Post Number: 1334
|Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 11:51 am: || |
Thank you, Colleen, for such an on-the-spot explanation....it helps the "unpacking"...I need to hear it again & again...wonderful.
Carolyn, I hate those pictures, too--they scared me & I knew as a child (when I saw them in "The Bible Story" books) that I was one of the people that would be crying for the rocks to fall on me, because I wasn't going to be able to "overcome" all my sins & defects in order to pass the IJ. I took EGW & the IJ very seriously.
Also, I know the resurrection is Biblical...but WHY do those pictures of the people standing in their open graves up to their waists give me the willies??? (I have no idea, but they do....)
Post Number: 1335
|Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 12:36 pm: || |
Listen to this everyone, paying special attention to minutes 13-16! It's VERY pertinent to our background--the whole short teaching is good:
Post Number: 1308
|Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2013 - 4:23 pm: || |
Yes, yes .... the pictures of people half buried in the ground!!!! .... it is disturbing - very, very, disturbing .... this is not a joyous occasion as they are trying to depict -
How many Christian books do you see a depiction of Jesus' return and graves in the same frame??
Graves are a symbol of death .... Christ's return is a symbol of life eternal ... a twisting ...
Giving you the willies - is a good way to put a picture of half buried people ... and to be honest people buried half way in the ground is a form of torture for some groups!!
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 9:28 am: || |
Thank you Colleen for your post I really had an ,'aha' moment reading your post especially the part where you said-"the Law is what guilts us. the law is what convicts us of sin and increases sin. The cross is our salvation...it is our healing. It is where we experience the love and grace of God; it's where we find forgiveness and wholeness." I just realized how off my thinking has been because of what I had been taught. When I looked at the cross and felt overwhelming guilt because this is what I had done to Christ and from this I was supposed to find the strength to change my sinfulness-it just doesn't work no matter how hard you try. How much more inspiring and right it is to look at the cross as the place of my forgiveness and God's overwhelming love and letting His Spirit change me.
Post Number: 1336
|Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 - 5:29 pm: || |
The worldview adventism taught me was pretty much totally upside-down from what I am discovering in the Bible...I don't understand how we could have had Bible classes, sermons, Sabbath School classes, etc for our whole lives & missed the plain words of Scripture!,
(Well, actually, I do, although it still amazes me!)
We read everything through the lens of Ellen White. We heard everything through her ears....her "angel" was a liar.
Post Number: 14409
|Posted on Saturday, May 04, 2013 - 3:10 pm: || |
Well, this has been an "a-ha" for me, in a sort-of reverse way. Carolyn, your pointing out the juxtaposition of Jesus coming in those pictures with forms of torture is really impacting to me. I had not made that connection before, but you are right. There is something really deliberate and twisted about those pictures. Christians never show Jesus returning in connection with death. Moreover, Adventist art often has an aura around the returning Jesus.
Oh, it is SO twisted and dark!
I was listening to Lee Venden preach at LLUC today online; his second sermon was all about the new birth, that spiritual "click" when you suddenly know God has done something in you so Scripture is interesting and you want to know God. He mentioned that Jesus told Nicodemus that just as Israel had to look at the bronze serpent, so people had to look at Him lifted up on the cross.
But Venden said nothing at all about repentance, about the blood of Jesus paying for sin...no matter how evangelical they sound, they just never preach the biblical gospel.
And for emphasis, Venden used EGW quotes to explain the meaning of Jesus' words to Nicodemus...and we all know how "clear" the Desire of Ages is about the gospel...
It's ALL upside-down, but the unsuspecting listener wouldn't even get the details that are left out that completely change the meaning. The details that are left out of evangelical Adventist "gospel presentations" all hang on the unspoken worldview of a spirit-less human, a fallible Jesus, the Sunday mark of the beast, and an extra-biblical prophet who got her visions from demons.
It's so subtle and so wrong.
Post Number: 3079
|Posted on Sunday, May 05, 2013 - 12:49 pm: || |
Nowisee; I couldn't get that link to come up. It sorta came up, but with a voice that sounded like it was sped up - sounding like those cartoon chipmunks. And it also kept stopping every 3 or 4 seconds. But I got another sermon by Alistair Beggs to come up on youtube about salvation, called: "What do you mean, saved?" (part B of this message is best and I think that this is part B.)
Post Number: 1309
|Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 - 2:37 am: || |
I'm sorry, I just have to show a few more of these disturbing pictures ....
Who does Jesus look like in this one? Why is it next to a modern day grave site?
Creepy, spooky ....
These are more for a horror movie than a joyous occasion ...
No wonder we never truly looked forward to Jesus' return even though we talked about it enough ....
Post Number: 430
|Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 - 11:36 am: || |
Carolyn, the bottom picture of your.list, the people are floating around in the air. The ladies even have their high heels on and the men are wearing suits. It would creep me out if I'd let.myself get absorbed in it.
Post Number: 73
|Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 - 12:19 pm: || |
Oh my goodness! This isn't even good artwork - the 3 people in the front don't appear as if they're even looking at Jesus.
And they are selling these pictures. Creepy!
Post Number: 1310
|Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 - 2:03 pm: || |
I hadn't even noticed that ... No, they are not looking at Jesus - in that first picture they are looking at the darkness ....
Did you notice the way the robe is draped around Jesus in that first one? He looks more like an angel than God Almighty - .... Notice how the robe is draped like an angel's wing ....
Post Number: 14410
|Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 - 5:18 pm: || |
That was the first thing I noticed: the angel's wing robe. And yes, they're not looking at Him. Everyone, even Jesus, is looking somewhere else.
Creepy, for SURE. These are actually scary.
Post Number: 178
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 7:58 am: || |
I just hate all those paintings... So dark and lifeless.
Colleen, you mentioned listening to Lee Venden preach, which brought up a difficult thing my husband and I have had to process over the last year, or so. I experienced real conversion about 5 years ago and my husband followed with his very dramatic conversion approx. 6 months later. Three months after his conversion, Lee came to the local SDA church, where we were active members, to do his week-long All About Jesus Revival Seminar. We attended all 12 meetings. Every single night the new truths we had just discovered (on our own) were affirmed through Lee's preaching. He was very genuine and approachable. We had never heard the things he was saying preached in an Adventist church - ever. He shared his own conversion story, was "real," and showed what we thought was appropriate emotion... We even met with him personally for over an hour one evening. We read his book, listened to the podcasts, bought his book to give away, etc. Our thoughts at the time were how excited we were to finally hear the truth and that, perhaps, this was the beginning of the SDA church "waking up," so to speak.
Fast forward several years and we have now left Adventism. It has been a struggle to understand Lee's role in our lives and in the SDA church in general. He presented what we needed to hear at the time and we interpreted that as the gospel. We recognize that at that point we were fully SDA and that we would not have listened as intently to a non-SDA preach the same thing, nor would we have ventured into a "Sunday church" to hear the gospel. God needed to use Lee to speak truth to us from inside Adventism. It was a profound, life-changing time, that cemented our faith that we could trust what the Holy Spirit had revealed to our hearts, even if we'd never heard it taught in Adventism. Interestingly, Lee came back to the area a couple years later to do his series at another church and we excitedly attended the first night (and even drug our kids along...). It felt absolutely lifeless and NOTHING like we had originally experienced. We made an effort after the meeting (which was small in comparison to what we had attended) to talk with him. He didn't seem to recognize us or want to connect at all. It was superficial chit-chat and awkward. We left feeling completely deflated, disappointed, and confused. (I will also mention when we'd first met him he gave us his email address and I wrote a lengthy letter to him after he'd left our area. We were going through some VERY difficult personal times and reached out because we had no one we could trust or who would support us. He never acknowledged or responded to the email.)
Now that we're out of Adventism, we occasionally wonder about Lee and the work he's doing. He preaches the most gospel centered message we had ever heard (up until that point) and focuses extensively on conversion (as did his father, Morris). However, he absolutely incorporates EGW into all of his material. He claims to have been converted since about age 18 and when he tells it, he is very emotional and seems genuine about what Jesus meant to him then and now. And I just say, "How is that possible?" How can one be completely converted and follow the teachings of and preach a false prophet!?
Now, I realize that both my husband and I were converted first and it took 4 years for God to lift the veil of deceit for us to leave Adventism. I know that's somewhat unusual, but with Lee, we're talking perhaps 25+ years! There is a part of me that feels like Lee completely deceived us and there is another part of me that says that God used Lee, despite his incomplete preaching of the gospel, to speak into our hearts during a critical and vulnerable time. Perhaps both are true... I vaguely remember the EGW quotes and references, but what really resonated with me was the truth he presented from Scripture about who Jesus is and about the assurance of salvation. That was profoundly life-changing. I believe the Holy Spirit brought to life only what we needed to hear and rest faded away.
The passage in Phil. 1:15-18 has given us comfort about this. Paul says, "It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice..."
Now I'm not suggesting that Lee's conscious motives to preach the gospel are driven out of envy, rivalry, or to stir up trouble. However, if a person is an agent of a denomination that was built on doctrines authored by demons whose motives ARE to sir up trouble, by default, how can that person's motives really be pure? I fear that what Lee is doing for many within Adventism is cementing the SDA view that "See, now we have it all - a Jesus centered gospel AND the Sabbath truth." With that, there is no real reason to leave.
God can use whomever he wishes for whatever purpose He has in mind, like he did with Lee for us. However, it has been a long and difficult process for us to unravel this and accept with humility the gift of freedom in Christ God gave us through the vehicle of Lee - who was preaching an incomplete and EGW tainted gospel within the confines of the SDA church. Praise God that He is sovereign in ALL things!
Post Number: 24
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 1:54 pm: || |
Lyrical, thanks for sharing your experience regarding Lee Vendon. I don't know Lee, but I have listened a lot to Gary Vendon. Can't remember if he is brother or cousin. But I have heard much Gospel from Gary. I have even been thinking of going to Redwood Campmeeting where I can hear him again. Also, Herb Montgomery, preaching the Gospel and turning SDA beliefs on their head. He is not denominationaly employed, or he would have been fired by now I am sure. I am certain it was his teachings that made some cracks in my skull so the truth about adventism could sink in. I learned first from him that the early Christians were worishiping on Sunday and there is nothing wrong with Sunday worship. I was actually dialoguing with him about EGW on FB when I discovered she was a false prophet and SDA a cult. So he got all my emotion around that deal. He told me to run not walk. Interesting. I know he is SDA still, but I also know he doesn't subscribe to the crazy doctrines they have. He is in a different church almost every weekend, so hopefully it will set a lot more SDA's on the journey OUT of the church as they hear the real gospel. God has messengers inside the church I believe. He has a new series on Revelation I just started listening to. Nothing like SDA's rant on it. Kathy
Post Number: 14413
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 5:15 pm: || |
Lyrical and Kathy, I completely resonate with your posts. I heard Morris Venden at WWC when I was a freshman, and he totally lifted the anxiety and sleepless nights that had tortured me for years. From him I learned that I didn't have to analyze every behavior that I did.
It felt like an awakening to me. Yet as I looked back, I realized I still had all the Adventist worldview in place, and I STILL didn't know how to fully please God. I still couldn't explain why Christians who had the law written on their hearts still didn't keep the Sabbath.
Here's how I see this now. God uses absolutely anyone He chooses. As you pointed out, Lyrical, even people preaching from false motives can be used by God if a listener has a hungry heart. Lee preached more truthfulness about Jesus than historic Adventism gave you. And God used that seed to awaken your love for Jesus, and He drew you out of the organization because He got your attention there.
I have a couple of observations from this perspective, though. First, I heard Lee tell his conversion story on Saturday, too. I'm sure he has told it many times...that event when he was 18 and was awakened and the Bible became alive. And get this...he teared up and had to quit speaking as he told about hearing those guys say they had been praying for him. Now I'm not saying that isn't real. I tear up when I tell my story, too. But you know, Lyrical, how God didn't leave you there and proceeded to pull you entirely out of the deception into the freedom of His beloved Son.
Lee has been 25 years in Adventism since that day. He's on the payroll; he's endorsing a cult...and—I listened carefully—he didn't preach any repentance, and he didn't preach about Jesus shedding His blood for sin. He did mention Jesus dying for us, but he didn't talk to them about blood atonement or the need to repent.
I do believe God uses Adventists for His purposes, and I do believe He uses Lee (and Gary and Herb Montgomery) for His purposes. He even used the unbelieving Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar for His purposes, aiding and protecting Israel in various ways, especially as He impressed Cyrus to provide supplies and protection to the Israelites to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild after their exile.
But the effectiveness of their messages is more about the receptivity of the hearers, because those men are truly not presenting the biblical gospel. (Well, I can't speak about Herb Montgomery; I haven't hear of him or heard him.)
I know that, as we were processing out of SDA, there was a period of months or a year or so when we had opportunities to speak about Scripture and Jesus and the gospel. We had moments when we could talk to Adventists (we were still Adventist at the time) about what we were learning, etc. But I realized, as time went on, that if I refused to walk through the next open door God held in front of me, my ability to speak clearly and effectively for Him would become limited. I could only speak with authority about what I was personally allowing God to do.
But God did use Morris Venden to begin my being able to see Jesus more clearly. Had I stayed with Venden's teaching, I'd be SDA still. But a layer of fog lifted a bit. God used that in my life.
People who remain in a false religion with a false gospel and continue to endorse that false religion, regardless of what they teach, but staying in and giving people the impression that staying is OK, are compromised. Only God can know what to "do" about them, but God can use absolutely anyone to get our attention.
A person preaching truth is far more effective; moreover, James tells us that teachers are held to a double judgment because their teaching can lead people astray. It is a serious thing to stand before the Lord Jesus as a teacher...especially if one is not teaching Scripture accurately.
God gave you freedom, Lyrical, at exactly the time He chose and in the way He foreknew. You did not receive Jesus because of Lee; you received Him because you opened your heart to Him when He revealed Himself to you. And He did it when Lee talked about grace in a way you had never heard before. God used him in that way. And as you said, accepting this fact with humility has been a long, difficult journey. For whatever reason, God knew He was going to walk with you through that process for your good and for His glory.
You can know that He chose the time and the venue, and He did the calling, the heart-softening, the heart-changing, and the Spirit-sealing work in you!
Post Number: 14415
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 5:23 pm: || |
Kathy, I'd just like to suggest that, if you're going to study Revelation, that you study something written by someone who is NOT still Adventist. I understand that Montgomery doesn't have the usual SDA "rant", but I'm certain he won't have the view of Revelation that ties it to the Old Testament and shows how God ends the story He began foretelling before Jesus even came.
If you are leaving Adventism behind (which I know you have!), your Bible study really needs to be with people who similarly have seen the true nature of Adventism and have opened themselves to the Scriptures and to reading them with completely un-"culted" eyes.
I'd recommend a great Revelation study by John MacArthur that walks through the book chapter by chapter and shows references to places in the OT where similar passages and ideas are used. It's called Because The Time Is Near.
Post Number: 1084
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 7:00 pm: || |
I am so glad that you have responded in the way you did to the posts of Lyrical and Kathy~
Especially paragraphs 10-13, in post #14413.
Now about the Revelation Study~ my belief is~ do NOT study it from "anyone" who in
any way, is still, or even could be, coming
from an adventist viewpoint!
John MacArthur is a well respected Christian pastor, his study on
Revelation, "Because The Time Is Near", should be a "must" Study, for all Christians!
You will only be more confused if you chose to mix a person's studies, who has Not broken
away from adventism, with a "Christian".
It is like "oil & water"! can't be done!
Post Number: 66
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 9:51 pm: || |
Lyrical's post really resonated with me. When I was still SDA, Lee Vendon came to the church I was attending. By that time though, I was so emotionally detached from Adventism (struggling with many doubts) that I half-heartedly attended some of his meetings. Many of the Adventists that I had become friends with were excited about his message. The reason your post resonates with me is related to why I ended up staying in Adventism for so long even after having major misgivings from the start. My spouse and I came in through an evangelistic seminar. Upon joining the church I immediately felt like "what in the world have we gotten ourselves into?" Within just a few weeks of joining, a particular woman invited me to certain Bible study and Sabbath school classes both taught by an individual who was influenced by Morris Venden, among others. I was immediately impressed with his style and his knowledge, as well as the personalities of those who went to those studies (these were Adventists I could tolerate and even like). The emphasis was God's character and the great controversy theme. When I was in Adventism, I was so hungry to hear about the gospel, Jesus and his grace (but I wouldn't have been able to verbalize that at the time). Therefore, when I landed upon this particular teacher and group of individuals, it was a breath of fresh air compared to the other more traditional Adventists and especially what came from the pulpit week after week. However, this lulled me into complacency for awhile. It wasn't until I became immersed with historic Adventism that I became so discontented that I began to really study my way out of Adventism. I've thought a lot about this particular teacher. I believe he was sincerely committed to rightly presenting the character of God, but I see know that he was deceived. I remember that he read a lot of EGW, and I was always so impressed that his Bible studies seemed so profound.
I also remember many of these individuals discussing some of the hot issues in Adventism but at the same time not being fully aware of the import of these discussions (being the new-bee that I was). They were sincerely seeking God, but I know now they were very aware of the problems in Adventism and not afraid to discuss them. Yet they've stayed in Adventism. I could go on. I, too, and puzzled by these types of things.
Post Number: 26
|Posted on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 10:20 pm: || |
Thank you for the recommendations. I just purchased the book from Amazon. Should be here in a couple days.
Post Number: 179
|Posted on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 7:11 am: || |
Thank you, Colleen, for writing what you did. When Lee shared his conversion testimony in our meetings, he also was very emotional. I get that, as I'm always emotional when I share my story too. What you said, however, about moving forward from that point is so true and that's what confused me about him for so long. (Of course, Lee's story is still not finished, so who knows if there might be a different path for him ahead...? Perhaps I'll add him to my prayers.) Anyway, as I look back, I see how God very persistently and steadily over several years led me from one truth to the next, slowing unveiling my eyes. At each "intersection" I knew which way to go and had to keep moving. Stagnating or denying the truth in front of me just wasn't an option - period. It would be like denying Christ. So, I guess that's what makes me wonder about Lee's conversion story... Why did it stop 25 years ago? I know that's kind of a rhetorical question and there aren't human answers to something that only God knows, but it has been a journey to understand and trust that God works in mighty ways, even through those who are deceived. In fact, a MAJOR component to my own conversion involved an SDA couple who are some of the most un-godly people I've ever known! Go figure... ;-)
Yes, it was God who gave me the freedom and I most definitely did not receive Jesus because of Lee. It was a Holy Spirit thing, for sure! But, I think God allowed me to hear the confirmation of basic truths through Lee that He had already spoken into my heart. I truly believe God filtered out what I needed to hear to affirm my faith in Jesus alone. I suppose I just feel really sad for Lee and wish he had what I have now... He doesn't even know what he's missing.
Goodday2u, What you shared is an example of the fear I have about gospel/Jesus-oriented Adventism. It lulls people into thinking that Adventism has it all, distracts from the doctrines that actually drive the denomination, and makes it even more confusing. Nonetheless, part of this journey for us is having faith and knowing that God does pull people out of darkness and that His sheep will hear His voice all in His perfect timing!