July, 2017

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The Sabbath Threatened

Many Sabbath-keepers expect that the Sabbath will one day be threatened by civil enforcement of Sunday observance.  The Sabbath is, however, threatened by something else that is more subtle but no less able to undermine the Sabbath.  The threat comes from a popular view of salvation that makes Sabbath-keeping irrelevant.

The popular view of salvation is that it is a gift that is offered freely to all by the death of Christ and that no one has to do anything more than to accept it.  It sounds very good, but there is a problem.  The problem is highlighted if we attempt to answer a simple question: Can anyone claim this free gift and be denied it?  To this question, the Bible gives a clear answer: Yes!  Over and over, it is made clear in the Bible that simply claiming to accept Christ without obeying Him is worthless!

It would be exhausting to try to quote every verse that makes that point.  A few should suffice.  Here are a few:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4).

James’s Argument

Those who claim that faith in Christ is all that is required for salvation, usually quote the Apostle Paul but ignore James entirely.  They also ignore Peter’s warning that there are some things in Paul’s writings that are “hard to be understood” and that people who are “unlearned and unstable wrest” “unto their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16).

James’s argument is clear that a faith which ignores keeping the Ten Commandments is worthless.  In fact, he says we will be judged by the Ten Commandments Law, which he calls “the law of liberty” – the same law that says: “Do not commit adultery” and “Do not kill” (James 2:11, 12).  This is the same law that says we should keep the Sabbath!

James goes on to ask, quite pointedly: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” James 2:14.  He answers his own question by saying: “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20).  He says, further: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24).

Understanding Paul

 If we would follow the popular argument, we would be led to think that James contradicts Paul and that James is less authentic than Paul and so, can be ignored.  There is no need for such confusion if we understand what Paul is saying.  The secret is to understand what Paul is talking about when he refers to the Law.  Here is a sample of Paul speaking about the Law:

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” Gal. 3:13.

What “curse” is he speaking about and what “law”?  Popular theology will say that it is the “curse” of trying to be saved by law-keeping, the “law” in this instance being the moral law – the Ten Commandments.  Needless to say, this is absurd! God could never tell us not to steal or murder and then when we try to obey Him, He says that we are cursed. Nonsense!  Paul explains clearly the law to which he refers and what the curse is in verse 10 of the same chapter.  He says:

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Gal. 3:10).

The Book of the Law

 Paul is speaking about the “book of the law”!  What is that?  It is the entirety of the laws of the Mosaic system.  If you recall, the issue was circumcision.  Some people wanted new converts to keep the Mosaic Law.  Paul said, no!  He refers to Deut. 27:26 which says: “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.” (Deut. 27:26).  He went on to tell the Galatians that if they insisted on being circumcised, then they are debtors to do the whole law – “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” (Gal. 5:3).

Paul gives the duration of that Mosaic Law System by telling us that “the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after” God’s covenant with Abraham, “was [past tense] our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Gal. 3:17, 24).  This fixed duration from Moses to Christ was applicable to the Mosaic system as a whole and not to the moral law specifically.  He further addresses those who wanted to be under the law by saying: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law” (Gal. 4:21).  Obviously, he was speaking to people who wanted to continue under the Mosaic system of laws.  He could never have been referring to the moral law specifically, as no one could ever possibly desire to be under the law in reference to the moral law.  To be under the moral law means to be under the condemnation of the law.  No one could ever desire that!

Having concluded that no one had kept the Mosaic Law perfectly and hence would have been under the curse, Paul points to Jesus, through whom that whole Mosaic System had been done away.  He refers to it as the middle wall of partition” (Eph. 2:14) between Jew and Gentile and as something “contrary to us” (Col. 2:14).  The context explains why Paul would describe the Mosaic Law System in that way.  Gentiles used to be accepted into Israel if they were circumcised and kept the Mosaic Law, as God’s intention was that His house was to “be called an house of prayer for all people” (Isa. 56:3-7). But these strangers and eunuchs were like second class citizens within Israel.  Under the new dispensation, which was specifically revealed to Paul – a mystery that was previously “hid in God” (Eph. 3:9), “Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). 

A New Body – The Church

In this new body, the Church, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.   And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:28, 29).

Paul’s entire message revolved around this special revelation that was given to him.  It was a message of freedom for both Jew and Gentile.  To the Gentile, especially, who were previously without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), this was salvation from “dead works”, meaning, works of the flesh or sinful things.

Works of the Flesh

Unfortunately, many people have missed the point entirely and would dare to categorize keeping God’s moral law as “works of the flesh”, which the Bible clearly identifies as “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like”, of which the Apostle Paul goes on to say that “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21). These are the very things that the Ten Commandments forbid!  How could keeping the commandments of God be considered contrary to God or irrelevant?  Nonsense!

The Grace that Brings Salvation

The critical thing to note is that being saved from “the rudiments of the world” and the “tradition of men” or “commandments and doctrines of men” (Col. 2:8, 20-22), makes us “heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29) given to Abraham.  There is nothing in the promise given to Abraham that even remotely suggests that obedience to God is therefore irrelevant.  Rather, Paul emphasises that we must be “zealous of good works” and “rebuke with all authority” in accordance with that truth.  He says:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Titus 2:11-15).

Be Vigilant

So, in closing, we must beware that the Sabbath is threatened.  The threat is not so much at this time by the enforcement of Sunday, which will certainly come. But before it comes, the basis for keeping the Sabbath is being eroded before our very eyes without many realizing it.   If all someone needs to be saved is to claim the free gift of salvation, without any further requirement, then of what relevance is Sabbath-keeping to a Sunday-worshipper who has already accepted Christ?  Certainly, a Sabbath-keeper would be free to keep the Sabbath, as a personal choice, but what is the basis for introducing it to others who are already saved?  Let us awake and be vigilant!  We do well to heed the counsel given by the Lord through Ellen G. White, God’s messenger for these last days:

“The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God’s people should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition and worship they know not what.

I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance.” Ellen G. White, Testimonies Vol. 5, page 707.

The sad thing is that people are teaching error and they don’t want anybody to say anything about it!  How long can this continue?

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)

Previous presentations can be found at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/

The greatest weapon against ignorance

There is hardly a greater recipe for degradation than ignorance.  Ignorance leads to slavery, poverty, wickedness and destruction.  When people believe a lie they don’t have to be overpowered.  They will defeat themselves.  The greatest weapon against ignorance is truth.  Truth is authentic knowledge.

Some people may say that a ball is white because they see only the side that is white while others may say that the ball is black because they only see the side that is black.  Both sides may argue indefinitely that the ball is only the colour that they see.  If the ball is half black and half white, the people with authentic knowledge may simply turn the ball so that both sides can see the other side.

Knowledge is power.  For those who want authentic knowledge, the pursuit is endless.  For those who want to subjugate others, the most effective tool is to keep them ignorant.  In the dark ages, the priests kept the word of God in Latin and forbade anyone to translate it into the language of the common people.  By so doing, the people were forced to believe only what the priests told them.  The Scribes and Pharisees did a similar thing in the time of Jesus.

But light broke out because Jesus, His disciples and later on, the Reformers, were brave enough to endure ridicule, persecution and even death to bring the truth to the people.  The leaders of the Protestant churches, in the days of the Seventh-day Adventist pioneers, forgot how their various movements got started and put these early pioneers out of their churches because the pioneers told others about the Second Coming of Christ.

Truth and not suppression

How different the history of the world might have been if religious leaders over the years would simply use truth to combat error rather than resort to suppression.  But no, the enemy of truth would not allow that.  The most potent weapon against truth is suppression.  If truth is known, it vindicates itself.  There is no fear for error in the face of truth.  No one will be sealed, that is, be settled into the truth both spiritually and intellectually so that they cannot be moved, simply by their not being exposed to error.  The fear of exposure comes only from the side of ignorance or error.

The Bereans were commended for not only receiving the truth but having received it, went and searched it out whether those things were so.  The Bible says of them:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:11.

Love and religious liberty

As the world approaches the final crisis, God’s people will once again face persecution as efforts will be made to silence them.  For us, who have a message that will be unpopular to the world, we must pave the way for people to hear the message by preaching and practicing religious liberty.  If we practice intolerance towards those who differ from us we will have nothing to say when the same is meted out to us when we seek to preach our unpopular message in a hostile world.   By our love and patience, we must let others know that we have the spirit of Christ.

In the final analysis, only truth can combat error – both the error that we seek to dispel as well as the error that we ourselves might unwittingly have.  The Jews were God’s chosen people and they had the truth but not all of it.  And God does not always choose the established Rabbis or teachers as the persons to use as the foremost ones to advance further light.  Jesus was not taught by the Rabbis and He did not seek their permission to teach the truth.  Paul, after his conversion, went straightway and started to preach the truth.  He said he did not confer with anyone to get permission.  He said:

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me” – Gal. 1:15-17.

 “And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.  And they glorified God in me.” – Gal. 1:22-24.

 When the church saw the work that Paul was doing, they simply acknowledged that God was leading him.  They did not judge his authenticity by whether or not he had gotten their permission.  They judged it by the authenticity of the truth that he preached.  Let us, by God’s grace seek the truth as for hidden treasures and recognize that truth is the greatest weapon against darkness and ignorance.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)

Previous presentations can be found at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/

Why should we keep the Sabbath?

It is one thing to do something but the reason for doing it is most critical.  Your reason for doing it will determine how far you will go in sticking to doing it.  Such is the issue that is now being contemplated in relation to the Sabbath.  Why should we keep the Sabbath?  It is one thing to keep it, but why should we keep it?  Our answer will determine whether or not we will keep it when doing so might place us at variance with the powers of this earth even to the point of possibly losing our lives.

Speaking of the creation, the Bible says:

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” – Gen. 2:2, 3.

God did something special in relation to the seventh day of creation week.  He blessed it and sanctified it or set it apart for holy use from the very first week of creation.  But does that make it necessary for us to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath every week?  What if we decided that it was a good idea to keep it but it was inconvenient in the present circumstances so we will keep Sunday instead or keep no day at all?  Would we be at odds with God?  Could we, for example, lose salvation for it?

Does it have anything to do with our salvation?

Modern theology would say that we are saved by faith alone, that salvation is a free gift and it has nothing to do with our actions because we are not saved by works.  So, if we have accepted Jesus, can we then forget about the Sabbath?  Some theologians would say that we keep the Sabbath because we are saved; we do not keep it to be saved.  But that does not answer the question.  If we are saying that once you are saved, you will keep the Sabbath, what then are we saying about the billions of people who claim to have accepted Jesus but they are not keeping the Sabbath?  Is it that they are not saved?

Oh, we would promptly say that Sabbath-keepers are not the only Christians, and we are right.  But that is inconsistent with the idea that you will keep the Sabbath if you are saved.  Is it that some people keep the Sabbath because they are saved while others who are equally saved choose not to keep it?  Is keeping the Sabbath therefore optional?

If keeping the Sabbath is optional, then what is the value of insisting that people keep it even if it is inconvenient?  If they will not lose salvation for not keeping the Sabbath, then why insist upon it?  And certainly, the matter of going to jail over it or losing your life over it would be a ‘no-brainer’, as some would say.  In other words, that question would not even arise, as it would seem foolish to risk that much.  So, the question remains, why keep the Sabbath?

God’s instruction

The answer is simple. God said we should keep it!  God spoke from heaven audibly and wrote with His own fingers on tables of stone in what we call the Ten Commandments, saying:

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” – Ex. 20:8-11.

God’s command is unequivocal!  In the same way that He says we should not murder people or tell lies on them (bear false witness), He says we should keep the Sabbath!  Now, some people would say that since Jesus came, it is a new dispensation and we are no longer required to keep the Ten Commandments, and it is only the things that Jesus specifically commanded  that are important, which, to them, does not include keeping the Sabbath.  How convenient, to explain away keeping the Sabbath!  But, not so fast!

Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would have been destroyed, and this would be after He would have been resurrected and would have ascended back to heaven.  In warning His disciples to flee from Jerusalem before the destruction Jesus told them to pray that their flight would not be on the Sabbath.  He said:

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day” – Matt. 24:20.

Obviously, if the Sabbath was not going to be important at that time, there would be no need to mention it.  Any mention of it, if it was no longer going to be important, would have seemed to make more sense if the advice was that they should not worry themselves whether or not they had to flee on the Sabbath.  But that was not the advice.  Rather, they were told to consider the Sabbath important to the point of them needing to pray over the matter, that they would not need to flee on the Sabbath.

And lest someone thinks that that is not sufficient to establish the continuing importance of the Sabbath, it is clearly stated that those who will overcome the Mark of the Beast crisis in the last days would be those who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).  There are no commandments that could better qualify to be regarded as the “commandments of God” more than the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath commandment is the fourth of the ten.  So, God’s instruction that we keep the Sabbath still stands.

Think again

So, back to our main question: Why should we keep the Sabbath?  We should keep the Sabbath because God says we should keep it.  Now, people can say that we are not saved by keeping the commandments and insist that our works do not save us, but the more critical issue is: Can we choose to disobey or ignore God’s instructions and dare to think that God will welcome us into heaven?  Think again!

We must ask ourselves whether we do good service to the billions of people who claim to have accepted Jesus but are disobeying God’s instruction to keep the seventh-day Sabbath when we tell them that we are saved by grace alone and that our salvation is not in any way dependent on what we do.  When we tell people that we do not keep the commandments to be saved, that we only keep them because we are saved, are we speaking the honest truth or are we playing games?  Since we are already saved without needing to commit ourselves to keep God’s commandments, can we then choose to ignore them?  We must ask ourselves whether keeping the Sabbath is just a good thing to do or whether it is something that God also requires of us.  And finally, we must ask ourselves whether we can claim a place in God’s kingdom if we choose to ignore an explicit instruction from God to keep the seventh-day Sabbath.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” – Acts 17:30.

 “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)

Previous presentations can be found at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/

Preparing for the final crisis

The Bible speaks of a time of trouble before us that is worse than anything that has ever been seen in the history of the world.  This will be the final crisis that God’s people will face just before deliverance at the second coming of Christ.  We are told:

“and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Dan. 12:1).

 For many people, life is fairly normal but it will not necessarily remain that way for very long.  Trouble is brewing in the world and it is all pointing in the direction that has been prophesied.  We do not know when the crisis will break, but the systems are slowly but surely being put in place.  The final crisis is described as one in which no one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the Mark of the Beast.  Eventually, those who do not conform to that system will be put to death.  The Bible speaks of a super power in the world that will enforce the system of the Mark of the Beast as follows:

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev. 13:15-17).

 Now more than ever

There was never a time in the history of the world when the available technology made it as possible for persons to be tracked and for people’s ability to buy and sell to be controlled.  There has never been as much worldwide fear of terrorism and a willingness of persons to fall in line with the systems of this world in order to secure their own safety.  The Mark of the Beast involves a system of conformity worldwide in breach of at least one of God’s Commandments.  The main characteristics of those who will overcome the Mark of the Beast are that they “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12).

There is only one commandment that is universally breached in a manner that fits the description.  It is the fourth of the Ten Commandments that involves keeping the seventh-day Sabbath.  We are told:

“The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted.  When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.  While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator.  While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” (Ellen G. White, Great Controversy pg. 605)

It has been customary among Sabbath-keepers to identify the Mark of the Beast by a two-step process.  First, they would use the characteristics given in Revelation 13 to identify the Beast and then they would look among the distinguishing features of that system to see what its mark is.  This approach may become less and less palatable as time goes by as the world is moving in a direction that frowns upon anything that appears to speak against other religions.  They see it as intolerance and hate speech.  But the message must be presented.  We must find creative ways of presenting the same message.  Another approach has been used in a small 20-page booklet by Colin A. Gyles entitled “The Love Which Overcomes the Mark of the Beast”. It identifies the Mark of the Beast based on the commandment involved, without getting into the matter of who the Beast is.  This approach may become more and more useful as time progresses.

God’s people in the last days

God’s people in the last days were given the name Seventh-day Adventists because it identifies the two distinctive features of faith in the last days –

 “We are Seventh-day Adventists.  This is a fitting name, for we keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, and look for the second advent of our Lord in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  Even with respect to the name indicating some of the peculiar points of faith distinguishing us from other Christians, we are denominational.  In keeping the Sabbath that God declares should be kept holy as a sign between Himself and His people, we show to the world that we are His peculiar people, chosen people – a people whom He has denominated.” (Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases Vol. 19 pg 40)

 “Do not these words point us out as God’s denominated people?  And do they not declare to us that so long as time shall last, we are to cherish the sacred, denominational distinction placed on us?  The children of Israel were to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations ‘for a perpetual covenant.’  The Sabbath has lost none of its meaning.  It is still the sign between God and His people, and it will be so forever.” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, 8/4/1904)

  Quite distinct from God’s denominated people, the wine of Babylon, which identifies the other side of the controversy, is specifically the doctrines of Sunday sacredness and the immortality of the soul.  We are told:

 “The wine of Babylon is the exalting of the false and spurious sabbath above the Sabbath which the Lord Jehovah hath blessed and sanctified for the use of man, also [it is] the immortality of the soul.  These kindred heresies, and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon.” (Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Vol. 2 pg. 68).

Press together and respect religious liberty

Based on these clear distinctions, the Seventh-day Adventist Movement is clearly not Babylon.  We must recognise this and unite around the things that are important in these last days.  The Bible says that “there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.” – 1 Cor. 12:15.  There are those who would insist that all evangelistic work must be done under one administrative structure but this posture is not supported in Scripture.  In fact, Jesus, in responding to a situation that was brought to His attention clearly says otherwise – “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:49, 50).

As believers in the Third Angel’s Message, we need to recognize that when the crisis breaks, which we are told by the prophet Ellen G. White will come as “an overwhelming surprise”, it will be against all Sabbath-keeping Adventists.  No distinction will be made.  Efforts at quenching the zeal of those who would advance the message are contrary to the principles of religious liberty and can only divide us and make us more vulnerable to be overcome by the powers of the world.  We are admonished:

“The great work from which the mind should not be diverted, is the consideration of our safety in the sight of God. The storm is coming, relentless in its fury.  Are we prepared to meet it?  Are our feet on the Rock of Ages? Are we one with Christ, as he is one with the Father?” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Dec. 27, 1898; Mar. 108)

 The watchmen must sound the alarm. If men are at ease in Zion somebody must be awake to give the trumpet a certain sound. Let the blaze of the beacon light be seen everywhere. Let the ease-loving awake, the tranquil be disturbed, and let them labor for religious liberty. And after we have done all we can, then leave our Lord to do His work. (Ellen G. White, Manuscript releases Vol. 16 pg. 239.)

 May the Lord help us to play our part in advancing His cause.

 “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)

Previous presentations can be found at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/