Friday, May 20, 2016

Insight: Christ’s and the Law of Moses

Our Lesson States:

"Though all Jews were required to pay the temple tax, priests, Levites, and rabbis were exempt. So, this question about whether Jesus paid the temple tax was also a challenge to His ministry.

Ellen G. White writes that Peter missed an opportunity to testify on this occasion to the absolute authority of Christ. "By his answer to the collector, that Jesus would pay the tribute, he had virtually sanctioned the false conception of Him to which the priests and rulers were trying to give currency … If priests and Levites were exempt because of their connection with the temple, how much more He to whom the temple was His Father's house."—The Desire of Ages, pp. 433, 434.

We can learn much from Jesus' gracious response to Peter. Rather than humiliate him, Jesus gently explains his error. Moreover, Jesus adapts to the course Peter had taken in a most creative way. Rather than simply paying the tax—thereby acknowledging His obligation to it—Jesus gets the tax elsewhere: from the mouth of a fish."

A previous insight deals with this subject.  Let us read it.

Christ's and the Law of Moses
(Posted originally on 4/12/2014)

The introduction to our lesson states that the emphasis of the quarterly is the Moral Law, in other words, the Ten Commandments.  But, the memory text for last week's seems to downplay the importance of knowing these laws.  Why?  Let us read our memory text,

Romans 2:14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,

This verse says that it is possible to do the law, without knowing the law.  For the Bible student, this should not come as a surprise.  As we read in Galatians 3:6, "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."  The word used for righteousness in Greek is the same word for justice.  So, that the righteous are just.  The just are doers of the law, and they live by faith (Romans 1: 17; 2: 13).  Now, faith comes through the hearing of the Word (Romans 10: 17).  Abraham heard God's word; Abraham believed it, therefore, was reckoned a doer of the law.  Did Abraham know the Ten Commandments?  No, he did not.  Abraham knew the Gospel, but not the Ten Commandments.  These were not given more than 400 years after.  It begs the question, what Law did Abraham keep?

Even angels did not know there was a Law until they learned it from God.  Ellen White says, 

But in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8. {MB 109.2}

No one will deny that the angels are doers of the Law, but these were doers of the Law even when they did not know there was a law.  So then why was the Law given?  Paul says in Galatians,

Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, …

Here the word added has a connotation of being spoken, declared.  The word transgression in Greek has a connotation of stepping aside the path.  So, the Law is declared because of our stepping aside the path of Christ.  This concept is evident in the following Ellen White's quote,

"If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, they would never have been seduced into idolatry, nor would it have been necessary for them to suffer a life of bondage in Egypt; they would have kept God's law in mind, and there would have been no necessity for it to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon the tables of stone. And had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses. {PP 364.2}"

What our quarterly intends to uplift was given because the people failed to cherish God's covenant to them.  Anytime the 10 Commandments are lifted up it is a reminder that the belief in the Covenant has been abandoned.  Should we then keep the Ten Commandments or the rest of the law hidden? 

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

When I was growing up, a 15-year-old had to wait until he was 16 to take the driver's license test.  Should he hate the law because he is 15?  Or, should he wait a few more months until he turns 16?  Even those who are displeased with the law will likely wait until they fulfill the requirements.  What does the Law require?

"The law requires righteousness,—a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can 'be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.' Rom. 3:26."—The Desire of Ages (1940), p. 762

The law is a reminder that we do not believe God's promises, and that we are not keeping His covenant.  And, it is by believing the promises that we become righteous.  Since, the righteous are the doers of the Law, and love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13: 10), then it follows that by believing God's promises we become loving. 

Now, Jesus is very clear; He came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5: 1).  However, being that Jesus is God, and therefore love, He is the fulfilling of the law.  He not only gave it or kept himself subject to it, but He also fulfilled it.  We need to add here that the word Law in the New Testament refers to the books of Moses.  Jesus said that these books, indeed Moses, spoke of Jesus (John 5:46).

The reason Jesus made Himself subject to the Laws, is evident on Wednesday lesson.  Although, the author of our lesson uses the story to push his agenda.  Let's read the passage in question,

Mat 17:24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
Mat 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Mat 17:26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Mat 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

This incident was a trap to discredit Jesus as much as was the incident with the adulterous woman.  Priests and prophets did not pay the tribute.  If Jesus did not pay, they could accuse Jesus of being subversive.  If He paid, Jesus was saying that what the leaders were saying of Him was true.  Ellen White elaborates,

" If Jesus had paid the tribute without a protest, He would virtually have acknowledged the justice of the claim, and would thus have denied His divinity. But while He saw good to meet the demand, He denied the claim upon which it was based. In providing for the payment of the tribute He gave evidence of His divine character. It was made manifest that He was one with God, and therefore was not under tribute as a mere subject of the kingdom." (DA 434).

According to the author of our lesson Jesus gave money to the ungodly church leaders, therefore, so should we.  But, Jesus did not give money from neither Peter nor Jesus' pocket or from the purse that Judas held (John 13: 29).  He sent Peter to catch a fish, open the fish's mouth take out a coin in the mouth and give it to the tax collector.  Peter could have kept the fish to eat it.  Also, the verse tells us why Jesus gave the money, "less they be offended."  Jesus did object to giving.  But, He gave regardless not to offend the leaders, for whom He longed that they would accept Him as their Savior.  Jesus expression "less they be offended," reminds us of when Paul wrote, "to me all things are legal, but for the sake of the weak, I refrain…"  Offending the leaders, unnecessarily, would mean to place Himself beyond a place to reveal His love for them.  Again from Ellen White,

"While Jesus made it plain that He was under no obligation to pay the tribute, He entered into no controversy with the Jews in regard to the matter; for they would have misinterpreted His words, and turned them against Him. Lest He should give offense by withholding the tribute, He did that which He could not justly be required to do. This lesson would be of great value to His disciples. Marked changes were soon to take place in their relation to the temple service, and Christ taught them not to place themselves needlessly in antagonism to established order. So far as possible, they were to avoid giving occasion for misinterpretation of their faith. While Christians are not to sacrifice one principle of truth, they should avoid controversy whenever it is possible to do so." {DA 434} 

We are to pick our battles prayerfully.  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Insight: The Faith of a "Puppy”?

The Faith of a "Puppy"?
Any honest student of the Bible must admit that certain biblical stories seem problematic, especially when encountered for the first time. Yet, upon further investigation, the apparent difficulties vanish and the meanings become increasingly evident. One episode in Jesus' life that has historically been misunderstood by some believers and misrepresented by skeptics is Jesus' encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman. Mark records the episode as follows:
For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him [Jesus], and she came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs." Then He said to her, "For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter." And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed (Mark 7:25-30; cf Matthew 15:21-28).
When the Gentile woman addressed Jesus, she called Him, "Son of David." Her manner of addressing Him indicated both her familiarity with Jewish Scripture as well as her belief in them; this was something that the Jews had a hard time doing (believing).  
Up to this point in our story, Jesus had been speaking directly to His disciples. Now, He talked to the woman and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." By "children" He meant Israelites (Acts 10:36); while "dogs" were symbols of unclean Gentiles, a proverbial expression used by the Jews to represent their sense of national superiority over the nations. Jesus Himself did not call the Gentiles "dogs." He merely used the term here to point out the traditional antipathy between Jews and Gentiles, which His disciples echoed. The word Jesus used for "dogs" actually meant "little dogs" or, "puppies" versus the large, wild dogs native to the area. In fact, what Jesus was really alluding to was the family pet puppy that could often be found under the table at dinnertime, begging for scraps.
To construe Jesus' statement as unkind or wrong, we would need to prove that the illustration or idiom He used to refer to the Gentiles as "little dogs", is indeed derogatory. But, there is nothing to prove that conclusion. In fact, as mentioned above, the term Jesus used for "little dogs" could easily be taken in an illustrative way without any unkind insinuation. In a commentary on Mark, a renowned commentator (R.C.H. Lenski)  the Greek term used by Jesus (kunaria) as "little pet dogs." This scholar further noted concerning Jesus' statement: "In the Orient, dogs have no owners but run wild and serve as scavengers for all garbage and offal.... It is an entirely different conception when Jesus speaks of 'little pet dogs' in referring to the Gentiles. These have owners who keep them even in the house and feed them by throwing them bits from the table" (1961, p. 304). The Commentator goes on to state: "All that Jesus does is to ask the disciples and the woman to accept the divine plan that Jesus must work out his mission among the Jews.... Any share of Gentile individuals, in any of these blessings, can only be incidental during Jesus' ministry in Israel" (ibid, pp. 304-305). Regarding the non-derogatory nature of Jesus' comment to the Gentile woman, another commentator (Allen Black): "The form of his statement is proverbial. And the basis of the proverb is not an antipathy for Gentiles, but the necessary Jewish focus of Jesus' earthly ministry" (1995, p. 137).
Because of her faith and humility, this mother did not take offense at Jesus' comments. Desperate, His words didn't discourage her. Because of her knowledge of His compassion and ability to heal, she was filled with hope and faith. Feeling deeply unworthy, she accepted her place among the dogs, and merely asked for spiritual crumbs; a little crumb for her daughter is all she sought.
Impressed with this mother's answer, Jesus told her to return home and upon doing so, she found her daughter healed. Notice, Jesus did not touch or come near the possessed girl. He merely healed her by His word. This distal healing is one of the few mentioned in the New Testament, and the only one recorded by Mark. (One other such distal healing is also on behalf of a Gentile -- Cornelius, the Roman Centurian. He too also felt unworthy. "Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed," he said. Jesus commended the faith of these two Gentiles, and held them up as paragons of faith for the Jews, and for us.).
According to Galatians 3:26, truly we are all the children of God by the faith of Jesus Christ. And God Himself does not show partiality, for the benefits of the gospel are for all. Regarding the Syro-Phoenician woman, she counted herself a "puppy," and faithfully looked forward to being counted by God as His child. Although she stood outside of the elect family of Israel, she trusted that Jesus' goodness would impart a blessing. By intervening on behalf of her and of her daughter, Jesus showed that the Gentiles' potential for salvation was no less than that of Israelites.
Ellen White's statement elaborates on this concept effectively.  Let us read it,
"Christ … received this representative of a despised race as the Jews would have done.... The woman urged her case with increased earnestness, bowing at Christ's feet, and crying, 'Lord, help me.'
She yields at once to the divine influence of Christ, and has implicit faith in His ability to grant the favor she asks. She begs for the crumbs that fall from the Master's table. If she may have the privilege of a dog, she is willing to be regarded as a dog. She has no national or religious prejudice or pride to influence her course, and she immediately acknowledges Jesus as the Redeemer, and as being able to do all that she asks of Him… The Saviour is satisfied.
In faith the woman of Phoenicia flung herself against the barriers that had been piled up between Jew and Gentile. Against discouragement, regardless of appearances that might have led her to doubt, she trusted the Saviour's love. It is thus that Christ desires us to trust in Him. The blessings of salvation are for every soul. Nothing but his own choice can prevent any man from becoming a partaker of the promise in Christ by the gospel. 
Caste is hateful to God. He ignores everything of this character. In His sight the souls of all men are of equal value. 'For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved' (Romans 10:12, 13)." {Conflict and Courage, 297}
Are we unwittingly discouraging the faith of a puppy? Lord help us!

~Raul Diaz

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Seen and the Unseen War

Our lesson begins with the statement,

"Each day we make important choices about lifestyle, relationships, careers, priorities, entertainment, and friends. To truly comprehend the significance of these choices, we need to make sure we understand what they are really about. We need to pull back the curtain and see the unseen, for the Bible teaches that there is an unseen reality that greatly impacts what we do see.

Living in the age of science, we shouldn't have a hard time believing in invisible realities. We who know about x-rays, radio waves, and wireless communication should easily believe in what we cannot see. With every cell phone call we make or receive, or with any satellite communication we watch, we are working on the assumption of unseen realities that make these seen (and heard) experiences real."

I cannot see electricity but enjoy most of what it produces.  I cannot see a virus, but can tell when they are present in someone sick.  Likewise, I cannot see God, but can experience His presence.  The following commentary takes this principle to explain how Gos often works.

"Faith That Works"

For the week of November 8, 2014


A Pastor received an invitation to interview for a job in a prominent church in a large city, which he accepted. The interview process consisted of him preaching a sermon, joining the church for lunch and afterward, participating in a Q&A session with the congregation. Wanting to get a feeling for the church while avoiding the preferential treatment that is sometimes a part of visiting a church as a Pastor, he decided to disguise himself. So, dressed in raggedy, disheveled clothes, unshaven and without a shower for several days, the Pastor went to church. Looking homeless, he entered the lobby, at which point the ushers greeted him coldly. There was low murmuring as he walked toward the sanctuary. Once inside, the Pastor chose a seat close to where others sat. Some looked back with a forced smile while others subtly tried to hold their noses so they wouldn't smell the stench. But eventually, each person stood up and found somewhere else to sit. Within a few minutes, the pastor was sitting by himself. 


Eventually, the Pastor stood up and left the church. He went to his hotel room to clean up, shave and put on a nice suit and cologne.  An hour later, he drove back to the church.  This time, people smiled at him as he entered the building. They even engaged in small talk.  Fortunately, the brethren didn't recognize him. He then walked into the sanctuary itself and, just as before, sat close to where the people sat.  This time, everyone looked and smiled, and, some even said welcome and offered to shake his hand.  

 Soon enough, the Pastor stood up to preach. His sermon came from the book of James, showing how works demonstrate faith. Naturally, everyone said Amen.  However, the pastor twisted things around for them when he said that works of faith are works of love.  He said that those sheep at the right of Jesus in Matthew 25 were people who lived by faith.  He explained if they pleased Jesus they had faith (Hebrews 11:6). And since, they had faith, they were just (Hebrews 10:38); and seeing as they were just, they were also doers of the Law (Romans 2:13). Moreover, that love is the fulfillment of the moral law (Romans 13:10).  The church members were now squirming in their seats.  Many folded their arms and frowned sternly. Then the death blow came.  The Pastor said to them, "I noticed how you treated the homeless man that came earlier." The congregation gasped collectively. Then there were whispers asking each other how the Pastor could know this.  One dared to ask the Pastor directly. The pastor solemnly replied, "I was that homeless man." Another asked the pastor, "Did you deceive us?"  The pastor answered, "I have to apologize for the deception. I wanted to get a feel for this church before I agreed to be your Pastor. Right now you may be feeling like terrible sinners. But, I have a word for you. It is sinners whom Jesus came to save."


 The story demonstrates how our actions reveal what is in our hearts. These actions, James calls works, are an outgrowth and evidence of what lies beneath the surface. Jesus said that the mouth speaks what abounds in the heart (Matthew 12:34). You may not see the cause, but you can see the effects. We see this in nature. Let's consider the wind. No one can see it, but we can feel it and see its effects; this is why Christ used the wind as an example of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8).  No one can see the Spirit, but we will sense the effects of His presence in our lives or the lives of others.  How do we know the Spirit is present? We see the effects of His presence. The works of the Spirit are the outworking and evidence of His presence. 


Faith also works in the same manner.  No one can see faith, but we can sense and see its effects. Works of faith are, as well, the outworking and evidence of faith.  Just like the symptoms of any illness, for example, are the outworking and evidence of the illness.  Christ told his disciples that a little faith can accomplish great things. We read in Matthew 17:20, "And Jesus said… If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." A man of faith will be able to do what he is typically powerless to do -- namely, have his character changed. Christ established that the change caused by our faith would be evident to others.  Many, on this subject, quote James' famous discourse on faith and works:


What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:14-18).


The question then can be asked: what works are the proof of faith? Fortunately, if we let the Bible be its "own" expositor – as Ellen White says – it will give us the answer, which begins in the first couple of verses of James Chapter one. Verse 3 tells us faith that is tried produces patience or endurance. Verse 5 tells us that faith also produces wisdom and assurance. Verses 8 and 9 say that faith exalts those of lesser degree, which is then expounded in James chapter 2. While many say works are the proof of faith, Paul says works do not save us: this is evident in Christ's teaching. InMatthew 7, Christ tells the disciples the following:


Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23).


The works of the people mentioned here did not show faith. However, Christ still insists, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20); a concept reiterated in John 15 in connection with a display of love or agape. Christ tells the disciples in John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."


So, it seems to be that the way in which we measure someone's faith is by Christ's self-emptying, self-sacrificial (agape) love dwelling in them directed toward others for their salvation. In 1 John, we find a connection between faith and love. By studying the passage from 1 John 4:12 through 1 John 5:5 we can arrive at this statement: "By faith we overcome when we are born of God, Who is love and whom we cannot see, but He dwells in us (and we in Him)…"  How do we know when this love is in us? When 1 John 3:16is evident in us: "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."  We reveal the faith the Bible speaks of by willingly and lovingly living for others. In reality, it is the indwelling Spirit of God – who sheds abroad the love of God in us - loving through us (Romans 5: 5).  Consequently, those who have the faith of Jesus possess His love, and by it are purified.

-Raul Diaz


Friday, April 22, 2016

"...but speak the word only,"

"...but speak the word only,"  

Matthew 8:5-13

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

The Following Insight establshed that there is power in the Word the Roman Centurion asked Christ to speak.  This Centurion believed it, so.  

Published on 1/12/2013 

Creation: Forming the World

Memory text:  Isaiah 45:18
For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: 'I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Last week the focus was Genesis 1: 1.  When we look at the implication of Genesis 1:1, we end up with Jesus at the center of everything.  It is Jesus who created all; this said, we need to know why this is important.  And, while last week many reasons were given, it would behoove us to see this in the context of the Great Controversy.  Specifically, it would help to know what was going on then, historically.  Very, briefly, we know from Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy that there is enmity between Christ and Satan.  We know that Satan, then Lucifer, had issues with Christ being God.  How could Christ prove that He was God?  One way is to create the world with all the heavens witnessing the event.  Could anyone have any doubts about Christ being God after this event? We know that Heaven rejoiced when Christ finished the earth (Job 38:7).  Could it be that one reason they rejoiced is because now there was proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christ is indeed God?

How would they know that Christ was God?  Because only God could speak the Word and things happen.  We read in Hebrews 11: 3  that "… the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."  Peter agrees with Paul.  He says in 2 Peter 3:5 that "by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water."  The Psalmist had said long ago, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth." "For He spake, and it was;" "He commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:6, 9.  The expression "And, God said…" is used nine times in Genesis 1.  We can see here that His Word was instrumental in creating all things in this planet.  Interestingly, all through the Gospels many are healed, resurrected, and forgiven by and with His Word.

Some define faith in terms of the Word, "Faith is trusting that the word will do what it says it will, and waiting for the Word to do it."  Paul writes in Romans that "faith comes through the hearing of the Word" (Romans 10:17).  Jesus says that man shall live by this Word (Matthew 4: 4).  And, it is His Word that sanctifies us (John 17: 17).

If we think about it, one of the most important things that come across in Genesis 1 and throughout the Bible is the power of His word.  The best way to the power of His Word describe is in the book of Isaiah,

Isaiah 55:10 - 11
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Anyone that professes to believe in Christ would agree God's Word is powerful and truth.  But, many have trouble believing His Word.  And, herein lies our problem, it is only effectual in us if we believe.  

Our lesson states: 

"Also, look at what Jesus says in Matthew 8:11-12."

Matthew 8:11-12King James Version (KJV)

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

"What a stern warning to those who have been given great privileges. We, as Seventh-day Adventists, also are greatly privileged, and should take heed."

Indeed, we should!

Raul Diaz