About Us/ What We Believe

CHERYL H. RILEA, M.S. in Nutrition, RDN, LD is a professional offering 25+ years of diversified experience which has included:

 

  • Clinical dietitian in many areas including obesity, geriatrics, hypertension, heart, diabetes and renal disease

  • Instructor in academe (of Nutrition and Medical Terminology)

  • Administrative/managerial responsibilities of foodservice

  • Held speaking engagements/in-services for professionals, para-professionals and the community; along with natural health seminars.  Lectures have included topics such as diabetes, renal disease, anorexia nervosa/bulemia and the vegetarian lifestyle

  • Conducted Breathe-Free Stop Smoking Seminars.

 

She presently owns Abundant Health III and does nutrition consults, (massage therapy, and colon therapy - temporarioy on hold), in the Villages, Florida area.  Office # is 352.459.8121

 

Cheryl has taught the study time at church because she loves to research and teach.  She and her husband also enjoy singing together. 

What I Believe

A DECLARATION OF THE VIEWPOINT OF
———  THIS ———
SEVENTH-DAY ADVENT MOVEMENT.

 

“Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.” EPHESIANS 2:20

In similar words to the 1872 preface to Fundamental Principles:

In presenting to the public this synopsis of my faith, I wish to have it distinctly understood that I have no articles of faith, creed, or discipline, aside from the Bible. I do not put forth this as having any authority over people or any church, nor is it designed to secure uniformity (unvaried sameness), as a system of faith, but is a brief statement of what I understand  at this time, ever open to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, Prov 4:18  “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”  I often find it necessary to meet inquiries, and sometimes to correct false statements, and to remove erroneous impressions which have been obtained with those who have not had an opportunity to become acquainted with my faith and practice. My only object is to meet this necessity.  The Bible is my creed, and Christ is my doctrine. 

 

As a Sabbath-day keeper, I desire simply that my position shall be understood; and I am the more solicitous for this because there are many who call themselves Adventists who hold views, some of which, I think, are subversive of the plainest and most important principles set forth in the word of God.

 

As compared with other Adventists, this ‘Sabbath-day keeper’ differs from one class in believing in the unconscious state of the dead, and the final end of the wicked who do not avail themselves of the cure; from another, in believing in the perpetuity of the law of God – LOVE - as summarily contained in the statutes and judgments of theTorah; in the One Triune Godhead; in the operation of the Holy Spirit in the church, and in setting no times for the advent to occur; and the view of God as not being “sinners in the hands of an angry/‘wrathful’ God”;  and from most churches in the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord, and in many applications of the prophetic scriptures.

 

With these remarks, I ask the attention of the reader to the following propositions, which aim to be a concise statement of the more prominent features of my Judeo-Christian faith, in three categories:

I.  SIMILAR FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY

II.  LANDMARKS/ PILLARS OF MY FAITH

III.  OTHER DOCTRINES THAT DEFINE BELIEFS

 

I.  SIMILAR FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY

 

1.  Holy Scriptures

The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history, declaring that God is who He says He is, LOVE.  The Scriptures are that love letter and plan for God’s wayward children; a revelation of God’s desire to be in covenantal relationship with His people;  a recounting of God’s mission for His chosen people, the Israelite nation in the Old Testament, and the same mission for His church, spiritual Israel (Rev 7:4-8), in the New Testament.  Scripture is a continuum of God’s dealing with the separation caused by sin and the solution thereof in sandbox and microcosm form, depicted in the sanctuary system, including God’s feasts which immortalize the plan of redemption with present application and future relevance from Passover, to Tabernacling with God in ultimate fulfillment. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

 

2.  One Godhead/ Divinity

God (plural - Elohim) the Father is a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present – who IS love and loves us!  Jesus did not have to persuade the Godhead to love us, Jn 16:27.  All three members of the Godhead were active in Creation (therefore, all are our Father), the incarnation, and the redemption of man.  The eternal Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and to those who respond, He renews and transforms into the image of God. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13, Ps. 139:7).  And, there is one Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, The Eternal Son of God, in the flesh, incarnate, who took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham, the second Adam, for the redemption of our fallen race; that He dwelt among men full of grace and truth, lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator (against the accusations of Satan) in the sanctuary in Heaven, where, with His own blood He makes at-one-ment with us; which is the very last portion of His work as priest according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in Heaven, by Whom we have “access by faith unto this grace,”; Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.  1Pe 1:2;   Rom 5:2; Lev. 16; Heb. 8:4, 5; 9:6, 7

 

 

 

3.  Creation

God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity versus the evolution of creation. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” as we know it in our galaxy, and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The man and woman were each made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,’’ declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)  

 

4.  Nature of Man

Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do; not as part humanity and part divinity, which is dualism.  While we may be partakers of the Divine nature, only Christ was a blending of humanity with Divinity.  Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of heart, soul, mind, and strength (1 Thes 5:23; Mk 12:30), dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents distrusted and disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred, sin separated them from God, and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born on probation with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself, perfected faith/ trust and obedience in His life (Rev 14:12), and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker and covenantal relationship with Him, for the glory of God to those who choose His life. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:10-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)

 

5.  Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

In Christ’s life of perfect faith/trust and obedience to God’s will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin and separation from God, so that those who by faith / trust accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God’s law of love and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness.   The curse due to our sin-sickness came upon Him (separation from God/ death), thus, in the offering of Himself as our substitute and surety, Christ perfects faith and trust in the Father, makes an atonement for us, heals, reconciles and transforms us. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God’s triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement and abide in Him, assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. ( John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)

 

6.  Experience of Salvation – Christ’s Righteousness by His Faith/Trust

In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinsickness, repent of our transgressions, be born again, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. Christ is the Second Adam, beginning where the first Adam began, and perfecting faith and trust in the Godhead.   This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God’s grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship/condition of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment, where God determines the decision we have made. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

 

7.  Growing in Christ

By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus’ victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk and abide with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden and condition of sin – separation and lack of trust/faith in God. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience.  This sanctification process is the work of a lifetime. (Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)

 

8.  Church

The church is the community of believers who confess and are actively participating in abiding in Christ.  Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the purpose of God’s people in Old Testament times, we are spiritual Israel called out from the world as a light to the Gentiles, as witnesses, servants to glorify Him and show His love in His statutes, judgments and commandments; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the communion of God’s feasts including the Lord’s Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, it’s head, (as the husband is the head of the wife), who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God’s family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant – “Let Me be your God, and you be my people”. The church is the body of Christ, a community and family of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head, not a small group to be policed by leaders. The church is the bride for whom Christ died, both Jews and Gentiles, that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. Wheat and tares will grow together until harvest, Mt 13:28. It is not the ministers’ work to set the churches right, rather to focus on those who have not heard the truth, 7T 18:2 (Gen. 12:3; Isa 42:6; 43:10; 49:3; Mal 4:4;  Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11; Matt. 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.). 

 

9.  Unity in the Body of Christ

The church is one body or family with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in Elohim, who has adopted us as His children, {not uniformity (unvaried sameness)}. (Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19, 20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16, 17; Acts 17:26, 27; Gal. 3:27, 29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; 4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)

 

10. Ordinance of Baptism

By baptism by immersion, we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin through Christ and of our purpose to walk in newness of life/ repentance. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members of His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, circumcision of the heart, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of its teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)

 

11. Ordinance of Lord’s Supper / Passover

The emblems of the Lord’s Supper took the place of animal /carnal (Heb 9:10) sacrifices during Passover, as the ultimate Lamb of God had come to die.  The participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus is an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord’s death until ‘that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom,  Mt 26:29.  Thus, Passover/ Lord’s Supper is a ‘shadow of things to come’ Col 2:17; Heb 8:9.  Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)

 

12. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries

God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God’s varied grace, the church is protected from  ‘every wind of doctrine’, grows with a growth that is from God, and is built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:4,8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11.)

 

13. Stewardship

We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God’s ownership of everything in our lives by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church.  This is not a ‘dues’ that we pay, but rather, an expression of gratitude and stewardship in all that we do.  Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)

 

14. Marriage and the Family

Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between partners who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. Moreover, Paul’s admonition is that if a spouse has an unbelieving partner, that unbelieving partner may be sanctified by the believer’s example. Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, marriage partners who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body, the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message. The family unit is an expression of the oneness of the Godhead in giving unconditional love. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)

 

15. Second Coming of Christ

The second coming of Christ is the blessed, living hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour’s coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die by the brightness of His coming. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ’s coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)

II.   *FIVE LANDMARKS/ PILLARS OF MY FAITH

*1889 ‘Landmark’/Pillars/Doctrines Definition

  • 1) “The cleansing of the sanctuary, and having decided relation to God's people upon the earth;

  • 2) 'The 3 Angels Messages with the 3rd angel - unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, "The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Summed up as “the everlasting Gospel”)

One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing…

  • 3) 'The law of God,

  • 4) 'The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment

  • 5) 'The non-immortality of the wicked is an old landmark.

 

'I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks."  Ellen G. White, MS 13, 1889, p. 3., 1888 Materials, 2:518; {CW 30.2} Misc Collections 1888 518.2 

 

1. Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began another phase of His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844 the Advent movement began based on God’s Feast – Day of Atonement.  At the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that service of type the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus, purging our concience, heals us. This is the cleansing of the church on earth, the 'true tabernacle,' from the unconscious sin of wanting to, in essence, kill God.The investigative judgment discerns and reveals to heavenly intelligences, who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, therefore, will be in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, healed, evidenced by dependence upon God and reflecting His image, i.e., obedience and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice and character of God, Who is on trial to the universe, in the great controversy, in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God, i.e., the spiritually mature Bride, shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ is completed when all decisions for or against Him have been made. This marks the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num  14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.).

2. The Three Angels' Messages, The Gospel and the Remnant’s Mission

The universal church is composed of all who believe and abide in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to represent God’s character of love evidenced by keeping the commandments of God and the faith/trust of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment (determination of our choice), in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness.  Summed up as “the everlasting Gospel”:

 

            1) Respect & adore God & His creative and re-creative power, the hour of His determining our decision is    come, as the universe also judges Him. 

            2) Babylon is fallen because it ‘makes’ nations drink ….

            3) If you cling to the beast forever, God will have to let you go.

 

The constancy of the saints is that they have experienced the faith/trust of Jesus evident in their character. (Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Gal 2:16; Jude 3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)

 

The natural or carnal heart is enmity against God and His law of love, this enmity can be resolved only by a radical transformation, the exchange of fear for love, the exchange of selfishness for unselfishness, the exchange of distrust for trust, unholy for holy principles; that this transformation follows repentance and faith, is the special work of the Holy Spirit, and constitutes regeneration/ re-creation or conversion.

 

All have sinned causing separation from God, Isa 59:2, and could not of ourselves reunite, were it not for grace. We are dependent on Christ’s life, death, and Priestly work; first, for justification to set us right in terms of relationship, and, secondly, sanctification for grace whereby we spiritually mature, and there is a purification, or healing from/putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth. The loud cry of the third angel is the revelation of the righteous character of Christ’s love.

 

The man of sin, the papacy, has thought to change appointed seasons, occasions and times and laws (the laws of God), Dan. 7:25, and has misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment, as well as God’s appointed times and festivals. We find a prophecy of a reform in this respect to be wrought among believers just before the coming of Christ. The doctrine that - God has committed to the church the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, - is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors (GC 292), Mal 4:4, Isa. 24:5, 56:1, 2,  Ez 20:19,20, 1 Pet. 1:5,  Rev. 14:12

 

3. Law of God is Love

The great principles of God’s Torah are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ, spoken by Jehovah from Sinai, engraven on the tables of stone, and deposited in the ark, which was in consequence called the “ark of the covenant,” or testament.  Num. 10:33, Heb. 9:4. With the sounding of the seventh trumpet we are told that “the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Rev. 11:19. They express God’s character of love, His will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are promises for all people in every age. These precepts, statutes and judgments expressed in the Torah are the basis of God’s covenant with His people and the standard in God’s judgment. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Saviour. Salvation is all of grace and not of works, its fruitage is God’s character of love summarily expressed in the Ten Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness. (Ex. 20:1-17; Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14; Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4; Ps. 19:7-14.)

 

4. Sabbath

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation, set apart before Paradise was lost, Gen. 2:2, 3, and which will be observed in paradise restored, Isa. 66:22, 23. The Sabbath is marked off as the high point and climax of Creation, enshrining God’s presence at the center of human experience.   By resting, God enters into the time of His created order – intimacy.  The fourth commandment of God promises  this seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, abstaining from our own labor, and performing sacred and religious duties. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom. The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts. God’s call to rest in Him and grow in His love has been provided for in the weekly, monthly and annual Sabbaths.  No need to condemn your fellowmen who may choose to rest in Him in the keeping of more Sabbaths than you. (Col 2:16; Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

 

5. Death and Resurrection

The wages/ payment of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day, death, expressed by the Hebrew  sheol and the Greek hades, is a place of darkness in which there is no work, device, wisdom, nor knowledge.  It is a state of silence, inactivity, and entire unconsciousness for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous, out of the prison house of the grave, and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later. (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)

 

 

III.   OTHER DOCTRINES THAT DEFINE BELIEFS

 

1. Great Controversy

All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law of love, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

 

2. Christian Behavior

We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement, entertainment and music should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit.  We also espouse health reform, obeying the eight natural laws and utilizing natural remedies.  This means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently, in order to be in the most healthful condition to be aware of the Holy Spirit’s promptings for heart change.  Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet (moving towards a plant-based diet) possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 19:28; 3 John 2.)

 

3. The Gift of Prophecy

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White. Because her works span a period of time in the development of the church as well as her own spiritual growth, we believe that revelation to her was progressive, first the blade then the ear Mk 4:28, and shall bring forth fruit in old age Ps 92:14. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. ( Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)

 

4. Millennium and the End of Sin

The doctrine of the world’s conversion and temporal millennium is a fable of these last days, calculated to lull men into a state of carnal security, and cause them to be overtaken by the great day of the Lord as by a thief in the night. The second coming of Christ is to precede the millennium, which is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first (at 2nd coming) and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close, Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; Luke 13:28  ‘There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.’ This is the experience of second death – separation from God. Then fire of/from God’s glory (Ex 24:17) will consume them and cleanse the earth; consumed root and branch, Mal. 4:1, becoming as though they had not been, Obad. 15, 16.  This is everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the power of His glory, 2 Thess. 1:9. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

 

5. New Earth

New heavens and earth shall spring by the power of God from the ashes of the old, to be, with the New Jerusalem for its metropolis and capital, the eternal inheritance of the saints, the place where the righteous shall evermore dwell.  God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will Tabernacle with His people and enjoy the Passover supper of the Lamb; ‘from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD’, Isa 66:23; and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)

                                              God Loves You!

 

But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand. Isa_64:8

 

"I created you as a jar of clay, set apart for sacred use.  I want you to be filled with My very Being, permeated through and through with Peace"  - Sarah Young, 2004, Jesus Calling

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