The tenth anniversary (eleventh annual) Southern California Former Adventist Fellowship conference, Good News Prophecy, featured world-class teaching, great fellowship, and warm, sunny weather. Attendees from as far away as Ohio, Manitoba, and Alberta and as close as Riverside, California, convened at Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church in Riverside for a weekend of learning, encouragement, and support. Cornerstone pastor-teacher Milton Vincent and the elders and staff were generous with their help and with their support in hosting this conference as an official Cornerstone event for their congregation.
On Friday morning hospitality coordinators Amy and Audrey Herwig had coffee, eggs, fruit, and breads ready for the attendees who began arriving at 8:00, enjoying food and fellowship around tables decorated by Cheryl Granger. At 9:00 AM Richard and Colleen Tinker opened the weekend with reminiscences and pictures from the first conference held in 2006. Milton Vincent welcomed everyone to Cornerstone and started the day with prayer.
Dale Ratzlaff taught twice from Peter’s epistles; first “Born Again to a Living Hope” from 1 Peter, and “Everything Pertains to Life and Godliness” from 2 Peter.
Gary Inrig, the main conference presenter, taught four times from the book of Daniel which Adventism uses to anchor their core heretical doctrine of the investigative judgment. First he gave an overview of the book of Daniel revealing God’s sovereignty over the future and His faithfulness. His other talks were entitled, “Daniel and his time: thriving in a hard place”, “Daniel and his meaning: curious interpretations”, and “Daniel and his Lord: the coming King”.
In his “Curious Interpretations” talk, Gary showed from the text that Daniel was not a life-long vegetarian and explained that the story in Daniel 1 does not teach the superiority of a vegetarian diet but rather the miraculous intervention of God when His children refused to defile themselves with the king’s paganism. Moreover, he showed in detail how the text explains the identity of the little horn that arises from the goat representing Greece, and he outlined the historic movements of the Greek generals that took control over the civilized world after the death of Alexander the Great. He told the story of Antiochus Epiphanes and his defilement of the temple in Jerusalem. The consequence of his explanation of the historical movements was to see that the Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8:14 is not only unsupported by anything in the text but is a deliberate refusal to acknowledge that history has fulfilled the words of Daniel 8 explicitly.
Well-known apologist and author Ron Rhodes was the featured speaker for the Friday evening public meeting where he gave a talk entitled “Cultic Solutions to the Problem of Evil”. Kelsie Petersen from Alberta, Canada, gave her faith story at the Friday evening meeting, and Paul Carden, executive director for The Centers For Apologetics Research, gave a short talk entitled “Colossian Caution”. The meeting ended with a Q & A session moderated by Richard Tinker and a panel including Paul Carden, Gary Inrig, Dale Ratzlaff, Ron Rhodes, and Colleen Tinker.
Ron Rhodes also spoke twice on Saturday, sharing his own faith story and a talk entitled, “Why We Can Trust the New Testament”, and Colleen Tinker spoke about “Letters to the Editor: what they reveal about the Adventist worldview”. People alternated through three breakout sessions during the two days of the conference: Dale Ratzlaff fielding questions and teaching about the Hebrew Roots movement; Martin Carey explaining how the great controversy contributes to the Adventist belief in the openness of God, and Jim Valentine discussing the effects of perfectionism on three Adventist leaders as revealed in their writings.
On Saturday after lunch Sharon Matute also gave her testimony of coming to faith in Christ after Gary Inrig’s last sermon at the 2015 FAF Conference. The framework of her story was her singing two original songs she composed, telling of coming from darkness into the light of the Lamb who was slain and is alive, and of discovering that the Sabbath was a shadow of the living Lord.
Roy Tinker gave his faith story on Saturday evening before Gary’s last talk from Daniel which led into our taking the Lord’s Supper together. The evening ended with a time of sharing praise and thanks to God.
Jonathan Winn again led worship for the conference assisted by Roy Tinker. They were joined by vocalists Shearin Matute and Amy Selby, Ib Hansen on the bass, and Jeremiah Petsas, percussion.
On Sunday, conference attendees joined Cornerstone Church where Milton Vincent preached from Genesis 12, and the weekend ended with lunch and great conversations at the Redlands home of Les and Fran Spoelstra.
Various comments from attendees emphasize how wonderful the weekend was:
“It was a peaceful conference; there was no sense of conflict or discomfort. It was a wonderful time.”
“The teaching was first-class.”
“I loved the worship! It was God-honoring and beautiful.”
“I’ve never heard Daniel 8 explained so well. There’s no way to justify the Adventist investigative judgment doctrine!”
“There was opportunity to visit with others who were there.”
“Dale’s breakout on the Hebrew Roots movement was very helpful.”
Make plans now to attend this annual conference next February, 2017! †
Copyright 2016 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised June 7, 2016. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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VOLUME 17, ISSUE 1