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BlessedMan

Adventist BEASTwatch

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BlessedMan

As I look at some of the developments going on in the world, and within "the church," I am increasingly amazed, and alarmed to see how many people find such resplendent attraction to anything that they think can be attached to "the beast" of Bible prophecy.

alert.JPG

There is a lot of counsel against this sort of thing, but we just keep seeing more and more by the day.

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"This is our washing and ironing time--the time when we are to cleanse our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. John says, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." . . . Shall we not let Him take them away? Shall we not let our sins go (GCB April 6, 1903, p. 89)?  {5BC 1131.10}"

Why are there not testimonies about this happening in our lives? (Rev 12:10-11).

here are just two specific examples:

Doug Batchelor Beast Watch "Ministry."

I was very disappointed to see so little talk of Jesus in this BEASTwatch business he is flustering us all with.

3 ABN BEASTwatch "Ministry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFQYA2uyOYc

this dude "warns" everyone so that they can "stand firm," but never really says one word about exactly what/who to stand firm on, or one word about Jesus, but plenty of static on BEASTwatching "prophecy" news.

IMO, we have reached the miserable times in Bible prophecy, best described by the following:

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" We talk altogether too much about the power of Satan. It is true that Satan is a powerful being; but I thank God for a mighty Saviour, who cast the evil one from heaven. We talk of our adversary, we pray about him, we think of him; and he looms up greater and greater in our imagination. Now why not talk of Jesus? Why not think of his power and his love? Satan is pleased to have us magnify his power. Hold up Jesus, meditate upon him, and by beholding, you will become changed into his image.  {RH, March 19, 1889 par. 5}"

I have decided to call such ones out, and that its time to call what they are doing, exactly what it is.

BEASTwatch.

"Specialty Ministries" of watching the BEAST. There is no other better description available.

Now, I do not take lightly what I am doing here, as I do believe what the Bible teaches, and I have had some pastors over the years remind me of what happened to all those young men who made fun of Pastor Elijah when they called him "baldhead..."  (2 Kings 2:23). As if to say that thats what will happen to me for calling anyone out or questioning a Pastor. And normally, I would not usually consider calling anyone out specifically, by name, and publically. But enough is enough.

One of the more frightening aspects of this kind of thing happening is that it would appear many are adopting what Pastor Doug is saying here as "truth," just for the simple reason that it came from him. A quick look at the You Tube Comments under many of the videos concerned will show this very well. I seriously wonder how many passing this "message" around have taken the time to thoroughly look into it for themselves, or to see what "end time truth" actually looks like in the Bible; and how said truths can and should be affecting the believer? (think 1 John 1:1-3, 1 John 5:11-12, John 12:32, etc).

This incessant sensationalization of bad things in the Bible that we are seeing everywhere now, to me, is a worse sin than being a Pope! The Adventist BEASTwatchers have crossed the line; and I fear that there will be no turning back now. The damage has already been done; and the cold, hard results are following in the wake of all manner of BEASTwatchers. "the love of many will wax COLD..." What? You thought that this doesnt include anyone "in the church?"

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." The eternal Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. This theme will quench unbelief; and yet, sad to say, Jesus has been dropped out of many discourses that have been preached by Seventh-day Adventist ministers. And why?--Because the ministers had not Jesus abiding in the heart by faith; they were not clothed with Christ's righteousness. Jesus could not lead them by the side of still waters, and into the green pastures of his matchless love, because they would not be led. They had not the love of Jesus in their hearts, and it is the love of Jesus that, as a golden chain, binds our hearts in tenderest sympathy with humanity, and brings us into complete unity with every soul who believes. The Spirit of Jesus in my heart will recognize Jesus in the hearts of my brethren and sisters. Our prayers and hopes are one.  {ST, October 17, 1892 par. 1}  

The basic purpose of this topic is to take an extended look at whats happening in our church and at what the Bible & other writings have to say about "BEASTwatching;" in general. This all begs the other question:

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"What or who is a "nominal church" today?" Is it possible that you attend one?

As I purview Pastor Doug's incremental dissections of all things "Pope," I am reminded of the following:

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There are Christians who think and speak altogether too much about the power of Satan. They think of their adversary, they pray about him, they talk about him, and he looms up greater and greater in their imagination. It is true that Satan is a powerful being; but, thank God, we have a mighty Saviour, who cast out the evil one from heaven. Satan is pleased when we magnify his power. Why not talk of Jesus? Why not magnify His power and His love?  {DA 493.1}

Pastor Doug calls what he is doing:

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"Prophecy Alerts
Part of our mission at Amazing Facts is to keep you up-to-date on world events that have scriptural significance. As news of prophetic importance happens, you’ll find relevant articles right here to enlighten your understanding of last-day events. Jesus told us to watch and be ready. Stay informed and look for updates from Pastor Doug!"

Well, my first question is WHY?

Why is there so little talk of Jesus when we talk about Bible prophecy? The Bible itself tells us that prophecy is a light that shines in a dark place," (2 Pet 1:19), and so why is it that all we keep hearing about are the latest manouvers of the "BEASTwatch movement, sporting themselves as purveyors of "truth" that has no room left for Jesus? Jesus is the Light of the world, and so that light that shines in the darkest places has got to be Jesus! I don't care if everything the messenger says is true; which in some cases it actually is. THAT still does not prove that we should make more room for BEASTwatching, than we do for JESUSwatching! (see John 1:29)

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John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 

We are not told to "behold the beast!" And to tell people all about the beast!

We are told to behold Jesus! We are told to talk of Him; but instead, many are insolent enough to mostly insist on talking about BEASTwatching. Thats all we ever hear about from many now. But just watch how fast their eye brows furl when you try to question them about it!

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"When your brethren and neighbours come in to see you, talk of the wonderful love of Jesus. Rejoice in his intercession for lost man. Tell your friends of the love that you have for their souls, because they are the purchase of the blood of Christ. God forbid that we should make the pathway of other weary travellers harder by magnifying their errors, and by sitting in judgment upon their actions. God help us, that we may speak words of comfort and hope and courage to cheer the life of the lonely, and discouraged, and erring. Let us be like-minded one toward another, and not differ in opinion, merely for the sake of being on the opposite side from our brother.

Throw all the sunlight you possibly can, into the pathway of others. It will be dark enough for them, even if you do this; for Satan presses his darkness upon every soul. Let the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon your fellow-pilgrims, that they may rejoice in the Lord. This you can do in your home missionary work, in your neighbourhood missionary work, and in your church missionary work. Let your light shine forth in such clear, steady rays, that no man may stand up in the judgment, and say, "Why did not you tell me about this truth? Why did you not care for my soul? Why did you love the world and its amusements so much, that you impressed me with the thought that they could not be wrong? Why did you not walk in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, and make straight paths for your feet? You knew that we were in darkness, and your crooked steps have led us on into utter ruin."  {RH, August 28, 1888 par. 13}

 

I wonder how many people that know me would say such things about me?  

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"There is no reason for our being discouraged, no reason for talking of our trials and doubts. We have done altogether too much of this, but let us put it away. When we meet our friends, we should not strive to relate our worst experiences. Let us try to keep our minds upon the open door that Christ has set before us. Let us dwell upon the soul-comforting thought that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. It is not Christian-like to talk of your troubles and trials. It does not rightly represent Christ or his service. Angels are listening to hear what kind of report you are going to bear to the world about your heavenly Master. Christ does not cast across your pathway that dark shadow of which you complain. It is Satan who darkens your way with his own shadow, but we must not talk of his darkness. Let your conversation be of Him who liveth to make intercession for you before the Father. When you take the hand of a friend, let praise to God be on your lips and in your heart. This will attract his thoughts to Jesus.
If you calmly and trustfully contemplate the promises of God, and by simple, childlike faith claim them as your own, you will find that the darkness will vanish. Search the Scriptures, and light will break upon you. Confess the peculiar sins that you have cherished; repent of them, and put them away. If you profess to be followers of Christ while you have cherished worldliness, pride, and formality, you put your Lord to an open shame. The mighty Conqueror has presented toil and struggle as the price of victory. Those who would win the crown must lift and bear the cross. If we keep before us the cross of Calvary, we shall be able to say with Paul, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."  {RH, March 26, 1889 par. 6}  

When Satan casts his shadow athwart your pathway, grasp the precious promises of God, and go through the shadow by living faith, and you will find only light, mercy, goodness, and truth. When the enemy tells you that you are a sinner, tell him that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Come to the foot of the cross with your burden, and roll it off into the open sepulcher. Our Lord is precious, but we lose sight of his willingness to help and save us, when we dwell in the darkness of unbelief. Lift up the Man of Calvary. There is enough to talk about without talking of the power of the evil one. We have found the field that contains the treasure which is of inestimable value. When God gave his Son he gave us all Heaven in that one gift. Why should we cherish darkness and doubt, and those things that bring despondency and discouragement into our lives?  {ST, April 15, 1889 par. 8}  
     
Why not bring the joy and light and peace of Heaven into our hearts? The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver. The truth of God is the mighty cleaver that has separated us from the world, and now we have been brought into God's workshop to be hewed and squared and polished for the heavenly building. We are to be living stones in the temple of God. We are not to be dull and lifeless stones; but we are to reflect the rays of light that fall from Heaven, so that men may see that the truth has done something for us that the knowledge and wisdom of this world could not do.  {ST, April 15, 1889 par. 9}  
     
Has the reception of the truth made you more cheerful? Have the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon your heart in vain? Those who are meeting the conditions on which the promises are based, should be the happiest people in the world, for they have all Heaven at their command. We may have Heaven below. God will put a new song into our hearts, even praise to his name. The enemy may stand ready to cast his shadow upon you, but will you talk of his power, his darkness?  {ST, April 15, 1889 par. 10}  

 

Mark Of The Beast Or Jesus?
https://adventistan.com/forums/topic/77539-mark-of-the-beast-or-jesus/

Perhaps there is more than meets the eyes, with why Pastor Doug has had to strike out on his own, and not have his ministry under the auspices of the church?

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"Every power that is antagonistic to truth is strengthening.--Southern Watchman, Oct. 31, 1905.  {ChS 157.4}

We are seeing such things happen right before our own eyes...

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"The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity, she will have to do in a terrible crisis, under most discouraging, forbidding, circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld, must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith, and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending. These apostates will then manifest the most bitter enmity, doing all in their power to oppress and malign their former brethren, and to excite indignation against them."

I dont want to "excite indignation" against anybody. But I felt I had to name some in order to explain the point being made.

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"This day is just before us. The members of the church will individually be tested and proved. They will be placed in circumstances where they will be forced to bear witness for the truth.

Many will be called to speak before councils and in courts of justice, perhaps separately and alone. The experience which would have helped them in this emergency they have neglected to obtain, and their souls are burdened with remorse for wasted opportunities and neglected privileges.--Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 463.  {ChS 158.1}"

 

All I know is that I dont want any of those "wasted opportunities" under my name anymore, nor under any of the names of my friends/family, neighbors, etc.  

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Isa 58:1  "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.

 

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BlessedMan
3 minutes ago, BlessedMan said:

"The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity, she will have to do in a terrible crisis, under most discouraging, forbidding, circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld, must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith, and take their stand with its avowed enemies,

Has ANYONE thought seriously on who this is referring to?

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Gregory Matthews

So says a man who lived naked in a cave above Hollywood.

 

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BlessedMan
3 minutes ago, Gregory Matthews said:

So says a man who lived naked in a cave above Hollywood.

 

lol, well I wouldnt want to hold that against him. Ive done worse.

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B/W Photodude
11 hours ago, BlessedMan said:

Pastor Doug calls what he is doing:

Quote

"Prophecy Alerts
Part of our mission at Amazing Facts is to keep you up-to-date on world events that have scriptural significance. As news of prophetic importance happens, you’ll find relevant articles right here to enlighten your understanding of last-day events. Jesus told us to watch and be ready. Stay informed and look for updates from Pastor Doug!"

Well, my first question is WHY?

There is a recommendation in SOP that we be students of history and current events. Since a significant portion of Daniel & Revelation is concerned with understanding the beast and end time events, it seems that we have been given permission and encouragement to know what is going on in the events occurring around us. We do need a proper balance in all studies. Also it is important to remember that even if we are studying the beast, Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ. He seems to be missing in most discussions of the beast.

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B/W Photodude
12 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

So says a man who lived naked in a cave above Hollywood.

If we are referring to Doug Batchelor, he lived in a cave above Palm Springs. 

However, like many others, God has called him from darkness into His marvelous light. Unfortunately, "fine upstanding" members of the church have chosen to persecute him. He was forbidden to go forward with an evangelistic series in a Florida church.

https://sdaprophecies.com/2016/02/08/adventist-gag-order-against-doug-bachelor-from-preaching/

Some conference official in the State of Illinois has forbidden another Adventist pastor from speaking in a church in Illinois. 

http://www.fulcrum7.com/news/2019/7/1/illinois-conference-forces-downers-grove-church-to-cancel-secrets-unsealed-event?rq=illinois

Both of these actions occurred after preparations were well underway and happened to pastors who did not support the NAD rebellion regarding WO. According to the Fulcrum article, "Some sectors of our church are currently making a big deal out of abuse, as a social justice initiative. This action by the Illinois Conference is spiritually abusing people."

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BlessedMan
12 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

However, like many others, God has called him from darkness into His marvelous light

This I don't disagree with at all.

13 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

"fine upstanding" members of the church have chosen to persecute him. He was forbidden to go forward with an evangelistic series in a Florida church.

I would just question if this can rightly be framed as "persecution?"

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BlessedMan
12 hours ago, BlessedMan said:

As I look at some of the developments going on in the world, and within "the church," I am increasingly amazed, and alarmed to see how many people find such resplendent attraction to anything that they think can be attached to "the beast" of Bible prophecy.

alert.JPG

There is a lot of counsel against this sort of thing, but we just keep seeing more and more by the day.

 

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Gregory Matthews

In response to Photodude:

Doug Batchelor was not singled out for persecution.  There is a world-wide standard of clergy behavior that  exists in both written form and common practice.  That applies to all.  It applies to official organizations such as Hope TV, and to independent ones such as 3ABN and "It Is Written," which has recently become an independent organization.

It applies to individuals, including clergy who are credentialed by the General Conference (as I have been),  or credentialed by lower organizations.  It applies to retired clergy, including those presently credentialed, such as me.

This policy, briefly stated, as practiced, provides for the following:

*   The Local Conference President is in overall charge of SDA ministry, in the geographic area assigned to that Local Conference.

*  No person or organization will conduct public ministry in that geographic area without the permission of the Local Conference President.

*  No person will speak in a SDA Church absent the permission of the Local Conference President.

In actual practice, in North America, the Local Conference President will  allow the local pastor to  determine what local people may speak in the congregations that the pastor is in charge of.  But, the expectation remains that any attempt to bring in a speaker from either outside the local area,  or from an organization will be coordinated with the Local Conference President. 

This applies to me:  As a result,  I keep in regular contact with any Conference President in the area where I life and/or work.  When I am approached by a local pastor with a request for ministry, my first response is to ask if that has been coordinated with the Conference.  If it has not been, I tell the Pastor to do so.    [NOTE:  Once I have been give overall permission, I do not require further requests.]  In addition, I coordinate my ministry so that I do not work in conflict with the policy of the Conference.

I will be the first to say that this overall policy, is not fool-proof, and is not always complied with.  In addition, there are aspects of the policy that can not easily be enforced.

But, Some responsibility rests upon the local pastor.  That pastor must comply early on, well before plans are made to bring in an a person/organization either as a speaker or to run some meetings.

In any case, there is a method to resolve any issues.  In one country where I once lived and worked, as an Army Chaplain,  Some had some concerns about me (Surprised ?).  They voiced their concerns.  A decision was made.  I preached and baptized in that country. 

Folks, Doug Batchelor knows the policy.  

 

 

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Gregory Matthews

There is an exception to what lI have stated above, that applies to some people and has applied to me in the past.

As a chaplain for he U.S. Army,  I was supervised by Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries (ACM), which for me was mostly located  in the General Conference.  Under the present organization of the SDA Church,  ACM in both the General Conference and in the North American Division might be involved in supervising me as an Army chaplain.

So,  if a Conference President had questions about my ministry  for the U.S. Army , in the area of the Local Conference, that President would need to take it up with ACM.

However, if I stepped outside of the area of my military ministry, I was under the authority of the Local Conference President, and I was expected to follow that policy.

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BlessedMan

I have a DVD putout by AF that a friend gave me recently. Its well-done, and I very much appreciated the tone of it, as well as the well-reasoned facts laid out. I have actually passed out two copies of said DVD to others who do not attend church. No regrets there. But I am talking about a different animal that has gotten out of the cage now. Whats happening now is a game-changer for everybody.

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B/W Photodude
4 hours ago, BlessedMan said:

This I don't disagree with at all.

I would just question if this can rightly be framed as "persecution?"

persecution

NOUN

hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

We tend to think of persecution in terms of physical violence, but the definition goes further.

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B/W Photodude
3 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

In response to Photodude:

Doug Batchelor was not singled out for persecution. 

 

This policy, briefly stated, as practiced, provides for the following:

*   The Local Conference President is in overall charge of SDA ministry, in the geographic area assigned to that Local Conference.

*  No person will speak in a SDA Church absent the permission of the Local Conference President.

 

Well, guess the conference president wanted to throw his weight around and make his point. Wouldn't have hurt him to graciously allow the series to go on. (I have no way of knowing what efforts to secure the "approval" of the conference president were made.) Pretty much everyone knows who Doug Batchelor is and what he reaches. I still think it was agenda driven behavior.

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JoeMo

Whether it's an evangelistic series by an SDA, Catholic, Baptist, or any other denomination, mass evangelism - especially the 5 nights per week for six weeks type, don't work anymore by my experience.  The last several I have supported resulted in very few non SDA's finishing the series, even fewer being baptized, and almost none staying in the church long-term.  I find one-on-one evangelism far more effective.

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Gregory Matthews

Photodude:

In my experience, when someone wanted to come  into to a conference to do a series of meetings, and was willing to communicate,, coordinate and cooperate with the Conference the person was allowed to do so.  There are often valid reasons for decision.  As an example,  a Conference is not going to want  to have an evangelist doing a series at a time that conflicts with another Conferences program.  In such a case, the resolution is simply to change the timing of the proposed series.

Your comment related to the Conference President simply wanting to throw his weight around was both rude and ignorant.  It was beneath your dignity and what you normally post in this forum.

The bottom line is that this denomination gives to the Local Conference President the authority and the responsibility  to manage SDA ministry in a geographic area.  No one  should be able to come into the geographic area under the responsibility of a Conference President and to do ministry without coordinating and cooperating with that President.  That applies to everyone, to include the GC President.  No one should be exempt from this.  It applies to me.  I will, and do, communicate, cooperate and coordinate.

I will give you an example of a good intention going bad.   A semi-independent ministry, under the control of a man well-known, and one you know;  came into a Conference and founded a new  congregation.   But, that organization did not place leaders in that new congregation who gave it continued  [At a point in time, they left.] constructive help as it continued in its new life.  As a result, it is struggling today to survive.  I believe that it could grow if the organization that founded it would provide it with help that it presently needs.  [NOTE:  It does not need financial help.]  If I were President of tha Conference, I would not want that organization to do the same again.  If they wanted to put on an evangelistic series, I would work with them to have them provide on-going mentorship of any new congregation for the next 10 years.  If they were not willing to do so, I would  have reservations as to their coming in with a series of meetings and afterwards simply folding up their "tents" and leaving.  [NOTE:  I am well aware that tents are not used in North America, generally, today.

NOTE:  On a different issue, I do not believe that this denomination is organizationally and administratively set up in North America, to accomplish what God wants accomplished in the End Time in which we live.  Conference Presidents are required to spend far to much time  on issues that are not important to the success of the mission given to us today.  But, this is not the place to get into that.

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Gregory Matthews

Doug Batchelor,  is going to continue to have a ministry.  That is a given.

He has enough to do to respond to places where he is welcomed.  If he is not welcomed at one place, he can easily go to another.

In a congregation that I once attended, the Conference evangelist came to spend a Sabbath with us to decide whether or not he should hold a series of meetings.  In his Sermon, that Sabbath, he outlined what he  wanted to do and was explicit as to what he wanted the congregation to commit to doing.   During the sermon, people walked out in  major numbers.

I contacted the Head elder and told him that the congregation was not going to support that man holding an evangelistic series.  He agreed and asked me what he could do, as the Conference had sent him.  I told him to hold a meeting, take a vote and then tell the  evangelist that the congregation was not able to give him the support that he needed, and therefore he should not hold a series in that area.  That is what happened.

 

 

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BlessedMan
1 hour ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Your comment related to the Conference President simply wanting to throw his weight around was both rude and ignorant.  It was beneath your dignity and what you normally post in this forum.

I would have to disagree with this. Thats exactly what some of them do. But I can assure you; I did not start this topic with the intention of these kinds of comments coming out. People who respond like this should just button their beak, unless they can say it better.

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BlessedMan
4 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

persecution

NOUN

hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

We tend to think of persecution in terms of physical violence, but the definition goes further.

I intend to come back to this comment when I have time - hopefully tomorrow. Unless the delete button person strikes again.

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BlessedMan

Please folks, lets NOT make this about just one person. I thought I had mentioned above that I was citing two examples, and that there are many more. This topic is NOT about any one individual! Its about something else!!

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BlessedMan
8 hours ago, JoeMo said:

Whether it's an evangelistic series by an SDA, Catholic, Baptist, or any other denomination, mass evangelism - especially the 5 nights per week for six weeks type, don't work anymore by my experience.  The last several I have supported resulted in very few non SDA's finishing the series, even fewer being baptized, and almost none staying in the church long-term.  I find one-on-one evangelism far more effective.

I agree the one to one ministry is essential. But I also think that there is a place for large evangelistic campaigns; if they were to have a greater focus on Jesus, than "the beast," know what I mean?

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Kevin H

The problem with focusing on the beast is that we have traditions that have grown around the truth. Mrs. White goes beyond the Pope and while she sees the Pope being involved, she sees the bigger issue of liberty of conscious. Sadly, we have not grown with her. When ever we read where she makes a comment like "Liberty of conscious" we have a spell and grammar check and corrector between our eyes and brain and turn those words into "Sunday law." She tells us that Sunday issues and the Sabbath will bring issues to the Christian world, but everyone, both inside the Christian world and outside the Christian world will be facing issues regarding liberty of conscious. 

When we focus on the beast, we tend to focus on our traditions of what we expect to happen, just as in World War 1 many Adventists were focused on traditions about Turkey, which came and went without our traditions being met. Satan loves to work with our traditions to make us miss the message. But when we focus on Jesus, we will be ready no matter how the last day events turn out. Reading this thread I am reminded of something Billy Graham said. He told how his wife was talking with government agents who look for counterfeit money. She said "You must spend hours studying counterfeit bills" The agent replied "No, we spend hours studying real bills and we are able to spot a counterfeit like this" and snapped his fingers.  

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BlessedMan
17 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

persecution

NOUN

hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.

We tend to think of persecution in terms of physical violence, but the definition goes further.

As with most words in the English language, this one is no exception. Lots of different, possible nuances. Thank you for pointing that out. In the case of Doug or the 3ABN dude above in the OP, there doesn't seem to be persecution here. Like any church, The Conference has rules, traditions, etc, and everyone should realize what said rules are and what happens should one decide they no longer want those rules. Most who strike out on their own know what the rules are, so when THEY choose to flout them, they have also chosen the church's response.  Its a simple matter that he chose to go his own way, in contravention of said rules, regardless of how much we like him; its really not a part of the bigger picture here. While I called it "BEASTwatch; it simply means that the church has chosen, I think, to try to put the emphasis on Jesus as the bigger part of the message. This goes in the face of everyone who wants to emphasize the BEAST more than they do Jesus. Now sometimes, the leadership can and does exercise its Kingly power, and they sure do "throw their weight around" but with Doug & 3ABN I don't think it can be said that the church is actively "persecuting" them. If it was true, what you said about persecution re religious beliefs; it would [conversely] mean that our church can't object to or question certain legislation that is bad for Christians, or, it would be "persecuting."

Now when it comes to the BEASTwatch mentality that has been a thorn in our evangelism for decades, that cant be accepted anymore by any church. Even the chapters on "the beast" in the Bible, make mention of Jesus first, and most. I don't see how anyone could miss it.

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BlessedMan

The Self-sufficient Go On in Supposed Strength.--Many today stand where Peter stood when in self-confidence he declared that he would not deny his Lord. And because of their self-sufficiency, they fall an easy prey to Satan's devices. Those who realize their weakness trust in a power higher than self. And while they look to God, Satan has no power against them. But those who trust in self are easily defeated. Let us remember that if we do not heed the cautions that God gives us, a fall is before us. Christ will not save from wounds the one who places himself unbidden on the enemy's ground. He lets the self-sufficient one, who acts as if he knew more than his Lord, go on in his supposed strength. Then comes suffering and a crippled life, or perhaps defeat and death (MS 115, 1902).  {5BC 1102.7}

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pierrepaul

I wish that the church would give up on the apocalyptic hysteria and the pope-watching, but I won't hold my breath. So much emotional capital has been invested in the Pope=Beast paradigm that I'm not sure the church will ever be able to move on.

18 hours ago, JoeMo said:

Whether it's an evangelistic series by an SDA, Catholic, Baptist, or any other denomination, mass evangelism - especially the 5 nights per week for six weeks type, don't work anymore by my experience.  The last several I have supported resulted in very few non SDA's finishing the series, even fewer being baptized, and almost none staying in the church long-term.  I find one-on-one evangelism far more effective.

Amen. Not only do these beast-based evangelistic series not work, but the sorts of people who are drawn in by them often are mentally unstable and tend to have a propensity to fall for conspiracy theories of all sorts. Of course our church should be welcoming and open to all, including the conspiracy-theory types, but we aren't really helping them by feeding their obsessions.

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