As members of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement we are among the few who are seriously interested in the fact that “we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win” (The Desire of Ages, p. 636).
“There are not many ways to heaven. Each one may not choose his own way. Christ says, ‘I am the way: . . . no man cometh unto to the Father, but by Me’ (John 14:6). Since the first gospel sermon was preached, when in Eden it was declared that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, Christ had been uplifted as the way, the truth, and the life. . . . He is the way by which alone we can have access to God.”—Ibid., p. 663.
Although the world will not receive Christ “because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him” (John 14:17), we know Him since we welcomed Him when He knocked at the door of our heart (Revelation 3:20). He prayed to the Father:
“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
According to John the apostle, the same title, “true God,” belongs to both the Father and the Son.
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
In the interest of our salvation it is not enough to know about Him; we must know Him, see Him by faith, and follow Him “whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).
He is our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, where He entered “to appear . . . for us.” “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25; 8:1, 2; 9:24).
So that we may be able to follow Him by faith and understand the work that He is doing in the heavenly sanctuary in these last days, the most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary has been opened before the eyes of our understanding (Revelation 11:19).
During the whole year of 2011, we will, by the grace of God, study the plan of redemption in connection with the sanctuary.
Starting with this first quarterly, The Plan of Redemption and the Sanctuary Service, we pray that the whole series of lessons will prove to be a blessing. May these lessons bring us closer to the Lord and assist us in preparing us for His soon coming.
SABBATH, JANUARY 1, 2011
First Sabbath Offering Trieste Headquarters Renovation
Italy, with Rome as its capital city and the Vatican State nestled within its geographic area, is a country well known around the world for its millenary history, culture, arts, and natural heritage. With an estimated population of about 60 million, this is the 23rd largest country in the world and the 5th largest country in Europe (as of 2009).
The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement started in Italy around 1939/40 when A. Brugger, escaping from Austria, took the Reformation message to Trieste, and A. Mueller with Lucia Luescher contacted some Adventist people in Milan.
When the East European countries were under Communism, for many of our brethren who were escaping and in search of religious freedom and liberty, Trieste—with its group of believers—was a city of refuge that symbolized the beginning of a life of freedom.
Now after more than 70 years of struggle to spread the Glad Tidings in this country, and thanks to many brethren who decided to emigrate to Italy over these last 18 years—coming from Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Peru, Romania, and Ukraine—it has been possible to open some meeting places in different cities to be a light for the truth. And since September 2009 we have also an organized group in Rome.
In Trieste we were able to buy a place which is the headquarters of the Italian Field and also serves as a meeting place for the local believers. The renovation of this property was possible thanks to the financial help and hard work of the Trieste believers. So far, only the meeting place has been completed. The renovation of the headquarters is something we alone are not able to accomplish it by ourselves.
This is the first time that we in Italy have ever appealed to you through a First Sabbath Offering. Being sure of your liberal offering to assist in the development of the Lord’s work here, we thank you in advance, and ask you also to pray for the many souls in this country that still need to hear the last message of mercy.
Your brethren and sisters from the Italian Field
The General Conference Sabbath School Department