Glimpses of the Cross Day 12; Focused on His Mission

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. Mark 15:23

Jesus sets for us the perfect example of temperance on the cross. If healthy living was just about living longer, then Jesus might as well have gone ahead and drank the wine, because He was going to die when He was going to die anyway. But living healthy is about having a clearer healthier mind to feel impressions of the Holy Spirit and to keep our thinking clear and focused on our mission. Jesus, on the cross, was on a mission and had to keep His mind clear and focused.

In the Old Testament priests were forbidden to drink wine as they needed to stay focused on their ministry and mission. The New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers. Therefore we all need to follow Jesus’ example of only eating and drinking at all times, that which will aid us in our ministry and our mission of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

For more on the topic click here.

Health In Light Of The Cross-With New Living Translation

100_0041

You may download a printable copy of In Light Of The Cross Bible Study Guides-NLT here.

Health and Temperance

 

Brief overview: God want us to be healthy and happy. See Leviticus 11, 1 Corinthians 10:31Proverbs 20:1

Why it is important to know the truth about health and temperance:

 

You don’t have to be a doctor to know how important, rest; exercise and diet are to healthy living. Seventh-day Adventists have been sharing a health message for many years now. The December 2005 issue of National Geographichad an article on the health lifestyles of Seventh-day Adventists and reports that they live an average of eight years longer than the general population.

Why it is important to understand health and temperance in the light of the cross:

While we all want to live as long as we can this is great news, but the health message Adventists find in the light of the Cross is not just about living longer, but living better. The health message in the light of the Cross teaches us that a healthier body leads to a healthier mind, which is able to appreciate spiritual themes and make morally sound choices. So while those following Biblical health principles live longer, more importantly they live closer to Jesus.

Further Study on Health and Temperance

 

 

What does God call us to do?

Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 NLT

Will this have an impact on what we eat?

 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

What warning does God give?

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives inyou?  God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NLT

Why is this subject so important?

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT

Note: In view of the above principles, one should refrain from the use of things which tend to harm, impede, or shorten one’s life; as well as those things which God has strictly forbidden.

 

What is God’s warning about alcohol?                                                                          

Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper.   Proverbs 23:29-32 NLT

Who does the Bible say has woe and sorrow?

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever. What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.Isaiah 5:20-22 NLT

What should we not be deceived by?

Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise. Proverbs 20:1 NLT

 Will drunkards be in heaven?

or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:10 NLT

 

What does God desire for us?

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2 NLT

 

Did Noah realize a distinction between the animals?

Take with you seven pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others.  Genesis 7:2 NLT

Note: When the animals entered the ark, there were no Jews. The same health laws and principles apply to all mankind and for all time, as we all have the same stomachs.

How can we tell the difference?                                                                                         

  Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.“Of all the land animals, these are the ones you may use for food. You may eat any animal that has completely split hooves and chews the cud. You may not, however, eat the following animals that have split hooves or that chew the cud, but not both. The camel chews the cud but does not have split hooves, so it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax chews the cud but does not have split hooves, so it is unclean. The hare chews the cud but does not have split hooves, so it is unclean. The pig has evenly split hooves but does not chew the cud, so it is unclean. You may not eat the meat of these animals or even touch their carcasses. They are ceremonially unclean for you. Leviticus 11:1-8 NLT

What must seafood have to be eaten?

Of all the marine animals, these are ones you may use for food. You may eat anything from the water if it has both fins and scales, whether taken from salt water or from streams.  But you must never eat animals from the sea or from rivers that do not have both fins and scales. They are detestable to you. This applies both to little creatures that live in shallow water and to all creatures that live in deep water.  They will always be detestable to you. You must never eat their meat or even touch their dead bodies.  Any marine animal that does not have both fins and scales is detestable to you. Leviticus 11:9-12 NLT

Why did God give this list?

 “These are the instructions regarding land animals, birds, marine creatures, and animals that scurry along the ground. By these instructions you will know what is unclean and clean, and which animals may be eaten and which may not be eaten.”  Leviticus 11:46-47 NLT

 Who will be destroyed when Jesus returns?

“Those who ‘consecrate’ and ‘purify’ themselves in a sacred garden with its idol in the center—feasting on pork and rats and other detestable meats—will come to a terrible end,” says the Lord.  Isaiah 66:17 NLT

 

Of course there is more to health than just what we eat.

Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power,–these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge.  –Counsels on Diets and Food, Page 301

What does God want you to do?

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.  Romans 12:1NLT

What Does it Mean To Live Like A Seventh-day Adventist?

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

This week’s SS lesson asks, “What does it mean to “live like an Adventist?” Here is what inspiration tells us about this name.

“No name which we can take will be appropriate but that which accords with our profession and expresses our faith and marks us a peculiar people. The name Seventh-day Adventist is a standing rebuke to the Protestant world. Here is the line of distinction between the worshipers of God and those who worship the beast and receive his mark. The great conflict is between the commandments of God and the requirements of the beast. It is because the saints are keeping all ten of the commandments that the dragon makes war upon them. If they will lower the standard and yield the peculiarities of their faith, the dragon will be at peace; but they excite his ire because they have dared to raise the standard and unfurl their banner in opposition to the Protestant world, who are worshiping the institution of papacy. The name Seventh-day Adventist carries the true features of our faith in front, and will convict the inquiring mind. Like an arrow from the Lord’s quiver, it will wound the transgressors of God’s law, and will lead to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. {1Testimonies, p. 224.1}

The “Seventh-day” part of our name is very important because it identifies us as a people who are resting our faith in Jesus as our sole hope of salvation. It is only Jesus who can save us so we rest from our works and observe God’s grace on the Sabbath that He is Lord of (Mark 2:27-28). Remember you can keep the other nine commandments and worship any God you choose. The Sabbath Commandment reminds us Who God is. By observing the Seventh-day Sabbath we show that we want to follow our only example, Jesus Christ, in observing the day that he taught us to observe by example (Luke 4:16). Often we abbreviate the name to just “Adventist” because it is shorter, but I think we rob the world of a wonderful witness and testimony of God’s saving grace and rest from works and legalism when we do this. Satan wants us to forget that Sabbath commandment, and he wants us to forget the “Seventh-day” in our name because both point to God’s saving grace apart from works.

The Adventist part is special too. A true Adventist does not just believe Jesus is coming again, but loves His appearing! We are a people in love with Jesus and want to be with Him. We have a hope for a hurting world that is out of this world. Our name is a beacon of hope, pointing them to the rest that is in Jesus and the hope of His soon return.

Being a Seventh-day Adventist means to live like you are leaving. Living like a Seventh-day Adventist is also about living closer to Jesus in the here and now. This is where our health message comes in. While the December 2005 issue of National Geographic, mentioned that Seventh-day Adventists live on average eight years longer, what the health message is really about is not so much living longer, but living closer to Jesus. Now being a veggie-link eating Adventist will not make you holy. However, eating and drinking healthy, not only makes you physically healthy, but also clears the mind for the Holy Spirit to make greater impressions. When on the cross, Jesus was offered wine to drink (Mark 15:23), and if the health message were only about living longer, Jesus might as well have gone ahead and drunk the wine. He was dying soon anyway. But Jesus was on a mission, and He needed his mind to be clear and focused on His mission. This is why he refused the wine. In the Old Testament priests were especially forbidden to drink wine (See Leviticus 10:9), and the New Testament teaches the priesthood of all believers. (See 1 peter 2:5,9) Therefore as a part of the priesthood, we all are on a sacred mission and should treat our bodies as the temple of the God. Healthy bodies lead to healthy minds, which should lead to healthier decisions.

Speaking of priests and the sanctuary, in the sanctuary service the priests wore jewels on their uniforms “for glory and for beauty“ (Exodus 28:2). In the Bible we read again and again that all glory belongs to God for glory is His character. So the priests officiating in the sanctuary wore jewelry because they were to represent God’s character to the people. The jewelry represented God’s glory and character, which is perfection.

Since we have not reached perfection of character, I believe we are not worthy to wear the jewels. However, just like the prodigal son, when we go home with Jesus, He will give us the jewels to wear (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10). And just as the prodigal son did not place the jewelry on himself but let his father do it, we are not to place the jewels on ourselves. But when we get home, our Father will give us the jewelry to wear.  And even then we will cast our crowns of jewels at His feet because we will feel unworthy to wear them! If we will feel unworthy to wear jewelry in heaven after our characters have been perfected, why would we want to wear it now in our sinful condition?

Now before we  start pointing fingers, let’s keep in mind that the problem with jewelry is pride. For too long, Seventh-day Adventists have told people to take off their jewelry but not get rid of their pride. So the pride just showed up in other places, like expensive cars or watches. Some Adventists are proud that they don’t wear jewelry, and that is still pride! So why is it wrong for a young woman to wear a nice set or earrings, but okay for the rich elder to make sure everyone saw the hundred-dollar bill he causally tossed in the offering plate? Both can be a sign of pride. And yet we cannot judge the wearers of jewelry, because we cannot judge hearts.

To live like a Seventh-day Adventist means keeping our eyes on Jesus and not people. This means we neither imitate or judge our brothers or sisters. Living like a Seventh-day Adventist means having a balanced work week which also includes a Sabbath rest. It means to live practical lives day to day, while keeping in mind that Jesus is coming and this world is not our home. It means having a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, so that we live closer to Jesus and not just longer. Our only glory is in the cross, and not in what we wear or don’t wear.

As Seventh-day Adventists, we believe our salvation in Jesus alone, and we demonstrate that by seeking to follow Jesus’ example of holiness and humbleness.

 

3 John; Saving Body and Soul

 I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  3 John 1:2 

Our work is to be practical. We are to remember that man has a body as well as a soul to save. Our work includes far more than standing before the people to preach to them. In our work we are to minister to the physical infirmities of those with whom we are brought in contact. We are to present the principles of health reform, impressing our hearers with the thought that they have a part to act in keeping themselves in health.  {Ev 260.4}

     The body must be kept in a healthy condition in order that the soul may be in health. The condition of the body affects the condition of the soul. He who would have physical and spiritual strength must educate his appetite in right lines. He must be careful not to burden the soul by overtaxing his physical or spiritual powers. Faithful adherence to right principles in eating, drinking, and dressing is a duty that God has laid upon human beings.  {Ev 261.1} 

     The Lord desires us to obey the laws of health and life. He holds each one responsible to care properly for his body, that it may be kept in health.–Letter 123, 1903.  {Ev 261.2} 

My Most Precious Memories

Tampa 003

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

This morning I got a call from my doctor. He sounded very cheerful and told me he had good news! Immediately I thought he must have just saved a bunch of money on his car insurance by switching to Geico. He laughed and told me no, that he had better news than that! My CPK blood count which had been as high as 1400 over the weekend was now at a perfect 78! He told me all of my blood work was perfect and that I have totally recovered. My hand is even writing good now or at least as good as it did before all this started.

 

Again I can’t begin to thank everyone for all their prayers and concerns! As I have stated in a previous blog from a few weeks ago I have always enjoyed good health and have rarely been sick. Having been so sick I now have a greater sympathy for those who are sick. While this sickness came and went very fast (Thank God!) it has left me with several lessons which I shall not soon forget and the first one is sympathy towards others. I hope to be more caring and sympathetic with those in pain.

 

I have also been very humbled at the calling God has given me to share the gospel. Many of you have shared with me that your concern was not for me alone but even more so for my ministry and the gospel. I have been very touched and humbled by people’s appreciation of the gospel ministry and their earnest desire for me to share the gospel with others. This is a trust that I have always treasured but now I treasure and cherish this calling ten times more than I ever have before.

 

Ever since I was four years old I knew I would be preaching the gospel. I grew up seeing myself as a public speaker. In the darkest hours of my sickness I had a personal revelation. Of course now that I have recovered I laugh at myself now for thinking that I may not recover, but there were a few hours there where I was not sure what was going to happen and when I thought the worse may occur, what I was most afraid to say goodbye to was not publicly preaching but rather all the families and individuals I have made friends with in personal one on one Bible studies. I have always enjoyed those personal studies, and the people I have met doing them, but I had no idea just how precious they were to me. In my darkest hour those moments in people’s homes, with our Bibles open were the most precious memories I had!! Thank God by His grace there will be many more precious moments to come!!!

By the way, the doctor says it was most likely a bug bite.

A New Look at Life

Sunsets St.Pete 011

I am writing from the beautiful Tampa Bay area today.

 

After spending the weekend in the Emergency Room I am feeling much better! I was not sure what I had, but my muscles were very weak and extremely painful. It took me five minutes to get the tab off a new orange juice carton. I about never got dressed for church, but had to since I have not missed a service in 20 twenty years.

 

The ER said my CPK count got up to over 1400 and is suppose to be less than 300. CPK is a chemical your body puts out when the muscles are shutting down. Thanks to much prayer my count is down to 700 and I feel great! My hand is writing a lot better too. I have been back to work the last three days now. I see the doctor again on Monday. We are still not sure what happened but need to find out. I love mysteries but not when they involve my health!

 

I want to thank those who have brought over food, visited, called and most of all prayed for me. While this has been a very painful ordeal it has also been very eye opening to see all the love that is out there. I appreciate it very much.

 

Friday night and Saturday night were very rough nights for me. Very painful and wondering what is wrong? Times like these call for much prayer and even some deep soul searching. Here are some conclusions I have made in the middle of those painful, prayerful nights.

 

It is foolish to ask God why bad things happen to good people for the simple fact that there are no good people for bad things to happen to. Psalms 14:3 When I wake up in the morning feeling good I praise my God who makes good things happen to bad people just like me! Romans 2:4, Ephesians 2:8-9.

 

I am going to take my health much more seriously. I thought it was frustrating when my computer or cell phone was not working right. Now I could care less how those things work or don’t work. I just want my body to work right and I need to take care of it!

 

I used to think that some people thought I over did the sunset and Florida scenery pictures. I don’t think God’s beauty in nature can be over appreciated now. If someone thought I was crazy for taking so many pictures I have news for them, I think you are crazy for not being out there taking pictures with me. I may have taken a million pictures and I plan on taking millions more.

 

Again, while some wonders get old to some people they never get old to me. I used to think I was silly when the airplane would be taking off and everyone was relaxing with their head sets on and eyes closed or their nose buried in a book, while I was looking out the window thinking “This is so cool!” even though its my 50th plane ride. Well guess what? On my next plane ride I will have a window seat and will be looking out the window thinking “This is so cool!” even though it will be my 51st plane ride. Life is too wonderful and precious and I don’t think I can over appreciate it.

 

I am going to let people know I love them no matter how corny it makes me look or how awkward it makes them feel. I am not going to worry if they love me back or not. Life is short and I only have time to love!

 

Love ya!

In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides

You can download a printable copy of the complete set of In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides for free here. You can purchase a copy for your Kindle here

Newly Revised In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides

Prepared by William Earnhardt, 2005, Revised 2009

The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary. I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption–the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers.–Gospel Workers, p. 315. 

Introduction

Why “In Light of the Cross” Bible study guides? Our salvation is found in the love of God alone (Ephesians 2:1-9). Since Satan realizes this fact, he only has one purpose in spreading lies and false doctrine-to make us misunderstand God’s love so that we do not appreciate or accept God’s love that brings salvation. Every false doctrine is more than just an attack on truth. It is an attack on the very character of God. False doctrines skew and misrepresent the character of God. Jesus tells us in John Chapter 8 that He more than just has the truth, He is the truth. If truth equals Jesus and Jesus equals God and God equals love then truth must equal love. The purpose of these study guides is to help us find God’s love in His truth. Doctrine is only helpful as it aids us in understanding the love of God which saves us. We are not saved by doctrine. We are saved by God’s love. Hence, the In Light of The Cross Study Guides which are prayerfully designed to help us understand and appreciate the love of God which saves us.

How to use the In Light of the Cross Study Guides

These study guides are designed as supplements with references following for deeper study. You may use the supplied references for your study or just use the supplements with your own favorite study guides. Power Point presentations are also available.

Table of Contents 

Salvation  

Scriptures

Death  

Punishment of the Wicked 

Health and Temperance 

The Sabbath 

Stewardship 

The Sanctuary

The Gift of Prophecy 

The Second Coming 

Christian Living 

Baptism 

Click here to find simple solutions for hard to understand Bible texts.

Click here to find more studies and devotionals on my website “In Light of The Cross”.