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 Issue #81 Tue, 25 Apr 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #81 Tue, 25 Apr 2006   March 11th 2007, 23:45

Finding Floyd's Freedom

Dear Youth,

Recently I just finished a very interesting book entitled "When All Alone I Stand"* (by Jan S. Doward). This story was about a young American Christian who was drafted into the Army when he turned 18. During Army training, he [Jan] fought his own battles to be classified as a Conscientious Objector because of his convictions to not bear arms. Army life dramatically changed his life, and before long, Jan found himself talking and acting like his tough buddies.

Whilst aboard a ship carrying his outfit to the Pacific, Jan gave his heart completely and wholly to his Savior. Even though he was a member of a high-status, popular Christian church back in the States, he had no understanding of the Bible, or even simple Bible stories. His church pastor believed that the book of Revelation was a closed book, and could not be understood. One day, Jan met an Adventist soldier aboard the ship he was traveling on. Jan was especially impressed by Floyd's (the Adventist soldier) outstanding understanding of Scriptural truths. And before long, Jan began Bible studies with Floyd.

At the first study, Jan proudly declared that he was a "New Testament Christian" and would like to study from the New Testament. Floyd simply smiled, and asked Jan what he would like to study. They began with the book of Revelation. Jan was AMAZED at how Floyd could explain all those symbols so simply, and was convinced that what he heard was the truth. Floyd and Jan continued to study together, and Jan was convinced of the truth, however, he declared that while he believed and was amazed at everything Floyd had shown him, he would not become a Seventh-day Adventist.

One day, Floyd asked Jan if he would like to see the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Bible. Jan's reply was that he didn't think Floyd could show him from the Bible, but if it was there he would like to see it. After this Bible study, Jan thought seriously about what Floyd had shown him from the Bible. And finally, on July 15, 1945, Jan was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on Ishikawa Beach, Okinawa.

After his decision, Jan was met with hostility from his family and especially his mother. In a letter to him, Jan's mother declared that she would rather him to be a thief than to become a Seventh-day Adventist! However, he remained firm to his convictions, and continued to rejoice in the truth he had learned from the Bible.

This book was interesting in many ways, but one thing that especially impressed me, was Floyd. He really knew his Bible, and could answer any objection against his faith, simply and powerfully. By the end of his illustrations and answers, Floyd's opponents would be totally dumbfounded and speechless.

This made me wonder whether I could have been the witness that Floyd was, aboard that ship headed toward Okinawa. Young people, Jesus wants us to KNOW what we believe that we may "be ready ALWAYS to give an answer to EVERY man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15) Of course, we will always grow in our understanding and our experience, but this doesn't mean that we can't understand or have reason for the faith and hope we have! We don't have to leave this to the preacher, or our parents, WE can be ready to give answers and bear witness for our faith!

There was one illustration that Floyd used, that really grabbed my attention. I would like to share this illustration with you. After landing, one of the other Christian's who had been aboard the ship, approached Floyd plainly stating that no Adventist could ever prove that the Law of God is still binding. Floyd began with prayer, and then this other man launched into his reasoning's as to why the Law is no longer binding. After some time, Floyd quietly asked if he could say a few words. Let's suppose what you have to say is true, Floyd began. . .

(Note: You can follow along with these simple actions)
Now, hold up your thumb, this represents the preacher. What is the preacher supposed to be preaching? The gospel, right? Hold up your index finger, this represents the gospel. Who is the gospel about? Jesus Christ you say, hold up your middle finger, this represents Jesus. And what did Jesus come to do? According to Matthew 1:21, Jesus came to save us from our sins. Our next finger represents sin. What is sin? "Sin is the transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4) So, our little finger represents the law.

Suppose this preacher declares the law is abolished, fold your little finger (which represents the law) down. If there is no longer a law, there couldn't be sin, because as we read, sin is the transgression of the LAW. So, fold down the finger which represents sin. If there is no sin, there's no sinner, and if there is no sinner, Jesus need not have come to save us from our sins, so we'll fold down our middle finger which represents Jesus. If there is no Jesus, there is no gospel, so we can fold down our index finger also. Now we have only the preacher left who doesn't have a lot to say!

This very basic illustration very powerfully displays how the gospel and the law cannot be separated. The true gospel goes hand-in-hand with God's perfect Law.

There are many people out there today who try to sell us a cheap gospel. This gospel abandons the law and focuses only on God's love and grace. Through His servant, God tells us what He thinks of this cheap gospel: "This goody-goody religion that makes light of sin and that is forever dwelling upon the love of God to the sinner, encourages the sinner to believe that God will save him while he continues in sin. This is the way that many are doing who profess to believe present truth. . . .There must be a straining of every nerve and spirit and muscle to leave the world, its customs, its practices, and its fashions." (Selected Messages, Bk 3, p. 155)

Of course, love is very important, "For God IS love." (1 John 4:16) But, love and the law also go together.
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3) Love is a reflection of an indwelling Savior and His inbuilt law. When we are filled with God's love, we will naturally keep the law.

There are a lot of people who think that the law is bondage to the Christian. But the Bible refers to God's law as "The law of liberty." (James 2:12) God's law gives us true freedom and happiness! It's a lot like the laws of the land in many ways. When we obey the laws of the land, we have freedom! It is only when we DISOBEY these laws, and find ourselves behind bars, or with a traffic ticket in our hand, that our freedom is gone! As long as we stay within the perimeters of these laws, we have perfect freedom on the road.

God's law is a boundary to ensure our freedom and happiness, it is only when we step out of God's will that we are in bondage. Satan leads us captive. "Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" sets us "free from the law of sin and death." (The Desire of Ages, p. 466)

Young people, we will NEVER find true happiness and freedom in our lives if we live outside of God's commandments. Those that declare the law was abolished really write a prison sentence for themselves! We may search for our whole lives, but nothing will ever replace the freedom we have in Christ! It is His longing desire to set us free, but for some reason we continue to search for other ways and means to bring happiness into our lives.

The gospel, love, and Jesus are all founded upon the Law of God, as we saw in Floyd's simple, yet effective illustration. Jesus wants us, as young people, to experience in our own lives the power of the gospel, He wants us to experience the love of God, and He is longing to set us free! If we want to experience all of these things, we cannot throw away His law! Young people, God doesn't want to fence us in all our lives, He has our future and our well-being in mind, and He wants to show us that keeping His law, by His grace, will truly set us free!

David says: "O how I love Thy law!" (Psalm 119:97) "I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart." (Psalm 40:8 ) May this be our experience!

--Stephanie Fox

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
*This was a very encouraging, enthralling, and interesting book. If you have access to it, I would recommend you read it!
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Issue #81 Tue, 25 Apr 2006
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