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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

October 2009

“Unto the church… which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:1). I pray that you are prospering and in good health. 

As you look at the condition of the world, remember that this world is not our home, we are just passing through. “Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11). 

E-mail Reminder: Let us know if you would like Present Truth by e-mail. 

In this Issue

The Gift of the Spirit

by Lynnford Beachy

Something for the Young at Heart
Letters You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond

The National Sunday Law (Part 12)

by Alonzo T. Jones

The Gospel in Creation (Part 9)

by Ellet J. Waggoner

The Gift of the Spirit 

by Lynnford Beachy 

One of the most amazing gifts God has given to His church has been largely misunderstood and unutilized. If someone were to give you a spaceship, you probably would not be able to utilize the gift. Regardless of how powerful the gift, if you do not know what it is, how to use it, or its capabilities you cannot benefit from the gift, at least not to its full potential. 

It is important for us to know what God has given when He gave us His Spirit. It is also important for us to know the potential of this gift so we can benefit from it to the extent that God desires. 

God’s Presence 

David asked God, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalms 139:7, 8). Here we learn that where God’s Spirit is, there is His presence. 

David expressed this truth in another way, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Psalms 51:11). The removal of God’s Spirit from an individual is equivalent to God taking away His presence. 

Jesus assured His disciples, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:16-18). 

When Judas asked Him to explain Himself, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Jesus said that the promised Comforter is the indwelling presence of both Him and His Father. 

The Angel of His Presence 

Isaiah revealed, “In all their affliction he [the LORD] was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9). Here we learn about someone called, “the angel of His presence.” Could it be that an angelic being brings us God’s presence? The Hebrew word translated “angel” actually means “messenger,” and does not necessarily refer to an angelic being. In fact, nearly half the time this word is used in the Bible it refers to someone other than literal angelic beings. There is a messenger who brings us God’s presence. 

Jesus Christ is called “the messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1). He is also called “the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel… the pillar of the cloud” (Exodus 14:19). God told Moses, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way,… for my name is in him” (Exodus 23:20, 21). Bible Commentators generally agree that this has reference to Jesus Christ, rather than to a created angel. Jesus Christ is the messenger, the deliverer, of God’s presence, which we have already learned is God’s Spirit. 

Notice what Peter said about this on the Day of Pentecost: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32, 33). Here we find that the Holy Ghost [literally: Holy Spirit] is brought to us by Jesus Christ. He gives us God’s Holy Spirit. 

Paul explained, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:5, 6). 

Jesus said, “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” (John 15:26). Jesus told us that He would send the Comforter to us from the Father. This Comforter “proceedeth from the Father.” The Father is the source of the Holy Spirit. It is His own Spirit, “the holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30). Jesus said that He would send this Spirit unto us. Jesus truly is the messenger of His presence. 

By receiving the Spirit of God in this way we have “both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9). Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Who comes to live in us? Both the Father and the Son. 

Who better could bring us the presence of the Father, but His Son. Jesus said, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). John wrote, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). 

After Jesus had been with His disciples for three and half years and was about to leave them, “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:8-10). 

A major part of Christ’s mission on this earth was to declare or show us the Father. And He has not stopped this mission. Today, He is still showing us the Father. He brings us God’s presence, in an even closer way now than when He was physically here 2,000 years ago. Jesus said of Himself, “he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:17, 18). 

The Glory of the Father 

In His final prayer with his disciples at the last supper, Jesus petitioned, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). It may seem strange that the Father could give His own self to His Son, but this is exactly what He did. This is what God does when He gives His Spirit; He gives Himself. 

John wrote, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34). God gave to His Son, His own Spirit (self) without measure. 

Later in Christ’s prayer, He says, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” (John 17:22). Notice the connection here. Jesus had just explained that the glory He received from His Father was His Father’s “own self.” Then He said that He gives this glory to us. Jesus gives us His Father’s own self, His presence, His Spirit. God’s Spirit is His own self. 

In case you haven’t noticed, this awesome reality dispels the myth that God is made up of three separate persons. The Holy Spirit is not someone else, but God, the Father, Himself coming to us through Jesus Christ. The popular trinity concept teaches that the Holy Spirit is a completely separate person from the Father or the Son. It teaches that after Jesus came down to this earth, experienced what it is like to be a man, to be tempted, to suffer, to die, then He sent someone else to Comfort us after His departure. If that is true, why didn’t He just send him to begin with? Then he would know what it is like to be tempted and could better relate to those he has come to help. I am glad to know that my Comforter is Jesus Christ, Himself, living in me, bringing me the presence of His Father. 

Jesus made it clear that when He prayed for His disciples it was not only for the twelve hearing His voice, but it was for you and me today. He said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:20). Here Jesus prayed specifically for you and for me, and His prayer for us was, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:21-23). 

This is a beautiful prayer. He said that the reason He gives us His Father’s own self is so that we “may be made perfect” and so that the world may know the great love of God. Perfection is the goal and purpose for God giving us Himself through His Spirit. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). You can only be perfect like the Father if you have the Father in you. 

I pray “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:16-21). 


“God’s timing is remarkable! In your Sept. 2009 issue of Present Truth… you wrote an articled entitled “Go and Sin no More.” This is so needed since there are some of our brothers and sisters here in Canada that were quoting from Romans 7:15, 16 and concluded that we will continue in sin until Christ returns.… I’m going to be sending them a link to your Present Truth newsletter. I thank God for Jesus working through you in regards to ‘present truth.’ You are in my prayers!” 


“Just received the Sept. issue and immediately read your lead article on ‘Go and Sin No More.’ Outstanding!! I am doing the exact same topic this Sabbath for our small group and was very interested with what you would have to say and again, I was very impressed. It is almost like we planned this together and were following the same footsteps (which we were).… I also really like the new format of Present Truth.  The little booklet size really appeals to me and seems much easier to manage. 


“We will try to make it to the Smyrna Camp meeting the third week of June 2010… We’ve been sharing your book, God’s Love on Trial with people here. Since learning of the truth about God in Jan./Feb. 2009… our church here in Ontario of 25 members is now split in two over the issue of the trinity.… I am just thankful that God has revealed Himself to us. It seems like this world cannot continue for much longer.” 


The National Sunday Law (Part 12) 

by Alonzo T. Jones 

(The following is a portion of an argument of Alonzo T. Jones before The United States Senate, December 13, 1888, opposing the Blair Bill that promoted a Sunday law.    Editor

Senator Blair: Is there any other point you would wish to present? 

Mr. Jones: There is another point, and that is, that we will be sufferers under such a law when it is passed. They propose to put in an exemption clause. Some of them favor an exemption clause, but it would not in the least degree check our opposition to the law if forty exemption clauses were put in, unless, indeed, they should insert a clause exempting everybody who does not want to keep it. In that case, we might not object so much. 

Senator Blair: You care not whether it is put in or not? 

Mr. Jones: There is no right whatever in the legislation; and we will never accept an exemption clause as an equivalent to our opposition to the law. It is not to obtain relief for ourselves that we oppose the law. It is the principle of the whole subject of the legislation to which we object; and an exemption clause would not modify our objection in the least. 

Senator Blair: You differ from Dr. Lewis? 

Mr. Jones: Yes, sir, we will never accept an exemption clause, as tending in the least to modify our opposition to the law. We as firmly and as fully deny the right of the State to legislate upon the subject with an exemption clause as without. 

Senator Blair: There are three times as many of you as of his denomination? 

Mr. Jones: Yes, sir; there are nearly thirty thousand of us, and we ask for no exemption clause. We stand wholly upon the principle of the question. There should be no exemption from a just law. If the law is right, it is wrong to exempt. 

In 1887 Mrs. Bateham herself wrote and printed a “Letter to Seventh-day Believers,” proposing in substance that if we would help them to secure a Sunday law, they would exempt us from its penalties. We replied then as we reply now and always. We will not help you to put upon others what we would not have put upon ourselves. 

Senator Blair: You object to it? 

Mr. Jones: We object to the whole principle of the proposed legislation. We go to the root of the matter, and deny the right of Congress to enact it. 

Senator Blair: You say that the proposed exemption does not make it any better? 

Mr. Jones: Not a bit; because if the rightfulness of the legislation be admitted, then we admit that it is the right of a majority to say that such and such a day shall be the Sabbath or the Lord’s day, and that it shall be kept. The majorities change in civil government; the majority may change within a few years, — may change, in fact, at any election, — and then the people may say that the day which we believe should be kept must be observed, or they may say that this day shall not be kept. If we admit the propriety of the legislation, we must also admit the propriety of the legislation to the effect that a certain day shall not be kept, and it makes every man’s observance of Sunday, or otherwise, simply the football of majorities. That has been the course of religious legislation from the formation of the papacy onward, and that is the end of religious legislation of all kinds everywhere. 

Senator Blair: Do you not think there is a distinction between a majority in a monarchical government, and a majority in a republican government? In a monarchical government the majority is simply one man who has power. 

Mr. Jones: But in a republic when you throw this subject into civil affairs, it makes a great deal of difference. Why, sir, we would object to the passage of a law enforcing the observance of the day which we keep, and to accept an exemption clause would only be to contradict ourselves. Allow me to illustrate this: There was a time when we did not keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. While we did not keep it, we had the right not to keep it. We became convinced that we ought to keep it; and we are now doing so. We have the right to keep it. More than this, we have the right again not to keep it if we choose not to keep it. But if, while keeping it, we should consent to the State’s assumption of power to compel us to do that which we have the right to omit if we please, we would therein resign our freedom of religious faith and worship. If these people would only think on this question, they would see that they themselves cannot afford to consent to this legislation, much less demand it. No man can ever safely consent to legislation in favor of the form of faith or worship which he himself professes. In so doing he resigns his right to profess some other form of faith if he should become convinced that other form is nearer the truth than his own. He virtually resigns his right to think any further on the subject of religious observances, and must thenceforth accept them ready made from the legislative power; that is, as the majority may dictate. The Sunday observers may thus give away their religious liberty if they choose; but as for us, we do not propose to do it. We are going to assert and maintain our rights. And when these give theirs away, we are going to assert their right to re-assert their rights. 

Another thing: An exemption clause is only a toleration clause in disguise. For us to accept it would be but to confess that all religious rights are summed up in the majority, and that we are willing to accept from them whatever religious liberty they think we ought to have. But no such confession, sir, will we ever make. To no such thing will we ever consent or submit. We are Americans, sir, and citizens of the United States, too, and we assert all the rights of American citizens. The vocabulary of American ideas knows no such word as “toleration.” It asserts rights. As was said by the Senate Committee on this very subject sixty years ago, so say we: 

“What other nations call religious toleration, we call religious rights. They are not exercised by virtue of governmental indulgence, but as rights, of which government cannot deprive any portion of citizens, however small. Despotic power may invade those rights, but justice still confirms them.” 

Nor is this all that there is to be said on this point. There is another principle involved. If we should accept the exemption clause, it would not help the thing. It would be exceedingly short. Suppose an exemption clause were given. There are people who would profess to be Seventh-day Adventists for the express purpose of getting a chance to open saloons or houses of business on Sunday. Therefore in outright self-defense, the majority would have to repeal the exemption clause. 

Senator Blair: Call Mrs. Bateham’s attention to that. 

Mr. Jones: Let me repeat it. If you give an exemption clause — it has been tried — there are reprehensible men, saloon keepers, who know they will get more traffic on Sunday than they can on Saturday, and they will profess to be Seventh-day Adventists, they will profess to be Sabbath keepers. You cannot “go behind the returns,” you cannot look into the heart, you cannot investigate the intention, to see whether they are genuine in their profession or not. They will profess to be Sabbath keepers, and then they will open their saloons on Sunday. Then in outright self-defense, to make your position effective, you will have to repeal that exemption clause. It will last but a little while. 

Senator Blair: I agree with you there. 

Mr. Jones: For that reason these people cannot afford to offer an exemption clause; and for the reason that it puts the majority in the power of our conscience, we deny the right to do anything of the kind. I ask the organizations represented here to think of this after this hearing is over. It will bear all the investigation they choose to give it. 

Senator Blair: I should like to call everybody’s attention to the point. If you need any legislation of this kind, you would better ask for legislation to carry out your purposes, and be careful that in the effort to get the assistance of the parties against you, you do not throw away the pith and substance of all for which you ask. 

Mr. Jones: Yes, sir, that is the point. To show the workings of this principle, I will state that Arkansas in 1885 had an exemption clause in its Sunday law. That exemption clause, it was claimed, was taken advantage of by saloon keepers to keep open on Sunday. A delegation went to the legislature of Arkansas, and asked them to repeal the exemption clause, so that they could shut the saloons on Sunday. The legislature did it. If they had shut the saloons on Sunday, that would have been all well enough. But they did not even try it. There was not a saloon keeper arrested under that repealed law; there were only two men not keeping the seventh day, who were arrested under it; there was not a man who did not keep the seventh day fined under it; but there were Seventh-day Baptists and some Seventh-day Adventists, poor almost as Job’s turkey, who were prosecuted and fined. One man had his only horse taken from him, and his cow, and at last his brethren contributed money to save him from jail. Such men were prosecuted time and again; and the lawyers of the State, under the leadership of Senator Crockett, succeeded in carrying through the legislature, against the persistent opposition of the church managers, a bill restoring the exemption clause, to save these poor, innocent people from the persecution that was being carried on.* 

Senator Blair: I am glad you put in that fact, because it is something that happened. 

Mr. Jones: I ask leave to read the statement made in the Arkansas Legislature by Senator Crockett, upon that very subject: 

“Let me, sir, illustrate the operation of the present law by one or two examples. A Mr. Swearigen came from a Northern State and settled on a farm in ____ County. His farm was four miles from town, and far away from any house of religious worship. He was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and, after having sacredly observed the Sabbath of his people (Saturday) by abstaining from all secular work, he and his son, a lad of seventeen, on the first day of the week went quietly about their usual avocations. They disturbed no one — interfered with the rights of no one. But they were observed, and reported to the Grand Jury, indicted, arrested, tried, convicted, fined, and having no money to pay the fine, these moral, Christian citizens of Arkansas were dragged to the county jail and imprisoned like felons for twenty-five days — and for what? — For daring, in this so-called land of liberty, in the year of our Lord 1887, to worship God. 

“Was this the end of the story? — Alas, no, sir! They were turned out; and the old man’s only horse, his sole reliance to make bread for his children, was levied on to pay the fine and costs, amounting to thirty-eight dollars. The horse sold at auction for twenty-seven dollars. A few days afterward the sheriff came again, and demanded thirty-six dollars, eleven dollars balance due on fine and costs, and twenty-five dollars for board for himself and son while in jail. And when the poor old man — a Christian, mind you — told him with tears that he had no money, he promptly levied on his only cow, but was persuaded to accept bond, and the amount was paid by contributions from his friends of the same faith. Sir, my heart swells to bursting with indignation as I repeat to you the infamous story. 

“Another, and I am done. Sir, I beg you and these senators to believe that these are neither fancy nor exaggerated sketches. Five years ago a young man, newly married, came to ____ County from Ohio. He and his wife were Seventh-day Baptists. The young girl had left father and mother, brothers and sisters, and all the dear friends of her childhood, to follow her young husband to Arkansas — to them the land of promise. The light of love sparkled in her bright young eyes. The roses of health were upon her cheeks, and her silvery laugh was sweet music, of which her young husband never wearied. They purchased a little farm, and soon by tireless industry and frugal thrift, their home blossomed like a rose in the wilderness. After awhile a fair young babe came to them to brighten the sunshine, and sweeten the bird songs. They were happy in each other’s affection and their love for the little one. For them ‘all things worked together for good;’ for in their humble, trusting way, they worshiped God and loved their fellow-men. 

“Two years ago the law under which their prosperity and happiness had had its growth was repealed! Accursed be the day which brought such a foul blot upon our State’s fair fame! A change, sudden, cold, and blasting as an Arctic storm, came over their lives, and pitilessly withered all their bright flowers of hope. Under this repeal, persecution lifted its ugly, venomous head. The hero of my sad story was observed by an envious, jealous neighbor, quietly working, as he believed God had commanded him, on Sunday. He was reported to that Inquisitorial relic of barbarism, the Grand Jury, indicted, tried, convicted, and thrown into jail because his conscience would not let him pay the fine. 

“Week after week dragged its slow length along. Day after day the young wife, with baby in her arms, watched at the gate for his coming, and, like Tennyson’s Marianna: 

She only said: “My life is dreary, He cometh not,” she said. 

She said: “I am aweary — aweary — I would that I were dead."’ 

“Then baby sickened and died; the light in the young wife’s eyes faded out in tears; her silvery laugh changed to low, wailing sobs. Pale-faced misery snatched the roses from her cheeks, and planted in their stead her own pallid hue. Sir, how can I go on? At length the cruel law was appeased, and this inoffensive citizen (except that he had loved God and sought to obey him) was released from prison, and dragged his weary feet to the happy home he had left a few short weeks before. He met his neighbors at the gate bearing a coffin. He asked no questions, his heart told him all. No, not all! He knew not — he could never know — of her lonely hours, of her bitter tears, of the weary watching and waiting, of the appeals to God, — that God for whom she had suffered so much, — for help in the hour of her extremity, of baby’s sickness and death. He could not know of these. But he went with them to the quiet country burial-place, and saw beside the open grave a little mound with dirt freshly heaped upon it, and then he knew that God had taken both his heart’s idols, and he was left alone. His grief was too deep for tears. With staring eyes, he saw them lower the body of his young wife into the grave. He heard the clods rattle upon the coffin, and it seemed as if they were falling upon his heart. The work was done, and they left him with his dead; and then he threw himself down between the graves, with an arm across each little mound, and the tears came in torrents, and kept his heart from breaking. And then he sobbed his broken farewell to his darlings, and left Arkansas forever, — left it, sir, as hundreds of others are preparing to leave, if this General Assembly fails to restore to them the protection of their rights under the Constitution, national and State. 

“On next Monday, at Malvern, six as honest, good, and virtuous citizens as live in Arkansas, are to be tried as criminals for daring to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their own consciences; for exercising a right which this Government, under the Constitution, has no power to abridge. Sir, I plead, in the name of justice, in the name of our republican institutions, in the name of these inoffensive, God-fearing, God-serving people, our fellow-citizens, and last, sir, in the name of Arkansas, I plead that this bill may pass, and this one foul blot be wiped from the escutcheon of our glorious commonwealth.” 

Arkansas was not alone in this, however, though it was worse there than anywhere else. I myself, with other brethren in California, had to send hundreds of dollars into Tennessee, to support the families of the brethren of our own faith there, while the husbands and fathers who made the money for their support were in jail because they chose to work for their families on Sunday, and make bread for them after having kept the Sabbath according to their conscience. That has been done, Mr. Chairman, in these United States. That is the care these people have for the laboring man. 

Senator Blair: You reason from that that there should be no Sunday law whatever? 

Mr. Jones: If you allow a Sunday law, you must allow it to any extent. It must be enforced. All they did in Arkansas was to enforce the law, simply as in the Roman empire they enforced the law, and put Christians to death. They simply enforced the law, but the law was wrong. Any condition of the law that will allow such things as that is a wrong condition of the law. 

To be Continued… 

(This article was taken from pages 118-127 of the book entitled, The National Sunday Law, by Alonzo T. Jones. Some editing was done for this publication.    Editor

Something for the Young at Heart 

We are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies based on a series of Bible Lessons written by Lynnford Beachy, entitled, “God’s Love on Trial,” taken from the book by the same title. 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. (The KJV is required.) 

Questions Answered (Part 2) - Lesson 12

1 John 5:7 

  • To overcome the world we must believe that Jesus is the ____ of God. 1 John 5:5—17 Across 

Note: In this portion of John’s letter he emphasized the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. This emphasis is prominent in much of John’s writings. In fact, John explained that the reason he wrote the entire gospel of John was “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). 

  • We make God a ____ if we do not believe the record He gave of His Son. 1 John 5:10—16 Across 

Note: Sandwiched between these two emphatic statements regarding the importance of understanding and believing that Jesus is the actual Son of God, we find 1 John 5:7. Some Trinitarians use this verse to support the theory that Jesus is not actually God’s Son, but rather “God the Son,” the second person of a triune god. This approach does injustice to the context and the main point of 1 John chapter 5. There must be some other explanation for these texts. 

  • Jesus came to this earth by ____ and by blood. 1 John 5:6—10 Down 
  • There are three that bear ____ in heaven. 1 John 5:7—8 Down 

Note: The question must be asked, “three what?” Trinitarians and Tritheists assume that “there are three [persons or beings, or even three Gods],” but that is not what the verse says. It just says “there are three.” 

  • The ____, the water, and the blood bear witness in earth. 1 John 5:8— 1 Across 

Note: Again, we must ask “three what?” Are there three persons? three beings? three Gods? From the context we find that it can be none of these. Verse 6 demonstrates that the water and the blood cannot possibly be persons, yet they bear record in the earth. Keep in mind that John’s purpose for mentioning that there are three that bear record is to help substantiate his point that Jesus is the Son of God. The record that they bear proves Jesus to be God’s Son. 

How the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood Testify 

  • When Jesus was baptized with water His Father said, “This is my ____ Son.” Matthew 3:17—6 Down 
  • John the Baptist bore record when he saw the Spirit ____ from heaven. John 1:32—11 Across 
  • John said that He that sent him to ____ told him to look for this sign. John 1:33—9 Across 
  • After seeing this sign, John testified that Jesus is the ___ ___ ___. John 1:34 (3 words)—12 Down 

Note: The Spirit descending at Christ’s water baptism testified that Jesus is the Son of God. 

  • The Spirit beareth ____ with our spirit. Romans 8:16—4 Down 
  • When a soldier pierced Jesus’ side ____ and water came out. John 19:34—15 Across 
  • After seeing Christ die a ____ testified that Jesus was the Son of God. Mark 15:39—14 Across 

Note: Christ’s death testified to the fact that He is God’s Son. Even a Roman soldier could recognize this truth. The Spirit, the water, and the blood all testify to the reality of Christ being the Son of God. If the three that bear witness on the earth are not separate individual persons, then there is no guarantee that the three that bear witness in heaven are separate persons. 

Putting it all Together 

  • The three in heaven are ____. 1 John 5:7—5 Down 
  • Jesus said, “I and my ____ are one. John 10:30—3 Across 
  • Jesus gave us the ____ He received from His Father so that we can be one even as He and His Father are one. John 17:22—13 Down 
  • Jesus said He is in us, and His Father is in Him, so that we may be made ____ in one. John 17:23— 2 Down 

Note: According to Jesus, He and His Father are one because His Father dwells in Him. He explained that you and I can be one in the same way. This oneness is not oneness of person, or being, but rather a oneness of mind, character, and purpose, accomplished by being partakers of the same Spirit. “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). 

  • There are ____ that bear record in heaven. 1 John 5:7—7 Across 

Note: Some people read words into this verse as if it said, “For there are three persons that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three persons are one God.” If the verse had been written in this way, then it would teach the idea of a trinity, but it does not say that. The only way we can get a trinity out of this verse is to add three words to the text. 

    How do the Father and Son bear record in heaven to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God? Both of them could personally testify to anyone in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God. The same Holy Spirit that bears witness to our spirits that we are the sons of God can testify in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God. And these three records are in perfect agreement. 

    First John 5:7 does not prove that there are three persons in one God. If we wish to find evidence from the Bible that God is composed of three persons we must look elsewhere. 

    As a side note to this, you may wish to read a Bible commentary on 1 John 5:7. Most commentaries declare that the words “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth” were not found in any Greek manuscripts before the 16th century, and were added into the Latin Vulgate by mistake of a copyist who included a marginal note in the text. Yet, it did not appear in any Greek manuscript until much later. For this reason most of the newer Bible translations leave these words out, or include them in italics to indicate their questionable nature. One Bible commentary says, “Erasmus did not have it in his first edition, but rashly offered to insert it if a single Greek Manuscript had it and [Manuscript #] 34 was produced with the insertion, as if made to order… Some Latin scribe caught up Cyprian’s exegesis and wrote it on the margin of his text, and so it got into the Vulgate and finally into the Textus Receptus by the… [irresponsibility] of Erasmus” (Robertson’s New Testament Word Pictures commentary on 1 John 5:7). 

    Even if this text is considered to be valid, it does not prove a Trinity. For more answers to verses in the Bible that are sometimes used to support the idea of the Trinity doctrine, please contact us and request the study entitled, “Answers to Verses Trinitarians Often Use.” 

Answers to Last Month's Crossword

You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond 

(Brother Jim Raymond has been a food scientist for many years, and has agreed to share some of his knowledge with us.    Editor

Will The REAL Carbon Atom Please Stand Up? 

When new friends find out that I’m not a trinitarian, their usual response is: “Oh, then you don’t believe that Jesus is divine.” I’ve never understood how the theosophical mystery of the trinity should have any bearing on the divinity of the Son of God. This is the mother of all mysteries to me. 

The Genesis creation story reveals the genealogical principle of, “after their kind” (Genesis 1:21 & 25, 6:20, 7:14). God ordained that this principle should work naturally for all of His earthly creations. 

No surprises here—human beings always bring forth human beings after their kind

The Bible (Proverbs 8:22, 23) reveals that God brought forth (birthed) His Son somewhere “from everlasting, from the beginning” and, true to the principle He ordained for the creatures made in His image, His Son would be automatically as equal in His Father’s divinity as was Able equal to Adam and Eve in their humanity. This principle is so strong that the Bible even warns us that we are excuseless for not understanding the divine attributes of the Godhead based on what was made (Romans 1:20). 

Based on the principle of after their kind as illustrated and confirmed by what was made, I have no problem believing that God’s Holy Son is fully divine because He is born after His Father’s kind (Hebrews 1:4). 

Similarly when God created earthly matter, He made all carbon atoms the same—after their kind. They all look the same and they all behave the same. Yes, this is also true for all of the ninety-two naturally occurring kinds of atoms (each of which defines chemical properties of the element that bears its name). I focus on the carbon atom because it is the backbone of the chemistry of life. To understand food science and/or nutrition we must have at least an elementary (pun intended) understanding of carbon and how she interacts with some of her playmates in the atomic neighborhood. 

One of those key elementary facts is that nobody really synthesizes carbon atoms (God made them – all of them!). Even if the technology exists to make carbon atoms it would not be at all economically practical. A pound of sugar made from manmade carbon atoms would be a bargain at a billion dollars, and might even glow in the dark. The truth is that it’s more practical to start with molecules that are structurally close and add atoms at the appropriate spots. 

The next key elementary point is that all carbon atoms have four hands and can hold hands (chemically bond) with up to four playmates including other carbon atoms. Sometimes they can sort of rotate their hands to allow a group of attached playmate atoms to be out of their typical alignment. This ability to rotate their hands is called chirality, and the molecules with misaligned groups are called isomers. When the alignment winds up being the exact mirror image of typical they are called stereoisomers and can be either the right handed form (termed “D” form) or the left handed (“L” form). Even though the atomic composition of molecules can be exactly the same, a difference in isomeric alignment around a chiral center can lead to radical differences in function. One isomer may be a deadly poison, while another is a nutrient and still a third is inert. 

Our final elementary point for today: since atoms cannot be synthesized they must be taken from preexisting sources such as plants, petroleum, or animal processing byproducts and undesirable remnants (popular cosmetic ingredient sources). These originally God-made atoms (even from unseemly sources) can then be used to build (synthesize) molecules that are absolutely indistinguishable from the original pattern. If the atoms are all holding hands exactly the same way as the pattern, then the resulting molecule is exactly the same as the one made by God in nature, and it will function in exactly the same way. Now what’s the point? Simply put it means that synthetic is not inherently inferior to natural. 

Having belabored this point, let’s take a reality check on the concept of natural. Some processes can start with a natural source of the desired vitamin then proceed to chemically kidnap the compound in such a brutal way that to call the end product natural seems a wishful stretch of the imagination at best. Follow the internet link to a process that produces a profitable “natural” vitamin E, and you’ll see what I mean: www.chemicalconstruction.com/mixed.html

That produced by the method described in the above web page, is just as likely as its synthetic counterpart to be a racemic mix of D and L and other random isomeric forms. We can twist out those beautifully God-made molecules and render them isomerically so far off the mark as to be as dysfunctional or as harmful as the worst of the synthetics. 

Now that you know that a proper synthetic vitamin supplement can be every bit as effective as a naturally extracted supplement my first objective is accomplished. 

Next, I’d like to tell you about four vitamin supplements that should always be precisely chemically specific, whether extracts or synthetics, and free from undesirable processing chemical residues. These four are: vitamin E, B12, Folate, and vitamin D. 

Understand that we are concerned only with these nutrients in the form of dietary supplements (i.e., pills). In the strictest sense the only natural form of a nutrient is found in whole, minimally processed foods. So why consider supplements? Simply put, it would be to achieve a pharmacological or therapeutic effect. Many good reasons for this exist: genetic dysfunction, malabsorp- tive problems, autoimmune syndromes, certain diseases, and the list goes on. Rarely would the goal be to achieve a cure, but rather therapeutic control. Achieving a therapeutically effective dose from foods alone is not always possible; in fact it could be impossible in some of the listed conditions. 

Vitamin E: 

Vitamin E, a critical cellular antioxidant (reducing agent) is getting a lot of attention, and some of the results are very exciting. Vitamin E seems to be a family of eight natural members, four are tocopherols and four are tocotrienols. 

Because alpha-tocopherol holds the legal right to the name, Vitamin E, it is still (to my knowledge) the only commercial form which is intentionally synthetic. 

The gamma-tocopherol form is currently having its day in the sun and seems to be especially important. I’m sure the other six partners will have their turn in the limelight soon. Where alpha-tocopherol is able to deal with a broad spectrum of oxygen based radicals, gamma-tocopherol seems to have a very specific role in neutralizing nitrogen based “super” radicals. Taking large doses of the alpha form depletes gamma-tocopherol levels. This will be far less likely to happen if minimally processed foods are the primary source of vitamin E. 

Stereochemistry (the molecular form of right or left handedness) is extremely important in biochemistry. The biologically beneficial amino acids are always in the “L” form, and the “D” isomers of some amino acids can be deadly. Perhaps this explains the harmful results reported in some vitamin studies. 

Those using vitamin E supplements for pharmacological purposes need to be advised that dosage rates were adjusted in 2008. Based on the current scientific studies, the recommended upper dosage rate for natural vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol—derived from natural vegetable sources) is 1,500 IU/day. Under certain circumstances, taking more than this can decrease essential blood clotting and lead to increased bleeding. 

Just a side note: many people take too many antioxidant supplements and too much of each of them. All things in God’s system are related and a balance needs to be sought—too much can be as bad, or worse, than too little. 

Folate and Vitamin B12: 

L-methylfolate is the naturally occurring bio-active form of folate used by the cells to produce DNA, regulate homocysteine levels and several other functions. Folic acid is the synthetic of choice for folate supplementation in processed grain products (flour, breads, and cereals). Converting folic acid to active L-methylfolate requires five metabolic steps. This works fine for about fifty to sixty percent of the population. However, another ten to forty percent of the people cannot process supplemental folic acid at all, or have limits (lower than recommended levels) on how much folic acid can be converted to L-methylfolate. In either case “raw” folic acid tends to build up in the blood. We will rejoin this key fact shortly. 

Normally metabolized by enzymes containing vitamin B12, Homocysteine and methylmalonic acid tend to accumulate in the blood in those who are vitamin B12 deficient. High blood folate seems to worsen the low B12 levels by interfering with the enzymes causing blood levels of these two metabolites to rise even higher. Worsening of the vitamin B12 deficiency can present as anemia, brain dysfunction (or, especially in children, permanent brain damage). 

A recent evaluation of nutrition research data conducted in the USA (called the NHANES) compared the results of the studies conducted before and after 1998. This was when the Food and Drug Administration required the addition of folic acid (synthetic folate) to cereal and grain products in order to help prevent birth defects in infants. 

Now we rejoin the key fact above on folic acid build up in the blood. If you are part of the ten to forty percent of the people who have some difficulty to total inability in converting folic acid to folate, then this news alert is for you: the adverse interactions between high folate blood levels and vitamin B12 deficiency were seen only in the study participants after the fortification of flour and other cereals with folic acid. 

Putting this information to work means you will be using whole grain products to minimize foods with added folic acid so you’ll get the most out of your B12 stores. This strategy is critical if your B12 intake continues to be low. 

Naturally occurring L-methylfolate, found in leafy vegetables, legumes and in many other fruits and vegetables, can be readily incorporated into the body’s folate pool, and the combination of high blood levels of natural L-methylfolate and normal vitamin B12 status actually seems beneficial to health. So there is no reason to avoid foods with naturally occurring L-methylfolate and it is essential to consume B12 containing products or even supplements if necessary. No excuses! There are several vegan B12 supplements now on the market. 

Just vitamin B12: 

Like the vitamin E family, the Cobalamin family consists of four closely related forms, three of which are essential and biologically active forms of B12—methylcobalamin, adenosyl- cobalamin (dibencozide), hydroxyco- balamin, and cyanocobalamin. Each member of the cobolamin family has their subtle and important difference. 

Methylcobalamin: Considered by many researchers to be the most important, active, and potent of the three essential cobalamins. Particularly important to central nervous system and spinal cord health, it regulates homocysteine levels and helps increase mental focus and clarity. It protects the nervous system by regulating glutamate-induced neuronal damage (common in aging) and promoting nerve cell regeneration. Methylco- balamin is the only form of vitamin B12 that participates in regulating circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycles). It has been shown to improve sleep quality and refreshment from sleep, as well as increasing feelings of well-being, concentration and alertness. 

Adenosylcobalamin (dibencozide): The second most highly biologically active form of vitamin B12 is essential for energy production metabolism. Also one of the three essential forms, it is required for normal myelin sheath formation and nucleoprotein synthesis. Deficiencies are associated with nerve and spinal cord degeneration. 

Hydroxycobalamin: One of the three essential cobalamins that make up the vitamin B12 family. This unique form participates in detoxification, especially cyanide detoxification. Cyanide levels are often elevated in smokers, people who eat cyanide-containing food (like cassava) and those with certain metabolic defects. Excess cyanide in the tissues blocks the conversion of cyanocobalamin to methyl- cobalamin or adenosylcobalamin. In such cases, hydroxycobalamin is the vitamin B12 of choice. In the USA, hydroxycobalamin is an FDA approved treatment for cyanide poisoning. 

Cyanocobalamin: The most common of the cobalamins found in nutritional supplements, has the lowest biological activity and must be converted in the liver to methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin before it can be utilized. Because it can be converted to other forms of B12, some consider it to be the “mother form” of B12. However, this “mother” is very inefficient and like folic acid it does not work very well for some people due to difficulties with assimilation or conversion. 

Each member of the cobolamin family has their subtle and important difference. The ideal formula might be one which contains the three essential forms. 

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol): 

Some researchers present a respectable argument for the claim that D3 is more hormone than vitamin. A key point in this argument is that D3 seems involved in nearly 2,000 of the 30,000 genes that regulate body functions. 

Cholecalciferol is “real” vitamin D, and it is the preferred oral form. This is the compound your skin makes naturally when exposed to the sun. It is ready to be absorbed and can go right to work without undergoing further metabolic conversion. Cholecalciferol is 1.7 times more efficient at raising 25(OH)D (25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol) levels than is ergocalciferol. All other related compounds are either metabolic products (D2, D4, D5, D6, D7) or chemical modifications (D1 = ergocalciferol) or synthetically-derived D (calcitriol). 

Most people can produce enough D3 in twenty to thirty minutes if they can expose enough bare skin (about forty percent) to the sun when the solar angle allows them to cast a shadow shorter than they are tall. During fall and winter, the angle of the sun relative to the Earth dilutes the sun’s effectiveness in helping make D3, resulting in vitamin D deficiency. Several complicating factors can interfere or negate D3 production by this natural solar method: washing with soap too soon after sunbathing lessens absorption, atmospheric clouds and moisture, genetics, skin tone and condition, chemical sun blockers, and so forth. When the shadows lengthen or when complicating factors persist, supplementation is in order. This can be as simple as swallowing the correct amount of natural cholecalcif- erol, or spending time in front of artificial sun lamps that emit light in the UVB or UVC range. 

During the winter months the prevalence of D3 deficiency markedly rises and along with it come depression, immune suppression, colds and flu. For those who are hastening toward winter, and possible vitamin D deficiency, please consider the evidence that treatment with Calcitriol can be problematic. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes prescribe Calcitriol or its newer analogs, costing many times more than chole- calciferol. Calcitriol, and its analogs, are contraindicated in vitamin D deficiency because they fail to address the real problem of low body stores of D3 and they may cause hypercalcemia (high blood calcium—which can settle in arterial walls). If you have a simple vitamin D deficiency and your doctor insists on prescribing calcitriol or an expensive form of vitamin D—other than D3, chole- calciferol or D1 (ergocalciferol), consider getting a second opinion—which always involves finding another doctor, at least temporarily. In this case you won’t need either because you can get good quality vitamin D wherever you buy supplements. Even the best is inexpensive; dry or oil based both work just fine as long it is Cholecalciferol (chemically 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol, not the metabolite 1,25-di-hydroxy-cholecalcif- erol). 

The current official dosage recommendations seem way too low for optimal health. The most beneficial therapeutic dosage reported to date will keep the blood levels between 125 - 225 nmol/L (50 - 90 ng/ml). Maintaining this therapeutic range usually requires (but there are many variables) 5,000 IU/day. This can be done rapidly with oral supplements by taking, 1000 IU per pound of body weight for three days and 5,000 IU per day from then on. This method is also recommended to boost the immune system for the cold and flu season. 

Optimal solar production can yield 10,000 - 50,000 IU in 10 - 15 minutes, but very dark skin may take ten times the sun-time to make this amount (varying sun-time and oral supplementation may be the way to go in this case). 

Very strong evidence supports the belief that we need not worry about toxicity at these levels if those sources are natural (either sun made or oral D3). We can help keep this in check by balancing our diet to provide the co-factors Vitamin D needs to work properly—magnesium, vitamin K, zinc and boron. So listen to your mother and, “Eat your spinach.” Every day! 

You’ll see more about vitamin D3 in upcoming articles. For now I wanted to share this relatively new information on D3 so you could plan your winter strategy to ensure that you can maintain appropriate blood levels of this critically important “vitamin.” 

When the synthetic choices are not carbon copies, the natural choice is the natural source. 

Blessings!  JR 

If you would like references for any of the content; or reputable sources for the natural bio-active supplements mentioned in this article, please make your request to the Editor. 


Thanks to the reader who called with a concern about the safety of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). 

At the time of her call, I was sitting in a state park in Oklahoma and unable to benefit from the material that usually flows into my desktop email. I’d heard as much logic from the pro-HFCS side as from its opponents so I shared that I was not ready to put the gavel down on the case. However I personally avoid HFCS if there is an alternative product. 

Back home I discovered a study published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that caused my gavel to drop. 

The study demonstrates that, when exposed to warm summer temperatures, HFCS can form hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) which kills honeybees. Bee- keepers feed HFCS to their bees when floral nectar is not available. HMF may be a factor in Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious disease that has killed at least one-third of the honeybee population in the United States. 

Because HFCS is used to sweeten many processed foods, the study has implications for human health, and cites other research that links HMF to DNA damage in humans. Furthermore, HMF breaks down in the body to even more harmful substances such as 5-sulfoxy- methylfurfural, which can be detected in urine shortly after consuming HMF in the diet. 

Let’s hope this study can help get the HFCS out of otherwise wholesome foods. 

Twice falls my gavel! 

The Gospel in Creation (Part 9)

by Ellet J. Waggoner 

THE BOW OF PROMISE: There is a closer connection between the rain and the forgiveness of sins than many realize. When God made a covenant with Noah that He would no more destroy the world by a flood, He said: “This is the token of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations: I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth” (Genesis 9:12-16). 

God said, “I do set My bow in the cloud.” The rainbow is in a special sense God’s bow, for it is that which encircles His throne. When John on the isle of Patmos, saw the throne of God in heaven, he saw that “there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Revelation 4:3). The prophet Ezekiel also saw “visions of God.” He saw “the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of His loins even upward, and from the appearance of His loins even downward. I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ezekiel 1:26-28). 

We learn, therefore, that when God sets His bow in the clouds, He puts there His own glory that is about His throne. It is the bow of promise, for He gave His word, and His word is His glory. Thus it was that the prophet Jeremiah, in pleading for forgiveness for the people of God, said, “Do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory” (Jeremiah 14:21). For God to break His word would be to make His glorious bow of no effect, and as that is some of the glory of His throne, it would be to disgrace the throne of His glory. 

We learn from the prophecy that the bow in the cloud, which is the token of the steadfastness of God’s word, not only assures us that there will be no more flood, but that it is an assurance of the mercy of God in the forgiveness of sins. To His people God says: “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Isaiah 54:7-10). 

Let the cloud of sins be never so thick and threatening, the glory of God’s word of grace shining upon it will bring into full view the bow of promise, and we shall remember that there is forgiveness with Him, that He may be feared. So even the clouds of darkness that overshadow the earth may bear to us a message of comfort. 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; 

The clouds ye so much dread 

Are big with mercy, and shall break 

In blessings o’er your head. 

The Third Day: 

The Fullness of the Sea 

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He seas; and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:9, 10). When, as recorded in the last part of the book of Job, the Lord would convince the patriarch of his weakness and dependence upon God, that he might know that righteousness comes from God alone, he referred to this gathering together of the waters as proof. “Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb; When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, and prescribed for it My decree, and set bars and doors, and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?” (Job 38:8-11, R.V). 

When the psalmist speaks of the power of the word, by which God created the heavens and the earth, he says: “He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: He layeth up the depth in storehouses” (Psalm 33:7). It may be well to notice here, in passing, the words, “And it was so,” with which the record of every new step in creation is closed. God said, “Let it be,” and “it was so.” His simple word was sufficient to establish it. Let it be remembered that this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto us. Its power has never diminished; it is as able to save as it was to create. 

It is impossible that anyone who is acquainted to any degree with the Lord should stand by the sea without being reminded of the mighty power of the Creator. Yet many gaze upon the sea day after day with never a thought of its Maker, and even openly defy Him. To such the Lord says: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not Me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at My presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?” (Jeremiah 5:21, 22). 

But it is not in order to produce the fright that the Lord reminds us of His mighty power that can set bounds for the sea, so that it cannot pass over in its fiercest tumult. No; it is that we may trust Him. Perfect faith and love drive fear away. So the power of God over the sea is referred to as evidence of His faithfulness. “O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee? or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, Thou tillest them” (Psalm 89:8,9). An example of this faithfulness is given in the gospels. “And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest Thou not that we perish? And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:35-41). 

This was but the manifestation of the original creative power. He who created the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, retains full control over all. In those words, “Peace be still,” we hear the same voice that said: “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place.” And this is the word which by the gospel is preached to us; so we are to learn from God’s power over the sea, which is His because He made it, His power over the waves of strife that surge through human hearts. 

For the angry sea represents the wicked. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). Christ is our peace. The word which He spoke to the sea of Galilee that night is the word which He speaks to us. “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints: but let them not again turn to folly” (Psalm 85:8). Surely here is comfort for those who have long struggled in vain with fierce passions. 

Not only is God’s power over the sea a symbol of His power to save men from the tide of sin, but it is also a pledge and surety of their final complete deliverance. It also shows the power with which God is going to clothe the preaching of the gospel message in the last struggle preceding His second coming. Read the following soul-thrilling words: 

“Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the days of old, the generations of ancient times. Art Thou not it that cut Rahab [Egypt] in pieces, that pierced the dragon? Art Thou not it which dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over? And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou art afraid of man that shall die, and of the Son of man which shall be made as grass; and hast forgotten the Lord thy Maker, that stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and fearest continually all the day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he maketh ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile shall speedily be loosed; and he shall not die and go down into the pit, neither shall his bread fail. For I am the Lord thy God, which stirreth up the sea, that the waves thereof roar: the Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in thy mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people” (Isaiah 51:9-16, R.V.). 

Surely the fact that “the sea is His, and He made it” (Psalm 95:5), and that He “hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand” (Isaiah 40:12), is sufficient ground for confidence in Him by any of His people, whether it be for deliverance from danger, for overcoming grace, or for help in carrying on the work to which He has called them. 

Christ in the Tempest 

Storm on the midnight waters.
The vast sky 

Is stooping with the thunder.
Cloud on cloud 

Reels heavily in the darkness,
like a shroud 

Shook by some warning
spirit from the high 

And terrible wall of heaven.
The mighty wave 

Tosses beneath its shadow,
like the bold 

Upheavings of a giant
from the grave 

Which bound him prematurely
to its cold 

And desolate bosom.
Lo, they mingle now— 

Tempest and heaving wave,
along whose brow 

Trembles the lightning
from its thick fold. 

And it is very terrible.
The road 

Ascendeth into heaven,
and thunders break 

Like a response of demons
from the black 

Rifts of the hanging tempest—
yawning o’er 

The wild waves in their torment.
Hark! the cry 

Of the strong man in peril,
piercing through 

The uproar of the waters
and the sky; 

As the rent bark one moment
rides to view 

On the tall billows,
with the thunder-cloud 

Closing round above her
like a shroud. 

He stood upon the reeling deck.
His form 

Made visible by the lightning,
and His brow 

Uncovered to the visiting
of the storm, 

Told of a triumph
man may never know— 

Power underived and mighty.
“Peace, be still.” 

The great waves heard Him,
and the storm’s loud tone 

Went moaning into silence
at His will; 

And the thick clouds,
where yet the lightning shone, 

And slept the latent thunder,
rolled away 

Until no trace of tempest
lurked behind, 

Changing upon the pinions
of the wind 

To stormless wanderers,
beautiful and gay. 

Dread Ruler of the tempest!
Thou before 

Whose presence boweth
the uprisen storm; 

To whom the waves
do homage round the shore 

Of many an island empire!
If the form 

Of the frail dust beneath
Thine eye may claim 

Thine infinite regard,
O breathe upon 

The storm and darkness
of man’s soul the same 

Quiet and peace and humbleness
which came 

O’er the roused waters where
Thy voice had gone, 

A minister of peace—
to conquer in Thy name. 

Early poem by J. G. Whittier 

To be Continued… 

(This article was taken from pages 76-89 of the book entitled, The Gospel in Creation, by Ellet J. Waggoner.    Editor


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