Some Godly Principles about How to Have the Same Power as the Early Church & Complete God’s Commission!

–“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

–“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

–“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” Dr. Noam Chomsky

–“The Lord’s methods are to be followed. It is not for you to be intimidated by outward appearances, however forbidding they may be. It is for you to carry forward the work as the Lord has said…” Ellen White, 9t, p. 141

God gave us a Great Commission, an incredible privilege to work with Him to save lives for eternity and bless people on this earth as well (1 Timothy 4:8). God also gave us much extremely valuable wisdom to help us do this. But it is of a special type. It is enormously valuable wisdom that helps simple people become wise. Therefore, it must be simple to understand and practice (although it may take some time to read and pray about).

“training for godliness is much better[than exercise], promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Tim. 4:8
“The rules of the Lord can be trusted; they make plain people wise.” Psalm 19:7 (NCV)

“The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.” Psalms 119:130 (NLT)


Simple truths of great value bring the most benefits since all can follow and benefit. This is the highest form of genius.

  • “Genius is making complex ideas simple, not making simple ideas complex.” Albert Einstein
  • “Simple can be harder than complex.” Steve Jobs
  • “Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.” Richard Branson

This is exactly the kind of truth the Bible contains far more than any other book, valuable truth that can help simple people in difficulties or suffering from injustice conquer and beat their challenges and oppressors if they will trust God’s ways above man’s ways. It is absolutely essential that we teach SDAs these truths and their incredible value (science shows us how many are far more valuable than we think) for many reasons including:

1) Truth brings freedom as Jesus said (John 8:2) and affects almost every decision in life from daily choices to eternal life.

2) Scholars agree that deceptions/fallacies/propaganda are pervasive in America and other countries.
3) Greed is at sky high levels 2 times worse than Roman times and this is the main root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10), not what is mostly blamed on the news.

4) People’s relationships and communities are being fractured by greed and many deceptions.

5) Knowing how to find truth fairly/quickly dramatically impacts how many SDAs will stay in the church and how quickly our message will be accepted by non-believers. 

We have a HUGE opportunity right now to greatly advance the work of the gospel in the near future, one of the best in history. Dr. William Craig says:

“Evangelical Christianity is growing more than 3 times as fast the world’s population…We have the numbers, the financial resources, and the technology to evangelize the whole world in our generation—and thereby to reach the majority of the human race who have ever lived on the face of this planet!…

In 1815 less than one-tenth of the U. S. population were church members. The church faced enormous obstacles: a westward-migrating population, millions of immigrants flooding in from Europe, exploited non-Christian minorities in the Indians and Negro slaves to be evangelized, and so forth. Yet, amazingly,…by the end of the Great Century, church membership had grown…to more than two-fifths of the population,…blacks, whites, [and]Indians.

…one of the most amazing stories is China. When missionaries were forced out of China in 1948, they left with a feeling of failure and defeat. It was long thought thereafter that the repressive communist regime had all but exterminated Christianity in China. But then during the 1970s news began to leak out of China that though the church had been forced underground, she had flourished and grown…the growth of the church in China has been without parallel in history, until today she numbers somewhere over 90 million believers[newer research says between 100-245 million]. In the words of Patrick Johnstone, Mao Tse-tung unwittingly became the greatest evangelist in history! Listen, God is on the move in the world today! He is building His church, just as He has been building it down through the centuries…”

Professor Latourette from Yale said that sometimes God’s work progresses as an “advance through storm.” It makes progress over time, despite some setbacks and deceptions that for a time may be popular, but are eventually exposed as harmful lies. (Pr. 12:19). Sometimes belief recedes for a time, but when people see the harm that deceptions do, it comes back in an even stronger tide.

Many news reports claim Christianity is declining. Not only does some very strong research shows this is not accurate at the worldwide level, this claim is a well-known propaganda tactic. Corporate media sometimes keeps on repeating false ideas since ~37% of people follow views they think are popular most of the time and 75% of people do that some of the time.[2] So eventually the claims can become real, a self-fulfilling prophecy, if not debunked with facts. An article by a science writer for a secular organization cites a lot of solid evidence from science and says:

“Atheism as a belief system has peaked and its share of humanity is shrinking…As atheistic countries shrink, religious regions globally are growing.”[3]


While there may be some decline in a few countries, such as America and parts of Europe (due to major amounts of media propaganda, churches that have abandoned many important principles, etc.), in many places in the world, Christianity is growing phenomenally. Even in America churches that follow the Bible closely are growing. In my experience both in foreign countries and in America, most people I meet are very aware of many crises facing our world and are very interested to hear what I say about how the Bible and esp. SDA doctrines are practical solutions to these problems.


The growth of Christianity is especially impressive Asia and Africa (although they have setbacks too at times, including right now with some significant persecution that started in China in 2018). While in Asia, I shared many valuable truths I learned in America there and was privileged to see many lives changed, many baptized, baptized some precious souls and several of those new SDAs later become pastors in our church. But I also learned several incredibly valuable things that are important for churches in America and other countries.

Ellen White shares some insights about some very important principles that can help us have the same power that the early church did if we follow them. 

There is a yet deeper significance to the golden rule…whatever you may possess above your fellows places you in debt, to that degree, to all who are less favoredThe standard of the golden rule is the true standard of Christianity; anything short of it is a deception…

Of the apostolic church, in those bright days when the glory of the risen Christ shone upon them, it is written that no man said “that any of the things which he possessed was his own.” ”There were no needy people among them.” “The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.” “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity-all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 4:32, 34, 33; 2:46, 47 (updated from KJV to NLT).  

Search heaven and earth, and there is no truth revealed more powerful than that which is made manifest in works of mercy to those who need our sympathy and aid. This is the truth as it is in Jesus. When those who profess the name of Christ shall practice the principles of the golden rule, the same power will attend the gospel as in apostolic times.”
Ellen White, Mount of Blessing, p. 136-7

In the context of the quote above, she specifically cites Acts 4:32, 34, 33; 2:46, 47, but she lists the verses in unique order, reversing both chapters (4 before 2) and verses (34 before 33). Because of many other Bible verses and principles, historical research and science, I think this indicates something quite important for us.  

First, the early church leaders created an attitude among believers that they were stewards of all the skills, resources and blessings they possessed. God was their Creator, and had given each of them gifts, whether it was skill in pastoring, teaching, wisdom/counseling, helping, prophesying, etc. (Eph. 4:11, 1 Cor. 12:8-10), the ability to earn money (Deut. 8:18) or whatever. They were responsible to use every gift for God, to disciple and teach truth, to empower believers to witness and help others, to help suffering/oppressed people, etc.


Second, the early church emphasized acting to follow Bible economics/justice so that there was no poverty in the church. God promised that following His economic principles could eliminate poverty (Deut. 15:4), and this happened in Israel (1 Kings 4:25, Neh. 5:12-13) and also in the early church (Acts 4:34). The Bible and Ellen White emphasize treating the needs of all as equal in many places (Numbers 15:15, Matt. 23:8, Gal. 3:28). They did not follow the harmful goal of insisting that all have equal wealth, but they were concerned with basic justice and decent quality of life for all (Prov. 29:7, Prov. 31:8,9 and many others). Ellen White several times says she is straining every power in the area of economic justice and it is a very crucial part of evangelism/mission work.

Christians were advised to do good first for Christians (Gal. 6:10), especially in need (Rom. 12:13), those who were poor and had a good character (Deut. 15:11, Prov. 3:27) nearby and when possible in cities/countries far away (Rom. 15:26, 2 Corinthians 8:3-5, 12-14). Believers were responsible to take care of their family needs first if they could (1 Tim. 5:4, 8, 16) so that the church could care for orphans, widows and those treated unjustly who had no family to support them (1 Tim. 5:3, 9, 16). They were taught that evidence that God’s love was really in them was to reject selfishness and hoarding and give to those in need (1 John 3:14-19/James 2) and to live according to justice (Prov. 29:7). It seems that those who would not treat others with equality were educated, rebuked, warned and in some cases punished severely by God (as the case of Ananias and Sapphira demonstrates).

That there were secular businesses in Rome (, but Christians were never
advised to invest in them. They were advised to invest in needy/worthy people. There are many crucial reasons to follow this advice now.
a) Investing in churches is far more beneficial for communities. Dr. Cnaan has shown that for every $1 contributed to churches, the community receives ~$4.77 in benefits ( and sometimes up to $10 (depending on how biblical the church is). Another study found that when all the volunteer work, crime reduction, job creation, suicide prevention, educational work, marriage protection, help for suffering/poor/oppressed people and many other effects of churches are considered, the average church generates ~$2 million every year.[4]

b) Investing in people (or organizations/resources that help people) is best. For every $1 given to children, they produce ~$8-16 in benefits in the future). Helping people become independent is similarly highly beneficial.
“Some research shows each $1 can bring up to $16 in benefits.”
Partnering to help our students: Access to high-quality education builds a stronger Pa. economy.

c) Corporations have numerous connections with each other. So investing in non-Christian (or sometimes even Christian businesses) can involve you in some very unethical and immoral activities. Dr. Jeff Boyd, head of Adventist Peace Fellowship, writes,
“In our deeply interconnected world, it is nearly impossible to invest with entirely “clean hands” regarding any of the industries and products the GC attempts to avoid—meat production, pornography, gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Regardless, we believe it is important to live our values as fully as possible, and we strive to embody these principles with increasing consistency and authenticity.” [5]

d) Corporations siphon off money from communities and funnel it to a few super rich/powerful people. This kills small businesses and forces more and more people into dependence on corporations. Economic researchers have found that ~737 stock holders have significant/majority control over ~43,060+ transnational corporations.[6] Certain experts at Forbes think that there are, “Four Companies That Control the 147 Companies That Own Everything.”[7]

e) Many corporations have treated their workers in exploitative/abusive ways or even used slave labor. Some of them work for you (see the first link).,

f) Many corporations now are controlled by a tiny few extremely powerful people, mostly non-Christian. And many major corporations are also controlled directly or indirectly by the Vatican. This means they will try to force their workers to disobey God in various ways now, and especially in the future when the Sunday law comes. ***(reference coming

The Bible doesn’t say this, but historically, it’s pretty clear that most people in Bible times bought and sold almost everything locally, often from individuals and small businesses that people personally owned. This is a huge solution to many problems now.

Research shows that if every family just bought $10 more from local believers/community members, it would return $9.3 billion to local economies and help solve many environmental problems too.[8] If Christians spend $100/month on church businesses/local businesses, it would bring ~$72,923,437,500 into their communities and if they tithed that, it would be ~$7.3 billion in tithe.

If SDA families just spent ~$100 more very month on SDA/Christian businesses/local businesses, it would bring ~$340 million for local believers/community and ~$34 million in tithe. Probably not everyone will do this. Some though will do more than $100/month. But the more people that do it, the more benefits there will be for local communities. Michael Shuman (an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur) says,
“The best way of reducing poverty and increasing equality is going local.”[9]

The top goal of these principles seems to be to first enable believers to be as stable and independent as possible, then help moral/suffering people who are most open to God’s truth nearby and then far away. This would bring the most sincere people into the church most rapidly.

It is especially powerful when we can give in ways that create independence and self-sufficiency, so that the person helped can become another person to help others and prevent people from being exploited by financial predators. The Jews taught about 8 types of giving based on Bible principles, from top level of helping people to become independent with their own businesses or find a good job down to the lowest type which kept people dependent and was grudging.

Scholars have said it was because the early church treated everyone’s needs as equal, sacrificed so much for others, had compassion for orphans, widows, abused children, slaves, etc. and worked to free them from oppression, that so many people were attracted to belief in God. This is the biggest reason why the church expanded so rapidly in the Roman empire. ***Many academics state that the reason the early Christians turned the world upside down and converted so many (Acts 17:6) was their concern for equality, economic and social justice.[10]

Elaine H. Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University says:

“[Christianity] is saying that every person, man, woman, child, slave, barbarian, no matter who, is made in the image of God and is therefore of enormous value in the eyes of God…. That’s an extraordinary message. And it would have been enormous news to many people who never saw their lives having value. I think that is a powerful appeal of this religion… it’s certainly clear that some were drawn by the way that this community would take care of people…the followers of Jesus tended to feed the destitute, take care of people who were widowed so that they wouldn’t become prostitutes and orphans and so forth. That was a primary obligation of Jewish piety. And Jesus’ followers certainly understood that. So that is an enormous element of the appeal of this movement.”

L. Michael White: Professor of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin says:

“In the year 251, right at the time of the persecution of Decius, we have a register of the church at Rome, it says over 1,500 widows [and needy persons] on the roster of the church at Rome…[were] being taken care of by the church. The church becomes, in a lot of ways, a new kind of social welfare agency in the Roman Empire.”

See more at the links here:


Third, the most educated scholars of Christianity testified of the resurrection as a proven fact (Acts 1:3) based on evidence from their own experience or the disciples/apostles that they had heard. Much/most of the love, donations, sacrifices above could never have happened without people having very strong confidence that Jesus’ resurrection was real and that He could resurrect those who followed Him. Paul said that if Christianity was false, Christians are the most misguided and pitiable people of all (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

Elizabeth Clark: John Carlisle Kilgo Professor of Religion and Director of the Graduate Program in Religion Duke University says,

“Christianity had an institution… that offered to its practitioners…repentance from sins and overcoming sin and overcoming death…”

Wayne A. Meeks: Woolsey Professor of Biblical Studies Yale University says that,

“this new message, [this] rather improbable message that the Son of God has come to earth and been crucified, in human form, and risen from the dead … appealed to a lot of perfectly ordinary people…”

Fourth, they worshipped together. Worship has all sorts of benefits for people who engage in it. Just a few are:

TRUTH/FREEDOM: In their worships, the Christian believers were learning weekly and often daily the principles of truth from God that vast amounts of science have shown is valuable. Jesus said truth sets people free (John 8:32) Yale professor Sean Illing has said, “Truth is required to act freely…freedom requires truth.”[11]

 PRAYER: Dr. William Sadler wrote the textbook “The Practice of Psychiatry”. He said prayer protects people from mental diseases:

“Prayer is a powerful and effectual worry remover. Men and women who have learned to pray with childlike sincerity, literally talking to and communing with the Heavenly Father, are in possession of a great secret whereby they can cast their care upon God, knowing that He cares for us. A clear conscience…[protects] the mind against neuroticism.” William Samuel Sadler, “Practice of Psychiatry”, P 1012.

The prestigious Mayo Clinic summarized ~1200 scientific studies and said that belief in God brings many benefits in mental and physical health (many of these tests were on Christians). 

“Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed published studies, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and subject reviews. The authors report a majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables have found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes.”[12]

Singing in church, in a group or in a choir, has many surprising benefits. It improves health, helps people bond in a community better and other things.–-and-perfect-icebreaker

5) HEALTHY COMMUNITY (meeting, eating together, etc.):

Fifth, they had a health spiritual community, meeting together often, eating together happily and living life together frequently.

Stephen Covey wrote a famous book based on ~200 years of research on success (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”). He basically said that we start life very dependent on others. We grow and learn habits that help us become independent as adults. But those who are most successful go to a higher stage. They join and become an active part of healthy and ethical group. That is interdependence, the highest level of living. They could be independent. But by being part of a health community, they can cover the weak points of others, and others can cover their weak points. They can focus on what they do most efficiently, and more. It saves enormous amounts of time and energy.

Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson pointed out individuals can sometimes win in some areas by being selfish (fame, wealth, etc.), but often lose in others (like relationships). But at the group level:

“A group of altruists will beat a society of selfish individuals every time.”[13]

As the Bible shows, the early church in Acts had members from several different nationalities (Jew and Gentile). If we can have people from many different backgrounds, that’s extremely valuable. Ellen White says that learning from the insights of every nationality is really important to help us be most successful in our work for God.

“If we are to carry on the work most successfully, the talents to be found among the English and Americans should be united with the talents of those of every other nationality. And each nationality should labor earnestly for every other nationality…Our effort should be to answer Christ’s prayer for His disciples, that they should be one.” 9T p. 195

“There is no person, no nation, that is perfect in every habit and thought. One must learn of another. Therefore, God wants the different nationalities to mingle together, to be one in judgment, one in purpose. (E.G.W. Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, p. 137).

I learned much from the Koreans about the incredible importance of Bible economics. They had a powerful Christian revival which led them to confess sins and spend hours in prayer, treat everyone’s needs as equal, followed many Bible economics principles and ~20 other principles in the areas of environment, diligent work, social morals, health and spirituality (see chart on the right and more info here: This helped them go from poorest to top 15 richest in the world, ranking #1 or close to it in dozens of areas, but far more importantly from 1% to 30% Christian.

China has already experienced the biggest evangelism explosion in world history. But they are working for a much bigger one in the future and we need their help to help finish God’s commission and they need our help. Many Chinese pastors and Christians have had visions saying that China is the key country to evangelize in order to conquer the 10/40 window and take the gospel through the Middle East, back to Jerusalem and finish the Great Commission. They have a goal of training over 1 million missionaries to accomplish this (this is almost 10 times the number of Protestant missionaries now). In addition, Xi Jin Ping is building a massive transportation network (called One Belt, One Road), that could easily help spread the gospel like the Roman roads did for early Christians.

Chinese Christians have evidence corroborating the Bible through Chinese characters, powerful evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, experience of how to thrive under persecution, many language/cultural connections and other significant advantages. These will help them be more effective in conquering the Middle East for God than we can be.

This is a golden chance for SDAs to help finish God’s work and there are many things SDAs in every country can do to help evangelize China. We need many Chinese SDAs and all their insights and knowledge about how to evangelize people in closed countries where the gospel is persecuted and much more. We need many SDAs from other countries to support work in China in various ways and also to try to meet and evangelize the Chinese who come to their own countries (there are ~3-400,000 Chinese students in America every year for example). Ellen White says that when churches work to help foreign missions, it will bring much benefit their local churches too (6T p. 27). This YWAM video is a very good short intro: and here’s an SDA version about the 10/40 window challenge:

See more on this here:

Another helpful thing is being in a network of people, some close friends and some who are more like acquaintances. When you know people who have all the same friends you do, it helps some, but they often know most of the people and things you do. If you know some/many people who are not close to you, but are kind/generous, they often know people and concepts that can help you in your career/business, family challenges, projects, and other things.

Church are by far the the most valuable interdependent group on the planet, and it is churches and Christians that throughout history have done the most good.

The early Christians had some major difficulties and suffered persecution. But they praised God for their blessings and even treated persecution as a privilege. There are times we need to be very serious and deal with dangers, times when it’s OK to cry and ask for help. But it’s best to try most of the time to focus our minds on being thankful, positive and having gratitude for the blessings we do have. Stephen Achor, former professor at Harvard, said that our brains work at least 20% more efficiently when we are positive ( and there are at least 31 benefits from having an attitude of gratitude, no matter what happens in life.

All these features of the early church (and others where they followed God) were extremely impressive to non-believers when they interacted with early Christians in their community (except for the powerful and rich whose profits and exploitation they were defeating) and many were saved daily.

The Bible tells us that God’s people will have trials in the world, but to have courage because Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33). God also says that following His wisdom/habits/truths will benefit us in this world, including financially. There are times that God’s people have financial difficulties, but if people and the church follows God’s principles, over time, they will have many financial resources to use to help in all the above ways that God asked us to help the suffering, the poor and those treated with injustice.

  • “For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly.” Psalm 37:17
  • “Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.” Proverbs 13:22
  • “God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him.” Ecclesiastes 2:26

Ellen White says that the early church was able to defeat the Roman empire with God’s principles, especially the ones in these areas. If they were able to do that with just a small group of people, a few dozen and then a few thousand, and were able to evangelize most nations in the world that they knew about, then how much more can we do if we follow similar principles? Ellen White says clearly that since we have many more members and far more resources and better technology and transportation, that we can spread the gospel far faster and more efficiently to the whole world than even the early church did (**reference for this will also come soon). We just need to understand, teach and share the enormous value of the principles that they followed like the above.

Let’s trust God, and His principles. They are the highest level of genius. And they do work. Many who aren’t even Christians are finding by trial and error the enormous value of these principles. Let’s not delay. Let’s take advantage of the incredible wisdom God’s wisdom and be the first denomination to implement these principles across our denomination widely. When we will do, that will a huge step towards following God’s method of finishing the work God gave us to do in His Great Commission, and we will be able to go to heaven much sooner!


[1] Craig, William Lane. “On Being A World Christian.”,

[2]Solomon Asch conformity experiments”.

[3] Vittachi, Nury. “Atheism Peaks, While Spiritual Groups Move Toward Convergence.” July 13, 2015.

[4] Cnaan, Ram. Calculating the Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places”.

[5] Jeff Boyd “Open Letter To Elder Ted Wilson: APF Thanks General Conference For Ending Investments In Weapons Manufacturers.” June 05, 2018 See also:

[6] Vitali, Stefania, et al. “The Network of Global Corporate Control.” PLOS Medicine, Public Library of Science, October 26, 2011, 

[7] Coffey, Brendan. “The Four Companies That Control the 147 Companies That Own Everything.” . Forbes Magazine, June 12 , 2012.

[8] Salguero, Michael. “Why Buying Local Is Worth Every Cent [Infographic].” Dec 06, 2017,

[9] Shuman, Michael. “Localising Finance.” Dec 4, 2018,,

[10]Why Did Christianity Succeed—The Great Appeal”. PBS.

[11] Illing. Sean. “How fascism works.” Dec 15, 2018.

[12] Religion, spirituality, and medicine: application to clinical practice.”, Koenig HG,  JAMA. 2000;284:1708 involvement   spirituality  and medicine    Implications for clinical practice.pdf

[13] Weintraub, Pamela. “#3: E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Altruism Shakes Up Understanding of Evolution”. Thursday, April 28, 2011.