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 Issue #115 Thu, 1 Mar 2007

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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 #115 Thu, 1 Mar 2007   March 12th 2007, 01:08

The Lord Will Provide!

Dear Youth,

Recently I have been surrounded with stories and themes from our church's pioneer days. These men and women lived such amazing lives, and it's truly an inspiration to see how the Lord led them and provided for them and also for our early church. Some of the experiences of one of our well-known pioneer's, Joseph Bates, has really helped and encouraged me, and I think it will strengthen and encourage all the youth, young adults, and even our older audience today!

Our pioneers were faithful and generous men and woman, and Joseph Bates was no exception! Joseph was a sea-captain, who upon returning to America, accepted the Second Advent message (Millerite movement). From the start he gave of his means to advance the work, selling his earthly possessions in order to spread the message to the world! When Joseph experienced the Great Disappointment, with all the criticism, scorn, and joking that also came along with it, he did not abandon the faith, but kept searching.

On October 23, 1844, Hiram Edson received a wonderful revelation in a cornfield. This revelation gave the answer to their great disappointment; instead of Christ coming to cleanse the earth on October 22, 1844, He had moved to the Most Holy Place (the 2nd apartment) of the heavenly sanctuary and began His work of atonement, or the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, on that day. As this news spread to the disappointed Adventists, the blessed hope was rekindled in their hearts! Over time, the Adventist's continued to search the scriptures, and along with the prophetic gift of Ellen G. White, they discovered many more vital truths, including the seventh-day Sabbath.

Joseph Bates was actually one of the earliest of our pioneers to bring the truth of the seventh-day Sabbath to other believers, including young James and Ellen White. He had been keeping the Sabbath for about a year, when he decided that he needed to write a book on the subject, since the printed word could travel to many more places than he ever could. But, there was one big problem. He had only twelve and half cents left to his name! When he first accepted the Advent message, he had had about eleven thousand dollars, but all that had been sold to further the work! However, he prayed about the book, and by faith, began to write.

He hadn't been seated at his desk very long, however, before his wife entered the room and said rather hastily: "Joseph, I don't have enough flour to finish the baking!" "How much do you lack?" Joseph asked. "About four pounds," was her response. "Very well then," said Joseph, rising from his chair. He took a pan to the grocery store and purchased the four pounds of flour for Prudence. When he got home, she wasn't in, so he simply placed the flour in her kitchen and resumed his writing. It wasn't long, however, before Prudence appeared in his doorway: "Where did you get this flour?" She asked. "Isn't that enough," Joseph responded, "you said you needed four pounds." Prudence replied, "Yes, I needed four pounds, but where did you get it?" "I bought it," was her husband's response. Astonished, Prudence retorts, "You, Joseph Bates, who have sailed to all parts of the world have bought only four pounds of flour?" Looking at Prudence long and hard, Joseph explained to her that he had spent the last money he had on earth to buy that four pounds of flour.

Prudence burst into tears and cried, "Oh, Joseph, what will we do?" Joseph looked at her and smiled, "The Lord will provide!" In a very much annoyed manner, Mrs Bates cried, "Oh yes, the Lord will provide. That's what you always say!" And with that, she turned and left the room in a fresh flood of tears.

Joseph Bates, simply turned back to his writing. He felt the Lord calling to him to write the little book on the Sabbath, and believed with all his heart that the Lord would provide for family and also would provide the finances to print the book. Through faith, Joseph claimed this promise: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33)

This, however, is no the end of the story, for as Joseph was writing he felt a strange impression that he should go to the post office. He had learned to distinguish the voice of God, and he had also learned to heed it, so he rose from his chair and walked to the post office. Upon arriving there, he asked the postmaster if there was a letter for him; the answer was in the affirmative. However, five cents was due in postage and Joseph had not one cent! The kind postmaster offered for Joseph to take the letter and pay him the five cents at a later time, but Joseph refused, as it was his policy no to go into debt. But he asked the postmaster to do a strange thing: "I have a feeling, Mr Drew, that there is money in that envelope. Would you please just open it and take out the money that is due for the postage; if there is no money, I will not read the letter." When the postmaster opened the letter, the first thing to meet his eyes was a ten-dollar note! Mr Drew took out the postage, then handed the money along with the letter back to Joseph.

The money came from a man who, as he explained in the letter, had an impression that Joseph Bates was in need of money! With the ten-dollars Joseph was able to buy lot's of supplies, and gave his wife a wonderful surprise when they were delivered to her home! When she came to his desk this time, and Joseph showed her the letter, she burst into tears again, but this time it was tears of remorse for the lack of faith she had shown. For the Lord surely had provided!

You know young people, it can sometimes be very encouraging just to hear the experiences of people in the past! From them, we can learn great lessons in faith, and also become more established in our minds that indeed, the Lord will provide; the Lord WILL open a way! "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." (Life Sketches, p. 196)

In the case of Captain Joseph Bates, the Lord also provided the money for him to print his little book! In every situation, the Lord was always faithful. Young people, we may go through trying times, the Lord may not endow us with riches, but this is all for our good as it teaches us to become trusting and humble; but He will ALWAYS provide for our EVERY need!

Young people, so long as we first seek after God's kingdom and His righteousness, He will fulfil our temporal needs and our spiritual needs and that's a promise! If ever you go through a time, and feel a little like Prudence Bates, remember this story and exemplify the same faith that Captain Bates displayed, when, from the bottom of his heart, he declared: "The Lord will provide!"

"My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ." (Philippians 4:19)

--Stephanie Fox

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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