Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Understanding the Christmas Holiday through Present Truth

December 8, 2018

Image result for picture of Jesus in manger

As the Christmas holiday is fast approaching, it behooves us to correctly understand this long-held tradition. There is much we can filter through once we stay abreast of God’s advancing scroll of Truth. To be sure, if one does not look at this in a more full perspective, one may be caught up in being an extremist and steering from the “middle of the road” as the Lord’s Elijah message counsels.

For example, one “present truth” believer condemns those who even mouth the word “Christmas”. Yet Inspiration has never said such things. Many SDA think nothing of lighting their home Christmas tree and outside house lights during this season. Both positions are wrong and not in the counsel  of the Lord’s word.

Let us read —

“There is but one way of knowing that we are being led, by Christ our Lord, in the straight path to the pearly gates, and that is, by neither adding to nor taking from the Word of Truth, but by carefully following in the way of light, going not a step ahead of it, lingering not a step behind it, nor walking along its side-edges, but by following right in the middle of the road.

Hence, let not your zeal for progress drive you ahead of the light and make you to walk in the darkness; neither let your caution against running too far ahead cause you to drop back and lag behind; nor yet let carelessness verge you toward the edges.

Stay in the center of the road, where the light shines the brightest. Do not follow ideas, which stand upon implications, upon enlargements, upon diminishings,of the meaning of authoritative statements. Says Christ: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life.” (Rev. 22:18, 19.)

“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” (Deut. 18:20.) “Extremists never walk in the blaze of the light, but are always found ahead of it, and those who are passive invariably walk far behind it, while the careless and the indifferent stray to the edges.But those who are the true children of light never vary a step left or right, front or back from the brightest spot of the Christian’s narrow road”.”—3 SC 3-4:13

December 25th as Christ’s birthday —

There is no doubt that the “wide awake” Christians believe that Jesus was not born on Dec, 25. Further, we have Inspiration which also makes this case–

“The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour’s birth.

History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, He would have spoken through His prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes.

In His wisdom the Lord concealed the place where He buried Moses. God buried him, and God resurrected him and took him to heaven. This secrecy was to prevent idolatry. He against whom they rebelled while he was in active service, whom they provoked almost beyond human endurance, was almost worshiped as God after his separation from them by death.

For the very same purpose He has concealed the precise day of Christ’s birth, that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world—one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as He who could save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The soul’s adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God.” (Adventist Home, p. 477 )

“For over nineteen centuries the institution of Christmas, the popular gift-exchanging day, has been acclaimed throughout Christendom as one of God’s good and perfect gifts.  And this sentiment has been glorified and perpetuated in the face of the widely-known facts that Christmas is not the birthday of Christ, that He was not, in truth, born in December at all, that the observance of the day is simply a Christianized heathen custom perpetuated in charming Christian guise, and that it is not a gift from God.” (Tract 13, p.5)

The Christmas Tree —

The Scriptures and His Rod both are in agreement here. But regarding the Spirit of Prophecy (SOP) writings we see a little different angle.

“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

   “They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go.  Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” (Jer. 10:2-5.)

 

“…Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to the gratification of the carnal heart.  Consequently, “altogether-Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth.  Indeed, to do so is openly to set at naught the Word of God, for “thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.” (Tract 13, p.6-7)

“Letters of inquiry have come to us asking, Shall we have a Christmas tree? Will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. There is no particular sin in selecting a fragrant evergreen and placing it in our churches, but the sin lies in the motive which prompts to action and the use which is made of the gifts placed upon the tree…. Let not the parents take the position that an evergreen placed in the church for the amusement of the Sabbath school scholars is a sin, for it may be made a great blessing.

Keep before their minds benevolent objects. In no case should mere amusement be the object of these gatherings. While there may be some who will turn these occasions into seasons of careless levity, and whose minds will not receive the divine impress, to other minds and characters these seasons will be highly beneficial. I am fully satisfied that innocent substitutes can be devised for many gatherings that demoralize.” (The Adventist Home, p.482)

How can this be assessed?  We think this is key, we go with “our present truth” , the current message from the Lord via His Rod is–do not “consistently participate” in this custom with its heathen practices. That’s what we are counselled and what we should do.Apparently those of Ellen White’s time we under different instructions on the “church” tree. Nowhere is SOP speaking of a “home tree” as is the heathen custom today.

Gift Giving —

“..the traditional gift-exchanging which is part and parcel of the spirit of Christmas observance, is a jealousy-breeding custom, all too often only cankering the receiver’s heart and emptying the buyer’s pocketbook.  Thus while it goads one multitude to display of pride, even luring them into revelry, debauchery, and immorality, it drives another, the multitude of poor, either to envy or discouragement, or to both, also not infrequently to despair, and sometimes to  insanity — even to committing murder and suicide.

The whole Christmas institution consequently being but a species of heathen worship that is demoralizing the nations, the Lord’s servants will invariably shun the exchanging of Christmas gifts, shun the evil attendant upon the occasion’s pretentious spirit and spurious humanitarianism.  Christians cannot, indeed, take part in its unholy  traffic of gift-trading and reveling, and at the same time be “altogether-Christians.” (Tract 13, p.7-8)
“The holiday season is fast approaching with its interchange of gifts, and old and young are intently studying what they can bestow upon their friends as a token of affectionate remembrance. It is pleasant to receive a gift, however small, from those we love. It is an assurance that we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer…. 

It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver. I would recommend such books as will be an aid in understanding the word of God or that will increase our love for its precepts. Provide something to be read during these long winter evenings….

Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year’s in needless indulgences. But it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age; and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite or for needless ornaments or articles of clothing, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God.

Like the wise men of old, you may offer to God your best gifts and show by your offerings to Him that you appreciate His Gift to a sinful world. Set your children’s thoughts running in a new, unselfish channel by inciting them to present offerings to God for the gift of His only-begotten So.” (AH, p.478-480)

Another seemingly diametrically opposing counsel yes? Well, upon close examination maybe not. SOP says we can bring gifts that honor God. For example a Tithe offering to one of God’s “true” storehouses or maybe a present truth Tract or book to someone. In other words, gifts glorifying God and His cause.

Sadly, as of today, there is not any Children’s books on the Lord’s Elijah message. But we are working on that. For it would be a great gift for the Children. Notice that we can set our “..children’s thoughts running in a new, unselfish channel by inciting them to present offerings to God for the gift of His only-begotten Son.”

The Christmas purpose —

“While to a multitude of Christmas-observers, Christ means scarcely more than any ordinary man of fame, to an even greater Christmas-observing multitude of “not-at-all-Christians,” He is but a storied figure by which to conjure holiday revelry; although they meaninglessly lip His name in conventional acknowledgment of the supposed origin of the religious occasion of the season!  Thus to many, like a light in the darkness, stands out the fact that Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to the gratification of the carnal heart.  Consequently, “altogether-Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth.” (Tract 13, p.6-7)

“As the twenty-fifth of December is observed to commemorate the birth of Christ, as the children have been instructed by precept and example that this was indeed a day of gladness and rejoicing, you will find it a difficult matter to pass over this period without giving it some attention. It can be made to serve a very good purpose. 

The youth should be treated very carefully. They should not be left on Christmas to find their own amusement in vanity and pleasure seeking, in amusements which will be detrimental to their spirituality. Parents can control this matter by turning the minds and the offerings of their children to God and His cause and the salvation of souls….Let there be recorded in the heavenly books such a Christmas as has never yet been seen because of the donations which shall be given for the sustaining of the work of God and the upbuilding of His kingdom.” (AH, p.478, 482)

Summary —

As we mentioned in the top of the post we must strive toStay in the center of the road, where the light shines the brightest.” Thus, when we look at God’s word as said in the above references, we can see an underlining harmony.

The Christmas season is nearly all encompassing of heathen worship and customs. Yet we can turn it around by doing what God’s Spirit of Prophecy says. Gifts such as offerings to His storehouses, present truth literature to those we think may be enlightened, and teaching our children about Christ and focusing on HIM that day. It can indeed be  a day of — sustaining of the work of God and the upbuilding of His kingdom.”

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Our Christmas Attitude

December 31, 2016

christmas

Now that another Christmas has come and gone, we thought it would be good to reflect upon this season and how, we as present truth believers, should view it from Inspiration’s point of view. Due to some circumstances that occurred, we saw the necessity to clarify some important aspects of this season.

Let’s face it, Christmas has caused a great deal of happiness, frustration, envy, bitterness, disgust and a myriad of other human feelings among us as Christians.Many are no doubt aware that it is most likely not Christ’s birthday, yet, the season and Christ is brought up through out the world for approximately 30 -45 days.

We basically see 4 categories of SDA views as to how we react to the season known as Christmas.

1) SDA worldlies. These are just as Inspiration said “steadily retreating back to Egypt”(Testimonies vol. 5, p.217) And they indulge in this season just as if they were not in the least a “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2.9).

SOP describes them– “By the world the holidays are spent in frivolity and extravagance, gluttony and display…. Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year’s in needless indulgences.” (AH, p.480)

2) SDA Lukewarms. This probably is by far the majority. They are careful not to show any outward display of too much “Christmasy” things yet if they see a brother or sister with their house all light up or the many worldly presents set neatly under the tree–they wink and smile. Santa and reindeer post cards may even be sent. They do not correct their brethren in the least. These are they who, again, Inspiration describes–

“If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty. In vision I have been pointed to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

3) SDA Present Truthers and haters of Christmas.  These are perhaps the ones most confused. While the above two groups carry on in their ignorance, not knowing present truth for the most part, these know the Elijah message well, yet have taken a “Pharisaical” position against any Christmas celebration and even the name “Christmas” is an abomination to them. They are in real jeopardy of neglecting what God’s word says —

“..but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Esp. 4:15-16)

4) SDA  Present Truthers who stay in the middle of the road.   These as we will attempt to point out should be the ones who we should desire to be. Based on the “whole” word of the Truth we shall see that we cannot pit our two last prophets against each other, rather the last message of Elijah gives us advice–

“Inspiration, moreover, always brings the messengers of God into perfect harmony, never into division…we see that God not only never delegates one agent to alter, to reset, or to countermand the message with which He has charged another agent without His first making the matter known to both..” (Answerer, vol. 1, Q-3)

So the Pharisaic SDA’s should understand that we cannot use brother Houteff’s words on Christmas and throw out Ellen White’s or vice versa. We must attempt, upon prayer, to understand the right attitude to take in regards to Christmas by studying BOTH to see the clear light.

Yes, in Tract 13, brother Houteff goes into the folly of celebrating the heathen Christmas. But the balance from the two prophets is to be seen and can be if we do not neglect either.

The Lord impressed upon me to discuss this situation  because of what happened on a recent photo we posted. The following is the photo that went up —

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Let me briefly explain the background of this picture and our motivation. As we got to church, soon my wife whispered  over to me that she would like to get a picture near the podium after services. I readily agreed.

After service we found one of the deaconesses who was standing up front and asked her to take a picture of us. She did and we thanked her for her help. Later when we got home my wife downloaded it to our computer. I reviewed it with her and agreed it came out satisfactorily.

Later, we thought it would be a good idea to share it on Facebook along with a note to say “thanks” to all our FB friends and relatives for being our FB acquaintances. More importantly it also gave us an opportunity to encourage all of them to strive to make it to the kingdom. I said ” I want to see each and every one of you in the upcoming kingdom.”

But, later after we took the picture, I did notice that unbeknownst to me at the time, we were standing in front of a big sign on the wall, as well as the Christmas ornaments. This was a couple of weeks before Christmas.

The sign as shown said, “Thank you for celebrating Jesus with us today, Merry Christmas and may God bless you and your loved ones.”

By way of disclosure, my wife and I do not celebrate  Christmas due to the overwhelming pagan customs attached to it. We did a post showing more clearly our position in regards to Christmas.https://godsloveandlaw.com/2013/12/14/christmas-a-christians-perpective-2/

The photo generated a good reception (many likes and comments) but there was one comment that really struck me. I had been warned by the Spirit that this photo would bring some “anti- Christmas” responses, so it did not really surprise me. Actually I was expecting more of those type of comments than we got.

But let us look at this issue closely, especially in regards to the all too common “Pharisaical” attitude that some can have. First, let’s look at the comment made by a proclaimed present truth believer (by way of disclosure we know this woman and her profession in the Elijah message) .

“We don’t celebrate Christmas. That’s Idolatry. The reason to celebrate xmas is money and worshiping diablo. Idolatry worshiping.”

Now to be frank, if my wife and I had posted a picture of us under our Christmas tree with presents then I would certainly understand the public perception inference made by it.

But as I read this, frankly I was quite amazed .  First, this person assumed that because we had this picture taken with the words on the church wall and the decorations, we were “worshippers” of Christmas. She ignored our main point and that was to thank all our friends for being with us during the year and to encourage them to strive for the kingdom–all ignored!

As I mentioned to one of the comment responders who also rebuked her, this situation reminded me of the Pharisees, who would ever have their eyes open for any wrongdoing such as those who would walk one more foot than the long string measured out for the distance to walk to the temple. This would be considered “working” on the Sabbath.

She obviously knows very little about our views on Christmas, but preferred to shoot first and ask questions later. I strongly rebuked her in the comment section for such assumptions, claiming us as “idolaters”.

Let us take a look at the following picture–

Image result for picture of ellen white's gravesite

Ah, Ellen White was a freemason and pagan worshiper, she has an obelisk on her grave! Yes brethren this is a perfect example how we as present truth believers can falsely fail to see the whole picture and make foolish assumptions. If one was to take a picture standing on this site, and post it to your fellow believers, would some also accuse them of worshiping freemasonry?

Ok let us look at some SOP quotes regarding Christmas.

“..it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age; and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite or for needless ornaments or articles of clothing, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God. ” (AH, p.480)

What a powerful statement! What we can see is that this so-called “pagan festival” can be turned around! That’s right, it can be “an occasion in which to honor and glorify God.” A worthy example is the set up of the nativity set in the living room, instead of the tree. This was shown with the post we did about the Smith family.

They turned this whole season around from the lights to the music to the presents. God was indeed glorified! If we have children , this can certainly be a “God honoring” inspired alternative.

“Now, brethren, let us on Christmas make special efforts to come before the Lord with gifts and grateful offerings for the gift of Jesus Christ as a Redeemer to the world. Let nothing now be spent needlessly, but let every penny that can be spared be put out to the exchangers. Satan has had his way in managing these occasions to suit himself. Now let us turn the current heavenward instead of earthward.” (Review and Herald, December 9, 1884)

“While there may be some who will turn these occasions into seasons of careless levity, and whose minds will not receive the divine impress, to other minds and characters these seasons will be highly beneficial. I am fully satisfied that innocent substitutes can be devised for many gatherings that demoralize.” (Review and Herald, Dec. 9, 1884)

Update on the 2015 SDA Christmas Celebration

February 13, 2016

Gay Chorus

On January 2, 2016 we did a post on the Palm Springs SDA church’s Christmas program for 2015. Since then we have seen and heard quite a stir from the Christian community particularly the SDA community. And rightly so. As we pointed out, the presentation definitely did not have the Word of God’s approval. Recently we see that neither does it have the vast general SDA community approval.

Last week we heard from a SDA friend who knows one of the leading Elders from the Palm Springs church. Sister M and I discussed the unfortunate celebration in God’s house and the feedback it has generated on sites such as YouTube. She mentioned that she would be going to the church and wanted to speak to brother P who was a head Elder in the church. She asked for advice on how to discuss this and let him know how many SDA were feeling about what had transpired.

I mentioned to her that one such clear view on it could be found on YouTube with the following link(arrow) –

In this video the presenter lays charge to the Scriptural standing in the gay celebration. One thing that struck me was the huge views in such a short time– 19, 400.  And the prevalent opinion that it was wrong before the Lord has struck a true note in many — 242 likes and 11 dis-likes.

So after discussing this situation with her, we agreed that she should  “tell it like it is”. In other words,

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isaiah 58:1)

She agreed. Later she called and said that almost before she could get out her words to the Elder he spoke up and said that he totally agreed it was a disaster and that “something will be done about it.” He also said that “90% of the church did not agree with the idea.”

So it appears that the local leadership hijacked the will of the people for their own undetermined reasons (?). Most likely a private agreement was made by a few leaders and woala– the program was decided and put forth.

Now, is this disgrace any more sinful than the young gal prancing in the church in her  mini-skirt and high heels? No it’s not. It’s all sin in God’s house. The whole point is that abominations in God’s house is the prevalent act of the evil one today and those who turn a blind eye to it will not make it through the soon to come church judgment.

SOP provides insight —

“Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church..” (COL, p. 71)

But instead of “separating” the open sin from the church we have come to embrace it! All the while saying “Hallelujah praise the Lord!” Our “dumb dogs” have refused to bark!

“…”Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.” (Testimonies vol. 5, p. 211)

The command is: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, COUNSELLED, and entreated.

Some who had been dishonouring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. {5T 210.2} In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings.

While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honour and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favour of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous.

They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit 211 of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonoured, the truth made of none effect.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.210-211)

The judgment my brothers and sisters is right upon us, we are not to delay and to begin at once to call out the prevailing sins “done in the midst”, by word of mouth, by study groups, by blogs, by YouTube, by email, by any and all means.

SOP warns us that the do-nothings are the worse offenders in God’s eyes —

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.281)

Our church is in a dire emergency and  true spiritual crisis , the Lord’s sword hangs above it , let us spring into action.

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:31-32)

 

 

A SDA Christmas Celebration

January 2, 2016

Gay Chorus  (Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus Christmas 2014)

About three weeks ago I needed to find a book in the bookshelf and found it. Upon opening it I found an old business card from my former church. As I looked at it the thought came that I had not visited their website in a long time and should check up on what was happening there. Was  I in for an update!

The above picture  was prominently posted on their front page. The 2014 picture was to show the chorus group that was performing and the church’s “diversity” in the annual Christmas program of 2015. I was stunned. For several reasons as we’ll soon discuss, this situation within the SDA church has come out more publicly within the last few years and thus should be addressed.

As we Christians should all know, we are taught to “love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Nevertheless His word is abundantly clear on the homosexual lifestyle.

To begin, we must all know that our Christian life is to be upon the solid rock of His word. It tells us the path we must walk. So let us look at what His word says about our subject.

Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Jude 1:7Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

His word shows that we must not entertain the idea that two men can have a relationship that involves unnatural affections one to another.

So how can we as Seventh-day Adventists claim to believe in His word and practice active support of this lifestyle by proudly presenting men that declare themselves to be of this persuasion? It can only be viewed as one word– Hypocrites.

Our own SDA public statement shows what we “officially” believe–

“Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. This was the design established by God at creation. The Scriptures declare: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen 2:24, NIV).

Throughout Scripture this heterosexual pattern is affirmed. The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships.  Sexual acts outside the circle of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden (Lev 18:5-23, 26; Lev 20:721; Rom 1:2427; 1 Cor 6:911). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one'” (Matt 19:46, NIV). For these reasons Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.” (www.adventist.org)

We remember Jesus was confronted with the alleged adulteress Mary. She was an example of sexual perverted lifestyle, Jesus did not condemn her but freed her and then said “Go and sin no more”. Our Lord gave her undeserved forgiveness but with the condition to reform.

We see that forgiveness came but also the solemn responsibility to turn from her lifestyle lest she be found doing it again, thus holding in contempt the precious forgiveness granted her.

As this sin and lifestyle is described as an abomination, let us look at some of the other related abominations to the Lord.

Proverbs 17:15He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both [are] abomination to the LORD.

Deuteronomy 22:5The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to nor perform homosexual acts,

After finding out about the 2015 Christmas program, I then discussed it with a few brothers and sisters. Several were of the opinion that the church was wrong for promoting this. But what really caught my attention was  two sisters who gave counter views of each other. Let’s look at each and then we’ll quote some “Thus sayeth the Lord” to see which of the two is based on the sure word of the Lord.

Sister S has been a SDA member for many years. She attends services most Sabbaths. She’s considered a member in good standing. When I spoke to her concerning this she said the following–

“Well, I don’t see it as wrong. I see it as we are trying to bring all people together. Yes, we don’t condone the gay lifestyle, but we need to show we love them.”

Sister L has likewise been a long-term member and in good standing, and her response was–

“Oh no. This is not right. God’s word is clear. We should not be doing this.”

Sister L later called back to say, “I still can’t believe this. You know brother, I cried after you told me about this. We need to pray.”

There are some specific SOP references that address each of these positions. Let us see if Inspiration backs one of the sisters diametrically opposed positions.

“In vision I have been pointed to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God.” (Same, p.266)

“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed!” (Same, p.267)

“Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.” (Same, p.267)

“While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honour and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favour of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.210)

“The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God.” (Same, p.211)

“The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” ((Same, p.216)

In closing, we see that Inspiration calls on us to “sigh and cry” for the sins done in the church. His word is too clear that no one should have any doubt as to where we must stand on this issue.

“Sodomitish Impurity—Oh, how disgusted is God with the tame, lifeless, Christless efforts made by some of those who profess to be His servants! God’s work must be carried forward strongly and upward. This cannot be done unless the sensuality that corrupts the whole man is separated from the religious experience. This work must be done.

Church members need to fast and pray, striving earnestly to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Not one particle of Sodomitish impurity will escape the wrath of God at the execution of the judgment. Those who do not repent of and forsake all uncleanness will fall with the wicked. Those who become members of the royal family and form God’s kingdom in the earth made new, will be saints, not sinners.” Isaiah 30:1-3, 8-16(Testimonies on sexual behavior, adultery and divorce, p.119)

Christmas — A Christian’s Perpective

December 14, 2013

A couple of years ago on December 10, 2011, we did this post in response to the  quandary that some have over Christmas. We’d like to re-post it again with some minor adjstments. May the Lord guide you into all truth.

Christmas picture

Note: This post is addressed to Seventh day Adventists and Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. If you are not a  member, the references made will most likely be confusing to you. Additionally, those who believe that we should not take part in the celebration or season of Christmas, cannot be blamed for their stance. If your conviction is that no Christmas celebrating should be had, I feel the Lord will certainly hold you blameless.

The whole Christmas season has been so commercialized, to the point that the vast majority around the world, find in it a reason for carnal celebrations. Most definitely leaving out the namesake–CHRISTmas. No wonder many Christians cannot in good conscience take part in this vast heathen experience!

This subject is indeed a very controversial subject among many in Christendom. After earnest prayer and very careful study I would like to shed the light that I have been given on this subject.

What I am going to translate into this post, in the following story, is the combining of Scripture, S.O.P (Spirit of Prophecy) and Shepherd’s Rod teachings on “Christmas”. So we may see a more encompassing ”big picture” of this important subject.  This post is compiled with the vision of the Lord’s Glory and honor utmost in mind.

We  can never believe God gives His prophets or in this case prophetess light (truth) in which to guide the people, and then later another prophet comes and contradicts such light, teaching something totally opposite of what a prior prophetess  of God has written in their inspired writings. Confusion would be the obvious result if such were the case. Instead of such confusion, can it be that Ellen White and Victor Houteff **, God’s last two prophets,  together do indeed , shine  light on a “honoring” Christmas, in a clear and understanding way?

Let us look at the  story of the “Smith family”. This is a story of how they “celebrate” Christmas. Before we look at it, let us look at two scripture verses to keep in mind as you read their story.

1) (Mark 9:40) “For he who is not against us, is for us”  Ask yourself after hearing the Smith Family story, are they against Christ during this season, or for Him?”

2)(1 Samuel 16:7) “..The Lord judges the heart.”  Is the Smith Family wrong in their heart to completely “turn around” the heathen customs, and bring GLORY and HONOR  to our Lord?

It is the day after thanksgiving, the famous “black Friday”. The heathens around the world are busy buying their gifts, most NEVER even dwelling on the “Christ” in Christmas. The Smiths are also out buying, however they are looking for nativity sets. You see they, as always,  put up a nativity set in place of a Christmas tree. Their two small children love to help put up the display, remembering afresh, just what “Christmas” is all about–The Lord Jesus Christ.

Their buying also includes gifts for their KIDS ONLY. For they are well aware of God’s last prophet’s word about “gift exchanging”. (Christ’s Greetings-tract 13). They are not exchanging, only “giving” to their own kids. They will take no part in reveling with the heathen or exchanging gifts.

During the season, they have lights around the nativity set, among the small presents. They frequently play “Christmas music” but it is all about Christ. Songs such as Jesus Is King, Ring Christmas Bells, The First Noel, O Holy Night, O Come All Ye faithful, Joy To The World, etc.  They shun the “Santa” songs and other heathen songs.

They are ever mindful that although Mr. and Mrs. Smith would not by themselves celebrate “Christmas”, it is for their kids sake, they have this Christmas. Raising them to feel even closer to our Lord during this season. They have remembered God’s word (Prov.22:6) “Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he shall not depart from it”. They also remember how Ellen White said glory and honor can be given Christ for Christmas.

On Christmas morning, they gather around the nativity scene, with the holy music playing, the kids open the presents. After, the parents read the story of Christ’s birth from the book of Luke. The young ones listen attentively as their young minds imagine the baby Jesus story. Then they sing together Christmas songs.

So we can see from the above, that the Smiths have found a way to bring glory to our Lord, despite the heathen customs. While it is true that Decemebr 25th, most likely is not Christ’s birthday, they know that it is before them, and as such, an opportunity to bring honor and glory to our Lord. Their kids could very well be scarred, being left out of this season, instead they can win all around.

Now, after seeing and understanding this, who among us will be the first to throw a stone at the Smiths? No, we must say all honor and praise to You, our most wonderful and powerful Lord- Jesus Christ. We are FOR you , not against you. May we be a good example in this Christmas season to all the heathen around us.

Questions and answers:

1) Why shouldn’t we have Christmas tree’s?

We are told in many inspired writings not to partake in heathen customs and practices. The tree for Christmas nowadays,  is certainly symbolic of a heathen type of Christmas. Additionally ,(Jer. 10:1-5) clearly says that decorating a tree is a heathen custom. It is ALWAYS safer to be on the side of caution, than  presumption. Personally speaking, I feel that the substituting a nativity set for a tree is a real home run, spiritually speaking.

2) What about going to church on Christmas?

If you are led by the Holy Spirit to go and praise Him among others, then by all means go. Again, this is each one’s own decision. It’s all about honoring Him. As Ellen White said, “Will He not be pleased if we show that we have not forgotten Him? Jesus, the Prince of Life, gave all to bring salvation within our reach. . . . He suffered even unto death, that He might give us eternal life.” (Below link, page 5)

3) What about the brothers and sisters sending out warnings against celebrating Christmas?

They CANNOT be faulted for this. Their motive most likely is one of warning the people not to DO as the heathen are doing all around, with all their customs. This post provides an additional perspective for those who choose to decide to honor and glorify our Lord during this season.

4) What about Christmas lights on the home and yard?

Again, this has symbolically become a symbol of the “heathen” Christmas. It should be avoided.

5) What about brother Houteff’s warning  message to us on “Christmas observance?”

In “Christ’s greetings” book  (tract 13) I find no direct warning AGAINST Christmas observance, only the “involvement” of it (the heathen type). Mr. Houteff explains “…The fact that Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to gratification of the carnal heart. Consequently, “altogether -Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth. “

Here is the clear message,   that because those that celebrate Christmas, leaving out ‘honor of the Saviour’ are practicing carnal gratification, THIS type of Christmas must not  be participated in. If we PUT IN the honor of our Saviour during this season, our LORD can be glorified and honored. The “exchanging” of gifts is to be avoided. He says “..The Lord’s servants will invariably shun the exchanging of Christmas gifts.”

6) We have read that Ellen White has written many things about how Christmas can be kept, per the White Estate references http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/christmas.html#To Glorify God, Not Man. Yet, Victor Houteff seems to say –stay away from it. How do you reconcile these contradictions?

Perhaps the best way is to  read again the “Smith story”. I believe if Christmas is celebrated as shown by them, it does indeed honor and bring glory to our Lord. And keeping the true intentions of the Lord’s message through His prophets. In (1 Cor.10:31) we read “..whatsoever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.” Christmas certainly can be included in “all”.

7) What kind of gifts should we give our children?

Ellen White suggests practical and beneficial gifts, such as God centered books. She also says, ” Our children have been educated to expect gifts from parents and friends upon Christmas. Christmas is celebrated to commemorate Christ’s birth. If we celebrate it only in seeking to give pleasure to our children and one another, our offerings are diverted from the true object. We should bring our thank offerings to the Lord, laying our gifts at the feet of Him who has opened the treasures of heaven to us.

While we can give some Christ centered gifts to the young ones as their “presents”, we should encourage them to make birthday gifts for Jesus. They can do a painting, make a poem, make their own small nativity set or whatever their imaginations can stir up. The main thing is that they “made it” themselves.

Ellen White explains, “Parents should keep these things before their children and instruct them, line upon line, precept upon precept, in their obligation to God–not their obligation to each other, to honor and glorify one another by gifts and offerings. But they should be taught that Jesus is the world’s Redeemer, the object of thought, of painstaking effort; that His work is the grand theme which should engage their attention; that they should bring to Him their gifts and offerings. Thus did the wise men and the shepherds.” (Above link, page 2)

Once again we know as adult Christians, this Christmas observance is strictly for the young kids. If we participate in this season we can do as the prophetess said —

“Turn the Current Heavenward”

In closing, may we ever bring to the heathen our good example of  being Christ’s representatives, in all things, even in Christmas observance.

In Christ,  Rob

** For those of you who are not aware of who Victor Houteff was, see our post  “Has Elijah Come?”  and “Who was Victor T. Houteff ?” under the heading–Elijah.

Christmas — A Christian’s Perpective

December 10, 2011

Note: This post is addressed to Seventh day Adventists and Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. If you are not a  member, the references made will most likely be confusing to you. Additionally, those who believe that we should not take part in the celebration or season of Christmas, cannot be blamed for their stance. If your conviction is that no Christmas celebrating should be had, I feel the Lord will certainly hold you blameless.

The whole Christmas season has been so commercialized, to the point that the vast majority around the world, find in it a reason for carnal celebrations. Most definitely leaving out the namesake–CHRISTmas. No wonder many Christians cannot in good conscious take part in this vast heathen experience!

This subject is indeed a very controversial subject among many in Christendom. After earnest prayer and very careful study I would like to shed the light that I have been given on this subject.

What I am going to translate into this post, in the following story, is the combining of Scripture, S.O.P (Spirit of Prophecy) and Shepherd’s Rod teachings on “Christmas”. So we may see a more encompassing “big picture” of this important subject.  This post is compiled with the vision of the Lord’s Glory and honor upmost in mind.

We  can never believe God gives His prophets or prophetesses light (truth) in which to guide the people, and then later another prophet comes and contradicts such light, teaching something totally opposite of what a prior prophetess  of God has written in their inspired writings. Confusion would be the obvious result if such were the case. Instead of such confusion, can it be that Ellen White and Victor Houteff **, God’s last two prophets,  together do indeed , shine  light on a “honoring” Christmas, in a clear and undertstanding way?

Let us look at the  story of the “Smith family”. This is a story of how they “celebrate” Christmas. Before we look at it, let us look at two scripture verses to keep in mind as you read their story.

1) (Mark 9:40) “For he who is not against us, is for us”  Ask yourself after hearing the Smith Family story, are they against Christ during this season, or for Him?”

2)(1 Samuel 16:7) “..The Lord judges the heart.”  Is the Smith Family wrong in their heart to completely “turn around” the heathen customs, and bring GLORY and HONOR  to our Lord?

It is the day after thanksgiving, the famous “black Friday”. The heathen around the world are busy buying their gifts, most NEVER even dwelling on the “Christ” in Christmas. The Smiths are also out buying, however they are looking for nativity sets. You see they, as always,  put up a nativity set in place of a Christmas tree. Their two small children love to help put up the display, remembering afresh, just what “Christmas” is all about–The Lord Jesus Christ.

Their buying also includes gifts for their KIDS ONLY. For they are well aware of God’s last prophet’s word about “gift exchanging”. (Christ’s greetings-tract 13). They are not exchanging, only “giving” to their own kids. They will take no part in reveling with the heathen or exchanging gifts.

During the season, they have lights around the nativity set, among the small presents. They frequently play “Christmas music” but it is all about Christ. Songs such as Jesus Is King, Ring Christmas Bells, The First Noel, O Holy Night, O Come All Ye faithful, Joy To The World, etc.  They shun the “Santa” songs and other heathen songs.

They are ever mindful that although Mr. and Mrs. Smith would not by themselves celebrate “Christmas”, it is for their kids sake, they have this Christmas. Raising them to feel even closer to our Lord during this season. They have remembered God’s word (Prov.22:6) “Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he shall not depart from it”. They also remember how Ellen White said glory and honor can be given Christ for Christmas.

On Christmas morning, they gather around the nativity scene, with the holy music playing, the kids open the presents. After, the parents read the story of Christ’s birth from the book of Luke. The young ones listen attentively as their young minds imagine the baby Jesus story.

So we can see from the above, that the Smiths have found a way to bring glory to our Lord, despite the heathen customs. While it is true that Decemebr 25th, most likely is not Christ’s birthday, they know that it is before them, and as such, an opportunity to bring honor and glory to our Lord. Their kids could very well be scarred, being left out of this season, instead they can win all around.

Now, after seeing and understanding this, who among us will be the first to throw a stone at the Smiths? No, we must say all honor and praise to You, our most wonderful and powerful Lord- Jesus Christ. We are FOR you , not against you. May we be a good example in this Christmas season to all the heathen around us.

Questions and answers:

1) Why shouldn’t we have Christmas tree’s?

We are told in many inspired writings not to partake in heathen customs and practices. The “tree” for Christmas nowadays,  is certainly symbolic of a heathen type of Christmas. Additionally ,(Jer. 10:1-5) clearly says that decorating a tree is a heathen custom. It is ALWAYS safer to be on the side of caution, than  presumption.

2) What about going to church on Christmas?

If you are led by the Holy Spirit to go and praise Him among others, then by all means go. Again, this is each one’s own decision.

3) What about the brothers and sisters sending out warnings against celebrating Christmas?

They CANNOT be faulted for this. Their motive most likely is one of warning the people not to DO as the heathen are doing all around, with all their customs. This post provides an additonal perspective for those who choose to decide to honor and glorify our Lord during this season.

4) What about Christmas lights on the home and yard?

Again, this has symbolically become a symbol of the “heathen” Christmas. It should be avoided.

5) What about brother Houteff’s warning  message to us on “Christmas observance?”

In “Christ’s greetings” book  (tract 13) I find no direct warning against Christmas observance, only the “involvement” of it (the heathen type). Mr. Houteff explains “…The fact that Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to gratification of the carnal heart. Consequently, “altogether -Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth. ” Obviously the Smith family are not those who brother Houteff is speaking of, because they honor the Lord ONLY during the season, by shunning any and all heathen customs of the season.

Here is the clear message,   that because those that celebrate Christmas, leaving out “honor of the Saviour” are practicing carnal gratification, THIS type of Christmas must not  be participated in. If we leave that out and PUT IN the honor of our Saviour during this season, our LORD can be glorifed and honored. The “exchanging” of gifts is to be avoided. He says “..The Lord’s servants will invariably shun the exchanging of Christmas gifts.”

6) We have read that Ellen White has written many things about how Christmas can be kept per the White Estate references  http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/christmas.html#To Glorify God, Not Man . Yet, Victor Houteff seems to say –stay away from it. How do you reconcile these contradictions?

Perhaps the best way is to  read again the “Smith story”.  If Christmas is celebrated as shown by them, it does indeed honor and bring glory to our Lord. And keeping the true intentions of the Lord’s message through His prophets. In (1 Cor.10:31) we read “..whatsoever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.” Christmas certainly can be included in “all”.

7) What kind of gifts should we give our children?

Ellen White suggests practical and beneficial gifts, such as God centered books. She also says, ” Our children have been educated to expect gifts from parents and friends upon Christmas. Christmas is celebrated to commemorate Christ’s birth. If we celebrate it only in seeking to give pleasure to our children and one another, our offerings are diverted from the true object. We should bring our thank offerings to the Lord, laying our gifts at the feet of Him who has opened the treasures of heaven to us.

While we can give some Christ centered gifts to the young ones, we need to also encourage them to make some gifts themselves, to bring to the Lord on Christmas. They can do a painting, make a poem, make their own small nativity set or whatever their imaginations can stir up.

Once again we know as adult Christians, this Christmas observance is strictly for the young kids. If we participate in this season we can do as the prophetess said —

“Turn the Current Heavenward”

In closing, may we ever bring to the heathen our good example of  being Christ’s representatives, in all things, even in Christmas observance.

In Christ,  Rob

** For those of you who are not aware of who Victor Houteff was, see our post  “Has Elijah Come?”  and “Who as Victor T. Houteff?”  under the heading–Elijah.


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