An Amazing Fact – The Russian Orthodox Church bishops were having a convocation in 1917 when they came to a heated debate with fussing and feuding. A few doors down the street another meeting was going on. The Bolsheviks were together plotting the overthrow of the Czar. This Revolution, led by Vladimir Lenin, was the beginning of what we now know as Communism. What was the church arguing about while the Empire was crumbling around them? Candles! Were they to be 18” or 22” long?
Elder Peter Eberhardt delivered the message this past Sabbath entitled, “United We Stand, United We Fall”. John 17:20-22 was read by Reuben Perlee. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Elder Eberhardt began by showing us how in an increasingly polarized society with morality at a low point many are calling for Christians to lay aside doctrinal differences and come together on common ground for the unity that Christ prayed for us to have. While this may sound good, he warned us against a unity that compromises Biblical truth.
We are seeing the prophecies of Revelation 13 and 17 being fulfilled before our very eyes! God’s people have been blessed with foreknowledge about what is to come. There is a shaking and sifting that is to take place among God’s people. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. So, we need to give heed to the warnings given by God. In His great love for us, God wants us to be prepared for what is coming that we might be victorious and triumphant in the end.
But some ministers are preaching smooth things to suit the carnal heart. They dare not preach Jesus and the cutting truths of the Bible; for if they should, these professed Christians would not remain in the church. This is just as Satan would have it. The religion of Jesus is made to appear popular and honorable in the eyes of the world. The people are told that those who profess religion will be more honored by the world. Such teachings differ widely from the teachings of Christ. His doctrine and the world could not be at peace with each other. Those who followed Him had to renounce the world. These smooth things originate with Satan and his angels. Hypocrites and open sinners unite with the church. If the truth had been preached in its purity, it would soon have shut out this class. But there was no difference between the professed followers of Christ and the world. God does not want this kind of unity in His church. That is why He is purging His church. (See Ezekiel 38:19, Amos 9:9 and other texts regarding the shaking or sifting.)
At the end of time earth’s population will be united in one of two groups – the sheep or the goats; the saved or the lost. Elder Eberhardt showed us the differences between the two groups and warned us not to be deceived by the counterfeit unity. Who will you be in unity with? Are you going to be in the group that falls or the group that stands? Are we preparing to stand against the tide…to stand in the face of persecution?
Our only hope is in Jesus Christ our Lord!
We closed with a majestic song that Wayne Hooper wrote for the 1962 General Conference session of Seventh-day Adventist that went along with the message beautifully – We Have This Hope. Since some of you might be unfamiliar with it I share the words in closing.
“We have this hope that burns within hearts, Hope in the coming of the Lord.
We have this faith that Christ alone imparts, Faith in the promise of His Word.
We believe the time is here, When the nations far and near
Shall awake, and shout, and sing Hallelujah! Christ is King!
We have this hope that burns within our hearts. Hope in the coming of the Lord.
We are united in Jesus Christ our Lord, We are united in His love.
Love for the waiting people of the world. People who need our Savior’s love.
Soon the heavens will open wide. Christ will come to claim His bride.
All the universe will sing. Hallelujah! Christ is King!
We have this hope, this faith and God’s great love. We are united in Christ!”
We are looking forward to a marriage seminar April 15 and 16 by Dr. Thomas Jackson, Preserving the Sacred Circle. Dr. Jackson and his wife, LaVerne, are in full time gospel-health ministry. They come to us from Tennessee which is home base for their ministry – M.E.E.T. (Missionary Education and Evangelistic Training). They have traveled the world helping others experience true health and happiness according to Biblical principles. Call or visit our church website or FB page for more information.
The Community Services Center located on the church property gives away clothing every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00. In the month of February 140 people were served, 1,455 items were given away, and 56 ¼ hours were volunteered. We are in need of donations and most anything is accepted. We appreciate your support enabling us to assist those in need.
If we can be of assistance to you, please contact the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook!
May God bless and keep you!