How Long by Fred Bischoff

How Long?

by Fred Bischoff  |  May 2, 2016

“How long?” is the ultimate time query in the great controversy between good and evil—how long will it last?

From eternity past to eternity future the principle of selfless, self-giving love has been the law of life for the universe. It flows from the heart of the unselfish Ones who created and support all things. It is continual—the love flows continually.

At some point in past time, the opposite principle of selfishness originated in the heart of the highest created being. Since that time, this root of what we call sin has also manifested a continuity as well, in conflict with the eternal principle.

A significant number of God’s intelligent, ministering angels adopted this self-focus. The principle of receiving only to give was abandoned for receiving and even taking to keep. Suffering came into existence.

After humans chose selfishness, God revealed the interface between these two continual principles in the sacrificial system, involving blood, fire, and ashes—daily death, in the giving of life, and the taking of life. These ceremonies pictured how the unselfish Ones would continue giving, in fact, …
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Fred Bischoff Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers
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Abraham—Friend of God by James Rafferty

Abraham—A Friend of God

by James Rafferty  |  April 25, 2016

Dear Abraham,

Kill your only son.

God.

Let’s face it—that’s a tough Bible story to swallow. At face value, it assaults the very idea that God is love. Or does it?

New Testament scripture offers insight into this Old Testament mystery. John, for example, recorded a parallel of God’s call to Abraham:

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” ~ Jesus (John 3:16).

“Take now Your son, Your only son Isaac, whom you love… and offer him there” ~ God (Genesis 22:2, NKJV).

James and Paul saw Abraham’s experience as something fundamental to believers in the New Testament (both of them included this story in their letters to the Christian church).

Paul says:

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19, NKJV).

Like …
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James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers
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What If the Good News Is Better Than You Think?  by Ty Gibson

What If the Good News Is Better Than You Think? 

by Ty Gibson  |  April 1, 2016

After explaining that Christ is “the Word” and “the Light” to every person in the world (John 1:1-9), John makes an enormous, encompassing, extravagant claim:

“Of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16).

The word “fullness” (pleroma) means completeness or totality. The “all” in this text is clearly the entire human race. So the gospel proclaims an unreserved, unconditional giving of Christ to every person.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

Incredible!

. . . before there was any believing on the part of any person, there was a complete giving on God’s part.

Christ is the one gift in which all God’s gifts are given. In giving Jesus, God gave all He could possibly give. And to whom? To “us,” Paul says. To every man, woman and child!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers
Metabolic Syndrome by Risë Rafferty

Metabolic Syndrome

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  March 30, 2016

Nearly 35% of adults in America and 50% of those 60 years of age or older are estimated to have metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome X and insulin resistance syndrome. These are staggering statistics. Potentially 3 of 10 adults in America are living with a syndrome that they may not even realize they have.

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease itself. Rather it is a cluster of several risk factors that have been found to be a major contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors include:

abdominal obesity high fasting blood sugar levels elevated triglycerides low HDL cholesterol elevated blood pressure

Having three or more of these risk factors indicates metabolic syndrome.

Apparently not all fat is alike. The fat that packs itself around the abdomen poses the greatest danger. Abdominal obesity is defined by a waist circumference measurement of  > 40 inches in men, > 35 inches in women.

A fasting blood sugar level > 110 is another early sign of imbalance, indicating that the body cannot use its …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers
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Twelve by David Asscherick

Twelve

by David Asscherick  |  March 28, 2016

On February 8, ARISE Australia’s fourth three-month session began enthusiastically here in Kingscliff, Australia with students from all around the world. Norway, Germany, Finland, the United States, Canada, and South Africa, in addition to Australia of course, are all represented!

I’ve been doing this for fifteen years now, ever since Pastor Nathan Renner and I co-founded ARISE in partnership with the Michigan Conference. We were super enthusiastic for our first-ever class, and that enthusiasm for training, discipleship, and teaching remains absolutely undiminished.

One of the quotations that really stoked our fire in those early days was this: “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come—the end of suffering and sorrow and sin!” (Education, p. 271).

Let’s be honest, the size of the evangelistic enterprise before us can be absolutely overwhelming.

Here at Light Bearers, our passion for training and discipleship grows deeper and stronger every year. We sincerely hope you share …
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David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers
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Too Dark for Me

Too Dark for Me

by Elise Harboldt  |  March 25, 2016

“Do you cut yourself?” I ask. “No,” she whispers. “I burn myself.” She pulls up her sleeves to show me dark red lines all the way up her arms. “I use a curling iron.” 

“I took the whole bottle of pills,” he says. “My wife found me passed out and called 911.”

“I want out,” she says. “I can’t promise you I won’t follow through. Life is too dark for me.” 

I work in a mental health practice, and hear these stories over and over. People who often look normal on the outside give a glimpse into their painful inner worlds. The darkness is deep and the stories sad: abuse, trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, substance abuse, brokenness, and pain.

I’d like to think these stories are anomalies, but they aren’t. Every 16 minutes someone in the United States commits suicide. It’s the tenth leading cause of death in Americans over age 10. At least one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness such as depression or anxiety in any given year.

The voices of my patients join …
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Elise Harboldt Producer/Journalist
Life and Health Network
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Abel Still Speaks by Jeffrey Rosario

Abel Still Speaks

by Jeffrey Rosario  |  March 4, 2016

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 God his best. This was an act of faith. By …
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Jeffrey Rosario Speaker
Light Bearers