2018 September/October Issue

FIGHTING FOR OUR FAMILIES


 


FEATURES

13 Payday Loans and the Fight for Economic Justice
by Ruthven Philip /
Welcome to the cycle of hell where ends don’t meet.

14 Separating Children at the Border: What’s at Stake
by Alva James-Johnson /
They quoted scripture, yet the Bible clearly provides for “people on the move.”

16 Flipping the System
by Patti Thomas Conwell /
Meet Madeline McClenny-Sadler, an advocate for Restorative Justice.

18 Putting Up Guardrails: Keep our kids out of jail
by Patti Thomas Conwell /
Focus on these techniques to hold them safe and close.

20 Five Teachings Your Family Needs for Spiritual Preparedness
by Sonya and Derrick McCollum /
Start here. Start now. Reach your own family for Christ.

22 Got Guilt?
by David Defoe /
It’s been too many years, and you’ve shed too many tears. Time to live free.

28 No Counterfeits in Glory
by Donald L. McPhaull /
How many of us came to be duped by the greatest scheme in history.

FAVORITES

4 ELEVATION
by Phillip McGuire Wesley /
Media That Takes You Higher

5 EDITORIAL
by Carmela Monk Crawford /
When They Come for the Children

6 EYE ON THE TIMES
by Edward Woods, III /
Changing the Narrative

8 OPTIMAL HEALTH
by Donna Green Goodman /
Supplements

11 RELATIONSHIP Rx
by Willie and Elaine Oliver /
He’s Always Late!

12 BOUNCE BACK
by Kim Login-Nowlin /
SWEET RELIEF

24 FUTURECAST
by Carlton P. Byrd /
Jesus’ Promised Coming in Revelation

26 THE EXPERIENCE
by Ellen G. White /
THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND

27 THE EXPERIENCE BIBLE STUDY
by Rashad Burden /
HERE AND NOW

30 POWER PLAYLIST
by Eugene Anthony /
God Will Never Leave You!


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Elevation 2018 September / October

Media That Takes You Higher

God’s purpose for our lives is to be in a consistent state of elevation. Through His wisdom, power, and grace He continues to lift us up each day. Stay elevated with us as we bring to you encouragement through books, music, and apps. 

BOOKS

Make Your Voice Heard In Heaven, by Barry C. Black

Dr. Barry C. Black has had many opportunities to pray before many government leaders—during a brief government shutdown, and at the National Prayer Breakfast. U.S. Senate Chaplain, Dr. Black’s book Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven shows us how to pray with power and conviction so that God will hear.

Buy at Amazon

Music

Naturally 7 “Both Sides Now”

A capella virtuosos, Naturally 7, released their seventh studio album recently. The group’s positive music brings impact in spiritual melodies social consciousness. An added feature is the guest appearance of Kevin Olusola (Pentatonix) on cello. Olusola’s instrumentation is the only one you find on this album. Naturally 7’s vocals provide all the sound effects that any of their albums needs. Be encouraged today with the Naturally 7 sound!

Buy on Amazon

The MEGA Project presents: Sherice Tomlin “Get Your House In Order”

McGuire Entertainment Group has released its first single from the compilation album, The MEGA Project. The goal of the project is to minister to souls world wide while presenting talented Christian independent artists. Sherice Tomlin is the first to deliver the live version to “Get Your House In Order.” This song is smooth, catchy and puts a praise in the atmosphere. The message in this song is simply for us to get ready for the Lord’s return. Our time is short. The Lord is about to crack the sky, my friend, will you be ready to meet Him?

Buy on Amazon

Apps

Water For the Thirsty brings you a refreshing taste of the Word of God. Each day they provide devotionals, Bible verses, and elevation for your spirit. The Word is simply refreshing! www.waterforthethirsty.com

Send your information for review to: info@mcguireent.com


The greatest thing you can do every day is to seek elevation in your relationship with Christ. The Holy Bible, will help lift you closer to Jesus. Whether you use an app, a music player, or a paperback book to draw closer to God, know that He is waiting to meet you.




No Counterfeits In Glory

Most believers are totally unaware that there has ever been a need to be wary of counterfeit worship.

In a world where image trumps character, it’s not unusual to find counterfeits of designer label products being sold as the “real McCoy.” Oftentimes winked at in polite society, counterfeiting offers a way of appearing to live the high-life, when one has to live on a budget.

Fake goods may trouble the average consumer, partly because of the ethical issues; but, safety is a far more serious concern. Often of inferior quality, bogus health and beauty products may actually cause harm. Consumer Reports Magazine notes, “At best these. . . will not perform as well as authentic ones. At worst, they can fail catastrophically with potentially fatal consequences.1” CNN Money notes that annually, $461 billion in counterfeit goods are sold globally.2

That large figure, pales however, in comparison to the very large number of believers, fooled by the greatest counterfeit scheme in the history of humanity. Although bogus as a $3 bill, there is an exercise in counterfeiting that has found acceptance among God’s people. Astonishing, given the Bible’s strong imperative that the redeemed should be capable of “. . . rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Still, most believers are totally unaware that there has ever been a need to be wary of counterfeit worship.

Angel Warning

As we conclude our examination of the three angels’ messages of Revelation chapter 14, we find counsel regarding worship. Understandable, given that worship is the central focus of Lucifer’s rebellion.

That God is worthy of worship is undeniable. Likewise, it is undeniable that Satan/Devil wants our worship, too. Track down his manifesto in Isaiah 14:12-14. Lucifer, as he was then called, wanted to be like the Most High. In Matthew 4:9, 10 the devil attempted to secure the allegiance and worship of Jesus by offering the Lamb of God the riches of the world.

Tracking down the origins of most counterfeit goods in our society may not be possible. Nevertheless, the origin of counterfeit worship is indisputable. It can be traced directly to Satan/Devil.

Obedience at the Heart

In this solemn and dire warning, Revelation 14:9 cautions, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. . .”

The messages of the three angels in Revelation 14 begin and end with a focus on worship, not on the substance of worship, nor on the style of worship. No, this call to worship is unmistakable. We are called to worship the Great God of Heaven, and Him only. Any worship that either disregards the Word of God or that is directed at anyone other than the Lord God, is counterfeit worship.

Furthermore, the angel made a direct correlation between our worship of the Almighty God, and our obedience to the will of God. Think of worship and obedience as the twin escorts, which guide believers into the Kingdom of God.

Read what Paul said about worship and obedience in Romans 6:16. There’s no ambiguity. The one we obey is the one we worship. Choosing to obey the Lord is an act of worship resulting in life everlasting. Choosing obedience to the devil is likewise an act of worship leading to everlasting destruction.

Behind the Scheme

Beware of counterfeit worship and its consequences, which is the essence of the third angel’s message. But, that message goes far beyond merely offering a warning regarding counterfeit worship. It also spells out the penalty this bogus worship system brings to those who follow it. They face suffering the wrath of God being poured out upon them, full strength, without the benefit of either grace or mercy.

The counterfeit system of worship orchestrated by Satan is an attempt to replace God’s commandments with the teachings of men. Rather than worshipping God, on the seventh day, as He commanded, (Exodus 20:8-11) the false system of worship has substituted the first day of the week. The net result is counterfeit worship.

Daily around the globe, consumers unwittingly purchase fake merchandise. Likewise, most believers have unwittingly embraced a counterfeit religious system that owes its authority to the doctrines of men, and not the Word of God.

The third angel warns against counterfeit worship, worship as directed by the beast, which receives its authority from the Dragon. Who is the dragon? Revelation 13:2 identifies him as Satan. Then, who is the beast? The beast is symbolic of a system of worship that finds tradition and human commandments subverting the Ten Commandment law of God.

According to Daniel 7:25 the beast attempted to change God’s law. Ezekiel 22:26 tells us, “Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have put no difference between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” The only earthly organization claiming the prerogatives to adjust both God’s Ten Commandments and the day of worship is the Papacy.

Can we know which system of worship claims our allegiance? Absolutely. A child of God can know whether they are true worshippers according to the will of God, or partakers of a counterfeit system of worship that will ultimately end in destruction. We can know ourselves. We need but compare ourselves with those the Bible says are truly on the Lord’s side. In Revelation 14:12 we read, “Here is the patience (steadfastness) of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

Real or counterfeit? The choice is ours.

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This article is part of our 2018 September/October Issue
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DONALD L. McPHAULL, M.S.W., has enjoyed 30 years of ministry and is currently the senior pastor of the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church in Los Angeles, California.




Here and Now

William Miller, Harold Camping, James Harmston. What do all of these men have in common? They all thought they knew the exact day that Jesus coming back. Many of us grew up hearing that Jesus was coming “soon,” yet here we are, living life. So what was it that Jesus meant when he said that “The kingdom of heaven is at hand?”

1) Read Matthew 4:17

Jesus makes a bold claim and command: “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17, NLT). I wonder if the people of that time had heard that before as we have? If you knew that Jesus was coming to tomorrow would there be anything you would do differently? What would it be? Let us know here at Message on Social Media using #MessageMag.

2) Read Matthew 4:17, 1 John 1:9

Why would Jesus begin this statement with a call to repent? I’ve made some mistakes in my life but I’m not a bad person and I bet you feel the same, right? If the Kingdom is at hand, does that really mean I have to say sorry for all I’ve done? What do you think? Let us know online using #MessageMag.

3) Read Matthew 4:17, Matthew 6:33

Not long after He declared that “the kingdom of God is at hand,” (KJV), Jesus went up on a mountain and preached a sermon. In the midst of that sermon He elaborated on the concept of His “Kingdom.” He also said that His Kingdom and “His” righteousness should be the priority in our searching and seeking. Why would He call a place a “he”? Give us your thoughts online using #MessageMag.

4) Read Matthew 4:17, Luke 2:36-38

Is it possible that the Kingdom that Jesus spoke of wasn’t a place, but rather a Person? Even before Jesus started His ministry and preached about the Kingdom the Holy Spirit led several seekers to the Kingdom and the grace for which they had been waiting. What could this mean? How could people look at a child and see the Kingdom of God? Share with us your opinions using #MessageMag on Social Media.

5) Read Matthew 4:17, Matthew 2:1-5

How sad it would be for the Kingdom to have shown up and yet the people who were waiting for it, miss it. It seems that’s what happened when Magi came to Herod. They were looking for a King and Kingdom but no one else was. The King had come and no one knew but a select few. How could this happen? Is it possible it could happen again? What do you think? Let us know using #MessageMag.

6) Read Matthew 4:17, Luke 17:20-21

Jesus implied  several times that the Kingdom of Heaven is not just on its way, but rather it is already here. He said this in or around AD 30. It is now 2018. What is going on? Did we miss it? Were we not ready? Has God forgotten about us? What answers can you give us? Share using #MessageMag.

7) Read Matthew 3:1-2, Mark 1:14-15, Mark 14:25, John 14:1-3

The Kingdom of Heaven is Jesus. Yes, there will be a place where that He has prepared for us, and will take us, but His Kingdom is available to us now, in Him. Let us not be like the people of old who were so focused on the Kingdom coming that we miss out on the Jesus that is right in front of us here and now. 

Call us if you find you have questions, want to talk, or want to pray with someone: 1-855-463-2273, or, 1-855-God Cares.

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Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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This article is part of our 2018 September/October Issue
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Jesus’ Promised Coming in Revelation

For many years, preachers, teachers, theologians, and churchgoers alike have all proclaimed that the coming of Jesus is very soon. “Get your house in order;” “your redemption draweth nigh;” and “the end of the world is near” are just some of the phrases that have been echoed in churches, on street corners, and in revival meetings. Despite these passionate pleas for vigilance, we have been desensitized to the urgency of Christ’s coming. Our current “postmodern” society, and perception of Christ’s delay in redeeming His people from this earth contribute to our lack of readiness.1

The Bible’s book of Revelation, however, makes it very clear that Jesus is coming–“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him!”2 Notice in this encouraging promise the word “shall.” “Shall” doesn’t suggest speculation, supposition, or conjecture, but rather, definite promise, guarantee, and surety. Jesus is coming!

Revelation not only assures us that Jesus is coming, but it also confirms for us that He’s coming real soon! Jesus says in Revelation 22:20, “Surely I come quickly.”3 This statement of Jesus regarding the imminence of His coming is a reiteration of what He said in Matthew 24 when He described that state of the world just before His coming.

And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’ And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’4

Many of the aforementioned occurrences have either transpired or are transpiring. Deception, calamity, strife, natural disasters, and false prophets are rampant in our world. Globally, the climate of war is also escalating by the minute. And while we may experience daily tests and trials, there is still hope! Jesus is coming and He’s coming soon!

Revelation closes by telling us that Jesus wants to spend eternity with His people, and is coming for those who love and obey Him.5 Persons who do not love or obey Him would be unhappy to live infinitely with Him and reside in the Holy City.6 Yet, Jesus desires for everyone, regardless of background or past, to accept Him as their personal Savior. He wants you, me, and all of humanity to live with Him eternally. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”7

Praise God for the following promises: 1) Jesus is coming; 2) His coming is soon; and 3) He wants us to be ready when He comes enabling us to live with Him forever!

With these words, may our collective prayer be, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”8

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CARLTON P. BYRD, D.MIN., is Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the speaker and director for Breath of Life Television Ministries.

*All scriptural texts are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.

1 Revelation 7:1-3

2 Revelation 1:7

3 Revelation 22:20

4 Matthew 24:3-13

5 John 14:15; Revelation 22:12, 14.

6 Revelation 22:15.

7 2 Peter 3:9

8 Revelation 22:20.



This article is part of our 2018 September/October Issue
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“The Kingdom is At Hand”

Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel Mark 1:14, 15.

The burden of Christ’s preaching was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Thus the gospel message, as given by the Savior Himself, was based on the prophecies.

The “time” which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. “Seventy weeks,” said the angel, “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy” Dan. 9:24.

A day in prophecy stands for a year. (See Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6.) The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,” sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years, Daniel 9:25. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of B. C. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A. D. 27.

According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A. D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. “The time is fulfilled.”

Then, said the angel, “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years].” For seven years after the Savior entered on His ministry, the gospel was to be preached especially to the Jews; for three and a half years by Christ Himself; and afterward by the apostles.

“In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice
and the oblation to cease” Daniel 9:27. In the spring of
A. D. 31, Christ the true sacrifice was offered on Calvary. Then the veil of the temple was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance of the sacrificial service had departed. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and oblation to cease.

The one week—seven years—ended in A. D. 34. Then by the stoning of Stephen the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel; the disciples who were scattered abroad by persecution “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4); and shortly after, Saul the persecutor was converted, and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.

The time of Christ’s coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus.

      Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand” Matthew. 24:15.

from Ellen G. White’s The Desire of Ages, the chapter entitled “The Kingdom of God Is at Hand.”*



This article is part of our 2018 September/October
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ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlineboks.




When They Come for the Children

When the Trump Administration enforced a zero-tolerance policy for all undocumented crossings at the United States’ southern border this past spring, we faced a moral crisis. The immigration policy—not law—had the effect of separating parents from their children so that the adults could be detained for prosecution.

Of the approximately 2,500 children seized and placed in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services custody since April 2018, most have been reunited with their families according to The Washington Post fact-checkers. Approximately one quarter of the children, remain in shelters or with foster families at the time of this writing. (Washington Post, August 10, 2018)

Breaching, Not Preaching the Word of God

What made zero-tolerance, the high rate of child detentions, and the heartbreak of the families worse, was the invocation of the Word of God as cover for the humanitarian crisis created. 

“Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution” said United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

What would happen if my time with my children got cut short?

We’ve Been Here Before

I’m reminded that this is not the first time that our government has permitted the creation of an orphaned people through involuntary separation. American slave trade permitted that all the time.

Henry “Skip” Gates has investigated hundreds of documents detailing the state of families under the slave trade in America. One such story is told of wealthy Charleston, South Carolina plantation owner and human trader Elias Bell. Bell’s records indicated a penchant for investing in “young negroes”—ages 10, 11, 12. He purchased six of them from the slave ship Hare in 1756.

“If any of the children had parents on board, they never saw them again,” wrote Gates in The African Americans (Gates, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The African Americans Many Rivers to Cross, Smiley Books, 2013).

Of course, scripture tracks some of its most prominent personalities in similar scenarios. The baby Moses escaped ethnic cleansing in a home-made basket, only to be picked up by Pharaoh’s family, yet providentially nursed by his own mother. Joseph’s brothers sold him into bondage, and he was trafficked into Egypt, never to see his mother again. Young men such as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego became symbols of conquest in the hands of haughty rulers, away from their homeland, family and childhood religious practices. Samuel, though voluntarily surrendered to the Lord’s service by his mother Hannah, was just a mere tot.

When They Come for Mine

What would happen if my time with my children got cut short? How would any child discern the loving concern of a Heavenly Father in the midst of the chaos and cruelty performed in the name of His righteousness?

Prolific and inspired writer Ellen G. White often examined the role of parents in what she viewed as momentous and sobering times. Daily deposits of parental love, she said, and godly counsel secure children in crisis, even in the absence of their parents.

Joseph learned from his father: “The early impressions made upon his mind garrisoned his heart in the hour of fierce temptations and led him to exclaim, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (White, Ellen, G. Child Guidance, Southern Publishing Association, 1954, p. 197.)

Moses learned from his mother: “Knowing that her child must soon pass beyond her care, to the guardianship of those who knew not God, she the more earnestly endeavored to link his soul with heaven. She sought to implant in his heart love and loyalty to God. And faithfully was the work accomplished. Those principles of truth that were the burden of his mother’s teaching and the lesson of her life, no after influence could induce Moses to renounce.” (White, Ellen G. Education, 1903)

Our mission, as parents is to prepare our children: “Have you taught your children from their babyhood to keep the commandments of God?…You are to teach them to form characters after the divine similitude, that Christ may reveal Himself to them. He is willing to reveal Himself to children.” (Child Guidance 489.6)