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April 2018


Destinations

Keeping Covenant MONGOLIA

About the Cover Damdinsuren Tserenbyambaa lives in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Christians in Mongolia are a small minority among Buddhists, atheists, and Shamans. Adventists have only been able to re-enter Mongolia in the last three decades. Like many other Adventists in Mongolia, Damdinsuren is the only Christian in her family. Because of the joy the gospel has given her, she has made it her passion to extend a warm greeting to every visitor to the Central Adventist Church in Ulaanbaatar. Her prayer is that her children will also come to know and accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Cover Photo: Eike Mueller

Focus 10 The Transformation The Word 18 Devotional 20 Spirit of Prophecy 26 Bible Questions Answered My Church 14 Millennial Voices 16 Global View 22 In Conversation 24 Looking Back Living Faith 15 Faith in Action 27 Health and Wellness 28 May I Tell You a Story? 30 Growing Faith—Children’s Pages

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“What is your favorite Bible story?” It’s a question often asked of a pastor and editor. And, truth be told, I’ve answered that question differently at various stages of my life. Because I had a father, a brother, and an uncle named David, the story of David and Goliath was my early favorite. Even though I passed my older brother David in both height and weight by age 10, I next preferred the story of Zacchaeus, small in stature, wishing not to be observed. The attentiveness of Jesus in seeing one lone figure up in a tree stirred my heart at a time I wasn’t sure anyone else was noticing. As a young pastor, I would have pointed you to the three parables of the lost in Luke 15—the lost coin; the lost sheep; and the lost son(s). Like other Bible students, I found in these stories of grace the “gospel within the Gospels.” But for the past 20 years, another Gospel story has captivated my imagination, both because it is amazing in itself, and because it is a powerful metaphor for how the church of Jesus regains hope and joy while it waits for Jesus to come again. Luke’s account of two disciples walking to Emmaus (Luke 24) is my favorite story of the Resurrection, in part because it’s set in the shadows of late afternoon—my favorite time of day. But at its heart are two crucial elements that speak across the centuries to all who love Jesus and long for His appearing. I tell the story—in briefest form—this way. Two sad, discouraged disciples agree to walk and talk together as they absorb the world-shattering fact of Jesus’ crucifixion. They do that most essential thing believers do—they covenant to spend some hours sharing fears, sharing faith, listening well, trying to understand. And what happens? Jesus shows up, and walks some miles with them, long enough to give them a full Bible study from Moses through the prophets about the role and mission of the Messiah. On the day of His resurrection, Jesus couldn’t fail to keep that most important promise He has made to all disciples: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matt. 18:20). His presence forever changes their story—erasing grief, transforming fear into power, enlivening their future with a passion for Jesus they successfully transmitted to 20 centuries of believers. This is, for me, the foundational story of the church—not 3,000 believers baptized in one day at Pentecost, but two believers, joined by Jesus, who covenant to walk and talk together as they journey forward into the unfolding power of His resurrection. As you pray your way through the pages of this edition of Adventist World, ask yourself if you are being called with other believers into a journey of new hope, new joy, and an eternity with Jesus.


News Moment

Adventists, together with government and community leaders, gather in Tatalea, Egypt, to re-dedicate the second-oldest Adventist church in the nation, recently renovated. Photo: Samuel Britton

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News in Brief

“Only eternity will reveal what the singing of Del Delker has meant to the Advent movement around the world.” —Voice of Prophecy speaker and director H.M.S. Richards Sr., writing about well-known soloist Del Delker in 1955. Delker, who would go on to sing with the Voice of Prophecy ministry for several more decades, died at the age of 93 on January 31, 2018. Her strong contralto voice unabashedly shared Christ’s love with rapt audiences around the world.

Adventist Church Launches TV Channel in France Hope Channel recently partnered with the Franco-Belgian Union Conference to launch Hope Channel France. The Internet-based channel will broadcast from Paris and will focus on programming specifically for an audience often characterized by religious indifference. This is a sizable audience in France, existing between the 15 percent declared atheists and 10 percent practicing believers. 4

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“Adventist history is potentially very rich, very textured, very deep, and very wide. …It is not the history about just a dozen individuals.” —David Trim, director of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research at the Adventist world church headquarters during a gathering of Adventist historians in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. Multiple historians and theologians presented papers about lesser-known Adventist pioneers who contributed significantly to the early movement.

Number of Adventist HealthCare Institutions Worldwide

441

Clinics and Dispensaries

180

Hospitals and Sanitariums

121

Nursing Homes & Retirement Centers

21

Orphanages and Children’s Homes

6,770 The number of patients served in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, by 3,300 volunteers who gave away US$40,608,800 in free medical, dental, vision, and other services on Christmas Day and December 26 and 27. Procedures at the Phoenix Convention Center included surgery, comprehensive dental, multiple medical services, vision exams, and free custom prescription glasses. Other services included prescriptions, legal services, haircuts, and free clothing.

“We are never self-made people, rather a web of humanity whose strength is determined by the strength of the weakest connections and the way we treat them.” —Dan Presecan, whose life as a child was dramatically impacted by a shoebox received from two 11-year-old British schoolgirls at the height of the 1990s Balkan crisis. The special box, a part of the United Kingdom’s Boxes for Bosnia Appeal, included gifts, a letter, photographs of the senders, and an address in case their unknown friend wanted to write back. Presecan, now serving as program director for ADRA in Central Asia, recently reconnected with one of the sisters on social media.


News in Brief

“From that day on, I have wanted to do something to help those who feel that they have no other option but to work in the production of illegal substances.” —Jimmy Munoz, associate pastor at Seabrook Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lanham, Maryland, United States, after learning that there are a half million unschooled children in his homeland Colombia, making them prime targets of drug lords who want them to work on illegal farms. Munoz and his church members have launched a ministry called A Cocaine-free World to promote entrepreneurship and create manufacturing jobs in Colombia.

“Refugees and migrants are not ‘others,’ they are us. … They are part of the history and present of the global family story.” —United Nations deputy secretarygeneral Amina J. Mohammed in her opening address to the Fourth Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs, cosponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The event brought together some 250 representatives from the UN community, religious groups, and nongovernmental organizations. Organizers included the General Conference Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).

900,000 Number of people in the African country of Malawi estimated to be affected by epilepsy. Warren Boling (far right), professor and chair of neurosurgery at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and Travis Losey (left), medical director for adult neurology at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Loma Linda University, worked with Malawian neurosurgeon Patrick Kamalo (center) at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to establish the first physician-run epilepsy treatment program in Malawi. Photo: Loma Linda University Health News AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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News in Depth

Philippines Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Sabbathkeeper

In landmark case, medical student is now free from Saturday classwork and exams.

By Southern Asia-Pacific Division News and Adventist Review

In what has been called “a landmark decision,” the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled in favor of a Seventh-day Adventist student and his constitutional right of freely observing a day of rest according to his conscience. The ruling involves petitioner Denmark Valmores, a student at Mindanao State University’s College of Medicine (MSU-COM). Valmores’ filing resulted from some personnel of the school denying the petitioner religious rights of exemption from classwork and exams on Saturdays, the biblical day of rest that Seventh-day Adventists observe. It also denounced noncompliance with Section 5 of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Section 5 states that “the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed.” Valmores’ attorney, Neil Abayon, believes the ruling solidifies Adventists’ identity as a people who observe Saturday as God’s day of rest. “Impact is very big considering one of the most used arguments

against the Seventh-day Adventist community when we ask for recognition of our religious freedom rights is “How come one of your Adventist friends goes to school on a Sabbath?” said Abayon, citing a common rebuttal to those seeking permission to be excused on that day. “In the Valmores case, it was clarified by the Philippine Supreme Court that adherence to one’s creed is the general rule and that a person cannot be penalized for the transgressions of another person’s religious beliefs,” he said. The case started in 2014 when some of Valmores’ classes and examinations were moved to Saturday. On one occasion, after missing an examination, Valmores received a failing grade and was deemed ineligible to take any makeup tests. In response, Valmores wrote the dean and faculty member requesting an exemption from doing any class-related work on Saturdays, while expressing his willingness to take a special examination. After sending several formal communications including a certificate of membership to the Seventh-day

Denmark Valmores, left, a Seventh-day Adventist medical student whose case made it to the Supreme Court of the Philippines to request his religious freedom rights be respected.

Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division News 6

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Adventist Church signed by North Central Mindanao Conference’s public affairs and religious liberty director, Hanani Nietes, Valmores received no answer. Valmores’ predicament encouraged him to elevate the case and pursue assistance from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd). The issue was addressed and referred directly to Mindanao State University president Macapado Abaton Muslim. In response, Muslim sent the 2010 CHEd memorandum to the College of Medicine’s dean as well as to another faculty member. Both remained silent after receiving the instruction. This silence urged Valmores to take legal action as his religious right was being suppressed and tested. Four years after Valmores filed the case, the highest court in the Philippines ruled in favor of the petitioner, stating that “educational institutions are bound to safeguard the religious freedom of their students. Thus, to such end, our schools carry the responsibility to restrict its academic liberties, should they collide with constitutionally preferred rights.” “The Valmores case can be classified as a landmark case because of its being the first case questioning the Sabbathkeeping faith of Seventh-day Adventists,” said Abayon. “Thus, [it] will most likely be discussed in law schools under the Constitutional Law 2 subject. So, in effect, the next generation of lawyers will be made aware of what Sabbathkeeping is about.” Valmores is continuing his education in the same university while exercising his religious freedom.


News in Depth

Unity Oversight Committee Releases Statement Regarding Way Forward

Process includes gathering qualitative and quantitative data from world field.

By General Conference Unity Oversight Committee

The Unity Oversight Committee met at the world headquarters on December 14, 2017, with newly appointed chair, Mike Ryan (voted by the General Conference Administrative Committee), and Hensley Moorooven, secretary. At this meeting, the committee adopted a process to help it in its work of reviewing the “Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance: Phase II” document referred to it by the 2017 Annual Council and developing a new or revised proposal. “The committee unanimously agreed that this process would be an open and transparent one, in which the views of the Seventh-day Adventist world Church are taken into account,” explains Ryan. “The General Conference officers support this approach wholeheartedly.” The process that has been adopted includes gathering qualitative and quantitative data from the world field. This will allow the committee to more accurately judge where the world Church leaders and members stand on issues relating to compliance with voted actions of General Conference Sessions and of the General Conference Executive Committee. The qualitative data will be gathered through personal visits and dialogues with leaders of the 13 world regions (divisions), and the attached Middle East and North Africa Union. Qualitative data will also be gathered from General Conference institutions and the General Conference Leadership Council composed of General Conference officers and departmental leaders. Quantitative data are currently being gathered through a survey

of union and division presidents. Union conferences play a pivotal role as building blocks in the global organization of the Church. They are one of the four types of constituency-based organizational units and have a unique set of characteristics, including answering to a grass-root constituency. Additionally, union presidents are members of the General Conference Executive Committee with an overview of global church events. Union conferences comprise the constituency of the General Conference.

“The committee unanimously agreed that this process would be an open and transparent one.” —Mike Ryan

As part of the process, the Unity Oversight Committee asked all division and union presidents to answer a six-question survey about the various actions proposed in the Phase II document discussed at last year’s Annual Council and referred back to the Committee. This will help inform the Committee about details to be included in a proposed document to be presented to the 2018 Annual Council. “Both union and division presidents have been requested to answer the six questions according to what they believe is the view of the majority of members in their territory, as opposed to their personal opinion,” says David Trim, director

of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR). The survey was designed by ASTR, and is being administered by its leadership. Both division and union presidents are returning the completed survey directly to ASTR. Due to the characteristics of unions stated above, research standards qualify union presidents as experts to assess the opinion of the majority of their constituency. The research process has also been designed so the validity of responses can be tested in the interest of maximizing the accuracy of the results. In case of discrepancies within a region, ASTR will conduct a random sample of the membership within that region to clarify the accuracy of the reported survey results. “The individual survey responses will only be accessible to four individuals—ASTR and Unity Oversight Committee leadership— in order to protect the integrity of the process and to ensure the data is handled appropriately,” explains Moorooven. It is the intention of the committee to share results with senior General Conference administrators and the broader Unity Oversight Committee. Aggregated results will be available to wider Adventist audiences. “To ensure clarity, the survey has been made available in eight languages,” says Moorooven. “The wording and placement of questions in the survey contribute to its reliability.” The Unity Oversight Committee will release additional materials between now and the 2018 Annual Council meeting in Battle Creek, Michigan. AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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News Focus South Pacific Division (SPD)

Queen of Tonga Addresses Women’s Gathering The queen of Tonga, a nation that comprises dozens of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, was the guest of honor at a prayer breakfast organized by the women’s ministries department of the Tonga Mission church region in the South Pacific. About 400 people attended, mainly women leaders gathered at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall in Nuku’alofa for the special breakfast on November 18, 2017. Most attendees were not members of the Adventist Church.

“Let’s use the pain of loss to move us to become more real: listening, praying, supporting, and advising each other without any judgment. That’s what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. That’s the kind of church we all are looking for.” Glenn Townend, SPD president, commenting on the loss of members in any Adventist local church and positive approaches to keeping such losses from occurring in the future.

1,192 Number of enrolled students at Carr Memorial Adventist Primary School in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, which recently witnessed its highest-ever number of eighth-grade graduates—195. The school’s high enrollment is supported by 30 teachers and ancillary staff, making it the largest Seventhday Adventist primary school in terms of enrollment in the South Pacific Division.

“Right now the Adventist Church has the opportunity to transform the lives of thousands of people.” Health ministries leaders within SPD commenting on the rapidly growing epidemic of lifestyle diseases (such as diabetes) in the Pacific Islands. The 10,000 Toes Campaign, a partnership between Adventist Health and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, aims to equip local churches in the South Pacific with the tools and skills needed to conduct health assessments for members and their community for the early detection of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Church Elders Empowered to Baptize in Australia A new discipleship initiative from the Seventhday Adventist Church in Australia (AUC) will empower local church elders to baptize twice a year. It is the first time local church elders will participate in such a program, which has received support from the South Pacific Division church region and the General Conference.

504,456 SPD membership as of September 30, 2017 The president of Fiji, George Konrote, officially opened the recent youth congress in the TransPacific Union Mission church region. More than 500 young people from 13 island nations attended the event at Fulton College. (^-)

Photo: Adventist Record 8

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Perspective

By Terry Benedict

Photo: Ahmad Dirini

Creativity and Purpose April 15 has been designated as World Art Day by the International Association of Art in order to celebrate creativity and to generate a greater awareness of creative expression worldwide. Adventist World asked Terry Benedict, producer of Hacksaw Ridge—the Academy Award winning film on the life of Desmond Doss—and founder of Shae Foundation, to offer a spiritual perspective on creativity. Recently I gave a series of seminars about discovering your giftedness and purpose. I’m always amazed that the line of people waiting to talk with me can usually be divided into two groups: the happy people who are thankful that someone finally validated that being creative is a divine gift; and the conflicted group who want a “how-to” recipe to discover their giftedness, passion, and purpose. The reality is that this is arguably the shortest recipe ever written, and to discover it we have to go back to the beginning—to Genesis 1. The very first thing God asked Adam to do required creativity: “So the Lord God formed from the

ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one (Gen. 2:19, NLT).* God’s creativity didn’t end with the creation of the world. When God created us in His image, He genetically infused us with His own creativity. That phrase—“to see what he would call them”—tells us much about the nature of God and the nature of human beings created in His image. Of course, Adam could complete the task only because of the creativity God had initially given him. Nevertheless, he was also given amazing freedom. It seems God is more interested in partnering with us and seeing His creativity flow through humanity than controlling it to a perfect result. Our Creator has endowed each of us with different facets of His creative spirit for a specific purpose. Like a prism, His white light passes through us, giving each of us a unique color. A dimension of His creative spirit is given to us to “design artistic works” (see Ex.31:24), whether they be with paint on canvas, through the lens of a camera, sounds, words, or ideas. And He presents opportunities to see how we will intentionally and purpose-

fully use that creative spirit. Our purpose is not hidden in some dark shrouded mystery. The Creator expects us to create using His divine spirit, taking the leap from knowledge and ability to devising artistic designs that serve others and bring honor to Him. As it turns out, the more we exemplify our creative spirit in positive, accountable ways, the more we manifest the Creator’s intention in our lives and for the lives of others. Inspiring through the arts is critical to planting seeds that change, enrich, and save lives. This helps us understand why it is our obligation, for instance, to help children discover their gifts and nurture them so they may take their rightful place in God’s master plan as contributors to the global community and to the growth of His kingdom. Our mission is to lead by example, making a positive impact on the lives of artists, encouraging, inspiring, and guiding them in using their Creator-centered gifts in service to their local and global community. To that end, I believe it essential to nurture the creative spirit in all of us. *Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Focus

The Transformation Becoming what we were meant to be


L

BY GERALD A. KLINGBEIL

ast year more than 23 million people around the world felt that they needed to change dramatically. In fact, they felt so keenly about this that they decided to have cosmetic surgery, ranging from facelifts, eyelid surgery, liposuction, to abdominoplasty, the surgical flattening of the abdomen.1 That’s the number of all the people living in a country like Taiwan or Cameroon. In the United States alone, the beauty and cosmetics market was expected to exceed US$62 billion.2 That’s US$191 per person per year, a staggering number considering what US$191 can buy in many parts of the world. Globally, the beauty and cosmetics markets are forecast to reach US$675 billion by 2020.3 This isn’t a new phenomenon. Ever since the Fall, humanity has longed for transformation. Perhaps it’s the yearning for Eden lost or the realization that we were made for more than just working, eating, and sleeping. Throughout history there have been many attempts to change society. Genesis 11 tells us the story of anonymous tower builders who tried to take their future into their own hands. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4). A city, a tower whose top reaches heaven, a name we make for ourselves—these are the ingredients for change. Later, powerful leaders changed their world by conquering neighboring nations and establishing empires. Control and power became the currency needed to make transformation happen. Whether Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Stalin, or Hitler—they all tried to establish something completely new by conquering and destroying the old, hoping that it would last a “thousand years.” They all failed. ANOTHER WAY

Communism has fallen in all but name; German Fascism has fallen; and our world is still reeling from all the other “isms” vying to change our storylines. The

carpenter from Nazareth, however, took a different route to change. Jesus never tried His hand at power games. He didn’t yearn for control. In fact, He voluntarily made Himself nothing by becoming human and experiencing our lot (Phil. 2:68). His road toward transformation led steadily toward a crude cross rammed into the ground outside of Jerusalem. On His way He touched lepers and embraced sinners. He healed the physically sick and the emotionally wounded. He met people where they were—at a well during the hottest time of day, at a pool flooded by people hoping for healing, on the roads and byways crisscrossing Palestine, in the home of a Pharisee. Jesus’ relatively short ministry changed the world forever. When He talked about the kingdom of God, those listening felt drawn to the Creator. When He pointed to the heavenly Father His listeners felt their hearts pounding excitedly about a future they could not even really imagine. When Jesus listened to them they felt heard and understood. Most did not understand the full implications of His words and actions. That’s why they shouted, “Hosanna in the highest” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” quoting from a well-known messianic psalm (Ps. 118:26; cf. Matt. 21:1-10). They knew that only a king could make Jesus’ radical vision become a reality—so they gave Him a royal

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welcome as He entered Jerusalem on His last journey. They didn’t realize that the major battles for this kingdom would be fought on a cross and then, again and again, on the battlefields of hearts. Their excitement quickly turned to disappointment. After Judas’ betrayal and the unlawful conviction of Jesus by a sham Sanhedrin that did not follow its own rules, many of those who had shouted “Hosanna in the highest” howled “Crucify Him” when Pilate showed them the tortured and stricken figure of Jesus. Their king must look different. Their vibrant elation became murderous frenzy. Jesus’ disciples didn’t do much better. After more than three years of constantly spending time with Jesus and watching Him up close and personal, one sold Him to His enemies, another denied three times even knowing Him, and most of the others just fled, too terrified to remember what He had told them would happen. AT THE CROSS

A stranger, Simon from Cyrene, carried the cross (Matt. 27:32). Soldiers nailed Jesus to the rough beams; and Jesus agonized connecting heaven and earth. This was no elaborate show. The God-man, carrying our sins and afflicted by the destructive nature of sin, heard Satan’s dark whispering that this was the end. “Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus,” writes Ellen White. “The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal.”4 Darkness covers the sun, and those gathered at the feet of the cross hear the anguished cry “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?—My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). Silence. Where is God? Where is justice? Where is grace? God is hanging on a cross. Jesus’ last “It is finished” (John 19:30) reminds us of the plan that was made long before Creation. “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as

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the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love,” writes Eugene Peterson in The Message paraphrase of Ephesians 1:4, 5. “Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.”5 Scripture tells us that in this seemingly darkest moment of earth’s history two men decided to stand with Jesus, even though it meant going public for One dying as a criminal. Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of Jewish society and secret disciple of Jesus, offered his own tomb. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the one who earlier had come to Jesus under cover of night (John 19:38-42). Neither man worried about ritual impurity as they handled the lifeless body of Jesus on the preparation day before a high Sabbath. Both offered their best—a tomb and 100 pounds of a costly burial mixture of myrrh and aloes fit for a king. THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING NEW

That Sabbath must have offered little rest or refreshment to the followers of Jesus. All their hopes had been disappointed; all their expectations dashed; all their dreams vanquished. Jesus was dead, in a cold tomb, surrounded by Roman soldiers. Slowly the Sabbath hours passed. The grief-stricken followers of Jesus were unaware that the world was about to change forever. A violent earthquake accompanies the angel coming down to roll back the stone covering the entrance of the tomb. Fear-struck soldiers cringe in the dust as Jesus rises early that Sunday morning. When God rises nature bows and roars. Those who find the tomb empty and hear the angel’s affirmation to “not be afraid” (Matt. 28:5) tell the others sitting dejectedly in an upper room. The Lord is alive! And, slowly and nearly imperceptibly at first, hope grows and overcomes disappointment and fear. I marvel at the transformation that the cross of Jesus works in this world. Crucifixion’s darkness becomes resurrection’s light. Dejected disciples, fearing for their lives, turn into bold proclaimers of the Lord’s resurrection and salvation. Acts of the Apostles becomes a chronicle of these men and women on fire for Jesus. Guilt is covered by forgiveness; death has lost its sting (1 Cor. 15:54, 55). Empty hearts become burning hearts (Luke 24:32).


Crucifixion’s darkness becomes resurrection’s light.

In the center of all this we see Jesus—standing suddenly in a room full of disciples who had been hiding behind a locked door. “Peace to you,” He says with His melodious voice; and then to Thomas: “Reach your finger here and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side” (John 26:27). Believe, just believe! 153 LARGE FISH

And then, after the resurrection there were the fish (John 21). Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples had gone back to Galilee and had set out to fish. That’s what we often do when confronted with big questions. We go back to what we know; we return to familiar places. After a long night out on the lake, they had nothing to show for their efforts. Suddenly they see a lone figure waving on the beach. “Children, have you any food?” Who would use the endearing term children to address strangers? They shake their heads. “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some” (John 21:5, 6). John recognizes the Master instantly. Peter immediately throws himself into the water to make his way to shore. The rest of the disciples work hard to get the net on shore. John tells us that they caught 153 large fish that day (verse 11). Somebody had to count. Jesus invites them to a hearty breakfast. He takes bread and fish and shares it with them. Then He looks into Peter’s eyes and pops the real question: “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” (verse 15). What a question. How can my love for Jesus be in competition with the love of those around me? Three times Jesus asks the same question. Three times He receives an affirmative answer. I like the third one best: “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You” (verse 17). God, I cannot perform before You. You know my heart; You know my past; You know all things. A TRANSFORMED MOVEMENT

Following this encounter with Jesus, Peter went on to play a leading role in the early Christian movement. And move they did. Empowered by the outpouring of the Spirit, the small band of (mostly) uneducated Photo: Eberhard Grossgasteiger

leaders preached Jesus fearlessly and unashamedly. They grew in numbers; they grew in grace; they grew in fellowship (cf. Acts 2:42-47; 4:32, 33). This transformational growth also included new theology. Peter and the early Jewish believers still had to cross a huge theological abyss. Could it be that God was not only inviting Israel, His covenant people, to become part of the Way (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; etc.) but was also calling the Gentiles to be His disciples? Peter’s experience in the home of Cornelius is the beginning of transformed mindsets (Acts 10). God’s grace is inclusive. The Saviour came to save sinners— regardless of their ethnicity or religious affiliation. The work of the Spirit is not limited by borders—even those we sometimes build in our minds and consider God-ordained. Resurrection morning marked only the beginning of a movement that valued transformation over stagnation. And the transformation continues. Two thousand years later God is still inviting us to be part of this movement that affirms not only that He is risen, but that He is coming to take us home. We wait and watch, and while we wait we become. Sometimes slowly, sometimes dramatically, we are being transformed. It’s an inside job. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). By God’s transforming power we become who we are meant to be—a blessing to those around us who are still searching and wondering. These numbers are based on the most current statistics provided by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. See the grim details at https://www.isaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GlobalStatistics.WorldWide.Summary2016s-1.pdf 2 Cf. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/marketresearchcom-the-us-beauty-and-cosmetics-market-expected-to-exceed-62-billion-in-2016-300209081.html 3 https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150727005524/en/Research-Markets-Global-CosmeticsMarket-2015-2020-Market 4 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 753. 5 From The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 1

Gerald A. Klingbeil serves as associate editor of Adventist World and longs for more transformation.

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Millennial Voices

Simply Surrender

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he skies darkened almost instantly; the last orange rays of the sun disappeared behind gigantic gray clouds. Cold winds and rain forced us to huddle for warmth. Our little boats rocked as waves gained strength. Trying their best to navigate in the dark, the boatmen headed straight to shore. Twenty young travelers, lost in the rhythmic percussion of the waves, were returning after an eventful day. Just a few weeks earlier, excitement had filled the air as plans were made for a trip to Palawan, one of the bigger islands in the Philippines. Palawan, a paradise of white sand beaches and turquoise waters, was a dream destination for many. It was a great way to escape the stress and work involved in academics. With funding secured, we had set out with prayers and many hopes. But now, instead of gazing at breathtaking limestone cliffs and snorkeling in jade-colored lagoons, we were up against a typhoon. Typhoon Paolo had stormed in with little warning. While some still hoped for a good time together, a few made alternate plans, and others were just disappointed. A few Sabbaths later I worshipped with our local GROW ministries group on a hill overlooking Taal Lake. Surrender, the theme of the retreat, caught my attention. A group of young professionals who organize and plan to control almost everything in life had gathered to learn about surrender. As I listened to the experiences of the members I realized why surrender is important and joined them in a journey of surrender. Somehow, I remembered our trip to Palawan, a trip filled with great experiences and lessons. A trip of surrender. Right from the start we had experienced God’s leading and protection. We had felt His presence—in spite of a flat tire, a three-hour holdup on the road, rainy skies,

We don’t like to surrender. People around us don’t like to surrender.

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and stormy waters. We could still see the beauty in the darkening skies, experience peace in the stormy waters, and hope in a single golden ray of sunlight. The typhoon could have dashed our hopeful dreams, but it could not shake our faith in Him. As we prayed, talked, laughed, and shared our lives with each other, we strengthened one another. Strong bonds and a new support system were created. As I looked back I realized that it’s only in surrender that we see the beauty in the storm. In surrender, we find meaning and purpose in the midst of chaos, and in surrender there is hope, peace, and joy. We don’t like to surrender. People around us don’t like to surrender. We get caught up in the busyness of life, not realizing that we accomplish nothing by achieving so much. David’s life speaks of surrender. David, the anointed king of Israel, could have easily overthrown Saul. Instead he waited for God’s timing. He believed that God was working for Him and through Him. King David waited on the Lord in silence and surrender. He realized that when we surrender our lives to the Living God, we are at peace with whatever comes our way. “In Your presence is fullness of joy,” writes the psalmist. “At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11). I surrender to that.

Beersheba Maywald, originally from Tamil Nadu in India, is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Religion with a New Testament focus at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

Photo: Beersheba Maywald


Faith in Action

A Small Candle in a Dark Place When God is involved, anything can happen! B Y I N D I A H AY E S *

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he walked into the small space where we were worshipping, head covered and candle in hand. A young Muslim woman, worried and alone, she was holding back tears as she shared her story with a greeter in the back. Amina and her husband had recently come as refugees to our city. Her husband had traveled on to England in search of a job, and she had not heard from him in days. She did not know how to contact him or what to do. The night before, a Friday evening, Amina had experienced a vivid dream. In her dream she was told to buy a candle the next morning, go to church, and ask for help. So in the morning Amina bought a candle—but she had no idea how to find a church. Asking a taxi driver to take her to a church, Amina was brought to our doorstep. We were worshipping in a evangelical church that only a few months before had graciously allowed us to begin holding meetings there on Saturdays. Amina’s candle was lit before the service started, and during prayer time she was invited forward. Our small group knelt in prayer around her, not knowing her story but praying fervently for what appeared to be a very great need. As we asked the Lord to help her and bring her peace, grateful tears ran down Amina’s cheeks. Church service then continued as usual—except for a cell phone that rang during the sermon. We didn’t learn until the following Sabbath who had called. GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!

The following Sabbath one of our church members shared Amina’s testimony during the morning announcements. We learned then that the phone call that had come the previous week had been from Amina’s husband, who had called her on her cell phone. He was OK! Our prayers of intercession had been answered. We may never see Amina again, but she will not soon forget the prayer to God that brought her peace. A seed had been sown. GOD’S ARMY OF YOUTH

We are a small group in a city of more than 5 million unreached people. Just a few years ago there was no Seventh-day Adventist church in the area at all. We are also a statistical minority in the Adventist Church. At 35, I am almost the oldest member of my church family. Our elders, music leaders, church treasurer, speakers, and anyone else participating are mainly college students in their 20s. We might have a young membership, but I realized that day that if it weren’t for these youth standing in front of me now, there would be no Adventist church in this city in the 10/40 window. And Amina, looking for help, would have found none. The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few. Pray today that the Lord will send out laborers into the fields of our unreached world. *India Hayes and Amina are pseudonyms. Hayes is a frontline worker in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Photo: Pran Thiramethanon

AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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Global View

Church Unity and Biblical Authority Necessary to accomplish God’s mission

The following is the first part (abridged) of a presentation given at the General Conference Global Leadership Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, on February 6, 2018. Elements of oral style have been retained.—Editors

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hat a privilege for us to focus on the one thing Jesus longed for as recorded in John 17: unity in His church to accomplish His mission. The theme [for this leadership summit], “The Spiritual Necessity of Church Unity and Biblical Authority to Accomplish God’s Mission,” is a strong reminder of Christ’s desire that His church might be one, just as He and His Father are one. The sense of unity that emanates from the Godhead is overwhelming. God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit are always in unity and accomplish their work together without any difference of opinion. They are one. They were in unity at Creation (Gen. 1:26); at Christ’s baptism (Matt. 3:16, 17); at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:5); at the cross (Matt. 27:50-54); and on and on. The three persons of the Godhead are always in unity on all decisions they make. This is why God intends for His church to be in harmony with His will and directions. God’s hope for His people is expressed in these words: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! . . . It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forevermore” (Ps. 133). “O Jerusalem” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. www.GregOlsen.com


GOD’S DESIRE

God, speaking through David, expressed His enormous desire that God’s people be in unity. This unity was not some symbolic manifestation of “togetherness,” but a merging of purpose, mission, and duty, that comes only from focusing on God’s will. Whenever we depart from this formula our “unity” will be incomplete and will become disunity. True heavenly unity can be accomplished only as we humbly submit to the instruction of God through the Holy Spirit’s promptings and our understanding of His will through the holy writings of the Bible and the inspired counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy. Through prayer and study God opens doors for prayerful discussion and heavenly direction, helping His church to know how to move ahead in the greatest task ever entrusted to humans living at the end of time—proclaiming Christ and His three angels’ messages—thus uniting us in Heaven’s mandate for the Lord’s church on earth. We read in the words of Ellen White: “In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”1 OUR GREATEST NEED

Our greatest need is to be still and know our God and His wishes. Many times, in our attempts to accomplish our concepts of what God’s wishes are for us, we fail to “be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). By attempting to find our own way to unity without being still and listening to God’s leading, we end up in disarray and dysfunction. In the process of listening to God’s will, we must have great respect for Him and His Word, respect for the church organization He has established, and humility to be still and know God’s instructions. Humility is a huge key to unity. God’s Holy Word reminds us to “become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11). How important it is to “be of one mind.” This is also reflected in these inspired words: “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:1-4). This “like-mindedness,” or “being in one accord,” is predicated on the “lowliness of mind” and humility that is necessary for unity—a submission to the entire church as it makes decisions. Of course, that humility comes about only as we accept Christ’s spirit in us fulfilling this injunction: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (verse 5). The early Christian church took this with seriousness and humility of spirit, allowing the Holy Spirit to take full control. “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Acts 2:46). Because of their dedication to God, and their humility and simplicity of heart, they were of one accord. This is the result of true submission to God, and it is what His church will possess as it finishes His great proclamation of the three angels’ messages.

Humility comes about as we accept Christ’s spirit in us. ENCOURAGING COUNSEL

The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual has some marvelous counsel for each of us about unity. “Christians should make every effort to avoid tendencies that would divide them and bring dishonor to their cause. ‘It is the purpose of God that His children shall blend in unity. Do they not expect to live together in the same heaven? . . . Those who refuse to work in harmony greatly dishonor God.’—8T 240. The church should discourage actions that threaten harmony among its members and should consistently encourage unity.”.2 When the Word of God is held paramount, and the humility described in the early Christian church is found in our hearts through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the result will be real unity. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 9, p. 19. 2 Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual (Silver Spring, Md.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2016), p. 59. See also pages 23, 59, 71, 120, 127, 167. 1

Ted N. C. Wilson is president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. Additional articles and commentaries are available from the president’s office on Twitter: @PastorTedWilson and on Facebook: @Pastor Ted Wilson.

AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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Devotional

Three Punctuation Marks

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here are three punctuation marks that play important roles in my life: full stop, question mark, and exclamation mark. The full stop stands for all the things that are fixed, invariable, and established: things I don’t have to think much about. “I eat my cereals with soy milk and no sugar”—Full stop. “My name is Werner Dullinger. I am a pastor, I have a wife and two children”—Full stop. “On Thursday, my supermarket opens at 9:00 a.m.”— Full stop. All these things are true. But they do not necessarily have real connections to my life or play a significant role in my life—except for my wife and my children. They are simply statements. Question marks seem to become more prevalent the older I get. When I was younger, I had crystal-clear answers for almost everything. My whole world was clearly divided into black and white with nothing in between. More experiences and more learning, however, have brought more open questions. Some of the old explanations suddenly don’t fit into my more complex world. I have realized that the world does not just consist of black and white. There are many nuances. That also includes some aspects of my faith.


This is not bad or threatening. I can live with some question marks in my life. But honestly—only questions marks? That’s not enough; there must be more to life. Here’s where the exclamation mark comes into the picture. The older I get, the more important they become for my life. A sentence with an exclamation mark means much more than a sentence with a full stop. An exclamation mark communicates more emotion and connectedness than a full stop. “Our team won the world championship!” “I have to tell you something: I just bought a Porsche 911 with 450 horsepower!” That’s not just pure information. We can immediately catch the emotion and the connection. Exclamation marks make my life meaningful and worth living. A BIBLICAL EXCLAMATION MARK

The Bible knows an exclamation mark. It’s not a punctuation mark— it’s a word. Amen is a Hebrew term that means “to be certain, reliable, being sure.” It’s used in different settings. When people accepted the validity of an oath they said “Amen” (Num. 5:22; Deut. 27:15; Jer. 11:5). In other instances it became an answer to a blessing (1 Chron. 16:36; Neh. 8:6). In the New Testament, it is regularly used as the conclusion of a doxology or prayer (1 Cor. 14:16). “Amen” is an affirmation, an exclamation mark! Life becomes meaningful when we say “Amen” to someone or something. We have to say “Yes!” We need at least one exclamation mark. Scripture tells us of many people who found their exclamation mark, who decided to commit to

Photo: Luke Stackpoole

something bigger than themselves. Paul puts it like this: “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:19, 20). We are God’s exclamation mark, God’s biggest dream. That’s the reason Jesus came and paid a huge price to realize His dream. Philippians 2:6-8 expresses this wonderfully. In Jesus, God made Himself nothing so that we have a chance to grasp eternity through Him. There are more comfortable ways to die than on a Roman cross. Yet God stuck to His plan of saving a world in rebellion and persevered until His dream would become reality. Because of that, says Paul, because I do not have to worry anymore about my value, my dignity, my being accepted and being loved, and my self-esteem, I have the freedom to start my quest for my exclamation mark in life, to look for the “Amen” in my life. Dag Hammerskjöld, the United Nations’ second secretary-general (1953-1961), died in a plane crash in Zambia, where he was to start negotiations to end a bloody civil war. In his book Markings he shared this idea: “I don´t know who—or what—put the question; I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to someone—or something—and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.”* That’s what life is all about. To discover the question to which we can, from our innermost being, say “Yes.” It’s almost like falling in love, when we feel those butterflies in our stomachs. Do you remember the crazy things you did in that state of mind?

If we want to live our lives, our faith, and our calling with joy . . . we have to go back to what originally motivated us. Driving on a motorcycle for four hours through a rainstorm, just to have 60 minutes with her. Watching a really boring movie just because she likes it. Going to a ball game just because his team is playing. I think no relationship and no dream can survive if this feeling is missing. We can feel this only if it’s our dream we are dreaming (and not somebody else’s), if it’s our question we are answering, and if it’s our “Yes.” If we want to live our lives, our faith, and our calling with joy and deep inner satisfaction, we have to go back to what initially motivated and compelled us. We have to realize anew what values and priorities we are cherishing with every fiber of our being. Whether we are church members, teachers, pastors, or administrators, with very busy lives and full calendars, we need this kind of reformation. In the light of God’s all-encompassing “Yes” that He spoke to us through Jesus, we, too, can answer unreservedly and unequivocally “Yes.” God’s “Yes” becomes our “Yes” of self-surrender, and suddenly our lives have meaning and purpose. So, Yes! * Dag Hammersköld, Markings (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964).

Werner Dullinger is president of the South German Union Conference, located in Ostfildern, Germany.

AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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Spirit of Prophecy

What’s in a Letter? T

he Ellen G. White Estate currently has more than 5,000 letters written by Ellen White. This letter from Ellen White to Abram and Caroline Dodge was published in full for the first time in 2014 in The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts With Annotations, volume 1, pages 319-321. The first volume contains every known Ellen White letter and manuscript for the 15-year period, 1845-1859, including her earliest diary. Volume 2 (18601863) is currently in preparation. This text has been edited for space only.

THE LETTER

Images: Center for Adventist Research

WHO WERE THE DODGES? Abram A. Dodge (1817-1892) and his wife, Caroline Elizabeth (18301915), were active laypersons from Jackson, Michigan (early 1850s), later living in Battle Creek and Coopersville, in the same state. Abram Dodge was remembered by J. N. Loughborough for his “faithfulness . . . in carrying the workers from place to place in his carriage.” Dodge was a businessman, a dealer in musical instruments, and a clock repairer. . . . Soon after their marriage in 1851, Abram and Caroline traveled to a conference in Camden, New York. There they met Ellen and James White for the first time and became firm friends with them. . . . Years later, in 1872, Ellen White . . . wrote: “If there was a precious, God-fearing woman in Battle Creek, it was Sister Dodge.”

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Letter 9, 1851 December 21, 1851 Saratoga Springs, New York Dear Brother and Sister Dodge: I have a few moments leisure and will spend them in writing to you. My health has been quite poor for a short time back, but am much better today. At times James and self feel almost worn out. It is seldom we retire before eleven or twelve o’clock at night; 1 we have no idle moments. Were it not for the strength we daily receive from God, we should sink. Praise the Lord that we have a compassionate, tender High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities. We do not expect rest here, No, no. The way to Heaven is a cross-bearing way; the road is straight and narrow, but we will go forward with cheerfulness knowing that the King of glory once trod this way before us. We will not complain of the roughness of the way, but will be meek followers of Jesus, treading in His footsteps. . . . We will not have a murmuring thought because we have trials. God’s dear children always had them, and every trial well endured here will only make us rich in glory. I crave the suffering part. I would not go to heaven without suffering if I could, and see Jesus who suffered so much for us to purchase for us so rich an inheritance; and to see the martyrs who laid down their lives for the truth, and the sake of Jesus. No, no. Let me be perfected through sufferings. I long to be a partaker with Christ of His sufferings, for if I am, I know I shall be partaker with Him of His glory. Jesus is our pattern. Let us study to have our lives as near like Christ’s as possible. My soul cries out after the living God. My very being longs after Him. Oh, for to reflect His lovely image perfectly! Oh, for to be wholly consecrated to Him! Oh, how hard it is for dear self to die. We can rejoice in a whole Saviour; One that saves us from all sin. We can be shut in with God where we can daily say, “I live yet not I, for Jesus Christ liveth in me to will and do of His own good pleasure.” Glory


be to God. I know that my life is hid with Christ in God. The curtain has been lifted, I have seen the rich reward laid up for the saints. I have had a taste of the joys of the world to come, and it has spoiled this world for me. My affections, my interests, hopes, my all is in heaven. I long to see the King in His beauty, Him whom my soul loveth. Heaven, sweet heaven. “I long to be there; and the thought that ’tis near, makes me almost impatient for Christ to appear.” 2 . . . Let us have faith, living faith in God, and love one another as God has loved us. We are very apt to see faults in others, and are not so quick to discover our own faults. If it were the daily study of each of us to show ourselves approved unto God, and should [we] seek earnestly to glorify God, and not have our own will and not please ourselves, I know we should be strong and flourish in the vine. . . . The voice of the angel seems to ring in my ears tonight so loud and clear, Get ready, get ready, get ready, lest ye be weighed in the balance and found wanting. Christ will have a church to present to His Father without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and as He leads us through the pearly gates of the golden city, He will look upon the purchase of His blood, His redeemed children, and see the travail of His soul and be satisfied. I long to see the lovely Jesus whose countenance lights up the glorious city; Him whom angels adore, and as they bow, cast their glittering crowns before Him, and then touch their golden harps and fill heaven with their rich music, of songs to the Lamb. The language of my soul is, “Though dark are the waters, and rough is the wave, if Jesus permits the wild surges, I’ll brave. For that heavenly music hath ravished me so, I’ll join in the chorus, I’ll go, let me go.” 3 My soul is on wing for glory. Dear Brother and Sister, I have not forgotten the seasons we had together at Milton [New York] Conference. 4 May the Lord strengthen and bring you through every trial, that you may come off victorious. We are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. . . . Next Tuesday or Wednesday we start on our way for the Camden [New York] Conference. If Jesus only comes up to the feast (and I believe He will), we shall have a glorious meeting. I know if we are as humble as we ought to be, and realize from whence our strength cometh, and have faith, living faith, God will work mightily for us, and His stately steppings will be seen among us. James . . . is very busy correcting proof sheet. Sister Annie Smith is assisting him, 5 and that gives me a little time to write. I have written this evening after the Sabbath by candlelight, with aching eyes, so you must excuse poor writing. Be of good courage. Do not let anything sink you down and discourage you. Remember we are almost home. Much love to all the brethren and sisters in Michigan, especially those that I have seen and am acquainted with. Tell them to be of good cheer. . . . Dear Brother and Sister, do write us; we should love to hear from you and the brethren and sisters in Jackson [Michigan]. James and self send love to you and all that love Jesus. In haste and love, Ellen G. White

NOTES 1 “Night before last,” Ellen White wrote one week earlier, “we sat up and wrapped and folded [the Review]” “until past one o’clock A.M.” (Lt 5, 1851 [Dec. 14]).

2 Lines taken from the hymn “I Long to Be There,” first published among Sabbathkeeping Adventists by James White in Hymns for Second Advent Believers, 1852. For more on the publication history of this hymn, see James R. Nix, Early Advent Singing. 3 Lines from the hymn “What Heavenly Music,” included in James White’s first hymnal, Hymns for God’s Peculiar People, 1849. For more on the publication history of this hymn, see James R. Nix, Early Advent Singing. 4 Abram Dodge, with his bride of just a few months, had made the lengthy journey together with other believers from Jackson, Michigan, to attend the conference in Camden, New York, June 20-22, 1851. It is not certain whether they also attended the West Milton, New York, conference the following weekend. There was subsequently a second conference advertised for West Milton, three months later, September 19-21, 1851. Hence, when Ellen White writes of her meeting with the Dodges at the “Milton Conference,” it is not clear which Milton conference she is referring to. 5 Annie Rebekah Smith, 23-yearold sister of future Review editor Uriah Smith, had recently joined the Review team as editorial assistant. In a letter written one month earlier Ellen White expressed her feelings about Annie Smith: “She is just the help we need. She takes right hold with James and helps him much. We can leave her now to get off the papers and can go out more among the flock.” AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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In Conversation

Believing. Hoping. Singing. A conversation about the publication of the new German-language hymnal

Adventist World associate editor Gerald Klingbeil recently spoke to Friedbert Hartmann, secretary of the North German Union Conference located in Hanover, Germany, and chair of the committee that spent years of planning the new hymnal Glauben—Hoffen—Singen, about the process and experiences of introducing a new hymnal.

Germany and Switzerland, so that they could at least find a few of their own familiar hymns. Our concept was to create an integrative hymnal.

Music is an important part of worship and church life. The church in Germany and Switzerland had last updated its hymnal in 1983. Why was it important to produce a new hymnal? How often should one revise a hymnal and why?

The first meeting of the working committee took place on October 11, 2007. We soon decided to work with two committees: one committee dealing with musical issues, the other with theological-linguistic ones. We also conducted an Internet-based survey among church members. Then we reviewed and rated each hymn from the old hymnal. We even reviewed older Adventist and international hymnals for songs that might fit into the new hymnal, and also received a variety of suggestions for hymns. A number of Adventist composers submitted their own music. The result was a pool of music with several thousand hymns. All songs were musically, linguistically, and theologically evaluated. We wanted to include in the new hymnal only songs that not only were of a high musical and literary quality, but would also theologically express what Adventists stand for. Then, at some point we had to make a selection. Our hymnal ended up containing 694 songs. Twenty-two people were part of the two working committees: professional musicians, hymnologists, pastors, specialists in German linguistics, laypeople, theologians, educators—all members of our church in Germany and Switzerland.

When we decided in 2007 to start work on a new hymnal, there were several reasons for doing this. First, our hymnal Wir loben Gott (We Praise God) was almost out of print. Second, the licenses for the songs were about to expire; we could not just reprint. Third, many churches had collections of more youthful gospel songs, which led us to publish in 2004 a supplementary hymnal with newer tunes called Leben aus der Quelle (Life From the Source). This meant that Adventist churches in Germany sang from two hymnals. We wanted to address this situation. Consequently, we felt it was important to create one hymnal that included traditional hymns but also newer songs. We even had a greater objective: the new hymnal should incorporate hymns for each generation, including children and adolescents, and even for church members who came from other countries to

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You chaired the committee that produced the new hymnal. How long did the process take, and how did it work?

Photo: Stephan G. Brass


My family and I often sing from the new hymnal. While we miss some songs from the older hymnals, we are also excited to learn new ones. Which criteria were important for you in the selection of the hymns?

We wanted to create an integrative hymnal; anyone who is part of the Adventist Church in German-speaking countries should be able to find “his” or “her” songs. We structured the new hymnal into eight main thematic categories and 48 subcategories, starting with praise, gratitude, and worship, and ending with God completing His work on earth. All topics concerning our walk of life and faith are reflected in the hymns. Where possible, we have included hymns from older Adventist traditions in each main category, as well as new songs written in recent years. These songs can be found side by side in the hymnal. I confess that I am missing some older hymns, which I found particularly beautiful. But the choices were not made by individuals but by two committees working jointly together. What was your experience with the introduction of the new hymnal in the churches? I can imagine that not all church members were happy.

Our experience has varied greatly: While many churches were looking forward to the new hymnal, there were some churches and church members who had reservations. We realized that it is always difficult to replace something that has been part of us for decades. Putting away the familiar and engaging with a new hymnal, with an unfamiliar title and a partially new organization as well as new songs, can be quite challenging. We are very happy that the vast majority of Adventist churches in Germany and Switzerland now enjoy singing from the new hymnal. The demand for our new hymnal is so great that we will soon have to reprint it. We also have noticed that there was an easier acceptance of the new hymnal in places where it was formally presented, explained, and introduced. A hymnal (which will probably be used for decades) needs to be discovered. There are also churches that still use the old hymnal. This is good. After all, it is not about the right or the wrong hymnal, but about the content: praising and worshipping God, singing in order to testify to our faith, and, not least, to experience God and fellowship with each other through singing. What kind of feedback did you get from musicians and hymnologists?

Where possible, we have included hymns from older Adventist traditions in each main category, as well as new songs written in recent years.

book, which are based on our life and faith experience, are appreciated. They also liked the fact that traditional hymns stand next to worship songs, that children’s and foreign-language songs have been included in the hymnal, and that the hymnal not only contains songs but also many texts and suggestions for the worship service. Many find it remarkable that we have printed almost all songs in four voices and even included chords for guitar and keyboard players. We realize that many organ players in the church are struggling to accompany the more youthful songs. For that reason, we are offering seminars in which one can learn to accompany such songs.

What experiences have you had that would be of interest to other regions of the world church that are planning a new hymnal? What did you learn? Would you do something different if you had to do it over?

For the first time, we involved a theological-linguistic working committee. Up to now, musicians generally produced a new hymnal. But it has been worthwhile to take a closer look at the lyrics and especially at the correct theology in the texts. We also learned that producing a hymnal takes much longer than we thought. Our advice: Start well ahead of time! We have developed the hymnal with the help of 22 people. For most of what we did we involved all participants. Next time we would consider whether some tasks could be worked on by a smaller group. The more tasks that have to be processed by all committee members, the longer it takes. We had also planned additional materials for the new hymnal. For example: additional accompaniment sets for brass bands or for three-part vocal ensembles. We even dreamed of a computer app. All of this, however, requires human and financial resources. We did not have enough of both to turn all our plans into reality. Therefore, our advice for others would be: plan and budget from the outset all the additional materials that are important for a new hymnal. And if it is not possible to do everything, then start prioritizing. This is what we did, and we are grateful that God has blessed us and that our Adventist churches can sing from a new hymnal, proclaim God’s love, and experience fellowship with each other through singing.

This hymnal was well received by these experts. The integrative approach and the thematic division of the AdventistWorld.org April 2018

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Looking Back

Restoration in the Maple Grove A site of physical and spiritual renewal

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ust a week before Christmas 1866, James White, weakened from a stroke he had suffered just 16 months before, was not recovering the way his wife, Ellen, believed he should. James had received hydrotherapy treatments and other natural remedies at Our Home on the Hillside, a health institution run by Dr. James Jackson in Dansville, New York, United States, but Ellen was not content with his results. Fearing that he would never fully recover while remaining inactive, Ellen chose to take a speaking tour of what she considered “northern Michigan,” with James in tow. Ellen wrote, “In order to obtain means for our journey, I pulled up my rag carpets and sold them. . . . With the money secured by the sale of the carpets, I bought a covered wagon, and prepared for the journey, placing in the wagon a mattress for Father to lie on.”1 Accompanied by their son Willie, the Whites left their home in Battle Creek in the middle of a snowstorm (“the severest cold of winter,” as Ellen White wrote).2 Their destination was Wright, Michigan, a small farming community on the western side of the state—95 miles from Battle Creek. It didn’t seem like a wise decision, traveling so far with James in such feeble condition. Ellen wrote, “My husband stood the journey of ninety miles much better than I feared, and seemed quite as well when we reached our destination as when we left Battle Creek.”3 E. H. Root had invited them to stay with him and his family on his farm. Wright was like a second home for the Whites in their travels around Michigan, and their love for the church members, as well as the hospitality they received, made it the perfect place for the next stage of James’s recovery. Ellen was adamant that James should exercise every day. “Daily my husband went out for a walk. In the winter a terrible snowstorm came,

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An 1868 drawing of the first Adventist camp meeting in Wright, Michigan

Image: Center for Adventist Research


and Father thought he could not go out in the storm and snow. I went to Brother Root and said, ‘Brother Root, have you a spare pair of boots?’ “‘Yes,’ he answered. “‘I should be glad to borrow them this morning,’ I said. Putting on the boots and starting out, I tracked a quarter of a mile in the deep snow. On my return, I asked my husband to take a walk. He said he could not go out in such weather. ‘Oh, yes, you can,’ I replied. ‘Surely you can step in my tracks.’ He was a man who had great respect for women; and when he saw my tracks, he thought that if a woman could walk in that snow, he could. That morning he took his usual walk.”4 James’s health began to improve steadily, and continued to improve after the Whites left Wright. In time, with tender care, along with a healthy dose of gentle coercion to get back into the pulpit and preach, he recovered. ADVENTIST BEGINNINGS

Why did the Whites choose the Wright community? Was it the gracious hospitality of Farmer Root and his family? Was it the fresh, clean air? Perhaps, but more important, there was a necessary work for the congregation to do, and it was just the impetus James needed to get back to work. Wright was a Sabbathkeeping Adventist church established three years before the Michigan Conference was formed, and five years before the General Conference was organized. In 1858 Joseph B. Frisbie came to Wright, the “edge of the frontier,” to hold a series of evangelistic meetings. They were well attended, in spite of resistance from local clergy. After starting the series in the local schoolhouse, Frisbie was forced to find a new venue. One of the township supervisors offered the use of his barn, and the meetings continued. At the close of his seminar, enough were baptized to start a new church. When the Whites arrived in the winter of 1866, however, Ellen wrote, “We found this church in a very low condition. With a large portion of its members the seeds of disunion and dissatisfaction with one another were taking deep root, and a worldly spirit was taking possession of them. And notwithstanding their low state they had enjoyed the labors of our preachers so seldom that they were hungry for spiritual food. Here commenced our first effective labors since the sickness of my husband. . . . We were listened to with the greatest attention. I saw that my husband was growing stronger, clearer, and more connected in his subjects.”5 The Whites spent six weeks with the Wright congregation, encouraging them through biblical teaching, instruction in health principles and dress reform, and creating a plan for systematic benevolence (giving

This field behind the Wright Church was the location of the first Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting.

Photo: Merle Poirier

tithes and offerings). Members confessed wrongs to one another, unity was restored, and the church flourished. Significantly, the first organized Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting was held in Wright, just two years after the Whites’ blustery winter journey. “At a meeting held in the Wright, Michigan, church in July of 1868, attended by James and Ellen White and Uriah Smith, the subject of camp meetings was introduced.”6 At first James suggested having a large lake states camp meeting, but it was too late in the season to plan for a wide-scale event. The alternative was to organize smaller regional meetings: “one for western Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois; one for eastern Michigan, New York, and Canada; and one for southern Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. It was decided to hold the first-named regional meeting at Wright, because it was near Lake Michigan, and Wisconsin and Illinois [believers] could easily reach it by water.”7 That first regional camp meeting was so successful that the idea of a large general camp meeting was dropped, and conference camp meetings became the standard. STILL WITNESSING

Today, if you visit the Adventist church in Wright, Michigan, you will find faithful members actively involved in the mission of the church, 160 years after it was established. It is still a place where healing and restoration take place, on the grounds of the old maple grove. Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 2, p. 306. 2 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 1, p. 103. 3 Ibid., p. 104. 4 E. G. White, Selected Messages, book 2, p. 307. 5 E. G. White, Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 570. 6 A. W. Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1962), vol. 2, p. 9. 7 Ibid., pp. 9, 10. 1

Bernard Andersen is an emeritus board member of Adventist Heritage Ministry and head elder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Wright, Michigan. Beth Thomas is a freelance editor and writer living in Laurel, Maryland, United States.

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Bible Questions Answered

Our Father Q

Is it true that the word abba in the New Testament means “Daddy”?

A

The term abba, used in the New Testament three times (Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6), does not mean Daddy. Abba is a transliteration of the Aramaic term abba, meaning “the father.” It was used by infants and adults to designate the father of the family, connoting deep, filial attachment. The Aramaic term is usually taken to be a vocative, “O Father,” but it could also be emphatic (“Father!”). In Mark the Greek translation is provided—ho pater, “the Father,”—suggesting that the Aramaic expression, even in Greek-speaking settings, was considered important enough to be used in prayers. We will examine the three passages and the theological value of the term. 1. IN MARK 14:36

In the Old Testament “Father” was used to refer to God, and Israel is identified as the son of God. But the term itself was not normally applied to God. Apparently, the Aramaic term abba was not a common designation for God among the Jews. In the case of Jesus, we find a human being appropriating the title “Son” to Himself, calling God “Abba, Father,” and teaching the disciples to call God “[Abba,] Father” (Matt. 6:9). The Aramaic term is preserved in Jesus’ agonizing prayer in Gethsemane: “ ‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will’ ” (Mark 14:36, NIV). The term emphasizes intimacy and shows Jesus’ vision of God; He is His Father. This was publicly declared by God at Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:11).

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The text conveys at least two main ideas. First, God is a loving, caring Father powerful enough to deliver the Son from what He is facing. Second, the Father is wise and understands what is best for the Son and for those He represents; His will is to be respected. The agony of the cross and the cross itself will not break up Jesus’ filial relationship with His Father, because through it the Father’s love is revealed. The use of the Aramaic term abba by Jesus suggests that it was common for Him to employ it to emphasize His filial relationship with a loving God to whom one should be willing to submit. He, as God’s Son, could testify and reveal that His heavenly Father is indeed a God who cares and loves sinners to the point of suffering with the Son on the cross. 2. IN GALATIANS 4:6 AND ROMANS 8:15

These two passages show that Jesus’ practice of calling God “Abba, Father” was significant enough for Paul to use, even when writing to Greek-speaking congregations. It was important because it revealed the picture of a loving God, seeking to adopt sinners into His family. In both passages it is through the Spirit, which they received at baptism, that believers are empowered to call God “Abba, Father”; to be part of the loving family of a God who deeply loves humans. Galatians grounds believers’ sonship on Jesus’ redemptive work, while Romans emphasizes the adoption that enables us to be led by the Spirit. The term speaks about a God who cares for us, who sustains us in our hour of need, and who is trustworthy. As children we have a heavenly inheritance.

Angel Manuel Rodríguez has served the church as a pastor, professor, and theologian.


Health & Wellness

“More Detail, Please!” I teach health subjects at the senior academy level. I have personally enjoyed the World Health column over the years and have even used them in my teaching. At times, however, I wish there was more detail, and maybe even broader discussion.

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rom its inception the Adventist World health column was intended to be informative, up-to-date, and clear. Through this column we strive to responsibly convey health information that is useful and accurate in response to questions from readers or relevant “hot” topics. Sometimes technical terms are needed to explain issues related to diseases, health, and wellness, but we try to be clear and understandable within our 500-word space limitation. You are not alone in your comments; experts in various specialties sometimes ask why certain details were excluded, but it is a question of space. We attempt to include the most important points on each subject, but we are unable to include everything. It is easier to write more than less, but for conciseness we prioritize what to include—and that’s not always easy. We continue to seek solutions to resolve these challenges. Regarding the content, we write each column and response applying the General Conference’s Working Policy, which states that our health ministries practices be biblically based, consonant with the counsels of the Spirit of Prophecy, and supported by peer-reviewed, evidence-based health science, and applied using a biblical, Christian worldview.1 The Internet has brought with it a health-information—and misinformation—explosion. Remember: “If it sounds too good to be true, it’s most likely not true!” Photo: Garrett Sears

We all need to be vigilant and careful regarding the sources and reliability of health information. As a church, we must be careful to ensure that we “rightly divide the word of truth” (see 2 Tim. 2:15), whether scriptural or scientific, conscious that human knowledge is progressive. It is concerning that we tolerate and share inaccurate and unproven health “information” in our churches or ignore inconvenient evidence or counsel. Truth requires vigilance! Some ask why we even write about the mechanisms of disease, health, and wellness? The answer is: “So closely is health related to our happiness that we cannot have the latter without the former. A practical knowledge of the science of human life is necessary in order to glorify God in our bodies. It is therefore of the highest importance that among the studies selected for childhood, physiology should occupy the first place. How few know anything about the structure and functions of their own bodies and of nature’s laws! Many are drifting about without knowledge, like a ship at sea without compass or anchor; and what is more, they are not interested to learn how to keep their bodies in a healthy condition and prevent disease.”2 We have a heavenly Anchor and Compass. God has given us counsel, and health studies continue to confirm His wisdom! He is faithful, and we may confidently follow Him. Working Policy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2016–2017 Edition (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association), 2016, pp. 355–369. 2 Ellen G. White, Counsels on Health (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1923), p. 38. 1

Peter N. Landless, a board-certified nuclear cardiologist, is director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference. Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, a board-certified internist, is an associate director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.

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The Red Fire Truck

W “May I Tell You a Story?” BY DICK DUERKSEN

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hat do you want to be when you grow up?” “A Seventh-day Adventist missionary doctor,” Donald Miller answered. That was all he had ever wanted to be, and his life was dedicated to achieving that goal. He did well in school, well enough to be accepted into the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. After graduation, Doc Miller and his new wife, Wilma, began planning for life as missionaries. “It really doesn’t matter where we go,” Doc Miller would say. “Wherever God needs us is where we want to be.” The Millers settled into a medical practice and began paying off their medical school loans. “That was very difficult for Dad and Mom,” their son, Gordon, says. “All they really wanted was to be missionaries, but now they were tied up with medical missionary work at home.”

“Could you help us on a shortterm mission trip down to a mountain village in Mexico where they do not have any doctors?” The request came from a good friend, a doctor who, like Doc Miller, had now earned a pilot’s license and purchased a small private plane. “Yessiree!” Doc Miller responded. That trip was the first of many “short-term” mission trips to Mexico and other countries in Central America. Doc Miller was a careful pilot who landed on dirt roads, short runways, and even on the asphalt of normal airports! His plane was always packed with medical volunteers and boxes of medical supplies. There was always room for another bottle of medicine, another pair of crutches, or a nurse who was eager to serve. *** Doctor Miller flew for 40 years, regularly leading mission trips and fly-in clinics for people living in the high mountains of Mexico. “But we still wanted to go as medical missionaries far away from home,” Wilma remembers, “and so we retired early so we could serve as medical volunteers wherever God needed us to be.” When the retirement date arrived, they quickly began their long-dreamed-about life of international medical ministry, mostly in Southeast Asia. “Several times we traveled to Cambodia and served in the refugee camps. Those trips were the best,” Wilma says. “We dispensed medicines, set bones, distributed food, and hugged children. Most of the kids were orphans, and we wanted to give every one of them a loving home. That was impossible, so instead we focused on making certain they had the best medical care in the world.” “Dad always carried peppermint candies in his pockets, and the kids followed him like the Pied Piper. He quickly became known as the ‘Candy Doctor.’”


The camp guards called one day, asking Doc Miller to come quickly as a young girl and her little brother had just arrived, two young Cambodians who needed immediate medical care. “The girl had a fractured leg,” Wilma tells the story, “and yet had been walking for days to make sure her little brother got to safety. This thin little girl, and her even smaller brother, caught our hearts. The girl had been badly beaten, and her leg was in shambles. Her little brother was terrified of everyone and everything, still running from a remembered terror. Doc Miller set the girl’s leg and used broken pieces of an old automobile to put tension on the repaired leg so it would heal correctly. All this time little brother slept under her cot.” One day the Candy Doctor gave the boy a small red fire truck, a simple gift that came with armloads of love. The boy clutched it tightly to his chest, then dove back beneath his sister’s bed. A few weeks later the Millers returned to the United States. *** Realizing that this might be his last chance to give his father the “perfect gift,” Gordon Miller, now a medical doctor himself, told his parents that he was flying them to the Paris Air Show in France. Extravagant? Maybe. But seeing the hundreds of airplanes at this show had always been the old pilot/doctor’s biggest dream. Doc Miller accepted his son’s offer and began to plan for the trip. However, shortly before the trip, Doctor Miller had a heart attack and died. “I didn’t want to go to the Paris Air Show now,” Wilma remembers. “Not without Dad.” “We need to go, Mom,” Gordon urged. “Dad had looked forward to this trip, and even though he’s not here, he would have wanted you to go.”

Wilma’s Cambodian memories guided their choice of taxis as they exited the airport in Paris. “Dad would have wanted an Asian driver,” Wilma told Gordon, pointing to a young Asian man standing beside a taxi. “Where were you raised?” Wilma asked once they were in the cab. “Cambodia,” the driver answered. “Did you live in one of the refugee camps?” she pressed. “Yes, my oldest sister was adopted by a French family, but my other sister and I were lost in the camps for several years till she finally found us.” Wilma dug deep in her purse, found a wrinkled photo, and pushed it eagerly toward the driver. “Did you know this man? He’s my husband, and we worked together in the camps. He was a doctor. A very good doctor!” The driver glanced at the photo, guided his taxi to the curb, stopped, and pulled a small package from deep beneath his seat. “Yes, I knew Doctor Miller,” the driver said, unwrapping the package and holding it so Wilma could see. “Doctor Miller was my friend. He gave me hope.” In the driver’s hands was a small, well-worn red fire truck. “I had started to doubt that our lives had been of any value to anyone,” Wilma Miller says today. “Then God took me to Paris and showed me an old fire truck. I think we did just what God needed us to do.”

“Doctor Miller was my friend. He gave me hope.”

Dick Duerksen, a pastor and storyteller living in Portland, Oregon, United States, is known around the world as “an itinerant pollinator of grace.”

Publisher The Adventist World, an international periodical of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The General Conference, Northern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventhday Adventists®, is the publisher. Executive Editor/Director of Adventist Review Ministries Bill Knott International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Adventist World Coordinating Committee Si Young Kim, chair; Yukata Inada; German Lust; Chun, Pyung Duk; Han, Suk Hee; Lyu, Dong Jin Associate Editors/Directors, Adventist Review Ministries Lael Caesar, Gerald Klingbeil, Greg Scott Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Costin Jordache, Wilona Karimabadi Editors based in Seoul, Korea Chun, Pyung Duk; Park, Jae Man; Kim, Hyo-Jun Operations Manager Merle Poirier Editors-at-Large/Advisors Mark A. Finley, John M. Fowler, E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Kimberly Brown Management Board Si Young Kim, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Chun, Pyung Duk; Karnik Doukmetzian; Han, Suk Hee; Yutaka Inada; German Lust; Ray Wahlen; Ex-officio: Juan Prestol-Puesán; G. T. Ng; Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Types & Symbols To Writers: We welcome unsolicited manuscripts. Address all editorial correspondence to 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, U.S.A. Editorial office fax number: (301) 680-6638 E-mail: worldeditor@gc.adventist.org Web site: www.adventistworld.org Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible references are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Unless otherwise noted, all prominent photos are © Thinkstock 2017. Adventist World is published monthly and printed simultaneously in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. Vol. 14, No. 4

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Growing Faith

Fun-filled pages for younger ages

Truth and Lies Truth can be hard to find, but you can always count on the Bible. Scripture calls God’s Word the “sword of truth.” It helps us steer clear of spiritual lies. Where do these lies come from? The Bible says this about Satan: “He is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). So now you know the truth!

Joseph Learns the Truth

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oseph heard the sound of footsteps climbing the staircase. Weary from a day of selling Bibles, he’d found an abandoned farmhouse deep in a Russian forest to stay for the night. But strange sounds and weird doings had kept him awake. Now, from the corner of the drafty upstairs room, he looked toward the top of the staircase. A ghostly looking, white-shrouded figure appeared! “Come with me!” the figure called. Not believing in ghosts, Joseph determined to learn the truth. He jumped off the bed, but at the same time, the figure dashed down the stairway. At the bottom of the stairs Joseph reached

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out his hands to grab the figure. Suddenly the floor gave way, and Joseph felt himself falling through thin air. It was a trapdoor! In the basement two men appeared. They grabbed Joseph and tied his hands together. As the bewildered Bible salesman sat there, the eerie figure stood up and removed a chain from the shoulder area. Joseph watched as a white sheet was removed, revealing a large man. Looking around, Joseph spotted a small printing press. The “ghosts” inhabiting this place were actually counterfeiters. They were making fake money! One of the counterfeiters went to visit Joseph’s sleeping

area. Spotting Joseph’s bag, he opened it. “What is this?” he muttered, removing a Bible. Disappointed, he reached into the bag again—and retrieved another Bible. Confused, he tried three more times—and found nothing but Bibles! This man must be very holy to carry this many Bibles! thought the counterfeiter. Carefully he placed the Bibles back into the carrying case, then returned to the secret workshop. Joseph, his hands now tied, listened as the three men whispered among themselves. “We have talked this over,” the large criminal finally said to Joseph, “and we think you must

Illustration: Xuan Le


BY WILONA KARIMABADI

Bible Treasure “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

Real or Fake?

Original source, “The Haunted House,” Junior Guide, August 13, 1958, page 12.

Is this photo the real deal, or is someone trying to trick you? Answer: No, this picture is not real. It is the work of a clever person using photo editing software. But it looks pretty real, doesn’t it? This goes to show us that we need to be constantly seeking truth in our world.

be an unusually good man.” He paused, then continued. “We have decided not to kill you if you promise not to tell anyone what you have seen here.” Joseph really hadn’t seen that much, so he gave his word that he’d keep silent about their secret operation. Only years later and thousands of miles away from that old cabin did Joseph feel free to share his story. That night, in a most surprising way, the Bible, the “sword of truth,” had really helped to set Joseph free!

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