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Rush to Sunday Legislation


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Where was the mention of it, Ed? I didn't see it and I'd like to read the post. Can you post the URL of the specific thread? Thanks.

Nico

p.s. I had an interesting thought today about the difference between whether one's religion is Christ or whether one's religion is Apocalypticism. It occurred to me that if one's religion is really Christ then one ought to be able to live a Christian life and walk in the here and now without any real need for consciousness of "the end of the world being at hand." I don't know how valid the thought was, but that's what I was thinking about. And it doesn't mean the world will not end or prophecy will not be fulfilled. It just means ... well ... I guess it just means there's a difference between being a Christian and being an Apocalypticist.

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It occurred to me that if one's religion is really Christ then one ought to be able to live a Christian life and walk in the here and now without any real need for consciousness of "the end of the world being at hand."


Right on Nico! We all know the end is going to come at some stage, and I think that we can focus on it so much that we lose the joy of living in the present. Walking in the here and now is the way to go. thumbsup.gif

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Thanks, BAPM. Apocalypticism is something of a curse. It is so busy terrifying people that no one under its spell has a chance to know the sweetness of joy and peace that knowing Christ is supposed to bring. I know because I am under its spell myself. It keeps me in a constant state of terror and anguish, and I have no peace, no rest, no reprieve from its onslaught. I just want to know Christ, and sod the 'end of the world'.

:(

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I had an interesting thought today about the difference between whether one's religion is Christ or whether one's religion is Apocalypticism. It occurred to me that if one's religion is really Christ then one ought to be able to live a Christian life and walk in the here and now without any real need for consciousness of "the end of the world being at hand."


thumbsup.gif Bingo!! I think you've got it! As you may recall, my approach to the study of Revelation was to seek the Lamb and to keep our eyes fixed on Christ. There seems a curious shift afoot that whereas many in the rest of the conservative evangelical world are becoming more apocalyptic in their interest and focus, I see more and more Adventists more concerned about being Christ centered and worrying less about end-time scenarios as we have in our past.

The difference is simply, the lost watch the dragon and wonder after the beast, following him into confusion while the saved "follow the Lamb wherever he goes."

Tom

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Then you probably will enjoy this, from last Nov 4 Review.

=======================

Worshiping the Lamb

“You’re going to be talking about the book of Revelation?” my driver asked, as we rode from the airport to the camp meeting grounds. I answered in the affirmative. “What do you see as signs of the end?” he asked. “The ‘new world order’? Arab terrorism?” I shrugged, which only incited him. “Well, then, the Pope’s latest travels?”

“No,” I replied.

“Global warming? Earthquakes?”

“No, I don’t really pay a lot of attention to those,” I said.

“What do you look for?” he asked with a mixture of curiosity and alarm.

“Well, I don’t really spend a lot of time looking for signs of the end,” I told my increasingly worried acquaintance. “Do you know the first verse of the book of Revelation?” I asked, rhetorically. “‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ.’ Not, ‘The Revelation of Satan’s works;’ not ‘The Schedule of End-Time disasters– The Revelation of Jesus Christ.’”

Wherever I go, and I have taught lay people how to understand the book of Revelation on three continents, Seventh-day Adventists ask me about disasters, conspiracies, and demonic manifestations. Yes, Revelation mentions all these things, some literal, some in symbol. But the book focuses on Christ!

Whenever Revelation pictures the saints, it shows them worshiping the Lamb. In chapter four, the twenty four elders cast their crowns before the throne and say, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” In chapter 5, they join in the grand chorus of praise of all creation, and then they fall down and worship the Lamb. Chapter 7, the 144,000 are numbered, and they immediately worship the Lamb. We see them again in chapter chapter 14, verse three, singing a new song before the throne. Chapter 15 shows them singing to God again. The great multitude in heaven praises God in chapter 19. In every case, they focus upon the Lamb.

True, horrific events occur in the book. The war between Christ and Satan rages, and the saints take casualties. But as Revelation depicts them, the saints take little note of the devil’s actions. Even when they do, they still focus on God.

Martyrs who give their lives for Christ surely witness first hand the depredations of the evil one. In Revelation, even their call for justice focuses on God: And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

One group in Revelation consistently focuses on the disasters, the plagues, and the ravages of the devil. "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" they ask in amazement. Revelation describes them as “Everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” The message is clear. Focusing on the devil and his works will not alert us to the imminence of Christ’s return. Nor will it sustain us through the time of trouble. Focusing on Christ will do both.

Other than the cryptic, “Soon,” I don’t know when Christ will come. As I read the Bible, that puts me in the same position as all the rest of the saints, the angels in heaven, and even Jesus himself. From this I conclude that I do not need to know, I only need to trust. And my need to trust remains the same whether I die tomorrow, or live to be a hundred and Christ has still not returned.

For myself, I find that an obsession to know, to be certain of what tomorrow holds, drives out trust. After all, if I know everything, then I need not trust. It is precisely where I am uncertain that trust becomes necessary. Besides, I cannot know everything. Only God knows everything. Even prophecy only reveals so much.

So, when the end comes for me, I hope to be found worshiping the Lamb. Should my end come before the time of trouble, I want to be worshiping the Lamb with my final breath. Should God grant me the staggering privilege of serving Him through the final test, I want to be worshiping the Lamb. For I trust that, if I focus on the Lamb here and now, I will recognize Him when He comes.

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thumbsup.gif Yes, I read and reread that when it was published. I clipped it out to go in my Revelation study files. You very nicely summed up the focus of my own study of Revelation. A book that I appreciate that supports and follows this approach is Roy Naden's "The Lamb Among the Beasts".

Incidentally, I am currently reading Jon Paulien's "The Deep Things of God", which is really a guide on how to study and understand Revelation. It is quite good and very useful and even though written by a theologian/scholar it is very readable for the average layperson. I get the impression that it is the first of a series of books he plans to write on Revelation.

Thanks!

Tom

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Naden was my advisor for my comps in Religious Education.

You would also appreciate Paulien's "What the Bible Says About the End Time," (He didn't care for the title). Look in the right place, and you'll find my name in a couple of his books.

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Jon Paulien has a special place in my heart. I met him in 1994 at an 1888 message convocation (a weekend long gathering to learn about the 1888 message of righteousness by faith). It was during the last time I tried to come back to God before now (which was like 1992-1994). I was in a really bad way. I was having horrible flashbacks because the convocation was held on the campus of the same school where Satan had taken me over back in 1983. Somehow some other ladies there found me and got me to where he was staying. I remember he prayed for me and he was very very kind to me. I also enjoyed the things he presented at the meetings of course, but that is why he will always have a special place in my heart. No doubt he probably does not remember me at all, but I remember him, and the kindness he showed me when I was flipping out, suicidal, and not in touch with reality.

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He has a special place in my heart as well. I'm hesitant to make this public, because I don't want ever want to cause him difficulty, but we are best friends, and have been for 30 years now.

So, if anyone has any problems with me, please don't attribute any of that to Jon. But I am delighted to call him my best friend, and humbled that he has publicly acknowledged me as his.

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Getting back to the original topic of the thread ... I have sometimes wondered whether "Sunday Legislation" specifically and particularly is even necessary or required. I am aware that it is traditional SDA eschatalogical teaching that the mark of the beast equates to compulsory Sunday-keeping (which would require legislation obviously), and the seal of God is equated to the Sabbath as a sign of the redemptive covenant. However, given the current political tides and trends which are being heavily influenced and manipulated by Dominionist Theocratic agenda (in my opinion -- and please don't argue the point with me here if you disagree -- I'm not here to provoke an argument and I didn't raise my opinion for that purpose but merely in the context of the rest of my post here), I wonder whether Sunday legislation would even be necessary to implement the agenda of the Second Beast. There are so many other points upon which (again in my opinion) I perceive the Dominionist Theocratic agenda to be in opposition to the Truth of Christ and a threat to civil and religious freedom in and of itself. While it seems kind of inevitable that Sunday laws would be a natural part of such a package, I don't see that they are necessarily THE be-all, end-all rallying point in the conflict between the real following of True Jesus Christ versus the "beast" or falsehood erected to look, walk, talk, smell like, and seem "Christian" but actually by its core spirit and deeds is not.

And I see too many otherwise intelligent, insightful people with much to offer in the Kingdom of God still walking around clueless to what is happening around us right now, somehow taking things for their appearances, which is exactly as it is with the second beast. I strive not to judge them, but I truly fear and tremble for their souls. If some of these "dress rehearsal" components we see around us right NOW do not strike a chord of recognition, to what extreme will the entire deadly process have to progress before the eyes are opened to reality here??? I don't comprehend their willingness to bow to the outright lies and misrepresentations perpetrated by this present regime and its bought-out media lapdogs. I sincerely don't get it. And there's no dialoguing with them because they just turn nasty and accusatory when you try, their voice full of what I call "dragon's breath" because it has the harsh tone of the accuser of the brethren. There is a work to be done here and I confess I don't know how to do it, nor do I consider myself qualified. But it still needs doing, because ...

... because apocalypticism or not, "world's end" or not, evil is still evil -- false Christs and false prophets are still false -- and deception is still deception. And deception and falsehood harms us all, and I loathe seeing otherwise decent, committed Christians being caught up in it and having their faith and values hijacked and hitched to the bandwagon of an agenda of oppression. I loathe the fallout, too, where atheists, unbelievers, pagans, and others who don't know Christ are driven even further away from considering knowing Him because everywhere they look, Christianity is becoming associated with the grossest forms of smug pride, pig-ignorance, judgmental busybodying (not merely in the street but in the court, where it has the potential to do genuine harm to people's lives), harsh authoritarianism, warmongering, economic oppression, erosion of civil and religious liberty, and other evils that mark our present day in such fashion as would make the freedom-cherishing Deist founders of our nation roll in their graves.

With all of this going on, it is hard for me to think that Sunday legislation would prove to be anything more than just yet another layer, yet another chunk, yet another slice, yet another piece of this massive agenda driven by men who presume to dictate to fellow men who God is and what He wants of us, and presume to enforce that by legislative power, and have the audacity to sell whitewash on the streets to Joe Average, pablum and pacifying poppycock to shut him up so he will eventually boil to death like the other oh-so-adaptive froggies in the pot of water where the heat is gradually increasing.

Well, sorry to get on my soapbox so much here, but I don't know any other way to express my thoughts except to express them. Again, I'm not looking for an argument. I'm not interested in arguing whether my opinions are "correct" or not against what is only someone else's opinion. If you disagree with my opinions fine, that's your perogative, but you do NOT have the right to start attacking me as a person and trying to tear me down over it, and the True and Living God is NOT on your side if you try and do so, because that is contrary to His Spirit. My only point in bringing my opinion into this was because I am seriously wondering whether Sunday legislation is really the central hingepin we have made it out to be. So if you want to address anything, address that, because I'm NOT looking for an argument over what I see. If anyone feels the need to try to debate whether I'm looking at a banana when there is a banana in front of me, take it somewhere else, I am NOT INTERESTED.

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You have a good point, Nico.

I'd always felt we had the last-day events all figured out. That everybody who had studied prophecy knew all the "signs" of Christ's coming; that we could just wait until the national Sunday law (for instance) is enacted, and then there'd be time enough to repent and be saved.

Well, things aren't turning out to be the way I (for one) had pictured them. I think some of our "times of trouble" have already come; and yet I know the "tribulation such as has never before come upon the earth" still is before us. And the longer I live the more I learn about God's love, and how He wants us to live in a little bit of heaven right here on earth--so that when He comes, we can just continue on walking with Him, right on into heaven.

So living in fearfulness is just not compatible with my current picture of God. He's a loving God, who will "draw all unto Him." Unless we actively resist, He will take us home. There may be pain, tears, and even death along the way... but in the end we'll be able to say, "Heaven is cheap enough."

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Nico,

I would say I am inclined to agree with you on our traditionally narrow perspective on Sunday vs. Sabbath. Increasingly, as I study the Sabbath I can't get away from the nagging thought that getting the correct day of the week is such a small part of what Sabbath is all about. Growing out of my study of Isaiah 58, I am impressed that how we observe the day is vastly more important that which day it is. If we spent the better part of our Sabbath seeking the good and betterment of our fellow humans as Isaiah outlines true worship and as Jesus did while here on earth, we would start to realize the reality of what Jesus prayed for in John 17 and what he identified in Matthew 25 as being the crux of the judgment in the very end. I believe that this deeper truth of Sabbathing one another will be the big issue of the end. Yes, its about Sabbath, but not really so much about a day of the week.

Tom

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thumbsup.gif

I remember a time when the church was very focused on the 'endtime'. I must say the approach to 'keeping our eyes on the lamb' is a much healthier attitude. I only wish we would look at the whole Bible with that in mind, rather than am I/you/whomever 'right or wrong'. By that, I mean if we are looking at Christ, would we not be more 'happy' people wanting to uplift others and less concerned about the 'gnats' in their eyes!

Enjoyed the article!


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

I find from reading such posts as your above reminds me that there is an increasing number [times ten on this forum] of people DOWN on what they are not UP on. All these 66 books of the bible are there for our edification, they are not placed there by heavenly wisdom as a filler just to make the book bigger. Your bottom line reasoning seems to suggest to us that only the book of John is needed, as good as this book is I reject this narrow view, maybe heaven wants your mind to expand. I for a committee of one refuse to allow one mans [or a entire church board] interpertation of prophecy rob me of my convictions obtained by asking for heavenly assistance.

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Growing out of my study of Isaiah 58, I am impressed that
how
we observe the day is vastly more important that
which
day it is. If we spent the better part of our Sabbath seeking the good and betterment of our fellow humans as Isaiah outlines true worship and as Jesus did while here on earth, we would start to realize the reality of what Jesus prayed for in John 17 and what he identified in Matthew 25 as being the crux of the judgment in the very end.


Wow, Tom, you said a real mouthful there! I definitely think you are onto something real. Let me ask you something, what sort of concrete things do you have in mind for fulfilling the directives of Isaiah 58 as part of Sabbath worship? Since you are local to me -- if you are involved in anything or have started anything up, please do let me know. I don't have the ingenuity to start something up by myself, but I would love to come along and be part of any effort together with some brothers and sisters (hint, hint...)

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Nico,

I think that we can start with the list in 58:6,7, but the field of possible opportunities is wide open. I don’t have any regular projects or programs in mind at this point. While structured programs and activities are OK, I think being open and prepared to adapt to what one finds in the day to show mercy, benevolence and loving-kindness, even in small and seemingly insignificant ways (How big a deal is a cup of cold water?), is a gift to be found in Sabbath. (Did you realize that a very common OT Hebrew parallelism links ‘loving-kindness” with “truth”?) The beauty for Sabbath-keepers is that we have an opportunity to intentionally set aside the pressure and stress of self-serving work and look around to do good for others. Notice the last phrase of verse 7 which essentially says, “… and don’t forget your own family’s needs." That would seem a first priority and I think a secondary principle is to start right where you are, which is like the old children’s song, “Brighten the corner where you are…”

Jesus set an example for us in his Sabbath activities. The gospels record exactly 7 Sabbath healing miracles, most all of which Jesus instigated, partly because the Jews wouldn’t seek healing unless it was an emergency. (The healing of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was the only one actually requested, but out of ear-shot of the “Sabbath police”. This miracle had the interesting twist that healing her on the Sabbath enabled her to then work for them by serving them on Sabbath. Hmmm...) None of the healings could be considered an emergency. If the opportunity presented itself to Jesus to do good on Sabbath, he did it. Jesus' example gives us an idea of what he would find acceptable. Whatever opportunity comes your way on Sabbath to do good, do it. And since you don’t have to work as usual, you can take the time to seek out opportunities to do good on Sabbath.

It is the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda that really shows that Jesus actively looked for opportunities to do good on the Sabbath, even going out of his way to do so. The pool was outside the walls of the city down a ways from the sheep gate into the temple courtyard. It was commonly known as the sheep pool, which I assume meant that it was a place to wash the sheep before taking them up to the temple to be sacrificed. This was the Sabbath of a feast week, so I assume that the pool had gotten quite a bit of use. The fact that this was the hang out for the sick and infirmed meant that nobody was likely to venture down there and risk defilement on any day, much less Sabbath. (And notice that Jesus returned to the temple afterwards.) It would seem to me that part of the reason for the sick coming to this pool was that this was as close as they could get to the temple service, since they were barred from the temple as being unclean. To get down to the pool, Jesus would have had to have intentionally gone out of his way outside the wall. That strikes me as very significant for two reasons. He was going there with a purpose knowing what he would find. And he was apparently not worrying about using up his Sabbath day’s journey mileage.

Back to Isaiah 58, did you know that EGW refers to this chapter as of the “highest importance” and a special message for these end times for God’s people that bears repeating over and over? She associates its message of mercy and benevolence with the third angel’s message and the gospel and as being especially significant for Sabbath-keepers. The Jews made the day more important than its purpose. They had the right day (and still do), but not the right way. We as Adventists must learn and avoid the same mistake by knowing the Way and the Truth. To me this seems to bring it significantly into the test of the end of time as Jesus described it in Matthew 25.

Tom

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Quote:

Growing out of my study of Isaiah 58, I am impressed that
how
we observe the day is vastly more important that
which
day it is. If we spent the better part of our Sabbath seeking the good and betterment of our fellow humans as Isaiah outlines true worship and as Jesus did while here on earth, we would start to realize the reality of what Jesus prayed for in John 17 and what he identified in Matthew 25 as being the crux of the judgment in the very end. I believe that this deeper truth of Sabbathing one another will be the big issue of the end. Yes, its about Sabbath, but not really so much about a day of the week.

Tom


I agree...yet fat chance with the trend in contemporary SDA homiletics and the approach in SS classes.

There is so little mentioned regarding altruistic/outreach endeavors...

This is why many revivals are flops....there is no reformation in the approaches of churches.

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Another reason for the fixation of Sunday legislation/apocalyptic is because of the sensational/paranoid/conspiracy/disaster mindset..related to entertainment and media programming.

However..we are facing some tough roads ahead..not going to be a cakewalk much longer

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Many/most Adventist ceased to be standing as pro-testants about this "child of the papacy" [sunday} anyway. Years ago there was somewhat of a united stand among SDA to oppose, but that message has been diluted from "milktoast" sermons on "love" year after year. Remember honest in heart---

"To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few--this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. The nation will be on the side of the great rebel leader."

{5T 136.2}

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  • -BC- GC11

    -TI- The Great Controversy

    -CN- 36

    -CT- The Impending Conflict

    -PR- 03

    -PG- 592

    The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. [Why?] Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet's words: "The dragon was wroth with the woman...."

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Robert,

I am mystified as to your philosophy of quoting Ellen White, yet post her material as being self-contradictory, thus attempting to destroy her credibility. Why do you do this?

Dennis

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Robert,

I am mystified as to your philosophy of quoting Ellen White, yet post her material as being self-contradictory, thus attempting to destroy her credibility. Why do you do this?

Dennis


I believe Ellen White had visions from God....I also believe she interpreted these dreams given her mindset at that time. People grow in their knowledge....They change....Ellen White did.

  • -BC- 1SM

    -TI- Selected Messages Book 1

    -CN- 64

    -CT- The Darkness Comprehended It Not

    -PR- 02

    -PG- 401

    The question has been asked me, “Do you think that the Lord has any more light for us as a people?” I answer that He has light that is new to us, and yet it is precious old light that is to shine forth from the Word of truth [The Bible]. We [i.e., we Adventists (Ellen White included)] have only [:"red"] the glimmerings of the rays of the light that is yet to come to us.[/]

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Yet new light will not contradict the old. This is the problem I see with people quoting her work in justification of some neo-religio-philosophical premises. I read a quote from a man that said something like, If Ellen White could know how people were using her work today, the inside of her coffin would be polished to a glimmering shine. It is too bad it has to come to this, but the Lord will perfect His people in spite of the deceptions of Satan working through people.

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