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September 2007

Volume 1, Issue 1

PRISONERS OF
HOPE
EDITORIAL

Zech 912: Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today
do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
What joy fills my soul when I read the promise given by our Lord in
the above verse. What delight courses through my veins to know that
my God offers deliverance to all that would come to Him in faith. What
gladness consumes me when I realise that Gods‟ stronghold is Zion and
that it is a symbol of His salvation. What cheerfulness is introduced to
my life at the knowledge that He is Zion‟s defender. What unbridled
elation to know that by faith, I, a PRISONER OF HOPE, shall see Him
face to face when He shall return to claim His own!!

We, who look forward to His soon appearing in the clouds of the sky,
are all Prisoners of Hope. In seeking for a title for this humble offering
that we wish to render the chosen of God, the power of the imagery in- INSIDE THIS ISSUE
troduced by the prophet Zechariah in relation to the children of Israel
Editorial ..................................... .1
who at that time were dispersed came to the fore. It classically de-
What Would Jesus Do ............... .2
scribes many an aspect of our pilgrimage upon this earth and yet in-
Right Arm of the Third Angel…..3
spires us to remember that we have no abiding city here. We are truly
They Will Disbelieve the
pilgrims and strangers in this land, trapped as it were in a prison from
Testimonies................................ 4
which we know that the Author and Finisher of our faith shall come to
Lift up Your Heads .................... 4
deliver us. We hold on to the hope that burns within our hearts and con-
Contact Details........................... 7
stantly lift up our heads in the knowledge that our redemption draweth
nigh.

We pray that you will be blessed by the material that we will put to-
gether on a monthly basis for you and that as the time when the earth
shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea draws
nearer by the day, that we will be transformed daily into His likeness.

Nkomo NV
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO PART 1...BY THANDI NKOMO

“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." Ellen G. White, LS, 196. Our pioneers were very definite when it came to which amusements
were appropriate for God‟s people. They were definite for God Himself had told His prophet what He approved of
and what would lead us upwards. And of course in the beginning, we were all of one accord on the issue. It was as
obvious to them as not eating pork is to us. So what happened? Why did we suddenly stop doing what Jesus would
do? How did it happen?

The prophet of the Lord wrote “Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure
is the theater. Instead of being a school of morality and virtue, as is so often
claimed, it is the very hot-bed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful
propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs
, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes, deprave the imagination and debase
the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be
corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to
poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish
for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life, than theatrical amusements
The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence, as the desire for
intoxicating drink strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun
the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement.
—Testimonies, Vol. 4, pp. 652, 653. (Emphasis Supplied)

That the theatre is a den of iniquity cannot be argued. Not only the movies, but the TV is a monster waiting to eat
up our morality, our purity and our time with God. Just thinking of it now makes me want to weep. It was bad
enough attending movies. Though we were SDA, no-one ever told us not to go, and we were just surface readers of
the Word, so Phil 4:8, 9 meant nothing to us. You didn‟t have to go to the movies and pay a lot for one ticket to see
impurity, evil, spiritualism-you just had to turn on the TV. You would find all the adultery and fornication you
wanted on sinful programmes like The Bold and the Beautiful. There was certainly nothing „pure, just, holy‟ and
virtuous about such programming. And spirituality was rife (I‟m sure it still is.) People would return as ghosts,
there were series like Charmed where there were good(?) witches fighting together with good (?) demons against
the forces of evil. Of course these „good‟ witches did their fair share of bed-hopping and having illegitimate witchy
babies.

“Though we were SDA, no-one ever told us not to go, and we were just
surface readers of the Word, so Phil 4:8, 9 meant nothing to us.”

Now not all programmes were as obviously sinful. There was My Wife and Kids. I used to enjoy that programme
so much once I started becoming aware of others. It was (I thought) a good family programme. But Phil 4 tells us
„whatsoever things are TRUE.” And the events certainly weren‟t true. Then there was the changing boyfriends and
girlfriends…The problems in this programme were brought to my attention by a THREE year old, can you believe
it? This child was raised to watch only good programmes and the parents were quite vigilant with what she and her
older sister watched. We were all watching TV one day and My Wife and Kids was on, the son had a girlfriend and
they kissed and the little 3 year old days “Mummy, switch it off, that boy kissed that girl and they‟re not married.”
That was a rebuke from heaven and her mother did switch it off! (in real life that same „boy‟ ended up making his
girlfriend pregnant..! Pure indeed!)

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But why is it that no-one ever taught us young people not to watch movies and to be extremely selective about what we watch
on TV? What was the history behind this decline in standards? After all we have the testimony of EGW that we weren‟t to ex-
pose ourselves to such?

We began by heeding her counsel as given by God. (Comments in brackets are the au-
thor‟s)

1881 - Battle Creek Sanitarium: Autumn Council, held recently in Des Moines, Iowa.
Recognizing the need of lifting up a standard against every influence that threatens the
life and well-being of the church (these days we ourselves are bringing in the threaten-
ing influences); and,
WHEREAS, The moving-picture or other theaters are becoming more and more a
menace to morality and destructive of spirituality, in many cases leading to a false and
lowered standard of life (how many movies, comedies have I seen that contain sex with someone not their spouse?); therefore,
Resolved, That this Council declares its emphatic disapproval of attending moving-picture theaters and other questionable
places of amusement, and calls upon our workers, church officers, and lay members, young and old, to refrain from this evil
practice.
Realizing that we are living in the last days, when men are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,” (are we willing to
forgo that pleasure if it means losing our spirituality?)
Resolved, That we warn our people against the spirit of this pleasure-loving age, and the commercialized amusements so
prevalent.
Francis M. Wilcox wisely stated.”We can never save our youth and children by arranging programs in our institutions or
churches which make constant appeal to their love of entertainment. Indeed, where this appeal is continually made to their na-
tures, they will lose interest in the solemn, sober realties of Christian service. They will tire of the meeting for prayer, of the
preaching of the gospel, of the study of the Sabbath school lesson.”……….To be continued

RIGHT ARM OF THE THIRD ANGEL

We are to present the principles of health reform before the people, doing all in our power to lead men and women to see the neces-
sity of these principles, and to practice them." Testimonies, vol. 6, 379.

"The question of health reform is not agitated as it must and will be." Counsels on Diet and Foods, 304.

"A responsibility to spread the knowledge of hygienic principles rests upon all who have enjoyed the
benefits of health reform." The Home Missionary, July 1, 1892.

"We are amid the closing scenes of this world‟s history, and there should be harmonious action in the
ranks of Sabbathkeepers. Those who stand aloof from the great work of instructing the people upon
this question do not follow where the Great Physician leads the way. „If any man will come after
Me,‟ Christ said, „let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.‟ Matthew 16:24."
Testimonies, vol. 6, 378.

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Why is Health Reform so Important?
"As our first parents lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, our only hope of regaining Eden is through the firm denial of ap-
petite and passion." Ibid., vol. 3, 491.
"His [Christ‟s] example declares that our only hope of eternal life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to
the will of God." The Desire of Ages, 122.
Greatest Hindrance to Spiritual Life
"God requires continual advancement from his people. They need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental
improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly. Indulgence of appetite is
the greatest cause of physical and mental debility, and lies largely at the foundation of feebleness and premature death. Let the indi-
vidual who is seeking to possess purity of spirit bear in mind that in Christ there is power to control the
appetite." Review and Herald, February 24, 1910.
"The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this
point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan." Testi-
monies, vol. 3, 491, 492.
"One of the strongest temptations that man has to meet is upon the point of appetite." Ibid., 485.
"Let him who is struggling against the power of appetite look to the Saviour in the wilderness of tempta-
tion. See Him in His agony upon the cross, as He exclaimed, „I thirst.‟ [John 19:28.] He has endured all
that it is possible for us to bear. His victory is ours." The Desire of Ages, 123.
"Men and women cannot violate natural law by indulging depraved appetite and lustful passions, and not violate the law of God.
Therefore He has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us, that we may see our sin in violating the laws which He has
established in our being." Testimonies, vol. 3, 161.
"God has shown that health reform is as closely connected with the third angel‟s message as the hand is with the body. There is no-
where to be found so great a cause of physical and moral degeneracy as a neglect of this important subject. Those who indulge ap-
petite and passion, and close their eyes to the light for fear they will see sinful indulgences which they are unwilling to forsake, are
guilty before God. Whoever turns from the light in one instance hardens his heart to disregard the light upon other matters. Whoever
violates moral obligations in the matter of eating and dressing prepares the way to violate the claims of God in regard to eternal in-
terests." Ibid., 62, 63. ….Continued on p5

THEY WILL DISBELIEVE THE TESTIMONIES


Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Luke 2425
I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of
continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived
in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt
among us.
5T 217
I have been shown that unbelief in the testimonies of warning, encouragement, and reproof is shutting
away the light from God's people. Unbelief is closing their eyes so that they are ignorant of their true
condition. 3T 255
Satan is . . . constantly pressing in the spurious--to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of
Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the
people perish" (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agen-
cies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony. Letter 12, 1890.
My brethren, beware of the evil heart of unbelief. The word of God is plain and close in its restrictions;
it interferes with your selfish indulgence; therefore you do not obey it. The testimonies of His Spirit call
your attention to the Scriptures, point out your defects of character, and rebuke your sins; therefore you
do not heed them. And to justify your carnal, ease-loving course you begin to doubt whether the testi-
monies are from God. If you would obey their teachings you would be assured of their divine origin. 5T 234
I have been shown that the greatest reason why the people of God are now found in this state of spiritual blindness is that they will
not receive correction. Many have despised the reproofs and warnings given them. 3T 255

4
They may read the Bible, but its threatenings do not alarm or its promises win them. They approve things that are excellent, yet
they follow the way in which God has forbidden them to go. They know a refuge, but do not avail themselves of it. They know a
remedy for sin, but do not use it. They know the right, but have no relish for it. 5T 221
Many cling to their doubts and their darling sins while they are in so great a deception as to talk and feel that they are in need of
nothing. They think the testimony of the Spirit of God in reproof is uncalled for or that it does not mean them. 3T 253/254
What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who have cast aside His warnings and reproofs, and have accredited
the testimonies of the Spirit of God to no higher source than human wisdom? TM 465/466
One thing is certain: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan's banner will first give up their faith in the
warnings and reproofs contained in the Testimonies of God's Spirit. 3SM 84 ……..Continued on p7

from p4….You need clear, energetic minds, in order to appreci-


ate the exalted character of the truth, to value the atonement, and
to place the right estimate upon eternal things. If you pursue a
wrong course, and indulge in wrong habits of eating, and
thereby weaken the intellectual powers, you will not place that
high estimate upon salvation and eternal life which will inspire
you to conform your life to the life of Christ; you will not make
those earnest, self-sacrificing efforts for entire conformity to the
will of God, which His word requires, and which are necessary to give you a moral fitness for the finishing touch of
immortality." Ibid., vol. 2, 66.
God’s Requirement
"God requires all men to render their bodies to Him a living sacrifice, not a dead or a dying sacrifice, a sacrifice which
their own course of action is debilitating, filling with impurities and disease. God calls for a living sacrifice. The body,
He tells us, is the temple of the Holy Ghost, the habitation of His Spirit, and He requires all who bear His image to
take care of their bodies for the purpose of His service and His glory.
„Ye are not your own,‟ says the inspired apostle, „ye are bought with a "Our condemnation in the judg-
price;‟ wherefore „glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which ment will not result from the fact
are God‟s.‟ [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.] In order to do this, add to virtue
knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience. that we have been in error, but
[2 Peter 1:5, 6.] It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the from the fact that we have ne-
very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the
light which God has graciously given. If we close our eyes to the light glected heaven-sent opportunities
for fear we shall see our wrongs, which we are unwilling to forsake, our for learning what is truth."
sins are not lessened but increased. If light is turned from in one case, it
will be disregarded in another. It is just as much sin to violate the laws
of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments, for we cannot do either without breaking God‟s law. We can-
not love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength while we are loving our appetites, our tastes, a great deal
better than we love the Lord." Ibid., 70.
"Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we
have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth." The Desire of Ages, 489.
"At this time, there is a people whom God has made the depositaries of His law. To those who obey them, the com-
mandments of God are as a pillar of fire, lighting and leading the way to eternal salvation. But unto those who disre-
gard them, they are as the clouds of night." Ibid., 27.
"Says Paul: „Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.‟ Why should we not do this, when we have such an inducement, the
privilege of becoming children of the Most High, the privilege of calling the God of heaven our Father? Is not that
enough? And do you call this depriving you of everything that is worth having? Is this giving up everything that is
worth possessing? Let me be united to God and holy angels, for this is my highest ambition. You may have all the pos-
sessions of this world; but I must have Jesus; I must have a right to the immortal inheritance, the eternal substance."
END.

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LIFT UP YOUR HEADS

“So, likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is
near, even at the doors.” Matt 24:33 “Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for renewed respect for Sun-
days as he celebrated Mass at St Stephen's cathedral in the heart
All Roads Lead To Rome of Vienna. "Give the soul its Sunday, give Sunday its soul," the
Pope said, quoting a phrase coined by a German bishop in the
How true ring the words of the Bible; “Who is like unto the
20th Century.” BBC 9 Sept.
beast”. As we daily follow the portentous signs showing that our
Saviour will soon return, it is amazing to those that do not be-
lieve the Bible how Rome is getting more and more involved on
Creation Groaneth
the political stage but for us who hold dear the Word, these One of the signs listed in Matthew Chapter
things have been foretold that we not be found asleep by the 24 that the coming of the Lord is at the
coming of our Lord. The month of September saw much activity door is the rumblings of nature - of which
involving dignitaries from the Middle East heading to the Vatican we had a number in the last month. Snip-
and I have no doubt that something key will happen in that re- pets from newspapers are quoted below:
gion soon. Below are some excerpts . Given the importance of the
Nicaragua - The death toll from Hurricane
region, especially Jerusalem in Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and
Felix rose to more than 40 on Thursday as
Islam, it is a key region to watch at this late hour.
rescuers searched the seas and civil defense
In this photo from the Vatican newspaper workers reached isolated communities devastated by the Cate-
L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict gory 5 storm. Scores of others remained missing. The ocean was
XVI welcomes Israeli President Shimon filled with debris, preventing a rescue mission from coming
Peres for their private audience at the ashore in Sandy Bay, where the eye of Felix made landfall Tues-
pope's summer residence of Castel Gan- day with catastrophic 160 mph winds and a storm surge esti-
dolfo, on the outskirts of Rome, Thursday, mated at 18 feet above normal tides.
Sept. 6, 2007. The 35-minute meeting between Benedict and
Mexico - Hurricane Henriette pounded an already flooded north-
Peres was the first since the veteran statesman and Nobel Peace
ern Mexico with driving rain and shrieking winds on Wednesday.
Prize laureate became president in July . Shortly after the meet-
The storm ripped down street signs and tore off roofs on the Baja
ing, whether or not by coincidence, Benedict held talks on the
California peninsula and damaged thousands of homes. Even
Middle East situation with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al
before it hit the mainland, rain from the storm's outer edges
Faisal
caused caused widespread flooding.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has said he
Typhoon Wipha has hit China's densely populated eastern coast
is ready to call a ceasefire with rebel groups
but will probably miss the country's financial hub, Shanghai, offi-
ahead of peace talks next month over the Dar-
fur region. He was speaking in Rome, where cials say.
he met the Pope, who voiced his "heart-felt Typhoon Fitow has brought high winds and torrential rain to
hope" for the success of the talks. central Japan, killing one person and leaving several others miss-
ing.
Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara discussed with Pope Bene-
dict XVI Wednesday the problems of Iraqi refugees in Syria and Heavy rain has been falling in Texas after Hurricane Humberto,
the Middle East situation, a Vatican statement said. Shara also the first hurricane to hit the US Gulf coast in two years, came
handed the pope a "personal message" from President Bashar al- ashore on Thursday.
Assad, the statement said, adding that Shara also met the Vati-
can's equivalent of foreign minister, Dominique Mamberti Final Thought

Echoes From The Dark Ages Given the mission of the current pope to “unite” all faiths,, and
the effort he has put into his mission is it pure coincidence that
As the time of tribulation draws ever closer by the day we under- for the first time in a very very long time Easter and Passover
stand that the mark of the beast is to be urged upon man and this were celebrated at the same time this year and that Rosh Hasha-
month we heard more rumblings that have a strange bent to simi- nah and Ramadan began on the same day this month!!?Highly
lar noises that were heard shortly before and during the dark symbolic I would hazard.
ages.
6
"The Lord designs to warn you, to reprove, to counsel, through the testimo-
nies given, and to impress your minds with the importance of the truth of His
word. The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly
upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man's duty to God
and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God's word, yet but few
of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out; but
God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and
PRISONERS OF HOPE in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress
the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse. 5T 665
While the contributors of this
newsletter are SDA’s that attend It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of God's people in the Testimonies. Next
Mowbray Church, the views ex- follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our
pressed herein do not necessarily position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march
reflect the views held by the lead- to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted
ership of the church and should be
and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he re-
understood to have been written
independently of the church’s
doubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes
input. incurable and ends in destruction. 4T 211
There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The
workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this
reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind
up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the
Spirit of God are heeded. Letter 40, 1890
The enemy has made his masterly efforts to unsettle the faith of our own peo-
ple in the Testimonies, and when these errors come in they claim to prove all
the positions by the Bible, but they misinterpret the Scriptures. They make
bold assertions, as did Elder Canright, and misapply the prophecies and the
Scriptures to prove falsehood. And, after men have done their work in weaken-
ing the confidence of our churches in the Testimonies, they have torn away the
barrier, that unbelief in the truth shall become widespread, and there is no
voice to be lifted up to stay the force of error. This is just as Satan designed it
should be, and those who have been preparing the way for the people to pay no
heed to the warnings and reproofs of the Testimonies of the Spirit of God will
see that a tide of errors of all kinds will spring into life. They will claim Scrip-
ture as their evidence, and deceptions of Satan in every form will prevail. Let-
ter 109, 1890
And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Te-
koa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah,
and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be
established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 2 Chron 2020

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