A SURE FOUNDATION By Pastor Rob Benardo
I am here in Battle Creek Michigan looking out my picture window as the trees are just coming into their prime fall colors. A light rain is falling, and my trusted Labrador retriever is by my side. It’s a Friday evening and I have an hour or so before I have to be at my next meeting. As I spend some time in prayer this evening I sense the Lord especially near. Last Sabbath, my church was packed with 1300 people, most of which were union delegates and family from around the world field.
I took my usual spot as an “extra” greeter and got to meet and greet many of these great and godly people. Indeed, I was experiencing the truth of the scripture that “it is both good (wonderful) and pleasant when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). This unity is something God ordained that “comes down”, like the dew of Hermon or the precious oil flowing down Aaron’s beard at his anointing, and oh to enjoy and participate in its festive fragrance!
As some of the delegates entered, I would ask them where they were from and how the gospel was going forward in their area. A few who were in more difficult territory shared with me some of their trials, but most told me of the triumphs of God’s gospel and their excitement for the future. It was indeed a high Sabbath as my local church pulled together to host the world church, with our president Ted Wilson as the main speaker.
The Sabbath of course was followed by three and a half days of Annual Council, where the delegates got together to discuss the business of the church. There was, of course, the non-compliance policy, matters of
finance and other important and pragmatic issues, but what struck me to the very core of my being were the heartfelt global accounts of the good news that brings hope and changes lives.
As I think back on the humble beginnings of this movement which was organized right here in Battle Creek, I am comforted and strongly encouraged with the truth that this church rests on a sure foundation. It is a prophetic movement, God’s last day church and “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18). Listen to what the Spirit said through Ellen White: “Satan’s efforts to hinder the work and to destroy the workmen have not ceased; but God has had a care for his servants and for his work. In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment and with confidence in Christ as leader” (Life Sketches, page 196).
“The work begun in feebleness and obscurity has continued to increase and strengthen. Publishing houses and missions in many lands attest to its growth. In place of the edition of our first paper carried to the post office in a carpetbag, many hundreds of thousands of copies of our various periodicals are now sent out monthly from the offices of publication. The hand of God has been with His work to prosper and build it up” (Ibid, p. 195). As some are fearful about the future of their church, they need not be.
“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and his teaching in our past history. We are debtors to God to use every advantage he has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin” (Ibid, p. 196).
The end is near and now we must move with alacrity. God is pouring His light of truth upon us that we might take it to the world. Soon and very soon, one interest will prevail, and one subject will swallow up every other- Christ our righteousness. As that message is proclaimed, God will send the latter rain to give it power and efficiency in reaching the hearts of those to whom it is sent. The message will be so compelling and heart stirring that church relations and even family ties will be powerless to keep those who hear the truth from unreservedly and enthusiastically following. Although it is true that company after company will leave the ranks, tribe after tribe will also enter God’s last day remnant movement. Soon the end will come. Soon our omnipotent Lord God will receive His long awaited bride who has made herself ready, all arrayed in the beautiful, spotless and pure garments of the righteousness of Christ (Revelation 19:8).
Be sure my friend today, that this advent movement rests on a sure foundation of solid Bible truth. Through this church, the “mystery of God will be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets” (Revelation 10:7). It may appear to fall but it will not fall. The ship will go through safely into harbor. In a time when the spirit of pulling away from fellow laborers is rampant and “the spirit of disorganization is in the very air we breathe”, we must like never before press together- loving one another and supporting one another with a teachable spirit. We must “esteem others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3b) and listen humbly to the voice of our Divine Head and His appointed church leadership with which He has invested His authority and power.
Now is a time like never before to come into oneness with our high Priest in His “office work” on our behalf and on behalf of others. Now is the time like never before to cultivate the gift of faith that God has given for, “in this last generation the parable of the mustard seed is to reach a signal and triumphant fulfillment. The little seed will become a tree. The last message of warning and mercy is to go to every nation and kindred and tongue, to take out of them a people for His name” Acts 15:14 (Amazing Grace, p. 17). Then at last, the fourth angel will have done its work and “The earth will be lightened with the glory of God” (Rev. 18:1). This movement rests on a sure foundation-a remnant movement known for keeping the commandments of God, the faith of Jesus and having the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev. 14:12, 19:10). It will triumph, and God would have us all triumph with it- and Oh, “heaven is cheap enough”! May God’s glory be your greatest joy today and always!
BUT NOW I SEE…by Lorrie Rietman
Recently Charles went to the eye doctor and came out needing glasses! He had not been sure whether he needed them but when he got the glasses, he was struck with how much clearer he saw. He knew he had some blurriness, but the glasses revealed the extent to which he had not been seeing with clarity. Is this not something that often happens when suddenly we realize that our perspective on something has not been correct? It is humbling to realize that what we view as reality can often be a distortion of what is true.
“For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV. The only truth and correct perspective we will ever have is when we look through the lens of God’s word.
PATHFINDER CLUB REPORT
By Brad and Tracey Hall, Directors of the Battle Creek Pioneers Pathfinder Club
It's Holiday Food Box Time Again and your pathfinder club will be accepting non-perishable food items from our church family now through November 17th. You can place your non-perishable food items on the table that is set up on the lower level between the two main bathrooms. Or if you choose, you can place a monetary donation in a tithe envelope and mark it "holiday food boxes". It takes a lot of donated food and money to make this project work, please give generously. Be sure to check your expiration dates on the food you donate.
If you know of a family that you would like to deliver a food box to, please fill out one of the inserts that will be in your bulletin or you can also find one on the credenza in the foyer. You may also call in a request to the church office. The food boxes will be ready for you to pick up and deliver on Monday, November 19th during regular church office hours. If you have any questions you can contact Brad or Tracey Hall.
Your Pathfinders Need Your Support to Make Oshkosh International Camporee a Reality. By now you have received an invitation to our "Non-Banquet" banquet. As I'm sure you figured out, we aren't having a banquet, but we do need your help. Your donation would be greatly appreciated for our hard working youth, as this experience will help their faith to grow. But we can't make this possible without you. If you are able to donate, please mark your tithe envelope "pathfinders Oshkosh" or mail a check to the church office. Thank you for supporting your pathfinder club.
September 2018 statement totals:
Revenues: $22,756.45; Expenses: $28,126.43
giving a loss of $5,369.98
Much Needed Upgrade- If you spent any time at all in the annex building you would realize that an upgrade was badly needed on the flooring. This is a project we have been talking about for years and are thrilled at how it came out (and just in time for Annual Council)! The new flooring is durable, easy to clean and maintain. If you can help us pay for this very needed upgrade, please mark on your tithe envelope, “flooring” and it will be applied for that project. The total cost is $15,000.00, so if 30 people gave $500 we would have it paid for. Thanks in advance for your help in making God’s house presentable!
UPCOMING EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
BATTLE CREEK ABC BRANCH is now closed for business. Please visit the Berrien Springs or Lansing stores, or order online at adventistbookcenter.com.
NOVEMBER 2 & 3 GUEST SPEAKER: Bill Brace pastored for forty-one years in the Southern New England Conference of which thirty-four of it was planting congregations primarily via public evangelism in the Greater Boston community. Since “retiring” from pastoral ministry in 2017 he has devoted his energies to his second love as president of the Ken and Mabel Brace Foundation which raises funds for Seventh-day Adventist elementary and secondary schools.
BABY SHOWER for Ann Njoroge on November 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the Seminar Room. She is registered at Target. Ladies you are invited. Contact Micky Porter at 269-223-9750 for more details.
LADIES TEA: November 5 at 1:00 p.m. in the church dining room: crafts and card making and November 19 at 1:00 pm at Asian Buffet.
SOUP AND SALVATION: Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m. in the Seminar Room. We will continue our study of the most precious message the Lord sent to His people. It is a very powerful message designed by Him for His people giving the assurance of salvation and the necessary power to prepare them for the time of trouble, which is brewing in the world today. From Jerry Finneman
BIBLE MARKING: Fridays from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Junior Classroom); come and have fun transforming your Bible into a witnessing tool, which also makes it easier to study your Bible with others.
WINSOME WITNESSING: Every Sabbath, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Seminar Room. In this class, you will learn how to share your faith with others without “beating people up” with the truth, but rather sharing the truth in a winsome way.