Explosion in Brazil!

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  An explosion of lay missionary work is taking place in Brazil, and it is spreading to other South American countries.

The crisis came when Seventh-day Adventist Church members wanted to preach the third angel's message in public evangelistic meetings.


They were told not to do this.


They also wanted to distribute missionary literature, which taught our historic message.


They were commanded not to do that either. So they did it anyway.


Our denominational leaders in Brazil were horrified, for they feared that such activity could disturb Catholic and political leaders in the nation. They considered it an act of rebellion. Yet we need not be surprised at this, in yesterday's mail, I received this prayer request from somewhere in America: "We also request your prayers. We have been sending out missionary books and the conference has said if we send any more books out, they will take away our branch Sabbath School (status)."


Because the faithful in Brazil refused to stop, in some instances, entire local churches were disfellowshipped. In others, when they were told that they could not preach the truth in Adventist churches, they simply went down the street, rented a building, began worshiping and preaching there, and using it as a staging area for widespread literature distribution. One Catholic priest has already joined them.


          As I write this, there are now about 42 or 43 congregations in Brazil, which are no longer, connected with the denomination. One has over 150 members. They did not want to be separate; but they had to obey our historic, Bible/Spirit of Prophecy teachings, calling on them to share the truth about the law of God and the Bible Sabbath.


         These people are so on fire for historic Adventism, that they are going beyond many of us here in the States. They are posting thousands of signs on public streets, in bus stations, train stations, and close to government buildings,-which declare that the seventh day is the true Sabbath and God's sign to the world, plus an address where to contact them. Their literature explains the entire Sabbath message, similar to what you will find in the Sabbath study in the back of our Steps to Christ and the newspaper ads we make available.


         In one instance, a congregation was told, "You can't preach this, because it is not authorized by the Adventist Church!" They replied that they were going to do it anyway. "Then we will send the police to arrest you!" was the response.

         At the demand of Adventist Church leaders, the police came to the independent church leaders. "Why are they sending us to you?" inquired the police, "Because we are preaching the message of the church," was the reply. 'Just keep on preaching:' the police said. "Don't worry, there are people in the police who are watching what you are doing and are favorable to it."


In other churches, as mentioned earlier, when they refused to obey a church order to stop publicly preaching the third angel's message, entire churches were disfellowshipped. They immediately rented meetinghouses for worship and evangelistic meetings, and kept at their work, Similar experiences are repeatedly taking place elsewhere.


The lay church is growing faster than the conference churches in Brazil! That should not be surprising, since the conference churches are forbidden to distinctly share the message with anyone. Fearful of being cast out of the church, their members obey. They fear the wrath of leadership more than they respect the plain commands of God. In past years, we have reported on similar developments in parts of America.


Aware of the fact that both branches of the Adventist Reform Movement have their largest number of members in Germany and Brazil (with relatively few in North America and elsewhere), I inquired whether one or the other of those branches might try to penetrate these separated groups and take control of them.


I was told that the laymen are being kicked out of the Reform Church just as fast as out of the main church! The reason: The leaders of both the General Conference churches and the Adventist Reform churches are frightened at what they cannot control-and neither want the third angel's message preached to the public!


In addition, none of those leaders want the book, Great Controversy, or portions of it, widely circulated.


A number of faithful believers have left the Reform Church and united with the faithful. They too want to have a part in giving the final message, something that is not done in the Reform Church.


The leaders have told the active laymen that, if they want to return, they must submit to church control and do what they are told to do, and stop doing what they are told not to do.


          In November, the first continent-wide lay church meeting was held in Sao Paulo, a city of 18 million. It was attended by over 450 believers from Brazil, Peru, Chili, Argentina, and Paraguay.


         Last week (I am writing this on January 29, 2002), a ten-day meeting was held in Renacka, Chile (close to Vina del Mar, not far from Santiago). Chile has about eight lay churches and is growing fast. A congregation of about 250 was earlier disfellowshipped in Renacka, for preaching the third angers message. On January 30 to February 2, another meeting will be held; this one in San Jose, Costa Rica. It will be attended by believers from both South and Central America.


         Another large international meeting is scheduled for May. Those believers are discovering that they are not alone! All this time, it seemed to each little group that they were the only ones in the world that loved the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, practiced health reform principles, and wanted to preach the third angel's message. -But now the little groups have discovered one another, and they are discovering us also!


         -And we are going to help them! As soon as I learned about this, by faith, I offered to help them produce a Portuguese translation of our book, World Crisis Foretold. We will provide the funds with which to translate it; and, at no charge, we will also arrange the final text and layout, and make all arrangements for printing.


We don't have the money to do this; but, by faith, we must move forward. You know it and we know it. God's truth for this time in history must go to the people of Brazil! We cannot wait for our church publishing houses to decide to take such messages available, and at such a low cost.


           You can have a part also! We may have to help pay for the first print run. Working together, we accomplish more.

 As, together, we move forward by faith, our heavenly Father will open doors. making it possible to do all that is needed.


Yes, those little groups in South and Central America thought they were alone. But now they are finding they are not. I say to our friends who will read this report we send to North America, Britain, Europe, Australia. New Zealand. Singapore. Japan, and the Philippines.-you are not alone either!


Not only are we united in the faith of the Bible, Spirit of Prophecy, and Third Angel's Message,-but we have all heaven on our side!


Keep pressing forward. Give the message in every way you can. If you cannot preach, hand out the precious books containing the message. Do not slacken, do not weary, do not give up. There is resting by and by, but not in this world. We must keep at our work.


We did something similar in the mid-1980s for a group of Koreans living in the States. They wanted a translation of Great Controversy (and later Ministry of Healing). We cared for all the details in getting it printed, at no charge, and they paid for the print run. We are so thankful for any part we might have in these projects.


The political climate is such now in Central and South America, that the Catholic Church does not have the power it used to have. Yet our church leaders remain frightened. It would appear as if they have entered into agreements not to give the divisive Sabbath message publicly.


But that should come as no surprise, for our General Conference has maintained close ecumenical contacts with the Vatican and other major denominations, extending back to 1967. Its close contacts with the World Council of Churches (WCC) go back to the late 1950s.


           For a very large collection of historical and documentary evidence relating to this. see our Seventh day Adventist/Vatican Ecumenical Involvement set of two books: Book 1: History. 80 pp. ($6.00 + $2.50); Book 2: Documents. 146 pp. ($11.00 + $3.00).

In addition, we entered into a formal agreement at WCC headquarters in Geneva several years ago, to tone down our public presentations of the Bible Sabbath, a teaching which is divisive and causes our Protestant/Catholic friends to dislike us.


For more on this, see Secret Interchurch Planning Agreement IWM-906] and Update on the Secret Interchurch Planning Agreement [WM-914].


In Ellen White's time, we were anxious to defend the truth and proclaim it. In our time, we are anxious not to lose the many friends we have made through interfaith dialogues and at WCC committees in Geneva.


           The concern of the faithful in Brazil is how to unite their interests in giving our precious Bible/Spirit of Prophecy truths to the world. In order to do this, they are starting. what they call Acts of the Apostles churches," with lay pastors. They are preaching. distributing literature, and winning souls  - which are then taken, by baptism, into their churches. They are doing what the denomination refuses to do, and God is blessing their efforts.

When anyone wants to preach, that person must not only be fully grounded and orthodox in his understanding and presentation of our historic beliefs and standards, but he and his family must personally practice healthful living in diet, etc. He can be a member of the church while eating junk food, but he will not be permitted to preach. We need standards like that in America. On all levels, we have too many meat eaters in offices, where they should not be.


Ellen White predicted that both separation and unity would be seen in our ranks. We are seeing that today. Throughout the world field, our people are separating themselves into two classes: one which wants to be as close to the world as it can; the other which wants to serve the God of heaven. She also said that we must draw warmth from the coldness of others. Our zeal must increase as we near the end of time.


Most powerful messages must be given, urging our people to take hold of the work and give the final message to the world. I intend to continue having a part in this. I believe you intend to also.


          The faithful ones south of the border were told, for years, that "the time to give the message has not come yet." Finally, they were convicted that they could wait no longer-and they began giving it as earnestly as they can. They refuse to go back to sleep. This is a lesson for us. We are told, in Desire of Ages, that the people were impressed with John the Baptist because he was a blazing light. Just as they are doing down south, we too must do right where we are. We must give the message as earnestly as we can. No pausing, no turning back, no taking time to quibble with those who fear the results.

Where do we each one stand in this matter? Will you also share the message as widely as you can through conversations, handing out books, doing whatever it takes to give the final message to those in your area of contact? Yesterday, a man phoned and ordered a case of International Meat Crisis and, then, asked to speak to the author. I discussed the subject with him for a few minutes, then I mentioned our Evolution Cruncher. He said that, for all he knew, evolution was right. He added that, although he was an atheist, he was open-minded. So I told him my view of the matter: Evolution teaches that everything was made by random chance, and I maintain that anything made by chance can be made by a trained scientist in a well-equipped laboratory in an hour and a half.


The truth of that sentence stunned him. Excited, he said he wanted my book. Then I told him about the Bible Sabbath, and he wanted books on that also. We included Beyond Pitcairn, Great Controversy, and Desire of Ages in the package sent to him. Wherever you are, every day, you can do a lot! This morning, another man phoned and wanted to speak with the author of our books on the meat crisis. I discussed all the above with him, and he was very interested. Every day you and I have opportunities to speak and share literature!


It was when faithful brethren here in the States began sending books and literature down there, that the awakening started among the Adventist churches there. Do not forget that. Books are powerful! Never underestimate their power-not only in the world. but in the church as well. The printed words of truth enable men to become free from Satan's delusions.


They begin thinking for themselves, as they begin reading and obeying the Word of God.


I want to tell you about the progress of our book, World Crisis Foretold. This will be a powerful, low-cost book, when it is printed. Earlier this week, I sent the complete sheets of the typeset English and Spanish editions to a friend on the West Coast, so a final proofing of the Spanish edition could be made. As soon as it is returned, we will send it to the printing house. We ask for your continued help to carry this project through. ( Note- it is now printed!)


As mentioned last month, we also need funds with which to print Defending God, a powerful book which directly answers the three leading charges against the goodness of God: (1) The error that He causes the suffering in our world. (2) The error that He will burn people as soon as they die, and will continue doing it forever. (3) The error that He has no moral laws governing us, yet holds us responsible for our sins.


If it is given to the people, the Word of God is powerful. If we leave it on our shelves, that power is locked within its closed pages. Ancient Israel did that for centuries -refusing to share their faith-until they were taken into captivity and only a remnant survived.


Let us learn our lesson while there is still time. God is testing character. He has given us the truth. What will we do with it?


At a time of great apostasy among the people of God. Caleb stood firm (Num. 13:30-14:9). He defended God's truth, even though it was at the risk of His life (Num. 14:10). The end result was not pleasant (Num. 14:37-38). Those experiences are examples for us today (1 Cor. 10:6).


"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."-1 Corinthians 10:11-12.


"It was Caleb's faith that gave him courage, that kept him from the fear of man, and enabled him to stand boldly and unflinchingly in the defense of the right. Through reliance on the same Power, the mighty General of the armies of heaven, every true soldier of the cross may receive strength and courage to overcome the obstacles that seem insurmountable."-Review. May 30. 1912; 1 Bible Commentary. 1113.


"Calebs have been greatly needed in different periods of the history of our work. Today we need men of thorough fidelity, men who follow the Lord fully, men who are not disposed to be silent when they ought to speak, who are as true as steel to principle, who do not seek to make a pretentious show, but who walk humbly with God, patient, kind, obliging. courteous men, who understand that the science of prayer is to exercise faith and show works that will tell to the glory of God and the good of His people. . To follow Jesus requires wholehearted conversion at the start, and a repetition of this conversion every day."-Letter 39. 1899; 1 Bible Commentary. 1113.


Think not that the giving of the Three Angels' Messages are of little importance! It was to do this work that the God of heaven brought our denomination into existence!


It is not rebellion against God to stand free, if need be, in order to give those messages to the world. In stark contrast, it is rebellion of the worst sort to try to prohibit God's people from doing so.


God's faithful ones are those who accept the message and give the message! "God has called His church in this day, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth. By the mighty cleaver of truth, the messages of the first, second, and third angels, He has separated them from the churches and from the world to bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. He has made them the depositaries of His law and has committed to them the great truths of prophecy for this time. Like the holy oracles committed to ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be communicated to the world. The three angels of Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the light of God's messages and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth." -5 Testimonies. 455-456.


When we depart from these messages, and refuse to give them, we lose our connection with heaven:


"Many who embraced the third message had not had an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this. and his evil eye was upon them to overthrow them; but the third angel was pointing them to the Most Holy Place, and those who had had an experience in the past messages were pointing them the way to the heavenly Sanctuary.


"Many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angels' messages, and gladly received them in their order, and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly Sanctuary. These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan."-Early Writings. 256.


"The message of the third angel is to prepare a people to stand in these days of peril. It is to be proclaimed with a loud voice and is to accomplish a work which few realize."-8 Testimonies. 94.


"The third angel is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly." Testimonies to Ministers. 488.


Publications will be the primary way these messages will be given to the world:


THE FIRST ANGELS MESSAGE-"They are among the agencies represented by the angel flying 'in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation. and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: Revelation 14:6-7.

THE SECOND ANGELS MESSAGE-"From them is to go forth the terrible denunciation: 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication: Verse 8.


THE THIRD ANGELS MESSAGE- "They are represented by the third angel that followed, 'saying with a loud voice. If any man worship the beast and his image. and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God: Verses 9-10.


THE FOURTH ANGELS MESSAGE- "And in a large degree through our publishing houses is to be accomplished the work of that other angel who comes down from heaven with great power and who lightens the earth with his glory."-7 Testimonies. 140.


The Latest on- Explosion in Brazil!


More keeps happening in South America, with the epicenter of the quake taking place in Brazil:


               Over 3,000 laymen in Brazil are now awake and have cast off the restraints of church workers who want them to stop sharing the third angel's message about the law, the Sabbath, and the mark of the beast. As mentioned in our first announcement of these developments (Explosion in Brazil [WM1068]). published in March. they have been forced out of their local churches because they are doing this.


              There are close to a hundred lay churches in Brazil alone. . There is now 15 or 20 new lay churches in Chili alone. . There is a growing number in other South American nations. . Conference leaders are now urging local Adventist Churches to hold religious services on Sunday morning! Some larger congregations in El Salvador are now doing this.


              At a fairly recent Ecumenical Council held in South America, Catholic officials complained to Adventist Church leaders about the activities of the lay Adventists. They did not like their message and they did not appreciate the fact that so many Catholics are being converted. In response, Adventist Church leaders said, "We'll take care of them!" But, so far, they have not been able to fulfill that promise.


              Lay medical missionary work is now flourishing in those areas where the laymen are coming alive and getting to work.


              Someone donated a 500-acre property, to be used as a medical missionary training center. As I write, it is being prepared for use.


            A very large number of faithful laymen have stopped using the denominational Sabbath School Quarterlies, because those publications do not adhere to Adventist standards and beliefs. . The laymen say they are tired of reading quotations by Billy Graham and Protestant and Catholic theologians in the quarterly, as proof of liberal Adventist positions. Relatively few quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy are to be found. These problems are in both the Spanish and Portuguese editions.


             Many stopped using the Senior Quarterly when, in the June 2001 lessons, it said that the Godhead could have a feminine member in it.


             The Friday lesson of the last week in that quarterly mentioned the importance of the Virgin Mary's intercession. That was obviously written to please Catholic leaders, but it caused many believers to throwaway their quarterlies.