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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

March 2010

“Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philemon 1:3). I pray that God will bless you as you continue drawing closer to Him. There is nothing better than knowing you are in the center of God’s will. Serve Him with your whole heart, and your joy will be full. 

2010 West Virginia Camp Meeting: It will be held at the Smyrna Chapel in Welch, West Virginia, June 15-19. Call 304-732-9204 for more information. 

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In this Issue

The New Covenant and the Law (Part 1)

by Joseph Emilio Lahud

Something for the Young at Heart
The Gospel in Creation (Part 14)

by Ellet J. Waggoner

You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond

The New Covenant and the Law - Part 1 

by Joseph Emilio Lahud 

(This article was taken from a booklet written by Joseph Lahud. For a copy of the complete booklet, you may contact Joseph directly at:
P O Box 473, Fertile, MN 56540, or by calling 218-474-0204, or by e-mail at lahudcraft@gvtel.com. Visit his website at www.revelationmessengers.com.

“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left” (Isaiah 24:5, 6). 

The “good news” is a declaration of God’s infinite love for His children in that He gave His only begotten Son for us (John 3:16). If “everything God made was very good” (Genesis 1:31), why did God have to give His Son? Because sin entered the world when man transgressed God’s law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). At creation, man was made in God’s image. Said God to His Son, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). The image and likeness of God and His Son contains no sin; it was not in God’s plan for mankind to be under the bondage of sin, for “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Originally, it was God’s intention that man would have eternal, intimate fellowship with Him. Before Adam fell, God included Adam, His created son, in helping Him care for His creation. He planted a garden home for Adam and placed him there to tend it (Genesis 2:3, 15). What a home it must have been! Filled with dazzling colors; trees, plants, flowers, and succulent fruit of every kind imaginable. God gave Adam the privilege of naming the animals, both birds and beasts (Genesis 2:19, 20). He also gave His daughter, Eve, to Adam to be his lovely companion and wife. They were to have dominion over all the earth (Genesis 1:26). 

Apparently God would often walk in the garden and fellowship with our first parents (Genesis 3:8). The language used in this chapter indicates that this was not the first time God had met with Adam and Eve in the garden. One can only imagine how precious it must have been “walking in the garden in the cool of the day:” the rich fragrance of the flowers permeating the air; the serenade of birds joyfully singing their canticles of praise, all creation joining in the chorus; and Adam and Eve as children, strolling hand in hand with their Creator, asking Him all sorts of questions. “What gives the sky its color?” “What is the distance of the stars?” “What makes the sun so bright?” “How do the birds know to sing?” “How old are you?” “Why is the grass green?” Imagination overwhelms our minds as we attempt to conceive such a scene of lovely tenderness and innocence. But then it happened; mankind committed the unthinkable. 

They disobeyed the voice of their Creator. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16, 17). Tragically, the record states: “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12). James White, a Christian minister and author, wrote in 1870: “When man fell, angels wept. Heaven was bathed in tears” (The Law and the Gospel, p. 2) The crimson stain of sin will be forever erased from those robed with the righteousness of Christ. The scars of sin, however, will be forever present upon the brow, hands, feet and side of the One who knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); evidence of the terribly great cost that was paid for our salvation. 

Of Jews and Gentiles: the Two Covenants 

The word “covenant” is defined as: “A solemn promise, a contract or formal agreement, a solemn agreement between two or more persons or groups to do or not to do a certain thing or things. The solemn promises of God to man.” (Thorndike-Barnhart Dictionary) The old covenant was made with the descend- ants of Abraham, a people known as the “the nation of Israel,” when they were delivered from Egyptian bondage. “…for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:9). This covenant is no longer in existence; it was replaced by the new covenant in 31 A.D. However, from the pen of a church historian we read: 

But a very serious error prevails in the minds of many persons respecting the points of difference between these two covenants. The old covenant was made with the Hebrew people. For this reason, whatever entered into it is supposed to be Jewish. Thus the law of God is summarily set aside as Jewish; and thus might the God of Israel Himself be discarded as a Jewish God. But the new covenant is held up to our admiration, because it was, as they say, not made with the Jews, but with the Gentiles. The old covenant belonged to the Jews, and with it we have no concern; the new covenant is made with the Gentiles, and we, as Gentiles, are interested in it. 

How can men thus carelessly read the scriptures? The language of inspiration is very explicit in stating that the new covenant is made with the same people that were the subject of the old covenant. Thus Jeremiah, speaking in the name of the Lord, says: “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31:31). And he further alludes to the fact that the new covenant is made with the Hebrew people when he adds: “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt” (v. 32). And yet again he identifies the Hebrew people when he says: “This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel” (v. 33). Paul quotes at length, in Hebrews 8, this entire statement of Jeremiah respecting the old and new covenants being severally made with the Hebrew people. And, as if this were not enough, he makes a statement in Romans 9:4, 5, that exactly meets the case. Thus he says of the Hebrews: “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever.” Thus it appears that everything valuable God has given to the world through the instrumentality, or by the means of, the Hebrew people. Those who choose to do so can despise the law of God because it was given to the Jews, and to reject Christ because He came of the Jews; but one thing they cannot do. They cannot say, “We accept the new covenant because it pertains to the Gentiles, whereas the first covenant, and the law, etc., pertaineth to the Jews.” No such distinction can be drawn. Both the covenants pertain to the Hebrew people, according to the explicit statement of Paul, or rather by the Spirit of inspiration speaking through Paul and Jeremiah. Both were to be made with Judah and Israel. (J. N. Andrews, The Two Covenants, 1875, pp. 3-5—emphasis supplied). 

The Old Covenant 

Three days before God descended upon the top of Mount Sinai, to formally enter into the first covenant with the nation of Israel, He gave them preparatory notice of this event through Moses, His servant. They were to consider carefully what they were about to promise to do, that is, to enter into covenant with God. This required for them to sanctify themselves. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation…” (Exodus 19:5, 6). “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” (v. 8) 

Please notice that the “covenant” is: “If ye will obey My voice, I will be your God, and you will be My people.” God was to speak to these same people His terms, or requirements and conditions —the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were not the covenant; no, they were the details or terms. The covenant was that the people would obey His voice. The solemn ceremony that attended the entering into this covenant between God and the nation of Israel was a fearful sight. “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly” (v. 18). In the next chapter (chapter 20), we read of God speaking all His Ten Commandments. This is known as “the giving of the law” (vs. 1-17). This account is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:2-22. This Moral law, God not only spoke, but He also wrote it on two tables of stone with His own finger. The ceremonial law was also given to the people through Moses. 

The details which constitute the entirety of the “covenant,” or the “contract,” include: 

1.    The “covenant” itself: “If they obeyed His voice” then “He would be their God” and “they would be His peculiar people,” His “treasure” (Exodus 19:5, 6). 

2.    The “terms” are God’s law, otherwise known as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). These defined the requirements and conditions the people were to perform, or obey. 

Notice that there are two separate actions taking place: The “covenant” is the solemn agreement, and the “terms” are the conditions or stipulations. They are two distinctly separate aspects within the agreement. It may be illustrated in this way: A person goes to a bank and obtains a loan. The “loan” is the contract or covenant—the bank will give you a determined sum of money and you will pay it back. The “terms” are the conditions or stipulations—how much interest you agree to pay; how you will pay it back (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.); the specific amounts you will pay; and the details and penalties. 

In addition to the Ten Commandments, otherwise known as the Moral law, there was also given the Ceremonial law which contained the sacrificial system—the slaying of animals for the ceremonial and ritual use of their blood. (This was symbolic of the sacrifice of the Messiah, who was to come in the future to fulfill the promise to redeem mankind from their sins.) The Moral law existed before sin; the Ceremonial law was needed because of sin. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made…” (Galatians 3:19). 

Concerning the Moral law Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). The prophecy foretold that Christ would come and magnify the law. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable” (Isaiah 42:21). Christ fulfilled the prophecy in Daniel 9:25-27, concerning the coming of the Messiah the Prince. Compare this text with Mark 1:14, 15: “…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Within the ceremonial law were also other “statutes and ordinances,” which included prescribed feast days and ceremonial Sabbaths. There were also two other “types” of laws given: the “Judicial law” and the “Health law.” Most of these were of ceremonial type, such as the cutting of an animal in half and walking in between these to enter into a contract, or to seal an agreement or covenant, such as marriage. Today, this principle is carried through by a written contract or marriage certificate. 

Some of the health laws, for example, required that if you touched a dead animal you were to remain outside of the camp for a number of days. God has advanced our understanding in health and science; today we have antibacterial soaps. The principle of some of the health laws is of the moral type, carried through into the New Testament, for here we find: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). Therefore, to claim that all the health laws are done away with because we are “free” under the new covenant is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Are we now “free” to defile our bodies? We must tread carefully, so as not to twist the scriptures to satisfy our lust for the temporal and carnal pleasures. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17). 

Of particular interest to a sincere Bible student would be to note the fact that these other sets of laws, which contained additional statutes and ordinances, were commanded by God to be placed on the side of the ark (Deuteronomy 31:26); whereas the Moral law, or Ten Commandments, were to be placed inside the ark, under the mercy seat (Exodus 25:16, 21). This is of profound significance, for according to the Ceremonial law the priest, after the manner prescribed to Aaron, would once a year enter into the second compartment, the Holiest of all (which was separated from the first compartment by a heavy curtain or “veil”), and sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial offering and make atonement for himself and for the errors, or sins, of all the people, as well as to make an atonement for, or cleanse, the sanctuary and altar. This blood was sprinkled upon the mercy seat, under which rested the unchanging, eternal Moral law of God (Leviticus 16:14, 15; Hebrews 9:1-7). At the crucifixion, when our dear Lord cried out, “It is finished,” this “veil” was rent in twain, signifying that the way to God’s sanctuary in heaven had been opened for man by the sacrifice of Christ (Mark 15:37, 38). 

At this time, the animal sacrifices ceased (Daniel 9:25-27), and their symbolic performance, as a “type” of the true sacrifice of Christ, was no longer needed. The very solemn execution of the sinless One caused the entire performance of the Ceremonial law, with its attendant ordinances, to cease to have any value. They had been but a “shadow” of the true. Paul declares these words to the church in Galatia, who had reverted to the keeping of the Ceremonial law, “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11). You cannot correctly apply this passage of scripture to the Moral Law. Which of the Commandments would be called “weak and beggarly?” The fifth, with its attached promise? “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12)? How about the second (Exodus 20:4-6)? Should we now worship graven images (idols), a commandment spoken by God and written with His own finger in stone, preserved under the mercy seat within the Ark of the Covenant in the temple in heaven? Is this “weak and beggarly?” 

Up until this time, the sacrificial system, with the other laws or testimonies, statutes and judgments, were valuable and important. In fact, some of these had served to “guard” or to be a protective border around the Ten Commandments. The Moral law is eternal; it was in existence before Adam ever set foot on the face of the earth. Lucifer fell from grace. God said to him, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15; see also vs. 11-14 & Isaiah 14:12-17). Lucifer chose to sin against his God. There are those who claim that “the law” was only for the “Jews,” and that its existence is traced back only to Mount Sinai. Regarding sin, how does the Bible define what sin is? The only definition of what constitutes sin is found in this: “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Question: how could Lucifer be found to sin if no law was in existence? The fact is that the main principles of the Moral law were in existence in heaven, though they were not written out the same way as in the Ten Commandments. They at least knew the two main principles of the law, to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). This is the eternal law by which the entire universe is ruled. (For further information on the origin and existence of God’s Moral law, please contact Joseph and request the free study, “The Law Before Sinai.”) 

Angels, even fallen ones, and all other creatures including mankind, were created free moral agents. We have been given the fundamental capacity to know the difference between right and wrong. The choice to commit sin or to be obedient lies within our hearts. We hold the key as to which choice we will pursue. While Satan may tempt us to commit sin, the choice lies within our hearts to accept or reject the temptation. God promised, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). 

It is true that our natural, carnal minds are not subject to God’s law (Romans 8:7). We are powerless to resist the devil in our own strength. Yet, with every temptation God has made a way of escape. That escape is found in yielding your life to Christ, trusting in His power to keep you from falling (Jude 1:24). 

Our Heavenly Father did not create us as mere robots, programmed to obey Him. This would not be love. He took an enormous risk in giving us this freedom to choose to obey His laws, through faith, or to disobey Him. The Spirit of inspiration declares, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:10, 11). 

Most religious leaders ignore, or simply reject and dismiss, the distinctness that exists within the old covenant as spoken by the lips of the Great Lawgiver; they regard the old covenant in its entirety as faulty and “only for the Jews.” But is this really true? In the book of Hebrews we find a reference to this matter: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second” (Hebrews 8:7). The Bible declares that God is perfect; He does not make mistakes. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). How, then, are we to understand this discrepancy? A closer examination will reveal certain facts. The “fault” is not found with the Great Architect. The foundation is solid. No, the “fault” is found with the people; they failed in their fulfillment of the covenant and its terms. They did not want to obey God’s voice. Remember, we read in Exodus 19:5, 6 that if the people obeyed God’s voice, then He would be their God and they would be His peculiar people and treasure. They failed and following after other gods (Jeremiah 11:10). 

There are great and eternal benefits in obedience; God gave them promises and benefits if they would honor His covenant. “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1, 2; Also see vs. 3-13. Please take the time to read these beautiful and powerful promises.) 

Instead of walking in love and obedience, the nation of Israel rejected God and pursued after the wanton passions and lusts of their carnal hearts. “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24). They lusted after the false gods of the heathen nations around them. They committed spiritual adultery and gave themselves over to serve demons. “They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deuteronomy 32:16, 17). 

Dear brothers and sisters, consider that the Israelites had witnessed many miracles which God performed on their behalf through Moses, His servant. Yet, so quickly they forsook God, and followed after “strange gods, who came newly up”. We Christians have much to consider by the example of ancient Israel. Are we sure we are not following after “strange gods that have newly come up”? It has been thousands of years since the coming of Christ. Are we certain we have not forsaken the one true God and His only begotten Son? Please read Daniel 11:31-39. (For further information on this subject contact the editor of Present Truth.) 

The New Covenant 

Before we continue, let us establish one thing and make it perfectly clear: no law can save you! The law only condemns; it accuses us of sins. This is the purpose of the law; it serves as a mirror that reflects the dirty condition of our souls—our sins. The law points us to Christ. Salvation is only through faith in Christ. We receive Christ by faith. He gives us His Holy Spirit. If we receive it, Christ’s Holy Spirit will begin the wonderful process of conversion. It is an inward conversion that must take place. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28, 29). Paul has just defined what a true Jew is, in the proper spiritual sense: a Spirit filled Hebrew or Gentile! Once we are in Christ, He points us back to His Father’s law, for outside of Himself there is only sin and death; for the law condemns those who are transgressing it. 

A Changed Law 

“For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Hebrew 7:12). Does this mention of “a change of the law” mean that all of God’s laws are abolished? Certainly not! The only law in this context that “of necessity” must be changed is a law that deals with the priesthood. The Ten Commandment law says nothing about a priesthood, so therefore when the priesthood was changed, there was no need to change the Ten Commandment law. 

As mentioned earlier, most Christians today regard the new covenant as delivering them from the law. In contrast to the example mentioned earlier, can we now borrow money from the bank, but we need not pay it back? We now receive the benefits of the covenant but we are free to disregard its moral requirements? We are “free,” some claim. Grace is mistaken as the permission to disregard God’s holy law. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). What exactly are we “free” to do; commit sin? The apostle Paul also declares, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law…” (Romans 7:7). 

What is it to be under the law? It means you are under its condemnation if you are transgressing it. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). Remember what Christ said about the law? He did not come to destroy it, but to fulfill it. In other words, to make complete: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Romans 10:4). This is where the nation of Israel failed. “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 9:31-33). 

Another popular error embraced by those claiming the new covenant has no law, is this: If you merely mention “keeping the law” you are disqualified from the game—you lose—for you are a “legalist.” You stand accused of trying to achieve “salvation by works.” Allow me to point them back to the Word of God for their admonition: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:17-24). 

The apostles wrote their gospels and epistles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Regarding God’s Moral law, the same apostle James further adds, “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12). Here James has just declared that we will be judged by God’s law! Why would a just God remove the very rules of conduct and obedience by which He is going to measure and judge our souls? This would be unfair. Yet James refers to God’s law as the law of liberty! Why is that? Through faith in Christ, we are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). The new covenant has the law of God, now written in the hearts of His obedient people—no longer in need of a schoolmaster (the Ceremonial law), for the lesson, the principle, the love and desire to serve God with all of our hearts will be manifested in our lives. It is the very character of Christ, for we are then wearing the robe of righteousness which Christ places upon us. 

Christ will find His church—His people—sanctified by the merits of His own blood. “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). This is what God does with His law in the new covenant; He does not abolish it, but writes it in our very hearts. The Moral law is a reflection of the Author of righteousness; it is His character. If it was possible to abolish His righteousness, He would not have permitted His only begotten Son to die the ignominious death on the cross. “…I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:16, 17). 

The opponents of God’s Moral law speak of grace; but this “grace” is a gift, the effect from the cleansing power of the atoning blood that was shed by Christ for the remission from our sins. Now that we have been cleansed from our past sins, is the gift of grace the excuse to return to a life of sin? Can we continue to break God’s law and commit sin under the name of grace? Christ died because of our sins. This is the problem the proponents of a “lawless” new covenant face when they attempt to harmonize their erroneous theology with what the Bible teaches. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). “Sin is the transgression of the law” (v. 4). 

To be Continued… 

The Gospel in Creation (Part 14) 

by Ellet J. Waggoner 

There is power in the glory of God. Christ was raised from the dead “by the glory of the Father” (Romans 6:4). The inspired prayer for us is that we may be “strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory” (Colossians 1:11, R.V.). What this power is, the heavens reveal. It is the power that holds them in their places. It is the power that they exert over the earth, the power by which all life is maintained. As we behold the glory of the sun, or of the heavens when they are studded with stars, and the moon is at her full, we may remember that they in their splendor are declaring the glory of God, and therefore are telling of the fullness and power of His grace, which is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. 

God’s glory is His goodness. The apostle tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Mark well that the coming short of the glory of God consists in the fact that men have sinned. If they had not sinned, they would not have come short of the glory of God. Therefore it is evident that the goodness of God is His glory. But it is by the goodness of God that men are saved. The apostle declares that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4). And the psalmist says, “Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19). It is His goodness, or righteousness, which we are to seek, and which is put into and upon every one that believes. The goodness of God conceived the plan of salvation, and accomplishes the whole work of redemption. But “by grace are ye saved.” Therefore the grace of God is simply the manifestation to men of His goodness, and His goodness is His glory; therefore the grace and the glory of God are in reality the same thing. 

“The Lord will give grace and glory.” When will He give these? Is it grace now and glory hereafter? No. He gives both now to those who take Him. He gives glory now in the form of grace, and grace hereafter in the form of glory. Hear the words of Christ, who is the brightness of the glory of God, when He prayed the Father, “Glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” Speaking of His disciples (not merely the twelve, but all who should believe on Him through their word), He said, “And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them” (John 17:5, 22). So that glory is ours now, if we will but have it. 

When Christ came to this earth, His real nature did not appear to the most of those who saw Him. To them He was only an ordinary man. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” John 1:11. Yet He was the Son of God. Even so it is with those who through Him have received the adoption. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1, 2). 

With this agree the words of the apostle Paul: “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Philippians 3:20, 21). 

Remember that Christ says He has given to His disciples the glory that the Father has given Him. That glory was once seen upon Christ when the three disciples were with Him in the Mount of Transfiguration. That same glory will be ours when he comes, although it does not yet appear. The brightness of His glory was veiled when He was on earth, and so it is in those in whom He dwells. But it is there nevertheless, only waiting the coming of the Lord to be revealed. And the apostle again says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:16-18). Mark, the glory is to be revealed in us. The glory will have been there all the time in the shape of the grace of God, and when He shall appear, it will be revealed. 

This also appears in these words: “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5, 6). So the grace of the Lord has glory. It is glory. 

But the interchangeability, or rather the identity of grace and glory, are further shown in these words: “God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7). 

That is, just as in this present time the glory of God is given to us in the shape of grace—grace according to the riches of His glory—so that we may be to the praise of the glory of His grace; even so in the ages to come, when the righteousness shall “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43), “the brightness of the firmament” (Daniel 12:3), with which they will be clothed, will only show forth the riches of His grace by which they were saved. The glory of the stars in which they will shine forever and ever will be but the flashing forth of the grace with which, in their mortal life, they were filled by the indwelling of Christ. 

Note still further. We have learned that the goodness of God is His glory, and that it is with His goodness that He clothes us. Now read the further evidence that we, in this present time, receive glory from God: “But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory even as from the Lord the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18, R.V.). 

The allusion is here to the face of Moses when he was conveying the words of God to the people. He talked with God face to face, as a man with his friend, and his own face became glorified by the glory from the face of God. Thus we are to reflect the glory of God. But as Moses “wist not that the skin of his face shone” (Exodus 34:29), so the one who is progressing from glory to glory in the light of the Lord will himself be unconscious of the transformation. 

In view of the transforming power of the glory of God, how rich is the blessing pronounced upon the children of Israel: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). 

Therefore, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance. In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For Thou art the glory of their strength” (Psalm 89:15-17). 

Lord, Thy glory fills the heaven;
Earth is with its fullness stored;
Unto Thee be glory given,
Holy, holy, holy Lord!
Heaven is still with anthems ringing;
Earth takes up the angels’ cry,
Holy, holy, holy, singing,
Lord of hosts, Thou Lord Most High. 

Jesus, hail! whose glory brightens
All above, and gives it worth;
Lord of life, Thy smile enlightens,
Cheers and charms Thy saints on earth;
When we think of love like Thine,
Lord, we own it love divine.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen. 

King of glory, reign forever,
Thine an everlasting crown;
Nothing from Thy love shall sever
Those whom Thou shalt call Thine own;
Happy objects of Thy grace,
Destined to behold Thy face!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen. 

Saviour, hasten Thine appearing;
Bring, O bring, the glorious day,
When, the awful summons hearing,
Heaven and earth shall pass away!
Then with golden harps we’ll sing,
Glory, glory to our King!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen. 

To be Continued… 

(This article was taken from pages 120-130 of the book entitled, The Gospel in Creation, by Ellet J. Waggoner.    Editor

Something for the Young at Heart 

We would like to give you an interesting and easy way to study the Bible, so we are including a crossword puzzle for you. 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.) 

Worship God in Spirit and in Truth 

  • Fear God, and give glory to him; …and ____ him. Revelation 14:7— 5 Across 

Note: We have learned in the last few lessons that Abraham’s fear of God caused him to love and trust God enough to offer his son (Genesis 22:12). The fear of God includes love and trust. Jesus explained how we are able to give glory to God, by reflecting God’s glorious character back to Him. This glory is the Father’s “own self” (John 17:5), His Holy Spirit, which He gives us through Christ (John 17:22; Titus 3:5, 6). 

The Issue is Over Worship 

  • There is a dreadful warning against anyone who worships the ____ and his image. Revelation 14:9-11— 10 Down 
  • All the world will wonder after the beast and worship the ____ which gave power unto the beast. Revelation 13:4—17 Down 
  • All that dwell upon the ____ shall worship the beast. Revelation 13:8—18 Across 
  • The lamb-like beast of Revelation 13 exercises all the ____ of the first beast. Revelation 13:12—23 Across 
  • This beast causes all the world to worship the ___ ___. Revelation 13:12 (2 words)—2 Across 
  • The man of sin seeks worship by sitting in the ____ of God. 2 Thes- salonians 2:4—3 Down 

Note: Satan desires to receive worship, and the controversy over the mark of the beast in the last days revolves around worship. We must worship God correctly to avoid being caught in the deception that seems to involve the whole world. If you worship God in Spirit and in truth, you will be in the extreme minority. 

How to Worship 

  • The Israelites set up a golden calf and worshipped it, saying, “These be thy gods, which have brought thee out of ____.” Exodus 32:8— 12 Across 
  • King Nebuchadnezzar set up a ____ image, and commanded his subjects to bow down and worship it: Daniel 3:5, 6, 18—7 Across 
  • “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us ____ before the LORD our maker.” Psalms 95:6—13 Down 
  • Job fell down upon the ____, and worshipped God. Job 1:20, 21— 7 Down 
  • A group of elders fell down before him that sat on the ____, and worshipped Him. Revelation 4:10, 11— 1 Down 

Note: Worship is often performed by bowing down and saying something to exalt the one who is worshipped. 

Worship the Father 

  • Jesus said that some worship Him in vain, “teaching for doctrines the ____ of men.” Mark 7:7—20 Across 
  • Paul said, “After the way which they call ____, so worship I the God of my fathers.” Acts 24:14—6 Down 
  • Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Ye worship ye ___ ___ what.” John 4:20-24 (2 words)—22 Across 
  • Jesus said that we should ____ the Son, even as we ____ the Father. John 5:23—19 Down 

Worship the Son 

  • The ____ of the LORD met Moses at the burning bush. Exodus 3:2— 21 Across 

Note: The word “angel” means messenger, and can be used of any type of being who acts as a messenger for someone else. Not all persons called “angels” in the Bible are literal angelic beings. This is true in this case. This person is not an angelic being, but rather a divine being who receives worship. 

  • When encountering this divine being, Moses was told to remove the ____ from his feet. Exodus 3:5— 4 Across 
  • Someone met Joshua who identified Himself as the ____ of the host of the LORD. Joshua 5:13, 14—11 Across 
  • Joshua fell on his ____ and worshipped this being. Joshua 5:14— 16 Down 
  • Joshua was asked to remove his ____ from off his feet. Joshua 5:15— 9 Across 

Note: This Being who met Joshua was not the LORD Himself, but His chief captain over the host of the LORD. He could not have been God, the Father, for the Bible declares, “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). The only person this could possibly be is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He met Joshua and received worship from Him. An actual angel of God would not have allowed himself to be worshipped. 

  • When John received visions of heaven, he ___ ___ to worship before the feet of the angel who shewed him those things, but was told not to worship an angel. Revelation 22:8, 9 (2 words)—14 Across 
  • Christ’s disciples worshipped him, saying, “Of a truth thou art the ___ ___ ___. Matthew 14:33 (3 words)— 8 Down 
  • God, the Father, commanded all the ____ of God to worship His Son. Hebrews 1:6—15 Down 

Note: It is right to worship the Son of God, for we cannot properly worship and honor the Father if we neglect to worship His Son. However, the worship of the Son should never be to the exclusion of the Father, or to replace the worship of the Father. Worship is often accompanied by statements about the one who is worshipped. When the disciples worshipped Jesus they said, “of a truth thou art the Son of God.” They worshipped Jesus but they did not confuse Him with His Father. They worshipped the Father saying different words. Never would it be proper to worship the Son by saying, “You are the most high God”, or “You are the only true God.” For anyone to make these statements about the Son would not be worshipping God in Spirit and it truth. To worship the Son correctly we must worship Him as he is “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3). To correctly worship the Father we must worship Him as He is in truth, “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory…” (Ephesians 1:17). 

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

Supplements for All? – Part 3 

I was recently asked why I would recommend a supplement. The short answer is: “Whenever I believe that it could be a blessing; especially if the time for the need of that blessing seems short.” 

I don’t actually recommend supplements very often. I am sleeplessly fascinated by the scientific research that allows me to behold the high and holy intelligences of our God. He designed the chemical processes to work within us so that “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Each chemical reaction is simple and usually straightforward in its own right, but there are a myriad of them going on at any given time in each and every cell in our bodies. Often, supplements are born out of experimentation with these chemical processes at the cellular level. Sometimes the testing gives rise to a new product but it always betters our understanding. This is cause for praise. 

In the October 2009 (pages 17, 18), and December (pages 17, 18), issues of Present Truth we discussed best sources for Vitamin D3, some of the problems that may mean supplementation is best, and we described some of the details involved in getting (or not) enough from the sun: geographical (location, annual Earth tilt, and daily rotational timing), as well as physiological issues. So in this final contribution we will look at the practical side of getting enough of it. 

Vitamin D3 for All is God’s Plan! 

According to Dr. Michael Holick’s excellent research, the average “normal” persons amongst us need a minimum of 4000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily to replace usage losses and have a bit left over to store for those “rainy” days. 

Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to get this much on a reasonable human diet – as the following chart will prove. 

Food Item 


Vitamin D (IU) 

Pink salmon, canned 

3 oz. 


Sardines, canned 

3 oz. 


Mackerel, canned 

3 oz. 


* Quaker Nutrition for Women Instant Oatmeal 

1 packet 


* Cow’s milk, fortified with vitamin D 

1 cup 


* Soy milk, fortified with vitamin D 

1 cup 


* Orange juice, fortified with vitamin D 

1 cup 


* Cereal, fortified 

1 cup 


Egg yolk 

1 large 


Shiitake mushrooms, raw 

3 oz. 


Please note that the starred items are fortified. Fortification is usually done with a synthetic form of vitamin D. So this is good news for our vegan friends, right? Well really this is not very good news for anybody, here’s why: Let’s say that 4000 IUs is my minimum goal. 

The math is easy. 4000 ÷ 154 = ouch! 26 packets of oatmeal? My tummy hurts. 

If rational human diets do not provide enough D3 to support adequate levels then how can we hope to achieve optimal levels? 

Without sufficient sun exposure it is just not possible to get enough D3 to put and keep blood levels within the adequate range of 30-50 ng/ml. 

Relevant Point: The sun outshines food as our best source of vitamin D. The fact humanity is physiologically tied to the sun, teaches us that God’s plan for the creation of our life-supporting habitat extends beyond Earth. How wonderful it is that we can discover such things about our God from the study of nutrition science. Truly we are designed to live and learn and praise forever! 

Besides inadequate food sources of D3, what else gets in the way of getting enough of it? 

Using sunscreen with an SPF factor of 8 reduces production of vitamin D by 95%. 

People with dark-colored skin produce much less vitamin D – this great production disparity between fair and dark skin can be seen in a USA study reporting that 42% of African American women were vitamin D deficient compared to 4% of White women. 

Elderly people have diminished capacity to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight exposure and depending on their culture often “hide” from the sun by staying indoors, using sun-blocking lotions, or wearing protective clothing thinking they will prevent skin cancer and sun damage. “Hiding” from the sun in the elderly is associated with softening of the bones (Osteomalacia). 

Obesity interferes with the utilization phase, rather than the production phase, whether vitamin D is synthesized in the skin or ingested as a supplement, it is deposited in the fat tissue. Large stores of body fat make it less bioavailable. 

Many drugs interfere with D3: These medications can destroy some vitamin D so more D3 is needed: phenytoin (Dilantin), fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), phenobarbital (Luminal), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and rifampin (Rimactane). 

These medications keep vitamin D from being absorbed, so take them about 2 or more hours before or one or more hours after taking a vitamin D supplement: cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid), orlistat (Xenical), mineral oil, and the fat substitute Olestra. 

The oral anti-fungal medication, ketoconazole, inhibits vitamin D3 metabolism in the body; a serious problem if the medication is needed for a long period of time. 

Toxic levels of vitamin D may cause high blood calcium (hypercalcemia) which may make the heart beat irregularly (arrhythmia) in patients taking digitalis (Digoxin). Fortunately toxic levels are difficult to achieve. 

So what can we do to get enough of it? 

Let’s summarize where we are so far: Diet just won’t provide enough, and most of us are not perfectly suited to get the most out of our time in the sun. Well, the easy way out would be to recommend an oral supplement. No quick fixes please! 

The sun is the best source of D3 for nearly all of us, but another excellent way to supplement D3 uses artificial lighting systems that mimic the appropriate ultra violet (UV) rays of the solar light spectrum to produce vitamin D3 in our skin. The disadvantage is that these lights are very expensive. 

Who knows what other gifts God has provided in sunlight – which may include parts of the spectrum other than UV. So even if you use D3 supplementation (oral or the appropriate UV lighting systems) you’ll still want to find ways to get significant sun time. 

Sun exposure can provide most people with their entire vitamin D requirement. A fair skinned individual of average size spending enough time to cause a slight pinkness of the skin (this is called 1-MED – one Minimal Erythemal Dose) can synthesize the equivalent of about 20,000 IU of vitamin D. To prevent sun burning (and lessening the risk of skin cancer) the goal would be to end the exposure time a few minutes before 1-MED. For example, if it takes 30 minutes to reach 1-MED, then spend 20 minutes in the sun two to three times a week. This should provide adequate vitamin D and allow for storage of any excess within the body fat stores for use during the winter with a minimal risk of skin damage. 

Then let’s consider what we can do to have a focused plan to overcome some of the problems that get in the way of production and absorption capacity. 

One highly committed young vegan lady celebrates her D3 production advantages and makes ways to get enough sun time. Not even a snowy winter chills her commitment to sun-time. When the snow forms drifts, she positions herself between them to minimize the wind-chill and to allow reflection to concentrate the effects of weakened sun light. This tactic works for her because she is able to keep a light tan throughout the winter. 

I’m not suggesting that we all have to stand in the snow in boots and bikini, but surely, for something this important; we too can find the sun-time to fill up our D3 tank. 

When conditions are just right, it only takes a few minutes in the sun three or so times a week during your local vitamin D producing season (called, “vitamin D summer”) to make enough D3 to prevent deficiency throughout the “vitamin D winter”. 

Until we can shed these bodies cursed by our fallen physical human nature there will be many exceptions that will beg for D3 supplementation. If you are young, light skinned, free of physical or medical conditions, free of sun-blocking lotions and medications that interfere with Vitamin D production by the skin, then as little as 10 minutes of sun on arms and legs or face and arms three times a week from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm during your geographical “vitamin D season” should make enough vitamin D for daily needs and a little excess to allow storage for use during the winter with minimal risk of skin damage. 

The rest of us will need a little more time, more exposed skin, more days per week, or any combination of these ideas to either compensate for , or advantage enhance our protective benefits and to compensate for not being young and pale. 

There are several internet resources that may help you determine how much sun-time you need to fill your D3 tank. You can view these resources in the box at the bottom of page 22. 

Sunbathing, artificial UV lighting systems, oral supplements in any combination that fits your variables are there if needed. You have options. Use them to your health. 

This information is currently relevant to most of our Present Truth readers who live in the northern hemisphere who have entered “vitamin D winter” just ahead of the heels of this news, and who may not have enough D3 stored to help them resist the seasonal colds and flu (including H1N1) and several other health risks the Devil has in his gift bag. To the rest of our readers around the globe, enjoy the sun with temperance. 

To all of you, we pray that God will bless you with spiritual and physical health that you may continue to increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. 

Whether you have something to share, a question, comment, or suggestion, I am interested. You can interact with me by letter (see the return address) or by emailing jim@presenttruth.info. 

Blessings! JR 

Online Resources 

Vitamindcouncil.org is one of the most authoritative sources of vitamin D information. The following descriptions and links were sourced from this site’s “Links” pages. 

Calculated Ultraviolet Exposure Levels for a Healthy Vitamin D Status: 


Online calculator from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research that will estimate how many minutes of sun exposure one needs to produce 25 mcg (the equivalent of 1,000 International Units) of vitamin D. (European locations only, or, longitude and latitude may be used.) This one is my favorite because it shows the range of interactive variables that determine how much time is needed to get enough D3. 

Current UV Index Forecast: 


U.S. National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. 

Erythemal Index—Forecast and Archive: 


Tropospheric Emission Monitoring Internet Service. 



MediClim® is a warning system that takes into account a multitude of weather parameters known to affect health. Users subscribe [for free] to receive emails that will alert them if specific weather conditions coming to their area may cause them a problem. 

National UV Index Forecast Chart: 


Commonwealth of Australia Bureau of Meteorology. 

Vitamin D3 Daily Dose—Forecast: 


Biometerology/Institute of Medical Physics, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. 


To view or print this issue of Present Truth in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) click here.

Present Truth is published monthly by the Present Truth Department of Smyrna Gospel Ministries. It is sent free upon request. Duplication of these papers is not only permitted but strongly encouraged, as long as our contact information is retained. Present Truth is available online at www.presenttruth.info.

Editor: Lynnford Beachy, PO Box 315, Kansas, OK 74347, USA. Phone: (304) 633-5411, E-mail: webnewsletters@presenttruth.info.

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