Present Truth

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This chapter addresses the question, "What are the issues of PresentTruth?" This is a summary of some of the items of present truth, which are God’s message for this time. This ministry seeks to promote understanding of areas of Biblical confusion and disagreement which are important to the present time. Issues and controversies in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination will be addressed.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
II Peter 1:12

The intended audience of this chapter is the serious students of the Bible pursuing the ideal goal of "Sola Scriptura". "Sola Scriptura" is Latin for "Scripture Only" which means the Bible alone is the rule of faith. This was the goal of the Reformation which was not completely followed as evidenced by the failure of almost all Protestant denominations to forsake the Catholic Sunday worship and obey the 4th commandment. This goal is not completely followed by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination as evidenced by failure to forsake the Catholic/pagan holy days and follow God's Sacred Calendar as described in the Law of Moses.

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Malachi 4:4

Issues of doctrine are exclusively determined by our best understanding of the Bible alone. Doctrine is matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. There is no place for compromise of core doctrinal values but there is always a place for patience and tolerance. There are also issues of prophetic interpretation that are based on Biblical principles. There is a wider range of understandings on these issues and a need for greater toleration and some compromise.

I offer my commentary and understanding on these topics. I always base my belief on the Bible even though my basis may not be fully explained. I also offer commentary, guidance, and advice from the writings of Ellen G. White. She is not the source for doctrine though I have never found her to contradict the Bible.

There are stages of spiritual growth beginning with the most basic. Growth must continue through Bible study to increase our knowledge of God and His law. Reading the texts presented in this study is only the beginning of your study. You must meditate on these texts to ingrain their full meaning into your understanding. Read the entire chapter containing these texts for the full context in which they are given.

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Hosea 4:6

Errors and deceptions are being taught within and without the denomination. There are important truths which need to be discovered being taught within and without the denomination. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is needed to discern and separate truth from error. When we move beyond the safe little box of the doctrines of the denomination, we open ourselves to more truth, we also open ourselves to a deluge of errors against which we must guard.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

There is also a need to recognize what is primary and important and what is secondary and less important. In this time of impending crisis, we need to put more focus on what is critical.

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Matthew 23:23

The Bible

You are not a believer in the God of the Bible unless you believe in the Bible. You are not a believer in the Messiah of the Bible unless you believe in the Bible. Only the religion of the Bible offers a Saviour, who can save you from eternal death. It does not matter what denominational label you use.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16
You are not a believer unless you believe in God, in His Son, in the Holy Spirit, and in the Bible, which is God's written communication to us through His servants who recorded His Words.
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
II Peter 1:16-21
Scoffers will reject the Bible with criticisms and excuses about the accuracy of its contents and its sources. When you believe in an all-powerful God, then you believe He can sufficiently preserve His Word. The age of the original words and the various translations from one language to another as well as the deceptions of the enemy do make the meaning difficult to discern. However, we are led to understanding by the continuing power of the Holy Spirit. Our Savior has promised us we will know the truth.
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:32
Explicitly, He has promised we will have all truth through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
John 16:13

Explicitly, we have been told we will receive this truth through the study of the Bible.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

Are you studying the Bible for Present Truth to increase your knowledge of God and to remember His law?

Law vs Love

There is a wide-ranging controversy between all types of Christians concerning the need to obey all the Law of God or depend only on the Love of God. This is at the heart of Satan's lies and deception. Satan does not believe in God's Love and rejects the Law of God.

Satan makes a mockery of God's Love when he deceives Christians to believe obedience to all of God's Law is replaced by God's Love. Most recognize the value of the Ten Commandments as a moral guideline. The Fourth Commandment is widely ignored and ridiculed but many of the others are also scorned or ignored.

Many claim to love Jesus. They are often ignorant of the words of Jesus whom they claim to love.

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:15

Many believers consciously or sub-consciously place the word "Ten" before the word Commandments. Be aware! The Greek word "entole" (G1785) translated "commandments" refers to the Law of Moses.

The same Greek word is used in the Septuagint to translate the Old Testament Hebrew word "mitzvah" (H4687) which is translated to commandments in this fascinating study text.

5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Genesis 26:5

Most people recognize the Hebrew word "mitzvah" means the Law of Moses. Here is an interesting question to ponder. If the Law did not exist until Moses, how did Abraham keep it?

Some are committed to obeying all the Ten Commandments. At least, this is their claim. There is often a disregard for the seventh commandment which is kept hidden. There is also a disregard for the statutes against pre-marital sexual intercourse such as found in Deuteronomy 22:13-29.

Their unfaithfulness in the flesh is symbolic of their idolatry and unfaithfulness to God. Their lusts and desires for worldly goods, pleasures, power, and control often betray their true hearts.

Satan makes a mockery of God's Law when he deceives those who believe in obedience to all of God's Law to forget God's Love in dealing with His erring children.

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
I John 5:2-3

We must speak out against sin, as I am doing in this study. However, we must also avoid the temptation of Satan to step beyond a loving concern for a person's soul. Personal criticism, judgment, and especially sarcastic, mean-spirited comparisons to evil things is not appropriate.

With prayerful and humble submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we seek a balance of showing the love of God and faithfulness to all of His law.

9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
Deuteronomy 7:9-10

We must follow carefully our Savior's guidance in dealing with issues of sin.

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Matthew 18:15-17

When the sin is not grievous it is sometimes best to be a faithful witness in your own life and pray for the erring individual rather than confront them. Study carefully this advice.

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
I John 5:15-17

A personal witness and loving general appeal to the highest standards is often appropriate instead of a personal criticism and judgment of an erring individual or group.

Do you practice the Love of God and obey all of His Law of Love to guide us?

Laodicean vs Legalistic

There are two extremes of Christian practice associated with the conflict of God's Law vs God's Love.

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
I John 5:2

We need to remind ourselves about an important issue. Unity of the faith and love among the brethren means a deep understanding and recognition of the progress of a walk in faith.

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 13:35

After we are saved, we begin a journey on a path leading to the kingdom of God and complete obedience to Him and faith in His Word. Paul compared this to a race which we must all run and can all win.

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:1

Ellen White described this path in her first vision.

"I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, "Look again, and look a little higher." At this I raised my eyes, and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the city, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the beginning of the path, which an angel told me was the midnight cry. This light shone all along the path and gave light for their feet so that they might not stumble." {EW 14.1} {CET 57.2} {LS 64.2} {ExV 10.1} {WLF 14.2} {DS, January 24, 1846 par. 1} {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 2}

This path has a beginning and an end. None of us have reached the end. The path begins when we accept the Messiah into our lives and believe in Him.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
John 3:16-21

The essence of love and unity among the brethren is to recognize it is a long path. Some are near the beginning. Some are farther along. Some will, at times, run or sprint. Others will usually be seen walking. Some are occasionally resting.

Those with the love of God in their hearts will not compare themselves with others and pass judgment on themselves or others. It is of no importance who is ahead or behind and who is moving faster, slower, or resting. We will seek to help and encourage each other.

As long as we are moving forward on this path, we are progressing. If we deny the light which is still ahead of us and cease to follow, we lose. If we stop and rest too long, there is a danger. Continuing the quote from Ellen White.

"If they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the city, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, and from His arm came a light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted, "Alleluia!" Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below." {EW 14.1} {CET 57.3} {LS 64.3} {ExV 10.1} {WLF 14.2} {DS, January 24, 1846 par. 1} {RH, July 21, 1851 par. 2}

The Laodicean says, "I am already saved, I have arrived, and I need to travel no farther."

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Revelation 3:17

The true believer recognizes they are already saved from sin and free to obey the God who loves them and whom they love.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21

The legalist says, "I must keep all of God's Law to be saved." Even worse, they believe this is what they must teach others and coerce them into law-keeping also instead of obedience from love.

Visualize this interesting problem. You are a true believer on the path to the Holy City. The Laodicean camp is in the distance on your left. The Legalist camp is in the distance on your right. The Laodicean looks at the Legalist camp and sees you in front of the Legalist camp and calls you a Legalist. The Legalist looks at the Laodicean camp and sees you in front of the Laodicean camp and calls you Laodicean. Our Savior holds up His right arm with the light to show the way forward. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.

Are you progressing and encouraging others to progress on the path to the Holy City?

Conflict Resolution

It may not be clear to you the path I am taking in laying the groundwork for the progress of the Bible Study. As stated, the purpose of the Bible Study is to study 'Present Truth'. I define 'Present Truth' as the answer to the current issues and conflicts over God's Word.

God is always guiding us forward into greater depth and understanding of truth. He is restoring an understanding of the truth which existed among His people at the time of the First Coming as exemplified by His disciples at the Pentecost sealing.

Satan is constantly at work spreading lies and deceptions against God's truth. Therefore, we have the 'Great Controversy'. Controversy produces conflicts in the understanding of truth. The work God has given me is to resolve these conflicts. First, I had to resolve these conflicts in my understanding. Second, I am working to help others. This is an ongoing process.

To resolve these conflicts we need tools to assist us in this process. The first tool we need is knowledge. We need to know what the conflict is. We need to have a deep understanding of the issues involved in the dispute. The Bible describes the guidance we receive from God on the importance of knowledge.

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Hosea 4:6

The way to increase our knowledge is to study the truth. Our focus is on studying the truth and not the error. We need to study the error only enough to see where it diverges from the truth. The Bible encourages us in our study and its purpose to divide truth from error.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

The Bible is our most important tool and our most valuable resource for knowledge. A careful study of the Bible provides the guidance we need to discern the truth. We must study the entire Bible and not just certain verses that can be used to mislead. We need to carefully compare verses in the Bible to build our understanding piece by piece. We must move beyond the milk of the gospel being spoon-fed by the teachers and leaders.

9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Isaiah 28:9-10

The Holy Spirit is our teacher and a valuable ally to guide us to an understanding of all truth.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 14:26

We need to be in constant prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will lead us to all truth.

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
John 16:13

We can look to others to assist us in our study but we must be wary of those who may lead us astray and trust in the Holy Spirit to seal the truth.

15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Isaiah 8:15-16

God commands us to gather together in a holy convocation to worship and study His Word together. This protects us from becoming extreme or confused in our isolation.

3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Leviticus 23:3
This proverb expresses the benefit of mutual counsel as found in clear, well-defined thoughts. Two minds, acting on each other, when guided by the Holy Spirit, become more acute. This is a “sharpening” process.
17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

This also expresses the pleasure and the advantage of conversation. One man is limited because poring over a book in a corner alone will not be of full benefit without interaction with others. Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men's wits, and those that have ever so much knowledge may by interaction have something added to them. However, we must beware to never trust completely in man.

5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Jeremiah 17:5

Good men's graces are sharpened by converse with those that are good, but bad men's lusts and passions can also be sharpened by converse with those that are bad. We must evaluate the integrity of our teachers and study partners by examining their actions in the light of God's Word.

20 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

It is wise to keep disagreements and investigations small to avoid exciting undue interest and conflict.

"There are questions about which it is far better to have as little notoriety given as possible, in either case,--for, or against. And our brethren would be wise in not bringing questions of this character to the front, to obtain decisions from the Conference in regard to them. They can be understood and adjusted in a more private way. There are many things that should be conducted in a silent, unobserved way, which would have altogether a better influence upon all minds." {1888 471.2}

It is important to be careful to spend time on issues that matter and do not be distracted by issues of small value.

"Let not side issues take the mind and the affections. We want to make the most of our present opportunities. We want to work while it is day for the night cometh when no man can work. There are many men of influence who are to have a knowledge of the truth, and we must be sure not to hedge up the way. The knowledge of truth is ever increasing. It is not a new truth that opens to the mind; it is not a new principle but a new discovery or a forcible application or revival of that which existed before. The Lord is prepared to present His light to our minds as fast as we will receive it. Open the door and let Jesus in." {1888 497.2}

Are you working to resolve conflicts in the understanding of truth?

God vs Atheism

The most important basic issue of Present Truth and for all time is to recognize and emphasize the existence of God and an understanding of His nature as He reveals it to us. The first verse of the Bible contains depths of meaning we must carefully consider.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Even by looking at just the first three words in the English Bible, "In the beginning", we learn there was a beginning for us and our world. The atheist, who wishes to deny God and His claim on our lives, tries to claim our world has existed for untold millions of years and deny its creator. This is the first issue of the basic conflict that has existed for millennia.

The fourth word in the English Bible is "God". This sets the tone and basis for all our understanding and the rest of the Bible. We are already committed believers but we must never forget the power of Satan's work to deceive us into denying the existence of God.

During thousands of years of Earth's history, man created his own gods. In the last few centuries, a new twist has resulted in the widespread domination of atheism, which denies the existence of any higher authority than man himself. The side effects of this delusion permeate so many concepts, even believers in the existence of God are foolishly misled to forget the awesome power, absolute knowledge, and surrounding presence of God.

10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isaiah 43:10

God has revealed Himself to us through personal revelation and His written Word. This is the first issue that must be understood and agreed.

7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Amos 3:7

Bible vs Humanism

In this study we will take God's Word as the ultimate infallible method He uses to communicate with us. Humanism looks to the words and philosophies of men instead of primarily looking to the Word of God. We will take the Bible literally at exactly what it says without attempting to twist it to say what we want to believe. The apostle Peter wrote about the words of the apostle Paul and addressed this very issue.

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
II Peter 3:16

There is a problem we face in understanding God's Word. It was written thousands of years ago in dead languages which no longer exist as they did in antiquity. We use translations of the original text which are not perfect. This requires us to exert care and effort in our study. We are comforted to know the power of God has created and preserved the Bible for our use.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
II Timothy 3:16
Our Saviour has made a promise we can trust.
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:32

Our Savior has promised the Holy Spirit to be our guide. A proper and careful study will be guided by the Holy Spirit and will see the truth in spite of any translation shortcomings.

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
John 16:13

Beware of the false teaching which says some translations are good and some are bad. Some may be better for specific purposes. Some may be more accurate in certain cases. None are perfect but all are the Word of God. Part of recognizing the power of God is to respect His Word in all forms.

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

Creation vs Evolution

We cannot leave the subject of the power of God without addressing the truth of Creation vs the error of Evolution. The Bible is very clear. God in the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created everything. The message of Genesis chapter 1 is repeated, with expanded detail, in John chapter 1.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:1-5

God created the entire observable universe in six literal days of approximately 24 hours duration.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Genesis 1:16

Do you recognize the power of God to plan everything and demonstrate His power by the patterns of history and prophecy?

Godhead vs Trinity

There are a large number of individuals who will make a major issue about disagreeing with the Adventist doctrine of the Trinity. There is a great deal of confusion on this subject. The typical argument usually tries to make the Holy Spirit a force instead of a person. They think they have the support of the pioneers and Ellen White. The issue is based on a misunderstanding.

The disagreement of the pioneers was not about the number three. The pioneers rejected the teaching of the Trinity because the usual interpretation would blur the distinction between the Father and Son. Some would deny the divinity of the Son and others would deny the Father was a separate being from the Son. The discussions on this topic lead some to believe the pioneers dismissed the Holy Spirit as a person because the focus was on the nature of the Father and Son.

The use of the word 'Trinity' is the only substantial problem I see in this dispute with Adventist doctrine. The word 'Trinity', is a word originated and used by the Roman Catholic Church to describe their doctrine. I am committed to Biblical truth. I am not committed to whatever the Roman Catholic Church doctrine states. The word 'Trinity' is not found in the KJV Bible nor is there any similar word or meaning in the Greek. I find the word Godhead three times in the KJV which does not have the associations with Catholic doctrine.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
Acts 17:29
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Romans 1:20
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:8-9

The Greek words mean simply 'divinity'. These statements of Ellen White should make the position of the pioneers clear. This statement supports this disputed text.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matthew 28:19
"The rite of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to be the efficiency of all who submit to this ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then make..." {6MR 27.1}

This quote from Ellen White written in November 1905 is valuable insight into her own beliefs, the teaching of the Bible, and the belief of the denomination she represented. It illustrates the disagreement of Ellen White with the doctrines and ideas of Trinity and Pantheism.

"I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: "The Father is as the light invisible; the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad." "The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life." Another representation: "The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power."{SpTB07 62.2}

"All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God can not be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father can not be described by the things of earth. The Father is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight." {SpTB07 62.3}

"The Son is all the fulness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be "the express image of His person." "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Here is shown the personality of the Father." {SpTB07 63.1}

"The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fulness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-- those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ. . . ." {SpTB07 63.2}

We also find she makes these statements, which establish a belief in the person of the Holy Spirit.

"When trials overshadow the soul, remember the words of Christ, remember that He is an unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit, and He will be the peace and comfort given you, manifesting to you that He is with you, the Sun of Righteousness, chasing away your darkness... --Letter 124, 1897." {DG 185.2}
"When God's people search the Scriptures with a desire to know what is truth, Jesus is present in the person of His representative, the Holy Spirit, reviving the hearts of the humble and contrite ones. (John 15:23, 10-11 quoted.)--Ms. 158, 1898." {12MR 145.2}
"The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit." {SpTA10 37.1}

Do you recognize the attempts of Satan to mislead and misdirect?

Ten? Commandments

There is no teaching against the Bible more dangerous in these last days than the currently common teaching which says the limit of God's love and the detailed guidance He provides in His Law is the Ten Commandments. The devil fights us each step of the way to keep us from all truth. The weekly Sabbath truth of the Fourth Commandment is extremely critical and must rightly be upheld. Satan is thrilled when we stop here and ignore the guidance God provides in the rest of His Law.

I am deeply saddened because the powerful work of 3ABN in spreading the gospel to the world is tainted with this heresy. Numerous episodes on 3ABN spread the lie of Satan which says the "Law of Moses" is nailed to the cross. While upholding the Ten Commandments on its special Ten Commandments Weekend it simultaneously teaches the "Law of Moses" is nailed to the cross. Millions of books about the Ten Commandments are distributed for free which openly proclaim the "Law of Moses" is nailed to the cross.

What does God say?

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Malachi 4:4

It is interesting to note the parallel command to remember in this scripture.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:8

I have examined every occurrence of the word remember in the Old Testament and the Hebrew word translated remember. These two verses appear to be the only place God has commanded that we should specifically remember something. If I overlooked another one, please let me know. I would love to examine and study it. Does this mean anything to you? It means a lot to me!

I know these are strong words. It saddens me deeply to say them. They are the truth which I must speak. I am happy to be working for this ministry which does so much to spread much of the truth. I agonize before God asking how I can bear the constant reminders of the wrong which is being performed in the name of serving God.

I am reminded by the Holy Spirit how the Bible records so much evil performed by His chosen people, the children of Israel, even in the courts of the temple. Surely there were some among the priests who agonized over the evil. I am also reminded of some other words of God to Ezekiel.

6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
Ezekiel 8:6

God took special notice of those who agonized over the abominations. This prophecy shows them as those who were sealed from the destruction.

4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Ezekiel 9:4

What happened to those who were not marked with the seal of God? This judgment began with those who were the leaders who stood in service before God.

6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
Ezekiel 9:6

There is one last verse where God also speaks about remembering the commandments.

39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe (tassel), that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments[H4687] of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments[H4687], and be holy unto your God.
41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.
Numbers 15:39-41

The Hebrew word used here [H4687] is the word usually translated commandments. This word is mitzvah which is universally recognized as applying to all the Law of Moses given by God. Verse 40 explicitly emphasizes "all". Many people subconsciously (sometimes verbally) put the word "Ten" before the word commandments when this is not what the Bible says.

Did you know it appears the concept of only Ten Commandments exists only three times in the Bible? If I overlooked another one, please let me know. I would love to examine and study it. Take careful note of the Hebrew word [H1697] and the different ways it is translated.

27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words[H1697]: for after the tenor of these words[H1697] I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words[H1697] of the covenant, the ten commandments[H1697].
Exodus 34:27-28
12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words[H1697], but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.
13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments[H1697]; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.
Deuteronomy 4:12-14
1 At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.
2 And I will write on the tables the words[H1697] that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
3 And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.
4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments[H1697], which the LORD spake [H1696] unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.
Deuteronomy 10:1-4

The Hebrew word [H1697], used here actually means speech, or word, or saying. The translation "commandment" is somewhat inaccurate. The identical (except for vowel points added in the 7th century) Hebrew word [H1696] is speak. Therefore the phrase "Ten Commandments" is a translation error resulting in a deliberate deception of the idea there are only ten commandments we need to obey.

Those who teach against the "Law of Moses" attach great significance to this verse:

26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Deuteronomy 31:26

They interpret this to mean it was put in a pocket outside of the ark and thus they claim it reduces its status in comparison to the tables inside the ark. The construction of the ark is detailed and describes no pocket. The tablets very well may have been in the center of the ark and the writings placed to the side. Does this reduce their importance? What does God say?

God's Ten Statements are indeed a beautiful summary of the principles of His Law. There is also a beautiful simpler summary mentioned by the Messiah, the principle of Love for God and Love for your neighbor. God reminds us there is a broad range of guidance in all His Law.

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Malachi 4:4

Is it your desire to follow all the commandments of God? Do you have excuses to limit your responsibility to only ten?

Holy Days vs Holidays

The conflict between the observance of God's Holy Days and the observance of worldly, pagan, and Catholic holidays is the most significant issue of present truth today. This issue is second only to the conflict between the weekly Sabbath observance and Sunday observance. The reason the weekly Sabbath is more important is primarily that it occurs every week whereas the yearly Sabbaths occur only seven times a year.

In the same way that the weekly Sabbath tends to become the most emphasized part of the Ten Commandments because it is the direct worship of God most directly violated by Catholic tradition, the yearly Sabbaths tend to become the most emphasized part of the Law of Moses. These are the direct worship of God most directly violated by Catholic tradition.

The term yearly Sabbaths is more accurate than the commonly used term "feasts". The unique characteristic of the yearly Sabbaths is God commands these are days of holy convocation and no work. This is why I find it clearer to refer to them as yearly Sabbaths rather than feasts. The yearly Sabbaths are primarily observed in the same fashion as the weekly Sabbath. On the weekly Sabbath, we specifically remember the creation of which it is a memorial. On the yearly Sabbaths, we remember the past events for which they are memorials and the future events to which they point.

Law of Moses

Even those who claim to believe in the Law of Moses will accept only the observance of the yearly Sabbaths. Many ignore other guidance/requirements God provides for us. The most visible of these is the wearing of the tassels discussed in the next section. It looks like they will accept something they can do privately, but not something, which publicly marks them as believers.

A person, who chooses to follow all the statutes, including the wearing of the tassels, attracts the focus of many critics. Even the most devoted followers and teachers of the Third Elijah Message have warned me of the danger of prejudice against the truth of the message caused by the wearing of the tassels.

There are many general issues of appearance beyond wearing the tassels. Since I began wearing the tassels, I have been made increasingly aware many are highly opposed to anything Jewish. The reaction I have faced to the observance of Passover and the yearly Sabbaths is nothing compared to the reaction toward the wearing of the tassels. Those who believe in the observance of the yearly Sabbaths have reacted the most negatively.

I can almost hear Satan cackle to himself. "The Sunday-keepers ignore just one little commandment". "The feast-keepers ignore just one little statute". How does the Messiah feel when we choose to dismiss one of His requirements? Unfortunately, this is not the only little requirement people ignore. What did our Savior say about the small requirements?

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19

I would paraphrase this as:

Whoever intentionally ignores the smallest part of the Law of Moses and teaches this to others, will be unwelcome in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever obeys and teaches the Law of Moses, will be most welcome in the kingdom of heaven.

Remember! Keeping the law of the Messiah does not save you. Belief in the Messiah saves you. Ignoring the law of the Messiah means you do not practice what you believe.

The Messiah was an Israelite. The Messiah observed and obeyed all scripture. He was our perfect example.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
I Peter 2:21
He is our example in all things.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
John 13:15

Did the Messiah command something, which is too difficult?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48


Shortly after I began studying the statutes as a source of God's commands for His people, I learned the truth about the tassels or fringes as they are called in the KJV version of the Bible. The statute is given in two places.

37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them ; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:
40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.
Numbers 15:37-41
12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.
Deuteronomy 22:12

I was under immediate conviction of the validity and importance of this statute. God has provided His perfect way to show our religious devotion. We are to look upon the tzitzit and remember His law.

This statute is still not honored by most who believe in the statutes. Interestingly, you don't even find this mentioned in most discussions or books about the statutes. I suspect traces of anti-Semitism still exist.

The word translated as fringes in Numbers is tsiytsith.

fringe, tassel, lock

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #06734

The word translated as ribband in Numbers is pathiyl.

cord, thread (twisted)

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #06616

The word translated as fringes in Deuteronomy is gĕdil.

twisted threads, tassels

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #01434

This practice did not disappear in the Renewed Testament but it is hidden in translation. The translation of border or hem from the Greek is kraspedon.

1) the extremity or prominent part of a thing, edge, skirt, margin

a) the fringe of a garment

b) in the NT a little appendage hanging down from the edge of the mantle or cloak, made of twisted wool

c) a tassel, tuft: the Jews had such appendages attached to their mantles to remind them of the law

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #2899

The Renewed Testament indicates the Messiah obeyed all of the Law of Moses and wore the tzitzit.

20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
Matthew 9:20
36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
Matthew 14:36
56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
Mark 6:56
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
Luke 8:44

The Messiah spoke against the practice of making the tassels long and showy.

5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
Matthew 23:5

Beards, Shaving, Tattoos, and Piercings

I have not been outspoken on the issue of beards on men. I prefer to witness by example and concentrate on other issues of obedience, which need to be addressed first. It is easy to become judgmental, and unnecessarily critical on this and other issues. I struggle to share truth in love. Sometimes what I say may sound harsh but I pray you may sense a spirit, which is learning to be gentle under the molding of the Holy Spirit.

Let us examine some of the specific statutes in question.

27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:27-28
5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.
Leviticus 21:5
1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
Deuteronomy 14:1
In all the presentations of the statutes, I have heard it is interesting I have never heard mention of the beard as well as the tassels. It seems some will follow God enough to accept the private practice of the yearly Sabbaths but to change our daily appearance is asking too much.

There is general agreement on avoiding tattoos and piercings, but I believe it needs to refer to specific Biblical guidance for proper support. It is easy to make the excuse this statute does not apply today. There is the implication this is only wrong when done "for the dead".

Each person must seek God's guidance in their own heart and their own lives on this subject. This my witness to my understanding of applying the principles of God to my appearance. I am not telling you what you should do. I do encourage you to study all the guidance God has provided for us in His word and seek His guidance on what He expects from you.

It is appropriate to trim, comb, and arrange the hair/beard for neatness and attractiveness. Excessively long hair on men or excessively short on women is against the natural distinction of the sexes as created by God. Paul gave some difficult teachings in this chapter but here is a statement to consider.

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
I Corinthians 11:14-15

Shaving, plucking, or coloring the hair is too extreme an action to change our appearance and is telling God you do not approve of how He made you and you know better. These practices are also at the basis of applying makeup and chemicals on the skin to alter appearance as well as the extreme of cosmetic surgery. It is true, sin has marred our bodies, but our true need is a pure heart, not perfect-looking skin. We should not seek to look like those who do not follow God's Law. We need to seek a higher purpose to focus on a pure heart.

7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
I Samuel 16:7

Adornment and Display

We need to look beyond just obedience to God's guidance in His Law. We need to consider the principles of His guidance. A principle behind these statutes is the defiling of the image of God as created in man and women. An excessive altering of the appearance for purposes of adornment or display is a denial of the natural beauty as created by God. Excessive concern with our outward appearance becomes a god of our idolatry. Those who believe in evolution see no problem with this because they deny God, the perfection of His plan, or His specific purposes in His creation.

The result of sin means we must wear clothes. Many verses are describing the principles of modesty.

26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
Exodus 20:26

Simple and modest dress in gender-specific and appropriate clothing is to be desired rather than elaborate and costly dress to attract attention to the appearance.

Have you ever pondered why women are criticized for wearing a necklace but men will adorn themselves with ties?

15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Luke 16:15

I have never understood the purpose of putting a thin showy jacket over a shirt when it is not even cold. Is this adornment or utility? When I was a child, I followed the customs I was taught but I always wondered about this. When I became mature and thought carefully about these practices, I put away childish things.

I do not wear showy or expensive silver or gold watches or watch bands. I do not usually wear a watch at all, but if I did, it would be simple and inexpensive such as with a leather or plastic strap. Even better, I would just put it in my pocket. Why does it need to be displayed at all?

I desire for my appearance to testify of my belief in God as the Creator and a simple acceptance of the way He made me.

Jewish Tradition

Closely associated with the Tzitzit in Jewish practice are the Kippah, Tefillin, and the Mezuzah. I have received comments inquiring and joking about my adopting those practices. It is important to note, these practices are not statutes. These practices are part of the "oral" tradition of the Mishnah and the Talmud. The wearing of the Kippah was apparently not even adopted until about the 2nd century.

I am a student, follower, and teacher of God's Law. I am an Israelite and a Hebrew by practice and belief. I am not Jewish which I define as a mixture of religion and cultural tradition. I do not promote Judaism as a religion. I am not a Messianic, which is a confusing mixture of Jewish tradition, Judaism, and Christian religion. I do not wear a kippah because it is a Jewish tradition. I do wear tassels because they are a command of God.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19

There are many assumptions based on Jewish tradition. The most dangerous and damaging of the erroneous assumptions is that "feast-keepers" are interested in the restoration of the animal sacrifices or the importance of rebuilding the earthly Jerusalem temple in Israel. A true student of the Bible recognizes the end of animal sacrificial practice and the transfer of focus back to the heavenly temple. The corrupt idea of resuming animal sacrifices in a rebuilt earthly temple is a crossover from Messianic thinking, which is still deeply bound, in Jewish tradition.

Some modern believers of the Third Elijah Message indeed are lead astray by these ideas. This sometimes occurs when they find rejection among those who follow only part of God's Law. Some turn to Messianic groups who share a belief in all of God's Law. They do not recognize the danger of failing to reject Jewish tradition, which results in accepting apostate Jewish ideas after having rejected apostate Roman Catholic ideas. This is sometimes called, in a humorous way, "Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire". Unfortunately, it is very serious when our only desire is to practice obedience to God's Law based only on the Bible record.

I desire to practice a primitive godliness from the Bible without the burden of cultural baggage.

(Book Contents) Next: Unity and Disagreement

Revised 2015-08-21