The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists
b e g inn i ng of a
Movement s p e c i a l
c o m m e m o r a t i v e
e d i t i o n
Adventist Story Highlighting the early organization of Adventism
May 2013 C O V E R
F E AT U R E
The Beginning of a Movement
od’s Time Clock G Reveals His Plan
Alice Voorheis n
he Movement Begins T Moving
Benjamin Baker n
Moving Toward Organization Stanley D. Hickerson
Sealing the Deal
The chances God took when He gave His creatures the ability to choose.
32 Dreaming Big
N A D
F E AT U R E
Van G. Hurst
Indianapolis, Indiana, is already planning to reach its community in 2014.
38 The Gift of Prophetic Guidance D I S C O V E R I N G O F P R O P H E C Y
T H E
S P I R I T
Merlin D. Burt
Adventist publishing, health, and education exist in their present form primarily because of Ellen G. White.
8 Who Are We?
V I S T A
B E L I E F S
Alberto R. Timm W O R L D
22 The Cosmic Conflict F U N D A M E N T A L
Ted N. C. Wilson
A D V E N T I S T
Remembering our past helps chart our path to the future.
20 A Date With Fate
James R. Nix
H E R I T A G E
A man who showed promise and squandered it
D E V O T I O N A L
Gerald A. Klingbeil
We are not puppets manipulated by an unseen hand—we are in His hands.
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 11 NAD News 14 NAD Update 17 NAD Perspective 18 NAD Letters 37 Health Digest
19 W O R L D H E A L T H Living Healthfully B I 42
B L E Q U E S T I O N S A N S W E R E D
First? Or Firstborn?
43 B I B L E S T U D Y 2,000 Years and Still Counting 44
I D E A
E X C H A N G E
www.adventistworld.org Available in 13 languages online
The Adventist World® (ISSN 1557-5519), one of the Adventist Review® family of publications, is printed monthly by the Review and Herald® Publishing Association. Copyright © 2013. Send address changes to Adventist World, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740. For information about advertising, contact Glen Gohlke, 301-393-3054 (firstname.lastname@example.org). PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2013.
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C o v e r i m a g e b y N A S A / N OAA / G S F C / S u o m i N P P / VIIR S / N o r m a n K u r i n g / D IGI T A L L Y MO D I F IEd
he record says that there were only 20 of them on that Thursday morning 150 years ago—all men, and all Americans. Almost all the delegates were ministers: just two were identified as laypersons. Among the 20 were three who would apostatize and depart the church within a decade. Three others would go on to serve at least a single one-year term as president of the organization they created. Two would serve as editors of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now the Adventist Review), the sister journal of Adventist World. Virtually all of them would struggle with finances, both personally and in the church they founded. While the church structure they established not only survived but thrived, almost every other fact of its existence has changed. Men are now a minority, accounting for less than 40 percent of the church’s membership, and Americans, just 6 percent. Ministers and all other employees taken together amount to less than 2 percent of members. The annual value of tithes and offerings contributed by church members exceeds US$1 billion, with multiples of that value in church buildings, hospitals, schools, and mission equipment. Though several “state conferences” had existed before the May 21, 1863 meeting, Seventh-day Adventists both at the time and in succeeding generations have pointed to that Thursday as the birthday of the church that now circles the globe. It operates in more than 200 countries, counts more than 17 million baptized believers, and supports the world’s largest Protestant educational, medical, and publishing systems. Millions of others count themselves as part of that worldwide movement as family or friends of those holding membership. “The influence of this meeting cannot fail to be good,” wrote 31-year old Uriah Smith, elected secretary (second officer) of the General Conference, just five days after the meeting. His careful prediction now seems too modest: God has so blessed the Seventh-day Adventist Church that more persons are now joining the Church each day than were baptized on the Biblical day of Pentecost. As you read the stories of God’s leading in this month’s special edition of Adventist World, be reminded of how God can taken small things—a widow’s jar of meal; five smooth stones from a brook; or five loaves and two fish—and do unimaginably great things. n
Global Youth Day,
Social Media Event
Left: SOUTH AFRICAN MARCH: Youth march in the streets of Alberton, South Africa, on Saturday, March 16, 2013, as part of the Adventist world church’s Global Youth Day. Right: PHILIPPINES SERVICE: Youth and children get ready for a day of service activities on March 16, 2013, in San Pablo City, Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of Adventist youth participated in the community outreach day worldwide. ■■ The March 16, 2013, Global Youth Day was the single largest international mobilization of Seventh-day Adventists through social media, Gilbert Cangy, the world church’s Youth Ministries Department director, said after the event. As hundreds of thousands of Adventist youth participated in community outreach, the church’s youth departments worldwide reported their service activities live on Hope Channel in Australia, Germany, and the United States. More than 80,000 youth were connected through social media— including Facebook and Twitter—and more than 4 million people were talking about the initiative on the Internet. Adventist youth skipped hearing a sermon and mobilized for service to demonstrate practical Christianity. “It was a historically unifying moment for global Adventist youth,” Cangy said. “At the heart of it all, this was not any of our doing; we simply made ourselves available to God as His hands and feet to get His work done. It was so inspiring to see the results.” Hundreds of young people in Spain participated in a flash mob in one of Madrid’s biggest shopping centers. In England, young people served as missionaries for the day at local nursing homes and hospitals. Another group transformed their church into a shelter for abused women. Continued on next page
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T E D
N e w s
WORLD REPORT Young Adventists in Tanzania responded to an urgent call for blood donations. In Puerto Rico, young people prayed for motorists on a busy street. In South Africa, young people made breakfast for law enforcement officers. And a headline in the Guyana Times read: “Adventist Youths Inspire Hope Through Community Service.” “It was so wonderful to see the Youth Ministries Department taking leadership in mobilizing the whole church this way,” said Daryl Gungadoo, distribution and network engineer for Adventist World Radio Europe and an event organizer. The next Global Youth Day is scheduled for March 15, 2014. —reporting by Inter-European Division and Adventist News Network
Wilson Visits Hungary During Adventist Church’s Centennial There ■■ Thousands of Seventh-day Adventist members and friends in Hungary welcomed Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson on the last stop of his 10-day pastoral visit to Europe in March. Wilson’s visit came during a week in which Adventists celebrated the centenary of the church’s former Duna Union, later renamed the Hungarian Union Conference. Adventism first came to Hungary in the 1860s, when M. B. Czechowski, a Roman Catholic priest from Poland, who became an Adventist, expanded his Sabbathkeeping group from Switzerland to Hungary and other parts of Europe. The March 17 anniversary celebra-
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Right: MEETING MEMBERS: Adventist world church president Ted Wilson, left, and his wife, Nancy, center right, chat with local church members in Hungary after a centenary celebration of the church’s formal organization in the country. Left: CIVIC MEETING: Adventist Church representatives meet with Hungarian government officials to discuss the country’s protection of the rights of minority faiths. Left center: György Hölvényi, Hungary’s minister of state for religion, flanked by two associates. Right, from back: Tamás Ocsai, president of the church’s Hungarian Union Conference; Adventist world church president Ted N. C. Wilson; and Bertil Wiklander, president of the church’s Trans-European Division.
tion also marked the launch of The Great Hope Project in Hungary. The world church initiative aims to bring “hope to every home,” by encouraging Adventists to share copies of The Great Hope with their friends and neighbors. “This is not about what the church can do, but [about] what the church members can do to bring ‘hope to every home’ in Hungary,” said Tamás Ocsai, president of the church’s Hungarian Union Conference. The Great Hope is a modern adaptation of church cofounder Ellen G. White’s book, The Great Controversy, which highlights people faithful to God throughout history, including the Waldensians and other small groups who preserved an authentic form of Christianity during the Middle Ages. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is God’s last remnant church,” Wilson said. “God is preparing His people for something very unusual, and we are to share with people the
love of Jesus in a pleasant way. May you leave this place full of hope for the future.” In the afternoon Wilson and a delegation of top Adventist officials from Hungary and the church’s TransEuropean Division met with György Hölvényi, the country’s minister of state for religion, national minority and civil society affairs. Wilson outlined the scope of the 17 million-member global Protestant denomination, and thanked Hungarian officials for their work to promote religious freedom in the country. The meeting came a year after Hungarian lawmakers voted to restore the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official status in the country. The move followed months of uncertainty after the controversial “Law on Churches,” passed in 2011, deregistered some 300 minority faith groups, including the Adventist Church. Churches were invited to reapply for official status under more stringent
parameters. The government said the law was part of a wider effort to prevent sham religious groups from claiming the rights and privileges extended to legitimate churches. During the meeting Hölvényi took the opportunity to reiterate Hungary’s commitment to protecting the rights of minority faiths. “The intention of the government is not to exclude any group from religious activities in the country,” Hölvényi said, later stressing the key role of the International Religious Liberty Association in protecting freedom of belief worldwide. —reported by Jóhann E. Jóhannsson, tedNEWS with Adventist News Network
Adventist Community Center Opens in Beirut ■■ The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Middle East University unveiled an off-campus community center in February, a move that underscores how school administrators are now offering services to their neighbors when for so long they struggled to maintain their own institution in the wake of Lebanon’s civil war. The For Your Life Community Center, one mile (two kilometers) away and down the hill from campus, offers classes in health, cooking, art, music, and computers. Already more than 600 people have participated in health classes sponsored by a visiting health group—the Weimar Center of Health and Education—from the United States. “I’m absolutely thrilled about the new center,” said university president Leif Hongisto. “It wasn’t obvious that people would support it or that it would get such warm acceptance. God
is really blessing these endeavors to reconnect this community with its first settlers,” he said of the Adventist community who first inhabited the area in modern times in 1939. The opening of the center—located on the ground-level, retail floor of a 10-story apartment building—drew dozens of supporters, including Antoine Kaysar Jbara, the mayor of Jdeideh Bouchrieh Sed Municipality. The opening also gained media coverage in newspapers, television, and radio. The center came about after Hongisto held a community 5K health walk last year. The outreach event corresponded with the country’s growing awareness of health issues, he said. “People realized we were early adaptors,” he said of the Adventist Church’s long commitment to healthful living. The university itself is experiencing a resurgence after years of rebuild-
ing. The campus was in shambles following the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990. Homer Trecartin, president of the Adventist Church’s Greater Middle East Union, says the campus has undergone a dramatic change since the time he served as the union’s secretary-treasurer. “You should have seen [the campus] when I visited 12 years ago. Most of the houses were still bombed out and had birds and other animals living in them. There was one student in the dorm. Only a few teachers were Adventist.” Rebuilding got serious about a decade ago. “It’s now an exciting and a beautiful place,” Trecartin said of the campus, which overlooks Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. The school is now home to 250 students from 23 countries. —reported by Jason Lemon and Ansel Oliver/ANN
Above: FOR YOUR LIFE: The For Your Life Community Center is located on the ground floor of a 10-story apartment building about one mile (two kilometers) away from campus in town. Right: SABBATH HILL: Middle East University is located on Sabtieh Hill, named after the Sabbathkeeping Adventists who settled in the area in 1939. The campus overlooks the city of Beirut and the Mediterranean C oSea. ntinued on next page
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By Mark A. Kellner, news editor
Adventist Church Secretaries
Fund, Help Build
BRAND NEW CHURCH: Constructed through the fundraising efforts of Seventhday Adventist church secretaries in Brazil, the new sanctuary in Nova Mutum Paraná, in the northwestern Brazilian state of Rondônia, gleams as it opens for service.
In Nova Mutum Paraná, a two-year-old village, Seventh-day Adventists have worship center
s a major hydroelectric project is changing the physical landscape of the northwestern Brazilian state of Rondônia, a just-inaugurated Seventh-day Adventist Church in the two-year-old village of Nova Mutum Paraná promises to change the spiritual topology for the 1,600 residents there. The new church, inaugurated with a special worship service on February 24, 2013, will serve a city created by the construction of the Jirau Hydroelectric Plant (or UHE Jirau), which will dam the Madeira River in Rondônia state. The plant’s 50 generating units are expected to deliver 3,750 megawatts of electrical power for the region and other parts of Brazil via a national electrical distribution network.
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Displacements caused by the construction meant the establishment of Nova Mutum Paraná, some 75 miles (120 kilometers) from, Porto Velho, the Rondônia state capital. Some 1,600 people lived in the town when it was dedicated in January 2011, according to media reports. The new city is designed to accommodate as many as 6,000 residents. Before the inauguration of this new church, local Adventists had to travel to the next district and could attend only Sabbath services. Now it is possible for them to participate in weekday church services as well, since they no longer need to travel long distances to reach a congregation. Funds raised by church secretaries in the South American Division paid
for the new building, which was constructed with the help of other volunteers in the West Amazon Conference (WAC), which is composed of areas in the states of Rondônia and Acre. Regional Adventist Church officials said this is the first congregation planted as a direct result of secretaries’ volunteer spirit. Fitting in with the town’s planned architecture, the new church building carries the Adventist Church logo on its facade, attracting villagers’ attention. The church can seat 100 people, but the auditorium reached its capacity when 150 visitors came for the inaugural meeting. Many villagers who are not Seventh-day Adventists attended. The inauguration service included Magdiel E. Pérez Schulz, South Ameri-
P H O T O S
C OUR T E S Y
S o u th
A m e r i c a n
D i v i s i o n
FIRST SERVICE: Magdiel E. Pérez Schulz, South American Division executive secretary, preaches at the inaugural service. Seated in the front row are two baptismal candidates. The new Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nova Mutum Paraná, Rondônia state, Brazil, has a morethan-capacity crowd for its opening service.
CHURCH SECRETARIES: Many of the Seventh-day Adventist Church secretaries in Brazil who helped finance the new church constructed in the villate of Nova Mutum Paraná attended the inaugural service there.
can Division executive secretary; Sergio Alan, Northwest Brazil Union executive secretary; Moisés Batista, WAC president; secretaries of other regional Adventist conferences, Marcelo Miranda and Fernando Rios; and Abdoval Cavalcanti, WAC executive secretary. “It is with great pleasure that we inaugurate this church built with the resources of every secretary in the field of the West Amazon Conference. Undoubtedly, this initiative will encourage other conferences to do the same,” Batista said. Pérez Schulz explained that secretaries committed themselves to donating an average of $50 each so that the church could be built. The total amount spent in raising the building was about $30,000.
“It is interesting that so far 15 baptism ceremonies have been held at the church, especially after an evangelistic series they held,” Pérez Schulz said. Five people were baptized at the inaugural service. He also highlighted the fact that “even though the work secretaries do is more administrative or bureaucratic, actions such as this one show the commitment of these volunteers to the gospel mission.” Sheila do Nascimento, secretary of the Santa Ines district, in Acre state, said the project was inspiring: “All the encouragement work we did to raise funds for the building of the church was really worth it. We could raise much more than we expected and it was an answer from hearts that promote
opportunities for other people to know the blessed hope we Adventists have.” Church planting is an important emphasis in the division, which encourages members to systematically plant new congregations. The division’s goal is to have 9,000 new churches by the end of 2015. The desire is not merely to create a church, but also to make it consistent with strong leadership, administrative autonomy, and a missions emphasis. In 2011 Seventh-day Adventists started 1,658 new congregations in South America and, in 2012, 1,302 new congregations. It is estimated that every six hours and 43 minutes a new church is born. —with reporting by Jeane Barboza and Felipe Lemos, South American Division
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W O R L D
V I S T A
n 1863 the United States was in the middle of a vicious civil war. Blood flowed freely on American battlefields, as brother fought against brother, each convinced that God was on their side. By the end of the war, 2 percent of the population, 625,000 soldiers—the equivalent of 6 million today—had died. During this time of national upheaval and division something remarkable took place in the northern U.S. city of Battle Creek, Michigan. Instead of fighting each other, brothers from several states gathered together to organize into one official, united denomination—the Seventhday Adventist Church. The name “Seventh-day Adventist” was chosen nearly two years earlier at an October 1, 1860, meeting in Battle Creek. During the following two years, churches in seven states organized into state conferences, with the Michigan Conference being the first in 1861. At the invitation of the Michigan Conference, representatives from the other state conferences met May 20-23, 1863, in Battle Creek to officially organize as a denomination, adopting a constitution, electing officers, and defining the roles and responsibilities of the General Conference and its officers. This was a far different experience than what the Second Advent believers had experienced less than two decades earlier when, with tear-dimmed eyes, they watched the October 22 clock strike midnight, and Jesus had not come.
Foundational Bible Truth
Although the disappointment was bitter, a small remnant of believers did not cast away their
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faith. Humbly, prayerfully, they searched the Scriptures, and during the next 15 years the group grew larger as they held a series of Bible conferences. As they studied, biblical truths overlooked for centuries were opened to their understanding: n the reaffirmation of a literal second coming of Jesus Christ seen simultaneously worldwide n Christ’s ministry in a literal heavenly sanctuary where the investigative judgment began on October 22, 1844 n the seventh day of the week as God’s true Sabbath, to be remembered and kept holy n the dead in an unconscious “sleep” until Christ’s return n the three angels’ messages in Revelation 14 to be heard throughout the entire world: proclaiming the “everlasting gospel,” announcing the judgment, calling everyone to worship the Creator, identifying the fall of spiritual “Babylon,” warning all to avoid the “mark of the beast,” and identifying God’s end-time, remnant people as “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (verse 12).
This remnant people will “have the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17), and that “testimony of Jesus” is the “spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). This gift of prophetic guidance was recognized in the visions and writings of Ellen G. White and validated as a source of continued guidance for the remnant church. No other church in existence accepted these vital biblical truths. Then and Now
These important scriptural discoveries, along with the imperative to proclaim them to the world, led to the official organization of the Seventhday Adventist Church on May 21, 1863. The newly organized church had approximately 3,500 members scattered across several of the northern United States. Today we are a global denomination with more than 17 million members, worshipping in 73,526 churches and 67, 276 companies in 209 countries, working and publishing in 924 languages, with 1.7 million students studying in 7,883 schools around the globe. The church ministers to millions through its 173 hospitals and P h o t o
C r e at i o n S w a p
By Ted N. C. Wilson
matters sanitariums, 133 nursing homes and retirement centers, 238 clinics and dispensaries, and 36 orphanages and children’s homes.* We praise God for the wonderful things He has done! Yet, as we commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, rather than glorifying or reveling in the past, we realize that we don’t want to continue having anniversaries; we want to go home. Now is an appropriate time to reexamine what led the Advent believers to organize into the Seventh-day Adventist Church one and a half centuries ago, and to determine if those reasons should be relegated to the past, or if they are still valid today. Nineteenth-Century Religious Landscape
By the mid- to late nineteenth century a variety of Christian religious denominations already existed in the developed world and in many territories then administered by Western nations. Protestantism was flourishing in Europe, in British territories around the globe, and in the United States, with numerous Presbyterian, Congre-
gational, Lutheran, Episcopal, Christian Connection, Baptist, and Methodist bodies established. Roman Catholicism also had strongholds in Europe, Latin America, and some portions of Asia and North America, where Roman Catholics were a growing minority, the first Roman Catholic church in Battle Creek, Michigan, being established by Irish and German immigrants in 1863. As the Advent believers met together, their intention was not to form yet another denomination, but rather to study the Bible and to follow what they learned. However, as they uncovered important truth after truth, including the imperative to proclaim the three angels’ messages to the world, and guided by a series of visions given to Ellen White in the 1850s regarding “gospel order,” the believers realized that to effectively carry out their God-given mission, it was necessary to officially organize. By May 1863 Seventh-day Adventists had a clear picture of: (1) who they were—the remnant identified in Revelation 12 and 14 (2) what their mission was—to proclaim the three angels’ messages to the world. Although the church continued to learn and grow as more truth was revealed, and confirmed through the prophetic gift bestowed upon Ellen White, the core of their identity, as established in Revelation 12:17, was never lost sight of. An Identity Crisis?
Is our identity and purpose as clear today as it was 150 years ago? Or is it possible that our focus has blurred and we aren’t sure if we have a unique purpose or mission anymore?
I’m reminded of an experience a few years ago when someone asked me what my greatest challenge was. I thought for a moment, then responded that one of our greatest challenges was to keep the vision that we are a unique movement alive in the church. The individual looked at me and asked, “Really? Are we?” Then said, “I’m first a Christian, then a Seventh-day Adventist.” Of course, we are Seventh-day Adventist Christians, but we have a special task that others are not doing. Does “Unique” = “Better”?
Who are we as a unique movement? God’s remnant church. Does that mean that we are better than others? Of course not. We are all in need of Christ’s justifying and sanctifying power. We are indebted to Christ for salvation and His all-encompassing grace and righteousness. But we are also a unique movement, people of the Book, a prophetic movement, people who believe in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. We believe in the prophetic landmarks throughout history that were predicted before they happened and lead us to an understanding of who we are and where we are in earth’s history. Daniel 8:14 reveals the vital truth about what happened in 1844, and that the sanctuary message, which is replete in Scripture, is a powerful and meaningful message for the world throughout time—even more so during these last days of this earth. Our Calling
We are living in a most incredible time in earth’s history. We have been called to proclaim God’s incredible
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V I S T A
Now is [the] time to reexamine what led the Advent believers to organize, . . . and determine if those reasons should be relegated to the past. message of salvation through Christ and His righteousness. We need to know who we are if we are to deliver that message with Holy Spirit power. We need to understand why we are here as an Advent movement. We need to understand our special calling from the Lord. We don’t take this identity in a self-centered, egotistical way, but we humbly understand that the Seventh-day Adventist Church fulfills the qualifications of God’s remnant people as identified in Revelation 12:17, and we know that the church will finish united and strong! “I am instructed to say to Seventh-day Adventists the world over,” Ellen White wrote in 1908, “God has called us as a people to be a peculiar treasure unto Himself. He has appointed that His church on earth shall stand perfectly united in the Spirit and counsel of the Lord of hosts to the end of time” (Selected Messages, book 2, p. 397). We are a beautifully diverse church, but united in Christ and this precious biblical message. We are an international family from every corner of the globe proclaiming God’s grace,
united by the Holy Spirit and our foundational biblical beliefs. A Great Privilege
We have the great privilege of belonging to something much larger than just another denomination or a church body—we belong to a heavenborn Advent movement that has been called by God at the end of time for a unique purpose. We are a church that has gone through challenging times and will go through very challenging times ahead, according to biblical prophecy and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. We are a church that does not rely on traditions or human reasoning, but relies completely on the written Word of God as its sole foundation, and on the Living Word, Jesus Christ. We are a church that does not derive its power from itself but fully accepts the admonition of the Lord in Zechariah 4:6, “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Seventh-day Adventists to stand up, speak out, and share the precious biblical messages on which our church was founded. The giving of the three angels’ messages is the reason God raised up the Seventh-day Adventist movement. We have a mandate from heaven to preach the everlasting gospel and Christ’s righteousness, to boldly proclaim the fall of Babylon’s apostate religion, and to warn the world not to receive the mark of the beast but instead be sealed with the seal of God’s everlasting mark of authority—the seventh-day Sabbath. Jesus is coming soon! Soon we will see in the eastern sky a small, dark cloud about half the size of a man’s fist. It will get larger and larger and brighter and brighter. All of heaven will pour out for this climax of earth’s history. Everyone will see Him at the same time through a miracle of heaven. And there seated in the middle of millions of angels will be the One we have been waiting for—not the humble, broken Lamb, not the High Priest, but the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ our Redeemer! We will look up and say, “This is the God we have waited for.” Christ will look down and say, “Well done, good and faithful servants. Enter into the joy of your Lord”; and we will rise to meet the Lord in the air to go home to be with Him forever—the beautiful end of the Advent journey! n *Statistics from http://www.adventistarchives.org/quickstatistics-on-the-seventh-day-adventist-church
Never be ashamed to be a Seventhday Adventist, a member of God’s remnant church. Millions of people all over the world are waiting for
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Ted N. C. Wilson is
president of the Seventhday Adventist Church.
NAD NEWS By Rohann D. Wellington, Greater New York Conference
hurch leaders have caught the vision of General Conference president, Ted N. C. Wilson, to fulfill the gospel commission in metropolitan New York City as a part of the Mission to the Cities initiative. “We have asked the world church to focus on New York City and send leading evangelists and others to assist with the work and to learn about how to better approach large cities with the precious three angels’ messages,” Wilson said. Shawn Boonstra, associate ministerial director for the North American Division, calls it the “most ambitious project in the history of the Seventhday Adventist Church.”
What is NY13?
NY13, as it is being called for its focus on New York City in 2013, will involve local churches in five metro New York City conferences (Allegheny East, Greater New York, New Jersey, Northeastern, and Southern New England), together with two union conferences (Atlantic and Columbia), the North American Division, and the General Conference in a collaborative evangelistic program. Together, these conferences cover about 20 million people in metro New York City, also known as the tristate area. “Never has there been such a coordinated effort of prayer, evangelism, and follow-up across such a wide swath of people with one goal in mind—to
W e ll i n g t o n
Catalyst for Change
R o h a nn
CASTING A VISION: General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson (inset) outlines the NY13 outreach initiative at a rally at the North Bronx Seventh-day Adventist Church in September 2012.
share the gospel of Jesus Christ in metro New York City in 2013 and beyond,” said Donald King, president of the Atlantic Union Conference and chair of the NY13 steering committee. Expectations are high, and success will not be measured in quantity, but in quality—the quality effort and diligence of local pastors and lay members in developing innovative ways of sharing the gospel alongside traditional methods. NY13 is different because, while the vision came from the General Conference, each church provides the road map for evangelism
in its local context. As such, evangelistic initiatives have been set up to reach the general population, as well as specific target audiences such as Caucasians, African-Americans, Jews, and Muslims, to name a few. “NY13 has inspired us to take a fresh look at our witness to our immediate community and has spurred us to implement some evangelistic projects that had languished in the planning stages for too long,” says K. Todd Stout, pastor of Church of the Continued on next page
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NAD NEWS Advent Hope in Manhattan. “Further, our evangelistic planning has been revitalized through innovative ideas about how to do evangelism in a way that is both fully representative of the Adventist mission and also fully comprehensible by our neighbors.” Dedrick Blue, pastor of the Ephesus Church, says, “I hope that NY13 can reenergize not only our local churches and conferences but the entire denomination in addressing the needs of major cities. And I hope it will create new paradigms for ministry.” The Metamorphosis
The time line for this evangelistic campaign is March 1 to October 31. More than 400 meetings will be conducted during that time, most under the theme “Revelation of Hope.” Those wishing to stay informed, find a meeting site in their area, or invite a friend to a specific meeting, can visit www.revelationofhope.com. Information is available on the site about any of the registered events, and includes: n Compassion Youth Initiatives evangelistic campaigns n Choose Full Life (health-related events) n Impacto 2013 (Hispanic programs) n special events Because of the rich cultural diversity of metro New York City, you can search for an event by language. This Web site is especially helpful for those who want their non-Adventist friends to know more about who we are, what we believe, and how they can attend one of these special meetings. NY13 International Field School
The NY13 initiative also includes the General Conference International Field School of Evangelism. Visiting evangelists from the 13 divisions of
the world church will arrive on the weekend of June 6 to attend this field school during the day and conduct evangelistic meetings in the evening. Mark Finley, international speaker, and Robert Costa, General Conference Ministerial Association associate secretary for international evangelism, are coordinating the field school. The purpose of the International Field School of Evangelism is to inspire and equip a new generation of evangelists committed to preaching the everlasting gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages in a compelling way in the twenty-first century. Each class will focus on one aspect of successful comprehensive city outreach. Participants will receive cuttingedge sermons, graphics, and computer-generated visuals to enhance their presentations. The classes will focus not only on proclamation, but on a multifaceted approach to reach cities for Jesus Christ. The NY13 International Field School of Evangelism is an integral part of Mission to the Cities. The concepts presented and materials shared will be utilized in the 13 world divisions in field schools conducted in major cities around the world in 2014 and 2015. Hundreds of pastors will attend similar field schools in their home divisions. “The response has been so overwhelming that we have cut off registrations at 200,” reports Mark Finley. “We anticipated 50 pastors, but now we have had four times that many. To accommodate more people, there are two international field schools in conjunction with NY13—a three-week field school from June 6 to 29 and a 10-day field school from June 20 to 29. Both field schools will be held in the same location in harmony with our General
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Conference president Ted Wilson’s Manhattan evangelistic meetings.” NY13 = Revelation of Hope!
Wilson will commence his evangelistic campaign on June 8, using the theme “Revelation of Hope.” He will conduct a four-week evangelism program at the Manhattan church with longtime friend and host pastor Tony Romeo. Wilson started his ministry in the Manhattan church as an intern, and says he is looking forward to the campaign. “What a privilege to preach the three angels’ messages at the Manhattan church location as scores of others preach the Word in their locations throughout the metropolitan New York area. God will use each of us as we humble ourselves before Him in complete submission, allowing Him to speak through us,” Wilson said. Several other “Revelation of Hope” meetings will be taking place at the same time as Wilson’s meeting. Fourteen area churches from the Greater New York and Northeastern conferences will support Wilson’s “Revelation of Hope” meetings. “Our churches are ready! They are following the Jesus method—making friends and taking care of their needs through community services,” says Robert Costa, coordinating chair of Wilson’s meeting. “Many members, using prayer cards, are praying for five people they want to see in heaven. Many churches are studying the Bible with small groups, with friends, and visitors, while others are giving personal Bible studies. Other churches are presenting evangelistic series to develop interests.” When asked in a recent interview, “What would you consider a measure of success for NY13?” Wilson said, “God is calling us to unify under Him
to reach the millions of people in New York City through NY13 and Mission to the Cities. I believe we will see many people whose lives will be changed and who will join God’s remnant church. We will see unusual miracles take place as God reaches into the hearts of people throughout the great metropolitan area bringing them to the foot of the cross and to humble service for Christ and others. I believe there will be thousands of baptisms as a result of humbling our hearts before God in complete service, which will include the unifying efforts of all conferences and churches in the area working together. “The use of the urban evangelistic methods outlined in the Spirit of Prophecy will become wonderful
models for our urban outreach. Comprehensive urban evangelism and comprehensive health ministry will become a way of life for God’s people in the cities. God’s Spirit will be seen in an unusual way. A comprehensive and sustained evangelistic outreach program will be the result of humbled lives of service. God will use many church members to proactively share Christ’s love with the people of NYC, which will in turn provide for many changed lives, because people will have seen Jesus in the lives of our members. God will lift up our church in New York City as the ‘symbol’ of how He intends for the church to work the cities and the ‘mighty movement’ will begin ushering in the latter rain of the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ soon coming.”
Already NY13 has been a catalyst for change. Hundreds of lay Bible workers, community health missionaries, youth, and young adults have been trained and are now engaged in the evangelistic process. In March, thousands of youth and young adults took to the Brooklyn Bridge in a march against violence. Ellen White may have put it best: “Let all that is done be a symbol of the work the Lord desires to see done in the world.”* n *Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1946), p. 385.
To stay connected with the NY13 initiative, visit
May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
N A D U P D AT E
Yes to God
By Carla Baker, director, NAD Women’s Ministries Department
Celebrating more than half the church’s population
ome might wonder why, on the official North American Division (NAD) calendar and on the official world church calendar, there is a day called Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day. What’s the big deal? The short answer is that nearly 60 percent of the members of the NAD are women. It’s predominately women who do a lot of the things that are typically taken for granted: leading children’s Sabbath school, playing the piano or organ, organizing and cooking for church potlucks. Most church clerks and many church treasurers are women. Countless women are Pathfinder leaders and outreach ministry leaders. Some are elders and pastors. In my church the chair of our massive building project is a woman. In another church the head deacon is a woman, largely because of her organizational skills. Women’s behind-thescenes organizational skills keep many churches operating like a well-oiled machine. First and foremost, women are faithful to their calling to be about our Father’s business. So it’s not for the sake of the
women of the church that we observe Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day. It’s for the sake of church members who might sometimes take the contributions of women for granted. Think of the way parents, including our Father God, like to be thanked every now and then for what they do for their children. They don’t have to hear it in order to keep loving and caring for their children, but they know it’s good for the children to recognize the love and concern that prompts parents’ actions. Gratitude is good for the soul—and for relationships. Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day is a good time to showcase women’s hidden skills, as well as those we see from week to week. For example, why not ask a woman with a gift for public speaking to preach that day? As I attend Women’s Day activities in churches all over the NAD, I am most blessed and inspired when the preaching is done by a woman in the local church rather than a guest speaker; she is being affirmed by her church and given the opportunity to hone her skills.
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Women of Distinction
Women make significant contributions to the Lord’s work on the conference level. August 17-31, the Southern Union, Carolina Conference, and South Atlantic Conference Women’s Ministries departments will conduct a citywide reaping evangelistic series in Charleston, South Carolina. The speaker will be Nicolle Brisé from the Southeastern Conference, who has conducted countless evangelistic series around the world, and whose Spiritfilled ministry has brought thousands of individuals into the church. Brisé not only preaches, but, perhaps more important, teaches others to conduct evangelistic series. Hundreds of women in all parts of the world are engaged in soul winning as a result of Brisé’s tutoring. The evangelistic series precedes the Southern Union Women’s Conference, also held in Charleston, September 5-8. The convention planners are organizing seminars and activities for new members in the Charleston area who will be special guests at the convention.
Another area of special focus for women’s ministries is biblical literacy. We recently introduced our second set of DVD Bible studies in the Journey of Joy series. The speaker is Elizabeth Talbot, speaker/director of the Jesus 101 Biblical Institute, a media ministry of the NAD. Talbot’s insights into the Bible and the role of Jesus as our Go’el (Hebrew: kinsman-redeemer) have captivated women at women’s retreats. Talbot’s new series of studies Surprised by Love, based on her book by the same title, explain how the entire Bible reveals God’s amazing love for each of us. Available in English and Spanish, the series is ideal for anyone who wants to dig deeper into the Word, whether individually or,
perhaps most effectively, in small group study. Endless Possibilities
Ministering to community needs through “God in Shoes,” sometimes called a Community Impact weekend, has been another effective outreach for women. The goal: to share the love of Christ to impoverished communities through acts of service such as cleaning up a town’s common areas, painting community buildings and homes, providing medical services such as dental exams and diabetes testing, organizing fun fairs and Vacation Bible Schools for children, offering spa days for women in order to minister to their physical and emotional needs. It has been amazing to
watch these events multiply across the division as God has spoken to women’s groups about making a difference in their communities. Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day is scheduled for the second Sabbath in June each year, but because of conflicts with camp meetings in some conferences, churches are encouraged to schedule it on the Sabbath that best fits their schedule. n
Resources are available on the North American Division Women’s Ministries Department Web site, www.nadwm.org
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The Heart of
Transformational Evangelism By Ken Denslow
ot long before His passion, Jesus said: “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself ” (John 12:31, 32). This statement is the heart of transformational evangelism. The building block strategy for the North American Division intends to bring many different aspects of ministry to bear on specific areas of need. No building block lends itself more to that than transformational evangelism. Every program, department, or ministry can contribute to this foundational building block. What is evangelism? The word literally means “to bring good news.” In the Christian context the good news is Jesus Christ. Through Him and His gracious act we have redemption. Through Him we are a new creation. Through Him we look forward to a new earth. Evangelism transforms in several ways. When we share the good news the lives of those around us are transformed. When the church brings good news to its community, it is transformed. When I actively share good news, I am transformed. Years ago I baptized a man who was grossly overweight, pathologically shy, unemployed, and illiterate. He had attended a series of evangelistic meetings, and now, as a member of the church, he was there whenever the doors of the church were open.
After his coming to Christ we began to see amazing things happen in this man’s life. One day I discovered that he had been reading the Bible aloud in Sabbath school. When I asked him how that could be given his illiteracy, he said, “I wanted to know Jesus better, so I asked God a couple weeks ago to teach me to read.” I came back to that church to visit a year or so after I had moved away. This brother was the first person I bumped into. I barely recognized him. He had lost a lot of pounds. When I asked him about it, he said, “I believed I could be a better witness for Jesus if I took care of my health, so I asked Him to help me lose weight.” I met up with him on another visit a few years later. This time after chatting for a while, he said in almost a whisper, “Guess what? They made me an elder in the church.” When he became a disciple of Jesus, he had a total life transformation. He is just one person whose life was transformed when he experienced “evangelism,” coming into contact with the One who is good news. When we accept Christ we should expect to experience His transforming grace. We will also embrace the mission of carrying that good news to those around us. We will be evangelists. The oft-quoted D. T. Niles is actually quoting Martin Luther when he writes: “Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”
When local churches focus on the transformational grace of Christ, and share that good news, they move naturally from being a mere institution to being a living organism: the body of Christ. Numerous studies have been conducted in the Adventist Church and the larger Christian community as to the primary factors in people’s decision to accept Christ and join the church. The results tell us that 75 to 90 percent of those surveyed say that the biggest influence is a friend or relative. Those statistics report what happens largely without planning. Imagine the kingdom growth if we were intentional about reaching out to our friends and family with good news. Imagine the church as an agency more of service and less of self-service. Simply put, the building block transformational evangelism will work at: n renewing a culture of evangelism n planting new churches in new ways n advancing our mission in large, metropolitan areas n developing innovative approaches to evangelism Transformational evangelism will not abandon public evangelism, media evangelism, or literature evangelism. These important ministries have been successful tools in the history of our church. But foundationally we will focus on living lives that are evangelistic, and sharing the good news of Christ and His gospel to our world in fresh ways. n
Ken Denslow is assistant to the president for the North American Division.
May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
Why don’t we combine resources and get more workers on the street?
Building a Church in America
Thank you for printing “Building a Church in America,” by Julie Z. Lee (February 2013). I’m glad Maranatha Volunteers International is working for the small churches and church plants in the rural United States. I always wondered why [they built] everywhere else, but not here in North America. It’s been long in coming here, and just as needed. Becky J. Webster Collegedale, Tennessee I appreciated the article about Maranatha and the building of churches in North America. The cover photo was a great construction picture, but I was disappointed that the names of the three volunteers were not printed. The article had names for most everyone in the photos; the cover picture should have included the names of the three volunteers in the Decatur-Hartselle project. One of the volunteers, pictured on the right, is Dave Schwinn, a longtime project coordinator for Maranatha. My wife and I have participated in sev-
Special Days inNorth
Focus for June: Church Growth and Evangelism June 8 Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day June 8 Multilingual Ministries/ Chaplaincy Ministries Offering June 29 NAD Evangelism Offering
—Todd A. Hardy, Conesus, New York eral of Schwinn’s projects—Montana, Michigan, Wyoming, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Portugal, and the Solomon Islands. Jim Culpepper White House, Tennessee The information published in Adventist World is helpful and inspirational. I was especially interested in the article “Building a Church in America.” We at the Spring Creek Seventhday Adventist Church in Spring, Texas, are a small congregation similar to the ones described in the article, with a membership of approximately 70 and ethnically mixed. We are having the experience described in the article, which details the effort to construct facilities to accommodate a growing membership’s needs. The article describes efforts made by Maranatha to assist small churches by providing them with building plans for a sanctuary, classrooms, and a fellowship hall that they have developed. Can you share information that may assist us in obtaining a set of the building plans? Gene Stewart Spring, Texas You are welcome to visit the Maranatha Volunteers International Web site for more information: maranatha.org. —Editors. Not Bad, Just Different
I read the first section of the article, “Not Bad, Just Different,” by Joseph W. McCoy (February 2013), and wondered why our denomination has taken no action on the regional conference
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issue since 1944. Has anything changed since then? Why do we support a model that has two or more conferences covering the same territory? We support financially a system that does well to promote ministers to positions in the conference level. Are we not seeing that often these are duplicate positions covering the same territory? Why don’t we combine resources and get more workers on the street? Todd A. Hardy Conesus, New York Wanted: Female Pastors
I have three specific problems with G. Alexander Bryant’s article “Wanted: Female Pastors” (February 2013): First, this appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to promote women’s ordination through hiring more women clergy and administrators. Second, the Women Pastors (107) North American Division’s (NAD) executive secretary states: “It will move forward Men Pastors independent (4,000) of the findings and conclusion of the ordination issue.” In other words, “we will do what we want, no matter what the world church thinks.” Third, the heading “NAD Perspective” should have been “NAD Leaders’ Perspective.” I, and many other members who belong to the NAD, do not necessarily subscribe to the ordination views of the NAD leadership. Charles McDermott Columbus, Indiana
Living ealthfully H Not a new concept
W O R L D
H E A L T H
By Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless I am a newly baptized Seventh-day Adventist, but I still do not fully understand or even believe that my physical health influences my spirituality. I avoid unclean foods and alcohol—isn’t that enough?
ating and drinking healthfully, exercise, moderation, and modesty do not of themselves achieve wholeness. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. This means that we cannot boast in our own strength or works; it helps us to remember that physical health, although desirable, is a means to an end, not the end in itself. Christ’s promise “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10) can still be a reality even among the most physically broken. Health is not a rite of passage in this life. As important as wellness is, Jesus emphasized balance: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28). We can have wholeness in our brokenness by His grace. Early in the Old Testament God saw fit to give His people instructions on healthful living, including diet, sanitation, and sexual behavior. The Levitical laws were to be preventive and distinctive. While here on earth Jesus healed physical and mental diseases and linked forgiveness of sin to well-being and the abundant life. The Lord gave Ellen White her first vision on health in June 1863. She then began counseling the fledgling Seventh-day Adventist Church on healthful living. The outstanding feature of her initial message was the “relation between physical welfare and
spiritual health, or holiness.”1 Throughout her life she was the channel of information that fashioned the church’s philosophy and emphasis on health. Long before medical evidence emerged on the dangers of smoking, Ellen White spoke out strongly on this and other health issues, including the use of alcohol and such poisonous medications as arsenicals and mercury-based drugs. The drinking of tea and coffee and the use of stimulants were strongly discouraged, as, ultimately, was the use of flesh food (these practices are still strongly supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church). She promoted a vegetarian diet with judicious use of dairy products at a time when vitamin B12 was unknown. In addition, the use of fresh, clean water (inside and out), clean air, adequate exercise and rest, temperance, faith, appropriate sunshine exposure, integrity, and social support were strongly encouraged. Time reported the positive outcome of the first Adventist Health Study, describing the results as the “Adventist Advantage.”2 There was significant reduction in most cancers and cirrhosis of the liver. Subsequent studies have shown a significant increase in longevity in those living the Adventist lifestyle. In 2005 National Geographic very favorably highlighted the benefits of the Adventist lifestyle, including the city of Loma Linda in the United States
as a “Blue Zone”—one of the areas in the world in which people enjoy the best longevity and quality of life. These positive outcomes have been so compelling that millions of dollars from the National Institutes of Health (U.S.A.) have been allocated to conduct Adventist Health Study 2, with a special emphasis on the differences in malignancies between Adventists and the general population. It’s designed to also yield data on the effects of healthful living on spirituality and is representative of the diversity and ethnic mix that blesses the Adventist Church. God has given us, through varied sources, consistent guidance on how to be healthy, happy, and holy. And more important, this health and wellness are also to be channeled into service for others (see John 9:4). There’s an abundance of evidence to guide our choices to live a life of praise to the Creator, who so graciously has given us that life! n 1 D. E. Robinson, The Story of Our Health Message (Nashville: Southern Pub. Assn., 1965), p. 77. 2 Time, Oct. 28, 1966.
Allan R. Handysides, a board-certified gynecolo-
gist, is director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.
Peter N. Landless, a board-certified nuclear
cardiologist, is an associate director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.
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D E V O T I O N A L
ife in Jerusalem had not been what it used to be. The past years had been a real roller-coaster experience of repeated ups and downs. Yet how did this mesh with God’s promises? Was this not the place God had promised His people they would inhabit forever (2 Sam. 7:10, 11)? Had He not assured David that his descendants would be on the throne forever (2 Sam. 7:12-16)? These promises seemed unreal, considering that all around Jerusalem the world was going up in flames—and those flames were getting precariously closer to the beloved city. The people of Judah had loved King Josiah. Though very young when crowned, he had begun a major reform in
lonian king in 605 B.C., the “third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah” (Dan. 1:1). This was God’s city and God’s Temple. How could Daniel later write, “The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand” (verse 2)? This was a heathen king dealing with the covenant people, the city chosen by God, and the dynasty of David, which had been elected by the Lord Himself. Is there any way we can make sense when things do not work out the way we think they should work out? How do we come to terms with our personal histories (never mind the bigger issues of world history) when we feel like pup-
By Gerald A. Klingbeil
A Date With
Watch God’s history unfold
the land (2 Kings 22; 23): the Temple had been restored; God’s law, ignored for decades, had been rediscovered and proclaimed; the people had renewed their covenant with the Lord. Things had been looking up, and Josiah had even been able to expand the limits of the southern kingdom of Judah, reaching parts of what used to be the northern kingdom of Israel (cf. 2 Kings 23:15-20). But now, following a succession of brief, disastrous reigns under mediocre and godless kings, Jerusalem was under siege. The great Assyrian Empire was on the verge of collapse. Babylon, the new power from the East, had been lapping up in record speed the spoils of the rapidly shrinking empire. Its crown prince, Nebuchadnezzar, with his army and allies, had come as far south as Palestine and was about to conquer Jerusalem—God’s chosen city. How could one make sense of this in the light of the divine promises? Where was God when He was needed? Conundrums
These and similar questions, I imagine, were in the minds of the young hostages that were taken by the Baby-
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pets whose strings are pulled by the powerful, the connected, and the mighty? Unpleasant Truth
The book of Daniel is not only a prophetic book, full of apocalyptic imagery dealing with the time of the end. Daniel also introduces in a unique way a philosophy of history that is biblical—and, at times, profoundly unnerving. God “gives” several times in the book of Daniel: He gives Jerusalem into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (verse 2), yet He also gives favor to Daniel and his friends in the eyes of the chief of the king’s officials (verse 9). Ultimately, it is God who gives four young men in the Babylonian court knowledge, skill, and wisdom (verse 17). So right from the outset Daniel makes one of the key points of this important biblical book: God, the Creator of the universe, is in charge—of life, limb, time, the future, and even heathen kings. God uses a heathen king to punish His people; at the same time He prepares His people to serve and influence this heathen king for His kingdom. The stories found in Daniel 2-6 are very familiar to many of us. Whether dealing with a
P h o t o
c o u r t e s y
o f T h e
P e r g a m o n
M u s e u m ,
B e r l i n ,
G e r m a n y
forgotten dream about an immense statue, a fiery furnace with four people in it, a king gone mad and restored, the writing of a divine message on a wall in a palace full of people who would not pay attention to the “signs of their times,” or the challenge of being faithful to one’s conviction in the face of persecution—God is always in control. At times Christians have perpetuated the myth that a life with the Master means only success, blessings, and riches. Daniel’s stories tell us otherwise. God’s people suffer and get framed for their convictions (Dan. 3 and 6). Their journeys are not always smooth, and they do not always have a Hollywood-style “happy ending.” Yet in spite of the challenges that
Is there any way we can make sense when things do not work out the way we think they should work out? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego or Daniel himself faced, they remained committed to the God who worked in their hearts and transformed their minds. One wonders, however, if their decisions reflect the general attitudes and convictions of the deported Israelites. Were they truly the only ones that did not bow down before the statue (Dan. 3)?* In Control
What does it mean when we affirm that God is in control of history? Can this theological truth be verified in our own lives? Is He responsible for the Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots, or Neros that have ravaged our planet and caused so much pain and heartache? In order to make sense of this important question, we need to look at the bigger picture of a cosmic conflict that is raging behind the scenes of history. Beginning with Lucifer’s first accusation and the seed of doubt that he planted, this conflict is all about God’s character. Is God a puppet player, like Satan in the Garden of Eden when he used the serpent and both humans to get at God (Gen. 3)? How can an omnipotent, all-powerful God still provide the space for decisions and
then respect these decisions—yet at the same time be developing His plan of salvation? Daniel 2 provides some helpful clues. Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, has a disturbing dream but cannot seem to remember it. Calling his astrologers and wise men, he asks them to tell him the dream and its interpretation— but no one can. No one, that is, except Daniel. Yes, Daniel must have been a straight-A student; he was intelligent and creative. But he cannot tell the dream and its interpretation on his own. Together with his three friends Daniel spends a night in prayer (Dan. 2:17-19). In the night, while praying for guidance and waiting upon God, Daniel receives a vision detailing the dream and its meaning. His praise response to God’s providence provides the best summary of a biblical philosophy of history: “[God] changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him” (verses 21, 22). God is in control—also of the big picture of world history. While He allows a heathen king to destroy His Temple and the city He has chosen, it is all part of a bigger plan. He wants to save wayward Judah; He wants to reach boastful Babylon; He wants to reclaim lost humanity within the context of the cosmic battle—and He was willing to pay the ultimate price. Daniel often struggled with the details of the divine plan (cf. Dan. 9:1-23), yet He knew His Savior personally and entrusted God with his life. He had seen God’s hand in his life and that was enough. Away from home, living in an ungodly (and strange) environment, and struggling with the why question he nonetheless understood that God is in control. He still is—and eager to be involved in our big and small lives, one day at a time. Our lives can be so much more than just a date with fate if we allow Him full control. n
*Considering the fact that Nebuchadnezzar had apparently summoned all the provincial leadership of his kingdom (Dan. 3:2), it is reasonable to assume that the Judean King was also present.
Gerald A. Klingbeil is an associate editor of Adventist World and loves seeing God’s history unfold. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A., with his wife, Chantal, and their three daughters.
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F U N D A M E N T A L
B E L I E F S
tory is heart language. We never grow too old to enjoy a good story. We can learn important lessons and find answers to the big questions of life in a story. Most of the world’s grandest stories show the tension between good and evil, appearing as two powerful forces in continual opposition to each other. Whenever good triumphs over evil, the knots in our stomach relax and we stop biting our fingernails. The Bible takes us to the origins of this great conflict between good and evil and introduces the personalities responsible for them. It opens a window through which we can view the struggle in the context of cosmic reality. It deepens our understanding of the issues involved. It does not set out to explain evil any more than it sets out to prove God. It simply tells the story of how evil began, how it operates, and how it will end. Goodness, on the other hand, has no beginning and no end because it emanates from God, who simply is (Ex. 3:14). He is the Sovereign Creator of the universe and the very essence of love (Jer. 32:17; 1 John 4:7, 8). The Bible story of evil begins in heaven, the home of God and the angels. It begins in a universe devoid of evil, inhabited by noble beings created in the image of God, each one functioning fully and freely in perfect harmony with love’s laws. The lead angel of this dynamic and efficient universe is Lucifer, a being of flawless perfection. Free Will
There is something we need to grasp before we can proceed with the story. God endows each intelligent being He creates with the ability to reason and make choices. It is only in this way that they are able to develop their full potential as individuals and have unique relationships both with their Creator and their fellow beings. God knew that this highly prized gift of free will carries a fearsome risk: the possibility that one day someone would make the wrong choice and plunge the universe into the chaos of lawlessness. However, God, in being true to Himself, cannot permit outcomes to dictate His actions. Rather, He acts according to His honest intentions. If He adjusted His actions to bring about the outcome He desired, this would make Him a dictator manipulating events to suit His own ends. The Mystery of Iniquity
Listen to God’s heartrending lament of Lucifer’s defection. “How!” He wails, “How did you come to do it? How did you find it in your heart to make that dreadful choice, O morning star, my son of the dawn? I anointed you, I ordained you to stand at my throne, to work at my side.
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By Aleta Bainbridge
Conflict Finding our place in God’s scheme of things
You were my beloved, the model of perfection. How did you allow your heart to be filled with violence? How did you sink so low?” (paraphrased from Isa. 14:12-15; Eze. 28:14, 15) The birth of evil is totally unreasonable; it is as inexplicable as it is inexcusable. The Bible gives us a hint of its root cause: “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor” (Eze. 28:17, NIV).* Satan replaced God with self on the throne of his heart. He became jealous of God’s Son and eventually coveted God’s throne. He deceived one third of the angels and, now known as Satan, the adversary, brought false accusations against God before the entire universe. Rebellion ripened into war, and he and his angels were expelled from heaven (Rev. 12:7-9).
He brought the spirit of rebellion to this newly created earth, and when he succeeded in causing Adam and Eve to disobey God, he claimed the earth as his (see Job 1:6, 7). God permitted him to style himself “prince of this world” (John 14:30, NIV). This was the beginning of evil’s reign of terror on our beautiful blue planet, which became the virtual reality show for the entire universe (1 Cor. 4:9). While we know about the origins of this conflict, we sense its presence each day in our hearts. In fact, the whole meaning of human life revolves around this battle. In the mid-nineteenth century God opened to a new generation a window that shed clear light onto the truths of His Word and the issues of the great cosmic war that in its final phases would become terrifyingly fierce. The people who were called to proclaim this special end-time message to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6) adopted a name that crystallizes the main issues of the controversy between God and Satan in two words. Seventh-day Adventist
The accusations Satan made against God revolved around God’s character, His law and governance, and His sovereignty. By worshipping God on the seventh-day Sabbath, His people proclaim their allegiance to God as the rightful ruler of the universe, their Creator and Redeemer. At the end of Creation week God celebrated His complete and perfect work of creation by instituting a holy monument in time, the seventh-day Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3). It was a reminder to all people of all times that He alone, as our Creator, is worthy of worship. Then, at the hinge of time, on a Friday afternoon, God’s Son died for the sins of the world. We see the mighty opposing forces standing side by side at the cross—love and selfishness. Their intentions
are quite clear. Selfishness will go to any lengths to destroy us. Love will go to any lengths to save us. God’s life is the full ransom price for all people (1 Tim. 2:6). And again God rested on the Sabbath to remind us that, as our Redeemer, He alone deserves our allegiance. Adventist is a word that trumpets hope for a doomed world. The God we worship is a God who “comes” to us. He does not remain at a safe distance while we suffer in this land of the enemy. We are told that at the perfect moment in time (Gal. 4:4-6) “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14) and came to earth to share the lot of mortal human beings. He will come a second time as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:11-16). He will snatch us from the grave and from a mortal, sinful existence and take us to His heavenly home so that we can be healed of our war wounds and battle scars. His return means the eradication of every trace of sin, a new creation (Rev. 22:1), and an eternal reign as undisputed Sovereign of the universe. The redeemed will live with Him in peace and harmony eternally. The story of Good and evil begins with perfection and ends with perfection. It’s absolutely the best story of all times. n *Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Aleta Bainbridge is Partners in Ministry
coordinator for the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia, and works closely with her husband, Garth, who is ministerial secretary. She is wife of one, mother of four, and grandmother of eight.
ll humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the
angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)
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C OV E R S T O RY
By Alice R. Voorheis
T ime Clock
reveals his plan 1843-1847
od’s time clock traces His guiding hand in world events since Creation! Each time the need arose from the days of the patriarchs and prophets until the birth of Jesus, God always had faithful messengers to proclaim “present truth.” In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it was time for God’s time clock to strike again!
New Messengers Identified
From his home in Low Hampton, New York, Baptist preacher William Miller proclaimed that the 2300-day/ year prophecy of Daniel 8:14 would end in 1843 or 1844. He sensed a responsibility to tell the whole world that Jesus was coming soon. In Maine 21-year-old schoolteacher James White accepted Miller’s message, and in January of 1843 he left his father’s house on a borrowed horse to begin a lifelong preaching career proclaiming the “present truth.”
Rachel Oakes Preston, a Seventh Day Baptist woman, shared her belief in the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath with Pastor Frederick Wheeler at Washington, New Hampshire. Soon a small group of Millerite Adventists was observing God’s holy day. Retired sea captain Joseph Bates of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, heard about the new “present truth” being shared by this group, committed his life to preaching it also.Nearly half a million people in the Northeastern states, expecting the soon return of Jesus, wholeheartedly accepted and joyfully spread the news that October 22, 1844, was the very day of Jesus’ coming. When the day passed without a glimpse of Jesus, their happiness and joy turned to gloom and despair. Many had sold their farms, closed their businesses, and settled all accounts in eager anticipation of going home with their best Friend, Jesus. Now they had to face the scoffers, try to pull things together, and prepare for another hard
northern winter. One of these disappointed believers was Hiram Edson of Port Gibson, New York. Edson invited some friends to accompany him to his barn for a prayer session begging God for an answer that would explain why Jesus had not returned as expected. The very next morning as Edson crossed his cornfield to encourage other disappointed believers, he received an insight revealing the entrance of Jesus into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary to complete His work of atonement for the sins of humankind before His second coming. Further study in Hebrews 8 and 9 clarified a new “present truth.” In December 1844, 17-year-old Ellen Harmon of Portland, Maine, received a vision from God depicting a company of Advent believers traveling a narrow pathway from earth to heaven. She accepted this divine call to serve as His special messenger, revealing to others what she had been shown. Messengers Unite
As Ellen Harmon traveled throughout New England during 1845, sharing many God-given messages in various meetings, she met young Millerite preacher James White, who fearlessly proclaimed the “present truth” of Jesus’ soon coming. Their friendship developed as they witnessed the working of God in each other’s ministry.
June 6, 1844: Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) founded in London, England.
June 1, 1843: Sojourner Truth begins her career as an anti-slavery activist.
Adventist Historical Dates in Context
All ph o t o s c o u r t e s y o f th e Ell e n G . Wh i t e Est a t e u nl e ss o th e r w i s e n o t e d .
1843: Millerite or early Adventist chart of 2,300 days/years
December 1844: Ellen White receives her first vision in Portland, Maine.
By Benjamin Baker Joseph Bates ardently preached the “present truth “of the seventhday Sabbath as he traveled about. Becoming convinced that a small book or tract that could be left with interested people would be helpful, he published in 1846 a 48-page tract entitled The Seventh-day Sabbath, a Perpetual Sign. On August 30, 1846, Ellen Harmon and James White were united in marriage and ministry. When in November of that same year, James and Ellen White and Joseph Bates were all present at an Advent conference held in Topsham, Maine, the labors of the three cofounders of what was to become the Seventh-day Adventist Church were united! In 1847 these new messengers labored throughout New England, emphasizing the place of the third angel’s message in the Advent movement. Slowly but surely God was getting the right people as well as the right pieces together to send His final message of grace and salvation. n
Residing in Collegedale, Tennessee, U.S.A., and dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Adventist Heritage, retired educator Alice R. Voorheis serves as editor and immediate past president for Adventist Heritage Ministry.
begins moving 1848-1853
magine a time that the Seventhday Adventist Church—currently including more than 17 million members attending 71,000 churches and 66,000 companies on almost every continent and in almost every country speaking almost 1,000 languages and dialects—did not exist. Instead, picture only a tiny, loosely connected group of mostly poor young adults scattered throughout the northeastern United States who had recently been crushed by a hope that they had banked everything on, yet who were slowly putting the pieces together about the ministry of Jesus, Bible truth, and their role in earth’s history. Above all, bear in mind that to these individuals living in the grinding day to day, their future was not as sure or inevitable as it seems to us in hindsight more than a century and a half later.
And so it is the year 1848. The Millerite movement, a countdown replete
with fervent preaching, urgent preparation, all-out witnessing, endless study, and stretching prayer that climaxed in unspeakable disappointment, is still fresh in the memory. Some Millerites, including Joseph and Prudence Bates, the recently wed James and Ellen White, and others, discovered in one another a common desire to reemerge from tragedy stronger and truer. Tirelessly they traveled day and night, through heat and cold, across mountain and valley, more often in sickness than in health, to visit with former Millerites and anyone interested in Bible truth, all the time comforting, strengthening, and teaching. During this fertile period neglected truths from Scripture were rediscovered, and they united the growing movement now led by the hardworking and diligent 27-year-old James White and his 21-year-old wife, Ellen, who was blessed by God with powerful visions that guided the believers. These truths alone united the believers. Awareness of
February 1848: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto. J o hn
M a y a ll
J u n
1844: Rachel Oakes Preston, a Seventh Day Baptist, is instrumental in leading a group of Millerites in Washington, New Hampshire, to observe the seventh-day Sabbath.
November 1846: important Advent conference held in Topsham, Maine.
April 1848: “Friends of the Sabbath” begin meeting throughout New York and New England in “Sabbath Conferences.”
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C OV E R S T O RY these truths came from places diverse and intriguing: from three letters to a friend written by George Storrs and turned into a booklet about the dead being unconscious awaiting the call of Christ at His coming; to a field of corn and pumpkins where Hiram Edson had an epiphany about Christ’s intercessory ministry in the heavenly sanctuary; to the indefatigable Rachel Oakes Preston, a Seventh Day Baptist who announced the true day of worship to a speechless Frederick Wheeler in a humorously abrupt encounter. Digging Deep
In the spring of 1848 the first of almost two dozen conferences convened at which the believers met to search the Bible to determine their beliefs. These gatherings, held variously in barns, houses, and other venues throughout New England and New York State, were often downright contentious, characterized by loud and protracted arguments, with bizarre beliefs bandied about. Yet inexplicably, yes, providentially, from these unpromising sessions a doctrinal system began to emerge like the stages of a painting, the piece of art gradually filling in and beautifying as the collective understanding deepened. Print, Print, Print
That same year the young Ellen White had a vision in which she foresaw the eventual worldwide reach of
the still-puny movement. Her husband was to “print a little paper and send it to the people,” and although it would be “small at first,” it would be successful, beaming “like streams of light that went clear round the world.”* This must have seemed utterly impossible, for at the time of this revelation James and Ellen White were homeless and penniless, and there were approximately 100 believers. Yet husband and wife obediently produced in July 1849 an eight-page paper titled The Present Truth, the precursor to hundreds of periodicals and tens of thousands of issues that circled and continue to circle the planet daily. Thanks to the reach of the printed page and the growing number of evangelists—comprised of men, women, boys, girls— the body that would become the Seventh-day Adventist Church multiplied from 100 in 1848 to approximately 2,000 in 1852. To Organize or Not to Organize?
Review and Sabbath Herald, but discussions began in earnest after the Whites began to press the issue, the burdens of the growing movement most heavily resting on them. But the former Millerites, wary of the church structures from which they had departed and from which they had suffered mistreatment, were resistant to organization. No one could have guessed that a devastating national war would have to impel the fledgling movement to finally organize and thereby be empowered to reach the world with the gospel message. n * Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), p. 125.
holds a Ph.D. in history and is the assistant archivist at the world church headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.
Because of the rapidly growing number of adherents, some sort of organization was needed. As it stood in the first years of the 1850s, there was no system or plan in place to responsibly address the needs of believers, manage finances, recognize ministerial leadership, or legalize ownership of real estate. This need was increasingly remarked upon in the church paper, the Second Advent
January 23, 1849: Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman in United States to earn a medical degree.
Autumn 1848: Following Ellen White’s vision showing the harmful effects of tobacco, tea, and coffee, Joseph Bates presses believers to abandon tobacco: “The pipes and tobacco are traveling out of sight fast. . . . Nothing must be too dear or precious to let go in aid of the cause now” (R. W. Schwarz, Light Bearers to the Remnant, p. 106)
November 13, 1851: Telegraph line between England and France is established.
July 1849: The Present Truth (now Adventist Review) begins publication
1852: First printing press owned and operated by Adventists purchased in Rochester, New York.
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By Stanley D. Hickerson Henry White and his little brothers a place they could identify as home.
Financial Security: Mary Jane (Walker) Loughborough (18321867)
hrough the eyes of three different believers, we observe God as He nudges His people toward organization in the years 1854-1859.
Family Unity: Henry Nichols White (1847-1863)
When Henry White was about 10 months old, Clarissa Bonfoey took over the care of little Henry so his parents could be free to travel.1 A few months later he was placed in the Howland home in Topsham, Maine.2 The Howlands’ 19-year-old daughter Frances cared for Henry for five years, his parents seeing him only a few times during that period. Little Henry hardly knew his own parents, and this was a terrible trial to them. In 1854 Henry was reunited with his family in Rochester, New York, thus making the family complete. But along with his parents and two younger brothers, Henry shared his home with a large “family” of those who worked for the Review and Her-
ald. His parents both worked incessantly, often 16 to 18 hours per day, thus leaving little family time.3 In 1855 the Whites, along with the office staff, moved from Rochester to Battle Creek, Michigan. Here, for the first time, Henry had the privilege of experiencing family life with some normalcy. The family still included one or two older girls to help with the housework and child care, and from time to time grandparents, but Henry no longer had to share his home with a dozen printers, proofreaders, typesetters, and bookbinders. True, his parents were still often gone for extended periods of time, but he and his brothers now had a home, their home. Ellen White remembered that “from the time we moved to Battle Creek, the Lord began to turn our captivity.”4 Part of God’s plan of church organization included family unity and security, and as He led his church toward full organization, He gave to
In 1851 Mary Jane Walker married John Norton Loughborough. John was a house painter and a weekend preacher for the first-day Adventists. He also was a window sash lock dealer. About a year after their marriage Mary and John accepted the seventh-day Sabbath and joined the believers in Rochester, New York. John felt it was his duty to preach full-time but Mary was worried about their finances. With mixed feelings Mary waved goodbye to her husband as he began traveling and preaching in various towns in western New York. Soon the periods of separation grew longer as he traveled to other states, including Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. John’s “pay” consisted of an overcoat, a few bushels of apples and potatoes, some meat, and a dollar now and then. In 1856, frustrated and discouraged, Mary and John slipped away from Rochester and moved to Waukon, Iowa, where John found work again in the building trade. But God understood, and in a
November 17, 1855: David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls on what is now the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Spring 1855: First Seventh-day Adventist meeting house built in Battle Creek, Michigan, named, “The House of Prayer”
S m i ths o n i a n L i b r a r y / Thomas Baines
November 24, 1859: On the Origin of Species published by English naturalist Charles Darwin.
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C OV E R S T O RY dramatic move sent James and Ellen White to encourage them back into the ministry. Mary’s heart was touched, and she tearfully urged John to resume preaching. On January 16, 1859, the church in Battle Creek voted a plan of Systematic Benevolence,5 providing a way to give the preachers some regular pay. God continued to lead His church toward organization, which provided Mary and many others like her financial security. Mutual Trust: Joseph Bates (1792-1872)
“Father” Bates was one of our older pioneers. Having been a sea captain and owner of a ship, he was accustomed to being in charge. And from time to time he struggled with giving some of the younger leaders— especially James White—all the respect to which they were entitled. He, along with other preachers, sometimes was tempted to work independently, and sometimes he unwittingly undermined the work of fellow preachers.
But in his heart Bates trusted God’s leading. In 1855 we find him chairing a conference that ultimately voted to recommend a change in the time for the beginning and ending of each Sabbath. Personally Bates had long promoted 6:00 p.m. as the correct time. But he graciously accepted the decision of the conference to recommend sunset instead. Elder John O. Corliss remembered Bates: “I found in him one who had a tender heart, and knew how to set wrongs right without ‘fuss or feathers.’ ”6 God’s plan of organization was under way. Although it was often an uphill battle, God began in these early years to create a church that fostered an atmosphere of mutual trust and cooperation. n 1 Ellen G. White, Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1922), p. 118. 2 Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), pp. 120, 121. 3 Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts (Battle Creek, Mich.: James White, 1860), vol. 2, p. 204. 4 E. G. White, Life Sketches, p. 159. 5 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Feb. 3, 1859, p. 84. 6 Review and Herald, Aug. 16, 1923, p. 8.
Stanley D. Hickerson
currently serves as annotator for the letters and manuscripts project of the Ellen G. White Estate and lives in Michigan, U.S.A.
By Alberto R. Timm
arly Sabbathkeeping Adventists were initially opposed to any kind of church organization beyond the local level. Their minds still echoed the words of George Storrs, a Millerite preacher who wrote in early 1844: “No church can be organized by man’s invention but what it becomes Babylon the moment it is organized.” Two main factors, however, led early Sabbathkeeping Adventists to eventually establish an organizational structure that could integrate their scattered congregations into a harmonious body. One factor was the practical challenges derived from the numerical growth and geographical expansion of their movement. By the early 1860s several Sabbathkeeping congregations were scattered throughout New England and as far west as Iowa and Wisconsin, which, left by themselves, would certainly move into congregationalism and doctrinal disputes. Another main factor that stimulated the organization process was the
April 12, 1861: The U.S. Civil War begins when Confederate troops fire on Fort Sumter.
January 16, 1859: Pastoral families such as John and Mary Loughborough begin receiving financial support when the church in Battle Creek votes the Systematic Benevolence plan.
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October 1, 1860: General Conference session in Battle Creek, Michigan, takes the following action: “Resolved, That we call ourselves Seventh-day Adventists.”
L i b r a r y o f C o n g r e ss
Deal doctrinal understanding of the unity of all believers (see John 17:20-23; 1 Cor. 12:12-30; Eph. 4:11-16), which could only be realized through a model of church organization able to function within each congregation and above all congregations. So, after the election of specific leaders for the local congregations during the 1850s, the process of organization continued with delegates from those churches helping to elect first their regional leaders and eventually their general leaders. Naming the Child
Crucial for the organizing process was the selection of an official name for the publishing work and, by extension, for the denomination itself. On October 1, 1860, the General Conference session in Battle Creek, Michigan, took the following action: “Resolved, That we call ourselves Seventh-day Adventists.” Later, Ellen White declared that “no name which we can take will be appropriate but that
which accords with our profession and expresses our faith and marks us a peculiar people. . . . The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind.”1 Putting Structures in Place
The first major step in establishing a church organization beyond the local level was the formation of state conferences. In October 1861 the first Seventh-day Adventist conference was established in Michigan, with J. N. Loughborough, Moses Hull, and M. E. Cornell as the conference committee. In 1862 six other conferences were organized—Southern Iowa (March 16), Northern Iowa (May 10), Vermont (June 15), Illinois-Wisconsin (September 27), Minnesota (October), and New York (October 25). The process of organization culminated with the establishment of a General Conference that would coordinate and supervise the activities of the state conferences. On May 20-23, 1863, delegates from New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota gathered together in Battle Creek, Michigan, to formulate a constitution for a general conference and to elect its officers. A representative form of church organization was adopted, in which delegates sent by the various state conferences would elect the officers of the General Con-
ference on an annual basis. James White was elected unanimously as the first president of the General Conference, but he declined the office so as to avoid misunderstandings about his intentions in helping to establish that organization. Finally John Byington was chosen instead of White. Uriah Smith and E. S. Walker became secretary and treasurer, respectively, of the General Conference. The Executive Committee consisted of James White, John Byington, J. N. Loughborough, J. N. Andrews, and G. W. Amadon. Thus, by mid-1863 the Seventh-day Adventist Church had the following three organizational levels: local congregations, state conferences, and the General Conference. Unions and division would be added only in the early twentieth century. Drawing Together
Ellen White viewed the organizational structure as indispensable for the church in all its stages, including the final days in this world. She warned: “Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.”2 n 1 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 1, pp. 223, 224. 2 E. G. White, Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 258.
October 1861: First local conference organized in Michigan, with J. N. Loughborough, Moses Hull, and M. E. Cornell as the conference committee. They elected Joseph Bates as the first president.
Alberto R. Timm, Ph.D.,
May 20-23, 1863: Delegates from the different conferences organize the General Conference in Battle Creek, Michigan.
is a native of Brazil and recently joined the Ellen G. White Estate as an associate director. He is married to Marly, and they have three children.
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N A D F E AT U R E
By Van G. Hurst
Dreaming Indianapolis looks toward 2014
blitz of humanitarian service borne on the vision of our Adventist health message: this is the dream God’s people in Indiana have for reaching the Indianapolis metropolitan area, as challenged by the North American Division (NAD). The Indiana Conference has organized the Indianapolis Outreach Coalition (IOC), made up of pastors, medical professionals, and lay members to embrace God’s vision to turn this city of 3 million people to Jesus. About 24 months ago the steering committee of the IOC, in an all-night prayer meeting, began thinking about the people in Indianapolis who need to know Christ as their Savior and experience the abundant life He promised (John 10:10). Then we came across this statement by Ellen White: “Can nothing be devised to arouse the presidents of conferences to a sense of their obligations? Would they could see that their position of trust only increases and intensifies their responsibility.”1 Ellen White also wrote: “In a special sense presidents of
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conferences have a decided work to do. Those who stand as sentinels need to be aroused; for they are watchmen, entrusted with the work of sounding the last note of warning to a perishing world. They are to lay hold of the work in earnest, as men entrusted with the giving of the last message of mercy. It is no time now to stand before the people with a tame spiritless message.”2 These statements troubled this conference president. We have plenty to answer for, but inactivity for the lost must not be on the list! I keep thinking of the bumper sticker that reads “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.” At the NAD’s year-end meetings I listened to NAD president Dan Jackson and others as they challenged us to reach out, reach up. We have to reach God’s people! A vision was formed in which all God’s people in Indianapolis and the surrounding area could engage in soul winning. Area pastors dreamed of plans through which every willing Adventist could participate to reach Indianapolis with the three angels’ messages.
Not Just Words
Since the IOC began its work in 2011, God has miraculously revealed Himself in all-night prayer sessions, 40 days of fasting and prayer, healings, Bible camps, planning events, training events for members, and Operation Downpour (Sabbath afternoon door-to-door literature distribution events). Now 2013 is upon us with even more opportunities. We seek to challenge at least 100,000 people in the city of Indianapolis to take an online assessment to define their “health age.” This nonobtrusive approach encourages people to assess their health habits and leads them to a professionally created Web site where Hoosiers are introduced to other church-related health opportunities. Adventists in every community can ask their neighbors to participate. Here they will learn about Lifestyle Health Expo events in the city, viewings of the documentary film Forks Over Knives, health blogs, on-demand seminars, newsletters, the citywide Let’s Move Day event to fight obesity, and Indiana Healthy Choices classes, all culminating with a citywide evangelism series with evangelist Shawn Boonstra in March and April 2014. The leaders of the NAD are to be commended for their latter-rain vision of reaching out to our large cities. We couldn’t do this without their help and encouragement. Professional Counsel
Then the next question: What method do we use so we won’t fail? It’s really simple; since Jesus is doing the work, let’s follow His example as outlined by Ellen White: “There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. . . . Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit.”3 Then there’s this statement in which Ellen White wrote about the challenge before us in reaching the metropolitan areas of our country: “We are far behind in doing the work that should have been done in these long-neglected cities. . . . But if we take up the work in the name of the Lord, barriers will be broken down, and decided victories will be ours.”4 And finally we read Ellen White’s counsel about one of the most effective ways to reach our fellow city-dwellers: “The medical missionary work is a door through which the truth is to find entrance to many homes in the cities.”5
Overwhelmed by the need of a professional marketing strategy and management for the next 12 months, God led us to Neil Richmund, a member of our Brownsburg church, who is also an employee of Stringcan, a professional marketing firm in Indianapolis. Steve Manoukian, chair of the IOC marketing committee, Richmund, and I met with Stringcan’s president, Tony Scelzo, who got visibly excited about raising health awareness for the people of Indianapolis. “I know how to take people from the sidewalk to the baptistry,” Scelzo said. “I’ve studied this process for 10 years, and I know how to do it! This is the first strategy of its kind around here. Churches from everywhere will want to know how we’ve done this.” Stringcan brings software, phone banks, graphic artists, and a full complement of follow-up strategies to assist us as we interact with the thousands of interested people who we anticipate will respond. We will provide text for our members to post on Facebook, Twitter, and their own personal Web sites. Even those who are not completely comfortable in the “Twitterverse” can talk to their neighbors personally about reducing health-care costs and raising health awareness in Indy. May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
is fun and rewarding.
Recently Alex Rodriguez, chair of our Lifestyle Health Expo committee, visited WTHR-TV Channel 13, our NBC affiliate in the metro area, to talk about the citywide health awareness event they are hosting at the state fairgrounds. He was told that we “have to” present our Lifestyle Expo screening program. They want us to be located near the front of the exhibit hall, with high visibility and access for daily news updates. They were even willing to slash the price for our booth rental. We’ve already been contacted to go to Ohio to do the same thing. (They don’t know that there’s an invisible line between Ohio and Indiana that we don’t cross. But we can share the vision with our brothers and sisters.) Caring Hearts
Another huge need in this initiative is that of volunteers. We need hundreds of Adventist volunteers to run the Lifestyle Health Expo. Some of these volunteers must be professional health-care providers. Randy Griffin, our expo volunteer coordinator, is compiling a list of Adventists ready and willing to participate. The Holy Spirit has a dream for His people, and many are ready to participate. Area churches have been divided into subregions, with four or five churches in each region of the city. They will work together to host Lifestyle health expos in their areas and invite the public to screenings of Forks Over Knives. Friendship evangelism is a key ingredient for making lasting connections. Like Jesus, Adventists must be bridges to the people of their communities. We will be using Operation Downpour to go door to door, inviting neighbors to come to malls, shopping centers, and venues to take the Lifestyle Health Expo assessment that includes the online health age evaluation. As the year progresses and local churches host other health ministry events, we will have a growing database that can be used to send special invitations to local zip codes. As September 22 approaches, the IOC will be in full swing to participate in the NAD Health Ministries Department’s Let’s Move Day. Childhood obesity is a major challenge to America. This White House initiative will be picked up and used as a tool for the Lord Jesus as we participate in our communities. Katia Reinert, health ministries director for the NAD, and her team will help us use Let’s Move Day as a spring-
board to dive into this population of 3 million and sign people up for numerous classes and presentations about Indiana Healthy Choices. God has blessed our church with progressive and successful strategies to help people lower their risk of hypertension, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and did we mention heart disease and obesity? Indiana Healthy Choices seminars will be offered in more than 60 locations around the city. God has provided us a way to be a blessing to our communities. Following the 2014 citywide evangelistic series with Shawn Boonstra, we have plans for a citywide marathon, more health events, discipleship orientation, and, of course, more soul-winning efforts. On Sabbath, September 28, 2013, we will host another evangelism rally, followed by Bible worker training with Kurt Johnson and Ed Schmidt. Serving the Lord is fun and rewarding. It changes the way we live and view life. This kind of service orientation is what Jesus spoke about when He said: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17). What a dream! What a vision of Christlikeness. Ellen White made this observation about Christ, His ministry, and His legacy: “And when His parting words are fulfilled, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12, KJV); when we love the world as He has loved it, then for us His mission is accomplished. We are fitted for heaven; for we have heaven in our hearts.”6 What does success look like? A database of more than 100,000 contacts to invite to area events; recommitted members who let their lights shine; a snowball effect of soul winning that gains momentum ushering in the latter rain. As Ellen White wrote: “They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed.”7 n
1 Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases (Silver Spring, Md.: Ellen G. White Estate, 1990-1993), vol. 9, p. 164. 2 Ibid., vol. 4, p. 448. 3 Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), pp. 143, 144. 4 Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1946), pp. 533, 534. 5 Ellen G. White, Counsels on Health (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1923), p. 556. 6 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 641. 7 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1923), p. 116.
Van G. Hurst is president of the Indiana Conference. May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
Goodbye and Good-riddance
O N L I N E
E X C E R P T
dventist Review editor Bill Knott recently sat down with Dr. Wes Youngberg, a lifestyle medicine and nutrition specialist and occasional Review contributor, to talk about Youngberg’s new book, Goodbye Diabetes (Hart Research: Fallbrook, CA). For further information go to www.goodbyediabetes.com. I’m going to start with the intriguing title that’s been given to your book. The title proclaims, Goodbye, Diabetes, as though one can actually look at it in the past as something that has ended in one’s life. We do a great disservice to someone who is being told about a medical condition when we give the impression that really they can’t do anything about it, that they really are going to be forever under the clutches of their condition, and imply that in the end they are going to suffer because of that. Many times that translates into a state of fatalism, like, OK, so I have diabetes. Well I’ve been told that I’m going to have it for the rest of my life, and I’m going to have to be on medication for the rest of my life. So they tend to give up. They’ll go to the doctor; they’ll take their medication; but they don’t really believe that they can get back to a state they were in before. Of course, they gradually get worse and end up dying from heart disease or cancer or some other condition that is strongly related to diabetes that’s not aggressively addressed. So the title, Goodbye, Diabetes was purposely chosen to give hope to individuals who are struggling with a condition that historically has been referred to as incurable. You suggest that the data point to the fact that perhaps as many as a third of the diabetics in the U.S. don’t even know they have the disease. Yes, the new statistics indicate that about 40 percent of individuals who have diabetes don’t know it. What’s the issue there? Is this a challenge to the patient, or to the medical profession for not diagnosing the condition? Fortunately, the standard of care in medicine has continued to improve with regard to diagnosis. But wasn’t until 1997 that the criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes improved dramatically. Prior to that time, an individual had to have a fasting blood sugar of 140 or higher to be diagnosed as “diabetic.” Researchers in the late 1990s recognized that many people were already experiencing the complications of diabetes even before they were diagnosed.
How widespread is the epidemic of diabetes in the United States? In 1980, only 2.5 percent of the American population had diagnosed diabetes. Today the typical statistic is 8.3 percent, which represents about 26 million Americans. But there is another 40 percent of the population who are undiagnosed. So now we’ve come to realize that, actually, 12.9 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, if you count those who have probably never been tested. So you go from a total of 26 million to 40 million—you add an additional 14 million persons! And what’s really important to know here, Bill, is that this only represents those with full diabetes. It doesn’t represent those with pre-diabetes yet. And even pre-diabetes doesn’t represent the majority of those who have insulin resistance. With the dramatically increased incidence of childhood obesity now document, is it then possible predict that a large percentage of these children and teens are going to move rather rapidly from adolescent obesity into adult type 2 diabetes? It’s already present at a young age. And that’s the problem. The high blood sugars aren’t really the main problem. The main problem is the underlying dysfunctional mechanism in the body that creates all kinds of problems with circulation, problems with hormones, and increases the risk of the most common cancers. The good news is that this is reversible! And the sooner we start, the greater the possibility of completely reversing the condition. n
To read the unabridged version of this interview, visit adventistreview.org/article/6180/archives/ issue-2013-1509/goodbye-diabetes. May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
D I S C O V E R I N G
T H E
S P I R I T
P R O P H E C Y
ut your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed” (2 Chron. 20:20, NASB).1 The Bible teaches that God leads His people through the prophetic gift. Seventh-day Adventists believe that God led in establishing the first major ministries of the church through the visions and dreams of Ellen G. White.
convince Adventists of the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath in light of the soon coming of Jesus. In 1850 it was replaced by the Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, which continues to this day as the Adventist Review and its sister publication Adventist World. The extensive publishing work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is owing in large part to the prophetic visions of Ellen White.
The Publishing Ministry
The year 1848 was an exciting time of gathering for Advent believers through evangelistic Sabbath conferences. For the first time Sabbathkeeping Adventists were coming together to understand the end-time importance of the Sabbath in connection with the sealing of God’s people. They were struggling to understand this connection at a study conference at the home of Otis Nichols in Dorchester, Massachusetts, November 17 and 18, 1848. This conference was a follow-up to an October meeting that had been held in Topsham, Maine, where they had studied the sealing of Revelation 7 in the context of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14. They were trying to understand how God would have them share the Sabbath as part of the everlasting gospel. At this meeting Ellen White had a vision. After coming out of vision she turned to her husband, James, and said, “I have a message for you. You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. Let it be small at first; but as the people read, they will send you means with which to print, and it will be a success from the first.” She then gave a startling prediction: “From this small beginning it was shown me to be like streams of light that went clear round the world.”2 This and subsequent visions led James White to begin publishing Present Truth in July 1849. This paper served to
During the 1850s and 1860s Seventh-day Adventists faced a particular challenge. Like Americans in general, many suffered from communicable diseases and lifestyle disorders. Tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, pneumonia,
of ift G
p rop h e t i c Guidance By Merlin D. Burt
Visions and dreams establish major ministries
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and other diseases regularly claimed many lives. Principles of hygiene and cleanliness were largely unknown. A diet consisting mostly of meat, fats, and strong spices led to strokes, heart disease, and nutritional deficiencies. Ellen White received four identifiable health reform visions between 1848 and 1865. In 1848 she was shown the injurious effects of tobacco, tea, and coffee.3 On February 12, 1854, she had a vision on the importance of cleanliness, temperance, and the danger of rich or refined foods. “I saw some who were sickly among the saints, made themselves [so] by indulging the appetite. If we wish good health we must take special care of the health God has given us, deny the unhealthy appetite, eat more coarse [in natural state] food with little grease.”4 Ellen White’s June 6, 1863, vision at the Hilliard home in Otsego, Michigan, had the most extensive influence on Seventh-day Adventists. This vision expanded on what she had been shown previously, and among other things promoted vegetarianism, abstinence from pork, and the link between health and dependence upon divine power. On December 25, 1865, she received a fourth vision in Rochester, New York, with instruction that Seventh-day Adventists should establish their own health institution. Though it benefited Adventists, she saw it as a ministry of healing to the world. She wrote: “Such an institution, rightly conducted, would be the means of bringing our views before many whom it would be impossible for us to reach by the common course of advocating the truth. . . . By thus being placed under the influence of truth, some will not only obtain relief from bodily infirmities, but will find a healing balm for their sin-sick souls.”5 In response to these visions Adventists began to shift toward a new way of living and a new way of sharing the three angels’ messages. The health message became the “right arm” of the gospel. God’s guidance through the visions and dreams given to Ellen White brought this new emphasis. Education Ministry
Before the 1870s most Seventh-day Adventists received little formal schooling, yet they were passionately oriented toward reading the Bible and understanding its message. This biblically based orientation gave a particular focus to reading and clear thinking. In 1872 Ellen White published Testimony 22, which is a part now of her nine-volume Testimonies for the Church. She was shown in vision the importance of an Adventist Christian education. In a nearly 50-page article she presented various principles of proper education. This included such themes as the importance of teaching children and youth to think for themselves and make personal moral deci-
sions; proper use of time in education; the need to cultivate the whole person—mental, physical, moral, and spiritual. It also linked health principles to education. She concluded the testimony with these words: “The great object of education is to enable us to bring into use the powers which God has given us in such a manner as will best represent the religion of the Bible and promote the glory of God. . . . We need a school where those who are just entering the ministry may be taught at least the common branches of education, and where they may also learn the truths of God’s Word for this time more perfectly.”6 This message led to the establishment of Battle Creek College in 1874, the first of a worldwide network of colleges and universities. During the 1890s elementary and secondary education became an emphasis, and today Seventh-day Adventists have a particular focus on education, operating the largest Protestant school system in the world. Like publishing and health, education has dramatically influenced the way Adventists share the gospel. This happened through the prophetic guidance of God in the vision-guided writings of Ellen White. Prophetic Guidance Is a Gift
Sometimes Seventh-day Adventists, and those who are blessed by the publishing, health, and educational ministries of the church, do not realize that God guided in establishing and developing these ministries. God cares enough about people, and about effectively sharing a message of hope to a dying world, that He gave direct guidance through visions and dreams. No wonder Seventh-day Adventists appreciate the writings of Ellen White. Perhaps the most helpful response is reading her books. The Ministry of Healing and Education present most of the health and educational principles she was shown in vision. n 1 Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 2 Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), p. 125. 3 James White, “Western Tour,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Nov. 8, 1870, p. 165; Ellen G. White to Robert Barnes, Dec. 4, 1851, in Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: Early Years (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1985), p. 224. 4 Ellen G. White manuscript 1, 1854, “Reproof for Adultery and Neglect of Children,” Feb. 12, 1854, in A. L. White, p. 292. 5 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 1, pp. 492, 493. 6 Ellen G. White, Testimony for the Church, No. 22 (Battle Creek, Mich.: Seventh-day Adventist Pub. Assn., 1872), p. 48; see also Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 160.
Merlin D. Burt is director of the Ellen G. White Estate branch office located at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, U.S.A.
May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
A D V E N T I S T
H E R I T A G E
n September 20, 1863, a congregation meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, United States, was very surprised when it heard the speaker announce that he was not going to preach anymore; instead, he was returning to his home in Indiana.1 Moses Hull, the immensely popular speaker, forceful debater, and writer, was leaving the Adventist ministry. Most church members first learned about Hull’s apostasy when they read a notice that appeared in the January 5, 1864, issue of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now called Adventist Review) announcing that Hull had become a spiritualist.2 This was followed a week later in the Review with a description of a public meeting conducted by Hull in Battle Creek, where for the first time he advocated spiritualism.3 So who was this popular speaker who turned so quickly from promoting Adventism to actively championing spiritualism? Early History
Moses Hull was born in 1835 in Ohio, United States, the seventh of 16 children.4 The family included three sets of twins, among whom were Moses and his twin brother, Aaron. Aaron died young.5 The father, Dr. James Hull, was a member of the Baptist Church. Years later Moses would be remembered as being “below medium height, sturdily built, very erect in carriage. . . . His head was large, features regular and habitually smiling.”6 In addition, he was noted as having a “clear tenor [singing] voice.”7 At age 19 Moses married for the first time; tragically, his wife died within eight weeks.8 He soon remarried, this time to Elvira Lightner, who was 16.9 Eventually they had four daughters, the youngest born less than three weeks before her father announced his departure from the Adventist Church.10 By the time Moses became a Sabbathkeeping Adventist in 1857,11 he had already been associated with three other churches,12 having started to preach for one of them at the age of 16.13 Shortly after accepting the seventh-day Sabbath, he began preaching on behalf of his new faith. From then until he apostatized in 1863, many reports from Hull appeared in the Review. Evangelist and Debater
In August 1858 Moses Hull was ordained to the ministry, probably by James White.14 The two men apparently first met the previous month when White had traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, where Hull and Waggoner were holding a tent meeting.15 Earlier that year Moses had joined forces with J. H. Waggoner to conduct tent evangelism in Iowa.16 Before
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By James R. Nix
Moses ull H From Adventist minister to spiritualist advocate
long the newly ordained Hull began doing tent evangelism alone in several states. In time, rather than just preaching, Hull also participated in public debates, something that he excelled at. Although Hull usually won his debates based upon the merit of his arguments, he was not nearly as successful when it came to convincing people to actually leave their current church to join the Sabbathkeepers. Interestingly, in 1901, many years after becoming a spiritualist, Hull acknowledged, while participating in a debate, that “debates seldom make converts or settle questions.”17 Beginning to Waver
Hull attended two important conferences held in Battle Creek, Michigan. The first was in 1860, during which the name “Seventh-day Adventist” was chosen. The second was when the General Conference was organized in 1863.18 During the years between those two historic meetings, Hull P H O T O
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MOSES HULL: Hull was an evangelist and debater in the early Adventist Church.
started debating spiritualists. Ellen White and others warned him against doing so, but he persisted. At a debate in October 1862 in Paw Paw, Michigan, to which by his own choice he went totally unaccompanied by any other minister, Hull became confused and finally acknowledged to his spiritualist debating opponent that he was going to become a spiritualist. The opponent urged Hull to think seriously about his decision before acting upon it.19 A short time after the debate in Paw Paw, several Adventist leaders met with Hull in J. N. Loughborough’s home in Battle Creek to pray for the wavering minister. That evening God gave Ellen White a vision in which she received a message for Hull.20 Regarding Hull, Ellen White was shown: “He was presented to me as standing upon an awful gulf, ready to leap. If he takes the leap, it will be final; his eternal destiny will be fixed.”21 The prayer session seemed to help Hull. In January 1864 the Review carried an open letter from him. In part, he admitted to having the debate in Paw Paw with W. F. Jamieson, or more precisely with “some demon professing to be the spirit of Mr. Downing, speaking through W. F. Jamieson.” Hull then added, “I now doubt the propriety of discussing with such spirits.”22 When Hull admitted to debating not with W. F. Jamieson but with a demon claiming to be the spirit of a Mr. Downing, he knew precisely what he was doing. Not only had he undoubtedly read Ellen White’s published comments on spiritualism,23 but he had also worked closely with J. H. Waggoner, the author of one of Adventism’s first major books on spiritualism.24 In addition, Hull himself had written a small tract on the subject.25 Switching Allegiance
Following the General Conference session in June 1863, Hull was sent to do evangelism in New England with J. N. Loughborough. Again the old doubts returned, so much so that in September Hull left the Adventist Church to become a spiritualist.26 Along with him he took his wife,27 four daughters,28 and his older brother, Daniel W. Hull,29 a layman who earlier had sometimes worked with Moses doing evangelism.30 During Moses Hull’s years as a spiritualist, not only did he publish several papers31 and write a number of books and pamphlets promoting spiritualism,32 but also he left his wife and then lived common-law with Mattie Sawyer, a spiritualist medium.33 Their outspoken advocacy of “free love” caused such a scandal that even the spiritualists backed away from supporting them for a while.34 From 1902 Hull served as the first president of the Morris Pratt
Institute, an educational institution established to train spiritualist mediums.35 Many years earlier Ellen White wrote to Hull: “If you were a devotional, godly man, in the pulpit and out, a mighty influence would attend your preaching.”36 Sadly, that didn’t happen. But the clearest summary of what we can learn from Hull’s life is something he himself said in 1860: “I may fall by the way; but if I do, I shall ever be thankful that the city is cheap enough for those who obtain it.”37 n 1 J. N. Loughborough, Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists (Battle Creek, Mich.: General Conference Association, 1892), p. 252. 2 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Jan. 5, 1864, p. 45. 3 Advent and Sabbath Herald, Jan. 12, 1864, p. 56. 4 The Psychic Era, March 1902, p. 2; The Greatest Debate Within a Half Century Upon Modern Spiritualism (between Moses Hull and W. F. Jamieson, 1904), p. 4. (This is an autobiographical account written by Moses Hull.) An alternate year was given by Daniel Hull (Moses Hull , p. 13). He states that his younger brother was born in 1836. 5 The Psychic Era, March 1902, p. 2; The Greatest Debate Within a Half Century, p. 4. 6 Victoria Barnes, comp., Centennial Book of Modern Spiritualism (1948), p. 128. 7 Youth’s Instructor, Nov. 22, 1938, p. 3. 8 D. Hull, p. 22; The Psychic Era, March 1902, pp. 6, 7. 9 According to information found on ancestry.com, they were married in 1854. 10 According to information found on ancestry.com, Alfaretta Hull was born September 2, 1863. 11 D. Hull, p. 22. 12 The Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia ([Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1996], vol. 10, p. 718) states that previously he had been a member of two other churches, but that does not take into account that for a short time he possibly also was a Methodist (see D. Hull, p. 19). 13 The Psychic Era, March 1902, p. 4. 14 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Sept. 23, 1858, p. 140. 15 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Aug. 5, 1858, pp. 92, 93. 16 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, May 27, 1858, pp. 12, 13; July 22, 1858, p. 76. 17 The Greatest Debate Within a Half Century, p. 103. 18 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Oct. 23, 1860, pp. 178, 179; May 26, 1863, pp. 204-206. 19 Pacific Union Recorder, June 6, 1912, p. 2; Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Apr. 19, 1906, p. 9. 20 Loughborough, pp. 246-248, 251; Pacific Union Recorder, June 13, 1912, p. 1. See also Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 1, pp. 426-433. 21 E. G. White, Testimonies, vol. 1, 427. 22 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Jan. 27, 1863, p. 69. 23 See Ellen G. White, A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (Sarasota Springs, N.Y.: James White, 1851), p. 47; idem, Supplement to the Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (Rochester, N.Y.: James White, 1854); idem, Spiritual Gifts (Battle Creek, Mich.: Steam Press, 1858), vol. 1, pp. 173-179. 24 J. H. Waggoner, Nature and Tendency of Modern Spiritualism, 2nd ed. (1860) (the first edition was published in 1857, before Hull and Waggoner worked together). 25 Moses Hull, Infidelity and Spiritualism (1862). 26 Pacific Union Recorder, June 13, 1912, p. 1; Loughborough, pp. 251, 252. 27 Elvira L. Hull, letter in Woodhull and Claxton Crucible, Sept. 6, 1873, p. 5; see also photocopy of unpublished typed manuscript in author’s collection: Alice Thompson Edwards, “My Memories of Moses Hull,” p. 7 (parts of the manuscript were printed in Youth’s Instructor, Nov. 22, 1938, pp. 1, 3, 10, 13). 28 D. Hull, p. 40. It is implied here, but not specifically stated. I have found statements elsewhere about a couple of his daughters being involved with spiritualism, though admittedly not all four. 29 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 28, 1868, p. 16. 30 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Oct. 20, 1859, p. 176. 31 Julia Schlesinger, Workers in the Vineyard (1896), pp. 56, 57. 32 Ibid., pp. 57, 58. I am aware of 11 books and eight pamphlets (works that have fewer than 100 pages) authored by Hull while a spiritualist. 33 Mattie Hull, Wayside Jottings (1888), pp. xv, xvi; see also Youth’s Instructor, Nov. 22, 1938, p. 13. 34 D. Hull, pp. 40-42. 35 Ibid., pp. 67-70; see the Web site for the Morris Pratt Institute. 36 E. G. White, Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 433. 37 Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Mar. 29, 1860, p. 149.
James R. Nix is the director of the Ellen
G. White Estate in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
B I B L E
Q U E S T I O N S
What does it mean that Christ is called
A N S W E R E D
First? Or Firstborn?
This verse is often used by those who the “ firstborn over all deny the divinity of Christ, saying that He creation” (Col. 1:15)? was the first being created by God. In searching for an answer I will summarize the use of the word “firstborn” in the Old Testament, its use in the New Testament, and its application to Jesus. 1. Firstborn in the Old Testament: The use that predominates in the Old Testament is that of firstborn animals and humans. They both belonged to the Lord because He preserved them alive during the death of Egypt’s firstborn (Ex. 13:15). The firstborn of clean animals were sacrificed to the Lord, while the unclean were to be redeemed (Ex. 13:13; Lev. 27:26, 27). Firstborn humans were also to be redeemed (Ex. 13:13, 15). Later the Levites were offered to the Lord to work in the sanctuary in place of the other firstborn of Israel, permanently redeeming them (Num. 8:16-18). The firstborn of humans was “the beginning of my strength” (Gen. 49:3), meaning an expression of the procreative power of the father. From the perspective of the mother, the firstborn was “whatever opens the womb” first (Ex. 13:2). The significance of firstborn humans probably rested on the fact that the oldest son would provide leadership to the family after the father’s death. He received a double portion of the inheritance and the honor and respect of the family (Deut. 21:17). The title “firstborn” emphasized the first as a symbol of the best; therefore it pointed to the uniqueness of the son and his preeminence over the rest of the family. This led to an understanding of the term apart from the idea of birth. Thus Israel was the “firstborn” son of the Lord (Ex. 4:22) in the sense that it would be God’s “special treasure,” “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:5, 6). David is also called the firstborn in the sense that he is “the highest of the kings of the earth” (Ps. 89:27). 2. Firstborn in the New Testament: Jesus is called the “firstborn Son” of Mary (Luke 2:7), the one who opened her womb. Other passages in the New Testament use the
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title “firstborn” metaphorically. According to Hebrews 12:23, there is a “church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven.” This is another way of saying that the Israel of faith is the firstborn of the Lord. Concerning Christ, He is the “firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29), thus pointing to Jesus’ preeminent position among those redeemed by His grace and constituted by Him as His brothers. Christ is also the “firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). The expression is used to indicate that He is the one and only one who overcame the power of death and made that victory available to others. 3. Firstborn of Creation: The context of Colossians 1:15 clearly indicates that the word “firstborn,” as applied to Jesus, points to His preeminence in creation and His power or sovereignty over it. First, the passage is about the origin of creation, not about the origin of Jesus. He brought everything into existence, and He was before everything else (verses 16, 17). Second, He is described as the beginning, that is, the one who created at the beginning (Gen. 1:1). Creation, not Jesus, had a beginning! Third, Jesus is also “firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18). The contrast is between the beginning of creation free from death and the eschatological work of Christ that overcame the power of death. As the firstborn from the dead He has power over it. Fourth, the divine purpose in all of this was “that in all things He [Christ] may have the preeminence” (verse 18). As Creator and Redeemer, Jesus occupies the first place in the cosmos. He is the supreme ruler who holds together everything (verse 17). Finally, Christ is the very image of God because the fullness of God dwells in Him (verses 15, 19). Therefore, His supremacy is grounded not only on His work, but on His very nature as God. n
Now retired, Angel Manuel Rodríguez has served the church for several decades, most recently as director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference.
B I B L E
S T U D Y
By Mark A. Finley
Two Thousand Years
ust before Jesus ascended to heaven He gave His disciples this reassuring promise: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). But that was 2,000 years ago. The promise has not been fulfilled; Jesus has not come. Faithful believers have anticipated His return for centuries. Some have even set dates for His return. On each occasion they have been deeply disappointed. Why hasn’t Jesus come? Why has His return been delayed? What is He waiting for? In this month’s study we will discover some answers.
(verse 9). God waits and suffers Himself as the result of this world’s sin become more apparent. He actively does everything He can to save every person He can.
4 Read Matthew 24:14 and Revelation 14:6, 7. According to these verses, what has to take place before Jesus returns? When every person has had a reasonable opportunity to accept Jesus and His end-time message and make their final, irrevocable choice for or against Christ, Jesus will come. Read also Revelation 22:10-12.
5 Read Mark 4:26-29 and Revelation 14:14-20. What other factors contribute to the delay of Christ’s return?
Heaven has not revealed the exact time of Christ’s return. Let’s suppose the disciples knew that Christ’s coming was 2,000 years in the future. They certainly would have been quite discouraged. Since we do not know when Jesus will return, we are motivated to be ready for His return every day.
Throughout the New Testament the concept of the harvest is linked with the second coming of Jesus. Jesus will return when the harvest is fully ripe. The fruits of the Holy Spirit manifest in the lives of God’s people will reveal the lovely character of Jesus before a waiting world and a watching universe. The love of God will be revealed through His church. The transforming power and abounding grace of the living Christ will be on full display through Christ’s people before the entire universe (see Eph. 3:8-12). The selfishness, greed, and pride of the evil one will be on full display in His followers. Lines will be drawn sharply between love and hate, self-centered egotism and unselfish service. The entire universe will see that God’s way of loving-kindness is best.
2 According to the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:3, 4, what is the longing of God’s heart?
6 Read Titus 2:11-14. How does the hope of Christ’s soon return impact our lives today?
1 According to Matthew 24:36, who alone knows the exact time of our Lord’s return?
There’s nothing more important to God than the salvation of those whom Jesus came to save. He longs for every human being to accept the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary and be saved in His kingdom forever.
Read 2 Peter 3:9, 10. How should we regard God’s promises concerning Jesus’ return? Have they failed? The promises of God have not failed. The apostle Peter provides a vital key regarding the delay in our Lord’s return. One of the reasons Jesus has not come is that God “is longsuffering . . . , not willing that any should perish” P H O T O
C REA T IO N S WA P
Read 1 John 3:1-3. What is the ultimate result of God’s love so graciously given to us? How does His love change our behavior? When we make a conscious choice to accept Jesus, we become sons and daughters of God. We are justified, saved by His grace. We will be sanctified, transformed by His love, if we continue our daily walk with Him. As impossible as it may seem, He will transform us into His likeness and empower us to reveal His character before the world. Redemption from beginning to end is a miracle of the amazing, life-changing grace of God. n May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
Christ of the Narrow W
n September 1989, the Ellen G. White Estate commissioned well-known Seventh-day Adventist artist Elfred Lee to paint a 30-by-8-foot mural based on Ellen White’s first vision. In this vision the advent people were traveling on a straight and narrow path to the New Jerusalem: “They had a bright light set up behind them at the beginning of the path, which an angel told [Ellen White] was the midnight cry. This light shone all along the path and gave light for their feet so that they might not stumble.” If the people kept their eyes on Jesus, who was leading them to the city, they were safe. If not, they stumbled and fell off the path into the darkness below.1 The mural, named The Christ of the Narrow Way, comprises three panels. The first depicts people, events, institutions, and activities from Adventist history in the 1800s. In panel two, Jesus is the dominant figure, emphasizing that Christ is the sole means of salvation and the source of authority for the church. His outstretched arms indicate His loving invitation for all to accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Panel two also portrays the Bible, the Ten Commandments, the three angels of Revelation 14, and the inspired writings of Ellen White. Panel three focuses primarily on people and happenings in the twentieth century.2 The mural was unveiled October 22, 1991, and is displayed in the White Estate’s reception area in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. It’s believed to be the largest painting of its kind in the church.
Ellen G. White, Early Writings (1982), pp. 14, 15. Information taken from the pamphlet “The Christ of the Narrow Way,” produced by the Ellen G. White Estate. 1 2
To learn more about the mural and the individuals it depicts, visit teachers.ellenwhite.org/mural/mural.htm
1. Jesus Christ 2. The Ten Commandments 3. The Three Angels 4. The Bible 5. The Writings of Ellen White 6. William Miller (1782-1849) 7. Falling of the Stars (November 12-13, 1833) 8. Ellen G. White (1827-1915) 9. Streams of Light Vision (November 18, 1848) 10. Heavenly Sanctuary 11. Washington, New Hampshire, Church 12. Joseph Bates (1792-1872)
25. Western Health Reform Institute 26. Review and Herald 27. Norwegian Publishing House (est. in 1882) 28. Dime Tabernacle (dedicated April 20, 1879) 29. Battle Creek College (founded in 1874) 30. Vigilant Missionary Society (organized June 8, 1869) 31. Battle Creek Sanitarium (18771902) 32. Luther Warren (1864-1940)
14. Frederick Wheeler (1811-1910)
34. J. N. Andrews (1829-1883) and his two teenage children, Mary and Charles
15. Uriah Smith (1832-1903) 16. Annie R. Smith (1828-1855) 17. Michael Belina Czechkowski (1818-1876) 18. John N. Loughborough (18321924) 19. Martha D. Amadon (1834-1937) 20. Stephen N. Haskell (1833-1922) 22. John Byington (1798-1887)
Adventist World - nad | May 2013
24. Washington Hand Press (1852)
13. Rachel Oakes Preston (18091868)
21. James White (1821-1881)
23. Goodloe Harper Bell (18321899)
33. Tent Evangelism
35. Kate Lindsay, M.D. (1842-1923) 36. John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (1852-1943) 37. William H. Anderson (18701950) 38. Minneapolis, Minnesota, Church (built in 1888) 39. Ellet J. Waggoner (1855-1923) 40. Alonzo T. Jones (1850-1923) 41. Sunnyside (1896-1900)
Way D a r r y l T h o m ps o n ;
42. Avondale College (founded 1897) 43. Abram La Rue (1822-1903) 44. Arthur G. Daniells (1858-1935) 45. Pitcairn (launched in 1890) 46. Skodsborg Sanitarium (est. in 1898) 47. Oakwood University (est. in 1896) 48. Charles M. Kinney (1855-1951) 49. Anna Knight (1874-1972) 50. Morning Star (1894) 51. James Edson White (18491928)
55. Edward A. Sutherland (1865-1955); Sally (Bralliar) Sutherland (1871-1953)
67. Loma Linda Sanitarium Dedication (April 15, 1906)
56. Sydney Sanitarium (est. in 1903)
69. Newton Evans, M.D. (18741945)
57. Sanitarium Health Food Company (founded in 1897) 58. Loma Linda Sanitarium (founded in 1905) 59. Marcial Serna (1860-1935) 60. Publishing Work 61. William H. Green (1871-1928) 62. William A. Spicer (1865-1952) 63. Frank L. Peterson (1893-1969)
52. Burning of the Battle Creek Sanitarium (February 18, 1902)
64. G. E. Peters (1885-1965)
53. Elmshaven (1900-1915)
66. Eva B. Dykes (1892-1986)
65. L. Flora Plummer (1862-1945)
C o p y r i g ht
68. John A. Burden (1862-1942)
70. Percy T. Magan, M.D. (18671947) 71. William C. White (1854-1937) 72. Arthur L. White (1907-1991) 73. Adventist Mission Advances 74. Fernando Stahl (1874-1950); Ana (Carlsen) Stahl (18701968) 75. Harry W. Miller, M.D. (18791977) 76. Mission Aviation
2 01 3 ,
Ell e n
Wh i t e ÂŽ
Est a t e ,
77. Leo B. Halliwell (1891-1967); Jessie (Rowley) Halliwell (1894-1962) 78. Luzeiro (Light Bearer) 79. Harold M. S. Richards (18941985) 80. Television and Radio 81. Loma Linda University Medical Center (opened in 1967) 82. Pioneer Memorial Church 83. 1, 2, 3, Good Samaritan Statuary, Loma Linda, California 84. General Conference Headquarters (officially opened October 3, 1989) 85. The Dove
54. Madison College (1904-1964)
May 2013 | Adventist World - nad
IDEA EXCHANGE “Behold, I come quickly…”
One-DayChurch Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School
OLD AND NEW: Mani Kerketta (right), one of the first students at Raymond Memorial, rememP h o t o s b y R i ch a r d D u e r ks e n bers the primitive conditions under which its first classes were held. Those memories were mostly eclipsed when the new buildings were dedicated earlier this year. The Raymond Memorial Higher Secondary School provides Seventh-day Adventist education for more than 1,200 students in the town of Falakata, West Bengal, India. Raymond Memorial, the first Adventist secondary school in India, opened in 1949 with most of the students living in tents on the edge of the school’s 600 acres of virgin jungle. “They paid us to go to school,” remembers Mani Kerketta, a member of the “first batch” of students. “Then we spent the rest of the day pulling up the jungle.” Maranatha Volunteers International first came to Raymond Memorial in 1999, building churches in the area and helping with construction needs at the school. In January 2013 a team of Maranatha volunteers from six different nations united there to build the first eight of 16 “One-Day Schoolrooms” for the primary school at Raymond Memorial. Dedication day for these eight classrooms brought all the students—and many local Hindu and Moslem families—to the Raymond Memorial campus for a celebration of education and hope. More than 80 percent of the community businessmen send their children to Raymond Memorial. “Of course our children go to Raymond,” the local electrical supplier says. “It’s the best education around. They teach real values.” The One-Day Church program is a collaborative effort between the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventistlaymen’s Services and Industries (ASI), and Maranatha Volunteers International. These stories come to you each month from Maranatha storyteller Dick Duerksen.
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 Claude Richli International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Publishing Board Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Benjamin D. Schoun, vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Daniel R. Jackson; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol; Michael Ryan; Ella Simmons; Mark Thomas; Karnik Doukmetzian, legal advisor Adventist World Coordinating Committee Lee, Jairyong, chair; Akeri Suzuki; Kenneth Osborn; Guimo Sung; Chun, Pyung Duk; Han, Suk Hee Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil (associate editors), Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Wilona Karimabadi, Mark A. Kellner, Kimberly Luste Maran Editors based in Seoul, Korea Chun, Pyung Duk; Chun, Jung Kwon; Park, Jae Man Online Editor Carlos Medley Operations Manager Merle Poirier Quality Assurance/Social Media Coordinator Jean Boonstra Editor-at-large Mark A. Finley Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Rachel J. Child Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste Assistant to the Editor Gina Wahlen Management Board Jairyong Lee, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; P. D. Chun, Karnik Doukmetzian, Suk Hee Han, Kenneth Osborn, Juan Prestol, Claude Richli, Akeri Suzuki, Ex-officio: Robert Lemon, G. T. Ng, Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Jeff Dever, Brett Meliti Consultants Ted N. C. Wilson, Robert E. Lemon, G. T. Ng, Guillermo E. Biaggi, Lowell C. Cooper, Daniel R. Jackson, Geoffrey Mbwana, Armando Miranda, Pardon K. Mwansa, Michael L. Ryan, Blasious M. Ruguri, Benjamin D. Schoun, Ella S. Simmons, Alberto C. Gulfan, Jr., Erton Köhler, Jairyong Lee, Israel Leito, John Rathinaraj, Paul S. Ratsara, Barry Oliver, Bruno Vertallier, Gilbert Wari, Bertil A. Wiklander 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: email@example.com 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, and the United States. Vol. 9, No. 5
Adventist World - nad | May 2013
This is the time of life to have the time of your life.
• Enjoy mild weather year-round • Walk to church • Live minutes from Biltmore Estate and shopping in Asheville • Know financial peace of mind • Embrace a healthy, secure, maintenancefree lifestyle
Nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Pisgah Valley Retirement Community offers a new way of living life.
Located on approximately 40 acres just 10 miles from Asheville, the Community is in the cradle of the Blue Ridge. Are you looking to live an active retirement life in a spectacular natural setting? Or maybe you’re interested in comfort and convenient amenities. Either way, you’ll never find another home like Pisgah Valley. The community offers individuals 55 and older a full continuum of care—a system that allows residents to move from one level of care to the next without leaving the campus. Pisgah Valley offers: • 72 cottages for an independent living lifestyle • A 24-bed assisted living facility • A brand new (May 2013) 118bed 67,000 square-foot 118-
Scan to view our promo video.
bed skilled nursing and rehab facility • A 6,000 square-foot wellness center with a therapy pool, Jacuzzi, dry sauna and strengthtraining and cardio equipment Pisgah Valley Retirement Community is currently the only Seventh-day Adventist state-licensed retirement community on the East Coast.
Stop by our campus for a tour and have lunch on us!
Visit our web site at www.pisgahvalley.org or contact Carolyn Stevenson, director of marketing, at 828-418-2333 or firstname.lastname@example.org. facebook.com/Pisgahvalleyretirementcommunity
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