Battle Creek Tabernacle
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Tab-A-Letter On-Line Edition
The Separation in the Godhead
Battle Creek Academy will soon go through another senior graduation. This year’s graduation is unique for my family and me, however, as it will mark a new stage in our lives where we will for the first time have one of our children (Melissa) separated from our family for most of the year when she heads to college. Oh sure, she will still be part of the family, but it just won’t be the same. I am sure many parents who have experienced this separation for the first time know what I am talking about. There will be somewhat of a void.
As I reflect upon this inevitable separation, I cannot but help ponder what it must have been like for the Godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The existence of God spanned an unfathomable time before the creation of any being, planet, or star, etc. in the vast universe. This creation is not just creation of things seen, but of things that are invisible (Colossians 1:16).
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit enjoyed oneness and fellowship with one another as three Persons, but one God. The Bible records that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Love is a relational word. Since God is love, there would have been no time in eternity past where God was not relational. This love would have been expressed through the relation between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Godhead is also known as Yahweh (Jehovah in the English). The name Yahweh (usually written as LORD in many Bible versions) is derived from the verb “to be”, giving it the meaning of being self-existent. God used this verb, “to be”, when He said to Moses “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14). Later on in history Jesus would tell the Jews, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58). The proper grammatical phrase would have been to say, “Before Abraham was, I was”. Instead, Jesus was claiming to be the Yahweh, the self-existent One. The Jews understood this to be His claim and because of this, they took up stones to stone Him (v. 59).
It was the pre-incarnate Christ that Abraham was bartering with when Sodom (and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities) were to be destroyed for their wickedness. From the three visitors that came to Abraham, two were angels that would warn Lot and his family. The third visitor that remained and talked with Abraham was the “LORD” (Yahweh) (see Genesis 18). Later, when fire and brimstone were to be brought down upon the wicked cities, Genesis 19:24 tells us that “the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven”. Notice that the LORD rained brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven. In other words, the second Person of the Godhead (the Son) called fire from the rest of the Godhead (Father and Holy Spirit) out of heaven. This oneness of the LORD is expressed in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD”.
Because of God’s love for humanity, this oneness of the Godhead would experience a separation that could not be fully comprehended. John 3:16 states that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. . .” He not only gave Him to die for our sins, but to be part of the human family.
“It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son." John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature.” (Desire of Ages, p. 25)
Let us daily reflect upon the high price paid at the cross, not just for our sins, but the effect it had on the Godhead on our behalf; that the Son would become part of the human family.
Whose Character Do You Reflect?
Let us come to God in faith, fully assured that as we surrender all to Him, He will make us Christ-like in character. Then, one with Christ, we can reveal Him to the world.
Let us honor God by showing firm faith and unswerving trust. Let us remember that He is not glorified by the manifestation of a fretful, unhappy spirit. The Lord cares for the flowers. He gives them beauty and fragrance. Will He not much more give us the fragrance of a cheerful disposition? Then let us have faith in Him and place ourselves where He can give us His Holy Spirit.
In His Word, the Lord has made it plain that His people are a joyful people. True faith reaches up the hand and lays hold upon the One who is behind the promise, “Great shall be the peace of thy children.” (Isaiah 54:13).
Let us strive to educate the believers to rejoice in the Lord. Spiritual joy is the result of active faith. God’s people are to be full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Then, He will be glorified in them. “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” (Psalm 9:1,2)
Vicki Skinner, Bible Worker
Yo Youth from David Tenold
I'm sure you know that one of America's favorite beverages is coffee and it may be yours too. But before you're tempted to grab your coffee cup in the morning, remember these important facts: 1) Coffee contains acrylamide, a cancer causing agent. 2) It causes the release of stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine), which increases a person's heart rate, blood pressure and tension. 3) It prevents the kidneys from retaining calcium, zinc, magnesium, as well as other minerals. 4) Drinking coffee before breakfast causes the gastric glands to secrete hydrochloric acids. This interferes with protein digestion and can cause stomach ulcers. 5) It is known to cause headaches. 6) The caffeine in coffee accelerates bone loss in the body. 7) It causes an irregular heart beat and forceful heart contractions. 8) It causes adrenal fatigue, which leaves a person chronically drained and tired. 9) Four cups of coffee every day, according to a joint study done by the Mayo Clinic, increases a premature mortality rate of 21 percent.
So why have I taken the time to research this subject out and write out my conclusions? I'm concerned about an unhealthy trend I see in our church. Last week I attended a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee that served coffee to those who had come to worship God. Knowing about the harmful effects of coffee drinking, I asked myself, "Why is the pastor (and his staff) serving a drink that has harmful consequences to the health of the young people who are attending his church?" I wish I knew the answer to this question. There are times when love compels a person to speak up and it is one of those times. Listen, God loves you. He wants you to live a healthy and happy life. That's why He asks you and me not to consume certain things that are harmful to our body and mind. It's for our own good. What a God!
18 Million Seventh-day Adventists now!
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is one of the fastest‑growing Christian movements in the world and it has now recorded more than 18 million baptized members. According to the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, as of September 30, 2013, there are now 18,028,796 Seventh‑day Adventists worldwide. Worldwide, an estimated 25 to 30 million men, women, and children attend weekly Adventist worship services. On any given day 3,052 people join the church. Every hour 127 people are baptized. Every minute two individuals are baptized. The Church operates 112 colleges and universities, more than 1,900 secondary schools, and nearly 6,000 primary schools, with a total enrollment of more than 1.75 million, along with 172 hospitals, treating more than 16 million people annually. We can certainly praise God for what He has done! Source Jan 16, 2014 Adventist Review
Nominating Committee Process
You are undoubtedly aware by now that the elders recommended and the Church Board voted to bring a proposal to the church: to postpone our Nominating Committee process a year and ask our current officers to keep their current responsibilities one year longer. This was to allow for the possibility of the new senior pastor being in place for that process. This proposal was voted by the church body, so current officers should plan to continue on in their positions until their term ends in 2015. If you have a church office you have been filling and do not feel that you can continue on in that position past June 30, when your term would have ended, you should contact the church office to let us know. We will not be filling any offices this spring unless we hear from you with regard to that need for that to happen for your specific office or situation.
THANK YOU to each one of you for your faithful service in the past and a big THANK YOU as well for those of you who are willing to continue on and help us for an additional year! You are a blessing!
Church Family News
SYMPATHIES: Donald Swenson, Freda’s husband, died on February 5 at the age of 85 years. He was a member since 1968. Their two sons, Tim and Ron, were B.C. Academy graduates. His memorial service will be March 8 at the Tabernacle, 4:00 p.m.
DEATHS: Through internet search and contacts, we have confirmed deaths of two Tabernacle members: Lolamay Ansley (member since 1997) and Nina Pattinson (member since 1972). Please keep us posted when you move or have other changes in your life.
WATER-WATER: As many of you know, on Wednesday, February 18, we discovered flooding of the main hallway near the Sabbath School rooms of the church. This was caused from a broken pipe in the mechanical room adjacent to the church. The mechanical room filled (about eight feet) with water and then started overflowing into the church. It could have been much worse. The providential circumstances that made this disaster less severe were that: Tricia Metcalf and her children (Brooke, Kaci, and Jeremiah) came to the church in the afternoon to work on their Sabbath School program; Candy Ledoux was in the church office; Hunter-Prell workers were just down the street; Servpro was only minutes away; and a couple of deacons just got off their day job.
We were told by the Servpro people, if the flooding had continued full force for another two hours, we would have had significant damage—Praise the Lord. Thank you Metcalf family for your quick action and our church secretary who knew whom to call to get the right help.
Someone broke into our storage shed in the parking lot behind our church this past month. They took our snow blower, tools and tried to take our lawn mower, but were not able to get it started and moved out. The items have now been replaced. It was not turned in to insurance as our deductible is too high to cover them. We are happy it was not a larger loss. Keep your eyes open if you are ever driving by.
Our Christmas Offering
Our Christmas Offering for 2013 was $27,477. As we shared with you before the offering, five percent of that went to help sponsor those of our youth who went to GYC in Florida over the New Year's break time. Another five percent was used to help provide radios that allow groups in the mission lands to tune in to Adventist programming in their local villages. Each of these radios can operate on any one of four power sources: solar, electric, battery, and hand crank.
The board was also asked to look at the state of our church budget and use a portion of our Christmas Offering to help our budget. They did that at the last board meeting and set aside $10,000 to help shore up our church budget finances. The remaining $14,700, along with $7,700 we have received as Memorial Gift contributions went to provide an upgraded copier in the church office and to provide funding for the work that is being done by our building committee in upgrading bathrooms in the children's Sabbath School area, providing improvements to the rear entryway, and other projects which we shared with you in the Christmas letter. THANK YOU for remembering the Lord and His house in your giving during the holiday season!
January 2014 statement totals:
Revenues: $20,102.01; Expenses: $27,278.54
resulting in aloss of $7,176.53
End-of-Year totals of January 2014:
Revenues: $181,985.55 Expenses: $185,985.03
With a total loss of $3,999.48
Canadian Bibles impact EthiopiaThis past September Sharon Brandsma, a board member of Bible League Canada, visited Ethiopia to see firsthand the effects of her organization’s work. When she gave Bibles to Christians, she noticed that they often hugged them. For them it was like getting an organ transplant, she said. It was a chance at [a] new life. A sorcerer and witch doctor, who had intimidated many people in the area where he lived, became curious about Christianity, borrowed a Bible from a Christian evangelist, and read Matthew’s Gospel. Then Jesus appeared to him in a dream, and he accepted Jesus as his Savior. During 2013, more than 50,000 Ethiopians became Christians as a result of the work of Bible League Canada.
Christian Week, Submitted by Tom Miller, Religious Liberty
Know Your Bar Code
Shopping is a full time job—always read the labels on the foods you buy. No matter what the front of the box or package says, turn it over and read the back. With all the food and pet products now coming from China, it is best to make sure you read the label at the grocery store. Many products no longer show where they were made and only give where the distributor is located. The BAR CODE will tell you where the food comes from.
00 – 09 … USA and Canada 30 – 37 … France 40 – 44 … Germany
471 … Taiwan 690 – 692 … China 49 … Japan
NEWS AND REPORTS:
Tabernacle Sacred Concert presents Buddy Houghtaling on March 1st at 7:30 p.m. By popular demand, Buddy will be back for his fifth straight year. He always has new songs and new stories, and his concert will lift your spirits and point you to Jesus. The concert is free.
FOUNTAINVIEW SDA ACADEMY will present a beautiful sacred music concert at the Tabernacle Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy a symphonic blend of brass, strings and woodwind instruments playing your favorite gospel classics. Enjoy songs to be sung with youthful enthusiasm. The concert is tailored for your friends and neighbors—with a theme to encourage us to grow closer to Jesus every day. The school is located in British Columbia, Canada. See www.FountainOfMusic.com for details.
Tabernacle Sacred Concert Series presents singer Michael Card in a special Easter concert - "A Violent Grace" - on Saturday evening, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature a choir and string ensemble and will make the Easter season more meaningful as you listen and meditate on Jesus' amazing love. In a career that has spanned 30 years, Michael Card has recorded over 31 albums, including such favorite songs as “El Shaddai”, “Love Crucified” and “Emmanuel” and has sold more than 4 million albums. He is also a serious student of the Bible and has written 24 books. Tickets to Card's concert are only $10 each and $40 per family (maximum of eight). They must be purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the church office, by calling 269-962-1132, or by going to www.battlecreektabernacle.com and clicking on Card's link on the home page. This will be one of our best concerts yet, and you won't want to miss it!
THE OPTIMAL LIFESTYLE SUPPER CLUB: Want to lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, feel better and have more energy? Learn this and more at the monthly Optimal Lifestyle Supper Club Monday, March 17, 6:30 p.m., in the seminar room. Call the church office to register.