Present Truth Articles Online
?Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.? (2 Peter 1:2) I am very excited about how well the work is progressing throughout the world. The Lord has definitely been taking the reigns into His own hands, as I witnessed first hand when I was in Ghana. The Bible says, ?Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.? (Ecclesiastes 11:7) More and more people are learning the truthfulness of these words. It is a wonderful thing to see the light after being in darkness for so long. Jesus was right when He said, ?Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.? (John 8:32) Jesus Christ is the truth, knowing Him, and the truth He proclaimed, gives true freedom, and nothing else can. If you do not know Him yet, I pray that you will get to know Him very soon. You will never be sorry!
In this Issue
by Lynnford Beachy
|Something for the Young at Heart|
|Long Awaited Book Finished||
by George McDaniel
Ghana Camp Meeting
by Alonzo T. Jones
by Lynnford Beachy
There is a great lack of true biblical gospel order among many churches in this world. When Christ walked this earth, ?there was? a strife among [His disciples], which of them should be accounted the greatest.? (Luke 22:24) In Matthew?s account of this incident, we find that Jesus corrected them by saying, ?Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.? (Matthew 20:25-28)
In Christ?s church there is no room for men ruling over men, yet this wickedness is practiced in most churches of today. The disciples wanted to rule over others, and this unholy ambition finally bore fruit in the papacy. The pope took to himself the place of God, and set himself up to rule over men. Paul prophesied that someone would come ?who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.? (2 Thessalonians 2:4) This spirit of rulership is practiced by many church leaders of today. Even though few have gone as far as the papacy in usurping God?s authority, it is the very same spirit being manifested: the spirit of Satan. Jesus rebuked this spirit whenever He noticed it.
Jesus said, ?Be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.? (Matthew 23:8-12)
Sadly, many people in the church are perfectly happy to have men ruling over them, and even encourage this wickedness among their leaders. This happened in Paul?s day, but he did not let it go unrebuked. He wrote, ?Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.? (1 Corinthians 1:12-15) Paul recognized the danger of men looking to other men to rule over them, and he rebuked this spirit as being from the carnal, sinful nature; from Satan himself. Notice also that Paul rebuked the attitude of separation or denominationalism. We are not to be followers of Luther, or Wesley, or any man or woman; we are to be followers of Christ. That is what it means to be a Christian.
Paul found it necessary to rebuke this denominational mentality when he wrote, ?For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.? (1 Corinthians 3:3-7)
Paul called people to look to God for direction and guidance, not to men. He said, ?Let God be true, but every man a liar.? (Romans 3:4) He said that the Bereans were noble because ?they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.? (Acts 17:11) It is a noble trait to receive the word with an open mind, and study the Bible diligently to see if those things are so. Too many people blindly follow their leaders, trusting them to lead them into the kingdom but, when this happens, all Satan has to do is deceive one person, and many will follow that person to destruction. God has warned us, ?For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.? (Isaiah 9:16) This is very serious, and if we do not heed this warning, we may very well be destroyed with the rest of the wicked. Jesus said, ?If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.? (Matthew 15:14)
This brings up the grave importance for leaders of God?s people to be faithful and true to their calling. Too many are only interested in benefitting themselves with little to no regard for the people whom God has entrusted them to teach. Jesus referred to these men as hirelings who do not care for the sheep. (John 10:13) Paul warned about this type of minister when he gave counsel regarding elders. He said that an elder must not be ?given to filthy lucre? (literally: greedy for gain or money).
Paul gave much counsel regarding the character of one who is to be an elder or leader of Gods people. Gods people need good leadership and counsel, that is why Paul told Timothy, For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. (Titus 1:5) There need to be elders in every city, and in every congregation. God has ordained that there be godly leaders in His church. Paul wrote that Christ gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11, 12) These leaders are needed by the church, yet, if they do not meet the requirements of the Bible, then they are more of a curse to the church than a blessing. That is why it is so important for God to use the people in the church to choose good and faithful elders and church leaders. Thats right, God uses the people in the congregation to choose their own leaders. Too often, the church people think that it is not their duty to choose elders and pastors, and leave it up to others to make that decision for them. This ought not to be.
The apostles laid down a principle in this matter. They said to the people of the church, ?Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.? (Acts 6:3) The apostles recognized that the people in the church were the best able to choose their own leaders. They are the ones who know who is best suited for the job. Paul wrote, ?We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.? (1 Thessalonians 5:12) The leaders of any particular congregation must be well known by that congregation. They must have a good reputation, and be recognized by the congregation as men who are filled with the Holy Spirit; men of integrity and honesty. Unfortunately, in many congregations, the congregation does not have a say in who is to be their pastor. Some committee outside the congregation makes that decision for them, and if the congregation does not like who has been chosen to be their pastor, there is not much they can do about it. Friends, this is a very sad state of affairs, and completely contrary to the Word of God. It creates situations that are very unhealthy for the church, and it must be avoided.
The Bible gives strict guidelines for an elder or pastor. When the congregation chooses an elder or a pastor, they need to examine each of the requirements, and seek the Lord earnestly before making a decision. God chooses leaders in His church, yet He uses you, the people of the church, the congregation because, of all people, you are best suited to know if these requirements are true about the men who are chosen to labor among you. You do not have the right to make these decisions for another congregation. You, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, can only make these decisions for yourselves, and let other congregations make these decisions for themselves. Please read Acts 13:1-4, where God used His Spirit to instruct the people of the church to send out missionaries.
Please notice each of the following guidelines; each of which must be true about any possible candidate for a leadership position in the church. (These are taken from Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Timothy 3:2-7, unless otherwise noted.)
Husband of one wife
Having faithful children who are not unruly or riotous
Not selfwilled (not doing his own will, but doing the will of God and of the congregation)
Not soon angry
Not given to wine
Not a striker (not a contentious or quarrelsome person)
Not greedy of gain or money
A lover of hospitality
A lover of good men
Sober (of a sound mind)
Temperate (self controlled)
Holding fast the faithful Word of God
Able by sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers
Of good behaviour
Given to hospitality
Apt to teach (literally: teachable and able to teach others)
Not a brawler (not someone who cannot be reasoned with, who is invincible)
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity
Not a novice (not young and inexperienced in the faith)
He must have a good report of them which are without (he must be respected and liked by people outside the congregation, by his neighbors and acquaintances)
Must not be seeking to rule others (Matthew 20:25-28)
Must not be someone who thinks of himself higher than others (Matthew 23:8-12; Philippians 2:3)
Must be a servant to the people (Matthew 23:8-12)
Must care for the people (John 10:13)
Must not be a hireling who is only in it for the money (John 10:13)
Must be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3)
As a congregation, you must seriously consider each of these requirements, and know if a man meets all of them before he is chosen to be your pastor or elder. Anyone who is seeking to be an elder or pastor must ask himself if he meets these requirements. If not he must meet these requirements or realize that God has not called him to be a leader.
God said, ?Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.? (Jeremiah 23:1-4)
God has a wonderful plan for His church. He is going to take away the evil leadership, and give his people shepherds who will feed them and help them. Praise God for His mighty work that He is doing among His people. Let us cooperate with Him and work according to His plan, so that we can have true, biblical gospel order.
Long Awaited Book Finished
In the November, 2002 issue of Present Truth, we printed three articles regarding the trinity, for which we received more requests than any other issue to date. Shortly thereafter I promised to get these articles together in a booklet form. It has finally been done, with additions and changes that make it a better book than the original articles.
Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, came to this earth to give us an understanding, that we may know the true God of the Bible. Do you know Him as He is revealed in His Word, and in Christ, or have you settled for some philosophical conception of God in His place? This book will answer that question. It details what the Bible says about God, and compares it with the trinitarianism, tritheism, modalism, and unitarianism. We believe that this 44-page book will clarify these issues for you and your friends.
The suggested donation is $1.50 per book, plus actual shipping costs.
Click here to view this book in html format, or to download it in pdf format for printing.
Ghana Camp Meeting Report
by Lynnford Beachy
In October, 2003, David Clayton and Howard Williams of Restoration Ministries in Jamaica visited several countries in Africa, which included a visit to Ghana. While in Ghana, they held some meetings, sharing the truth about God?s love in giving His Son to die for our sins. The Lord greatly blessed, and about 90 people accepted the truth.
Seventeen churches in the Berekum area have been disfellowshipped from their denomination for refusing to keep quiet about open sins of some of their leaders. Evangelist Paul Osei Agyeman, of Remnant International Missionary Society, has been leading out in maintaining order and unity among these brethren, as well as sending out teams of evangelists to spread the gospel around Ghana, and maintaining a radio station and printing work.
For the past three years, these brethren have been holding a year-end camp meeting. This year they were expecting about 2,000 people to attend, and they were very eager for someone from the U.S.A. or Jamaica to come and share the truth about God with all of these brethren.
Howard and David had just returned from a long trip and did not feel prepared to make another journey. Even though my wife is expecting a child at the end of January, the Lord impressed upon me the urgency of traveling to Ghana for this camp meeting. The Lord opened all the doors to allow this trip to take place, with little miracles here and there, so I was very confident that He wanted me to go. Just before departing, my one-year-old daughter, Rebekah, got so dehydrated from flu-like symptoms that she had to be hospitalized. I was scheduled to leave on December 24, and my daughter was admitted into the hospital on December 22. We were very thankful that she was doing much better on the 24th, and was discharged from the hospital. We went from the hospital to the airport for my departure that evening.
After a very long flight, I arrived in Accra, Ghana, and was greeted by Brother Paul and two other brothers. We stayed the night in Accra, and left very early the next morning for the six-hour drive to Berekum, where the camp meeting would be held.
On the first Sabbath, I was asked to speak at one of the disfellowshipped churches, where over 100 people were in attendance. Since the camp meeting was not going to begin until Tuesday, December 30, we decided to hold meetings with some of the brethren on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday afternoon at a local church. The brethren who attended were very excited to hear the truth about God presented. We took several hours for each meeting, so they had a lot of time to ask questions. We also had a large chalkboard, which allowed me to illustrate my points. The people were very interested, and everyone accepted the message.
The camp meeting began on Tuesday evening, with well over 600 in attendance from many parts of the country. Some brethren came from Togo and Nigeria. I had the first evening meeting on Tuesday. I was prepared to have the meeting at the church, as scheduled, but at the last minute, it was changed, to be held at the camp meeting. The layout of the camp was a real challenge to me. I am used to being very close to the people, and having a chalkboard or marker board to illustrate my points. The meeting place was outdoors, with about 20 canopies set up in a large square, with about a 100-foot square in the center with nothing but empty space. There were many benches set up for the people under the canopies. In the center of one side of the square was a canopy set up on a platform, which served as the podium for the speakers. When I got up to speak, it seemed like all the people were a mile away. Fortunately, we had some very loud speakers so everyone could hear well. Another challenge was that we had two translators on the podium, so the message went out in three languages. There was a long break between each sentence, while I was waiting for the translations. In addition, I only had about 50 minutes to present a message that usually takes me an hour and a half without translators.
Needless to say, I had a difficult time presenting that first message, and I just prayed that at least a few of the people got some benefit out of it. I shared a message on the death of Christ, emphasizing that Christ died completely for our sins, relying totally upon His Father to raise Him from the dead.
That night I prayed and prayed that the Lord would give me the boldness, clearness of thought, and a heart overflowing with the message, so that it would go better the next day.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
On Wednesday morning, I continued praying. I was scheduled to share a message each day, for an hour and 40 minutes. I shared a message on God?s love in giving His Son, and shared from the Bible that the Son of God was literally born from His Father before anything was created. (See Proverbs 8:24-30; Micah 5:2; John 5:26; 8:42; Hebrews 1:5; etc.) The Lord richly blessed in every way, and I was very thankful for the answered prayers. After the first night, all the remaining messages were translated only into one language, with the few people who spoke the other language having a personal translator to the side by themselves. There were well over 1,000 people in attendance, and they were very attentive and thankful for the message. There was no opposition at all. My prayers continued fervently throughout the rest of the camp meeting.
During the camp meeting some of the women prepared food for the speakers, elders, singers, and some of the other guests. All the food, while I was in Ghana, was very good, except for a few things. The most famous Ghanian food is fufu, a rubbery ball made from yams and kasava. It has the consistency of bubble gum, and is served with a soup of some kind. You are supposed to take some of it in your hand, dip it in the soup and swallow it without chewing. It was served to me one time at the camp meeting and, guessing that I would not like it, I consented to take a small clump of the fufu. It was served in a peanut butter soup (called ground-nut soup) that was not very appetizing. (Some of the ground nut soup I had in Ghana was fairly good, but this was not.) I could not bring myself to swallow the fufu without chewing it, so I gnawed on it for awhile, and then swallowed it. I was able to get through my small clump with some difficulty, and then switched to yams, for which I was very thankful.
I really enjoyed the yams and plantain, served with different types of soups or sauces. They also had a corn meal dish that was wrapped in corn husks, which was very good. It was similar to Mexican tamales. I learned how to say ?good food? (adriane papa) in Twi, the local language. When I moderately liked the food, I would tell the friendly cooks, ?Adriane pa.? If I liked the food fairly well, I would say, ?Adriane papa.? If I liked it a lot, I would say, ?Adriane papapa.? The people found it very amusing, because I was using their language a little differently than it was intended. Most of the time I said ?Adriane papapa,? because most of the food was very good.
Thursday, January 1, 2004
On Thursday, I shared a message showing from the Bible that there is only one God, and that God is only one person, God the Father, and nobody else. (See 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Ephesians 4:6; Mark 12:32; etc.) Most of the people were very enthusiastic, and appreciative to learn the truth about God. They were surprised to learn from the Bible that the Trinity doctrine cannot be found there. A few people asked questions at the end, some of which we decided to address the following day when we would look at the subject of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the meeting it was very clear that the Trinity is a false doctrine, and one of the elders came up to the platform and spoke to the people very enthusiastically about the message, encouraging them to accept what the Bible says on this subject.
Friday, January 2, 2004
On Friday some of the people were very eager to hear the questions answered, that had been scheduled for that day. We saw, from the Bible, that the Comforter Jesus promised to send is His own Spirit, along with His Father?s Spirit, to comfort His people. (See John 14:15-23) The Lord greatly blessed in all of the meetings, and the message was brought out so clearly from the Bible that it virtually eliminated anyone having questions. The first question that was scheduled to be answered, from the previous day, was Matthew 28:19. We read verses 19 and 20, and noticed that Jesus commissioned His disciples to teach all nations ?to observe whatsoever I have commanded you.? Jesus told His disciples to teach people the very same things that He taught during the three and half years He had spent with His disciples. By this time, as far as I could tell, everyone could see clearly that Jesus taught that there is one God, the Father, that Jesus Christ is God?s only begotten Son, and that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father coming to us through His Son. (See Mark 12:28-34; John 3:18; John 15:26; etc.) I asked the congregation, ?Did Jesus teach the Trinity doctrine to His disciples when He was here?? A very enthusiastic ?No!? rang from the people. Then I asked, ?Do you think that Jesus would teach contrary to the Trinity doctrine His whole life and then, just before leaving, surprise His disciples with the Trinity doctrine?? Again, there arose a very enthusiastic, ?No!? We then read Acts 2:38, where Jesus? commission was obeyed for the first time. ?Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.? (Acts 2:38) We observed that Peter taught the people about the Father (the One we are to repent toward), the Son, and the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus taught when He was here, and that this was the proper way to obey the great commission.
The next verse that people had a question about was 1 John 5:7. We read the context, from verses 5-10, and saw that the subject is regarding Jesus Christ being the Son of God. Therefore, when John said there are three that bear record in heaven, the record they bear is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The same is true for the three that bear witness in the earth. We observed that 1 John 5:7 does not say, ?There are three PERSONS? and these three PERSONS are one GOD,? but rather, ?There are three? and these three are one.? In order to find a Trinity in 1 John 5:7, we must add words to the text, and none of us were willing to do that. Some of the people were curious why, in their local language Bible, 1 John 5:7 was missing. Brother Paul explained to them how Erasmus added it to his sixteenth-century edition of the Greek Bible, and therefore many Bible translators do not believe it to be a valid Scripture.
On Friday evening they held a long service followed by communion, which ended at about 2:30 a.m. That evening they asked everyone to come up who wanted to give their lives to Christ. A few drunks came to the front as well as several others, about fifteen in all. One of them, named Eric, looked the worst. He was visibly drunk, and smelled very strongly of alcohol. We had prayer together, and they all asked Jesus into their hearts. I told them about how the Lord delivered me from drugs and alcohol, and that He would do it for them also. The service was very nicely done, and it was a privilege to take part in it, even though most of us were very exhausted by the end of the service.
Sabbath, January 3, 2004
On Sabbath the attendance swelled a little, and some of the brethren estimated that there were over 2,000 people there. The subject I presented was ?The Death of Christ.? It took a little time to break through some of the barriers people had in regard to this subject. Some people thought that only the body of Jesus died for our sins, while His Spirit, or soul, remained alive, thus having only a created, human sacrifice for sins, since His human body was created. (Hebrews 10:5) We read Isaiah 53:10 where it says that His soul was made ?an offering for sin.? We also noticed that Jesus said we should not fear those who can kill the body but, rather, we should fear the only One who has power to destroy both soul and body in hell fire. We saw that Jesus did not come to save us from the first death, when only the body is killed while the soul goes back to God in an unconscious condition. Instead, we recognized that Jesus came to save us from the second death, where both the soul and body are destroyed, never to be resurrected. Since Jesus came to save us from the second death, the experience of the death He suffered must have been equivalent to the second death. We saw that when Christ died, He died completely for our sins, and no part of Him remained alive.
Several people came to me and expressed their joy in finally understanding the death of Christ, and for the rest of the message. After the presentation, there was virtually no opposition to the message, because they read it for themselves in their Bibles. They knew that if they had a problem with the message, they would have a problem with the Bible, not me. All I was doing was pointing out Bible verses that teach the message. There were very few questions, but the few that did arise, I did not answer by giving an explanation but, rather, by reading other Bible verses that explain the ones that were not clear. I found that this is the best way to answer questions. The Bible explains itself if it is allowed to do so.
One question that was asked was, ?Since Jesus is called God in the Bible, wouldn?t it be proper to call Him ?God the Son??? I explained that this term is usually employed to express the idea that Christ is completely equal with His Father in every respect, including age, asserting that He is not the literal Son of God. For this reason, that term could never be used unless there is clarification so that the words would not be taken to mean something that is not true. We read where Jesus was misunderstood by the Jews, which made it necessary for Him to clarify Himself. Jesus said, ?I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.? (John 10:30-33) Here, the Jews misunderstood Jesus to be claiming that He is God. ?Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?? (John 10:34-36) Jesus corrected their misunderstanding, pointing out that He did not claim to be God but, rather, He only claimed to be ?the Son of God.? Jesus made a similar correction in John chapter five. I pointed out that if Jesus were here today, and you called Him ?God the Son? without any clarification, He would correct you, pointing out that He is the Son of God.
Nearing the end of the message, the police chief and the mayor of the city visited the camp meeting. They came up to the podium and, after the message, the mayor gave a short presentation. He asked the people to pray for the government of Ghana, and thanked the people for spreading Christianity because it helps people to be good citizens. He spoke against smoking, alcohol use, and sex before marriage, which are some of the problems that people face in Ghana. (After the camp meeting, I visited the police chief at his office and I was very impressed with his kindness, and with his philosophy of life. He said that he believes all people are equal, whether they are rich or poor, old or young. He invited a sixteen-year-old boy, who had accompanied me, into his office as well. He said that he would treat him with as much respect as anyone because he did not know if he might need his help some day. I really enjoyed our short visit.)
I found the police in Ghana to be very friendly, as well as the people in general. I never felt uncomfortable. I learned a few words in Twi, the local Ghana language, and I greeted people on the streets. They were always happy to speak with me, and usually returned giggles and a big smile, perhaps because of my accent.
Sunday, January 4, 2004
Sunday was the last day of camp meeting, and they had scheduled a march through the city. Over 400 youth dressed up in uniforms and marched through the city, accompanied by a marching band, with many of the people at camp meeting following behind. It was quite a procession.
After the procession, I shared the final words of the camp meeting, encouraging everyone to take up the torch, and preach the everlasting gospel to all nations. The camp meeting finished with over 1,500 people learning the truth about God for the first time. Many of them expressed their eagerness to share the message with others. I was happy to see the Lord blessing these people with a deeper appreciation of His love for them.
One of the drunks, Eric, who had given his life to the Lord on Friday, came up to me on Sunday, dressed very nicely, with clear eyes, free from alcohol. He told me that alcohol was never going into his body again. I was overjoyed to see this. He came over to Paul?s the night before I left, still having the victory over alcohol. Praise God for His mighty power to save!
Throughout the camp meeting, several singing groups shared special music. It was very nice. One of the groups said that they wanted to understand the message very well, because they are planning to put the message to music and incorporate it in their songs.
In the short time I visited Ghana, I really came to appreciate the people. They will always be in my heart and prayers. I saw a lot of potential in Ghana. Brother Paul has a well-established evangelistic ministry, which is respected in their area, and it is sharing the good news about God?s love to as many people as possible, through radio, printed literature, and street evangelism. There are many capable evangelists who are working to spread this message.
When I came to Ghana, some of the people were well acquainted with the message of God?s love in giving His Son to die for our sins. They had gained this knowledge through Brother Paul?s efforts and the visit of Brothers David Clayton and Howard Williams in October. However, the large majority did not understand the message, including many of the elders. After I saw the need for the message to be understood, and the way the Lord blessed in presenting it, I wrote home and said, ?I am 100% sure that God wanted me to come to Ghana.?
Please keep these brothers in your prayers. Ghana, just like most of the countries in Africa, suffers from poverty and a lack of resources to do the ministry work. God has provided the ministry there with a lot of things that are missing in the other African countries I visited, largely because of the supporters from Europe who have helped them to get established. Still, they are lacking in many ways. One sister came up to me with her young son who was born with a deformed right hand. She said that a surgery could be performed to enable him to regain most of its use, but she did not have the funds for this surgery. She asked me to let others know of her situation. Another lady asked me to do the same regarding her daughter who has sickle cell anemia. Please keep all these brethren in your prayers.
Something for the Young at Heart
This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies that are based on the ?These Last Days? Bible Lessons. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections?Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line.
What Happens to People When They Die?
After a man dies, he shall ____ in the tomb. Job 21:32 13 Across
The wicked are reserved there until the day of ____. Job 21:3010 Down
Note: ?So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.? (Job 14:12)
Job said he would wait in the grave until his ____ comes. Job 14:13, 149 Down
Note: ?We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.? (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52)
The dead in Christ shall be made alive at Christs ____. 1 Corinthians 15:22, 2323 Across
David has not ____ into heaven. Acts 2:3416 Down
Right now David is ____ and buried, resting in his sepulchre. Acts 2:297 Across
David fell asleep, and saw ____. Acts 13:3615 Down
God will awaken the dead with a shout and with the ____ of God. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 19 Across
Note: ?And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds.? (Matthew 24:31)
Until then, the dead wait in the ____. Job 17:135 Down
Jesus said the dead are in the ____. John 5:285 Across
When His friend Lazarus was dead, Jesus said He was going to wake Him out of ____. John 11:116 Down
David referred to his death as the sleep of ____. Psalm 13:311 Across
Of the people who saw Jesus, Paul said some are fallen ____. 1 Corinthians 15:68 Down
If there were no resurrection, all who have ____ asleep are perished. 1 Corinthians 15:183 Down
After Jesus awoke from death, He said that He had ___ ___ ascended to His Father. John 20:17 (2 Words) 17 Across
The dead ____ not anything. Ecclesiastes 9:522 Down
The feelings and emotions of dead people are now ____. Ecclesiastes 9:618 Across
When a man dies his ____ perish. Psalm 146:4 21 Across
While we are alive we can ____ the LORD. Psalm 146:2 4 Across
The dead praise ____ the LORD. Psalm 115:1712 Down
Note: ?The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day.? (Isaiah 38:19)
Can the dead thank God or even remember Him? Psalm 6:514 Down
Many people will perish because they received not the love of the ____. 2 Thessalonians 2:101 Across
After a man dies, he cannot ____ for Gods truth. Isaiah 38:182 Down
There is no ____, nor device, nor knowledge, etc. in the grave. Ecclesiastes 9:1020 Down
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Part 23)
by George McDaniel
(This is the twenty-third in a series of health articles that are designed to help you gain a deeper appreciation for Gods amazing handiwork of the human body and a better understanding of how it works and how it can be better maintained by simple methods. George McDaniel is my father-in-law, and has been a registered nurse for many years, which, along with much research, has taught him many useful health principles. I pray that you are being blessed by these articles. Editor)
In our discussion of health, we have studied the essentials to good health using the acronym, NEW START. So far we have dealt with the subjects of nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air and rest. These seven areas relate to the health of the physical body. This month we are going to investigate the spiritual aspects of health and how they relate to overall health.
Man is a unity, not a dichotomy. This means he can?t be divided into two separate parts: a mortal physical body and an immortal spirit. Genesis 2:7 tells us, ?And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.?
As soon as the inanimate dust received the spirit of life from God, man?s heart began to beat, the lungs began to function, the muscles began to move, the brain began to function; the man could now interact with the environment. He could see, hear and feel; his mind began to work; he could process information, think, remember and socialize with his Creator and with other created beings.
Everything that makes us what we are came about as a result of God putting into non-living dust the spirit of life from Himself.
True health involves every aspect of our being: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social. A disruption of any phase of a person?s wholeness brings disease, and this disease involves the whole being. Treating the physical body alone usually involves only alleviating symptoms. Every facet of human nature is interrelated. The mind has a profound influence on the body, and what affects the physical also affects the mind and social relationships. True healing involves the whole person.
This concept is important, not only because it promotes total health but also because it opens our understanding to some of the most troublesome problems humans suffer. It gives us insights into the question of life and death. The fear of death is very real and we have many subtle ways of denying this reality.
Perhaps the most important motivator in human behavior is one?s attitude toward death. The terror of death and non-existence is seen in all cultures and civilizations. Primitive cultures express this terror openly. More sophisticated cultures express this fear in subtler ways. But deep in everyone?s heart is this anxiety when he faces the thought of his final destiny. In order to escape this anxiety, most cultures have chosen several ways to deny death. Most religious philosophies deny death by immortalizing the soul or spirit. Unfortunately, the roots of this denial are found in ancient philosophical views of the dualism of human nature, and not in divine revelation. Death is not the continuation of life, but rather its cessation.
In the last 30 to 40 years, many writers have become interested in experiences related by people who have supposedly died and then were revived. Many of these people claim they floated up out of their bodies and were able to see the medical personnel working to revive them. They then were drawn into a dark tunnel and went swiftly along it toward a light. They emerged into the presence of a being of great light and love. Many report also seeing friends and loved ones there who have died. They are told they can?t stay, but have to go back to the world; eventually they will be able to return, but not now. They then go back and awaken in their bodies.
These people have experienced what is called ?clinical death.? They have no heartbeat and no spontaneous respiratory efforts. Physiologically, they have not died. Their body and brain cells have not died. None of these meet the criteria of death experienced by Lazarus in John 11:39. Martha said to Jesus, ?Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.? God is not going to give anyone an experience contrary to what is written in His Word. The only conclusion I can reach is that such experiences are demonic visions given to deceive those who have them and those who hear of them.
One of the great hazards of denying death is that it opens the door to the occult and lays the groundwork for misinterpretation of parapsychology. (Parapsychology is the study of occult or psychic phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance and extra-sensory perception. It also would include the study of after-death experiences.)
Spiritism, worship of or communication with so-called spirits of the dead, is nothing new. It is as old as recorded human history. It is found in all cultures, from very primitive to highly sophisticated. It extends from voodoo rituals of devil worship in Haiti and Africa to presidents, prime ministers, and other heads of countries, who consult with their spirit guides before making major decisions. These practices are more widespread than is generally known.
Just what is the answer to death? If it is not the curtain that separates reality from the spirit world, what is it? If it is not the gateway to eternity, just what is it? The Bible tells us that death is like a sleep. See 2 Samuel 7:12, 1 Kings 1:21, Job 7:21, Job 14:12, Psalm 13:3, Daniel 12:2, John 11:11, 13, 14, 1 Corinthians 11:30, 15:51, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.
The answer to death is that Jesus Christ died and was raised and all who believe in Him will be raised back to life when He comes again. 1 Corinthians 15 is all about the resurrection of the righteous, but especially verses 20-23 and 51-55. Also 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
All the previous articles have emphasized principles which, if followed, can help us achieve better health and a better quality of life. Following these principles pays rich dividends in health and strength and clearness of mind. We may be able to postpone death, but we cant bypass it no matter how well we live. We cant eat or jog our way to a never-ending life. That is why the last principle of health is the most important. It is called Trust.
Trust involves faith. Sometimes our faith receives a shock. Someone or something lets us down. Some persons and some things are unreliable and not worthy of our trust. But it is not our faith that is at fault, rather it is the object of our faith.
Trust is developed by knowledge and familiarity with the object of our trust. Trust strengthens as it becomes more assured of the dependability of the support and service that its object gives us. Trust is one of the first things we learn. It is developed in infancy where the primary trust relationship is between baby and mother. The mother supplies nourishment, love, warmth, clean diapers and comfort.
As the baby becomes familiar with its surroundings, it develops a sense of inner security and trust. The mother, and others with whom it associates comfort, become objects of trust. Its relationships become an inner certainty as well as an outer predictability. Most homes provide an environment where trust can grow and develop. Unfortunately, broken homes, drugs, and abnormal social conditions can scar a child so that he develops basic mistrust. This is a serious handicap and can be remedied only when the child experiences a genuine love relationship.
We all suffer mistrust in varying degrees. This is another way of saying we lack faith. Faith is not a mystical experience that we generate by going to church, becoming religious, memorizing the Bible or by meditation. Faith is a basic experience and an important segment of the foundation of human personality. It is expressed in relationships and character, not in creeds. Faith is always related to love. (See Galatians 5:6.) Love involves commitment, which extends faith and becomes part of it. Faith is patient and enduring and involves appropriate response in obedience. Faith is the one thing that gives us security and a sense of belonging. It is also our greatest potential for healing.
Most of the scientific world, and also much of the religious world, have accepted the theory of evolution. This belief makes man the supreme expression of the forces of the physical universe and diminishes the potential of faith. It limits faith to man and what man can do. How a person can believe man evolved from lower creatures and also believe that he has an immortal soul that goes to heaven when the body dies, is beyond my ability to understand. Obviously such people don?t think these things through. They just accept as fact what some authority figure tells them.
There are many scientists today who see serious flaws in the evolutionary theories. They see in living organisms a property called ?irreducible complexity.? They see evidence of an intelligent mind at work. This new theory is called ?intelligent design.? Many adherents to this belief are not yet willing to believe in the existence of a personal God, but they have been forced to abandon belief in evolution because the facts don?t uphold that belief.
If a person can see intelligent design in the universe, then there must be an intelligent designer. How do we find this being we call God? Zophar, one of Job?s friends, asks the question, ?Canst thou by searching find out God?? (Job 11:7)
In Jeremiah 29:13 God tells us, ?Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.? And Jeremiah 31:3 says, ?I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.?
We need to seek Him, not just with our intellects, but with our whole being. He loves us and draws us to Himself and will reveal Himself to us.
God, who created us and the universe in which we live, is the only One who can meet our deepest needs. He has revealed Himself in His creation and through the prophets. These methods do not adequately reveal His love for us, so He sent His Son to show us perfectly how much He loves us. Hebrews 1:1-3 puts it this way: ?God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds: who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.?
Only faith, empowered by God?s Spirit, can respond to such a declaration, but once this response is made it is possible to understand Jesus? words in John 17:3, ?And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.?
The essence of the gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4: Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose the third day. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a bridge across the sleep of death and leads to a never-ending life. His resurrection is the promise of life and is an invitation to trust Him now as the one worthy of our admiration and submission. Such trust heals the spirit and many of our physical problems. He is the ultimate substance of reality. Try Him and see.
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