Glendon

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Friday, April 27, 2007

The Message of 2 Corinthians 3

Understanding 2 Corinthians 3:7-18

The Amazing Truth about the Seventh-day Adventist Understanding of the New Testament

Because of Seventh-day Adventists insistence on the immutability of God’s moral law, and our respect for the entire Bible, there is a pernicious and persistent misinformation that we do not live and share the New Testament faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
Praise the Lord that Christ was born, Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ is coming again.
Praise the Lord for the New Testament gift of the Holy Spirit in order to spread this wonderful gospel that God so loved the world that humanity can be saved from the condemnation so inherent in the sinful condition after the fall.
Praise the Lord for the gracious deliverance offered every one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The text under consideration has been proffered time after time as condemnatory of those of us who would uphold the law of God in this evil age. But having warned you that there is total falsehood in the accusation (that we do not believe in the New Testament), let us continue on a somewhat common ground as we look at this interesting text.



The Epistle
According to the Life Application Bible:
“…the church at Corinth was weak. Surrounded by idolatry and immorality they struggled with their Christian faith and life-style. Through personal visits and letters, Paul tried to instruct them in the faith, resolve their conflicts, and solve some of their problems. First Corinthians was sent to deal with specific moral issues in the church and to answer questions about sex, marriage, and tender consciences. That letter confronted the issues directly and was well received by most. But there were false teachers who denied Paul’s authority and slandered him. Paul then wrote 2 Corinthians to defend his position and to denounce those who were twisting the truth.”

Chapter 3:1-6 Apostolic Credentials
3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some [others], epistles of commendation to you, or [letters] of commendation from you?
3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
3:3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.
3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;
3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

A discussion which began in chapter 2 is continued in vs. 1-6 whereby Paul affirms the spiritual foundation of his ministry. “Our competence comes from God.” The Life Application Bible states “Paul was not boasting; he gave God the credit for all his accomplishments…as Christ’s witnesses, we need the character and special strength that only God gives.”


The Glory of the Apostolic Commission

3:7 But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away:
3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
3:11 For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious.
3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
3:13 And not as Moses, [which] put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [veil] is done away in Christ.
3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.
3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.
3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.
3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Paul had been called to minister particularly to the Gentiles. It is believed that Judaizing Christian opposed his preaching in Corinth as they did at Galatia. The main thrust of Paul’s argument in this chapter is therefore the far superior sacrifice of Calvary when compared with the Hebrew rituals. In order to get the point we need to know the difference between the moral aw and the ceremonial law.
Here is a useful study from a wonderful site on that issue:

The Laws of Moses and the Law of God
Objective: At the end of this study, you will 1) understand the use of the term "law" in Galatians 3, and 2) be able to differentiate between the Laws of Moses and the Law of God.
B701. Welcome to this in-depth online free course on the book of Galatians from the Bible Dialog Institute.
Galatians 3:
Should a distinction be drawn between “the Laws of Moses” and “the Law of God?”
In reality God was the author of many regulations and ordinances that were given to the people of Israel through Moses. These were given to help them to function as a nation and to point forward to their ultimate goal and destiny. There were: (1) Civil laws and regulations that dealt with the ownership of property, inheritance, etc. (2) Criminal laws that involved punishment for murder, theft, and other such crimes against individuals. (3) Regulations for sanitation, health and various diseases, and (4) Ceremonial laws that centred around the sanctuary in the wilderness and later the temple which were given for the purpose of pointing forward to the sacrifice that would be made by our Saviour for all mankind. The basic form of these ceremonial laws was given to Adam following his expulsion from Eden (Gen. 4: 4). These sacrifices were continued down through time as with Noah (Gen. 8: 20), Abraham (Gen. 12: 7, 8; Gen. 13: 18), and Jacob (Gen. 33: 20). Offerings of different kinds and for various occasions were added at Sinai. The rite of circumcision was instituted by God in connection with His covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17: 10). At Sinai all of these laws and regulations were codified in a formal way. (5) Finally, there was the law that God Himself spoke at Mount Sinai, the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20: 1-17), sometimes called “the Moral Law.”
In his book, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, on page 42, Dr. Michael Horton defines legalism as “adding to God’s Word,” a practice that “is condemned equally with subtracting from them. (See Deut. 4: 2; Prov. 30: 6; Rev. 22: 18).” We must be sure that we do neither.
Jesus had no time for the multitude of rules, washings, and prohibitions that the Jews had added to the system of worship that had been prescribed for them through Moses. In Mark 2: 16, there is an example of how the Jewish leadership applied the “Law of Moses” in everyday life. “When the experts in the law and the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to the disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” The Net Bible. A footnote that explains the term “experts in the law,” is as follows: “The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations.” p. 1793. These added rules had isolated them from their Gentile neighbours, as well as individuals within their own society, but the Apostle Paul says in Eph. 2: 14-16: “Christ has made peace between Jews and Gentiles, and he has united us by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated us. Christ gave his own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands. He even brought Jews and Gentiles together as though we were only one person, when he united us in peace. On the cross Christ did away with our hatred for each other. He also made peace between us and God by uniting Jews and Gentiles in one body.” Contemporary English Version
Peter had been with Jesus. He had had the experience of being divinely sent to the home of Cornelius where he had witnessed the acceptance by God through the Holy Spirit of that entire household, even though they were Gentiles (Acts 10). He had testified to the other believers in Jerusalem of that experience and especially to those who insisted that the Gentiles must be circumcised, the same ones who said in accusation, “You stayed in the homes of Gentiles, and you even ate with them!” Acts 11: 3 CEV. They were continuing to hold to the traditions that had been condemned by the Lord.
Strangely enough, Peter, and even Barnabas, succumbed to the pressure to revert back to the old ways. That is why Paul had to confront them, as recorded in Galatians 2.
Again, in Acts 15, the record reveals that these ideas were still strong in the minds of some. “Some people came (to Antioch) from Judea and started teaching the Lord’s followers that they could not be saved, unless they were circumcised as Moses had taught. This caused trouble, and Paul and Barnabas argued with them about this teaching. So it was decided to send Paul and Barnabas and a few others to Jerusalem to discuss this problem with the apostles and the church leaders.” Acts 15: 1, 2 CEV.
Now we find that men with the same ideas had infected the church of the Galatians. Thirteen times the word circumcised or circumcision is used in Galatians. Clearly, the problem that Paul had with the Galatian believers involved the same issue that had been raised in Acts 10 and Acts 15. All of these ideas were a clear violation of the command not to add to God’s Word.
But, what about the various laws and regulations outlined in the first main paragraph of this paper? What has happened to them? The first three (the Civil and Criminal laws, as well as the health and sanitation laws) were national laws. When the nation of Israel ceased to exist these laws no longer applied. Of course, every nation has similar laws, but they have no religious significance.
The fourth law, the one that dealt with the sacrificial system and the rites that pertained to the temple services, pointed forward to the sacrifice that Jesus would make on the cross. He fulfilled this law perfectly and therefore the need for these rites and ceremonies ceased at His death. In addition, to forcefully bring attention to the fact that the temple services were at an end when Jesus died on the cross, the record says: "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” Matt. 27: 50, 51. God does not leave us in doubt about His overall plan of salvation. He instituted the sacrificial system outside the Garden of Eden, elaborated on it at Sinai, and in a tremendous display at the death of Jesus, the true sacrifice, He let it be known that the sacrificial system had met its fulfilment.
These first four sets of laws and regulations were written down by Moses as God inspired him to do it. In Deut. 31: 24-26 it says, “When Moses finished writing on a scroll the words of this law in their entirety, he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, ‘Take this scroll of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. It will be there as a witness against you.’” The Net Bible.
The fifth law is the Law of God, the Ten Commandments that He Himself spoke. This law was also written by God Himself. Deut. 10: 1, 2 and 5 records, “At that same time the Lord said to me, ‘Carve out for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones and ascend the mountain to me; also make for yourself a wooden ark. I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the first tablets you broke, and you must put them into the ark.’ . . . Then I turned, descended the mountain, and placed the tablets into the ark I had made—they are still there, just as the Lord commanded me.” The Net Bible. The marginal reference in the KJV indicates this ark was the same one mentioned in Ex. 25: 10, the ark of the covenant that was placed in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle. The opinion of this writer is that there is no place in scripture that suggests this law has been nullified. God is eternal. If He wished for His children to ignore His law, then He would have made an announcement accordingly, an announcement just as openly as when he spoke the commandments. At the death of Jesus on the cross or at the time of the resurrection of Jesus, God could have spoken and put on a display of power that would make the issue clear and without ambiguity. He did so in the case of the laws and regulations that pertained to the sacrificial system, as we have noted. I find no place where He has spoken in this way about the Ten Commandment Law. Instead, in the last discourse given to His disciples prior to his crucifixion, Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14: 15.
In addition, in Isaiah 66: 22 and 23, the prophet speaks for the Lord when he writes: “I also promise that you will always have descendants and will never be forgotten, just as the new heavens and the new earth that I create will last forever. On the first day of each month and on each Sabbath, everyone will worship me. I, the Lord, have spoken.” The Contemporary English Version. The King James Version reads in part: “. . . from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” [Emphasis supplied.] Clearly, the Sabbath is to be kept as a special day of worship in the new earth, and all who are there will observe it. As stated earlier, God is eternal. He sanctified the seventh day as a Sabbath at the time of the creation of this earth, i.e., blessed it and made it a special day (Genesis 2: 2, 3). At Sinai He reiterated its sanctity and said that the Sabbath should be remembered (Exodus 20: 8-11); it is a part of God’s law, the one He Himself wrote. Again, I find no evidence that the Law of God or any part of it has been nullified. In that respect it is different from all other laws mentioned here.
However, having said all of the above, as far as the issues that are raised in the book of Galatians are concerned, the principle is the same regardless of what law is in question. Clearly, “no man is justified by the law in the sight of God.” Gal. 3: 11. That means any law.
God is a perfect God and he requires absolute perfection from all of His creation. When the creation week was complete “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen. 1: 31. Because of the blight of sin, this is no longer true. Now, “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isa. 64: 6. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3: 23. In the light of these verses, how are we to be treated as being righteous? Can we do so by keeping the law? The answer is an absolute NO. Even if it were possible (which it is not), we are so imperfect that we would not know whether or not we were keeping the law perfectly! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jer. 17: 9. What is the answer? “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” Gal. 3: 13.
The human race still has a problem with sin. There may be those who would like to deny the concept of sin because it is an ugly word. But sin is defined in the Bible. 1 John 3: 4 states: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” Another word for transgression is “disobedience.” We are still in rebellion against God. When asked to tell what was the most important commandment, “Jesus answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’” Matt. 22: 37-39. CEV. Jesus very neatly summarized the Ten Commandments in this way; the first four relate to our love for God; the last six relate to our love for others.
But, let us reiterate, “no man is justified by the law in the sight of God.” Gal. 3: 11. Because of our inherent imperfections, no person can say they are able to keep God’s law perfectly.
Martin Luther wrote in his Commentary on Galatians, Modern-English Edition, p.163, “Christians are not made righteous by doing righteous things, but being made righteous by faith in Christ, they do righteous things.”
D. Ordell Calkins, DBA


Now back to our study of Corinthians. I am so sorry to make this document so long, perhaps another time I will edit it down but for now let us continue to explore the dynamic of old covenant versus new covenant.
A simpler way to look at the above scholarly article is to regard the laws as either ceremonial or moral. The moral law, the ten commandments, was an essential part of god’s divine plan and is unchangeable. The ceremonial law was instituted to answer a particular need, and pointed specifically to the sin pardoning Messiah.
A modern writer puts it this way
“Paul desires his brethren to see that the great glory of a sin-pardoning Saviour gave significance to the entire Jewish economy. He desired them to see also that when Christ came to the world, and died as man’s sacrifice, type met antitype.
After Christ died on the cross as a sin offering the ceremonial law could have no force. Yet it was connected with the moral law and was glorious. The whole bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. And if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving His life-giving, sanctifying Spirit to all who believe.”

The same writer states elsewhere “the dim glory of the Jewish age has been succeeded by the brighter clearer glory of the Christian age.”

Having shown that there is a theological continuity from the Mosaic system to Calvary I will now conclude by emphasizing that Paul’s statements on the covenants in 2 Corinthians and Galatians can be properly understood only in terms of his polemic against Judaizing opponents whom he saw as making the law, rather than Christ, central to salvation.
I end with a note on the New Covenant from bibleinfo.com.


New Covenant
What does the Bible mean when it talks about a new covenant between us and God? The new covenant is the ultimate solution to human rebellion. It's in the Bible, Jeremiah 31:33, NIV. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people."
The new covenant comes through the death of Jesus Christ. It's in the Bible, Luke 22:20, NIV. "In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you."
The new covenant means we can go directly to God through Christ. It's in the Bible, Hebrews 7:22, NIV. "Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant."
There is forgiveness of sins only through the new covenant. It's in the Bible, Hebrews 9:14-15, NIV. "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ , who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."
Under the old covenant, what did the people promise to do? It's in the Bible, Exodus 24:3, NIV. "When Moses went and told the people all the Lord's words and laws, they responded with one voice, 'Everything the Lord has said we will do.'"
Under the new covenant, what does God promise to do? It's in the Bible, Hebrews 8:10, NIV. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people."



Let us all pray that as we are given grace to continue on our journey of faith we may love God and humanity and enrich the world with kind, thoughtful, and loving service.
Glendon Caballero.
April 27, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Publishing Ministry in the Gospel Toolbox

I had the privilege of speaking at the Gregory Park Seventh-day Adventist Church on Publishing Day, April 21, 2007.

Topic: Publishing Ministry in the Gospel Toolbox
Text: Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 18:8.

Key Points:

1) Will the son of Man find faith? Yes, for He who commands to make disciples has promised to be with us always.
2) The tragic obstacle to witnessing is lack of love.
3) There is no limit to how God can use you as you discover your spiritual gifts and put them to work, using your gospel toolbox. Not everyone is called to be users of all tools.

  • The toolbox contains personal evangelism such as Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.
  • The toolbox contains health evangelism like Daniel and his three friends in babylon.
  • The toolbox contains lifestyle evangelism like Abraham building his altar in the pagan lands.
  • The toolbox contains public evangelism like Peter at Pentecost.
  • All can be combined with literature evangelism.

I then shared information from the Publishing Ministry Website:

PHILOSOPHY OF NEED
FOR THE LITERATURE MINISTRY
A. DO WE NEED THE PUBLISHING MINISTRY TODAY?
Modern technology has made possible the saturation of society with publications and other
media information. Some of our church leaders ask, "Does the church really need the Publishing
Ministry today?"
When we go back to the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy, we find positive and conclusive
answers. The answer is YES! Why? Because of the following reasons:
1. Written Words Endure
One writer said: "The preacher writes his words on water, but the writer carves his words in
stone" (Unknown).
Mrs. Ellen G. White agreed when she said: "A sermon may be preached and soon forgotten,
but a book remains" (Life Sketches, p. 382).
The books distributed by the SDA Church through the Literature Evangelists ten, twenty,
even fifty years ago are still preaching. The books you sell or give away today will keep
leading souls to Christ until He comes. Certainly, written words endure.
It may be true that some people who buy SDA literature will just lay them on the shelf or
place them on the parlor table and seldom look at them. But God still cares for His truth, and
the time will come when these books will be sought for and read (see Testimonies, vol. 6, pp.
313, 314).
Then the prophet continued: "More than one thousand will soon be converted in one day,
most of whom will trace their convictions to the reading of our publications" (Colporteur
Ministry, p. 151).
2. Prepare People for Heaven
AThe publications sent forth from our printing houses are to prepare a people to meet God.
Throughout the world they are to do the same work that was done by John the Baptist for
the Jewish nation@ (Colporteur Ministry, p. 3).
3. Reach Places Where Ministers Cannot
"Our Publications should go everywhere. . . . There are many places in which the voice of
the minister cannot be heard, places which can be reached only by our publications, - the
books, papers, and tracts filled with the Bible truths that the people need" (Colporteur
Ministry, p. 4).
4. God’s Chosen Method
a. At Mount Sinai, God started the Publishing Ministry. First He spoke to Moses, and then
He wrote the Ten Commandments. Therefore the Spoken Word and the Written Word
must go together (Exodus 31:18).
At Mount Sinai . . . God spoke . . . and then God wrote!
And so today we have. . . The Spoken Word - Preaching (2 Timothy 4:2)
The Written Word - Literature (John 5:39)
b. At different times, men used different writing materials for writing the messages from
God.
God to Moses - Stone
Abraham - Clay Tablets
Isaiah - Parchment Scrolls
Ellen G. White - Paper
Today - Compact Discs
But the messages are still written!
c. Ordained of God - "God has ordained the canvassing work as a means of presenting
before the people the light contained in our books . . ." (Colporteur Ministry, p. 6).
B. WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS LITERATURE EVANGELISTS TODAY
With the sophisticated advancement of technology in communication, where people can buy
books through the Internet and other forms of media, some church leaders are asking as to
whether there is still a need for Literature Evangelists today to work for the church.
Yes! The work of Literature Evangelists and their contribution to the evangelistic outreach of the
church is an important and most profitable line of evangelism (see Colporteur Ministry, p. 8).
Why? The following reasons demonstrate this fact.
1. Indispensable Method


Our publications can go to places where evangelistic meetings cannot be held. "In such
places the faithful evangelistic canvasser [Literature Evangelist] takes the place of the living
preacher. By the canvassing work the truth is presented to thousands who otherwise would
never hear it" (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, October 7, 1902).
2. A Personal Ministry
While the Publishing Ministry uses selling as a medium of outreach, the ultimate objective is
sharing the Gospel through literature to see precious souls saved into God’s kingdom.
Personal contact still pays one of the highest dividends among the evangelistic approaches
that the church employs. There are still hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, who will
never come to our hospitals, schools, and even to our evangelistic crusades. Thousands will
never enter into our local churches to hear the SDA message.
If they do not come to us, we need to reach them through personal contact evangelism.
Person-to-person and heart-to-heart ministry undoubtedly touches human lives more than
many other methods. Mrs. E. G. White said:
"The canvasser whose heart is meek and lowly can accomplish much good. . . . From family
to family they carry the message of truth. Thus they come in close touch with the people, and
find many opportunities to speak of the Saviour" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 38).
"As canvassers go forth into the field with humble hearts, full of earnest activity, they will
find many opportunities to speak a word in season to souls ready to die in discouragement"
(Colporteur Ministry, p. 36).
"As they went from house to house they could converse with the people, carrying with them
the fragrance of Christ’s life" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 44).
Just a few years ago, the church launched a new evangelistic approach called Satellite
Evangelism. In this way, one evangelist can preach in Michigan and be heard and seen on the
screen around the world via satellite.
The church feels that it is a successful method, and it is indeed. This program has resulted in
thousands of baptisms. But, we also have to recognize that the people who come to the
meetings should be personally visited, reached, and invited by individual church members
including, in many instances, Literature Evangelists.
3. The Work of God’s People at this Time


"God has ordained the canvassing work as a means of presenting before the people the light
contained in our books . . . This is the very work the Lord would have His people do at this
time. . . . We cannot too highly estimate this work; for were it not for the efforts of the
canvasser, many would never hear the warning" (Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 313).
4. Will Continue Until Probation Closes
"As long as probation continues, there will be opportunity for the canvasser [Literature
Evangelist] to work. When the religious denominations unite with the papacy to oppress
God’s people, places where there is religious freedom will be opened by evangelistic
canvassing" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 11).
5. God’s Calling
"God calls for workers from every church among us to enter His service as canvasser
evangelists [Literature Evangelists]. God loves His church. If the members will do His will,
if they will strive to impart the light to those in darkness, He will greatly bless their efforts"
(Colporteur Ministry, p. 20).
C. PHILOSOPHY OF THE LITERATURE EVANGELIST’S MINISTRY
1. Personal Evangelism
The work of Literature Evangelists is no doubt a personal evangelism. There are two areas
where Literature Evangelists can reach souls for Christ:
a. Distribution of Free Literature - Given to some people who are not able to buy our
literature.
b. Personal Outreach - Literature Evangelists conduct personal evangelism activities such
as Voice of Prophecy (VOP) enrollment, inviting interests to church, visiting backsliders,
praying for customers, and giving Bible studies.
2. Selling for Witnessing and Livelihood
Literature Evangelists are self-supporting church workers while giving their full-time service
for the Lord. Their only source of livelihood is from proceeds of the literature containing the
SDA message, which they sell to the public. The different classifications of books and
magazines they sell are designed to meet the different needs of the people.
Books Magazines
a. Health a. Health and Home
b. Character Building & Education b. Religious
c. Home and Family
d. Spiritual or Religious


D. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
1. General & Ultimate Objective - Saving Souls for God’s Kingdom
"Our publishing work was established by the direction of God and under His special
supervision. It was designed to accomplish a specific purpose" (Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 138).
2. Specific Objectives
a. To Make the Truth Clear and Plain
"Our publications have a most sacred work to do in making clear, simple, and plain the
spiritual basis of our faith" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 1).
b. To Call Men’s Attention to the Living Truth
"The great object of our publications is to exalt God, to call men=s attention to the
living truths of His word. God calls upon us to lift up, not our own standard, not the
standard of this world, but His standard of truth" (Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 151).
c. To Light the Whole World with Truth
"Our publications should go everywhere. . . . There are many places in which the voice
of the minister cannot be heard, places which can be reached only by our publications . .
." (Colporteur Ministry, p. 4).
"By the canvassing work the truth is presented to thousands who otherwise would never
hear it" (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, October 7, 1902).
"The world is to receive the light of truth through an evangelizing ministry of the word
in our books and periodicals" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 5).
d. To Prepare a People to Meet God


"The publications sent forth from our printing houses are to prepare a people to meet
God. . . . And in a large degree through our publishing houses is to be accomplished the
work of that other angel who comes down from heaven with great power and who
lightens the earth with his glory" (Testimonies, vol. 7, pp. 139, 140).


E. NATURE AND IMPORTANCE
1. A Sacred Work
"The canvassing work should be considered as sacred, and those who have unclean hands
and defiled hearts should not be encouraged to enter upon it. The angels of God cannot
accompany the unconsecrated to the homes of the people; therefore all those who are not
converted, whose thoughts are corrupt, who will leave the taint of their imperfections upon
everything they touch, should refrain from handling the truth of God" (Colporteur Ministry,
p. 29).
2. A Work Second to None
"The canvassing work, properly conducted, is missionary work of the highest order, and it is
as good and successful a method as can be employed for placing before the people the
important truths for this time" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 6).
3. Equal in Importance to the Gospel Ministry
"Canvassers must go out into various parts of the country. The importance of this work is
fully equal to that of the ministry. The living preacher and the silent messenger are both
required for the accomplishment of the great work before us" (Ellen G. White, Review and
Herald, April 1, 1880).
4. As Important as Preaching
"The ministerial evangelist who engages in the canvassing work is performing a service
fully as important as that of preaching the gospel before a congregation Sabbath after
Sabbath. God looks upon the faithful evangelistic canvasser with as much approval as He
looks upon any faithful minister" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 45).
5. Printed Message Remains
"It is true that some who buy the books will lay them on the shelf or place them on the parlor
table and seldom look at them. Still God has a care for His truth, and the time will come
when these books will be sought for and read" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 150).


And then she continued, "More than one thousand will soon be converted in one day, most of
whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications" (Colporteur
Ministry, p. 151).
6. Supervised by Angels
It was shown to Ellen G. White that ". . . the publishing work was arranged and established
under the special supervision of God" (The Publishing Ministry, p. 53).
From the editor’s desk until the time the literature reaches the hands of the people, the angels
are in charge.
a. Articles at the editor’s office - ". . . angels of God . . .[supervise] the articles that were
being published . . ." (The Publishing Ministry, p. 60).
b. Manuscript at the printing room - "The angels of God have supervision of the work. If the
eyes of those who run the machinery could be opened, they would discern the heavenly
guardianship" (The Publishing Ministry, p. 60).
c. The literature at the Literature Evangelist’s hands - "Angels of heaven will accompany
you, preparing the way" (Colporteur Ministry, p. 22).
"Those who engage in this [canvassing] work . . . should place themselves where they
can learn of Christ and follow His example. Angels are commissioned to go forth with
those who take up this work in true humility" (Ellen G. White, Manuscript 81, 1908).
d. The literature at the customer’s bookshelves - "The same ministry of angels attends the
books that contain the truth as attends the work of the minister" (Testimonies, vol. 6, p.
316).

I shared some of the info from the above article and made a special mention for young computer geniuses to use the internet to engage persons on a one to one basis with literature evangelism as well.

Literature evangelism is a powerful tool in the witnessing toolbox.

Reach out to even one person, pray with him or her, and give the person a boook, a magazine, or a tract.

Pray for your literature evangelist, and support the work by purchasing the books for your home, school, and workplace.

Witnessing is about making disciples so when all the methods of evangelism are used its all about being disciples, accepting Jesus as Lord of our lives.

Footnote: It was great to be back at Gregory Park. Elder Cavan Davis and elder Chambers were in attendance. the programme was planned by Literature Evangelist Sis Johnson, the Publishing Secretary for the Church. Glendon Jr accompanied me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sabbath School Lesson: Bible Prophecy Fulfilled

Special greetings to my class members from Knockpatrick SDA in Maneville, Jamaica. I invite you to post your comments on this week lesson by clicking comments at the end of this post.

You may click the link to use the online quarterly but just in case you were feeling lazy I have gone ahead and pasted the entire week's lesson here.






LESSON 3
*April 14 - 20
Bible Prophecy Fulfilled




SABBATH AFTERNOON
Read for This Week's Study:
Isa. 52:13-53:12, Daniel 2, Matt. 24:24, John 13:19.
Memory Text:

" 'Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please' " (Isaiah 49:9, 10, NIV).
Key Thought:

Biblical prophecy remains a powerful factor in helping establish our faith.
Every year people seek expert advice on how various stocks will do. Yet, in the end the experts can tell them everything about the stock except the one thing everyone wants to know: what it will do in the future.
God, though, knows the future. He has proved that to us, again and again, by some of the incredible prophecies in the Bible. Many of these prophecies were written well in advance of the predicted events. And, sure enough, time and again the events happened just as the Lord said in the prophecy. We know this because today, looking back over history, we see the prediction in the Bible, and then we can see that the prediction came true. "Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7, NKJV).
Having seen that these past predictions were so accurate, we can trust the Lord on the prophecies yet future, such as the greatest future prophecy of all: the second coming of Jesus.
This week we'll take a look at some of the great prophecies in Scripture. What can we learn from them? What is the principle behind prophecy? How does prophecy help us learn to trust in the Bible as the Word of God?
*Study this week's lesson to prepare for Sabbath, April 21.
SUNDAY
April 15
Prophetic License
In Hebrew the verb naba means "to prophesy." It carries the idea of someone pouring forth words with fervor or inspiration. The noun nabi means a spokesperson, a prophet, a person authorized to speak for another (see Exod. 6:28-30, 7:1). Another word used in the Bible for someone with the prophetic gift is seer, translated from two different Hebrew words, each with the meaning "to see." Prophets, it seems, have been given the ability to prophesy regarding things that ordinary people might not see. Thus, not only do prophets see what others might not—they are called by God to speak those things, often with fervor and might, as well.
Read Matthew 24:24. What warning about prophets is Jesus giving to us? What's implied in those words?
Jesus' warning about false prophets can be understood to contain the idea that true ones will exist, as well. After all, if we were to reject all prophets—that is, reject the gift altogether—there would be no need of the warning about false ones.
Read Matthew 24:32, 33 and John 13:19. What principle about how prophecy should work is revealed here?
With these verses Jesus showed us that prophecy is not just about being able to tell the future. Instead, prophecy is given to strengthen our faith in God and His Word after the events have occurred. The more we see the fulfillment of the prophecy, the'more we believe that the Bible really comes from the Lord.
There are various kinds of prophecies. One kind has to do with the predictions of a coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Others have to do with the future of the Israelites and of various nations; others deal with the end of the world, and even beyond.
Think over the role that prophecy has played in your own walk with the Lord. What lessons about prophecy have you learned over time? What words of advice or caution, would you give to a new Christian or to someone studying prophecy for the first time, regarding this wonderful gift?


MONDAY
April 16
Early Prophecies
"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper" (2 Chron. 20:20).
Beginning even in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we can see that prophecy plays an important role in the history of God's work with fallen humanity.
Look up the following texts. What was prophesied, and how and when were those prophecies fulfilled?
Gen. 3:15
Gen. 6:13
Gen. 12:1-3
Gen. 15:13, 14
Gen. 18:10
It's easy for us now, looking back, to see just how accurately those prophecies were fulfilled. But place yourself in the position, say, of Noah, who was told that water from the sky was going to wipe out the earth, even though, according to Ellen White, prior to that time it had never even rained! (See Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 96, 97.) Or of Abraham and Sarah, that she would one day be the mother of their child when she was long past child-bearing age. It was surely a great test of faith on their part (Heb. 11:8-11) to trust God concerning the events that He said would come to pass.
What promises of God are you waiting to see fulfilled? What lessons can you learn from past examples of Bible characters who trusted in God's-promises that can help you learn to trust Him, as well?


TUESDAY
April 17
The Prophecy of Daniel 2
Review the prophecy of Daniel 2. What does it teach us about the power of God to foretell the future?
World history supports the accuracy of this amazing prophecy. Babylon's golden kingdom ruled the world from 605 to 539 B.C. Babylon's influence was greatly extended, and it became the dominant power in the ancient Near East. Today the ruins of the city of Babylon are located in Iraq, 70 miles south of Baghdad. Not only did the Bible predict the fall of Babylon (Jer. 51:49, 53), it clearly stated who was to direct the campaign against Babylon (Isa. 45:1-4). Cyrus and his army were at the gates of Babylon about one hundred seventy-five years after the prophecy was given.
The Medes and Persians ruled the world from 539 B.C. to 331 B.C. But then God said in Daniel 2:39, " 'Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth' " (NIV). Daniel 8:21 clearly explained that Greece was the third kingdom. Within a short time the Greek armies, led by Alexander the Great, conquered the world. Wearing bronze breastplates and helmets, they carried bronze shields and swords. What a fitting symbol for Greece.
The Greek Empire was then conquered by the iron monarchy of Rome in 168 B.C., another dramatic fulfillment of the prophecy. Rome had the longest reign of any other world power. For more than five hundred years Rome was dominant; from the British Isles to the Arabian Gulf, from the North Sea to the Sahara, and from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, Rome held sway.
But as Daniel said, " 'The kingdom shall be divided' " (Dan. 2:41, NKJV). Rome was divided into independent kingdoms that later became the nations of modern Europe, nations that would "not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay" (vs. 43). We, today, are living in the time of those feet and toes off the statue.
The next kingdom to come is the final one, God's eternal kingdom. Daniel was so right on all the others. How foolish it would be to not trust him on this, the last one.
Think about this amazing prophecy: Daniel, living more than five hundred years before Christ, described Europe even as it exists today! How could he have done this other than by the power of God? Is your faith wavering? Are you sometimes having trouble trusting in the Lord? Go back over this prophecy or others that have been fulfilled, asking the Lord to use them to help build your faith.



WEDNESDAY
April 18
The Messiah in Prophecy
Of all the prophecies in the Old Testament, the ones concerning the first coming of Jesus are among the most powerful. There are about sixty Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah. One of the most powerful is found in Isaiah.
Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. What characteristics of the Messiah do you see here? How did Jesus fulfill them?
This has to be one of the most powerful examples of predictive prophecy in the Bible. It is full of contingencies that could not be rigged in advance in an attempt to produce fulfillment. This prophecy has been and still continues to be powerful proof for the Christian faith.
Below are a few Old Testament prophecies about Jesus and their New Testament fulfillment. What can we learn from these about the trustworthiness of God's Word?
Old Testament ProphecyIsaiah 7:14Micah 5:2Daniel 9:25Hosea 11:1
New TestamentFulfillmentMatthew 1:23Luke 2:4-7Luke 3:1-23Matthew 2:14
It is exciting to study how Jesus also refers to the predictive prophecies about Himself and their fulfillment after His resurrection. He told two disciples on the road to Emmaus, " 'Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself" (Luke 24:26, 27, NIV). The things concerning Himself may have included His birth (Isa. 7:14), ministry (Isa. 9:1, 2), His being rejected (Isa. 53:3), His hands and feet pierced (Ps. 22:16), His being mocked and insulted (vss. 6-8), His crucifixion with sinners (Isa. 53:12), and His resurrection (Ps. 16:10).
Because of what Jesus did in fulfilling these prophecies, you can stand forgiven before God right now, regardless of your past, simply by claiming His work in your behalf. How should this great truth, that of salvation by faith, change your life? How has it changed it already? What other changes need to come, as well?




THURSDAY
April 19
The Second Coming
As we have been seeing all week, so many of the prophecies about past events have been fulfilled, just as predicted, and often in an amazing way. But these were all prophecies fulfilled in the past. The Bible, however, talks about prophecies yet to take place. Among the most important of these are, of course, the prophecies about Christ's second coming.
If all the prophecies about His first coming were so accurately fulfilled, what should that tell us regarding the certainty of the ones about the Second Coming?
Before leaving His disciples, Jesus had promised them concerning the certainty of His coming: " 'And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am' " (John 14:3, NIV). Peter, one of the closest disciples of Jesus, wrote, "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" (2 Pet. 3:13, NIV).
The Bible not only reveals the manner and the characteristics of the second coming of Christ but also describes the signs of His second coming. Read the following prophecies concerning the signs of His coming, and mark an X by the areas that are seeing fulfillment:
Increase of knowledge (Dan. 12:4)False messiahs (Matt. 24:4, 5)Wars and rumors of wars (Matt. 24:6, 7a)Famine (Matt. 24:7b)Earthquakes (Matt. 24:7b)Preaching of the gospel (Matt. 24:14)Pestilence (Luke 21:11)Signs and wonders (Luke 21:11)People living in fear (Luke 21:26)Social problems (2 Tim. 3:1-5)Increase of skepticism (2 Pet. 3:3, 4)
A pretty accurate description of our world, is it not? Amazing, too, if you consider that the passages were written many long centuries ago. Hence, even more proof that we can trust the Bible.
If you believed that Jesus were coming back tomorrow, would that thought make you happy or, fearful? What does your answer tell you about yourself and your relationship to God?


FRIDAY
April 20
Further Study:

Ellen G. White, "Nebuchadnezzar's Dream," pp. 491-502 in Prophets and Kings; "The Bible Prophets Wrote for Our Time," pp. 338, 339; "Can All Have the Gift of Prophecy?" pp. 340, 341 in Selected Messages, book 3.
"It is the voice of Christ that speaks through patriarchs and prophets, from the days of Adam even to the closing scenes of time. The Saviour is revealed in the Old Testament as clearly as in the New. It is the light from the prophetic past that brings out the life of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament with clearness and beauty. The miracles of Christ are a proof of His divinity; but a stronger proof that He is the world's Redeemer is found in comparing the prophecies of the Old Testament with the history of the New."—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 799.
"Every nation that has come upon the stage of action has been permitted to occupy its place on the earth, that the fact might be determined whether it would fulfill the purposes of the Watcher and the Holy One. Prophecy has traced the rise and progress of the world's great empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. With each of these, as with the nations of less power, history has repeated itself. Each has had its period of test; each has failed, its glory faded, its power departed."—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 535.
Discussion Questions:

As a class, talk about the lesson in general this week. What things stood out that perhaps have helped you better understand the role of prophecy and how it works?
With so much evidence for the validity of the Scriptures revealed in prophecy, why do you think many people—when presented with this evidence—still refuse to believe? What other factors might be involved? What things could you do that could help break down some of these barriers?
With so many strange teachings on prophecy out there, what can you, as a class, do to help church members, especially new ones, be more solidly grounded in Bible prophecy and the principles behind it?



Sunday, April 8, 2007

Meanwhile Back at Knockpatrick, 6 Baptised


Pastor Enell Hall about to baptise a couple.
(Photo courtesy of Norris Gordon)



Six precious souls were baptised Sabbath, April 7 at the Knockpatrick Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester, Jamaica.

Knockpatrick, my home church, has been blessed in recent times with a revival by Pastor 'Hurricane' Bryan, Director of Stewardship and Spirit of Prophecy at Central Jamaica Conference; a wonderful Youth week of prayer conducted by several very dedicated youth; and just last week, Family Ministries Director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Jansen Trotman and Mrs. Trotman, presented a family life evangelistic series.



I returned to Knockpatrick today and we again had another notable guest, Pastor Enell Hall, Ministerial Secretary for West Indies Union, who preached on Isa. 43:2,3 under the topic "A New Name."

In his preamble Pastor Hall informed the congregation that the IAD baptised 47,000 new members for the evangelistic thrust Pentecost and More on March 24.

He said God created man and wanted us to be His special people, God says 'Fear not' and He will save you from the element of hostility, and whenever God calls He changes your name. There is a change of name, sometimes environment, sometimes occupation, but certainly a change of character. Of the more than 360 promises in the Bible, one is o give us a new name (Rev. 2:17,18).

Pastor Hall told the brethren, and the candidates in particular, how to live a sinless life: every morning spend 5 minutes to deliver your life to God. Say GOD I AM GIVING YOU AUTHORITY TO DIRECT MY LIFE TODAY. At the end of the day raise your hands and give God the glory.

Revival At Comfort Hall

Had a blessed two weeks sharing the pulpit of Pastor Rohan Spencer at Comfort Hall with the theme "Lift Jesus Higher".

A young sister by the name of Shanique performed the song 'In the Valley He Restoreth My Soul' at least three times. Very moving.

For the first week we used the Youth Week of Prayer Readings.

During the second week I preached sermons such as 'Where Have All The Fathers Gone' and 'Have You Seen My Jesus'. My wife, Kadie preached on Thursday with a special emphasis on Women. She appealed to the women to turn around Jamaica by taking responsibility.

The brethren of the mostly farming community have been very very kind to my family. We have enough citrus and yams to last us for at least another week.

We wrapped up on Wednesday, April 4 with the message from John 15, The Divine Connection and baptised one precious soul. A second baptism was planned for this weekend.

The meetings generated great interest from members and visitors, and several visitors have expressed interest in literature as well as joining the church.

I have recommended to the brethren the need for a Branch Sabbath School in the Race Course community. I have also pledged $10,000 to an Education Fund for the youth of the Comfort Hall Church.

May the Lord continue to bless the work of the Comfort Hall Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday!

Here in Jamaica Easter is a major event in the Christian calendar of our liturgical friends. Of course I am a conservative and historic Adventist, which means we reject the pagan overtones of the major festivals handed down to modern times. But I happily embrace our common celebration of the cross-event.

Good Friday!

That was everything but a 'good' Friday. it was a day of pain and humiliation for our Saviour.

George Knight in his comment on the book of MATTHEW writes
"In Jewish understanding, anyone executed by crucifixion was rejected by his people, cursed by the law of God, and excluded from God's covenant with the Jewish people (Gal. 3:13; deut. 21:23). to top it off, the Jews expected their Messiah to be a mighty conquering king, not a suffering criminal. No wonder paul could refer to Christ's cross as "a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles" (1 Cor. 1:23)."


Knight observes that the great temptation of Jesus was to come down from the cross, but to do so would be to break the plan of salvation.

That day was nothing if not a 'good' Friday; for by his death, resurrection, and atonement, I am saved.

The mystery of godliness, whereby God became flesh, that humanity might be redeemed from eternal death, has its high point at Calvary. Thank you Jesus for going to the cross even if the only sinner on earth was Glendon.

What a wonderful thought. He would have endured the agony to save even one sinner.
Why dont you just thank Him today for the loving sacrifice for you and your family.

A Proposed Study of E G White Books

I am inviting participants to a study of the writings of Ellen G White. at my Global Netway Ministries Blog at glendoncaba.blogspot.com.

I would like to do a book by book study, chapter by chapter with overview and comments.

Proposed approach:

Biblical Test of a Prophet: Who was Ellen G. White
Overview of Writings of Ellen G. White
Study of EG White's books in the following order:

Steps to Christ
Desire of Ages
Ministry of healing
Patriarchs and Prophets
Prophets and Kings
The Acts of the Apostles
The Great Controversy
Adventist Home
Child Guidance
Selected Messages
Testimony volumes
Christian Service

This should be a wonderful and blessed adventure in prophecy. Keep in touch with my site at glendoncaba.blogspot.com

in order to participate.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Jesus Family Tomb: Fact or Fiction

In a new Discovery Channel TV documentary, producer James Cameron (The Titanic) and Jewish director, Simcha Jacobovici, attempt to prove that Jesus’ burial cave and body were discovered near Jerusalem.

Here is a well written article with scholarly arguments refuting the claims.
http://www.y-zine.com/tomb_print.htm

It seems to me though that the disciples who were so hard to convince would never lose their lives preaching the risen Christ if they were not totally convinced.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Vegetarian Lifestyle

I am still a little queasy about copying articles to my blog because of my understanding of how google and yahoo search engines operate, that is, the illegality of duplicate content.



The following is from Adventist News Network:



ANN Feature: A Vegetarian Diet Not Only Healthier but Safer, says Adventists
March 7, 2006 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States .... [Taashi Rowe/ANN]

Click the following for entire article


http://news.adventist.org/data/2006/02/1141762542/index.html.en

Light in Tunnel

Getting some focus now on what we should be about in this awesome judgement hour.
Provide resources and nurture for saints. Motivate. attract and nurture seekers. In other words, win souls.

Site Still Being Developed

Haven't even finalised the name but I am coalescing my vision and mission for site around religious objectives.

Previously, I attempted to build a general purpose site with a view to monetising it; the Google adsense engine kept sending me religious cults and offshoots. So I decided to give the trumpet a certain sound. A straightforward non-apologetic Seventh-day Adventist site.

And by the grace of God you'll still get some day to day Glendon. Like right now it's like 3 in the morning in Mandeville and I would rather be hugging my darling but I must make some sacrifice to build this site.

Some basic problems to solve:
How to manage feeds?
How to edit photos into middle of my blogs?
How to draw traffic to my site?
How to monetise the site without being Google Adsense sieged by cults and offshoots?
Add a sidebar and thus obtain a lovely 3-column format?

So much of the available help is for technogeeks, but I must wade through the computerese in order to move with the postmodern times and keep the messages of the three angels flying through the internet.