The Elijah Syndrome

more-siesta-keys-008I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,       Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.       But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to [the image of] Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  Romans 11:2-5

 

I think at one time or another we all have felt like Elijah. Here are some good things to remember and cheer us on from the Spirit of Prophecy:

 

 

As in the days of Elijah, God had seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal, so today He has in the world many who are walking in all the light they have received. A whole firmament of chosen ones has He in reserve, that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness. In places where there might be expected only briars and thorns, fruit-bearing trees of righteousness will appear. In such places as these there are those who will bloom more sweetly for the Lord than many who live in more favored places. All around them they will shed the fragrance of His grace as they bloom in most unpromising places.–Letter 39, Feb. 28, 1903, to J. Wessells.  {TDG 67.4} 

 

The world is preparing for the last great conflict, nation rising against nation. The vast majority of human beings are taking their stand against God. But in every age the Lord Jesus has had His witnesses,–a remnant who trusted in the Word of God. And today, in every place, there are those who hold communion with God. A vital undercurrent of influence is leading them to the light, and when the question comes to them. “Who is on the Lord’s side?” they will take their position for Him. Their characters have been moulded after the divine similitude, because they have read and practised the teachings of His Word.  {ST, November 23, 1904 par. 1}

     Many in retired homes are God’s hidden ones, serving Him according to the light they have received. These hidden ones greatly delight in the Word of God. His precepts are appreciated and treasured by them, and many are the works of love that they do for Christ’s sake.  {ST, November 23, 1904 par. 2} 

     When Elijah complained that he stood alone in his service for God, the answer that came from heaven was, “I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Men are at best poor judges of the advancement made by the Gospel, of the influence that it has on souls who, perhaps, have never heard the preaching of an ordained minister. All through the world the Lord has His chosen ones. We can see plainly the prevailing degeneracy. Profligacy and infidelity are increasing to alarming proportions. Yet in the most wicked communities there are homes from which sincere, earnest prayers ascend to Christ.  {ST, November 23, 1904 par. 3} 

     In the judgment many secret things will be revealed. Then we shall see what a belief in God’s Word has done for men and women. It will be seen how small companies, sometimes not more than three or four, have gathered together in secret places to seek the Lord, and how they received light and grace, and rich gems of thought. The Holy Spirit was their teacher, and their lives revealed the blessings that come from a possession of the oracles of God. When Christ shall separate the tares from the wheat, it will be seen that God recognizes and honors these lowly followers. In the world they may not have been thought worthy of recognition, but in the heavenly courts they are registered as true and faithful. Through trial and opposition they kept their faith untainted. They gathered strength from the Word of God, which told them of the hope of immortal life in the kingdom of God. Of “them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name,” it is written, “They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”

 

 

25 Random Things About Me (William Earnhardt)

017I am writing today from the Beautiful Tampa Bay area.

25 Random Things About me

 

  1. 1.     I am the same age as the Super bowl. I am 43 and it is super bowl 43 today. If I am alive to see Super bowl 100 I better get free tickets!

    2.     I am not named after my father, Bill. His name is Billy Leroy Earnhardt and my name is William DeWayne Earnhardt. I am named after my mother’s father, William and Uncle John DeWayne.

    3.     I remember sitting in church no older than 3 or 4 watching the preacher, not hoping or wanting, but knowing I would be a gospel worker one day.

    4.     I lived in Oklahoma and Texas for 38 years and never saw a tornado.

    5.     I have never touched alcohol or cigarettes or any illegal drugs.

    6.     I would rather listen to a sports game on radio than watch it on TV. Don’t ask me why.

    7.     In high school I wrote the lyrics to a prayer response song that was used in our church for several months.

    8.     I gave my first Bible study in a home in my neighborhood when I was 15. I was just going door to door. The couple visited our church later at my invitation.

    9.     I preached my first sermon when I was 15.

    10.                        I have seen three presidents in person. Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. Interestingly I saw one before he was president. One while he was president and one after he was president. (Bush before, Nixon during, Carter after.)

    11.                        When I was a child my next door neighbor wrote a puppet skit and he and I performed the skit on a local cable TV show.

    12.                        When I was thirteen I was bragging in science class that I had never broken a bone in my body. In our next class, P.E., not forty minutes later, I broke my collar bone playing football. It was cool though, because Bob Griese, my favorite quarterback had also broken his collar bone.

    13.                        I had seen the gulf or ocean several times on family vacations as a child. In my adult life I had never been to the ocean or gulf until in 2003 I took a trip to Galveston to see the gulf just in case I never got another chance. Should have saved the trip as the next year I moved to Tampa Bay.

    14.                        When I was 12 and 13 years old my neighbor and I would walk down to Skelly Stadium where the Tulsa Roughnecks of the NASL would practice. We would kick the ball around with the players and I even got to interview one or two with my personal recorder. The soccer players were very real and personal. Now I shake my head at today’s stars wondering who do they think they are?

    15.                        I was the first person to graduate in my school. I was there the first year it went to twelve grades and my name came first in alphabetical order.

    16.                        There is an Adventist pastor who has been crossing my path all my life. His name is Jim Ferguson. When I was 7 we moved into a house down the street from his. When I was a teenager I preached at his church in Owasso, OK. Later I was a Bible Worker at another church he had just worked for in Claremore, OK. I then preached in Stillwater while he was there. In Texas he pastored the Breckenridge church right after I left being Bible Worker there. He then pastored the Weatherford, TX church right after I left being the lay pastor there. I also preached several times in the Chickasha and Southern Hills churches in Oklahoma right after he left those churches.

    17.                        When I was a kid I had a nightmare that I fell down an elevator shaft. To this day I do not step onto an elevator until I have looked down and seen the elevator floor.

    18.                        I have lived in all three states that have panhandles and only states that have panhandles. Oklahoma, Texas and Florida.

    19.                        I have had both Jeb and George for governors.

    20.                        I have been to every state West of the Mississippi except Alaska and Hawaii. I have been to every state east of the Mississippi except the extreme North east. I have also been to Canada, Mexico and Peru.

    21.                        A couple of years ago, after buying a brand new car, I woke up at 3am. After realizing what time it was and that I was awake, I jumped in my new car and headed for the East Coast where I watched the sunrise, had breakfast at McDonalds and then drove back to Tampa to work. Later in the evening I drove to Clearwater where I watched the sunset on the west coast. That was one of the most spontaneous things I ever did until last December when on the spur of the moment I drove to Louisiana to golf the next day with a friend.

    22.                        I love photography, golfing, kayaking and biking. Four things I never really did until I moved to Florida.

    23.                        I love being single. I have several married friends and have never felt like a third wheel. I think the term third wheel was invented by a married person who did not like single people. I have friends from every marital or single status, race, gender, age and religion. I simply love people no matter who they are. If a Red Sox fan showed up at my door wanting water I would not turn him away.

    24.                         Out of all the titles and positions I have had in life, being my nieces’ uncle is the one I am most proud of. I think they are proud of me too. J

    25.                        In the 80s I loved the show Unsolved Mysteries. None of my friends really like it so every Wednesday night I would come home from prayer meeting, get a cherry coke and watch the show by myself. It may sound corny but it became what I called, “my special all by myself time.” To this day, while I love and treasure all of my friends and family I have always made sure I also have a “special all by myself time.”

     

Overview for “The Prophetic Gift”

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I am writing again today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Here is my overview for the Sabbath School Lesson “The Prohetic Gift.”  It can also be used as a Biblical test to see if someone has the gift of prophecy.

The Spirit of Prophecy

 

What two things identify the remnant church?

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Revelation 12:17

 

What is the testimony of Jesus?

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  Revelation 19:10

 

Note: The spirit of prophecy is more than predicting the future of being a fortune teller. It is having a testimony or message from Jesus. Ellen White said she did not want to be called a prophet because in her day prophets were only fortune tellers. She wanted to be called a messenger from God, because she was way more than a fortune teller, she had a message from Jesus!

 

What is the purpose of a prophet?

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

 

How long is this gift to be in the church?

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Note: While many prophets are not accepted in their own country many were also not accepted in their own time. The above verse makes it clear though that as long as God has a church here on earth the gift of prophecy will continue from age to age.

 

Was this gift given to men only?

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  Exodus 15:20

 

And the next [day] we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.  Acts 21:8-9

 

Note: Many reject Ellen White as being a prophet because she was a woman, did not write in the Bible and came after the Old Testament. Yet in the book of Acts we find women prophets who came after the Old Testament and did not write anything in the Bible either.

 

Will this still happen in the last days?

And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  Joel 2:28-31

 

Note: clearly there were men and women prophets in the Bible and in the last days as well.

 

 

How can one tell the true from the false?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Matthew 7:15-20

 

Will what they say come to pass?

The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, [then] shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.  Jeremiah 28:9

 

Note: Anyone can get lucky and be 30, 40 or 50% accurate but a prophet of God is 100% accurate.

 

Do prophets place their own interpretation on Scripture?

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  2 peter 1:20

 

Will all they say be in harmony with the Scripture?

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. Isaiah 8:20

 

Note: The Scriptures make clear there is no light in those who preach against the law or the teachings of Jesus found in scripture. In John 10 Jesus tells us His sheep will flee the voice of a stranger. That is someone not teaching 100% truth or going along with the Bible. This includes the Sabbath and all the commandments.

 

Will they point out sin?

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.  Isaiah 58:1

 

Note: Pointing out sin is what led God’s prophets to be rejected in the Bible and the same is true today.

 

Will they edify and counsel?

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 

He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 4

 

Note: The purpose of a prophet is not to give mystical signs or mystical theories, but rather sound solid leadership for the church.

 

What if we reject a true prophet?

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.  Deuteronomy 18:18-22

 

What is God’s assurance to us?

Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.  2 Chronicles 20:20

 

What are we counseled to do?

Quench not the Spirit. 

Despise not prophesyings. 

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

 

Note: And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews.These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.  Acts 17:10-12

 

Ellen White herself says she is the lesser light pointing to the greater light. Yet she is no lesser a light in her day than Paul was in his day. People heard Paul preach and then went to see if it went with the already established Word of God which was the Old Testament. Sure enough his teachings went right along with the Old Testament so he was accepted as a prophet. Today let’s have the same spirit of those in Berea and with all readiness of mind let’s search the Scriptures to see if Ellen White has a message from God. And if she does let’s not despise it but hold fast to all that is good.

 

Here is a parting thought. Ellen White is often misquoted and taken out of context. She has often been portrayed as being unbalanced. Thanks to compilation books where people have taken all of he writings on a particular subject out of their original context and placed them in a book under a particular subject she has been taken literally out of context. Also these compilation books make it look like she was obsessed with whatever topic the book is about. For example Ellen White wrote many helpful and important things about our diet. If you read the compilation book “Counsels on Diets and Foods” you will get the idea she was obsessed with diet. She was concerned about it but not overly obsessed with it to the point of being unbalanced. If you read all of her writings in their original context instead of in compilations you will see the only thing she was actually obsessed with was the love of Jesus!

 

I encourage you to read her actual writings for yourself in their original contexts and see what you think.

You may find more studies, stories and pictures at my personal website In Light Of The Cross.

William’s Speaking Schedule for First Quarter 2009

William Earnhardt’s Speaking Schedule for the First Quarter 2009

Sermons: January 3, both services at Tampa First SDA Chruch.
SS Class: I will be teaching my Seekers Class every Sabbath morning at 10:25am at the Tampa First SDA Church.
Group Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings: Every Wednesday in January at 11am and 7pm.
Men’s Ministry Retreat: March 13-15 and March 20-22 at Camp Kulaqua

My Top Ten Highlights of 2008

Welcome to 2009! I pray that 2008 was very good to you and that 2009 will find you happier and closer to Jesus than ever before! To celebrate bringing in the New Year I have decided to share my top ten list. Please enjoy!

 

My Top Ten Highlights of 2008

 

10. On December 16 I was talking to a friend in Texas and on the spur of the moment we both took off for Louisiana for a game of golf, both of us meeting there that same evening. I love spur of the moment trips like that!

 

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9. I have decided not finish my list as I just decided to fly to England tonight! Just kidding. My ninth highlight is getting to fly to Tulsa with my sister and spending Mothers Day with our parents.

 

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8. Improving my golf game but more importantly getting to spend time with friends on some of the most beautiful golf courses in Florida, including getting to golf with my Dad this Christmas.

 

 

 

7. Kevin Craig getting a hole in one on the second fairway he ever played on in my church’s small golf group.

 

6. Getting to perform two weddings. One was the brother of a good friend of mine and then another was a good friend of mine who’s wedding was in Palm Springs.

 

5. Making new friends and re connecting with old friends on Facebook, Myspace and the Internet in general.

 

4. Finding real cream filled (none of that yellow junk) maple bars at 7-11 even if it was short lived as they stopped carrying them in favor of the donuts with that yellow junk. It was nice while it lasted.

 

3. My Rays going to the World Series! Go Tampa Bay! A hundred years from now the Rays will have 30 world championships and serious historians will be the only ones who will know what a Red Sox or a Yankee is.

 

 

2. Going to Tulsa last October for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Even though its been 50 years, the last 43 years have been the best years of their entire lives!

 

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  1. 17 People getting baptized at my church including 5 from the ASI meetings we had and wonderful Bible Workers and young people coming from all over the world to help win souls including several from Texas! In Texas you know your good when you get invited to work in Tampa!

 

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The Lafayette Classic and Alligators

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Today Victor and I were golfing at Pebble Creek here in Tampa when we ran across another alligator. Never seen one with his mouth open before. Made me a little nervous but I had to get the picture. I had a terrible start but ended up with a 98. Victor got a couple birdies including a couple chip shots from off the green that went right into the cup. He ended with a 77!

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Last Tuesday I was driving around the Florida panhandle doing some sightseeing. I called Doug, my friend from Fort Worth and on the spur of the moment we decided to meet in Lafayette for some golf. We both got to a hotel in Lafayette late that evening and went out to dinner. The next morning we went to the Wetlands. It was foggy and we played the first six holes in the fog. I did terrible so after the first nine holes I told Doug he had won the game in the fog and now that it had finally cleared lets play a new 18 hole game. Doug won the second game as well. That night we had dinner and each headed back to our own homes. Even though I lost and did not get to show off my golf skills to Doug, what was really kewl was that I had a friend who was glad to drive across country on the spur of the moment to hang out with me!

Please check out more of my pics and stories and studies at my personal website http://www.inlightofthecross.com

Check out my friend’s sprots blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/

Keep Your Own Score

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Here I am putting for my par after barely missing a birdie shot.

Keep Your Own Score

 

Golf is a gentleman’s game and as I continually learn the game of golf I continually learn to become more of a gentleman. Golf will test your etiquette skills as much as your athletic skills. In football the opposing team’s crowd will make as much noise as possible to distract the other team’s offense. In golf you must be quiet and considerate of your opponent when he is swinging. In baseball a pitcher will throw at a batter’s head. In golf you must yell “fore!”* if your ball is sailing close to someone else. In football you cheer when the opposing kicker misses a field goal. In golf you keep a straight face or give a sympathetic word when your opponent misses a putt. The list goes on. Golf is a game that will test your manners as well as your skills.

 

I have learned something important this year about golf and about life. I love to keep score. I love to win but more than just wanting to win I am a statistics freak. I have to know all the numbers and I have to know what the score is. As a matter of fact I have logged into my computer every game I have played this year, where I have played it and what the scores were.

 

However I have learned that some do not like to keep score. A while back I was golfing with my older friend Ron who has been teaching me how to golf but more importantly has been teaching me how to be a better gentleman. The two of us set out to start the first hole when a man golfing alone came up behind us. Being the gentlemen that we are we invited him to join us which he did. After each hole I would ask him what his score was so I could write it down with ours. After a couple holes Ron told me not to ask his score. If he wanted me to know he would tell me. The fact that I had to keep asking was a sign he really did not want to give it. I should have known that.

 

Since then I have run into other people who don’t like to keep score. As a statistics freak I have a hard time dealing with that. But here is what I have learned. It should not matter what the other people’s scores are. There is a par for the course which is the standard for the course. Instead of comparing myself to others I should just focus on reaching the standard. I should be matching my performance against the standard and not against my fellow man. Once again the game of golf has taught me something no other sport will. I once saw a t-shirt on a teenager that read, “Inspiration is not when you outdo your opponent. It is when you outdo yourself.” How true!

 

In life Jesus does not inspire us to compare ourselves to others or be like them. Christ inspires us to compare ourselves to Him and become like Him. He is the par for the course and we will never make par while comparing ourselves to anyone else but the Standard Himself. It does not matter what anyone else’s score is in golf or in life. There is a standard to be reached.

 

Like a wise sea captain once said years ago, “we must set our course by the stars and not by every passing ship.”

 

* When someone yells “fore!” most people look around to see where the ball is coming from. The correct response is to quickly cover your head with your arms.

 

Check out my friend’s sports blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/