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Traditional Adventism or Adventist Traditionalism by Jeffrey Rosario

Traditional Adventism or Adventist Traditionalism?

December 16, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

“Tradition is the living faith of the dead,

traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.…

It is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.” – Jaroslav Pelikan

True “Tradition” vs. the Status Quo

The year is 1885. A thirty-five-year-old Adventist is in his study investigating some of the positions of the Adventist church. He thinks he’s on to something. It’s a minor point, but the problem is that his conclusions don’t harmonize with what the church has been teaching for decades. He doesn’t realize it yet, but he’s about to rock the boat and nauseate some folk. His name is Alonzo Trevier Jones, aka, A.T. Jones.

Just a year previous the delegates of the 1884 General Conference asked him to begin a research project to corroborate Adventist interpretations of prophecy with accurate historical evidence. Most of the interpretations were substantiated, except one minor point. Based on the evidence at his disposal, Jones concluded that there was a mistake in the typical Adventist interpretation of the tens horns, or …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Saved "and" Called by Jeffrey Rosario

Saved “and” Called

June 27, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

As the apostle Paul sat waiting as a prisoner in Rome, he was conscious of the fact that his future was likely one of martyrdom. Instead of sitting idly, he wrote several letters, the last of which was the second letter to Timothy. Timothy was a young man that Paul cared for deeply. “When Timothy was little more than a boy, Paul took him with him as his companion in labor” (Manuscript, p. 117a, 1901). As Paul thought about his final moments, he desired to pass on to Timothy a legacy that he could aspire to. The letter is theologically rich and reveals some inspiring insights about Paul’s frame of mind as a follower of Jesus and a successful evangelist.

It seems as though Timothy lacked some boldness and confidence in his calling because Paul needed to reassure him that God “does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV). To press this matter further, Paul gives Timothy the ultimate foundation on which …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Covenant Kingdom = 2016 Convocation by Jeffrey Rosario

Covenant Kingdom = 2016 Convocation

May 6, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

I can only imagine what it was like to be the prophet Daniel in the 7th century B.C., in a foreign land, with God’s people captive by an antagonistic kingdom, the mightiest empire of his day. With Jerusalem still reeling from the destruction inflicted by the Babylonians, where could Daniel go to cling to any glimmer of hope that the God of Israel had not abandoned His people? Daniel testifies that in spite of the bleak circumstances all around him, he went to “the books” (Daniel 9:2), specifically the prophetic writings of Jeremiah, to anchor his hope in the promises of God.

Daniel received a series of epic prophetic visions that foretold several millennia of world history. Earthly kingdoms rise and fall, ruling the world with coercion, brutality, and selfishness. Yet through all the apparent hopelessness, Daniel celebrates, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others…. He reveals deep and hidden …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Abel Still Speaks by Jeffrey Rosario

Abel Still Speaks

March 4, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

Immediately after the fall of humanity recorded in Genesis 3, the story moves to the next generation of the human race. It’s the story of Cain and Abel. Yet in this chapter, there is no mention of a deceptive serpent. Humans have been so infected with the poison of sin that they are now perfectly capable of deceiving themselves. Deception now resides in the heart.

The conflict between Cain and Abel is the first manifestation of the struggle foretold in Genesis 3:15. These brothers embody the controversy between good and evil that will take up the biblical story till the end. In Genesis 4, the focus lies in how humans choose to relate to God. But this is not a story about believers and unbelievers. Both Abel and Cain acknowledge that God merits their worship; both bring an offering and both approach the altar. Here we have two professed worshipers––very different worshipers.

The text tells us that “Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock” (Genesis 4:4). He offered to …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Ellen White and Religious Bigotry by Jeffrey Rosario

Ellen White and Religious Bigotry

February 26, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

A Hard Time to Be A Catholic

If there was ever a bad time to be a Catholic in America, it was during the nineteenth century. A massive wave of European immigration flooded the United States with over 3.5 million newcomers, many of whom were Catholics from Ireland and Germany. In proportion to population, it was the largest immigrant influx in American history.1 As a result of this “Catholic invasion,” the Catholic Church ballooned from its place as the fifth-largest denomination in the country in 1840, to the largest denomination by 1850.2 But they weren’t exactly received with open arms.

This phenomenon set the stage for deep animosities toward Catholics as they continued to alter the social, political, and religious landscape of a staunchly Protestant nation. As a defense mechanism, Protestants of all ranks fostered a paranoid obsession that portrayed Catholics as “conspirators against the Christian republic.”3 They were accused of all sorts of sinister schemes, and even the institution of slavery was viewed as “a secular expression of …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

The Ellen White You Thought You Knew by Jeffrey Rosario

The Ellen White You Thought You Knew

January 26, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

“Ellen White said…”

Those are three apparently innocent words that have been used and abused with much zest and confidence. They have been known to strike dread and incite rebellion in the hearts of some. But why? Is it in reaction to Ellen White’s message or because of what people think she was all about? Though sweeping generalizations cannot answer that question, it’s hard to avoid the fact that what is often associated with Ellen White would not even be recognizable to her.

Sometimes it’s just another classic case of “my friend said that his friend said that one of his cousins said that his pastor said that Ellen White definitely said…” It’s similar to the telephone game where something is whispered into the ear of someone who then quietly relays the information down a line of participants. One by one, each whispers to the next. By the time the last person in the line announces their version of it, everyone erupts in laughter at the ridiculously botched message.

It’s …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Can God Use A Reluctant Witness? by Jeffrey Rosario

Can God Use a Reluctant Witness?

January 8, 2016 | Jeffrey Rosario

A few weeks ago, we at Light Bearers had the privilege of graduating the 16th ARISE class since the school’s beginning. Students came from all over the United States, including Indiana, California, Washington, Texas, Oregon, Michigan, Kentucky, Arizona, and Florida. International students came from Canada, Finland, and England. Our youngest student was 17 years old, and our most senior student was 70.

These recent graduates will go on to serve God and the world in various capacities. Some will continue their college education and be witnesses in academic settings. Others will serve in mission fields throughout the world, and still others will serve in their workplaces, in professional careers, in full-time ministry, in humanitarian causes, and in many other ways.

One of the most exciting aspects of the ARISE program is actually seeing students in action as they reach out to others in the community. It is particularly special to see students from a previous year reaching out to others, some of whom are actually future students. This was a …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers