From a Macedonian brother living in Australia. Nikola Popovik.
I would like to share a bit of my Christian walk. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I am a slow learner. About ten years ago I bought the 1843 and 1850 Charts in their original size from the States. I was impressed with the Charts because the 1843 one was made during the time of the Church of Philadelphia and the 1850 Chart during the time when some of the same believers who were till then part of the Church of Philadelphia were becoming the Church of Laodicea. To me, both Charts are a ‘mirror’ or a ‘picture’ of their respective beliefs. Since, Ellen G. White writes along the lines that ‘the hand of the Lord was involved in the production of the Charts’, I do believe that they are an accurate presentation of their respective beliefs. Obviously, it was very sad that over time the Church of Philadelphia had become the Church of Laodicea so I wanted to see if the Charts show this change, that is if they show why the Lord was pleased with the Church of Philadelphia and not pleased with the Church of Laodicea.
The issue was very confusing to me since the 1850 Chart contains additional truths (like the Sanctuary message). I asked myself if they had more truth, why wasn’t the Lord more pleased with them? It took me over a year to notice the significance that in the middle of the 1843 Chart Jesus is presented on the Cross with detailed facial characteristics. Since it is impossible to draw someone in such a detail unless you know them, I concluded that they must have known Jesus. On the other hand, the 1850 Chart also has Jesus on the Cross but in a much smaller size, off centre, and with His face not being recognizable. To me it meant that they were losing Jesus from their sight. I was very happy with this discovery. I always took the Charts with me to Church on Sabbath, but now I could tell others what my view was about the change that had taken place. The Church of Philadelphia had Jesus in their focus and they knew Him while the Church of Laodicea lost Jesus from their focus and they really didn’t (or don’t) know Him. So, my next question was ‘How do we focus on Jesus?’ About this, I consulted others and all of them told me what I already knew, that we should read the Bible with prayer, read Ellen G. White, attend Church on Sabbath, sing songs of praise, etc. I did all this and in addition listened to different Ellen G. White audio books but I didn’t experience a change in my heart nor in my Christian walk. I thought this was because I didn’t know how to focus on Jesus.
Then I remembered that the Lord’s counsel to the Church of Laodicea is the Third angel’s message. So, with two other Church members we organized ourselves in studying the Third angel’s message. We went through one of E. J. Waggoner’s books and were about to start one of A. T. Jones books when I was diagnosed with my sickness and we stopped the studies.
In Feb 2018 I had a difficult operation and became very weak; after that I had chemo which I could not endure. I started receiving alternative therapies. With a Bible worker (Pastor) who visited me we started studying the Third angel’s message but it wasn’t very effective because I started taking chemo again and became very weak.
Then, I decided to look on the internet to see what others have said about the Third angel’s message. This is how I came about your sermons. I was very impressed with them and shared them with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Then I discovered your sermons on God’s character. They impressed me even more. The argument when Jesus said ‘if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father’ was sufficient for me to accept that Jesus fully represented God’s character. I was surprised how much love and peace this brought to me. Now, I understand that it is not ‘how we focus on Jesus’ but rather ‘what do we see when we focus on Him’. If we see His character of unconditional love then we would reflect that same love in our daily life. This is the change in my Christian experience that I had been looking for. Therefore, I am very thankful to you since your sermons and books have given me the answers I was looking for over many years but could not find them. Thankfully, I know I am a slow learner so I haven’t given up looking for the truth over the years.
Now, I am translating the book Agape. I have done about one quarter of it. Hopefully, it won’t take too long to finish it.