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The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

Ja nu a r y 2 01 6

Jesus World is

All the

20

God’s Way of

to Me

Righteousness

32

Life-changing

Love

34

A Journey of Grace


North American Division | n a d

Ja nua r y 2016 The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

Januar y 2016

C O V E R

24

Jesus World is

All the

to Me

S T O R Y

F E A T U R E

Jesus Is All the World to Me

The story of salvation begins and ends with Jesus.

20

God’s Way of Righteousness

32

Life-changing

Love

34

29 Fascinated With Christ

Associate editor Lael Caesar interviews Shawn Brace and Bogdan Scur about the implications of Christ our righteousness.

32 Life-changing Love

A Journey of Grace

T E S T I M O N Y

8 Christ, Our Righteousness W O R L D

V I S T A

The long, sometimes tortuous journey to know God’s acceptance

By Ted N. C. Wilson

A gift so generous comes with just one string attached.

20 God’s Way of Righteousness D E V O T I O N A L

By Cheyenne Francis

By William G. Johnsson

It’s easier and more uncomplicated than most of us realize.

34 A Journey of Grace A D V E N T I S T

H E R I T A G E

By Gluder Quispe

How the church has grown in its understanding of the gospel

36 From Karachi to California

N A D

F eat u re

By Jane Allen Quevedo

The effects of being a missionary never end.

Reach the World

D E PA RT M E N T S 3 W O

R L D

R E P O R T

3 News Briefs 6 News Feature 10 NAD News 14 NAD Update 17 NAD Perspective 18 NAD Letters

19 W O R L D H E A Blood Health

L T H

23 S pirit of P rophe c y Christ, Our Righteousness 42 B I B L E Q U E S T I O N The Glory of the Lord

S

43 B I B L E S T U D Y Abraham: Risking It All 44

I D E A

E X C H A N G E

Christ Our Righteousness Over the next five years, Adventist World will offer features related to three worldwide emphases of the Seventh-day Adventist Church: Christ Our Righteousness, Faithfulness, and Total Member Involvement. This logo, which will appear occasionally, indicates one emphasis in our desire to share our message and reach the world for Christ.

www.adventistworld.org Available in 10 languages online The Adventist World® (ISSN 1557-5519), one of the Adventist Review® family of publications, is printed monthly by the Pacific Press® Publishing Association. Copyright © 2016. Send address changes to your local conference membership clerk. Contact information should be available through your local church. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 12, No. 2, January 2016.

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Adventist World - nad | January 2016

C o v e r

P h o t o :

A n j a

O s e n b e r g


Prediction Fulfilled

1 Ellen

G. White, “ ‘Be Zealous and Repent,’ ” Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890. 2 Ellen G. White letter 8, 1890.

WORLD REPORT By Andrew McChesney

Miracle Hospital Opens in

Hong Kong

Chinese births support US$219 million expansion

P HOTOS : T W A H

“One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other—Christ our righteousness.”1 For all we like to use the term, there probably is no such thing as a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” The circumstances we label with that phrase are often those that might more aptly be titled “the power of an idea whose time has come.” God’s gift of prophecy, invading human history and experience, nonetheless invites and sometimes even requires human participation. The prophet hears and accepts God’s call upon the life: he or she responds in faithfulness, and God’s message is preached and taught. Listeners recognize the divine source of the words proclaimed, and by their cooperation help to set in motion the revivals and the reformations that change the course of nations, reshape institutions, and share the gospel in places it has never been heard—all as predicted in prophecy. One hundred twenty-five years ago God’s messenger to this movement— Ellen White—passionately predicted the theme that would dominate the conversation of God’s end-time remnant. And while the Lord has always had among us witnesses who held high the light shining from the cross, there can be no doubting that the past decades of our history as a people have been marked by a growing spotlight on the righteousness of Christ. From pulpits, in our evangelistic outreach, in personal conversations and correspondence, one interest has, in fact, begun to prevail—the all-sufficiency of Jesus, what Ellen White so frequently termed “the loveliness of Jesus.”2 Your church has made this theme the foremost of its emphases for the next five years, and thus this issue of Adventist World is specially focused on that “subject [that] will swallow up every other.” Read with an open heart. Expect the best as you trace again the best news ever told.

Left: OLD AND NEW: The original five-story Adventist hospital stands in front of the new 25-story building. Right: OFFICIAL OPENING: Hospital, church, and government leaders attend the grand opening of a new building at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Tsuen Wan.

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erched on a Hong Kong hill is a brand-new 25-story hospital building that Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders call nothing short of a miracle. The US$219 million building will significantly expand Adventist health-care services in a secular megacity where the church has found that the most effective way to share Jesus’ love is through the healing work of its two local hospitals. “God brought the right people to the right positions at the right time to make sure this project was successful,” said Robert Folkenberg, Jr., chair of the two hospitals and president of the Adventist Church’s Chinese Union Mission. The new building is an expansion of Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Tsuen Wan, which has been housed in a neighboring five-story building since its founding by prominent Adventist doctor Harry Miller in 1964. The hospital, which got off to a rocky start, has flourished over the past decade, especially for a period of about seven years when the Continued on next page

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WORLD REPORT Hong Kong government allowed mothers from mainland China to have their babies in Hong Kong. “This open door allowed our hospitals, whose maternity wards were immediately flooded, to minister to thousands of families from China while at the same time bringing in much-needed revenue that provided the considerable funds to build this massive expansion,” Folkenberg said. Income from other patient services and donations also paid for a large portion of the new building’s price tag of 1.7 billion Hong Kong dollars, while a fourth of the cost was covered by a bank loan. Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Tsuen Wan, is the only private hospital serving a district of 1.5 million people, and the expansion will allow it to care for 1,000 outpatients a day from its previous 300 to 400. The number of beds will increase from 120 to 470, with 20 percent of the beds set aside for low-income patients referred from public hospitals. Hong Kong’s top health official, Ko Wing-man, praised the expansion as a way to provide higher-quality health care in a city that needs more private hospitals. “Hong Kong is facing an unprecedented challenge in terms of our health-care system,” he told 400 guests gathered in a grassy garden area on the new building’s sixth floor for an opening ceremony in mid-November. “We are facing a rapidly aging population . . . and an escalation in people’s expectations for the quality of medical services.” The hospital aims to do much more than treat the ill. A major focus is on preventative medicine, helping people live healthfully through improved diet, rest, and exercise. Speakers at the opening ceremony

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underscored public health statistics that show most illnesses are caused by noncommunicative diseases linked to poor lifestyle choices. “We must do more, and this is one step in that direction,” said Ella Simmons, general vice president of the Adventist world church. “It is gratifying to note that this great new initiative . . . includes a stateof-the-art facility not only for diagnosing and treating diseases but also for creating an environment to promote health,” said Peter N. Landless, director of the Adventist world church’s Health Ministries Department. Construction of the 56,412-squaremeter (607,213-square-foot) hospital building started in 2011 and is scheduled for completion in 2016. In addition to the wards, the building features

10 operating theaters, four endoscopy suites, and the sky garden, where the opening ceremony was held. Folkenberg said the newly expanded hospital would shine as a beacon of Christ’s healing love in a crowded metropolis known for having more buildings above 35 meters (115 feet) and more skyscrapers above 150 meters (490 feet) than any other city in the world. The new hospital building stands 110 meters (360 feet) high. “In the middle of the city with the most skyscrapers in the world, at the center of an urban, secular, materialistic megacity, we continue to provide excellent, Christ-centered healing ministry to this non-Christian population,” Folkenberg said. “As our motto says, we exist ‘to extend the healing ministry of Jesus.’ ” n

By Andrew McChesney

1 Million Members Sought in

Northern Asia

Division leader Jairyong Lee unveils ambitious initiative.

T

he Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Northern AsiaPacific Division rolled out an ambitious initiative to increase membership in its territory to at least 1 million over the next five years. The initiative, presented at the division’s headquarters near Seoul, South Korea, came as the Adventist Church’s 13 divisions and other entities held a blitz of year-end meetings to announce their five-year plans to share the news of Jesus’ return.

Adventist World - nad | January 2016

The Northern Asia-Pacific Division’s goal is formidable for a territory with 1.6 billion people, making it the church’s largest in terms of population, but also among the least reached with the gospel, with only 3 percent who identify themselves as Christian. The other 97 percent are Buddhists, Shintoists, Muslims, Shamans, and atheists. “As we begin another quinquennium, we should not simply continue with what we have done in the past five years,” division president Jairyong


C o n f e r e n c e U n i o n Japa n

STEADY GROWTH: Pastor Masuya Yasui (right) baptizes a new member at a camp meeting in Fujikawaguchiko, Japan, in 2013.

Lee said as he unveiled the Vision One Million 2020 initiative at year-end meetings. “We need to have a new start with renewed commitment and unprecedented dedication to the mission of the church.” The Adventist Church now has 702,081 members in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, which encompasses China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan, according to division statistics. The division grew by 77,841 members and more than 100 new congregations over the past five years. In contrast, the Adventist world church is adding about 1 million new members a year, and reached 18.7 million members in July. Three world divisions—Inter-American, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean, and East-Central Africa—count more than 3 million members on their territories. To reach its goal, the Northern Asia-Pacific Division plans to align its outreach efforts with initiatives promoted by the Adventist world church, including Mission to the Cit-

ies, Comprehensive Health Ministry, and Total Member Involvement. It also will rely on homegrown programs such as the His Hands Mission Movement, which prepares and sends missionaries within their own countries, and the 1000 Missionary Movement and the Pioneer Mission Movement, which sends missionaries between countries. Other divisions made similar plans at their year-end meetings. North American Division president Daniel R. Jackson announced 11 goals for the next five years, including 1,000 new congregations and the involvement of every one of his territory’s 1.2 million church members in preparing their communities for Jesus’ return. Inter-American Division leaders said their congregations were doing

more to reach out to former members thanks to an ongoing membership audit in which 690,000 members were removed from its books. In South Korea, Lee cautioned that time is running short to share the Adventist message. “We still have many mission opportunities in our territory. However, the opportunities will not always remain,” Lee said. “Evangelism will become much more challenging in the near future. People are becoming more humanistic, materialistic, and egocentric as time passes. They are becoming more and more focused on surviving in a highly competitive society.” Quoting Jesus, he said, “We ‘must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work’ [John 9:4].” n

By Andrew McChesney

Can’t Speak English? We’ll Worship Anyway

South Korean church changes its culture and grows.

H

ow far would you go to draw believers to your church? The eight members of a struggling church in South Korea made the drastic decision to hold worship services only in English, even though no one spoke the language. To their delight, the church’s hall filled up with 38 people the next Sabbath, and attendance has remained strong since. “There was such a big difference in just a week,” said Kwon JohngHaeng, a pastor and church planter

who first suggested that the Pangsung church embrace English-language services. The story began when the Pangsung church’s part-time pastor, Kim Soongi, called Kwon at his office in the headquarters of the Adventist Church’s Northern Asia-Pacific Division near Seoul. After a brief conversion, Kwon learned that the church, which had opened 20 years earlier, was situated only five minutes by foot from Camp Humphreys, a U.S. Army

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WORLD REPORT

6

Speaking Migrants’ Language

Kwon, who has served as the division’s director of Adventist Mission and Stewardship Ministries, said that embracing a foreign language is a concept that he has seen work well for many churches during his 13 years of church planting in Asia, where many countries have large migrant communities. He said South Korea alone has 1.7 million migrant workers, mostly in cities, and he has helped open Cambodian, Indian, and Filipino churches to meet their needs. The Pangsung church, meanwhile, prays that attendance will continue to grow as word spreads about its English-language services and the last of 28,500 U.S. troops relocate to Camp Humphreys. The Adventist Church’s West Central Korean Conference recently voted to change the name of the Pangsung church to the Pyeongtaek International church. n

J o h n g Ha e n g

Kwon called a local English teacher from South Africa, Moe Zonke, and secured his assistance in helping Pangsung transform into an international church. The church also posted news about their English services on Facebook. That Sabbath five U.S. soldiers with 13 family members showed up to worship. One of them, Candice Roelofs,

to have declining memberships, while those in cities tend to grow.

K w o n

New Ideas and Directions

told the congregation that she had been seeking an English-speaking church for two years. “I was looking for a church like this,” she said, according to Kwon. “I am very happy.” The church members were thrilled as well, Kwon said. Not only did their attendance more than triple—they also were able to understand the worship service. A supporting staff member from the base turned out to be a former Adventist pastor who spoke good Korean. He provides simultaneous translation from the back of the hall. God, through His providence, allowed the Pangsung church to seize the opportunity of having the large U.S. base nearby, said Yutaka Inada, recently elected executive secretary of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division. Other struggling churches will have to pray for creative ways to reach their own communities, he said. He noted that churches in rural areas of the division, which encompasses China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan, tend

P HOTOS :

garrison that will become the largest in Asia in 2016. Kwon attended the church’s worship services the next day and called the eight members and their three young children to a special meeting afterward. “You have done everything for 20 years, but the church is not growing,” he said. “Why don’t you change your vision from serving only Korean people? We have a U.S. Army base within a fiveminute walk where there may be Seventh-day Adventist service members whom we can serve.” Kwon, who recounted the meeting in an interview in his division office, said the members were excited about the proposal, even though he explained to them that the services would have to be in English. One of the members, who had helped establish the church with her husband two decades earlier, embraced Kwon and tearfully expressed hope that the idea would work. Kwon has found in working with other international churches that English-only services tend to be more effective than consecutive interpretation, in which a person speaks and pauses for the translation. If interpretation is needed, simultaneous translation with headphones is better, he said. The Pangsung church members decided to start English services the very next Sabbath.

Left: READY FOR WORSHIP: The building where the newly renamed Pyeongtaek International Church meets features the letters “SDA” on a mid-story window. Right: BILINGUAL WORSHIP: Candice Roelofs speaks as Kwon JohngHaeng records from a pew. The interpreter can be seen in the back corner.

Adventist World - nad | January 2016


SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

The

Loma Linda Report

January 2016

MANY STRENGTHS. ONE MISSION.

School of Dentistry students provide dental care to homeless and low-income patients

T

oothache from decay, infection or injury can make it hard to sleep or think clearly; the pain can affect the entire side of one’s face, making it difficult to eat. According to Zegar Zegar, DDS, toothaches are what often bring patients to the MEND dental clinic in California’s San Fernando Valley. Every Tuesday, students from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD) volunteer at MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), providing dental care to the homeless and those who are living at the poverty level. Zegar began working in the MEND clinic when he was studying in Loma Linda University’s International Dentist Program (IDP). Dentists who have received training outside the United States must complete two years of training in the States before they can apply for licensure to practice in the United States. Since 1986, 504 dentists from more than 80 countries have earned their DDS degrees through the School of Dentistry’s IDP training. Escaping political unrest in his home country of Iraq, Zegar entered the School of Dentistry’s IDP in 2011, graduated in 2013 and remained with the School as an assistant professor. “While IDP students volunteer in MEND for six months as part of their program,” says Zegar, “all LLU dental students are welcome to volunteer in the clinic.” Zegar now oversees the work of School of Dentistry students at MEND. Each year dentists from as many as 17 countries are enrolled in IDP. “It is special,” says Zegar, “for patients for whom English is a second language to come to MEND and to be able to communicate

with their dentist about their care in their first language.” “About 80 percent of the MEND patients,” says Zegar, “are medically compromised. The oral cavity not only provides the body’s source of food, it is an entry area for bacteria.” He continues, “Consequently, access to dental care is essential to overall health and healing, as well as the prevention and treatment of illnesses, including oral cancer and heart disease. Many of our patients have been turned down and refused care; our clinic is their only remaining option.” MEND is made possible by donations and grants, including $858,314 in grants from the UniHealth Foundation; it is the only clinic to provide complimentary dental care to local residents. The mission of Loma Linda University Health is “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.” Before the dental students see their first patient, Zegar meets with them. “It is essential that they learn the importance of providing compassionate care,” he says, “I

emphasize that the treatment we provide to every patient should be done as if we are caring for Christ Himself.” While LLUSD dental students have been joined by their volunteering counterparts from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry and Western University’s College of Dentistry, MEND staff members thank Zegar for the influence that the Loma Linda University students have on the clinic. “They observe our dental students praying together before we start treating patients,” he says. “We get to know our patients as people; trust is developed, and they know us by our names.” “While some of our patients are homeless because of drug dependency or mental health issues, others are educated, hardworking individuals who have lost everything because of a series of unthinkable situations,” says Zegar. “The need is so great that I am committed to providing care at MEND, and I hope that there is always someone to continue this work. It is a true blessing.”

Photo by Russell Sasaki

By Nancy Yuen

Zegar Zegar, DDS, and Denise Sanchez, manager, MEND dental clinic. According to UniHealth, the clinic has two full-time administrative employees and has experienced incredible growth since 2008, when nine volunteer dentists and Loma Linda University dental students completed 972 patient encounters. Today, 36 community dentists see as many as 40 new patients a month, completing more than 5,000 appointments each year.


W O R L D

V I S T A

A

s we begin this new year, now is an excellent time to consider a foundational aspect of salvation: Christ and His righteousness. Matthew records a fascinating parable of Jesus involving a wedding and proper wedding attire. In Matthew 22 we read that a great wedding was arranged by the king. There’s a lot of excitement as the king prepared this celebration for his son. He “sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding” (verse 3). Sadly, those who received the invitation weren’t excited about attending. Can you imagine a king inviting people to a wedding, and they didn’t want to come? We should keep in mind that this parable has meaning for us today. Jesus is calling us to His wedding feast. Are we coming?

The Reception

Receptions can be a challenge. If you’ve ever prepared one, you know. We’ve had two wedding receptions in our home and one at the church, and I’m glad people came to the wedding receptions for our daughters. But in this parable not only did the guests not show up—they didn’t even appreciate the king’s generous invitation. “They made light of it and went their ways” (verse 5). Are we so busy with life, trying to negotiate the twenty-first century, that we’re too busy to come to the most important meal God will ever serve? Rejecting the King

In the parable, those who received the wedding invitation seized the king’s servants, treated them cruelly, and killed them. When you go out as God’s colaborers, be prepared to be refused, to be tormented, to be shunned, and maybe even to be killed. The Christian church as a whole, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church specifically, have had

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By Ted N. C. Wilson

hrist , C Our Righteousness

What are you wearing to the wedding? their share of martyrs. Let’s not be afraid about the future. Don’t be afraid regarding the prophetic unfolding of what we know is going to take place. We are assured of Christ’s presence until the very end of time (see Matt. 28:20). Anyone watching current events will know that prophecy is being fulfilled just as God foretold. We are not living in normal times. When the king in the parable heard how his servants were treated, he was furious. He sent out his armies, destroyed the murderers, and burned their city (Matt. 22:7). Starting Over

Then the king started over. He told his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. . . . Go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding” (verses 8, 9). Many people came—both bad and good—and the wedding hall was filled with guests (verse 10). Today as God’s message is proclaimed, there will be people who aren’t aligned with God’s holy Word but will be part of those who come. To the very end of time there will be the good and the bad, the wheat and the tares. But there will be a shaking. In fact, I believe the shaking has begun.

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The world has crept into the church in such an incredible way. There’s only one way you and I can prevent ourselves from being swept up with erroneous ideas, with cultural implications, with a twist that will push us against God’s Word. There’s only one way from being shaken out, and that is complete reliance upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We must receive Christ’s justifying power, His sanctifying power, His reviving and reforming power. Claim His Promises

The Bible is filled with beautiful promises showing what Jesus can and will do for us when we accept His robe of righteousness: “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). The apostle Paul encourages us to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). And John the revelator tells us exactly who we are, and how we are to be remedied from the terrible curse of selfcenteredness: “Buy from Me gold . . . , that you may be rich; . . . white garments, that you may be clothed . . . ; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:18, 19).


Proper Attire

Returning to the parable, we see that what happened next is actually a fascinating explanation of Christ’s ministry. We read that when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man not wearing a wedding garment. “Friend,” he asked, “how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” (Matt. 22:12). The man was speechless.

The wedding garment represents the pure, spotless character which Christ’s true followers will possess. This poor fellow, even though he’d been given a perfect suit, didn’t accept and wear it. The King not only invites strangers (that’s you and me) to the wedding of His Son—He also provides the proper clothing as a gift. When Christ provides His robe of righteousness, it’s a perfect fit, and it fits everyone! We just have to accept it and put it on. Delving Deeper

That magnificent book Christ’s Object Lessons delves deeply into the parables of Christ, further illuminating the many valuable lessons found there. There we read that the wedding garment represents “the pure, spotless character which Christ’s true followers will possess.”1 And that character is not our character; it’s Christ’s. “It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as

their personal Savior.”2 Do we really believe this? The chapter also includes this wonderful promise: “Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet [prepared] to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. . . . This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us. ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags’ (Isa. 64:6). . . . By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments.”3 Don’t fall for the trap people set up when they say, “It’s impossible to keep the commandments; it’s impossible to live a perfect life.” It’s true that we can’t live a perfect life on our own—there’s no possible way! But when we wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness, we appear to the heavenly Father as perfect. Sanctification Moves In

Then something else happens. Sanctification starts to move in, and that is Christ’s righteousness as well. Ellen White wrote: “When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. . . . Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine.”4 We read further: “The man who came to the feast without a wedding garment represents the condition of many in our world today. . . . They do not realize their need of Christ or exercise faith in Him. They have not over-

come their hereditary or cultivated tendencies to wrongdoing. Yet they think that they are good enough in themselves, and they rest upon their own merits instead of trusting in Christ. Hearers of the Word, they come to the banquet, but they have not put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness.”5 Let Seventh-day Adventists be known as people who trust, not in their own merits, but only in the merits of Jesus Christ! As Ellen White wrote: “It is in this life that we are to put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness. This is our only opportunity to form characters for the home which Christ has made ready for those who obey His commandments. . . . Take heed lest you be found at the King’s feast without a wedding garment.”6 Moving Forward

As we move forward, are you willing to receive from the hand of Christ His covering garment that will enable you to be a co-laborer with heaven? Accepting the beautiful gift of Christ’s robe that covers and transforms us into His image is foundational to becoming a follower of Christ. May we be so filled with the power of the Holy Spirit that people will say, “Those Seventh-day Adventists know Jesus. He lives in their hearts, and they are the greatest proclaimers of Christ’s righteousness.” n 1 Ellen

G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 310. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid., 311, 312. 4 Ibid., p. 312. 5 Ibid., p. 315. 6 Ibid., p. 319.

Ted N. C. Wilson is president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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H e n n i n g B r i a n

B r i a n

H e n n i n g

NAD NEWS

Adventist Conducts

Community

Benefit Concert O

n July 16, 2015, a young man opened fire on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Four marines and a sailor were killed, and a Marine recruiter and a police officer were wounded. In addition to the victims and their families, this tragic event touched the lives of many in the community. In an effort to honor the victims and support their families, the Chat-

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tanooga community organized a benefit concert at Coolidge Park on Wednesday, September 16. Actor and former Chattanooga resident Samuel L. Jackson served as emcee for the event, which raised more than $400,000. Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke invited vocalist Harry Connick, Jr., to attend the concert and perform the Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to

Adventist World - nad | January 2016

Save.� When Connick agreed, he wanted a new arrangement composed that would include himself (vocals and piano), his nine-piece band, strings, and a chorus. This arrangement required the direction of a skilled orchestra leader. Those on the organizing team for the event were familiar with the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra (ETSO), and reached out to its director, Richard Hickam,


Far Left: During a break in rehearsals, Hickam chats with event emcee and actor, Samuel L. Jackson. Left: Harry Connick, Jr., left on piano, with Richard Hickam conducting, perform at a benefit concert for those killed at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The event raised more than $400,000.

who is currently minister of music at the Florida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist Church in Orlando. Hickam had spent 10 years serving as band and orchestra director at nearby Collegedale Academy. “Being from Chattanooga and observing the tragedy from a distance, when I was offered a tangible way to assist the families, it was an easy personal decision,” said Hickam. “My wife, Darlene, and my senior pastor, Andy McDonald, also thought that this was a rare opportunity and gave me the go-ahead.” Hickam received the score for the hymn a few days before the benefit took place. With the help of ETSO concertmaster Rhonda Burnham, a string section was assembled (Connick’s band does not include strings) and intense rehearsals began. Roughly 80,000 people attended some portion of the event that celebrated the pride and patriotism of the Chattanooga community. When asked how he saw this experience as an extension of his full-time ministry, Hickam said, “First Peter 4:10 commends us to use whatever gift you have received to serve others. The funds raised and the sentiment of community unity behind these families shows that God can always make something good come out of a tragedy.” —By Tami Cinquemani, Orlando, Florida

Community Joins

to Support

Syrian Refugees L

ocal communities joined together at the Greenway Auditorium in Coleraine, Minnesota, on November 5, 2015, to raise awareness and donations for Syrian refugees. Some estimate that since the outbreak of Syrian civil war in 2011, between 7 and 9 million Syrians have fled their homes and

entered neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Doug Hardt, pastor of the Iron Range district, which includes the Blackberry, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Northome, and International Falls Seventh-day Adventist churches, saw firsthand the challenges faced by refugees when he visited Iraq last year.

A quartet, originally from Russia, was one of the musical groups that performed at the concert. W i l d T r i l l i u m

P h o t o g r ap h y

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W i l d T r i l l i u m

P h o t o g r ap h y

Doug Hardt, pastor of the Iron Range District, spoke about the plight of Syrian refugees.

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C o l l e e n

The Blackberry church invited musicians from the churches and schools in their area to take part in a benefit concert to aid the refugees. Choirs from the Deer River, Grand Rapids, and Greenway high schools performed, along with the Grand Rapids Area Male Chorus, the St. Andrew’s Men’s Choir, a quartet of Russian teenagers, and the pastor’s daughter, Nicole Hardt. During the event Hardt spoke and showed pictures from Iraq. Many of those who came to the concert were moved to donate to UNICEF, the charity working specifically with children affected by the refugee crisis. The program featured inspiring music that filled the auditorium with a sense of hope. Concertgoers contributed more than $4,500, far exceeding Hardt’s expectations. Consequently, he organized another benefit concert at the Hibbing First Presbyterian Church. The total raised through both concerts, along with some matching funds, amounted to $5,500. —By Brian Mungandi and Doug Hardt, Minnesota Conference

K e l ly

NAD NEWS

The CRAVE event was held on student union grounds in the center of the Indiana University campus. Inset: Campus evangelist Jeff Tatarchuk captivated audiences with his casual yet enduring appeal to get to know God.

Craving God

on Campus

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joint effort among North American Division’s Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF), Lake Union Conference, Indiana Conference, and the Bloomington church resulted in 100 new student relationships, one baptism, new Bible studies, and four Life Groups that form a continuing spiritual community. CRAVE was held September 14-18 on the student union grounds at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. The program, called CRAVE, recognizes humans’ ultimate craving for a relationship with God. John Leis, a lay leader from Bloomington church, said the idea came as the local church board explored mission projects for the year. The church is situated next to the Indiana University (IU) campus, and one third of its members are students at the university. The church board decided to research programs that could help them reach their campus neighbors.

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The board contacted Adventist Christian Fellowship and the North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI) for campus ministry ideas to help them reach their mission goals. ACF volunteer coordinator Ron Pickell jumped at the opportunity, sending campus ministry leaders Javier Melendez and Jermaine Gayle to live in Bloomington for six months after the weeklong CRAVE event to conduct one-on-one Bible studies and organize Life Group activities. Campus evangelist and musician Alison Brooks gave presentations all week, as well as a final concert. Evangelist Jeff Tatarchuk said, “In my opinion the week was epic.” Leis observed, “These kids want to change the world. They have a lot of energy. There were some international students from China there, and they’ll take God back [to China] with them.” The event would not have been a success without the help of seven campus missionaries from the Michi-


gan Conference’s public campus ministries department, who were there the week before and during the CRAVE event. They were on campus connecting with IU students and helping to get the word out. Prior to the CRAVE meetings, flyers and posters were distributed on campus, along with sidewalk chalk signs. Free hugs and chair massages were offered to students. As they signed up with text messages, they received T-shirts and free food along with spiritual food. “We at ACF conducted three prior CRAVE events from 2012 to 2014 at the University of Florida at Gainesville, California State University at San Marcos, and at the Church of the Wild,” said Pickell. “But no follow-up was organized to continue the work. We

hope that the Bloomington model will serve as a pilot for conducting a similar campus ministry next year at the University of California at Berkeley.” A reaping series in November in Bloomington, targeted the September CRAVE attendees to continue their CRAVE for Jesus. “We want to work with the rhythm and flow on campus,” Pickell said. Adventist Christian Fellowship serves more than 100 student groups in Canada, the United States, Bermuda, and Guam, and counts among its members between 1,500 and 2,000 students. In North America, 15,000 degree-granting organizations of higher education have a population of 22 million students. —By Colleen Kelly, Indiana Conference

Students listened and were encouraged to learn more and follow their natural inclination to crave a relationship with Jesus. C o l l e e n

K e l ly

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N A D U P D AT E

T

he year 2016 brings many exciting events to the North American Division (NAD). Some will help you grow your ministry and enhance your relationship with Jesus Christ. The church will hold several events designed to help you nurture your spiritual walk with Jesus, increase your talents and skills in ministry, and learn how to relate better to those in your local community. Emotional Wellness Summit

January 13-17 Orlando, Florida This summit is designed for health professionals, health leaders, pastors, and individuals who want to learn more about prevention, treatment, and recovery strategies for better mental health. Information shared will be evidence-based and wholistic, highlighting the role of faith communities and faith-based institutions in enhancing the mental and emotional well-being of individuals and families in the community. If you want your congregation or clinical practice to be relevant, and be able to address current mental and behavioral health issues, you will want to attend. More information can be found at www.healthsummit.com. Just Claim It Prayer Conference

February 17-20 Ontario, California The Just Claim It (JCI) Prayer Experience is now a youth prayer ministry resource for the local church. Whether one attends the Youth Prayer Conference or not, this resource will provide you with a total resource package that will keep young people engaged in devotion with God 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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P I X A B AY

Called to

Collaborate Catching the vision of cooperative action

This year’s JCI World Youth Prayer Conference will take place February 17-20 in Ontario, California. We are asking for every church in North America to send at least one attendee for the purpose of training and implementation back home. Every attendee will leave with one thing: a ministry. A special feature, The Call to Ministry, will provide daily opportunities for youth and young adults to connect with select pastors to talk about answering God’s call to the full-time

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gospel ministry, or engaged, Spirit-led lay ministry. Find out more about the conference at www.jci5.org. Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN)

February 24-27 Silver Spring, Maryland GAiN is a conference designed to foster the use of technology, media, and the Internet to enhance the mission of the Adventist Church. Through


annual worldwide events, we seek to educate and train communication and technology professionals in finding new ways to reach their communities. This is a conference for people who work in communication, media, and technology, both professionally and in their local churches. More information is available at gain. adventist.org. Days of Hope and Compassion

April 16-17 Division-wide The Day of Hope and Compassion will serve as a festive two-day division-wide commemoration of our hope in Jesus Christ. Division president Dan Jackson envisions all Adventist congregations, K-12

schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals in North America to celebrate our hope through acts of compassion, a social media blitz, joyful worship services, and distribution of Adventist literature that is inspiring, practical, and specific to the daily lives and needs of our communities. This celebration will provide opportunities for a grand collaboration among church members, church ministries, and institutions. The North American Division will develop resources and create a media promotional campaign to assist congregations, schools, and hospitals for this extraordinary celebration. Mark your calendars: we need total involvement to make it a reality.

Modeling Hope and Compassion

The North American Division leadership team will celebrate the Day of Hope and Compassion by partnering with local churches, conferences, and union conferences in Columbia, Maryland, the future home of the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. Dan Jackson and our North American Division leadership team would love to see all union conference and local conference leaders do the same in their geographical areas. To stay up-to-date on the latest events and news from throughout the North American Division, sign up for the NAD e-newsletter, NewsPoints, at www.nadadventist/newspoints. n

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She just told us what she’s thinking. Will you?

@adventistreview

/adventistworldmagazine


NAD PERSPECTIVE By Daniel R. Jackson

The

pat h

M

Ahead

any years ago I took my three children on a hiking adventure into the mountains near Jasper, Alberta. The beauty of the mountains in that area is, at points, breathtaking. However, on this fall afternoon we had other things on our minds than the view: other things like leaves, fallen trees, and streams to explore. We marched through the woods like a band of soldiers, happy and content with our surroundings. We saw gophers and deer, and a variety of other wildlife, including—at a distance—a mother bear with three cubs. On that day, for a dad and his three children, the journey was truly the reward. After a while we came across a stream. We saw little minnows coursing their way up the stream, and leaves floating along as though they were meant to be there. Then, as if it were a great discovery, my youngest daughter saw her face reflected in the water. Though not amazing to me or to her siblings, she became transfixed. She couldn’t stop looking at herself. Though I asked her to come away from the water, she just kept staring into that familiar face looking back at her. After a minute or so, her momentary fixation caused her to lose balance, and

she tumbled facefirst into the water. Needless to say, our hike came to an untimely end. Lesson learned: reflection is good, but only to a point. Reflection is a good thing. We gain from reviewing the past, from seeking to understand things that have happened and how we can learn from past experiences. How many mistakes would we avoid if we learned to analyze those things that happened in our past? Failure to review what has happened can lead us into repeated failures. We Seventh-day Adventist Christians recognize the validity of Ellen White’s comment “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”1 Reflecting, or looking back, is useful for traveling toward the future, because we know how God has blessed His people in the past, even to this point. However, too much looking backward as a church, and too much individual dwelling on ourselves in the pool of the past, can cause us to fall flat on our spiritual faces. Fixating on what some call the “good old days” can block out the glorious vision of what God has yet to accomplish for His church. Focusing on our

mistakes, our failures, and our losses as individuals can serve to fix our attention so intensely upon ourselves that we shut out the light God wants to shine on us. Ellen White said it so well: “You are not to look to yourself or think about your own feelings. Look to Christ. Think of His love and of the beauty of His perfect character. Think of Christ and how He humbled Himself and lived for others. Think of His purity, of His holiness, and of His wonderful love.”2 While it is true that we have to learn our lessons from the past, the point of the Christian life is looking forward to see how God wants to use us in the present. Paul made perhaps the best statement on this when he wrote: “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13, 14). The year 2016 is fresh and new. In this early part of the year, let’s anticipate what God is about to do for us. Let’s see in the beautiful Jesus the basis of all our hopes and dreams. Then let’s go out and face with confidence the uncertainty of the days ahead, knowing that He is leading us and guiding His church to a glorious end. Have a wonderful new year! n 1

Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), p. 196. 2 Ellen G. White, Steps to Jesus (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1981), p. 71.

Daniel R. Jackson is president of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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s dventist th-day A or Seven l Paper f rnationa The Inte

O c tob e r 2015

OR L D Hinitthiatie veW s Arch’sCbold Echu RThe for the next 5 year

NAD Letters Different Patient, Different Prescription

I appreciated the October 2015 issue, in particular “Relief From Osteoarthritis Pain.” The doctors mentioned reduction of weight as a possible benefit. However, I wish they had mentioned some types of foods to avoid that might be helpful. In my case, I had crippling in my hands a number of years ago, but the disease stopped advancing almost immediately when I avoided dairy products. Interestingly, recently while I was taking another medication, I experienced swelling and pain again. So obviously, medications in some individuals seem to complicate this health issue. Eric Kreye College Place, Washington Justice and Mercy

In “Sex, Seriously” (October 2015) Angel Manuel Rodríguez overlooked one important aspect of judgment in his answer. Mosaic laws on sexual offences limited the allowance of honor killings. The scene from Genesis 34 about Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, was not to be repeated. If one views these laws as limitations of what was tolerated, rather than a command to be followed, they seem totally different in intent.

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Exodus 22:16 lays out provision for the financial support of women who have been violated. The God who says He would have mercy and not sacrifice wants mercy, not execution. Lewis E. Miles Chickamauga, Georgia Joseph Olstad, in his vigorously argued article, “Looking for Legalism, Finding Hypocrisy” (November 2015), pointed out that Jesus never described actions commonly called legalism today as “legalism,” but rather as hypocrisy. However, it should be noted that Jesus never would have used the term legalism, because the term did not exist in His day, nor is it found in Scripture. Legalism is a theological term describing part of Paul’s theology in which he describes and decries his own experience as a one-time Pharisee obsessed with external works of the law (the letter), while missing the whole point of the law (the spirit). Jesus described that point, which Paul and others like him had missed, as “weightier matters,” such as “justice, mercy, and faith,” also summing up the ultimate point of all “the law and the prophets” as being the twin principles of love for God and for humanity. Paul later expounded, “The greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Paul’s own “legalistic” experience was common, and it infected Judaism in Christ’s day (as it still does today), even though Jesus always called it (and other love-less errors) hypocrisy. . . . The word hypocrite was not a theological term, as legalism is, but rather a common word that Christ’s hearers would have used to designate actors in Greco-Roman theaters. . . . Legalism, if properly derived from Paul’s theology, is not merely the error of trying to be saved by works; it is also a nit-picking obsession with works themselves, which misses the whole point of the

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law. By nature, legalism is always a form of hypocrisy as well. The terms are not mutually exclusive. Dennis Berlin Price, Utah Thanks for Making It Possible

I’ve been receiving Adventist World for about three years now, ever since my baptism and membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in College Place, Washington. I always appreciate each issue, and even pass each one on to someone who I feel could use the inspiration. Thank you, Adventist World, and all who make it possible for me to receive this gift. Jerry G. Thompson Aberdeen, Washington Embracing the Possibilities

“It Makes a Difference,” by Phyllis Washington (September 2014), adequately explains some of the main problems why kids and their parents are missing out on an essential spiritual foundation for experiencing or sharing the gospel. In my opinion, she was much too kind in her assessment of the problems our church faces in accomplishing this task of transferring spiritual formation to future generations. . . . Washington gives some excellent solutions, but here is one that would make the most difference: following the counsel we’ve had for more than 100 years: every church with five or six children having a church school (Child Guidance, pp. 306-309). “But the problem is money!” No, the problem is not money, but a lack of faith and determination. Nothing is impossible with God (see Matt. 17:20; Luke 1:37; Jer. 32:17, 27). Thanks to you and the author for a great article. Ertis L. Johnson Elk City, Oklahoma


W O R L D

H E A L T H

By Peter N. Landless and Allan R. Handysides

Health

I am scheduled for major but non-urgent surgery in the next few months, and I may need a blood transfusion. Do Seventh-day Adventists agree to blood transfusions? Are they safe?

S

eventh-day Adventists are in favor of blood transfusions. We encourage our members to be regular donors as they are able, because blood is a lifesaving commodity. Modern screening methods have made transfusions safe and beneficial. All interventions carry risk, but the benefits of appropriately used transfusions outweigh the risk. Blood is part of the circulatory system, which helps to supply oxygen and nutrition to all the tissues of the body and return carbon dioxide to the lungs and waste products to the kidneys. Blood helps regulate body temperature and also distributes hormones to the various target organs. Blood is made up of a protein-rich fluid called plasma, in which are suspended the cellular elements of the blood. The cellular elements include red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Plasma also carries proteins that defend the body against infection (antibodies), vitamins, and other proteins, which assist in blood clotting when trauma occurs. There are approximately 5.5 liters of blood in the circulatory system. This volume remains constant to ensure adequate blood pressure, so that the blood can reach all the tissues and cells in the body, assuring normal function and

energy metabolism throughout the life cycle of the individual. The body is very sensitive to changes in blood volume (mainly changes in plasma), which is affected by dehydration or blood loss that may occur following trauma or major surgery. Blood transfusion services have developed very reliable systems for screening and banking blood, which is then available as needed. Blood is divided into various blood groups depending on special carbohydrate substances that may be present on the red cells. The best known are the A and B antigens. These are all inherited. In broadest terms, blood groups are divided into A, B, AB, and O (O group—universal donors; AB group—universal recipients). An important additional subgroup is the Rh (rhesus) factor group. When blood is requested for a specific patient, a blood sample is sent to the blood bank along with the order so that the blood may be crossmatched. This is to prevent reactions with blood that may not be compatible because of varying antigens. Blood is screened to prevent the transmission of viral diseases, especially hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. If one has been in a malaria area, one may not donate blood within a given period of time

The body is very sensitive to changes in blood volume. after leaving that area, determined by each transfusion service. You may wish to ask your surgeon about the possibility of donating your own blood in advance for your own use on the day of surgery, if needed (autologous transfusion). We are fearfully and wonderfully made. As Christians, we are blessed to know that our spiritual health is covered and guaranteed by the blood of Jesus Christ, freely shed on our behalf. n

Peter N. Landless, a board-certified cardiologist, is director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.

Allan R. Handysides, a board-certified gynecologist, is a former director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.

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God’s Way of

By William G. Johnsson

Righteousness Simple, easy, uncomplicated

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ight and day the earnest young man struggled to find peace with God. Torturing his body, he fasted and prayed, racking his brains to confess every sin he had ever committed. Nothing worked. After hours spent in confession, he would awake in the middle of the night with a terrifying thought: What about the sins he could not remember, those that still lay unconfessed and would condemn him before an angry God? The struggling soul was the monk Martin Luther. His life-and-death quest to find righteousness gave birth to the Protestant Reformation. Luther tried every path to peace that the church of his day offered, but all in vain. At last, however, he found what he desperately craved through study of Paul’s letter to the Romans. “Night and day,” he wrote later, “I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by his faith.’ Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.”1 Luther’s liberating discovery was an idea utterly foreign to human thought to this point. We do not earn righteousness by our human striving; instead, God freely reckons His righteousness to us as we trust Him. Not our efforts,

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but God’s gift. Not because of our good works, but through faith—this is God’s way of righteousness. The book of Romans rings with this glorious affirmation. It is indeed the gospel, good news. “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’ ” (Rom. 1:17).2 “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Rom. 3:21, 22). The Teachings of Jesus

Long before Luther discovered the liberating good news of righteousness by faith, Jesus had emphasized the concept. He did not employ closely reasoned arguments the way Paul did, but used disarmingly simple, profound illustrations and parables. The religious leaders of Jesus’ society had constructed an elaborate theology that centered on the law. They counted 613 commandments in the Pentateuch, and to them they added a series of oral traditions designed to establish a hedge around the 613 stipulations. Thus, to the plain Sabbath commandment in the Decalogue they had added a long list, specifying what activities were permitted and what were not. P HOTO :

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D E V O T I O N A L

Jesus clashed sharply with the scribes and Pharisees over their view of religion. In the Sermon on the Mount He told His hearers: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). Disputing with them over their rules concerning ceremonial purity, He said: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions” (Mark 7:9). Jesus raised the bar of righteousness so high that the whole system of attempting to please God by scrupulous attention to detailed observances collapsed under its own weight. He taught that in God’s eyes righteousness is more than not committing murder, adultery, and so on: God’s righteousness embraces even our thoughts and motives so that hate and lust make us transgressors of the law (see Matt. 5:21-47). This was a righteousness of an altogether new order, a righteousness beyond human achievement, a righteousness that Jewish religious teachers never attempted to embrace. This was a righteousness so demanding that humans can never attain it, a righteousness that only God can provide as a gift. Over and over the parables of Jesus surprise, even shock, the reader. They reverse the way the world functions. Here someone who works only one hour receives the same pay as the person who labors the whole day (Matt. 20:1-16). Here two men go to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee who gives his whole life to strict observance of the law, the other a tax collector, someone despised by others because he serves the interest of the hated Roman overlords and grows rich by unscrupulous practices. The Pharisee as he prays thanks the Lord that he isn’t like other people, certainly not like the tax collector standing nearby. By contrast, the tax man simply bows his head and says, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). And surprise! God accepts the prayer of the tax collector, not the Pharisee’s. In another parable Jesus tells about a king who prepares a huge banquet. He invites a list of guests, but for one flimsy excuse or another they all refuse to come. Then the king orders his servants to go out on the streets and into the lanes and bring all whom they find to the celebration. These new guests are a motley lot, but for every one of them the king provides a wedding garment. Later, however, as he greets the guests, he discovers a man who isn’t wearing wedding clothes. He orders that person thrown out of the party (Matt. 22:1-14). Jesus’ mode of teaching differs from Paul’s, but the

ideas are the same: we do not earn God’s righteousness; He gives it to us. Our part is to trust Him and accept His gift. In the Old Testament

Some Christians draw a heavy line between the Old Testament and the New Testament, asserting that the former is the era of works, the latter the era of grace. Not so: righteousness by faith runs like a golden thread from Genesis to Revelation. We read that “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). The apostle Paul underscores this passage in both Romans (4:1-4) and Galatians (3:6-9). Jeremiah calls Yahweh “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:6, NKJV),3 a wonderful name that gives hope to despairing sinners. In the book of Zechariah the prophet sees a vision of Joshua the high priest clothed in filthy garments. He represents the people of Israel in their great need; but then a comforting word comes from heaven: “ ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ . . . ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you’ ” (Zech. 3:4). Many additional examples of righteousness by faith might be cited from the Old Testament. One passage, however, is so outstanding that we cannot leave it unmentioned. In Isaiah 52:13-53:12 we find a powerful description of the Suffering Servant who “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12). He was “despised and rejected by mankind. . . . He took up our pain and bore our suffering. . . . He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. . . . The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (verses 3-6). Here, approximately 700 years before Jesus’ birth, we find encapsulated the ministry of our Savior. Here we gaze into the heart of God’s plan to save a lost world: God’s own Son, His Suffering Servant, takes upon Himself our guilt and shame. In Adventist History

In every age the gospel has seemed too good to be true. Whenever it is proclaimed, it arouses opposition, just as it did when Paul brought it to the Galatians. Not surprisingly, therefore, Adventist history presents a mixed picture with regard to righteousness by faith. Early Adventist preachers, feeling called to declare the importance of the Sabbath, tended to focus on the law rather than the gospel. They preached the law to such an extent that Ellen White stated that their sermons were “as dry as the hills of Gilboa.”4 Matters came to a head at the General Conference session of 1888, held in Minneapolis, January 2016 | Adventist World - nad

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We do not earn God’s righteousness; He gives it to us. Our part is to trust Him and accept His gift. Minnesota. Two young ministers, Ellet J. Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones, sounded the theme of righteousness by faith alone. Leaders of the church, thinking that this emphasis weakened the arguments for the law and the Sabbath, opposed them strongly. So Waggoner and Jones stood alone against George I. Butler, president of the General Conference; Uriah Smith, editor of the Review and Herald; as well as other stalwarts. Not quite alone! One leader publicly espoused the cause: Ellen G. White. In a sad turn of events, however, she found her counsel rejected. But the gospel was unstoppable, just as it has been in every age. Following the 1888 General Conference session, especially under Ellen White’s leadership by pen and voice, the message of righteousness by faith slowly advanced, wider and wider, further and further, until it became an established teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ellen White penned some of the loveliest expressions of the gospel found anywhere. Echoing Isaiah’s prophecy of the Suffering Servant, she wrote: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With his stripes we are healed.’ ”5 Commenting on Jesus’ parable of the man without a wedding garment, she noted: “Only the covering which

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Christ Himself has provided can make us meet to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. ‘I counsel thee,’ He says, ‘to buy of me . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear’ (Rev. 3:18, KJV). “This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising.”6 During Adventism’s struggle over the gospel, editor Uriah Smith wrote a series of editorials in the Review in which he argued that we need Christ’s righteousness to be justified, but after we accept Christ we must develop a righteousness of our own by keeping the law. Ellen White rebuked him sharply in a letter. She stated that she had read Smith’s editorial and that a “noble personage” had stood beside her and told her that Uriah Smith “is walking like a blind man into the prepared net of the enemy, but he feels no danger because light is becoming darkness to him and darkness light.”7 Of all Ellen White’s numerous gems on righteousness by faith, here is my favorite: “To him who is content to receive without deserving, who feels that he can never recompense such love, who lays all doubt and unbelief aside, and comes as a little child to the feet of Jesus, all the treasures of eternal love are a free, everlasting gift.”8 A Question

Friend of mine, I leave you with this question: Are you content to receive without deserving? Are you willing to admit that all your righteousness—all your work, all your service, all your good living—counts for nothing before God’s holiness, that it is only filthy rags? Will you, leaving aside every human boast and all pride, simply accept God’s righteousness as the free gift of His marvelous grace? n 1 Roland

Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1940), p. 68. otherwise noted, Bible texts in this article are from the New International Version. texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. 4 In Review and Herald, Mar. 11, 1890. 5 The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 25. 6 Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 311. 7 Letter 55, 1889, in The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (Washington, D.C.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1987), p. 336. 8 Letter 19e, 1892, in Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases (Silver Spring, Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990), vol. 8, p. 186. 2 Unless 3 Bible

William G. Johnsson, former editor of Adventist World, is retired, living with his wife, Noelene, in Loma Linda, California, United States.


S P I R I T

O F

P R O P H E C Y

C hrist,

Our Righteousness Ellen White “answers” our questions on the topic. What does it mean to say Christ is our righteousness? Apart from Christ we have no merit, no righteousness. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfections make it impossible that we should appear before God, unless we are clothed in Christ’s spotless righteousness. We are to be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is through Christ. . . . Christ is called “the Lord our righteousness,” and through faith, each one should be able to say, “The Lord my righteousness.” . . . No works that the sinner can do will be efficacious in saving his soul. Obedience was always due to the Creator; for He endowed man with attributes for his service. God requires good works from man always; but good works cannot avail to earn salvation. It is impossible for man to save himself.

That sounds pretty bleak. There is hope for every one; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” [John 3:16] . . . .When faith lays hold upon this gift of God, the praise of God will be upon our lips, and we shall be able to say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Then we shall be able to tell the lost

concerning the plan of salvation, that while the world was lying under the curse of the law, meriting death, the Lord presented terms of mercy to the fallen and hopeless sinner, and brought out the meaning and value of His grace. Grace is unmerited favor.

But how does Christ take our place? In his humanity Christ was tried with as much greater temptation, with as much more persevering energy than man is tried by the evil one, as his nature was greater than man’s. This is a deep mysterious truth, that Christ is bound to humanity by the most sensitive sympathies. The evil works, the evil thoughts, the evil words of every son and daughter of Adam press upon His divine soul. . . . The work of Christ upon earth was to seek and save that which was lost. Ever before Him, He saw the result of His mission, although the baptism of blood must first be received, although the weight of sins of the world was to gather upon His innocent soul, although the shadow of an unspeakable woe was ever over Him; yet for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross and despised the shame. He endured all this that sinful man might be saved, that he might be elevated and ennobled, and have a place with Him upon His throne.

Does that mean “once saved, always saved”? If the love of God is not appreciated, and does not become an abiding principle in the hard heart to soften and subdue the soul, we are utterly lost. The Lord has no reserve power with which to influence man. He can give no greater manifestation of His love than that which He has given. Heaven’s richest gift has been freely offered for your acceptance. If the exhibition of the love of Jesus does not melt and subdue your heart, by what means can you be reached? Has the love of Christ failed to bring forth an earnest response of love and gratitude? . . . Let not Christ say of you, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” . . . It is impossible for man to save himself. He may deceive himself in regard to this matter; but he cannot save himself. Christ’s righteousness alone can avail for his salvation, and this is the gift of God. . . . Let faith take hold of Christ without delay, and you will be a new creature in Jesus, a light to the world. n This dialogue is arranged from the article “Christ Our Hope,” published in Review and Herald, December 20, 1892. Seventhday Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.

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C OV E R S T O RY

esus J World is

All the

to Me

P h o t o :

I

n 1904 American composer Will Lamartine Thompson told of his love for Jesus in the hymn “Jesus Is All the World to Me.” In doing this, he voiced, in words and music, the precious and personal sentiments that millions of Christians have shared through the millennia since the resurrected Christ entered upon His program of mediating to us His priceless merits, so that we might live heavenly lives even in the midst of earth’s fierce challenges (Heb. 7:25). The compelling interest in this month’s testimonies from Adventists around the world is in the way they show Christians living out Christ’s life on a day-to-day basis in

By Sicelicile Ndlovu

M

In Church Without Jesus

I got baptized at the age of 15. I had anticipated some magical change

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to take place in my life as a result of being dipped in water. I thought baptism would automatically transform me from the sinner I was into a saint. But that did not happen. The first 20 years of my life I went to church, but I was unconnected to the God of the church. I served in the house

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O s e n b e r g

widely differing circumstances. Here are the earnest words of a high school teenager who loves Jesus, and there, the story (two, in fact) of how a wife learns, through bitter bereavement, a deeper sense of the preciousness of knowing Christ’s righteousness is real and personal. These testimonies help us appreciate greater spiritual, emotional, and ethical dimensions that belong to the third angel’s message in verity (see Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, pp. 199, 200). The viewpoints expressed in these testimonies are those of the respective authors as they reflected on their journey with Christ.—Editors

Only Jesus Can Truly Satisfy y parents encouraged us children to go to church every Sabbath, though they themselves never attended church.

A n j a

of God, yet I never knew the God I served. Repentance and forgiveness of sin were all foreign to my Christian experience. When I went to university, I was not yet anchored in my Christian experience. I developed an addiction to fashion and parties. I was obsessed with my looks, and I would spend any amount to decorate my body. I knew this was ungodly, but I could not resist the temptation. Outwardly I looked lively and happy, but deep inside I suffered much from guilt, and I felt empty and desolate. I got busy with church work thinking that it would bring me peace and righ-


teousness. I desperately needed peace, but the more I toiled, the more empty I felt. My good works could not expiate my guilt. They could not purchase righteousness. The Change

In October 2008 a guest came to our church and spoke about Christ’s righteousness. For the first time it dawned on me that Christ could actually justify me regardless of my past. I felt so thrilled to know that as a repentant sinner, I now stood before God as one who had never committed a single sin. My struggle with guilt was over.

For the first time I went home after church feeling happy and at peace with God. Soon after that, I started reading the book Steps to Christ. The book pointed me to the Scriptures. I remember how my soul delighted to read the assuring words of the apostle Paul in Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” My deepest desire was to be in Christ Jesus. I understood from my study of Steps to Christ that not only had Christ dealt with my past sins, but He had given me a clean heart and gives me power to live a life of obedience.

Jesus Has My Folder By Alareece Collie

I

n the skit “The Good-O-Meter,”* people stood in a line and one by one approached what I believed to be angels. Each individual would hand over their folders with all the deeds they had done in life. Many had red sheets of paper indicating bad deeds. The angel would do a quick review, then ask the person to step on a scale that ranged from “bad” to “good.” Regardless of the professed good deeds, each scale reading displayed “bad,” and the person was rejected. One unfortunate individual even tried to buy his way in with a credit card. Finally someone turned in a folder filled with red sheets. However, Jesus appeared and submitted a folder that read “child of God.” Shocked, the angel declared to the gentleman, “Sorry, I didn’t know He was with you.” Jesus proceeded to step on the scale in place of the man, and the “Good-O-Meter” at last measured “good.” Then Jesus and this

“child of God” happily walked away and took their seats in what I would call the “righteous” side of the room. Righteousness Illustrated

The skit is a simplified portrayal of the concept of righteousness. Sometimes it is easy for concepts or scriptures to remain one-dimensional and never impact the way a person lives. To me, righteousness is about a relationship, and this influences daily living. A key passage is 2 Corinthians 5:17, which reads, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Yet what does it mean to be “in Christ”? Verses 14 and 15 provide greater insight; they read: “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge this: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer

Today I thank God for delivering me from my bond to fashion and parties, which never really satisfied. I am still learning to live a life of daily surrender to Him. Sometimes it’s hard when my faith gets tried by the cares of life. When I fall, I know in whom I have believed, and that I can always go back to Him. His grace is ever sufficient. He gives me strength to do all things, and has given me a peace that passes all understanding. n

Sicelicile Ndlovu is a vegan restaurateur in Harare, Zimbabwe, who loves cooking and playing the piano.

for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” In other words, when Christ died, we all died. It can then be said that if we symbolically died because we were “in” Him, we were also resurrected when He was resurrected. This is the new creation. His actions for us were not just an outlier event, but rather an essential part of being in relationship with Him. Being “in” Christ is deserving of an emphatic sigh of relief, because no amount of my good deeds would have ever been enough. This new creation does not seek my righteousness through my good deeds. It relies on a relationship with the One who is good. In my twenty-first-century world people think I’m more successful because I do more. For myself, I’m glad to enjoy success by stepping aside and allowing my Jesus Christ to turn in His folder for me and step on the scale for me. He fills my place with His righteousness. I’m thrilled about that. n

Alareece Collie loves Jesus and longs to work for Him all the time. She is from Nassau, Bahamas. * Central Films, “The Good-O-Meter,” YouTube. Online video clip: https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrLzYw6ULYw (accessed Oct. 6, 2015).

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C OV E R S T O RY

His Righteousness, My Peaceful Beach By La Verne Tavarez

G

rowing up in Antigua, I loved to look from the beach at the glasslike sea that caressed my island’s shores. However, we learned to fear the beaches when the hurricane season visited us and the sea became a monster that could swallow anyone who dared to leave the safety of higher ground.

Drowning in Fear

As a child, many times I felt as if I had been pulled into wild waters and was hopelessly drowning in an ocean of brimstone. In the Anglican tradition we were taught that if we did not live a good life, hell was waiting for us. I learned that Jesus was God and was in heaven, but that He was part of the punishment was what scared me so much. Every Sunday I felt that the priest was talking to me, convincing me of my unrighteousness. It was almost as if he knew all my sins. I did not want to go to the sea of fire! But I always

felt that hell was waiting for me. I did not find any comfort attending a Catholic school: I was scared that if I died I was going to burn forever. I do not recall learning any specific Bible verses, only creeds, the liturgy that we repeated, and some Bible stories. Somehow I always knew that our lives needed to be Christ-centered, but the waves around me did not allow me to find that much-desired peace I needed. An Amazing Change

I moved to New York and met a Seventh-day Adventist who brought me to his church. I learned about righteousness by faith. I was shocked to learn that I had been deceived about the character of God, and became angry that I had lived in a system based on fear. I resolved to accept this truth of righteousness by faith. I was not yet ready, but at the same time, I cannot

Saving My Marriage and Me By Craig Bardo

I

joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church as an adult who had come through a series of failures and disappointments. A childhood friend introduced me to the Bible, and I realized that if the Bible was the basis of doctrine, then Adventism made intellectual sense.

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Not That Quickly

But my failures and disappointments didn’t end with my new faith. I looked forward to Sabbath, but was unable to reconcile my thoughts and behavior with my faith. I wondered why my efforts weren’t being rewarded if Christianity was supposed to be a

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describe the emotions of being overwhelmed by joy; there are no words to describe the emotion of feeling Jesus’ righteousness. On the other hand, I met Adventists whose lives also confused me for a while, but not too long. I accepted fully the righteousness of Jesus, but I had to overcome the discouragement of my experience with people for whom I expected Christ’s righteousness to have made a change in their lives. When I made the decision to be baptized, I knew it was the right thing; it was the public expression of accepting salvation in Jesus Christ. I had to make the decision regardless of what I had experienced with some people around me; I had to make my choice: “As for me, I am going to follow Jesus.” At that moment I felt that if I died, I was safe in Christ for eternity. His righteousness is so perfect! I felt that I was sitting at the beach and saw one of those peaceful sunsets: the light and warmth gave me peace, the promise of the sea of glass in the new earth. n

La Verne Tavarez is an accounting professional who has lived with her two daughters in Miami, Florida, since the passing of her husband, a pilot, by accident in 2012.

striving toward Christlikeness. Why was I always at odds with my wife and in a contentious relationship with my children? The whole Christian thing wasn’t working for me, and it clearly wasn’t working for my family. My wife was ready to divorce me. Then the pastoral leadership team at my church began to lead us in a study of Romans 5. As I listened and read, I saw that Paul was describing me: without strength, ungodly, a sinner and an enemy of God (verses 6, 8, and 10). But all of the action fell to Christ! In fact, Paul declared that


Paul declared that without confession, without repentance, without even going to God at all, I was reconciled to God by the death of His Son, and that the life of Jesus would save me. without confession, without repentance, without even going to God at all, I was reconciled to God by the death of His Son, and that the life of Jesus would save me (verse 10). A Stunning Difference

The words stunned me. I looked at the Bible with new eyes. But it got better. Paul detailed how we were all condemned in Adam (verse 18), but Jesus set the record straight (verse 19), justifying everyone. This notion that all are justified freely continued an argument that Paul had started in Romans 3:24. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. Jesus did not wait for me to come

to Him. He came all the way to me! As I study more, a scriptural pattern is becoming clearer to me. God has saved and delivered us all from the penalty of sin as a gift before we confess, repent, or even believe. He frees us from the hold of sin when we believe and confess (Rom. 5:19, 1 John 1:9). He frees us from the dominion and service of sin by what Paul describes as the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5) and through our faith in Jesus (Gal. 2:20). The obligations and penalties of Scripture fell on Jesus, and the benefits of His acceptance of those obligations are ours, so long as we believe. No longer do I stress out about

By Sharon Pergerson

M

Preparing Us for Tomorrow

Without a doubt, God was speaking to us and giving us a highly concen-

Craig Bardo is senior director at a New York-based investment firm, and a board member of GospelNet Global Ministries, a Seventh-day Adventist supporting ministry. Christ became one with us and gives us the opportunity to receive all that is His, including His righteousness. That’s why Isaiah 54:17 says, “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”

Here I Stand y husband, William C. Pergerson II, a Seventhday Adventist evangelist, was killed in a plane crash on August 27, 2015. My two teenage children and I were privileged to attend his last sermon series about Christ’s righteousness in Tobago, West Indies, about two weeks before the accident. Every one of those sermons prepared our family for what was shortly to happen. I remember thinking, Wow, he is preaching so powerfully, so clearly, and with such urgency.

reconciling my thoughts and behaviors with my profession of faith; growth in grace is not a matter of stressing out about personal inadequacies. My “sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5). My Sabbaths are filled with worship to God and service to others. Heaven fills my heart with love for my wife and children. I pray that my activities glorify God. I rest in the assurance that it is not my life but Jesus’ life that saves me. n

trated dose of His mind and soul-soothing medicine: righteousness by faith. God knew the dosage we needed to be able to endure the traumatic experience and to continue to hold on to Him. One point that my husband underscored in his sermons that has grown more personal to me since his death is how close Christ is to each of us. Hebrews 7:26 says, “For such an high priest became us.”1 Jesus Christ has come much closer to us than many of us were raised to believe. He found it fitting to become one with us, even closer than a Siamese twin. My children and I appreciate Proverbs 18:24: “And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

He Shares My Pain

Oh, what a kind God! I can’t help loving this Friend God, who condescended to be with me in my pit of heartbrokenness. I am drawn to this Great Brother who feels my loss, because it is His loss, too. I cherish this “I AM” God who was in that small plane with my husband as His neverfailing helper, holding him tight, and reminding him of His love as he circled the airport in Battle Creek, Michigan, seeking to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff. I don’t know why the plane suddenly plummeted to the ground, instantly killing Will, the only occu-

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C OV E R S T O RY pant, but God will explain everything when He wakes my husband up soon. I am indebted to this heavenly Father God, who I’ve watched succor my fatherless children and give them resilience, joy, and a determination to ever live to honor Him. I am sold out to this Savior God, who has filled our lives with the riches of souls transformed by beholding Him. Satan Knows

Satan hates this message of the righteousness of Christ. He’s read Ellen G. White’s words, “One interest

will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other—Christ our righteousness.”2 He’s noted Romans 9:28, where the apostle Paul wrote, “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness.” He knows that the revelation and heart reception of Christ’s perfect righteousness will break the chokehold he has on God’s people. He’s very aware that this message will mature us to be able to stand fearlessly in these last days, even in the face of persecution and death. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have chosen to respond to Christ and

Who Is Christ? By Jorge Mendoza Alvir

G

od uses difficult situations to show who He is. When we think there are no other answers but our own, God shows His power to make us see who He is and what we are as humans. People often ask: If there’s a God, why doesn’t He show Himself to us? If there is a God, why is there so much evil in this world? But one of the questions most often asked is Why, if I pray, doesn’t He answer me? I used to think that if I prayed I needed an answer to know that God was with me. This misunderstanding was the actual start of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God Is My Friend

A personal relationship with Jesus is being His friend and knowing that He is your friend in good times and in bad times. Throughout the Bible we see people whose faith was put to the test, and who were often the ones that

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God blessed after tribulation. Once we humans are brought out of our comfort zone, we often seek God. This was my case. I used to think I had a good relationship with God. But when I look at what God has helped me through in life, I see that I didn’t know a lot that I needed to know in order to have the best relationship with Him. Yet Jesus stayed with me through those times and helped me to learn to love Him more and grow in Him. I used to pray for five minutes when I woke up, pray again when I was eating, and one more time before going to bed. I thought this was what it meant to have a close, personal relationship with God. But when God used tribulation to wake me up, I understood that I was really far from knowing God. From what I have been through, I can tell you that a personal relationship with God is not only praying five

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His righteousness with love, gratitude, repentance, faith, humility, and surrender. My heart is fully open to Him. I am all His and at His service. Like Paul and my husband, I too say, “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). On Christ the solid rock I stand. n 1 Bible

texts are taken from the King James Version. 2 Ellen G. White, Sons and Daughters of God (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1955), p. 259.

Sharon Pergerson lives with her children, William III and Jaissa, in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

minutes three times a day. Prayer is one of the most important things to do if we want a good relationship with God. Talking to God and thanking Him for what He has done in our life; understanding that whatever He says and whatever He does is for my own good, this is what God wants me to realize that a relationship is. I didn’t understand this until I put it into practice. I started to learn more and study more of God’s Word; I keep understanding more and more things that I didn’t understand before. I am learning to listen to His voice, and although at first it was really hard to pray without an answer, I learned that just as human relationships need time, a relationship where we can actually hear God needs dedication and time. Now I appreciate that God will not answer if I pray only for selfish reasons; but if I pray for others, and for His will to be done, He will answer. Since I have understood what a personal relationship is, I have really learned to appreciate God’s care for me. I have learned to let Him be first in my life, and He always provides. n

Jorge Menzoda Alvir is a grade 12

student in London, Ontario, Canada.


A D V E N T I S T

D I A L O G U E

ascinated FWith

Christ Lael Caesar, with Bogdan Scur and Shawn Brace

Adventist pastors Bogdan Scur and Shawn Brace are ecstatic about Christ’s presence in their lives. This interview shares that thrill with you. You may also listen to the podcast,1 where Scur, Brace, and Elizabeth Talbot (Jesus101.tv) discuss this subject together. Brace and Scur first explained why, in a world of many moral teachers, they are so fascinated with Jesus Christ.

Brace: I am so fascinated with Jesus Christ because He is so fascinated with me. And all humans, including me, are supremely loved by Christ. He values us more than He values Himself. We owe our very existence to Him—through both creation and redemption. And after you taste this love, you cannot help being fascinated and drawn to Him. Scur: Indeed, Jesus is so superior to every other moral leader. He is the only perfect, faultless human being and flawless moral leader. His wisdom is original, while the wisdom of all other moral leaders is derivative. But I am even more fascinated by who Jesus Himself was and is. He is both the true God and a full human being. He is the beloved Son of God and the Savior of the world. What does reading your Bible have to do with believing in Jesus? Brace: The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, reveals the heart of Christ and the heart of the Godhead as a whole—a heart of love. Reading it helps me understand His love and respond better. Paul says that “with the heart one believes” (Rom. 10:10). When I encounter Christ through His Word, my heart is stirred to respond to His love by faith. The Bible is a way for me to continuously encounter Christ’s love and be compelled by it. Scur: Jesus Himself tells me that all of the Scripture testifies about Him. This key principle lets me see all of Scripture as either preparation for the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of Jesus Christ itself, or implications of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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A D V E N T I S T

D I A L O G U E

Does everybody have to be converted? When you think about Christ’s righteousness, what about all the good people who have obviously dedicated their lives to good causes, such as peace, but don’t care about Jesus Christ? Aren’t they all on the same side? Jesus is the Prince of Peace, isn’t He? Scur: Yes, He is. And precisely because He is, He is the one who defines what peace is. Without Him we do not know what life is, or how to love God and each other. Without Him we do not understand what peace is and how we should work for it. Brace: Instead of thinking about “should” or “shouldn’t,” we need to ask what will bring an individual the greatest happiness and fulfillment. We know that there will be people in heaven who never consciously heard of or responded to Christ’s love (Rom. 2:12-15). But why rob them of the opportunity to experience the great joy, peace, and fulfillment of meeting and surrendering to the loving Christ? Of course, it isn’t for me to decide who is or isn’t converted. But I can always share the hope within me and pray

that everyone who hears will be attracted to a deeper understanding of and encounter with Christ and His ways. I once heard a member of one of my churches say, “I brought myself into this church.” Is it OK with you that people bring themselves into God’s church? Brace: The reality is, as sinful human beings, none of us have even an ounce of natural inclination to come to God, much less know how to do it. Scur: We are much too occupied pursuing our own selfish interests and building our own kingdom. Any inclination to God and faith is a gift of grace and the work of God in our lives. We do not bring ourselves into the church. We are led there by God. Brace: John Wesley, to whom Adventists owe a great deal of theological understanding, called this “prevenient grace.” Such a teaching—which is a very biblical teaching— says that, if left to ourselves, we would never even concoct the idea or inclination to seek God, much less go to church. Note this from Ellen White: “Christ teaches that salvation does not come through our seeking after God but through God’s seeking after us.”2 Scur: Very often God uses other people to lead us to faith. We see somebody who beautifully, though not per-

The Bible is a way for me to continuously encounter Christ’s love and be compelled by it. —Shawn Brace

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Jesus Christ is reordering my thinking, my communication, my attitudes, my feelings, and everything else that I bring into my relationships. —Bogdan Scur

fectly, exemplifies the life of a disciple of Jesus, and we get the overwhelming desire to live such a life ourselves. I wonder, is this what you’re saying? Salvation is all of God. There really is nothing humans can do. My earnest church member was probably sincerely wrong because it’s all automatic. People should neither brag nor worry, because everybody is going to be saved: Jesus turned on the salvation switch on the cross. Is that it? Brace: The word “yield,” and such other kindred words as “let,” “allow,” “surrender,” etc., are words Ellen White uses a great deal. Yielding is our “part,” if we can put it in such terms. Our “job” is not to resist what Christ has already started for us at the cross. Through the cross, Christ justified our lives (since we should all be dead right now because of our sins) and draws us all to Himself (John 12:32). If we do not “resist [we] will be drawn to Jesus” and brought to repentance.3 It takes greater effort to run away from God than it does to let Him draw you. Many will be lost at last because they choose to resist and reject the drawing power of God’s grace. Scur: There is a role for human behavior. We do not save ourselves, but we accept or reject what God has done to save us. We still have a free choice. Our salvation is not automatic. Even though Jesus did everything to save us, He does not stifle our will. What does trusting in Christ do for you today? Brace: Trusting in Christ does everything for me! When I realize that faith works by love (Gal. 5:6) and that “the love of Christ compels us” (2 Cor. 5:14), I recognize that Christ’s love and faith is the fuel that propels all my actions. My life now becomes the way in which I express my gratitude, love for, and faith in Christ

through limitless cooperation with His desires for me— call it obedience, if you wish. Scur: Trusting in Christ is changing my marriage, my parenting, my relationship to my colleagues, and many other aspects of my life. Jesus Christ is reordering my thinking, my communication, my attitudes, my feelings, and everything else that I bring into my relationships. A final question: where do you think this passion of yours for Christ will take you? Scur: I fully expect that this passion will take me deeper into the mystery that is Jesus Christ. Jesus is too good a Savior and too benevolent a Lord not to take me closer to Himself. Brace: Believing in Christ is not simply a good life insurance policy. I’d like to think that—like Moses, like Paul, like Jesus Himself—I would even be willing to give eternity up if it meant someone else’s gain. I follow Jesus not for what He can give me in the future, but because of the incredible gratitude I have for what He’s already given to me in the past. I don’t covet future reward or even present safety, because I don’t deserve anything else good. So, ultimately, I have no idea where this passion will take me! And that’s kind of neat! n 1 Soundcloud.com/adventistworld/fascinated. 2 Ellen

G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 189. 3 Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1956), p. 27.

Lael Caesar is an associate editor of Adventist World magazine. Shawn Brace, author of three books, is a pastor in Maine, United States, and blogs at newenglandpastor.net. Bogdan Scur is a Hebrew Bible specialist at Washington Adventist University, Maryland, United States.

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T E S T I M O N Y

R

Searching for God’s Love

The Bible stories Mom read us at bedtime said God loved people; but He also seemed rather free with His punishments. For example, the stories of Jonah, the Flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah told about those who experienced God’s wrath. My Sabbath school teacher talked about God’s love, and I’d grown up singing “Jesus Loves Me”; still, I couldn’t quite figure things out. For all His professions of love, God certainly did have strict rules. I was supposed to obey because I loved Him, but so far I hadn’t been able to generate enough love to keep me from even the simplest infractions, such as bickering with my brother. Outside Sabbath school and children’s books, love seemed often ignored in my circle of Adventist friends and family. Everyone, it seemed, knew about God’s love, but the people I looked up to felt that those who harped on love also had a tendency to downplay obedience. Not wanting to be guilty of that, they focused instead on pertinent “present

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By Cheyenne Francis

Life-changing C o

Love

P I X A B AY / F o u n d r y

ain pummeled the metal roof and siding of our home as gusts of wind whipped the treetops outside my window. A blaze of lightning cast skeletal shadows on my bedroom wall. As thunder clapped I quaked and pulled the covers around my face. God must be angry tonight, I thought. No doubt I had been the one to stir up His wrath. “God,” I whimpered, “go ahead and take me like Jonah, so that my whole family doesn’t have to die.” Long after the summer storm subsided, my young heart still quivered. What if a tornado had ripped our house apart, or I had been struck by lightning? Surely I would awake in the wrong resurrection, only to be consumed in hell. That’s what happens to people who don’t obey God, and I surely hadn’t figured out how to keep from disobeying Him.

The journey from faith to truth” topics that pointed out the signs of the times and helped us get our act together. They didn’t waste much time on such basics as love. Recognizing God’s Love

In the middle of all this I read the book My Life Today, by Ellen White, and subscribed to a junior-teen magazine called Young Disciple. Through them I began to understand salvation and God’s true intentions toward me. I saw in the lives of Bible heroes, reformers, martyrs, and missionaries that following God brings the best kind of happiness. I learned about surrendering my will to His will, and the power He gives to overcome. To my great surprise, it actually worked in real life! I learned how to study my Bible to understand God’s true character. As I pondered the cross and Christ’s earthly life, I understood why we sang “Jesus Loves Me.” Slowly God revealed Himself to me,

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and slowly I gave myself to Him. With a new perspective on love and obedience, I began to believe I could be saved. Now that my view of God had shifted, I even found myself wanting to please Him. I’d never been happier! Soon I noticed God’s love surfacing in everyday life. I started seeing His love in nature, in answered prayers, in small daily blessings. Now that I understood that Jesus wasn’t asking something impossible of me, that He overcame for me and now enabled me to live victoriously, His love seemed more relevant and, frankly, more genuine. Fundamental Love

Still, wasn’t love elementary, and shouldn’t I be moving on to something more complicated and challenging? That’s what I’d been taught. Yet I began to see that “elementary” also means “fundamental.” Love isn’t


Love

isn’t merely beginner’s stuff—it’s the foundation that gives stability, meaning, and purpose to every aspect of life.

love subdue the barriers locked around my soul. How often I went to secondary sources for approval, acceptance, and a sense of well-being. How much I belittled and sabotaged myself when I could have experienced worth and stability built on the strongest foundation imaginable. Challenged to Hold On

assurance merely beginner’s stuff—it’s the foundation that gives stability, meaning, and purpose to every aspect of life. Love is the agent that enables us to understand God and become like Him. Ellen White wrote: “The first step toward salvation is to respond to the drawing of the love of Christ. . . . It is that [men and women] may understand the joy of forgiveness, the peace of God, that Christ draws them through the manifestation of His love. If they respond to His drawing, yielding their hearts to His grace, He will lead them on step by step, to a full knowledge of Himself, and this is life eternal.”1 She also wrote: “Such love is without a parallel. . . . Theme for the most profound meditation! The matchless love of God for a world that did not love Him! The thought has a subduing power upon the soul and brings the mind into captivity to the will of God.”2 Yet how little I let God’s matchless

I didn’t recognize the chasm in my heart until I experienced a year that shook my inner foundations. God used common events (albeit traumatic ones) to show me that I had been depending on others rather than on Him. That year I broke off a serious relationship, moved away from my home and workplace of eight years, and began examining my childhood family experiences in an objective light. With supportive friends and church family members now hundreds of miles away, my family ties in a jumble, and a state of shattered, aching confusion in my heart, I found my soul desolate and tattered. As I floundered for peace and inner stability, begging Christ for help, a glowing theme started shining through Scripture. It had always been there, but now I paid attention to the best, most unfathomable news in the Book: I have incalculable worth, based not on my performance, talents, or circumstances, but on the devoted, abiding, unshakable love of God. “Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you” (Isa. 43:4). “The Lord delights in you” (Isa. 62:4). What else could matter in view of that? In amazement and gratitude I began highlighting in pink, like little love notes, every Bible verse that showed me God’s love and my worth

to Him. Old, familiar passages quickly took on new, radiant beauty. It took me more than a decade to realize it, but now I know that while I’ll never comprehend my worth to Him, I can believe it and build my life on it. “Live in contact with the living Christ,” wrote Ellen White, “and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan.”3 Now when I’m discouraged, tempted, or lonely, I open my Bible and look for pink texts, or for new verses to highlight. I trust those promises more than my feelings, more than my circumstances, more than anything else in the world. I know without doubt that I am cherished. This is the message we are called to live. Even though we can’t explain His love, can’t describe its vastness and tenderness, we can show those around us—our families, friends, coworkers, even the people we meet in shops and businesses—how much they are loved. Love flows from Christ’s heart, melting indifference and making everything relevant! The awesome love of God is the most powerful message we have to share with the world. And the best way to share it is to live it. n 1 God’s

Amazing Grace (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1973), p. 99. 2 Steps to Christ (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1956), p. 15. 3 Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1896), p. 119.

Cheyenne Francis is a

freelance writer who enjoys sharing God’s love with teens and other young adults.

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A D V E N T I S T

H E R I T A G E

S

eventh-day Adventists have always believed that we are saved and delivered from sin through Christ alone. Baptist William Miller, whose preaching inspired the movement from which our church arose, penned a “Creed” in 1822 that included his personal beliefs on the topic of Christ our righteousness. He wrote, “I believe that Jesus Christ was the sacrifice for sin which justice demanded; and that all those who confess their sin on the head of this victim may expect forgiveness of sin through the blood of the atonement, which is in Jesus Christ, the great High Priest in the Holy of Holies.”

1844-1863 Christ Our Righteousness: A Present Truth?

The early focus of Sabbatarian Adventism was on other issues as “present truth,” including the Sabbath and the heavenly sanctuary, thanks to the influence of Joseph Bates. Still, the topic of the sanctuary increased Adventists’ understanding of the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary as giving hope to sinners. In 1847 Bates linked the Sabbath to the heavenly sanctuary. He argued that the door to the Most Holy Place of Revelation 11:19 revealed the Ten Commandments. While this conclusion led Adventist pioneers to focus more on keeping the commandments than on Christ’s work on the cross, James White and John N. Andrews saw that the moral law pointed us to Jesus.1 In 1854 J. H. Waggoner’s pamphlet on the law in Galatians affirmed that the law in Galatians 3:24, 25 referred to the moral law. He concluded his book with a clear appeal for readers to accept the righteousness of Christ.2 Waggoner´s book did not convince everybody. Three years later Stephen Pierce responded to Waggoner’s view, saying “that the moral law alone was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ we have no evidence.” Instead, it was the types and shadows of the dispensation of law, whose body is of Christ, that led to Christ.3

1863-1888 A Focus on Human Righteousness

a

Journey

of

Grace

The church has grown in understanding.

George Butler

Uriah Smith

Alonzo Jones

Ellet Waggoner

For many Adventists, Pierce´s position emphasized law over gospel and sharpened their opposition to critics who would do away with the Sabbath. It became our pioneers’ position during the next 30 years after Waggoner’s work appeared. Our church organizers did not want to compose a creed. “The Bible is our creed,” they said. But they did adopt a “church covenant,” underlining their commitment “to keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ.”4 In 1872 Uriah Smith produced our first statement of belief. Its second point states: “That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, . . . [who] lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our

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By Gluder Quispe

Francis D. Nichol LeRoy E. Froom P HOTO s : C e n t e r f o r A d v e n t i s t R e s e a r c h


justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator in the sanctuary in Heaven, where, with His own blood He makes atonement for our sins; which atonement, so far from being made on the cross, which was but the offering of the sacrifice, is the very last portion of His work as priest.” However, Smith’s declaration did not keep many pioneers from, consciously or unconsciously, focusing on their own good behavior.

1888-1931 Justification by Faith

The 1888 General Conference session was one of the turning points in Adventist history. The struggle at Minneapolis was essentially about two basic questions: How are we saved? How do works relate to that salvation? One group, led by Smith and George Butler, emphasized “human effort,” “works,” “obedience,” “law,” “commandments,” “our righteousness,” and “justification by works.” Another, led by Ellet Waggoner and Alonzo Jones, focused on “Christ,” “faith,” “justification by faith,” and terms related to Christ’s righteousness. In the end, Ellen White joined her testimony to the two younger men, Waggoner and Jones: “I see the beauty of truth in the presentation of the righteousness of Christ in relation to the law as the doctor [Waggoner] has placed it before us.”5 “This was not new light to me, for it had come to me from [a] higher authority for the last forty-four years.”6 The remaining 27 years of her life saw Ellen White concentrate her focus on Christ and salvation themes. Books from that period include: Steps to Christ (1892), Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing (1896), The Desire of Ages (1898), Christ’s Object Lessons (1900), and others.

1931-1957 Our Justification Versus His Righteousness

In 1931 a new “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists” statement was released. Statement 3 reads: “While retaining His divine nature [Christ] took upon Himself the nature of the human family, lived on the earth as a man, exemplified in His life as our example the principles of righteousness, attested His relationship to God by many mighty miracles, died for our sins on the cross, . . . He ever lives to make intercession for us.”7 Six years later M. L. Andreasen’s book The Sanctuary Service was published. It proved to be quite divisive to Adventism. Andreasen established a strongly perfectionistic understanding that has earned him many followers over the years. His chapter “The Last Generation” argues forcefully about the final vindication of God´s character by the last generation of perfect saints.8 Today’s Adventism cannot be understood without a proper appreciation for the struggle

that ensued since Andreasen, particularly heightened by the publication of the book Questions on Doctrine in 1957.

1957-1980 Perfectionism Versus His Righteousness

As in 1888, two contrasting—indeed, opposing—sides reached a crisis point. Andreasen’s perfectionism was opposed by LeRoy E. Froom’s and Francis D. Nichol’s attention to Christ’s righteousness. The 1975 release of Perfection: The Impossible Possibility shows Herbert E. Douglass and C. Mervyn Maxwell believing that Christ came with a fallen nature, while Edward Heppenstall and Hans K. LaRondelle espoused His unfallen nature.9

1980-2015 Focusing on Christ Our Righteousness

The 1980 General Conference session, in Dallas, Texas, approved a new official statement of “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.” During the years of spiritual and theological maturation that followed, much deep biblical study of the theme of Christ our righteousness has continued. Successive volumes on our fundamental beliefs have been published by the General Conference. Also, individual scholars have published on the topic, including, for example, Norman Gulley (Christ Our Substitute, 1982), and the book Christology (1984), edited by Raoul Dederen. As a denomination, we have also published a Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, which includes two chapters related to “Christ: His Person and Work” and “Salvation.” Today Adventists, as a body and as individual church members, rejoice in the thrill of infinite love and mercy by which God made Christ, “who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). n 1 [James White], “Justified by the Law,” Review and Herald, June 10, 1952, p. 24; John N. Andrews, Thoughts on the Sabbath, and the Perpetuity of the Law of God (Paris, Maine: James White, 1851), p. 22. 2 J. H. Waggoner, The Law of God: An Examination of the Testimony of Both Testaments (Rochester, N.Y.: Review and Herald, 1854), p. 120. 3 Stephen Pierce, “Answer to Bro. Merriam’s Question Respecting the Law of Gal. III,” Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1857, pp. 180, 181. 4 “Doings of the Battle Creek Conference, Oct. 5 & 6, 1861,” Review and Herald, Oct 8, 1861, p. 148. 5 Ellen G. White, “A Call to a Deeper Study of the Word,” manuscript 15, 1888, in The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials (Washington, D.C.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1987), p. 164. 6 Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1958, 1980), book 3, p. 168. 7 “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists,” in 1931 Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1931), p. 377. 8 M. L. Andreasen, The Sanctuary Service (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1937), pp. 279-297. 9 Herbert E. Douglass et al., Perfection: The Impossible Possibility (Nashville: Southern Pub. Assn., 1975).

Gluder Quispe is director of postgraduate studies for the School of Theology at Peruvian Union University. He and his wife, Silvana, are parents of Yerling and Harley. January 2016 | Adventist World - nad

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N A D F E AT U R E

Karachi By Jane Allen Quevedo

from

The far-reaching

Taj Khan, a member of the board of Lodi Memorial Hospital, has fond memories of Dr. Carrie Robbins and other Adventists who served at Karachi Adventist Hospital in Pakistan.

S

eated comfortably next to his father in a small rickshaw, Taj Khan watches as their driver pedals the three-wheeled vehicle through the streets of Karachi, Pakistan. In the mid-1950s it usually took about a half hour to travel from their home to the hospital where his mother was recovering after lifesaving surgery. Through the eyes of the young Muslim boy, the Seventh-day Adventist hospital, located on the city’s eight-lane main thoroughfare, appears noticeably “shiny and new.” He hopes to see Dr. Carrie Robbins again while visiting his mother, and perhaps the

36

doctor’s daughter, too, since the little girl frequently accompanied her mother on hospital rounds. Something special about Dr. Robbins assures Taj that his mother is in the hands of someone who really cares. The doctor is tall and slender, and wears glasses. Her hair is braided and wrapped around her head in a fashion that frames her gentle face. To Taj, she has the countenance of an angel. After many months of suffering severe abdominal pain, Taj’s mother underwent surgery to remove a blockage in her colon, finally getting much welcome relief. She will wear the nineinch scar from her incision like a battle stripe for the rest of her life, unashamedly showing it off to family and friends. “Look at my scar!” she proudly exclaims, exposing the pink seam across her stomach. After her recovery and return home, Mrs. Khan always speaks of her doctor with fondness and admiration. Unforgettable Influence

Because of his mother’s gratitude for her care at the Adventist hospital,

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over the ensuing years Taj went to the clinic affiliated with the Adventist hospital whenever he needed medical care. He also passed by the hospital when he visited the large library across the street, operated by U.S. Information Services. Growing up in the turbulent 1950s and 1960s, in the aftermath of the 1947 separation of Pakistan from India, Taj completed his education and worked as an engineer. Eventually he moved to the United States, arriving in San Francisco in 1969 with $25 in his pocket. Work took him from California to Minnesota to Massachusetts to Spain, and back to California, where he eventually settled in the rural town of Lodi. After retiring from Sacramento Municipal Utility District in 1979, he did consulting work; ran for, but did not win, a city council seat; served on a community college board; occasionally wrote a guest column for the Lodi News; and in 2005 began serving on the Lodi Memorial Hospital board of directors. While writing for the newspaper, Taj accepted a speaking invitation at a nearby Seventh-day Adventist church


to

California

influence of a missionary’s life

“Carrie J. Anderson, M.D., Physician and Surgeon” reads the sign on the window where Dr. Robbins first practiced medicine, before she went to serve as a missionary.

to answer members’ questions about his Muslim faith. While there, he met Dr. Jack Gilliland, and mentioned to him his mother’s experience at the hospital in Pakistan. “I wonder if you can help me find Dr. Carrie Robbins or her daughter,” he asked. Through the Loma Linda University School of Medicine alumni office, Dr. Gilliland learned that Dr. Robbins had retired and lived in North Dakota. However, the details were sketchy, and Taj never had opportunity to meet her before she died in 2003. Left with fading memories of a kind missionary doctor making rounds with her young daughter at her side in that “shiny, clean, new hospital” in Karachi, Taj never forgot the woman with the face of an angel who saved his mother’s life. Following his speaking appointment at the Adventist church, Taj wrote a column about the influence of Dr. Robbins and other Christian missionaries in countries such as his homeland, saying their work was “a manifestation of their faith and belief that helping humanity is the best approach in spreading peace in the

world.” He called them “the best ambassadors for any nation . . . dedicated, honest, and true to their belief and cause.” While Taj cherished his memories of Dr. Robbins, he did not know her background, or the path that had led her to Karachi many years ago. A Life Devoted to Service

Carrie Robbins’ story began in the small community of Hagerman, New Mexico, where she was born in 1906. From her youth, Carrie Anderson dreamed of becoming a missionary doctor in India. Her father died when she was only 14, leaving her mother to see that she and a brother received a Christian education. The three moved first to Texas, then to Minnesota where her mother, a graduate of the nursing course at Battle Creek Sanitarium, worked so her children could attend Adventist schools. Young Carrie devoted her life to preparing for service to the people of a faraway country she knew only from Sabbath school mission reports, books, and magazine articles. After two years at Pacific Union College in

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Whether American, Pakistani, Hindu, Christian, or Muslim, Robbins treated her patients with courtesy, compassion, and love.

all

California, she moved to Southern California to study medicine at the College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda University. There she met another medical student, a young man who shared a common desire for mission service. Unfortunately, before their relationship had a chance to develop, he contracted meningitis and died. Devastated, Carrie buried herself in her studies and tried to understand God’s plan for her future. Completing part of her clinical work at Ellen G. White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, she gained valuable obstetrical experience making what medical students referred to as “home deliveries” among the large population of immigrant families in Los Angeles. Carrie knew delivering babies in less-than-ideal situations would prove valuable when she became a missionary doctor, but she

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Carrie J. Anderson (to the right of the CME insignia) graduated from the College of Medical Evangelists, Now Loma Linda University Medical School, in 1933.

did not fully realize it would take more than classroom and clinical experience to prepare her for overseas service. While church officials in Washington, D.C., kept Carrie’s name on a list of prospective missionaries, when she graduated from medical school in 1933 the world was in the midst of the Great Depression. On account of multiple circumstances, including having to care for her ill mother, Carrie’s mission appointment was delayed. Instead of India, Carrie went to the mission fields of Chicago and rural Colorado, where she met and eventually married Charles Robbins. Shortly after their wedding, he enrolled in the ministerial program at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Carrie opened a medical practice until her husband completed his studies. Challenge and Tragedy

After Charles graduated, the couple accepted an invitation to Pakistan, where Carrie reopened a medical dispensary at Chuharkana, about 30 miles west of Lahore. This is where Adventist health care had begun in Pakistan in 1914 when missionaries operated a dispensary and/or hospital facility affiliated with a school. The

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dispensary closed around 1936. The Robbinses arrived in Southern Asia in late 1946, a few months before the partition of India. It was a time of political unrest and violence as a twoway stream of some 5 million Hindus and Muslims crisscrossed the IndiaPakistan border to settle in their newly designated homelands. After a few months of language study, the young Americans were soon ensconced in their missionary assignments, Carrie with patients at the clinic and surrounding villages, and Charles in evangelistic work. They even began to dream of a new hospital to better serve the Pakistani people. In the fall of 1947 Carrie learned she was pregnant. As her delivery time neared, she went to a small mission hospital in Surat to await the baby’s arrival. The birth of Marian Joann on May 1, 1948, was one of the happiest days of Carrie’s life. But it would be soon overshadowed by tragedy. Before the baby was 18 months old, Charles contracted polio and died in late 1949, leaving Carrie to raise their child alone. She and Baby Marian remained in Pakistan until the summer of 1950, then returned to Boulder, Colorado, for a couple years.


During this time, thanks to a Thirteenth Sabbath Overflow Offering, a hospital was built in Karachi, replacing a small clinic operated since 1947 by Dr. G. Joy Ubbink. Once again, church officials turned to Dr. Robbins and invited her to join the new hospital’s medical staff. Carrie worked long hours, keeping appointments with patients, performing surgeries, and delivering babies, rarely taking her weekly scheduled day off. As a rule, she went about her work with a calm yet professional demeanor, focusing her attention on whatever needed to be done at the moment. But let a man arrive at the hospital bemoaning, “My wife has been in labor for 24 hours,” and Dr. Robbins would insist, in her best Urdu, to get her to the hospital immediately. Daughter Marian, who often expressed her desire for a brother or sister, was usually in the care of a servant when not in school or with her mother in the hospital. She was at the Vincent Hill boarding academy for missionary children in 1961 when Carrie adopted a Pakistani baby rather than allow it to be placed in an orphanage. News of Baby Valynda’s addition to their little family delighted 13-year-old Marian, who could not contain her excitement. Running through the hallways of her dormitory, she cried, “I’m a big sister! I’m a big sister!”

progress. Former missionary Aileen Saunders told of an uprising in 1965 in which demonstrators filled the road in front of the hospital and set fire to the U.S. Information Service library. Later it was reported that soldiers were seen stationed on the wall around the hospital compound. Unaware of the presence of soldiers, hospital officials instead believed they had been protected by the presence of angels. Dr. Robbins served the people of Karachi as a full-time missionary until 1967, returning occasionally as a relief doctor. By the time she officially

retired from practicing medicine she had delivered more than 5,000 babies. Whether American, Pakistani, Hindu, Christian, or Muslim, she treated all her patients with courtesy, compassion, and love. When she died at the age of 97, Dr. Carrie Robbins left a legacy of care and service that continues to have an influence today. More than a half century later, and thousands of miles from Pakistan, her example as a devoted missionary physician contributed to a recent decision by a community hospital in California. As

Dr. Robbins holds the first baby born when she and her husband, Charles, served as missionaries in Karachi.

Living History

Over the years, Dr. Robbins and the other missionaries saw Karachi Adventist Hospital develop new services and expand as needs changed and money became available. In 1963 the Pakistani government, supported by USAID, invited the Loma Linda University heart team to Karachi, and in five weeks they performed 41 heart surgeries. In its 66-year history, today’s 138bed Karachi Adventist Hospital has suffered turmoil and tragedy as well as

Charles, Carrie, and Marian Robbins pose for a photo. Soon Charles would die, struck down by polio.

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N A D F E AT U R E

More than a half century later, Robbins’ example as a devoted missionary physician contributed to a recent decision by a community hospital in California. Dr. Carrie Robbins often made rounds with her daughter, Marian.

board members of Lodi Health considered various potential new operators, Taj Khan and others related their experiences with Adventist hospitals. For Taj, the choice of Adventist Health seemed like a natural fit for Lodi Memorial Hospital, an organization built on compassionate care from the day it opened. Crossroad in Time

Shortly after World War II, residents of Lodi launched a grassroots fundraising effort to build a hospital in their community. Homemakers, teachers, farmers, bankers—people from all walks of life—went door to door asking their neighbors for donations. Some gave as little as $10, while others gave more. In the five years between 1945 and 1950, they raised $800,000. With a keen sense of community pride and ownership, Lodi Memorial Hospital—named to honor those who gave their lives in World War II— opened in 1952. That feeling of pride and ownership flowed over to the kind of care that patients and their families received at the hospital.

As the world of health care evolved, with the formation of large corporations and systems, Lodi Memorial chose to remain independent, eventually growing into a complex organization with two hospital campuses, 15 medical practices, and about 50 outpatient programs or services, all while the health-care industry became increasingly regulated. Finally, challenged with healthcare reform, high-deductible insurance, declining inpatient census, and California’s seismic regulations, Lodi Memorial came to a crossroad: either retain its independent status at the risk of sacrificing quality, or become part of a larger organization that could help it remain a vibrant institution, providing high-quality health care. Leaders sought a system with similar values and capable of investing resources to ensure the hospital’s long-term viability. Adventist Health, based in Roseville, California, was one of nearly 20 potential suitors that submitted proposals to the Lodi hospital, and Adventists, of course, were not new to

Lodi. Today’s Lodi Academy began as a teacher-training center in 1908, and several Adventist churches are in the area. Additionally, Adventist doctors, nurses, and other professionals have worked for many years in the hospital and community. After two years of extensive factfinding and evaluation, Adventist Health emerged as the best match. With the transaction complete in June 2015, Lodi Health officially joined the church’s West Coast health-care system. While each of the three narratives related above is a story in itself, presented together they reveal a much larger story that no one could have imagined a half century ago. But more significantly, they tell of the far-reaching influence of a life devoted to serving others. Daniel Wolcott, newly appointed CEO for Lodi Health, sees these events as part of a divine plan, reminding him of a passage in The Desire of Ages: “But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay.”* n *Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 32.

Further Reading

Elizabeth Spalding McFadden, Some Rain Must Fall (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1965). Jane Allen Quevedo, A Thousand Miracles Every Day (Ringgold, Ga.: TEACH Services, 2003). Carrie J. A. Robbins, M.D., “Pioneers Near Hagerman,” in Hagerman Historical Society, Meeting the Train (Santa Fe, N.Mex.: Sunstone Press, 1975).

Jane Allen Quevedo is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Ocala, Florida.

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B I B L E

Q U E S T I O N S

A N S W E R E D

The

Moses asked to see the glory of God, but was only able to see His back (Ex. 33:18-23). What does that mean? What did Moses see?

Glory of the

The narrative is indeed intriguing but not necessarily difficult to understand. It combines human capacities to see and hear with God’s willingness to be heard and seen. It is about the certainty of God’s presence with Moses and, by extension, with us. We’ll examine the context, then comment on what is heard and seen. 1. Context: The background of the story is the worship of the golden calf by the Israelites at Mount Sinai, a serious violation of their covenant with God. As a result of this sin the Lord is ready to abandon His people in the wilderness. Through Moses’ intercession God promises to take them to the Promised Land through the presence and leading of His angel. Moses insists that the Lord Himself accompany them. The Lord finally accedes to the request. What follows in the narrative is what appears to be Moses’ desire to make sure that the Lord will indeed accompany them. 2. The Request to See: The emphasis on Moses’ part is on seeing. In the Bible reality or creation is apprehended through the eye. Humans are aware of the concreteness of reality and that they can access and understand it through sight. God’s vast creation is open to the human eye to enjoy and to fathom its mysteries. Biblical wisdom literature is, to some extent, based on this conviction that includes observation, analysis, and drawing conclusions from what is observed. But what about seeing that which is not part of creation, namely, the Creator? By not being part of creation, He is not, by nature, apprehensible to the naked eye. Moses is aware of the otherness of God and phrases his request carefully: “Please, show me [har‘eni, “cause me to see,” “cause to let me see”] Your glory” (Ex. 33:18). The human eye can see God only when He makes Himself accessible to it. What Moses specifically wants to see is God’s “glory” (kabod, “weight,” “glory”), and God denies the request, because “no man shall see Me, and live” (verse 20). We know that Moses and the Israelites had previously

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Lord

seen the glory of the Lord and did not die. This suggests that Moses wants an experience that goes beyond those manifestations of God’s glory hidden in the cloud of His presence. He wants to see God’s glory unmediated; to see Him in the majesty, power, and brilliance of His being. Moses seems to be asking the Lord to break into the world as He is in Himself because this will assure him that God will indeed accompany the people in their journey to Canaan. But finite creatures cannot observe the fullness of the Infinite One and survive the experience. 3. Seeing Through Hearing: Moses will see the “goodness” of God, not through his eyes but through his ears. Yes, the Lord will descend in the glory of His majesty to speak to Moses, giving him what he needs, i.e., a proclamation of His name, of His character, as Yahweh/the Lord. The problem of the sin of the people would not be solved though an overpowering display of God’s glory but through the revelation of His character. He is a merciful and compassionate God (verse 19) who is always ready to forgive “iniquity and transgression and sin” (Ex. 34:7). This is who He is! This is what Moses will “see.” The narrative becomes intimate as God asks Moses to stand on the rock, probably Mount Sinai, to wait. At the right moment God will protect Him from the majesty of His glory by hiding him “in the cleft of the rock,” covering him with His hand. Moses will experience the reality of God’s presence but will see only “My back” (Ex. 33:12, 23), not God’s face. Moses saw only the afterglow of God’s dazzling presence after His unseeable glory passed by. The message seems clear: We can better see the presence of God after His saving action on our behalf. For now we can see only His back. n

After a career serving the church as a pastor, professor, and theologian, Ángel

Manuel Rodríguez is retired in Texas, United States.


B I B L E

S T U D Y

By Mark A. Finley

S t e m i e r

Abraham A

braham’s story is in a sense your story and my story. It is the story of a man who was committed to God, but whose faith wavered. He made mistakes; but in each instance he recognized his lack of faith and continued growing through each life experience. Unyielding commitment to do the will of God characterized his life. In his humanness he failed, but he never turned his back on the God he loved and served. In this lesson we will study Abraham’s growing faith in the midst of extremely challenging circumstances.

O . A .

Risking It All What seemed impossible to Abraham and Sarah was not impossible to God. God’s question to Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (verse 14), echoes through the centuries. It speaks to us of a mighty God fully capable of solving our problems and causing us to triumph in the face of life’s greatest challenges.

5 How did Abraham reveal his true character in Genesis 18:20-26?

1 What vision guided Abraham’s life? Read Hebrews 11:8-10 to discover what kept Abraham faithful to God in the face of life’s challenges.

Abraham’s concern to save Sodom is apparent in his discussions with God. Abraham reverently argues with God as if he is appealing to a friend. In 2 Chronicles 20:7 Abraham is called God’s friend forever. There is no higher calling than that of being a friend of God.

Abraham looked beyond the challenges he faced to the God who was the divine ruler of the universe and had an eternal city prepared for Abraham and his family. It’s been said, “You can endure almost anything if you know there is the hope of a bright future.” Abraham’s heart was filled with hope.

6 What expression did God use at the birth of Isaac that is similar to an expression used to describe Jesus’ birth? Compare Genesis 21:1-3 and Galatians 4:4.

2

Although Abraham was deeply disappointed when God’s promise was not fulfilled in the birth of Ishmael, what reassurance did God give Him? Read Genesis 17:18, 19.

3

What do you discover about Abraham’s character in Genesis 18:1-8? Compare this passage with Hebrews 13:1, 2. Abraham had a caring heart. He greeted three strangers with utmost courtesy and provided for their physical and emotional needs. This gesture of hospitality is a call for us to offer random acts of kindness to meet the needs of those with whom we come into contact.

4

As time went on, Abraham and Sarah’s faith continued to be tested. The child of promise had not yet been born, and they were aging. How did God respond to their lack of faith? Read Genesis 18:11-14, 16-19.

In the significant events of salvation history, God accomplishes His supreme will on a divine timetable. We can be incredibly thankful that the plan of salvation is not in human hands, subject to random changes; it is in the steady hands of God.

7

What was the greatest test Abraham ever faced, and how does God’s solution apply to each of us personally? Read Genesis 22:1-14 and compare it to John 1:29 and Revelation 5:1-6. Abraham’s faith was tested by his willingness to offer Isaac. In this supreme act of faith Abraham demonstrated his absolute trust in God. God provided a substitute sacrifice. We too come in faith to God’s altar, trembling, wondering if we stand alone. But through Jesus a sacrifice has been provided, and we praise God for the Lamb sacrificed in our place. Jesus is all we need. n

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IDEA EXCHANGE P I X A B AY

This is not the only matter Ellen G. White foresaw many years ago. Think about what she wrote about children and education. Psychologists are now confirming all she said. Prophecy always affirms our faith. Carlos Olguín Quiroz Santiago, Chile Ellen White’s Influence

Letters Adventists Urged to Examine Their Meals

I am writing about Andrew McChesney’s article “Adventists Urged to Examine Their Meals” (December 2015). Reading this, I can only smile. When we brought up this issue in our local church, we were dismissed as bent on introducing false teachings to the church. I hope many will now listen to the WHO report. Eric Eyaru Soroti, Uganda Thank you for this relevant article. What hope and blessing is prevalent in our health message! We can be proactive in preventing cancer and many other diseases. Josephine Kelley Rogue River, Oregon, United States

Prayerw

Thank you for publishing Cárolyn Azo’s article “Ellen White’s GreatGreat-Great-Grandson Up Close” (December 2015). Ellen White prophesied about what would happen, it happened, and it will continue to occur. I like her books, especially The Great Controversy. George Koromo Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Great advice from [Ellen White’s relative] Justin Torossian! I read two of White’s books this year; I’m working on my third book. I am a lifelong Adventist but have never before relished her writings as I do now. Eunice Gregory-Richard Tucson, Arizona, United States

Ellen White’s writings are excellent counsel. They are not to replace the Bible, however. She writes that we must put the Bible first. I love her books, and read them every day. I read my Bible first. In January 2016 I will read it through for the fiftieth time. Then I will read her writings. They are such a blessing! My favorite is The Desire of Ages, with Patriarchs and Prophets a close second. Illana Goodwin Portland, Oregon, United States When God Surprises

Our Lord’s way is the only way. Jesus mingled with people, met their needs, won their confidence, and invited them follow Him . I loved reading Mark A. Finley’s article “When God Surprises” (August 2015), about Paul’s ministry. I have had a bitter experience with several churches I’ve attended, but I will never leave the church or the truth, which I found after a life of hell on this earth. Praise God that He opened my eyes to see the truth! Anyone can “shine” from the pulpit. But we need to remember to minister to the poor, the abused, and the outcast. Moni Dominic via e-mail

PRAISE

Please pray for my mother. She is having financial difficulty. She owes money to many people. Felicia, South Africa

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Please pray for my family, and for me to trust God until the end of time, and hold on until He comes back. Pray also for my fiancé and me to find jobs so we can marry and enter God’s plans. Withney, Martinique

Adventist World - nad | January 2016

I am requesting prayer for patience. I’m not sure what to do with my life. Do I go back to school? find more fulfilling work? start a relationship? I’m leaning on God, and I need Him to help me be more patient—and for Him to direct me. Rashel, Jamaica


Lifetime

In Thanks

Most of my challenges have been addressed by Adventist World. It has made such a difference in my life; it always seems to be just for me. May God bless the authors and staff. Daniels Muteesa Kampala, Uganda I love Adventist World magazine. Be blessed! Ir Tuyishime Hiti John Democratic Republic of the Congo Thanks for Adventist World! May God bless us all as we continue to share the good news. Lokasasa “Craig” Kalzii Honiara, Solomon Islands

Achievement

Lilya Wagner, director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions (PSI) at the North American Division, was recently awarded the Henry A. Rosso Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Ethical Fund-raising from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in the United States. During the past 25 years Wagner is only the second Seventh-day Adventist to be so honored (the first was Milton J. Murray in 1992). The award recognizes fund-raising professionals who adhere to the highest standards of ethical fund-raising and serve as role models among philanthropic professionals.

Fiber Up beans (all kinds)

Greek yogurt

figs Letters Policy: Please send to: letters@adventistworld.org.

Letters must be clearly written, 100-word maximum. Include the name of the article and the date of publication with your letter. Also include your name, the town/city, state, and country from which you are writing. Letters will be edited for space and clarity. Not all letters submitted will be published.

You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. The following eight foods deliver dietary fiber, protein, and essential nutrients:

apples

potatoes

eggs

wheat berries

oats Source: Women’s Health

I returned to school at age 53 and am in my first full-time semester. I feel overwhelmed. Please pray that I will be able to balance all my responsibilities and earn the grades I need to gain admission to the associate degree nursing program. Jeanne, United States

I thank God for my life and family. Please pray for me to find a husband according to God’s will. Grace, Zambia

The Place of Prayer: Send prayer requests and praise (thanks for answered prayer) to prayer@adventistworld.org. Keep entries short and concise, 50-words or less. Items will be edited for space and clarity. Not all submissions will be printed. Please include your name and your country’s name. You may also fax requests to: 1-301-680-6638; or mail them to Adventist World, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 U.S.A.

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IDEA EXCHANGE “Behold, I come quickly…”

G C

A r c h i v e s

109

P HOTOS :

Years Ago

O

n January 1, 1907, what is now Burman University, opened in temporary quarters in the town of Leduc, Alberta, Canada. The initial enrollment of nine students increased to 27 before the end of the three-month term. At the 1901 General Conference session in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States, J. W. Boynton, of Nebraska, was assigned to Alberta, then a mission field (it became a Canadian province in 1905). Of the 50 members Boynton found upon his arrival, 35 were German believers meeting in a church at Leduc, 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the university’s present site. At a 1906 camp meeting held in Red Deer, the Alberta Conference was organized, with C. A. Burman as the first conference president. By that time three church schools had been opened in the province, but the growing number of Seventh-day Adventist families created a demand for higher levels of education. Upon the recommendation of the conference committee, Burman took charge of the new educational enterprise. Now located near Lacombe, Alberta, and known over the years as Canadian Union College and Canadian University College, the university is named after Charles and Leona Burman, the husband-and-wife team who founded the institution. Charles served as its first and third president, and Leona, in addition to serving as school nurse, taught English, science, geography, and physiology.

Outof the Blue More than

3 billion yards of denim are woven each year, enough to wrap around the world 67 times. Source: USA Today

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Adventist World - nad | January 2016

Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ, uniting Seventh-day Adventists everywhere in beliefs, mission, life, and hope.

Publisher The Adventist World, an international periodical of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The General Conference, Northern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists®, is the publisher. Executive Publisher and Editor in Chief Bill Knott Associate Publisher International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Adventist Review Ministries Board Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Guillermo Biaggi, vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Williams Costa; Dan Jackson; Peter Landless; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol-Puesán; Ella Simmons; Artur Stele; Ray Wahlen; Karnik Doukmetzian, legal advisor Adventist World Coordinating Committee Jairyong Lee, chair; Yutaka Inada, German Lust, Pyung Duk Chun, Suk Hee Han, Gui Mo Sung Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland André Brink, Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil (associate editors), Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Wilona Karimabadi, Andrew McChesney Editors based in Seoul, Korea Pyung Duk Chun, Jae Man Park, Hyo Jun Kim Operations Manager Merle Poirier Editors-at-large Mark A. Finley, John M. Fowler Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Kimberly Brown Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste Management Board Jairyong Lee, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; P. D. Chun, Karnik Doukmetzian, Suk Hee Han, Yutaka Inada, German Lust, Ray Wahlen, Ex-officio: Juan Prestol-Puesán, G. T. Ng, Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Jeff Dever, Brett Meliti Consultants Ted N. C. Wilson, Juan Prestol-Puesán, G. T. Ng, Leonardo R. Asoy, Guillermo E. Biaggi, Mario Brito, Abner De Los Santos, Dan Jackson, Raafat A. Kamal, Michael F. Kaminskiy, Erton C. Köhler, Ezras Lakra, Jairyong Lee, Israel Leito, Thomas L. Lemon, Geoffrey G. Mbwana, Paul S. Ratsara, Blasious M. Ruguri, Ella Simmons, Artur A. Stele, Glenn Townend, Elie Weick-Dido 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. Adventist World is published monthly and printed simultaneously in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. Vol. 12, No. 1


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