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COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear #192040
03/12/20 06:45 PM
03/12/20 06:45 PM
Green Cochoa  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
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The Orient
The novel coronavirus fear pandemic is reaching epic proportions. The fear is permeating virtually everywhere, as is well-represented in current events. The General Conference has issued church guidelines, including recommendations that everyone get vaccinations. Steve Wohlberg sent out a newsletter containing the following paragraph:

Originally Posted by Steve Wohlberg
Today (March 11), the Director-General of the World Health Organization went public with an official declaration that the coronavirus has reached a ?pandemic? stage. All of Italy is on lockdown. Countless planes are not flying. Public events are being cancelled. Schools are closing in droves (including Andrews University) and moving to online home classes. Others are being quarantined. Fear is rising.


The Upper Columbia Conference sent out a newsletter saying:

Originally Posted by Upper Columbia Conference
NPUC Pathfinder Bible Experience to be online - March 14
The event that would bring all clubs together to participate in the NPUC Pathfinder Bible Experience has been canceled. But the NPUC Pathfinder Bible Experience will continue as an online event. Read more here https://sp.uccsda.org/News2020-03-06/


And where I am, the afternoon youth program has been canceled, the fellowship meal has been canceled, and people have their temperatures checked by an infra-red thermometer at the entrance to the sanctuary, with those experiencing flu-like symptoms being asked to return and stay at home; masks are recommended and hand-shaking is frowned upon--all this while not a single member here has been diagnosed with the virus.

So, unfortunately, Adventists are collateral victims in the fear campaign. But we should not be among those who succumb to fear, much less to disease!

It pains me deeply that we, as a church, should so willingly join the world in its fear, on account of which we give up the plain words of God and choose a course in contradiction to both the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. We have so many great and exceedingly precious promises to our side; why should we be afraid?

We are entering troublous times. They will become even more so. Those who are not grounded firmly in the truths of the Bible will not be able to stand in this last great conflict. Therefore, with the sincere hope of helping to ground God's people more firmly in these truths, I write now.

I've seen this kind of fear before. This is nothing new.

In 2003, SARS was the big scare. An Adventist organization whom I need not name had planned a series of evangelistic meetings in the Isaan region of Thailand, with separate teams being organized to hold meetings in at least nine or ten separate cities between Ubon-Ratchatanee and Udon Thani. I volunteered to help in one of those locations and purchased plane tickets. Then SARS caused two deaths in Udon Thani, and the organizer of these events deemed it best to cancel all of them.

I was shocked. Having tickets already, I went and visited the area anyway--though now as a tourist in place of an evangelist. I distinctly remember the bus ride that took me to Udon Thani--the place where two people had died of SARS. Folks, I'm here to tell the story! I didn't die! But many others, whom eternity alone will reveal, DID die without knowing God because of the fear that replaced faith in the leaders' hearts.

I wish I did not have that experience. And I wish I did not see it repeated now.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY

The Bible is clear:

Originally Posted by The Holy Bible
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." (Luke 12:4)


--Wait! We are not even supposed to be afraid of having our body killed? No. We should not be afraid.

Originally Posted by Jesus
"Let not your heart be troubled...." (John 14:1; John 14:27)


Twice in that same chapter, Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, the second time adding "neither let it be afraid." This is not a recommendation, an idle suggestion: this, coming from our Lord and Master, is a command.

Whenever we disobey one of God's commandments, we put ourselves and others at risk. By far the greatest risks we face presently are spiritual, not physical. If we should be afraid of anything, it should be that we would dishonor God by not following Him as we should. We should be afraid to misrepresent Him or His character; afraid to trust our own judgment over His.

And what does the Bible say about our church meetings?

Originally Posted by The Holy Bible
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)


...AND SO MUCH THE MORE AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING!

That day is approaching. We should be the more zealous not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This scripture is given for just such a time as this.

Does Ellen White say anything about this? Yes.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb. {EW 114.2}


"A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together...." I want to be in that book, how about you?

Originally Posted by Ellen White
Some, fearing they will suffer loss of earthly treasure, neglect prayer and the assembling of themselves together for the worship of God, that they may have more time to devote to their farms or their business. They show by their works which world they place the highest estimate upon. They sacrifice religious privileges, which are essential to their spiritual advancement, for the things of this life and fail to obtain a knowledge of the divine will. They come short of perfecting Christian character and do not meet the measurement of God. They make their temporal, worldly interests first, and rob God of the time which they should devote to His service. Such persons God marks, and they will receive a curse rather than a blessing. . . . {2T 654.1}


According to this, if we forsake the assembling of ourselves together, we will receive a curse from God in place of a blessing. I don't want that curse, do you?

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The example of Christ in linking Himself with the interests of humanity should be followed by all who preach His word, and by all who have received the gospel of His grace. We are not to renounce social communion. We should not seclude ourselves from others. In order to reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldom seek us of their own accord. Not alone from the pulpit are the hearts of men touched by divine truth. There is another field of labor, humbler, it may be, but fully as promising. It is found in the home of the lowly, and in the mansion of the great; at the hospitable board, and in gatherings for innocent social enjoyment. {DA 152.2}


Not only should we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but also we should not forsake gatherings with other people--with the goal of touching their hearts with divine truth. We must not merely withdraw into ourselves, nor seclude ourselves from others.

Jesus has given us a Commission. We are to reach the masses of sin-damaged people who suffer for want of the very truths we have. Their eternal lives, not merely temporal, are at stake. Like the paramedics at the scene of an accident, our work is lifesaving, but on a much grander scale.

How can we continue to advance the work of God in the fulfillment of the Great Commission when we give place to fear and close our schools, meetings, and events?

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The Need for Fellowship.--The deprivation felt when people absent themselves from the gatherings of the people of God is not small. As children of God we are to place ourselves in every gathering of God, where His people are commissioned to be present, and give the word of life. All need light and all the help that can be obtained in order that when they have heard and received the precious messages from heaven, through God's appointed agents, they may be prepared to bestow upon others the light given.--Lt 117, 1896. {2MCP 624.1}


Ellen White teaches us that "we are to place ourselves in every gathering of God, where His people are commissioned to be present." God's commission is His command. To go against Jesus' commission should not be taken lightly. It involves eternal risks--risks far, far more fearsome than any which might be seen in the physical pestilences we encounter in the world today.

It should be unnecessary to remind anyone of Psalm 91. We should have this entire chapter memorized. Then why are we afraid? And why should we be so afraid that we must close down the work of God?

Jesus' disciples were in a boat. Several of them were well-experienced, rugged sailors and fishermen who knew their way around the boat and the sea in which they were. "They were strong men and accustomed to the water" (EGW), but the storm that came up that day was no ordinary tempest. The waves swept over them in the boat. They were sinking, and they knew it. They knew they were doomed. Fear gripped their hearts. They had forgotten about Jesus being in the boat--and now they woke Him up with their piteous plea for help.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
Never did a soul utter that cry unheeded. As the disciples grasp their oars to make a last effort, Jesus rises. He stands in the midst of His disciples, while the tempest rages, the waves break over them, and the lightning illuminates His countenance. He lifts His hand, so often employed in deeds of mercy, and says to the angry sea, "Peace, be still." {DA 335.2}

The storm ceases. The billows sink to rest. The clouds roll away, and the stars shine forth. The boat rests upon a quiet sea. Then turning to His disciples, Jesus asks sorrowfully, "Why are ye fearful? have ye not yet faith?" Mark 4:40, R.V. {DA 335.3}

A hush fell upon the disciples. Even Peter did not attempt to express the awe that filled his heart. The boats that had set out to accompany Jesus had been in the same peril with that of the disciples. Terror and despair had seized their occupants; but the command of Jesus brought quiet to the scene of tumult. The fury of the storm had driven the boats into close proximity, and all on board beheld the miracle. In the calm that followed, fear was forgotten. The people whispered among themselves, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" {DA 335.4}

When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the "Master of earth and sea and sky" that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, "I can of Mine own self do nothing." John 5:30. He trusted in the Father's might. It was in faith--faith in God's love and care--that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God. {DA 336.1}


We should seek to emulate our Master. He was not fearful, even when the storm was so powerfully upon Him.

The disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith--and, for them, death had been imminent. What must God think of OUR lack of faith when we shut down our gatherings and curtain our opportunities for fellowship over the fear of something that we have not even yet experienced?

Faith. We must have it. We cannot afford to loosen our grip on Jesus.

Mrs. White tells us of an experience she had that is similar to that of the disciples in the boat. Very similar. I'll let you see this for yourself.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
In 1846, while at Fairhaven, Mass., my sister, (who usually accompanied me at that time,) sister A. and brother G. and myself started in a sail-boat to visit a family on West's Island. It was almost night when we started. We had gone but a short distance when a sudden storm arose. It was so dark that we could see nothing around us. It thundered and lightened and the rain came in torrents upon us. Brother G. had more than he could well attend to, to manage the boat. He tried to anchor, but the anchor dragged. Our little boat was tossed upon the waves, and driven by the wind, while it was so dark that we could not see from one end of the boat to the other. It seemed plain that we must be lost, unless God should deliver. Soon the anchor held. ?{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 16} ?

I knelt down in the boat, and began to cry to God to deliver us. And there upon the tossing billows, while the water washed over the top of the boat upon us, the rain descended as I never saw it before, the lightnings flashed and the thunders rolled. I was taken off in vision, and saw that sooner would every drop of water in the ocean be dried up than we should perish, for I saw that my work had but just began. After I came out of the vision all my fears were gone, and we sung and praised God, and our little boat was to us a floating Bethel. The editor of the "Advent Herald" has said that my visions were known to be "the result of mesmeric operations." But I ask, what chance was there for mesmeric operations in such a time as that? ?{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 17} ?

Brother G. at last called for help. There were but two houses on the Island, and it proved that we were near one of them, but not the one where we wished to go. All the family had retired to rest except a little child, who providentially heard the call for help upon the water. Her father soon came to our relief, and in a small boat, took us to the shore. We spent the most of that night in thanksgiving and praise to God, for his wonderful goodness unto us. ?{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 18}??



We serve a powerful God. Let none lose faith.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant. 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 God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment and with confidence in Christ as leader. 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. {RH, October 12, 1905 par. 22}


According to Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Our fear only gives evidence that we have not been with Jesus?that we have not been hearing His words. In order to cultivate faith, we must hear God's words. Every day. We must spend more time reading what He says than reading the news and tidings of woe coming from the world around us. By beholding, we become changed. Let us behold Jesus?the one who had not a trace of fear in the storm. Let us behold Jesus?the one who touched lepers and dead people with no fear of getting sick. Let us behold Jesus?the one who gives us peace; who tells us not to be afraid, nor troubled at heart.

The three Hebrews who would not bow, not even to tie their shoes, beside the image show us the example we should follow. They faced imminent death for it. If they were afraid of this, they did not show it. They were willing to go to the flames?as is recorded in Scripture?even if God did not save them, rather than to dishonor their Master.

"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." -- Ellen White.

Blessings,

Green Cochoa.


We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We can discern the character of God, and accept Christ by faith, only as we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. And to all who do this, the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him." [Colossians 2:9, 10.] {GW 57.1} -- Ellen White.
Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192066
03/16/20 01:50 PM
03/16/20 01:50 PM
K
kland  Offline
SDA
Active Member 2022

5500+ Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,214
Midland
Originally Posted by Green Cochoa
The novel coronavirus fear pandemic is reaching epic proportions. The fear is permeating virtually everywhere, as is well-represented in current events. The General Conference has issued church guidelines, including recommendations that everyone get vaccinations.

Is he not aware that it takes a year to get the supposed vaccine?

Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192080
03/19/20 03:09 AM
03/19/20 03:09 AM
dedication  Online Content

Global Moderator
5500+ Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,554
Canada
Quite agree -- this so called pandemic is a fear tactic of major proportions..

And yes scripture commands
Quote
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)


We read stories of people in Russia and China, where it was illegal to assemble for worship, who risk imprisonment, torture and death rather than stop meeting. Yet here the fear of Covid-19 has seen the close of pretty much all churches and religious gatherings.

Think of it -- EIGHT people have died in total in all of Canada, we are facing potential lock down and already schools, churches and social meeting places are shutdown.

Did you realize that Influenza and pneumonia killed 8,511 people in 2018, according to Statistics Canada?
In 2018, more than 53,000 Canadians died from heart disease
80,000 people died from cancer in 2018 in Canada

Yet, we don't plunge the whole country into lock-down over these much greater statistics of death due to an illness..


The vaccine?

As of March 18, COVID-19: Fast-tracked vaccine receives approval in China to begin human trials at virus epicentre

Be careful with Vaccines, especially "fast-tracked" ones, they could be more damaging than the disease with very little impact on curbing the disease.

Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192083
03/19/20 12:53 PM
03/19/20 12:53 PM
K
kland  Offline
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5500+ Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,214
Midland
Prayer conferences have been canceled because of people's fears and lack of trust in the Lord.

Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: kland] #192089
03/19/20 08:03 PM
03/19/20 08:03 PM
Green Cochoa  Offline OP
SDA
Active Member 2021

5500+ Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 7,003
The Orient
Originally Posted by kland
Prayer conferences have been canceled because of people's fears and lack of trust in the Lord.

And Upper Columbia Conference just mandated that all churches be closed, effective immediately.

Quote
UCC Response to COVID-19

Dear Upper Columbia Conference family,
We face uncharted and unprecedented times, due to the COVID-19 virus. Each day our medical professionals are giving us new guidance on how best to navigate these waters. Now the White House is recommending groups of no more than 10 people gather together.

Decisive action is needed to protect those who are most at risk. This includes the difficult decision of suspending all church services in the Upper Columbia Conference, effective immediately, with services possibly resuming on April 18, 2020.

As the virus continues to spread, your health and safety are extremely important to us. Due to the impact of the virus, the Upper Columbia Conference administrative offices in Spokane and College Place, Washington will be closed to the public. Even though we are closed to outside visitors, our departments will still be accessible by phone and email as we work remotely beginning March 17, 2020, until April 13, 2020. This date is subject to change in the future, based on government recommendations. Additionally, guidance from the North American Division recommends that we also cancel all work-related travel (both foreign and domestic), as well as church-sponsored events. The ABC Bookstore will remain open during this time.

With services suspending, our individual worship and family worship becomes that much more important. Stay close to God during these times. Rely on Him and encourage others.

This challenge may very well be an opportunity to bring us all closer to the Lord than ever before. Without assembly, we must do all that we can to care for our most vulnerable, while at the same time preparing each other for the Lord?s soon return.

Just as Mordecai said to Esther, we all may have been put here for ?such a time as this.? Checking in with a neighbor, friend or family member just may give you that opportunity to bring One More to Him.

Please stay safe and healthy. May God protect our UCC family.

UCC Administration

For more information on how the conference is responding to this health crisis, along with frequently asked questions, please see our website at www.uccsda.org/coronavirus_response


When they say "decisive action is needed," it almost seems as if they are saying "we must exert our authority." Who gave them this? Will our churches just close because the Conferences tell them to?

Ellen White's expression that our "church may appear as about to fall" begins to take on new meaning.

Blessings,

Green Cochoa.


We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We can discern the character of God, and accept Christ by faith, only as we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. And to all who do this, the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him." [Colossians 2:9, 10.] {GW 57.1} -- Ellen White.
Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192100
03/20/20 02:23 PM
03/20/20 02:23 PM
K
kland  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,214
Midland
Quote
Decisive action is needed to protect those who are most at risk.

Note the similarity to vaccinations. First it was, get vaccinated to protect yourself. When too many people objected that the cure was worse than the risk, they changed their tune for vaccinate yourself to protect others.

What will happen when our conferences say all churches must close on Sabbaths and only hold worships on Sundays? Nothing different?

I agree that we should consider closing from government recommendations rather than having the government pass a law to close churches. But something just seems so wrong with the whole deal.

I can see that meeting in small groups can possibly "slow" the spread. But is not the end result the same? Whether you are meeting in 10 or 250, isn't the end game that everyone is exposed?

Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192113
03/21/20 11:12 PM
03/21/20 11:12 PM
APL  Offline
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Western, USA


Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! {ST, January 20, 1890}
Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192131
03/25/20 12:11 PM
03/25/20 12:11 PM
Rick H  Offline
Group: Admin Team
2500+ Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,786
Florida, USA
Originally Posted by Green Cochoa
The novel coronavirus fear pandemic is reaching epic proportions. The fear is permeating virtually everywhere, as is well-represented in current events. The General Conference has issued church guidelines, including recommendations that everyone get vaccinations. Steve Wohlberg sent out a newsletter containing the following paragraph:

Originally Posted by Steve Wohlberg
Today (March 11), the Director-General of the World Health Organization went public with an official declaration that the coronavirus has reached a ?pandemic? stage. All of Italy is on lockdown. Countless planes are not flying. Public events are being cancelled. Schools are closing in droves (including Andrews University) and moving to online home classes. Others are being quarantined. Fear is rising.


The Upper Columbia Conference sent out a newsletter saying:

Originally Posted by Upper Columbia Conference
NPUC Pathfinder Bible Experience to be online - March 14
The event that would bring all clubs together to participate in the NPUC Pathfinder Bible Experience has been canceled. But the NPUC Pathfinder Bible Experience will continue as an online event. Read more here https://sp.uccsda.org/News2020-03-06/


And where I am, the afternoon youth program has been canceled, the fellowship meal has been canceled, and people have their temperatures checked by an infra-red thermometer at the entrance to the sanctuary, with those experiencing flu-like symptoms being asked to return and stay at home; masks are recommended and hand-shaking is frowned upon--all this while not a single member here has been diagnosed with the virus.

So, unfortunately, Adventists are collateral victims in the fear campaign. But we should not be among those who succumb to fear, much less to disease!

It pains me deeply that we, as a church, should so willingly join the world in its fear, on account of which we give up the plain words of God and choose a course in contradiction to both the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. We have so many great and exceedingly precious promises to our side; why should we be afraid?

We are entering troublous times. They will become even more so. Those who are not grounded firmly in the truths of the Bible will not be able to stand in this last great conflict. Therefore, with the sincere hope of helping to ground God's people more firmly in these truths, I write now.

I've seen this kind of fear before. This is nothing new.

In 2003, SARS was the big scare. An Adventist organization whom I need not name had planned a series of evangelistic meetings in the Isaan region of Thailand, with separate teams being organized to hold meetings in at least nine or ten separate cities between Ubon-Ratchatanee and Udon Thani. I volunteered to help in one of those locations and purchased plane tickets. Then SARS caused two deaths in Udon Thani, and the organizer of these events deemed it best to cancel all of them.

I was shocked. Having tickets already, I went and visited the area anyway--though now as a tourist in place of an evangelist. I distinctly remember the bus ride that took me to Udon Thani--the place where two people had died of SARS. Folks, I'm here to tell the story! I didn't die! But many others, whom eternity alone will reveal, DID die without knowing God because of the fear that replaced faith in the leaders' hearts.

I wish I did not have that experience. And I wish I did not see it repeated now.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY

The Bible is clear:

Originally Posted by The Holy Bible
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." (Luke 12:4)


--Wait! We are not even supposed to be afraid of having our body killed? No. We should not be afraid.

Originally Posted by Jesus
"Let not your heart be troubled...." (John 14:1; John 14:27)


Twice in that same chapter, Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, the second time adding "neither let it be afraid." This is not a recommendation, an idle suggestion: this, coming from our Lord and Master, is a command.

Whenever we disobey one of God's commandments, we put ourselves and others at risk. By far the greatest risks we face presently are spiritual, not physical. If we should be afraid of anything, it should be that we would dishonor God by not following Him as we should. We should be afraid to misrepresent Him or His character; afraid to trust our own judgment over His.

And what does the Bible say about our church meetings?

Originally Posted by The Holy Bible
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)


...AND SO MUCH THE MORE AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING!

That day is approaching. We should be the more zealous not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This scripture is given for just such a time as this.

Does Ellen White say anything about this? Yes.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb. {EW 114.2}


"A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together...." I want to be in that book, how about you?

Originally Posted by Ellen White
Some, fearing they will suffer loss of earthly treasure, neglect prayer and the assembling of themselves together for the worship of God, that they may have more time to devote to their farms or their business. They show by their works which world they place the highest estimate upon. They sacrifice religious privileges, which are essential to their spiritual advancement, for the things of this life and fail to obtain a knowledge of the divine will. They come short of perfecting Christian character and do not meet the measurement of God. They make their temporal, worldly interests first, and rob God of the time which they should devote to His service. Such persons God marks, and they will receive a curse rather than a blessing. . . . {2T 654.1}


According to this, if we forsake the assembling of ourselves together, we will receive a curse from God in place of a blessing. I don't want that curse, do you?

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The example of Christ in linking Himself with the interests of humanity should be followed by all who preach His word, and by all who have received the gospel of His grace. We are not to renounce social communion. We should not seclude ourselves from others. In order to reach all classes, we must meet them where they are. They will seldom seek us of their own accord. Not alone from the pulpit are the hearts of men touched by divine truth. There is another field of labor, humbler, it may be, but fully as promising. It is found in the home of the lowly, and in the mansion of the great; at the hospitable board, and in gatherings for innocent social enjoyment. {DA 152.2}


Not only should we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but also we should not forsake gatherings with other people--with the goal of touching their hearts with divine truth. We must not merely withdraw into ourselves, nor seclude ourselves from others.

Jesus has given us a Commission. We are to reach the masses of sin-damaged people who suffer for want of the very truths we have. Their eternal lives, not merely temporal, are at stake. Like the paramedics at the scene of an accident, our work is lifesaving, but on a much grander scale.

How can we continue to advance the work of God in the fulfillment of the Great Commission when we give place to fear and close our schools, meetings, and events?

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The Need for Fellowship.--The deprivation felt when people absent themselves from the gatherings of the people of God is not small. As children of God we are to place ourselves in every gathering of God, where His people are commissioned to be present, and give the word of life. All need light and all the help that can be obtained in order that when they have heard and received the precious messages from heaven, through God's appointed agents, they may be prepared to bestow upon others the light given.--Lt 117, 1896. {2MCP 624.1}


Ellen White teaches us that "we are to place ourselves in every gathering of God, where His people are commissioned to be present." God's commission is His command. To go against Jesus' commission should not be taken lightly. It involves eternal risks--risks far, far more fearsome than any which might be seen in the physical pestilences we encounter in the world today.

It should be unnecessary to remind anyone of Psalm 91. We should have this entire chapter memorized. Then why are we afraid? And why should we be so afraid that we must close down the work of God?

Jesus' disciples were in a boat. Several of them were well-experienced, rugged sailors and fishermen who knew their way around the boat and the sea in which they were. "They were strong men and accustomed to the water" (EGW), but the storm that came up that day was no ordinary tempest. The waves swept over them in the boat. They were sinking, and they knew it. They knew they were doomed. Fear gripped their hearts. They had forgotten about Jesus being in the boat--and now they woke Him up with their piteous plea for help.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
Never did a soul utter that cry unheeded. As the disciples grasp their oars to make a last effort, Jesus rises. He stands in the midst of His disciples, while the tempest rages, the waves break over them, and the lightning illuminates His countenance. He lifts His hand, so often employed in deeds of mercy, and says to the angry sea, "Peace, be still." {DA 335.2}

The storm ceases. The billows sink to rest. The clouds roll away, and the stars shine forth. The boat rests upon a quiet sea. Then turning to His disciples, Jesus asks sorrowfully, "Why are ye fearful? have ye not yet faith?" Mark 4:40, R.V. {DA 335.3}

A hush fell upon the disciples. Even Peter did not attempt to express the awe that filled his heart. The boats that had set out to accompany Jesus had been in the same peril with that of the disciples. Terror and despair had seized their occupants; but the command of Jesus brought quiet to the scene of tumult. The fury of the storm had driven the boats into close proximity, and all on board beheld the miracle. In the calm that followed, fear was forgotten. The people whispered among themselves, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" {DA 335.4}

When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the "Master of earth and sea and sky" that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, "I can of Mine own self do nothing." John 5:30. He trusted in the Father's might. It was in faith--faith in God's love and care--that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God. {DA 336.1}


We should seek to emulate our Master. He was not fearful, even when the storm was so powerfully upon Him.

The disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith--and, for them, death had been imminent. What must God think of OUR lack of faith when we shut down our gatherings and curtain our opportunities for fellowship over the fear of something that we have not even yet experienced?

Faith. We must have it. We cannot afford to loosen our grip on Jesus.

Mrs. White tells us of an experience she had that is similar to that of the disciples in the boat. Very similar. I'll let you see this for yourself.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
In 1846, while at Fairhaven, Mass., my sister, (who usually accompanied me at that time,) sister A. and brother G. and myself started in a sail-boat to visit a family on West's Island. It was almost night when we started. We had gone but a short distance when a sudden storm arose. It was so dark that we could see nothing around us. It thundered and lightened and the rain came in torrents upon us. Brother G. had more than he could well attend to, to manage the boat. He tried to anchor, but the anchor dragged. Our little boat was tossed upon the waves, and driven by the wind, while it was so dark that we could not see from one end of the boat to the other. It seemed plain that we must be lost, unless God should deliver. Soon the anchor held. ?{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 16} ?

I knelt down in the boat, and began to cry to God to deliver us. And there upon the tossing billows, while the water washed over the top of the boat upon us, the rain descended as I never saw it before, the lightnings flashed and the thunders rolled. I was taken off in vision, and saw that sooner would every drop of water in the ocean be dried up than we should perish, for I saw that my work had but just began. After I came out of the vision all my fears were gone, and we sung and praised God, and our little boat was to us a floating Bethel. The editor of the "Advent Herald" has said that my visions were known to be "the result of mesmeric operations." But I ask, what chance was there for mesmeric operations in such a time as that? ?{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 17} ?

Brother G. at last called for help. There were but two houses on the Island, and it proved that we were near one of them, but not the one where we wished to go. All the family had retired to rest except a little child, who providentially heard the call for help upon the water. Her father soon came to our relief, and in a small boat, took us to the shore. We spent the most of that night in thanksgiving and praise to God, for his wonderful goodness unto us. ?{RH, July 21, 1851 par. 18}??



We serve a powerful God. Let none lose faith.

Originally Posted by Ellen White
The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant. 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 God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment and with confidence in Christ as leader. 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. {RH, October 12, 1905 par. 22}


According to Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Our fear only gives evidence that we have not been with Jesus?that we have not been hearing His words. In order to cultivate faith, we must hear God's words. Every day. We must spend more time reading what He says than reading the news and tidings of woe coming from the world around us. By beholding, we become changed. Let us behold Jesus?the one who had not a trace of fear in the storm. Let us behold Jesus?the one who touched lepers and dead people with no fear of getting sick. Let us behold Jesus?the one who gives us peace; who tells us not to be afraid, nor troubled at heart.

The three Hebrews who would not bow, not even to tie their shoes, beside the image show us the example we should follow. They faced imminent death for it. If they were afraid of this, they did not show it. They were willing to go to the flames?as is recorded in Scripture?even if God did not save them, rather than to dishonor their Master.

"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." -- Ellen White.

Blessings,

Green Cochoa.



This is very true, fear can do more than a million man army, and we are seeing the effects as it spreads. My wife and I have decided to go forward in faith, but its dangerous and potentially deadly, but we are calling the members to see if they are alright, and seeing if they lack needed essentials and going through the stores to try and locate them, and take it to them. Its all we can do, but the hospitals here are getting hit with coronavirus patients and many members work at the hospitals or medical institutions, and some we visited are sick but have not been tested, so we can only pray.

Last edited by Rick H; 03/25/20 12:12 PM.
Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192170
03/30/20 11:54 AM
03/30/20 11:54 AM
K
kland  Offline
SDA
Active Member 2022

5500+ Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,214
Midland
What is the people's breaking point.
2 weeks?
30 days?
How far can the be pushed until they go berserk?
Let's try it. Maybe they will last a couple of months.
Amazed at how easily they are led through the nose....

Didn't someone famous say,
'Give me safety or take my liberty!'

Re: COVID-19: God hath not given us the spirit of fear [Re: Green Cochoa] #192228
04/05/20 05:47 PM
04/05/20 05:47 PM
K
kland  Offline
SDA
Active Member 2022

5500+ Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,214
Midland
Lock them down. Keep them from checking out the reality of the media.
That way, they won't find out the hospitals are empty.
Shoot them if they venture out. Got to protect the live exercise, the experiment.


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