James Rafferty - Archives

Going Counterculture by James Rafferty

Going Counterculture

February 27, 2017 | James Rafferty

My 19-year-old daughter recently shared for our family worship some insights from a book she is reading for her university Bible class. When she finished, my mind went to the following scripture:

“As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time” (Daniel 7:12).

This verse describes both the military dominion and cultural influence of four great kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7:17, 23). The prophecy indicates that while each kingdom’s dominion and military control was lost to each succeeding power, the lives of these conquered nations were prolonged.

Defeated but living?

The life of a nation is found in its culture—the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. These four cultures, though they differ in expression, are characterized by exonerating man and displaying his achievements. This is the culture of “I”, expressed today in things like the iPhone and social media, which enable our self-centered way of living.

Jesus turned the culture of “I” upside down. “Not I …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Protestants—An Endangered Species by James Rafferty

Protestants—An Endangered Species

December 8, 2016 | James Rafferty

On October 31, 1517, a young Catholic monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This single bold act set off a religious reformation that shook Europe and the world. Luther was later excommunicated by the papacy; a price set on his head.

On October 31, 2016, leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint declaration with Pope Francis with the expressed hope for the “wound in the body of Christ to be healed.”

Beyond burying religious division, the declaration states that “what unites the two traditions is greater than that which divides them” (The Guardian, October 31, 2016).

Let’s rewind six thousand years to two of the earliest believers: Cain and Abel. These brothers had much more to unite them than to divide them. Both worshiped the true God. Both built altars according to God’s direction. Both brought sacrifices to worship.

But Cain’s sacrifice was very different than Abel’s. Abel …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Lessons From the Book of Job: Elihu—Friend or Foe? by James Rafferty

Lessons From the Book of Job: Elihu—Friend or Foe?

December 2, 2016 | James Rafferty

Elihu exemplifies one of the major reasons why we might not listen to what someone has to say about God. Young and obscure, Elihu presents a testimony that carries little weight among many intellectual greats. This may be one reason why God has employed farmers, shepherds, fishermen and even children (the child Samuel) as messengers of inspired truth. Heaven has a way of placing truth beyond the ken of intellectual pride.

Yet even if God speaks to us through a little child, or perhaps a donkey, He always gives us enough evidence to discern His voice. In the case of Elihu there is more than enough evidence to recognize this young man as heaven sent.

Elihu is not out to terrorize Job or overwhelm him with guilt. He assures Job that he, too, is only a vessel of clay (Job 33:6-7).

Instead of condemning Job, he desires to justify or clear him (Job 33:32).

He always gives us enough evidence to discern His voice.

He does not use the same …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

What God Has Wrought by James Rafferty

What God Has Wrought!

December 2, 2016 | James Rafferty

This year flew by, but not without heaven making a notable impact on our world through your generous support of Light Bearers Ministry. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!” (Psalm 126:3). Here are a few joyful highlights:

Publishing

2016 saw 12 containers of literature (21 million pieces all together) proclaiming the glad tidings of a God named Desire to all the world (Haggai 2:7). The requests for literature keep coming in, too (no surprise there). The Bible is clear that the everlasting gospel is to be carried by angels “to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).  Angels represent both literal beings as well as literature “messengers,” as noted in the following statements:

“Publications must be multiplied, and scattered like the leaves of autumn. These silent messengers are enlightening and molding the minds of thousands in every country and in every clime” (Review and Herald, Nov. 21, 1878).

“I saw that the work of present truth should engage the interest of …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Job’s Marriage by James Rafferty

Job’s Marriage

November 28, 2016 | James Rafferty

Job’s wife usually gets a bad rap. As we read through the story of suffering, we’re tempted to view her as an evil character, undermining the faith of her husband. Augustine even named her “the devil’s accomplice.”

I wonder if this is a misunderstanding that begins with Job himself. Perhaps we’ve misinterpreted the communication between the couple. The picture presented is that Job coldly rebukes his silly wife for spilling out the natural emotions of a heart broken by the loss of all her children. I think the Bible gives us a different picture; one of a loving relationship that God believed could withstand the severity of the enemy’s attacks. Here are the reasons:

God called Job a perfect man. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see that happening if he had a bad relationship with his wife (Ephesians 5:25-33). God knew they could be severely tested (Job 1:8). Job loved his children. One of the best ways to love your wife is to love her children (Ephesians 6:4). Job …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Sink or Swim by James Rafferty

Sink or Swim

October 31, 2016 | James Rafferty

The first crisis I can remember experiencing came when I was four years old and fell backward into a swimming pool. I couldn’t swim and my mom was in another country… it seemed. I was going down for sure, but after a heroic effort and what seemed like an eternity (but was really just a few brief seconds) I grabbed the rail and was safe again. After that I learned to swim.

The first crisis I don’t remember came when I was three years old and buried Grandma’s false teeth somewhere in the back garden. We never found them again, but Grandma always seemed to enjoy telling the story.

As a young man, Joseph faced a much greater crisis than mine when he was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, and then wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife. Joseph learned to swim by trusting in God.

Daniel was also young when he faced his crisis—he was separated from his family, taken to another country, and forced to embrace its culture. …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Redemption from Deception by James Rafferty

Redemption from Deception

August 1, 2016 | James Rafferty

Revelation 12, the centerpiece of the book, uncovers a central issue for Planet Earth—redemption from deception.

Deception began in heaven, not earth, with the dragon who hoodwinked the third part of the angels from heaven with his tail or “lies” (Revelation 12:4; Isaiah 9:15). Deception number two is the old story of the Fall found in the symbolic words “woman” and “serpent,” which take us back to Eden when the first woman, Eve, was deceived by the serpent and with Adam they lost their place in paradise (verses 1, 9). Revelation 12 also describes the symbolic imagery of the “woman” giving birth to the “man child” Messiah. This woman represents the Jewish church to which Jesus was born. The Jewish church leaders become the next victims of Satan’s deception by rejecting Messiah, thus losing her place as God’s favored people and giving way to the Christian wilderness church (verses 1, 5, 6). And finally the entire earth, like the fallen angels, like the first woman Eve, like the Jewish “woman” Israel, will …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers