whyvoneenee:

On Facebook, there was a post in a forum that asked this question:

Yesterday, during church service the pastor asked if the devil had power! A couple of know-it-all Christians all said, “Yes, he does.” The pastor said, “No, he does not!” From a biblical perspective, “Do you think the devil has power.”

I wanted to answer this thoroughly, but the rules of the forum dictate for no direct Bible quoting, so here is my answer:

So, the Bible, when describing Satan, paints him as pretty scary, and also pretty powerful. 1 Peter 5:8 describes him as a lion, and the book of Revelation uses the imagery of a dragon. In Ephesians 6:11-12, the demons under him are described as “forces” or “principalities”. All of that is pretty powerful imagery. We know that the devil and sin are responsible for all the sorrow in this world, as John 10:10 says that “the thief”, who is also Satan, seeks to “steal, kill, and destroy.”

But an important verse to look at is John 14:30, which says (in the NLT), “…the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me.” Satan is the ruler of this world, because this world is all about sin and ungodly things. That’s why he was able to say that he could give the world to Jesus while he was tempting Him (Matthew 4:8-9). But compared to God, Satan is nothing. He has only the authority that God grants him, as demonstrated in Job. That’s why 1 Corinthians 10:13 can say that we will not be temped beyond what we can handle; not only because God has authority over Satan, but because God always has our back. God has all the authority, and in that way, He has all the power. That’s why when when the Bible says to arm oneself against Satan, it’s always through God. James 4:7 says “Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. Satan will flee because the power of God is behind you.

So, in short, my answer is that Satan does have power, but our God is more powerful than anything he can do.

Anonymous asked: I'm 21 and is their any groups or clubs for us young adults? Since I'm to old to join the pathfinders lol

Hi, Anon! For the purpose of simplicity, I’m gonna assume you’re talking about Adventist groups/clubs :P.

In direct answer to your question, I don’t think there really is much outside of Adventist Youth, which is sorta the official Adventist thing after Pathfinders. I think. Though I’m sure there’s other non-official stuff floating around. You might find that some public schools in your area have an Adventist club or some such, but if you feel you’ve outgrown Pathfinders, you might feel a little outta place there. Unless you find something at a community college or nearby state college or university. A number of them have an Adventist Campus Ministries organization, though it’s not centralized and I’m half-certain it’s unofficial. You might find one in your area. :)

On that note though, many churches around colleges (Adventist or not) will have, in Yvonne’s words, “unofficially official” young adult groups. Even if you’re not in college, you can generally find one around.

On the other hand, there really is no real age limit for Pathfinders. Sure, there’s a minimum age bar for each badge level, but the higher ranks don’t have a prerequisite rank. In my home church growing up, the pathfinder group was run by two people who themselves were working from the ground up. Alternatively, you could even look around to nearby Adventist churches and see if there’s an opening to lead a Pathfinders group. 

Anyways, I hope this helps. God bless, Anon. :)

-Howie

notahairdresser asked: I'm trying to seek out fellowship on tumblr in order for my dash to be more "God-concious." So I stumbled upon ya'll's blog here. But I find myself here not knowing...What is a seventh day adventist? I am asking out of genuine curiosity. Thanks.

Don’t worry, we’re taking you seriously :).

Believe it or not, this isn’t actually an uncommon question. We’ve had it three times before. To boot, we seem to fly under the radar. Dunno why, really. I guess we try not to call attention to ourselves?

/shrug

Anyways, the general basis of SDA-ness is that we do our best to take the Bible for its word, while applying context. We kinda hold it as the be-all/end-all of stuff, and nothing outside the Bible itself is allowed to alter it to fit anything else.

Of course, context always helps. But that’s not modification: that’s clarification. 

The part where I’m guessing people are a little turned-off is that most of us believe one of our founders named Ellen G. White, who lived in the 1800’s, was a prophet. She outlined the idea of the Great Controversy (the struggle between Satan and God over people offered salvation) and our health message (which was super ahead of her time and scientifically sound). In any case, she never added anything or overturned anything biblical. She kinda meant to be supplimentary to the Bible, adding clarification.

Anyways, that’s the long and short of it. Thanks for the ask, and I hope my answer here is helpful :). God bless.

-Howie

kpatata asked: I have a friend that's interested in learning about God... I want to give her studies myself... How should I go about doing that without coming on too strong or scaring her away?

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Hi you two!

Since your questions are somewhat similar, I thought that answering these together would be helpful. Also, I’m super excited that you are willing to help your friends in seeking God.

I actually don’t have much to say, except be willing to be open. Offer to have Bible studies with them if they want, and try to answer questions as clearly as possible (but concise when it calls for it). If something comes up in conversation, don’t be afraid to get into it. Yet, do so “with salt”, rather than hitting someone over the head with a Bible. Be ready to experience a little friction, because your friends didn’t grow up in the church and some things may not make sense the first time it’s seen. Especially if they are from a different culture, there may be things that local Christian culture does that seems strange. Despite all that, rely on the Bible first. If there’s something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to do research. Also, you will probably have to get personal, because God is a personal God. It’s nerve-wracking, I completely understand that, but your testimony could help them understand some things. And, most importantly, keep praying and asking God to lead you in what to say or do. He is with you on this and will prepare you with what is necessary.

Some verses that you could look up (for encouragement) are:

  • Acts 1:8
  • 1 Peter 3:15-16
  • Romans 10:14-15, 17
  • 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (and beyond, if you’d like)

Blessings! And I hope this helps!,

~Yvonne

Anonymous asked: where in the bible does it say that it is a sin to get a tattoo.. I have really been wanting to get a cross along my pinky finger. Can you explain why it is wrong to get a tattoo.

Hello,

The Bible only specifically mentions people getting tattoos in one verse, which is Leviticus 19:28:

Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.

There’s not a lot of context for this verse, and the reason for this command has been up for debate for a while. This verse is a part of a chapter reminding Israel to keep itself holy, so it goes from things like “Don’t rob your neighbor” and “Don’t practice witchcraft” to “Don’t trim your beard”. Some say that this is a part of the old covenant or only applied to tattoos for pagan religions and so it should be discarded. Since the Hebrew word for “tattoo”, qa‘aqa, is only used once in the Bible, there is not much to draw upon. (source)

Though not directly addressing tattoos, many people cite 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 when defending against getting tattoos:

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

This concept of the body being the Temple of the Holy Spirit is one of the driving reasons why Adventists traditionally do not get tattoos, the reasoning being that since our bodies act as temples for God, He must have made them without need of anything else, and so anything like a piercing or a tattoo would be similar to defacement of a church. Along with being made in the image of God and our call to live modestly, this is why many people believe it’s wrong to get tattoos.

However, I urge you to look into this topic yourself. This is a decision you must make for yourself, and so you should understand your convictions behind what you choose, whichever that is.

I hope this helps,

~Yvonne

Anonymous asked: Hi (: How does the whole investigative judgement thing work? ((:

Hi,

So, whether you realize it or not, you’ve asked a pretty heavy question. :P

The Investigative Judgement belief is one of the things that make Adventism unique, as in, no one else has this belief. In our 28 Fundamental Beliefs, it’s explained in number 24, “Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary”. I’m going to try and unpack this as best as I can, without being overwhelming. Hopefully.

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Anonymous asked: Hi so I'm really confused because I deactivated twitter about 3 months ago so I could concentrate on God and school more and it worked a bit but I am having temptations to go back on twitter. I feel if I do go back, I'd be disappointing God and myself. I understand satan always finds things to distract us from God, etc, but would it be bad if I went back? Can I go back but manage my time wisely between God, school, and twitter? Or would it be giving in to temptation?

Hello, Anon.

You know, I actually searched for a LONG time trying to find something biblical or EGW-related that touched on this sort of subject. Initially, I mentally compared your efforts to a fast, as my read-through kinda gave me the impression that what you’re trying to do here is a temporary thing. You can thank Yvonne for that shifted mindset :).

Oddly enough, there seems to be nothing biblical or White-written that actually supports a fast from anything other than food or drink. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

First, I’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that the reason you decided to set aside your twittering is because you felt compelled to. I’m going to assume you (in whichever order) prayed on the matter and acted on that compulsion. 

in this case, if you’re looking for encouragement, keep in mind that you did not part from the activity on impulse. That’s actually rather important when trying to remain strong in your dedication to a choice. You made your decision for a reason, and unless something’s changed, that reason still stands. 

And simply put, if you still felt that compulsion after your prayer and consideration, it’s fairly safe to believe that God’s the one who set that path in front of you. And to that end, Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NLT) states:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 

Wisely managing your time is something that Ellen White talks about to great lengths, though on numerous points and topics. Enough so to assume that it’s a thing that she believed imperative to every aspect of life. For example, she wrote in the Review and Herald:

Parents should act their part with earnestness. They should practice self-denial, and refrain from extravagance in dress and in the furnishing of their homes. The time given to display should be devoted to the educating of their children so that they may meet the approval of God. They are not to be molded after the standard of the world, but after the standard of heaven. {RH June 24, 1890, par. 3}

And while I’ll say that her words are not on level with the Bible, or canon, there is wisdom in this.

Simply put, if you made the decision on conviction, you should stay the path. If God wants you there, that’s where you should be. Time spent on twitter could always be better spent otherwise, but thought the same can be said for most things we participate in these days, it’s still good to remember that.

Whether or not you should go back to twitter, though, depends on whether or not God still wants you to abstain. You know yourself, but God knows you better. My suggestion is further prayer and consideration, not for permission, but for guidance in the matter, and for strength to keep going.

I hope this helps. God bless.

-Howie

Anonymous asked: hello, so basically i see no point in worrying about college and my future (i'm in high school) since the end of times is so near. now, that doesn't mean i'm not going to try and go to college and get a career etc. i just see no point in worrying so much about that stuff? is that a bad way of thinking?

Hi,

I would say it’s not a bad way of thinking…. it’s just not the best way. Yes, Jesus said He is coming soon (Revelation 22) and we are in the Last Days. However, we still don’t know necessarily when “soon” is. Matthew 24:44 says, “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected." Jesus could come now, in a year, 10 years from now, 20 years from now…, you get the picture. There’s a saying that goes "Live live Jesus is coming this evening; plan like He’s coming after you die." We should always be ready for His return, but being aware of the future, and whatever it holds, is essential too. I think the mindset to take with this is to make sure that when He does come, you are prepared for it. Also, aim for a life spoken of in Colossians 3:16-17:

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

I hope this helps!,

~Yvonne

porclineheart98-deactivated2013 asked: Hey I really love this blog! I've been Adventist my whole life, and it's been in my family line for multiple generations.. Now that I'm growing up, I've acquired a questions about the faith. A major one that I have is why is it exactly that we still keep the law of the Clean/unclean food? If all the other old testament laws have been done away with (excluding the 10 commandments of course) what makes the food laws so special? Are there any bible versus that could clarify this for me? God bless(:

Hello,

This question has a number of layers to it, and a bit of history.

Back when the Adventists first started up, we didn’t have any special rules about what we ate and didn’t eat. That only changed when Ellen G. White had her visions on the health message in 1863. Then, the main concentration was against pork, and it was just from the health viewpoint and not from the Bible. It was only starting in 1866 that the Bible started being referenced, and then only as a supplement. In 1872, James White started delving more into the Bible as a support for not eating pork, but didn’t go into the other meats. Afterwards, vegetarianism was encouraged and pork was practically banned, but Adventists didn’t really have a strong view about clean and unclean meats until the 1890s, once Ellen G. White started writing about the Israelite lifestyle in Patriarchs and Prophets. In it, while speaking about the Lord’s instructions for Samson’s diet to his parents, she said:

The angel’s prohibition included “every unclean thing.” The distinction between articles of food as clean and unclean was not a merely ceremonial and arbitrary regulation, but was based upon sanitary principles. To the observance of this distinction may be traced, in a great degree, the marvelous vitality which for thousands of years has distinguished the Jewish people. …There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. The appetite should ever be in subjection to the moral and intellectual powers. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body. (source)

She mentioned it again in 1905 as she wrote Ministry of Healing, saying:

….[T]he Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results. The use of swine’s flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean. (source)

Yet, she promoted vegetarianism above such a diet and never stated that not eating unclean foods should be a distinction between believer and non-believer. Yet, as time progressed, it became more and more evident that the foods that God warned Noah and the Israelites not to eat were scavenger animals, containing toxins in their bodies.

What more, from further study of the Bible, we have not seen to date any verse that has declared that the dietary laws do not apply anymore. You can view two of our previous answers on that topic here and here, and there is also some good commentary about that from William H. Shea on this document (go to page 19). But, in short, let’s consider what Jesus said in Matt. 5:17-18:

Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.

The purpose of the sacrificial laws and the punishment for sins was to point to the sacrifice of Jesus. He fulfilled that need for us to do that, so that law has been fulfilled. When it comes to dietary laws, that is to help our bodies function as best as they can. That need is going to be relevant to us until the Second Coming.

I hope this helps,

~Yvonne

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selfmadesuperwoman asked: I just wanted you guys to know that this blog is the only reason I made a tumblr in the first place! It inspired me to make one of my own and kind of minister to the people of the internet. Although I haven't been on in awhile (AP this, AY that lol), I've always browsed your site for a good laugh or to answer my questions. Keep up the good work you guys. Y'all are awesome, and God is using you in such a way you can't eve imagine! Good luck in your relationship as well! God bless :D

!!! Thank you so much for your appreciation. We appreciate you too! And we definitely know what it’s like to not be on in awhile. :P Thank you once again and God bless you!

~Yvonne