Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
Galaxy Three: Why What Is Happening a Billion Light Years Away Right Now Matters to You
Galaxy Three: Galaxy Three's Third Cleansing
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
Galaxy Three’s Third Cleansing"
- French philosopher Paul Ricoeur concluded that the most basic of all human confessions, “reducible to no other,” is this: “I am ; I need from God.” (William Johnsson, Hebrews, 167)
- The Three (katharizo—catharsis) of Hebrews 9:
- #1—Of our
- Hebrews 9:14—“How much more will the blood of Christ cleanse our from acts that lead to death.”
- Psalm 51:1-4, 7
- #2—Of our
- Psalm 51:2—“Wash away all my and cleanse me from my .”
- Hebrews 9:22—“The law requires that nearly everything be with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness [of sin].”
- 1 John 1:7-9
- #3—Of our
- Hebrews 9:23—“It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be with these [animal] sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves [to be cleansed] with better sacrifices than these.”
- Peter O’Brien: “ . . . with better sacrifices than these suggests that the heavenly sanctuary had also become defiled by the sin of the people. Sin affects all creation and extends even to the heavenly world. There is a solidarity between ultimate reality in heaven and its reflection on earth. The earthly cultus is inseparably connected to the situation in heaven. Sin is ‘an objective impediment to genuine access to God,’ and so a decisive cleansing was necessary, a cleansing that was ‘comprehensive in its scope, reaching even to the heavenly things themselves.’” (The Letter to the Hebrews 337)
- We as Seventh-day Adventists find in Israel’s somber Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) liturgy in the earthly sanctuary a striking portrayal of God’s strategy to bring the rebellion of sin to an end in this universe.
- Leviticus 16:29-30/Daniel 8:14
- Leviticus 16:30—“Then, before the LORD, you will be from all your sins.”
- Edward Heppenstall: “The living Christ of the heavenly sanctuary presses upon men the need for a spiritual revival to make them ready to stand in the judgment now proceeding. . . . Christ is not saying that His followers are going to have a bad time in this judgment, that the believer’s chances of making it are not good. Christ has no desire to be an accusing judge but a loving, saving friend. . . . He seeks earnestly to arouse in man the urgency to meet God in the judgment. But it will cost something. The Levitical Day of Atonement called upon Israel to make sure of their standing with God.” (Our High Priest 86-87)
- Great Controversy: “Through the grace of God and [our] own diligent effort [we] must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment [the Day of Atonement] is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” (425)
- The cleansing is to be matched by a cleansing .
- Great Controversy: “It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. . . . It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model.” (623)
“I will see that you get through.”
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.