)

However, we must exercise caution here. The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to reveal the Father and the Son, not Himself, so we know very little about Him from inspiration.

Brethren should not feel that it is a virtue to stand apart because they do not see all minor points in exactly the same light. If on fundamental truths they are at an agreement, they should not differ and dispute about matters of little real importance. To dwell on perplexing questions that, after all, are of no vital importance, has a direct tendency to call the mind away from truths which are vital to the saving of the soul. Brethren should be very modest in urging these side issues which often they do not themselves understand, points that they do not know to be truth and that it is not essential to their salvation to know….Where these differences exist among us, those who stand outside will say, “It will be time enough for us to believe as you do when you can agree among yourselves as to what constitutes truth. “The ungodly take advantage of the divisions and controversies among Christians…

Some are ever seeking to be original, to bring out something new and startling, and they do not realize as they should the importance of preserving the unity of the faith in the bonds of love….We are to pray for divine enlightenment, but at the same time we should be careful how we receive everything termed new light. We must beware lest, under cover of searching for new truth, Satan shall divert out minds from Christ and the special truths for this time. I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to lead minds to dwell upon some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to our salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the “present truth,” when all their investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure than before, and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth….

[What is one of these side issues, not essential to salvation?] The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery not clearly revealed, and you will never be able to explain it to others because the Lord has not revealed it to you. You may gather together scriptures and put your construction upon them, but the application is not correct….It is not essential for you to know and be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is….There are many mysteries which I do not seek to understand or to explain; they are too high for me, and too high for you. On some of these points, silence is golden…

Your mind is restless, and…you would make the mistake that many others have made, of thinking that you have new light, when it is only a new phase of error….You make take certain views of Scripture and, searching the Bible in the light of your ideas, may gather together a large number of texts and claim that they mean this and that, and call for anyone to prove to you that your views are incorrect….Here is your danger, of diverting minds from the real issues for this time….Now, my brother, it is truth that we want and must have, but do not introduce error as new truth. (14MR 175-180)

I believe that this counsel applies to all the “new light” issues that we are considering in this paper.

Part C–Jesus’ Pre-existence

What is the evidence that Jesus did not have a beginning at some point in time or before time?

In John 1:1-4 we find that Jesus was not only “with God,” He “was God.” He was not a God, but He was the Creator of everything. The life-principle was in Him, and He did not receive life from anyone.

In John 8:58 Jesus claimed the name “I am” as His own. Exodus 3:14 tells us that God’s chosen name is “I am.” “The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own….He had announced Himself to be the self-existent one,…whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.” (DA 469-470)

“All through the pages of sacred history, where the dealings of God with His chosen people are recorded, there are burning traces of the great I AM….All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ….Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.” (GAG 43) Whatever we read about Yahweh in the Old Testament we are reading about Christ. In Isaiah 40:28 Yahweh is “the everlasting God,” “the Creator of the ends of the earth.”

“In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived.” (DA 530) “Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God….He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God….He is the eternal, self-existent Son.” (Ev 615) “From all eternity Christ was united with the Father.” (5BC 1115) “Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity.” (RH April 5, 1906)

PP 63-64 tells us that only one equal with God could make the atonement; that only the Creator could redeem man. If Christ had received life from the Father at some point in eternity; if His life was borrowed or derived from the Father; if He was dependent on the Father for His existence; if the Father appointed Him to the Godhead, then Christ was not self-existent; He was not God in the highest sense; He is not eternal; and He could not make atonement for the fallen race and redeem mankind.

The phrase “only-begotten” is a faulty translation. Hebrews 11:17 tells us that Isaac was Abraham’s “only begotten son.” Clearly this means uniquely begotten, one-of-a-kind, unique. Acts 13:33 tells us that Christ was “begotten” from the dead.

It is of passing interest that Mary of Agreda, a visionary Catholic nun in the 1600’s, said that the Word was conceived by eternal generation from the Father. In other words, Christ was born before time existed. (The Venerable Mary of Agreda) Perhaps the belief that Christ had a beginning and was given life from the Father is really a Catholic position.

Part D–Nature and Function

Here is a suggestion for keeping this issue in balance and resolving some apparent contradictions. The nature of the Godhead is not a central theme in Scripture. Where it is discussed it reveals three equal beings, all existing from eternity, one in purpose and mind in ways impossible for created beings.

The central issue in Scripture is the function of the Godhead. This is always described in descending rank from the Father to the Son to the Spirit. This is the way the Godhead wants all created beings to approach them. The Father is the ultimate authority; the Son is the visible representative to created beings; the Spirit is the invisible presence with all created beings.

The Father even had to explain to angels the difference between Christ and Lucifer, since both had similar functions. If this could be misunderstood in heaven, it is easy to see why we have problems understanding the Godhead.

Christ always directs attention to the Father. He takes a secondary role. The Spirit always directs attention to the Father and the Son. He is almost invisible most of the time.

The members of the Godhead are equal in nature and attributes, but are unequal in function and rank as they relate to created beings.

Part E–Adventist History

The Godhead has chosen to reveal itself gradually to the human race. This was apparently not one of the crucial issues for the redemption of mankind.

In the Old Testament Yahweh was the personal name for God. The name was interchangeable for the Father and the Son. The Spirit was unknown. There were indications of plurality in the Godhead, but the emphasis was on one God–Yahweh.

In the New Testament Christ was revealed as the Word of God, the Son of God. The Holy Spirit was revealed as the Comforter, the Advocate. The emphasis was on three Beings in one Godhead, descending in rank and function from the Father to the Son to the Spirit.

Early Adventists were concerned with the sanctuary and the 2300 days, the Bible over tradition, the seventh-day Sabbath, and there was not much study or revelation about the Trinity.

The Trinity in the early 1800’s was a mixture of Bible, medieval philosophy, and early church councils. The Christian Connection, a Protestant organization, concluded that the Trinity was Catholic and unscriptural. Joseph Bates and James White were associated with the Christian Connection. Because the Trinity doctrine apparently made the Father and the Son identical, it was rejected by our pioneers.

God was apparently satisfied to leave things this way until the 1890’s, the time when the final generation was to be formed.

Ellen White was in Australia, when W.W. Prescott visited there. He developed a new style of evangelism based on righteousness by faith and the character of God (the 1888 message). He spent time working with Ellen White, and he began to question the pioneeer’s teaching on the deity of Christ and the Godhead. A.G.Daniells supported his new direction. At the same time Ellen White was putting Desire of Ages together, in which she differed sharply with the pioneers on the preexistence of Christ.

M.L. Andreasen had just become an Adventist four years earlier. He said later that some leaders doubted that Ellen White had really written “original, unborrowed, underived.” In 1902 he made a special trip to California to investigate this for himself, and he found these statements in her own handwriting. Because of her influence and the new studies on the Godhead, Adventist theology on the Godhead took a different direction from some of the pioneers.

Why did this happen so late in Adventist history? Apparently God had an order of priority for introducing truth to the new church. He introduced publishing work in the 1840’s, church organization in the 1850’s, health reform in the 1860’s, and righteousness by faith in the 1880’s. God paced the introduction of new truth to preserve the unity of the church. Knowing the character of God was a higher priority than knowing the nature of God.

Now some are advocating a return to the pioneer’s anti-Trinity position. The most dangerous aspect of this is the question raised by its chief advocate. Did Ellen White really write all that has been published under her name? Whenever we find something in her writings which contradicts our beliefs we find some acceptable reason to set her aside. This is the heart of higher criticism. It makes her writings of none effect, since our beliefs take priority over inspiration. This is the essence of the churches of Babylon. One person commented, “Ellen G. White was inspired by God in almost all her writings, but either she or someone messed with her writings.” In this case everyone is free to pick and choose whatever agrees his or her opinions.

Perhaps even conservative Adventists will have to decide between the authority of God and the authority of men.

Dennis Priebe is a Seventh-day Adventist minister, with 50 years experience as a pastor, a teacher, and seminar speaker. Eleven years were spent as a college professor at Pacific Union College, and 30 years as a seminar speaker for Amazing Facts. He has been married for 50 years to Kay, and they have one son, Matthew. Over 900 seminars have been held in churches and schools around the U.S. He has written several books and booklets, with many audio and video tapes on these topics. His one desire is to prepare people for what he believes to be the very soon return of Jesus to this world.

THE SEAL OF GOD AND THE MARK OF THE BEAST: IS USA THE LAMB-LIKE BEAST? (PART THREE)


In part one and two we learnt that beasts in Bible prophecy represents kingdoms or kingly powers and the sea represents nations, tongue, tribe, people and densely (or thickly) populated area. (See. Daniel 7:17, Rev 17:15; Isa. 17:12, 13.) If sea or waters represent a densely populated area in Europe as we saw in Revelation 13:1-3, land or earth, which is often seen as the opposite of sea or water, represent a sparsely (or scantly) populated area outside of Europe. Sea and Earth are two separate locations. (Gen 1:10). The earth in Bible Prophecy is the opposite of the sea or water. If the sea represents an area already crowded by people, the earth is an area uncrowded by people, multitude and tongues.

John saw another beast different from the first beast “coming up out of the earth.” Revelation 13:11. This new beast was seen to be quietly coming out and quietly growing into a great power as the Papal power was taken into captivity during the French revolution when Napoleon Bonaparte, through his General, inflected a deadly wound on Pope. (Rev 13:3). This deadly wound took place in 1798 when “Berthier made his entrance into Rome, abolished the Papal government and established a secular one.[1] According to the free internet Encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, in an article titled, “Napoleon and the Catholic Church,” noted the following:

Pope Pius VI sued for peace, which was granted at Tolentino on February 19, 1797; but on December 28 of that year, in a riot blamed by papal forces on some Italian and French revolutionists, the popular brigadier-general Mathurin-Léonard Duphot, who had gone to Rome with Joseph Bonaparte as part of the French embassy, was killed and a new pretext was furnished for invasion. General Berthier marched to Rome, entered it unopposed on February 10, 1798, and, proclaiming a Roman Republic, demanded of the Pope the renunciation of his temporal power.

Upon his refusal he was taken prisoner, and on February 20 was escorted from the Vatican to Siena, and thence to the Certosa near Florence. The French declaration of war against Tuscany led to his removal (he was escorted by the Spaniard Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador) by way of Parma, Piacenza, Turin and Grenoble to the citadel of Valence, the chief town of Drôme where he died six weeks after his arrival, on August 29, 1799, having then reigned longer than any Pope.[2]

The Catholic Online Encyclopedia also confirm and affirm to this truth:

General Bonaparte had just returned to Paris . . . He was by no means anxious to lead the expedition against Rome, which the Directory was projecting, and contented himself with giving Berthier, who commanded it, certain instructions from a distance. For this expedition for Berthier’s entry into Rome and the proclamation of the Roman Republic (10-15 February, 1798), and for the captivity of Pius VI, who was carried off a prisoner to Valence.[3]

The above quotations from secular History gave credence to the authority of the Bible. The Catholic Encyclopedia borrowed the same word used in the Revelation 13:10 which says, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Pope Pius VI, was the fourth longest serving Pope in the History of the Catholic Church. He reigned from 1775 to 1799. It should be remember that the Papacy is the combination of Church and State, though the political power was taken away by the French General, his religious system never ceased to exist.

Therefore, at the end of the 1260 year prophecy [538 AD – 1798 AD], this new kingdom or nation with “two horns like a lamb” was rising in power in an area that has not been inhabited and that has not been taken over by Papal Rome. The power was also rising during the time the Papal see was going into Captivity.

Question

Which nation during the end of the 1260 days/years prophecy was growing into power and has not been densely populated by people, multitude and tongues?

John Wesley in 1754, when he wrote his New Testament Commentary, did not only apply the first beast to the Papacy but noted that the lamblike beast would soon appear after the end of the 42 months or 1260 years. He wrote:

“But he [second beast of Rev 13:11-18] is not yet come, though he cannot be far off. For he [second beast] is to appear at the end of the forty-two months [1260 years] of the first beast. A mild innocent appearance, venomous, fiery, dreadful: so do those who are zealous for the beast.”[4]

In 1754, Wesley understood that the lamblike beast was to come during the end of 42 months and also noted that this beast (or nation) was not in existence as at the time he wrote the commentary. However, in 1798 USA was emerging as an independent nation. In fact the word “coming up” used in Revelation 13:11 in Greek is anabaino which means “to spring up as a plant or to grow up.” It is the same word used in Christ parable of the seed when he said the seed “fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up [anabaino].” Mark 4:8.

A. Townsend wrote the following:

“The history of United States was separated by a beneficent providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent, and like a silent see, we grew into empire, while empire itself, beginning in the South, was swept by so interminable hurricane that what of its history we can ascertain is read by the very lightnings that devastated it.”[5]

Uriah Smith quoted an author in his book on Daniel and Revelation, who, about the year 1850 spoke of the United States of America as a wonderful empire which was “emerging” and “amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride.[6]

Lamb with two horns

One of the distinct feature of this second beast is that it had “two horns like a lamb” vs. 11. In the Bible the lamb symbolized Christ. (John 1:36). It is mentioned 29 times in the book of Revelation and it often generally refer to Christ. Therefore, this beast will have a Christ-like features. It shall be gentle, harmless and innocent in its appearance like a lamb. John Wesley noted above that this lamblike beast shall be with “A mild innocent appearance.” A lamb is a young sheep which is not fully grown implying that this beast power is recently established and quietly gaining momentum. According to Deut. 33:17; Daniel 7:24, 25, horns denotes kingly power. This second beast has a lamblike horn indicating his power would be Christ-like. That means the Government of this beast is based on Christ principles of power which we can find in no other place other than the Scripture. This is an accurate description of the form of Government instituted by founding fathers of the USA.

This second beast based his government on Christ principle and two of Christ principles of Government in the New Testament are:

  • Separation of Church and State: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God, the things that are God’s.” Luke 20:25. This is a principle of keeping politics out of religion and keeping religion out of politics. This is the great principle behind the separation of Church and State. From the start, United States was characterized by its unique separation of Church and State. As the two horns on the head of the beast are separate, the Church and State, which represents two powers and government, must also be separate from each other.
  • Religious Liberty: “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47; Matthew 7:1. When it comes to the matter of religion and conscience, Christ principle is for us not to Judge our fellow brother. Even when Christ was here on earth, He didn’t Judge anyone for He knows that the Judgment of all being is still in the future. In her constitution, USA was noted for the freedom of religion to all people.

Based on this two principles, the United States, from its inception has been a strongly protestant country. The principle of the lamblike beast would be different from that of the first beast. If the first beast principle was catholic (universal) in nature, then the second beast would be a non-Catholic power. Therefore, the second beast would be a Protestant Power. No other nation in History fits in with this description during the end of the 42 months or 1260 years other than the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

US constitution on Religious Liberty

“. . . On June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison rose and gave a speech in the House where he introduced a series of articles of amendment. One concerned religious freedom:

The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.”[7]

US constitution on separation of Church and States

President Thomas Jefferson in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, wrote the most memorable phrase in relation to the separation of church and states, that is, the government should not make law respecting an established religion. He said:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.[8]

Thomas Jefferson was an outspoken proponent of the separation of church and state, going back to his time as a legislator in Virginia. In 1785, Jefferson drafted a bill. He wrote:

. . . no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.[9]

 The Dragon and Lamb-like beast

We were told in Revelation 13:11 that this lamb-like beast which we have identified as the United States of America “spake as a dragon.” A nation speaks through the legislatures which are regarded as the arm of government that makes law and change laws. Protestant America will speak like the dragon which primarily is the Devil or Satan (Rev 12:9) but in the secondary sense it is Pagan Rome and also Papal Rome (Rev 12:13; 13:1-3). Pagan and Papal Rome never changes. Both are one but different dispensation. The former is a civil or state power while the latter is both State and Religious power.

The second beast of revelation 13 will begin to speak the language of Rome when the nation will turn against the principle that make it a protestant nation. USA will stretch her hands towards the gulf and claps her hand with the Papacy to institute laws that will be Satanic and Devilish in nature but garbed with the innocence.

Evidence

It would be imperative at this juncture to present some evidences on how United States will speak like the first beast which we have identified to be Papal Rome which has all the feature of Pagan Rome. Presently, the United States of America is made up of Nine Judges in the Supreme Court in which 6 are Roman Catholics and 3 are made up of Judaism. Take note that that America was originally a protestant nation but among the 9legislatures listed below, we find no protestant among them:

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Roman Catholic), Associate Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer (Judaism), Associate Justice Samuel Alito (Roman Catholic), Associate Justice Elena Kagan (Judaism), Late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (Roman Catholic), Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (Roman Catholic), Chief Justice John Roberts (Roman Catholic), Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (Roman Catholic) and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Judaism)— (Source is Wikipedia)

It is through these men that the United State of America is to speak like a dragon and we could see daily in the news how laws are enacted against the moral and eternal laws of God. Laws against God’s divine marriage, laws upholding the use of Guns, laws that are meant to break the walls between the church and State etc. From the above, the Catholic Church already has control of the Justice System of the United States. When the legislature makes laws that are in favor of the Roman Catholic, it would not be difficult to dispense justice on such law because the majority of those in the Supreme Court are Catholics.

The following was noted in May 5, 1903 by the Chicago Tribune by Archbishop Quigley:

With twenty years this country is going to rule the world. Kings and emperors will soon pass away, and the democracy of the United States will take their place. The west will dominate the country . . . When the United States rules the world the Catholic Church will rule the world . . . In fifty years Chicago will be exclusively Catholic.”[10]

In his Book called The Godfathers: Alberto Part 3, Jack T. Chick noted a point made by an Ex-Jesuit Priest known as Dr. Alberto Rivera. He said;

When he [Rivera] was under the extreme oath of the Jesuits. He was told that a secret sign was to be given to the Jesuits worldwide when the ecumenical movement had successfully wiped out Protestantism, in preparation for the signing of a concordat between the Vatican and the U.S.

The sign was to be when a President of the U.S. took his oath of office facing an obelisk. For the first time in U.S. history, the swearing in ceremonies were moved to the West front of the Capitol, and President Reagan faced the Washington Monument. This happened January 20, 1982. Was the President aware of this? We don’t know.”[11]

Reagan administration changed the position where the swearing-in ceremonies were to hold from the east front of the capitol building to the west front of the capitol Building because the west front of the capitol building is facing one of the biggest obelisk in the world.

Since the first inauguration of President Reagan in 1981, the swearing-in ceremonies have been held on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The only exception was the 1985 swearing-in of President Reagan’s second term, when cold weather forced the ceremony into the Capitol Rotunda.[12]

To be continued  . . .

[1] Encyclopedia Americana, 1941 Edition.

 [2] Napoleon and the Catholic Church. (2016, July 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:43, July 26, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Napoleon_and_the_Catholic_Church&oldid=731547041

[3] Goyau, G. (1911). Napoleon I (Bonaparte). In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved October 17, 2016 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10687a.htm

[4] John Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, p. 735. (Published by J. Soule and T. Mason, for the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United State) 1818.

[5] G. A. Townsend, The New World Compared with the Old: A description of the American Government, Institutions, and Enterprises, and of those of our Great Rivals at the present Time, Particularly England and France (1869), p. 635. (https://books.google.com.ng/books?id=7XZDAAAAIAAJ&dq=g.+a.+townsend,+the+new+world+compared+with+the+old&source=gbs_navlinks_s)

[6] Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation, p. 574.

[7] http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html#first

[8] http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html#first

[9] http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html#first

[10] http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1903/05/05/page/1/article/quigley-as-an-optimist

[11] Jack T. Chick, The Godfathers: Alberto Part 3, p. 26 (see Google books)

[12] http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa011701a.htm

 

GO AND SIN NO MORE


I am not an expert in writing about sin and how to overcome it, especially when i remember how the evil one, Satan, have used me to vindicate his claims that man will continue sinning until Christ comes. In fact when writing on such a topic I often place myself on a danger zone making me Satan’s number one target to tempt, lure and to draw away from Christ. But my hope is placed on this powerful statement written over 100 years ago:

Christ’s Object Lesson, 157

In the whole Satanic force there is not power to overcome one soul who in simple trust casts himself on Christ.”

So brethren, i need your prayers daily as we journey together in this world full of sin and evil.

Writing such a solemn and sacred topic does not mean i have attain the point where i could boast by saying, “I have no more sin to confess.” But one thing i know is that, the Bible is full of precious promises for us who are longing to “go and sin no more. Lest a worse thing come unto us.” This is just a short article of encouragement to all, like me, who are not only desiring to live out this commandment of Christ, but who also seeks to bring glory to Christ which is none other than the perfection of the character of His people.

THE END IS NEAR

Review and Herald, December 23, 1890 par. 19 

“The end is near! We have not a moment to lose! . . . One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other — Christ our righteousness.”

John 5:14

“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”

John 8:7, 11

“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her . . . She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

1 Cor. 15:34

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (KJV)

“Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” (RSV)

WARNING: Strong faith is needed to believe the statements we are about reading in this article.

Review and Herald, March 10, 1904 par. 26

“He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that he can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.”

WHY DID JESUS DIE?

1 Peter 2:24

“[Jesus Christ] Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Titus 2:14

“[Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 441. 4

Christ has not died for you that you may possess the passions, tastes, and habits of men of the world.”

1 John 3:5-9  contains the most amazing and mind stretching promises I have ever read in the Bible. It has the most seemingly impossible statements that only one with the mind of Christ could understand and experience. let us read these verses carefully.

1 John 3:5-9 

“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

GREAT DECEPTION

Wait a minute! Did we get what Apostle John wrote?

He said if we sin, either in thought or deed, we are of the devil. No matter how much we try to play around this statement, it is a factual statement that no man can gainsay. In Christ is no sin! Outside of Christ is continuous sinning! For it is impossible for Christ to be a minister of sin.

I had previously been in great deception believing that i am in Christ and at the same time cherishing known sins. It is a deception to believe we are in Christ or we are Christians when we have not overcome our sinful habits as the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. We must do all in our strength, cooperating with Divinity, to overcome all our hereditary and cultivated sinful habits and way of life.

We are of the devil when we claim to be in Christ but at the same are indulging in open or secret sins. Apostasy is written on our foreheads and our sins are written beside our name in the books of heaven. Unless we ask for repentance and confess our sins, we are in a lost condition.

WE CANT BLAME OUR SINFUL NATURE WHEN WE SIN

When we sin, we often find excuse for our sin. There is no excuse for sin. We can not blame anyone for sinning. We can not even blame the weakness of our sinful nature for God has given us the divine power, in Christ Jesus, to overcome and bear fruit unto righteousness. Our only hope is  Christ working in us to will and to do of His perfect purpose. We must have the assurance that we are born of God. When we are born of God, Jesus keeps us from falling because we are not connected to Him by creation. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus.

The Ministry of Healing, p. 180

“The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us “partakers of the divine nature,” and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.

1 John 5:18 (RSV)

We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

Testimonies for the Churches, Vol. 1, p. 341.

“Fallen man is Satan’s lawful captive. The mission of Christ was to rescue him from the power of his great adversary. Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot successfully resist so terrible a foe unless Christ, the mighty Conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength. God alone can limit the power of Satan. He is going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. He is not off his watch for a single moment, through fear of losing an opportunity to destroy souls. It is important that God’s people understand this, that they may escape his snares. Satan is preparing his deceptions, that in his last campaign against the people of God they may not understand that it is he.”

It is a fearful thing to note that Satan, in this last days, is preparing his forces against the people of God to lead them not to understand this basic truth of Salvation. We may know all the details in Bible prophecy, we may know all the Bible verses offhand to back up our present truths, we may observe all the health laws, but if we can be deceived in this basic point of truth, then Satan must have accomplished his work of deception in the lives of God’s professed Children.

But God forbid! God shall surely raise a remnant, called the 144,000, that will disgrace the campaign of Satan. They will live a life so perfect as that of their Master Jesus Christ. For it is written:

Matt 5:48

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

The Desire of Ages, p. 311. par. 2-3

“This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.

The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.

HOW DID JESUS OVERCOME?

Note: Jesus never had advantage over us, for if he did, then he would not be a perfect sacrifice and example for you and I. He took all of man’s fallen nature that He might be a merciful and faithful high Priest (Hebrew 2:16, 17; Romans 8:3).

John 6:38

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 5:19-20

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

John 5:30

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 8:28-29

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

The Youth’s Instructor, April 25, 1901

The enemy was overcome by Christ in his human nature. The power of the Saviour’s Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature, relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all. In proportion to our faith will be our victory.

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE TODAY?

John 15:5

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

1 Peter 2:1

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.

Phil 2:14-16

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  16  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Testimonies for the Churches, Vol. 4, p. 534. 535

Communion with God imparts to the soul an intimate knowledge of His will. But many who profess the faith know not what true conversion is. They have no experience in communion with the Father through Jesus Christ, and have never felt the power of divine grace to sanctify the heart. Praying and sinning, sinning and praying, their lives are full of malice, deceit, envy, jealousy, and self-love. The prayers of this class are an abomination to God. True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life.”

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 657

Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith. When shadows encompass the soul, when we want light and guidance, we must look up; there is light beyond the darkness.

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 421

“All who profess godliness are under the most sacred obligation to guard the spirit, and to exercise self-control under the greatest provocation. The burdens placed upon Moses were very great; few men will ever be so severely tried as he was; yet this was not allowed to excuse his sin. God has made ample provision for His people; and if they rely upon His strength, they will never become the sport of circumstances.”

Philippians 4:13 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Patriarch and Prophets, p. 421

The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.

Tit 2:11-14 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching [Training RSV] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

I Know how many times i have fallen into sin and this thought is often discouraging to me as i strive for perfection of character before my probation closes. One thing i have come to understand when ever i fall is that Christ is ready to take be back. But Satan is always ready to discourage us from coming to Christ. But Christ promise is this to all who have fallen or have backslide:

1 John 2:1

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Testimonies Vol. 5, 177

Have you fallen into sin? Then without delay seek God for mercy and pardon. . . Mercy is still extended to the sinner. The Lord is calling to us in all our wanderings: “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” The blessing of God may be ours if we will heed the pleading voice of His Spirit. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.”

Do not give up O tempted soul! Do not give the devil any room to tell you it is impossible to overcome your habits! All you need do is to tell him:

“For this same reason Christ died for me. That i might be made free from all iniquity.”

THE SIN-MASTER MUST DIE (part one)


And while the world is filled with these evils, the gospel is too often presented in so indifferent a manner as to make but little impression upon the consciences or the lives of men. Everywhere there are hearts crying out for something which they have not. They long for a power that will give them mastery over sin, a power that will deliver them from the bondage of evil, a power that will give health and life and peace. Many who once knew the power of God’s word have dwelt where there is no recognition of God, and they long for the divine presence —  Ministry of Healing, 143.1.

 Paul says:

Rom 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Saved from What?

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

What is Sin?

First definition

1Jn 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

1Jn 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin

Sin is an act. Sin is wrong-doing or not doing the right thing which incurs nothing but guilt which leads to condemnation. The sinner needs divine pardon from this guilt. But SIN is much more than an action of wrong doing.

SIN AS AN ACT OF WRONG DOING

SIN AS WRONG ACTIONS —- GUILT/CONDEMNATION— DIVINE PARDON

Second definition:

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

2 Peter 2:19 . . . Whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved (RV)

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

SIN AS MASTER— BONDAGE—-DELIVERANCE

Can you be a servant or a slave to two masters?

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (sin).

UNWILLING SINNER (EXODUS 1:13, 14; 2:23-25; ROMANS 7:15)

Exo 1:13-14 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14  And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

The Israelites were in bondage of their task-master. The want to serve the King of Heaven but they found themselves serving the King of Egypt. The Israelite were rendering an Unwilling service to the Egyptians. What must they do to be set free from this BONDAGE?

Exo 2:23-25 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.  25  And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

What then did God do when he heard the CRY, SIGHING, GROANING of the Children of Israel?

Did He forgive them or pardon them for being a Slave to the King of Egypt to for being in bondage?

Exo 3:7-8  And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;  8  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

Why were the Children of Israel building the Kingdom of Egypt even though they were unwilling to do it?

They were doing what they did because of that they were. They were SLAVES to the cruel task-master.

The man of Egypt could not solve his problem by trying to deal with the wrong actions that he was committing in the building of the Kingdom of Egypt which is also the Kingdom of Satan.

The only possible solution for him was to have the power of the SIN-MASTER broken and destroyed.

Romans 7:14-17 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  16  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

What was Paul’s problem?

Paul was sold into Slavery and under the bondage of the SIN-MASTER. He is CARNAL. He cannot do any good thing because of the SIN THAT DWELLS IN HIM.

The reason Paul commit sin is because SIN dwells in Him and he is in bondage to SIN.

Rom 7:20-23 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

How did JESUS further explain this truth?

Luk 6:43-45 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

The Same principle which operates the natural world operate in the Spiritual world. Just as Paul said, we were born unclean, with carnal mind and sin dwelling within us. We cannot bring forth the fruits of Righteousness. We must first be made righteous before we can obey the Law of God.

The kind of person you are will determine the kind of actions that you will do. You must first be good within before you can do good actions.

What is the solution?

Rom 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

It is clear that Paul didn’t cry out for forgiveness rather he cried out for DELIVERANCE from captivity of the SIN-MASTER. The Sin-master must be killed, destroyed, and cast into the fire before we can bear righteous fruits.

If we do not experience deliverance from the power of Sin we all will remain in a lost condition and we will continue to Sin and confess, Sin and Confess.

We commit sin because we are held captive against our will to a power stronger than us. We may ask for divine pardon for sin committed but we will surely return to that sin if we don’t ask by faith for deliverance from the bondage of Sin.

Until a Stronger Man, Jesus, binds the strong old man and kill him we shall never experience JUSTIFICATION.

What does it mean to be Justified?

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Justification leads to peace. But peace from what?

Rom 8:6-7 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

To be carnally minded is enmity against God. Enmity is the carnal mind that does not bring peace. To be justified is to have peace and the Spiritual mind.

The carnal mind is the enemy that must be destroyed before we can be Justified. We must pray that the LORD will implant in us a new mind, a new nature, Christ mind. We must be recreated before we can be Justified.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

To be Continued . . . .