Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Valley View Seventh-day Adventist Church


A Note From Our Pastor

The Order of Melchisedek – 4 The Order of Melchisedek

April 20, 2021

There is no royal priesthood organized in the Bible. What tribe had the kings? Judah! What tribes had the priests? Levi! You can easily trace those two services – one of priestly ministry and one of regency – for centuries. In the second century before Christ, the Maccabees established the independence of the Jews in defiance of the Greeks and later of the Romans. Then for a period of some sixty years there were two kings who assumed the authority of the priests – only two, and they were criminals! The royal priesthood was a failure. But yet all Israel was to form such a priesthood. The Lord has given only one example, in the whole spectrum of the Old Testament, in whose life these twin rays of royalty and priesthood are blended successfully. Remember his name? Melchisedek! He was king and priest. Have you wondered why his name, Melchisedek was not translated? “Melchishalom” has been translated, “king of peace” in Hebrews 7:12. But “Melchisedek” in not translated. It is transliterated, put into English characters. God wants to call particular attention to its significance. It means his kingdom in righteousness.

Melchisedek is the example of royal priesthood. When we, God’s people, become kings and priests, it is not after the order of Aaron, but it is after the character of Melchisedek.

The Order of Melchisedek —3 The Basis of the Calling of the Priesthood-part 2

April 3, 2021

The priest must live an exemplary life. If he had any spot or blemish – finger cut off or a foot injured or something wrong with him – he could not be the representative of the One Who is altogether lovely and utterly perfect. His diet was carefully regulated. He could not drink alcohol, nor was he to defile the body that in a special sense was a temple of the Holy Ghost. His wife was to be chosen with the utmost care. She was to be a member of the priestly family, and there was to be no stain or wrong living in her reputation. His place of abode was designated. There were six cities in which he was to choose to live. Those cities were placed strategically so that in times of emergency the children of Israel could come and obtain justice and instruction from the priests. “Cities of refuge.”

Wonderful name! The communities of priestly homes were “cities of refuge.” Now let us pause a moment to see the application of that to ourselves so that we can bear the thought in our minds in our study.

How many of His people did God design to be Priests ultimately? Every one of them! That is what He told Israel. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.” Now Peter takes this text and applies it to all that come to Jesus Christ and are built up into a spiritual temple as living stones upon the foundation that no man can change. We all are to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9).

The Order of Melchisedek —2 The Basis of the Calling of the Priesthood

March 27, 2021

The tribes of Israel had the patriarchal system of priestly leadership behind them for a long time. But a conspiracy arose against the Aaronic priesthood that was stirred up by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16). Dathan and Abiram were the first born of Reuben and of all the tribes, and Korah headed the tribe of Levi. If the priesthood was still to be based on birth, one of these men should take Aaron’s place. But the Lord settled this problem simply. He said in effect, “Each of you tribal leaders bring his staff, and inscribe your name on it. Aaron, you write your name on one, and we’ll put all twelve rods before the ark.” (Numbers 17:1-9). In one night that old dead stick of Aaron’s budded, blossomed, and produced almonds! By that miracle, was settled the dispute regarding the divine authorization of the Aaronic priesthood forever. Paul says that Aaron was no longer a priest by any carnal commandment, but his authorization was through the power of the resurrection life (Hebrews 7:16). So, it is with Jesus, His priesthood rests, not on any law of human genealogy, but on the power of His resurrected life. Aaron’s budding, blossoming and fructifying rod was seen as it were in the seven-branched candlestick (Exodus 25:33). Each branch of the candelabra was, as it were, an Aaron’s rod in symbol. It was a type of new life and upheld the lamps in the tabernacle. And so it is with Jesus, the antitype of the candlestick we could say, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4). We will never uphold light until we have that life that first buds and blossoms and bears fruit to God. The Aaronic priesthood rested on the new birth, on a new life, symbolized by the resurrection of a stick! And upon this regenerated life the mediation of the priest was based.

Our Greatest Need #12: The Order of Melchisedek

March 20, 2021

The next few teachings on Sabbaths will be focusing on the Sanctuary. Dr. Leslie Hardinge was my professor in college and his research and teachings surpassed anything I ever learned since that time on the subject.  This series of blogs will be focusing on the priesthood for a few weeks and will most likely, if not all, be taken from Shadows of His Sacrifice by Dr. Hardinge.  Let us begin: The meaning of the word “priest” from the Greek word “presbuteros” basically means an older person, an elder, the patriarch of the family to whom the others look with respect. Adam was the first priest. Abraham was a priest too, and so was Noah. The fathers of every family were priests until the time of the golden calf. Then Moses drew a line and said in effect, “All those who have been faithful to the Lord step to this side.” The tribe of Levi responded. The Lord said, “Because Levi has been faithful, I will choose the priests from among them.”

Centuries before, Levi had been cursed. In his dying prophecy Jacob had declared of Levi, “I will scatter thee in Israel.” (Genesis 49:7). This curse proved to be a blessing! In taking the priests from the Levites and then scattering them among the tribes, God disseminated the ministry of reconciliation from the six cities of refuge throughout Israel. Next the Lord chose Aaron of the tribe of Levi to be high priest because he completely repented of his sins. As a result of this experience, Aaron was able to lead the rest of Israel into perfect penitence. His eldest son after him was to be the high priest while the rest of the sons of Aaron were the common priests. So, the organized priesthood of Israel started.

Our Greatest Need #11: Our Pattern

March 13, 2021

Have you ever thought about the excitement that Moses had when God instructed him to build the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God? What is interesting is that even though he knew who the most skillful individuals were for carrying out the many building tasks that could be carried out by his suggestions, he dare not deviate one tittle in the plans that God had shown him. Every detail was given to Moses including items like a bell, a pomegranate, a tassel, a fringe, a curtain, or any of the vessels of the sanctuary. We are told that God called him to the mount and covered him with His glory, “that he might see the pattern, and according to it all things were made.” When the law was given on Mt. Sinai, God revealed to Israel the pattern by which they themselves were to copy in their own personal temples that the Holy Spirit could dwell in them. Israel chose their own way and did not follow the pattern given by God. When Jesus came, He became the true temple of the Holy Spirit in every detail of His earthly life according to God’s plan. Jesus was the true pattern. Jesus said, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. Today, Jesus is our pattern to follow that the Holy Spirit may dwell in our temples. However, we choose to live, whatever comes our way, we are to copy the pattern that has been set before us, Jesus. “Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan…” The Desire of Ages, 208, 209.

Our Greatest Need #10: Asking In One Accord

March 6, 2021

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). The apostle James reminded us: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously, and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith,” he adds, “without any doubting” (James 1:5,6). Christ again: “If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19). Of course, we need to ask according to His will (1 John 5:14). Regarding the Holy Spirit, Elisha was bold enough to ask for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (1 Kings 2:9). It happened, because a lot more is told about Elisha’s ministry than Elijah’s, including double the miracles. The prophet Zechariah urges believers to “Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain (KJV, ‘latter rain”) and promises to “pour out…the Spirit of grace and supplication” that will cause revival (Zechariah 10:1; 12:10-12). To the disciples in the Upper Room, Christ promised the Holy Spirit: “Whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13, 14). Seven times in one night Jesus encouraged His followers to “ask” in His name! The other five are in John 15:7, 16, & John 16:23, 24, and 26. Why ask God for anything? Remember that our praying to God is not to keep Him updated but to keep us connected. “We are not willing enough to trouble the Lord with our petitions, and to ask Him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Lord wants us to trouble Him in this matter. He wants us to press our petitions to the throne.” (Fundamentals of Christian Education, 537). “… If all were willing, all would be filled with the Spirit.” (The Acts of the Apostles, 50). “All with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). The conditions for revival are very clear: 1) confession, 2) humiliation [surrender], 3) repentance, and 4) earnest prayer. Since the first three depend on the last one, “a revival need be expected only in answer to prayer.” (1 Selected Messages, 121). 

Our Greatest Need #9: Driving Away the Holy Spirit

February 27, 2021 

Grieving the Spirit is only a step away from the unpardonable sin. Jesus said that “any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31). When we keep ignoring His “teaching, reproof, correction, and training” (2 Timothy 3:15), the compelling force of the Spirit wanes until it disappears. I would like to share just four points that will drive away the Spirit from our lives. Secondary Concerns; “Minor matters occupy the attention.” (8T21). We spend more time than ever on secondary things. Whether in surfing the Internet, or checking up on our social networks, or texting on the phone, technology has become one of our greatest demons to tame. “Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a stricter account than of our time.” (COL 342). Pride and Self-Reliance: Pride is always the last to surrender. The more we hold onto our sin – the less we are able to evangelize people to Jesus effectively. King David felt annoyed by any insinuation that his sin with Bathsheba was so bad. After his conversion David asked God not to take away the Spirit from him because of his sin, he wrote, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You” (Psalm 51:12, 13). A retaliatory and Critical Spirit: The Holy Spirit does not abide in the heart of those who are easily irritated. With such individuals come cutting, critical, harsh words with fire, “which grieve the Spirit away and develop attribute that are satanic rather than divine.” (R&H, April 9, 1901). We are to restrain our negative thoughts and feelings toward others; otherwise, we “are brought under the influence of evil angels and invite their presence and their control.” (5T310). Intense Amusements: “Amusements are doing more to counteract the working of the Holy Spirit than anything else and the Lord is grieved.” (CPTS p. 281). This statement was published in 1913, when amusements could refer to attending the theater, playing cards, or even to a game of chess. How mild and innocent are those things compared to today’s violent video games, R-rated movies, meaningless, sex-filled television programs, and the wrongful use of the Internet! It is a proven fact that noting we ever see or hear, or feel is ever gone from our brains. No help will be help until you “fix your eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Rivet your eye on Him. Look for Him in His Word, turn your face to Him day by day and moment by moment. Pledge to yourself: “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3). Do that – and you will live.


Our Greatest Need #8: Experiencing the Spirit of God:

February 20, 2021

In the Signs of the Times, February 10, 1890, par. 7, Ellen White writes that we could “have Pentecostal seasons even now,” if people would earnestly pray and believe God’s promises. What would it look like, according to the teachings of the Bible? If we look at these seven passages (Luke 3:21,22; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 4:31-33; Acts 8:14-19; Acts 9:17,18; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:1-6), we will find that each passage shares demonstrably supernatural happenings as individuals received the Spirit of God in their lives. The question then is, should we, then, expect something supernatural in our lives before we can know the Spirit has come in? Luke, in writing Acts is really highlighting the mighty works of the Holy Spirit to show what Jesus promised regarding the Spirit came to pass in His followers. However, every recorded incident of the Spirit’s outpouring did not always have an outburst of some kind of supernatural display. We have the seven men who were also “full of the Spirit” (Acts 6:3, 5-7). And the same was true with Barnabas (Acts 11:22, 24). The demonstration of the Spirit does not automatically imply miracles, but as we have learned, the fruit of the Spirit are traits of Christlike character. We are not to yearn for something tangible like Pentecostals and Charismatics but to look for what the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy teach. The offer of the Spirit is a Christlike life—the fruit of the Spirit, and a Christlike ministry --- the gifts of the Spirit. It is God’s choice as to how He will pour His Spirit among us. What we must do is look for the results of the Spirit’s indwelling and not the drama or lack of it in the outpouring. We cannot manipulate or even anticipate the moving’s of the Spirit. Charismatics seek for signs, while non-Charismatics tend to disavow signs. Both err by not letting the Holy Spirit be sovereign in these matters. “The Holy Spirit of God alone can create a healthy enthusiasm. Let God work, and let the human agent walk softly before Him, watching, waiting, praying, looking unto Jesus every moment, led and controlled by the precious Spirit, which is light and life.” (2 Selected Messages, 16,17).


Our Greatest Need #7: Leaky Vessels

February 13, 2021

On the Day of Pentecost Peter tells us that when the people were under the conviction of sin, they asked what they should do, Peter answered, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…”  (Acts 2:38a). Peter does not stop there, he goes on to say, “…and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…” (38b). Peter is clearly saying that for those who repent and are baptized by water, the reception of the gift of the Spirit is part of the package! The teaching is plain, with repentance comes the gift of the Spirit.

Paul makes it even more clear. He says: “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Romans 8:9). If we have not accepted Jesus, the Spirit does not abide in us, because it is the Holy Spirit who brings Jesus in! If you have given yourself to Jesus, it is because the Holy Spirit has baptized you! If the Holy Spirit comes into our lives when we are baptized why are there so many statements in Ellen White’s writings saying we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Ellen White wrote of Christ that “daily He received a fresh baptism (infilling) of the Holy Spirit,” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 139). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is given to us upon surrender of our lives to Christ. He comes into our lives every time we surrender, not just once, but as many times as we yield to the love of Christ. Accordingly, the baptism of the Holy Spirit needs to be accepted by faith.  Why are so many Christians and churches dead? Because they have stopped receiving the Spirit whom they once received. The baptism of the Spirit can only be real, as long as it is a recurring infilling of the Spirit – time and time again. The reason for this is because we tend to be “leaky” vessels, as Ellen White calls it. (Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 102). Our sinful nature always pulls us away from God. And leaky vessels, in order to remain full, must be filled time and again. Surrender and ask for the Holy Spirit daily.

Our Greatest Need #6: The Christ in me greets the Christ in you!

February 6, 2021

Have you ever thought of the fact that Jesus dwells in you? “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27). “It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.” (Desire of Ages 388). Paul says in Romans 8:10, “If Christ is in you . . . the spirit is alive.” Now if Christ dwells in us through the Spirit then we are partakers of divine nature. Therefore, we, through the power of God in us, can overcome. Listen to this, “Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon the church.” (Desire of Ages 671). Just as we accept His death on the cross so our sins may be forgiven.  It is our privilege to accept His very life in our heart so our sin may be overcome. Jesus gives us both His death and His life! His life in us through the Spirit is what will make possible victory over sin. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). Now with that understanding, read the following statement, think about it, pray over it. “The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Savior, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord’s permission, and ‘all things’ that are permitted ‘work together for good to them that love God.’ Romans 8:28.” (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 71).