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I'm a baptized Seventh-day Adventist.
What does this mean?
It means that before I made a decision to be baptized into this church, I was given an opportunity to accept or reject the doctrines of this church that I was thinking of joining.
Before my final decision to be baptized, I was visited by the pastor and was counseled about everything of which this church stands.
In addition, just before entering the baptismal pool I was like all baptismal candidates have to do, asked to stand in front of the entire congregation and asked whether or not I have accepted the teachings and doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
As a matter of fact, each of those doctrines was read out aloud to me, and after each one was read, I was required to publicly state whether or not I agree. I think that the church is doing the right thing in asking individuals to publicly state whether or not they embrace the teachings and doctrines of the church.
This is the right thing to do.
If I were to apply for membership into organizations such as the Lions Club or the Shriners, I would be asked to embrace and abide by all the rules and regulations of that particular organization. If after joining, I were to state that I no longer believe in the published tenets of that organization, then I was in danger of being kicked out of it.
But some people have no such respect for God's true remnant church. After joining the church, they decide that it is no longer required of them to accept some of its teachings. They feel that it is ok to break the rules and God has to acept them anyway.
As far as I know, when anyone breaks the rules they have to pay the consequences. When I was a child, when I broke the rules, my mother broke my bottom.
In today's society when you break rules, you go to jail. It's as simple as that. Maybe if there were immediate consequences for rule breaking in God's church more people would abide by them.
But that's not how God operates.
God is a God of love who gives each one of us uthe power choice. He doesn't force us to love and serve Him. He simply says, "this the way, walk ye in it." If you don't do this, this is what happens to you. If do obey my commandments and statues, these are the blessings I will bestow upon you.
We should read Deutoronomy 28 sometime. It the chapter of blessings and curses.
I must admit though that some rules are hard to keep. I mean, even though in my mind I know it is a good rule, I sometimes find it hard to abide by them. So what happens is because I find it difficult to keep certain rules, I begin to break it at first in small ways.
Then I look around me and see that others are also breaking the rules, so I conclude that it's ok to break this particular rule just a little. Pretty soon because everyone is doing it, I also now break the rule openly.
After a time I convince myself that the rule is there for individual interpretation. If church member A wants to abide by the rules, let him do so, but if church member B wants to break the rule, then it's ok also, as long as they both profess to love God.
Brethren, this is a very serious situation. The only way to understand the rules and why they make sense, and why it is important to keep all the rules, we must of course turn to the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy.
Speaking of the Spirit of Prophecy...
As Seventh-day Adventists, we either accept Ellen White, or we don't. We either believe that she was a prophet sent from God, or we don't. There is no sitting on the fence.
After careful study Bible prophecy, and after careful studying of certain historical events that were predicted would come to pass by this prophet, and see that they came to pass and after carefully reading much of her work and seeing that she was 100% inspired by God, I have personally concluded that Ellen White was God's true prophet.
The Bible of course is the "greater light." But Mrs. White as the "lesser light" was still inspired just as the prophets of old were inspired.
Here's the problem.
Just like there are some things in the Bible that is hard food; food that is difficult for us to understand and embrace, the same is true with Ellen White's writings.
Brethren let's face it, at first it was not easy to keep the Sabbath, but yet still we do keep it now. By God's grace keeping the Sabbath day holy becomes easier and easier when you've been doing it for some time.
In addition, we keep the Sabbath day Holy simply because we love the Lord. The world uses this special day to shop, watch sports, party and everything else, but because we want to obey God we make the effort and sacrifice to come apart from those worldly practices on His day.
Ellen White wrote about subjects that is pretty hard to swallow. Sure she wrote about relatively easy subjects such as faith and love and peace and humility. These are subjects that are readily accepted by us.
However God inspired this woman to also write about matters that are sometimes difficult to accept. Whether it is easily embraced, or difficult we must never forget that this is God speaking to us through His prophet.
William Williams - About Author:
Since 1999 The Advent Message Ministry has been delivering to people everywhere, the good news of Christ’s love. This internet ministry seeks to prepare God’s Remnant people for that magnificent day of the Lord’s return.
Brent Whinfield is the publisher and editor of The Advent Message. He has been a Seventh-day Adventist Christian for over 40 years, and is an elder at his local church congregation . His Three Angels Message ministry reflects the seven pillars of his beloved church.
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