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Pat's Paragraphs

July 2016

Dear LLT Friends,

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks in the arena of religious liberty, both here and abroad.

In California, SB 1146 passed both the House and the Assembly, threatening the very existence of Christian higher education in California. According to Alan Reinach, Esq.,

“The ongoing efforts to amend the bill have revealed the underlying goals and motives of bill sponsors: to bludgeon religious colleges into submission. Harsh language, yes, but true. The goal is to force these institutions to abandon their biblical beliefs about marriage and human sexuality, or at least, to abandon their policies and practices rooted in those beliefs as a condition of being allowed to exist.”

On the international scene, Russian President Putin signed into law a measure prohibiting any kind of religious evangelization outside of churches.

The law blocks the sharing of faith in any place that is not a government-sanctioned house of worship. Foreign missionaries will not be allowed to speak at churches unless they have a work permit from Russian authorities. Any kind of discussion about God with non-believers will be punishable by law. Religious activities even in private homes will be illegal. Anyone from the age of 14 found to be preaching will be subject to prosecution, and all citizens are required to report religious activity to the authorities or face punishment themselves.

Freedom of conscience and the right to live according to your beliefs are under attack. But this spirit of intolerance is not new. “The Wandering Day” reveals the same antagonism toward personal liberty clear back in the 1930s. The proponents of Calendar Reform were ready to ride roughshod over the consciences of religious minorities. Like tyrants of ages past, they claimed that any hardship befalling nonconformists would be their own fault.

What shall we do, in times like these?

We need to be alert to what’s happening in the world around us. There are still plenty of opportunities for sharing the truths we love, but this won’t last forever. The enemy is at work, bent on closing doors, hardening hearts, and confusing minds. People need to hear the truth about the true nature of life and death, about the love, mercy, and justice of God. They need to hear the end-time invitation to the Sabbath rest and a restored relationship with their Creator.

Jesus is coming! May God give us voice and opportunities!
Friends, we urgently need your prayers and financial support as we continue to produce and distribute videos like “The Seventh Day” and “Hell and Mr. Fudge.” Our documentary on death, hell, and the hereafter is not yet finished. We cannot move ahead until adequate funds are in hand. We are praying daily for God to impress friends like you to invest in this work. There will be eternal dividends.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We cherish you.

In Christ, 


PS. If you’re attending the ASI Convention in Phoenix, please come by my booth for a visit. #534.

Breaking the Sabbath-Creation Link
I’ll never forget the conversation I had with a Sabbath-keeping physician nearly 14 years ago. He confessed that, as a scientist, he could not believe the Genesis account of Creation. He hastened to add, however, that his non-belief in Creation had no bearing whatsoever on his commitment to the Bible Sabbath. I have replayed his words many times over the intervening years, and I am still challenged by the clash of contrasting ideas.

You may fairly judge me as being a bit narrow-minded on this. But please give me at least a little credit for trying to find a way to make sense out of the Sabbath without its connection to Creation.

Actually, I’ve had some "success:"
  • I could go along with the idea that Moses (or some other author/editor) wrote the first chapters of Genesis proleptically. That means that the Sabbath was written into the second chapter of Genesis even though it did not yet exist. The idea was that readers, thousands of years later, would make the Sabbath-Creation connection. But this undermines both the first two chapters of Genesis and the Fourth Commandment.

  • I could accept the premise that the Jews got the Sabbath from Babylon during their exile. This is a popular view among scholars. They claim that key portions of the Old Testament were written after the exile, and the Sabbath was written in – again –  proleptically. In this case I would have to swallow the supposition that the Babylonian and Jewish Sabbaths were of a similar nature. That wouldn’t be easy, since the Babylonian Sabbaths were governed by the lunar cycle; the Jewish observance was tuned to the rhythm of the continuous week. More than that, the Babylonian Sabbaths were inauspicious, unlucky days; the Jews celebrated the Sabbath as the most delightful, joyful day of the week.

  • I could simply ignore the Ten Commandment Sabbath and its link to Creation as irrelevant to me as a Christian. I could accept a weekly day of worship that honors the resurrection of Jesus – certainly a worthy cause for joy and celebration. But then I would need to overlook the fact that Jesus Himself made proper Sabbath keeping a high-priority matter. And I would have to ignore Revelation 14:7 and its end-time call for a return to the worship of the Creator. The language there is a clear reference to the Sabbath Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) which, in turn, refers to the Creation story in Genesis 1 and 2.

That leaves me back where I started. I have not found a satisfactory way to separate the Sabbath from Creation. Of course, no one would mistake me for a scientist. 

-Jim Wood

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