Week of Prayer for Sunday
As people, we think in pictures. When you hear someone say the word church, what image or picture comes into your mind? Is it a building? Is it a people? Is it a congregation? Is it an organization? Is it a denomination? What is the church?
When the Bible refers to the church, what does it really mean? To answer this question, we will explore the Bible—the Word of God—and the testimonies of God’s messenger to His last day people.
The word church is a New Testament word. It is never used in the Old Testament, although God had a church in Old Testament times. This is confirmed by the fact that Stephen refers to the period when the children of Israel were in the wilderness as, “the church in the wilderness.” Acts 7:38. It is also confirmed by the following statement from the Spirit of Prophecy: “God had a church when Adam and Eve and Abel accepted and hailed with joy the good news that Jesus was their Redeemer. These realized as fully then as we realize now the promise of the presence of God in their midst. Wherever Enoch found one or two who were willing to hear the message he had for them, Jesus joined with them in their worship of God. In Enoch’s day there were some among the wicked inhabitants of earth who believed. The Lord never yet has left His faithful few without His presence nor the world without a witness.” The Upward Look, 228.
The Bible word from which the English word church is translated is derived from a verbal root that means “to call out,” or, in other words, the noun refers to those who are called out. They have been called out from one place to another place. From where have they been called out and to where are they called?
We are called out of darkness, unto fellowship with God’s Son, and unto holiness. (1 Peter 2:9; 1 Corin-thians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:7.) It is a holy calling, a high calling. The very nature of the word translated church shows clearly that the church can never be catholic. If the church are those who are called out, and those not in the church are those not called out (see Ephesians 2:1–3), then the church can never be catholic, because that word means “according to the whole,” and the church never refers to the whole but rather to those who are called out from the rest of the population into fellowship with God’s Son. This fact is emphasized over and over again in the Book of Revelation. (See, for example, Revelation 12:9; 13:3, 8; 15:2, 3; and the list could be greatly lengthened.)
In fact, in the Scriptures, the word church does not refer to everyone who has been called out, because a testing takes place after the calling out, and each individual must be chosen or elected and then be found faithful. (See Revelation 17:14; Hebrews 12:21–28.)
How does a person become one of God’s elect? Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life: “Your obedience to God’s commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and every one who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of his requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God. You are elected to wear the yoke of Christ,—to bear his burden, to lift his cross. You are to be diligent ‘to make your calling and election sure.’ [11 Peter 1:10.] Search the Scriptures, and you will see that not a son or a daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God’s law. The world makes void the law of God; but Christians are chosen to sanctification through obedience to the truth. They are elected to bear the cross, if they would wear the crown.” Christian Education, 118.
“There is an election of individuals and a people, the only election found in the word of God, where man is elected to be saved. Many have looked at the end, thinking they were surely elected to have heavenly bliss; but this is not the election the Bible reveals. Man is elected to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected to put on the armor, to fight the good fight of faith. He is elected to use the means God has placed within his reach to war against every unholy lust, while Satan is playing the game of life for his soul. He is elected to watch unto prayer, to search the Scriptures, and to avoid entering into temptation. He is elected to have faith continually. He is elected to be obedient to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, that he may be, not a hearer only, but a doer of the word. This is Bible election.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 453, 454.
“Those who humbly and prayerfully search the Scriptures, to know and to do God’s will, will not be in doubt of their obligations to God. For ‘if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ [John 7:17.] If you would know the mystery of godliness, you must follow the plain word of truth,—feeling or no feeling, emotion or no emotion. Obedience must be rendered from a sense of principle, and the right must be pursued under all circumstances. This is the character that is elected of God unto salvation. The test of a genuine Christian is given in the word of God. Says Jesus, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. . . . If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.’ [John 14:15, 21, 23, 24.]
“Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God’s commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and every one who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of his requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God. You are elected to wear the yoke of Christ,—to bear his burden, to lift his cross. You are to be diligent ‘to make your calling and election sure.’ [11 Peter 1:10.] Search the Scriptures, and you will see that not a son or a daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God’s law. The world makes void the law of God; but Christians are chosen to sanctification through obedience to the truth. They are elected to bear the cross, if they would wear the crown.” Review and Herald, July 17, 1888.
(There is such a thing as the “elect church.” It was not the Jewish church in the days of Christ, even though they were the chosen people and it was not yet a.d. 34. See The Desire of Ages, 680.)
The Elect Must be Faithful
The elect must be faithful. This should need no explanation, but let us read a few inspired descriptions of the faithful.
“You can prove yourself elected of Christ by being faithful; you can prove yourself the chosen of Christ by abiding in the vine.” Our High Calling, 77.
“The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant.—Letter 32, 1892.” Evangelism, 707.
“ ‘The Lord is very good to us,’ she [Ellen White] declared; ‘and if we follow on to know the Lord, we shall know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. If there is any question in your minds in regard to what is right, look to the Lord Jesus, and He will guide you. We should bring every plan to the Lord, to see if He approves it. . . . Remember that the Lord will carry us through. I am guarding every moment, so that nothing may come between me and the Lord. I hope there will not. God grant that we may all prove faithful. There will be a glorious meeting soon.’ ” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 447, 448.
“The Lord is still testing us to see whether we will prove faithful servants. He is calling upon his people to consider his goodness, to respond to his mercy, and to give proof of their loyalty by bringing all the tithes into his storehouse. ‘Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.’ [Malachi 3:10.]” Review and Herald, November 10, 1896.
“Fathers and mothers, a sacred trust has been committed to you. You are to be godly, firm, temperate. Let no one find you smoking or drinking. Remember that you transmit these depraved appetites to your children. God wants you to keep before them the fact that there is a heaven to win, a hell to shun. He wants you to keep them pure from the vicious, vile habits of the world. Keep your children at their home, and if people say to you, ‘Your children will not know how to conduct themselves in the world,’ tell your friends that you are not so concerned about that matter, but that you do want to take them to the Master for his blessing, even as the mothers of old took their children to Jesus. Say to your advisers: ‘Children are the heritage of the Lord, and I want to prove faithful to my trust. The presence of God must be in my household, in order that as a family we shall present to the world evidences of his divine power. My children must be brought up in such a way that they shall not be swayed by the influences of the world, but where, when tempted to sin, they may be able to say a square, hearty no. [Emphasis in original.] They must be trained in such a way as to be able to say, “I will cling to the promises of God.” ’ ‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’ [Revelation 22:14.] Tell your friends and neighbors that you want to see your family inside the gates of the beautiful city. Teach your children to know God; teach them that eternal life is of more value to them than the fleeting pleasures and honors of the world. Train them, mothers, from their earliest years in the principles of Christianity, in love, in truth, in genuine Christian politeness.” The Signs of the Times, April 23, 1894.
“There will be colored people there in heaven. Do you think that Christ has a separate apartment for them? Not at all. Heaven is broad, and they come right in. They have labored to overcome their difficulties, they have proved faithful to the end. We must labor diligently to bring them to the position where they will recognize and accept the truth for this time; and then we must labor and plan to fit them up to work for others of their own race. . . .
“By and by it is going to be much harder than it is today, to reach the colored people. Now is our opportunity to labor among them. By and by there will be combinations of circumstances that will make it impossible for us to labor as we can now; and so we should try to improve every moment of our time in seeking to bring to a knowledge of the truth, souls that are ready to perish, that they may at last have the crown of life with us.—Manuscript 15, 1909, pp. 6, 7, 10, 15, 16. (Talk to Madison teachers and students, April 26, 1909.)” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 34, 35.
“At the eleventh hour, when the work grows harder and the people are more hardened, there will be a variety of talent brought in. These workers will prove faithful and receive their penny. Sacrificing men will step into the places made vacant by those who would not be fitted for a place in the heavenly temple. These resources will continue to come in. The Lord will provide openings and facilities. He will call upon the youth to fill up the places made vacant by deaths and apostasies. He will give young men and women, as well as those who are older, the cooperation of the heavenly intelligences. They will have converted characters, converted minds, converted hands, converted feet, and converted tongues. Their lips will be touched with a living coal from the divine altar. If they will learn the lesson of walking humbly before God, if they will not seek to invent new plans, but will do that which the Lord has appointed them to do, they will be enabled to carry God’s plan onward and upward without narrowing it. . . .” Ibid., vol. 10, 170.
“The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11.
“The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of her sacred trust is treachery to Him who has bought her with the precious blood of His only begotten Son. All down through the history of the world, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. . . .” Our High Calling, 172.
“The church is God’s fortress, his city of refuge, which he holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of her sacred trust is treachery to him who has bought her with the precious blood of his only begotten Son. In the past, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth, and God has taken them into covenant relation with himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth his holy angels to minister to his church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against it.” Review and Herald, December 4, 1900.
Other Uses of the Word Church
The word church is sometimes used in the Spirit of Prophecy to refer to all those who call themselves a church (those who profess Christ and certain doctrines) or to that which is recognized by men as “the church.” Of course, this church is not the true church, as can be determined by looking at the contexts. A few examples:
“In the seventeenth century thousands of pastors were expelled from their positions. The people were forbidden, on pain of heavy fines, imprisonment, and banishment, to attend any religious meetings except such as were sanctioned by the church. Those faithful souls who could not refrain from gathering to worship God were compelled to meet in dark alleys, in obscure garrets, and at some seasons in the woods at midnight. In the sheltering depths of the forest, a temple of God’s own building, those scattered and persecuted children of the Lord assembled to pour out their souls in prayer and praise. But despite all their precautions, many suffered for their faith. The jails were crowded. Families were broken up. Many were banished to foreign lands. Yet God was with His people, and persecution could not prevail to silence their testimony. Many were driven across the ocean to America and here laid the foundations of civil and religious liberty which have been the bulwark and glory of this country.” The Great Controversy, 252.
“Even the church, which should be the pillar and ground of the truth, is found encouraging the selfish love of pleasure. When money is to be raised for religious purposes, to what means do many churches resort? To bazaars, suppers, fancy fairs, even to lotteries, and like devices. Often the place set apart for God’s worship is desecrated by feasting and drinking, buying, selling, and merrymaking.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 54.
“See Martin Luther withstanding that mighty church which is the masterpiece of the world’s wisdom. See him holding fast God’s word against emperor and pope, declaring, ‘Here I take my stand; I can not do otherwise. God be my help.’ ” Ibid., 78.
“The church has gone over to the world in transgression of the law, when the world should have come over to the church in obedience to the law. Daily the church is being converted to the world.” Ibid., 315, 316.
All Who Profess Not True Church
When we study the Spirit of Prophecy, we find that not all those who profess to be the church are actually part of the true church. A few statements will verify this:
“The professed church of Christ is full of the spurious article, and one distinct feature of it is, the more one drinks into the spirit of popular sanctification, the less he prizes the present truth. Many of those who are the open opponents of God’s Sabbath, the third angel’s message, and the health reform, are among the sanctified ones. Some of them have even reached the almost hopeless position that they cannot sin. These, of course, have no further use for the Lord’s prayer, which teaches us to pray that our sins may be forgiven, and but very little use for the Bible, as they profess to be led by the Spirit.” Review and Herald, June 6, 1878.
“The professed church of Christ has wandered from her privilege, her duty, and her God. Like ancient Israel, she has forsaken the covenant, and joined herself in harmony with the world. Pride, luxury, and pleasure are invited into the sanctuary, and her holy places are defiled. Those who have pledged their allegiance to God, enjoy the company and spirit of his avowed enemies. Their choice determines their character. Strong is the Lord God who judgeth them.” The Signs of the Times, October 4, 1883.
“The professed church of God may be possessed of wealth, education, and knowledge of doctrine, and may say by her attitude, ‘I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’ [Revelation 3:17]; but if its members are devoid of inward holiness, they cannot be the light of the world. The church is to reflect light into the moral darkness of the world, as the stars reflect light into the darkness of the night. These who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, do not reflect light into the world, and will not have power to reach the hearts of the unsaved. Without vital connection with Christ the value of truth cannot be made to appear in good fruit in the world; but if Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, his saving grace will be manifested in sympathy and love for perishing souls.” Ibid., September 11, 1893.
“The Lord hath a controversy with his people, and, although in his great mercy he bear long with them, yet if they persist in living in transgression of his law, they will not stand in the day of his rebuke. He has seen the backsliding and iniquity of his professed people. He has noted the unbelief, the hypocrisy, the pride, the selfishness, the disobedience to his law, and he will punish for these things. God cannot be in harmony with the people who will not obey his commandments who are wickedly departing from his precepts and by their example of disobedience at leading their children and their neighbor in the way of transgression. The professed church of Christ is strengthening the hand of sinners in their evil work by making void through their traditions, the commandment of Jehovah.” Ibid., March 12, 1894.
“Through paganism, and then through the Papacy, Satan exerted his power for many centuries in an effort to blot from the earth God’s faithful witnesses. Pagans and papists were actuated by the same dragon spirit. They differed only in that the Papacy, making a pretense of serving God, was the more dangerous and cruel foe. Through the agency of Romanism, Satan took the world captive. The professed church of God was swept into the ranks of this delusion, and for more than a thousand years the people of God suffered under the dragon’s ire. And when the Papacy, robbed of its strength, was forced to desist from persecution, John beheld a new power coming up to echo the dragon’s voice, and carry forward the same cruel and blasphemous work. This power, the last that is to wage war against the church and the law of God, was symbolized by a beast with lamblike horns. The beasts preceding it had risen from the sea, but this came up out of the earth, representing the peaceful rise of the nation which is symbolized. The ‘two horns like a lamb’ [Revelation 13:11] well represent the character of the United States Government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, Republicanism and Protestantism. These principles are the secret of our power and prosperity as a nation. Those who first found an asylum on the shores of America rejoiced that they had reached a country free from the arrogant claims of popery and the tyranny of kingly rule. They determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty.” Ibid., November 1, 1899.
“Notwithstanding all the persecution of the saints, living witnesses for God’s truth were raised up on every hand. Angels of the Lord were doing the work committed to their trust. They were searching in the darkest places and selecting out of the darkness men who were honest in heart. These were all buried up in error, yet God called them, as He did Saul, to be chosen vessels to bear His truth and raise their voices against the sins of His professed people. Angels of God moved upon the hearts of Martin Luther, Melanchthon, and others in different places, and caused them to thirst for the living testimony of the Word of God. The enemy had come in like a flood, and the standard must be raised against him. Luther was the one chosen to breast the storm, stand up against the ire of a fallen church, and strengthen the few who were faithful to their holy profession. He was ever fearful of offending God. He tried through works to obtain His favor, but was not satisfied until a gleam of light from heaven drove the darkness from his mind and led him to trust, not in works, but in the merits of the blood of Christ. He could then come to God for himself, not through popes or confessors, but through Jesus Christ alone.” Early Writings, 222, 223.
“When the professed people of God are uniting with the world, living as they live, and joining with them in forbidden pleasures; when the luxury of the world becomes the luxury of the church; when the marriage bells are chiming, and all are looking forward to many years of worldly prosperity—then, suddenly as the lightning flashes from the heavens, will come the end of their bright visions and delusive hopes.” The Great Controversy, 338.
“There is the same dislike of reproof and correction among the professed people of God to-day as in the days of our Saviour. There is the same disposition to lean toward the world and to follow its mocking shadows. The presence of ambitious, selfish, time-serving members is imperiling the church, whose greatest danger is from worldly conformity. Such members are constantly exerting an influence to unite the church more closely with the world. They are doing the work of Satan. When God sends his servants with words of warning or counsel, these traitors to their holy trust reject the Heaven-sent message, and thus not only slight the grace of Christ themselves, but lead others also to smother their convictions and lose the proffered blessing.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 233.
“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet’s illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side. ‘And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.’ [Ezekiel 9:4.]
“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God’s sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done’ in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 266, 267.
“Says the prophet, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ [Revelation 12:17.] We can see from this scripture that it is not the true church of God that makes war with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is the people who make void the law, who place themselves on the side of the dragon, and persecute those who vindicate God’s precepts.” The Signs of the Times, April 22, 1889.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who consider themselves Seventh-day Adventists will never be a part of the church triumphant.
“We are living in a most solemn time. In the last vision given me [Ellen White], I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead. The humble, self-sacrificing followers of Jesus will pass on to perfection, leaving behind the indifferent and lovers of the world.
“I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshiped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them.
“A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God—a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. ‘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.’ [1 Corinthians 10:11.]” Testimonies, vol. 1, 608, 609.
Part of God’s Family
As we draw near the end, there are going to be great shifts—many whom we have thought were in the church will prove that, although they were in the church by profession, they were never really a part of it—they were just “pretended believers,” actually only “false brethren.” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 72.)
If you have been baptized, if you are a member of the church because of your profession of faith, you need to consider whether you are really part of the family of God or whether your experience is only one of profession. Remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ are not His. (Romans 8:9.)
“There are two kinds of connection between the branches and the vine stock. One is visible, but superficial. The other is invisible and vital. So there is an apparent union, a membership with the church, and a profession of religion, which, though in itself good, is too often unaccompanied by saving faith in Jesus or living obedience to the commandments of God. The branches that are connected with Christ, the living vine, will make it manifest by bearing much fruit in good works to the glory of God. But the branches which have nothing but an apparent union, will be fruitless. As the branch cannot possibly bring forth fruit without a vital connection with the parent stock, so the Christian can be fruitful in good works only as union with Christ is made and preserved. The ruin of those who are not connected with Christ, is as complete as though they had no name to live; for they are dead. Christ compares them to lifeless branches that are gathered and burned in the fire.” The Signs of the Times, July 27, 1888.
The Church as We Draw Near the End
“All society is ranging into two great classes, the obedient and the disobedient. Among which class shall we be found?
“Those who keep God’s commandments, those who live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, compose the church of the living God. Those who choose to follow antichrist are subjects of the great apostate. Ranged under the banner of Satan, they break God’s law and lead others to break it. They endeavor so to frame the laws of nations that men shall show their loyalty to earthly governments by trampling upon the laws of God’s kingdom.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 949.
“God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.
“Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God’s great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God. . . .
“They that will be doers of the word are building securely, and the tempest and storm of persecution will not shake their foundation, because their souls are rooted to the eternal Rock.—Letter 108, October 28, 1886.” The Upward Look, 315.
[All emphasis supplied unless otherwise noted.]
Jerry Stewart is a Bible Worker at Steps to Life.