Area Seventh Day Adventists Host Annual Bible Camp in Mapleton
By: David Deschesne
Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal
August 17, 2016
MAPLETON, Maine—The Caribou Seventh Day Adventists (SDA), along with other SDA churches in the area hosted their fifth annual Bible Camp at Baptist Park in Mapleton, last week.
In addition to guests from all over Maine and Western New Brunswick, the SDA also hosted guests from several states outside of the New England region who come to visit Northern Maine specifically for the camp.
The camp meeting was centered around the SDA’s large tent, which was recently seen by many area motorists on Route 1, between Presque Isle and Caribou, for a special presentation on End Times Prophecy they hosted throughout the month of June.
The SDA featured four guest speakers from various ministries; Lincoln Steed, Kevin Sears, Joel Kratzke and Christopher Hudson.
Lincoln Steed is the editor of Liberty magazine, a 100+ year-old 200,000 circulation religious liberty journal which is distributed to political leaders, judiciary, lawyers and other thought leaders in North America. He is also the host of the weekly 3ABN television show The Liberty Insider, and the radio program Lifequest Liberty.
“From the beginning of religious liberty, I've always seen Christ as the center of our religious liberty message. If if's not about Christ, the liberty that Christ brings, we're wasting our time, we're nothing but religious liberty ombudsmen - I told the religious liberty people once - we're not a legal self-help society. We're here to present Christ and Christ is the great liberator,” said Steed.
“It seems to me there's something powerful about the life of Christ, the ministry of Christ. It's the story of universal interest in our redemption. If we're not moved by what Christ has done for us, what will move us? We're not to be mawkishly emotional, but we have to be moved. What think you of the Christ? The Pharisees thought he was just someone they could dispute with. But we really need to know that [he] was, in a way that we can never comprehend, Deity himself presented in a human form walking among us and so involved with us and shows that he's there that he wants to change our lives, he wants to affect our lives. Jesus is real, we have to know that.”
Kevin Sears is the director of NEST Evangelism Center, located on the campus of Atlantic Union College. NEST is a four month training school that teaches personal and public evangelism, as well as health evangelism and medical missionary work.
The focus of Sears' discussion during the camp meeting was the importance of evangelism. “Every single church member in our world church should be involved in evangelism. We're told the life of the church depends on our faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord's commission. So, if we want life as a church member we must be involved in evangelism,” said Sears. “We see this actually in the sanctuary message. In the holy place you have the three articles of furniture; the table of shewbread, the altar of incense and then the seven-branched candlestick. That's our sanctification process of becoming more and more like Christ. The table of shewbread of course represents the word of God, we must eat the word of God so we have to study and then we have the altar of incense which represents our prayers, so we must have a prayer life. But the one that's most often neglected, it seems, is the seven branched candlestick which represents being a light to the world. It's very interesting because the seven branched candlestick is constantly being filled with oil and we know oil is a representation of the Holy Spirit. If we want a fresh supply of the Holy Spirit daily we must be involved in evangelism and witnessing.”
Sears also noted the importance of bringing in the youth to evangelism prior to adulthood in order to establish a solid foundation for their lives. “I love working with young people and have done that for years, since coming into the church. What I've seen is we're losing our young people by the busload when they transition from High School to college. Whether they go to an Adventist college, or any type of college, we're losing them. One thing I've seen is if we get them involved in real evangelism, giving Bible studies, going out and knocking on doors, preaching an evangelistic series - things of this nature - being involve in health ministries where we're actually hands-on helping people out in the community then we see our youth become stronger in what they believe and the foundation is there. The more we get involved in the work, the more we see not only what a blessing it is in the community, but also to us.”
The third speaker at the SDA camp meeting was Joel Kratzke, who has been an evangelist for Amazing Discoveries, a multi-media ministry from Langley, British Columbia, for the past five years. “We have a satellite channel on Glory Star channel as well as the internet. We put together programming for our television station and we also offer evangelistic series around the globe. We do revivals, camp meetings, evangelism and pretty much go wherever God sends us,” said Kratzke.
Kratzke points out that the war that is being waged in the Christian world today is against something much greater than people. “We're not battling against people. We're battling against ideologies, theologies, rumors and slander that the devil has placed in people's minds. The only way with which we can do battle with that is by the truth of God's word. When you're discussing truth with someone, if they have no answer from the word of God, they immediately begin to attack the person,” said Kratzke. “When you are presenting the truth of God, in order to dispel error, remember you have the truth on your side. You are not arguing, you are not debating, you are not in conflict with the person or persons sitting across the table from you. You are in conflict with the devil and the slander and lies he's told about your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The only weapon you have against those is the word of God.”
Kratzke says wholeheartedly the truths contained in the Bible are not up for debate. “I don't debate the Word. Somebody says I want to debate the Bible with you, I say, 'I don't debate.' If you want to study the Bible, you want to discuss the Bible, that's fine, but the Bible's not up for debate. Truth is not up for debate. Truth is truth, you can either accept it or reject it but there's no debate.”
The keynote speaker was Christopher Hudson. Hudson is an evangelist for Forerunner Chronicles, a media ministry, and has been with the ministry for a little more than 10 years. “We do a lot of media on YouTube and live streaming. The Lord's blessed us that we've been able to reach out to people all over the world. I'm glad to be at the Maine camp meeting, it's really been awesome.”
In referring to the various camp activities and seminars that took place throughout the week, such as Wood Crafts, Wilderness First Aid, Country Living, Upholstery and gardening, Hudson says this camp stands out from others he's attended. “It's different from any camp meetings I've been to because they have a lot of interactive and practical training experiences that people are able to engage in so I really like that.”
Hudson says the prophetic role of the United States in prophecy is beginning to be fulfilled, as the Lamb (U.S.) begins to speak “like a dragon.” “The Bible says that this nation, this great nation will one day speak like a dragon,” said Hudson. “The only way a nation can speak is through its legislative bodies and its judicial officials. When our representatives draft legislation, vote on it and sign it into law, that is the speech of the nation. When our Supreme Court justices drop the gavel and say this is the way our Constitution is supposed to be interpreted we are saying this is what we believe as a nation. The Bible is warning us that legislation, rulings will come forth out of our court systems that will resonate with the heartfelt designs of the dragon himself.”
Hudson points to the aftermath of 9/11 and the legislation it spawned as a telltale sign that the U.S. is changing its ideologies to more line up with the dragon of the Bible. “Was the PATRIOT Act a word of peace? All it did was take your freedoms from you and you've been watching legislation after legislation after legislation under the umbrella of peace get passed but in reality it came in the name of taking your liberties.”
Interestingly, the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act was authored by a Christian, John Ashcroft in the late 1990's, when he was a Senator, but was unable to gain enough support to pass it until the events on 9/11. At that point, the law was upgraded and passed without any member of Congress having the opportunity to actually read it in its final form. One of the major items the law dealt with was the ability of people to barter and trade products and services without using the private, for-profit Federal Reserve Bank's paper Federal Reserve banknotes. It established a “Financial Crimes Enforcement Network” to “combat the systems of barter and trade” which will take a leading role in the enforcement of the Biblical “Mark of the Beast” which will prohibit any man from buying or selling who does not have said Mark.
The camp meeting lasted for five days and speakers are already being committed for next August’s gathering.
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