Glendon

Glendon
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Book Written by a Friend

Dear Friends:

I am introducing to you a book that was authored to assist students with their educational needs at Northern Caribbean University, West Indies College, now Victor Dixon High, and West Indies College Preparatory School. The title of the book is PREYING ON THE BLESSINGS OF PRAYING. The book was previously printed in Jamaica and enjoyed by especially the youth. The testimonies reveal that it is a book that you cannot lend, you won't get it back. A very good book for a gift this season. You may view the book at AuthorHouse Book store on the web.

The book was printed in the USA 2005 by AuthorHouse Printers but copies have not been sold because it is not publicized. I am using this avenue to introduce you to the book. The copy you purchase today may be the means to save a the life of a youth today, and who knows may in the future save your life or the life of a loved one.

To purchase a copy of the book on line, go to:



http://www.authorhouse.com




OR go to
www.authorhouse.com
Store Home
Type in Judith Forbes as your search
The book PREYING ON THE BLESSINGS OF PRAYING: SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS ON WINGS OF PRAYER will come up to view, authored by Judith A Forbes and you will be able to purchase same on line.

I would appreciate your feedback on same.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nahar's testimony

a believer from the Middle East sent me an email which was really meant for Mark Finley, so I replied and suggested he communicated with Hope TV. His story is so interesting and inspiring that I have accessed his testimony from Songs of Praise site:


Nahar's Testimony


Nahar is a real person and this is his testimony. We have changed his name to protect him. I have corresponded with him over several years and have been amazed as he grew in faith and knowledge. His courage is an inspiration and I pray that God will protect him from all harm. Be sure and hear the song we wrote for Nahar, Your Love Surrounds Me. - Elton, April 14, 2004.

Introduction and prayer, My life, I met Jesus, The Bible and the Quran, More about Jesus, Conclusion

Matthew 5:14 (Injeel)
The Lord Jesus said, "You are the Light that gives Light to the World!"

And in the Quran, Surah Al-Ahzab 46
"And as one who invites to Allah's Grace by His leave and as a Lamp spreading Light."

Dear God,
I thank You for Your love and daily strength! My God, I thank You for the unconditional and incomparable love You have for sinners like me. I am very grateful to You Lord God! Surely I didn't choose You for I can never ever do that. It's only because of your mercy my God. I ask You Holy God whoever reads and comes to know what You have done in my life to glorify Your name Lord God, not mine, and change their hearts O God to love. You more than anyone and more than anything else. I ask the same for myself also Lord. Make me live each day loving You and becoming more like Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! In the Lord Jesus Christ's name I ask You Lord God.
Amen.

I am no more than an ordinary man who has been spending life like knowing nothing. I also had so many unthinkable questions like almost everyone experiences in some part of their life. Why am I here? Where did I come from? Is there really a God and if so where is He? Why doesn't He talk?

I was born in a quite wealthy Muslim family in the village of Punjab, Pakistan. But when I was about three or four months old I was carried to Saudi Arabia by my father. The eldest of my grandparents have been working and staying there for a while. My father already had married before and my mom was the second wife of my father. From mom we are two brothers and two sisters, four in all. I am the youngest. When I was about 6 years of age my own mom passed away. It's really hard for children like me to have good future in life without the love and care of mom. My eldest and elder sister took very good care of me but even then I used to realise "if I had my own mom she would have hugged me and kissed me when I used to get good remarks in class". My sisters are still very loving to me I love them very much.

My father got married to a third wife not long after my mom died. In the beginning she used to be very good to us, but slowly, slowly she started to fight and argue and use a kind of language a mother is never supposed to say. My father always listened to her alone and still he does that. When I was about 15 or about to be 16, I came to know that Christians believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. I very much wondered why is it like that. I have been studying the Quran since I was around 12. I had studied it in Arabic and then got its translation to understand and to know what it really says in English. I could understand in Arabic but not very well so I got its English copy as I could understand English better. I have been studying in English medium school. When I started reading the Quran in translation, I also started reading other kinds of Islamic books like the Life of Prophet Mohammad, Hadiths, etc.

My father is not really good in Islam but used to be very strict with me. I have been Wahabi or Ahlae Hadiths like most of the Saudi Muslims are. Osama Bin Laden is also one of them. They believe that Hadiths, the sayings of Prophet Mohammad and the Quran are the only true guidance on earth and they have rules and all the other stuff in it. They are very extreme and I have been one also.

Slowly, slowly I started taking more interest in Islam as I had been learning that it's the only way to Heaven. If you do this you'll get so and so blessings in Heaven, and if you do that you'll get so and so blessings in Heaven. I became an extremist for the religion Islam.

Well, I believed what I had been doing and what I was doing was right, and if it is right I have to dig deeper and it has to prove it is what it says. I had read about the prophets in the Quran and Hadiths, but Jesus Christ was the only personality that really touched me more than any others. I did like Mohammad but the hunger and thirst I got for Jesus Christ was something different from Mohammad's!

I started searching for Jesus Christ more and more. I had a Catholic friend who used to study with me. I asked him one day if I could have his Bible. He was surprised and said "sorry Nahar, you cannot have it". I assured him no one would ever know, "it will remain between me and you". But my father came to know that I read the Bible and that it was in our home. He was very angry and he knew I have only one Christian friend. So he took me with my uncle to this friend's home and warned them saying "if you do this again and try to preach Christianity to a Muslim child, you'll have to suffer a lot and you know it. We will complain about it to Islamic Police (Mutawa) and you could be exiled from this country forever". I was a bit worried. I shouldn't have done this to my friend's family.

My father warned me and so did my uncle to pray five times a day as I used to pray and one time in mosque. I kept going and many times when there was no one in the mosque I used to cry and ask God to show me "who is this Jesus and who are you?". Often while the Imam (leader) of the prayer used to be praying in Arabic, as it's compulsory to pray in Arabic only, I did not give much attention to what he's saying. One day I was praying in the Mosque. It was Zuhar's prayer (Noon prayer about one). I wasn't thinking of Jesus Christ that time. I saw an image of a handsome person on the floor where we bow our heads in prayer. I was shocked. I never saw such a thing before. It was kind of an image on water. I heard in myself that this is Jesus Christ. This is the Lord!

I was worried what and how could that be as I have learned in the Quran that God is only one and Christians they take Jesus as the Son of God and also call Him God. This is the greatest sin which God can never forgive. I could not leave my prayer without completing it just for this reason, so I completed it and began thinking about it after that. My hunger to know about Jesus Christ grew more and more.

I did not have a Bible with me any more. One day I was passing with a friend through shops and I came to know an internet shop. I did not know anything about it at that time, but from my friend and studying about it, I made my e-mail address and started seeing web sites of different kinds. One day I was on the net on yahoo.com and there came a thought in my mind. Type "Who Is Jesus?". I did and got lots of web sites. I was amazed that I could search about Jesus Christ there.

One of the web sites which I selected was Campus Crusades For Christ International (http://ccci.org) and some others also. But this web site provided me very nice information about who Jesus is, and what was said in the Old Testament about Him, and how amazingly they are fulfilled in the New Testament.

I was very much amazed. I never knew how and why to accept Jesus Christ. I was very happy to visit this site. I kept coming to this web site often. Some of the other Christian web sites were blocked as you may know very well. One day I thought of giving Jesus a try and said the salvation prayer on their web site, and after that I also started thinking, "did I do the greatest sin? I will never ever get to heaven and so on".

I also had been seeing that same image of Jesus Christ often when I used to go in the Mosque to pray. One day I was walking toward a market using a short cut. It's a bit lonely area. Not many people cross through there. I was walking and been thinking and asking God if what I am doing is right and should I be Christian or Muslim. I heard a voice behind me saying "My son, you are on the right path". I was again amazed. These kinds of things I never had experience with.

But what all I had been going through I became more happier when I came to know the Holy Bible, which says many things.

For example, in Isaiah 30:21, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it".

In Jeremiah 29:11-13 it says,
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart".

God has been faithful to me!

I had learned in the Quran that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were living in Paradise until they committed sin which also is the same in the Bible. But in the Quran I was told they were forgiven of their sins. I ask my Muslim friends "if they were forgiven of their sin, then why did God being so merciful and gracious make them leave heaven? Does it mean He did not forgive them?"

If according to the Quran, the Torah (Pentateuch), Zabur (Psalms) and Injeel (Gospels) are the Word of God, then how can they change? If they have changed as many Islamic scholars say, then who changed them and why? They will claim that the Bible has changed and they feel so happy in that, but to know the truth we need to be humble and seek. You need to ask yourself if everything you believe is really true. Where would I be if I did not search my Bible and ask God's guidance for my life? The God of the Bible replies like no other! That is reality!

We come to know in the Quran in Surah Yunus 10:64,
"Theirs are good tidings in the life of the world and in the Hereafter. There is no changing the Words of Allah that is the Supreme Triumph."

And in the same Quran, Surah Al-Baqara 2:106,
"Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?"

What does that mean? In fact it's exactly the opposite in the Bible.

In the Torah, Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind."

And in Zabur (Psalms) 31:5, "Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth."

And in Injeel (the Gospel of John) 17:17, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."

Never did I find a single verse in the Bible saying that God lies or that He changes His verses and leads people astray.

In the Quran we are told to believe in all prophets and all the revealed Books of God which includes the Torah, Zabur, Injeel and even Daniel. If we do not believe in them, that they are the words of God, we are not Muslims. I have been praying this prayer before sleeping when I was Muslim. It can be read in Surah Al-Baqara 285.

Have we to believe in names only? Do we believe it in the same with the Quran? If we read the Quran we have to read the Bible also which can never change. Many measures and efforts have been taken to destroy the Bible from this earth but they have never been successful. That proves that God who revealed knows very well how to keep it protected. I challenge all the Muslims and every one who says that the Bible has changed to prove it to me with evidence. Hundreds of scientist have studied it and have confirmed its clarity and what has been written. This has been the first book to be printed ever and every year it reaches the highest scores all over the world.

The prophecies made in the Bible are being fulfilled in our very day. These are some of the most amazing things and confirm who is the author of this book. The very creator of this world knows what is going to happen tomorrow and the coming days. He does not predict it like a psychic but knows it!

These are a few things that confirm the importance of this amazing book in the world, the Holy Bible, the very word of God, which can never change and can never return back in waste. Start reading it with a humble and without critical mind. If you seek to read it to prove it's wrong, it will not help you much. :)

It's amazing to know what the Quran and Hadiths say about the Lord Jesus Christ! Read below. And also what the Holy Bible also says about it!

Surah Al-i'Imran 45
Behold! The angels said "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus the son of Mary held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.

(Injeel) John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God!

Why is Jesus Christ called the Glad Tidings, Word Of God, Held nearest to Allah, but nothing is mentioned about Mohammad as such?

Surah Maryam
He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.

Why a faultless son?

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith, Hadith 4.506, narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "When any human being is born, Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith, Hadith 4.641
Narrated by Said bin Al Musaiyab:
Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child."

Why was Jesus Christ faultless and without sin, whereas Mohammad was touched by Satan according to his sayings above and lead a sinful life. Many times in the Quran he's reminded of repenting his sins. Every Muslim who reads the Quran with understanding knows it very well.

The Quran also says Jesus Christ did miracles and did many other things which note except God can do. Why did God allow Him to do these things which only He did? Things like giving life to death, and creating birds, and healing the sick, and telling the thoughts of people and what they have in their homes. Why?

Why did Mohammad never do that? Despite many people of his time asking for miracles he refused. But one miracle is recorded in the Quran that he parted the Moon in two. What benefit did it bring to humanity? Did it save their souls?

Before Jesus Christ was born, angels were sent to announce the noble birth of a faultless son through the Virgin Mary. But Mohammad being the greatest of Prophets in Islam does not have that much privilege?

If God really was able to make a virgin give birth, then why would it be difficult for Him to call Him His Son?

God says in the Quran through an angel to Mary,
Surah Maryam 15
Peace on him the day be was born, and the day he dieth and the day he shall be raised alive!

Then the Lord Jesus Christ says the same thing when He come to the world.

Surah Maryam 33
Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!

Why is nothing similar said for Mohammad?

Mary the mother of Jesus Christ is mentioned 34 times. In fact there is a whole surah called by her name and Mohammad's mother is never mentioned once in the Quran. Why?

Surah Maryam 21
He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.

Revelation and mercy to all mankind not till Mohammad but after also. Why? Why is it ordained? What kind of mercy is Jesus Christ to the world? The Quran does not answer that. Muslims will have to read the Injeel (Gospel) to find about it. Read the Gospel!

In the Injeel (Gospel), Mark 10:46-47, one blind man cries out to the Lord Jesus Christ saying:
A blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Also in the New Testament:
Jude 1:21
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The Lord Jesus Christ is not the mercy that was meant for people of His time or of His area. God made Him Mercy for ALL MANKIND EVEN AFTER MOHAMMAD.

Not only in the New Testament we come to know that Jesus Christ died and took our sins, but also the Quran agrees to it.

Surah Al-i'Imran 55
Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will cause you to die and then raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject Faith to the Day of Resurrection; then shall ye all return unto Me and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute".

This is what it says in Arabic but it's very sad to know that mostly all the Quranic translators mistranslate it. Due to this and many verses in Quran another very big sect which is called Ahmadi or Qadiyani in Islam was formed and they believe Jesus Christ was killed and was made alive, then taken to heaven!

We know from the Bible that we are sinners and away from the Lord. Jesus Christ is the only provision for us to reconcile us with the Lord, because He was sinless and became sin for our sake. Our sins were transferred to Him as Quran also agrees on transferring of sins. We read in the story of Abel and Cain the first children of Adam. Here's their conversation recorded in the Quran:

Surah Al-Maida 27-29
Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! They each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): it was accepted from one but not from the other. Said the latter: "Be sure I will slay thee." "Surely" said the former "Allah doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous. "If thou dost stretch thy hand against me to slay me it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah the Cherisher of the worlds. "For me I intend to let thee draw on thyself my sin as well as thine for thou wilt be among the companions of the fire and that is the reward of those who do wrong."

Here we come to know the transferring of sins mentioned in Quran. And Jesus the name itself means one who will save from sin. Also in Quranic terms it means the same.

Jesus Christ bore our sins and became sin for us. Here's what the New Testament says:

In Injeel (Gospel), Matthew 1:21
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

To many other people He said "your sins are forgiven" indicating He wants them to be saved from sins! He bore their sins!

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Many people have found God's mercy in the Lord Christ and have been changed forever, and one of them is me. Many look for the miracles, authority, Truth and only truth in the wrong places and I also have been doing so, until I met Him, the only one who not only knows the way to God but Himself is The Way. In Jesus' very words:

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him."

Mohammad and Muslims have been praying every day many times in their much-devoted prayers for guidance and amazingly the last and greatest of lslam's Prophet kept praying for it till his death.

Surah Al Fateha 3.
O our God Guide us to the Straight path.

Was Mohammad on the straight path? Is Islam the straight path? I encourage all Muslims to ask him or herself is it really true what they are doing to get to heaven?

I do not believe heaven is a place with a price tag on it, which can be bought by our deeds, but only through His Mercy and grace. Many times in the Quran we come to know that Heaven is the place for whomsoever God wills. Here is one:

Surah An-Nur 14
Were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you in this world and the hereafter a grievous penalty (In Hell) would have seized you in that ye rushed glibly into this affair.

Surah At-Taub 111
Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their good for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise)

What do we understand of it?

Surah Al-Maida 35O
Ye who believe! do your duty to Allah seek the means of approach unto Him

I pray God will give hunger in each of us more each day and we will turn to Him for our Spiritual food and our salvation! I have used many Quranic verses to show my Muslim brothers and sisters to know what it actually says for us to do! There are many other Quranic verses that can help a lot to do more research on the living story of God, and to know Him personally. It is made so simple like never before. Come to Him with a humble heart. Seek His Face and find yourself in His arms! I have a few interesting links for you to go to. I encourage you to share them with your friends and most of all use them for yourself.

http://www.whoisjesus-really.org
http://www.discovergod.org
http://www.gospelcom.net
http://www.fathersloveletter.com

Yes, if you have any prayer request or any questions or just want to share anything I am always there with God's will to reply to you and do what I can for you. We become a new creation in Christ. It was written long ago, but today it is still true! How our minds and our thoughts change because the One who created us knows how to fill that missing gap and to reinstall our spiritual life in the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Way to Him! So Brothers and sisters, open your hearts and minds to accept His amazing Love. Allow the Lord Jesus Christ into your life and see what happens next. The greatest adventure in the Universe begins. Whenever I have been in trouble He has been there and comforted me like no one ever could. He has shown me that He's alive forever and He loves us very much. Many times I have just been thinking of something and it happens because He knows our hearts and our desires and gives us what is best for us. I praise and thank God for sending His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die for me and for all of us, and making the marvelous and glorious bridge to reach Him! Just give him a try.

My E-mail is:
amorsoldier@yahoo.com

Anyone can write to me. I love everyone and pray that God will pour more love in my life and make me love everyone, love more as He did and does. I want to see people as God sees them.

To God Be All Glory!
With His Love,
Nahar







Web songsofpraise.org

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Challenge and Opportunity of Discoveries 08 on Cable

A large number of members are staying home and watching the meetings on cable. So whats wrong? Well, the evangelistic planning was based on the church being the downlink site where members and visitors would view the broadcast.

In hindsight, if the cable providers had assured us that they would have been able to carry the broadcast, then I would have proposed cell group type evangelism, or argued against purchasing the satellite dish, simply subscribe to cable for the period of the series.

So we are caught in the middle of the stream with the current pulling in two different directions. There is an opportunity here somewhere. But the innovative capacity of the church may limit any creativity at this time.

We cant just soldier on blindly, something has to be done.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One Week of Discoveries 08

So far so good. Church budget for the series is sooo tooo small so we had to get creative, like designing and running off handbills and fliers. Like barely affording the banner.

But we are up and running at our downlink site at the Knockpatrick Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Pastor Mark Finley has been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ with power and clarity. The broadcast quality is good. Attendance has been good.

I heard of the delayed broadcast on 3ABN a bit too late to promote it, so we are live on Hope Channel; problem is with the Daylight Saving Time in USA, we are starting at 6 p.m down here in Jamaica.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Prayer and action

Prayer is commendable in all seasons, however, the emphasis on prayer in the murderous nation of Jamaica at this time must not be at the expense of serious practical and honest approaches to reducing the crime rate.

Firstly, perhaps we should explore the truth and reconciliation successes experienced by other states with a history of political polarisation and bloodshed.

Secondly, Christians in Jamaica should get out of the four walls of the church and into the battlefield of life with the word of God clothed in appropriate charity.

Thirdly, we need national urgency and national priority to tackle the lost generation of youth who are cold and hopeless.

May the Lord have mercy on Jamaica.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Mark Finley Discovery 2008 Training Broadcast

I had the opportunity see a bit of the online broadcast Tuesday and Saturday. But the one that was scheduled for 4:00 pm Jamaican time last Sabbath, did not air in the North American region. Major major embarrassment!

Why?

I had contacted the Mandeville Seventh-day Adventist Church and asked them to facilitate us with a viewing from their satellite feed. The earlier broadcast was too early for Jamaican schedule; divine service would be just about ending. So I communicated with the elder in charge of media at Mandeville as well as the communication secretary, and they made arrangements for 4pm. Alas Hope TV had no Discovery 08 on at that time.

Evidently the 4pm broadcast would have been for the Pacific Rim satellite, and not on our North American feed. When I returned home I went online and checked the Hope TV schedule for this region and saw that only one broadcast was planned for the day, whereas the Fact Sheet had two. So I thought, no wonder the handout at the seminar had Pacific Time for the last broadcast and no EST.

I hear that the union is seeking to obtain a copy of the programme. They should, Pastor Mark Finley is such a sincere speaker.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Discovery 08 with Mark Finley

On Sabbath, April 5, 2008, Sis Princess Lawes, Director or Public Affairs and Religious Liberty at West Indies Union, visited Knockpatrick Seventh-day Adventist Church and reported on the success of Pentecost and More; she went on to announce that the satellite evangelism programme Net 08, now renamed Discovery 2008, with Evangelist Mark Finley is scheduled for the month of October and will be aired on Hope TV.

The next day I attended a communication seminar at Camp Verley for communication secretaries, and received more information on the series, including the training broadcasts planned for Tuesday, April 15, and Sabbath, April 19, 2008.

I have taken the liberty of pasting the Fact Sheet from Hope TV here. I know that it is more digitally acceptable to post a link, but I always think of the person who is too lazy to even want to click.


F A C T S H E E T


Contact: 1-888-393-HOPE (4673) March 3, 2008
Email:evangelism@hopetv.org
www.hopetv.org/evangelism


Special broadcast on April 15 and 19
To introduce Discoveries ‘08 with Pastor Mark Finley

On Tuesday, April 15 and Saturday, April 19, Hope Channel will broadcast a special program to introduce NET 2008 with Pastor Mark Finley. This inspiring and informative television broadcast will help people understand what to expect when Discoveries 08 begins this fall.

Church members, pastors, and leaders are urged to watch this live program with Pastor Finley to learn how they can benefit from the brand new evangelistic approaches that Discoveries 08 will feature. There will be inspiring music and dynamic preaching that will be suitable for either your Sabbath church service or Sabbath afternoon viewing by the church.

Broadcast times on Hope Channel are:

Tuesday, April 15 at 8:00 pm EST and again at 7:00 pm PST.

Saturday, April 19, at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST) and again at 5:00 pm EST (2:00 pm PST)


Discoveries 08 will present a fresh approach to satellite evangelism.
• All new sermons and colorful graphics.
• Sermon topics will be divided into teaching blocks to make it easy to invite friends to the topic that most interests them.
• Viewers will be able to video tape their questions and post them on You Tube to be broadcast and answered during the live meetings.
• Hope Channel’s online evangelism training school to help you prepare for NET 2008. Classes by the most experienced evangelists in the church will help you win souls.

All of this, and more, will be explained, April 15 and 19, on Hope Channel. Plan now for you and your church to participate.

To participate in the April 15 and 19 program, please register by providing your name and address where additional information can be sent. Call 1-888-393-HOPE (1-888-393-4673) or log on to www.hopetv.org/evangelism.

FREE BONUS GIFT
Everyone who registers to host the Discoveries 08 meetings in their church or home this fall will receive a free copy of Pastor Finley’s new dynamic revival series called Empowered by the Spirit. This deeply spiritual series is on two DVDs, packaged as volume 20 0f Adventist Preaching, and includes a bonus video Five Keys to Successful Evangelism. This is a limited time offer, so register now by calling 1-888-393-HOPE (1-888-393-4673).

This year’s NET evangelistic meeting is called Discoveries 08. Pastor Mark Finley will present the meetings from Orlando, Florida this fall, October 24 to November 29.

Hope Channel is a 24 hours 7 day international television network broadcasting on 9 satellites in 9 languages. To learn more about Hope Channel, visit www.hopetv.org.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Amazon Stocks EG White Books

This is exciting, finally a product I can promote wholeheartedly on this blog. Amazon stocks EG White books, this is really exciting. Potential to live the message and make a living with online literature evangelism.

This is really exciting.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Studying the Testimonies

There was a time many many posts ago, when I proposed a comprehensive study of the EG White writings on this blog. I am becoming more and more informed on internet writing opportunities, and I wish to earn money from internet writing.

Soooo...I am wondering. What if I focus on a blog which sells EG white books while discussing the writings.

Problem is that our Adventist Book Centre does not have an affiliate programme. So I need to check Amazon and others.

That should be easy to find out and follow up. Or why dont I approach the publishers and do a shipping arrangement. After Sabbath I'll give more thought to that business part.

Friday, February 1, 2008

SDA Deliverance Ministry

In view of the recent events at one of our schools, and elsewhere in Jamaica I wish to point the reader to the following site

http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/warfare/index.htm

I now humbly paste a section of the paper for for urgent reference:




"Spiritual Warfare" and "Deliverance Ministry"
and Seventh-day Adventists



IV. Prayer for the Afflicted
With this kind of "deliverance services" in extreme doubt, is there no hope for victims of genuine demon-possession today? The committee, while unanimously recommending against certain procedures described in the preceding section, yet feels that the Lord's commission, "Cast out devils" (Matt 10:8), was given to meet the real situations that do confront God's people. The methods used, however, will be in contradistinction to the highly ritualized and sensationalized drama of the "deliverance session" which appears to borrow (however unconsciously) substantially from ancient pagan cults of Mesopotamia. There is, indeed and in fact, hope for genuine deliverance.


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A. Hope in the Face of Hopelessness
"If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us," the father of a demon-possessed lad once appealed to Jesus (Mark 9:22). Jesus' immediate response was, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (verse 23). Matthew quotes the Master, in the same incident but now talking privately with the nine disciples who had been defeated in their attempts to cast out this demon earlier, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,... nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matt 17:20).

In the face of increasing activity of a supernatural nature emanating from the prince of darkness, Christians in general and Seventh-day Adventists in particular may face this distressing phenomenon with optimistic courage and confidence.

While the Scriptures clearly teach that these malevolent spirits are banded together in an organized power structure for the express purpose of subverting and destroying God's created works, and especially mankind, those same scriptures declare the unwillingness of our God "that any should perish" (2 Peter 3:9).

In "every time of need" Christians are invited--indeed, commanded--by a loving Father in heaven to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help" (Heb 4:16).

Standing by the right hand of that throne (Acts 7:56) is an Intercessor who has never lied (Num 23:19); and His continual declaration is that "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). He further adds:

And I will give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand (John 10:28, 29).

Indeed, the "good news" of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that by one decisive blow at Calvary, God, by the death of His Son, effectively broke the power of Christ's mortal enemy, Satan.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb 2:14, 15).

The essence of the gospel that God now bids His servants declare is the proclamation of individual Christian liberty from the bondage of sin and Satan, here and now, through a bestowal of unmerited eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life, this Life is in his Son. He that hath the Son of God hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:11, 12).

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:32, 36).

While Christ lived among men on this earth He utterly defeated every demon He every confronted; and, furthermore, He gave His disciples the power to confront and cast out demonic spirits from human beings who were thus oppressed: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give" (Matt 10:8).

In New Testament times, as we have already noted, the phenomenon of demon possession was a stark fact of existence:

Satanic agencies were incorporated with men. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, had become the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men. Human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. [footnote 33]

Christ did something about it; and the same author, elsewhere, adds that today "God's messengers are commissioned to take up the very work that Christ did while on this earth. They are to give themselves to every ministry that He carried on." [footnote 34]

We would add only, at this point, that our work today is not the conducting of rituals and ceremonies so common among those of the "deliverance ministry" persuasion which bear a striking resemblance to similar rites in the very heart of paganism in Old Testament times. Indeed, with Paul, "I show you a more excellent way" (1 Cor 12:31).

It is neither God's intention nor His plan that the people created in His own likeness should be the plaything of Satan. In love, and by a divine initiative, our heavenly Father has in mercy provided "the weapons of our warfare." They are "not worldly"--human or naturalistic, and certainly not of pagan origin--but they are indeed "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor 10:4, RSV, KJV; see also Eph 6:10-18).

Therefore, the individual Christian need not falter, much less fail, if confronted by supernatural demonic forces (Eph 4:13). Rather, he/she may fight victoriously "the good fight of faith" (1 Tim 6:12), in God's strength (Phil 4:13), and then come off from that battle "in all these things ... more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Rom 8:37).

This is the birthright of every "born-again" Christian child of God.


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B. The Christian's Preparation
There are times when the Christian layperson or minister is confronted by evil spirits harassing or possessing those for whom Christ died. He/she must sense the necessity of proper and complete spiritual preparation to meet the situation. The need of such preparation is highlighted by the experience of the nine disciples of Jesus who attempted--unsuccessfully--to cast out a demon possessing a young man brought to them one day.

Jesus, Peter, James, and John were on the mount of transfiguration when the distraught father came with his demon-possessed son looking for the Lord down in the valley. Upon learning of his quest, the remaining nine disciples may well have assured the man that he need not await the indefinite return of Jesus. They themselves were eminently capable of dealing with perplexing situations such as these (see Matt 17: 14-21; Mark 9:14-29).

Now, prior to this the Twelve had been given power over unclean spirits (Matt 10:8). And still later the Seventy would experience so great success in their ministry in freeing Satan's captives that in returning to Jesus they came with great rejoicing because "the devils are subject to us through thy name" (Luke 10:17-20). Yet, strangely, upon this singular occasion, these nine men all tasted the bitter fruit of total defeat. And they privately besought Jesus to explain the cause of this humiliating failure.

Jesus' immediate response revealed a serious deficiency: They lacked "mustard- seed" faith. And to correct the situation they needed to engage in prayer and fasting--for themselves (Matt 17:20, 21).

In her inspired commentary on this passage Ellen White identifies the various causes of this celebrated failure as (1) an "unbelief" that "shut them out from deeper sympathy with Christ," (2) the "carelessness with which they regarded the sacred work committed to them," and (3) dwelling in "a state of darkness" in which they mulled over their "discouragements" (Jesus had pointed to His impending death) and their "personal grievances" (jealousy toward the three favored disciples who alone were invited to join Jesus on the mount).

Now, in order to succeed in their conquest of the kingdom of darkness, Mrs. White continues, these nine disciples needed: (1) to have their faith "strengthened by fervent prayer and fasting, and humiliation of heart;" (2) they must be "emptied of self"; and (3) they must "be filled with the Spirit and power of God." Then they must come to God with earnest and fervent supplication in faith.

Earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith--faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work--can alone avail to bring men the Holy Spirit's aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places. [footnote 35]

Indeed, "if you have faith like this, you will lay hold upon God's word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed. Thus your faith will strengthen, and will bring to your aid the power of heaven....'Nothing shall be impossible unto you.' " [footnote 36]

The human agent should ever remember that he/she has no power within himself/ herself; we are simply channels through which the divine power may be poured out to the stricken victim. This being the case, Paul's admonition is appropriate: "Let a man examine himself" to see if there is anything in the life that could possibly obstruct the flow of divine power (1 Cor 11:28). If such be found, it ought speedily be removed by the confessing and forsaking of sin, lest one's prayers be "hindered" (1 Peter 3:7). Fasting may be necessary (it is always appropriate) in the making of this self-examination.

And, in harmony with our Lord's admonition in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 6:16-18), this fasting should be done privately, individually. Again, long, drawn-out prayer seasons involving self-examination certainly seem contra-indicated by the thrust of this passage.

Finally, this inspired counsel may prove helpful as the Christian prepares himself for this special ministry:

In such cases of affliction where Satan has control of the mind, before engaging in prayer there should be the closest self-examination to discover if there are not sins which need to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken. Deep humility of soul before God is necessary, and firm, humble reliance upon the blood of Christ alone. Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. [footnote 37]

In such situations "the earnest prayers of His faithful followers" are necessary. [footnote 38]


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C. The Afflicted One
The manner in which good and evil angels secure the compliant cooperation of the human agent is not always apparent. In some cases demonic possession may begin with the weakening of the bodily forces brought about through dissipation or circumstances causing continuing and unrelenting anxiety, to the point where the human being finally loses control of himself or herself and in some cases control passes over to the hands of unseen evil entities. The converse may also be true: Through the building up of the physical powers, self-control may be regained, even wrested from satanic forces, by the active cooperation of the human will with the power of the Holy Spirit and holy angels.

Also, control of an individual's will by demonic forces may be partial or total. Cases vary, and it is not always clear why they vary. But in cases where control is partial, it would seem appropriate--even essential--to secure the cooperation of the subject. In all instances the worker for Christ should seek to enlist the will of the afflicted on the side of Christ that he or she may be strengthened to resist the evil foe. In cases where control of the individual seems more total, it may be necessary for the Christian worker to secure the cooperation of those closest to the victim of demonic harassment and to pray on his or her behalf without this manifest consent.

There are today perhaps three groups of individuals who are particularly susceptible to the approach of demonic forces: (a) some who are emotionally disturbed; (b) some who are presently (or formerly have been) associated with spiritualistic phenomena--seances, Ouija boards, mediums, et cetera; and (c) some who make room for sin in the daily life, especially those who are professing to serve God, but who have not yet totally surrendered to His Lordship over their lives. All need help, and all need a work of preparation if satanic power is to be broken.

Instruction in Bible Truth. Before prayer is undertaken, the victim of satanic oppression should first be helped to understand certain rudimentary Christian principles, including:

1. His/her inalienable right as a confessing Christian, to live a life free from control (though not, of course, from temptation and/or harassment) of evil spirits, in harmony with the expressed will of God.

2. The biblical provision and teaching of personal victory over the evil one, through which even the thoughts may be brought into captivity to Christ (1 Cor 10:13; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 2:5).

3. The fact that as long as a person is himself/herself able to confess, repent, and commit his/her life to Christ, such individual is able personally to invoke the Lord's power against the enemy on the basis of Christ's victory over Satan at the cross (John 16:33).

4. The fact that Christ has already won the "great controversy" against Satan by His decisive victory at Calvary, and that He has committed to His followers a redemptive ministry to free the captives of satanic control in and through His holy name.

5. The nature and practice of importunate, "effectual fervent prayer" by the Christian (James 5:16).

6. The need for faith to believe that prayer offered in Jesus' name and for His sake will bring deliverance from Satan's control.

Ellen White makes a cogent point about the fact that there is a work for persons who are still in control who need not (indeed cannot) be done by another:

Those who have tempted the devil to tempt them will have to make desperate efforts to free themselves from his power. But when they begin to work for themselves, then angels of God whom they have grieved will come to their rescue. Satan and his angels are unwilling to lose their prey. They contend and battle with the holy angels, and the conflict is severe. But if those who have erred continue to plead, and in deep humility confess their wrongs, angels who excel in strength will prevail and wrench them from the power of the evil angels. [footnote 39]

And what is the nature of the work that the victim must do for himself/herself? First, he/she must seek the Lord earnestly. "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me *with all your heart*" (Jer 29:13, emphasis supplied).

Then he/she must accept God's word that deliverance is possible. There are three important points in 1 Cor 10:13--temptation is the normal experience of every human being, God is faithful to those who serve Him, and a way of escape is available for all who wish to find one. '"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye re able; but will, with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

Then the counsel of James 4:7-10 is especially appropriate at this point. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."

And "wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Ps 119:9). The mind must be focused away from self and defeat and directed upon God and victory: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isa 26:3). Indeed, we must allow Jesus to bring into "captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor 10:5).

Power of the Will. An individual's will plays an important--even decisive--role in the success or failure of prayer upon his behalf, and it is therefore imperative that the afflicted one being prayed for understand the place and the power of the will.

While it is true that supernatural beings seem to have an incalculable advantage over human beings in the warfare thus waged, yet these angels--whether evil or good--cannot compel the will of an individual when that will is committed to Christ. Evil angels can tempt and harass; good angels can woo and bless. But evil angels cannot force the will, and good angels will not. So the surrendered human will, exercised with faith in God's Word and power, is the crucial factor in this consideration.

(Unfortunately, in some "deliverance" circles today the concept of "surrendered" has come to mean a totally passive stance on the part of the individual vis-a-vis God's control. While such practitioners would deny that they [or God] manipulate the afflicted person, the net result often comes down to a mindless abdication of the victim's human reasoning powers, instead of the combination and cooperation of "divine power and human effort" which Ellen White continually holds before us. Surrender is not passive; it is very active.)


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D. Concerns and Cautions
Basic Attitudes. Church leaders have been accused by some in "deliverance ministry" as wishing to create a monopoly in which only "professionals" or "specialists"--be they clergy, medical psychiatric, or psychological--may officiate in prayer for the emotionally and physically ill. (Ironically, some of these who protest thus give evidence that they would prefer to have the monopoly in their hands.) Prayer is not the prerogative of any one group; and the church continues to hold that no practicing Christian needs an advanced academic degree in prayer before he/she can be used to minister successfully to those afflicted by Satan.

Avoid "Adventure" Approach. When after careful consideration and prayer for guidance it is decided to intercede with God for relief and victory of one afflicted by satanic power, the one who leads out and those who take part need to guard against a "morbid" curiosity, a craving for the sensational, the dramatic, a desire to witness supernatural forces in mortal combat, in short: to indulge a sort of "adventurism." Each Christian participating in this kind of personal ministry needs to examine carefully his/her motives. One thinks instinctively of the story of the seven sons of Sceva (see Acts 19:13-17). These men "played around" with exorcism, perhaps little realizing the power of the agencies with which they were dealing. They received a sound thrashing for their pains. Those same evil spirits are still around today; and those who flippantly, carelessly seek to confront demon forces could run substantial personal risks.

Avoid Inordinately Long Seasons of Prayer. Evil angels sometimes seek to prolong the season of prayer, hoping thereby to wear out the supplicants and eventually to win the day by default.

There is no evidence in Scripture that when demons were cast out by Christ or His disciples that the service was dragged on inordinately long. Jesus Himself decried the "heathen" philosophy that repetitious utterance of the same petition, in "much speaking," was the way to move effectively the hand of the Almighty (Matt 6:7; see 1 Kings 18:26). And Jesus was also down on "long prayers" (see Matt 23:14), as was also Ellen White, who had quite a little to say in warning against prolonging seasons of public or semi-public prayer. [footnote 40]

Not only are long, drawn-out prayer services unnecessary and without Scriptural foundation, they are also generally counterproductive in terms of exhausting the physical and emotional resources of all concerned.

Avoid Encouraging Over-dependence. There is a twofold danger that the one who is doing the praying will experience difficulty in confidently leaving the one prayed for in the hands of God, and also that the one being prayed for will develop an overdependence upon one or more of those who intercede in prayer on his/her behalf.

While the Christian should and will carry a burden for those under Satan's control, he/she needs to know when to "let go" and trust God to take over and do whatever is needful in the case. Christians can become genuinely trapped by these burdens for others, and it interferes not only with their ability to help others but also may interfere with their own ability to function in daily living. One may be tempted to conclude that he/she cannot trust God to handle the case in His own way and in His own time, and also that he/she can really add something to the ministry of Christ. The idea grows that somehow if I can add my sacrifice to Christ's then it will count for more in the victim's life than Christ's sacrifice without my own.

Sometimes the one for whom prayer is offered develops an unreasonable overdependence upon one or more of those who pray. While the mature Christian will certainly be called upon to supply large, personal quantities of love, care, and interest in providing personal support in prayer, study, and emotional stabilization, he/she will certainly need to avoid permitting the victim to develop a mindless, irrational overdependence by encouraging telephone calls at all times of the day or night and childish and unreasonable demands for personal attention.

While no Seventh-day Adventist Christian would ever seek to hypnotize someone for whom he/she was working to bring relief from demonic forces, there is yet a potential danger of "practical hypnosis," whereby the effective control of the believing Christian over the mind of the victim of harassment is accepted by the latter because of an undesirable overdependence upon the former.

In this context, then, the cautions of Ellen White concerning one of the practical dangers of hypnosis seems particularly apt:

The theory of mind controlling mind was originated by Satan, to introduce himself as the chief worker, to put human philosophy where divine philosophy should be. Of all the errors that are finding acceptance among professedly Christian people, none is a more dangerous deception, none more certain to separate man from God, than this. Innocent though it may appear, if exercised upon patients it will tend to their destruction, not to their restoration. It opens a door through which Satan will enter to take possession both of the mind that is given up to be controlled by another, and the mind that controls. [footnote 41]


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E. As We Look to the Future
Ellen White has written that satanic activity will greatly increase in these last days before Jesus returns, and we accept that declaration without equivocation. As it examined the work of many engaged in "deliverance ministry" at this time it also concluded that cases of genuine demon-possession associated with physical phenomena are still not as common today as is confidently declared by some practitioners of "deliverance ministry." However, the near future may reveal more such cases, especially in some cultures.

We fully recognize that Satan is at work in the earth today, and in certain instances he actually does control individuals in the here and now. This is an undeniable fact.

But to make "deliverance ministry" a prominent, if not the chief, work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at this time, is, we believe, to fall for yet another of Satan's specious devices: that of diverting the remnant church from its true, ultimate mission on earth--spreading the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14.

We have often been reminded that "we have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teachings in our past history." [footnote 42] Let us, therefore, at this point examine an incident in our past history which we feel teaches a lesson that is well considered yet today.

In 1900 the devil succeeded in getting a large number of Seventh-day Adventist church members, ministers, and even at least one conference president, into a fanaticism which called forth an unsparing, direct rebuke from the Lord through His servant, Ellen White. This "holy flesh" movement (as it came to be known) was, in turn, but a repetition of an earlier fanaticism by which Satan had succeeded in seducing certain of the people of God. [footnote 43] It involved manifestation of supernatural powers that were most dramatic and sensationalistic. There was much excitement. But God was not in it; And the net effect of it all was to disgust and turn away serious-minded people who might otherwise have felt led to become members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Ellen White declared to the practitioners of this fanaticism in Indiana: "You are giving the wrong mold to the precious and important work of God." [footnote 44] Then she added that at the very end of time Satan will come in again among the remnant people, to destroy their effectiveness by getting them entangled with fanaticism involving excitement and confusion. [footnote 45]

An important distinction, perhaps, needs to be made at this point. It is clear from Ellen White's writings that after the latter rain experience has been received by the remnant people of God, there will be amazing phenomena exhibited by laity and ministers alike: "Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men.

However, she also seems to indicate that before the latter rain is poured out upon Adventists, such miracles will not be so abundant. Indeed, the miracles of Satan, his evil angels, and their human accomplices, will be held up to Seventh-day Adventists (whose activity then is not especially characterized by the working of miracles) as proof of the legitimacy of their position and their standing with God!'' [footnote 47]

Even as late as the giving of the mark of the beast, and the concomitant forbidding of the sealed saints to buy and sell, those in Babylon will be "mocking" the remnant, "threatening to destroy" them. They ridicule their "feebleness," mock at the "smallness" of their numbers. And at this time the wicked declare that they (and not the remnant) have "the truth, that miracles were among them" (and, by contradistinction, not abundant among the remnant). They will boast "that angels from heaven talked with them, and walked with them, that great power, and signs, and wonders were performed among them" (and, by distinction, not so much among the remnant), and that "the whole world was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law." [footnote 48]

More to the point, Ellen White further points out very clearly that in the last days (especially before the outpouring of the latter rain), "God's people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan would counterfeit any miracle that might be worked.... They are to take their stand on the living Word." [footnote 49]


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At Issue Index Spiritual Warfare Index Back to Part III Forward to Summary and conclusion

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Supervise Your Children

Recent events at the Victor Dixon High School, a Seventh-day Adventist high school in Mandeville, has again pointed out the need Christian parents, all parents, to supervise their charge.

As evangelist Latoya Forbes, the school chaplain and guidance counsellor, declared the gospel of Jesus Christ to the school population in their Week of Prayer, the dear young people gave theit hearts to the Saviour.

It is believed that one or more of the converts were previously involved in occult activities that may or may not have involoved the internet.

Anyway, right in the middle of the service the demons possessed students, and thus began an intense spiritual struggle. Prayer was made on their behalf. Thank God that the power of the blood of Jesus is giving victory.

Some of them have been baptised. But the situation is still tense.

Last Sabbath, two of the new members were again attacked by demons. The brethren at Cedar Grove Seventh-day Adventist Church had to wrestle in faithful prayer and supplication for them.

The saints in this part of the field are praying with and for the students affected. At Knockpatrick, my home chuch, the singing evangelist from the high school shared her testimony, and then the elders had a special prayer session for the youth.