Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FB Series 5: God the Holy Spirit

These are taken from the Signs of the Times Magazine Special Edition “We Believe”, where we share brief explanations of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where our faith continuously grows with our Lord. May the Holy Spirit give you enlightenment as you read through the articles. Should you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them and we are willing to talk to you about our faith. Contact forms are at the end of this article. Thank you and may God bless you more abundantly today and always!


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Lights from the lamps flickered in the upper room as the disciples conversed with their Master. The questions they still asked, even after being with Him for three years, made it obvious that they did not have a clear understanding of His mission on earth. They clung to their hope that He would liberate their nation from Roman occupation. Recognizing their misunderstanding, Jesus tried to prepare them for the events that were all but upon them. He quieted their fears of the future by speaking to them of the Gift of the Holy Spirit that He and the Father would give the world.

“Don’t worry about the future,” He said in essence. “Through the Holy Spirit, you will have My presence with you to guide you and sustain you in everything you experience, regardless of how difficult or painful it may be.”

As One of the Members of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is a Person, fully Divine. He had an active part with the Father and the Son in the creation of the world, and since then He has been intimately involved in the plan of salvation.

WHAT JESUS SAID

Jesus’ teaching about the Holy Spirit is recorded in John 14, 15, and 16. He is called ” ‘the Spirit of truth’ ” (John 14:17), whom the Father will send in Jesus’ name (John 14:26). He ” ‘will teach you all things,’ ” Jesus said, ” ‘and [He] will remind you of everything I have said to you’ ” (John 14:26). He came specifically to testify about Jesus (John 15:26). And because He is not limited by neither time nor space, He can represent Jesus to the world anywhere, anytime.

In addition to working with the disciples, enabling them to carry out their mission, the Holy Spirit is among unconverted people, convicting them of ” ‘sin and righteousness and judgment’ ” (John 16:8).

We tend to understand less about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit than we do the other Members of the Godhead. That’s because the Spirit’s work is to make known Jesus and the Father rather than Himself. It was through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that holy men wrote the Bible, which bears witness to Jesus (2 Peter 1:21). He filled the life of Jesus with power. Because of the Spirit’s ministry, the Bible comes alive for us, making Jesus real, sensitizing our hearts to Jesus, and equipping us to live for Him.

WHAT THE SPIRIT DOES FOR US

The Holy Spirit is involved in every aspect of our Christian life. When we come to God, it’s because the Spirit has been working on our hearts, giving us the desire to learn about God and to live the way He wants us to. Any time we want to know more of what the Bible says about God, all we have to do is ask for understanding, and the Holy Spirit will guide us to the passages that we should study. The Spirit will impress our minds, leading us to a clear understanding of the Bible and how its lessons apply to our lives today. Then He will give us the power to live the truths we have learned. When we feel guilty for our sins and repent of them, it’s because the Holy Spirit has been at work in our lives. Everything we know about God and Jesus we understand more clearly because the Holy Spirit, quietly and humbly, has been carrying out in our lives the work that He was sent to do.

The Spirit also strengthens the church and its members through spiritual gifts. Some of these gifts are quite  spectacular while others are less dramatic. Yet, all of them are equally essential. Several of these spiritual gifts are mentioned in Ephesians 4:11: “It was he [the Holy Spirit] who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers” (see also Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28:31, 13:1-3). Both the Old and New Testaments tell us that the Spirit had an active role in both the creation of the world and its redemption. As the personal Representative of Jesus, the Spirit accomplishes in the world what Jesus would do if He were physically present today.

(For further study: Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:3; Romans 1:1-4; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:11, 12.)


Until next Saturday for the sixth FB Series.

Got any questions? Message us in our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lovetandemd.

God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

Love,

Your #Duoctors

Jerald and Ardys

Happy Sabbath!

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Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FB Series 4: God the Son

These are taken from the Signs of the Times Magazine Special Edition “We Believe”, where we share brief explanations of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where our faith continuously grows with our Lord. May the Holy Spirit give you enlightenment as you read through the articles. Should you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them and we are willing to talk to you about our faith. Contact forms are at the end of this article. Thank you and may God bless you more abundantly today and always!


 

Our hope of salvation centers exclusively in Jesus Christ. One of the titles by which we know Him is “Son of God.” This title reflects His place in the plan of salvation – a role that was established before the world began. He was born on our planet as a human (Hebrews 1: 5, 6). Prior to His incarnation, He existed from all eternity as God in the most complete and exalted sense. He is God by nature, power, and authority (John 1:1, 2; 17:5, 24; Philippians 2:6).

Christ is the Creator of all things (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17; Hebrews 1:2). After Adam and Eve sinned, Christ had intimate and constant contact with our world. He was the Member of the Godhead who would divest Himself, be “made in human likeness,” and would become “obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7, 8). Through Him the character of God is revealed to fallen humanity, human salvation is consummated, and the world is judged (John 5:25-29).

ONE OF US

As God for all eternity, Christ also became a genuine human being in every sense of the word. Hundreds of years before He came to our world, the prophets predicted His virgin birth and the place where He would be born: Bethlehem (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2). Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He grew up in Nazareth, a mountain village in Galilee.

During His life on earth Jesus experienced temptation as a human, yet He never sinned. Thus, He modeled God’s love and His justice in a most outstanding way, giving us a perfect example to imitate (Hebrews 2:16-18; 1 Peter 2:21, 22).

Christ lived a humble and generous life. As a child, as an adult, and as a youth, He helped at the carpenter shop in Nazareth. He was always friendly and took an interest in others. At about the age of thirty (Luke 3:23), He was baptized by immersion in the river Jordan by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). However, He was not baptized in order to cleanse Himself from sin, for He never sinned. Rather, as He put it, He was baptized in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Through baptism He identified Himself with sinners, walking the path we must walk and doing what we must do.

God the Son

JESUS’ MINISTRY

When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in visible form as a dove, and God’s voice from heaven pronounced these words: ” ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’ ” (Matthew 3:17). Following His baptism, Jesus ministered unselfishly for three years, sharing God’s love and the message of salvation with rich and poor, Jew and Gentile.

Jesus’ teachings were unmatched in their simplicity yet filled with a power that drew people’s hearts to Him and changed them. Even the guards who were sent to arrest Him as He was teaching the people were unable to take Him into custody, so powerfully did His words affect them. When they were asked why they hadn’t apprehended Him, they could only reply, “No one ever spoke the way this Man does.”

Even before the foundation of the world, the Godhead devised a plan to deal with the possibility that sin might arise on planet Earth (Ephesians 1:4). Through Christ’s death, all those who accept Him become sons and daughters of God and heirs of eternal life (John 3:16; I John 5:11, 12).

When Jesus was ready to begin His ministry, John the Baptist pointed Hi out as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” As the concluding act of His ministry, Christ submitted to the supreme sacrifice: He gave His life to secure for human beings the possibility of escape from sin and the eternal death that is its inevitable result.

Jesus suffered and died voluntarily on Calvary’s cross in our place, for our sins. Yet, He was raised from the dead, for neither death nor the tomb could hold the Creator of the world in their grasp. After appearing several times to His disciples and commissioning them to carry on the work of saving souls that He began during His short ministry, Jesus ascended to heaven. Yet, He did not abandon His people who remained in the world. Rather, He entered upon an intercessory ministry to prepare them for a place in the kingdom that He plans to restore on earth.

HE’S COMING AGAIN

Soon Jesus will come again in the clouds of glory, accompanied by holy angels, to free His people and restore to them everything they lost because of sin.

The heart of the Bible is Jesus Christ. He is the Center around which all the teachings of Seventh-Day Adventists cluster. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Our love for Christ motivates us to obey His commandments, follow His example and give Him our lives so that He can live in us through the Holy Spirit.

(For further study: Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14; 5:22; 10:30; 14:9; Romans 5:18; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Hebrews 4:15; 7:25; 8:1, 2; 9:28; Revelation 22:20.)


Until next Saturday for the fifth FB Series.

Got any questions? Message us in our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lovetandemd.

God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

Love,

Your #Duoctors

Jerald and Ardys

 

Happy Sabbath!

Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FB Series 3: God the Father

Many people, tired of the culture of self, are looking for something better, something more satisfying. They want to know God. Fortunately, God wants us to know Him. For that reason He has revealed Himself in many ways, the most important of which is the Bible.

The Bible writers made no direct effort to prove the existence of God. They took that much for granted. The Bible's first words, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1), speak volumes about Him. Before the world came into existence, God existed. He's the Creator, the Source of life and every material blessing.

What We Can't Know

Nevertheless, there's much about God's basic nature that we don't understand because He hasn't revealed it to us. Among these unknowns are God's eternal nature and His capacity to be everywhere at once. We can never understand the essence of God's nature. But we understand what He has revealed to us, at least to a point, and this revelation centers around His unfailing love.

The New Testament presents God to us as a loving heavenly Father (Matthew 5:45; I John 4:8). Because Jesus has adopted us, we have become God's sons and daughters (John 1:12, 13). God, our heavenly Father, is not a mere impersonal force.

Jesus told the woman at the well of Sychar that " 'God is Spirit' " (John 4:24) to suggest that God has a form, a shape. This statement has to do with more profound aspects of God's divine nature. He's above nature and beyond the capacity of our minds to imagine Him. He lives on a plane far superior to ours.

God Is A Person

The Hebrew concept of spirit was more concrete than abstract. God dwells in that realm. We cannot see Him, but we were made in His image (Genesis 1:27), which suggests that He also has a specific form. Throughout its pages, the Bible presents God as a Person.

The words the Bible uses to describe God were chosen to make it easy as possible for us to understand God as a Person. He "talks," "hears," and "writes." He suffers and feels sadness, and He also expresses both anger and joy. He has free will (see Psaln 40:8; 2 Corinthians 1:1). God judges (Psalm 7:11; Romans 2:16) and pardons (Isaiah 55:7). Nevertheless, He is above all. He created and sustains everything (Hebrews 1:1-3). God us omnipotent (Revelation 19:6), sublime (Isaiah 57:15), omniscient (Ephesians 1:8), eternal and immortal (1 Timothy 1:17), and omnipresent (Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24). He's free of time and space limitations in all His actions.

Everything that happens on our planet is under God's control. He understands our plans, but He acts in ways that ensure the ultimate fulfillment and consummation of His will.

The qualities and powers that we see in God the Son and God the Holy Spirit also reveal to us what the Father is like.

(For further study: Exodus 34:6, 7; Revelation 4:11; John 13:16; John 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:28.)


Until next Saturday for the third FB Series.

Got any questions? Message us in our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lovetandemd.

God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

Love,

Your #Duoctors Jerald and Ardys

Happy Sabbath!

Faith · FBs · Sabbath Joys · TandeMD

FBSeries 2.2: The Trinity

Bible

Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God

We can accept the existence of the Trinity only by faith. Nevertheless, reason does provide evidence that confirms our belief in God. Throughout the centuries, theologians have suggested various arguments for the existence of God. These are:

  1. The moral argument: The search of every human being for “the best good” implies the existence of a moral Being. Our conscience and our moral understanding distinguish us humans from the animals. There must be a source for this moral insight that is independent of humans, and that Source is God.
  2. The mental argument: Our mental faculties, our imagination and intelligence, can be explained only by presupposing the existence of a super-intelligent Source.
  3. The cosmological argument: In view of the fact that every effect must have a cause, a never-ending chain of cause and effect must go back to the great “First Cause.” Nothing can proceed from nothing.
  4. The teleological argument: The intricate structure and design seen in nature, from the butterfly to the human brain, requires the existence of an intelligent Designer. Anyone who has ever put together a computer should find it easy enough to understand that the incredibly complex “computer” that we know as the human brain could not develop purely through natural causes.
  5. The ontological argument: Anselm, the eleventh-century archbishop of Canterbury, defined God as “than which nothing greater can be conceived.” He reasoned that life must be a necessary part of such a perfect Being, and therefore He must exist. To put it another way, if it’s possible to conceive such a Being exists, then He must in fact exist.
  6. The argument from experience: Human religious experiences, which are such a common part of our human existence, indicate that there must be something or someone behind them. The fact that so many people everywhere have had an actual experience of God makes very likely the existence of such a Being, who created the world and sustains it.

From the moment they were first advanced, these “evidences of God” have had both their defenders and their detractors. Several of the last of these evidences have been argued more in the past 100 years than the first ones. More recently, many philosophers and theologians who devote themselves to these issues have given greater attention to the ancient evidences for God’s existence, adapting them to our current thought patterns.

However, beyond these rational evidences, God invites us to know Him in our own experience. The triune God promises, ” ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ ” (Jeremiah 29:13).

(For further study: Deuteronomy 29:29; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:17; I Peter 1:2.)


Until next Saturday for the third FB Series.

Got any questions? Fill the form below and we’ll be happy to answer you soonest we get your email. God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

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FBSeries 2.1: The Trinity

Bible

While other religions include a “trinity” in their pantheon of gods, Christianity is the only religion that distinguishes itself with a general belief about a real, living God who exists as Three distinct Persons who are equal and eternal: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Three Persons in this divine trinity are immortal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

The God of the Bible is infinite and far beyond all human comprehension. Yet,we can know these Persons of the Godhead to the extent that They have revealed Themselves to us. They have made themselves known through the work of their “hands” as seen in nature, through the circumstances of providence, through the written Word, the Bible, and especially through the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

The Bible teaches that God exists as Three distinct Persons whom we call the Trinity:

The Three Persons
  1. God the Father: “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came” (I Corinthians 8:6). “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6).
  2. God the Son: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). “While we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)
  3. God the Holy Spirit: “Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit…?… You have not lied to men but to God'” (Acts 5:3,4). “God has revealed it to us by His Spirit…. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (I Corinthians 2: 10,11).

The Bible presents the Three Persons of the Godhead as related to each Other in the same way that humans are related. The Bible uses personal pronouns when it speaks of the Members of the Trinity (see Matthew 17:5; John 16:13, 28; 17:1). They love and glorify each Other (see John 3:35; 15:10; 16:14). The Father sent the Son (Matthew 10:40), the Son prays to the Father (John 17:18), and the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit as Their Representative (John 14:26; 16:7).

Each One of Them has His own special work to carry out, even when They are cooperating in joint activities such as Creation and Redemption.

The biblical statement that “God is love” (I John 4:8) applies perfectly to each Person of the Trinity. The fact that God is love from eternity presupposes that there is more than one Person in the Trinity. If there were just one Person from eternity, that One’s love would be for Himself only.

The Trinity in the Bible

While no one passage of Scripture defines the doctrine of the Trinity, the Bible writers assumed it as a given, and they spoke of it repeatedly. The teaching of the Trinity is implied in Genesis 1, which presents God and the Spirit both acting in Creation (see Genesis 1:1,2). The New Testament points out that Christ also participated in Creation, and that He is in fact the Creator (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17; Hebrews 1:2). In Matthew 28:19 Jesus directed that baptism be performed ” ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ ” Here the doctrine of the Trinity is presented in a way that gives it strong support as an article of faith.

The Trinity was evident at Christ’s baptism, where all Three Members of the Godhead were manifested at the same time. Matthew 3:16, 17 shows God the Son being baptized; God the Spirit manifesting Himself in the form of a dove that descended on Jesus; and the Father proclaiming, ” ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ “

Luke 1:35 includes the Three Persons of the Godhead in the angel’s announcement to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Messiah. The angel said that the Holy Spirit would come upon her, the power of the Most High would overshadow her, and Jesus would be born of her.

Jesus recognized the difference between the Members of the Godhead when He said, ” ‘When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me’ ” (John 15:26).

Paul’s apostolic benediction also supports this teaching. He said, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).


Until next Saturday for the second half of the second FB Series.

Got any questions? Fill the form below and we’ll be happy to answer you soonest we get your email. God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

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Faith · FBs · TandeMD

FBSeries 1.2: The Holy Scriptures

 

holy-bible

These are taken from the Signs of the Times Magazine Special Edition “We Believe”, where we share brief explanations of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where our faith continuously grows with our Lord. May the Holy Spirit give you enlightenment as you read through the articles. Should you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them and we are willing to talk to you about our faith. Contact forms are at the end of this article. Thank you and may God bless you more abundantly today and always!


AN INFALLIBLE GUIDE

God never changes. Therefore, the revelation of His character in the Bible is unchanging. He  has just one plan to save lost human beings, and it can never be altered. Because His will is unchanging, the teaching purpose of the Bible is indispensable. The Word of God calls people everywhere to be saved and obey Jesus as Lord of life. In a world of fluctuation and change, of shifting values and conflicting notions of truth, God’s Word is the only safe moral guide. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). It tests our experience so that we don’t end up being captive to our shifting feelings. The Bible tells us how to live day by day. It steers us away from the shifting sands of error. It guides us through the perils of the last days. It reminds us that we are sons and daughters of God, created by Him, loved by Him, accepted by Him in Jesus Christ, and destined to live with Him throughout eternity (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). In the Bible we learn of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, our Saviour and Lord. Through spending time with the Bible we are “born again” (1 Peter 1:23) and transformed daily into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Thus, the Bible is our light, our spiritual nourishment, our refuge. Just as it guided God’s people in the past, so it is for us our hearts’ joy and delight (Jeremiah 15:16), our comfort in affliction, our counsel in prosperity, and our hope of eternal life.

When we embark upon a study of the Bible, we must especially keep in mind its unique character. The ordinary methods of study are inadequate for understanding the Bible. Because spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14), we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to correctly understand and apply God’s Word to our lives. We must be willing to accept the Bible as the Word of God and ready to receive God’s instruction on its pages. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).

God’s invitation to every man and woman is to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). He reveals Himself as the Author of the Bible to every person who opens its pages with a willing heart to learn. The Bible is the living Word of God for your life. God still speaks through its words today.

(For further study: Proverbs 30:5, 6; Isaiah 8:20; John 10:35, 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:12)


Until next Saturday for the second FB Series.

Got any questions? Fill the form below and we’ll be happy to answer you soonest we get your email. God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

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Faith · FBs · TandeMD

FBSeries 1.1: The Holy Scriptures Part I

These are taken from the Signs of the Times Magazine Special Edition “We Believe”, where we share brief explanations of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where our faith continuously grows with our Lord. May the Holy Spirit give you enlightenment as you read through the articles. Should you have any questions, we will be glad to answer them and we are willing to talk to you about our faith. Contact forms are at the end of this article. Thank you and may God bless you more abundantly today and always!


The God of the Bible is a God who reveals Himself. He doesn’t leave us alone in our lost condition, separated from Him because of our sins. He comes to us, showing us His character, revealing His will, and offering us the salvation He has provided. He is a God who speaks: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1,2)

The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, is a living record of God’s voice.

God the Holy Spirit gave the Bible by inspiring the minds of the various Bible writers (2 Peter 1:20, 21). The same Spirit speaks to us today through the Bible, appealing to each of us personally, calling us to return to God, convicting us of sin, and illuminating our minds and hearts: “‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts'” (Hebrews 3:7, 8). Because God is its Author, we can trust the Bible to be authoritative and practical.


WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?

Like Jesus the Bible is God’s Word made flesh (John 1:14). It is a unique union of the divine and the human. God did not dictate the Bible word for word, nor did He give it to the prophets in some otherworldly language. Rather, He used people with varied backgrounds, highly cultured people and others with little education; people with royal blood and common people. He inspired their minds with thoughts-messages for the human race. They then expressed those ideas in their own words.

Thus, the Bible is completely human yet more than human. Through human words, thoughts and history, God speaks. Though it has many human writers, the Bible nevertheless has but one Author.

holy-bible

The Bible is authoritative. We should believe its words and practice what it commands. Every human opinion must be subject to proof from the Bible. The Bible is, in all its parts, God’s infallible Word. It can make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). God’s Word is an infallible presentation of God’s plan to redeem lost humanity. That plan is the same throughout both Old and New Testaments, and it centers in Jesus Christ. The prophecies of the Old Testament, which are fulfilled in the New Testament, testify of Him (John 5:39; I Peter 1:10, 11). He, the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1, 2, 14), is the central Character in God’s written Word.


Until next Saturday for the part 2 to this first of our FB Series.

Got any questions? Fill the form below and we’ll be happy to answer you soonest we get your email. God bless and stay #tandemd with God!

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Christlikeness: The Goal to be Reached

The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power. The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image.

{EGW, Steps to Christ, page 65.2}