In Heavenly Places

Just before 5:30am on the morning of July 16, 1945 a group of scientists and government officials ensconced themselves safely in a heavily fortified observation bunker. Peering out across the desert sands of New Mexico, they fixed their gaze upon a tall steel tower hundreds of yards distant. It was one of those mile posts in human history when no one knew exactly what to expect yet felt driven to still push ahead regardless of consequences. Then, at the stroke of 5:30 it all happened, plunging those mere mortals into stunned silence as they witnessed something never before beheld by human beings! A brilliant flash ignited the early morning sky, illuminating the mountains many miles distant. Seconds later an apocalyptic boom ripped apart the still silence! The earth shook and trembled as though smitten with terror! A shock wave and violent blast bore down on everything before it with more power than an ocean tsunami! And then it rose ominously into the ravaged sky from out of the huge fireball that gave it life - the tall, ever growing, ever ascending mushroom cloud that said it all!

Yes, mortal man had suddenly unleashed the vicious and lethal power of the first atomic bomb! This world would never be the same again. Ever!

We still look back in wonder and amazement at that ominous mile post in human history, including the succeeding decades as other world powers acquired nuclear weapons during the Cold War. And yet, the pride of man and his ability to unleash the power of the atom is less than puny compared to the God who created the atom. Our nearest star, the sun, generates more heat, light, and energy per second than thousands of hydrogen bombs. Our sun is vastly bigger than planet Earth, yet the mega-star Betelgeuse is 27 million times bigger than the sun! How true indeed that "The heavens declares the glory of God!" Psalms 19:1.

And yet the greatest demonstration of God's Almighty power is not seen out in the far reaches of the starry universe where He might ignite another mega-star. The greatest demonstration of His creative power is seen when His Spirit invades the once stony, resistant, and stubborn heart of a hardened sinner to transform them into a saint!

It was the Apostle Paul's prayer that his friends in Ephesus could grasp this reality and know it in their own lives. Paul declared, I "cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that he might know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints, and what is the exceeding g greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality and power, and might, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also that which is to come." Ephesians 1:-15-21.

In this letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle makes clear that the resurrection power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that will raise from spiritual death any sinner that acts upon such a belief in faith: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened (made alive) us together with Christ ... And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:5, 6.

As Christ has conquered Satan, sin and the grave, so may we, even now as, we sit with Him by faith in the heavenly places. As we trust in The Savior's infinite power we can sit victorious over the power of sin - the very sins that may have held us in bondage for so long. Such is the power of the gospel!

So let us praise God for the gift of a Savior! And let us declare with Paul, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

 Mike Thompson, Associate Pastor



This Week (September 26 to October 1): 

• Monday @ 7:00 PM – 4 Weeks to Wellness continues…

• Tuesday @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study

• Tuesday @ 7:00 PM – Prayer Meeting with Andrew Vargas

• Various L.I.F.E. groups (in-home small group Bible studies) take place across Sacramento. To locate one near you contact our small groups’ coordinator, Richard Anger @ (916) 681-3990

• Thursday @ 7:00 PM - 4 Weeks to Wellness continues…

• Sabbath @ 9:00 AM – Morning Manna with Robin Lacson

• Sabbath @ 9:30 AM – Central Study Hour with Pastor Chris Buttery + Children/Youth/Adult Sabbath School Classes

• Sabbath @ 10:50 AM – Worship Service with Pastor Michael Butler

• Sabbath @ 1:00 PM – Guest Fellowship Lunch

• Sabbath @ 2:00 PM – Discipleship University

Upcoming Events

Fall Work Bee: Plan to join us on Sunday, October 2 for Sacramento Central’s Fall Work Bee. Get to know your fellow members, meet new friends, and say hello to old friends as we come together to tidy up our church grounds, make minor repairs, and eat together. We start at 8 AM and finish at 2 PM. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Last Empire: Questions will be answered; minds stimulated; vision for the future made clearer. Yet more than ever, we will discover real hope for the future. Join us as we journey together into the past and see how ancient empires and even modern empires of today reveal through history and ancient prophecies exciting events that are about to usher into existence the Last Empire.  Starting October 14, 2016 @ 7 PM right here at Sacramento Central.

Ministry Opportunities

Media Director & Post Production Editor: We are currently looking for local, qualified individuals to work with us in our media ministry. These are paid positions. All applications can be sent to media@saccentral.org

Family Matters

Help Needed! We are just a few weeks away from the start of The Last Empire and we are looking for a few extra hands to help. We need registrars to check guests in, row captains to befriend guests sitting near them each night during the series, and parents/grandparents to help with our children’s program. If you can help, sign-up sheets are at the Hostess Desk at the church. Thank you!

Pathfinders (Ages 10-15): There is still time to join our Pathfinder club. Registration forms can be picked up at the church office.

News & Events From Elsewhere

Church Governance & Unity to be Discussed at Annual Council: “General Conference Secretariat has released two documents about church governance and unity that are to be considered by church leadership at the Annual Council business meeting in October. The main document, titled ‘A Study of Church Governance and Unity,’ is a 50-page analysis of references from the Bible, the writings of Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White, and Adventist Church history as relating to policy and unity. The second document, the 17-page ‘Statement on Church Governance and Unity,’ summarizes the points made in the longer document.

“Both documents were published Sunday on the website of the General Conference’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, which is part of Secretariat and assisted in researching and drafting them. Secretariat oversees the General Conference’s working policy.”

During Annual Council this year the plan is to discuss how best to address divergence from the current policy with regards to women’s ordination. Please keep this meeting in your prayers.

Desmond Doss: Generations of Seventh-day Adventists in North America have grown up with stories about Doss. His heroic actions on the island of Okinawa in the bloodiest battle of World War II were shared with Adventist youth at summer camps and in Pathfinder meetings for decades. Doss himself would teach groups of boys and girls the bowline knot that he used to lower 75 injured soldiers to safety, an act that awarded him the Medal of Honor. In November, “Hacksaw Ridge” will appear on more than 3,000 movie screens around North America, and eventually in every major media market of the world. Click here for a special commentary and NAD statement.



Hero of Hacksaw Ridge: From Remnant Publications: “Hollywood has given us another prime opportunity to distribute truth to searching souls. Mel Gibson’s latest blockbuster production, Hacksaw Ridge is due to hit theaters on November 4 providing the perfect springboard to share the story and an even more in-depth look at the faith of Desmond Doss.” Order your books to share right here.

Be Inspired 

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)


Central Happenings is published by the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6045 Camellia Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95819 www.saccentral.org

Sacramento Central Staff: Chris Buttery, Senior Pastor; Mike Thompsons, Associate; Fred Dana, Associate; Michael Butler, Youth/Young Adult; JeAnn Davis, Bible Instructor

Central Happenings: Chris Buttery, Editor; Chrystal White, Copy Editor/Distributor